Monday, October 14, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Maise Cape (Peacock Version)

Just in time for Halloween... this week we are featuring the Peacock Maise Cape from My Childhood Treasures!  Obviously, this gorgeous cape would make for an impressive Halloween costume, but I'd parade my little one around in it all during the chilly months!  What I find totally cool about this pattern is that you also get the original version of the Maise Cape included for free (the peacock version is actually an add-on that's included with the original file).  So you get the peacock version, the Little Red Riding Hood version, and a plain version- all wrapped up into one pattern that we just so happen to have on sale for 25% off this week!  Hurray!!!
If you wanted to use this pattern as a costume piece, I'm sure you could come up with endless uses!  I'm not creative as some of you, but if you made the cape a little longer, it might work for a witches costume.  You could also make it in some sparkly or lacey fabrics and use it as a cover up for your little princesses if it gets really cold while trick-or-treating in your neck of the woods.  We don't really run into that problem in Alabama too often, but some of you might!  A Little Red Riding Hood costume is an obvious choice and would be absolutely darling!  If you wanted to use the Peacock Version as a costume, you could pair it with blue pants and a blue shirt underneath, or do like the pattern suggests and use the Tutu Dress in pretty shades of blue.  Oh, or how about making it in all white while having your child wear all white, and doing black eyes and a mouth on the hood to make a ghost costume?  And let's not forget that superheroes wear capes ;) 
Just some general info about the pattern...  It can be made in sizes 1- 8, and a size chart providing chest measurements is provided.  Since the cape is fully lined, it can be reversible, however it wouldn't work if you did the peacock version because the feathers extend farther down and would be seen from the other side.  A fabric requirement chart is provided, and the smallest size needs a yard for each side of the cape, and the largest size needs 1 1/4 yards for each side of the cape.  There are 12 pages to print out for the cape pattern pieces (which are all nested, color-coded and labeled) and 4 pages for the peacock applique pieces.  A 2x2 inch square is include on the pattern pieces to ensure that your pattern is printing at the correct scale.  There's a convenient "Sewing Terms" glossary at the very end to help you with any sewing terms that you might not be familiar with.  It's a useful reference for any pattern you may be working on!  Please note, this pattern may only be made for personal use.  If you sew for profit, you can contact the designer to inquire about her latest policies in regards to selling the items made from this pattern. 
As far as the construction is concerned, I've sewn up a few things from My Childhood Treasures recently and am always pleased with both the process and the end results.  Her patterns are very well-written and have a nice flow to them.  Every step is accompanied with a helpful photo so you're not left wondering if you're doing it right.  The appliques for the Peacock and Little Red Riding Hood are both done using felt.  The patterns for all the pieces, plus detailed directions on how to construct the appliques are included.  Give it a try, and see how easy it is!
We've got Mary Ann reviewing this pattern for us today.  Take a look at her amazing version!
While thumbing through patterns on Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops, I had to stop and do a double take when I ran across the Peacock Maise Cape (special edition) by My Childhood Treasures!  Seeing that I love peacock feathers and the attractive colors they present, it didn’t take me long deciding to purchase the pattern.  Am I glad I did!
My sewing inspiration was a neighborhood grandmother who made wonderful dresses for her granddaughters.  As a child, I was so impressed since I didn’t have a grandmother of my own (especially one who sews).  Now, I sew for my grandkids.  Hopefully, I inspire others to create beautiful handmade garments for their families and friends.  I am looking forward to opening an Etsy store in the near future.  You are welcome to view some of my first projects at
Let’s get started!  I am so pleased to review such a versatile pattern.  I chose a peacock print lining called Regent Peacock by Alexander Henry Fabrics Collections that I found at Hobby Lobby.  The outer fabric is teal pinwale corduroy found at JoAnn’s Fabric.  Feathers are cotton scraps in coordinating colors.  
Prewashing is a must if you are working with corduroy and cotton.  Tip: Corduroy can be tricky when preparing to cut pattern pieces.  There is a nap so all pattern pieces need to face the same direction on the fabric.  My printed lining was placed in the same manner. 
The directions for this pattern are easy to follow and construction was a breeze.  I’m big on pressing seams as I go along since it makes the finished garment look so much more professionally made.  And yes, the instructions recommend pressing (no wonder the finished cape looks so nice)!  The recommended topstitching is another must for a well made garment.
Peacock feathers… Peacock feathers adorn my sewing room so I found inspiration right at my fingertips.  The pattern designer lists suggestions in lieu of felt.  I chose cotton scraps and Pellon fusible interfacing to back the two larger feather pattern pieces and provide some stiffness.  I lined each feather with the matching cape lining.  The feathers give the cape some weight and provide a nice drape.
What a fun sew!  The pattern also includes a template for a peacock headpiece and instructions as well as an appliqué for Little Red Riding Hood and instructions.  I’m seriously thinking of making a pink flamingo cape!  Soon, very soon!
Isn't that cape stunning?!?  I love that she left the headpiece off of the hood to make it look a little less "costume-y" for everyday wear!  And the idea to make a pink flamingo version... holy moly I want to see that!!  You could do an owl version, too!  The possibilities are endless!  Who knew you could have so much fun with a cape?? 

Pair it Up!

In the spirit of Halloween, we're going to showcase a few trick-or-treat bags you could quickly sew up for our Pair it Up section today!
The Halloween Treat Bag pattern from Charming Doodle can be used to make 5 different styles of treat bags.  There's a cat, strawberry, fairy princess, jack-o-lantern, and monster to choose from.  But as we've learned above, the only limit is your imagination!  Don't let your little ones go out with a generic plastic pumpkin... or worse, an old Wal-Mart sack, ha!!  We've got this pattern on sale for only $5 for a limited time, so make one up to perfectly compliment that handmade costume you've been working so hard on!
The Halloween Bag or Library Tote from Hadley Grace Designs is another fun way for the kids to haul around their loot!  They'll have to trick-or-treat all night to fill that sucker up!  Make it in some spooky Halloween prints and add their initial or an applique to create a customized bag that will receive just as much attention as their costumes!  The bag pattern also works great year round in your favorite prints!
Make sure you go to the website and purchase your copy of The Peacock Maise Cape for 25% off while it's still on sale  :)  Also, be sure to get your entries in for our 1st Annual Handmade Halloween Costume ContestSimply design a Halloween costume around one or more of the over 800 patterns we carry on our website.  We're giving away over $300 in awesome prizes from some awesome vendors!  The last day to enter is October 20th, so fire up your sewing machine!!!  Find the details by clicking on the banner below :)

 Go sew something magical!


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Friday, October 11, 2013

Sew Up Something Spooky... or Sweet!!!

Are you participating in our 1st Annual Handmade Halloween Costume Contest???  It's easy-peasy to enter.  Go to our website, Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops, and choose a pattern or two (It can patterns you already own or that you've bought from the designers directly, too.  Just as long as we carry it on our site, you're good to go!) and design a costume around it!  You can turn a peasant dress into a princess dress, you can turn a pair of overalls into a Mario costume, you can take a collared top and pair it with a full skirt and an apron to make an I Love Lucy costume (ahem, that may or may not be what I'm doing...).  Just let your imagination run wild and have FUN!!! 

We have an impressive list of prizes we'll be awarding to three lucky winners.  If you're a fan of fabric and sewing patterns, it just might tickle your fancy!  The prizes total over $300!!  Check out the Facebook prize album we have set up to browse through them all, and be sure to show our sponsors some love! 

To read the original contest post to find out all the details regarding the Costume Contest, follow the link here.  Entries need to be in by the end of the day October 20th.  We'll announce the winners on Halloween!! 
And just because we love Halloween around here, we are also having a little fun with a sneaky ghost that's been showing up on our website!  Each weeknight at 9 PM CST, this little guy will show up in a different place on our website.  Be the first to find him and comment where he's hiding on the Ghost Post on our FB wall, and you'll earn yourself a 15% off discount code that can be used on anything on the website for the next 48 hours!  There will only be one winner per weekday, so be quick and look out for clues on the FB page :)
So start browsing, get sewing, and be sure to share this contest with your friends!  We'd love for you to help us spread the word by either pinning this post or sharing on FB!  Thanks so much, and may the best costume win!!

 Go sew something magical!


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Monday, October 7, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Tea Party Dress

Hello again!  How many of you have a head start on your holiday sewing?  I, for one, haven't started my Halloween sewing yet (I know, for shame!), but I know some of you are already looking into Christmas and holiday patterns.  The one we are reviewing today is perfect for holiday parties, family photos, birthdays, weddings, princess costumes, church... any special occasion where you want the "wow" factor. 

The Tea Party Dress by the Handmaiden's Cottage is absolutely stunning, isn't it?  It's been a best-seller on our site for weeks now, and I'm sure you can see why.  Everything about this dress is jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, absolutely exquisite!!  Can you tell I kinda like it?  And it even comes in a doll size (sold separately here) so your little angel and her doll can match.  How cute!!

This pattern is perfect for all the little princesses out there in sizes 6m- Girls 8.  If you are unsure of the size your little one would wear, there is a size chart included that will give you finished measurements for both the bodice and dress length.  The back bodice contains elastic, so there is some "give" to the fit.  You'll also find that there is a yardage chart included, so be sure to double check that you have enough fabric before beginning!  As you can imagine, all the ruffles take up a good bit of fabric- but the end result is definitely worth it!  The smallest size calls for a total of 3 yards and the largest size calls for a total of 5 1/4 yards for the whole dress. 

I think you'll be surprised at how easy to follow this pattern is.  It looks intimidating, but designer Lynn Jeffries does a beautiful job of walking you through step-by-step.  The tutorial itself is only 30 pages long (15 pages for the directions and 15 pages for the pattern pieces), but there is a lot of  good "stuff" in there.  With all the detailed photos along the way, you'll be just fine!  I've heard feedback from several people saying the dress was much easier to construct than they anticipated. 

The pattern pieces have all the sizes nested together with the lines for each size being a different color.  The ruffles and underskirt don't have pattern pieces, but rather a chart is provided so you can cut out the rectangles using the dimensions given.  Each page of the entire tutorial is labeled with the name of the pattern and numbered (we all know how important that is in the event of children or pets getting into our sewing rooms, right?)  She even includes a diagram showing you how to line up the pattern piece pages so there's no confusion about how they fit together. 

All-in-all, this is a very thorough design that you won't be disappointed with!  And the end result?  Stunning!  If you'd like to give this dress a try, you can purchase it on the website for 25% off right now!  This offer won't last long (probably only until October 14th), so be sure to get your order in now! 

Let's go ahead and get to the review sent in to us by Stephanie.  You can take a look at some of her other work here
My name is Stephanie Hull, and I am the mother of four amazing kids!  I have been sewing on and off since I was 16 when my grandma taught me, but after my twins were born last year, I jumped in and started expanding my skills and improving my home business (S.H. Designs Boutique) by making clothes and baby items.  I would describe myself as an advanced beginner with an "I can do that!" attitude.  I'm more than willing to make a pattern that requires skills that I don't currently have.  I learn best by jumping in!
I looked at the Tea Party Dress by The Handmaiden's Cottage and fell in love.  I knew that I currently had some pink velvet and black satin in my fabric stash, and I planned to use only fabrics I had on hand instead of purchasing fabrics.

I read the pattern very carefully a few times before even starting to cut.  It took me about half an hour to cut all the pieces.  The overskirt and bodice were all printed pieces, and the rest are just measured rectangles for the ruffles and underskirt. It probably would have taken me a lot less time had I opted to use cottons instead of slippery fabrics.

Once I had everything cut, I had a small panic attack because I felt like I had gotten in a bit over my head and/or that I was never going to finish this project.  I was very quickly proved wrong!  If you know how to use your machine to make a basting stitch (or you have another preferred method of making ruffles), you can sew this pattern very easily!  Working with the velvet and satin was a bit fussy and took me several hours to hem, ruffle, and sew.  However, when I made the pattern again out of cotton, it took me two and a half hours from cutting to completion!

The pattern is well written, and does a great job with pictures and explanations.  There is also a page on customizing your dress.  For mine, I wasn't too thrilled with the way the skirt looked when connected to the bodice, because the velvet was a bit heavier than I anticipated, so I opted to add a sash.  I think what thrilled me most of all is that this dress looks so complicated when it's completed, but the construction is very simple and straightforward!  I made the size 18mos/2T for my daughter and the fit and length were perfect.
The most important piece of advice I can give for anyone who wants to make this pattern is to read through it carefully a couple of times before cutting and starting your project, especially the cutting section.  I was very eager to get sewing and rushed through it the first time and thought I knew what to cut, but ended up a couple of pieces short. It was obviously an easy fix, but even for a small size, this dress uses quite a bit of fabric, and cutting wrong can mean wasting fabric and I hate wasting beautiful fabrics!
All in all, I adore this pattern!  Since sewing together my first pink velvet and black satin creation last week, I have sewed one more Tea Party Dress and have two more planned.  I think that there is so much gratification from this relatively simple pattern and my daughters love that they look like princesses!  I would highly recommend this pattern for everyone, from beginner to advanced!

Photos were taken by RoniD.Photography.  You can find them on FB at

Just gorgeous!!  I've been curious as to what this dress would look like with a different color ruffle on the underskirt, and I love it!  I mean, even that little boy couldn't help but run up and give her a flower she looked so beautiful  ;) 

Pair it Up!

For more extraordinary holiday outfit ideas, take a look at just a few that we have available.

The Lulu pettiskirt/ruffled skirt from Tulips & Edelweiss will definitely turn some heads!  Can you believe all the volume that skirt has??  That is some serious frilly goodness!  You can wear the Lulu alone as a skirt or wear it under another dress with a full skirt to give it a dramatic effect.  This can be made in sizes 12m- Girls 14, and there's even a bonus 18" doll size included! 

The Precious Dress from The Scientific Seamstress is perfect for holiday get-togethers!  I adore the puff sleeves, and I'm a sucker for a Peter Pan collar!  There are a lot of ways you can play around with this pattern to get just the look you're after.  Add an apron, make it sleeveless, leave off the collar, add a sash... it's so versatile and fun to make!  This pattern comes in sizes 3m- Girls 10, and there's a bonus 15"-18" doll pattern included with this one, too!  There will be lots of cute kids with their cute dolls this holiday season!  Oh, and this pattern is 25% off right now on our website until October 13th  :) 
Make sure you go to the website and purchase your copy of The Tea Party Dress for 25% off while it's still on sale  :)  Also, we'd love for you to join us as we kick off our 1st Annual Handmade Halloween Costume ContestSimply design a Halloween costume around one or more of the over 800 patterns we carry on our website.  We're giving away over $300 in awesome prizes from some awesome vendors!  Find the details by clicking on the banner below :)

 Go sew something magical!


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