Archive for the ‘sewing clothes’ Category

scoop top

scoop neck top by elsie marley

Normally I can’t stand sewing clothes for myself.  There are many reasons…

scoop neck top by elsie marley

#1. I am not a rectangle. Unlike my children, I am not shaped like piece of spaghetti. All the curvy bits make for complicated patterns that involve darts and tucks and cutting just right and actually (for once) transferring markings from the pattern to the fabric.

scoop neck top by elsie marley

#2. I am not a child. Which means I cannot make a top out of 1/2 yard of whatever random fabric I have lying around. I need to buy something I like (I’m horribly picky) and I need to buy rather a lot of it (I’m horribly cheap). So more often than not I leave the fabric store with a 1/2 yard of something cute for my kids.

scoop neck top by elsie marley

#3. I do not have the world’s most perfect body. I know this, I don’t dwell on it. I just try to accept myself and move on. But when you make a pattern, every way your body differs from the norm becomes hugely amplified. It’s like the damn pattern is mocking you at every turn.

scoop neck top by elsie marley

#4. I do not like looking at pictures of myself. And seriously, there were like a 100 to look through just to get a few decent ones. This one has some subcategories: #4a. I make ridiculous faces when my husband takes pictures of me and #4b. Hello?! did you not realize your jeans are dirty? 

scoop top on elsie marley

But! But! in spite of all that I hate about sewing clothes for myself, I love this shirt! I found a lovely, super neutral, sweater knit fabric in the sale bin that worked out perfectly. The pattern–a free pattern by Kristin from skirt as top–was very simple and easy to follow.  I’m happy to report the pattern did not mock me as I made it. And! And! I’ve worn it multiple times since I’ve sewed it.

scoop neck top by elsie marley

This is what victory looks like, wonky seams and all.

 

 

the zonen 09 sewing contest!

If you are anything like me you have finally let out that breath you’ve been holding all summer. The first week of school get-togethers and half days and general first week freak-outs is behind you. Things are slowly settling down into a routine and you are breathing again. Actually starting–and possibly even finishing!–a project is in the realm of possibility.

zonen 09 sewing contest

If that project were, say, a pattern by Zonen 09. And if you sewed it up by next Sunday and added it to their flickr group (all totally possible). Well, you could win heaps of amazing prizes.

What, what? You haven’t heard of Zonen 09? They are a small Belgian pattern company that makes sewing patterns for boys (and only boys!) clothes. How amazing is that? And the patterns are so stinkin’ cute! I read a few Dutch blogs and I see the Jacob pants pop up again and again on them. The pants are always awesome. I mean just look:

jacob pants pattern by zonen 09

1. yellow jacob pants by Griet 2.plaid jacob pants by Ik ben Vink 3. stamped jacob pants by huisje boompje boefjes 4. pink jacob pants by Enid Vandecan

I’m happy to say that the Jacob pants pattern is now available in English! The Charlie shirt is too. I have a few pairs of Jacob pants on my to do list this weekend, but sadly I cannot enter them in the contest because I am a judge. But you can!

Is this the first you’ve heard of Zonen 09? Have I convinced you of their awesomeness? Are you already eyeing your sewing machine?

 

today is the last day to buy the alphabet collection!

the alphabet collection by elsie marley

the title says it all: today is the last day to buy the alphabet collection! The collection includes four patterns, for both girls and boys, for 20 bucks. Not bad! You can see everything I made from the collection here and some of my favorites from the tour are pictured below.

alphabet collection favorites

1. by petit a petit & family 2. by melissa esplin 3. by kojo designs 4. by shwin & shwin 5. by crafiness is not optional 6. by petit a petit & family 7. by sew a straight line 8. by elegances & elephants

 

See all the amazing things you can make with just a few patterns! What are you waiting for? Oh wait, you can’t wait–today is the last day to buy the alphabet collection!!

pattern anthology’s alphabet collection

disguise tee and dancing pants by elsie marleY

The talented women of Pattern Anthology have just released their fall line, The Alphabet Collection. I was honored when they asked me to take part in their blog tour. The coastal cargos I sewed for the spring pattern tour are still in heavy rotation around these parts, so I was excited to see what fall had in store. And it is pretty fantastic: four fall patterns, all designed for both girls and boys, and all a pleasure to sew.

dancing pants by elsie marley

Let’s start with the pants–the dancing pants! Actually they are the W pants pattern by Melissa Mora. These pants were a breeze to sew: the directions were clear, there were just enough details to keep it interesting, and I learned how to sew a zippered welt pocket! I used this lovely mocha chambray from Michel Levine that was sturdy enough for pants. The fabric definitely makes these pants a little dressy–for a night out dancing or the first day of school.

dancing pants by elsie marley

I chose the no-fly option, because honestly my son’s fly is usually down anyway :) Instead of leaving the front plain, I made a fake fly. To do this, I used the pattern for the yes-fly option.  Then I sewed up the front, tucked in the weird fly piece, and sewed a few lines of topstitching to make it look like a real fly. Volia!

fall jacket by elsie marley

I made quite a few more changes to the Study Hall pattern by Andrea Pannell. Sometimes you have a vision in your head and can’t stop thinking about it until it’s made. I wanted a simple, straight coat with a bright contrasting zipper. And really, I think it’s the bright blue zipper (from coats & clark) that makes this coat!

fall coat by elsie marley

Ok, the changes: I lengthened the coat a bit and left out the ribbing on the bottom. I also curved the hem slightly where it meets the zipper. The ribbing on the cuffs is gone too and I added some simple contrasting cuffs in its place. I made the collar out of matching fabric and lined the whole coat with this butter soft aqua cotton from Organic Cotton Plus.

fall coat and disguise shirt by elsie marley

In between the layers I added flannel, so this coat will be nice and toasty on chilly fall mornings. Oh and I added an inside pocket too. Mostly I did it to practice welt pockets, which I had never done before (I made the jacket before the pants). Good thing I did too, because I somehow managed to make the pocket upside down!

disguise shirt by elsie marley

This shirt was so much fun to make. The pattern is the Recess Raglan by See Kate Sew. Holy cow, is it crazy quick to sew! The fabric is from Girl Charlee, who along with Michel Levine, Organic Cotton Plus, and Coats&Clark, is a sponsor of this amazing collection. I have been a fan of Girl Charlee for a long time. They simply have great knits at great prices.

I am kind of crazy for this mint color on boys right now. But in the end, it was a little too much mint and I slapped a freezer paper stencil on it. Now my son always has a disguise.

anchors away shirt by elsie marley

I couldn’t leave my other kids out! So I whipped up another Raglan Recess tee for my youngest. The knits are again from Girl Charlee. I could not resist this anchor print. Paired with the stripes, he’s like a little french sailor in training.

anchors away shirt by elsie marley

adorable, right?

ikat vest by elsie marley

The last pattern in the Alphabet Collection is the BBC Vest by Shwin Designs. This pattern was so much fun to sew. I love it when a pattern is like a puzzle and looks likes gobble de gook until the last step. Then, suddenly, you have a beautiful finished garment. And this is a beautiful garment. The curved hem in front, the box pleats in back, the shawl collar, and the racerback all make this vest a stunner!

ikat vest by elsie marley

My daughter is way into accessorizing these day, so a vest is perfect for her. When I saw this ikat fabric at Michel Levine, I knew immediately it would become the vest. I like the grown up vibe of the ikat and the kid vibe of the polka dot-ness. Just right for my almost 8 year old, who wants to be a grown up, but is still very much a kid.

ikat vest by elsie marley

That’s it! Four patterns and so many possibilities! The Alphabet Collection will be on tour for another week. All of these patterns can go so many different ways. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

 

the alphabet collection

Join us along the Alphabet Collection blog tour to see just how versatile these patterns are. Bloggers will be sewing up all 4 pieces from the collection at girl. Inspired., Shwin & Shwin, Sew a Straight Line, elsie marley, Melly Sews, Happy Together, see kate sew, Elegance & Elephants, I Still Love You, kojo designs, Petit a Petit and Family, The Train to Crazy, Delia Creates and Craftiness is Not Optional

DSC_0535

The patterns, fabric, and notions were provided to me for this post. I am also a Pattern Anthology affliate, so clicking the Alphabet Collection links will support me and my blog. Thank you! 

shorts on the line!

shorts on the line sew-a-long

This shorts sew-a-long came right at the perfect time. My children were pretty much shortless before Carla asked me to be a part of this amazing event. Now I’ve got a few made and more cut out. Carla and Rachel have even lined up some awesome prizes from Jo-AnnPretty Prudent/Pellon®, and Hawthorne Threads this year and all you have to do is sew some (much needed) shorts!

elsie marley's shorts on the line

Here are my shorts I made for my daughter, and on the line to boot! The pattern I used comes from the Japanese book, Happy Homemade vol. 5

happy homemade vol. 5

The actual pattern for both pairs of shorts is the same, only one is longer and one is shorter with added cuffs.

happy homemade vol 5, shorts

They are both of the super skinny variety. The pattern is nicely tailored with a simple elastic waist, two rounded pockets in the front, and two typical jean pockets in the back.

fruit stripe short shorts

I call these her Fruit Stripe shorts. If I was a more organized mom, I would have put a pack of fruit stripe gum in the tiny pocket!

fruit stripe short shorts

The fabric is by HGTV I think? It is an outdoor fabric I got at Joann’s and I knew it would become fruit stripe shorts the moment I saw it.

fruit stripe short shorts

What I didn’t think about was matching all those fruit stripes: four patch pockets and separate cuffs. After much sweat and swearing, they [almost] match! Woo Hoo!

railroad stripe shorts

The second pair is made from a striped fabric too (I never learn). I scored a yard of this railroad striped denim at the thrift store. I’m usually not a fan of the jean short, but I think these work.

railroad stripe shorts

I made these shorts for my daughter last year (paired them with wellies then too!). They got a lot of wear and no wonder–they are comfortable and durable. She is a rough and tumble gal and needs shorts that can keep up.

railroad stripe shorts

Those are my shorts on the line! Check out all these amazing sewers to see more:

6/11 - Delia Creates and Buzzmills