Coffee + Thread Nina Blouse Blog Tour

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Olga of Coffee + Thread is constantly inspiring with her pattern designs. Her latest design, the Nina Blouse, has a vintage feel that can look totally classic in solid shirting and seersucker or more modern in a playful print. 

Obviously, we went the playful route. This morning glory print from the Primavera line from Riley Blake just screams springtime. BRING IT ON! I didn't realize it until I saw these photos, but print matching across the button placket doesn't work as well on a bold floral. I never considered there would be a case were you wouldn't want to align the prints, but the flowers would have seemed more scattered across the top if they didn't align. Something to consider in future makes!!

The Nina Blouse pattern comes with a long or cap sleeve option. The cap sleeve and collar have a straight or petal shaped option as well.

The front pintucks add to the vintage vibe, while the lime green Kam snaps give a modern pop.

I paired the blouse with a basic linen short. Watch for the shorts pattern with several options coming from Modkid soon. 

I would consider this an advanced beginner pattern. Not because any of the techniques are particularly difficult, but because there is a bit less hand holding than I would give a true beginner pattern. If you have a few makes under your belt, this is a great next step!!

Be sure to check out the Nina Blog Tour to gather even more inspiration for this blouse.  Olga has a special discount running for the tour. Get 20% off with the code NINAPATTERNTOUR, good through 03/19, 11:59 pm Central Time Zone.

Blank Slate Sora Sweater and Skye Joggers - Giveaway

Thursday, March 8, 2018

When I moved to Austin, I knew I was moving to an area with a high concentration of creatives. I just didn't know how I would get to know them. I've had the opportunity to work on the Blank Slate Sewing Team this year, and after a few emails with Melissa, the designer, we discovered that we live very close to one another. Melissa asked if I would be interested in modeling her next two releases. How could I say no to that!?!? After a lunch of delicious hamburgers and truffle fries (usual model fair, right?) with Melissa and her assistant Susan, we hit the streets to photograph in front of a few painted walls. I experienced a bit of what I put my girls through with having to change clothes in the car and strike a pose. 

Melissa sewed up the Sora Sweater in the pullover style and cardigan style as well as the Skye Joggers for me. Thankfully, I now have the patterns to sew more!! Read through to the end for a chance to win one of these patterns for yourself.

I had to lead with the pullover Sora sweater first, because I love the style!! The shawl collar lays nicely in such a flattering style. I've worn this layered as well as on its own. The hemline is designed to hit at the hip, and the side gussets add additional shaping. I'm learning that this works really well for my rectangular figure. Melissa has a great post up for sewing with the sweater knits she used here, and I'm told she will be posting a video tutorial for attaching the collar as soon as today. 

The Sora Sweater pattern also features a cardigan style. Again the side gussets add shaping, and the dropped shoulder is a comfortable, casual style. 

Speaking of comfortable and casual, take a look at the Skye Joggers. Melissa sewed these up in sweatshirt fleece, and they couldn't be more cozy. As she puts it, the slim fit is the perfect balance of comfortable but not sloppy. The pattern includes a calf length as well. I think a ponte calf length version is on my sewing list.

I never thought I would share a good ole butt shot on my blog, but in the interest of giving the full idea of the fit, I sacrificed. There's that hamburger and fries!!

Now is your chance to win a copy of one of these patterns! Melissa has graciously given me a copy to give to one of you. Record your entry in the rafflecopter. The giveaway will remain open through 3/14, 12:00 a.m. CST. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** 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.**

Liberty Modkid Mara

Thursday, March 1, 2018

I knew the Modkid Mara would be a go to skirt pattern for Avery as soon as she tried on her first one. When I was in London over the summer, I picked up this Liberty twill print.

The horses, with a few unicorns thrown in, were just too perfect. I only purchased a half yard of this pricey fabric thinking I could make a pair of shorts. I love it as a skirt even more! With the limited fabric, I opted to omit the large front pockets. I also appreciate that the print is less broken up this way. The pockets normally form the front belt loops, so I simply made two more belt loops from the pattern piece used on the back and placed them at the front seams. New look with minimal effort! This would work just as well with the Teen Mara

When I showed this to my oldest she said she wished there were only horses and no unicorns. My youngest declared she wanted one with all unicorns. Not sure if that is an age or personality difference. They can be so different!

Grabbing a hammer to install the Dritz Heavy Duty Snaps brought the kids running in alarm, but the snaps were actually pretty satisfying to install.

She looks all grown up in this photo, but just wait..... 

Young and silly again!

I never know what I'm going to get when she strikes a pose.

** 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.**

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!
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