Thursday, February 14, 2013

My signature style: Cheerful Casual Wear

This week on Project Run and Play, we are asked to create an outfit based on our signature style. This was a little bit hard for me, because usually I just sew whatever pops into my head or something based on an inspiring online tutorial. I really hadn't given it much thought before.

So I started looking back at some things I've sewed this past year:

I noticed some trends:
- I have never mixed non-solid prints. Some pieces might have a crazy print, but if I mix in a different fabric it will be a solid color.
- I really like to use neutral colors (browns, greys, white) with a pop of color. 
- I am not scared to use bright colors. And it seems I like hot pink.
- Although I do sew dresses from time to time, I prefer to sew pieces like shirts and pants. I love sewing everyday clothes. If I do sew a dress, I tend to stay on the casual side. (Unless Eve has anything to say about it. She loves fancy. Remember week 1 of Project Run and Play?)

I've decided to name my style "Cheerful Casual." I think it fits.

Still I wasn't sure what I was going to sew. 

Thankfully, Erin from the Office saved the day for me. Several weeks ago, she wore this awesome cardigan on an episode of "The Office"

I was sold! I think I punched Jason in my excitement.

"Jason! That cardigan! I have to sew it!"

When he didn't acknowledge the importance of the situation, I continued.

"Did you even notice how awesome it was? Where is the remote? Rewind, you have to sit and stare at it for a second with me."

Which we did. It was a glorious second.

I still don't know if he thinks it was as amazing as I do or if he just humored me a little, but I'm going to choose to believe what I want.

I found the picture of Erin on the "worn on TV" website. It said the following cardigan from Nordstrom is an exact match. It does look the same, but the colors seemed much more saturated when I saw it on The Office.

Ok, so I know my style and I have my inspiration. Time to sew!

I decided to sew a little tank top for under the cardigan. Living in Kansas, where the temperature fluctuates a lot, we like layers! I used the tank top pattern that came in my new Ottobre Magazine, issue 01/2013. 

(Not the mesh one obviously, although I wish I had a little boy to rock it!)

It sewed up really well. I pretty much stuck to the pattern, which I tend not to do most times. I added a faux button placket to the front. I love a little preppiness!

It's real cute in the back too!

She was a good sport letting me take pictures outside in the cold! It wasn't too bad, but definitely not tank top weather!

For the cardigan, I used a V-neck T-shirt pattern from the same issue of Ottobre magazine:

Instead of cutting on the fold, I just cut out 2 front pieces adding some allowance for the buttons and button holes to overlap. I also rounded it off a little at the V to make the placket a little easier to sew. It turned out great:

And the true test of my sewing skills is how my daughters react to it. Thankfully, Eve loves it! The knit is so soft on both the tank top and the cardigan, comfortable and huggable. She had a blast running around in it!

To finish off the look, I put Eve in a pair of skinny jeans. Originally, they were regular, old purple jeans that were too loose but just the right length. So a couple of months ago, I took them in on both the outseam and inseam and she's been wearing them ever since! They are her favorite pants. Before I sewed them up, she had asked me for a pair of skinnies because she said she really liked mine. So technically, these were her idea in the first place. I think I need to sew her up a few pairs, she looks so cute in them!

Yes, the skinnies were a little dirty. This girl plays hard. And she had just worn these the previous day. And the day before, don't judge! They would have been in the wash if I hadn't needed them for the photoshoot.

She looks good even while jumping, lucky girl!

As my sister lovingly calls her, she's our little "Goober" She has so much joy!

Kicking the leaves. I love a good action shot.
Now, I really need to make Kylie some more clothes. I didn't intend for this season of Project Run and Play to be mostly for Eve. I actually intended on making this outfit for Kylie, but when I sewed up the tank top, I made it too tight and ended up tweeking it for Eve instead and so made her the cardigan to match. When I took Kylie's measurements, the difference between her height measurement was several sizes bigger than the sizes that corresponded for her waist and chest, she's tall and slender. So I made the pattern long and made it more narrow. It ended up very tight on her, so it made more sense to cut it shorter for Eve. Good thing for little sisters!

To see what other people have created for their own signature style, click here. It's so much fun to see other people's creations!

Update: I am also linking this post up to the open auditions of "The Sew Off" hosted by Naptime Crafters.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Best Valentine's Day Gift Ever?

Jason is the best.

He seriously is.

He always gets me the best presents. And by best, I don't mean the most expensive, lavish or extravagant. By best, I mean he always gets me something personal he knows I want.

Like the giant box of Kinder Buenos he bought me for Christmas. Amazing.

Mmmm... Kinder Buenos... what were we talking about again?

Oh yeah, I love Jason.

He surprised me this Valentine's Day by buying me an Ottobre Magazine (=a magazine filled with patterns for children's clothing.) I was so excited when I opened it, I think I squealed.

I had mentioned it to him in a facebook conversation (He's away in Kansas City for classes frequently, so we stay up late "talking" to each other on facebook.) I decided not to buy any issues because it really intimidated me, but I thought the clothes in it were so stinkin' cute.

Jason bought it for me and told me he knew I could do it.

Like I said, he's the best!

So I sat there pouring over the magazine, eating potato chips and staying up way too late. All while pointing out every single outfit to Jason and explaining to him why it was so cute. And he listened to every word. I'm keeping him.

He will be in Kansas City all day and night on Valentine's Day, so we won't get to spend it together. Usually he cooks for me. A couple years ago, he made me the best Croque Monsieur. I'm still drooling over it.

Now that he does all the cooking in our house(What can I say? I'm spoiled, this I know.) it really doesn't matter that he won't be here to cook me a Valentine's Day dinner. I'll still miss him, but I'll console myself by pouring over my Ottobre magazine and making heart shaped pancakes with my girls for dinner.

Seriously, how cute are these patterns? I already sewed up the tank top in the top left corner on the second page. It turned out great!

Ottobre 01/2013

Jason just bought himself a smoker and said it was his Valentine's Day present from me. That's ok, I'm not as good of a gift giver as he is. Thankfully, he is so excited to use his new smoker, he doesn't care. Apparently, we are eating "bacon explosion" tomorrow. All of Jason's wildest dreams are coming true.

The girls are so excited for Valentine's Day, they are cracking me up. Kylie is obsessed with all the lovey dovey stuffed animals in the stores right now. She kept saying cute things like "Oh my word, this is just so adorable!" and other such nonsense wandering the aisles of the grocery store earlier today. She is a sucker for all that cheesy stuff.

Now if you'll excuse me... I have some little girls I need to go measure in centimeters!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tiered Ruffle Shirt from Men's Button Up Shirt

Descriptive titles are so boring aren't they? I'm too tired to be creative!

This week on Project Run and Play, the challenge was to refashion a man's button-up shirt. I had one of my dad's old shirts in my refashion pile, but on a whim decided to call him up and ask him permission first. I just had a feeling. My mom was the one to give me most of the clothes and this was the only one that belonged to my dad.

So I called Dad and emailed him a picture so he could see what I was jabbering about. His response? "Oh, I haven't seen that shirt in years, so I guess I haven't missed it. Hmmm... I guess you can cut it up if you want."

Thanks Mom for giving away Dad's clothes! That was all the permission I needed!

Here's the original shirt:
For the record, that's my husband's arm holding it up. I would like everyone to know that my arms are not that hairy and I do not have man's hands.
And here is the shirt refashioned for my sweet little Everz:

There is a mark where the pocket was, which I feel adds to the upcycled charm.

 Here is Eve pointing out the pocket mark:

And here she is showing off her new shirt, I'm pretty sure life doesn't get any cuter than this:

Seriously, I love that girl! I can't believe she will be 4 years old in just a month! She is getting big too quickly! Well I take that back, she is actually very short, so technically that's not true. Sorry Eve, but you should just embrace it! You are such a cute little thing, so don't worry about it!

I drafted the top part of the shirt using a raglan style for the itty bittiest little sleeves just perfect for Eve. I used double fold bias tape for the collar and button placket. Since I got over my fear of making button holes for the Valentine's Day challenge last week, I gave it another go. The buttons are fabric covered buttons, my favorite. 

For the ruffle construstion, I used this tutorial for a layered skirt from "Made." The only difference I made was to make the connector pieces less wide so that there would be more overlap on the ruffles. I used my handy rolled hem foot to hem the bottom of each ruffle piece before putting it all together.

The ruffles are cute in the back too:

We visited my grandma at a nursing home over lunch today. She is only there for some physical therapy, and will be going home soon. I knew she would want to see Eve's new shirt: she's the one who got me started sewing a little over a year ago, and she always loves seeing what I make! We took pictures there and I was planning on getting some with Grandma Ginny but my camera died. I was also planning on getting some more detailed shots, but obviously I couldn't do that either. I have no idea where my charger is, this might be bad!

Thankfully Eve gave me some good shots before my camera stopped working:

I love this one. It makes me want to scoop her up and give her big bear hugs all day long:

 Kylie was posing her in this next one, oh dear!

 She is such a little model, much better than I was when I was her age! (and it was my dream job!)