Thursday, April 10, 2014

Calling All Kids + Giveaway

Hey yall! I'm excited to be part of Alida Makes blog series, Calling All Kids! If this is your first time stopping by Sew Happily, welcome!! I'm glad you're here!!! :)
Alida Makes Presents: Calling All Kids 
In essence, this series is dedicated to those children that color outside the lines (so to speak). It's for the girls that love trucks and trains, and the boys who aren't afraid to wear pink! I was thrilled when Alida emailed me and asked me to join in. I met Alida in March 2013 at the Charlotte Girls Night Out hosted by Jess of Sewing Rabbit and Joanns. She's an amazing woman - and someone who I greatly admire!
Anyways, this series is PERFECT for my Peanut. She is not your typical girl. She's has interests all over the place- namely, things such as trucks, trains, motorcycles, cars, dance parties, pushing her shopping cart around, soccer, coloring, building towers, and books! I LOVE that she has diverse interests already - can we say future engineer?

I really had to stretch to think about what to make for her. Already, I try to make dresses that give her room to play and run around in. I tend to keep things to modern lines (although I personally am a huge fan of feminine, ruffled, twirly goodness). I make a lot of tunic tops for her but haven't really done much beyond tops and dresses. Since we live in South Carolina - and lots of folks around these parts wear camouflage. It's not really my thing but every since I saw this FABULOUS dress by Jess, I've been considering it.
Well, no time like the present - and who better to try it on that my tumbling, truck-loving girl!

Pattern: the Nessie Top by Craftiness is Not Optional in 3T
I love this pattern - it's truly one of my favorites! I love the swing look of it, and there are so many options that come in it. This time, I used the peter pan collar with the half sleeves. I used a hot pink polka dot quilting cotton for the collar. I used a camouflage tshirt knit (out of stock but they have some other fab camo) from Girl Charlee to make Reagan's shirt.
Pattern: the Small Fry Skinny Jeans by Titchy Threads freebie in size 2T
For the pants, I used a jersey knit from my stash that I ordered.... well, lets just say it was a while ago. I ordered it from Fabric Mart in Pennsylvania.I've been wanting to try this pattern.... especially since the freebie pattern would work for Reagan. She's so skinny that she can fit into the 2T pants if they are lengthened a bit. This pattern calls for a more traditional bottom weight fabric, so using a knit was a bit of a risk. But, I'm glad I went with it. Literally, I just used the main pieces for the front and back, and skipped all the fun jeans parts. It worked pretty well. I did lengthen them to fit my tall girl.I used my serger and created an elastic waistband with 3/4 inch elastic.

Seriously, how cute is pink and camo?
Now, she's ready to roll with the boys and go 4 wheeling! And trust me, she'd love nothing better!
I'm having a wee giveaway here to celebrate my love for knits - enter below for a $15 gift card to Girl Charlee!
Don't forget to enter the Calling All Kids Giveaway:

Be sure and check out the other stops on Alida Makes Calling All Kids! A big thanks to Alida for letting me join in on the fun!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Patchwork Cloth Napkins by Gen X Quilters

I love pattern testing! Truthfully, it's one of my favorite things to do for other bloggers and designers out there. I guess I just like to be helpful!!! :)
Ann Marie of Gen X Quilters is one of my favorite quilters in the blogging world. I love seeing her spin on quilting and all of the beautiful things she makes. She always has great patterns, tutorials, and such a modern take on quilting. Recently, she asked on Instagram if anyone wanted to pattern test a new pattern for her! I jumped at the chance!! I knew it would be fabulous. It was such a pleasure to pattern test for her! :)

And it definitely is! Her latest pattern is for Patchwork Cloth Napkins.
Let me tell you how much I love these.... So much so that I'm making MORE! :)
First of all, there are many options with this pattern. It comes in two different sizes, which I think is really fun. I made the larger size - hubby approved! Then, there are four different options for the patchwork part. Personally, I'm a fan of itsy bitsy blocks, so this made my heart happy. Then, you have options for the backing fabric, too.

One of my favorite features about this napkins is that they call for a combination of linen and quilting cottons. I think that mixing textures is such a fun way to add dimension and color. I used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Black for the linen part of my napkins. I used some charm squares from Bonnie & Camille and the Wishes line to make the patchwork blocks.
The gift giver in me is already imagining who I can make some sets of napkins for..... :)
Seriously, yall - go check out this pattern at Gen X Quilters! It's one that you will use time and time again!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pattern Storage

Hey there friends! I hope everyone is having a great week! :) I'm thankful that the weather in South Carolina is finally starting to be spring - although, I know that this means the humidity isn't far away.... I love fall and spring but summer 'round these parts is sometimes more than I can handle. Humidity + Rachel is NOT a good combination.

Anyways, with spring comes spring cleaning. I'm not the best housekeeper around but I like things to be organized. We live in a a small duplex which does not have a lot of extra space. This sometimes presents a challenge for how to store my sewing supplies and patterns.
I have a lot of PDF patterns (which I LOVE), and storing the printed versions can be quite cumbersome at times. I don't like to print them out repeatedly and cut them out but .... storing them is definitely an issue.  Right now, I store them in a cabinet in our living room. They are mostly sorted by childrens, womens, and quilting patterns. I use binder clips to keep the pattern pieces together but they still feel and look haphazard. I have a small shoebox on top of my sewing desk where I keep patterns that I am currently working with or plan to work with soon.

I've been browsing Pinterest (do you follow me?) and blogs putting together some ideas for me and you. I also read this great post by Heather of the Sewing Loft. 
I also put together a Pinterest board named Pattern Stash - its where I keep links to all of the PDF patterns that I have. Sort of like a visual electronic file cabinet. It's really helpful when I'm trying to think about what I want to sew up! :) It's a little incomplete right now, but I'm working on keeping it updated.

I'm curious what works for other people? Especially people with small spaces. How do you store your patterns?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Reagan's Birthday Dress

I'm just going to pretend that this post actually was on time - like on time back in January after Reagan's birthday! Yup! I have mommy brain. It happens! I honestly thought, though, that I had already blogged about this dress but I realized recently that I forgot too! Oops. All of these pictures are from her birthday! She LOVES to open wrapped presents (who doesn't?).

So, here is the beautiful dress that I made for Reagan for her 2nd birthday!
I used a gorgeous apparel fabric from Joanns for the skirt portion. It's almost a crepe / chiffon type fabric with textured rosettes all over it. I was drooling over the fabric from the minute I saw it. I almost (and now, wish I had) bought some for me, too. But the price was a bit steep for the amount that I would've needed for a garment for me. I picked up the gray striped knit from Joanns too. I only used a 1/3 of a yard for bodice.
Okay, so I used a smashup of three different patterns:
the Geranium Dress by Made By Rae - for the bodice
the Gretchen Cardigan by Violette Field Threads - for the sleeves
the Sally Dress by Very Shannon - for the skirt
I made all of these in a 2T and it still fits her now - she wore it to church two Sundays ago (which is when I realized that I never blogged about it).

While I adore this dress - and Reagan looks stunning in it - it's not really her style.
It's more my style. But hey, I gotta dress her in my style while I can, right?
Take care yall!
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