Monday, November 25, 2013

Sewing: The Prairie Rose Set (Pattern)

Hello, Friends. Gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday? Or gearing up for the holidays? I am trying to do both, but I've also been finishing up a sewing pattern I've been working on for well over a year (phew! seriously?!). With the help of a great team of pattern testers (more about that in a subsequent post) I am happy to announce it's finished! The Prairie Rose Set is available here in my Etsy shop

So I'm celebrating with a coupon code, THANKS20, for 20% off all purchases in my Aesthetic Nest Etsy Shop and my Wee Muses Etsy Shop. You can use it during this big retail holiday push from now through Monday, December 2. (So that's 11/25/13 - 12/2/13) Enjoy it!

The Prairie Rose Set is the second in my line of Wee Muses Sewing Pattern. It's pretty different from the first--the sporty Bateau Neck Top. This one is all girl. But in the best way: The Prairie Rose Set was inspired by the strong women who rode horses with the men and defended their homes on the wind blown prairie, but also kept the floors swept, loved a pretty new dress, and laid out a gingham tablecloth for supper. This set is ultra-feminine but practical too for running, riding or dancing around--it's got pants.

The Prairie Rose Set is a 75 page PDF file but you only need print the pattern pages I've specified for the item you're sewing. (Note: To save paper printing, cutting and assembly I've included dimensions rather than patterns for the rectangles to cut for the ruffles.) This pattern was tested in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia and is fit to print on letter-sized or A4 paper. 

I love to include a lot of value in my patterns, not only in terms of quality, but also in terms of options and variations. I think this one is a particularly great value because The Prairie Rose Set includes patterns and instructions for:
  • The Prairie Rose Blouse
  • The Prairie Rose Dress
  • The Prairie Rose Pants
  • The Prairie Rose Maxi Skirt

This combination of Prairie Rose Blouse and Prairie Rose Maxi skirt is my latest favorite outfit on Scarlett. There is a lot of fullness, especially with all the ruffles but the skirt is narrower through the hips and the longer length balances everything. She loves wearing it. I've kept it simple in one fabric plus a western belt, but you could also switch it up with different prints for the blouse and skirt, or with a contrasting sash or even contrasting ruffles. 

The patterned is sized for girls 18 months through 8 years of age and I've included all pattern specifications in the traditional English units (yards and inches) as well as metric units (meters and centimeters)--hooray! I've also got a section called "Fit Tips" for extra advice on getting the perfect fit.

You might recognize the blouse from Scarlett's Prairie Rose Birthday Party. She wore it with the Prairie Rose pants for that event, and I made a Prairie Rose Dress for Audrey to wear.  This pattern set offers all sorts of possibilities for your “ruffle and tumble” girl!

As with all of the Wee Muses Sewing Patterns, The Prairie Rose Set:
  • is digitally graded and drafted for the greatest accuracy
  • includes markings and guidelines for easy pattern printing and assembly
  • includes full-color photo tutorials and step-by-step sewing directions
  • has been heavily tested by seamstresses of a variety of sewing levels.

I still love the first Prairie Rose Blouse and Pants set I sewed for Tess and I have more Prairie Rose things in the works, which I will hopefully share soon. But wait until you see what my testers came up with. It's so rewarding to see beautiful clothing sewn with one of my designs. I hope this pattern will become a favorite for many of you.

I've used this pattern for a couple birthday celebrations now, but I was thinking it would be great for the holidays too.

You can find The Prairie Rose Set sewing pattern in my Wee Muses Etsy shop where you can also use THANKS20, for 20% off all purchases.

If you are celebrating this week, please have a happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Giveaway: Sucré Macarons

Starting your holiday shopping? Or at least starting your shopping list? I'm trying... In the meantime I have a giveaway that might just help you check something off your list!

Sucré, a beautiful shop in new Orleans, is offering one of my readers in the U.S. their fifteen piece Signature Macaron Collection. Yum!

I love French macarons with their almond pastry and sweet fillings! For what it's worth, I love the coconut variety too. But these are the ultimate sweet thing, aren't they? And so beautiful.

Sucré was kind enough to send me a selection of these goodies so I could give a firsthand report. Yep: delicious! The girls thought so too.

In addition to French macarons, Sucré offers artisan chocolate bars, Big Awesome Cookies, toffee, gourmet drinking chocolate, homemade marshmallows & southern candied pecans. I really wish I could drop in personally. They also offer King Cakes, which are sold every year from King's Day (January 6) to Mardi Gras. I've never tried one. Have you? Sounds like a great way to lift spirits post-holiday. 

Tempted? Click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter by leaving a comment. The giveaway will end next Tuesday, November 26, and the winner will be announced here. Good luck! (this giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S..)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sewing: Winter Wonderland Kid Style (Pattern Anthology Review)

Don't you just love the Winter Wonderland Pattern Anthology? It's such a great concept to introduce a bundle of coordinating patterns at an incredible price. This collection of eight patterns is available at 40% off through November 18--just two more days!

The talented team behind Pattern Anthology put together a great tour of bloggers to introduce Winter Wonderland. You can see all their interpretations in the Gallery here. And today I'm sharing mine.

I chose two of the patterns to sew for my girls' Fall wardrobe. The first is the Juliet Capelet (love that clever reference to The Bard in that name) by See Kate Sew. I fell in love with the pixie hat version of this cropped cape and thought it would be a trendy topper in a bold plaid.

Plaid seems to always be a stylish option but this season it seems an especially popular look. I happened to have this great tan, black and red fabric in my stash. Looks like the British plaids I am so fond of. I love a mix of textures so I paired it with a cotton chenille for the lining. It's cozy and peeks out along the edges. And, I decided to add a classic reference with a bright red "leather" button at the neck. It's actually a vintage wood button I found at this Etsy shop.

Tess is wearing her Capelet with denim skinny jeans (a staple for her) and tall black leather boots. (Wouldn't this Juliet Capelet look fabulous with leather pants or a skirt?)

And she's as happy as can be!

Next, I sewed Scarlett the Holly Trousers from Go to Patterns (The Train to Crazy blog). I love the narrow silhouette of these Holly (Golightly!) Trousers and the retro pleats at the top. I hemmed them a bit shorter and they fit her just perfectly! I will have to sew her another pair. 

I wanted to try them in a bold floral print fabric I received from The Fabric Store (I am dying to visit their new store in person!). I love all the bold, bright prints for Fall and this one has the trendy jewel tones: emerald, teal, gold, and amethyst. I couldn't believe it when these colors came back, but now of course I've embraced them (I personally can't get enough teal). There's a bit of animal print thrown in this mix too! This is such a beautiful fabric--it's a stretch cotton twill with a very silky feel. 

I like to keep the rest of an ensemble a bit simple when there's a bold print involved, so I paired these with a cropped wool shrug (The Winnie Shrug pattern is available here) in a teal boiled wool, but I did pick another more restrained pattern in amethyst for a silky head turban. This accessory is a dressed up version of the one Holly Golightly wore while playing guitar in Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's made from a silky print that caught my eye at Joann: 1/4 yard and done! 

Scarlett is wearing these trousers with gilded loafers I bought last season from crewcuts. This Fall it seems everything has a bit of gilding...

Vintage-inspired is always a great look. But wouldn't these Holly Trousers look fabulous with another classic--the denim shirt? I'm hunting for the perfect one....

For more information about these patterns and the whole collection visit Pattern Anthology here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Crochet: Easy Baby Afghan Again

Crochet? I can hardly believe it. It seems like forever since I've managed to finish a yarn project and post about. But it's been on the brain. I've been working on this blanket for some time. That's the nice thing about crochet for me--I can roll up the project and drop it into a bag and pull it out again when I have a few minutes. It's forgiving that way.

I started this blanket when I heard a new nephew was on his way and finished it for him to practice sitting on. I guess that's not too late. This Easy Baby Afghan is too heavy for swaddling. It's exaggerated stitches make it perfect as a stroller blanket, play mat, or nap blanket. Not to mention nursery accessory!

I made a couple blankets for this boy's older brother when he was born (this one and this one) and I wanted little brother to have a handmade one of his own. Since the weather is now chilly I decided to add a little something extra to this gift: a coordinating ear flap hat.

I made some of these in adult sizes for my entire family a few years ago for Christmas but can't find my notes. Hmpf. But I'm starting with an infant size with plans to go all the way up. A family of ear flap hats. Pattern soon. Hopefully in time for the holidays. Fingers crossed.

This blanket and hat were made with Berroco Comfort Chunky (Cadet, Dusk and Barley), just like the original. I love this yarn. I just stocked up on some for two more blankets for my girls. It's a bit of an investment, but hopefully these blankets will be around a long time.

You can find the tutorial for this Easy Baby Afghan here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cooking: Asparagus Gruyere Tart (Recipe)

I know asparagus is a Spring vegetable, but I have been finding some appetizing bunches in the store lately and since it's one of the vegetables our girls will eat I wanted to try it a different way. The story is that our girls liked a tomato tart I made recently (same recipe as this, but with heirloom tomatoes on top and a sprinkle of basil--yum!) so I thought I'd switch it up with asparagus and see if I could round out their supper. I may have eaten more than they did, but it was the right idea anyway!

The combination of caramelized onions and Gruyere is really hard to beat! I love this.

Click through for the recipe:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Back-to-School Bateaux Tour Wrap Up

I was so thrilled with the Back-to-School Bateaux pattern tour during the last couple months! Not only am I grateful to the friends who sewed and shared their interpretations of The Bateau Neck Top and The Bateau Neck Dress, but it was nice to challenge myself to post more frequently. And it was really fun to keep thinking about these basic patterns and all the possibilities for creating with them. I still have ideas...but I'm switching gears for now. I'm sure you'll see more of these tops and dresses in the future.

I am sharing one more with this wrap up, however. A red boiled wool Ruffled Bateau Neck top I made for Scarlett when I first started working out this pattern. Well over a year ago.

This is one of my favorite combinations: boiled wool and a crisp cotton shirting for the ruffle.

I've got a quick wrap up of all the stops on the tour and a few tutorials, which were part of the mix. I also wanted to let you know that I started a Pinterest board to collect examples and inspiration for these patterns. I see so many things that could be imitated with The Bateau Neck Top or Bateau Neck Dress pattern and wanted to keep the ideas in one place.

Bateaux from my Guests:

Bateaux I sewed:

Thanks so much to the talented women who sewed with this pattern! And to you who have been excited about it. I hope it's a staple for your sewing for years to come. Stay tuned for more from Wee Muses Sewing Patterns.
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