Raven Dress by Sofiona Designs

If you haven’t heard of Sofiona Designs, don’t worry, neither had I up until a few months ago. They are two great friends living in Canada and starting up a new company. Behind the scenes they have been working for over a year before announcing tester calls for their first line up of patterns. It’s always a risk testing for a new company because you never know what to expect in terms of quality and communication.

I am pleased to say, testing* for Sofiona Designs was a pleasant experience. The communication was great and the patterns and instructions are very well drafted and laid out. I tested 2 of the 4 new releases, the second I will probably blog next week, but first off is the Raven Dress for girls. It is a woven dress or top with a dropped shoulder and scooped back which can have a simple band, ties or raise the scoop. There is the option to add either a long or short ruffle at the seam and three sleeve options. The dress has an elastic waist and there is an optional waist tie. Size range is 2-14 and has the layers option for printing. Usually when I see a pattern has lots of options like this, I think it’s money worth spending.

My miss 7 is very low maintenance, her usual attire is leggings and a t-hirt, so I let her pick the fabrics for this dress and she was so happy with the outcome. The dress is made from multi colour printed aztec triangle rayon (114 cm wide, 100% rayon) and the ruffle is cherry broadcloth (112cm wide, 100% cotton). In hindsight I would have been better off using rayon for the ruffle as the fabric gets a bit stiff with two layers, it just had to be steamed to submission. I obviously made the dress version with the scooped back and ties and the narrow ruffle . I added the optional waist tie as I like the definition it gives.

                         

Miss 5 has put in her request and also selected her fabric so I need to get my act together. In the meantime, with the launch of Sofiona Designs there are some exciting things happening. Their store has a 30% off sale until November 25th and a portion of their earnings will be donated non-profit A21 (working at eradicating human trafficking).

There are also a number of giveaways happening. The New Zealand one below starts from 6 pm Thursday (Australian time) and runs for 24 hrs.

Head over to the Sofiona Designs Fan Group on Facebook to learn more.

*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.

 

Advertisements

The Rivier Dress by The Eli Monster

So, I have joined The Eli Monster Brand Ambassador program and this months’ theme was spooky or sweet. I of course went for sweet, because that’s what little girls are made of :), although I was tempted to do spooky and make a purple and black witches dress. I just thought sweet would get more mileage though.

My inspiration was the colour of candy given that Halloween is such a sugar fest, but I also wanted some romantic element. I chose to make The Rivier Dress (* affiliate link) because I could add soft ruffles, tulle and a bow, very girly indeed.

This dress has a faux/partial wrap bodice with two sets of snaps at the sides, so it’s an easy dress in that you don’t need to insert a zipper. The skirt is a simple gathered one and the neckline can be super simple or ruffled and then there is a sleeveless or cap sleeves option. The pattern ranges from size 18mo up to teen 16, and that is a lot of use for a pattern.

All of The Eli Monster’s patterns feature the layered option and there are color photographs with the instructions. There is a cut chart for all rectangular pieces instead of pattern pieces, to save on both ink and paper and while some people prefer pattern pieces for everything, I’m happy to adapt to either option.

 

For my version, the bodice is completely lined with white broadcloth (100% cotton) and the main exterior fabric is floral printed poplin scattered white (100% cotton) overlayed with soft bridal tulle in mushroom colour (100% nylon). I sewed everything as instructed in the pattern however I sewed the floral and netting as two separate layers up until I sewed them onto the bodice. I used French seams for the netting and cut it to the length specified in the pattern and because I didn’t hem it, it’s longer than the under skirt, which is what I was going for. I also made a size bigger than I should have because I wanted my daughter to get more use out of it but it has ended up a bit big and long although she still adores it.

I chose to make the optional bow with cherry broadcloth (100% cotton), but wasn’t sure at the time if it was too much, but in the end I thought it finished off the dress. I did attach it to a brooch pin instead of to the dress so it is detachable and also can function as a hair brooch.

It’s very feminine and my daughter loves it so that’s a great end to this sweet tale. The Rivier Dress is currently on sale for $7.00 but check out The Eli Monster to get some other great patterns that you can adapt to suit any occasion.

*This post contains affiliate links to The Eli Monster Patterns

The Stevie Skirt by Rebecca Page

With summer fast approaching, it’s time to swap out our winter wardrobe. Miss 7 is growing like a weed and is in need of some new clothes for the season. I decided to test* The Stevie Skirt by Rebecca Page (**affiliate link) as it’s a really quick sew, a versatile pattern that can have different looks depending on fabric choice and beginner friendly with great instructions.

                              

The size range is massive, from 8-inch doll, girls newborn to 12 years and ladies XXS to 5XL. There are four different length options (above the knee, knee, midi, and maxi) and to top it off there is a special launch price for the all-inclusive BUNDLE (ladies XXS to 5XL, girls newborn to 12 years, and 18-inch dolls) for $12.90 until 23.59 GMT on 15 October 2018. The girls pattern individually is currently $6.00.

Suggested fabrics are those with a minimum of 30% stretch. I used some rayon spandex tie dye ink and made the knee length version. I chose to make the “yoga” waistband and omit the elastic but it is a tad loose on her. I think more so because the fabric doesn’t have great recovery. Anyway, she didn’t want me to alter it and says it’s okay and the fact she has already worn it to a birthday party and the day after that suggests she is happy.

I have more of this fabric left over and am contemplating a maxi or midi version of my own. I believe it’s a wardrobe necessity for all seasons and the skirt shape is extremely flattering on all body shapes.

*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.

**This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page Patterns

Rebecca Page Brand Ambassador Emma Top and Dress

I am so behind on posting my monthly makes from Rebecca Page.  As an update, briefly how this works is that we sign up to sew something for the month from a choice of 4 or 5 patterns and then promote them on social media. It may be an existing pattern already tested or a new pattern. They aren’t always clothing related either.

The first and last thing I published here was the Swim backpack and pencil case in August so I have lots of catching up to do.

In September I chose to sew the already released Emma Top and Dress  (**aff. link) which is also available as a ladies version. I used aqua and blue rayon (100% rayon). The dress has a high fitted neckline and then flares out for great twirl factor. There is a keyhole opening at the back for which I used a large white button from the stash. It’s a great value for money pattern as there are 5 length options: top, tunic, knee (tunic + 1 tier of ruffles), tea (tunic + 2 tiers) and maxi (tunic + 3 tiers). Plus an optional sash to tie at the waist and you can also choose to have it lined or unlined. The kids version goes from sizes 0-3 months right up to 11-12 years.

                

I made the knee length version which is a tunic and 1 tier of ruffles added to the bottom. I went up a size for length for my daughter as she is slightly above average for height and it fits perfectly. This dress was definitely a success as she has worn it so much since I made and has received many compliments.

The dress itself is quick to sew, especially if it’s left unlined, like mine was. The instructions are really clear and concise, you are bound to get great results. The women’s version is also such a versatile pattern, one which I will get around to eventually, just not practical in my day to day life yet whilst still nursing bubsy.

 

 

** This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page

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.

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.