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 two: parsley pants for the boy

The great thing about KCW (for me anyway) is that it inspires me to finish a project that I either threw aside in a fit of frustration, or that needs some more attention or tweaking.  Take these parsley pants for example.

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I made them two weeks ago, and Grant wore them once, but complained that the waist was too tight, and that they were too long.  He was on the verge of rejecting them forever… and almost about to give me this gnarly look if I didn’t do something about it:

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So I spent about 30 minutes yesterday opening up some seams and adjusting the elastic length to make them a bit roomier.

And I fixed the hem by bringing them up about 3/4″.

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And now he’s happy about wearing them.  And it makes me happy to make stuff for him- he’s always really sweet about it and appreciative.  He’s a gem.

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How I obtained that fabric is sort of a funny story… I had seen 2 posts by sewing extraordinaire Sanae. This great tunic, and these adorable baby shoes- both made in the same ticking fabric.  Then about a week later, my friend Ann called me and asked if I wanted any blue ticking fabric.  She had some from a home décor project and had some leftover.  I remembered Sanae’s posts and decided that she made it cool, so of course I said sure!

So Ann dropped it off one day.

TEN YARDS PEOPLE.

I was like, “Ann, did you forget to recover your SOFA??”

An entire roll of blue ticking fabric sits next to my sewing table.

Anyone want some free fabric?  No, really… anyone?

Leave your yardage requests in the comments.  I’ll have it shipped out faster than it would take to wait in the cutting line at Joann’s on coupon extravaganza day!

**update!  I’ve actually had some interest in this fabric (including a local friend who I’ve promised some to as well)…  glad to unload it on you guys so we can deck our kids out in some home dec! haha…  thanks gals for participating in my sorta-giveaway!**

:)

-Erin

January Junebug

 Happy New Year Gungie readers!  Resolutions anyone?  Mine are mostly just project lists for each room of our house.  The challenge for me, since I seem to have design ADD, is to just commit to one room, and finish it.  I’m starting with the parts of our home that are exposed to the most general traffic.  I think that’s a smart way to begin.   Hopefully, I will have the nerve to show you the progress as things move along.

As for sewing, well, isn’t it always about stash busting?  Use what you have, and avoid spending on new fabric!  Also, pattern busting for me.  I have been psyched to buy several patterns, but then I strangely avoid them.  I don’ t know why.  My Washi pattern is giving me the stink eye right now!  I’ll get to you, dammit!

First up for both pattern and stash busting is the sweet, vintage inspired, Junebug Dress.  Sewn in Tanya Whelan Delilah Dots, and lined with some pretty floral that I can’t place.

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This was my first time sewing one of Jessica’s patterns.  It went perfectly!  Really well written with lots of pictures.   I sewed the 18 month size  for a dear friend’s first baby, with the thought that she can wear it next spring when she will be walking.  That must be such a strange thing to imagine for the mother of a two month old!  Her teeny little girl will be up and walking this time next year.  Its wild!

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I definitely considered doing the bodice in the floral print, but I waited until I had all pieces constructed to decide.  It came down to the piping.  Doesn’t it always?  I loved the turquoise piping with the turquoise buttons, and those features just wouldn’t pop against the floral fabric.  So red dots all the way!  

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I was hoping Corinne would be up for modeling this, but I caught her too close to nap time.   Wes was my next choice, but I just couldn’t do that to him again.  It’s still too soon.  So, on the hanger it is.

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Ah, it feels good to have one sewing project under my belt in the new year.  What will be next?  Unfortunately, I think it will have to be some theme sewing for Jet’s 7th birthday party.  I haven’t yet seen fabric Minion bunting on Pinterest yet, so I’ll have to think it up myself.

Tell us what projects top your 2014 list!

~Caroline

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

The 12 days of Christmas

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Hey all!

I’m guest posting today over at Craftstorming for the 12 days of Christmas sewing series.  Laura and Suz (of Sewpony) have gotten a great group of sewing bloggers together to talk about Christmas traditions and favorite memories… and of course some holiday sewing for the kiddos.

Hop on over to Craftstorming check out my crew decked out in their ‘Christmas Casual’ duds!

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Oh, and Grant has a message for you about fruitcake.

-Erin

Modern Folksy Bunny + a giveaway

When Virginia of the Gingercake blog + shop emailed to see if we’d be interested in sewing one of her patterns for her Holiday Gifts Sewing Series, it immediately conjured up memories.  Every Christmas, my mother tied wide red velvet ribbons around a few stuffed animals and set them in little wooden chairs on either side of our fireplace.  They only appeared at Christmastime which made them seem extra special, and my favorite one was a small white puma.

I just loved it and every time the boxes ‘o decorations made their way from the attic down to the first floor, I would find it buried somewhere and call it my own- If only for the month of December.

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So, when thinking about which pattern in Virginia’s shop that I’d like to sew up, I kept coming back to the Modern Folksy Bunny.  It reminded me of those sweet little stuffed animals that my Mom put out, and something I thought my own children would love to see re-appear at every holiday season…

So this little guy is staying in the family.

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I wonder who will call dibs?

The girl with the matching pants, of course!

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Corinne was pretty taken with this bunny.  She looked at it for a while, but then began to pick at the button eyes and the floppy bow.  She hugged it tightly, threw it on the ground, picked it up, put it in her shopping cart and rolled it around the kitchen… you get the idea.

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(This would be the second bunny I made- I made an ear-error on the first one, but I may finish it up today and show you that one later this week so stay tuned for that…)

This little bunny takes a nice shape thanks to a couple of well-placed darts and a little boxed corner at the toe.  Nice little details that I never would have thought of on my own.

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The body is made of Essex yarn dyed linen in black.  For the ear lining and bow, I used some red tartan that has been burning a hole in my stash for three years.  This might be my new favorite fabric combo, fyi.

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  Those bell-bottoms that Coco is wearing, were made for my older girl back when she was a toddler.  sniff sniff.  I found them the other day in a box of Winter clothes and I knew we had to include them in this photo shoot!

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My favorite part about making this bunny would have to be that cute pom-pom tail.  It was the first one I’ve ever made and I could seriously get hooked!  I used a basic white yarn and wrapped it around my hand old-school style- though I’ve heard there are pom-pom makers out there.

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Would you like to make your own folksy bunny?  Virginia has kindly offered up one Bunny pattern for one of you cool readers.

 Leave me a comment below!

Giveaway will end on Sunday 11/17 at 9 pm and a winner will be chosen at random.

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Be sure to check out all the other great PDF patterns in Virginia’s shop- tons of cute stuff there perfect for a handmade gift!

Happy (Holiday) Sewing!

-Erin

p.s. You can *like* Hungie Gungie on FB now and be up to the millisecond on any breaking news we may decide is important to share.  j/k. you’ll be lucky if we ever remember to post over there.

… hittin’ the big time y’all.

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