Knit Hey June Basics for Imagine Gnats

Hey old friends! It’s been so long!

Just popping in to share a post that I wrote this week for Imagine Gnats. I’m happy to be a new contributor to their blog, and I was excited to dive back into some kid sewing for my first post- I used three Hey June patterns and I love them! Check my post out¬†here if you’d like, and make sure to browse the fantastic selection of fabrics- one of my favorite shops for sure. ūüôā

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-Erin

Cleo Skirt

Today kicks off the Cleo Summer Showcase,¬†and I’m excited about this one because I feel this pattern and style is for anyone and everyone! ¬†Cleo is a great staple skirt pattern (and pretty quick sew) from our sewing guru, Rae.

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You can read all about Cleo here, but to sum it up for you, this gathered skirt features a flat-front waistband, elastic at the back, pockets, optional contrast ham band, and two lengths.

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Wait, did someone say pockets?

Moms need pockets. ¬†Kids need moms to have pockets. ¬†Because candy wrappers, hair ties, old band-aids, pebbles, matchbox cars, dirty/lucky pennies, rotten acorns….

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The fabric I used is from Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous collection, which features yarn-dyed cotton in really beautiful colorways. ¬†Super light and airy, this stuff is. ¬†Perfect for a Summertime skirt. ¬†I chose to make mine in the longer length, and I’m very pleased… oh, and I did add a couple of extra inches to accommodate for my height.

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Changing your Cleo up from casual to fancy is as simple as fabric choice.¬†Rae has so many different versions on her blog that you’ve got to check out: ¬†Gingham (my fave!), a beautiful Cleo made in¬†Liberty, and a green maxi¬†she made years ago before Cleo was a thing.

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I had the sweetest photo assistant, and I can’t resist giving him some face time here on the old blog. ¬†Love that boy.

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Thanks Rae, for inviting me along. ¬†I’m already dreaming up some cooler weather Cleos!

You can follow along the Cleo Summer Showcase all week. Take a look at this line-up, find your inspiration, and grab your copy of the Cleo skirt!

-Erin

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Geranium XP

About 5 years ago, Made by Rae released her Geranium dress pattern for girls, and it quickly became the must-sew dress for all mom sewers everywhere. ¬†I think I have made ¬†upwards of 50 Geraniums since it’s release- several for my girls, many for custom orders and friends. ¬†Its my standby. ¬†It can be casual, it can be fancy. ¬†I always keep it close. ¬†It’s actually the only one of my patterns that is kept in a purple folder so that I can find it¬†in quickly.

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Rae asked me a few weeks ago to help test her newest baby, the Geranium Expansion Pack¬†(known as Geranium XP). ¬†This pattern supplements the original Geranium pattern (OG) by adding many new options. ¬†First of all, sleeves! ¬†3 different lengths, puffed,¬†fitted, gathered, oh my! There’s a zipper option, extended bodice option, neck bow, sash, hem band, peter pan collar… Just head over to Rae’s site to read all about and see all of the amazing variations she’s made. ¬†Can I say this probably the only dress pattern you need?

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I decided to test the short fitted sleeve option and the bow, in the tunic length.  The pattern details are all there, and the directions are what you expect from Rae- perfectly understandable and clear.

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The neck bow is cleverly inserted in the sides of the U-cut out from the OG- brillz!

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I will say, I was nervous to do the fitted sleeve. ¬†I thought it just might be too fitted for my wiggly child, but really it fits so nicely! ¬†Especially in this lightweight swiss dot. ¬†I used some leftover Rifle paper co. scraps to make my neck bow, and while I’m happy with the end result, I think next time I’d pick a contrast fabric that is the same weight or lighter than the main fabric. ¬†It just felt a little tricky to sew between the swiss dot layers, and hangs just a bit “heavier” than I’d like, but, still so adorable!

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Since I’m wimpy, I chose to make the button-up back closure. ¬†Though I’d like to attempt a zipper again (I’ve only sewn a couple).

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Okay friends, time to get your XP so you can make one of the possible 2,000 (i know- who knows how to do math like that?) Geranium variations.

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Thanks for coming by and special thanks to Rae for continuing to inspire us to sew all the things!

-Erin

Isla maxi dress

Apologies first, for the side of Willie Nelson eye contact. ¬†Grant’s room gets the best light in the house. ¬†Do you think he’s stoned¬†in that pic? ¬†Has Tori Spelling had a nose job? ¬†Is the sky blue? ¬†I’ll let you be the judge.

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Here’s another Isla for you, dress-form this time. ¬†You can find this great pattern here.

I’ll show you how I modified it into a maxi using these 5 steps:

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Just kidding! ¬†I added like, 20″ or so to the skirt, which I also cut wider so it would be more fully gathered. ¬†Oh, and I didn’t hem this because I didn’t feel like it and also, #knitdontfray.

Shazam!  Maxi!

I really love this pattern. ¬† As you loyal readers know, I always lengthen my patterns to accommodate my amazonian height. ¬†Here, I added approximately 2″ of length to the bodice. ¬†I may even add 1/2″ or so next time since this seam is hitting just above my natural waist.

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I used my cheater binding method for both the neckline and the armholes, and it really turned out nicely.  No measuring required.  You should try it sometime.

This knit fabric has become my new standby. ¬†I feel like I’m leading you to my secret mushroom hunting spot, but it’s okay because we’re pals-¬†just don’t buy it all, and don’t tell anyone else about it, ok? ¬†It’s a cotton/lycra blend from the Peek-a-boo fabric shop, and it’s just really nice stuff for the price- you really cannot beat $7/yard these days. ¬†I also used the dark teal¬†here¬†for Coco’s ballet back dress,¬†and here in the gold mustard¬†for the Millie dress. ¬†I’d say it’s similar to Kaufman Laguna knits if you’re familiar with those, but better In my opinion?¬† Stretchy but sturdy, and very vibrant color in person. ¬†I have now bought about 6 different colors and I’m in love with all of them.

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 Please excuse the wrinkles.  This dress was in a literal ball on my closet floor before I put it on.

¬†Because kids, that’s why.

-Erin

Millie Dress

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I feel like there are two types of people in this world.

Those who like ruffles, and those who don’t.

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I happen to love them (in the right context, that is.  I simply cannot condone many of these, sorrynotsorry).

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The Millie dress kept showing up in my Instagram feed in all it’s ruffled glory, and despite having almost no time to sew lately… I had to make one.

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This is a free pattern in sizes 3-6.  There are no diagrams, no tutorials to guide you- just a simple set of instructions.  But, If you have sewn a dress before, and have gathered some fabric to make a ruffle, you can make this.

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I made a size 5, with a size 6 length and am really happy with the fit- this dress is intended to be above the knee.  Coco is proving to be taking after me in the height department, so I generally have to lengthen things for her.

I chose to make a regular neckband using my usual cheater technique, since I wasn’t liking the idea of just folding the neckline under and topstitching as the pattern suggested. ¬†I felt like that would’ve made the neckline stretch out or gape, but what do I know….

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This beautiful mustard knit is from peek-a-boo pattern shop.¬† It’s a cotton/lycra blend, and is really a nice weight. ¬†The last dress I made was also made with knit from Amy’s shop, and it’s some of the nicest knit I’ve used in a long time. For $7/yard, I’d definitely buy it again.

Coco was busting out some of the Yoga moves she learns at preschool. ¬†Girl’s got some balance! ¬†She says this one is called Tree pose. ¬†I’m no yogi, so I’ll take her word for it.

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Namaste, friends.

-Erin

Ballet Back Dress

Okay sewing friends, new favorite pattern alert!

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It’s twirly. ¬†It’s comfy. ¬†It has a ballet back.

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This is the Janie dress by Hayley of Mouse House Creations.  And the version you see here is only one of several variations you could make with this pattern.  We love options, amiright?

For my Coco, I made the gathered skirt with ballet back and long sleeves- though I cut a few inches off the sleeve because I’m into this “cropped long sleeve” that I’ve been seeing ¬†around lately.

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I made a size 5 (Corinne is a tall and lean 4 1/2 year old) and I’m really loving the fit on her. ¬†But, let’s talk about¬†this darling back neckline… it’s just so sweet on her little bony body! ¬†I’m dying…

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I used a fantastic cotton lycra knit from Peek-a-boo pattern¬†shop. ¬†This was my first time ordering from Amy, and along with this dark teal (i’m currently obsessed with this shade of blue!), I purchased a dark coral and a mustard color… All fabrics are vibrant in color, nice and stretchy, but also sturdy. ¬†Sewing with it went as smoothly as I could’ve hoped.

Oh, I should mention that I didn’t completely follow the neckband instructions. ¬†Once I added the neckband, I felt like it was too wide for a delicate little dress, so I then folded the neckband down towards the front and topstitched. ¬†I’d say this looks more like a leotard neckband would be finished…

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A little hard to see in the photo,¬†but I’m really happy with it.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve seen another version I made for big sister Ellery that has an un-gathered skirt and a cowl neck. ¬†Really hoping I can convince Ell to let me take some pics of it on her because it’s pretty sweet!

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Speaking of big sis, she gets SO into Christmas- last week when I brought out our decorations and wrapping stuff, she immediately started wrapping up “presents” for the family and putting them under the tree. ¬†Coco asked if she could open hers, so Ellery handed her the giant gift bag with 25 pieces of tissue paper, and Coco got SO excited. ¬†She pulled out an old little pair of her own sunglasses, held them up, and said “ugh… this is a¬†WE-GIFT!!!” and threw them back in the bag.

Coco is working on getting thsoe R’s right! ¬†Anyway, it was adorable.

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Let’s end this post with a ¬†few classic Coco faces. ¬†She is incredibly silly and I had to weed through about 50 goofy poses and expressions to get some pics for the blog.

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Thanks for reading!

-Erin

Isla top

Hi there!

It’s been 3 1/2 months since a blog post, so I figured we’re due for one.

This is the Isla pattern from Made by Rae.

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My Isla is the peplum top variation, but I love the dress versions that Rae has made (especially this one!) so I hope to give that try too. ¬†Anyway, it’s cute, right? ¬†This pattern is pretty simple- I sewed (mostly serged) mine in about an hour while Coco and her cousin Wes happily played babies in the next room.

I used my easy and fast neckband tutorial for the arm holes and neckline.

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I made a size L, but as usual lengthened the bodice by about 3/4″, and the skirt piece by about an inch… I did not hem this, and there’s no way I could’ve gotten away with it anyway. ¬†It’s definitely a bit short- the peplum piece is supposed to hit right at your natural waist, and my waist is probably an inch lower. ¬†That’s okay though. ¬†A wearable muslin works for me. ¬†I’ll change it up next time around.

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Are you dying to know where I got this amazing fabric?

¬†WELL… I was at Goodwill the other morning- sometimes between dropping the big kids off at school and dropping Coco off at preschool an hour later, we go to random places that are open at 8 am (Grocery stores, Tractor Supply (because chickens), Lowes, or Goodwill). ¬†Anyway, a yard and a half of this colorful print was just sitting folded up nicely on the shelf. ¬†Mine for 20 cents. ¬†Bada-bing!

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Made of 100% luxurious indie (not!) polyester… tee hee!

Seriously though, I am loving the drape. ¬†So easy to sew with. ¬†And it’s pretty darn comfortable. ¬†I’d be nice if it were a little more breathable.

How did people survive the seventies?  GAWD!

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I like to pair this with my 100% pilly acrylic Target cardigan.

Love y’all!

-Erin

p.s. Caroline and I were recently featured on Rae’s blog for her Sewing Superstars series… We love Rae and her patterns, so we were so honored to be featured. ¬†You can check it out here!