girls' nightgowns

Girls’ Nightgowns and Extending a Placket

Hello, my sewing friends! I’m so excited to share with you these beautiful girls’ nightgowns that I made for my daughters!

Confession: my daughters have never had nightgowns before.  They have always loved their footie pajamas and that’s all I’ve ever bought for them.

But when I saw this girls’ nightgown pattern and new watercolor floral fabric, I could not wait to make these.  And the verdict? I think you can tell from these photos that my daughters are IN LOVE!  And I love them because they’re cotton, which means they’re made from a natural, breathable fiber.  And they are just so pretty!!

So what are my secret sources, you ask? Here I will reveal all:

Pattern:  Esmee girls’ nightgown pattern by Violette Field Threads. I have been using VFT patterns for years and find myself going back to them again and again…they are so easy to follow and I’ve learned SO MUCH about sewing simply from following their tutorials.

Fabric:  Indy Bloom watercolor floral quilting cotton from Hawthorne Threads.  All the designs in this fabric collection are simply stunning and would make great girls’ nightgowns.  The ones I used are linked below. My youngest asked me if she could pretend she was wearing the queen’s nightgown.  I said, “of course!” She could NOT stop dancing!

For the nightgown in the photo above I used the 48″ wide quilting cotton: Little Mae in Green by Indy Bloom

For the nightgown below I used the 48″ wide quilting cotton: Little Blushing Floral in Melon on Mist by Indy Bloom

 

I added some sturdy lace to the bodice that I’ve been saving in my stash for ages.  It’s a modern lace that complimented the florals and provides a place for the eyes to rest.

I made a couple changes to the pattern, both due to the specific comfort requirements of my kids.  First off, instead of shirring, I created a simple elastic casing for the long sleeve.  I must confess that I’ve tried shirring before and that elastic thread in the bobbin does not like me… I’m open to tips if you have them! But I really liked how the elastic casing turned out. My daughters think it is very comfortable as well.  To make the elastic casing, I measured their wrists and added 1″. I cut 1/4″ wide elastic that length.  Then I made a casing at the end of each sleeve to thread the elastic through. If you’d like a tutorial on this process, please let me know!

And for my youngest daughter’s nightgown, I decided to extend the placket to make it easier for her to put on and take off.  It’s kind of difficult to tell in this photo (which is actually good for style, but not for showing you things).

So here’s a close-up. Another confession: my girls are used to wearing knits. So anytime I make them something that doesn’t stretch, there is much consternation and maybe a little grumbling.  So I’ve learned to make things easier to put on and take off. Hence, the placket that extends beyond the bodice.

And then I prettied up the skirt with a long ruffle at the bottom.

Check out that ruffle!

She LOVES it!  “Look! I’m wearing the queen’s nightgown!”

Alright, now down to business.  Here is how I extended the placket. It’s very simple!

Sew your bodice as directed in the pattern.

Here is what to cut for the skirt:

Skirt yoke: Cut a rectangle the desired length for your size x the width of the fabric. Mine was 20.5″ long by 48″ wide.  Cut this piece in half to make a front and a back.  Cut the front piece in half to make a left and right.

Plackets: Cut two rectangles 2″ wide x the length of the previous rectangle you just cut. So mine were 2″ x 20.5″.

Skirt ruffles: Cut two rectangles the desired length for your size x the width of the fabric. Mine were 12″ long by 48″ wide.

Take your two front yoke pieces and pin the plackets to the inner edge, right sides together.  Sew with half inch seam allowance.

Press the placket and seam allowance towards the center.

Get ready to hem the edge of the plackets by folding over 1/4″ and press.

Fold along the seam towards the wrong side and press.

Topstitch along the inside edge of both plackets and then you can add your buttonholes to the left side.  I added two but you can add more if you want!  Be sure to leave at least 1/2″ between your buttonhole and the top raw edge of your skirt. Mine was actually a tad too close, but it still worked out fine.

Lay the left placket (the one with the buttonholes) directly on top of the right and topstitch the rest of the placket closed.

Gather your ruffle pieces and sew the front and back to the skirt yoke front and backs. Sew the side seams together.  Follow the rest of the directions for these girls’ nightgowns as explained in the pattern, just be sure to leave your placket open when you attach the bodice to the skirt.  Now would be a good time to sew on your buttons, if you have them. Mine didn’t arrive in time for this post (shh! don’t tell!) but my daughters couldn’t wait to wear their nightgowns anyway.

TADAH! A beautiful girls’ nightgown, customized with a little extra room.

Perfect for sleeping, drinking hot chocolate, and all their girly adventures!

Have questions? Let me know! I’ll do my best to answer.

If you make these nightgowns, be sure to let me know! Tag me on Instagram, I would love to see it!

Happy Sewing!

Jen

Granny Square Capelet free crochet pattern

Granny Square Capelet Free Crochet Pattern

I have a new idea to share with you today, it’s the Granny Square Capelet free crochet pattern!

free capelet crochet pattern

This elbow length capelet is perfect for wearing over a pretty dress with sleeves that you want to show off.  It adds an extra layer of warmth and is a great alternative to wearing a sweater over your special dress.  It’s also easier to take on and off than a sweater – convenient for kids (and adults!) who are uncomfortable with bulky sleeves inside their sweater. The pattern features directions for children and adult medium, with easy tips on how to make it bigger (or smaller).

 Supplies:

Super Bulky Weight Yarn (I used 212 yards for child size shown.) (I used Lion Brand Thick and Quick)

N hook (9mm) or size needed to obtain gauge

Yarn or tapestry needle

Stitch marker or scrap of yarn to mark the beginning of each round

free crochet pattern

Abbreviations used:

Ch: chain

Dc: double crochet

Dec: decrease (insert hook in first st, pull up a loop, insert hook in next st, pull up a loop, yo, pull through all loops on hook)

Hdc: half double crochet

Sc: single crochet

Sl: slip

St: stitch

 

Gauge:

2” = 3sc

2” = 4 rows in sc

 

Sizing:

Finished circumference at bottom edge/Finished height (with neck folded over):

Child: 36”/11”

(The child pictured is 9 years old and wears a size 7.)

Adult: 48”/15” (Approximately an adult medium. See sizing tips at the bottom of the pattern to find out how to make it bigger)

Directions for Granny Squares (make 6 child, 8 adult)

Ch 3, sl st to form a loop, ch 2

  1. 12 dc in loop, pull tail tight to close loop, sl to join to first dc, ch 2
  2. *Dc between next 2 sts, ch 2, Dc between next 2 sts, ch 2, dc between next 2 sts, ch 4, repeat from * around, sl to join to the top of the first dc, ch 1
  3. Sc in each dc, 2 sc in the ch2 spaces and 4 sc in the ch 4 spaces. Join and tie off. Weave in ends.

 

Use tapestry needle and a long piece of yarn to sew the squares together side by side.  Sew the last one to the first one at the sides to form a complete circle.  This will form the bottom row of the capelet.

You will now begin crocheting across the top of the row of granny squares to create the rest of the capelet, working upwards.

Round 1: Join to top corner of one square.  Working in the back loops only, sc in every other stitch around the entire top. Sl to join to the first sc and ch 1.

Hdc stitches are worked in back loops only. Sc stitches worked in both loops as usual.  At the end of each round, Join to first st and ch 1.

Round 2: Hdc

Round 3: Sc (Advanced tip: you can repeat rounds 2 and 3 to add length to the capelet.)

Round 4: Hdc

(For child size, continue below. For adult size, skip down to adult directions.)

Round 5: Sc, inserting 4 dec evenly

Round 6: Hdc, inserting 4 dec evenly

Round 7-8: repeat rounds 5-6

Round 9-15: sc

Finish off, leaving a long tail for attaching one of the tassles.

Adult size directions:

Round 5: Sc

Round 6: Hdc

Round 7 Sc, inserting 4 dec evenly

Round 8: Hdc, inserting 4 dec evenly

Rounds 9-12: repeat rounds 7-8

Rounds 13-23: sc

Finish off, leaving a long tail for attaching one of the tassles.

 

Tassles (child and adult)

Attach the long tail from the capelet to a yarn needle and set aside. Cut a scrap of yarn about 12” long and set aside.  Picking up your skein of yarn, holding the end with your thumb, begin loosly wrapping the yarn from your skein around the width of four fingers about 20 times.  Insert the yarn on the needle through the top of the tassle, just above your index finger and let it hang for the moment.  Insert the scrap yarn between your forefinger and middle finger (near the top of the tassle) and wrap it around the tassel. Carefully remove your hand and tie the scrap yarn around the tassel. Knot tightly.  Finish off the long tail with the yarn needle to the top of the capelet so your tassle is now securely attached.  Repeat for the second tassel, attaching a long piece of scrap yarn to tie your second tassel next to the first one. Trim the ends to even out the tassles.

Fold over the top of the capelet to form the cowl and you’re all done!

Sizing Tips:

You can make the capelet bigger (or smaller) by making more (or fewer) granny squares. Measure yourself (or the recipient) around your chest and arms with your arms at your side.  Then make one square and measure its width. Use these measurements to determine how many squares you will need to go around your body.  Keep in mind, you want the capelet to fit snugly and stretch a little bit, so round down.  Then you can add height by using the tip in the pattern (repeating rows 2 and 3).

Happy crocheting! Share your makes by tagging me on Instagram @tealandfinch. I would love to see them!

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Pattern and photos copyright ©Jen Dwyer of Teal & Finch. This pattern is my original design and may not be reproduced or sold in any form. You may make and sell the finished product, just be sure to use your own photos.

 

The Holly Dress with Thumbelina

Today I have the sweetest dresses to share with you!  I used Hawthorne Threads’ new Thumbelina fabric collection to make the Holly dress by modkid.  The minute I saw Thumbelina riding on birds and floating on lily pads, I knew I had to make dresses for my girls.

We actually just finished reading Thumbelina as part of our homeschool curriculum this year, so these dresses are extra special to us!

This was my first time using a pattern by modkid and it did not disappoint. The directions are very professionally written and the dress came together easily.

The pattern comes in sizes 2T to 10. I was a little unsure of what size to make since my girls’ height would have put them in a size 7 according to the size chart, but they both have 22″ chest measurements.  So I ended up cutting a size 5 for the bodice and figuring I would try it on before finishing the lining.  This worked out great for us and I ended up not adding any length to the bodice.  When I tried the bodice on each girl, I simply measured to find out what length to make the skirt.  Be aware that the two layers of skirt adds a lot of weight to pull the bodice down, especially if you’re using quiliting cotton like I did.

I followed the directions for the elastic in the armpits of the bodice, which worked great. The bodice dips a little low under their arms, but it’s a summer dress and I think they’re still young enough that it’s very sweet.  For an older girl, say age 9-10, it might be more of an issue to make sure the bodice is snug.

The Holly dress has a lined bodice and a two layer skirt.  You make four straps that you sew between the bodice and lining and then weave together to attach in the back. I thougth this would be intimidating but it was actually really easy.  And look how pretty it is! Totally worth it in my opinion.

I decided to add the front detail on the bodice with the contrasting fabric and a bit of lace that I had in my stash.  This was very similar to the idea shown in the samples on the pattern.  I thought it was an important finishing touch to the overall look.

For the gathers on the overskirt, I used 1/4″ wide satin ribbon instead of making bias tape from the fabric, just because I thought it would slide more easily when I went to gather the front of the skirt.  And it was easier than making my own bias tape…sometimes easier is better, in my opinion.

For my oldest daughter’s dress I used Adventure in Zest for the main fabric and Lily Dot in Midnight for the contrasting fabric.

For my younger daughter’s dress I used Joyride in Glacier Blue for the main and Lily Dot in Berry for the contrasting fabric.

I just love this dress pattern…It was so easy to make with no buttons or zippers. Wouldn’t it make a great special occasion dress? I really want to make some flower girl dresses and dress up clothes with this pattern.  My girls love the two layer skirt, I think it makes them feel fancy.

How about you? Do you have a special girl who would enjoy this dress and some Thumbelina fabric?  If you decide to make it, please tag me on Instagram, I would love to see it!

Happy Sewing!

Ileana Dress by Compagnie-M

I’m so excited to share with you today some of the cutest outfits I think I have ever made!  This is the Ileana Dress from Compagnie-M paired with Meadowlark by Hawthorne Threads…and I think it’s a match made in heaven!

This post contains affiliate links – If you click on a link and buy something, I receive a small portion of the sale.  As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my true opinions.

Add in the Flappy Coin Purse by Wendy of SewKnotCrochet and we have vintage modern perfection, in my humble opinion…

Well, my girls are in love with this ensemble and that makes me pretty happy, too!

Compagnie-M has the sweetest vintage style patterns with a modern twist.  There are so many sweet details and options in the Ileana pattern, it is really a treasure.  For both of these dresses I made the regular sleeveless bodice, but the pattern also has the option to add cap sleeves. AND there’s a raglan sleeve bodice for a very different look.

Let’s talk details…and, boy, is this dress FULL of vintage details and options. For my oldest daughter’s dress I used Meadow in Jade from Hawthorne Threads Meadowlark collection.  For a girl who loves wildflowers, this is the ultimate fabric for me.  The colors and details in this print are amazing.  I love it in this dress, but I would also love to make a quilt, pillows, or some valances for my home.  I paired it with Thatched in Peony for all the details such as the full rounded Peter Pan collar, faux button placket, and drop pocket.

Check out the twirl factor on the full circle skirt!  Once I’ve made a full circle skirt for my girls, there is really no going back…they cannot stop twirling in this skirt and I love the drape.  I confess I prefer the full circle to the tedium of gathering a skirt…and when you combine it with the twirl factor, it’s a no brainer!

Not sure about hemming a full circle skirt?  Bias tape is my new best friend!  It’s easy peasy to hem a circle skirt with bias tape…it comes out great every time…and I find working with bias tape oddly satisfying. Is that a little weird?? Who’s with me here?

If you’ve never hemmed a circle skirt with bias tape, check out this great tutorial on how to do it from the Simple Life Pattern Co. blog.

Be sure to get the Single Fold half inch wide bias tape in a fun color of your choice for hemming a skirt.

For my little’s dress, I used On a Lark in Robin’s Egg, also from the Meadowlark collection by Hawthorne Threads.  For all the details, I used Thatched in Blue Jay.

I used the little bow collar for her dress. We just love this detail so much. You could even make it pop a bit more with a contrasting color if you want. I used the same little bow from the pattern to make some impromptu headbands for the girls — the perfect quick and easy little accent!  I used these nylon headbands for the bow.

Now, let’s talk about these adorable purses!  I have had my eye on the Flappy Coin Purse pattern by Wendy of SewKnotCrochet for a couple months.  I love how simple and sweet this pattern is.  The original design is for a key holder (which I would love to make for myself), but I decided to add a strap and magnetic snap to make it into the perfect little girl’s purse.

I made the strap the same way you would make half inch wide bias tape, only you don’t want to make it on the bias (no need for a stretchy strap). Start with a 2″ wide piece of fabric, fold, iron, and sew.  I found the perfect length to be 36″ long for my girls.

And these magnetic snaps worked great! The magnetic snaps are so much easier for kids than regular snaps, and I found them to be easier to install.

These little purses are so quick and easy to make, I could make one to go with each of their dresses, no kidding! Wouldn’t it be perfect for sticking a few little treats or small toys next time you head out?  My girls were SO thrilled with these…they just made their day! They would also make great birthday gifts for any little girl.

Alright, so that’s it! I hope you enjoy these dresses as much as we do.  If you decide to try it out, go grab your pattern from Compagnie-M and let me know how it goes!  Tag me on Instagram or leave me a comment below. I would love to see it!

Happy Sewing!

Louise Sweater Misusu Patterns

Louise Sweater by Misusu Patterns

I had so much fun testing the new Louise Sweater by Misusu Patterns! Far from your typical sweatshirt, this sweater has a knit front bodice and sleeves with a woven back.  The two types of fabrics lends to so much creativity.  I really love all the different combinations you can make with this pattern!

This post contains affiliate links – If you click on a link and buy something, I receive a small portion of the sale.  As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my true opinions.

I used mint pin dots from Raspberry Creek for the front and sleeves.  I love this fabric…it is perfect for sweatshirts and washes really well.  For the back I used a very lightweight semi-sheer gingham that I found at my local JoAnn, but you can get a very similar one here.  The gingham is great for summer…I think this is the perfect beach sweatshirt!

 

This version is from the first round of testing, so the pockets are slightly different in the final version, which features an awesome kangaroo pocket.  Every kid loves pockets, right? They add so much value to any garment, they are definitely worth the extra work.  The pockets on this shirt are really unique, I just love the rounded style.

The back of the sweater has a pleat up at the top that contributes to the really nice drape of the woven fabric back.  This is a great pattern to break out that double gauze or other semi sheer fabric that you’ve been dying to use.  That way, you could wear it over a bathing suit, making it a great cover up for the pool or beach.

And did you notice the hi low hemline? It has a nice and wide hem, which is very on trend. Elles shows you how to hem the rounded curve for an easy and beautiful result! I love the method she used in this pattern, it is now the only way that I will finish a rounded hem.

For more inspiration, be sure to checkout the Misusu Patterns blog where you will find more inspiration from all the other creative testers. There is even a version for boys! So be assured that this pattern is not just for girls, we are always on the hunt for cute boy patterns, too.

If you decide to make this sweater, let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram. I would love to see it!

McCall’s 7319 Knit Dress (with some modifications)

For my Easter dress this year, I wanted to make something that I could wear any day, but still special enough to dress up a little. I love Girl Charlee knits, and I’d had this pretty pink large scale floral knit in my stash for a month or so…just waiting for the right project.  This particular print seems to be sold out, but I think this dress would be beautiful with this Sweet Blooms knit from Fabric.com.

This post contains affiliate links – If you click on a link and buy something, I receive a small portion of the sale.  As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my true opinions.

I started with the pattern: McCall’s 7319.

I really liked the look of this dress…the crossover looked unique, especially in the sleeveless version. And I love long maxi dresses, as you know from my previous blog post. As a mom, maxi skirts and dresses are the best. You can sit on the floor and be completely comfortable and I just always feel a little bit special in a long flowy knit.

When I went to sew the pattern, I had some trouble with the overlay pieces…they were about 3″ too long at the shoulders and didn’t match up at all when I placed the notch near the bottom of the v neck.  After ripping the seam out twice, I almost threw the whole thing away. But then I thought maybe I could at least use the bodice pieces.

So I decided to change the bodice to have a lining instead of the overlays.  I cut two front and two back bodice pieces and got ready to sew them at the shoulder seams.

Then I got creative and decided to add the ruffles…

And then I wanted to make the skirt floor length. I had already cut the short skirt pieces, so I changed the gathers to a full skirt gather (instead of just the front and back middle sections as written in the pattern) and added a large ruffle to the bottom.

When it was all done, I was pretty happy with the dress and I’m really glad I didn’t throw it away!  I would definitely make this dress again with my modifications.  I will try it next without the ruffle across the bodice.  I think this would be a great go-to knit dress for summer. The v-neck is unique…I mostly see knit dress patterns with a rounded neckline.

So that is my pattern hacking adventure for this week! I hope you found some inspiration to make yourself a comfy maxi dress like mine. If you do, tag me on Instagram and let me know, I’d love to see it!

By the way…if you’d like to learn a little more about my creative process, you can read my interview on Kollabora’s Meet the Maker series. So fun!

Happy Sewing!

 

 

Farrah Blouse by Chalk and Notch

Farrah Blouse and Dress by Chalk and Notch

Farrah Blouse by Chalk and Notch

I’m so happy to share with you today a top I’ve been working on for the past couple weeks. I got to be a tester for the new Farrah pattern by Chalk and Notch!

Farrah Blouse by Chalk and Notch

I’ve written before about how much I love the format of Gabriela’s patterns.  They are very professional and easy to follow.  Every page has a clickable table of contents across the top, making it so easy to find the information you need. This blouse and dress features ruffles as you like it.  Do you like them horizontal or vertical? This pattern has it.

Farrah Blouse by Chalk and Notch

The Farrah pattern is great for woven fabrics, especially lightweight ones with lots of drape. Perfect for summer.

Farrah Blouse by Chalk and Notch

I made view B with the ruffles across the front. View A has ruffles on the sides.

I have to admit, this pattern was harder than I thought it would be. Not that that’s a bad thing…I’m actually happy about that because my goal this year is to improve my sewing skills and the only way to improve is by trying new things, right?

Farrah Blouse by Chalk and Notch

What was hard about it? For one, the gusset. I’ve never sewed anything with a gusset before.  For both tops that I made, I had to get out the seam ripper when it came to the gusset.  For some reason on my second top, the gusset was a little too big and I had to cheat and cut it down a bit.  The first one went in perfectly.

Farrah Blouse by Chalk and Notch

The second thing that was hard was trying to sew a hem and a mitered corner with the rayon challis and voile that I used.  So, I turned to my secret weapon: my serger.  There is this handy book that came with my serger that has all the settings for fancy little tricks like gathering, hemming napkins, even making lingerie. So I whipped it out and used a tiny rolled hem to for my ruffle and blouse hem. It’s actually really easy! Remove the stitch finger and and left needle thread. That’s it! Those are the only changes to my settings. Goodbye tiny folds on slippery fabric…

Farrah Blouse by Chalk and Notch

I made a size 6 with no changes or asjustments and I love the way it fit.

This floral fabric is Joel Dewberry’s Blockprint Blossom Voile in Peach (not a typo…there’s no peach color in this fabric, it’s teal…so???).  I love this teal color! The voile is very lightweight, so perfect for summer and doesn’t wrinkle too noticably.  I got it from Hawthorne Threads.

Farrah Blouse by Chalk and Notch

I also made a coral version in rayon challis from Cali Fabrics.  Hello wrinkles! I love the color and the drape, but not the wrinkles… Next time I want to try rayon challis, I might go with a print so the wrinkles aren’t so obvious.

Farrah pattern by Chalk and Notch

I definitely want to try the dress version of this top and maybe view A with the ruffles along the sides. I’m not a big ruffles person but with a fabric with a nice drape, I think it would look great.

If you think you’d like to make the Farrah pattern, head on over to Chalk and Notch and check it out. Also, check out all the other amazing tester photos on Gabriela’s blog so you can see the other versions of the blouse and dress, plus get more fabric ideas.

Be sure to tag me on Instagram and show me your makes! I’d love to see them.

Happy sewing!

 

Basics Tank and Pocket Skirt Patterns by Cali Faye Collection

My new summer uniform and a bias binding tutorial!

I have taken on the challenge of building up my wardrobe and sewing most of it myself.  It sounds daunting when I say it that way…so I just take it one piece at a time and promise not to get overwhelmed.  I’m really fine with buying some of my clothes, I don’t want to overcommit myself to make everything myself, but I’m really enjoying making some basic pieces for myself. And, I’m learning a lot about sewing, too!

This post contains affiliate links – If you click on a link and buy something, I receive a small portion of the sale.  As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my true opinions.

Last week I made two basics: the Pocket Skirt and the Basics Tank by Cali Faye Collection. Once I got the sizing figured out on these, I was in love.

The tank is amazing because the fit is exactly what I needed: free flowing through the belly and hips with a nice fit through the neck and armholes.  The armholes are just the right depth for me and the neckline doesn’t shift around.  In other words, my bra stays covered throughout the day — wrastling with kids, gardening, hauling groceries…you name it…no annoying need to tug or reposition anything.  Hooray!

The best part about this pattern is that it is only TWO pieces.  Super easy. Just add a little bias tape around the armholes and neckline and you’re done.  I used a thrift store refashion for my tank…so just ignore the buttons down the back and the extra seams.  Those are leftover from the dress it used to be in it’s former life.  I love the buttons down the back and the shape of the hemline in the back…I just think it’s so flattering (if I do say so myself).

 

I usually wear a medium in all store bought shirts, so I had a bit of a conundrum when the size chart said that those with a 36″ bust should make a large.  I went ahead with my first go at this and made a large…and it was too big.  This pattern does have a bit of positive ease to it, so next I tried the medium (pictured) and it is perfect.  I’m learning to size down on patterns with positive ease…I think I just like my clothes a little more “fitted” than most.

The Pocket Skirt is quickly becoming my friend. It is very comfortable…I even wore it on a short family hike last weekend and it was so cool and perfect for hiking.  The pockets are really useful, too.  They are nice and deep and actually hide small items without a lot of bulk.

Speaking of cool (as in temperature), I am so glad that I used Art Gallery Fabrics denim for this skirt.  It is very lightweight (for denim) but a bit more substantial than quiliting cotton.  I love the design of the Casted Loops denim.  Actually, I love all their denim and think I could find something to make with every single one.

This time I made a size medium on the skirt. Next time I think I will try a mashup of a medium waistband with small skirt pieces.  I want to see if I can get the skirt to be a little more fitted, but not too tight, of course.  And the pattern does call for a 2″ hem…but I only had room for 1″ with the length I wanted.  I still like the way it looks, but (if I remember) I would add an inch in length next time just so I can try out the 2″ hem. (I’m 5’6″.)

And now you can watch me sew bias binding on the neckline… If you’ve never sewed a binding this way, you can watch the video to find out how.  The Basics Tank is so easy to make once you get the hang of this…and I think it’s pretty fun.

 

I’m so happy my summer wardrobe is starting to take shape! I can’t wait to make a few more of each of these.  How about you? What are you making for summer?

Tag me on Instagram and show me your makes! I would love to see them!

Happy sewing!

Girls Dresses Pattern Tester

This month I had the privilege of testing two beautiful new spring dress patterns by Violette Field Threads!

If you’re not familiar with Violette Field Threads and you love to sew for little girls, they have a vast selection of dress patterns for girls from babies to tween.

Their patterns are definitely modern and up on the current trends, but they always have a not too trendy classic feel to them. They are the kind you can use over and over without ever getting tired of them.  Plus, each pattern comes with several options for creating different looks. So really you can make a few different dresses from each pattern!

The first dress I made was the Elodie.  It has a sheer bodice and sweetheart neckline.  For the skirt and sweetheart bodice I used Vintage Rush Bleu by Art Gallery Fabrics (available in my fabric shop, Add Thread).  And for the sheer bodice, I used chiffon…

 

The chiffon was a lot easier to work with than I thought it would be. You can use wash away wonder tape to help with hemming the armholes and neckline if you want. I didn’t use it but didn’t have any trouble.  This dress also comes with an option for puff sleeves, which is simply adorable! You can see more examples of the sleeve version on the VFT website.

Everything about this dress was easier than I thought it would be! Just go slowly and follow the directions carefully.

And check out that bow! Fancy…

Have I mentioned my love of zippers?  My button holer never seems to work right, so I have become a big fan of zippers.  I was so happy that both these patterns called for zips!

Next, I made the Evelyn dress. I LOVED the idea of ruffle sleeves. I really want a dress like this for myself. And the awesome thing is, now I can make one for myself because I learned how to do it with this pattern!

The style I made was the plain version, size 7.  I used rayon challis for the ruffles and for the main dress fabric I used Falling Cloudberry from Pat Bravo’s Nouvelle collection with Art Gallery Fabric…also available in my fabric shop!

I will say that the elastic and ruffles made this dress a little bit more tricky to sew together, but not to fear, you can do it!

There are several other beautiful versions of this dress, including pintucks and ruffles along the bodice.  To all the options by many talented sewing mamas, head on over to the VFTs website and get inspired!

If you decide to make this dress, come back and tell me about it in the comments…I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Sewing!

 

Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen

I made some pants for myself last week…I saw that Megan Nielsen had come out with a new pattern, and since I love her style, I just had to try it right away.

Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen

I’d had my eye on some AGF denim linen for quite awhile, so I was so happy that Art Gallery Fabrics was able to sponsor this post! I chose Nectarine Sunrise so I could coordinate with my girls’ new dresses in Parapluie fabric. I talked about the dresses in my last post.  This AGF linen is such great quality.  I love the way it drapes…it is thin and lightweight but still feels substantial enough for spring and summer pants.

Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen

The Flint pants have a wide leg and a cross over closure at the side seam. I used the button option, but you can also make them with a cute little bow.  There are release tucks in the front and darts in the back. That sounds scary (at least to me!) but it turns out they are really easy! The hardest part was transfering the pattern markings to the fabric. I used a water soluble fabric pen and that worked great.  Then I just made sure to sew very slowly along the lines according to the pattern instructions.

The pants have slash pockets. The clever pocket on the left is how you get in out of the pants…with two little buttons or the tie option.  I thought this was a really smart way to do a simple closure…this way there’s no zipper front to fuss with but it doesn’t look like a cheater method at all.  It came out very polished without a lot of trouble.

Sizing was pretty easy…I made a size 8 according to the measurements in the size chart. I tried them on before installing the buttons and decided to move them over about 1/2″ to give myself a little breathing room.

Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen

On the pattern cover there is a model wearing the Flint pants and the hem falls around mid shin on her. Mine, as you could see, came to my ankles. I did shorten them by 1/2″ more than the pattern said, since I am 5’6″… a little shorter than average. But I am torn on whether or not I should shorten them more… What do you think?

I did come across what seems to be a mistake in the PDF.  The chart that tells you what pages to print (if you don’t want to print every single page) is off by one page. This seems to be due to the title page in the document containing the home printing pages.  What the pattern calls “page 1” is actually page 2 to my computer and printer. So I printed many pages that I didn’t need and had to figure out what pages I was missing.  Not the end of the world, and certainly fixable, but it did cause me a bit of a hang-up in printing out my pattern pages.  So just be aware of this issue if you decide to try out the pattern…

And what about the lovely gingham rayon fabric from Hawthorne Threads that I used for my tank?  I just LOVE the new rayon substrate! All their digitally printed fabric is coming out in a rayon option…I will be blogging some more about that soon.

If you decide to make the Flint pants, I’d love to hear about it! Tag me on Instagram with your photos.