Adventure Bag by Mamma Can Do It

 The Adventure Bag **has just been released by Mamma Can Do It and for being part of their Facebook Group you can get it for free with a code (check out the pinned post) otherwise it’s currently on sale.

I got to test* this tote bag which comes in medium or large and best of all it’s reversible. There is also the option of colour-blocking and since everything is a rectangular shape, you don’t have to print the pattern as a cut chart is provided. This is a beginner friendly bag, really quick to sew, and instructions are accompanied with great photographs and descriptions. Although a medium weight woven in recommended, a lighter fabric can be used but is probably best interfaced.

I used Montreaux Printed Drill Black Stripe (100% cotton) and Hot pink drill (100% cotton) for the exterior, with white broadcloth (100% cotton) for the interior. I chose not to make mine reversible. I have just started working again since having my baby and made this as my lunch bag. The medium is perfect to fit a lunchbox, fruit, notebook and the all important coffee mug.

The large bag is great as a beach bag or overnight bag whilst the medium size bag would make a great library bag or gift bag, just fill it with goodies for the recipient.

*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 Mamma Can Do It

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Ballerina Tooth Fairy Pillow by Rebecca Page

As a brand ambassador it’s my job to sew and promote Patterns by Rebecca Page. I’ve been a bit slack on the promoting lately but wanted to be organised this time around. Aided by the fact my sewing room is no longer in existence, I have more time to catch up on blog posts than sew.

My oldest is 6 and yet to loose a tooth, I believe she now has four wobbly teeth so this was the perfect opportunity to get ready for when that time comes.

Rebecca Page has released a trio of tooth fairy pillows in the Tooth Fairy Pillow Pattern**. There is a a ‘Big Tooth’ pillow, a ‘Monster Teeth’ pillow with removable teeth, or a ‘Ballerina Tooth’ pillow complete with tutu.

The finished measurements of the pillows are:

  • Big Tooth Pillow – 5.5 inches x 5.5 inches
  • Monster Teeth Pillow – 5.5 inches x 5 inches
  • Ballerina Tooth Pillow – 4.75 inches x 5.25 inches

As a mum of girls I couldn’t go past the ballerina. This really is such a quick pattern to sew and is also a great scrap buster. I used white drill (100% cotton) for the pillow and some pink tulle for the ballet tutu. I went a bit rogue with the face. The pattern suggests embroidery and has a different template but I ended up drawing mine on with fabric pens. I do think next time I would rather the embroidered look or perhaps paint the face on. I also chose to make mine the hanging version and sewed the matching ribbon at the top edge of the tulle and gave her a hair bow.

To convince you further….. The Tooth Fairy Pillow Pattern is a freebie at the Rebecca Page shop so if you don’t need it right now pop it in your cart anyway because all in all, it’s such a fun, quick project, and also a great gift idea. Possibilities are endless as you can use the pattern as a guide to stimulate your imagination. Perhaps it’s worth getting your children involved in sewing this one.

** This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page

Rebecca Page Brand Ambassador The Ultimate Bunting Kit

November for me was a busy month. My baby was close to two months old and it was nearing the end of the school year and was also trying to fit in my christmas shopping and of course, sadly packed my sewing room to make it the baby’s nursery. I decided to make The Ultimate Bunting Kit  (**aff. link). This was perfect timing really as I had always wanted one for the nursery and since baby girl was born in September I knew the gender and was able to select the colours I preferred. I used all fabric from my stash, which were either top pop poplins (100% polyester) or cotton poplins and I lined the pieces with white top pop poplin. This is really a great stash busting project if you are looking for something quick to make, unless you choose a bunting with appliques and complicated shapes.

There are a number of pattern shapes included in this pattern, really as the name suggests it has everything, but I went with basic/traditional triangles. The instructions provide you with a number of ways to finish the bunting, however I chose to sew the pieces right sides together, then turn them right side out and topstitch. Alternatively you could sew them wrong sides together and cut the raw edges with pinking shears. There really isn’t a right or wrong way.

I chose these particular colours as they are soft and feminine for a baby girls room and thinking as she grows up they won’t date. I also opted to finish the bunting with white pre made bias tape. I can’t recall exactly how much spacing I allowed between the triangles but think it was roughly 2 inches, it’s personal preference.

The Bunting Kit is also a freebie at the Rebecca Page shop so if you don’t need it right now pop it in your cart anyway because it makes a great gift, festive season decor or you could even use the shapes to applique clothes and pillows. Possibilities are endless.

** This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page

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

Rebecca Page Back to School Drawstring Backpack and Pencil Case

A couple of months back the call went out by Rebecca Page, formerly known as Mummykins and Me by Rebecca Page, for Brand Ambassadors. I quickly applied since I have mentioned previously that I enjoy pattern testing and also to know you have a monthly project is great motivation.

Each month we have a selection of 4-5 projects to chose from. These are completed patterns ranging from kids to women’s wear, costumes,accessories, toys etc.

                  

Unfortunately things didn’t start too well for me as the first project I was very late with as the due date was right when we had our family holiday. Fast forward to Augusts’ project. I chose the Back to School Drawstring backpack (**aff link) for a different type of project. The special launch price is only $3.50, and the regular price $5 after the sale finishes (sale prices expire 11.59pm GMT Saturday 26th August 2017) and as a bonus if you buy the backpack, you get the pencil case pattern for FREE!

Both patterns are designed for woven fabric and are trim-free, A4 or US letter size, layered PDF patterns. There is also an AO format (pattern pieces only. The backpack comes in Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large sizes.  Both items are a great way to use up fabric scraps and are quick and easy to sew up.

My 4 year old picked these fabrics out, probably not my choice, nonetheless I used some pink Indonesia Batik tie-dye (100% cotton) and pink broadcloth (100% cotton). I used eyelets for the backpack and a vintage pale pink zip for the pencil case, both from my stash.

 

These are indeed fast patterns to sew up. Just taking a look at the tester photos will show how versatile they both are. The backpack can be used for school, shopping, swimming and a trick-or-treat bag for halloween. Likewise the pencil case is great as stationary storage or even crochet or sewing storage.

 **This post contains affiliate links

 

 

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.

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!!!!