Pattern Hack: Izzy with Long Sleeves

Climbing the Willow has a free pattern,  The Izzy has been all over the Facebook sewing pages.  I am sure that almost every mom sewing for a little girl has made at least one.  Well we have made several.  You can see our examples HERE.  In case you have not seen it, the Izzy is a sweet little top that can be lengthened to make it into a tunic or dress.  In cooler climates you can layer it over a tee shirt.  The bonus with this free pattern is that the sizes have been expanded up to a girls’s size 12.

We have been sewing with a lot of knits lately.  The kids love them and M has gotten to the point that she really fights wearing anything that is made up in a woven.  She also objects to layers.  I know,  for a Minnesota girl that is really something.  I knew that I would make this in a knit so I went to the drafting table to see if I could somehow draft a long sleeve for the Izzy top.

izzy pattern

After measuring M’s arm from the shoulder to wrist, I started with the back pattern piece and drew the curve of the armhole to start my sleeve.  I measured from the shoulder point to the wrist adding one inch to allow for hem and seam allowance.

izzy sleeve pattern

Then I simply tapered the sleeve top and bottom to come in at the desired wrist width.  My little model has a tiny arm and wrist, so my final wrist measurement will be 6″ around.  When laying out your sleeve for cutting the top will go on the fold.  The stretch of your fabric will go around the arm.  It is important to remember that this is designed for woven fabric, so if you are making it out of a knit you may want to size down.  I, of course, did not and I have a feeling this will be a little big on M.

Construction for this sleeved Izzy is going to be slightly different than directed.  You will sew your shoulder seams as directed. izzy backI sewed the center back seam as there will be no closure at the neckline.  The other option is to lay the front and the back on the fold so that there is no seam at all.    The stretch of the knit allows easy on and off without a closure.  Attach the bodice main with the bodice lining at the neck.  Turn and press.  You will now treat the bodice as one.  Match the middle of your sleeve to the shoulder seam and pin the sleeve evenly to the front and back.  Sew.  Because knit does not fray, I did not worry about finishing the edges and simply sewed with my sewing machine.  Now match your side seams and sew from the sleeve edge all the way through the bodice side seam.izzy sleeve

You will finish your Izzy according to the directions given. izzy finished

I did some double needle top stitching at the neck the wrist hem and the bottom hem.  Now I will send it off in the mail and keep my fingers crossed to see if it will fit.  The week waiting for it to arrive is always nerve wracking.  Do you sew for someone that you don’t have easy access to?

Happy Sewing, Donna


How to add a Thumb hole cuff to any shirt

Thumb hole cuffs are addictive. You’ve been warned, you’re going to want to add these to all of your shirts.

Add a thumb  hole cuff to any shirt

image via Gracious Threads- Pattern Grown Up Thumbs Up by OUSM Designs

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Katie Dress: GreenStyle Creations

Today I am excited to share with you the new pattern by GreenStyle Creations.  The Katie Dress , releasing today, is a slim fitting knit dress with an unusual twist.  The bodice is made up of two pieces, the one gathered onto the other.  It does beautiful things to you!  Generally speaking, I do not wear clothing that is form fitting or even close to being tight.  My husband is fond of telling me that I wear all my clothes too big.  The gathers in this bodice make it flattering to every figure.  One universal statement from the testers, was that their significant others told them how beautiful they were.  Smiley faces all around.katie full

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Free Pattern and Tutorial: Library Bag

Books have always been very important in our home.  Nighttime ritual included stories before bed.   Our kids spent a fair amount of time in libraries both at school and in the community.  The day care we used was very close to the library and one day a week during the summer break they would line the children up and walk them over.

Now our grandchildren are going to the library.  The moms or dads take the littles to story time when they are young and as they get older, they are choosing their own books.  Sometimes I have a hard time imagining how all those books ever get back.  How do you keep track of library books?  The kids have books that they own as well and they just get all jumbled together throughout the week.  As they kids get older they like to be in charge of their own books.  I have designed a library tote so that the kids can carry their own books all together in one place and maybe even keep better track of them.complete

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Wash, Wrinkle, Wear: Butler Britches

I don’t iron laundry on the regular- it’s true. Ironing laundry consists of a hearty shake most days. It’s not that I dislike ironing it’s just- ain’t nobody got time for that. Hey here is the good news. These pants have been loved worn and washed before I had the chance to take pictures!

Butler Britches PDF Pattern

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Sewing Room Share, Donna’s Space

It’s February!  We are experiencing the coldest weather of the season.  In other parts of the country the winter has been mild and beautiful.  I am not sure about you, but this always seems like a good time to organize, clean and update.   We have decided to take this opportunity to do a little blog clean up and update.   We’re busy working on some new designs for the blog and a great new newsletter.  Along with those updates we are each trying to make our own sewing spaces more efficient and usable.  This is the hardest part of the winter for me and the renewal and renovation helps me to get through it.

I would like to take you on a tour of my little corner of the sewing world.  I decided that I really needed more room, so I moved into the finished area of the basement.  I do have lots more space, but I am still trying to deal with the lighting issues that come with being below the ground.

sewing room cubes


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KCW: Grandma’s Recap

Kid’s Clothes Week was last week and I was happy to sew for the kids too.  My pile of things to upcycle is not very large, however my fabric stash and  pattern stash continues to grow.  So my resolution, to sew through both of those stashes.

My first project was the LIV skirt, a free pattern by Sofilantjes.  M has become quite particular about the clothes she wears.  She prefers it be pink or purple AND it must be knit.  We can’t figure it out, but she refuses to wear anything woven.  Soft and knit is the way it goes.  I knew she would like the skirt.  I had a small piece of the fairy knit left in my stash (pink and purple) and an abundance of hot pink rib.  The skirt is a quick sew.  I did add some woven in the pocket for contrast.  I knew that M would love the skirt to go over her leggings.  In the cold Minnesota winter leggings are a daily necessity for her.

liv 1


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KCW Recap: The Bimaa

This week we are going to show off what we sewed during last week’s Kid’s Clothes week. The theme was Upcycled.  For my first project I used a mint sweater that had been well loved and was way past washing the spots out off, and a peach colored knit from my stash.

My second goal was to use patterns from my stash. Enter the Bimaa. This sweater has been on my to sew list f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

Bimaa- PDF patternShe likes it! The Bimma comes with three different neck options. A hoodie, cowl, and shawl. I sewed up the cowl option.  I was a little worried she would protest as this is a new style on her. After initial confusion over what the heck this cowl was – she wore it happily.

It was a very fast sew, and I had the impulse to sew several more immediately once I finished this one.

Bimaa- PDF pattern

I used the mint as the bottom, underside, of the cowl. That way when she moves you see a peek of the accent fabric. Overall I’m very happy with the effect.

I sewed up a 4. Normally she is a 3, occasionally a 4. She is on the edge of a 5 in this pattern. I upsized because I had read so many reviews mentioning that the pattern was a very slim fit. I’m going to heartily agree.

Bimaa- PDF patternPattern: Bimma by LouBee Clothing

Fabric: Mint Upcycled Sweater, Peach Knit- Girl Charlee

I bought some new Seamless paper in pink and gray for my pictures. (affiliate) The kids found it terribly entertaining and wanted to stage their own photo shoot. She’s carefully listening to instructions.




Tester Call: Grown Up Thumbs Up

Hi All! Hope your Kid’s Clothes Week sewing is going well. I have one project I love done and moving on to number two! I’ll be sharing those next week. But right now I want to share a project we’ve been working on, and we need your help. Sew for yourself? We’re looking for testers.

We are testing our Grown Up Thumbs Up from February 6 to February 13th. We will be testing a shirt and tunic/dress length. The longer length is pictured below.

grown up thumbs up

This shirt also has a maternity option!

If you are interested please request to join our Facebook group to fill out the form:

A little more on sizing:

xs: bust: 32-33 waist: 26-27
s: bust: 34-35 waist: 28-29
m:bust: 36-38 waist: 31-32
l: bust: 39-41 waist: 33-34
xl: bust: 42-43 waist: 36-37
xxl: bust: 44-45 waist: 38-39
Maternity (shirt only) use bust sizing above.

Don’t want to test, but want the pattern? We plan to release February 18th, Stay Tuned!

grown up thumbs up


Kid’s Clothes Week- The Plan to Upcycle and Destash

kid's clothes weekIt’s Kid’s Clothes Week! I have sat the last couple out, but this week I’ve decided to sew along and try to knock a few lingering projects off of my to do list. For those who haven’t heard heard of KCW it’s a seasonal challenge that encourages you to sew 1 hour a day for 7 days for your kids.

This week’s theme is Upcycled. I admit at first I was a little luke warm on it. Then I realized I really had a big pile of stuff waiting to be upcycled. I posted my giant pile on Instagram…it’s worse than it looks.

I started thinking how else could I embrace the challenge. It has been another goal of mine to use my stashed patterns. So this KCW I’m sewing my upcycles and stashed patterns. I made a reasonable-ish list.


First up the BIMAA. If you were on the internet  last year you probably remember the Bimaa. There was a Bimaa explosion. And really can blame anyone, it’s a great pattern. But somewhere in the massive amount of inspiration I got completely stuck and never sewed one up!

The Butler Britches. I purchased these in a pattern bundle last spring.  I admit I don’t plan on using upcycle fabrics for this one- but I am using fabric I’ve had in my stash for awhile waiting for a great project for my little guy.

Trio of Circle Skirts This is a free pattern for being a part of My Treasured Heirloom’s Facebook group. A cute set of skirts it will be good for M to layer over leggings.

I’m holding these three items to my really want to get done list. Yep THREE.

Donna is sewing this week too! She promised O a new Thumbs Up Tee.  We’ve seen lots of great upcycles using this pattern. If you’re sewing on up this week make sure to join our Facebook group and share it there. Remember our Facebook group is where we will be hosting tester calls and sharing an occasional special discount)

Are you sewing for Kids Clothes Week? Do you have a plan?