After a long break for the summer, it is great to be introducing you to the newest addition to Pollywoggles... Skyler & Jordan. This is one of those fast sews that has the awesome features of being simple in style & construction and is super comfy. This is "the one" for all seasons of pajamas for this family!
The very best thing about this pattern is that it is designed to combine a little bit of knit on the cuffs and collar with woven fabrics. That's right! This is the perfect pattern for all those amazing cotton prints and cozy flannels that have been calling out to you from your fabric stash or favorite store!
This pattern is all about simplicity. No buttons, no ties, no anything that can get in the way of comfort. The waist if full elastic and the fit is loose and relaxed.
Once you've picked out the perfect woven fabric for the main parts of this pattern, you just need a little bit of knit to bring it all together. It is important that the knit used has good recovery... this means that when you stretch it, it shrinks back nicely to it's original shape fairly quickly. A good quality ribbing that is designed for cuffs and collars, or a quality interlock are great options. If you aren't used to working with knit fabrics, it's nothing to be nervous about with this pattern because you are stitching the knit to a woven, which means you don't need to use any fancy stitches or needles.
For my fellow Canadians, I absolutely have to suggest L'oiseau Fabrics for ribbing and interlock. The quality is totally top-notch and there are tons of colors to choose from too.
I mentioned already that these pajamas are great for all seasons. That's because there are both long and short options included! The short length is perfect for quilting cotton and double gauze (can't you just feel how soft that would be!?), and the length falls to just above the knee and elbow so they are modest and comfortable for lounging around as well as sleeping.
Flannel is my number one choice for the long sleeved and pants options (or short sleeves and pants is a great pair too!). I've made sure that this design gives a little extra length in the sleeves and legs so that no matter how your kids twist, turn, or curl up, there is plenty of length to keep them comfortable and warm.
The shirt too is designed with a little extra length so it doesn't ride up and expose a belly or back to getting cold.
This is the time of year when people who have made a tradition of making Christmas pajamas start thinking about fabrics and patterns. I'm hoping that Skyler & Jordan ends up being the PJs that are being worn by lots of excited kids on Christmas morning!
To help kick off this pajama-making season, I am inviting you to join me starting Tuesday October 10th for a Sew-A-Long featuring this pattern! This event will be happening in my Sewing Circle on Facebook, so join now to watch for more details and to get a special coupon code. Then head on over and pick up your copy in the Pattern Shop at the new release price valid today through this weekend!
As this pattern is intended for woven fabrics and a loose fit, it is necessary to note that many fabrics have a statement to the effect of “not intended for children’s sleepwear” on the selvage. This is due to regulations regarding certain standards of fire resistance. Cottons and flannels that do not have fire retardant chemicals added to the fabric will carry this statement. If the garment you are making is intended for personal use, it is important to understand what this label means before deciding whether or not you will use the fabric. If you intend to sell a garment made for sleepwear, you must ensure you are in compliance with these regulations by using only fabric that meets the applicable standards.
You know how they say that you can build an entire wardrobe by building on a couple simple pieces? That was, in part, the inspiration for my newest pattern, Aurora Belle. That... and a little girl who likes to layer many different tops and bottoms together to create her own (very eclectic) look!
Aurora Belle offers a simple summery design that can be used as the starting point for a whole variety of different looks by changing the skirt length, adding layers, or making separate pieces. I hope that you will agree that this one pattern is a great basic for any girl's wardrobe!
Aurora Belle starts out as a skater style peplum or dress with a fitted bodice and half-circle skirt. This skirt offers the perfect balance of flare and twirl with a smooth un-gathered waistline. The sweetheart neckline has an elastic halter, which makes for a safe comfortable fit on the back of the neck without knots or long ties, and the back of the bodice can be shirred or made with elastic casings. The instructions include both methods. There is also a link in the pattern to my Shirring: Testing & Tension blog post if you want to learn how shirr.
This pattern includes three length options. The peplum falls to below the hips and is very stylish with shorts or capris. The mid-length comes to at or just below the knees and is perfect for everyday wear. And the full maxi length skirt makes for a beautiful formal option. Even better, these three skirts can be layered however you want so you can mix together different fabric types or prints. My daughter loves to mix, match and layer to her heart's content! Included in this pattern are options for an exposed or covered waistband option for making a separate skirt... which means that you can make the peplum and add however many different skirts to wear underneath!
This pattern is lovely in cotton, but it's also perfect for different woven fabrics. The bodice is lined and with the layered skirt it works beautifully for thin, sheer, slippery, or drapey fabrics. Try it with eyelet, rayon, charmeuse, or voile. The pattern includes instructions for how to do a bias tape or facing for the skirt hem, or you can use your preferred method for hemming curves.
Aurora Belle is definitely going to be making up a lot of my daughter's summer wardrobe this year. Pick up your own copy in the Pattern Shop for the special new release price, today through Friday March 17th. Dresses for church on Sunday and peplums for every day, this pattern has us covered! Now all my little girl needs is a shrug or bolero to take this pattern from one to three seasons... good thing I have my sketchbook handy to start working on my next design idea!
One of the things that first inspired me to start designing was how much I enjoyed taking nothing more than an idea and turning it into some REAL. Sometimes it's a matter of discovering a need and making something perfectly suited to meet that need, or maybe it's a fabric or color or texture that sparks inspiration. Then, sometimes, it's both.
I bought myself a new Bible for Christmas this year. Suitably, it is called 'Inspire', and for a creative person like myself, it couldn't be more perfect. Big margins so I can make notes, and also lots and lots of drawings to color. Since getting it, I've been taking it with me to church Sunday mornings so I can color and listen at the same time. Those kids that you see doodling on the backs of the church bulletins? Yeah, that was me. I can concentrate better on listening when my hands have something to do.
But carrying my pencil crayons wrapped in an elastic band has been getting a bit annoying, and last week my 4 year old got hold of the elastic and was stretching it from hand to hand. Um... yeah... that was just asking for trouble. I can picture the look on our Pastor's face if suddenly struck in the forehead by a flying elastic band... at least he has sons of his own and I'm sure would understand it wasn't meant as a comment on his preaching. But the elastic band had to go.
So what is a creative girl to do? Check her fabric stash of course... whereupon I discovered the most "inspiring" rainbow fabric and the idea for the perfect bag for my Bible AND my colored pencils.
I love designing something without a pattern. It's fun to just see where things take you. I had one meter of this bright Robert Kaufman print and as soon as I saw it I knew I needed to make it work. I wanted a bag that fit my Bible comfortably, with a little extra room in case I needed to put something else in the bag (because with kids of course you never know what they are going to hand you and say "can you carry this, mom?") It also needed to have room for all my favorite colored pencils so that I can see and put away each one quickly and quietly. On the outside? Yes!
You know what is perfect about stripes? And particularly ideal about stripes that are about 3/4" wide? They are exactly the right size for colored pencils... and you don't have to worry about making them uneven or taking the extra time to draw straight lines!
First I cut the fabric wide enough to wrap around the front, back and spine of my Bible. Added an inch on each side for extra space, and seam allowances. I cut everything double so that I could fully line the bag. I cut the strips for the sides and a long piece for the shoulder strap. Then I needed to figure out how to make the pockets for the pencil crayons. I have 23 that I use, which was too many to fit across the front... hmm... why not wrap the pockets around both short sides too? Wouldn't you know, that exactly the right size for half of the width of fabric so I can line the pockets too... have I said perfect enough times yet?!
A basting stitch along the bottom of the pocket panel and a teensy bit of gathering brought the width of the pocket panel in to just the right size (with the added bonus of giving each pocket a little more room for the pencil to fit). With the pocket and side panels in place, I stitched between each stripe (making a teensy little bubble shape with each one), and VOILA!
I had a couple inches of fabric leftover, so with the contents of my button box dumped on the floor I rooted through them to find a beautiful vintage button that looked like the perfect compliment to my new bag. Make flap, add button hole... and it's absolutely perfect.
Coloring in church this Sunday with my new bag was definitely better than dealing with that bunch of elastic-wrapped pencil crayons (though I expect my son would disagree). I'm looking forward to bringing along my "bag of many colors" to many more places!
Today I published the new Creative Kids page here on my website and I'm super excited to kick it off by sharing with you the latest project my son and I put together. I'm one of those moms that has been blessed with a Lego-kid. His creativity and attention to detail never cease to amaze me, and I myself enjoy getting down on the floor to rifle through our mountain of bricks with him when I can.
Quite some time ago, I stumbled across an image of a little sewing machine designed out of Lego. I don't actually remember which version was the first one I saw, but there are a few of them out there, including some pretty elaborate ones. I filed the idea away in the hopes that at some point I might try making one of my own..
My son came to me with the idea of making a video of him assembling something made of his beloved bricks, and I remembered the little sewing machines I had seen. Inspiration! I agreed that this would be fun... and suggested we design something brand new for this project. With thousands of bricks spread across the floor, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work! Several hours later... our Sewing Machine was complete..
As you can see, our version is very colorful. Wouldn't it be fun if there was a full sized model this vibrant?
There are a couple things I especially love about our little sewing machine. The foot petal, how cute is that? And we found a little hammer in our collection that made a perfect presser foot. We used an old window (this one is vintage... quite a bit of my son's Legos are the same ones my siblings and I played with when we were kids!) to use as an electronic control screen. The hand wheel on the side actually turns, and the thread on top can be changed out for different colors. There is even a bobbin winder and buttons.
This machine my son and I made together. I needed his input to make sure it would be one that other kids could make too, and as such we tried to use not too many pieces and only ones that are quite common. I think we succeeded, so I've put together the instructions for you, which you can download or follow along online!
And what about that video my son wanted to make?... We did that too!
If you have a minute (well, a minute and a half, to be precise), have a look. He's super proud of it, it's really fun, and I'm sure it will make you smile.
Inspired by our cute and colorful machine, a few nights ago I got busy digging through our bricks once again to see if I could make a little more "grown up" looking version using our basic design. Here's my modified version, in classic white (mostly):
This version uses a number of more specialized pieces, including flat tiles and slopes. The window is wider, and the buttons on the front are horizontal instead of in a square. I have to admit... I'm kind of in love with this little thing!
So now it's your turn! Grab some bricks, and start building!
Lego Sewing Machine Tutorial...
I've set this up as a slide show. Click on the right side of the image to advance, or choose a thumbnail below.
To download a PDF version, click here.
That stuff I should probably mention: This project is in no way associated officially with the Lego company. We just love the bricks and wanted to build! Shown here are both Lego brand and BricTek.
Autumn Grace is a staple winter pattern for my daughter. The many options this pattern offers means you can make a lot of different styles using this one base. New for 2017, an addition to the existing pattern is being released today and it is one that I'm sure you are going to love! Introducing... the Autumn Grace Split Collar.
This Add-on is available for free. For those who already have the Autumn Grace pattern and expansion pack, simply add it to your cart here on the website and check out. If you don't have Autumn Grace yet, you will need to purchase the original listing (which includes all the other options in the Expansion Pack that was released last year!).
Plus, today through Christmas Day, you can get 10% off Autumn Grace with the coupon code COLLARHAPPY.
Autumn Grace Split Collar Add-On
Original Autumn Grace & Expansion Pack
The instructions for this collar include measurements and details for how to make either a basic split collar, or the trimmed version that you see in all these photos. When given the option to choose which style during final testing, everyone who saw this collar wanted to try the trimmed one in spite of a few more steps being involved.. The result is unique and looks amazing!
I hope you all enjoy this new addition to the Autumn Grace options. I'm definitely looking forward to making many more myself!
Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the digital world. When I'm not designing (or, more likely, attempting to keep up with housework or schooling my three rug rats!) you'll probably find me with my nose in a book, escaping for a few precious moments into a world of fiction or learning with single-minded focus about my latest interest. Here, I'd like to share with you some of the things that I'm currently working on and a bit about all the ways I like to keep my creative juices flowing!
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