Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween| Brownie Goose Pattern Flip

Flip this Pattern- Brownie Goose, Hattie

April was the first time I ever participated in a "Flip the Pattern" with Frances Susanne and it was so fun!  You can see my flip here.  It truly inspired me to do more and while I've had every intention to do the next and the next and the next, we decided to move from Toronto to Florida and my life is currently chaotic. I have checked in monthly, voted for my favourites and longed for a time I could rejoin.  And, while my life is still spread across two countries, my parents home, my in-laws home and a storage unit, Halloween always gets me sewing for my girls and getting creative.  In fact,  Halloween 2011 was my very first "Flip the pattern" ever, even though that wasn't a thing then.  I used a Heidi and Finn pattern I loved and altered it ever so slightly to make a Shamu costume for our whale loving daughter. 

This year I was worried she would want to be Elsa and look like every other child trick or treating in 2014.  She actually settle on Rapunzel which I thought could be fun, naturally baby sis would be pascal.  She then changed her mind to Aurora.... this actually shocked me because Aurora is the one princess I know very little about.  I wasn't sure where she was coming from since there hasn't been much hype about her until...the re-release of Sleeping Beauty on DVD October 7.  My girl is ahead of the curve.  So while everyone else will be Aurora in 2015, my girl will be leading the charge on the next big princess.

Once we decided on Aurora I set to work trying to figure out who Baby sister would be and decided on Merryweather.  Nothing could be more perfect!

And here's how we ended up with our flip.  I had already purchased the Brownie Goose Hattie pattern and was dying to give it a try.  I absolutely love the vintage vibe it has.  When I saw it was this months flip, it was the right motivation to print that Hattie and get one made.  So Merryweather's costume was inspired by the Hattie.  The gathered sleeve and the stand up collar are the perfect Disney costume details.  

I didn't make huge didn't need huge changes.  It fit so perfectly for what I had in mind.  I started with blue broadcloth, this was not a recommended material and I would not recommend using it for this pattern, but it was cheap and this was a costume not an everyday dress.  The fabric was thin so it was difficult to get the structured look that I love about this pattern, but again for a costume it did the trick.  I used tulle instead of fabric for the collar and doubled the width of the neck ruffle to 4 inches to make it larger and more Disney like.  I also used the selvage length and didn't cut it down nearly what I says in the pattern as tulle is much finer than other fabrics and I wanted to give it a fuller look.  I added tulle to the bottom of the skirt and then put a tutu our daughter already had under the dress to make the skirt appear fuller (although our almost 18 month old has a fairly similar shape to Merry Weather to begin with!).   I added sequence to the neckline and a sequence and ruffle embellishment to the bottom to give it the fairy detail and make it special for Halloween.
I added a cape by purchasing I meter of broadcloth.  It was a super simple construction, again relying on embellishments to give the fairy costume look.  Here is what I did. 1. Folded the fabric in half 2. Then I traced two semi-circles at the top sides then trimmed the outer edges to leave the semi circles at the top.  3. I stitched it up leaving a small opening to turn it inside out.  4. I then folded the top section (the semi-circles and across to create a collar).  I then used a basting stitch to gather it and create a flowy look.  5. Cover the basting stitch with a ribbon or an extra piece of fabric.  See the terrible diagram below (I did feel like pictures helped explain my process).

The final touch....her hat.  I purchased a mini-brown cardboard witch hat from target and covered it with remaining fabric from the dress.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pattern Tester | Gardenia Dress By Cali Faye Collection

  I was recently selected to test the women’s Gardenia Dress by Cali Faye Collection.  I was so thrilled to get the email that I had been selected since I love her designs!  Knowing I would be on a serious time crunch, my husband was flying in for 4 days (He's moved for business, we will eventually join him), I set to work right away. 

  I was surprised at how easily the dress came together.  As I have said many times before, I am mainly self taught and I generally only sew for my kids, but the instructions were clear and easy to follow.  One of the things that impressed me the most was how not "homemade" it looked. This is my biggest fear sewing for myself and what has held me back from doing much of it in the past. Kids look cute in homemade, moms look frumpy.  This is not the case at all with the Gardenia Dress.  It is well crafted to look professionally finished and stylish.

  I used a sturdy jersey knit with lots of stretch and 100% recovery.  I was actually so impressed that my local fabric store had a great weight and colour in the fabric I was hoping for (this is not always the case for this store).  I selected a midnight blue colour with flecks of black with the hopes of styling this dress with boots and possibly a scarf here in Toronto for the colder weather or flats and a clutch when our family moves permanently to Florida.  

  Sarah was so gracious and sweet to work with, and responded so quickly to any questions I had during construction.  My only complaint with the pattern would be that the neck seemed rather large.  I am fairly flat chested so I have this problem a lot and felt as though I could have maybe gone down a size in  the top section.  The design is to be flowy but not too big.  Sarah took a look at the pattern and has reworked the scoop of the neck with her final release.  So, if you're worried it looks too low, it's been adjusted.

So now it's your turn!  Go ahead and grab this dress, a staple for anyone on the go wanting to look put together when really you only had 5 minutes!

Congrats Sarah on an great pattern, and thanks again for granting me the honour to help test!

The Gardenia Dress pattern can be purchased here and be sure check out her facebook page here to grab your 20% discount until Sunday, October 12th 11:59pm EST (Monday, October 13th 1:59pm AEDT).!