MY HANDMADE UNIFORM – MANDY BOAT TEES & ESPRESSO LEGGINGS

This winter has been brutal guys.  It is not rare for me to go an entire day without leaving the house.  I am going a bit stir crazy and I can not wait for spring.  So, comfort has been the key the last few months.  Along with a lot of Hudson pants and Linden sweatshirts, I have developed a new uniform of sorts that works perfect for working from home and playing on the floor with kiddos, while still appropriate for slipping on some snow boots to go to the store or pick up kids from school.

It’s my two current pattern obsessions – the Mandy Boat tee from Tessuti (which I have already sung the praises of in past blog posts) and the Espresso Leggings by Cake Patterns.

Let’s start with the Mandy Boat Tee.  This time around I made it up in this perfect sweater knit from fabric.com (which they appear to be out of currently).  It has a loose weave and a heavy drape which made it perfect for a boxy fit.  I think I finally have the fit right with this one size fits all pattern too.  I take about 1 inch out of both center front and center back.  This helps it lay nicer on my shoulders.  I also lengthened the sleeves to a full length sleeve instead of 3/4 length.  And then I lengthened the back hem by about 4 inches and the front by about 2.  I curved the hem to connect the two.  I wanted to make sure that the hem was plenty long enough to cover both my butt and crotch since I knew that I would be wearing it with leggings.  Looking at these pics I probably could have gone even a bit longer in the front.

Now for the Expresso leggings by Cake Patterns.  I was a little skeptical at first because the pattern uses a connect the dots type of drafting technique for your fit.  It felt a lot like elementary school and I was sure that there was no way these were going to be professional in the end.  I was wrong.  These are the best fitting leggings that I have ever worn.  I have short legs and so I was able to make the length correct and also have the knee hit at the right place.  I also really like my leggings high waisted so that they act more like a control top.  This pattern lets you choose your waist height which I love.  I made them up in a nice black black ponte knit fabric from my stash.  I love that they are thick enough not to show all of the ripples and lines like a normal legging would plus they are nice and warm for the cold weather.

So there you have it, my new handmade uniform.  I reach for it whenever it is clean.

Outfit Details:

LINDEN SWAP WITH SEW DIY

Guys, I have been in such a blogging funk lately.  I blame it on a few things including being waist deep in my next pattern, some extra pounds to the mid section left over from the holidays, and getting stuck on some difficult sewing projects, but mostly on this blasted winter.  It is just too cold outside and so weekend after weekend it’s just been too cold to get all dressed up and schlep my kids and gear out for a photoshoot.  I am just over it. Yesterday I had finally reached my limit so I did some rearranging in the apartment until I found a spot that I can use for some indoor photoshoots.  It’s not glamorous, but it’s warm, and its practical, and it means I can actually start posting again.  Expect to see this wall a lot in the next couple of months.  Sorry in advance.

Now onto happier things.  I participated in the Linden Swap put on by Carrie of Oh, She Dabbles and Ingrid of We The Sewing.  It was such a great idea.  The Linden is a super fast make, easy to fit, and most of us have enough leftovers in our stash to make it up.  I have made 6 Lindens so far and can say that I am certainly a fan.

When I heard about the swap I knew immediately who I wanted to pair up with – Beth of Sew DIY.  I am a little obsessed with her style and cool haircut.  She makes it look so effortless.  Not to mention her beautiful photography.  Also guys, she just released her first pattern – The Lou Box Top.  It’s one of those effortlessly cool boxy tops that pairs perfect with skinnies.  I’m pretty sure I will be making a bunch of these this summer.

I knew I would love anything Beth made for me and I was not disappointed.  She made me up a Linden in a beautifully soft french terry knit with neutral stripes.  One of the things that I like the most about this version is it is much lighter weight than anything I have made myself.  It hugs the body better and drapes nicer than any of my own versions.  For some reason I just never thought of making one in a fabric like this.  I guess that’s one of the great things about a swap!  I just love it.

For Beth’s version I used some amazing quilted fabric from blackbird fabrics for the main panel and then some organic sweatshirt fleece from fabric.com for the sleeves.  The cuffs and waistband are just a black cotton ribbing (which I am going through like crazy these days – who knew I needed to keep this stuff on hand all of the time).  And because I am a selfish sewer at heart I made myself a matching version too :)  I couldn’t resist.  I just checked Blackbird’s site and they seem to be out of both the white and gray quilted fabric.  Too bad because it’s really nice and soft.

Be sure to check out Beth wearing her Linden sweatshirt and I think you may still have time to participate in the swap too if you want.  Details here.

TUTORIAL : MINI HUDSON OVERALL VARIATION

I’ve had this tutorial ready to go for about 2 weeks.  I’ve just been waiting on taking pictures of my little guy in them.  As you can see it didn’t go well, but I decided that we would just go ahead anyway.  Hopefully this sad, pouty face won’t dampen any enthusiasm for the variation though because I’m pretty excited about this version.  I am a little obsessed with overalls and love how this comfy Mini Hudson version came out.  I took pics along the way so that I could show you all how I did it.  That being said I only made them in a size 2T so if you make these you will want to adjust according to your desired size.

 

Step 1

Sew up the bottom of your pants according to the instructions for your Mini Hudson Pants.  Just don’t cut out or sew the waistband until the next step.

 

Step 2

You will cut out your waistband in two pieces instead of one so that there will be a seam at the top and bottom of your waistband.  To do this add the seam allowance 3/8″ to the top of the fold line and cut off the rest.  Now cut out two waistband pieces at this size.

 

Step 3

Now cut out your front flap according to your desired size.  Mine was 5 1/2″ wide by 6 1/2″ tall plus 3/8″ seam allowance on the bottom and 1/2″ seam allowance around the top and sides.  Fold the seam allowance on the top and sides towards the wrong side and press.

 

Step 4

Prepare a small pocket for the front.  Mine was 3 1/2″ wide by 3″ tall plus 1/2″ seam allowance all around.  Fold seam allowances to the wrong side, press.  Stitch along the top at a scant 1/2″.  Pin to the front of your front flap.  Edgestitch around the sides and bottom.  Stitch down the seam allowances on the top and sides of the front flap at 1/4″.

 

Step 5

Create your straps by cutting 4 pieces of fabric at 1 1/4″ wide and 15″ long plus 3/8″ seam allowance all around.  Put two pieces right sides together, stitch the sides up, and turn right side out.  Press.  Repeat for the other strap.

 

Step 6

With right sides together, stitch each of the waistband pieces into a circle.

 

Step 7

Take one waistband and pin the bottom of the front flap to the top of the waistband at center front with right sides together.

Flip over and pin the two straps (overlapping at a slight angle) to the top of the waistband at center back.

 

Step 8

Put the other waistband piece, with right side facing the right side of the other waistband, sandwiching the straps and flap in the middle.  Stitch together.

 

Step 9

Flip the waistband pieces down to attach the pants.  Finish the waistband according to the instructions for the Mini Hudson pants.

 

Step 10

Fuse small scraps of interfacing to the back of the front flap where you want to put your buttonhole.  Stitch vertical buttonholes the correct size for your desired buttons.

 

Step 11

Finish your straps by tucking the open ends inside the straps 1/2″.  Stitch along all edges of the straps at 1/4″.  Mark where you want your buttons and sew your buttons to your straps.

 

All done!

He should really be happier about these :)

MINI HUDSON BLOG HOP DAY 5

Wow, it’s already the last day of the Mini Hudson Blog Hop.  I’m excited to share two more amazing versions with you today.

Kristen from Skirt As Top is someone that I have followed for a long time.  She is one of those people that I feel like I would be friends with in real life. She is sweet, talented, and has a beautiful blog filled with makes for herself and her children.  I think that my favorite post of all time though has to be this one where her daughters beloved stuffed animal is lost and returned and she sews the hero a clutch.  Something I could totally relate to as a mother.  Now go check out her Mini Hudsons on her blog.

 

Next is Delia of Delia Creates.  You may know her as the talent behind her own pattern, The Pleated Pencil Skirt.  Such a great staple pattern that I need to find time to make! Something else super impressive about her is that she is a knitting wizard as well with a pattern for a super hip slouchy winter hat.  To learn more about Delia and to see her Mini Hudsons click here to go to her blog.

 

And in case you havn’t caught up yet, click on the following links to see all of the amazing blogs who participated in the Mini Hudson Blog Hop.  Thanks for following along this week!

Monday January 5th – Jolies Bobines | Our Family Four
Tuesday January 6th – A Jennuine Life | Feather’s Flights
Wednesday January 7th – Adirondack Inspired | Made by Sara
Friday January 9th – Skirt As Top | Delia Creates

MINI HUDSON BLOG HOP DAY 4

Day four of the Mini Hudson Pants Blog Hop.  Love these two bloggers and their versions so much.

First we have the famous Celina from Petit a Petit and Family.  Even if you don’t have kids you should be following her blog as well as her pinterest and instagram accounts.  She has the best style around and mad skills.  To top it all of she is one of the amazing talents behind the Stylo magazine.  Click here to go to her blog and see more of her Mini Hudson pants .

 

Next we have Mie from Sewing Like Mad.  A cool thing about Mie is that she not only has a degree in professional sewing, but also has had her own small clothing company.  I’m pretty blown away that she decided to use sequins on the Mini Hudsons.  I want some for myself.  Click on over to her blog to see more.

 

Just one more day on the blog hop.  Here is the complete list of participants:

Monday January 5th – Jolies Bobines | Our Family Four
Tuesday January 6th – A Jennuine Life | Feather’s Flights
Wednesday January 7th – Adirondack Inspired | Made by Sara
Friday January 9th – Skirt As Top | Delia Creates

MINI HUDSON BLOG HOP DAY 3

We are in day three of the Mini Hudson blog hop and we have another couple of amazing blogs participating.

First up is Monica of Adirondack Inspired.  She has a beautiful blog filled with photos of her amazing kids and her envious life in the Adirondack Mountains. Hop on over to her blog to see more details of her two pairs of Mini Hudson Pants.

 

Sara of Made by Sara also made two pairs of adorable Mini Hudson’s up for her son and daughter. Sara’s blog is full of fun and easy tutorials for kids crafts and clothing.  I especially love this one and this one.  You can check out more of her makes as well as her Mini Hudsons on her blog.

Here is a list of the entire blog hop:

Monday January 5th – Jolies Bobines | Our Family Four
Tuesday January 6th – A Jennuine Life | Feather’s Flights
Wednesday January 7th – Adirondack Inspired | Made by Sara
Friday January 9th – Skirt As Top | Delia Creates

MINI HUDSON BLOG HOP DAY 2

It’s day 2 of the Mini Hudson Blog Hop and I am lucky enough to have two more amazing bloggers sewing up these pants on their children today.

First up is Jenn of Jennuine design.  Jenn is a children’s pattern designer herself including this awesome little retro camper hat that I could totally see my kids sporting in some nautical stripes or seersucker this summer.  I might just have to make that happen :) And I also love her little swing top pattern with its awesome racerback style.  Check out her blog to see more photos and a review of the pattern. (p.s. She made that little moto jacket out of an old couch!)

 

Next up we have Heather of Feather’s Flights.  Not only is she talented at sewing up items for her kids and herself, but she is a guru at being thrifty, reusing and repurposing.  Which is a perfect match for the Mini Hudsons.  In fact, if you want to be blown away, check out how she altered her mother’s wedding dress for her sister to wear.  Click over to Heather’s blog to see more info. on these two versions for her little boy and to see how she repurposed to make them.

Just three more days to go!  Here is the whole list of participants:

Monday January 5th – Jolies Bobines | Our Family Four
Tuesday January 6th – A Jennuine Life | Feather’s Flights
Wednesday January 7th – Adirondack Inspired | Made by Sara
Friday January 9th – Skirt As Top | Delia Creates

MINI HUDSON BLOG HOP DAY 1

Today is the first day of the blog hop for the Mini Hudson Pant.  I know, blog hops can get long, boring, and way overdone.  But I decided to do a blog hop for the Mini Hudson’s for two reasons.  First of all this is my first children’s pattern and to top it off I released it right before the holidays.  As as result I don’t think that a lot of people know about it.  So naturally I want to spread the word.  But also, one of the things that I love about this pattern is that it is a true unisex pattern. I thought that this blog hop would be a perfect excuse to highlight boy makes as well as girls.  This week you will see not only a lot of adorable little girls sporting their Mini Hudsons, but also a bunch of cute little boys wearing theirs as well.  I hope you will stick with me this week to see 10 talented bloggers showing off their versions of the Mini Hudson pant.

Today we had two amazing bloggers included in the blog hop and first up is none other than the talented Julie of Jolies Bobines.  I have followed her for a long time and am so envious of her perfect style (on her and her daughter :) and bold red lipstick.  You can see a couple of my recent favorites here and here.  I’m pretty sure that I want everything in her wardrobe. She made these awesome Mini Hudsons for her daughter.  Make sure you check out more photos on her blog by clicking here.

Next up is Erin of Our Family Four.  I love that her blog is not only about her sewing adventures, but is also a personal journal of the life of their family. I love feeling like I know a blogger on a deeper level, like when she talked about moving from Illinois to London and transitioning to both of her kids being in school and starting a business or about the time that her daughter cut her own hair.  And to top it off she has the most amazing photography to showcase their life and her makes.  Here is a sneak peek of the Mini Hudsons that she made for both her son and daughter.  Click here to see more.

And, in case you are curious, here is a list of all of the blogs participating in the blog hop this week. Can’t wait for you to see more.

Monday January 5th – Jolies Bobines | Our Family Four
Tuesday January 6th – A Jennuine Life | Feather’s Flights
Wednesday January 7th – Adirondack Inspired | Made by Sara
Friday January 9th – Skirt As Top | Delia Creates

MOTO VARIATION MINI HUDSON PANT

I thought I would share a little mini hudson pant variation tutorial with you guys today in preparation for the blog hop coming next week.  These pants were inspired by a pair that I saw from Gapkids that I also included in my ready to wear inspiration post last week.  It’s really easy to do and not only does it add a little extra style to the pants, but it also reinforces the knee area which is always the first to go on my kids clothing.  Here is the tutorial.

Step 1:

Cut out your pattern pieces as normal.  Cut out an additional piece for your front leg (one layer for each leg front) that is the same width of as the leg and is your desired height.  Mine is for a size 5T and is about 8 inches tall.  You can choose where you want it to be placed, but I started mine around the lengthen shorten line for the bottom so that it would hit around the knee.

Step 2:

Using a marking device that will wash out such as chalk, make horizontal lines parallel with the hem of the pants.  The markings below are 1 inch apart, but I ended up adding another line inbetween to make each line 1/2″ apart.  It’s up to you.

Step 3:

Stitch these lines through the one layer of fabric using a stitch that will stretch, not a normal straight stitch, otherwise the stitches may pop when your child bends their knee.  I used the stretch stitch on my machine, but I think that a zigzag out look really cool too. The thicker the stitch the more visible the design will be.

Step 4:

Place this piece of fabric with the stitching on top of your front leg piece so that the sides line up correctly.  Turn the top and bottom under by 1/4″. Press and pin in place.

Step 5:

Using a stretch stitch, sew along the folded edge at 1/8″.

 

Step 6:

Once you repeat for the other leg then sew up your mini hudson pants like normal according to the instructions and you are done!

2014 IN REVIEW

It’s always so fun to look back on the year and remember what you did.  I guess that’s one of the great things about having a blog.  It’s super easy to see how much you have accomplished and how far you have come.  As I clicked back through all of my posts from 2014 I was honestly surprised by how many things I did complete despite the fact that this has been an incredibly busy year for me.  Here are a few highlights.

Released 2 Women’s Sewing Patterns

One of my biggest goals for 2014 was to start releasing patterns through True Bias. Sometimes I can’t believe that I actually did it!  It’s been a busy and stressful year in a lot of ways, but it’s also been extremely rewarding.  I released my first sewing pattern, the Hudson Pant, in July.  It’s been amazing to see how you have all loved this pattern.  It was a huge boost of confidence for me and I love seeing all of your versions which continue to pop up all over the internet.

I released the Sutton Blouse in October of this year as well.  I love this pattern and how easy it is to throw it on with some jeans and look professional.  It’s pretty much been in constant rotation this winter as I have thrown it on under sweaters and cardis for easy layering.  Can’t wait to get even more use out of them once it’s a bit warmer.

Released my first Children’s Pattern

I started releasing my first of many children’s patterns which will be smaller versions of the adult pattern.  The first was the Mini Hudson Pant which was just released a few weeks ago and you will be seeing more of it in the next few weeks with it’s blog hop and some variation posts.  I honestly can’t stop making these because I have a lot of leftover fabric from the Hudson pants so it feels like a no brainer to sew up some pairs for my kids when I want and easy and quick project.

Most Worn Sewn Item : Mandy Boat Tee

Probably the quickest make, and by far the most worn, not to mention it’s a free pattern. Every time my Mandy boat tee is clean it gets worn.  In fact, it might be close to retirement because it’s starting to pill a lot from so much wear.  Pretty sure I will be making a duplicate.

Favorite Sewn Item : Floral Silk Hudsons or Black Jumpsuit

So this one is a toss up so I cheated and chose two.  I LOVE my floral silk Hudson’s.  I feel super trendy when I wear them, but they are still extremely comfortable.  I can dress them up or down depending on the occassion which make them really easy to wear too.  I’m thinking about snatching up some more floral fabric from Blackbird to make some in a rayon.

I also love this black jumpsuit using McCalls 6083.  It’s the way I wish I dressed all of the time.  Super comfy and on trend.  Im a sucker for black too because even though I am wearing a jumpsuit I still feel like I am somewhat age appropriate and sophisticated.  At least that’s what I tell myself :).

Favorite Kid Sewn Item : Striped Linen Overalls

By far my favorite sewn item for my kids this year has been these striped linen overalls.  I love them so much.  Sadly my little guy has grown out of them but I am on the hunt for similar fabric to make him another pair this summer.

Most Popular Sewn Item : Kids Backpack

I made this backpack for my daughter who was entering pre-k this year as a collaboration with April Rhodes and her first fabric line.  No question that this has been the fan favorite in terms of instagram, pinterest, comments etc…  And I love it too.  The best thing is that my daughter uses is almost everyday.

As for looking towards 2015, I’m trying to keep it simple.  I want to keep working hard and releasing patterns, taking the time to do a good job and be professional.  And I want to take time to sew for myself and stay up to date on my blog.

As for my personal sewing I just want to sew patterns multiple times (I tend to only sew things once and then move on to the next project quickly).  And I need to shop my own stash more.  I don’t have the room to continue acquiring more fabric so I need to use up what I have or pass it on.

How about you guys?  What stands out most as you look back on 2014 and look forward to 2015 for your sewing goals and accomplishments?