Monday, June 30, 2014

Little Kiwi's Closet Scalloped Princess Dress Blog Tour: Day 1

Hi!  Welcome to day one of the Little Kiwi's Closet Scalloped Princess Dress Blog Tour.   Being on day one always makes me so nervous (shhh, don't tell Lydia).
Little Kiwi's Closet Scalloped Princess Dress by Keep Calm and Carrion

I'm actually really excited to be part of this tour.  I do a lot of testing for Lydia, but when it was testing time for this dress, I was getting ready to visit my parents in New York and I wasn't sure I would have time to get it done, so I very reluctantly sat it out.  When Lydia announced the Blog Tour, I may have squealed a little, because I LOVE having a chance to show off her patterns.

Little Kiwi's Closet is one of the first designers I tested for, so she kind of holds a special place in my heart.  When I started testing, I wasn't very good at photos (at the time all I had was my cell phone), but I had bought one of her patterns and really loved how it was written, and when she posted a tester call, I crossed my fingers and applied.  Lydia is so sweet to test for.   She's receptive to suggestions, always has a positive attitude, and her patterns have this distinct feel to them that is just so *her* that I find myself really getting into each pattern.

This dress has a LOT of options, so I want to start with the details:
Sizes 12mo - 9yrs
4 Neckline options
2 Bodice Styles
3 skirt styles (below knee, high-low and long)
3 Hem styles
Instructions for button or snap closure on back

Sewing time: 1.5 - 2.5hrs depending on the options you choose, how many distractions you have and how fast you sew!

For my first dress, I knew exactly what I wanted to to.  I'm still in New York right now and we decided to take the kids to Sesame Place while I was here.  I don't usually go all out with the outfits like this, but the dress was just too perfect to not.
Little Kiwi's Closet Scalloped Princess Dress by Keep Calm and Carrion
So here is Inara's Abby Ca-dabby inspired Scalloped Princess Dress.  I used the scalloped bodice with scoop neckline and the scalloped knee length skirt with hidden facing.  And then came the interesting part.  I decided I wanted the skirt to look like Abby's fairy skirt in blue and purple, so I sat down and stared at the skirt pattern piece for a bit and used the back seam side to create a template for a single scallop (if you do this, just remember you need to have a seam allowance on both sides of the scallop, and you need to make sure that you taper it correctly to the top so that the finished width of the skirt is the same as it would be if you used one fabric).  I will say, it was a little nerve-wracking when I got to the step to sew the hem facing on, because I was suddenly worried that my scallops weren't perfect and the facing wouldn't line up and I'd have been very sad.  But it fit!

Little Kiwi's Closet Scalloped Princess Dress by Keep Calm and Carrion
How cute does she look posing with Abby?! I even made Connor an outfit for the day... I used the LKC Panelled Pants/Shorts Pattern and just appliqued some blocks on a store bought shirt... 
Okay, so the first dress, total hit at the park and with Inara.  She twirled around all day and proudly announced to everyone who asked that they could not have a dress like hers because her mommy made it with Miss Lydia's pattern.  After doing that dress, I decided I really wanted to do a second one that would help showcase just how diverse the options on this pattern are... and thus the second dress was born...

Little Kiwi's Closet Scalloped Princess Dress by Keep Calm and Carrion
For this dress I used the sweetheart neckline, princess bodice, and hi-low hemline.  The hi-low is designed to be worn with leggings, but I wanted to go for a more dressy version.  And Lydia as always came through with this nicely placed tip on lengthening the pattern.  So I decided to do two layers to the skirt.  The bodice is the size 5, the pink sheer skirt is also the size 5, and then I did the underskirt in a sparkly purple satin with a size 5 waist and size 7 length.

Little Kiwi's Closet Scalloped Princess Dress by Keep Calm and Carrion
The difference in length of the two layers gives the dress a really elegant look, and the longer bottom layer falls right at Inara's ankles.  I sort of wish I could make this in my size now, though, where would I wear it?  The supermarket?

The fit on the dress is perfectly in line with the sizing chart, as I've gotten used to with Lydia's patterns.  The sizing is very accurate, so measure your child and go off the chart and you will get a perfectly fitted garment.  The instructions are fantastic as well.  Each step is clearly explained with pictures, and should you have any questions her Facebook Group is active and full of friendly people who will help.  If this is your first LKC pattern, I really think it will hook you on her patterns.

Thank you for stopping by for my stop on the tour... make sure you check out the other awesome bloggers this week and also So Mama Sew who is posting today as well.  

And last, but very importantly... the giveaway!!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my creations!
Little Kiwi's Closet Scalloped Princess Dress by Keep Calm and Carrion

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Welcome to Sewing Land: Second Installment

Hi everyone!  Thanks for coming to check out the second installment of Welcome to Sewing-Land!

If you are just joining us, check out the Intro Post that should give you some idea of  what this series is all about.  And then, stop by the First Installment to welcome out first group of new sewists...  And now, on to the next group!!  Please take a couple minutes to welcome our new sewists, and stay tuned for the end of the series where there is a surprise waiting!

First up, please welcome Miss Pamela. 
My name is Pamela C.  I’m 33 and I live in Southampton, UK.  I have 2 children Eva (3) and Joseph (2).  I am an ex-Occupational Therapist who is now a stay at home mum. I spend most of my time chasing after my 2 kids and my husband.
I am totally reading her responses with an awesome British accent too... lol.  Maybe I can sweet talk her into some UK exclusive BBC merchandise??? ;)  Pamela has had a sewing machine sitting in a corner for 8 years, and decided two months ago to bite the bullet and jump in.  Pamela decided to start sewing for a very cool reason - her kids are not "standard" sized (I feel like this is a common problem, maybe store bought sizes are just lame), anyways, she wanted to make them clothes that would fit properly, which just makes me smile... she sounds like an awesome mommy!
 Her sewing experiences so far?  I have mainly been sewing for my children. Although I have made a bag for my sister-in-law too. I tried to make a dress for me, but it did not turn out well!
Here is what she has chosen to show off for us:  
 Her little man and the shorts are just both fantastic, right?  She chose this project as one of the first because she knew there were tons of pretty dress patterns out there for her daughter and didn't want her little man to feel left out. 

Her advice to other newbies?

 Just do it! Following a pattern isn’t nearly as hard as I expected. There is so much choice out there and every time you see your child wearing something you made it will bring a smile to your face.

Next up we have Hannah.  Welcome!!  Hannah hails from New Zealand and has a 20 mo old son and is pregnant with her next squish as well.  (Think of all the baby sewing!!!!)  

Hannah has only been sewing for one month.. Why did she decide to start?

 I...... decided to start so my son would have beautiful unique clothing,  I remember all the beautiful things my grandma and mumma would make me and didnt want that to get lost for my children. Not everything has to come from the mall and cost a bomb. Plus my son likes picking the fabric heh

Maybe a mini-fashion designer in the making??  So far she has been sewing for her son, niece and nephew.  

For Hannah's first project she dove into an area that terrifies me...  Cloth diapers - I have no idea why I think they must be so difficult to sew, but every time I considered doing it I cringed and ran off to find a WAHM that I liked... 

Hannah used the Babyville pattern for her diaper - and I am so impressed with this! It looks fantastic!!

Why did she choose this for her first project?

I thought if I could make these I would save so much from buying at stores or off other wahm plus I could choose the fabric!! (It also looked pretty basic apart from the elastic)

What advice does she have for others who want to take up sewing?

Just do it, make mistakes and have fun. :-) 

Our third new seamstress for today is Christy.  Welcome!!  

Hi everyone!  My name is Christy and I live in northern Indiana with Matt, my husband of 7 years, and our two daughters.  Madeline is two and Allison is six months.  I am a stay-at-home mom and love almost every minute of it.  Before I had my daughters I taught high school Math and plan to someday go back to teaching.  
Christy started sewing burp clothes and blankets about 10 months ago, but finally decided to jump into patterns after 4 months.  Her first pattern item was from a paper pattern, and after being unsatisfied with the outcome, she found PDF patterns and got hooked.  (Sounds like a familiar story, huh?)  

Why did Christy start sewing? 
Its been something I have always wanted to learn but my real motivation came after I stumbled across all of the cute children's patterns on Etsy.  I love making cute dresses for my girls. 
So far Christy has only sewn for her daughter, but she really wants to get into handbags and home decor stuff as well.  

 Christy made an awesome choice for her first PDF projects...  Tie Dye Diva has such well written patterns, they are such a great place to start!  

I stumbled across Tie Dye Diva patterns on Etsy when I was looking for a pattern designer that sold patterns in toddler and baby sizes.  I then joined the affiliated Facebook group and browsed the albums.  I choose the basic A-line because it looked the easiest and the Fair and Square because I was hoping to use it for my daughters 4 month pictures.  Thanks to a great pattern, great instructions, and a great group of ladies in the Facebook group I had a dress ready when her four month pictures rolled around. 

And what advice does Christy have for others wanting to take up sewing?  My advice would be to just go for it.  Buy a pattern and some fabric and give it a try.  When I first tried reading the patterns it looked so confusing but once I had my fabric in front of me and could follow along it was much easier than it looked.  I would definitely recommend PDF patterns and to join the Facebook group if the pattern designer has one.  They are so helpful!  Tie Dye Diva Patterns is a great place to start.  Her pattern instructions are very well written and easy to follow.  I also have had a great time learning how to sew with knits using Peek-a-Boo Patterns.  

Okay, please take a few minutes to welcome this group of new sewists and offer a few words of encouragement.  I'm so glad that these ladies have taken the time to give me some background so I can gush on how wonderful they are and how excited I am that they are joining the ranks of sewists who have chosen to create wonderful things!  

Thanks for checking in with us this week.  It looks like we'll have one more installment of amazing women to introduce, and then I will wrap it all up and explain what the little secret is that I've been keeping!

Thank you all for reading and keeping up with this.  It means a lot that so many of you are offering these women such positive words of encouragement!   

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Welcome to Sewing-land: First Installment

Hey everyone!  Thanks for bearing with me while I got my self situated in New York.  I'm visiting family for a few weeks, so there was a long couple days of packing up, snuggling the serger up in some fabric, waking the kids at 2am, driving to the airport, spending an awful long delay sitting in LAX, and a very slow drive home due to lots of fog on the Palisades.

Anyways, we are all set up and settled.  I've got my serger and my mom's machine set up in the dining room (good thing there's no company here, or they'd cringe at my mild state of disaster!  I'm excited to have some time to relax and sew and maybe even get to check out some new fabric shopping spots.  Anyone in the area have any suggestions?

But, to the really exciting task at hand... I am SO excited for this post.  As in humming-while-I-type excited.  

So here is what you're going to see from me over the next week.  I reached out and asked some newbies to send me a message if they were willing to help me out with this.  The ones who messaged me, I sent an email to, with a list of questions and a request.  My request? Answer my silly questions, and send me a picture or two of something they made that they want to show me.  And to allow me to post responses here on my blog.

The intent, in case you missed the Introductory Post is to give a warm and friendly welcome to some amazing women who have decided to join our little crazy world.  They've made a choice to learn this craft, to challenge themselves, and to create things.  These are women we should celebrate and lift up.  And I wanted to show them off a bit, just so we all remember where we came from, and remember that for most of us, we didn't get her all on our own.  So let's reach out, celebrate these women, and welcome them to sewing.
 There are two questions that I've asked each new sewist that I am saving until the end of all of the introductions... they (and you) will see why when we get there... Those two questions are:
1. What technique scares you the most?
2. What designer/pattern do you really want to try?

First up is Kristie!
   "My name is Kristie, and I live on the beautiful Canadian West Coast. I’m mom to a little nut-job (I mean that as only a mother can) named Mckenzie. I sympathize with Alyssa fully, as I’m a prison guard, and well, when I’m sitting at work cutting out PDF patterns during a lull, I kind of getting funny looks (from guards and inmates alike!)"

Like most of us Kristie had her first intro to sewing in Home Ec class, but left it there.  Then a couple years ago, with a baby on the way, she decided it was time to try again.   When dreams of "nap time crafting" gave way to last minute panic sewing, Kristie started to feel a bit discouraged.  But two years later she discovered PDF patterns, and is now happily making her little one a fashionista.

Kristie's project is a diaper bag that she made using a free tutorial.
   "In telling hubby that the sewing machine was going to save us money, I needed something that looked pretty simply (clean lines, limited CLOSURES!), and was expensive in stores. So a diaper bag was perfect! They’re super pricey, I could pick some cute fabric, and it had function. Oh, and the tutorial was free"

What advice does Kristie have for other new sewists?
If there was advice I could give people who want to start, it would be to make darn sure you’re willing to spend the time learning. Utilize tutorials, youtube (omg greatest invention EVER), and the know-how of others. Also, make friends with advanced (or at the very least more advanced than you!) sewists. It can be online, or even better, a friend or family member.  Good friends, digital and in the here and now, are the answer to pretty much everything in life – including sewing.

Next we have Theresa!
  "My name is Teresa LaMora. I'm a 31 yr old mom of 2 (boy 3 yrs old and girl 20 months old) who lives just outside of St. Louis, MO. Grew up in Indianapolis, IN. I sew in my spare time when I'm not taking care of my home daycare children, lifeguarding, or training for triathlons."

Whens he was a little girl, Theresa helped out her mother who sewed formal dresses.  This past Christmas she finally got her own machine, and dove in head first.  Theresa and I were actually on a test together last month, and reading how recently she started sewing, I am seriously impressed with her skills!  She mostly sews for her family, but is looking forward to starting her own little sewing business in the future.  

For her first project, Theresa chose car seat ponchos for her kids.  She was tired of taking coats on and off to get her kiddos safely in the car.  When she saw these, she decided she could definitely make them... and a new sewist was born!
 What Advice does Theresa have for new sewists?
"Don't be afraid of asking questions and being honest. Practice a bit before deciding to open up a shop and start selling. I think that's where newbies get the most flack is when they post things like "I just got my sewing machine for Mother's day and I'm going to start selling xyz. What should I name my shop??" from veteran seamstresses who know just how difficult it all is. "



Next up is a really sweet and inspiring story from new sewist Cat!
"I'm Cat, and I live in Llandysul in West Wales in the UK.  I sew for my children, two boys (aged 7 and 5) and two girls (aged 3 and 1) but have never got round to sewing for me yet!  I dabbled a few years ago, and copied one of my daughter's wrap dresses and found that I enjoyed the experience, could make some simple dresses, but didn't have time for it.

Eight months ago, I had an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury and now have Cauda Equina Syndrome.  Even now, I'm only allowed to be upright for 10 minutes at a time, for a maximum of 3 hours a day (it actually hurts too much by the end of the day, so I usually achieve 2 and a half hours).  About 2 months after my injury, I happened upon a picture of a Candy Castle Peppermint Swirl, and decided that I would make both my daughters that dress for my cousin's wedding (April 2014, 6 months post-accident).  I spoke to my doctors and physios, and everyone agreed that sewing could be my rehab - something that motivated me to sit more during the day, as long as I strictly adhered to my 10 minute limit!"

 So for her project, Cat is showing us the Peppermint Swirl from Candy Castle Patterns.  Rebecca holds a special place in my heart, as she was the first designer who took a risk and let me test for her, so I am really excited to help Cat show off...  In addition to the dresses, she made the vests and ties for her sons!  All with her strict time limitations.  

 Gorgeous dresses! and gorgeous kiddos too!  Cat was able to work through sewing two flounces together in her 10 minute sewing time, and thus steadily worked her way through to creating these gorgeous dresses.  

What advice does Cat have for new sewists? 
"My advice to any new sewists would be to jump in with both feet, join a community of like-minded people and ask questions, and use YouTube (lots!!)  - what's the worst that can go wrong?!"

And last up for today, we have Ashley!
"My name is Ashley S. and I am from Katy, Tx. I am a mom of a 2 1/2 yr old girl and 6 month old boy. I love to craft! "  

Ashley got her sewing machine as a gift from her sister a couple years ago, but between life and babies, it just sat in the box until a couple of months ago.  Ashley grew up with a a mother that sewed, but until recently didn't have a lot of interest in it.  Ashley sews mostly for her daughter, but has sewn a couple things for herself as well (cheering for the self-care sewing!!)

For her early projects, Ashley found these skirt tutorials and decided they seemed easy enough to start with, so she went for it, and how gorgeous does her little look in them??
 What advice does Ashley have for new sewists?
"My advice would be to join a group that is informative and helpful so when you have questions you have people to ask. I was so lost a couple times because I didn't know who to ask on how to do something! Or it was to late in the evening to call my mom! :) "

Thanks for checking out our first set of new sewists.  I'd love it if you took a moment to welcome them, and please come back to check out the next two groups, AND the fun little surprise for them at the end!

Remember, creating things is amazing.  We should encourage everyone to do better, learn more, and above all enjoy themselves with this craft! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mimi Blog Tour - Day One

Hi!  Welcome to day one of the Mimi Blog Tour.   I am so excited to be part of this, because I absolutely love sewing Mel's patterns. 

The Mimi is a darling pattern from one of my favorite designers, Filles a Maman.  Mel's tester calls always make me excited - her patterns are well written, easy to follow, and always have this sort of special flair that I feel like really shows off the cool side of her personality.  I tested the Mimi and Inara totally loved it...
 So when Mel said "blog tour?" My reply was YES!  Then it came time to decide what to make... and (get ready to laugh), I planned this entire post around a button.  Yup.  One button.  The neckline of the Mimi is really unique and the asymmetrical neck closes with a button.
See my cool button?  It's sparkly and Inara totally loved it, so I had this cool button, and then I spent a week staring at it before realizing that I had no fabric that was going to work with such a fancy button... So I actually got to go shopping to pick up some fabric... and I used a nice soft light blue cotton/lycra for the facings, since the texture of the main print might itch Inara.  And here is my first Mimi for the tour...

Don't you just love her sass?

This is the size 5, as I wanted to go for a tunic length with a slimmer fit.  By the size chart, she falls outside the size 5 (the Tinkerbell one is a size 6), but she's still pretty slim, so the size 5 was perfect for a slim fit tunic.

This one is the short sleeved version, which, adding an even cuter detailing, has a cute cuff detail on the sleeve.

I totally love this look - And even with all the cool little details that this pattern has, it took about 90 minutes start to finish.

After finishing this one, I realized (much to my surprise), that I had a little extra time.  So I decided to make a shirt version.  After staring at the pattern options a bit, I decided not to do the collar option, but that I really wanted to do one with the tassel detailing.

For this one I used the shirt length, size 5, tassel detailing, and took the long sleeves and made them into 3/4 sleeves with a cuff detailing.  The fabric on this one is lightweight thermal, so I think it will be perfect for cooler summer nights.  The tassels are actually FOE, as is the button loop, since the rainbow print was just too perfect to pass up And check out the button!
Oh!  The details!
The Mimi comes in sizes 12mo through 14yrs
Two sleeve lengths: short or long
Two body lengths: dress or shirt
Three collar options: simple keyhole, asymmetrical peter pan collar, and fringe front

Can you tell how much she likes it??  The pattern calls for grosgrain ribbon for the fringe, but since i used FOE I tied little knots at the bottoms of the pieces to weight them down a little.

I really can't say enough positive things about this pattern.  As with all of her patterns, the pattern pieces go together easily and are clearly labeled.  AND the random cool note, that always impresses me... they come in both English AND French!

Also, Mel is generously doing a giveaway with the tour... so make sure you take a moment to enter to win patterns of your choice from her shop!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And lastly, make sure you check out all of the other bloggers who are showing off their Mimi's for the tour!
Thanks for stopping by to check out my Mimi's and if you haven't picked up the pattern yet, I highly recommend you do - its totally year round perfect and there are so many fun ways to make it reflect your child's personality. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Welcome to Sewing-land. We're thrilled to have you!

Well it's been a few days.  I was out of town for the LMNOP sale that I help my friend set up a couple times a year, and then I got back and have been playing crazy hectic catch up.  But I'm getting there, lol.  I leave for New York next week to visit my family and am taking my serger with me, sending some fabric ahead, and my mom has a sewing machine.  So even though I won't have MY sewing room, I'll still get to do a lot of sewing, I hope.  AND I'm hoping to take a little shopping venture into the city to see if I can find any cool fabric.

But, for the task at hand.  This is something sort of new for me, so I am trying to word things as I go.  Sewing land can be harsh.  Women can be harsh in general, though.  Remember, my background isn't in a very female heavy world...Most of my friends in high school were guys,  I went to a school with a very low number of women, I chose a branch (of the military) that was male dominant... Really, I have a pretty tenuous grasp on the female psyche.  That being said, I have this *idea* that we should support one another.  That we should stand by each other, and help one another to be better.  And here this idea was born...

Welcome to my intro to what will be a hopefully fun series of posts to introduce some of the new sewists joining our ranks.  The women who saw our creations, watched their mothers and grandmothers sew, and decided they wanted to try.  These women are new to this, and deserve our respect and our assistance.

So to start off, hi! I'm Alyssa.  In case you didn't know...  Here is a picture of one of my first projects...
This picture makes me feel old, ha!  I was 15 here I think.  The very nice young man was a year older and very graciously invited me to his prom.  I was sick and tired of showing up to dances and having at least one other random girl with a dress similar to or the same as mine, so I decided to make this one.  Do you see the pretty sequin trim?  I was hand sewing it on to the hemline during my free period the day of the dance.  Hmm... that says something about my history of procrastination, doesn't it? 

Fast forward <bleep> years.  Inara was in love with the misfit toys, so I made her this (random Simplicity pattern?) and realized that in the years prior I had done a little sewing here and there.  But really, when you're in the Army, anything beyond fixing a hem and sewing on buttons just isn't necessary. 
There were a couple Halloween costumes, and random paper pattern dresses in here...I converted my jeans into maternity pants, made a couple blankets, etc.  Then Connor came along, and I was getting bored with paper patterns.  A friend suggested I try PDFs... here is my first PDF pattern creation...
Hee hee.  I bet you were expecting clothes too.  I signed up to do a Mug Rug Swap in a quilting group, and then realized I wasn't actually sure what I wanted to make.  I found this pattern on Craftsy, and I figured... for $2.50, if it was terrible, it would be okay.  Turns out, it wasn't terrible at all. It was great little pattern that was easy to follow, and I decided to splurge and buy a clothing PDF pattern.  Mind you, at this point I didn't know any designers, I wasn't in any of the pattern groups, and I didn't realize that designers had *free* patterns so you could see what their patterns were like.

How cute was tiny Connor?  The romper was actually made quite a bit before this picture, but the other ones I have of him in it, it's WAY big.  These are the first two PDF clothing patterns I bought.  The romper is reversible, but the shop it was from is randomly gone, so I won't link it, but the shorts are the Too Cute Ruched Shorts from Cole's Corner and Creations and I use them quite a bit still.  Randomly both experiences turned out positive, and I was totally hooked on PDFs. 

Look, since then even my photography has improved!   I learned to sew on paper patterns, and I often find myself glossing over PDFs when I make them (Not for tests! Those I follow step by step!!), but sometimes I grab a pattern that has a technique that I'm not familiar or comfortable with, and as I read the carefully explained and in depth instructions, I can't help but smile.  It's like tiny little sewing lessons right on my screen.  And if I get lost or confused, I know I can shoot a message to any of the wonderful designers I've met and they will always help.

So stay tuned please, and check out the lovely sewists that I will be featuring and welcome them to our little world.  Let's do all we can to make them feel at home, and develop and grow their talents to make them the best they can be.

And, for them, I have a special surprise at the end... but you'll have to keep reading too, as it will be a surprise for all of you!

Oh, I want to put a special thank you here too...  To Laura M. for helping me find the inspiration to do this.  And to Kim O. and Laura H. for being my ever faithful editors (apparently I need more help then spell check can give me). 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pattern Review: Go To Signature Dress from Go To Patterns

Sometimes its just fun to try a new designer, right?  I have this rather embarrassingly large collection of patterns... PDF and paper.  For a while I had two emails attached to my paypal too, so sometimes I would buy the same pattern on both emails not realizing I already had it.   This pattern is a new designer for me, who I had (a) heard lots of positive things about and (b) had previously shopped on her website.  A new friend asked if I had sewn any of her patterns, and it was sort of the perfect slap upside the head to get me out of this weird haze I've been in the last couple days.  Sewing is usually so cathartic for me, but I've had so much on my mind, I just couldn't seem to sit still to work!  So thanks... and you all get my fun review of the Go To Signature Dress from the lovely Go To Patterns.
Go To Patterns Signature Dress by Keep Calm and Carrion

 The details:
Sizes 12mo thru 12yrs
Three lengths: tunic, dress, maxi
Seven sleeve options: long, short, cap (binding/elastic/hemmed), ruffle, flutter. 
Hood option
Four pocket options: inset, ribbed, gathered, and kangaroo
Optional elastic casing for bodice.
Templates for elbow patches and applique

Okay, before I keep going - there are SO MANY combinations for this one, I was sort of floored.  I printed all the pages out and glued them all together (I'm sort of obsessed with my glue sticks lately), and stared at them trying to decided which one I wanted to to make.  The pattern pieces all went together easily and everything is clearly labeled so you know what to cut for each option you want.  In the end, I just cut everything out and gave up on decision making...

I started with the maxi length, ruffle sleeve (by the way, if you do this without a layer below it, you'll need to hem the rest of the sleeve opening), and I did the elastic casing. I was actually really excited about the elastic.  It's all nicely enclosed, so Miss Sensitive wouldn't flip out over the elastic being against her skin.

 Inara is a pretty standard size 5, and I made the size 5 in this going off of the size chart - its perfect.  The length is great - ankles, but not too long so that she trips.  And the fit is awesome - loose and flowy, but doesn't hang off of her at all.   
I used about a yard of jersey fabric for this one, since the skirt isn't wide it easily fit.   The sleeves are in a cotton lycra and the neck binding is a ribbing.  From cutting to snipping threads, this dress took about an hour, so really, if you're pressed for time - this should totally be in your pattern collection.  So then I decided I wanted to see what the knee length came out like.  

It's Inara approved.  For this one I did the knee length, cap sleeve ( I did a lettuce type hem on the sleeve) and did the hood and the kangaroo pocket with it.  I decided to leave off the casing on this one because I made it out of stretch terry so she can wear it as a beach cover up, and I thought the casing might be a pain to mess with at the beach. 
This is my favorite pose of the night.  She's such a weirdo.  She totally loved it though, and I like how even without the elastic on the bodice, it still fits nicely.  She totally missed the point though, and goes "MOM, its like a TOWEL - I'm gonna wear it after the shower!!"   So I guess she'll need another... and I'll probably have to make Connor one too so he's not all jealous.... are bath cover-ups unisex?  Sew time on this version: also about an hour.  Taking out the elastic saved some time, but adding the hood and the kangaroo pocket balanced it back out.  I had a yard of the pink terry, and I have some useable sizes leftovers from it, and the hood and pocket just took a small amount of the polka dot. 

Last, but not least - the tunic length, with flutter sleeve, gathered pocket, and elastic casing on the outside.  This one took scrap pieces of the cotton/lycra Alice print (all I had left, but Inara begged for something in it) and the main print was the last of this lovely interlock I had found at the Goodwill (seriously, it was like 2yds worth for $1.99 and then 50% off that... anyways, it matched everything and I'm sad I'm out of it!).  

Of course she is totally in love with the pockets.  I may go back and stick inset pockets on the maxi dress, since by the time I got to this one, I realized just how much she loves pockets.  The tunic length is just perfect too - covers her tush, so its perfect for wear with leggings. 

Thoughts on the pattern?  It's extremely detailed.  All of the different options are explained clearly, and there are extra tips throughout on changing it up (like how to make the elastic casing look pretty on the outside of the top).  The instructions are easy to follow, though personally, the two columns of instructions flusters me, because I have to scroll up and down and I'm afraid I'll miss something (I know that's silly, but we all have our idiosyncrasies, right?).  The detailing at the neckline is extremely feminine and gives a really nice look to the finished dress. 

If you're newer to knits, you will especially love all of the explanation provided about choosing fabrics and which stitches to use.  So if you're new and nervous, you can do a nice basic version, and do more with more of the cool add-ons as you get more confident with knits.   

I really enjoyed sewing this one, and each version took about an hour from the point I finished staring sadly at my dwindling stash, to the point that I snipped those pesky leftover threads.  So in a house where time is always a hot commodity, this dress gets plus points.  And, I just love all of the options that the dress has! I can't wait for fall so I can do the layered sleeves with it too. 

I'm already trying to decide which Go To Pattern to sew up next.  Maybe something for Connor?  That Study Hall Jacket looks ah-mazing!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed the review, and let me know if I missed anything!