Simplicity 2700 Trousers

DSC_0456After months of putting this pattern back on top of the “next thing to sew” pile I finally have gotten around to sewing my first pair of slacks/trousers. I have read quite a few blog posts and reviews about Simplicity 2700 Amazing Fit slacks pattern and despite all the reviews ranging from it being amazing to the worst pattern ever, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.

I know that a slacks pattern for a stay at home mom might sound a little funny but in general I really enjoy wearing them. My first instinct is to always grab a skirt or dress in the mornings when I get dressed, but I live in Oregon so pants really are a staple in my life as well.

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So as for this pattern, I really like the concept. The straight leg cut is super comfy and lots of room to move around. I personally find it such a simple and classic cut that the look of them can be drastically changed simply but what type of fabric you use. I really want to make these in a linen for summer and maybe even try some lightweight denim.

With all that said holy moly the pattern is HUGE. I can’t count the number of people the said cut two sizes down. Because I have never made the pattern before I went ahead and started at the size the pattern measurement said I should. Well that was dumb on my part. I definitely should have started two sizes down.

DSC_0243DSC_0247I ended up having to take them in massively in the legs and as much as I could in the front crotch. I ended up having to just live with they way they are at this fit because my material was fraying so badly that if I took out or adjusted one more seam there might not be any pants left to show you.

I also decided to cut the waist band down to a finished width of 1.5 inchs instead of the 2.5 to 3 inches. That just seemed huge on my really short torso.

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The only instructional issue I had was with inserting the fly. The directions were like reading Greek. They made absolutely no since, and the associated pictures made it worse. Lots and lots of swearing. I ended up having to use this tutorial from Grainline Studios. It was excellent! Zipper in first time with no problems once I found this.

DSC_0482For the pockets and waistband lining I did go with a some fun color. Its some super soft quiliting cotton I found in the clearance section at a local fabric store. With this much neutral brown it needed a little surprise!

DSC_0477The next time I make these I will definitely make a muslin this time with the last two alterations I wanted to make this time around. First I will be raising the crotch quite  a bit more. Girls don’t need that much extra room. Secondly I will be raising the back hem 1.5 inches.  And last but not least I will be adding some pockets. The butt looks just a little blah with out something back there. Type of pocket will definitely depend on what i am making them out.

With that all said I will absolutely be a repeat offender.  P.s. I swear I ironed before I took the pictures. Obviously not as well as I thought I did. Oops.

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Pattern: Simplicity 2700 Amazing Fit

Material: Pendleton light-weight washable wool

Honey Nut and Fruit Granola!

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Granola to me a comfort food. I love all the options I find every time I go to Trader Joe’s, but when you read the ingredients it can be slightly terrifying. This is one of the many reason I have chosen over time to start making my own stuff, like granola and yogurt and what not. I still get to eat the comfort food I crave but with out all the ingredients I don’t want in my food (and some that I have become allergic to as I get older).

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This is my version of homemade granola. I like mine full of fruits and nuts! The more the merrier! This recipe does make a lot, but it also freezes. Feel free to change it to make it your own and use your favorite ingredients. That’s one the best parts of making your food from scratch, experimenting!

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Ingredients:

3C Oats (I use certified gluten free)

3C Raw nuts (any combination you like. Mine includes almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews)

2C Dried fruit (any combination you like. Mine includes raisins, cranberries, cherries, and apricots)

1/2C Pepitas

1/2C Sunflower seeds

1/4C Chia sees

1/4C Whole Flax Seeds

1/4C Honey (or agave)

1/4C Coconut Oil

1/2C Applesauce (unsweetened)

2tsp Vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine all oats, nuts, and seeds in a large bowl.

3. In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat combine honey, coconut oil and vanilla until completely melted and heated through.

4. Pour honey and coconut oil over oat mixture, and stir to evenly combine.

5. Spread on to the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 25 minutes. Remember to stir your granola around 12 minutes.

6. Once golden brown remove from the oven, pour back into large bowl, now mix in dried fruit and let cool.

7. Enjoy and store in an airtight container!

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Plantain Tee

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I decided that this year I would challenge myself as a home seamstress by making ALL of my clothes (of course this does not apply to my underwear and workout clothes, I will purchase those). I am really excited about this year, but was also pretty nervous since one of my staples is a simple knit tee in a variety of sleeve lengths. I was terrified I wasn’t going to be able to find a pattern or something that would be able to stand in my this.

I am pleasantly surprised that I found the Plantain Tee pattern that fit me great and comes with three different sleeve lengths, and the best part of all is its FREE!!! One of my favorite words.

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Its is a pdf pattern so just remember to measure your pattern to make sure that everything printed properly. Otherwise it is super easy to assemble, directions are very clear. From cutting the fabric out to sewing to wearable I was done in about an hour and a half. When something goes that fast and fits this good, you feel a little goofy for buying them for so many years. In my defense I have only owned a serger since October.

I did serge pretty much the entire tee. I even decided to serge the sleeves and bottom hem before turning it under 1/2″ and sewing the hem on my standard machine.

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For the material, I have been drooling over this southwestern print for months by April Rhodes for Art Gallery. It is amazingly soft, washes well, cuts and sews great. I really can’t saw enough about how much I have come to love Art Gallery fabrics. The quality is always great and they are more than reasonably priced. Nothing worse than falling in love with some fabric until you see the price tag at more that $35 a yard.

I well be making this pattern quite a bit. I have some great forest green sweater knit I can’t wait to turn into a dress using this pattern.

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Pattern: Plaintain T-shirt, Deer & Doe

Material: Dessert Blanket by April Rhodes for Art Gallery Fabrics

Tova Tee

I am amazed that it has taken me so long to get to around to sharing this top, especially since I have already worn it a couple of times. Even more amazing is the stack of things behind this that I haven’t shared (and some haven’t even been photographed yet, oops).

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The Wiksten Tova pattern is great. I have sewn a dress in a plaid here but despite its amazing comfort level I actually haven’t worn it yet for two reasons: 1) its a little of the short side and needs to be worn with leggings or opaque tights (and in my opinion boots which i surprisingly don’t own at the moment) but the weather has been so warm this winter that so many layers seems ridiculous. 2) I am still nursing. A dress with this type of neckline and a 6 month old baby that EATS A LOT is a recipe for disaster, or a whole  lot of people seeing my under-roos.

The top of the other hand in my opinion is a great comprise. The pattern length for the top I found to be a little long, so I brought the length up there, and also decided to make it wearable in more seasons I chopped the sleeves off too!

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I decided to go with a simple off white cotton (quilting cotton) from Moda this time around. I really like the neutral quality of the color and print. It goes with pretty much anything, and seamlessly blends into my existing wardrobe. The photos aren’t a great representation of the color but they are pretty close. As a side note, I love the little triangles instead of circles for the pok-a-dots! They are just so much fun. But I am a sucker for any kind of pok-a-dot.

I still find the directions for the pattern to be poorly written, with that said after sewing it once your really don’t read the instructions all that much that second time around. I really just checked the seam allowances on a few things while sewing.

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Pattern: Wiksten Tova Top

Material: Moda cotton

DIY Coconut Conditioner

Over the past couple of years I have made it my goal to replace the items/products we use around the house with homemade versions. I have found this is to not only be much more economical but the DIY versions are also healthier for us and better for our environment. Just doing what I can to reduce my families carbon footprint a little.

I have been able to replace quite a few things around the house but the one that has eluded me until recently is hair products. I have REALLY CURLY hair. And with curly hair means that it is naturally on the drier side so going without conditioner is not an option.

DSC_0271This is my favorite conditioner. Its almost 100% natural, smells great, is not tested on animals, and considered to be vegan friendly. And best of all it works great! But the down side is that for the 12oz bottle its $7.99. When you go through as much conditioner as I do, that adds up fast.

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After a lot of research I finally was able to pull together a few ingredients I already had around the house to make a copycat version of my favorite conditioner. That’s right it is only 3 ingredients. 1 whole can of full fat coconut milk, 1 tbsp of honey, and 1.5 tbsp of Olive Oil (I imagine if your hair isn’t quite as dry as mine, than only 1 tbsp of olive oil will be plenty). I did use an immersion blender to make sure that everything was really mixed.

DSC_0275So for only $1.49 I now have a 16 oz bottle of amazing coconut conditioner. It smells great, has the same consistency as a commerical conditioner (which means I used approximately the same amount), I am not worried about my girls getting a hold of it when they are taking a bath, and the best part is my hair still looks normal at the end of the day instead of a bad version of the “Flying Tomato”!

I really do recommend trying this. Its pretty amazing!

Pendleton Scout Tee

DSC_0164This is a pattern I have made multiple times, because I really like it. Its simple, really comfortable and one of those patterns that I feel like is a becoming a staple in my wardrobe.

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For this one I decided to use a remanent of a light-weight Pendleton wool that I found over year ago when my Mom, Cupcake, and I where on a road trip. I was really pleasantly surprised to find that the Pendleton Woolen Mill actually sells a lot of fabric in a variety of weights and price points. Next road trip that directly will definitely include a stocking up stop!

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So for this version of the top I ended up adding a little bit of width in the back to add some extra room for my shoulders. Way more comfy now. I also lengthened the sleeves to elbow length. Something about really short sleeves seemed really goofy in a plaid but I didn’t have enough fabric to go full length. Next time. Lastly I added the front notch. When cutting it measures 5.5 inches from the neckline. In the originally tutorial for this alteration they raised the neckline up at the same time but I really like the dip it already has. Not to mention I almost always wear a cami, so I wasn’t really worried about the depth of the notch.

With the weather being Oregon cold right now I will be wearing this quite a bit! Not to mention every Oregonian needs a little bit of plaid in their closet!

DSC_0157Pattern: Grainline Studio Scout Tee

Material: Pendleton light-weight wool

Vogue 8650 Top

DSC_0071This top was an effort in late night creativity and problem solving. I made a muslin of this a few years ago and really liked it but it went back into the pattern bin without being touched again for a while because I hadn’t found the right material to make it out of. This pattern definitely needed something extra flowy, otherwise the pleats at top look really goofy.

I had some free time one night where both the girls crashed hard so I took the opportunity to get a few things cut out. Well in doing so, I didn’t plan quite as well as I should have before cutting. I ended up a couple inches short of being able to cut the sleeves. The only way to get enough material to make the sleeves with out having to go back to the fabric store (which in this case is two hours away) I had to cut the sleeve in half at the darts location and piece it back together. Because the dart was already there and the fabrics pattern is busy enough that you really don’t notice my problem solving attempt.

DSC_0074But a little about the top. It is really comfortable! It has enough flow to it that it makes it roomy with out turning into a mini moo-moo. And even better the raglan sleeves make lots of the room for my shoulders. Having enough shoulder room is a common problem for me whether it is home sewn or commercially purchased.

This top sews together very quickly. Even with all the pleats in front it only took me about 2 hours from beginning to end. I did use purchased bias tape (in bright yellow!) on the inside of the back neckline. If you are making your own add half hour to your sewing time.

The fabric is a great cotton lawn that I found a Bolt Fabric in Portland. I would love to tell you who makes it but I have no idea and can’t find the scraps either. It is amazingly soft, washes well, cuts and sews great, and my favorite part is it doesn’t wrinkle badly. Nothing worse than feeling like you need to re-iron your clothes by noon.

DSC_0079I do have the top lightly tucked into my slacks (not how I normally wear my tops but I had an event to go to were it just needed to be), when untucked it comes down to the top of my hip bones. A good length for my 5 ft 4 frame.

DSC_0082Pattern: Vogue 8650

Material: ? Purchased at Bolt Fabrics