Showing posts with label pattern review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pattern review. Show all posts

Monday, September 22, 2014

Clean Slate Shorts for School

School has been in full swing here now for almost two months, and this year, Ella started kindergarten while Connor moved on to middle school. Our public school system requires children to wear standard school attire which amounts to any solid color shirt with a collar plus black, navy, or khaki pants, shorts, skirts, or rompers. While Connor's wardrobe was fully stocked of acceptable items, Ella's closet was really lacking! As you know, I sew most of her clothes, and very few are solid colors!

Well, rather than go out and buy all her school clothes, I decided I would sew as many as I could. We purchased a few knit polo style shirts, and then I made her a khaki and black pair of shorts using the Blank Slate Clean Slate Pants Pattern (affiliate link). These shorts fit the bill perfectly!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Getaway Duffle Bag + Giveaway!

It's been a while since I've made a full-sized bag or purse, but when Virginia from Gingercake PDF Sewing Patterns invited me to be a part of her Holiday Gifts Sewing Series, I knew which pattern of hers I wanted to try--The Make Your Getaway Duffle!

During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, our family almost always has to make at least one out-of-town road trip to visit with extended family.  Usually, I just end up packing all of Ella's things in my suitcase, but now that she is getting bigger, I thought it was time she had her own bag.

The pattern offers pattern pieces for both an adult size and a child size bag.  I chose to make the child size bag which measures 18" wide x 12 1/2" tall x 5" deep.  It's really a nice sized bag and will be perfect for packing Ella's clothes and shoes for weekend trips!

The pattern instructions are clear and easy to follow, and there are lots and lots of photos to help you work through each step of the construction.  If you've ever sewn a bag or purse before, it's a pretty straightforward design that should give you no problems, but if you are a confident beginner, I recommend going slow and reading through all the instructions before you begin.

For the exterior of the duffle, I used Ann Kelle's Bubble Gum from her This and That collection and Hot Pink chevrons from her Remix collection.  Kelle gifted this fabric to us as a thank you for allowing Ella to be a part of her Super Kid's photo shoot a few weeks ago.

For the interior of bags, I always use duck cloth or canvas.  The duck cloth is very durable and a heavy enough weight fabric that I don't have to line it with any interfacing.  It's thickness helps give the bag some shape and definition all on its own.

I did make a few additions to this bag, but that is the great thing about this Gingercake pattern.  It's a great basic duffle bag pattern that you can customize!

The first thing I did differently was to add more interfacing to the exterior of the bag.  The pattern calls for heavy weight fusible interfacing, but over the last year, I've learned that Pellon Shape Flex is what I prefer to use for bag making.  Couple Shape Flex with a layer of Pellon Fusible Fleece or as I did for my Getaway Duffle, use car headliner fabric to give the exterior fabric more support. This was my first time using headliner fabric, and I am very happy with the results. The pattern instructs you to quilt the gusset of the bag, so I continued that theme to the front and back panels as well.  I thought this added more visual interest to the bag as well as secured the headliner fabric to the cotton exterior.

In addition to the headliner fabric I used as an interfacing, I cut out two pieces of scrap fabric the size of the bottom of the bag and fused a piece of Pellon Peltex to it.  I then sewed the seam allowance of this sleeve to the seam allowance of the exterior bag.  This addition provided the bag with a stiffer bottom and a more professional feel.

For the handles, I chose to leave them wide and straight line quilt them so they would be more durable.

I also added a little pull tab to the exterior on either side of the zipper.  Luckily, I realized I needed to add these before I sewed the lining into the bag.  This little square definitely makes opening and closing the zipper much easier.

You may have noticed my matching luggage tag hanging from the handle.  It was super easy to make, and in a few days, I'll post a tutorial so you can make one, too!

Now Ella is ready for travel during the holiday season, and I am going to love having all that extra space in my suitcase since I no longer have to pack her clothes with mine!  I should have made her a Make Your Getaway Duffle bag a long time ago!  I had so much fun sewing this that I might just have to make another one to give as a gift (or to use myself)!

Ready to make your own Getaway Duffle Bag? Then enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy of the Getaway Duffle Bag Pattern from Gingercake PDF Sewing Patterns!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Please be sure to visit Gingercake and follow the Holiday Gifts Sewing Series for more inspiring project and gift ideas!  Have fun sewing!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

The Olivia Top Pattern + Giveaway

Hello, my sewVery friends and visitors from Craftiness is Not Optional!  I'm so glad you stopped by today to see my version of Jess's latest pattern:  the Olivia Top and Dress Pattern!

All things from CINO are wonderful, and this pattern is no exception.  It's simple and versatile--offering three sleeve variations and two lengths--and can ideally be used for year round wear.  The fit is loose and comfortable and so easy for a 4 year old to put on all by herself!  That earns major points for us since Ella definitely wants to do everything for herself lately.

I love this time of year.  The weather is so mild and fall festivals are happening every weekend. Last Sunday, we decided to head out to a small event not far from home where the kids could run and play, pretend to be farmers, and enjoy some fair food. 

As you might have guessed, Ella dressed herself.  I kept encouraging her to put on some skinny jeans or a different pair of shoes, but she would have none of that!  Oh, well!

She twirled and fell into our couch just before we left home, resulting in a bad carpet-like burn on her elbow.  I think she cried more over this boo-boo than when she busted her chin and ended up in the emergency room for stitches.  You can see her favoring her left arm in almost all these photos!

A few weeks back, Ella had a bathroom emergency on our way to pick up my son at school, so we ran into our local fabric store which just happened to be on our way.  The remnant room is in the back of the store near the restrooms, so on our way out, Ella caught a glimpse of this kitten fabric and insisted I buy it.  We were in a hurry, and to avoid a full blown fit if I refused, I decided to just buy it.  She said, "Moma, you could make me a purse!"  Why a purse, I'll never know, but I insisted we could make her something. Soon after, Jess invited me to try out her Olivia Top Pattern and be a part of the pattern tour.  I knew this kitten fabric would be purr-fect!

I had just enough of the Anna Marie Horner fabric I used for the top part and 3/4 length sleeves. Since the kittens are so cute and cuddly, I decided to add a little ruffle to either side of the button placket to make the top more feminine looking.  

This top was super easy to make, even with the little button placket.  In all, it took me about an hour and a half to sew together.  Just like the free tutorials on her blog, Jess provides lots of simple, easy to understand instructions accompanied by wonderful photographs for each step of the pattern. The Olivia Top and Dress Pattern is one that you'll use over and over again.

Want to win a copy of CINO's Olivia Top and Dress Pattern for yourself?!  Then just enter the rafflecopter giveaway below.  If you've already purchased the pattern and end up winning, then Jess will give you a refund!  Isn't she sweet?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have to have the pattern right away, then you can buy it HERE.  And guess what?  All CINO clothing patterns are on sale for 30% off this week (Oct. 21-27) in honor of Kids Clothes Week!  

Thanks for dropping by for a visit!  Want to see more versions of the Olivia Top and Dress Pattern?  Then be sure to visit all the stops on the Pattern Tour!  There are some amazing ones out there that will inspire you. I know I have at least two pinned already!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Bubblegum Coat Pattern

The fabulous Kate of See Kate Sew recently released an amazing collection of patterns, including the Bubblegum Coat, which I was most fortunate to test for her.

When I agreed to test this pattern for Kate, I had never before attempted to sew a coat or jacket. At first, I was intimidated by the idea of making a long-sleeved, buttoned-up, fully-lined garment, but once I read her pattern instructions, I was surprised at the simplicity of the entire design!

First of all, like all of Kate's other patterns, the illustrations and directions are clear and concise, and the level of detail is outstanding.

I used the sizing chart of the Bubblegum Coat Pattern to determine that my little girl needed the size 6. Ella is only 4 and a half, but she is tall and growing like a weed!  I knew the sleeves would be a little long, but I decided to keep the extra length so that the ends could be turned up to show off the beautiful lining fabric. As an added bonus, I'm sure Ella will be able to wear this coat next year, too!

Speaking of fabrics, the exterior is a wool fabric that I purchased nearly 20 years ago at the Piece Goods Shop (not even sure that chain still exists).  It must have been on sale because I had roughly 6 yards of it, but this project took less than 2 yards of that (it is 60" wide though).  I love the plaid and mix of fall colors!

For the lining, I used Anna Maria Horner's Loulou Thi in Summer Totem Strudel.  This fabric had all the colors used in the plaid, and because of the larger print, worked perfectly for the lining.  Oh, and did I mention that I happened to have 2 yards of it on hand already!  So no shopping for fabric was required to complete this project!

The brown buttons were rescued off a brown corduroy vest that I had purchased at Goodwill for 99 cents last year.  That was definitely worth the investment, plus I still have 4 or 5 buttons left!

The detailing of the coat is what makes it so special.  I love the cute little rounded pockets with a buttoned flap, and the subtle gathers on the front and back at the waist area add a sweet, feminine touch.

I'm already plotting the next Bubblegum Coat that I'll make Ella.  I'm considering a corduroy version or perhaps a lightweight coat made in all quilting cotton fabrics.  Oh, the possibilities!

You know you want the Bubblegum Coat Pattern, so just go buy it at See Kate Sew's Pattern Shop! You'll be glad you did!

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Sally Dress

My multi-talented and super sweet friend, Shannon, from Very Shannon and Luvinthemommyhood, has just released her latest sewing pattern for The Sally Dress, and I was lucky enough to be a tester for this pattern and be a part of the pattern tour!

Shannon's Sally Dress Pattern is just as amazing and simple to make as her Sweetheart Dress Pattern. I adore them both, and even better, Ella loves wearing them both!  To see the Sweetheart Dresses I made last year, click HERE and HERE.

The Sally Dress Pattern features two large (I mean really big) pockets that are just perfect for active little girls who love to carry around stuffed animals, Little People, Barbies, or even Legos. Ella has had no trouble loading up those pockets while playing around the house or when we run to the store.

Another great detail of the Sally Dress Pattern is that it has no closure and just slips on and off over the head.  This is great for little ones asserting their independence in the "I can dress myself" department!

Back View

The square neckline bodice and shorter skirt length give this pattern a vintage vibe.  In addition to sleeveless, the pattern offers two sleeve length options:  short and 3/4 length.  I think the sleeveless version would be great for fall or winter with a t-shirt worn underneath it.

Although the pattern instructions don't include details for adding piping around the neckline, armholes, and waist, any experienced sewer can do it.  It took me roughly an extra hour's sewing time to make and sew on the piping.

The bodice is fully lined, and Shannon's pattern instructions and illustrations provide you with detailed steps on how to do this effortlessly.  Thank you, Shannon, for letting me test The Sally Dress Pattern!  I absolutely love it!

As far as the fabrics I used to make this dress, I was recently contacted by Kelle of Ann Kelle designs for Robert Kaufman about using some her fabrics.  Immediately, I knew that the Sally Dress would be perfect to showcase several of her coordinating fun, colorful prints.

I made this very outdoorsy version of The Sally Dress using Ann Kelle's Woodland Pals fabric in Bermuda for the bodice and skirt, Remix Small Chevrons in Bermuda for the outside of the pockets, Woodland Pals Raccoon in Bermuda for the pocket lining, Remix Dots in Bermuda for the bodice lining, and Remix Stripes in Bermuda for the piping.  You can purchase all of these prints at a variety of online and brick and mortar retail fabric stores.

Ella loves looking over the skirt for the hedgehogs, bunnies, fox, moose, deer, and mushrooms. Sometimes I turn it into a game to see how many of each she can find or if she can identify the colors on the pockets.  Who knew that fabric could help your pre-schooler learn her colors and to count!  Thanks again, Kelle, for all the fabric!  I love the quality, the colors, and most definitely the designs.  Fun!

Want to make your own version of The Sally Dress?  Then be sure to head to enter the contest below to win your own copy of the pattern.  If you just have to have the pattern right now, then head over to Very Shannon to purchase your own copy of The Sally Dress Pattern.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks sewVery much for coming by today!  Please be sure to visit all the other amazingly talented bloggers on the Sally Dress Pattern Tour for more inspiration!

sally dress pattern tour on

Hope you'll visit sewVery again real soon!

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Friday, June 28, 2013

The Audrey Dress Plus a Pattern Giveaway!

It's no secret that Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop is one of my favorite sources for children's pdf sewing patterns.  I sew something from here almost every week!  Amy, the shop owner and pattern designer, has become a friend that I enjoy chatting with online and through emails.  She is such a sweet, genuine person with an amazing talent for designing and writing sewing patterns for children's clothing!

When Amy asked if I wanted to review one of her patterns for the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Summer Tour 2013, I did not hesitate to say yes!  I've been drooling over the Audrey Cross Over Party Dress Pattern since she first released it, so this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try!

I am an affiliate for Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop and was provided the pattern I am reviewing free of charge.  All opinions provided in this post are 100% my own.  

Plus I had just purchased the perfect fabric for it and found some vintage trim at a yard sale that matched.  It's such a good feeling when projects like this come together so easily!

The thing that appeals most to me about the Audrey Dress Pattern is it's simplicity and vintage style.  There are few pattern pieces required for this dress--just the bodice pieces and a little slit piece for the back opening--plus a chart providing the dimensions for cutting out the skirt.  The bodice is fully lined, and all raw edges are trimmed in bias binding, giving you an opportunity to add color or other visual interest to your new dress.

Instead of using a button, I attached a pearl snap to the back tab.  

For Ella's size 5T Audrey Dress, I used about a yard and a quarter cotton quilting fabric.  I think it is from Fabric Finders, but I'm not sure because it didn't have any markings on the selvedge.  For the bias trim, I made my own continuous bias tape using the tutorial from The Sewing Loft and a fat quarter of Kona cotton.

As I said earlier, I've made a lot of Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop patterns, but I felt like the bodice was cut a little smaller for the size 5T than other things I've made from the shop.  I talked with Amy about this, but she said that several people had commented just the opposite to her.  I'm thinking that perhaps I overlapped the front bodice pieces too much, and she even suggested that I let it out some for more room, but I had already sewn the skirt to the bodice and didn't feel like it was necessary to take apart and do over!  The dress is a great, comfortable fit on Ella, and she adores it (as you can see in the many photos she let me take)!  It think Ella is just growing and this dress design is just a little more fitted than other things I've made lately.

The armhole openings and the skirt length are perfect and required no adjustments whatsoever.  Although the pattern suggests adding a ribbon or sash around the waist as an option, I chose to sew on two long pieces of bias tape that I sewed closed. I attached them at the side seam where the bodice meets the skirt, and then simply wrap them around her bodice and tied them on the side.  I obviously could have made them a little shorter, but Ella loves playing with the long straps--perhaps a little too much.  I can't tell you how many times I had to retie those things!

You'll find this pattern a cinch to follow and sew together.  I made this one in just a couple of hours.  Ella and I love the Audrey Cross-Over Party Dress so much that I already have plans to make her another one using some adorable prints from Ann Kelle Designs.  Can't wait to show you how it turns out!

Would you like to make your own Audrey Cross-Over Party Dress, then you won't want to miss your chance to win a 10 pack of patterns from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop!  Just enter using the rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know I'm on the last day of the tour, but please make sure to check out all the other amazing Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop patterns that were reviewed by some extremely talented sewing bloggers!
Thanks for visiting and hope you'll come back again very soon!

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