Thursday, April 23, 2015

10th Wedding Anniversary

Posted by Heather at Thursday, April 23, 2015 0 comments

April 23, 2005

A Decade! 10 years- that's how long Ted and I have been married! 

Excuse me for a moment while I get a little nostalgic...It seems simultaneously long and short (in a good way, of course!). There are moments where I think, "10 years- Wow! That's a long time!" Then, there are moments where I think, "10 years- they just flew by in a blink of an eye!"

There's a sense of accomplishment that comes with hitting the double digits milestone. In some ways, I feel like we've "arrived." As in, we've had enough life experiences together to truly understand how to make our marriage work. We're hardly marriage or love experts, but we are definitely in this forever.

Our life, now- as opposed to 10 years ago- looks a lot different than it did back then....We've had ups- the birth of our beautiful daughter, Katy! We've had downs- the whole condo debacle! There has been a lot of laughter and a lot of tears along the way. We've changed states and cities. We've changed jobs- and in my case, jobless by choice. We've moved, we've traveled, we've cruised and we've enjoyed our little family. I wouldn't change any of it for the world... Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary to us! I can't wait to celebrate many, many more!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kindergarten Registration

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, April 21, 2015 0 comments

Sooooo...... this happened......!!

We registered Lil' Miss for Kindergarten, last week. Where, oh, where did the time go?!! I feel like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital and now we are here- on the brink of something big! Kindergarten!! Yay!

Sewing Pattern Testing- Love Notions- Lotus Blossom Blouse- Mommy and Me Style

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, April 21, 2015 0 comments

Love Notions  Lotus Blossom Blouse

I recently had the pleasure of testing some new pdf sewing patterns from the designer, Love Notions. The first Love Notions pdf sewing pattern that I sewed was the Jam Jam Sleepwear Collection through Pattern Revolution's BundleUP sale back in January. Just one pattern.... that's all it took... and now I'm hooked! :-)

The newest Love Notions patterns are the Lotus Blossom Blouse- one for girls and one for ladies. That's right, folks- I sewed something for me! The last time- er, I mean the only other time- I did that was well over a year ago when I tested the Serger Pepper Sheer Plaid Top. The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse was the perfect pattern for me to start doing some self-care sewing....!

Here are the pattern basics:
-The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse comes in sizes girls 2t-16 and ladies XS-XXXL.
-The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse pdf sewing pattern will be sold individually (girls or, ladies), or as a bundle.
-The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse pdf pattern features no-trim pages and pattern size layers (ie, only print the size you need/want).
-The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse is meant to be sewn in drapey knit fabric. While it is best to sew the The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse in a knit fabric that is the same on both sides (ie does not have a right side or a wrong side), the pattern does include instructions on how to seam together a front pattern piece with one-sided knit fabric.
-Instructions on how to shorten/lengthen the pattern pieces are included in the tutorial of the Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse.
-The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse features dolman sleeves and twist-front accent.
-The back of the The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse can either be plain, or cutout (to feature a lace and/or other cool accent fabric).

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse- Back Detail

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse- Back

-The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse pdf sewing pattern includes a pattern piece layout, printing chart, fabric requirement chart, size chart and cutting diagram. Links to troubleshooting, glossary, etc. are also included along the left side of the each page. 

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blousegirls size 6 and ladies size Small

Okay! Now, that we've talked about the Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse pattern basics, let's discuss what I sewed up! I sewed up two tops- one for me (ladies size small) and one for Lil' Miss (girls size six). I used lightweight heather grey jersey knit found at Hancock fabric. Both blouses included the cutout feature. The lace cutout was also purchased at Hancock.

For the sake of this test, I decided to make both blouses the same. Lil' Miss LOVED that we could be "twins"! (Though, I have to admit that looking at these pictures of us in our matching blouses does reinforce the fact that Katy is definitely my mini-me!) I figured I might as well make them matching while I can and Lil' Miss still thinks it's fun to match Mommy. ;-P

Personally,I love the flattering fit of the Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse! I like the slight v-neck and the back cutout. The twist in the front perfectly flatters a wide range of body types.

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse- Front Twist Detail

The Lotus Blossom Blouse pattern itself is filled with pictures and diagrams to help aid in the construction and sewing of the blouse. Tips, bubbled areas and close-up pictures are included to help even the novice sewist be successful. Each step is carefully worded and clearly illustrated. (Be forewarned- this pattern is something of a paper hog because the front twist piece is one long, continuous piece of fabric.)

The Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse is a quick sew! I sewed up the girl's one in about an hour. Cut. Serge. Topstitch and you are good to go! Really, it was that simple!! 

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse- TWINS!

From the look on her face above, I'd say that it's safe to assume the Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse is a winner!! Thank you, Tami, for allowing me to test these patterns for you! I had sew much fun!

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

****This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale.****

Sewing With Boys- Time to Travel Blog Tour- "Just Like Papa Briefcase" and "Ready, Set, Go Wallet"

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, April 21, 2015 4 comments

Hello and welcome to day seven of the Sewing with Boys Blog Tour! I'm Heather and my little slice of the blogosphere is called All Things Katy!

Sewing with Boys is an online community that sews for boys and supports teaching boys to sew. They just released their first collaborative e-book titled, "Time to Travel," and it can be purchased here. Time to Travel is jam-packed with fun PDF patterns, printables, traveling tips with the active boy in mind. It includes the following items:

-Pirate Map
-Lacing Card
-Ready Set Go Wallet
-Play Money Printable
-Driver’s License and Passport Printable
-Signal Flag Alphabet Layered Flags
-Adventure Belt
-Just Like Papa Briefcase
-Swansea Bag
-Coloring Sheet

In my opinion, the "Time to Travel" e-book is mostly geared for elementary age boys and below.

Now, my regular readers of All Things Katy! might be wondering why I- mother to one smart, sassy and beautiful DAUGHTER- would want to participate in a blog tour all about BOYS!?? Well, the reason is simple; I've got many, many- dare I say it- HUNDREDS!!- of pretty, cutesy, beautiful, functional, casual and fun things to sew for girls but barely anything suitable to sew for the little boys in my life (my two nephews, my daughter's male friends, birthday parties that she is invited to, etc.). The Time to Travel e-book helps to fill that void perfectly!

"Just Like Papa Briefcase"

Time to Travel, "Just Like Papa Briefcase"

First, I chose to sew up the "Just Like Papa Briefcase," designed by Amy Macdonald. This little tote is the perfect proportion for the youngest of "businessmen" that want to be just like Daddy. The finished tote (closed) is approximately 12" wide x 9.5" high x 2" deep.

Handled, soft-sided and with zipper enclosures, this briefcase features many options The options include instructions to sew in a pencil or crayon pockets, a book pocket and an interior zippered pocket with a see-through window.

Time to Travell, "Just Like Papa Briefcase"

There is lots of room to personalize the "Just Like Papa Briefcase." The pocket spacing can be adjusted to fit your needs and the outside of the briefcase would be perfect for embroidery! I chose to sew half a row of pocket pencils and leave the rest of the row empty to allow enough room for a small notepad.

The "Just Like Papa Briefcase" is definitely an intermediate pattern. There are no step-by-step, or progress photographs (there are line drawings/illustrations for each step, however). There are a couple of finished product pictures of the "Just Like Papa Briefcase." Instructions are written out..

Time to Travel, "Just Like Papa Briefcase"

You can't be afraid of zippers when tackling the "Just Like Papa Briefcase!" There are three zippers included in the construction of the bag. Zippers aren't difficult- they just take some time to master. You CAN do it!! :-)

Time to Travel, "Just Like Papa Briefcase"

It took me the course of two evenings to complete my "Just Like Papa Briefcase." I didn't sew it straight through- I had lots of breaks and interruptions. I love that the "Just Like Papa Briefcase" can be sewn without any pattern pieces to print, tape and trace. A handy cutting guide is included in the e-book for all the pieces that you need to construct the briefcase. I love when a pattern can save me a step and a tree! :-)

Overall, I was very pleased with the "Just Like Papa Briefcase." It would be perfect to bring along on road trips and my daughter has already requested one for herself. I love that the bag is completely self-contained- book, crayons, etc. can all go back in the briefcase and zipped back up for easy portability. Anything that helps cut down on clutter, hassle and keeping track of things while traveling is a bonus in my book!!

Time to Travel, "Just Like Papa Briefcase"
(I borrowed Lil' Miss' best bud to help me model the briefcase. Thanks, C! ;-)

"Ready, Set, Go Wallet"

Time to Travel, "Ready, Set, Go Wallet"

Next- because I couldn't stop at just one- I sewed up the "Ready, Set, Go Wallet" designed by Jonie Brooks. This little wallet took me just one short hour to sew up. Just one hour!! Plus, I made my own red and white polka-dot bias tape! Great, simple sew with- pun, intended- a lot of bang for your buck ;-P. 

The "Ready, Set, Go Wallet" measures approximately 9.5"x 5.25" when completely unfolded. It's the perfect proportions for little hands. I went ahead and made my own red and white polka-dot bias tape because I'm crazy like that. You don't have to, though. What you do have to do, though, it make sure that you use BIAS (store bought or homemade) for that outside curve- you're gonna need it to get a nice smooth curve. I did use pre-made white bias tape for the inside trim.

The "Ready, Set, Go Wallet" has lots of fun pockets and enclosures. It uses just a scrap of plastic- they suggest cutting it from a plastic bedding bag- for the coin pocket. It mimics the look of an adult trifold wallet- perfect for little shadows that want to be just like Daddy. :-)

Time to Travel, "Ready, Set, Go Wallet"

As a side note, I believe that the "Ready Set, Go Wallet" would be a great starting off point to teach children about money and savings. I know that my daughter would be really excited to put her hard-earned "cash" from doing chores in this wallet!

I really enjoyed sewing up the "Ready, Set, Go Wallet." It was so quick and easy and turned out really nice (if I do say so, myself!). Because everything is trimmed in bias tape, there are no pockets to turn or corners to point. Simple, I like that!

This would make a great gift- boy or girl- paired with a fun gift card!

Connect with Sewing with Boys through their Facebook page. Purchase the "Time to Travel" e-book here. You can see more of Amy MacDonald ("Just Like Papa Briefcase") work at, Jonie Brooks' work can be viewed at Knot Sew Normal.

So, in conclusion, if you sew for a little boy, you need the "Time to Travel" e-book in your sewing repertoire! (Also, I believe that the patterns that I sewed up would be great for little girls, too. Just switch up the fabric and the possibilities are endless!!)

Now.... How would you like to win a copy of the Time to Travel ebook for yourself? How about some fabric, too? Participate in the giveaway below for a chance to win!

*******Giveaway info*******

Grand prize: $50 gift certificate to FabricWorm and a copy of Time to Travel*

2nd place: 1 yard of fabric from Mabel Madison and a copy of Time to Travel*

3rd place: a copy of Time to Travel*

*If you buy the eBook and win the giveaway, we will either refund your money, or send the copy on to a friend of your choice.

But that's not all! If you buy the eBook during the tour, you'll be automatically entered to win a $30 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!"

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally, please go ahead and check out these other lovely and talented bloggers as they try out the Time to Travel ebook. You won't want to miss it!!

April 20: Rachel at Once Upon A Sewing Machine || Michelle at Falafel and the Bee

April 21: Becca at Free Notion || Heather at All Things Katy!

April 22: Chelsea at GYCT Designs || Ula at Lulu & Celeste

April 23: Stephanie at Swoodson Says || Sherri at Thread Riding Hood

April 24: Meriel at Create3.5 || Sara at Made by Sara

April 27: Melissa at Oh Sew Boy! || Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

April 28: Teri at Climbing the Willow || Ajaire at Call Ajaire

April 29: Jessica at The Berry Bunch || Dana at Sew Thrifty

April 30: Stacey at From-a-Box || Maegen at Mae & K

May 1: Kelly at Handmade Boy || Roxanne at Pen, Seb & Rox

***Disclosure: "I received a free e-book in order to review these patterns for Sewing with Boys. The opinions expressed here are my own."***

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sewing Pattern Testing- Made for Mermaids- Grace Dress

Posted by Heather at Thursday, April 16, 2015 0 comments

Hello! After a brief Easter hiatus, I'm back to the sewing machine for some more PDF sewing pattern testing.

Today's pattern is by one of my personal all-time favorites, the Made for Mermaids. Introducing the Grace Dress! Featuring angel wing sleeves and a super twirly skirt, the Grace Dress is the perfect addition to your daughter's spring/summer wardrobe.

Let's talk basics, first;

-The Grace Dress comes in sizes 1/2 through 14.
-The Grace Dress can be sewn as a top, dress or double skirt.
-Size chart, fabric requirements chart and measurement chart are all included in the Grace Dress pattern.
-The Grace Dress has several sleeve options- simple (shown), double or lined.
-The Grace Dress has a button up back.
-The Grace Dress is all about the french seams. Directions are included within the pattern in order to achieve this technique. This means that the inside of your garment will be clean and beautiful- just like the outside!
-Like most of Made for Mermaids' current patterns, the Grace Dress has no trim pattern pieces. No extra cutting- Love that!
-My favorite feature of the Grace Dress pattern is the fact that it's the first Made for Mermaids pattern with size layers!! This means that with a couple clicks of the mouse, you only print the size you need. No extra ink wasted, no blurred lines to follow when taping and cutting. Just print the size you need and you're good to go!

Speaking of good to go, let's get to the good stuff- the Grace Dress pattern!!

I sewed up a size 6 width bodice with a size five length. Lil' Miss has recently been complaining about her shirts/dresses not having enough room when she moves around. So, even though she measures exactly for a size 5 with a 24" chest, I decided to bump up a size. I'm glad that I did! The size 6 bodice had just enough room to allow Lil' Miss to move and groove (and twirl and twirl and twirl. Trust me, your little one is going to want to twirl her heart out in the Grace Dress!!). I did a single skirt with hem ruffle and unlined sleeves. I used French seams at the armscyes. 

I used Waverly fabric from Wally world for the both the main blue and yellow accents. It's nice and sunny and bright (and, at less than $4/yard, it's a fabric bargain!!). This was my first time using the Wal-Mart Waverly fabric and I have to admit that I was pleasantly pleased with the quality. The fabric had a nice weight to it and did not fall apart during sewing (like other, cheaper fabric is prone to do).

I digress....

The real draw of the Grace Dress pattern are the sleeves. Floaty and frilly, the sleeves are meant to be sewn using light-weight material. A chiffon, lace, voile, etc. would work nicely. I would NOT use anything heavier than the quilting cotton that I used. The lighter your sleeve fabric, the nicer the sleeve will lay.

Made for MermaidsGrace Dress- Sleeve detail

Made for MermaidsGrace Dress- Sleeve detail

The skirt using the whole width of fabric (WOF) for the front and a whole width of fabric for the back. The ruffle uses 4x WOF!! In other words, there's a whole lot of twirl factor in the Grace Dress!! :-)

I really appreciate when a sewing pattern can teach me something new and/or explain another technique, better. I've used French Seams in the past, but I don't do it very often. While it can be tedious, the results are so clean and finished. Well worth the extra time! Megan definitely walks you through the steps of a French seam if that is something new to you. Studying the included pictures will definitely help a French seam newbie.

Instructions are also included in the Grace Dress to create a skirt placket. This is a little "cut" finished with bias in the skirt that makes dressing (on and off) easier. I've done something similar, on my own, in the past. It's nice to see the technique put into words, though.

This was a quick test, but it was so much fun! Thank you, Megan, for allowing me to once again test for you. I had sew much fun!!

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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wordless Wednesday- Kisses for Samantha!

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, April 08, 2015 0 comments

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sentence of the Day- Tuppence

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, April 07, 2015 0 comments
This morning, we were listening to Disney songs in the car, on the way to swim class. Mary Poppin's "Feed the Birds" came on. When the song came to, "...Feed the birds... tuppence a bag..." Lil' Miss asked me what a tuppence was. I explained that it was an old form of English money- something small, like a penny (my sister later informed me that it is actually the slang form of "two pence.").
Katy replied, "Well, then why didn't they just SAY so?!!"

Sassy little thing!

In case you were wondering, here are the lyrics to the song, "Feed the Birds";

"Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul's
The little old bird woman comes
In her own special way to the people she calls,
"Come, buy my bags full of crumbs;
Come feed the little birds,
Show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do
The young ones are hungry
The nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
Feed the birds," that's what she cries
While overhead, her birds fill the skies

All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares
Although you can't see it, 
You know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares

Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she's calling to you
"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag"

That'll now be stuck in your head all day.... You're welcome.... I'm still humming it...10 hours later... HA!

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