Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Sophie Vintage Style Sun Suit

Hi everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend!  I spent mine attending/hosting 2 different baby showers.  I love a good baby shower!  It's always so much fun to "oohh and ahhh" over all the sweet little baby things :)  And I'm not gonna lie, the punch pretty much rocks my socks off, too.  (Take a look at this punch recipe that I found to use this weekend.  It's as delicious as it is adorable.)  But back to the sweet little baby things... I always love showing up with handmade gifts, but ran out of time this go around and had to buy something from the store.  Ugh.  For those of you who can plan ahead better than me, I would like to suggest today's featured pattern for your next baby gift.  You'll definitely receive lots of "oohh's and ahhh's" with this one!

This little beauty is The Sophie Vintage Style Sun Suit from Haute Diggity.  I remember the first time I saw it I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.  Everything about it is just perfect!  And I about fell out of my chair when I saw the pics our pattern reviewer sent in (we'll get to those in just a minute!)  I know I'm not the only one who is in love with this sun suit because it made our Top 12 of '12 list!  It's very retro-glam.  It makes me think of Hollywood.  Can't you just see her with a big pair of shades, some baby wedges, and a big fancy hat walking around Hollywood Blvd. with her movie star mom?  Yes ladies, it's that fabulous! 

The Sophie Vintage Style Sun Suit can be made in sizes 6m- 8 years.  There are directions given for adding snaps to the crotch for those quick and easy diaper changes.  I'm always a huge fan of having that option!  The straps tie behind the neck, leaving the back side open.  As tempted as you may be use this pattern as a swim suit, I probably wouldn't recommend it for that.  It would be pretty stinkin' cute, though, to wear poolside if you had no intentions of swimming.  The top probably wouldn't stay in place very well from the weight of the water, and all the extra fabric in the bottom portion would be a hot mess on your little one if it were wet and bunchy.  Haute Diggity does has an irresistibly cute seersucker swimsuit pattern you could use if a swimsuit is what you are after.   

So, now, without further ado, let's take a look at the review submitted by Dawn F. of Addy & Tabby.

I am a self-taught sewer and began sewing regularly a few years ago after my daughter was born. What started as making “just one pillowcase dress” years ago turned into a handmade children's clothing boutique that I run from my home sewing studio today.

Rompers are a popular request for me, so I was very excited to get to try this pattern out! I had this beautiful purple / turquoise floral fabric (from Hobby Lobby) washed and waiting to try it out.

 I usually print my patterns and trace them to freezer paper, but what I loved about this one is that I was able to choose which size I wanted to make and print just those pieces... eliminating the need for tracing, woo-hoo! Printing, assembling, cutting the fabric pieces, embroidering the bodice, and sewing it all together took me around 3 hrs. The pattern was very easy to assemble. I love that there aren't a lot a pieces, and it went together well. I am sure that the next time I make this item it could be done in an hour to an hour and a half.

This pattern is a great choice for any sewing level. I didn't find anything tricky or difficult, and this pattern can be produced without a serger. The only exposed seams you will have are the front and back seams of the bubble bottom, and you could easily use pinking shears or a zig-zag stitch to finish those areas.

I had trouble getting my snaps to stay in because of the thickness of my fabric, so I made a modification. Rather than making a narrow fold and then a 1/2” fold for the snap area, I trimmed down the crotch area by 3/4”. I measured the front and back crotch pieces (width) and cut a new piece of fabric that was 2” tall x the width of the crotch fabric + 1”. I took the piece to the ironing board and pressed each long end down 1/4” and then folded in half and pressed. I put it right sides together and took it to the machine and sewed a 1/2” seam on each side. Then I clipped the ends and flipped them inside out. This made a “cap” for the end of the crotch piece. I did this for the front and the back. I wiggled the fabric up into the “cap”, pinned it to the romper bottom and then sewed very closely to the edge, about 1/8”. This took the bulk down between the snap pieces so it was a great remedy for me.

 **Embroidery tip** be sure to test fit your front waistband piece on the front bodice before you embroider to make sure you have enough room. My monogram ended up a little lower than I'd like but still worked out just fine for me. I would suggest at least a 1/2” up from where the top of your waistband piece will be sewn on.

 I put together an 18mo size, and it fit my 14mo model great! I feel this pattern is true to size and will have a lasting fit due to the roomy bottom, elastic back, and legs.

 That plum fabric is delicious and, and I could just eat up that sweet baby girl!  Isn't this romper divine?!?  There is nothing cuter than a baby in a romper!  I'm ready to stitch it up RIGHT NOW!!  Good grief, I have to push those 7 UFO's (UnFinished Outfits) aside so I can get started on this!  You can get started on yours, too, tonight even!  We've got instant download, and this little cutie is 25% off right now!  Head over to the website and get this while it's sale!  You've only got a few days until we post a new review  :) 
I've always been drawn to vintage styles, with The Sophie Vintage Style Sun Suit being no exception. I decided to pair up today's featured pattern with a few of my other favorite vintage-inspired patterns from our website.
Above is Grace's Pinafore from Olabelhe.  With it's pretty little bows tied up on the sides and the buttons trailing down the back bodice, this pinafore is the epitome of classic charm!  I love the innocent, wholesome, girly look that this pattern brings to the table.  It can be layered over a variety of dresses to change up the look.  This pattern can be made in sizes 3-8. 
 Here's a great pattern for the younger boys!  This is the Christopher Boys Romper from Ruffle Bunnies.  It has a great nautical feel to it!  You can layer it over a turtleneck in colder weather.  This is fairly unique to other boys PDF patterns I've seen around, and I really wish my son were a little younger so I could make him one!  This would be perfect for beach photos or beach weddings.  Available in sizes 3m- 4T. 
Have fun sewing up some of the cutest styles inspired by days gone by!  We'd love to see what you create!  You can share photos of your finished projects on our Facebook wall!  Don't forget to purchase your own copy of The Sophie Vintage Style Sun Suit while it's 25% off! 
Go sew something magical!!


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Monday, April 1, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Tiered Twirl Dress

Hi everyone!!  Are you still recovering from Easter?  Holidays stress me to the MAX because my husband and I live a little over an hour away from both of our families.  That means we are close enough they all expect us to come over, yet far enough to make it seem like most of our day is in the car.  Throw in some rain and whiny kids who didn't get their naps in the mix, and it's chaos!  I didn't even get pictures of my kids in their Easter outfits :(   I love our families, and I love Jesus, but sooo glad to be at home and just REST today!  How many of you can relate? 
Now that Easter has come and gone, you can focus on some fun, casual dresses, like this one!  No-stress sewing, no deadlines, just how I like it!  This is the Tiered Twirl Dress from La Tee Da Kids.  You know anything with the word "twirl" in it is going to be a big hit with your kids!  I love patterns where you can mix and match fabrics and create amazing color combinations.  Be as funky, retro, conservative, bold, or monochromatic as you like  :)  With dresses like this, any fabric combo will work!  The last time I made a dress with different tiers, I let a 5 year old choose her own fabrics.  I questioned her choices, but it turned out gorgeous!  And she never hesitates to let people know she helped design the dress ;) 
Here's what you need to know about this pattern.  It is available in sizes 2-7, there is an option for either 4 tie straps or 2 knot straps, and most importantly we have it for 25% off right now on the website! 
Let's take a look at the review sent in from our friend Karen G.

The pattern I decided to make was the La Tee Da Tiered Twirl Dress.  I was making a dress for my 2 ½ year old granddaughter, who wears a solid 3T, as her mama will tell you.  She is very tall and lean—and busy J  I really liked the ruffles made of different fabric, as well as the knotted straps.  This was my very first attempt at a PDF pattern, so a bit nervous how it actually worked!  I have sewn for as long as I can remember—definitely since grade school, with times of more serious sewing in there also—college, I took some design and construction classes, so I have the ability to do some complex things—should I choose to--which is very rare J.
I loved how easily this downloaded, and the way the instructions are always right there on my computer—no pages to lose somewhere in my sewing room!  There was an immediate issue once I got it downloaded and started to read the directions.  There were no directions on how to do the knot straps!  Fortunately, Kayla and Krista from Fairytale Frocks and Lollipops were right there to answer my email questions.  Turns out that there was a newer instruction page they had not received for this pattern, so they spoke with the creator of the patterns and got the new instructions emailed to me with both options on it—the knotted strap version, as well as the tie strap version.  Being the impatient person I am though, I already did the tied strap version, because it was the one I had, and I was going to make the dress NOW!! J 
Anyways, my granddaughter is in a different state so I didn’t have her with me to measure, and took her mama’s word on which size to use for her.  The pattern did not have any measurements for the dress—chest etc., other than a finished length—which I found a bit odd, but went with it anyway!  I chose the 3T (because that was the size she told me to make).  It took about 3-3 ½  hours from start to finish, and that is probably longer than reality.  It took me a while to decide on which fabrics—the bodice is Riley Blake Tone on Tone dots—I think petal color, the center is Riley Blake Apple of my Eye, in blush or pink, and the yellow gingham is Riley Blake Fly a Kite.  I really like how well they turned out together!
She had some really great tips in her directions—such as using glide dental floss inside a zigzag stitch to gather—haven’t seen anyone use that trick for a while!  She used pictures of several different projects (with different fabrics)  which I found a bit confusing, and might be more of an issue with someone with very beginner skills—although she was upfront in telling you they were from other projects.  When I make it again, I will probably use my gathering foot—because I have it, and it really does make dealing with ruffles easier—to me anyway.  Being from the south, where we put our name or initials on everything, I had to adorn her dress with a monogram of course J  It is a machine design, done with monogram KK—one of my personal favorites. 
As you can see from the pictures, it seems to be a bit large in the chest—I probably could have benefited from chest measurements, but we solved the issue by crossing the straps in back—makes for a gap, but it stays on her shoulders! 
I can honestly say I truly enjoyed the experience of using a PDF pattern—once I figured out how to download and find it again on my computer—but that is a totally different issue all together J.  And the toughest part of the entire project—as you can see from my pictures, was getting a still shot of my sweet Katie Lee—remember I told you she is busy? 
Those fabrics look so summery and sweet together!  The monogram on the bodice is a nice touch.  I'm from the south, too, so I understand the need to monogram everything!  If you had a fairly plain fabric on the bodice, you could add a snazzy applique and put the monogram on the bottom corner of the 3rd tier.  I've been a big fan of monograms on the bottom ruffle lately.  Have no fear if you don't own an embroidery machine!  This dress looks deliciously sweet without any added embellishment!  And Karen wasn't kidding about the little cutie not being able to stand still... she sent a few more pictures where you could tell she was trying to twirl in the dress.  Little girls just can't resist :) 
 Now it's time to pair up this summery sundress with a couple of our favorites from the shop. 
I can't get enough of this baby!  An absolutely gorgeous child!  She's wearing the Ruffle Rosette from Angel Lea Designs.  This tutorial is suitable for beginners and can be made in several sizes.  It only takes one strip of fabric, lace, or ribbon.  You can attach the rosette to a headband or alligator clip to coordinate with your Tiered Twirl Dress or add the rosettes to whatever you feel needs a pop of colorful cuteness!  Once you see how easy these are to make, you'll be adding them to everything; sashes, bags, shirts, or maybe hats...just like the one below!
 This is the 4 in 1 Sun Hat from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  I love sun hats on little kids, especially at a picnic or at the beach.  This hat would be great for either!  And it's unisex!  Make them for all your little ones!  It is a completely reversible hat that can be worn with the brim flipped up to change the look.  You can wear the tie under the chin to keep the hat in place for babies, or if you like, you can tie them in a bow around the base of the hat to keep them out of your way and stay stylish at the same time  :)  Add a Ruffle Rosette, and you take your sun hat's cuteness factor up a few notches.  Grab a life preserver, because when you pair up your Tiered Twirl Dress with the 4 in 1 Sun Hat with a Ruffled Rosette attached, you'll be drowning in compliments!     

Head over to the website and take a look at all of the great items we have for spring and summer!  Sundresses, hats, bathing suits, beach bags, rompers, shorts, tanks, skirts... we've got it all!  Take a look at our Current Top Ten patterns!  Updated daily to reflect what our customers are currently buying.  A great way to see what's hot right now  :)  And don't forget we've got our Tiered Twirl Dress for 25% off for the next few days!!  Happy shopping!!

Go sew something magical!!
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