Thursday, July 2, 2015

pattern review - designs by call ajaire (dbca) paneled sunsuit

Today I'm thrilled to review the Paneled Sunsuit, the debut pattern from Ajaire at Designs by Call Ajaire!  There are so many options in this pattern including dresses, tops, bottoms, and sunsuits - really a whole wardrobe worth of options :)  I chose to make the shorts for now, but I have plans to sew more pieces later!  Disclaimer - I was part of the testing process for this pattern, but I opted to make something totally different than what I tested so my review would not be biased by the testing.

General Review - This is hands down the most thorough pattern I have ever sewn!  I will use it again :)

What I like -  Nothing is left to chance ;)  I'm pretty sure every scenario you might possibly encounter while choosing a size, printing, taping, cutting or sewing is covered somewhere in this tutorial.  I also really like the fit of these shorts - they fit exactly as I would expect based on the size chart.  Not to mention, they are also really cute!  The sheer number of options included in the pattern makes it worth the money - sunsuit, jumpsuit, jumper, maxi dress, shorts, pants, maxi skirt, knee length skirt and two different tops! 

Things I would do differently or didn't like -  Bizarrely enough, the thing I like most about the pattern is also what I like least.  The tutorial is incredibly thorough, as I mentioned above, but that means that I have to skim through a lot of pages to find what I am looking for.  For a beginner sewer this would be lovely, but for me (since I usually ignore instructions entirely) I just want to find that elastic measurement I want without reading everything else.  Maybe more of a laziness thing on my part, but I don't usually care about much beyond pattern pieces when I choose a pattern ;)  I also had issues cutting the size 3T because the line is yellow and on my black & white printer it happened to be the same color as the grey tones used on the pattern.  I didn't test the size 3T, otherwise I would have mentioned this to Ajaire earlier.

Changes I made (no matter how small!) -I used longer elastic in the legs so it wouldn't be quite as fitted.  I also modified the pocket slightly so that it is a single pattern piece and then placed the it on the fabric across the grain rather than with the grain because I wanted the stripes to run in the other direction.  The only other change I remember (I'm sure there are more that I don't recall at the moment!) was that I used 3/8" elastic in the legs since I didn't have any 1/4", although I doubt it made much of a difference in the finished product.

Here's the inside of the shorts.  You can see how I modified the pockets so they are one piece rather than two.

Lightweight linen from Joann's

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

pattern review - compagnieM. lotta dress

I made these dresses a while ago, but never got around to posting an official pattern review.  So here it is, only a little over a year later :)  This is the Lotta Dress by Marte at CompagnieM.

I was a tester for this pattern, so my review is skewed by the fact that I know how much work Marte put in to getting this pattern as perfect as possible!  The grey version in most of the pictures is my original test version (size 2 with 3 length), and the pink dress in the last picture is the second dress I made after Marte altered a few small things in the pattern (size 12 months with 2 length).

General Review - Overall, this is a lovely dress that can be either casual or fancy and I would gladly sew it again. 

What I likeI love the classic style of all CompagnieM. patterns.  The simple, timeless silhouettes appeal to me, and this dress is no exception.  The details, such as cap sleeves and three different pocket and back opening options are nice, as is the notched neckline.  The fit is also accurate as long as you take the time to actually use the provided size chart - one of my mistakes when I made the first dress, which is why it fits Mae a year later ;)

Things I would do differently or didn't like -Honestly, nothing.  I really do love this pattern exactly as written.

Changes I made (no matter how small!) - I chose to not fold down the front edges at the neckline as the pattern shows.  Also, in the gray version, I added a striped band for a bit of interest.  If I remember correctly, I also sewed a slightly larger hem than called for in the pattern, but it's been a while so I can't remember for sure :)

Here's the second one I made in a lovely Nani Iro double gauze.  Look how little Mae looks - she still looks like a baby!

Grey suiting - Joann's
Gold/cream stripe - cotton jersey from Girl Charlee
Snaps - Kamsnaps

Monday, June 29, 2015

mae's bluebird top

As most of you know, Kids Clothes Week took place last week.  Although I didn't quite sew an hour each day, I did take some time on Friday and Saturday to draft and sew this little top, which Mae calls her bluebird shirt :)

There are couple of little tweaks I want to make to the pattern before I sew another version, but I actually love it as it is right now!  In fact, I'm actually looking forward to sewing the pattern again.  And the last time I wanted to repeatedly sew a pattern that I drafted was the Izzy Top, so it's been a while!

The Bluebird Park fabric line by Moda (used here as well) is one of my all time favorites!  The prints go really well with simple feminine pattern designs.  I still have one more print with little yellow bunnies which I think I might use for the next version of this top. 

Here's a little closer picture of the back, since it's kind of hard to see in the full length picture.  The only problem that I can see is that I'm going to have to use a lot more sunscreen when Mae goes outside since she normally wears tops that cover a bit more ;)

I'm really happy with the inside of the top!  I used french seams on the sides and the bodice seam is fully enclosed, so it looks almost as nice on the inside as it does on the outside :)

Top - Bluebird Park by Moda
Lining - white poplin
Shorts - Blog post here

Thursday, June 25, 2015

fabric fashion trend - pandas

A few years ago it seemed like every other fabric had some type of fox print.  And I remember there being an elephant trend at some point as well.  But lately it seems like all I see are pandas.  I'm not sure if it's due to the recent influence of Japanese prints, or if pandas really are just that popular and I was unaware of it until now :)  Which is entirely possible since I pay no attention whatsoever to trends ... honestly, I'm pretty oblivious, and I just tend to sew (and buy) what I like at the moment!

I started with the raglan t-shirt pattern (No.9 Brave Fireman) from Ottobre 3/2013 in the 92 width and 104 length.  I scooped the neck slightly and created a cap sleeve pattern.  I'm sure there is a pattern that is much closer to what I wanted in one of my other Ottobre magazines, but this happened to be the magazine I was using at the moment and the changes took me less time than looking through the other issues ;)

I love this tee!  I already have another one cut out from a sprinkles print knit that Mae is so excited about :)  So is Gracie, so I might have to make her a sprinkles shirt too!

The inside of this one looks fine except for the change in bobbin thread half way through topstitching the neck binding.  I had the pink thread in the bobbin from finishing the hem and ran out half way though the neck binding, but I was too lazy to wind a new bobbin with pink so I finished with a navy blue bobbin that I had laying around.  Talk about lazy ;)

Panda print - Jumping June Textiles on Facebook
Black houndstooth - Funkaliscious Fabrics on Etsy
Skirt - blog post here from October 2013