Floral Sweatshirt Dress : Ruffled PJ Pattern Morph

This floral sweatshirt dress was intended to be a pattern hack on the Ruffled PJs pattern from OUSM. But it turned into something totally different. I’m coining the term “pattern morph” for when your hack ends up so far from the pattern that it’s hardly recognizable.

Girls Floral Sweatshirt Dress | SewsNBows

I used sweatshirt fabric from Girl Charlee. It’s not too stretchy; and sews almost like a woven. I subtracted 2″ from the center back and re-shaped the neckline for ribbing, eliminating the buttons. I added 9″ length to the bodice; and used ribbing for the sleeves and hem. That’s it!

Floral Sweatshirt Dress: A Ruffled PJ Pattern Hack

For the Holiday Jammas pattern tour next week, I’ll show you the Ruffled PJs closer to their true form. But for now you can see how versatile this pattern is. If you aren’t into drafting (I’m not) and you want a good bodice, sleeve, and pants block, these are a great jumping off point. The nice clean lines are easy to lengthen, shorten, flare out, or taper. All you need is a ruler!

Sequined Trim Shoulder Detail| SewsNBows

My favorite thing about this dress is the shoulder detail. It’s a sequin trim I got at Hobby Lobby. This stuff is going to be great for stabilizing shoulders on sweaters and super stretchy tees.

Floral Sweatshirt Dress | SewsNBows

I used a new stitch function for topstitching. It goes over each straight stitch three times, which makes topstitching really stand out. I wanted a kind of industrial look so I used khaki thread to contrast against the black. I’m not sure if I pulled it off or not!

Girl's Floral Sweatshirt Dress | SewsNBows

I’m dying for a cover stitch machine though; wouldn’t that be so cute around the neckline?!

Girls Floral Sweatshirt Dress

A coverstitch and my Babylock serger will have to wait a while. Santa isn’t rich, you know!

Posted in Girl's Clothing, Sewing Techniques | Tagged , , | 11 Comments
Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows

I received a copy of 50 Ribbons Rosettes & Bows to Make in exchange for my honest review. 

50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows To Make| Book Tour

50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make by Deanna McCool begins with types of ribbons and their properties. It helps you choose tools and supplies, then teaches you core techniques for various bow projects. There are over 50 ribbon projects to inspire you, including: hair bows, gift topper ideas, floral bows for bouquets, and dozens of ribbon flowers. There are even project ideas for wreaths & holiday decor, picture frames, jewelry, and clothing embellishment.

50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows To Make by Deanna McCool

I really like the detailed instructions and illustrations. I wish I started making bows with a book like this; rather than ambling around the internet trying to figure things out. I lost piles of ribbon to failed hair bow attempts. And my kid may have worn a few less than stellar bows back in the day. *Hangs head in shame*

OTT Christmas Tree Boutique Hair Bow | SewsNBows

I have a much higher hair bow success rate these days, but this book has improved my technique a ton- and learned some new tricks too! 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make is a great resource for beginners to pro bow-makers.

My pinwheels and twisted boutique bows are looking a lot smarter after reading the book. Those are some of basic hair bow components. My next project may be some gift toppers because working with wired and ribbon is a little trickier for me.

50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows To Nake

Image from 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows To Make

There are some advanced ribbon projects in the book too. Like the star cockade, shown above. Once you can make that, everyone will think you are a total bad@$$.

Update: Deanna just published a free tutorial on how to sew this ribbon cockade! Download it here :)

Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows

I thought it would be fun to show you the anatomy of a boutique hair bow: the different parts and pieces that make the big ridiculous bows I love so much. These are all techniques covered in the book.

The Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows

Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows | Pinwheel Bow

Pinwheel Bow

Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows | Twisted Boutique Bow

Twisted Boutique Bow

Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows | Flexible Metallic Figure & Bow

Flexible Metallic Ribbon Figure 8 Bow

Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows | Layered V-Cut Spikes

Layered V-Cut Spikes

Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows | Straight Cut Spikes

Straight Cut Metallic Spikes

Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows | Chrysanthemum Ribbon Bow

Chrysanthemum Ribbon Bow

Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows | Chrysanthemum Ribbon Bow


Anatomy of Boutique Hair Bows | Embellishments

Embellishments (feathers, fur, gems, bits of jewelry, buttons- anything goes!)

Those are a few of the components that make up the anatomy of boutique hair bows.  With these pieces, I ended up with this over the top holiday bow.

Blue, green, & Red Christmas Hair Bow | SewsNBows

This book is written by Deanna McCool, designer of Birdsong Patterns. Get to know the author on her blog; SewMcCool. You can purchase a copy of 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows To Make at MacMillan Publishers.

I have 2 paperback copies to giveaway! It’s a big, coffee table sized book with beautiful, glossy photos. The winner can keep it for herself, or ship it to a friend. An American or Canadian friend, that is. (Shipping is limited to U.S. and Canada.)

Enter by leaving a comment below. Tell me what you want for Christmas!

Amy and Angie are my winners and they have been notified!

Posted in Bows & Ribbon, Crafty, Holidays, Home Decor, Jewelry, Tutorial | 10 Comments
Sunday WIPS

I don’t have much planned for the blog this holiday season. Last year I let myself get overwhelmed and this year I just won’t.

A funny thing happened when I made the choice not to be a slave to my blog: I got really productive sewing. I’ve been working on a ton of things; a lot of them I can’t show you yet. But I got an urge to check in with you guys and show you what I’ve been working on. So here’s a real quick post; just to say hello!

peach skin fabric from Girl Charlee

This fabric is peach skin from Girl Charlee. I’ve already raved about it to some of you. I promise to tell you all about it, and a brand new pattern very soon!

Stellar's Vest pattern: Same outfit one year later

I draped a piece of black velvet over my chest of drawers and a stool here in my sewing room to get these photos of my niece. She’s wearing the same chambray button up and Stellar’s Vest I wrote about almost a year ago. It’s neat to see how much she’s grown.

I’ve been practicing indoor photography. I don’t have a lot of natural light in my house so in cold months, nice blog photos are a struggle. (You may see more doll clothes at SewsNBows, because I don’t do chilly photoshoots with kids.)

Ruffled floral baby outfit | SewsNBows

I tried the same trick at a friends house, but forgot my camera. This is a phone pic. I’m disappointed in the photo quality, but if I can try again before my friends baby outgrows the outfit I made; I’ll be sure to share it!

Baby photoshoot with pink tutu& princess crown

Same adorable baby, different day. Here we draped some white bedsheets over her bouncer and these turned out so pretty. You can tell I had my big camera that day.

(I’m still working on getting custom order tutus and bows in my Etsy shop. I’m lazy!!!)

chrysanthemum ribbon technique

The other day I read Deanna McCool’s new book, 50 Ribbon Rossette & Bows to make. This was my first time ever making a chrysanthemum topper. Mine isn’t as pretty as Deanna’s but I’m proud that it came out like this on my first try. I’ll be reviewing the book for you soon, and giving a couple copies away. Watch for that…

See you soon, big hugs!

Posted in Blogging, Girl's Clothing, Holidays | 8 Comments
Betty Skirt Pattern Tour + Promo Code

The Betty Skirt pattern tour is here!

I’m so glad you stopped by to see my stop on the tour! I’m really excited, because I’ve already sewn a button placket Betty Skirt for a tween girl, and a doll sized pleated Betty Skirt

Betty Skirt pattern from Shaffer Sisters- pleated version

But this is my first little girl Betty! If you read my previous Betty Skirt posts, you’ll know that I love the yoke and the waistband technique. I ran out of fabric and ended up making a traditional elastic casing. It worked out great and I love the look.

Pleated Betty Skirt pattern | SewsNBows

I feel the need to tell you: I do own an iron. But it’s a windy day! I just could not get in a good camera shot between bursts of wind.

Pleated Betty Skirt | SewsNBows

I’m kinda proud of my nice, even pleat work. The pattern includes a really handy pleat guide that made it a breeze, even for me. Alas, these photos do not  do my pretty little skirt justice.

Betty Skirt pattern tour | SewsNBows

I’ve found my baby niece curled up in this skirt all week. It’s perfect for fall layering. She likes it because it has pink plaid and it’s easy for her to dress herself in.

Betty Skirt pattern | SewsNBows

The Betty Skirt has a small or large pleated option, a button placket variation, and a gathered version. It now has extended sizes from newborn – 16 X. There’s even a bonus 18″ doll pattern!

Betty Skirt Pattern Tour

You can get the pattern at the Shaffer Sisters Etsy shop. Use promo code BETTYTOUR for a 30% discount. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Girl's Clothing, Pattern Review | Tagged , | 5 Comments
Seena Dolman Tee from Gracious Threads

Check out my Seena Dolman Tee! This is my favorite thing to wear right now.

Seena Dolman Tee pattern from Gracious Threads | SewsNBows

I recently participated in the New To Knits sewalong at Gracious Threads. The blog series covers everything and more. The sewalong is really interactive and it’s taking place in the Gracious Threads Facebook group.

Seena Dolman Tee | SewsNBows

Okay, I’ve been sewing with knits for a little over a year. I’m not that new to knits. But this hacci sweater knit from Girl Charlee sat in my cabinet for ages because I was too scared to cut it. A loosely woven, thin fabric just terrified me. Here’s the post that gave me the courage to cut!

New To Knits: Cutting Your Fabric

Seena Dolman Tee | SewsNBows

It didn’t unravel badly like I thought. It did want to stretch out as I sewed though. Some knits (especially sweater fabric) lose their shape easily. That’s why we fold our sweaters rather than hanging them in the closet. Jess recommends using clear elastin at the shoulder seams to prevent stretching. Best tip ever!

New To Knits: Seams

Seena Dolman Tee pattern from Gracious Threads | SewsNBows

I didn’t deviate from the pattern much. I added about an inch of length to accommodate my freakishly long torso; and just folded over the neckline. I normally would never do a fold over neckline because I don’t think they look as nice as a banded neck or ribbed knit. This neckline blends perfectly and I can hardly see any stitches.

Seena Dolman Tee | SewsNBows

My sleeve and hem bands are cut on cross grain because my fabric is stretchy enough to get away with it. I think it adds some visual interest, but let’s be real. I did it so I can hoard a bigger piece of hacci sweater knit for my next project!

Seena Dolman Tee in hacci sweater knit | SewsNBows

Anyways, I learned a lot and I got a great top. The Seena Dolman Tee is a pattern I will use a lot. I have nothing but praise for Gracious Threads patterns. (I made the Lazy Day Lounge Pants last week and haven’t had a chance to show you yet!)

Seena Dolman Top | SewsNBows

You can buy the this pattern (and lots more) at the Gracious Threads Etsy shop. I highly recommend it whether you’re new to knits or not. It’s flattering on all shapes and I think you’ll love it.

Until next time!

Posted in Pattern Review, Women's Clothing | Tagged , , | 14 Comments