Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

the skater dress

skater dress

My daughter has never been much of a girly girl. There was a brief princess phase, but for the most part all the frilly and fussy girl things are of no interest to her.  Not that she is all for boy things, either. She just wants to like what she likes and not be told what that should be. A while back she said, totally exasperated, “Arg! why does my toothbrush have to be pink?!”

skater dress

Exactly.  So what is the awesome dress that isn’t too girly, but still has a tiny bit of twirl? The Skater Dress pattern by Kitchy Coo.

skater dress

Amanda has hit the nail on the head with this pattern. Even the name is perfect. The skater dress is comfy and stylish, just right for puddle jumping in the spring, throwing on over your suit in the summer, and of course going to the skate park.  She designed it to fit for a few years! And this dress will indeed fit my daughter through the fall–a lifetime in kid years.

skater dress

The original pattern is a crew neck, but I couldn’t imagine it without a hood. Luckily for me, Rae recently posted a hoodie tutorial that was a perfect match for this dress. I made the placket a little shorter so I wouldn’t have to add buttons or snaps. She does have to wear something under it, but I expected that.

the skater dress

The fabric is from Joann’s if you can believe it. I couldn’t. It is a lovely knit: not to light, not to heavy, and so soft. The best bit is that one side is stripes, the other polka dots! The color could be less Primary! Blue! but I’ll take it.

the skater dress

The pattern is well written and Amanda guides you through the trickier parts of sewing with knits. She convinced me that I should use stretch needles when sewing with knits. And she introduced me to the stretch stitches on my machine, which I’m now in love with. Amanda also tried to get me to use a double needle for the hem. I did buy one, but then wimped out when it came time to using it. My hem is of course wavy and now I regret not listening to her.

skater dress pattern tour

The moral of this story is, listen to Amanda and buy her awesome pattern! Be sure to follow along with the Skater Dress blog tour to see everyone’s variation of this fantastic dress. See you at the skate park!


coastal cargos

coastal cargos

I can be kind of a tightwad. I can’t help it–it’s in my midwestern blood to pinch pennies. But maybe you already knew that, seeing as I make my kids’ clothes (and toys and sheets). And I learned to make all those thing from free tutorials on the internet.

coastal cargos

This little red flag pops up in my head when I see a price tag on a pattern or tutorial and my stubborn, Midwestern self thinks, “Well, I could do that.” So I won’t buy the pattern, but instead try to make the garment using what I already know and maybe a poorly lit you tube video or two.

lined pockets

Results vary. Sometimes I’m wildly successful: the garment fits, the details are just right, only a few mistakes are visible. A success like that produces a sewer’s high. I am a genius! I will never buy clothes again! I am completely self sufficient!

zipper fly, closed

Other times, it all goes to hell.  I don’t think I need to elaborate.

zipper fly, open

It has taken me a long time to realize that patterns are there to guide you through the entire process. Maybe I should revise that statement: well written patterns guide you through the entire process.

cargo pocket

Some of the commercial pattern makers out there tend to throw you to the wolves.  But all the indie pattern designers that have been popping up lately genuinely want to teach you how to make the lovely garment they designed.

costal cargos

It’s taken me a year, but when I see an awesome pattern for sale I don’t immediately think, “pshaw, I could do that.” Instead I try to think, “Give the lady a little money, she just wants to show you how to sew better.”

costal cargos

So who taught me to make these awesome pants?  Complete with lined pockets, tuxedo stripe, button tabs, cargo pockets, functioning zipper fly –let me say that a little louder, Functioning Zipper Fly!   Melissa from Melly Sews and Blank Slate Patterns, that’s who.

costal cargos

She and three other designers have come together to give you a group of spring patterns called The Sun & Surf Collection.  All the patterns are adorable and perfect for spring sewing. The collection is only for sale until March 24!

coastal cargos

So give the nice ladies your money, because they just want to teach you how to make awesome clothes!

Sun & Surf at Sew a Straight Line | Sun & Surf at It’s Always Autumn | Sun & Surf at Elsie Marley | Sun & Surf at A Girl and a Glue Gun | Sun & Surf at Mama Says Sew | Sun & Surf at Girl, Inspired | Sun & Surf at Groovybaby and Mama | Sun & Surf at The Cottage Home | Sun & Surf at Craftiness is Not Optional | Sun & Surf at Skirtastop | Sun & Surf at Straight Grain | Sun & Surf at Me Sew Crazy | Sun & Surf at Delia Creates | Sun & Surf at Max California



the making cycle

raglan tee


I get caught in this kid clothes making cycle (it’s a long cycle, so stay with me):  When the season changes, I get really excited about making my kids clothes and make them like crazy. Then usually burn out a bit and take a break from all the making. While I’m taking a break my children either A. refuse to wear the clothes I’ve made or B. destroy the clothes I’ve made by wearing them.

raglan tee

This sends me into a “why do I make their clothes by hand anyway?” downward spiral. Meanwhile my children have grown and now actually need clothes that fit–rather than “need” clothes for the new season.

raglan tee

Inevitably, I end up at Target, where the pants are on sale for 8 dollars. Pants, mind you, that have zippers and pockets and belt loops–all of which take time and patience and way more than $8 in effort. I swear off making clothes forever!

raglan tee

Despite myself, I see something (again probably at Target, damn you Target!) so stylish and so simple, that I think, “well, I could make that.” And the whole cycle begins again.

orange and blue raglan tee

the fabric: two old shirts from the thrift store. The blue one was a V-neck. See the little part of the V peeking out? Even though it’s super wonky, it’s my favorite part.

the pattern: Tee for Two. The good ol’ raglan pattern from Figgy’s. It’s in the book, Sewing For Boys.

the sewing: I sewed this at the beginning of winter and it came together super fast, but now it’s been worn and washed and loved so much it’s coming apart a bit at the seams. ARGH!

sewing and sponsorship

pattern cutting and taping


There is actual sewing going on here people. Woo-hoo! My sewing machine has been too quiet for too long. I have a bunch of project cut out and ready to go–some secret, some not so secret, some I have to finish before it gets warm.

I’ve fired up my sewing machine again and I’ve also fired up my sponsorship program–how’s that for a segue?!  No really, though, I love to be able to show off all the amazing pattern designers and indie shops out there. To make showing off all your talents, I’ve changed a bit how sponsorship works. It’s super streamlined and super easy and I’m super excited about it!  Do go check it out!

bear pockets

And check back here for crazy monster pocket pants!


fabric stacks

a pile of fabrics that will soon be girl clothes

My creative process often involves simply staring at all the fabric in my stash. Then after much staring, I make lots of little piles. I am particularly excited about the pile pictured above. Many adorable things are potentially in that pile–if all the sewing goes smoothly, of course.

a pile of fabrics that will soon be boy clothes

This pile is for things my children actually need, so it’s less exciting, but I still like it. Look at me making little piles of fabric and then telling the whole internet about them. Don’t call me crazy, I know you do it too :)