KCW: hide and seek tunic

Hold up.

Before reading this post, you need to open another tab and play this song because I had it playing in my head on repeat for three days while making this top.  By the end of those three days I was singing this one… which will just make you f-ing crazy.

Still, I gotta take inspiration where I get it, and the dress on the cover of this pattern had me thinking about kaftans and boho Krishna-types, and then reminded me of an old top of mine, which reminded me how much I love to upcycle stuff, and you get it….

so here we are.

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This lovely pattern is the Hide and Seek dress + tunic.  One of three newly released ones from Oliver + S.

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If Oliver + S were to design a pattern just for me (HA.), this would be it.  I love the shape, the looseness of it all, the gathers just at the center front and back panels, the size of the yoke… I really dig it.

This round of Kids Clothes Week has the optional theme, Mini Me.  So, I had fun trying to recreate my old top into something cute for Coco.  The yoke is cut from my former shirt- it’s really neat, with a ton of stitching up and down in black, red, blue, yellow, and mint.  But the white fabric was so thin and gauze-like, and showing some wear.  So I used some lightweight white cotton from the ‘ole stash.

Here’s my former top worn by me a year ago:

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(I’m not posing coyly… I’m holding a phone.  Important business call (NOT.) before delicious meal. Thanks for the pic Amanda!)

I finished this tunic yesterday afternoon (no jesse spano this week- I’m sticking to the minimum KCW requirements of sewing one hour a day) and we snuck outside in the evening to capture some photos of Corinne in the late sun.

Oh, how I’ve missed you, magic hour!

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I neglected to see that on the sleeve pattern piece there is a cutting line for the tunic version, which is a few inches shorter than what you see here.  I made the top and then was scratching my head, remembering that the tunic option has short sleeves.  I do kind of like the 3/4 length though, but I may end up cutting and re-hemming.  We’ll see.  Decisions, decisions.

The jade buttons were ripped off (literally) of this skirt that I never wore out of the house.  One of those things I could not stand to look at after a while.  What a waste of many hours!

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The bloomers (what you can see of them anyway) are self-drafted and one of several pairs I made a couple of months ago and am still playing around with the fit.

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 These ones are made from cotton couture in Mist or as my husband would say, Lime Pudding.  I say pistachio.

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Coco’s all, “what does the fox say, mama?!”

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Hare Krishna y’all.

-Erin

 

geranium in washi + gold

First, I just want to thank you guys for your kind and thoughtful comments on our last post.  Caroline and I both felt the love!  You guys are the best.  Wes has responded really well to chemo so far, and it was a pleasure to get to see him this morning in his own house, being silly and adorable.   A few weeks ago, I threw all sewing stuff to the wind.  I couldn’t really do anything but think about my sweet nephew and how I could help my sis.  But, sewing is therapeutic, and it felt nice to pick up some fabric and make something out of it.  So, while I had some time on my hands yesterday (thank god for children who still nap!), I decided to finish up this little outfit that I’ve had cut out for some time.

This fabric has certainly seen its heyday- Rae made it iconic with her original Washi dress… But I’ve been sitting on a yard of it for almost 2 years.  So, while you sewing blog readers are probably sick of seeing it, well…. sorry!  But, I think it’s the perfect kid fabric with it’s vibrant colors.

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Nothing is easier than using a pattern you know well.  The Geranium is tried and true.  This version is the tunic length, with ruffle sleeves.  I usually use gold thread to finish the zigzag edge because I’m all for a little understated bling.

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The bubble bloomers are self-drafted.  I’ve been working on perfecting the fit, and I’m almost there.  I think they are a nice staple to have in a toddler wardrobe.  And when you make them out of cotton couture,  well… they are almost luxurious.  Rich in color, soft and they almost have a sheen to them.

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This set is not for my darling dear Coco.  Instead, I enlisted her modeling help (in exchange for 2 Cadbury mini eggs… ’tis the season!), and then packed these up to be shipped to a little friend up north today.

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Yesterday it was in the 70′s here.  I hope you are experiencing some signs of Spring wherever you are!

-Erin

KCW: The End

Like I said the other day, I’m feeling super-charged this week.  Kind of like Jessie Spano on the Saved by the Bell when she was on speed for 72 hours straight… (“I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m… so…. scared!”)

Only, I’m not high on speed.

I’m high on knits.

(and if you know the episode I’m talking about, let’s be best friends.)

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So, I’m back with a couple of outfits for the kid who needs them the most.  Ellery is growing out of pretty much everything.

Above is yet another Flashback tee.  Yup, still addicted.  I modified it to be A-line, and also cut it about 3-4 inches longer.

Then.

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The Geranium hijacked the Flashback.

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I used the ruffle sleeve pattern piece from my beloved Geranium pattern (zigzag’d the edges with gold thread) and basted it to the curve at the top of the sleeve, and then continued on as usual.  The fabric is Cotton Couture in Cinnamon and it’s really a neat neutral, but still interesting, color.  I like the contrast of it with the eggplant jersey (from Joann) and the greige (grey-beige y’all)sleeves- repurposed from a top of my own.

The leggings are made with the same brushed knit I showed you the other day.  They are so cozy. I’ve been calling them her Polar Vortex leggings.  Oh, and in true Ellery style, she slept in them last night- which is always a good sign, right?

I used the Oliver + S Playtime Leggings digital pattern, and I’m in love!

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Now.  Do yourself a favor: buy this pattern.

(It’s now being offered as an individual pattern, so you gotta check it out!)

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I cut a size 6 for Ellery, and I would say they are a pretty perfect fit, though I’m not sure it’s the perfect legging fabric.  It didn’t seem to bounce back quite as well as I’d like, but still totally wearable (and sleep-able!).  And hey, if these end up as pajama bottoms…it’s okay because I’ll probably be spooning her whenever she wears them.

Moving on to outfit number 2.

Remember the other day how I said I’d be taking care of Ellery’s high-water leggings with the worn-out knees?

I think these are a pretty great solution.  What do you think?

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Things really started clicking as this pair came together.  Great stretchy fabric, not to thin. And concise, straightforward directions that Oliver + S fans have always raved about.  Sewing is fun.  Sewing leggings is the most fun.

Oh, and can I mention how FAST they are to sew?  I started this pair at 2:15 one day (I distinctly remember looking at the clock) and by 2:35 when I walked down the driveway to get Ellery off the bus, all I had left to do was pull the elastic through the casing and sew it shut.  Boom.  Leggings.

With heart knee patches!

Here’s a quick look at my patch placement in case you’re interested:

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(My heart patch is about 3″ wide at the widest part, and about 3 1/2″ long.  The point is about 7 3/4″ up from the bottom edge, and about 1 1/2″ to the left of that edge on the right.  I fiddled around with an old pair of my daughters leggings to get an idea of where they should go, but maybe this could be helpful if you’re making a size 6 as well. note: I cut my pattern a tad longer – maybe 3/8″, though I think it’s plenty long as it is.)

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The knee patches are 2 layers of red cotton knit just stuck on there and top-stitched.  We have thrown out several pairs of fairly new pairs of store-bought leggings (I’m talking to you, Old Navy) because of holes in the knees.  Just thin fabric I guess.  Or maybe she plays too hard.

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For the tee, “I took a little help from the store”, (as Rachael Ray would say with her pre-shredded carrots) and bought one from Target.  I then thought of a fun V-day saying, then I googled it to see if I was clever enough to have invented it (no, I’m not), and freezer paper stenctiled away with some gold, red, and black fabric paint.

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I printed the I’M WITH on my computer and traced it, but tried my best to free-hand the Cupid and arrow.

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Oh, hey! Cupid’s awake!

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I think the only way for me to participate in KCW (and what I did this time around) is to plan ahead, cut out fabric, set aside patterns in the days before, so all I have to do is sew.  It’s just too much of a disorganized mess if I go between cutting to sewing to cleaning up… etc.

I hope you all had fun sewing along for KCW, and if you didn’t, well… there’s always the Springtime!

-Erin

**Oliver + S kindly supplied me with the Playtime Leggings pattern.  Several patterns are not being offered as single PDFs.  You can check them out in their shop!**

KCW day three: linen apron top

I’ll keep it short and simple today since I have a sick baby to tend to (well, she’s five… but aren’t they always babies when they’re sick?  I mean in like a sweet, helpless, cuddly way of course!). We also had a snow day today so we’ve been cooped up inside making a mess of the place.

Here’s a top that I’ve made a couple times before, so it was fairly quick for me to put together with the pattern already cut out in Coco’s size.  The most time consuming part was making the bias tape, which I needed about 3 yards of.

This is a bit large on Corinne, but she’s pretty slim.  I’m sure she’ll be able to wear it over a shirt and leggings for an entire year.

I call that a win!

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Pattern: Butterick B5019

Fabric: Yarn-dyed Essex in red

Size: 2

As always, thanks for stopping by our blog!  Happy Sewing…

-Erin

KCW day one: flashback skinny tee

Another KCW is upon us (or as Caroline refers to it, “Neglect Your Household Week”), and I am jumping right in.  My plan this week is to sew things I know my kids will wear.  Comfy, practical stuff.  I spent a few hours this weekend cutting fabric and setting aside patterns.  You know, gathering my Mise en Place.

Up first is a flashback tee for Corinne in some incredibly soft brushed knit, size 2T.

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GRANT PHOTOBOMB! (he reeeeally wanted to take a “bwog” photo too. hehe.)

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GREAT pattern.  This would be the first time making this pattern using yardage… the past couple of times I sort of cheated by using my husband’s old shirts and keeping the existing hems.  This time around, I put it all together with the serger, and then switched to my sewing machine with a walking foot and zigzag stitch to hem the bottom and to attach the neckband (which came out hella perfect if you don’t mind me sayin’).  I might break out my twin needle sometime this week, but I do like that walking foot/zigzag combo.  So what if it isn’t totally profesh!?

Also, I would like an entire wardrobe made out of this fabric.  It’s fabulous stuff, I tell you.

See you tomorrow!

Erin

(p.s. Caroline is busy this week making NINE little minion outfits for Jet’s Despicable Me-themed Birthday party this week!  Good Mama right there…)

Popover Top + Bubble Bloomers

Whew.  Christmas came and went, didn’t it?  I really felt the busyness of it this year- the school parties, the teacher gifts, the shopping…

I’m exhausted.

I did my fair share of sewing this December.  If you missed it, you can check out the Christmasey duds I made for my kiddos earlier this month over at Craftstorming.  Besides all that, I kept myself busy at the machine this month making DOLL CLOTHES.  But more on that in a future post.

 For now, I’d like to show you a little non-Christmas outfit I made for a little friend.

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Coco got her first real invitation to a birthday party this month for her pal, Elliot- known to most as “Elles”.  Her mom Jenny and I have been buddies for a while, and Jenny has always been so complimentary of the clothes I make my kids- she is truly one who appreciates all the time it takes to make something special!  In fact, this post is all about her. This past Summer, I met up with Jenny and Elles at a park, and Jenny handed me one of her favorite old dresses that had seen some better days and asked if I could use it to make something for Elliot.

Here is a horrible picture of the old dress:

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 I’ve been hanging onto it ever since.  Elles’ birthday was the perfect push I needed to transform Jenny’s dress into something new.

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This is the Oliver + S popover dress  pattern (tunic-fied) in a 2T, and some (mostly) self-drafted bloomers.

I wanted this to be nice and flowy like the old dress, so I cut the front and back pieces several inches wider than the pattern, and gathered them at the center where they meet the yoke.  I used the lining from the original dress to add a lining to this one.

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The yoke is my beloved AMH square dance voile- y’all know I’m a fan of that fabric!  I love the little pops of color it adds.

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I had intended for this to be a dress, and had it all finished (and photographed for the blog) and ready to go when I noticed a small stain a couple of inches from the hem.  So, I grabbed a wet washcloth and gently started to clean it and rrrrrrrriiiiippppppp!!  This fabric is incredibly thin and it tore as soon as I started dabbing.  SO… I had to cut off the hem and shorten it a bit into a top.

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But mistakes can often be a good thing- because without the rip, I wouldn’t have thought to make the cute bloomers!

I started with the bloomer pattern from Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing, but had to modify it since they were HUGE at first.  So, I ended up cutting off a couple inches at the bottom, gathering just the outer sides, and adding a 3/4″ cuff.  They are still a bit big on my model, 21 month old Coco… but they’ll be perfect on 2 year old Elles this Spring/Summer.

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I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Gold, same fabric for the popover straps.

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I love this last picture of Corinne… just as she was starting to melt.

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Happy New Year to you all!  Tomorrow I turn 34 and get to start a new year at a new age, it always feels like a fresh start.  I have no resolutions yet.  Any ideas?

-Erin

Return of the Rookie

I’ll admit it guys, I’m in the weeds this holiday season.  Weeded.  Wee-to-the-DED.  And not in a good way.  If you know what I mean by “in the weeds”, you have probably worked as a server in a busy restaurant.  If you haven’t, then I don’t know you.

Basically, I’m overwhelmed.  Who isn’t?  The lofty plans I had for handmade do-dads for every teacher and person my kid high-fives are probably not gonna happen.  The cookies?  Sorry, you’ll have to settle for chocolate dipped pretzel rods… and I’m pretty sure my girl had her tongue in sprinkles before they were sprinkled.  Handmade dresses or jammies?  Maybe in time for Chinese New Year.

Ya, sure, we celebrate that.

I think I’m starting to get that if you are a parent of children (sorry, dogs don’t count) then you’ve got to get your Christmas act together in September.  Get organized, and get cracking!  Or, you can just be normal, and chill out and relax.  But no!  I can’t!  Jessica said it first and said it best, “Craftiness is Not Optional“.  Best blog name in blogland.  Cause its so freaking true.

Crafters are just not normal.

So, I figured that instead of blogging about sewing bias tape on a tree skirt, *yawn*, I’d introduce you to a little someone special…

Our new nephew, Brady!

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Isn’t he adorable?  He arrived 5 weeks early (November 3, MY birthday!), and was healthy, and cherubic even!  We really hope to get our hands on him soon.

You might remember meeting Brady’s Mom, our big sister Erika, in this post from a while back, when she surprised, okay, shocked us all by learning how to sew during a summer visit.  Since many of you have wondered what became of the “Rookie Seamstress”  (okay, well at least Kristin inquired ;)- girl you always got our back!)  I’m here with the update!

Guess what?  She made this.

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A hospital gown so that she could deliver Brady in style!

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Over the course of a year or so, Erika has sewn a little with her machine- more bibs, a pair of toddler pants.  But, when she found out she was expecting #2, she was on a mission to duplicate a handmade hospital gown that she was given a few years ago before her #1.  Erin and I each borrowed said gown for our #3s.  It really does make you feel special to change into something with a pop of color while you are snuggling up to your brand new baby and paparazzi is in full force.  There’s a little Kardashian in all of us, no?

In order to create this green gown, Erika pretty much deconstructed the gifted one to get a basic pattern.

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Its a pretty basic shape, but, she had to figure out the snaps and openings which got a little tricky for her.

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Erika got some help from our mom with the finishings, and she might have declared that she would NEVER SEW AGAIN, but seriously, how good is this? Please help us convince her not to Craigslist her machine!

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By the way, these photos were taken this summer when E was visiting.  I wanted her to guest blog like she did the first time, her perspective is so blunt honest, but she just kept avoiding me when I’d ask.  Its not for everyone.

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Maybe looking back on this project after its been a few months, will help her to realize how great of a job she did.  Its empowering to make a wearable garment!  Awesome work Erika- on that gown, and even more so, on this little guy!

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We love him already!

~Caroline

She’s an Uptown Girl

I almost feel a little silly posting about jackets today since we’re still in long-sleeve weather this week (update: I just went outside and it is COLD!).  I grew up in Connecticut, and I remember that snap of cold air that swept through in October every year.  Not so in Virginia!  It’s definitely slower paced here.  And beautiful!

Anyway, I am always so excited for Fall so it’s no surprise to me that I had this corduroy and flannel jacket for Ellery whipped up by the first week of September.

This is the Uptown Girl Jacket by Make it Perfect.

And I love it.

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The Uptown is a reversible hooded jacket that closes at the top with one button.  It has a curved yoke, and little gathers in the center back, at the top of the sleeves, and in the center of each front panel.  Small, but sweet details. This is the ‘Big Uptown Girl’ for ages 6-10, but there is a sister pattern (aptly named the ‘Little Uptown Girl’) for sizes 0-5.  I sewed a 6 for my 5 1/2 year old and the fit is spot on.

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Ellery hasn’t been able to wear this yet since for more than 5 minutes since it’s still warmish out.  Actually, I didn’t originally plan on lining this with flannel, but once I put the two fabrics together (corduroy from Jo-ann, and this Anna Maria flannel), I was kind of feeling it.  And then I decided to ‘go big or go home’ by using fusible fleece inside instead of the suggested lightweight interfacing.  Why?  I dunno… but there’s a heft to this little coat that is pretty darn perfect.

I apologize that you can’t get an idea of what this looks like from the front.  Ellery was in total silly mode while I tried to take these photos.

Girl WOULD NOT TAKE DIRECTION FOR SQUAT.  There goes her child modeling career.

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(p.s. that skirt she’s wearing is one of three circle skirts I made using this tutorial from You and Mie.  She wears one of them to school almost every day. No joke.  It’s a good thing they’re reversible.)

We still aren’t totally sure about the button (see, no buttonhole yet?).  The one below is a basic wooden one that I painted gold.  I’m still on the lookout for the perfect one- I’ve even raided my mom’s gazillion color-coded button jars and could not settle on one.  Though I did pocket some other cool ones when she wasn’t looking.  Thanks Kate! ;)

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Back to Ellery being in silly mode.  She thought it’d be amusing if she took a sip of my coffee.

She could barely swallow it since she was giggling so much.

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In the middle of sewing this jacket I knew it’d be a while until she could wear it, so I quickly started another in some lighter-weight fabrics.

Some plum pinstripe from Jo-ann (I think linen-like?) and an old stash favorite, like 3 years old, some sort of no-name cream colored poplin with stars on it.

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It was so easy to put together since I had the pattern handy.  I think I sewed most of this in under 2 hours.  And that was with a toddler at my feet.

The weight of this one has been perfect for brisk mornings on the way to school.

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I highly recommend this pattern to someone who’s had a few successfully completed patterns under their belt.  The directions are short and sweet- just the way I like ‘em.  No, telling you to iron after each little step, or to trim your seams- something I was surprised about at first, but really that becomes common sewing sense once you’ve got the all of the basics down.

Here’s Ellery trying to button it with her eyes closed.

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Whoops.

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Gotta work on that.

That awesome button above is acrylic with glitter in it.  She’s pretty into it.

I should mention that I was on the hunt for a little jacket pattern like this for ages, and was inspired by seeing Gail’s (her post shows a Little Uptown and the Serendipity coat- another from Make it Perfect) and Carolyn’s (hers is quilted!) versions within weeks of each other.

Those are two ladies whose opinions you can trust.

I was sold.

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Seeing her wrapped in mama-made warmth is pretty darn satisfying.

-Erin

Bimaa in the ‘Hood

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I was so happy when Sarah of EmmylouBeeDoo and LouBeeClothing patterns asked if I’d like to join her Bimaa pattern tour.  Maybe you have seen this little pattern showing up around blog-land lately?  It’s a hot one right now!  I’m the last stop on the tour (along with Skirt as Top- no pressure, right?), and I can’t believe all adorable Bimaas that these gals have been putting out.

Sarah’s blog is such a good one and quickly becoming one of my favorites- I LOVE what she sews for her cute daughter… like this Sally dress- so great!  And this September tunic- I bought this pattern as soon as I saw her version.  Plus, Sarah is a New England girl, and grew up a New England girl, so… maybe I’m just drawn to her New Englandy-ness?  :)

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, check out Sarah’s blog and pattern shop if you know what’s good for you!!!

Now.  Onto my BIMAA!

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The Bimaa is a slim-fitting sweater with 3 neckline options: hoodie, shawl collar, and cowl neck.  There is no hemming in this pattern- just sewing a cuff band and waist band, which is quick and pretty fool-proof if you ask me… No folding up, no ironing… I love that I didn’t have to get up from my chair and iron a thing!

I made a 2T for my 18 month old and the fit is perfectly…though if you have any worries about the snug fit, just size up in the width. The only change I made to the pattern was to make a little puff sleeve at the shoulder… Just ’cause I love ‘em.  I widened the top curve of the sleeve piece, and added a little length to the top as well- gathered about 2-3 inches at the curve to create the puff, and attached!  Easy.

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This is like the 3rd thing I’ve ever sewn in knit, and I am just shocked that I didn’t have any trouble.  I did use my stretch stitch which I never had before, and it went smooth as butter.  I might try my next one on the serger though just for speed.  Sarah recommends using a 4-way stretch knit for this- I used a stretchy white velour, and a thick gray sweater knit (from an old dress of mine) for the hood lining.

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 I love sewing hoods, so I decided to make Coco one with kitty ears.  I made this before Sarah’s fabulous Add-Ears-to-a-Bimaa-Hoodie tutorial + template, so I used the instructions and pattern pieces for the Cozy Winter Hood out of the O + S Little Things to Sew book.  Both methods are pretty much the same idea.   I used a pink floral quilting cotton for the inside, and shaped my ears to create a point at the top.  Although I wish they faced the front a bit more, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. When they start to flop, she looks like a little lamb.

A twofer!

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Sarah is kind enough to giveaway a Bimaa pattern to one of you readers!  Just leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite Halloween costume was as a child- We’re still undecided here with the costumes this year, so I’d love some ideas.

Giveaway is open to all and will close at midnight on Tuesday 10/22.  Good Luck!

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Oh, and if you can’t wait that long to sew one up, you can purchase the pattern (along with Sarah’s other patterns) HERE.

(And be sure to check out my tour buddy, Kristin’s cowl Bimaa too!)

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Happy Sewing!

-Erin