I was so happy when Toni asked me to be a part of her Pattern Parade. Toni, if you don’t already know, is the Australian genius behind Make It Perfect patterns. She’s a girl after my own heart in so many ways. Not only are her patterns geared toward relaxed and comfy clothing for the whole family but also she writes her patterns with beginning sewers in mind. I do exactly the same thing with my small sampling of patterns because beginners like a nice accomplishment every once in a while too.
Toni was also nice enough to surprise me with two patterns. I was having such a hard time deciding what I wanted to make, she just went ahead and shipped me both! I know! How awesome is that? Oh my, that was an amazing mail day. So, I made both The Honey Blouse and the Coastal Breeze dress.
The Coastal Breeze dress is so super comfortable. I have already worn it twice to the pool.
It’s a simple slip-over design with just a waistband, no sleeves to put in. The fabric is from the fabulous Rock Paper Scissors and it’s a pepper colored knit from Robert Kaufman’s laguna stretch jersey knits. It’s beautifully soft, doesn’t seem to pill up. It’s positively delicious. As I purchase more and more knit fabric I’m starting to really value a good, quality-made knit fabric and the laguna knits all fit in that category.
My only complaint about the dress is that the fit is so relaxed it’s a bit baggy, particularly in the chest area, *ahem*. Like I said, however, it’s perfect for a pool day and really this summer we are living for pool days and outdoor lunches so it is a perfect ‘real life’ dress. The pattern itself is pretty straightforward. As I mentioned, Toni makes her patterns so they are easy to use for beginners. That being said, I didn’t strictly follow the pattern, I really only referenced her pattern instructions. Once I had the pieces cut out it was just simpler for me to start sewing and I didn’t need to check and double check what to do next.
I also made a Honey Blouse in voile.
For this blouse I pulled out some fabrics that I adore. The main blouse is a voile I purchased ages ago at Mood Fabrics in NYC on a trip with a bloggy friend and the trim was a gift from a sewing friend, it’s an amazing Liberty print. Wearing this blouse makes me think about those two people, which is a lovely added bonus.
I like the way these two fabrics work together. At first I was nervous about putting them together. The colors work well together but I have a habit of playing it safe and opting for a plain “wearable” print. I am so glad I went for something more fun.
I don’t know why but these two patterns look so perfect next to each other. And, the collar has a rolled band effect that works so well with that flower print. In truth, I really would have shied away from putting these two fabrics together if I hadn’t been so encouraged by commenters over the past year. You guys are the best, I really love all your comments! I am convinced that everyone in blogland is having a lot more fun with prints and fabric than the made-to-wear shops realize.
The pattern is pretty straightforward and again, it’s pretty simple. That said, it involves a lot of gathering stitches which take some time. If you follow me on Instragram you will know I started putting a different colored thread in the bobbin so it got easier to find the threads to pull for gathering. I guess you undertake enough gathering stitches and you learn a new trick. I also strayed from the pattern a little when I added the contrasting cuffs and the waistband. The pattern keeps it really simple by having you fold a band of fabric in half, lining up the raw edges and stitching that together. I wanted to be able to completely cover up the raw edges of the fabric so I folded them over in the following way:
It’s not rocket science but it does takes a little more time. It’s the kind of detail that is worth it to me. I like how it looks. I love this blouse and it fits in the category of “blouse I will wear on a girl’s night out” or a laid back date night. I even love the bow-tie at the waist. I’m really not a bow type of girl but this slouchy, easy going bow looks great and makes for a great fit.
I’m so thrilled Toni involved me in the Pattern Parade. This is probably obvious but, full disclosure, I was given the patterns and asked to blog about them. I agreed because I like Toni’s patterns and, as always, my opinion about the patterns is all mine. Thanks!
Be sure to peruse all of the lovely bloggers stitching up amazing Make It Perfect Patterns: