Knock it Off Tour

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The Knock-it Off Tour hosted by Sprouting Jube Jube and Lulu and Celeste is for all you do-it-yourselfers.  You know who you are.  You walk through the mall and all you can think is, “I could make that so easy!” or “Man, that top would be so cute if only it was two inches longer/shorter/had sleeves/a v-neck/hood/ruffle/stripes/butterflies/etc…”.  Chances are if you’re a seamstress of any level you will be thinking this on EVERY single shopping trip!

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My inspiration comes from a no longer available Anthropology top I came across during the Tallinn testing.   I loved the simple ruffle and knew the Tallinn was just the pattern for it!

Try not to spit out your soda at my awesome recreation of the pic.  I’m pretty sure this model is a size negative 20 and hasn’t seen a donut in her life.  It’s like I’ve found my long lost twin 😉

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I was really thinking this would be an easy hack.  The Tallinn sweater features the same overlapped front but is a straight angled top piece.  The bands are done in two pieces and the neckline features a turtleneck or slouchy cowl.

Now there’s a reason I don’t really do tutorials. #1- I rarely ever hack patterns.  I can usually just find a pattern that suits my needs.  #2- I definitely don’t have the sewing skill to share with you.  I learn from doing and would hate to teach techniques wrong.  #3- I don’t have the patience to take all the needed pics to properly show what I’m doing.  Now with that out of the way I’ll do my darndest to explain what I did to create this look.

My original mods to the actual pattern pieces were fairly simple.  I used two right front pieces and altered them to be wider at the shoulder and curved at the hem.  I used my french curve for the curve and added 2.5″ at the shoulder seam.  I slashed and spread my sleeve piece to make it a bit looser like the inspiration and made it 3/4 length.  I’m sure I could have just sized up that piece to make it easier.  I also cut the neckline right in between the turtleneck and cowl necklines and made a neck binding piece 1.75″x 80% of the neckline circumference.

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I had to get a little creative sewing it up.  The Tallinn has separate hem band pieces for the front and bottom.  I struggled wrapping my mind around getting one continuous ruffle sewn on since it’s included in the shoulder seam.  I didn’t want the bulk of the ruffle under the other shoulder so my ruffle tapers off underneath and is not included in the right shoulder seam.

So, I got a little crazy and sewed up the right shoulder then sewed about an inch of the outside left shoulder seam.  I then added the sleeves and sewed the side seams.  I could then add the ruffle to the outside hem in one continuous piece.  (My ruffle is 2″ by 2 times the length of the full hem.)  Once the ruffle was on I could then finish the left shoulder seam and attach the neck binding.  Not mind blowing sewing but it did stretch me a bit.

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I honestly wasn’t in love with this when we first took these pictures.  I couldn’t figure out what it was.  I found the original top and read some of the same thoughts in the reviews- not flattering was a general consensus.  For me, it really highlights my broad shoulders.  Not something I usually go for.

That night as I laid in bed I had one of those hallelujah moments.  I knew the ruffle needed to come in on the shoulder to cut my shoulder in a bit and it was as simple as pleating the shoulder piece.  I really didn’t want to unpick all the ruffle and topstitching to fully alter the whole front piece!

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It’s not a huge difference- before altering on the left and after on the right, but I think it helps a ton.  I really love the final top and think it’s such a great transition top for spring.

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For this top I used a super soft blush french terry from Stylish Fabric.  It looks like this shade is out of stock currently (glad others are sharing my current pink obsession) but there are a ton of other beautiful colors to choose from.

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I’m so excited to pair this top with jeans or my favorite new Brassie joggers.  It’s such a great, comfy mom outfit.

BTW- The Tallinn is a great nursing top and this little hack is a great way to switch it up a bit in case you need a closet full of them.

 

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You can catch all the amazing Knock-offs this week here:

Monday, April 24

Lulu & CelesteCall AjairePaisley RootsAdventures with Bubba and Bug

Tuesday, April 25

Sprouting JubeJubemahlicadesignsSew and Tell Project

Wednesday, April 26

Lulu & CelesteSewSophieLynnNini and AshLittle Heart Threads

Thursday, April 27

Sprouting JubeJubesewingbytiInspinrationHouse of EstrelaBeri Bee Designs

Friday, April 28

Lulu & CelesteDuchess & HareCreative CounselorFilles a Maman (FAM)

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Little Kiwi’s Closet Straight Skirt Tour

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Little Kiwi’s Closet is a new to me pattern company but apparently I’m late to the party, they are celebrating 5000 members in their Facebook group– hooray!

As a thank you to members, they are offering a code for this darling FREE Straight Skirt! I love to try out new designers and their free patterns are the perfect start.  This pattern from LKC did not disappoint.

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I paired the skirt with the Flutterby Peasant Dress and Top.  I’ve been missing a basic peasant top pattern in my collection and this one is fantastic.  There are multiple sleeve, elastic, and ruffle options and it comes in sizes newborn to 12.  Peasant tops are such a great starting point for so many looks so I know I’ll turn to this pattern again and again.

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She’s been wanting an off the shoulder top and it was a super easy hack to get this look.  Ready for it… just use longer elastic in the casing- DONE!  It’s such a trendy look and I love that I didn’t have to get a special pattern for it.

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This skirt is really so darn cute!  I used more Raspberry Creek CLUB fabrics for this whole look.  These fabrics should be available again starting this week.  I love that you can play around with fabric combos with this pattern.  Those pockets just beg for a contrasting fabric!

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There are a variety of options with this skirt too.  You can do angled or curved pockets, yoga or elastic waistband, above or below knee and banded or hemmed bottom.  It comes in sizes 12 months- 14 years.  I did a straight size 7.  She measures a 7 waist and 10 height, this is the below knee option hitting her right at her knees.

I love that right after we took these pictures she was climbing poles and running around.  That’s a sign of a comfortable outfit!  Definitely kid approved!  And yes, she habitually wears shortie leggings under all her dresses and skirts so she can feel free to play to her hearts content in style!

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This sweet, girly outfit has won Little Kiwi’s Closet another fan!  Make sure you join the Facebook group to get your copy of the Straight Skirt today!

You can check out more fun looks here:

Idlesunshine

ChristaCoDesign

SewSophieLynn

Tales From A Southern Mom

Phat Quarters

Living in Twinado Alley

Curtiepie

Lilliepawillie

Woohoo by Davina

And head to the Little Kiwis Closet Blog for more pattern details AND an awesome giveaway too!

Growing Up Handmade

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When this blog tour was thrown out there I immediately wanted to join.  In the back of my head I have this huge fear that one day my kids won’t want me to sew for them.  My big boys request things here or there but really don’t wear them a lot.  They didn’t grow up with me sewing much for them though.  My girls on the other hand have been in handmade since they were toddlers.  I think I’d be heartbroken if one day they said to me, “Mom, please can’t we just go to the mall for all my clothes now?!”  For now, I love that they come to me with items they want me to sew or pull fabric they want made up.  It just makes my creative heart happy!

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This little miss is the reason I dusted off my sewing machine after years of neglect.  It was so fun to sew for a tiny girl.  It didn’t take very much fabric or time and she would happily wear it-mistakes and all.   I started with easy paper patterns or simple upcycling projects.  I followed all the good sewing blogs and loved when the bloggers started doing patterns too!  My little Sophie loved to help pick fabric and was always such a willing model.  It was so much fun looking through pictures of her ‘growing up handmade’.

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For this tour I wanted to showcase some of my favorite tween friendly makes.  Sophie recently requested more joggers and leggings because she now ‘hates’ jeans.  I love it when she wants easy to sew pieces!

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I made five pieces that can be mixed and matched a bit.  We threw in her denim jacket and she now has three or four cute new outfits.

This first piece is by one of my favorite designers- Adrianna from Hey June.  I love when designers kids are my kids ages because then they usually continue to design for them as they grow.  The Hey Junior Line is the perfect basic patterns.  The City Park Tee is a staple in our house so of course I needed to add it to the mix.  This is done a size up to wear with leggings in gorgeous cotton/lycra from Raspberry Creek Fabric.

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Shwin Designs has always been another favorite in our house.  I love the hip, original designs!  The Studio Top and Dress can be made in woven or knit which makes it so versatile and perfect for my girls.  They have almost outgrown Shwin’s regular patterns but lucky me- Shauna has launched a new B side line for tweens and teens!  I sewed up the largest size in this one in a beautiful blush cotton/lycra from Raspberry Creek.  This top was her favorite piece and she squealed when she saw it!  There will be many more of these in her closet for sure!

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For bottoms I wanted a pair of leggings with a twist.  The Peony Leggings from Sew Like My Mom were just what I was after.  They have a fun side stripe that can be plain or ruched.  These were going to be ruched but my sewing machine and double brushed poly were not being friends.  Luckily my serger is pals with the fabric and she still got her leggings.

Sew Like My Mom also has a tween line that we adore. The Boxwood Joggers and Fern Cardigan get worn so much here!  I need to grab the Apricot Dolman when I get a chance too!

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To fulfill her jogger dreams I used the True Bias Mini Hudson Pant pattern.  She’s had a dozen or so of these and I know they fit her well.  This is a size 8 with 10 length- size 10 is the largest size so I’ll be sad to see her grow out of this pattern.  I’m not too worried though because my trusty Brassie Joggers start at an XXS/24″ waist.  This fabric is a pretty french terry that I picked up from So Sew English I believe.  So Sew English has a TON of pretty floral french terry.

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Lastly I did a Pattern for Pirates Butterfly Cardigan.  P4P is a great place for tween patterns.  Their kids patterns usually go to a 14 and their adult patterns start at XXS, covering every size you need!  They carry lots of basics and some really trendy designs too.  I love her sister’s company Made For Mermaids for the same reasons.  For this cardi I used a super soft french terry from Stylish Fabric,  Stylish Fabrics has so many solid french terry colors to choose from- this seafoam is heavenly!

We mixed and matched these pieces for lots of stylish, comfortable looks that will get worn over and over again!  Perfect for school and playing soccer in the backyard after school, too.

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I tried my hardest to pick patterns that I stand by and truly love- leaving affiliate links out of this post so you know I really support and love these patterns.  A few other designers that I feel are especially tween friendly are Love NotionsSew Straight and GatherPetite Stitchery, Chalk and Notch and Striped Swallow.  What are some of your favorites?  Any I should check out?  I plan on sewing for this girl forever so I’ll take all the suggestions I can get!

Make sure to check out the other great stops on the tour here:

Monday – April 17th
Handmade Boy | Paisley Roots | Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing & Crafting

Tuesday – April 18th
Beri Bee Designs | Phat Quarters | Sewing By Ti | Sew and Tell Project

Wednesday – April 19th
Courtney Zadik | Rebel & Malice | Vicky Myers Creations

Thursday – April 20th
Pattern Revolution | Skirt Fixation | SewSophieLynn | EYMM

Friday – April 21st
Round Up and Giveway Winners

And enter the giveaway here:

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Sew Straight and Gather’s Avenue Collection

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The newest collection of patterns is now available from Sew Straight and Gather! The Avenue Collection features a dress/top, flare pants, and a duster cardigan.

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I was lucky enough to test the Duster and the Dress patterns and I couldn’t love them more!

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Terri’s patterns are always impeccably drafted and feature the best tutorials out there.  Her designs are always on trend but classic at the same time.  I’ve really cut back on testing patterns lately but couldn’t resist these.  I knew I’d have a great experience as Terri takes her time and listens to her testers.  She works so hard to put out the best patterns around.  I always feel so comfortable and confident in recommending a Sew Straight and Gather pattern.

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For my look, I used the calf length Duster with pockets and facing.  I love that there are multiple length options and you can choose to do a band, hem, or facing.  I used Soft Coral Ponte from Cali Fabrics and love how flowy it looks but how easy it was to sew up!

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I did the knee length dress version with split hem in the back.  This gorgeous fabric is part of Raspberry Creek Fabric’s newest CLUB fabrics line (it will be available for retail soon!).  I used the cotton/lycra version and it was just the right weight for this dress.

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My little girl just loves this dress!  She says she feels so grown up in it but I love that it’s not too mature looking on her too.

Make sure to grab the collection while it’s on sale- the whole collection is just $15 (CAD) or you can pick up the individual patterns for $5 for the next two days!  Any US peeps that’s a smokin’ deal! I can’t wait to see all the stylish girlies in these!

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Fiesta Fun Fabric Tour

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Guys, I got an email from THE Dana.  The one that I started following when these girls were just babies.  The one that lit the fire in me to get my sewing machine out after years of neglect.  The same Dana that introduced me to pdf patterns and KID Shorts.  Is it weird that I already felt like we were buddies?  I don’t think I could have jumped on board this tour any faster.  Throw in gorgeous fabric celebrating one of my favorite places in the world and I was all over this one!

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I got my girls on board and let them pick what fabrics they wanted and boy was that a tough decisions.  The colors are so vibrant and the patterns are unique and so happy.

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My oldest settled on the Zocalo Lemon and Mexican Dress Morning prints.  I picked the later in canvas to use as a bottom-weight.  It was my first go with Art Gallery canvas and I will definitely be using it again.  It was the perfect weight for these shorts and I’d love a cute bag out of it too!

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My sassy girl made up her mind in no time.  She saw the vibrant Desert Flor Summer and knew she just NEEDED a dress out of it.  I love, love how bright and fun this pattern is.

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When picking patterns to really highlight this fabric I wanted something different and a little bit out of the safe silhouettes I usually gravitate to.  Shwin Designs newest collection came out just in time!  The Oh Darling Top and Dress is ready to party.  For my oldest’s outfit I went with the Pensacola Beach Petal Top from Seaside Notions paired with the Emilya’s Skinny Pants from Simple Life Pattern Co.

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Tell me this fabric and pattern combo weren’t meant for each other.  This print actually called to me in the middle of the night and told me it needed to be a shoulder flounce dress.  And these yellow pom poms in my stash had been dreaming of the day when they would grace this little girls’ arms.  I couldn’t let them down…

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I love the that this dress has the fun flounce but also covers her shoulders.  It makes it church appropriate which is THE place to wear a fun fiesta dress.

I altered the pattern just a bit.  I added an extra inch to the width of the ruffle making it even more dramatic.  I then added elastic at the waist to bring it in.  Simple modifications that really make this dress extra delightful.

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This growing girl needed new shorts and the Emilya’s were perfect.  She likes bermuda length which is fortunate because that’s what her school dress code suggests too 😉  The pattern comes with a cargo pocket option and shorts cuff but we kept it simple with just the addition of piping in the side seam.

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Now that top is so cool, right?  The scoop back is darling and the layered, curved skirt pieces really make it stand out.  You know big sister needed poms too, can’t let lil’ sis have all the fun.

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That square neckline makes me happy!  So do those sweet, innocent eyes.

The girls were feeling so playful in these outfits.  They just crack me up!

I am so glad I got to join in on the Fiesta Fun.  This southern California girl-at-heart is always ready for a fiesta.  Now I’m craving a frozen limeade on a sunny beach- maybe it’s not the fiesta I’m wanting but a ‘siesta’ that this mama needs 😉

Thanks so much for letting me in on the party Dana!

Happy Easter from SewSophieLynn

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Easter is one of my favorite holidays.  A chance to be with family and the food doesn’t get any better- I stopped counting how much chocolate I’ve sneaked from my kids baskets 😉  It also signals the start of handmade warm weather clothes and I just love the chance to sew a new dress or two for my girls.  This year my oldest even wanted a tie to match his sisters!  So yes, we were ‘that’ family today- all matchy matchy and I was one happy mama.

You can see more pics of my girls here, my middle boys bowtie here, and for my oldest’s tie I turned to this free pattern from Purl Soho.  My youngest is in full Old Navy goodness 😉

I’m so grateful for this time of year and the chance it gives us to truly reflect on the life and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Check out this video to be inspired by the real reason behind the season.

Love you guys!

Chalk and Notch Farrah Blouse and Dress

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The Farrah Blouse and Dress released earlier this week and it’s taken all my willpower waiting for my turn to share!  I’m sure your Instagram feed has been flooded with all the gorgeous tester versions- if it hasn’t then hop over and check out the #farrahpattern to have your mind blown!  The testers really made some stunning versions!

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The Farrah pattern features two ruffle options, a lined yoke, high low split hem and dress and top versions.  In sizes 0-18, it’s so flattering on any figure.  I did a straight size 6- my waist is typically a size or 2 larger than my chest but with this loose pattern I didn’t feel the need to do any grading.

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I made my version out of a lightweight swiss dot I’ve had in my stash forever.  It was a great fabric choice- perfect for spring.  I love this pattern in super drapey fabric too- some of my favorite versions were done in voile, rayon challis, or those silky fabrics that you can’t pass up at Joann’s.

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My husband played photographer for this shoot and nailed it.  We had this quick window between dropping off kids and picking them up at all their after school activities.  The wind was blowing, the sun was setting, and this brand new school was the only semi-decent backdrop between point A and B.  We had fun as I tried my darndest to keep my little chin from chattering in the cold.   Not the ideal conditions but you work with whatcha got!

I feel like I just told you all my little secrets- like when someone says, “I love your shirt!” and you feel the need to tell them you got it for 5 bucks from Wal-Mart.  The behind the scenes of a bloggers life is really not all that glamorous 😉

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Let’s just pretend we’re on some fancy city street and I’m not thinking about all the mom duties waiting for me after as soon as we finished these pics!

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I simple adore the details of this pattern!  That mitered corner on the hem is pretty snazzy.

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The wind and those ruffles were not friends.  It was cracking me up!

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K- promise me you’ll check out all the other amazing tester versions.  They are so, so cute you won’t be able to help it when the pattern ends up in your cart.  Trust me, you’ll thank me afterwards!

You can see round one of the testers blog posts here on the Chalk and Notch blog.