Pattern Testing Win … Bonnell Dress Pattern by Dixie DIY

I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to publish this post, all! I was fortunate enough to be a pattern tester for the newest pattern being released today from Dixie over at Dixie DIY, and woohoo! is all I can say.

I’ve been a *mostly silent* follower of her blog for a few years now, and have made up her Summer Concert Tee no less than 6 times. It’s the perfect… well, summer tee! So when she started posting sneak peeks of her newest pattern, the Bonnell Dress, I jumped at the chance to test it out. Additionally, I had some great tribal-esque border print fabric that I snagged for a song years ago in my stash, and this pattern was the perfect vessel for it.

I love the slight nod to the 50’s this dress lends, with a fitted bodice and gathered skirt. But what really caught my eye was the side cutouts and the gorgeous V-neck in the back. This is the perfect dress pattern for a summer wedding, a night out on a patio, OR – toss on a lightweight blazer (Morris, anyone?), and it’s perfectly appropriate in a biz casual work environment. I love pieces that do double duty!

Following the pattern was very straightforward, from assembling the PDF to constructing the dress. I didn’t clock it to the minute, but I was able to put this together in one afternoon of about 4 – 5 hours worth of sewing time, so that’s awesome. The instructions were concise, with clear illustrations at necessary parts. An eager beginner could tackle this project without much difficulty at all.

I sewed a straight size 14 for this pattern. It fit fine with no alterations required but… is a little snug in the bust.  I always think I can get away without doing a FBA, but I’ve come to realize that I need to suck it up and just DO IT! Dixie includes a link to a comprehensive FBA on her blog post of this particular pattern.

I also did not make a muslin as recommended *sheepish grin* (are we noticing a trend here? I’m impatient!) nor did I interface my waistband. These are two things I will do with my second make (and third, and etc). I’m learning more and more that it’s worth the little bit of extra time to take the additional steps, and usually the result is a better fitting and more professionally looking garment at the end of the day. So, patience is a virtue I am *trying* to apply in my sewing world.

I always have a tough time being on the other side of the camera, so forgive the  awkward poses that ensue. I enlisted my momma to play photographer for a bit, as I’m still getting comfortable with my wireless remote + tripod. Baby steps!

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The zipper was promptly ripped out and reinserted after I saw this photo! Symmetry is a beautiful thing :)bonnell4

… and one outtake for good measure!

bonnell2All in all I’m so happy with this dress – it’s a fresh take on a classic silhouette, and a great summer pattern. Looking forward to making a few tweaks and having a few of these hanging in my closet… if summer ever arrives; this happened today, a few hours away from where I live. YIKES! May 29th in Manitoba, gotta love it.

Of note, I was provided a copy of this pattern free of charge to pattern test – all opinions are my own! 

Miscellany and an addiciton

More finished unposted projects … I was caught up, and then a very rainy Canada Day weekend happened so I’m still several FO’s behind in the posting department. I need to hire a photographer for a day and get some non grainy, non Iphone photos taken!



Easy summer sundress from a McCall’s pattern I had kicking around… It came together fairly quickly, but reminded me why more and more, I prefer to sew indie patterns. Measurement wise, I should have cut an XL, but I went with a M… and it fit, with room to spare. The Big 4 patterns are notorious for this and it’s very frustrating! As a result, I usually base my size choice on the finished measurements listed, not the measurements according to sizes (6,8,10, etc). Either way, It’s a cute dress to slip on when I’m running around doing errands. It requires a tank top worn underneath it, or I can sew in a modesty panel. I’m half debating hacking it into a tunic length, but we shall see.



Getting on the fox bandwagon :) This was an outfit for a girlfriend’s little baby girl born in February. Shirt pattern is the Tiny Tumble Tee, and the leggings are the Go To Leggings… I die! So cute. Both these patterns are great and I’ve used them several times.



A black Valentine’s Day tee courtesy of Deer & Doe’s (free!) Plantain tee. Great pattern! Great staple! I’ve made a few more in varying sleeve lengths… but you wouldn’t know, because I never blog them. Too busy out and about wearing my clothes I suppose!



Mint gingham knickerboxers… just because. These were from the Knick Knack knickers pattern put out by Anna Maria Horner. Adorable!




Self drafted PJ pants made for a co-workers little girl. There’s also a fox pair of these kicking around…



Another tiny tumble tee & leggings …

Image Not to leave the boys out of the mix, a tiny polo shirt and madras shorts for yet another girlfriend’s winter baby boy. I can’t remember where I found the patterns, they were both free from the realm of Pinterest.



A custom order from a coworker for her expecting daughter – color choices/prints customized to fit the nursery. Double sided minky blanket, contoured burp cloths, minky/flannel wash cloths, a couple of binky leashes, a sweet softie elephant from Birch Fabric’s Henry and Helga free plushy pattern, and a tiny crochet cap of my own design, complete with a minuscule bow :)



Over in the crochet world, I’ve been equally busy! A couple of weeks ago, I acquired 3 meters of unbleached jersey from the fabric store for $3.99 with absolutely not a HOT clue was to what I was going to make/where I was going to stash it… until I remembered I’d been wanting to try my hand at a Zpagetti rug, but didn’t want to shell out the $$$ for the overseas shipping charge. A few episodes of Mad Men later, all that jersey was cut into 1 1/2″ strips and wound into a ball (labor intensive! next time I may just splurge on the ready made t-shirt yarn). Pattern is from Ravelry, the Hoooked Zpagetti Rug by Susan Potter. Easy to follow, works up pretty quickly! This actually took me a lot longer than anticipated though, because I ripped it out four times prior to being satisfied with the way it was working up. Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to be a perfectionist…

Crocodile stitch booties! I’ve had this pattern in my Rav queue for probably 2 years, but just didn’t get around to tackling it. Now that I have, I think it may be a new go to. These are as tiny (made for a preemie) as they are adorable. I think they’d look lovely in some variegated Knit Picks Hawthorne… yum :)






And last but not least, the leaning tower of dishcloths that continues to grow, and grow. Nothing like getting a kick start on Christmas gifts. Yes, that’s what everyone is getting. Sorry to spoil the surprise, pals!

Cynthia’s done it again!

I wanted to share, because I’m completely drooling over the two Spring patterns that dear, dear Cynthia Rowley has come up with … good thing Boyfriend Smash and I have some weddings on the calendar this year! So yummy, especially this one:

The second one isn’t too shabby either,I love the flowy detail and happen to have several appropriate fabrics in my stash (just never the time it seems). The rest of Simplicity’s Spring line has quite a bit to offer too, including a new line from a Project Runway designer! Choices, choices.

Oh my…

So I know Lauren over at Lladybird does an awesome job picking apart all the ridiculous patterns that Vogue releases… and I just stumbled across this one while doing some window shopping and instantly thought “What would Lauren say about THIS one?!” Yes technically it’s a McCall’s pattern, but they’re affiliated/sister sites with Vogue and… yes.

Are there even words? Oi. What a mess.

While the patterned vinyl one shown in the alternate photos is passeable and could probably even be pretty cute… WHY would I spend precious time sewing something so ghastly as clear vinyl? It boggles the mind, I’m telling you.

On the topic of coats …. hoping to finally get cracking on my Minoru this week! Maybe I’ll be able to catch up and join the rest of the SAL!

I Resolve …

Happy New Years, everyone!

I thought I’d start 2012 off with a bang and dive right into things with a lofty list of my *hopeful* sewing accomplishments for the year ahead. I’ve already decided to break one of my resolutions, here’s crossing my fingers I stick to the rest. :)
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