Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ellie Inspired Holiday Testing

Well, I have needed to write this post for a few weeks Now, but never have the time to sit down and write!  I was able to test several of the patterns in the Ellie Inspired Girls Holiday line this year. Anne now has so many cute things to wear from Ellie Inspired!

The first dress I tested was the Holly Days Baby Dress. This is a classic baby dress that goes up to size 36 months.  The pattern includes bloomers, but I did not make them as Anne generally wears warm tights under her dresses in the winter.  I will make her a spring version in a few months.

The second dress was the Miss Merry. This is a similar dress, but more suited to older girls.  It has a longer bodice, and can be made with optional features such as an overskirt, pin-tucked bodice, and piping. I loved this dress, and made two of them for Anne to wear this winter.


The third piece I tested was the Sugar Plum Sweater Dress.  This pattern can be made as a dress or shorter as a top.  It is made for knits, but can be made with fleece too, which is what I did.  Because fleece does not stretch much, you will want to go up a size.  I didn't, and the top fits very close.

The final piece I tested is a showstopper.  The Tinsel Party Dress is the ultimate princess dress.  It can be made with special occasion fabrics and a tulle underskirt like I did, or can be made very simple with regular woven fabrics.  It was the perfect dress to visit Santa, even though Anne decided she does NOT like Santa!

I sewed a couple other great Ellie Inspired patterns this fall, and I am currently sewing a couple "new to me" Ellie Inspired patterns for Christmas.  Hopefully I will get on here to share them before Christmas gets here! LOL

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ellie Inspired September Smock Along

Wow, I have just realized I have not updated this blog in a couple of months!  I have been meaning to blog about September's Smock Along sponsored by Ellie Inspired.  I am so drawn to this designer, as she says on her website, she really does design "classic clothing for children."  Her clothing designs are classic without looking old fashioned or out of date.

The name of the dress pattern is Ellie Inspired's Autumn Grace.  I chose to use my Frozen fabric on this and create a fun Christmas look.

Not only do I love her designs, but she is such a nice lady and this past year has really been dedicated to educating new sewers about classic sewing techniques such as smocking.  Smocking is simply an embroidery technique that is used to gather fabric to give it a little stretch.  It was commonly used in clothing before the invention of elastic.  In today's heirloom sewing, it is often quite elaborate and beautiful.

The basic stitches are actually quite easy.  I found smocking to be quite relaxing, and actually easier to learn than cross stitching, which I have been doing since I was a child.  The geometric designs I used are repetitive and can be done without at lot of thought once you get in the rhythm.

The next challenge I want to tackle in the near future is picture smocking.  This is actually creating little pictures from the smocking stitches, and is a little more involved than a simple geometric design.

Ellie Inspired will be rolling out their holiday line of patterns for boys, girls, and women in the next couple of weeks.  I am testing the girl's patterns. and have been a busy bee.  They are spectacular, so stay tuned, I will be sharing publicly as soon as I am allowed!  For now, here is a little sneak peek of the Ellie Inspired Holly Days Baby Dress :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ellie Inspired Back to School

I had the privilege of getting to test a couple of the patterns for Ellie Inspired Fall 2014 Back to School line. These were both very cute and versatile garments, and just what I needed to get in the mood for fall sewing.

First up is the Best Friends Dolman Dress.

The best thing about this dress is how quick and easy it is to sew!  This dress can be finished cutting to hemming in about an hour.  It comes in two lengths, the dress length and a shorter tunic length.

The neckline on this tester version was a bit wide.  This has been adjusted in the final pattern and the fit is great in the final version.

Personally, I don't like this on Anne as much as other things I have made.  I think this dress looks so much cuter on the bigger girls.  I am tucking this pattern away for a bit.  When Anne get bigger, this style dress will look great for fall over some fun leggings.

Next is my new favorite pattern from Ellie Inspired--The Primary Pinafore and Blouse!

This pattern comes with TWO pieces, the button down, Peter Pan collared blouse, and the fully lined, pleated pinafore.

I love this outfit so very much because it reminds me of things I remember wearing as a girl.  Like so many of the pieces in the Ellie Inspired collection, it is classic without being old fashioned.

The blouse looks great on its own over jeans too!

Laura from Ellie Inspired has hit it out of the park with this collection.  I own so many of her patterns, and love how well the tutorials are written and how polished the finished pieces look.  Please take the time to look over her Etsy shop.

Anne and I can't wait to see what is coming next from Ellie Inspired!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sunday Girl Designs Lily Rose Dress

I have been super busy lately, and recovering from a great trip to Cozumel, so I have not had a chance to update my blog!  We spent a week at Park Royal with some good friends.  We had a blast, and Anne did very well on her first flight and first international vacation!

Before I left on vacation, I had the opportunity to test for a great designer, Georgianna from Sunday Girl Designs.  I remember being very excited about her last pattern release, the Odette, and was so honored to be picked as a tester for her latest pattern, the Lily Rose Dress!

This dress has a lot of options including high-low hem, pockets, and bodice details.  I created a dress with all of the optional embellishments.

It does take a bit more time than the average dress, but the result is very well worth it.  I was first drawn to this designer for her little details in her clothing, and they really do make the dress!

I am excited to see what Georgianna comes up with next.  This little dress is such a keepsake.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dress a Girl Around the World

I sewed something a little different today. Dress a Girl Around the World is an organization that provides simple pillowcase dresses to girls who may never own a nice dress. The pattern is on their website,  and it takes about 30 minutes to make this dress. I will be putting a few more of these together in the future. Check out their website or  Facebookpage for more information.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Poppy Fields Romper and Nantucket Baby

For the past few weeks, I had the pleasure of participating in the Ellie Inspired June Smocking event.  As part of the event, Ellie Inspired hosted a smock along, provided a free smocked dress pattern to all of their Facebook fans, and ended the month with a celebration smocking featuring examples modern smocked garments.  I was asked to create a couple of sample garments which showed shirring as an alternative to smocking, as I am not a smocker (yet!)

The first piece I created was Ellie Inspired's Poppy Field Romper.  I had made this romper before, as it was one of the three patterns I chose to purchase at the beginning of summer for Anne's summer wardrobe. 

Laura from Ellie Inspired provided me with both the awesome fabric from Riley Blake's Star Spangled collection as well as this fabulous picture smocked insert with ladybugs (no I did not make that!)

This romper has a lot of options, but I did find it difficult to navigate the instructions the first time I made it.  There are so many different options as far as straps, length, pockets, ruffles, etc. that I had to read and re-read the instructions a lot the first time I made this romper in order to make sure I had not missed anything.  Fortunately, this time went a lot smoother, as I had made it before recently and knew what I wanted to do option wise. 

Another problem I had was making sure that the lining of the bodice was in correctly.  I had difficulty with the instructions both times making sure that the bodice front, bodice front lining, and the shirred back piece were going to come out correctly when I turned it.  It did go better this time around, but I still needed the seam ripper at one point.

The back can be shirred, which is what I prefer, or there is an option to use elastic casings in you do not prefer shirring.

I was also able to have fun with my embroidery machine and put a cute little ladybug on her pocket!

Overall, this is still a great pattern,  It has the classic romper look that I wanted, which is why I purchased it in the first place.  It does have lots of options to make it as fancy as you could want, or even a simple plain version for a boy.  I will be keeping this one on hand for next summer's sewing for sure!

The second piece I sewed was Ellie Inspired's  Nantucket Baby.  This cute dress has a very classic sailor look, which I love for babies in the summer.

This one went together much easier for me than the romper.  I followed the instructions in regards to how many row of shirring to put in the bodice, but after the dress was finished, I feel like I should have added about three or four more rows--all my shirring is hidden under the collar.

The fabric is a grey seersucker with embroidered crabs from Hancock Fabrics.  I thought it matched the nautical feel of the pattern well.  I use the leftover Riley Blake fabric from my romper for the trim.

I made this dress in a 3T, even though Anne is only in a 2T.  She has so many things to wear at the moment, I wanted to make something that will carry her into the fall.  In order to take up the length, I put in a couple of growth tucks in the bottom of the skirt.  I think this really added a cute touch!

At the end of the month, Ellie Inspired put together a look book of all the creations we worked on during the month of June.  You can download this pdf from their Facebook page.  There is some amazing work in there from some very accomplished women!

This was an amazing and fun experience for me.  I ended up with two amazing garments and inspiration from some very accomplished seamstresses.  And I am learning how to smock.