Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Ila Dress

Last month, I had the opportunity to test the Ila Dress pattern from a new to me pattern company - Coffee + Thread. I have read Olga's blog in the past, but had never sewn any of her patterns, so I was excited for this opportunity!

The testing process was very thorough, and although I was only able to test the first version of the pattern there were so many other wonderful testers. All of the testers did an amazing job testing the Ila dress! It is a really sweet dress and I am looking forward to sewing another one for my little sister.

The Ila dress is an A-line dress with a shaped yoke, the option for a front panel and front hidden pockets. It comes with options for short or long sleeves. With the design of the dress, there are so many ways to add in piping, lace, other trims, and even color blocking.

The fabric I used for this dress is some type of sturdy cotton from my stash. It works well with the shape of this dress. I have some corduroy fabric in my stash that I would like to try with this pattern as well. I think corduroy would be perfect for a winter dress.

I was not intending to add any trim to this dress, but I had this beautiful navy blue lace that was a perfect match for the fabric, so I knew it had to be done! I love how it turned out. The lace really adds to the dress.

The pattern comes in sizes 18 months to 12 years. I made the size 4 for my little sister. She is tall for her age, so the only change I made was to lengthen the dress to size 5 and it fits her great!

Another great thing about this pattern, is that the pdf comes in layers, so you have the option to print only the size you need. I have only worked with layered patterns a few times before and so far I really like it! You only see the size you need rather than trying to tape together a wide range of sizes.

The back has an invisible zipper, which is my favorite type of closure for a dress. They are easy to sew even without an invisible zipper foot.

I love the simple, clean lines of this dress. I think it is perfect for little girls, especially if they are always on the move, like my sister. The pockets are also one of my favorite things about the Ila dress. They are hidden into the front seam where the skirt attaches to the bodices panels.

Miss V likes the dress too and has worn it many times since we took these pictures. 

Thank you again Olga for the opportunity to test! 


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Janie Dress

I am so excited to share this new pattern with you!! It is the Janie Dress by Mouse House Creations and was just released a couple days ago. I had the opportunity to be part of the testing group for this pattern and I think it is a great pattern! It comes in sizes 6 months to 12 years with several different options. You can make a cowl neck, regular neck, peter pan collar with ballet scoop back, long sleeves, half sleeves, short sleeves, circle skirt, gathered circle skirt, and peplum. There are even pockets!

I made a size 4 with a size 5 length, since Miss V is tall for her age. The fit is perfect! I was able to use fabric from my stash - the grey and white polka dots is the french terry from my Lane Raglan and the pink is a random knit from the thrift store.

I love the cowl collar - it will be perfect once the weather finally gets colder. It has been unseasonably warm for November, here in MN.

Circle skirts are great for twirling in!

The Janie Dress is a really quick sew. I actually made 5 within the last week. I may be slightly addicted to this pattern! I made 2 versions for Miss V and I also made a 3T for my cousin's little girl. I also made two 6 month sizes for my newest baby cousin and they are so adorable! I can't wait to see her wearing them.

This is the basic neckline version. The bodice is a stretchy interlock from my stash and the skirt is a mystery knit, but it worked well for testing this pattern! 

She loves her new dresses!

You can see more tester versions of the Janie dress here

Also, check out these blog posts: Crafti Mom, A Jennuine Life, Anna's Heirloom Boutique 


Friday, November 4, 2016

Lane Raglan

I may not be blogging much lately, but I have been sewing! A few weeks ago, I made myself this Lane Raglan. I received the pattern for my birthday in July and just now got around to making it. I had seen it around the blogosphere so many times and it seemed like a great basic T-shirt pattern to add to my collection!

The Lane has so many options to choose from. I decided to go with long sleeves and a curved hem. I used contrasting mustard color fabric for the sleeves and hem bands.

The fabric is from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, one of my newest favorite places to fabric shop. The grey and white polka dot fabric is french terry and the mustard is rayon spandex. I've never sewn with french terry before, but I will be using it again! It is easy to sew with and really comfortable to wear.

The Lane was very easy to sew and the pattern is very easy to follow. However, the day I sewed this, I was making so many mistakes. The first mistake I made was cutting the front bodice opposite of the grain. I wasn't paying attention, and the fabric stretches both ways. So of course I didn't notice until it was cut. I only had 1 yard of fabric, so there wasn't much I could do.

The next mistake I made was to sew the neckband on backwards! With the raglan style, it is hard to tell the front from the back. By the time I had sewn on the neckband, finished the seam and topstitched I realized the neckband seam was in the front! I wasn't going to seam rip out all my hard work, so I just finished sewing.

The front seam really bothered me, so I decided instead of starting all over I was going to add a contrasting square over the seam. It worked really well and I think it adds to the top!

Even with all my mistakes, the Lane only took about an hour and a half to make. It's a great afternoon project! I have another one cut and ready to sew.

What have you been sewing lately? 


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Happy September!

It is September and that means National Sewing Month! I have not been blogging, but I thought today would be a great day to come back. I don't have any recent sewing projects to share right now, but I will give you an update on my life since I last blogged in May. I can't believe it has been 3 months since I have blogged, but I have been busy with working and some sewing.

Here are some highlights from the past few months:

In May, I bought my first car! Car shopping was a very stressful experience, but with the help of my dad, I finally found one I liked and that seemed reliable. So far, so good! This trusty 2002 Saturn takes me to and from work and wherever else I need to go. I still need a name for it, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

We also celebrated my "little" brother's high school graduation. This week, he started classes at a community college.

Sewing wise, I started going through my T-shirts and cut out squares for a T-shirt quilt. It's something I've been wanting to do for awhile now. Since I cut out the squares, they have been sitting in a bag in my room. Hopefully I can start sewing them together soon!

In June, two of my siblings and I ran a local community color run. It was so much fun! We were definitely full of color by the end of the race.

In July, I took the most amazing road trip to Kansas and met my penpal of 15 years. Highlights of the trip were meeting my penpal and her family, visiting things around Kansas including an underground salt mine.

I celebrated my 23rd birthday at the end of July, Jane Austen style. I had a few friends over and we played some Austen inspired games, had a tea party with cake and watched 'Persuasion'. It was a great birthday.

In August, I had fun watching the Olympics after work and cheering on some of my favorite athletes from gymnastics and swimming.

We celebrated Miss V's 4th birthday with an 'Elephant and Piggy' party a few weeks ago. I can't believe she is already four years old already!

In August, I entered eight projects in our county fair and won ribbons on each one. The two red/pink shirts in the top left photo earned blue ribbons - they are a Bimaa Sweater for Miss V and a Daytripper top for Miss K. In the top right is a Daytripper top for myself made out of sweatshirt fabric and that earned a blue ribbon. In the bottom right, Miss V's dress earned a red ribbon and my Birkin Flares earned Grand Champion. In the bottom left, my Marigold dress earned a blue ribbon, and my Diamond dress earned blue and Reserve Champion. 

A few days ago, my brother and I went to the MN state fair together. It was packed with hundreds of people, but we had fun! I tried alligator on a stick. We walked until our feet hurt, but it was worth it! It's always fun at the great MN get together!

So, that is my summer in a nutshell! I hope to be back with a sewing project soon!


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thread Faction SS2016 Blog Tour

I am so excited to be participating in the Thread Faction SS2016 blog tour! I am sharing my take on Pattern #108 - a dolman sleeve knit dress or peplum top with a half circle skirt. It is one of seven patterns in a new spring/summer collection from Thread Faction Studio. The collection is full of great knit basics for the upcoming months.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Me-Made May 2016


It's that time of the year again - Me-Made May! Here is my pledge: "I, Elizabeth of The College Seamstress ( and @thecollegeseamstress on Instagram), sign up as a participant of Me-Made May '16. I endeavor to wear at least one me made item each day for the duration of May 2016. I also endeavor to finish my UFOs by the end of the month; I will also sew something new for myself and get back into the habit of sewing. I've been slacking in that area! I will share pictures on Instagram." 

Since my job requires a uniform of scrub tops/pants the "one me made item each day" applies to when I'm not at work. Also, I may not share pictures every day as in the past it has been exhausting to take a picture of my outfit every day of the month. I am determined to get back to sewing more often. It has been hard with my full time job. It's not that I don't have time, but I just make excuses. This post about finding your sew-jo sums it up perfectly. 

Are you participating in Me-Made May this year? 


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to my blog readers! I have missed this little spot and decided it was time to come back. I hope you all had a very nice and blessed Easter. We had a nice Easter - just our family but it was relaxing. The weather was not the warmest but the snow held off and we were able to have an egg hunt outside.

I did not get around to making new Easter dresses for all the girls - I did make my littlest sister's dress. I wore my graduation dress from last year and Miss K wore a new RTW skirt.

For Miss V's dress, I went with the TNT Sally Dress pattern. I have made this pattern quite a few times for her and I love the style. It is simple and fairly quick to sew and a great dress for a little girl. I made V's Easter dress last year from the same pattern.

Compared to last year, Miss V is much bigger and so I made a size 3T. I wanted the dress to fit her for awhile, so I measured the length from her waist - this was a mistake however because the bodice seam starts near the chest not the waist! This just goes to show anyone can make a mistake even on a pattern you've made several times.

The dress would've come to above her knees had I left the length. I was able to fix it by cutting a band to add to the bottom and I covered up the seam with rickrack. It looks great and the white rickrack really adds some nice detail to the skirt!

The fabric is some rayon challis from my stash and it's not pink, but Miss V agreed to it right away! I think it looks lovely on her. It was not lovely to cut and sew though. The fabric slipped while cutting making it difficult to cut a straight line. Once I sewed the bodice together the sewing went much smoother. 

Although she may not look happy in these pictures, she really likes her dress! She was tired, but I am glad she enjoys wearing things I make for her - she can be a very picky 3 year old sometimes. 


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Novelista Shirt

Hello! Although it has been quiet here on the blog, I have been sewing! Today I have the Novelista Shirt sewn in plaid flannel. If you remember my fall sewing list, I had wanted to make a plaid flannel shirt, but better late than never, right?

I actually sewed this in December and only recently had the opportunity to take pictures. It is very comfortable and I have been wearing it a lot. It is the perfect shirt for this cold Minnesota winter weather!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Happy New Year!!

Happy 2016 to all my readers!! After a somewhat unplanned break from blogging, I am back and ready for the new year.

My favorite sewing accomplishments from 2015: 

1) The Felicity Dress

This dress is one of my favorites I have ever made. I love the gathered bodice and the pockets. It was somewhat of a challenge to sew because the rayon kept shifting around as I cut it out. I was also on a time crunch but I was able to finish it in time to wear it for graduation and my pinning ceremony.