Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Krew Coat

Hope everyone enjoyed their nice long weekend!  Did you get a lot of sewing done?  I had plans to sew, and the kids were even at Nan's house, but I ended up giving the house a really good "pre-spring" cleaning instead.  Sigh. 
If I can't sew, at least I get to look at the things you talented ladies sew!  And I've been quite smitten with this coat all morning.  How many of you have boys you sew for?  Or at least would like to sew for, but you can't find anything other than a Jon Jon pattern?  Finding great patterns for the little men in your life certainly isn't as easy as it is to find patterns for girls, but don't quit looking!  We actually have quite a few great designs on the website.  Check out all those great patterns made just for boys!  
My son is almost six years old, and today's Sew and Tell pattern, The Krew Coat by LilyGiggle, would be perfect for him!  The Krew Coat pattern comes in sizes 4-10 and is made using old cargo pants, hoodies, and flannel shirts (either your own or you could get them from a thrift store).  Upcycles seem to be really popular right now.  If you don't have to buy new fabric for a project, that's more money in your pocket to buy something else (like new patterns or different fabric, ha!)  Facebook friends always get 10% off of their order with the code FRIENDLY10.
Leah C. has today's review, so let's take a look!
As the mama of a pre-school boy, I've always got my eye out for great boy's sewing patterns.  Many of the patterns I've found are either a little too old-fashioned for our tastes, or they are basic patterns that require super-cute, special fabrics to stand out (read: pricey!).  I was thrilled to see that LilyGiggle's Krew Coat addresses both of those issues... it is a modern, urban style that repurposes worn-out clothing, which saves on fabric costs!  This pattern calls for the pockets to be made from old cargo pants, and the hood to be cut off of an old hoodie. I took it one step further and cut the lining out of an old flannel shirt, so the only fabric I had to purchase was a knit for the exterior.  Awesome!
Here's a "before" photo of the hoodie and shirt that I repurposed:    
Another bonus of using the flannel shirt was that I was able to include one of the flannel shirt pockets when I cut out the lining, creating a "secret pocket" on the inside that is a big hit with my son!
The pattern pieces lined up well after printing, and were easy to fit together:
I used a thick gray knit without much stretch for the exterior of the coat, and serged all of the major seams.  The pattern doesn't call for serging, but I tend to use my serger for speed and durability whenever possible.  No seam allowances were mentioned in the instructions, but I asked on LilyGiggle's Facebook page, and I got a quick response that the pattern includes 1/2" seam allowances.  Step-by-step instructions with photos are included with the pattern, which is very thorough - it reads like a tutorial rather than just including basic directions.  The basic coat came together very quickly, maybe 2 hours of work including the cutting.  I embellished the coat with an adorable iron-on bird patch that I purchased years ago from JennyJen42 on Etsy.
I'd consider myself an intermediate sewer, and would recommend this pattern to an advanced beginner.  Working with the stretch of knit fabric and installation of a zipper are the only challenging aspects of the pattern.
Here is the finished product!
I did run into a few roadblocks during construction.  The only major issue I had was while attaching the zipper according to the instructions.  I found that the horizontal seam of the bottom band did not line up from the left front to the right front.  This isn't a surprising development - when working with knits, its important to sew in the same direction on both sides so that the pieces stretch the same way.  To correct it, I had to take the zipper out, hand baste it in place, and resew the zipper.
In a more minor complaint, the pattern calls for the neck seam and the bottom hem to be sewn right-sides-together before the jacket is turned right side out and topstitched.  Then the lining and exterior fabrics are sewn together along the front, and the zipper is applied.  This results in an exposed zipper tape, and requires you to turn and topstitch the sleeve bottoms from the exterior.  The next time I make this jacket, I'm going to experiment with the methods I learned from sewing Ottobre patterns:  encasing the zipper between the lining and the exterior, and sewing the sleeve cuffs together while the jacket is still inside out, requiring that you leave a section of bottom hem open in order to turn the jacket right side out, then finishing it with a topstitch.  However, the method specified in the instructions certainly works, and may be easier for a beginning sewer to execute without confusion.
I made the 4T version of this coat, and here's a comparison of it to an unwashed 4T hoodie from Carters (the Krew Coat is on the bottom). As you can see, the length is pretty much the same, but the sleeves are much wider than the Carter's hoodie, and the jacket itself is wider as well. This is more of a styling difference than a sizing issue, but if you want more tapered sleeves, it wouldn't be hard to adjust the pattern accordingly. I had to roll up the sleeves for my son, but the lining is cute, so that is not a problem for me!
And my son modeling the coat... it is still a little big on him, but will be perfect for the spring!
The best thing about making this coat is that I'm now excited to find the next pair of ragged-edged cargo pants or stained hoodie in my son's closet, ha ha!  And my husband placed an order for a matching jacket of his own - it is a big fashion hit in our house!
Have fun sewing!

So who is going to sneak off to their husband's closet while he isn't at home and pull out a few old shirts to make this coat?  He won't miss them anyways, right?  Well Leah did a great job on this coat and on the review and has definitely got me wanting to push some of those sweet little dresses aside I've had cut out so I can sew up something totally cool for my son instead.  He gets neglected when it comes to sewing, poor guy. 

If you're looking for a few other great boy patterns to get your hands on, take a look at a few of our favorites that would go rather nicely with the Krew Coat.

How stinkin' cute are these Dapper Dillinger Trousers from Patterns by Figgy's?   They come in a size 12m- 6/7 years.  I love the pockets so your little guy can stuff rocks, snacks, and other treasures down in there  :)  You can dress these trousers up or dress them down.  I love them in corduroy.  And how much fun is it to say "trousers?"  I'd much rather make a pair of trousers than pants.  It's so sophisticated.  He'll look so dapper.
A great button-up that can be quite versatile is The Everyday Camp Shirt by Fishsticks Designs.  This pattern can be sewn up with or without the yoke and with or without the pocket.  You can make it as dressy or casual as you like by changing up the fabrics used.  Button-up collared shirts are a great staple in a little guy's wardrobe.  This pattern comes in two size ranges that are sold separately.  You can purchase the pattern in 12m-5T or 5-14 years.
Now go show the boys some sewing-love!  Don't forget to purchase your Krew Coat pattern!
Happy sewing, ladies!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Top 12 of '12

Ladies (and gents), we want all of you to know how thankful we are for your support of Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops!  We have some of the most amazing customers, and we truly appreciate you!  2012 was a great year, and we are hoping 2013 will bring many more blessings! 

Looking back on 2012, we've decided to share with you some of our best-sellers!  These patterns are the twelve most popular patterns we sold in 2012.  Do you own any of them?  Did your favorite make the list?  See something you like that maybe you hadn't seen before?  We hope so!  Have fun looking through the list! 

Disclaimer:  You may not be able to control yourself when you see all this cuteness!!

This one is for YOU, ladies!  It comes in a wide range of sizes, all the way from an XS (0-2) to a 3X (24W-26W).  I've had this one on my to-do list for quite some time, but I always end up sewing for the kids instead of myself.  But I LOVE it!  Isn't the design just gorgeous?  I love the cinched waist, thick straps so you don't have to wear a strapless bra, and the full skirt to hide any, ahem, problem areas.  Such a timeless look, perfect for a summer picnic or a night out with your girlfriends!  Treat yourselves, ladies!  Sew something for yourself next time you sit down to your machine, I promise you won't be disappointed with this pattern!
Lily Bird Studio has a lovely collection of patterns that include several exquisite dresses, including the Amanda Dress.  This is such a beautiful pattern that you'll use it over and over again.  The wide sash adds a stylish contrast and gives the dress a great shape.  The back of the sash has a button closure, which is perfect for those little girls who don't like having a bow.  This would be a great design to add some embroidery or applique to.  The Amanda Dress is available in sizes 12 m- 10 years. 
Doesn't this dress just scream "SUMMER!"??  I thought so, too.  This is a super cute jumper with three tiers of ruffles along the bottom.  Who doesn't love ruffles?  (I promise if you use a ruffler foot, you'll love them, too!  It will change your life!)  Fun and carefree, this is a great dress for playtime and fun summer outings!  The Hayden Dress is available in sizes 6/12 m- 6 years. 
Looking for the cutest romper ever made?  This might be it, lol!  To me, nothing is more adorable than a little girl in a sun suit.  My daughter will be living in them this summer.  I love the vintage style, I love the ruffle around the bodice, I love the monogram, I love the bubble bottom... I could go on, but I'll stop here  :)  The pattern is available in sizes 6 m- 8 years.  You know you can't pass this one up!
The Lulu Dress is a great go-to peasant dress pattern if you are looking for a design without all the fuss but still fun and girly.  The pattern comes in sizes 3/6 m- 12 years.  Everyone needs a good, basic peasant dress pattern in their collection!  You can shorten the length to create a peasant top or use the pattern to create a dress to be worn under other dresses (like maybe a jumper of some kind).  These dresses also look really great with an applique, flower, or bow attached.  Very fast and easy to sew up!
Y'all, I already have baby fever, and this sweet picture isn't helping.  Luckily, this precious little hat can be made in any size  :)  This pattern makes a great photo prop or can be paired with a wide number of your hand-made creations.  You'll be sure to have strangers stop you to ask where you got that pretty little hat.  LilyGiggle patterns often give you instructions on how to make these items using recycled t-shirts, so go dig through your closet and sew a few up! 
 Holy.  Moly.  Is that not beautiful?!?  This is girly-girl at its best!  I love the open back with all my heart.  Those ruffles and that cute bow in the back are amazing.  I've nick-named it the "mullet dress" (in the most flattering way possible) because it's business in the front and party in the back!  Younger girls can pair this with a pair of bloomers, while the older girls can wear some tights or a pair of ruffle pants underneath.  Fits girls sizes 18 m- 6 years. 
The Emory Dress is such a wonderful pattern.  I know my daughter gets lots of compliments whenever she wears her Emory Dress.  I love the contrasting yoke and the fact that it is long-sleeved!  I'm always on the look-out for a great long-sleeved pattern.  Depending on the fabrics and optional trims you can use, this pattern can prove to be quite versatile.  I love the idea of a monogram on the bodice.   This is available in sizes 12/18 m- 6 years.  One of our sweet customers wrote up a review on this pattern not long ago.  If you haven't read it yet, here is the link!
If you are looking for a fast, easy, and totally adorable long-sleeved peasant dress, this one is for you!  I love the bell sleeves and the optional bow is the icing on top!  You can shorten the length and wear it as a top or shorten the sleeves and make them 3/4 length (a great option for babies so the extra fabric doesn't swallow them).  Just like I mentioned with the Lulu dress above, peasant dresses are great for adding trims, ribbons, or appliques.  Pick the right fabric, and this clean design will look great without having to add any frills :)  Everyone needs a long-sleeved peasant dress pattern for when you're looking for a quick, easy, and oh-so-cute project!  This pattern comes in sizes NB-12 years.
This is another great pattern you NEED for your collection!  (I warned you there was going to be a lot of cuteness!)  This is a wonderful little sun dress that sort of mimics a pillowcase dress, but has a rounded neckline without elastic or a ribbon casing.  The Pink Dress can be worn year round by layering with a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of leggings.  This dress will fit girls sizes 12 m- 8 years.
 All together now...AWWWW!!!  I love Whimsy Couture's Pillowcase Romper!  This is a great pattern with LOTS of variations included in the tutorial.  You can also make this capri length or as short-alls.  Available in sizes Preemie- 10 years, this is the perfect pattern for all the little girls in your life!  I wrote up a review of this romper on the blog.  If you missed it, you can read all about it here
And now, drum roll please.....
The best-selling pattern of 2012 is
 Girls, isn't she a beauty??  What an awesome pattern!!  Such a great way to showcase several different fabrics at the same time for a fun, playful look.  Its got bows, ruffles, and a sash... all the qualities I love in a pretty dress  :)  And there are 5 variations included in the tutorial, so make a few and they'll all be a little different!  This pattern is available in sizes 18 m-10 years.  Just absolutely gorgeous!! 
Hey!  You wanna know a little secret?  We'll be posting a Sew and Tell Review for the Grace Ruffle Dress on the blog sometime tomorrow!  And you know what that means...it will be on sale for 25% off for a limited time!  Hurray!!!
Also, until January 15, 2013 we are running a promotion where if you buy 5 or more patterns on the website in a single transaction, you will receive a 25% off discount code that is good on your next purchase (valid through April 2013).  Not much time left on that one, so hurry and buy those patterns you've been eyeing or maybe some from our Top 12 in '12 list!!
Happy Sewing (and Shopping)!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Precious Dress

Hello to all our sewing friends!  Hope everyone is having a blessed start to their New Year!  Did you make any New Year's resolutions?  Mine is to work my rear-end off to get our house ready to put on the market in the next month or two.  A new house means I will get a basement that can be used as my sewing haven (it's a requirement for all houses we look at.)  So I'm definitely motivated to stick with it ;)  Leave a comment letting us know what YOUR resolutions are for 2013!  We'd love to read them! 

We have a very special treat for you today... we are taking a look at the Precious Dress by the Scientific Seamstress!  Not only is this dress picture-perfect for Sunday morning, it could make a fabulous Easter dress!  Easter is March 31st this year... it will be here before you know it!  And if you have never sewn a pattern from Carla Crim, you are missing out, BIG TIME!  She has some of the most detailed, easy to understand, and educational patterns you will ever find.  There are always techniques and tips included that you can use in other sewing projects.  Her designs are great for beginners because she simplifies everything without losing any of the special details.  You might say she has pattern designing down to a science (you know you want to chuckle.) 

So take a look at the review and then go purchase this pattern on the website for a special 25% discount for the next few days!

My name is Diane Augustin.  I have been sewing for over 40 years, and I'm now selling in my Etsy shop at http://www.emke.etsy.com.
I made this Christmas dress for a very dear friend of mine using the Precious Dress by Scientific Seamstress.  I love her patterns because they are very easy to understand, but she also adds great tips that even someone more advanced can learn from.  This pattern was very easy to follow and with the great graphs its really easy to determine the length that you want your dress to be. 
The Precious Dress is a classic little girls dress, but I wanted to add a split ruffled over skirt.  I used the waistline bodice and used the apron waistband to add a velveteen sash to the front of the bodice.  I added a ruffle to the velveteen underskirt.  The over skirt was made by cutting down the center front and slightly rounding the corners and adding a ruffle.  I chose to make the overskirt slightly shorter than the underskirt.  I really liked the way the buttons are hidden inside the back placket so there aren't buttons showing on the outside.  I recommend this pattern to both beginning and advanced sewers.

Isn't that dress jaw-dropping?!  I would never have thought to add the split overskirt, but it is a wonderful addition!  Wouldn't that be a fabulous way to sew up an Easter dress?  Good grief, every time I post a new pattern review my mind starts racing of different ways I could use each pattern.  If only my house would clean itself, and I could sew all day!  And did you notice the different variations of the dress in the very first picture?  I love a pattern that gives you options! 

If you'd like to purchase the pattern, we're offering a 25% discount for the next few days on the website! 

 If you want to complete your picture-perfect outfit, here are some of our favorite suggestions! 

A dress like the Precious Dress is just begging to be paired with an adorable bonnet.  Why not take a look at Victoria's Bonnet from Olabelhe?  It's just so feminine and would great with the Precious Dress.  Love the flower attached to the side.  I wonder if I could get away with wearing one in my size?  Who doesn't love a good hat?

The weather is still cold, but that doesn't have to stop you from making your favorite short-sleeved dresses.  Pair your Precious Dress with this Basic Bolero from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  It comes in sizes 3m to a girls' size 12.  It's a beautiful, yet simple design that keeps the emphasis on the dress.  Very quick to make.  It's a great addition to your pattern collection! 

 As always, please feel free to share your creations on our Facebook page.  We'd love to see your take on a design! 

Happy Sewing!!