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Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Gretel Skirt - It's all About The POCKETS with Mother Grimm Designs!

I love it when I can just totally embrace the inner child within, and others just go with it.

This will make sense to Doctor Who Fans

That's what happened while testing the fun Gretel Skirt for Mother Grimm Designs, located in the UK!

It was a quick test, but it was also a quick skirt to sew up with easy to follow direction.  The design was created for stretch jersey/knits, however, many of the testers ended up using not only stretch jersey, but non-stretch wovens mixed in the the knits for spectacular results!

This is a "panel" skirt, meaning, you are to use an uncut t-shirt panel - apparently they are sold as such, but I like to cut things up for repurposing, so most of my "panels" actually DO come from t-shirts, and I just colour block  around the edges to make it into a full "panel."

Neither my test skirt nor fancy skirt had panels, but I sure did use a mishmash of fabrics - each fabric pulling the colours and designs from the other - such a neat effect for an under-hour sew!

Mishmash test skirt

There are two smaller side panels, and the front and back panels - which can be reversed, just by twisting your skirt around to the other side!  It sits at your proper waist, so for myself, I don't feel overly hippy or large bottomed, as it is a rather flattering cut.

That's how I got away with wearing my Tardis skirt at work without feeling too dressed down.   And really - the POCKETS are so awesome, they held my work pass AND phone, and a bit of change for my required 2nd coffee of the day.

It also passed the wind test. Every girls' worst nightmare is having that light flowy dress or skirt...go up like Marilyn Munro in her famous white dress, all because of a wind gust.

Between my office building and the parking lot or mall (where I get my coffee or sit in during lunchtime), the wind can gust me away like Mary Poppins 3 out of the 5 days a week I am there.  It did this while I wore my Gretel skirt, and due to the size of the panels, it did NOT blow up.  There was some rippling, but I didn't have to hold my skirt down!

A skirt you can whirl in that stays down in the wind (and has POCKETS) is a must in every girl's closet!

So, if you have some bits and bobs of fabric that you are coveting because it's too small for a full item, Gretel allows you to use these smaller fabric pieces as side panels, pockets, or even the waistband!

Gretel can be as fun or as serious as you want it - a panel is fun, but not required.  I can only imagine this as a Christmas Dress, with big pockets to hold goodies in, perhaps with a lace overlay on the sides. Or it can be hiked up over your chest, and worn as a dress (with a few alterations, like lengthening the skirt and lowering the pockets) with or without straps added on.

I am now eyeing Mother Grimm's Dragon Wings (which I wish were adult size....although I could always trace a larger patten), but feel that I will dive into the Adult Coif (face hood for the winter) with add ons like animal ears or a pixie cut when I'm ready for new patterns.

For now, I will OCD over Gretel. I feel I need one for every day of the week!

Gnome Tried to hide in my side pocket!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The Belle of the Daily Ball - The Amelia Shirt & Dress - Bella Sunshine Designs

When I saw the video of a woman spinning in a field with a perfectly spinning dress, deep (but not too deep) neck and backline, and forgiving flow when not moving (aka ability to hide those bumps and lumps!), I was sold on the Amelia Dress created by Bella Sunshine Designs.

Once I finished my top, I even did a graceful video of myself twirling and doing Mario Brothers moves at the end!

Bella Sunshine Designs creates vintage-inspired clothing patterns, that offer different options, a variety of sizes, and a lot of work behind the scenes to bring them forward to the general public.

I have a lovely hour glass figures, and nothing is making these hips ever go away, so instead, I will sew to flatter them.

Before I tried my first Peplum style pattern, I was against Peplum styles due to my hippy hips and big thighs, until I started sewing them - the wonderful thing about PDF patterns, is you can grade patterns to fit you! 

The awesome thing about the Amelia pattern - no grading required for me!  As the band lies underneath the bust line, and the skirt flares outwards, pending you are using the proper fabrics (stretch knit), there should be no issues with the skirt hugging your hips or thighs  - it will flow with you, and really accentuate your natural bust and waistline. 

I was fortunate enough to test Amelia to help work out any final tweaks and issues, and together, our group helped Danielle and Melissa hone in on the perfect design.  They were lovely to work with, and took everyone's input and life into consideration during the process.

This pattern shows you the basics - how to measure yourself, printing and cutting of the pattern, how to layer the pattern for your perfect fit, basic terminology, finished measurements, and photo examples. 

The Amelia consists of:

- Shirt (hip), knee, or maxi length

- Sleeveless, short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, or long sleeve

- Top requires knit stretch fabric

- Skirt can be either stretch or woven fabric, as it is sewn to the stretch knit below-bust band

If you are feeling too exposed at the back or front, you can add in a panel of stretch lace to keep the glam, but feel more covered up - the options are limitless.  I feel lace would be a sultry addition to the back and really dress it up more! Or attempt a corset-style back if you know how to make spaghetti straps.

Want pockets? If you know how to sew in side pockets, they can easily be sewn into the side seam - just determine where your hands sit, and go from there.  It may make more sense in the knee or maxi length, otherwise, they would be awkward elbow hinged pockets in the shirt version.

The more you learn while sewing and honing in your skills, the more your imagination runs wild!

The only steps I had troubles with both times around, thanks to my brain fog, was step 6. It's a doozy, so make sure you read it thrice and ensure your fabric sides and lining/fabric are placed as in the picture. No one likes bringing their ripper out!

Other than that one step, I have had no issues sewing up Amelia.  and hey, Husband loves the boobilicious end result. 

Whether you are hourglass shaped, straight hipped, or apple shaped, this design is flattering and can be made for play, work, or even fancy it up for a black tie event!

For my first Amelia, I made the Shirt Version with 3/4 length sleeves - it fell just at my hips, giving me just enough coverage and comfort while wearing it, but still showing off a bit of my booty from behind.


Serious Front

I opted to bring out the geek within, and used all Water Tower Textiles Fabrics thanks to the lovely Patty!  She brought in several meters of Mario Brothers stretch knit for her Facebook Group and limited us to 1-2 meters per person so as many loyal customers as possible could take advantage of her findings.

Along with Mario, I paired it with her new Heather Denim Cotton Spandex, which is a medium thickness, yet flowy knit, that is both easy to work with, and flows evenly.  It doesn't droop, but isn't too stiff - so perfect for Amelia!

I brought out the Mario Within!

My second Amelia was sleeveless, as I was lacking sleeveless shirts.  Husband also approves of this version.

I repurposed an Old Navy dress I looked awful in, random stretch black knit for the band, and some sweet complimentary chiffon type fabric for the skirt part. It it fun to wear, and looks cute with shorts, jeans, leggings, or a pencil style skirt. 

Overall, as long as you take your tie and follow each step, Amelia comes together in an afternoon - and the results are divine.

***I am a Bella Sunshine Designs Affiliate, and promote designs I love - I am not part of BSD

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Sew Like My Mom - The Ficus Cardigan!

I partook n a Sew-a-long for Sew Like My Mom's Ficus Cardigan back in March, and I was only one of three people to complete their cardigan (aka blazer), winning a $10 credit for a fabric store in the United States that escapes my mind.

Despite the lack of completed entries, I surprisingly LOVE this pattern.  I didn't feel that Peplum shaped anything would look good on me, but this cardigan (which I call a Blazer) is perfect for work! 

It was a really quick and easy sew, and I wear it at least once a week to work now. It would also be cute in a print for a night on the town or just to dress up a t-shirt and jeans.

The Ficus Cardigan is your perfect year-round light layer! Its sweet peplum and large collar offer unique details to enhance its simple design. Enjoy short sleeves when the weather is warm, elbow length for days when you need a little more coverage, and long sleeves for the chillier days. The optional tie creates the perfect finishing detail for an easy, polished look. This cardi is sure to steal your heart and become a favorite!

Available in short, elbow, or long sleeves, this peplum cardi will get you through the year!

This PDF pattern features 48 pages of color photos and detailed instructions for sewists of all skill levels. 9 sizes are included, from XXS to 3XL.

Here is my quick sew up step-by-step via Pictures Pages!

Fabrics chosen and pattern cut out!
Bodice sewn
The Peplum is on!
Adding the arms!
Arms attached
Front collar added

Sewing the hem!

Who needs one bely, when you can have two??

Sporting Ficus with Paris Party Dress Top

Ca fin!
I love it. The fabric helps to - it's a thicker knit that I got at Fabricland Kanata when it was closing down. At $2 a metre, I had to get a whackload of it.

I recommend sewing up the Ficus to fancy up your wardrobe!