i-know-where-it-goes drawer stickers

I-know-where-it-goes drawer stickers // you &mie

I have a fun review today of a product that I think is awesome!  Around the time that Yuki turned 3, she started dressing herself.  That year, she also started being in charge of putting away her own clean laundry.  Crafterhours makes these awesome drawer stickers that help label your child’s dresser drawers to help them remember where things go.  They are fun and practical! Continue reading

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Bess Top in Ikat

So if you’ve been following along the blog recently you know that I’m trying to sew more for myself, but since I’m nursing, anything I make has to be nursing-friendly.  I’ve got a few different styles going on, but honestly, my uniform has been button up shirts with a nursing tank or camisole underneath.  My absolute favorite shirt right now is a Converse One Star top that I got from Target and it has a placket with snaps in the front that extends below the bust for easy opening.  It’s not meant to be a nursing top, but it’s perfect for it.  AND it’s really cute (sorry, I couldn’t find a picture or link).  Then I realized that it closely resembles the Bess Top!

So when Rachael of Imagine Gnats and creator of the Bess Top pattern asked if I would be part of her pattern tour, I was psyched to have the opportunity to recreate my favorite store bought shirt!

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So the main alteration I made to the pattern is adding a placket to the front.  I used this great Continuous Placket Tutorial by Melly Sews.  Otherwise, I sewed up the pattern as directed.

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My favorite feature of this pattern is the super unique way the sleeves come together.  The back piece of the shirt wraps around to the front to create sleeves instead of attaching them as separate pieces.  SO CREATIVE.  I love how you can use two contrasting fabrics, or just one, depending on what look you want.  If you use two different fabrics like I did, you only need a little bit for the front, so you can use something special you’ve been hoarding, like this woven ikat fabric.

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Ok, I have more to share about the pattern, but can we stop to talk about this fabric for a minute!?  I bought this ikat from Michael Levine back in June when I was in LA for the Fabric Shopping Weekend and I’ve been saving it for something special because it’s reeeally gorgeous.  Ikat fabric is made up of threads that have been dyed before it’s handwoven.  Bindings that resist dye are applied to the threads before they are dyed with one or multiple colors (kind of like tie-dying, except tie-dying is done after the fibers are woven into fabric and this method dyes the thread first before being woven).  The bindings are then removed and the threads are woven creating really unique and intricate designs.  The fabric has a looser weave which gives it nice drape, but it also means that raw edges fray very easily.  Michael Levine has a lot of other gorgeous ikat fabrics in their online store, if you’re interested!

*Edited to add – I forgot to mention that the fabric that I used for the back is a black shot cotton I picked up from Stonemountain and Daughter.  It’s got a similar feel and weight compared to the ikat – I really like them paired together.*

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Where were we? . . . Oh, right!  The pattern!  It comes in women’s sizes 2-20 and in three lengths, top, tunic or dress.  There are two necklines to choose from and a hi-low hemline.  I appreciate how the top fits loosely over my mid-section – it’s meant to flatter a range of body types.  The neckline, sleeves and hem are finished with knit, which is something I’ve never done before, but really liked!  It’s like finishing with bias, but I feel like it’s a bit lighter in weight and softer too.

The trickiest part of the construction is attaching the yoke and sleeve.  I can’t help but feel like one of the markings is a little off, but I followed the pattern and fiddled with it and it turned out ok.  I might play with it a little more the next time I make this top.  And yes, I do think I’ll make another.

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Here are a couple of awkward selfie chest shots for you.  I wanted to show what the placket looks like open, and OH SNAP!  Yes, I used snaps instead of buttons.  I wouldn’t have though of it, but that shirt I love so much has snaps and it’s so genius.  When the baby is hungry, I can pop my shirt open with one hand in one second.  And snapping it back up is a cinch too.  Oh, how I appreciate anything that can be done with one hand instead of two!  I only wish I had used black snaps instead of silver, but this is what I had.

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And here it is styled differently.  90s-ikat-denim love anyone!??

The Bess Top pattern can be purchased here.  And be sure to check out all the other stops on the Imagine Gnats pattern tour showcasing all of Rachael’s patterns!

*Edited to ALSO add that Rachael is offering 20% off all of her patterns through the end of January with the code “januarytour” so if you’re thinking about buying the pattern, be sure to buy it now with the discount!*

Inder Loves Folk Art / mon petit lyons / Sew Delicious
la inglesita / Miss Matatabi / Rae Gun Ramblings
Welcome to the Mouse House / Casa Crafty
Make it Handmade / Made with Moxie / Buzzmills
girl like the sea / just me jay / Play Crafts
Sew Well Maide / Sew Charleston / Mingo and Grace
Caila Made / Sewbon / do Guincho / call ajaire
Alison Glass / a.Amelia Handmade / Bored & Crafty
you & mie / Stitched Together / things for boys
fake it while you make it / Sanae Ishida
Behind the Hedgerow / I Seam Stressed / Charming Doodle
The Crafty Kitty / Siestas & Sewing / Figgy’s

Have a great weekend, everyone!

*This pattern was generously given to me for this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.*

Simple Sewing and a book giveaway! {CLOSED}

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Hey, look at that!  I’m back with another blog post this week and this time I’m sharing a brand new book, Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Sewing Projects for Beginners.  This fun book is by Katie Lewis of The Red Kitchen and is a great resource for anyone wanting to learn to sew!

SimpleSewingBook1Just like the title suggests, the book is full of projects that are simple and quick to make, even for a beginner.  But before you get to the projects, the book walks you through some important basics, like supplies you need and sewing tips and techniques.

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SimpleSewingBook3I love the variety of projects in the book – you can basically make something for everyone!  Katie does an amazing job of walking you through each project and there is actually a photo for every single step!  I can’t tell you how helpful this is, especially if you’re a visual learner like me.

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The hardest part, honestly, was deciding which project to make.  But I finally decided on the memory game since that’s one I’ve enjoyed playing with my three year old lately.

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These were so fast to sew up!  Instead of using different fabrics, I used this cute animal print fabric that my friend, Sanae, recently sent me.  I knew that Yuki would get a kick out of matching animals.

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Truth is, Yuki doesn’t totally get the concept of Memory just yet, so we usually place all the “cards” face up and play more of a matching game than a memory game.  When she gets a little older, we’ll flip them over.

So once you’ve gotten a handle on the projects in the book, or for those who aren’t necessarily beginners, there is so much room for embellishing and personalizing, like the applique Jessica added to her lunch sack or the necklaces April made from her bows.

Or you can take the techniques you learned in these projects and apply them to something new, like enlarging the memory game pieces to make coasters!  So many possibilities!

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I love that so many of the projects in the book require so little fabric and materials that you might already have at home.  It’s great for using up little scraps of fabric that you’ve been holding onto.  After cutting out my squares for the memory game I had a little bit of fabric left over so I decided to whip up a drawstring bag to hold the game pieces.  This is NOT a project from the book, but there are about a million tutorials online if you’re interested.  It’s actually a great project after you graduate from Simple Sewing (affiliate link).

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And just like that, I have one of Yuki’s Christmas presents all ready to go!

This book would make a great gift for anyone who wants to learn how to sew (including kids)!  You can buy copies at any of these online stores:

Amazon (affiliate link)

Books & Things

OR, you can try and win one!  Giveaway is open to US residents only.  Click link below.

>> CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY <<  {CLOSED}

Good luck and be sure to head over to Sugar Bee Crafts to see what Mandy has sewn up from the book!

*This book was generously given to me for this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.*