September snuck up on me!

Liams 2nd Birthday will be here in less than two weeks! I won’t be throwing him a party this year but will of course make his day really special. ❤ I’ve ordered him a custom cake from a vegan bakery called MudPie in Westport. It’s the same place I bought his 1st birthday cake. 🙂 (He has a dairy and peanut allergy so that is why it is vegan.) They are so friendly and helpful. Their coffee and baked goods are great too!  http://www.mudpiebakery.com/#  Definitely check them out if you’re ever down in that area!!

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A couple of weeks back I made him this shirt that ended up looking like a scrub top lol so I did not post it. I really hope to make more boys clothing the next few months because I NEVER do! I haven’t had any time to make him an outfit or ANY gifts this year *boo hoo!!* :(( but here is his outfit from last year:liam1st

 At the end of the month I will be a bridesmaid in my best friends wedding and Sophia will be one of the flower girls so we’ll have to travel out of town for that. We can’t wait 🙂 But all of these preparations plus sewing for work leave little to zero time for pleasure sewing. I will be around but probably not with any new creations (even though I have about a million things I would love to make!!)  I have also been thinking a lot lately about what I would like to do long term for my career, what my goals are. I have been looking into schools in the area and trying to make decisions regarding that.

(If you were wondering about the top I was testing for Amelie & Henri, Kerri has put it on hold because we ran into some bumps and women’s patterns are just naturally harder to draft. Everyones bodies are so different. I hope to be able to finish that soon and share because I am really happy with it so far) 

 

Here are some pictures from my babies FIRST Birthday!! We had such a fun day. It was circus themed. I had little popcorn boxes for the self serve candy bar and cotton candy in glasses. Mason jar glasses with paper straws topped with mustaches. I borrowed two bouncy houses also and the kids loved them!

 

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Hope to be sewing and creating soon 🙂

 

Love

Catie

 

 

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Sewpony “Cosi” Vintage Swimsuit (pattern test)

Good morning!! My latest pattern test was for Suzanne of SewPony http://www.sewponyblog.com/. It is her newest pattern the Cosi Swimsuit which is a vintage inspired one piece and two piece. She is such a sweet woman and I would love to test for her again in the future!

(I was not compensated for this review. I dedicated my time and materials to test this pattern and in return, received the finished final pattern.)

This was my first swimsuit that I have sewn and I did run into some issues. Not the pattern, but the fabric which is a nylon lycra is super slippery and hard to sew. I feel like without a serger, it would be really hard to get a professional look. My sewing machine (and a lot of machines) like to stretch the knit material leaving the seams all wavy and pulled out of place. It’s just a learning curve and something that can be accomplished. But like I said it was my first suit and a definite learning experience. I have plans to redo Sophia’s bikini top which is the part that did not turn out quite how I wanted.

The suit starts at size 6 months and goes up to a size 10. Its vintage inspired with the high waisted bottoms of the two piece. It has options of a one piece or a two piece with center ruching panels on either suit, peplum skirt, leg frills, halter straps or adjustable straps. A ton of different ways to make this suit completely your own. I did the two piece with ruching, leg frills and halter straps. I have plans for more in the future!! You can pick up the pattern here!: https://www.etsy.com/listing/192629737/the-cosi-swimsuit-pdf-pattern?ref=shop_home_active_1

It is honestly the cutest swimsuit I have seen and LOVE that I can make it for years and summers to come!!

Suzanne was super awesome and really involved in the whole testing process. She listened to all of the feedback from every tester and implemented any changes to make the pattern seamless and perfect.

Here is my finished suit and Sophia loves it! (The top is loose around top and bottom so I am going to recut and redo that whole piece)

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Thanks for checking out my project!!

Catie

ETA: I’m not sure why the photos are so small! I will be back to add larger. Also it was a grey rainy day here when I took these.

My “Lorelei” pattern test for Ebeth Designs!

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In the last week I had the opportunity to test a women’s dress pattern for Elizabeth of Ebeth Designs.
http://ebethdesigns.com?affiliates=catiedid27

Basically meaning that she sent me the pattern before it was released, and I sewed it up in my choice of fabrics in my size. When a designer creates a new clothing pattern it has to be tested by various people of different sizes to ensure that the fit is correct. So that’s where seamstresses like me come in!
(I was not compensated for this review other than receiving the pattern and I used my own fabrics.)

The Lorelei dress has a scoop yoke neckline, high waist half circle skirt that has an amazing twirl factor, fully lined with a petticoat for some classic volume and zipper up the back. It can be dressed up or dressed down! So many amazing details to make it really professional inside and out. “It comes in 12 different sizes, 00 (31″ chest) to 20 (46″ chest), with cups A-DD separately sized 00-20.” I LOVE the fact that it covers so many different sizes!!! I think it is hard for one style of dress to look nice on a 00 and at the same time a size 20. But this dress truly does. Every single testers dress looked so flattering. This is Elizabeth’s first women’s pattern and she did such a great job. There is even a little girls version to match! Though I don’t own it, I am considering purchasing so that Sophia and I can have matching dresses. 🙂
I would not say that this is a quick sew because of all of the cutting and details.

This is the first dress that I have ever sewn for myself! I used a cotton lawn that my friend Shannon sent to me a couple months back. 🙂 Thank you Shannon!!

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I wanted to include a couple photos of the garment on a hanger for a different visual aspect of its shape.

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You can purchase the pattern here!! http://ebethdesigns.com/product/lorelei-womens-dress-pattern/?affiliates=catiedid27

I would love to answer any questions you have!!


Catie

RIP favorite tshirt <3

I’ve had this same T-shirt since high school from Urban Outfitters and it is my absolute favorite. It’s fitted through the bust somewhat and then flows away from the body in a really pretty silhouette. Everyone always asked if I was pregnant because it really does look like a maternity shirt LOL Comfiest shirt ever!!
Well.. It passed away a couple of nights ago. I completely deconstructed it because it had too much wear and large holes started forming.
I don’t have any great photos of it on me before because it was just in pretty bad shape. BUT, I was able to take it apart carefully and use it as a base for a new shirt and it is almost identical!! I am so so so proud!! And super excited because that means I can recreate this top that is no longer sold, a million times over if I want!! So here are a few pics and I just *know* that you’ll be as pumped as I am 😉

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Fabric is a lightweight red tag knit from Joanns.

I love it!! I know most will think “wow.. a tshirt” HAHA but its so much more than that!

Thanks for reading!
Catie

Valentines Day Dress for Sophia!

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Cali Faye Collection Scene VI

This was such a fun dress to make for her!! I love the really unique piecing on the bodice triangles and the empire waist AND super twirly circle skirt!! She looks like an angel in it and says it’s her “ballerina dress.” 😉
I made an error around where the elastic goes but I actually love how it turned out so I may stick with my version if I make more in the future.

I initially purchased the pattern in hopes that I could upsize to fit myself. I contacted the designer, Sarah, and
she said a women’s version is in the works! Slowly but surely. 🙂

Thanks for looking. I’ll add photos of her in it hopefully tomorrow!!

❤ Catie

Edited to add:

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Mocha Recipe Tutorial

Good morning!! I wanted to share with you a simple Mocha recipe that I tried today with good results. These instructions are for an espresso machine but you could always use strong brewed coffee and a frothing wand if you don’t have an espresso machine. Although technically, it isn’t a mocha without espresso 😉

A mocha is equal parts espresso, mocha sauce and milk.

My machine is a Delonghi Ec155. It’s an entry level pump driven machine which works perfectly for me and what I need!

Now I’m not a barista or work in a coffeehouse so I may not do everything “by the book.” 😉

You will need:

Quality espresso, I am using LavAzza that I purchased at World Market for $10.

A milk or dark chocolate syrup. I purchased this at World Market for $6. Torani is what you will find in coffeehouses around the world. I also have a caramel syrup of the same brand and it is delicious. I do not recommend Hershey’s or anything similar.

1/4 c of milk (or more) Personal preference. Milk will double in size once steamed so keep that in mind.

Stainless steel frothing pitcher. I used a stainless bowl that I kept cold in the fridge. (Until my pitcher arrives in the mail)

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You’ll want to pour some in your mug. I used about 1 tablespoon but you can use more or less depending on preference. ***You can also put it in your espresso shot cup so that the espresso is brewed right onto it and heats it up.***

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Go ahead and fill your filter with espresso and tamp it then attach it to your machine. Don’t brew just yet.

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You will want to work quickly now. Get out your pitcher and milk and steam until the pitcher feels uncomfortable to the touch.

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Wipe off your steaming wand and shoot some steam through to clear it out.

Set your steamed milk aside and get your espresso machine heated up.

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Brew according to your directions. My machines green ok light will go off when I need to dial the knob back and the shot is done.

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Now this is important, get your mug with the chocolate syrup and pour the espresso shot in. Add the steamed milk straight away. You only have 10 seconds from the time the espresso shot is done brewing to connect to the milk while the shot is live.

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I couldn’t get a picture of this step because it’s a little hard to hold up the camera while pouring the milk :p

Mix it up a bit with the syrup in the bottom and drizzle some on the top or add whipped cream if you want.

There ya go! Enjoy!

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Free DIY Tutorial for a Car Seat Organizer

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If you’re anything like me, than your car is a mess and you need a solution besides throwing it all on the floor or in the seats. Sophia is 3 and Liam is 1.5 so that means books, toys, crayons and whatever else they drag in accumulate really quickly! My car is  a small 2 door Honda so space is definitely limited. I  had some free time outside of sewing for work so I decided to whip one of these car seat organizers up. It took me maybe 1.5-2 hours from cutting to finishing the last seam.  This isn’t a new idea, in fact if you Google “diy car seat organizer” TONS of these will pop up. I didn’t find one that looked appealing to me AND that was free so I thought I would write up the steps that I took in hopes that you can recreate it at home! Here’s to a more organized car and 2014 😉

This would be a GREAT beginner tutorial. All you need to know is how to straight stitch, measure and cut.

(Keep in mind that these are the measurements for my vehicle so you’ll want to get out and measure your seat.)

You’ll need:

1.5 yds of fabric   Quilters cotton, duck cloth, canvas, upholstery fabric, laminated cotton would be the best for spills and stains 🙂

.5 yds  1/4″ elastic yd

1.5 yds 1/2″ or wider elastic

large piece of cardboard or other stiffening material for inside. Like a nice thick stabilizer (pellon) used in handbags. I used cardboard because it was laying around!

Thread

Appropriate needle size for fabrics

Rotary cutter and mat

Ruler

Lets GO!

I generally leave my settings for my length and width at about 2.5 and 6. Tension is at a 4. Settings will vary with every machine!

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Here is the drawing I made real quick. Between my headrest posts is approx. 8″. The length from top to bottom of my seat is approx 22″. Width is approx 20″. Write these down.

Car seat dimension drawing

Get out your mat and scissors or rotary cutter. Lay out your material and based on your measurements you’ll want to cut out two pieces that are the same size for the front and back. My measurements are 22×20 so I cut mine 19×21 because I wanted it to be a little smaller than my seat. Cut out your stabilizer the same size or smaller and go ahead and baste it onto the back of your top piece that will have the pockets. If you’re using cardboard like I did, cut it 1-1.5″ smaller all the way around.

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I cut the front then laid it on top of the fabric and cut around it so  I wasn’t measuring twice.

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This is where you’ll want to decide how many pockets can fit on yours or how many you want. I decided on one big one on the bottom and one on the top divided into three. So I made my first bottom pocket roughly 19.5″ x 8.5″. You will need enough fabric on the top, bottom and sides to turn under and sew down so add 1″ all the way around. Say you want your finished pocket to be 18″ x 7.5″, your CUTTING measurements will be 19″ x 8.5″. That leaves 1/2″ all the way around to turn under and hem.

pocket placementIn my drawing you will see the unfinished front piece. You will need to leave 1/2″ all the way around because this is your seam allowance for your back piece. Your pockets need to be at least 1″ away from the raw edges all the way around so you don’t catch them in your seam when you’re sewing the back piece on later.

Here are my pocket pieces:

I only made two. The top one isn’t as deep.

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Now you’ll want to get out your 1/4″ elastic and cut it 1-2″ less than the length of your bottom pocket. So mine is 19.5″ long, I cut mine at 18.5″

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Fold the top of your pocket under 1/4″ and iron. Fold under 1/2″ and iron. Then stitch all the way down close to the edge.  You’re making the casing for your elastic.

(I’m not stitching my elastic on in this picture, its just to show you how big the casing needs to be for the elastic to go into.)

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Next you’ll want to put a safety pin through one end of your elastic and feed it through the casing you just made. Sew one end of the elastic down in the opening. When you get to the end of the other side, you’ll want to pull it a little and sew it down. I pulled mine out and left about 1/4″ sticking out on both sides.

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Your pocket should look somewhat like this.

Now you’ll want to fold in either sides and the bottom 1/4″ and 1/4″ again then iron. Take it to your front piece and pin it down all the way around.

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Using a straight stitch, sew down the right side, along the bottom and up the left side. Make sure to backstitch well when you’re starting out and ending to secure the pocket really well. So things like heavy books won’t rip it off. You can also sew along the sides and bottoms twice for extra durability. *ETA, I would line these pocket pieces with some of the stabilizer to help them keep their shape better. Especially any larger pockets.

Now get your second pocket piece and iron the top, sides and bottom 1/4″ once and 1/4″ again.

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Take it to your front piece and pin it down. Sew along the sides and bottom again. Making sure its really secure.

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This is where you will decide how many pockets you want in the top pocket piece and measure them out. I wanted three so I sewed two different lines and made sure they were extra secure at the top.

Get out your 1″ wide or wider elastic and cut approx 2″+ less than the measurement all around your seat. I took this measurement around the bottom of the seat. So mine was 20″ wide, I doubled that (for front and back) and got 40″. My elastic was actually TOO WIDE and didn’t fit snugly around my seat so I’d suggest a few inches less. This is the piece that will hold it against the bottom of the back of the seat.

Pin it on either side above your bottom pocket and sew it down. Sew over this really well several times.

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Now you’ll want to measure and cut out the ties that will go around the headrest. Better to be too long than too short. Mine were about 4″ by 20″ long. The length isn’t so important, like I said better to be too long 🙂

Fold one piece right sides together and sew along one end and side leaving one end open for turning.

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Sew the second piece the same.

Find the middle of your front organizer piece and mark or place a pin. Then pin your ties down based on your measurements for your headrest. Mine was approx 8″ so  I pinned them 3.5″ from the middle on both sides. Sew these down really well as they’ll be supporting the majority of the weight.

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Here’s what you have so far:

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Now pin the elastic inside and the ties down really well so they don’t get caught when you’re sewing the back on.

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I stuffed mine into the pocket.

Take the back piece and place it right side down (right sides together) on top of the front piece. Pin all the way around leaving the bottom open. We will sew that later.

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Sew all the way around using 1/2″ (or less) seam allowance leaving the bottom open.

Turn it right side out and unpin the ties and elastic.

Now cut a piece of cardboard about 1/2″ less than the finished width and 1″ less than the finished length.

cardboardStuff inside your organizer. Using cardboard will not allow this to be washable so that’s why I recommend laminated cotton etc.

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I recycled a box from Christmas for this 😉 Sorry for the poor picture quality! Was starting to get dark here.

Now this part is a little tricky, you’ll want to fold the bottom front and back pieces under and in as best as you can and pin down the length.

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Sew it down as best as you can, back stitch, cut off your threads and VOILA!!! You are done! Go tie this in your car and admire how clean and organized it is!

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🙂 Hope you enjoyed!

xoxo Catie

Ps. Please comment or email me if you have any questions or run into problems. Very happy to help! 🙂

Edited to add:
I would definitely suggest a stabilizer like these instead of cardboard to keep a nice flat stiff shape:

*** The link is not working properly but you can go to fabric.com and type in the search box: Peltex Sew-In Ultra Firm Stabilizer ***