Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pattern Review: Sis Boom Gabriella Fae (Girl's Bundle Up!)

Back again with more Bundle Up goodness.  Today I get to show you my lovely Gabriella Fae.  The awesome pattern included in the bundle from SisBoom.

 *Disclaimer*I was given this pattern as part of my participation in the Bundle Up Blog Tour, but all opinions and sewing are my own!  For my stop on the tour I made the LilyGiggle Cecille, and you can see my post here!

We made two of these as well, because the different options gave them totally different looks and I wanted to try and show you guys that.

First off, the details:
Sizes: 12mo - 13/14
Three sleeve options: Long, short, sleeveless
Two bodice options: flat or gathered
Zippered back.
Multiple skirt lengths included in instructions.

I sewed the sleeveless, gathered bodice, knee length option first, in this really pretty nautical print I've been hanging on to.

It's about 40 out in these pictures, with a nice breeze of the ocean, so I'm really impressed that she was so happy in the pictures! I'm pretty sure that's a good testament to how much she likes the dress.

What I loved: I really love how different just adding a sleeve and using the different bodice types makes the dress look.  I think the longer with the sleeves is perfect for a winter or fall dress, and its dressy without having lots of ruffles, which gives it a nice polished look.  As with all of the SS/SB patterns, I LOVE how I can just look at the chart of the kid to pick my sleeve and skirt lengths.  Inara is really average, and so I just grab measurements off the charts and they fit her nicely.  I love the little bit of flare that the gathered bodice gives the dress.  And I LOVE that it's a zippered back!

What I would change:  There is one thing that I did differently from the first dress to the second.  I cut the lining band pieces 1/2" longer than the outer pieces.  I then sewed the skirt to only the outer band and folded the bottom of the lining under, pressed and slip-stitched it  to encase the seam.

I'm really glad that I took the time to make these, and I will definitely be making more, for both Inara and as gifts!  And I think I'm sold on getting the women's version of this for myself too!

If you haven't Bundled Up, you've only got 3 more days!   Remember... you can get 11 awesome and (temporarily) exclusive patterns for as low as $4.00ea!!

Thanks for stopping by... if you're around tomorrow, maybe I'll show off another Bundle up pattern I've made!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bundle Up Tour: LilyGiggle Cecille

Hi! This is my first Bundle Up tour and I'm really happy to be a part of it... especially because I was really impressed with the collection of patterns in this bundle.

If this is your first intro to the bundle, here is how it works... The awesome gals at Pattern Revolution team up with a bunch designers to create a bundle that contains a bunch of new patterns that are temporarily exclusive to the bundle at awesome prices.  There are 11 patterns in this bundle, and to get the special bundle pricing, you need to pick out at least six.  The more you pick, the better the pricing..
Pricing Details
$4.50ea for 6-7 patterns
$4.25ea for 8-9 patterns
$4.00ea for 10 or more patterns

I'm really impressed with the group of designers and the variety of patterns in this bundle.  Pattern Revolution very graciously provided me with this pattern (for free) to write a review of, but all opinions and thoughts are totally my own.  

Meet the LilyGiggle Cecille Top and Dress 

The details: 
Sizes: 2 - 12
Three sleeve lengths: short, 3/4 and long
Cowl or neckband
Flounce or gathered peplum on shirt version
Woven skirt for dress version
Optional waistband

If you couldn't tell, I quite like this pattern... so does Inara.  For her top she picked out some Fancy Nancy fabric we bought last year from Funkalicious Fabrics and we paired that with some solids from Purple Seamstress.  Then I played with my embroidery machine and embroidered the little saying on the front to dress it up a bit.  The nice clean bodice is really great for embellishing solids or using fun prints on.

The poofy sleeves give it such a nice feminine look, that it was just screaming to be a Fancy Nancy shirt.  I really love the look of this dress... and it only took about 90 minutes to sew either version.

What I loved:  I have to say, when I picked this pattern, I wasn't sold on the sleeves, but after making them in two lengths, I have totally fallen in love with them... the cute poof at the bottom is such a pretty detail.  I love all the options the pattern has as well.. being able to mix wovens and knits gives me lots of great fabric combination ideas, and lets me think outside the box.  I like the wider set neckline as well, as I think it gives the dress a really nice feminine touch.

What I'd change:  I think I'd like more circle to my peplums, but that is totally personal preference.  And fit wise, Inara has slim arms, so I need to do the sleeves and cuff in a size 5 width wise for a cleaner fit.

For our dress version we used some YUMMY Art Gallery knit that I got from Whimsical Fabric and use some mint cotton/lycra scraps for the neckband and arm bands.  The skirt on the dress version is woven, so I used this really pretty bridal satin we had laying around.  It's *slightly* more aqua than mint, but it worked well together.... and I really liked the color combo of the cream and black with the minty aqua.

 Both the top and dress fit well with no alterations to the pattern. (Inara is a pretty average size 6).  I think the thickness of my cowl fabric makes it a bit more turtleneck like, but she loves it and it is great for the weather here this time of year.

This is actually the first LilyGiggle pattern I've ever sewn too.  I bought a bunch of their patterns quite a while ago (before the shop closed and re-opened), but just hadn't made them yet.  Now I know what I've been missing!

 There will definitely be more Cecille's in our future, and more LilyGiggle!

Make sure you check out the other bloggers who are posting for the tour... they've all made some gorgeous creations from the patterns included, and I think it will inspire you to Bundle Up!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Thanks for stopping by!  Make sure you head over to the Pattern Revolution blog to enter the giveaway too!  And if you'd like to stop by again tomorrow... I'll be talking about another bundle dress, the SisBoom Gabriella Fae:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Free Pattern Alert: Sofilantjes AND Dandelions 'n' Dungarees

Okay, I totally love free patterns... partly because, well, they're FREE, but there is another reason too.

When I am looking for a pattern and I find a designer that I haven't used before, I immediately look for a free pattern, or even a simple inexpensive ($2 and under) pattern on their site.  Why?  Because I did the same thing with paper patterns when I was learning to sew.

I grew up with Simplicity paper patterns, but wanted to try an old Vogue one.  Except it was something crazy like $4 or $5.  Let's not discuss how many years ago this was.  So before I got it, I grabbed one of the standard $1.50 ones out of the drawer and took it home.  I found that that the sizing was slightly different than my Simplicity ones, and that I would need to play around a bit with my muslin to get the fit I was going for, so I ended up finding a similar Simplicity one that I knew would fit my frame better.

Now, aside from the laughable prices on these patterns...this is why I like a free pattern so much.  If I haven't sewn something from that designer before, I like to see their writing style is something I like reading.  I like to see what their drafted pattern pieces are like.  And I definitely like to test out garment fit.  If its a free pattern that they half-a$$ed, then I know this probably isn't a designer for me.

Now that I've explained all of that... Here are two free patterns that I've sewn up that I highly recommend you trying out.  I have sewn multiple patterns from both of these designers before, and like their styles, but if you're new to either designer and want to try them out here is your perfect chance!

First, is a FREE leggings pattern from Dandelions n Dungarees.  They are available for download here.  Or you can come get them in the Facebook Group and chat with other DnD lovers.
Why does my child always look so disheveled?  Anyways, meet Evie!  Isn't she darling??  Inara is wearing the size 6, Evie is in the 3, and below is little sister Catie in the 12mo.  The pattern comes in NB through 16 and includes doll sizes as well.

The fit on these is really nice, and who doesn't need a good pair of leggings?  These are her Elsa leggings.. They are made with a stretch panne from Joanns that had a little bit of sparkle to it.

Okay, once you've tried the leggings, you'll need this one next.  I have this stupid rule for Inara's clothes.. if she wears leggings her shirt either needs to cover her tush, or she needs a skirt.  Since she likes wearing skirts anyways, it works out well.  This skirt from Sofilantjes is the perfect little skirt for over leggings.

The pattern is available here, and if you want a cute top to go with it, the Otium is darling!
This one is available in NB - 9/10... so I also made them for Evie and Catie!

Totally crawling approved by Catie!

Both of these patterns will give you a nice glimpse into the pattern style of two designers that I really enjoy.  Anne from Sofilantjes and April and Elise from Dandelions n Dungarees are all really sweet ladies, who work hard to make patterns that are easy to follow and well drafted.  They are very friendly and helpful when you have questions and always go above and beyond for their customers.  You really can't go wrong with their patterns!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Seasons Changed for Project Quilting Season 6, Challenge 1

Okay, I am super excited that a new season of Project Quilting has started.

Challenge one for this season is "trees."

I decided to hand embroider and this is what I started with...

I was going to make a little mug rug with it, but it just didn't scream *finished* at me... so this is where I went next... (progress shot storm incoming...)

Above left was my initial sketch.. don't laugh to hard, I have NO drawing skills.  I asked some friends and we determined that Autumn looked kind of unfinished.

Above right was progress after the second night of stitching away, and with an updated idea for Autumn.

Right is with the stitching complete and then I had to figure out what to do next.

Below is was my first idea of how to lay out my squares.  I wanted it to look like window panes, and after 5 fabric swaps, nothing was making me happy.

Doesn't really scream *window,* does it?

After some discussion with my friend Kim, who I can always count on for an honest opinion, she sent me a link to show me how to make Attic Window blocks...

And this is where we went from there...  windows and sashing..

In retrospect, I wish that I had added an extra line of sashing around the windows before adding the yellow.  That yellow, by the way, just arrived that day as one of the free FQs that I earned from shopping on Whimsical Fabric during her free FQ sale (oh, *duh* if you want to see the sales and specials, she has a FB group here.)  I tried like 5 different fabrics before getting frustrated, going to check the mail, and happily finding this FQ in my package.  And the day was saved!

And the finished product!

For the quilting I just stitched in the ditch around the embroidered blocks and then added some swirls to the sides and a cool quote I found.. The quote is from this Anberlin song, which I fell in love with when I heard.

I did the binding so I could insert dowels in the top and bottom so it will hang nicely when displayed. It's going on the wall in my sewing room for now, but I think I want to put it up in the bedroom.

Either way, I'm really glad that I participated this week, and as stressful as I find quilting, I think its good for me to step outside my comfort zone!

The linkup is live... please go check out all of the amazing entries and vote for your six favorites!

A new year with lots of excitement!

Happy New Year everyone!  I know I'm a little late, but better late then never, right?

Let's talk about my blog plans for the new year a little bit to let you know what's coming up this year..

 First, Project Quilting Season 6 is underway, and I am really trying to participate in every challenge this season!  Here's my favorite post from last season's food challenge.  The first challenge is trees... Here's what I've got so far... my friend Kim showed me a cool way to do the window panes, so I'll post it about it when it's done..

Next, I've determined that I own A LOT of patterns, so I have made myself a wish list of patterns that I still want.  Right now it has one from Blank Slate Patterns that I love after I found them when I made the Zippy Jacket, and one from Clobird Patterns that I loved when a friend posted the ones she's been making.  But my wish list is pinned up on the wall of my sewing room and I am NOT going to buy them until I do some pattern stash sewing.  

Christmas sew for Justin - Greenstyle Walbrook Boxer Briefs... there will be more of these!
So I am working on organizing my patterns in my drive and compiling a list of 25 new sews and 20 re-sews, and when I finish I will allow myself to buy my wish list... depending on how long it gets, I may cap it off at how many I can buy.  Then I will make another list and start again.  I've scaled down my fabric stash a lot this last year, so I may not do the whole no buying till I hit 100 items like last year.

Third, I have decided to do more reviewing as I go this year, and maybe a little less testing.  Things I liked, things I'd change, etc... and it'll start when I start my big ole' list.

Oliver + S Sleepover Pajamas 
Last, this is the most exciting part of this whole post I think...  I want to make sure that I reward my Welcome to Sewing Land participants over the next couple months, so lets start with the first four participants... From Installment One we have Kristie, Theresa, Cat and Ashley.  Sorry this has taken SO LONG ladies... but please check your emails for your $15 gift certificates to Whimsical Fabric!   

And if you want to get the most out of your gift certificate, if you join Whimsical Fabric & Me on Facebook, the owner posts sale codes and contests!  They sell patterns by some of the best designers, as well as fabric and notions... so its like a one stop sewist shopping heaven! 
Sleepy Kiwis Nightwear

Anyways, thanks for sticking with me through the year, and I hope this year will be even more fun and interesting for everyone and my little blog!

Filles a Maman Extraordinary Girl top and The Plucky Butterfly Beach to School bottoms