Quilting 101: Addy Mae Car Seat & Tent

The hardest part about making any quilt is choosing the fabric. This is even harder when I don’t know who the quilt is for, don’t own a car seat – or a baby for that matter! Originally I was going to hack this pattern into a cat cage cover. After all, those furry critters get chilly in their cages, but a friend is expecting her first grandchild in spring, so I decided to make the pattern as is. It looks so very cute after all.

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Love, love, love this look!

My girlfriend, an accomplished quilter and seamstress says quilting isn’t usually undertaken by the young for the following reasons. Fabric, notions and miscellaneous supplies can be expensive; it calls for time, which most people don’t have; it calls for precision and the ability to follow instructions carefully. I’m not sure I agree with her to he honest. I see a lot of young women, especially those with a graphic design or creative backgrounds developing as designers in all areas of fabric and textile art. Plus, sewing in general is having a resurgence. The ability to go online to purchase fabrics, sign up for a class, ask for help and post your finished item has opened the world of quilting (and sewing) to everyone.

Back to the pattern… I’m really glad I made it because it is so darned cute! I’ve quilted for a while now but haven’t made a rag quilt before. I didn’t read the pattern the whole way through, and as such didn’t see there was an option for a larger size.Doh! I’m also used to concise quilt pattern instructions that assume some knowledge. This pattern has an artsy font, but it’s easily readable with good visual instructions. One thing to remember and to stop the Husband thinking there has been a snowstorm in the laundry room, is to open the dryer door carefully and slowly, and to not shake the quilt indoors. It made a heck of a mess! I don’t have a car seat, so haven’t sewn the positioning straps on. That said, I might not … it just might sit on my chair for a while.

On a final note, watch this space over the next few months for more A Vision To Remember pattern reviews, click here for the Etsy shop link, and check out the FaceBook Group.  If you make this pattern and enjoy it, get out and buy a quilting magazine, join a quilt guild and keep quilting.

A Vision to Remember Addy Mae is the perfect gift for all those little babies this winter! Be sure to check out the different blankets this week!

Jan 26- Larissa from Connected by a thread

Jan 27- JaNette from Merri Poppins

Jan 28- Patricia from Sew Far North

Jan 29- Essence from Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Jan 30- Jona from Stitches & Spills

 

Walking Round in Wondrous Winter Wear

I have been sewing Winter Wear Designs (WWD) clothing for about a year now. Suzanne Winter, the designer, was brave enough allow me to test her Real Deal Jeans. That was followed by the Ladies’ Button Up Shirt, then the Hepburn Henley. Now I am in testing again …Shhh, it’s a secret. Unlike Elsa, I’m not going to tell. You’ll just have to wait!

Before I started testing her patterns I bought the Aviator pants. Ho hum, no they’re still not made yet. In my defence I am waiting to find the perfect French Terry. Suzanne is a beautiful curvy lady and her patterns are designed for curvy ladies (think hourglass or pear). That said, the patterns also include how to make personal alterations to get your perfect fit. Win:Win! What I also find attractive is that the patterns don’t assume a whole load of knowledge. Don’t get me wrong; they’re not basic patterns (especially if you’re making jeans for the first time), but they do include a guide and some hand-holding; I’ll walk you through the tough bits kind of stuff. The FaceBook group is supportive and encouraging. Someone will always help you out if you’re stuck.

I now have a pair of Real Deal Jeans and a pair of Capri jeans.

My Button Up Shirt collection includes my long sleeved ‘wear to the rodeo’ shirt.  My lace button up dress, which is so comfortable and elegant. Not here are my Button-Up sleeveless sleep shirt (it was my muslin) and Parisian Nights Shorts: I made those from an old Egyptian cotton sheet, and they are so soft and comfy to wear.

Finally 3 Hepburn Henleys grace my wardrobe. The Henleys are closer cut in the sleeves as I wear them as base layers them through our snowy BC winters. My stuffed Moose “LL Cool Moose’ got on the Henley bandwagon as well!

I have to alter patterns whether they are paper patterns or PDFs. I’ll keep making WWD patterns because I like the fit, I have a bust which is accommodated, my curves are flattered, and there aren’t a lot of elasticated waists. As someone with a latex allergy all the elastic used in patterns to get an approximated fit can play havoc with allergies. Speaking from experience, a heck of a lot goes into testing these patterns. If in doubt about buying I suggest you watch out for her sales and coupons (there is a coupon at the bottom of this post), and join the FaceBook group. Lots of places stock her patterns but I’m an Etsy fan, so here is the link to the Etsy shop.

Enjoy some Wonderful Winter Wear sewing and be sure to follow along all week and check out the rest of our fabulous bloggers!

1/17/16: Larissa from Connected By A Thread

1/18/16: Ula from Lulu & Celeste

1/19/16: Tibeca from Sewing By Ti

1/20/16: Kelly from Handmade Boy & Tameka from Savannah & Co

1/21/16: Essence from Adventures with Bubba & Bug & Teronia from Crazy Crafty Haute Mama

1/22/16: Cindy from Cindy Parrett & Patricia from Sew Far North

1/23/16: Sharon from Sweet Pea & Pumkins & Fenna from Fabulous Home Sewn

Don’t forget to pick up your own copy of the patterns featured this week from Winter Wear Designs and save 20% off any purchase of $5 or more through the 25th of Jan with the code BLOGIT20!

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Disclaimer: All the opinions here are my own. I was not paid to review Winter Wear Designs; yup, I even turned down a free pattern as I have too many to make up already!

Toasty in the Snow!

Ladies Ascent Fleece Pullover … by 5 Out Of 4 Patterns

5 out of 4 Patterns have always intrigued me. The patterns seem well designed and the tester photos look good. I like that they design for the whole family. It can’t be easy doing that; we are shaped differently after all. As such, it seemed a little daft to not take advantage of the opportunity to make one of their patterns during the Blog Tour in honour of their 1st anniversary.

I have a favourite fleece. It is 10 years old, and made by American Eagle. Its heavy weight, quite simple and I wear it every winter. I haven’t found anything quite the same since, so my goal was to reproduce something similar, which would afford the same flexibility and I could make repeatedly if required.

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The old and the new … Mission Accomplished!

I love that I could use the A0 pattern format! The pattern pieces are clearly marked and when cut, fit together well. Having 6 pieces to make a basic fleece was amazing! Backing the front zipper with a piece of knit fabric makes a difference to sensitive skins, though I was a little befuddled about what kind of knit fabric to use – interfacing, lighter weight actual knit fabric etc…  To be honest, while the knit is soft a woven fabric could as easily be used. The instructions are very visual, which is good for me; especially the little zoomed in examples of exactly what is meant. For my fleece I added an extra 1″ to the sleeve length. I also added 1″ to the body of the fleece but cut it on the longest length (3XL). I graded the pattern from a large to an extra large from the waist and hips.

This pattern has options for colour blocking, invisible-zippered pockets, and nursing modifications. The designer has young children, and I have noticed she accommodates stylish active wear with nursing options in several of her designs. I like the children’s colour blocking option too; Hmm … decisions, decisions …

I’ve been sewing for many years and don’t possess Wonder Tape; in fact I had to look it up. I know a lot of modern designers use it in their patterns to baste seams together. I do own 505 Basting spray for quilting, and have a fabric glue stick that I use when securing fiddly zippers to bags. While I feel that the quality of the pattern shouldn’t need to resort to its use, if it gets people sewing confidently that’s all that matters. I also struggled with the collar formation. Despite not liking those instructions, I like the end result, even with my occasional wiggly sewing lines.

In construction I used a size 80/12 Jersey, then Universal needle, but finally settled with a Microtex needle. I like Schmetz needles because they are colour specific. My machine didn’t like using my walking foot either. In the end I used my trusty stretch stitch. You can see an example of that in a previous post from May/June 2015 by clicking here. Despite having a lot of it in my stash I haven’t sewn fleece before. Its wonderful that the seams don’t need finishing.

All in all, I’m really pleased with the outcome. A friend came round today and loves the sweater on me. I’d like to say she was surprised but she smiled and knew I’d made it myself. I have now traced my master copy onto paper and cut the colour blocked pattern out. If I’d been more organized you’d see it here. Let’s just say it will hopefully be in my wardrobe next week! The pattern is currently on sale with 30% off by using  5 out of 4 patterns code “fleeceforall” until January 17th. There is also an affiliate program, where if you click to the pattern site from my link, I’ll benefit with a discount. Way to go!!! Here’s the link to help finance my patterns!

In case you’d like to read what our slough of seamstresses has been sewing up in fleecy pullovers, here is the 5 out of 4 Blog tour schedule:

1/10/16: Larissa from Connected by a Thread

1/11/16: JaNette from Merri Poppins

1/12/16: Ula from Lulu and Celeste

1/13/16: Tibeca from Sewing by Ti

1/14/16: Melissa from Rebel and Malice

1/15/16: Heather from All things Katy

1/16/16: Essence from Adventures with Bubba and Bug

 

 

New Year – New Pyjamas!

It’s been way, way too long since I wrote anything of note; but not too long since I thought stuff. Sadly (or not, maybe) those thoughts stay in my head. My goal in 2016 is to blog more frequently, and to that effect here we go. For my first blog of 2016 I’ll keep it short and brief and tell the sewing aficionados about a pattern I tested in December.

Laela Jeyne’s Comfy Cozy Women’s Pajama Pattern

When a designer asks for testers for a pattern entitled Comfy Cozy Pyjamas (or pajamas for my American friends), how could I not apply? I’ve only tested for one designer before so I was a bit unsure what to expect. That said, being slightly taller than normal I thought it might be good to have some PJ’s that actually approximate my feet and wrists. It’s been a cold winter thus far. That said, full length wasn’t to be as I decided I’d use some lovely soft  green check cotton to make them. I only had enough to make a short sleeve set with a pair of shorts. Ah well, summer will be soon, won’t it?

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Comfy and cozy with a fire and wine

The pattern is well written, I am a visual learner and fortunately, Marissa, the designer, took that on board to ensure her directions are clear and easy to follow, with lots of photos. I have a pet peeve with PDF patterns – I hate printing off a gazillion pages, trimming them; then cursing when they don’t line up properly. I now tend to buy patterns that I can email to my trusty print shop to print off for me. That said, this pattern is ‘no trim’ and the pages all lined up first go. Definite win!

I like the fact that the top is loose but not baggy and comfortable enough to sleep in. I like to sleep in a short sleeve top and this doesn’t wrap itself round me and attempt to strangle me. Result! I did wonder if I could make it as an over-shirt to wear over a t-shirt in our hot summer days (while fishing), or lengthen it into a tunic.

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Pyjama top with pocket and trim.

The shorts have a high and low rise. I used the high rise being slightly taller, which fit nicely. I made the shorts 2” longer than the pattern calls for, though I’ll be making them full length next week when Marissa hosts a PJ Sew-a-Long (SAL).

The little extras like the blouse’s (phone) pocket works well. The contrasting cuffs on the arms and legs is great, though if you alter the width of the cuffs bear in mind you’ll have to alter the ends of your pattern too.

I have a few loose slouchy ‘bottoms’ patterns. I make them up as either lounge pants, sweats or pyjama pants. These ones are much more fitted and as such I feel they’ll be my PJ bottoms from now on. I’ve already chosen some silk and some flannel to make during the SAL. It starts on January 11th and details will be found on the Laela Jeyne Patterns website blog or the Facebook page.

I’d heartily recommend buying these. They’d be snuggly in flannel for those chilly winter nights, or glamorous in satin or silk for Sunday brunch. I like their versatility and some of the testers made them unisex for the men in their lives. Options galore!

The pattern is on sale, which frankly considering the lousy Canadian dollar is reason enough to buy it!  … Comfy Cozy PJs

Enjoy and see you next week