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{Riley Blake Designs} Rayon Challis by Mimi G Style

Okay, I've said this before, but seriously, my 11 year old's wardrobe just keeps getting better and better! 

Mini dresses, billowy sleeves, animal print .... WE ARE HERE FOR IT!!!

Rayon is becoming one of my favorite fabrics because the drape is out of this world so when I saw Mimi G Style had a new collection of rayon releasing for Riley Blake Designs, I had to check it out.  This collection contains 12 amazing prints.  

The Ballerina Leopard is my absolute favorite!!  Of course, I left it up to my daughter, but luckily we're usually on the same page.  We both love animal prints and we love that the selection in this collection are totally unique!

Ever since I sewed up Jasmine (twice!) by Peony Patterns for her little sister, she's been asking where hers was.  I knew immediately the long sleeved version would look amazing with the drape of rayon.  As I was gathering the pattern pieces for her size, I wasn't sure I'd have enough with just 1.5 yds.  Luck was on my side as rayon is super wide at 57" wide!  I was left with literal scraps after I cut it all out.

I had to take a close up of the drape because I AM OBSESSED!!!  

Rayon can be finicky to cut out -- if you can avoid cutting on the fold (like for the skirts), it's easier to stay on the grain.  However, I have found that it's pretty forgiving.  I cut these skirts on the fold and when I opened them, I saw the fabric wasn't so straight on the grain.  I didn't have extra to cut out though so I sewed it up and once it was all gathered, you totally can't tell!  (I did have a moment of panic though...)

Hemming can be fairly easy with this little tip:  I like to run the raw hem through my serger.  This makes it easier to fold up a 1/4" hem twice and prevents the fabric from slipping so much while sewing the hem.

I never knew we'd need pink/black/gray leopard print, but Mimi G Style did and for that, we are grateful!!  I spy on the Riley Blake Designs website a coordinating designer knit with the gray and pink flipped.  EEK!!

This rayon and the rest of the collection has been released  -- run/message/hound your favorite fabric dealer/shop to order some of this amazing rayon!!!     

{Project Run & Play} Project Lounge Library

One of my favorite parts of competing on Project Run & Play is that I'm now part of the PRP family and get to participate in fun things like new collections!  This is the second PRP Collection I've gotten to sew for and once again the patterns are SO great!  (I do wish my schedule had allowed me to try a few more patterns this time around, but...)  This collection's theme is LOUNGE LIBRARY and is all about cozy and comfort!

For the LOOKBOOK and the Project Tour, we each selected a book or author that resonated with either our collection or us.  As I looked through the line drawings, I started thinking about my favorite books as well as my daughters' favorites.  One of my most-read series growing up was The Baby-Sitters Club.  My daughters enjoy them now too, although they prefer the updated comic versions.  We also binge-watched The Babysitters Club show that came out on Netflix over the summer.  I have so many great memories reading these books as a kid!  I knew immediately we had to recreate at least bits of it.

The Story Top & Dress by E&E Patterns became my point of inspiration -- it totally reminded me of the edgy outfits that Claudia would wear.  The oversized slouchy sleeves are my favorite part!  This pattern comes in 3 lengths and covers sizes 2-12.   It's drafted for knits with 30% or more stretch and excellent recovery.  

I sewed it up in a Bamboo French Terry (I think -- Walmart mystery bolt) in a gorgeous wine color.

To finish off Claudia's look, we styled it with a Bookish Beanie by Audrey of  Project Run & Play in a bold floral and stripe double brush poly fabric, tall boots and added some eye makeup.  Oh, and that kangaroo pocket was perfect for Claudia to stash a Hershey's bar!!

Picture time with her "charge" ...   

Babysitting this baby is easy-peasy because she's all smiles in her Nini Noni Nightwear by Designs by Call Ajaire set (love that it starts at NB sizing) and Bookish Beanie (also has NB sizing).  Her tee is embellished with the "Limited Edition" SVG by SewSophieLynn, part of the Lounge Library Digital Collection.

I dug through my stash and found a pink cotton lycra for the majority of the pjs and used scrap white French Terry for the top.  I used a flocked yellow iron-on for the SVG for a little dimension.  For the Bookish Beanie, I cut one side from the striped rib knit I used for my youngest daughter and then found a coordinating yellow dotted French Terry from my PRP Hackstravaganza project.

The second character that immediately came to mind was Mary Anne -- she's very straight-laced and is considered to be more sheltered of the group because her dad is very overprotective (and very much wants to preserve his "little girl" after her mom passed away).  The Novella Pinafore by E&E Patterns is exactly something Mary Anne would be allowed to wear.  This pattern is for sizes 2-12 and comes in 3 views -- straight skirt, simple gathered and tiered.   The denim is from Walmart.

I wanted a simple long sleeved tee to pair with it so I turned to the Nini Noni Nightwear top and carefully cut the stripes for the pieced top so the result would like it was a solid top.   I found a 90s-inspired striped rib knit in pink, white and yellow from Walmart and it's unbelievably soft.

To complete Mary Ann's look, we styled it with double braids, knee socks and mary jane shoes.

This doll is actually my youngest daughter's reborn doll that she got for her 8th birthday.  Her name is Madison and she fits NB clothing.  I kept the baby's outfit a surprise until it was time for pictures and the reaction that her "baby" was included was pure joy!  So thankful some of the patterns went down to NB sizing.  

This project was SO fun -- not only did I find a new favorite pattern (Story, I'm looking at you!), but my girls and I had a great time collaborating together on all of the details.  If I'd had time, I would have also recreated the other two original members with pieces from the Lounge Library Collection.

Kristy -  George Hoodie and Joseph Joggers -- styled with tennis shoes, pony tail and a ball cap

Stacey - Alice Top (without ruffles) -- styled with skinny jeans, tan booties, and some jewelry.

{Raspberry Creek Fabrics} Hacci

 The temperature is finally falling here.  Luckily Raspberry Creek Fabrics is helping my tween stay nice and cozy.  They've just released SIXTEEN new Hacci prints and IT. IS. AMAZING.  

Like, I'm insanely jealous I sewed this for my tween, instead of me... (hope that doesn't make me a bad

Mauve Burgundy Peach Olive Green and Heathered Grey Floral Brushed Hacci Sweater Knit, Club Fabrics

Hacci: Sweater knits, also known as Hacci, have a more loopy, open-knit texture than regular cotton knits and are usually made of blends of cotton and wool, polyester, or spandex. They are wrinkle resistant. ... It's soft and stretchy and sews up just like normal knits.

After we received this gorgeous Hacci, I had just finished sewing the Story Top & Dress by Elegance & Elephants for Project Run & Play -- we both looked at each other and said "STORY!!!"  It's one of my new favorite patterns.   This is the 3rd one in two weeks!  I knew the drape of Hacci would be so pretty for the balloon sleeves.  

We opted for the top version this time because this fabric was begging to be a cozy sweater.  Plus, she's more likely to wear it to school if she can pair it with jeans! 

I hope you love these Hacci sweater knits as much as we do!!!  This fabric is uber soft, has great stretch (50%) and was super easy to sew!!!   And now, I have to get some for ME (so I don't have to be side-eyeing her with jealousy. HA!)


{Riley Blake Designs} Grove by Jill Finley

I've always been drawn to lemon prints so when I saw Grove by Jill Finley for Riley Blake Designs, I loved it!  (But Kari, you didn't sew the lemons....  I'll explain that in a bit -  HA! )   This collection is full of citrus-y goodness and you cannot help but smile while sewing any of these prints.  The colorways include yellow, pink, green, orange and charcoal.  I love the variety of prints -- from floral to fruit slices to geometric coordinates.  

As I sat down to select fabrics, I thought I'd select the lemons.  They are my favorite!  But then, I was drawn to the main floral in charcoal.  I always double check with my girls though and well, you can see, she didn't approve my charcoal selection.  She really wanted Grove Main Cloud which matched the lime coordinates.  Soooo, I changed my plan and I am glad I asked her opinion because I'm absolutely smitten by the final result.   For the coordinates, we chose Grove Slices Limeade, Grove Mini Limeade, and Confetti Cotton Treetop.

By the time I sat down to sew it, I also decided to change the original pattern I had planned.  Instead, I sewed up the new Jasmine Dress by Peony Patterns and was so happy to have just enough for the knee length tiered version.  While we love the mini version, we are heading into winter here and I want her to fit in the Spring (in case she grows an inch or two...).  The first time I sewed this pattern, I used a rayon which had beautiful drape, but the sleeves are even more gorgeous and puffy in this cotton.  

I used the Limeade Slices for the lining and a little hairbow (Nara Bow from the Nara Dress pattern by Little Lizard King.  She rarely lets me leave her hair down and curl it, but she was so excited about her new dress that she said yes!  (I had to whip up that bow really quickly though.)

I used the Mini Limeade print for the ruffles at the neckline and as faux piping between each tier and again at the hemline.  For the faux piping, I cut the strips 1.25" wide and folded them in half.  Once my 1/2" SA was sewn, it left me with 1/8" visible.  The hemline, I cut at 1.5" and sewed  it on along the bottom tier (RST) like you would when finishing with bias tape and then flipped it to the back, but purposely left 1/8" showing. (Don't forget to fold the back raw edge in like bias tape for a clean finish!) It was totally worth all of the ironing!

Finally, I used the solid Confetti Cotton in Treetop to make a lime version of the Lemon Slice purse I made back in March for Project Run & Play! I lined it in the Limeade Slices and then added the iron-on with my Cricut!  I want to make a whole citrus collection now!!

This whole collection is so fun and bright!  It is releasing this month so be on the lookout at your local quilt shop or favorite online fabric source!!

{Riley Blake Designs} GRL PWR by Damask Love

I'm back with another fun addition to my tween's wardrobe.  The best way to keep her happy is to give her the power to make her own design choices!  I love fostering her creativity and she loves wearing something she "custom designed".  Win-win.

GRL PWR by Amber Kemp-Gerstel of Damask Love is one of Riley Blake Designs' newest collections.  Amber is known for her love of color and this does not disappoint!  These designs celebrate the beauty of diversity and depict a rainbow of skin tones and empowering female forms.


After browsing the selections, she was drawn to the GRL PWR Eyelashes in Orchid.  She also added GRL PWR Grid in White as an accent.

My tween picked Lenox by Little Lizard King, which is her favorite style of pattern -- circle skirt in mini length.  While the pattern comes with optional ruffles, sleeves and collars, we leave off all the "bells and whistles" for a sleek tween-approved dress.

The color of this fabric is SO vibrant and stunning.  She was so excited to open the package when it came -- this is one of her most favorite colors.

Remember the GRL PWR Grid on white?!  I cut it into bias tape to hem the circle skirt of the dress.  I love hemming a circle skirt with bias, and using handmade bias always gives that little extra pop.

. . . and this is why circle skirts are a favorite here!   SO. MANY. TWIRLS.

While I originally had a different vision for this collection, I am glad I switched gears and turned over the design process -- the little gasp when she saw her completed dress -- her vision come to life -- made it completely worth it.  

This collection is releasing this month -- check with your favorite fabric retailer to order your yardage.

{Simple Life Pattern Company} Holiday Blog Tour 2020

Every year, I sew up new fancy dresses for my two girls to wear to Christmas Eve mass.  This year, I'm super excited to have them finished early November!!  Of course, I have no idea if they'll have a special event to show them off, but they will be worn, even if it's just at home.  

I am super excited to kick off the Simple Life Pattern Company Holiday Blog Tour 2020.   Simple Life Pattern Company has no shortage of gorgeous patterns to select so I wanted to choose a new (to me) pattern for each girl.  Art Gallery Fabrics and Fancy Pants Fabrics generously provided all the gorgeous fabrics for the tour --- they pair together perfectly! 

I selected coordinating fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics' Cozy & Joyful collection and fell in love with the holiday tulle collection from Fancy Pants Fabrics.  My oldest is wearing Candied Roses in Rayon and my youngest daughter is wearing Winter Wonderland in Joyful and Midwinter in Dusk from Art Gallery Fabrics and Gold Snowflake Tulle in Off-White from Fancy Pants Fabrics.

I started with my youngest daughter first.  I chose to sew Elouise's Asymmetrical Top & Dress because I really loved the bodice.  It features a delicate sweetheart neckline and has a uniquely pieced back with bow.  I omitted the asymmetrical skirt overlay to let the tulle take center stage.  

To create the skirt, I used 5 total layers.  I first cut out a lining layer from woven cotton, using the gathered vintage skirt cutting chart.  Then I cut a layer of netting -- this layer really helps the top layers stand out.  I cut this 1/2" shorter than the vintage skirt length and width of fabric (x2).  On top of the netting, I used two layers of nylon chiffon -- width of fabric x vintage length cut (x2).  Finally, the top layer is the gold snowflake tulle -- width of fabric x vintage length cut (x2).  Then I sewed up the side seams on each layer  -- for the tulle, nylon chiffon and netting layers, I used a double fold of tissue paper underneath the seams to prevent the fabric from gathering while sewing.  Gently remove the tissue paper afterwards.    I gathered each layer separately except for the two nylon chiffon layers.  The skirt has a placket which was easy to install to all 5 layers at once, but I'd recommend running your gathering thread prior to adding the placket.  I had to move all the other layers aside because I didn't think about it until after my placket was in place.  Whoops!  (Only the lining layer needs hemmed here)

The back is so pretty!  I thought the way it's pieced together is really clever and would be a great place for contrasting fabric.  I opted to keep just the bow in contrasting fabric to help in stand out.  I love the gold buttons I found which tied it all together.

I think this may be the first year her Christmas dress has sleeves.  HA!  She has really fallen in love with 3/4 sleeves this year and was happy to see the option in the pattern.

To finish out her outfit, I sewed up a Hair Bow in Mini/Piggy size from the Simple Life Pattern Company blog!  So cute and she loves having a bow on her pony tail.

For my oldest, I selected Patricia's Boho High Low Top and Dress.  Katie's pictures of it sewn up in rayon inspired me and I just had to try it out!  While my daughter is not usually one for ruffles, she approved this design and the rayon makes them really soft and flowy.    This pattern has no closures and just slips on over the head. 

I used the included skirt pieces for the dramatic high low option.  I hadn't really sewn rayon until about a month ago and while it's a bit fiddly to cut, it sews up so easily.  I really love how soft and light it is!

My daughter is excited about this dress.  Not only is it incredibly comfortable to wear, but it will last longer than the holiday season!  I think this fabric would be fabulous in the Patricia top version paired with skinny jeans too!

Time to go spread some holiday magic 💗

A huge thank you to our sponsors!!

Follow along the Simple Life Pattern Company Holiday Blog Tour 2020

❅ Monday (11/9) That's-Sew-Kari
❄ Tuesday (11/10) It's Liesel
❅ Wednesday (11/11) Kainara Stitches
❄ Thursday (11/12) SewSophieLynn
❅ Friday (11/13) Kutti Couture

{Riley Blake Designs} On Safari

My oldest is obsessed with animal prints so when I saw this new collection, I knew she needed a new addition to her wardrobe.  She's definitely a girl after my own heart.

On Safari is new to Riley Blake Designs and features 5 stunning poster prints (perfect for quilts), an equally amazing set of 4 pillow prints and 5 fun animal prints.  The poster and pillow prints make me wish I was a quilter because I really wanted to see them in person - the most gorgeous animal photos in the wild!


My daughter loves leopard print the most so she chose the On Safari Leopard Brown,

She requested a dress in mini length, so I turned back to Colmar by Little Lizard King.  I had sewed her one earlier this summer in the RBD Poplin and we both loved the outcome so I knew it'd be perfect for this fun leopard print.   I surprised her and added pockets and a matching mask!  She heads back to school, finally in-person, tomorrow!

I also added the back tie again for a bit of added interest.  I love that despite it being quilting cotton, the feel and drape of the fabric is nice and soft.  I never have to worry about the fabric being stiff or easily wrinkled.  It washes with minimal shrinking and the colors never bleed!

This dress was a big hit!  She felt confident and comfortable.  She is hoping it meets middle school dress code!!

Reach out to your favorite quilt shop or online fabric store to order your own yardage!


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