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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Bay top- not just for kids anymore!

Oh how I adore the Brownie Goose Bay dresses that I have made for my daughter. I was thrilled to test the pattern a while back- see that post here- and have made several more since then! But, with every Brownie Goose  Bay dress that I make for a little girl I keep thinking, man I wish I had a top like this... and then I came to the realization that this pattern runs a little on the large side and I wasn't that far off from the chest measurement of the size 12 so I thought hey why not give this a try!

I started by tracing off the size 12 with the drop waist option and made up a quick muslin by just sewing the shoulder and side seams- no lining just quick and simple. I tried it on for fit and realized the armholes were a little snug and that the top should probably come down a smidge in the front and of course the back needed to be a little deeper and more dramatic... so off with the ruler and marker and scissors I went : )

I dropped the scoop in the back by two inches and just rounded it out to keep the same strap width at the top. I trimmed it off and tried it on again to check the fit before adjusting my pattern pieces. I did the same thing in the front scooping the front neckline down about 1.5 inches. I also scooped the armholes down about an inch as well to make room for my arms! I ALSO ADDED 8 INCHES IN LENGTH to the size 12 to make it long enough for me. I am about 5'9" these days- I appear to be shrinking in my older age, ha! 

Once I was happy with the way my muslin fit I cut into my "real" fabric which was a Kaufman Carolina Chambray in Black. I fully lined the bodice in the same fabric but it would be fun to do a fun print on the inside too! Once I had my two front and four back pieces cut I stitched them together per the pattern instructions at the shoulders then pinned and stitched around the neck and arm holes per instructions. I went ahead and did my side seams after that as well instead of following Amy's fabulous instructions.

I cut my peplum pieces from the same fabric making them about 1.5 times as long as each section of my top (front and 2 backs). Forgive me for not ironing before pictures!

I used the template from the pattern to cut the curve of the peplum and then assembled them per pattern instructions by sewing the lining and main pieces together first then stitching around the entire peplum piece. I decided to add a double needle top-stitch to the bottom just to add a little something there.

At first I gathered and attached the peplum but could not stop thinking that it looked like a jumper for a ten year old headed to private school so I ripped it off and decided to pleat it instead. Here it is with the ruffle. Try to control your laughter ; )

I wish I could say I carefully measured and calculated my pleats but I did my best to just evenly space them and hoped for the best! I added four buttons on one side and opted to do snaps on the other to hold that other back piece in place. I found that I also needed one snap down at the very bottom to keep that peplum in place. 

Now if only we could convince the fabulous Amy of Brownie Goose to upsize this one a little more! If you wanted to attempt to make it a little larger I would try adding a little to the sides of the front piece and back sides and go from there. I think this would be an adorable top even for a tween! I also considered just hemming it up as a top without a peplum or adding a band at the bottom. Get creative and have fun!

And a special thanks to my friend Amy over at Blink Life and Clothing for a fun dinner date and photo shoot!

A little pattern testing for Brownie Goose- The Bay Dress & Top

I was super excited to have the opportunity to test for one of my most favorite pattern designers- Amy of Brownie Goose. I adore all of her patterns so much- head over to her shop and see all the cuteness she has to offer!

I tested the upcoming Bay dress and top in a size 3 for my almost three year old. It was a perfect fit! I chose to use Joel Dewberry Blockprint Blossom in Dandelion and it was a perfect complement to this pattern. I decided to use a soft pink for my lining just to give it a little twist. When doing the curved skirt option on this dress the skirt & bodice are both fully lined. It is a gorgeous dress inside and out! The pattern also includes the option of a straight skirt which can be left unlined if you are trying to conserve fabric. Amy also includes tips for making the skirt a little less full if you are trying to squeeze one out of a smaller amount of fabric.

That back just makes me swoon every time I see it! So sweet- set off by a two button closure for the empire waist version or a 4 button closure if you choose to do a drop waist. The pattern calls for functional buttons but I found I can slip this one on and off without even unbuttoning. So if buttonholes make you sweat then you can certainly give it a go with just stitching the bodice closed and adding your buttons for a decorative touch. I choose to do the empire waist simply because I only had two of these beautiful vintage buttons I found at a local antique mall.

I am so happy Spring has finally arrived here in the NW and can not wait to make some more of these beauties! The great news is that the Bay Pattern starts at a size 18 months and goes all the way up to a size 12! So we fortunately have many Bay summers to look forward to in our future!

After finishing this one up I couldn't help but give the top version a try... for this one I used a sweet white swiss dot with a touch of vintage lace on the flutter sleeves fully lined in a solid white.

I decided to pair it with a green chambray Darby short (another favorite pattern by Brownie Goose) with a touch of lace like the flutters. Such a sweet summer combo that would match so many pieces.

And just because I love this picture of my youngest two just as much as I love this new pattern! <3 <3 <3

The Bay top & dress are sure to make you a happy girl!

Monday, May 12, 2014

GYCT Tinley Tee Test!

I had the pleasure of testing this precious Tinley Tee from GYCT Designs loaded with so many options! I choose to do the Size 3, flutter sleeve with a regular double needle hem in a soft blue knit.

The pattern is fabulous and offers sooooo many options. You could create an entire wardrobe of shirts just from this pattern! Pattern pieces are nested- yeah for the trees- and easy to line up for cutting. There is also a printing guide included to save even more on paper by printing only the options you want!

This pattern ranges from 12 months to 12 years- so you can get many years of use from it! I am such a sucker for a flutter sleeve- but can't wait to try out some of the other sleeve options. The fit on this shirt is great! Please note this top was made from version 1 of the test pattern before the neckline was lowered just a tad to make it even more fabulous : ) 

Materials needed- really not a lot! Knit fabric (between 1/2 to 1 yard depending on size and options), elastic (only for cap sleeve), thread, ballpoint needle & optional double needle. Have I mentioned how much I love a double needle hem? I just love the finished look that it gives:

We paired our Tinley Tee with some Brownie Goose Darby's that were already in our closet... but I am also dying to try out GYCT's Love Me Knot Girl shorts. I think they would be adorable together!

Head on over to the GYCT Etsy shop or Craftsy and pick up your Tinley Tee Pattern while you can get it at a discount on Monday May 12 & Tuesday May 13th!