Bayside Bateau Sweater – Pattern Test

This past week, I really did bite off more than I could chew. Signing up for testing a bunch of patterns while the husband and kids were home was not the smartest thing to do. But can you really blame me? How could I pass up on these fantastic patterns and a chance to work with these amazing pattern designers! After sewing like a crazy person the week before, I had sworn to NOT sign up for anymore tests till the end of this month. I was only casually browsing when I came upon a testing call for a quick sew sweater by Stephanie (KB Stitch Designs affiliate link). 2 seconds of self-restraint later, I found myself filling up the tester form while planning what fabric to use for this ridiculously awesome Bayside Bateau Sweater.

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The bayside bateau is a fitted boat neck sweater with a feminine scooped back neckline, in a cropped length or a high-hip length with elbow length and full length sleeve options. This layered PDF pattern comes in size range XXS to XXXL with instructions to lengthen/shorten bodice height or blend between sizes. The recommended fabrics to use for this pattern are sweater knit, cotton lycra, cotton jersey or French terry (with approximately 25% stretch).

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The scooped back neckline is one of my favorite features of this pattern.

This was the first version I made during testing in a grey cotton jersey with a heavy double knit for the hem bands in size S, high hip length and elbow-length sleeves. For the fabric I used, I like the fit and drape and also the fact that it stayed put on my shoulders without sliding off. The shoulders and arm scythes have since been modified to fit even better.

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For my final version, I decided to use the holiday themed sweatshirt fleece from Jo Ann fabrics that I’d been dying to use since I first laid eyes on it.

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I sized down to XS for this version, and I really like the snug fit on this one. I chose to skip the bands on the sleeves as they were quite long on me as it is (I am shorter than average).

A fun feature of this pattern is that it can be worn backwards too with the scooped neckline in the front.

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What I love about this pattern:

  • Quick and easy pattern assembly
  • Very few pattern pieces (front, back and sleeve)
  • Folded hem bands (No measuring, turning, pinning and hemming to finish the neckline, sleeves and hemlines)
  • Comes together incredibly fast (less than an hour)
  • It is a fitted sweater – I own boring store bought sweaters, and now I can use all the sweater knit, sweatshirt fleece and french terry to make well-fitted cute Bayside bateau sweaters.
  • The scooped back neckline
  • Does not take up a lot of fabric

I can go on about how great the fit is, how perfect the pattern pieces are and how easy the instructions are but really go on and get the Bayside Bateau Sweater pattern now while its on sale! You really should have it!

Penelope Pleated Camisole- Pattern Test

I’ve been busy testing some fabulous patterns, and having so much fun learning so many new things along the way. I enjoy testing patterns, especially when I know its a style I am going to use, but every once in a while I apply for a test even though I am not sure its my style. When I saw the tester call for the Penelope Pleated Camisole from Laela Jeyne Patterns, I was not sure if I wanted to make a camisole what with the cold season approaching fast. But look at it! its not just any camisole, it’s a very dressy and cute camisole that is just perfect for layering. I love everything about it.

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Its meant to be made with woven fabrics, and I think choice of fabric impacts how fancy or casual the pleated penelope is going to look. Rayon challis and voile are the recommended fabrics but I bet a drapey chiffon would look gorgeous too. As with all Laela Jeyne patterns that I have made so far, this one also has its own unique elements that really sets it apart from any other pdf patterns for camisoles I have seen thus far.

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The pleats, I love the pleats in this pattern, specially the folded pleats at the neckline and the inverted pleat in the back. The pleats were why I just had to test this cute pattern. and the curved hem too!

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I love the drape of rayon challis, though I don’t find it the easiest of fabrics to work with. The elastic at the waist needs to be cinched in a tad more but I love that it looks great by itself or layered with a cardigan.

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The pattern has instructions to make bias tape for the neckline, armholes and straps and the hem is finished with a rolled hem. Marisa has done all the math work for pleating and has a handy dandy template to use to mark and fold pleats. She also includes instructions to customize fit for torso length and bust adjustment.

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The pattern includes pictures and illustrations for every step from pleating the front and back to the rolled hem finish, and also a chart with final garment measurements to help you pick your size. Its a great piece to have in the wardrobe, and with the right choice of fabric its great for both date nights or for office wear under a cardigan. Grab your copy of the Penelope Pleated Camisole (affiliate link) at sale price now before it goes back to its regular price.

Fishtail Kimono

I have only recently started sewing complete outfits for my daughter and while I am happy sewing dresses and leggings, I have not yet ventured into making cardigans, coats and jackets for her. I was hoping to make her a cardigan (mommy and baby matching cardigans actually) this season.

When I saw the tester call for the fishtail kimono, I knew I had to try it and I am so glad I did. With design features like soft draped sleeves, gathers at the back and a hi-lo hem, the fishtail kimono was the perfect pattern for my little’s first cardigan.

The Fishtail Kimono is a well laid out, beautifully drafted pattern with every fine detail taken care of. The instructions along with the pictures make for a very smooth sailing and quick sew. Gabriela includes some great sewing and finishing techniques in this pattern, with options and instructions to adjust the sleeve and body lengths, finishing the hems by a hem facing or a rolled hem, and the option to add an all-in-one neckband or a neckband with a facing to add a button and loop closure. The pattern also has some great features like layered sizes and no-trim pages making it a breeze to print and assemble in no time.

For this first version,  I used a light weight rayon jersey from Girl Charlee.

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She’s awesome at being photographed when the mood to pose strikes. She’ll even turn her back and stand poised until she’s sure we’ve gotten enough pictures of the back.

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I love how dainty it looks with the gathers at the seam and the hi lo hem.

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For the second version, I used a shimmery striped sweater knit from Joann fabrics.

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The Fishtail Kimono PDF pattern comes in sizes XXS (18-24 months) to XXL (12 years). It can be made in knits like rayon blends and sweater knits as well as wovens like chiffon and georgette making it a versatile all season pattern that is an absolute must have!

This is Chalk and Notch’s first pattern release, and based on what a high quality, detail oriented pattern the Fishtail Kimono is, I can’t wait to see what other patterns they come up with! Check out Gabriela’s amazing chiffon and georgette fishtail kimonos and more tester versions over at Chalk and Notch, and while you’re at it, make sure you get a copy of your own.