2 Girls, 1 Room. Decorating for Two

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econd to actually having the third baby, isn't figuring out sleeping arrangements really stressful? When Adrian was born we lived in a 2 bedroom house so Adrian and Adelle shared a room. We actually didn't plan on having a third when we bought our house, but plans changed, and we're glad they did.
 Since Adelle first found out that we were having a girl, she's talked non-stop about sharing a room with her. I'm glad she's excited to have a little sister, but with a 7 year age gap lets just hope the enthusiasm stays when Aria starts getting into all of Adelle's stuff.
 I'm a bit of a control freak and I like to keep the bedrooms pretty minimal with very few toys, it makes it easy to pick up, and then the kids can go nuts in the basement.
The crib that was Adelle and Adrian's was recalled so we had to trash it and get a new one. I wasn't too sad about it because I found this beautiful two toned one at Walmart and I absolutely love it! It'll work as a toddler bed too.
 The floral mural is my favorite part of this room. My wonderful friend painted it and it's better than what I could have ever imagined. Adelle helped paint the purple leaves.
I'm lucky enough to have multiple artists in my life. This castle painting was done by my Mom a couple Christmases ago. The details she puts into her art is amazing. She has all the patience I lack. This is Adelle's actual selection of books right now. She's obsessed with Egypt and Mummies, Every library trip includes at least one Mummy book, She tells me that she's doing research.
 My contribution to the artwork in the girls' room are these three prints I found on Pinterest. I'm really good at pinning and printing things, It's a gift really.
 This little table was our first Ikea project. Adelle painted it and put it together with a little help from me.
 Brett's grandpa built this changing table when we were expecting Adelle. He was the shop teacher at the High school here. This thing is no joke, it's probably the heaviest piece of furniture in the room.
Aria hasn't spent too much time in this room, She'll stay in our room for the first 6 months, but I'm looking forward to hearing little girl giggles on the other side of the door. 

Tell me, what do you think about kids sharing a room?

A Little Boy Grandpa Cardigan

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ne of my biggest fails of last year was not making one article of clothing for this guy. Can you believe that? Maybe it was the pregnancy brain, Adelle constantly asking for fancy dresses or school, but this will not be the year that Adrian goes without handmades.
I love a little man in grown up looking clothes, and if that happens to be what I deem an old man cardigan all the better. This pattern is something I've had in my pattern stash for a while. I made one a long time ago when Adrian was just 3 months old for family pictures.

The Comfy Oslo Cardigan

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don't know about you but I feel like this first half of January has been a whole blur. Adelle went back to school last week so we're trying to get into some sort of routine. I'm being spoiled right now since Brett is home for at least the next couple weeks thanks to his job implementing paid paternity leave this year, we took advantage of it by getting our family photos taken on a Saturday morning by one of my very dear friends.

Sometimes I feel like I have tunnel vision, my days and nights all run together, especially with those night time feedings but I'll adjust, we'll adjust to the new normal. One normal that I'm liking/not liking is being in pajamas all day. They're so comfy but I hate feeling like a frump, and looking like one too. Adelle even calls me out on it "Are you gonna wear your pajamas to take me to school?" Damn right I am little lady. But I do want to up my PJ game a little bit, so enters the Oslo Cardigan by Seamworks Magazine.

I actually worked on one in December, but with the combination of pregnancy brain, not reading the pattern, and trying to rush I ended up making the collar too short, or the front too long. I don't know. It ended up on my floor for a couple weeks until I finally cleaned my sewing room and tossed it without even looking. That was a last year project, so it doesn't matter.

The second time around I found this amazing sweater knit at Joann's. A little more than I usually spend at $20 a yard and you need 2 3/4 yards (btw do not short yourself on the yardage for it, you need it all, thankfully I had my 50% off coupon. I held fast to the old saying "measure twice, cut once" and ended up with the most amazing cozy, comfy winter cardigan, that when you tell people you made it, they assume you mean knitted it, muhahaha!

I honestly don't know what I did to the first, because as the ladies behind Seamworks claims for all their patterns, they are easy and fast projects, and for being easy and fast, it's very well put together. In fact, this sweater is so nice that my sister stole it off me. Don't worry there was a fair trade, but I'm looking forward to making it again.

 I have a subscription to Seamworks and I love the implementation of the credit system. In case you didn't know you get two credits each month and you can use them towards any patterns, past, present or you can save them for the future if none of the patterns are doing it for you. I love that! I kind of hoard my credits though. The magazine is free to read, and there are some great tutorials and articles, I really love what they've put into the project.

So have you made any pattern from the Seamworks Magazine? If so what? I'd love some ideas for what I should buy with my credits.

Wardrobe Sewing Plans for 2016

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t has been crazy at my house, as you can probably expect with a new baby in the house, getting quality time in with Adelle and Adrian,trying to balance my own school work, and of course the day to day of laundry, dishes, more laundry, more dishes. But I want to craft so hard! I've also been going through my whole fabric stash and reorganizing and selling some on Instagram, gotta pay for all the new fabric I just bought some how, right? And beyond all that I have created probably one of the longest project lists I've ever done. It's hard when there are just so many cute ideas, patterns and fabrics out there and you have 3 kids who look adorable in handmades, a husband who will totally wear a bad ass peacoat, and you've just gotten out of a very restricted maternity wardrobe of leggings and husband t-shirts.
So I wanted to outline my sewing plans for 2016. The majority of these projects are pretty quick simple projects, sprinkled in with a few technical, skill learning, a lot of seam ripping and maybe a little crying inducing projects.
 So starting off with Adelle, my girlie girl is totally into anything "Fashion" as she calls it, namely anything super fancy & impractical for a 7 year old to wear to school. So I've come up with some ideas to work some fancy into her wardrobe. Adelle started gymnastics this past fall and has been loving it. she has one mama-made leotard, I used Kwik Sew's pattern which is super easy, but she definitely needs a new one, I thought the mermaid inspired leotard would be perfect for her, I even have my eye on the fabric at Joann's, danget! The one thing I forgot to buy! I also love the Handstand t-shirt, and I know she will too. I did promise her a fancy dress for Christmas, so I need to deliver on that, but I also want to make her this adorable wrapped sweater, a soft tunic with a soft trim and a bookworm t shirt. A little fancy mixed with a little practical.
Adrian's favorite color right now is red, and I'm good with that because he looks adorable in it and it's an easy color to find at the store. For Adrian I'm keeping it pretty basic, I think kids need to be able to play in their clothes, so for him I have plans to make a couple shirts, some more PJ pants using the retro style sweatpants pattern, because lets be honest, we are at home 90% of the time, and in PJ's the majority of the time. I also want to make him at least two more button ups, using the Classic Oxford pattern. and an adorable little man cardigan using OwlyBaby's Darling Cardigan. He'll be starting pre-school this Fall so this will help build up his school wardrobe a little.
As for little Aria Wynelle, I have a couple projects for her, but I don't want to go too crazy since she'll grow out of them in a minute. I'd like to get my snap tool out again and make a couple onsies with cute says or prints on them, I think nothing is cuter on a baby than a little striped shirt. Summer will be here soon so a couple nice outfits are in order for church. And I have plans on making a cute pair of baby shoes. the shoes are a little low on the priority list, since you know, she can't walk, but they'll be a good small project to do.
As for Brett, I made him a black vest about 2 years ago before I really knew what I was doing, though I'm still impressed by my welted pockets! But he requested a grey vest, and I am happy to oblige. I have button up patterns sitting in my stash so I want to make him at least one, since that is literally all he wears. And for my humongous, challenge project for this year, I plan on making him a bad ass tailored military pea coat. Can we just stop for a second and just appreciate this man in the ad! This is a project I'm really excited about because I know that if I do it right, Brett will wear the crap out of this coat, and swagger all the way.
And now we are finally to my sewing list.... DEEP BREATH.... I think I'm pretty much still in the whole building a wardrobe phase. Last year I got a small taste of it so I'm really excited to dive in and create a quality wardrobe for me. I turn 30 this year and I really want to focus on quality over quantity, "but Amber, you just posted like 40 projects to do?" I know but the majority of them are pretty quick projects, and I'll be okay if I achieve only a few, if I know they're well made instead of sloppily put together.
So starting at the top, I plan on making a window pane print flannel using the trusty Archer pattern, a pair of purple flare cords using Baste & Gather's Birkin Flares, also though not pictures I plan on making a denim version as well, I've been wanting to make this sergeant jacket from Burdastyle for forever now. Skinny jeans utilizing the Ginger Jeans pattern, or perhaps the Kendall Skinnies when it's released. A well made white button up using either the Archer or another pattern I have, This beautiful maxi skirt which just looks so effortlessly chic it makes me want to cry. I really want to nail down bra and underwear patterns, I have one from kwik sew and I have Cloth Habit's Watson bra pattern, but if you have any suggestions, especially bras for bigger busts, I'm all ears!
I also want a relaxed black blouse, I love the twist. and these olive colored pants need to get in my closet once and for all.

This year I really want to make my own swimsuit, not that i go swimming a ton but maybe I would if I had this swimsuit! A pair of fun colored Palazzo pants, because being a girl with grey hair and not taking full advantage of some crazy prints is just sad. Another project that is going to be a challenge project for me is this grey blazer. I really want to get the fit perfect, I also want to make a merlot blazer. A good pair of cobalt skinnies using again either ginger jeans or the kendall skinnies. some fancy panties and this awesome gingham high-waisted midi skirt, because reasons!
I know what you're thinking, "Amber you don't have all the fabric for that do you?" Oh I do! this was part of my going through my stash. I have pinned the plan to each piece of fabric so when I grab something I know exactly what my plan is, I've even gone far enough to pile them into piles dedicated to each person.
I'm looking forward to finally getting in my sewing room this weekend and making a few things. What are your making plans this year? Any challenges you're doing? If you are interested in purchasing some of my stash click the instagram link and you can view it all right there.

Favorite Nine Makes for 2015


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efore the new year begins I wanted to share some of my favorite makes from this year. This has been a crazy year for me and my family. Between starting school and being pregnant my sewing has definitely been pushed to the back burner. I mean you can only sew so many maternity clothes without feeling like you're wasting time and fabric.
There are a lot of items I'm really proud of, such as the fact that I made 3 coats this year! My houndstooth coat was my first ever, and the first time I learned how to bag the lining. I used the same technique when I made my Brenna maternity coat, almost 11 months later, and I still love both! Adelle's coat was a lot more complicated. The McCalls pattern was really for a simple sweatshirt jacket with welted pockets and simple buttons, but with all my add ons, such as a fur lined hood, snaps, and toggles. not to mention the awesome iridescent quilted mauve knit for the outside, coupled with the plaid microfleece for the lining you bet your bottom dollar this jacket took on a life of it's own. But I absolutely love how it turned out. And seeing Adelle wear it so proudly makes this one of my favorite makes to date.
Another challenge I managed this year was making jeans. I never thought I would even attempt them but the Ginger Jeans pattern is the bomb and I can't wait to be able to wear them again. I also got to make a pair of men's trousers from the same floral fabric and fabric featuring the logo of his donut shop which were worn in a cover shoot for Sauce Magazine. It was a challenge just to sew for someone else, let alone someone in a different city. We shipped the muslin back and forth to get the fit right.
After starting school in April my sewing kind of stopped until May when I found out I was pregnant. I did a lot of little instant gratification projects, some that took only minutes, to others that took a few hours but one of my favorite baby makes has to be this bear nightgown I made. It was exactly what I pictured in my mind. I also love this terry cloth sleeper pattern by Purl Soho and I can't wait for baby girl to wear it!
My last two makes include a simple dress for Adelle for school pictures with a water coloresque fabric and a maternity dress I whipped up to wear to my husband's holiday work party. Both were pretty quick, and I got to learn a little fabric manipulation with the maternity dress which was fun.
As much as I loved how the 9 makes turned out, my favorite has to be....

our beautiful little girl, Aria Wynelle, who was born December 19th, 6lbs 15 oz and 19.5" long. We are completely smitten. So as much as this year has had to offer us, I'm really hoping for a simple 2016. I'll be finishing up my last year of school, Adrian will be starting pre-school, and I'm going to enjoy snuggling this girlie as much as I can, while hopefully getting in some sewing. I'm really hoping to be back at Tangible Artiste sharing projects, tutorials and getting to know more sewists. So if you have a blog, or instagram account let me know, I'd love to connect and I could always use more reading material during those late night feedings to keep me awake!

Brenna Maternity Coat

 Don't be fooled by the disdained look on my face I love this coat! It's just that after mostly wearing comfy prego leggings all the time, jeans suck! Yes, if you're wondering, I am expecting. Actually I'm 34 weeks! Another reason for the look on my face, I'm ready to be done! She is due January 6th, and if you follow me on instagram you've seen all the prepping we've been doing, including a lot of sewing.
 I know it's been a while, in part it's because of baby, but I've also been doing online classes to get my bachelors in digital marketing. As much as I love staying home with our kids, and having nap times to sew, I know that eventually the workforce will call me back and I'll have to answer. yay, Adulting!
 Since this is our last baby I didn't want to invest in a maternity coat, I debated on even making one, but if you've ever been to the midwest then you know that it can get below zero, so cold that it hurts to breathe and you question why you live in a place where it hurts to breathe, but such is the life we chose.
This pattern comes from CaliFaye's collection and is the Brenna Coat. I bought the pattern last year and have a merlot color wool set aside just for it, but it kinda got pushed to the back of my mind with everything else going on. The pattern is simple and amazing! You have the option of adding a sew on snap to the front but I love the simple drape it offers so I made a tie belt to go with it. I also color blocked mine, with Camel colored wool and navy wool, BTW, I've been on the search for the camel colored wool for a while with no luck. Then I was looking through my closet of forgotten fabrics, seriously I have one, and found both of these fabrics from Grandma Jan's stash. So not only the perfect color I was looking for, but vintage and higher quality than what I would have purchased elsewhere. They are also super itchy!
 I admit when I was planning this I just wanted to be lazy and do an unlined coat. Which is really dumb because bagging the lining is like the easiest thing ever! It looks really intimidating but Jen at Grainline Studio has a great tutorial that'll walk you through it!
I did grade the pattern from a medium in the arms and neckline to an XL to fit my gargantuan belly. Besides the color blocking that's the only edit I did. This coat came together so easily! I'm not even kidding if you don't count the time to put the PDF pattern together, while watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother, shoveling chocolate covered cherries in my face and cutting the fabric out, I made this coat in 5 hours. I've spent more time searching for a cheap maternity coat than I did sewing one, and I got it for the price of the pattern!
What I love most about this coat is that I'm going to get to use it even after baby is born, without it looking like a maternity coat. So if you're looking for a quick coat pattern, or you're thinking of making your first coat ever get Cali Faye's Brenna Coat, She has drafted an amazing pattern that can be made in a number of different fabrics and color combo's to dress it up or keep it casual, Check out Alida's version, it's on my wardrobe sewing list for next fall.

CaliFaye's Back To Basics

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e've been having the most random weather lately. In one day it'll go from 60 and sunny to snowing. Adelle keeps asking me if it's Summer yet and my mind has been overflowing with landscaping ideas. I am ready for Summer!
CaliFaye just released their basics pattern line and I was lucky enough to be a tester. I got to try out the tank and the drop waist skirt. She's made a couple changes to the patterns since testing them so there are a few tweaks but the ideas are the same.
These pieces sewed up nicely. Perfect for a person who's just starting to explore handmade wears you really get a chance to learn some basics. The tank used bias binding for the armhole and neckline and as for the skirt it has an invisible zip. I used a very stretchy Bengaline so the zipper wasn't really necessary for my fabric, but if you used a cotton or challis you'd need it.
I think for a piece to be considered a basic it has to be able to incorporate well with pieces you already own. Since the silhouettes are so simple you can really go crazy with fabric choices or embellishments.
I rarely wear skirts, especially skirts that can easily be blown by the wind. If I did this skirt over I'd make it longer, just for that reason. And perhaps not periwinkle. I feel like a little kid in it. I think if I would have done it in a dark plum, or charcoal grey it'd be more up my alley. I did have fun playing with embroidery stitches and adding a little character to the hem. It made it feel that much more summery.
To be honest I'll probably get way more wear out of the shirt! I love the little bird pattern and the drape on this shirt is amazing! When I tested the pattern I did not chance the length of the shirt. I know that she has since added 2" to the length and after sewing one up with the improved pattern I'm much happier with the length!
 Here's a picture of my second one showing off my custom made tag. I used a shimmery textured polyester I got for super cheap at Hancock Fabrics. I wore it immediately after I hemmed it! Check out that handmade bias tape!
These are great basics for a summer wardrobe, especially that tank top! I mean who couldn't use another flowy tank? Try them out and check out the rest of the collection!