Boys Can Wear Pink – Season 2

We have developed the habit of occasionally pausing to assess the kids’ comprehension when reading stories. Typically this involves discussing the illustrations, or how a character might be feeling. Sometimes we make predictions about what we think is going to happen next.  The Bit’s favorite story has a page I always pause at, the main character has just found out that her parents have brought home a new baby brother and she shouts “No! No! No! Boys are BLUE! I don’t like BLUE! I only love PINK!” Every time we read this story, I pause here and ask what the Bug’s favorite color is, and every time the kids both shout “Red!”  I also ask if boys have to be blue, or if they can be any color they like. Then, if girls have to be pink, or if they can be any color they like. At 4 and 2, the kids are pretty accepting of people liking any color they want.

The Bug loves the color red. Pink is an acceptable substitute, because it is “light red.” I’m glad he still feels this way. Recently, we have started hearing him describe certain activities and shows as being for girls or being for boys. We never fail to correct him on this. We don’t really subscribe to gender stereotypes in our family. All but a few special toys are communal toys and anyone that is interested is encouraged to play. The Bug is found playing with the doll house almost as often as the Bit is found playing with cars and Legos. The idea behind the Boys Can Wear Pink series is right up my alley. People should be comfortable wearing whatever color they desire, regardless of their gender.

Last year, I had the pleasure of participating in the inaugural Boys Can Wear Pink series and had so much fun with it. The other bloggers were an amazing group of women and their creations were simply inspirational. You can find my contribution here. I was thrilled when Kelly announced that she planned to host the series again this year. I knew right away that I wanted to participate.

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This year, I used pink as an accent rather than the dominant color in the Bug’s outfit. He is in love! For his pants, I used the Everest Pants pattern from Gracious Threads. This pattern is one of few that I’ve seen that can be sewn in either a woven or knit with few to no alterations. I used a grey stretch denim, accented and lined with a wonderful Stenzo poplin from Mabel Madison. The print is called Pit Stop and Mabel Madison carries both the pink and the blue color ways.

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The Bug loves cars, and race cars in general and I have been hoarding a yard of this fabric for a year or more trying to decide on the perfect project. I’m so happy with how it turned out. I sized up for these, so he should be able to wear them for a nice long time. Our winter is almost over, so hopefully they will still fit next winter.

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I paired the pants with this Offbeat Oxford from Terra’s Treasures. I used white linen, and then added pink details with checkered flags and a gorgeous classic car embroidery.

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The Bug was super excited about the flying race car. He loved watching it be stitched out on the embroidery machine (It was sewing all by itself!!! 😉 ), and helping change the thread colors. Even after owning it for a few years, the embroidery attachment for my machine still intimidates the heck out of me. I have a tendency to hold my breath and watch it like a hawk while it is stitching, afraid that something terrible is going to happen.

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This turned out just like I imagined. The Bug’s favorite part is the wings. He was super excited to think the car could fly.

One of the things I like about this series, is that even though it focuses on boys wearing pink, it really is about letting our kids be themselves. No matter what that looks like. While the Bug has always been obsessed with cars, he has recently developed an obsession with pirates. When he suggested a change of location during our photo shoot, for the sole purpose of digging for treasure, off to the beach we went. Who says pirates can’t sport classic cars?

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I considered sizing up for this pattern as well. The Bug falls between a size 4 and a size 5 in this pattern. I’m glad I chose to go with the 4. This will be a great addition to his summer wardrobe.

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Thanks to all of the awesome sponsors for this season of the Boys Can Wear Pink series!

sponsors

They have contributed some awesome prizes for the giveaway this year.

You can win:

1 pattern of choice from Momma Quail Patterns
2 patterns of choice (excluding bundles) from Patterns for Pirates
3 digital designs of choice from Handmade Escapade
3 patterns of choice from Winter Wear Designs
Bartowski Slim Tie Pattern from Paraplu
$10 gift certificate from Mabel Madison

To enter, visit a Rafflecopter giveaway.

You can check out posts from the rest of the tour by following Kelly over at Handmade Boy, or by checking out these links.

Emily T-shirt – Laela Jeyne Patterns

DSC_0061Laela Jeyne Patterns just released their new Emily T-shirt. This super functional pattern is  chock full of options. 3 neck lines, a hood, 3 sleeve lengths, 3 elbow patch shapes, accent panels, and 2 cuff options mean that anyone can sew their perfect t-shirt from this pattern. Did I mention the wide size range (XS-XXL, or 0-22) and the optional maternity add-on?

I had the pleasure of testing the maternity add-on (SURPRISE!).

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I love the thumb cuffs on this shirt. I have other shirts with thumb cuffs that just aren’t comfortable to use. These sit in just the perfect spot. I did find this option to be the trickiest part of construction, but that could be chalked up to mommy-brain. Once I slowed down and realized that my bobbin thread wasn’t catching, I was good to go.

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I don’t typically like having anything up around my neck, but using the scoop neck cutting line for the cowl neck leaves plenty of space to keep me from feeling choked. If you prefer a slightly higher neckline, the jewel neck with or without the hood option might be for you.

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I chose to sew up the long sleeves because I really wanted to try out the thumb cuffs and elbow patches. Long sleeves aren’t super practical for Florida, so I think I will try out the elbow length sleeves next. I love that there is a cuff option for the shorter sleeve lengths as well. I’m not a huge fan of hemming, so cuffs make me happy.

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I wasn’t too sure what I was getting myself into with the maternity add-on. This is the first maternity sew I’ve ever done. I was pleasantly surprised with the simplicity of the technique. This pattern is a great opportunity for a new mama-to-be to build up her confidence before tackling all of those tiny little baby clothes she’s dying to start. I’m sure it will be a staple in my maternity wardrobe over the next 6 months.

You can find the Emily T-shirt pattern here and the maternity add-on here. They are currently on sale for $6 and $2, respectively, through Friday, February 26th. The prices will then go up to $9 and $4 respectively.

All other patterns in the Laela Jeyne Pattern shop are 30% off until Friday, February 26th.

New Year, New Resolutions

I’m not typically one to make New Year’s Resolutions, but Celina Bailey’s (Petit a Petit +FamilyProject Sew It is right up my alley. One project per month is an easily achievable goal, and will help fill out my meager wardrobe.

I’m counting the 5 out of 4 Patterns Resolution Tank I made during testing as my January project.

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5 out of 4 Resolution Tank

I’ve been on the lookout for athletic wear patterns since I began running last year. This tank is perfect. It is super comfy, and stays in place during a run.

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5 out of 4 Resolution Tank

I like how the racer back design keeps the shirt from pulling across the shoulders while I run.

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5 out of 4 Resolution Tank

Whether your New Year’s resolution is fitness oriented or to fit more selfish sewing into your schedule, this tank fits the bill. After all, I at least find myself more likely to meet my fitness goals if I can be as comfortable as possible in the process.

Parker’s Vintage Fit T-shirt

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Parker’s Vintage Fit T-shirt

Yesterday, Everything Your Mama Made & More released their newest pattern, Parker’s Vintage Fit T-shirt. The Bug and the Bit both adore this pattern. They keep pulling their tester shirts out of the laundry basket before I get a chance to fold them, begging to wear them.

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Parker’s Vintage Fit T-shirt

The pattern itself is a super quick sew. The Bit’s shirt took me all of 2 hours from cutting to hemming, and that included multiple preschooler interruptions as well as some sewing with a certain 2 year old sitting on my lap trying to “help.” These days she is all about doing everything herself, or helping me do everything I need to do.

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Parker’s Vintage Fit T-shirt

I love patterns with multiple options, and this pattern has plenty. There are several sleeve options, two different necklines, and an optional chest pocket. Since we saw several 90 degree days during the testing period, I opted to stick with short sleeves, but I will probably sew up a few long sleeved tees for our trip north this winter.

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Parker’s Vintage Fit T-shirt

This was my first attempt at a v-neck, and the instructions were very clear and easy to follow. I might even say it is easier to attach the binding for the v neck than for the crew neck, since there are a few seams to line up.

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Parker’s Vintage Fit T-shirt

The Euro knit from Mabel Madison that I used for both shirts is super soft and stretchy, with great recovery. It has held up well with repeated washings, which helps when the kids want to wear these shirts everyday. The vintage fit of this shirt, paired with the great fabric really help these shirts stay in place, even when the Bug poses upside down.

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Parker’s Vintage Fit T-shirt

Hey there, it’s been awhile…

Life has been crazy for the last few months. In the last 6 months we have purchased a new home, moved, and turned our previous home into a rental property. It has taken a little while, but all of the renovations are complete and we are finally settling in. The kids have settled into their school year and I am starting to figure out how to manage my free hours every morning. There hasn’t been much sewing time lately, but that’s going to change soon.

Our new home has space for my very own sewing room. It’s in a state of working chaos, but I will eventually get it organized. For now, I’m working around the boxes of fabric and notions.

I haven’t been able to do as much pattern testing as I like, but I did manage to eke out a few rounds of testing.

A few of those rounds involved matching patterns for women and girls from A Sparkly Baby and 5 out of 4 Patterns. It’s fun to match with the Bit sometimes.

ASB Girl’s Palauchos

ASB Girl’s Palauchos

ASB Women’s Palauchos

ASB Women’s Palauchos

5 out of 4 Pattern’s Riptide Shorties

5 out of 4 Pattern’s Riptide Shorties

5 out of 4 Pattern’s Riptide Shorties

5 out of 4 Patterns Riptide Shorties

5 out of 4 Patterns Riptide Shorties

I also was able to test the Sporty Skorty pattern for A Sparkly Baby. I started running a few months ago and love being able to custom fit my active wear.

ASB Sporty Skorty

ASB Sporty Skorty

I also love this cute little top I was able to test for Sofilantjes Patterns (affiliate link).

Sofilantjes Amare Top

Sofilantjes Amare Top

Sofilantjes Amare Top

Last but not least, I was able to test the Tip Top Dress from Petit a Petit Patterns.

Petit a Petit Patterns Tip Top Dress

Petit a Petit Patterns Tip Top Dress

  I have a few things in the works over the next few weeks. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Bow Back Beauty Blog Hop (and giveaway!!)

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I had so much fun sewing up the Bow Back Beauty by Little Kiwis Closet. There are so many options to choose from. I couldn’t resist the signature bow or the adorable double layered peplum skirt with the lettuce hem this time, but I definitely see many different variations filling the Bit’s closet in the future. With such a broad size range (NB-12), I will be able to use this pattern for a long time.

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The hip length bodice option will allow the Bit to wear this top for a long time. There is also a natural waist cutline.

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The envelope neckline is much easier than it looks to a beginner, and makes dressing a squirmy 20 month old so much easier. I love the way it looks when contrasting fabric is used. There are sleeve options but, as we come into another lovely Florida summer, I went sleeveless to help the Bit stay a little cooler.

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The bow back is super cute, and much simpler than I thought it would be. It is definitely feasible for a confident beginner to pull off without any trouble. There is a plain back option included with the pattern as well.

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The Bit has a new cousin that will be making her appearance in a few weeks, so I couldn’t resist trying out a few options in the 0-3 month size as well. Here is a bow back onesie with a circle skirt.

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You can find the Bow Back Beauty pattern here, and be sure to check out the other patterns in the Little Kiwis Closet Shop. I have my eye on a few of them.

Click here to check out the other blogs on the Bow Back Beauty Blog Hop.

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Did I mention there was a giveaway? Use the Rafflecoptor link to enter, and you could win a copy of the Bow Back Beauty pattern (or another Little Kiwis Closet pattern). Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pattern Review: Sunrise Baby by Ellie Inspired

Ellie Inspired released their most recent patterns today, the Sunrise Girl (4-16) and Sunrise Baby (NB-36 mo). I was very happy to test the Sunrise Baby pattern, and used it to create this adorable St. Patrick’s Day themed outfit for the Bit.DSC_0027

The Sunrise Baby pattern includes a dress or top with a pleated bodice and cap or flutter sleeves, and bloomers. I chose the top with flutter sleeves and bloomers for the Bit.  The pleats in the bodice are an elegant detail that I just love. They allow the skirt to flare just the right amount for twirling, and it won’t be long before the Bit is a twirling machine.

The Sunrise Baby pattern includes instructions for hand embroidering simple stars on the pleated bodice, but the testers were given a little leeway for embellishments and I chose to use a decorative shamrock stitch that came preprogrammed into my sewing machine. Other testers embellished the bodice with beading or buttons, and some kept with the included stars. Another minor modification I made was to use a rolled hem on the flutter sleeves instead of the narrow hem called for in the pattern. With the white on white fabric I was using, I felt the top needed a little pop of color.DSC_0069

The bloomer pattern includes instructions for a lace or rick rack trim, but I chose to incorporate the shamrock detail from the bodice and the rolled hems from the sleeves instead. I really feel that it ties the whole outfit together.

DSC_0066Like many of the other Ellie Inspired patterns I have sewn (mostly labeled as Intermediate patterns), this pattern is best undertaken with some prior sewing experience. There are a few techniques that would most likely have a true, self-teaching beginner pulling out their hair. The computer generated and beautifully hand drawn diagrams do not always help me decipher exactly what should be done in a complicated step. Being self-taught myself, I prefer photographs for some things.

These same techniques are part of what results in a beautiful finished garment, both on the outside and the inside. The hand finishing techniques used for the bodice lining and placket are virtually invisible. The bias tape elastic casing protects sensitive skin and keeps the inside of the bloomers looking as nice as the outside. These little details make a huge difference in how professional the finished garment appears, and just like with every other Ellie Inspired pattern I have sewn, the finished garment is one that I am extremely proud of. This pattern may not have all of the neckline, hemline, and sleeve options that I am beginning to see other designers offer in patterns, but in my experience those other patterns don’t typically have the attention to detail found in an Ellie Inspired pattern. DSC_0075

If you have a little experience, but are still a little unsure about your ability to pull it off, join the Ellie Inspired Patterns Group on Facebook. The lovely ladies of Ellie Inspired are very active in the group and my questions have always been answered cheerfully. They’ve gone above and beyond trying to make sure I had what I needed to create the garment I envisioned. It is a great support system, and a positive environment to build your sewing skills. Plus, you never know when they might host a Game Night. If you play along, you might just win a free pattern.

Both the Sunrise Baby and Sunrise Girl patterns are 15% off through March 19, 2015. There is also a bundle that includes both Sunrise patterns and an adorable bonnet pattern on sale for only $15 through March 19, 2015. Just follow the links below.

Sunrise Baby
Sunrise Girl
Sunrise Bundle

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