Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Lapped Baby Shirt Tank Tutorial

Guest post by Kelsey Lafleur.  It's week 2 of Mamma Can Do It Legacy Winter Promos!  You guys aren't going to want to miss this cute little lapped baby shirt.  It's paired here with the baby boy leggings pattern.  This simple and easy lapped baby shirt has been newly updated and is only $3.50 this week.  I can see it becoming a staple in our house.  We are also a cloth diaper family, and there's nothing I love better than a longer play t-shirt with a simple cloth diaper on hot summer days for my little guy.  I know I seem crazy for even thinking about summer right now, but here in southern Alabama, our winter is almost over.  This pattern also has long sleeves, short sleeves, as well as the tank binding option which was not previously available.  The tank binding is included in the pattern, but it does not have the picture tutorial yet so that's what I'm here to tell you about.   

Tank Lapped Baby Shirt Tutorial

 I love to recycle old t-shirts for my kid's play clothes especially when the shirts don't have a side seam.  It's a built in fold and you don't have to hem!!  If you like your kid's t-shirts a little long like I do, then place the pattern piece at the bottom of the shirt hem.  If you would like to keep the shirt the length of the pattern, then place the pattern bottom 1 inch below the shirt hem to account for the hem allowance.  I just know you guys love my pattern weights here.

Note:  There is a slight curved hem to the pattern, and so using the hem of this shirt will make the shirt have a straight hem instead of the intended slight curve.

 Go ahead and cut out your front and back shirt pieces.  I usually cut a little notch along the arm to help me keep track of which one is the front and which is the back.
 Two notches for the back.

 Cut out your two tank top arm bands.
 Iron and press each arm band in half lengthwise.  Mark the center of each.

 Attach your neckbands according to the tutorial in the pattern.
 You will then overlap the back piece over the front.  The overlap will measure 3 inches like shown in the pattern tutorial.  Now if I were a good teacher, I would say you should baste along that 3 inch edge like so.  I always regret not basting.  Do as I say and not as I do.  I did not baste. 
 Find the center of the armscyle.  Use the marked center of the tank band and match it to the center of the armscyle.  Pin or clip at the center markings and match the end of your band with the end of the armscyle.  Your lapped baby shirt will have the right side facing up. 

Your band will be smaller than your armscyle so you will have to stretch the band as you clip around the armscyle.  Since I didn't baste, I made up for it in over clipping.  Sew your bands into place with a zig zag or similar stretch stitch.  Your seam allowance will be 3/8ths of an inch here.  I used a serger to sew mine onto the shirt.

You can topstitch your seams down here with a zig zag or stretch stitch, but I just left mine and pressed the seam inward.  Now all you have left is to place your shirt right sides together and sew your side seams.  I love when I don't have to hem at all!

I love it!  Your little lapped baby tank is complete!  I added a vinyl cut file design to mine from here.  Little mister is ready for Valentine's Day now! 

Disclaimer:  This guest blog post does contain affiliate links.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Goodbye Ziploc bags!

2018! It's a new year, and that means resolutions! Goals! It's an exciting time, and I can't wait to get started. One of my big goals for the year is to reduce my waste. I already cloth diaper my son, and that's what got me started thinking about how much STUFF I am constantly throwing away. A lot of those things come from the kitchen.

I'm trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, one without take out or fast food. That means bringing my lunches and cooking ahead. For my son, it means bringing healthy snacks with us rather than getting him something spur of the moment when we are out. Both of those things need a lot of Ziploc bags. I am constantly running out, and that's expensive, and I realized, wasteful. So when I saw the sandwich/snack bag pattern from Mamma Can Do It, I was super excited.

The tutorial is simple and comes with two sizes ready to go. I selected the larger size. The tutorial is really easy to follow and has great tips for beginning seamstresses. I have personally never sewn with velcro before this, and was a little nervous, but it was definitely much easier than expected! The bonus part of using velcro instead of snaps or a zipper is that my 2 year old son can easily open and close it all by himself--something he couldn't do with the regular Ziploc bag.

I am so excited to make sets of these bags, for my son and for myself. I love that my son can pick out his favorite fabrics, and that the bags come together so quickly that I can make as many as we need without worrying about time constraints. I love that I can set about on my New Year's Resolution, and that it's the easiest resolution I could have, thanks to these bags (and another pattern I'll tell you about later).

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Reversible Overalls - Your Next FAVORITE!

Hi, I'm Laura! I have two boys who are three years old and almost nine months old. They are the reason I sew!  You'll get to see my baby, Luke, today in some of the photos I share. I am a guest here today writing about the MCDI Reversible Overalls. I got to know Elizabeth through her Facebook group, and I am part of her testing and promotional team. I'm excited to share with you my thoughts on this fabulous pattern! 

I love one-piece outfits for babies! They're just so cute and practical! I had a friend tell me one time that you would know when she woke up late because those were the days she wore dresses. Her phrase was "one and done." You don't have to match anything and you only have to put on one piece. This is how I feel about rompers! They're just easy.  

I have found a new LOVE in the Mamma Can Do It Reversible Overalls. It's easy to put on the baby, it’s a one piece outfit, and the best part is that (as its name suggests) it is REVERSIBLE! Two outfits taking up one hanger in the closet! He can wear it Monday, wash it, wear it again later in the week and nobody will realize that it's the same exact thing! 

So, now let me tell you about these little overalls. 

Luke usually wears about a 12 month in store bought clothes. He's a cute little chubby thing! So I was torn between making the 6-12 month and the 12-18 month. But I decided, that with the roll up cuffs, a little extra room is never a bad thing because babies grow TOO fast. I was excited that the fit was PERFECT for him, and there is extra length that can be rolled down when he grows!  

I really liked the way the romper was constructed. It went together so easily. I have made a lot of rompers, and I've never made one the same method as this one. I honestly was surprised at how easy this pattern was!  I like also, that this pattern has both shoulder snaps and inseam/ crotch snaps. So many patterns leave off the crotch snaps, but honestly, they make diaper changes so much easier for me. I really love it when they're included on a pattern. No modifications for me! If you've never done snaps before, they're so EASY! I chose to use size 20 plastic snaps for the shoulders, because I have a ton of those, and size 16 metal snaps for the inseam because they are easier for me to unsnap for diaper changes. I ordered all of my snap supplies directly from the KamSnaps website. Although, I know you can get Dritz plastic snaps and pliers from some local stores. I've personally had great luck with my KamSnaps though!  

So what type of fabric can you use? 

I love that this pattern can be made with regular woven (non-stretch) fabrics. I'm always drawn to the quilting cotton section when I go to the fabric store. There are so many choices, so many cute prints! So, I love finding more patterns that can use these fabrics! The outside of the romper (the red side) is wrinkle ease cotton twill I bought from Joann's. I had just enough of this left over from a different project for these.  The lining (the train side) was quilting cotton from Joann's Fabric. Since this pattern uses woven fabrics, you'll have endless possibilities available to you! 

Did I make any changes? 

The only change I made to this pattern was that I added a pocket. I wanted a little contrast from the opposite side to show! I think the pocket looks so cute since you have the cuff on the bottom. 

Other Ideas I HAVE: 

I'm planning on making some with an embroidery or applique on the top piece too! For real, the options you'll have with this pattern are limitless! I tend to be drawn to expensive, high price tag boutique outfits for my boys. I love when I can use a pattern to create a similar look! Another thing you might do to "dress it up" a little is try piping in the seam attached to the pants. You could really make a nice outfit for Church or another dressy occasion! I can also see these little overalls made in denim lined in the cute tractor fabric I saw at Hobby Lobby recently. Or for a girl, a pretty floral lined in solid pink (or another coordinate) would be SO sweet! 

One last thought... 

I see A LOT of posts on the Facebook sewing groups asking, "Do I need a serger?" And "Can I use non-stretch cotton fabrics?" If you have these questions, this pattern is FOR YOU! If you don't have a serger, this is fully lined, so no one will ever know! And as I mentioned before, this is a great pattern for your woven fabrics! 

  • Easy!
  • Support from the designer and many, many others in the facebook group
  • All seams are fully enclosed, leaving you with a professional finish!
  • It's reversible!
  • It's drafted for WOVEN FABRICS!
  • It's ON SALE!! 🎉
This week, the Reversible Overall Pattern is on sale for only $3! It's a steal at this price! Go check them out! I PROMISE you don't want to miss out on them!!  


Friday, December 15, 2017

My Onesie Pattern got a face lift

It doesn't take long to know that I have had a few babies. And after having so many, I have come to know what I like and what I don't like in regards to clothing. Onesies are a main staple for me. My babies live in them. Whether it is for extra warmth in the winter, or a quick outfit in the summer, I need to have a onesie on my baby.
I don't think that I'm alone in this regard. When I first released my onesie pattern in 2013, I had innumerable emails from my customers, thanking me for helping them make perfect fitting onesies for their babies.
I'm so thankful that we had this onesie tested recently. We made some changes that have made this onesie into the very best that it could be. Read on to hear the details. Or if you would like to skip ahead and simply see the onesie pattern, click here.

Something that is important to me is length. Body length. My littles always have longer torsos. On top of that, we use cloth diapers almost exclusively. That makes using onesies a bit tedious. Simply because the length isn't there in store bought onesies.

See this sweetheart above? This is a photo from one of my testers. She is using cloth diapers on her baby! See how much room is left in the torso of this onesie?! She will be able to use it for quite a while, and it fits her baby's chest and arms. Love it!

Another thing that is important to me in a onesie is the leg openings. In the summer, I want to be able to use the onesie like a romper on hot days. I don't want the diapers to hang out. So when I designed this onesie, I wanted to make sure that it covered a good potion of the thigh and ALL of the diaper. I think it's a perfect fit!

Something that makes a difference for me in whether I reach for a certain outfit or not is the comfort factor. I want the clothes to be comfortable on my baby. Nothing that is too tight, or hard to put on. I love that this onesie has such a nice fit in the chest, waist, thighs and shoulders.  

Sleeves. Yes, lets talk about sleeves. This was actually something that got a huge face lift during this re-design process. I love how they fit now. They are fitted, but comfortable, even for baby's with more girth around the arms. Almost every tester remarked at the excellent fit of the sleeves when I redrew the sleeves. Perfect!

I had no idea how important the envelope style neckline was to other parents. Sometimes I get in my own 'design world' and forget that other people have favorites regarding their baby's clothing. Envelope style necklines are one of those things that I've been ignoring because it's not on my radar as a necessary commodity.
I am pleased to say that after a few revisions, this neckline is perfect and fits like a dream!

My good friend and team member wrote this about the pattern, so I wanted to share it:
"There is just something about a simple envelope neckline and a bodysuit - perhaps it is the versatility of the pattern itself. An envelope neckline is primarily found on baby clothing items including bodysuits, gowns, and even onesies.
Whether you have a newborn or a toddler walking around - a onesie is perfect for full body coverage. Pair with your favorite leggings to keep your little one warm during those cold winter months!
Envelope necklines make dressing your little one so much easier especially since the neckline is able to open up nice and big. This bodysuit offers the perfect fit for both cloth diaper and disposable diaper versions, to avoid the diaper spilling out.
Grab your copy now while it is on sale from December 14 - 19th; no coupon code needed and it fits sizes newborn through 36mo."

I am so pleased with how this test went and that I can give you the very best pattern.
Thank you for going through this sewing process with me.
Get your copy of the onesie sewing pattern today!

Happy Sewing,

Friday, December 8, 2017

Ruffles ruffles ruffles | Rosie's Ruffled Legging pattern

Rosie's Ruffled Leggings. Can a sewing pattern designer have a favorite design? Well, let me answer that question by a bit of history trivia.
Did you know that Charles Dickens, one of the most prominent authors of all time, had a favorite book? It was 'David Copperfield'. Charles said that he favored the book so much because it most resembled his own life, and it was a pleasure to write it/read it/constantly work on it. He also said that it was incredibly hard to draft the first time. I.Get.It.

Let me discuss my favorite leggings pattern. I realize that it's not a novel that will stand the test of time like the Dickens book. But let me tell you... it's amazing. And it was difficult to put together.

Here's my story.
I needed to have some ruffles. I have four little ladies who live with me, and they ALL (even miss 13) love ruffles. I needed a pattern that would be suitable for babies and for big girls so that they could all have some ruffles.

Ruffles. Yes, I needed ruffles. A lot of them. I wanted ruffled leggings that would stand out among the 1,000 other leggings patterns that were available. I wanted to design leggings that would make my girls gladly say, "My mom made them for me.", with their dear faces.

Side note: I swear; I do things for my kids that I never thought that I would. I love to make them laugh, and I love to talk with them. Most of all, I love to hear their honoring words. In my world, "My mom made these leggings", is honoring <3. Enough of the gushy. Lets see these beauties!

Before we begin, Rosie's Ruffled Leggings pattern is available
Here for Newborn-36 Month size leggings
Here for 3T-16
It is on sale for a short time (through 12/13/17), so get it now!

Most of the pics in this post are from my fabulous testers who helped me with this design. I am thankful for each one.

This was the very first pair of leggings that I made. I literally sewed it as I was taking photos for the pattern. It's absolutely perfect. I love the fullness of the ruffles in the ankles and in the rear. I love that it's festive for the holiday season too!
Those pumpkins were from our garden this year. I didn't even count how many there were. I'm sure there were at least 25. We had the most prolific compost pile that I've ever had! Ha! Literally almost all of the pumpkins grew out of it.

Why is it that the most smiling, sweet babies, refuse to look or smile at the camera? I JUST MADE YOU THE CUTEST THING EVER, but she acts all shy when I pull the camera out. Silly baby Joy.

As you may not know, I am fairly new to the "testing" world. I didn't realize that there was an entire 'universe' of women who tested patterns and helped make them amazing. It's become my absolute favorite thing. 

Having done mostly baby patterns, I had a design drawn up for these leggings in no time. It was fairly close to the design that I ended up with too. Oh how I love babies.

Baby designs are completely different than large children or adult sizes. I think it is because their legs are a different proportion to their body size. Because their shape is a certain size, a designer still needs to make an account for diaper bulk. Above all of these things, I needed to remember to make this design to accommodate the extreme body shape differences during the precious growth phases.

Cloth diapers or disposable diapers make a difference too! I wanted a design that would accommodate both without looking bulky on one or too tight on another.

Walking babies are typically smaller in the waist and body mass than babies that aren't walking yet. All of this needs to be taken into account when making a design. I love it. Each line in the pattern makes me excited to see it on a little one. <3

During this design process, I had a wonderful tester who has started helping me behind the scenes, her baby is the one below. Look at how perfect those ruffles are!  I just love that I can see this little one in my designs too!

Are you ready for the hardest part of my design process? I'll totally share my struggle with you.....
I am not very familiar with older children shapes. 

This test was hard. Really hard. I was tested to my max in what I "thought" that I knew. 

Mid-testing, I decided to take a break from this design. I needed to work on my size chart and get the basics right before continuing down design lane. It was a hard choice, but the best decision. It cost me about 4 days worth of time, but I am so thankful.

My friend (also a designer) and I put our heads together and she helped me to draw up the size chart how I wanted it. That started everything down the RIGHT direction. Soon, the leggings pattern was ready to test again!

After only a couple edits, my entire tester team was pleased with the results.

I mean, can you believe how amazing they fit?

Each size is fitted, yet not "too" tight. In my world, that's perfect for little or big girls.

Look at how great these ruffles look too! 

Something that I love about this design is that it is so versatile. I like that you can put multiple ruffles or ONE ruffle at the bottom hem of the ankle, or choose to have no ruffles at all.

Length. Length is important. I wanted something that was ankle length, but that would STAY at ankle length. There's nothing worse than sitting down and half of your leg showing, and I feel that way the MOST about the clothes that I make for my kids. So you'll notice that there is plenty of length in the leg to keep those sweeties covered up.

 Matching outfits are an absolute must, now that I have the big girl pattern with the baby pattern. There is a bundle available in each listing so that you can get both for a discounted price!

I mean seriously, who doesn't want to dress their kids in matching outfits?!

Our friends at Simply Ti were kind enough to provide fabric, and fabric recommendations for testing, and we loved it!

Thank you for being a valued customer and reader. I appreciate all of your comments, feedback and support. Designing is what I love, but more importantly, it is how I stay home with my little ones, and I am so thankful that I get to enjoy that process.

Happy sewing!

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