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.

dsc_0099        dsc_0093             dsc_0092 dsc_0090

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.

                pippa-top-side-2                     pippa-top-front pippa-top-back dsc_0073

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.

Georgia Tops by DesignerStitch Patterns

Amongst unselfish sewing for my girls I have been doing some sewing of my own, namely pattern testing* for DesignerStitch Patterns, again.

The Georgia top/dress is a comfy yet classy wardrobe staple. It has a boxy look, no darts so is easy to fit, with wide sleeves and optional back pleat. It gives you a good opportunity to mix fabrics and of course has the option of making a top or dress. There is also the layer feature so you only need to print the size(s) you need in addition to a copy shop printable version.

DSC_0086                            DSC_0085 DSC_0080

For both of my versions I opted for the pleat-free back.

My first version was made during testing, using some not very friendly fabrics, navy premium faille (100% polyester) for the body, and navy 100% dance poly chiffon (100% polyester) for the yoke. I may have slightly used too much heat when pressing because I’m not sure if this sits quite right and there may have been some shrinkage of the fabrics. Pattern pieces are provided to make the neck binding.

It is a really quick sew, and like always, everything lines up perfectly and instructions are easy to understand.

My second version was planned as a dressier summer top, using would you believe, a bed sheet from IKEA (52% poly/ 48% cotton). I liked the stiffness of the fabric and the lightness, almost like a linen, not to mention for $6 I have heaps of fabric left for other projects. For the yoke I used some white rayon remnants (100% rayon) from a yet to finish top from 6 months ago and still counting, and the sleeve bands are faux ivory leatherette (50% PU/ 40% poly) from my Salamanca jacket.

Georgia topo front Georgia top side               Georgia top back

It’s a great top, and the dress is too, but it’s just not my particular style. Not sure if it would flatter me or make me look frumpy. Perhaps when summer rolls around I may try it more as a beach cover up dress or add a belt or tie.

*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.

Two Vienna Tanks by Itch to Stitch Patterns

So my pattern testing journey continues with Itch to Stitch Patterns. This time I tested the Vienna tank* (**), a summer essential. I’m all for versatile patterns and this is another one.

The Vienna tank combines both woven fabric for the yoke, ties and optional ruffles, and knit for the main body. A great opportunity to mix and match fabrics that might otherwise be orphans in the stash. Mind you, the bodice can also be made with woven fabric but throw caution to the wind and perhaps make a muslin first. This PDF pattern comes with the layers option.

I made my crimson version 1 during the pattern testing period. I upcycled an unworn dress (100% viscose) for the main bodice and the remainder made from zig zag printer rayon #1 (100% rayon). The armholes are stabilised with fusible stay tape and helps them to keep their shape.

dress

I went with view B, no ruffles. I used the existing hem of the dress for the hem of the top so just removed the hem allowance when cutting it out. Overall the fit was good, I just think my knit fabric was a bit thin and very drapey.

Vienna tank front 2 Vienna tank back                     Vienna tank side 3

Version 2 was made using the final released pattern. For the knit bodice I used some green viscose/spandex (unknown exact composition) and emerald premium faille (100% polyester) for the remainder. I made view A this time. My ruffles didn’t turn out as neat and even as I would have liked, I probably should have taken more care with basting, but sometimes I get a bit eager to finish. The fit feels good on this one. This version is slightly longer and I believe from memory the final pattern was lengthened.

Vienna back                                Vienna side back Vienna side

More summer sewing complete, pity it’s still in the throws of winter!!

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing, all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**Affiliate link: I get a small bonus if you purchase through here.

TEEN/WOMENS Lil Luxe Maxi Dress by Lil Luxe Patterns

The story behind this is that Lil Luxe Patterns released the cutest children’s party dress, the Lil Luxe dress early last month. All the tester versions appearing on the web were just gorgeous and I am usually smitten when it comes to seeing pretty girls things aided by the fact you could use horsehair braid on the hem contributing to extra twirl.

As luck should have it, a tester* call went out for the women’s equivalent. I would love nothing more to have a beautiful, full, twirly circle skirt dress BUT without an occasion to wear it I opted for the maxi dress version instead. A bit more practical for my lifestyle. The Lil Luxe Teen/Womens dress is available in sizes 00 to 20, with either a gathered maxi skirt or shorter circle skirt option and a back zip (either invisible or exposed).

It was my first time making anything from Lil Luxe Patterns, although I have the mini button up blouse and moto pants cut, ready to sew for my oldest. The dress went through many versions as the designers wanted to ensure they were delivering the best product to their customer. I really value that attitude and work ethic and it made the process rather enjoyable.

My first iteration was made with a cap sleeve to make it a bit more sun friendly. I used cobalt rayon (100% rayon) for the bodice which was self lined, and the skirt was multi printed rayon zig zag (100% rayon). The major draw card for this design is the low back. I chose to use invisible zips for all my versions however instructions are provided for an exposed zip also.

Lil Lux coral side  Lil lux coral side 2 Lil Lux coral backLil lux front belted

After some pattern changes, such as removing the cap sleeve option. The next version was ready for testing. I ended up making a top as I was short on fabric, I used the circle skirt option instead this time, although the pattern calls for joining 2 circle skirts together to get extra fullness and the pleats. I used black and white printed dots rayon (100% rayon) with black pongee (100% polyester) for the lining. After wearing my “blue” version I realised I probably should go down a size in the bodice, and the fit was pretty much spot on this time.

V2 top front                      V2 top side 2 V2 top back

The pattern was tweaked a bit more by the designers such that the fit around the armholes and bust was near perfect and the back was lowered further. The great thing is you can still wear your normal undergarments with this design. Thus the final version I made using aqua tribal rayon (100% rayon), white pongee (100% polyester) for the lining, and green rayon chirramon plain (100% rayon) for the skirt. I would say for myself, the final pattern release is perfect. I normally need to shorten the bodice but it sits perfectly, although I did shorten the skirt mostly due to the fabric as it has a crinkly texture that stretches.

                    V5 front V5 front 3 V5 side

                                     V5 back (2)              V5 back 3

The pattern is easy to print and put together. Detailed instructions and photos are provided for dress construction and there is also lots of information in regards to materials required as well as sewing techniques. So in a short time frame I have added 3 new items to my wardrobe and have worn all versions of the Lil Luxe Dress and they have been positively commented on.

The pattern is being released today and you can get a 10% discount when buying both the childrens’ and TEENS/WOMENS patterns, using the code LILLUXEDRESSBUNDLE.

*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.

Comfy Cozy Pj’s by Laela Jeyne Patterns

I love Pj’s, but not enough to wear them around as lounge wear but probably because I haven’t owned a new pair for goodness knows how long. And when you are struggling to find co-ordinating sleep wear in the cupboard it’s time to invest in a new pair.

I tested* the Comfy Cozy Pj’s by Laela Jeyne Patterns in December 2015, which was perfect timing to have a new pair for christmas morning. I liked that there were options for short and long sleeves, a 5″ inseam shorts length and options of 28″ or 30″ inseam pants length. You can also choose to make the bottoms in high or mid rise. Both sleeve lengths have cuffs and optional breast and inseam pants pockets. ALL in the one pattern. If you don’t like printing, cutting and taping PDF patterns this one is a no trim pattern and makes assembly quick and easy.

As it’s summer for christmas in Australia, I used this floral spun rayon (100% cotton) from my stash with white rayon (100% rayon) for the shirt and switched up the colours for the cuffs and breast pocket detail. I cut the 28″ inseam long pants with the elastic measurements for the low rise option and added in the inseam pants pockets. All seams were neatened with the serger.

                                pj version 1 side                       Pj version 1 back (2)

They are super comfy as the name suggests and pretty easy to sew up. I have found mine to be pretty baggy/roomy although I have worn them as often as possible and not sure if it’s party related to the fabric composition because after laundering they seem to fit better.

I wanted to make a second pair with the final released pattern which was more shaped at the waistline but also went down a size from my tester version for a better fit.

I used pink broadcloth (100% cotton) and white prima homespun (100% cotton) hoping I’d have some semi co-ordinated separates. Look away now if pink isn’t really your colour, I keep thinking that they look like a pink pair of scrubs, if scrubs were pink that is!

Pj version 2 frontPj version 2 back (2)This time I only added 5 1.5cm round buttons as the recommended 7 I found a bit busy for me.

The fit is definitely better going down a size, but the difference in fabric also affects how they feel and hang. The only thing is I forgot to increase the leg length as I made the 28″ inseams length like last time but since these were a size smaller, naturally they came up shorter and I like my bottoms to bunch up slightly. Considering this is sleepwear I’m not too fussed though.

I have quite deliberately made both pairs in light fabric with short sleeves to wear in the warmer months of an Australia summer and have been wearing both pairs quite a bit since completion. I need to check my winter pj inventory but I’m almost certain I will be adding a flannel pair to my wardrobe before winter sets in.

                                   Pj combo 1 front                          Pj combo 2 front

*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.

Kwik Sew 3848 Triangular Top

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

I have chosen not to do a best/worse round-up because some of my best have only been worn once and some of my worse have become house clothes and worn heaps so it depends on what I use to measure which category items belong to. I am going to say that I have enjoyed sewing this past year more than ever, probably because my techniques were better and more than anything it was a stress reliever, a really helpful outlet to help me deal with lifes’ challenges, of which there have been many.

So with that I’m ready to tackle 2016!

This is not my first make for 2016, in fact I started it way back in July of 2015 but wanted to get it finished in 2015, before the years end.

It’s never surprises me how different people have different visions for the same fabric, Clever Tinker used it to make a kimono jacket however I initially bought this fabric with making the Datura top in keeping with the triangle theme but then decided to go with a pattern I already had as I only had 1m of this multi printed rayon prism (100% rayon). The fabric has a repeat but not a symmetrical one so I tried to centre it best I could. Below are photos after the alteration which I mention further into the post.

 Kwik sew 3848 sideKwik sew 3848 back kwik sew 3848 front

I used Kwik Sew 3848, which apparently runs big so cut a size smaller than normal. It also has really small seam allowances (6mm), which can get a bit fiddly. I mashed the views which may explain why I had to tinker with the end product. I didn’t have enough to make a complete top (front and back) so used some stash navy premium faille (100% polyester) for the back. Essentially I cut View A on the fold (removing the extra seam allowance and placket) and used the back pieces of view A with the length of the top from view B but with the hem curves from view A and chose not to add a pocket.

For the armholes I used self-made bias but using the width of the bands provided for view B. The hem was serged and turned up twice for a narrow hem. During construction I tried on the top and everything seemed okay but it wasn’t until I was finished and noticed the armholes were really loose and indecently low. I didn’t want to take anything apart so I did a quick and dirty and just took in the side seams by a couple of centimetres each side and tapered to nothing just under the bust. Below is before the alteration.

                           gaping front Gaping back (2)

I like the versatility of this top as it goes equally well with jeans but I ended up wearing it out to dinner with my New Look 6107 white skirt.

Kwik sew 3848 front tucked                             Kwik sew 3848 side tucked Kwik sew 3848 back tucked

This pattern will require more work in the future to fit right and I like the back design feature and that the seams for the back yoke are enclosed however I don’t think I will tackle it just yet as I want to sew other things instead which I view as higher priority.