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.

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Daisy Chain Top with a Splash of Fluoro, a Bird Fest and Stripes

Debbie from Lily Sage & Co is amazing. A wife, a mother of 3, and an awesome pattern designer, and who knows what else she accomplishes in her daily life. She is really coming up with unique and fun designs and with such efficiency. I once again volunteered to test* her newest pattern. Some people don’t like the testing process but I have found it’s something I really enjoy doing. Possibly due to the fact there is a deadline so I know things need to get done and I would be letting someone down otherwise.

This pattern is the Daisy Chain Top. As all the other patterns I have made from Lily Sage & Co, the pattern fits together well and instructions are really clear and thorough. Version 1 is my tester version. This fabric was chosen by my oldest, she wanted both a skirt and dress but as it’s a little sheer, it would have required a lining, but for this project it’s the perfect weight to allow the gathers to flow freely. The only thing was that it was so light weight and I forgot to interface my button and buttonhole packets so hopefully they don’t give in to any strain. I had made a mental note of this at the time but should have actually written it down somewhere.

I made view A with the ruffle sleeves. Being a tester version I followed the instructions however  deviated when it came to seam finishes. Due to the nature of the fabric I chose french seams for the side seams for extra reinforcement.

daisy chain top front

                     daisy chain top side daisy chain top back

The instructions have you bias finish the neckline and the armholes after sleeve attachment so that all seams are enclosed and the inside is really neat.

The hem is quite long and I chose to do a rolled hem which was a little tricky as some of the gathered “skirt” portion ends up being on the bias although instructions recommend bias finishing.

daisy chain top twirl

Version 2 and 3 are using the final pattern. I believe that only aesthetic changes were made from the tester version, ie button placement on the back.

Version 2 is using some newly acquired fabric, printed voile honeysuckle SPV9292 in coral (100% cotton). Nothing to say except another nice addition to her wardrobe.

daisy chain birds front

                       daisy chain birds back daisy chain birds twirl

Version 3 was for my baby. I used fabric from a maternity top sitting in the cupboard waiting to be refashioned and some white top pop poplin (80%poly/20% cotton) for the ruffles. Due to my fabric limitations the width of the gathered skirt portion was 6cm less in this version but not overly noticeable. I was able to use the hem of the existing top for the hem of this top with just a bit of fussing to get the pieces aligned. I tried to match the stripes at the back and side seams best as I could. Otherwise I stitched it up exactly as instructed.

daisy chain top stripes front

 daisy chain top stripes side daisy chain top stripes back

I will mention I cut a size up for both girls than their measurements so the tops last longer but as you can see this is less obvious for my taller model. This is actually designed to be a loose fitting top anyway.

Both girls love their new tops and I can see some playing around with this pattern in the future to make some different versions. The pattern is probably for an advanced beginner due to techniques such as bias binding finishes, making buttonholes and attaching buttons, but there’s no reason why anyone couldn’t tackle such a great pattern especially with great instructions and diagrams.

PS. We always need to add in the token twirling shots!

*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. Debbie also offered the choice of one of her other patterns for free for being involved in this round of pattern testing.

Cartwheel Shorts 05: Red with Mosaics and Floral Bouquets

Truth be told, I was so happy to pattern test* the cartwheel shorts from Lily Sage & Co. You see, my “kids clothes” Pinterest board is growing exponentially, and I had these particular shorts pinned from months ago, with the instructions printed and ready to go, and had also bought my fabric ready to make them. So when the call came out from Debbie for testers I put my hand up. The pros were that I would try a new to me pattern, I’d end up with a wearable finished product, and mark another item off my sewing list. As for cons, there weren’t any.

As all the other patterns I have made from Lily Sage & Co, the pattern fits together well and instructions are really clear and thorough. I am such a visual learner and often need pictures to guide me through processes but when I read through the instructions for the first time everything made sense and the accompanying diagrams were pretty spot on.

Cartwheel shorts front 2

 front closeupFor my first version I cut a size 4, view A, the cuff version, and as a tester version I made it exactly as specified. I used two fabrics, again using my Pinterest board and taking inspiration from these tie-hem girls shorts from Craft Passion. The red is top pop poplin (80% polyester/20 % cotton) and the one I call mosaics by Jackie Von Tobel is also a cotton poplin (100% cotton?). I found the shorts to run true to size.

ICartwheel shorts backback closeup chose to add a red button to each tab, from my stash, and think it gives a really polished look. I couldn’t fault the pattern at all during testing which is a real testament to Debbie’s drafting skills and communication through her instructions.

There weren’t any major changes from testing to the final pattern. The cuffed version (view A) has been shortened in the final pattern so they will turn out shorter that what appear in the photos above and there is now a lengthen/shorten line included in the pattern.

Version 2 is the one using the final pattern and instructions. I opted for view B this time to test out the alternate version. Everything went together flawlessly and easily once again. My fabric again came from the stash and it’s Zest/Savanah Chintz flower cotton in yellow (100% cotton). There are sizable pockets, good for stashing trinkets.

Cartwheel floral front full

                            Cartwheel floral pocket Cartwheel floral 2 pockets

I added a lace trim between the hem and shorts just for a different look. I used a double edge lace that I cut in half about the same length as the hem band and then with an additional lace motif repeat overlap. I sewed it to the shorts first at a 3/8 inch seam allowance and then sewed on the hem band at the specified 1/2 inch.

Cartwheel lace

The pattern repeat on this fabric was quite large and I didn’t opt for complete pattern matching but tried to have some symmetry between the two sides which I think I achieved. Due to the large repeat, I also wasted lots of fabric during cutting. Unfortunately I ended up with a floral behind doing this but the mum in me thought this was genius as it’s less likely to show up dirt and grime on what is a light coloured fabric.

Cartwheel floral front

 Cartwheel floral back Cartwheel floral insideThe insides also turn out really neat even with a french seamed pocket. The colour palette on this version ensures they can be worn with a variety of colours but I think white would be most appropriate. What would you suggest so my child doesn’t end up looking like a clown?

The only thing that had me concentrating on this pattern was the fact seam allowances were the standard 1/2 inch for kids wear instead of the 5/8 I’m used to seeing in women’s wear. 

I have enough fabric from both these shorts to make daughter two something keeping with my resolution of using up remnants as soon as possible. Stay tuned!

*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.

Twirl to Me Dress in Pixel Purple

When the Twirl to Me Dress was released by Debbie from Lily Sage & Co I rushed in and bought it, especially after seeing her delightful kids modelling it and the others that appeared on the blogosphere. I really liked this pattern because it’s girly, lots of twirl factor for the kids and has potential for lots of variations.

twirl to me dress front

                                                                                       twirl to me dress front (2)

I used this spots and stripes #6 pixel in purple poplin (100% cotton) chosen by my daughter because it contains all her favourite colours – pink, purple and the newly acquired red. I cut a 5 thinking it may be big because of the ease of the dress but thought if she was swimming in it I could take in the side seams a smidge. As it turns out width-wise it’s a good fit but may be a little long. She doesn’t mind and I don’t because it means getting extra wear out of it. The PDF pattern went together without a hitch. I found the instructions really thorough and clear with good diagrams. I also really like the tips sections and the order of construction outlining the finishing techniques and when to apply them which results in a really neat inside.

I chose to do the fabric button loops for aesthetic reasons but elastic would probably be more practical, having said that we don’t have to undo them to get the dress on and off. I finished my side seams with the overlocker but used 12mm white bias binding for the armholes and hem, which was rather long.

twirl to me dress backtwirl to me dress side

It was a quick sew, finished in a night. I did however cut a size 3 for the bow as I didn’t want it too big and I interfaced it for some structure. I was thinking about sewing up a plain pink bow so we could interchange them but I also think it will show up the details a bit more but dear daughter flat out refused. Who am I to argue?

I do see more of these in my future and I would like to size it down also to fit my little one, obviously also at a shorter length too.

PS. My model made some funny faces and weird arm gestures during the photos – never work with kids or animals!!!

twirl to me dress twirling 2