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Finished: Embroidered Roza Blouse

 Mary Corbet recently published a series of articles and tutorials on chicken scratch or gingham lace embroidery. I  made an apron a few years ago with this type of embroidery had never tried it on clothing. I was itching to make some summer tops and the Roza pattern was specifically designed for embroidery so I took the plunge.

Chicken scratch embroidery involves making cross stitch, double stitch and running stitches over gingham squares then running the thread through the top stitches to create ovals or circles which results in a lacy look. This type of embroidery is traditionally done using one color, usually white, but Mary took gingham lace embroidery to a new level by creating floral patterns in multiple colors. I took her lead and  combined white and green threads to create a lace border down my latest version of the Roza blouse. 100_1866

I love how this turned out and already have another one using turquoise and red in the works. If you have never tried embroidering your clothes, chicken scratch is a great place start!

 Roza Embroidered

Dolly Clackett Mini Me? Yeah Baby!!!

Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones decided to host a Dolly Clackett Sewing contest in honor of Nic and Roisin’s upcoming wedding. Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve seen all the lovely dresses Roisin wannabes have been posting lately.

The rules were simple and only required you to sew a dress similar to something Roisin would wear. The contest ends today so without further ado, please check out my “Dolly Clacket Mini Me” dress!

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Roisin is probably best known for her cheerful printed fabric and gathered skirt dresses. She is going to Paris for her honeymoon so has been whipping up Eiffel Tower dresses like mad. In honor of her traveling spirit and my upcoming trip to Italy, I decided my Mini Me dress would require an Italian print fabric. I found the perfect choice at Hawthorne Threads. The fabric is from the Dear Stella Va Bene collection and includes many famous attractions from around Italy. Isn’t it wonderful?

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The dress pattern is an upcoming release from Kate and Rose I was lucky enough to pattern test. I will do a proper review once Kati releases the pattern but can tell you now this is already a TNT pattern for me and will see heavy rotation in the coming months!

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Jennifer Lauren Afternoon Blouse Pattern Review

First I must apologize for being remiss in naming the winners of the Kate and Rose hot iron transfers so without further delay, they are Bea and Anneke! Please send me your mailing addresses and I will get them in the mail post haste!

Now onto my review of the first pattern from Jennifer Lauren Vintage: The Afternoon Blouse. I was immediately sold after seeing Jane and Tasha’s versions. The Afternoon Blouse is loosely based on a 1940’s style blouse with kimono sleeves and a front closure. The pattern is aptly named as even for a slow sewer like me, I still finished within a few hours.

The pattern is sold in pdf format and unlike most pdf patterns, is tiled so you don’t have to print all the pieces at once. This is especially helpful since there are two front closure variations. I chose to make the rounded front closure version and only had to make a slight grade to the bust area to fit my 48″ bust measurements. Since the blouse is intended to fit over your head without zippers or buttons, the overall shape is loose. I am a pear shape so the shape fit wonderfully without significant changes.100_1849

I also love the fact that there are only four pattern pieces: front, back, neck facing, and front facing. It took me about an hour to put the pattern together, make my grading changes, and cut the pieces out. Jen’s instructions are super clear and easy to follow and with the exception of the bottom of the front closure being a bit “fiddly”, the blouse was a joy to sew.

I enjoyed making the blouse so much, I made two! The first one used some rose suiting from my stash and the second was made from a yard of Liberty of London Wiltshire. Since I only had a yard the facings were some white lining from my stash.  These blouses also cover my April challenge over at The Monthly Stitch which required me to sew at least two versions of the same pattern. Even though I have sewn two,  I see more Afternoon Blouses in my future!100_1844

Kate & Rose Pattern Review

My favorite pattern of 2013 was the Roza pattern so when Kati of Kate & Rose asked me to review her new pattern, of course I said “YES”!

For those unfamiliar with Kate & Rose, this is an independent pattern company based in New York that specializes in Hungarian embroidery motifs. Kati, who grew up in Hungary, is the mastermind behind the company and her desire is to preserve the beautiful handwork by inspiring new generations to embroider.

Her latest project is hot iron transfers. She sent me a package to try and I must say they are wonderful. I am a big fan of iron transfers and love trying new designers. Since I am impatient and don’t want to have to pull out my light box and trace designs when I am ready to sew iron transfers work well. Kati sells 4 different designs and the one I chose was Faraway Garden.

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Each package comes with a 12″ x 18″ transfer sheet and instructions. Though the instructions recommend transferring to light fabric, my rebellious side kicked in so I chose to use dark red fabric. I had no issues with the image transferring and was able to iron the design twice with no problem. If I had used a light colored fabric I would be able to transfer three or four times before the design became too light.

After transferring the design, I opted to use white thread instead of the traditional multiple colors. My main reason was so the napkins could be used for both Valentine’s and Christmas. One of the nice things about these designs are the multiple sizes. Some are intended for borders or to be used down the front of the Roza blouse while others are suitable for single motifs.

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The instructions include information on how to transfer the designs as well as how to sew each embroidery technique. The design I chose used both stem and satin stitch which were easy to master. I love how these napkins turned out and my next project is going to be a simple a-line skirt with an embroidered border!

As a thank you for reviewing her pattern, Kati graciously offered a couple of patterns for my readers to try. Please check her shop and post a comment about which of these patterns you like best and I will randomly choose a winner next weekend.

And The Winners Are…

Just a quick update to announce the winners of my recent giveaways. Please send me an email with your mailing address and I will get your items in the post!

Congratulations go to cathynd95 who is the recipient of 8 balls of St Tropez Gedifra yarn and ebonierika who is the recipient of 4 vintage patterns. I can’t wait to see what you make!

I also wanted to thank everyone who voted in the Miss Bossy Patterns challenge. There was a tie between two patterns for several days but shawnta715 finally put Simplicity 2017 over the top with 47.62% of the votes. I hope to do this pattern and fabric proud!

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The Monthly Stitch Miss Bossy Patterns March Challenge

There is a twist on the March challenge over at The Monthly Stitch and I need your help! The normal process is for the collective to vote on the theme then stitch whatever theme the majority chose. I haven’t had a chance to complete any challenges since my Date Night dress entry for the Frocktober Challenge but that hasn’t stopped me from cutting out the dresses and getting them ready to stitch.

This month requires each sewist to have their blog readers choose between three patterns in their stash that are new to them. I have A LOT of patterns I haven’t sewn but actually want to complete one of my never sewn “hibernating” projects so my March Monthly Stitch entry will be one of the following. Please post a comment and let me know which one you think I should stitch up for the challenge and the pattern with the most votes will be my entry!

First up is Vintage Pattern 9387 which is a sleeveless, princess seamed dress that I originally intended to make for the September Vintage Patterns Challenge. I chose an emerald green marbled fabric and have all the pieces cut and ready to sew.

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The second option is the Licorice dress from Colette Patterns Sewing Handbook and was supposed to be my November From a Sewing Book Challenge entry. The fabric is the lovely Liberty of London Tana Lawn Alma in black and red. This one is also cut and ready to sew.

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The final option is Simplicity 2017 which is a sleeveless shift dress with a square yoke. The fabric was a prize from Anneke of Annette Tirette.  This fabric is an African wax print and should suit the pattern quite nicely!

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New Dress, New Challenge & New Giveaway

Greetings from the SNOWY south ya’ll! I have been stuck inside for two days with my husband and very bored teenager so you can imagine how happy I am to be able to share my latest make with you.

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This is my third version of the Peony dress from Colette patterns. I used short sleeves on the first one and the second one was a sleeveless version but I wanted this one to have longer sleeves so I could wear it through the winter. The fabric is from Art Gallery’s Splendor 1920 collection and is called Adorneament in Royal. I love the vintage Downton Abbey look of the fabric and plan to wear it for a Valentine’s Day dinner with my husband if the weather eases up long enough for us to get out of the driveway! I bought this fabric last year from Hawthorne Threads along with the fabric for my Date Night dress.  I also still have three lengths of fabric from that order waiting to be stitched up so I hope to show you some more lovely dresses soon!

I did my normal modifications to the pattern:

  • Graded up to fit 47″ bust
  • Used bias tape instead of facings for the neckline
  • Lengthened the skirt by 4 inches
  • Sewed a lapped zipper instead of using an invisible zipper

This time I also opted to add the contrasting sash which was a pain to get a good fit. Since my waist-to-hip differential is so large and I am short waisted, it is hard to get belts wide enough to accentuate without riding up above the hip fluff. I did manage to get this one to fit after a couple of attempts by using snaps instead of a single button.
Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge

Another thing I did when the power and internet were restored was visit my favorite blogs for new sewing inspiration. What I found was not “new” inspiration but “vintage”. Marie of A Stitching Odyssey has decided to challenge herself to finally use some of her vintage patterns instead of merely collecting them. She challenged other sewists to also use their vintage stash and I have decided to join her Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge by committing to use at least three of my vintage patterns this year.

While searching through my vintage pattern stash to determine which ones I plan to sew, I realized I have way TOO many and will not possibly get around to sewing them all. I hope to finalize my vintage sewing list soon but in the meantime, there is a good way to share my love of vintage sewing with you by sending these four patterns to one lucky sewist. Just leave a comment by Wednesday, February 19th and I will choose a winner next Thursday.

Congratulations to the winner of last week’s yarn giveaway: Cathynd95! Cathy, please email me your address and I will get the yarn in the post!

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