Friday, November 20, 2015

A New Look for Gracious Threads - and for Miss P, too!

Two posts in one week, can you stand it??! I know, pretty unusual around here, but I was invited to join the New Look blog tour sponsored by Jess of Gracious Threads. How could I pass up that opportunity? (Spoiler alert: I couldn't.) Jess revealed a new look for her website and her self-hosted pattern shop, and asked us to spread the word about the new site by sharing a new look of our own.

I've sewn a number of Gracious Threads patterns already (the Lazy Days Lounge Pants were early to hit the jogger scene, and are a great fit for both of my kids), but for this tour I chose the Cirrus Skirt and Eclair top, both new to me. Miss P still loves wearing dresses and her standby is still the ol' tunic/legging combo, but lately she's been asking for more skirts, too. I decided to sew up the Cirrus Skirt in quilted knit (I bought this reversible knit from Mood last year, not sure if it's still available), and modify the Eclair top to use a cozy french terry (from Joanns). Miss P liked the combo, and it was warm enough for our November weather with a long-sleeved tee and leggings underneath.

I sewed up the top in a size 5, and the skirt in a size 4 with added length. The fit was perfect all around - the measurement charts that Jess includes in the patterns are easy to follow and were spot-on for Miss P's measurements.

I left off the pockets on the skirt and that made it an amazingly quick and simple sew. The wide encased elastic waistband was comfy for my girl, and since there were no pockets there's no "right" or "wrong" side when she gets herself dressed. ;)
For the top, I decided to do an exposed binding instead of the bias facing, so I cut strips of knit fabric that were 1.5" wide. I serged them to the right side of the fabric, and then wrapped them to the wrong side and topstitched in place. I only had a 9" zipper, but it was plenty long and I just shortened the cut line and the zipper guard before sewing in place. I also omitted the side vents, since there was plenty of stretch in the french terry. I LOVE the shape of that curved hem!
The finished look is as cute as it is comfy, and I love that she'll be able to wear the top in the spring without having to layer it. It'll be adorable with jeans, too! Thanks again to Jess for having me, and please make sure to check out the other stops on the tour, too!

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's One Thimble Time Again!

No better reason to dust off this ol' blog than a brand-new edition of my favorite sewing e-zine, One Thimble!
I love, love, love it when a new issue is published - each one is full of new patterns and a variety of awesome articles. I always learn some helpful tricks or techniques and the articles geared toward building a business have been especially great for me, too. I have a tough time deciding what to sew up first, so when I got the chance to join the release tour again I looked through the pattern covers and picked the Cross Bow dress from Boo! Designs to get me started.

This pattern did.not.disappoint. It is well-designed and the construction is fantastic, as is the case with all of the patterns from Boo! that I've had the chance to sew. This dress features an invisible zip closure in the side seam with clearly written and well-illustrated instructions to go along with it. I love patterns that teach me something new, and the method used for inserting the zipper into the bodice and then attaching the lining was a new one for me. It wasn't perfect but I still impressed myself! ;) And Miss P, who is freshly 6, was beyond excited with her very first EVER zip-up dress. This child is 6 going on 16, and now she's got a "grown-up dress" to go with her grown-up sass.
Kristie Gilbert of Boo! Designs has a stellar reputation for pattern drafting, and this one is no exception. The drape of that skirt is absolutely amazing and the hem tape finish gives it great weight at the hemline. Miss P just COULD NOT stop dancing and twirling as we were taking pics!
I was nervous about the fit on this, since it's obviously more difficult to customize after it's sewn due to the zipper and the fit isn't as flexible as with elastic. I followed the measurement chart and made a size 5 for Miss P, as her chest measures about 22.75". The fit was perfect. She could have used a touch more length in the skirt, but I'll just size up there next time. Luckily, she's still at an age where a short, full skirt is super cute.
The optional back bow is bigger than the one shown here; I didn't have enough of my skirt fabric left to make a full bow with the dimensions included in the pattern. I did a smaller bow instead, and let Miss P decide where it should go. She almost always elects to put bows on the neckline, and this was no exception. The kiddo's got good taste, though, and I think it looks cute there, too!
Speaking of the skirt fabric, I used a print from the Ex Libris line from Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics, and I'm in LOVE. I've been hanging onto this print for awhile and this dress was the perfect pattern for it. I only had one yard so it wasn't enough for the full dress, but the solid blue Kona cotton was a nice pairing for it. Miss P has been really loving blue lately. so I was happy to deviate from the usual pink/purple routine we have and venture in a different direction.
My father-in-law makes stained glass as a hobby, and Miss P is planning to wear this dress to his retirement party later this week. The Andover fabric will be the perfect touch for her party dress - customized to the guest of honor and his interests but subtly so. Might need to sew up some quick bloomers or something for her to wear underneath though, since this girl's gotta twirl!

As always, please make sure to stop by the other blogs on the tour, and check out the variety of awesome creations that have been popping up all over blogland!
AND, before you go, enter here to WIN a complimentary copy of One Thimble Issue 9:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!