Disclosure: I have used my own fabric and supplies to make this dress. However, I was given the Violette Field Threads, Annabelle Dress pattern for free as part of the Bundle Up blog tour. My opinions are always my own, and please forgive me if I gush a bit – this is honestly the most gorgeous dress I have ever sewn. (Thanks!)
When I got an email asking if I’d like to be a part of this blog tour, I didn’t sign up to make the Annabelle Dress right away. In fact, I tried to stay away from it. It looked tricky, and time consuming… and I really wasn’t sure I liked the sweetheart neckline. My oldest however knew it was love at first sight. Try as I might to convince her otherwise, this was going to be made, and I knew it. So I gave in and I’m so glad I did!
If you haven’t heard of the Bundle Up Sale, it’s put together by Pattern Revolution and each sale contains a new group of patterns in a different category – boys, women, etc. This Bundle Up Sale contains 11 patterns for girls – which of course I am interested in. Buy as little as 6 patterns and pay 1/2 price for each of them, or buy them all for even less! A great way to stock up a wardrobes worth of patterns for your kids! The sale started January 23rd and will end on February 2nd. If you want to buy any of the patterns alone, you can get them on the 16th of February from their respective designers.
I loved the experience of working with this Violette Field Threads pattern. I had not used their patterns before, and the instructions were very clear and thorough. I love working with good photos, and there are lots of them in these instructions. This dress is not as tricky as it looks! In fact, once you have cut the fabric out everything goes really quickly, considering the piecing required. I was surprised to finish putting the skirt together in only about 3 hours. The rest of the dress is very simple and the elastic back is great – no closures necessary!
I used gorgeous blue and teal chambray for the bulk of the dress, plus a fat quarter of white embroidered quilting cotton for the middle chevron. I haven’t worked with chambray before and now I can’t wait to buy some more! The drape is amazing and it is really nice to sew with. The weight is perfect for this dress and allows it to flow really well. It’s also going to be perfect for summer, since it breathes well and seems really comfortable and soft. I think my daughter will wear it every chance she gets, and probably to church this Sunday, even though it is supposed to be -20 C!
The suggested sizing on this pattern was good as well. My slim 7 year old usually fits into a size 4 or 5 bodice with a size 6 length. When compared to the measurements on this pattern, that was what they suggested and it worked out perfectly. I made a size 5 bodice and a 6 length, then took about 1″ off of the bottom before hemming. I like that the elastic back allows for easier sizing and the dress can be worn longer as well. The length in the hem allows you to make the dress go “right down to the floor”, as my daughter specifically requested!
There are only two helpful hints I would add about this pattern:
- This dress has lots of seams in the skirt portion, and the pattern explains how each seam allowance needs to be finished properly so they do not fray. I found my serger to be amazingly helpful in this process and it would have taken much longer to finish each one by grading and zig-zagging the edges.
- The fabric requirements are spot-on – you really need quite a bit of fabric to sew up a maxi dress! Since I am trying to work my way through my fabric stash, I wanted to use something I already owned. I think I tried about 10 combinations at least before I found one that had enough yardage. (and that my daughter and I could agree on!)
I’ve got at least one more of these to make for my youngest since I’ve promised her one as well. I can’t wait, it’s going to be so cute! I think this might be the pattern I use for their Easter dresses for this year and if I start now I won’t be rushing to finish them at the last minute as per the usual – wouldn’t that be nice!
Here is a list of the tour stops if you still need some inspiration. I’ve been following the tour along, and each blogger’s description really helped me to decide which 6 patterns I would purchase. (And they are now on my list for KCW next week!)
The title says it all… literally! I’ve made and photographed a dress with a gorgeous chevron pattern through the skirt (re: the ups and downs) – but more about that on Friday!
On a less literal note, last week was CRAZY on the sewing front. Everything I tried to make went haywire. Seam ripped threads were flying everywhere. I think I inserted the zipper on something 3 times. Note to self – don’t make a zip-up hoodie without sorting out the construction method first! On Friday I just gave up and cleaned my house.
Thankfully this week has been so much better. I took a bit of a brain break over the weekend and I’m happy to say that I am back! Today was much better and I was able to have one of the best photo shoots I’ve ever had with my oldest. I’ve yet to look at the photos properly, but it was all smiles and fun. SO Great!
I picked up and did a bit of quilt making again a few weeks ago. These photos have been patiently waiting to be published since then. I’m still working on my hourglass quilt since I received my blogger bundle from current sponsor Fabric Spark, last April. (edit: thought it was out of stock, but there are a couple still available here!) As you likely know by now, I am not a quilter. But I seem to have acquired about 7 fat quarter bundles that I have put together for future quilts, and I’m working my way through them. At this rate I will be done in 2024 or so. And by which time I will have stocked up on at least 35 more bundles. I may have to re-think my strategy!
Once I cut the “required amount” of squares, I was left with more uncut fabric than I was expecting. So, after I square up my blocks and calculate how big they will be once they are sewn together. I plan to decide if I should save the uncut pieces for the back, or if I add to the front. I’m trying to leave one night a week open to work on my quilts, I’d so love to see this finished!
We recently closed the giveaway for the book “Just for You” by Caroline from Sew Can She. This time the random generator chose Lori M. from Ohio as the winner. She will be receiving a copy of the book in the mail soon!
Hope your week has had a great start. Be back soon!
“So…it is very wintery here in Ontario; freezing cold, bitter winds, icy sidewalks…did I mention the cold? But instead of longing for spring let’s embrace this winter weather with a fabulous fabric giveaway: The Winter Blues – a bundle of pretty blue fabric to help us sew through this winter! Still secretly looking forward to spring though!”
~ Sylvia, Country Clothesline
What a great intro to our post today. Country Clothesline is giving away this pretty bundle and they are also providing a discount so you can get more of your pre-spring fabric fix! They have recently signed up to be a blog sponsor and I am really excited to feature Sylvia’s shop. Ever since I discovered her online store last spring I have been watching this gorgeously curated shop. (Find out more in their interview post.)
Country Clothesline has the most amazing collection of florals, dots and vintage prints. Think spring, summer and watermelon picnics. You can’t find this mix in any other online shops I know of (and they ship internationally!). Think about making a fresh country quilt, a little girl’s pinafore (for an Easter dress perhaps?!), pretty floral throw pillows or those trendy floral projects you’ve seen on Pinterest.
Country Clothesline is generously giving away a “The Winter Blues” 7 Fat Quarter Bundle. (photo above!)
This giveaway is open to everyone, internationally from today (Jan 21st) until midnight on Tuesday evening, January 27, 2015. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email address. There’s a “click to enter” no social media login entry too!
Use the discount code “threadridinghood” to get 15% off your purchase between now and January 31, 2015!
Now… Get out of your parka and think spring! Hold on, it’s almost here.
Happy Monday to you! After the 4 Cargo Duffles from last Monday and the Handbag last Wednesday + the book giveaway (open until Monday Jan 19th at midnight!) Seems it is a good idea to follow up last week’s inadvertent “bag week” with the Cargo Duffle Zipper Pocket tutorial I promised. Plus it seems like a good time to let you know who won the last giveaway!
This pocket was created out of a need for something quick and secure. While making four of these duffles I figured it would just take too long to make the folded and stitched and lined cargo pockets the original pattern calls for. I also am not very good at attaching snaps – so avoiding that seemed best as well!
This pocket is created to work well on any bag that has a separate bottom base. The separate base covers the bottom raw edge of the pocket. All of the other raw and zipper edges are finished. The front of the pocket is lined and the ‘back” of the pocket is the bag’s front outer fabric. You could fold the bottom raw edges of the pocket under before stitching and use it on any other type of bag as well.
Before I get too far, I want to let you know who won the Sew Sister’s Quilt Shop giveaway from last week. The fortunate winner is Beth T. She’s going to get 10 fat quarters of Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements in the mail soon! Thanks so much to Sew Sister’s for the giveaway and of course congratulations to Beth! What a nice surprise!
On to the tutorial!
You will need:
- One 12″ zipper
- One 13″ piece of 1/2″ double fold bias tape
- Outer Pocket: One 13″ x 6.5″ piece of quilting/cotton or similar
- Lining: One 13″ x 6.5″ piece of quilting/cotton or similar
Here we go:
- Place the lining fabric right side up. Open the zipper and align it along the top (long) edge of the lining with the zipper slider down. Pin/Glue in place. Baste if desired.
- Align the outer fabric right sides together along the top edge of the lining and zipper tape. Pin/Glue in place.
- Stitch along the top edge, through the lining/zipper/outer with a 1/4″ seam allowance. I used my regular machine foot and moved the needle as far as it can go to the left so as to avoid changing to my zipper foot!
- Once sewn, open up the lining and outer so they are wrong sides together. Press the edges next to the zipper tape.
- Sandwich the unfinished side of the zipper tape inside of the bias tape. Make sure it is at least 1/8″ away from the zipper teeth on both sides. I use glue to keep it in place before sewing. You can also use pins.(There is no need to finish the ends of the bias tape.)
- Stitch the bias tape close to the bottom edge.
- Fold the bias tape to the lining side on the open end and pin the zipper along the top edge so the teeth stay aligned in the next step.
- Fold the outer and lining right sides together and pin along the short edge.
- Stitch the pinned short edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Be careful when stitching over the zipper teeth. Back-stitch well at the corner. Trim the corner to reduce bulk.
- Close the zipper at least half way. Fold the zipper in half wrong sides together and pin the end to keep the teeth aligned in the next step.
- Fold the outer and lining right sides together and pin along the short edge. The zipper teeth should be facing the outer pocket fabric.
- Stitch the pinned short edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Be careful when stitching over the zipper teeth. Back-stitch well at the corner. Trim the corner and zipper tape to reduce bulk.
- Turn the zipper and pocket right sides out and push out the corners.
- Mark the placement of the Cargo Duffle exterior bottom accent piece. Align the zipper pocket in the centre of the Front so the bottom edge will be 1/2″ under the exterior bottom accent piece once sewn.
- Open the zipper and pin the bias tape in place.
- Unpin the pocket outer and flip it up to access the bias tape. Pin it in place at the far right side (pin is circled), being careful to keep the bias tape straight. I used my quilting lines as a guide.
- Fold the Front over so the pocket bias tape lays flat more easily and pin the opposite end in place.
- Stitch the bias tape along the top edge, next to the previous line of stitching. Folding the Front of the Cargo Duffle as you sew so the bias tape and pocket lay flat while you are stitching.
- Re-align and pin the pocket in place. Stitch the short sides of the pocket up from the bottom to about 1″ under the zipper. I stitched across and back down as well to secure the pocket better.
And you’re finished! Stitch on the Exterior Bottom Accent and continue with the original Cargo Duffle instructions to finish your amazing bag.
Today I’m posting over on Sew Can She as part of the Sewlebrity Sewalong for Caroline’s book “Just for You”, written with Sarah Markos. I get to be the first Sewlebrity, eek! (Check out the giveaway later in the post!)
As part of the sewalong I made the Sweetly Gathered Round Handbag by Delia from Delia Creates. It’s a great bag – really big and super cute. Use your stashed favorites to make it and you can take them everywhere with you – or at least wherever your purse goes! The inside of the bag has a welt hidden zipper pocket and a divided pocket – great for organizing. And did I mention it’s large?! Not too large to carry around – but large enough to stash quite a bit of fabric on a fabric shop run, if that’s what you have in mind!
Check out my post on Sew Can She for more about the bag, the book, and a mini tutorial about how you can add a vinyl base to it (and why you might need to!) And people… I MADE THE HANDLES, and it wasn’t that hard! Not sure if it sounds that exciting to you? But it will change how I look at sewing vinyl and handbags. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more vinyl on the blog in the future!
The Sewlebrity Sewalong is happening all year over at Sew Can She. The book “Just for You” has two projects for each month – 24 patterns in all! Grab a copy of the book and sewalong with each project’s Sewlebrity. Enter a photo of your project before the end of the month and get a Sewlebrity button in the mail – you can collect one button each month you participate. Really and truly – Caroline will send you a button - Happy mail fun!
Caroline is giving away one copy of the book “Just for You”!
This giveaway is open to everyone, internationally from today (Jan 14th) until midnight on Monday evening, January 19, 2015. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email address. There’s a “click to enter” no social media login entry too! (US winners will receive a hard copy of the book and Canadian/International winners will receive the e-book.)
This is one of those projects – the ones you envision during a spark of inspired genius towards the end of the summer and say (to no one in particular) … “Hey, do you know what would be awesome? I should make 4 Cargo Duffles for my family for Christmas!” Then you email them right away and ask for their favorite fabrics, but it takes you until October to order the fabric, of course. After it arrives and is pre-washed (just in case), everything sits through sewn Halloween costumes, your oldest’s birthday party, your wedding anniversary weekend away, Christmas shopping… until finally – on the 12th of December – you finally realize that you are going to have to start!
I’m sure you have had this happen to you before?! Thankfully I finished them up in time to mail out on December 23rd. A little late – but finished. And my family loves them and they have already been put to good use. So now I can share them with you! (I got most of these fabrics from my sponsor Fabric Spark, a linked list of fabrics is located at the bottom of this post. The others were from my stash or from Warp & Weft, which has recently closed.)
These bags were so much simpler to make this time around! I still love my first Cargo Duffle – in fact it is one of my most favorite projects. As usual, making something the second (or 5th time around) you know what you are doing already. I got to use my zipper tutorial again – the one that explains how to change a double zipper so the sliders meet in the centre, instead of finishing at the ends. I had forgotten how simple it was to do!
To make my life a little easier, I substituted a large zippered pocket instead of the pattern’s two cargo pockets (tutorial coming soon). It is my own design and all of the edges are finished inside. The zipper creates a fully closed pocket – so I feel more confident filling it! I also used strapping instead of sewing the handles – which made me a little sad, since the handles look amazing sewn – but speed and time was of the essence!
I’ve also been asked to post the measurements for the Cargo Duffle Backpacks I made in 2013, so that will be coming soon as well. They use the same construction as the duffle bag, but with different measurements. The girls still use them a lot and the Ann Kelle fabric is just so cute! I recently made new serged-edge Beach Robes for the girls using the Ann Kelle Girlfriends mermaid fabric – perfect! You can see them here on Instagram.
I hope you are having a great start to your week and I’ll see you again soon!
Fabrics: (top to bottom, see photo below)
- Parson Gray – Empire Felucca, Indelible -Spirodraft, Kona Cotton (likely Charcoal)
- Lotta Jansdotter – Blomster (out of stock, similar here), Kona Cotton (stashed mystery colour), Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen/Cotton - Black
- Ghastly Forest – Mist, Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen/Cotton -Flax, Stashed Black Denim
- Tula Pink – Foxtrot Shade, Tula Pink – Moonshine Swarm Fern, Stashed Black Denim
- Bias Tape: Parson Gray – Empire Fishnet, Ghastly Bramble – Tea Stain, Stashed Red
And we’re back with another giveaway and discount code AND the 12th post in the Canadian Online Fabric Store series! Today I’m interviewing Judy from Sew Sisters – an Ontario-based brick and mortar shop with international online shipping. She and her sister Karen started Sew Sisters together in 2000. I’ve visited their booth at the Creativ Festival and I always find something new and fun to purchase!
I am super excited about their monthly fabric clubs – they have 3 of them! A Kona Club, a Bargain Lover’s Club and a Batik Lover’s Club. As if the cute graphics were not enough – you can get fabric shipped to your door every month, hooray! I’ve been meaning to sign up for the 1/2 yard Kona Club for a while now and I have finally done it. I don’t stash enough solids to go with my projects and now I’ll have them. I love the surprise factor too – it’s lots of fun checking out which colours came in the mail!
Before we get too far – here’s a little preview of a few of my favorites from their shop:
Want to know more about Sew Sisters in 3 sentences? Carol has written up a tidy summary for you:
Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is A Canadian Source for Top Quality Quilt Fabric at Fair prices. Whether shopping online or in person at 3961 Chesswood Drive in North Toronto our goal is to provide you with great service and offer top quality products at the lowest possible price. Sew-Sisters have a large selection of quilting fabric and classes, patterns, books and notions – everything you need to complete your unique quilts!
Thread Riding Hood: Why did you decide to start Sew Sisters?
Judy: In 2000, I made an “I spy” quilt for my son that required almost 500 different pieces of fabric. I had to do a lot of shopping, trading and searching to amass the collection and when it was finished, I had both a lovely quilt and a massive amount of leftovers!
Figuring that other people making I Spy quilts would have the same problems I had finding enough fabric, I decided to sell packets of my leftover fabric online. The fabric square kits did very well, so much so that I began to think about continuing to make and sell them. I did so, and as the square packets became more popular, my sister joined me. Karen took over the shipping end of the business and soon we were able to expand the number of products we carried.
After many successful sales, we realized that our hobby had grown into a business! We registered a name, got a tax number and hired someone to do our books – our Dad, a retired accountant. Local quilt shops became interested in our square packets so we started supplying them as well. Soon we started selling at local guild shows and larger craft shows such as the Creativ Festival. Each year we continued to dramatically expand our product line until eventually we outgrew our house.
In September 2007, we opened a retail store at 3961 Chesswood Drive in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Our shop is loaded with fabric, notions, patterns and books that inspire quilters to create quilts to treasure. We are constantly growing and stretching to provide our customers with a larger selection, more projects and greater service. My passion for quilting and serving the public know no bounds and we aspire to provide the best customer service and the best prices possible in the market place!
Thread Riding Hood: What are a few favorite sewing projects you can share with us?
Judy: We had a week long Sew-a-thon a few months ago and made some great projects with Tim Holtz’s Eclectic Elements, Jenny Pedigo’s Quick Curve Ruler and Northcott’s Stonehenge Oh Canada fabric. It was such fun! (You can see the projects here!)
Thread Riding Hood: What is something coming up in the near future that you are especially excited about?
Judy: We’re having a 3 day Free Shipping in Canada event this week! This is always fun for our online customers.
Thread Riding Hood: Thanks Judy! I really like how your quilts took you from a hobby to a brick and mortar shop. Such a unique beginning!
Sew Sisters has decided to give away an amazing 10 fat quarter bundle of Tim Holtz’s Eclectic Elements! WOW!
This giveaway is open to everyone, internationally from today (Jan 7th) until midnight on Tuesday evening, January 13, 2015. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email address. There’s a “click to enter” no social media login entry too!
All ready to get some fabric? Sew Sisters has generously offered you a discount! Use the code “THREAD1015″ to get 10% off your purchase from January 7-13th, 2015! Here are a few more fabrics to get you started. And don’t forget about the free shipping (within Canada) offer from the 9th-11th this weekend!
Here’s to another great year last year! This year especially there have been many, many times I felt amazed because of a project opportunity or a relationship that was built. I feel fortunate to be a part of the online sewing community.
Thanks for hanging out and sticking around! You are so appreciated!
As I was working on this post I moved all of my 2014 post files away in their own folder – that makes 3 sections now – 2012, 2013 and 2014! It’s fun to think of how much this blog has been through. I was inspired by the Sewing Rabbit to create an infographic of sorts to summarize what happened last year. Lots different from my usual wordy posts – so I hope you don’t mind the numbers. I had lots of fun going through my stats finding out which posts were the most read, and I was excited to see that most of my favorite projects were your favorites too!
Below the analytics in the graphic, I’ve listed the top 10 posts created in 2014 and the top 5 posts of all time. (I linked each section – so you can click on them if you want to find out more.)
Happy New Year and I hope you and yours have a wonderful memorable year!
To talk bloggy – SO many moments stand out over the year! The day I got 11 938 page views because The Quilt Show linked to my Fabric Tray. The day I met Elizabeth Olwen and started planning the Warp & Weft Weekend Event. Designing the Forest Glen Satchel. The day I taught my very first workshop. Releasing the Satchel pattern! Sewing my youngest her Red Riding Hood costume and making my first Alder Skirt. I still LOVE the girls’ Easter dresses the most of all. Winning the Crafting Con Avenger’s month challenge was pretty cool too!
Looking ahead? More purposeful posting. I’m also excited to start quilting a bit more in 2015. And more clothing! Now that I have a serger for finishing seams the thought of stitching something up seems that much more simple and quick. I’ve got quite a few pieces waiting to be photographed and posted too… I could think of more – but I’ve got to run shower before going out in the (feels like) -22C weather to pick the kids up from school. See you again soon!
I hope you have had a great holiday season. And there is more to come tomorrow as we start a new year! I’ve inadvertently taken a week off and I’m excited to get a little more sewing in before things ramp back up again in 2015. The kids are still on holiday for the rest of this week and that slows things down a bit – so I’m rolling with it! I’ve got a new serger to play with (YAY!) and I’ve already made my husband his requested (second) Finlayson and resized my old housecoat for my oldest (on tap since last winter…).
I decided that my first serger project should be small and simple – so I made my youngest a few pairs of underwear using my Red Kitchen pattern. It’s in round 4 of alterations – every pair I make gets a bit more of a tailored fit. I wonder if she understands what she is getting? Seriously – underwear tailored to your every curve – amazing! I am in de-stashing mode, so I’ve been using tiny shirts that belonged to my girls to make each pair, along with a discarded white undershirt to finish the leg holes. I am so excited to be using things up.
The latest fabric giveaway ended last week, and I randomly selected the winner yesterday. Vicky B. is the fortunate owner of 1 metre of fabric of her choice from the L’Oiseau shop! Turns out that Vicky has been a customer of L’Oiseau for quite a while – how exciting to be able to give back to her!
The rest of the week consists of me cleaning the office – yikes – what a mess present wrapping creates. And I’m filling in the breaks with projects I’ve had around for longer than I’d like to admit. Thankfully my serger has brought a renewed sense of excitement – and speed… aside from the hour and a half it took me to thread it the first time. Thank goodness for instructional videos!
I hope you have a wonderful start to your New Year! Thank you so much for following along, I am so grateful for you. Your comments and the time you spend here are so appreciated!
I’d like to introduce one of my newest sponsors, Fabricville. They have provided us with a discount today (scroll down for the code!) and I can’t wait to tell you what you can spend it on. For those of us in Canada, the logo will look very familiar – and their in-stock items are no different! Fabricville started in 1970, when Fabricland (similar to JoAnn Fabrics in the US) expanded into Quebec and Eastern Canada.
Their new, redesigned website (new this year) lets you order any of the items you’d normally get in-store – and ship them right to your door! So – all of you that live in rural areas and can’t get to a fabric store without a lot of trouble? I am pleased to introduce your new best friend! In addition to fashion fabrics, fleece and flannelettes – they stock drapery and upholstery fabrics – in fact they have the largest inventory of these items in Canada! I am most excited that you can get your notions, thread, zippers, buttons, elastic, needles, batting and more. I am part of an amazing Canadian group and have heard so many stories of people unable to easily purchase sewing supplies – now they can be shipped to you!
Here is a little bit from Fabricville about their chosen featured fabric:
Our fleece is available in a multitude of solid colors, patterns and textures (regular, anti-pill and micro chenille fleece). It is as great for craft projects as it is for clothing. Fabricville carries over a hundred printed options including Disney themes, animal prints, floral and children’s prints. Fleece is often used for beginner craft projects because once cut, the edges do not fray. Flannelette is most often used for sleepwear and bed sheets It is an easy to sew and easy to care for fabric, making it a good choice for many sewing projects.
So many options! (PS. They also stock needlework supplies.) Here are a few links they have highlighted to get you started:
Save 10% on your purchase at Fabricville by using the code “threadridinghood”. Use this code until January 31, 2014! Valid on any purchase over $20.