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{Testing} The Monterey Romper by Little Lizard King

Wowee!!!  I have been dying to share this pattern I tested leading into Spring break.  The Monterey Romper by Little Lizard King is the second pattern Molly has added (see her 1st here) and I am in love!!  This modern romper is designed for lightweight fabrics such as voile, lawn, rayon and other apparel fabrics with nice drape.  It covers sizes 12m - 14 which is a nice range.  Options include sleeveless, cold shoulder or split shoulder in three sleeve lengths, and closed shoulder in three sleeve lengths.  There are also optional pockets!!  

I found this stunning floral polyester at Hobby Lobby which had just enough black in it to match my daughter's new shoes.   The ensemble is unlined and finished with bias facings.  The button placket is a great way to add a pop of color, if desired.

The reason you'll want to select a fabric with nice drape is to get this airy, bloused effect at the waist.  Because this fabric is a little trickier to work with, plan on spending a little more time sewing it together.  Also, double check the iron temperature so you don't accidentally scorch or melt your fabric.  I found that I could use a higher temperature if I placed a normal piece of quilting cotton on top.  This came in handy when I was pressing the hems in place.

I really like the length of the shorts and feel like it's the perfect length.  I wish I had been patient enough to wait to add the pockets.  The original pockets were a little big and would have peeked out from the hem (#thisiswhywetest).  The new draft of pocket was uploaded the next day, but of course I had carved out the previous night to sew.   So I must make another with pockets, obviously. 😜

As you know, my girls do not fall in standard sizing.  One of my favorite things about testing is seeing how easy it is to blend the sizes to fit the measurements of my girls.  This way, the finished look is how the designer intended it to fit and my daughters get a perfectly tailored piece of clothing which is impossible to buy from a store.  For this pattern, my 7 year old is wearing a size 3 chest, 2 waist (elastic measurement), 4 hip, and a 6 length.  Whew, that was a mouthful.  

Tip:  The width of the waist needs to match on both the bodice and the shorts when sewing together.  I sewed the width of a size 4 on the shorts portion in order to fit her hips and because the waist is cinched with elastic, the bottom of my bodice is graded out to a 4.  So if you are blending sizes, double check this!  The side seams of the bodice are angled outward so when I originally followed the angle down to a 6 length, I actually had increased the width of the waist of the size 3 chest accidentally.  I only had to add about 1/8" to get to the size 4 waist.  

 The cold shoulder is one of my daughter's favorite features.  I think it makes her feel sophisticated and trendy.  I love it because I can actually sew them items that they see in the store (that don't fit them).

Gone is my little baby and in her place is a stunning young lady.  One of my favorite byproducts of sewing is watching her grow up in front of the camera lens.

{Cricut Maker} Easy Key Fob Tutorial + GIVEAWAY

*** Cricut provided me with all the materials in the picture below in exchange for a product tutorial. 
All thoughts are mine and are not influenced by anyone else. ***

I have a fun tutorial for you today using my Cricut Maker --  Key Fobs!  They are quick to make, perfect for fat quarters or scrap busters and easy to give as a gift!  They are super easy to make, but even quicker when you use your Cricut Maker.   Be sure to read all the way to the end because 5 lucky readers are going to win one of the Key Fobs pictured above!!

Materials Needed

Time:  30 minutes, including Fray Check drying time.

* If you do not own a Cricut Maker (yet..), measurements are given below the picture in Step 1.

Step 1: Open the {Easy} Key Fob Design in Design Space

Main fabric: 10" x 3 15/16" (L x W)
Stabilizer: 10" x 15/16" (L x W)
(fabric is cut just a scant under the nearest inch so when folded, it is not wider than the hardware kit)

Then click "Make It". 

 (The pink rectangle is your fabric and the white rectangle is for your stabilizer.)

Step 2:  Place your extra firm stabilizer on the pink (fabric) mat.  Click Continue.  Under Set Material, select Ultra Firm Stabilizer.

Load your mat and cut your material.  Remove from mat.  Set aside.

Step 3: Repeat process with main fabric, making sure to edit the Material to Medium Fabric (cotton).  

Tip:  Place your fabric face down (not like I did, face

Step 4:  Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together, matching the long edges.  Press.

Step 5: Unfold.  Place the stabilizer along the fold.  Take the long, raw edge and fold towards the middle, covering the stabilizer.  Press.

Step 6:  Repeat with other side.   Fold again along the original fold.  Press.  

Step 7: Pin along the edges to keep the edges even.  Sew along the double fold edge first, with a 1/8" seam allowance.

Your width should be 1" after it's all folded up.

Tip: Use your blind hem foot to keep your topstitching super straight!!

Step 8: Sew along the opposite edge with a 1/8" seam allowance.  Leave the short ends raw.

Step 9: Apply Fray Check to short, raw ends and let dry, per package instructions.

Step 10. Bring short ends together and insert into the Key Fob Hardware.  Using a pliers, gently press the hardware together, enclosing the raw ends.  (To avoid scratching your hardware, wrap pliers in tape or place a scrap of fabric between the pliers and hardware.  

Step 11: Attach metal ring and keys!

That's it!!  You are finished!

Isn't this so easy?!  The Cricut Maker makes it even easier!! The cuts are perfect and done in mere seconds.  I can't wait to see yours!  Join the Linky Party -- through April 13th, 2018! 😊

G I V E A W A Y     T I M E

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Introducing the {Cricut Maker}

*** Cricut provided me with all the materials in the picture below in exchange for a product review. 
All thoughts are mine and are not influenced by anyone else. ***

For the past few months, I've been doing some behind the scenes product testing so I could give a comprehensive review on the Cricut Maker, the newest cutting tool to join the Cricut line of products.  If you recall, I had the chance to try the Cricut Explore Air 2 last summer and absolutely loved the ease of using it!!

When Cricut contacted me late last year, I honestly thought Christmas came early!!  I had wanted to purchase the Maker for my birthday (day after it released) but..... I decided my girls needed desks for homework instead so I used all my "fun" money for that and then had no Maker money left ....  womp womp.  So I was incredibly excited to be included on this campaign!!!  Then more so, when the package above arrived at my door!  #rosegoldfordays

What is the Cricut Maker?

The Cricut Maker is the ultimate smart cutting machine.  It has an adaptive tool system which allows the machine to precisely know where to cut, which direction and with the exact pressure needed.  There are several blades available -- allowing you to cut anything from tissue paper to balsa wood, and pretty much everywhere in between.  The most useful tool for me though is the included rotary cutter blade which allows you to cut fabric,  including the most delicate of fabrics!!  This is the first machine that doesn't require the fabric to be bonded which is a big deal.  You can literally cut anything (pretty much).

 This machine will grow with you too.  Because of its Adaptive Tools System™; you can upgrade your machine with new tools in the future instead of upgrading your machine!

Initial Thoughts:

Holy moly, this machine is so gorgeous!  It looks sleek and modern and in the hottest color at the moment... rose gold.  As you flip open the top, the front opens up as well.  Inside the front tray are hidden compartments for holding extra tools.  There are also two holders on the top left.  I use the deeper holder for my Cricut pens and the more shallow one to hold my rotary blade when it's not in use.  There is a slot on top to hold your phone or tablet and has a handy USB port available to charge your device at the same time.  Cricut really took the time to think through all the details.

Why do I need it for sewing?!

Raise your hand if you've had to cut out small pieces by hand for sewing?   Sewing for my girls and their dolls, I am always cutting small pieces.  I also like to be precise and the Cricut Maker makes it sooooo easy to be precise - down to one one hundredth of an inch.   Seriously, I try to hand cut out rectangles, hold them up and they are definitely not perfect.  This machine is perfect for quilters, children's clothing makers, and even bow makers!  Imagine cutting 10 bows at once?!   EEK.  The cutting space is 12" x 24" so I can even cut bodice's out for my girls (as soon as I figure out how to upload it properly ...  lol    I have an idea.  Stay tuned!)

The Cricut library contains many patterns that are ready for you to cut your fabric and then sew, but with Design Space, you can also make your own or upload your own.  My first week with the Maker, I made bias tape!!  I love that I can put in exact measurements in Design Space (makes those cutting charts quick to cut!).

Design Space is extremely user friendly.  When I first used Design Space last summer, I literally had my project coming together in minutes.  It's that easy to figure out.   Plus, you can access Design Space on your tablet/phone when you're out running errands, or sitting in car line.

Another neat feautre is the fabric marker (sold separately) to mark seam allowances or draw on your fabric (to embroider for example).  How cool is this?  I am all about precision.

Not only is it useful for cutting fabrics, you can use it for iron-on, vinyl, paper, and so much more. I am a preschool teacher during the day so each month, I cut all of my materials for my bulletin boards with my Maker (sadly I don't have any pictures). Iron-on is another favorite of mine. I love adding that personal touch in a really short amount of time.

Cricut also has a stylish sewing accessories kit and it is seriously the sharpest I have ever used. The seam ripper and I are BFFs and she never lets me down!

What comes in the box?
Cricut Maker™ machine, Rotary Blade + Drive Housing, Premium Fine Point Blade + Housing, Fine Point Pen, FabricGrip™ Mat 12" x 12", LightGrip™ Mat 12" x 12", welcome book, USB cable, power adapter, Cricut Access™ free trial membership, 50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns, materials for a first project. MSRP: $399.99

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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!








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