Marbella Dress Tour & Giveaway

Hi & thanks for stopping by for the Itch to Stitch Marbella Dress Pattern Blog Hop!

I’ve always loved Audrey Hepburn. I know I’m not the only one. As a teenager she was a great role model – classic, beautiful, charming, graceful, timeless. I love her in this iconic photo wearing that boat neck dress with tulip skirt pegged down to the floor. *swoon*

Lovely, but a little impractical for daily wear. Insert the Marbella Dress by Itch to Stitch Designs.

As I mentioned on Monday’s Post, when I first saw the Marbella Dress I was over the moon for Kennis Wong’s design! I’m sure a lot of it had to do with it’s classic feel and clean lines. I was so thrilled to be able to test such a lovely garment pattern. The Marbella Dress features a wide boat neck, front and back yokes allowing for color blocking, feminine princess lines that allow for a close fit in the bodice, roomy, slightly above knee tulip skirt, functional in-seam pockets and invisible back zipper closure (description from the Itch to Stitch website).

Itch to Stitch Marbella Dress Pattern | JaimeSews

The group of testers and Kennis were so wonderfully helpful through the entire process. Before cutting into our fashion fabrics (mine being this solid blue, slightly textured bottom weight from F&M Fabrics), several of us started with muslins (practice garments) from solid cotton or leftover fabrics to get the fit just right. This pattern has sizing for A/B/C/D cups (I KNOW!) so the bodice fit wonderfully in front right off the bat. However, I did have some pooling of fabric at my lower back. That was quickly remedied by a sway back alteration on the appropriate pattern pieces. This is a common alteration for me on all patterns, one I failed to do (since I skipped the muslining stage) on my Easter Dress and really regret! As you can see in the picture below, the alteration was worth it! No extra fabric, just smooth seams.Itch to Stitch Marbella Dress Pattern | JaimeSews

Another change I made to the pattern was to blend between sizes. This is also common for me as my measurements always do land a little smaller on top than on bottom. At first Kennis and I did not think it would matter since the skirt is so roomy, but after some mystery fitting issues with the first muslin, I cut a larger skirt and attached to the practice garment after resolving the swayback and the correct size skirt made all the difference in the world. Itch to Stitch Marbella Dress Pattern | JaimeSews

I really want to emphasize that these are alterations I have to do every time I sew for myself so it was definitely not the pattern! In fact, the pattern itself was wonderful to work with. Everything fit together beautifully. And I really adored the techniques outlined in the instructions. They made me a better seamstress by walking me through some steps I am usually in too much of a hurry to consider (like trimming the lining pieces slightly to make them turn a little inward so you don’t see the lining peak out from the front of the garment). Little things like that, and more outlined in the instructions, really contribute to a professional finished product! Itch to Stitch Marbella Dress Pattern | JaimeSews

I think this dress has a lot of potential to be drastically different just by changing the fabrics! The fabric I chose is great for fall/winter with a jacket or sweater, but a floral would be great for spring and the yoke and bodice would lend themselves beautifully to color blocking, as you can see in some of the others’ tester versions. So be sure to click around below and follow the tour – you won’t be sorry!

ALSO – enter to win your own Marbella Dress pattern here!

*The Marbella Dress pattern was given to me in exchange for sewing and testing the fit and pattern details. Opinions are all mine. This post does contain affiliate links*

Wed, October 15:
Ann from The Pattern Studio by 1 Puddle Lane
Lindsay from Design by Lindsay

Thursday, October 16:
Debbie from Stitch It Now
Jaime from Jaime Johnson

Monday, October 20:
Darcy from Ginger House Designs
Stacey from All Sewn Up by Stacey

Tuesday, October 21:
Diane Guess Post on Itch to Stitch
Ajaire from Call Ajaire

Itch To Stitch Marbella Blog Hop Coming Soon!

When I saw Kennis Wong mention an upcoming testing call for the Marbella Dress* in my Pattern Workshop* Group, I practically begged her to let me sign up before she was ready to take sign ups since I was leaving the next day for a weekend away with no internet or cell service.

Marbella Dress Pattern by Itch to Stitch

I absolutely LOVED the design and I was SO afraid I would miss the official call because, let us be frank – without a deadline, almost no sewing gets done for myself. Sure I could have purchased the pattern when it was released, but it would most likely have gone on the long list of projects waiting to be done and never see the light of day. Safe to say I was jumping up and down when I made the tester cut and was excited to get to work.

Starting Wednesday of this week, there will be a Marbella Dress Blog Hop over at Itch To Stitch so you can see all the lovely tester versions and read everyone’s opinion on the process and the pattern. Last week, when the pattern was released, I leaked this picture of my finished dress.

Itch to Stitch Marbella Dress Pattern | JaimeSews

But be sure to stop back by Thursday to see it from every angle and to hear about my testing experience, the changes I made and why you might consider picking yourself up a copy! See you Thursday!

*affiliate links

Sewing for Good

It’s always great to be able to help others, but there’s something great about being able to use your talents to bless others. Lately I’ve been looking into ways my sewing can be of help to other people and I thought it’d be fun to share what I’ve found and then hear from you the ways you’ve been able to give through your sewing.

(NOTE: Always be sure to check into the charities you work with to make sure you agree with their mission and financial stewardship. The charities I mention below are suggestions I’ve found in my own internet search in my desire to get involved, but please do your own homework.)

Quilt Ministry at Church - Many churches have Prayer Quilt ministries where a group of ladies get together to create quilts for those experiencing sickness, loss, surgery, treatments, etc. as a tangible expression of support. At my church, the quilts are finished by tying where each knot represents a prayer made by a church member who takes the time to stop by the table and say a prayer. Even if you’re a basic or new quilter, this is a great place to contribute as quilts can be simple or complex in pattern, they are usually lap sized, and sewing side-by-side with other women can give you the opportunity to gain from their skill. I’ve heard many families express what these quilts meant to their loved one, and to even to them, as their family went through a difficult time. If quilting’s your thing, this is a great way to give to others through your craft!

Little Dresses for Africa –  If garment sewing is more your thing, check out Little Dresses for Africa. With this organization, “Simple dresses are made out of pillow cases, and distributed through the orphanages, churches and schools in  Africa to plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy!” I think many of us can all relate to how clothing can affect how we feel & knowing that someone across the world is thinking about you would brighten anybody’s day! If this is something that interests you, you’ll definitely want to click through and check out the website to find out how Little Dresses for Africa started and how to host your own sewing party.

LittleDressesForAfrica

The Sleeping Bag Project – This is one I found intriguing and it could easily be applied to your location, even if you and your family are the only participants (though there is information on the site on finding an existing group). Our family tries to keep blessing bags in our car for when we see people in need. It’s not much, but just a little something we hope is helpful in the short term. Providing a hand made sleeping bag would be a great addition to the blessing bags. There are instructions on their site so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and they would be an amazing use for scraps – something you could make as you go year round.

sleepingbagproject

There are many, many more charities and ways to help others with our sewing. I’m dying to know – in what ways have you used your sewing for good? Please let me know in the comments!

Gift for a Friend: India Hobo

Today is my friend Becky’s Birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BECKY!!!

(If you or someone in your family loves Star Wars, you’ll want to check out Becky’s blog, Star Wars Wife!)

I was super excited when Becky’s husband contacted me to make up a bicycle-themed hobo bag. Swoon Patterns is one of the authorities on Bag Patterns so I swooped up the India Hobo Bag pattern & it didn’t let me down.

Swoon India Hobo Bag | JaimeSews

Most of the pattern pieces are stabilized with a woven fusible interfacing. I was a little nervous at first but was really happy with the result – the bag feels sturdy without feeling too stiff. Becky’s main requirement was that the bag be a cross-the-body style, but she also wanted some zipper pockets. Swoon India Hobo Bag | JaimeSews

The India has two good-sized zipper pockets, one inside, one outside, not to mention the large main pocket and a large outside open pockets on either side. Swoon India Hobo Bag | JaimeSews

Last night we had a great time at a barbecue celebrating Becky. I learn so much from being her friend – she is purposefully positive, intentional in her relationships, a learner, creative & a lover of God and her family.

Swoon India Hobo Bag | JaimeSews

I am thankful I was given the opportunity to help with her hubby’s gift this year – hope you love your bag Becky and here’s to a great year!

Introducing Ginger House Designs!

Happy Monday!  Today is the day to check out the bloggers I tagged in the blog hop from last week! Lindsay of Sew Lindsay, Sew!, introduced last week, and Teresa of Navy Blue Threads. Teresa is from Manchester, in the North West of England and works part time as an English teacher in secondary school. She was kindly given a sewing machine for her 40th birthday, three years ago and thus, her love of sewing began. I know you will enjoy getting to know each of these ladies so be sure to click through!

And now, I am excited to introduce you to a new brand of PDF patterns, Ginger House Designs. I’ll let Darcy explain it all below:

Hello! I’m Darcy from Ginger House Designs Blog and Jaime invited me here to talk about my new pattern line, Ginger House Designs!  This past Friday, I released my first ever digital pattern, the Emerson Dress.

A little bit about myself. I’ve always had a need to create and craft and in high school, I picked up sewing as a hobby.  I mostly sewed simple dresses and vests for myself. After college, when I was engaged, I sewed all of my bridesmaids handbags as gifts. I also started my husband a Lucius Malfoy costume (which I never finished but he still asks for it so this may be a future project?!). Upon having my first (and currently only) child and becoming a stay at home mom, I began to take the time to really study and learn sewing and pattern drafting. I took many courses, some local and some online and read as many books as I could get my hands on at the local library.


Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

I was born and raised in Charleston, SC and am now living in Upstate South Carolina.  All of my patterns (one out right now and three more in the works) are named after Charleston places and things that I grew up around, some known and some unfamiliar to most.

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews
The Emerson Dress, which I have already mentioned is my first pattern, is named after the street that I grew up on, Emerson Street.  We were the only house on Emerson Street.  I felt like Emerson would be a good place to start my patterns, since it is my beginning!

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

This pattern comes with many features that are great for customizing and making it your own!  The front bodice pieces together, so the sky’s the limit for colorblocking and pattern mixing-and-matching.

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

The skirt piece includes cutting lengths for dress and shirt.  And it can be made sleeveless or with flutter sleeves.  The arm hole is big enough for layering underneath with a long sleeve shirt to bring us into fall and winter (spoilers: one of the patterns I’m working on right now might be a long sleeve ruffled t-shirt)!  Who doesn’t love a dress that can keep working for you into multiple seasons!

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

I have set up a flickr group for Ginger House Designs so everyone can share their wonderful creations! I really can’t wait to see what people do with this pattern!  To buy the pattern, head over to the Ginger House Designs Etsy shop!

Emerson Dress Pattern by Ginger House Designs | JaimeSews

Thank you for having me over here today!  If you want to see more of my doings and things in the works, head over to Ginger House Designs Blog!  I have some tutorials in the works that will be up on the blog soon!

FREE Baby Bib Set Pattern // The Rock-a-bye Bundle by Giggles & Beans

Happy Friday friends! I have an exciting post for you today – a FREE baby pattern bundle from another Pattern Workshop friend, Shelly Morgan of Giggles and Beans!! Keep on reading to get all the details and your FREE download!

Hi Everyone!  I can’t believe that it is finally done, but it is!  I am launching my first pattern and it is FREE!  Yes, FREE!  It is called the Rock-a-bye Bundle  and it is a beginner sewing pattern set that includes two different size bib patterns, a contoured burp cloth pattern, and a pattern for car seat strap covers.   I know that you can find free bib patterns/tutorials  all over the internet, but there are a few things that make this pattern special.  The first is that I have focused on how to sew this fabric using  soft and absorbent Cuddle Minky, although you can use any fabric.  The second and more exciting part is that the pattern is packaged just like a REAL pattern that you would pay for.

FREE Rock-a-Bye Pattern Bundle | JaimeSews

All the details are there: easy to understand illustrations, in depth instructions, fabric requirements, all in an easy to download PDF.    This is all thanks to Lauren Dahl over at Pattern Workshop for giving me the tools that I needed to accomplish the many creations that had been forming in my head.   I had a great time putting this together and learned so much in the process.  I can’t wait to show you my next pattern that I am working on.  But while you wait go on over and check out my new website for my newly formed pattern company So Tweet Patterns!

FREE Rock-a-bye Pattern Bundle | JaimeSews

Get To Know You Blog Hop

Last week you met Kimberly from Straight Stitch Designs – didn’t you love her reusable sandwich wrap tutorial?!? Well she has invited me to join in on a get-to-know-you type blog hop in which I answer four questions and then pass it on to two bloggers I’d like to hear from! So here goes!

Why Do I Write?

I write for my blog because I love to sew and, therefore, love any opportunity to “talk sewing”! Several years ago I worked at a quilt shop.

quilt shops 2011-01-08 003 copy

It was a glorious experience because it was literally my business to talk sewing, fabric, patterns, techniques, machines and more! I would help customers choose fabrics for their various projects, figure out fabric requirements when they wanted this quilt pattern but in a different size or with an additional row, drool over new fabric lines coming in, learn to use the latest sewing machine models and help others learn to use their machines. There was inspiration everywhere I looked and always something to learn. In a way, the sewing blogosphere is like that. There are self-taught seamstresses, crafty college graduates, and professionals sharing their specialties, ideas, new patterns and free projects. There is no lack of inspiration or things to learn no matter your level of education on the topic. I write to share what knowledge I have, pass on resources I find useful, reveal projects I’ve completed and more in the hopes that I’m adding to the sewspiration I see all around me!

What Am I Working On?

Truth be told, I have sewing ADD. I seem to always be working on twenty things at once. At the moment I am mid-sew on a customer order (waiting for my serger to get back from the shop), I have another customer project also in the works – 16 lined table runners for a wedding, and I also have 3 quilts cut and ready to sew. In addition, I have been working on drafting my first digital pattern in the evenings when I feel energized and not quite ready for bed.

workingon

How Does It Differ From Others of its Genre?

As mentioned before, there is a vast sewing blogosphere and lots of interesting people to follow. I don’t pretend to know everything about sewing, but I enjoy sharing what I know and that, of course, is unique to me. I have my own style, likes and dislikes, knowledge to share and my own unique voice and point of view. Simply put…

drseuss

How Does My Writing Process Work?

In my fantasy world, I have a blog planner and I plan out ahead of time all my topics. I thoughtfully write my posts and have inspiring photo sessions with the perfect lighting. I sew things well in advance and have the self-control not to share them with you until the timing is right. However, in my real world, my writing process works perhaps the way you’d expect it to for a work-at-home-mom with several micro-businesses who has to sometimes keep some semblance of a clean house and also home schools a few hours a day.

frazzled-mom

Writing happens somewhere in between realizing I need a post for Monday, dinner being on the stove or in the oven, the mad dash to finish that project to share, switching the laundry, grabbing a few quick photos, mediating an argument over legos, and sitting down to the computer to actually type something out (with 5.2 million interruptions for snacks, emails, work phone calls, etc.). And while I sometimes long for more peaceful organization, I absolutely treasure being able to be at home with my babies, which provides time for me to work at things that matter and the things that I enjoy.

Last Year’s Christmas Photo Session

Well that about wraps it up! Next Monday you’ll want to stop by my two nominees to learn more about them.  In the meantime, you can check out their blogs to see what they’re up to.

First up, Sew Lindsay, Sew! Obviously she has good taste since we chose the same wordpress theme and just a few posts ago, she made something Star Wars ;) In her (paraphrased) own words, she’s a midwest girl living in Florida, learning to sew one magical project at a time. She considers herself an “advanced beginner” but you wouldn’t know it from her projects! Check out this awesome tea cup zippy pouch! I love it! We’ve followed each others blogs for a little bit so I look forward to learning more about her and her process.

My second blog pick and I are still working out the details, but I’ll be sure to introduce her and repost Sew Lindsay, Sew’s link next week!