Thursday, November 19, 2015

Swingset Skirt Review

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I had the lovely opportunity to be a part of the Sew-a-long over at Oliver & s for the Swingset Skirt and what a lot of fun it was!  As a panelist I was asked to sew up the skirt and not only give it a go, but add whatever I wanted.  My plan was to sew up the skirt as part of my girl's holiday outfits...but then my youngest, Clara, got asked to help lead the Pledge of Allegiance for the Veteran's Day Program at the high school. I looked through her closet and realized that she really didn't have any 'nice' red, white and blue clothes (except for the Moto Jacket by Jennuine Designs, which I blogged about here). What to do? Why, give the Swingset Skirt a test run before hitting the fancy fabric, of course!
This is my finished 'patriotic' Swingset Skirt. I pretty much made it as is, except I added a couple of inches to the underskirt, because I wanted the red and white stripes to peak through and I used twill tape for the draw string instead of making my own.  The thing I learned by doing a run through was that I needed to disregard the instruction of putting right sides together to sew the over skirt to the doing this your seams will end up on the outside (the side that will be seen when sticking out) of the skirt, which is not what I wanted. But all in all, I love it, she loves it so it's a win/win!

Up next were there fancy skirts {insert disclaimer that these pictures are not my best...the only day I had to take pictures outside this week was the day it was raining cats and dogs. I put it off and was only able to get quick early morning before the mad rush to school shots} 
They do love how they turned out though and I can't wait to finish the shirts to go with them!
 As for the pattern: Swingset Skirt by Oliver & s  which now goes up to size 14!!!
It is a very straight forward pattern and is quite simple...but the possibilities are endless. People have added pockets, played with the under/over skirt combination, used interesting fabrics and much more. It worked well with the light weight wool I used in the patriotic skirt as well as the fancy fabrics for these 2 skirts.
Materials: Besides the 2 fabrics, you also need elastic...that's it! 
 I deviated a little from the pattern/instructions in that I played with the length of the skirts a little and I used ribbon instead of making my own drawstring tie.  I also added a little ribbon in between the two skirts to gather it up on one turns out the my youngest daughter loves it and the other with the snow flake overlay does not, so it might be taken off that one. I also realized that shear fabrics would not work well with a casing...duh, the elastic would show I had to deviate a little more by creating a pseudo waistband. I just cut the top 3 inches of the over skirt from my solid fabric, attached it to the over skirt and then proceeded as per the instructions...pretty simple fix, really. 
 The Good: Easy versatile pattern that you can buy in paper or pdf form from the Oliver & S website.
It does not require any super sewing skills...just a great beginners pattern. It is easy to make and doesn't take a ton of fabric. But with a little imagination you could make this skirt countless ways! 
 No bad or ugly to report, so I give this one 5 bolts for a great beginner pattern that is VERY versatile!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Pattern Review: SLPCO Saige Dress

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Name of the pattern: Saige Dress

Sizes available: 2T - 12

Special materials required: Knit (about 1-2 yds depending on the version you make), elastic or cording

Skill level required: Experienced beginner

How you came to choose the pattern: I am a pattern tester for this company.

Did you deviate from the pattern?  Small deviation.  On the “bib” portion, I lined the black one since I used Perfection Fused Leather and it would have been hard to turn it under.  On the brown leather, I just left the edge raw.

This dress fit her great.  It didn’t have any ruffles and gathers, and was a great tween item.  She got tons of compliments on her SuperGirl dress.  I went with her measurements and graded between sizes (in this case I did 8W, 12L).  The pattern instructions were fairly straight forward, and this is a pretty easy pattern to make.

I made both versions with some leather additions (since I have a stockpile!), and it helped to make them look more mature.  The bib section was great for adding iron-on vinyl embellishments, which she requested.  The drawstring is cute, and I added some beads to the ends to give them some interest, and also to make sure they wouldn’t slip through the holes for the drawstring.

I don’t really have anything bad on this one.  It was a fairly easy sew.

Nada.  It is cute and she loves it. 

Overall pattern rating:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Swingset Sew-A-Long with Oliver & S

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Guess what I have going on...go check out the Swingset Skirt Sew-Along happening this month over at Oliver & s.

There is a fun sew-a-long going on for this very versatile skirt (just check out what the other panelist are doing) and it's perfect for the tweens because it goes up to size 14! There will also be some great prizes for some lucky sew-a-long what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pattern Review: Jalie Dolman Top

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In August, I (Major Moma) shared my sewing plan for my 11 year old's school wardrobe.  Today I will review one of the tops in that plan.  It turned out every bit as great as I hoped and it will be a staple in my sewing.  It is a dolman top which is quite trendy.  On an installment of Would They Wear That, I looked at a few dolman tops and this was one of the ones I decided to try myself.

Name of the pattern:  Jalie 3352


Pattern Source:  Jalie is a Canadian pattern company.  They sell both paper and pdf patterns and have a wide variety of styles.  If you need dance wear, they seem to specialize in that genre of clothing.

Sew Cool for the Tween Scene

Sizes available: This, like many of Jalie's patterns comes in a HUGE range of sizes from little girls to plus size women.  The Jalie 3352 comes in 27 sizes so no matter who you are sewing for, you could use this pattern.

Special materials required:  This was a simple knit top but the pattern does recommend a knit with at least a 40% stretch.  I think I will try one for me with knit on the sleeves.

Skill level required: This is certainly a beginner level pattern and if you are new to knits, a great one for you to start with ... especially if you go with the short sleeve version because the sleeves are cut on!

How you came to choose the pattern: I have wanted to try a Jalie pattern for a long time and this seemed like a good one to try.  I love a dolman top so I bought it as much for me as for my tween.

Sew Cool for the Tween Scene

Good:  This pattern was so easy and a quick sew.  It is also right on trend and helps make a tee shirt not so basic.

Bad:  Jalie patterns do not have extensive instructions.  There are step by step directions but not a lot of pictures.  If you are new to sewing, I highly recommend you read all the instructions a couple of times before you start, just so you understand everything.  The Jalie instructions are not near as sparse as a Burda pattern, but there is not not a lot of hand holding.

Overall pattern rating:  I give this one 5 of 5 bolts!  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pattern Review: Boardwalk Skirt

Pin It We recently had a first at Sew Cool; we were offered some fabric to try out and then if we liked it, we were asked to share it with all of you.

You may have seen companies that will print the fabric of your own design on various types of fabric.  And they usually also have other's designs that you can simply choose from.  Well, there is a new company out there called My Fabric Designs and they sent us one yard of basic cotton woven fabric.  My Fabric Designs actually has 26 types of fabrics ranging from voile, to knits, pant weights! Just think of the coordinating outfits you could make using the same print on different fabric types. The price of these custom fabrics are not inexpensive but the designs are quite unique and you have so many options to make sure it is the perfect fabric for a special project.

 I had my daughter search through the site and pick the print, since I would be sewing it for her. There were a TON to choose from!  I would have had a horrible time picking one.  There were all sorts of different styles so I am sure you all will something that appeals to you.  (And, in case you are considering checking out My Fabric Designs' selection, make sure you get to the bottom of this post because we have a coupon code and a give away!)


She picked a print with many different nautical compasses with shades of greens and blues.  When it arrived, I washed it up to see what it was like.  It did shrink a little, but not bad for a cotton and I still had over 35 inches with 54 inches wide.

It had such a large bold design, I thought it would be good to not cut it up to much and find a pattern that would allow it to simply shine.  After I looked a bit online, I realized I already owned the right pattern but had yet to sew it.

tween sewing
yes, her eyes are closed ... and they were in EVERY picture.  ugh.

Name of the pattern:  Boardwalk Skirt 

Pattern Source:  You can find it at Go To Patterns and at least for now, it is FREE.

Sizes available: 6 months to 14 years

Special materials required:  This is a double layer skirt that has a drawstring option and a lace trim option so you will need those materials if you want to go those routes.  You will also need elastic for the waist band.

Skill level required: Beginner

tween sewing
I actually color blocked the under skirt with a dark blue in the back and light in the front.

Good:  It is an easy skirt with a little something special because of the double layer.  It only took a couple hours and that is with distractions.

Bad:  My tween was a bit unsure about it because it was such a full skirt.  She no longer desires great twirl factor or fancy gathers and ruffles ... she thinks she has grown out of them.  So, you need to talk to your tween before sewing it.  By the end of the day, she was satisfied with it but I am not how often she will fish it out of the closet.

tween sewing

Overall pattern rating:  I am unsure about this rating.  It is a gathered skirt and not anything wildly different.  However, the instructions were very clear and it was the perfect pattern to show off a fabric like the one I got at My Fabric Designs.

And as promised, we have a coupon code!!!  Just head on over to My Fabric Designs and use the code blog25 and you will get 25% off your next purchase.  (oh, and none of the links in this post are affiliate links)

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