Eleni Top and Dress by DesignerStitch Patterns, Includes a Pregnancy Version!

Another DesignerStitch pattern test for both a top and dress. The Eleni (Aff link**) is a modern design that can be easily modified to suit your fashion and comfort specifications. It comes as a top, tunic, short dress or maxi with a number of sleeve variations and optional ruffle or straps and instructions for a modesty panel or to convert to a peasant style outfit. Plus a neck and waist tie. Value for money people!!!

I offered to test* this pattern knowing my baby bump may affect the way this top draped. I chose the top version with the flounce and straps. I chose to omit the sleeves altogether and just added bias binding around the armholes, but otherwise construction was as per the instructions. My fabric is some sort of paisley cotton, my fabric catalogue goes hazy at the start of my pregnancy!!

                                                                             

As a personal preference I also made the straps half the width of the recommended pattern piece. It still covers my bra straps perfectly. As is visible from the photos though, the baby bump raises the front hemline, I assure you it’s definitely straight. I didn’t take this into account when cutting because will more than likely wear this top post baby.

Additionally, I hadn’t realised until my photos were posted on Facebook in the testing group that I had worn this top incorrectly, ie it should be going over the arms, not under, so bare this in mind, yours will look different.

For version 2 I decided to make a maxi dress, again with the flounce and short sleeves. This is using the finalised pattern. I cheated and made this from knit fabric so it can actually stretch/grow with me for the last few months of pregnancy, but also hoping it would recover well post pregnancy and be comfortable for breastfeeding (without the straps). I sized down by one size as there is some ease with this pattern.

To the left is my inspiration. I wanted a basic black version but wanted to do some stash busting and so used this grey jersey knit instead, plus I had 4 metre of it. I  went with the waist tie with the thought that post pregnancy it would help with the waist definition. I again added the straps to this version but to half the width of the pattern piece. My chest needs all the support it can get so going strapless at this stage isn’t an option, although they can easily be removed at a later date if necessary. Here it’s shown with my bump at 38 weeks.

 

 

Coral Off Shoulder Ruffle Maternity Maxi

                                              

*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 DesignerStitch Patterns

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Willow Kimono by DesignerStitch Patterns

Have you noticed a recurring theme here? I have sewn up many DesignerStitch** Patterns in the past and still have a couple to show you in the future and hope to test many more. I believe Ann has designed classy, well-fitting silhouettes that don’t date.

The Willow Kimono** (aff. link) was tested* back in December of 2016 and has had a fair bit of wear since then. I wanted to make up a couple more but just haven’t got around to it yet. It’s boho style makes it on trend and also versatile as a beach wrap or a light covering for a night out and best made from light weight fabric. It’s available in 3 lengths, high/low, mid thigh, or lower calf length with the traditional kimono sleeves, a sew on neckband and the ability to personalise the design with the addition of trims, fringing, etc. The pattern has the great layers feature and spans a large size range from 6-26 AU/UK.

                                                   

I made the mid thigh length and didn’t add any trims to mine, although many testers did and they look amazing. My fabric was some floral chiffon fabric (assuming 100% polyester) specifically bought for this kimono as I had a particular look in mind that came from some Pinterest inspiration. This is a really quick project to sew up, even for an advanced beginner, although a thin, drapey fabric makes it a bit tricky to sew.

I do love this look and did take it away for our recent family vacation as both a pool cover-up but also to wear over a basic black dress for a casual night out. Sorry there aren’t any photos, I was too busy enjoying my family time.

*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

Nita Wrap Skirt by Sew DIY

I have been a long time follower of Sew DIY, authored by Beth. Her style is simple, practical and effortless. She has already released a number of patterns but at the time was working on the Nita wrap skirt. My reason for applying to test* this skirt was driven by fabric in this instance.

                                      

I have had this twill (unknown composition) in the stash for goodness how long, always envisioning a skirt but wasn’t sure of a pattern. The design of the wrap skirt is perfect as it is a simple silhouette which makes up for the busy print. It has an angled front and three length options as well as three closure options.

The pattern comes in sizes 00 to 20 with printing layers and everything fit together perfectly. There are instructions provided to line the skirt if you wish to do so, there are waist darts, and a built in front facing. Medium-weight woven fabrics are recommended for this pattern.

I went with the midi option and construction is actually quite quick. My fabric had enough body and wasn’t transparent so I omitted the lining. I did stall though when I couldn’t find my D-rings and had to venture back to the shop.

This test round up is well over a year late, it was run through February of 2016, but like always I usually like to complete a garment with the completed pattern and instructions before posting, needless to say, that hasn’t happened. I even bought fabric for version 2, some wine coloured suedette.

I haven’t unfortunately worn this skirt as much as I thought. The print is quite loud and other than the top pictured, I don’t really have much else to wear it with so will need to sort that out in the future. Likewise, it has been a bit impractical for day-to-day wear considering it’s a wrap skirt, sitting on the floor or chasing after kids isn’t the most classy of looks to have too much leg showing. I did add a snap about halfway down the angled front to help with this.

Overall, it’s a great pattern with excellent instructions and I will get around to making another version eventually but it’s my lifestyle that currently limits the practicality of this silhouette.

*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.

 

Pippa Wrap Dress/Top by DesignerStitch Patterns

You guessed it! Another pattern test* for Ann of DesignerStitch Patterns**. As much as I have been testing lately, I’m amazed how quickly the designers are preparing patterns. This pattern test happened sometime in September 2016 but I am only just getting around to posting it.

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The Pippa wrap dress** is a great pattern. Most wrap dresses are for knits but this one is for wovens. It comes with two sleeve lengths and peplum top, knee or tea length skirt. The bodice has a cross over front wrap with a self bound neckline attached to the wrap front skirt.

For the dress version I went for the knee length version, thinking this will be a summer staple. I used some flowy printed rayon circus in blue/white (100% rayon). This pattern really lends itself to a romantic types of fabric that have good drape.

I decided to make up the top version too with white rayon (100% rayon). Construction wise, everything fits together perfectly, and is explained clearly in the instructions. There is plenty of coverage for both the bodice and skirt wrap to not feel like you will have any indecent exposure. Both my versions were made with the shorter sleeve length.

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I’m happy that I have made two quick summer wardrobe additions with a great fitting pattern although they aren’t getting much wear at the moment as we are heading into winter down under. Someday, I won’t say soon, I plan to sew a chambray version of this dress.

*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

Chloe Top and Dress by Lily Sage & Co for Me and My Mini-Me

Where have I been?????? Busy with life. I am now expecting munchkin number 3 and have so much more going on that it is hard to focus on blogging, not to mention that sewing has been slow going anyway. So before I get into my new makes I’m going to try and catch up on my draft blog posts waiting patiently to be published.

I have yet another edition of my testing* journey. I have tested both kids and women’s patterns for Debbie from Lily Sage & Co, before and was eager to test this one too as this style has been on my radar for some time and it’s currently on trend, it’s the Chloe dress. Mind you, testing for this was way back in May 2016, so a long time ago…

The Chloe dress comes with a short or long dress options and a top. I chose the top version during my test hoping to make a dress after, but that hasn’t eventuated.

It’s a simple dress in that there are only three pattern pieces, but not simple in that the edges are finished with bias binding. Keep that in mind if you are using a delicate, lightweight fabric and making your own bias.

There is a lot of ease in this pattern and I went down a size. My fabric is some poly chiffon 4587 in blue (100% polyester) and I used store bought electric blue bias binding. The good thing with this top is that you can wear all your usual under garments or tank tops for modesty.

Conveniently, Debbie also drafted a kids version, ages 5 – 10. Who doesn’t love mummy and me outfits? I agreed to test* this one too using some #1 zig zag rayon in black and pink (100% rayon) . Of course coming off the adult version, this one actually took no time to sew really.

We love, love, love these additions to our wardrobes. I must admit my daughter has really made the most of wearing hers to the point that summer is over and she still asks to wear it although it is a bit shorter on her now.

I’m hoping post baby I can get back into sewing some dress versions for myself.

*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.

Sew by Pattern Pieces Ladies Fun Tee Blog Tour

I have bought many paper patterns for t shirts in the past and have yet to sew one up. I usually just buy tees because they are so cheap but then after a few wears I am reminded why I sew. The option of quality fabric, the fit, the style, the uniqueness, ….. the lists goes on.

So when Lauren from Sew by Pattern Pieces asked if I would like to join the blog tour for the Ladies Fun Tee. It finally gave me an excuse to sew up some tees using the ideas I had brewing in my head. Given that it is the festive season, it was perfect timing to introduce a couple of new tops into my wardrobe that would be practical for this time of year and beyond.

The great thing about this pattern is the endless design options. It really is great value. You can make a Fitted or Relaxed Body Shape with either Short, Long, Gathered Short or Gathered Long Sleeve combined with a Round, Scoop or V Neck… take a breath…. Not to mention it also comes in Australian sizes 6 to 26 but also has separate pattern pieces for Size A B C D DD E cups. This pattern really is perfect.

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The instructions are really thorough with details on choosing the right size, right through to tips on sewing with knits with excellent step-wise instructions with matching pictorials throughout. There is also the option of AO copy shop file or print at home with the layers option, something I really love about PDF patterns.

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Back to sewing, which is probably why you are here. My first version is a white lace tee using white combed cotton jersey (100% cotton) and stretch corded lace in chalk colour (98% nylon/2% spandex). The front is double layered with the jersey underneath and the lace on top which I treated as a single layer throughout construction. I sewed up my tee as instructed using the scoop neck with short sleeves and the fitted body, and didn’t have any issues whatsoever with understanding them or with the fit for that matter and used a narrow zig zag stitch on my sewing machine and then neatened by seams with the serger. I am most pleased however with the perfect neckband I ended up with 🙂

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My white tee was perfect when paired with a dressy skirt and heels to attend my work christmas dinner. Not too formal but still classy. This tee will also be a work horse when worn with jeans and sandals throughout the summer. I think it will be a really valuable wardrobe staple for me.

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Version two of my Ladies Fun tee was to inject a bit of fun into those christmas picnics. I used some knit collection # 3 metallic in grey/silver (96% poly/4% spandex), not a very forgiving fabric but I love the bling. It can instantly elevate a casual outfit but I think will look great when paired with a dressy skirt and heels.

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I deviated from the pattern for this one a bit and used both the scoop and v-neck to create a more open neckline and consequently had to alter the neck band pattern piece to accommodate for this. This was again the short sleeve with the fitted bodice, only because christmas in Australia is in summer so short sleeves are more practical this time of year. Although I have worn it with the v-neck at the front here, I have actually worn it back to front for a different look. I’m hoping to make another version sometime and make the v-neck lower to have a statement back. Stay tuned for that!

Today we have seen amazing gift giving patterns on the market,  

which one will you grab hold of and sew for a friend or family member?
 
Don’t miss any of the posts on the 
 
(Note: the links below will not work until their scheduled day, but feel free to click through and check out the rest of their blogs anytime!)
 
Tour runs from Tuesday 13th- Friday 16th December 2016
Day 1 Tuesday 13th _ Lauren Wernli and Tibeca Yao
Day 2 Wednesday 14th _ Thao Luxa and Sarah Hoggett

 Day 3 Thursday 15th _ Anne-Mari Orgla and Angie Kyp

 Day 4 Friday 16th _ Nelleke van der Haar (Rounding up the Tour)

Lauren has worked in collaboration with the following pattern designers to give away some awesome patterns and you just need to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win:

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OMG!!! I am Wearing Shorts …. Intoducing the Harper Shorts by Megan Nielsen

I haven’t worn shorts since way before I was married, actually probably not since high school, and that was for sport or swimming. Well, that is a teensy lie, do culottes count?

Harper shorts front 1

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This was probably a really inappropriate seasonal pattern test* that I did during winter, but I signed up because the two pairs of Tania culottes by Megan Nielsen, which I love, are the only pairs of shorts I have worn since my younger years. Is it cheating a tiny bit though since they look like a skirt?

I love Megan’s patterns and have accumulated a fair few that I am yet to sew up. The Harper shorts and skort are lined, so they feel a bit dressier than the run of the mill sports shorts and I guess for that fact could be worn during winter with tights. I love pockets in anything so these are an extra great feature and the skort option is fantastic as it’s a 2 looks in one pattern. It was a bit difficult to get my head around sewing shorts during autumn now but I’m considering it good planning since the warmer weather is very,very slowly starting to creep into the southern hemisphere.

Harper shorts back 2

Harper shorts side

My tester version was made using some long time stash olive broadcloth (100% cotton) and black pongee lining (100% polyester). I found the fit spot on and love the invisible back zip closure. These aren’t my normal choice of attire but think they are extremely appropriate for taking kids to the park or beach. I was hoping to get the skorts sewn up before this blog post, which mind you is already months overdue, but life has kept me busy. The skorts are a longer cut and probably most suited to my current lifestyle. Stay tuned for those some time in the probably not so near future!!

*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.