Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cole's Creations Katy Panda dress, kitty version

Early last month, Nicole of Cole's Creations Patterns contacted me to see if I would be able to test her latest pattern, the Katy Panda dress.
Sadly, it was just at the time that I was packing up my machines and shipping them cross country. I was totally bummed, as I love to test new patterns, and this one is RIDICULOUSLY cute.
Lucky for me (and Myra!) she was willing to send me the finished pattern so that I could try it out and tell you all about it. She did provide this pattern for my review, but the opinions are all mine.
The pattern itself is actually pretty simple, but the options for applique and pockets make it outstanding. In fact, Myra loves these pockets so much, I had a hard time getting pics of her with her hands out of them.
The dress itself is a basic a-line with a cute shaped yoke. Without the applique, it will make a great wardrobe basic, and I know I'll use it a ton for Myra. And since the Katy Panda Dress pattern goes all the way up to a size 16 years, I'll be using it for a long time.
And in case you are wondering why it is the Katy Panda Dress - well... Cute!!! I love that the pattern includes a longer sleeve, and all of the applique options really make it a versatile and fun dress.
These paw pockets though. Serious stroke of genius. They are so stinking cute and original. I made mine slightly different from the pattern, but only because the pattern calls for a self lined pocket, but my fabric was a thick interlock, and I didn't think it would turn well, so I hemmed it and stitched it on with a zigzag to make it blend in with the other applique work.
The fit through the body is comfortable, but not overly large. I made a size 5 for Myra, and lengthened the dress portion to a size 6 so that she could wear it through her next growth spurt. I love that the yoke in back mirrors the front. The curve back there is cute.
The fabrics I used are mostly Chex Ami interlock, except the print on the yoke, which is from Hobby Lobby. I like how the beefy knits stand away from the body and give the dress shape, but sewing them to the thin Hobby Lobby jersey was annoying. Next time I'll do a better job matching the weights of my knits, but I really love the way this print coordinated with the pinks and Myra really loves the flowers and polka dots.
Overall, I would say this pattern is a definite winner. The pattern itself is a PDF, but is well organized and easy to assemble. The sizes are nested and color coded, so you can choose to cut your size or trace, both are easily done. The instructions are complete and include color photographs, but not hand-holding or annoyingly detailed. You may want to know that the applique placement is left up to the sewist, which I like since it gives you the freedom to fully personalize your creation. Placement lines for the pocket are included in the pattern, and you can see that they are perfect on Myra.
This is definitely Myra's new favorite dress. All day she was telling random strangers about her dress, and how much she loved it. She also insists that we call her "Myra kitty". She'll  be needing another soon. Good thing it's so fun to sew. But don't take my word for it! Go get the Katy Panda Dress pattern and sew it yourself!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Goodnight Sweetheart PJs: Dr. Suess style

Duncan has lately been busting out of his old PJs. Like, literally his toes poke out of holes in the footies.
I know.  And for some reason, there aren't any hand me down PJs in his size right now. Fortunately, it's Kids Clothes Week! Time for new ones!
They're a little large at the moment, but I know they won't be for long. He's growing up so fast. At least I can keep him in crazy printed PJs for a little longer.
The pattern I used is from the book, Sewing for Boys. It is the Goodnight Sweetheart PJs, which feature an external neckline facing with piping, button (or in this case, snap) closure and a shaped neckline. The pants are basic, but the pattern includes the option of cuffs and a fly opening.
I really LOVE the piping detail on the facing. It makes it look very professional, but it also makes edge finishing the facing super easy to do. I used white piping for this set. I originally thought red would be fun, but the red piping I had was just a touch too light, while the red snaps in stash were a perfect match. So, I went with white. It's more subtle, but I like it.
The fabric is a super soft flannel by Michael Miller. It was part of my very first Tennessee fabric purchase. I bought it at a local quilt shop, Tennessee Quilts. It is seriously fantastic quality, which is good. Dunc is hard on his clothes.
Despite the tough guy exterior, a cozy set of flannel PJs makes every guy happy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kids Clothes week, day 1: Ottobre Mermaid swimsuit, take 2

The kids' favorite thing about our new neighborhood is the community pool that is practically in our back yard. They've been swimming nearly every day, and while the boys' board shorts are holding on strong, Myra's suit from last year was nearly transparent from wear.
And since this is Kid's Clothes Week, I got right on it! She's been begging for a suit out of this fabric since my friend Catrin gave it to me, so she's pretty thrilled.
The sequin bow totally sealed the deal. Pink hearts and sparkles? Yes, please.
The pattern I used is the same as last year's suit - the "mermaid" suit from the 03/2011 issue of Ottobre. I added 1/2 inch of length to the midriff band, but otherwise used the same size.
Myra obviously inherited my swayback. But I LOVE the fit over her backside. She gets her ghetto booty from me too, but this suit covers it well. No pool wedgies here.
Both fabrics are 4 way stretch nylon lycra. The black is a bit shiny, but the color match is good. Once I constructed the front, it looked a little boring, so I tacked the sequin bow to the center of the midriff panel. It's just a piece of stretch sequin trim I had around, hand gathered to form a bow shape. Myra loves it.
Myra has thoroughly pool tested her new suit, and it has passed with flying colors. Hopefully the extra length will allow her to wear it some of next summer as well. At least until I can get my act together and sew her a new one...
Either way, it's a win this year! And she might just manage to wear it out before school starts in 2 weeks. Sheesh.