Ceylon for starters. . . (Part I)

I received my Ceylon pattern from Colette Patterns in the mail about a week ago and have been working on the fitting. I decided to try a test run out of muslin with no changes to the pattern to decide how it fit and where I would need to make adjustments. So far, so good. Since I don’t have a dress form, and I have never made a dress other than my renaissance faire costume, I’m feeling my way through the dark. But, it’s going very well. The pattern’s directions are clear and easy to understand, even for beginners although the suggestion on the pattern recommends “Intermediate” experience. I do have a lot of quilting and other general sewing knowledge, so that helps some, but clothing is a whole other beast.

I started this journey by transferring all the pattern pieces needed on red dot tracer. There are many sizes in this pattern, 0-18, and I want to be able to make this dress over and over, perhaps in many different sizes. Using the red dot tracer, I can trace all the pieces needed, cut out the pattern on that, and use that for my desired size, rather than cutting through all the other sizes on the actual pattern paper. 

Once I had all of my pattern pieces marked and cut, I layed out my muslin and cut according to the pattern directions. I started to sew my pieces and am, so far, very pleased with my progress. I would say that if I were able to work on nothing else but this dress, I would have it done in a day. I have some fabric on the way from that I am planning to use for this dress, but I have to make sure everything fits correctly before I begin on pretty fabric. ^_^ That is a great use for muslin! Although, it saddens me to think that I am spending so much time on a muslin garment that I won’t ever get to really wear. Who knows, maybe it will become an art piece to cover my dress form, if I can ever get one.

I’m also planning to make a belt for the dress as the one shown on Casey’s blog, or at Colette Patterns. We’ll see. ^_^


Pattern Review: Anna Maria Horner’s Multitasker Tote

The first ever “official” pattern review post is here! I’m going to try to start a new series. For every project that I complete, I am going to post a pattern review on my blog. My intentions are to hopefully inspire and help others with helpful hints and tips on the patterns that I have used. So, to kick it off, here’s the first pattern review!

Anna Maria Horner’s Multitasker Tote

This is the second one I have made. The first turned out very cute. I made it out of similar fabrics, Wonderland by MoMo for Moda. This one is made from Panache for Moda. The main exterior is actually a twill cotton, so it’s a little heavier weight which makes for a nice exterior on a utility bag. The brown pockets and strap are also from a twill. I always like to use a heavier fabric if possible on the straps to make sure they are extra durable.

So, one of the biggest changes that I made to the pattern would be the inside pocket. In the instructions, it tells you to cut one rectangle, fold the edges under, and sew it down. No interfacing, no reinforcement of any kind. I thought this might not suffice for my hard wear and tear of pockets, so I changed it up a bit.

So, what I did was take whatever left over fabric I had. (I didn’t have any of the bag fabric left because I had already given it away, so I used some natural colored linen/cotton that I had.) I cut the pattern piece on the fold, so that I would have two layers the same size as the desired pocket. I stitched the pocket RS together, leaving a small opening for turning. I turned the pocket, pressed it flat, making sure the opening was pressed correctly. I top-stitched the edge with the fold (the top edge) about 1/4″ away from the top. Then I placed it on the lining and stitched as directed in the instructions. I think that this reinforcement of the pocket was necessary, especially if it will get a lot of use.

I have to say, I do really like Anna Maria’s method of sewing. When I was sewing this tote, it started out very odd, and I wasn’t sure how it would come together. The way she does it is so foreign to me, but it came out great and I actually prefer her methods to some of the other patterns I have made. It almost seems that she started out sewing more clothing than bags, because of her 5/8″ seam allowances, and the way she explains some of the steps. I really loved the way she incorporated the outside pockets. I call them “jean pockets” because of the shape they give when looking at the front of the bag. They are really deep, and can hold a lot of things!

All in all, my pattern rating for this one is:

(4 out of 5 spools)

Join me next time when I will be reviewing: Amy Butler’s Nappy Bag!