Monday, April 14, 2014

Fawn Lily Tunic

Well hello strangers!  It has been entirely too long since I have posted on this lil' old blog.  Whew...life is busy!  I'll add a photo post soon to catch you up on what I've worked on very soon (let's just say--I got an embroidery machine!).  However, I recently had the chance to sew up a really adorable top and photos for that just can't wait another minute ;)

So, as I mentioned, I've been incredibly busy so there hasn't been a lot of sewing happening.  However, when I saw the line drawing and request for testers for the Fawn Lily Dress and Tunic designed by Rock the Stitch for Willow &Co, I immediately signed up.  Thankfully I was selected and, let me tell you, this pattern did not disappoint!  


First off--can you believe how big Miss A has gotten??  Sigh..

Back to the tunic.  There are seriously like 234 options on this pattern.  OK, maybe I am exaggerating a slight bit, but there are a ton of options: 3 different sleeves, 2 bodice choices, 3 different options for attaching the skirt and 4 skirt lengths!  Like I said--this pattern has options!  I chose to make the cap sleeve, crossover yoke, flat skirt and tunic length.  Tell me this isn't cute!  

I added the optional piping since part of the charm of the crossover is seeing the shape of the overlapping layers.  I was a little concerned how it would fit since there are no buttons or other closures, but I absolutely love the fit of this top.  The 12 month fit Miss A very well and she is currently wearing size 12m in ready to wear.  

The cap sleeve has two finishing options--one is dubbed "the clean finish."  It rolls and folds the top in such a way that both sleeve seams are fully enclosed (and who doesn't love that???).  Even on a 12 month size, I was able to make it work.  

It makes a sweet spring/summer top and I think it will be a perfect layering piece in the fall/winter (can't you just imagine this in a fine wale cord?).  The pattern also has side pockets, but I chose not to add them to this size because, quite honestly, I don't want to know what a 12 month old would stuff in them!!!  Adelyn loved it so much that she even sang a little song ;)

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I review patterns honestly (sometimes to the chagrin of pattern designers) and I don't have anything bad to say about this one!! It is rated at an advanced beginner/intermediate so don't expect the directions to "teach" you how to sew, but any determined sewist can attack it with success.  And hey, isn't it nice to find a designer who isn't afraid to create a pattern that isn't limited by staying in the "beginner box?"  Rebecca at Rock the Stitch hit it out of the park with a unique pattern that is really versatile and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Seaside Sailor for Sister

You may recall that I had the opportunity to test the Seaside Sailor dress by Tie Dye Diva for LA earlier this summer.  It is still one of my favorite dresses and she gets compliments on it whenever she wears it. 

Jen, aka the Tie Dye Diva, asked me to test the baby version and I was thrilled!  After all, I loved the "big girl" version and am a sucker for coordinating outfits for my girls!  Her newest pattern did NOT disappoint!  I love this version as much (if not more) than the first!


Oh my!  This little version has a few changes from the original--all for the best when sewing for baby!  As you may notice, the dress has buttons (or in my case--snaps) all the way down the front.  Since it opens up all the way, there is not trying to negotiate a wiggly baby's head through the collar!!

Because the dress does not have a continuous skirt, the inside seam between the skirt and bodice is completely enclosed.  In fact, this dress has NO EXPOSED SEAMS!  Love that!!!  By the way, Adelyn learned how to sit by herself about two days before these photos.  What a big girl (sob, sob)!

Finally, Jen wisely opted to design a sweet little knot bow instead of the ties.  We all know those ties would have ended up in a soggy mess. 

I used another fabric in the same colorway from the Out to Sea Line.  Because the white was a bit thin, I chose to line the skirt. 

Underneath, you might notice a pair of pink bloomers peeking out.  I used the Ruffled Diaper Cover by Tie Dye Diva (yep, the same one I used to make those cute red ones recently).  Since I didn't want the bloomers to compete with the collar, I chose not to add the ruffles this time. 

The final version of this pattern will have a little longer skirt, but honestly, I love baby legs so I don't mind the shorter length (look at those little rolls!!  LA never had baby rolls so I am loving them on Adelyn). 

If you have girls, you NEED these two patterns!  Seriously...two of my favorites!! 

(This review is my honest opinion of this pattern.  As I say, I call 'em like I see 'em and I really do love this pattern--be prepared to see it again next summer!!)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

No Such Thing As Too Many Ruffles!

I don't know about you, but I cannot get enough of ruffles on my little girls.  Now, I am not into the HUGE, take-over-the-child kind (because some of the over the top ones are a bit scary), but who can resist little ruffles on baby bottoms?  Not me!!!
A couple of weeks ago, I was at a local fabric shop and ran across this adorable crab print.  I instantly knew that it needed to come home with me and become an open back top for Adelyn.  I believe it is a Fabric Finders print, but I am not positive.  The bloomers and ruffle are random prints I had in my stash.
The top is the Ruffled Pinafore pattern by Little Lizard King.  I made just a couple of modifications to suit my needs.  The original design has the back closing with a large bow.  It is very cute, but not that comfortable for a baby who cannot yet sit independently (imagine laying on a big knot!).

 So, I eliminated the bow, overlapped the back slightly and added a button closure.  Perfect!


I also curved the ends of the ruffle and sewed then into the seam instead of ending them in squared hem.  I also changed the way the "lining" and "main fabric" are sewn together (I used a Children's Corner method that I much prefer since it creates a VERY nice and even finish).  Thank goodness for YouTube videos since it is one of those techniques that it really helps to see!

On a side note, the version of the pattern I had was not reversible.  When I emailed the designer, without hesitation she sent me the updated pattern and BONUS--it has a doll version included!  I have a feeling Baby Emma might get a similar outfit!

Now for the bloomers. Aren't they the cutest?!  Seriously, I giggled when I was putting them together knowing how adorable they were going to be on my Adelyn.

The pattern is the Ruffled Diaper cover by Tie Dye Diva.  I appreciated that this pattern includes the ruffles in the construction of the bloomers instead of attaching them as separate pieces.  The end result is clean, neat and so precious!  I used my serger to make rolled hems...one of my favorite (and fastest) ways to hem lightweight ruffles.
Of course, I had to make one minor modification because really, can I leave one pattern "as is?"  On the original pattern, she calls for the leg openings to be turned 1/2" and then the bias tape casing sewn on top.  I used my favorite armscye bias tape lining method (eliminated the 1/2") and used 3/8" elastic instead.  Worked great and I didn't have to mess with trying to turn a non-bias curved edge with a hot iron.  OUCH!
On the front, I added a little applique "a."  It is not as professional as my sweet friend Kam makes, but I was in a hurry so I did it myself.  Don't look too close Kam--it is just ironed on with a topstitch around the edge.

I think together, the two pieces make a perfect pair! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ruffles and Baby Bottoms!

Seriously, can there be a cuter combination than ruffles and baby bottoms???
 
I absolutely adore bubbles and rompers on babies!  So much more practical than dresses at this age, yet so incredibly cute! 
This is the Ruff or Ruffled Romper by Ellie Inspired in Michael Miller's Yellow Diddly Dots from the Happy Tones Collection.  These dots just make me happy!  Once again, my sweet friend Kam totally rocked the embroidery--which just MAKES this romper! 
The ONLY complaint I have about this pattern is with the ruffle placement in the back.  It does not match the photo on the pattern cover.  If you look at the cover photo, the ruffles are stacked towards the bottom and you cannot see the top seams.
However, if you follow the dots on the pattern pieces, the ruffles are more spread out.  Not a big deal, but it did make sewing the leg casing a bit more complicated at the side seam and gave a different look to the back. 
 
I added ric rac to the bottom of the ruffles and used a rolled seam at the top.  I also adjusted the elastic to fit Adelyn's body (the original measurements were too small in the legs yet too large in the waist).  Again, no biggie.
 
This is the second Ellie Inspired romper I have sewn and I am very pleased with the patterns and end results.  These are not "quick sews," but the time is worth it for such a cute outfit!
 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Round Yoke Top

I love the look of a round yoke top and have made a few using the free Prudent Baby Snappy Toddler Top pattern in the past.  Now that LA has completely outgrown that pattern (and I didn't want to figure it out on my own), I decided it was time to buy a pattern.  There are many out there, but one in particular seemed very popular on a Facebook pattern page I follow, so when the designer had a sale, I bought it.

I had high hopes for the pattern--after all, if so many posters "LOVED IT" and called it the "BEST PATTERN EH-VAH!" why wouldn't I.  Sadly, I was quite disappointed.  So, let's talk about this pattern--the good and the bad.  What pattern is it you ask?  The Blondie by Brownie-Goose.

On a positive note to begin with, the end result is super cute and LA looks adorable in it (even if she is the MOST difficult model lately--standing still?  Not happening!!).

I hate to give negative reviews, but I call 'em like I see 'em and I appreciate when other bloggers give their honest opinions and experiences with patterns.  So, here goes... 

To begin with, the pattern designer does not include a sizing chart so you are left to your own "guess" as to what size to make.  LA wears a size 3-4.  Since my sizing choices were 2/3 or 4/5, I went with the smaller of the two and thank goodness I did!  It is definitely NOT a size 2!  It is frustrating to me when sizing charts are not included since there is no "true to size" measurements anymore.
I chose this summery light blue seersucker from my stash to make this top.  Clearly seersucker is a directional print.  No problem when laying out the body.  Then I went to lay out the collar.  Sigh...no grain lines.  No suggested illustrated layout.  Ugh.  Directional prints (and really all fabric), need to be cut on the grainline!  Now time had to be spent to figure out the grain line for the TWO collar pieces (neither of which have shoulder seams making the process just that much more "fun"). 

I was surprised to discover that the designer did not enclose the raw edge of the body into the collar.  So...more time was spent figuring out where to sew/not sew to encase the seam.  Sewing it as instructed would have left a raw edge exposed at the arms which would be very unsightly...not to mention, isn't being able to eliminate all exposed seams one of the benefits of the round yoke style?
I also changed the finish on the armscyes.  Granted this is personal preference, but I am not a fan of sandwiching the raw edge in double fold bias tape.  It never lays flat.  Instead, I used single bias tape and flipped it into the inside of the garment.  Lays flat and you don't see it from the outside!
But, perhaps the part of the pattern that I was most disappointed with was the closure.  See that big ole button?  You probably think that is how the top closes, but you would be wrong.  Nope, there is a "placket" in the back (yes, even the designer admits to using this term "loosely" since "buttonholes make me sweat").  Unfortunately, this leaves a large opening in the back.  Since I did not pay attention to this detail before cutting (I know, I know), I had to make it work.  Luckily, an extra button and loop fixed it, but the garment would look even better if the yoke button were actually functional.
So here's the thing.  The end result is pretty darn cute (especially thanks to my friend Kam who did the embroidery!!), but the pattern needed too many modifications.  There are so many round yoke patterns out there, so no need to settle for one that requires so much extra work.  If I had to do it over again, I would buy this Creations by Michie pattern instead. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

A NEW Name!!!

Hey Friends!  Welcome to our "new" blog.  Ok, it is really the same blog, just a new name!  I figured that changing the blog name was a lot easier than paying for years of therapy for Adelyn later ;) 

I also have my own url now  www.sewgirlystudio.com.  You have to use the www. part for now since I have a glitch and cannot figure out why my blind url is not working.  No worries...the old www.crafts4lily.blogspot.com address still works too!

If you follow the facebook page, well, that is changing too!  Come like me over at https://www.facebook.com/SewGirlyStudio

Friday, May 31, 2013

A Romper for Baby and a Little Dolly Dress too!

After making the Georgia Vintage Dress for LA, I had enough fabric left over that I was able to whip up a coordinating romper for Adelyn. 
 
I used Ellie Inspired's Vintage Baby Romper pattern.  I only made a couple of modifications--I did not add the side ties (they would never stay tied with "exploring" fingers) and I added the front bib to mimic the Georgia dress' bodice.  I actually REALLY liked this pattern and think I will make another version soon!
 

Little Emma could not be left out!  I used Simplicity 4707 in the medium size as my base and was very pleased with the fit on the Bitty Baby.

So here is the crew all dressed up (I don't think Adelyn feels very secure in her sister's arms!!)

Again, I apologize for my brevity in these posts, but time is short around here yet I still want to share pictures of my latest creations.  After all, I get so much inspiration from other blogs and flickr streams!

Link to my review at Patternreview.com

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Seashore Sailor Dress

L.O.V.E this dress!! 

Seriously one of my favorite dresses I have made for LA and so incredibly easy!

Oh, the details?!  Of course!  It is the Seashore Sailor Dress by Tie Dye Diva and I was fortunate enough to be one of the chosen few to test this pattern out. 

This dress sews up so easily and quickly, yet looks much more complicated than it really is!
My favorite detail is the necktie.  See, it really doesn't tie at all so no safety concerns nor worries about getting the knot to look right on a wiggly child (not that mine is or anything). 
(Notice how she is NOT looking at me in any picture?!  She was a bit of a diva that day...fun times).
The gray fabric has the cutest little girly pirates on it (with their names:  Ella, Pepper, Ann, Amelia, Addie and Jane).  It is from the Out to Sea line by Michael Miller.  The pink was just some fabric I happened to have in my stash that matched perfectly! 

I highly recommend this pattern and it is available now over at Tie Dye Diva.  Thanks Jen for letting me test this adorable pattern!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Georgia Vintage Dress by The Cottage Mama

Imagine my delight a few weeks ago when I received an email out of the blue from Lindsay Wilkes over at The Cottage Home asking if I would be interested in testing one of her new patterns.

It took me about .00001 second to respond.

YES!!!

How precious is this dress????? 

Seriously cute! 

The pattern "Georgia Vintage Dress" is being released next week and I can't imagine that it won't be a success.

LA adores the dress and she looks entirely too cute in it!

I think you will agree ;)

The fabrics are all from Moda's Honey Honey by Kate Spain--and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  So bright and cheery!


Thanks Lindsay for asking me to test your adorable dress!
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