Monday, December 2, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Sophia Paper Bag Skirt
It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving!  We're switching gears and going into Christmas-mode around here.  Giving heart-felt and hand-made gifts is something I always want to do each year, but I usually run out of time and hit the stores.  Not this year, ladies!  I'm standing strong and encourage all of you to put your awesome talent to good use and sew up some gifts that are both thoughtful and budget-friendly.  We can do this!
Today's review is the Sophia Paper Bag Skirt from Hadley Grace Designs.  This is an adorable skirt that sews up very quickly and would be just perfect for all those little sweetie pies on your Christmas list!  Make up a Christmas themed one for your own love-bug to wear to your next holiday gathering!  This pattern is available in sizes newborn- 14 years.  Love that extensive size-range!  Head over to Fairytale Frocks & Lollipops and get this pattern for 25% off all month long!! 
The pattern is 34 pages long and is very well-written.  A beginner should have no problem following along with the directions.  The detailed Supply List, helpful Pattern Tips to Remember, and useful Measurement and Cutting charts are included at the beginning to ensure you have all the necessary information to get started.  I'm totally impressed with how thorough the charts are, and you'll have no problems at all deciding which size to make and how to cut it out.  No actual pattern pieces are provided, except a curve for the pocket and a 45 degree angle drawing to aid with the belt ties.  Colored photographs are provided for each step and the directions are very clear.  I've not yet sewn this pattern up, personally, but from reading through it carefully, I give it two thumbs up! 
Let's see what someone who has sewn this pattern recently thinks about it, shall we? 
Hi fellow sewers!  My name is Joy Boath (from Stitchin’ Skilly -, and while my job as a manufacturing engineer, and being mum to two young kidlets (7 year old son and 4 year old daughter) keep me busy, I love to be creative in my down time.  On a recent fabric shopping trip, my daughter picked out some gorgeous quilter’s cotton, and I simply had to grab some more from the range to make a skirt, too. Unfortunately there was no writing on the selvage so I have no idea who the designer is.  When I came across the Hadley Grace Paper Bag skirt, I knew the fabric and pattern would be a great match.  I just loved the cuteness factor of the extra little details in what would otherwise be a basic, quick to make skirt.
I have been sewing since I was a teenager, but haven’t done any classes other than the standard year 8 home economics, so most of my sewing skills are self-taught through experience with different patterns.  Children’s clothing has always been my favourite thing to sew, and having a daughter has really helped provide an outlet for sewing pretty dresses and skirts! 
What I loved most about the Paper Bag Skirt is the simple construction that meant I could whip it up in about 1 - 2 hours including cutting out, but it still has enough detail to turn heads.  The pockets take about half an hour if you go with that option, taking it up to the 2 hour mark.  The pattern is written more like a tutorial, as you cut rectangular pieces following cutting guidelines given for the various sizes, but you can easily pick the cutting dimensions to best suit your child.  For instance, my daughter is very big for her age, so I took the width measurement for a size 7, but the length halfway between the 6 and 7 to best suit her measurements (she generally wears a size 6, but starting to grow into 7).  It isn’t as full as other skirts I have made, but still has enough fullness to give her freedom of movement, whilst still being economical on fabric, and giving a nice ruffle at the waist.
The instructions are very detailed, with photos EVERY step of the way.  This would be a great project for a beginner sewist as the trickiest part is perhaps the preparation of the pockets, because of the curved corners and topstitching. This is still pretty simple, and there is a pocket cutting guide to help get those corners just right. The line on this template is quite thick, so I would recommend cutting the template on the very edge.
I was going to make little bows from the belt fabric to go on the pockets, but laziness got the better of me when I found the perfect buttons in my stash.  I also think the pockets would be really cute with rick-rack or pre-gathered lace sewn to the top, or you could even dress up the hem of the skirt with some contrasting grosgrain ribbon or rick-rack.  It’s a very versatile little skirt.  The only issue I had was that it didn’t look right with the knitted tank top I had made and was hoping to match.  Luckily I had a t-shirt in her wardrobe from last summer that went nicely.  It really needs a top that tucks in to show off the cute ruffle at the waist.  But that’s an excuse for me to do some more sewing.  ;)
This is definitely one I will be making again and again! It looks so adorable on, don’t you think?!

 Oh my stars, that is one precious little girl!  Her curls, the well-loved kitty, those facial expressions... I love it!  And I agree, that fabric is just about perfect for the skirt.  It turned out just stunning! 
Joy made some really great suggestions, too!  The pattern is basic enough that you can really put your own spin on it with some fun embellishments.  Love the buttons she added, and the bows would have looked great, too!  You could increase the width of your fabric pieces to make the skirt a little fuller or cut the fabric pieces a little bit shorter and add a border or a ruffle to the hem.  But obviously, you could leave the skirt as it, and it will surely receive lots of compliments!  It's a really flattering style.  I've considered adding...ahem... a few inches to the largest size and making one for myself.  It's just too cute not to attempt!

Pair it Up! 

Let's check out some tops that will compliment the Sophia Paper Bag Skirt and help make this a sassy little outfit complete.
 The Provincial Top from Terra's Treasures is a classy spin on the basic t-shirt style.  It can be made in sizes 6m- Girls 10.  This knit top is a great beginner's pattern that produces beautiful results!  Love the buttons going down the front!
From one of our newest designers, we've got the Tummy-Topper Layering Tee.  I've recently sewn this top from Burlap Button and loved the outcome!  (It also pairs really well with the Charlie-Mack-a-Doodle Dress!)  There are countless options with this top including up-cycling those cute character tees we all love!  Make this top in sizes 18m- Girls 8/9.   Can those two get any sweeter?
Alright ladies, that's all for today!  Be sure to pick up your copy of the Sophia Paper Bag Skirt for 25% off right now (that makes it only $5.28)!!!!  We'll leave it on sale for all of December, so be sure to pin, tweet, blog, and FB about it so everyone gets a chance to enjoy the savings! 
And I think we're going to start something new.  If you have a photo of your Sophia Paper Bag Skirt you would like to share with us (you can post to our FB page, FB group, email...) we will gladly add those photos to the bottom of our blog post in a sort-of "Fan Gallery!"
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Go sew something magical!!!

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1 comment:

  1. This is SOOO adorable I'm totally checking out this pattern. Thanks for linking up to the Create Link Inspire party. I hope you had a chance to enter the giveaway while you were over!! Stop on over and check out all the other features... happy weekend!! Emily


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I'll try to respond as quickly as I can! Have a fabulous day full of sewing!