I'm new to Ollie and Annie Patterns and I'm not sure why!! I was recently chosen to be one of Stephanie's new testers, and I am blown away by her patterns and instructions! How had I not heard of her before??? Before I talk about her third pattern, the Isabella Pleated Dress, go check out her Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/OllieAnnieCollection
Goes on sale Friday, September 12, 2014 here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/OllieAnnieCollection
20% off on the first day only. Use code: ISABELLA20
Sometimes when I test for a relatively new designer, things are chaotic. This was NOT the case during the Isabella Pleated Dress test. Everything went so smoothly and I was amazed at all the different dresses the other testers came up with (as well as irritated at the large amount of ladies that did not complete on time.... But not my problem I guess). I really liked that Stephanie took the time to explain herself and the reasons why she did/did not take testers suggestions for her pattern. Side note - holy crap! How do you take suggestions from 50 women's and decide which ones are the ones that you need?!?!
Finally, the DRESS!! It's adorable! Works with almost any light-medium woven fabric, any color, any size print, two tone, layered, alone, you got it! Features a round neckline, pleated skirt, 5-6 buttons down the back, and enough room to comfortably layer a long sleeve underneath.
Instructions are fabulous! As an intermediate+ sewer (sewist??), they may seem slightly dumbed down in a couple spots but it's not terrible. I have no issues with that kind of stuff. If you are more of a beginner, advanced beginner sewer (sewist?), the instructions are written in such a way that you not only understand them enough to get the dress done, but so you can add those new skills to your arsenal on your next project. They are just great, and the photos are too! Nothing like using slightly odd combos to make sure things are very clear - she uses multiple fabrics to make sure that the photos are the best possible and that the right and wrong side are very obvious.
I need to whip up a white long sleeve shirt to go under this as it is already pretty chilly in Colorado and Miss K wants to wear the dress any time she sees it! This is becomes a trend - fighting over getting to wear what I've made. Guess that's a good problem to have :-)
Pattern Description: The CINNABAR SKY Dress is a knit maxi dress with a crossover front. Featuring a fitted bodice, it is roomy enough for maternity bellies. Options include: discrete nursing openings, short or half sleeves and optional top length. The crossover bodice flatters your curves and hides your postpartum belly.
Did it look like the photo/drawing advertised once you were done sewing with it? Sure did!!
Level of difficulty: Advanced beginner - dealing with knits
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes!! All the kinks have been worked out.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It looks amazing as a nursing top but you can also top stitch the openings closed and it looks just a fantastic.
Fabric Used: Jersey sheets from Target (grey solid) and Cotton Jersey from Colorado Fabrics (print)
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None. I used the nursing openings instructions for both the dress and top versions.
Would you sew it again? Yes!! I have a standing request from my sister for more in all colors!
Would you recommend it to others? Yes! A wonderful top and dress and even better for nursing.
Conclusion: This pattern fits my sister and I differently. We are roughly the same measurements, but she is a more solid build than I am (broader shoulders, etc). I have also come to the conclusion through other recent patterns that I need to start sizing down and doing an FBA.
Notes for next time: Try a size small with an FBA even though the medium doesn't fit poorly. I'd like to compare the fit between the two.
I LOVE this pattern. I initially hated the original one I made (Reese's version), due to the learning curve sewing with knits. I eventually came to really like it and spent all summer dreaming of more. I didn't make another until just recently and it's a 1,000 times better than the first. I love it that much more as well too.
The fit is amazing. I love that the straps are sturdier than store bought and the neckline is not too low and doesn't stretch or gape. This summer was a bust for sewing lots of clothes for Miss K, but next year, I guarantee she will get at least 5 of these!!
This version, like the previous, was also made using an old graphic tee from high school. Man I hold onto things for far too long.... But can't argue with the result!
Every kid I know wears t-shirts on a daily basis, mine too. Therefore, every kid needs the adventure tee. There are several sleeve options and almost as many neckline options. I skipped the placket option this time but man, there are quite a few of those on my to-sew list! Andrea is a pro at drafting knit patterns!
I ended up making 3 adventure tees within a few days and this pattern isn't getting put away anytime soon :-). The first one I made was for a quick fit check as Miss K was towards the top of the sizing chart (but still fits into size 12 month). The finish on this shirt is super rough but I love it and she's worn it a whole bunch already - serged edges only (and accidentally/turned on purpose exposed shoulder seams). The second and third shirt are meant to go together but the hi neck/long sleeve black shirt underneath won't work in real life until fall. It's too hot for long sleeves yet. The top shirt (grey/black print) gets worn at least once a week.
Did you know that before this, I had never sewn a button-up shirt or used snaps?!?! Melissa was probably sick of reassuring me by the end of this test but I was so worried that I was going to do it wrong!! Follow the directions, you say.... Well, since this was out of my comfort zone, I did and was still worried. Why? Not because the instructions lacked but because I couldn't visualize it. After every step I was amazed at how this little shirt was coming together. If you've never sewn a similar shirt, you don't realize that your instructions are not quite the same as a standard tee. Haha, of course not!
Needless to say, I initially felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew and I really didn't want to ruin it. It was my mindset that caused me issues, that is the only reason why I would classify this as an intermediate pattern. You have to have the confidence to follow the instructions to complete it. It sounds weird but, that's where I'm at on this. I WILL make another one (several actually), and you need to make one/some too! There are some amazing details that make this shirt to die for!! Long sleeves, short sleeves, bow sleeves, roll-up sleeve tabs, several pocket options, standard back, overlapped back, high-low hem back.
This hoodie so versatile!! Fabric choices can make this nice light outerwear for summer or the coziest hoodie in the freezing winter. It features either a straight or angled zipper at the neck, with or without the button tab.
Wow was this an easy sew! The line drawing/illustrations in the instructions make things extra clear. Kate did a lovely job with this! I can't wait to make another out of ponte de roma :-). There's not a whole ton to say about this because it was SO easy! I can't stand the cuteness that comes with the angled zipper - such a fun addition! The most difficult part was sewing the hoodie, hood, and necklacing together but it was only difficult because I was using some crazy fabric!! I used doubled (bonded) fleece and my machine was not a fan of sewing through a ton of layers of that. If I had used a slightly thinner (less than an 1/8" thick) fabric there would have been no complaints :-) We have cold winters in colorado though, I and wanted something that would be really warm.
I'm not going to lie, when I found out we were going to be testing a jacket in the middle of summer I was perplexed. I mean, it's a million degrees outside, why would I need a jacket?!?! Well, your kids will probably need a jacket when they go back to school, right? And you probably want to get some things sewn before they actually start school, right? There's your answer!! Haha
Once I got past the sewing a jacket in summer and saw the examples, I was sold. This jacket is possibly the cutest thing for a little kid that I've ever seen!! There are two styles (both easily could be for a boy or a girl) that have separate and equally adorable details. One with contrast at the shoulders/arm openings and a chest pocket, the other with rouched sleeves and shoulder patches. My size partner wanted the first option, so I went with the second.... There is no wrong answer here. Both versions for the win!
I LOVE the way this pattern is drafted, the fit is spot on. Shauna did an amazing job on this jacket and walks you through the assembly like you're strolling through the park. No speed bumps, no hiccups; just step by step. You'd assume that a fully lined zippered jacket with welt pockets would be this crazy, difficult, giant looming project, and it's just not. She guides you through the process so easily that you don't even realize how difficult it could be until, POOF! You're done. And it's fantastic. Honestly, the most difficult part of the whole thing was gathering the sleeves. Haha, can you tell I dislike gathering?? It's worth it!
I used a brushed twill for the outside and quilting cotton for the inside, both from JoAnn's.
I was ecstatic when I learned that I had been chosen for a tester position with Pattern Anthology!! These designers are people that I have looked up to both in the blogger world and in sewing designs. I could not wait for the work to start with these ladies!
I've been working on pieces from the new collection: Make (Believe) for the last month or so. It is the perfect back to school collection... Staples that have a twist and are so versatile! I am so over the moon happy with my tester versions, these patterns are well drafted and the instructions very well written.
This has been my best testing experience by far! I have learned for much and have learned to look at things a little bit differently than I normally would and how to think about the way the pattern goes together and where you can add different accents with fabrics just in the pattern lines. Thank you to the designers and fellow testers!!!
There have been several pattern bundles this year and they've been pretty good, but never good enough for me to splurge. This time, the bundle from Pattern Revolution (Bundle UP!) is too good to pass up. I'm literally counting the hours until it goes on sale so I can get it.
These are the patterns I'm dying to have (though they are all wonderful).
And I can't decide between this
And I might still need this one too
I mean, really!?! $27 for 6 patterns is AH-mazing. I'd like to get them all, but in reality theres a few that I would never sew since I'm not really a dress girl and I can't afford $50 is patterns - there wouldn't be any money left over to buy all the fabric I need to make a bazillion of these items!!!
This pattern has been on my Wishlist for a LONG time. Somehow it was one of the very first PDF patterns that I came across for women. I fell in love with the high low hem, the hood, the thumb sleeves, all of it. I haven't had great luck sewing for myself in the past - I always end up with a beautiful garment that just doesn't fit 100% right. I know this is because I need to do adjustments (FBA, round back, etc) and I just don't know how. That's part of what help me off from buying this pattern for forever. There was finally a sale on Memorial Day and I jumped on it!
Pattern Name: Lacy Slope (hooded tee or tank)
Designer: Greenstyle Creations
Pattern Description: As part of our Bespoke Collection, this trendy and comfortable Hooded T-Shirt is built off of our wildly popular Lacy Slope Tank Top. If you already have the Lacy Slope Tank Top you can just purchase the Add-On Pack. However, if you purchase this pattern, you will get both the Lacy Slope Tank Top and the Lacy Slope Hooded T-Shirt! It is two patterns in one easy package. Features - high-low hem in three lengths, breast patch pocket, and extra long sleeve options
Did it look like the photo/drawing advertised once you were done sewing with it? yes, but the models in the photos are very slender and it doesn't quite look comparable on me. After adjustments, it may look better, but it doesn't hang the same way on my body (big boobies problems)
Dealing with the pattern: Unless you want to print out your instructions as well, scroll through the pattern and make note of which pages need to be printed - the pattern is sandwiched inbetween the hooded tee and tank instructions.
Level of difficulty: Moderately easy, however there are some parts (binding the neckline) that would put this in the intermediate category.
Were the instructions easy to follow? For the most part...yes. I did find it slightly odd that the instructions for the Hooded tee and the tank were completely separated by the pattern itself. The directions for binding the neck and arm openings are lacking in the pattern but they have a video posted on their website that helps clear that up. If you are familiar with knit bindings, you may not even noticed that the instructions are lacking.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the options. It can go from summer to winter all day long. Make it fun, make it classy, I'm sure that tank in the right material could even be used in a business casual wardrobe. I really like that there are hem length options. I chose the intermediate length hem - can't imagine using the original though!! It would have been above the top of my pants!! Note: I have a long torso so that may not be the case for everyone. And I think the back of the intermediate is a little long for my taste.
Fabric Used: white/bronze/grey leopard print jersey from Joann's. It's thin enough that I need a tank underneath at all times.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: none this go 'round. However after posting pics on their Facebook page asking for sizing help, a few of the ladies suggested I do the full bust adjustment for knits by Maria Denmark. Here is the link that was recommended and I will give it a go soon!! http://blog.mariadenmark.com/?p=1046
Would you sew it again? Yes! Even with my fit issues, I am dying to so another tank version. When I get the fit better, I'll be making hooded tees left and right - I live in hoodies during the fall and winter.
Would you recommend it to others? Yes, with the note below attached :-)
Conclusion: Great style, great pattern, but don't jump into your most gorgeous fabric right away. Make a wearable muslin.... Wait, aren't we supposed to do that every time?? Haha!!!
Notes for next time: Full bust adjustment for knits; intermediate length hem in front graded to standard length hem in the back; try a different binding technique on the neck/arm openings; get the fit right and start making the back blocked with lace; get the fit right and makes lots and lots of hooded tees!