Monday, March 30, 2015

Blog Tour Time! The Verona Dress by Jennuine Design

I'm so excited to be joining Jenn from A Jennuine Life/Jennuine Design to kick off the blog tour for her latest pattern, the Verona Dress! Miss P and I had the chance to test this pattern, and it was a huge hit with both of us. 

To be honest, I've been sewing tons and tons of knits lately, and my wovens stash has been pretty neglected. Miss P wears tunics or dresses and leggings to school most days, so that's what I've been sewing for her. We're a pretty casual family (to P's disappointment ;) ) so my fancy girl doesn't have lots of opportunities for nice-dress wearing. For this dress, we will totally make an exception. 

The Verona Dress has lots of great features that make it a fun sew and really wearable - Jenn drafted and tested the dress from newborn to size 12, and in the non-baby sizes there are no closures at all. The dress has a neat notched collar, a notch in the back of the neckline, and elastic in the back at the waistline to make it easy to pull on and off. The bodice is fully lined, and Jenn even made a great video tutorial to further illustrate how to sew up a lined sleeveless bodice like this one. I'm completely challenged when it comes to spatial relations, and despite clear and well-illustrated instructions in the written tutorial, it took the video to really make it easy for me to complete the bodice. Actually, once I viewed the video, I went back to my sewing machine and finished the bodice on the first try - and then shrieked a little about how cool it was that it came together like that!

The skirt is also lined, and the underskirt is cut a little longer so it peeks out from the bottom. The way Jenn wrote the pattern encloses the elastic and leaves the skirt nice and full at the waistline - the extra volume is perfect for twirling!

When we tested this dress, Miss P was still sporting two casts from her tendon surgery, but that didn't stop her from dancing and twirling for our photoshoot. I'm sure she'll be wearing this for Passover with our family, and throughout the upcoming summer, too. Jenn includes detailed size charts, and because the skirts are cut separately from the bodice, it's easy to mix and match sizes or add length to either portion if you need to. I cut a size 4 based on my girl's chest and waist measurements, but lengthened the skirt based on her height. 

I'm glad we went the classic route with this watercolor fabric - the Verona dress has a great vintage vibe and is an awesome mix of classic styling with modern details. Jenn included lots of other options, too, including several sleeve lengths, an adorable notched pocket, and instructions for adding tulle to the underskirt. Miss P has already asked me to add those pockets to the next Verona dress I sew for her!

You can find the Verona dress in Jenn's shop here (and it's still on sale through Saturday!), and make sure to check out the rest of the tester tour this week and next! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Flip this Pattern! Part 2 - the Snappy Playdress

For Miss P, I wanted to make a dress using some of the styling from the Boardwalk but with a more streamlined silhouette. 

It's a Boardwalk/Gloria mashup!
For this Boardwalk flip, I was inspired by this dress from a recent Hanna Andersson catalog:

dress by Hanna Andersson
To achieve a similar look, I used the Gloria playdress, also from Peekaboo Patterns, and mashed it with the placket and henley neckline from the Boardwalk. I used the Gloria because it is a more fitted silhouette than the Boardwalk, and I wanted that fit for my dress. I extended the placket to the full length of the bodice (which is longer with the Gloria dress than with the Boardwalk, where it is more of a contrast yoke style) and added interfacing again to support the snaps. I mashed the necklines a bit as well, so I could use the henley neckband from the Boardwalk. I added the gathered skirt from the Gloria dress, and my look was complete!

I'll be entering both of these flips in the linky party over at Frances Suzanne - make sure to check out what the competitors have come up with this month, too!

Flip this Pattern! Peekaboo Patterns Boardwalk Henley and Hoodie

Well, it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Peekaboo Patterns, and the Boardwalk Hoodie and Henley is one of my all-time faves. I love patterns that are unisex (this actually has a tee and a dress version along with both neckline options) and the hood is the perfect size to mash with other patterns (like the Grand Slam tee). When I saw that Frances Suzanne's Flip this Pattern was going to be taking on the Boardwalk, I knew I had to join in.
Nephew cuteness overload!
For my first flip, I made a fleece jacket for my cutie pie nephew, E. I had made a similar one last year when he was tiny, and my sister said it was great for keeping him warm in the carseat and for quick trips around town. Because the Boardwalk pattern has a nice amount of ease, it lends itself well to becoming a jacket - plenty of room in the arms and just enough room for a light layer underneath without having to upsize. 

To make it a jacket, I joined the pattern pieces for the top and bottom bodices so I had a single front pattern piece (instead of a separate top and bottom as in the original colorblocked version) and one for the back. I extended the placket from the top of the front bodice piece all the way down to the bottom, and widened it just a tad. I cut two mirror images for the front so I had a left and a right, and cut the back on the fold as in the pattern. The ears were self-drafted and sewn into the outer hood layer before joining the hood to the lining. I put a strip of interfacing into each side of the placket to support the snaps, and used KAM snaps for a pop of color. And that was it! A few small changes to bring about a whole new look for the Boardwalk. :)

Read on for how I flipped the Boardwalk for Miss P, too!