Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Simple Life Pattern Co + Sew Caroline Blog Tour

Hello! Hello! Welcome to the Blue Wren Handmade stop of the Simple Life Pattern Co + Sew Caroline collaboration blog train....

Simple Life Pattern Co is a children's designer and Sew Caroline a ladies designer. They have teamed up to bring a collection of Simple Life Pattern Co designs in ladies' sizes and Sew Caroline designs in girl's sizes. 

Many of you will be familiar with the girl's version of the Ayda Dress, as it was one of the earliest designs to hit the Simple Life Pattern Co virtual shelves a couple of years ago. I was given the opportunity to sew up the ladies Ayda Dress. 
I am actually very happy with the final result!! .... HOWEVER, I cannot lie, it wasn't the simplest road to get there! This is a beautiful design, but I absolutely cannot emphasise enough the requirement to make a muslin. I made three, then still made adjustments to the final version. After chatting with some of the other bloggers, many of whom had no issues, I am quite sure this is a result of my being tall and needing to make the bodice {and skirt} longer to fit my body. Really, this is not an unusual process, given women are particularly different in shape from one another... but you can see from the cobbled together coloured pieces of paper attached to the original pattern how significantly I needed to change the pattern pieces to make it fit me. Hence... MAKE A MUSLIN! 

With this said, I do think it is important to note that there are not actually any instructions on what to do to achieve these adjustments, so you will be solely reliant upon your own sewing experience and knowledge gained from previous projects for yourself. 

Once fit issues were sorted, it was actually really a very quick sew. Spending the time to iron out fit has made for a pattern I am likely to come back to and use again. The instructions for cutting and construction are very good and easily followed. They are accompanied by a series of line drawings to illustrate and clarify instructions. There are body measurements in both metric and imperial to make size selection easy. There are also a number of photographs of finished garments for inspiration. 

As a slip on, this really is a style that can easily be worn casually during the day. The full circle skirt {the option I selected} really adds a level of glamour that makes it more than suitable for evening wear... even more so if a more glitzy fabric were to be used! The capacity to simply make it as a peplum top further widens the appeal of the pattern. I chose to style a smart casual look, with heels and an elastic belt.... not quite the season for it here though, I was freezing in about 5 degrees Celsius for these photos!!

Please do make time for the Ayda, I think you'll be really pleased with your result!!

If you are interested in taking a look at the other patterns that Simple Life Pattern Co and Sew Caroline worked with, please stop by the other sites of the other bloggers involved in the tour: 

"See" you again soon!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

One Thimble E-zine {Issue Thirteen} Blog Tour

well, its been a little while, hasn't it?... twelve months it seems!!! Oh how my studies have hindered my sewing and all that goes with it... never mind, I'm back and super-dooper happy about it!

Issue 13 of One Thimble was released last week {insert gasp because it doesn't seem that long ago Issue 1 happened} and I'm here, as part of the Pattern Revolution blog tour...

... and I'm going to tell you all about how much I love the Boo! Designs contribution. The Ultimate Suit is rather aptly named... it's a pair of swimmers, it's a leotard... no wait, it's a fashion item!!

You will come to realise rather quickly, that the affable Miss F and I kind of got stuck in the swimmers mode... it is {nearly} summer here in Australia! Plus, we had a surplus of awesome Boo! panels to use and me on a long overdue sewing rampage...

We did, at least, try out one of the many options available in the pattern. Miss F was particularly fond of the mini skirt addition and chose to pool test this pair of swimmers first. I am extremely pleased to report that it stayed on beautifully for the duration of her swimming lesson.

As usual with all things Boo!, the fit was amazing. I didn't even bother measuring, I have absolute faith in Kristie's sizing consistency... and about half the clothing in Miss F's wardrobe is sewn from her patterns, so I know what size she's in.

As you can see, butt coverage is on point...

... and it fits nicely under the arms, without cutting in.

The pattern tutorial itself is beautifully put together. The instructions are concise, the illustrations are exceptionally clear and the pattern pieces fit together perfectly {it's so annoying when they don't... grrr!}. I really just don't have anything to pick on. They are extremely fast to make {a hot tip here, they are great for that last minute birthday gift for the party you forgot about in a hour's time!}.

If you're interested in checking out what the other wonderful ladies on the blog tour have to say about the other patterns and contents of Issue 13, please click on the links in the schedule below.

12 November: Tales of a Tester / Little Cumquat / Call Ajaire
13 November: Happy Okapi / Sunflower Seams Stitches by Laura
14 November:  Made by Sara / Candice Ayala / Filles a Maman
15 November: House of Estrela / Snickerdoodle Stew / Swoodson Says
16 November: The Lady and the Gents / Lulu & Celeste / Pear Berry Lane
17 November: Finn’s Door / Blue Wren Handmade / Once Upon a Sewing Machine / Just Add Fabric

I look forward to seeing lots of photos of your creations around the interwebs traps in the coming weeks and months!


PS. I'll just leave you with this thought from the affable Miss F... "it's super coooool yeeeahh"

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

One Thimble E-zine {Issue Nine} Blog Tour - Vincent the Victor

hello again and welcome back for my second instalment in the Pattern Revolution blog tour celebrating the release of Issue 9 of One Thimble...

This time I got to sew up one of the two appliqué patterns by Ric-Rac & Retro and, finally, something for my boy! Vincent the Victor lives up to his name in our house, Master D is thrilled with the addition to his wardrobe and eagerly watched as I sewed it for him.

The appliqué itself is a fabulous way to use up scraps. Further to this, it is done onto a scrap backing, which is then cut out and sewn onto whatever you wish. I think that is particularly fabulous for sewing onto clothing items as it reduces the amount of potential itch inducing exposed stitches {yes, I'm aware of iron on backings, but I find they tend to fall off after only a few washes}. Besides, it helps get placement absolutely perfect on any project! The instructions on how to make it happen and which equipment you will need are extensive.

I had made attempts at free motion appliqué previously, but I am much happier with the results after reading Sarah's tips on stitch speed for making it neat... I think I still need more practice though!! I am also a big fan of the encouragement to make the design your own, there is even a list of suggestions as to how you can make that happen.

Because I needed something to sew my new appliqué onto, I broke out the Tree Climber Pattern from The Pattern Studio by 1 Puddle Lane... just because I purchased it ages ago and have been meaning to use it. I so loved taking these photos of Master D, he was all "do you want me to stand here?" and "do you want my hands here, like this?", it really rammed home that I need to take the time to make special things for him more often. This little appliqué really is a great way to make sewing 'boy' things more interesting for us creatives.

So I hope you enjoy appliquéing all the things!... I look forward to seeing photos of your widely varying creations in the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts and PDF Pattern Sales & Promotion groups on Facebook.

If haven't been following the blog tour already and are keen to take a look at reviews of either the whole e-zine or individual patterns, please take a look at the following blogs on the outlined dates!

13 November: Lady & The Gents / lulu & celeste
15 November: create3.5 / Call Ajaire / Rebel & Malice
17 November: handcrafted by RED
19 November: Bee Quilted Blog

Happy sewing! and until next time...

Thursday, 12 November 2015

One Thimble E-zine {Issue Nine} Blog Tour - Ringmaster Set

hi guys... so the next issue of One Thimble is releasing Friday and the latest Pattern Revolution release blog tour stops here... judging from what I have seen of Issue Nine so far, it is back with all of the electronic gloriousness we've come to know and love to celebrate turning TWO.... so lets take a look...

So the new Ringmaster top and pants, by Tie Dye Diva, landed in my inbox and my little side-kick and I hopped to it! We are so delighted with the finished product.... 

I made the pants up first, so we'll go with that... it is nearly summer here {which is horridly hot and humid in these parts!} which lead me to selected this lovely lightweight chambray. Given Miss F's current toddler-ish shape combined with being a baby giant, picking the right size is a little awkward... the sizing chart is extremely comprehensive and, taking all factors into account, I elected to make her a straight size five {I am currently convinced her legs are sprouting in order to catch up with the rest of her!}...  as you can see, they are a little long. Not to worry, they will just fit a little longer!

They have this delightful little ruffle around the hem and up the front panel of the leg. It is actually wider in the pattern, but Miss F has a habit of chucking ruffled things back at me at the moment, so I did narrow it slightly... voila, she likes them, so win-win! They were very easy to construct, the most time consuming part being the ruffle... be aware when sewing the waistband on that they are flat fronted and you need two elastic threading holes {do-bo here overlooked that part}.

My favourite part of this outfit is definitely the top. It is made up of six panels, has a single button at the back of the neckline and is finished with bias, so is single layer fabric {making it nice and cool for summer}. I really like that it has little bias bound elastic strips at the side of the waist to help given it shape. The pattern actually gives instructions for a little ruffle at the front neckline, but given the afore mentioned ruffle issue, I chose to omit that from our version. 

While I like button plackets, I do not like this method of creating one. The instructions are absolutely fabulous, but try as I might I can't get it to sit as well as I can with other methods - I hope you have more luck {or skill}. That said, I was delighted with the cool tips for hemming a curved hemline... it is so simple it has left me scratching my head as to where my brain has been all these years. 

So I hope you enjoy sewing up your Ringmasters... I look forward to seeing images of your creations in the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts and PDF Pattern Sales & Promotion groups on Facebook.

If you are keen to take a look at reviews of either the whole e-zine or individual patterns, please take a look at the following blogs on the outlined dates!

13 November: Lady & The Gents / lulu & celeste
15 November: create3.5 / Call Ajaire / Rebel & Malice
17 November: handcrafted by RED
19 November: Bee Quilted Blog

Happy sewing! and until next time...

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

One Thimble E-Zine {Issue Seven} Blog Tour

So you guys, I'm sure you've heard of One Thimble and all of it's electronic goodness?.... Issue Seven is out already and this wonderful blog tour to celebrate it's release stops here... so lets get to it...

I was very excited to be able to sew up Jen's own pattern contribution, the Alyss Dress, because it epitomises everything I love in a pattern quirky and fun!

The thing I really love about all Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns is being able to just cut into my good fabric and know, really know, that it will fit correctly. Because Miss F takes quirky and opinionated to a whole different level, I try to let her select the fabric when I am sewing for her. Needless to say, when she picked out an expensive Japanese print, I just went with it. 

The dress is rated as either an intermediate or an advance intermediate sew, dependant on which zipper option is chosen. The wonderful border print Miss F chose was begging not to be cut more than necessary and I'm always up for a challenge, so tackled the side zipper version. 

The buttons at the front of the bodice are functional in this version, but don't allow enough of an opening alone, hence the zipper. The piping I added is not part of the pattern and certainly added to the difficulty of neatly inserting the zipper, but I'm really glad I made the effort as I think it ties all the elements of the fabric in this dress together. 

I adore how every version I have seen of the Alyss has a different twist just by the sewer's choice of fabric combinations... many have used the same fabric print in the skirt and waistband, which really accentuates the shape of the waistband and skirt design. 

Next time, I think I'll have a go at the back zipper version and try leaving off the sleeves and Peter Pan collar... I have a feeling that waist shape with really, really shine... I seriously hope you love sewing your Alyss as much as I enjoyed sewing this one for my bebe!

Keen to read a little more about what you'll find in One Thimble Issue Seven? Check out the other posts by the ladies involved in the tour.... 

20 May: Mabey She Made It / Blue Wren Handmade

Enjoy the challenge!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Princess and the Pea...

There are many things I love about handmade and owning a handmade business, but the friendships with fellow handmaidens and the virtual fun we have when we 'gather' for a showcase are amongst my favourite. So, when Michele from my georgie boy messaged me late last year and told me of her plans to host at showcase with a "Princess and the Pea" theme, I was in like Flynn!!

I immediately had a desire to create a Rainbow Twirl Dress, designed by the lovely Kristie from Boo! Designs.... with a twist, since I seem to have an impediment with leaving anything alone ;) The extra long straps are only sewn in at the back, then loop through button holes at the front so the straps can be tied however you like to create a different look.

So how does it fit the theme? Well, in my head {and I guess that's the fun of interpreting showcase themes}, the layers represent the many mattresses the Princess had to sleep on in the story to prove that she was a real princess and the very twirly nature of the dress itself makes the wearer feel like a princess {even though she's truly a tom-boy who loves to play in the dirt and wouldn't have a hope of feeling that blinking pea!!}.

It didn't actually occur to me until about two weeks ago, since it's still BLAZING hot here is Queensland, that winter will be upon us before long and I thought "uh oh!"... that was quickly followed by "meh, layering is so right now!" - thankfully Miss F was amenable to wearing her cardi and {farmer} boots for the modelling session to show you guys just how fabulously it works!  

While I'm on that note... this dress will fit for YEARS... Miss F, for example, is a size 2-3 in height, but is size 4 around her chest {oh the perils of being little when you are going to be tall, tall, TALL}, but there is still heaps of room for her around the chest {thanks shirring} and as she grows taller, this fit will migrate from maxi to knee length.

Okay... so I'd now like to extend an invitation to head on over to my georgie boy... 

THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA begins... Sunday 1st March 2015
9.30pm Vic / NSW / Tas
9pm SA
8.30pm Qld
8pm NT
6.30pm WA

... where you will be able to purchase the following creations from the other incredibly talented ladies!

If Instragram is more your style, hashtag #princessandthepea will get you loads of pictures and information too :)

... by Sarah from Piccolo Studio and Penny from Trellis Design

... by Michele from my georgie boy ...

... by Michele from my georgie boy ...

... by Michele from my georgie boy ...

... by Clare from Ruby & the Wolf ...

... by Chrystal from Joe Joe & the Teddy Bear ...

... by Eve from ...

... by Katie from Vintagebubbles ...

... by Cassandra Hargrave {Artist} ...

... by Claire from Rosie Red ...

... by Karynne from Chook Shed Designs ...

... by Sarah from Ric Rac & Retro ...

... by Elaine from 76 Tilly Lane ...

Enjoy your shopping, beautiful people!