Thursday, September 8, 2016

Heidi and Finn Dorset Dress

One of my favorite things to do is pattern test.  I'm not sure if it's the camaraderie of sewing the same thing at the same time as others or that there is a hard and fast deadline so I actually allow myself to commit time to sewing and complete a project in a timely manner.  Why is that always so hard to do? 

If you've visited my blog ever before you know that Heidi and Finn patterns are by far my favorite ones out there.  Her patters are quick and easy to follow along.  Everything is neat and tidy with great pictures to illustrate steps, let's be honest I rarely read, I just follow along the pictures (except when I'm testing I read...that's part of the deal).  But each pattern finishes with clean lines and looks professional even for beginner sewers.

The Dorset dress, by Heidi and Finn, is a simple, comfy and modern staple in any little girls’ closet. This jumper style dress has been updated with clean modern lines, a slim a-line fit with an above the knee hem.

I tested a size 4 for my ever growing 3 year old.  I am in total denial that she is so big.  I would say the fit was a little big on her, since she is three, but the perfect size for growing into.  I think she would be out of it too fast had I've done the 4.  The material used was a good quality quilting cotton picked up at my local Joann fabric.  It was regularly $12/yd and I snatched it up with an extra 50% off clearance for a whopping $3.50/yd.  Since this dress required less than a yard to make, and I used buttons from my stash, I spent less on this dress than the coffee I drank while making it!  A little bit sad I know....

The only modification I made to it, and I don't even know if you'd call it that is I really loved the yellow accent with the navy plaid so I lined it with, and backed the buttons with, some yellow I had.   I also lined the flutter sleeve with it for some interest.  I did this by cutting double (so 4) sleeve pieces.  I followed the directions and folded the piece in half and then pressed it.  I then measured a 1/4 of an inch from the crease and cut all 4 sleeve pieces like this.  I took the larger piece of all the sections and matched one yellow to each plaid and pinned them right sides together.  I sewed a 1/4 seam down the pressed crease.  I then double checked that my modifide sleeve piece was the same size as the pattern piece and continued with the pattern as written.

So here she is, the Dorset Dress by Heidi and Finn on my youngest model who is super tricky to photograph....I haven't groomed her quite like her big sis just yet!!!!  Take a look, ask some questions and go out and get it!

This pattern is available for sale in her etsy shop on sale this week for $7.95 ($6.36 USD).  Scoop it up while it's on sale.  Also, word on the street is she has two patterns getting ready for testing in the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled and your fingers crossed I get selected again!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Carter's Dress Hack

 I've been on the hunt for the perfect Easter dress to complete the sister duo so while at the mall I checked Carter's.  I don't shop there very often (probably because I'm not on their email list so they don't lure me the way the Gap daily promotions tend too) but I had a gift card and thought what the heck!

While I was looking around I stumbled on this adorable dress and fell in love only to find out the largest size it came in was 24 months.  Short of having another baby, just for this dress, I bought it for a friend's new baby and pouted about it for the rest of the day.

Part way home, I remembered my husband used to have a shirt like this.  He went through a period where he was splitting the sleeves of all of his shirts right near the elbow so I kept them thinking I could do something with them one day.  Fast forward two years and I was thrilled to find this exact shirt.  Tried it on my model, did a few calculations and went to work.   Here's the best part, kept my money in my pocket (even though it's 50% off currently and only $12) and made my girl a free dress from her Daddy's shirt!

I started by removing the arms where they were attached and using a pattern I am familiar with to cut out the body and sleeves.  One of the tutorials on pinterest said to use a dress as a guide adding seam allowance but I was not comfortable with that.  I used Heidi and Finn's Pumpkin Spice Pattern  which I had pattern tested (and apparently never blogged about...huh) because it has a similar shape to how I wanted the dress to come out.  I will say I did have to adjust the body a little bit and make it a bit smaller for the arms to fit nicely but that is probably due to the rough job I did cutting it out.  The top section was cut all in one piece so I cut down only the right side of the photo and then straight across the bottom and then flipped the pattern piece to the other side and did the same thing.  I made sure that the top portion was about 1/2 an inch longer than I wanted to allow for the attaching of the skirt.  That left just attaching the sides of the body for this portion to be complete.

I used the sleeves for the sleeves (imagine that?).  Again I used the sleeves from the pumpkin spice pattern  but adjusted the length to my preference.  I knew I wanted them long enough for a small roll at the bottom.  To accomplish this I used 4 sleeve pieces (2 for each sleeve) and attached them at the bottom then sewed the sides together and flipped it inside out to make a tube.  This left a raw edge at the top of the sleeve where it would be attached to the top of the dress. Before I flipped it though I attached the button packet (seen below) to one side of the sleeve which would become the inside of the sleeve.  I ironed this all smooth and attached the sleeve.

My shirt had a pocket but the scale was too large for my dress.  Luckily my front and back body pieces were short enough to finish above the pocket while still also leaving enough length below the pocket for the skirt.  I cut the bottom about an inch longer than I wanted the finished length to be then cinched it to the same size as the top.  When attaching the body to the skirt  I ironed the raw edge of the top up 1/2 an inch and unfolded it to attach the right sides of the button packet together in the front.  I did this first and then adjusted my cinching to ensure the skirt had an even look.  I then attached the skirt to the body with the two right sides facing and raw edges lined up.  There should be a crease where you ironed right above this.  Tuck the skirt up and pull the body down and top stitch into place.

In my opinion, what made this look so professional is that I kept and used most of the original construction.  For example.  Below is a picture of the button packet on the sleeve, I removed it, cut it slightly larger than I wanted it, turned the raw edge inside and top stitched it closed.  The collar, the buttons in the front, the panel in the back and the bottom seam, are all from the original shirt so they are neat and tidy without doing a thing.  That made this a super quick easy sew.

Here's my final product!

I'll have to add some other photos of it on my girl, but they are currently on my husbands phone. 

I'd love to hear if this helped or what you were able to create!  Happy sewing!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Finchley Messenger Bag Testing for Heidi and Finn

If you haven't already figured it out, I love Heidi and Finn patterns.  Whenever she puts a call out for a new pattern to be tested I jump on it because they are always great and need very few modifications.  Each pattern can be made by someone new to sewing yet have a professional finish to them.

This is her first bag pattern but she's been sewing it for years before now releasing it to the public.  The beauty of this simple bag pattern is it comes with a few ways of appliqueing or you can customize it however you want.  It also comes with a bonus wallet.  The wallet is super cute and an easy sew.  Perfect for your younger friends who want to feel like an adult as well.

For testing this pattern Christine, the designer, told us we could applique in anyway we wanted.  I don't know if it's these warm temps in Florida, but I have spring and more importantly Easter on the brain.  I quickly decided to do bunny bags for the girls to use with their Easter dresses.  This was a quick easy sew and based on the girls' initial reaction there is no doubt in my mind that there will be many more of these in our future.  The longest part in this process was appliqueing the purse.  I used the fruit template that comes with the pattern to balance my face.  I folded it in half to find where the nose would go and then half again to make the eyes and length of the whiskers.  I used a washable sewing marker to mark this off and then hand stitched with embroidery floss.  I made a rough pattern for the ears (yes I did reuse a parent reminder from my daughters school...hehe) to mark off and cut the ears.  I then attached them a few inches down from where the flap would be attached to the main portion of the bag and to the sides of the eyes.  I made a wool pompom for the nose (there are a million tutorials on pinterest for this) and then followed the rest of the pattern tutorial exactly.

The only other change I made to this tutorial was I couldn't find the slider at my local fabric store to make an adjustable strap so I just made it stationary.  I measured the length of the strap on my daughter and then just shortened it to where I thought it should fall and stitched it on.   While the adjustable strap would likely last them longer its a quick sew and I can easily whip them up a new one. Let's be honest, white bags are not going to last forever!

The Finchley bag is set to release in the next few days.  You can find this great pattern and all the Heidi & Finn pattern here on etsy.