September Showcase: Small Fry Skinny Jeans.

Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern review at www.thesoutherninstitute.com

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Ashley and Emily of Frances Suzanne at a sewing bloggers meet up here in Nashville. They are two of the sweetest women you will meet, and it was so much fun to hang out with them for the afternoon. When I got an email from them a couple of months ago with an invitation to be a part of the September Showcase for the Flip This Pattern series I was so excited!

September Showcase

For two weeks, the September Showcase features 10 Indie Pattern Designers that have released fewer than 5 patterns, and bloggers like me get to review the patterns for you. There are fun giveaways and discount codes for you to take advantage of too! For the September Showcase there’s no need to “Flip”, we were able to just sew the pattern “as-is” for review, which was good for me because I chose to sew the Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern from Titchy Threads. I was really excited about this for two reasons…

1) Laura of Titchy Threads is a friend and has been a contributing designer in the Sew Fab Pattern Sale… I love her and I love her patterns.

2) Never in my life have a attempted to sew a pair of real deal jeans before. This seemed like the perfect time to do it!

SF front loops

First of all, I’ll start by stating that this is a great pattern. I have been really intimidated by the whole make-your-own-jeans thing. I’ve seen other sewing blogger friends make the Small Fry Skinnies for their kids and figured I couldn’t do it. But I was wrong, because Laura has created a pattern with wonderful instructions and great photos, which make it very doable for someone who knows their way around their sewing machine.

The exterior details that this pattern includes are so amazing! Everything that you would see in a pair of jeans from, say the Gap, is on these jeans, from the top stitching on the side seam, to the flat felled seams, to the coin pocket inside the front pocket on the right leg. It’s all there! Except for the rivets that I didn’t get on in time to take these photos. Oops.

SF single front pocket

I sewed these as basically as I could, with plain back pockets. We don’t really go for the fancy top stitching on the back pockets in our family. If I had put any on these, chances are my husband would not have let our son leave the house in them, lol. So I kept them basic, and I love them that way. I prefer my back pockets plain too.

SF full back

What details are not shown in the photos are the interior details, which are great. The Small Fry Skinny Jeans include an adjustable waist! You heard me right… an adjustable waist, just like those more expensive manufactured jeans do, with buttonhole elastic that grows with your child. I LOVE that detail!!! Luke is very petite, but he has a high waist so typically he needs length in the legs that his waist size can’t keep up with, so an adjustable waistband is a necessity for him. Putting one in was a cinch when following this pattern. I was shocked at how easy it was! The pattern was true to size as far as I could tell. I measured, consulted the sizing chart in the pattern, and made the size 6 (which is what he is wearing in Old Navy jeans right now) and they are just a little bit bigger, not much at all.

The only problem that I have with the finished jeans (and I stress that this is my problem) is that the fly cover pulls away from the zipper when he moves, so the zipper shows, and I’m not a fan of that. Laura has already given me some feedback on where I went wrong there and I’m excited to get it right next time. Other than that, I couldn’t be happier with the way these jeans turned out, and though they were a labor of love and stretched my sewing skills further than I’ve taken them, I can now say that I have made an actual pair of jeans! And Luke loves them… that’s the icing on the cake. I know you know what I mean.

SF collage

Check out the other designers/patterns/and bloggers that are part of the September Showcase:

September Showcase Patterns

SONP 2014: Old Navy Re-Fashion

http://hideousdreadfulstinky.com/sonp2014
Old Navy refashion at The Southern Institute

What it the Summer of No Pants series, you might ask? The Summer of No Pants, or SONP, is a summer-long handmade style series. From the first day of summer to the last, we ditch our pants in favor of skirts and dresses. We’re celebrating femininity, personal style, and the handmade life. It started as a sewing competition and, but it has evolved since then. So whether you can sew or not, everybody can wear No Pants!

When Marigold, the brainchild behind SONP, asked me if I’d be a guest blogger for the series I just had to say yes. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I can usually come up with something… I just keep my eyes open and my wheels turning at all times. I was shopping at Old Navy with the kiddos the other week and was cruising the clearance racks when I found this lone striped dress peeking out. I LOVE stripes! I pulled it out only to find that it was an XXL, about 4 sizes to big. BUT lots of fabric to play with, right? So I asked how much? $.99!!! I grabbed it up as fast as I could and decided right then and there that my SONP post would be a re-fashion.

photo-25

There’s the original dress up there. I completely forgot to take a pic of me in it to give you an idea of how large it was. It literally fell off of my shoulders. I started thinking about what to make out of the fabric. A skirt? I could just cut it off at the waist and add elastic. Should I just tailor it to fit me and keep the style? Nah. I wanted to do something different. Then it hit me! Selvedge Design’s Foxglove Tank, modified into a dress…that was it! I had just finished my first Foxglove Tank and really liked the way it turned out, so this seemed like a good idea. I used the pattern as is, making only a couple of changes. I took the sides in by about 2 inches on each side and then used the entire length of the original dress, keeping the original hem. The length ended up quite a bit shorter since I was cutting from the middle of the original dress, but I think it turned out quite well, don’t you?

Old Navy Refashion at The Southern Institute
Dress back

I used the sleeves to make the knit strips that face the neckline and arm holes… I love the contrast, even though you can’t see it when the dress is on. For some reason, knowing that it’s there makes me happy.

Old Navy Refashion at The Southern Institute

So join us and ditch those pants! Embrace the dresses and skirts and show off those legs… let ‘em breathe, ladies! Use the hashtag #SONP2014 on Instagram and show us how beautiful you look.

The Sew Fab Pattern Tour: Sew Very, Our Family Four, and Casa Crafty.

It’s the very last day of the Sew Fab Pattern Sale! That means today is our last day for the Sew Fab Pattern Tour too. I’m sad to see this series come to an end… I’ve had so much fun seeing what all of the amazing bloggers on the tour have made from the patterns in the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle this spring.

The first of our last three stops takes us to Sew Very, where Veronica has sewn up an adorable Lexi Knit Top by MODKID. Funny story: Veronica and I knew each other through blogging and email for over a year before we realized that our children go to the same school!!! Not only that, but we literally had been passing each other just about every day for almost two years and never even knew it! Isn’t that insane? I’m happy to say that we now know each other in real life and chat quite often, lol. Go on over to her blog today and see her Lexi Tunic, it’s adorable and she always does an amazing job with every pattern she sews.

The Sew Fab Pattern Tour at www.thesoutherninsitute.com

Erin Keith is next, and I’m so excited that she is on the tour! Erin is one of those ladies who makes little girls clothes that I wish I could wear. Seriously! Her fabric choices are always stellar and everything is gorgeous. She is a true talent when it comes to sewing. Today she is showing off something that she has made for herself, the Piko Top, one of the two women’s clothing patterns in the Sew Fab Bundle. I have seen this top on many women and it always look great! Erin looks amazing in the two versions that she made. Stop by her blog, Our Family Four and check them out.

The Sew Fab Pattern Tour at www.thesoutherninstitute.com

Last, but not least, Kelley is back with her version of the Poppy and Pip Penguins Pattern from Betz White. I’m so glad to have Kelley back again to show us this pattern because these are the cutest penguins! They’re even cuter when they’re being snuggled by an adorable child. Don’t take my word for it… visit Casa Crafty and see for yourself!

The Sew Fab Pattern Tour at www.thesoutherninstitute.com

If you love what you’ve seen on the Sew Fab Pattern Tour, then what are you waiting for? Buy the bundle today! The sale ends at 11:59 EDT!

You really cannot go wrong with the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle! At $1.50 per pattern you are getting the best deal around. Check out all of the patterns below and click on the logo to purchase the bundle.

Buy It Now

Sew Fab Spring 2014 collage