Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Twirly Skorts review

I love having the chance to test for new-to-me designers. Meghan at The Sewing Geek is no exception. I had a wonderful time testing these Skorts for her and can't wait to sew up her other patterns. She has a wonderful way of describing her construction process. 

Pattern Name: Twirly Skorts
Designer: Sewing Geek

Pattern Description:  The Twirly Skorts sewing pattern is a sweet and simple pattern for knit fabrics. The circle skirt makes it very twirly while the built-in shorts underneath helps keep your little one modest while twirling and playing. The four skirt options and large size range make this a versatile pattern you can use over and over again. You can sew the shorts and skirt separately for even more options.

Pattern Sizing:  3 months - girls 14

Pattern cost:  $7.00

Size Made:  9 months 

Model's Measurements: height-32+", chest-18 1/2", waist-17 1/2", hips-20" with cloth diaper(18 1/4" without)

Did it look like the photo/drawing advertised once you were done sewing with it?  Yes!  Maybe even twirly-ier....  Yep, that's my own word right there :-)

Dealing with the pattern: Be aware that there are 66 pages of the tutorial(needed because there are 4 options for the skirt)!! Do not let this scare you;  I only printed 6 pages. The instructions are great and tell you exactly which pages needed to be printed for which size and style. 

Level of difficulty:  Fairly easy.  I'm noticing a trend here....  All knit patterns are or pretty darn easy. Why did I not know this before????

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Once you get over the anxiety of a bajillion pages of tutorial, yes. The tutorial tells you exactly which steps you need for which version you are making. Just skip through the rest (that was the hard part for me. I like to read EVERYTHING and in this case you truly don't need to).  The wording in the tutorial is very straight forward as well. Very easy to absorb. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the circle skirt. I like that there are attached shorts and that the pattern is easy to alter for length. I'm not a huge fan of the shorts on their own but I have yet to find a shorts pattern that I like for Kinley. So it's not the patterns fault....  

Fabric Used:  interlock for waistband and shorts, double sided jersey from Joann's for the skirt

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  none!!

Would you sew it again?  yes!  Can't wait to make the skirt and shorts seperately. The next time I make the skirt, I will use the 12 month length.  This is not a pattern fault, but due to the fact that I have a very skinny, tall 17 month old. 

 Would you recommend it to others?  Highly recommended!!  Make tons for all the girls you know!

Conclusion:  such a cute twirly skirt and love that it has attached shorts. Now I need to teach my little to spin so we can see it twirl!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat review

Pattern Name: Reversible Bucket Hat
Designer:  Oliver + S

Pattern Description:  Hats are a must for covering up young, delicate skin. This one has lots of style and sews up very quickly.  You can make it reversible with two favorite fabrics, or you could add a little pocket on the outside and complement it with a fun lining. Make one. Make two. Make enough to coordinate with each of your child’s summer outfits or activities. When making the hat, you’ll sew a curve and apply top- stitching. If you’re relatively new to sewing but have successfully completed one or two other one-scissors projects in this book, you’re definitely ready to take on this one.
Pattern Sizing: Extra small (6-12 months/18") - Large (6-8 years/21")

Pattern cost:  FREE!!!!

Size Made: Small (18-24 months) 19"

Model: 16 months old, 18 1/2" head

Did it look like the photo/drawing advertised once you were done sewing with it?  Sure did, well for the most part. I think the ones in the pattern must be bigger because they seem like the brim comes out a little farther. 

Dealing with the pattern:  Just 5 pages to print, very easy to put together. 

Level of difficulty:  Advanced beginner

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes!  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  Loved everything.  Nothing to dislike. 

Fabric Used:  Quilting cotton for both sides

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  none....  Well, I didn't hand stitch the second cap like the instructions said. I hate hand stitching  and avoid it like the plague, so I just top stitched it :-)

Would you sew it again?  Yep!  As soon as my sissy has her baby and we find out what it is, I'll be making the smaller size for her.  Also, I only did 3 additional rows of stitching on the brim (4 total); next time I'll do six. 

 Would you recommend it to others?  Yes!  Can't beat free!!

Conclusion:  Perfect little unisex bucket hat. Bonus that it's reversible!  Any tips on how to get Miss K to keep it on???

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Alternate Binding Method for the Sofilantjes Summer Surprise Dress

Don't particularly like the binding sewn into the shoulder seam?  I have a solution!!

Sew the left shoulder first as described by the instructions.  

Sew the binding on the neck edge as follows:
1.  lay the edge of the binding 3/8" away from the front shoulder edge. I like to double pin 1" away from the shoulder edge to mark my starting sewing point.  Continue to pin the binding along the neck edge until you get to the other shoulder - see step 2. 

2.  Double pin 1" away from the back shoulder edge (this will be your sewing stopping point). Cut the end of the binding off an additional 1/2" past the shoulder edge. 

3.  Sew the binding down using the suggested 3/8" seam allowance and zigzag stitch. It should look like this now. 

4.  Fold the binding out if the way (away from the shoulder edges) and pin the shoulder edges together right sides together. 

4b. Looks like this...

5. Sew the suggested 3/8" seam allowance using a zigzag stitch. 

5b. So now it pretty much should look like this - you have your shoulder seam sewn and then have the front and back binding edges loose. (The binding on the left of this picture is still folded back, it's longer than it appears here). 

6. Open up the fold of front binding (the short side that should be sitting right at the seam line) and place the back binding inside it. If your binding doesn't lay flat, you may need to trim the back binding a little until it fits nicely. 

6b. See!  Back tucked into the front nicely :-)

7. Stitch the same 3/8" seam allowance using a zigzag stitch to finish attaching the binding to the neckline along the shoulder. 

8. Continue to follow the directions provided by Sofilantjes for attaching the bow and top stitching the binding :-). This is what the finished product looks like!

You can use this method for the arm hole binding as well. 

Summer Surprise Dress testing/review

So happy to have had the opportunity to test for new designer Sofilantjes!!  This is a wonderful first pattern from Annemieke and I can't wait to see what else she comes up with!

Pattern Name: Summer Surprise Dress/Tunic/Top
Designer:  Sofilantjes

Pattern Description:  The dress is a a-line above knee length dress/tunic suitable for stretch fabrics 
like knit, jersey and even sweat fabric as long as it has a good stretch. The neck, back and arm band can be made of a good stretching jersey in a contrasting color. Use more or the same color for the bow if you like.

Pattern cost: $9.00 - on sale through 5/25/14 for 30% off. 

Pattern Sizing: 6 months - 6 years "normal" and 12 months - 6 years "skinny"

Size Made: 12 month Skinny 

Model's Measurements: height-32", chest-18 1/2", waist-17 1/2", hips-20"

Did it look like the photo/drawing advertised once you were done sewing with it?  Yes!  

Dealing with the pattern:  Different than what I am used to as far as the pattern lines, but easy to put together. You can pretty much put the front and the back together seperately instead of one giant sheet.  This is a plus :-)

Level of difficulty:  Easy!!  It would be a great first knit project for a beginner or a quick sew for a more advanced sewer. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.  The instructions are adequate without being overly wordy. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I love the pleat detail on the front and the bow in the back. Perfect details on such a simple sew. I don't particularly like the way the binding is finished in the shoulder seam - I used an alternate method. 

Fabric Used:  cotton jersey and cotton interlock binding

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made tunic length and used an alternate method in the neck binding. 

Would you sew it again?  I will!  I'd love to make some into top length. 

 Would you recommend it to others?  Highly recommended

Conclusion:  I love that there is both a regular width and a skinny version. My child generally ends up in tiny sizes but this skinny variation is perfect!

Notes for next time:  Use a twin needle (or stretch with a single needle and long stitch length) on the neckline top stitching; with the farthest needle hitting a full 1/4" away from the binding edge. 
Also use these pics for bow attachment. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Women's Prefontaine Shorts testing/review

I had the privilege of testing for Jill at Made with Moxie. I love these shorts!!  I need to buy the matching kids pattern for Miss K :-)

Pattern Name: Womens's Prefontaine Shorts
Designer:  Made with Moxie by Jill Dorsey

Pattern Description:  Prefontaine Shorts for Women are inspired by the running shorts of the 1970s. They feature a retro contrast trim and a comfortable elastic waistband. Front pockets lay flat and smooth against the body.  Back pockets can be a patch or welt style and are designed for you to easily tuck your smart phone away. Two inseam lengths (5” and 1.25”) allow you to stitch up modest 5” inseam shorts or shortie shorts.  

Purchase pattern here:

Pattern cost:  $10.00

Pattern Sizing: Women's 0-24

Size Made: Women's 4

Model's Measurements: height-5' 8", chest-, waist-33", hips-39" 

Does the finished product look like its supposed to? Yes!

Dealing with the pattern:  15 pages to print and put together.  Seems like a lot for shorts, but it's worth it to have such a large size range. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes!!  There are some untraditional construction methods but instructions make it a breeze. 

Level of difficulty:  for a women's pattern, very easy!  The hardest part is the bias trim and that is not actually difficult. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  How can you not be head over heels for vanity sizing??  It's wonderful to sew a size significantly smaller than I am used to seeing in patterns. I'm not a huge fan of the front pockets and will make my next pair without (I hink its it's my fabric choice that makes me not like them. Since this I've seen several pair without contrasting trim and it looks SO much better). LOVE the back welt pocket, LOVE the binding trim. Fit is nice but the front rise is too high for me. I'll need to cut it down and grade it about an inch.  I'll also try the exposed sport waistband for that. 

Fabric Used:  flannel and store bought bias tape. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  For this version, none. 

Would you sew it again?  Yes. Will sew it up in ponte Roma, no front pockets with a shorter inseam for workout shorts. 

 Would you recommend it to others?  Yes!!  It's a great easy sew for yourself and the size range is really good.  I love all the other versions I've seen too!!  Such cute quilting cottons are being used. 

Just because, here is my first pair. I made a size 8 (actually 2 sizes bigger than recommended). Why??  Because I am NOT a size 4!  Haha. I regularly wear size 9-11 in ready to wear and I couldn't believe the sizing recommendations.  This is just another lesson in "trust the designer and follow the size chart".  Obviously, these are ginormous and the ones above fit great :-). I find it funny how much larger I look in the panda pair vs. the turquoise ones. Who knew that sewing the wrong size can make you look like different size?!?!?!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A boat-load of baby stuff

My sissy is pregnant with a baby (gender unknown!) due in June.  I am in charge of making a couple crib sheets, a boppy cover, cloth wipes, a play mat, and some gifts. Here is what I've made her. 

Newborn gown using this tutorial:

Play mat. Original idea found here :

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Jocole Shoreline Tank review

Pattern Name: Shoreline Tank
Designer:  Jocole

Pattern Description:  A slim-fitting hip-length tank top with dainty straps and 2 delicate rows of ruffles along the neckline. This modern, classic and versatile tank is great for layering and easily goes with skirts, under jumpers or cardigans, or even paired with leggings or jeans. Comfortable enough for everyday play and yet sweet enough for any occasion. Easy tricks for sewing knit fabrics with a basic sewing machine for professional looking results – no serger required, and no amateur zigzags! Made with super comfy knit fabric or refashion some old shirts.

Purchased here:

Cost of pattern - $8.00 a little expensive but we will get a TON of use out of this one. 

Pattern Sizing: newborn through 5T

Size Made: 18 month

Model's Measurements: height-32", chest-18 1/2", waist-17 1/2", hips-20"

Did it look like the photo/drawing advertised once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, though I omitted the ruffles. 

Dealing with the pattern:  Pretty easy, not many pieces 

Level of difficulty:  Easy, though the binding took some extra time since this was my first time. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? yes. They are a little on the wordy side - there were far more pages of instructions than needed. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  It's easy and looks store bought.  Not a huge fan of the way the binding is done in conjunction with the side seams.  

Fabric Used:  an old tshirt I had from high school. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  Measurements suggest size 12 month, I went one size up so we could get more use out if it. I'm not sure I would like it any smaller than that. omitted the ruffles 

Would you sew it again?  Yes!  I have several other logo tees to upcycle. 

 Would you recommend it to others?  Yes and maybe suggest going to the next size larger. 

Conclusion:  Easy, cheap (fabric wise), awesome!!