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Strawberry Jam by Lauren Brewer Design for Riley Blake Designs


I'm back with another fun collection from Riley Blake Designs.  This collection by Lauren Brewer Design is a bright and cheerful collection called Strawberry Jam.  It has floral, dots, stripes, a geometric print with floral, and of course, strawberries!! 



I really loved several prints so I enlisted my daughter to select her favorite fabric.  She immediately chose the cute strawberries -- Strawberry Jam Berries Blue.  I thought she'd pick the berries as strawberries are her favorite fruit. I had visions of sewing a sweet, summer dress.  Then I got the fabric and it spoke to me... lol (I know, I'm crazy, but my fabric talks!)  It said it wanted to be a cute little zip up jacket.  As I told my daughter, she got SO excited.  So then I had to make it happen!


I turned to the Ollie Bomber Jacket by Sew A Little Seam.  I had made my oldest a cropped version of this pattern a few months ago, and I was dying to try the full jacket.  This pattern has all the little details that make it professionally finished.


The pattern is actually drafted for knit (shh... ) but I had seen a few others make it in woven successfully so I gave it a go.  I didn't size down to her chest and simply sewed the size for her height.   The quality of Riley Blake Design's fabric really shines here.  The fabric is very soft which makes it comfortable to wear, even when the pattern should be sewn in knit.


As I was searching jacket zippers on Amazon, I came across these colorful zips and I hoped I'd get lucky that one would match.  I was especially giddy when they arrived and this blue/green combo was a perfect match!


Here are a few detail shots!  I am really impressed with how it all came together.  I especially love the welt pockets and probably the best welt pocket tutorial I've followed.  I even got to try out my new Quilter's Clapper, also from Riley Blake and it definitely made a noticeable difference when ironing each step. I even added a shop label, size tag, and little coat hook for her so she can hang it up in her cubby at school.  I lined it a light pink sweatshirting so it's super cozy inside and perfect for cooler mornings. I used white ribbing for the the cuffs, collar and waistband. 


Thank you Riley Blake Designs -- this jacket will get lots of use over the next several months!  It turned out exactly how I envisioned.

{Riley Blake Designs} Abbie's Garden



Have you ever made specific plans with fabrics and then before you got them sewn up, a new pattern comes along that changes your plan in an instant?  This just happened with these fabrics!

Abbie's Garden by Sue Daley Designs with Gabrielle Neil for Riley Blake Designs continues the story of a little girl named Abbie.  A mixture of pink, coral, aqua and gray -- this collection is full of charm with sweet pictures of Abbie's garden adventures and coordinating florals.


 When I first saw the collection, I loved the Main Print in Aqua and was equally drawn to the Garden Stripe in Black.    I also loved the Garden Bouquet in Coral and thought my oldest would like it too.  My original plan was to make a sister set, but as you can see, that plan was derailed.


The Eden Dress by Little Lizard King came along and the sweet scalloped overlay stole my heart.


 Immediately, my plans changed and I had to see if the drawings of Abbie were far enough apart on the main print  to feature just one on the overlay. I was so excited when I realized it was a perfect fit!


I used two of the smaller pictures to feature on the pockets and used the Garden Stripe in Black as accent.


The Garden Bouquet in Coral is a nice contrast to the light blue of the main print and softens the starkness of the Garden Stripe in Black.


My youngest LOVES her new dress and my oldest was a bit sad about not getting her outfit (don't worry, I made her something else to add to her closet).  I love the final project even more than my original plan.  Check your favorite online retailer or local store to see when these prints will be hitting the shops!! It should be very soon!!


Hampton Garden by Lila Tueller for Riley Blake Designs

Having sewn for Riley Blake Designs as a blogging contributor for a few years now, there are several fabric designers that I love to sew again and again.  Just by seeing their name, I know it'll be a collection I'll fall in love with.  Lila Tueller is on my list of favorite fabric designers.

Her new collection, called Hampton Garden is simply stunning.  This is a colorful and vibrant palette that is perfect for Spring, but rich enough in color to work in the Fall as well.  The large watercolor floral prints are my absolute favorite and the ability to mix and match amongst the colorways makes countless fabric combinations.  I couldn't even narrow down my selection to just a couple so I chose 5!


The main print I chose was the Hampton Garden Main in Mint.  I love the gorgeous, oversized watercolor florals and the mint background is one of my favorite colors to sew.  To compliment it, I chose Hampton Garden Floral in Teal, Hampton Garden Damask in Purple, Hampton Garden Cathedral in Pink and Hampton Garden Pixie Stix in White.


I knew the main floral print would be perfect in the Little Luxe Collection Sonora Dress.  My daughter LOVES the extra full skirt and I wanted to sew another one before she got too tall for the 6x length and couldn't fit the skirt on 44" wide fabric anymore. HA!


The skirt is two FULL circle skirts sewn together for a double the twirl experience.  If you look at the hem, you can see the Pixie Stix on White as my hem bias.  It's my favorite way to finish circle skirts. Not only does it look professional, it's a great way to add in a coordinating print.


I love a fancy back on a dress and this is one of the few that she prefers the back flutters on.  She also prefers to wear the straps criss-cross, but can be worn with a more open back too for those extra hot days.


I used the remaining prints on a coordinating purse because I cannot stop sewing the Pinky Promise Bag by Little Moo Designs.  I've made so many but realized I had yet to try the piping detail on the seams.  I made bias tape from the pink cathedral print to use as faux piping.  (I didn't have any piping cord to add in!) and I'm loving how the print looks like stripes.  The main body is in the teal floral.  I used the purple damask print for the handles.  Then inside, I lined with the remaining cathedral pink print.


This collection is simply a must-have!  I've got to check my local fabric shop and see if they have any because I definitely need more!!  What is your favorite colorway of the collection?

{Project Run & Play} Week 4: Signature Style


Yay!!!  It's the final Week of Project Run & Play and it's been an incredible journey making it to the finale.  This week is all about Signature Style.  From the start, I had my idea locked in --- after all, signature style should be easy.  When I pulled out my fabrics to sew this week, they just didn't inspire me.  Cue the panic... 😳  Fabric selection is one of the things I agonize over.  I knew I wanted to include both girls this week again so I also wanted coordinating which could be challenging because I was limited by what I had on hand.  After looking at nearly every fabric I own, I kept feeling drawn to the lemons on navy and white mini stripes.  Yellow is one of my favorite colors to sew because it's just so bright and cheery.  And if you haven't noticed.... I. LOVE. STRIPES!  Seriously, they are my favorite fabric to sew.  I now had a starting point!! WHEW!  I decided the rest of my details would also pay homage to some of my other favorites that I've come across these last several years on my sewing journey.


I started off by sewing the fabric that had caught my eye.  I knew it was the perfect print for Aurora.  My girls have grown up on Little Lizard King so there was no question I wanted to include this special company, but of course, adding my own spin.  I selected Carmelo because I knew I wanted to include a zipper and this bodice fits her perfectly (she's a 5 chest, 7 height and 3 waist).  I changed the sweetheart neckline to a v-neck which would compliment the horizontal stripes of the fabric.


As I played with several back bodice ideas, I finally decided that I wanted to relocate the zipper to the side seam.  This allowed me to merge all the back pieces together to one single piece.  This also gives my daughter independence as she dresses which at 9 years old is becoming increasingly important.  I  constructed the shoulder straps using the rouleau method that I learned from Duchess & Hare.  I remember being amazed the first time I sewed them.  I love that all the stitching is hidden inside.


For the skirt, I cut the fabric with the stripes vertically, and also added a built in pettiskirt.  I love that it adds a little extra fullness to the dress and encloses the inner waist seam at the same time.


I find installing zippers so satisfying.  I think it's the challenge of lining up the seams perfectly across from each other.  It gives me a thrill every time!


The zipper is fully enclosed between the main layer and lining all the way to the end of the zipper so I know there is nothing that will bother her while wearing it.  I love, love, love the zipper pull that came on the zipper!  (This is another of my 20 pack of lace zippers... I think I've used 8 or 9 so far!)


My girls love when I include a matching purse so of course I had to include one.  As badly as I wanted to sneak in my Lemon Slice Purse from Week 1, I wanted to sew up something new.  I decided to pull out my Pinky Promise Bag by Little Moo Designs which has been sewn here many times (I think I've sewn around 8) and re-imagined it as an open tote and used my Cricut Maker to add iron-on vinyl to the front.


Inside, I added a slip pocket from her dress fabric.  The outer yellow fabric is leftover from Week 1!


For Marissa, I wanted something that would coordinate her sister, but not be matchy-matchy.  Her style is also a little older and definitely wants it to reflect the tween that she is.  She's quite petite in real life so people often mistake her for someone much younger.  At 11 years old (officially her birthday today!!), she still measures a 5 chest, 4 waist and 7 height (although she's getting close to the 8 height finally).  We started with a chambray skirt.  She really loved the skirt I drafted her last week, especially the fitted waist.  She asked if I could add pockets so I drew out a pocket on the comic board the fabric was wrapped on.  I love adding pockets!  I slimmed down the skirt from last week to add the pockets (although I prefer the fullness of last week's skirt) and again added a built-in pettiskirt.


I discovered a small remnant of this bright yellow gingham knit from Spunkin Honeyhead Custom Designs and knew it'd make a perfect, comfy, tween top.  I started with the Free To Be Me Tee by Little Lizard King (sadly retired) and took several inches in length from the middle.  I also left off the sleeves so it could be enjoyed all summer long.


 I kept the high-low hem because I love that it adds a little extra detail.  I added a facing to the neckband and finished all the seams off with my coverstitch machine.


Finally, I drafted a mini purse-belt with top zipper.  The waist is adjustable so it will fit her as she grows.  (Or maybe I'll borrow it!)


It can also be worn cross body (and still has room to be a little longer) for times she doesn't want to wear it around her waist.  She squealed when she realized it was for her!

And, that's a wrap!!  I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your continued support and well-wishes throughout this competition.  It has really been uplifting and has made me smile each time!  I can't believe this is my last entry for Project Run and Play -- I hope you've had fun reading along each week!  If you haven't already, sew something up for the Reader Sew Along portion!!

If you haven't had a chance, make sure you cast your vote HERE!!!



{Project Run & Play} Week 3: Fairy Tale


Hello and welcome to Week 3 of Project Run and Play: Fairy Tale Week!!  This theme was my most anticipated and hopefully I don't disappoint!!  All sorts of ideas ran through my head immediately.  First, my youngest daughter shares a name with a princess - Aurora  - although, she's actually named after the Northern Lights.  I knew I couldn't leave out my oldest so I thought she'd really love Belle and as soon as I told her the theme, she immediately shouted Belle!!  Next, I needed to come up with a plan and I really wanted to make sure it wouldn't come across as costume-y and would be pieces they would absolutely wear to school -- when they get to go back of course!   So much has changed in the few short weeks of receiving the theme to actually executing it and although I couldn't shoot at my intended location, I've learned that I can adapt pretty easily and can surprise myself creatively.  


Of course, what tween-aged princesses in the present day wouldn't be on social media?  So after our photo sesh, I peeked at their social media and was pleasantly surprised that they had shared SO many pictures. 😉  

Princess Aurora


 As I started planning my sews, I knew I wanted to play off the famous scene where Merryweather and Flora had uh, differing opinions on how to dress Aurora.   I selected a super soft, lightweight pink knit for her shirt and decided to make a trendy high-low peplum that would end just above the waistband in the front.  I grabbed my most used knit bodice (and always out), Wimberley from Little Lizard King.  To make the high-low peplum, I turned to the Thistle Dress by Jennuine Design (for One Thimble Issue 23) and used the skirt overlay piece.  As a nod to the white accent on Aurora's iconic dress, I drafted bow sleeves with peek-a-boo shoulders and carefully enclosed them in the bodice armscye by completing half of each burrito roll at a time. At the request of my own Sleeping Beauty, I grabbed my white iron-on and found "Nap Queen" on Cricut.  It's quite ironic though because she does not nap, not even on 12 hour car rides.  And she stalls literally every night at bed for at least an hour. 🤣


 Next came the jeans.  I originally had other plans but couldn't source the material I wanted so I got creative.  In my pre-season shopping spree from Cali Fabrics, I had grabbed 2 yards of Indigo Washed Designer Stretch Denim and was glad I did.  I turned that fabric inside out and boom, light blue jeans. HA!  I had recently tried the Tyler Skinnies from Petite Stitchery & Co and it was love.  For this project, I removed several inches for a nice cropped length and to add a little cool factor, I frayed the ends a bit.  To finish, I grabbed a light pink jeweled shank button that I bought who knows how long ago for the faux button waist and some light pink and white iridescent beads that were gifted to me nearly four years ago and hand beaded them on to bling out the pocket detailing.
  

Finally I drafted a cell phone purse to showcase the Pink Dot on White Oil Cloth from Cali Fabrics that I had also selected a few weeks ago.  I had found these over-sized grommets one day when they "fell" into my hand at Hobby Lobby that I was dying to try out.  The bronzed gold coloring on them matched the zipper pulls from the 40 lace zippers I ordered from Amazon a few weeks ago.  I started by encasing the lace zipper and in order to not wrinkle the oil cloth by turning it right side out through the 8" zipper opening, I finger pressed the seam allowance on each side and used clips to hold them in place while I top-stitched.  And yes, I held my breath because you know there cannot be any seam ripping on oil cloth!  Aurora wanted a single shoulder strap, but was very adamant that she didn't want it long enough to be cross-body length.


Aurora absolutely loved every piece.  She even told me the shirt was so soft, she was going to wear it to sleep.  Guess I'll sew up some matching sleep shorts...lol

Princess Belle

For Belle, I knew I wanted to convey a preppy vibe.   I found some yellow floral eyelet that has sat on my fabric shelves for the past 7 years.  I know I bought it on my first JoAnn's trip here and nothing has quite seemed like the right project until now.  In order to replicate the skirt that was in my mind, I decided to draft it on my own, using Marissa's measurements.  I knew I wanted a fitted waist with a side zipper.  Because my main fabric was eyelet with rather large holes, I needed it to be lined.  I didn't want to just baste the top layer onto the lining so I created the lining into a built-in pettiskirt.  It turned out exactly like the skirt I had pictured.


I had an image of the type of top I wanted in my head and after sewing it up, I realized it was just a bit too casual for the rest of her pieces.  I looked through my stash because I can't go buy fabric at the moment and I realized I had a piece of leftover linen from a Riley Blake blog post.  It was a lightbulb moment and I knew exactly the perfect pattern.  I quickly printed out the Give Piece a Chance Crop Top by Duchess & Hare from Issue 15 of One Thimble.  I used just the lining pieces and added some length so it would hit right at her belly button and just above the waist of the skirt.  Then I cut out a large foil iron-on rose outline in Cricut as a nod to the rose the Beast kept in his glass case..
I love the button back of the crop top and it was the perfect place to add a pop of red.  Belle liked it too!!

I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to create a denim jacket for Marissa.  I picked out Indigo Washed Designer Stretch Denim from Cali Fabrics and honestly didn't decide a pattern until a few days ago.  I decided Clementine from Violette Field Threads was a great base silhouette to get me started.  One of the details I kept was the princess seamed front.  I cropped the hem of the jacket by a few inches, added a bottom band, pleated the sleeve caps and removed the front overlap.  I also pieced the back of the jacket into 4 pieces to mimic a jean jacket my daughter owns.  It's fully lined in an indigo vertical striped fabric from my stash.  Every seam is double top-stitched in a gold thread.

It's all in the details.   I had to add closeups of  all the little details on Marissa's items.  I am super proud of the fit of the skirt and the neatness of the enclosed zipper.  I added a hook and eye at the inside top to make it easier to zip herself and also to ensure the she doesn't have any wardrobe malfunctions should the zipper get a little lazy.  Another favorite detail is the facing on the lining of the jacket.  I think it gives a polished look and looks great next to the stripes.   I think the was Marissa's favorite week.  She absolutely didn't want to stop taking pictures!  

If you have already voted, please go vote!!! Next week is the FINAL week and I'd love to make it there!!  CLICK HERE TO VOTE




Singing in the Rain by Flamingo Toes for Riley Blake Designs


Happy Spring y'all!!  I don't know about you, but I could use a little something to brighten my days and this collection - Singing in the Rain by Beverly McCullough of Flamingo Toes for Riley Blake Designs - is definitely bringing a smile to my face.  It's full of bright, cheery colors and has cute rain boots, umbrellas, flower and bias stripes!  


I knew I'd choose the stripes because y'all know stripes are my absolute favorite!  I chose Singing in the Rain Ribbons in Raspberry, and paired it with Singing in the Rain Umbrellas in Waterfall and accented with Singing in the Rain Drops in Raspberry.  I love how the Raspberry prints bring out the darker umbrellas.


I don't normally repeat pattern selections back to back, but I turned to my new favorite pattern, Carmelo by Little Lizard King.  I couldn't help but piece the front bodice together for added interest.  It's my favorite thing to do with stripes.  Because the stripes were on the bias, one side is cut on the grain-line and the other is turned 90-degrees so it would match across the seam.   I also modified the neckline to a normal rounded neckline.


I really wanted to try out the simple back which doesn't have scallops but I used the Ribbons as my lining so I could roll it to slightly show on the outside as faux bias tape.  I also turned the stripes at a 45-degree angle for the bottom back bodice pieces.  I lined it with fabric cut on the grain-line so they wouldn't stretch when worn.


She REALLY wanted that twirly skirt again so of course, I couldn't say no!  The bottom piece is 3 pieces (width of fabric) pieced together.  She twirled so much she made herself dizzy and had to sit for a second. HA! 


My girls always get really excited when I get a package from Riley Blake Designs.  I love it too because the designs are always so cute, colors are vibrant and the fabric is soft!  These dresses get worn over and over again which means a lot of washing and they always come out looking as good as the day I sewed them!!  I can't wait to see this dress thrown into the mix!

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