Thursday, September 11, 2014

Isabella Pleated Dress - tester review

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:

Goes on sale Friday, September 12, 2014 here:
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 :-)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cinnabar Sky tester review

Pattern Name:  Cinnabar Sky
Designer:  Golden Rippy

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.

Pattern Sizing: XXS to XXXL

Pattern cost:  $12.00  However, this pattern was provided to me at no cost since I was a tester.

Size Made: Medium

Model's Measurements: height- 5' 8", chest-39", waist-31", hips-39"

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.