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.

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BSD Women’s Banded Rayon Skirt

This is just a quick post today because this was an extremely quick make. I was chosen to test* a new pattern by Bella Sunshine Designs (BSD) who mostly designs kids wear but seems to be adding some women’s clothing to her repertoire. The added bonus with this skirt for you readers is if you join the BSD Facebook group you get the pattern for free.

BSD banded skirt front 2

I chose to make mine from some multi black printed rayon eyelet (100% rayon) and black premium cotton sateen (96% cotton/ 4% spandex) for my band. The skirt is available from sizes 0 to 20 and it is a simple elasticised skirt made from rectangles from which you can either print the pattern pieces or use the measurements provided to cut your own. Since I was pattern testing I chose to use the included pattern pieces which fit together perfectly. The diagrams and instructions were well written and clear.

I was able to print my pattern, tape it, cut it and sew all in the space of 1 hour, I’m not kidding, and I think the result is a really nice looking skirt. I also used the recommended elastic waist measurements for my size and it fits comfortably, not tight at all but not so loose to fall down. I will be making this skirt again for sure.

BSD banded skirt side

BSD banded skirt backMy personal preference however is that the skirt be a bit longer, as I like them to hit just below my knee. In the photos it appears to be the right length but I am wearing it below my natural waist, so next time I will lengthen it slightly, but that’s an easy fix. I just didn’t want to make this alteration during testing as I think it defeats the purpose of being involved in the testing process.

The skirt has been worn twice in the last fortnight and actually I am wearing it right now as I type this post. That’s a win in my book.

So go join the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group to get your copy today!!

*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.