Saturday, December 6, 2014

Snug as a Bug!

It's December and like any self-respecting sewing mama that means that I have about 957,342,527 projects looming over my head that I feel the need to finish before Christmas.  If you're like me, that list includes new Christmas pjs!  My kids KNOW that they get new PJs every Christmas Eve.  So, how do we keep our traditions and not loose our minds?  Find quick and easy patterns that fit the bill!  

EYMM's  Riley's Nightgown and Sleep shirt is perfect!  It's designed for knit and comes in a shorter nightshirt length or a longer nightgown length (bet you couldn't have guessed that from the name could you?!?!)  It has both long and short sleeve options and it includes sizes newborn - 18 in one pattern!  (and if you want to match your kiddos be sure and check out the mama version too!)

Now, I've made this several times in knit and I love it.  My girls love it.  It's just so comfy!  This time I wanted to try something a little different though.  It gets cold in our house at night.  We turn the heat down to 61 degrees usually and then the upstairs gets even colder than that.

So, I decided to try out this pattern in flannel.  Super soft.  Super cozy.  Super WARM.  I decided to size up a little bit since I was using something without stretch.  My girls are 5 and 8 and wear a solid size 5 and probably close to a 7 (my 8 year old is pretty small.)  So I decided to just go for it and I cut the size 7 nightgown length out for both of them with slightly shorter sleeves.  The fit is great on both of them.  No problems even though I used flannel!  

You can see that it's obviously a little shorter on my 8 year old than on the 5 year old but it's still a great length for both of them!  

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to use flannel is that you still need something with really good stretch and recovery for the neck binding.  I used a nice weight cotton lycra blend.

One last thing that sets this pattern apart is the binding on the bottom hem.  It's not just turned under and hemmed, it actually has a facing that you sew on and fold under.  I used fleece on the bottom of this two just for added snuggle.  The binding helps the nightgown keep it's shape and it's also really great to add a little weight to keep everything where is should be when you used a lighter weight knit.
So are you sold yet?  If so be sure and use the code SNUGASABUG to save 30% off your EYMM nightgown purchase until 11:59pm PST on Dec. 11. You can use it on Riley’s Nightgown & Sleep Shirt (girl’s sizes newborn to 18tween), Callie’s Nightgown & Nightshirt (women’s sizes xs-5x), or the bundle of both size ranges.

Also be sure and check out all the other ladies on the All Tucked in for the Holidays tour!!!

12/3 — Call Ajaire
12/4 — Gracious Threads
12/6 — BabyFish Designs
12/7 — Sew Starly
12/8 — Rebekah Sews  AND  Sprouting JubeJube
12/10 — Lulu & Celeste  AND  Snickerdoodle Stew
(this post contains Affiliate links)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer...

some might say is by singing loud for all to hear.  I think it might be a little more involved than that.

I've been thinking a lot about Christmas the past week or so...I'm actually excited about this year.  In years past it's possible that I may have been a wee bit of a grinch.   The more I've thought about it the more I've realized that I was being a grinch because I was focusing too much on the materialistic side of it all.  Now, don't get me wrong, I was wanting MORE MORE MORE, I was getting stressed out, ungrateful, and even sometimes angry and frustrated because Christmas was going to mean MORE MORE MORE for my kids.  More stuff I had to deal with.  More stuff they didn't need.  More stuff to get rid of or clean up or even....dare I admit it?  Hide!  Ha!  Yes, I'm that mother sometimes.  Plus, I don't like crowds.  I'm not a fan of parties.  I like hanging out with a few friends at time.

But I digress.  This year I know the kids are going to get toys and things they don't need.  But they're kids and that's ok.  We don't focus too much on that.  Our kids get new PJs on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas morning they get their stockings and 3 gifts.  Something to read, something to wear and something to play with.  They're excited and happy and content.  We choose to use the time leading up to Christmas focusing on the CHRIST part.

We talked about how Advent comes from the Latin word Adventus which mean arriving.  How all the things that we do during advent are because it's a season of anticipation of the arrival of the Christ Child.

I heard the song Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence for the first time last week when I was listening to The Modern Post's new Christmas ep (Lowborn King) and then was struck by one of the lines when our pastor sang it during the sermon on Sunday.  It goes,
"Let all mortal flesh keep silence
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly minded,..."

I mean, think about that.  Ponder nothing earthly minded.  That's just another way of reminding us to "set our minds on things above."  So that's my goal this Christmas season.  If I can ponder nothing earthly minded then I will be truly filled with the JOY of the Lord.  That's what I want to foster in my home so that my children have a better chance of not getting caught up in the STUFF side of Christmas.

So I'll give you a quick run-down of a few of the things we're doing this December to help us ALL ponder nothing earthly minded.

1. Scripture countdown to Christmas.  I made a paper chain with a different scripture passage on it and each night at dinner we tear one off and read it.  (I used these verses.)  

2.  Every morning during our devotions with our school work we're reading Luke 2:1-20 (I do this every day because it's an easy way to get the kids to memorize it and it fills their little sponge like minds with the Word.)  After we read Luke 2 we do one page in our Advent Art Journals (I think they're only going to be up through December 5th so go download them now!)  They just have  a simple sentence about the Christmas story on each page and the kids decorate them with stamps, drawing, stickers, whathaveyou as their response to that part of the story.  Once I pulled out some of goodies from my past life as a scrapbooker they were even more into it.  I'm actually doing one too and it's really a fun way to meditate on Christ becoming flesh.  

Another picture of my shirtless boys working on their art journals.  I'll try to do a post sometime next week with pictures of a few of the completed pages if anyone is interested.

3.  I picked up this simple countdown calendar at The Vineyard last year.  I LOVE that every time we mark a day off we're reminded what we're REALLY counting down too.  What we're eagerly awaiting.  

4. We're filling up our Living Water bottles with change that we'll take back to church and donate to the Lottie Moon offering (if you're not Southern Baptist and aren't familiar with that it's an offering taken up every December that helps support Southern Baptist missionaries around the world.)  

5.  Lastly, I don't have a picture of this, but we do Christmas Shoe boxes every year for a church in Matamoros, Mexico.  (It's basically the same thing as Operation Christmas Child but our child partners with the pastor of a church in Matamoros and we send all our gifts to them.)  The kids LOVE doing this.  In fact, my three year old reminded me for two weeks straight this year that we needed to "buy stuff for the Mexico people!"
Also, I want to say that if you bought anything during the BabyFish Small Business Saturday Sale you helped make our boxes possible!!!  THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
So, those are some of the ways we're striving to keep Christ first this December.  Do you have any awesome ideas or great traditions?  I'd love to hear about them!!  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Comfy and Cozy

If you remember (ya know, here, or here, or here, or here, or here - and those are just the ones I've actually BLOGGED!  There are tons more!) I'm a little fond of patterns from Terra...of Terra's Treasures.

I got to test out another winner of a pattern for her this week!  This one, The Andover Pullover and Jacket,  is fantastic because it can be made is almost any fabric you could wish!  Woven?  Check.  Knit?  Check.  Flannel?  Check.  Fleece?  Check.  Sweatshirting?  Check.

It's getting cold here so I chose to make Grace's up in fleece (I was working from my stash so the back and hood are a coordinating fleece).  The pattern can be made as a pull over with a lined or unlined hood, or as a fully lined jacket.  

I did the pullover version with the lined hood (I LOVE how she has you attach the lined hood too so all the seams are hidden but it's still super fast!)  Would you believe I actually tried NOT to use Toy Story stuff this time?  I only had enough fleece in purple for it though...and then I didn't have anything that went with the purple that Grace would like EXCEPT Toy Story!  lol.  Clearly...she didn't mind.  ;)  

This isn't a great shot of the top at all but I think Grace looks adorable in it so you get to see it anyway!  ;)  

The pattern goes from 6-12 months all the way up to a size 16!!! AND Terra's working on a ladies version!  So you can matching your little girly soon! lol.  

The button tab is a great way to add some accent fabric and use up those cute button, plus it helps hold the pleats where they should be and give the top such a great shape and flow to it.

And pockets!  What kid doesn't love pockets?!?!  

And now....I shall share how crazy she was yesterday morning as we tried to get pictures.  This is your reward for making it through the entire post.  You're welcome.  ;)

(cute belly isn't it??!  lol!!!)

I've got a few custom orders to sew up and then I'm DYING to make one for Kessa.  I have the perfect fabric for her and this top looks SOOO cute with skinny jeans and boots!

Ok, now, if you're sold and think you need the pattern to you can get it here - (it's on sale through Wednesday!)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Captain Comfy Jeans to the Rescue!!!!

Judy, from Patterns for Pirates, has done it again!  She's been teasing us with pre-test versions of these jeans that she'd made for her son for what seemed like months and I was DYING to try them because I knew my kids would love them!!!  

(I just adore how you can see tiny bits of Pirate Kitty in some of these photos!)

So, what's so special about the Cpt. Comfy Jeans you ask?  Well let me tell you!  In fact, let's just make a list shall we?  

  • basic straight leg pants pattern
  • sizes 3 months up through 14
  • can be lined
  • can be cut on the extended line and rolled so that your kiddos that grow up and not out can wear them longer!
  • knit waistband option
  • knit and jean waistband option
  • faux fly (that means my little dude doesn't need help getting them on and off!)
  • belt loop option
  • patch or slant pockets

On this first pair I used upcycled jeans, lined them with flannel, cut on the extended hem line and rolled them, did the jean and knit waistbands, and patch pockets.   

(if you're keeping count, that means all I had to pay for was the flannel I lined them with...and technically I just pulled it from my stash so I didn't have to buy anything new for these!)

This was an earlier version.  The final version his unders don't stick out the top at all.  He LOVES these jeans though.  They're soft and warm, the knit waistband is super comfy (and how cute does it look peeking up above the jeans waistband?!?!)  

Moving onto the 2nd pair I made him... again, these are upcycled, lined with flannel, knit and jean waistbands, no belt loops, but this time I did a traditional hem (in fact I kept the existing hem from the jeans I was upcycling!) and slant pockets.  

Judy walks you through everything step by step.  You can make these as simple or as in depth as you want.  I top stitched and lined and did everything but belt loops on both of my pairs so they were a bit more time intensive but I'm really happy with the results...and with the price!  lol

All the other kids have already told me that they want flannel lined jeans too!  (I mean, really, who wouldn't?!!?!?!)  

Oh, and if you buy the pattern by Saturday it's on sale!  $2 off.  It's already sale priced on Craftsy, or you can use the code NEWPATTERN for the $2 off on Etsy (here.)  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Greenstyle Focus on Fall Blog Tour

To me, fall style is all about comfort and being cozy, because of that Greenstyle Creations Focus on Fall Blog Tour got me super excited.  I was thrilled when I heard I got to be a part of it and even MORE thrilled when I learned that Riley Blake would be providing fabric for us to work with!  

I love Greenstyle's patterns because they're so wearable.  They usually very much basic wardrobe staples that can be altered and changed and used again and again.  We got to pick three children's patterns (but they have fantastic adult patterns as well!) to work with.  

First up is the Easy Options tee.  It comes in sizes 3T - 12 years and has 3 different sleeve options and 3 different hem options.  I upcycled a Lego Star Wars shirt.  Originally I had planned to use this to make a shirt for Zeke (who is wearing it in these pictures) but once I started cutting it out I realized that the long sleeves had a slight bell shape to them so I cut it in Kessa's size instead.  Now, as you can see in the pictures, it's a very slight bell and it would be easy to take out and make straight if you wanted a more boyish look.  This is the only time he'll be wearing it...honestly having him model it just make pictures faster which is what we were going for because the kids wanted to get back to their Monopoly game.  lol

I did notice that the Easy Options Tee had a larger neck/neck hole than most of my t-shirt patterns.  I think this probably stuck out to me because I recently saw someone asking for shirts with larger head holes because their child had a large noggin.  ;)  

Next up, Miss Kessa is sporting a Regan Tee and Dress in a thin lavender/navy blue striped knit.  This dress was SOO fast to make and she loves it.  It can be done in shirt or dress length and has several sleeve options as well.  It goes from size 5-14 and is a great staple for your older girls!  In fact, we took these pictures, then the yoga pants, and then she changed back into this dress.  

Again, this style also has slight bell sleeves and a sweet little curved hem on the bottom of the skirt.  I have plans for several more of these.  They'd also be a great base for some shabby fabric flowers or a fun belt!  

And finally, the Yoga Pants.  These are fantastic!  The fit is great, the length was perfect (I made my midget 8 year old the Mediums) and they just look so darn comfy!!!  I have a feeling both my girls will be wearing these a lot this fall and winter as we hunker down inside with our school work.  (And clearly they work well for their intended purpose right?!?!  lol!!!) 

I used a Star Wars font from and cut a freezer paper stencil out on my Silhouette to decorate the leg.  Everyone needs just the right outfit for playing Star Wars Monopoly right?  

(I didn't pose them...that's all natural right there!  lol!!!)

And now, for sticking with me all the way to the end I have goodies!!!  A chance to win some great prizes from Greenstyle and Whimsical Fabrics and...a coupon code!  Woot woot!  You can use the code "25discount" for 25% off your purchase from Greenstyle Creations during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

and be sure and check out all the other stops on the tour if you haven't already! Greenstyle Creations Focus on Fall Blog Tour Schedule

October 13- Kick off Post by Blogs Like A Mother
October 14- Friends Stitched Together
October 15- Handmade Boy
October 16- Becca Duval Photography
October 17- The Lady and The Gents
October 18- Snickerdoodle Stew
October 19- The Sewing Sparrow
October 20- Once Upon A Sewing Machine
October 21- Babyfish Designs
October 22- FABulous Home-Sewn
October 23- Gracious Threads
October 24- Wrap Up Post by Blogs Like A Mother

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's a Bird, It's a Plane,

no, it's my Crazy Crew in their Superhero sets from EYMM!!!

 Now, if you've been following the blog tour you might remember reading about Clara and her...ahemm...lack of interest in modeling.  Reading that made me chuckle and also gave me a little push to give you a behind the scenes look at the making of EIGHT full (or nearly full) Super Hero sets just days before my blog post was due.  Ya ready?  (also, prepare for picture overload!)

First off, let me tell you about my crafty OCD.  I'm pretty sure that's a real thing.  I get these ideas in my head and decide it's going to be totally awesome and from that point on it doesn't really matter what everyone else wants because, let's be honest, the pictures are going to freaking rock!

So, my crafty OCD set in and I decided that the kids all having coordinating satin capes with one side being "their" color and one side being black was going to be A.MAZE.ING.  AMAZING.  (With four kids we do a lot of color coding and it goes like this Kessa's color is purple, Zeke's is orange, Grace's is pink and Zane's is green.)

Next, you need to understand that going to the fabric store consists of an hour drive one way for me, and it's in the same town as Sam's Club so if I'm making the drive I have to stop there too.  So, last Thursday we went on a field trip with Grace and Zane's pre school to a pumpkin patch (goodbye morning!) and then I decide it would be a good idea to make that hour drive and hit up Joann's and Sam's.  We get to Joann's...we find the satin...purple - check.  pink - check.  green - check.  orange - no.  No orange.  BAH!  So now my Crafty OCD is freaking out and I don't have a back up plan.  Kessa is saying she wants a Frozen cape (that's NOT happening today..) and everyone else is asking for something crazy and it's naptime and I'm tired and I HAVE to get fabric for these because they have to be done ASAP.

And then it dawned on me.  These pictures are going to be fine no matter what we make the capes out of.  The kids are going to wear them and love them, and honestly...they're FOR them...not me.  Soo...I made a deal with the Crafty OCD that was going crazy and said, "Here's what we're going to do.  We'll use quilter's cotton in their colors for the back and they can all pick their own lining."  And we did.  And (as you can see) it works.  lol  

The kids all picked flannel for the lining fabric of their capes and last night Zeke had his on and was watching TV when he realized if he turned it around and wore it backwards it doubled as a cozy blanket!  lol!  That made him love it even more.

Ok, so let's talk about this pattern, because, honestly, there are TONS of free patterns out there right?  Why buy this one?  Well the instructions are great and having the pattern for everything together, all in one place, makes it WAY easier IMO.  The pattern includes sizing for 15-18" dolls all the way through size 10.  There are three different mask shapes to choose from and tons of applique patterns and letters and the cuffs are super cute too.  Oh, and the belts!  No worries if you don't have a kid around to try it on because measurements are included.

So, here's what I think about buying it, sure, you could probably figure out something and make your own, but with the code HEROSET you can get the whole kit and kaboodle for $2.97 instead of $4.95.  That's a $3 well spent in my book.  I always try to weigh costs vs. my time spent and in this case $3 makes my life so much easier than spending hours finding the right sizes or making my own or trying to guess which would be best or what length to make something and on and on.

 (Kessa always makes getting good shots so easy.  She's turned into quite the natural in front of the camera.)

The girls both love having matching outfits with their dolls so that being included rocks too!  

Obviously Pirate Kitty couldn't be left out of the fun either so I printed the doll size mask at 60% and it fit him pretty well.  I just free handed the cape for him by looking at the others and then drawing it smaller.  

(Laser Cat??!?!)

And some more "behind the scenes" shots just for laughs.  

The kids have been wearing these close to non-stop since I finished them up.  I think it's safe to say that they approve!

So, be sure and use the code HEROSET for 40% off through 11:59pm PDT on 10/21/2014 and if you need some more inspiration check out these other blogs on the tour!