Sunday, 31 July 2016

Bella's School Day Blouse & Skirt - Grammies Dolls - Pattern Review

When Theresa from Grammies Dolls put the call out for testers for Bella's School Day Blouse & Skirt, my metaphorical hand shot up! I knew right away from the line drawings that these two garments were going to be beauties!

Bella's School Day Skirt 

This skirt pattern comes in sizes 1 - 16. It has a double layered circle skirt and can be finished off with ribbon or any trim you so desire.

The PDF pattern even comes with directions to make your own lace! I didn't feel that ambitious, but as my tulle was rather busy on its own it didn't need it. Yes..... I did finish with bobble trim..... because, well, I couldn't resist some bobble!

This pattern would suit an adventurous beginner sewer. The biggest challenge being to neatly hem the circle skirts.

You could choose not to layer with organza or tulle and instead use a matching or contrasting fabric.

This adorable skirt has maximum twirl factor, although my little lady hasn't mastered twirling on demand! In fact, I consider myself very lucky to even get any semi nice photos..... as those of you with toddlers know.... it's a challenge to get those beautiful photos..... kind of like trying to strap an octopus into a car-seat..... but much harder!!

If you would like to find out more or purchase the pattern, please click HERE

Bella's School Day Blouse

Some patterns just leap out at me and I can't resist making more than one! This blouse is one of those patterns. It has a real retro vibe about it, but change the options and you can have several very different looks!

The blouse, like her sister the skirt, has a circle skirt, only attached to the bodice. The blouse has the option of long sleeves with flounces - like mine - or short sleeves & flounces. Or just flounce flutter sleeves or completely sleeves. All beautiful and give such different looks. There is also the option to add a collar.

The long flounce sleeves and the full circle skirt really spoke to me, full of fun and whimsy.

While the directions suggest cutting the circle skirt as two pieces - which would be necessary if you chose a directional fabric or needed to preserve fabric. However, I think it gives a nice finish to cut the full circle.

I adore this blouse in super bright colours and I'll be keeping a look out for some more perfect brights to make more of these blouses for Spring. Oh and do you like these super sweet bubble shorts? These are the fully lined Berry Bubble Shorts, pattern by Mummykins & Me .

This test version is the original version and it didn't include the placket in the skirt. If you are sewing in knit fabric, you could leave the placket off. HOWEVER, this blouse without the skirt placket was very difficult to put on. Even if I didn't have a wriggly 2 year old, it would still have been very hard.

So take two..... the final version! And again, in a soft floral it has a different look again. But perfect for trimming in pretty cotton lace.

Like the skirt, this pattern comes including sizes 1 - 16 girls and has the wonderful option of layered pattern pieces! This makes blending sizes a breeze. I made a size 2T with 3 length for my lean toddler.

With the placket, getting this blouse on and off is very easy - even when dressing wriggly octopi........ I mean...... toddlers!  

This blouse is the perfect garment to show off some bling buttons.... and of course me, the button loving lady, couldn't resist adding these! If your not up to putting in buttonholes, then snaps would also work (although, I do strongly suggest using buttons.)


My Hacked Bella!

Myself and a couple of the other testers felt that this blouse would look rather lovely buttoning all the way down.... so I indulged and I'm rather pleased with the look!

The original pattern does suggest adding an optional layer of organza or tulle to the skirt and I really love the look when sewing something a little bit special.... and with Michael Millers flower fairy fabric it makes for a special blouse indeed.

With a size 3 length I choose to add 4 buttons - although I think I would add 5 next time. I also choose to leave a front split in my organza to keep the layers separate.

We found a soccer ball at the reserve while taking photos..... a lucky find indeed, as I wouldn't have taken any decent photos if we didn't play kick!

We had the delight of also coming across this family of Australian Wood Ducks .

A highlight of my weekend I reckon!

I loved the other blouses with the bubble shorts, so paired this top with the Rose Bubble Shorts by Bella Sunshine designs.

In purple corduroy, trimmed in cotton crochet lace these shorts are a statement on their own!  

So just before I finish off, the only amendment you need to make if your choosing to make a button down Bella Blouse is cut 3 instead of two pieces for the circle skirt. Cut one back semi-circle piece as you usually would, then rather than cutting another mirrored piece, cut two quarter circles. HOWEVER, you will need to add on another 1 1/4 inch to continue your button down placket. Add this extra width to where the join would have been if you were creating your semi-circle piece. Add iron-on interfacing - 1" wide and the length of your skirt 1/4" in from the edge. Fold over 1/4 inch, then another 1". Baste this fold top & bottom. Attach as would in the original pattern, only adding extra buttons in at the end. Viola, you now have a button down Bella Blouse! 

I loved testing both the Bella patterns. They have truly been a joy to sew and not just because I find all sewing a joy, but because they have that flair and fun that I love discovering in new patterns. The opportunity to be as creative as I like with them, while still remaining stylish and fun for my daughter.
Get Bella's School Day Blouse HERE

Friday, 22 July 2016

St Tropez Top or Dress - Pattern by Mummykins & Me

School holidays have recently ended here in my part of the world, but before they did, we spent a week in the country on my parents property in the South West of Western Australia.
Whist there I captured my young Miss in her new St Tropez dress, designed by Mummykins & Me.

This sweet - almost peasant style dress - is A-line in shape, with generous full sleeves or can be made completely sleeveless. It has a front pleat & a gathered, button enclosed feature back. You can also choose to add belt loops as I did (all directions and pattern pieces included.) 

It has enough features, while stilling appearing simplistic so can be worn on any occasion. The sizes included are Newborn to girls size 12. This pattern also has a MUMMY version too!! So you can match! (If you so desire!)

I would rate the pattern suitable for advanced beginners or intermediate. It has a buttonhole closure on the back - although you could choose to use snaps or add an elastic loop instead. It is an incredibly neat sew, inside and out. No serger required on this one!

The pattern gives directions for making your own bias, however store bought is just as suitable - particularly if your contrasting with your fabric.  

Olympic torch bearer in the making! Grandad's roses are just so perfect!


The children's St Tropez is designed for woven fabrics and what with all the Pokemon Go hype that's currently happening, I was lucky enough to find some adorable Pikachu floral!

I loved the neatness of this sew and the completely different looks you get with the sleeved and sleeveless versions. My daughter loves wearing this dress and that is a winning pattern in my books!
As always, Rebecca's patterns are very well written and step by step photos of each step given. Lets also not forget the layering option when it comes to printing the pattern too!

If you would like to find out more, visit Mummykins & Me Blog HERE
Or to purchase the patterns, please click HERE
Like to see more? Visit Annemarisews Blog HERE
or Anna's Heirloom Boutique HERE

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Rose Bubble Shorts & Violet Flounce Top - Bella Sunshine Designs - REVIEW

I always have a million and one things going on.... sewing and non-sewing related but I've been hanging out to share these two patterns! So I'm making time while the kids are distracted! These are the latest patterns by Bella Sunshine Designs - the Violet Flounce Top and the Rose Bubble Shorts.

These bubble shorts are unlined and lightweight - perfect for the hotter months of the year. However if you so chose, could be made from denim and worn with stockings in those cooler months. This is a great adventurous beginner pattern or even for a beginner willing to stretch themselves. This PDF pattern includes sizes 6 months to 12 girls.

The pattern includes directions for functional pockets - although you could leave them out. Pockets are the perfect place to add some nice trim - I used lace on mine. The leg cuffs require you to gather the shorts along the bottom hems, if you have your model handy, I recommend measuring them and making those leg cuffs to size. My slender person got away with having her pair of shorts gathered more and therefore gained an even "bubblier" look!

The front of the shorts have a flat finish and the elastic is in the back - so plenty of stretch still. The pattern, like all BSD patterns is beautifully written and easy to follow. I know once you make one pair you'll be hooked!!
To find out more or purchase the Rose Bubble shorts, click HERE

Violet Flounce Top/Dress

And what goes better with those gorgeous bubble shorts?! Well........ I'll tell you! The Violet Flounce top! The top can also be made dress length, so perfect to wear on its own too! This PDF pattern includes sizes 6 months to girls size 12.

This is a pattern designed to be made with knit fabric and woven fabric just won't work with it (sorry!) But never fear! This is a fantastic pattern to take the plunge into the world of knits with. However, for the knit factor, I would rate it for intermediate sewers.

The Violet Flounce top has the option of adding this cute whimsical top ruffle - which I personally just adore (because I really do love ruffles!)
I also love the straps on this top. It is a simple sew and design, but the straps really boost it and add that point of difference - which we are all looking for.

The straps are recommended to have clear elastic added to prevent over stretching. I believe this is especially important when using a 4 way stretch fabric. I used a cotton jersey knit for my top - so it stretches and breathes.

It has a generous fit and a wonderful flow about it and will be a top I will make again when summer finally arrives here in Australia! For those curious, these photos were taken at a location along Western Australia's iconic Swan River 
This is a fun, breezy top, perfect for the summer! Better yet..... its also available in women's sizes too!! So daughter and mum can match!! If you would like to find out more or purchase the Violet Flounce top, click HERE