Sweet Spring Emma

My week of pattern testing comes to a close with my version of Patty‘s Emma top and skirt (plus a cute little coordinating purse).

This actually was the toughest set for me to sew — not the actual sewing but the fabric selection. I really wanted to sew from my stash but nothing seemed quite right. Or I didn’t have enough fabric to make it work.

Sigh.

In the end, I decided to use opposite polka dots, picked up some yardage and knocked it out. Looking at the finished product, I think I cn honestly say I’ve made it “me.”

The most time consuming part of sewing this pattern is finishing the hem on the petals (there are 12 between the top and skirt). My serger made fairly quick work out of the rolled hem and I’m grateful for that. Of course, I’m envisioning a pretty lace edge to the petals on a future project, which I’m sure I’ll be cussing about after I get started. LOL!

I threw a T-shirt on Miss L before we left the house today and it’s just as cute as without (but a bit more comfortable for this hot-and-cold Spring weather we’re having). The colors are so pretty and I think the outfit may be just the thing for the annual Easter egg hunt we attend.

Kawaii Kyoko

I’ve got to ‘fess up: Patty‘s Kyoko pattern is the one of hers I was most looking forward to getting my hands on. I just love Asian-inspired clothing and the cross-over bodice combined with stripwork skirt made this pattern a must-have-NOW sort of thing.

I knew right away what fabric I was going to use (Robert Kaufman’s Kawaii Asian). What I did not know until Patty sent me an email after she dropped everything in the mail was that the pattern called for five yards of binding.

Say what?

Yeah, not huge on sewing on binding. I think my response to Patty was something along the lines of “I hope you know how much I must like you to be willing to sew on five yards of binding.”  As you can see, it was totally worth the effort.

And, honestly, sewing on all that binding was really not that bad (I used some of the Michael Miller red pindot and it sews like a dream). Patty’s pattern has you do it a certain way that actually made it easier than I’ve done it in the past and the final product is just so pretty that I really do think it’s worth the (minimal) effort. That’s not to say I may not try to do it without some time, but I’m not in a huge hurry to try.

I think this pattern will work with a lot of fabrics but I really like how these came together. I think you can tell from looking at my past sewing that I really enjoy working with vibrant colors and prints and you really can’t get much more vibrant than these. I’m itching to make another one and am already toying with a few fabric combos in my head (like Sugar Snap!).

The dress pulls over the head and is nice and loose without the obi but I really like how the sash just cinches it so nicely and changes the profile. L prefers it without the obi so it’s nice and twirly (big surprise there).

I probably could have sized down on the dress and cut a longer length for a slimmer fit but I’m also hoping she’ll get lots of wear out of this in the next few months, so I don’t mind it being a bit roomy. Patty shows a shorter tunic version on the pattern cover with her Sophie Three-Way Pants, so I’m already planning ahead and thinking how cute a fall version would be with a long-sleeved top and pants.

Now if I could just talk Patty into designing a grown-up version of this for me women …

A Test Drive With Patty & Frida

Days Two-Four of this week’s pattern-testing binge is all about the new Mod Kid Sewing Patterns by Patty Young. Of course, I’ve only sewn two out of three things and have been laid up today with the rotten cold Miss L shared with me, so Day Four may be Friday. Or Saturday.

Anyway …

I broke my personal fabric-buying rules when I picked up the Sprites of Tillbrook: I had no idea what I was going to make with it, but I bought it anyway. When I started looking through my stash for fabrics to use when pattern testing Frida, I just knew the Tillbrook would be awesome. And I think I was right!

Do you know how it is when you get an idea for something and then make it, and it’s even better than you’d imagined? Well, that’s kind of how I feel about this dress. I am so happy with how it turned out! I’m working on the headscarf (it’s about half done) but I used the same floral fabric from the bodice for it and I think I’m using the mushrooms for the ties.

I like how easily the pattern comes together and I’m happy with the fit. I sized up a tad bit so Liesl could wear this all summer. I think I might make the next dress a little longer, just because she’s so tall in proportion to her girth.

I’m already plotting what fabrics to use for the next one of these I sew. I think I’m going to do the tunic with a pair of shorts. And definitely more pockets — the little miss loves her some pockets and these are a nice size for holding all of her treasures.

Testing, 1, 2, 3 … 4?

I’ve been pattern testing again for some friends, so the next few days are going to highlight those creations. I’ll start the week out with the first dress I finished: Miss Lily for Samantha of The Handmade Dress.

I previously have tested for Sam, so I sort of knew what to expect. And I was not disappointed. She aims to design patterns that can be finished during a nap time, and I think this one will come pretty close.* It’s a really sweet bubble dress with peasant-style bodice and sleeves.

Miss L had picked out this fabric from Joann’s from the newest juvenile apparel section fabrics. The vivid pink offsest the red cherries and strawberries nicely, so I agreed to use it when she asked if I’d make the Miss Lily from it. I think it’s a great spring/summer fabric, so I suspect she’ll get a lot of wear from it in the coming months.

I love how quickly the dress came together and the bubble skirt is a cinch to sew. I think I’ll make the skirt of the next one a little bit longer so Liesl has some growing room, but the fit otherwise is spot on.

The pattern directions call for using a ribbon as the sash but I decided to sew one out of coordinating polka dot fabric. I love how the finished garment looks and wish we could wear it now — but of course the temperature dropped 30 degrees again so we’re back in coats and sweaters. LOL!

I think the dress could be as casual or as dressy as you want to make it. I’m itching to try it with some pretty eyelet or embroidered cotton and a sweet satin ribbon!

*It takes me about three times as long to sew a garment when I pattern test because I’m constantly making notes and checking that I’m following the pattern exactly as it’s written, instead of winging it.

My Lil’ Chef

We love our play kitchen around here and spend lots of time “cooking” up ” ‘tend” meals, then serving them up to be “eaten.” Obviously, I couldn’t wait to test Patty‘s upcoming Lil’ Chef pattern, with its play oven mitt, chef’s toque and cutesy little apron.

Patty told me to use just any ol’ fabric I had on hand, so I grabbed some of the sweet birdy fabric from Joann’s that I used for my niece’s birthday present and got cracking.

What a seriously fun little set to sew! And it’s been a hit with the Little Miss, although it took a couple of days for her to agree to model it for a photo.

The hat sews together super fast — and it’s only two pieces, to boot! I think the longest thing about making this was quilting the fabric for the oven mitt (it may be optional but it looks so cute that I had to do it LOL!). By the way, the hat really does fit; Liesl just insisted on putting it on all by herself and didn’t make the band snug enough to stay put.

I can’t wait to make more and think it would be great to embroider the owner’s name on the hat band to really personalize it.

The patterns aren’t available yet but add Patty’s blog to your feed reader to find out when they’re released.