Wednesday, September 3, 2014

All Spice Dress pattern test

I had the opportunity to test the new All Spice Dress pattern by Paisley Roots.
It's a lovely dress with lots of options.  I tested the flutter sleeve and sleeveless but there is also a cap sleeve and long sleeve--truly making this a dress for all seasons.
The real focal point of this dress is the bodice. I chose a zipper closure because I felt a front zipper was really fun, unique and unexpected.  If the Bug were younger, I probably would have chosen the button option since she liked to unzip things!
For the fabric I chose this really soft, lightweight poly cotton blend. It's so silky and smooth on the inside while the right side has nice texture from those raised dots.
Here you can see the detail of the bodice. I love the square neckline. Three pleats on either side accent the zipper nicely.  I did my top stitching in the same green as the zipper. I think it adds a fun punch of color.
It's such a lovely combination.  There was a bit of a fit issue for some people with the first version of the pattern so it went through several edits.  This grey dress was an early version. The fit for the Bug was fine but I totally appreciate all of the tweaking to get things just right.
When the last of the pattern updates had been made, I sewed up another version to test out the final fit.  The Bug is just a hair bigger than the chest measurement for the size 6 so I went with the size 7.  You can see she has a bit of room to grow but it's not excessive.  I'm hoping it will still fit next Spring.
This time I skipped the sleeves altogether and just went sleeveless.  I think it works with this print. A flutter sleeve would have been too frilly with all those flowers.
The fabric is from a thrifted sheet so it's super soft.  I was also able to reuse the sheet hem for the bottom of the dress.  Hooray for shortcuts! I hate hemming.  I did cut the skirt panels shorter than the tutorial required to account for the pre-done hem so the skirts final measurement would be the same.
We have another hit on our hands. I took a big risk with both of these dresses. They are not in the Bug's typical color scheme (Pink, Purple and Blue) so I knew I was pushing it. But so far, she really likes them.  She likes that they spin (of course) but she also thought the front zipper was pretty neat.  I was surprised but one of the first things she noticed and commented on was the pleating detail.  It does my heart good that she is learning to spot and appreciate those details!

The All Spice Dress pattern should release today! I'll update my links here as soon as it does. You're going to want to get this pattern.  With so many options, you'll sew the All Spice again and again.

Edit--This just in! The All Spice Pattern is now available and if you get it before Sunday it's 25% off with the code ALLSPICE


Rio Racerback

I have been terrible about keeping up with this blog this summer. I'm so sorry. 

I've still been sewing though!  About a month ago I decided to make a fun, casual summer play dress for the Bug.

Peek a Boo pattern shop was hosting a sew a long for the Rio Racerback which was just the push I needed.
This coral striped fabric was a remnant I bought somewhere ages ago. I made another dress from it three years ago and it was one of the Bug's favorites.  It's a bit thin on it's own though.
So I made the dress reversible! It's an easy pattern hack since the neck and the arms are finished with binding.
I love this doodle landscape fabric. It's a much more recent purchase from Girl Charlee.  I really like the contrast of the coral stripe with this blue too.
Hand a girl a paper fan and she becomes a model. I fully intended to do a "real" photo shoot for this dress but she was so in to this quick one I didn't.
I love this version of the dress best. That pop of color from the binding really makes the dress for me. 
The Bug loves that she has options. She is a girly girl after all and sometimes she's feeling the stripe, sometimes the blue!

It really is the perfect summer play dress!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


We do have a bit of summer left, right?
Four weeks until school starts in these parts... but who's counting?
After sewing the Bug a suit last summer I've kind of been hooked. It's such a fun and unique thing to make and it makes me happy that the Bug has a one of a kind suit. 

I actually had a bit of trouble with fit this time so I made three variations of this suit this summer.  We passed the two versions that didn't quite work for the Bug on to two of her friends and they are all just tickled to coordinate on their Boys and Girls Club field trip days to the pool. Seven year olds do not apparently appreciate originality as much as I do.  But that's o.k.  I'm just glad she loves it so much she wanted to share!

I won the fabric in a blog contest. It came from the Fabric Fairy and is super great quality.  I loved it as soon as I saw it.  They still have some here.
The top of this tankini is from the Coney Island tankini pattern from Peek a Boo pattern shop.  The ruching is super cute and I love the band at the bottom that adds just a little bit more coverage.

I made the tankini bottoms from the Coco Cay tankini pattern.  Most of the fit issues were with the bottoms.  They were too tight so I went up a size which kind helped. Even so they seem a little small but I just told The Bug they need to be tight so they don't fall off in the pool. That seemed to work.  They don't look tight at all so I'm wondering if less leg elastic would have been better.
At any rate, the suit is adorable and well loved and that's really all I can ask.

Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Serger sewing

Oh dear, it's been well over a month since I've posted hasn't it?
Well that's summer for you.

Recently at my day job (at our public library) I was empowered to purchase a serger and sewing machine for our patron to use.  The machines came with free new user lessons so I spent a day learning to use a serger!  I'm so excited to use it more.
After my class I decided that I should practice a little bit in a real life situation so I tested out the Peri Pullover from Cali Faye.  Holy smokes.  I am in love with both the serger and the pattern.
This top is so slouchy and comfortable. I think it will make for a great start to the back to school wardrobe.

I love the high low hem. It's one of the Bug's favorite parts too.
She also loves the wide neck that sometimes goes off the shoulder and the in seam pockets.  I love that she chose to pair this purple tribal print (from Girl Charlee--looks like they are sold out of the violet) with a neon orange tank top.  She has style all her own.
She asked for a matching pair of leggings and I was happy to oblige.  These are the Go To Leggings in their most basic form.  I've used this pattern a bunch.  They always sew up quickly and sizing is spot on.
The verdict is, I'm hoping to start saving for a serger soon. Until then, I'm happy I can rent out time on one at the library.  I think I may make more of these pullovers as well.  What do you think?


Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Sidekick Suitcase

Is it possible to be in love with a suitcase?
Because I think I am.

This sweet little suitcase was made from the Sidekick Suitcase pattern from Sew Fearless.
The Bug directed her own photo shoot for this one. Can you tell? She was very "in character".  That darn train is late and she has places to be!
I was a bit nervous starting this bag. I knew it was going to be labor intensive and potentially tear inducing.  But it was cute enough I thought it was worth any potential strain. 

I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't break a single needle or shed a single tear.  I worked on this bag for a total of about 6 hrs. over the course of a weekend. That's start to finish from pattern and fabric cutting to the final finishing stitches.
The pattern tutorial was written like no pattern tutorial I've seen before, in comic book style. It took a while for my very linear brain to adapt to the creative approach but the content of the tutorial was so thorough and well done that by the end it didn't matter in the slightest how it was formatted.  She walks you through the difficult part and truly does make this a "Sew Fearless" project.
The main exterior fabric is an amazing twill I found at the tail end of a super frustrating trip to JoAnns.  I was calling into question the wisdom of their fabric buyer but when I came across this all was forgiven.  
It doesn't hurt that it was on sale.  Hello beautiful.

The orange patches and handle are made from a quilting cotton also found at JoAnns.  I used green zippers and piping around the edges.  I really love all of the fun colors and how this pops!
The lining is a blue chevron quilting cotton that the lady at JoAnn's said "everybody wants".  Welcome to Northern Indiana chevron trend... we are so on top of things around here.

The sides of the bottom of the bag are stiffened with some heavy Pellon interfacing that is attached to plastic canvas (yes the rug hooking stuff) inside of a casing.  Slipping that stiffener through the casing was the hardest part of the whole bag. It's a super snug fit but it really does the trick to give the bag that suitcase shape.

I feel like I learned a lot making this suitcase. I love that. It was a challenging and fun sew.
Tired of waiting on the train, our little traveler gives up and decides to take the bus instead.  Thankfully, her Sidekick Suitcase is versatile, easy to carry and game to go where ever she may go.


P.S. The suitcase took it's first trip this past weekend and it held up wonderfully!
Skip To My Lou

Friday, May 23, 2014

Me Made May the Final Chapter

Our photo shoot time was winding down and my little photog had a bit of a bathroom emergency so you only get one photo of my third top sewn this month.  This one may be my favorite because it was crazy easy to sew and it super comfortable. It doesn't hurt that it's my favorite color.
The pattern is called the Daytripper Top by Shwin Designs. It's a very simple Dolman style tee (which means no sleeves to set in!) with a high low hem.  There are tons of options on this one! I made the most simple style and I love that I could use this pattern again and come up with a completely different look.

The fabric is another light weight knit that I think I found on but I can't be certain. I had intentions of making a maxi skirt with it but I'm glad I never did because I like as a top.

After sewing up three tops for myself I think it's safe to say I'm feeling a little bit more comfortable sewing for myself.  I even got some joy out it. I mean, who would be happy with a few new shirts to throw in the mix.  I won't be sewing for myself exclusively by any means.  You should see the Bug back here shortly. In fact, I think she is a bit jealous and maybe Miss Picky won't be quite so much so the next time Mama makes her something?  I can dream!


Me Made May take two

So after the City Girl Frock, my confidence was bolstered and I decided to make another top for myself.  Look at me go!!
This pattern was the Parisian Top by Andrea Panelli for Go To Patterns. I've sewn several of Andrea's patterns for the Bug so I was familiar with her style and confident it would be a well written pattern. I was not disappointed.
This shirt is a bit of a style stretch for me. The slightly puffed sleeves and the peter pan collar are more feminine details than I usually wear but I like them a lot.  This is another 3/4 length sleeve. I like that length a lot for work in the summer because I'm outside where it's warm a little bit but I'm mostly in the air conditioning and it can get a little chilly.
The striped jersey is a light weight jersey from Pick Your Plum and the collar is an old scrap of quilting cotton... Alexandar Henry I think.

So shirt attempt number two, also a success! I could get used to this!