Monday, September 26, 2016

Pemberley Pullover Pattern Review

Looking for a good Autumn Staple? Well you should check out the latest pattern by Peek-A-Boo Patterns. The adult version is called the Pemberley Pullover and the girl version is called the Piccadilly Pullover. I had the chance to test the XXS of the adult version and this fit my size 12/14 wearing 13 year old.
Between the 2 patterns you run the gambit of sizes, with the girl version stopping at size 12 and the adult xxs seems to be about a 14.
As for the pullover itself, it has 2 neck finishes, just a band and a cowl seen here.  The crossover at the band in the front is a nice added touch, which was not at all hard to do.
The nice thing about the pattern is that with different types of fabric you could have a casual, sporty or dressier look. The main body requires anything with 25% stretch and the bands and neck finish works better with something with a little more stretch.  I used a stretchy sweater like fabric that behaved similar to sweatshirt fleece for the body and just some knit that matched.
Sophia really liked the tunic length so she could wear it with her leggings.
This would be a great pattern for someone fairly new to knits, but ready to move on from pajamas and t-shirts. The instructions were easy to follow and the pattern came together easily.
So if you are looking for a new Fall pattern to sew, go check The Pemberley/Piccadilly out! It's a good one to add to the collection!
This one gets a 5 Bolts
for the easy sew and the trendiness of the pattern that will be a welcome addition to the Fall/Winter sewing repertoire.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Pattern Review: Blaverry - Cruise shorts and Star top

These are patterns that can easily transition into fall/winter.  They come in the different lengths of short, medium and long for sleeve and pant length.  I used my daughter's measurements to come up with a 7W and 14L, and they both fit well.  She does need a wider shoulder than the 7, so next time will be some different pattern grading.


Pattern sizing: 2T-16Y – I blended 7W and 14L.  She will need a wider shoulder on the top for next version.


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern when you were finished sewing? Yes

Were the instructions complete and easy to follow? Yes - she uses illustrations and not photos. 

Fabric used: I used Modern Jersey from Spoonflower and a cotton/lycra knit for the top.  A stretch denim for the shorts, with woven in the pockets.


Did you alter the pattern in any way? I blended sizes.  On the shorts I did not add in the elastic, as when I tried them on her they fit perfectly.  She did say the back popped out a bit when she wore them, so next time I will put a little elastic just in the back.  I also didn't do the welt pocket perfectly, which was totally my error.  Late night sewing.  The length on her shorts are in between the shortest and next shortest for the size 14.  I had her try them on and put them at the length she wanted.  She gets picky.


Was there anything you disliked or would change? No

Would you sew it again? I will definitely be sewing these again for Fall in the longer lengths.

Would you recommend it to others? Yes.  They have nice details and finishing.

Do you consider the pattern beginner/intermediate/advanced? Advanced Beginner.  The Chinos have a zipper fly and welt pockets, which isn't hard to do, but time consuming.  Just follow the directions and you should be fine.

Does the pattern include layers for easy printing? Yes

Seam allowance used in the pattern? 3/8”

Is the pattern cut or no cut pages? Cut



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Come join our tween sewing community!

Hello all!  Long time no see.  Life has been hectic for all of us ladies and at this point, we will not be able to give you the great content that you were used to on a frequent basis.  Our posts will be rather sporadic.

BUT .....

We still are very passionate about sewing for tween boys and girls.  If you are too, please join us at our Facebook page or our Facebook group, Sewing for Tweens.

At our FB page, we will share occasional projects or patterns that we think you would be interested in.

Sewing for Tweens is a community for everyone to share projects and patterns with each other.  If you want to keep seeing great ways to keep sewing and creating for your tween boy or girl, come join us!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pattern review: Blaverry Ollie and Nina

I love how this outfit turned out for her.  It kind of reminds me of a mod style.  The only issue she had with this, was she is uncomfortable in just a skirt.  She is a skort kind of girl.  I need to make up some shorts for her to wear underneath and then she will be all set!

Patterns:  Ollie (top) and Nina (skirt)

Pattern sizing: 2T-16Y – I blended 6W and 14L, BUT I didn’t make the armhole as long as the 14. I think it is a little long, so I cut mine a good inch shorter. You might want to compare the pattern with another tank to determine if you think it is long or not.  This is consistent with the previous review.  It might just be my daughter, too.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern when you were finished sewing? Yes

Were the instructions complete and easy to follow? Yes - she uses illustrations and not photos.

Fabric used: I used Modern Jersey from Spoonflower

Did you alter the pattern in any way? Just as I said above, blended sizes and had a shorter armhole. I had to piece my back due to some fabric challenges.

Was there anything you disliked or would change? Change the armhole length to a little shorter.


Would you sew it again? Yes, but I want to add some shorts underneath and turn it into a skort. My kid doesn’t like plain skirts, and feels self-conscious in them.


Would you recommend it to others? Yes.

Do you consider the pattern beginner/intermediate/advanced? Beginner, if you aren’t scared of knits. This was a pretty easy and quick sew.

Does the pattern include layers for easy printing? Yes

Seam allowance used in the pattern? 3/8”

Is the pattern cut or no cut pages? Cut



Friday, August 19, 2016

Fabric - custom printing

Hello there, Stacy here, and I thought I could address a few things about custom fabric printing.

The first thing you need to know is that you will never, ever, ever find "a deal" with custom fabric printing.  Even when they run that once-in-a-blue-moon sale, it is still more than a yard of fabric at Joann's - at full price.

That being said, it is a great way to make your clothes unique, and even have your child help you design a fabric.

In designing fabric, you need to know how to do a basic repeat, so it will seamlessly run together.  Heather Ross has a book that details pattern designs, though I haven't read it.  I figured out how to do it through some online tutorials and playing with designs in Photoshop.

Which is the other thing, you need a design program.  I use Photoshop, but I imagine you can use Illustrator, or any other program where you can have layers and can move around shapes individually.

Now then, once you have a pattern, there are a few options for printing.  In the U.S.A., there are a few commercial printers that will print small runs of fabric, with just swatches and fat quarters up to yardage.  They have many different types of fabrics, too.  The two that I have used are Spoonflower and MyFabricDesigns.

In sewing for my tween, I know that she likes soft knits.  She prefers to wear things I make in those fabrics, and not something like quilting cotton.

Dress from my design in Modern Jersey from Spoonflower - pattern is the Saige dress from The Simple Life Pattern Company


One thing I have found with both Spoonflower and MyFabricDesigns is that they have a hard time printing a non-faded looking black on a natural fiber base.  That means a cotton knit with a black background will look like you have washed it 20 times already.   If you want an all poly base, then you are good to go.  They can usually print a decent black on those, so for Spoonflower I like the Modern Jersey option.  It is a soft, drapey knit that can take a black.

The sleeves here are Modern Jersey - good saturated colors.  Top is the Star top from Blaverry.

This shows the faded blacks on cotton bases at Spoonflower and MyFabricDesigns

I have also found that you won't necessarily end up with a yard of fabric.  In printing, the fabric stretches.  You would think that they would know this, but I have been shorted inches of fabric before even getting to the shrinkage from washing it.  MyFabricDesigns was worse than Spoonflower on this, and when I contacted customer service they said they would look into it and then *crickets*.  So, yeah, not a fan of them right now.

You can order a swatch book, and see the quality of the fabric, too.  That might help in choosing what base you would like to print your design on.

Many are now offering a lycra that can be used for exercise leggings.  I have some of that, but haven't made it up yet.  It is more expensive, but a good quality from Spoonflower.

These are all poly based fabrics - left to right - Sport lycra, Performance Knit, Modern Jersey - they look better in person - this was taken on my phone.


If you are on Facebook, there are several custom fabric groups, where many of them get their fabric printed in China.  I have gotten the name of a supplier there, but have yet to pull the trigger on that.  It is a bit of a risk with going international.  If you decide to buy from a custom fabric group, there is also a bit of a risk.  Several in the last year have gone under, and Paypal protection has been the only way everyone did not lose all their money.  If you do layaway, though, no protection.

So!  What to do?

Well, I have followed some of the custom groups, and if they don't have delays and seem to get the fabric out right after getting it in, that is a good sign.  You can definitely tell the ones that are more organized and seem to understand how to run a business.  If there are any warning signs, just stay away.  Here are a few I follow that have seemed to steer clear of the drama (there is a lot of drama in the custom fabric world):

  • Zenith and Quasar - they have STEM type of fabrics.  I have a "Fly Like A Girl" panel with Amelia Earnhardt that I have to make up into something for my daugther.  It's on the list.  Right now they have "Vote Like A Girl" pre-sale with Suffragettes on them.  I need to figure out what I want from that run!
  • Sugar Ink - They tend to have some pop culture and fun prints that are relevant.  I like the gamer prints they have had, but I also got a Le Petit Prince panel and print that I have no idea what to make with it, but my high school French teacher would have died for it. ;)
  • Affordable Fabrics - Don't let the name fool's the same price as the others.  I got some Deadpool and Harry Potter fabric here.  Nice quality and good customer service.
  • Star Dust and Moon Beam Fabric - I have a pre-order here for some music note fabric for my violin and violist.  We'll see how it all works out with this one, but they seem fairly good so far.

You can first order retail from a host and see the type of fabric, and if you think it is worth the price.  Pre-orders are how they all basically run, and you might not get retail unless you stalk their page right after they put it up.  I have mostly purchased retail after getting burned by one host.

This is a shirt I made from the Sugar Ink custom fabric group.  It is from the Fallout video game and perfect for a tween boy.  A lot of these groups have busy prints.  Use these sparingly, as they can make them look like pj's on older boys. The panels are definitely the way to go.  I have another few shirts to make for my son out of panels.  The pattern here is a modified Ottobre pattern. 

So there you have it!  Hope this was helpful in navigating the custom knit world.