Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour

School is out and the pools are open! This is the official start of daily dress weather and more daylight for extra playtime! As part of the the bigflynotions stop on the Rebecca Page Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour, I sewed up two FREEBIE patterns: the Dollies Diaper and the Paris Party Dress top.

Dollies Galore

There are far more dollies than people in my house. Dollies live upstairs, downstairs, in the car, at preschool, in her bedroom, on my couch (ever sit on a dolly foot or hand – – OUCH!). Dollies come with us to the pool, to the grocery store, to bed. I was brushing my teeth the other day and saw a dolly chilling next to the sink. So, its only right for dollies to have a suitable wardrobe, under pieces included.

I used quilting cotton and linen to create each of these three diapers. I really like this pattern because it uses elastic around the legs so you can get a pretty good fit. Each of these diapers is used for a different doll, two 18-inch dolls (the Gotz and the American Girl Doll shown in these pictures) and then a slightly smaller dolly.

Note: While the dolly diaper can be done up to suit your preference, the correct method for closure is with the back piece covering the top piece. (such as in the images for the solid pale pink diaper). This sleep deprived grand(?!?!?)mother failed to pay attention during the snap application phase as the mom (!) was quite eager to clothe her babies.

The pattern calls for velcro but I used snaps as a way to sneak in a little extra fine motor. These are the same size 20 KAM snaps I used on her clothes so I’m hoping it’ll transfer nicely to getting dressed a little easier.

Next up: this child needs a diaper bag for all these diapers. I plan to make this one (image below from listing).

Paris Hack

I’m quite obsessed with the Paris Party Dress, as evidenced here and here and here. That last link is actually a garment I made myself during testing over two years ago!

This was a simple hack, based on the blog post I wrote here. This time, I made the swing part of the dress even more dramatic (at least, as much as the width of this scrap would allow). To help squeeze it onto the fabric, I put a seam down the back, adding a teeny bit for seam allowance.

I used a lovely jersey I had leftover from a few projects I made for myself. It created a dress that is perfect for lounging, twirling, and, of course, changing baby diapers.

I promise she didn’t learn this baby holding technique from me:

More Inspiration

Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour for more great inspiration:

Prizes

We will be giving away a pattern bundle of choice each day PLUS an overall grand prize of a $50 pattern credit. To stand a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on each blog, each day so stay tuned to the Rebecca Page Sewing group for updates from our bloggers!

Happy Sewing!

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a small commission when buyers use my link to make a purchase. 
Thanks for supporting my blog!

Springing Towards Summer

It has been raining in the Midwest. Nonstop. No joke. My friends have flooded basements and there looks to be a pond in my backyard. And little people have been inside for days upon days. (My mom sanity is running thin.)

My daughter asked why it is raining. I had more than one smart comment in my brain. But 4yo brother had the perfect answer “Because the grass and birds need a drink. And then it will be sunny again”.

Oh, he’s a clever one.

Summer is Coming

So, I’m starting to sew for those sunny days. I recently helped test the new Moss dress/top pattern from Sofiona Designs. It has several length options and can be made with or without the hood. Check out the line drawing (source).

My version reads cool dress than swimsuit cover up but it was designed to suit (#mompun) both functions. The Moss is actually being released as a bundle with the new Sofiona Narwhal swimsuit. Check out the amazing binding options on that btw (source)!

My version reads cool dress than swimsuit cover up but it was designed to suit (#mompun) both functions. The Moss is actually being released as a bundle with the new Sofiona Narwhal swimsuit. Check out the amazing binding options on that btw!

I love the deep back V on this dress. This is the higher cut line. It is gorgeous.

The construction is uber thoughtful throughout. The binding facing on the neckline is super clever in how it finished the optional hood and turns the ties. While totally dreamy (bindings ARE dreamy!), it might be better suited for an intermediate seamstress or adventurous/patient beginner.

I love this relaxed, almost raglan looking accent on the front:

My divalicious daughter selected maxi length which hits right at the ankle bone for the size 3 length. This means, she reaps the drama of the length without the mobility accidents. Fantabulous!

Tea Time

Last year was the beginning of a tradition where my daughter and I go to a fancy tea at the local butterfly house. Naturally, we wear coordinating outfits. This was our attire from last year. Tea 2019, we went for this fun yellow floral. I think it is some sort of cotton feel poly blend.

We had a total blast and the Moss clearly goes well with delicious red velvet cupcakes!

This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I received a copy of the pattern in exchange for testing this pattern, which includes sewing up multiple versions and providing feedback on things like fit, construction, and tutorial edits.

Pattern Mashing Bliss

Welcome to my stop on the Rebecca Page Double Duty Blog Tour. I’m excited to show you how I mashed the knit top from the FREE Paris Party Dress (affiliate link) with the knit Stevie skirt.

The Paris Party Dress was my first ever Rebecca Page pattern and the beginning of my RP obsession! I’m such a fan of quick knit pieces and have used the Paris top multiple times (like here and here)

Stevie was a fast favorite in my house too! Even the doll has one (picture evidence!). This is the Paris top in cotton lycra with lovely stretch lace trim that makes Miss 4 go a little wild. The Stevie skirt is the knee length version and made in this yummy soft drapey rayon spandex from Mily Mae with the band in the same CL as the top.

My daughter loves her Steve skirts and Paris Party Dress tops and I love how fast they come together! Being able to mix and match is the best part about separates but we’re huge fans of dresses too. This is how Stevie Goes to Paris was born!

Onto the Mash!

This is a super simple mash. All I did was lay one pattern on top of the other, lining up the waist on each and drew a continuous line (shown in pink below) from the waist down to the hem of the Stevie. I smoothed out the line a bit and, tadah: Stevie goes to Paris!

I used the same stretch lace trim to embellish the Stevie Goes to Paris. The body is a French terry and coordinating cotton lycra sleeves and neckband.

More Inspiration

Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Double Duty Blog Tour for more great inspiration:

Prizes

We will be giving away 7 one-month subscriptions. Each one-month subscription prize contains:

  • Ladies XXS to 5XL Strappy Cami pattern
  • Bonus Ladies XXS to 5XL Comfy Cowl pattern
  • 1 pattern credit to use for a pattern of choice during the month of subscription
  • A further 20% discount on any other patterns (including those already on sale) during the month of subscription

For a chance to win a One-Month Subscription, please comment on the blogs each day and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

This blog post contains affiliate links. While these links do not cost any more, I do receive a small commission for the referral.
As a Rebecca Page Brand Ambassador, I received these patterns in exchange for sewing them up and sharing my work.

My Favorite Drapey Knit Fabric Bases

Welcome to my stop on the New Horizons Valentines Day Blog Tour.
Keep reading until the end for details about the sale and a chance to win some great prizes from our sponsors.

I’m excited to share my Valentine’s Valencia (affiliate link), in rayon spandex from Mily Mae Fabrics. I sewed my first Valencia about a year ago. It was during testing for the Marbella (see my version here), a tank and excellent companion pattern for layering under the Valencia.

I tried out the solid front and back, curved hem, and 3/4 sleeves. True to New Horizon form, amazing options, terrific fit, instructions that don’t leave you hanging.

Check out this gorgeous curved hem!

Cotton Lycra: My First Love

When I started sewing knits, I was confused by all the different types of fabrics and their content. I quickly learned stretchy fabrics were not all created equal. I’ve always loved more natural fibers (breathability!) and was immediately drawn to cotton lycra. It is a fairly stable knit so easier to sew than something slinkier like ITY. It also has excellent stretch and recovery so can technically be used for nearly everything – – – dresses, skirts, leggings, tops, bands, etc. I used it here, here, and here.

The one downside is that cotton lycra doesn’t drape the best. I don’t hesitate to use it for tops for my kids but unless its a fairly structured garment, I prefer something with a little more flow to it for myself.

Enter: Rayon Spandex

Rayon is soft like cotton (more slippery) and will breathe like cotton but had the advantage of draping beautifully. Typically, rayon spandex may have great stretch but it is not renowned for its recovery. So, unless there is a decently large neck opening, you don’t want to use rayon spandex for bands.

I saw this Kammy fabric recently at Mily Mae and *HAD* to have it. It was pink, it was floral, it was RS. This is pretty much my fabric holy grail. Better yet, I have enough left over to make something pink and fabulous for my daughter who loves rayon spandex as much as I do. (Evidence here, here, and here.)

I wish I had scooped up these yellow dots too, they make me feel so happy!

Secret tip: Watch the Mily Mae website tomorrow at 3PM PT for an amazing stocking!

I’ve really fallen in love with neck bindings since I got my coverstitch.
So much easier and look gorgeous every time!

Other Fab Bases

Another of my favorite sewing bases is french terry. There are tons of different compositions but the two I see most often are:

  1. Cotton-based French Terry such as the geometric print fabric I used here and here.
  2. Rayon-Poly blend French Terry such as what I used for my first Valencia (below) as well as other projects here and here. This is the drapey softer sort of French Terry, perfect for the cross over back Valencia!
Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

I do sew non-natural fibers too. I’m a huge fan of double-brushed polyester, especially in the cooler months. See this post for how I wore DBP in the summer.

And I could not live without my drapey cozy sweater knits in the winter (see here, here, and here). Bonus points in my book if its a brushed sweater knit like this one I used for this Tawsha dress (full blog post here). I have a grey sweater knit planned for my next Valencia, it will be a cross over back version.

My sweater knit Tawsha dress with
shoulder details in quilted knit.

Wanna See More Gorgeous Garments?

This is a week-long adventure! Each day, you can check out more Valencia and Marbella inspiration. Check out those stops:

Tues Feb 5th Meadow Sews
Wed Feb 6th Inspired Indigo
Thurs Feb 7th Liviality
Thurs Feb 7th Sew Bee Loved
Fri Feb 8th Sweet Sprocket
Fri Feb 8th Hazelnut Handmade

Without Further Ado – – – PRIZES!

Please enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win these prizes from our sponsors:

DISCOUNTS:

  • Both the Valencia and Marbella Tank are on sale for $7/ea through Sunday, Feb 10
  • Surge Fabric Shop is offering bigflynotions readers 15% off with code NHBUNDLES15 on the exclusive bundles here. I’m especially swooning over that mustard bundle.

Happy Sewing!

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive
a small commission when buyers use my link to make a purchase.
Thanks for supporting my blog!

Top 3 Reasons Why Dolman Patterns are the Best Way to Learn to Sew Knit Fabric

Sewing with knit fabrics sounds scary, right? That stuff stretches! You have to use special needles, worry about which stitch you’ve selected, and some people even have special machines just to make the stuff behave.

Is your brain exploding yet?

I can research and pre-plan forever but, ultimately, I learn best by doing and just need to jump into whatever new skill/project I’m trying to tackle.

Looking back, I wish I had started sewing with knits sooner than I did. They’re comfy and 90% of my ready-to-wear (RTW) so, obviously, something I unknowingly preferred already. I also wish I had started by sewing a dolman pattern because:

1. Dolmans don’t have sleeves

Rather, dolmans don’t have a separate sleeve piece. Dolmans are a style where the sleeve and bodice are cut together.

Setting in sleeves (the process of attaching the sleeve piece to the bodice) can be tricky. While doing this on a woven garment is often more challenging than on a knit one, it is still an extra step where you’re matching up the armscye, thinking, is this the front or the back or where is the middle of this thing?

Further advantages ofhaving fewer pattern pieces:

  • Your cutting is very quick = less opportunity for the fabric to roll up
  • Your sewing is a bit faster = less likely to overmanipulate that stretchy devil fabric

Disclosure: some links below are affiliate links.

2. They are easier to fit

If you’re choosing a batwing style, you’ll find this is especially the case. This super voluminous top portion is super on-trend but is also extremely forgiving. This pattern is the Dreamy Drape from Rebecca Page. For adult ladies, depending on your specific measurements, you might find that you can skip an FBA or many of your other standard fit adjustments.

I love how this tapers at the elbow for a more fitted forearm. It is extremely comfy without sacrificing range of motion. In fact, Miss Mini Monkey spend the morning at our local trampoline park in her top.

3 Pattern matching is a breeze

Fewer seams mean less risk! In fact, I think dolmans show off horizontal patterns like stripes perfectly. This is an oldie but goodie from my stash. It is double brushed polyester from the now shuttered Vinegar and Honey. I love how the pattern crosses from elbow to elbow. It is so pretty!

Practice Practice Practice

Any knit garment is going to give you the opportunity to practice skills like stretch stitches, bands/bindings, and hemming with a twin needle. Many designers will also guide you through specific suggestions to help as you sew up their knit garment. One thing I love about Rebecca Page’s patterns is that she always provides instructions for seamstresses using a standard machine as well as those with a serger.

Whether you do end up choosing a dolman style pattern or any other, the most important thing is that you’re pushing forward and gaining the experience to create your own fabulous self sewn wardrobe.

Happy sewing!!!

DISCLOSURE: As an affiliate, I earn referral fees if something is purchased through my links. This occurs with no extra cost to the buyer and helps to fund this blog. I only recommend products/services that I use and love. Thank you for your support.

Fast Sewing is OK Too!

Part of setting my creative goals for 2019 (and procrastinating from setting my creative goals for 2019) includes me reviewing the social media from the rest of our amazing community to see what projects and challenges brought you personal joy and growth in 2018. I noticed myself particularly drawn to the intention behind things like:

With so many talented designers, it is easy to be seduced by the most recent pattern release (and I’m certain I’ll still buy many patterns in 2019), but I need to analyze and prioritize based on my current wardrobe and its holes both metaphorically (the categories of garments I wish I had) and literally (that purple cardigan with the hole!).

Please note, this post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and decide to purchase, I may earn a small commission which helps support my sewing hobby.

Thus, my first make for myself in 2019: Tawsha from New Horizons.

While my summer, spring, and fall wardrobes are heavy on dresses (I add a cardigan when things get chilly), I noticed myself scanning my closet for long sleeve dresses now that I’m in the winter. My daughter and I are total dress fiends so I’m not sure how I didn’t notice this gap sooner!

I have an abundance of dress patterns that I’ve made and love like this, this, this, and this but none that are a simple aline with long sleeves. I was wanting something with a super simple silhouette that I could jazz up with accessories like scarves and necklaces or dress down with sneakers depending on the fabric and accessories.

While I’m all for the more complex woven patterns like this and this, I find myself rummaging through my closet for the fast knit ones for my daily wear. I love that I can comfortably lounge around the house in this and not feel embarrassed to answer the door if someone happens to drop by.

I love New Horizons because their block just fits me really well without a ton of adjustments. I took out some length to adjust for height (I’m 5’3). I’ll likely add a little of that back in (just a personal preference) and fiddle with the armscye to fit my shape even better.

I already made two Tawsha dresses. This one is made from fabric already in my stash (another goal for this year is to sew more of my stash!). The body and arms are a sweater knit from Sincerely Rhylee and the shoulder accent is a quilted knit from Joann Fabrics.

I’m still pretty obsessed with tone on tone but part of me wished I had used this grape sweater knit from my stash for the body instead so this cool shoulder accent could really pop. Regardless, it is getting a ton of wear! I sewed it last week and have already worn it 3 days. I also made a version without the accent from a knit corduroy and have been wearing it around the house without hems.

I loved the simplicity of the pattern, its a dress with a fitted bust and A-line skirt (my favorite) but the bodice and skirt are cut as one so they sewed up super fast. Even better, I’m already on my way to keeping my goals in mind for 2019:

  • Fills a hole in my wardrobe 
  • Used fabric from my stash
  • Is well fitting and will wear again 

Twirling Away

My daughter and I are huge fans of the Pearlie dress from Peach Patterns (see this post on Instagram). It is a great fitting dolman style dress with a gathered skirt with a really fun curved hem. So, when Marina Roussel‎ (the designer at Peach Patterns) mentioned she was testing an add-on, our love affair with the Twirly Pearlie began.

The fabulously fitting original slim bodice got a lovely circle skirt in two lengths (peplum and dress), an optional waistband (lengthens the dress length skirt from vintage to knee), and long sleeves (it is cold here in the midwest USA winter!).

The first version I made used the waistband, dress length skirt, and the long sleeves. Definitely TWIRLY PEARLIE!

Ah, she was in love!!!! This clock fabric was double-brushed polyester from Made of Love and this polka dot accent is DBP from Mily Mae.

This was such a hit, my next version was in lush Art Gallery mint polka dot accented by the much-hoarded ice cream from Jumping June (similar).

I love how fast the dolman style sleeve and circle skirt sew up. Gathered skirts like the original Pearlie are so pretty, but, dang, if they aren’t the fiddliest! Hemming a circle skirt is not my most favorite thing, but the extra twirl makes is well worth it!

For this last version, we used this uber soft fuchsia DBP from Simply by Ti. Ti has THE BEST fabrics and shop. I got a set of these rotary blades she recently started carrying and using a fresh one was perfection, especially for cutting around curves.   

The new Pearlie pieces can be bought in two ways:

  • If you own the original Pearlie, all you need is this add-on 
  • If you don’t already have the Pearlie, you can get the add-on pieces and the original in this bundle.

The instructions are super clear and this is a terrific pattern for newer seamstresses or those looking for a quick sew. I hoping to assembly line a bunch over the holidays!

This was such a dreamy dress, she decided to wear it to a breakfast with Santa.