Metallic Knit Toaster Sweater

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Sewing is not something I am quick at. I seem to take forever to sew a garment others whip out in a night. Many of my garments take me 2 weeks to sew. When I first started, I figured I would get faster with time, but that hasn’t really been the case for me. Sure, I’m often sewing while carrying on conversations with my kids, sometimes carrying them on my lap while I sit behind the sewing machine. But, having kids isn’t the only reason for my slow sewing. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I prefer to take my time making sure everything turns out to the best of my abilities. Plus, I have to make a ton of adjustments to patterns (I’m tall with wide shoulders, small chested and pear shaped). So, when people talk about a pattern being quick, I usually think, “Oh, maybe I can get that sewn up in a few nights.” I’ve heard the Toaster Sweater Version 1 was a quick sew, but I had no idea just how quick it would really be.

I cut out my fabric and sewed up this Toaster Sweater in under 2 hours! And, it would have been even faster if I hadn’t run over a pin on my last seam and ruined my serger knife. Arghhhh!!! Some quick sewers could probably sew this one up in 30 minutes. Now, having a quick sew is wonderful, but having a quick sew and creating a garment that you absolutely love is on a whole other level. And, that’s just what this pattern is for me. It was so easy and it fits so incredibly well. It’s the type of garment I know I will reach for again and again.

I used this great sweater knit purchased through Style Maker Fabrics a few months ago. Last I checked there were 2 yards left, so you better be fast if you want it! There are tiny metallic silver threads throughout the knit that make it sparkle beautifully. I did my best to try to photograph the metallic threads, so look closely at the close-up photos. I’ve never sewn with a sweater knit before and I always imagined it would be challenging, but this fabric was so incredibly easy to work with. Is sweater knit always easy to work with? If so, I need to sew with it more frequently. This particular sweater knit is a little bit transparant, but I feel completely comfortable wearing a nude color bra and nothing else underneath. That’s what I’m doing in these pictures, and I really don’t think a camisole is necessary. 

Some adjustments were made to the pattern for my body. I added 4″ to the length and 1″ to the length of the sleeve. I sewed up a size small and graded out to a medium at the hip. Basically, I just graded out with the 4″ I added and then used the medium band for the hem. I usually add between 1-2″ in length, so 4″ is more than usual. The sweater is definitely drafted to be a cropped sweater. Sometimes, I have to add 2″ in length to sleeves, so I would say these sleeves are a bit longer than average. Usually, I sew up an x-small and grade to a small at the hip in most independent pattern designers. This pattern runs a bit smaller than usual, which is great news for the more petite sewist!

I’m so happy I finally took the time to sew up this sweater. We’ve been having unusually warm weather here. The day I took these pictures it was actually in the 70’s. I arrived at the location to take photos and the parking lot was jammed packed full of cars. The times I’ve gone there in the past there has been maybe 5 cars. If you are a sewing blogger, you know taking photos of yourself with a tripod and a remote is awkward enough. Having all those people there made it even more uncomfortable. Fortunately, I had moments with no one around and I took my shots during those moments. Now that the sun is staying out longer and my husband is getting home from work before sunset, I may have to switch to taking photos on weekdays. Less crowds works better for me.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be sewing up more of these in the future. I purchased the bundle with both versions of the pattern, so I would love to try Version 2 as well. Have you sewn up the Toaster Sweater yet? If you want a quick sew that is a great everyday wear, I highly recommend you try it.

Pattern: Toaster Sweater Version 1 by Sew House 7

Fabric: Sparkle Sweater Knit Navy/White/Silver from Style Maker Fabrics

 

 

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Lil Luxe Saumur Dress

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There’s a beautiful sweater knit currently folded on my cutting table for a Toaster Sweater by Sew House 7. I really wanted to sew it up next, but sometimes special circumstances happen altering my plans. We receieved a note last week notifying us that our daughter will be receiving an award at her schools award ceremony the following Friday. My daughter has been doing especially well at school this year and I’m super proud of her. She was also recently recommended for her schools gifted program. Seriously, who is this kid?! We’re really proud of her and I wanted to reward her for all her hard work. I figured she was deserving of a new dress for the award ceremony. 

Usually, I buy fabrics for a particular project, but in this case I had to use leftovers in my stash. I only had a few days to sew up the dress and I wasn’t sure I would get new fabric in time. When I was in California, I could always count on Harts Fabric to get my fabric within 2-3 days. I haven’t found an East Coast online fabric company yet that gets fabric out within a day or 2. Please let me what I’m missing, because I know they exist! After about an hour of digging through my stash, I decided on this beautiful Michael Miller Veranda floral in graphite and a Kaufman Oxford Yarn Dyed Large Stripe in Blue. Since I had to use something in my stash, I chose my fabric prior to deciding on the pattern. Once I decided on the fabric, I knew I wanted to work with the stripes on the bodice.  I began searching for a girls dress pattern with some fun seams I could play with.

The Lil Luxe Collection Saumur Dress was just what I was looking for. I love the princess seams on the front and back of the bodice and the pleated skirt is a welcome change from the usual gathered skirt in girls dress patterns. I had some leftover white pom pom trim from the City Gym Shorts I had made my daughter a couple summers ago. The trim would accent those seam lines on the bodice perfectly. I had never sewn up a Lil Luxe Collection pattern before, but I’ve been really anxious to try one for quite some time. My daughter is already a size 8 in height, so I don’t have much time left! This pattern only goes up to a size 10.

As soon as I pulled up the download for the tutorial, I knew I was going to love this pattern company. The graphics for the tutorial are the best I have ever seen for a pattern. I’m a really visual person and I appreciate good graphics. I loved that they use a floral print to identify the right side of the fabric and a grey to identify the wrong side. Am I the only one who constantly forgets which side the grey is and which side the white is when following a sewing tutorial? 

As far as putting the pattern together, everything came together beautifully. This pattern doesn’t create shortcuts that skimp on the quality of the garment. There’s a lot of handstitching to close off the lining and personally, I really appreciate that. I often handstitch parts of my garments because I care about the guts of my make just as much as the outside. I think this would be a great pattern for a beginner sewist whose ready to take their skills up a notch. The little details are all there and the directions are very clear to take you step by step.

In order to get this dress finished in time for my daughter’s award ceremony, I stayed up super late. Like, 4:30 in the morning late. I often have nights till midnight when sewing, with an occasional 2am night, but I haven’t pulled an all nighter since my college days. Exhaustion set in and I struggled a bit with putting in the invisible zipper. I prefer to order my zippers online through Zipit on Etsy, but I wasn’t sure if I would get my zipper in time for this project, so I purchased one at JoAnn’s. For some reason I really struggle getting my zipper to be really invisible with their brand of zipper. I’m no where near an expert when it comes to inserting an invisible zipper. However, I don’t seem to have difficulties with the brand of zipper I purchase through ZipIt. Yet, I always struggle with my stitch catching in the zip teeth when sewing up the brand sold at JoAnn’s. Perhaps, it’s just a coincidence. I’m really not sure. Does anyone else notice a difference with brands? Anyways, my seams along the back zip match perfectly, but my zipper is not invisible. Sigh… I can always go back and fix it if I’m super ambitious. Who am I kidding? That’s not going to happen!

We took these photos at Government Island, just a 15 minute drive from our home. Government Island is a 17-acre piece of land that was a quary in the 18th and 19th centuries. The site was a source for Aquia sandstone for many buildings in our nations capital, including the White House. My daughter is super interested in learning about our nations history at this time and we couldn’t possibly live in a better place for her to learn. She was fascinated by these huge rocks and enjoyed putting her fingers along the markings on the stone left by the tools used to excavate the rock.

We have lived here in Northern Virginia now for 7 months. In that time we have barely touched on all the places we want to visit. I’m from the Northwest, so all this history out here on the east coast is new to me. I find it incredibly fascinating and really want to take it all in. My daughter is old enough to enjoy it. However, my boys are more interested in climbing the rocks than learning about them. I know I’ll regret it if we don’t visit more places though. Hopefully, I take the time to see more in the next couple years we are here!

 

Pattern: Lil Luxe Collection Saumur Dress

Fabrics:  Michael Miller Veranda floral in graphite and Kaufman Oxford Yarn Dyed Large Stripe in Blue with white pom pom trim

 

Happy Sewing!

 

 

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Girl’s Make 9 for 2017

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I recently did a post on the 9 makes I hope to sew up for myself in 2017. I’m really hopeful that I’ll make the time to do those makes. In reality, I sew for myself because I enjoy it, but other than slightly wide shoulders and longer arms and torso, I don’t need to sew for myself like I need to sew for my daughter. My daughter is a size 4 at the chest, a 3 at the waist, a 6 at the hip and a 10 in her height. Unlike me, she has more narrow shoulders, really they just match her chest measurement. She prefers to wear dresses and skirts and trying to find ready to wear items that are long enough for her, but she’s not swimming in, is impossible. Therefore, I sew for her out of necessity, just as much as I sew for her because I enjoy it. That means 90% of her wardrobe is sewn by me.

The great thing about sewing for a young girl, especially one as adventurous with her style as my daughter, is I’m not very fearful about trying new things for her. I don’t need to use near as much fabric for a garment for her as I need to use for myself, so the financial risk isn’t as extreme. Also, if I’m trying a new technique and it doesn’t turn out perfect, she really doesn’t notice and doesn’t seem to care and the garment is still worn just as frequently as it would have been worn without the mistake. This makes me really enjoy sewing for her, because I love to try new challenges with sewing. Since, I have to sew everything for her, sometimes I’m sewing really boring basics like black leggings or a simple solid tee, but other times I get to be adventurous and take a risk.

So, here are 9 items I’m hoping to sew up for my daughter in 2017. Some of them are specific patterns, while others are something I may need to self-draft if I can’t find anything. 

*Click on images below to be linked to their source. I did my best to link up to the source, but sometimes the photos were found on Pinterest without a working link. Sorry!

Waterfall Raglan by Chalk and Notch

Waterfall Raglan by Pear Berry Lane. Click image to go to her post.

I really love the fit of this tee. It’s such a great basic, while being something a bit different. Every waterfall raglan I’ve seen sewn up has been so adorable. I’m wondering if my daughter would wear this with leggings by itself. A lot of times she’ll take a top like this, put on some leggings and then put a circle skirt on over the leggings. It’s a lot of fabric (and a lot of laundry). I’m not one to tell my daughter what I think looks good though. I find it important for her to discover her own sense of style without my direction. I’d really love it though if she would wear it by itself with leggings. Maybe if I make it a bit longer?

Monarch Top by Lil Luxe Collection

Monarch Top by @angie.burgett.

I’ve been eyeing this top for awhile. The ruffle around the neckline is so sweet and I’ve never tried a Lil Luxe Collection pattern, but have loved every one they’ve come out with. I think it’s time I actually sew one up. I would love to sew this up in a double gauze. I think it would be perfect for our hot humid summers out her in the Northeast. I’ll have to see what colors I can find, but I’m imagining a simple solid, maybe a blush or a lighter denim blue.

High Waisted Wide Leg Pant

Becca Pant from Reformation.

I don’t have a pattern for these, but I think I can create something very similar. Like I had mentioned earlier, my daughter loves to wear skirts or dresses. I think something wide legged in a flowy fabric will feel similar to a skirt for her and may be a great option. I like the simple cut of this pair from Reformation with the side zipper. The big risk with this type of pant though is having my daughter grow out of them too quickly. She tends to grow much quicker up than out, so I’m hoping they will last at least one full season.

Fun Bolero like jacket with all the embellishments

I made a fun sequin jacket for my daughter a couple Halloween’s ago and she wore that thing all the time. It’s getting a bit too small on her and she needs a new fantastically fun jacket. I love this image I found on Pinterest. Notice the trim used on the border of the jacket and the embellished shoulders. I just want to have fun with this one and not hold back at all. Embellish, Embellish, Embellish!! It may take some time to add all those embellishments though, so I probably should get started soon.

Mini Briar by Megan Nielsen Patterns with Hack

Top from Simona Barbieri.

I’ve sewn up the Mini Briar so many times for my daughter and every single time she LOVES what I make. I’m pretty sure I could create this look I found on Pinterest with the Mini Briar. Just sub a circle pattern piece for the sleeves and add a gathered seam right below the arms. I’ve sewn up the Mini Briar in both a knit and a woven, so I could do either for this look. I would love to use a rayon fabric for this look, maybe even use the much loved Rifle Paper Co. rayon. 

The Loveralls Dungarees by Petit A Petit + Family

Loveralls sewn by Paisley Roots.

Seriously, how could I not want to sew up this amazing pattern! I’m not completely sure my daughter will take to the overall look. I’ve shown her a lot of pictures of these to see how she responds and she says she likes them, so I really want to sew up a pair. I’m just not sure if I want to go with a simple denim pair and embellish them a little or do a fun floral denim like this Art Gallery Painterly Printed Denim. Either way, I desperately want these in my daughters wardrobe and I think they would be a great opportunity to work with denim before I tackle the Ginger Jeans for myself.

More Circle Skirts!

My daughter wearing her Robert Kaufman circle skirt on her first day of school.

I made a circle skirt out of Robert Kaufman’s Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in black for my daughter’s back to school outfit. I never did blog about it, but it’s one of her most warn garments. She lives in that thing. She loves a good skirt, especially one that twirls, so circle skirts are perfect for her. And, they are so easy to make. I’d like to make many more of these for her this year because they’re quick, easy and get a lot of wear. And, they look super cute too. I’d like to sew some in lighter, more flowy fabrics for summer like this amazing Nani IRO double guaze. But, really I’ll probably try to find a cheaper option because my 7 year old probably doesn’t need $20 a yard fabric, but it is sooo gorgeous!!

Aster Cardigan by LBG Studio

Aster Cardigan by LBG Studio.

I bought some navy ponte knit for the Aster Cardigan back in August and I still haven’t sewn it up. The Aster Cardigan is one of those basics I know my daughter will wear again and again and navy goes with everything, so this will definitely be one of those needed basics. I don’t plan on changing it up in any way. I just want to keep the simple shape and create a basic my daughter can wear with anything. 

Girls Lil Luxe Maxi Dress by Lil Luxe Collection

Lil Luxe Dress by Lil Luxe Collection.

Like I mentioned earlier, I absolutely love every pattern Lil Luxe Collection comes out with. Someday, I would love to create a special occasion dress with this pattern, but first I want to do the more casual maxi version. My daughter has been asking for a maxi dress for quite sometime now and I think it’s about time I sew one up for her. I think this pattern is best suited for a a beautiful floral fabric. So, I’ll be on the search for the perfect rayon come spring.

So there it is, my 2017 wish list for garments to sew for my daughter. We’ll see how many of them I get to. Sometimes, there’s simple basics that need to be sewn up first. If she didn’t grow so fast, it sure would help! I haven’t looked into it for awhile, but a couple years ago she was on track to get up to 6’4″ as an adult. Which is why I really need to start teaching this girl how to sew. Have any of you taught your children how to sew? Any great early projects? I’m thinking a simple gathered elastic waist skirt would be a good first project, but wondering where to go from there.

Happy Sewing!

 

 

 

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