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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Etsy Bandana Skirt Sets for Dolls

I know I've been neglecting my blog...  A LOT!  We bought a fixer upper 1970's brick ranch, I've gotten my dream job of an art teacher at my kids' school, and of course I'm the mom of two busy kids.  I still have my etsy shop and I'm slowly updating listings. 
 I have so many new and fun colors for American Girl dolls.  Light purple, dark purple, pink, red, turquoise, green, gray, chartreuse......
 You can pick the applique design just like the girl sets I have.  Western star, horse head or cowboy boot.
 Living in Colorado is perfect for making these western sets.
 I was able to find the cutest red cowboy boots to match.
 And I have lots of cowboy hats in stock these days.  Just in time for the holidays!


 I have a brand new serger that I bought MONTHS ago but haven't found the time to figure out yet.  I'm so excited to learn how to use it and I know sewing the doll shirts will go a lot faster.  I will be making black shirts too since I think they look great with the bandana skirts.
 And of course each doll set can be made with a matching girl set for a wonderful, custom Christmas or birthday present.
Happy Holidays!!!
-ellen

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ruby Jean's Closet Peony Dress Review for Pattern Revolution

 
Here's my review I did for Pattern Revolution.  Cute pattern!
 

This dress isn't my first from Ruby Jean's Closet.  I also made (and love) the Uptown Girl Dress (below).
 
The Peony Dress is so stinkin sweet!  I was drawn to how the flowers add a special twist on a peasant dress.

This dress was a very easy sew.  Directions are actually right on top of photos for each step!


The dress pattern is from 12m-10.  File is 38 pages long, with only 12 pattern pages to print!  I love how you make a casing using double fold bias tape and then insert elastic for the neck, chest, and sleeves.  I thought it was very fun to do this for some reason!


I made a size 6 for my 6 year old and fit was spot on.  I used some blue fabric I got at a thrift store for this dress.  $1 for 2yds!!!!  It's very lightweight, and cotton I guess with a linen like weave.  I just knew it would be perfect for this dress with my daughter's beautiful blue eyes. 


Each sleeve has 7 groups of flowers and 3 on the front.


I made each 3 layer flower cluster with two layers of the aqua material and the middle layer from leftover plaid material.  I love how it makes the flowers a bit more interesting.  I love the end look, but next time I might do a few less clusters to make it less poufy, but I really do love the look.


I added my fabric name tag to the back.


I made a matching flower cluster for a headband, adding beads to the center.  I think when I make the next dress, that I will add beads to the flowers on the front of the dress and my daughter agreed!


Having fun on our photo shoot.


My son had to get in there too, my daughter just adores her big brother and he helps get her to smile for real, not the lovely fake smile.


I think this is a comfy dress that can be dressed up or down.  I could definitely see it for a wedding, with the dress in linen and the flowers in matching layers of tulle and satin.  I made satin flowers by melting the edges here and think they would look amazing.  Not sure how well they would wash...

Or for fall- the dress in a plaid fabric with matching solid flowers would be lovely.

 
Excited to add yet another beautiful dress from Ruby Jean's Closet to my daughter's wardrobe.  Till next time!  -ellen
 

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