Vintage Lace Does Broadway

The first real thing I ever sewed was a super hideous apron for a production of Fiddler on the Roof.  I remember one Saturday, a bunch of us teens in the show got together with the ladies in charge of costumes for a crash test in sewing and to help crank out the costumes for the women of Anatevka.  Lots of ugly aprons, easy gathered skirts, and these giant peasant blouses that were basically one-size-fits-all.  All sewn up from these scratchy woven fabrics.  And I remember I was taught one of the most basic rules of sewing: sewing itself is often (always?), the most minor part of the process.  It's all about the prep work, haha!  I think I spent most of that Saturday on the floor: making sense of the paper patterns, cutting big rectangles of fabric, and ironing . . . and then the rest of the day turning apron ties right side out.  Looking back, I'm thankful I've replaced those tissue paper patterns with PDFs, and my shears with a rotary cutter, that's for sure.  

Unfortunately, I haven't had much time for acting since Grant was a baby. I do hope as my kids get older, I get the chance to act again. And I hope I manage to instill a love of theatre in at least one of my boys.  

ANYWAY! The whole point of this theatre-nostalgia, is that I love it.  I love theatre.  Before, I was obsessed with sewing, I was obsessed with theatre.  So, needless to say, I was pretty stoked for the Broadway round at Vintage Lace!  

This round features prints from Rent, Wicked, Waitress, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Les Miserables, and two super awesome Playbill prints (one of the classics and one of the contemporary shows).  There are also some dance prints if that's what you're into, haha.  

On to my sews!  First up, Hamilton! I got to sew up a panel and the coordinating star print for my boys. There are two other Hamilton panels too, equally as awesome, available as well.  

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Young, scrappy, and hungry . . . that sounds just like Grant :)   

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I added that little star applique on the panel using Kraftex.  Which is my new favorite product.  I'll be doing a blog post about it soon.  But if you're looking for something leather-like for around your hoodie grommets, you should just go ahead and buy it now (I have the sampler pack, but you can buy individual colors too).  

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And there they both are, my future actors <3  Both of the boys are wearing Mega Max Raglans from Max and Meena (duh! I swear it's the only thing I sew them, haha).  

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For me, I got this awesome Waitress panel and coordinate! If you haven't seen or heard Waitress before, the music and lyrics are by Sara Bareilles, and it is absolutely delightful.  

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For these cuts, I decided to try out New Horizons Designs for the first time. I've been eyeing up the TAMI Revolution Hoodie since it was released.  Since I already owned plenty of hoodies, I kept talking myself out of it.  Well, I bought it, and now I wish I didn't waste my money on all those other patterns! If only this one had come into my life first! 

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Double hood.  Need I saw more? 

I used the Vintage Lace panel, the coordinating stripes (Flour, Sugar, Butter), and this sweet quilted knit from Jo-Ann's.  This sweatshirt is cozy. 

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My one mistake was putting the grommets on the wrong sides of the inner hood.  Oh well, lesson learned!  The hoods are among my favorite features of the pattern-- there are three hoods for tons of options, and they're all nice and big, just like I like them.  

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Okay, now hurry over to Vintage Lace and get your Broadway preorder on! 

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Mama Catherine: M4M Pattern Release

Made for Mermaids is unveiling a new look, new logo, and a new pattern today!  Introducing Mama Catherine:  

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When Team Mermaid was looking for people to test the new Mama Catherine pattern, I jumped at the chance.  Because looking at the mock-ups, I knew the flowy design would be perfect for both my six-month baby bump AND to wear after this baby makes his appearance.  That seems to be the theme with my sewing lately-- what can I get away with wearing NOW and post-baby, without any modifications.  Because while maternity clothes are fun, when I'm putting in the time and fabric, I still want to be able to use the pieces in a few months.  I'm not going to lie, I'm excited to have my non-pregnant body back, especially for sewing, haha.  

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There are two yoke options (I went with the scoop, but there's also a square).  Here you can see the yoke, and the front gathering . . .

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And the back of the yoke, along with the back gathering on the skirt . . .

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I haven't even gotten the chance to try out my favorite option of this pattern yet-- the sweet flounce sleeves!  Check out the Made for Mermaids roundup with all the options and hacks and this line-drawing to give you an idea of all the combinations you could make. 

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Of course, I had to use brushed poly for mine (this time from Sincerely Rylee).  Rayon spandex, or other light-weight stretch fabrics all work well.  You want that sweet flowy, look.  

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It's crazy to me, when I look at these pictures, how I took these just two weeks ago-- it's snowed a TON since then.  Like seriously.  It's snowed about seven times already this year!! It's my least favorite time of the year for taking pictures of my sewing.  You might be seeing a lot more indoor pics soon.  Because both I and my camera are wimps when it comes to the cold, haha.  

Get your copy of Mama Catherine here, or check out the bundle with the girls' version!  

Happy sewing! <3 

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As Featured on Dad Sews!

Whenever I'm feeling bummed about sewing (. . . low sewjo, feeling like my items haven't been good enough or that I'm plumb out of creativity, etc, etc . . . ), something happens to turn me around.  And back in May, I remember I was in one of those moods (oh, the tortured life of a sewing artist!), and then I got a message from Dad Sews asking if I'd like to be featured on his Sewing Spotlight!  Total compliment and complete mood changer! 

Of course, then I was stressed about actually doing the video (doesn't everyone hate themselves on camera?!) and then I spent the summer in a first-trimester sewing limbo.  And so it was fall by the time I actually made this happen.  Such is life, haha. 

BUT! I was super excited this week to finally be featured on the Sewist Spotlight over at Dad Sews!  Dad Sews is the story of one dad, learning to sew one stitch at a time, right before our eyes, haha!  You can watch him learn to sew, play along with some crazy sewing hacks, and participate in awesome giveaways all at DadSews.com. And now you can watch me too, talk like a total dork, and show off some of my favorite recent sews.  Watch the video here and then  pop on over to Christian's site to see all the latest happenings! 

 

 

Oh Baby! Sewing Maternity Clothes: My Favorite Easy Hack

I'm twenty-six weeks pregnant this week, and I've been in full-on maternity-mode sewing lately!  There's no denying this bump any more!  Even when I'm not pregnant, I sway more towards the fitted side of clothing styles . . . but when I am pregnant, I love fitted clothes even more.  Relaxed fit is nice in early pregnancy, but once the second and third trimesters are here, I'm all about showing off that bump! 

Luckily, it's super easy to take your favorite fitted top or dress pattern and turn it maternity-friendly.  These are both the Super Sleeve pattern from George and Ginger (definitely a favorite of mine).  You can see the extra side ruching that makes it maternity-friendly.  

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This light purple top (fabric from Sincerely Rylee) was photographed a few weeks ago, so you can see the extra fabric I have in my midsection that I still have to grow into.  I think I was 20 weeks here, so there's definitely still a lot more bump coming ;)  

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Both of these fabrics are brushed poly spandex.  Brushed poly has been my absolute favorite for maternity sewing.  It's so soft, comfy, and most of all, stretchy.  You won't regret using it for your maternity wear!  This blue fabric is from Vintage Lace

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Now!  Let's get on the the nitty-gritty!  Grab your favorite fitted top/dress pattern and 1/4 inch elastic.  The only piece you'll be cutting any differently is the front piece-- you can cut all your other pieces the same way as the pattern calls for.   I'll give you the numbers I use, but remember that you may need to adapt them to your size/height/baby bump size. 

First, we determine the length you want your ruching to extend.  Hold the pattern piece up to your body, and determine an underbust point, right before your bump really starts.  For me, I go with 5 inches. I then also mark 1 inch above that (my 4 inch dot on the pattern piece below).   Next, I make a mark under my belly bump (that's the dot by my 3 inch point, as in 3 inches from the hemline [this is a shorter shirt, but I probably still should have done it just a little bit higher]), and then make a second dot 1 inch below that (so, my 2 inch dot).  When it comes time to ruche, I'll be stretching the elastic from that 5 inch dot down to that 3 inch dot.  The extra inch above and inch below is just extra to get my elastic started, but I don't stretch the elastic at those points.  

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Now, measure the distance between the two furthest dots (for me, between my 4 inch dot and my 2 inch dot).  For this top, the measurement was 13.5 inches (so, again, 11.5 inches to stretch, plus the extra inch for the top/bottom to get started/finish off).  Pre-stretch your elastic, and then cut two pieces of elastic to this measurement.  

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Now!  Time to add the extra length to your front piece.  I cut my pattern at that underbust/above-the-belly point (here, 5 inches).  I then separate the pattern, and slide the bottom piece down seven inches.  The amount you spread is up to you!   This is the extra fabric that you'll be ruching, so it's up to you, your body, and where you are in pregnancy.  I've done other shirts at five or six inches.  I know a friend who usually uses 8 inches at this point.  

I only add length to my maternity shirts.  If you feel like you need more room, you can also consider adding width at this point, and grading the bottom half of the pattern to the next size up.  Personally, I feel good about my use of brushed poly, and know this shirt will stretch plenty for me.  

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Cut out your new extra-long front, and transfer the markings on to the pattern.  

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Now head over to your sewing machine, and set it to a zigzag stitch.  You're going to be attaching the elastic to the front piece, which will ruche it.  At the end, you'll want the elastic to be in your seam allowance when you sew the front to the back.  So, for this pattern, I put the elastic close to the raw edge.  Put the raw edge of the elastic on that first dot and sew it for that first inch (to the next dot), without stretching it.  Once you reach your second dot, you'll begin stretching the elastic.  

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Stretch the length of the elastic down to the third dot (leaving an extra inch of elastic at the end to not have to stretch).  

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You can see here, the last inch was not stretched (the zigzag is bigger, compared to the tighter zigzag when I was stretching).  

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If your measurements were correct, and you stretched the elastic accurately, the side seams of the front and back pieces should match up perfectly!  Proceed sewing the pattern as per the directions! I will note that my serger prefers the front piece (the one with the elastic on the bottom). If I sew one side with the elastic up, and one side with the elastic down, the sides won't line up correctly on the one side.  Just saying.  Every little thing makes a difference!

I hope this helps you make your own maternity shirts.  Obviously, this isn't a magic set of numbers, but it's an easy way to base it off of your own size and body.  

After pregnancy, my plan is to cut the side seams apart from the arm pit to the hem, take out the extra length, re-sew the side seams and re-hem.  I really can't stand wearing maternity shirts after the baby is born-- it just makes me feel/look still pregnant!  But I've been loving what I've been sewing, so they'll definitely be altered into "normal" shirts once the baby is here!

Happy sewing! Go show off that bump ;) 

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The Wiggle Dress: P4P Pattern Release

There's been a lot of hype in Patterns for Pirates about this hot, curve-hugging little number.  And for good reason!  This is the perfect pattern for to use for professional wear, date night, or when an extra-fancy event finds itself on your calendar (I'm still waiting for my invite, haha).  

Personally, I was super excited about the Wiggle Dress  because I knew it would be super easy to hack it into some gorgeous maternity wear-- and I was right!  Just add their Layer Me Up maternity add-on (Kelly Bailey went over using the add-on with other patterns on the P4P blog), or your own favorite ruching hack (I shared mine here). 

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The first one I made was from this gorgeous Liverpool from Sincerely Rylee.  Above the knee, 3/4 sleeves, low scoop back.  Stable knits like Liverpool are perfect for this pattern, because otherwise you'll have every lump and bump showing.  And there was really only one bump that I wanted to highlight, haha.  

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You can see the side ruching here! I integrated the Layer Me Up maternity add-on into the pattern, which alters the front piece only, adding both length and width to your midsection. 

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My husband and I are sneaking away for a weekend up north this weekend and I'm so excited to pack this one for our official date night.  I'm also thinking it will look super cute for holiday parties this year! 

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For my second version, I knew I had to go glam and take this opportunity to do some maternity pictures! 

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This is the off-the-shoulder version, with long sleeves, and full length skirt.  I used the stretch velvet from Jo-Ann's, which is super easy to find at a super good price (like less than $5 a yard).  I also just got in on a preorder of stretch velvet from Sincerely Rylee though, because she had way more fun colors! 

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Honestly, I'll have nowhere to ever wear this dress, haha.  But I knew I wanted one for these sweet bump pictures.  Pattern testing win!  Because I would have basically no pictures of this bump if it weren't for pattern testing, haha.  I was only bummed about them because I was having issues with my camera that day, which left me with 90% of them sadly blurry.  Lesson learned.   

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There is a sway back adjustment built in to hug your backside  . . . make sure you mirror that back piece, or you're going to be really sad.  Especially if you're making a full-length dress.  Not saying that I know from experience or anything . . . 

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And yes, that was legitimate wind blowing my hair like a movie star-- Ha!  This little wooded nook is right off of Lake Superior, and it was windy that day! 

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Are you in love with it yet!?

You can buy your copy of the Wiggle Dress here.  Or, if you're not convinced yet, check out all of the options here, and the P4P list of easy hacks here!

If you're interested in the Layer Me Up, and the add-on, this is an actual Layer Me Up I made, using the add-on:

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xoxo! Molly

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The Perfect Fall Outfit: G&G Effortless Cowl Poncho

This is just a quick post to show off my new Effortless Cowl Poncho from George and Ginger.  It made for the perfect fall outfit this weekend!  Just add boots ;) 

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The pattern is absolutely free, if you're a member of the George and Ginger Pattern Co facebook group.  Just join the group, then head over the "Files" section, where you'll find a host of free patterns, including this one.  

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And it really is effortless.  With just 2 to 2.3 yards and thirty minutes, you'll be out the door!  Hemming was the most time-consuming step (of course).  And while I used my serger, this is definitely a pattern I would have no hesitation just using my sewing machine-- so if you aren't totally hooked up yet in terms of apparel sewing, this is still an easily achievable look.  

I'm crazy about this sweater knit I found at Jo-Ann.  They had quite a few colorways, and it's thick and heavy!  It would make such a nice cardigan as well.  I'm seriously contemplating goingback for more colors.  

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My pup, Heidi, had to come and join in on the pictures.  I love her.  

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I mean, seriously, how sweet is she?!?! Insert all the puppy pictures here.  Because if I can't sell you on the poncho, I bet I can sell you on the collie.  

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Ponchos always make me think of my senior year of high school.  They had a HUGE display of them at our small local Younkers, covering a whole wall, floor to ceiling.  My friends made fun of them, but I had a black, off the shoulder one, with fringe that I secretly loved.  I brought mine to France with me that fall, and I remember taking a walk in the small town I was staying in . . . a random guy yelled at me from across the street, "This isn't Paris!"  For whatever that's worth. Ha! 

So, head over to George and Ginger, grab that free poncho pattern, and maybe you'll have a random Frenchman yelling at you soon too! <3 

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