Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sewing: Flutter Sleeve Bateau Neck Tops for KCW (Free Pattern)


Summer seems to be speeding by. It's hard to believe it's closer to the end of July than the beginning. The hot, lazy days of summer. I've been enjoying them so much I don't want to see them end. But there is still a lot to look forward to this summer so I won't get too sentimental about it, at least until it's August!


It's the second day of the Kids Clothes Week summer challenge and I feel like I could just keep sewing casual summer clothes for my girls. It's been so satisfying, and quick, and deadline free (except for my own challenges to finish).



This time I've made some Bateau Neck Tops for Scarlett and Tess with a new sleeve variation: the Flutter. This was inspired by a Bateau Neck Top Dana sewed for STYLO 2 earlier this year with a little ruffle on a sleeveless version.


I fashioned a full sleeve so it can be set in just as you would with the original sleeve, with the addition of some gathering (pattern and instructions follow below). I decided to leave the sleeve hem "raw," or unfinished, since that's an option with knits. In fact, I left the hem on Tess's top raw as well because I like the way it curls. (If you prefer a small hem on this flutter sleeve you can easily add a hem allowance to the pattern.)


I love the combination of the boatneck and the flutter sleeve!


Tess is sporting some new floral leggings with her Bateau Neck Top. These were self-drafted and sewn with this floral fabric from Etsy. The aqua polka dot jersey is Riley Blake.


Scarlett's Bateau Neck Top was sewn with knit fabric I purchased from Girl Charlee last year and she is wearing it with some Kid Shorts I made when I attended Dana's sewing workshop at SNAP! conference a few months ago. I love the racer style in the Kid Shorts pattern (which I lengthened a tad) with the binding. And my girls love wearing them!


If you'd like to add Flutter Sleeves to a Bateau Neck Top or Bateau Neck Dress (the dress would be so cute!) click through for the free pattern and brief tutorial. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sewing: Rainbow SOLEIL Dress (KCW Summer)

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I love the SOLEIL Dress pattern so much I couldn't resist making another! Especially since I had some rainbow knit for my rainbow-loving daughter, Scarlett (leftover from this Rainbow Bateau Neck Top).


The summer kid sewing is really working. They are wearing (out) the things I'm making. They pull them out of the dirty clothes before I can wash them, and the clean clothes before I can fold them. 


And I've purchased less for this summer too (not counting fabric!). It's a good thing.


It's an addicting thing too! I'm loving Kids Clothes Week since it's the excuse I didn't need to keep sewing for my kids!

(P.S. Don't forget I'm offering a 20% discount off all purchases in my Aesthetic Nest Etsy shop and Wee Muses Etsy Shop this week in celebration of Kids Clothes Week. Use the code KCWSUMMER)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sewing: Embellished Bateau Neck Top and Dress


My sister gave me this great french terry fabric she purchased a few years ago at Fabric.com. She had used it for some darling hoodies for her girls (luckily passed down to mine) and still had a bunch left over.  Seemed the perfect thing for a set of embellished Bateau Neck Tops. And then I decided to go even further and make a dress for Scarlett. She is a dress girl after all.


This is my Bateau Neck A-Line Dress (The Bateau Neck Top pattern plus The Bateau Neck Dress pattern extension) to which I added a kangaroo pocket (free kangaroo pocket pattern), and some bling! Because why not? 



These patterns can be purchased from my Wee Muses shop at 20% off this week and next, in celebration of the upcoming Kid's Clothes Week Challenge (July 21-27). Are you ready?


These jewels are the sew-on variety I purchased in a multi pack from Jo-Ann. I had been wanting to the try them. 


Scarlett loves them.


For miss Tess I kept things a bit simpler. She favors leggings so I made her a Bateau Neck Top with Kangaroo Pocket and coordinating leggings, which are self-drafted.


The yellow dotted jersey for the leggings was purchased at Euro Girls Boutique.


And she is wearing my favorite variety of summer sandals: Saltwater Sandals. I love this bright yellow color. Scarlett is wearing a great turquoise pair but you'll have to just trust me on that.


It's been so much fun sewing all of these casual summer clothes for my girls. But I do need to get back to some patterns I had in the works...after just a few more things I have ready to go...!




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

FYI: Kid's Clothes Week and Shop Discounts

Are you planning to sew next week during the Kid's Clothes Week Challenge? It's July 21-28 and I'm in! It's a lovely continuation to my past weeks of kids' clothes sewing! I'm so hooked. Not that it's much of a new thing but I've been in a groove of sewing quick, casual summer clothes for them. Every day clothes rather than Sunday dresses. I'll be getting back to the Sunday dresses (my first love) but first there's the challenge next week.
You can sign up to sew along on the KCW website.


And to help you compile your to-sew list, I'm offering discounts in both my Etsy shops from now through the 27th. You can take 20% whatever you have your heart set on. All the sewing patterns in my Wee Muses Etsy shop, and all of the patterns and printables (why not?) in my Aesthetic Nest Etsy Shop.

Just use the code KCWSUMMER

One code. Two shops. All the stuff.


Enjoy!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cooking: Shredded Beef Tacos (Slow Cooker Recipe)


We were in charge of a meal on a recent trip we took with extended family. The task was to come up with something easy to prepare for about twenty people with "local" grocery stores about forty five minutes away. We were staying in rustic cabins with indoor cook tops and also had the option of cooking on the coals. But the most important thing was after long days outdoors it had to taste delicious!


I'm not super experienced when it comes to camping meals (something I'd like to remedy), and initially considered marinating steaks and bringing them in a cooler. But grilling steaks for twenty with little equipment seemed too daunting. So I landed on something I could prepare ahead and freeze: slow cooked beef for making tacos.


My recipe for slow-cooked shredded chicken is one of my favorites. Super easy and flavorful. I came up with a great equivalent when you are in the mood for beef. We made both shredded chicken and shredded beef to suit different preferences but most of our crowd had one or two of each. It was a big success. So colorful and flavorful and so much fun to eat outdoors on a beautiful summer evening.


I made the shredded chicken and shredded beef in crock pots and froze them in ziploc bags the night before our trip. Packed in a cooler with ice they stayed frozen on the drive and then I thawed them in a refrigerator the night before the meal. It took less time than I had planned to warm up the meat, which we did in dutch ovens. We warmed taco sized corn and flour tortillas, chopped tomatoes and avocado, shredded lettuce and cooked some black beans with a bit of spicy salsa.  We didn't forget shredded cheese and two kinds of salsa (Herdez Tomatillo and Salsa Casera Medium) Then we laid out the spread and let everyone make their own tacos.


I wish I were eating these again for dinner tonight! I know this will be a recipe we'll return to again and again.

Click through for the recipe.

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