Sewing: Pattern Testing| Blue Ridge Dress by Hello Holli

blue-ridge-dress-instructionsEvery once in a while, I have the opportunity to test a sewing pattern that has the potential of becoming a go-to project.  I think the Blue Ridge Dress by Hello Holli might just fit that bill.

This is before hemming, so it's way too long
This is before hemming, so it’s way too long

It is quick, simple, easy, but with a super clean finish and loads of possibilities.

This is the first version I made using fabric from a sentimental skirt of mine. This version is reversible.

The fit is great.  Even on my bitty baby, I like the fit.

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Check out all the other versions made during the test… this thing looks great on every single model.  That’s definitely saying something.

DSC_0308 (4)eThe back is cute, with its long opening hole and bias tape button hole.

DSC_0322 (2)The skirt is fully gathered, offering lots of swing and flow.  I would imagine that little 3-5 year old princesses would love twirling in this dress.  🙂

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Holli put a lot of work into this pattern.  It is well written and easy to understand.  She’s included awesome illustrations.

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The pattern features a wide range of sizes: 12 m-14y, so it will be one of your go-to patterns for years to come.

Check out the other stops on the tester tour here.

And snag your copy of the Blue Ridge Dress pattern here. You can use the code BLUERIDGELAUNCH through Friday, July 3rd for 20% off the price of the pattern.

Also, if you hurry, you could try to win a copy of the pattern here!

DSC_0316 (3)e(The length has been edited since finishing this dress.  The skirt is supposed to hit right at the knee, so it’s obviously too long on my tiny lady.  That’s one thing that’s nice about the pattern, though… you can customize it to be really any length.)

Sewing | Pattern Testing: Limon Dress and Top

DSC_0007 (3)eppdDo you remember the Kudzu Cargos that I made, here, and here?  What about the Fawn Lily, here?  Charming Doodle has contributed another pattern to Willow and Co Patterns that I think you’ll like!  It is called the Limon Dress and Top.

DSC_0013 (4)ppdThis was such a fun test.  The pattern is fun and engaging, and easy to understand.  The finished dress (or top) is fully lined and finishes very professionally.  The pattern includes instructions for sleeveless or sleeved, optional button placket and ruffles, and different hem length options.

DSC_0017 (3)ppdI added elastic to the hemline of my sleeves, giving a different look. DSC_0013 (3)ppdI also did a bubble hem by shortening the lining, ruffling the outer skirt hem, and sewing the two hems together.  I like the way that puffy shape of the sleeves is repeated in the bubble hem.

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DSC_0024 (4)ppdYou may not know this about me: I LOVE tucks… and the Limon Dress has plenty of them!  I love ironing them down… I know, I’m weird.  🙂

DSC_0022 (5)ppdAnyway, this really is a beautiful pattern!

Check out the other tester projects here.

And, pick up your copy of the Limon Dress and Top Pattern here.

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A blessing dress for baby girl

It is funny.  Usually, by this time in a pregnancy, I’ve made blankets, burp rags, blessing outfit, several other outfits, a take home outfit, bedding, crocheted items, room decor… the list could go on and on.  Maybe because it’s my fourth baby, maybe because I’m in school and have no time, maybe it’s because we’re going to move and don’t want to accumulate or do too much rearranging… I have not done nearly the amount of nesting as normal.  Little miss will be in our room, in a pack-n-play, for the first several months.  We won’t be using a crib until after we move, so I don’t have bedding to make.  We aren’t setting up a nursery, so there’s no decorating to be done.  I’ve made a couple of outfits and done some crocheting, but not necessarily specific for MY girl.

I NEEDED to make a blessing dress, though.  And, I wanted to get it done before she came because, as busy as I am now, I know how much busier life gets with a brand new baby. 

peasant dress, lace overlay, satin underlayer. Blessing dress?

This is the dress I found a while ago thinking that it would be beautiful for a blessing dress.  I didn’t want to buy new fabric, though, so I decided to use what I had on hand and see if I could make something pretty enough. 

Normally, I would have self-drafted a pattern, but I just didn’t want to/ couldn’t take the time, so I used a pattern I own: Simplicity 4243, making modifications where I needed.

It was a quick and easy dress to sew, but I decided to make it reversible, so I had to think a bit about the order I sewed things together. 


At this point, I thought it looked a little too casual for a blessing dress.  I decided to press on and add the bow, though, thinking that I’d just use it as an everyday kind of Sunday dress.  But, the bow kind of makes it!  I think it dresses it up just enough. 

ImageI also made a little grey stretch lace diaper cover and matching headband to go with.  I plan to make some little shoes- either out of the grey fabric or crocheted… maybe the stretch lace?  How would you make shoes out of stretch lace?! 

Watercolor dress

ImageI made a simple, but cute little baby dress to give to a friend who just had a baby girl.  I just made a simple A-line pattern with a little extra fabric in the bodice to pleat the front and gather the back. ImageThe fabric is from my mom’s stash and I love the subtlety.  ImageI’m getting better at button holes.  These two are pretty good, if I do say so myself. 🙂

ImageI don’t like to see diapers hanging out under a dress, so I made a diaper cover.Image











Cute.  Simple.  Love it.


My new dress

I happen upon a lot of fun sewing competitions in blog-land.   I also watch a lot of Project Runway (probably my favorite show), and I love to see what people come up with using a bit of fabric.  I noticed this happening now: a linky party/ competition based on the Coffee Date dress from the Burdastyle website. 

Probably two years ago, I downloaded the pattern with the intention of making one for myself.  I never got around to it- partially because I’m just starting to get comfortable with sewing things for myself.  (I just looked up when I downloaded the pattern- June 2010- over three years ago!)

Well, this was the perfect kick in the pants to make something inspired by the Coffee Date Dress.  Image

I dug through my fabric stash, another partially finished project, and other ideas I’d filed away and the Coffee Date morphed into something completely different. 

ImageIt is more like the Sunny Soiree dress from Anthropologie, which I love. 

I did use the Coffee Date Dress pattern for the placement of the ruffle and bodice darts, otherwise it’s completely self drafted. 

ImageThe bodice is some soft, silky something or another.  I have no idea what kind of fabric it is.  I like the way it hangs, though.

I love the key hole back.ImageThe skirt is a silk chiffon with tiny polka dots.  I have had it for quite a while.  I first tried to make a maxi skirt with it, but ended up cutting it incorrectly.  Because of that, the shape of this skirt is not quite what I had in mind, but I like it.  It’s flowy and fun and I feel like a ballerina. 🙂

The lining is re-purposed from a jersey knit dress.  ImageI wore my new dress to church on Sunday and was super happy with the wear-ability.  The elastic casing on the back makes it very comfortable (no zippers!). 

ImageI’m pretty happy with my new threads! 

Sorry about the bad photos.  I can’t seem to find my real camera, so I’ve been relying solely on the iphone. 


Turquoise baby dress

I have another baby shower coming up- for a baby girl.  I decided to try a technique I saw online that gives some texture to the fabric.  I did it wrong.  But, I liked the way my version looked, so I kept it.  I will try the technique again sometime, correctly.

ImageThe fabric is a cute floral that I got from my mom’s stash, so it’s very old.  Funny story.  I actually used this fabric as one of the main fabrics for a little boy’s birthday present last week (I made a superhero cape and mask).  I thought it was stars, not flowers.  Not the most masculine of fabrics to use for a little boy, but… oh way-ell!

ImageI made a series of pleats.  Ironed them all to one side.  Sewed them down.  Brought every other pleat together with a couple of small stitches right in the middle. 

ImageThen, I sewed it up, lining the bodice, adding some trim along the bottom,

Imageand a big button on the back.  Easy peasy.

ImageThe button is actually not functional.  I am weird about buttons for baby clothes.  I sewed it on the outside and then used a snap for the closure.  







It’s a pretty simple, cute little dress.  I plan to make a diaper cover for it as well.  I thought I was making a size 0-3, but I think it’s more like a 3-6 month.  I tried it on my littlest (17 months at the end of the month) and it fit him just fine as a top.  So, I think it will work from about 3 months- 12 months or later, especially if it is used as a top as well as a dress.