Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Dressage Leggings for a Boy


Dudes. I got the choice to review the Haven Acres mini collection (something I have been stalking and obsessing about since I realised it was even going to become a thing) by Jennuine Design for either my blog or as my debut post on Pattern Revolution.

In the wise words of those guys from El Dorado...


So this week just past I sewed up quite a few Dressage Leggings, and some little Sweet Pea Caps, and a Haven Acres blouse (which is over on PR). I really wanted to sew some of the stuff up for Vin, namely the Dressage Leggings and the Sweet Pea Cap. This whole collection had me excited, especially if you google Haven Acres Mini Collection like i kept doing (i told you, obsessed) and kept seeing things like this, this and this!? I don't even like horses, like at all, but this? THIS I LIKE!


The Dressage Leggings comes with this riding-inspired leggings where you can do some excellent colour blocking or mix up some contrast fabrics, but it also comes with a basic leggings pattern as well. I really love that idea, because while I have several leggings patterns I didn't have any printed out for vin in his size (and the dude loves and rocks leggings like no other!). The fit on these is 10 out of 10. I didn't even realise that I could get his little booty into anything that fit any better until these bad boys! I sewed up the size 5 for him, with a size 4 waistband and he



Finally I invested in a couple of meters of good quality black stretchknit, I find it hard to spend money on basic fabrics but lets be real, I use black solids more than any other colour so it's time to just man up to it. It's four way stretch, which is perfect, and it's quite sturdy which totally counterbalanced the slinky slippery stretch that I used for the contrast panels. If you remember I used the same fabric for Eddie's first Alley Cat Romper here. It's so lightweight and soft. Also I think the flag print really is cool too!


The little guy does yoga now. He has this incredible balance and it's definitely something he needed mentally. He's always so mellow after his classes, it's fantastic!

I wasn't sure if he'd dig the pony ears on the Sweet Pea Cap so I jived it up just a little. I made them skinnier and longer and turned them into BAT EARS. However I really should have interfaced them because they just flop around. He really doesn't mind though, he loves it! I really love that tiny little brim, so cute!



I also made the complete Haven Acres mini collection for Edison, you can check out my brief review of the patterns over on Pattern Revolution. You can grab each pattern individually in Jenn's shop, or the all three as a little bundle for a lower price than buying them individually.


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Aviator Pants aka I want a pair!



I've had the Aviator Pants by Winterwear Designs for a really long time, but never had the time to stitch them up. Oh man, I don't know what is WRONG with me because these are the cutest, most comfy-looking pants I've ever stitched up. Now the little guy is super fussy with his clothes, which makes him lucky that I can sew and custom fit stuff for him; he's obsessed with skinny jeans and leggings, so I wasn't sure if he'd be the least bit keen on wearing these however the dude's verdict? "These will be perfect for New Zealand!" (We went to New Zealand one winter when he was younger, so now Winter is synonymous with New Zealand, heehee)

This pattern is for beginners, it's not too difficult although if you've made pants before or sewn clothes before it would be an advantage. Each step is illustrated and the instructions are simplified and shouldn't cause you too much trouble. I did have problems with the triangles at the ankles, but this was my personal fault because it had been a very long, long weekend :,) I'm not sure when I will learn from experience and sew projects I've never attempted before with a nice fresh mind!


  These pants feature cool contrast triangles at the ankles, soft knit cuffs and an elasticated knit waistband too. They have back welt pockets (not as scary as you might think, trust me on this one!) front pockets and cargo pockets although I am not a fan of cargo pockets ever so I didn't add them to these pants. I've seen other aviators with the pockets and they do look pretty rad AND the boy is  big fan of 'lego' pockets so who knows, i'll probably cave next pair. The instructions for the cargo pockets were VERY detailed so I'm 100% sure I won't have any trouble with them!


They're basically glorified sweatpants, which is so rad because... I mean LOOK at them. I'm so glad that Suzanne made a women's pattern available for these because I'm crossing my fingers and hoping like hell that I have enough of this blue knit to make myself a pair! Do you think Vin will be embarrassed we have matching pants?

I sewed up a standard size 5 for the dude, he's pretty average when it comes to his size for his age which is convenient (let's not get started on his short round sister), and they fit beautifully on him. They're not overly baggy, which he likes.


The pattern is available in sizes 18months (yay a pair for little sister!) all the way up to 14 years. I remember when Suzanne released them I was looking skeptically at the size chart and wondering if I could squeeze into the size 14. I couldn't. It was a fun moment to pretend like I could though.

There's not an obscene amount of pages to print out, which is awesome, and the measurements for the waistband, cargo pocket, welt pocket bag and cuffs are in the instructions (and on the pattern pieces) so you're not printing out useless rectangles. I personally don't mind either way when designers give you the measurements or give you actual pattern pieces, but when you're running low on printer ink and pay day is a week away and you want to make the pants NOW it's a virtual lifesaver.


It didn't take me too long to sew them up. I cut them out and constructed the front pockets in an evening (an evening where my brain wasn't switched on) and then sewed the rest up in about an hour and a half the next morning. I'm really satisfied and pleased with the result, and will definitely be sewing them up again (I already have a floral pair cut out for little sister Eddie).


Highly recommend these as a good base pattern for any pants and shorts you will need to make your little dudes in the future! You can keep them basic, or embellish the heck out of them. I really wish I had black knit in my stash because that will be my next pair for the guy.

I also made his singlet from a t-shirt that used to be mine. He loves it :,) It's probably slightly inappropriate...

Have an awesome day!

look at that cheeky little face omg. he's so cute and his teeth are so tiny

Oh hey you might be wondering what that Pattern Revolution watermark is doing on the title photo? Or did you miss it? Yeh go scroll up and check again, I'll wait here for you!



You back? Okay good. So here's the thing. 2015 is my year of taking leaps of faith again and just learning how to focusing (also watch me conquer my ADD! that's on the list!) and so when I saw the auditions for Pattern Revolution reviewers I was like "imma do it" even though I was really like "lol they would NOT want me because I am wild and they're all relatively well-behaved" so anyway I sent in my audition and totally talked myself up and sold myself (I actually think I did a REALLY good job of that) since I've not had a proper job interview in like... seven years? So somehow that worked and then I got put into this secret group on facebook where we all had to review a pattern and basically like do a mock trial of what we'd be doing on Pattern Rev. So I'm not a pro photographer clearly (another thing to learn this year! watch me get better!) so I was like "yeh here we go. i'm a tree that's about to slowly fall" because the competition was pretty fierce I have to say.

And well. I guess you probably figured it out. This was my trial post and they liked me and chose me and I'm the 7th because I am Australian and found out after everyone else hah. (I'm a little slow). SO you'll be seeing me do some cool stuff over on Pattern Revolution! I'm going to rock your ruffles!

OH and I made his shirt. I resized it from a shirt I used to wear but he really needed something to go with these pants so I cut it up and made him this rad singlet. I actually want to make him like 10 more of these. It reminds me of these bad boys.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Boys Can Wear Pink + giveaway + tutorial!

I really don't think it's any secret that we like to break the rules over here. Over here as in my blog, not as in Australia in general (although we were a convict colony so I guess it's just in my nature? hehe). The one thing that I really like to encourage in my children's lives is that there are no boy or girl colours, there's no boy or girl jobs, everyone is equal. Girls can be Darth Vader and not Princess Leia if they want to and boys can do ballet and not karate if that's what they want. Vincent's chair bag this year is black plaid with storm troopers and his pencil case is pink teddy bears with pom pom trim (both mama made of course!).


The one thing that really isn't a secret is his favourite colour. It's pink. And while he's copped some flak from it at school, he's really lucky in that he's fairly popular (because of his obsession with Star Wars and Batman)(of if only that still worked when you were an adult!) so his response to his friends trying to tease him about his hot pink lunchbox? "I think it's cool" And you know what? They deal with it. He's a sensitive little soul, he really wouldn't handle being teased for something like that at all and would most likely reject all things pink. Which really? That's not fair. It's just a colour guys.


Vincent was almost four when he found this pink teddy bear fabric in my stash and begged me for a pair of pants. I was 100% sure his dad was not going to be keen on the idea, but I made them anyway because I am all about my kids being able to express themselves. He ended up winning a Pop Street Kidz street wear competition thanks to these bad boys. Two years later he still talks about the pants and I really wish that one day I can find enough of the fabric to make him another pair!

This post, in case you haven't figured it out already, is about the fact that Boys can wear pink! It's something I've always agreed on, but it took my friend Kelly  at Handmade Boy (oh my gosh she's amazing go look at her blog and just spend forever there) to turn it into a blog event! Lucky for me, I was asked to take part and it was with great glee that I made Vincent the most obnoxiously pink shirt ever!

I used the Scientific Seamstress' Ethan Boys' Shirt pattern (or Sis Boom Patterns I'm not really sure who to credit here lol) that I bought in the very first ever Sew Fab Sale Pattern Bundle! I haven't used the pattern before although I really wanted to, and while I've made plenty of button up shirts before I thought I'd give the Ethan shirt a whirl. Guys. I'm in love. It's actual true love.

Now the reason I sew is because I have no patience or focus to knit or crochet and sewing gives me results fairly quickly! It takes a lot for me to tackle a pattern that requires time and effort and not something I can sew up in a day. This shirt pattern is just perfect. Like. The placket was actually so fun to sew (it's in two pieces) and I just really enjoyed making Vincent a nice little shirt! 


I had serious issues with that hem though. I was tired and done with it all by then. It took me like 2 days after the shirt was done to actually sew the buttons & buttonholes onto it haah!

Okay so something I really love doing with boyswear, is tiny little custom details. i've said it before but I'm saying it again. Sewing for girls is fun (a new thing I have learned thanks to little sister) but it's like, too easy, to slap a bow or a ruffle on something and call it a day. I love the challenge to make boyswear fun and interesting without resorting trucks and cars and i don't know, 'boy stuff'. I like to add secret pockets, or just little details that make this something that you can definitely not just buy in a store. 

The first little detail I added was the contrast under collar. It's something you can't even see and my little guy is not in the habit of popping his collars (lol)(please don't ever be that guy) but to me it is so damn COOL! I was heavily inspired by this jacket I pinned about 500 years ago (I'm that old) and if any of you lovely readers can point me in the direction of how to constract that kind of collar (look at those edges. It's like.. unf). I'd really love to learn that sort of couture technique!


 My other little feature is something I've done before, absolutely LOVED, and decide to do it again. I you scroll down to the bottom of this post you can check out the mini tutorial I put together to show you how I did it in case you want to do it too!

I turned the yoke into like a yoke with a flap, and no I don't have any creative term for it except "cool flappy thing" which makes me cringe because the word flap makes me feel uncomfortable as it is!


Fun story, the fluro pink plaid was mean to be a 'pretty dress' for his little sister. Sorry gurl, your bro nabbed this!



I also made the dude a pair of grey Hosh Pants to go with his shirt. I really wanted to do an aqua but I was working with a super limited fabric budget (aka $0) and had to use what was in my stash. This cool grey chambray was an awesome $2 for about 3metres of it at the op shop so HEYO! I sewed up a size 5T which fits him so well, and yeh the fabric doesn't stretch so it doesn't slide up over the junk in his trunk as easily as I would like (because using recommended fabrics is for squares!)(or people that don't do guerilla sewing like myself)(aka you're doing the right thing and I'm not)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Okay so want to learn how to do the 'cool flappy thing'? Click the Read More!


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Tropical! Liv Skirt (free pattern) + Skipper Top

Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!


This year I'm aiming for a really laidback 2015, rediscovering my creativity and originality and just going with my muse! However when a tester call pops up on my facebook and it's for a super cute pattern... well I'm not going to say no am I?! I'm a sucker for cute patterns!

I was able to test the Liv Skirt for Annemieke of Sofilantjes which is already a free pattern in Dutch on her site, but she needed a hand testing it out in English! It's a multi-sized pattern, a little stretchknit mini skirt with cute pockets! Also. It's FREE!

Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

I used some scraps that I got from the op-shop last year, these crazy 80s fluro beach prints. There wasn't really a lot of them, but I had enough for this skirt, the top and some scraps left over for little pockets or cuffs. I don't know, when i fall in love with a fabric I fall hard and i need to use every tiny little skerrick! The fluro rainbow fabric is my absolute favourite!

Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

I sewed up the 2T, however Eddie is tiny for her age (although she is chunky, she does not fit size 2! Also she is short as)  so it's a little longer on her and the waistband is not as snug as you may see on the other Liv Skirts. Which is fine, because obviously it's a perfect size 2 and she will grow into it!

Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

The back and the pocket linings are from a contrast fabric, equally as bright and equally as 80s. I don't know what it is about this outfit but the whole combination of colours and the patterns make my heart so happy to see them! We're heading to the beach in a week or two for a bit of a frolic and you can be sure she'll be wearing this on the sand!

Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

The pockets are shallow, which is good because her arms are short! Go check out the free pattern on her site, but also check out her shop because have you seen THIS?? Yes please.

Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

I used the Skipper Top pattern by Sew Much Ado, which I have previously stitched up here! I didn't hem the sleeves or the neckline, just left it all raw and beachy. I stitched on a little square pocket to match the rainbow fabric of the skirt. When I cut the fabric out, I made the shirt shorter by a few centimeters, then once it was all sewn up I cut the bottom into 1.5cm wide strips. If you tug on the fabric (hold the top in case you tug the strip off lol) and then let it spring back, you should get the curling effect. I'm pretty sure it will curl even more into strips when this baby gets washed (the shirt, not the child).

Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

Tim is always really hesitant about cropped tops on his little girl, but I really love seeing her little fat belly poking out!

Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

   Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

 It's okay, I mowed the grass like the next day!

Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

Derp
Tropical! Liv Skirt (FREE) by Sofilantjes Patterns & sewn by Max California ▶ Such an 80s Miami vibe!

Have a good day!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Thumbs Up Tee: Robin Style!

I haven't sewn anything for Vin in a little while, save for whipping him up about 10 pairs of basic elastic-waist shorts. He's so picky with his clothes, he doesn't mind modelling and get photos but he complains about every little thing. It's way easier to cater to his baby sister's vanity these days! Plus, he has like 3 years of sewing on her so I do indulge the bebe a little.

However I'm always on the lookout for rad boyswear because it's my passion. Boys Fashion is a big thing for me, I love following trends, I love thinking up new and unique little items for my dude and I really just love how it's still such a little niche. I love being non-mainstream! #sewingrebel


The Thumbs Up Tee is designed by the ladies at Once Upon a Sewing Machine  and has some super cute little features! I was able to test this shirt and this was the first shirt i made from the test pattern and I have to say it was pretty spot on for me!

The shirt features two-piece sleeves and cuffs with thumbholes. I've done thumbholes before (never photographed or blogged about it but omg I should because it's a pretty epic shirt in its own!) so I went into this feeling confident. However my first go of  the cuffs was a bit fail, as in I somehow had no holes for his thumbs. It was all good though, it's just one of those things where I needed to walk away from sewing and do something else before coming back to it with a fresh mind. Since this testing round they have updated the instructions for the thumbholes and it is SUPER helpful!


Instead of doing just a straight forward little long-sleeved tee, I knew I wanted my first sewing of the year to be something pretty epic. It didn't take me long to realise that thumbholes, although super rockstar and sort of reminiscent of my teenage year (Tim has a HUGE thing for thumbholes omg, he was SO EXCITED over this pattern it cracked me up!), also seemed a bit superhero!


So I stitched an R onto the front of the tee, using reverse applique because it's a nice lazy way of appliquing and it was late and I didn't want to get my stencilling supplies out. Still looks legit though! The Upper sleeves I used a slinky green knit, which was originally the same I was using for the cuffs. It's thinner than the red and the yellow and I feel this is why the original cuffs were a bit fail since it kept slipping everywhere. All good though, the yellow pops & rocks!


Not actually a face palm, apparently he just rubs his face dramatically :,)







They've released the pattern and you can get it right here! You can get it for $5 with the code THUMBSUP until midnight Sunday. Which is different for most of you to what midnight Sunday is for me. So, you have like a day. Or something. Don't take my word on that because i think we are all well aware of my timezone-deficiency :,)



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