Breaking Ground Blog Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Breaking Ground Blog Tour!  The theme behind this tour hosted and organized by Melissa Evans of Mahlica Designs is that, we would be breaking ground by sewing a pattern new to us, or attempting something new – a new style, fabric, garment type, something that is new to us. The perfect excuse to get out and make something out of the comfort zone!

I got the Carrie Cardigan a couple years ago when it was first released as part of the Sew What Club membership. I was very drawn to the laid back yet stylish look of this sweater but never ended up making it at that time. Very recently, when the pattern was re-released, I was going to sew it up and pair it with my waterfall raglan for the Make it Mine Tour but somehow that didn’t end up happening either!

So for this tour, I picked the Carrie Cardigan by Delia Creates because it’s breaking new ground for me both in terms of the pattern designer and the garment type. In spite of having accumulated quite a few cardigan patterns during sales and such, I have never actually made a cardigan for myself before.

The Carrie Cardigan is a relaxed slouchy style Cardigan with dolman sleeves. It can be made in two hem lengths and two sleeve length. I chose short sleeves and short length and paired it with an earlier version of my waterfall.

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I got this black and grey stripey sweater knit from JoAnn specifically for this pattern and I think it worked out perfectly. After wearing it, I realized I would have loved the longer length too, maybe next time?

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This pattern is ridiculously quick to make. I had the pattern printed and cut from earlier but I cut my fabric (even matched stripes), sewed- serged- pressed it, photographed it, made lunch for my family and made it in time for “Beauty and Beast” matinee show in just a few hours! That’s how fast it comes together folks! I am not sure why I didn’t do this earlier but it’s going to be perfect for spring now that the temperatures are starting to rise a bit.

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I definitely like this style and a few more would be great to have in rotation. A long Carrie Cardigan in slub knit would be great to throw on during school drop offs and park dates I’m thinking! So have any of your recent projects been ground breaking for you? I would love to hear!

Meanwhile here’s what other bloggers have been doing as part of the Breaking Ground Blog Tour:

Mahlicadesigns   Ronda B Handmade   Elizabeth Made This

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Newport Top – Pattern Test for Itch to Stitch Patterns

I have only ever tested and tried two of Itch to Stitch patterns, and can I say I am a fan?! Kennis’s pattern drafting is exceptionally good and instructions top notch. But my favorite part really is how well the garments lay. Both my Arenal tops are among my favorites and something that I always reach for when heading out. But enough about my wardrobe, today I am so excited to share my Newport Tops with you.

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The Newport Top is a relaxed style sweater with subtle details like a wide boat neck, envelope fold shoulders and a soft high-low hem. It comes in regular long sleeve and 3/4th length flute sleeves. This neckline is what drew me to this pattern when I first saw the call for testers.

One of the things that I have started to obsess over as I have progressed in my sewing journey is how clean the garment looks from inside. When designers pay as much attention as they do to include steps to enclose seams, which side to press a seam or how to finish off the raw edges, and notches! (I love notches), it makes sewing that project that much more enjoyable for me. Even in the most straightforward looking pattern, I like to follow the instructions exactly as written even when I am not testing that pattern. So a well drafted and well written pattern albeit a simple basic pattern is something that I will love forever lol! But I digress yet again! Anyway I love the Newport Top pattern for all the reasons stated above 🙂

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The fabric I used is actually an ombre heathered knit (Nicole Miller line from Jo Ann fabrics) but the color gradient went from grey to black horizontally instead of vertically (that is weird right?). As I was cutting into my fabric, I realized I was going to have a grey left side and a black right side 😦 So I shifted the pattern pieces around to use only the grey part of the fabric, thankfully it was a bolt end with some extra to play with so it turned out fine. I can’t help but think though, this top in ombre going from grey to black (top to bottom) would have been really really cool, oh well!

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I love the color and the texture of this fabric!

While I loved the muted look of the grey sweater by itself, my hands were itching to add something to that gorgeous wide yoke. I settled on french knots just because I love how much texture they add to a garment without ever being too much. I briefly contemplated adding confetti-like brown, mustard and beige french knots but ended up choosing metallic silver instead because sparkle! 😀

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I just randomly kept adding the french knots until it seemed like enough, sorry not very helpful but I did try the top on a couple times to gauge where I wanted them to end at.

Needless to say, I absolutely love how my Newport top turned out – fit, color and the french knot detailing!

I made one of the earlier versions during testing in a sparkly ivory french terry from Joann fabrics, and while the neckline has obviously changed a bit, I love this version as well so here goes some more pictures!

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So if envelope flap shoulders is something you’ve been wanting to try, Newport Top pattern is a great one to start with. This layered PDF pattern comes in sizes ranging from 00 – 20. It is currently on sale for $8.00 USD (regular price $10.00), sale ends Sunday March 19th.

Happy Sewing!

Polina Dress – Pattern Test for Coffee and Thread Patterns

Polina dress by Coffee and Thread patterns was released earlier this week and you’ve probably seen so many adorable versions floating around. The PDF pattern world is really amazing isn’t it? I mean so many woven dress patterns out there, what could yet another new pattern offer right? wrong! this pattern is refreshingly beautiful, it’s a classic vintage inspired dress with adorable circular frills. I couldn’t resist and made one in each view.

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Ahh I have missed sewing with woven fabric, this was such a satisfying sew! I love the crisp hems, foldlines and the general good behavior that only woven fabrics tend to display 😛 This is a cotton lawn that my mom sent to me from India, earlier this year. Its more of a teal-aqua than the blue that the pictures seem to reflect. We were having so many technical difficulties the day of the shoot – the wind, the cold and to top it all, my little one was sick. I have to mention this though, she’s such a great sport she knew how desperate mama was for pictures. She was standing, posing and twirling there, I felt super guilty that afternoon!

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The bodice is fully lined here, but you have the option to make it unlined as well using bias tape to finish the neckline and armholes. This view A has long frills on the sides with a circle skirt and flared ties. If you’ve been here before you know what a big proponent of circle skirts my daughter is. The twirl is unbeatable!

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Look at all that wind, the weather was not very co-operative 😦

I have never done ruffles of this kind before, those ruffles add so much beauty and charm to the dress. They are not just rectangular strips of gathered fabric, and I found myself so excited to make this dress. Obviously I had to try the other view as well!

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I love the colors, frills, buttons and just how this view turned out. However, my photos don’t do this dress a whole lot of justice so bear with me here!

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I hope this picture properly shows the vintage vibe I was hoping my choice of fabric would bring to the dress!

Fun fact: These are eco-friendly coconut shell buttons!

I used nani iro spectacle double gauze for the ruffles and a cotton linen blend for the main dress. This view as you can see has the circular frill around the neck and a gathered skirt. The bodice on this is completely lined as well. I didn’t make the unlined version but I simply love how beautiful the inside of this dress looks, all the seams enclosed and the button placket construction is so neat!

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Okay now for some final statements, if you love woven dresses, if you want to start sewing more with woven dresses, you will love this pattern. Some patterns you’ll love for the design features and some patterns for their exceptional quality of design and instructions, and the Polina dress pattern most definitely fulfills both categories! It is currently on sale for $7.00 USD and an additional 10% when you join the Coffee and Threads Facebook group. You can check out all the gorgeous tester versions here.

And there’s a fun GIVEAWAY that Olga is hosting, enter to win the Polina Dress pattern for free along with 2 yards of a gorgeous cotton+steel fabric!

Don’t forget to enter in the RAFFLECOPTER.

Sahara Top & Dress – Pattern Test for Bella Sunshine Designs

Last week, I got to test the Sahara Top and Dress by Bella Sunshine Designs. It’s a fantastic knit dress pattern – simple, elegant and playful! What I love most about this pattern though is the fit, from the beautiful scoop in the back to the fit across the chest, it is complete perfection!

The Sahara Dress features a fully lined bodice with a scooped neckline (with no closures which I really like) and both sleeveless and sleeve options in different lengths. It has a full circle skirt which comes in top and dress lengths. The circle skirt is without a doubt my daughter’s favorite element, you can never have enough twirly dresses around here. Every piece of fabric that she sees me petting, she has to ask “are you making a pretty dress for me?” pretty equals twirly!

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This dress for me is the classic combination of perfect fabric meets perfect pattern. I love the texture and stretch and drape of double brushed polyester, and have used it a ton for leggings this past year. And the Sahara Dress pattern recommends fabric with good drape and more importantly, good recovery, so this fabric (fabric from So Sew English Fabrics) works beautifully for this pattern, with no stretching out or rippling around the neckline and the waistline.

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This child just turned 3, but is skinny and still fits into her baby clothes. One of the most helpful things I learnt while testing this pattern is how to blend correctly across sizes. This dress is a 12 month size widthwise blended to a 2year size in length. The pattern comes with clear instructions and illustrations for blending between sizes, so you get the perfect fit. I love love love that pretty neckline and those 3/4th sleeves!

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For the sleeveless version, I used this lovely spring-like cotton spandex from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and an interlock jersey for the bodice lining.

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Obviously, I can’t decide which one I love more but these dresses will be worn and loved to death, that I do know!!

Because, I don’t believe I’ve said it enough times 😉 but the fit of the Sahara Dress is pure excellence and is such a great pattern to have on hand, oh the possibilities of having a well fitted basic pattern!  My husband says she needs a princess dress for when we go to watch the Beauty and the Beast next week, I’m wondering if I can use this pattern for a maxi length dress.

The Sahara Top & Dress is currently on release sale price of $5.50 (regular price $7.95 USD), don’t forget to take a look at the listing for some gorgeous tester versions. One thing that I have come to love about Bella Sunshine Designs is how thorough their testing process is and how they strive for perfection in the pattern fit and instructions. I have used and reviewed several of their patterns (here, here, here and here) before and highly recommend their patterns.

Happy Sewing!!

*If you buy the pattern through one of my affiliate links, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you and you will help support my blogging adventure. Thank you.

Reagan Raglan – Pattern Test for Bella Sunshine Designs

Bella Sunshine Designs* is turning two and they’re celebrating their 2 year anniversary with a big sale – 40% off of all patterns and 2 great free patterns – Reagan raglan for ladies* and Reagan raglan* for kids. Today I’m sharing a few pictures of my Raegan raglan that I tested a couple weeks back.

While there are many amazing raglan patterns out there, a few design elements that stand out in this pattern for me are the slim fit, v-neck, and the dress length options. This pattern also comes with bust adjustment pieces for those needing an FBA.

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Both the cotton jersey knit and the lace knit fabrics are from hobby lobby from last year.

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The Reagan raglan* comes in sizes 0-20, with top, tunic and dress length options in both long and short sleeve options. Bust adjustment is included and its a layered pattern meaning you can print only the sizes you need. The pattern is only $5 but as part of the 2 year anniversary celebrations, Bella sunshine Designs is giving away both the womens and the kids Reagan raglan patterns for free.

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If you have never tried a BSD pattern before, now is a great time to try out their patterns. Make sure you join their Facebook group here to get your coupon code for the free patterns.

Here are some other Bella Sunshine Designs* patterns that I have tried in the past, you can click on the links for a detailed review and more pictures for each pattern.

Violet dress for girls pattern* (My review here)

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Violet Dress & Top* for Women (Reviewed here)

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Rose Bubble Shorts* and Felicity Dress and Top* (Reviewed here)

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The code for your free copy of the Raglan patterns is in the pinned post in the BSD facebook group. All of the patterns in the shop* are 40% off till March 5th so hurry on and get shopping!

*If you buy the pattern through one of my affiliate links, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you and you will help support my blogging adventure. Thank you.

Women’s Constance Dress – Pattern Test for Sew a Little Seam

Ohhh I have been waiting for the Women’s Constance for so long. Ever since I made the girl’s version for my daughter (reviewed here) I have been hoarding the remnants in the hope that some day they’d end up as Constance Tops and dresses for me. My prayers have been answered! Well! its either that, or the fact that Kelly has been badgered with way too many requests for the Women’s version lol. So here we are!

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The Women’s Constance Top, Tunic and dress PDF pattern comes in sizes 0/2 (32″ bust) to 28 (50″ bust) and like the children’s version, comes in three hem lengths – top, tunic or dress, and four sleeve lengths – short, 3/4 and long. You can choose to do a regular neckline with a neckband or a lined or unlined hood. It also includes options like the kangaroo pocket, oval and heart elbow patches, and cuffs and hem bands. It has layered sizing and a very clear photo tutorial.

This pattern also happens to be part of the Meaningfully Made collection that Kelly is designing.  I think it’s pretty amazing that she’s directing 100% of the proceeds towards the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, a cause that is very important and close to her.

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I made the dress length with my standard alteration of shortening the length by a good 1.5″. The cuffs finish off the neck, sleeves and hem! So with no folding, pressing and hemming, it goes by pretty quickly. I don’t dislike pressing or hemming, quite frankly I sometimes enjoy the mundane tasks that sewing involves like trimming and cutting pattern pages, pressing seams, hand hemming, even hand gathering. Is that weird?

Anyway, this gorgeous coral french terry is from LA Finch fabrics, and the floral liverpool knit that I used for the cuffs and binding is from Sincerely Rylee fabrics (I used it here for my Chloe skirt). This is the exact combination of fabrics I used for my daughter’s tunic, I loved it so much that I decided to copy her dress 😀

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The fit of this dress is pretty awesome. It curves in nicely at the waist and out at the hips giving it a nice shape. I am not much of a dress person,  I belong to the throw on leggings or skinnies and a comfy top camp. Most of my dresses are reserved for special occasions, but wearing this dress has made me rethink my wardrobe options. I feel like I need a few more dresses to spruce up my everyday mommy uniform.

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It was such a cold windy cloudy snowy afternoon when we took pictures, I thought the pictures would be a disaster for sure, but I love how they turned out. It helps when you have a husband who not just makes you smile (or giggle) but drives home during lunch time just to take pictures 🙂

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of my top version made in hacci sweater knit fabric that I got from my Girl Charlee Knitfix last year. Its a great sturdy knit with good stretch.

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The Women’s Constance top and dress PDF pattern is only $4. With so many style options, and an amazing fit and shape, I’d say it’s a steal! Check out the listing for more inspiration from some fabulous tester versions.

Make it Mine Waterfall Raglan Blog Tour

Hello and welcome to the ‘Make it Mine’ Waterfall blog tour! With different theme inspired looks each day showcased by so many seamstresses and bloggers from around the world, fabulous prizes to be won from the giveaway and even a bonus prize for linking up, there’s every reason to participate and follow along right?!?

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For my day look today, I chose to take the already comfortable Women’s Waterfall raglan top a little in the vintage direction with some lace and pearls. And to that, deemed this soft ivory and grey heather jersey from Cali fabrics the perfect fabric to work with.

I really love the laid back and relaxed style of this pattern, so other than modifying for fit such as shortening the length and sizing up on the sleeves, I sewed up the raglan as is, and embellished it after.

For the look I was going after, I wanted to overlay the lace ruffle over the main fabric rather than let the lace hang by itself.  So I basted it over the jersey ruffle and then gathered them together. The wide 6″ lace trim is from hobby lobby, that was trimmed to match the ruffle pattern piece and placed about a quarter inch lower for that slight overhang, I hemmed  the jersey ruffle following the pattern’s hem allowance.

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After the neckband construction, I hand-sewed a couple rows of beads (pearls?) and a row of clear sequins and beads in the middle only to the front of the bodice.

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A bit hard to see the sequins in the middle but they are there lol!

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Before I start harping on about my love for Gabriela’s patterns (all of which I have tested and made multiple times) here are recent reviews of my waterfall raglan and my daughter’s in her waterfall that I made during testing. Don’t you love the clean design lines and that gently curved ruffle hem? This pattern, the fit and the level of detail in the instructions is just pure perfection!!!

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I paired it with skinny jeans and flats because that is my idea of comfortable day wear but yesterday was particularly murky, rainy and muddy for flats lol. Nevertheless, I love my new waterfall raglan and I am going to be wearing it a lot this spring and summer!!

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After hemming the sleeves, I realized I wanted them shorter so I rolled them up here, next time I might just add a cuff.

Now while I was adding beads to my top, my daughter was chatting with me and I felt a bit selfish adding all the lace to mine while she got plain waterfalls, so I literally whipped her top in the next hour. I hand sewed the crochet lace appliqué and topstitched the lace while hemming the ruffle.

Sadly, we don’t have a lot of pictures of her in her new waterfall!

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Enter the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY for a chance to win some fabulous patterns!

And, here’s a chance to win a $50 gift card to Stylish Fabric and a sewing kit: Post your Waterfall Raglan (women’s or girls) by Sunday February, 12th and link to this post HERE.

Wednesday Feb. 8th – Day Looks

Heidi- Handmade Frenzy | Zoe – ZowieZo Handmade | Indu- Kaleidothought |

Maria – Creative Needle and Threads | Verinne – boeven bende |

Mie – Sewing Like Mad  | Victoria – As it Seams

Thursday Feb. 9th – Date Night

Tami – Sew Sophie Lynn | Victoria – Very Blissful | Leslie – Threadbear Garments |

Marie-Fleurine – Sew Mariefleur | Emi – Just Add Fabric

 

Friday Feb. 10th – Hacks

Thao – Little Cumquat | Tiahna – Ammon Lane | Nicole – Merritts Makes |

Diana – miss castelinhos | Michelle – Little Heart Threads | Chelise Patterson |

Emily – Enjoyful Makes | Jodi – Sew Fearless | Celina – Petit a Petit + Family