Monday, May 30, 2016

Pattern Review: Hummingbird Dress

Today we have review of a lovely summer dress.  Nell is sharing her tween version of the Hummingbird Dress that she modified to fit her daughter's tastes.


My daughter Isabella, has a book of "fashion designs" (her words) and I try to make her designs for her. 
She has a tiny waist so it is really hard to find store bought clothing that fits her well. :) She has pretty amazing designs and I need to learn to digitize patterns. She wants to have a clothing line for tweens and teens.  :) She is a pretty cool kid. LOL 

Name of the patternHummingbird Dress by Rabbit Rabbit

website picture

Pattern Source: Rabbit Rabbit Creations (an Etsy shop)  It is available as a pdf for only $7.00

Sizes available: 1-12

sewing pattern review

Special materials required:
 - For the EVERYDAY dress, I suggest using medium weight cottons or poly/cotton blends. I used quilting cotton for both the skirt and bodice.

 - For the DRESS UP dress, I used quilting cotton for the bodice and straps and voile for the top skirt, and lawn for the bottom skirt. You will need something light and airy for the top skirt.

 - For the SOMETHING SPECIAL, I recommend a basic satin/silk lining fabric for the bodice (with whatever you wish to use as an overlay on the front) and use the same fabric for the base skirt with chiffon for the top skirt.

sewing pattern review

Skill level required:  Beginner

It is a really cute pattern that can be sewn for an everyday spring/summer dress to a special occasion by choosing different fabrics and lengths. 

Did you deviate from the pattern?  If yes, how?

Yes.  I added to the bodice width and length to fit my daughter’s chest.  I subtracted 10” to the length to make it look more of a tank dress and added a red grosgrain ribbon.

sewing pattern review

Good:  It worked really good! Now that I graded the bodice I can make any length skirt to fit the occasion.

Bad: N/A

Ugly: Nothing

Overall pattern rating: 5/5 bolts 

Thank you Nell for sharing your tips to make this dress even more tween friendly!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pattern Review - Domi Pants

Name of the pattern: Domi Sweatpants

Pattern Source: Sofilantes

Sizes available: 12M – 14Y

Special materials required: Knit about 1yd, drawstring

Skill level required: Experienced beginner (buttonholes for the drawstring)

How you came to choose the pattern: I received from designer for testing another of her patterns, and I got to choose which one I wanted.  This looked like a great versatile pattern for boys or girls. 

Did you deviate from the pattern?  No


Well, it's knit, so my kid is all over that.  They are comfortable pants for her to wear, and the "jogger" style is pretty popular right now.  It went together very easy.  I added silver beads to the end of the cording to make it look fancy. I made a 12 long and 10 wide for my tall skinny kid.  They have some room to grow, so that is nice.

I used a black cotton lycra knit, and the black/white knit is one I designed and had custom printed.

I didn’t have any issues with this pattern.  Make sure you interface the buttonhole area on the knit - that is important.  You also need to watch the ribbing placement on the pocket.  Mine were a little lopsided since my serger cut off one side more than the other.  Try to be more careful than I was.    

Overall pattern rating:

This is a great pattern and can be made for both boys and girls.


Side note:  The tops for her outfit are the Cami by The Simple Life Pattern Company, and the crop top is a pattern hack of the Sofilantjes Nivalis pattern.  I lowered the top half of the pattern and added a band that was 75% the width of the bottom hem to bring it in.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pattern Review: Blaverry Koko Skinny Jeans

We have a guest post today on making your tween skinny jeans.  Yes.  You can make your tween stylish jeans that they will want to wear!  Kristi over at Kopy Kat Kidz has come back to introduce us to a jean pattern by Blaverry.  Thank you Kristi for sharing with us.

Name of the pattern:

The pattern I’m using for this review is the Koko Skinny Jeans.

Blaverry sewing pattern

Pattern Source:

This pattern is from the company Blaverry found at the online store.

Sizes available:

2T to 16

Special materials required:

The extra things I needed were a jeans zipper and jeans needle.  You could also use top-stitching thread and rivets but I didn’t.

Skill level required:

I think this is probably an intermediate pattern to sew up.  I say this because zipper installations can feel a little tricky if you haven’t done them before and sewing jeans can seem overwhelming because there are quite a few steps.  Although now that I’m made several pairs of jeans it’s not that tough if you just go step by step and follow the pattern instructions carefully.

Blaverry sewing pattern
one piece pocket linings!

How you came to choose the pattern:

I chose this pattern because I had been looking for a skinny pair of jeans for my daughter that didn’t
include elastic in the waist (since she doesn’t appreciate that.)  And that truly look skinny and not just slim.  She’s very picky about her jeans, so if I am going to sew some they have to be near perfect in that department!
Blaverry sewing patterns
pocket lining to front

Blaverry sewing pattern
Look at that professional zipper fly!
Did you deviate from the pattern?  If yes, how?

I made them Capri length because that was all the fabric I had left over from my jeans.  Since this was my first pair of them I didn’t want to buy new fabric.  I also didn’t add the penny pocket or the rivets.

You can include button hole elastic in the waistband to make it adjustable, but I just sized down one size and made sure they fit before I finished up the waistband.  I also took in the legs a little (maybe ½”) to get the fit just perfect on her little legs.


The pocket installation is different than I have ever done but it is so professional looking.  I included a few pictures.  The wonderful thing about having the pocket like this is that it doesn’t pull out or bunch up like some pockets do.  I also loved how appropriately sized the back pockets are.  They aren’t too big or  small, just perfect.  Also you can print only the size you need so you don’t have to differentiate between all the size lines.  I love that feature in a pattern.

Blaverry sewing pattern


I think zipper installation is sometimes hard to wrap your brain around in general, but taking it slow and following the instructions carefully made for a great installation.


None, this was a wonderful pattern!

Overall pattern rating:

I am giving this pattern a top score of five bolts because the pattern was fantastic and the fit turned out great.  She has
worn them so much as it’s turning to spring.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pattern Review: Cocoon Dress

Today we have a guest reviewing a dress I have been eyeing ever since it was released.  Thank you April for sharing this very cute and tween friendly dress!


Hello. I’m April. I live in Lancaster County, Pa with my husband and three children (11, 11 and 8). I first started sewing when I got married. It was always household things like curtains or gifts. I never in a million years thought that I would sew clothing. I credit the online sewing community and PDF’s for taking me to the next step and constantly challenging me. I love creating things for my children and occasionally for myself. The best part is that they still enjoy wearing it. Although I am not a blogger you can find me on Instagram- aaspinetti

sewing pattern review

Name of the pattern: Cocoon Dress by Heidi and Finn

Pattern Source:  You can buy the PDF pattern at Heidi and Finn's etsy shop

Sizes avalable: 12M-12yr.

sewing pattern review

Special materials required:
  • 1/4 yard of bias tape, double fold, 1/4”-1/2” (knit or woven) for neckline 
  • regular or decorative zipper 6” or longer for back closure 

  • small piece of elastic and button for back closure 
  • matching thread, scissors, low tack tape (scotch, giftwrap, washi etc,)   

Skill level required: The pattern is listed as an easy sew. I would agree. I could see the zipper being intimidating if you haven't done one before. Although, the pattern walks you through the installation so clearly that this would be the perfect pattern to start with if it was your first. 

sewing pattern review

How you came to choose the pattern: This pattern caught my eye online (PDF sewing group on Facebook) among fellow sewists. There are so many different versions as well as a wide size range. I definitely was sold when I saw that it went up to size 12.

Did you deviate from the pattern?  If yes, how?  I did not deviate from the pattern at all. I made it twice. The first was the size 12 for my oldest daughter and then a size 6 for my youngest. Both times I followed the measurements and instructions exactly.

sewing pattern review

Good: I love the versatility this pattern offers. The color blocking allows you to play around with color and design. However, even without the color blocking, the shape of the dress speaks volumes. The different fabrics called for allow you to make it a great dress for colder weather (wool with boots) as well as a classic summer dress. The exposed zipper is my favorite part. It really does make the back pop with that small but bold detail. I am excited to try more when I get my hands on some unique zippers. This was my first exposed zipper. The instructions were super clear, making it a breeze. The entire pattern came together easily. The instructions and photographs made construction and interpretation from start to finish a simple and successful sew. I was worried about the fit in the chest area since she is starting to develop. Turns out the fit was dead on. I am looking forward to tackling more Heidi and Finn patterns in the future.

Bad: I felt like the bottom was a little too bulky or wide in the size 12. Almost like the proportions were off a bit. However, I used a faux suede (pink) for the color blocking potion on the bottom. It could be that this fabric is contributing to the bulk. I really wanted it to be a classic all grey dress. The recipient had different ideas ;) The pink was our compromise. Even though it seems a bit big on the bottom/sides I am confident that it will be worn and we might even have some growing room. I do not feel that this is an issue at all in the size 6.

Ugly: She really loves it and is happy to wear it. I consider this a win. No uglies here ;)

Overall pattern rating:  I give this pattern 4 bolts. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Pattern Review: Nivalis Tunic and Dress

Hello there!  I have another pattern from Sofilantjes today.  This was one that I did the pre-testing on it.  We went through a few changes before it went to the regular testers, and I think it turned out to be a very nicely written pattern.   It has several options to it, and it can be mashed together with the Hibernis tunic and top.  You can use the neckline and sleeve options interchangeably.

Name of the pattern: Nivalis Tunic and Dress

Pattern Source: Sofilantes

Sizes available: 12M – 14Y

Special materials required: Knit about 1.5 -2.5yds, depending on tunic or dress, optional buttons

Skill level required: Experienced beginner who isn't afraid of buttonholes (if you choose that option)

How you came to choose the pattern: I volunteered to pattern test it

Did you deviate from the pattern?  No

This is a nice tunic length top to use for colorblocking.  I really liked the hood option, and I did all of mine with that one.  There is also the buttoned cowl option, as well.  It went together super fast, and the pattern pieces fit together well.  

Her patterns are well laid out, and use illustrations.  At the end of her patterns, she has an all written instruction, and then all picture layout for the instructions.  In general, she does a great job in putting together a pattern and the instructions.  Very detailed.

I didn’t have any issues with this pattern, but I did see a few people that seemed confused.  Those may be more their issues, than the pattern, so these are more things to watch.

When putting on the cowl, make sure the overlap is correct so it can button.  I have seen several photos where the overlap was going in the wrong direction, so the buttonholes were on the bottom and you would have to have the cute buttons underneath or just not functional buttonholes.

The cap sleeve was put on incorrectly for a few of the people.  There isn't really a picture of the cap sleeve, so that might be an issue on this.  It has an odd shape to it.  Make sure you match up the cap sleeve head to the regular sleeve head to see what side to use, if you are confused.  

Overall pattern rating:
This is a great pattern.  I think the waist tabs are a little too juvenile, but that may just be my taste.  I think the hooded option is probably the most tween friendly part of this pattern.

4.5 bolts for this one.  I think the confusing cap sleeve probably needs a mention.