04.16.14Momma Mocs

I am so excited to be working with the  Leather Hide Store. to share a bunch of inspiration and tutorial posts about projects you can do with small amounts of leather. They were a dream to work with and their selection is INCREDIBLE! I wanted to share fun things you can make with out breaking the bank! So snatch up a remnant or a whole hide and get sewing! I am a big fan of the moc craze. When I received the leather from Leather Hide store I had every intention of making the girls their own mocs from scraps (I still am) but when I finished my big projects there was enough to make mocs for ME! I mean come on! Who isn’ envious of these toddlers waddling around in soft gold leather? I basically followed my previous tutorial for mocs HERE but this time around I did the tops like it taught in Making It Fun’s cloth shoe tutorial (click on the image in the side bar for a PDF download). I am a size 8.5 and I haven’t had the chance to grade the pattern but if you are around there you can download the pattern I made for myself (by tracing my feet, doing a lot of guesswork and reworking over and over with fabric) HERE for free!

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They are, as you would imagine, incredibly comfortable. But what I didn’t expect was how warm they keep your feet. Like I feel bad that I made Chloe wear heres on hot days now, warm. 2014-04-11_0011 ^^^These pictures were taken at 11pm at night in our guest room right before we left for spring break, hence me looking like a truck hit me ha!^^^

They were super quick to sew up once the pattern pieces were cut out. Just be SURE to cut out mirror images of your sole bottoms. Since leather is too thick to cut through double layers I just flipped my pattern piece over. 2014-04-11_0012 I used super thin elastic and in the future I might use a little bit larger. It didn’t make a huge difference but I think it would “scrunch” better in the leather.

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I would also recommend feeding your elastic through the heel piece before attaching it. I tried threading it through afterwards and it was such a pain. On the second I laid it in the fold first and then attached it and it was easy peasy! 2014-04-11_0014 This leather is Leather Hide Store’s dark gold rush and it is so so soft.

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The girls are already demanding their new paris so I will have to hop on that ASAP so we can be all cheesy and matchey matchey ha!

Cheers!

Kelly

04.14.14Leather Week: pique-nique bag

I am so excited to be working with the  Leather Hide Store. to share a bunch of inspiration and tutorial posts about projects you can do with small amounts of leather. They were a dream to work with and their selection is INCREDIBLE! I wanted to share fun things you can make with out breaking the bank! So snatch up a remnant or a whole hide and get sewing!

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I knew when I started this leather project I had to make a bag of some type. Since I was using remnants I couldn’t make a FULL bag (plus I wanted something more “friendly”). I also really wanted a BIG deep bag for going to the fresh market and on the many picnics we have planned for this spring and summer. The French really know how to “pique-nique” and in my constant effort to blend in I need a chic bag that would basically carry everything in my kitchen…. plus a blanket ha!

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Two of my fav “bags” lately are the Tory Burch Kerrington bag HERE and though not a bag Delia Creates Baby Carrier HERE (yeah I am envious of a two year olds tote). totesinspiration

For this bag I literally cut two large rectangles of striped fabric. I attached a heavy stabilizer to give it some structure. I attached a nice chunky bottom of leather, laid the two pieces right sides together and sewed from one side, across the bottom and up the other.

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Once I had turned it right side out I followed THESE instructions on how to make the square bottom. I then literally winged my straps by cutting long thin rectangles and rounding off the corners just like Delia did.

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I this part is done I was able to determine how large my lining should be. Since I knew I would mainly use this bag for picnics and swimming pool trips I only sewed one simple pocket for my phone.No zipper or buttons, just a deep rectangle. I slide it in wrong side to wrong side and then cut a long strip of leather to go around and finish off the top.  2014-04-10_0027

I loved being able to completely customize this bag to what I like. I LOVE long straps and a simple interior.

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I am actually kind of sad that I haven’t tried making my own bags before. So so easy! And very satisfying! Especially when people say “I love your bag!” and you can tell them you made it! Isn’t’ that the best! Thank you Leather Hide for the gorgeous soft leather. Love it!

Cheers!

Kelly

 

04.07.14Calling All Kids: Boys for Girls

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I am excited to be participating in Alida (of Alida Makes) series, Calling All Kids today! If you have hoped over from Alida Makes, welcome to Sewing In No Mans Land! If you are not a regular reader of my blog you may not know that my girls are girly girl girly to the core. Chloe literally sobs when I force her (and it takes some strength) into a pair of pants. Evie only owns one pair of presentable pants (we have lots of jammie pants but those don’t count). So when Alida emailed and explained that this was a sewing series where you create something  cross gender for your cutie. I decided to accept the challenge and make some pants and a henley for Chloe.

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The pants pattern that I used was a hack of the Burda Draw String Pants pattern HERE and the henley is the Hipster Henley from Blank Slate patterns.

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I would LOVE to be able to say that everything went swimmingly and I cranked these bad boys out with out a hiccup, but I have to be honest, this project was a BEAR for me ha! I broke two twin needles sewing the henley… yeah, two. Who even knows on what right?

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The pattern is fantastic, no problems there I just really need to sew knits more. The pants are made from a soft herringbone. All went pretty well with the pants, even when I added little bum pockets, but then I got to adding grommets for the draw strings in the front. Don’t look to close because the left grommet is actually gone back into the waist band ha!

2014-04-02_0004 Even through all that though I LOVE how this little outfit turned out.

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The little blue sweater was Finn’s and is one of my favorites. I was super excited to have a reason to pull it out of storage. Finn was nice enough to share his fedora since I had made a little leather bow for her and dropped it somewhere en route to our tunnel.

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I hid little hershey kisses in her pocket before I put the pants on her and didn’t tell her about them until half way through the shoot. She was pretty excited when she found them.

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I cannot believe how much she looks like Finn in these pictures… a little too much ha! Her new little bob helped in the boyish factor as well! Even though she demanded to put a dress on as soon as we got home I am still really glad I I got to participate and plan on making the boys some fun pants ASAP. Thank you Alida for having me! Can’t wait to check out all the other fun creations!

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Cheers!
Kelly
 

04.01.14Tea Towel Dresses: Getting Creative With Fabric sourcing

One of the great things about being a seamstress in Paris is the fabric district! On the flip side one of the worst parts of being a seamstress in Paris is the fabric district. It is pretty much your only option when it comes to fabric.

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Whats the big deal you ask? For me, who lives on the complete opposite side of the city, it means setting aside an entire morning or afternoon if I need the littlest thing.

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I needed twill tape in the worst way the other day but I just couldn’t force myself to drive the 30 minutes, try and find a legal parking spot (impossible) only to dash in and grab what I need only to drive 30 minutes home.

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If I metro it we are talking about a 50 minute one way trip. Ugh. So now that I have complained enough you will understand why lately I have trying to be more resourceful with my fabric sourcing.

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This last week I was at my fav grocery store Monoprix and was staring at the new super cute tea towels they just got in. “why don’t they make fabric this cute?” I thought, then headed on my way. The next day we decided to do a quick (literally 15 minute) family photo session since my lovely (and super talented) friend Nichole Van was in town. I had been dragging my feet to do it mainly because I was loath to put together outfits. Usually this is my favorite part but right now we are really trying to save every last penny for the house we are building and I just couldn’t justify going out and buying anyone anything new. Nichole and Chris both talked me into doing them anyway and I decided to mix it up from my usual classic muted tones and go with brights.

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(These pictures are literally sent straight from Nichole’s camera wirelessly so they have zero editing. How awesome is she?) 

Everyone had things in their closets for this except the girls. Thats when it hit me that I could easily whip them up fun bright dresses out of the tea towels I saw! I dashed to the store and sewed both dresses up during Chloe’s nap (this is what happens when you pattern test a dress one million times, you can sew it in your sleep at lightening speed). Chloe woke up as I was putting the zipper in her yellow herringbone dress and promptly told me she did not like it. Mind you this is about 45 minutes before I was to get all four cuties dressed to meet Chris and the Van’s downtown (by myself I might mention… doesn’t that just make you sweat thinking about it?) I coaxed and pleaded and tried to bribe but all she wanted was the dress I had made Evie. Of course. Isn’t that ALWAYS how it is with little sisters?

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If there is one thing I have learned from my years doing family photography is during or right before a photo shoot is NOT the right time to pick your battles. Luckily Chloe’s dress fit Evie fine (a little shorter then I would have made it if I had known) and while Evie’s was LONG on Chloe everyone was happy and we got a picture we all love.

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^^^I cropped this picture way down so you could see the yellow dress a bit better, that is if you aren’t blinded by my horribly white winter legs ha!^^^

I fell so much in love with the yellow dress that I wanted to make another in hopes Chloe would actually wear this one.

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Again I hit up the tea towel section of Monoprix and bought three of the whale print towels.

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While she still wasn’t a huge fan she did put it on willingly and twirl a few times (her stamp of approval). She wore it on our day trip out to Chateau Vaux le Vicomte and I went a little crazy with the pictures. Even after she literally bit the dust she was in such a happy mood, I couldn’t help myself!

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Oh my goodness those little whales kill me ha!

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After a very long afternoon throwing rocks and exploring the chateau we headed home.

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Poor Chloe passed OUT in the car even with all my attempts to keep her awake until we got home.

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Evie also got to wear the dress I actually made for her out to the Chateau.
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She was actually feeling pretty under the weather and was very happy when Chris pulled up in a golf cart to drive us around the gardens instead of walking through them. 
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We straightened her hair that morning and I couldn’t believe how much older it made her look. We will NOT be doing that again ha! I need my little girl to stay little as long as possible. Evie’s dress is my Tuileries Pattern and Chloe’s whale dress pattern will be released after it goes through some testing. There is a really fun over the top glamo version as well that I cannot wait to share! Some day I am sure my girls are going to stop demanding to wear a dress everyday and then I can finally branch out on my pattern creation. For now, it’s all they want and I am more then happy to keep creating them! Especially if I have an endless source of fun tea towels!
Cheers!
Kelly