Friday, June 20, 2014

Pattern Review: Simply Summer Racerback Tank by Gracious Threads

**I was given this pattern for free in exchange for testing; however, the post is my own idea and all thoughts and opinions are my own. I will never leave a glowing review of a product I am not happy with.**

I'm fairly new to sewing with knits - as in, I didn't touch them until just a few months ago. But as I was assured by several, the more I work with them, the more I love them! I don't know why they ever scared me. So when the testing call came up for Gracious Threads' Simply Summer Racerback, I jumped on it.

As I've mentioned before, my three year old has an alarmingly tiny summer wardrobe. Suddenly she's growing and shooting up out of her clothes, and I can't sew fast enough. Unless she lives in these tank tops, and she just might!

She's just sad that I haven't made more yet ;)
The Simply Summer is an amazingly quick sew - cutting to hemming, one takes me half an hour or less. Given the added speed of batch sewing, I could make Natalie a week's worth of tanks in half a night of sewing (for me.) And she'd be perfectly happy with that - she loves these racerbacks!

There are seven sizes (2-8) and two binding options (regular knit binding or ribbing), though I'm sure fold-over elastic could be used as well (you may need just a bit more). I used ribbing for both of mine, and attached it in the round. The pattern shows the knit binding attached flat, sewing side seams second, and the ribbing is shown attached in the round. (Obviously those can be changed up too. ;) ) I prefer to attach in the round, as I feel it leaves a cleaner finish.

This pattern can be done without a serger easily, though I will say - my serger makes it 1000x easier, and that's saying something since it's so easy to start with. Really an effortless pattern, perfect for beginners to sewing and/or knits!

The tutorial includes many clear photos of the steps so there is no room for confusion. And Jessica is always available in her Facebook group for questions should any arise!

Comfortable enough for nap time!
Also, Jessica has generously provided a copy of the Simply Summer Racerback Tank for one lucky reader to win! Just enter the giveaway below with a few easy steps, and cross your fingers! If you don't want to wait, go here or here and purchase your copy - it's the perfect summer shirt!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mimi Blog Tour - Filles à Maman

Hi! Continuing along the blog tour today - I can't wait to show you my Mimi! There is a ton of versatility in this pattern, as I'm sure you've noticed along all the stops. Mimi can be dressed up as much as you like, or down to a "simple" t-shirt - but there's nothing plain about Mimi.

I was very excited to join in this tour. I love Mel's patterns - I own all of her clothing patterns, and they all go together so well. Plus the instructions are perfectly clear, and the finished product always makes me so happy to look at it! This shirt was no exception.

The pattern was a little big to tape, but that's because of all the options. Mimi can be a shirt or dress (or tunic!) with or without a unique asymmetrical collar, a beautiful keyhole button detail, or some cute ribbon fringe. So many ways to decorate Mimi! It comes in sizes 12m to 14y, so there's a huge range - and even if you had girls in each size, they could all be made to look unique from just one pattern.

In my case, I went pretty basic. My toddler has an alarming lack of summer clothing in her size - I've grown so used to having clothing in storage for her, that I didn't realize she'd reached the ends of my stores! Something I need to remedy, quickly...and Mimi is perfect. I love it for a substitute for a basic tee - it's simple enough at its base to be a quick sew (perfect for batch sewing a few of them) and yet detailed enough to be head and shoulders above any other tee shirt out there.

That keyhole! I love it...the button itself can be another decorative embellishment - so much variety to be had there!

I made the short sleeve version, leaving the sleeves plain (there is a cuff detail that I left alone for this one). I love the hem detail - such a small change that gives such a different look. The pattern uses facings for the neckline and hemline, which intimidated me a tiny bit at first - I've never had good luck getting facings to line up just right, but these went in so easily and I think they turned out great! (I know, my inexperience is showing! ;) )

I am trying very hard to ignore those stripes. :(  This is why we baste before serging, kids! ;)

Mimi has a long sleeve version as well, so the pattern can be used year round easily! I know I'll keep sewing them for winter too - and I have to try that fringe detail next! I love it.

Go to Mel's etsy shop right now to check out the rest of her patterns, and get 20% off Mimi - use code MIMITOUR20. You know you need it!

Also, Mel is doing this awesome giveaway - you can win 5 of her spectacular patterns! Just enter this Rafflecopter giveaway, here: 

Here are the rest of the bloggers on this tour, in case you missed one and need to look them up - tons of inspiration in all of these great posts! Make sure you see them all!