Sunday Girl Design’s Odette

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25th, 2016 by misha – 1 Comment

I had the pleasure to test again for Georgianna of Sunday Girl Designs. A little more than a year ago, I tested the Lily Rose dress pattern, which was a hands down favorite of ours, until she outgrew it. Georgianna’s patterns are very well written without being wordy, and all seams in her patterns are trimmed in bias, finished nicely, or well hidden.

_DSC0247The Odette pattern was originally released as a blouse and capri pants or shorts set. It is being re-released to include some great add ons like a contrasting center pleat for both blouse and dress length. If you already own Odette, you can purchase the add on here.

_DSC0233The Odette pattern includes a lot of fun options like blouse or dress length, collar, front bow, bias lined petal sleeves, and also comes equipped with shorts and capris.

_DSC0218The back of the Odette blouse and dress is closed with a button and loop and trimmed out in a placket. But don’t worry! This placket is super easy and seam ripper free. The arm (for the sleeveless version) and neck openings are finished off with either store bought or handmade bias trim and makes for such an elegant look.

_DSC0249This goosy girl choose to have her dress made with no collar, no sleeves, and dress length with a contrasting pleat. We just love how it turned out. You can really have free reign and choose a bold color to pop out, like we did.

_DSC0247The Odette is now available in the shop for $7! It is a great summer staple and can be worn year round with all the fun options!

Bostons on Parade

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2nd, 2016 by misha – Be the first to comment

_DSC0160When I saw this Boston terrier flannel at Jo Ann on clearance, I knew immediately what I would do with it. I have had The Cottage Mama’s Georgia Vintage dress in my arsenal of patterns for years but have never sewn it up before. The pattern includes 4 different views and lots of options, ranging in sizes from 6 months through 10 years. We chose “view A” and opted to use just one skirt, since it’s a flannel and heavier than a standard quilting cotton.

_DSC0182What I love best about the dress is the full collar and those sweet flutter sleeves. The dress could also easily be made sleeveless. The back ties are slightly wider than the sash and make for a big, full bow when tied. I just love dresses with sashes and ties. So sweet.

_DSC0165We had so much fun with this little photo shoot and it was all too perfect to use our own Boston terrier, Piper. Needless to say, it was very hard to get photos of those two, they were twirling and running around everywhere!

_DSC0174Bug was too excited and also needed a lesson on how to properly hold a dog. Poor Piper! She was a good sport and got lots of love and attention during and after the shoot.

_DSC0187This shot was just sheer luck with perfect timing! The look on Bug’s face is priceless. Everyone needs to own a Boston, they have the cutest little personalities and are loyal to their “children.” Piper sleeps all day when the kids are gone, but as soon as they are home from school, she livens up and jumps and plays with them until bedtime. True puppy love.

The Magrath

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2nd, 2016 by misha – Be the first to comment

IMG_2768I tested for a new-to-me designer and was so pleasantly pleased. Abby from Sew Much Ado was a true treasure to work for, she was very involved, friendly, and open to suggestions. This pattern completely blew me away. Her attention to every little detail is unprecedented. Included in her pattern and tutorial are measurements for both imperial and metric systems. Who else does that?!

IMG_2770My favorite part about The Magrath is the sweetheart bodice. There are instructions on how to omit that part, but why would you want to?! It’s so precious and lends the idea of princess cosplay like Rapunzel or Ariel. The Magrath has 3 sleeve lengths, short, 3/4, or long. We chose to sew up the long sleeve version since these pictures were taken in early February. And Bug has almost no long sleeve in her closet…

IMG_2772The back detailing of the bodice is quite accomplished. You may omit the detailing and make a plain bodice back or make the bodice back pieced like I did. It was a perfect opportunity to sneak in some different coordinating fabric. Abby’s instructions on zipper instillation are GENIUS I tell you! It makes this dress easily a beginner friendly pattern.

IMG_2769Finally, the Magrath may be made tunic or dress length. It was a no brainer for us. No little girl can have too many dresses, believe me, I stopped counting. I used some very special Hawthorne Threads fabric, Fawn in tulip, that was gifted to me by my favorite VFT girls. With so many options, you can create many different looks with one pattern. (Pattern sizes are 12-18 months through 12 years.)

Miss Maisie

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2nd, 2016 by misha – Be the first to comment

MaisieWhen I was asked to test the newest release from Violette Field Threads designer Bernadette, I did not hesitate. Her designs are classic and elegant and stay true to the brand. I was also not disappointed that the Maisie top and dress is finished off with a zipper!

_DSC0124This sweet top or dress has delicately puffed sleeves and two sleeve lengths, short or at the elbow, and is finished off with a little keyhole and bias binding. You can make your own bias to coordinate your fabric or use store bought pre made double fold bias, as I did. We also chose the longer elbow length and I love how the bias ties just right below the elbow. There is plenty of room for her to move around and play.

_DSC0080Maisie may be made into top length or dress length. We chose top length and decided to pair the top with Fawn, a pleated bubble style short released by Bernadette a few months earlier. The skirt on Maisie may be made full, or slim (selvage to selvage). Included in the pattern are sizes 12-18 months through 10 years.

IMG_2763The bodice back of Maisie has a low scoop and finishes off with a zipper. If you haven’t tried a zipper yet, don’t fear! Bernadette’s instructions are well written and I promise you will have no trouble. My favorite part of Maisie’s design is the scoop of the bodice back. It is so delicate yet stays well on the shoulders and is perfect for play.

_DSC0114And look how happy my girl is! She loves her new outfit. And the best part, I picked up these fabrics from the thrift store. The headband, top, and shorts were all made for under $5, you can’t beat that!

A trio of reviews {VFT}

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24th, 2015 by misha – Be the first to comment

Violette Field Threads is getting ready to unveil 7(!) new patterns just in time for Black Friday 2015. I tested 3 of the 7 and I think you will be blown away with all 7 of them. They each have their own charm and personality and many of them can be mixed and matched or worn together.

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First up is Molly. Molly is an earlier pattern from Violette Field Threads and is just getting an update. The pattern originally came in a 3/4 sleeve and hip length option and is being updated to add a longer length, with the hem hitting at 3-4″ above the knee, and also adding a short sleeve and longer sleeve option.

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For our Molly, we used printed duck for the outer fabric and a thick, warm fleece for the lining. It makes for a toasty warm and elegant but off beat Molly. Molly has an ease of 4-6″ which allows for a variety of fabrics to be used such as wool, velvet, upholstery, woven cotton… the options are limitless. It can be made to look elegant for a special occasion or everyday to match that favorite party dress. We paired our Molly with Loralie.

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Molly has a beautiful symmetrical Peter Pan collar that can be made from a number of different fabrics such as faux fur, woven cotton, upholstery, or just about whatever you wish. The finished jacket can be left open with no buttons, buttoned all the way down, or just a few at the top. We chose to use a snap and a decorative button to close the top of the jacket and allow the A line shape of the main body to stand out. Grab your copy of Molly and get sewing!

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Next up is Emma. Emma is an off beat asymmetrical blouse or dress with an off center collar and delicate pin tucks. Emma is designed by Alexis Wright, who is quickly becoming my favorite designer. She designed the Genevieve, a beautiful plain hem or bubble dress with a bias-cut bodice flounce. The Emma also has an option of becoming a drawstring dress. It features 3 sleeve lengths: at the elbow, 3/4, and long sleeve. The main body of the blouse/dress is meant to be an easy fitting swing style with plenty of ease for jump and play.

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The back of the Emma dress or blouse features a gathered back skirt which I think gives it that delicate “feminine” touch. It can also be altered to have a straight skirt (but why would you want to do that?!) The hem should stop at the knee.

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How about that collar! I love the off center collar of the Emma. It is spaced perfectly to allow for a little hand made bow if you wish. I see many more Emmas in our future. Get your copy and get sewing!

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I saved the best for last. Meet Violette. A ballerina inspired full tulle skirted gown with an optional peplum. She definitely lives up to her name, one of elegance and grandeur. The Violette may also be made with a slimmer tulle skirt or a full fabric skirt. The pattern is full of directions and special tips to help guide you.

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The bodice of the Violette features a low scoop back with enough closure to allow for 2 buttons. We choose to use a decorative button for the top buttonhole and a snap at the bottom of the bodice back. The bodice front features well placed princess seams and a wide, boatneck-like neckline giving it a delicate look.

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When we chose the colors for our Violette skirt, we wanted an array to make the layers stand out. The lining is a light pink, the netting is a fuschia or hot pink, the first tulle layer is platinum, and the top tulle layer is a soft baby pink. The bodice and peplum are a black with white dot made from woven cotton. We accessorized the Violette with a bow topped Russian veiling, hand strung white pearls, black lace gloves, and a vintage Avon purse from the 1940s. I am so excited to share our Violette with you, please share photos of your finished Violette with us!

Tie Dye Diva “Garnet”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 20th, 2015 by misha – Be the first to comment

_DSC0753What can I say about the newly released Garnet? There are too many awesome things, the list is too long! And I love testing for Jen of Tie Dye Diva, she works hard on her patterns and it shows.

_DSC0776Garnet is esentially 4 patterns in 1. It can be a long sleeve or short sleeve top, a circle skirt with yoga band (paneled or from one fabric) or a dress with a paneled or plain skirt. You can make the Garnet with a mix of knit and woven, or make it all out of knit. And as you can tell, the twirl factor of the skirt is amazing!!

_DSC0769 We choose to make our Garnet from knit and woven. The gray knit fabric I picked up from Hobby Lobby. The paneled circle skirt and collar were made using scraps I had stashed. Using scraps is a great way to save money and use up leftovers from previous projects. It is such a quick and satisfying sew, and a definite must have pattern staple. Buy the pattern here and as always, happy sewing.

Genevieve dress

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27th, 2015 by misha – Be the first to comment

_DSC0621I am so so excited to finally be able to share my pictures of the Genevieve dress I tested for Alexis Wright, the newest designer of Violette Field Threads! She worked so hard on this new pattern and it shows in every way. The step by step instructions leave no room for questioning and the pattern pieces match up so beautifully. Don’t be afraid of the flounce ladies, it sewed up so perfectly. I had the dress finished in just one afternoon and squealed when I held up the finished product. And I just adore that it has pockets. They lay so well with no puckering you can’t even tell they’re there. The Genevieve dress pattern is now available and if you subscribe to the VFT blog, there is a coupon code available.

_DSC0681We had a lot of fun styling for this shoot. Our little city of Madison recently had a face lift downtown and has become a hot spot for local photographers. Lots of elements of old and new come together so well to give it the right kind of photo pairing. Plus, there are train tracks and a historic roundhouse in the background, which no photographer can resist. I used my favorite blue door as the backdrop and thought big, bright, red balloons would accompany the hand laid brick so well. I am so glad that I did and we had such fun taking these photos.

_DSC0649 The Genevieve dress comes in 3 different skirt lengths: a full bubble skirt for those special occasions, a full straight skirt (length at the knee), and a full vintage skirt (length above the knee). The pockets are optional, but hey, what little girl doesn’t NEED pockets to tote all her little belongings? The dress has a cropped flounce cut on the bias that perfectly shows the bodice fabric off. The elbow length sleeves pair with the dress well for cooler months or the dress can be made sleeveless.

_DSC0664 We love the Genevieve dress so much and already have plans to make many more. The fit is spot on and is not just beautiful, but comfortable as well. I let Bug wear it all day to preschool and she had no problems. The Genevieve can be made from everyday woven fabrics (like we did) or you may choose to make it with more special occasion fabric like tulle, lace, dupioni silk, sequins, or linen. Whatever fabric you choose, this dress will be a jaw dropping stunner.

Refashioned Men’s Shirt

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7th, 2015 by misha – Be the first to comment

How to take a men’s thrift store button down shirt from this…Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 1.37.59 PM

…to this in less than an hour and a half. IMG_2049

I promise, you CAN do it. _DSC0251

All you need is a men’s button down and a willing model. _DSC0269

I had taken photos of the process but they somehow magically disappeared. I’m not sure who to blame, the babies or the husband. SMH. SO I am going to talk you through it. The next time I upcycle a shirt I will update this blog post, but for the meantime, here is a link to the inspiration from Life is Beautiful. She does a wonderful job “dissecting” the shirt and showing you the pieces to keep and the pieces to discard.

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To start with, you will need to lay out the men’s shirt on a flat surface and straighten and smooth it out with your hands. I buttoned the collar all the way up and made sure the shoulder seams were at the very top. Cut the arm sleeves straight off and set them aside. Measure your model to decide the length and width of the final bodice. I like to add in at least 2″ of ease so we can layer the dress with long sleeves for the cooler months. I wanted the bodice width to be 25″ + 1″ total seam allowance so I measured 13″ across the front of the shirt (13″ for the front + 13″ for the back = 26″). I found the center point of the shirt and measured out to the left and to the right from there 6.5″ and marked with chalk. To find the length, I measured from the top shoulder seam down down and made marks with my chalk (we ended up measuring down 11.5″). Cut where you have marked and discard the extra pieces around the arms. Either by hand or using an existing front bodice pattern piece as a guide, draw a “backwards J” onto the right side bodice and a “J” onto the left side bodice to create the amyscye. Sew up the side seams of the bodice and set aside.

For the sleeves, I decided to add a full ruffle. I measured around the armscye and used those measurements to hand draw a flutter sleeve onto construction paper, then transferring to my fabric. I knew that I would want the sleeve slightly basted so I multiplied that by 1.5 and tapered the ends of the sleeves slightly. I found some pretty pretty pink bias binding in my sewing stash and sewed that to the raw edges of the sleeves before I attached them to the bodice. I used the existing arm sleeve of the upcycled shirt, but you could also use a coordinating fabric to your liking.

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To make the skirt, I measured from the straightest point across the bottom of the shirt and up 16.” For the straightest part of the skirt hem to hit right at her knee, I needed the final measurement to be 15.5″ + .5″ for seam allowance. Make your marking right onto the men’s shirt and cut straight across. Baste the skirt to the bodice, sewing them together with a 1/2″ seam allowance, lining up the side seams of the bodice and the now skirt. If you like, overcast stitch or serge the edges of the seam and press the seam up. Topstitch right above the line where the bodice and the skirt are attached.

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Viola! In under an hour and a half you have a $2 masterpiece. My daughter begged to wear her freshly made dress to school the next morning and I swelled with mama made pride when I heard her brag to her teachers that her mommy made her dress for her from a men’s shirt.

The Refashioners 2015

Posted in Uncategorized on September 2nd, 2015 by misha – Be the first to comment

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.04.42 PMThis month I am sewing along side 20 very talented bloggers who have been challenged to take a men’s dress shirt and refashion it. This year’s challenge dubbed “Get Shirty” has allowed other enthusiastic sewists to join in on the challenge from all over the world! The prizes are enough to drool over from fabric to patterns to little bags made from scraps leftover from the challenge. For more information about the Makery and the Refashioners 2015, here is a link to Portia’s blog.

_DSC0117I have never entered a sewing challenge before and I am both excited and nervous at the same time. I kind of “lucked” into the challenge if you will; I sewed up a dress for Bug from a different men’s button down and a fellow sewist asked if I was going to enter the challenge. What do you know, this year’s theme fit perfectly. It was fate!

IMG_2046I started the challenge off with a quick trip to my local thrift store. Luckily, I arrived during $2 day and decided to purchase two shirts (I will be submitting two entries!). Both are a men’s size L button down shirt. Bug thought I was crazy when I asked her if I could take a picture of her in this giant shirt and she couldn’t stop giggling!! I started by measuring Bug and playing around with ideas in my head until the perfect one clicked. A long, hand pleated skirt with waistband and suspenders. LOVE!

_DSC0106The shirt I chose is so dark and heavy, I decided to lighten it up with a bit of pink. I changed out the generic buttons and added baby pink buttons instead, adding a fourth at the bottom, closing up the bottom of the skirt. Then I dug into my supplies and saw that I had just enough of Michael Miller’s Wee Wander Woods leftover from the Loralie dress I made to squeeze out a few finishing touches. I used the rest of my Wee Wander Woods to add a waistband to the skirt, ruffles to the pockets, and…

_DSC0146…whipped up this side double knotted headband. Bug is known for her “fashion sense” and chose to wear her leg warmers I made for her as a baby on her arms. Forever pushing the boundaries of fashion, her dream is to be just like mommy one day.

_DSC0110 After pleating the skirt to her waist measurement (adjusting for easy on and off) and adding a band at the top, I attached the suspenders directly to the front of the skirt minding the right placement and crossed them in the back. The anchor fabric is leftover from the Haven pantaloons romper I sewed up in February. (Keep your scraps ladies! It beats dragging two kids to the d r e a d e d fabric store.) I had thought about adding in a side zipper and adjustable straps, but ended up 86ing the idea. The less “bells and whistles” for a 4 year old the better.

_DSC0125Viola! There you have it. One very unique, upcycled skirt with suspenders for one very unique little girl. The entire project cost me $3 ($2 for the men’s button down, $1 on the clearance rack for the fuschia tank top.)

_DSC0127I think we will have to do this more often! We both had fun putting ideas together and Bug always has fun during the photo shoots.

_DSC0179They are definitely her favorite part. I hope you enjoyed my post and that it inspires you to think outside the box and create on your own. And as always, happy sewing :)

VFT “Clara”

Posted in Uncategorized on July 15th, 2015 by misha – Be the first to comment

claraWhen the fabulous girls of Violette Field Threads asked if I wanted to test their newest pattern in their summer collection, Clara, I did not hesitate. There is just something about baby doll tops and bloomers on little girls that is just so sweet.

clara2The front bodice of the Clara has a lovely curve to it lending a natural high-low skirt hem. The width of the skirt is more giving and gathers more to make it full and flowing.

clarabackThe back bodice buttons down and lines up with a back skirt placket making it easier to get into and out of. The pair of ruffles on each shoulder make this pattern playful and fun. Perfect for everyday play or dressed up for a special occasion.

clara3The Clara pattern from Violette Field Threads is now available in sizes 2 years through 10 years with coordinating bloomers (2-5) or shorties (2-10). The tutorial has step by step well explained instructions with full color photos and computer drawn and printable pattern pieces. It is easy enough to follow for a beginner but still challenging for an intermediate seamstress. Sew up this sweet pattern today and check out all the other available Violette Field Threads patterns in their collection. And as always, happy sewing :)