Family Photos!

It’s become a bit of a tradition in our family to take family photos every spring- we started after my daughter was born, and its fun to see our family change throughout the years. It’s also a beautiful time in our city- we live in an agricultural almond production area, and the trees bloom every February, making the orchards seem almost magical.

This year, I had planned on making myself a pretty wrap dress for the photos, but that plan totally bombed (more details on my sob story and the happy ending in this post). I was able to salvage a bit of the fabric into a cute top, but it still wasn’t quite what I had in mind for our outfits, so I had to come up with an alternative, fast. When the orchards bloom, they are very fragile- extreme winds or rains can destroy the blossoms, so I only had about 24 hours notice to sew something up, and even less time after my pattern fail.

I knew I wanted something light and feminine to celebrate the coming of spring- so I grabbed some pretty dusty pink sand washed jersey from Cali Fabrics, and went to work on the Style Arc Keely pattern that I purchased recently. I haven’t had a lot of experience with Style Arc Patterns, but they are well regarded in the sewing community for their fit, so I crossed my seam rippers and hoped for the best.

Style Arc instructions are brief- and I certainly would never try a new technique using them, but since the Keely is basically a gussied up t shirt, I felt pretty confident.

I used a rolled hem on my serger to finish the edges of the ruffles, and found that everything went together quite well. Based on other reviews, it seemed like there was some debate about whether the ruffles are designed to be enclosed in the shoulder edges at the top, and I would say no, they aren’t designed to do that. However, I did find that they flipped down a bit during wear, so I might extend the length of the ruffle piece next time so I can have them all enclosed- in a lightweight fabric, it wouldn’t cause too much bulk.

The fit is slim, but not tight- it just skims the body. I made a straight size 6, even though I measure a 4 in the bust. I purchased this as a paper pattern from Amazon, so all the sizes were included, but when you download  a Style Arc pattern you just get the size above and below what you select. I don’t know why they do it this way- but it works for me, since I usually just sew for myself. However, when there is a chance to purchase a full range of sizes, I’ll do so, because you never know when I might start feeling generous and want to make a gift for someone (OK, it hasn’t happened yet, but it COULD.)

My last minute gamble paid off- I absolutely love the fit and style of this top (bring on all the RUFFLES!!!), and our family shoot was a success.

If I had more time, I would have made my daughter something to match, but I’m pretty proud of what I was able to do with just a few hours notice. Since I clearly don’t think one can have too many ruffled tops, I’ll probably be making another one of these soon- I have a rayon rib knit that would be perfect!

Just to keep it real, I’ll admit that my daughter pulled on my necklace and got the chain off center for nearly the entire photo shoot- see her mischievous little face here?

Of course we didn’t realize this until it was too late…. HUGE shout-out to my husband, who spent many hours in light room and Photoshop making it right again- thanks honey!

Aaannddd now for a deluge of family pics- I just love these people!



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  1. Margaret Winters on February 23, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Such darling photos!

    • Sarah on March 3, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Thank you Margaret!

  2. PsychicSewerKathleen on February 23, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Beautiful top on you – the colour is really your colour! Also what lovely family photos – such a great idea to do that every year. You’ll treasure them as well your children 🙂

    • Sarah on March 3, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Thank you! I love creating little traditions we can look back on!

  3. Sarah Gunn on February 25, 2018 at 3:15 am

    What a beautiful family and such lovely photos! I love your top and especially like the way the ruffles Fram the necklace Good job!

    • Sarah on March 3, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Thank you so much! The necklace was a gift and it was perfect timing for the photos!

  4. Abbey on March 1, 2018 at 8:42 am

    This photo shoot is just precious! And your shirt is so cute!

    • Sarah on March 3, 2018 at 9:42 am

      Thank you!

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