Monday, January 2, 2017

Sewing #YearInReview2016

Posted by Heather at Monday, January 02, 2017 0 comments

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sewing Pattern Review- Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns- Out and About Dress

Posted by Heather at Sunday, December 11, 2016 0 comments

Waaa-aaay back in August, Caroline H. (the brains and beauty behind Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns) asked me to review one of her PDF sewing patterns on All Things Katy! I chose the Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress

Then, life got in the way... you know, just your run of the mill start of school (for Lil' Miss), full time work (for me), sprained ankle and X-rays (for Hubs) and an incident with a deer vs. car (for Hubs) that resulted in the purchase of a new car... you know, just normal, ordinary stuff called LIFE... ;-P

I purchased this lovely red, sparkly ponte roma from JoAnn's (also) back in August when I was visiting my out-of-state aunt. I just KNEW I had to have a Christmas dress out of it! The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress was the perfect PDF sewing pattern to bring my me-made Christmas dress vision to life!

Let's start with some Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress pattern basics:

-The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress includes two hemlines (knee and maxi) and two sleeve lengths (elbow and long).
-The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress includes a pattern piece for optional in-seam pockets.
-The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress is written for KNIT fabrics (something with a stretch).
-The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress includes a pattern sizing, finished garment and yardage requirement charts.
-The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress includes step-by-step photographs and written instructions.
-The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress pattern pieces are nested (but not layered) and pages must be trimmed before assembling.

I sewed up a size medium, knee-length, elbow length sleeves, no pockets dress. Because of my *ahem* short stature (5'-0"), I made the following alterations to the pattern pieces before cutting out fabric and sewing:
-I subtracted 1/2" length from the top of the skirt pattern piece.
-I subtracted 2" length from the bottom hem of the skirt piece.
-I subtracted 1" length from the bodice, 2" up from the waist.
*Neckband, cuff and elbow length sleeves were cut as directed in the pattern.*
*I was told that The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress is drafted for an average 5'-6" tall woman.

The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress came together quickly and easily. The pattern pieces lined up perfectly- there was no "fudging" to make things fit. The notches in the sleeve pattern piece were really helpful in constructing the bodice. Plus, the sleeve of The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress is an actual pattern piece- with a different back and front- not just a pattern piece cut out on the fold. This helps create an overall, better fit. The pictures were clear and complimented the written instructions. I never hesitated or wondered how to proceed while sewing up the The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress. It took me less than three hours to sew up The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress (from printing to final try-on).

The scoop neckline of The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress is just right- not too low, and not too high... Just riiiiiight for any holiday event from office Christmas party, date night or Christmas Eve church service.

I LOVE that the elbow length sleeves are finished with a cuffed hem!! For some reason, it's just so much easier to just sew on a cuff instead of folding up, pressing and sewing. Plus, the cuffed hem adds a nice design element- it's the perfect opportunity to add a complimentary fabric, a button accent, etc.

I took out a total of 3 1/2" of length from the pattern pieces. I've always been told to take out 1/2" for every inch you are shorter than the pattern is written for (The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress was drafted for the average 5'-6" tall woman). In retrospect, I realize that I could have stood to take out even more length in both the bodice and the skirt. Even with my alterations, the waist seam (where the bodice and skirt met) still hit me at a funny height (hence, the belt ;-P). The skirt hit just below the knee caps. Also, the sleeves hit me more like 3/4 long sleeves (than elbow) and personally, I prefer them this length.

I love how versatile The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress PDF sewing pattern can be. Dress it up with fancy fabrics. Or, dress it down with casual jersey knit. With  multiple sleeve and hem lengths, you could potentially sew multiple variations of the same dress for all seasons of the year- love that!

In conclusion, The Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dress was a fast, simple sew that resulted in a fun, festive dress. I love the different options included in the pattern and I appreciate how well everything went together. I know I'll be sewing up more Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns Out and About Dresses!

Would you like to learn more about Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns?

***Disclosure: "I received a free pattern in order to review this pattern for Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns . The opinions expressed here are my own."***

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wordless Wednesday- The Jolly Man in Red #NLTD

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, December 07, 2016 0 comments

Friday, December 2, 2016

Building Christmas Memories

Posted by Heather at Friday, December 02, 2016 0 comments

Katy and Ted constructing her Shopkins Cookie House
from Aunt Julie & Uncle Rob
 Check ya' Later 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sponsored Post by At Home and MomSelect- At Home Stores #MyReason #AtHomeStores

Posted by Heather at Saturday, November 26, 2016 0 comments
**Disclaimer-I received a gift card for free from the sponsor, MomSelect and the manufacturer. At Home Stores. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of MomSelect and the manufacturer. At Home.**

Mason Jar Gifts

Decorative Pillows

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is in FULL swing!! As any busy family knows, holidays also mean gift giving- teacher gifts, after school care gifts, mail carrier gifts, neighbor gifts, hostess gifts.... Just a little something to show those special helpers in your (or your child's) life that you care and appreciate them! At Home Stores is a veritable treasure trove of all things holiday, home and organization! #MyReason #AtHomeStores

I started out with a set of four Mason Jar Glasses (found in the glassware section of At Home Stores). I loved the fact that the Mason Jar Glasses included a chalkboard label on each glass- a great way to personalize your gift!

My first Mason Jar gift idea was to create "Southern Wine Glasses." I found some small glass candle stick holders (located in the candle section of At Home Stores). Then, I had my husband epoxy the candle stick holders to the bottom of two of the Mason Jar Glasses. After letting the glasses dry overnight, I filled them with jingle bells and personalized the labels. Pair the "Southern Wine Glasses" with a bottle of wine (or, beverage of your choice) and you've got a great hostess gift!

Start out with this....

...and end up with this...!

Southern Wine Glasses

Since I was only able to find two small glass candle stick holders and I had a set of four Mason Jar Glasses, I wanted to find a special way to gift the remaining two Mason Jar Glasses. While waiting in line to check out, I saw some bags of Lindor Chocolate Truffles. So, I grabbed a couple bags of truffles and filled the remaining two Mason Jar Glasses with Lindor Chocolate Truffles. I plan to personalize the labels and add a festive ribbon- tada!- a perfect gift to give a neighbor!

Neighbor Gift

Now, because I love my sewing machine (as most regular readers of All Things Katy already know;-), I also wanted to find a quick and easy way to gift something (semi) sewn. I found this set of four burlap holiday place mats for $14.99 (located in the holiday linens aisle) and I knew they'd make cute decorative pillows.

Holiday Place mats

I already had some soft polyfil leftover from a previous project, but At Home Stores also sells bags of polyfil.

Once I got the place mats home, I flipped (one at a time) them over and located the seam at one of the bottom corners.

Then, I used my trusty seam ripper and ripped out a couple of inches of seam. By doing so, I created a empty pocket between the muslin backing and the burlap place mat front.

Next, I filled the place mat will polyfil. I filled the place mat pretty full, but still soft enough to get under my sewing machine presser foot and needle. After filling the place mat, I stitched the opening closed with my sewing machine. 

Voila! (Almost) Instant, perfect decorative pillows out of burlap Holiday Place mats from At Home Stores! I loved these pillows so much that I just *might* keep them for myself! Heehee!

Burlap Holiday Place mats turned Decorative Pilllow from At Home Stores

#MyReason to decorate and give to others this this holiday season? It's simple; I want to help create memories with my family and give those that have touched my life a tangible expression of my gratitude. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wordless Wednesday- Eskimo Pie

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, November 23, 2016 0 comments

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sponsored Post by Moms Meet- Blake's All Natural Foods Pot Pies and a GIVEAWAY!

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, November 22, 2016 0 comments
**Disclaimer-I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

I am pleased to review Blake's All Natural Foods Pot Pies here on All Things Katy! today. 

Blake's All Natural

Blake's All Natural Foods started with one family and a farm back in Concord, NH 1929. It started with Grandma's Pot Pie recipe and the fine art of a hungry family gathering together around the dinner table. Blake's All Natural Foods believes that while the times have changed, the notion of family time and quality food has not. Blake's All Natural Foods offers a whole line of organic, natural entrees such as Turkey and Beef Pot Pie. You can read more about Blake's All Natural Foods here.

We decided to try Blake's All Natural Foods Pot Pies on a busy weekday. We just popped the meals out of the freezer and into the oven while we went about unpacking from the day and getting ready for the next. Forty minutes later, we were ready to sit down and dig in! We sampled the Chicken Pot Pie, Shepard's Pie and Macaroni and Cheese because that was what was available to us, at our local grocer. To find Blake's All Natural Foods near you, please refer to the store locator on the Blake's All Natural Foods website.

First off, prep was a breeze- literally, remove contents from box, remove plastic cover and bake. No mixing, transferring or mess. Love that! Hubs, Lil' Miss and I all took turns sampling the Blake's All Natural Foods Chicken Pot Pie, Shepard's Pie and Macaroni and Cheese so that we could give a full report. 

The Chicken Pot Pie had a great, flaky crust. It cooked to the perfect golden brown and had the right amount of crunch when we dug in. Yet, it was soft enough for my (front) toothless six (almost seven!) year old daughter to eat comfortably. The veggies inside definitely tasted fresh and crisp- not over-cooked and mushy. The pot pie sauce was flavorful and light, but not overly salty or bland. My only complaint was that the Chicken Pot Pie lacked a lot of chicken chunks. Of the three pieces that we did get, the chicken was all white meat and not fatty. 

The Macaroni and Cheese had a nice, crunchy crust that added to the overall dish. The Macaroni and Cheese was cheesy and creamy without being fake. The noodles were firm and not mushy at all.

The Shepard's Pie included ground beef, corn and a mashed potato crust. The ground beef tasted fresh and not mealy, fatty or oily. The corn was sweet with just the right amount of crisp 'pop!' The mashed potato topping was light and definitely tasted homemade!

After sampling (and finishing!) our meals, we concluded that we all enjoyed the pot pie the best! It had the best overall flavor, texture and contents. Our second favorite was the Macaroni and Cheese. Overall, we had a very favorable opinion of the Blake's All Natural Foods line of foods and we will definitely be scoping out more Blake's All Natural Foods products next time we go grocery shopping!

As a mom, I love that  Blake's All Natural Foods is made with all-natural, organic ingredients. I appreciate that  Blake's All Natural Foods products are free from artificial colors, preservatives and hormone-free. I enjoy the fact that the family behind  Blake's All Natural Foods believes in fade-from-scratch, small batch cooking- it is evident in their meals!

Would you like to connect with Blake's All Natural Foods?

Now for the fun part- a GIVEAWAY! Enter below to win a Blake's Natural T-shirt and tote:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will end 11/30/16 and one winner will be chosen and contacted after that. Good luck!

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