Featured · Holidays

Boys Can Wear Pink: My Two Adorable Valentines

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I present my humble contribution to Boys Can Wear Pink Blog Tour presented by Handmade Boy. If you haven’t already, you should check out all the cute boys in pink posted so far! My duo has become accustomed to special outfits for every special occasion, so when I saw this adorable Conversation Hearts fabric, I knew I wanted to make something for them for Valentine’s Day. The Modkid Dapper Bowite and Suspenders was my first choice. I might be a little addicted to making bowties and suspenders, I think I have made them at least a dozen times since I first made them back in November. I love that they are adjustable so they can wear them this year and for years to come. And I love that they can be dressed up or down. Plus, is there anything cuter than little boys dressed up like old men? I don’t think so.

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The hardest part was getting these two to cooperate for a nice photo together. Individually they shine, but together they make goofy smiles and eventually end up with one in a headlock.

But seriously, I can’t handle this kind of cuteness.

I am so lucky both these little guys call me their Valentine.

Make sure you check out all the other Boys Can Wear Pink contributors and enter to win the giveaway!

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Featured · Holidays · Projects · Tutorials

Easy Snowman Tote: 12 Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge

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Way back when it was still warm out and the sun didn’t set at 4:30, I was invited to participate in Sew McCool’s 12-Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge. I had big plans to finally finish the advent calendar I have been “going to make this year” for the past three Christmas seasons. This post is not about the advent calendar I made. Yet again, I didn’t get it made. Instead I did a cute craft with my kids. This was crazy easy, relatively inexpensive and turned out adorable. These would be so cute as teacher gifts, grandparents or even to use as gift bags.

For this project you will need:

  • Plain White tote bag. (I bought a blank one at a craft store but you can find about a bajillion tutorials on Pinterest if you would like to make your own.)
  • Scrap of Orange Felt or Fleece
  • Random Assortment of Black Buttons
  • Some sort of super strong adhesive. (or a sewing machine or needle and thread if you’d rather stitch the face on.)
  • Two Scraps of holiday fabric, cut about 2 inches x the width of the bag. Fleece would work well, I used woven cotton and pinking shears on the edges.
  • Small helpers (Optional.)

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I am not a kids-crafting blogger. Or a kids-crafting expert. Or even a regular kids-crafting participant. I tend to lock myself away for my crafting and sewing projects, it is my time away from my kids. Lately, though, they have been begging to help, keep picking out fabric they want made into various things, and are becoming more curious about my sewing projects. This project is definitely one that requires close supervision due to the glue. You could use a regular child-safe glue stick and then stitch the items where the kids placed them, but I just let them arrange things then made them sit back and did the gluing myself. If your kids are older they might be OK but I definitely advise adult supervision with this project.

The first step was arranging the face. I let them try different arrangements, and they actually worked together to decide where the buttons should go and what direction the nose should point. There was some discussion that the snowman should have a mad face, but I convinced them that he should be happy.

 

Once they had the buttons and nose placed, I glued them down. The adhesive I bought said industrial strength, and should hold well without additional stitching, but if I were going to make several of these I might just stitch the buttons and nose on. The “scarf” was the last part and we just glued the ends of each side of the bag. Once it was dry I tied it in a knot in the middle.

 

And that’s it. Simple and cute. My total cost was under $6, and that included the glue, which you could easily do several bags with one tube. The kids loved making the face and asked if they could make another one.

 

Thank you to Deanna at SewMcCool for inviting me to participate and definitely check out all the other projects in the challenge.

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Don’t forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on www.sewmccool.com on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 – just in time for Christmas!

December 1

Ren @ The Inspired Wren * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

December 2

Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire

December 3

Amy @ Friends Stitched Together * Maris @ Sew Maris * Gemia @ Phat Quarters

December 4

Amy @ How I Make Stuff * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

December 5

Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin

December 6

Lauren @ Molly and Mama * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties

December 7

Vicky @ Vicky Myers Creations * Deb @ Sprouting Jube Jube

December 8

Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree

December 9

Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs

December 10

Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.

December 11

Amy @ Britches ‘n Bloomers * Kelly @ Kelly J Designs

December 12

Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

Featured · Pattern Test · Projects

My Little Superheroes Blog Tour

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Calling All Superheroes! This Dynamic Duo is about to turn FIVE. All the fingers on a hand! In a couple more weeks I will be the Mommy to two five year olds. When I got the opportunity to test out the new My Little Superhero Set from EYMM, I knew exactly what to make: Birthday Boy capes! We have a superhero party planned in a couple weeks and though we are the proud owners of several capes and superhero costumes, I loved the idea of special birthday outfits.

I used the cape pattern in the size 4/5 which is plenty long and I was able to make each side from 1 yard of fabric. My boys are different heights, but wear size 4 and 5. The next size up would have been too wide and would require more yardage. Unlike other capes I have made, this one is very wide, maybe even wider than it is long, and has great drape and flow. It has a nice wide neckline that rests on the shoulders more than across the throat, which also makes me feel better as a paranoid my-kids-are-gonna-choke-to-death Mom.

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I took my boys with me to the fabric store to pick fabric, one wanted green and one blue, I even managed to find those colors in the same zigzag pattern. I had planned to use something more superhero-ish for the reverse side but didn’t find anything I loved so I went with grey dots. I used an embroidery frame I had in the keystone shape and text that says “Birthday Boy” on each in the opposing color.

The birthday shirts are the Peekaboo Grand Slam pattern (affiliate link), which I added the appliqué to as well. I was planning to just buy long sleeve tees but couldn’t find any that I loved. I made these from grey jersey knit and the sleeves and collar are blank adult shirts I cut up. These are casual enough they can wear to school on their birthday and beyond, and they have already asked if they can wear their Birthday Boy capes to school for their birthday too.

The cape pattern also includes a mask, belt and wrist cuffs, also. It comes in newborn to size 10 and a bonus doll pattern too. If you buy it before 10/21 you can save 40% with the coupon code HEROSET on EYMM.com. I received a copy of this pattern in exchange for this blog tour.

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Featured · Holidays

Halloween Hack: Here Comes Santa Claus

I have a confession to make: I didn’t make my kids’ Halloween costumes this year. (Please don’t revoke my crafty mom card.) Both my boys spotted the Star Wars costumes at the Disney Store months ago and have never once wavered from their desire to be a Storm Trooper and Darth Vader. While I could probably have made them, the Disney Store ones are nice, have lots of detail, and I would have spent twice as much money and infinite frustration on creating them, so I feel OK about it. Plus they LOVE them, and they play dress up daily with a dozen clearance rack store-bought costumes so I know they will get used beyond Halloween.

While I didn’t make my own kids’ costumes,I did make a couple Halloween costumes for other kids, so I guess I can keep my crafty cred. I am thrilled to share these. The first is one of two Halloween Hack PDF Costumes and might be one of the most original requests I have had to date. A few months ago a college friend contacted me and said her 7-year-old daughter wanted to be Santa Claus for Halloween and could I make her an outfit she could wear for Halloween that could also be Christmas pajamas. Hmm, sure, why not? Then I spent a few months thinking about the logistics of such a request.

I decided on the Scientific Seamstress Bowling Shirt and Easy Fit Pants, both of which I have made dozens of times so I know the patterns well. I was able to make some adjustments and I love the way it all came together. The bowling shirt pattern is short sleeve, so to start, I lengthened the sleeves and added a cuff. I dug through my printed patterns to find one that was a similarly sized long sleeve and franken-patterned a sleeve by folding the long sleeve and taping them together in the middle. Very low-tech. Because it has a fleece cuff I didn’t have to make a sleeve placket. The main fabric of both the shirt and pants is solid red flannel, which should be soft and warm as pajamas later on. The trim is white fleece.

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In addition to elongating the sleeves, I also added a few inches to the length of the bowling shirt and extended the placket a few inches too.  In addition to the 4” I added in length, I also added a 4” band around the bottom before I added the placket. I just measured the finished length before I cut the fleece plackets. I skipped the interfacing that is normally in the placket so keep it soft and fluffy.

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The Easy Fit pants make awesome flannel PJ/Lounge pants, and I did them with the standard directions plus the cuff. It should add longevity to the pants since it can be unrolled for a few extra inches in length. The whole thing should be roomy enough to layer or stuff a pillow in for trick or treating, then cozy up around the tree come Christmas.

Since I live in Chicago and the little girl I made this for lives in Kansas City, a local friend kindly borrowed me her similarly-aged-but-slightly-smaller son who was willing to model. (Thanks, P!)

And just like that, Ho-Ho-Ho! I hope she absolutely loves being Jolly this Halloween. Check back tomorrow to see the other Halloween Hack costume. You won’t want to miss it!

Definitely check out all these other fun costumes on the blog tour, and make sure you enter the giveaway! I was not compensated for this post, I purchased both patterns and the opinions are my own.

Blog Tour!

Wednesday, October 1st: Rebekah Sews & Dog Under My Desk Thursday, October 2nd: Friends Stitched Together & Sew Pandi Friday, October 3rd: That’s What She Crafted & Everything Your Mama Made & More Monday, October 6th: Shawnta Sews & Handmade Boy Tuesday, October 7th: Muse of the Morning & Swoodson Says Wednesday, October 8th: Call Ajaire & Sew McCool Thursday, October 9th: Once Upon A Sewing Machine & imagine gnats Friday, October 10th: The Sewing Geek & Feather’s Flights Monday, October 13th: Get Your Crap Together & Needle and Ted Tuesday, October 14th: The Shaffer Sisters & The Inspired Wren Wednesday, October 15th: Pattern Revolution & Just Joshin

Scavenger Hunt!

Time to go trick or treating! Use the Rafflecopter below for a digital scavenger hunt. You’ll be looking at each blog’s posts for the month of September to find this icon: for a chance to win one of THREE awesome sewing prize packs! Three winners will be chosen randomly (and their form completion verified) and emailed within 3 days of the hunt’s closure. A big thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes! Pack 1 { $30 to The Ribbon Retreat +2 patterns from GYCT Designs + 1 pattern from Dog Under My Desk} Pack 2 {$30 to The Fabric Fairy + Kids Pattern Package from imagine gnats} Pack 3 {$30 to Fat Quarter Shop + 2 patterns from Everything Your Mama Made & More +Ramblin’ Raglan Mega Pattern Pack from Muse of the Morning} a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Featured · Projects

BundleUP Boys LumberJack Shirts and Field Research Pants

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Have you seen the awesome BundleUP boys pattern bundle? It’s available today (and only for a limited time) from Pattern Revolution. The bundle has so many cute boy patterns from twelve incredibly talented designers. You can get it until August 29th and if you sew for boys, you will definitely want to check it out. I know I have been itching to get it. 

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I had a chance to preview two patterns from the bundle and I am thrilled show them off. I made the Lumberjack Shirt by Patterns for Pirates and the Field Research Pants by Scientific Seamstress. Since I have twin boys I made two of each. I am so excited to finally share these, it is so hard to keep a secret like this! They turned out so great, and I can’t wait to try out the other patterns in the bundle, so many cute boyish options!

The Lumberjack Shirt has tons of options: lined and unlined, hood or collar. I used a thick, incredibly soft flannel from the Primo Plaids collection. I left these unlined so they can be layered for Fall and Winter. I did add a jersey knit lining to the hood for a little contrast. The two plaid fabrics I used are both from the same collection so they work together without being too matchy. I cut out each shirt and then swapped the yoke lining and the cuffs for a little pop of the other pattern without being too much. I have already set aside some more flannel to make another set of these shirts for this winter.

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The hood lining is thin and lightweight but soft. I folded it over the seam so it created a trim around the hood, which I think really adds a nice detail. I love hoods for fall and winter, much easier to keep track of than hats, for sure.

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This was the first Pattern for Pirates piece I have made, so I followed the pattern pretty much exactly, except I added kangaroo pockets which were not in the original. When I told my boys I was making these shirts, they specifically asked for “those pockets that go across your tummy” so I used a general pocket shape from another pattern, though it would be easy enough to draft a kangaroo pocket. The pockets are bias-cut like the chest pockets, and are also jersey lined. I was worried the plaid on plaid on plaid was going to be too busy but when I cut out the pockets and arranged them on the table to see how they would look, one of my sons came in and said, “This is perfect! Just like I wanted! Can I wear this camping it looks like nature!” So they stayed. And I have to say whatever reservations I had, once they were done I knew they are perfect for these shirts and for my pocket-loving boys. 

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I love the details on these shirts and I think they turned out perfect. They are warm and comfortable, but rugged just like my boys. 

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The Scientific Seamstress Field Research pants complete the look perfectly. I have made most of the Scientific Seamstress patterns, but I think these take the cake for options and details. I don’t know that I have ever spent as much time on a project as I did making all the cargo pockets for these pants. I used an entire brand-new spool of thread just on creating and topstitching the dozen pants pockets. Each pair of pants has six pockets: two inset hip-pockets and four cargo pockets. Add to those the two kangaroo pockets and the two chest pockets on each of the shirts and I made a total of twenty pockets this week! Was it worth it? Absolutely. My boys are loving all the pockets. When I had them try on the outfits for the first time, they ran over and stuffed them full of action figures. They’ve already put treasures and rocks and sticks in them. I can’t wait to see what I find in my laundry! 

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The Field Pants pattern includes options for pants, shorts or zip-off-leg convertibles. We are still in Summer for a little longer, but Winter in Chicago is long and cold, so I opted for the pants in heavy denim. I also think they would be easy to make lined in flannel for extra warmth in winter. With all these options, they are great all-around boys’ pants. (The pattern also includes belt loops which I did not add since my boys don’t own belts.)

I won’t lie, I don’t make a lot of pants for my boys, they are hard on pants and I can still find a relatively decent selection at thrift stores and resales in their sizes, but I can definitely see making more of these. (Maybe with reinforced knees!) All the store-bought 4T pants from last year are way too short, but I was able to use the 3/4 size pattern and the longest length (I actually added about an inch for room to grow.) and they fit well. I roll-cuffed them on one son but he’s growing fast so by winter I am hopeful they will fit nicely. These pants are a slim fit, with nice straight legs and a classic, casual look. The waist is elastic in the back but has a flat front with a faux fly option, easy on and off, comfortable for exploring and plenty of storage for treasures.

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These patterns combined into perfect outdoor-exploring, running, playing, rock-throwing, frog-hunting, treasure-collecting, walk-in-the-park-with-your-brother outfits.

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You will definitely want to check out what the rest of these talented bloggers have done with these patterns. I am seriously in awe of the other projects I have seen so far, and I am honored and humbled to have the chance to sew along with these ladies.



I was not compensated for this post. I did receive free copies of the two patterns featured, but all the opinions and experiences are my own.