School Bus T-shirt Review

This is continuing the theme of t-shirts that are long enough to cover my daughter’s upper body.  Given that it has been 90 degrees for the last few days, these were made last fall when it was still cold.  If she needed short sleeve shirts for summer, I would make this pattern again.  The School bus t-shirt is a simple pattern that will be in use for a long time.

Pattern: School Bus T-Shirt from Oliver and S

School Bus T-shirt

Pattern Description (from designer): This basic kid’s T-shirt sewing pattern can be made several different ways. With a long-sleeve and two short-sleeve options, you’ll get endless use from this easy and quick-to-sew style.

Pattern Retail Price: $8.95

Fabric Required: 3/4 yard for up to size 8

Amount of fabric used: I got away with about 1/2 yard, would be less for short sleeves.

School Bus Tee

Sizing: Comes in 6 month to 4 years, then the next size range is 5 years to 12 years.  I made a 2T based on chest measurements with 4T length.

Alterations: I added another inch to the second one because the length on the first one was perfect for now.

Instructions: This is a simple shirt, but the instructions are detailed and have enough information for someone who has never made a t-shirt before.

Pattern Issues: None.  I had to add a lot of length, but I have to do that to all patterns and store bought shirts are too short.

Fabric Choice: I used pink thermal and deer thermal that I bought from Nature’s Fabric last year.  I had a yard of each, and made a long sleeve shirt last winter and this winter from them.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I have enough useable scraps to keep using these fabrics.  I should buy more of the deer while it’s in stock, because she loved it.

School Bus Tee

Finished Product: The school bus t-shirt is a cute, simple tee that is long enough to wear in public (because I can make it longer!).

Notes for future makes: Add more length –  4T + 1″

Final Thoughts: I’m happy to have a simple t-shirt pattern to use until she hits size 12.


2+2 Blouse Pattern Review

My daughter thinks that dinosaurs are awesome, and loves purple.  Luckily, Lizzy House made this amazing purple dinosaur fabric while she is in this phase!

2+2 Blouse

Pattern: Oliver & S 2+2 Blouse

Pattern Description (from designer): Here comes the school bus! Girl’s tunic-length, A-line blouse features neckband ties, gathered front with applied patch, and button back, options for long and short sleeves.

Pattern Retail Price: $13.95

Fabric Required: 1 yard for 2T, view A

2+2 Blouse

Amount of fabric used: I was happy I had the full yard because I wanted to make sure the dinosaurs lined up.

Sizing: 6 months – 8 years

Alterations: I added extra length so she can wear it longer.

Instructions: Mostly easy to follow.  The gathering in the front was a little confusing the first time I did it because I was having trouble picturing what fabric was ending up covered versus needing to be finished.  It’s not quite as neat as I would like, but next time I make this I’ll be fine.

2+2 Blouse

Pattern Issues: None

Fabric Choice: This is a quilting cotton, which works well for this pattern.  Does it get better than purple dinosaurs?  Not for my purple-loving, dinosaur obsessed daughter!

2+2 Blouse

Finished Product: This shirt is adorable.  My daughter is not quite sure what she should do with the ties though.  Sometimes she ignores them, some days she pulls on them continuously.

Notes for future makes: Add more length.  I think I made it 2T with 4T length, and I wish I had added a little more length so she can wear it longer.

Final Thoughts: I wasn’t sure how my daughter was going to feel about the buttons all the way down the back, but she doesn’t seem to even notice them.  This is a cute shirt, and even though it’s a bit of work, it’s adorable and I want to make it again.

From the Bookshelf: The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

This Spring, I had the opportunity to view a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting prior to its release.  Both Angela Walters and Christa Watson are incredibly talented quilters, so I was very excited to see their book with tips on both sit-down and long-arm quilting.

Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting cover
Photo credit: Brent Kane and Martingale

I have to admit, I was initially a bit skeptical that a book split in half aimed at both long-arm and sit-down quilters could truly have enough information that was applicable to both types of quilters to make it valuable to everyone, but these ladies have figured out a way to do it.  The fills and designs that they use are almost universally applicable (except for the spiral design Christa uses on the Exploding Star quilt – that is too much of a hassle for a longarm!).

As I was reading though this book, I was quilting “Forging Steel”, and used it as an opportunity to try out some of their suggestions.  Angela is well known for her point-to-point quilting, and she shows a couple examples of it in the book. I used it in one of the blocks for my quilt as well, although you can see it far better on the back of the quilt.

Forging Steel Milliefleur

I also used the wavy lines for another block.

Forging Steel Milliefleur

I like the clamshell design, so it’s not new to me, but it was a good reminder to see it as an option.

Forging Steel Miloliefleur

In addition to numerous quilting designs, there are also 10 quilt patterns.  They are generally simple, because they are meant to be quicker to sew so you can get them pieced and start practicing quilting faster.  I can definitely see myself making one of these patterns in the future if I need a quick baby quilt.

You can see some of the quilting better on the back of the quilt!  Busy fabric tends to hide dense quilting.

Forging Steel Milliefleur

I don’t always agree with all advice given in the book – Christa presses her seams open, and I am a devoted press to the side quilter, but I know that is an age old argument so I won’t hold it against her.

Overall, this was a good quilting book.  I would say it is aimed a more of a beginner-intermediate level quilter, so if you are a masterpiece quilter you will probably not get very much out of this book unless you want to learn more about the modern style of quilting.  If you are starting out, I think this is a great resource because they do a really good job of making quilting accessible, and challenging you to do some free motion quilting instead of just straight lines.

If you are interested in the Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, it is available from Christa, Angela, their publisher, Amazon, etc.

Eleanor Dress

This winter I was really tired of buying shirts for my daughter that were too short, so I made several shirts and dresses for her that are long enough for her to not immediately grow out of.  I had made a previous version of the Eleanor Dress pattern as a shirt, but can’t find a picture of it – despite the fact that she wore it all last winter!  I really like the dress version of this pattern.

Pattern: Eleanor Dress from Shwin Designs

Eleanor Dress

Pattern Description (from designer): Everyone loves a knit dress, comfy and easy to wear. The pattern also has the option for a top. This knit dress pattern comes with many options to create simple by stylish knit dresses. From an oversized collar to ribbing at the neck, long or short sleeves and every combination of them all. This one pattern will take you through many seasons and with the sizes 12m-8years included it will take you through many years of wear.

Pattern Retail Price: $9 for PDF

Fabric Required: 3/4 yard for 2T

Amount of fabric used: I was using leftover fabric from another project so I don’t know exactly what I had, but the amount seems accurate.

Sizing: Includes 12 months to 8 years.  My daughter’s chest was in the 2T range, and that’s what I made and I am pleased with the fit.  Due to the stretch of the fabric, she is still wearing this dress even though she is now wearing 3T and slim-fit 4Ts in RTW.

Alterations: I made this exactly as designed.

Instructions: They are step by step instructions with a photo for each step.  The samples are in a solid color so it is easy to see what is happening, and I like that the short sleeve and long sleeve samples were in different colors so I skip the instructions that didn’t apply to the version I was making.

Pattern Issues: None.

Fabric Choice: I used an athletic fabric that I bought from Fabric Mart last year on a super sale.  I think it’s meant for leggings, but it makes a really cozy shirt/dress.

Eleanor Dress
Finished Product: This dress is cute.  My daughter loves the pockets.

Notes for future makes: Baste the pleats down prior to sewing the skirt to the bodice.

Final Thoughts: I will probably make the short sleeved version again as it warms up.  It’s a cute dress that my daughter didn’t want to take off after trying it on to make sure it fit.  Now that she is getting into the “dresses are the best” phase, she likes it even more!  I like it because it is a dress that she can still run around with her friends in.


Afternoon Blouse Pattern

Pattern: The Afternoon Blouse by Jennifer Lauren Vintage

Afternoon Blouse

Pattern Description (from designer): An easy summer blouse perfect for afternoons sipping tea (or cocktails), the Afternoon Blouse has been designed with beginners and advanced sewers in mind.  For the beginner, the flowing design will help to build sewing confidence with its choice of two decorative necklines and 1940s-inspired kimono sleeves. For the advanced sewer, this gorgeous blouse can be made in one afternoon using silk or rayon – a luxurious, quick and satisfying make.  While the Afternoon Blouse has been designed to be tucked into high-waisted skirts and pants for a vintage look, it also works perfectly worn loose with jeans and sandals for the modern gal, making it a truly versatile blouse.

Purchase Price: Full price is $12.50 US, but she had a sale after Thanksgiving.

Fabric Required: Oddly specific… 1.58 yards of 60″ or 1.66 yards of 45″.  I would say the conversion from metric to US is why it is so specific, but the metric also goes out to 2 weird decimal places.

Amount of fabric used: I squeezed it out of 1.5 yards of 44″ wide material.  One of my facings had some imaginative cutting done to do so.

Sizing: I used a 16 for the shoulders (closer to my high bust measurement), then went out to an 18 at the bottom of the sleeves for my bust size, then came back in to a 16 for the hips.  It was really big in the waist/hip area, so I had to take it in some more.  It’s also a little bit shorter than I prefer my blouses.

  • There are no finished measurements, so I had to go off the size chart.  I guess I need to start measuring pattern pieces, but it annoys me to pay good money for a pattern then have to measure pieces of paper to decide what size to wear.  Anyway, the size chart recommended with my measurements to do an 18 bust, 20 waist, and 14 hips.  If I had done that, the shoulders would have been way too big and the waist way too big.

Alterations: Once I tried it on after sewing up the side seams, it was way too loose in the waist/hip area.  I took off the blouse and decided to trace the side seams off my favorite Belcarra Blouse.  That reduced the sizing from an 18 in the bust, to a 16 at the waist and 14 at the hip.  This helped immensely, but I still need to fix the tenting effect in the front of the shirt.

Afternoon Blouse

Instructions: The instructions are good.  This was the designer’s first pattern.  Most of my issues with the instructions are my personal preferences from sewing different patterns by different designers.

  • I personally prefer to hem the sleeve after I sew up the sides to avoid any interior seams showing, but doing it first does make it easier to iron.  I think the best solution is to iron the seamline early, then sew after the sides are done.
  • I also under stitched the neckline.  It was a little tough at the corners, but it really helped my blouse lay flat and keep the insides where they belong.  I think every pattern on earth, especially ones aimed at beginners should mention that step.  I think at the end, there may be a step (step 3 in the “To Make Up” section) that hints at under stitching, but it would be hard that late into the blouse.  It also mentions top stitching as an option, which I don’t think would look very good on this blouse.
  • Printing: I did like that the pieces were tiled so that I only had to print off the pattern for the front that I was using.  On a larger pattern, I would probably prefer some more overlapping to save paper, but on a blouse like this I really appreciated not having to print every single option.

Pattern Issues: Why does it not include finished measurements?!?!  I keep getting tempted by cute patterns without finished measurements.  I know it’s harder to do the bust measurement with kimono sleeves, but at least give me the waist and hip finished measurements so I don’t have to take the shirt in after I’ve already made it…

Afternoon Blouse

Fabric Choice: I used a wonderful 100% cotton lawn by Yuwa.  This stuff feels amazing.  It washes up beautifully, and I admit to googling the brand in an attempt to find more.  It’s that perfect lightweight cotton that isn’t completely see-through like voile, yet substantial enough that you can actually wear it outside of the house without worrying if your bra is showing through the fabric.  The one I purchased from Imagine Gnats appears to be out of stock, but Fancy Tiger and Miss Matabi seem to stock Yuwa regularly.

The other consideration is whether or not you want the neckline detail to show.  I love this fabric, but it is so busy you can’t see that aspect of the shirt.  A solid or plainer design would show that much more.

Finished Product: I like the neckline and kimono sleeves.  I am probably going to end up with way too many blouses with kimono sleeves, but I like them.  I can see making this shirt again, and maybe trying the other neckline option.

Afternoon Blouse

Notes for future makes:

  • Make a swayback adjustment.  Just make one in every single pattern you will ever consider sewing in your entire life.  You know you need it, so don’t be lazy and just do it!
  • Also, add a couple inches to the length.  I’m a shorty, but I have a long torso and a short human to chase around, and I like my middle to be covered.
  • It has a weird tent like effect in the front.  None of the pictures of other people’s versions seem to do this, so I’m not sure why mine is.  I think I will add a dart next time to take in some of that excess.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I like this blouse and plan to make it again with a couple fit adjustments.

Oliver & S Fairy Tale Dress Review

My first Fairy Tale Dress was almost a year ago, and I adjusted it to make my daughter’s baptismal gown.  At that time, I was still pretty new to garment sewing.  I think it was my third dress ever.  I chose to go from the Made by Rae Itty Bitty Dress, to the Made by Rae Geranium Dress, to the Oliver & S Fairy Tale Dress.  It was a pretty big learning curve.  Now that I have actually sewn the pattern as written, I feel better about writing a Fairy Tale Dress pattern review.

Oliver + S Fairy Tale Dress

I have to say I was much more confident this time than I was last time.  Although, last time I had the advantage of ignorance – I didn’t know enough to know that I had chosen a challenging pattern with silk and “scary” invisible zippers.  If I had realized what I was doing was supposed to be harder, I don’t know if I would have finished it so quickly.

Pattern: Oliver & S Fairy Tale Dress

Fabric Required: From pattern (44-45″ wide): 1 3/4 yards of main fabric, and 1 yard of lining fabric.

Amount of fabric used: A little under 1 yard of main fabric (52″ wide), and a little under 1 yard of lining fabric.  If anyone has a use for just over a yard of silver silk dupioni, please let me know!

Oliver + S Fairy Tale Dress

Sizing: I used the 12-18 month size for width, 18-24 month size for bodice length, and I added 2 inches to the 18-24 month skirt length to make it mid-calf instead of knee length.

Alterations: I had to lengthen the front of the bodice by 1/2″.  I just added the 1/2″ to the middle and tapered it to the normal length at the sides.  It was a small change, but helped fit over the toddler belly a little bit better.  I also tacked the collar down because it was flipping up too much for my taste when she tried it on pre-wedding.

  • Sash: I didn’t want to use either version of the sash as published in the pattern.  I was hoping to have my daughter wear this for Christmas so I didn’t want to sew the sash to the dress.  I liked the wide sash in the back, but sometimes the super wide sashes on the front of a dress overwhelms little girls.  I decided to use the pattern pieces for the back, but sew it to a narrower portion for the front of the dress.

Instructions: As expected with Oliver & S, these were good instructions.  I did use couple additional tutorials shown below.

Tutorials Used:

    • How to hand stitch a hem – I used the slipstitch to hem the outer dress.  I don’t hand sew many things, but it felt right for this dress.

Hand sewing silk hem

Pattern Issues: The only step that I had any issues with was attaching the zipper to the dress exterior.  In some of the diagrams it showed the seam finished, in others it wasn’t, and it didn’t mention in the directions the right time to finish the seam.  I was using a serger to finish the seams and chose poorly, because I should have finished that back seam before attaching the zipper.  I ended up serging from the bottom as close as I could to the zipper.  The rest of it gets encased in the lining.  This dress won’t be going through a washing machine, so it will probably be fine.

Although, I do have to add – why is there not a table with the width of the skirts for each size?  I hated having to print out 8 extra pieces of paper for the three skirt pieces when I knew I was just going to cut the skirt as one continuous piece.  This skirt doesn’t need side seams.  It makes it slightly easier to line stuff up, but as long as you mark where the side seams would have been there is not issue lining up the skirt to the bodice.

Fabric Choice:

– Outer: I used silk dupioni from NY Fashion Center Fabrics in 137 – Silver.  I was fortunate that they had a Labor Day sale that lowered the price point when I needed to order it.

– Tulle: I also ordered the gray tulle from NY Fashion Center Fabrics in the same sale.

– Lining The lining was a cheap voile from Fabric Mart that appears to be out of stock now.  I was too cheap, and should have used a better quality voile (even though it would have cost more).  It looks fine in the finished garment, but it was so thin that it was horrendous to sew and I was fighting it the whole time.  I think Tim Gunn has a quote that a successful garment starts at Mood, and he is so right.  I thought I had learned my lesson on cheap vs. good value fabric, but I’m still learning it over and over.

Oliver + S Fairy Tale Dress

Finished Product: I love this dress as a party dress for a little girl.  The color isn’t the best color for my daughter’s complexion, but she was the flower girl for a wedding whose colors were grey and blue.  I only had 1/2 yard of the matching blue fabric, so I used that to make the sash.

Husband’s opinion: He loves this dress.

Final Thoughts: This is my second time making this dress, and I will probably make it again if another fancy occasion comes up.  I may have to use a different collar or something next time so people don’t realize I keep using the same pattern over and over!

Linking up to: Sew + Show Wednesday @ Straight GrainShow off Saturday at Sew Can SheThreading your way @ Threading my Way

Oliver and S Roller Skate Tunic Pattern Review

I’m continuing my Kid’s Clothes Week theme of fall useful clothing with my Roller Skate Tunic Pattern Review.

Roller Skate Tunic Pattern Review

Pattern: Oliver and S Roller Skate Tunic and Dress (digital version)  This is a great pattern for the digital side, because there is not that much to print.  It was a nice change from some of the huge patterns I have printed off lately.

Pattern Description (from designer): This cute and easy dress can also be made as a tunic, with two different styles for each length. All views include built-in cap sleeves, Empire-waist elastic casing, and keyhole-with-button opening at back.

Fabric Required: For 12-18 month size, 3/4 yard of both the lining and outer fabric.  One button for the back closing… a lion button makes any kid’s shirt better!

Oliver & S Roller Skate Tunic

Amount of fabric used: I’m pretty sure I could have cut it out of a half yard cut of fabric.

Sizing: My daughter’s chest size matched the 12-18 month size exactly, so I made the 12-18 width with 2T length.

Alterations: The only change I made was to add some length.

Instructions: This is a pretty simple shirt to construct, and the instructions are good (as always from Oliver and S).  The marking of the line where the elastic casing goes was a bit tedious, but there are better tools that make it easier (I just don’t own them).  The method to use carbon paper and a tracing wheel would be infinitely faster, easier, and more accurate.

Pattern Issues: I measured the elastic to be the exact width of her chest (plus the seam allowance) as directed, but I think it’s a little tight.  Not uncomfortable tight, but when she lifts her arms, the shirt rides up and stays up.  In my next version I will make the elastic a little bit looser so it hopefully won’t have that issue. You can see what I mean in the picture below…

Oliver & S Roller Skate Tunic

Fabric Choice: I used quilting cotton for the outside and voile as the lining.  The weight works well together.

Finished Product: Overall, I think it’s a cute shirt.  I already have another one cut out, it just needs to be sewn up.  I think with the cutout, the neckline is a little low on my daughter.  Maybe for her size, it gets low proportion wise?  I’ve seen a lot of other versions of this dress and never had thought before, but sometimes there is a little more food stuck in the top after a meal than is ideal.  Until she gets into larger sizes I don’t plan on using the cutout again.

Husband’s opinion: He doesn’t like how it rides up, but hopefully loosening the elastic will take care of that.

Notes for future makes: As stated above, I will make the elastic  a little bit looser in my next version and probably not use the cut out option until she is a little bit older.

Oliver & S Roller Skate Tunic

Final Thoughts: The Roller skate tunic is a well designed pattern that creates a good looking dress.  I like how it is lined, and think it is a very flattering and cute silhouette for a little girl.

Also, the pants are the Oliver and S Sandbox Pants that I made for the Winter 2014 KCW (last January).

Izzy Top Review

Here in North Carolina, fall sewing looks a lot like summer sewing for a good reason.  Last week, I think we had about 80 good reasons to wear short sleeves and still sew short sleeves this far into fall.  Therefore, my latest project and review is the free Izzy Top from Climbing the Willow.

This is also the unofficial start of Kid’s Clothes Week for me!  We have some family stuff next weekend, so in my personal version, KCW runs from 18-24 October instead of 20-26 October.

Izzy Top

PatternIzzy Top from Climbing the Willow.  Available for free in sizes 18 months – 12 years.

Pattern Description (from designer): The Izzy Top is a sweet, feminine curved yoke top pattern that closes with a button (or snap) tab in the back.  It is a very simple pattern to make and only requires basic sewing skills.

Fabric Required: 1/2 yard of main print, 1/4 yard lining for 18 months and 2 years.

Amount of fabric used: every last bit of 1/2 yard of the main fabric.  I had to actually reduce the width of the flared portion to fit in a half yard.

Izzy Top

Sizing: The 18 month size is recommended for a 19.5 inch chest.  The designer also mentions that she designed it to fit true ready to wear sizes.  I think that is pretty accurate.  My daughter’s chest is 18.75 inches right now, and I’m glad I have the little bit of ease because it makes it easier to get on and off.  Also, my daughter has a huge head and needed every bit of the neckline to get it on and off.

Alterations: I added 1.5 inches to the length because my daughter is about a 2T in height.  I used a snap for the back enclosure because I didn’t feel like doing button holes.

Izzy Top

Instructions: The instructions were good.  There are pictures for every step.  The only change I made was to baste the bodice to the skirt portion prior to serging them together.  I basted one one top, and did not on the other and the one I basted first turned out nicer.  Most shirts/dresses I have made in this style have the seam mid-chest enclosed, and at first I was annoyed that it was not, but the seam doesn’t seem to bother my daughter and it was faster a little bit easier to serge the seam.  If you don’t have a serger, you would probably want to lengthen the lining piece about half an inch to be able to enclose the seam.  Or you could do a french seam, or a flat felled seam there as well without issue.

Izzy Top

Pattern Issues: None.  This is a free tutorial, and I think for it being free, she did a great job!  The pattern fit as advertised, there are photos for every step, and it is a cute shirt.

Fabric Choice:  One shirt was a Lisette voile from a year or two ago.  The other shirt I made from chambray dots.  I purchased it in person at Mulberry Silks in Carborro, NC, but I’m pretty sure this burgundy chambray dot is the same one.  It’s a heavier weight than the voile, but still works well for this shirt.

Izzy Top

Finished Product: This is an adorable shirt for a toddler.  The shirt is a little wide for my taste.  I prefer the blue one that I didn’t have enough fabric to make the full width, so I will probably reduce the width again when I make this in the future.

Izzy Top

Husband’s opinion: Likes it, but agrees that the full width is a little too full.

Final Thoughts: This is a well put together tutorial in a wide range of sizes that I will most likely make again as she grows out of the current versions.  I even like it as it gets colder because I can either layer it over a long sleeve shirt, or put a cardigan over it.  I think in the spring I would like to try it with a knit for the bottom portion.

Notes for future makes: Reduce the width of the bottom portion.  I think in the spring I would like to try it with a knit for the bottom portion.

Pilot Hat Review

Pilot Hat Review

This is a project summary of the “Pilot Hat” pattern by See Kate Sew.  I bought this pattern during her Black Friday sale last year, made it in February, and am just now blogging it.  It is sized to fit from 18M to 7/8.

See Kate Sew Cozy Pilot Hat

I originally thought that it would fit my daughter next winter and beyond, but then when I checked the sizing, she was a 12 month old wearing the 2T size.  Granted, she has a large head.  Her head circumference was 19.5 when I made it, and I made the 18M-2T size which is recommended for a 19 inch head.  It fits her well, but probably won’t after her next growth spurt – I’ll have to size up.  Then again, it’s been a few months since I made it and it still fits, so maybe I’m good for a little while longer.

See Kate Sew Cozy Pilot Hat

I made this using linen for the outer fabric and a light fleece for the inner fabric.  Both were pre-washed prior to sewing.  I like the fabric combination.

I chose not to add the velcro enclosure.  My daughter prefers to put this hat on when she starts playing with the airplane and then take it off about 2 minutes later, so the velcro is unnecessary.

See Kate Sew Cozy Pilot Hat

Pilot Hat Review: As far as the pattern, I’m mostly happy with it…  I think it’s overall a cute pattern.  I think the angular top is a bit odd and slightly alien-ish.  Traditional pilot hats were not shaped like that so I’m not quite sure why the hat is shaped that way.  I sewed it with a larger seam allowance at the very top in an attempt to minimize that aspect of the hat and you can still see it a little.

Wooden AAC Plane

The instructions were adequate.  I would have preferred a few additions, such as a diagram showing where she measured the head for fit recommendations or a table with the finished size so that I could better decide what size to make.  I also wish she would proofread a little bit better.  On page 11, the instructions said, “… cut out bow pattern pieces located on page xx.”  I know that’s a small detail, but her patterns (while reasonably priced) cost enough that I expect them not to have basic typos like this.  If you have a free tutorial or the pattern cost next to nothing, I am more accepting of typos, but these are small and easy to catch so it makes me wonder about the testing process.

See Kate Sew Cozy Pilot Hat

One other issue I had with this pattern was that it did not call for topstitching, or ironing of any seams.  I added it everywhere – partially because I like the finished look of it and partly because I know that it helps a garment (or hat) wash and wear better.  I know that I can put this hat through a washing machine and it will come out  fine.  The ironing thing is a personal preference, I suppose, but if I had not made other hats before I don’t know if I would have known to do it and would not have as good of a result.  I think that for a pattern that seems to be aimed at beginners, it doesn’t have quite enough detail.

Wooden AAC Plane

Overall, it’s a cute hat, and with some modifications I will probably make this again.

The hat was an accessory to go with the absolutely awesome airplane my husband made the little girl for her birthday.  She enjoys pushing it around, making the rudder flap, spinning the propeller, and scooting around in circles on it.  She knows that the hat goes with the airplane, but it usually doesn’t last long.  Probably because the hat is lined with fleece and it’s really hot in June in North Carolina.  The airplane is made to look like an old World War II Army Air Corps trainer.  I may be slightly partial, but I think he did an incredible job on the plane!


Linking to: Anything Goes MondayFabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFF , Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth FabricSewjo Saturday at My Go-Go LifeShow off Saturday at Sew Can She, and Sewing Saturday at Simple Simon & Co


Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse Review

Belcarra Blouse Review

I am going to give a quick spoiler and say I love the Belcarra Blouse by Sewaholic!  Continue reading my Belcarra Blouse Review to see why…

Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse

This blouse has a similar look to a blouse I purchased and really like (but it is slightly too big, and made from a kind of weird polyester that is not comfy when it’s super hot out – which North Carolina is HOT in the summer).  Originally, I was going to try to trace the pattern and make it smaller, but honestly – that was not going to happen anytime soon and I wanted a shirt to wear this summer.  So, when I saw this blouse came in a PDF, and was on sale for just under $10, I had to go for it!

Pattern: Belcarra Blouse by Sewaholic.  I used the PDF version of the pattern and I made view A.

Fabric: lightweight 100% cotton

Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse

Sizing: I discovered from this pattern that I am not a pear shape, which is what Sewaholic designs for.

I was a 16 in the bust, 12 in the waist, and 10 in the hip.  I had seen an awesome Madras version on Meg’s blog where she mentioned she went down a size and used the finished measurements to find the size that gave her 2 inches of ease.  I made the same choice, and cut a straight size 14.  The fit looks pretty good in the chest and waist, but I did take it in around the hips – probably to about a 12.

I must admit that about halfway through making this shirt, I had one of those making moments when you question every decision you’ve made associated with a project.  As in, maybe I should have made a muslin?  Did I cut out the right size?  Why did I make this with good fabric that cost $15 a yard?  In my case, I had a major doubt about what size I cut out.  I actually took the shirt with only the shoulder seams sewn into the bathroom, where I was pinching the seams to try and tell if it would fit around my chest or not.  Thankfully, the finished sizes on the pattern were correct, and my chest did fit into the shirt!

Fabric Used: According to the pattern, a size 14 View A shirt should take between 2-2 1/4 yards of fabric (depending on width).  I was able to cut it out of less than 1.5 yards.  I did piece together the neck binding, but that doesn’t show so I didn’t care that it had an extra seam.  Maybe it’s my quilting background that makes me a ninja at maximizing fabric usage?

Instructions:  This blouse is fairly simply to construct, but any questions I would have had were answered in the sew-along.  The instructions and photos in the sew-along made this easy.  The finishes on this project are awesome.  I felt like an amazing seamstress while I was making this.  The pattern pieces have the seam allowance printed on them, which is a nice touch.

Belcarra Blouse

Pattern Issues: I had a little bit of odd fabric that had to be eased in when sewing the sleeves to the front piece.  It was not excessive, and that edge is on the bias, so it is possible it stretched (but I was super careful not to move that fabric, so who knows?)  The neck is also wide.  Bra choice will have to be considered when I wear this.

Fabric Choice: This pattern recommends lightweight cotton, which is what I used, and it is great.  It is going to be so comfortable to wear this summer.

Finished Product: I love how this shirt turned out!  It is going to be in heavy rotation this summer.

Using as scrap – wearable inside the house – wearable outside the housewearing outside the house and will proudly say I made it

Husband’s opinion: The first thing my husband said when he saw it (about halfway through construction) was that it didn’t look handmade, which I take as a compliment 🙂

Belcarra Blouse

Final Thoughts: I may try narrowing the neck on my next version because it does occasionally show my braw strap.  I will definitely grade down to a 12 in the hips.  I’m still debating whether or not to try doing a 12 with a FBA.  I think it could potentially fit slightly better, but this one fits fine.  We’ll see how motivated I get before I make my next one… and there will be a next one!

Linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, and Sewing Saturdays at Simple Simon & Co.

I also entered this in the New to Me Indie Pattern Contest at The Monthly Stitch.