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Thursday, October 22, 2015

I am ALL about the CATS!!! Wardrobe and Freshly Picked Moccasins Giveaway

He Is ALL About His CATS!!! And that's why when I first collaborated with Freshly Picked Baby Moccasins, I knew that I had to dedicate this blog entry to Liam, my kitty-cat obsessed 19-month-old. And if you are questioning how the cats ended up in the studio shoot? Well that's because he takes them (almost) everywhere. I need to invest in back-up of his feline 'Lovies' just in case.

Liam LOVES all things Kitty! He will point it out to me in books, on signs, in pictures, toys and of course-live. I decided he really needed a wardrobe dedicated to his obsession-One of A Kind, just for him to match his new Are You Kitten Me moccasins from Freshly Picked.

From Left to right, I used Brindille and Twig Fringe Romper, Cole's Corner and Creations Macs Monster T-shirt and Create Kids Couture Brody's Baseball Tee to create his new cat-addiction inspired clothes. Check back here next week, I'll be sharing how I up-cycled my beloved PAWS Chicago tee and modified the B&T Fridge Romper to create this special look for Liam.

And oh my how his face lit up when I took out the Are-you-kitten-me Moccasins out of their draw string bag. I actually had to hide these from him till photo-shoot day because I knew he would want to snuggle with them and wear them all the time-and I wanted them semi presentable. Little guy likes to jump into puddles and sand boxes - and since the shoot, you bet they are worn and loved at the park.

The soft leather sole is perfect for my newly found-walker, helping him navigate my slippery wood floors at home and the gravel and cement ground outdoors. Made with their signature elastic and fringe opening, you can find your perfect look among their huge selection of Moccasins for Babies and Kids Here. And for folks who like to know provenance, Freshly Picked is made in the USA and Mexico.

Now for the fun part! ONE lucky winner will win a THREE-Pattern pack giveaway. One-PDF pattern from each of the designer I used to create Liam's new Kitty wardrobe.
And that's not all: FRESHLY PICKED will send that ONE lucky winner a FREE pair of Baby Moccasins in choice of size and color.
To enter, please see Rafflecopter below.

Special shout out to my creative friends over at TKPhotography Chicago. I have to admit that I feel a bit spoiled with how fantastic my little man looks! These photos are going up on my wall. I was so nervous going into Liam's first blog shoot, little boy is always on the go-we did all three outfits in about 20 minutes. Thomas Kubik is just brilliant photographing the little ones.
Thanks for reading and good luck!
-Merav Ruthman @ Baby Hobbes Design

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sis Boom Sophie, Part II-Sewing for an indecisive month.

Sophie tunic-turned elastic cinched dress for the Win!!!

Hi again and thanks for joining me for Part II: Sophie Tunic Sewing for an Indecisive month. 

I just adore the relax fit and ease (I like to call it dress-ability) of the Sophie. I consider it a win in our house when Hobbes can come out of her room dressed in the morning without asking, OK, yelling for me to help her get dressed. And that's such a nice break for me, since most mornings I am chasing my 19 month old son around the house.

After sewing the original tunic (Sophie Tunic Part I), my wheels were still turning and I just had see how the Sophie Tunic worked as a dress. Because Hobbes is petite at 41 inches, I decided I wanted to add an external casing and create a waist line on the dress. I used Sis Boom beautiful Daisy in Blue, it's my favorite print from Caravelle Arcade.

Remember how I mentioned that you can get creative with your keyhole, I am just swooning over this combination. 

And check out the back:

I must stop and mention my friend Julie Crigger's amazing ability to match Sis Boom's fabrics with her gorgeous hair pretty. My heart melted when I received this Silk Sari Tie-back, created especially for this look. You can find her shop Little Sparrow Bow here

I really love how the Sophie Tunic transformed. Keep reading to find out how I achieved this look. 

Before you can start the transformation, you need to figure out the length to extend the pattern. For mine, I needed to add 4-5 inches to the tunic to get the length above the knees. I also wanted to allow for an approximately extra 2-3 inches so the dress can have a pillow-effect over the waist-with kids, it kind of happens naturally that dresses rise up.  I concluded that 7 was my magic number and crossed my fingers!

To adjust the tunic into a dress length, I first eliminated the flaps (Please skip over page 11-12 in the Sophie tunic directions) and added 7 inches to the bottom of the pattern. See picture below.
When drawing the extension, start at the external arm hole and drew down a straight line, keeping the angle and curving at the bottom.

Once you have your dress sewn per directions (skipping the flaps) go ahead and hem the bottom of your dress by folding it up 0.5 inch then pressing. Fold again another 0.5 inch up, press and sew your hem closed.

Now we can begin making the external waist casing. There are many different ways to create casing, and you can choose to make it thinner or ticker then mine. You can even use pre-made bias tape for the same results, just remember to adjust your elastic size so it will fit inside your casing once it's edge-stitched on. For my dress, I had a specific look in mind. I wanted to sew it in a way that only the blue from Abby in Blue  and the rings will show up.

I choose to cut a 3 inch strip by the salvage width. I will later adjust it around the dress and cut off the extra fabric.
Go ahead and fold in half, with the right sides together sew along the strip. You don't need to finish the ends.

Flip your casing right side out. As you can see from the picture below, to achieve my design, the seam will run down the right side of my fabric-in the middle. I figured it wouldn't be as noticeable once it's cinched in.
You may choose to have your seam on the side or hidden underneath. Now iron your casing and set it aside.

Place the finished dress on a flat surface as seen in the picture below. With a ruler, go ahead and draw a straight continues line, marking the placement of the casing. I choose to mark the line 6 inch under the bodice facing, to create a drop-waist and allow for the pillow-like effect.

Once you made your marking, go ahead and pin your casing to your dress. Be sure you are only pinning through one layer at a time. As you can tell from the picture below, I started pinning from the dress front right edge. Since I cut my casing at salvage width, I left some of the excess fabric on the edge. Later I will use this fabric to close my casing.

Go ahead and edge stitch the casing. Remember to leave 1.5-2 inch opening on either the top or the bottom of your casing. This opening will be closed after the elastic is fed through the casing.

Once your casing ALMOST sewn all the way around, go ahead and trim the remaining fabric, tuck under and sew your casing closed as pictured below.

You are almost done!!! Remember that 1.5-2 inch space we left? time to get your elastic out. For my dress, I used a 3/4 inch width elastic, measured out to 19.5 inches-Hobbes waist is 20.5. For this dress design, I didn't want it to be to tight-just to have enough pull to cinch the dress to the body. I inserted the elastic, catching the two ends together and sewing with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Now all that is left is to sew your casing closed.

What did you think of the Sophie Tunic transformation into a Dress? I love finding patterns that allow me so much versatility, especially sewing with October's weather indecisiveness.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments here, or stop by and say Hi to me over at Baby Hobbes Design
You can also follow me on Instagram @Babyhobbesdesign
Beautiful Sari Tie-back made to match Daisy in Green, by the talented Julie Crigger over at Little Sparrow Bow
Lastly, my genius friends Thomas and Tiana over at TK Photography Chicago for their amazing ability to capture my design creations and beautifully feature their movements and elegance. I couldn't be more impressed! Oh, and thanks for letting Hobbes and her little brother have some fun in-between takes.

Happy Sewing,
-Merav @ Baby Hobbes Design

Monday, October 12, 2015

A perfect pattern for an indecisive month: Sis Boom Sophie Tunic Part I

October has always been a difficult sewing month for me. I am not ready to commit to styling Hobbes with the long sleeve warmth of Winter, we have quite enough snow-covered months ahead of us; but the summer heat and the spaghetti strap dresses are now behind me. After receiving another beautiful mix of Sis Boom prints that included Caravelle Arcade Abby in Blue and Daisy in Green, I decided to capture October indecisiveness with a new to me pattern that allows me to change my mind too. Well in lengths that is!

Sis Boom Sophie Tunic offers four different sleeves styles that include short and long sleeve, cuffed and my favorite, a cap sleeve. It also outlines a few different hem lines so you can shorten your top, or create a tunic length top to wear over leggings too. You can even get creative with your keyhole, with options for contrasting fabric overlay and different keyhole closures.

For my first Sophie look, I made Hobbes a simple tunic. I wanted to sew it in the patterns' purest form to highlight an incredible aspect of design manipulation we may often forget about: Cutting pattern pieces ON THE BIAS:

You have to be very careful when you are cutting on the bias, or your garment may move or even stretch in the wrong direction. With the Sophie pattern, I was careful to cut it diagonally along the grain, however, because the pattern design includes flaps on the bottom ends of the tunic, I knew that my fabric wouldn't pull. 

Before cutting, I decided to redraw the pattern piece on wax paper so I would have the finished outline of the top. I did this truly to make fabric placement easier, as I wanted my keyhole to lay perfectly on the cream section of my Abby in Blue Fabric.

One of my favorite features on this top is the pleat on the sleeve. Just one little inverted pleat and the tunic has a soft and airy feel to it. I choose to sew my tunic with the cap sleeve, imagining it would look sweet over a long sleeved knit top or layered perfectly under Hobbes collection of faux fur vest.

I really enjoyed the simplicity of this pattern and already have mountains of ideas for my next few. It really is a great pattern to showcase a very bold print. And the versatility is endless. Join me Friday, for Sophie Tunic Part II, a different spin on Sophie. 
Here is a sneak:

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, come say hi to me over Baby Hobbes Design
You can also follow me on Instagram @Babyhobbesdesign
Special thanks to the amazing duo Thomas and Tiana over at Tk photography
Beautiful hair pretties by the talented Julie at Little Sparrow Boutique

Till Friday!
Happy Sewing,
-Merav, Designer at Baby Hobbes Design