the ASH Jumpsuit

I hope you all follow Celina of PetitaPetitandFamily. She's fantastic and a wonderful pinner. She's been on Project Run & Play this season as well.

She's releasing two patterns with Willow and Co. Patterns and one of them is this jumpsuit. (Willow & Co patterns will be launching on April 22) I don't know how I got lucky enough to test... or lets be honest I begged... and she said yes! My daughter lives for dresses and wears them daily... next on her list are jumpsuits. Not skirts... jumpsuits. She loves them, which is one of the major reasons I begged. I needed a good jumpsuit pattern in my arsenal and I knew it would be something my daughter would love.

Pattern: the ASH jumpsuit
Textiles Used: a silky print from the Simply Silky line carried at Joanns. I purchased this fabric last fall to make a blouse for myself and as soon as I even had a hint this pattern would go into testing I decided I would use this. The orange and green in the print really work with my daughter's complexion.
The Good: It's a stinkin' cute jumper and comfy enough for my daughter to wear days on end. Also the instructions are thorough. It's very nice that indie pattern designers add plenty of pictures and instructions to their patterns to help sewers of all skill levels.
The Bad: I wouldn't say this is a bad, but I wish there were instructions for making a casing for the waist elastic in the waistband seam. It's my preferred method. But when testing you follow instructions to a 'T'... so I just used my steam-a-seam to apply my casing and then stitched it in place and had no issues.
Changes Made: I was one of the few who didn't use a cotton. It was actually my favorite thing I did because the fabric I used draped beautifully. 
Changes for Next Time: Next time I would add an inch of rise to the back crotch/bottom seam and then taper the line down to the side seams. My daughter could use just a little extra length back there. It might be due to her size though. I cut the 4T because width wise she's a 4 but length she's a 5... Or next time I'll cut a 5 length and 4 width. Also turning under the fabric around the curves for the elastic casing was beastly with this fabric. Next time I'll interface my facing and serge the edge that would get turned under and then not turn it under and just stitch it down to make the casing... hope that makes sense.
Conclusion: I love this pattern, but the fabric I chose was difficult to work with... so I might not make another until next summer, but I will be making another every spring/summer until she's too big to fit the pattern.

Crossover Tunic and Dress

Well I've been sewing up a storm. My job didn't work out and then the husband got a night job. So I've been sewing while the kids are napping and while he's at work. Somehow I still have tons of fabric ;) Here's one of the items I made last week.

Pattern:  Jocole - Crossover Tunic or Dress   
Textiles Used:  I think it's a lycra knit that I got locally, at Nuttal's if you're in Utah.
Sizing: The sizing on the top seems accurate and the skirt is very roomy. I cut a small in the bodice and then cut a small in the top of the skirt and graded out to a medium.
The Good: A very flattering pattern with two sleeve options and it sews together rather quickly.
The Bad: My neckline was a bit wonky. I turned over my neckline and stitched because I like the finish that way. I stabilized the hems with steam a seam but they were still a bit wavy. I think next time I would make a full lining for the front pieces and that might fix the problem... also it could just be that my fabric was a really light weight knit.
Changes Made:  I made a maxi as opposed to the knee length or tunic length the pattern is made in. Also I sewed my neckline down to the dress... didn't want things opening up on me, or to have to wear an undershirt. 
Changes For Next Time:  I think I would line the front pieces of the bodice. Conclusion: Highly recommend this pattern!  So cute and comes together quickly. 

How I styled it. I've been thinking of doing outfit posts with things that I make so you can see how I actually style my hand made items. Here is how I wore this dress yesterday.

I wore it with lots of black... sky high black wedges, a black blazer and black tassel earrings. I loved this. The blazer broke things up for me and was great for the cooler spring days. I made the earrings. My husband said they look like something that came out of the upholstery section... haha they did ;) My daughter was really hoping I'd wear leopard shoes with this dress... I wasn't sure if it was too much pattern mixing... maybe next time.



So it's a long story and I'll give you the short version. My cell phone is so simple it has no camera. There I said it. I'm a SAHM and have a house phone so I've been stuck in the stone age phone wise... and haven't minded for the most part. 

Well the hubs switched carriers and got a new phone so I pounced on his old one and set up an instagram account specifically for my sewing. That way I can share, unabashedly, my WIP's and stuff on the cutting table floor (yeah lots of people use tables... I still prefer the floor) and finished things that I just haven't blogged yet. I'm so excited about this. Plus I have an instagram feed just for sewing related interests. 

So, if you're on instagram and want to follow me it's: recentlyrisa... or if you're sharing more of your makes on instagram let me know your user name in the comments and I'd love to see what you're up to! I also added a widget to the sidebar of the blog. I told my husband that and he was like "widget?"

We're creatives... not techies ;)

Boys On My Mind

So remember how I said I was going to learn to sew pants and button downs this year? I've been thinking about it a lot and how I plan to accomplish such a feet... and then realized I have an 18 month mover and shaker that could use more pants and shirts, button downs in this case, because he just keeps growing.

I plan on sewing my son's spring/summer wardrobe. Now I know sewing for kids isn't everyone's thang, but I promote it whole heartedly for the beginning seamstress. I learned so many things about clothing construction sewing for my daughter when she was this age. Lessons that transferred to sewing for myself. Now I want to learn to sew pants and blouses with button plackets and collars and everything... so my son's clothes will be my practice. Kids move so fast that no one will notice my mistakes and I don't have to buy as much fabric on these 'test' pieces.

For pants I just bought the Titchy Threads Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern. It's on a blog tour right now and a discount code so I picked it up this morning. I have some khaki twill and will be purchasing navy and green twill as well as some denim.

For button downs I'm still looking for the perfect pattern. I might buy 2, one from Oliver + S and the other from Blank Slate Patterns. If you know of any other good ones please share.

Also I plan on altering the Derby Jacket pattern into a fun boy look. Obviously sans ruffle ;)

I started a boy style pin board to catalog different looks and ideas. I find it's also helpful to look at adult fashion when figuring out how to dress and design for my kids.

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And because a blog post is more fun with a picture. I'll share this. I bought this fabric to make this coat. My husband is worried about the granny factor but I'm going for bold and different. And way excited. 

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the REESE dress

A little update. I got a part time job. I'll have less time to sew for myself. So whatever I make has to count. It's got to be special. This is my year of quality over quantity and trying new things. I was telling my mom today that I want to sew a coat, swimsuit, button down blouse and pants this year. She says pants are easy and I'll be hooked making my own. How's that for encouraging!

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I was asked to test the Reese pattern a couple weeks ago and it's been released this week. It sewed up quickly and has so many cute details. I love the button tabs and asymmetrical back closure.
So let's get into the review.

Pattern: Modkid - Reese Party Dress PDF Pattern
Textiles Used:  Cotton print from the Michael Miller Glitz collection. When I was asked to test this pattern I knew I wanted to use this fabric. This will be my daughter's Easter dress. I think I have enough to make a tie or bow tie for my son... you know because matching kids are super cute ;)
Sizing: Right on. I made a 4T for my girl and it fits great. I can cinch in the waist with the ties so there's room in the waist and it's not tight in the chest.

The Good: Super cute pattern. Thorough instructions. Sews together rather quickly. Love the details.
The Bad: I still have a hard time getting V-necks to look super clean and pointy. Something I need to work on. The most difficult sewing aspect is sewing in button holes, but other than that it's an easy pattern. Also, you could always do snaps if you're terrified of button holes. I used to be scared but find that if I sewed a practice hole into scrap fabric I was ready to sew into my garment.
Changes Made:  I added pockets. I'll be sharing more about that soon.
Changes For Next Time: I think I'd still add pockets since my daughter is really into them right now. And I'd like to try some tulle peeking out under the skirt.
Conclusion: Highly recommend this pattern!  So cute and comes together quickly. 

~ ~ ~ Risa ~ ~ ~

Sneak Peek Saturday

Can I just say thank you to all that have stopped by and left comments in the last couple days. THANK YOU! 

Can Sneak Peek Saturday be a thing? A once in a while thing? A too excited to wait to properly blog thing? I hope so... because I'm doing it.

Ok, I pattern tested another little dress for my daughter. The pattern hasn't been released yet, I need to photograph it on my daughter, and then I'll properly blog this little number... but I couldn't resist sharing a couple pics.

If the Shoe Fits

I am a big fan of Project Sewn. If you're not following the competition you should be. It's so fun to see what everyone comes up with, and so great to see the ladies personalities come through in what they make. I love that sewing is so customizable to individual style. Anyway each week there is a theme and you can sew along and link up your creation. This week I'm participating. It was so great to have a goal and theme for my me sewing this week.

This weeks theme is "If the Shoe Fits." I have a great pair of shoes my husband bought me several years ago after seeing me oogle them while window shopping. He snuck into my closet to figure out my shoe size. Then he bought them and surprised me with them. I guess I'm a bit sentimental about them. Anyway they're black and white with a bit of a fun graphic pattern. So I shopped my stash and found some graphic black and white/cream fabric. Also these shoes are real leather, even the sole, so fancy... so I used that to inspire my leather look sleeves.

I used V8670 and extended the hem to be a dress. I cut size 10, which is the size I've used before to make 3 unblogged versions of this top... got to get on that. All my previous versions use a heavier knit but this sweater knit has a bit more drape and stretch so I ended up taking it in quite a bit. In the end I had a 2 inch seam allowance to get it this fitted, but normally the size I cut is just perfect.

I found this fabric in Nov/Dec at Joann's down in Arizona. I am probably at Joann's once a week and had never seen it before and I bought what was left on the bolt, which was just enough to get the bodice of this dress. The sleeves are a stretch faux leather that I found at a local fabric store, Nuttal's if you're in Utah, I have a lot of this still and might make another skirt out of it. I hemmed the sleeves with hem tape and used a pressing cloth, which is my fancy way of saying a bit of scrap cotton ;)