Tag Archives: Pattern

Pattern Testing | Jackie Dress from Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop

9 Feb


Being on Facebook all day long pays off! The Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop needed pattern testers again and this dress looked too cute to pass up.  Plus it’s called the Jackie and the style is totally Jackie O influenced.

This time she needed a size 5 so I got to make a dress for Isabelle.  I had everything I needed on hand except for a zipper, and this style was on my bucket list of dresses to make for the girls.

When I bought the zipper, I thought I was going to use a solid kelly green cotton with this Dear Stella Wildflower fabric as the collar.

But then when it came time to sew I changed my mind for two reasons. 1) I want to use the kelly green fabric to make a simple A Line Jumper and have it monogrammed in pink.  2) I forgot I had this Dena Designs Taza fabric, which was perfect for a 60’s inspired dress.

I am so glad that I used it, because it came out better than I could have thought and it just might turn out to be their Easter Dresses.

The pattern was easy peasy!  3 pieces: collar, sleeve, and body of dress. Once you’ve cut out the back of the dress and the lining, then you cut up the additional line on the pattern where the piping will go and place it on your fabric allowing for a half inch seam allowance.  So basically, place it on the fold the same as you did before it was cut, but leave a 1 inch gap between the middle piece and now side piece of the pattern.

A note on collars

I once found them incredibly intimidating and would never have dreamt of tackling them. But since I’ve taken the full on sewing plunge, I sewed my first collar with the Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop’s Olivia Pea Coat which I used for the Chevron Coat. And let me tell you, there is nothing to be afraid of, nothing at all. It’s like making a round pocket or something simple like that.  And the addition of the piping on this collar, made it super uber cute, and again, easy!

The sleeves were pleated and not gathered, which while a little time consuming, because they are tiny, was a nice change from gathering the sleeve.

The same sleeve sewing technique was applied here as on the Isabella dress, and once again I don’t entirely get it. There must be an easier way to finish the sleeves. But alas, I couldn’t find one so I sewed one sleeve one way and the other another.  Prefering the second method, which was to only attach the lining to the dress in the pit area.

This time around for the zipper, as it was suggested in the Isabella pattern, I chose to sew the zipper using the invisible method instead of exposed, it just seemed easier to me and since my zipper wasn’t an exact match for my fabric, it worked out nicely to have it hidden.

All around the pattern was thorough, with lots of pictures, and I am pleased a punch with the finished product. I’ll definitely be making one for Lelia.  I’d love to be able to pull this look off myself, but I believe that at 35 I might be a tad old for the adorable peter pan collar.

I made Isabelle pose for these pictures this morning and she was less than pleased with my request.  So she made cranky faces the whole time.  As revenge, I’m posting them here for all the world to see.  Because I’m a kind and thoughtful mother, who might be a tad passive aggressive.




Can This Dress Pattern Be Fixed?

8 Feb


I was all excited about Simplicity Sewing Pattern 2147: Learn To Sew

image from Amazon


It was a simple pattern that looked similar in style to the O Tunic from Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders and a style that I thought would be flattering on me.

I made a test pattern first out of material of which I have copious amounts.  It had pleats in the back that I decided added bulk so I removed them for the actual dress and set out to make a dress out of the Timeless Treasures Catch of the Day Bistro Menu Ecru  to match my kids O Tunic dresses. I made it, tried it on and looked in the mirror, pleased as ever with my results.

So much so that I made the dress again, this time in the long sleeved version using some knits that I had picked up on clearance at Jo-Ann’s.  Again, sewed it, tried it on, looked in the mirror and was happy.  So happy with this one that I was going to wear it to the Opening of the Heavy Seas AleHouse.

Seriously, BAD BAD BAD

And then I had my husband take pictures of me in the dresses so I could blog about them. When I pulled the photos up on my computer I was saddened to see that instead of being kind to my curves, the dress makes me look like I have porn star boobs and am a tad on the large side overall.

I swear that in the mirror I looked fine, but these photos reveal less than flattering dresses.  Needless to say I did NOT wear the knit version to the AleHouse, and instead whipped up my lovely cocktail shift.

But the thing is, I used the last of my Hoodie Catch of the day on the dress and I’d really like to salvage it.  Does anyone who reads this have any ideas?

And if I use this pattern again,what can I do to prevent the porn boobs?  Or should I admit defeat and acknowledge that this just ins’t a pattern for my body type?


Classic Shift from Lisette Continental Blouse Pattern

6 Feb

Remember how I said I had simplified the back of the Lisette Continental Blouse and elongated the whole pattern to make a dress pattern?  Well this is the first iteration of that pattern!

It is a classic A-line shift, with darts.  It is seriously, my most favorite dress and shirt shape ever. Not too fitted so as to hide my middle, and thanks to the darts, it fits my bust line nicely, without bursting at the seams. For this particular version, I stuck with the oval -not quite boat-neck line and used one solid color fabric.  I found the fabric on clearance at Joann’s for a mere $6/yard and since it was a 58″ wide fabric, I used about 1/5 yards to make it.  So that means this lovely dress cost me about $9!!!

I wore it to an event for a client, The Heavy Seas AleHouse, and was complimented on it!  Woo hoo!

Colin and I at the Heavy Seas AleHouse


I can change the neckline and this will work as the basis for a tunic top, and if I add back in the gathered back detailing, will make for a nice cocktail dress, if I find the right fabric.

If I add cuffs to the long sleeves and some button detailing, that would be nice too.  Or shorten the sleeves and add color blocking.  There are so many possibilities for this dress, I’m super excited about it.

And over the weekend I was able to test out the pattern that I scooped up  for a maxi dress at the 99 cent Joann Pattern Sale, on a shorter version, and that turned out great too.

My handmade clothing collection is expanding nicely! And the freedom to create exactly what I want is ever more enticing.

The thing I’ve learned from this sewing adventure, is that it never hurts to try. I could really only sew in a straight line up until a couple months ago and now I can sew sleeves, and button holes and zippers and knits.  If you’re reading this and are thinking about busting out the sewing machine and giving it a whirl, or if you are sewing but haven’t tried things because it looks hard, just try it, and you’ll see.



Pattern Testing | Isabella Dress from Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop

2 Feb

As I blog more and more about my sewing adventure, I also follow more and more sewing blogs. If they have a Facebook page than I follow that too. It’s a great way to keep up with the blogs and often, on Facebook you get more than just a link to the latest post. As is the case with Naptime Crafter, and her pattern shop, Peek-A-Boo Patterns. I can’t remember how I found the pattern shop, but I did and she had the pattern for the Chevron coat that I made my girls.

Anywho, she recently posted an adorable pic of a dress and asked for pattern testers. With those cute ruffles, I couldn’t resist!

photo from Peek-A-Boo Patterns Facebook page

I volunteered to test the pattern in the 3T or 5 and she took me up on the 3T.

As is the norm for PDF patterns, there were detailed instructions included with pictures of every step. I found finishing the armholes to be slightly tricky and this was the first zipper that I have sewn in a dress before, so that was an interesting experience. I hemmed and hawed over what fabrics to use to make the dress but settled on Michael Miller’s garden pin dots in Carnation and navy blue. It worked out as a great way to use up the last of the navy fabric and makes it a dress that she can wear now with either a sweater on top or a shirt underneath. Yeah for a a 4 season dress!

Lelia likes it and Isabelle has requested one as well. The basic construction of the dress is a simple A-line and then you slice up the front and insert ruffles. The sleeves are just another piece of the ruffled fabric. And the instructions for the zipper were great and made it less intimidating to try!

Thanks Amy, for letting me be a pattern tester, and for making such an adorable pattern!

As a side note, my mother commented that Lelia always looks messy and Isabelle always has a bow in her and looks nice when I take their pictures. That is because Isabelle is a ham and Lelia is shy so getting her to pose for the pictures is no easy task. I have to bribe her by letting her use my nice camera to snap my pic after she’s finished posing.

Today she was more cooperative and I got to style her hair and clean her face. But I still had to let her take my picture.

Chevron Trench Coat

1 Feb

This coat might just be my crowning achievement in my sewing career!  Not only did it turn out better than I could have ever anticipated, but I also adapted a pattern to construct it!

The basis for the jacket is the Amy Butler Sandlewood Jacket pattern that I used to make my elephant coat.  I then used what I had learned sewing the Olivia Pea Coat from Peek-A-Boo Patterns for Lelia’s Chevron Coat, to add a collar and extend the front panels.

I decided to use the sash option that comes with the jacket pattern and made it extra long, but this time around, I did not use interfacing. I felt that the 54” Wide Premier Prints ZigZag Slub Yellow/White Fabric By The Yard was of a heavy enough weight, that any extra stabilization would result in an overly stiff jacket. I want this to be my go to coat for Spring so I’d rather it be comfy.

I used Michael Miller Garden Pin Dot Carnation Fabric for the lining on the back and the arms, and as per the Olivia Pea Coat Pattern, I used more zig zag for the front panel lining, since when you fold it open the inside lining shows.

The jacket has darts at the back and the bust and then has an aline shape from the waist down.  A-lines are my dream shape as they conceal my less than lovely mid section and highlight my curves. I’m now desperately trying to figure out how to size this pattern to a dress because it’d make a beautiful dress for me!


Since the weather is so nice, I’ve already worn it several times.  Last night, a very fashionable friend of mine told me that she loved my coat and then asked me who’s it was, as in who was the designer!!!!!!  Yeah, she thought my hand sewn coat was a professionally made, brand name, article of clothing!!!!!

And that my friends, is all the fuel I need to keep up with this sewing adventure!


The Perfect Bag has Been Made!

21 Jan

I’ve been on a quest my whole life to find the perfect bag.  But what makes up the perfect bag is always changing so I’ve never found it.

Until now!

I’ve been collecting ideas on Pinterest. And making test bags and scouring my books, like Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, One-Yard Wonders, BurdaStyle , Oliver + S Little Things to Sew, and looking at my Sweet Harmony Handbag and Tote pattern to gather pieces.

Requirements for the bag were as follows:

  1.  have a long cross body strap
  2. involves the Premier Prints ZigZag Yellow/White Fabric  from the Spring Chevron Coat
  3. exterior pockets to hold phone/keys/chapstick
  4. interior pockets to hold little things
  5. have pink somewhere on the exterior
  6. large enough to carry kid junk
  7. fit my ipad
  8. square or vertical rectangle shape
  9. not look dowdy or frumpy
  10. not be too large

Originally I thought more of a messenger bag style was what I was looking for but after creating the test bag, I realized that I wanted the bag to be able to be carried over the shoulder or on my wrist as well.  The cross body style is great for when I’ve got my kids b/c it’s easy to keep on while holding them.  But sometimes I just want to grab the bag and go. Also I needed smaller exterior pockets to hold the little stuff that I need to grab quickly without rooting through a whole bag or a deep pocket. As such, a complete overhaul was needed and I looked for some fresh perspective.

The lightbulb went off when I found this bag on Pinterest.

The Elessa bag from Milloo, image from Milloo on Etsy


It’s larger than I wanted to but the shape was right and the idea of side pockets instead of front pockets was perfect.

I had made side pockets with the Oliver + S Messenger Bag, and I had seen a pleated bag called the Folklore bag in One Yard Wonders. And so that pattern was the basis for my bag creation.

I added a zipper instead of a magnetic closure, and another interior pocket as well as exterior side pockets.  But the piece de resistance, was my brilliant (if I do say so myself) upcycling of the handles from my JPK bag! That gave me both of the handle lengths that I was looking for and added an element of pink.  To tie them in, I piped the yolk and pockets in pink as well.

The downer to the JPK handles is that the shorter handles have such thick leather that I had to hand sew them on, and the long, cross body handles are SCREWED into the fabric, so I had to do a little handiwork to affix them to the bag.

The Folklore pattern itself, was a BREEZE to sew.  There were only 4 pattern pieces plus the pocket to work with.  (If I had followed it exactly, I would have had to cut the straps too) And the pieces were all EASY PEASY to cut out.  The directions were clear as day and I bet I could have cut and sewn the exact purse in well under 2 hours.  Even with my additions it wasn’t very time consuming.  The zipper and the hand stitching were the hardest parts.

Now I can move on to MY own Spring Chevron Coat, I think I am going to take the Amy Butler Sandlewood Jacket pattern and turn it into a mid thigh length trench.  Either that or a collarless mid thigh coat that has 1 row of buttons.   What do you think?



My Serger’s in the Shop and Other News

18 Jan

I feel like a piece of me is missing. My beloved serger, hit a snag in the road when I sewed layers upon layers of midweight fabric together around the collar of the Spring Chevron Coat and so I took it into the shop for a little tuneup.  Sadly, I will be without it for at least a week.

Not all was lost though because, my shop is located with a Joann Fabrics store and so I took some time to do a little bargain hunting.  I cam home with 5 patterns that were only 99 cents a piece and a bunch of remnant material that was 70% off!.


I got this gorgeous embroidered light weight white cotton fabric that’s going to make a gorgeous peasanty O Tunic dress with a square neck for one or both girls.  And almost a whole yard of some heavier weight white linen as well as some navy and white poly knits to play with when my serger comes home.


That patterns are all for me! Like Simplicity 2702

image from Joann.com


And this is going to be my adult version of the O Tunic: Simplicity Sewing Pattern 2147

Plus this way cool dress that I love for so many reasons, not the least of which is the oh so lovely maxi version!
Simplicity Sewing Pattern 2363



And finally, a Lisette pattern to try! Simplicity Sewing Pattern 2059


I’ve got big plans for these patterns!!! And the remnants!

Oh and I’m working on my first order EVER! Someone (my cousin, but still) is actually PAYING ME to make something! It’s a custom designed tote and wallet in fabrics that she chose! It’s really fun to do and I’m hoping to be able to finish it and share it by Friday!


Here’s a peek: