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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

DIY Ruffle Dress - Sewing the Ellie and Mac Girls Play Date Dress Pattern

I absolutely adore little girls in frilly dresses. I wanted to sew a dress for my youngest that will transition well from summer to fall. I chose the Ellie and Mac Girls Play Date Dress Pattern because I wanted a knit bodice with sleeves and all the frills, but I also wanted to use up some of my quilting cotton stash. This pattern worked out perfect.  

The Pattern

The pattern comes in sizes 3-6 months up to 10 years. I made a size 6-12 months for my 7 month old. The bodice, sleeves, and neckband require knit fabric with at least 50%, 4 way stretch fabric with good recovery. The skirt, ruffles, sash, and ties are all made out of cotton woven fabrics. The bodice is really quick and easy to construct and is not overly fitted so she will have plenty of room to grow and wear the dress through the fall and hopefully some of the winter. You really have to not mind gathering if you want to sew this pattern. The sleeve ruffle, bottom ruffle, and skirt are all gathered. Some of the instructions would not be entirely clear if you are a beginner so this pattern is more suited for an a confident beginner who is familiar with hemming, gathering, and sewing on a neckband. I found all the pattern pieces fit perfectly and the pattern fit true to her measured size. 


The back has a waist tie that really helps this pattern to fit more than a month since babies grow so fast. I love all the ways that you can use so many fabrics in this dress. I used three fabrics total, but there are so many different combinations I could do with this pattern. 


The bottom and sleeve ruffles and the sash band and ties are all made out of Anna Maria Horner's Pretty Potent Family Unit in Powder. That fabric has the sweetest little hearts that I have in other colorways as well and even used on the quilt she is standing on. The pink fabric for the skirt is Tula Pink's Moonshine Sprout in Blush. The yellow and white striped knit for the bodice came from Made Whimsy in a remnant box. I couldn't find the exact listing in her shop.

The dress is the perfect length on her now, and she can still crawl all around in it! Her crawling is still the scooting, pulling, army crawl, but she is pretty fast to escape during photos. I did get her to sit still for a moment while she felt of the quilt! This is a quilt that I made and blogged about here and here

Do you have a little girl to sew for? I think this would make the most darling birthday gift or baby shower gift.

You can grab a copy of the pattern here

Thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Disclosures: This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Summer Shorts Sewing with the Greenstyle Taylor Shorts Pattern

My list of sewing goals is LONG. I am slowly making it towards a completely handmade wardrobe and am absolutely loving it when people can't tell I made my clothes. The one area of my wardrobe, though, that is still heavily store bought is woven shorts with a zipper fly, and I so badly want that to change! I have had the Greenstyle Taylor shorts pattern on my to-do list since last summer, and I FINALLY made my first pair a few weeks ago. I was seriously surprised at how easily they came together, and I see these becoming a huge wardrobe staple for me!

After sewing my first pair (a lighter olive colored cotton duck), I immediately wanted to sew a stack of Taylor shorts to go with all of my favorite shirts. However, despite all the fabric I have, I did not have ANY that met the vision I had in my head. I knew I needed solids that go with all my fun tops. I rarely seem to buy appropriate fabric for shorts. All my fabrics that were a good bottom weight for shorts were far too exciting and would not have matched any of the tops in my wardrobe. I auditioned a few of the colorful prints for my daughters, and they told me that everyone would know that I made my shorts if I had deer and polka dots on them. Sigh. Well, I found out that a Hobby Lobby just opened about 5 miles from my house!! So, I gathered the kids in the car, and we made a trip to Hobby Lobby. I found grey twill ($6) and a light blue printed twill ($3) and excitedly started sewing more shorts. 

The Pattern

The Taylor shorts pattern comes in sizes 0 to 18, which covers waist sizes 24 to 42 inches and hip sizes 33 to 52 inches. The shorts sit low on my waist and have a fuller leg. The pattern includes a zip fly and a button closure (or a flat hook and eye). There are 3 inseam choices: 2, 5, or 8 inches. I chose 5 inches for all of my shorts. The pockets are deep. Deep enough that my phone fits all the way in without seeing the top stick out. I can bend over and it stays put! This is very unlike all my store bought shorts, where the pocket barely holds keys or my finger tips. Can you see my phone ALL the way in my pocket in the first photo? For size reference, I have an IPhone 6s with an Otter box case to keep it alive. 

Sizing and Fit Adjustments

I ultimately made a size 4. My hip measurement is 36 inches, which put me at the top of a size 2. My waist measurement is 26.5, which put me in between a size 2 and 4. I initially made a straight size 2, and they were wearable but not as comfortable and loose as I prefer my shorts and had a lot of drag lines around my hips indicating that I did not have enough fabric to go around. So, I went up to a size 4 and graded the legs back down to a 2. I also increased the back darts and took in the side seams a tiny bit. This meant I had to take a larger seam allowance for the waistband pieces.

Then, after all was done, I scooped out the crotch some. In my head, this just did not make sense, so I used basting stitches at first before trimming fabric. I am so glad I did this adjustment because it made my seat more comfortable for long sitting sessions of nursing the baby. Here is my rough sketch of what I mean by "scooping the crotch curve." The black line is the pattern's crotch. The green line is where I sewed mine and trimmed away the excess fabric. The way the pants are constructed this seam is sewn all at once, which makes this adjustment very easy. I maybe only took an extra 1/4-3/8 inches seam allowance here so don't let my drawing fool you on how much I took out. It is definitely not to scale.  

Belt Loops

The one thing I added to the pattern after my first pair was belt loops!! I really am excited about how these turned out. They are such an easy addition that I feel takes my shorts one step further to making them look more professional. To add belt loops, I cut 5 strips of fabric that were each 2.75 inches long and 1 5/8 inches wide. I sewed the long ends together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, trimmed the seam a little, pressed the seam open, and turned right side out. Once it was right side out, I pressed the seam so that it was in the middle of the back of the loop. I made 5 markings on my waistband. On the front, I marked two - each 4 inches away from the side seam. On the back, I marked three - one in the middle and two that were 2 inches away from my side seams. Next, I folded the top and bottom of the belt loops under 1/4 inch, pressed, and sewed them down on my 5 markings with a very narrow and short zig zag at the top and bottom. I think my stitch setting was .8 wide and 1 long. 

The top I am wearing with my shorts is the Chalk and Notch Pony tank that I made last summer. I still enjoy wearing it all the time. It was great for hiding my tummy in my first trimester when I was pregnant last year. 

Next, I want to show you the pair of shorts that I made with the light blue twill that I found at Hobby Lobby for only $3. Great find. These are super comfortable shorts. I made the same adjustments to this pair that I made to my grey pair. These are a little lighter weight than the grey twill but still work great for shorts. They are not as lightweight as a quilting cotton, though. I paired them with another favorite shirt of mine, the Newport top by Itch to Stitch that I blogged about here.  

I find that fabric choice will make a big impact on these shorts. You want anything between 7-10 ounces in weight. Also, be careful when making the pockets that you understitch to keep the lining from peeking out. Also, I noticed that on my light blue pair, the pockets like to stick out a little more. This could be because they were cut on the bias, but I think a lot of it has to do with this fabric being lighter weight than the others. If I make these shorts in a lighter weight fabric again, I will reinforce this area with interfacing.

Lastly, I want to show you the green shorts that began my obsession with the Taylor shorts. I actually have two pairs in the green fabric - a size 2 that will fit if I took up endurance running again and a size 4 that fits me with a few cookies. This breezy Chirripo top that I paired them with here does a great job of hiding those extra cookies.

Are you worried about the waistband or zipper construction? Don't be. There are helpful videos of both here and here

You can grab a copy of the Greenstyle Taylor Shorts here

Thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: my wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson.

Disclosures: This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Patterns for Pirates Classic Sundress

I don't quite have the time to sew a complete handmade wardrobe for each of my children (I have 5!!), but I do try to make sure they each always have special pieces that I have made them. I recently got the chance to test the Patterns for Pirates newest pattern release, the So Classic Sundress, and I was able to make a dress for my 7 month old and a dress for my 7 year old. Today's blogpost will start with a  pattern review, and then, I will take a moment to talk about each of these sweet girls. 

The So Classic Sundress Details

The So Classic Sundress is available in girls' sizes (3 months to 14 years) and women's sizes. I made the girls' size 9 months for my 7 month old and size 7 for my 7 year old based on their measurements. The sundress has the option for an empire waist or natural waist bodice with lengths above the knee, below the knee, and maxi. The princess seamed bodice can have a placket with functional or non functional buttons or can be made with a plain front. The back has elastic casings to make the dress easy to go on and off without the buttons, and this also helps the dress to fit longer. The dress also has optional bucket patch pockets. 

The So Classic Sundress Pattern Review

I LOVE this dress. This has been the summer of sewing woven fabrics for me, and this pattern fit right in. It came together rather easily. All the seams matched up exactly and the instructions have all the professional details you need for a perfect fitting dress. I did have to get my seam ripper out a few times to perfect my gather game, but I love how they turned out. The princess seam and sweetheart bodice are just adorable. I love the waist tie for a contrast fabric and all the fun color blocking options. The skirt pattern pieces are not printed as a pattern piece, which made cutting and taping the pattern pieces together really quick. There is a chart to tell you what you need to cut for the skirt for your desired look. 

I also love that the baby sizes are included with the big girl sizes. I have turned away from patterns that have separate purchases for baby sizes and kids sizes because then I end up paying double to make a dress for all of my girls.

For Hannah, my 7 month old, I made the above the knee length with a natural waist bodice with the plain front. I can't get over how sweet she looks in her dress. She is playing on her quilt that I made for her when I was pregnant and blogged about here. I get all crazy emotional looking at photos of her on this quilt. Even making the quilt was a challenge for me because of the what ifs in pregnancy after having losses. Now to see her playing on it gives me all the happy tears!!


I like to use quilting cotton for little girls dresses. It doesn't drape very well and gives the skirt such a full look. I used some of my favorite Ana Maria Horner prints for Hannah's dress, pictured here. The turquoise fabric on the bodice sides is called Cutting Line and can be found here. The main fabric that I used on her skirt and front and back bodice is called Minor Chords and can be found here. The yellow and pink coordinate that I used for the straps and waist tie are called Hugs and Kisses and can be found here.   

For my second daughter,  I used rayon challis because I made the maxi length and wanted fabric that draped and flowed. The rayon challis that I used was found locally at Wherehouse Fabrics. It was shifty as could be, but it was worth it to get the drape that I wanted for a  maxi. I wanted her to breeze around like a princess. For her dress, I also used the natural waist plain bodice.  I used the big stripes vertically so that I did not have to try to stripe match them on the sides. She was so happy with how her dress turned out!! I think this dress is perfect for the summer months we have left and will also look adorable worn with a cardigan this fall.

You can purchase your copy of the youth So Classic Sundress pattern here. The women's pattern is available here. It is on sale (no code needed) through Friday August 10th at midnight CST.  

Tabitha is 7 and will turn 8 in November. She absolutely adores her sister Hannah and plays with her and helps her all the time. When she is not playing with Hannah, she is playing Barbies or swimming with her friends or older sister. She had expanders put in her mouth at the orthodontist three days ago so please send all the tips my way. All her favorite foods are crunchy so she has been getting very frustrated at re-learning to talk and eat with the device in her mouth. She cried when she could not eat a taco yesterday. I think it lifted her spirits when I made her this special dress. 

My heart. This girl loves dresses. I have had to fight with her so many cold winters when she is determined to wear a dress. Since we homeschool, I get to spend a lot of time with her. I wouldn't have it any other way and pray I continue to have the strength and wisdom to keep up with her!

Now, let us talk about this 7 month old. She just started army crawling and pushing herself all over the house. She puts everything she can find in her mouth. She loves to join us at meal times and get bites of whatever is age appropriate for her. She hates the mushed up baby food, though. She just figured out that she has a voice and has been saying all the "momma" "dada" "yaya" "popo" sounds and letters she can figure out. She knows now to watch out for her 4 year old brother and will growl at him when he is near. If he gets too close, she will grab his hair, pull, and squeal. She may be the baby, but I am not worried about her being able to hold her own in this house! 

She is still trying to figure out what is going on when Aimee takes photos of her. She gives her the funniest grins when she pops out from behind the camera. 

Thank you so much for reading my blog! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you, and it allows me to continue to tell you all about my latest favorite sewing finds.  

Photo Credit: my wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson

The hardest part of this post was deciding which photos to use! So, be prepared for photo overload, because here are more photos that I just love. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Staying Cool in Love Notions Allegro Shorts

I have been so busy sewing tops and dresses all summer that I have neglected a major need in my closet - bottoms. I had to fix this; so, over the past few weeks, I have been sewing shorts. The first pattern I pulled out of my pattern library was the Allegro pattern from Love Notions. 

I purchased the Love Notions Allegro pattern when it released a year ago and was so excited to live in them all summer long last year. At the time, though, I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and still utterly exhausted. I powered through making my first pair while my kids were at VBS one morning and loved the way they looked finished. However, when I tried my shorts on, my stomach had already outgrown the shorts. I put them in the rapidly growing pile in my closet of clothes that did not fit. It seemed that everything that was not a stretchy knit was going into that same pile.

I had my sweet baby in January and have had a few months to shrink back to normal. So, when the warm months set in, I tried them on, and they fit! Here I am (in this photo below) wearing them on Instagram during Me Made May this year with my Anna shirt that I blogged about here. They fit great and were absolute LOVE. I made these first shorts out of an Amy Butler Sateen Fabric in the Lark Collection called Ivy Bloom. The cotton sateen is a medium weight twill fabric. 

Fast forward to July, and I knew I needed to make another pair of these shorts. I had some rayon challis from Sly Flox left over from the Havana dress that I made in June. The scrap was just enough to squeeze out another pair of Allegro shorts in. 


I love that this pattern not only works for medium weight fabrics (like the sateen I used for my first pair) but that it also works for those lighter weight woven fabrics that I have left over from making other clothes. Most of my patterns for woven bottoms really need a bottom weight fabric to look right.  Rayon challis is a lighter weight apparel fabric that I normally think of for tops and dresses. It works wonderful for this pattern, though. It flows just right and gives these shorts such a comfortable feel.

Pattern Details

The size range on this pattern is XS to 3XL. I made the XS. My waist is 26.5 and hips are 36 inches. The waistband on the Allegro pattern requires 1.5 inch elastic and has a drawstring to keep them cinched. That forgiving elastic waist is much quicker to make than a traditional full zipper and fly. The elastic waist is forgiving enough for a buffet but not forgiving enough for maternity. This is the pattern I will pull when I want to use a woven fabric and am pressed for time. I also really like that this is not only a shorts pattern, it includes cropped pants and two skirt views. The shorts come in a 5" and 9" inseam. I made the 5" inseam for both of my pairs. 

The Allegro pattern can be found here. The rayon challis can be found here.

Thank you so much for reading my blog! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you, and it allows me to continue to tell you all about my latest favorite sewing finds.  

Photo Credit: my wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson