Sunday 10 September 2017

Alivia & Alice PDF Patterns by Handmaiden's Cottage


I know right? Two blog posts in one weekend! Apologies for that, but I MUST share this gorgeous pattern, "Alivia" by the Handmaiden's Cottage.
This is the first pattern test I've done for the Handmaiden's Cottage, a real pleasure too! I've seen Lynn's patterns around and had been eyeing off her special "Tea Party Dress." (This one I'll have to sew up and give my 2 cents on at a future date!)

But firstly, may I introduce "Alivia." This 1950's inspired dress is the designer's nostalgic interpretation of a beautiful little dress she herself once wore as a child.

The original dress had a large circular collar and while Alivia has this option, she also has a variety of others. You may choose the collarless option as I did, or the circular cape-like collar or the scalloped collar (which also matches the scalloped skirt - if you choose to sew the scalloped skirt!)

Alivia is a PDF pattern that includes sizes 6 months to 12 years and suits adventurous beginners. The most difficult part of this sew would be the buttonholes - however you could also use snaps.

The dress can either button at the front or back - instructions in the tutorial provide both options. Each creates a delightful and different look!  

The dress includes three sleeve options, short (as I've sewn,) long or sleeveless.

You may choose to add the belt loops and sash or leave it off.

The skirt also has several options, single layered rectangular, double rectangular layered, scalloped or scalloped double layer! This means you can create a garment as simple or as fancy as you desire! The simpler options were a real winner with the older girls who no longer favour frills.

My nearly 4 year old still loves a frilly, princess-y dress, so the layers, sash and bows really appealed to her!

If you would like to purchase your own copy of Alivia, please visit the Handmaiden's Cottage HERE.
To see more inspiration, please join the Handmaiden's Cottage Facebook group HERE.
To see even more inspiration, please visit my fellow testers & bloggers, Karina and Amy. Links below.

Karina - Lovemade Handmade

Amy - Anna's Heirloom Boutique

P.s. The Alivia pattern also includes a BONUS hand embroidery alphabet file! (See Amy's version for an example!)



Quickly I will now touch on the "Alice" pattern, another beautiful vintage style sew by the Handmaiden's Cottage.

This is my first Alice (yes I've sewn another, it's a wee bit special and you'll have to wait to see it!) You will notice I added pintucks to my centre bodice, this is not something that is included in the tutorial, but a sewer with some experience in sewing pin tucks will have no trouble replicating.

I also added pockets to my version! Also another easy add on. (Just make a pocket template - or use one from a pattern you already own and add them into the skirt side seams.)

My favourite feature of Alice is absolutely that dramatic tie up back bodice! I just adore it! There are very clear and clever instructions on how to construct this all properly, follow the steps carefully!

Alice can be sewn as a romper or a dress.

The Alice pattern comes with sizes 2T up to 12years included and suits advanced beginners to intermediate sewers. The construction of the bodice is the most challenging part of this sew and must be done correctly!

Although not mentioned in the pattern, I would recommend removing bulk from the seams where possible on the bodice - particularly if using quilting cotton instead of poplin or a lighter weight fabric. 

Alice also has a cap sleeve option - instead of the ruffled version (like mine.)
I personally enjoyed the challenge of the sew and the end result is delightful!
To see more on Alice or purchase the pattern, please visit the Handmaiden's Cottage HERE.
Happy sewing!

Saturday 9 September 2017

Madison Blouse! Sew-a-long with me! PDF pattern by Rebecca Page


Madison Blouse

This year I took up the opportunity to sew & film sewing tutorials for Rebecca Page. I film these tutorials then they are edited (thanks to Gabrielle - the Rebecca Page video editor!) These tutorials are used each month (or most months!) as a video sew-a-long!

What's a "sew-a-long?" I hear you ask! Well, it's an event where sewers - from all parts of the globe can get together - virtually - and sew the same garment at the same time all together!! They are great fun, it gives one a real sense of community while learning new skills (possibly?!) Plus you can win prizes!!! Prizes! Yay!
Septembers SAL (sew-a-long) at Rebecca Page is the Madison blouse. A real personal favourite of mine! 
Since these are filmed, you can see how each step is done! Now you can master those skills you thought you'd have trouble with!

Madison comes in sizes newborn to 12 girls and ladies sizes XXS to 5XL, plus 18" dolls size!

Skirt and beret pattern can be found in the One Thimble ezine, issue 15

This beautiful PDF pattern has layered pattern pieces and a very thorough tutorial - PLUS you can watch the video tutorial anytime! (Links will all be loaded at the end of this week.)

Before she was named "Madison", she was known as the "Necktie Blouse." You can see exactly why this is!! The blouse can be sewn with 3 different collars - the necktie - as you can see I favour. Or the standard collar or add a the detachable big bow. All these options are given in the written tutorial.

Madison has 3 different sleeve options, short, short elasticated and long with cuffs. I show you how to sew the long and the short elasticated in the video tutorial.

This stuffie fits the 18" dolls sizes, so she was the perfect model for the dolls Madison!

Madison can be made as either a blouse - as I've done or as a dress (which I really want to try out for myself!)

This pattern works best with lightweight dress fabrics like rayon, poplin, lawn, satin, silk, chiffon, lightweight polyesters etc. I have sewn one in quilting cotton (see the white version further down.) It worked, but I find it is a little thick and of course loves to wrinkle quickly!

Scared of buttonholes? Madison also looks fabulous with snaps! (Especially in the dolly & children's sizes.)

Just thought I'd slip these in for those not so familiar with kangaroos! We saw some while out walking today! A real treat as a) we live in Perth metro and b) it was the middle of the day!
Can you see the joey's feet sticking out of it's mum's pouch?

And now back to the Madison!!
All Rebecca Page patterns have two options for sewing, the serged (overlocked) option - which is often much quicker although not as nice as the second option. The second option is heirloom finishes. This means there are NO raw edges, all seams are hidden, using one or a combination of French, flat felled or bound seams. You will love the result! It is worth the trouble I assure you!

Madison in quilting cotton paired with the Arabella skirt.

I hope you will join me in sewing up the Madison blouse (or dress!) You can join the event HERE.
If you're not part of the Rebecca Page Facebook sewing group, you will need to join to "attend" the event! Please join the Rebecca Page Group HERE.
If you're reading this and it's now past the 15th of September 2017, then don't fret! You can still sew up your Madison with the help of the SAL videos! I will be posting the YouTube links here as they go live!
A HUGE thank you to Rebecca Page, for allowing me to be part of your wonderful team and share these amazing patterns!!
Happy sewing!!
P.s. Please go on and check out the latest pattern by Rebecca Page, the "Cerena" romper!! I'll share more soon, but here is a look at one of my versions!


Friday 1 September 2017

Over the Top & Storybook Blouse PDF Patterns by Duchess & Hare

September is here and it's Birthday season for my family! Including this little Miss's Birthday! (Why yes, I do have something special planned in the sewing department!! hehe!)
But, before we get there, I have all of August's sews to share with you!! Starting with the newest patterns from Duchess & Hare.

Over the Top suspender skirt


The Over the Top (or OTT) suspender skirt is a gorgeous high waisted skirt or suspender skirt.

With sizes 6 months (new smaller sizes!) Up to 12 girls included and layered pattern pieces, this wonderful PDF pattern represents excellent value.

OTT has an elasticated back waistband for fitting ease, but flat front panel makes her extra stylish! (Perfect for showing off some special buttons!)

OTT has optional front pockets. These are VERY generous in size and will fit a good many treasures in! I added red satin piping to my pockets - this is not in the pattern, but very easy to add in when sewing your pocket bags.

OTT is a fabulous adventurous beginner sew. Experience or willingness to sew buttonholes a must for the suspender version (or just pop in some snaps if you prefer!)

The skirt is a half circle, so can cope with directional patterns - so long as you don't mind the interesting angles at the sides! (Which I obviously don't! Those crazy cats just look like they're having all the more fun!)

Wide straps make for a comfortable fit and can be tacked at the back if your concerned with them slipping off shoulders during active play. Of course the straps are optional and can be left off completely!

"Mum! This is my running pose!"

My OTT is made from cotton canvas and is a medium weight fabric - perfect for winter or cool spring weather we are currently having here in Western Australia. Although this pattern would also be suited for lighter weight fabrics and sewn all year round! (I love a versatile pattern!)
The Over the Top skirt is available from the Duchess & Hare website HERE.
To see more inspiration please join the Duchess & Hare Facebook pattern group HERE.

Storybook Blouse or Dress

Released at the same time as the Over the Top skirt is this lovely dolman sleeved blouse (or dress,) the "Storybook Blouse."
This blouse features front pintucks and optional gathered sleeve bottoms or puffs (as I like to call them!)
You can choose to turn the blouse into a vintage length dress by adding the optional skirt. As you can see the dress version goes very nicely under the Over the Top!

This Duchess and Hare digital download pdf clothing pattern includes
  • Sizes 1/2-12
  • Dress or Blouse
  • Front pleats
  • Elastic or loose sleeve
  • Size chart
  • Finished measurement chart
  • Full color photo tutorial
  • Layered printing
  • Tiled pdf pattern for home printing

No need for buttonholes in this one! A small elastic loop is added into the neck binding. I love the free flowing gorgeous simplicity of this dress. My version is sewn in polyester (ha. . . . .polyester...this stuff is still a mystery to me! I've sewn with all sorts of polyester and poly blends and the fabric is so vastly different!!!) Despite being kind of plastic-y, because lets face it, polyester IS plastic, it can still make a wonderful garment! PLUS, polyester doesn't tend to wrinkle easily! This polyester had a satin like quality to it, very lightweight and had wonderful flow.  
To purchase the Storybook blouse or see more inspiration, please visit the Duchess & Hare page HERE.
More of August to come this week!!

Happy sewing!