Monday, October 10, 2011

PJ's and a winner!

I snuck in a little sewing time this afternoon. Homeschooling really puts a damper on my sewing time. However just like everything, it's a season. And honestly, it's a season that I really, truly love (most days anyway).

Yesterday, my pastor's sermon was on having margins in life. White space. Silence. Relaxation. Rest. All things I clearly don't have much of in my life as of late. Coincidentally, the night before while I was slaving away in the kitchen, I was complaining reflecting to my dear, sweet husband how much simpler life was five years ago. Even tho five years ago things seemed simpler, time always has a way of warping the truth and they were probably not much different.

In any event, today I made room for a little white space in my life and said heck with the dishes and cleaning. Instead I decided to sew a pair of pj's for my youngest that I cut out and embroidered back in August. I used my very favorite kids' pj pattern - Kwik Sew 2815, which is sadly out of print, but they do have a similar one available which is 3234.

Robot embroidery is from Designs by JuJu - just love her designs, they always stitch out so great!

Without further ado, the winner of the fabulous MyMemories software is comment #7 - Marie! Congratulations Marie, I will be emailing you!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking Giveaway Ends Tomorrow!!!

Gosh I'm surprised I only have two entries for the fabulous digital scrapbooking software. There are only about 24 hours to enter before I draw a name. Know someone who like digital scrapbooking and card making? Send them to the post to enter or just enter your name for them and can give a wonderful gift. There is no catch, My Memories just wants to get the word out about their fabulous software so they asked me to do a review. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post (not here on this post, but the original post about the giveaway). Come on - I need more than two entries Internet! P.S. International entries are welcome too!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Kwik Sew 3740 - Cowl Neck Top

Finally a post about a new favorite pattern. Who doesn't love Kwik Sew? They always have top notch directions that are easy to understand and great pattern pattern to trace from instead of wimpy tissue. Pattern 3740 is a classic and won't disappoint if you love a cowl neck. Here is a refresher of the pattern envelope photo.

Here is my first version - a sleeveless using some leftover fabric from another sewing project. Love it! Too bad the sun has disappeared from my part of the globe until next July. I even rotated my wardrobe and polished my favorite black leather shoes yesterday because it's been rainy most of the time for the past week.

The long sleeve version is going to get a lot of wear this fall and winter. I love it and need to make a few more. It is super quick to put together too.

Here is a more thorough review of this pattern:

Pattern Description: Close fitting pull-over tops have scoop necklines. View A has cowl collar and full length sleeves. View B is sleeveless and neckline and armholes are finished with self fabric bindings. View A & B necklines can be interchanged.

Pattern Sizing: XS-XL ~ I made a size xs in the chest and graded to a small in the hips

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Do I really need to answer this? Kwik Sew always has fabulous instructions so a resounding YES!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that the cowl is two pieces. If the wrong side shows (which is doesn't seem to), it is the same fabric on the underside. Plus the under cowl is cut slightly smaller. I like the sleeveless variation too, however I messed up and cut the sleeved bodice front and back for my sleeveless top so the arms are a little more covered since the shoulder seam is wider on the sleeved version. I actually like the little bit more coverage so I think my mistake was a good thing. One other like is the neckline is more open. It's not too plunging, but not really tight up to the neck either.

One dislike is not trying it sooner! But actually at first I disliked the sleeve. KS sleeves to me are a little wonky. They are loose at the top and then are tight at the wrist. At first I thought I'd just find a different sleeve that I liked better from a TNT pattern, however as I've worn the top, the sleeve cut has grown on me. I think it looks a little more dressy so I'll probably keep the sleeve as is.

Fabric Used: The long sleeve version is an ITY poly/lycra fabric from - I actually bought it this summer so it really wasn't even stash (yay me!). The sleeveless version was a small piece I had leftover in my stash from another top - it came from Lucy's fabrics long ago and is a lovely "dry" rayon/lycra knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I just used a size larger in the hips.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Oh gosh, yes! I want to make another one for winter with long sleeves. I just love this pattern.

I highly recommend the pattern, but it made Pattern of the Year for 2010 on and has been reviewed 33 times already, so you probably don't need my recommendation to try it.

Conclusion: Super cute cowl top, it even bypassed my old standby of Burda 10-2005-114.

The forecast is showing rain for the whole next week so with any luck I'll get some other sewing done. Maybe another cowl neck?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking and A Giveaway

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Liz from My Memories asking me to try out their new My Memories Suite v 2.0 and see what I thought. It was actually perfect timing because my gem of a daughter has taken over most of the scrapbooking in our house. She does it the old fashioned way by cutting up bits of paper and pictures and then mounts them on a 12x12 page to insert into our albums. I'm forever grateful for her taking over this task because it frees up my time, gets all the pictures into books we can enjoy, and gives her a great creative outlet.

I had recently shared with my daughter that there were programs for digital scrapbooking and that maybe she might find that more fun, but I wasn't sure where to begin the process. Low and behold not much after that conversation, I got an offer to try My Memories from Liz. We immediately downloaded the software and started seeing what it had to offer. Quite honestly, my daughter has used it way more than I have and has made a bunch of different layouts just playing with the program to see it's potential. Yes, these layouts are all her work!
Besides scrapbooking pages, which you can make with a few clicks using all the preloaded background papers and templates, you can also make cards, posters, calendars, and even turn your scrapbook into a movie!
My daughter and I noticed that on the My Memories website, they have a "free" page where you can download other papers and embellishments for you to use in the My Memories Suite program. Of course there are also many great background pages, papers, and embellishments you can purchase. I can see how digital scrapbooking can be addictive - the possibilities are endless and now I will have to try to make cool photo collages for my blog when I sew new garmets! :-)
My Memories has been so gracious to offer one of my readers a free My Memories Suite v 2.0, so if you're interested in winning this awesome software, please visit My Memories and tell me what your favorite paper pack is in the comments section of my blog. Next Monday evening, October 10th, I will draw a winner!
Lastly, My Memories has offered a fabulous coupon code good for $10 off the My Memories Suite and $10 off the store - a $20 value! During checkout, just use coupon code:


One last thing, I found the My Memories Blog to have lots of great inspiration, videos, & tutorials on how to use the software. If you're at all thinking about purchasing it, check it out, it's really a wealth of info.

Up next, I'll finally reveal the two Kwik Sew cowl neck tops from pattern #3740 - I must say, I'm in love!!! :-)

*I was given the My Memories software to try and the opinions in the blog review are 100% my own based on my trying the product.*