Pikachu!

I’m not much up on the whole Pokemon thing. The kiddo isn’t into that whole thing yet. But…

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One of his buddies up the street is! And she just had a Pokemon birthday party. So of course I needed a birthday present. I know our friend loves stuffies. I know she loves Pokemon and her favorite character is Pikachu. And I’ve been following along with ikat bag‘s Menagerie Stuffie Pattern.

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Have you seen it? I was waiting everyday to see what she would come up with next! Using the same basic pattern she came up with a frog, a dragon, a shark, and my favorite, the squid! And many more! 17 actually. Fantastic! It’s so cool. The pattern is not out yet, but she did participate in Sew Mama Sew’s 6 Weeks of Love for Softies and gave us a sneak peek at the pattern with the Raccoon Pattern.

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So I jumped! Stuffie + Pikachu + Menagerie Raccoon Pattern = AWESOME Birthday Present! The pattern was perfect for my project! It’s so simple!

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I got to use two new materials that I have never used before! The plastic eyes and the stuffing beads. I ordered the beads not long ago to use in the lap desk, but the bag ended up being tiny. These are like little beads of plastic, not the tiny polyfill microbeads that fly around. I was going ot return them, but it cost more ot return them so I figured I’d use them sooner or later. Yep!! Good call!

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The obvious changes from the raccoon are the ears and the tail. I did add heavy interfacing in the ears to help them stay straight. I also deleted the nose and instead hand embroidered it.

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Image via Polygon

I debated adding the open pink mouth.  After I started all the pieces, I was sewing on the cheeks and was about to sew on the open mouth when I saw this picture. Totally inspired the closed mouth. So sweet looking!

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And I moved the stripes from the tail to the back! For the cheeks and the back I used high quality wool felt, instead of a fleece. But for the tail I did use a little bit of brown fleece. It was much easier to pull through the tail than the felt would have been. I think if I made it again, I would add one piece across the back instead of 4 little pieces. You can download the pieces I added here. There are no seam allowances included in my pieces.

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I think it turned out freakin’ adorable! I’m in love with it! And I know the birthday girl was pretty happy with him too! There are such cute critters in the whole Pokemon thing, that  I almost want to try to make a whole series of them! What would you make with her pattern?

The Mini Messenger Bag

I got to test a pattern for Katy of The Littlest Thistle! I’ve seen her make some fun bags so I was excited ot try this one.

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This one is the Mini Messenger Bag. I’ve made messenger bags before, but I was interested in seeing what made her’s different from the others. One is the size. It’s mini! It is exactly the right size for a kiddo, for sure.

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I wanted to make it for my son, but he didn’t want one. At least not until he saw mine…. The picture on the cover is a little girlie and I think he was blinded by the floral fabric. Because when he saw mine in person, even though it’s a little girlie though, he wanted mine! But I said no! And I used it the other day and it’s great!

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The second piece about it that was new to me was the insides! The pattern calls for some fusible interfacing that I had never actually used before. A woven interfacing, which I also learned is fantastic for clothing. And a fusible fleece. I’ve seen this before, but typically skip it since it isn’t in my sewing room… This time I bought it and the two interfacings really do give the bag a big sturdy shape!

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Lastly, for new ot me sewing, I have never done an adjustable strap! It seems like I would have with all the hundreds of purses I’ve made in my time (I used to sell purses…). But no! Super easy!

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I love a purse with an inside pocket! And it has one included in the pattern! Next time I might put one on each side.

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The outside pocket is perfect for my phone! I made it the contrasting color, but in hindsight, I think I’d stick with either the same color or at least not as contrasting because part of the pocket shows under the flap. which I didn’t realize in the process!

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And its’ a great size for a stuffie! I couldn’t resist, since this guy looked so cute in it! I actually didn’t carry Mt. Doodles around in it. I used it for carrying books and I really loved how the strap felt on my shoulder. I have a problem with bags falling off my shoulder, but this one didn’t!

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Now to get your own pattern! You can purchase the pattern here at Katy’s shop. To celebrate the launch of her new pattern she’s offering 25% off ALL the patterns in her shop! Hurry over, the discount is available until April 10th with the code HOPPYEASTER15.

 

 

A Giant Open Wide Pouch

Man, I am missing my sewing machine right about now!!! But that’s a story for another day!

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Today I thought I’d show off my Open Wide Pouch! This is from Noodlehead’s free pattern, but I changed it a bit. I made it gigantic! I was planning my son’s backpack and first I had planned on using this pattern, but enlarging it to backpack size. Then as I thought about it, I realized it might not work. So I decided to test it in the Giant size!

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I thought I’d just use scraps, but then I figured if I’m making it, it should be cute right? These are all scraps, but I think they turned out nicely together! And the yellow zipper was on the only long one I had. It seems very preppy to me! Does it seem preppy to you?

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And for finishing the zipper end I had a piece of pink webbing that seemed to tie it all together! The webbing and the zipper are the exact same width, so it’s not perfect. But it works!

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I took a picture with some thread to give you a sense of the true hugeness of it! It’s such a quick and easy sew/tutorial. I’m so glad I tested it before making the backpack for two reasons. One, it totally was NOT what I needed for that project. And two, I got a perfect new bag! Yea!

I wonder if Anna from Noodlehead knew she’d be famous! I loved listening to all these people showing off their bags and pouches they had made and saying, ‘It’s a Noodlehead…’ And we all knew who each other was talking about!

Queen of Hearts by Cook Clean Craft

Today, my quest needs no real introduction because she’s one of the founding Sew Ready to Play participants! She’s Narelle from Cook Clean Craft. She’s always up for playing and has had fun games every year! One thing I love about blogging is getting to know people all over. I remember when her ‘Queen of Hearts’ was born! Crazy!! Narelle blogs about all sorts of things on her blog, hence the name! Ha! She’s got some of my favorite recipes and great sewing projects! One of my favorite tutorials she’s done recently is her stuffed snail. Totally cute!

Welcome Narelle!!!

Hi all, it’s Narelle here, from Cook Clean Craft, ready to have some fun playing along with Sew Ready to Play. I’ve had so much fun in past years, and always had a clear idea what I wanted to make. This time around, I was all out of inspiration. I’ve lost my sew-jo lately, and couldn’t even think of a game that inspired me. So I procrastinated.

And procrastinated.

Then finally inspiration hit. A simple deck of playing cards was my inspiration, and before I knew it, the Queen of Hearts dress was made:

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As a redhead who blushes like a tomato, I’ve never been able to wear red, but my blonde kids look great in it. When I bought the fabric, I was worried that red and black are a bit grown up for a 4 year old. So I went with a simple dress with very cutesy hearts. I searched for fabric with red hearts and couldn’t find any (what?), but found some perfect iron on appliques at my local fabric store.

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Queen of Hearts playing cards tend to have gold trim around the next. I found some sequin trim that was just perfect for my sparkly little girl.

It’s shirred in the back – much easier than buttons or a zip for an independent girl to dress herself!

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My model wasn’t in the mood, so most of my photos turned out like this:

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This Queen’s got attitude! But believe it or not, she loves the dress.

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Here’s how I made it:

The fabric I used was poplin, basically because it’s cheap and I’m supposed to be on a fabric diet!

I started with a basic bodice pattern (this was from the 5 and 10 Designs eBook). I drew a line where I wanted the seam between the red and white sections and added seam allowances.

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For the back bodice, I added a couple of extra inches to the back to allow for the shirring. I should have made it a bit bigger since it only just fits over her head – oops!

For the skirt, I cut out a rectangle of fabric for the red section and then cut off corners to create the angled look, and matched up the same for the white section, making the top the same width at the bottom of the bodice.

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I also cut strips of 1 1/4” strips of black fabric for faux piping.

I sewed the bodice front centre panel to the skirt centre panel.

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Then I sewed the side and shoulder seams of the bodice (I actually should have sewn the sleeves before I did the side seam, but no making things easy for myself here!

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Then I gathered the red skirt section (I prefer to machine gather, by using a long stitch length and high tension):

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Adjust the gathers to that the skirt width matches the bodice width, and sew, right sides together:

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Fold the black strips in half, lengthwise and press. Pin to the right side of the front seams, lining up the raw edges, and sew a basting stitch inside the seam allowance:

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With right sides together, sew the centre panel to the red section of the dress:

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The black piping should create faux piping like this (press it to one side for a crisp look):

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Sew the underarm seam of the sleeves, and then sew into the armhole:

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To finish the neckline, sew bias tape right sides together to the neck hole:

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Turn the bias tape to the inside, press and then stitch in place (don’t worry about the contrasting thread for the front panel – we’ll cover that with trim):

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Press and sew a double-fold seam for the sleeve and bottom hems:

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Draw two lines across the back bodice down from the shoulder with chalk or disappearing pen:

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Sew shirring elastic across the back panel between the two lines (or you can shirr the whole back bodice, if you prefer:

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I jumped across between the rows rather than stopping at each row end. I didn’t pull the elastic enough, so the shirring pulls up a bit at the back. It annoys me, but not enough to fix it!

Finally, I added some gold sequin trim across the neckline (covering the contrasting thread), and added iron on appliques to the bodice from panel.

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I also added one heart to the skirt section and more sequin trim along the bottom hem stitching.

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And there is my cute Queen of Hearts!

Come over to Cook Clean Craft for more fun sewing projects, plus family-friendly recipes, household cleaning and organization tips and other craft ideas. Thanks for having me again, Louise!

The Mimi for Women!

I sewed something for me again the other day!

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It’s the Mimi for women by Filles a Maman. She sent out a call for testers and I signed up! I loved her little Rose skirt that I made earlier this year, so I wanted to try out the grown up pattern!

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The Mimi top is a pattern that she’s had in her shop for kids for a while, but now she’s releasing it for grown ups! Being on the larger side, I love promoting patterns that go up to my size. And I think this one is flattering even for me!

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The pattern says it’s for confident beginners, and that’s pretty right on. If it wasn’t for the knit part, I think it would be easy for any beginner. Not that sewing with knits is hard, but it can be intimidating to some. Otherwise, easy peasy! I also love that there are options. The pattern also has an option to make it into a dress, but I opted for just the top. And there are also options for the collar, the key hole, the button, the little peter pan like collar and the fringe option.

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Obviously, I went for the key hole with a button collar option. One tester did just the key hole without the button and the top just opens and lays so nice with the contrasting . I think I want to try that next time!

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I didn’t change a thing. I didn’t change the length, nothing. And it fits me perfect! This fabric is technically my muslin, but I love it and have worn it out and about, just like it is!

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I highly recommend the pattern! It’s a creative take on the basic tee. It’s an easy and quick sew. And it’s been pretty right on for all the testers sizes. Go ahead, buy it here!

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

The Breeze Top for Women!

Remember a while back when I made the adorable breeze top for my niece? (If not, check it out!)

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Well, all the testers wanted it for themselves too! So what did Shannon, the designer of all the Peaches and Peanuts patterns, do??? She made it for women! Oh, yea!

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And I love it! It’s such an easy sew! The pattern is designed for knits, but I want to try it in a woven… Some other testers did and it’s still cute! It’s the perfect top for summer! It has the two pieces on the front that I love in the color block look I did it in.

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And the back is a racer back! I love that it has a little something different in the back.

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The pattern is includes sizes XS to 2XL, so it’s sized for everyone’s wardrobe! Like I said it’s an easy sew! The instructions were tested with the girl’s version and now with the women’s pattern, so you know it has to be good.

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And probably one of the best things for you… It’s on sale! Thru Saturday, August 23rd, the pattern is only available directly from Shannon and it only $4.77! WHAT??? $4.77! Seriously, you need to buy it now at that steal!  After the 23rd, the price goes up to $7.95 (which is still very reasonable!) And check out those two adorable ladies on the pattern cover! Yep!

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I’ve worn mine ALOT! Even if the fabric is just a ‘muslin’ knit, it’s comfy and looks nice. So it’s been out and about in the real world!

And don’t forget to get your copy here!

Breeze Top Pattern Tour and a Giveaway!

I keep saying it recently, but it’s true! I’m just floored by all the talent I’ve had the opportunity of meeting doing this whole blogging thing! Another of my amazing blogging friend, Shannon of Little Kids Grow, has released yet another great pattern to her pattern line, Peaches and Peanuts! Be sure to check out the New Release Info!

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It’s the Breeze Top! I’m not sure were the name came from, but I will say it’s a ‘breeze’ to make! Ha! I crack myself up! I love being a pattern tester for Shannon! She’s really got it down with getting the info out and keeping up on questions. Makes our job as testers super simple!

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The pattern has two versions, one for the woven fabric and another for a knit version. I did the woven and think it’s pretty adorable! (as is my guest model, don’t you think?) The top is a bit asymetterical with buttons only on one side. And I love me some asymettric! And you know me, I do snaps, not buttons. But it didn’t change the top any. I love the high top with the added fullness in the body.

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The top is a racer back top, which I love for the girls! There’s a bit of elastic that runs from the side to the racer back connection. We were a bit nervous sewing this pattern for my niece because she doesn’t like tight. And she can sometimes be irritated by fabrics rubbing her skin. I debated my elastic measurements. Do I stick to the pattern directions? Or do I make it a little bit looser? I decided to stick with the pattern and see how it goes…. It worked! It was tight enough to keep the top close to the body without showing anything we didn’t want to show. But it wasn’t tight enough to cause any irritation to her skin! Perfect!

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Then there’s the bottom band. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to include the bottom band. But since I was testing, I knew I needed to at least give it a whirl. But first I didn’t. And I sent it home for a test fit. It fit fine, but was obviously a bit short. So I added it on, easy peasy. And now the length is great. It also keeps it from flying up when the kiddos are playing!

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And trust me, it works for playing! And popping bubbles! I took my ‘assistant’ with me for the photo shoot and they had a great time!

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I think it’s a great pattern for the little ladies! It comes in sizes 8 thru 16. I’m hoping for a woman’s version too!  Today is the first day of the blog tour, so be sure to check out the other versions! Including the knit version!

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Shannon is also hosting a great giveaway on her blog! She’s giving away (3) Breeze Top patterns and (3) $25 Gift Certificates to The Ribbon Retreat. And I just ordered from The Ribbon Retreat, and it came super fast! Love!  Anyway, click here for the giveaway!

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And it’s not over yet! Shannon is also offering a discount code at her Etsy shop! The Breeze Top pattern will be 25% off this week with the code “BREEZETOUR” on her Etsy site. (Coupon code expires June 27th at 11:59pm). So just in case you don’t want to wait to see if you win the pattern, be sure to get your own copy!

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Long Beach Board Shorts

Or should I call them Orange Beach Board Shorts? Obviously they fit in perfectly on any beach! I’m in love with this Long Beach Board Short pattern from Terra’s Treasures.

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It was one of the patterns in the Sew Fab Sale and I’m loving it! And so is the kiddo! I wanted them to actually be swim shorts and not just shorts that look like swim shorts, so I started looking for boys swimsuit material. It’s not so easy to find! I did find some at this place called The Fabric Fairy, but it was kinda expensive for my first try at this… Sometimes it’s hard to spend 20 or so on fabric for a swim suit that I can get already made for 8 or 10 at Old Navy, etc… I love handmade more, but sometimes….

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So I started looking at thrift shops. Then I just happened to find a solid pair of blue and a printed pair that matched perfected! On sale for 5 bucks for the two! Then I wanted the contrast and found another pair of adult swim trunks for 1 dollar!! I did use adult swim trunks for the fabric. And if you want to, be sure to find a pair without all the pockets! My blue pair I had to be very careful with how I cute the adult pair to have enough fabric.

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The pattern is super easy to put together. It helps if you aren’t chatting with a long time best friend that you haven’t seen in a year though. I did sew together the back part upside down the first time adn I couldn’t figure out what in the world was wrong the pattern! Of course, it wasn’t me!!! Then I realized, HA! it was me! And of course, I had finished the seam allowances and everything before I figured it out….

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Then I got back on track and I love it. I would totally make short short out of it too. As in not actual swim shorts.

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And check out that piping! Sorry, for the booty shot, but it was the best picture of the piping I had. It was my first time doing real piping. I used a nylon cord for quicker drying. This one is for my Aunt! I’ve been talking to her about doing piping for years. She keeps telling me how wonderful it is and how you’ll get hooked. She was right!

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And I also added in the swim suit undies. I cut these out of one of my pairs (yes, thoroughly washed, multiple times!) The pattern doesn’t give directions for this piece, but I just sized it based on my sons other bathing suits and then tucked it up under the fold of the wait before I sewed that piece down.

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I also reused the ties from the other shorts for the tie on this pair. The directions call for ribbon or bias tape. So I just used the ties ans sewed them on some elastic.

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And the kiddo loves them!

 

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a happy Easter! We did! A nice relaxing day and some Easter egg hunting!

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At the last minute we decided to join some friends at their church and I realized the kiddo didn’t really have anything to wear… So what does any crafty mom do? I sewed up some pants, made a bow tie and did some shopping!

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I have been meaning to make the kiddo another pair of Surfer Slacks. I was sewing something else and as I was ironing my eye struck the seersucker on my shelf. So I put two and two together and out came a seersucker surfer slack!

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I think I mentioned before, but the knit elastic waist is a huge hit with the kiddo! I love that you can dress them up or dress them down.

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Then I needed a spring sweater. Um… Has anyone been shopping for a spring sweater for boys lately? I went to 5 stores. Nothing. Absolutely Nothing. So I switched gears when I saw this little jacket at Old Navy. Totally ended up hitting the spot!

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So I finished the pants, the kiddo went to bed and I knew a bow tie would tie it all together… So, a quick little sew and some hot glue… And you have a bow tie! I’ll make a quick tutorial to show ASAP!

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He loved it! Having everyone he saw tell him how handsome he looked helped! He didn’t take it off all day!

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After the egg hunts, I asked if he wanted to take off his jacket and he said no. Then he did, but I found it on the floor and not in his closet where he was supposed to put it. He didn’t put it away, because he wanted to wear it to do our late afternoon dog walk!

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We had fun getting dressed up and enjoying the sun on our lovely Easter Sunday! Hope you did too!

What Does the ‘Arctic’ Fox Say?- Project Run and Play Week 1

Just in case you want to Vote (for me (hint hint)) now (please), click here! But don’t forget to come back and read all about my outfit!

I can’t believe that our season of Project Run And Play has started! I’ve been nervous for the last couple of days waiting to see what the competition is bring on!!! This week’s theme is Winter Wonderland! My thought process=Winter Wonderland=Winter=Snow=White=Fur=Arctic Fox!  When you think Winter Wonderland, does your thought process end with Arctic Fox, too??

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I was brainstorming and that’s where my mind went, to a cute little arctic fox that I’d seen on a drive to Alaska back in my more adventurous days!

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image via true-wildlife

The arctic fox inspired my color and fabric choices. My first plans were for an all white outfit. But I sew for the boy. And all white on a 5 year old boy who lives in the wet, wet Seattle climate and likes to jump in puddles just didn’t seem too ‘practical.’ So I started bringing back in the grey accents from the fox! And…. We decided all white was a little too girly for the boy!

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Starting with the main piece of the outifit, the coat. I wanted to bring my quilting into the outfit which I did in the coat, by quilting the outside of the coat and hood with a layer of nylon and a layer of fleece. Most of the quilting I do, is meant to not be perfectly aligned, but this time it was different! I wanted each of my lines to be perfectly straight and line up at the seams. And to maybe, just maybe, have the quilting lines of the sleeves align with the body… I rarely even try this with striped fabric. Ok, I’ve never actually attempted this. When I put the pieces together and it did align… If only I had a picture of the smile on my face and a video of the happy dance!

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See? I was super excited about this, but somehow forgot to take great pictures of it. So you might have to zoom in a bit!

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Then comes the greys. A light gray fur aligning the zipper and wrapping around the hoodie and a light grey knit for the cuffs and waist band. I have never done a hoodie with two pieces that need to line up with the front two pieces of the jacket, either. Again, I was giddy when they aligned like they were supposed to!

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And lastly, the dark grey interior of the coat. Originally I was going to use the light grey fur that I used as the accent on the front, but then switched gears to this darker fluffly fleece that I’ve been holding onto for about 9 or so years. seriously. And I almost just purged it not long ago. Thank goodness I held onto it, because I think it was a great decision to move to the darker. And yes, it’s fully lined and can be reversible!

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I have a habit of planning and planning and not sewing til too late. Well, this outfit I planned and planned, but switching the lining fabric wasn’t my only change! Originally I had done a different pocket. Using my accent teal color. Again, you don’t know how excited I was about these pockets! I used a quilting tutorial meant for my do. Good Stitches quilting bee to get the nice circle. (and you can see the stitch lines aligning at the seam again!)

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But then the next morning my husband said, ‘The coat looks great! But…. The pockets?’ My smile was wiped right off my face! But he was right. A little girlie… And yes, he was very supportive in saying that the pockets were ‘fantastic… on a girls coat, but you’re not designing a girls coat….’ Yes. And I took them apart and I grumbled. That is until I got the final pockets on! Lined on the inside with the soft light knit with the touch of the soft darker fleece on the outside!

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Besides the coat, my favorite part is the fox shirt! If you follow along on my blog, you know that I am going through an origami inspired animal pahse, so I wanted to bring that into the outfit as well. Using coordinating knits with the coat, I designed the tee in a variety of greys and then stenciled my fox design on the shirt using a freezer paper stencil. I wanted to bring in all the shades of grey. The light sleeves and side accent, the middle tone on the front and back and the darkest grey at the neckline. I was stoked with how the sides turned out, but even more excited about my arctic fox stencil!

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Then came the pants, a cute little pair of grey skinny jeans with a tiny bit of the teal accent color to coordinate with the fox stencil eyes!

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And I had to make a couple of accents, the mask and the funky hat! When I came up with the inspiration and the design, I knew I had to have at least the main picture include the arctic fox mask. It was mostly for fun, obviously not for keeping warm and dry!

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But the crazy hat, is a full on piece of the outfit! The kiddo wanted the ears on the coat and I didn’t. Although my outfit is totally inspired by an animal, I didn’t want it to be cartoony. And I felt like the ears would make it cartoony. So with the husband as the negotiator, the kiddo and I compromised with a silly arctic fox with a Mohawk warm furry hat to coordinate with the rest of the pieces! And I promised to add the ears! I love how when he wears the hat with the coat, it flows together and almost looks like one piece! Again, I used the same fleece and fur from the coat.

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And that’s Look 1! My Arctic Fox in the Winter Wonderland of Project Run and Play! I do hope you like it and I’m crossing my fingers you VOTE FOR ME. One, because I love my outfit. And two, because my project for next week is hilarious and I can’t wait to show it!

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