Canada’s 150 Years: The Big Celebration. It’s in the Bag!

Welcome to my version of the  Canada 150 – In the  Bag! Blog Tour. I’m pretty stoked to be part of it as the designers and participants (bloggers) are Canadian, with most of the fabric being bought in Canada, wherever possible. The tour started on Sunday, June 4th and goes to June 10th. There’s a huge giveaway, details of which are at the end of the post. Additionally I have two prizes to giveaway here. 

Prize Update June 9th, 2017 @ 2100hrs:

22 people have signed up to my blog. Thank you all so much. This post has drawn an awful lot of people to my site. I hope they continue to come, read, and enjoy. 

I have given all the followers a number, including those who are already on the list.  There are 37 all told. I am not publishing the list as some are registered by email.

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 20.53.29The random generator for a metre of the BC tartan is Essence Underwood. 

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The random number generator for the Forest Glen Satchel pattern is Luiza Marinela

I have both emails so will been touch to arrange your prizes. Thank you all for joining in the fun! Happy Canada 150 to you all!! 

  • If I get 10 people to sign up to my somewhat infrequent blog, I will send the lucky person a metre of the BC Tartan fabric used in my bag. Do sign up or I will have to make a BC tartan top to wear on Canada Day! 
  • I will also randomly draw a number from the comments, with that person being sent the Forest Glen Satchel pattern. It has been donated by Thread Riding Hood and is a pdf pattern. It will need downloading and printing off before use. 

I live in BC and am proud of it. As such I thought I’d celebrate our country’s 150th anniversary by making a bag using my provincial tartan. A bit about the tartan … British Columbia’s official tartan was designed  in 1966, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 1866 union of Vancouver Island and British Columbia (who knew?). Its main colours are blue and red, for the Pacific Ocean and the maple leaf. A variety of greens represents forests. Tiny hints of white for the province’s official flower, the Pacific Dogwood, and gold from the sun in the provincial coat of arms. The more research I did, the more I realised everything comes back to nature here. 

Six more of BC’s symbols are the Dogwood flower, Jade (natural gemstone), Salmon, Stellar Jay, Western Red Cedar, and Spirit or Kermode Bear. For more information follow this link History of BC influences

Did you know BC has 3 different tartans? There are the Ancient colours, the Modern Colours and the Reproduction Colours. I used the modern tartan, and you can see the different colours here. The tartan I bought from Fabricland in Kamloops is a cotton blend and actually looks quite different to the wooly one. It’s a fine clothing fabric. As such I interfaced it to give it more structure and prevent those squares from distorting! In real life its a cherry red. Sadly my photos don’t all bring through those vivid hues.

But on to the bag … My bag is the Forest Glen Satchel; quite appropriate for my theme and designed by Thread Riding Hood. Sherri, the owner and designer is lovely, and has kindly donated to the Big Giveaway, and again through my blog. She has some good patterns including a few freebies if you want to try them out before buying anything. One feature I learned was how to make the strap so the slider lays across my back. I wasn’t aware beforehand that it was side dependent. Now I know! The instructions are clear and it came together in many parts before assembly for the final item.

I made the bag twice, not because I made some goofs with the first one – no, that happened with the second one. I wanted to make sure the tartan would work within the confines of the pattern. As it happens I love the bag and will definitely be using it more. I altered the second bag to add some features and am pleased with the results.

My first bag is my spring bag. It has vibrant hues and the left over poppy fabric is from a dress I’d made. I actually bought it to make bedroom curtains but my husband vetoed that. He’s not a morning person … need I say more? The lovely yellow rose fabric was a birthday present from a friend. Yellow roses are a known as friendship roses. Thank you Lita. I like light coloured linings, as it makes it easier to identify those ‘lost’ items hidden in the depths of my bags.

To be honest the size is great, and if I had a small person at home I’d put back pack straps on it and it would be a good child’s back pack. Internally the bag has an open pocket, which I split into two, with one of the slots being sized for my trusty iPhone. The other one takes whatever paraphernalia I need to keep separate.

I thought making the second bag was going to be a breeze, but there’s a lot going on (like moving), and my brain has been in overdrive mode. I made mistakes and did a lot of unpicking. It’s not usually a problem, but as I said earlier the fabric is quite fine and I had to be careful not to pull (too many) threads. This pattern uses four fabrics, which I initially chose to match the tartan. The more I read about BC’s history, the more I realised I wanted to include some of my personal BC influences, so the fabrics changed.

I chose to put Mr Moose on the accent corners, side chevrons and inside flap. Moose are amazing animals and my son’s nickname was Moose for a long time. My husband saw a moose the first time we visited Sun Peaks. It was a sign to move here.

BC has one of the largest bear populations in the world. We have a lot of black bears, though grizzly bears aren’t local. Its lovely watching bears from afar. I used a lovely bear Batiq fabric as the lining. With all that busyness I decided the strap should be plain to match the tartan fabric.

I like a boxy firm bag and used car headliner fabric instead of fleece. I often quilt the headliner in, but using Heat n Bond secured the headliner to the fabric, adding more structure, meaning I didn’t need the other layer of interfacing. Bonus!

My hacks? I added a zippered pocket to the inside front. It is invaluable for secreting stuff. My bag is always full, and scrambling round for keys is a pain, so I put swivel hooks in every bag I make; they are one of my essentials. Lastly I put feet on the bottom. They were a breeze to install; so much so I don’t know why I hadn’t done it it before! I bought my hardware locally at Katja’s Quilt Shoppe, but you can buy it on line from its’ source, Emmaline Bags.  I meant to add a lovely Emmaline “Made in Canada’ label but forgot to. Darn!!

That’s it from me. I hope you enjoyed reading about my satchel and learned a bit about my adopted homeland in the process. I was given the Forest Glen Satchel pattern to use in this blog, but nothing else was required from me. Here is a list of the sponsors … and below that the giveaway instructions and other blog tour links. Enjoy! Please also check out Sherri’s blog post here

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Each blog has an exclusive giveaway, so be sure to visit them all.


Tour Discounts

  • 10% off!
    Tangled Blossoms Design
    is offering 10% off anything in stock for the duration of the tour. Offer expires June 10, 2017. Use discount code HAPPYBIRTHDAYCANADA
  • 15% off!
    Bringberry Handbag Hardware and Design
    is offering 15% off anything in stock for the duration of the tour. Offer expires June 10, 2017. Use discount code LOVECANADA150

Tour Stops

(These links will be active on and after the day they are scheduled.)

June 4

Emmaline Bags

June 5

Tangled Blossoms Design With Love in Every Stitch Happy Okapi

June 6

Michelle’s Creations Barabooboo Soca Sewing

June 7

Glitter in my Coffee Michelle’s Creations Seam of my Pants

June 8

Seam of my Pants Creative Roots Sewing Happy Okapi

June 9

Seam of my Pants

June 10

Giveaway ends at midnight EDT (North America)

July 1

CANADA DAY 150


Giveaway Prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please join us in thanking our tour sponsors by visiting their websites.


* Jewellery is the Canadian spelling.

The UndiesCovered Valentine Tour with EYMM Every Day Essentials

I was thrilled to join the Everything Your Mama Made & More! (EYMM) Valentine’s Blog Tour. I have had the pattern for ages but somehow just haven’t got round to making anything … yet. The thought of some elegant layers for Valentine’s Day was very attractive. Well, that was, until I received word that my long time planned sinus surgery was set for February 14th! “Happy Valentine’s,” he said. “You get a new inner nose!” At least I can feel pretty before and afterwards!

I won’t say much about the pattern as it has been well documented by previous bloggers just how versatile it is. If you haven’t read any of the other blog posts there are hyperlinks at the bottom of this post, along with a code for 50% off the pattern.  Suffice to say like all EYMM patterns the pattern is well thought out and written. I really like the fact that as well as offering a huge range of body sizes the bra cup also comes in three sizes. After all, we are all build differently.

My first foray was to make a sleep bra, which isn’t shown here; there are some things a woman doesn’t share to the global audience. Which brings me on to just how difficult it was to have photos taken. EEP! I’m not 24 or even 44 any more. The lightbulb moment filled me with horror and worry, until Himself pointed out that if I felt that bad I could pull out of the tour … Ho Hum …

But back to the sleep bra. It is very comfortable and I have been wearing it quite happily – either indoors or undercover (of other clothes). I also get a giggle when I wear it as I used a rather X-rated fabric!

Onwards and upwards… I wasn’t completely happy with the fit and wanted more cleavage coverage, so bought myself some rather luxurious charcoal sparkly fabric … with a LOT of lycra; so much so it is competing with my Spanx for suck it in factor! I decided to make the full cup and a knee length slip. The slip works, but as the measuring chart had indicated, I didn’t need the full cup. It was however a hit with my husband who, while he didn’t have a jaw dropping moment did ask “Is this under wear or outer wear?” His reaction was good enough for me and helped enormously when I was worrying about how much flesh was appropriate to show to the world in general. Let me add it has been -20c here for a while: even indoors I want several layers on.

Short and sassy or short and sweet? Everyone has an opinion, but I do feel comfortable in this slip. It holds all the lumpy bits in, but doesn’t compress me into extinction! I like that the lingerie lace helps with support, and there is also an optional (hidden) support band, which I didn’t use. That lycra was doing its job!

The slip was so comfortable I had a last minute idea to hack the pattern into a summer slip dress. I’m slightly taller than average and the bra top still felt it was a bit too short. I’d already added a few inches onto the slip length but now added 1″ into the bodice length, and altered the cups to give more coverage. I sewed up a bright lightweight knit fabric as it makes me smile. I added white lace to the bottom, and instead of the support band I sewed in some 3/8″ elastic to give some Empire line definition. Yes … I like girlie. I like how the front crosses over and defines my bust, and even if my bra peeks a little it’s a flattering, rather than a tarty look.

I was aiming for a boho feel so added 10″ to the bodice front then gathered this extra to the middle. Next time I will make this gather across the middle two thirds of the front. It gave a flowiness that will be fantastic in our hot dry summers. The end result is fabulous and I’ve made this pattern mine! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed sewing it.

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My only wish is that we saw ourselves as others do, and not with the insecurities that age, life or experiences seem to send our way. My Sista, Janet, always advises me to aim to live in the risen state. It’s been a tough go with this tour but I do believe with the support of Himself, and my FaceBook blogging group I finally got there. Its never too late to learn to like, love or accept ourselves. Happy Valentines Day everyone xx

valentine-essentials-tour-web

Make sure to visit all the stops on the Valentine Essentials Blog Tour! (Keep in mind that the links below won’t work until their scheduled date.)

Feb. 3 -�Sewing by Ti

Feb. 4 – Joelle at EYMM

Feb. 5 – Embrace Everyday

Feb. 6 – Sprouting JubeJube and Capture, Craft, and Cook

Feb. 7 – Call Ajaire and Blessed x Five

Feb. 8 – Rebel & Malice and Sew Haute Blog

Feb. 9 – Kelly’s Sewing Creations and Sew Far North

Feb. 10 – Roundup at EYMM

During the tour, the Everyday Essentials pattern is on sale for half off!�Use code VDAYTOUR�on the EYMM site to save 50% on the Women’s Everyday Essentials pattern until February 12 at 11:59pm PST.

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Turn into Fall …

I’m not too fond of fall, or autumn as we call it in England. Fall in the mountains is winter’s precursor. Winter in itself is fine. It’s full of snow and freshly fallen snow always makes me smile. When I was asked to join this tour I thought “yay, warmer clothing with a bit of flair”. I feel I live in leggings, sweaters and thermals from October to April. There has to be another option, doesn’t there? And there is …

Stylish Fabrics kindly donated fabric for this blog tour. The fabric arrived quickly and their prices are reasonable; as a Canadian I shall be buying more, as and when the exchange rate allows! I chose a vibrant turquoise ITY stretch jersey knit fabric because it looked pretty, but didn’t have a clue what it was. Here is a link to the fabric. I loved the colour and had planned to make EYMM’s Off the Shoulder Dress. When it arrived it was clear that the fabric wasn’t going to be anywhere heavy enough. Fortunately I have a lovely Vogue pattern and it cried out from the pattern box to be allowed to be made up.

I loved the pattern instructions and that the fabric looks so fab. I’d not made a cowl neck before but the ITY knit drapes beautifully. I also made the top shorter as had decided to make a maxi skirt to wear with it. I have a heavy almost-knit; as in a knit with minimal stretch. I hacked Muffin Head Patterns Tracie Skirt with EYMM’s Capsule Skirt and aimed for a trumpet look. It almost worked. I’m taller and need more than 2m of fabric to make a maxi skirt, so added a band and crocheted lace. The lace then caught on my crutches! I feel the hem needs some horsehair braid to help it stand out, but that will have to wait. I almost cut the skirt back to straight but decided I could use all the warm air under it when the colder weather arrives. I am thrilled with the result. Oh yes, it has pockets!

I also can’t resist the chance to showcase how another pattern transitions from summer to fall. I tested Muffin Head Patterns Shelley Wrap Skirt in early summer. One I made from chiffon and the other from quilting cotton. They are both fully lined with a fine cotton.

The chiffon one feels like wearing, well, not a lot. It is as light as air and cool in the heat of the day. The cotton one is a real autumnal weight skirt, and heavy enough to keep the wrap skirt in place when the wind blows. I love how placing pockets has made almost a tulip effect on my fabric.

 

Thanks for stopping by. My views are my own. Wonderful Rachel took some stellar photos.  The patterns I owned, and as I already said, Stylish Fabrics donated the fabric. Fabric was hurt in the cause of this blog tour, but it didn’t mind after it metamorphosed into beautiful creations. 

This blog tour has been sponsored by lots of different wonderful businesses. The fabric, the prizes, the support. Do follow the links to look at the other creations, then enter the giveaway! It’s pretty impressive so have a go – especially as I can’t! 

August 1st

Sewing By Ti and Rebel and Malice

August 2nd

Gray all Day

August 3rd

Wild and Wanderful and The Sara Project

August 4th

Doodle Number 5 and Sweet Red Poppy

August 5th

Paisley Roots and Dos Natural Sistas and My Crafty Little Self

August 8th

Made By Melli and Sew Far North

August 9th

Sew Sophie Lynn and Creative Counselor

August 10th

Frivolous at Last and EYMM

August 11th

Lulu and Celeste and Sprouting Jubejube

August 12th

Adventures with Bubba and Bug and All Things Katy and Sewing by Ti

To enter the giveaway click on this link! Good Luck!!

 

 

Wrapping myself in Loveliness

I have recently started sewing Muffin Head Patterns. I mean, who doesn’t smile at that name? The patterns are well thought out and while not beginner patterns they come with clear instruction, and the owner, Frances, is responsive to queries and very helpful. Muffin Head has a website, an active FaceBook group with access to the testers group, an Etsy shop and Pinterest.

The latest Muffin Head Pattern to be released is the Tracie Skirt. It’s a simple pull on elastic waisted skirt with optional inseam pockets and lining. It can be made in either knee or ankle length; and the longer length has a flared hem, which allows me to walk at more than a hobble. I’ve been looking for a neat, simple skirt for a while now so was pleased to make the cut as part of the tester panel.

The pattern fits well if you follow the instructions! It’s a waisted skirt, which is a bit new for me, as I tend to wear low waisted / hip level skirts. It took a little getting used to but is very comfortable. Siting higher at my waist means it doesn’t dig into the ‘fluffy’ bits either. Anyway I digress … To get a great fitting skirt when you make yours, fit the pattern to your hips first! The well defined hip curve means the skirt doesn’t need a lot of elastication – is that a word? You then  adjust the waist size depending on how much fabric you need to get it over your hips. I sew slowly and it took me 2 hours to make my grey needlecord knee length skirt from cutting the fabric to sliding it on the body. I was very impressed with myself! Of course the well written instructions, good visual aids and overall design has something to do with it as well. The Tracie Skirt is available from The Muffin Head Etsy Shop for US $7.50. I’m a real bargain hunter but think its well priced considering the options and versatility offered.

It was also my first opportunity to sew one of my new labels in my skirt. I love that I now can label my clothing with more than a wish and a smile.

For this new release Muffin Head Patterns has teamed up with Rachel Rossi Designs to feature one of Rachel’s designs; The Squared Fashion Wrap. I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to make the wrap as well, and to be honest I jumped at it! After all, who doesn’t love a wrap and this one has some neat finishing touches that take it a level above the usual wrap and scarf patterns. Those features include mitred corners, a neat neck template for comfort and a separate front facing. As such I think its well worth the US $6 price tag. Rachel has a FaceBook Group, and a good website with blog and pattern links and Pinterest.

I have some lovely sari like fabric. It’s been sitting in the drawer for ages but it yelled out to me that I ought to have enough to make a long skirt and a wrap.  Well, there was enough to make the skirt but the wrap is shorter than the instructions called for. Not that I let that put me off. It is the perfect layering piece in its current length for a balmy Vancouver day. To add a little extra length I inserted a section of the skirt fabric over the shoulders. It isn’t hugely visible but it does add a little extra weight to hold the gauzy fabric in place. I had fun with my daughter-in-law taking photos in the local park’s rose garden. I can see me making several of these wraps. One in fleece for the lake, perhaps a huge one to snuggle up in with Himself, and a selection of them to go with each and every evening dress I create from now on! I think it could be made in a lightweight terry towelling as well to wear when getting out of the lake.

With these two items in my Pattern Stash the sky and my imagination really is the limit.

Here are the links to other posts. Read, share and enjoy!

Muffin Head’s designer, Frances Twining’s blog post is here.

Marie-Eve’s FaceBook page is here at Creations Miss M 

Once again I have to thank both Muffin Head Patterns for the opportunity to test the Tracie Skirt and Rachel Rossi Designs for donating the Squared Fashion Wrap Pattern. This written content holds my own opinions. The photography is courtesy of my delightful daughter-in-law, Rachel, and my husband Andy, AKA Himself. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come again soon.

Lets make Tights!

I haven’t made tights before. Before we go any further, lets clarify what I mean by tights. In the UK, tights are what North Americans call pantyhose. They come in everything from slinky 7 denier to thick wintry ones. They’re a wardrobe staple, and probably have a place as ‘not very reliable’ methods of birth control.

When I was asked to participate in The Wolf & The Tree’s Ladies Gazelle Tights Blog Tour I agreed thinking, ‘well, here is something new and different’. I have long legs and often end up buying tights 1 – 2 sizes larger to get the leg length; footless tights and leggings are always too short; perhaps the way to go is to make my own.

The Wolf & The Tree has an active FaceBook Page, a website and an Etsy Shop (click for the links). The owner, Saskia was helpful in replying to any of my queries, and of course in her generosity she donated the pattern. Thanks Saskia.

Two patterns are included; one for a two way stretch fabric and one for four way. I used the four way stretch pattern. The instructions take a bit of reading, and options include full footed tights to shortie shorts, and socks. With those options I think its well priced and one that will be used repeatedly. It’s also on sale! Keep reading for the coupon code.

When last in Vancouver I found a dangerously attractive store called Fabricana. Oh dear … Let’s say that I was besotted with the shiny psychedelic fabric that screamed “Fame!” at me. My sensible side also purchased a swimsuit mesh for the waistband. The experienced sales woman assured me the Fame fabric was four way stretch but … the lesson I learned is that while it might seem stretchy on the edges, always check the middle (because it was a lot less). From that point on this was a learning curve in sewing stretch fabrics.

Sewing custom tights takes some measuring. I’m a bit warped as I’ve broken my right leg a lot; I didn’t realize how much difference that has made until I measured myself. I traced off my custom pattern onto freezer paper and realised it looks a bit like a mermaid tail; and it possibly will become one at some stage. I chose to make the mid rise option with a triple height yoga waist band, which I folded in half to get the width and recovery I wanted. I used a Stretch needle and my finest Wonder Bob thread. In retrospect I should have used Fleecy Nylon thread as I have already had some seam popping. I should also have used my Serger. I read a few blogs about which stitches to use and played with the fabric scraps. I’d thought I’d cracked it…

Through the trials and tribulations I realized that my fabric wasn’t the four way stretch I thought it was. I would have been better with the two way stretch pattern. I ended up taking them apart after they barely skimmed my ankles, let alone my hips! I sewed the fabric back together, adding more inches until they fit. My ankles are both swollen from old injuries and the fabric clung like Nora Batty’s. I had a flash of brilliance to alter them into Boot Tights; sock bottoms and tights legs. Out came the scissors and here is the result.

Overall, the pattern is great.  I learned a lot and already have some very definitely four way stretch pink lace to make another pair. I can also see me being able to use the pattern to make my own leggings for winter. My husband didn’t really want to take any photos for me but I insisted. I also have some great tights to wear to my next Lady Gaga concert.

I’m pleased to have been able to participate in this tour. The going was occasionally tough, but the support and funky fabric kept me smiling. As I said before, the pattern was given to me to use. The dodgy photography is my Husband’s.

You can get your own copy of the patterns HERE or HERE. You can use the code YellowRibbon to save 25% through Friday May 27. 2016.

Be sure to check out the other blogs this week for as no two have sewn the same item!

5/23/2016 Amy Carter http://wallyandgrace.blogspot.com
5/24/2016 Patricia www.sewfarnorth.wordpress.com
5/25/2016 Heather Tinkey Jones http://allthingskaty.blogspot.com/
5/26/2016 Essence Adventureswithbubbaandbug.wordpress.com
5/27/2016 Michelle http://littleheartthreads.blogspot.ca/
5/28/2016 Kelly www.handmadeboyblog.com
5/28/2016 Larissa www.connectedbyathread.wordpress.com

Dolman Pattern Review: The Easy Breezy Summer Tee

Dive Into DolmansFor my last stop along the Dolman Tour I chose a  Nap Time Creations pattern because of the company’s name. After all, anything that can be made during nap time has to be fast and easy, right? I’m also off on vacation soon and the thought of an ‘Easy Breezy Summer Tee‘ was right up my street. The pattern doesn’t have options but is reasonably priced; there are also several free patterns in her shop and on the website. The designer, Emily, states it’s meant to be loose and worn over a camisole, and can be made with a woven or knit fabric. I have a loosely woven gauzy fabric that has sat in my stash for years and it called my name asking to be sewn up before it rotted away. It’s light enough to allow me to tan, but it will filter enough rays to prevent sun burn.


True to my thoughts the pattern was pretty fast to make. I did lengthen it by 2″ and I sized down to a large. I had a bit of a blonde moment and cut the front as a U, rather than a V. It still looks pretty though. I like the finishing details of binding the neck seams and attaching a sleeve cuff. It’s the difference between a hastily sewn garment and a more professional finish.


Even making this in a woven fabric and sizing down, it’s still large. If you want something  more fitted I’d advise making a muslin or measuring the pattern pieces to ensure you get the size you want; especially if making this in a knit! It does have a place in my summer wardrobe though; It’s ideal for wearing with capri pants in the heat. I fish and swim, and having an airy cover-up to protect me from burning is hugely important.

Lastly, many thanks to Nap Time Creations for donating the pattern. I truly appreciate it! 

Here’s the info sheet:

Sizes  XXS – XXl (30” – 50” chest)
Printable pattern pages/copy shop version  Printable only
Skill Level  Easy
Measurements for Rectangle Pieces  Neck band
Line Drawings  No
Size made  Large
Options chosen  No options
Fabric Requirement for your size  1.5 yards
Measurement Chart  Yes
Cutting Instructions  Yes
Pattern Printing Layout  Yes
Cutting Layout  No
Suggested Fabrics  Woven with good drape OR knit
Layer Printing Option  No
Neck Line Options  No
Sleeve Options  No
Hem Options  No
Color Blocking  No
Seam Allowance  3/8”
Hem Allowance  ¾”
Separate add-on pack  No
Fit  Very loose
Easy to read instructions  Yes
Drawing or photograph instructions  Clear photographs

Here’s the link to ALL of the posts in the Dolman Tour. If you’re a Dolman lover, there’s bound to be something appealing. Thanks for reading along and humouring me

Diving Into Dolmans Week 1

Sewing By Ti- Sew Much ado Sea Farer

Creative Counselor- Sewing Cake’s The Tee

Sew Sophie Lynn- Patterns for Pirates Pumpkin Spice

Made By Melli- Patterns for Pirates Sweet Tee

Guest blogger: Rebel and Malice- Jalie Dolman #3352

Diving Into Dolmans Week 2

Sewing By Ti- Create Kids Couture Donna’s Dolman

Creative Counselor- Blue Dot Patterns Georgia

Sew Sophie Lynn- EYMM Kymy’s Dolman

Made By Melli- Love Notions La Bella Donna

Guest bloggers: Rebel and Malice- Kzjo Poppy

Adventures with Bubba and Bug- Little Kiwi’s Closet Take Flight Dolman

Diving Into Dolmans Week 3

Sewing By Ti- Peekaboo Sunkissed Tee

Creative Counselor- Seamwork Aberdeen

SewSophieLynn– Hey June Aurora

Made by Melli-Peekaboo Sunkissed Tee

Guest Bloggers: Sew Far North – EYMM Assymetrical Top

Adventures with Bubba and Bug- Seamingly Smitten Dolman Sleeve Sweater with Assymmetrical Collar

Dos Natural Sistas- Hey June Aurora

Diving Into Dolmans Week 4

Sewing by Ti: Jalie #3352 Dolman

Creative Counselor: Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee

SewSophieLynn- Itch to Stitch Carey

Made by Melli – Shwin Day Tripper

Guest Blogger: Sew Far North – Seamingly Smitten Women’s Dolman Sleeve Sweater

Mahlica Designs: Fancy Tiger One Hour Top

Diving Into Dolmans Week 5

Sewing By Ti: Patterns for Pirates Pumpkin Spice

Creative Counselor: EYMM Natasha

SewSophieLynn- Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

Made by Melli – Maria Denmark Kimono Tee

Guest bloggers: Sew Far North – Nap Time Creations Easy Breezy Summer Tee

Lulu & Celeste: Shwin Day Tripper

 

 

Pattern Review: Women’s Dolman Sleeve Sweater

Dive Into Dolmans

 

It’s now week 4 of the Dive into Dolman’s Tour and I am back with my second creation. Its a pattern by Seamingly Smitten. I haven’t made any of their patterns before and a part of me wished I’d just made a couple of their Dolmans in order to compare them. There is a website, a blog and an active Facebook Page (I’ll be following that in future). What appealed to me about this pattern is that it is designed for heavier knits, and it has an asymmetrical neckline. I live in the chilly mountain climes , and despite writing this while in the California Desert (don’t start me off about the heat!), I live in cool weather clothing most of the year. Or at least it feels that way! I’m also partial to a top that finishes below elbow and as such, was attracted to the modelled photos. 13076711_10207828013793125_5140605154639820867_n

Like my previous pattern choice this one called for a fabric with good drape. I chose a sumptuous purple medium weight cotton polyester lycra knit fabric. It washes wonderfully and feels so soft; like wearing a light blanket. One thing to remember is that the neckline is slightly lower at the front than the back. Don’t be a dufus like me and wear it backwards several times, wondering why the heck it wasn’t comfortable and didn’t sit right at all! I have recently ordered labels and when they arrive I will sew one in to remind me which side goes to the back of my neck! I’m also improving making tops that drape well for my hourglass figure, and this one is more flattering than its boxy shape led me to believe.

I really liked how the asymmetrical neck is created. It is a bit quirky, just like me! I found the sleeves to be quite wide. I think they’ll either be a cooling agent in the warmth or encourage drafts. Either way, they took a bit of getting used to. I think if I followed the pattern line to extend them to wrist length (not a pattern option, but not a difficult hack), they would narrow nicely. A narrow cuff would then finish the sleeve off. It’s in my notebook for when I make it again. I cheated a bit and used my trusty knit tape to create the hems. It gives a lovely finish and (if I could be bothered) would look great with a twin needle hem stitch.

That said, the pattern has clear instruction with visual aids. Its an easy pattern to make and is wonderfully comfortable. It is also currently on for 50% off, so hop on over and grab it while you can!

Note: Seamingly Smitten kindly gave me the pattern for this blog tour – but they haven’t a clue what I made or what my review states. I thank them for their faith in me! 

Underneath is a link to all the bloggers and their blog posts. The table that follows has information on each pattern on the tour. I hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as we enjoy writing!

Diving Into Dolmans Week 1

Sewing By Ti- Sew Much ado Sea Farer

Creative Counselor- Sewing Cake’s The Tee

Sew Sophie Lynn- Patterns for Pirates Pumpkin Spice

Made By Melli- Patterns for Pirates Sweet Tee

Guest blogger: Rebel and Malice- Jalie Dolman #3352

Diving Into Dolmans Week 2

Sewing By Ti- Create Kids Couture Donna’s Dolman

Creative Counselor- Blue Dot Patterns Georgia

Sew Sophie Lynn- EYMM Kymy’s Dolman

Made By Melli- Love Notions La Bella Donna

Guest bloggers: Rebel and Malice- Kzjo Poppy

Adventures with Bubba and Bug- Little Kiwi’s Closet Take Flight Dolman

Diving Into Dolmans Week 3

Sewing By Ti- Peekaboo Sunkissed Tee

Creative Counselor- Seamwork Aberdeen

SewSophieLynn– Hey June Aurora

Made by Melli-Peekaboo Sunkissed Tee

Guest Bloggers: Sew Far North – EYMM Assymetrical Top

Adventures with Bubba and Bug- Seamingly Smitten Dolman Sleeve Sweater with Assymmetrical Collar

Dos Natural Sistas- Hey June Aurora

Diving Into Dolmans Week 4

Sewing by Ti: Jalie #3352 Dolman

Mahlica Designs: Fancy Tiger One Hour Top

Creative Counselor: Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee

SewSophieLynn- Itch to Stitch Carey

Made by Melli – Shwin Day Tripper

Guest Blogger: Sew Far North – Seamingly Smitten Women’s Dolman Sleeve Sweater

 

Sizes  XS – 3XL (0-26)
Printable pattern pages/copy shop version  Printable at home
Skill Level  Beginner
Measurements for Rectangle Pieces  Yes
Line Drawings  No, just photos (but good ones)
Size made  XL
Options chosen  Cut to the tall hem length
Fabric Requirement for your size  2 yards
Measurement Chart  Yes
Cutting Instructions  Yes
Pattern Printing Layout  Yes
Cutting Layout  Yes
Suggested Fabrics  Medium to heavy  weight knit, sweater knit, ponte, or similar
Layer Printing Option  No
Neck Line Options  No
Sleeve Options  No
Hem Options  No
Color Blocking  Collar binding only (could do collar tho)
Seam Allowance  3/8″
Hem Allowance  1″
Separate add-on pack  No
Fit  Pretty Good
Easy to read instructions  Yes
Drawing or photograph instructions  Photographs

Dolman Pattern Review: EYMM Asymmetrical Drape Top

Dive Into DolmansIts Dolman time and I am part of a five week blog tour on Dolman tops, and how they work (or not) on different body shapes. I am a child of the 70’s and yes, in the 80’s I wore those big Dolman sweaters. To suddenly step outside my comfort zone and make a pattern I never felt very comfortable in to begin with was, well, a bit unsettling. As such I turned to EYMM’s Asymmetrical Drape Top for my first pattern. I must admit that the point of this tour is to work out  whether different patterns suit our body shapes, and if not, what we can do about it. My body shape is pretty much hour glass. There is 2″ difference between my full bust and my hips. I seem to be working my way towards an apple shape, but I am trying not to as I like myself this way. I feel that women with hourglass figures generally have flatter stomachs. It might be an optical illusion from the waist to hip curve, but that’s my thought anyway.

But onto the pattern! Like all EYMM patterns this top printed and was put together easily. I’m obviously improving in the whole print ‘n’ stick process! I chose this particular pattern as I like EYMM patterns generally, and I liked the modelled view. I don’t like round necklines or boxy shapes, as I feel the round necklines do nothing for my larger bust, and  boxy shapes make me look like a Sherman tank: I avoid both if I can! Interestingly, Essence, another blogger, is pretty much the same shape and loves Dolmans for their hide-all capacity. Her reviews can be found in the permalink section at the bottom.

The pattern is just two pieces and has two views; I made view A. In retrospect I should have made view B as it is a bit more shaped. I chose a lightweight polyester knit with good drape. EYMM has a section in the pattern on how to check the fabric drape: it’s really useful.
This top is asymmetrical and can be worn pulled down as a tunic to showcase the hemline, or pulled up to sit wherever you like. Sadly, the photos don’t do justice to the fantastic drape on the right side. I tend to wear leggings and I like coverage to my thighs. As a wise woman once said: “if you are wearing leggings or tights then cover your tail”. With jeans I can wear it higher on the hips; that’s the beauty of having a fabric that drapes well! I added 2″ to the overall length, and had intended adding the hip band. I found the top to be long enough for my 5’8″ frame, without the band. Unless your torso is 2″ longer than normal you could pass on adding any extra length.
It took me a while to like the neckline, after all Dolmans are well out of my comfort zone. When I make it again I’d like to include a back lace panel and make the front neckline scooped or with a V, as these lines accentuate and flatter a larger bust.
This is an ideal top for those days when I want to cover it all up though.
All the Dolman reviews contain the following information, allowing the readers to compare the patterns.
Note: EYMM donated the pattern for the tour. Thank you! The sewing is all my own work. My opinions and the review are entirely my own. 
Sizes XS – 5X
Printable pattern pages/copy shop version Pattern pages
Skill Level Beginner
Measurements for Rectangle Pieces Yes, for optional hip band
Line Drawings Yes
Size made XL
Options chosen A
Fabric Requirement for your size 1.5
Measurement Chart Yes
Cutting Instructions Yes
Pattern Printing Layout Yes
Cutting Layout Yes
Suggested Fabrics Knitted fabric with minimum 30% stretch and good drape
Layer Printing Option No
Neck Line Options No
Sleeve Options No
Hem Options Yes, optional hip band
Color Blocking No
Seam Allowance 3/8″
Hem Allowance 1/2″
Separate add-on pack No
Fit Pretty good. Long.
Easy to read instructions Absolutely!
Drawing or photograph instructions Both

Swinging my Way into a Capsule!

I recently started making Everything Your Mama Made & More (EYMM) clothes despite owning a few of the patterns for a while. When the opportunity came along to participate in the latest blog tour for their Capsule Skirt I jumped at it. Or at least my fingers did; They were all over the keyboard in their haste to see if EYMM would choose me to be part of their team. Yay! I made the grade, was sent the pattern and decided to have some fun with this sweet little skirt. I nearly wrote cute, which the skirt is, but at my age I’m beyond being called cute. I’m not going to rave about the designer, Kymy, or the patterns as I did that on my post about their Harem Pants. Scroll back through and have a good read, or just click on the link, eh! I must mention that EYMM give great coupon codes. There is one for the skirt (for all ages) at the bottom of this post.

Like the other patterns I’ve made the fit is true to form and the instructions are concise with visual pictures for help. I’m a fan of black and white line diagrams and the picture showing what the pattern pieces should look like when stuck together is invaluable. I like that the ladies’ sizes are split between XS – XL, and 1X – 5X on separate printer settings. It is an easy pattern to cut out and put together. It has several length and coverage settings, including a maternity one, and I decided to add the longer length on the back. Yes, I feel I have a big bum, but I didn’t need it for the extra coverage; I just like the swooping look of a high low hem.

I also must admit to not liking hemming knits, despite having my trusty Pellon knit hem tape to hand. As such, I added a bit of flirty lace. I feel it ties the fabric colours together and it makes me smile.

I initially used a white rib knit for the waistband but it didn’t have the stretchy recovery that yoga type waistbands need despite its lycra content, and I worried it would fall down. So I cut it off and, as Fagan would say, “… I think I’d better think it out again”. I’ve been struggling with these stretchy, good recovery fabrics and now own 6 different ones. The problem is that despite stretching the fabrics in the store, their stretchability changes after washing. I’ve now decided I am buying online from someone who knows what they are talking about. Perhaps I will have better luck?

You can’t see the waistband’s end result but I used a 20% lycra fabric and it seems to hold it all up nicely; no baring my knickers this time! I felt confident enough to have a bit of a swish for photos. Believe me, with a half circle skirt and a light knit fabric, it’s a great skirt to swing about in. I think that this skirt is a great one for those of us with hips. After all, a flick of the hips and the shay shaying begins! I plan taking it on holiday to the warmer weather soon; I just wish I had the time to make more before I go.

I’d planned sunny weather photos, but it was 1.5c today and snowing: the ski hill I live on had 8cm of fresh snow last night. No wonder I need some sun. With my next capsule skirts I’d like to add a bit of a petticoat underneath to give them fullness. Perhaps as a winter skirt? That gives me lots of time to make another few.

Thanks for reading! Have a good week now

Thank you to EYMM for giving me the pattern to make. I do appreciate that! 

2016-Capsule-Skirt-Tour-web

Make sure to check out all the other stops on the EYMM Capsule Skirt Tour. (Note: The links won’t be live until the day they’re scheduled, but feel free to click through and check out the other blog posts any time.)

Wednesday, April 6

Connected by a Thread, Sugarplum Cuties, The Wholesome Mama

Thursday, April 7

Sew Far North, Lulu & Celeste, Pattern Revolution

Friday, April 8

SewSophieLynn, Welcome to our Crazy World, EYMM

Saturday, April 9

handcrafted by RED, Pretty and Precious, Capture, Craft, and Cook

Sunday, April 10

create3.5, Sewing the Seasons, HattieLu Handmade

Monday, April 11

Creative Counselor, Rebel & Malice, Blessed x 5

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the pattern while it’s on sale! Use coupon code PERFECTSKIRT to save 25% on the Women’s Capsule Skirt, Girl’s Capsule Skirt, or Capsule Skirt Bundle until April 12 at 11:59pm PST.

Easter Treats aren’t just Chocolate!

It’s hard to be excited about pretty Easter dresses when you live on a ski hill. Added to which it’s an El Nino winter, which means mild (for us) temperatures and buckets of snow. Heck, It’s been snowing for 10 hours today! As the spring flowers aren’t poking through the snow yet I thought I’d make a dress that has been on my mind for a while. Its pretty, I like the style and, it might just cover the end of winter extra weight that has become far too attached to me.

I bought George & Ginger’s ‘Ginger Dress‘ a while ago, but like most things, hadn’t got round to printing it off, let alone sewing it up. The pattern is sized from XXS – 2X, and drafted for a woman of 5’6″ height. It has a layers option, allowing just the sizes you need to be printed off. Another attraction is that it’s available in A0 format, so my trusty printer did the hard work for me. Bargain! After I printed it off it sat in the patterns bucket until this Blog Tour came along, when it jumped up pleading to be made.

Somehow, hitting 50 years old has affected my waistline; it went on vacation and hasn’t returned. Ho Hum …  So, I thought, why not make a flowy, swingy dress and pretend I am five years old again. I chose a bright knit fabric to cheer me through the last of winter with a contrasting knit trim. The dress is a proper handkerchief dress and takes a lot of fabric, but as the L’Oreal advert keeps reminding me I’m worth it. There is also a child’s version, called the Ginger Snap. Cute, eh?

George & Ginger Pattern Co. has an active FaceBook page and an Etsy Shop. The patterns cater to womanly shapes. Don’t get me wrong, they look good on women of all shapes and sizes but their clothes do flow nicely over womanly figures … all of them … especially mine!

On the FaceBook page a wonderful woman had altered the dress to fit closer at the bust, resulting in less volume. I followed her principle by measuring down an extra 3″before swinging out to meet the pattern piece, meaning my dress is semi fitted almost to the empire line before all that volume starts. The end result gives a bit more shape and is flattering. Having looked at several photos on the FaceBook page I also added 6″ to the dress length (above the trim). I wanted the option to wear the dress on our warm spring days without leggings or tights and somehow wearing a knitted dress that finished above my knees just wasn’t working for me. I have worn it in town, where the temperature can be up to 10℃ warmer and my extra length works well for me.

I like the fact that it swings and flows nicely. I think it runs a little large but this kind of dress is meant to flow over the body, not cling to it. On those ‘not so confident body days’ it seems to smooth and hide the unwanted lumpy, bumpy bits. Overall I recommend the pattern, and look forward to making the tunic length. Lastly, while the weather prevented good photo opportunities, this dress allows me to twirl away to my hearts content. I love that I can swing in it; it will be great to dance and shake my booty in.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains my opinions and I used my own pattern. No reimbursement has been made for featuring the Ginger Dress in my blog. 

Please check out the other writers in this Easter Blog Tour
3/28/16: Larissa from Connected By A Thread
3/28/16: Linda from Sew Happily Ever After
3/28/16: Amy from Wally and Grace
3/29/16: Cindy from Cindy Parrett
3/30/16: Ula from Lulu & Celeste
3/30/16: Fenna from FABulous Home Sewn
3/31/16: Courtney from the WHOLESOME mama
4/1/16: Patricia from Sew Far North
4/1/16: Tibeca from Sewing By Ti