kids clothing · Kids fashion · sewing · Uncategorized · Valentine's Day

I’m a sucker for you.

Or maybe lollipop, lollipop, I can’t decide. Either way I’ve been singing both songs in my head since we took photos.

Let me back up a little bit, yesterday my kids school district called a snow day due to an incoming storm. However, you’ll see this was unnecessary when you notice a lack of snow in our photos. I understand they were erring on the side of caution because the weather can be unpredictable. As I’ve mentioned in the past both of my kids have special needs. One of those needs is speech therapy (my son has apraxia of speech, and my daughter is suspected to have it.) Wednesday is our speech day, typically it’s after school but because of school closures our speech therapist reached out to us inviting us to come earlier in the day as the worst of the storm was expected to come in the afternoon. (Still, not very eventful here. Although I’m not mad about it. I hate the cold.) We accepted this offer, at first, I was extremely disappointed to hear about this “snow day” as both kids missed Monday, and my son missed Tuesday due to illnesses. I didn’t want them missing another day of school and I honestly needed a break now that they were feeling better. Then with more thought I turned a negative into a positive, we could spend time together having fun (we also went shopping to spend some Christmas gift cards of theirs) and, bonus, I could grab some photos and video of their new Valentine’s Day tops.

I had Tayln and Ellie wear their V-DAY shirts to speech therapy so we could try to grab photos afterwards. Speech is about 15 minutes away and because of this I’m still learning that area. After speech I decided to scope out the surrounding area for a place that could make for a great background. Much to my luck just up the road was a beautiful pond with a gazebo overlooking it. I pulled into the small dirt parking lot and asked my kids what they thought. They both agreed that it looked fun, so we unloaded from the car and headed towards the gazebo. It was so serene, and I could see it become a sanctuary to just be lost in thought and enjoy nature. To add to the excitement there were a handful or two of ducks swimming around in the pond. My kids were both so tickled and this brought my daughter to forget why we were there in the first place and just wanted to look at the ducks. My son on the other hand was like, okay, we’re here for pictures can we do that first then enjoy the ducks? Because it’s still winter and it’s cold. These ducks must be fed by visitors often, as they continued to follow us wherever we went, my kids thought that this was the coolest thing. My son started spouting all the information he had on ducks, how the males are called drakes and they are the ones that are green and brown. The females are primarily brown with black specks. I was so amazed by his knowledge of this! Okay, anyway….

My son’s choice of fabric was this red and black multi-stripe from Raspberry Creek Fabrics which is part of the “For You” collection for Valentine’s Day 2023. I showed him the adorable panel that would pair with it and said yes, I now opt for the adult panels for Tayln. We chose French Terry for the fabric base to make sure he would be warm and cozy. I’m a sucker for Bow Button Fabric’s ribbing (see what I did there), so that is what I used for the neckband, cuffs and waistband. The ribbing she carries has a great stretch and recovery and it holds a press SO WELL! Sav’s sweatshirt from Greenstyle Creations is my all-time favorite slouchy sweatshirt for adults and kids. Tayln is usually between sizes in all patterns because he is extremely slender but also very tall for his age. For this pattern he was between size 7 and 8, I chose to make a straight size 8 since this pattern is already intended to be slouchy and oversized. When he first tried this on, he was unsure about it and in his words thought it “looked girly.” I reassured him that a girl or boy could pull it off and that he looked very handsome in it. This made him feel much better about wearing it. What do you think? Doesn’t he look so handsome and very cozy?

My daughter was a complete spit fire when it came to taking these photos. As I stated before, she saw the ducks and that was all she cared about. After my son finished his pictures, I pulled a lollipop out of my pocket to give to him as a thank you for taking pictures. (The pictures are for me; they could care less about them.) This caught Ellie’s attention rather quickly. “WAIT! YOU HAVE LOLLIPOPS?! I WANT ONE!” I reminded her that she would earn hers after some photos. She pulled herself together (somewhat) to take pictures. The idea of this soon to have a yummy lollipop brought a huge smile to her face while she proceeded to try and stand still but couldn’t help but jump up and down yelling “lollipop, lollipop, lollipop” over and over.

Ellie did not much care to pick out her V-DAY fabric, so I chose for her. I know she loves candy, so of course she’d love the Red Black and White Sucker Heart Print Fabric. This is also from the same “For you” collection from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I again, chose French Terry as the fabric base (and also used the same ribbing as what I used for Tayln’s.) In 2021 I made Ellie a Hannah hoodie from Sonia Estep designs, which has since been discontinued. I used a neon fuchsia and carmine brushed French Terry from Fab Clique Fabrics and cut out a heart shape to make as the front pocket as I did for her hoodie last year. I also included elbow patches. Since then, I’ve decided to incorporate a heart applique to her Valentine’s tops.

I was initially so torn on which pattern to use for Ellie. Ultimately, I decided on the Janie top from Petite Stitchery Co. I considered making the panel a pocket like I did last year but decided it would take away from the elasticized waist in the pattern. After I cut out the pattern pieces, I took the front bodice and placed it face up on my cutting mat. Using a projector to cut out patterns is such a game changer and time saver (and it saves some trees), anyway, I like to open Cricut Design Space and add a heart shape design. With the projector I am able to project this image over my cut mat, the same as I do when cutting out a pattern. From there I play around with the sizing I want to use for the front applique. I am a visual learner so this helps me to ensure I will be happy with the final outcome. Once I decided on the sizing, I removed the bodice from the cut mat and centered the panel with the heart. (I still use youth panels for Ellie by the way.) Then I simply use my rotary cutter to cut out the panel. I was afraid that the panel alone against the sucker/heart fabric would blend too much so I cut out a slightly larger heart in black French Terry to separate the two fabrics. This also helped bring out the small hearts in the fabric. I write in more detail on this from last year’s blog post if you’d like more information on how I added it to the bodice etc. This will help me from repeating myself (I already do that enough as a mother, LOL)

I think that’s it for me for today! We definitely made some fun new memories yesterday and I plan to bring them back to this gem again. It’ll definitely be more enjoyable once it warms up. I also made a TikTok featuring some video from our shoot if you want to check it out! I hope I gave you fellow crafters some inspiration today, and if I did, please let me know because I’d love to hear! Always be true and always be you.

Until next time,

Afton

Saying goodbye to the ducks on our way back to the car.

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through this link, I may get a % at no additional cost to you. Thank you! Happy creating!

kids clothing · Kids fashion · sewing · St. Patrick's Day

If you’re happy and you know it!

Cue the kazoo music, okay but seriously, thank you so much to those who reached out to me about my last blog post. You seriously touched my heart and made my day. Now onto today’s topic. I always look forward to Raspberry Creek Fabrics holiday fabrics, the designers are amazing and they’re always offering something unique. My most recent order from them consisted of Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s, and Easter fabrics. Since I started sewing clothing for my family, it has truly become a tradition to sew them a new top for every holiday. Okay, not every holiday, but several of them. I had a very productive week sewing together 3 tops for each of my children and a pair of leggings for my daughter. I’m going to start by sharing my children’s St. Patrick’s Day hoodies because well, that’s what they wanted to wear to school today. As I stated in my last post, we now live in the state of New York. (No not the city, the suburbs) although both my kids love to call New York the “big apple.” This means that we have more cold months than warm months. (Huge Bummer!!) It also means that I can’t do cute bubble shorts or tanks quite yet. I had to remind myself of this when ordering from RCF and planning out patterns I was going to use. I so desperately wanted to make Ellie a pair of bubble shorts for her Easter outfit, because omg little girls in bubble shorts. ADORABLE! Then back to reality, it will most likely still be pants weather come Easter. Oh right, back to St. Patrick’s Day.

Like I said, cue the kazoo music. My son got a kazoo in his music class yesterday, so we’ve been humming tunes since.

I almost always let my kids pick out their own fabrics, coincidentally they both picked out fabrics from the Happy Paddy collection by Bri Powell. My son immediately said, “the dinosaur!” as soon as he started looking. I mean a t-rex wearing a leprechaun hat, how creative and fun! My daughter chose the smiley faces for herself. Aside from the yellow cuff ribbing (which is from Bow Button Fabrics) all of the fabric bases are French terry for these projects. The pattern I chose is the Be Creative hoodie from Ellie and Mac patterns. Ellie and Mac are the true champion when it comes to color block patterns! I love to color block; it just adds a whole new creative aspect to any pattern.

I chose a panel for the front bodice of both hoodies, I also used the retro stripes (which do look so retro, makes me think 70’s) as the top color blocking for both the front and back. I didn’t want Tayln’s hoodie to be too much t-rex so that’s why I continued the stripes for his sleeves. Ellie’s on the other hand, I felt would look better with the smiley faces for her sleeves. While nothing is wrong with having too much t-rex or any of one pattern for that matter, it’s just not the look I was going for. I really wanted each fabric design to stand out in their own way. This is the third year I have included the solid Kelly green into their St. Patrick’s Day tops. This has never been intentional, it’s just that perfect bright green that you think of when you think St. Patrick’s. Then again, that solid has always been included in the fabric design we pick every year, so really, I’m just trying to match. LOL. Although, I may make a point to make using Kelly green as a tradition, because why not?!

I have made Tayln a Be Creative Hoodie once before, with that one I did a plain hood with no grommets, drawstring etc. This time around I wanted to give it a shot. While I have worked with grommets several times, I’d never done patches. Now I know this is such a simple addition, it still adds extra detail to the hood which I love. I used my best friend, aka wash-a-way wonder tape to keep the patches secure while I stitched them into place. Typically, I make my own drawstrings for projects using fabric, this time I used a black polyester cable/pillow cord from Wawak. I initially planned to use a similar white polyester cable/pillow cord, but I didn’t pay enough attention to the size difference and when it arrived, I was shocked, it’s twice the size of the black and just makes me think of a rope you’d use to tie back your drapes. So black it was, and what a happy accident it turned out to be because it really brings out the black in the print, specifically the smiley faces.

It never seizes to amaze me at how a simple yard of fabric can become whatever you dream it to be. I think that’s it for this blog post, I hope you enjoy it! Always be true and always be you. (My new mantra for myself, but that’s for another time)

Until next time,

Afton

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through this link, I may get a % at no additional cost to you. Thank you! Happy creating!