Take that 2017!: Sewing the Love Notions Oakley Vest

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The bottom line is that the Love Notions Oakley (affil link) is a fun and versatile pattern. Like all love Notions patterns, it has a lot of options and a lot of possibilities for more with some simple hacks. The pattern went together well, the directions were clear, and I enjoy the final product. (And check out how well it pairs with my favorite Love Notions Sloane!) But before I talk about that…

I’m gonna throw some truth out there with this post. 2017 has sucked. It’s been full of loss and pain and sadness – with one shining exception, the birth of our daughter (which I do not diminish. She is a wonderful light in our lives and watching her develop a relationship with her brother is one of the greatest things I have ever been privileged to witness). But overall, it’s just been a hard year. One of those years where the hits just keep on coming.

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Recovering from death virus is easier in a pretty vest.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you just wanted to accomplish one little thing? And the challenges to accomplishing that little thing kind of sent you over the edge? Just me? Okay then. Well, I had a moment testing this vest. I made my muslin for the test and was really happy and excited. Ready to sew! I was so excited about my fabric plan, but I had to wait for my quality sewing days to make my final. And then…virus. Evil, energy-sucking, butt-kicking, plague virus. I don’t know what that virus was, but I do believe it was sent by Beelzebub himself. I lost my quality sewing days to laying in bed, feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. And I was devastated. DEVASTATED. Like I’m embarrassed to admit this, but kind of crying all over myself devastated. I just wanted to accomplish this one little thing. I just wanted to execute this cute vest I had planned. And instead I was lying in an abyss of germs.

 

The thing is, my devastation wasn’t really about the vest or the germs. It was about the fact that I have felt helpless this entire year. I have been tossed about in the tumult of 2017 (that jerk) and have felt control over very, very little of it. The sickness was just one more thing, one more challenge to overcome, one more problem to work through. And I was done with it. So I pouted in my plague-induced haze. I felt really sad. I felt angry and frustrated. And then, I came through the other side, carved out some extra time when I felt a little better, and sewed that bugger.

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D’oh!

It isn’t perfect. The first time I sewed on the zipper, the hem ended up out of alignment (even though I basted it on first! Rude!). So, I ripped the rude side out and put the whole thing in time out for a couple hours for misbehaving. Then, after it had learned its lesson, I came back to it and fixed it. The corners on the bias tape aren’t quite as sharp as I’d like (it was my first time doing that technique). I think I could’ve gotten the pockets put on a bit more cleanly.

*shrug* It’s not perfect.

But I love it! For once, the final product was pretty darn close to my vision. And I got to try a new thing! Underlining! I didn’t even know that was a thing until this test. Look at me learning new things in my old age! The lining is a magnificent and thick mustard and grey flannel from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. The outer fabric is a soft quilted fabric, with really nice drape (that I think I also got from RCF). The vest is surprisingly warm with these two fabrics paired together.

Like I said, I really like this pattern. The Oakley (affil link) comes in three different views.  I tried out both view B (pictured) and C (princess seamed version – princess seams are life) in the large, and love both. View A, the fur vest, may be too cool for me. I don’t know…not sure I can pull that one off. I’ll get a lot of use out of the other two though. The instructions are clear. There are lengthen/shorten lines, if needed. I wish the zipper were finished a little bit more cleanly, and not so exposed on the inside, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the pattern. I might try a little hack with the next one to fine tune that a bit. Overall, I give this pattern a solid and enthusiastic thumbs up. I give the virus a big fat thumbs down. (Well, really I give it another finger, but this is a family show, folks! 😉 )

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Sloane Tour: All Sloane All the Time

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Sneaky peeky!

I am so excited for this blog tour, friends. Like legitimately ecstatic. I had eyed the Love Notions Sloane (affil link) for a long time, but never made it. I don’t know why. Recently, Tami gave the pattern an update and I tested it. Ho. Lee. Cow. People. I love this pattern. I love, love, love it. I want to marry it. I want a closet full of Sloanes. I want to wear one everyday.  If you have made some in a large, please send them to me. 😉

Today I want to share two magnificent Sloanes with you to show you the versatility of the pattern. I have more! But, alas, I hurt my back and am headed out of town for a conference, so I don’t have them blog ready yet. Check back next week! I’ll have a fun little hack, a mommy/son Doctor Who set, and my spirit animal Sloane. Now, on to the pretties for this week!

The Sloane comes with lots of options: kangaroo pocket, hood or regular neckband, two body options (view A & B), two hem finishing options (curved hem (A) or banded (B)), and it even includes full bust pieces for those of you who need a FBA! Woot! Both of the Sloanes I am sharing with you today are view B. I made no modifications, except to shorten the sleeve slightly of the grey one. I have short arms. haha!

The first Sloane I made is as simple as they come. I made this one in testing. Just a simple, bang around, perfect for Fall sweatshirt. Made of a french terry/sweatshirt combo fabric. It’s soft. It has amazing drape. I want to cocoon myself in it and hibernate there until winter is over.  Look at my “I’m so happy I made this” face in the first picture. It’s true. I am so happy I made it. Even my husband is jealous of this awesome Sloane. (I told Tami we need a men’s version! haha!)

The next one I made for this tour. It’s the fancy, sassy cousin of my bang around sweatshirt. And I won’t lie to you, it is completely impractical for my life. But I don’t care. It’s glorious. I loves it.

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Those sleeves are gonna get dunked in mac and cheese in about 5 minutes. Still love it.

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Sassy and see-through. Because I have so many places to wear that. You know what? I don’t have anywhere to wear the tiara either. Doesn’t stop me.

I made this version out of a gorgeous open weave sweater knit from Simply by Ti.* It was my first time working with this type of knit and I’ll be honest, I was intimidated. But I had a vision and I was going to make it happen!

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Vision achieved.

This look was pretty simple to achieve. It wasn’t simple to sew, but it was darn simple to create. I just added this fancy trim I found at JoAnn Fabrics to the sleeve hem and the shirt hem. I used black CL for the neckband. Done and done!

I’m going to admit something now. I didn’t intend to make the sleeves fancy. But the serger tried to give one sleeve a thumbhole. That was not helpful. So I had to do something. Mistake crafting (that’s my special name for most-of-Caroline’s-creations-are-the-product-of-fixing-some-error) to the rescue! Fancy trim cuff. Boom.

This sweater knit is so gorgeous and SO SOFT. It’s like wearing a cloud made of bunnies. I won’t lie to you. I’ve gotta be gentle with this top. It’s a little delicate. Not because it’s poor quality – not at all! It’s just the nature of this kind of weave. You don’t want to wear it near a rose bush. haha! But it is absolutely delicious, and really was not as scary to sew with as I anticipated. I do suggest reinforcing the seams and sewing with patience. Play your meditation music. 😉 I’m delighted with how the top came out. And I can’t wait to show you the other Sloanes I am working on! They all make me so happy.

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I’m teaching my son to sew. (He’s doing really well. I’m so impressed!) He wanted to help me with this blog, so he took all the pictures of the sweater knit Sloane. Didn’t he do a great job??? 🙂 I’m a proud mama! But he did insist that I do one picture with a “silly pose”. He told me to be a weeping angel (link for the non-Doctor Who fans out there). I think Tyra Banks would give me the thumbs up on my interpretation. 😉

Make sure you check out the awesome creations coming at you for the rest of the blog tour! And check back here next week for the other Sloanes I have to show you! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
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*I am a fabric ambassador for Simply by Ti and received this fabric at a discount. The opinions expressed about the fabric are honest and are my own.

Monster Mash Tour: Halloween is my favorite!

I’m back for another Sewing By Ti Blog tour and this one is near and tear to my heart because it’s about Halloween!!!!

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I got married on Halloween. This year marks lucky number 13 for us! This is also my 5th year making my son’s Halloween costumes. This year he had a challenge for me. He wanted to be Bane from Lego Batman. In case you don’t have an 8-year-old obsessed with all things Lego or are not familiar with the Lego Batman movie, here are some pictures for reference:

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Craft challenge (backpack)? Check.

Sewing challenge (muscle shirt)? Check.

Logistics challenge (tubes inserting to muscles)? Check.

Well, of course this is what he wanted to be for Halloween. But mama was up for it! Thankfully, the hot glue gun (who was the real hero here) was also up for it. Of course, it all came together at the last minute, after many finger burns and curse words…and what project wouldn’t be complete without a date with the old seam ripper?! Sadly, I did not get any great pictures of the finished project. 😦 The kidlet was too darn excited to trick-or-treat! Sometimes life works out that way. But it really did happen!

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Here’s a breakdown of what I did:

Mask. This was essentially two pieces of black cotton lycra serged together like a balaclava with no opening. Then I put it on him and noted where his eyes and mouth were. Then I freehanded the designs on the Bane’s luchador mask and stitched them on. The red eyes are red tulle. The silver accents are silver athletic cosplay spandex from Joann’s Then I cut out the cotton lycra fabric so he could see and breathe. I also had to add a little strip of silver to the back because my son noted that Bane has a zipper on the back of his mask and felt very attached to the idea. Mama wasn’t adding an actual zipper thankyouverymuch, so the silver fabric would have to do.

Vest. This was the least complicated and least hacked of everything I made. It’s the Twig & Tale pathfinder vest. The fabric is some of that soft faux sheep’s wool stuff that I can never remember the name of, and a faux micro suede. Both were from Joann’s. The thickness was a pain to sew, but the pattern went together beautifully and this vest will be SO COZY for fall and winter. I’m really happy with it and hope he will keep wearing it. He said he would!

Muscle shirt. This is two Patterns for Pirates Jolly Roger Raglans sewn in a cheap, crappy, prone to running devil fabric. Also from Joann’s. I sewed one and hot glued foam on for the muscles. Then sewed another (just slightly bigger) and stitched them together at the neckline. (Same technique as doing a facing or lining.) And voila! Muscle shirt.

Pants. Are RTW from Old Navy. I did have to hack the waist band for my super skinny fabric sensitive kid.

I’ll tell you about crafting the backpack in another post. It involved a cereal box, toilet paper rolls, random items, a lot of glueing, and a rather clever (if I do say so myself) lighting effect. And I’ll try to get better pics of the costume. Until then, here’s our Batman villain family: Poison Ivy and her poison plant and Bane (not pictured: party pooper, I-won’t-dress-up husband).

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Ready to join us? Don’t miss a single stop on our October Tour!

October 1st: Sewing By Ti Intro *** You are here.

Monday, October 2nd: Sewing Blue

3rd: That’s Sew Lily

4th: Hazelnut Handmade

5th: Seams Sew Lo

6th: Sewing By Ti

Monday, October 9th: That’s Sew Amy

10th: Stitched By Jennie

11th: Hazelnut Handmade

12th: Seams Sew Lo

Friday the 13th!: Crafty Like a Rox

Sunday, October 15th: Mermaids Den

16th: Very Blissful

17th: Robynne and the Bobbin

18th: Sewing By Ti

19th: Octaves of Color

20th: Tenille’s Thread

Tuesday, October 24th: Adventures with Bubba and Bug

25th: My Heart Will Sew On

26th: Ma Moose Handmade

27th: EYMM

28th: Mermaid Mama Designs

29th: The Fairy Dust Bin

Monday, October 30th: Doctora Botones

Happy Halloween, October 31st: Sew Like a Sloth