Thursday 1 March 2018

The Spirited Dress - Debut Pattern by Candice Ayala

One of my favourite sewing bloggers, Candice Ayala, recently released her first PDF pattern, The Spirited Dress, aptly named, as Candice originally designed the pattern for her daughter, known as The Spirited One.
When the opportunity arose to join her blog tour to promote her debut pattern, it is safe to say I jumped at the chance!

Candice really wanted each dress to capture the "spirit" of each little girl this dress is made for.
Miss K loves to dance - All! Day! Long! I originally thought "dancer spirit" would be exactly what I would create for Miss K, but when I found this double knit from Spotlight, with the wild floral blooms and earthy plum background, it just felt like her and when she asked to go to her favourite photo shoot location, in amongst the trees, I soon realised that she is really a "nature spirit"...

The whole photo shoot she danced, as she does, and explored the entire area for different seeds, birds and flowers. And of course the sticks (which she proceeded to use to make fairy houses and unicorn traps)!

I love the structured look of this dress, giving it an air of elegance, while still being comfortable enough for even the most active little girl to wear all day long.
The Spirited Dress is designed for stable knits such as Quilted Knit, Jacquard Knit, Stable Double Knit, Liverpool or French Terry. It features a fitted bodice with a comfortable ease and a regal Queen Anne neckline.

The circle skirt is made for twirling, perfect for every "dancer spirit" or "nature loving free spirit"!
The pdf pattern contains sizes 2-9 and is layered, making blending sizes super easy! Speaking of easy, this sew is super fast and the instructions very easy to follow.

This pattern is being sold exclusively in Issue 18 of the One Thimble magazine. If you haven't heard of this amazing e-zine yet, let me fill you in!
One Thimble is a quarterly digital sewing magazine jam packed with PDF patterns for both adults and children. It contains tonnes of useful tips and tricks for both the hobby sewist and the small business sewist and informative articles on anything and everything to do with sewing!

To see more versions of this beautiful dress, be sure to join the Candice Ayala Patterns  and the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts groups on Facebook!

* This post contains affiliate links

Thursday 19 October 2017

A Sewing Portfolios Michael Miller Fabrics Collaboration

You're So Vine....

A few months ago I was selected to be a Sewing Portfolios Ambassador (more on that below) and was then sent four, 1 yard cuts of Michael Miller fabric from the beautiful Plume range, to create some gorgeous pieces. (I have been bursting to share and the wait has seemed like an eternity!)

I was given full creative licence and as soon as I saw the fabrics, I pictured a photoshoot with a fun, boho/gypsy vibe.
The vibrant colours are just so much fun and I knew we had to enlist the help of a special little friend to enjoy this photoshoot with us....!

Isn't she just divine!

I chose the Kaitlynn Dress by Violette Field Threads for Miss K's outfit for two reasons:
1. The neck frill screamed boho to me and I knew she would love the "Belle, of Beauty And the Beast" element , which I chose to feature the Jewel colourway of You're So Vine, 
2. Miss K loves a full, twirly skirt (it is her number one criteria most days) which was perfect to showcase the larger print, Fan Fare in Saphire.

For Miss A's dress, I chose the Alice Dress by Violette Field Threads for the bodice and used the Gold colourway of You're So Vine, with an inset of the Fan Fare in Saphire. For the skirt I used the Bella's Dress by Simple Life Pattern Co in the Majestic in Saphire, with a pop of pink in the ruffle with You're So Vine Jewel. While I love the handkerchief style of the Alice skirt, I really wanted to showcase each fabric in this little dress and the frill on the bottom of the Bella's Dress compliments the neck frill on the matching, but not matching big girl dress perfectly.

Just as I pictured, the girls wandered and danced and enjoyed the beauty of the forest "garden" - it was a magical afternoon!

I mentioned above about being a Sewing Portfolios Ambassador - you might be wondering what that is all about.... Let me fill you in!
Earlier this year, I came across a page called Sewing on Facebook. 
Their aim is to provide a FREE online sewing portfolio database to users worldwide and to connect individual sewers and sewing related businesses, promoting partnerships and collaborations.
I signed up on their website and created an online portfolio of some of my sewing projects, then joined the Facebook Group to learn more about how Sewing Portfolios could help me connect with fellow sewists and businesses. 
Not long after joining the Facebook group, I was contacted by a business member, Marina Roussel of Peach Patterns, through my Sewing Portfolios contact, requesting me to join her PDF Pattern testing team!
I have had several other opportunities to test for pattern designers, who have put out a testing call in the Sewing Portfolios facebook group. I was able to quickly provide a link to my individual portfolio, that enabled them to view my sewing projects all in one place. 
As a PDF pattern tester, this was perfect for me, but Sewing Portfolios is about so much more than just testing patterns. 
Not long after joining, I saw a call for Sewing Portfolios Ambassador's and thought I'd try my luck by applying. I was lucky enough to be selected to join the team and that's where Michael Miller Fabrics comes in... 
Michael Miller Fabrics have partnered with Sewing Portfolios to provide fabrics (for FREE) to each Sewing Portfolios Ambassador to create beautiful pieces (not just clothing) to help spread the word!
They also provide fabric for the Fabric FriYay giveaways held on Sewing Portfolios Facebook page!
You might be thinking that this all comes at a huge cost, but let me tell you, this is ALL FREE! 
Sorry for yelling, but this really is a fantastic online community and opportunity to connect with sewing related businesses, hobbyists and professionals worldwide. Or simply a fantastic way to catalogue your work just for yourself, as you can opt to set your portfolio to private if you prefer. 
I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity and look forward to many more successful collaborations.

P.S. I hear there is another Ambassador call coming soon, so if you haven't already, sign up today and get your portfolio ready!

*This post DOES NOT contain any affiliate links.

Friday 13 October 2017

Testing the Taylah Skirt for Bubby and Me Creations

Well, this skirt just ticks all my boxes! You might be aware of my love for pleats, which is what initially drew me to this pattern - as soon as I saw a sneak peek of the first pleat, I was waiting for the testing call! However, of the three versions I made for this test, this simple gathered version is my favourite, I adore the way it falls and sits.
I used a cotton poplin for this one (purchased from The Material Girl, but I'm not sure if it is still available). I was saving it for a dress, but I just couldn't resist!

The Taylah Skirt pattern by Bubby and Me Creations is suitable for both knits and wovens, making it so versatile and it has options for either pleats, a full gathered skirt, or a simple gathered skirt (pictured above). The woven versions have either a fixed back elastic, or adjustable elastic, giving you lots of growing room, or perfect if you sew to sell. The knit versions have a full elastic waist.

I also made the woven pleated version in a quilting cotton by Riley Blake Designs and the weight was perfect for the pleats (but imagine this in a gorgeous tartan....)
Both of my woven versions used a fixed back elastic, because I only had 5cm of adjustable elastic left (I have no idea why I kept a 5cm piece of adjustable elastic!)
My knit version was made in a super pretty lilac unicorn cotton lycra from Spotlight and was a huge hit with unicorn loving Miss K. I HAD to try the pleated version for the knit this time, it is of course love!

My next one is cut, ready and waiting to sew when I can finally get back to my machines *sigh*
It is a gathered version, with undershorts attached - yes, that's right, attached, so no knicker flashes!

All in all, its a huge thumbs up here!

Just before she noticed the ants crawling up her legs

*No affiliate links are used in this post.

Monday 9 October 2017

Gold River Adventure Dress - Goober Pea Designs

~ Pattern Testing ~

I adore a twirly skirt and so does Miss K!

I haven't posted for a while, as I have been busy testing (and working on something very exciting to be announced soon) behind the scenes. One of my recent tests was the Gold River Adventure Dress pattern for Goober Pea Designs and adore the finished product!
I chose to make the tiered skirt version, so it was a little more time consuming than a gathered skirt dress would be, but am very happy I did. I love the 'dressiness' it gives to the overall style of the dress. Using one of my favourite vintage floral prints by Lecien added to the girly romance. (And Miss K gave it the all important "tick of approval")

The pattern also has straight or gathered skirt options, I am keen to make a straight skirt style in a pinwale cord, denim or velour for layering in winter (but that will have to wait a few months now!)

I do love a full gathered skirt too and have lots of fabric options I could play with......

I'm thinking a feature panel on the bib, with a contrast skirt!

This is a true overall style, with functional button plackets at the sides of the front bib, making it easy to layer and adjust for growth if needed. 

I have made this one in a woven, but the pattern is also suitable for knits and a knit pants add-on has just been released, making this super versatile!

You can find the pattern here!

* Affiliate links are contained in this post.

Thursday 17 August 2017

Tess Tulip Shorts - Bella Sunshine Design

I recently had the pleasure of making and photographing the Tess Tulip Shorts for Bella Sunshine Designs.

I am finding that I have become quite fussy with my shorts, I can't stand a baggy, bunching crotch and I can't stand a low rise back! Plus, I had tried similar designs to these already and had not been happy with the fit. However, after testing the Alice Pleated Dress for Bella Sunshine Designs, I knew these shorts would be worth trying!

I was not dissappointed! I am so happy I decided to try these out for myself!

There are two lengths in the pattern, short and mid thigh. I wanted a bright, fun pair of shorts for Miss K, so the short length was perfect! 
There are detailed instructions to add a trim to the hem, which this style really wants to do, but I decided not to add a trim on this pair, as this fabric was fun enough all on it's own!
Also included in the pattern are optional, hidden inseam pockets! I am usually all about the pockets, but didn't do them this time. 

Full back coverage!

Lovely side profile with no pulling or bunching!

Beautiful Tulip detail with the side wraps
The back coverage is high enough to not show her underwear, even while she plays. You can't see in these pics, but the waistband features a flat front and an elastic back. 
The flat front waist gives a stylish look to the shorts and there is no pulling across the front or riding up. 

This pattern is suitable for a confident beginner, so I would recommend you give it a go if you want a pair of really good fitting shorts (or many pairs, you will want make several!) It is also available in sizes to suit nearly everyone, with the girls pattern ranging from size 6 months to 12 and a ladies pattern

Perfect for play!

I love how she accessorises her own outfits now!

Grab yourself the pattern while its on sale! For 24 hours only, on the 17th of August (US time), during Bella Sunshine Designs "Back To School" sale!

* This post may contain affiliate links. 

The Spirited Dress - Debut Pattern by Candice Ayala

One of my favourite sewing bloggers, Candice Ayala , recently released her first PDF pattern, The Spirited Dress , aptly named, as Candice o...