Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Matinée Pattern Release Tester Tour :: Day 2


It's Day 2 of the tester's pattern tour for the release of the Matinée pattern.  Before I share my tester's lovely versions, I wanted to talk to you about the features of the pattern itself:


Beginning with the pattern title page with these fabulously adorable watercolors I commissioned from Dandyroo Designs on Etsy.  Candace took the photos I sent her (recognize the green ombre dots dress?) and painted these images of a darling little girl!  You can order a custom watercolor of your family or of your house - but don't keep her too busy, I have plans for her to make more paintings for my future patterns!


All of the step-by-step instructions are illustrated with clear graphics.  Why graphics, you might ask?  I have found that I love the simplicity and clarity of illustrations, with no competing fabric patterns, the ability to make pieces transparent to see what is happening below the outer layers, and it makes a more timeless pattern.  Once I got the hang of making these illustrations, it was so much fun!


The Matinée looks best when it is properly fitted without any gaping at the lower back, so I've included guidance for blending two sizes if your childs' measurements place her in two different sizes, say a 3T for the waist measurement, but a torso measurement of 5T.


And the pièce de résistance, is that the pattern sizes are layered within the pdf file!  You only have to print the size(s) you want, so no crossed eyes trying to follow the lines as they intersect across pages!  You can select one or all the sizes, so blending two or more sizes is so super easy!

I have tried my utmost to present the best possible pattern for you to create a lovely, professional dress or top for your little girl.  I hope you'll appreciate the care and hard work that went into creating this pattern.

You can purchase through my Etsy shop at Jennuine Design.  Use the code MATINEE20 at checkout to receive a 20% discount through Friday to celebrate the release!

The pattern is also available on Craftsy.  This listing is at the discounted rate as Craftsy doesn't have coupon or discount capabilities.  

Okay, so now on to more of my amazing testers!


Kim of Kimmie Sew Crazy had one of the first finishes in the group, and I was so excited I squealed to see the cool fabric combinations she used.  Not to mention her sweet model and how well the playground equipment in the other shots worked into the styling.  I think I need to try gold fabric on my next version!  She's already made another version for her own daughter and she mixed it up with a gold underskirt, an idea I promptly added to a section on suggestions to customize your Matinée!


Rawr!!  Laura of Manning the Machine made this wild leopard print (or is that cheetah??  I can never remember!) with a hot pink sash version for her little girl.  She posted a little video in the tester group because she just kept swaying and dancing as soon as she put it on her!  So stinkin' cute!


Ingrid of Kuka and Bubu made a dress with the optional hem band.  I love the way the hem band balances a sash with high contrast like here.  You can see a little peek into the slit of the pocket on the skirt - pattern pieces for in-seam pockets are included because a dress with pockets is even better, right?  And look how perfect for twirling!  I mean, that's practically a requirement for a little girls' dress, right?


And last but not least for today is Shelly of Sew Shelly Sew with this great white and bright sleeveless peplum top version!  I think the white with the bold colored stripes is such a nice look.  Somebody looks like they had a great time finding Easter goodies in the grass!  Cute, cute, cute!

Get your copy of the pattern here, or here!


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Matinée Dress and Peplum Top Pattern Release Tester Tour


I am SOOO excited (and a little exhausted) that this day has arrived!  I have released my first garment pattern.  It is now available on both Etsy and on Craftsy - see those little boxes on the right?  Yup, just click on those and they'll take you to my Etsy shop, or my Craftsy Pattern Store.

This has been a lot like sending your first born out into the world by herself.  Until a couple of weeks ago, only I had made this dress.  So imagine my happy dance and sometimes misty eyes as the testers' versions began rolling in.  It's so cool seeing something you imagined and sketched out well over a year ago take on so many different and interesting variations as it's reinterpreted by each new maker.

The Matinée Dress and Peplum Top features a pseudo bateau neckline with a plunging open back. A simple sash at the empire waistline adds interest and closes the middle back. There are several options for customization: cap sleeves, a contrasting hem band, and dress or peplum lengths. Perfect for some afternoon entertainment - a matinée if you will! Sizes 12 months through 8 years.

This pattern features detailed illustrated diagrams, thorough step by step instructions, and guidance to help perfect the fit for a well-fitted final garment. All pattern pieces are full-sized and include seam allowances. The bodice is fully-lined and all seams are finished or enclosed for a professional result.

A special feature of this pattern is addition of layers, providing the ability to print only the size(s) desired.  Yup!  I put on my big girl panties and took the plunge to add layers to make everyone's life a little easier.

To celebrate, I invited my fabulous testers to join me on a pattern release tour, so this week you'll get to see their versions and reviews of the patterns.


Rachel at Nest Full of Eggs made this beautiful blue and pink pin dot version in the sleeveless bodice with knee length skirt.


Shino from Nutta! made a lovely yellow eyelet peplum top.  I was so thrilled that my idea to add an option for a top worked out so well!


And last but not least, Rachel from Once Upon a Sewing Machine made this adorable floral and striped peplum top!

Get your Matinée pattern at a discount through Friday using the code MATINEE20 on Etsy, or by using the already discounted listing on Craftsy.  I can't wait to see your versions!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2


Perfect Pattern Parcel #2

Hanami Top or Dress by Straight Grain Hosh Pants by LoubeeClothing Celestial Tee by Figgy’s September Tunic & Dress by Too Sweets Patterns Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations

I'm not sure how anybody reading sewing blogs lately could have missed the buzz about the Perfect Pattern Parcel, but just in case you somehow have, let me tell you about it:

The Perfect Pattern Parcel is this wonderful idea that brings together amazing indie designers, fabulous sewing patterns, and presents them for talented sewists to utilize while all at the same time raising funds for a really wonderful organization called Donors Choose.

With the Perfect Pattern Parcel, you get to name your own price for the included designs.  And, as a bonus for choosing a price of $24 or greater, you get a bonus pattern - the Prefontaine Shorts by Made With Moxie.


Donors Choose is an organization that matches up the needs of teachers and their students for specific projects with willing donors. The funds raised from each Pattern Parcel sale will go to help K-12 students in minimizing educational inequality and encourage a community where children have the tools and experiences necessary for an excellent education.

I have donated to a family friend who is a teacher through Donors Choose to help supply her classroom with needed books.  My next door neighbors are both teachers, and many, many of my college friends are teachers as the University I attended was a highly ranked school for teaching.  I am well aware of the gap between what is needed to effectively teach and what is provided by school funding.  Often, the teachers make up the difference out of their own pockets.  Let's give the people educating our children a little helping hand where we can, right?


LOOK!!!  Jo-Ann Fabric has NEARLY NEON STRETCH TWILL!  Sorry Lauren, I just could not resist!  This is indeed stretch twill from Jo-Ann Fabric, and from the red tag bin, so even better!  This had been in my on-deck cart patiently waiting ever since I received the e-mail inviting me to participate in The Parcel.


Now, let's talk about the great patterns I used from the bundle:  The Hanami Top by Straight Grain, and the Hosh Pants by LoubeeClothing.

Starting with the Hosh Pants, these are so amazingly quick to sew and just hit that mark of perfectly fitting while being really comfy to wear.  I have now sewn from two of Sarah's patterns and I find her instructions to be simple elegance, breaking them down to the essential steps beautifully.  I had to make my own buttonhole elastic as I mistakenly thought I had some on hand, but I can easily swap that out after a trip to Jo-Ann's.  That's why the tush isn't up quite as high as it ought to be!


The Hanami Top or Dress has so many lovely options from which to choose!  I have a thing for great design elements on the back, so I choose to do the cross-backed top with flutter sleeves.  An's instructions are also very clear; you just have to do a little hopping about to chose the directions specific to the style you're making.  The way she's laid out the tiled pattern pieces is ingenious, and she gives specific pages for printing only the pieces you need, saving trees wherever possible.


This photo shoot was a little unusual; I had finished my outfit Monday evening, which meant the only time I had to take photos was Tuesday right after work and picking the girls up from Preschool.  The temps have bounced back down to the 30's here in Michigan, so that left us with the only option being in Hadley's bedroom with the setting sun streaming in through her window.


The little ribbon detail down the front of the Hanami is the result of discovering a giant hole in the fabric of the bodice front after I had begun sewing.  The only fix I could come up with using the scraps I had remaining was to cut two fronts with added seam allowance and sew a strip of grosgrain ribbon down the seam.  It works pretty well, right?

Arden loves her outfit!  Head over to the Perfect Pattern Parcel and get yours today!

Check out the other stops on the Perfect Pattern Parcel tour:

Outfit Details:
Fabric: Floral Swiss dot and NEARLY NEON STRETCH TWILL from Jo-Ann Fabric

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Willow & Co. - Clover Shorts


I could not resist using a gif to show how happy Arden was to take her new Clover Shorts for a test run!

Yesterday I shared my Fawn Lily top, and today it's time to reveal my Clover Shorts!  These shorts, along with the Persimmon Dress and Top, are designed by Hayley of Mouse House Creations.


We tested and and tried on, tweaked and tried on again, scratched our collective heads a bit, and then Hayley worked her magic and the result was a perfect shorts pattern!  Just the right length, high enough rise for coverage on the backside and nary a wedgie in sight!  Fun details like the button tabs and tie sash with pockets that may just be large enough to stash a frog or two!


This was the second pair I made and I had to grab what I had enough of in my stash that was already washed.  Perhaps not my first choice in fabric combinations, but Arden loves them and that my friends, is really all that matters!  They go together lightening quick - I think I could dash off a pair in about an hour and a half from cutting fabric to snipping the last thread now that I have the sewing instructions memorized!


These are sized to fit girls sized 6 months to 12 years, and they take into account the changing proportions as children get older.  Arden is directly in a size 5T and these fit her perfectly!  We often have trouble with the rise in commercial bottoms with her (albeit cute) little bum doing it's best plumber impression.  Not at all the case with these shorts!


I didn't have quite enough fabric for the sash, so I might make her a little belt to go with these, or leave them as is - they're really cute either way!  There's even an option to add a ruffle to the top of the shorts for a paper bag look.


One more gratuitous booty shot.


So hop! on over to Willow & Co on April 22 and pick up a pattern or two, or all of them!

Outfit Details:
Pattern: Clover Shorts by Mouse House Creations
Fabrics:  Dear Stella Mini Confetti Dot in Peony from Fabric.com, and Birch Fabrics Abacus in Pool from Sew Fine Fabrics (no longer listed)
Shirt: Target
Sandals: See Kai Run



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Monday, April 14, 2014

Willow & Co. - Fawn Lily


So if you've been following along on my adventures in sewing of late, you may have heard me say that I was pattern testing in addition to trying to make my Kids Clothes Week sewing challenge.  I didn't make my KCW goals, but I had a really good reason - I was pattern testing a couple of patterns for the new pattern company Willow & Co!  They're letting the testers have the glory of sharing first from the collection!

I am so honored to get to call the ladies who founded Willow & Co friends and I was very excited to be selected to test two of the patterns.  I tested the Fawn Lily by Rebecca of Rock the Stitch, and the Clover Shorts by Hayley at Mouse House Creations.  I'll share my Clover Shorts tomorrow, but today it's all about the Fawn Lily:


First let me say that Hadley is not always the most excited about photo shoots, but she obviously loved her new top and got right into the action this day!  I had hoped to be able to set up a scene outside, but the weather did not cooperate and I went with my old standby location in Arden's bedroom.


You guys, this pattern is soooo cool!  One of the methods for finishing the faux cap sleeves is one I'd read about but never did and it's seriously like a magician's trick!  Pull a bodice out of the sleeve - Bam!

Now that I'm working on my own pattern I have a new found respect for what it takes to create a great pattern, and let me tell you, Rebecca has it down!  Often pattern tutorials aren't all tied up by testing, but this one was already clear as day and very professional.


With the three areas of the pattern, there are so many opportunities to play with different fabrics.  I used a grey polka dot for the yoke pieces, a solid pink cotton for the sleeves, and plaid shirting for the tunic.


It's designed for girls sized 3 months all the way to 12 years, and you can choose from among a laundry list of options to make your Fawn Lily exactly as you like:

  • Crossover or button yoke
  • Smooth or pleated sleeves
  • Top, tunic, or dress lengths
  • A-line or gathered skirt


The fit is perfection!  Hadley measures at 3T and it is exactly the right size for her.  And I love the little in-seam pockets!


The whole Wanderlust Collection will be released on April 22.  You will have the option to purchase single patterns, the entire collection, or bundles.  Let me tell you, I will be sewing all of these patterns just as soon as I can clone myself a couple of times over so I can get the time.  Oh, but I guess I'd have to buy another sewing machine, too.  Oh darn - wink!


Hadley's saying "Hey!  Make your kid a Fawn Lily, cuz I love it!"


Outfit details:
Pattern: Fawn Lily by Rock the Stitch
Fabrics: grey polka dot quilting cotton, pink broadcloth, plaid shirting all from Jo-Ann Fabrics.
Chambray Shorts: Circo from Target
Tights: Old Navy
Gold Oxford Shoes: Osh Kosh B'gosh

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kids Clothes Week Day 7 - Marina Romper


I made another finish I can share during Kids Clothes Week - The Marina Romper by Cali Faye.  So that makes two out of four for my plans for the week.


This is such a fun garment.  Arden immediately began swishing back in forth in the roomy romper.  The fabric is rayon challis and it's so soft and drapey.  The little spots are actually hearts, which scored major points in Arden's book.  I've also made myself a tunic from it when I pattern tested Made by Rae's Bianca.  I haven't yet blogged that one, so watch for that coming up.


I do need to take the bottoms up a few inches.  Even though Arden is above average height and considering they are supposed to blouse at the ankles, they are still crazy long.  The look at the bottom is also exacerbated by my attempt to shirr the bottoms vs. the recommended elastic casing.  No matter how much steam I applied to the shirring, it didn't shrink up enough to keep them on her ankles.  I'll go back and use the elastic as the pattern is written.


A word of warning, the pattern lines are in color without any dashes for differentiation, so if you print in greyscale as I did, you'll be consulting the computer frequently to be sure you're cutting the correct lines.


This pose was all Arden.  What a crackup!

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