Monday, May 18, 2015

The Talor Tank

As I make progress sewing with knit fabrics, I often dreamed of finding a super quick, instant gratification kind of piece and I found it: The Talor Tank by Made for Mermaids!





Megan, the creative genius behind Made for Mermaids, called for testers and I was quick to volunteer. The time frame was very short and then I understood why: It REALLY is an easy sew! It took me about 1 hour - 1 hour and a half from cut to finish, is that quick or what?
This wonderful pattern comes in sizes 1/2 to 14 and has three different lengths: Tank, Tunic and Dress. The fit is perfect and it really makes for a comfortable piece to wear during the hot months of summer. I tested a tunic length for my 2 year old and loved how quickly it came together, definitely a beginner friendly pattern.
I made two tunics during nap time so it is really, really quick. The pattern offers recommendations on fabrics and notions to use and step by step instructions sure to please any skill level. There is also a mommy version created by Megan's sister Judy, from Patterns for Pirates, so if you are looking for a mommy and me quick sew, it is available. 
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and make lots for summertime. The pattern can be found here:

Made for Mermaids Talor Tank














Losing My Fear of Knit Fabrics


So, as I was getting  better at sewing all sorts of woven fabrics, there was still a type of fabric I was dying to work with: Knits. I saw them everywhere, from beautiful tops and woven knit combinations, to leggings and shorties. My first attempt at doing anything with knits was a Blue Ribbon Dress by Little Lizard King. I still chickened out a bit and did the up-cycled version,  meaning I would use a store bought shirt for the top part, but that's a start right?
The great thing about the Blue Ribbon pattern was that it included detailed instructions and recommendations on working with knit fabrics, such the use of a ball point or stretch needle, knit interfacing, etc. I loved the look so much, I was hooked and wanted to try more! It really is nothing to fear, it just takes practice and patience. So from that point on I tried some more Blue Ribbon dresses and more, I even tested a wonderful pattern for Made for Mermaids just recently! Here are some of my Blue Ribbon Attempts, getting better with practice. I just regret waiting so long to give knits a go.
This awesome and versatile pattern can be found here:

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!





My first Blue Ribbon from scratch: Paris theme.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Taking a Beginner Pattern to the Next Level

A few months back I had the opportunity to participate in a fun sew-along on the Little Lizard King Facebook group, what an inspiring display of creative greatness! Just being surrounded by such amazing and creatively talented individuals makes one definitely try to step up their game and get out of your comfort zone. 
I marveled at all the creations in the sew along and decided to try to up my game a little and add tons of color details to an otherwise dull combination. Just adding a red polka dot ruffle and some yellow accents sure made the Aria dress stand out. The best part was being judged by fellow members from the group and win a fabulous stash of fabric from Allison Glass Designs. It was the first time I got free fabric and I was thrilled!
The Aria Ruffle dress is definitely a Beginner friendly pattern, and details can be added depending on how comfortable you feel about adding ruffles, etc. It really takes two basic skills: Sew on a straight line and gathering for the skirt portion. The neck and arm elastic are not difficult at all and the best part of most PDF sewing patterns is that they come with wonderful step by step photo tutorials to guide you along the way. 
The Aria Ruffle Dress pattern can be purchased directly from the Little Lizard King page at: 
It can be made from sizes 3 months to 8 and includes a doll pattern as well. It is extremely well written and full of helpful information. The best part about this style of dress is that once outgrown in length it can be worn as a tunic/top.

Enjoy!
My favorite Aria Ruffle Dress, just a couple of details sure make it pop

The Aria Dress can also be made using panels, to put fabric remnants to good
use and add a hint of color. A bodice ruffle and a couple of buttons pull this
color scheme together.

A year later...

Well, here I am a year later, after sewing so many things and learning new techniques I can say that my sewing has significantly improved. I must say I am a true believer now in the "Practice Makes Perfect" saying, it really has taken a lot of practice! 
I have gone from being afraid of buttonholes, to not minding them at all; being terrified of knits to enjoying sewing with them. The best reward I found to my perseverance is being able to test patterns for some designers I love. The first one to give me an opportunity to test a pattern was Amy from Brownie Goose patterns, followed by Megan from Made for Mermaids. I couldn't be more excited for all the places my sewing journey has taken me, can't wait to see what comes next!

Love,

Paola

My first pattern test: The Lennon Blouse and Dress by Brownie Goose (Nov. 2014)

One of my favorite patterns tested to date: The Lily Lace Dress and
Romper by Made for Mermaids, such a vintage style!
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