Nature Walk Pullover for Jacob

I haven’t been blogging nearly as much as I used to.  I blame this on several things.  Firstly, I am seriously lacking time.  I’m lucky if I get sewing time these days, let alone find time to actually blog about what I’ve made.  Secondly, I realized that I don’t really NEED to blog about EVERYTHING I’ve made.

I knew I wanted to make the Nature Walk Pullover by none other than Oliver and S, for Jacob as soon as I saw Gail’s version.  I even sort of copied her fabric choice.  Well, I didn’t “sort of copy”.  I pretty much entirely copied, except for the colour.  It’s Shetland flannel in denim from Robert Kaufman.   This was the first time I’ve sewn with really nice flannel.  I think what I’ve thought of as flannel, has actually been flannelette.  Which is fine for jammies, but THIS is fantastic for garments.   I had no idea!

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I actually made this around five months ago.  Maya and Jacob were having class photos taken and I wanted them each to have Mommy-made clothes on, but I didn’t want them to be matchy matchy.   Maya wore her Jumprope dress and I wanted Jacob to wear this.

It was a really enjoyable sew.  I was even able to use some coveted fabric (Moon Patrol by cloud 9) as subtle details in the facings of the pockets.  Like Gail, I chose to use all one fabric for the pullover.  I like the simplified look of a single fabric sometimes.

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I love the kangaroo pocket on the front, though I do have to remind Jacob that it’s there.  He doesn’t have near the obsession with pockets as Maya has.  :)

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As much as I love it, it is a little tricky to get on.  It is a woven pullover afterall so I suppose that’s to be expected.  I’m not sure it would work in a knit. If someone has tried it, I would love to hear about it.

These two steal my heart every day.

These two steal my heart every day.

And yes, those are photos taken in line to see Santa Clause…..on Christmas Eve.  We made it in the Nick of time.

I had a sad moment the day I got the proofs back for the kids’ class photos.  Jacob was wearing his fleece jacket on TOP of his awesome shirt!  Now I don’t know if he didn’t want to take it off, or if his teachers thought that his jacket was a sweater.  Either way, he’s super adorable in his photo.  And I can’t very well post Jacob’s school photo and not Maya’s, so here she is, too.  :)

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This photo was taken on Christmas Eve.  We live in Ottawa, which is ridiculously cold in the winter.  And the kids are eating popsicles.  It was unseasonably warm this year and there was no snow to be seen.  In fact, if I hadn’t put their bikes away for the season a month earlier, they would have been able to bike.  On Christmas Eve, 2015.  Craziness!

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Another Cinderella

I believe I mentioned that the Cinderella dress I made last year for Maya was not authentic enough for her.  “Her dress is all blue.  She doesn’t have any white”.   It was getting really short on her anyway, so I didn’t mind making a more authentic dress for our most recent Disney World trip.

Last year's Cinderella

Last year’s Cinderella–look how little Maya is!!

The pattern for Cinderella is included with the Snow White pattern I used here.

I made the dress extra long and then hemmed it several inches so that she will be able to wear it for several years.

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This dress came together pretty quickly compared to Snow White.  There’s no big detachable collar nor cape.  And I must say, my invisible zippers are getting easier to install.

So there you have it.  Another Cinderella.  :)

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And here’s Mr. Jacob.  Really not impressed with Cinderella this year.  lol.

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The Prince (aka Prince Ferdinand) – a little tutorial

I’m a wee bit late with my Disney posts…but better late than never, right?

You can’t have Snow White without her Prince.  And a handsome prince he is. (If I do say so myself).  I had to google it, but yes, Snow White’s prince’s name is Ferdinand.  But I think in the movie, he is referred to as “The Prince”.

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I had a hard time finding a pattern for his outfit.  In fact, it’s hard to find Disney-esque costumes for boys.  That is why I am forced to come up with my own from patterns that already exist.

The Prince’s top looked sort of art smock-ish, so I started with the “bias-trimmed apron” pattern from Little Things to Sew (by Liesl Gibson of Oliver and S).  I pretty much just winged this costume, but I took some photos as I was going along so I’m going to explain my process as I go.

The Bias-trimmed apron has full sides and a velcro or snap back to make it easy to pull on.  I wanted to make it even simpler, so I used only the front pattern piece and used it for the front and the back.  Because it’s made with woven fabric with no stretch, I cut the front neckline a bit deeper so it would go over Jacob’s head.  I kept trying it on over his head, till I was happy.  In hindsight, I probably should have kept some sort of opening at the back, but as a costume, I think it turned out just fine.

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I didn’t use the instructions for the apron, just the pattern piece.

I started by sewing and serging the shoulder seams.

I wanted it to go over his head and I also wanted it to close with tabs instead of being fully enclosed on the sides.  I knew I was going to be wrapping some sort of gold rope around so I wanted it as open as possible to decrease the bulk when the rope was tied.

To create the tabs, cut out 8 tabs from your fabric.

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Sew 2 of them them wrong sides together  (4 times, to make 4 tabs), and flip them right sides out pushing the rounded edges out with a knitting needle to make a smooth curve.

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Attach  each tab partway up the sides.  There were notches on the pattern piece where the original sides should have been attached; use these for placement.

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Baste the tabs to the wrong side of the smock.

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I bought some gold bias trim by the meter and attached it cheater-style to the outer edge and the neckline.  By cheater style, I just sandwiched the fabric in the bias and edge stitched it in place.

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Lastly was the fun bit.  Not!  I bought some gold cording in the drapery department of Fabricland and hand stitched it to the back neckline, up to the shoulder seam.  By stitching it only at the back, it’s easier to adjust the fit as kids get bigger.  I just sort of wrap it around and tie in the front.

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Now for the cape.  I just sort of winged this one as well.  I found several tutorials online for Prince capes, but in the end I just sort of drew the general shape on my fabric and attached the same gold bias, leaving tails long enough to tie.

So there you have it.  One Prince Ferdinand costume.

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I know I’m biased….but how cute!  Prepare for photo overload.

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Cape and autographs!

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Snow White

Maybe we went to Disney World a month ago.

So that means my kids needed some additional costumes.

Last year, you may recall, I made both kids a bunch of Disney outfits.  The good thing is they all still fit!! Thank goodness because I didn’t have it in me again this year to make all the costumes.  Maya’s grown a couple inches over the past year, so her dresses are getting shorter on her, but that is OK.  And Jacob’s were starting to get a wee bit short, but they were fine for this trip.

I asked Maya if she could have one new princess dress, what would it be.  Hands down, Snow White.  She has a dress up Snow White costume that she received for her birthday one year and she loves it.  She’s never actually seen the movie, but she knows who Snow White is.

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Maya is all about her dresses being authentic.  She even pointed out to Minnie Mouse last year that her dress was similar, but not the same (I added lace to the bottom and clearly Minnie doesn’t have lace on her dress).  So I knew I had to find an authentic Snow White pattern.

In comes Simplicity patterns, pattern 2817 to be exact.  This is my third time using a non-pdf tutorial based sewing pattern.  I’ve come a long way in the past couple of years in my self taught sewing ability, so I didn’t find it as complicated as I thought I would.  There were a couple of parts (sewing in the zipper and attaching the cape loop) that I know I didn’t do properly, but even after going back, I still don’t really understand what the instructions were trying to tell me.  So I did my own thing.

This dress has everything!  A detachable collar, cape and headband.  Except for the slight colour differences, if this isn’t Snow White’s dress, I don’t know what is.

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The bodice front and back have darts.  This was my first time sewing darts that actually gave shape and structure to a bodice.  And it was first time making my own piping.  I will be adding piping to garments from now on.  It was so simple and gives such a nice look.

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I didn’t have the heavyweight interfacing required for the collar, so I used medium weight but interfaced both sides of it, so I think the end result is the same.

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The headband is covered in fabric with a poly filled bow on top.

Maya loves this dress.  Like LOVES this dress.

Seeing as this post is about Maya’s Snow White dress, I will save Jacob’s Prince Ferdinand’s costume for another post.  But there’s a little sneak peak up there.  I may even try to add a bit of a tutorial for it.  Hopefully I can get back into the sewing groove again.  I have a whole list of things to make before Christmas and time is a tickin’.

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Till next time.  Happy sewing.

My favourite Oliver and S Pattern

A few things have happened over the past couple of months that prevented me from blogging (and sewing) as I would have liked. I had jaw surgery (I am fine, healing slowly…but at least I can eat solid food again), we took a family vacation (will talk about that in some future posts) and I was writing a post (and sewing) for the Oliver and S blog.   When Rachel asked me to contribute to the “my favorite pattern” series, I was beyond thrilled!  I even sewed 2 more after she asked.

To find out what my favourite pattern is, you’ll have to jump on over to the Oliver and S blog to see. :)

Back to School

Well, both kids are back to school.  I realize Jacob is only 2.5, so saying he is in “school” seems like a stretch.  But alas, they are both at school.

This year Jacob moved from the toddler program into Casa.  So he and Maya are actually in the same class.  They were both so excited to be together.  They aren’t actually together the whole day.  They have a work period with the whole class (casa 1, 2 and 3) and then they split up for much of the rest of the day.  Jacob goes to the sleep room in the afternoon for a much needed nap,  and Maya goes to the resting room. I wonder how much “rest” she’s actually getting.

Anyway, onto the clothes.

As you may recall, my husband and I went to New York City for a quick weekend getaway for our 5th wedding anniversary in May whereby I discovered the mecca of all fabric stores:  Mood Fabrics.  You could literally spend a week in that place and not see it all I think.

I bought this shirting fabric there.  It is so soft and drapes so nicely.  And though it’s 100% cotton, I don’t think I could wrinkle it if I tried.  Which is perfect, because I hate ironing finished garments.  (Just ask my husband about his button up shirts).

I think it works just as well for dresses for girls and shirts for boys.

This is the first time I’ve sewn both of these patterns.  Maya’s dress is the “Jumprope Dress” by Oliver and S and Jacob’s shirt is the “Sketchbook Shirt” also by Oliver and S.  Have I mentioned before how much I love Oliver and S?!

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Neither of them were a quick sew.  But I knew that going in.  I’ve seen plenty Jumprope dresses in blog land to know what I was getting myself into.

There’s a collar, button placket, sleeve tabs, belt loops and buttoned pockets.  Nothing necessarily “new” to me, but I haven’t sewn so many of these elements in a single garment before.

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It’s not that the pattern is difficult, it was just time consuming.  Combining the facts that the kids are going to bed later (bye bye 6pm bedtimes), I work full time and I’m trying to keep on top of all things family and home related, I don’t get as much time sewing.  So my hour or two here and there are really precious.  I think this dress took 4 or 5 evenings from start to finish.  But I LOVE it.  Like, really love it!  I kind of want one for myself.

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I may have had to cut the bodice out a couple of times because I forgot to match my plaids the first time around.  But I’m glad I noticed and that I had plenty of fabric to recut the back and match it to the front.  That’s the only problem with plaids…the matching.  But it’s not difficult to do, especially with well marked patterns.  It’s easy just to match the notches on a certain “mark” on the front, find the same repeating “mark” and place the back piece.  I love Oliver and S for that.  It makes matching patterns really easy.  As long as you actually remember to do it and don’t just put your pattern piece down willy nilly.  But enough about that.

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Maya actually likes this dress!  It’s all in the delivery.  I told her it was twirly and had secret pockets and bam! instant love.

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I decided to use pearl snaps instead of buttons.  A bit finicky, but I love the look.

Now onto Jacob’s shirt.  This was my first time making the Sketchbook shirt.  I’ve made the shorts before (here), and I have made button down shirts (here and here).  But this pattern was new to me.

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I chose to do a combination of view A and B.  The collar from A with the short sleeves from B.  I definitely chose well by making it short sleeved for several reasons.  One, it’s chilly in the morning, but still gets quite warm by noon.  Also, the kids’ classroom is quite warm and my kids are furnaces on a cool day.  But mostly because the short sleeves are simple.  A hem and that is all.  I “may” try to make a long sleeved one some day, but all the details that make it super handsome (extra buttons and plackets) are also that details that are still a bit intimidating to me.

Goofy boy

Goofy boy

My collar is definitely not perfect, and I had a bit of trouble attaching everything (seems to be a common occurance based on my research), but I still like it.  It doesn’t help when you start something the day before your child needs to wear it either.  I would recommend giving yourself 2 to 3 evenings to sew this shirt, instead of the afternoon and evening I took.

Jacob button placket and collar

I cut the placket and the back yoke on the bias.  I think it adds a little something extra.

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When I finish something for the kids, it’s always at night when they are sleeping.  I don’t sew when they are awake.  I barely get to see them with school and work getting in the way, so I always wait to sew till they are sleeping.  Because I finish at night, I like to put whatever it is on a stand or mannequin and then put it in their room so they see it when they wake.  It seems to make them really want to wear it.  The morning they saw these was extra special, not only because they had matching outfits (I’ll be sad when they don’t want to match each other anymore), but also because it was Jacob’s first day of Casa and them being in the same class.

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How have my babies grown so much!?  Wasn’t Jacob just born?!

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A Sailboat Shirt

It’s about time I sewed some clothes for my little guy.  He gets so excited anytime I make him something.  His eyes light up and he’s so appreciative.

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I purchased this red striped knit when we were in New York City from Mood Fabrics.   I made Maya a dress from it (haven’t blogged about it, but I really should) and I made Jacob a “matching” raglan T-shirt.  They were beyond excited to have “matching” clothes.  Unfortunately, the t-shirt was a tad too small for him.  He wore it a couple of times, but his tummy liked to peek it’s way out.  He kept asking for his shirt when Maya would wear the dress, so I had to get my butt in gear and make him something.

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He saw me cutting the fabric one day and asked me, “Is that for me?”  And when I said yes.  In his cutest little voice every said, “thank you thank you thank you”.

This is not the first time I’ve sewn a sailboat shirt from Oliver and S.   I made one for Jacob about a year ago, but it looked like jammies, so he didn’t wear it very often.

This pattern can be sewn in woven or knit.  My first was woven, and this one is knit.  I think I prefer it in knit to be honest.  Mostly because it’s way easier to get on a squirmy 2.5 year old.

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There’s not much to say about the pattern.  Like usual the instructions and the end result were perfect.  I really like the curved hem and boat neck.  I also love using facings instead of hemming, especially when there is a curve like this one.

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I used snaps instead of buttons and button holes.

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Jacob was a little sad in the morning when he saw the shirt.  He was expecting it to be a dress just like Maya’s.  His exact words were, “That’s not a dress.  That’s a shirt”.  But he eventually decided he liked it and he wore it to preschool.

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I made this in a 3T.  It’s a bit big on him, but that’s okay.  He’ll definitely be growing into it.

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Notice it’s long sleeved?  Yeah…it got cold here….fast!

 

 

Backpacks from Little Things to Sew

Maya started ballet last September.  I had the idea to make her a “ballet bag” since then, but never actually got around to making one for her till now.    

I had the perfect fabric to do so.  It’s a canvas with adorable little ballerinas all over it in Maya’s favourite colour, purple!  This is the first time I’ve sewn with canvas.  It was quite different than I thought, it was really soft.  I guess I expected it to be more like home dec weight or denim or something.  
And since I was already making one backpack, why not make another one for my little man.   I let Jacob choose his fabric.   Both kids are really into the tv show “Dinosaur Train” right now and I had this Lizzie House dinosaur print so I wasn’t surprised when Jacob picked it.

 
The pattern I used was the “Penguin Backpack” from the book, Little Things to Sew from Oliver and S.  Instead of making it a penguin, I just used the lining piece as the front piece, but kept everything else pretty much the same (minus the penguin bits).

 
There’s really not much to say about this pattern.  Like usual, instructions are great and the finished product is perfect.  

 
I decided to hand stitch their names inside.  

  
 There is a double pocket on the inside that Maya thinks is perfect for her ballet slippers.  I agree!  

I used an unbleached linen I had in my stash for the lining.  I really like how they turned out.

Having my two kids just over a year and a half apart was really hard for the first couple of years, and to be honest, I forget a lot about that blur of time.  But I wouldn’t change it for anything.  They love and adore each other so much.  

 
  
  

Charlie dress

Smile!

Maya has a dress from H&M that she loves.  It has butterflies on it and is super comfy.  I also paid $5 for it.  I have a problem paying $5 for something.  I basically have trouble with the idea that in order to charge $5 and actually make money on it, you must be paying your workers nothing.  So I am trying to avoid that, now that I have a better knowledge of the garment industry.  But I won’t go into ethics right now.  That is not what this blog is about.

Instead I will focus on the style of the dress.  It is a sleeveless, drop waist dress with a twirly skirt.  It looks almost identical to the Charlie dress by Mingo and Grace.  I sewed the Blake from Mingo and Grace a few months ago and loved it.  So I had no doubt I would also love the Charlie.  I was not wrong.  It may be one of my favourite dresses I have made.

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I sewed this dress a couple of months ago.  I have no idea why it has taken me so long to actually post it.  I think part of me thought I already had.  I have photos of Maya wearing this at Ikea, at her grandparents’, in Montreal on a family day trip and en route to Toronto for a weekend getaway.  Needless to say, she really likes this dress.

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It’s a pretty straight forward sew.  I love the binding on the neckline and armholes and I love how twirly the skirt is without being over the top ruffles.

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In Montreal we found a "balloon lady" who made Maya an Elsa and Jacob a monkey. They were really neat!

In Montreal we found a “balloon lady” who made Maya an Elsa and Jacob a monkey. They were really neat!

My husband is really into photography so when I saw this camera fabric I jumped on it.  I just needed the perfect project.  And this was it!

Maya and her daddy at the old Port in Montreal.

Maya and her daddy at the old Port in Montreal.

The fabric is from the Snapshots line from Riley Blake.

This is when the kids realized there were more flavours of ice cream than just chocolate and vanilla.

This is when the kids realized there were more flavours of ice cream than just chocolate and vanilla.

This is a straight up size 4.  It has a really roomy fit so I’m glad I made the 4 instead of the 5.  I’m in a bit of denial that my little girl is growing up.  Does anyone else get sad when their kids move up a size?

Look! I have bat ears!

Look! I have bat ears! At the Biodome in Montreal.

The best thing about this dress is that Maya loves it (almost) as much as I do.  It’s a dress that I will be making many times.  I wish there was a sleeve option so she could wear it in the fall and winter as well.  Who am I kidding, she will wear it in the fall and winter with leggings and a cardigan on top.  :)

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She even wore it for her first day of school.  My big girl is in the equivalent of Junior Kindergarten (she goes to a Montessori school so they don’t call it JK)

My big girl!

My big girl!

As I was going through my photos for this post, I came across this one.  How cute are these two?  I moved Maya’s car seat to be beside Jacob’s a couple of months ago.  The first thing Maya said was, “Now we can hold hands”.  And when they aren’t annoying each other, that’s exactly what they do.

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And some more, just because.  I love how much these two love each other.  For now, they are best friends.

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Not Just a Sunsuit Blog Tour: A Hidden Pocket Jumper

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I was so thrilled when Ajaire invited me on her “Not Just a Sunsuit” Blog tour.  Ajaire (of Call Ajaire) released the Paneled Sunsuit pattern earlier this summer.  This pattern has so many options (in fact, I think there are 10 different ways you can sew it).  At first I was going to make the maxi skirt version.  But then I quickly remembered that, although Maya LOVES dresses that “go to the floor”, they aren’t the most practical for my dancing, flipping, biking, running all over the place little girl.  So I decided on the jumper.  And I’m glad I did.

TaDa!

TaDa!

Maya LOVES dresses.  Usually, the twirlier the better.  Even though I’m not a huge fan of super twirly dresses, I do realize that Maya is 4.  And I’m sure I liked twirly dresses when I was 4 as well.  So when I can, I try my best to make her dresses twirl.  As you can see, this dress is very streamlined (which I love) so you would think that Maya would refuse to wear it.  But she actually LOVES it….for one very big, important reason.  It has HIDDEN POCKETS.

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The truth is, the pockets aren’t really hidden.  They are right there.  But when you use the same fabric as the skirt and CALL them hidden.  They become the most special thing.  And Maya will wear it.

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In fact, she’s worn it several times since I’ve made it for her.  But I only just got photos of her the other day.  She’s even worn it on a pony.

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Since I’m at the tail end of the blog tour, I’m not going to reiterate how well the pattern is laid out or how great the illustrations are or even how thorough the instructions are.  But I will say that I am thrilled with how this jumper turned out.

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One thing I really loved about this pattern is that there are no zips or fasteners.  The straps have elastic in them which makes them scrunch up and there is a casing on the back with elastic.  Makes it pretty easy to put on and take off.

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Maya was being bitten alive by mosquitos.  Poor kid.  She has the worst luck.  They just love her.  Needless to say, she did not enjoy this photoshoot very much.

darn mosquitos

darn mosquitos

I used Art Gallery Solid in Festival Fuschia for the top and for the bodice lining.  The skirt and the front panel as well as the straps is from the Floriography line by Chelsea Andersen for Riley Blake.

This is a straight up size 4 with no adjustments made.  In hindsight I wish I had made her a 5.  It’s a bit short, which I’m okay with it because we are heading into autumn here and she can wear it with leggings and a sweater.  Which brings me to the main point of the “Not JUST a Sunsuit” Blog Tour.  This is NOT just a sunsuit.  It’s an “all weather” suit.

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And what’s even better, is that now you can add long sleeves to your sunsuit with the free add on here.  So it will definitely take you into the cooler weather.

So there you have it!  A super cute, all seasons jumper, with two awesome Hidden pockets.

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Ajaire is giving away four copies of the Paneled Sunsuit pattern, plus she’s offering 15% off the pattern in her shop through September 4th!  For a chance to win your own copy of the pattern, simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out all the awesome versions of the Paneled Sunsuit from the Blog Tour.

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Monday August 24th:Max California | Filles à Maman | Hey June | House of Estrela

Tuesday August 25th:Skirt Fixation | Gracious Threads | Kimmie Sew Crazy | Shaffer Sisters

Wednesday August 26th:Kid Approved | Pinkel | Falafel and the Bee | Once Upon a Sewing Machine

Thursday August 27th:Buzzmills | Pattern Revolution | Sprouting JubeJube | Mandmade Martini

Friday August 28th:That’s Sew Kari | Lulu & Celeste | Paisley Roots | Modern Handmade

Monday August 31st:Sew Cool for the Tween Scene | Kadiddlehopper | Imagine Gnats | Nap Time Creations

Tuesday September 1st:My Sweet Sunshine | Straight Stitch Designs | Handmade Boy | That’s What She Crafted

Wednesday September 2nd:Climbing the Willow | Rebel & Malice | GYCT Designs | Two-Many

Thursday September 3rd:The Crazy Tailor | sewVery | Just Add Fabric | Delia Creates

Friday September 4th:A Jennuine Life | Conversas de Hermanas | Made by Sara | Not Sew Fast

 

The pattern was provided at no charge to me for the purpose of the tour, however all opinions are my own!