Monday, May 25, 2015

Designer Interview: Blaverry Patterns

Today we have a fun post for you.  In the past, we have interviewed designers of sewing patterns in order to get the inside scoop into their brand and creative process.  Here we get to interview Christie from Blaverry patterns.  Sally and I stumbled upon her brand on Etsy about a year ago and were excited about her style.  Now, Christie has a brand new website and just released a GREAT collection.  Her styles are streamlined and on trend but not overly trendy.


How would you describe the BLAVERRY brand? 
I developed BLAVERRY to have a clean and simple aesthetic that is very recognizable... something that parents and children of all ages will enjoy shopping and be inspired from.

 What makes BLAVERRY unique?
There are so many aspects that make BLAVERRY unique from other pdf pattern designers but here are a few differences to name a few:
The brand name itself is completely unique combining my 3 kids names into one.
My designs are very focused on everyday style that is comfortable and teen inspired.
BLAVERRY buyers get a shopping experience like no other starting with the easy to navigate web site, professional images, fun "behind the scenes" video and soon to come video tutorials. PLUS, with BLAVERRY you always get the BEST customer service available.

How long have you been designing patterns?
My history is long when it comes to sewing and designing but I will go back to when I decided to take my Kustom Kids Boutique designs to ebook over 6 years ago. I was one of the first designers to take my designs to ebook and after 1 year I sold the business. (now called Juvi Moon) A year ago I decided to make a come back but with a very different goal in mind.

What made you decide to be a pattern designer? 
My decision to get back into pattern designing came from a love of children's fashion, a desire to dress them in well made/fitted, unique clothes at an affordable price. 

What was your inspiration for the current collection?
Comfort with classic lines and unique detail elements are the main vibe with my current collection.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of putting together a collection and not just individual pattern releases?
Ahh, yes, it is very challenging to pull off complete collections verses individual patterns. The challenge of the time crunch is the hardest part. I am dealing with so many different patterns at different stages at one time, so organization is paramount. The guilt I feel over sending so many patterns in a short period of time to my INCREDIBLE testers is hard on me. (THANK YOU to my awesome team!) And sewing each pattern for all of the models in a short period is fun too, lol. But I LOVE every step of the process so it's a great reward to me.

So many designers shy away from the larger children’s sizes; what motivated you to size up to 16yr?
The older sizes is where my true passion is. My daughter and I really obsess over super stylish clothing so the teen styles are just right for me.

What's to come?
I have a lot of great and exciting things that are lined up for BLAVERRY.
I will be posting "Instructional Videos" in the coming days.
I will be expanding my patterns to Boys this summer.
Then adult patterns and more will follow.
I look forward to growing my facebook group so that we can come together to do fun events like "sew a-longs"

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pattern Review: Decklyn Jacket

Like many of you all, I am a member of several sewing related FaceBook groups. A few weeks ago in my feed appeared some of the coolest looking handmade tween clothes I have ever seen.  They were made by Kelly from Handmade Boy.  She was using the new patterns from Blaverry and they are perfect for the older girl that you may sew for.  She has kindly agreed to do a review of the Decklyn jacket that is part of that new line.


 Hello! I'm Kelly and I blog over at Handmade Boy.  I have been sewing with the purpose of perfecting my skill for about 3 years. However, I have been sewing kids' Halloween costumes, throw pillows, and a few curtains for close to 15 years. I am self taught, learning primarily from paper patterns and books.

My blog has a strong focus on sewing for boys without having a "My Mommy made my clothes" look. But I do sew a lot for my daughters, also! They are 10 and 13, so of course, what I sew for them has to be in style and on point with today's current trends. My younger daughter has a very defined style. Or styles. She is all over the place with what she is willing to wear. Though she does have a few "rules" on what she doesn't care for. Ruffles, Peter Pan collars, frills, florals, chevron, polka dots and stripes are all out. It really narrows down the fabric and pattern selections, doesn't it. Luckily, she has a list of designers that she likes and Blaverry is high up on that list. The things she loves about Blaverry are that they are not little girl styles. These patterns are designed with tweens and teens in mind! They feature clean lines, modern details like exposed zippers and very minimal ruffles and frills. One of my daughter's favorite things from Blaverry is the Decklyn

She loves this jacket and wears it A LOT. And gets compliments all the time on it. She is very proud to have custom made clothing and doesn't hesitate to tell people that it was made by her mother. Disbelief is a common reaction to that statement.

The Decklyn is available in sizes 2T-16. A HUGE size range! The pattern sizes are layered so you can print only the size you need.

Materials needed are mid weight cotton such as denim, twill, or light to mid weight leather for the main fabric, light weight fabric for the lining, snaps or buttons for the collar accent, a separating zipper and two 7" zippers. I used a lighter weight denim with a slight stretch to it for the main fabric and my snake's skin fabric is a stretch denim also. I used a quilter cotton for the jacket lining.

The Decklyn pattern is for an intermediate seamstress. The directions in the pattern are clear and easy to follow and use illustrations to accompany the written directions. The written directions are short and to the point. They are not what I call "hand holding" instructions and do assume some basic sewing skills such as how to ease in a collar or how and where to topstitch.

The belt was a feature of the pattern during the testing phase, but is not included in the finished pattern. It would be an easy addition to do on your own though, if you like the look of it. (My daughter loves the belt. ;) )

The Good: Great design that is perfect for a trendy girl who loves custom style. Layered sizes, large size range, clean to the point instruction, fully lined with all seams enclosed, and professional results.

The Bad: I wish I would have sized up so she could get extra time out of this. It's slim fitting and a crop length, so if in doubt, size up! However, the pattern did run true to size for us and the pattern does state to size up to use as outerwear. My daughter tends to just wear a tank top under this and wears it like a cardigan instead of a jacket.

The Ugly: I can't say we have any! With how much use this jacket has seen, it's safe to say, it's a hit. And, it has been through the washer and dryer more than a dozen times and it still looks great! So go back and add sturdy construction to the list of good.

Over all rating:  5 of 5 bolts

Monday, May 11, 2015

Remix of the Slouchy Sweater

Previously I  reviewed the Slouchy Sweater  by BurdaStyle.  Back then the pattern was free, but now it costs 99 cents and still a good deal.  My pictures in that post are pretty blurry ... I am horrible with pictures (not a good thing when you love to blog) but these are bad even for me.

But, Abi has worn this sweater a lot and used it as an extra layer in the winter and a light jacket during the warmer months whenever needed.

Burdastyle pattern review

This Spring, I thought I would make another one but with slight changes.

I cut the back on the fold and straightened it out so that it does not have the same curve it is designed to have.  Then, I cut the front pieces but because the back was less wide, they didn't fit exactly on the shoulders and I accommodated that with little reverse box pleats at the shoulder.

I also shortened the sleeves to a 3/4 length.

And left off the band that was supposed to go around the front and along the bottom.  The knit I used was double sided; one with polka dots and the other with stripes, so I played with flipping the fabric and the inside looks cool as it is worn loose.

Burdastyle pattern review

I decided to finish the edges with simply serging the bottom and the neckline.  My thread was very neutral and blended well.

This version of the slouch sweater is not very fancy and has very simple finishes.  But Abi likes it for another layer and was a super quick sew.

Burda's version
*** And until May 31st, 2015, BurdaStyle has their videos on sale for 30% off!  Just click HERE!!! (affiliate link) ***

Friday, May 8, 2015

Pattern Review: BurdaKids 9482

We are happy to welcome back Eliza of Eliza Threads for a pattern review.  She was so happy with the way this pattern sewed up she contacted us to share it.  Of course we completely understand an urge to share a great pattern!


I’m a self taught sewer and have been sewing since I was a girl. Mostly for me but now I have girls of my own I love to sew for them too!! I think this website specifically for tweens is a great idea – it’s a tricky age. My girls are 9 and 12 and now they are tweenagers  they don’t like the cutesy kids stuff much anymore so its great to see what others are sewing for their tweens too!

pattern review by Eliza Threads

Name of the pattern:  Burdakids 9482

Pattern Source: Burda patterns sold at local Clegs  (*Your local fabric store likely carries Burda paper patterns.)

pattern review by Eliza Threads

Sizes available: Sizes run from 4-14 and I made the 14 for my now 13 year old and it was perfect. She’s taller than me now and these hoodies fit me so a 14 kids is equivalent to an Australian size 8-10 in grown-ups size!

Special materials required: I didn't use any but if you put the cord tie in you need a toggle or beads for the ends. I made two versions of this, one in a beautiful wool merino fleecy and a linen knit. Both lovely fabrics and well loved by my daughter but the linen knit stretched to the max and I had to take it in and up at the sleeves. The pictures show the hoodie before I altered it.

pattern review by Eliza Threads

Skill level required: Beginner to Intermediate. There are no special techniques involved, mostly straight stitching and the instructions are good.   

How you came to choose the pattern: I went looking at a local fabric shop called Clegs in the Burda pattern book for a hoodie pattern. I liked this pattern because it looked nice and roomy.

Did you deviate from the pattern?  Only in that I didn't put the button holes in to have a pull cord around the hood, it didn't need it.

pattern review by Eliza Threads

Good: I think this is a really great style – perfect for a boy or a girl.

Bad: Nope no bad

Ugly: Not ugly at all!!

Overall pattern rating: 5 bolts  

More details on my blog:   Eliza Threads

Thank you Eliza for sharing this pattern and everyone, if you want to learn more about this top or other things Eliza has sewn, pop on over to her blog.

Do you have a pattern you want to share a review on?  Then, by all means, contact us and we would love to broadcast a review!