Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pattern Review: Bluezette Dress from Love Notions Patterns

I love this dress.  Love love love love.

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of the way... let me tell you what I'm talking about...

Meet the Bluezette Dress from Love Notions.

The details:
Sizes 2 - 16
Three Sleeve lengths: tank, cap, and elbow.
Three skirt options: tulip, high low, and gathered
Knit bodice and underskirt with multiple fabric options for the over skirt.

I did view A - the tulip skirt, with elbow length sleeves.  For my bodice and under skirt I used a sparkly stretch panne and my tulip over skirt is in a pretty floral chiffon.  **I did receive this pattern for free in exchange for testing, but all opinions are my own**

The construction in this pattern is fantastic... the bodice is fully lined and the pattern has a great step-by-step explanation of how to properly hem chiffon and imagine my glee at the use of under-stitching!

Inara actually squealed when she saw the dress finished.  She insisted on wearing it to school the next day.  It's not quite that warm here yet, so she ended up having to wear leggings under it, but she got so many compliments on it.. and rocked it at the park after school too.

Yup, we wear our fancy dresses on the monkey bars around here!  Actually, I was impressed at how it worked with some random leggings and sneakers too... perfect for school or a fancy event!

The dress took me about two hours total to sew, and I think about 45 minutes of that was slowly cursing my way through hemming the chiffon properly.  I bet some lace or knit would have been a bit simpler, but man does that chiffon flow so nicely.

The instructions are well written and easy to understand.  The fit matches nicely with the size chart, and the construction of the dress as a whole is nice.  You can make this dress as casual or dressy as you like depending on the options and the fabrics you use.

The dress is available here for 20% off using the code "bluezette" through the 28th. **This is my affiliate link**  

Thanks for checking out my post, and you'll LOVE this dress!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Extraordinary Girl Blog Tour Day 2

Hi and welcome to Day Two of the Extraordinary Girl Blog tour (hosted by the awesome Deb of Sprouting Jube Jube)

Let's start with stating that I love these patterns... Both the women's and girl's version of the Filles a Maman Extraordinary Girl are fantastic, and I am happy to be part of the tour to show you ours!
Connor on the other hand is mad that I didn't make him one as well...
For this round I left the pockets off, at the decision of the boss (Inara).  She also chose the fabrics.. The main print is a rayon blend knit.  The red is a really soft modal, and the green is an interlock - which works out well for a collar that doesn't stretch too much when putting the shirt on and off.

This is what happens when Inara chooses the poses
The women's version runs from sizes XS - XXL and the fit is spot on with the size chart.
The girl's version runs from 12mo - 14.

Both are made for knits, have a light high-low hemline, boat neck, optional pocket, and 3/4 or long sleeves.

It was such a gorgeous day for pictures too!
I made the 3/4 sleeves for myself and the long sleeves for Miss. It's 50 degrees and won't wear her coat on the playground and complains that it's cold... (aka Inara).  I love how the neckline lets my tattoo peak out, without being so wide that my bra straps would show.

And the un-cropped version... Connor is not amused!  

Now, the fabric I used was a bit too floral for Connor... BUT I have actually made this pattern for him too.  To make it slightly more boyish in style, I made the bottom hemline straight across instead of high-low.  

And don't mind her mis-matching here... but Connor took this one, so I had to show it!  He did great!

 **affiliate note**
Over at Filles a Maman the girl's pattern is on sale for $7.00 through the tour and the bundle is on sale for $13.00!  The bundle is an AWESOME deal, and I highly recommend grabbing it while its on sale!!

And make sure you enter the giveaway for a chance to win an awesome pattern bundle:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And then follow along with the rest of the awesome bloggers on the tour:

Monday Feb. 16th

Tuesday Feb. 17th

Wednesday Feb. 18th

Thursday Feb. 19th

Friday Feb, 20th

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pattern Review: MCM Love Bird Dress

Good morning! Today I get to show you a dress that I totally love, and if you grab it today, you can have it done for Valentine's Day!

Here is the Love Bird Dress from MCM Studio Designs.


In retrospect... that dot fabric was not a wise choice for photo taking but bear with me, because the dress is fantastic.  *Disclaimer: I received this pattern for free in return for testing, but all opinions are completely my own!

The details:
Sizes 2 -14 years
Made for Woven fabrics
Two skirt options: plain or ruffled back
Two ruffled back options: 3 or 4 tiers
Three sleeve options: cap, petal or sleeveless
Optional apron that can also be made reversible
Heart cutout on back bodice
Includes two applique templates

Inara is wearing the cap sleeve, 4 tiered back, with reversible apron style.  And I totally love it.  The ruffles are curved flounces, so there isn't a bunch of gathering to do.  In fact, the only gathering I did was on mys sleeves.   

The instructions are very clear and easy to follow illustrations, and I found the techniques to result in a nice professional looking finish.  

I used the Waverly prints that everyone is raving about from Walmart.  I did find that they shrunk more than I expected in the wash, just so you know.  

The pattern comes with instructions for buttons and a buttonhole template, a continuous bound skirt placket, and hand stitching the bodice lining to enclose the waist seam.

What I loved: I love the longer length of the skirt, as I think it lends itself nicely to being a more dressy pattern if you choose the right fabrics.  I LOVE that they are flounces, not ruffles, and they make for the prettiest back detail without being over the top.  The shape of the apron allows the ruffles to peak out in the back. And I like how you can change the whole look with the apron.  I also love how the bodice lends it self nicely to applique, colorblocking, or embroidery.

What I'd change: I think I'd go back and under-stitch my neckline so it stays in place, but she's worn the dress twice now, and its held up well without it.  And this isn't a change, but when it warms up, I am going to try doing the 4 tier pieces, but only use three of them, so I can make a shorter, sassier one for summer!

This is my first time sewing a pattern from MCM, and I've gone back and added Estherlyn's Jumper to my "buy" list, as I quite like the asymmetrical look, and I was very happy with pattern writing style of this designer.  


Inara loves the dress, and I do a well.  The fit is nice, the style is elegant, and the instructions are well written.  I think I've found a great new designer to follow!

The pattern is available here, at the sale price of $8.00 through Monday!  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Boys Can Wear Pink Blog Tour

Hi, and welcome to my day of the Boys Can Wear Pink Blog Tour hosted by the awesomely creative Kelly of Handmade Boy.

The whole concept behind this blog series makes me smile.  If you've seen pictures of Connor before, he wears blue and pink Frozen Sneakers that were the only shoes he would pick out after going to three different stores.  He carries his pirate sword and Minecraft toys in a purple princess lunchbox. And likes having his nails painted with blue sparkly polish.   But above all of that, he picks his own clothes and his own fabrics for when I make him stuff.

So this is our first *pink* outfit.  He picked out the My Little Ponies and the blue to go with it.  When we went to pick the piping, I suggested yellow, black, and turquoise.  He picked pink.  In retrospect, its a good thing he did, because it matches rather well.

When we went to the store, all I told him was to pick a fabric he liked that had some pink in it.  He actually picked two, but you'll have to wait for our second outfit!

For the shirt I used the Dandelions 'n' Dungarees Old Tyme Baseball Shirt.  This pattern comes in 3 size grouping, but the the bundle is the best deal.. and if you wait until tomorrow to pick it up, you'll get the newly revamped pattern pieces that are being finished up as I type.  The pattern has button instructions (and very awesomely explains male vs female buttoning), but I did the snaps for Connor so he could take it off himself.  Awesome bonus! The code boys30 gets you a discount in the Dandelions 'n' Dungarees Etsy shop through Wednesday night!

For the pants, I used my go-to woven pants pattern:  Little Kiwi's Closet Paneled Pants and Shorts.  I use this pattern for both kids when I need a pants pattern with a cool coordinating detail.  And there is cute bow or pocket options to add as well.   I think of all the patterns I own, this is the one I most often make.

You'd think that the My Little Pony watcher in the house would be Inara, but nope.  She doesn't like MLP anymore and gave her mini-figures to Connor who loves it.  So thankfully they area toy that got happily passed from one kid to the next!

I love the outfit with the pops of pink in it.  I'm also thrilled that his daddy thinks the outfit is cool (whew!), and most of all, I'm happy that he loves it, because that's what its all about... dressing him in clothes that he loves that show him that he can wear anything he wants and colors don't have genders!

Connor says to go enter the giveaway below!  With this awesome list of prizes it's totally worth it!

$25 gift certificate, plus a surprise fat quarter from Phat Quarter Shop
One yard of solid cotton/lycra & one yard of coordinating fabric from Purple Seamstress
One pattern of choice from Paisley Roots
$20 store credit from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop
One pattern of choice from Patterns for Pirates
One pattern of choice from Mouse House Creations
One Pattern of choice from Titchy Threads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by! And please check out the rest of the talent posting this month and keep tabs at the round up post.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pattern Review: Drew and Jesse Fleece PJs from Pollywoggles

Hi! I wanted to take a moment to review this pattern that I just tested, because both of my kids LOVE theirs and it's perfect for this time of year.

**disclaimer: I received this pattern in exchange for testing
Here is Drew and Jesse from Pollywoggles Patterns.  This was my first time sewing a pattern from this company and I really enjoyed it.

The details:
Sizes 12/18mo - 10
Raglan style top
Perfect for beginners
Adorable knee patch option

First, this pattern is made for stable knits like sweatshirt or fleece.  I let the kids go wild and pick their own combos for this.  I was only testing the size 2 (Connor's size), but Inara saw the pattern and loved it, so I made one for her as well.  

The fit on these is great, loose without being ill fitted.  The cute collar makes them nice and snuggly as well.  

Inara wears her all the time.  We keep the heat low at night, and she'd wear them every night if I didn't make her wash them!  As for Connor, well since he's decided to dress himself, he chooses to wear his out and about.  He wears his out to play or anywhere we go really.

I've already agreed to make them both a second set out of my pretty piddly fleece stash (okay, we might have to go shopping some).  And Inara has requested a special pair for the next pajama day at school.  Since we live in the PNW, we'll get quite a few months of use out of these each year during the rainy season (aka September - June)

What I loved:  This is a super fast sew.  I made no fit adjustments to either pair and they fit perfectly.  The knee patches give an awesome detail to add for mixing with Solids.  And really, who doesn't love a snuggly raglan style PJ? 

What I'd change:  I think I'll maybe make matching elbow patches for my next set for Connor.  Otherwise, I'm really happy with this pattern!

I said at the  beginning that this was my first time using a Pollywoggles pattern, and I am really happy with the experience.  The designer was friendly, helpful, and very involved in the testing process.  She took feedback and suggestions well, and really strives to make her patterns great.  I will definitely be getting more of her patterns!  

For now though, Drew and Jesse's Winter Lounge set is on sale for one more day, so grab it here while it's at this awesome (yay for conversion rates!!) price.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pattern Review: Love Notions JamJams

Hi! Welcome to my third post about the Bundle Up!  You're running short on time if you want to bundle, so let me tempt you one more time.  Today you get to see three patterns

Love Notions JamJams - which I was a tester for
and two patterns which I made from my bundle purchase (yes, I liked the bundle enough to buy!)
EYMM Harems
Jocole Wide Leg Pants

First up, I tested this pattern and totally love it.  Here are the Love Notions Jam Jams

First, the details
Size 2- 14
Shorts or capri bottoms
drop shoulder top with gathered back
Perfect for mixing, matching and upcycling

What I love: Like all of the Love Notion patterns, this includes some great tips for working with knits, so if you are new to knits, this is a great place to start.  The back toke and ruffles make this pattern perfect for mixing and matching different prints and my daughter loves the fit of the top so much she wears it to school!

What I'd change:  I think the capris run a little long on Inara... though she's also not very tall.  Either way, for our next pair, I'll make the capris a 5 in length, but the fit is otherwise spot on.  

And... because I want to make sure that you don't think I'm just promoting the ones I got for free.. I did actually like enough patterns in the bundle that it was worth it to purchase.  Here was my theory.. If a normal priced pattern runs $8-$10, then I'd need to like at least 5 patterns in the bundle to make purchasing all of the remaining ones worth it.  Because at $44, that would equate to around 5 full priced patterns.  Either way, I liked enough and bought the remaining 7 that I didn't have... and here's what I had time to sew this week...

Inara is wearing the Jocole Wide Legs and Connor is wearing the EYMM Harems

First up, the Jocole Wide Legs:
Sizes NB -14
Work in knit or woven for the pants
Short, capri, or pant lengths
Knit waistband in various widths
two pocket types

What I loved: The fit on these pants is fantastic... they cover her tush nicely without being weirdly baggy on the upper part.  The big patch pockets are an adorable detail, and we both we swayed by the wide leg cuteness.

What I'd change: Actually, the only change I'd make is to shorten them by 1", but again, my kid isn't super tall.

And Connor is rockin' the EYMM Harem Pants:
Sizes NB - 18
Work in knits or woven.  
capri or pant lengths
multiple waistband options
multiple hem options (elastic, normal, cuff)

What I love: The fit on this is fantastic.  I am not a super fan of Harems, but the drop on these is nice... they don't look silly, and instead have a nice baggy fit that are great for crazy toddler play.  In fact, they are laid out to wear to toddler tumbling tomorrow!

What I'd change:  This one is total stupidity on my part, but once I got done, I wished I'd done the cuffed version, but I'll make him another pair tomorrow with cuffs!

Anyways... today is your LAST chance to Bundle Up!  So jump on it and grab yourself some awesome patterns!