MadebyAlisha: First Communion Attire for Boys

I’m sure many of you have seen Eleri’s beautiful series on making her daughter’s First Communion dress from her mother’s wedding gown. If you haven’t, make sure to go check out the series here, here, and here.

My oldest son makes his First Communion in a few short weeks, and I wanted to make him something that he could have as a keepsake of this special sacrament. After thinking through my options (because it’s much harder for me to think of things to make for boys!) I chose to make him a tie from the shawl of my wedding dress. I am so thankful I had my wedding dress preserved after our wedding 10 years ago. I removed my shawl and was able to steam the wrinkles from it before I cut out the tie.

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After cutting out the tie, I realized that I wanted to personalize it somehow. I consulted with Selena from Little Punkin’s Boutique who does custom embroidery. She worked with me to find a chalice design that I liked. Working with her was a pleasure, and her turnaround time was quite fast. I absolutely love the finished embroidery. I also have enough left of my shawl to make ties from my other three boys, and she is going to do the same embroidery on them for me.

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Look at that gorgeous embroidery!

I used the Little Gentleman’s Tie from Peekaboo Pattern Shop to make the tie. This tie comes in sizes from baby to tween as well as including patterns for a regular bow tie, a stacked bow tie, and a regular neck tie! I used the child size to make the tie for my almost 9 year old. I believe the tween size would have worked as well (especially if he needed a tie that he could wear for several years), but since he’ll only wear this once, the child size worked well. The only alterations I made from the pattern was to add 3 inches to the strap length so that I could use a bow tie kit from Joann Fabrics to fasten the band in the back.

 

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As all the patterns from Peekaboo Pattern Shop are, this pattern was easy to follow and a fairly quick sew! My favorite part is that it ties around a neck strap so you just have to tie it once and leave it. Tying ties on my boys is not one of my favorite things so I am glad I only have to do it once.

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I love this photo of him in front of the window depicting the Annunciation at our parish.

I love how my son will forever have a piece of my wedding shawl as a special memento of his First Communion. I wanted to have a special card to put with this tie as a keepsake, so I ended up ordering a custom one from Kathleen over at Kscaswell. Kathleen makes beautiful printable cards customized to your occasion. Here’s the one I’ve chosen for my son’s First Communion.10402396_1720178048267431_4561750336314145552_n

In addition to printable cards, she can create a variety of things that help you bring focus on your faith into your home. I’m impressed with the high quality of the card and am looking forward to my next order from Kathleen. I think this little beauty would look lovely in my family room.

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Thanks for joining me to see how I’m making my oldest’s First Communion special for our family with a heirloom tie. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. Stay tuned next week for some big and exciting news and a new tutorial perfect for summer!

MadeByEleri: Another Dolman Day

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So last week, I was finally able to share pictures of my Sun Kissed Tee by Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop in a gorgeous Art Gallery knit. If you scroll through the blog, you can see that I’m a HUGE fan of PAB. I have sewn over 100 garments made with PAB patterns in the last 22 months.

There are a few reasons for that volume of sewing (not that I have to justify sewing excessively to my readers, I imagine).

  1. Kids grow and I have four of them. I constantly have a good reason to sew.
  2. No one in our house fits “perfectly” into anything ready to wear. This varies in how extreme a difficulty it is from person to person in our household. Those most in need of my sewing are my handsome husband and my oldest daughters. My oldest daughters are the recipients of most of my sewing projects. It is easier and less time-consuming and usually less expensive for me to sew their clothes than play “catch and release” shopping with every major catalog company.
  3. I have found that I have favorite PDF pattern designers that design on trend patterns that fit well, and are relatively quick to make. I usually look at Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop first when I am looking for fun knit staples for my kids. I also get most of my fabric from their fabric store as it is difficult to shop for fabric with four children in tow (plus I have to drive a long ways – and I think my family prefers groceries over craft supplies).

Today, I am excited to share the Little Miss Sunshine Tee and dress. As I was wrapping up testing the women’s shirt, I was able to do a quick test of the girls’ shirt so I could take some mother/daughter pictures. My tall nine-year-old daughter is modeling the size 10 dolman tee with a bit of extra length to accommodate her height. Even though I had been thrilled with the speed at which I could assemble a Sun Kissed tee, I was still surprised at how quick my daughter’s dolman came together. Less than 45 minutes from taping pattern pieces, cutting, serging, and coverstitching.

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I also want to take a moment to share some sewing growth I experienced making these tops (and other dolmans you’ll see very soon). I confess that I have aways been a bit scared of my serger. I only used it to finish the edges of wovens and knits that I’d already pieced on my trusty Brother HC1850. I decided that since the seams were so easy and quick, and I had just had my Pfaff Hobby Lock 794 serviced, I would be brave and piece with my serger. This easy top is the perfect “first serger” project for anyone with a new serger or anyone who, like me, struggles with being scared to piece with my serger.

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If you are looking for a quick and flattering tee for every day wear, the Sun Kissed tee and the Little Miss Sunshine tee is the perfect wardrobe builder for every day of the week – for her and for me.

This post contains some affiliate links. Affiliate links support my hobby and this site. I received a free copy of the pattern in exchange for testing. As always, all reviews and opinions are my own.

 

MadebyAlisha: Introducing the Sotnos Shirt and Tunic from The Eli Monster

Hello again! Are you wanting to add some variety to your kids’ wardrobe of plain raglan shirts? The Sotnos Shirt and Tunic from The Eli Monster is the pattern for you! Just released today, the Sotnos Shirt and Tunic features buttons or snaps on one shoulder for a fun spin on a traditional raglan. This pattern is available in a girly version (a high/low swing version and a tunic) as well as a unisex version. The Eli Monster is offering the two versions at a bundle price as well during the release sale!

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Eleri and I both had the pleasure of testing the Sotnos Shirt in the unisex form. I was excited to try using a facing for the first time.. Even though a facing was a new technique for me, this shirt went together quickly and only took me a few extra minutes compared to a regular raglan. I used snaps to finish the shoulder on my shirts because I hate making buttonholes!image

The Sotnos is meant for use with stable knits such as interlock, jersey, or french terry. I used an navy interlock from Joann Fabrics for my boys shirts, and Eleri used the Riley Black Vintage Floral Navy Knit from Peek a Boo Pattern Shop. The shirt and tunic are available in 18 months through size 12.

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The Sotnos Shirt and Tunic comes in 2 different versions: the unisex shirt or the girly version with a tunic length, and a high/low option. Don’t forget to take advantage of the bundle option too! Hurry over to The Eli Monster to purchase your pattern today and spice up your child’s wardrobe!

(This post contains affiliate links.  I received a copy of the pattern for testing purposes. All reviews and opinions are my own)

Introducing the Vanguard Kit from Love Notions!

Today I am pleased to introduce to you a fresh new pattern by Love Notions – the Vanguard Kit!  It is a pants and shirt set that is the perfect mixture of trendy yet comfortable.  In addition, the shirt has fantastic options to make a variety of colorblocked styles.

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I was chosen to test a size 6. Even though this big guy is just starting to outgrow many of his size 6 clothes, his measurements matched up perfectly with a size 6 on the pattern chart.  The finished result was a perfect fit and an outfit that he loves.

 

The cargo jogger style pants are designed to be made out of bottom weight woven fabrics or medium to heavy weight knits.  The waistband is extra comfy with wide elastic encased in a soft knit. For this particular pair, I used a twill from Joann Fabrics and a matching interlock for the waistband. One of my favorite aspects of these pants is all of the little details – ample pockets, a faux fly, pleats at the knee to allow for free range of movement, and lots of top stitching.

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The shirt pattern from the Vanguard Kit  comes with multiple colorblocking options, can be long sleeve or short sleeve, and has three neckline styles – crew neck, v-neck and a lined or unlined hood.  There also is also an optional pocket. This shirt is designed to be made from stable medium-weight fabrics so I used coordinating interlock fabrics for this shirt.

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After testing, the knee pleats were moved up a couple of inches, but regardless, the fit is fantastic. Perfect for the active little (or not so little) boys in your life!

 

Why do YOU need the Vanguard Kit  in your pattern collection?

1. It is on sale from now until Sunday, March 6th for only $7.00

2. It comes in sizes 2t – 14.

3. The pattern has nested layers so it is simple to only print the sizes you need.

4. The shirt comes with multiple variations.

5. The shirt is a great way to showcase or even use up small pieces of custom knits.

6. The pattern is rated for confident beginners and delivers very satisfying results.

7.  And finally…. because sewing for boys is fun too!

 

(This post contains affiliate links.  I received a copy of the pattern for testing purposes. All reviews and opinions are my own)

 

 

 

Vance’s Sweater Vest – Create Kids Couture

I was so excited to be able to test the Vance’s Sweater Vests from Create Kids Couture! The Vance’s Sweater Vest is available in sizes newborn through 18/24 monthssizes 2T through 8, and in a tween version in sizes 7/8 through 15/16. The sweater vest is intended for use with sweater fleece or sweater knit. This sweater vest is perfect for all the boys and young men in your life.

I tested two different sizes. My 6 year old is wearing the size 7, and my 8 year old is wearing a 7/8. The sizing for both was spot on for my measurements. My boys happen to love dressing up for Mass on Sundays, and this sweater vest is a great addition to their wardrobes. 03-DSCN6492.JPG

I was nervous before testing this pattern because I have never sewn a V-neck before. However, the instructions were clear and concise, and the pictures were great and easily understandable. The V-necks turned out great and professional-looking.  I used an argyle sweater fleece and coordinating solid from Hancock Fabrics, and I’ve already purchased more sweater fleece in a different color to make more!

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My boys and I spent the afternoon up at our State Capitol taking pictures, and they received many compliments on their vests! My 5 year old loves the vests so much that he keeps stealing my 6 year old’s and wearing it. I guess it’s time to make him one of his own.

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Make sure to pick up the Vance’s Sweater Vest over at Create Kids Couture in newborn, boys, and tween sizes! It’s a great staple piece to enhance your son’s wardrobe.

 

My Favorite Project To Date…

Hello everyone! Alisha here. Today I’m sharing my favorite project I’ve made to date. In December, my oldest son’s teacher and her husband were blessed to adopt a newborn baby girl. We were all surprised and elated by the news! I knew I wanted to make something for the new baby from her class. After thinking, I realized a handprint quilt would be a perfect gift.

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After deciding on my project, I sketched out the quilt design and calculated my fabric needs. I decided on a simple block design with sashing between the blocks. There were 21 students in his class so in order to make a square quilt, I needed 3 more blocks. Another teacher’s mother does machine embroidery. She made me 3 squares with baby’s name, baby’s birth stats, and a Bible verse I felt was fitting. The verse I chose was “For this child, I have prayed” from 1 Samuel 1:27. alisha quilt 2

After I finished the baby quilt, I realized I had enough material left to make something else. On Eleri’s recommendation, I made a Gracie romper from Peek a Boo Pattern Shop. It was a beautiful addition to the quilt, and I hope the sweet little girl can wear and enjoy it this summer!

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I delivered the quilt to my son’s teacher today. It was wonderful to share this gift of love with his teacher and celebrate the beautiful new life in her family!

Introducing the Piper and Pipsqueak Pencil Skirts from Peek a Boo Pattern Shop!

Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop has done it again! The Piper and Pipsqueak Pencil Skirts are adorable Mommy and Me skirts.  You cannot go wrong with an classic knit pencil skirt! These will surely become a staple in your wardrobe. The patterns are on sale (15% off!) today only for release day at Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop. Add both to your cart and save an extra $2 with the code “PENCIL”.

Pipsqueak Pencil Skirt

Sizes 3 months -12 years

Enclosed Elastic, Exposed Elastic, and Yoga Waistband

High or Low Rise

Piper Pencil Skirt

Sizes XXS-XXXL

Enclosed Elastic, Exposed Elastic, and Yoga Waistband

High or Low Rise

Above Knee and Below Knee Length

You can see the variety of options in each skirt. You could make a whole wardrobe full of pencil skirts and no two would look the same! Depending on your fabric choice, these could easily be dressed up or down.

I tested the Piper Skirt in the low rise, yoga waistband option that fell above my knees. I used a houndstooth knit I found at Joann’s, and I love the versatility of this classic shape!3-DSCN6527.JPGBoth the Piper and Pipsqueak are fast and easy sews! I whipped mine up in under thirty minutes including cutting and hemming!

Genie sewed the Piper skirt up for her tween daughter in the high rise yoga version. I love the sweater fleece she chose! 12646631_10153295401961373_4652744428567130123_o.jpg

Neither Genie or I tested the Pipsqueak version, but the women who sewed for their children made adorable skirts! Make sure to head on over to Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop and get your copies of the Piper and Pipsqueak Pencil Skirts today while they are on sale!

 

(Post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.)

Got Snow? Try the Wonderland Mittens from Stitch Upon a Time!

Are you looking for a last minute Christmas present for teachers or grandmas or anyone? I thought of sewing mittens for my boys’ teachers because here in North Dakota, recess duty can get quite cold during the long winters! I sewed up 7 pairs of the new Wonderland Mittens from Stitch Upon a Time in just one evening. Before you read this post, go download the pattern because it’s FREE!

Pink Mittens

I started by cutting out all my fleece pieces. Make sure you cut 4 outsides and 4 lining pieces plus 2 cuffs for each set of mittens. I didn’t do this the first time! Here’s all my pieces for the mittens laid out. My boys each picked out the fleece for each of their teachers so there’s a rainbow of colors!

Mittens

This pattern was a quick and easy sew. After piecing the mittens together, I trimmed the seam allowances. I used my serger to sew the mittens together, but my serger and 4 layers of fleece didn’t agree well. I ended up using the stretch stitch on my machine to attach the cuffs, and it worked great!

 

Gray Mittens

This was a well-written and easy to follow pattern. There are 11 sizes in the pattern, fitting hands from 4″ to 9″ in length. I made the 8″ size for my sets. My hands measured 7.5″, and I followed the directions to size up one size for fleece.

My only modifications I will make next time is to buy a few more inches of fleece. My mittens called for 1/3 yard (12 inches), but I will buy 1/2 yard next time so I have more room to cut the cuffs out. I had to use some fleece from my stash and mixed and matched the cuffs. I also will make the cuffs 1 1/2″ longer so the cuffs are a bit longer on the wrist. My personal preference is for longer gloves.

Overall, this is a great last minute stash buster project for Christmas presents! We packaged ours with a box of hot chocolate. Have a Merry Christmas!

Mitten Packaging