Hello Sweetheart from Riley Blake Designs

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Hello Sweetheart from Riley Blake Designs is here and it’ll have your heart swooning!  We love the darling retro feel and it has us gearing up for Valentine’s.  It’s such a sweet collection full of bright colors and playful prints.

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The Gradient Heart is black was such a great choice for my oldest.  It’s got a modern edge to it that was so well suited for one of our favorite dress patterns.

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I love the clean lines of the Blake Dress from Mingo and Grace (you can see our other versions here, here, and here).  Those big box pleats and hidden inseam pockets are the stuff that makes me giddy!

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Can you even stand those ombre hearts?!!  The colors are just so fun!

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For this dress, I made a size 8 width with a 12 length in the skirt.  She actually measures into a 7 width but I was hoping by sizing up it’d fit a bit longer.  The problem is this girly keeps growing up and not out so I’m pretty sure it’ll be too short the next time I blink!  Little sister is already patiently waiting for her to outgrow it 😉

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Speaking of litttle sis- she got a Samantha Skirt from Made for Mermaids paired with an Ocotillo Leotard from Honeydew Kisses with handmade suspenders.

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This floral print is just too cute!  It reminds me so much of some of my favorite art when I was growing up.  Definitely brings me back to the early 90’s with fond memories!  Paired with Riley Blake black and white striped knit gives it a fun, contemporary twist.  This combo is just so adorable!

payton3She loves anything with pockets and thanked me profusely the minute she tried on this skirt.  Both patterns were new to me and I really liked them both.  The Samantha skirt pattern uses the same fabric for suspenders but I left them off this version.  It features an elastic back waistband so hopefully she’ll get to wear this awhile too.  I had to do some grading for the leo using a size 8 width and a 10 length.  It worked out really well and both girls have requested more (a sure sign of a great pattern!).

pair3We picked the warmest day we could for pics and it was a balmy 40 degrees when we did our shoot.  The sodas were both props and bribes for these two troopers!  The things these girls put up with for their dear old mum!

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Thanks for joining us today on our stop on the Hello Sweetheart Blog Tour.  Riley Blake provided us the fabric to sew up but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rose Garden Fabrics Tour for Riley Blake Designs

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I’m sharing another gorgeous fabric collection today from Riley Blake Designs, Rose Garden by Gerri Robinson.   The subtle pinks, greys, taupes, and creams of this line are just beautiful!

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I immediately envisioned a sweet spring brother/sister look the minute I saw this fabric.  The Rose Garden Main in cream really shines on big sis and the Rose Garden Paisley pink is the perfect compliment.

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My little guy really loves to wear a tie each week to church and usually reaches for one of his floral ties.  This paisley and floral print is an upgrade to his collection.  I used the free Totally Terrific Tie tutorial from Hem Me In.  It was a fun, quick sew and I know I’ll turn to it often.

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I used the Georgia Dress pattern from Violette Fields Threads for this classic dress.  The simple silhouette and ruffle neck and sleeves just let this fabric shine.   It’s such a beautiful pattern that I’m anxious to sew up again too!

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These prints are just so, so pretty!  I’m thinking I can be WAY ahead of the game and call these their Easter looks, right?!  They’re too precious not to.

Orchid Midi Dress from Chalk and Notch

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The Orchid Midi Dress from Chalk and Notch patterns is here!  Gabriela’s patterns are always much anticipated and there’s good reason.  The Orchid Dress is no exception.  I’m excited to be able to give a copy to one of my readers too!

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The Orchid Dress is a woven faux wrap dress and features two different views.  I sewed up the long sleeve version as we are quickly moving into fall here.  The pattern comes in sizes 0-18 and I sewed up a size 6 without any modifications for reference.

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I used a lovely mustard floral bubble crepe from Knitpop and am absolutely in love with how it turned out.  This fabric is ever so slightly sheer but the drape and weight were too perfect.  Wearing a slip easily solved the opacity problem and that color just gets me every time (be prepared for LOTS of mustard around these parts).

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There is an optional step in the pattern to add a snap to the bodice to keep it closed.  I chose to hand tack my bodice shut and I love that I could pick just how high I wanted it to be.  I prefer more coverage and it was so easy to achieve with a quick little tack.  After our initial photo shoot I was also able to easily hand sew my slit closed about 4″.  This picture is just as the pattern calls for but it was a bit too high for me.  As a pattern tester, I usually try to make my version as the designer intended and make my own alterations afterwards.  In the future it will be an easy modification to make the slit hit at my knee as I prefer.

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I have so many favorite parts about this pattern!  One of them is that bodice gathering.  I love it in the back and at the shoulders- such a great detail.

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I’ve always steered clear of any kind of puff sleeve, thinking that they just accentuate my already broad shoulders.  This pattern has totally converted me!  I love the full sleeve and the slight gather at the top of the sleeve just adds to the dress’s femininity.

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And you can’t forget about the pockets!  I can’t live without them and these are the perfect size- big enough for your cell phone, a chapstick, and whatever you need handy.

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I’ve already worn this dress multiple times so I feel like a real testimonial is in order.  This dress just makes me feel pretty and like my best self.  I think that Gabriela’s patterns have a way of bringing out the best in the wearer and this dress truly exemplifies that.  I loved watching the testers dresses roll in and to see how lovely they looked on everyone.  I can’t wait to wear this dress any chance I get (if you happen to see me at church in this every Sunday pretend you don’t notice, mmkay?!).  The last piece that I sewed that made me feel this fantastic was my Cotton + Steel Fringe Dress that I’ve lovingly nicknamed my “pick-me-up” dress because I feel like I can conquer the world in it!

The Orchid Pattern is meant to pair and mix beautifully with the Parasol Jumpsuit from Ensemble Patterns as well.  You can grab these patterns at a discount in a bundle and individually for a limited time!  Do yourself a favor and sew yourself up a pretty new outfit.  You’ll feel like a rockstar, promise!

Want to win your own copy of the Orchid Midi Dress? Simply comment on this blog post with your favorite thing you’ve sewn that makes you feel like a sewing goddess.  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!  Winner will picked Monday October 8th.

LOL Swing Top and Expansion Pack

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Our weather has gone from spring to blazing hot summer this week!  It was the perfect time to sew up the new LOL Swing Expansion pack for the LOL Swing Top from Jennuine Designs.  The fact that this pattern can be sewn up in both knits AND wovens meant the sky was the limit!

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The first version I made was an easy knit version using this darling Lemonade Stand print from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  It was the perfect pairing to create the essential summertime top!

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We used the new pinafore option available in the expansion pack for a darling open back look.  She loves the breeziness and didn’t want to take it off after our shoot on this 90+ degree day.

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I think this will get worn mostly on pool days or lazy days around the house.  It’s not up to school dress codes and knowing this little lady we’ll have to be careful because she’s always cartwheeling and flipping any chance she gets!  This top is definitely not ‘tumbling’ proof 😉  I do think the pinafore options looks especially adorable on babies and toddlers!  All that cute baby chub is too darling in this top!

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I did skip the neck gathering on this version (not necessarily a design choice but trying to get it done quicker) and it still turned out so nicely in front.   I seriously love the volume and swing this top has!

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The second version I did was using the dress expansion.  Again, the swing of this pattern is everything!

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I used a large scale buffalo plaid I got from CaliFabrics last year and played with the direction of the print a bit.  I love the bold black and white print with the pop of color from the bias binding.  The pattern calls for narrow bias binding but I really wanted it to pop so I used 1/2″ bias for this version.

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I’m always nervous sewing up tank patterns that the underarm coverage may be lacking.  I love how this pattern fits though!  The racerback style and thick straps keep everything where it should be.

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The knit version can easily slip over the head but the woven version calls for a simple shoulder button.  This makes it easy on and off and keeps the construction clean.

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The dress version includes pockets and I had a hard time deciding whether or not to add them here.  We LOVE pockets but this fabric is slightly sheer so I chose not to do them this go round.

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You can get your copy of the LOL Top here, the Expansion Pack here for just $2 if you already own the LOL Top pattern, or get the bundle here on sale through Sunday June 10th.

Love Notions Willow Wrap Dress

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The Love Notions Willow Wrap Dress (affiliate link) is new and improved!

This post contains affiliate links.  In return for purchasing through my links, I receive a small portion of each sale.

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The pattern features a dress and peplum length, optional bodice gathering or pleats, two neckline depths, and multiple sleeve options.  There’s even an optional neckline ruffle that is so pretty!  Like all Love Notions patterns, it’s available in sizes XS-XXXL and is so flattering on all figures.

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I sewed up a size small with elbow sleeves (no surprise there) and a pleated bodice.  I also chose the higher neckline.  I used a gorgeous Art Gallery cotton spandex knit, Lantana in Cobalt from Katarina Roccellla’s Mediteraneo collection, that I got from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  I love the weight and drape of Art Gallery knits and it worked so well with this pattern.

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I have been hesitant in the past to try wrap dresses, thinking they just weren’t right for my figure.  Most wrap dresses seem to be cut really low and that just doesn’t suit me.  I knew I could trust Tami at Love Notions to make a pattern that was both modest and flattering on all body types.  I was nervous to try on the finished dress but fell instantly in love!

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The shaping of the bodice and a-line skirt are so nice.  I measure into a medium at the waist but didn’t grade out because of the flare of the skirt and I like the finished look.  I will grade out next time for my arms- I always forget to do that!  This fabric is nice and stretchy though so I will still wear this a ton.  I actually think my next version will have the flutter sleeves.  They make this dress so sweet and feminine.

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I’ve also talked in the past about my plethora of unworn knit dresses in my closet.  I think this dress is dressy enough for church and other formal functions.  The bonus of it being super comfortable means I’ll reach for it again and again.  I’m planning to get lots of wear out of it!

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You can grab the Willow Wrap Dress on sale today and tomorrow for just $6 then it will be $8 through Monday, June 4th.

 

 

 

Patriotic Starlight City Dress

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The new Patriotic CLUB line from Raspberry Creek Fabrics has me feeling so inspired.  Corinne really did an amazing job creating this line and I can’t get enough of it!

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I had big plans to use this rayon challis print for myself but had a change of heart when this little miss struggled to find a warm weather dress that still fit- darn growing kids!  I absolutely love the Starlight City Dress from Lil Luxe Collection (you can see our other version here) and knew it’d be stunning maxi-fied.

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That back is just so fun and it’s such a quick, easy sew too since there are no closures!

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I modified it just a bit using the width of the fabric for the skirt and adding length to make it touch the floor.  She is a 7/8 width with a 12 height but I didn’t alter the bodice piece so it hits a little higher on her chest.

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We both love those pockets!  Seriously, there’s nothing more comfy than a soft maxi dress with pockets.

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I did have to be a bit creative with the pattern placement with this print.  You don’t want to end up with medallions is the wrong place on the chest, if you catch my drift.  It’s not such a big deal on my little miss but when I make my own top I think I’ll try to do something similar to this bodice.  Aren’t those colors just so pretty?!!

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You can grab this fabric and the whole patriotic line on sale through the end of today, 5/7.  They’ll stick around in the shop through July 4th so you can get your fun summer clothes ready!

Megan Nielsen River Dress and Top

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I’m so excited to finally get to share these makes with you!  I was thrilled to be a tester for Megan Nielsen’s latest pattern, the River Top and Dress.  This dress was one of my most worn this winter and it’s been torture not to be able to share it with you all!

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This pattern includes so many options!  It’s a fun reversible raglan sleeve top or dress that can be made in both knits or wovens.  It can be worn with the v-neckline in the front or back making it so versatile!

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The relaxed fit made it so perfect for hiding all those holiday pounds and for keeping me comfortable all winter long.  I loved pairing it with tights and a cardigan for an easy casual church outfit.

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I made this version out of a thick plaid double knit from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  I absolutely love this fabric and it was perfect for this pattern.  It has both structure and stretch and is so soft.  It’s no wonder I couldn’t get enough of this dress.

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I also did a top version in a houndstooth ponte (from my stash) that I just love!  The cropped length was so flattering and made me feel slightly edgier and way cooler than my normal jeans and tee 😉

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There is a cuff option for the sleeves that I absolutely adore!  Digging up these pictures again has me convinced I need to make another brighter version for spring.

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Head over to Megan Nielsen stat to pick up your copy of this fun pattern and you’ve got to check out the Ash Jeans that also released this week.  So much goodness in the shop!