Bloem Top by The Eli Monster as a Brand Ambassador Sew

I’m not doing a great job promoting these patterns at the moment as a brand ambassador but am trying to stay diligent for 2019.

The Bloem Top (**affiliate link) by The Eli Monster is a simple, airy casual top perfect for warmer weather. Excellent for beginners as the necessary sewing techniques are basic and also it is super fast to sew. This top features bias trim neckline and arm openings, a simple single button back closure and a subtle high/low hem. There is also a kids version available if you want to add some wardrobe basics for everyone.

Like the rest of The Eli Monster’s patterns, The Bloem Top is layered which means you only need to print the size you are making.  All steps are accompanied by colour photographs. To save paper, cutting dimensions for rectangular pieces are included in lieu of pattern pieces.

I used a nice drapey mustard sketch printed rayon 135cm (100% viscose rayon). Looking back however perhaps I could go down 2 sizes next time as it has ended up quite roomy but also perfect for hot, sweltering weather. Also I made an error with the neckline but didn’t bother fixing it. The bias trim is not mean to be turned completely to the inside which I did without thinking, but instead should be half visible as a finish. I’m okay with that in this version because I was too lazy to make my own so used black instead and don’t know if that would have been visually appealing. Also because I did this, those neck gathers aren’t as obvious as they are meant to be as I sewed them down when I top stitched. Face Palm!!!!

The fit issue I have become more aware the more I sew is that often armholes are too tight in sleeveless garments. This is not the case with the Bloem top. They come down quite low so I’m not feeling restricted in any way and also no undergarments are visible so don’t need to worry about showing too much.

For quite a simple top the finishes are nice. The instructions have you finish the hem with bias tape however I cheated and surged, turned and top stitched. I wasn’t sure if the bias would affect how the hem flowed since this fabric is so drapey. Probably not an issue if I had made my own with the same fabric however the bought bias felt a bit stiff.

Also once complete, I noticed the back closure was not really necessary as I can get the top on and off without undoing it. I’m not sure if I went down a couple of sizes whether this would be affected but will need to check for next time. I would love to make a nice crisp white version for summer, perhaps in some eyelet fabric.

I honestly recommend this pattern for a wardrobe basic which takes no time to sew up.

**This post contains affiliate links to The Eli Monster Patterns

Also just a quick update on my fabric quota for the month of January according to my Stash Shrinker in this post. I purchased 10.1m for the month of January and sewed 3.5m. Lets hope February sways more the other way!

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Grace Dress and Tunic by Wardrobe by Me

I have made a couple of things so far this year, however this was the first pattern test* I have done for myself. The Grace Dress and Tunic (**affiliate link) is a classic dress that will gets lots of rotation in my wardrobe in every season. It is best made in a lightweight woven fabric that has lots of drape. I used some Black sparrows printed rayon 135cm (100% viscose rayon) which I did buy particularly for this test this month but at least it is out of the stash just as quick.

The pattern has 3 sleeve lengths, including a sleeveless version along with two different necklines and four skirt lengths. The size range covers US 0-24 (EU 30-54). There are also a number of little features that make it really pretty and girly such as gathers at both the neckline and back and also in the sleeve at the shoulder. It’s a bit hard to see in my busy fabric however and I’m not sure if the close ups really show it either.

There is a tie band hidden in the waist seam which once again is difficult to see in my fabric and gives a nice blouson effect when tied. The different views are more obvious in the line drawing.

View A: Long sleeve, collar band, straight skirt with two lengths, optional pockets.
View B: Shorter sleeve with ruffle, neckline binding, longer skirt with ruffle tier. optional pockets
View C: Tunic length with curved hem. Choose any sleeve or neckline.

I made view B but omitted the pockets. I usually prefer pockets in my clothing but felt this time I would go without as realistically I will always have a bag with me when I wear this out. I also ended up with a really nice finish around the neckline which I am extremely proud of. There are also some sewing techniques that I don’t really like, and for some odd reason, gathering is one of those. This dress has quite a bit but the outcome is worth it.

In hindsight I probably should have made the sleeveless version, it is a bit more summary, but come autumn and winter, tights and ankle boots will get this dress through year long wear.

The dress is releasing at $10.00 (reg $ 12.00), and will be on sale until Feb. 8th. I highly recommend it and may require above beginner skill level only because of the collar, a sleeve with cuff and lot of gathers, depending on which option you choose.

*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 Wardrobe by Me Patterns

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.

 

Dani Joggers by Laela Jeyne Patterns

You know when you try a pattern and hope it will suit you or make you feel good while wearing it, that’s how I feel about these. I chose to test* the Dani Joggers by Laela Jeyne Patterns (** affiliate link) as I had a similar pant in my wardrobe that I bought for cheap last year, wore them lots and saw that the seams were starting to separate.

The Dani Joggers are both stylish and comfortable and can be made as a short with split curved hem or cropped and ankle jogger option. The hems can either be finished with an elastic casing or knit cuff and the waistband is a ribbed one with drawstring, very comfortable to wear. The added bonus of this pattern is that it includes a full panel maternity waist option. Like most PDF designers these days, it includes a A0 print copy so you don’t have to tape the pages together which are no trim pages anyway and the size range is XXS-3X.

I made my first test joggers in some stash fabric and wasn’t sure about them, although it was woven, as recommended, it was a bit stiff for the look I was aiming for. Once some pattern changes were made, my final version turned out much better, using some totem printed crinkle black rayon (100% rayon) and black deluxe ponte (65% poly/30% rayon/5% spandex) for my waistband since the fabric shop didn’t have any black ribbing in stock.

I also did the knit cuff finish, I just thought for myself it would be more comfortable, and so far they have been. My only issue with this version is that the rayon is see through in the sun light and I’m not comfortable wearing them out so they have become my home pants. I have some black rayon washed and ready to make as my next pair. Although I made my usual size 12, I feel that I will go down in size for the next pair. I guess the rayon can relax over time when being worn.

After all that, I would recommend you get in quick to buy this pattern as it is a wardrobe staple and is currently on sale for $8.00 instead of the usual $12.00

*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 Laela Jeyne Patterns

Miss Sophie Top by 1 Puddle Lane

I have been in the throes of testing once again but have been fortunate enough to also be selective in what I apply to test to ensure it’s going to be worn over the season.

The Miss Sophie by 1 Puddle Lane* pretty much hit the mark as the pattern to replicate yet again another inspiration I have gathered in what is the rabbit hole of Pinterest. The pattern comes with all the features that I think are now expected with PDF patterns. The instructions are clear and thorough and there are two sleeve variations a split sleeve, or non split sleeve, both ending in either gathers or a cuff or go without the gathers and cuff altogether. It features a scoop, bound neckline with a front keyhole and the size range is 6-26AU/2-22US. The top is loose and floaty thus looks best with woven fabric with a soft drape.

I chose to test using a draper floral rayon (100% rayon). I made a size 12 with the split sleeve and cuff. I especially love the hem line of the top with a slightly longer back and a small side split. The top is very floaty and comfortable, a great transitioning piece. I have made some small ties to sew at the end of my sleeve split just as a variation but haven’t sewn them on yet.

I don’t believe any changes were made to the final pattern. I have already bought my fabric, washed and dried it for my next version which actually closely resembles my inspiration blouse. Can’t wait to find time to sew it up now that we are heading into school holidays.

1 Puddle Lane is having a 20% off storewide till this Friday, 28th September.  Just use the code:  SOPHIE20 at the checkout. There are a lot of great patterns to chose from.

**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.

Mama Leilani Top by Peach Patterns

I’m trying really hard to catch up on some blog posts and the reality is those that were drafted 1 year ago or more are probably never going to be posted, especially for the kids clothes as they don’t fit them quite the same anymore.

Back to my stuff though, I tested the popular Mama Leilani Dress & Top by Peach Patterns back in November of last year using some stash fabric I took from my mum. I’m not quite sure what the composition is, it feels like a rayon but frays like crazy. Not that it matters as I’ve used it now and it suited the design of the Leilani.

            

This pattern is really versatile and there is lots to like about it with both top and dress options and a single or double ruffle overlay. The dress can be made knee length or a high-low 3/4 length. There aren’t any closures to worry about and has narrow shoulder ties. There is a detailed photo tutorial to make the straps adjustable with bra-style ring and sliders. Sizes are from  US 2 (Aust/UK 6) (Eur 34) through to US 16 (Aust/UK 20) (Eur 48).

I ended up making the top with the single overlay. It’s a quick sew and has a nice, neat finishing at the neckline. The ruffle and top is finished with a narrow rolled hem. This pattern is best made up in light weight woven fabric to get a nice flowing garment.

There is also a girls version available if you love the style for your little ones.

*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.

 

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