Tuesday, June 30, 2015

E+M Patterns: Dress Pattern No 19 Testing

There are some designers that I just know I'll get a good result from even in testing, and so I'm not afraid to use my "good" fabrics. Allison, E+M Patterns, is one of those.

I had the opportunity to pretest and then test Dress No. 19, a sweet little blousey dress with 4 sleeve options (sleeveless, flutter, cap, or short), a simple skirt, and dainty features like pintucks, a keyhole with pretty bias tape ties, and button loops.

She's holding a birthday card. It's not her birthday, but facts don't discourage her.
I used a 1/2" store bought bias tape on Sam's dress, but made my own matching for Natalie's and did 1/4" instead. I looove 1/4" bias tape now, and I want to put it on everything. It's so delicate!

*swoon* Pintucks and 1/4" bias tape...on a floral print. The girliness is killing me.
I used buttons and button loops in the back, and a keyhole in front, which made for plenty of room to get the dress over the heads and onto the arms for both my girls. The dark blue floral on Sam is the pretest, and the lighter blue floral on Natalie was my final test. Both are pretty, wearable garments, and though a few things changed between making Sam's dress and the final pattern, I never felt like the fabric was wasted, and Sam's still hangs in her closet and is worn. She's only two, but she's starting to love "pretties" and is thrilled when I make her something. (Don't mind her face. I think she found some M&Ms.)

The dress uses elastic in the waist to fit, and a unique "floating" technique allows the bodice to blouse above the waistband comfortably. Sizes range from 2-10, so this is a pattern you can use for several years - and I will! It's such a pretty dress on both little ones and older girls.

As always, the finishing techniques used make the dress polished inside and out. The pattern contains measurements for rectangles as well as pattern pieces, cutting layouts, fabric requirements, body and finished measurements, and guides for specific pages to print for desired sizes and pieces. E+M never disappoints!

This dress makes her happy when skies are gray!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

FABulous Home Sewn's Perfect Petal Purse: Canadian Designer's Tour

Hey! Welcome to the next stop on the great Canadian Pattern Designer's blog tour! Today I'm featuring for you the adorable Perfect Petal Purse from FABulous Home Sewn.
This little purse is a quick sew - the petals are a little fiddly, getting them placed just right, but the whole thing takes around an hour, hour and a half start to finish. Lightweight interfacing keeps the shape of the petals and body nice, and keeps the strap from twisting and wrinkling. Trust me, cutting all those petals is worth it! I used two coordinating fabrics for each of my purses, but it would also be fun to make one to look like a sunflower, or maybe a bright Gerbera daisy!
The strap length can easily be customized for a smaller or taller child (or adult!) - I made two purses, one for each of my girls, and made the strap for Sam just a bit shorter to make up for the height difference. 
The girls love their little purses - they're perfect for carrying little treasures and treats, and what kid doesn't love a zipper?
Make sure you take advantage of FABulous Home Sewn's coupon code: ocanada on Etsy for 15% off (prices marked down on Craftsy), good til the 20th of June! And, enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a pattern of your choice from FABulous Home Sewn
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Along with the FABulous Home Sewn giveaway, you have more chances to win big! See this post from Lulu & Celeste (Ula is our hardworking coordinator for the tour!) for more information - there's a big Rafflecopter giveaway, valued at around $85, with gift cards and prizes from participating designers and shops, and the Grand Prize, valued at around $250, which goes to the winner of the sewalong! Make sure you don't miss out!! Any blog post featuring something made from any of the featured designers' patterns can be entered, and you can link up more than once - get sewing! (or linking!)
There's more. Follow along with the tour by clicking any of the links below - check out all the posts for more chances to win from more amazing Canadian designers.
June 1 - 3
Gracious Threads - Interview
Creative Bug - The Wholesome Mama - stitched by crystal
June 4 - 6
Jalie – Interview
Shaffer SistersCall Ajairehibbadoray
June 8 – 10
Thread Theory – Interview
Handmade BoyRebel & MaliceSew Out of Control
June 11 - 13
Audrey & Tiffany – Interview
All Things Katy!Not Sew FastConversas de Hermana
June 15 – 17
E+M Patterns – Interview
From-a-BoxMade by SaraClimbing the Willow
June 17 - 19
Victory Patterns – Interview
Swoodson SaysThread Riding HoodSprouting JubeJube
June 18 – 20
FABulous Home Sewn – Interview
Create3.5Calm and CarrionStitches by Laura
June 22 – 24
Filles a Maman – Interview
Pattern RevolutionPhatQuarterssewstarlyHouse of Estrela
June 24 – 26
Closet Case Files – Interview
gloria juneRebel & MaliceSew Far North
June 25 – 27
Elegance & Elephants – Interview
Sprouting JubeJubeAmandaRoseMae & K
June 29 - 30
Lulu & Celeste: new makes and a round up post
July 1st
Last day to enter Giveaways and Final Round up Post!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sofilantjes "Summer Surprise" One Year Anniversary Tour!

I'm so honored to be part of Sofilantjes' Anniversary Tour! I'm fairly new to Sofilantjes Patterns, but I've made the Gemini Skirts and Otium Sweater and love the attention to detail and how neatly the patterns come together.

Today we have the very first pattern Anne released - the Summer Surprise! (Two of them, actually!) When I make something for one girl, I usually end up making one for the other, but I try to never make them exactly the same.

"A surprise? Where?"
Natalie's top is an upcycled t-shirt that formerly hung in my closet. After a few years of wear, it still had some life in it, but not for me. I gave it a facelift with some bright orange and white polka dots - I like how they add a punch to the rust of the main fabric.

For Sam, I decided to try a little mashup. I took the "sporty" version of the Gemini, and blended the two patterns into a dress. Then I added some hacked circle pockets, sketching out a quick pattern myself. They're not very deep pockets, but they're more for show than anything! 

Fabrics used: The Cottage Garden (knit) Pink Main - Riley Blake
Rust knit t-shirt - upcycled from personal closet

I love the easiness of this pattern - it's perfect for summer playtime, with a little whimsy and no fuss. The bow is ridiculously easy, yet looks like you spent a ton of time on detail! 

Through May 30th, you can get your copy of the Summer Surprise (individual) for 25% off, using code anniversary on the website. The pattern is a re-release; Anne has updated the Summer Surprise to be a layered pattern, great for saving ink! If you already have the pattern, you can download the update from your account. If you purchased on Etsy, won, or tested the pattern, and would like the layers update, email info@sofilantjes.com with "summer surprise" in the subject line. Include your receipt, or a copy of the email the pattern was sent to you in.
**Note: The pattern itself has NOT changed, just the format!**

"There's a bow back there!" "Ohhh. I guess you're right, Mom!"

Also, make sure you enter the amazing giveaway-a-day! So many sponsors have come together for this anniversary celebration, and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it! Today's winners will receive one (1) pattern of their choice from EACH of the following:

Gracious Threads
Striped Swallow Designs
FABulous Home Sewn
MCM Designs
A Sparkly Baby

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow along with the rest of the tour (and catch the posts you've missed)!

Inspinration - The Craftiness in Me - Van Je Veel - Boutique Birdie - Tory Frail Designs - Wining Wife - Keep Calm and Carrion - Moon Star - Circle Meets Line - Amazing Adventures with Buba and Bug - Manning the Machine - Sugarplum Cuties - House of Estrela - Create 3.5 - Handcrafted by RED - Lulu & Celeste - Rebel & Malice - Two Novembers - From a Box - Sprouting JubeJube - Maryall Made - Phat Quarters - Knot Sew Normal - Sew Happily Ever After - All Things Katy

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mystery Challenge: George Sand

This round of Mystery Challenge has a theme: Moments and People Throughout History. I was assigned "George Sand", which took me on a different path. Usually I stick to clothing, but after doing some research, I wanted to go a quilting route. I decided to collage some of the things I learned about Sand; things that defined her.

George Sand: born Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin in 1804
French author, feminist, wife, mother, lover
"cross-dresser", risk-taker, line-crosser

Sand wrote prolifically, from novels to political commentary.
She wore men's clothing, claiming it was more comfortable.
She smoked in public, scandalous for the time.

The background is inspired by the French flag. The applique was pieced from strips of two "Paris" themed fabric in the shape of the "female" symbol. I placed it in the "male" symbol's position, to denote Sand's habits of wearing men's clothing and smoking in public, both scandalous for women at the time!

The middle section is sanded twill, with black piping down the center to appear like pages from a book. I scribbled on either side of the "book" - facts about George Sand on one side, quotations attributed to her on the other.

The final piece is a "romantic" background, with the French word for "freedom" superimposed. I wanted to show the feminine side that Sand had, as well as the things she fought for for women through her writings, being a proponent of women's rights and equality.

Fabrics used:
Natural sanded twill from stash
Pepe in Paris, Riley Blake
Paris/floral print, 2011 Brother Sister Design Studio
black and white rose print from stash
solid red broadcloth from stash
navy/white ring print from stash
white tone-on-tone print from stash

"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved."

Follow the rest of the Challengers this month for more mini history lessons!

5/27│ Zoe and Ted - Suffragetes
6/3│ Mae & K - TeslaPretty Little Blog - Moon LandingKnot Sew Normal - Lutie Eugenia Sterns

Monday, May 25, 2015

CraftingCon May: Board Games

Head over to Mae & K today to check out my CraftingCon post!! I'm so excited to be competing this month, and I'm so proud of what I came up with. It was fun!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Suzuran Jacket Testing

I was given the opportunity to test something unique this past few weeks - a "no-waste" kimono jacket pattern from Tites-Mains.

The pattern pieces are cleverly shaped around each other to fit into one neat rectangle, which you can place over your folded fabric. Then you just cut around the solid lines, and there's your jacket, ready to sew! No giant, weird shaped scraps left to figure out what to do with - efficiency at its best.

The sewing process is quick and simple, and the finished results are something I haven't seen before. Suzuran comes in two size ranges (Medium and Large) that fit most sizes. The style flatters - it drapes, and there's a belt included for shaping. I personally like the sleeves a lot - wide, loose, and flowy, with a clever twist at the cuffs.

Cool, yes? The belt loops aren't your standard rectangle, and the obi belt and
arm vents are style choices pulled from real kimonos.
This pattern is on sale ($6, through May 25) - you can get it here on Craftsy already reduced, or on Etsy with code SUZURAN00.

Focus on the unique shape of the belt loops, not that I need a haircut.
Which I do.
If you're looking for a fun, fast sew, perfect for spring/fall fashion, the Suzuran Jacket should be on your list. Julia (the designer) worked hard and took all tester suggestions very seriously to come up with the best finished product possible, and it's a success! Yay Julia! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015


I tested the Timmy Top for a friend, Amy from Friends Stitched Together. Amy has long been my "boy's sewing guru" - I love seeing all the fantastic new stuff she comes up with, and after 4 years of sewing exclusively for girls I need the inspiration for Ethan!

The Timmy Top is one of those patterns that he'll have to grow into - it has a (big) size range of 2 years to 14. (I might be working on a downsize sometime soon, though! ;) ) But - it works wonderfully for girls, too! It's a slim fit, perfect for Natalie. She's a tall slim kid, and I think the size 6 fit her beautifully.

I love when a pattern is totally unisex, don't you?

The yokes come together with a creative twist and end up fully lined (no seams on the shoulders!) and the pockets and fun shoulder details make this pattern unlike all the other button-downs out there.

I used snaps for the speed factor, but this shirt can be quickly "dressed up" with buttons (and I love a proper button down shirt!)

The long sleeves have a neat little placket, perfect for a contrast fabric - I did mine in a coordinating solid, as well as the collar stand, shoulder accents, and pocket lining. I love how this shirt lets you have little "pops" here and there!

Amy's worked really hard and I'm so happy to see this pattern come together for her. I think it's wonderful, and I'm betting you will too! It's 30% off right now til the 25th here with code TIMMYTOP, or here already marked down, so go get it!