Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pattern Review: E+M Patterns No 6 - Girl's Shirt and Dress

I haven't been working with knits very long, but the more I do, the more I like them. When the chance to test Allison's new pattern No. 6 came up, I had to do it! The illustrations looked so sweet and girly, and I will never turn down a good pattern for a summer shirt, when Natalie needs them so badly.

Of course, that's not to say this pattern can't be used in the fall and winter either. Take off the flutter sleeves (or don't) and it's a great layering top. There are a huge number of options in this pattern: shirt or dress? If a dress, will you make an A-line or banded middle? Hems - hi-low or straight across? Flutter sleeves or sleeveless? Will you gather the front of the top, or try your hand at pleats or pintucks?

I'd never done pintucks before, so I gave it a whirl. I LOVE them. So feminine, and so EASY - I don't know why I thought they were intimidating all this time, really. Even on knit. They add so much detail to a shirt for not a lot of work, just some patience.

I almost left off the flutter sleeves, too, but I'm so glad I decided to do them. They don't look good on everything, but they definitely go with this shirt. I don't know if I've seen a pattern I like them more with, and I'd like to try hacking some other sleeves on here as well!

My favorite detail on this shirt, though, is the keyhole. I don't know why, I just love keyholes. They're such a fun detail on children's clothing! Plus the binding on it is so simple, you'll want to make these all day.

Natalie grabbed the shirt as soon as I pulled it off the machine and said "Ohh, CUTE Mom!" - one of the very few times she's been that excited about something I've made. She wears the shirt all the time now, and I just love having something in her drawer that I've made as a staple! 

This is her best model pose ;)
Pattern No. 6 is on sale right now for $5 until Friday at midnight PST (regular price will be $8)- but if you've made it all the way to the bottom here, it's your lucky day! A chance to win a copy for yourself! Just enter the Rafflecopter and cross your fingers!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pattern Review: Filles à Maman's Elisa Top

Say hello to Elisa! The newest release from Filles à Maman, and Mel was sweet enough to let me test this time around! I really love this pattern. It's unique, feminine, and simple - the whole thing takes hardly any time at all to put together, maybe half an hour from start to finish. The straps are the easiest part - just grab a yard of your favorite ribbon! (The pattern calls for grosgrain, it's very easy to tie in a bow and stays in place well.)

 I wish this were a more picture-heavy post, but this one really does not like to model anymore. Since she figured out walking, all she wants to do is GO, and she certainly doesn't care if Mom needs a photograph!

Details about the pattern:

Best of all, it's on sale right now in Mel's Craftsy store for only $6! Hurry and pick it up now, it's an ideal top for the hot summer days (and there are plenty of those left!)

Case in point: our Elisa made a perfect beach top. We layered on the sunscreen and the light, breezy design kept her cool and comfortable all afternoon, playing in the sand and surf! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Little Kiwi's Closet Princess Dress Blog Tour: Day 3

I'm so excited to be part of the Little Kiwi's Closet blog tour, and show you my version of the Scalloped Princess Dress!

I've blogged about a few of Lydia's patterns before - the Beachcomber Pinny, the Bella Bolero, the Tara Tiered Sundress...all of them beautiful, unique patterns, and the Scalloped Princess Dress is no exception. There are so many options (as with any of Lydia's patterns) and any of them can be combined for a one-of-a-kind stunning look.

I chose to do a scoop neck with a princess bodice, and a straight hem. Since I planned to add piping, I had to change my original choice of a v-neck, and I love how the piping along the straight hem makes the whole skirt stand out! It's the perfect twirling skirt - or it would be, if my little was steady enough on her feet to twirl! Haha :)

I love how this dress looks in one fabric. Even if I hadn't picked such a vibrant print, there is enough detail added to this pattern to make any fabric stand out, print or solid. Any one of the four necklines (square, V, scoop, or sweetheart) and two bodice styles (princess or scalloped) is perfect for adding embellishments such as piping or pompom trim, and with a choice of three different hemlines (straight, scalloped, or high-low) and two lengths (knee and ankle) - you could make this dress many times and never have it look quite the same. (I haven't done the math, but I know it's a big number!)

I made only one change to the pattern, and that was to make the skirt fully lined instead of using the facing. The fabric I used is so light and thin, I thought it might be almost see through, and since the bodice is lined I thought it would look better to make the skirt match that. All I did was cut two skirt pieces, sew them together, and treat them as one piece - easy!

Isn't my little princess sweet in her brand new dress? Almost all my pictures are "action shots" - princesses need to toddle and crawl nonstop, too! Good thing I chose knee length over ankle length - it's just perfect for bear crawling over that tickly grass!

The Scalloped Princess Dress is a pretty quick sew, even for a "slow-er sew-er" like me, haha. I made the piping the night before, but with that time included, the dress still only took about 2 hours to put together. I think it looks like it takes more time than that - that's one of the great things about Lydia's patterns. Great fit and wonderful, professional finished looks, without taking half a day to sew!

You can pick up your copy of the pattern here on Craftsy, but make sure you enter the giveaway below as well - you can win two free patterns from Little Kiwi's Closet!

Make sure you go visit each of the wonderful bloggers on each of the tour days - so many pretty dresses to see, all made from one amazing pattern!