Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mandy K Designs Blog Tour

From the Archives
10/6/2015

I am so excited to participate in this fun blog tour!


Mandy K Designs is hosting a Knock-offs and Costume Hacks blog tour featuring all her patterns!  This is a fun way to see designs in a new light!

When I saw the Dandelion Wishes pattern from Mandy K, it immediately reminded me of gorgeous Fair Isle Sweaters with the round yoke.  



Now, it's been on my life bucket list to learn how to knit for a long time, but so far I've only mastered knitting squares and rectangles.  The complicated Fair Isle pattern (let alone a wearable garment) is a LONG way off.



I thought this pattern with it's round yoke and unique ruching was a great way to have the look without the work (or price tag--have you seen how much those sweaters cost?!).  And in all reality, it doesn't even get cold enough here in Texas to wear a thick, bulky sweater very often, so this knit dress is perfect.



I upcycled a Target Jersey sheet with a heathered look for the body of the tunic and I searched all over for the right fabric for the yoke.  I wanted something that would mimic the designs of the Fair Isle.  I found the perfect thing in the remnant bin at Hancock Fabrics.



 I didn't change the pattern itself except for leaving out the bottom knit panel for a shorter dress.  The ruching is not hard: I did it all while watching Mr. Rogers. It was quite relaxing actually, kind of like knitting?  And the rest of the dress is a breeze to put together.

The curls.  I couldn't resist.

The A-line is adorable and the fit is spot on.  I made it in 18 months because Amelia is just now getting into that size--I wanted plenty of wear in the upcoming months.  It is so comfy and cozy, just like those sweaters.  Maybe this is even better because it's not itchy!



Thank you so much for the chance to "knock-off" a design!
  Mandy K Designs is graciously offering 30% off til October 17 using code MKDblogtour2015. 
 So many possibilities, so many beautiful patterns!  
Check out all the upcoming blogs on the rest of the tour for more great ideas!




I love this on her!  It's just so cute!

*     *     *
As soon as Giselle saw this dress on Amelia she asked me if I could make one in her size because it would be perfect for her Halloween Costume.  Looks like I'll be whipping up another for a costume hack anyway!
I'll be sure to post that one too!
Thanks for stopping by :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

The only Paper Pattern I still Sew: Butterick 4432

When I first learned to sew, I only knew paper patterns. I would modify the heck out of those to get the look I wanted, but one that I made over and over (I actually drafted it in larger sizes so I could keep making them) is Butterick 4432. It's so fast to sew and easy to wear. I love it with ruffle pants, ruffle bum bloomers or leggings and shorties. 


 I got rid of most my paper pattern collection but I knew I'd never get rid of this one; it was a classic. Yet I couldn't find it anywhere! I gave up my hunt and figured I accidentally gave it away until I found some traced out pieces tucked away and sure enough--I had the complete pattern!

 I instantly whipped it up in this light, almost seersucker fabric that I picked up at the fabric warehouse district for next to nothing and then made some shorties out of a walmart tank top (I love when their cotton/spandex tanks are $1.68) and we've got a cute summer outfit ready to go!


I'm glad to have this pattern back in my collection. 
There will be many more of these, I can assure you. 


And here's my original models from years ago:


 This outfit was my favorite!

 But the bows. 


 And why didn't I tie a nice sash here?!
And Amelia gets a turn in this one. 


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pattern Review: Clara Dress

From the Archives
11/6/2015

I finally got a chance to sew up the Violette Field Threads Clara. Or rather, Baby Clara. This is size 12-18m and it fits perfectly.  Maybe a bit too perfectly since it's going to get chilly around here and I'll have to layer it. I used some of the nice Walmart fabric you can find around, and it's really nice--as nice as anything from Joanns or Hancock.  The Clara is a gorgeous pattern and I've seen so many amazingly beautiful designs around.  I'll definitely make some more, but maybe not so tiny.  Those bodice ruffles are kind of a pain. 

I also got a new lens for my camera.  My kit lens only autofocuses when it feels like it which is super inconvenient. I wouldn't mind manual focus if I'm doing still life, but toddlers are another story.  I've been wanting to try out a 50mm for years now so I took the plunge.  I'm still trying to figure it out, really, but I love these pictures of Amelia.  I'm sorry my blog has just become Amelia Oversharing.


 There was an airplane up there. 

This is one of her main faces. Apparently I make one similar and this is her version. 

 Practicing the princess wave.
Another Classic face.
 Oh man I love this girl.
And this is how excited she gets when Maddie comes home from a run.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Baby DYNNI Skirt by Pienkel--Free Pattern



The sweetest pattern company, Pienkel, has made the cutest baby version of her fabulous DYNNI  skirt.  Of course we tested it out and I overdid the cute photos.  
But seriously, I can't help it.

The baby skirt, offered in sizes 6/9m, 9/12m, and 12/18m has all the options of the original: single layer, double layer, ruched layer, knit yoga waist, woven gathered waist.  

 Even pockets.


 Amelia just loves her skirt and it's perfectly sweet for upcoming Valentine's Day.
My older girls still wear their skirts all the time and love them. 


And the best news?  It's FREE.  Just subscribe to the Pienkel newsletter and you will be sewing up your own adorable baby skirt in no time.
Want to see more? Check out these other blog posts featuring the Free DYNNI baby skirt:




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pattern Review: Women's Dyyni Skirt by Pienkel


I'm being brave and posting pictures of myself here!

Remember the adorable Dyyni skirts I sewed up for my baby girl and big girls?  Well, now we can all wear our Dyyni skirts!
My friend Nienke came out with the women's version. It's a really cute skirt with either elastic or yoga style waist.  It's very light and summery. 


I made the largest size the pattern includes and I could have gone down 1 or maybe 2 sizes (I have a disproportionately large waist to my hips thanks to making 5 babies) because the skirt
 was a little too full around my hips and waist. 



I used one of my vintage sheets because the cotton/poly blend has a nice drape. I love the vintage feel of the design though. It's a circle skirt formed with 6 panels. There are also the options to do a top layer and even a top layer with a pulled-up gather.  The skirt hem is done with bias tape which makes a lovely finish. 





To celebrate the release of the Women's Dyyni Skirt, there will be a discount, using code DYYNILADIESLAUNCH, you will get a storewide discount of 50% (so that works on the other two patterns and on the bundles!) valid from Friday until Wednesday. 

That's a super deal because the other skirts are cute as well!

Go get it and sew up a whole bunch of skirts for summer!

Photo creds: Maddie

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pattern Review: Honeydew Kisses Patterns Josephine Dress

From the Archives
2/19/2016

 Honeydew Kisses Patterns Josephine Dress:
It's been awhile since I did any pattern testing.  It's a process I love, but lately I've just felt like sewing what I feel like. But when I saw this call for testers, I knew I wanted to do this dress.  I already own the Seraphina dress pattern (not sewn up yet) and I knew HDKP specialized in beautiful, classic, vintage designs. 


 This dress is no exception: the pleats, the underskirt, cap sleeves, the lace trimmed bodice and the way the sash slides underneath--I love it all.  And of course, the Peter Pan collar gets me every time.  

I used some hoarded fabric and I truly think it's one of the prettiest dresses I've ever made.  I have another one half-completed too!

 The pattern is easy to read and organized. The instructions are terrific, including the pleats! And there's so many different looks just by alternating fabric combinations.
The pattern releases Saturday 2/20/2016 and will be on sale for a limited time!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Pattern Review: Seaside Notions Grand Isle Top, Dress and Maxi

From the Archives
3/30/2016

Lots of pattern testing lately! Busy, fun and challenging.  One of my favorites has been the Seaside Notions Grand Isle dress.  I was assigned a size and style (maxi) which I personally love because I'm terrible at making decisions--it takes me long enough to figure out fabrics!  

This was my first time sewing a Seaside Notions pattern.  They are lovely.  Each of the designs is inspired by a coastal location and the pattern includes a little  info about the spot and I thought that was really neat.  They are definitely beachy and would be perfect for location photos.  Maybe we should plan a trip...


 I thought the maxi would be too long on a toddler, but it's actually adorable.  
 There was originally an elasticized waist option but during the testing, it proved to make the bodice flare out a bit too much so that option was removed (still optional and still REALLY cute).  That's one of the things that I love about the testing process.  Sometimes things don't go as planned and a good designer listens to feedback and changes accordingly.  I really appreciate that the released pattern is the best it can be and will provide consistent results.  


 So I took out the elastic and added these amazing pockets and it's just as cute and Amelia LOVES pockets.  

 See? It's love.  
 I used some of my vintage sheets for both these dresses and it's perfect for the drape and movement and to showcase the fabric.
  There's also a top and regular length dress option and I already have fabrics picked out for more.  It's a quick and easy, the pattern is easy to understand and organized and the look is stunning!
Seaside Notions has an active Facebook group where frequent sales are announced.  It's worth joining. 
There's a big spring sale right now in fact! Check them out!