Monday, January 16, 2017

Spring Ottobre Faves by "Little Bit"

Hello everyone!

We are almost midway though January, and things are in full swing for me! I started sewing my Simple Sew Zoe Dress, but experienced a few hiccups.  Fortunately, I decided to press through. Pressing through involves unpicking a lot of stitches, BUT I am betting on it being worth it in the end.

I am finding that I actually don't mind taking my time with each garment. In fact, I think if this Zoe comes out well, I will likely sew another one! Mostly because I like the style, but also because I like the practice it gives me.

Speaking of multiples, have any of you ever found a RTW top you absolutely loved, and had to have it in more than one color (if more than one color was available, of course).  I am definitely that type of shopper! In fact, I found this gorgeous green sweater at Target, and just had to get one in a burnt orange as well. Maybe that is why sewing multiples doesn't bother me, as long as it is a style I will get a lot of wear out of.

Anyhow, today I thought I would do something a little different. I got the new Spring Ottobre in the mail, and decided that I would do a blog my very own daughter!

Before I get into her favorite picks for the new issue, let me tell you a little about her. She's 7, she's vivacious, and she loves anything to do with fun!! You can find her in bright colors, florals, skirts and dresses--pretty much anything "girly" would sum up her sense of style.  

I asked her to pick out her favorite looks, and tell me why! Here is what she said:

"I like this skirt because it has a strip part in the middle. I like the shirt too because of the strips on the top and bottom [binding]."

"Are those girls twins? I like both of their dresses. The big pockets are really nice!"

"Oh mom! I like that gray dress. I could wear it with leggings and do all the jumping I want in it--just like that girl!"

"Mom this [shortalls] looks super special. Like you can play in it and have lots of fun, but you can look really cute at the same time!"

So, yes, those are all of my daughter's picks, yet I will leave you with some great honorable mentions that I thought were spectacular:

I was super impressed with this gorgeous mint green jacket! The detachable hood is such a cool feature as well.  The Octopus top is also cute, but those JEANS! I LOVE the zippered leg pocket, and the wash of denim they used. It shows all the detailing perfectly. Check out the wave design on the back pockets!

Here is another jacket with superb design details. I am really diggin' the slanted zipper, hood, and pockets placed inside the panels.  And what else do I see? A drop "crauch" pants with lots of room and wearing ease! I have seen this style emerging in RTW for adults, and am not sure if I will be a part of this growing trend yet. It looks really cute here, though.

Overall, I think the Ottobre Spring edition 2017 is a WINNER!  You can check out the additional looks here.

Stay sew-filled!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Sewing Story/Aspirations for 2017

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2017 everyone! I hope it finds you in good health, and full of peace, hope, love, and JOY!

For 2017 I have decided to aim at posting more on my blog (whether I have sewn items or not).  So, I wanted to start the year off with my very own sewing story. This post is about how I got started, and I will finish by telling you some of my goals for the year.

Well, let me start by saying that those of you who had a mom, aunt, grandma, or other mentor to teach you how to sew are so blessed! For me, that did not exist. NO ONE in my family sewed. Not a single one. Yet, somehow when I was a little girl in middle school, I told my best friend that I one day wanted to have a family and sew all of my children's clothes. Yikes! Where did that come from?

In 2006, after being married for a year, my dream came true. I gave birth to my son, took my very first sewing class, and made him a baby blanket:

Those were the days I remember that sewing was not easy for me, lol! I bought "easy" patterns, but I couldn't figure out why they weren't as "easy" as they described. I understood basic sewing foundation, like sewing right sides together, and lining up seamlines, but it seemed as though the rest was a foreign language to me.

I did a few small projects here and there, but didn't really begin to sew again until I got pregnant with my daughter in 2008.  She was born in 2009, and I have been sewing off and on ever since!  Somewhere in there I started this blog, and I have been able to use my sewing to treat myself, my family, friends, and many others!!

Sweet dress I made for my friend's daughter

But you know what the BEST thing is??!?!?  Lean in close and I will tell you...the BEST part is my sewing is still growing--still developing and maturing as I seek to learn new things and apply them in my life!

That brings me to my aspirations for 2017.  I would love to share them with you for accountability, AND I will be putting them on a tab on this blog site for reference.  They are as follows:

  • Use what I have! I never fully avail myself to the sewing resources I already own: Burda, Ottobre, My Image, and Sew Now magazines, Sewing books with patterns inside, and patterns from the Big 4 (WHEW, that's a lot!)
  • Sew something for my kids every couple of months. They love it, and so do I!
  • Sew for my husband! He has expressed his desire for ties, and maybe a vest or shirt.  I avoid his requests at times because he is picky!! But, certainly starting small wouldn't be bad.
  • Sew for life events. This year has a few special times that I would like to create something for. My brother is getting married in October. I will definitely need a nice formal dress for then. Also, I used to sew my daughter an Easter dress. That would be nice to do again. I also would love to sew some items for our holiday photo in December, and possibly my birthday in June.
  • Finish at least four of my Craftsy classes! Again, I have a lot of great resources, including some Craftsy classes I have piled up from sales over last year. It is time to get movin'!
  • Copy RTW styles I love! I don't know how many times I have seen a style in the store that I knew I could recreate at home, with a better fit.  
  • Enter a Patternreview contest. I participated in one, and submitted a cute top and legging set I sewed for my niece, but I haven't entered one since. It would be fun, and there are lots of different themes.
  • Draft a pair of pants. If you remember, I have a Craftsy class for that, and am really interested in learning basic drafting techniques for sewing.
There are also some garments I would like to create this year:
  1. Jackets
  2. Blazers
  3. Coat
  4. Button down shirt
  5. Dresses
  6. Jeans
  7. Dress pants
  8. Cargo pants
  9. Bermuda Shorts
There you have it! I have been mulling over this plan for the last couple of months, and am happy with what I came up with. I know my real issue is getting the time to sew, and I have recruited help from my hubby. He has agreed to watch our "littlest bit" for a few hours on some days so I can accomplish some things.

Another promising development is that I found a sewing buddy! She is a neighbor of mine, and we will be putting some days on the calendar to get together and sew.

If you have never sewn, but are interested in getting started, I hope I have inspired you to realize that you can do it! Set a goal, and follow through! There are local sewing classes, community groups, Craftsy classes, Youtube tutorials, and even sew-alongs you can join.  Your journey doesn't have to be perfect, it only has to be your own.

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Special sewing additions

Hello everyone!

It has been so nice to wind down at the end of this year!  The weather has been delightful (60s), and my days have been a bit lazy since we got back from vacation. I welcome not having to get up super early each day to get the kids ready for school, and am glad that has been replaced by enjoying one another and catching up with friends we don't get to see often.

In essence, the holiday season and busyness has winded down.  And it comes at such a beautiful time for me...the soon unveiling of a new year!  Last night my littlest son even rewarded us with a FIVE hour stretch of sleep! Yay! I pray for more of those kind of nights.

Anyhow, I hope you are getting a chance to relax into the new year as well.

I wanted to take the time and share a few amazing sewing gifts I received recently.  I have a dear friend who traveled to Nigeria to visit family, and I had the pleasure of talking to her before she left for her trip. She mentioned, in passing, that her family would have a one hour layover in England, which immediately perked my ears. England?!?! I ordered a sewing magazine from there! So, I told her about the magazine I ordered, and asked if she could possibly bring a few back for me (I would pay her, of course).  She said she would take a look, and see what she could find.

Three weeks later I get a text from her saying she found the magazines, and two days ago she dropped these gems off at my home:

Oh me, oh my! The newest issues of Love Sewing and Sew Now magazine!!! I couldn't wait to tear open the plastic and read them! The content is SO GOOD, too!  From my understanding, Love Sewing came before Sew Now, but Sew Now is a sister magazine to Love Sewing that focuses on high-fashion, on trend sewing.

Either way, I am hooked! I'm not sure if the FREE patterns included with the magazines are any good, but I will have to make one up and see.  Right now I have a total of three (including these two), and they are all aimed at the adventurous beginner.  I will definitely let you know when I sew one up!

My other sewing addition was a LONG time coming.  You see, year after year, I have seen posts about dressforms.  And year after year, I have pined after a dressform.  Well, I finally decided to do something about it.  I started to research dressforms for sewing, and at first, couldn't decide what I wanted--an adjustable one like they sell at places like Joanns, or a professional one that cost hundreds of dollars? There were so many pros and cons to work out. Finally, I decided on a professional dressform for the following reasons:

  1. Pinnable
  2. Drapeable
  3. Ability to fit without the distortion created from adjustable dials
  4. Quality
I found a website called The Shop Company (featured in a recent Burda magazine) that sells prof. dressforms, and they are quite affordable. I began saving for one earlier this year, putting money aside, and waiting until I had what I needed to purchase the dressform and Fabulous Fit kit to pad it well. Here is what it looks like:

I haven't padded it yet, but I seriously LOVE my new dressform! It is so clean and beautiful! And the quality is super. Every detail looks meticulously crafted, and it is hard to believe it belongs to me!!!

I will say that figuring out the size was a bit complicated since I am not pre-pregnancy size yet (and don't know if I will ever be), but the representatives at the company were so helpful. They told me that as long as the dressform was always smaller than me, the padding would work just fine. I found some measurements I took of my bust, neck, shoulders, and back waist (my hips are always going to be larger), and compared those numbers to where I am now.  My measurements went most closely with a size 6.  

I bought the Fabulous Fit padding in a size L so I can pad "her" to mimic my shape.  I never quite understood why people named their dressforms, but now I do.  Let me introduce you to Rosalyn!

 My guys got to work putting assembling her as soon as she arrived, and everything went together easily. 
 Now I just need to add the padding. The package has a cover that fits over the form so you can pad where necessary. For me that will be abdomen, hips, and buttocks. But, yeah, I can't wait to use her! I like thinking that I invested in a form I will have for a long time. As my sewing skills grow, I won't outgrow Rosalyn, but she will grow with me.

If you are interested in purchasing your own dressform, you may want to check out The Shop Company (not affiliated with them in any way).  Also, if you have a form already, and you would like to share your own experience with me, please do! I would love to know how it helped. I admit, I am mostly looking forward to not having to undress a gazillion times, lol!

Stay sew filled!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Hello everyone!

I have been relaxing and spending some time away with my family, yet I did not want to let the day go by without wishing you all a


Here are some photos of our holiday session this year. It has been around 6 years since our last holiday photo, and it was well worth the effort of trying to get five people to smile AT THE SAME TIME! LOL!

I may not always get to make the sewing garments that I want, but I am so grateful I got to make these three precious gems. That God would grace me to mother them and grow ME in the process brings tears to my eyes.  They are uniquely gifted and full of potential, and I pray they will use in great ways.

2016 was a mixed year for me, yet I am grateful for God's gifts in my life: my husband, children, and the birth of my saviour Jesus Christ.

It is with awe, wonder, hope, and great expectation that I enter into 2017, and look forward to all the year with bring. My goal is to go from hope to action, and I would love for you to journey with me!  

Until soon, stay sew filled!