Thursday, August 29, 2013

BubbleGum Dress

I participated in my first ever sew-a-long earlier this month and had a great time. It was through the Candy Castle group on Facebook, and there was a pretty generous deadline (it was a few weeks total to sew the dress). I didn't post as much as I would have liked to and I got behind a few times (even though we had several days for each step), but I finished on time and LOVED seeing all the beautiful dresses that others made.

I'm not normally a big mixed print kind of girl, but I had so much fun with the bright colors and all of the ways that prints can be used for this dress. I have to admit, though, I was a bit jealous of some of  the bias trims the other ladies used. There was one with lace edges and a lot with crocheted edges and they were so pretty.

I really like the effect of the blue I used but I realized after the photoshoot (of course) that I had tied it wrong--the tie should go around the back and I ran it across the front. Oh well. Next time Danielle wears it I'll get it right.

I really like this pattern. Actually, for the sewalong there was a modification--the skirt was made much fuller than the original (and the contrast band at the bottom may have been added for the sewalong as well). I like the poofed sleeves, the bias trim, the contrast band, the full skirt. I think I made the wrap cross a little higher so it would have a bit more modesty. The sizing had two sizes as one (3/4, etc), which I'm not a fan of, but because this is a wrap style it works for the bodice (and I have to adjust for length all the time anyways). And I need to adjust where the loop and tie are attached so it sits right at the waist seam, but I will definitely be making this dress again.

Haha, I pretended I was a real photographer and staged props!

The fabric combinations are endless, the original pattern has a slimmer skirt that would be fun to try, there's a ruffled neckline option, it can be made in a knit--this is seriously a solid investment.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Knit Ruffle Dress

I sure have been making a lot of dresses lately! One of them was this knit ruffle dress I tested for 5Berries. It's just long enough to be worn as a dress but if Danielle grows anymore before it gets cool here it will definitely need to be worn with leggings.

I forgot to put the bow on before taking these pictures--it goes in the center of the ribbon and is a cute touch. The dress is pretty straightforward, though there is only one ruffle (the bottom one) on the back, which I thought was a nice detail.

The sleeves are a nice length, and I'm happy to already have some long-sleeved dresses in Danielle's wardrobe for church this fall/winter..

Once the ruffles are attached, this dress goes together fairly quickly. I'd like to make more for Danielle, but I have so many other projects going on that I think it will have to wait until next year. Besides, I don't have many knits in my stash appropriate for kids--this one was intended as a shirt for me, but I think she wears it better than I could :) Here she is dancing in it:

Oh, almost forgot. Here's what it looks like from the side. I don't think the ruffles really poof out like this--I think this is ruffled up from her impromptu dance break.  I think this is such a cute, girlie look and who doesn't love a pattern for knits?.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

5Berries Testing

I'm so ashamed! One of the shops I test the most for happens to be the one I blog the least about, for no good reason. Anna, the designer for 5Berries and Dress Patterns 4 Girls has created some really cute designs, including the Eva peasant dress I blogged about here and the Gatsby dress that I haven't shared pictures of yet. The Juliet dress (pictured above) is her newest pattern. It's hard to tell with my crazy prints (which look good together in natural light but not with my camera flash), but this dress has a poofier upper sleeve and a slimmer lower sleeve, reminiscent of Juliet (from the famous play).

A lot of her dresses do tend to be variations of the peasant dress, but she offers some cute details and her sloper for this style is my favorite. There is just the right amount of flare in the A-line and the neckline is lower in the front than it is in the back. I've used her basic peasant dress with some length added to make nightgowns for Danielle the past two summers. The dress shown below was a test that turned out a little short, so that ended up as a nightgown as well, just one that has a cute flutter sleeve detail :)

Besides dresses, she also has some patterns for rompers, skirts, pants, etc. I tested the Emily capris back in April (I think?) and the bow detail is really darling. Make sure you secure the bow in the loop though, or you will lose one and never get around to making a new one and then the pants won't do much good, mkay?  Sigh, these pants went with everything my pink-loving daughter owns.


Anna was a tailor who made custom women's clothes before moving to the United States, so some of her methods in her earlier patterns didn't make sense to me (like hand basting where to hem).  When I emailed her to ask about some of her construction "oddities", she asked for more feedback like that! I'm impressed with her commitment to make her patterns the best they can be, and easy for anyone to understand.

If you haven't tried a 5Berries (or Dress Patterns 4 Girls) pattern yet, you really should! They are easy enough for a beginner, while still having some unique styles (isn't this Ava dress pattern darling?) Oh, and she's started making some patterns with knits too. Bonus!
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