Friday, January 30, 2015

Sewing Pattern Testing- Made for Mermaids- Emma Knit Dress

Posted by Heather at Friday, January 30, 2015 0 comments

I recently got to test the Emma Knit Dress PDF sewing pattern for one of my favorite designers, Made for Mermaids. As usual, it's another fun pattern with lots of potential for creativity!

Let's talk about the basics, first:
-The Emma Knit Dress comes in sizes 1/2-14. That's nice big size range!
-The dress features a comfy knit top.

Emma Knit Dress by Made for Mermaids- Front Bodice Detail

-The neck and arms can be completed using lingerie elastic, or clean (cotton lycra), or FOE (fold over elastic).
-There are several options for the sleeves- puff, 3/4 length, long sleeve, or puff over 3/4/long sleeve.

Emma Knit Dress by Made for Mermaids- Puff Sleeves Detail

-The skirt has two options- simple (knit, or woven), or triple layer (think, tulle, nylon chiffon, etc.)
-The skirt can also be done to tunic length, or dress length.

I sewed up a size 5T dress, triple layer skirt, puff sleeves, finished with lingerie elastic. 
Part of the reason why I enjoy testing sewing patterns is the fact that I enjoy pushing myself to try new things. This time, I got to figure out how to sew with lingerie elastic- a first, for me. Thanks to my new serger, though, it was a breeze! Working with lingerie elastic AND knit can be a bit tricky.However, as long as you go slow and make sure things are lined up, it all works out. Even if you are new to knits, the tutorial has a ton of pictures and helpful hints to work you through the process.

I love the sweet puff sleeves and the comfort of the knit construction. While I tested (and loved!) the triple layer skirt, I think that next time (and I KNOW that there will be a next time!) I'll do the simple skirt in knit for something easy breezy. I believe it's going to be a staple in my daughter's spring/summer wardrobe- cute and comfy- doesn't get much better than that!

Thank you, Megan, for another great pattern. Sew much fun!!

Emma Knit Dress Goes Fancy Nancy!
(See what I mean about creativity?!)

*One of my daughter's first loves was the book character, Fancy Nancy. Nancy is a little girl with big, fancy dreams. She loves dressing up and she loves using a fancy vocabulary. In a nutshell, she's Katy! So, when I saw the Emma Knit Dress, I knew that I just HAD to re-create Nancy's iconic frilly purple dress! So, how did I do....?*

***Disclosure: "I received a free pattern in order to pattern test for Made for Mermaids. The opinions expressed here are my own."***

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sentence of the Day- Night Owl

Posted by Heather at Thursday, January 29, 2015 0 comments
The other night, Lil' Miss slept through the night without getting out of bed, going to the bathroom and/or coming to get us. In other words; sleeping. These nights are few and far between- still, STILL!!!- even after almost five years!!

Anyway, I was trying to use some positive reinforcement and praise her for being, "....such a big girl!" (to sleep by herself, through the night). I was encouraging the good behavior.

Katy replied, "No, Mommy. I didn't sleep through the night. I'm nocturnal. That means that I stay awake all night!"

Hahahahaha..... (that is hysterical, sleep-deprived laughter, by the way....) it sure feels like it sometimes, Lil' Miss, it sure feels like there are some nights that you are nocturnal!

Ringling Bros. & Barnum Bailey Circus- Legends

Posted by Heather at Thursday, January 29, 2015 0 comments

First Circus!

Last night, we got to partake in a special treat- the circus! Lil' Miss' first circus, to be exact!

When we got there, Lil' Miss got all into the action! First, we stood in line to get her face painted. She chose a butterfly and I have to admit, it turned out looking pretty awesome! Glittery, and everything! Next, we were handed balloon art in the shape of a heart headband and a giant balloon ring. Since Lil' Miss was looking cute with her butterfly face paint, we decided it would be the best time to get her picture taken, next. So, Katy climbed up on the "tigers" and had her picture taken (by herself- she didn't want Ted and I in the picture-Ha!). 

After all of the initial whirlwind, we decided that it was dinner time. Since Chick-Fil-A was one of the main sponsors of the circus, we dined on our favorite chicken nuggets. Yum!!

Once we finished dinner, we moseyed on down to our seats and Ted took Katy down to the floor to enjoy some of the pre-show entertainment. They had acrobats and elephants and an inflatable bouncy house out for the kids to enjoy.

Since Katy had never been to the circus before (and it's been a LOOOONG time since either Ted, or I, had been), we weren't really sure what she would think of it all. Needless to say, though, she enjoyed it! She was enthralled. There was SO much to take in once the show started- it was hard to catch everything! There were clowns, animals, acrobats, motorcycles and more! Lots of fun!

When the show concluded, we asked Katy what her favorite part was. She told us, "Everything!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday- Cool Girl

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, January 28, 2015 0 comments

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pattern Revolution- Girl's BundleUP Blog Tour- Jocole, Wideleg Pants

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, January 27, 2015 1 comments

Jocole Wideleg Pants

Hello, Pattern Revolution-ers!! Heather from All Things Katy, here. Today, it is my turn on the Pattern Revolution Girls' BundleUP Blog Tour and I'm going to introduce you to the Jocole Wideleg Pants (for girls).

So, without further ado, let's get started! The Jocole Wideleg Pants (for girls) is the pint-sized version of the women's pattern (also by the same name, Ladies Wideleg Pants. This PDF sewing pattern features the style of structured trousers, with the added comfort benefit of easy on/off yoga waistband- definitely a winner!!

Okay, let's go over the basics of the The Jocole Wideleg Pants (for girls) pattern:

-This pattern is for sizes doll-14- a nice big size range! Plus, what little girl doesn't love a dolly and me matching outfit??!?!?
-There are three different lengths included in the pattern- shorts, capris or pants.
-There are two different styles of pockets included in the pattern/instructions- inseam or patch.
-Like I stated before, The Jocole Wideleg Pants (for girls) has a yoga waistband. The waistband can be cut to skinny, regular or foldover height.

I sewed up a size 5t with inseam pockets. I used a pinstripe denim fabric that has been lingering in my stash since...... (almost afraid to admit it).... my college years. *gulp* So, yeah, over ten years old... good thing denim is always in style! For the yoga waistband (I did regular height), I used some lovely jegging knit that I purchased from the lovely Purpleseamstress Fabrics.

Jocole Wideleg Pants- Front Detail and Waistband Detail

-I LOVE the tailored look of the pants and my daughter LOVES the comfort of the stretchy yoga waistband! Seriously, this is, hands down the best of both worlds- Mama gets style, Lil' Miss gets comfort. Everybody is happy!!
-I love the wide size range included in the pattern. Because the pattern goes from doll to size 14, I know I'll be able to hang onto this pattern for years to come! And, because of the timeless styling, it will not go out of style, anytime too soon!
-Lil' Miss loves pockets, so any pattern that includes them are a winner in her book. The pocket opening is wide enough for her to get her hands in and out of the pocket. I've sewn up pockets before, from other patterns, and the opening never quite seems to be large enough to be comfortable. While I did the inseam pockets for this pattern, I'd love to try the patch pockets in a contrasting/coordinating fabric- how fun would that be?!
-I like that the back is higher than the front. This means no peek-a-boo cheeky buns ;-P

-In all honesty, there isn't a whole lot that I dislike about this pattern. In my opinion, the inseam pocket placement was a little low for my daughter. Next time I make these pants (and there will definitely be a next time!), I'll place the pocket 1" from the bottom of the knit waistband (opposed to the instructed 1 1/2". This is pretty minor, though, and it could depend on your child's own personal measurements.
-Another thing- there weren't any really good pictures of the knit waistband and the back of the back of the pants included in the tutorial. I really like to see all options and all sides of a pattern before I purchase.

Jocole Wideleg Pants- Back

I really enjoyed sewing up the Jocole Wideleg Pants. This was my first PDF pattern that used diagrams and color-coded drawings (instead of photographs) in the instructions. I was unsure at first, but the instructions were quite clear, this way. There were no questions and it was a quick sew. The Jocole Wideleg Pants are a great staple to any little girl's wardrobe. I can really and truly say that this is a new favorite pattern and a great addition to any PDF sewing pattern collection! Now, go forth and Bundle up with the Girl's BundleUp on Pattern Revolution!! 

Jocole Wideleg Pants

If you have time, feel free to check out these other great sewing bloggers for their reviews of the BundleUp Girl's Edition Jan 23rd- Feb 2nd....! 

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Pattern Revolution- Girl's BundleUP Blog Tour- Love Notions, Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, January 27, 2015 0 comments

Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection

Hello, Pattern Revolution-ers! (and readers of All Things Katy... all five of you... Hi, Mom!! ;-P).

Today, I have something really fun to share with you- the newest pdf sewing pattern by Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection (part of the Pattern Revolution Girl's BundleUP)!! Made entirely of knit, this top/ruffled bottom set makes sure your little girl is looking super cute AND super comfy!

Okay, let's start by going over the basics of the Love Notions Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection:
-This pattern is for sizes 2T-14- a nice big size range!
-This shirt has a yoke back detail and shirt tail hem. Shoulders are slightly gathered with cap sleeves.
-You have the option of either making ruffled capris or ruffled shorts. 
-The pattern also includes direction for a faux drawstring.

Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection

I sewed a straight up, size 5t top and ruffled capri bottom. I did not include the faux drawstring. Also, I used a serger (my first time!!) to construct both the top and bottom. I only used my regular sewing machine to gather and hem (using a walking foot and ball-point needle). It is not absolutely necessary to use a serger for the Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection. In fact, the directions specifically talk about using a stretch stitch and a regular sewing machine. I used a lightweight cotton jersey (probably too lightweight, in retrospect) from Hancock's for the top and ruffle. I used a cotton lycra from Purpleseamstress Fabrics for the pants and neck collar. The cotton lycra was PERFECT for this pattern! This was also my first time sewing up a Love Notions pattern (and, now I know it won't be my last :-).

-I LOVE that the Love Notions, Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection includes an option to only print the size you are going to sew!! No mixed up lines and unmatched hemlines. Perfect!
-Pattern pieces line up PERFECTLY!! There is no "fudging" to make sure the back and front pieces match up- they just do because the pattern pieces are correct. There is a lot to be said for accuracy and this pattern has it! Love that!
-Along the left-hand side of tutorial are different links that you cant jump to, simply by clicking on it. "Troubleshooting," "Pattern to Print," and "Glossary" are just some of the options. This makes is really convenient and easy to read through the directions and then just jump to whatever page you need to.
-The pattern piece layout diagram on slide three is crucial to correctly piecing together everything. I would have been lost without it! I really appreciated that each pattern piece was numbered. This helps when you set everything to print, walk away, then get a paper jam and have to figure out which pieces already printed and which pieces need to be reprinted..... not that I would know from personal experience.... ;-P
-The pattern directions are easy to read and follow. I've sewn through dozens (dare I say it- hundreds?!?) of PDF patterns and I can really appreciate a clear, well-written pattern, such as Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection. Not once did I have to stop and scratch my head, wondering what I was supposed to do next.

-Probably my biggest complaint about this pattern is the fact that it takes 21 pages of pattern pieces to print, cut and tape together (for the capri option).Some of the small pieces- such as the sleeves- are spread out over several pages (instead of just being on one piece of paper). This is pretty inconsequential, though, as the end result is well worth the extra ink and time cutting/taping together pieces.
-The only other thing that I disliked about the tutorial is the fact that there really wasn't a good picture and/or line drawing of the back of the shirt. Before purchasing a pattern, I really like to see it from all angles. So, it kind of bugs me that you can't see what the back of the shirt (The back is really cute, too! It's got a gathered yoke detail that makes it different than just a plain t-shirt). All of the other pictures in the tutorial are clear, concise and fun.

Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection- Back and Detail

Overall, I really enjoyed sewing up the Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection! With the use of the serger, this definitely was a quick sew! The pattern is labeled "beginner," but I would personally consider it more "adventurous beginner" since knits can be tricky to work with, Now, if you know me, you know that knits are not exactly my favorite to work with. However, I got myself a serger, recently, and I knew that I just kind of had to "jump in," in order to get comfortable using it. The Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection was the perfect opportunity to get my serger out of the box and put to good use!!

Using other patterns, I recently sewed up six sets of PJs for all of my nieces, nephews and daughter for Christmas. Afterwards, I swore I wouldn't touch another PJ/Loungewear pattern for a LOOOONG time. However, after I saw the Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection, I knew that I couldn't say no! The Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection is comfy, girly-cute with it's ruffled, curved-hem bottoms and best of all an all-around solid pattern! The Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection is definitely a keeper and I know that I'll be sewing up more of these, in the future!!

Now, if only the Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection would ensure that Lil' Miss would sleep through the night..... Ha!!

Love Notions, the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection
(Lil' Miss wore her Jam Jams hours after the photos were taken- that's a surefire sign of a great pattern!!)

If you have time, feel free to check out these other great sewing bloggers for their reviews of the BundleUp Girl's Edition Jan 23rd- Feb 2nd....! 

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Katy's Camera- Photo Dump- Katy's World

Posted by Heather at Saturday, January 24, 2015 0 comments

Katy drew the back of her camera and then took a picture of it. This is actually a pretty accurate depiction.

Say, "Cheese, Mommy!"

Katy's playroom

Spike, the Dragon, with glasses.

Pretty Girl


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