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Monday, January 30, 2012

Shabby Apple Dress Winner!!!!!!

Today is the day!  I have the great pleasure to announce the winner of the Spanish Steps dress given away by Shabby Apple.

Comments went into the List Randomizer at  Those who didn't leave e-mail addresses but were connected by Google Friends were still included.

List Randomizer

There were 21 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Kimberly F
  2. Yishey
  3. leafytreetopshop (at) gmail (dot) com
  4. Tsampamama
  5. Nena
  7. Sarah
  8. Carolyn
  10. dmarie824 at aol dot com
  12. joellemarie72(at)yahoo(dot)com
  13. Amy
  14. Sara
  15. imadiversgirl(at)gmail(dot)com
  16. mellysews(at)
  17. mbrunnerable (at) gmail (dot) com
  18. laurenbbear(at)gmail(dot)com
  19. willysmith (at)
  20. larissaesq at gmail dot com
Timestamp: 2012-01-30 15:13:21 UTC

And then into the Sequence Generator:

So, that makes the winner of the Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway . . .

Carolyn at Moose Mouse CreationsJan 19, 2012 06:55 AM
What a great dress shop. Thanks for introducing me! I love the Primavera!

Congrats, Carolyn.   I'll be contacting you soon to get the particulars.

If you were not the winner, don't forget that Shabby Apple is offering Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy reader's a 10% off discount until the 18th of February.  Make sure to use code "boyohboy10off" at checkout.  

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

February (Sewing For Boys) Pattern Announcement

I meant to get this posted before the weekend and it's just been one of those weekends where the kids are constantly crying and fighting, and causing general chaos.  It was a busy week for us, so I guess I only have myself to blame for the madness.  They're tired.  Their parents are tired and it just all combines to make for one grumpy family.

So here it is at 4 pm on Sunday afternoon and I'm finally getting a few minutes peace to announce the February Sewing For Boys pattern.  Don't panic if you haven't yet finished the January pattern.  You still have a few days to get it done, comment over here, and post a picture over on the Flickr Group.

I'll be trying to get the pattern announcements out the weekend before that month, since many of you have said you live far away from a fabric store or are buying your fabrics on-line.  This way we'll have a bit more time and it will force me to stay ahead of the game since I have my fabric shipped as well.

For February you have a choice in patterns, or if you're the overachieving go-getter type, feel free to make both.  If you have a child 3-12 months, you'll be making the "Mr. Two Face" pants.  Since the pattern only goes up to 12 months, sewers with older boys will be sewing from the "Kickin' Back Sweats" pattern.

The patterns are very versatile so feel free to mix and match techniques.  Make your "Kickin' Back Sweats" using two contrasting fabrics or use the "Mr. Two Face" pattern using one color solid.  Either way were basically working on the same skills.  Both pants include optional pockets and a fold over, elastic waistband case.

I'm looking forward to seeing your creations.  Don't forget to link back to this post come the end of February.  I'll be announcing the February prize in a few days!

Happy Sewing!
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Just joining us?  Check out the Sewing For Boys Sew Along rules and guidelines here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sewing For Boys Raw Edge Raglan Tee

I've finally finished my pair of raw-edged raglan's for the Sewing For Boys sew along. Both C and K got a shirt of their very own.

 For C, I went with a gray and black striped, lightweight knit and upcycled an old, black t-shirt of mine for the sleeves. He has been all things Star Wars since the Fall . . . so really, there wasn't much choice in how I was going to embellish this one.

 I decided to use a freezer paper stencil. I simply created a stencil using my Silhouette machine. Once I saw the image on the stripes, I decided to go for a graffiti feel.

 C's worn the shirt two days in a row. This makes me smile a) because it totally means he likes it and b) because he's got very few years left where this is acceptable. I can just imagine the fights we're going to have over body odor.

Raw Edged Raglan T-Shirt

 For K's, I recycled some long sleeve waffle knit, used a heavy sweatshirt knit for the body, and appliqued a few superheros.  I'm still mulling this one over. I like the overall look, but I should have cut off the original seams. I'm not psyched about the way the neckband lays. It's just a bit too thick. I think I'll be redoing that part.

 What I do like about it, is how soft the gray sweatshirt material is. The older boys approved the embellishments at the bottom. C thought it was pretty funny how the superhero looks like he's taking off into the air.

 I know I'll be coming back to this pattern time and time again. The pattern itself, I found very easy to use. The second shirt took me less than 30 minutes to make. Even with the extra time I'll be spending fixing the neckband to my liking, it's a good deal. And considering I've done very little sewing with knits, I'm not only happy with the overall turn out, I'm excited to make more in the future.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Spy . . . I-Spy

When my Spoonflower I-Spy Swap  packaged arrived last week it looked something like this:

Which made me realize, I still hadn't done anything with my squares from the Boy Fabric I-Spy Swap I hosted oh . . . LAST YEAR.  I know.  Crazy, right?  I just couldn't commit to doing any one thing with them and found the quilting options overwhelming.  And since all of my friends decided to go and have GIRLS this year, boy themed I-Spy gifts were not so appropriate.

Ironically enough, getting a new set of I-Spy squares (and my 4 " tumbler template) has really kicked my butt into high gear.  Okay, so maybe it had more to do with realizing a whole year had gone by but whatever.

Either way, I finally sat down in front of the TV and did something about it.  

I'm still playing around with the layout.  I was thinking monochromatic circles in rainbow order but I'm a little thrown off by the missing purple.  I'm not a huge fan myself but I'm pretty sure the boys would notice if purple was missing from the rainbow.  Plus, I have some issues with asymmetry.

With any luck and a wee bit of motivation, we'll have a new quilt sewn up by next week.  On the other hand, if I can't get my mind wrapped around the lack of purple and the fact that the last row only has two circles, it may be a while.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

A Wee Bit o' Beading

I recently made a new friend. She invited me over last weekend to do a bit of beading with her.

She delved into the beading/jewelry making arena after realizing the shop keepers she'd been buying jewelry from for years, we're buying the beads from the local markets and, while talented, were really just employing a few basic techniques in order to produce their jewelry.

She decided to give it a go herself and quickly found she was addicted.  Her beading ventures have remained a hobby but you should see some of the stuff she's made.  She's made herself and family/friends hundreds of necklaces and earrings.  If I'd waited a little longer than a month to take her up on her offer of an afternoon of crafting, I'd have begged her to allow me to photograph her hoard of beads and amazing jewelry pieces.  The colors.  The variety of bead types and sizes.  Drawer after drawer of beauty.

I confess, I did bring my camera along.  You know, just in case what I made turned out decent enough to wear.  Or I mustered up the nerve to document the process.  I chickened out though.  A little early in this friendship for her to realize what a crazy, crafting, nut I am.  That will come soon enough because I plan on holder her to her offer to host another beading night.

I'm happy with how my first beading experiment turned out.  I stuck with a relatively simple pattern and didn't go all wild and crazy but that really is more my style anyway. So . . . . what do you think?  Would you call it funky, stylish, or just plain boring?

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway

If you've been surfing around Blogland in the last year or so, then I'm sure you've heard of Shabby Apple. You know, the super classy women's dress company. If you don't, let me school you.  At you'll find fabulous dresses for women and girls, from amazing women designers.

What I love about this shop is the fact that the dresses are flattering, flirty, and yet comfortably sophisticated.  I've entered myself in every Shabby Apple giveaway I've seen in the last 6 months.  And you lucky, ducks have the chance to win one.  Today, we're giving away THIS gorgeous Shabby Apple dress.

When Shabby Apple contacted me about doing a dress giveaway, I flipped.  And then they told me to pick the dress.  This seriously took me hours.  There are so many great dresses.  But with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought something special was in order.  I love the details on this dress.  The satin bow.  The bouquet of appliqued, ruched flowers.  It's the perfect dress to sweep your man (or future man) off his feet.

And it's yours.  Well, one of yours.  To enter visit Shabby Apple.  Take a look at the dresses and come back here to tell me which is your favorite (sorry, no exchanges).  Make sure to include your e-mail address so I can contact you.  Sorry my international lovelies, but this giveaway is only open to those with a U.S. shipping address.

I'll pick a winner on January 30th.

Dresses from Shabby Apple

And if you're not the lucky lady?  You're still in luck because Shabby Apple is offering MY readers 10% off anything, good for 30 days.  Just use the code "boyohboy10off" at checkout.

I encourage you to stop over and LIKE Shabby Apple on FB.  They often post special promotions and exclusive discounts.  Since I can't win my own giveaway, I just used their latest 20% off deal to order myself a few dresses.  I can't wait until they arrive.

Okay, go look!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dapper Dillinger Trouser Pattern Review

Okay, without sounding like I've developed an obsession (although after you read this post you might think it's true), today I'm reviewing the Dapper Dillinger Trouser Pattern from Pattern's By Figgy.

Dapper Dillinger Pattern Review

Now that I've finished them, I'm totally excited about this pattern and can't wait to make more.  I can't say their completion wasn't without a bit of frustration and seam ripping on my part but I can confidently say this had everything to do with the fact that I'd never sew pants with pockets, anything more than a fold over elastic waistband, or finished my seams, and nothing to do with the pattern or instructions.

Dapper Dillinger Pattern Review

The pattern is very easy to use and unless my kids are just way, way down in the growth scale (which is highly possible after their last few illnesses), the pattern is generously sized.  If you have an averaged sized/weighted child, think toward the bottom end of clothing sizes. I didn't have trouble with the sewing of the waistband, as I've seen others had.  I think the trick is to use the water soluble basting tape recommended in the instructions.

Most of my sewing experience has been in quilting and small projects and I still have a lot of growing to do in clothing sewing.  Don't look too closely at some of those seams.  But the pants have finished seams and workable pockets and the pants did not fall apart when worn or washed.

I love the cuffs.  So manly and yet so adorable dressed down with a tee.

The pattern is easy to use but unless my kids are just way, way down in the growth scale (which is highly possible after their last few illnesses), the pattern is generously sized.  I used the 18 month pattern which ended up being a bit long for K and I used a shorter elastic than recommended.

So I set out making the pants for K and they ended up fitting S (almost 3) Instead of getting to work, shortening the legs, I gave them to big brother.  I'm thinking of hiding some calorie booster in everything he eats.

They fit him perfectly.  And he loves them which is throwing me for a loop since he's been on a pajama only kick for the last 3 months.  The pattern calls for a contrasting fabric on the inside of the pockets but I chickened out and kept with the gray corduroy.

This pattern is very versatile.  It's the perfect upscale comfy pant.  I can't wait to try a few pairs in linen or seersucker.  I'm already planning on the the next pair to have a few more hidden patches of color.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Sewing For Boys Pump Up Series: That's a Wrap

The Sewing For Boys Pump Up Series has come to an end :(

I've had a blast, so I hope you have too. I've finished my January pattern and will be posting it in the next few days.  I'm so grateful to all of the ladies who've posted over the last two weeks. Your insights into each Sewing For Boys pattern is invaluable as we embark upon this year long sew along.

Just in case you've missed something a long the way here's a recap of the Pump Up Series (top left to right):

I can't wait to see everyone's Raglan Tees.  Remember to comment on this post once you've finished.  You've got two more weeks left to get them done.  Plenty of time!  

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sewing For Boys Pump Up Series: The Authors

Eeeek!  I'm so, so excited to have Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage, authors of Sewing For Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe, here with us today.  These lovely ladies have not only inspired us all to get sewing, but they've been incredibly supportive of this series and the year long sew along. And trust me, this has very little to do with the fact that they stand to profit from the books that you lovely people have purchased.  These ladies are genuinely interested in supporting and mentoring us sewing mommas of boys.  Karen and Shelly have been all over the comments section of the blog in the last two weeks and if you've seen the Sewing For Boys-The Book Flickr group, you've seen that these very busy ladies have made comments on almost all of the photos posted there.  Amazing!

In this spirit of support, Shelly and Karen have answered a few questions for me and I'm sharing their answers with you.  Now, I warn you, I'm no journalist.  These were just the things I wanted to know about them and their creative journey.  If you have questions of your own, comment below and maybe these fabulous authors will have time to answer a few.

Okay ladies, on to the interviews.  We'll start with Shelly.

1.  When did you first start sewing?  Did you take classes, learn from a relative or friend or just dive in?
I first started sewing when I was 5.  My mother is an amazing sewist and started us with hand sewing doll clothes.  By the age of 6, I was sewing with a machine.  I also attended 4-H club where they taught us how to sew and crochet.

2.  How did you get started in the sewing pattern business?

I first started sewing ready-made garments for sale in 2008.  I found myself frustrated with the lack of available large and independent pattern companies that would allow a stay at home sewist to use their patterns and sell at markets or on sites like Etsy.  I then decided it was time to start designing and creating my own patterns.  In 2009 I took one of my designs to a local fabric shop and the owner asked if I could make a pattern and teach a class.  It began and blossomed from there.

3.  What is your favorite boy article of clothing/accessory to sew and why?

If you know me, then you know I love simple; comtempary pieces.  I love sewing the boys "kickin back sweats".  It's a very versitale pattern, you can use woven or knit fabric, add applique or pockets and create three different lengths to use as sweats/pants, skate pants or shorts.  

4.  On average, how many pieces of clothing do you hand make each year for your children?

Good question.  When Karen and I were writing the book, I made close to 40 garments for the boys in 5 months.  Now that the book is finished they get a new pair a PJ's every other month and with each season I make Tee's, sweats and Easy Linen shirts (not always in linen). Probably about 18-20 garments a piece, per year.   

5.  What are your favorite fabrics, embellishment techniques for boy clothing?

For my boys definetly knit.  They need to jump, bounce and be comfortable.  During the winter months I'll line their pants with knit which also allows for some extra warmth and durabilty.  

5.  What is your favorite thing about being a mom of boys?

I love to wrestle and rough house with them because then at the end, they love to hug me and snuggle.  I feel like I get the best of both worlds because I am currently the only girl for them.  As much as I'd love to have a little girl, right now I feel I was made to raise boys and I've been blessed to have received two healthy and really unique boys. 

And Karen, how about you?

 1.  When did you first start sewing?  Did you take classes, learn from a relative or friend or just dive in?

I started sewing when I was five.  I think I really began to LOVE sewing when I realized I could make clothes for myself, and not just Halloween costumes, or blankets for my stuffed animals.  I started really caring about learning to sew well when I started watching "Sewing with Nancy" on PBS.

2.  How did you get started in the sewing pattern business?

I've made my own patterns as long as I have sewn.  But, when Shelly asked me to be her partner in PBF was the first I'd ever thought of selling patterns.

3.  What is your favorite boy article of clothing/accessory to sew and why?

I love sewing shirts.  My (currently man-sized) son always wears what I make him, but he seems to get the most use from his button-down shirts.

4.  On average, how many pieces of clothing to you hand make each year for your children?

I make anywhere from 20-30 garments a year for the little one, and 4/5 more for the older kids.

5.  What are your favorite fabrics, embellishment techniques for boy clothing?

My favorite fabrics for sewing boy garments are cotton shirting, linen, and any soft knit.

To embellish, I'm a fan of the subtle approach; contrasting facings and anywhere else i  can inject a surprise bit of color.  I really love to appliqué in a free-hand style on tee shirts.

5.  What is your favorite thing about being a mom of boys?

They love their mommies :)

Thank you so much ladies for answering my questions and for your amazing support over the course of this series.  For more information about Shelly and Karen, visit Sewing For Boys The Website.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Sewing For Boys Pump Up Series: Rock N' Regalia

Meet Jayna Rae, our last ( and definitely not the least) guest for the Sewing For Boys Pump Up Series.  Jayna writes a rockin' blog that's full of crafts, sewing, party ideas, and boys.  She seriously rocks it out over there.

You've got to check out  this Awe-some pirate party.

And these adorable vintage chic sweateralls.

Today Jayna is sharing the Henry Shirt from a less experienced sewers point of view.  I think this is very important when looking at a book of sewing patterns.  There are certain garment techniques and patterns parts that experienced sewers have just internalized so I think it's important to have a feel for how patterns from this book will look from a beginner's point of view.

Rock on, Jayna Rae!
Hey there. I am Jayna Rae from Rock N Regalia.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Gomez Photography
I am honored to partake in this super fun event.
Isn't Stacey awesome. 
I was honored that she was willing to have me.
The projects are great!
The book is great.
The ladies are GREAT!!!!!!!!

I have two wiggly boys who I love so much.
They are known to the world as Monster and Roly Poly.
We live a Rockin' Life Fueled by LOVE,
and we are making leaps and bounds that keep us busier and busier by the day.

Okay, so on to the project at hand.
I instantly knew that I would be sewing the Henry shirt when my book arrived.
I have some fabric set aside that I really want to use for this shirt,
but as a first try I used some remnants.

I used material left over from Monster's first birthday party;
it was a Vintage Americana theme because his birthday is Fourth of July.
I also cut up an old sheet for the main color.

The Henry Shirt is found on page 30 of the book.
And, although this pattern is labeled Advanced, 
I found that I was able to complete this project in one LONG night.
There are of course some flaws in my sewing because I am truly an amateur,
but I know that next time I will be able to navigate around these puckers in the fabric.

So, even if you are a beginner,
I say brave this pattern.
Try it!!!
You will be surprised at how much easier it is to follow 
than those silly ones from the sewing section at retail stores.
I am already planning my next project from this book. 
I think I am going to do the patchwork quilt.

Monster is excited that he will be wearing this to his friend's Birthday Party Saturday.
Thanks again to Stacey. I wish all of you boy moms, grandmas, aunts, and friends

Thank you so much, Jayna Rae for sharing your Henry Shirt with us today.  I love the vintage feel of it and I'm totally impressed that you rocked this out in one night.  This definitely adds to the testament on the ease of this pattern.

Today may be our final guest poster but the Sewing For Boys Pump Up Series has a few more surprises left.  I'm very excited about tomorrow's post so make sure you stop on by.

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