Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sunny Top in Arrows and Dots

I'm so thrilled to be a part of SewVery's Sunny Dress & Top Tour!  It's a wonderful pattern with different design options, so that you can make several pieces with the one pattern.  I love patterns with versatility.

During the tour week the pattern can be purchased for 20% off using code SUNNY20!

When the Sunny Dress first came out in sizes 5-7, I had planned to modify it for my size 3T girls.  Luckily Veronica decided to expand the sizes and I was able to test!  You can see my dress version here.

This is the Option B Top, my fav.  The top fits my girls just right and is something they can get on and off themselves when I keep the back tied.  

 The sleek A-line shape allows elements like fun fabric and the adorable back ties to shine.  
(all fabrics were from JoAnn Fabrics) 

Look at that neckline.  It sits perfectly where it should and doesn't shift when she's running and jumping around the playground.

I prefer the back ties styled straight down, but they're also long enough to style them crossed.  

The design of the pattern back inspired me to make some matching shorts with side bow pockets.  They're modified Elegance & Elephants Bubble Pocket shorts.  I almost changed the bows to the contrasting arrow fabric, but my little one saw it this way and told me - "don't touch my outfit mama".  Well okay then mini designer...

I plan to sew some more Sunny tops since it's so quick and cute (stay tuned), but in the meantime make sure to check out all the other versions of the pattern during the tour this week!

There is also a giveaway for 2 free patterns!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 8, 2014

W shorts

I've only made the girls one pair of W pants, but they have been the best fitting pants I've made for them.  So of course I knew I had to make the shorts version of the pants this summer.  The Shorts on the Line series has motivated me to make them before summer is over (I tend to procrastinate...).

The design of the back is really fun to construct.  I just played with some fabrics until I got a look that the girls would like and I thought was interesting.  The flat piping is made with some scrap floral linen, and the contrasting black and white fabric is the last bit of scrap from my original W pants.  Main fabric is some green twill from JoAnn Fabrics.

A fun surprise for the girls was that I used some super hero girl fabric (by Anne Kelle) for the pocket lining.  They are super hero obsessed!

This pattern is a little more boyish than girlie (it's unisex), but that's one thing I love about it.  The girls always look really cute in boy tees and plaid shirts, so why not boy shorts.  Just don't tell them it's not girlie!

The fly construction is so confusing yet simple at the same time.  I just blindly follow the pattern and it works out perfectly, even after sewing way past my bedtime.

BTW, this kid didn't really want to take pictures today.  I'll leave you with how she thinks the shorts look photographed best. Oy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

City Gym Shorts

I went a little crazy sewing yesterday night.  I couldn't help it - not only is the City Gym Shorts pattern over at Purl Bee free, but it's just what I was looking for to make.  

The awesome shorts made by Teresa at Dandelion Drift were the first pair I saw that got me printing the pattern.  Now the Shorts on the Line project collection over at Kollabora are being dominated by City Gym Shorts.  

My first pair was made with new fabric from JoAnn Fabrics by Jennifer Paganelli - the Nora Mae Gaulden Rose print (part of the Jenny Eliza collection).  I could make an entire wardrobe with this floral and not get tired of it.  The colors are gorgeous.  I framed the floral with a waistband and bias tape made with chambray.

Since the pattern takes very little fabric, I had plenty to make myself a matching pair.  This time you can see that I made the back with the contrasting chambray and the bias tape with a white on white dotted fabric.

And because I couldn't stop there (one girl would be left out!) I made one more pair.  Of course it was made with fabric that contained purple, or else it would have been thrown back at me with demands for a purple version.  

The front is a Robert Kauffman fabric that I bought so long ago that I've forgotten the name.  I only had a half yard so I was waiting for just the right project to use it for.  The bias tape and waistband is the same white dotted fabric that was used for my shorts.  

You can see in the pic above that the shorts are different sizes.  The floral is a 4/5T and the arrow print is a 3T.  All the girls' 3T shorts are getting snug but the next size is too big.  I figure the best option I have is to sew the bigger size and make the elastic in the waistband snug enough so they don't fall off (leaving extra elastic for when they grow).  

Speaking of waistbands...I thought it was strange that the pattern instructions didn't include trimming the large seam allowance before tacking down the other side.  But now I see that all those layers of fabric making up the waistband help it be more stable, and I bet the elastic won't turn as easily.

Ha, the pic above looks like they're either hugging or about to get into a wrestling match :)  I assure you they were hugging and laughing (for once) because they were so excited we all have matching shorts.  I guess I should match them more often!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Starlite Dress

A while back my mother gave me some of my old books for the girls to read, and some of the ones they have become attached to are about Rainbow Brite.  So of course I told them I'd make a Rainbow Brite dress!  I bought this Riley Blake unicorn fabric instead of making a costume.  I thought this would appease them since the unicorn looked liked Rainbow Brite's horse, Startlite.  

The dress was made using a newly released pattern that I love!  The Sunny Dress & Top by SewVery.   I was fortunate to test the 3T version.  The pattern is a fitted A-line dress that ties in the back (so adorable!).  There's an option of putting a ruffle across the top or leaving it plain - both cute options.  The pattern fits the girls really well, which isn't always the case with every pattern. 

You can also use the pattern to make a top, which I'll post more about later next week (sneak peak above).  Right now the pattern is 20% off this weekend.  If you're looking for an adorable summer dress or top to sew for your girl, check it out!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Catching Fireflies

When I saw the new pattern collection from Willow and Co Patterns, I was immediately drawn to one particular pattern - the Fawn Lily Tunic & Dress.  

Lately when I purchase patterns, I look for something I can't draft myself or can't modify to make from a different pattern.  This is definitely not a basic bodice with skirt attached!  The Fawn Lily Dress is a sewing puzzle.

This *might* be the most difficult pattern I've sewn.  Not that it was confusing, but that it was physically difficult at times to get it right.  Look at all those curved lines to the design!  It takes a lot of patience to get the seams perfect so they don't pucker the fabric.  Even the hem is curved.

The sleeve construction is very different than most patterns.  After sewing the outer sleeve to the bodice, you have to roll up the dress inside the sleeve to sew the lining sleeve down, then pull the dress back out of the sleeve without popping the threads.  (I'm sure that explanation doesn't make much sense.) I was pretty exhausted after wrangling the fabric around four curved sleeves, especially when I had trimmed the seam allowance off too early once.  It's worth it in the end for the nicely enclosed seam!

There are several bodice and skirt options to customize the dress.  This one I made with the crossover bodice and pleated skirt.  I picked purple fabrics especially for her because it's her favorite color.  She  also loves pom-pom trim and full skirts.

And this one was made with the button front bodice and A-line skirt, totally her style.  She picked out the yellow fabric that was used for the sleeves at the fabric store (her favorite color).  

She also choose the buttons and has been requesting all her clothes to have buttons down the front.  (Much better than demanding to wear all her current dresses backwards so the button closures would be in the front!)

You can see in this picture the difference in skirt fullness between the two options.  The skirt fabric is by Michael Miller - Wee Wander Summer Night Lights Border Print.  The kids in the print are catching fireflies - something we haven't tried yet since I prefer the girls to be asleep by the time the flies are out.  Our chickens having been going crazy every night though - there have been so many fireflies to catch in our backyard this year!

BTW, I sewed up the 3T size for them, but probably could have made the 2T size.  They fell on the measurement chart for the 3T size though, so that's what I went with.  You can see that it's a little roomy and long.  Better than too small though!

I definitely recommend this pattern and I will likely reuse it again, though I'm looking forward to making some quick sews again...using straight lines :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jorna Dress

The Jorna Dress is yet another pattern I've been meaning to try out for the past year, and just recently got around to making.  I bought it as part of the 3rd Perfect Pattern Parcel collection (I'm slowing sewing through all the patterns).

The pattern is a pretty quick sew with only the front, back, and lining pieces to put together.  The armholes are finished off by using what I think is called the "burrito method", which was fun.    

I love the simple body skimming shape of the dress that flares out in a flattering skirt.  I made the dress version but I trimmed off nearly 4 inches to the bottom and left it unhemmed.  A change I intend to make in the future is to make the armholes slightly smaller.  

This dress takes a whole lot of knit!  I really love this knit I used from JoAnn Fabrics.  I've been eyeing it all season and finally went for it with a coupon.  The next Jorna I have in line to make will likely be the tank version, which still requires quite a bit of fabric for the flared bottom.  However the flared bottom is what makes this pattern special.

Anyway, if you're looking for a no-fuss sew and a comfy summer knit dress, this is definitely the pattern for you!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Floral Little Zippy

Did you see that See Kate Sew has designed and released a bunch of mini-me versions of her Women's patterns for girls?!?  I was able to test the mini Zippy Top pattern - the Little Zippy.

It's a quick pattern sewn in woven fabric (knit would work too).  The pattern doesn't require much fabric and only a small zipper for the back.  

This top was a joy to sew because we actually went to Joann Fabrics together and picked out the fabric (swiss dot cotton floral) and zipper color.  She's was happy to get it so quickly.  Most times she'll request an item, I'll buy the fabric, and then never get around to finishing up the project.  This was less than an hour (maybe less than a half?) cut to finish.  

 I think the only change to the final pattern from my test version is that the final pattern is a little longer.  It's great having a quick pattern that I can make cute shirts with my scrap fabric.  And since it's a basic pattern, I can see a lot of creative possibilities in making it my own (color blocking?  pockets?  stenciled?).  More about the pattern can be viewed here!