Comfy Cowl Hoodies for the Season

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As the weather gets colder, it’s nice to have warm and snuggly clothes to wear.  I also really love a good cowl pattern more than I thought I did.  Now as I think about it, I’ve made four cowl pieces I haven’t shared yet!  I’m warning you though, this post contains ridiculously horrible pics (and lots of selfies), but I really wanted to share these since they’re my favorite new tops and time is getting away from me!

The Comfy Cowl Hoodie by Mummykins and Me didn’t grab my attention when it was first released.  I really didn’t understand the draw to a cowl hoodie and honestly thought it looked awkward.  Well, that was before I saw a version in sweater fleece on Instagram and immediately fell in LOVE!

I tend to avoid fleece because it’s a messy fabric to sew with and not great for the environment.  Unfortunately for my machine and poor mother earth, the draw was very strong, plus I figure I’ll make sure I wash it in a full laundry load so less particles will be released into the water!

Comfy Cowl Hoodie

On to the pattern…I cut out size XXS and made no fitting changes to the pattern.  The first fabric I cut was a lightweight french terry from Girl Charlee which I don’t see available on their site anymore.  There is minimal stretch, maybe 25%, and it’s fairly lightweight.  The cowl/hood is lined with a cotton jersey rayon blend knit which is another Girl Charlee fabric called Hot Pink White Dot.

Comfy Cowl Hoodie

After attaching the waistband and stretching it to within an inch of its life to make it work, I realized the lack of stretch would be an issue for the sleeves.  I had enough fabric to cut the wrist bands wider thankfully, but not enough to redo the waistband.  I can get it on fine, but it’s definitely not riding up at all when I lift my arms!

I decided to add topstitching around the edge of the hood to keep it clean looking, especially since these knits are both pretty thin.  I found some coordinating cording at my local fabric shop.  It has some stretch of it’s own, and when I cut the ends it basically wanted to completely unravel, but I had already tied knots at the ends to my relief.  Whew!

Comfy Cowl Hoodie

Here’s what it looks like with the hood up.  I rarely have my hood pulled up unless it’s really windy and cold, so I can avoid this awkward look.  And sorry, I haven’t been sleeping well so you get the crazy eyes too!

The second version I cut out of some thick sweatshirt fleece from Imagine Gnats.  I love the fabric she carries!  This one is light pink with confetti dots, and it’s so thick and warm.  I used blue baby ribbing for the cuffs and waistband, and a matching polka dot cotton jersey rayon blend for the cowl/hood lining, both from Girl Charlee.

Comfy Cowl Hoodie

After trying this on quickly without any bands, I was concerned about the fit.  There was a lot of bunching at the front armscye, and I thought maybe I should’ve done some adjusting for fabric, but this seemed to disappear once I attached the bands and wore it.  It wears more like a sweatshirt because of the fleece and doesn’t drape like the french terry version.

Comfy Cowl Hoodie

Also, I could only find this red cording at first, but I have since switched it to blue cording that matches the blue ribbing.

I absolutely love this pattern, and I’ve been wearing both tops quite often.  I really love that each one looks different because of the different fabric weights and drape.  I know I’ll be making some for my girls too, since of course I had to buy the bundle!

Are there any patterns that won you over eventually?  Sometimes it just takes the right inspiration or fabric, right?

**Enabler edit:  Also, I just found out this pattern and all of Mummykins and Me patterns are 30% off for the next few days (through Dec. 4th midnight GMT).

Toddler Fingerless Mittens

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I’ve been taking a little break from sewing and wanted to pop in and tell you I’m picking up my knitting.  It’s nice to snuggle up with my girls on the sofa and knit.  Plus, I have an enormous yarn stash to knit through with lots of very luscious and amazing yarns!  I did a bit of yarn splurging a few years ago (!) and would really like to get to some of it.

Toddler Fingerless Gloves

The first project I finished are these super adorable fingerless mittens.  I actually began these a couple of years ago for my big girl, but I’m happy to have finished them in time for my little one to wear.  Yay to procrastinating and having another girl to make finishing them worth while!

Toddler Fingerless Gloves

The pattern is the Half-Pint Fingerless Gloves which I found on Ravelry.  I used the suggested yarn in pink and size 8 needles.

Toddler Fingerless Gloves

A little closer…it’s a really simple moss stitch with ribbing that keeps them from looking boring, and once you actually knit them, they’re pretty quick.  They are so cute when she wears them, and her fingers are free to play.

This pattern is also available in more sizes, and it’s FREE!  I’m making some as gifts too, so I’ll share how it turns out in the ladies’ size.  Are any of you knitting for your little ones?  Their projects go quickly because they’re so small!

An Applique Knit Dress

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I’m trying to work through not only my fabric stash but also my scrap stash.  I’m not a huge quilter, so finding different ways to use small bits of woven scraps makes me happy, especially if they’re as cute as these little kitty faces!

Applique Hearts Skola Dress

I also really like personalizing a rather simple knit dress.  I used the Skola Dress by Elegance & Elephants in view A without a collar, and although the interlock knit fabric I used has a fun design, it’s rather dull.  I wanted to spice it up with something quick and fun.

Applique is such a great way to use up scraps, and really you can create almost any picture you want (well, you don’t want to use a design that has too small of pieces, or too many little details).  Sew Like My Mom has some of the best applique tutorials.  I also really love her pillowcase appliqué letter tutorial, for those of us that don’t have cricut or embroidery machines!

Applique Hearts Skola Dress

I wanted to keep mine pretty simple.  I printed out a variety of heart sizes because I cannot draw one to save my life.  I used the same technique as this cat top, but I used a triple stitch instead of a regular stitch when sewing it on.  The scrap fabric I used is from the Catnap collection by Lizzie House.  I’m not a cat person, but those sweet little cat faces!  Too cute to toss!  Also I should note just in case, I stitched them on before assembling the dress and used a ballpoint needle and walking foot.

Applique Hearts Skola Dress

She’s pretty happy with it and likes to flash those hearts around town.  I’m happy because it was quick and used up some of my stash.

Have you tried appliqué?  Did you add it to clothing?  I was at the mall last weekend for the first time in ages, and I’m noticing appliqué animals on EVERYTHING!  It’s pretty freaking adorable too.  Is there such a thing as overdoing the appliqué critters on girls’ clothing?  I don’t know, but I’m currently adding them to like everything!  I trust someone will let me know if I overdo it🙂

 

 

The Raglan Party Dress

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When I saw this dress pattern for the first time, I absolutely fell in love with it.  It has a vintage feel which I adore, but it’s actually quite simple to sew (unlike some of those vintage patterns).  The Raglan Party Dress from Designs by Call Ajaire will be in the upcoming issue of One Thimble Magazine, just in time to get ready for the holidays!

Testing this dress was also perfect timing for me since I was planning to sew some dresses for my big girl.  She loves wearing dresses with tights or leggings and boots, so I was excited to give this one a shot.  The Raglan Party Dress comes in 3 views with the main difference being in the contrast of the inverted pleats.  It has an invisible zipper closure and ranges in size newborn to 12 years.  Do NOT let that zipper scare you away, her instructions are very easy to follow.

Raglan Party Dress

I tested the 3T size with a 5 length.  The first version I tested was view A, the one with all of the inverted pleats in a contrast fabric. Make sure you check your fabric requirements before you start cutting though, because I way underestimated how much I would need at first!  I ended up choosing some leftover fabric from a cute jacket I made (I will be sharing that very soon as I really love it!).  It’s pink cotton linen and the white and pink fabric is something from Robert Kaufman, both of which I picked up at Discount Fabrics.

Raglan Party Dress

I really love the raglan style shoulder which just screams to be colorblocked.  It also screamed “add gold trim” too, or was that just me trying to make my daughter look like an ornament?  The heart came about last minute when she said she wanted a gold balloon on the “boring pink part”.  I came up with this little golden heart balloon, and I really like the way it turned out.  I used wonder tape to hold it in place while I sewed it on using gold metallic thread.  I didn’t switch to a metallic thread needle, just used my universal needle and a longer stitch length (3 specifically).

Raglan Party Dress

I was a bit “worried” about loosing track of all of the inverted pleats when sewing the skirt portion, but it was actually really simple.  The instructions are very clear with simple illustrations, and DbCA also includes hints that make sewing each step even easier.  I really appreciate these hints, and I’ve learned quite a bit from them too!

Raglan Party Dress

The second dress I made is the updated pattern, and I used some sweet calico fabric I’ve had for ages.  I used scrap chambray for the shoulders and added piping of course.  I made version C this time, and I love how adorable it turned out!

Raglan Party Dress

Look at how sweet that back neckline is!  I just can’t get enough of this dress!  Anyway, you can see the back neckline was lowered a little from the earlier pink version.  It’s perfect!

Raglan Party Dress

It takes a little longer than say a gathered or circle skirt, but it’s so fun and different.  I hear there’s a free petticoat add on coming down the road too which will add some fun poof and really showcase those inverted pleats.

Raglan Party Dress

My girl loves her dresses too, and pretty much anything that makes her feel pretty while she wears her cowgirl boots.  She was so happy to find some that weren’t pink in her size.

The One Thimble issue 13 is coming out on November 11th, so keep your eye out.  There are seriously so many adorable patterns in this issue.  I’ve actually never bought any of One Thimble’s issues because I already subscribe to so many sewing pattern programs and such, but I just might need this one.  Also, they sell the individual patterns from the issue too in case you don’t want the whole magazine.  But in all seriousness, what sewist doesn’t want a magazine full of beautiful sewing patterns and pictures to drool over?!  Am I right?!

On that note, I better get sewing…I’m behind already!

 

A Frozen Party “Dress”

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Since so many mamas are making last minute princess dresses for Halloween, I thought I would share my Frozen “Dress” for inspiration.  It’s not so much a dress than a fancy top, mostly because we were going to Disneyland when I made this, and I wanted her to be able to run around and get on rides easily.

Frozen Party Dress

I made some dresses for both of my girls using this purple Frozen fabric that says “Sisters Forever”.  I used the free Party Dress pattern from the Cottage Mama as the base for them, but I obviously made LOTS of changes.  I’ll share my older girl’s Frozen dress at a later date, you know when she lets me take pics of her wearing it…

Frozen Party Dress

I made no changes to the bodice really, just used vintage buttons off of another thrifted dress (seriously the best way to get buttons for super cheap).

Frozen Party Dress

I shortened the skirt portion considerably, adding channels for grosgrain ribbon to pull it up to expose the underskirts.  I also added some lace trim for contrast and to “fancy” it up.

Frozen Party Dress

The underskirt is made from some lavender charmeuse I was saving for a coat liner, but never made the coat so I’m finally using it here.  I used tissue paper over the fabric so I could cut it easily, and it reduced the slipperiness while cutting with my rotary cutter.  I finished the bottom edge with a narrow hem.

Frozen Party Dress

I cut several strips of this very nice, soft tulle, folded it in half, gathered at the folded end with my sewing machine, then I sewed it onto the underskirt in two layers (the bottom layer is about 1″ below the top layer of tulle).  This was actually quite easy to do.

Frozen Party Dress

I gathered both the top skirt and underskirt together, then assembled the bodice and skirt like any lined dress.

I really enjoyed making this “dress” because it I could personalize it any way I wanted.  With these fancy type princess dresses, the sky is the limit really.  The other one is quite a bit fancier and poofier, and I can’t wait to share the details on that one!

Frozen Party Dress

The question is though, how often do they wear these dresses?  I try to get my girls to wear them so they get used and don’t just sit in the closet, but I know lots of mamas don’t want their girls to “ruin” their fancy dresses.  What do you think?  Surprisingly enough, I found the more expensive tulle actually holds up better to wear and play than the cheaper stuff, plus I can toss it in the wash and be done!

 

Thread Faction #114 – Grow-with-me Slim Pants/Trousers

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Thread Faction has another grow-with-me pattern!  This is probably the fastest thing I’ve ever sewn, like seriously quicker than anything else…even a cowl (you have to hand stitch that thing closed!).  This makes it the perfect last minute gift for babies, and it’s not the same old bib and burp cloth they’re expecting.  It’s also great for toddlers and young kids too!

Thread Faction #114 Grow-with-me Slim Pants/Trousers was just released and is available in 3 sizes ranging from newborn to 6 years.  With only 3 pattern pieces and no hems to sew, this is one quick and satisfying project.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned how much I like my girls wearing handmade wherever possible, so quick patterns like this are a blessing.  I also know as my girls hit growth spurts, the pants won’t become obsolete in a couple of months!

Thread Faction 114

I made these test pants in a size 2 since both girls have small waists, although my big girl is at the end for the height.

Thread Faction 114

Both of my girls can fit into this size 2, although I think I can move up to size 3 for my big girl, or just flip up the bottom to make a capri with cuffs.

Thread Faction 114

For my little girl, I have the bands folded in half.

Thread Faction 114

On my big girl the waist and leg bands are fully extended.

I made these with another Girl Charlee cotton spandex knit.  It’s coral hand drawn diamonds on black.  They have been fighting over who actually owns these pants, and it’s hilarious listening to their arguments as to why the other can’t wear them!

I haven’t made more yet since I’ve been focusing on Halloween costumes, but I plan on several more of these for sure.  I definitely recommend this pattern too for those of you new to knit fabric (did I say there are NO hems!!).

Also, in case you’re interested, Mummykins and Me is having a Comfy Cowl Hoodie sewalong.  I’ve had the pattern for awhile, and I think it’s definitely the weather for some of these!  Maybe I’ll see you there🙂

 

An Outfit for Fall…With a Side of Ghosts!

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I often go on about patterns that I love, ones that I swear I’ll make again, and then nothin’.  Actually, I sew so much it’s kinda ridiculous, and there’s no way I could actually take pics and share them all.  Especially now because my girls are refusing to model for them.  As you can see, I had to trick my girl this time by making a ghosty craft to distract her from my camera!

Posey Tunic and Peony Leggings

I pulled out the Posey Tunic and Peony Leggings patterns from Sew Like My Mom.  I’m making a few outfits for her with these patterns, and since she actually wore this outfit today, I thought I’d try to snap some pics and share.

Both fabrics are from Girl Charlee.  I really love the stripes and plan on making myself a top with it too.  It has a nice stretch and recovery, and it’s not so thin that it’s see through.

Posey Tunic and Peony Leggings

This is the first time I made the Peony leggings in the pants version.  I made them in a size 5.  I followed her instructions exactly and they came out perfectly!  I really love the contrast strip the way it is and decided not to topstitch it.  I used a rolled hem at the bottom with my serger since she’s going to be wearing these with boots mostly, and I wanted to avoid the extra bulk.

Posey Tunic and Peony Leggings

The Posey Tunic is a size 4, and I used the elbow length sleeves option.  She has a few of these already in different sleeve options, and she wears them all the time.  This is definitely one of those basic patterns that is easy to sew, and I know she loves wearing them so it was a no brainer to make more.

Posey Tunic and Peony Leggings

I finished the hem of the tunic using 1/2″ stay tape and my coverstitch.  With a hem like this that doesn’t need to stretch, stay tape is a great option because it eliminates tunneling and makes a crisp edge.

If you’re interested, the ghosts were made using coffee filters, stuffed with a golf ball sized scrap fabric, then tied at the neck with scrap yarn.  We just glued googl-y eyes to them and drew a mouth on some.  I’m going to use fishing line to hang them from the ceiling when the eyes dry.  I enjoy making fun crafts that engage both of my girls and allows them room to be creative.  These are some of my favorite moments🙂

Are you getting ready for Halloween?  Anyone making special outfits or costumes?  I have some fun ones planned and can’t wait to share!