Monday, July 25, 2016

Simplicity 1453

Here's my little sweet pea rocking her little "Anchor" print top and shorts. Pattern is from Simplicity 1453 & I made View C and View F. 

What I liked most about this pattern is that you can make it with a yard of fabric plus a little more for the contrasting trim. It's a pretty easy make, with the exception of the button holes. I can make them, but I prefer not too, especially on kids' clothes. I find them a little time consuming, lining them up, getting them just right, re-doing if they're a little wonky, ughh. But they look cute, don't they?

The pattern comes in sizes 3-8 and I made the size 5, but the top was still little too big. You can't tell from this photo ( because I had to tuck a bit ), but the armholes are a way too big, but I'm in no mood to unpick it to downsize it, so  I think I will save it for her to grow into or maybe it will shrink when I wash it. 

For now, she's loves wearing the shorts with a tankie. 

I found the cotton "anchor" print at Joann's on sale for about $4 so you can say I made the entire outfit for under $5 bucks! I love these fast and cost effective outfits! If you're experienced you can make this in about 2 hours, but for beginners I'd say maybe a 4 hour project. 

The shorts actually called for elastic throughout the casing, but I just ended up using elastic on the backside only & I made two pleats on the front side for a tad more tailored look.

Here's a look at the backside. 

And here's a look at the front flat waistband with two small pleats you can't really see because of the print. 

And here's my complete Pattern Review as posted on

Pattern Description: 

Child's Dress, Top, Pants, or Shorts and Hat

Pattern Sizing: 


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? 


Were the instructions easy to follow? 

I personally found them to be easy instructions but they could be challenging for beginners, especially for the top or the dress. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? 

I didn't care how it ended up being a bit too big on the arm holes, and I made a size 5 which is typically what I've been sewing for my daughter in commercial patterns.

Fabric Used: 

I used a cute "Anchor" cotton print. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 

I only added the elastic in the back casing and decided to make two pleats on the front and left it as a flat waistband as I prefer the shorts to look a tad more polished. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

 I'm definitely going to use the pattern to make more shorts, but I think I will skip on making the top or the dress for that matter. Although I know how to make buttonholes, I don't particularly like making them on kids clothes. I find it too tedious, so sometimes I will find an alternate closure solution and just add buttons for style only. 


In conclusion, this was an ok pattern. I have several cuter ones in my stash, so I will most likely not be using this again, except for the shorts maybe. And personally, I wouldn't label this as an "easy to sew" pattern simply because of the facing and all the button holes on this. There are so many others that would be much easier for beginners. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cynthia Rowley Jacket 2443

Here's the jacket I recently made using Cynthia Rowley 2443. Full review at the bottom of the photos.

Pattern Description: Misses' Dress with Knit Bodice and Jacket or Vest

Pattern Sizing: 6-14 ( I added a a bit more to the size 14 seam allowance to make it a tad roomier ).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, with the exception of no loop holes or ribbon ties, as I opted to leave it without.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I would say for the most part yes, however, when it gets to the sleeve cuff and slit/closure part, it gets pretty confusing. I thought I cut mine as the directions called for, but when I started sewing it up I noticed a much wider gap than the illustration was showing, so I had to overlap the closure slightly to top stitch it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the quarter length sleeves and the ring buckle closure detail, and the front facing. 

Fabric Used: I used a stretch denim I found a Joann's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I'm going to add additional side ring buckle enclosures on the waist because it's a little baggy around that area, and I want it a tad more fitted. I also opted out of the front loops with ribbon ties, while I think it looks cute in the photo, I think it would look sloppy on me. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might consider sewing it up again in a fun print, or bolder color. I do recommend it to anyone wanting to try sewing with denim. Just make sure to use a proper denim needle & you should be good to go. 

Conclusion: Overall I enjoyed making this jacket. It gave me pretty good practice on my top stitching. I had originally planned on topstitching it in my favorite turquoise color but I might do that if I ever make it in a white denim. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Simplicity 2380

I recently bumped into my friend at the mall when she mentioned to me that she had trouble finding a cute jumpsuit in a Hawaiian print for her daughter's school promotion to 6th grade which was going to be in a few days. Since I love to sew & always looking for an excuse to do it, I volunteered myself to just make it. I immediately remembered I had a cute Jumpsuit pattern by Simplicity at home that I had not cut into. Here's the pattern.

So when I went to the fabric store the next day I texted her a pic of these 3 Hawaiian prints I thought would be cute for this pattern.

Since she didn't respond while I was in the fabric store, I just went ahead and purchased two yards of the black one in the middle, since it was on sale for 5.99 per yard & I figured it would be popular amongst pre teens. -But It was a good thing I bought it since later that day she said she liked the black one.

Here is the finished jumpsuit. I made view B in a size 14.  This is a super easy to follow pattern that would make an excellent beginner's project. You can't really see the ruffle at the top and in hindsight, I should have used a contrasting solid color for the bodice ruffle. & I bet the pockets would also look cute in a contrasting color. I'll have to make another one.

And here are a few more pics of her wearing it & a pic with me & my little 5 year old, which btw, I realized that the outfits we wore to church on this day I had also made sometime last year.

Monday, August 24, 2015

My first, but not my last Anna Dress By Hand London

I had been wanting to make the Anna Dress, BY HAND London pattern for a while now. I've seen it made in a wide range of skirt variations,  mostly on DollyClackett blog ( that girl has a serious collection of dresses ). I was particulary attracted to the simplicity of the bodice, with the kimono style sleeves, which means there are no separate pattern pieces for the sleeves, just the front and back bodice piece. The pattern offers a long and short version of a panelled A-line skirt and both slash and V-neck options on the neckline. My original plan was to make this dress in a rayon stretch fabric, with a bit longer skirt ( not quite maxi, but just slightly below the knee ). But since I decided to test the pattern first, these pics will be from my first attempt using fabric that has been in my stash for over 5 years ( some kind of sateen ). I had made a panelled skirt from it and still had about 2 yards left over, but I barely had enough to make this dress in the mid skirt version. And even though this fabric has absolutely no stretch in it, I still decided I may as well use it up for a muslin.

The bodice has some basic pleats in the front & some darts in the back. The skirt is sewn up in 6 panels. I made this dress in the 16 pattern size, but I still had to take out a few stitches on both the pleating and the darts on the bodice since it was a tad tight around the bust line. The next one I make, I will most likely lengthen the bodice by about an inch, and use a fabric with a slight stretch in it, so I think the pleats & darts will fit better as they were designed.

 I also have to say that the skirt is way too short for my liking. I had enough fabric to lengthen it by 3 more inches ( which I originally did, but I accidentally cut one of the panels shorter than the other 5 & since I had no more fabric left, I had to just cut them all equally ). But this size is exactly how the pattern will look if you are cutting a size 16 and are making the Mid size skirt. For reference, I'm 5' 6.5" tall. I know it may not be too short in general, but it is for my own personal liking.  I may just wear it once this summer, but then I will have to pair it up with some black leggings and just wear it as a tunic. 

The backside calls for an invisible zipper, and I'll admit that I still have a few issues when I install invisible zippers. I use one of those "invisible zipper" foots which work great, but I have trouble toward the bottom & I always have to do some hand stitching. And if if you look closely at the top of the zipper....I have no idea why it won't zip all the way up. There are no stitches in the way that I can see, so I'm not sure what's happening there. Oh well, good thing my hair will cover that part up. 

But overall, I really do love this pattern. I will most definitely be making a few different variations. My next one I will be pairing up the Anna bodice with a different skirt pattern, a bit longer in length, pleats, side pockets, and no panels. Oh, and definitely a softer, more comfortable fabric. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Simplicity 1435...sort of

I love quick & easy patterns for my kiddo! And Simplicity 1435 seems to be my go to pattern to make a quick outfit for my 4 year old. On this particular outfit though, I did not use the ruffled skirt as suggested. Instead, I just made a simple gathered at the waist skirt to attach to the bodice. The pattern also calls for "knits" only, but I always add a zipper to the backside & it fits perfectly fine. Bias tape around the neckline & armholes & its done! 

I paired this dress with some basic burmuda style shorts, which I also sewed up using some white knit fabric, same pattern just shortened the length & made a wide hem.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Simplicity 1419

I thought I'd share another version of pattern 1419 by Simplicity, where I opted to make a straight pencil skirt bottom ( not in this particular pattern, but easy to make from another skirt pattern ). The top bodice has short sleeves and no collar, but it has a button front closure. The fabric is rayon & it was given to me by a family friend who had it stashed away for over 20 years. I like that it looks a bit vintage & is very comfortable to wear, so I will most likely be making a few more in solid colors. 

Here's a close up view of the front neckline. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Frozen's Anna Halloween Costume

My little Elsa Queen had been insisting I dress up like Anna from Frozen. Except I wasn't in the mood to wear a long dress, long cape, and winter boots, in this hot California weather.  So I decided to make a "summer version" of the Anna dress. Short length, no sleeves, and a hot pink peter pan color instead of the cape. Oh, and I opted to wear it with some black stilletos. Here's the results. 

I simply looked in my stash & found some black poly-stretch jersey fabric to make my bodice, & I made the skirt out of a soft poly-cotton blend ( almost had a suede feel to it, not exactly sure what it was ), and I used a hot pink satin for my colar. Then I just stitched a hot pink ribbon along my hem. 

I used Simplicity 1419, view B. Super easy, super comfortable to wear! I didn't even have to use a zipper since my bodice fabric had a stretch to it, although I did cut a short slit & created a loop type of opening then added a hook & eye closure.  Originally I had planned on sewing on the sleeves, but I changed my mind last minute. 

For my front bodice "Anna Art", I used Reynolds Frozen Paper  found at Walmart, to create a stencil, then cut it out using an exact blade. The frozen paper can be ironed onto fabric to hold the stencil in place, while you paint it with fabric paint. I used some tulip glittery paints from Michaels. 

I could of added a few more coats, but I guess I was a little anxious to finish. I was still happy with the results. 

Like I mentioned, I wasn't in the mood to be wearing winter boots in this hot weather, so I opted to wear my black ankle strap stilettos. 

Here we are after my tot's ABC class. We had a Frozen Fun time at her Halloween Party. 

What I loved most about making this "Anna" dress using this particular pattern, is that it's not too "costumy" in my opinion. I think I would even wear it to Disneyland on one of these days since we are annual pass holders, except I will wear it with ballet flats or even my black converse ( although some hot pink converse would be cute too ).

I will definitely be making another dress using this same pattern. Would look cute with a fitted sweater.