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Friday, July 11, 2014

Greenstyle Laurel Dress Review

Today I'm sharing my take on the Greenstyle Laurel Dress that I reviewed for Pattern Revolution a few months ago.  I proudly accepted the "Self Care Sewing" challenge and have added this adorable dress to my wardrobe.
I took the Greenstyle Laurel Dress/Tunic pattern and made it custom for ME!  I couldn't be happier with the results.
The Laurel Dress pattern really includes a cowl neck and sleeves but I decided to make it sleeveless and scoop neck for summer.  This was so easy to do and just shows how versatile this pattern is!
 
Pattern Details:
Women's Sizes XXS to 3XL with size chart on bust measurement
4 different sleeves lengths (short sleeve, just above elbow, 3/4 length, long sleeve*)
*dare I add sleeveless too?
3 different skirt lengths (tunic, just above knee, longer length)
3 different torso lengths (short, regular, long)
POCKETS!
Straight back or pleated back options
Photos/drawings for every step in directions
knit/jersey fabric and can do knit/jersey top with woven bottom
32 pages long total with 9 pages of directions and 23 nested pattern pieces 
 
 I made a size small, long torso dress which was PERFECT for my body.  I really appreciate the long torso length being included since a lot of dresses don't fit my 5'9" frame and are too short.
 I added an extra inch to the above the knee length which I think was good.  Otherwise it would be too short for me.  I chose pleats in the front and back.  Next time I will try a flat back I think and woven bottom! 
And don't we all LOVE a comfy dress with pockets?  I will be living in this dress this summer.  It will be cute with leggings in spring also.
I customized this dress by adding binding strips around the arms and neck.  I actually cut out the cowl piece and when I decided not to use it, cut 2" binding strips from this.  It worked like a charm!!!!  I cut straight across, no need for diagonal cutting.
 
I recently organized my fabric stash and am determined to use it up before buying more fabric.  I didn't have enough fabric for the sleeves and after I tried on the top I LOVED it sleeveless.  I have seen pictures of the dress with sleeves and the cowl neck and think it is very cute and my next one will be like that.
This pattern is great for every season.  Long sleeve for winter, 3/4 or elbow length for fall/spring, and short for summer!  And don't forget there's a tunic length option so you can wear it with jeans or leggings.

I am so happy to be slowly adding to my wardrobe.  This is all new for me, especially sewing with knits and I'm loving every minute.  I used a stretch stitch on my regular sewing machine for this dress and had zero problems.  Just ordered my first serger and am excited to try it out soon.  This pattern is perfect for a beginner and is quick sew.  The dress is stylish, versatile and COMFY.  All wins in my book.  -ellen 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jocole Ladies Skinny Pants

 I tested these adorable shorts.  I love them!  They're Jocole Skinny Pants pattern and they're now available in the Bundle UP sale on Pattern Revolution.
I had this ikat fabric from Hobby Lobby that I loved and only had a little left after making my daughter a dress.  SO....I decided to make long shorts and I love them so much!

 There are so many great patterns in the Bundle UP sale for women!  The more you buy, the more of a discount you get.  I love being part of Pattern Revolution and reviewing patterns.  It's really been like a sewing school for me.


The pattern uses woven fabric for the pants/shorts and knit for the COMFY fold over waist band.  I will be making a lot more of these in every length.

-ellen

Friday, May 16, 2014

Love Notions Everyday Playdress Review

Here's a review of the Everyday Playdress pattern from Love Notions that I did for Pattern Revolution.
This pattern is a fast sew and the result is a very cute, comfy dress to PLAY in!
Pattern details:
*Sized 18m to 7/8
*Rated beginner
* 23 pages long with 8 nested pattern pieces to print (dimensions are given for cutting skirt pieces)
*Photos at EVERY step for clear directions (incl. charts for finished measurements & fabric requirements)
*Knit fabrics with option of woven skirt
*Two bodice styles: crossover or standard
*Two sleeve lengths: short or long
 

As you can see in these photos it definitely is a great play dress and my daughter loved running and twirling in it.
The options I chose for this dress were short sleeves, crossover bodice, and woven skirt.  I had two sweet vintage fabrics that weren't enough for a skirt alone so I made the skirt with both!  I then added a trim piece to the front and back where the fabrics joined and I liked the bohemian feel of the skirt.
I really wanted a nice casual dress that my daughter could wear in the summer and be comfy and just enjoy summer and being a kid.  This dress fits the bill! 
My daughter is a petite 6 year old and I made the size 6.  The bodice is a bit big on her but I really think I stretched the blue rib knit a bit.  I'm still pretty new to sewing with knits and this fabric stretched a lot on me.  Still learning!!!!  The dress is supposed to fall right under knee and it might be a bit longer on my shortie.  So possibly the dress is roomy for the sizing but I would have to make another one to be sure.  (but I also love the clothes I make to be big so they can wear it longer!)

One thing I love about the pattern is how you can do different fabrics for both sides of the crossover bodice and sleeves, mixing anything you want!  I really loved this, it's a great way to incorporate more colors and patterns which is the look I like.

Another thing I love about this pattern is that the skirt can be woven.  I have so much woven fabric and not much knit so I am really happy to raid my stash when I can. 

Also only 8 pattern pages to print is AMAZING!  They are nested and match up easily.
I think all in all this is a wonderful pattern for casual play, while of course, looking very adorable.  As my daughter gets older, comfort is the number one thing she cares about so I really appreciate a cute, comfy style like this Everyday Playdress. 
This is not the first pattern I've used from Love Notions.  I was lucky enough to test her new Trendy Tunic and it's now one of my very favorites!  So as you can see, Tami is very talented!!
-ellen

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Minnie Mouse Dress for Disneyland

For our trip to Disneyland in Feb I made a sweet Minnie Mouse dress from the Junebug pattern from Craftiness is Not Optional.  I love how it turned out!  I think Minnie liked it too.
We met Mickey!
 
Paige loves to get her face painted.  She picked a dragon which I thought was so funny.
In Minnie's house.
I used this sweet purple polka dot fabric that I had in my stash.  I made the black covered buttons extra large for Minnie style.  They are so big that they don't have buttonholes so I have to slip the dress over her head.  It works fine.
I put a mouse head outline on the back with my ellzabelle label in the middle.
We LOVE Toontown.
I made the Minnie ears from a tutorial I found on Pinterest.  It was so easy and had everything I needed already!
The kids got along so well the entire trip!  It's such a joy to have a 6 and 8 year old.  So easy for the most part (minus the bickering....).
 
This was our second trip to Disneyland and it was so wonderful.
-ellen

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Willow & Co Mulberry Tunic

 I tested two patterns for the upcoming Willow and Co Spring/Summer 2014 Collection.  The ASH jumpsuit and now I will show you the Mulberry Tunic.
The collection is a glamping theme (glamping= glam + camping) and the entire collection will be released Tuesday, April 22!  Willow and Co is a pattern collective and is made up of lots of amazingly talented designers.  This is their FIRST collection and is sure to be a hit.  Visit their Facebook page for more info and hopefully some discounts.
I jumped at the chance to pattern test this pattern since it's for girls and BOYS!!!!  My son feels left out since I make lots of clothes for my daughter.  It's so fun this pattern is unisex.
 
The Mulberry Tunic pattern is created by the very talented Olga from Kid Approved Testing.
 
I again used fabrics out of my huge stash.  I've had this Michael Miller airplane fabric for a while and knew it would be perfect for this shirt.  So gray and airplanes it was!  I had to keep it pretty plain for my 8 year old to wear it.  He's quite picky these days.....
 I love the tab details on the sleeves.  It's a great way to add contrasting fabrics.
 When I tested the pattern the hood did not include directions to line the hood but I think in the final copy she is including it.  It was very easy to add and I love the detail it adds.
 It's a nice full hood.  There is also the option to make the shirt without a hood if you want and lots of testers did that.
 Also includes in seam pockets which I loved to include, but you can also leave these out.
 It's a really cute shirt with front pocket and buttons.  It has a lot of pattern pieces and is more involved than a lot of patterns I make so it took a bit longer to make.  But with all patterns, the first one takes the longest and I know my next ones will be a bit quicker.  I plan to make a wild one for my daughter that loves patterns and colors!  I do love it and my son will wear it so it's a SUCCESS.
Get ready to check out the collection on the 22nd.  It looks amazing....
-ellen

The Willow & Co ASH Jumpsuit

 
I was a LUCKY girl to have been picked to test a brand new pattern from Willow and Co recently and I'm here to give you a sneak peak!  It's called the ASH jumpsuit and can I tell you....it's ADORABLE!  It's created by Celina of Petit a Petit and Family.  She's super talented and was a joy to work with.
I haven't allowed myself to buy anymore woven fabrics until I use up a lot of my stash so this fabric combo is all from my stash and I love how they look all together.  Most of the other testers did all one fabric or two but I used 4.  I was going more toward the Matilda and Jane look since I adore that....  So here's what the pattern options are:

I chose to do separates and did pants (option B) and the top with band at hem (option E).  All the jumpsuits that the other ladies made were incredible and it is next on my list!  Pattern goes up to size 12 which I'm loving as my daughter gets older.
 I love the option to use a contrasting fabric for the elastic casing!
 I wasn't sure I would like the elastic at the bottom of the pants since I've never done that before but I think it really completes the look.  I am so excited for the weather to warm up and my daughter can wear this outfit!!!!
 I'm starting to make matching hair pieces with scraps from my projects.  My daughter was so excited about the hair clip and it is so easy to do.  If anyone is interested I can do a tutorial on making one.  I think it helps tie the outfit together.
 My daughter loved this outfit and we had a very fun photo shoot.  Pattern was so easy to follow.
 This pattern is just one pattern from the Willow and co Spring/Summer 2014 Collection to be released Tuesday, April 22.  The collection is called "Wanderlust: a glamping collection". Do you know what glamping is?  Glam + camping = glamping.  Here's a peak.
 
 
Can't wait for the 22nd to get here!  Pattern testing is so much fun.  You get to "meet" a lot of great women on Facebook and see everyone's creativity and how each person's outfit is so different.  It has pushed me to try a lot of new sewing techniques and my sister said it's like my sewing school and I agree.
 
I will be posting my pattern test of the Mulberry Tunic (for my son!!!) soon and I will be buying the beautiful Fawn Lily Top, Tunic and Dress for sure when the collection comes out.
 
-ellen