Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Here Comes the Bride: "Couture" Mini Bride Violette Field Threads Haven Dress and Romper

This past August, after 8 years of ups and downs, my daughter's father and I were married. We kept everything simple by only having one attendant a piece and just requested that all (40) guests wear our wedding colors, black or black and white, as we considered them to be our support and help throughout our journey to this point. Our "parents" were allowed to wear gold if they were walking with us. Since we planned the wedding in about 6 weeks I only had time for one handmade item and I knew that I wanted it to be my daughter's ensemble.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Anne Bridal

 My daughter LOVES to dance. At any event or function possible and even when it's not a place to dance she will get down with the get-down. As the miniature bride, I knew that I wanted her to have a dress just a gorgeous as mine, but I also knew that I didn't want to see her pretend break dancing in it and break her neck. Also, if you know anything about a 5 year old and all white, well, let's just say I didn't want all my hard work to be ruined in one day. So, I took to the internet for a solution.

I have had the Violette Field Threads Haven pattern for about a year and I have been dying to make one for my daughter. Haven is a romper and dress pattern and how fitting because I needed the exact same thing: a romper and a dress, just at the same time
Photo Credit: Violette Field Threads
I searched their pattern group for hacks and tutorials until I found Cassie's version from a previous Top Stitcher's season with a detachable skirt. Don't you just love the waistband details? This lady has SERIOUS talent. So, thus armed, I had my game plan. Note: the Top Stitcher's competition is now run over here at Sewing Stadium.

Photo Credit: Lily Shine Boutique

Photo Credit: Lily Shine Boutique
I started with the Haven Pattern for the romper version and chose my bodice and shorts fabric. I loved this one textured bridal fabric and lace from Joann Fabrics and I chose a suitable special occasion black fabric similar to silk dupioni from them as well. I also bought 5 yards of some tulle that had little droplets that sparkled on in for the outer layers and a bolt of white tulle for the bottom layers.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Anne Bridal
I tried putting snaps in the seat of the romper, but apparently, snaps get old and they didn't hold well. I think I ended up sewing it together and just making sure she went before and after the ceremony. My daughter is abnormally small so, making something for her for the first time is usually nerve-wracking, but how much more so when it's the day of your wedding!? I'm pretty much convinced that I'm a crazy woman. Nevertheless, I enjoyed every minute of the whole process.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Anne Bridal

Especially, dressing up my baby doll and spending time together before the wedding. The raised design on her bodice looks like my dress embellishments.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Anne Bridal

To get the fluff that I wanted for the overskirt I used 3 different gathering methods on a total of 6 layers of tulle each 5 yards long.  I lined the skirt and despite my best efforts to make it have a hook and eye closure I ended up with a ribbon sewn waist that tied to save on time. (I was sewing up until it was time for me to get ready!) I'm still determined to redo that part.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Anne Bridal

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Anne Bridal

She took her walk down the aisle and to her dad seriously.  He's the one grinning like a fool in the background. My daughter was utterly enchanting in this dress and apparently she thought that she was a princess because she carried around the top layer like this the whole time.

To my knowledge, she had a pretty good time. Everything was such a whirlwind I could hardly keep up with her. Here she's taking a whack at the pinata and dancing in her "transformed" wedding attire.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Anne Bridal

I have to say that this is one of y most memorable sews and definitely holds a special place in my heart. Maybe one day I'll be making her wedding dress but who knows, some things may be beyond my abilities, but I have plenty of time to learn.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bella Sunshine Designs Birthday Blog Tour: Isabella's Banded Skirt

Hey ladies! I hope you've been enjoying the BSD Birthday Bash thus far. I know.  I have loved seeing the adorable creations of these talented seamstresses.  I first fell in love with Gabriella's Winter Coat and even though I had at least 5 coat patterns I still bought it!

I didn't realize that this was a hacker series until I had already signed up. I say BSD and went nuts. Truthfully, I'm more of a masher than a hacker. One of my favorite things to do is use a free resource to enhance or expand an existing pattern. I'm going to show you what I mean. Today, i'm sharing a little bit of a throwback style: the paperbag skirt. Isabella's Banded Paperbag Skirt to be exact. Isabella's Banded Skirt is so simple and such a quick sew. It starts at size 12 months for girls and 0 for women's. You can either buy it from the Bella Sunshine Designs website OR you can get it for FREE by signing up for the BSD Newsletter which is full of the latest releases and *gasp* sales! 

Since my daughter, Kiwi, is so petite I always have to mash her sizes. This skirt ended up  being an exact 2t/3t. I used this tutorial for the paper bag measurement at the top and added them to the Isabella's Banded Skirt measurements. I am all about not having to re-thread my serger which has been acting super funky so I used french seams on the band and seam. I also, used the fabric width instead of cutting the two panels as instructed. 

Despite living in Florida it has been unusually chilly here lately. I was hoping for a cute tank and sandals for photos, but I opted not to make my little one sick and we layered, layered, layered. As soon as my daughter was dressed she did a test twirl and giggled, success!   When we got to our location she said let's pretend there's water. I'm pretty sure had there been water she would've been soaked. While I wasn't sure of her look at first, on-lookers assured me of how cute she was and we traipsed merrily along.

I just absolutely adore this little girl. This quick sew got my Kiwi-sewing mojo back and now I'm ready to tackle a few more Bella Sunshine Designs patterns. Good thing they are all on sale this week.

Thanks for joining Kiwi & I today! You can see all of the tour posts linked below. Also be sure to enter the giveaway that ends on the 28th!

Birthday Blog Tour 2016-03

Bella Sunshine Designs Birthday Blog Tour

Featured Bloggers:


Birthday Blog Tour 2016-04

Prize Number 1:

Bella Sunshine Designs - 2 Patterns of Choice Once Upon A Yard / Sew It Seams Facebook Group - Grab Bag of 7 yards of fabric

Prize Number 2 (Just for the USA):

Birthday Blog Tour 2016-10

Bella Sunshine Designs - 2 Pattern of Choice Bethany Lane - 3 Sets of "Cute as a Button" wooden buttons (30 buttons total)

Prize Number 3:

Bella Sunshine Designs - 2 Patterns of Choice Sofilantjes Patterns - 2 Patterns of Choice Knot Sew Normal - 1 Pattern of Choice Muffin Head Patterns - Any 1 pattern up to $12.00 Itch To Stitch - 1 Pattern of Choice Rachel Rossi - Squared Fashion Wrap Sewing Pattern FABulous Home Sewn - 1 Pattern of choice Seaside Notions - 1 pattern of choice Laela Jeyne Patterns - Pattern of choice (excludes bundles) Pickle Toes Patterns - 1 Pattern of choice.

Enter the giveaway:

Hurry, the giveaway ends on Sunday, February 28th at midnight! a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Celebration Sales:

Mabel Madison - 10% off their website with coupon code BELLABIRTHDAY until February 29th. Sew It Seams - 15% off their website with coupon code BELLASUN until February 29th. And of course, you can get 40% off all Bella Sunshine Designs patterns on our website until February 29th. No coupon code needed! Ready for one more surprise? Check the Bella Sunshine Designs's website on Friday for a new release or two!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Jocole February Love Blog Tour - Pajama Time!

Eeeeeee!!!! I am SUPER excited to be a part of the Jocole February Love Blog Tour for two reasons: 1. Jocole is one of my favorite women's pattern designers and 2. I have really really wanted to make myself some pajamas, like, for years. Jocole patterns are a great base for pajamas because most, if not all, of the patterns can be made in knit. Knit is a super comfy fabric with plenty of stretch  without needing zippers and buttons to get a close fit.  You can see the full list of women's patterns by Jocole here.

I know it's February and effectively cold pretty much everywhere in the country, except south Florida. However, I happen to live in north Florida and it's warm enough most days to justify making a tank and shorts pajama set, plus we just turn on the heat. I used the Ladies Shoreline Knit Tank pattern for the top and modified the Ladies Wide Leg Yoga Pants for the bottom. My dot fabric is from EuroGirls Boutique and the solid is from my local Jo-ann Fabrics store.

Adjustments & Modifications:

I happen to be short, petite and have a disproportionate bust so I made a few adjustments to get the fit and style that I wanted. When making the tank I basically needed an XS top portion and small bottom portion, but made a small and then took the sides in a little and cut, tied and stitched the straps together for shorter straps and a little visual interest. Why didn't I just cut my straps to fit what I needed? Because I made a few incorrect assumptions when sewing the pattern and sewed the sides together when I should not have and then one of my straps ended up twisted, ha! I love fixes that I can play off in the name of upping the "cuteness" factor. I also shortened the tank by about 4" and used my scraps to make a matching headband using this tutorial. How cute is it that the original post had the SAME colored headband?!
Not flattering to have someone photograph you while pretending to drink from a mug, but you get the picture.

For the shorts, I used the "lengthen and shorten" line on the pattern to shorten them  before sewing them together and then once I had them sewn with the waistband I cut a little more to suit my tastes. In the original pattern the shorts come out bermuda length, but these are pajama shorts so I went for "college girl" length for comfortable lounging. My favorite part about these shorts is the contrasting yoga waistband. I didn't want a lot of bulk at my waist when napping so I actually cut my original piece to a height in-between the regular and yoga band size. I, also, added about 6" to the width around my waist because I didn't want the band to squeeze me in anyway. Think loose and comfy here. One of the things that I love about knit is that hemming is optional  because it doesn't fray and I opted out on both the shorts and the tank. You call it lazy, I call it economical sewing for pajamas. Just sayin.

My photographer had me cracking up with his "direction". Not pictured.
I was soooo please with how this set turned out that after the photos I "tested" my pajamas by eating a huge plate of food and then taking a nap. No pictures of the eating or napping, sorry.  I am not a champion sewer of knit, but I hope that I sparked an interest in sewing more with knits or making your own pjs. I would love to see if you do!

You can check out all of the previous stops on the tour below. Do you have a favorite?
Feb 8- Larissa from Connected By a Thread
Feb 9- Tibeca from Sewing by Ti
Feb 10- Robin from My Little Lady & Gentleman
Feb 11- Patricia from Sew Far North
Feb 12- Linda from Sew Happily Ever After
Feb 15- Larissa from Connected by a Thread and Essence from Amazing Adventures of Bubba and Bug
Feb 16- Amy from Wally and Grace
Feb 17- Melissa fron Rebel & Malice and Sharon from Sweetpea & Pumpkins
Feb 18- Ula from Lulu & Celeste

Feb 19- Teronia from Crazy Crafty Haute Mama and Cindy from Cindy Parrett.com

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter Wear Designs Blog Tour... and a Birthday Bateau Garden Dress

Well, I have a birthday coming up and it's a bit of a big one. I'll be 30 on the 31st! I wanted to make a special dress to wear out to whatever festivities might pop up and purchased the Winter Wear Designs Bateau Dress. Since I have a HUGE problem with deadlines I signed up for the WWD Blog Tour to keep me on track. Then I just had to choose fabric. I purchased this Michael Miller Retro Dot fabric from Classy Fabric a few months ago. If you haven't already you should join her Facebook group. The customer service is great and you get your fabric way before you've forgotten what you've ordered.

Have I ever mentioned that I ADORE black and white? And Polkadots? So, Michael Miller Retro Dots and a Retro style dress? Mmm... sounded perfect to me! Except the fabric was only 44" wide. In trying to make the 44" fabric work for a full circle skirt I took some liberties with my fabric. I added extender pieces on the side courtesy of this tutorial from Skirt Fixation  until I had about a 60x60" square of fabric. Although the fabric isn't directional there was really no way to match the print to my liking so I didn't worry about it. I folded the fabric twice and cut a full circle skirt, yay! I did omit the pettiskirt, but I'm thinking i'll definitely add one next time round and maybe even have some peek out of the bottom.

On the day of the shoot it rained so I got a little creative. Too bad I'm not a 4 year old with adorable rainboots to splash in, but I still had fun!

In eagerness to get out of the weather I neglected to get a better closeup of my lovely fabric.

I had some "user error" fit issues because my sizes are so mixed up and range from a size 2 - 6 but inverted according to the size chart. Also, my bust and cup makes fitted bodices an issue for me each and every time. I'd say this is WWD Bateau Dress: Take 1. The instructions were easy understand and the zipper was a jiffy even without a zipper foot. (I broke my zipper foot the first time I ever used it and learned it to install zippers without it.) I like that the pattern makes professional finishing a simple and automatic part of the pattern. All in all I am loving my dress and can't wait to wear it to dinner next week.

If you've missed any of the previous posts you can see them all here:

Be sure to follow along all week and check out the fabulous bloggers!
1/17/16: Larissa from Connected By A Thread
1/18/16: Ula from Lulu & Celeste
1/19/16: Tibeca from Sewing By Ti
1/20/16: Kelly from Handmade Boy & Tameka from Savannah & Co
1/21/16: Essence from Adventures with Bubba & Bug & Teronia from Crazy Crafty Haute Mama
1/22/16: Cindy from Cindy Parrett & Patricia from Sew Far North
1/23/16: Sharon from Sweet Pea & Pumkins & Fenna from Fabulous Home Sewn
Don't forget to pick up your own copy of the patterns featured this week from Winter Wear Designs and save 20% off any purchase of $5 or more through the 25th of Jan with the code BLOGIT20!

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to link up in the comments if you happen to sew one up yourself. Ciao!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Day 2 - A Vision to Remember Stocking Blog Tour

Hi! I'm the second stop on the stocking blog tour for A Vision to Remember. This pattern is for a Rag Quilt Stocking. Now, I have never made a rag anything or a quilt anything so this was definitely a learning experience. Apparently, I can't follow directions either, but I finished (fairly quickly I might add) and I think it turned out pretty cute.I used some Christmas fabric that was going on year 2 in my stash and added some fun pink. I think it brightens up the whole stocking. Mine is as raggish as I'd like,but the more you wash them the more raggedy they get.

My stocking is a bit skinnier because I was too lazy ahem busy to print the pattern so I free-handed one. This was pretty simple and one of the most no-fuss"fussy" projects. If you've got some holiday coordinates or even scraps that you've been hoarding for a while this is a great project for those! You can see the instructions and grab the stocking pattern right here on the blog.

You can follow along each day and be sure to go back and check out Day 1!
Day 4: Merri Poppins
Day 5: All Things Katy

This would be fun to make with your kids.Just have them pick out their own fabrics.
If you happen to make one comeback and link it in the comments.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Top Stitchers Interview with Ali Cat & Co

Welcome to the beginning of my journey for Season 3 of Top Stitchers! After taking an impromptu break from all things sewing I am thrilled to have my "sewjo" back and looking to really jump out and challenge myself and what better place than in Sewing Stadium? As usual, the talented lady behind Top Stitchers is absolutely brilliant and came up with an awesome theme for myself and Brianne of Ali Cat & Co.

Both of us are Top Stitcher veterans: I accepted the challenge for Season 1 and Brianne strutted her stuff for Season 2.This season our prompt is to channel our Spirit Animal and we debut on November 17th. Before we go toe to toe or tail to tail Brianne and I sat down (on Facebook) to get to know each other a little better. After talking to her I am so excited to participate in this challenge with such a fun and talented lady. Brianne is a SUPER BAD bag maker who lives in California with her permanent roommate, 2 offspring and 1 feline and without further adieu here's my interview with Brianne!

Brianne Ali Cat & Co

About Brianne: 

What's your name?
 Brianne Matlage aka Brizee aka B Money

Where do you live? With who? Whom? 
San Marcos, CA with my permanent roommate, 2 offspring, and 1 feline

What’s the craziest (PG) thing you’ve ever done? 
PG! HAHA! Jumped off a 20 foot rock into a river BEFORE checking there were rocks submerged beneath me.
What would your best friend say is your personality strength? 
 My independence.  I can do everything myself.

What are 3 interesting factoids about yourself?
1.  I was born with an ear deformity.  I was made fun of a lot when I was little for my alien ear.  Because of that, I would never wear my hair up.  Glasses sat crooked on my face.  It was a stab to my self-confidence.  When I was 24, I finally had the opportunity to have it corrected. It was a long procedure and fairly painful.  But now I'll wear those ponies without fear of ridicule. I'm a real girl! 

2.  I graduated from University of Texas at 19.  I will say there is no reason for such a young person to be in the 'real world' before you can legally drink.

3. I am a cereal connoisseur.  The two best cereals are Ohs and Target's brand Archer Farms Blueberry granola.

How long have you been sewing and why did you start sewing?   
About 5 years.  I started sewing right after my oldest daughter was born.  I wanted to make her pretty things.  Now I only want to make myself pretty things!

What are currently sewing on?
I have 4 sewing machines.  Janome Magnolia 7318 (now my daughters machine), Janome MC 8200, Brother 1034D serger, and Brother PE 770 embroidery machine.
I am currently working on FMA and a new Elsa dress for my daughter to attend a Princess Tea Party.

Do you have other hobbies?  Where does it (do they) rank compared to sewing?
I love to read. I enjoy being in an alter reality full of murder, mystery, and magic.  Crafty wise-I like paint by numbers!  Both fall behind sewing.

Why did you join Top Stitchers?
Because Becca asked and I can't say no to a fabulous friendly competition.
Our prompt is to pick an animal that you feel you represent.  How do you feel about this theme?
I love animals, so I'm quite excited.  I already have my game plan on.

What IS your favorite animal?! Any and all cats

What is your LEAST favorite material to sew with and why? Stretch pleather.  Never again.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever made? One of those ribbon shoulder tie tops for my daughter.  Yuck. Newbie mistake.

 What’s your favorite thing to sew? Accessories.  They are one size fits all.

Where can we follow your awesome work?
Blog: Alicatco.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AliCatCo
Instagram: Alicatco

Well, there you have it. Be sure to check out Brianne's blog and follow her on Instagram. See you in Sewing Stadium!!