Glamour Swirl Skirt by Sew By Pattern Pieces and Blog Tour with Giveaway

Firstly let me tell you this is a free pattern available for girls and women if you join the Sew by Pattern Pieces Facebook group as a freebie celebration for reaching 2000 members and I’m on the blog tour, having been one of the testers* for this pattern. Lauren is a lovely person and great designer, excellent at what she does!

Glamour swirl twirl

What’s not to love about the Glamour Swirl Skirt? It’s designed with a knit, full circle skirt with a yoga waistband and optional side seam pockets and waist ties. It’s available in ladies sizes (24″-48″) and girl sizes (1-14). It’s super quick and super simple and a must have for any girls or womens’ all -year-round wardrobe.

Glamour swirl spin

I made my oldest “a twirly, swirly, fun skirt” during the testing phase with leaf multicoloured spandex/lycra (contents unknown). The fabric recommendation is a 4 way knit with 50% stretch. I went with the pockets and ties.  Printing and assembly is really easy and especially with the layered option for printing the pattern, it’s an ink saver.

                                    Glamour swirl front          Glamour swirl pockets  

We love, love, love this skirt and miss 3 has also put in her requests by pulling out fabric from my stash that she likes for her skirts. Sew by Pattern Pieces also has a number of other patterns that are worth investing in if you want to check out the Etsy page.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

So I’m on the last day of the Blog Tour and there is one last giveaway, so don’t forget to enter. Todays entry will get you a chance to win:

 So enter here for your chance to win.
Advertisements

Jolie Skirts for My Girls by Filles a Maman (FAM)

This is the first pattern I tested* for 2016, called the Jolie skirt by Filles a Maman (FAM). I can’t believe I am only just writing about it considering it was designed to be Issue 10 of the One Thimble e-zine. At the time I had to be secretive about it until the official release but that has long gone now. If you haven’t seen One Thimble yet and sew for children I think it’s a must have, it’s great value and Issue 10 alone has 11 patterns and 25 articles.

I was drawn to this pattern as it is a basic a-line skirt with two design options, either with or without a centre pleat. It can be made in either woven or knit fabric and there is an elasticised waistband which is secured with three rows of top stitching plus it caters for 12 month to 14 years, a lifetime of wardrobe staples!

My oldest daughter is growing at a rapid rate at the moment and desperately needed new skirts. Thanks to this pattern I was able to add 2 new ones for her and also for miss 2.

There aren’t very many pages to print and assemble as far as PDF pattern goes, so it is a very fast process. There are pictorial instructions, accompanied by clear written instructions. I found the measurements to be pretty spot on for my kids. Some testers added a contrast fabric to their pleat which is a really nice effect. The tie at the centre is for aesthetic purposes and doesn’t have any function. There is a nice 1 inch hem and the waistband is top stitched which subsequently avoids the elastic twisting.

The first version for miss 4 was using a duck canvas navy/white stripe (100% cotton) I’ve had in the stash for ages. I only just had enough for this skirt but if I had more I would have made the stripes go horizontal instead. I used some cord for the tie as it felt like a bit of a nautical vibe.

Blue white stripes

Version 2 was made from some lightweight rustic print floral denim (cotton/polyester). I wanted to personalise this skirt a bit so added lipstick broadcloth (100% cotton) self-drafted pockets with a pleat design to match the skirt.

                              Denim floral with pockets

Version 3 was made from wool blend mixed boucle in black and white (8% wool/92% polyester). By this stage sewing them takes no more than 30mins from cutting the pattern to snipping that last thread. Such a satisfying sew which the girls love.

This boucle fabric comes from my Big Little classic ladies cape and I knew at the time exactly what I was going to sew with the scraps and that is why I kept them. I barely had enough to cut this skirt out though and had to cut the back in two pieces, added a 1cm seam allowance. It worked perfectly!!

                                                      Black boucle

I did have to serge all the pattern pieces before starting construction as this fabric frays like crazy, which is why I chose this pattern. There are minimal pattern pieces and it is such a fast sew that the fabric doesn’t require a lot of handling.

For miss 2, my version 4 I used some light weight summer vintage flower african wax print denim (polyester/cotton) and sewed on a ribbon for the tie.

                                                    Printed flower denim

Last but not least, version 5 was made from some black and gray flannel check E44 (unknown composition). Nothing Black plaidnew to say other than I had to serge all the pattern pieces prior to assembly because my fabric frayed so much.

This is really a no nonsense skirt, quick and simple to make with lovely results.

Don’t forget to check out One Thimble and subscribe to their Newsletter to get updates.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

The Chambray Clarissa Dress

The Clarissa Dress by MCM Studio Designs is the perfect classic, trans-seasonal dress for the little girls in your life. There is a long and short sleeve option with a button back closure. I recently tested* this pattern and although normally I like to make a second version before blogging, I ran out of time. There haven’t been any major changes to the design itself, more so just to the written instructions.

I chose to make mine in some chambray (100% cotton) which is a great choice for the spring/summer, but no so practical for colder weather. I made the long sleeve version while testing for the purpose of adding winter appropriate clothes, and using some white broadcloth (100% cotton) for the sleeve extension, but the two fabrics just don’t work well together. The photos below show what it looked like originally, but I have since removed the sleeve extension and will think more sensibly about fabric choices for the next one.

                 Clarissa side Clarissa front Clarissa back

The pattern and instructions themselves both go together well and are well written, supported by good pictorials. There is a lovely pleated bodice and gathered sleeves with a ruffle trim. It is an empire waist silhouette with a slight upwards curve at the front and back, with a gathered skirt.

I will be making more but first I need to sort out the correct mash of fabrics 🙂 I also love the idea of shortening it to a tunic. I may just also shorten this version to knee length when spring rolls around.

The Clarissa Dress pattern is being released on Thursday 12th May (US) and from the 12th -21st the introductory price is $5.00 (half the regular price), a perfect time to buy it!

www.themerrychurchmouse.com
www.mcmstudiodesigns.etsy.com
http://www.craftsy.com/user/714750/pattern-store…

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

Walker Kids Jeans by Momma Quail

Although winter is a few months off yet, my miss 4 is seriously lacking in the winter wardrobe, and I’m trying to be organised. The Walker jeans from Momma Quail Patterns were just the pattern I needed, I put my hand up straight away to test* them.

They are a relaxed fit jean with a bootcut and straight leg option in both full length jeans or shorts. The other thing is that there is an adjustable buttonhole elastic waist, full functioning zip fly and five-pocket styling, just like real jeans!!!! . The jeans are drafted for boys sized 12 months to 14 years but as you can see, they are perfect for little girls too. The PDF pattern has no-trim pages, always a bonus! and a layered printing option and also instructions for distressing your denim.

Lace pocket front   Lace pocket front 2 Lace pocket back

For all of mine I used the straight leg pattern. I made version 1 using a pair of my jeans that I have hardly ever worn. It’s a nice soft denim with cotton/elastane. I managed to get a size 5 kids pair from a women’s size 12 jeans. I followed all the instructions as specified and can confidently say you will find making these surprisingly easy with all the pictorials and thorough instructions. I wanted to add a bit of interest to these so made lace bows for the back pockets. I accidentally also hemmed them a bit too short but have since let the hem down.

The pattern underwent some minor changes such as narrowing the outer hip/leg so I made up another two pairs. The dark blue was using some rigid blue denim (unknown fibre content but stiff – we need to wash them a few times). I did some decorative pocket top stitching which is hard to see and am waiting to get some iron-on sparkles to highlight this.

                                        Blue front              Blue back

My third and final pair was made using a light weight summer vintage flower african wax print denim (poly/cotton). My theory behind this pair was that it would be a trans-seasonal pair of jeans that could be rolled up for warmer weather. Love how they turned out.

  Floral front      Floral back Capri front Capri back

So we have quickly ended up with 3 new wardrobe items. There was another change from the versions you see here to the final pattern and that was 1/2″ was removed from the front rise and the back yoke.

This is truly a great pattern, well thought out and drafted with great instructions, a large size range and unisex. A complete package. Don’t miss out and get the pattern 20% off up until the 14th March 2016.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

Fluffy Mackinaw Coats by Call Ajaire

If you like puzzles, you will love this coat. It’s the Mackinaw Coat by Call Ajaire. It has such a gorgeous outcome. I volunteered to pattern test* because I love the challenge and this was no exception.

Miss 4 picked the fabric of her choice, no surprise there was pink somewhere there, and we went with the “drama” collar. The outer fabric is Koi Canvas multi colour Its a Plus (100% cotton), the lining is hot pink drill (100% cotton) and white faux fur (100% polyester).

Mackinaw front 3Mackinaw frontThis pattern is so well put together and the instructions really thorough. After printing 60 pages of pattern pieces alone, the task of cutting and taping was made easier by the fact everything lined up perfectly. There is also a table included to advise which pages to print for your view of choice.

Mackinaw close

The other great thing about this pattern is that it is unisex with a slight variation, no pleats for the boys and the choice of a normal collar or a drama collar and goes up from 12 months to 12 years. The pattern calls for bound buttonholes or you can sew normal ones, and the little addition of a hanging loop give this quite a high end finish and optional pocket flaps. It’s possible to really personalise this as you wish.

DbCA Mackinaw Coat Cover Page 600pxWhen you first get to reading through instructions, realising there are over 150 steps may be a daunting task for some. Let me explain this is due to the fact that the instructions are really thorough and literally walk you through a full bagged lining, optional bound button holes and immaculate attention to detail, step by step. The back belt loop is part of the back bodice, the drop shoulders are such to allow room for layering and also emmulate being wrapped in a cozy blanket and the front pocket openings are in the waist seam.

Mackinaw back                                                   Mackinaw back 3

My coat turned out a bit big for my daughter but I am not concerned. Winter is 6 months away and she will be layering underneath no doubt, so I say it was perfect. The pockets are a great addition, which child doesn’t love having pockets to put treasures in. I would suggest to just measure your childs’ arm length to ensure you get the right sleeve length.

After minimal final pattern modification I made miss 2 one as well but went with grey faux fur this time, a wiser choice to hide it being dirty. I went up a size from her measurements as I would love if she got at least 2 seasons from it. The outer fabric is Buzoku duck pink fluoro small spot (100% cotton), hot pink drill (100% cotton) for the lining, and grey faux fur (80% acrylic/ 20% polyester) for the “drama” collar. She is far less co-operative for photos.

V2 frontSecond time around things went together much quicker, this is not a fast sew by any means though. I went with bound buttonholes again and they were much neater, probably as I had more confidence this time around and had additional interfacing pattern pieces (a new addition to the pattern).

Front hanger   back hanger

It’s so nice to have a clean finished garment. My daughters are all set for the winter months. Maybe I should start thinking about my winter wardrobe a bit more.

back loop pocket

This coat requires time, patience and concentration but I think it’s worth it. Materials for each coat were about $50AUD but in my opinion I’ve ended up with a designer, one off, lined, faux collar coat that would have cost a lot more to buy. I know the quality of the fabric, workmanship and love that has gone into them and I’m sure they will last for a few years.

BothIf you join the Designs by Call Ajaire Facebook group you will get a special coupon code to get a discount when you purchase this coat through Etsy up until the 21st February, 2016. There is also a sew-along scheduled to start 23rd February, 2016 on the Call Ajaire blog if you think this is too daunting.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

BOO! Designs Spandex Skater Dresses 

You know when you buy a pattern because it’s popular and then let it fester in your stash for months before you use it, this was one such pattern. It has had long standing popularity on Facebook and now that I have made it I understand why.

The Spandex Skater dress by BOO! Designs is such a quick sew and especially if you don’t take the extra time to neaten any edges/seams, the joys of knit fabric. I however like to have nice insides as well as outsides so serged my seams.

Regardless, each dress was probably sewn in half an hour as I had already cut the pattern pieces out about 1 month ago, and that time includes sewing the binding on the neckline and armholes.

Miss 4 got 2 of these dresses, the first is her “Frozen” dress. The bodice was cut out from some leggings she had that she refused to wear and I was able to cut a complete regular front bodice and a racer back from a pair of leggings. I did have to piece together the bindings though as I didn’t have enough fabric to get the stretch going the right way. It’s a busy print so the joins don’t show up anyway. I added a drill periwinkle (100% cotton) skirt, totally allowable to mix knit and woven by the way. The dress as is, falls to the knees so I used 12mm light blue single fold bias tape to hem and thus preserve as much length as possible. Miss 4 loved this dress and actually requested to wear it do bed so I have losely promised to make this style of dress into a nightie, am I crazy????

Frozen dress

Version 2 was for miss 2 because anything big sis wants, little sis wants too. I was lucky enough to have a frozen t-shirt, unworn, in the cupboard. It was a big size 1 and I was able to get a simple front bodice and racer back cut. I didn’t have enough for binding so used some white performance cotton lycra, from the stash, and likewise the skirt was made using some chambray cotton linen (55% cotton/ 45%linen) which creases like crazy. I hemmed it using 12mm light blue single fold bias tape.

Version 3 is made from scuba fabric with a simple bodice and simple back. This was even quicker to sew because I didn’t have to worry about hemming it. I used printed arrow scuba #1 abstract (95% polyester/ 5% spandex) for the dress and bindings. Because scuba is quite thick it was hard to serge through multiple layers but turned out well. This fabric isn’t very stretchy but still easy to get on and off.

Version 4 was for miss 2 again, keeping consistent here. I used the left over bits from the arrow scuba and some dark purple plain scuba to make her dress. Again, it was super fast to make, it took one hour tops, including all the cutting of pieces with some interruptions. After miss 4 saw this version she has requested one too with this combination but I think I only have enough fabric left for a peplum top version instead but she is happy with that.

The only thing I have noticed is that with the purple scuba there are some pulled threads starting to show in the fabric, probably because my little miss is so active.

Boo arrow dress

 

Both my girls have loved twirling in these dresses and they are in constant rotation, and I have more planned as part of their Christmas presents. Stay tuned!!!!

Bella Sunshine Designs Sweet Lilly Pintuck Tunic and Dress

This pattern could not have come by at a better time. I have been searching for a button up bodice with a gathered skirt since I bought this fabric a month ago, and then when I saw the tester* call for The Sweet Lilly Pintuck Tunic/Dress by Bella Sunshine Designs I was very excited. There is a slight vintage feel with this pattern.

I made a size smaller than normal as per our aligned sizes because it’s a semi-fitted bodice, but went with my daughters usual length for this dress. The fabric is cream Gertie printed crepe de chine (CDC) cherries. I used lipstick rayon (100% rayon) for the waistband and ruffle accents with hot pink plain chiffon (100% polyester) for the sleeves and white top pop poplin (80% polyester/20% cotton) for the lining. Although not instructed to, I lined the skirt with poplin because this fabric is very light weight and see-through.

Pintuck tunic front

Pintuck tunic back

This pattern requires precision with the pintucks and top stitching. Given it is a kids pattern there are some very fiddly, small pieces, particularly for the sleeve construction. I made it harder for myself by the fact I chose chiffon and CDC to work with, very slippery indeed. I ended up doing french seams for the sleeves as the chiffon frayed and to keep it all nice and neat.

As this is the tester version, a few tweaks have been made prior to release. Mainly the bodice was taken in and was offered as a tunic and the original lengthened by 3 inches to make the dress version.

Miss 4 was happy to gift it to miss 2 as she thought it looked “cute” on her. Miss 2 was also happy with this transaction. The girls pretty much have the same chest measurement at the moment which is why it fit my youngest so well.

IMG_1435 (2)

I quickly made a second version for miss 4 in the dress length this time. I used some petal metro linen (100% linen) with eyelet lace for the bottom band of the skirt portion and white broadcloth (100% cotton) as a contrast. For lining I used white top pop polin (80% polyester/20% cotton). At the centre ruffles I used a small border of lace to match the hem ruffle and tied the whole look together with square pink buttons. I only added three to the back as opposed to four but that was the last packet at the store.

Sweet lilly pinctuck front

Sweet lilly pintuck side

Sweet lilly pinctuck details

I’m very lucky to be a mother of 2 beautiful girls. The clothes in our house are truly loved and well worn so I figure all my time and effort is well worth it.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.