Modkid Sage

Friday, August 17, 2018


Back to school photos shoots are just plain fun! When Patty sent me the Modkid Sage pattern, I knew it would be interesting to play with stripes and denim would be classic. Thankfully I had just the fabric for the job already in my stash.


The Modkid Sage is one of those patterns I wish came in my size! Lucky for all those tweens and teens, it comes in sizes 10 to 18.


The pattern includes 4 variations. This is the dress with a flounce. You can also make a dress sans flounce or a cropped top with or without a flounce. The cropped top can even be reversible!



The pattern recommends medium weight fabrics. This denim was probably medium to heavy weight which worked great until I reached the Kam snaps. The seams at the top of the bodice and waistline were just too thick for the standard Kam snap prongs. Thankfully I discovered long prong Kam Snaps! Where there is a will there is a way! 


Coupon code BTS2018 gets you 40% off your entire order on the MODKID website. Code expires at midnight EST on Sunday, August 19th.

Six Ways to Listen to Audiobooks

Friday, August 10, 2018


With back to school comes our daily commute of 30 minutes each way. Since turning to audiobooks, the ride has become much more peaceful. Not only that, but my girls are absorbing great literature and stories. Check out this Read Aloud Revival Podcast for the many benefits of sharing audiobooks with your children. 

After finding less and less time to sit down with a good book, I have turned to audiobooks myself. I listen in the car (remember half of my commute is sans kids), while sewing (yes, this has lead to a few distracted errors), and while putting on my makeup. You would be surprise at the number of occasions you can find to listen to a snippet or two.

This brings us to the variety of ways to obtain and listen to audiobooks.

Library CDs 

This is probably my least favorite method since the discs prove to be less mobile. I usually reserve this method to something we/I will only listen to in the car.

Library Playaways

Playaways are available at most libraries. They are portable media players loaded with one audiobook ready to play. Users can plug in headphones to listen on their own or use an auxiliary cable to play over a car or stand alone speaker. The Playaway device is about the size of a deck of cards. I love these for kids, because I can rest assured that they are not using the device for gaming as well as listening.

Audible App

You do not need an Audible subscription (aff link) to take advantage of the books available through the Audible App. The books available without a subscription are not free; however, Read Aloud Revival keeps a running list of deeply discounted children's and family titles. 

Overdrive

Overdrive happens to be my most frequently used app for audiobooks. I link up each library I have access to and search for available titles. In addition to my local library, Houston Public Library offers a free digital card, so check for other libraries that may have a similar opportunity. The more libraries you are able to search, the wider the variety of options. 

Libby

Libby seems to be the latest app by Overdrive. Everyday Reading just posted a review on Libby vs. Overdrive, and I suggest checking that out. I keep returning to Overdrive, so I don't have much first hand experience with Libby. 

Christian Audio

Christian Audio is another great source for audiobooks. They are currently running a $5 fiction book sale, so be sure to look through their listings. We've found J.R.R. Tolkien audiobooks as well as the Wingfeather Saga Series by Andrew Peterson which is a family must read!

Bonus: RB Digital

As I was typing this post, my mom happened to mention RB Digital, so I'm passing it along as one more avenue to explore.

Modkid Frida With Club Havana

Friday, August 3, 2018


Creating this Modkid Frida was a bit of serendipity. Being an avid PDF pattern sewist means sewing with paper patterns is a change of pace. If you ever find yourself in a sewing rut, perusing your paper pattern stash might just be the spark that gets you going again. The serendipity came about because I had no idea at the time that Modkid was about to clear out the paper pattern inventory. So, if you are in need of growing a paper pattern stash to turn to now and then, grab a few at ridiculously low prices. 


This is my first Frida dress. The pattern comes with a top or dress option and two sleeve styles. I'm loving this side vent with tie detail.


The dress length with optional ruffle should fall just below the knee. An error on my part led to a longer length that Tandy insisted remain as is. She was a little picky about the fabrics too. I had originally picked the gold Club Havana Cross to go with the Navy Main print, but Tandy preferred the navy.  I'm convinced she made the right choice!


She also wanted me to be sure and capture this photo of her tucking her hair back. Sure thing cutie!


A minute later she was off to attempt a sneak attack on the ducks. 



What is your secret to branching out when you sew? Maybe you find yourself sticking to paper patterns only. It never hurts to alter your sewing style every once in a while. Have fun and be inspired!
** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**

Summer Day Top in Linen

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Two posts in two days!?! I think this just shows how enthusiastic I am about the Summer Day Top by Made Everyday. My first version in gingham is summer perfection, but this linen blend stripe with embroidery is my favorite thing to wear. 


The only trick with the border embroidery was making sure I cut the back first to leave adequate room for the lower hem. Then, I aligned the front pattern piece and marked the location of the border to make sure it would match when I stitched up the sides. 


 I scored this fabric when the linen blends were on sale at Joann Fabrics. If you love a good deal like I do, you will appreciate that it was regularily $20 per yard on sale for $7.99. Plus, I had a 20% off coupon. This was my first time sewing with a linen blend, and I am a huge fan. I went back to Joann's to buy another print very soon after. I find so much linen inspiration from Knee Socks and Goldilocks


I lengthened this top just a smidge more than my first and I think I prefer a little extra length with the additional drape.


Today is the last day of the introductory sale for the Summer Day Top. I think everyone's wardrobe could use one or two!

Summer Day Top in Gingham

Monday, July 16, 2018


These photos have been sitting on my desktop since pattern testing in June, so I am beyond excited to finally share them. Dana from Made Everyday just released her new Summer Day Top pattern. (I am happy to add another fellow Austin-ite to my pattern tester list.) This is one of those woven styles I will turn to again and again.  I already have, in fact, since I have two in rotation. Gingham and summer were meant for each other, so a gingham Summer Day Top was first on my list. 


The neckline is finished with bias binding; no guessing the length required as the the binding pieces are included in the pattern. The top version includes a subtle high in front, low in back hemline.


The style is a bit boxy in shape especially sewn in fabrics with less drape like this shirting. The shoulder is dropped with a short, cap, or cuffed sleeve. This is the short sleeve version. I have to give a shout out to Dana and her assistant, Susan, for a beautifully illustrated pattern. Kudos!


 I would be remiss if I didn't send you over to the Summer Day Top post at Made Everyday to check out the other variations including a peplum and tunic option. The pattern is on sale until 7/17, so snatch it up!


Sunglasses Case Sewing Tutorial

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


As the hot summer sun blazes down in Texas, I find myself reaching for my sunglasses more and more. To protect all of my favorite shades, I need sunglasses cases in my car, purse, pool bag, etc. The quilt-as-you-go method for sewing up a sunglasses case results in a padded sleeve perfect for cushioning those precious shades. For those non-quilters such as myself, quilt-as-you-go just means you are quilting and piecing all at once.

Quilt-As-You-Go Sunglasses Case Sewing Tutorial


The measurements provided result in a case that is 3.5" x 6.75". Most sunglasses will fit this case, but you may want to verify if you have oversized glasses. The Club Havana fabrics by Riley Blake have the perfect summer feel for sunglasses cases. 

Here's what to cut: (2) lining pieces 4.25"h x 7.5"w and (2) batting pieces 4.25"h x 7.5"w. For the exterior pieces, cut pieces 4.25"h with various widths. When you piece these widths together the total width needs to be greater than 7.5". For a symmetric look, cut pieces the same size for the front and back of the case. All seam allowances are 3/8" unless noted otherwise. 


Place an exterior piece on top of the batting aligning a raw edge at the 4.25" end. Quilt the fabric to the batting with seams at regular intervals. Here, I have stitched 1/2" lines. Stop your quilting lines with enough space for a 3/8" seam. 


Place the next exterior piece right sides together with the quilted fabric aligning the raw edges. Stitch through the fabric and batting with a 3/8" seam allowance.


Press the fabric toward the seam allowance. Continue quilting the fabric to the batting. I started my rows 1/4" from the seam to secure the seam allowance underneath. Trim any fabric that overhangs the batting so the resulting quilted piece 4.25" x 7.5". 


Place both lining pieces right sides together and stitch around both long sides and one short side. Leave an opening in the short side for turning. Place both exterior quilted pieces right sides together and stitch around three sides leaving one short end open.


Clip the corners in the lining and exterior pieces.


Turn the quilted exterior right side out. Slide the exterior inside the lining so that the right sides are facing. Finger press the seam allowances open. Pin around the opening. 


Stitch around the opening with a 3/8" seam allowance. 


Turn the case right sides out through the opening in the lining. Slip stitch the opening in the lining closed by hand. Then, push the lining inside the case. Optionally, topstitch around the opening.


Now think of all of the fabric scraps you can combine to make many more!! "The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!" Be sure to check out my favorite sunglasses at Blue Planet Eyewear where they donate corrective glasses for every purchase. Use coupon code Courtney20 for 20% off. 
** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**

Modkid Hailey Cover Up Part 2

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


After making the Hailey Cover Up for myself, I knew Avery would like one too. I am convinced the Hailey Dress makes the perfect summer cover up pattern. You might as well get the Hailey bundle so you can make one for yourself too!


I truly love the effect the shirred elastic has, but I know some machines struggle with elastic thread. The post over on the Modkid blog today shows an elastic casing alternative. 


Again, I reached into my stash for eyelet fabric. A cover up is a great way to use eyelet fabric without having to provide a lining.


On Avery, the straight size 8/9 dress length ends up tunic length which I find perfect for dashing back and forth to the pool. I would certainly lengthen this for an actual dress. 


What summer trends are you looking forward to sewing this year? As you can tell, I dove right into the poolside styles.

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

Squad Togs

Thursday, June 21, 2018

 

I am a bit in shock over two things: 1) I sewed a swimsuit. 2) Avery turned 10 this week! Double digits are here to stay. As you can probably tell, Avery grows in the vertical direction only. Ready-to-wear pants and one piece swimsuits seem to be the biggest challenge for us to find. I decided to swallow my nerves and try sewing a swimsuit.  


Avery and I selected the Boo! Designs Squad Togs pattern to try, and I am so glad we did. The pattern is a classic style that works great for swim team or any other water play. The best part about the pattern is the thorough instructions on blending sizes. Avery fit a size 7 in width on the size chart and a 12 in length. I followed the instructions exactly, and we ended up with a suit that fits like a glove. 



Avery has already fully tested the suit in the water!! The only thing I will change for the next one might be to add a touch more length in the arms. The suit is a bit challenging for her to get over her arms and shoulders on her own. When I asked in the Boo! Designs Facebook Group, Kristie reminded me that the swimwear elastic will likely stretch a tad after a couple of wears, so she may not continue to find it difficult to wiggle into. I'm sure we can all relate to shimmying into a swimsuit every now and then!


The fun gold heart swimwear knit is from Finch Fabrics. We both love the weight, colors, and stretch in this fabric. 


When I made my last sunglasses purchase from Blue Planet, I discovered they also sell kids sunglasses. You know I love the Visualize Change program that enables a purchase with a purpose, so Avery got a new pair of shades for her birthday. (Grab some for yourself or your kiddo for 20% off with code Courtney20.)


The Boo! Designs Squad Togs pattern also includes slicing / color blocking ideas, so it will be fun to continue to play with this pattern. 


I'm happy to report a successful check on my sewing bucket list. Do you have any swimwear sewing plans for the summer? I'd love other pattern recommendations with great sizing adjustment instructions.

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

Modkid Kyra Knit Dress and Tank

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Macrame is one of those fads that comes in and out of style. Well it's a hot style right now, and applying the craft to garments is all kinds of fun. That's why I think you will love the new Modkid Kyra Dress and Tank pattern. The macrame fringe is totally optional though. Opt for the contrast yoke only, and you have a completely different look. The Kyra is also available in teen sizing!


This photo shoot with Avery holds the record for the fewest photos needed to get just the right shots. I think it is because she felt so good in this dress that she couldn't help show it off. 



I went with solid fabrics for all three of my testing garments, but many testers used pretty prints that look equally good. Even the dress length only takes one yard of fabric for the size 8/9, so the Kyra pattern makes for a great scrap buster. This fabric is a rayon spandex from Joann Fabrics.


Isn't the macrame detail just fun!?!? Avery likes how is blows in the wind and lifts when she twirls.


You know a pattern is versatile when you can completely switch gears from a chic dress to a sporty tank. 


I've used a blue power mesh for a sheer look on the contrast yoke and neon lime liverpool knit from Finch Fabrics as the main fabric. Avery will be easy to spot on the volleyball court in this combo! If you notice the drag lines around the armscye, we made the adjustments during pre-testing, and as you can see from the dress version, the final is all smoothed out. 


 By the way, the Modkid Steffi Skeggings compliment the sporty style just right.


The Kyra tank version with the macrame fringe is a cool summer look.




Note the difference fabric types provide in the fringe style. The pattern instructions have you pull the fringe pieces taut before tying them off. With the cotton spandex here, the fabric curls up. With the rayon spandex in Avery's version the fringe laid straight. Both results add a fun twist. 
So, which of the four possible combinations of the Kyra Dress and Tank will you make? I vote ALL of them!!! Use coupon code KYRA40 for 40% off until 6/14 at midnight.
** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**
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