Carolyn Pajamas with Houses

Last month I got an email from Art Gallery Fabrics asking if I would like to sew up something as a part of their September celebration of National Sewing Month. Um, yeah, didn’t have to think twice about that one. The thing that took me forever was deciding what to sew and what fabrics to use! I’ve been dying to sew up some pajamas ever since Kelli at True Bias made these Lion pjs and after much thought I decided this would be the perfect chance to sew with some fun fabrics and make my pajamas.

happy home carolyn pjs (2 of 6)The fabric I chose was Block Party from the Happy Home collection. I don’t normally sew clothes for me with quilting cotton but the Art Gallery fabrics are a lighter weight than normal quilting cotton and work out pretty perfectly for pajamas. I also enjoyed using a fun print that I wouldn’t normally get to use! Not having any little girls, I don’t get to use all the fun prints out there very often so this was a treat for me.

happy home carolyn pjs (4 of 6)

I used the Carolyn Pajama pattern– view C from Closet Case files. I’m usually a tank top and shorts pj person but I thought it would be nice to have some dressier pjs for when we have company or I just feel like wearing them all day. ;). Based on my measurements, I sewed up a size 8 and that’s pretty spot on. I like how it’s a comfy fit but not so boxy that it’s unflattering.

happy home carolyn pjs (6 of 6)This pattern is labeled as intermediate and I would definitely concur with that label. I actually found these a bit more complicated than I had assumed they would be. Mostly due to the amount of piping involved. I used some piping cord and Art Gallery pure elements in snow to make my own piping. I have never tried the continuous bias tape method but Heather’s tutorial was great and my bias tape turned out awesome! It is time consuming though- not going to lie about that…took way more time than I really had available. I had to rush thru the sewing part to get these finished on time. I also want to say that I am lucky enough to have a piping foot for my machine and while I don’t use it often, in cases like this, I am so thankful for it! I really aids the sewing process.

happy home carolyn pjs (5 of 6)

There were a few times that I had to really use my brain to figure out the instructions. Nothing too horrible but I think a beginner sewist would struggle through the shirt construction. Once I got it all sewn up though, I’m super happy with how well the shirt fits and how comfy it is!

happy home carolyn pjs (3 of 6)My one beef with this pattern is the shorts’ inseam. My cuff fits kinda funky- it rides up on the inseam and hangs lower on the outseam. And not in a cute way- it looks a little awkward. I even checked the pattern pieces to make sure I hadn’t sewn them backwards but I did sew them correctly. I must have made some sort of mistake though because I’ve searched other bloggers who made these shorts and none have mentioned this problem. I’m also really sensistive when it comes to seams touching my skin and I feel like the inseam is a little bulky and bothers me. I’ve had this problem when I’ve made the maritime shorts in a heavier fabric so it must just be me. The fit across the bum and hips is pretty perfect though so next time I make them, I think I just need to grade more of the seam allowance out of the inseam and stitch it down to keep it from bothering me. I’m trying to decide if I need to lengthen the crotch just a bit too. I will also raise the waistband just a teeny bit as I like my shorts to sit just a bit higher on my waist- after two babies, I’m not such a fan of low riders. lol.

happy home carolyn pjs (1 of 6)

But considering I didn’t make a muslin, this is a pretty successful finish. Just a few tweaks to make next time and I’ll have perfectly fitting pajamas. And these will still get plenty of wear. In fact, I’m still wearing them today. 🙂 Who wants to change into real clothes when you have cute pajamas?

Disclaimer: Art Gallery Fabrics provided the fabric for this post as part of their September AGF Sewing Month but I purchased the pattern and all opinions are, as always, my own. 🙂


kcw spring 2015: hello bear pajamas

hello bear version (2 of 7)

So far I am on a roll this kcw! Eliot has been taking good naps and Oliver is actually spending an hour all by himself for his quiet time! Whew. I have no idea how long this will last so I’m taking full advantage of the sewing time while I can!hello bear version (1 of 7)

Today’s project was one of several pairs of pjs I have planned for Oliver. These pjs are made with some Art Gallery Knit (Hello Bear by Bonnie Christine) that I picked up during Imagine Gnat’s spring break sale. I had Oliver go through the shop’s knit selection and pick out a few prints that he would like for pjs- again, part of my plan to make sure my handmades get worn! I was able to squeeze of these garments from one yard of fabric- love sewing with wide knits. Even with the bit extra priciness of AGF knits, this comes out as a pretty thrifty outfit.

hello bear version (6 of 7)

Tee pattern is the good ol’ Flashback Skinny Tee from Made by Rae. I made a 4T and it fits pretty perfectly. I just realized only have one more size till I size out of my pattern. Going to have to get the larger sizes one soon. Hard to believe my little baby is getting that big. Wah! Oh also, I was going to hem this but I used my serger for the entire construction and was too lazy to change my sewing machine needles and thread for hemming so we’re sticking with the un-hemmed look for now. It’s in, right?

hello bear version (5 of 7)

Bottoms are the fancy pants leggings from Laura at Titchy Threads. I thought about trying to find another legging pattern for the bottoms since I didn’t necessarily need the bum panel for these pants, but I already own this pattern and had the 4t size traced and ready to go so I just went with them. Even without using contrast fabric, I do think that bum panel is pretty cute. My ribbing is pretty thin and doesn’t have great recovery so I inserted some 1″ wide elastic in the waistband to help the pants stay up.

hello bear version (7 of 7)

Oliver requested taking pictures with his daddy’s new Star Wars lego mini fighters. The boys and I picked them out for daddy’s birthday last week and we are all enjoying them. The mini AT-AT is so stinking cute, I might steal it for myself.

hello bear version (3 of 7)

Anyway, these pjs might be a bit of the easy way to fit into the wild things theme for this week, but hey, Oliver picked the fabric himself so can’t blame me. I’m hoping to have some fun with fabric paint and wild things on another pair of pjs later this week. Fingers crossed for continued good sewing time!hello bear version (4 of 7)

kid's clothes week

A Winged 241 Tote

Today I get to be part of the Winged blog tour. I met Bonnie Christine from Going Home to Roost this past spring at the Maker’s Summit here in town. I was so excited to discover that an Art Gallery Fabric designer lives so close to me! I made sure to pick her brain for all kinds of fabric and blog ideas during the after party at the conference. She is such a sweet person, and I love her fabric aesthetic so I am pretty pumped to be part of the tour for her recent fabric line.

winged 241-6 (1 of 1)

I decided to use this tour as a chance to make a pattern that’s been sitting on my shelf for exactly a year now- the 241 Tote! I bought this pattern last year during Anna’s black Friday sale and have just never got around to making it. I figured this tour would be the perfect push to get me to finally try out this pattern. Note: I am finding bag photography requires skills that I am still developing so bear with my photos!

winged 241 (3 of 4)I have loved all of Anna’s patterns that I have tried so far and this one is true to form. Great instructions and great finished result. My only complaint with bag patterns is so. much. interfacing. That’s par for the course with bag-making, but since I don’t make bags very often, I’m just not used to it. I should have put on a Christmas movie during the cutting and interfacing part! Woulda made it more enjoyable. The good news is once you get that part over with, the bag construction is very easy and sews together quickly.

winged 241 (4 of 4)I didn’t have any magnetic snaps on hand and didn’t have time to go to the store and pick up one so I’m going to add a small strip of velcro for my closure. Not quite as nice as a snap but it’ll do. I love the inside pocket- perfect to slip my cell phone into so it doesn’t get lost in the bag.

winged 241 (2 of 4)I loved both the butterfly and the birds prints from Bonnie’s fabric line so I found a way to use both of them in my bag! Love how well they mesh together. The purse side and handle fabric is a lightweight denim that I had in my stash. Very happy with how this bag turned out and can’t wait to put it to good use! My current purse is in a sad state of disrepair so this was a sorely needed addition to my wardrobe!winged 241 (1 of 4)

That’s my stop on the Winged blog tour. Be sure to go to the main tour page to check out all the other stops along the way. Yesterday’s post was Kelley MacDonald of The City and Us with some pretty awesome fabric-covered terra cotta pots! Monday’s post will be Rachael McKeeman of The Floral Suitcasewinged-blog-tour

Arizona Zippy Top

While I’m in California on our crazy family trip (which at the moment includes very limited cell phone service and internet so hopefully this updates ok!), I have a few unblogged things to share with you- starting with this new top.

zippy top (1 of 6)

In addition to the half yard bundle of Arizona quilting cottons that I bought (and used in my cargo duffle) I also bought 1.5 yards of the voile triangle tokens print because I just HAD to try out the Art Gallery voiles while I was at it. I mean, metallic gold triangles?! So good. (out of stock at fabricworm but I see Hawthorne Threads still has some) I debated on what to make with this print but when Kate ran a sale on the zippy top, I snatched it up and tried it out with my voile. I had loved this version that Heidi made so I knew it would be a worthwhile pattern.

zippy top (2 of 6)The pattern is pretty easy and straightforward. I knew that the voile would be see-through but I planned on wearing a tank underneath it so I was ok with it. My one complaint is that I don’t like the look of the facings with a see-through fabric. I think that they would be fine in a more opaque print, but with this fabric, the facings make the shirt look more home-made and less store bought. I have a similar style shirt to this that I bought at the store earlier this year and it uses bias binding for the seams. I think if I make this top again, I will attempt the bias binding for a neater finish.

zippy top (6 of 6)

I do love the zipper in the back! This was my first time inserting a zipper like this, and it was relatively painless. It is a little bit wonky at the bottom but not too much where anyone would notice, I think. I’m not a huge fan of the zipper facing either so like the neckline facings, I think I would copy the same bound edges method that is in my store-bought top. I don’t think any of the facings would be a big deal if the material weren’t so see-through though.

zippy top (4 of 6)

We took these pictures on a recent weekend anniversary getaway to Charleston. I apologize for the wrinkled shirt but that’s kinda what the voile looks like after a few hours. I love how breezy and flowy the shirt feels though! It was the perfect complement to the heat and humidity of Charleston in the summer. The voile is super light-weight. And don’t you love my cute new bike? My birthday present this year and was so fun to use to bike all around downtown. I’m not sure what’s up with my face but I promise I was really much happier than the picture below appears!

zippy top (5 of 6)

Chambray+Meadow Tiny Pocket Tank

In my previous summer sewing post, I alluded to the fact that I had finished one of the items on my first wish list and here I am to share it with you. I am pretty pumped about this tank because it was one of those ideas that I had in my head and it actually turned out as well as I had pictured! I have seen a couple of color-blocked tanks and tank dresses around the inter webs (Sew Caroline has a version here) and really wanted to make a version of my own. I made one of these tanks last year, (blogged here) had some trouble getting it fitted correctly since I had just recently birthed a baby and my body was a bit out of proportion. V. happy to report I re-measured myself for this tank, was able to go down several sizes this time, and ended up with a much better fit! Yay for body normalcy finally returning.


TPT (1 of 5)

Pattern: Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline Studios, size 8.

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Summer Sewing, Grainline Studios Edition

I have seen several other bloggers (Sew Caroline, for one) do a little collage of sorts to detail their seasonal sewing plans and thought I would follow suit. I have been slowly collecting apparel fabrics and patterns to beef up my handmade wardrobe the last few months and have actually have purchased all of the fabric/patterns that I show you. Meaning there should be nothing keeping me from actually making this clothing; except for that little thing called time and the two little people wanting some attention at my house 🙂 . It’s all about balance, folks…always a work in progress. I’m hoping that actually posting these collage ideas online will keep me a little better organized and motivate me to actually get them done! Kind of an online to-do list of sorts. Here’s the first one…note: the top is not necessarily meant to be worn with the shorts.

PicMonkey Summer2 Collage

Maritime Shorts Pattern by Grainline Studios, Fabric: It’s a Plus Canvas in Gray- purchased at Pink Castle Fabrics but sold out now, Robert Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Sorbet– purchased at

Tiny Pocket Tank Pattern by Grainline Studios, Fabric: Geos in Deep Marina purchased at Pink Castle Fabrics

Hmm, this unintentionally turned into a Grainline studios sewing list. I highly recommend her patterns for those who are looking for good women’s patterns. Also, I enjoy expanding my indie pattern designers list and would love to get some more ideas! Do you have a summer sewing list? Care to share?

Sugar Pop Top V 2.0

Art Gallery Sugar Pop Top (2 of 4)

I wanted to get one more top in before Selfish Sewing Week and Spring Top Sewalong were over. Technically Selfish Sewing week is over now, but since I finished this on Saturday, I’m still counting it! If you follow my IG account- @oliversfancy, last week I asked for advice on which fabric to use for my SPT version 2.0 and then realized I had forgotten about the Art Gallery fabric I bought specifically for this purpose. So, for my IG peeps thanks for all your input and I will come back to those fabrics at some point soon, but, first, here is my AGF version of the Sugar Pop Top.

Art Gallery Sugar Pop Top (1 of 4)

Art Gallery quilting cottons are a higher quality than normal quilting cotton and therefore are a really nice weight for garments. I love how lightweight and breezy this top turned out. But yet, it’s got enough substance that I don’t need to wear a tank under it. Perfect for the summer heat! Also can we talk about how cute this fabric is? I just love it! I picked it up at a quilting store in Asheville, but you can find some online at the Fat Quarter Shop hereArt Gallery Sugar Pop Top (3 of 4)

For this version, I added about 1.5 to the hem. I made the size L again but took in the sides 1/4″. I may try the size M next time and see how that works for me because I have plenty of room in this top. I also lowered the bust darts 1/2″. I wasn’t super scientific in my dart-lowering and one dart ended up being a teensy bit lower than the other one but other than that, they turned out really well.

Art Gallery Sugar Pop Top (4 of 4)

The Sugar Pop Top is a new pattern from Sew Caroline and is available for purchase here. It’s on my must-sew list for cute, spring and summer tops. You can check out my previous SPT here. What is on your must-sew top list? Any new patterns I need to know about? I’m always on the look-out for great patterns!

Ruby Top #2

I have a fun selfish sewing project finish to show you today! This top was started back in the fall and then shelved when I got so busy with Christmas orders and presents. The first of the year, I was really wanting a quick and easy project to finish for myself and pulled this semi-completed shirt out of the works-in-progress bin. About an hour later and I had myself a new top!

ruby top

The bottom fabric is from Jeni Baker’s Color Me Retro line for Art Gallery Fabrics. It’s quilting cotton but Art Gallery fabrics are a lighter weight quilting cotton so it works for this pattern. I have loved this fabric ever since it came out and finally snatched this up during a fabric sale (I can’t remember where). Top fabric is a Robert Kaufman linen.

ruby top

The pattern is Rae’s Ruby Dress/Top and it’s my second Ruby top. This is such a fun pattern to mix and match prints and solids. And it’s also a quick and easy sew- perfect for beginners. Really the thing that takes the longest is binding the sleeves and neck. The actual construction of the top takes like 30 minutes. I love how I can layer this top underneath a sweater right now and then wear it alone later when the weather warms up.

ruby top