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Crisp Petals Fabric Collection by Natalie Malan Studio

*** This fabric was provided to me in exchange for posting on social media.  
All thoughts are mine and are no way influenced by anything other than my daughter's love for this dress that is actually her sister's.  HA!! ***


{insert a million heart eye emojis here}

Y'all!!!  I'm SO in love with this, I can barely find the right words so bear with me ... lol

I was contacted in late January by Natalie Malan to be an influencer for her latest collection that just hit stores.  Of course, I love to sew all the pretty things so I was all in!  The fabric collection is called "Crisp Petals" and the print I chose is just one of the 20 included prints.  These floral inspired fabrics are gorgeous in real life.  In the listings, you'll find the story behind the fabric collections Natalie creates.  It'll touch your heart, for sure.

With the help of my oldest daughter, I selected Brisk in Ballet Slipper.  We thought the soft pink floral would be perfect for her Easter dress.  As much as I loved other prints in the collection, sometimes, I prefer to let the fabric shine on its own.

Of course, to showcase a gorgeous fabric, the perfect pattern must be chosen.  Despite the hundreds of patterns I already own, many of which I have sewn, I chose to add a new pattern to my growing collection.  Only this time, I actually sewed it up!!  HAHA!  The Sonora Dress by Lil Luxe Collection is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!  (and surprisingly fast to sew!)

This pattern had my heart from the moment it released.  The double circle skirt provides the maximum twirl and the perfect gathers in between twirling.  The optional flutters and the two ways to tie the straps add interest to the back, making it pretty all the way around.

Gosh, this back is dreamy and the different hues of the pinks make it even prettier.

This twirl is everything!!  The skirt is 2 1/2 yards and is worth every single inch!  This is a 6x height which is the maximum height you can squeeze out of normal quilting cotton.

Those of you who have followed my sewing at all know that this is definitely not my oldest daughter.  Funny story.... As I was gathering all the necessary items for the photo shoot, one of her shoes was missing.  I frantically turned the house upside down looking for it with no luck.  I tried buying her new shoes and nothing fit.  ACK!!! The warm weather was only for a day or two and then it's right back to cold and rainy.  Luckily, my youngest daughter (2 years younger) has the same measurements as my oldest, except for a 2" height difference.  She happily agreed to model her sister's dress for me and the crisis was averted.  Whew!!!

Thank you Natalie Malan for this gorgeous fabric!  This collection is so soft and feminine.  Check here for the stores that carry Crisp Petals!

------- {Testing, Testing} ------- Lahaina by Little Lizard King

Lahaina Wrap Dress by Little Lizard King | That's-Sew-Kari

I simply cannot wait for summer!

As I write this post, we had an early release due to falling snow -- apparently snow in mid-March in NC means the world may be ending.... but I am sitting here dreaming of SUMMER as I write about Little Lizard King's newest release, Lahaina, which releases tomorrow March 14th.   Lahaina is a faux wrap dress with two different ruffle options on the knit bodice (single or double ruffle) and two ruffle options on the skirt (single or double ruffle option).  The skirt can be sewn in both knit or woven.  There is also an optional sash.  This pattern covers sizes 12m-14y!

Lahaina Wrap Dress by Little Lizard King | That's-Sew-Kari

As soon as I saw the call for testers, I asked my youngest what she thought.  "I WANT IT!!"  As I picked the options, I involved her in the process.  At 7, it helps her feel in control of what she is wearing and of course, I don't end up choosing the wrong options.  She did not want ruffles or a sash on the bodice, but she did want the double ruffles on the bottom.

I shopped my stash for the fabrics and came up with these whales for the skirt, a pink and white gingham for the ruffles, pink and white stripe cotton lycra for the bodice and navy cotton lycra for the binding.

Lahaina Wrap Dress by Little Lizard King | That's-Sew-Kari

If you haven't tested a pattern before, the majority of the test is perfecting the fit.  Before we attach the skirt, we post "in progress" pictures of the bodice.  My bodice fit well across the chest, but several of us were too small in the armscyes.   Mine was definitely wearable, but not perfect.    Jane quickly got to work updating the bodice.  While I waited to decide about using my first bodice, I moved onto the skirt.  As I finished the skirt, my perfectionist ways would not, could not allow me to use the original bodice.  Luckily I had just enough stripes left to resew.  I am so glad I did!!!  The new armscye is perfect and will definitely still fit my daughter in the summer.

Lahaina Wrap Dress by Little Lizard King | That's-Sew-Kari

I was able to use my coverstitch on my arm binding which made me fall in love with it all over again.  I seriously love that machine!!!  I also highly recommend using the clear elastic along the bottom of the bodice before attaching your skirt.  I have zero waviness and my bodice will always hold its shape.  It's seriously magical.

Lahaina Wrap Dress by Little Lizard King | That's-Sew-Kari

I will be writing a tutorial in the near future about "extreme" size blending.  My daughter wears a 3 width and a 6 height.  I have fine-tuned my size blending over the last year especially and noticed some mistakes I was making before.  Let me know below if you are an "extreme" size blender!

Little Lizard King 



{BLOG TOUR} One Thimble: Issue 18

Legalese: This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation (for more sewing *of course!*).  
In exchange for this review, I was provided the full issue.  All opinions, comments and thoughts are all mine.

Happy One Thimble time!!  It's 2018 and it's Issue #18!!  Where has the time gone?!

This issue is a fun one and one to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your sewing skills!  Jen said she was inspired by a picture on Pinterest of a little ballerina who was riding a skateboard with a ballet slipper on one foot and a shoe on the other.  She absolutely captured that image and translated it into the amazing Issue 18.  Of course, the designers helped play a role in designing patterns around this theme.  There are several patterns suitable for boys, but can be sewn for girls if you are a #girlmom like myself.

In case you are new to One Thimble, it is a quarterly digital sewing magazine with about 10 or more sewing patterns and several inspirational articles and quick tutorials.  This issue has 10 patterns - a mixture of boys, girls and ladies patterns..  The cost for everything is $25 AUD (which is $19.79 USD)   Buy your copy HERE!  You can also sign up for a subscription and save some money in the process.

Patterns included are:

  • Linnden Tote -- This gorgeous bag will elevate your sewing game and will teach you some serious bag-making skills!  This is on my MUST SEW list, but one I definitely want to take my time sewing it.
  • Origami Raglan Sweater and Dress -- Sizes 9/12m - 13/14y -- With its unique neckline and large size range, this sweatshirt will turn heads.  The front colorblocking is perfect for scraps too!
  • Hickory and Spice Henley -- Sizes 2-14 -- This Henley is a staple item in any wardrobe.  Suitable for both boys and girls, you can sew for all the kids in your life.  Plus, you'll learn how to sew a professional henley placket.   I love the look of this one!
  • Abby's Ballerina Tie Top -- Sizes 12m - 14 -- Ballerina-inspired, this slim-fitting knit top includes several sleeve lengths and different tie options.  Read my thoughts below on this top!
  • Ladies Ballerina Tie Top --  Ladies US 0 - 22 -- This stylish top is perfect for mommy and me sets or sew it just for yourself!  This is on my MUST SEW list (but after I use the elliptical a few more time... lol)
  • Super Tough Jeans -- Sizes 3-14 -- Not only will you sew awesome jeans, but your kids won't wear the knees out!  I can't be the only one whose kids put knees in EVERY pair of pants, sometimes in just a few weeks.  I will be putting these to the test!
  • Piccolo Moonface Cushions -- These round pillows look so fun!  They are sure to be a conversation starter as well as a fun new pillow friend for your kids.  I am going to try the face in iron on, using my Cricut Maker.
  • The Spirited Dress - Sizes 2-9 -- A twirling girl's dream dress!  This pattern calls for stable knit and features a Queen Anne's neckline and full circle skirt.  It also comes with a bonus underpants pattern...because you're going to need them!! Trust me.  Read my thoughts below on this pattern and see the twirl in action!
  • Basilica Skirt -- Sizes 2-14 --  This fun ballerina skirt has an elastic waist and and handkerchief hem.  This pattern will have you reaching for the sheer fabrics a bit more often because it will be a favorite of your girls.  I've got to order some nylon chiffon because my girls will love it!
  • #120 Footloose Leggings -- Sizes 2-10 -- This leggings pattern includes optional attached legwarmers, perfect for the dancer in your family.  Read my thoughts below on this pattern!  

I am going to call this the issue of specialized fabric.  Read the issue, get inspired and then get shopping!  Or maybe you can shop your stash like I did.

The first pattern I sewed from this issue is the Spirited Dress.  The neckline caught my eye first and then of course the full circle skirt was a close second.  This dress is designed by Candice Ayala and I have been following her on social media for quite some time.  I always love what she posts so I knew this was a must sew immediately.  

As I consulted the sizing chart (Read the OT article: Measuring Up: How to Accurately Measure Your Kids), I found that my daughter (nearly 9) measured into the size 2 width (21.5" chest) and between the 6 & 7 height (48") tall.  Now, this information will shock/scare some of you.... but this is my normal!  My daughter is obviously not the average 8/9 year old size, but this is why I sew, right?  I simply sewed to the measurement chart which means I sewed a 2 width and a 6 height (we like them short  You can see the result is a perfect fit and no one in real life knows that she is a size 2 width.  The way the layers are nested made it really easy to blend sizes too!!

Takeaway:  Always take current, accurate measurements. Trust the sizing chart.  Blend the sizes properly.

Remember when I said it was every twirly girls dream?!  I think nearly every picture I have of this dress is mid-twirl.  You can also see why the included underpants pattern is  

This pattern calls for stable knit in order to help keep the shape of the Queen Anne's neckline so my original knit I had picked had to be replaced (don't worry, I used it to sew Abby's Ballerina Tie Top so all was not lost) but luckily I had this black and white polka dot ponte that I had bought from my friend Cassie a couple of years ago.  It has a nice weight to it and sewed up nicely.

I had to include a close up of this neckline!  It is so pretty and feminine.  I recently treated myself to a coverstitch machine (Juki MCS-1500) so I was positively giddy to see THREE articles on coverstitch machines. (Read the articles: Why I Bought a Coverstitch Machine, A Beginner's Guide to Using a Coverstitch Machine and Handy Hints for Your Coverstitch Machine).  I decided to see how it would handle the curves and angles of this neckline and I am really pleased with how it came out!

Next I sewed an outfit for my youngest daughter.  I used Abby's Ballerina Tie Top and paired it with #120 Footloose Leggings.  We are headed into Spring here so I made a version that will transition nicely.  I chose a white with black polka dot cotton Lycra for the top and a solid black cotton Lycra for the leggings in Capri length, included in the pattern.

This was my first time trying a Wolf and the Tree Pattern and I really liked how it came together.  Not only is the pattern layered for your printing convenience, she includes a pattern piece for the neckband.  She also offers instructions for sewing in the sleeves both flat and in the round, depending on your preference.  The only wish I had was that Height was included on the Size Chart.  My daughter's are generally a size 6 in most designers so I just went with that. But I used the 4 width because of her chest measurement.

There are 5 sleeve lengths and an optional cowl neckline so the options are plenty.  You can also chose woven for the ties if desired.

I always enjoy sewing the Thread Faction patterns so I had to squeeze these in to make a complete outfit.  I decided to see how the Capri length would look and figured with Spring coming, they would be worn longer.  I love that there was a detailed set of instructions on blending the sizes in her pattern and that she knows many kids need things blended!  This way, everyone can achieve the intended fit.

I blended a 4 width with a 6 height and they literally fit like a glove.  These are super easy to sew up.  Later in the year though, I will try the attached legwarmers because they are adorable and my daughter "super duper wants them"! HA!

Of course, One Thimble is so much more than just a collection of patterns.  It's an actual magazine so each issue comes packed with articles.  I included this picture because there are SO many fantastic articles and I even recognized some of the contributors.  In the Regular Columns, Stitches in Time is my favorite.  I felt the emotions inside as I read this installment.  Next Issue is also a favorite because I can already tell #19 will be amazing.  

There are two quick tutorials that are super cute, both made from felt.  One is a swan hair clip and the other is a play makeup kit for this little girls.They would make quick and easy gifts!

I could name off all the articles that I loved reading and took something away from, but I would have to type out nearly every article!  Seriously, they are that good!

Every issue inspires me in a way that I had not been inspired before.  I really don't know how Jen does it over and over and over again, but she does and it's for the 18th time! I am truly in awe thinking about all of the patterns and articles for the past 18 issues.  Some of my most favorite sews and pictures have been my One Thimble sews.  Congratulations Jen and team on your inspiring success!!!

Be sure to check out the rest of the stops in the 

One Thimble Issue 18 Blog Tour!








How to Sew a Blind Hem {TUTORIAL}

I absolutely love a blind hem, but the first several attempts I made were disastrous.  Trying to comprehend the instructions booklet that came with my sewing machine had me ripping more stitches than I could count.  I simply could not wrap my brain around the vague pictures.  Then I had my AHA moment and thought I needed to share it with the world.  I really wanted to title this tutorial -- "How to Wrap Your Brain Around a Blind Hem" ... lol but thought it didn't quite match the gorgeous fabric I used in my step-by-step tutorial.  Before I talk about the fabric, here's a basic definition of a blind hem.

blind hem  /blΔ«nd hemnoun  

             A method of hemming fabric so that the stitch thread is invisible, or nearly invisible on the front of the garment.

Okay, let's discuss the stunning floral fabric, shall we?!  This print is just one of 18 in the Berkshire Garden line, available now by Lila Tueller for Riley Blake Designs.  These vibrant prints showcase a mixture of floral, damask, flourishes and pears.  Simply stunning!

These fabrics have me dreaming of Spring!  In fact, this dress will be my daughter's Easter Dress.  I chose the Aqua Berkshire Main and paired it with Pink Berkshire Flourish.  I chose one of my favorite patterns to sew, the Amsterdam Dress by Little Lizard King.

I definitely squealed when I opened the package.  They are even prettier in person!  I thought this fabric was the perfect canvas for a blind hem.  As neat as my normal hemming is, I couldn't bear to sew through those roses.

{Tutorial} How to Sew a Blind Hem

Materials Needed:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Blind Hem Foot
  • Iron
  • Hot Hemmer Tool (recommended)
  • Added length on pattern piece
  • Starch (optional)
To begin, add 1.5" in additional length to the item you will be blind hemming. In my case, I added this length to both the front and back skirt pieces of the Amsterdam Dress by Little Lizard King.
Sew the skirt as directed in the pattern, but do not attach to the bodice.  I prefer to hem first while the skirt fabric is not gathered so you don't have to have the additional weight of the bodice in your hands during hemming.

Step 1: With the wrong side facing up, turn the bottom edge up 1/2". Press.

Step 2: Turn the bottom edge up an additional 1 1/2". Press.

Step 3: With the hem ironed in place, carefully turn the skirt right side out so the right side of the fabric is facing up.  Fold the bottom edge to the right side of the fabric 1 3/8". Press.

This is what it will look like on the back side: 

You should see 1/8" of the original 1/2" hem that you ironed in Step 1.

Step 4:  Head to the sewing machine and switch to your blind hem foot.  

Next, choose your blind hem stitch (as pictured on the left of my sewing machine screen).  It is a straight stitch alternating with a < on the left side.

Step 5: Place garment, wrong side up under the blind hem foot with the white guide foot against the inner fold (where the wrong side of the fabric begins). Adjust your stitch length and width to your preference and then adjust the hem guide on the foot so that your needle is just to the left of it.   Begin stitching.  Verify the straight stitches are sewn on the 1/8" overhang and that just the very point of the left side of the stitch ( the < portion of the stitch) is sewn on the folded edge of the wrong side of the fabric.  Adjust if needed.  Hem the garment.

Your stitches should resemble this:

Step 6: Unfold hem and iron on both sides.  Use starch if desired.

The backside will look like this:

And the front will look like this!  Can you find the stitches?

TA-DA!!!! You did it!!  Quick, do a happy dance!!

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial -- once it clicks, you will want to blind hem ALL.THE.THINGS!

Special thanks to Lila Tueller and Riley Blake Designs for providing me with these beautiful prints from Berkshire Garden!

P.S.  Use your blind hem foot for super straight topstitching! Check out my post on Instagram to see it in action.  

Cricut - BE MINE - Blog Hop

Oh my gosh -- it's FEBRUARY!!  (Ummm, where did January go?!)  I am excited to be a stop in the 
Cricut πŸ’— Be Mine πŸ’— Valentine's Day Blog Hop!  I've got a fun, easy {layered} iron-on for the candy lover in your life!  For me, it's my youngest that considers candy one of the main food groups.😜

I hopped on the Cricut train last summer with the Explore Air 2.  In November, I received the {new} Cricut Maker (stay tuned for a FULL review because you need one!)  This past month, I have used my Maker nearly everyday and am constantly looking for new projects.  Iron-on is one of my favorite things to do because it's SO easy with big results.  

Valentine's Day Iron-On: XOXO {I'm just here for the candy} 

Materials Needed:

Step 1: Open the cut file in Design Space (Cricut) and verify the sizing is suitable for your project (the current size is for a Girls' 4/5)

Step 2: Cut your Iron-On Materials & Weed Your Cuts

(NOTE: Be sure to MIRROR image in the Make It section and place Iron-On Shiny side down)

Step 3: You should now have 3 separate layers:

Step 4:  Find the Vertical Center of your shirt. Press.

Step 5: Place your layered Iron-On cuts in place to verify placement -- DO NOT IRON YET!

Step 6: Remove the top TWO layers, leaving just the bottom layer (Metallic Blush). Place protective cloth over and iron according to package instructions.  

Please make note whether you need to peel hot or cold.

Step 7: Place the middle layer (Brown/Cocoa). Place protective cloth over and iron according to package instructions.  

Please make note whether you need to peel hot or cold.

Step 8: Place your final/top layer (Red Foil). Place protective cloth over and iron according to package instructions.  

Please make note whether you need to peel hot or cold.

You're finished!!

Be sure to check out the rest of the stops for more Cricut-related Valentine's fun!

Cricut πŸ’— Be Mine πŸ’— Valentine's Day Blog Hop

Wednesday 1/31 The Intrepid Thread

She couldn't believe she was getting chocolates during her photoshoot!

Savoring every bite and wondering how many she'll get to eat.

Merry Kismet --- A Tale of Fate


Do you believe in fate?  I don't think about it often, but every once in a while, I am reminded of it.  This entire outfit is the result of my latest reminder that sometimes things happen for a reason.

Backstory (warning: my husband tells me I am long-winded... so buckle up!):

I connected with Gemia of Phat Quarters on FB over the Trillium Dress I had sewed.  I joined her group on Facebook and happened to play her "Math Games Trivia" during her big sale.  I luckily won some credit to her shop.  I placed my order while it was ALL on sale for Black Friday and honestly felt like I was stealing a bit because I got such an unbelievable deal.  I had picked out some knits and an adorable Lewis & Irene Santa Village print.  When I opened my package, I had received this Lewis & Irene Santa fabric by mistake.  Gemia graciously resent my original fabric and told me to go ahead and keep the Santa cut.  WOW!   I thanked her and couldn't believe her generosity.  (The blue background matches her eyes perfectly!)


While at Hobby Lobby, I picked up a coordinating red with white dots so I could make my 6 year old a dress. THEN, I saw a call for testers for this sweet winter trapper hat - the Rocky Mountain Hat by Little Lizard King.  Of course, I immediately thought of making a Santa-inspired version using the red/white dots and lining it with some sort of fur to mimic Santa's hat.   The Rocky Mountain hat's sizing will cover your whole family!  I made the size small in testing.  Options include ear flaps, braided ties, and chin straps.

 It all came together just as I pictured in my head.  For the dress, I turned to my new favorite pattern -- the Wimberley Dress by Little Lizard King.  This dress has so many options and I have only tried a few of them!  This time, I added the waist tie, and left off the pintucks (only to save time.... love the tucks) and left of the ruching on the sleeves.

TLDR:  Got a fabric by mistake from Phat Quarters that inspired an outfit for a hat that I tested.

So Merry Kismet to you all <3 <3 

Grab your Rocky Mountain hat for just $3 through Sunday 12/24/17 and be sure to show Phat Quarters some love!!

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