Sunday 31 March 2013


Skater Dress Pattern Tour: Sewing Mama Raeanna

Welcome back for today installment of the Skater Dress Pattern tour! Today we have RaeAnna of Sewing Mama RaeAnna as a guest. RaeAnna is a relatively new blogger (am I allowed to say this as a blogger of five years?! I hope so!) of less than two years, but she's popping up all over the place with her combination of sassy and whimsy creations:
Did I mention that she has superior embroiderer skillz?  She does!  Personalised appliques are her forte:

So, without further ado here is a sneaky peak of RaeAnna's Skater Dress...  with matching leggings!

Jump through for the whole shebang!

Saturday 30 March 2013


Skater Dress Pattern Tour: Sew Country Chick

Today I welcome Justine from Sew Country Chick to the Skater Dress Pattern Tour!  Justine is very special as although she has a little, she also has an-older-than-little, a teen and a mama body ready to make things for. 
How refreshing is it it find sewing projects for older kids, teens, and mums? Heaps, I tell you. Justine is even working on a fully-tailored man coat.  There is a wealth of tutorials on Sew Country Chick for the full gamut of age ranges, I can't wait to try out some of her grown-up ones.  Although a lot of Justine's projects are distinctly modern, she has a particular flair for vintage:
So here's a sneaky peak of what Justine did with the Skater dress....

 Click through for the entire post!

Friday 29 March 2013


Skater Dress Pattern Tour: Caila-Made

Today I'm delighted to have Caila-Made participating in the Skater Dress Pattern Tour!  Caila has a really sweet style using lots of sherberty colours and whimsy prints:
The frame purse tutorial has been on my to-do list for ages.  We'll be seeing a lot more of Caila around the blogosphere soon as the bias button dress far left just landed her a spot on Sew-Vivor!  Her kids are adorable, her house is massively covetable and she can throw me a birthday party any time she likes:

It doesn't even have to be in August.  I'm willing to change my birthday.

Here's a sneaky peak of what Caila did with the Skater Dress.... Look at that awesome fabric!

Click on through for the full post!

Thursday 28 March 2013


Skater Dress Pattern Tour: EmmylouBeeDoo

Today we're swinging by EmmylouBeeDoo for her Skater Dress rendition(s).  Sarah first came to my attention after winning the first Kitschy Coo fabric giveaway and we've since become (as proclaimed by me) Instagram BFFs.  As well as being generally hilarious and having the distinction of spawning one of the cutest kids I've ever seen, Sarah has serious sewing swagger.
See? Recognise that fabric bottom left?  She graciously used the fabric she won to pay it forward with a bubble skirt tutorial.  And then did another tutorial for a twisty bubble skirt.  These tutorials should have given us premonitions for Sarah's next endeavour...
Her own line of patterns!  Let us all collectively cross our fingers that they're graded up to Maia's size.

Sarah sewed up not one but two Skater Dresses and her fabrics are amazing.  I admit to being introduced to an animal hitherto unknown to me (not the rooster snarky folk).  And she piped the waist seam too!

Jump on over!

Wednesday 27 March 2013


Skater Dress Pattern Tour: La Inglesita

Today's installment of the Skater Dress Pattern Tour is a fellow European blogger, La Inglesita!  Maria lives in Spain with her three children and has most recently been seen strutting her sewing stuff in the latest series of Project Run and Play.

Maria has a great style for clean lines with interesting details: the piping in the tunic's yoke, the buttons and princess seams in the green New Girl dress, letting the fabric do the talking in the Gnome Dress, the reversible (a woman after my own heart!) nature of the gilet, and the underskirt and pocket of that adorable skirt.

Fancy some interesting details of your own? Her tutorials page includes drafting a double collar, a summer sun hat, and a very cute heart shaped lapel.

Here's a sneaky peek of what Maria did with the skater dress... Colour-blocking! Waistband!

Hop through for the full reveal!

Tuesday 26 March 2013


Skater Dress Pattern Tour: Elsie Marley

I'm really excited to welcome the second blogger on the Skater Dress Pattern Tour, Meg from Elsie Marley!  As everyone in the world knows, Meg is the brains behind the uber-popular Kids Clothes Week Challenges that twice-yearly gets the sewing community rared up about sewing clothes for their kiddos.  There are many things I love about Meg's blog, but her quirky sense of fun gets me every time.
Have I mentioned that I'd like to live in her house in a completely non-creepy way?  I'll take the cloud loft bed on the right please.
Here's a sneaky peak of what Meg did with the Skater Dress... it has a hood!

 Hop on through for the full post.

Monday 25 March 2013


Skater Dress Pattern Tour: Elegance and Elephants

Starting off the Skater Dress pattern tour is Heidi of Elegance and Elephants! You might know Heidi from her fantastic Knock It Off series, or maybe you remember her winning the Project Run and Play Sew-along Signature Look in February 2012? And then becoming a bona-fide participant of Project Run and Play in the next season and again knocking it out of the park?
Heidi describes her style aesthetic as classic and vintage and her attention to detail is exquisite.  Just look at the hand embroidery on the apple coat! The leaf and stem on the hat! The buttons and stitching on the military coat!
And guess what?  Elegance and Elephants has just released their first sewing pattern. So cute.
Living in Canada with a lack of locally available funky knits (her words- no Canada judging from me!) didn't stop Heidi from making a super stylish Skater Dress with just monochrome plains and fabric paint...

Skater dress pattern tour Elegance & Elephants

Hop on over for a bunch of pics of her adorable modeling and a review of the pattern!

Tuesday 19 March 2013


Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen

Just a quick post to say that due to my impending trip everything has been taken down from the shop for a couple of weeks except for the PDF patterns which will remain available.  You might notice that an erstwhile pattern of yore has made a reappearence...

The Mini Mod Dress has been unavailable for ages after I ran out of paper patterns but the lovely Susan from Crafterhours worked her digitising magic on it for me.  So there's that.  Also, it's fifteen hours until we leave for the airport and I still haven't started packing.  Wish me luck on that / for travelling solo / in life in general.  Catch you on the flip side!

Sunday 17 March 2013


New Fabric Alert!

Six new fabrics from Finland have just arrived and they're beautiful:

New Nosh Collage

They're all splendid organic cottons split between 100% cotton interlock (airplanes and elephants) and 95% cotton / 5% elastane jerseys (mermaids, robots, skooters, and submarines).

With my trip to the States only three days away I've temporarily unlisted all of the clothing products in the shop. The fabric will stay up until Tues, after which only the PDF patterns will stay live in I return in early April!  If you want to get your mitts on any fabric I suggest doing it quickly as (sadly / frustratingly / maddeningly) Royal Mail postage rates are going up again on the 1st of April.

Tuesday 12 March 2013


Announcing... The Skater Dress Pattern Tour!

I'm really excited to announce that The Skater Dress is going on a pattern tour with a huge selection of amazing bloggers!

The timing of the tour is most fortuitious as I'm actually bringing the kids Stateside over the Easter holidays.  And I'm bringing them solo for the first time ever.  The good news is that they are fantastic travellers; the bad news is that I am not a fantastic traveller.  Nineteen hours from door to door (starting at 3AM) does not a happy Amanda make.  Any tips for me?  Specifically, any recommendations for activity books that I can unveil on the plane to great critical acclaim?

Wednesday 6 March 2013


The Current State of the Girl

eye patches both

Those of you on Instagram witness full-on angst mode from me yesterday.  Maia had yet another eye appointment at the Opthoptist (which is normally angst-inducing enough by itself) but after our last visit they had asked my to make some of my patches to leave there so they could recommend them to other patchers.  Oh, and leaflets too:


Can you spot the spelling mistake? I couldn't, until they'd all been printed.  By the detestable printer that prints off grain so you need to true up every stupid side of every stupid paper. And then of course when we got there it was a different (slightly more intimidating) orthoptist than the one who asked me to bring my wares the last time so I sat there fervently clenching and unclenching my jaw while wondering whether to say anything at all.  But I did!  And she was super enthusiastic and I cried hot sweet tears of relief internally.  But enough about me.  The good news is that we're taking another break from patching (possibly permanently).  The a-little-bit-less-than-good news is that her bad eye appears to have reached it's full potential through patching; at the last three appointments her eye has had the same results so the patching has done all it can.  Which sounds a little bit dejecting, but the opthoptist showed me how far we've come in the last almost two (!) years:


Before we started, Maia's bad eye couldn't even read the top line.  That's pretty terrifying.  And now, she's able to see between six and seven lines below that. Not quite as good as her good eye but not too shabby either.

eye collage

And here she is before and after her appointment: the only thing better than not wearing the patch is not wearing the patch but also eating a Mint Aero.

Sunday 3 March 2013


Tutorial: Adding long sleeves to your Dolman shirt

Long sleeve collage

Ready to put long sleeves on your Dolman? Easy peasy!  The long sleeves have cuffs at the end so there's not even any hemming required.  If you don't have the Dolman pattern, you can buy it here. Then download the long sleeve pattern pieces here.  You're going to attach the sleeves to the version of the pattern that has sleeve bands rather than sleeve hems, so make sure you're using the correct pattern pieces. 

Cut the main front, back, and neck pieces as per the general Dolman Top instructions. Additionally, cut two sleeve pieces and two sleeve cuffs.  For Maia's version I used plain navy for the sleeves and constracting turquoise bands, for Jamie's plain orange with matching orange bands.  I think it'd be pretty nifty to add patterned bands too.  Sew up the shirt as per the instructions, without doing anything to sleeve edges. Like so:

long sleeve dolman tutorial 005

Sew the side seam of the sleeve:

long sleeve dolman tutorial 006

Repeat for the other sleeve. It will look like this:

long sleeve dolman tutorial 007

Sew the short raw edges of a cuff together, forming a band:

long sleeve dolman tutorial 010

Now you have all three pieces:

long sleeve dolman tutorial 012

Turn the shirt inside out and slip the sleeve inside the armhole so that right sides are facing.  Match the underarm seam of the shirt with the side seam of the sleeve and pin all the way around so the raw edges match:

long sleeve dolman tutorial 014

Sew all the way around until you get back to where you started.

long sleeve dolman tutorial 017

When you're done it'll look like this:

long sleeve dolman tutorial 018

Repeat for the other sleeve.  Now turn the whole thing right side out.  Fold the cuff down so the raw edges match, right side out. Slip the cuff over the end of the sleeve, matching up the seam of the cuff with the side seam of the sleeve.  Pin all the way around:

long sleeve dolman tutorial 019

Sew all the way around until you get back to where you started. When done it's look like this:

long sleeve dolman tutorial 020

Repeat for the the other sleeve and then you're done!

long sleeve dolman tutorial 024

Saturday 2 March 2013


I am Boy-Child, hear me Roar

starlion long sleeve dolman roar

With the Skater Dress complete, I got a chance to quickly sew up another Dolman tee long-sleeve hack for the boy.  I'll be posting the pattern pieces and tute tomorrow!

And what better time to sew for my boy than Celebrate The Boy time by Made by Rae and MADE?

starlion long sleeve dolman 2

I've said it before, but it's a really good time for 'boy'-fabrics in the shop right now, and a lot to appeal to older boys.  As Jamie is rapidly approaching eight I have a lot less leeway than I used to with the things I make him.

starlion long sleeve dolman 4

My new friend Max calls this fabric 'Commie Lion' which is both funny and apt.

starlion long sleeve dolman 3

I know, I know... cool shirt / what a bad-ass fabric / my hasn't he grown.  But also: have you ever seen Jamie's hair this long?  It's dangerously close to mullet territory, saved only by the mutton chops balancing out the party at the back.  True Story: we're not sure if his hearing problems are coming back or it's the hair muffs.

Friday 1 March 2013


The Skater Dress is Go!

Skater Dress Cover Page

I'm very pleased to announce that at very long last The Skater Dress is ready for your delectation!  For those of you who haven't been following along with its X Factoresque journey, a reminder of its credentials:
This funky yet functional knit dress has a fitted bodice, high neckline and a curved flared skirt. With a generous cut, the dress is designed to be worn for up to two years per size, here the skirt hits at the knee in the first year and just above the knee in year two. There are options for a sleeveless, short sleeve and long sleeve version, with bodice pieces drafted specifically for either sleeved for sleeveless . It's a perfect garment if you are new to sewing knits and very quick to sew up.
Why did it take so long? Here's what happened the night this week that I bragged on IG that I wasn't going to go to sleep until it was done:

Process Collage

And I didn't go to sleep, by jove.  Thanks to the lovely / fragrant / genius Susan from Crafterhours, I didn't digitise it myself this time which saved me approximately 15 hours and 4 clumps of hair.  Even if you hate Skater Dresses, you should really buy it just to see how professional Susan is.

Speaking of professional ladies, please admire the glorious skater dresses of my testers.  Many thanks to Adrianna of Crafterhours (who also provided a tute on the reverse applique heart in the top right pic), Emily from Pickled Weasel, Katie from Kadiddlehopper, the mysterious Mrs M,  Kimberly from Perfection Not Included, and Lynn from Living The Spacious Life.

Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, I've set up my shop so you can download the pattern yourself!  No waiting for me to wake up, no siree, instant gratification.  That also applies to the rest of the PDFs in my shop now.  Did I mention that I've reduced the price of all my PDFs?  Well I did.

Thanks to everyone for your patience (and even to those not-so-patient folk who've been haranguing me) with how long this took to release The Skater Dress.  I've got lots of fun things planned for it.