Thursday, November 6, 2014

Halloween 2014

This may have been our best Halloween yet.
The Mr. was going out of town, so we took Thursday afternoon and Friday off of school and drove to Texas for the weekend. It was a long way to drive for just a couple days of visiting, but so worth it.

William decided to be the Dread Pirate Roberts (from the Princess Bride). I'm so proud. It is my ALL.TIME.FAVORITE.MOVIE!

I love this photo my sister captured. It is so William. Everything is about the weapon with him. Always has been. My Mom made his scabbard to hold his sword. His shirt was self drafted... and I made it a little deep. (Whoopsies) His pants were made with the Patterns for Pirates Playground Pattern. He loves them so much, I've already made him a pair in flannel to sleep in!

I wish I had more pictures of his costume. I was running a fever on Halloween and didn't get my normal photo shoot done. :(

He's such a sweet boy, my William. Too scared to go to any really scary houses. :) After all, in his words, "It's just candy." ha ha ha

 Ella decided she wanted to be Belle this year, but not just any Belle... the real deal.
I was a little nervous that I couldn't execute what she had in mind, but with my Mom's help, I drafted the dress and it was just perfect.

I really tried to talk her into letting me put some red roses or something on the bodice and overskirt, but she wouldn't go for it. I think she didn't want it to look like the Belle costume I made Lucy.

I bought her a hoop skirt to go under her dress this year. I attempted making one last year for her Scarlet O'Hara dress and it just didn't hold up well. It was the best decision I ever made. This one was inexpensive and did the trick beautifully.

She really felt like a princess on Halloween. (Getting shot by my nephew, Mr. Buzz Lightyear!)

Ella was proud of her costume, but nothing like Lucy. I can't even count the number of times that Lucy told me she loved her costume, thanked me, or told me how special and beautiful she felt.
I guess I really hit the nail on the head with what she wanted this time. :)
And she did look gorgeous! My little Spanish Dancer.

I used Jalie pattern 3354 for the top (so that we could double duty and wear it to gymnastics, too!) For the skirt, I used the Jocole yoga skirt as a base, added all the ruffles and changed the top to be an asymmetrical waistband. That skirt was so dang heavy! I don't know what I was thinking making it out of swimsuit fabric.

The whole idea for his costume came from that little fan. She found it at the costume store and had to have it. I told her I would only spend $7 on a fan if it was part of her costume, so we researched what would go with a fan. I think this may be her most favorite costume to date...

the fan and the red lipstick sealed the deal.

Even though, her Sally costume is my favorite to date, which was worn by my darling niece, Sophie, this year.

So. the costumes were made, the trip to TX was made, my fever went away in time to enjoy all the kids trick or treating and I even had time to dress up as a gypsy!

Here I am with my beautiful cousin, who thrilled all the little girls by dressing up as Elsa! Isn't she perfect?!

And with my Dad, the cutest cowboy ever.

Oh wait... there's a new cowboy in town. Our newest baby, Charlie. ooooooohhhhhhhhhhh

I have the cutest nieces and nephews EVER.

This is just a 1/3 of them. You didn't think we could get a group photo of all of them, did you?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 2: Katy Panda (and Mac's Monster T-shirt) sew-a-long!

Day 2 is an easy day. 

We want to give you time to collect all those supplies (for those of you that don't have a sewing stash the size of a small fabric store in your house.... :/  Not that I know anyone like that.) 

So, keep gathering those materials! If you are struggling to find fabrics for your appliques, don't fret.
You can use pretty much anything. I prefer non-fray fabrics like knits, fleece, felt, or ultra suede, but you can also use woven fabrics, as long as you use a satin stitch all the way around it. Or... heck, just do a straight stitch and let it fray a bit, too. That would be fine!

You can also upcycle fabrics. Use old t-shirts that don't fit anymore or have stains. These can be awesome supplies for small bits of applique fabrics. I bought an XL women's nightshirt at Wal-Mart to use for my Katy Panda this week. It was $7 for quite a bit of good quality fabric and SO cute, too!

There's no reason to go out and spend a fortune. Just use what you have or what you can find!

I promise, your kid is going to love this dress or shirt!
They're so fun and comfy!

And don't forget to upload your photos into the albums on our facebook group.

If you haven't joined... what are you waiting for?
Katy Panda dress sizes 1/2-16 for just $4.50
Mac's Monster T-shirt sizes 1/2-16 for just $4.50
15 and 18 inch doll pattern- just $1.00

and so many appliques to choose from: panda, kitty, monkey, bear, puppy, cow, fox, football. 
And also including a Halloween pack: Frankenstein, Dracula, Bride of Frank, ghosts, & jack o lanterns. 
And some other favorites like a snowman, bat person, monster, and many more!

And don't forget to go check out Nicole's post for today! She has so much good information for you!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Katy Panda (and Mac's Monster T) Sew-a-long Day 1!

It's our fist sew-a-long! YAY!
Here is the schedule we've decided on.  We don't want you to be rushed, but we want to keep the excitement going, so I hope this schedule works well for all of you. I'm super excited to see what you guys come up with. Our tester groups of these two patterns were so much fun!
Day 1: Monday the 15: Print your pattern, choose an applique and shop for fabrics!
Day 2: Tuesday the 16: One more day for shopping or catching up
Day 3: Wednesday the 17: Show us your fabrics and cut them out
Day 4: Thursday the 18: Appliqué day! 
Day 5: Friday the 19: Sewing the upper portion & bottom portion
Day 6: Saturday the 20: Add sleeves and hem
Day 7: Sunday the 21: Finish neckline and finishing up
Day 8 Monday the 22: Post your finished modeled photos and voting starts
Wednesday the 24: Announce the winners!!!

We will have 3 prize packages!
The Grand Prize Winner (chosen by an esteemed panel of judges~ my Mom, my little and baby sister and myself) will be gifted:
  • a pattern pack from us (Cole's Corner and Creations) of 5 patterns! If you already have all of our patterns, you can save them as IOU's 
  • An automatic tester spot for the next test you'd like to do AND
  • 3 yards of fabric from The Fabric Fairy! (with FREE shipping!)
A second winner (chosen by peers) will receive a 3 pattern pack and a third winner (chosen by will receive 1 pattern of choice! (you must post photos to the group photo albums to be eligible for this prize.)

Since this is the very first sew-a-long for us. I've enlisted the help of one of our sewing friends, Nicole.  Nicole has been a tester for Megan, Judy, and us. She is super nice, super helpful, and super excited about sewing. I knew she would have great ideas and great energy for the sew-a-long. She always has a kind word and I just love her. I'm so grateful to have her help! She has been invaluable to me. 

So, without further ado..... here is Nicole with our day 1 blog post to help with all the supplies. 

Hello Ladies.... & Gents,
My name is Nicole and I have been asked to help with this fun sew along! Yay, I hope you will have oodles of fun creating these fun shirts and dresses. I know I have had a joyful time creating all of mine :)
Lets get to know me a bit more so you don't think I'm a complete stranger. I'm a single stay at home mom to two wee little princesses. I have been sewing for basically half my life. I love creating clothing for my daughters and I'm getting ready to launch a princess inspired dress line yay! Well see how well.... that works.

{This is me with my 2 girls Bella and Clara Mae}
For this first post, I am going to go over supplies and helpful bits of knowledge you will find helpful.
These projects are made with knit!! I love knit once you have the proper supplies anything you might struggle with you, you will find a lot easier once we get done with this week long event.
I've spent time compiling a list of amazing places to buy your knit from! I love getting fun fancy knits you can get in some of these groups. I've had amazing luck at Walmart and Joann with knit. Please do yourself a huge favor and stretch out the knit and hold it to the light to see the integrity, strength, and stretch of the knit. Nicole always includes a knit stretch guide in her patterns print that out and take it with you when you don't order online.

Other Nicole here. AKA Cole. Here is our ALL NEW stretch gauge chart that Mom made this week! wooo hooo! Go Mom! The one I was using was so grainy. 

{If you have any other places please let me know!!}
You will see that with the Mac & Katy you are doing some applique I have done a lot of research on the best interfacing and stabilizers.
I've done all the hard work for you and I have actually done trial and error and trust me when I say these interfacing and stabilizers are very important and will make all the difference in your finished projects!! As always to each their own but, you will be cursing like a sailor who has figured out all the rum is gone! For the sweet mother of pearl you will wish you would have purchased some of these if you didn't. I tried a applique with and without a stabilizer and I will tell you the shirt I did without the stabilizer looks like.... a hot mess from the back and I know that after a few washes it will be falling apart. I noticed a huge difference with the thread integrity when I failed to put a stabilizer on the back the thread made tiny holes in my knit comprising the strength vs when  I did a stabilizer. I found a bunch of new stabilizers that are awesome. I love the wash away over the tear away but, they both are great for appliques and embroidery this was all new to be as I had never given it much thought when I did do appliques but, it made the world of difference. I'm sure for all those who are lucky and have a embroidery machine all know this information so for the many of you that do skip along ;)
When embroidering on knits, use a permanent cut-away stabilizer (at left) to keep the fabric smooth during stitching and prevent stretching during wear. Tear-away stabilizers (at right) may not offer as much support.

Cut away stabilizers— Cut-away are permanent stabilizers that remain on the fabric and keep it stable during and after embroidery. They're a good choice for knit fabrics, because they prevent the designs from stretching out with frequent wearing and washing. I also recommend using a cut-away stabilizer on loosely woven fabrics and on projects to be framed, where visibility of the stabilizer is not an issue. To remove a cut-away stabilizer, first rough-cut the excess stabilizer from the fabric. Then, using sharp embroidery scissors, trim close to the stitching.
Tear-away stabilizers— Tear-aways are temporary stabilizers that are generally easy to remove, but be careful to do so without pulling or stretching the fabric. Some of these products tear more easily than others, so check this when testing a stabilizer. Also keep in mind that some may tear more readily in one direction than another, so check "tearability" in all directions, as well. A product like Pellon's Stitch 'N Tear, a medium-weight tear-away that I especially like for linear wing-needle embroidery, pulls cleanly away from the stitching in all directions. When a fabric or project requires strong support and you want to use a tear-away, use several layers of a light- to mid-weight stabilizer, rather than one heavy product, then gently remove the layers individually. And when using a non-fusible stabilizer, I suggest spraying one side with a temporary fabric adhesive, then positioning it and basting, if needed, to hold the fabric securely in place.
Wash-away stabilizers— Wash-away stabilizers are designed to dissolve when wet and come in several forms: plastic-like film and soluble paper, both of which can be hooped with the fabric, and liquids that stiffen when brushed or sprayed on the fabric and allowed to dry.
Stabilizers at a glance

Used for: Permanent support
Best used on: Knits, loosely wovens
Comes in: light to heavy weights
Removal: Not removed except for cutting away excess
Used for: Temporary support
Best used on: firmly woven, natural fibers, knits
Comes in: light to heave weights {fusible and non fusible}
Removal: Torn away but, not always completely removable depending on the brand
Used for: Temporary support
Best used on: delicate, mesh like, and more difficult to work with fabrics. Also for cutwork and embroidered appliques
Comes in: plastic film, paper sheets, brush-on or sprayable liquid.
Removal: Completely removable with water.
These stablizers go and the back side of you knit fabrics. You can find them at joann, Walmart, or amazon is usually the cheapest. I love the sulky {}
If you child has sensitivity issues they have a special knit interfacing that has a smooth backing you can iron on to make the any roughness go away. I purchased this one from Joann.
They also have this pellon for knit as well.
Moving on!! You will need to get heat n bond for your applique part. Heat n bond comes in a variety of different kinds! I love the heat n bond light it also come in a sew and no sew option. I usually get the sew because I love stitching but, for someone who wants to cheat a little {sshh.... we won't judge or tell and lets be honest we've all cheated before ;) you can get the thicker no sew option }
You will also see that heat and bond comes in hem tape! Please sweet Mother of Pearl and all that is holy is the land of sew please spend the little extra and get these. You can thank me later.
This tape is seriously life changing when it comes to knits and working with hem. It comes in a variety of different widths Nicole has mentioned the widths she likes to use for the sleeve and hem part they are two different widths. While your buying just buy one in every width like I did :)
I purchased mine at the good ol Walmart here are some visual aids for you ladies and any gentleman who are sewing along!
They come in sewable and no sew options. I have both and loved them with my no sew I still sew it. It really makes hemming the sleeve and bottom of your garment so much easier and gives you a more professional finish.
Another tool I will tell you all you NEED!! is wash away tape. This is amazing. If you didn't want to purchase the heat and bond for the appliques and just wanted to cut your design out you can use this double sided tape that washes away to move your pieces were you want on your garment. This is the one thing I use on every single project I sew you will be glad you added this to your tool box!
{When Joann has 60% off coupons I find all the coupons I can and stalk up on this}

Let's talk needles now! It is important that you get the right needle for your project. I stock up at joann when I get half off coupons or when they do the 60 % off all notions {best time to replenish everything I don't know about you but, lord have mercy sometimes the sewing gods aren't on my side and I can break oh let's say an entire pack by the time I come to the end!!}

I also have twin stretch needles if you want a more professional finish if you don't have the option on your serger for cover stitching. I found mine at joann locally if you can't amazon is always a good way to order or ebay

When I do any embroidery I do change my needles from my knit to these. I believe if you use more of the proper needles for your project your doing it will always turn out better if you use the proper needles for the job. This is totally optional I tested all ball point vs embroidery there wasn't that much of a difference besides 

Shoulder seams on knit garments require not always a stablizer to help take some of the stress from wearing of the garment. I found this get product it's wider than most seams so you'll have to trim it to the proper width—-15in-x-10-yards/12142402.html#q=Easy+knit+tape&start=1 another great option if you can't find this is twill tape or clear elastic. Tip on clear elastic you really need to condition it before using it. To do this you'll stretch it out a few times. If you don't do this please note it could break during sewing or if you serger. I really love the knit tape and use it on all my shoulder seams. 

Now, that I've spent a vast majority of this post talking about knits, stabilizers, interfacing, and tapes let us now talk about..... {Embroidery Thread} is this really needed and the answer is yes! If you are doing any applique work you will find the silky smooth thread to be a great thing to use. They sell small threads of embroidery thread at Walmart for under $2 it really adds a nice touch to your finished project. Another fun thread to use is glow in the dark {this I had no luck finding at Walmart} I went to Joann and yes, it is rather pricey but, I've used it twice now and it makes the shirt that much funnier for my girls.
{I'll get you an actual photo of this product glowing in the dark}
They are both on sale for $4.50 in honor of the sew along!!
Please be sure to join the group so you can post all your photos along the way {}
I can't wait to see everyone's fabric choices, what applique you decide to use provided or if you choose to create your own!!
Be sure to check back in tomorrow for more ideas for upcycling!!
YAY! Thank you so much Nicole. I know it took so much time to do all of that research for us.  You are awesome!
Don't forget to come back to the Pattern Group and post a picture in the Day 1 Album! Just post a picture of the applique you decided to do. You'll want to do this because it might be connected to winning a prize! :)

I can't wait to see what appliques you guys are going to choose. Mom made SO many cute ones. You may think Day 1 is easy, but deciding on just ONE is going to be difficult. Trust me. 
All appliques can be found in the pattern group. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Bookish skirt and the beginning of the UFO madness

So, this summer we enrolled the girls in a free reading program at our local university. On the last day of the program, they had a little party planned.

The morning of the party, Ella begged me to finish up a skirt that I had been working on for ages.
Like.... I finished it up in August of 2012!!!!

I just had to look on facebook to find the post. 

You see, I have this box where all the unfinished projects get thrown.
Well... first they hang out on the sewing table for a while, and then when it's clear that I'm not gonna get to it anytime soon, it goes in the box.

It's such a sad, sad box, full of UFO's {unfinished objects}. What makes it worse is that most of them are complete, like.... real complete outfits that just need a hair accessory or a skirt that needs a matching shirt or something like that. Really sad. And dumb. Sometimes the kids grow out of the items before they even make it out of the box. :(

This one was in the box because I loved it so much, but I couldn't decide what to make out of it. Ella wasn't really into skirts at the time I made it, so I thought about making it into a pinafore or dress... never could decide, so it just sat there.

Well, Ella never forgot about it and asked me to 'pretty please' finish it that morning and I did.
15 minutes. That's it. It took 15 minutes to seam the back, finish the waistband, and finish the hem with bias tape.

I felt so proud and foolish at the same time. Why in the world had this skirt panel been sitting there for 2 years?

She loves it so much and was so proud to wear it to her reading party.

I had so much fun collecting the selvages, too!

I wish I would've made it out of a nicer cotton, This one was so wrinkly.... ugh.

I used the tutorial by Sewing with punks if you want to make one!
Just please, finish it up right away and don't let it sit for TWO years in a box!

Monday, August 25, 2014

More Back to School clothes!

Well... we made it through the first week.
I pretty much gave up caring about what they wore after the first day. It's just too exhausting to care...
unless they come out for breakfast inappropriate, wrinkled, or dirty, I let them wear it.

Lucy lost her other top tooth the night of the first day of school, so she had to wear her 'I lost my tooth' badge. Man! We are using that a lot right now.

Skirt made by me- Jocole's Yoga Skirt for girls (one of my favorite quick patterns!)

I didn't think it was possible for her to be any cuter... but I guess it is. :)

Ella wore some Ruched shorts from the summertime. Nothing fancy, nothing I took a picture of. ha ha ha
Oh... actually when I just linked those, I realized she's wore the blue ones from that photo shoot. :)

Wednesday Lucy wore her new Izzy and Ivy Beverly Belle that I made. It's so super cute with those green jeans. We made the top because she had nothing to wear with the jeans, then Wednesday morning she decided she didn't like them and wore blue jeans. She still looked adorable, but grrr......

This was a fun pattern to put together. I've never made anything like it, so it was really fun to see the fabrics take shape and come together. Cutting it out was NOT fun. Ella really wants one, but I think I have to recover from cutting and pinking all those edges first.

Lucy really wanted a big flower headband to go with her shirt, but we could not find one to match anywhere, so I made this little flower clip instead. She wasn't thrilled, but she was happy enough.

The twirling made her happy though... can you post pictures of the Beverly Belle without a million twirling pictures? I don't think so. :)

It's so pretty when it twirls.
That just makes me happy.

Ella wore her new Buried Treasure Tunic by {my baby sister} at Patterns for Pirates. I told her it was going to be 100 degrees, but she just had to wear it. Silly girl.

She did look adorable, if I do say so myself.
I made 4 of these the night I tested it for Judy. They go together so fast and are so fun to make. It will definitely be a staple in the girls wardrobe.
I added some ruching and buttons to the side seams of this one. So cute! I can't resist ruching.

Unfortunately, Ella has found her kissy face and wants to do this in every single picture she takes.
sigh...... 8 going on 17.

At least she is still into pink and dresses and hair bows. I guess I can't complain too much. Both of my nieces the girls age are totally out of pink and dresses and hair bows. :( I'm gonna die when Ella is out of that.

She still asks for a hair bow to match everything. For this one, we used GGDesigns Valentine elephant stitchie. It looks so cute!!!

Aaaannd Friday was picture day, so they each wore their favorite school outfit.

For Lucy it was her new Millie Rose Flutter dress. It's the first one I've made and it is REALLY cute, but it took FOREVER to make. Man... it has a lot of gathering.

{And I insist on doing ruffles by hand for garment sewing. I'm just too picky to do it any other way.}
But I really love how it turned out and I'm so proud of myself for cutting into that Marie fabric that my sister's picked up for me. I still haven't cut into the other two... but I will. Maybe.

 I fussy cut her favorite picture of Marie for the bib.

And made a little matching hair bow. Oooooooohhhh! So cute. Please don't EVER grow out of hair bows, girls.

And I did remember to get a couple shots of the backs. I love this one, because it shows those bias bound flutters. Love that.

And last, but not least, Ella's favorite school outfit for picture day, is her Katelyn Jumper by my little sister at Made for Mermaids. It is such a great pattern! I've only made 2 so far, but I have fabric selected for 3 more. I need to get on that. They go together so quickly and look so great for school. I can always tell when Ella gets compliments on her clothes because she comes home beaming. This one got a lot of attention!

She picked the corduroy out from Hancock's a few weeks before school started and we had the brown polka dots in my stash. I love how the little pink fox is peeking out of the bodice. I had to waste some fabric for that, but I think it's worth it.

Ella really loves the pockets on this dress.

I love the buttons, because I always buy buttons and then never have anything to put them on.
The buttons for this dress were so hard to match, though. Ugh... How can you have 5 million green buttons, but none the right shade. Yep. That's what we had.

And, of course, the bow! Oh... the bow!!! It might be my favorite ever. Those fox felt stitchies by GGDesigns are just too cute. Yes. I bought all her fox stuff. All of it. I had to.

This is a new type of bow, called a pinwheel I just learned to make. Did you know there are about 1,000 youtube videos on how to make bows? Who knew? Anyways... I was surfing the night one night and found one and learned how to make these. So fun!

So... that's the first week of school clothes for us!
Everything the girls wore was chosen by them without any say by me. Just what they liked.
I'm done documenting their wardrobes for now... even though they are pretty cute everyday.

Even though we're all just a little tired and grumpy from the new schedule.
I hope we're back to normal soon.
I'm working on a new pattern that I think you guys are going to love, but until the release I'm come back this week and tell you about all the ones released during my hiatus. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guest Posting at Craftytammie!

Today I'm guest posting over at Craftytammie for her Sew Full of School series!

I will be talking about our latest pattern, The Spirit Jacket! So hop on over there and check it out!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1st day of school clothes

they made it through and all had a good day.
I enjoyed my morning at the gym {it was the first time I've been back to work out alone since about.... March?}, but then in the afternoon I got lonely without the kids and went out to Hobby Lobby to wander.

It was fun and I picked up some bow making supplies that I was too lazy to look for. :/

 William was typical boy, not caring what he wore or whether it was ironed. sigh...
He looks really unhappy in this picture, but he was actually excited to start school and was worried about being late.

He has requested some new school clothes from me, but mostly winter ones.

Ella was pretty thrilled about her new school dress, which was completely her vision. She chose the fabrics, threads, embroidery designs, length... everything.

 I used the Scientific Seamstress Precious Dress as the starting off point for this design. Ella insisted that her dress 'have puffed sleeves'. One of my fans on facebook called her a 'modern day Anne Shirley' and that just about made her day. {I'm so glad Ella still loves to dress like a little girl!} I think she looks so sweet and adorable. I wish her collar wasn't flipped up in this photo... grrrr....

 I was unsure about her fabric choice, but I actually really like it. I got this fabric from JoAnn's ages ago and I bought a ton of it, because it was around $3 a yard.

We both loved the Hang to Dry school owls and she picked the chalkboard one for her apron.

I wish I would've made the apron just a tad shorter... Ella really wanted ric rac on the hem of the apron, but we couldn't find any in the stash to match. :(

I constructed the dress differently from the pattern instructions, used bigger seam allowances, since Ella is thin, and did a back zipper instead of the buttons. I just like zippers. :)

I wish she had some mary janes to wear instead of these clunky boots, but she likes them. {and says Anne wears boots with her dresses.... which I suppose is true.}

 I made her hairbow, too, and we were so lucky to find this little hair felt design for FREE! YAY! But I had to purchase a bunch, too, because I'd never seen this site and it has a TON of cute stuff.
{Man... is that the worst run on sentence ever? I'm not going back to re-read it, it will drive me insane.]

Lucy also sketched what she wanted for the first day, which was a knit maxi dress, so we went with the EYMM California dress. It's the first time I've made it and I really liked it. Lucy <3 it="" nbsp="" p="" s="">

It didn't photograph that well this morning... so here are some photos I took the night I finished it.
Which, coincidentally, aren't that good either. She loved it so much, she wouldn't stop moving around and dancing, so I only got a few shots.

Her sketch had two fabrics on it and this design didn't really lend itself to it, so we compromised and did the binding, back strap and a little sash out of her polka-dots that she had to have.

Super cute. Comfy. And just, totally, totally Lucy.
It's pretty funny that she picked this fabric and style, because it's almost identical to the dress I made for Ella's 1st day of 2nd grade.... ha ha ha

I asked them to take a picture of how they felt about going back to school.
Ella did a hooray first and then quickly did this and I didn't catch the first shot.

But... this is really how she felt:

So, those are the back to school clothes for this year.
We kinda have the whole week planned out... after that I will just let them dress themselves in whatever they want. :)