Monday, 16 April 2018

Mila - PDF Pattern by Sansahash


Long time no see! It's been hectic in my house since before Christmas last year! I started university this year as a mature age student – full time – registered nursing! So, sewing has had to take a back seat!


But let me start off my blogging in 2018 with the newest pattern by Sansahash, the Mila dress! 


I'll keep this short and sweet, like the dress! With a retro feel this cute dress can have a pleated or gathered skirt, can be sewn in woven or knit. Regular or v back. Sleeveless with a knee length skirt – simply remove 1” from the height of the skirt piece if you prefer a vintage length like myself. 

 
Mila includes sizes 6 months to 12 years, complete with layered pattern pieces and grading instructions should you need to select a custom fit. My little lady needs a 12 month width with a 4 height!

 
We love a comfy knit dress in our household, so I've sewn two knit versions. 

Please note that the bodice of this dress is an earlier version and the finals don't cut so far in at the armhole/chest area. 
I hadn't actually thought of doing pleats in a knit fabric so I was pleased and surprised by the result! If you have trouble pressing your knit fabric, I highly recommend a starch spray to keep those curling edges in line!
 

 
Miss A adores this dress, not just because of the comfortable fit but because of this amazing fabric! Check out this custom knit from Fabric Trove! Love it too? Visit here: support me with this aff link! (affiliate link, you pay no extra!) 



I had run out fabric for the back, so substituted with this knit lace – it meant that i needed to cut two back pieces instead of the facing. An easy hack and rather effective!

Add a broach or belt to add some extra styling pizzazz

 
This hello kitty version has an added knit rosette, please see my blog post here on how to make one!

 
I love the casual, sportiness of Mila, an everyday wear dress that your little one will reach for time and again from her wardrobe!

 
A quick highly satisfying sew that your girl will actually want to wear! Get your copy here.


 
Until next time,

~Zoe~

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Taylor Trench Coat - PDF Pattern by Rebecca Page


Hi there! Yes indeed it's summer time here in Australia.......but since a large chunk of the world and most importantly Rebecca Page's part of the world is heading into winter, I'm showing you this amazing sew that I had the pleasure of testing! The "Taylor Trench."


 
This PDF pattern includes children's sizes, newborn up to 12 years, ladies sizes XXS to 5XL and an 18" doll's version! Something for everyone!

 
This trench coat pattern boasts many optional extras including:
 
2 coat lengths - standard and trench
Patch or welt pockets
Shoulder tabs
Wrist tabs
Back yoke
Front yokes
Belt & belt loops
Removable hood


Depending on which options you choose, you will need a minimum of 14 buttons. (Fortunately you don't need to put in 14 buttonholes too!)
 

 
The sewing tutorial itself is extremely detailed and photos are provided with each step for visual aid. Even a confident beginner can sew one of these trenches! Start out sewing the most basic version if you have no experience sewing coats, then work your way up from there.

 
Allow plenty of time to sew your trench coat - this is NO quick sew and should be attempted over several days (or nights as the case may be!) Despite the "epic-ness" of this sew, you will have a beautiful garment at the end, one you will be proud of sewing and love wearing (or having your child wear.)

Taylor Trench paired with Madison Blouse & Berry Bubble shorts - Rebecca Page patterns

The coat is fully lined. It also really does need to be hand sewn in some areas (yuk I know,) again, well worth the trouble, please trust me here!

 
My coat is sewn from cotton sateen and lined in quilting cotton. Sateen has a wonderful gleam to it, but is a little stretchy, so I wouldn't recommend it if you're not a confident sewer. I choose it mostly because it was in the sale bin at the fabric shop for $2 a metre! (Plus it's a medium weight fabric, which you will require as a minimum for your main fabric.)

 
I used kam snaps to attach my removable hood, you can also use buttons if preferred.


 
I decided to sew the welt pockets as truthfully I hadn't sewn a welt pocket before and I was keen to give it a go! I was pleased with the result and whilst more fiddly than a patch pocket, I found it had a nice streamline look and really added that something extra to the coat.

 
My coat is the trench length - which finished below my 4 year olds knees. The standard coat length finishes below the bottom or mid thigh (depending on your or your child's height.)

 
This is a slim fit pattern, so if you are expecting to layer clothing underneath, then choose the next size larger. The pattern as is allows for a short or long sleeve garment to be worn underneath.
 
If you would like to see more or purchase the Taylor Trench pattern, please visit the Rebecca Page website HERE.
 
To see more inspiration, or ask all those Rebecca Page sewing related questions, please join the Rebecca Page Facebook sewing group.

Meanwhile in Australia......a fly can go up one's nose at any time!
 
Despite appearances of the photos, it was actually a very warm day, muggy with rain. A horrible humid 24 hours really! So while out taking photos, Miss A and I were being bombarded with flies!! If you're not familiar with Australia, we have an excess of the little beasties!
 
We also had our Playgroup Christmas party over the weekend. Here is Miss A at the photo station, wearing Christmas tree glasses, face painted as a (I quote her here) "Rainbow Queen Cat."
 
How's your Christmas sewing or craft plans going?  




Until next time,
 
happy sewing!
 
~Zoe~

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Candy Coated & Well Rounded - Duchess & Hare PDF Patterns

 
Greetings! I can hardly believe Christmas is around the corner and 2018 is creeping ever closer! How has this happened so quickly?!
 
So before November "17" comes to a close, let me share the two newest patterns from Duchess & Hare.
 
"Candy Coated" - a coat of course! And "Well Rounded" - a dress or tunic.


Candy Coated

A girls dress coat pattern available in sizes 6 months to 12 years - approximately. Confident beginner sew, buttonholes required, along with some fiddly-ness with the cuffs.
 

 
Candy coated is a fully lined coat pattern, designed to sit at around the hips - (perfect to wear with dresses.)
 
This coat features optional side seam pockets, optional front feature ruffles, pixie shaped hood and a gently curved skirt.

 
I added a satin bow to the back of my Candy Coated. This bow is based on the FREE Duchess & Hare bow pattern, then enlarged by 200% (I can't resist a big bow!)

 
I added just 3 large buttons to my coat so that it would gently flare out over my "Take a Bow" dress.

 
I lined my version of the coat with quilting cotton and trimmed with black satin. The main coat is sequin pleather! (Yes, sequin pleather is an actual fabric! I imagined I might be sewing with thin lino as I put this coat together - the texture of the pleather was so strange with the bumpy sequins! And don't even get me started on the buttonhole application in this stuff!)

 
Candy Coated makes a wonderful introduction into sewing coats if you're a first time coat sewer. Not too complicated with a wonderful result. The coat itself is a generous fit, so plenty of room to add extra layers underneath.
 
To see more or purchase the Candy Coated pattern, please visit Duchess & Hare or join the Facebook Group for more inspiration.
 
My angel - most of the time! This was a cool artwork at one of our local cafes!

Well Rounded Dress or Tunic


 
This versatile dress has a high rounded yoke and full swing skirt.  Collars and sleeves and necklines can be shared with Every Which Way.  Included with this dress is an Eton Collar, a gathered sleeve with band, a long ruffled sleeve, and a short angel sleeve.  Optional ruffle at the hem or solid skirt both hit 1”-2” above the knee or choose tunic length which hits just below the bottom or sew a ruffle to bottom to make a dress.  Choose between a full button back or a half placket.  Two necklines are available, Jewel neck and deep square neck.
 
 
I opted for the tunic length, angel sleeves, full button placket and used the Every Which Way pointed collar.
 
 
 
With sizes 6 months to 12 years included and layered pattern pieces, this pattern offers value for money. I love a pattern that has a range of options and sizes to make it last and create many different looks.

 
Miss A and I had a fun time using the fabric theme and vintage feel of this pattern to create an imaginary ice-cream shop!

 
Well Rounded Tunic paired with the Free at Last shorts. (Join the Facebook Group to get the coupon code to purchase Free at Last for FREE!)

 
To see more or purchase the Well Rounded pattern, please visit Duchess & Hare HERE.
 
 
 
Next up, just a little fun.....if you're a part of the Facebook world, you may have seen the "Black & White 7 day challenge." I cheated a little on the last photo - you're not meant to feature any people in the photos.....but these photos capture a portion of my life. What would your 7 days feature?
 
 
 

 

 


 
Until next time, happy sewing!
 
~Zoe~
 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Take a Bow, Cape Winslet, Santorini & more + Birthdays, Bows & Big News!

 
Welcome friend! It's nearly Summer here in Australia and I'm excited! (Winter has been dragging on!)
 
Firstly let me talk about two of the latest pattern tests I had a pleasure being a part of (for Duchess & Hare,) then onto some other recent sews, plus I have some exciting personal news!
 

Take a Bow & Cape Winslet


 
Take a Bow is a PDF dress pattern for sizes 6 month to 12 years (approximately.) 


Designed for special occasions and with medium weight fabrics in mind, Take a Bow is the perfect festive dress. As you can see, I used cotton instead. I couldn't find any lovely medium weight fabric that wouldn't look like she might be wearing a curtain! (Apologies Bernadette!)
 
Although, as you can see, even in cotton, this dress is tea party worthy and will make for the perfect dress to wear to her Uncle's wedding mid summer!  




With an optional large tie-at-the-back bow, it takes this dress from casual to formal. The bodice has optional princess seams - which I chose to add piping to (an easy modification.)

In the hem is 2" horsehair braid, something I had never used before and was very excited to try! I did find it difficult to source and I would recommend ordering online in advance. The horsehair braid is optional, although it really makes for a stunning hem line if used!




 
Take a Bow has two skirt options, double or single circle skirt. This dress is fully lined and has a side dress (or invisible) zip for dressing ease.


 
 
For the perfect pairing, sew up the "Cape Winslet."
 

Cape Winslet is a gorgeous, quick sew and is the perfect accompaniment to the Take a Bow dress, but really to any dress for that matter! For us, Cape Winslet (and hey, isn't the name of this pattern AWESOME?!) Was all about keeping the sun off her shoulders, but many testers sewed her up in faux fur and they all looked stunning in the fur!  

My Cape Winslet is sewn in satin & coral fleece

 
Cape Winslet comes with sizes XS to L (for sizes 6 months to 12 years approximately.)


Cape Winslet is an excellent beginner sew and the hardest step you may find is putting a buttonhole into special occasion fabric. My top tip is to use some freezer (or baking) paper.

 
The bows in Miss A's hair and on the front of her dress are the FREE bow pattern from Duchess & Hare. Go get your copy now!! (It's a bargain!)


 
To find out more or get your own copy of Take a Bow and Cape Winslet, please visit the Duchess & Hare website.
 
To see more inspiration, join the Duchess and Hare Facebook group.
 
 
 

Santorini Sunsuit by Little Luxe Pattern Co

 
 
To celebrate our warmer weather, I decided to sew up a pattern I have had for some months, the "Santorini" sunsuit.
 
Little Luxe patterns are new to me and this is one I've purchased so have no qualms about being upfront about. My views are my own and reflect my own experience.

 
The Santorini comes with sizes 18 months to 10 years included.
 
The pattern has a few variations on how to tie your back straps, but aside from that, this pattern is for a romper or shorts only. I had heard rumours of a dress hack, but I haven't tested this out myself yet.  

 
Things I like about this pattern:
  • Trendy looking back and front
  • Great summer wear
  • Shorts option
  • Looks fabulous on if you don't mind the exposed back and front (much like swimwear.)
 
 
 
Things I dislike about this pattern:
  • Tutorial is not detailed and I wouldn't recommend this pattern to a beginner
  • No option for crotch snaps (kind of important for those toilet training or in nappies still.)
  • Is tricky getting on and off for toilet breaks - I needed to help and the easiest way is to untie the FRONT ties!
  • I found despite measuring my child well, the back elastic was a little large (easy to fix, but just saying!)
  • You need to make your own bias binding (or is recommended.) I just found this tedious - but maybe a personal thing!
 

After all this, I was still happy with the end result. I really love the look and I will make another one or two for her for summer. However, I was disappointed with the tutorial. (I know, I'm spoilt for choice....but so are you! And we vote with our dollars!)

Pineapple sunnies from Cotton On
 

Birthdays & Big News

 
 
I didn't get to post about Miss A's birthday! So here I am, making amends! Our littlest child turned 4 and next year she will be off to school! (No more babies at home. *sob*)


A Frozen(or Elsa) themed birthday party was requested, so the perfect dress for the occasion was called for. This is my modified "Alice" by the Handmaiden's Cottage.

 
I enjoy cooking, although cake decorating isn't a strength of mine, but none the less, I try! This is a homemade ice-cream cake with "ice candy" shards.

 
Happy 4th Birthday my princess!
 
 

Hop, Skip Jumper by Handmaiden's Cottage



While we are on the Handmaiden's cottage mention, here is the latest pattern from them, the "Hop, Skip Jumper."

 
This gorgeous beginner sew includes sizes 6 months to 8 years, plus 18" doll pattern! (Sadly we don't have this size doll readily available in Australia!)

 
This dress features easy knot-tie shoulder straps and sweet front patch pockets.

 
I tied my version quite high up, but this dress sits just above the knee if tied as directed in the pattern. This dress has been a hot favourite of mine (and Miss A's) since she broke her arm. To get on, you just need to step in and pull it up, then tie! No awkward manoeuvring into armholes!  

 
To see more on the Hop, Skip Jumper pattern, please visit the Handmaiden's Cottage.
 
Or to see more inspiration, please join the Facebook group.
 

Other news. . . .

 
Me with my very special birthday gifts from my parents and brother

So this is me. As I mentioned afore, Miss A is off to school next year and I too need to fill my time (sadly with more than just sewing!) 

You won't know this most likely, but my oldest child was born with a serious, life-threatening chronic illness. This was 9 years ago and it really changed my world. Not in the normal way a new baby changes our lives, but in a heartbreaking, life altering way.

We didn't know whether he would survive in those early weeks and we needed to let go of what we thought might be the life and future for us and our son. Life was going to be different forever. Not bad, just different.

We have regular specialist appointments every year and Mr I's life is very medicalized and carefully monitored 24/7.

Having a child with high medical needs changes you, it makes you stronger, more thankful, more alert! But for me, it changed the direction of where I wanted my career to go. I wanted to pay it forward. All the staff we encountered at the Children's Hospital inspired me, gave me the drive to become a nurse.

So next year when my last child is off to school, I too will be off to school! I start my registered nursing degree full time in February! It was a proud moment to receive the offer from my first choice university.

This will mean less sewing sadly! However I will do my best each month to post a sew and I certainly won't be giving up sewing completely.....but it will have to take the back seat! I know you understand! *wink wink*


 
 
P.s. I also turned 30 recently........ this was my special cake! Isn't it amazing?! (No. . . . . I did NOT make it! lol!)
 
 
Happy sewing! Until next time. . . .
 
~Zoe~