Friday, March 28, 2014

Basic Leggings for Boys!

This post should have been posted a few weeks ago, but life precedes over any other obligation –so here i am.

Refashioninng Long Johns using Basic Legging Pattern

It has been a long cold winter here in Michigan. It actually snowed yesterday! Usually we make it a point to get outside most days, but this winter has been so cold, we have been cooped up indoors.
On the days we have ventured out to play, I found myself wishing that we had long johns (or long underwear) for the boys.

*I understand long johns may not be a common thing, they are tighter fitting waffle knit clothing worn under regular clothes to add warmth.

Mama Nene to the rescue. If you don’t know, Mama Nene is the woman behind Serger Pepper. The blog is full of useful sewing tips, tricks, and tutorials. She has also started writing/publishing sewing patterns. (Remember my Sheer Top?) I am so fortunate to be on her pattern testing crew.

This time around she needed testers for Basic Leggings. I almost passed on this one because the boys in this house don’t wear leggings. But then the wheels in my head started turning…leggings look a lot like long johns!

I started by digging through my refashion pile.

Refashioning Long John's

I found a few castoffs that the older kids have outgrown.

Long John Refashion

I used the Basic Legging pattern. I choose a size 4, in hopes that they will fit the boys next winter too. (Because winter will end soon, right?) The pattern is sized from size 3 to size 14, so this is another pattern that will grow with your child.

This pattern was so easy to cut out and sew, and Mama Nene’s instructions are very clear. This pattern would be a great confidence builder for a beginner.

Basic Leggings, Boy Version

This pattern has two features that I feel make it a must have to any pattern library.

#1 Long leg length. I love that my boys can run and play (in the huge mountain of snow we still have) without the legs riding up. This feature also makes this pattern perfect for comfy pajamas.

#2 High waist. My boys hate when their butt is falling out of their pants. And honestly, while I’m talking about it does it really cost that much more to add an inch or two to the waist height? Too many of our store bought pants barely cover the boys’ tushies. I couldn’t imagine if they were still in diapers. Okay, I’m done ranting.

This pattern covers their rump, and keeps it covered while they are playing.

Head on over to Craftsy and get your pattern. New to Craftsy? It is quick and easy to sign up, then grab your Basic Legging pattern!

pattern was given to me to test, but all opinions are mine
Craftsy links are affiliates, I receive a small bonus if you sign up or make a purchase through my links.

What would you make with this pattern? I have plans to whip up some pajama pants from my t-shirt stash. There were so many cute girl versions too. The possibilities with the pattern are endless.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring Break

I am on spring break this week. I decided to use this week to play catch-up, and hopefully even get ahead.

Spring Cleaning

On my to-do list:

  • Study for exam and finish school work. (I know, on spring break?)
  • Finish orders. I have three crocheted hats, a chef’s hat and apron, and two zippered pouches.
  • Finish up on this week’s pattern testing.
  • Sew an outfit for each one of the boys. *Bonus, refashioning some clothing in the process.
  • Write blog posts for all the projects that are waiting to be shared.
  • Make some freezer meals to get us through the semester.
  • If I have time….I may clean….. (Or let the boys clean)

If you had a week with some extra time, how would you use it? I know I am a little crazy, and I should be relaxing or something this week. But…most of the things on my list are relaxing to me. So stay tuned, hopefully I can stick to it!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Plaid Footed Pajamas

Two posts in one week, what the?!!

This past fall I may have bought a huge mess of sewing patterns at a deeply discounted price…

One of those patterns is the Classic Footed Pajamas from peek-a-boo pattern shop. (I have not been paid to say any of this, I just want to share my experience with the pattern.)

Plaid Footed Jammies

It is so hard to keep these little guys to stay still for very long. Needless to say, they like their jammies.

Red Plaid Jammies

I would call this pattern an advanced beginner, borderline intermediate sewer. While the pattern was not hard, there were a few more advanced techniques. Fortunately, there are detailed step-by-step instructions for said techniques (zippers anybody?).

I made these late at night (and any of you who have followed me for some time, know I tend to make mistakes when the sun sets), so there were a few spots that I had to re-read the instructions.

                    Gray Footed Jammies Red Footie Jammies

Both pairs are made from fleece, and the sleeve cuffs and neck binding are made from t-shirt scraps. The sleeve binding was a little tricky, but patience paid off.

The only problem I have had with these pajamas is that the zipper irritates the boys at times. This is not the fault of the pattern, I choose to skip the zipper facing. Next time I will definitely add the facing.

I love that this pattern (and most of the patterns in the shop) comes in sizes 3 months- 8 years. I have been thinking about making all of my nieces and nephews pajamas for next Christmas, and this pattern would have them all covered.

Have you made footie jammies before? I am not sure that these are actually cheaper than buying pajamas from the store, but they sure are cute! And I love that little sense of accomplishment I get seeing the boys run around in footed pajamas that I made for them.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sheer Plaid Top Review

At the beginning of January I was asked by Mama Nene to be a part of the Serger Pepper pattern testing group. I was beyond excited, because the first pattern was a woman’s top. (This mama needs a few additions to her wardrobe.)

The pattern, Sheer Plaid Top, is simply amazing. For starters, it is extremely beginner friendly. Secondly, it features professional finishing techniques (French seams). Third this pattern is so versatile.

sheer top pattern test

The first top I made was in a jersey knit from my stash. I almost backed out. Seeing the fabric laying on the floor waiting to be cut, all I could see was an adorable maxi skirt or dress. Obviously I rose above my fabric cutting fears and dove in.

No regrets, I have wore this top once a week since I finished it. Here’s a glimpse at the hi-lo hem (and my stripes match!):

Knit Top

The top is designed to be a loose fitting and flowing top (which is perfect for me, since i have been eating my stress away…). The kimono sleeves, a cowl neck, hi-lo hem, and oversize fit make this one of the most versatile tops in my closet. It can be worn over a long sleeved top, a turtleneck, or a tank in the summer.

I loved this top so much, I had to make another.

Floral Sheer Top by

First, I want to explain why the first top was not sheer. One of the first sewing projects I tried to tackle was curtains. Sheer curtains. It didn’t go so well. Every time I pushed the foot pedal, my beautiful sheer green fabric disappeared. My borrowed machine was eating my fabric! After many swear words and fighting with the machine, I packed it up and promptly returned the machine to my mom. “I’m buying my curtains!”

Recently I went to Jo-Ann’s. They had fabric 50% off of the clearance price. That is bad, real bad. (If you haven’t realized, I am a fabric hoarder, and a clearance junkie.)

I found this beautiful sheer fabric for $2.00 a yard, and 50% off that is…$1.00 a yard! That my friends is when I made the commitment to sew sheer. I was only losing $2.00 if things went the same route as the curtains, right?

Sheer Floral Top Belted

(So sorry for all of the awkward remote pics.)
I beat the sheer!

I omitted the cowl on this top, and did rolled seams instead. I added three inches to the length, and kept the front and back hems the same length.

I also timed myself. About one hour, start to finish, French seams and rolled hems. You can’t beat that!

Mama Nene is offering the pattern for only $2.90 right now. So I suggest you head over and get your very own Sheer Plaid Top pattern quick!

What have you been creating? Leave a link, I would love to check it out.

Posting my project here:
Do Tell Tuesday

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Last time I was here (which seems like a long, long time ago), I shared what I wanted to focus on for 2014. Recap: I want to step outside my comfort zone; push myself, regardless of fear. I had a heck of a time coming up with one word that encompassed the direction I wanted to take this year.

I had commented on a post on Melly Sews, and Melissa had e-mailed me some great suggestions. And I choose….


Wow, have I stepped beyond my comfort zone.

It all started with Facebook. You see, I am not too hip to social media. I stayed away for so long, trying to protect my time from being lost to the internet. But then Irene from Serger Pepper invited me to be a pattern tester (more about that in a few days). She asked that I was on Facebook and I obliged. (Thank you Irene!)

Next thing you know I had crochet orders coming out the wazoo! Here are a few:

black knitted ear warmer with bling

Crochet Horse HatBlack Slouch HatUniversity of Michigan Ear WarmerBlack Earwarer Silver and Black Flower    University of Michigan Brimmed Hat

This is just a small sampling of the orders I have made in the last month. Add in school and a busy family, and that is why things have been quiet around here. (I do have some super awesome sewing projects to share too, if I can find time to sit and write up a proper post.)

I hope to post a little more frequently (we will see how that goes…). But in the meantime I will be studying my heart out and hooking my hands off. ;)

How is 2014 shaping up for you? Are you working toward any specific goals?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Welcome 2014

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

Ours was great. Although this was actually the boys’ third Christmas, it felt like their first. This year they understood some of the concepts of Christmas. It is so amazing to see the awe and amazement on their faces as they experience ‘firsts’.

Merry Christmas

And now it’s 2014.

Last year I choose a word to focus on for the year instead of a resolution. My word for 2013 was deliberate. Although I didn’t post much about being deliberate, I loved focusing on this word throughout the year. (Hmm, maybe I should have been more deliberate about blogging…)

For the last couple of weeks I have been hunting for a word to take through 2014. I’m still not settled on a word (maybe you can help), so let me share my thoughts. (I am apologizing ahead of time for the rambling you are about to endure.)

In the year 2014 I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I want to focus on things that I have been scared to do. I’m not a person that is afraid of trying anything, but instead I am scared of failure and rejection. If I am being honest with myself, I can say failure is my biggest fear (even more than snakes).

I am so lucky to have the best cheerleader ever on my side (my husband). He is always encouraging my to put myself out there and market my skills. (Get your minds out of the gutter people. I’m talking about creative skills.) I often feel like I have failed him, only because I am afraid of putting myself out there.

I also feel that it is our duty as parents to show our children that life isn’t always comfortable or easy. You have to push yourself outside your comfort zone to better yourself and the world around you. I want to teach my children to live up to the awesomeness God intended you to be, to use the skills he planted within you.

So long story short, I want to push myself beyond what is comfortable. In 2014 I will stop making excuses “why I don’t,” and instead do. I will put myself out there in 2014!

Here’s where I need you to chime in: What word best describes ‘getting outside your comfort zone?’ The only word that comes to mind is uncomfortable. That word seems too negative to focus on for a year. (Yet the one word was great last year.)

Have you set any goals or resolutions for 2014? What do you do to get out of your comfort zone?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Christmas 2013-1 Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas!

     With Love,

The Kain Family