Winter Wear Designs: Hacking to make a 70s vintage style romper

If you follow the blog, you know that I sewed the Petite Pan and Racing Shorts in knit fabric earlier this week (you can findthat post here.) After talking to Sweet Pea she decided that she wanted the shorts tighter and the top attached to shirts for a fun swimsuit cover up or outfit for riding her bike.

Since this is an add on post hacking previous patterns (linked above) I’m just going to cover the change in construction.

I started with taking 3 inches off the length of the Petite Pan, though once made I realized I could have probably left the original length to provide lots of room for Sweet Pea’s longer torso.

Part of a pattern piece being measured off 3 inches to shorten it.

After shortening it appropriately, I constructed the Petite Pan the same as the instructions then added a gathering stitch to the bottom of the hemline. Next I constructed the shorts the same as the instructions. I did an 18 month sizing as Sweet Pea specifically indicated she wanted the shorts much more fitted.

Image of the top clipped to the shorts.

Once I sewed the top to the shorts, I added elastic to the hem allowance to create the waistline.

I think it turned out pretty cute. And it turned out just like Sweet Pea imagined it would! I would, in future makes, make a size 3 shorts just to give plenty of room for playing and growing, when using double brushed polyester. But she really loves the fit and really that’s all that is important!

Hello Summer- a Winter Wear Designs Blog Tour

I am so excited to be back on a blog tour, it feels like it has been a really long time since I participated in one! I like blog tours because they keep me on my toes and trying new things. If you follow the blog, you might have seen mention of our recent cross country move from New Hampshire to the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. One of the things we did not expect was to already experience high temperatures in the 90s by the first week in June. So for this post specifically I wanted to work on a few summer staples for my Sweet Pea. She has grown almost 3 inches in the last 2 years, so at this point many of the garments I have made her are starting to get small. Plus we have the added need for creating 2 completely different wardrobes, one specifically designed with summer weight fabrics and one for fall/winter. I New England, I would usually purchase a couple of rtw t-shirts that we would tie dye and kids live in those over sized shirts for the summer with underpants because our high summer heat only lasted about 2 weeks. Here the heat has started before our school year has ended!

For this tour I am using Winter Wear Designs patterns. I will be participating twice this week as I have a very specific vision for a final creation for some really fun striped fabric for Sweet Pea. To make this vision a reality, I wanted to first sew the Petit Pan which is a free pattern. For this top I went with bamboo lycra which has incredible stretch and breathability, just perfect for high temperature days!

Petit Pan Information:

  • A-line hemline
  • 2 different collars, that can be made with woven materials (or you can choose collarless)
  • Elastic back
  • Sizing runs 2-7

For the second pattern, I used the Racing Shorts. Since the final look I am hoping to achieve is a vintage style “roller” romper, I will be trying to create a knit version of these shorts. I could have used the Endless summer shorts which is already designed for knit fabrics however, Sweet Pea really liked the piping detail of the racing shorts.

A back view of the Petit Pan

Racing Shorts for Girls:

  • Designed for woven fabrics
  • Elastic waistband
  • Loose athletic fit
  • Bias binding
  • Sixing 18mos-14

For the racing shorts, Sweet Pea actually fits in between a size 6 and 7. Because of this, normally I would make her the 7 to give her plenty of play and growing room and because there is elastic in the waistband. Since I decided to make these in knit, I did go ahead and size down to the size 5. I feel like we could have sized the width smaller (and probably will for the romper since her preference is slightly more slim fit.) But I feel like the shorts came out just adorable and with the right kind of movement that knit fabric gives her.

An additional change was opting for a double elastic waistband because Sweet Pea has some sensory issues with single 1/2 inch elastics. If you would like to hack your waistband to be like ours, here are the steps to take.

  • For the size 5, cut the waistband at 34 x 4.25 inches
  • Sew the short sides of the waistband right sides together
  • Open the waistband and fold in half lengthwise
  • Cut 2 pieces of 1/2 inch elastic
  • Sew 3/4 inch down from the fold of the waistband, leaving a hole open for threading the elastic through, creating a casing
  • Perform the same step again, using your previous stitching line as a guide, sewing 3/4inch down, creating a second casing
  • Thread your elastic in the top casing, sew your elastic ends together, then close your casing hole
  • Perform the same step on casing number 2 and now you have your new waistband to attach, continue in the same method as the instructions

I love the whole look of this outfit and know that Sweet Pea will LOVE being able to run and play not just freely but also while staying cool!

Check back with me on Friday to see of my vision matches reality!

Make sure to stick with us all week long for sewing inspiration, pattern hacks, and tutorials about how to get the most out of your summer sewing!!!

Monday:

Suzanne of Winter Wear Designs

Tuesday:

Hwee Ke Lim of KeKe Sews

Suzanne of Winter Wear Designs

Wednesday:

Laurie of The Bear And The Pea Atelier

Thursday:

Kristen Guest Posting at WWD

Rachel of Violets & Jewles

Friday:

Laurie of The Bear and the Pea Atelier

Donnisha guest posting at WWD

Sew PDF Special: Needle and Anchor’s Ocean Tide Bag

This last week I got to sew up a pattern for the Sew PDF group which I have missed sitting out on and it just so happens, it is the perfect gift for my niece!

The Ocean Tide Bag is a quick sew for someone new to bag making!

I have never worked with Needle and Anchor Patterns before. So I took a quick look at their website and decided yes, I really want to make this bag! I really like that not only is the business Woman Owned but it is also Veteran owned and loved the fact that Carissa MacNaught comes from a pattern testing background and has an actual testing team to ensure that her patterns are the best they can be. So on to the sew…

This pattern includes:

Finished Dimensions: Low Tide (small) – 17 3/4″W x 18½”H x 2″D / High Tide (large) – 22″W x 23 1/4″H x 2″D

  • Low Tide {Small}- 17 3/4″w x18 1/2″H x 2″D
  • High Tide {Large}- 22″W x 23 1/4″H x 2″D

Difficulty Level: Confident Beginner – there is a video available to watch, courtesy of SIASWAG

Recommended Fabric: exterior – pliable canvas, pliable vinyl/faux leather. lining – quilting cotton or pliable canvas. Vinyl, cork or canvas for the contrast unless using leather strapping. Some canvases may need woven interfacing to hang correctly.

• ALL / FULL Sized Pattern pieces

• a Cutting List (to use instead of the included rectangular pattern pieces – to save the trees!)

• colorful and clear diagrams for most steps

• small Notes section on every couple of pages

• an A0 copy-shop file

• Layers to conveniently print certain multi-sized pieces

• Labels to keep track of your cut pieces

I really like the large body of the bag, which will allow my niece to put her iPad, plus the random text book in the bag if she would like.

I had never worked with rivets so that was a new experience. I did struggle with the size of the rivets I chose, so next time I will pick a slightly larger version.

I really like how the pattern is set up, I think it will make it really easy for new sewists to embrace sewing a bag. I also love the hardware that is used and find that it gives the bag just a bit of extra style. I look forward to making a few more and thinking I might need to make me a leather version. I also have found a few other bags I am excited to try out!

This pattern is on sale via my Sew PDF Link for the next week!

And a special thank you to my Sweet Pea for helping me out by providing photos that were not just flatlays!

Sweet Pea holds the bag in both hands straight out to the camera with a smile on her face
Sweet Pea stands at a side view with the bag on her shoulder with her hands clasped to the front of her body.
Sweet Pea reaches down to open the bag on her shoulder
Sweet Pea inspects the bag’s hardware

Eunoia Patterns Hacked Thalia

Here we are back with a new Thalia. I feel like this style will be super popular for Sweet Pea as she loves that it is light weight and twirly.

This version consists of a knit front bodice and only 2 of the 3 tiers to create a peplum length so that they can be worn with shorts.

The fabric for this comes from Shear Madness fabrics.

Eunoia Patterns Thalia Dress

We have had a really busy few months, we moved in March then had to get the kids re-established at new schools and doctor’s offices. We had to find housing and get settled (we still need to finish unpacking but the house is finally starting to look like a home again.) And in between all that, Papa Bear and I are trying to find a good working rhythm so I can sew while he works from home- often using my sewing space to work from and leaving me going back and forth or having to schedule my actual sewing days! I must say that I am looking forward to the day when he is back in the office full time so that I can have my space to work in freely.

I have managed to finally get in some pattern testing, which admittedly is still very rare (I have cut back on my sewing to focus more on working with strike offs.) One company that I am always excited to work with is Eunoia Patterns and I was really excited to not just sew the Thalia Dress but also tested the Providence bag (which will be another post.)

Sweet Pea looks off to the left with her hands on her hips in a woven large scale gingham searsucker dress. The dress has white bias trim and ties at each shoulder and the skirt is double-layered with 3 tiers and trimmed in the same white bias trim.

Thalia is the perfect summer sundress pattern and perfect for beginners with no zipper or buttons.  The single layer dress has amazing twirl, add a second layer and you get both fluff and twirl!

  • 2 Dress Lengths
  • bloomer pattern included
  • Sizes 2T – 20
  • A4
  • A0
  • US Letter
  • Projector file with layers and both flat & on fold pieces and an optional black background.
  • PDF layers
  • No Trim Pages
Sweet Pea is holding the width of the skirt portion of the dress out so you can see how much twirl the dress is going to have.

This is a great dress for kiddos that want something lightweight and twirly. The options are endless for the types of trims and fabric and weights one can use. I really love the spring time look of this large gingham seersucker, but I also look forward to completing one in a slightly heavier fabric to wear with a turtle neck for the winter time.

The most time consuming aspect of this dress is all the gathers, since the bodice goes together rather quickly. But with the double layer skirt there is a really lovely twirl factor. The vintage length is really adorable especially paired with the bloomers but we opted for the longer length because Papa Bear prefers the longer length for more wearing time for the tiny one.

I also opted for the bias tie on this round and after seeing everyone else creating large bows from their sashes I think I might opt for it the next time I actually add a tie.

Sweet Pea with her hand over her mouth like she is going to blow a kiss

We already have a few more of these dresses planned because they check all of the boxes that make the little one the most happy when it comes to dresses. If you’re looking for a great dress to make then this is for you!

Bella Sunshine Designs Delmar Tee and Dress

As I mentioned in the Thalia Dress posting there are very few brands I continue to actually test for. I was very excited to see that Melissa with Bella Sunshine Designs was getting back to testing again with this very versatile and scrappy top/dress.

Sweet pea stands in a lime/yellow leopard print long sleeved dress that goes to the knees. It has black stripes on the sleeves and the chest. Her eyes are closed as she is caught beginning to spin in a circle.

This pattern has a ton of features:

Sweet pea looks at the camera in an angled profile view to the left with her right hand on her hip.

This pattern while offering a ton of features is a very quick sew. You might get more hung up on figuring out which version/view you would like to complete then cutting it out, spending more time on that than the actual sewing.

Sweet Pea stands in a tea pot pose with a slight smile on her face.

The most difficult part of the sewing is making sure that the triple stripes line up correctly but go slow and everything will be just fine.

I see lots of these even with the plain sleeves and dress for future makes as Sweet Pea loves a simple A-line silhouette

Ending the 1st Month of the Year With A Bang!

I have started off this year in a bit of a fog, both feeling relieved that 2020 has closed and 2021 has begun and feeling slightly overwhelmed by events and some known coming changes of the year. Prior to the year closing out, I had decided that I would join the #Sew365Project on Instagram. In this challenge, you commit to getting to your machine each day, presumably to sew a small project such as a quilt block. Because of my mental health and an upcoming cross country move, I had already decided to place less pressure on myself making this challenge a bit more my own. And that as long as I am working on a project, not just at my machine that I am accomplishing the spirit of the challenge. I would post all my makes at the end of the week on IG. I decided to approach it this way because some of my upcoming projects involve applique and just cutting all the pieces then mounting can be time consuming, and while I am not at my machine, I am working in my sewing space and creating.

Additionally, since I dabble in mixed media work, I figured I would include those projects as will since I often use many hours of a day working on them and often find that I can only work on this project for a few days in a row.

I have also committed myself to really work on quilting this year. I have signed up for a quilter’s swap, started a temperature a day block (I assume I will work this project weekly or at least a few days at a time, since I tend to cut then sew.) I did figure out I need to change up my colors because this first 3 weeks has been boring with colors😂

I sewed masks this month for Sweet Pea and now need to work on sewing up mask panels for the Bear. His are a bit more work because of his sensory issues and he needs wire in the nose piece. I’ll get his figured out soon and probably posted during a monthly catch up post like this one later!

As usual I will be in the 52 Week Sewing Challenge and may or may not actually post my makes in the group (I do usually forget but the plan is always to fall along and pray I don’t fall off before May.)is usually always organize your sewing space.


1 Jan 4-10 Organize Your Sewing Space

2 Jan 11-17 Sew a WIP/UFO
3 Jan 18-24 Make a pattern you already own but have never sewn
4 Jan 25-31 Sew Something for Your Feet or Head

Week 1 usually always consists of a sewing room clean up. This year I am in the middle of a move and don’t actually have a dedicated sewing space so I will enter it during the makeup thread.

Week 2 and 3 are a bit combined for me as I have both a WIP started AND have a pattern that I own that I have never made before (Sweet Pea typically does not like jogger/sweatpant style pants.) A WIP or UFO is the favored abreviations for Work In Progress or UnFinished Object. My WIP is a choice that I had cut the pattern but not the fabric as it arrived Monday. I used a couple of patterns from the Sofilantjes brand The Semper Sweater and Domi Sweatpants. These patterns will be featured in an upcoming showcase with Sew PDF Showcase. Speaking of the Sew PDF Showcase….I have a profile listed that’s new and will be working on guest blogging over there every now and then….which is very exciting!

Fabric from a current preorder with Shear Madness Fabrics.

I participated in the last Sew PDF Showcase, featuring the I Glove You pattern from Make It Last Patterns- you can find my blog post on it here! This makes a super cute gift for someone and goes together really rapidly!

I’m working on the another Sew PDF Pattern Showcase plus the Free Bingo that closes at the end of this month which will get me my week 4 entry that I am super excited about. You can find information about the 12 Freebie bingo on the Sew PDF Pattern Showcase Blog.

Sew I think I have caught you up on all my sewing…though I also have a couple of other projects that didn’t get listed because they are gifts and I’m not sure if the person reads the blog.

I Glove You!

Here it is the beginning of another year and I made the promise to myself I would be gentle with myself this year and not feel bad about the lag of posting as I have in the past years. I always start out ready to be all in then end up giving up to manage my mental health. This year, I’m hoping since joining the Sew PDF Pattern Showcase I will be more inspired to share here!

As we start January off right, the Featured Pattern Showcase this week is the I Glove You Mitten from Make It Last Patterns. I was pretty excited to get to sew it up for my kids since I have made both the cufflet and the cufflet with phone add on as well received gifts for swapping! My littlest has low vision and so I was intrigued hoping she can hold hands walking around our property, so this would not only be a fun sew but also very functional for us living in New England!

The children picked a cotton lycra outer with a bamboo French Terry cuff and lining. Both fabrics come from Shear Madness Fabrics. The murlocs are no longer available but there are other WOW inspired prints still available, you can find those here. The digital blocks will be available for retail soon (the round just closed last week or so.)

I really enjoyed sewing this pattern. It was a very quick sew. I love it when it takes me more time to cut out the actual fabric than to sew the pattern together. Total sewing time (including cutting, sewing, and interruptions from kids) ran roughly 40 minutes.

This pattern comes in 3 sizes:

  • Small- child sized or small wrists
  • Medium- fitting an average sized wrist
  • Large- for larger sized wrists
Murloc Fabric from Shear Madness Fabrics features creatures tossed about on a black background, on a heart shaped mitten with 2 wrist holes. The accessory sits on a robins egg blue floral background.

Sweet Pea is very small (her wrist size is about 4.5 inches) and the Bear is starting his teen growth spurt so he actually falls between being a small adult and more average sized wrist. I opted to go with the small sized mitten but do the medium sized wrist band for him. The fit was expected for Sweet Pea, a tad large, and for Bear, which was right on the perfect size for him so he won’t get much use out of it once he has the next growth spurt. But he has asked if there is a way for me to keep the small size for her but make his whole side the medium.

2 Children wearing their I Glove You Mitten both are standing facing to the right of the camera looking off camera.

I told him that since it is a cut on fold pattern, I should be able to modify it so that he has something he can use for a longer period of time with his sister. I think this is a fun couples gift and makes the perfect Valentine or accessory sew that you never knew you needed!

Close up of the I Glove You Mitten
2 Smiling children holding their hands out with the I Glove You mitten.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…..

Otherwise known as time of year that PDF pattern companies end up offering freebies! This year I will do my usual sewing from Winter Wear Designs because there are always soo many great freebies… further down the blog you’ll find links to past freebies I have sewn from WWD.

I get incredibly excited this time of year when practical gifts come out as freebie patterns. This year, I was soo excited to see that bowl covers were on the list for WWD! We have been trying to make the transition to using more sustainable items for our home, we are really working this year to cut out plastic bags. Try as I might, breaking my tiniest one from plastic bags has been HARD. She has become compliant and happy using containers and snack bowls but we struggled with the 1 gallon size bag the most. Her favorite daily snack is popcorn and she happily pops the corn and leaves it in a bowl for me to put in the ziploc because she won’t eat it if it “goes stale” but I HATE the plastic. So I figure this might be the prefect way to wean her off of going through a box of 1 gallon bags a month!

The standard bowl we use is roughly 9 inches in diameter and was happy to see that there were multiple sizes. I really also loved the fact that there are multiple options for construction. I went with the serged version so that it would mean I could avoid a casing. I chose some vintage fabric that I have had for quite some time because it has some of her favorite colors (and I have found over time using fabrics she likes has been key to the transition of helping her make a change!)

I love the fit on both our smaller bowl AND larger one! AND amzingly enough because I picked the serged option, I spent more time measuring my bowls to know which size to pick and cutting out the fabric than actual sewing. This would be an awesome gift for anyone that works on sustainability as you could very easily batch cut and sew and have I would say be able to sew 10-15 in 30 minutes…..Guess what my kids teachers are getting, also any last minute gifting needs as I can whip up a few and just have them on hand! Also you can pair them with the Totally Tote and Produce Bags amd have a perfect gift to encourage sustainability!

She looks really happy, so lets see how long she uses it!

Check out my last year post where I sewed a bunch of my favorite freebies: Sew Festive Holiday!

Check out the last few days from the WWD site!

The 12 Days of Christmas 2020: Day 8 December 08, 2020

The 12 Days Of Christmas 2020: day 7 December 07, 2020

12 Days of Christmas 2020: Day 6 December 06, 2020

12 Days of Christmas 2020: Day 5 December 05, 2020

12 Days of Christmas 2020: Day 4 December 04, 2020

12 Days of Christmas 2020: Day 3 December 03, 2020

Pattern Review and Sale: The VersatiliTee from Buttons and Bibs

I recently joined the Sew PDF Pattern Showcase as an affiliate so I now get the opportunity to sew lots of small independent pattern companies. As an affiliate I will be receiving a small commission for any sales generated through the links posted.

I’m posting this late so the sale that ran for Buttons and Bibs Versitilitee no longer is running (sick kids and spouses make you loose track of time.)

I was dying to try this pattern because I wanted to use my wine fabric I had been keeping for a bit and I wanted a new lounge shirt (that will go with quarantine loungers soon hopefully.

Pattern details:

  • Sizing runs 00-38+
  • Front Neckline options: Boatneck, Scoop and V-neck
  • Back Neckline options: Boatneck and V-neck
  • Sleeve options: Sleeveless, Short, Elbow, 3/4, long with ruching options for 3/4 and long sleeves.
  • Side Rouching option
  • Full Bust Adjustment piece included
  • Thoughts on pattern fit:
    I enjoy the overall fit of the pattern. I love that a full bust adjustment is included so that means the only alterations I needed to do right away are for my height. I added 1 inch in the shoulder and 2 at the waist since the pattern is drafted for 5ft 5. In the future, I should do a narrow shoulder adjustment as the shoulder seam sits a bit wide on my shoulders (it is not unusual for me to need to do a narrow or round shoulder adjustment.) Though with knits I typically don’t worry about it, I am pretty happy with the width of shoulder coverage. In the end this pattern will be a keeper to make more in the future for myself.

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