Dipped Blue

I found the time to participate in Kids Clothes Week again!  This is my second time as a participant and this quarter was Summer season, in keeping with the purpose of Kids Clothes Week I sewed for my kids one hour a day over seven days from the 21-27 July.  This season the theme was 'Kid Art'!

There were many great posts on Kids Clothes Week...like this one here and here and here...that inspired my 'Kid Art' choices.  

Today I wanted to show you some t-shirts I made my boys.  Not only did I make the t-shirts but I dip-dyed them in indigo dye and then used TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) to iron-on some interesting art work.  This Transfer paper is the best I've ever used, it stays on and gets softer the more it is washed.

MrT's shirt was made using my soon to be released Tri-Raglan t-shirt.  I have had this one in development since December last year and I have sewn up soooo many versions that it feels old hat to me.  It's a great raglan and has a sweet design feature where the centre back seams meet in a triangle!  It looks very cool.  It is of course made for knits and I used a cotton interlock with approximately 30% stretch, in a plain white - why is white always soooo hard to find where I live?  I pounced on this when I saw it and have purchased about 6 metres - happy girl!

After I made up the basic long sleeve version of the Tri-Raglan I wanted to embellish it.  I knew exactly the look I wanted, having been inspired by this post in the lead up on Kids Clothes Week.  This photo group in particular...

Photo sourced from http://blog.kidsclothesweek.com/2014/06/inspiration-summer-colors/

Photo sourced from http://blog.kidsclothesweek.com/2014/06/inspiration-summer-colors/

I mixed up some indigo dye and then took a deep breath - why does dyeing terrify me so???  I looked up ombre dyeing techniques and loosely followed this guide to get my result.  Not sure if it was my dye or my technique but the colour didn't come out quite as vibrant or ombre in the final product.  But, I'm happy with it as my first attempt.

A few 'crude' photos of my process.

A few 'crude' photos of my process.

After I dip dyed, washed and dried the t-shirt, it was time to embellish. I was going with a bit of a nautical theme.  I wanted to match a pair of Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants I made in a lovely soft, drapey and slouchy rayon.  Also made for Kids Clothes Week, I'll talk about them more in another post.  So I picked a Kraken and was inspired by the Black Rum Kraken picture, to give credit where credit is due.  I came up with a cheeky slogan that I knew would suit MrT down to the ground 'Kraken Day!' and added it to the t-shirt.  I printed both on my TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) and ironed it on.  I have used TAP heaps of times, very successfully, but for some reason this time it only randomly took.  So some spots went on dark and clear and other parts didn't attach at all!!!!  I was soooo disappointed.  However, when I stood back and looked at it, it looked ok.  My husband even said that it reminded him of the very expensive t-shirts you buy at the surf shops - great - I was appeased (smart man). 

The light was fast disappearing as we took the photos, so they are very shadowy and blue...very blue 

The light was fast disappearing as we took the photos, so they are very shadowy and blue...very blue 

MrT loved it and didn't want to take it off.  I get such a kick out of them enjoying what I make.  

Even Daddy got in on the act, modelling with MrT - mainly to keep him interested in the photo.  I love these shots though - so relaxed and happy.  The necklaces in the photos are Pray4Trax - you can read the story about those and purchase them here.  It is a heartwarming story and I love knowing my money is going to help a child.  

Xman's t-shirt was made using the basic, long sleeve version of the newly released Adventure Tee from Go To Patterns as their contribution to the Pattern Anthology collection.  These patterns come on sale about four times a year and are on release for short periods of time, two weeks I think, as a bundle at a reduced price.  But don't worry, you can still buy the pattern at the regular price from the designers online shops. 

I even had to dry it hanging upside down over a bucket.  

I even had to dry it hanging upside down over a bucket.  

After I sewed the shirt I dip dyed it too.  I did XMan's straight after MrT's.  This part always terriffies me and this time rightly so!!!  I had this brilliant idea to dip dye the top half of XMan's shirt and I did this after dying MrT's - I totally hadn't thought about the fact that I had dye dripped down the sides of the bucket, so as I dipped XMan's shirt in some of the dye attached itself further down the shirt - not the look I was after.  So after I let it drip dry for awhile.  I washed the shirt and then made up a paste in Napisan (it was all I had) to see if I could remove the dye I didn't want.  It worked about 85% successfully and is now hardly noticeable - phew!  See, terrifying!  Such a first world problem...

XMan had drawn a shark, and it was pretty fabulous - such an artist - yes, biased!!  You better believe it!  So I scanned in his picture and printed it on TAP too.  I had the same issues with attaching it as I did with MrT's shirt.  I wonder if it was the dye, or maybe it was that I've had that TAP paper open and out of it's packet for awhile... who knows.  They've been washed and what did adhere has stayed on, so I'm happy with that. 

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I love the way XMan goofed up his photos with the shark hat.  He's such a diva, if you'd only seen him throwing a tantrum mere seconds before these photos about not knowing what his surprise was going to be for modelling AGAIN for Mummy...he he, doesn't it defeat the purpose if you know what your surprise is??  So black and white at this age...wait till they figure out how many shades of grey life has in store for them.  But bless him, I started taking photos and the allure of being caught on film forever was too much to keep his sad face on, the happy extrovert bounced back.  Thankfully!

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Be back with some other goodies from my sew up for Kids Clothes Week.  I am in the snow this week and whilst everyone else is out skiing, I intend to be catching up on some reading, knitting, embroidery, hexie sewing and maybe a spot of blog reading and writing - all over good coffee and a warm fireplace.  I promise to send photos.  

Happy Sewing!

Everybody needs a holiday...

Source found on Pinterest.com - original source http://aroundthewaycurls.tumblr.com/post/78630780014

Source found on Pinterest.com - original source http://aroundthewaycurls.tumblr.com/post/78630780014

I thought I'd take the time to address the elephant in the room...as such.  At the end of June I launched my first pattern after, what I consider, a very successful first global tester process.  Approximately 25 women from all corners of the globe.  They were all extremely talented and generous with their knowledge and time. Then I kicked off a two week long blog tour!  It was all going swimmingly and I was over the moon, the virtual world was bubbling along very nicely.

Cue real world interference...  

Whilst I had been running my testing process we changed Internet Service Providers (ISP) and had no internet connection at home, so I was running the entire test process from my iPhone hotspot, which kept constantly dropping out and wouldn't wifi to my printer for no apparent reason!  That was a wee challenge, however I overcame it and soldiered on...albeit ever soo slowly.  The day I launched my pattern my son got sick and needed my attention, I didn't have time for him to be sick, which made me feel very guilty.  My husband's business had arrived at the end of it's first financial year, 30 June, and as the responsible Director of the company for all things financial there was work for me to do.  It was my boys last school week before two weeks of winter holidays and the same week holidays started we were kicking off THREE months of renovations to our house!!  And right before all this, I launched my pattern and committed to a two week blog tour... Are you getting the picture yet???  

Pre-children I would have kicked this out of the ball park, and I did kick all the goals to pattern launch - but what was the real cost??? 

Source found on Pinterest. Original source here - https://www.behance.net/gallery/17339027/Be-Here-Now

Source found on Pinterest. Original source here - https://www.behance.net/gallery/17339027/Be-Here-Now

I was functioning on about 4hours sleep a night and my sleep bank was hugely in debt; my kids were vying for my attention in subtle and not so subtle ways; even my husband was turning as blind an eye as possible (as best his analytical engineering mind could) to the utter chaos reigning at home.  That was only going to last till he stepped on a misplaced piece of Leggo (if you have kids you know what I mean, for me it's the last straw...it hurts...a lot!!).  

Some people might find this type of life fine and functional, but our household does not cope without strict organisation, planning and routine. Something had to give...the virtual world had to take a back seat whilst I dealt with my real world, the one that was glaring me in the face everyday, that was slowly piling up on top of me and starting to show some gaping fissures! 

So I took the two weeks of the boys school holidays off the virtual world all together.  I sorted out the end of year financial guff for hubby; I decided on a heap of outstanding decisions for the rennovations; I caught up on all the household chores; and most importantly - I spent time with my kids, got some fresh air and caught up my sleep bank!    

Source found on Pinterest.  Original source not found.

Source found on Pinterest.  Original source not found.

Interestingly enough, once I had my break and I started logging on again, just to read my blog roll on Bloglovin, I started reading more stories about other women being superwomen, or taking on too much at once or learning to that it's important to be kinder to and put ourselves first.  And as guilty as I felt about letting the ladies who'd committed to helping me launch the Run Jump Hop Skip Pattern Tour down, I knew I had to be kind to myself and accept, that cancelling it was the right thing to do for me and my family - the most important people in my whole world.  Why is it so hard for us as women to be able to say 'No' or 'Stop' or 'Help'?   Why do we let what others might think of us stop us from making the right decisions? The ones that are right for us, our families.  As it turns out they understood, of course they did... they have families and other commitments too.  We are all human, it's ok to be so!

It's just over one month since I abruptly cancelled the Pattern Tour and in that time sooo much has happened in my life, many 'aha' moments, ups and downs - the ever weaving path of life has continued on. My biggest lessons - ask for help, tell those that love you what is going on in your head; prioritise what is important and don't waiver - priorities can be many things to many people, and for their own reasons; set limits, know your own limitations before opening your mouth or raising your hand - it's ok to say 'Not yet'.

Source found on Pinterest.  Original source http://www.anonymousartofrevolution.com/2013/12/some-changes-happen-deep-down-inside-of.html

Source found on Pinterest.  Original source http://www.anonymousartofrevolution.com/2013/12/some-changes-happen-deep-down-inside-of.html

I am enjoying this journey, this new enlightenment.  I would never do anything to compromise my family - their health, well being and happiness - without them I am nothing. Success for me has changed, it's not just about my goals anymore. Lesson learnt.  

So, now I am learning that I can still do it all - just slower.  I always want to run before I can walk.  And I do want it all! My husband has always called me the Queen of Want - cheeky man!  But in a way he is right - not really so much for material things but if I have an idea in my head that I want to do or achieve, nothing will stop me.  I know, I hear some of you saying 'What the hell is wrong with that?' Nothing, but all things in moderation.  If I want to be considered and cared for by others and have compromises made for me then I need to reciprocate in kind, know when it is my time, when it is others.  It's a bit like a communications analogy - 'It's not always your role to be talking or thinking about what to say next because if you aren't playing the role of listener too, you miss out on making the connection', and really isn't the connection or relationships what life is all about? Aha moment...

Source from Pinterest.  Original source http://www.bohogems.nl/wise-words-we-delight-the-beauty-of-the-butterfly/

Source from Pinterest.  Original source http://www.bohogems.nl/wise-words-we-delight-the-beauty-of-the-butterfly/

Stitch it Now will definitely continue on, at my pace, a pace that suits all my/our commitments not just the Stitch it Now timeline.  I do hope you stick around for my continued slow sewing journey, I feel like it's going to be perfectly perfect.  What do you know? I've grown - it feels good.

Sourced from Pinterest.  Original source not found.

Sourced from Pinterest.  Original source not found.

We are heading off on a family holiday this Sunday coming, it's mid school term - all my boys don't cope with heaps of people on holidays - so they will be taking private ski lessons and skiing at a time of year when the slopes will be fairly empty and they'll be as happy as pigs in mud. I didn't get to be this 'age' to be told I have to continue to try skiing (I have tried and the tales will make you pee your pants with laughter) so I will be reading, knitting, embroidering and catching up on writing some blog posts to go with my fabulous creations from Kids Clothes Week.  So keep any eye out for them and let's get back to our normal transmission here all about sewing adventures.

I have some fun stuff coming up including the release of my second pattern, the TriRaglan in September.  I'll be running a test late August, however I'm not committing to a tour this time round (GRIN!).  You'll see some teaser photos of the TriRaglan in my upcoming posts.  I sewed a couple for Kids Clothes Week

Till next time - happy days whether you are enjoying the end of Summer or Winter in your little piece of paradise.  

Winners are Grinners

It's been a few weeks and I'm feeling a little refreshed and able to breathe again.  Some normal airplay will resume on the Stitch it Now Blog and in the Etsy Shop - Yes, the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern is available for purchase again.  It is Kids Clothes Week and I'm participating, with a bit of 'slow sewing' - so it seemed like the perfect time to reactivate the Stitch it Now shop.  

It has been a busy few weeks...however, more on that next post.  Today, I wanted to take the time to finally announce the winners of the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern...

I used Random.Org number generator to conduct the draw and the following are the lucky winners:

First Prize of a US$25 FabricWorm Gift Card and copy of the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern is Mara.

Second Prize of 1 metre of either a boy or girl print of the Etsuko Furuya Echino Fabric and copy of the pattern goes to Janelle L

Third Prize of her very own copy of the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants pattern goes to Shirley.  

I have sent all the winners emails with details of their prizes!  If you didn't get it, let me know. Happy shopping and sewing ladies!  As I said earlier, it's Kids Clothes Week so if you have kids in your life join in the fun or just check out the amazing community for inspiration.  

Happy Sewing!  I'll be trying to get in an hour a day over the next 7 days!  Wish me luck...

Trek across to The Nosy Pepper


Our next stop on the Run Jump Hop Skip Tour is over at The Nosy Pepper. Cyndi is a self taught sewist who loves all things crafty, with a particular love for sewing bags.  Cyndi sews, crochets and has dabbled in almost any craft she can get her hands on.  Don't forget to read all the way through Cyndi's post to find out how to enter the Run Jump Hop Skip Tour Giveaway. 

Take it away Cyndi! 

Cyndi made the pants version for her boy.  Given it will be a while before it is cool enough for him to wear them, extra length was added to allow for the fact that he is 'growing like a weed' at this age :-)

Cyndi made the pants version for her boy.  Given it will be a while before it is cool enough for him to wear them, extra length was added to allow for the fact that he is 'growing like a weed' at this age :-)

Introducing Katie from Wet Midwest, United States


Our first guest on the Run Jump Hop Skip Tour is the lovely Katie.  Katie kindly participated in the testing process and was keen to share her thoughts on the pattern.  Just before I hand over to Katie for the day, just a quick reminder to read all the way through Katie's post to find out how to enter the Run Jump Hop Skip Tour giveaway.  Thanks for stopping by!  Please welcome Katie...


Hi everyone!  I'm Katie from the lovely, and seriously wet, Midwest area of the United States.  Seriously, we have apparently broken a 130+ year old record of having the wettest Spring in my state.  I'm not impressed! Looking at my 'lakefront' property, I have decided that some of those records are better left unbroken.

Enough about that.  I'm a mother of two absolutely adorable children; an incredibly active 4-year old boy and a sweet, shy 1-year old girl.  I am a teacher for children with hearing loss during the school year and a stay-at-home mom over the summer.  I LOVE the variety the seasons bring!  I have been avidly sewing for the last four years, mostly in baby items; such as blankets, onesies, and cloth wipes - among other baby items.  I sell these in partnership with my mother, at our store BabyBlueJDesigns on Etsy.  I started sewing children's clothing this past year, shortly after the birth of my daughter, and I have decided that my kids look much better in the clothes I make for them.

I heard about Stitch it Now's Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants pattern through a pattern test call on Facebook.  Upon looking at Deb's pictures of the shorts on the Stitch it Now blog, I immediately signed up to test the pattern.  I had been looking for a shorts pattern to obtain for my son, who is tall, skinny and lacks a backside of any kind to hold shorts up easily.  Ever hear the joke about old men who have no backside left because they scratched it all off as they got older? My kid, is already there!

These shorts feature an elastic waistband in the back with a flat front, which appealed to me immediately.  It also features a faux fly, back pockets and topstitching details - putting together a fantastic looking pair of bottoms.  And just so your know, I was given this pattern for free as part of testing, but all opinions are my own.

I was asked to make two sizes - 1 and 3.  My son fit the measurements of the Size 3 fairly well, in addition to channeling Mr Gumby.  However, my daughter was slightly under the measurements for Size 1 but is chunkier in stature.  That said, we are a fluffy bum (cotton nappies) family, and I have always struggled to find cute shorts that accommodate the fluff well.  These shorts have extra room built in to Sizes 1 & 2 for nappy wearing children.  Deb's instructions also tell you how to take out the extra room if your Size 2 child doesn't need it.  I was hoping that these shorts would meet my kids' needs as well as satisfying my need for high quality, handmade clothes.

Final verdict?  These shorts ROCK!!

My kids LOVED their new shorts, and I was able to whip up four pairs in no time at all.  All four pairs turned out absolutely lovely.  My son loved his Fourth of July and Superhero shorts and my daughter looks adorable in her two new pairs.  They stay on my son's non-existant backside and are easy to put on over my daughter's fluffy bum.  Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Now, let's talk about what I like about the pattern.  I love the details that are embedded within the pattern: faux fly, top-stitching, pocket designs, and the flat front while offering an elastic back waistband.  My two most favourite features on the pattern are the top-stitching details throughout the pattern and the ability to embellish and decorate the back pockets.  The freedom to decorate the back pockets is probably my favourite part of the whole thing.

What a great way to add detail and personality to an item of clothing that your child will wear.  And before anyone asks, no, we don't like superheroes in our home ;-). Now, obviously, adding such detail and embellishments will make finishing the shorts/pants take longer, but I think it's worth it, even hand cranking out 10 circles on two back pockets. (Yes, I may have done that.)

Another fantastic feature?  These can be made into pants! Score!!!  Now, we are in the warm, and apparently soggy, season, so pants are not a necessity at this point.  Come Fall, I will definitely be adding pants to my children's wardrobes...and probably go just as crazy over the back pocket details.  I mean, really, how could you not?

Aren't these awesome looking shorts??

I think the pattern is a fantastic and easy sew for all abilities and levels, though I would recommend that this is not the first pattern you ever take on, if you've never sewn a pattern before.  The attention to detail and the addition of the faux fly does require a bit of skill, but truly, if you take your time and read the instructions carefully, you can pull together a great pair of shorts or pants.

Now go visit Deb's pattern release post to find out how to purchase your own Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants digital PDF Pattern.  While you are there make sure to enter the giveaway.  There's a chance to win your copy of the pattern, a fabric gift card or a metre of your choice of either a boy or girl inspired Japanese Echino Fabric.  I love giveaways, and you must LOVE giveaways too!  I don't expect any arguing from you, or I might try to give you a cookie...hey, it works for my kiddos :-).  

How's that for an awesome deal?  I think it's pretty sweet myself!

Be sure to stop back to check out what the rest of the Ladies have in store as we travel through the Run Jump Hop Skip Tour until 5 July.  There are some great pairs of shorts and pants out there with oodles of inspiration and tips and tricks that can assist you in your journey to create your own pair of Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants.  

Thanks for hosting me on Stitch it Now! 

 

Run Jump Hop Skip Pattern Release and Tour Announcement

Today is the day!  I am pleased to announce the release of the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern!  Virtual streamers, whistle blowing and corks popping - Yay!  Run on over to the Stitch it Now Etsy Shop to grab your copy.

Click the link above to purchase your own copy from the Stitch it Now Etsy Shop

Click the link above to purchase your own copy from the Stitch it Now Etsy Shop

If you've been following the Stitch it Now Blog at all, then you'll know I've been offering this pattern as a pre-cut pack for nearly six months now.  This pattern has been in development since November 2013.  When I first started the pre-cut packs I decided to make my own patterns, I wanted them to be the way my boys and I liked them, there wasn't much use selling something we didn't love.

I've been sewing since I can remember (thanks Mum) and had started drafting my own patterns since my two little boys arrived in the world, when I became enthused for sewing again.  The whole grading process had me worried!  Then, how to sell my pattern??  I chose a digital PDF version, instant gratification and none of those additional postage costs!  Which meant I had to learn a bit about that too!  Luckily for me I found some wonderful professional people to help me along my journey and this pattern wouldn't be here today without them.  Although this pattern was fully drafted and mostly digitised by the time I came across Pattern Workshop, I have to thank Lauren Dahl and all the ladies that make up that wonderful community - without their knowledge and know-how I wouldn't have known where to start with my testing and marketing process!  And now thanks to Lauren's fabulous Pattern Workshop, any future patterns I make, I can fully make myself - can't wait to do that!  If you are interested in making your own digital patterns for pleasure or business, I highly recommend visiting Pattern Workshop.  It will change your life :-)

On to the pattern. I have sewn up many versions of this over the last months and in many sizes.  Unfortunately I haven't taken a lot of photos of the sizes, other than those that fit my boys! Speaking of my boys, they are currently 6 and 7, and wearing sizes 4 and 8, respectively.  There are a tonne of photos on the Stitch it Now blog like here and here and here too.  Oh and you can buy some of my versions as a pre-cut pack in the Stitch it Now Etsy Shop, if you are interested.

So, I decided to do a test and see what feedback I would get about the Run Jump Hop Skip Pattern.  I had ladies sign up from all over the world, of all varying sewing skills and professional backgrounds.  They had a week to sew it up and share their feedback.  The feedback was invaluable and together we have polished this pattern.  A number of the ladies have signed up for a Tour of the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern and it will run from 24 June - 5 July 2014.  Stick around to hear what they have to say about this pattern over the next two weeks.

These are just some of the instructions you'll find in the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern.

These are just some of the instructions you'll find in the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern.

So without further ado, you can head over to the Stitch it Now Etsy Shop to grab your very own Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants pattern.  Your kids will love you!  And if you have any questions about the pattern, make sure you send me a message prior.

Before I go though let me tell you about the Run Jump Hop Skip Tour and the giveaway, of course there's a giveaway!!  Wouldn't be a party without presents!

First off the lovely ladies who are on the Run Jump Hop Skip Tour:

And now the Giveaway!

What would a new pattern release and Tour be without one?  There will be three randomly drawn prizes. The giveaway will be open from today until the end of the Run Jump Hop Skip Pattern Tour, closing on midnight Saturday, 5 July (AEST).  Please enter the giveaway by commenting on this post.  Tell me what your favourite fabric would be to make your child their very own pair of Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants.  One entry only please and remember, if you are commenting anonymously be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you post the random draw should you be a lucky winner, goodluck!

First Prize:  A copy of the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern and a $25 FabricWorm Gift Card so you can go purchase some gorgeous fabric to make up your own pair of shorts or pants.

Second Prize:  A copy of the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern and one (1) metre of your choice of one (1) of the Etsuko Furuya Echino Fabrics shown below to suit either a boy or girl, so you can make up a unique pair of the shorts/pants for a child in your life.

Third Prize:  A copy of the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants Pattern of your very own to inspire you to use up your stash (I know you have one!).

Thanks for stopping by.  If you wish to keep track of what is happening at Stitch it Now be sure to follow me on Bloglovin.  

And I'm almost at 100 likes on the Stitch it Now Facebook page...once I get to 100 Likes I'm having a giveaway, so please drop by to say 'Hi!' and like the Stitch it Now Facebook Page.

Happy Sewing!








Call for Testers - Run Jump Hop Skip Pattern

Would you like to test a soon to be released pattern?  Be in the running to win a cool prize for your efforts? Maybe participate in a blog tour?

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I am running my first ever pattern test for the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants pattern - finally! This is my first ever pattern release and it's so exciting but I really want to make sure it's right!  That's where I need you to come in...yes, really!  If you can sew and you have access to some small people, I would love to have you along for the ride.  

If you have stumbled across my blog at any time, you'll know I have been sewing this pattern up since last December and blogging about it.  I sell it as a pre-cut pack in the Stitch it Now Etsy shop.  If you scroll down through my blog, you'll see heaps of photos.  You'll see it on my boys, because that's what I have in my house.  However, it is a unisex pattern, I've sewn some really cute versions for girls, and I'd love to see more girly versions.   

To nominate your interest please add your name to my Tester Database.  If all goes according to plan I hope to have all my testers selected and started by Wednesday, 11 June.  The test will run for 7 days and I will send you more information on how to participate prior to the start date.  

And just for participating and providing your feedback by the agreed deadline you'll go in a random draw with all the tester participants to win a $50 Etsy Gift Voucher, to buy anything your little heart desires.  Ooooh, maybe I should test for my own pattern... ha ha, just kidding!  

A bit about the pattern.  It’s pretty much a wear every day comfortable pair of shorts or pants with pockets, a faux fly, a flat front and elastic back waistband. It has a snug below the natural waist fit, relaxing into the hip and leg, allowing for plenty of movement without shorts/pants falling down, they stay put.  They sit where kids like to wear them, you know, they put their pants or skirt on and then they yank them down, that’s where these shorts/pants naturally sit.  It covers sizes 1-10 (no size 9).

Below is my size chart and measurement guide for your information.  It doesn’t matter if your child doesn't fit perfectly into the sizes – that's what sewing is all about isn't it?  If you want to participate and have a child to sew for, I’m happy to discuss it.  

I would love it if you would come play along in my Run Jump Hop Skip pattern test.  If you are selected to participate, you will be provided a full PDF pattern and then required to sew it up, take photos and give feedback to be entered in the tester participant prize draw.  

I'm looking to set up a pattern tour on conclusion of testing, so note your interest as part of my Tester Database.  Post the tour we'll be having a link up party where you and anyone else who has made up the pattern could win PRIZES.  YAY!  More on that later.

I am endeavouring to make this a pleasant and fun experience for you and me, not one where you feel harrowed and worn out!  I don’t want that anymore than you do.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Yours in sewing

Deb Cameron


Leopard Moose??

A rare creature indeed!  Born of the imagination of children and running wild in the suburban jungle!  The head of a leopard and the bottom half of soft 'midget' moose of the Run Jump Hop Skip kind.  No?  Not fooled by XMan's latest get up??  

These Run Jump Hop Skip pants are made of fine-wale grey corduroy covered in tiny black 'midget' mooses.  They are super cute.  Well,  XMan is super cute.  I am biased, but seriously at this age they are all cute, right?

The hat of course, amped up the cuteness factor to ridiculous!  And then he snuck off and found a lollipop... WOW!  I would eat many lollipops if it made me look that cute...No?  Past it?  Yes, I'm afraid my flush of youth is definitely fading (I can say it...but no one else, right? Right).  I'll be young at heart forever whilst I have these two whipper snappers around!  They make me see the world in a whole new light...I am reliving my childhood with them and loving it!

There is not a lot to say about these pants, as they were made yet again using the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants pattern.  Well, not a lot that I haven't said before.  But just for completeness sake - I made XMan a straight 4 again in the Run Jump Hop Skip Pants.  XMan is 114cm (44.9") tall, with a waist of 56cm (22") and a hip of 59cm (23.2").  XMan is actually taller than the size 4 being 108cm (42.5"), but his waist is the right size and his hips are smaller than the 4.  He has quite a petite frame, so it is a good size for him, I just turn the hem up once at 1.5cm, rather than doing a second fold of 2.5cm, that covers the fact that he is taller.  Always a good idea to try pants on before hemming them - we all come in different leg lengths. 

Good news is that I have a couple more posts about the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants and then...drumroll...the pattern itself will be ready for sale!  Then you'll be able to choose your own fabric to make cool shorts and pants for your kids and won't have to rely on my taste!  

However, if you'd like a cool pair of these pants...you guessed it...there are a few pre-cut packs in the Stitch it Now Etsy Shop for sale.  I have made these available in sizes 1-4 only, as I don't think children older than this would be keen on a pair of 'Midget Moose' pants.  I could be wrong, let me know if you must have these in a bigger size.  

These actually got a wearing days after being finished.  XMan was invited to a school friends birthday party.  It was a Frozen party, of course, the movie Frozen and it's songs are taking over the Wooorrrlllddd - Let it go, Let it go!  Ha ha ha.  That song gets stuck in your head.  I have boys and I am still inundated with requests by XMan for the music and to watch the movie.  

So, anyway, back to the party - it was an Ice Skating party, so the pants were the perfect thing to wear.  He had a blast and he proved yet again that he has his fathers genes and most definitely, thankfully - not mine!  He is so agile with anything extra on his feet - roller skates, scooters, skateboards, skis and to add to the list - ice skates.  It was his first time and sure, he fell over but it never bothered him.  He just got straight up and kept smiling.  He spent most of the time in the middle or going against the grain (in the wrong direction) and somehow did not have any major stacks or collisions.  

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So not me!  I am useless, even on my own two feet I fall over.  I have a friend who said once whilst we were hiking and had to cross over large boulders  'You can't expect to have a good grip on the world with your size 5 feet'.  He had a very good point.  So, I'm glad XMan has his fathers 'goat' genes and not mine.  He got my cuteness, I'm sure of it.

He really is a pussy cat...

Until next time... happy sewing!

 

Improvisational Mulberry Tunic

** Voting is now closed.  Thanks to everyone who voted for my entry.  The beautiful baptism dress from Conversas De Hermanas took out the prize for most votes.  It is truly stunning!  And this gorgeous Hanami by fellow Belgian Blogger Eva,  received the second most votes overall, and the most votes from a creation using a StraightGrain pattern.  Visit StraightGrain to read more about the other entries**

Sounds like I just did my own thing...well, in a way I did.  

You see I saw a post on Birch Fabrics, by An of the blog 'StraightGrain'.  It showed these really cool textile techniques for Improvisational Pleating.  I know...so cool!  And the method names sucked me in even more - Origami Path and Crooked Bamboo.  On the same day I checked out Willow&Co's new Wanderlust pattern line and fell in love, I just had to sew me up one this week. 

So I decided to have a go at this Improvisational Pleating and see if I could win me some lovely Flight Voile by Jay-Cyn Designs, that stuff is what dreams are made of.  I wanted some for me! And what do you know StraightGrain Blog decided to have a competition and give away three yards of the beautiful voile...Yes PLEASE!  If you like what you see below, please go and vote here for my contribution on the Straight Grain blog.  Voting is between 24-26 May.  I'd be thrilled if you did!   

If you like what you see 'click' on the above picture to go Vote for my contribution to the StraightGrain Improvisational Pleating challenge, please...I'd be so thrilled if you did!

If you like what you see 'click' on the above picture to go Vote for my contribution to the StraightGrain Improvisational Pleating challenge, please...I'd be so thrilled if you did!

So, pleating seems more of a feminine thing, more girly.  An of StraightGrain blog fame showed all three of her examples as girls clothing.   My challenge was to find a pattern that I knew my boys would love; decide which pieces of it to improvisationally (is that a word?) pleat; what method to use; choose a fabric that would show it off to its best; and be something my boys would love wearing - flashy but soft.  

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As I said earleir, around the time I was thinking about all this Willow&Co released their Wanderlust collection. Oh my, some beautiful patterns in there.  And happy days, some cool things for boys.  I chose three patterns and 'ka-chinged' them right onto my PC - pronto!  I thought about doing pants...hmm, all that effort of improvisational pleating on something that is going to be hitting the dirt regularly through play and just typical boy shenanigans...aaaah no.  I spied the Mulberry Tunic - perfect!  

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I love this tunic!  The Mulberry Tunic is a placket front shirt, but a simple one, it's actually more of a button up shirt.  A left and right front upper bodice piece that joins with a button placket, the whole piece is then attached to a lower bodice piece.   It has hood options; short or long sleeves; and an epaulette sleeve finish too.   I kept mine short sleeved, hoping Xman will get wear out of it during our mild winter, with a jacket if required, before he grows out of it.  I did um and ah about the size and I went with a three using the finished measurements as a guide, he's slim and I didn't want it to swamp him.  Yes, he will probably grow out of it quicker than I'd like, but that's the beauty of sewing - when he needs the next size I'll make it.  I should have traced down to the size 4 for the length, it is a little short for him. Next time.

I had so much fun improvisational pleating the front bodice and back yoke.  I used the Crooked Bamboo method and started off rather conservatively and then got carried away with curves and using different coloured threads.  It was fun.  I love, love, love the touches of fluorescent green thread and hood lining on this shirt.

Word of warning though, make sure you measure and read through your sewing instructions before starting.  I forgot that my placket pieces needed to be folded over.  I should have started my improvisational pleating twice as far in - the unpick and I had a lovely long chit chat the first night I started sewing.  Unpicking all those fine grey stitching lines on the grey speckled open weave linen - not fun! 

I used a beautiful open weave black/grey speckled linen for the feature pieces and chose a gorgeous soft dark grey linen for the rest of the shirt.  As I had already gone ahead and used the green thread in the Crooked Bamboo stitching lines, I decided to try and match it with my lining.  I remembered I had this gorgeous piece of rayon knit in fluorescent green.  Hmmm, knit and linen...I knew I could make it work.  I pinned it together, very carfeully, and made sure to use my walking foot and not stretch either fabric at all.  I had heaps of pins holding it all together.  I even topstitched the edge and down the middle of the hood and it all worked out well - phew, I did heave a sigh of relief.  And if IMO it looks pretty good.  In fact, I'd say it's almost my favourite part of the shirt...if that Crooked Bamboo wasn't so cool.

Sewing up the Mulberry Tunic pattern was a breeze. I love the neck bias binding finish and the way those short sleeves are finished is pretty neat too.  It has you do the buttonholes last, after piecing the tunic together, and I had this niggly feeling.  Well, I should have followed my instincts.  My sensor buttonholer did not like going over all those seams for the top and bottom buttonholes.  The unpick and I had a few chats at the couple of attempts I did.  In the end we had an even longer chat when I decided to unpick the top and bottom bodice pieces, so the placket would lie flat.  It worked perfectly and took me no time to sew it all back together.  I was so happy with myself...until I realised I put the placket back the wrong way, the buttonholes were now on the bottom!!!!  Ugh.  I had to unpick the whole thing again - it was a glass of wine that got me through that one.  I will remember my machines pernickety buttonhole nature for next time.

I love everything in this photo - the buttons, the buttonhole colours, the one button sewn on in fluro green thread and those crooked bamboo improvised pleats!  In hindsight, after taking the photos, I think I should have ironed the pleats towards the middle of the shirt instead of in the same direction all the way across.  The right side stands out so much more than the left.

I love everything in this photo - the buttons, the buttonhole colours, the one button sewn on in fluro green thread and those crooked bamboo improvised pleats!  In hindsight, after taking the photos, I think I should have ironed the pleats towards the middle of the shirt instead of in the same direction all the way across.  The right side stands out so much more than the left.

XMan loves his shirt and told me it was the prettiest thing I have ever made him.  Funny how it is mostly grey and yet he still thinks it is pretty.  Well, it is a little, and he wears it well.  Hope I've inspired you to try something new today.

If you dropped by please say Hi!  I love comments.  You can follow me on Bloglovin' to see what crazy or gorgeous things I plan on sewing next.

Orange Crush

We love the colour orange at our place.  It is energy multiplied and screams happiness and fun.  To me it says 'I'm ready to take on whatever comes my way, with a smile!'.  We wear a lot of orange in our house.  It is amazing how powerful colour is on your psyche.

He was a little over the whole modelling show to start with and was not at all enthused. He did not want to put down his McDonalds Vanilla Milkshake, being a Mum I know how to improvise and keep everyone happy, it just became his prop.  When he realised I wasn't upset about it, he grabbed the hat and threw on the scarf. I love the way he draped it on, very avant-garde.  The poses are all his.  Love them!  I particularly love those ears peeking out from under his hat having been shoved down too far.  I suggested he lift it a little and he just raised his brows at me and kept sucking on his straw.

This boy is deep, he has a gentle soul and has definitely been here before.  He's smooth, he knows exactly what to say to the ladies.  I didn't teach him that and neither did his father - there is a lot to say about nature versus nurture.  At six, seven later this week, this boy is already into girls (he never went off them) and talks about getting married and having kids at 18, because he knows that's the legal age!!! I'm trying to convince him that he should travel and have a bit of a 'career' first.  His response 'Why can't I do that with my wife?'. Good question.  Will be interesting to see how this little boy morphs into a man and how much he will change.  He certainly has my heart.

These pants are made using the run jump hop skip pants again.  Not a lot to say, they are the basic pants with no variations this time.  Made with the most lusciously soft fine-wale orange corduroy, this fabric washed up so soft, it did not get stiff and crunchy at all.  Admittedly I did dry it in my dryer - it is part of my shrink process.

I made up the straight Size 8 again for MrT.  His measurements again are - height of 128cm (50.5") tall, with a waist of 60cm (23.6") and a hip of 63cm (24.6").   Not much more to say about that.  We've made these a few times now.

These pants are posted in the Stitch it Now Etsy Shop if you feel a child in your life needs their own little piece of orange happiness.

Be sure to say Hi if you drop by, I love a 'drop-in', especially virtual ones.  No embarassing bad hair days to worry about <Grin>.  You can keep up to date with all of Stitch it Now's happenings over at Bloglovin'.  

Claiming my Bloglovin' Blog

Apparently to claim my blog on Bloglovin' I need to do this.  

Bloglovin' quite simply put is a place where you can link to all your favourite blogs.  Yes, you have to set up an account, it's free.  Then you can select blogs to add to your feed, so you never miss a post again.  You can read either by date order or by selecting your favourite blogs and scrolling through their recent posts.  You can like posts for reference later and even pin your favourite items to your Pinterest board.  Pinterest ... I'm assuming everyone knows what Pinterest is?? If you are not on Pinterest...well, that's another whole kettle of fish...go there, check it out - best inspiration ever!

If you've not heard of Bloglovin' you must not be an avid blog reader ... Ahem ... I have been following Bloglovin for nearly three years now - avid...oh YES!  I try to keep up with all my favourite bloggers and posts, however I just noticed that I still have over 1000 unread posts!!! Guess it's time to have a day of feet up reading :-). You thought I was going to say cull???? No way, I couldn't!  All the effort these wonderful bloggers go to sharing their lives and creativity - I thank them all. Now, to schedule a down day... Bliss! 

You can follow Stitch it Now on Bloglovin' to keep up with what's cooking, or sewing - you get the picture.

 <a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11967341/?claim=k7tk5kkqycf">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

By the way this is just a picture of how my blog looks on Bloglovin - FYI only.

By the way this is just a picture of how my blog looks on Bloglovin - FYI only.

Denim Diva

I know it's naughty but I have been known to call my youngest son XMan a bit of a 'diva'!  Not to his face, No - only in stories to other adults - mainly in reference to his over dramatised behaviour about the smallest things.  

Like bursting into tears because he can't open a lolly (lollies are his world); throwing a tantrum because his favourite Foxtel show isn't on that day; or the time he couldn't sleep until Grandma rang Daddy to find out how to comfort him with his splinter (we were on our first trip away from them 'together' for our 20th wedding anniversary) and when Daddy suggested a bandaid, XMan told Grandma it was not put on right,  removed it to fix it and the splinter came off onto the bandaid - all tears and theatrics ceased immediately; or the time he had a nasty tummy bug and had to be admitted into hospital and given Morphine to manage the pain - four times in four days - his brother (a year older) ended up with the same bug and just lay doubled over with the pain at home.  I know they are all vastly varying degrees of torment - for he and us - I am mindful we all have differing thresholds...

Don't get me wrong - I love him - so soooo much I mean when you see these photos how could you not?  But those of you who have kids...well, I think we all have at least one person in each family who we can say is a bit of a diva, princess or drama queen.  Sure, it's probably not fair to compare at all but when you are on the receiving end of said behaviour more times a day than you have fingers and toes to count them on...well, it is trying.

However, there is nothing like cuddles and loving from this little boy.  He knows just how to pamper his Mummy and loves nothing more than to brush my hair when we awake in the morning and when I read to he and his brother before bed at night.  It is just one of his lovely acts that makes up for any diva-riffic moments during the day :-).

I mention this only because I was unsure about this fabric, it's a bit lairy or is that leery?  When XMan saw it he swooned and threw a diva sized tantrum when I wasn't convinced to buy it.  I gave in!  He couldn't wait to put his order in for long pants.  Even when I finished making them I was unsure.  That was until he put them on and strutted his stuff.  This boy owns lairy!  Funny, I only think of them as lairy for boys, but I think these are perfect for girls.  In my mind I'd hoped to have one of my friends girls model these for me but XMan wouldn't have it - they were to be his and his alone to model too!  

I could see a girl wearing this with a neon coloured pink shirt or even a double denim tunic or jacket, even a classic white shirt, a sun hat and either long beads, a crossover bag or a scarf. And for the boys - a boyish t-shirt paired with a denim vest, or a jumper worn over a long shirt like Xman is wearing here, even a more tailored suit or knit jacket would evoke some Mr Cool.

The fabric is a lovely soft woven navajo print denim cotton.  It is light weight and will definitely suit our Autumn/Spring weather and even mild Winter days here in Australia and the rest of the Southern Hemisphere.  For the Northern Hemisphere climates they are probably best for end of Spring and all Summer long.

The pants feature an elastic back and flat front waist with a faux fly.  The waist should sit at the natural waist - you know how kids put on their shorts/pants/skirt and then yank them down to where they are comfy - that natural waistline!  They  have front and back pockets.  The back pockets are cut on the bias for the diagonal detail and are therefore lined with fabric cut on the straight grain to stop them from warping when you attach them to the garment.  The legs are long and slightly tapered.  They are, as the name suggests, great for running jumping hopping and skipping in.  

I made XMan a straight 4 again in the Run Jump Hop Skip Pants.  XMan is 114cm (44.9") tall, with a waist of 56cm (22") and a hip of 59cm (23.2").  XMan is actually taller than the size 4 being 108cm (42.5"), but his waist is the right size and his hips are smaller than the 4.  He has quite a petite frame, so it is a good size for him, I just turn the hem up once at 1.5cm, rather than doing a second fold of 2.5cm, that covers the fact that he is taller.  Always a good idea to try pants on before hemming them - we all come in different leg lengths. 

These are available as a pre-cut pack in the Stitch it Now Etsy shop.  There is heaps of information in the details of the item to assist in picking the right size, and if you are still unsure, be sure to drop me a conversation on Etsy - I love to help!

We had so much fun taking these photos.  The boys found the bubble guns and had a great time bubble blasting each other.  I'm glad to say that I've never outgrown my love of bubbles, I hope they never do either!  Their giggles are stored in my memory for a lifetime to come. 


Pyjama Party

Some of the items I had cut out for Kids Clothes Week sat languishing on my cutting desk waiting, hoping and praying to be finished and not just ending up in the dreaded 'UFO' bin!  

Thankfully, 'Winter is coming!' (I can't help but think of Game of Thrones every time someone says that now tee hee - you will only understand if you are a Game of Thrones fan) and the boys needed new winter jammies.  And they were finished just in time!  We went from it being a sunny and warm 28 degrees celcius here last Friday, plummeting to 13 degrees Saturday morning with a gusty cool wind and then down to 9 degrees on Sunday morning with a wind chill factor of more like 5!!!  That's pretty amazing for where we live just below the Tropic of Capricorn in Sunny Queensland.  

Aren't they just adorable in their new winter pyjamas???  I love the bright colours.

Aren't they just adorable in their new winter pyjamas???  I love the bright colours.

The boys were more than happy to be snuggled in their winter pyjamas under two blankets - we are sooooo not used to the cold.  However, it is a welcome change after the heat of Summer and given how mild our winter is, no one is complaining.

We took the photos straight after a shower, just before dinner and I was surprised at how willing they were to pose...not always the case.  They really hammed it up...as you will see in the next set of photos.

We took the photos straight after a shower, just before dinner and I was surprised at how willing they were to pose...not always the case.  They really hammed it up...as you will see in the next set of photos.

Let's talk details.  I made the pj pants from the Run Jump Hop Skip Pants/Short pattern.  I added the front pockets as my boys like putting their hands in pockets, they must get that from me.  I just have a belief that everything should have pockets - where else do you put your treasures?? Both were made from stripey flannel I picked up at Spotlight for a song.  It washed up really soft so we are all happy.  

I made MrT a size 8, he is my big boy in blue, at 128cm (50.5") tall, with a waist of 60cm (23.6") and a hip of 63cm (24.6").  XMan is 114cm (44.9") tall, with a waist of 56cm (22") and a hip of 59cm (23.2").  Not that these are a pre-cut pack but If you look at my size guide when purchasing a pre-cut pack you will see that MrT is not as tall as a Size 8 recommends but that he fits the waist perfectly.  XMan is actually taller than the size 4, at 108cm (42.5"), but his waist is the right size and his hips are smaller than the 4.  He is actually quite petite, so it is a good size for him, I just turn the hem up once at 1.5cm, rather than doing a second fold of 2.5cm, that covers the fact that he is taller.  Always a good idea to try pants on before hemming them - we all come in different leg lengths.  

Love the faces.  XMan was standing on MrT's foot and they both thought themselves rather funny!  Can you pick the dancer in the family??

Love the faces.  XMan was standing on MrT's foot and they both thought themselves rather funny!  Can you pick the dancer in the family??

MrT's shirt is my new precut pack pattern which is in its final stages of review!!!  So exciting!  Makes sense that I would design a top next, I mean every pant/short needs a top!  I have named this the Tri-raglan Tee and you will see more of it popping up and some pre-cut packs in the shop as soon as I can blog about it and get some shirts into the shop.  I have a heap of ideas for embellishment with this one!  It's a basic raglan with a small twist.  This one is made with a soft rayon knit in a size 8.

XMan's top is the Recess Raglan by See Kate Sew.  I chose this pattern because it is a goodie and because to be honest I was sick of sewing my own design over and over and over for testing purposes.  I chose a size 5 in the pattern as my monkey fabric for the body didn't have a lot of stretch, and I'm glad I did it fits well with a bit of room to grow.

We are all happy with how they turned out.  I have had friends lining up to take them off our hands when XMan grows out of his.  Somehow I think they will be worn out before they are handed down.  Both boys loved them so much they wanted to keep them on after the photos (which were taken in our warm weather phase).  As we were sitting down to Spaghetti Bolognaise for dinner it was a resounding 'NO! Not tonight boys, when it gets cooler.'  I couldn't handle the thought of spaghetti stains on my works of art!!!  As it is now that we've had cooler weather and they've been worn a few nights, they have had milo, soggy weetbix and even syrup from pancakes spilt on them and they have recovered well once run through the wash.  They are favourites already.

They even participated in MrT's school science experiment - making jelly!  I love the safety glasses, MrT's idea, definitely following in his fathers footsteps.  I don't know if you can see it but MrT made a rule that whenever the jelly was being stirred everyone else had to be doing a bit of jig.  You can see him in the background photos above busting his moves - he had me in hysterics.  Love my boys, wish I could freeze them at this age...well, sometimes!  

Happy sewing!

 

Scooters and Zebras

I have been sewing up a storm for Kids Clothing Week this week, I cut most things out prior to the Monday start date.  There were a few things that just needed hems or new elastic so I added them to the pile too.  The boys were on holidays but were keen to head off to the YMCA school vacation care program for two days - so I got in TWO WHOLE days of just sewing!!!  Happy dance!  Amazing what you can achieve when you don't allow anything else to take priority.  

I'm thankful to Meg Freeman of the blog Elsie Marley, and Dorie Schwarz of Tumbling Blocks for their insight into getting us off the couch after dinner and into our sewing rooms.  Kids Clothing Week (KCW) is a whole week, seven days, of sewing for your kids for (at least) one hour a day.  I can justify my holing up in my sewing cave, with only little twinges of guilt...little teeny tiny ones...  I also spent most nights staying up waaaaay too late sewing.  Aaaah bliss!

If you are keen to see what I have been sewing you can visit my profile over at the Kids Clothing Week Community site, I highly recommend sticking around to explore what all the other talented sewists have been sewing.  If you sew, you will be inspired, these people are insanely creative and talented.  Every time I go explore the project pool I come away with more ideas and patterns added to my Pinterest list, mainly for boys, as that's the kids I have at our house.

I will take the time over the next week or two to blog about what I sewed up for KCW.  However, I had to blog about these last two sews before adding them to the KCW project pool.  These are my favourite's from the week.

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I have a soft spot for Etsuko Furuya's Echino fabrics, this lady is a talent, so I couldn't resist this scooter fabric.  I only had a remnant size of the green and managed to squeeze enough out for full scooters on each leg.  And I wasn't sure about using the matching stripes, which comes as a border strip on the same fabric, for the pockets but I'm so glad I did.  I just love the pop of colour on the black.  This fabric is 45% cotton and 55% linen.  It is great for clothing as it doesn't crease quite as much as linen does and it's gets softer the more it is washed and worn. I paired it with straight black linen and they do look Fancy Schmancy on my six year old MrT.  He approved and wanted to wear them all day!  The good news is that I have sourced more of this fabric and will be offering these as a pre-cut pack shortly.

I made these using the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts pattern that I use for the pre-cut packs.  I just chopped a section off the bottom and then traced the front and back leg portion together to make one piece, so I didn't have a join down the leg.  I really didn't want to have to cut those scooters in half.  I had to smooth out the seam a little but it worked fine.  I cut a size 8 and just for reference MrT stands at 128cm (50.5"), with a waist of 60cm (23.6") and a hip of 63cm (24.6").   

Oh and yes, I made the stripey t-shirt too, you can see more of it over at my KCW profile.  It's in the final stages of pattern development and will be the second pre-cut pack pattern to be added to the Stitch it Now Etsy shop... soon.  Good news too is that I will be selling the pattern in coming months!  So much going on in the background here!  

This is the Zebra!  I LOVE these too.  I mean what's not to love about bright yellow and zebras?  They scream Summer, so it's a shame we are in Autumn here in the land of OZ heading into Winter!  Mind you we are still being plagued by summer season cyclones, ITA has just crossed the coast and is making its way down our Eastern Queensland coast, so it is hot, wet and muggy and we are still dressing as though it is Summer.

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I used Carolyn Friedlander, Architextures Cross Shading in Black as the base for the shorts and matched it with Creative Thursday's Zaza Zoo Zebra March in yellow.  I purchased the fabrics from Fabricworm, they have a great selection of fabrics for kids clothing.  I love those triangle pockets and as I show above, they are real pockets for adding all their little treasures.  And for those with discerning eyes, yes I forgot to put my buttons on the pockets before taking the photos!  At least you can see my lovely button holes that I have finally perfected, after yeeeeaarrs of avoidance, silly really.

These are a variation to my basic short block and yes I'm in the process of drafting these up as a pre-cut pack and pattern.  I will be making a pre-cut pack available for these in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eye out if you are keen to make a pair up where the sourcing, pattern decision and cutting are all done for you.

These were made in a size four.  XMan is 113cm (44.5") tall with a waist of 56cm (22") and hip of 60cm (23.6").  

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My boys are great little models and are so much fun.  They really do make my heart sing.  They made me participate in the photos and each had a turn with the camera.  XMan found this shark hat and had a lot of fun pretending to be a 'Zebra Shark', got to love his imagination.  So I couldn't resist making the below photo with some fun apps on my iPhone.

Since it was a beautiful day after our fun photoshoot and we were on a bit of a nautical theme we headed to our favourite beach for some R&R and frivolity.  We are on school holidays after all.

Go check out more of what I've been sewing at my KCW profile and see what everyone else has been up to over at KCW.

 


Camo Capers

My boys have a thing for camo pants.  In fact, I have a picture on the fridge they have drawn requesting I sew camoulfage pants, shirts, hats and bags.  I get asked every couple of days if they are finished yet, I feel like I'm being drilled for why I'm not coming up to scratch LOL.  They are like little generals!  Lucky they are cute!

MrT, my oldest boy at six, was so so happy when he came home to find these almost finished.  The first question was 'Where is my shirt?' as he paraded around in them... wow, the never ending need for the 'now' gratification.

These are made from the same pattern as the denim shorts using my Run Jump Hop Skip pattern.  They are just the pants version.  The only deviation from the basic pattern is adding the netting over the back pockets.  My son loves this, so much so, he told me straight away it was what he would be wearing to his Grade 2 school disco.  You know it's a success when they can't wait to show them off to their friends, who you would think as boys wouldn't care - but they do!  Boys are so much more fashion conscious these days.

I know I'm biased but I do think he looks rather gorgeous in these.  He is a tall long legged boy for a six year old, standing at 128cm (50.5"), with a waist of 60cm (23.6") and a hip of 63cm (24.6"), he fits the size 8 perfectly...and will be in a size 10 before I know it.    

If you would like to purchase your very own pre-cut camoulfage pants pack with those very cool net pocket details then head on over to the Stitch it Now Esty shop to grab a pair.  The listing has heaps of tips on selecting a size too.  The pre-cut pack comes with:

  • All the pant fabric pieces cut and numbered ready to sew.  
  • Garment notions to finish the pants being - elastic, back pocket netting and bias binding.
  • Care instructions for your fabric.
  • And PDF sewing instructions that will be emailed to you within 24 hours of payment.  They include a Tick and Flick Overview sheet and a detailed photo instruction guide.  

When your package arrives all you need to do is make a cuppa, read through your instructions, turn on your machine, select a matching thread, grab your general sewing tools and get sewing!  You'll have a finished pair of pants in no time.

I'll leave you with one last photo - my boys just before leaving for their school disco.  They are in Grade 1 and 2 and are still super keen to attend.  They rocked it!  MrT wore his hat all night and spent the entire time dancing with the girls right up the front - I was seriously amazed at his staying power.  Our XMan attends dancing and acrobatics after school and he was certainly pulling some moves on the dance floor.  Raising some gorgeous looking groovers in our house.




Fabric Markers

The biggest concern I had in developing pre-cut packs was how to clearly mark the markers, if you get what I mean??  For those that are old hands at sewing, I think it's pretty obvious - for those who are new to sewing... please read on.

The Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts made in denim currently available as a pre-cut pack in the Etsy Stitch it Now Shop.

The Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts made in denim currently available as a pre-cut pack in the Etsy Stitch it Now Shop.

So markers for me are those things on a sewing pattern that tell me what each piece is and where to join or align the pattern pieces - like what is the front and back pocket, matching a sleeve to an armhole; where to sew the faux fly; where to place your pockets on the front or back; where to fold a pleat; etc.  

Pattern pieces are usually numbered on the pattern piece, so you know what you are cutting out. As I am giving you pre-cut pieces I need to be able to signal what piece was what.  And on commercial patterns pocket and hem markers tend to be triangles, other pattern companies use little straight lines.

On the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants there are really only a few markers that are really important, they are:

  • the faux fly; and
  • the front and back pockets.

There are other markers, and I only say they are less important, as they are also detailed in the PDF Sewing Instructions.  They are:

  • A legend showing the numbered pieces
  • Waist fold over hem
  • Short / Pant leg hem

So let's talk about how I mark my markers:

Numbered Pattern Pieces:

Because you are receiving a pre-cut pack with the pieces cut out ready to just sit down and sew, I decided that numbering each piece and providing a corresponding legend, allows you to make sure you have all the pieces you need, prior to sewing.  Each piece is numbered with a small round sticker attached to the wrong side of the pattern piece.  It is out of the way of connecting seams, so you don't accidentally sew it to your garment.  It can be easily removed and I suggest you do so before washing - they can permanently leave a sticky residue on your garment.  

Before sewing the garment there is a step in the PDF Sewing Instructions asking you to check you have all the pieces, check them against the diagram and the legend.   Then, as you sew your shorts, the sewing instructions continue to reference the numbered pieces. so you can continue to check you are sewing the right piece at the right time.

A (very bad) photo of the diagram and legend as they appear in the PDF Sewing Instructions.  This diagram shows both the short and pant lengths. The legend refers to the short only as it is from the PDF Sewing Instruction specifically developed for the Denim short pre-cut pack.

A (very bad) photo of the diagram and legend as they appear in the PDF Sewing Instructions.  This diagram shows both the short and pant lengths. The legend refers to the short only as it is from the PDF Sewing Instruction specifically developed for the Denim short pre-cut pack.

Hem Markers:

These markers are signalled by a small nick in the fabric on the outside legs and waist line, to indicate where the hem folds should happen.  If you serge these off whilst sewing up the pattern, no biggie, just check the PDF Sewing Instructions as you sew, they will tell you what the measurements are.

This is the pattern piece showing the short hem markers.  The first marker is 1.5cm (5/8") up from the hemline and the second marker is 2.5cm (1") above the second.  This means you turn the short hem up 1.5cm (5/8") and then 2.5cm (1").  Of course, you should always check the length on your child to allow for their leg length and preferred wearing length, before sewing the final hem in place.

This is the pattern piece showing the short hem markers.  The first marker is 1.5cm (5/8") up from the hemline and the second marker is 2.5cm (1") above the second.  This means you turn the short hem up 1.5cm (5/8") and then 2.5cm (1").  Of course, you should always check the length on your child to allow for their leg length and preferred wearing length, before sewing the final hem in place.

Pocket Markers:

On the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts / Pants there are both front and back pockets.  To show you where the pockets should be attached, on the front and back pieces, there are either chalk or washable pen marks to indicate where to align the top of the pocket for sewing.  

Note that I use chalk/Saral paper markings on dark fabrics; and washable pen marks on lighter fabrics.  The only downside to using chalk/Saral paper on the darker fabrics is that they can be a little 'fragile' and can wipe away if handled a lot.  I suggest placing a few pins strategically along these markings once you receive your pattern.  Just in case.

The left photo shows the finished front pocket being aligned with the markings on the short front.  The top of the pocket should slot straight into those markings.  You want the pocket to abutt those markings, so you can't see them.  They should align exactly at the top as the short/pant has a foldover waist and the pockets sit just under the finished waist seam, so make sure you don't attach your pocket higher than this marking.   The right photo is the back pocket.  It has two markings that the back pockets should align too.  If you get the top of the pocket aligned with these points, the bottom of the pocket will be right.  Just pin it in place and sew.

The left photo shows the finished front pocket being aligned with the markings on the short front.  The top of the pocket should slot straight into those markings.  You want the pocket to abutt those markings, so you can't see them.  They should align exactly at the top as the short/pant has a foldover waist and the pockets sit just under the finished waist seam, so make sure you don't attach your pocket higher than this marking.  

The right photo is the back pocket.  It has two markings that the back pockets should align too.  If you get the top of the pocket aligned with these points, the bottom of the pocket will be right.  Just pin it in place and sew.

Faux Fly Markers:

I don't know about you but every time I need to sew a faux or even a real fly, I still need to mark it up so I can lazy stitch, oh I mean confidently stitch it up - without fear of getting it wrong!  So below is how I mark my faux fly's when sewing them.

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Mark the wrong side of the fabric:

  • Draw your seam allowance all the way down your front center seam to the end of your crotch.  On the Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts this is a 1cm (3/8") seam allowance.

 

  • Just above your faux fly length marking or stopper, draw a slightly curved line to meet your faux fly flap, drawn on the pattern already, see grey/blue pattern line on the picture at left (has the words 'Fold Here' running along it).

 

  • Continue the line all the way down to meet up with your crotch seam allowance.  Trace this line from the top of your pattern to the end of crotch seam to the wrong side of your pattern.

 

 

 

This is what the wrong side looks like with all the markings on.  

This is what the wrong side looks like with all the markings on.  

The right side faux fly marker ready to be sewn.

The right side faux fly marker ready to be sewn.

Mark the right side of your fabric: 

  • Trace the faux fly flap line onto the right side of your fabric (both pieces),  It's that same grey/blue line we talked about above (next to the 'Fold Here' words).

On the right is how it looks once it is drawn on, we are interested in that dark yellow line at the fly.  

Can you see how the wrong and right sides sort of finish each other??  I hope so, if you are like me, visual and verbal is great but I really only have my 'Aha' moment when actually 'doing' the do of it myself.

That is the overview of how your pre-cut pack will come marked.  Next post we might have a look at the instructions for sewing that faux fly for people, like me, who still need their instructions.  Doesn't matter how many times I sew them, I still need to check my instructions.  

If you would like a pre-cut pack of your own, please visit the Stitch it Now Shop on Etsy.

Happy Sewing!

 

Denim basics please...

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I asked my son what fabric he would like a new pair of shorts from?  I had all these lovely prints and textures out and he said 'I really need a new pair of denim ones Mum.  Stretchy soft ones that I can do cartwheels in'!  Right.  Trust boys to be so practical.

To be honest I was surprised!  Really surprised.  If you know my youngest son, he is not at all your basic staples kind of boy, he is rather like a preening peacock full of colour and flamboyance, he usually demands I buy him sequins or sparkles if I can get him anywhere near the fabric shop.  Even at almost six years of age these are XMan's favourites, still!  XMan?  Well his name starts with an X and that's his nickname, you'll get to know him as that here.  

That's him on the left with his serious poser face on.

That's him on the left with his serious poser face on.

To be honest XMan has only ever had two pair of denim shorts.  A licenced Pooh Bear pair we were given that he grew out of way too fast; and a pair of stretch denim ones I made for him out of a really cool repurposed striped denim skirt, found in an op shop.  That stretch pair lasted him three years, they just kept growing around him with the stretch.  Sure they got shorter, but they were below his knees to start with.  They fell apart before he outgrew them.  In fact most of the wear was on the back pockets, so I just kept zig zagging over the holes and he'd get another wear out of them.  The things we do!

After making this new pair up I thought, these are such a great basic, the sort of short they reach for over and over again.  So, I've been working on having these drafted up so I can share them with you. So you can make your child their own pair of denim shorts to 'Run Jump Hop Skip' in, or do cart wheels, whatever they wish.

RSHJ2

So, without further ado this is the release of our newest pre-cut pack.  These shorts are made for boys and girls to live in!  Girls could definitely wear these too, however this pack is specific for boys.  That said, if you wanted to make them for a girl you could shorten them a little; curve the pockets a bit; add some girly embellishment or bling to the pockets; and even use pink or red thread.  Really, the only limitation is your own imagination.  

They feature:

  • A snug below the natural waist fit, relaxing into the hip and leg, allowing for plenty of movement without shorts falling down – they stay put.
  • Front and back pockets.
  • Fold over elastic waist with a flat front and elastic back.  Quicker to make and less pieces to fuss with.
  • A faux fly, because what child wants to fiddle with a real fly? 
  • An easy sew - the pockets and faux fly are a bit fiddly but easy if you follow the step by step guide.  It is marked intermediate due to the use of Stretch Denim, however sewing tips for this fabric type are included.
  • Sizing range is from 1-10 and is based on the Australian Sizing Standards.
  • Seam allowances are 1cm (3/8”) and sewing markers are included – pocket, faux fly, hem and waist fold markers.

They are hand cut by me and made unique by you as they are sewn.  Visit the Stitch it Now Etsy shop to place your order.  When ordering read the details as I provide plenty of tips on how to choose a size.  That said given these are made in a stretch woven denim, pick a size closest to your child's as the denim gives a more relaxed fit.  The bonus is that these shorts will last them a little longer, expanding as they grow.  

RSHJ3

The PDF Sewing instructions will be emailed to you once your purchase/payment clears so you'll have some time to get familiar with the instructions while you wait for your project to turn up.  The custom pre-cut pack takes me approximately 1-3 days to cut, pending the number of orders, and will be mailed to your door, ready to sew up for your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces or even your child's best friend.   Then when it arrives you'll be ready to make a cuppa and get sewing!  

RSHJ4

Over the next few posts I'll talk about some of the detail like:

  • How I mark the fabric ready for you to sew
  • Some hints and tips I have up my sleeve to make sewing a little easier and faster
  • Fabric know how talk

What's your favourite basic to sew your children? Or are they like my youngest and generally demand luxury items for every day wear?

 

The What and the How?

In my last post I gave a short intro on who I was and why I have gone and created a blog to support the idea of Stitch it Now.  Must be about time I answered some other questions...

How does this concept work?

I like to sew, still, of course.  I have developed the blog so that I can share with you what I'm making, mostly for my boys, sometimes for girls and even rarer, for me.  I love making clothes for my boys and children in general.  As mentioned in my previous post, I also understand this time poor world we creative sewing mothers live in.  So, I thought, it would be fun for me to design and make outfits to share with you, to sew, if you want to...

Therefore, sometimes when I make and showcase something here on the blog, I will make the exact same item, as a pre-cut pack, available to buy in the Stitch it Now Etsy Shop.  In the same fabric with the same detail.  You get to pick the size from 1-10 (and I have plenty of tips for choosing the right size at the time of purchase) and the quantity if you would like to make more than one.  I then receive your order, send you your PDF Sewing Instructions, within 24 hours, so you can start preparing for your package to arrive.  I then set about lovingly cutting your custom order to your required size/s, by hand.  Within 2-3 days I package it up and post your parcel, ready to be made 'Unique by You!'.  

What is in a pre-cut package?

1.  All fabric pieces cut and ready to sew, in your chosen size.  All pieces are:

  • nicked at markers eg, waist, crotch etc;
  • chalk (dark colour) or washable pen (light colour) marked for eg. pocket placement and/or fly markers.
  • numbered to match a legend on the PDF Sewing Instructions.
Above is a sample pack, cut and ready for packaging, from our trial Christmas Pop Up Shop, held in December 2013.     

Above is a sample pack, cut and ready for packaging, from our trial Christmas Pop Up Shop, held in December 2013.     

2.  Specific garment notions required to complete the item.  These are detailed at time of purchase.  Example is elastic, bias binding, buttons, etc. 

All cut pieces are numbered to match a legend to make sure you have everything to complete the project.

All cut pieces are numbered to match a legend to make sure you have everything to complete the project.

3. A set of PDF Sewing Instructions emailed to you within 24 hours of purchase, so you can familiarise yourself with the instructions prior to receiving your package - a little teaser.  They include a tick and flick type of overview sheet and a detailed instructional photo guide.  The one page tick and flick sheet covers all the steps to make your project.  I suggest, if you have a portable computer or android device, that you print the tick sheet out and scroll through the directions and photos on the screen, to save on ink and paper.

4. Care instructions.  Your fabric has been pre-washed with a low allergy washing detergent and pre-shrunk, where feasible.  That just means if it can go in the dryer, it does.  

5.  All fabric and goods come from a pet and smoke free environment, that has been stroked lovingly before being cut and sent on its way.  

What you need to have to complete your project?

You will require access to a sewing machine and corresponding needles and thread to suit that machine and your chosen project.  Plus all the other usual haberdashery items required to sew eg. Scissors, iron, measuring tape, etc.  You get the picture.

Finished projects...some of which are soon to be seen on the blog and even be available in the shop...

Finished projects...some of which are soon to be seen on the blog and even be available in the shop...

And remember, I'm here to help any time - I want your sewing to be fuss free, fast and most of all FUN!

 

Inaugural Post

A first, the beginning, to start, commencement, ensue, kick-off, inception, dawn, birth, origin, initiation, day one...

Source: Google Images 

Source: Google Images 

That's what this post will be.  And some way down the road, I hope to look back on it and reminisce about how far we've come, together - you, my readers and me, your blog host.  If you want to know a bit about me, head on over to my 'About' page, you'll get to know me better as we go along.  I'm a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, acquaintance who loves laughter, snuggles, long afternoon shadows, wind in the trees, smell of salty sea air, cold bubbles, summer bbq's and generally, wringing every ounce out of life that I can.  Well, that's just some of me, I am a after all a woman, complex.

This blog has come about to support the concept of Stitch it Now.  I have been working away in the background for what seems like months now.  It is nice to be able to finally write what this little idea of mine is about and share my sewing passion with you.

Stitch it Now  is a concept I have been dreaming up ever since my two boys were in nappies.  And given they are turning six and 7 in the next couple of months, that’s quite a while really.  And yes, you read right, my two boys are twelve and half months apart, and no, I most definitely did not plan it that way!  My girlfriends all laughed when they heard I was having a boy, girly me with a boy, well they just about wet their pants when I revealed I’d fallen pregnant accidentally just three months after the first!!!  Thanks, you know who you are!!  Wouldn’t be without you either.

It’s been a ride, that’s for sure.  As all parents with young children, or should I just say children, know – it doesn’t get easier, it just gets different!  Instead of ripping your hair out over them eating toadstools, you move onto just wondering why they felt the need to paint tomato sauce all over the freshly cleaned cream carpet, to worrying about who is nice and not nice to them at school and wondering why it is that everyone else says “You have lovely chiIdren’, when you only see and hear the demon children the minute you leave the school grounds!  ‘Lucky they are cute!’ that’s my catch cry!  Better than a two year phase we went through where approximately one hundred times a day I said ‘Get off him!’ or ‘Leave him alone!’ – seriously draining.  Laugh, it’s the best way to get through the trials and tribulations of bringing up children. 

Back to the fun stuff!  I love to sew and was itching to sew up all the cutest baby and toddler clothes I could.  However, I was time poor and lacked the ability on most days to go further than the local grocery shop.  When they got bigger, taking them to the fabric shop was a nightmare, so I was relegated to weekend shops where I would bolt down there and run around in a mad frenzy picking up what I needed to sew before my husband might notice I'd been missing for too long - you know how it goes?  Generally, I'd forget something, which was most annoying and it would hold up revealing a finished item. 

So, I thought, there must be other people out there who when they have time to sew just want to sit down and get on with sewing, completing a garment quickly - how rewarding that would be!  So here is my solution for all you time poor sewists with children who prefer to not have to shop or cut out - because I've been told you are out there - a pre-packed pre-cut package, complete with required garment notions so you can open the pack, choose a matching sewing thread and start sewing!  

So watch this space...more will be revealed in my next post...just days away...promise!  

And again...Welcome, I do hope you'll stay awhile and maybe, we might even be friends.