Life sure has gotten busy since my last post in October.  I started a second job so that I am now working the equivalent of full-time, and it is really cutting into my sewing time.  I am starting to get a hang of juggling two jobs and three kids and have been sewing more again.  But I want to share the few sewing projects I have completed since then.

For Halloween, I managed to sew 1/3 costumes for the kids.  Rory made the cutest little Olaf!  I based it on the tutorial on the Peek-a-boo patterns blog.  The nose might be a bit long, but its part of the charm.


Here they all are, Owen was a Power Ranger, and Nora was Anna.  I did make her Anna cape!


I didn’t get to any sewing for Thanksgiving, but Nora did wear an old favorite – the Love Notions Everyday Play dress while we ran our errands the day before Thanksgiving, including to get my mom some flowers for the table, it just looked so cute with her rain boots.  I don’t know what was up with her hair though.

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We also tried out a cute newer Love Notions patterns, the Origami Tunic, it has the cutest handkerchief style hem with a beautiful hem facing.

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For Christmas, I made Nora the Blue Ribbon Winner by Little Lizard King.  It came out really cute, but she is bothered by the seam at the waist.  I just had her wear a tank top under it.  I realize its sort of covered in princesses, but she loved it, and she loved her princess dolls!

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I also sewed up a couple of these E + M Girls dress # 17.  I made one with sweatshirt fleece, it was cozy but not really stretchy enough for the cowl.  Next time I will use cotton lycra for the cowl.  I love this dress, but Miss Nora prefers a bit more twirl.  As a consolation, I did make the second dress pink.

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For a quick and fun dress, I love making up the Funktional Threads Rachel.  My favorite way is to cut up a T shirt for the front.  I nearly cried when I cut the Olaf shirt without double checking the placement of the graphic.  Some of the word is cut off at the top.  Good thing Nora can’t read yet. The only think I don’t love about this pattern is that the sizes are grouped together, so its 2/3 and 4/5.  But there is a slim and a regular cut.

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I made this sibling set for my friend who had a precious baby girl.

The baby dress is the Raglan Pocket dress by Brindille and Twig.  The sibling skirt is a mash-up of a couple patterns.  I made this before Sofilantjes upsized their liv skirt.  So its part Sofilajantes liv skirt, but with the measurements from the Cottage Mama Sydney Skirt

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We live in New England, so some Patriots gear was in order for this Superbowl!  Here is Nora in the Potato Chip skirt by Tie Dye Diva


I am in the process of testing for Love Notions and Stitchwerx Designs at the moment.   I got stressed at work then was able to sew after the kids went to bed last night and the stress started melting away:)  I am so happy to be sewing more again!


This dress is great!  Its called the E + M Girl’s Dress Pattern No. 15.  The pattern includes options for a straight or asymmetrical hemline.  It calls for knit fabric (my favorite) and features great tips for getting your hemline and neckline to sew up nice and neat.


Choosing the fabric is one of my favorite parts of sewing.  I had lots of different ideas, but when I saw this in the fabric closet, I knew it was the one!  I love the simple repetitive pattern, Nora loves pink, it was a win – win!


The little arches are made up of small white dots.  Its very sweet and part of a beautiful fabric collection from Art Gallery called Emmy Grace.

The shoulder detail on the dress is also very sweet.  I love the bows.

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Allison is the designer behind E + M patterns.  Her patterns are very professional, she shows you how to use great finishes and clearly explains the steps.  This was my first time using elastic thread in the bobbin to gather the dress at the waist.  Its called shirring.  It was pretty easy to do and has a great result.  I was able to use regular elastic thread from JoAnn’s fabrics with no difficulty.  I wound the bobbin by hand with just a bit of tension on the thread.  Remember to leave long tails when you cut the thread or when you let go, or they could bounce backwards into the machine.

Here is what my 3 rows of shirring look like, not absolutely perfect but I am happy for my first time.  This is a great pattern to try it with as its only 3 rows!

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This dress has a great silhouette and is fashionable, but also fun!  She used it to gather rocks…


to practice putting,


to twirl and dance

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to pout


to take Rory on a wagon ride


and to smell the flowers.


I tested the dress in September when the weather was still gorgeous.

It was play football with the neighbors nice




Go Owen, go!


Now that we are into fall, we have tried layering the dress.  Today she paired it with a cream colored cardigan and grey striped leggings.  She even wore it to her open house and gave us the grand tour of her classroom!

We saw the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree, the classroom calendar, and the kitchen area.  Then we went to the gym and saw Pete the Cat who was “Rocking in his school shoes”

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My favorite look though, is the dress paired with the denim jacket!  Don’t you love it?

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Even looks good with a silly hat and horsing around with daddy!


Check out the blog tour for even more inspiration for the E + M Girl’s Dress Pattern No. 15.  The Gallery on the E+M site is also brimming with creativity, you might even recognize someone over there 🙂

During the Blog Tour there is a special coupon code for the pattern in the E + M shop, to get it for $5, enter  TOUR15

Enter to win a copy of the pattern below and another E + M pattern below, you earn extra entries for commenting on the blogs, so I will link them up for you

October 6

SproutingJubeJube     Sewoutofcontrol

October 7

All Sewn Up By Stacey   Blink

October 8

Sew Cool for the Tween Scene   Rebel and Malice

October 9

Gal Original Creations   Sibling Revelry

October 10

Bonnie and Lottie   Patternnut (that’s me!)

October 11

Rita Pirolita  Cars and Crafts  /

Keep your eye out for the next E + M pattern, its in testing now, and really cute!

Today was Rory’s 1st birthday party.  She was so sweet and so good at her party!  It was great seeing everyone.  The only bummer was the weather.  We had to pack inside the house because of rain and cold.  We did get ten minutes outside for the pinata, every baby needs a pinata!

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It was a bittersweet day, I made my last formula bottle and introduced Rory to cow’s milk.  I watched her gobble down a cupcake and prance around in her sweet dress.  Sadly, I didn’t get around to making her the dress.  I intended to make her something, but the week flew past.  I was trying to get piles of clutter cleaned up and I actually cleared off the sewing table in my living room for the party!  It was probably the first time in 2 years that table has been clear.  By this afternoon, I stopped trying to organize things and shoved piles of this and that into cabinets and closets.  Its gonna be a fun week finding it all again!  I am testing a new dress for Nora, and I am kind of relieved that the designer just extended the deadline.

I recently tested a cute dress, called the Rival Raglan by Get Your Crap Together (GYCT).  This pattern can be made into a top, tunic, or dress.  I like the dress length.  It has a really wide size range, too.  From 12 months to 12 years.  I could make all three of my kids something with this pattern!

I sewed up the Rival Raglan Dress using a cupcake fabric for Rory, but she needed something a bit fancier for her party.  She did wear the cupcake dress on her real birthday to her Dr. Appt and to run errands.  She is cute no matter what she wears 🙂  DSC_0499 DSC_0496

She is walking everywhere now!

The pattern was so cute that Nora got a couple of dresses too.  There was this one for a birthday party 2014-09-06 18.48.22 2014-09-06 18.48.37

The party was Star Wars themed, so I got this Yoda / Dr.Dre shirt at the Thrift Store and made it into a dress.  My idea was to use two different fabrics for two ruffles on the bottom, but I ended up cutting one too short and just omitted it.

This next one, is one of my favorite things that I have made,

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The Rival Raglan is definitely a win for us!!  I love sewing with comfy knit fabric, and the kids love to wear it.  This dress even made the cut for Nora’s first week at preschool, but we will save that for the next post!

Owen is now a first grader, he has lost two teeth in the last two weeks!  His hockey has started up again, so we have been busy going to the rink, too.


Then there is Nora, my big PRESCHOOLER!!  She started last week and is really loving it!!  I sewed her first day of school dress and I love how it turned out.  Its the Little Lizard King Sweetheart dress.  I found some cute school themed fabric and coordinates and wanted to show it off, but I only had a half yard of each, this pattern worked really well, I just had to make a hem band and extended it up toward the skirt a bit.  DSC_0558 2014-09-09 15.11.41

It is very twirly, which was her request!  Even Pete the Cat approves!

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We bought some new sneakers for back to school which didn’t really go with her dress, so on day 2 she wore her Frozen sneakers with this new Love Notions pattern, the Hazelwood.  This is a flowy, high / low top with an optional hood.  I love hoods!  Love Notions has also released a new leggings pattern which is FREE, and they pair so well together!  Nora loved that she could twirl, and she loved the Frozen fabric.

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The LoveNotions Playdress was our choice for day 3, it looked cute with her jacket

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On Friday she wore the GYCT Rival Raglan dress, these 3/4 sleeves are perfect for fall.  DSC_0438

Yummy yummy sweatshirt fabric, its just so soft, I wish they had touch-o-vision for it!  Owen’s sweatshirt I made using this cotton fleece feels amazing.  So perfect for fall, the Samson pattern by Love Notions has some fun (but not too hard) details.  I have always had a thing for wearing hoodies, so it makes sense that I like to sew them for the kids, too.  I tested this pattern for the designer so I had a deadline for the photos.  It was raining buckets on the day I needed to photograph, so we headed for the basement.  The lighting isn’t so good, but he loves practicing hockey down there.  Perfect for the hockey themed sweatshirt I put together. 

His hockey season is just around the corner, we already got his practice schedule.  Goodbye lazy afternoons!

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My husband created this cool mural with shooting targets, but don’t worry we aren’t Leafs fans.  Owen likes to shoot against them, so he can be on the Bruins, we are a Bruins family all the way.  One day my husband will finish painting down there.  I chose red accents because his team colors are red/black/white.  Look at this detail… DSC_0398 DSC_0354

elbow patches!  The placement is perfect too.  I didn’t have enough of that hockey fabric for the hood lining too, so I settled for the elbow patches only. 

Cute wrist cuffs.


Owen can be sensitive to clothing, especially if it has tags or feels tight anywhere.  Because of his this I chose the curved hem option.  The pattern does include both the curved hem like this and the more traditional sweatshirt banded hem.  I think he would find the binding too tight/constricting.  I do find bindings quicker and easier to sew.  This is a nice shot of the looser curved hem. 


I always hem my knits with a double needle.


I have learned to use the narrower needle (on the left in the picture).  Its best for hemming medium and lightweight stretchy fabric.  You can look for ballpoint twin needles too.  These are best for sewing knits they work better with that type of fabric. But for this thick stuff the wide spacing is better.  Just make sure the left of the twin needle clears the metal plate on your sewing machine.  Set your needle position to middle alignment, NOT LEFT!  I have broken so many wide twin needles doing this, its kind of embarrassing. 

Twin needles are great for sewing knit fabric.  Knit fabric is stretchy (like Tshirts or jersey sheets), and the fabric gets the stretch from how its made.  They can be tricky to sew with compared to woven fabric (like a dress shirt or normal sheets).  Woven fabric does not stretch, so its not as comfy for someone wearing it, but it does stay in place better when you sew it.  I love sewing with knit fabrics, they are so comfy for the kids.  Its important that the seams in knit garments have stretch.  Stretchy fabric needs stretchy seams.  Twin needles allow stretch, they make beautiful parallel lines on the outside,and a stretchy  zig zag on the inside.  Can you see it in the photo?


I was planning to use the stripes to line the hood, but I was rushing to finish and read the instructions wrong, I basted the hood on the wrong way, sweatshirt fabric as lining and stripes on the outside.  I thought it looked good though, so I kept it.  Happy accident! 


Here he is wearing the shirt on the ice, just the thing to keep him cozy during public skate!  Its kind of weird to see him skate without all that hockey gear on.  Nora and Jason skated too 🙂


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Proud mom alert!  Owen is featured in the listing for the pattern!  Check out this link to see my model 🙂

I really like this pattern, it has a basic raglan construction with great details.  Other options include a chest pocket and fully lined cardigan version.  Loads of sizes from 12 months to 14 years.  For a limited time you can use code “samson” to get 15% off the pattern in the Love Notions Etsy shop

Happy sewing!

Need more Samson inspiration?  Check out what the Shaffer Sisters did with the pattern on their blog.


Testing for the Mallory dress by Love Notions is finished and it released yesterday. It is one of my favorites, I love using different prints and think the hood detail is awesome! I was selected to test size 12 months this time, so wee Rory got to be my model.

She is almost walking!  She has taken up to four steps.


The hubs got us a new camera lens, which I have been totally procrastinating on using, but I don’t know why, its great!  Love that blurred background.

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This dress has lots of options.  I chose the knee length skirt.  It works great for crawling around, but it also comes in a longer length.  I chose to sew up the short sleeves, but the pattern includes long and 3/4 length, Miss Nora will have to get a long sleeved Mallory for her preschool wardrobe!  It has loads of sizes, 12months – 14.


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You can sit pretty in it too, and even practice clapping.

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The hood is my favorite part, its fully lined and the great design carries the hood fabric across the front of the dress.  There is also an option to add a binding to the hood.

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The Mallory dress was great for a day at the beach!

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Rory is starting to sign a bit, “more Mallory dresses please Mommy”


The first 100 people can get the pattern here on Craftsy at a discounted price (no code needed)!  Or on Etsy with code Mallory

Next up I plan to make a Love Notions Pattern for Owen, and maybe something from Little Kiwi’s Closet too!.


Ever since Love Notions Patterns released the Everyday Playdress, I have had a crush on these patterns! It really suits Nora’s style, comfy yet twirly.  I sewed into some of my precious Euroknit fabric for this dress.  Most Love Notions patterns are made for knit fabrics, I love me some comfy, stretchy cotton knit fabric (like a T shirt).  Knits can be tricky to sew on a regular machine, because they stretch the machine tends to want to pull the fabric down and eat it.  But I use a serger whenever possible which makes sewing knits so much easier.  The serger magically feeds the fabric through the machine while cutting off excess fabric and making a beautifully finished seam.  The patterns all include some tips for sewing with knit fabric.  The pattern tutorials are clearly worded and include photos every step of the way.  They are really well done.

The Everyday Playdress


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The pattern includes this cute crossover bodice view, perfect for mixing fabrics, and a more traditional T-shirt style bodice.

I based this Elsa dress on the playdress pattern too.  I changed the bodice and mashed it with an Elsa apron pattern I have.  I changed the skirt to an A -Line shape and added a slit like Elsa’s.

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I used powermesh fabric on the sleeves which she doesn’t love, sometimes she calls it her “itchy Elsa dress.”  She was happy with her Elsa braid though.  It makes a good Elsa playdress, and she does ask to wear it, itchy or not!  I still would like to tweak it a little, someday maybe…   This view would make a cute Snow White play dress too!

The Love Notions Tuxedo dress is also fun!  My son loves penguins.  He asked to throw his penguin a birthday party and this was the perfect dress for the occasion.  The penguin applique isn’t included in the pattern, I had to create one to go along with the tuxedo theme 🙂


Some of the party guests and decor 🙂

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I am not quite sure how he convinced me to throw a party for a penguin, but it was a good time.

Back to the patterns…

I love the length of the dress, but thought a ruffle at the bottom would look cute too (this is included in the pattern).  Oh look, the penguin’s belly fell off, I never quite finished stitching it on after ironing on the fusible bonding stuff, one of these days I will get to it!

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The dress also includes some baby sizes (it starts at 6 months and goes up to a 14), so Rory had to get a tuxedo dress too!

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This is the Trendy Tunic, I made it in golf fabric because Owen was competing in a Drive, Chip, Putt competition.

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It has great pockets for storing, golf balls, tees, dead grass, you name it!

It was fun watching Owen compete, and he won 2nd place for putting!

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The newest Love Notions Pattern is the Cartwheel Collection.  This set offers 6 different pieces.  I tested the size 3 dress version, with size 2 shorts.  It came together really easily and has some interest in the back with the peek a boo view.  The dress is really cute.  The designer Tami is so good about taking feedback from the testers and the final dress pattern is a bit longer than shown here.  The shorts are just peeking out.  Next time I might just shorten the shorts rather than lengthen the dress.

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Here is the peek a boo detail


I love the shorts with them, perfect for sitting criss-cross applesauce at circle time when she starts preschool this fall.

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She isn’t turning cartwheels yet, but the shorts work great for somersaults too.


Love Notions Patterns are just great patterns!  I have so many ideas for more Love Notions preschool outfits for Nora 🙂

Love these patterns!  Baby Rory got quite a few nice new things from this pattern bundle!  It includes two hat patterns, two pants patterns and a gown, T-shirt and a onesie bodysuit pattern.  I love sewing with soft stretchy fabric and most of these patterns call for that, so right away I was interested!  When I got the pattern I fell in love with the lined pants with cute pocket details, so first I sewed up these Roly Poly pants, I had some of this very cute fabric called Urban Elephants that I have been hoarding for the right project.



Don’t these look so cute on my little crawler?  This view shows off the back pockets too, they are cut with a chevron point.

This fabric is directional.  Remeber, if you want to turn up the cuff and have the elephants standing correctly, be sure that when you cut the lining, that you cut it upside down.  Ask me how I know!

Actually it was a happy accident, because I have been wanting to try using a knit fabric lining, so I used the accidental elephants for the outer and a cotton interlock for the inner.  Interlock was a good choice for the lining because it has one way stretch.  The stretchy part needs to stretch across the body.  The fabric doesn’t stretch in the up and down direction which made it easier to attach it to the outer elephant fabric


I really love how these turned out, and they sewed up really quick without the pockets.  Here are the two pairs together, it could be so cute for twins.  Imagine how cozy it would be in fleece!  I predict some fleece lined pants coming this winter to a baby near you.


The Comfy Caterpillar Easy Knit pants were a breeze, I love pants that have a cuff waist, no need to insert elastic!  I used my serger on these and it probaby took longer to cut the fabric than construct the pants.  Here they are paired up with the Bitty Beetle Bodysuit.  I used more fun fabric, this time I cut into some Elmo faces!  My sister in law bought Nora a dress made from this fabric a while back and when I saw yardage of it, I had to have more!  Its really super soft!!


We had a fun little photoshoot before big brother’s baseball game!

After making the first bodysuit, I played around with the pattern a bit, to try to make it into a onesie/dress similar to ones Nora used to wear.  And I came up with this; Image

The Back:


The front is a full double layer, grey dots and the unicorns go up the full front.  I flared out the pattern for the unicorn print, in a wide A-Line from the underarm to about where the leg hole curve starts.  For the back, the top is just unicorns then I added a seam where I started the double layer of unicorns and dots, again flaring the outer layer.  To keep it summery I omitted the sleeves and sewed the cuff around the armholes.  I added the band to the bottom, but a traditional hem would work too!  I just added the snaps at night so a modeled pic will have to wait for the babe in the morning.  I use Kam snaps with the hand pliers, and used to struggle until I started snipping the tips of with nail clippers, it works like a charm.

Boo for another rainy day and indoor photos (and they cancelled Owen’s field day today!), but the fit is great!  I should have stretched the neck binding more as I sewed, my fault, not the patterns!

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This is another versatile gender neutral Stitchwerx pattern!  I sewed up mostly 6 month stuff for Rory, but the dress is 9 month as I did that one most recently, and her 9 month day was yesterday, where has the time gone?  The bundle is available now and is discounted for a limited time.  There is more included than what I sewed up too.  There is a sleep gown pattern and 2 types of slouchy hats.  The gown and bodysuit come with options for adding mittens.  Sizes start at preemie and go up to 12 months.  You can’t beat that with a stick!  If you want to try them out for yourself, visit  The sale ends June 20.  Or enter to win the patterns and other prizes here!

Have you sewn anything with this pattern?  Please share!


Check out what the other blog tour bloggers are sewing up with these patterns!

Wednesday June 11

Pattern Revolution

Mama Says Sew

The Berry Bunch

Begin With B

Thursday, June 12

Rebekah Sews

Lulu & Celeste

Gloria June

Friday, June 13

Once Upon a Sewing Machine

 Feather’s Flights

Monday, June 16

Golden Rippy

Playground Pixie Designs

Friends Stitched Together

The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Tuesday June 17

Stitch and Bake

Shaffer Sisters

The Life of a Compulsive Crafter



*Disclaimer:  I received the patterns for free in exchange for participating in the testing process*


coming soon – Why I love Love Notions Patterns!



Stitchwerx Designs is another awesome pattern company.  The Stitchwerx patterns I love and have sewn are versatile and gender neutral.  Here is the raglan shirt I made for all the kids for Christmas jammies.  It starts at size 9 months so I tried to scale down the shirt for then 3 month old Rory.  The sleeves are too short, but it makes a decent doll dress for Nora to play with.

The size range is really large, from 9 months to 10 years, so at least I can get 3 more years of matching Christmas jammies out of the pattern, I love when they all match, since it is kind of rare when we can pull it off.



Nora is also rocking the Essential leggings;


The leggings have an even bigger size range!  These are the 0-3 month.  There are options for that sweet ruffle leg too.  The waist looks high because I changed it to a yoga style to use my serger instead of sewing machine.

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Here is another outfit I made Nora from the pattern

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I added a bottom band, but I don’t love how I mixed fabric prints

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I made Owen another shirt too, and one of these days I am going to applique some sort of Boston Bruins design on here, maybe even before he outgrows it 🙂 2013-11-19 19.29.26

These patterns are really detailed, they have great tutorials and photos to help you along the way.  This company has so many different patterns, even lots for dogs!  I am so excited to be on the blog tour for her newest pattern which releases today!  The tour stops here Friday the 13th, a lucky day for me as I was born on a Friday the 13th!




Happy sewing, be back Friday for my take on the Baby Suite!


The sewing patterns I use and love are written by independent designers.  Each designer typically has a shop on Etsy or Craftsy or has their own website where they sell downloadable digital patterns, often called PDF patterns.  So I buy it and download it, then when ready to sew, I print just the patterns pieces and read the instructions from my computer, tablet or phone.

After buying patterns from a few different designers, certain ones stand out for me.  I heart Candy Castle Patterns!  Rebecca is the designer behind Candy Castle Patterns and she makes a damned good pattern and tutorial.  Her layout is great, with two columns per page, one for written instructions and one for accompanying photos.  I love how she marks the sewing line in purple by drawing it onto the photo using some cool editing program. This really helps me figure out the steps.

I have sewn several of her patterns including:

The Princess Dress

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The bubblegum swing


The Candy Waltz Collection

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The Candy Waltz Collection includes three patterns, the  Candy Wrapper vest, which I used on Rory’s Halloween costume (Owen and Rory were both Bumblebees)


The Licorice Bits Legwarmers,

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You might even recognize baby Rory, she is featured on the pattern listing!

And the Sugarplum Fairy Skirt


For this Soda Pop Polo, I used the henley version as a base for this hockey shirt for Owen.  This pattern is designed for knit or stretchy fabrics, I love using my serger on this type of fabric, its so fast and awesome, but the regular sewing machine can still trip me up on this stretchy fabric, it can get pulled into the feed dogs, I hate that.

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The pattern includes instructions for the reverse applique.  I added the color blocking after some over-zealous hemming led to a too short shirt.  2014-02-15 13.14.08

I also used the Polo for this  Kristoff shirt.  I made the bit under the “V” too long, but am going to “let it go” its just for dress up.  I used the collar stand without the foldover collar to try to mimic Kristoff’s shirt.


Princess Anna needs someone to hang out with, right?

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The Peppermint Swirl dress is the last Candy Castle pattern I want to share with you, and its stunning!  Caution: spontaneous dance parties are known to occur when this dress is in use!  I used a green ombre design for Nora’s skirt and I love how it came out!  I have seen many beautiful versions of this dress including striped and rainbow.  Nora usually loves pink and purple, but I figured she would love how twirly the dress was and not mind the color, it worked 🙂

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Great patterns, great instructions, I have learned a lot of sewing techniques from these patterns, and don’t get too confused!  Have you sewn any Candy Castle Patterns?  What patterns are you nuts about?


The Patternnut