Posts Tagged ‘pattern testing’

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Make it Perfect has a new pattern, the Scout Skirt and Sweatshirt, and I tested the skirt back in June. I always look forward to Toni’s patterns, they’re some of my very favorites. This one is no exception – a super simple, swingy knit skirt.

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You can’t get much faster or easier than a skirt like this – a couple side seams, elastic in a knit waistband, and a hem. Speaking of which, I think I finally managed to figure out hemming knits on my machine – the twin needle really makes a world of difference.

PicMonkey CollageI don’t have a lot of knits on my shelves, so I went to my local Fabric Depot to pick something out. This is a Windham knit called Sunshine Serenade Soire. I’d never seen this print, but it jumped out at me with its water color-y look and bright colors. A print like this goes with almost every solid colored top Lila owns, which is a plus. I made this skirt over a month ago and it gets chosen from the (sizable) skirt pile quite often – it’s comfortable and easy to wear and I can see myself making this one over and over again. This is a size 6 with no adjustments, and the fit is perfect.

scout skirt  -- probably actually-1-3 You can see Toni’s versions and read more about the Scout pattern here. I hope to try the sweatshirt too when the weather cools down. And check out the new Make it Perfect blog and shop – the site got a beautiful new make-over!

Enjoy your weekend!

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I cannot tell a lie, I didn’t sew this dress during Kid’s Clothes Week, not by a mile. But the pattern (the Oliver + S Carousel Dress) was just released, so while I continue on with Halloween and birthday sewing, I thought I’d share the tester version of the Carousel Dress I sewed over the summer. When I saw the sketch of this pattern, I immediately wanted to color block it – the hem and sleeve bands, the neck binding, the pockets – all nice spots for solids.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-2The Carousel Dress has a simple, relaxed style and features raglan sleeves with shoulder darts and wide hem and sleeve bands. The front is made up of three panels, and the pockets are neatly enclosed in the seams. Because of the way the dress is pieced together, this pattern has lots of potential for combining fabrics or highlighting all those seams with top stitching. There’s also a ruffle hem option, if you’re into that sort of thing.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-8The keyhole opening at the back closes with a button and thread chain – a nice, simple closure. I’m all for leaving my buttonhole foot in the drawer.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-4So back to the color blocking – the coral is a Modern Solid from In the Beginning, and the other two colors are Honey and Peach Sherbet from Art Gallery. The Art Gallery solids come in such beautiful colors and are some of the nicest quality solids I’ve found.carousel dress -- probably actually-1

I sewed a size 5 for Lila and it seems a little big – I think she can still get away with a 4 in the patterns with a more relaxed fit. If in doubt, I might recommend sizing down (and adding length) with this one.

You can read more about the Carousel dress and see the pattern made up several different ways in Liesl’s introduction post. And there’s another new fall pattern – The Lunchbox Tee and Culottes – to check out as well!


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I made this shirt two weeks ago, so it’s technically a cheater KCW project. But Liesl of Oliver + S just announced her collection of digital t-shirt patterns (kids’, women’s, and men’s – you can outfit the whole family!), and I was a tester for the kids’ version, the School Bus T-shirt pattern. I sewed up one for each kid, so I thought I’d share Lila’s today.

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The School Bus pattern is a basic t-shirt that comes with several options – three different sleeve lengths and two neckband widths. This is View B, with a more feminine, capped sleeve and a narrow neckband. Views A and C are your standard short-sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirts. It’s so nice to have basics like this from trusted sources like Oliver + S – you always know just what you’re getting into, and it’s always something good. And as with all great basic patterns, the options for customization are endless.

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I sewed a size 5 and was really happy with the fit – it’s relaxed but not overly roomy, and the capped sleeves and narrow neckband definitely give View B a girlier feel.

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The silver dot knit came from a sale rack Old Navy tee. I don’t know if it was the fabric or the fact that I skipped the walking foot this time, but it sewed up like a dream.

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If you want more info on any of these new T-shirt patterns, check out Liesl’s introduction post on the the Oliver + S blog. Each pattern is available on its own, or you can purchase a “Family Pack” that includes all four (men’s, women’s, and two size ranges for kids). I’m looking forward to trying the women’s Metro T-shirt myself. After KCW, of course.


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Many many months ago I tested the Keep Clean Bib pattern for Jen of Lea & Lars. Oscar wasn’t quite ready for bibs back then, and it somehow got lost in a mountain of unfolded fabric until just recently. But the timing is perfect – it fits, he’s a slob, and this thing has full coverage!

keep clean bib -- probably actually-1721We had a similar bib from Ikea when Lila was a baby, but this one is better – the front is lined with flannel, and it’s so long that it doubles as bib and napkin-in-your-lap. Which is perfect, since it eliminates the need for the dishtowel I’d been using protect those fancy trousers he likes to wear.

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I bought the Kokka cars when I found out I was having a boy…you know, because I’d heard that boy babies like car fabric. And the green stripes are Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda. Luckily it all coordinates nicely with the new high chair cushion.

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Anyway, the pattern is quick and simple-to-sew, and I think we’re going to get a lot of use out of this bib now that it’s been unearthed from the pile!

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P.S. The winner of the Gingercake On the Go Organizer pattern giveaway is Nichole (#52) – you should receive your copy of the pattern soon!

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Last month I tested out a new pattern for Toni of Make it Perfect. She has a great selection of patterns for women, babies, and kids – I made her Serendipity Jacket this winter, and the Uptown Girl Jacket was one of my first major sewing projects for Lila. I’ve been a long-time fan of Toni’s patterns and blog, and I always look forward to what she’s got coming up next. It was really exciting to test for her and get to know her a bit in the process!

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One thing I love about pattern testing is that it helps to get me out of my comfort zone. My sewing style pretty much matches my personality – I’m not much of a risk-taker. I feel like I get into a rut sometimes and choose very safe, conservative patterns, or just make the same things again and again. But this pattern is really fun – something I might not have chosen on my own, but am so glad I made. It’s called the Zip-It, named of course for the colorful zipper that runs down the front.

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I wanted to pick some bright and bold colors to go with the style of the dress. The yellow dots are Lotta Jansdotter’s Scatter Dots in Citron from the Bella line, purchased locally at Cool Cottons. Not sure exactly what the solid is, I just got it to match my zipper. Speaking of which – I had trouble finding a good color selection of 20-inch jacket zippers around town, so I ordered a few from Zipperstop on Etsy. No shortage of fun color options there!

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I was surprised by how incredibly easy it was to install a zipper in this manner – definitely manageable even for a zipper novice! If your zipper is heavy and your fabric is light, you may get a little waviness when the zipper goes in. I used some 1/2 inch stay tape along the front dress seams to keep the fabric from stretching with the weight of the zipper.

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The remainder of this photo shoot is brought to you by my wedding ring – she begged me to take it off, and holding it apparently made her feel all responsible and grown-up. It was sweet, and it worked, so I went with it.

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That’s it. Enjoy your weekend!

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There’s a new Noodlehead pattern on the scene!

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Anna just released her Super Tote pattern, and let me be the first to tell you, this thing really is super. It’s a roomy tote bag with a recessed zipper, big front pocket, elasticized interior pockets, and space for just about everything. And like all her patterns, it’s superbly designed and full of professional details.

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I love that Anna lets me test her patterns because it means I have an excuse to do some selfish sewing, which would never happen otherwise. And as I mentioned in my Instagram feed, there was no way I was wasting this gorgeous fabric on my kid.

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And about this fabric – I fell in love with Anna Maria Horner’s Ghost Wing linen the moment I saw it online, but when I actually went to purchase it at Bolt, it was even more beautiful than I could’ve imagined. Seriously, photos don’t do this stuff justice. The colors are divine and the linen has a gorgeous drape (not all that relevant when you’re interfacing the hell out it for a bag, but still, it’s amazing). I think it might be one of my all time favorite fabrics to date.

Oh, and speaking of interfacing – since the fabric was lightweight, I used both types of interfacing that Anna suggests (Pellon SF 101 and Craft Fuse 808), and it came out plenty sturdy.

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I have a tendency to make all my bags gray, but I loved Anna’s Melody Miller version so much that I had to use linen for the gusset. And now I can’t bring myself to use it because I don’t want it to get dirty! I knew there was a reason for all those gray bags. Oh well, for now I’m okay with just watching it hang on the wall.

And for anyone thinking of using this as a diaper bag, it would be perfect. I emptied my current one inside just to see how things fit and there’s still plenty of space to spare!

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Check out Anna’s gorgeous versions of the bag and pick up your copy of the pattern here. Then try to keep your kid’s paws off your new bag!

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Ever since Anna of Noodlehead posted her first divided baskets last month, I’ve been a little bit obsessed. Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long to make one – she got right to work making the pattern, and I even got to test it!

A good friend of mine had a baby girl last week, and this one is for her.

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I made the pocket version of the basket, and divided it off-center to house a board book and a card.

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These things are so much fun to fill up, it’s hard to stop once you get going. I filled this basket with diapers, wipes, a couple of my favorite board books, a little sleep sack, some TJs red licorice, and some patchwork washcloths.


The idea for the washcloths came from this pin, and I loved them so much that I even used the same elephant fabric! I also discovered a lovely new blog in the process, A Cuppa and a Catch Up, and I even ended up buying Nova’s Nesting Fabric Bowls pattern, which I hope to post about soon.


I wish the Ikea washcloths were a little better quality, but I guess you can’t expect too much at 10 for $3.99. And I do love the colorful little loops.


But back to Anna’s pattern…the fabric covered handles are one of my favorite parts. Mine ended up wrongside-out on my first basket, oops. The handle fabric is a Moda Sweetwater Reunion print and the main fabric is an Andover print from the Frippery line.

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Here’s my second basket. More Daiwabo Tip Top elephants.

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This time I lined the front pocket, and I also managed to attached the straps correctly.mosaic7ca8eafbca40ff5f98b1b9416a1e295d96473221

I love how Anna designed the basket with a divider – I had no clue how she did it before reading the pattern, but it’s really easy to construct with her directions.


I think these baskets will make lovely new baby gifts, but they’ll also be great for storage around the house. Toys, books, patterns…endless possibilities!


Get your Divided Basket pattern right here, you’ll be glad you did.

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I somehow got lucky enough to test another Noodlehead bag pattern!

This is Anna’s new Sidekick Tote – she’ll be releasing the pattern sometime this week, so stay tuned! I love Anna’s blog, and she’s the queen of fabulously written and designed bag patterns. I’ve been carrying my Go Anywhere bag for over a year now and it’s starting to look a little worse for wear – emptying out the cracker crumbs might be helpful, but making myself a new bag seemed like way more fun.

And it seems I can’t stop making gray bags. This is the third bag I’ve made for myself, and they’ve all been the same color. I think it’s because I know how dirty it’s going to get, so a dark color seems safest. And I do love gray. One fun thing about Anna’s patterns is that there’s so much room to play around with coordinating fabrics.

I picked a basic main fabric (Essex yarn dyed linen in black – neutral but with a great texture), then added two fabrics from the Cloud 9’s Simpatico line, and a tiny gray chevron print called “Sally’s Skirt” from Moda’s Reunion Collection. All purchased at my lovely local fabric shop, Cool Cottons.

Linings, pockets, pocket linings, two-sided straps…the hardest part was deciding which fabric should go where.

I love how the strap can be made from two different fabrics. And yes, I coordinated my shirt to match the bag for these photos, but truth be told, I have two shirts that fit me right now, so it wasn’t that difficult a choice 🙂

This bag is secure – an adjustable strap means you can wear it across your chest, so no slipping off your shoulder.

It zips shut, so nothing’s falling out.

Even the front pocket is secure.

And let’s get back to that recessed zipper (fancy, right?). This is my first time making a bag with a zipper, and I really prefer this closure method for keeping things put. And I love how the zipper is hidden in the bag – it’s genius. Fun to be able to choose another hidden fabric for that part of the lining, too. Plus, look at that cute little zipper-end-cover-thingy.

Wish I could’ve found a local source for the cool rectangular strap adjusters Anna used on her bag – she gives you info about ordering online, but I was too excited about making this thing to wait for them to ship! So I ended up with D-rings instead.

There’s another front pocket option that you can check out in Anna’s sneak peak post – it’s pleated and finished with bias tape and I’ll definitely be trying that one next time.  The bag comes in two size options, and I went with the larger – with another baby on the way I figure my days of toting around a bunch of stuff are still plentiful. But I’m already scheming about fabric options for a smaller sized bag for when the time comes…

Thanks to Anna for letting me test this great pattern!

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More pattern testing!

This is the new envelope clutch pattern due out very soon from Noodlehead. I was thrilled to be able to test again for Anna – her patterns are so easy to follow, with lots of photos and detailed directions, and they result in great looking finished products, too! The clutch pattern has lots of great options – you can choose from two sizes, a flat or pointed flap, and there’s an optional zipper pocket and card slots inside. You can also add a wrist strap or a skinny shoulder strap if you’re so inclined. The flap shuts with a magnetic snap (which I first learned how to use when I made Anna’s Go Anywhere bag) – they take some brute force to install, but they’re easy to use and a make for a nice secure closure.

As it turns out, I don’t actually go anywhere that would necessitate carrying a cute little clutch like this, so I decided to use it to organize all my fabric store coupons, which have a tendency to overtake my bag (especially when Joanns sends out pages and pages of them – Coupon Commotion!). I made the small clutch – the card slots are holding my fabric store gift cards and punch cards, and I’ve got the coupons and a little pen and notebook (I’m a list maker) in the main compartment. I pretty excited that I don’t have to dig around for these things anymore!

I almost always pick grays and greens and blues, but I went with bright springy colors this time – Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelet for the exterior, lined with a Secret Garden solid from Sandi Henderson, and some Anna Maria Horner Fortune scraps for the card slots and pocket lining.

I’m a total zipper novice, and I almost chickened out when it came to putting in the optional zipper pocket. I’m so glad I didn’t – it was simple! I wasn’t able to find a 5-inch zipper, so I used a 7-incher and trimmed the excess off at the pull end. And my machine handled the layers (the exterior is basted to canvas, and the interior is interfaced) just fine without a walking foot or a bigger needle.

The clutch sewed up quickly and easily, and there are so many ways you can make it your own – yet another fabulous Noodlehead pattern!

Update: the pattern is now for sale – click here to get sewing on a clutch of your own!

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