Monday, April 20, 2015

KCW: Spring 2015

kid's clothes week
Kids Clothes Week is here! You all know how much I love KCW. Winter KCW wasn't very successful for me because I decided to tackle my WIP pile. Not so much fun. I've learned my lesson, and this time, I'm doing all FUN projects, and I'm even going along with the theme. A first for me. 

Here's my list

1) a Geranium dress with an embroidered bodice
2) a panda face chevron t-shirt
3) a green twill pair of Chestnut Pants turned into shorts
4) my project run and play entry- a blue striped t-shirt

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The New and Improved Spruce Shorts

Last Tuesday I announced on facebook that I re-released the Spruce Suspender Shorts! Ever since I put out the pattern last July I have received several requests for larger sizes. So after I put out the Chestnut pants, I knew I wanted to work on the Spruce shorts. (NOTE: everyone who previously purchased this pattern should have received the updated pattern in their inbox- if you did not receive the email simply re-download the pattern from your Etsy account or email me!)

While I was working on it, I was able to add some features that I have in the Chestnut pants- the biggest one being layered pattern tiles. If you have never used layered pattern tiles before, let me tell you, they are awesome! Layers allow you to turn on and off different sizes, so if you want to print just size 6-9 months then you turn off all the other sizes, hit print, and your printer will only print size 6-9 months! This saves on ink, and also makes it easier to see exactly where to cut (sometimes when sizes are nested together and all the sizes are converging together it's hard to see where exactly your size is- but not any more!).
This is my nephew. My sister was visiting last week and I convinced her to let me sew up a pair of shorts for him and get him to model the new larger sizes. My kids are pretty skinny so it's sometimes hard to visualize how the shorts are going to fit, so I was excited to get some pictures of the shorts on a meaty boy!
 He is wearing a size 3 shorts with no modifications. He has a 20.5" waist and wears size 3 store bought clothes.
These shorts are pretty fitted, so it's important to sew the correct size on these. I wish I could make these shorts fit EVERYONE just by going by store bought sizes. BUT what store? Target? Gap? Dillards? Mini Boden? All those stores fit differently too. That's just the nature of the pattern beast. You get a size chart (in my case the ASTM standard for body measurements) and you go by that size chart. So the best way to get the best fit is to READ THE SIZE CHART! Pull out your measuring tape and measure your child. Especially on those suspender straps! Lots of kids vary in height and torso length so read all of the fitting instructions that are included in the pattern.
 Jacob here is almost 2 years old, but has the waist of a 6 month old (18"). So I made him a 6 month old size (I should have followed my instructions and blended the sizes and used the length of a 2T, but I didn't. I also didn't follow my instructions and left off the second button hole on the suspender straps to be able to shorten the straps so they wouldn't be floppy like this. But I didn't, you see my sewing room was doubling as a guest bedroom at the time so the sewing machine was a little hard to access. So loose and floppy straps it was.
I had a REALLY great group of testers on these. I will admit, I may have got a little baby hungry looking at all the cute baby pictures coming in! Just as a heads up these pictures were taking in various stages of the testing process. The pattern gets changed a bit during the testing process. We played around with different widths of suspender straps, shorts length, and I added a little bit more to the back rise.
 I love the contrasting thread color of the top-stitching on these.
 Bow ties on babies are SO CUTE!
 I think that the piping on the suspender straps here is just a fun idea!
 I love how this shows how the shorts can be casual too! (note to self: buy Jacob a grey t-shirt)
 Square buttons! Isn't that so much fun?
And these adorable shorts? UPCYCLED men's pants! Man, I had some CLEVER testers. I think I need to convince this fabulous lady to do a tutorial for us here!

Now that you've made it through a bazillion adorable pictures. What is next for Zuzzy? I am working on a pattern extension for FLUFFY BUMS! There are a lot of cloth diaper mama's out there (half of my testers!) So I want them to be able to enjoy these too. As you guys know I don't have much spare time so it's hard to work on pattern drafting, but I hope to get it out soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Project Run and Play: March Challenge

It's time for the March Project Run and Play Challenge! This month's inspiration pattern is the Knot Dress by Me Sew Crazy/The Sewing Rabbit.
For my take on the knot dress, I envisioned a spring dress. The sleeveless knot dress was too summery for little miss's spring wardrobe. So I decided the first thing I would do is add some sleeves. I used the Sally Dress pattern and traced the armscye onto the knot dress bodice and chopped off the knot ties. Then I just used the Sally Dress elbow length sleeves.
I kept the back the same, except instead of the knot ties, I just inserted a invisible zipper. Usually I have no trouble with invisible zips, but for some reason this zipper was a pain. I think it was the silk wanna-be fabric. It wasn't my friend.
I used a size 3 bodice and used the size 4 length on the skirt. I used two fabrics for the skirt a pink kona cotton for the underlay and this silk-look poly for the top. I extended the silk about 2 inches longer than the underlay. As I said, the wanna-be silk was a PAIN to work with. ug. It was fraying out of control. This type of fabric requires french seams on the sides and a narrow hem. Which I really like, but I guess I just need more practice (and a finer needle) to get the fabric to not look so tortured. Don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous and has a beautiful drape, I just don't want anyone to examine my seams too closely.
At this point I was feeling like I had removed the essence of the knot dress, and I needed to bring more back into the design. So I decided to add a knot at the neck. I took pictures of how I added this detail and will have a tutorial up in the next week!
Lastly, I whipped up a cute headband to go with the dress. Recognize the stretch lace? (and the bird fabric for the dress too) I used CINO's felt bow tutorial for the bow.
On a completely unrelated tangent, don't you just love the blossoms on my little peach tree? We planted it a year ago, and I've managed to keep it alive!

The tutorial for how I modified the bodice will be up in a few days so check back next week or follow my Zuzzy pinterest board or like the new Zuzzy facebook page to be updated when the tutorial is up.

Check out the other PR&P March Challenge entries here

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Chestnut Pants Pattern is here!

Today is the big day! The Chestnut Pants are here! I am so proud of this pattern. It's my best yet (you know... out of the three). The Chestnut pants are a great slim fitting, dressy pair of pants for babies and toddlers sizes 0-3 months to 4T. The pants feature a flat-front waistband and elastic back. The pattern includes three pocket options: front pockets, rounded back pockets, and pointed back pockets. I imagine these pants being sewn up for little boy Easter outfits, and special occasion outfits, and even stylish every day pants. You can get your pattern over at Craftsy here or Etsy here for only $6
This pattern release is part of the Aspiring Designers Challenge over at Pattern Revolution. You can read my post over there AND you will find a giveaway for the pattern while you are over too!
I don't want to repeat myself, so over here on Zuzzy I want to share with you the "behind the scenes" story.
The concept began with Jacob. Jacob is crazy skinny, and so all of his pants either are several inches too short OR they fall off and end up around his ankles. His wardrobe was seriously lacking, especially his church pants. He needed something nice to wear with sweaters and button-up shirts. Something with a modern, skinny fit. I hate baggy dress pants. On top of it, I would only remember that I needed these pants when it was late Saturday night as I was laying out clothes for the next day. So these pants needed to look awesome but also be a quick sew. No welt pockets, no darts, nothing time consuming. Just something I could whip up the night before church. 

The original pants had no pockets at all, and they looked great. However, as I was grading and digitizing the pattern, I drew my technical spec drawing (pictured above) and felt that my drawing needed some side pockets and back pockets. So I added the front side pockets and the rounded back pocket shape. Then when the pattern went into testing, one of my testers wanted a pointed back pocket shape, and I thought it was a great idea (I just love testers!). So, I added the pointed back pocket option, and love it just as much as my rounded pocket option. And that my friends is how the Chestnut Pants came to be.
I had a really great group of testers on this pattern. They did such a great job, and even sewed up more than one pair of pants. Huge shout out to

Come back tomorrow for a round up of fabric ideas for the Chestnut pants.
Get your Chestnut Pants pattern today at Craftsy here or Etsy here for only $6

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Look

Notice anything different around here? Yep, I cleaned up the blog a bit. Nothing really changed, just better fonts, a cleaner header, and I added another little social media icon up there next to the email and pinterest.
Do you see the little f? yep! I created a Facebook page for Zuzzy too! Come on over and like the page to get Zuzzy updates on facebook.

Why all the sprucing up? I have something big coming tomorrow! (okay, it's not really that big and you probably already know what it is if you read this post) But I'm excited for it and want Zuzzy to look nice for her big debut.

See you tomorrow for the exciting news (hint there will be a pattern giveaway too!)