Monday, August 26, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Nova Top and Dress

Hi sewing friends!  In case you haven't heard, Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops is back and better than ever!  We had to go offline to take care of some much needed behind the scenes upgrades, but we've reopened with lots of cool features and an awesome mobile site for shopping away from home!  Check out the new website
If that weren't reason enough to celebrate, here's one more...  our Sew and Tell Review today is The Nova Top and Dress from Popolok Design!  You're going to want to make sure you take advantage of the 25% off discount on this one!  I love this little peplum top with a sweetheart neckline!  The Nova is a gorgeous, sassy, versatile, and blow-your-mind-it's-written-so-well pattern.  It can be made as a sleeveless peplum top or sleeveless peplum dress, and both styles can be made with a cap sleeve.  That's 4 ways to sew up this pattern- SCORE!!!  It comes in sizes 1-8 in girls.  There's an incredibly detailed finished measurement chart included that will help you choose the perfect size for you little one!  The bodice is fully lined and features an invisible zipper.  DON'T let that scare you!!  She gives incredible directions on how to install the zipper, and I just installed my first invisible zipper a mere few days ago in a different pattern, and it was a piece of cake!
And I wasn't kidding when I said it was an unbelievably detailed pattern.  The pattern pieces and tutorial come in separate files so you can quickly print the pieces without having to search through the pattern for them.  She tells you step by step how to print out the pattern pieces, which are all nested and color coded to cut down on paper and ink usage.  The tutorial itself contains lots of helpful photos and the directions are clear and easy to understand.  Alviana (the fabulous designer) thought of EVERYTHING, and I promise you this is an excellent, well-written pattern.  I can't say enough good things about it, so I'm going to let Stephanie take it from here...

Hello!  I'm Stephanie.  I'm a SAHM to my two minions.  I'm lucky enough to have a boy and a girl to sew for.  I grew up watching my mom sew quilts, but to be honest she wasn't patient enough to teach me to sew as a little girl.  I actually didn't learn to sew until 2011, when my daughter was a year old and had picked out a cute bird/birdhouse fabric on a trip to Joann's that had originally started out as a scrapbook paper hunt.  I bought a yard of the fabric, went home and didn't know what to do with it.  I watched a ton of Youtube videos and made my very first dress.  I was hooked!  I would say I'm now an advanced beginner - intermediate sewer, somewhere in between. 
I chose to review The Nova Top/Dress by Popolok Designs.  Alviana knocked it out of the park with this one.  It's a stylish top or dress that is a pretty quick sew.  It has a cute sweetheart-illusion yoke with options to add a gathered cap sleeve.  The bodice is fully lined and all seams are encased in the lining. 
I decided to sew the sleeveless top variation and completed it in one sewing day.  Minus all the breaks I took taking care of my minions it took about 3 hours from cutting the pattern pieces and fabric to the final hemming. 
The Nova Top was pretty easy to sew up.  The most difficult part for me was attaching the front yoke to the main front fabric.  I've always had a problem sewing concave and convex curves, but if you follow Alviana's instructions, you'll get it.  I think a beginner could make this if they are good at following instructions and if they have the basics of sewing down.  There are colored photos for every step of the way.  Even though there is  an invisible zipper on the back and the bodice is fully lined, I believe it would be good practice for a beginner, especially since the instructions to attach the lining and zipper are so easy to follow. 
The pattern is beautifully put together.  Alviana has little boxes spread out throughout the directions with an adorable little bird providing helpful tips.  The directions are clear, concise, and well-written.  The steps are numbered as well as the pages.  You will receive two separate PDF's, one PDF for instructions and one PDF for pattern pieces, so it's a breeze to print only the pattern pieces.  The pattern pieces were clearly labeled and numbered and the pages were easy to piece together once printed.  Just match the labeled triangles and tape. 
I love the way The Nova Top looks on my daughter!  I made her a size 3.  I think I could have used a size 4 in length because she's so long, but the 3 fits her perfectly width-wise, and she wears a 3 in RTW garments.  The finished top measurements match up with Alviana's measurements. 
I found this Riley Blake 'Promenade' Blue Main Fabric on Etsy with Southern Seams Fabrics and thought it would be just perfect for this stylish peplum top.  The necklace, I custom ordered from Jax & Jewels on Facebook.  Both shops were super quick with shipping. 
I can't wait to sew up another Nova Top for my little girl.  I love that it's a big girl style with sweet, unique features.  I've been eyeing a few other Popolok Designs patterns and think Alviana's style is different from anything I've seen, and that's why I love it. 
Um, wow!  That's gorgeous!  I seriously have the pattern printed and ready to go on this one because after seeing Stephanie's cute little top, I have to make one, too!  I can see this working under a cardigan when it starts to get cool outside.  It would also be adorable paired with a mini skirt and leggings layered underneath.  Such a fun design!  Be sure to get it for 25% off for the next few days over on the website :)

Pair it Up!

In case you were wondering what would work well with a top that has this much character to it, let me help :)  May I present to you ....

The Darling Jeans from Pink Fig Design are just so unique and girly!  What little girl wouldn't want to put on a pair of these jazzed up jeans?  Take a great fitting pair of store-bought jeans and use this tutorial to help you achieve extreme levels of cuteness! 
Another great pair of pants you'll be able to wear with the Nova Top (as well as a whole closet full of other tops and dresses), are the Everyday Knit Ruffle Pants from Jocole.  These were actually my first knit sewing project, and I found the pattern so quick and extremely easy to follow.  I love how they turned out!  This pattern comes in sizes NB- 5T and includes a bonus pattern for dolls. 
Lots of cuteness here today, right?!?  Don't forget to head over to check out the new website!  And we are working out the final details for our 1st Annual Halloween Costume Contest!!  We're very excited to share the info with all of you, so stay tuned for that announcement!

Go sew something magical!

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Casey Unitard

Hi everyone!  Welcome back for another Sew and Tell!  This week we are flippin' out over the Casey Unitard from Mountain Ash Design!  My daughter is as bouncy and energetic as they come, and I know it's only a matter of time before she wants to take gymnastics.  How cool is it that I'll be able to make her leotards one day?  And lucky for you, if you need to invest in some dance wear, swim wear, or gymnastics patterns, Mountain Ash Design has you covered!
The Casey Unitard is great for little tumblers of all ages.  It comes in sizes 2- 14, which is a great size range.  And there are two strap/sleeve options offered.  You can make the unitard with spaghetti straps or with a tank-style top.  Don't think you need anything fancy such as a serger to stitch up a pattern like this.  A regular sewing machine will get the job done, too!  Just take a few minutes to play around with the stretchy fabric and get your settings correct regardless of the machine you are using, especially if you are new to sewing with stretch fabrics. 
We've got a great review sent in to us by Kristen.  Read below to find out more about the Casey Unitard pattern!
HI!  My name is Kristen.  I can be seen on Facebook mostly at KristenKreates.  I am a SAHM/WAHM to 3 amazing little ones.  I first learned to sew in elementary school when taking home economics, and we were actually taught to cook and sew.  I still remember what I learned to make that year (Snickerdoodles, an elephant pillow, and a gorilla stuffed animal.)  As I was growing up, my mom had a sewing machine but she NEVER EVER let me use it.  I may have occasionally pretended to be sick so I could stay home and play with it.  SHHH! When I got pregnant with my oldest, I picked crochet back up and made her a few sweaters, but what's a sweater without a cute dress?  And I began to sew again after she was born and haven't stopped since.  I have sewn cloth diapers and nearly any type of clothing you can think of.  I find it very therapeutic.
 My oldest is a long lean little one.  If I measured her width, by most patterns she would wear a size 3, but she is 8 years old.  I was easily able to trace a size 6 width and a size 8 length.  Sewing comes in handy especially for her.  She is an active little one and is taking Gymnastics this summer.  Yes, she had a leotard or few, but being a mama that sews she needed more, of course.  I noticed the Casey Unitard pattern and fell in love with the style.  Through all of my pattern altering and drafting, I had yet to come up with the perfect unitard.  Was I ever in luck when I found the Mountain Ash patterns!
I found the pattern to be a quick sew.  I believe from start to finish this may have taken me an hour (if that) to print, trace, cut and sew the pattern.  It probably took us more time to choose our fabrics and fold over elastic than it did to sew.  I used a red tag dance/swim wear fabric I found at Joann Fabrics and a solid dance/swim fabric for the top.  Both are a cotton/spandex fabric.  I also happened to have a perfectly matching 5/8" fold over elastic for the straps.
I have mixed feelings about having to open each pattern piece individually.  The laziness in me was a little annoyed having to open each one I needed, but the frugal mom in me found it very helpful that I was able to print just the pieces I needed and not any extra.  Having sewn with knits previously, including dance and swim wear, I didn't have any difficulties at all.  The pattern pieces lined up perfectly, and the finished measurements were correct.  Another frugal appreciation is the options! Ask anyone who sews, the more options the better!!  This pattern had a tank option or a thin strap option, but there are options from there!  You can make your own binding, use FOE (fold over elastic) ect.  As a personal preference, I reinforced all the seams and topstitched the top to the bottom body.  I also crossed the straps in the back for her.  Makes the pattern well worth the money spent on it.
I found that the instructions were clear and easy to understand, and they provided more options.  For the experienced seamstress there were what I like to call the “cliff note” instructions, just a basic written step by step of what to sew in simple, short sentences.  For those visual learners, she included pictures to match with the simple instructions!  They really did make this a pattern for any level.
I liked it so much that I have actually already recommended it to a friend.  My daughter loves it, and we have received nothing but positive compliments on her unitard.  We are already trying to figure out which one to get next. I give Mountain Ash an A-!
 That is one busy little girl!  You can tell she is a little ball of energy!  I'm impressed with how well the unitard is staying in place in all of these photos.  You certainly don't want your little one fidgeting, tugging, and pulling constantly, and this looks to be a great fit!  Plus, how fun is the leopard print fabric she used?  I bet all the little girls in her gymnastics class went home and begged their mommas to make them one, too! 
If you want to add performance wear to your repertoire, browse through our collection of Mountain Ash Design patterns available on the website.  And since we know you must be excited to try the Casey out yourself, we're offering it for 25% off for the next few days!  Take advantage of this great offer, and share some photos of your finished unitards with us on our Facebook page! 

Pair It Up!

Here are some great options to help your little one get to and from practice or meets in comfort and style! 
   The Yoga Girl Pants, Capris, and Shorts pattern from Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop would be perfect to slip on over a leotard before you get in the car.  Cute, comfy, easy to wear, they're great for PJ bottoms or lounging around the house, too!  These can be made in sizes 3m- 12 years.

The Summer Tunic from GreenStyleCreations makes a perfect cover-up!  Whether it be for a day at the pool, gymnastics practice, or a trip to the playground with friends, this tunic the one you want!  Love the ruffle detail around the neckline!  This one comes in sizes 18m- 12 years. 


Alright ladies, let's get ready to tumble!  Hope you have as much fun stitching up one of these unitards as your little one will have wearing it!

Go sew something magical!

Follow on Bloglovin