Testing The Betty Skirt

We've been lucky enough to be doing some testing around here lately.

The only "fun" kind of testing that exists--pattern testing!  When that very kind/talented pack of siblings {who make me miss my own sisters so much} Shaffer Sisters asked if I'd be a Betty Skirt Pattern tester, I was pretty pumped.

The skirt is cute and versatile with clear, easy to understand instruction.  This pattern has options for pleated, gathered, plackets--the works, but putting it together is quite simple.  {And that coming from me, is saying a lot.}

I sewed the "gathered with placket" option and I must say, I kind of love the cute vintage-ness style of the skirt. :)  The instructions also have lots of little tips and tricks that show you how to sew things the right way.  :)  Like, it taught me how to properly sew a placket--it's a miracle!  Can't complain about learning somethin' new, right!?

I let Lila pick fabric from my stash {from Joann/Joann's a yearish ago}, so of course it has pink and naturally, she loves it. :)  I sewed it in the 3T size {Lila is 4, but she's fairly petite} and the fit was spot on.

I'm still planning on sewing up a couple more {or ten} of these cute little skirts.  {A pleated one is definitely begging to be created.}  But serrrriously--with so many options, it's hard not to want to make a few dozen.  :)

Anyway, Shaffer Sisters released their Betty Skirt ebook today and it's only $5 for this weekend only.  The sale ends on Sunday and then the pattern will be $9 {which is actually still a pretty good price for what you're getting...just sayin'}.  I'm not trying to sound salesy, I just thought I'd pass the word along in case you wanna snatch this little gal up.  :)

In other news, I burned my arm.  Again.  I know right?  Only this time it was the frying pan.  I promise I'm not doing this on purpose.

At this point, I'm just looking for sympathy in any form.  :)  Also, I've had a bit of the winter blues goin' on lately.  I've just been feeling a little "blah," so if you have any good anti-"blah" advice, send it my way.

And that's all.  Have a happy weekend!


Neck Ed: Fixing a boat neck shirt

We're onto shirt number 3 in the Neck Ed. Series.  Don't get too excited.

For previous Neck Ed posts click any of these: intro, shirt 1, or shirt 2

Semi funny story about this shirt.
I wore it to Superman's Christmas work party in December.  It was the first time I'd worn it and I threw it on really quickly because I was in a hurry.  Throughout the party, I kept adjusting my neckline thinking, "What the heck is wrong with my shirt?"  I could barely eat my food {the real tragedy} because I was constantly having to hold the gaping neck closed and the gaping back.  And the front was so itchy.  I finally excused myself to go to the bathroom only to discover that my shirt was on backwards.  Indeed, indeed, indeed.  Story of my life, I tell you.  I flipped it around and it wasn't quite so gapey, but it still went on my list as a shirt that I wanted to fix so I could be perfectly comfortable at my husbands work party {that I will probably never be invited to again because my shirt was backwards.  Who does that?}  

Anyway, it's already got a boat neck, so it was a pretty easy fix.  And  I thought I'd share, just in case anyone had the same style of shirt.  {Though I'm not implying that you discovered the problem when you wore it backwards...I'm sure that's just a "me" thing.}
Carefully unpick the front should seams about an inch.  
Re-adjust by bringing just a little more material than it originally had.

In this picture, the red line is where the shirt was originally sewn and the pin is how much I was taking in {about an inch}
And sew along the top of the back shoulder.

As I said, it's a quick fix and it makes the shirt 10x more comfortable to wear because I'm not continually having to adjust.  Now if I could just stop putting my shirts on backwards....


Ruffled Heart Onesie {Tutorial}

Awwww....I'm all sentimental about this because it was one of the first projects I ever did specifically for this blog.  And then I promptly forgot about it because Valentines Day came and went.  Better late than never, I guess {does that still apply if it's a year late?  I mean really.}

Anyway, it seems like this is the time of year that long sleeve onesies and shirts go on sale, but they usually have lots of holiday oriented words one them.  Thus rendering them useless after said holiday passes.  For example...

To fix it, you'll need:

  • A onesie, or a shirt
  • Strips {of knit, preferably, I also used tulle}
  • One paper
  • Additional fabric to make a heart to sew the ruffles on
  • Pins and a sewing machine, naturally  :)

Start with your onesie and make a paper heart that fits inside the onesie with at least one inch of onesie material surrounding.

Fold the onesie in half like this

Place the heart like so and cut

So it looks like this

Now cut a heart one inch bigger than the paper heart out of other material.  I used felt which I believe was a huge mistake as felt doesn't hold up very well in the wash, am I right?  If I were going to do it again I'd use a cotton or even fleece, just something that is softer and holds up better.  Anyway, make that heart and ruffle a few strips of fabric.

Pin the ruffles to the heart

And sew onto the heart

Now pin the heart onto the onesie

And sew it to the onesie

Turn the shirt inside out and you're done

And if this makes it easier, here is a chart, so pin away if you want to and have a great day!


Project Run & Play: If at first you don't succeed....

Shucks.  Have you ever wanted to get something right?  So right when it comes to sewing?  I'm way into pull over shawl collars for boys right now.  And I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to make one for Ezra."  Ya, right.  Fun.  I scoured the blog world, youtube, google.  Nothing.  Because apparently, a shawl collar means different things to different people.  I was looking specifically for a knit fabric pullover.  I found a pattern on etsy, but it quite have the shape or style I was looking for.  I found one picture of what I was looking for.  One.  I couldn't wrap my head around what the collar shape would be, so I made mock up after mock up with little success.  I even made Superman take a break from working on our basement just to try to help me figure it out.  {Which was a thrill for him, believe me}  In the end, this is what I came up with:

I almost tossed it, I was so frustrated.  {Ezra's crabby face shows a portion of my crabbiness during this project.  :)}

Don't get me wrong, I'm not fishing for compliments.  It turned out ok.  I'm not trying to be mean to myself or make a big deal out of nothing.  It is what it is.  I just wanted it to look better than it did.  You know?  More polished, more professional.  It pulls and puckers a bit too much for my liking.  It just didn't turn out the way I envisioned it.  And come on, it's uneven?!?!?!  I guess that's what sewing is about when you're an imperfect seamstress, right?  :)

I almost didn't link it up to the PR&P sew-along, but it does still represent my signature style, even if it's not sewn perfectly.  :)  I love sewing old fashioned clothes with a twist to make them more modern and preppy, especially when it comes to boys.  

And believe me, once I get over this first frustration, Ima keep tryin' this shawl collar thing.  

Oh!  Listen to me?  The pants.  Sheesh, I was so busy boo-hooing about the shirt that I almost forgot to mention them.  I started with Peek-a-boo Patterns Skinny Jeans. {affiliate link}  It's a great pattern, but I modified it to make everything fit a little more snug as a bug to give it a skater look.  {The houndstooth fabric was a gift from my sister in law.}

And that's all--I'm done.  OK, just one more, because really someday, I will conquer you, shawl collar.


Neck Ed: How to turn a regular neckline into a boat neckline {tutorial}

Welcome back to Neck Ed.
If you missed the previous posts, check out the intro and the first shirt in the series.

Today, we're talkin' boat necks.  

Some shirts are super gapey at the top and have a little extra room underneath the arms.  Like so:
If this is the case, the shirts can be made into a boatneck style shirt with a few easy steps.  

Now there are a few ways to make a boat neck, and I'm not sure if this is the "proper" way or not, but this is what worked for me, so we're rollin' with it.  

If you're unfamiliar with a boatneck style neckline, it's basically a wide neckline that extends all the way to the the shoulder seam.  Like this:

Some boatnecks extend more towards the front shoulder or towards the back shoulder as well.

To make a boatneck shirt of your own.  Start with your shirt.
Carefully cut the arms {or if you're feeling extra careful, unpick the stitch by using your seam ripper.}
Now take your should seams and cut {or seam rip} them
At this point, you'll want to determine {if you haven't already} just how much of the neck you'll want to "take in."  I took my neckline in by about 1.5 inches.  Whatever number you decided on is how much you'll need to cut off of the front shoulder.  
Now bend the back shoulder {that you didn't cut} over the top of the front should {that you did cut} so they're overlapping.
{Close-up of one shoulder, just in case you weren't gettin' the idea.  :)}
And sew carefully over the top so that the shoulder won't move. 
Re-insert the sleeve by flipping the shirt inside out and keeping the sleeve right side out.  
Insert the sleeve inside the sleeve hole
Make sure that the armpit seams match
And start pinning from there
Until you've pinned all the way around
Then sew around where you've pinned
And trim off any excess fabric
And viola! 
A shirt that stays on my shoulders and that needs to be ironed.  Woot-hoot!

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