Secret Garden Dress Pattern + Giveaway

The Secret Garden Dress pattern is being released tomorrow! Squeal! I know a lot of you have been waiting for it. Wanna see mine?

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern : Love the bow & cascading flounce!!

This pattern is a collaboration between Deb from Sprouting JubeJube Allison from E+M Patterns.

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern

  • Sleeveless, lined bodice with side zip
  • Knee length skirt with peekaboo lining
  • Attached bow with open center back & cascading flounce
  • Size 2-10

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern | SewsNBows

My model measures a size 3T in her chest and waist, but she’s not quite 2 years old in this photo. My dress falls longer on a much younger baby; but if you check out the tester photos you’ll see that the dress is designed to fall about knee length. I sewed the dress exactly according to the pattern for an accurate test fitting. I love the way it looks with the extra length, and sweet little toes peeking out!

The Secret Garden Dress | SewsNBows

As for pattern testing on the Secret Garden Dress, it was a great experience. Since I had never worked with Deb or Allison, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew is that I wanted to own this pattern before everybody else. I know that’s the worst reason to test a pattern; (because you want it right now, right freakin’ now!!)…but I’ve never claimed moral scruples here.

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern from Sprouting JubeJube & E+M Patterns

The minute I saw the tester call I was on it like white on rice. I signed up for a size 3, but I probably would’ve kidnapped someones child and sewed a different size if I needed to. It was that serious. When I got picked; I almost died of happy.

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern | SewsNBows

Pattern testing was involved, and I mean that in a good way. The girls were extremely detail oriented and I could tell that they wanted the Secret Garden Dress to be absolutely perfect. Testers each sewed a bodice muslins before the entire pattern was available. The neckline was lowered a nudge and they made sure the armcyes were a good fit in each size. I loved working so closely with other testers, and appreciate the work ethic of Deb & Allison.

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern

I’d say an advanced beginner could handle this pattern. I didn’t struggle too much, and it’s more challenging than stuff I normally sew. I laid the back dress and flounce out to help me understand this magic. It’s simpler than it looks, and pretty genius too!

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern | SewsNBows

Finding strawberries in the garden :)

I’ve made another Secret Garden Dress that I’ll be showing you soon. Can’t wait! If you’re dying to sew this dress too, you can get it here:

E+M Patterns

Enter below for your chance to win a copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Spin Skirt | Tween Pattern Showcase & Skirting The Issue

Spin Skirt by Elegance & Elephants, poplin from L’Ouseau Fabrics

Spin Skirt pattern from Elegance & Elephants

Today I’m at E&E talking about knit fabrics from L’Ouseau. Check out the post here!

Aside from their amazing selection of knits; L’Ouseau also carries hard to find Euro prints. Poplin is a fabric with a plain weave, but it’s different than quilters cotton. The fibers are woven tighter, which makes the fabric feel lighter and more crisp. It’s usually cotton or a cotton blend, and it’s specifically designed for clothing. It can have a bit of sheerness, and has a nice drape for garments.

Poplin print from L'Ouseau Fabrics

This print sang to me. (Get it? Because birds sing?! Just laugh please.)

I wanted to make something for Skirting The Issue and Bella agreed to wear it for you; with the requirement that readers must be informed that she doesn’t wear much pink or flowers. She doesn’t want her tomboy reputation ruined, I guess?

(I love pink, and so does 99% of the world. Moving on.)

Spin Skirt in L'Ouseau Fabric | SewsNBows

I also thought this would be a good opportunity to show you why Heidi’s Spin Skirt is on my Tween PDF Pattern MasterList; when it only goes up to girls size 10.

E&E Spin Skirt pattern | SewsNBows

The Spin Skirt is a very full skirt. You can add length to the elastic & waistband pieces to adjust this skirt to any size you like. I added about 2″ to the elastic and casing in order to size up to a 12. That was pretty generous, and I think this skirt would easily fit a size 14 as well.

Spin Skirt | SewsNBows

So the Spin Skirt pattern could be used for anyone, adults included. All you have to do is use your judgement on the waistband and casing. I wrapped the elastic around my daughter’s waist, and added enough ease to the casing so that it could pull over her hips. No adjustments to the skirt are needed.

Elastic & drawstring waistband | SewsNBows

My favorite part of this pattern is the waistband. Using two pieces of thin elastic with a drawstring results in a really couture look. This style of waistband is very prevalent in higher end ready to wear. It also provides a really custom fit, so comfortable!

Spin Skirt from Elegance & Elephants | Tween Pattern Showcase

The Spin Skirt pattern and instructions  are included when you purchase the Bubble Pocket Top. Pattern pieces are self drafted. (I am an affiliate of E&E patterns.) Visit Elegance & Elephants to check out this pattern and more!

You can read up on Skirting The Issue at Project Sewn if you’re curious about it. People are sewing skirts for girls in foster homes, hospitals…there’s plenty of causes to donate to.

SewsNBows Tween Pattern Showcase: The Spin Skirt from Elegance & Elephants

Well, I think that’s enough writing for today, I’m off to wash laundry and dishes. Always laundry and dishes….lol!


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Betty Skirt Pattern : Pleated Skirt for 18″ Doll

The Shaffer Sisters are hard at work again; adding extended sizes to the Betty Skirt pattern! (There may also be some fun add-ons…but we’ll have to wait and see:) I can’t say too much; but I can confirm this:

The Betty Skirt from Shaffer Sisters will soon include 18" doll sizes!

It will include a bonus 18″ doll pattern!

Betty Skirt Pattern Variations

The new size chart will go up to size 16. It still includes small or large pleat options; a gathered skirt, and a gathered skirt with a front button placket. I made a button placket version in denim earlier this year, and loved the finished skirt!

The Betty Skirt with Pixie Faire Baseball Tee for American Girl Doll

So this time I sewed the pleated Betty Skirt. (Large pleat option.) I’m not a big fan of precision pressing; so maybe the stars were just aligned. My pleats magically lined themselves properly with no adjusting. Tell me I’m not the only one who battles it out with pleats?!

The Betty Skirt pattern with extended sizes: will include 18" doll bonus pattern!

The end result is so sweet! I’m less intimidated by doll clothes, and maybe that was a factor. But this little pleated skirt came together so easily. There’s an easy to use pleat guide. I just transferred the markings to my fabric, folded, and pressed.

Pleated Betty Skirt & Baseball Tee with sneakers, American Girl Doll Sewing

I also really love the waistband technique for this skirt. The yoke folds down on itself. You make your elastic loop and just pop it in there. I used 5/8″ elastic.

Pleated Chambray Skirt with Striped Tee for American Girl Doll

This fabric is a little thicker than regular quilting cotton or poplin. I added fake bartacks to keep my pleats in place. (Fake because I haven’t figured out how to use the automatic bartack feature on my machine. This is just back stitching!)

The Betty Skirt pattern from Shaffer Sisters

I’m looking forward to making the button placket skirt in something light and drapey. I’d like to make matching girl/doll skirts! I’ll let you know all the new details about the Betty Skirt as soon as it’s official. See ya soon!


Posted in Dolls, Toys | Tagged , | 5 Comments
Overall Dress Refashion

Its Refashion Month at House of Estrella!

Refashion Month

Here’s my easy overall dress refashion tutorial. It takes 20 minutes or less, and very little sewing experience is needed.

Refashion boys overalls into a cute dress! Easy tutorial.

We started with a perfectly respectable pair of overalls. There’s nothing wrong with them at all. I’ll just let Sofie’s face tell you how she feels about them.

Toddler overalls into dress refashion | SewsNBows

It’s safe to say she ain’t feelin’ this outfit. So grab your scissors and thread your machine!

Overall Dress Refashion Tutorial

Overalls To Dress Refashion | SewsNBows

Cut your overalls in half, leaving the back pockets intact. Be careful not to cut the front pocket linings!

Overalls refashioned into a dress tutorial | SewsNBows

Determine the length and width of your skirt.

Overalls refashion | SewsNBows

At this point, you can hem your skirt and/or finish your edges. (I chose not to hem my dress until I had my niece available to try it on.)

Boys overalls to girls dress | SewsNBows

Pin the pocket linings up so they don’t get caught in the seam.

Overalls to Dress refashion | SewsNBows

Sew a double row of gathering stitches in your skirt.

Overalls Refashion | SewsNBows

Pin your skirt to the overalls at the side seams; right sides together. Pull your gathers to fit. Pin a bunch more. Then stitch.

Overall Dress Tutorial | SewsNBows

Here’s an inside view of my dress. I ended up using a bubble style skirt, which eliminated the need for a hem.

Overall Dress Refashion | SewsNBows

Now, we have a happy girl!!

Overall Dress Refashion | SewsNBows

Pretty simple, right? I have lots more sewing inspiration & tutorials on Pinterest, so feel free to check out my boards. If you’re visiting from House of Estrella, thanks so much for coming by! And if you’re already a friend, I hope you know how much I love your visits.

Until next time,



Posted in Girls Clothing, Repurposing, Tutorial | Tagged , | 9 Comments
Stenciled T-shirt Refashion for Tweens

I’m sharing a stenciled t-shirt refashion today! (Its another mama-daughter collaboration!)

Easy Stenciled T-shirt Refashion  Tutorial | SewsNBows

The spray painting is easy enough for older kids to handle, but we did pick up some tips for you. By that, I mean that we ruined a shirt prior to this one.

Stenciled T-shirt with Fabric Spray Paint | SewsNBows

Bella & I used Simply Spray Soft Fabric Paint and Martha Stewart craft stencilsto create this look. (Those are Amazon affiliate links:)

Zig Zag Stitch Detail for T-shirt Tefashion

We started with a plain white t-shirt. I purchased a few a while back when they were on sale for $1. The fit is pretty boxy, so I chopped the sides down and capped the sleeves. We embellished the seams with a quick zig-zag stitch.

Stenciled T-Shirt Refashion for Kids | SewsNBows

We removed the ribbing around the neck. The neckline and sleeves are unfinished, super easy.

Easy Stenciled T-shirt Refashion | SewsNBows

Once the shirt was “reconstructed”, it was time to go to town with our fabric spray paint and stencils.

Easy Stenciled T-shirt Refashion | SewsNBows

Our first stenciled t-shirt refashion was awful. You or your tween may be tempted to get right up on the t-shirt and spray: Don’t! Stand a couple feet away and spray a “practice” stream of paint into the air first. (It helps to read the instructions.)

Fabric Spray Painted T-shirt | SewsNBows

You’ll want to go light, and try to let one layer of paint dry before you add another. If not, it will result in muddy color. We have a couple muddy spots on ours, but hey; our last shirt could stand up on it’s own!

Stenciled T-shirt Refashion | SewsNBows

My daughter really loves her stenciled t-shirt refashion, and it was a fun way to beat summer boredom. We’ve also been at work in the kitchen, making ice cream, jams, and last night we tried homemade butter. Thankfully, were also doing lots of swimming to burn off some of those calories. What’s everybody else up to?

Easy Stenciled T-shirt For Kids | SewsNBows


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