Pattern Testing: The Rylee Dress

I absolutely love a bit of pattern testing, really enjoy the process and seeing what so many talented ladies in one place can make! This time I am writing about the lovely Rylee Dress from Addie at addiek. The dress comes in sizes 2-12, so great value for money. I made the contrast version, but the pattern includes the solid front version, and the final release also has the option for some rather cute and practical in seam pockets. It’s a really quick sew, mainly because of the dolman sleeves, and the solid front version would be super quick!

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The pattern is for knits, and includes some great tips for those who are new to sewing with knits. I used some interlock, I was trying to decide between a few colour combinations, so I do my usual trick and asked Evie and she picked out these two! I only asked her for one as I under estimated her great taste in fabrics and thought I would have to coordinate another colour… but no, she picked out two that worked great together, and I just about managed to eek the pieces I need from what I had left of both fabrics. I don’t know how she does it!! Anyway, back to the dress, I love how casual and comfy it is, and perfect with a pair of tights and boots for this weather.

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Go get your copy of this fab pattern from the addiek shop by clicking here!!

In other news, I’ve not been well recently and not had the energy to sew (I know, I’m useless!) I have however been using the paypal account a fair bit this last weekend taking advantage of the sales, so when I do get better I have plenty of lovely things to sew, yeyyeyey!!

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Ruffled PJ party tour!

So I saw that the ladies at Once Upon a Sewing machine were asking for blogs to join their tour for the Ruffled PJ PDF pattern at the same time as I was being very organised and thinking about Christmas PJs for my girlies. Of course I had to jump on board, I know my almost 4 year old would love these. These are the perfect girly pjs and the pattern includes sizes from 12m up to size 6.

The plan was to go a bit OTT with Christmas prints, and I was convinced when I showed the main fabric to Evie and she absolutely loved it. This is the first year she has been very very excited for Christmas, which of course makes me very happy! I tried to capture that in the second photo below…

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…she looks slightly scary instead though!! 😀 I used quilting cottons for the main and star contrast that I picked up from my local-ish fabric shop Oh Sew Crafty!, and because these PJs are from winter I used a white flannel for the bodice lining. I love that she’s going to be so cosy in these. I was a bit worried that the fabric choice was going to be a bit too much, but she looks so cute, and she adores them so that’s what matters most to me 🙂 For the back instead of using buttons, as I was feeling a bit lazy, I used my trusty Kam Snaps. I made the size 4 and the fit is perfect for her, laziness strikes again, but I didn’t measure for the elastic waist and wrists and used the pattern recommendations, which were just right!

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My youngest Scarlett is now 18 months, but she’s tiny and her chest is much too small for the size 12m measurements. She has a fluffy cloth bum so I knew that the bottoms would fit her fine, and they did, the plan was to sew her up a quick red jersey top to go with… it is on the todo list still though! For these I did the contrast cuff, and I think they look great, even despite the fact I chopped off the penguins heads (kicking myself as I’m usually a bit ocd with patterns!). This pattern comes together really nicely, the bottoms are a very quick sew, and while the tops requires a few more steps and techniques, it’s straight forward, explained very well, and didn’t take me too long at all.

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nawww ❤ these two!! OK, so good news time, The Ruffled PJ Pattern is on sale all this week, until the 6th December, for just $5. Go here to buy on etsy, and don’t worry the discount already applied!! Oh yeah and make sure you follow the rest of the tour, it’s full of amazing talented sewing bloggers!

And one last thing, while writing this it reminded me that the dolly I used for the photos was given to Evie from a good friend of mine when she was born, made me dig out this photo and think about how it doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago she was this small. Time doing that flying thing!

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Pattern Testing: The Soho Maxi

Next up in my testing marathon is the amazing Soho Maxi from Striped Swallow Designs. Was so happy that Mandalynn let me test this dress for her, I fell in love with it as soon as she posted the testing call! It is also being featured today in the Pattern Revolution aspiring designer series. The pattern includes sizes 2T right up to a 14, I can see this being a one a year dress! As well as the maxi length, a knee length option is also included. I made the size 4T for Evie based on her measurements, the only modification i made was the lengthen the skirt length by an inch as she was above the recommended height for her size, its a little long, but I am hoping it will still fit her for spring/summer next year.

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First up is the maxi length, I used a lightweight cotton with Russian Dolls as the main, from Oh Sew Crafty! they’re based pretty local to me, however I couldn’t visit in time so ordered online and was very impressed with the despatch and delivery time. And solid quilting cottons for the bodice, front panels and straps. This is the first time Evie’s worn a maxi, and as soon as it was on she demanded I put on the Frozen soundtrack so she could prance around the living room in it! She’s definitely a maxi fan. I’m in the middle of knitting her a grey jumper to layer over and I think they’ll look great together.

I think the most exciting part of this pattern is….

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That back!! Its absolutely gorgeous! Across the top of the back piece is encased elastic, and the back of the waist is shirred. Now I must admit, I’ve had elastic to try out shirring for ages, I’m not sure if I was putting off doing it, or never found the right pattern to try it out, but it just never happened until now! I was a bit nervous, but Mandalynn’s instructions are great, and as if by magic it worked. First time. Love how it looks and it makes the bodice lovely and fitted, while allowing room to grow.

As soon as I finished the knee length version I immediately decided that it was the favourite thing I have ever sewn. I think it was partly due to the surprise as i was unsure if the fabric I used would work, but it did, I adore it!

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The chevron is a cotton Ann Kelle remix that I’ve had stashed away for a while. Mandalynn suggests to use lace for the bodice detail, so I used a piece from a really old dress of mine layered over a light peach solid, and I think it’s my favourite part of this finished dress. Now this is not a pattern to throw together a last minute dress, but it is one that takes a few hours but when completed it is so worth it, the construction is great with a lovely neat finish. I know I mentioned it before but the instructions are really good, it is an intermediate sewing level pattern, but I think it would be great for an adventurous beginner to tackle and learn a few new techniques in the process. It really is the perfect party dress, her birthday is new years eve so I am not sure if the fresh spring colours are really suited for a miserable winters day party, but I’m so tempted to dress her in it regardless!

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Now, go check out all the other amazing tester photos in is tester round up post, then go buy from the Striped Swallows Designs Shop using coupon code SOHOMAXI to get $2 off until 16th November, or through Craftsy where the discount is already applied. Massive thanks to Mandalynn for letting me be a tester, I love love love this pattern!

Pattern Testing: The Gingersnap Dress and Tunic

I’ve been so busy pattern testing lately, and it seems that all these fabulous patterns are going to be released this week! First up is the Gingersnap dress and tunic from Linda at The Merry Chruch Mouse/MCM Studio Designs. The pattern is an adventourous beginner level and comes in sizes 2-6. I love how this dress turned out, I made the size 4 for Evie and the fit is great on her. It comes together nicely with a lovely neat finish. It is the perfect dress to be worn with tights for the colder weather. And above all, she looks so comfortable in it! It has been designed with a relax fit, which is great as I know she will get plenty of wear out of it!

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I used a medium weight chambray and a lovely Japanese cotton/linen blend, both from the great Plush Addict (who I have a lot to thank for getting this testing done in time, ordered in the afternoon, despatched that day and delivered first class the next morning… phew!! Amazing service!). We call it her hippo dress!

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This pattern is released today and is being featured as part of the Pattern Revolution Aspiring Designers series, click here to read more about the gingersnap dress and tunic, see some amazing makes from the talented group of testers, enter to win a copy and details on how to buy (and for a great price until Sunday 16th November!) And finally thank you for Linda for letting me test this lovely dress 🙂

Heidi&Finn Unisex Urban Unisex Hoodie Pattern

My almost 4 year old is in need of more winter clothes, so I made her the Unisex Urban Hoodie from Heidi&Finn (click here to go to the easy shop). I used a navy Interlock remnant that I picked up really cheap and lined it with a yellow lightweight stretch jersey that was given to me from a relative. So basically this top cost me hardly anything, which is good as I spent loads in the Heidi&Finn pattern shop, oops!

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I went up a size and made her the 5 as I wanted her to be able to layer over tops, and also she’s been in the same size for a while so I predict a growth spurt! It perfect, I think it suits her so much and I love the unisex colour combination! The pattern was great to sew with and the instructions very clear, can’t wait to get started on one of the other 4 patterns I bought… however they might have to wait as I’m working on testing another pattern and she wants an Frozen Anna dress (which I think I am as excited as she is about!!)

Pattern testing Queen Street Blouse and Emerson Dress

Wow, this place is full of cobwebs, been far too long since I’ve added any words (or pics) here. Time for a quick dust off and here we go! I have been busy doing lots of sewing and a fair bit of pattern testing! Today I’m going to be sharing the Emerson Dress and the Queen Street Dress/Blouse that I tested for the very lovely Darcy at Ginger House Designs.

First up the very recently released Queen Street, which includes blouse and dress lengths aswell as short and 3/4 length sleeve options!

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For Scarlett I made the short sleeved blouse and it is so cute!! I love the peter pan collar, which I normally avoid sewing as I find when they are not perfect then it can be so obvious… well to me and my ocd perfectionist eyes! But I am so happy with how this turned out! There is a concealed placket on the back which I lazily used snaps for, me and my button hole machine foot are not friends at the moment!

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The vintage style looks great on my little girl, I gathered across the front but there are also instructions to add a pleat instead! I’m definitely going to make the dress version next for one of my girlies as I love how it turned out for the dress testers!

Here’s a little tip… a duck shaped watering can comes in very handy when trying to photograph a troublesome 16 Month old!

Ok so here we go, I also tested Darcy’s first pattern the Emerson Dress, I love the ruffled details on the bodice, and this dress is just timeless! It can be made sleeveless but I can resist a cute little flutter sleeve!

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The bodice is fully lined, and I love how neatly it all comes together to give a professional finish. Eventhough it has turned so very cold over here in the UK Miss S still wears her Emerson dress with thick woolly tights and a cardy! Think I will make a more modern version next, with piping instead of ruffles and a bit of colour blocking!

Thank you so much to Darcy at Ginger House Designs for letting my test both of these gorgeous patterns for her!

Well thats it for today, hopefully I won’t be waiting for longer than 3 months to write my next post, but I can’t promise anything 😉

Pattern testing: LOL swing top

It was one of them moments when an email notification pops up, I let out a squeeee and pranced around the house like a small child! The words ‘you’re in!’ sent from Jenn, blogger at A Jennuine Life and designer behind Jennuine Designs, meant just one thing, I was one of the very very lucky ladies to be testing her latest pattern the LOL Swing Top. Sneak peeks from Jenn popped up on Instagram and straight away I knew I needed to sew it (#LOLSwingTop if you want a nosey!). Pattern testing started, I made my first and from then on I was completely hooked (seriously… Latest count I had notched up 5 of these beauties!).

Here we go, in no particular order, top number one! Made in gorgeously fun Jersey, because yes this pattern can be made in both woven and knit, amazing! I made the size 9-12M based on the chest measurement for my mini 14 month old girl and the fit is perfect on her. Which also brings me to the next thing I love about the LOL swing top, the size range, from newborn up to 12 years, this pattern is going to last.

20140726-125440-46480949.jpgOk here here it comes… 20140726-125441-46481285.jpgThat back, amazing isn’t it? The very on trend racer back teamed with all that swing makes it perfect for this hot weather right now (even here in England… Woo!). This version I made was with a contrast back yoke. The length is designed to come down the the hip, normally I would lengthen to take into account my long torso little lady, but it still works slightly shorter on her. The tutorial is beautifully illustrated and explains how to lengthen, as well as loads of other great tips and features, including printing select sizes, sewing bias and separate instructions for knit or woven.

20140726-125531-46531090.jpgThis next version I made from a lovely zebra jersey, brightened up with a pop of yellow for the ribbing. Love it! I’m also so happy to have an excuse to make Miss S her own clothes, as normally it’s hard to justify with all her sisters hand me downs, so glad I did though, she’s wearing one of these most days!

20140726-130019-46819534.jpgSo now it’s Evie’s turn, and my turn to make a woven version! Between sizes so I rounded up to 4T as suggested and I’m very happy, and also hoping she doesn’t grow too much and it can be worn next year too! I modified the pattern for this one by putting buttons onto both shoulders and using rounded button tabs! I have also made an unmodified one which I love, especially how it’s cleverly constructed, that back yoke is lined so the inside is neat and pretty… And my sewing OCD loves it. I used a really lightweight cotton lawn, and although not the easiest to sew with, works perfectly with this pattern. It was also about time I used it, when I bought it about 6 years ago, without a use planned, the lady in the shop told me to make sure it doesn’t just sit in a cupboard for years… Oops… But hey I’m glad I did now 🙂20140726-130118-46878735.jpgYes, I know, the swing photos are so very predictable, but my girls love it here so I know I can get some nice natural pics!20140726-130145-46905833.jpgMoving on before this post gets totally photo heavy, number 4! Back to knit, and this time I did a bit of colour blocking by using a contrast on the back and different colour ribbings. It’s fun and great for messing around and causing trouble with her little sister.20140726-130146-46906341.jpgNow let’s get one last pic of the two of you together in your lovely new LOL swing tops….20140726-130147-46907093.jpg…err great!

You can find the LOL swing top PDF pattern over at the Jennuine Designs shop (aff link). *Edit: use code LOLRelease for 20% discount until 7th August!* Make sure you follow the rest of the tester tour, so much more swinging cuteness to come!

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Big thanks to Jenn for giving me the chance to do something new and test this pattern, it has inspired me to finally take the first step into perhaps one day producing PDF sewing patterns of my own.