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Category: Hobbies and Crafts (page 1 of 6)

Pattern Test: Sofilantjes’ Foliis Jacket and Dress

Sofilanthes Foliis Jacket

Brrrr…it’s getting cold outside. Well, at least, it’s starting to here in Kansas, anyway. It’s been a good while since I’ve done a pattern test, and when I saw that Anne Jacobs of Sofilantjes was doing a call for testers for a jacket, I knew I needed to sign up.  The pattern includes directions for a cropped jacket, a long A-line jacket, and a dress. The Sofilantjes Foliis Jacket & Dress pattern has a hood and options for long or 3/4 length sleeves. I made the long jacket option with long sleeves for my gal. 

The Fabric

v3498-001Solid - Blue - Verhees French Terry KnitFor the jacket, I used this gorgeous Verhees jersey Hologram Elephant digital print I got from Mabel Madison.  Originally, I had planned to make something for little guy using this fabric and some French terry I have (also from Mabel Madison).  I wound up choosing to make the Foliis from these two fabrics instead (and I have just enough left to still make little guy the shirt I’d wanted to make him). The fabrics are soft, and while the elephant print is not sweatshirt or French terry fabric, it is thick and heavy enough to hold up for this project. 

The Foliis Pattern

In the same style as other Sofilantjes’ patterns, the Foliis is easy to follow. Anne Jacobs breaks down the steps into easy-to follow directions that are the big reason I enjoy making her designs. The Foliis itself is not piece-heavy. Every pattern piece serves a functional purpose, and the illustrations were great. I made the 18 months size for my petite almost-3 year old girl. When pinning into place to cut, it’s important to make sure the words and the graphic on the pattern are going in the same direction. I wanted to be sure my elephants would all be the right way when the project was finished. 

I used the elephants for the body of the jacket and for the outer hood and the French terry on the cuffs and hood lining. The zipper was easy to modify and install given the instructions in the pattern. I decided to add a beaded zipper pull for a little bit of flair. The whole thing was quick to sew up – but it did require a bit of hand sewing. I put on the latest This Is Us episode and stitched the hood lining to the neckline in what seemed like no time at all (in reality, it took the episode plus a little extra time to finish.)

The Photo Shoot

I finished sewing my test early, but we had to leave town. The teenager was set to visit Simpson College in Indianola and Creighton University in Omaha. I took the finished jacket with us on our trip so I could take photos on one of the college campuses. There was a gorgeous park next to Simpson College that worked perfectly for the photo shoot. The jacket fits Little Miss perfectly – AND she loves it. It’s a win-win situation. We got lots of compliments on it while we were hanging out around town. It was 40 degrees once it warmed up, but still pretty windy and cool. Even though the jacket was made of jersey, she was warm enough in it to be comfortable for photos. 

How to Order the Foliis

Sofilantjes’ Foliis Jacket and Dress pattern is on sale for €6.05 ($5.30 USD) here until 11/30/2016 (affiliate link).

I received a testing and final copy of the Foliis pattern in exchange for my honest feedback on the pattern. All opinions about the pattern are my own. 

I’m thinking it would be really neat in a quilted cotton jersey. 🙂 What kind of fabric do you want to see the Foliis made up in?

SewLong Summer Blog Tour: Lauren Shirt and Pirate Pencil Skirt

14355625_10207856316267281_7056113396085708276_n14324452_10103669379216739_5365708588806097386_oI am pleased to announce my participation in the SewLong Summer Blog Tour.  There are many very talented seamstresses on this tour, and I’m proud to be participating in it.  

For the tour, I made two pieces that are transitional. Because it’s still pretty warm here in Wichita, I wanted something I could wear now and wear later. I originally picked out the Gnomes on the Bus fabric from Mabel Madison because I thought it would be cute to wear an outfit made with it to a local brewery with (literally) the best beer I’ve ever had, Hopping Gnome Brewing Company.  That plan changed upon making the outfit for reasons I’ll get to soon. 

I decided to go with the Made for Mermaids Mama Lauren pintuck shirt and the Patterns for Pirates Pirate Pencil Skirt.  (Affiliate Links) I paired the outfit with brown boots I purchased from Maurice’s. It’s one of the few stores, I’ve found, that carry size 12 women’s shoes – though more and more stores are making that move all the time. As it gets colder, I’ll add a pair of tights made with The Wolf and The Tree’s Gazelle Ladies Footed Tights and my trusty red Seamwork Oslo cardigan I made last fall.

P4P Pirate Pencil Skirt

I started with the skirt. This is actually the third Pirate Pencil Skirt I’ve made. It takes less time to sew it than it does to cut it out. I used Stenzo jersey knit. It turned out really great, I think – only it’s a little loose on me. I lost some inches around my waist and hips between cutting this and the shirt and sewing them up.  Let this be a lesson to you! I’m still happy with how it turned out, and it’s bright, and probably a lot louder than most things I normally wear. 

M4M Lauren Shirt

When I was talking with Melissa of Tales of a Tester, she totally sold me on this pattern. It’s cute, it’s an easier sew with just enough details to make it interesting, but not so many that it wouldn’t work with a busy print like the Gnomes on the Bus. The pintucks are all about being able to sew a very straight line and press well. The keyhole binding takes patience (and a good press as well). I wasn’t sure about it until I got the whole neckband on and put it on. Once it was on, and I tucked it in, I was in love. I think it will go great with jeans and it will be nice with leggings and a belt. I kind of felt like I was swimming in it as well, but that’s not a bad thing. 

Photos of my finished garments (keep reading to the end for a giveaway and discount codes.)

Be sure to check out today’s posts from the tour:

Sewing by Ti, Musings of a Seamstress, Tales of a Tester, Almost a hippy, At Margareta’s Haus, Sewing A La Carte, Birds Of A Kettle

Our awesome bloggers 

Sept. 12th Sewing by Ti, Cindy Parrett, Sewing Vortex, Renata Laura, Couturious, Nina Makes

Sept. 13th mahlicadesigns, Musings of a Seamstress, Rainy Day Sewing, Sprouting Jube Jube, Sewing A La Carte, Anne-Mari Sews

Sept. 14th AppleGreen Cottage, mahlicadesigns, Kaleidothought, PrettiModesti, Olive Ashby, Sewing Bee Fabrics

Sept. 15th Lulu & Celeste, Diane Cullum of Two Chicklets, Adventures With Bubba and Bug, Wining Wife, The Pumpkin Room, Sewing A La Carte, Anne-Mari sews

Sept. 16th Sewing by Ti, Musings of a Seamstress, Tales of a Tester, Almost a hippy, At Margareta’s Haus, Sewing A La Carte, Birds Of A Kettle

Rafflecopter Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fun discounts and coupon codes from our sponsors:Sponsor Collage Final

Zierstoff Patterns 20% off patterns Code: zierstoffpatterns20 Ends 9/17/16

Blue Dot Patterns 25% off patterns Code: SewLongSummer Ends 9/17/16

On the Cutting Floor 50% off patterns Code: SEWLONG Ends 9/17/16


Back to School Tour: First Day of Preschool Edition (And Giveaway)


Wining WifeIs it already that time? Little Miss is beginning preschool (at home). I can’t believe how quickly they grow up. Tiger Boy has started his senior year of high school at the local public school, and we spent a good part of the summer talking about college options, and ended the summer with a couple of college visits. It doesn’t seem like it was so long ago that he was learning his alphabet and looking forward to attending preschool himself. 

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Pool Side Beach Party Tour


Do you see this extraordinarily cute little guy here? He wants to help me type up my post tonight. 

2016-06-06 07.32.04-1

He also thinks that momma should hold him 24/7, and that playing with his vast collection of toys is not nearly as exciting as sitting on my lap and pounding keys. Why am I telling you this at the start of a blog tour post? 

Am I a person filled with excuses? Nope, not so much. But sometimes, the little people in my life have different plans for how my nights go. And this little love? He thinks that I should be his personal seat. Because obviously if I’m staring at something else, it must be interesting. So, when I signed up for the LuLu & Celeste Sprouting Jube Jube Pool Side Beach Party Tour, I felt ambitious. I was going to sew all the things for the whole family. Because, I mean, we all need swimwear for our invisible pool. Plus! Fun! Sew all the things! Never mind that I’m gearing up for the launch of my Smashed Metatoes™ line of kids’ clothes on July 16, or the other obligations I’ve had lately (I still need to head out to get photographs for the baseball outfit I made. I swear, those are coming!) I was going to sew all the things.

(Be sure to read all the way to the end. There is a Rafflecopter giveaway and there are coupon codes! Today’s prizes are:

  • $15 US gift certificate to Gracious Threads
  • 1 pattern of choice* from Handmaiden’s Cottage
  • Four Season’s Cardigan pattern from EYMM

Then, I realized that was insane. I took a deep breath, and I thought “Okay, I already have two swimsuits I love that I made that are not getting use. None of my kids swim. Besides, let’s pretend for a minute that I could go to a pool side beach party with just my husband. What else would I wear to a pool side beach party?” The answer came to me: a sexy fun tank dress that can go on OVER my super cute swimsuits. (All from Peekaboo Patterns: Bahama Mama Blouson Top, Bahama Mama Colorblock Tankini Top, and Bahama Mama Boy Shorts, Affiliate links)

So cute, right? 

2016-06-05 09.40.06And if I’m going to a swim party, you better believe I don’t want to have to keep track of too many clothes. So, I’d totally wear a tank dress. Still cute, fun, fabulous. I used the Essential Tank Pattern from Patterns for Pirates (affiliate link). The pattern has several different lengths and hems you can choose from. I chose to do the dress length version with the racerback arms. I paired the dress with a couple of my favorite handmade beaded necklaces that I’ve had forever and an elastic belt I found at a thrift store a little while back.  

I feel like it puts me in top form for a good backyard pool party! All I need is a glass of rosé wine and some delicious canapés (and maybe a pool?), and I’m good to go and get my pool party on! 

Here are some more photos of my fun dress! 

Be sure to scroll down further for coupons and the Rafflecopter giveaway for today’s leg of the tour!

13508942_10153521284070764_4316845697838118897_nModkid (use the code POOLSIDE2016 for 25% of at checkout until July 2nd)

Sew Happily Ever After with the code Poolside16 get 50% off the Nana tote in thier Etsy shop until July 4th (

Also Jennuine Design (one of the prize sponsors) is having an unrelated sale on selected patterns until June 30th. 40% off with code SATYASEASON

Phat Quarters Free US shipping on orders of $25 or more with code SUMMER25

BLAVERRY 15% off with code INDEPENDENCE2016  until July 10th

5 Out 4 Patterns  FIREWORKS2016 for 20% off your purchase now (6/27/2016) through Monday, July 4th, 2016. (Coupon cannot be used on PowerNet fabric)

Filles à Maman JULYONETOFIVE for 25% off everything including bundles, the coupon is valid from july 1st ending July 5th midnight EDT

Gracious Threads 40% off all patterns with code canadaday2016 Good from July 1st to 8th

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Okay! Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for!
Today’s prizes are:

  • $15 US gift certificate to Gracious Threads
  • 1 pattern of choice* from Handmaiden’s Cottage
  • Four Season’s Cardigan pattern from EYMM
  • *Excludes bundles
  • Open Internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wear to Where Blog Tour Spring 2016: Baseball Game – PART I

13267892_10103408594825749_4565655765334352388_nSo, I really, really want to share with you what I made for the Wear to Where Blog Tour Spring 2016 edition! I’m super proud of myself, because my jeans skirt has turned out awesome. Like really awesome. As in I was worried about whether it would fit, whether I could pull off sewing with denim, and whether I could sew a zipper fly that looked good. Well, there was no reason to worry. It came out great, and was made of the dark fabric that you can see over to the right, behind the tank top. 

Courtesy of Kake-TV news, Abeline, KS

Courtesy of Kake-TV news, Abeline, KS

BUT, after I got my brilliant outfit made (and made a second one to boot, because come on, we’re a baseball household), the weather in Kansas decided to do THIS every time my husband was home to take pictures! (See the photo to the left). Now, mind you, the tornado wasn’t here in Wichita, but we’ve had lots of severe thunderstorms in our area over the past few days, including today. Considering I’m not interested in becoming a piece of lightning toast, I decided to stay inside. Since we’re still under a severe thunderstorm warning, it’s looking like I’m going to have to wait to have photos done tomorrow morning…before more storms come in.

Courtesy of Kake-TV, near Scott City, KS

Courtesy of Kake-TV, near Scott City, KS

So, yes. No beautiful pictures of my work for you. BUT, I’ve made a second outfit as well. I’ll be taking some fun photos…in fact, I’ll be mixing and matching the two outfits for “sports bar afterparty as well.” Seriously.  I really want to share. I’ve got this great denim skirt (Style Arc’s Sally Skirt), tank top, and shirt to share, and now a second skirt and second shirt to share. I’d love to photograph the pieces to share, but I’m afraid that flash photography will not do the pieces justice. I’ve tried. I will leave you with the above teaser, and the promise that I will have the photos and the write-up of the pieces tomorrow. 

In_varsity_uniformMeanwhile, I’ve got to talk my teenager into letting me use his baseball bat, cap, and mitt for pictures. I think that it can be arranged ! (There he is in his varsity uniform)

(And don’t worry, we’re safe, just soaked.)

While you’re waiting to see my photos, please check out the posts from the other very talented ladies on the tour. Jess at Gracious Threads has made a tailgating outfit that I envy. I mean, seriously, her shorts are AWESOME. The detail on them though!  And the jacket in scuba knit is also very well done!


Gracious Threads Wild Rose Dress and Jumper (and Giveaway!)

Gracious Threads WIld Rose DressYesterday, Gracious Threads came out with a great dress and jumper pattern. I was able to test the pattern on my Little Miss, and let me tell you, it turned out super-cute. I got some great fabric for it while at Hancock Fabrics closing sale (yes, let’s take a moment of silence here for a wonderful store with beautiful fabric. I really should have picked up more of the anchors fabric I used the other day for my swimsuit, since so many people liked it. I digress.)

Before I get into talking about the project, I actually have some news for you before I get into my review of the pattern. In the future, my posts about pattern tests will mostly appear on the blog at my new handmade business website (though, you can still catch some of my favorites here). Have you checked it out? If not, I suggest you cruise over to Ronda B. Handmade to see what’s going on. I’m still in the process of uploading products, and I’m planning a launch party complete with prizes and a discount code. Follow my page on Facebook for more updates on that project. 

Well, after parenthetical asides, let me tell you about the Gracious Threads’ Wild Rose Dress and Jumper.  I tested the maxi-length dress. I really want to go back and make my little gal the jumper version of this as well, because it is so cute. I’ve enjoyed seeing other testers’ makes with this one. 

2016-05-12 07.02.09-1As you can see from the photograph to the right, the option I made has ruffle sleeves. All the options have a v-neck with placket and buttons or snaps (they can be just decorative on the dress version) and paperbag waist styling with a bias tape elastic enclosure. The bodice is made from a knit, flutter sleeves can be knit or woven, and the skirt or pants are made with a woven fabric. Because I’ve been particularly into birds, I *just had to* get this super-cute woven fabric for this dress. As another aside, I’m planning to use this same fabric for a camisole and a tank.

This dress makes a great addition to a summer wardrobe. It is really quick to sew up, and you can dress it up or down as much as you’d like.  

If you’d like to win a copy of the pattern for this dress (and the jumper) please enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. I will choose a winner on Monday, May 23.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Peekaboo Patterns Blouson Top (Bahama Mama Swimwear)

2016-05-11 18.44.49While not part of my capsule wardrobe, this swimsuit is a great addition to my clothing collection. Not only is the top a great swimsuit top, but it also will be a nice top for the summer.  When I had the opportunity to test Peekaboo Patterns’ latest addition to their Bahama Mama collection, I jumped at it. I found the fabric at Hancock Fabrics’ closing sale, so it was waiting and ready to go.  Continue reading

The Capsule Wardrobe in a Week-ish Challenge

Back in February, before we moved, while I was packing, Becca DuVal of Free Notion proposed a challenge: Create a capsule wardrobe in a week. I thought this was a brilliant idea, but because my fabric needed to be going into, rather than coming out of, boxes, I had to put off participation. That didn’t stop me from thinking about how I would put together a “wardrobe Sudoku,” though. (In fact, I created a few of these).

I should probably also mention that I have very little to wear. I’m in an awkward place where clothes are too big, in disrepair, or in the case of one pair of pants, just tight enough to where I don’t quite fit back in them. So, clothes are in order. I’ve made a lot of fun things, and I should do some basics sewing soon, but I also would benefit from ready-to go outfits. Enter the wardrobe Sudoku.

Each row across, column down, and diagonal set makes an outfit. By setting up a wardrobe plan this way, it helps me to be absolutely sure that everything I make in this challenge will be interchangeable. That’s a pretty neat perk. I hopped on Polyvore, and I started with “casual.” I’m in desperate need of things i can wear when we head out of the house. I’ve also put together ideas for a workout wardrobe, a business casual wardrobe (for when I need to meet with clients), and a super casual wardrobe – for toddler and infant wrangling and working from home. It’s pretty sad that the t-shirt I’m wearing right now is barely held together by threads…but one might expect that to be the case when a shirt is nearly 25 years old.

All of that said, here’s my casual plan. I also put together a “spring/summer” casual plan, which I’ll share in a moment.


Soduko Capsule - 1


It looks pretty cool, right? Here’s an example of how the pieces might work together:
Capsule Wardrobe Outfits 1-4


Capsule Wardrobe Outfits 5-8


You get the idea. So the plan, then, isn’t to buy all these pieces, but instead, to use what I have in my and available to me to make the wardrobe. While the original challenge was to make a wardrobe in a week, I’m realistic. I have two small people who need a lot of love and attention right now, and my completion schedule is pretty dependent on their moods. However, I want to try to get this done soon. Here are the patterns I plan to use (starting at the top left):
The check wrap style shirt: Originally, I was thinking I’d use McCall’s 6991 for this, but it looks like there may be a new pattern coming out soon that looks much more like the French Connection shirt. I have to check my stash for fabric, but I’m pretty sure I have a similar check fabric in my stash.
French Connection t shirt
The button-front skirt also presents an interesting challenge. I actually have a vintage pattern in my stash, Simplicity 9822, that looks like this skirt. However, I need to grade that pattern up since it’s a vintage size 8, and I’m so not even a modern size 8. Frankly, I’m not looking forward to that project. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s just that with limited time, I’d rather spend my time doing other things that are more conducive to a finished result. Thus, I’m thinking I’ll use McCall’s 7392 for the job. I have some green fine-wale corduroy for it.
 For the cardigan, I have some burgundy sweater knit in my stash, and I have some red sweater knit. I will most likely use the Patterns for Pirates’ Grandpa Cardi (affiliate link) for it. If I can find some really awesome skull sweater knit, I will use that instead…because skulls. If not, I’ll be on the lookout, because I must make a sweater using skull sweater knit fabric at some point!
Moving down to the next row, I will bead a necklace to match the one in the squares. Then, we come to the jeans. For those, I plan on using the Winter Wear Designs Real Deal Jeans pattern.  I have some denim fabric ready and waiting for me to use it to make some pants. I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous about making jeans!
Then, we have a classic raglan shirt. I’m going to use the Patterns for Pirates’ Slim Fit Raglan (affiliate link) pattern for that.  That should be a quick and easy sew. 
Going down a row, to the cowl infinity scarf, I’m planning to crochet that based upon a pattern in the book, Crochet Red: Crocheting for Women’s Heart Health (affiliate link). I first have to figure out where I hid that book from myself, and the red yarn, after our move. But that will be a lot of fun, I’m looking forward to doing that while we watch Gilmore Girls before bed.
Rag & Bone palm tree print topNext is this gorgeous tank top. To replicate this, I’m going to pull some black silky fabric from my stash and use SisBoom’s Tortola Tank top. I’m actually planning to make a couple of these in other colors as well. I think the tank will make some good summer wear. Plus, it’s a pretty easy pattern to make. 
For the pencil skirt, I’ll use some black knit and Love Notions’ Sybil Illusion Skirt (affiliate link) pattern. I also will make a gray version of this skirt as well as a red version. I think though instead of a pencil skirt for the gray version, I’ll do an A-line skirt. I’ve already got the pencil skirt cut out. 
Speaking of Love Notions, I’m using the Sabrina Slims Pants pattern for the red pants. I found some great red stretchy fabric that’s nice and thick for pants at Hancocks’ closing sale. 
The striped bateau top will be made from black and white fabric in my stash and Tessuti’s Brigette pattern. I’ve got this pattern printed off, and almost ready to go.

Finally, for the chambray button down shirt, I’ll use some chambray fabric I have in my stash with the Hey June Cheyenne Pattern (affiliate link). I’m really excited about this one. I purchased the pattern back in December thinking I’d participate in a blog tour, and then it was time to have little guy. So I’ll finally get to sew this up.

I hope to have progress updates for you! I have a couple of things on my sewing agenda I must attend to first (a dress pattern test, and a couple other little things), but if I can get the tanks and pencil skirts done this week, I’ll be happy.

Have you tried to sew an entire wardrobe for yourself? How did that go? How did you plan it? Post your thoughts in the comments.  


Bella Sunshine Designs Vintage Grace Flutter Dress

Bella Sunshine Designs Vintage Grace Flutter Dress It’s no secret that I love how Bella Sunshine Designs’ patterns come out when sewn up. I’ve made a lot of the patterns as a tester (Bow Tie Leggings 1 and 2, Kelly’s Twirly Skirts, Coffee Shop Lace Dress, and Sweet Lilly Pintuck Dress), and I’m always impressed with the details in the patterns. So, when I had the opportunity to test the newest pattern, the Vintage Grace Flutter Dress (and top), I jumped at the chance. In exchange for honest feedback about fit and photographs, I was provided with the various versions of the pattern. I first made the top and leggings, and then I made the dress for my little gal (I promise, I’ll get around to making little guy some clothes soon!). 

Continue reading

The Solis Dress by Sofilantjes

2016-04-24 12.19.47So we’ve all had some sort of flu/cold/plague (HAH) thing this week, and I’d planned to get this post up before now.  I love this dress! Sofilantjes (you’ve seen my Liv Skirt, Otium Top, Iridis Dresses, and Brueram Dresses) has come out with this new pattern – the Solis Dress (affiliate link). There are three different versions of the dress – a circle skirt, a pleated skirt, and a pleated tunic-length skirt. Marie-claude Bélanger wrote a post on how to make a peplum top on her blog, MCB Creations

2016-04-24 12.23.30I received the pattern in exchange for honest feedback during the pattern testing process. My little gal is thin and tall, so I made the size 12 months width while blending the pattern to the size 2y length. The best part of this pattern is the little back detail you can see to the left. I decided to use a stretch lace for the T-bar accent, both to make it stand out, and to add a little something extra. 

The dress is knit, and fully lined. I used a cotton jersey to line vintage knit fabric. I found this fabric while out and about, saw it, and thought, “This is the perfect fabric for making the Sofilantjes dress!” 

It sews up pretty quickly. You do need to be comfortable sewing with knits, and it helps if you have hemmed a curve before. You can either finish with a rolled hem, a blind hem, or do what I did and use bias tape for the hem. It made the dress kind of flare out in a cute way. It took me a few hours to make the dress, including with a few interruptions from two very very cute little ones. 

It would be a great pattern to use with knit panels. It’s also nice for fabrics you want to showcase. There were some really great versions of this dress that came out during testing.  I’ve got to think of another fabric I want to use (which will probably happen when I unpack my fabric). 

After I made the dress and put it on my gal for pictures, she needed to wear it for nearly 3 days straight. I’m taking that as a sign of success. You can purchase the pattern for the dress at Sofilantjes (affiliate link) for $8.95

Be on the lookout at Ronda B. Handmade, as I will be offering the ability to order a custom version of this dress to fit your little gal soon!

In the meantime, here are more photos. 


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