Thursday, June 12, 2014

Market Dress

This pattern is too sweet!  I am seriously in love.  Amelie and Henri has blown me away once again.  Previously, I'd sewn up and fallen in love with the Esmee Dress.  I may love the Market Dress more.

I was surprised at how quickly this came together, even with the pin tucks on the straps and waistband.  I actually followed the pattern on this one except that I didn't include pockets.  The fabric pattern was already so busy, I thought the pockets were just too much.

Ok, that was a bit of a fib.  I did the pin tucks different than called for in the directions.  There were supposed to be two on each strap and three on the waist band.  I switched them because I don't know how to read a pattern...  As a result, my straps are quite a bit thinner, but I still love how it turned out.

I love how the underskirt is meant to show.  It gives such nice dimension to the dress.

The dress is relatively simple pinafore but the added pin tucks and the underskirt really make it look more complicated than it actually is.  I layered it over an eyelet ruffle tank I had hiding in the bottom of a drawer somewhere.  It would be cute over a short sleeved blouse too.

It buttons all the way down the back which I think is darling, but a zipper could easily be installed.  The buttons make the fit a bit more flexible.  The straps cross in the back and button in place.  There is plenty of room to move down the buttons and let out the skirt so she should be able to wear this for a couple of years.  I LOVE that in a pattern.

I did find that concealing the raw edges on the pettiskirt was a bit tricky and not really addressed on the directions.  I was able to figure it out but if a beginner were sewing up the pattern, they might run into some difficulties.

Little Miss says it's very comfy and wants to wear it this fall with boots and a long sleeved jacket.

  • Green Fabric - P & B Textiles - Wildflowers in Yellow
  • Pettiskirt Fabric - Floral Eyelet in Maize from
  • Pattern - Amelie and Henri Market Dress

Monday, June 9, 2014


The giveaway is over but congrats to the winners, Andrea Scherer and Elisabetta!  Lily Bird Studios will be emailing you so keep an eye out!

Thanks for playing along

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Adding an inset to any bodice pattern

I have a simple tutorial for you. It looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. Seriously, you'll just be adding two more seams than usual to make this look. You can do a sheer overlay or a solid color. If you have a bodice pattern, you can make this look.

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I LOVE to take patterns and change them around a bit to get a look that’s different from the original. It’s easier than you might think. Today, I’ll show you how to make a sheer inset and overlay on any bodice you already have. You just need a scrap of sheer fabric, so you can raid your stash. It would be fun to make this with a contrasting panel too.

Have your favorite bodice? Good, we can start! We’re going to draw a line down it and cut it so you might want to use a copy. Here we go!

I like to use my drafting ruler here. I LOVE this thing. You’ve probably seen me bust it out before. If you plan to do a lot of pattern modification, you’ll probably want to get one but don’t be discouraged if you don’t have one in your artillery yet. You can just eyeball this curve. Really, you can. It’s not going to change the fit of your top at all – it’s all aesthetic. Just draw a curved line from the shoulder down pattern until the like the look of it. You can see where I did mine.

Now, cut it apart along the line you drew. Take your two new pieces and trace them out on another piece of paper. Add seam allowance along the lines you cut.

Okay, easy as pie! Now, go cut out your pieces. You’ll want to cut the piece that says “fold” along the fold as it states (Cut one in the main fabric and one in your sheer fabric. I’ve used a black lace). You’ll cut two of the other piece (main fabric) making sure you cut a mirror image.

Here’s how I laid my pattern pieces out. I already cut out my lace piece and I set it there to show you what it looks like cut out.

Lay your sheer piece over it’s matching main fabric piece like so. You’ll want to baste these two together. Really, you do. It will save you tons of headache later. Believe me.

Now, take your side piece and pin it to your center piece, right sides together. It’s not going to look like it will match, but keep pinning and it will come into place. I use a LOT of pins. (You can see my basting stitches!). Keep on pinning and then go sew. Repeat for the other side.

Now, go iron the snot out of this thing. Iron it until it cries. I pressed my seams toward the sides. The curves seem to fall best that way. A hot iron is your friend here. Don’t skip this step or these curves won’t play nicely when it’s being worn. I know. Don’t ask.

Now, you have a bodice front piece that matches the original pattern piece. You sew with this just like you would if you’d cut the original pattern piece out. Follow the directions in your pattern to construct the rest of your top or dress.

I used the hanami pattern which calls for a lining. If you have to cut a lining, you don’t need to make a panel on the lining as well. Just cut out the original bodice pattern piece (If you’ve cut it, just tape it back together).

To complete my look I sewed on an exposed zipper and lined my sleeves with the same lace I used for the inset. Everything was sewn according to my pattern’s directions, I just took the time to change up the look of the bodice a little bit.

This is a fun technique to add a little bit of color blocking to existing patterns too. Just sew in a contrasting color in regular cotton instead of a layered sheer fabric. The combinations are endless!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lily Bird Studio Sandy Tunic Review and Giveaway.

Lily Bird Studio makes some of the cutest patterns.  I know I've talked about them before on the blog, but I really do love these designs..  I got to sew up their newest pattern, the Sandy Tunic and I'm in love!

This top has the sweetest pleated placket and the pattern makes it SO easy.  There are notches for where the folds are supposed to go so you don't even have to measure.  She included notches for the placket too!  Seriously, this top came together like a dream!

I sewed up a size 3 and it fits beautifully.  It's a bit longer than I expected but, then, I forgot to take off some length because I used a rolled hem instead of intended traditional hem.  My tunic is about 1 inch longer because it.  I also used the instructions for the ruffle neck included with Lily Bird Studio's Summer Blouse.  I've made several Summer Blouses which I've posted about here and here.

I know that my button holes look a bit wonky.  That's my fault because I forgot to add interfacing.  Don't judge the pattern based on my oversight.  The pattern actually calls for snaps instead of button but since I was sewing with swiss dot voile, I thought I'd stick with buttons.  I didn't think the voile could withstand the stress of snaps.

The pattern comes in long sleeve, 3/4 sleeve and short sleeve.  I sewed up the short sleeve version.  The short sleeve has the prettiest cut outs which are bound with bias tape and tie closed.  I love the way the tutorial made it easy to finish these off so nicely.

It has a slightly curved hem which I chose to finish using my rolled hem foot but the pattern has great instructions for hemming a curve.

I wanted the shirt to be lightweight for the summer so I used a lightweight oxford stripe shirting and swiss dot.  It is, indeed, lightweight and cool.  It will be perfect for warm weather.

Lily Bird Studios has generously offered to giveaway SIX of her patterns to my readers. There will be two winners.  The first place winner will receive 4 patterns and the second place winner will receive 2 patterns.  Learn how to enter at the end of this post!

Do you want to win a Sandy Tunic Pattern?  Or maybe Summer Blouse pattern?  What about the darling Birthday Dress which I posted about here?  Well, here's your chance!  The winner will be announced a week from tomorrow.  Share with everyone so that they can get a chance to win!

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