Thursday, July 31, 2014

FYI: My Bernina 580 and WeAllSew Partnership

Hello Friends. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some big Bernina boxes arrive a few months ago. This Spring I was lucky to receive an incredible Bernina 580. I had been in the market for a new machine for a few years and have had such great feelings about Bernina since I learned to sew on my mother's Bernina Record. (I still love that machine and sewed with it for a bit while awaiting my new one--still stitches like a dream!)

Since unboxing it, I have attended classes to learn the bells and whistles of the Bernina 580. I have a feeling I've just scratched the surface and I'm saving up to start acquiring specialty feet. (Pintucking! Ruffling! Button sewing! oh my!) And I haven't even unboxed the embroidery attachment--can't wait to give that a try! Can you imagine...? Maybe an embroidered yoke is in my girls' future.

I have been giving this machine quite a workout this summer. Seems I've been sewing nonstop! I am really happy about the performance and stitch quality. It's nice to think that my projects will be as professional as possible--any limitation is my own, not the machine's. 

But I've been busy blogging too, including some exclusive content for Bernina's Blog, We All Sew. If this isn't one you follow, you need to get over there and check out all the great content! I'm so happy to be one of their new partners! You can see my profile here and here are links to my first two posts for We All Sew:

There is more to come so I'll be sure to keep you in the loop on the projects I create for Bernina and We All Sew.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sewing: Retro Shift Dress for Paris When it Sizzles

Well hello there...

Kelly of Sewing in No Mans Land contacted me about sewing for her "Paris in the Summer When it Sizzles" series right about the time I was feeling a wardrobe crisis and thinking about sewing for myself again. So I was vulnerable. And, of course hugely inspired by her incredible photos of life in Paris. But what to sew...?

A dress of course. But what kind of dress? A little black dress? I could use one of those. I had been thinking about something floral.... So many options.

I decided to turn to the classic Audrey Hepburn movie, Paris When it Sizzles. It's not my favorite of her movies but she is as stylish as usual in classic clothes designed for her by Givenchy. Her wardrobe is demure and tailored and feminine and a bit restrained in solid colors. I found a vintage mid-60s pattern that would be just the thing. Bought some rosy coral fabric I thought would work great, but then I remembered a dress I'd started years ago.

So I pulled this out of the drawer. It was all cut out and ready to go in this funky voile I purchased at years ago. It was begging to be finished. And I thought, honestly, on a sizzling hot Parisian day I would put on something lightweight and feminine like this. And then I would go find a park with big shady trees (perhaps Jardin du Luxembourg). And I would hide out. Or read a book. Or eat ice cream. Wouldn't that be nice?

This dress is sewn from Vogue Pattern 8468, a loose-fitting shift dress with bell three-quarter sleeves and a slightly gathered square yoke, which is out of print. 

After I finished the dress I realized it's very similar to Rae's Ruby Dress pattern. So if you like it, there you go! It's fun to wear in this mod green and white print. Especially with a retro updo (which I need to work on a bit before wearing it out "live").

Thanks, Kelly, for inviting me and motivating me to sew! I needed a new dress! And I think I'll keep at it--maybe that Givenchy-inspired suit is next. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sewing: Watercolor Knit Skirt and Top (KCW Summer)

Another summer day, another easy outfit.

I love the Kid's Art theme of the Kids Clothes Week summer challenge, but didn't quite get it together to incorporate my girls' artistic skills in the making. (Unless you could fashion design, because Audrey did pick out this fabric....) So I used this watercolor printed knit (purchased from Girl Charlee and gone so qickly!) because it very well could have been produced by Audrey if her mother had planned that way.

This top and skirt is so breezy and cool looking for a hot day. The suggestion of water in the print just makes me feel cooler.

I used CINO's Lulu Dress pattern to create this t-shirt. I love the simple cap sleeve so I took the bodice portion and lengthened it and simply turned under the neck and sleeves instead of binding them. Then I used my remaining fabric (wish I had more!) to make a simple gathered skirt with extra wide elastic for the waistband instead of elastic in a casing. That gave me just enough length.

Hope you are keeping cool this summer.

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)


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 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...!

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