Family Jammies (Hudson Pants +Baby Sweetie Leggings)

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Okay! So they were Christmas Jammies! Sue me! I just didn’t want to put that in the title because, while they were made for Christmas, I chose to do very non-Christmas-y jammies this year. Last year I made the girls some jams and they were red and green and sparkly and they turned out very cute but I never really wanted them to wear them after the holidays were over so it was just kind of a waste.

This year I went very practical and neutral and I’m happy to say that everyone wears the jammies I made weekly if not nightly (yep, that’s me!) so it definitely paid off to steer clear of the Christmas vibes this time around.

Sometimes I’m a bit on the fence as to whether or not I should turn a make into an actual blog post. I don’t always feel like I have a ton to say about certain projects. But I’d like to post more often. And I’m the type of person who likes to read about any sewing project, so shouldn’t I be the type of person who writes about any sewing project? Also, as I’m relatively new to the garment sewing community, there are things that might be considered old news to others that are totally new news to me. I just think we should share what we know because everyone knows something different and you never know what you might learn (or share, I guess). So this post might be a little basic and also the pictures aren’t the best, but maybe it’ll help someone (or just help me remember stuff when I get around to making Christmas pajamas next year).

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I reeeeaaaaally failed at taking pictures of mine and Ben’s pajamas this year. I appreciate lots of good photos so I’m aware that I’m really letting people down here. Sorry! What you get is a headless phone picture with the dog but at least my bedroom is clean! So for mine and Ben’s joggers I used the Hudson Pants pattern by True Bias. I’m always trying to save money so I was maybe planning on using the women’s version to make Ben’s pants but Ben made it clear that he wanted men’s pants, thank you very much. Sheesh! What a Prima Donna! (haha jk) So I ended up getting both the women’s version and the men’s version. For the record, I have zero regrets about this because I can tell that I will be using these dozens of more times, they are that good.

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Here’s Ben’s really great picture. Okay, I know, it’s also horrible-you can barely see those pants at all! Goodness gracious! Maybe I’ll get it together next Christmas and force a Christmas photo shoot on everyone (yeah…fat chance). So for our fabric, I ordered French Terry knit from Raspberry Creek Fabric. I chose the mint for me and navy blue for Ben. I was kind of disappointed in my fabric-it started pilling after the first wear. I’d attribute it to inner thigh friction except that now it’s pilled all over, so I don’t know what the deal is. Ben’s fabric didn’t seem to have the same problem as mine and I will say that I’ve bought Brushed French Terry knit from RCF before and I totally and completely love it and the sweater I made from it has zero pilling. Also RCF has always had great customer service (and they have great prices) so I still think they are awesome.

Oh, I do want to put a plug in for Dritz 2 inch soft waistband elastic. I didn’t know this was a thing. I just that elastic was elastic and that it was all weird and hard but then I discovered the soft elastic and I totally love it. I haven’t found it in any other brand although surely it must be available? But I definitely love the Dritz kind and I highly recommend it.

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I can’t remember the sizes I sewed for Ben and I, but I didn’t make any adjustments save shortening (mine), but that’s pretty standard for me. I mention it above, but we both really love our joggers. They’re very comfortable and have the perfect amount of ease in my opinion. They’re more fitted but still completely loungeable. I really want to try making a pair using a cotton jersey knit. I think it could be super comfy.

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Moving on to my gals. I did take pictures with my actual camera with these gals but, for cooperation purposes, I took the photos right before bed time so that it made sense to put the jammies on in the first place. So I had to use flash lighting instead of natural, but any parents out there know that you just do what you have to do. And these girls are so darn cute that when I told them I wanted to take pictures of them wearing their pajamas, they ran and got some stuffed toys to complete the photo shoot. Ha! These gals are the best.

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There is a mini version of the Hudson Pants for kiddos but I opted not to buy it because it starts at 2T and Greta was still wearing 12 month mostly, so I didn’t want to have to buy that and then still have to find or make another pattern to work for her. Maybe I’ll buy it in the future-I don’t know. Instead I used this free pattern from Petite Stitchery called the Baby Sweetie Leggings. The sizes go from newborn to 24 months. I made a size 18 month for Greta and she’ll still be able to wear them for a few more months. I made a 24 month for Wendy and I lengthened it by an inch. She loves them and wants to wear them often but the last time she wore them she said they were too small. They ride up to her calves when she’s sitting and she’s not into that; so we may have to retire her pair. I did adjust the pattern just slightly by raising the waist line slightly so that I could encase the elastic and sew on top of it (you can’t see this in the girls’ pictures but you can see the effect in the picture of my pants).

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Instead of making shirts this year, I just bought sweaters they could wear night or day and I think this was the best choice ever. These girls have lots of girl cousins and, as a result, pretty much all of their clothes are hand-me-downs which is totally awesome. It was nice to get them something new and just-for-them though, especially since it filled a hole in their wardrobe. I definitely want to do the same next year. I did this for Ben as well (he got a tee shirt that says “With great beard comes great responsibility” and it cracks me up) and I think it was a success all around. As for fabric for the girls’ joggers, I just used left over from my joggers and left over from a previous project. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but sewing for kids is the best! Fit is inconsequential and you use so very little fabric.

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Hello, knee stains. Yes, I wear these too often. I’ll definitely be due for a new pair come December.

Patterns: True Bias Hudson Pants (Men and Women, respectively) and Petite Stitchery Baby Sweetie Leggings
Adjustments:
Shortening (mine), raising the waist (the girls’)
Fabric:
French Terry knit from Raspberry Creek fabric (and Greta’s is the brushed french terry knit from the same)
Cost:
Men’s Hudson Pants Pattern: $12
Women’s Hudson Pants Pattern: $12 (I got our patterns on sale but I can’t remember the discount. This is the standard price)
4 yards of french terry: about $32
2 inch elastic: $5
Thread, elastic for the girls, and Greta’s fabric was all from the stash
Would I make this pattern again?: Yes, definitely. I really loved the Hudson Pants pattern. It’s a great basic and it fit both Ben and I well right out of the hypothetical envelope. The Baby Sweetie Leggings were also good. They are very basic but I was on a bit of time crunch so that was welcome. I could definitely see myself using this pattern again in the future, although both my girls might be grown out of the size range by next year.

My Hacked Hinterland Dress

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First clothing make of 2020! I’d say we’re off to a good start!

So I’ve been blabbing about this dress for SO LONG! Okay, and maybe all the blabbing has been in my head…to myself, but either way I’ve had this dress on my mind a lot! And I’m surprised it’s already been turned into a reality. And, spoiler alert, I’m in love!

Maybe I just say that about all my newest makes, but seriously this one was a win!

The Background Story

Okay so rewind to Labor Day weekend when I went shopping with my sisters.

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I tried on this dress from Downeast (if you’re from Utah, chances are you know and love this store…for good reasons!) and I really loved it but it was 50-60 dollars which is hard for me to justify. I immediately thought of the Hinterland dress from Sew Liberated (you can view my version of the unaltered pattern here) as a starting point and then took a picture so I could remember the details while I took off on brainstorming. I will note that I don’t think I looked at this picture until pulling it up just now, because I had totally forgotten most of the details (in my mind was “embroidered” and “tiered”).

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Anyway, if you’re in the sewing community at all, it’s common to hear about how sewing for yourself is not cheaper than buying ready to wear. And in many instances this is true. Definitely don’t pick up sewing to try and save money because you won’t. But, in my opinion (and maybe it’s just my penny pincher self trying to justify this relatively costly hobby), when all is said and done I think it oftentimes is cheaper to make your own clothes. This is conditional on a few things including that, with practice, you can make your garment to your specifications. You can exact fit, color, fabric, and finishes to your preferences. I won’t pretend that I have a particularly hard body to fit, because I don’t. I can buy ready to wear and have it fit pretty okay. But I love that when I make my own clothes I can adjust hem, neckline and sleeves to a place that I feel good about. If I were to request clothes like this-tailored to my preferences-they would cost a lot more than what it costs me to make them myself.

Blahblahblah anyway!

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After seeing the dress at Downeast, I just made a mental note to make this dress someday. My mom has an commercial size embroidery machine and I knew she would be happy to help with this project as soon as I found some fabric that would work. I have a running list (mental and physical) of fabric I’m on the lookout for for specific projects. After some time I decided I wanted this dress to be in a neutral colored linen. Mentally noted.

So when I was visiting my parents for the holidays, my mom and I went to Hobby Lobby where I found this Robert Kaufman linen in gray. I bought 3 yards for about 30 dollars (I did use almost all of it). The timing was perfect! I had my mom get started on the embroidery right away so that it could be ready by the time I headed back home. (P.S. my mom is awesome. Have I mentioned that?). (Also, the embroidery is Fall Flower Border (vintage) from Embroidery Library for anyone who’s interested).

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So it happened much sooner than I had anticipated but no complaints here!

The Hacks

I will be honest. When I started sewing I was always surprised when sewists would “hack” something and still credit pattern designer. Their finished product looked nothing like the original! Now I can can confidently say that I was dead wrong. Using the Hinterland Dress as a starting point made all the difference in this project! Since I’d already made myself a Hinterland dress, it was such a breeze to try on the dress and notice exactly where I wanted to make adjustments. The pattern itself was one that I totally loved and it really provided the exact building blocks I needed to make this dress come across as I intended.

So, for the very basics: on the front bodice I cut on the fold (rather than cutting two) to eliminate the buttons/placket. I also raised the neckline by 1 inch and the waistline by 1/2 an inch (and consequently raised the waistline on the back bodice as well).

For the bishop sleeves: I used the 3/4 length sleeve pattern and I did the old slash and spread method by following this tutorial from By Hand London. I didn’t add any height/puffiness to the top of the sleeve. And for the hem of the sleeve, I created bias tape (2 inches wide). I sewed it to the wrong side and, after flipping it over, hand stitched it on the right side.

For the tiered skirt: I measured from my waist to where I wanted my hem to fall, divided that number by 3 and then added seam allowance. I believe I did 5/8 inch seam allowances, so 1 1/4 inch to that final number. (I chose 5/8 so that the bottom hem would have enough allowance for a rolled hem but it could still have the same amount of seam allowance as the rest of the tiers because lazy). For the width of those pieces I used this diagram as a guideline:

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I adjusted my final numbers slightly because my third tier’s measurement was something like 53 inches when the linen’s width was only like 48 inches or something like that and I didn’t want to have to sew in more fabric-just one seam on each side, please. But I think the ratios are good.

And that was literally all I did to make this hacked Hinterland dress! It wasn’t too bad to sew at all!

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Summary/Deets:

Pattern: Hacked Hinterland Dress from Sew Liberated
Size: 10
Adjustments: Cut front bodice on fold, raised neckline 1 inch and waistline 1/2 inch, made a tiered, gathered skirt (more info above, under Hacks)
Fabric: Robert Kaufman linen (maybe a blend…I can’t remember!)
Cost: about $30 for fabric; pattern, thread and facing/pocket fabric I already owned
Would I make this pattern again?: I seriously love this look and YES I could definitely see myself making this again!

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And I was really excited when I realized I could definitely pair these:

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WIP Wednesday

December sewing was crazy and I didn’t/haven’t taken any good pictures of my makes. When January started I felt like I needed to take a break. From all the sewing! But then I got bored. Ha! I just like doing things. So I’ve slowly been getting back into my projects. I’ve got a billion things in my head I’m hoping to get going on soon but it turns out I can only do one thing at a time. It’s slow going but I’m excited.

And I guess the title isn’t totally accurate. I’m also posting some of the stuff I made in December that just hasn’t been photographed yet.

Warning: iPhone photos ahead!

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Christmas photo! I love my girls and their cheesy smiles. I wasn’t planning on doing matching jammies this year but then all of Ben’s family was doing it so I joined the club. I also signed up for the #sewfamilyjammies challenge…but this was the only picture I got of all of us wearing our jammies-so I completed the challenge but never posted about it. Mom fail. I guess “Sewist Fail” might be more appropriate.

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But here are my pajama pants: the Hudson Pants from True Bias in fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabric. I don’t have a ton to say about our pants (I did love the pattern)…but I’ll probably do a separate post on them just for proof that everyone really did get pajama pants.

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Sorrynotsorry for posting this picture of Ben but it makes me laugh. AND it features the two things I made him for Christmas: his pajama pants (also Hudson Pants) and his button up (Simplicity 1544). I do want to have a post on the shirt for sure but it might not happen until I try making him another one. I will say that he is so sweet and he wears this shirt often.

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I mentioned this in my last post but it’s always been a dream of mine to have my mom embroider fabric that I could turn into a dress. While in Utah during the holiday break, I found some Robert Kaufman linen at Hobby Lobby and I snagged it so that I could have my mom embroider it right away. I love the embroidery design we found and the colors and I’m just so darn excited! I still have to cut out the bodice and facing but that’s basically it and I can start sewing.

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Hey! A start on my goal of making more stuff for out home! This particular hand embroidery will go in the girls’ room. I saw this quote and loved it. I drew up a design and worked on it for a few hours before I decided I hated it. So I scrapped it and redrew this and I love it so much more. I think it’s going to turn out really cute (and also maybe a little wobbly but whatever).

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I saved the best for last! My La Passa is officially quilted!!! I can’t tell you guys how excited I am about this! My mom did such a fabulous job and I can’t wait to see it in person! Just binding and this thing is DONE (just, you know, 4 years later). You can definitely count on a post with some good pictures-especially of my mom’s quilting-as soon as it’s finished!

Aside from these I have a stack of 5 patterns with fabric ready to cut into and I’ve also (covering my eyes!) started another English Paper Piecing quilt.

Okay. Now I’m seeing it.

I am crazy.

Sewing Goals 2020

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Clockwise from top left: Straight Grain Ume Dress, Chalk and Notch Joy Jacket, Morgan Nielsen Ash Jeans, Hey June Handmade Union St. Tee

I started getting more into sewing clothes in January 2019-so one year ago! Sewing has been a pretty big part of my life this year and so, just as I review how the last year has gone and set goals for the new year, I wanted to do the same with my sewing. This past year has been one of so much learning and growth-in almost all areas of my life. There have been some real difficulties and challenges but in looking toward the future, I really do want to keep learning and growing, again, in most areas of my life. Onward and upward, right?

One concept I’ve heard again and again in the sewing community is to sew for the holes in your wardrobe. It took me some time to realize it but now I can confidently admit that my wardrobe is one giant hole! A combination of moving, being pregnant, and having a postpartum body have all contributed to getting rid of lots of clothes and having lots of clothes that don’t fit quite right. I’m not much of a shopper and usually when I buy it’s because the article of clothing is on sale-not necessarily because I love it. As I’ve started thinking more about what my wardrobe is and what I want my wardrobe to be, I’ve realized that I have a long way to go. I’ve also realized that, instead of making all those unique and fun patterns that are out there, my focus really needs to be on basics for everyday use. The truth is that I’m at a point in my life where jeans and tee shirts are my go to and that’s what I need most in my wardrobe.

I also noticed that this December was crazy busy with sewing. Like too busy. Every spare moment I was either sewing or thinking about the sewing I needed to get done. I mean, it was brought on by my own choices (i.e. choosing to make pajama pants for the fam for Christmas) but it was just a little too much. So for this next year, I’ve also wanted to make sure that I’m keeping balanced. I think I often see the other sewing accounts I follow on Instagram and compare my output to theirs and I can get discouraged or get thinking that I need to make more than I am. But, truthfully, I’m happy with just one or two garment makes a month and filling my in between with English Paper Piecing or hand embroidery.

My two sewing-related goals this year are:
1. Improve my clothes sewing skills while maintaining balance in my roles as a mother and wife
2. Sew/craft more for our home

As far as clothes go, here are some of the things I’d like to make this year:

  • Ginger Jeans (Closet Case Patterns) I got myself everything I needed to make some Ginger Jeans but after my twill muslin didn’t turn out super awesome, I kind of lost steam on making the denim version. I’m hoping the different fabric will turn out lots better.
  • Maybemaybemaybe Ash Jeans (Megan Nielsen Patterns) I did quite a bit of research before buying the Ginger Jeans pattern but making them just made me curious about other jeans patterns. Are they all about the same? Are they totally different? I kind of really want to compare. For scientific purposes.
  • Shirts. Lots of shirts. I’m talking tee shirts. For me and for Ben. For Ben I think I’ll use the Elbe Textiles Sage tee (it’s free) and for me I’m going to go with Hey June Handmade’s Union St. Tee. I’ve heard Robert Kaufman Dana Modal Cotton is the best. I guess this will be another experiment of sorts.
  • Fitted chambray Arenite Pants (Sew Liberated) aka Denim joggers.
  • I made Ben a button up for Christmas using Simplicity 1544. I see more of those in the future, including a short sleeve version.
  • It’s been on my mind for about a year, and maybe this year I’ll actually do it. I really want a knee length Fulton Sweater Blazer (Alina Design Co.). I’m thinking it will turn into a Sunday staple.
  • Another one that’s been on my list for awhile: the Chalk and Notch Joy Jacket. I got some twill for free, it’s a little heavier duty than I think what the pattern calls for, but I think it will work, even if it just turns into a muslin. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a lining that will match but haven’t found anything yet.
  • I’ve turned it into a sewing tradition to make my family matching or coordinating outfits for Easter and this year will be no exception. Plans might change but right now I really want to make shirt dresses for me and the girls. I haven’t found a pattern for me yet, but for the girls I want to make the Ume Dress from Straight Grain (she has amazing little girl patterns!).
  • It’s always been a dream of mine to have my mom embroider some fabric that I could turn into a dress. During the holidays I found the perfect gray linen and my mom embroidered it. It’s all ready to go and I cannot tell you how excited I am about it. I’m making a hacked Hinterland Dress (Sew Liberated) and you can be sure I’ll blog about it when I’m all finished!
  • I feel like sewing for others (outside my little family) just kind of presents itself naturally throughout the year, for example, babies being born. Aside from that, I know I want to sew a Fulton for my sister-in-law. My sister requested I make her something, so I’ll figure that out eventually (maybe a Waterfall Raglan from Chalk and Notch). I would like to make something, maybe matching, for my sister-in-law and her girls. I’m leaning toward the Straight Grain Hoppe Jumpsuit for the girls but just can’t decide what that would leave me to make for my SIL!

And for the home:

  • I’ve really been wanting to make a woven rag rug. Not the kind you braid and sew, but the kind you weave on a loom. A friend of mine made rugs for an etsy shop and her husband made the loom out of some 2x4s and nails. I think it could be awesome.
  • Throw pillows. Can’t have enough of these, right?
  • A Happy Birthday Banner. I wished we had one of these on Wendy’s birthday and I think a handmade one could be adorable and last a really long time.
  • I have a specific embroidery for the girls’ room that I have in mind. Just have to draw it up and start going.
  • I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but my La Passa is almost done. It’s been at my mom’s house since September. It has a border and is most of the way quilted. As soon as my mom finishes the quilting, it will just need binding! I’ve definitely fallen for English Paper Piecing so I already started up another project from Willyne Hammerstein’s Millefiore Quilts. Ben teased me when he saw me back at EPP but I really do love it. This pattern is way more straightforward and quick than my La Passa so maybe I could finish it this year!

When I make goals for anything I try to keep things in perspective. This is a pretty big list of things to make but I know that preferences, ideas, styles, etc. will change over the course of the year. Things might get kicked off the list completely or just put lower on the totem pole. And that’s fine. The point of the list is to have ideas and direction for when I need them.

 

Sewing the Tamarack Jacket (Twice!)

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I have been dying to talk about this pattern! This has probably been one of my very favorite projects to date! When I bought the pattern, I knew I wanted to make a jacket for my mom, the queen of quilting. So I decided to make one for myself first to test the pattern out and practice the things I’d never done (welt pockets!). I finished mine in November and immediately started working on my mom’s. Mom’s birthday is just a couple days before Christmas, so keeping quiet was torture! Especially since every time I talk to my mom, she asks what sewing projects I’m working on. I was careful not to let anything slip because I wanted it to be a surprise. I think she was surprised and I also think she’s happy with her jacket!

Pattern: Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studios
Sizes: I made mine in size 8, but it was huge on me and I took it in quite a bit. Knowing this, I didn’t want my mom’s to be too big, so I traced her pattern in between sizes 10 and 12. I dare say hers was a perfect fit.
Fabric: I bought my fabric-quilting cottons- from 35th Ave Sew & Vac in Phoenix. I bought the top and the binding fabric for my mom’s jacket at Cloth Plus Quilt Shop in Prescott, and the lining fabric at Odegaard’s Sewing Center here in Flagstaff. Her jacket is made of batiks, which is a dyed quilting cotton.
Cost: I love it when people include the cost of their makes, so I want to start adding that info here too. I didn’t keep exact notes on what I spent for this particular project, but I’ll give you estimates as well as a total (the prices were basically the same for each jacket. This is info for just one, not both):
Pattern: free from Slyvia’s Quilt Depot in Wasilla, AK
Fabric (outer, inner, and binding-totaling 5 yards): $50
Batting (from Joann): $8
Snaps (mine from Joann, mom’s from Odegaard’s): $6
Snap tool: $3
Thread: $3
Total estimated price for each jacket: $70
Would I make this pattern again: Yes, yes! A thousand times yes! (Not that I’ll make the pattern a thousand times…).

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Let’s dive in, shall we?

So, like I said, I knew that I wanted to make this pattern for my mom but I thought making one for myself first would be for the best, darn it. You guys know how much I hate making clothes for myself. Haha jk, I was really excited to be guinea pig, as always.

I had to make a couple choices though. First, I knew I was going to quilt my own fabric. You can buy quilted fabric to make this jacket, and there are some great options for this. But my mom runs her own quilting business so I really wanted to quilt it myself, as best I could, so that the quilting could be varied. I also wanted snaps, even though they terrified me. And, although I’d read reviews that suggested just doing a patch pocket to make things easier, I really wanted to go ahead with the welt pocket.

dsc_0502Also, for whatever reason I got it into my head that I really wanted my tamarack to be a mustard-y yellow. I discovered pretty quickly that that is not a popular color among quilters, because I couldn’t find it anywhere! I wanted my mom’s jacket to be made out of nice fabric, but I wasn’t going to be so picky about mine. But it turned out that I had to be picky because nowhere local had what I was envisioning (stinking visions!). We stopped in at 35th Ave Sew & Vac in Phoenix on a whim and I’m so glad we did! That store is amazing! Definitely stop by if you’re a quilter and in Phoenix. They had several options that I liked. My outer fabric and binding came from a line from Moda called…wait for it…Safari Life! Ha! But it really was the shade I had been hunting. I can’t remember what fabric my lining was, but I love its kind of 70s vibe plus it was on clearance.

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So quilting this thing was really, really fun and also a bit of a headache. If you search the tamarack jacket hashtag on Instagram, you will be blown away by the amazing job people have done on the quilting. I whipped out the top third of the quilting on all my pieces in no time. But after that I felt really unsure about what to do. I thought it would look awesome to have some curvy quilting but my machine (not to mention myself) was incapable of what I had in mind. I sat on it for days and ended up just doing horizontal lines in the middle. The bottom is just like the top but on a bigger scale and with vertical lines (which was a product of doing vertical lines but not liking it and not wanting to unpick everything). In the end, I really liked how the quilting turned out. It was something I’ve never really done on my machine but it was a lot of fun.

Just a bit more about quilting on a sewing machine: a walking foot is a very good thing to have if you plan on quilting on your machine. It is designed to feed lots of layers evenly through your machine and it can seriously make the biggest difference. A walking foot for my machine is very expensive. My mom had given me a walking foot a couple years ago but it was the wrong kind. I got a cheap adapter for it but even then it was a really tight fit on my machine. I just made it work and was able to quilt my entire jacket with  minimal problems. But it started giving me issues when I got around to quilting my mom’s jacket, so I just used it for basting stitches down the middle and then used my regular foot from then on. It worked okay-no glaring errors-but a walking foot is on my list now. I really think it’s essential even if it’s just on those basting stitches, but if you can swing it, get one and use it on this whole project and lots of others (not just quilts-I’ve heard they’re also great for jeans and coats-pretty much anything that has more than 2 layers of fiber).

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I learned while sewing mine that the instructions have you put your pocket pieces with right sides together-which is how you want it for most thing where others never see the pocket bag (think dresses and pants). But here, where others might see a glimpse of your jacket interior, I think it’s preferable to have the wrong side of the fabric on the inside of the pocket. I followed the instructions, so you can see the wrong side of the fabric. Next time I will do opposite of what the instructions say (and would advise you to do the same if that’s the effect you want). On my mom’s jacket, this didn’t matter since the wrong side of a batik isn’t really noticeable.

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I love the welt pockets on these jackets! I was really worried about them (you have to cut  a hole in your freshly quilted pattern pieces!) but following the instructions, one step at a time, results in a really beautiful pocket. I literally danced around my bedroom once the pocket was inserted correctly. I did have to look up the tutorial online, because the instructions in the booklet weren’t cutting it-I was pretty confused. The tutorial really clarified things for me. I would suggest reading through the entire tutorial very first to just kind of understand the process and then go back then just read and follow one step at a time.

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I created my own bias strips and I sewed the bias strips onto the backside and then hand stitched them to the front side. I think that might technically be incorrect. Maybe you want the hand stitched parts on the inside where they are less visible? I don’t know. But I think I loved making these jackets so much because it combines apparel sewing and hand sewing into one amazing project. A lot of people talk about slow sewing-a concept that highlights enjoying the process of sewing and not just the end result. I feel like English Paper Piecing has really made me appreciate and enjoy the relaxing nature of hand sewing. You can’t whip something out quickly when you’re sewing by hand, so you really have to love what you’re making. I hand stitched the binding, the welts to the jacket and the top of the pocket on the inside of the jacket so that it has a cleaner finish.

When I tried my jacket on for the first time, it was huge! I’ve found, even in indie patterns, that I tend to want at least one size down from where the measurement charts place me. I realize that I could have saved myself the grief of having too big a jacket by doing more thorough measurements, and by comparing those to the finished product measurements provided in the pattern.  Ce la vie. It was discouraging after all that work, but it just meant more time on this great project haha! I turned the jacket inside out and safety pinned where I wanted the seam to fall. I hand basted it and then tried it on. After I confirmed the fit I finished seams again and resewed the coat. I ended up sewing my sleeves without enough ease. It’s fine if I’m wearing a tee shirt underneath, but it doesn’t really work with layers. Maybe I’ll let it out a little someday.

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When I started sewing up my mom’s, the main thing I had to note was not getting the size too big. I think her measurements put her at a size 14. I knew this would be too big, so when I traced the pattern, I traced in between sizes 10 and 12 and I felt like that would give her enough ease to be comfortable and to be able to layer, but not so much that she was swimming. The fit, in my opinion, was perfect. Did I mention that I used a paper pattern for this? This was my first ever indie paper pattern. I’ve gotten used to printing the pattern and taping it out. To preserve the paper pattern, I traced the pattern pieces onto freezer paper. I know there’s a huge debate about which is better, and I can honestly say that I enjoy doing both those things. I’m a weirdo.

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Mom’s fabric also proved very tricky to find. I didn’t have anything so specific in mind for her jacket but I knew I wanted something darker and more neutral and I knew I wanted to use batiks-that seems to be one of my mom’s favorite fabrics. Mom’s favorite color is green, so I also wanted to use that somehow. I searched a couple different fabric stores and couldn’t find anything I felt good about. So I loaded the kids up and headed to Prescott-to Cloth Plus (a gem of a store)-and luckily was able to find this gorgeous rose batik. I was a little worried, because it was a little more bold than I had planned for, but it honestly was so beautiful I felt like I couldn’t say no. I went for it and found a lining at Odegaard’s here in Flagstaff.

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I feel like quilting this one was easier because I knew what I wanted for the top and bottom. I ended up deciding to do hand quilting for the middle. It took quite a bit of time. I like how it turned out but, honestly, hand quilting is not a strength of mine and I’m not entirely sure it was worth the time I put in. In any case, it turned out.

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Sorry, this picture is a bit blurry, but you can see the hand quilting around the roses there in the middle. Making this jacket the second time around was so much easier and a lot less terrifying. I definitely had to read the instructions for the welt pocket the second time around, but I was a lot more comfortable with all the steps and didn’t feel like I was making a giant mistake the entire time.

I put off adding the snaps to my jacket until my mom’s jacket was finished too so that I could just add them all in one sitting. And, let’s be honest, I was putting that step off because I was completely terrified! After reading several tutorials and practicing on some scraps, I went ahead. I used my sharpest pair of scissors to make the holes and, while it worked without any glaring errors, it did give me heart attack every time it slipped more than I had intended. An awl is definitely going on my To-Buy list! I was extremely careful, but can you imagine if I had torn a hole in my jacket after spending all that time? Yikes! Not worth it! (This is a great example of “Do as I say, not as I do.”)

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So, so, so. The tamarack jacket! Overall I absolutely loved this project! If you plan on making one for yourself (or for someone else!) just know that it is a labor of love. It will take some serious time. I’ve read of people who were able to get one of these whipped out after two full days of working on it-which is amazing to me. For me, it took about a week or two working during most nap times and after the girls had gone to bed. Either way, you’ll dedicate some serious time to this project. But it’s well worth the effort, especially because it’s a pattern that teaches great skills (or encourages to improve skills you already have).

My only complaint would be just how big the pattern turned out. But, again, this can easily be fixed by measuring thoroughly and choosing the size you sew up based on what the finished garment measurements are.

I also need to do a little more brainstorming as far as styling goes. I love the look of the jacket, but I do struggle to know exactly how to wear it. This might have more to do with the color I chose than anything, but in any case, I’ll have to keep my eye out for more inspiration.

Anyhoozle. Congratulations to anyone who made it this far-this post was huge. But as you can tell, I absolutely loved this project! The pattern was excellent. Making the tamarack jacket was fun, challenging and it stretched my skills. It was a great slow-sewing experience.

Mommy and Me Matching Dresses: The Fringe Dress

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Pattern: Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress in view B (available in women’s sizes and kid sizes 12 month-12 years)
Sizes: Women’s size 8, Toddler size 3 and Toddler size 18 month, respectively
Fabric: Metallic cotton/linen blend from Joann Fabric
Will I make it again?: Yes, although I think I’d make some changes

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This was actually the very first indie pattern I bought! Finally made it in August and am just now getting around to posting about it! Ha! Maybe someday I’ll get on a more seasonally appropriate making and posting schedule but don’t anybody hold your breath! Ben gifted the women’s pattern to me for Christmas and then shortly after, Chalk and Notch released the little girl version of the very same dress and of course I had to get that one too! If you haven’t caught on, I am into twinning, although, turns out, I am still learning where my limits are in the matchy-matchy department.

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Since turning my focus more toward garment sewing, I’ve realized that my wardrobe is pretty blah-mostly grays and navy blues. This is a bit of a sad thing because I love color. But turns out sewing your own clothes is a great gateway to getting clothes to be exactly how you want them to be-which includes the color you want them to be too. It can be pretty awesome assuming you know where to get your hands on good (and good colored) fabric. So in trying to brainstorm what fabric to use in our twinning dresses, I eventually landed on metallic linen. I thought it would be perfect. Finding it, though, was very difficult. Even if an online store had metallic linen in stock, it definitely didn’t have three different colors that all coordinated. So I just decided to keep my eye out for it.

A few months later, I went into Joann Fabric with my mom. We turned the corner and BAM! there was a rainbow array of metallic cotton/linen blends! They had at least 10 different colors in stock! I had my girls choose their colors and went with aqua for myself. Now, the fabric itself is gorgeous (it’s in the quilting fabric section btw, if anyone’s interested), but I may have gone a little too far off the deep end going from grays to an actual color that also happens to be sparkly. I do like the look of the dresses but I’m not sure I’m there yet with something so eye-catching. I’ve only worn my dress once but I could definitely see me wearing it more in the spring or summer. Time will tell.

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My girls, however, love their dresses. Wendy asks to wear hers to church so regularly that I have to tell her no, because she wore it last week. Wendy’s is, incidentally, the most obviously metallic (i.e. it’s very shiny), but that doesn’t stop her from loving it. As far as alterations go on the girls’ dresses, I just shortened the skirts about an inch and a half on each. I should have shortened Greta’s bodice as well (we short!), but it works regardless (kids are not picky in the fit department, which is very nice!).

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As far as adjustments for my dress go, I didn’t do a whole lot. I brought the dart apex in about an inch. And I made my waist ties longer, and wider (especially at the end) because I wanted to tie them in the front and have the ties be more of a feature rather than just a shaper (there I go, making up terms). As I’ve been told by many acquaintances, I am short (5′ 3″…and a half!) but I didn’t alter the length in any way, because the low-hem-in-the-front-and-high-hem-at-the-sides feature is pretty dramatic and I didn’t want those side hems to be too short.

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So. Overall. Let me just say that the more patterns I come across and the more independent pattern designers I try out, the more I see what kinds of patterns perks there are. And honestly, Chalk and Notch is 100% awesome in their patterns. Seriously, they are drafted beautifully and have amazing instructions and illustrations. As in, as a relatively new garment sewist, there was no point in making the pattern where I was like, “Whaaaaaat am I supposed to do???” Everything is super clear and doable. In addition to a great pattern, some bonus material is that the pattern includes layered printing (you can print only the size(s) you need, and a basic instruction sheet (for more skilled sewists who don’t need a play by play). Really, the patterns (both the womens’ and the childrens) are great patterns.

Having said that, I don’t think I made the best choices to really make this particular pattern one that I’m super eager to sew again. I mean, someday I think I will give it another sew but I think I’d like to make a couple changes. First, I’d want to try out a bit drapier fabric. I’d also like to drop the side hem an inch or two so that the curved hem isn’t quite so dramatic. The pattern offers another view which includes buttons and I’d love to try that ones out. I’ve also seen some cute hacks to this pattern and I’d be interested in trying to tweak some things to make a different look.

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These dresses do have pockets, though, and that is always a win!

I feel like maybe I’m leaving things a little unclear, so let me just sum things up: This pattern is awesome. I really do like how these dresses turned out, but so far mine hasn’t been something I reach for again and again, although, I think with a few changes, it could be.

Thankful for Sewing

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As I mention every year, Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. I try to have an attitude of gratitude all the time, but I love having one special day where, despite my circumstances, I get to just stop and think about how many blessings I have. This past year I have been especially grateful for sewing.

Starting in January of this year I experienced a huge shift in my sewing. I’m not sure whether that’s come across in the blog, but it’s absolutely something I’ve felt. I’ve always enjoyed sewing (surely, that has come across in the blog), but I don’t think I realized how much it meant to me until this last January. I feel like I’ve gone on and on about how difficult the last year or so has been for me but when I stop to consider, I’m actually (again) not sure how much of that I’ve expressed here on the blog. Suffice it to say that I’ve had a time of it. Last winter was especially hard. Turns out the dark Alaskan winters (among other things) really kick a sun-loving girl’s trash.

It was the kind of thing where I was in a funk (personally, I think it was seasonal affective disorder {again, among other things}) and it wasn’t until flowers started to bloom and I began climbing my way out that I realized just how deep a funk  (read: mild, seasonal depression) I had been in.

But-again-January brought this new and important understanding. That’s when I started my sewing Instagram account and bought my first Indie sewing pattern. As I worked my way through every single stage of the garment making process, from taping my home-printed pattern together to sewing the last seam, I felt so very happy. I loved what I was doing. I was excited and committed. It felt so very different from that funk I had been feeling.

I was recently asked how long I had been sewing. And I said that I had enjoyed sewing for a long time, but I had recently gotten more into sewing clothes. I said that when we lived in Alaska, the winter was so dark and I really struggled with it but sewing seemed to bring lots of light into my life. And I know it sounds so cheesy to say it like that but, for me, it’s true. I think I needed to have a dark moment to realize just how grateful I am to have sewing.

Around that same time I realized what a newbie I am at making clothes. I thought the world of sewing clothes was small and therefore I was good. But I was wrong on both counts. The garment sewing world is huge and I am absolutely a beginner. The plus side is that I’m perfectly okay with both of these things. I think one thing that makes me so grateful for this hobby is that there’s always something new to learn or a skill to improve. This has been good for me, especially because in motherhood it seems that my abilities are never being tested (just my patience;). Sewing helps me feel less stagnant, especially because I do feel as though I can look back and see progress being made.

Sewing has been such an awesome blessing at this time in my life. I hope every person has something they love to do (and that they do it regularly!) because I think it can lift your spirit, bring light into your life and ignite positivity and confidence. What do you think about when you have nothing you have to think about?

Books Lately

I was seriously going to stop doing book posts all together. There’s so much pressure in recommending a book! I think how much we enjoy a book largely depends on the time in our lives when we read it. I wonder about the books I read in high school and whether my feelings about them would flop reading them now. Definitely there are some books that will always speak to our souls or bring us enjoyment and those ones are worth re-reading.

I’ve noticed I read in spurts. I have times where I can devour more than a dozen books in a month (I know lots of people who read more than this!) and times where it takes me a month to read one book. This past summer I read Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers and completely hated it (she is very much a love it or hate it author for me). I found it so utterly stupid that I just felt like I needed a total break from reading.

After giving it some time, I took it back to the basics, perused my mom-in-law’s bookshelf and read an actual, turn-the-pages book (reading on my phone is so convenient that I don’t think I’ve picked up an actual book in more than a year {insert wide eyed emoji}). It was quite refreshing, to say the least. I’ve also been trying to read more books that have been recommended to me, instead of just putting it on my list and forgetting about it.

So, today, instead of telling you about books I didn’t like, I’m only telling you about books that I highly recommend. And if you read these books and hate them, please don’t hate me for recommending them. All of them were recommended to me and I’m glad those people shared these books with me (often times sharing the physical copy too!).

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(starting in with the top left and moving clockwise)

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors

  • I tried reading Katie’s first book Kisses From Katie and couldn’t finish it. There was just so much I struggled with, but Ben encouraged me to try out her second book and I’m so glad I did. At the risk of sounding dramatic, this book has seriously changed my perspective. Katie is a Christian who moved to Africa shortly after high school with intentions to stay for a year and teach. But she felt the pull to stay and has since made her life there in the village-founding a ministry and adopting 13 children (all that is covered in her first book). In this book she recounts many of the trials she’s experienced since making this huge life change and how she’s wrestled with God to see the good when so much around her seems hopeless. It isn’t a binge book. While reading it, I told Ben that I felt like it was almost scripture study (which Katie does relate and expound many scriptures or scripture stories throughout the book). Usually a chapter was enough to lift me up (and make me cry) and point out ways in which I can be a better Christian. So many things struck my soul and helped start to heal places where my spirit had been struggling. It is a book about having faith, having that faith shaken (and maybe even lost) and struggling to build up the courage to have faith again.

Elmer Bair’s Story: 1899-1987 by Elmer O. Bair

  • This autobiography was meant mostly for posterity, but it really is just so interesting that it’s worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy (my dad has a copy though….soooo….). Elmer lived most his life in Colorado and some surrounding states and his line of work was…sheep herding! He’s not a writer so within chapters he jumps from story to story but it reads like he’s talking to you and he lead quite an exciting life out on the range. His experiences include running into outlaws and wild animals, and many of his stories made me laugh out loud. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and, though he had years of inactivity, he returned to church in his later years and, at the end of the book, shares some interesting stories regarding his work as a patriarch in the church.

Driven by Larry H. Miller with Doug Robinson

  • This is also a book about a Latter Day Saint man, but one who is much more widely recognized (especially in Utah, but on a recent trip to Albuquerque, I noticed there’s even a Larry H. Miller car dealership there! They’re everywhere!). Having grown up in Utah, I had definitely noticed the Miller car dealerships but I had no clue that Miller’s reach were so expansive (he built the now Vivint Smart Home Arena, owned the Jazz, and even built a world class auto racing track in Tooele-I had no idea Utah had a race track apart from the Bonneville Salt Flats {also, I know they’re totally different. I obviously don’t keep up on this sport. Either of these sports. Whatever}). This book read easily and was so interesting. I enjoyed that almost every chapter concluded with a note from Robinson, giving his own journalistic interpretation of what Miller had stated in the chapter. Miller obviously did so much with his life and it was fascinating to read about what drove him to accomplish all that he did. I think it’d be a great read for anyone but especially those living in Utah or those interested in business (I realize I fit into neither of these categories, but I still found the book to be great).

Battle Cry: A story of Hope and Encouragement by Jordyn Glaser

  • Similar to Daring to Hope this book is about finding hope and miracles even in incredibly difficult circumstances. And Jordyn even also ends up adopting although in completely different circumstances. Jordyn talks about how everyone has a story and how it’s important for us to share our story. Hers includes being born with a rare heart condition, having two highly complicated, at-risk pregnancies (both her babies had gastroschisis) and adopting two children. She shares the miracles alongside the struggles. The book is totally uplifting and wonderfully written, not to mention it’s a fairly quick read.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  • This book (it’s also a movie, which I haven’t seen!) is about a young black girl living in between neighborhoods and seemingly in between lives. The kids in Starr’s suburban, mostly white school have no idea the kind of life she lives at home where most people are poor and gangs divide the neighborhood. Then one night Starr is witness to a friend being killed-shot by a white police officer even though he was unarmed. This YA book definitely deals with heavier issues but I think it’s incredibly relevant and not just about racism regarding blacks but racism regarding anyone, period. As a white girl having lived in places that are predominantly filled with white people, this book and other books like it are so important because hate (whether that’s based on race, heritage, religion, gender, etc.) isn’t always at the forefront of my mind, but these kinds of books help remind me that it’s an issue and one that needs to be resolved (in peaceable ways, like writing a book:). This book does have quite a bit of swearing, but, obviously, I still think people should read it.

 

Willamette Shirt

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I’ve been discovering more and more blogs devoted to garment sewing and it seems like those bloggers have got things down. They offer so much information about fabric sourcing, garment construction, alterations, etc. and of course it’s all in this beautifully organized format so that you know exactly what you’re reading about. And I’m over here like, “So I made this thing. And it was good.” Like that’s helpful at all, ha! Well, bear with me folks, as I try to get better at this.

The project coming at you today is:

Pattern: the Willamette Shirt by Hey June Handmade
Fabric: a viscose shirting from Joann Fabric
Size: 8
Will I make it again? Yes, definitely.

Well, I started the process of making this shirt clear back in March…and didn’t finish it until Labor Day, so you do the math. I lost steam along the way, but it wasn’t really the shirt’s fault.

Okay, to be truthful, making the shirt was kind of a scramble. When the weather started to warm up, I realized that all I owned were sweaters (it’s a real thing when you get rid of most your stuff and move to Alaska), so I wanted some short sleeve shirts to wear and when sewing clothes is this lovely new hobby you’ve picked up, you tend to think, “Well, gosh, I guess I could make that.” I’ve never really liked shopping anyway. I saw the Willamette pattern, appreciated its versatility and went ahead and bought the pattern. We were expecting some visitors so I knew I needed to hurry things along. I picked up some fabric (it’s super soft, by the way) and cut out my pattern pieces but time ran out so I shoved it all into a plastic bag where those pieces didn’t see the light of day for months.

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It’s an interesting thing picking up a project after months of neglect, especially after all the important decisions had been made. It made me think, “Why did I pick this fabric again? Why is this piece cut out on the vertical instead of the horizontal? What was I thinking?” I basically decided this shirt was going to be a disaster.

But it was supposed to be a wearable muslin anyway, just something cheap to make sure the fit was okay before going ahead with a higher quality fabric. So of course I decided to sew it up anyway.

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I don’t mean to sound dramatic or anything, but there is some serious wizardry in the construction of this garment. There was a moment in sewing the yokes where I thought, “I am going to have to unpick every last one of these stitches, there’s no way it’s going to turn out okay.” But it was perfectly okay: no seam ripper necessary.

The instructions were totally clear and helpful. This was my first time making a Hey June pattern and I will definitely be back for more. It’s  a high quality, well thought out pattern with great instructions.

Now, about the fit: when I first tried it on, I felt like it was way too big. I had been nursing when I measured for and cut out my pattern but had lost weight (or at least inches) since then. I’m all about oversized shirts, but I was worried it just looked frumpy. I’m really glad I decided to just wear it for a day, because it turns out I really like it. It’s gotten a tiny bit smaller in the wash and tucking it in for some outfits helps tame its volume. When I make my next one, I think I could safely go down even two sizes, but truthfully, I’d be down to just sew up another size 8.

For me and where I’m at in my sewing journey, I think wearability is a huge part of whether a pattern is a success or not. And in that aspect, the Willamette has been a success. I sometimes forget about it since I hang it up instead of throw it in a drawer with all my knit tee shirts, but when I do remember I own it, I’m happy to wear it. It’s versatile: I’ve worn it with shorts, leggings and even with a skirt to church. I have no complaints that being a stay at home mom has no dress code but sometimes it is nice to not wear a tee shirt.

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DIY Mermaid Halloween Costumes

I’m not the best at posting things when it’s seasonably appropriate to do so, so getting this post up in time for Halloween is a small victory for me.

Halloween is a funny thing for me. I’m all for dressing up and getting candy but I’m not at all a fan of the spooky/scary side of the holiday. Growing up, getting dressed up for Halloween was never given any sort of extra attention; I was left to find something around the house and make it work. I dressed up as a nerd many, many times because it required nothing special (mismatched outfit and tape on the glasses, yo). And I don’t think my family was unique in this approach.

More recently, it seems that everyone buys costumes, and I can’t say that I don’t see the appeal. Making costumes has no guarantee to turn out well and it often isn’t any cheaper than just going to the store and picking out a totally recognizable ___fill in the blank___ costume that your kid wants to be.

What’s your approach? Make? Buy? Tell your kids to go dig around the closets?

After buying my material this year I really debated this. Is it worth making costumes for my girls? Should I just buy our costumes like most the other moms?

But the fabric was already purchased, so I was locked in. No turning back. Lucky for me, this year, at least, I think the costumes turned out really cute.

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Can you tell what these gals are supposed to be?

Haha, hopefully it’s not too hard to figure out. I asked Wendy what she wanted to be for Halloween, and I’m not going to lie, I definitely steered her answer a certain direction. The conversation went like this:

Me: You can be anything you want for Halloween. You could be a mermaid, or a princess, or a mermaid…

Wendy: I want to be a mermaid!

*Greta nods her head*

Wendy’s happy, Greta’s happy, mom’s happy. Win-win-win. I based my making process on this post from A Beautiful Mess.

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We got our fabric from Joann’s (side note: someday, I’d like to plan ahead and buy my fabric from the SAS Fabric superstore in Phoenix-they have an amazing selection of costume/party dress fabric-but I just haven’t been in the dress up mindset when we’ve gone). I had planned to make the skirt with the cosplay fish scale fabric (like in the Beautiful Mess post) but our Joann’s wasn’t carrying it. So we looked around and found a shimmery ombre purple knit that would work nicely since it stretches, has some shine, and is one of Wendy’s favorite colors.

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I’m not sure what kind of fabric the iridescent “fin” is (I don’t know why I think I can post about sewing projects without remembering to check the bolt for specifically what fabric this is! Goodness!), but it’s woven (not stretchy), it has purple undertones to match the skirt and it just seemed to fit the bill, so we got it. I also got teal and lavender tulle for under the fin to make it more full.

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It might be considered risky, but I just winged it with this project. Winging it with kids’ projects is super awesome (not being sarcastic) because the stakes are so SO low. My 2 year old doesn’t care if the fit is perfect or if seams aren’t finished. And kids are so small that if you mess up, you probably have more fabric to fix the mistake or do a total remake, which is what I had to do with this particular project.

My original plan was to just have the fin at the bottom 4 inches of the skirt. Luckily, I had Wendy try on her skirt before I added the fin and I realized that this approach would definitely not work: she couldn’t walk at all! So I gave the skirt pattern a little more ease (I should have given it even more, though) and re-drafted to make the fin start at her knees. Eureka! Now she could walk! The skirts still turned out a bit tighter than I had intended, but Halloween is close so I think the girls will make it before experiencing a huge growth spurt.

A little more detail on the skirt construction: I measured the girls’ waists, added an inch for ease (should have added two inches, maybe more) and half an inch for seam allowance. I also measured from their waists to their knees as well as from their knees to the floor. For the main body of the skirt (waist to knees), I drew a rectangle where the top of the rectangle represents the waist and the bottom represents the knees, using the waist measurement+ease+seam allowance DIVIDED by 2. The side lines length should be the waist to knees measurement+whatever you need to add an elastic (mine was about 3 inches). I tapered the side seams in by about an inch on each side. I cut a long rectangle the length of the knees to floor measurement. I didn’t measure the width, but it can be roughly 1.5 to 2 times the width of your previous pattern piece. This piece was basted, gathered and made into a ruffle at the bottom of the main skirt piece. For the fin I cut three layers of fabric: 1 layer of random iridescent material, and two layers of tulle. Each of these was cut as a big circle, the inside of which should be roughly the circumference of the waist measurement and should extend out to length of the knee to floor measurement (guys, does this make sense? I don’t even know what I’m saying! Ha! I need to write more…and get better at math). I hand basted all the layers of the fin together and then sewed them directly onto the skirt, letting the seam allowance show from the right side of the garment.dsc_0424

We bought plain white long-sleeve (Halloween is never warm) shirts. I free handed a seashell pattern and used it cut out seashells from the purple knit fabric we used for our skirts. I used a heavy weight interfacing to fuse the shells to the shirts. And then, using a zigzag stitch and very short stitch length, I sewed around the seashells to make sure they stay in place on the shirt.

I spent about $30 total on material and shirts and probably could have spent just a little more on buying costumes. But the girls love their mermaid outfits, Greta looks particularly adorable walking around in hers (she kind of has to waddle in it), and I always love it when my Just-Go-With-It sewing projects end in success. In short: I have no regrets. At least, not this year…

In other news, we’re considering signing Wendy up for ANTM: America’s Next Toddler Model. If you haven’t noticed, she’s a natural. 😉

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