Me Made: Cardigans for Transitions

It's Selfish Sewing week over at Indiesew and Imagine Gnats! One of the most inspiring things for sewing for yourself is to see lots of things sewn by women of all different ages and sizes. I love seeing what everyone else sews. It helps me learn about more patterns, fitting tips, and really sewing something you'd love. I was asked to be part of the blog tour and was given one pattern to review. I chose the Jenna Cardi by Muse Patterns because I've been looking for a cardigan sewing pattern that can carry me through different weather and body transitions. My favorite thing about the pattern was how the sizing worked; it makes so much more sense than anything else I've seen! I'd love to one day make a fitted cardigan like the original, but it just wouldn't work in my wardrobe for the next year. But with some alterations to the pattern, I was able to make three different cardigans from it!
I got a boyfriend cardigan about six years ago that I have worn into threads. I love the oversized fit, I love the long length, I love the pockets, but I've never truly loved the maroon color. I have been looking for a pattern to help me replace this cardigan for years. Luckily, the Jenna Cardi was very easy to alter to get exactly what I wanted. I lengthened it by 9 inches, cut it out two sizes larger than my measurements, added pockets, and changed the neckline to a v-neck.
I love the length. I wanted it long enough to wear with leggings, and I needed pockets to hold my keys and phone. The color is fantastic; it's almost a neutral for me because I love blue so much. I can't wait to mix and match it with other things in my closet. I used a soft interlock fabric that I got from a friend that sells me good fabric for cheap. It's a great fabric.
This is going to be my momiform for the Fall. I'll wear this cardigan with a nice tee, a warm scarf, and leggings or skinny jeans. I know I'll love grabbing this cardigan as I'm running out the door with the kids to play outside. The color makes me happy and feels like me instead of the maroon one that I used to have.
The next version I made was a shortened version. I shortened it 1 inch shorter than the waist line, changed the neckline to a v-neck, and turned the hem band into a tie. I wanted a simple wrap sweater that I could wear even when I'm 9 months pregnant. This is perfect because the wrap let's me loosen or tighten it on my rib cage, and it's short enough to stay out of the way of my growing belly.
I used a gorgeous sweater knit that I found in the remnant bin at Joann's. I was originally going to make something for Claire, but I just loved the weave and texture of it. I barely eked out this sweater from the less than a yard cut. I had to be really strategic while cutting out to get the patterns and stripes to match up.
I didn't have quite enough for the tie so I crocheted a little bit of cream yarn onto the ends. I can't wait to wear this with dresses and tunics. It'll give my outfit and waist definition, so I can wear shapeless things without feeling shapeless.
The last cardigan I made is a statement cardigan. I wanted something that would make me feel pulled together even if I didn't feel like getting ready that day. It's the exact same fit as the first but I only lengthened it 3 inches instead of 9 inches. I also added a leather shoulder patch and leather elbow pads. (Accidentally, it looks very similar to Becca's recent striped cardigan on Free Notion. She also has a great tutorial for adding leather elbow patches to light knit fabric.)
This fabric is great. I thrifted it a couple of months ago immediately knowing it would become a cardigan. It's a mediumweight interlock fabric, reversible, and has tiny silver knitted woven throughout. It's hard to make it show up in photos, but you can kind of see it on my upper back in the picture below. The fabric was easy to work with, and the pattern comes together surprisingly quickly. My only regret is that I didn't make it a tiny bit longer.
I was going to make it all basic and striped, but I realized these bold stripes would be a statement no matter what. So I decided to add some fun extras to make it really stand out. I can't wait for colder weather and a baby bump to show through. Since I'll have limited shirts to wear, I'll need happy cardigans and layers to give me some options.
If you'd like to see some other fabulous Selfish Sewing, check out these other ladies!
9/28: Priscilla | Fashion & Fishing
9/29: Lucinda | Sew Wrong
9/30: Heather | Feather's Flights
10/1: Abbey | Sew Charleston
10/2: Teri | Fa Sew La
10/3: Jess | La Mercerie


I've got some news! (I'm wearing a Union St Tee make. White and black striped jersey for the front, sleeves and pocket. I used a black jersey for the back and made the back hem curve. It's a great tee.)
The outtakes of trying to get the kids to stand still and hold a ball.
I hope these kids are ready for another sibling! And Claire is spitting out a cracker that I didn't know was in her mouth.


Sewing for the Boy: Back to School Shirts

Henry started preschool this year so we went through his clothes and sorted out play clothes and school clothes. He was so excited to start school and has loved it so far. I was able to see the holes in his wardrobe and what I needed to make. I decided to start with some nice shorts and two nice button up shirts. They'll look great this winter for church or for preschool. I used the Mulberry Tunic Pattern for both shirts and the Tree Climber Trousers Pattern for the shorts.
I altered the Mulberry Tunic so instead of a half button placket on the front I lengthened it to be a button up shirt with a full button placket. I used a pretty chambray fabric, but I decided to use the reverse. I like the lighter blue with lots of texture. Instead of the pattern's pocket I made a regular shaped pocket. It's long sleeved, and I added cuffs and a placket to the end. I love cuffing them and seeing the dark cuffs when they're rolled up. I made a size 3 without thinking. It fits him great now, but I should have done a size 4 for growing room. It's almost too short on him.
I chose to add the hood to this one. He loves the hood and pretends like it's his secret cape. He loves wearing a secret cape to church.
I had an awesome black and white gingham fabric that I used to make some shorts for Henry. I love them. They look so fashionable and fun, and Henry actually really likes wearing them. I cut them just below his knee, and I hope they'll fit him in the Spring. He wears them to nicer functions and even wore them to my sister's college graduation. They're great. I love the back pockets on the bias. Something about gingham and gingham on the bias makes me so happy.
I used the rest of the gingham fabric to make Henry another button up shirt. I did the same thing as the first by lengthening the front so the button placket goes all the way down. I did long sleeves with cuffs at the end. I cut the yoke, the pocket, and the cuffs on the bias. 
I added a one-piece collar to the neckline with some really fun facing fabric. It's some black and white crosshatch fabric. I also added a button to the back of the collar and a button to the top of the pocket.
He's wearing some other Tree Climber Trousers that I made last Spring. They still fit him and one of the knees are starting to wear, but the double layer means there's no hole yet! Henry likes this shirt and is happy to wear it. I hoping he'll choose it sometimes when it's cold. I'd love to see some t-shirts layered with it either over or under. We'll see how open he is to me choosing or directing some outfits. I love that he can dress himself and that he chooses his own outfits, but sometimes I really like to pick out his outfits.


Free Swing Tunic Pattern and GIVEAWAY

I have something really fun for you! I have a free pattern and a giveaway. (Scroll to the bottom for the giveaway.) This is a really easy and fun tunic with lots of swing. It has lots of growing room. It could fit from an 18 month old to maybe a 2 or a 3 year old. It could also be lengthened to a dress. It's very simple so there are so many options for customization. My daughter loved running around in it and swinging back and forth! (She also got mud on it right before I took pictures!)
I love the pop of the bias tape against the fuschia. I also love how the tunic is so voluminous and drapey, but the bias tape makes the sleeves and hem stand out. It pairs really well with leggings and even a cardigan for cold days. I know Claire will be able to wear this tunic for a couple of years.
2/3 yards of softer woven fabric like Cotton Lawn, Voile, etc. (Don't use anything wider than 50".)
3 yards of 1/2" double fold bias tape, I used
PRINT: Free Swing Tunic Pattern (size 18 mos - 2T)
1 button
Sewing supplies

1. Gather your supplies.
2. Rip the edge of one edge of your fabric about 1" in to get a straight edge. Measure up 15" and rip again.
3. Find the center of the fabric and fold both selvages in to meet at the center line.
4. Use the Sleeve Cutout Pattern piece to cut out where the sleeve will go. Line up the top with the top edge and the fold with the fold.
5. You will have two U-shaped cutouts from the top edge of the fabric in between the center line and the selvages.
6. Cut two sleeves on the fold from the remaining fabric. (I changed the shape after cutting this out, so your piece looks a little different.)
7. Sew the selvages together at 1/4" stopping 5" from the top. Iron the seam open and iron the 5" open just like the seam.
8. Topstitch the seam allowances of the 5" down at 1/8" from the edge.
9. Use the bias binding to hem the sleeves and the bottom of the tunic.
10. Insert the sleeves into the sleeve cutout area. With WRONG SIDES TOGETHER match up the top edge of the sleeve with the top edge of the tunic and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. You will not sew in a full U-shape but you will sew two separate sides.
11. Finish the raw edges with the bias tape. This will be on the outside of the tunic.
12. Sew the bias edge seam allowance down towards the sleeve.
13. Sew two gathering stitches along the top of the tunic at 1/4" and 1/2" starting and stopping at the opening in the back.
14. Gather the neckline to about 14" depending on the size of your child.
15. Cut a piece of bias binding that will fit around your button with some seam allowance to attach to the neckline. (Mine was 2 3/4" but my button was really big.) Sew along the open edge to enclose the seams.
16. Cut some bias binding 15". Fold over the raw edges 1/2" and sew down.
17. Sew loop onto one side of the back opening at the top edge. 
18. Finish the neckline with the prepared bias binding. Take out the 1/2" gathering stitching.
I love the simple details of this tunic especially with some pretty bias binding. It would be so pretty with printed fabric and solid bias binding. Or stripes and dots! You could get pretty crazy with your combinations.
Now for the GIVEAWAY! You can win one 3 yard bias tape from Ahnalee Marie. Just head over to her shop and comment with which bias tape is your favorite!
The giveaway will be open for one week. The giveaway is open to to U.S. residents only. Good luck!
*Disclosure: I was not paid for the review or giveaway. I was given one cut of bias tape for free.


Kitchen Hamper and Oilcloth Tablecloth

I added some fun toddler-friendly "decorations" to my kitchen. They aren't really decorations, but my kitchen just needed a little brightening. Especially since we're about to go into dark winter where there's a lot less light in the evenings. (Dang Daylight Savings Time.) Anyway, the first thing I made was a elastized wipeable tablecloth. If you'd like to make one you can learn how to sew a wipeable tablecloth that can't be pulled down over on the Craftsy blog. I used some oilcloth I ordered from fabric.com
The yellow stripes just make me so happy. And I LOVE easily wiping up kid spills. It makes wiping the table so easy and nice. I love the background it gives to pretty placemats which we only get out when the kids aren't around. If you're interested you can read about my DIY chair covers.
I used the leftover oilcloth from the tablecloth to make a little kitchen hamper that hangs on my oven. We needed something because our diy cloth napkins need a place to go (along with all our other towels and rags that are constantly wiping up spills). I used the rag bag tutorial from Sew a Straight Line. I promise my children aren't messy heathens; they are just regular children and I try to let them be children.
It matches the pretty yellow lemons from my toaster cover tutorial. These yellow things make me happy every time I walk into my kitchen.
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