Category Archives: Pattern Review

Lola! BAM!

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It’s my turn to Lola!  Don’t I look AWESOME?  You know…awesome enough to win?!?!?  I do, you know it.  Let me sell you on it a little….

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Not only is The Lola CUTE, not only is it easy to sew, but it’s also so effing comfy.  “HOW comfy??!?!” you ask?  Well, I’m calling it my PMS Dress.  You know those times you feel awful and just want to murder your uterus?  Well, the Lola is great for those days!

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But that’s not all folks!  Check out these pockets!

If you’re having cravings, the Lola pockets hold an ample supply of ice cream

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Need a Tampon?  Never run out!  The Lola has pockets big enough for 2 large boxes!

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Just had enough of your emotional & crappy day?  No problem!  The Lola can hold copious amounts of liquor- Drink the pain away! (healthy message right there)

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Get yourself a Lola!  Your body & mind will thank you

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This advertisement blogged to you by the “She” with the most mental issues: Crystal

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Hello LOLA! Mee-ow!

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Hello Lola! Victory Patterns Lola tunic

We SHE’s are so excited to do a Lola off this week! Yesterday you saw Viever’s, tomorrow you get to see another Lola from a different SHE. and Today, well today you lucky cats you get to see mine!

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I will be honest, I LOVE the finished garment here, but the cutting… oh vie! Soooo many pieces! OK… only like 13…. so not all THAT many, I just hate cutting knit fabric.  The dress goes together faster than it cuts though! Seriously less than 2 hours, even with all the pieces and princess seams! I used my serger all the way for sewing this up and honestly I wouldn’t want to do it without a serger. I also made another Lola in sweatshirt fleece and that one is not nearly as flattering. So do yourself a favor and pick a fabric with a little more flow to it but not tooo thin for a flattering fit.

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I am 5 and a half feet tall and did not adjust the pieces at all when I cut them. I did, however, lengthen the sleeves! I just didn’t get the point of a sweater dress with 3/4 sleeves! If I am wearing a sweater dress it is because it is cold, which means I NEEED long sleeves. Adjusting sleeve length is super easy though – I just measured sleeves that were full length and added a little extra when I cut for “better safe than sorry”.

I measured in between a 4 and a 6. and I decided to do a size 4. I’m happy with my choice of size cut, it is fitted but not skin tight. I used a french terry knit fabric. The french knit only came in solid colors however…. and well… a light grey gets dull pretty quick and so I got out the fabric paint and polka dotted the pocket pieces and every so often I put a little fabric paint carefully on the party lion stamp because a girl has to have some fun every now and then!

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Thanks for reading ! and be sure to come back on the 6th and vote your favourite Lola of the week!

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Happy Sewing!

Jenn

Her name was Lola. She was a showgirl.

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It’s been awhile since my last post.  The last time I put together a post it was my stuffed pork chop recipe which looks like it went uncontested in the pork off/stuff off so I guess I WIN!  LOL.  My fellow SHEs have gotten bogged down by obligations to family and this little thing called having a life.  So we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from our blog but we hope to change that starting now.

 With a throw down of sorts: A who wore it best?  We give you Victory Pattern’s Lola.  Myself and two of my wonderful partners in crime have sewn up and worn this pattern.  We each will give our own review for the pattern and then on Friday, March 7th we will open it up for you to vote which “she” wore it best.  Announcing a winner on Monday, March 10th.  What do we win?  Bragging rights, my friend, bragging rights.

And so I give you my version of Lola sans pockets, taken in at the back seams about an inch, and fantastically comfy.

Viever's Lola-- That's What She Crafted

This pattern came together very quickly for me.  It was my very first for me knit piece and gave me some very good and needed practice with my serger.  I’m not confident enough quite yet to just go at it with my serger before sewing my seams with my trusty sewing machine, (baby steps, I’ll get there one day) but even with having to sew everything “twice” I finished this project in one evening. What you can’t see in the photos is that I used all purple serging thread.  So the triangle decal and all the inner seams have a fun pop of purple!

By the measurement guide for this dress I was between a six and an eight.  I did the six knowing that the knit would be forgiving and from advice from others who had made the dress.  I still took it in along the back seams as the dress was way baggy along my back.  So my version is a bit more fitted than originally intended but I like it.

I’m a shorty sitting at 5 feet 2.75inches.  I brought the skirt panels up to hit mid-thigh and adjust the bodice as well for my short frame.

All in all this is a super comfy dress.  Typically I pair it with leggings, boots, and if the kids will let me a wonderful cup a tea (or coffee).

Lola front-- That's What She Crafted
Happy dancing,
Viever

Fall is here: Perfect reason for new clothing

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Fall is finally here!  Which means it’s time to break out our hoodies, long sleeved shirts, and pants.  Though being in S. California some would say we are still having lovely “summer” weather; however, there is just enough nip in the air in the mornings that I feel the need to bundle my kiddos up a little more and sip hot tea or hot coco.

In any case, S needed some new shirts to brighten his wardrobe in some of his favorite colors, blue and green.  I chose to do a short sleeved option since we layer with baby legs for arm warmers or just throw on a light jacket.  Long sleeves seem to be an issue for him with hand washing for as soon as the sleeves get wet he wants the shirt OFF!

For his shirt, I used Figgy’s Tee for Two, a pattern I have returned to time and time again.  S loves the softness of knit and I love how quickly these sew up.  I think I’ve now made 4 or 5 of them and eventually will do the dress option for V (not that she’s hurting in the dress department, I’ve yet again run out of hangers for her!).  Next for these shirts will be a bit of stenciling, I think, but that will have to be a mommy/son project for another day, after he decides exactly what it is he wants on his shirt!

Figgy's Tee for Two-- That's What She Crafted

S was also in need of a new fun pair of pants.  The kid definitely had a growth spurt over the summer as his pants he wore in the spring are now just the right length instead of dragging along on the floor.  I turned to Blank Slate’s Coastal Cargos as I made a pair in a clothing swap I participated in and loved how they came out for the other child so naturally I needed to make my own child a pair too!

Blank Slate Coastal Cargos, pant length-- That's What She Crafted

Now what does every 3.5 year old boy NEED in his wardrobe?  Pants WITH pockets.  S loves pockets and these cargos do not fail.  Scared of pockets and don’t have a highly opinionated preschooler?  Leave the pockets off!  I love the detailed instructions for getting a great look for the front pockets, back welt pockets, and side cargo pockets.  All are definitely kid sized and will fit those very needed items of trains, cars, and nature’s treasures (eh hem, rocks or bits of tree bark).  My only qualm with the pattern is that the pieces do not have the grainline direction included on them and the pattern instructions do not have a diagram assisting with the layout for cutting out the pieces.  However, this pattern is rated for an intermediate sewer so perhaps those skills are assumed to be had to be able to figure it out yourself, which I did pretty easily even with my “beginner” sewing status.

With this pair, I did all the lining with a bit of left over Hungry Caterpillar Dots that I had laying around still from another project.  S loves all the colors and loves the story too so it’s a win for him as well to know he has a touch of color in his pockets and along his inner waistband.  For the pants, I just bought “bottom weight” cotton material from Joann’s when it was on sale in a khaki coloring that acceptable for S’s school uniform (they are required to wear a polo top but for shorts/ pants they just request navy or khaki coloring).  Dark brown for the bias tape which makes these pants look oh so nicely finished!

I did include the roll up option mostly because we live relatively close to the beach.  S HATES when his clothing gets wet and insists on taking it all off if it does so these roll up to the perfect height to stay dry while allowing him to play in the waves as they roll up to his ankles.

Little boys always seem to get the shaft when it comes to cute patterns so I’m so happy to give my little guy something he loves: a bit of color and comfort.  And now I shall go set the tea kettle on, I think I need another cup of tea.

-Viever

Pattern Anthology

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pattern anthology

I was somehow able to test not 1, not 2, but 5 of the patterns from Pattern Anthology’s new Winter Wonderland release.  I think it was a stroke of luck, because I really love these patterns!

We’ll start off with the Johnny B Good Hoodie

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The first one I made was with a hood lined with knit.  I love the hood option. It’s such a fun twist! The second one, I made with the shoulder patches.

I did both in short sleeve and with the snow falling on the ground, you may be thinking that I’ve lost my marbles. I layer a lot, so I love that they are short sleeved and that way can still be worn when summer comes. I have found with my oldest that I can usually get almost 2 years out of a button up shirt, so I almost always make them short sleeved!

I know a lot of people may be intimidated by button up shirts, but they shouldn’t be. These were pretty easy to put together and the time part is more of ironing interfacing onto a few pieces. They really do look a lot harder then they are!

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The next pattern I tested was the Sweet Bonnie Top.

I really like the vintage feel this one has. It has a zipper closure in the back , peter pan collar and gathered sleeves at the cuffs. I did make 2 of these and have a third almost finished…..

Birkshire blazer and Holly pants

The next pattern I tested was the Berkshire Blazer. I haven’t figured out the right fabric for Judes yet, but that kid is getting one for sure. Melly does an awesome job with her tutorials and again, this is one that looks a lot more complicated then it really is.

I also tested the Holly Trousers (the pink pants paired with the blazer) and I know I didn’t get a great picture of them, but they are adorable! I am just itching to make the girls the shorts version. They have tons of cute tights and I love shorts with tights in the winter.

 I am also almost finished with the other Sweet Bonnie Top that is going to match this outfit and I can’t wait to get it done! It’s going to be gorgeous!!

tree climber pants

Then the last pattern I got to test was the Tree Climber Trousers. I hate picking favorites, but these are them. The pockets, the construction, I just love everything about them. I love the fit and three piece front with the reinforced knees….LOVE! I didn’t find any fabric that inspired me in the store, so I bought this heavier white canvas material (which is actually super soft) to dye afterwards, but I can’t for the life of me decide on a color. I kind of like the white too and can slightly get away with it with him being this age. I’m not saying you can do that with every 16 month old, but with Judes personality right now, it’s doable!

Is this collection worth it?? Oh Yes. I know I will for sure be making more of each of these patterns

Now, this collection is only offered as a whole at a discount for a couple of weeks so go here to purchase the whole collection.

Only have a little girl to sew for? You can get the Wonderland Collection here. The Amaryllis Dress and Juliet Capelet are part of the girls patterns and I didn’t get to test them, but you should check them out cause they are super cute.

Opposite and only have boys?  You can buy the Winter Collection here.  That collection sports an Aviator and Trapper hat Pattern I didn’t test as well, and I WANT.

Thank you so much Andrea, Shauna and Melly for letting me test your patterns!!

– Karly

Pattern Review Halloween Style: My Little Plumcake- Cordelia

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Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday.  I love dressing up and getting my kids dressed up and begging for candy.  I’ve always made our costumes, but since learning how to sew, things have gotten much more epic.  Aurelia and Obren’s main costumes this year are the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit, respectively and can be seen here.  Well, she has a school parade and gets to wear a costume to school.  Here’s the deal; I don’t want her messing up her pretty dress.  She’s crazy.  She is so crazy wild that I’ve already had to replace her new shirts that I bought at the beginning of the school year at the end of August.  She only goes to school 4 days a week and only  2 hours a day, so it takes some massive skill to ruin things that quickly.  I needed her to be able to be involved in the festivities, while still being in a costume that would allow her to be a crazy kid.  This is what I came up with:

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She’s a Strawberry!  Thank baby Jesus that My Little Plumcake released this awesome pattern just in time.  It’s called the Cordelia Sweetheart Peplum Top.  It comes in sizes 12 months through size 8 (including an 18 month size). The moment I saw it, I was inspired.  This pattern is a sleeveless sweetheart top with a gathered peplum  bottom and a scalloped peter pan collar.  The closure on the back is a sweet little keyhole with a ribbon loop and a button.    The bodice is lined and instructions for lace overlay are given to add a little femininity to the design.  Of course you don’t HAVE to use lace, but I think it’s very lovely. The collar is an option and looks just as fabulous without!

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I would rate this pattern for a confident beginner.  It takes a few hours to put together and there is a bit of hand sewing.  Also you will be sewing bias binding, which is not hard at all and you’re given the steps you’ll need to pull it all together.  Take your time and it will come out beautifully. The designer walks you through everything from materials, to piecing and cutting your pattern, to sewing it all up.  And if you have questions, she’s just an e-mail away or you can join The My Little Plumcake Pattern Group on FaceBook.

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I was going to do a tutorial for the hat I made, but my son slept a grand total of 3 hours last night and refused his nap this afternoon.  Suffice it to say that I’m miserable and not in the mood to teach you anything today.  Consider this “movie day” in class.  I’m rolling out the TV cart and falling asleep at my desk.  I will definitely try to get this up ASAP as you never know when you’ll need a strawberry hat!  But for  now, you must try to forgive me and my horrid son.

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-Crystal-

Pattern Review- Deer&Doe Bleuet

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As I mentioned in my introduction, I consider myself a newbie sewer.  I’ve been sewing on my current streak for about 7 months.  Prior to that I had made my first project, a skirt for myself, in 2007 when my mother in law took pity on me and agreed to teach me to sew using her sewing machine.  After that first project, there were many items that went unfinished and a few baby items I made as gifts, but my machine mostly sat lonely in the bottom shelf of my bookcase.

NO MORE!  My sewing machine and now serger both have permanent homes right on my desk.  They have little cubby homes in the attached bookshelf but they rarely see them now.  In any case, I tell you all this as I attempt something even newer to me, blogging and pattern reviewing!  So here we go!

Deer and Doe’s Bleuet is the first for me project I’ve done in 6 years and rather than ease myself into something nice and simple I went for an “advanced” pattern.  Remember that “newbie sewer” status I gave myself?   Well you might be telling me to hang up that title after this post, as my fellow SHEs have tried to do, but I’m holding onto it dearly and will be showing/telling you about all the rookie mistakes I made during this project.  Honestly, this pattern probably has an advanced marking because of the 15 buttonholes and for the princess seams.  Neither scared me and they shouldn’t scare you either!  In today’s great technology age, we have so many resources to tap so put on a brave face and stretch your skills… with a computer and a trusty internet connection close at hand.  With most adult patterns, I’ve been told to make a muslin as we all curve and are shaped a little differently.  Well I pulled a “no no” and I did not make a muslin of this dress prior to cutting into my material (a beautiful red stretch poplin) as my measurements were pretty much dead on for the chart.  What can I say, I like to live dangerously every once in awhile.

Night one, I had my pieces cut out and started sewing the panels together.  I thought I was doing fabulously.  That bow made me so happy.  Then I stopped and really looked at the dress.  Something was off.  Can you figure it out?

Progress- princess seams

If you guess that 1) I had no clue how to do princess seams and 2) I sewed the back side panels on backwards.  Then you would be VERY right.  First, I googled and youtubed princess seams to see what exactly I was supposed to do with them.  Then, I came to the conclusion that I had mistakenly sewed my pieces together incorrectly (using my traced pieces and my new knowledge about princess seams).  All that research occurred during a RARE two hour nap from my children, as in they were both asleep for the duration of 2 hours some sort of miracle there!  So night 2 was spent ripping out 90% of the work from night one and then correctly sewing all the panels together.

Progress-panels

The next few days went without a hitch sewing the sleeves up, adding the collar, and making the button placket.  I had a bit of a hitch with the collar as the directions weren’t the most clear and because I have never sewn a collar before.  If you are used to PDF patterns, you’ll probably feel like the directions are lacking for this paper pattern. But if you are used to paper patterns or have worked with any of the big box patterns, you’ll be right at home.  I took the dress to show my mother in law after I finished it and told her that I had issues with the collar.  She looked at it said it looked great and then told me in more detail what the paper directions failed to convey.  Next time maybe I’ll get it right… or maybe I’ll just wing it my way since it looks fine anyway!

progress-mostly finished

After this last victory self shot, the dress sat…. for a week.  I was avoiding it and working on the house work that I had neglected during my sewing binge (see one of the above shots for proof of very cluttered living room).  During nap time one day, I finally sat down to conquer the buttons and buttonholes.  I got 7 done during that nap time and finished the other 8 after the kids went to bed that night.   Dress COMPLETE!

And a nap time photo shoot on my back patio with the handy dandy clicker in hand.

As you can see, the dress fits me very well.  I am SO pleased with my results.  I will be making more of these for myself even though I’m not usually a dress gal or a collar gal.  Typically, I like to roll in my yoga pants and a tee shirt, but I feel like this dress is just enough dressy for those days when you need a little outfit pick me up but not so dressy that you put it on and wonder what you were thinking since the only people you’ll see are the kids and maybe a neighbor or two.

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Well that’s my review.  Let me know what you think.  What details you would have liked hearing about that I didn’t mention?

Happy “selfish” sewing!

Viever