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Tag: fashion

Sofilantjes’ Iridis Dress Circle Skirt Add-On Pattern Test

I love sewing for Baby Girl. She’s always plenty excited about what I make, and she’s easy to fit. So when I had the opportunity to pre-test and test again the circle skirt add-on for Sofilantjes Patterns Iridis Dress, I jumped at the chance. 

The dress is a quick sew – but be aware that since there’s a circle skirt involved, there is a lot of fabric required, particularly for the larger sizes. I made the 12 months size both times, so the fabric commitment was relatively small. I had (you guessed it) a recent thrift store find (99 cents!) that had a Hawaiian print on it. I wasn’t sure what I’d make with it when I picked it up. I also picked up some knit fabric with little pandas and blue checks (50 cents) and a bag of scrap fabrics (also 50 cents). I received the pattern from Sofilantjes Patterns in exchange for honest feedback regarding fit. 

I think that both dresses turned out great. Just like the Otium  I made a couple of months ago, the pattern went together really quickly. The first one I made took a couple hours, the second one I made took an hour. It went together so quickly! It took longer to photograph my little gal in the dress than it took to sew the dress. She loves both of them. With the second dress – the panda Iridis – I used a decorative stitch on the bias tape. When she learns to twirl, it will be a great twirling dress. Without further ado: The Iridis dresses with circle skirt add on.

Hawaiian fabric dress:


Panda dress:

 And yep – I made her headband! 🙂 

If you would like to get a copy of the pattern, you can! The original dress and the add-on can be found on the Sofilantjes website. You may purchase the bundle through the rest of today for $10.00. 


Seamingly Smitten Fall 2014 Pattern Tour & Giveaway – Lace Front Knit Top

Seamingly Smitten Sewing Patterns Blog Tour

Seamingly Smitten Sewing Patterns Blog Tour

*I received a free pattern for the Lace Front Knit Top by Seamingly Smitten Sewing Patterns in exchange for providing a stop on the tour. All opinions are my own.

DSC_0588I am lucky enough to be the first stop on the Seamingly Smitten Sewing Patterns Fall 2014 Pattern tour. I had a lot of fun with this one; I chose to make the Lace Front Knit Top. I have a lot of fabric (by a lot I mean my fabric closet is overflowing) that I’ve found recently at thrift stores and online for rock bottom prices. The fabric I used for the top was only $.98. That’s right; I made a shirt for ninety-eight cents. The pink knit I used was fifty cents, and the lace was forty-eight cents. Crazy, right? Of course, I had to purchase thread to match the pink knit, but that will be used in other projects in the future as well.

What I loved most about this pattern was that it was so easy. Even though I had to take baby-tending breaks, the shirt itself took about 20 minutes to stitch. The hem took a bit longer. I made the size XL based upon my measurements.

My fabric is waiting!

My fabric is waiting!

Printing out and taping together the pattern took a bit longer than I’d hoped, but I think that’s because I’m hopelessly neurotic when it comes to matching PDF patterns up. I made a couple of adjustments when cutting the pattern – I added an inch to the length because I prefer my shirts a bit longer (I have a Momma pouch which provided a very loving and safe home for two incredibly precious people), and I didn’t cut across the cut line for the top. That is because I decided to use a scallop-edge lace for the top instead of the straight edge in the picture.

Then, I made my first mistake.

Yup, those things happen. Shhh…I totally forgot to pre-wash my fabric. I have no idea what will happen to my gorgeous shirt when I wash it. I was so excited about getting started cutting things out…that I totally spaced on pre-treating the fabric!

Then, I made my second mistake.

DSC_0585You see, originally, I’d thought I’d do the shirt with a really soft really luxurious red jersey I had that I got for about the same price as this pink. But, I didn’t have enough of that fabric for this shirt. So, I was excited when I folded the pink fabric and there was plenty.

You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you?

That’s right. I totally cut the fabric with the stretch going the wrong way. Oh, and I realized this after I’d already cut out the back, and I’d gotten halfway through cutting out the front.


DSC_0587DSC_0590So, I continued on my journey. The instructions for the pattern were really clear and straightforward. That didn’t stop me from making mistake number 3. I read the directions probably 2o times before starting to sew. Somehow I missed the word “baste” in the whole stitch the lace to the shirt step. So, I stitched and then turned the fabric, creating a finished neckline and sleeve. It actually worked in my favor because I didn’t have to hem the front neckline – yay! I decided to add the cuffs at the very end, because I felt that it needed something, and I definitely am happy with the way they look!

I carried on with no further incident. I decided to topstitch around the neckline and sleeves just before they meet the cuffs – partly because I liked the way it looked in the test photos for the pattern, and partly because I felt it needed a little more. I love how it turned out.

Here are some pictures, underneath them, you’ll find information about the giveaway, and a coupon code you can use to get your own Lace Front Knit Top pattern from Seamingly Smitten.

I’m thinking that I need to make another of these shirts – I’ll extend the lace a little further down, and do navy blue on navy blue. I’m then thinking I’ll hand-bead the lace to make a dressy knit shirt that I can wear out on date night. – FUN! –


If you like this pattern and the others you see during the pattern tour, you can head over to the Seamingly Smitten Etsy shop and use the coupon code PATTERNTOUR50 to recieve 50% off of your purchase through the rest of November.


You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to try to win. The pattern tour will run from November 13th through the 21st. Here’s the schedule again (with links):

There will be 3 winners for the giveaway:

  • First prize: $50 to and 6 free Seamingly Smitten sewing patterns
  • Second prize: $30 to and 4 free Seamingly Smitten sewing patterns
  • Third Prize: $25 to and 3 free Seamingly Smitten sewing patterns

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Thoughts on the McCall’s Fall 2014 Pattern Releases


So, the fall patterns were released by McCall’s last week, and I feel the need to comment on them. As with Butterick’s fall 2014 line, there were some hits and misses. Some of the patterns I really, really wanted to like but just can’t. Like, for instance, M7025, which should be cute, but just looks like a piece from a movie’s costume wardrobe:

I really, really want to like it, but it’s just a bit too over the top with its military detailing. Others, like M7024 were (yawn) boring.


M7024 – Yawn

There were, of course, several patterns in the collection that I liked and that I’ll probably pick up when I have a chance. These were:

M7017 is so cute. SO CUTE! I love this little skirt and top combo. It’s so feminine.



I like M7014 a good bit as well. The lines are clean, and it makes a good fall wardrobe staple into something a bit more interesting.



For us moms with kids, M7018 is an easy style to wear. It’s a nice way to look put together while still being comfortable enough to lift up tiny people and carry them around. this one may become a TNT pattern in my collection when I pick it up.



I also really like M7020 for similar reasons. It looks like something I could put with leggings. It would be easy to work from home in, and it would be something that with the right skirt and material could be dressed up. It also is versatile in that belted, it looks more dressy, but loose, it accommodates bloat.



M7023 is the first vest pattern I’ve seen that I like. It’s been a long while since I considered wearing a vest, and I think this one could be really cute as an addition to my wardrobe.



I’m in love with the skirt in M7022. I think there’s a lot of versatility there, and I look forward to adding it to my wardrobe. Oh, and while thrift-store shopping over the weekend, I found the perfect fabric for it as well.



M 7026 had a lot going for it. I thought “Awesome! Look at this cute running jacket and running pants! LOVE!



Then, they showed me the back. Um…what?


Angel wings on your running jacket? What???

I’ll probably still pick up the pattern and make the normal looking track jacket.

Speaking of “What were they thinking?” They gave us plus size girls nothing to work with. I mean this is the worst of the three:



When will pattern companies learn that women of size do not want to wear comforters as clothes? I mean, I’m sorry if you like this style, but to me it says “I couldn’t find anything to wear, so I cut a hole in my quilt and threw it over my head.

I mean, seriously!

I want to embrace my curves. I don’t want to hide them. Bulk just makes you look…bigger! If that’s your thing, then hey! Go for it. I prefer well-fitted clothes that are female figure-flattering. After all, our curves are what make us different from those angular menfolk!

Enough said about that.

I found myself also a bit disappointed by their new kids’ patterns. Their stuff was either “yawn” or similar to patterns I already have in my stash.

What were your thoughts about the fall release from McCall’s?



The Curvy Sewing Collective and Postpartum Wardrobe Planning

This sad little closet needs more clothes!

This sad little closet needs more clothes!

If you haven’t had a chance, you’ll want to cruise over to The Curvy Sewing Collective.  You’ll find inspiration as the site owners band women together to create more of a curvy sewing blogging community. While there, you can read my post, “Post-partum Wardrobe Planning for a Closet Full of Me-Made Clothes.” While I spoke on the blog here some about my plans to sew a complete wardrobe, you’ll find entries on how I went about the planning process over there. The other ladies are fabulous as well – you’ll want to check out some of the recent posts including:

I know that it’s helpful to see what sewing projects look like (and what problems to expect) on people of all different shapes and sizes – and not just the models the companies give us – when choosing which patterns I will purchase and what projects I will work on. It’s also a great way to build confidence – because hey, we all have different bodies, and that’s a good thing. How boring would the world be if we all looked the same?

Many of the bloggers over there are people I’ve been following for some time, so I’m happy to highly recommend the site – not just because I’m contributing there, but also because I think it is a quality place to spend time.


Sewing Pattern Stock Up!

I’ve already talked on this blog about how I enjoy sewing. This past weekend, Joanne’s Fabric and Crafts had a sale on sewing patterns. Naturally, this was very exciting to me. I was able to grab several patterns. Since I’m in desperate need of new clothes, these patterns were a welcome addition to my collection. I’m hoping that I’m able to get started on creating a new wardrobe by hand soon. Among the many patterns I grabbed, I snatched up the following patterns at the sale. I grabbed up a bunch more as well. I also purchased some fabric so I could start making some of these outfits. I’m looking forward to posting my progress!

What are your favorite patterns from the Simplicity Fall Collection? Have you sewn any of these patterns?

Simplicity Pattern 1808

Simplicity Pattern 2154

Simplicity Pattern 2703

Simplicity Pattern 5914

Simplicity Pattern 4044



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Hobbies: Beading


Purple and wood drop earrings

It’s important to have something crafty you love to do for fun. For me, that means sewing and beading. It’s a lot of fun to create beaded earrings, and more than a few times, now, I’ve thought about selling the earrings I create on Etsy. Since I’m a full-time writer and editorial consultant, that would mean running a second business with a completely different product. It would also mean I took a second thing I really love doing and turned it into work.

Pink pearl and amethyst drop earrings

Nevertheless, when I see a sale on beads, walk into a beading store, or come across beautiful jewelry, I can’t help but think about how neat it would be to have an accessory design business as a side business. A few years back, I participated in a gift exchange with a CafeMom group, and I posted the pictures of my creations on Facebook. It was suggested that I might want to try opening an Etsy store.

The collection from the gift exchange

I took an accessories and design class in junior college…long ago…and I’ve been making (and sometimes selling) jewelry since I was a young teenager. It’s amazing how elegant a look you can create with a few basic supplies – needle nose pliers, ear wires, flat head pins, and beads.

What makes me hesitate is that I read somewhere that you shouldn’t turn every hobby into a moneymaking venture.

What do you think? Is it okay to profit from hobbies at a certain point or should hobbies be just that – something you do for fun? Post your thoughts in the comments field.

Black and white onyx and pearl earrings


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Young Girls and Too Much Sex




Paper doll with clothes

Paper doll with clothes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Our culture is encouraging kids to grow up entirely too fast. We already know about the effects media has on body image. When inundated with images of emaciated women, girls often want to emulate what they see. One might expect this sort of behavior and desire from a pre-teen or teenager. However, a recent study shows that girls as young as six want to be perceived as “sexy.”  In a recent blog entry at Huffington Post, a study concerning the sexualization of young girls was discussed. In the study, it was found that:




Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects, according to a new study of elementary school-age kids in the Midwest.


Now, to me, six seems awfully young for kids to be thinking about needing to be sexy or attractive to others. The study was conducted in the following manner:




Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., used paper dolls to assess self-sexualization in 6- to 9-year-old girls. Sixty girls were shown two dolls, one dressed in tight and revealing “sexy” clothes and the other wearing a trendy but covered-up, loose outfit.

Using a different set of dolls for each question, the researchers then asked each girl to choose the doll that: looked like herself, looked how she wanted to look, was the popular girl in school, she wanted to play with.

Across-the-board, girls chose the “sexy” doll most often. The results were significant in two categories: 68 percent of the girls said the doll looked how she wanted to look, and 72 percent said she was more popular than the non-sexy doll.


There’s lots of speculation about why the girls chose the “sexy” doll. Some believe that it’s because they associated “sexy” with popular. I have a few questions, however, about the study before I can make any judgments.




  1. How did the researchers define “sexy?”
  2. What were the dolls actually wearing in terms of garments?
  3. Did the researchers impose any bias themselves toward the sexy dolls through facial gesture or voice intonation?


Bratz Lil Angelz

Bratz Lil Angelz (Photo credit:


My guess is that 3 was accounted for during the research process, but the question still has to be considered. My thoughts are that part of the reason that children are identifying the sexy dolls isn’t just about popularity, but about identifying the doll with a more mature/grown up image. By that same token, however, what’s happening to all of the dolls? Dora the Explorer, My Little Pony, even Rainbow Brite have all been made over to be more “sexy.” In addition to cartoons taking a bend toward this trend, children’s programming and clothing has become much more risqué in the last 20 years. Is it any surprise, then, since American culture is dripping in forbidden sexuality, that our children will identify themselves as wanting to appear sexual? It’s a disturbing trend, and it is contributing to the nationwide trend of growing up too fast. In a world where toddlers have cell phones and first graders want to be seen as sexy, how do we protect our future generation from rushing into adulthood?




What do you think about these trends? Post your thoughts in the comments section.




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