New Horizon's - Swiss Army shirt with heat transfer vinyl

I've been asking for a Silhouette Cameo machine for a while now, and I was pleasantly surprised to receive one from the hubs this past Mother's day!  I know the sky is the limit with the projects I can do with this cool machine, but my main objective in wanting one is for Heat Transfer Vinyl.  I love the idea of further customizing my handmade garments with images and words using vinyl. I was especially pumped to use it for clothing for my son.  I feel like my little guy does not get nearly as many handmade garments for several reasons, the main one being that great fabric and patterns just aren't as prevalent for boys as they are for girls.  Finding boyish print fabric that isn't too expensive, too childish, or too plain is a challenging task! Stripes and solids, albeit boring, are often what I am drawn to for my son. Enter, heat transfer vinyls and the ability to make unique and interesting shirts for my son without having to hunt for the perfect boy print fabric!

I knew the Swiss Army shirt (from New Horizons Designs) would be a staple pattern for my Heat Transfer Vinyl projects for my son.  I already adore this pattern since I could use woven fabric for the front and back, which also opens up lots of options for boy prints!  I also really love that it has side and shoulder knit fabric panels that I can use an accent or coordinate fabric to add more interest instead of just a plain basic tee.  For this version, I opted for a stripe main shirt with light grey side and shoulder panels, all knit fabrics. These black and white stripes are one of the club line of fabrics from Raspberry Creek Fabrics that I use ALL. THE. TIME. because they are so perfect! I let my son choose the vinyl color, although I suspected it would be either this neon yellow or neon orange.  I LOVE how the neon yellow pops against the black and white stripes!

After searching high and low for the perfect cut file of a tower crane, I finally gave up and created my own using a vector file I purchased.  I learned so much with this process, but still have a ton left to figure out!!! I love that when I can't find exactly what I want, I know I can somehow create it!

I'm starting to plan my son's wardrobe for the fall, and so far there are a bunch more Swiss Army shirts planned! He's starting Kindergarten this year, so really want to make some awesome stuff for him to head off to school in!  The Swiss Army shirt also has a bunch of other awesome options like a button placket, polo collar, long sleeves, etc, so its pretty much the only pattern I'll need for him!  Its the perfect canvas for all your boy sewing needs!

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Mermaid Shores Swimsuit Collection

I am back from vacation and finally able to write about the newest bathing suits I made!  There is a new collection of swimsuits from Made For Mermaids called the "Mermaid Shores" Collection, and it includes 3 girl's swimsuits, a women's suit and a girl's cover-up skirt.  I tested 4 out of the 5 patterns, opting out of the girls' Calypso bikini just because I have a personal preference not to put my daughter in bikinis at her age.  But it is a super cute, high-waisted bikini with a flounce top. Will definitely be added to our sewing pattern stash in due time!  The Lainey suit is a one shoulder bikini or tankini with optional waist and neckline ruffles.  I sewed up a tankini version with the ruffles and it is ADORABLE.  The Camila and Mama Camila are one piece suits with a flounce that can be worn off the shoulder or under the arms.  It has halter straps or tie strap options.  This suit is also super easy to hack into a two-piece... which of course I had to do!  Lastly there is an adorable mermaid tail inspired cover-up skirt called the Pearl cover-up. The skirt is a super quick sew and an adorable addition to any of the suits!

The first suit I made up was the Lainey.  I used a bright poly/spandex print from Joann's for the main suit, and accented it with a orange solid nylon/spandex swim knit, also from Joanns.  The suit is the original version of the pattern before final tweaks were made, so it stands away just slightly from her shoulder, but this issue was fixed during testing!  I opted for the tankini length mostly for some modesty, but also for our active girl's lifestyle!  She is a fish, or should I say mermaid ;), and spends a ton of time going off the diving board and swimming at our pool. This suit has already logged several hours at our country club pool and most recently at the beach on our recent vacation.  Definitely passes the cute but super functional test!

Next I sewed up our one piece (matching) Camila and Mama Camila suits.  I used a solid navy nylon/spandex swim knit from Cali Fabrics for the main suit and straps, and for the flounce I used some left over purple and navy paisley print I had from my Taking the Plunge swimsuit test.  I went with the under the arm flounce and halter straps as that is most practical for us as we do a lot of swimming at the pool.  There is some slight ruching on the bodice at the waist area, and its a subtle but flattering detail!  The coverage on this suit is spot on for me, and I felt so comfortable and confident jumping the waves with my kids on the beach last week! 

I also made a separates version of the Camila and Mama Camila for me and my daughter.  This is one of the hacks featured on the Made for Mermaids Blog. Its a very easy hack and can easily be customized for your most flattering fit!  I chose a mid rise on my bottoms as high rise doesn't work well for my shape.  By doing the separates, I left out the ruching, but if you chose a high rise bottom you could easily add the ruching to that!

Lastly is the Pearl cover-up.  This is a super fast sew, but does require a fair amount of fabric due to the flounce at the bottom.  I played pattern tetris though and was able to just squeeze my daughter's Camila two-piece and this skirt out of just 3/4 of a yard of performance fabric!  I went with Ariel inspired colors because my daughter is obsessed!  This skirt may become my new go-to birthday gift for my daughter's friends as its such a quick sew and is a big crowd pleaser!  My girl wore her mermaid outfit with the Camila two-piece and Pearl skirt on the beach one day last week and just splashed in the waves for HOURS.  Everyone that walked by commented on her adorable mermaid outfit!

I took all of our recently sewn suits with us on our vacation last week to Ocean Isle Beach, NC.  I also packed a couple store bought suits but I never wore a single one of mine, and my daughter only wore hers that had rash-guards a couple of days to keep the sun off her shoulders.  Otherwise it was all handmade suits for us!  I think its safe to say we both loved our handmade pieces! Below are a few of the pics I snapped while we were on the beach!

 

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Patterns for Pirates - "Take the Plunge Swimsuit"

I love pattern testing for many reasons.  Mostly, its for the challenge and to push me to try new things.  Well, I've just been pushed into making something I never thought I would.  I tested a swimsuit pattern!  I was able to be a tester for the new Take the Plunge swimsuit pattern from Patterns for Pirates. This test was very challenging for several reasons.  One, being that I've never sewn with swim fabric before... (talk about SLIPPERY!) and two, I had to photograph myself wearing said handmade swimsuit.  And ya know what... not only did I do these two things... I LOVED it!  I am now currently testing 3 other swimsuits patterns for myself and my daughter because now that I've jumped into this, I won't go back! (and once I start something, I admittedly go a little overboard!)

I truly have never had much of a problem finding suits that fit me or my daughter as we fit into normal ready to wear sizes easily, but now that I can actually customize them and make any small changes I need, I can make absolutely perfect fitting suits with zero compromise!

I am so excited about this suit pattern and the options it has.  I love ALL of the included options, and also the fact that it lends itself to lots of modifications too!  I plan to make a tankini version by modifying it a little bit, and I also cant wait to make a removable swim skirt for another version!

Sewing with swimwear fabrics is not to be rushed.  It is absolutely necessary to take your time and use care to keep the layers from sliding around. There probably is no such thing as too many wonder clips to keep everything stable!  This pattern is rated intermediate, but can definitely be tamed by even an advanced beginner sewist if they take it slooooooooow!

I chose a poly spandex performance fabric from Joann's for my test version.  I also accented with a nylon spandex swim fabric.  I lined it with traditional swimsuit lining fabric, also from Joann's.  I initially used some very thin sew in cups. (not really "cups" as they were just liners I pulled out of an old bandeau bra).  But, that thin layer didn't really give me the lift I wanted so I tucked another pair of more molded cups in and tacked them in place after the fact!

So, this is me, being brave and taking pictures of myself in a bathing. And then putting them the internet.  If I can do that, then you can make this and wear it to the pool or lake.  I can promise that you will feel like a goddess after you make your own swimwear.  Its definitely empowering being able to make something you feel so good in!

The Take the Plunge swimsuit pattern is on sale for a few days, so grab it soon and get started sewing so you can be pool or beach ready for the rest of the summer!

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Made for Mermaids Vivienne and Dylan patterns

Made for Mermaids just a released a collection of coordinating family shirt patterns! There is something for mama, sis, brother, and for the first time: DADDY!  I tested 3 out of 4 of them (I sat out of the daddy one as I was a little too swamped to attempt that one this go round unfortunately).  I still have a couple in process I haven't finished and photographed yet, but I do have a mommy and me matching set I made for my girl and I, and another brother/sister set I was able to make!

The first version I made was a shirt length top for myself and a tunic length top for my girl.  I used some awesome Zebra jersey knit I had bought at Fabric.com several years ago.  I picked up the black and white stripes from Raspberry Creek Fabrics a good year or so ago as well, and the two fabrics have been hanging out on my shelf together waiting for the perfect pattern to use them with.  As soon as I saw the line drawings of the Vivienne patterns I knew this fabric pairing would be perfect for it!

The next set I made was a matching set for my son and daughter.  My kids are both OBSESSSED with all things construction, so as soon as we spotted this fabric at Joann's, they had to have it.  The girl has been asking for a construction dress ever since we bought it, so I knew these would be the perfect pattern to make them a matching set!  The stripes on these are also from Raspberry Creek Fabrics!

Be sure to pick up your copies of the patterns while they are on sale for release! There's Vivienne, Mama Vivienne, Dylan, and Men's Dylan... Or grab the family bundle of all four patterns for a HUGE discount! (but that is only available for a very limited time!)

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Girl's Portlander Pants from New Horizons

A couple months ago I made a pair of pinterest inspired lounge pants using the Portlander Pants pattern from New Horizons Designs, and they were a hit! I wear them weekly because they are the most comfortable things I own, and they're cute enough to wear in public!

Thankfully, there is now a matching girl's version of the Portlander pants! You can pick up the patterns individually, or grab the bundle of both the girl's and women's if you are needing both patterns! I made my little girl a matching pair to mine... because I clearly have a thing for Mommy and Me sets! :)  I have to admit though, she is in a "dresses only" phase and did not appreciate these as much as she should! Her attitude towards them did improve a bit when a neighbor walked by and saw us in our matching set and gushed at how cute we were, especially her.  I also made her a pair of adorable shorts using the pattern that she thankfully does love, but haven't gotten to photograph them yet.  I'll definitely be making her more shorts for summer, and then try again with the pants closer to fall!

This is a ridiculously fast pattern to sew up.  Even with adding the grommets and making my own drawstring for the pants, I had them done and hemmed in 40 min.  The shorts only took me 15 total! Since my girl is still in a pretty small size, the shorts will be an excellent scrap buster!

I also made us some coordinating shirts to go with our pants.  Hers is a Dublin Dolman in an ivory brushed poly, and mine is a modified Key West Tank that I changed up to have an open back and side vented hem. (The Key West Tank pattern is free with a code found in the facebook group, FYI! Its an awesome basic pattern with several options, and also lends itself to lots of easy modifications as well!) The ivory brushed poly and the floral french terry for our pants are both from So Sew English Fabrics.

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Sommer and Mama Sommer patterns from Made for Mermaids

You KNOW a pattern is a good one when I make more than one during testing!!  And based on the fact that I completed SEVEN different versions, I would say the new Sommer patterns Catherine Muzatti designed for Made for Mermaids are some WINNERS!!  Yep, I really did make seven versions between the Women's and girl's version of the pattern (plus a few hacks, so check back on that later!), not to mention I had 4 other pattern tests going on concurrently. Phew.

Anywho, 6 of the versions were for my girl, and 1 of them was for me.  I'll share 4 of my daughters and also mine with you now, but I'm saving the 2 other versions that I hacked for later in the week! These patterns have so many options, from skirt lengths to strap styles and added ruffles... not to mention the countless hacks and mashes you can do with them!

The first version I made was my assigned version, a maxi length dress.  I chose to do the single straps, and also added the bodice ruffle.  The bodice itself is a cotton spandex knit from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, and the skirt and ruffle are a cotton woven from Hobby Lobby (from many, many years ago, although they likely still have it!) This is the girl's first maxi dress, and she loved it! Said she felt so fancy. (Don't let some of the pouty faces fool you, she DID love it, but she's 3.5 years old, so what do you expect!)

After I completed my first version (and fell completely in love) I started cutting out 3 more versions for the heck of it!  Then, for one I started for my daughter, I decided to make a matching dress for myself too, because... why not! For our Mommy and me set, the dress portion is a cotton spandex from an old Knitfix fabric from Girl Charlee.  Remember Knitfix!?  I'm still working through my stash that program helped me build!  The cute navy polka dotted bindings are a cotton spandex from Raspberry Creek. Its part of their club line and comes in a dozen fun colors (that are all so perfect for little accents like this!) I opted for dress length and the double straps on these versions!

Next up came a mash of the Sommer bodice with the hi-lo circle skirt from the Noelle pattern. These two are a match made in heaven!  My daughter absolutely adores the Noelle dresses I've made, but I needed a more warm weather friendly bodice to go with it, and VOILA Sommer to the rescue!  I used a cotton spandex from Hobby Lobby for the dress and straps on this version. Also opted for the single straps on this version! There is a whole post on the M4M blog about what other patterns mash well with the Sommer bodice besides Noelle, so go check it out!

Lastly, for my final dress version, I chose another cotton woven as the skirt and paired it with a pretty hot pink cotton spandex from Girl Charlee. (again, from ages ago... thank goodness for an overflowing stash to pick from!)  Both my daughter and son LOVE my little ponies, so this is a much loved dress by everyone in the house! I decided to do another double strap option for this as well!

Phew, if you made it through all that, then BLESS YOUR HEART! Sorry for the overload, I just loved this pattern so much I had to go a little overboard with it!  I still have 2 more versions to share with you, and they are some hacks using other Made for Mermaids patterns. It'll be posted on their blog on Thursday!  Be sure to pick up your copies of the patterns while they are on sale.  Also, I should mention there is a third Sommer pattern I have no use for anymore... the baby Sommer that includes a cute bubble romper! You can get one individually on sale, no coupon needed, or create your own bundle and save! Use the code BUY2SOMMER for $3off your bundle of 2 of the Sommer patterns or code BUY3SOMMER for $5off your bundle of all 3! Bundle discounts are only available during the release sale.

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Bayside Romper and Dress by New Horizons

Terra at New Horizon's Designs is one of the designers I regularly test for.  I adore her patterns and the instructions are always so clear.  The new Bayside Romper is no exception.  This pattern is PACKED with options, and all of the results from testing were awesome for all of the different versions!

I've had trouble in the past finding RTW rompers that fit me, as I must either have an incredibly long torso... or those are drafted for people shorter than average!!  I was so excited to be able to customize my own romper to fit me!  I made up a pants length romper for testing, and only had to add length to the pants pieces... the bodice fit me perfectly as drafted!!  I love the consistency of Terra's patterns too.  I normally do not need to add length to her top patterns (being 5'7" I am a bit over the standard 5'5" patterns are drafted for) but I do normally add a bit of length to her Portlander pants pattern... and I am pleased to say the new Bayside Romper falls right in line with that consistency!

The fun crossover back is not only a cute visual detail, its also super functional for easily getting the romper on and off without requiring any closures!  This was a surprisingly quick sew, even with all the neat features it has.  And with all of the options, you can make lots of different versions from one pattern.  Up next for me is a shorts version.... Then probably a mini skirt.... and then I'll probably make another pants version. And I need to make a color-blocked version like the cover photo of the pattern. Oh and I've already hacked the pattern to be a pair of joggers, so I'll have an upcoming post of a tutorial for that as well!

This version is all double brushed poly, so let me tell you, its like wearing the most comfortable pajamas possible, but is actually really stylish! I feel so sneaky when I can be this comfortable AND trendy! Striped fabric is from So Sew English fabrics and floral is from Knitpop!

Pick up your copy of the pattern now while its on sale!  You can find it here! You are going to want to grab this while it's only $8. So many options in one pattern!

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Telluride Top Open back hack

If you follow my blog or other social media posts you know I have a thing for pockets. That's a given.  Something else I have quite the obsession with is open back tops to show off my interesting sports bras and bralettes.  The more straps a bra has the better, and I want to be able to show those off!  I did a super simple hack on the Telluride Top from New Horizon's Designs in order to turn a basic shirt pattern into an open back top! (I say "basic shirt pattern", but the Telluride is actually far from basic!! Its packed with options, I just used the basic options for this hack!)  I wanted to make 2 versions, one in athletic fabric to wear for working out and one in a bright print to pair with jeans!  My athletic fabric is from Hobby Lobby. (And its awesome! I just went back and bought it in 2 more colors because its an excellent weight and was super easy to sew with!)  The bright printed Paisley is from So Sew English fabrics.  I originally bought it to make leggings with, but I changed my plan and opted for a fun t-shirt instead.  I love all the colors in it, and decided to use some solid black ribbing for the cutout and neck binding for a little contrast.  I wrote up a quick tutorial on how I did this hack, which you can find on the New Horizon's blog!


Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Women's Favorite Tee and Girl's Fav Tee from Patterns for Pirates

Just when I thought I had enough "basics" in my pattern stash, designer Patterns for Pirates comes out with a new staple piece!  The Favorite Tee (and the girl's sized Fav Tee) has loads of options from top, to dress with various hemlines and sleeve lengths, not to mention scoop or v-neck options as well!  As a tester for this pattern, I made a dress length version for myself with 3/4 sleeves and a v-neck.  I used some double brushed poly from Sew So English because I knew the drape would be beautiful for a cute little dress.  I know a lot of my cuts from SSE are cut generously, and thankfully I stumbled across one in my stash that was a very generous yard and I was able to squeeze this dress out of it!

I also made a coordinating but not matching tunic top for my daughter using some pretty coral and cream stripes from Hobby Lobby.  I love how the tunic and top lengths have a side vent to them.  Such a classic little detail (and its honestly a whole lot easier to do than I had expected!)

Following the testing period, I made myself another version, this time opting for the split hem top length, and modified the sleeves to be a half/elbow sleeve length.  I opted for a scoop neck on this one to try out the difference, and I honestly love both necklines equally!  The fit on this is so spot on!  I lengthened the top an inch for my height (I'm almost 5'7") and it hits exactly where I'd like it to!  For this version I used a yard of double brushed poly from Knitpop.  I've purchased a whole lot of fabric from there, but this is the first thing I've made with any of it!!

 

If you want to pick up the pattern, you can do so here, and it'll be on sale for the next few days!  There is also the girl's version, and for a limited time a bundled version of the girl's and women's patterns!

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Portlander Pants

 Small sampling of Pinterest Inspiration

Small sampling of Pinterest Inspiration

There are a bunch of beautiful,  floral wide leg lounge pants that show up in my Pinterest feed several times a day....  I have been absolutely swooning over them, so I took a little bit of time and fabric from my stash and made myself a pair using the Portlander Pants pattern from New Horizon's! (It was released prior to the name change, so you may remember it being from Terra's Treasures before she changed the pattern company name, just an FYI!)  The one thing missing from the "Pinspiration" pants is POCKETS!  If you've been following me for a while, you know that pockets are life and 90% of the time I will pass on a pattern if it doesn't have pockets..... Thankfully, there is a blog post on the New Horizon's website with a tutorial and extra pattern piece so that I could add some patch pockets to the front of the pants, therefore making them EVEN BETTER than the "pinspiration" pants!  :)

For my pair, I used a couple of amazingly soft rayon blend French Terry fabrics to make sure they are the most comfortable lounge pants around!  The floral print is from So Sew English, and comes in a couple other color ways as well.  The solid waistband is very lightweight, and ultra soft.  It is the perfect true "oatmeal" color I have been searching for!  I found it at Love Adore knit fabrics, and also grabbed a royal blue and black because one can never have enough solid color french terry's on hand! (or so I like to tell myself...)  These pants came together very quickly, and are exactly what I was looking for!  If you want to recreate these popular pants for yourself, you can grab the copy of the pattern here, and don't forget to check out the blog post mentioned above for adding the pockets!

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Pattern Test - Sutton Dress from Made for Mermaids

About a week and a half ago I sat down to sift through my patterns and start planning Madelyn's Easter dress.  Holiday's always sneak up on me, so I wanted to be well prepared and start on her dress soon.  None of the patterns I own were really jumping out at me for an Easter dress (except Harper, but I used that last year for Easter!) so I took a break and was going to search around for a new pattern to pick up. No joke, I logged onto Facebook and saw there was a tester call out for a gorgeous new dress in the works from Made for Mermaids! It was EXACTLY what I was looking for in an Easter dress pattern!  I signed up and crossed my fingers and toes that I would be chosen!

Thankfully, I was picked to join in on the test and immediately got to work.  I made a trip the next morning to Hobby Lobby to grab some fabrics for the dress, because despite my over-flowing fabric closet, I truly did not have anything that would work for this dress in my stash!  (it calls for about 2-3 yards of cotton woven and I do not have much of that in my stash!)  I picked up several fabric combinations (and a bunch of notions!), and settled on this stripe and floral combination for my first go.  I also picked up this beautiful pink floral I will make up for her actual Easter dress!

For the longest time I only worked with knit fabric, and I've gotten used to the more "forgiving" nature of knits.  If knit pieces aren't cut precise, its much easier to fudge it with knits because you can stretch them a bit.  I had forgotten how time consuming woven projects are, but I sure do love the crispness of a perfectly finished woven piece!  The details on this dress are stunning: from the princess seams, to the bias ties and plackets on the sleeves, to the perfectly twirly gathered circle skirt!

 

If you are in the market for a new Easter Dress pattern or just a beautiful everyday dress, go get yourself a copy of the Sutton Dress and top pattern while its on sale (for $7 instead of $9 through 3/5 only!!)

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

New Horizon's TAMI revolution Hoodie

I just love it when pattern designers take a trending design on pinterest and make it reality for us!!

This cozy double hood pattern may be all I make for the rest of the winter.  I made up two during testing and they could not be more cozy!  Both of my versions had the same options, but I'll probably switch it up and try some of the other options my next go around!

Here is one version made with some heathered mint french terry I have been hoarding from Raspberry Creek Fabrics for quite some time now.  I also used some floral french terry scraps from So Sew English Fabrics that were leftover from my Driftwood hoodie test!  I also happened to have the perfect zipper in my stash.  It had a cute little turquoise zig zag on it that matched my fabrics perfectly.  (I bought it on clearance at JoAnns for $.97 last spring!)

My second version is my favorite.  I bought this fabulous neon yellow Double Brushed Poly fabric from Love Adore knits knowing it would likely be an awful color on me, but needing it in my life anyway.  Thankfully this pattern allowed me to use it as an awesome accent!!  I lined the hood on this version to make it a little thicker and cozier.  The grey french terry actually has some silver metallic threads throughout it that were difficult to capture with my camera.  I picked that up at JoAnn Fabrics in the Famous Maker section!! (I also grabbed it in navy and burgundy, because one can never have enough metallic french terry, amiright!?)

This was my first time adding grommets to the garment, and once I figured out how to actually use that little tool that come with them, I was set!  Thanks to Terra for posting this youtube video for me that is! I don't know why I was so intimated by grommets... I would always do buttonholes instead but am now realizing grommets are actually so much quicker and easier!

I do believe everyone needs this pattern in their lives, especially with all the fun options it has!  Go grab it now while its on sale!!  You can grab your copy here!

 

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these may be "affiliate links" which means that if you decide to make a purchase I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased, but at no additional cost to you.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of sewing up or testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

New Horizons 11th Hour Gear pattern set

The newest pattern from New Horizons is a MUST HAVE if you sew for boys!  Its got so many options packed in one pattern set, you can mix and match to your hearts desire!  I made joggers and a plain t-shirt for my son, and he is in love!  This style of pants is perfect for him as he LOVES the pockets, and the fabric could not be softer (its a double brushed poly from So Sew English).

I love that this pattern is also totally unisex.  Joggers work perfectly for little girls, and the shirt is pretty slim so would work great for my daughter as well!  My son has already claimed the next spot on my next sewing project , but after that will be some joggers for my daughter!  Be sure to swing by and grab the 11th Hour Gear pattern for yourself!

Claire pattern - a 2 way dolman top from Made for Mermaids

If I had to list one of my top priorities when choosing a new sewing pattern to purchase.... it would have to be versatility.  I tend to quickly pass up patterns I know I can only sew up once or twice.  I want patterns in my stash that I can use over and over again.  The new mama Claire top from Made for Mermaids is pretty much as multi-purpose and versatile as they come!  Its a dolman style top with a cross over bodice piece, and a crew neck bodice piece, and the kicker is that it can be worn with the cross over in either the front or the back!  I made up 2 versions during testing for this pattern, and love how both turned out!

My first version I made in a cute checked jersey knit I got from Fabric.com a good 2 years ago.  I should note, this was the first version of the pattern that was later tweaked, so the neckline is a little higher on me than it would be with the final version!  I love this worn both forwards and backwards.  I have a thing for pretty lacy bralettes, so I adore how the open crossover back shows them off!  It also looks cute worn with the crossover in front as well!

My second version I made from a very stretchy and drapey rayon spandex that I got from So Sew English fabrics as part of their "make it a bundle" offering. Next time I make one of these tops in such a stretchy material, I will size down as this one grew a size as I sewed it! But, I also love how this turned out!

 

Be sure to pick up your copy of the pattern this week while its on sale! There is also a girls version of this pattern too. The tester photos of the girls top all look super cute as well! For a limited time, you can also purchase a bundle of the two patterns for an even bigger discount!

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these are "affiliate links" which means I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

 

Made for Mermaids first Mama Dreamy Pattern - Joy Dress

I am so excited to have been able to test one of the newest patterns from Made for Mermaids.  This one is also a new addition to the Dreamy Collection, and the first one for Mamas! It also comes in girl sizes!  The pattern is designed for stable knits and features 2 necklines, 3 sleeve lengths, and 5 skirt lengths with everything from peplum to Maxi! The skirt is pleated, and I was initially intimidated of doing the pleats, but it turned out to be so simple and quick!  It can also include a zipper if you wish, but it is not necessary for function, so I left that option off mine to make it even quicker.

My version is a low neck, short sleeve mini length, and I made it using the same kelly green ponte de roma fabric I had in my stash from Girl Charlee from several years ago. You may recall I also made my daughter's Christmas dress from this same fabric.  I love having a coordinating dress to her.  They are similar enough to just be cute, but different styles that it doesn't look TOO cheesy....

joy and noelle2.jpg

The silhouette of this dress is very similar to the popular Lularoe Amelia style dress with the pleats.  I love the fact that I can make my own version at an affordable price and tailor it to fit me perfectly!  The pleats are so flattering.  My next version will definitely include the pocket option though!  You can purchase the pattern here, or for a limited time, pick up the the bundled version with the girls pattern here!

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these are "affiliate links" which means I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Noelle Dress - Newest pattern in the Dreamy Collection from Made for Mermaids

The third pattern I tested last week was the gorgeous Noelle Dress from Made for Mermaids.  Its an addition to their Dreamy Collection, which is a beautiful collection of dress patterns, and includes a series of interchangeable bodices and skirts to create whatever gorgeous creation you wish!  The Noelle features a stand-up boatneck cowl and a high low circle skirt or peplum with optional pettiskirt layers.  Let me tell you, the twirl factor of this dress is perfect!!

I knew I wanted to make a Christmas dress for my daughter to wear to our Santa Brunch at the County Club.  I chose a gorgeous kelly green Ponte de Roma fabric I've had in my stash from Girl Charlee for almost 2 years now.  It was the perfect color and weight for this dress!  I also knew I had to make a pettiskirt for optimal twirling, so I opted for 3 layers of stretch lace.  I found my off white lace at Walmart of all places!

You can pick up your copy of this pattern here.  Remember its meant to be able to mix and match with some of the other pieces in the Dreamy Collection!

 The lighting was so perfect for the dress photo shoot, and my kids were in such good moods, I took advantage and turned it into a Christmas Card shoot as well.  Found a winner!

The lighting was so perfect for the dress photo shoot, and my kids were in such good moods, I took advantage and turned it into a Christmas Card shoot as well.  Found a winner!

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these are "affiliate links" which means I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!

Deer Creek Dress and Tunic by New Horizon's designs

Last week, I somehow managed to pull off three pattern tests at the same time!  Phew. I loved all three patterns and my results were perfect for each one!

First up were the matching elastic waisted dress or tunic from New Horizon's designs.  I was assigned a tunic length top for my daughter and a curved hem dress for myself.  The most daunting task was choosing fabric to use for each!  I knew I wanted them to coordinate as I planned do to pictures together, and even with my extensive fabric collection, I struggled to find 2 things I liked well enough together!  I finally settled on a couple amazingly soft Double Brushed Poly choices.  I also decided on matching leggings for us, although I ultimately decided the leggings with my dress length did not work.  I went with a beautiful burgundy floral print double brushed poly for my dress (from So Sew English Fabrics) and a solid ruby double brushed poly for my daughter's tunic (from Purpleseamstress fabrics).  I also made up some matching leggins in Olive Green double brushed poly (from So Sew English as well).  Side note, if you have not tried sewing with double brushed poly, you need to give it a shot. This stuff is so soft, I felt like I was wearing a nightgown instead of a dress that day!  Do be careful with washing though, as it is a fairly delicate fabric despite its weight and warmth, and can easily pill or snag in the wash!

Back to the pattern at hand... This pattern has 3 different sleeve lengths (cap, 3/4 or long) and 3 different hem lengths (curved tunic, straight dress and curved dress).  It features an elastic waist with a casing, and I honestly found this method of construction the easiest yet!  Since there is no trimming of the seam allowance (phew!), I could use a serger to attach the skirt and bodice pieces leaving a nice finished look inside!  Also, it may sound like it may be bulky because the seam allowance doesn't get trimmed down, but the instructions call for very thin elastic, meaning there is no more bulk in this casing than other methods! I definitely recommend this pattern for beginners as its got clear instructions and simple construction!

Finally, I'd be remiss to mention, this dress has pockets.  You're welcome.

The patterns are available for purchase as a bundle, or individually (girls here and women's here) on the New horizons website!

Please note that this post contains links.  Some of these are "affiliate links" which means I get paid a tiny portion of whatever is purchased.  Affiliate payments go directly to my fabric fund to continue the cycle of testing more patterns so I can share the love with you!