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Monday, September 30, 2013

Some days don't go like you think they will

Happy Monday, friends. I think the fabric choice for today's outfit matches what's going on in my life. You know what they say - Into each life a little rain must fall. So, what's going on you  may ask? Well, yesterday, I was all geared up to run the North Face Endurance Series 10k on what is rated their most technical trail run. I ran this race 2 years ago and it certainly was a doozy. I am not a trail runner by any means. AND I went into it saying I was going to take it slow because I didn't want to mess up an ankle or a knee this close to the half marathon I have been training for. Well, my ankles and knees are (mostly) okay. We started the race and about a quarter of a mile in, I tripped on a downhill and I knew once I hit the ground and saw white I was in trouble. I got back up and tried to keep going. I couldn't. I couldn't move my arm. I walked back to the start line to the med tent where I was in so much pain I was in tears and nearly passed out/threw up. So, I got to take my first ride in an ambulance. They initially thought I dislocated my shoulder, but it turns out I fractured my scapula (shoulder blade). So, now Im unable to use my left arm. I'm in horrible pain. I'm basically useless. I have an appointment tomorrow with an orthopedist.There is some thought I may have torn a ligament but won't find that out until after an MRI.

The good news is I have 2 outfits done for this week. The scary thing is I have two other days to sew for. I am so dedicated to this challenge, I have to figure out someway to do it. I don't want to stop now. It's bad enough that my running season is over.

So, Im in a funk right now. I hate being dependent on people and I hate not being able to get done what I need to get done. Hopefully, I won't have to have surgery.

So, tonight I bring to you the upcoming release from Heidi and Finn that I had the privilege to pattern test. You can find Heidi and Finn patterns on Etsy at and on Facebook at This pattern is scheduled to be released Wednesday and they have lots of other great patterns.

Here is the Heidi and Finn Wonderland Dress in a sz 12

And what do you think of our new look?? I love it. It was done by Jenny at FrenchPressMornings on Etsy!

Pray for me so we can keep these outfits coming!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mad for Plaid! Project Run and Play Week 3 - Or as we call it around here - Work those heels!

Today's post is early for a couple of reasons. First, tonight is Project Runway and I definitely don't want to miss out. Tonight is the make your own fabric challenge and I ADORE that. I love hearing the stories behind the fabrics. Also, today is the deadline for entering the Project Run and Play week 3 Plaid challenge and I don't want to miss the boat on entering this week!! So, buckle up, because today we have leather, plaid and some work it, Mama heels. And I tell you, as I type this, she is wearing this whole look at school today - heels and all (although she does have a change of shoes with her, because I so didn't see her lasting a whole day in strappy leather heels!)

So, the challenge was plaid and this was the first week where I instantly had a vision and I was SO happy when I was able to almost match my vision exactly in my final garment. You've probably noticed in all of this season's fall fashion magazines that leather is HOT right now. So, I saw this industrial leather plaid dress with the mix of grunge plaid, rock and roll leather all bottled up into the most sophisticated starlet look you have ever seen. I loved the irony of trying to blend the grunge/rock and roll textiles into something so ladylike. Think pearl jam mixed with the rolling stones all blended together with some Audrey Hepburn. I knew I didn't have a pattern that had every element I wanted, but I knew I had one that would serve as an awesome base.

The Cece Peplum Top/Dress Pattern by Popolok

You can purchase this pattern here

I took the Cece pattern and mixed it up to showcase both the plaid and the leather. One the front bodice, I decided I wanted a three inch leather inset. So, I cut 1.5" off at the side of the pattern with the fold as you can see here.

You then will cut 2 of the bodice front mirror image and one of your inset piece on the fold. When you cut, you have to add seam allowance to all three pieces to give you the ability to sew them together and not effect the finished measurement of your front bodice.

On the skirt, you are given measurements to cut. I wanted to have a leather border on the skirt, so I cut my skirt pieces 3" shorter than the tables called for. Then, I cut my leather pieces 6" wide by the same length as my skirt panels. I wanted this to be a border, not gathered at all, so they were exactly the same width. Then, I folded the leather strips in half right sides together and attached to the bottom to keep me from having to hem the leather and I liked the way that border edge looked.

For the peplum, I used the leather pieces to keep it tough!

Attitude is worth a million bucks - her accessories, about $10. Beauty comes from within and she definitely worked each of these accessories. We went to Goodwill and found the iconic strappy black leather shoe, a Chanel inspired quilted faux leather bag with gold studs, and a black sheer scarf. Ten bucks and done. I was popping some tags and she was popping some style. You so don't have to spend a lot of money to look stylish.

Are you ready for the grand reveal? I know I am SO ready to show you. This was probably THE BEST photo shoot we have had so far this year. She put this on and transformed into a diva.

The look I was going for both in the dress and my images was like the ones you see on The Sartorialist He catches beautiful, fashionable people just out looking beautiful and fashionable. I think we achieved that.

Project Run and Play Week 3 - Plaid Challenge

 This is Ethel Barrymore's star in front of our local theatre. We have stars for all of the famous people who have performed on our stage.

And what a way to finish! 

I hope you have enjoyed my Project Run and Play entry this week as much as I enjoyed making it and she enjoyed wearing it. Cross your fingers that she hasn't twisted an ankle at school since she has cross country practice, but you do have to admit those heels are fierce!

Till next time!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Because we are living in a material world and she is a material girl!

One thing about sewing a new outfit four school days a week will guarantee you is that you will definitely go through materials. And if you are trying not to have everything look alike - you will go through A LOT of material. So, my little miss is definitely a Material Girl and today's dress definitely gave me a chance to play with A LOT of materials. 

First of all, I big fluffy heart love knits. I know some people are scared of them and won't touch them, but I adore them. Knits sew up fast, they are soft, they are comfy. I bet if you look down at what you are wearing right now at least ONE article of your clothing is knit, if not more! Being that I do love the knits, the knits are not always easy to find - cute ones that is. These are some of my favorite knit suppliers:

AND where tonight's fabrics came from 

Today's dress is made from amazing Riley Blake knits. They have a soft hand and sewed up like a dream. So amazing fabrics need amazing patterns, so tonight we went back and visited MODKID by Patty Young and made the Melanie dress. 

Technically this only goes up to a 10, but when I saw the loose fit, I knew it would fit my miss. The main reason we need a 12 is to accommodate our rounded tummy and we didn't need it in this dress. This dress is also SO MUCH FUN!

I had all of these cool Riley Blake fabrics and decided to cut loose with this pattern, literally! I cut a triangle shape out of the front panel pattern piece and made a front insert. So, instead of one front panel piece, I had three. If anyone is interested, I would be happy to throw up a tutorial, but really it consisted up cutting a triangle piece out of the center of the front panel and cutting it on your fabric on the fold adding seam allowance and then cut two side pieces from what was left of the front panel pattern piece. Voila! Front panel insert. Check it out! 

This dress was TONS of fun. One of the teachers at school who gets the kids out of the car at drop off said it was like Christmas every day seeing what she was going to wear! That made me feel good. I have also have people tell me they have started sewing again because of the blog. That is exactly why I am doing this. Not only that, several of my daughter's friends say THEY have started sewing because of this project. And, to put the cherry on the sundae,  my own daughter has started selling stuffed animal clothes at school for a quarter and has already sewn three. I love seeing the passion of sewing and design ignited in these young girls. There was a time when it was commonplace to have your mom sew for you, all the way through high school. Now, her friends AND my friends are agog at me sewing everyday for her. If I can just get a few people to be interested in this craft and ignite a fire, then this blog has done everything I have ever wanted it to. 

Okay, Im a blabbermouth. Keep in mind, I sew at home by myself during the day and mainly talk to my cats, so when I get the chance to talk, I am pretty long winded. 

I present the MODKID Melanie pattern in Riley Blake fabrics with my own pattern alteration!

Do you see the POCKETS??? Don't we all love a dress with pockets??

Do you see the FALL in the background!! Leaves are starting to change! Yay!

Look who watched the photoshoot from just far enough away :)

Since I have wet your appetite for some fabric, lookee here what I have for you 
Click that link and you will get 

So, now go be a Material Girl!

But, you have GOT to come back tomorrow. I mean I am telling you, tomorrow's outfit may be my favorite of the year. It MAY have something to do with PLAID *hint hint* and MAY have something to do with a certain Project *hint hint*. You have to come back tomorrow to see it!!

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful evening! Till tomorrow!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Four Seasons Dress to bring in a new season!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day. We are actually starting to feel like Fall around here and it is WONDERFUL. Our cross country meet that was scheduled for today was cancelled, unfortunately. It had been raining the last few days, so we think it was cancelled for the trail being wet. Anyway, our coach had the kids practice anyway and they did two miles of speedwork on wet trails. One of the dads who runs turned his ankle *OUCH*! So, hopefully, they first meet will now be NEXT week!

Onto today's dress. Today I am presenting a dress from a wonderful designer Jocelyn from Foo Foo Threads. You can see her gorgeous patterns here on Etsy I was fortunate enough to be able to test the upcoming Four Seasons Knit Bodice dress. It was AMAZING! I love the ability to mix and match the knits and wovens. It can go in any direction from classic to fun and funky. For this one, I decided to go with fun and funky. Check out this new pattern!

Be sure to check this one out when Foo Foo Threads releases it. You can keep up to date on the Foo Foo Threads Facebook page at

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a good evening. And if you didn't watch the Blacklist last night on ABC, you must go to their website and watch it now. It premiered last night and was SO good!

Till later,

Monday, September 23, 2013

Minecraft Mania!! Plus we are DIGGING for a winner!

Happy Monday and welcome back. Hope you had a great weekend. We sure did!

Today, we are going to be visiting a pattern from one of my favorite bloggers/designers - Lil Blue Boo. Ashley Hacksaw has literally been through so many situations in the last few years that would have sent me to hide under the covers forever. She is one of the bravest, most inspiring people I have ever known of. First, her father passed away and then she was diagnosed with cancer, all within a relatively short amount of time. But, all through both of these journeys, she decided she was going to "Choose Joy" and that became her mantra. She shared all of the ups and downs and personal sides of everything she went through. We all cried as she shaved her head during her chemo. We all cheered as the Cancer receded. She let us all be a part of her family and through it, I think she passed on some of her strength and optimism to us all. You can read about Ashley and see her creative offerings at her blog

Not only has she been such an inspiration to follow personally, she is also an amazing designer and pattern maker. She was one of the firsts to break ground into the upcycled knits genre. Her pattern offerings are from little girl up to womens. I have even worn her patterns. Her upcycled twirl skirt which you can see the pattern pic of here

I upcycled camo shirts to make a twirl skirt to run the Soldier Half Marathon in (ignore my face, I just finished running a half marathon and the hubs wanted a picture. I wanted to throw up. Our needs really differed at this point in life :) )

She has a lot of fun patterns and you can see the whole listing of them here
One of her patterns that I have been very excited about it the Sienna. It is an upcycled knit dress pattern that now goes up to size 14. You can also purchase add ons for it like flutter sleeves and a twirl skirt.

My child is pretty well addicted to Minecraft, but most Minecraft tshirts we have seen have been more masculine.. Soooooo, she persuaded me to get her one and make a dress out of it. I wanted to try the new Sienna pattern, so we had a win/win situation. She was quite the hit today with her Minecraft cronies at school. However, one girl in her class who didn't know what a creeper was asked about the frowning green bean on her dress. Oh, how I love fifth grade :)

And here is a shot of my handsome behind the scenes camera assistant. Doesn't he look excited to be there?

And some news some of you  have been waiting for - the winner of last week's drawing for Lindsay Wilkes upcoming book - Sew Classic Clothes for Girls. The winner is *drum roll*

Congrats Jody Lee Keeler Pierce!! I will be contacting you to get your address so we can get it shipped to you when the book is released after Oct 7! Thank you all for entering and reading the blog. This is only the first of many giveaways to come!

Thank you for stopping by and come back tomorrow to see what's on tap. She has her first official Cross Country meet tomorrow, so any prayers that it goes better than last week's fun run would be appreciated. We had practice today in the rain and brrrr Im still cold and wet!

Till next time,

Friday, September 20, 2013

The long awaited Stretch Lace Skirt Tutorial!

Stretch Lace Skirt Tutorial

This tutorial is designed to fit ANY size, you will just need to adjust your fabric and elastic requirements. You literally can make this from an infant size up to a plus size woman size. You can make this with a serger or a sewing machine; however, a serger will make several steps easier.The skirt constructed during the tutorial is a girls size 12 and I will be providing those measurements

Materials Needed:
60” Stretch Lace - for a sz 12 you need about 1 ¼ - 1 ½ yd
60” Coordinating Knit Fabric - for a sz 12 you need about ⅔ of a yard
2” Stretch Elastic in Coordinating Color - (usually comes in black or white and is found in the notions section near the prepackaged elastic)


Waist Elastic:
Measure your waist. Once you get that measurement, subtract 2”. Cut your elastic that length.
Example: Her waist measurement was 26”, so we cut a 24” length of elastic.

This is probably the trickiest of the measurements since the front is a different length than the back. You will need three measurements to cut your lace.

From the waist to the shortest point you want the skirt (I chose knee length) The size 12 measurement was 21”

From the waist to the sidepoint of the front.(The front panel of the skirt is an arc. So this will be how far down you want the front panel to come. You can make this any length you want. I went down 3" from the shortest measurement above.) The size 12 measurement was 24”

From the waist down, measure the back of the legs to where you want the skirt to stop. (I chose right below the calf area) Our size 12 measurement was 30”

Remember you have 2” elastic and you will have a 4” ruffle at the bottom, so take your WAIST TO SIDEPOINT measurement and deduct 5” (this will give you seam allowance). This will be the LENGTH of the front panel you initially cut. So, for our size 12, our side point measurement was 24” subtract 5” and you have 19”. To get the width use your waist measurement. Our waist measurement was 26”, so we will cut the front panel 19”Lx26”W.

Once you cut this, fold it in half and mark the center with either pins or chalk. Open up your skirt. At that marked middle line, measure up from the bottom to your WAIST TO SHORTEST POINT measurement. Make a mark there. You will now make an arc starting at one corner, peaking at the center highest point and ending at the opposite corner. You can use a bowl, french curve or other rounded edge to get this nice and perfectly curved. Once you mark, cut along the arc this will make your front asymmetry. Now you have your front panel.

(The picture above is the arc shown with the fabric folded in the middle.)

Take your WAIST TO BOTTOM BACK measurement from above and subtract 5”. For our example, my measurement was 30” - 5 = 25”. This will be your length for the back panel. Your width will be the waist measurement, so for me that is 26” So, I will cut a piece 25”Lx26”W. Once you cut that piece, take your bowl or french curve and mark a curved edge on both outer corners and cut this curve. The purpose of this is to round the back panel piece. Don't use a curved edge that is too deep to avoid losing back length on the sides. By doing this it will give you the continuous curved look front to back. See the picture - the curve basically just takes the angle out of the corner.

*CUTTING TIP* - To save fabric, cut the lace lengthwise for your back panel measurement. Most stretch lace is 60” wide. After you cut the length (for us 25”), cut the width (for us 26”) That leaves approximately a 25”Lx34”W piece. Use that piece to cut the front panel, which for us was 19”Lx26” which you can easily cut from that piece. This should work for the smaller sizes under 30” waist.

RUFFLES - For this tutorial, I used 4” ruffles. I cut 2 widths of fabric (WOF) by 4”L” If you are making smaller sizes, this will be a ton of ruffles. You may only need one. For bigger sizes, you may need more. To determine this measurement, take a tape measure and go around the bottom edge of both the front and back pieces and get an approximation of how big around your skirt it. If you want really ruffly, take that measurement times 2. If you want moderate ruffles, multiply times 1.5 and then cut that length by the 4”.

We are cutting the fabric for the knit lining based on the knee length. We still have the 2” elastic to account for but we don’t have the ruffle since this is just for lining. So remember your waist to knee measurement and subtract 1.5” to account for our seam allowance and hem. So, our WAIST TO KNEE was 21” - 1.5” = 19.5”. We are still going to need our width to be the 2x the waist measurement we used for the stretch lace. The good thing is, for waist measurements under 30”. you only need one piece! Bigger than 30”, thats ok, you will just have to cut 2. So, for this size 12, we cut the length to 19.5” and then just cut a 52” width (for our 26” waist.). This way we only have one side to seam. If you had a 32” waist, you would just cut two 26”Lx32”W panels and seam them together.

Guess what, now its FUN TIME! So, let’s get our sewing machines and/or sergers ready and whip this skirt out!

*TIP - Now is the time to put it your ballpoint needle to sew these stretch fabrics. Also, if you are going to be sewing only with the sewing machine, you will need to find either your stretch stitch or zig zag stitch. These will give the fabric the ability to stretch still once you sew them together.

SEWING: (Using a ⅜” Seam Allowance)

1.) Take your elastic piece, if using a serger, place short ends on top of each other and serge. If using a sewing machine, do the same with your zig zag or stretch stitch and stitch together. Push the seam to one side and top stitch it down. Set to the side for now.

2.Take your front and back stretch lace panels and put the right sides together and sew the two side seams together. Its ok that the seams don't go all the way down, go until they stop.Either serge or zig zag stitch.

3.) Take your knit fabric and if you are using one piece of fabric, fold it over on itself widthwise and sew the side seam. If you are using two pieces, place right sides together and sew the side seams. Take your knit pieces and press up 1/2" on the bottom edge to form your hem. Then, you can put in a double needle and sewing from the right side, sew your hem. The double needle gives a great professional look. This isn't required, but makes it look nicer. If you don't use a double needle, stitch a regular stitch set on a longer stitch length.

4.)Take your ruffle fabric pieces and attach them at the short edges. Form a circle with them. You will need to finish the edge of this loop. I used a rolled hem on the serger. Next you are going to sew a gathering stitch at the top of this loop. To do this, set your sewing machine length at the longest length and pull out your top thread and bobbin thread so you have two tails out on your sewing machine. Sew two lines of gathering stitches making the top one at ¼” and the second at ⅝”. Leave the tails. If you are using two pieces with two seams, pin these seams to the side seams on the skirts and gather up the ruffle to fit the perimeter of the bottom of the skirt. Pin and sew the ruffle on either with the serger or sewing machine.

5.) Take your knit skirt and place it inside of the lace skirt skirt with the knit and the lace right side facing out. Pin or baste along the top of both layers to secure. This is a good opportunity for you to make sure the length of your underskirt is hitting where you want it to under the lace. If it is too long at this point, you can measure and fold up and place another hem stitch. Once you are happy with the length of the underskirt, then run the two gathering stitches at the top of the two layers of fabric. Next, take your sewn together 2" elastic and put it inside the skirt with right sides together. gather the skirt to fit the elastic. Pin and serge/sew.

6.) Flip right side out and admire your work! Go and work that awesome new skirt!

And I saved this tidbit for last - this is actually 2 patterns in ONE! Now that you have this, you can make a solid knit skirt. All you have to do it make the skirt following just the stretch lace instructions using your favorite knit and some 2" elastic. Since it is opaque, you don't need an underskirt. I haven't tried it yet, but I think I will!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please send pics if you make this skirt. Be sure to like us on Facebook and Twitter at @Sewinginbetween. Our blog is Please let me know if you have any suggestions to improve this. Feel free to pin this on Pinterest to share if you think others would like it!

Till next time,