Chalk and Notch Joy Jacket Pattern

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Joy Jacket from Chalk and Notch Patterns released this week! Not only are you going to love this pattern, but you will also love the story behind it. Read more here. This is just another reason that the sewing community is the greatest!

I'm not going to sugar coat it; this was one of my more challenging makes. It is listed as an intermediate pattern. Nothing is particularly difficult, it is just a bit more time consuming. But don't let that deter you!! The end result is well worth the effort!

The Joy Jacket pattern calls for medium weight woven fabric with a nice drape. I was dying to order some lovely pink tencel twill for a spring jacket, but I couldn't justify the expense for a tester version. I ended up finding this olive denim look modal shirting at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and the weight turned out just right.

When you make your own jacket, you have the opportunity to play with a fun lining fabric. This is a very light, almost cotton lawn feeling, gingham shirting I had in my stash from my great Aunt. Gabriela wisely suggests you use a slippery fabric for the sleeve lining, so I switched to a rayon challis for that portion. The slippery fabric allows for more movement and ease in sliding your arm into the sleeve. I can't believe how easily this fully bagged lining came together. You have to sew it to believe it for yourself! Bonus, there are no seams to finish!

The pattern comes with two versions, one with a hood and slant pockets and one without the hood and patch pockets. I opted to use the slant pockets without the hood combining the two versions. Be sure to check out the other tester photos for the grommet and drawstring options as well!

I am a sucker for raglan sleeves, and these fit the bill plus they are easier to sew than setting in a sleeve. I highly recommend sewing a quick muslin before diving into your special fabric. The pattern is designed for a 5'-7" height. Being 5'-9", I anticipated needing to add some length, but after trying my muslin, I stuck with the original length. As per all Chalk and Notch patterns I have tried, instructions for customizing the fit are included. 

Gabriela also takes care of all of the details in the pattern, from plenty of notches for alignment to beautiful topstitching.

My zipper is also from Jo-Ann Fabrics. When I sew the next version I will definitely opt for a pretty metal zipper. In fact, I've already made the purchase! 

With the lighter weight fabric suggestions, this jacket makes for a fantastic transitional piece. It may not be ideal for most winter climates, but perfect for fall and spring. Of course, here in Texas during a typical year, it will likely be perfect in the dead of winter.

Are you ready to stretch yourself and take on a jacket project? This is the pattern to learn a new skill or two and take your handmade wardrobe to a new level. Grab the Joy Jacket pattern on sale this week.

Modkid Steffi Skort & Skeggings

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I knew my first pair of Modkid Steffi Skeggings had to be volleyball gear for Avery!! The pattern includes three different skirt styles with 3 different legging lengths resulting in 9 different combinations. How's that for variety?!? Selecting prints, solids, or athletic knits stretches the possibilities even further.

Avery's look is completely athletic with spaced dyed spandex from Hobby Lobby. The underskirt is Laguna knit from Imagine Gnats. The side cinching with ties makes this a look I would even wear.

My favorite feature is the back coverage offered by the skirt when tunic length tops are not really an option. There is plenty of room for movement at the same time.

By switching the skirt style and reaching for some Riley Blake knit prints, Tandy has a completely different look with her Steffi Skeggings. This style would be perfectly dress code friendly, even uniform friendly in the right fabrics.

Rolled hems are fast and easy on circle skirts. Adding stretch while you roll gives that extra fun lettuce edge. 

Of course Tandy's favorite part of any circle skirt is the twirl factor!!

Use coupon code STEFFI2018 to receive 40% off your entire purchase, so you can buy other patterns or products with it too. The code is only valid for 24 hours so it expires February 8th at 1:00 p.m. EST. 

** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use for fabric to share more inspiration with you.**

Shine Bright Blog Tour

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What's in a name? Do you ever find yourself more involved in a product, book, etc. when you learn the story behind it? I often do. When I read about the passion behind the Shine Bright fabric line designed by Simple Simon & Company, I was immediately drawn in. Their stated aim to encourage girls and women to shine bright and make the world a better place is just a part of what we convey when we teach our children, "You are the light of the world" Matt 5:14.

I am sharing all of the dress and sewing details on the Modkid blog today, but in this post I wanted to highlight why this special print really tugged at my heartstrings. 

The highlighted message in this print on this dress is "You Are". The letters feature a crossword puzzle filled with words like smart, noble, intelligent, delightful, unique, and talented just to name a few. I've shared a tiny bit about Avery's diagnosis with ADHD, but I thought I would share more about a lesser known side of ADHD that we personally experience. While Avery's ability to focus has been much improved with medication, we deal with many forms of aggression and defiance at home. A key element to this are the words AT HOME. You may read that and say, "well, at least she isn't acting out for others." While I agree, it is also very isolating to experience something completely on your own while no one around can understand it. This quote from Understanding Girls with ADHD really hit home, "Behaviors also may not be as pervasive, and may occur more at home than at school. Mothers frequently blame themselves when their child acts out only at home. They feel that they cannot handle the situation and that they are the cause of the problem." (I highly recommend Understanding Girls with ADHD by Nadeau, Littman, & Quinn.)

We have worked to develop a support system, and with a change in medication and counseling we have seen some improvements. While we can easily slip into a mode of seeing the negative, I strive to encourage Avery with her strengths, especially during those times when she sees herself as the "bad kid". She is strong, brave, intelligent, artistic, and curious. So, I am thankful for a piece of fabric that could be made into a dress to have one more way to communicate those very things to her. 

And, hopefully, she will see that she shines in all of those ways and more. I couldn't think of more fitting attire for the Daddy/Daughter dance!!!

Hey June Halifax Hoodie

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

You know a garment is well loved when it is washed and worn numerous times before ever getting photographed and blogged. The Hey June Halifax Hoodie quickly jumped to the top of my list of favorite makes for myself. Even Texas temperatures have dipped pretty low this year, so a cozy, warm sweatshirt was needed in my rotation. This is View D with the drawstring omitted. 

I managed to sew this Halifax just in time for a girls trip to New York City with my Mom and sister. Our journey started with a 5 hour flight delay and ended with us rushing to make it in time for our Hamilton tickets. Let me just say that a Halifax is perfect for airports and travel, but it wasn't exactly what I had planned for the theater. At least I was in nicer boots, not sneakers! It certainly didn't dampen my delight in the show. Hamilton is the best show I have ever seen!! I have the sound track on repeat, when the kids aren't around of course. 

The french terry fabric is from Walmart. Once again, I reach for the cheap stuff when I try out a new to me pattern. This was seriously $1 per yard. After washing and sewing with it, I went back to try to get more, but it was gone. The looped side is this stripe, and the other side is a solid gray. You can see it in my Instagram post

I made the size large, but slimmed down somewhere between a medium and large. I think I would start with the medium next time, but keep the same width I used. This one would be perfect for extra layers underneath.

Stretch Velvet Holiday Dresses

Friday, January 5, 2018

Since I blasted Instagram with these photos before the holidays, it is about time I made mention of them here. My mom, sister, and I took an amazing trip to New York City in early December. In addition to seeing Hamilton (AMAZING!!), I did a little fabric shopping. I toted 3 yards of this stretch velvet from Spandex House back with me on the airplane, and immediately started planning holiday dresses.  

I knew I wanted to show off this fabulous color and pretty drape. I also kept in mind that I didn't want patterns with heavy gathering or too much topstitching. I settled on the Modkid Aubrey and the Chalk and Notch Waterfall Raglan Dress.

Using glittery knit fabric left over from a Project Run and Play challenge, I created flat "piping" in the curved seams of the Aubrey Dress. I was nervous that the piping wouldn't lay right when worn without topstitching the seam, but it stays flat after all. 

The only other change I made was to add a collar at the front bodice. The collar gets sewn into the shoulder seam. I switched to a non-glittery knit for the neckband to avoid any itchiness. The collar adds a bit of sophistication to the dress. 

I am not the first to sew up the Waterfall Raglan dress in stretch velvet. Gabriela herself has sewn quite a few! This pattern and fabric combination is perfection. For the fit, I needed a size 5 in width and size 7 in length. I appreciate how Gabriela gives lengthening tips otherwise I'm afraid I would have ended up with something too tight in the underarm by adding all of the length in the midsection.

Of course, Tandy had to check out the twirl factor.

Is there anything better than super soft sister hugs?!?

I have added a few more tips for sewing with stretch velvet over on the Modkid blog today.

P.S. That last photo may be my favorite ever!

Blank Slate Valetta and Modkid Dakota

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ever since the Blank Slate Valetta pattern was released, I have envisioned making a coordinating set for my daughter and me using the Modkid Dakota. The lines are so similar that they make a great Mommy/Daughter combo.

There are distinct differences, such as the curved hemline of the Valetta, but it doesn't have to be matchy-matchy to be well coordinated. 

First let's talk about the Valetta. I made a straight size medium out of rayon plaid from Joann Fabrics and Crafts. The green is festive for the holidays without screaming Christmas, not that screaming Christmas is a bad thing. The Valetta has a V bodice construction where the Dakota creates an overlap. The instructions to use braided threads for the tassels cords creates a thin, delicate look I appreciate. The sleeves have a gather at the cap, and gather again at the cuff with a bow. I am a huge fan of several notches for setting in sleeves, so this is the one thing I would have liked to see in the pattern.

The back is a good bit longer than the front yielding great coverage. I didn't lengthen this pattern at all, but I did adjust the hemline. The original pattern has an even more dramatic curve up at the side seams. I didn't want the top to get too short for me at the sides, so I softened that curve line and extended the length at the side seams by 3/4". 

Since I posted a tutorial for a Modkid Dakota with tassels on the Modkid blog last year, I was all set to make this easy modification. I made these tassels with button weight thread, so they have a bit more flare to them. Avery preferred the softness of regular thread for the tassels. This top is size 8 with the size 10 length.

The Dakota top is on regular repeat around here. We both love the style! 

So, if you have been hoping Patty would make a Modkid Dakota for adults, or Melissa would make a Blank Slate Valetta for kids, I may have just found a solution!! Having an excuse for photos with my girl is an added bonus!!

** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use for fabric to share more inspiration with you.**

Modkid Mara and Perfect Tee Set 2

Friday, November 17, 2017

I did not stop with just one Modkid Mara and Perfect Tee (Coupon code at the bottom of the post.) set during testing! I knew I would like this style for my youngest too. I also wanted to highlight that the whole look could be sophisticated as in Avery's ensemble or more classic in today's style for Tandy.

Quilting cotton works great for the Mara Skirt if bottom weight fabrics aren't your thing. This fabric is the Bloom Scalloped Dot in Teal, part of the Flit and Bloom collection by Riley Blake. I can't help using colorful snaps with this pattern. When I first bought my Kam Snap tool and snap set, I opted for the neon snaps. I never imagined I would use so many of the neon colors. They are just so fun!! I accidentally broke one of the snaps while inserting it, but check out the fun solution I posted on Instagram.  

Once again, I opted to use the elastic in the back waistband to ensure a good fit. I may end up needing to let this elastic out just a tad though. I left off the back belt loops here, because I know this one won't be using a belt anytime soon. They do offer a professional finish though.

The gray triblend knit used for the Perfect Tee is from at Walmart. The fabric has actually been really nice for tees. So far the Union St. Tee I made has washed and worn well. I'll hold out on a final verdict.

I have at least half a dozen other versions of the skirt swirling around in my head. I think the Mara Skirt would work well for a school uniform as well. 

Grab both patterns on sale until midnight tonight using coupon code NEWSITE. 

* This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use for fabric to share more inspiration with you.**

Modkid Mara Skirt and Perfect Tee

Thursday, November 16, 2017

** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use for fabric to share more inspiration with you.**

I have some excited things to share with you today!! First, the release of two new patterns, the Modkid Mara Skirt and the Perfect Tee. I have already made 2 skirts and 4 tees, so you can see I am clearly a fan girl!! 

The Mara Skirt works great with bottom weight fabrics and quilting cotton alike. The corduroy I used here gave the skirt just the right structure. Some of the finer details are lost in the busy print. The skirt features two panels on each side of the front snap placket. The deep pockets extend in front to create two belt buckles at the waistband. Colorful Kamsnaps were perfect for my application, but metal snaps are another fun option. Of course, you could also opt for buttons along the placket. 

To achieve a perfect fit, the pattern includes instructions for inserting elastic in the back. This worked out perfectly for my tall, but thin daughter. The back is comprised of 3 panels and falls a bit longer than the front for just the right shape. The two belt loops in the back give a professional finish.

The perfect tee compliments this skirt so well! From being a part of the testing process, I can attest to the effort Patty went to in order to get just the right fit on this tee. The slim style is perfect for layering in the cooler months. My kids need these in every color!! The striped fabric for this tee is brushed poly spandex from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I don't see this exact one in the shop, but that doesn't mean it won't be back.

The other exciting news is the launch of a new Modkid website. It's a beauty, and now you can find all of the Modkid products in one location!! To celebrate, use coupon code NEWSITE for 40% off your entire purchase. Happy shopping and sewing!!

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