Modkid Breeann

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Football season is well under way, so it's about time I sewed up some collegiate wear! Avery loves it when Todd takes her to Ole Miss for sporting events. She took a keen interest in women's volleyball at their last such outing. With her height, maybe we'll see her on a court some day.

For this shirt, I started with the Modkid Breeann hooded top, but I made a few changes along the way. The Breeann is sized for teens with a range of 8/9 to 16. I've generally been sewing size 7 for Avery with size 8 or 9 in length. To account for the teen sizing, I just increased my seam allowance a bit. The neckline ended up snug, but it will work.

I made two changes to the original pattern and wrote tutorials on the Modkid blog for each. 

First, I omitted the kangaroo pocket and swapped the waistband for a shirttail hem. She may not need it yet, but I like the asymmetrical look and the added bonus of more coverage. You can find the shirttail hem tutorial here

The next change was to line the hood. It's a super simple mod that adds warmth and an opportunity for a pop of another color. You can find the lined hood tutorial here

Do you sew collegiate wear for your kiddos? Hopefully I'll have time for some Aggie gear before the season ends as well.

Bubble Skirt and Old Mill Park

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

We don't often take the opportunity for somewhat random road trips, so maybe that is part of what made this one so much fun. Todd had an adventure race planned in Little Rock, AR, and at the last minute we decided to head down the night before. We packed in as much as we could Saturday morning before heading back in the afternoon.

One place I stumbled upon during a quick Google search of places to go in Little Rock was The Old Mill Park. After seeing a few images, I knew it was a place we'd have to stop. I also knew I needed an outfit to photograph at this scenic location! Yes, that's how my blogger mind works. 

Here's what says about The Old Mill Park, "An authentic reproduction of an old water-powered grist mill, this striking structure appears in the opening scene of the classic 1939 film Gone with the Wind and is believed to be the only building remaining from the film. Built in 1933; designed to look old so it would appear as if it was built the 1800s. The park is decorated with sculptures of toadstools, tree stumps, and a tree branch-entwined bridge that connects the mill to the rest of the park." The park is an adventure for children with the multiple bridges, ponds, and the structure to wander around. It is located in the midst of a neighborhood like a hidden treasure. 

We also took time to go to Tinker Fest at The Museum of Discovery. I managed that with the girls while Todd participated in the race. Avery and Tandy made everything from floating juice box boats to marshmallow shoots and circuits. I'd definitely love to experience the museum again without so much of the crowd associated with the festival. 

Back to the sewing, I had the skirt done, but the last stitches on the shirt were made about an hour before we departed. How's that for timing!

The skirt pattern is the Brewster's Bubble Skirt by Create Kid's Couture that I snagged on sale. It's great for using up smaller cuts of fabric. Sewing this skirt took me on a little walk down memory lane. When I first started sewing, combining prints, patterns, and colors was all the rage. I think my style has toned down a bit from that, so it was fun to mix it up again. Sandi Henderson, Cotton & Steel and Jennifer Paganelli are all represented here!

I played with more free motion applique for the store bought tee. I found some inspiration, and sketched up the cute little buck. I don't think you'll ever see anything much more complicated for my own design, but it sure was fun to bring this little guy to "life".

Avery found this rock and declared it to be the Ariel rock. I love when her imagination shines in the photos!

Since this little blog documents part of our lives, I have to post a little about Avery's first swim meet. She's worked hard at so many practices, and it was so fun to cheer her on at this event. She's declared the breast stroke to be her favorite!! We'll see where this part of our adventure takes us.

Modkid Dakota

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I have to admit; working with a pattern designer really has its perks! Sharing ideas and inspiration and watching a pattern come to fruition is just fun! Today, I get to introduce one such pattern. The Modkid Dakota swing top has an option for every season from sleeveless to long sleeves, with or without a hood. The optional ribbon detail just adds a little extra flair. 

Avery is wearing the first version of View A sewn with quilting cotton and vintage woven trim.

Tandy is wearing view B made in voile with jacquard ribbon by Patty Young.

I just can't decide if a sweatshirt version or rayon challis should be next on my list!?!

The pattern is on sale for $5.99 until 9/23/2015 at 9:30 am CST. It will be available for $9.99 after that. You can purchase the pattern on Etsy or Craftsy

Beginning 2nd Grade with ADHD

Friday, September 18, 2015

Let me introduce you to Avery's Mod Owl!! I cut the pieces out for her, but Avery mostly sewed this little guy herself. I am so proud of her in so many ways. When we first started this project, it was a struggle for us to work together, so pulling it out again and watching her enjoy the process was a treat.

As I have mentioned before, Avery was diagnosed with ADHD toward the end of the school year last year. She does not exhibit the hyperactivity behaviors, but most definitely struggles with focus. Her diagnosis included a high IQ, but a slow processing speed. We made the difficult, and somewhat controversial decision, to try medication for the last couple of months of 1st grade to see if she would benefit from them, and she did. I wasn't overwhelmed by it, but her teacher saw a good bit of improvement. I was also very focused on the side affects. They were very strong at first, but then her body regulated.

Over the summer, we decided (under her doctors' direction) to take her off the medication. We kept up with a study schedule at home and tutoring with another teacher. Other than that, it was a pretty normal summer for us. However, I didn't see her engaging in some of the more tedious craft projects she usually enjoyed. About a week before school started, we started the medication again to get her system regulated. Almost immediately I noticed changes. The positive effects were probably there the last time she was on medication, but I was so focused on any side effects she might be having that I didn't notice. Those tedious crafting projects were suddenly what she wanted to do most. I pulled out the perler beads and she made project after project. (Thankfully my iron is usually handy.)

I finally realized that because of the ADHD those projects had become overwhelming for her. An empty pegboard was just as traumatizing as an empty page of math facts. I can't begin to understand or explain how ADHD affects the brain, but this is one area I am beginning to see glimpses as to how it affects Avery. Once order and organization were improved in her mind, she thrived in the creativity she enjoys.

I know this was a long story, and likely way too much information for some, but I just wanted to emphasize that this owl represents a little more to me than just a crafty endeavor.  Avery is thriving in 2nd grade. She came home over the top happy that she aced the spelling pre-test yesterday, so she doesn't have to take the actual test today. On top of that, she had a stack of tests and quizzes with all scores of 95 or 100. I know that doesn't mean everything, but the love of learning and confidence that is building in her is a gift we are so grateful for. Thus far, it has been a short journey with ADHD for us, but maybe this will help someone else to tread these waters.

Rabbit Rabbit Hourglass Dress

Friday, September 11, 2015

I always find the pattern testing process interesting, and I enjoy working with different designers. Some designers have a very large group of testers and go through several iterations of a pattern. Others use a small group of testers and have most of the kinks worked out before the pattern goes to testing. And, there are all ranges in between. In my experience, both of the before mentioned processes result in a quality pattern. I responded to the tester call for the Rabbit Rabbit Hourglass Dress, because I like the dress design. I had never previously sewn a Rabbit Rabbit pattern, so I was also curious. I am grateful for the opportunity to test this Hourglass Pattern!

The Hourglass Dress pattern is not exactly fitting for the season here in the United States. (The pattern designer is from Australia). To account for the changing season, I decided to sew up a tunic version to go with knicker style pants. To me, it gives it more of a transitional look. It also happens to color coordinate my husband's college, so Tandy will be outfitted for her first football game of the season.

Let's talk about some of the pattern details. First, I loved the idea of using hair elastics for the spaghetti straps! The pattern included instructions for creating fabric straps as well. 

The back closes with a hook and eye. I think next time I would use and elastic loop and button for mine. The pattern now includes those instructions as well. 

I love the high front and back with the side panel design. I found this chunky gingham at Wal-mart, and I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality after a couple of washes. I opted to cut the side panels on the bias to distinguish them. I added some interfacing to these panels to prevent any stretching during sewing.

I paired the top with the Violet Field Threads Daphne knickers in a lightweight red chambray. These are the softest pants! I can't attest to the durability at this point, but this girl that usually only wants dresses, had no complaints about these.

The Hourglass Dress pattern is now available for sale here.

Free Motion Applique and Avery Hack

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

When it comes to sewing and occasionally cooking, I absolutely love trying new things! (That may not be the case for other aspects of my life, but I guess that's a topic for another day.) This little dress brings together a pattern hack and free motion applique for a look I adore.

For the pattern hack, I took the Modkid Avery dress (that I happen to love as is) and flipped the button front to the button up the back. Not only did it give a new look to the dress, but it also opened up a great surface to add a fun applique. 

For all of the details on the pattern changes, head on over for today's Modkid Modified

Oh the applique!! I recently started following Carin on instagram, and she posts the most amazing free motion applique. She draws her own designs with paper and pencil first and translates them to stitched works of art. I purchased a free motion applique foot for my sewing machine and started to practice. Yes, I pestered Carin with more than a few questions. Thanks Carin!! Then, she generously posted a tutorial with this adorable FREE pattern on her blog. 

I still need lots of practice, and I'm a little worried about the base fabric I choose to use. I'm hoping she doesn't look like she has a beard after a few washings! My junior high art teachers can probably attest to the fact that I could follow their instructions, but drawing and painting have never been a true  natural talent of mine. Only my mom would hang one of my paintings on her wall. Thanks Mom! Sketching with thread is a fun creative outlet. I'm certainly glad I've tried this new technique, and I'm sure this won't be my last experience!

Sew 'N Style with Lil Luxe

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The joy I felt while creating my Sew ‘N Style Lil Luxe collection is only surpassed by the excitement of rolling it out today!  This has truly been a labor of love and each piece was a thrill to create.  But the culmination of the project, as each part found its place in the whole, brought the greatest satisfaction.  The goal of creating a 3-piece collection with our little fashionistas involved in the process demanded thoughtful planning in advance.  You can read more of the idea behind the series here.

These are the three looks I've created using Lil Luxe patterns as well as parts from a couple other designers. Each look includes one Lil Luxe pattern. I previously posted my mood board for inspiration and color. I was targeting a bohemian or Aztec look, and I knew my daughter would love working with me on some of the accessories. We'll call this collection Aesthetically Aztec!! I selected the fabrics I would use from my stash, and Avery helped pick which fabrics were used where. Let's get to the details!! (This post is so photo heavy; apologies in advance for any slow loading times!)

For the first look, I focused on angles and textures. The peaks on the Lil Luxe Haute Skort are such a great design detail. The peplum of the top gives just the right softness.

I used a gray corduroy from Hobby Lobby for the skort. All of the lining, pockets, and shorts pieces are made out of gray cotton to reduce bulk. The only other construction change I made to the pattern was in the waistband since I did not use buttonhole elastic.

For the peplum top, I mashed up two patterns. I wanted the flounce style peplum of the Lily Giggle Cecille Top combined with the more structured cuff sleeve of the Modkid Lexi peplum. I used the stripe for the back of the top, and the solid for the front, since the solid is a thicker, sturdier knit to handle the braid addition.

A Zara top inspired the lopsided braided bow. I love that texture! I simply braided strips of knit fabric and sewed the ends together. It is attached to the shirt with a combination of fabric glue and hand stitches.

Avery and I created the dream catcher from items we already had which makes it even more special. The hoop is a bamboo bag handle from my Grandmother's sewing supplies. The lace and doily are from my other Grandmother's vintage handmade collection. The feather was salvaged from my Dad's hunting adventures.


The Modkid Cassidy dungaree dress was going through testing just in time for me to include it in my collection. I thought it was a fun look for this Aztec print corduroy from Hobby Lobby. I was pulling out my hair pattern matching though!! The center seam made it tricky, but the worst part was that the print didn't line up vertically anyway.

I had never worked with dungaree buckles and buttons before and had fun with these unique notions.

The back was a perfect place to feature the Lil Luxe Allie Cat Romper as a top. The low back makes a unique layering piece as opposed to a standard tee. I basically used Jessica's revisions for her cropped top, and added length. 

We've come to my final and possibly favorite look of the collection. The Modkid Tandy top is a crowd favorite around here with its flowy, easy style.

Again, Avery and I worked on her hair accessory together. She picked out the beads and feathers we added to the braided leather straps.

The pants are Lil Luxe Slim Trousers in some unknown stretch material I found in the clearance section at Joann's a while ago. I LOVE the zipper detail at the ankle. Many thanks to my hubby for tediously shortening the metal zippers for me! I had a little trouble with the installation of the zippers, so they may not be the prettiest, but I do love them. I switched out the 2" elastic at the waistline for two rows of 3/4" elastic.

I also wanted to show you ways these looks could mix and match which truly makes it a collection to me. I couldn't afford to pay my model any more (I ran out of popsicles!), so you'll have to get the idea through the collages.

As modeled:

Swap the tops:

Wear the under layer as a top with either bottom:

That's a wrap for my Aesthetically Aztec Mini Collection!

Read more about the Sew ’n Style Series and visit the contest page with Link up where we have contest prizes totaling over $350 from our gracious sponsors.

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