Christmas Sewing | Holiday Debut Blog Tour - a Blue Ridge Dress and Fishtail Kimono

Blue Ridge Dress | Sewn by Willow & Stitch

It's December already! (Is it just me or is this year simply FLYING by?!) Time to start dusting off the Christmas decorations, putting up the fairy lights, stuffing your face with mince pies and, most importantly, getting cracking with making some lovely new Christmas outfits!  This year I am lucky enough to be taking part in a pretty special blog tour which allows me to sew up these divine patterns.

Holiday Debut Blog Tour

The Holiday Debut Blog Tour is a celebration of three lovely and very talented new designers: Saskia Smith of The Wolf and the Tree, Gabriela Longfish of Chalk and Notch, and Holli Coats of Hello Holli, all of whom have released their first patterns this year.  They've invited 24 splendid sewing bloggers to create holiday themed outfits using their patterns: 

For our hot Australian Summer Christmas I made this lovely white embroidered cotton Blue Ridge Dress with a festive gold silk trim.  And because Melbourne weather can be temperamental at the best of times (and positively schizophrenic at the worst of times...) I also made a lovely soft lightweight blue knit Fishtail Kimono incase it's not quite as warm and sunny as I am hoping.

IMG_0763.jpgBlue Ridge Dress and Fishtail Kimono | Sewn by Willow & Stitch

Don't they look sweet just hanging there together?!  I love these colours together, very regal and perfect for a special occasion.

Blue Ridge Dress | Sewn by Willow & Stitch
Fishtail Kimono | Sewn by Willow & Stitch

I was totally blown away by the quality of these patterns.  They were absolutely spot on.  So professionally put together, beautifully illustrated and really easy to understand. Even the taping was easy.  Gabriella's Fishtail Kimono is a no trim pattern so you just print and stick which I loved.  The Blue Ridge Dress pattern was also really nicely laid out to minimise the number of pages that had to be stuck together.  

The construction of the Blue Ridge Dress is so clever, it was a new technique for me and gives a beautiful finish on the inside with absolutely no exposed seams and no need for hand stitching the bodice lining to the outer (yay!) It's almost like magic.  The pattern calls for french seams on the skirt sides which I actually omitted because the embroidery on my fabric was going to make a french seam too chunky for this lightweight, flowy fabric.  There were a few stages when I thought I was going to get stuck, but fortunately Holli has a fantastic sew along on her blog with some really helpful photos to help you get your head around the trickier steps.  She also has a really nifty way of making the bias strips that you need for binding the arms and neck!  

The Fishtail Kimono also came together really nicely (and quickly!)  I do wish I had made the effort to seek out some tricot fusible interfacing for the hem because I used regular interfacing and it's just a little stiff for this lightweight knit.  For the sleeves I just did a quick rolled hem. Have I mentioned how much I love my rolled hem foot?  It has changed. my. life. Seriously. Not having to double fold and press hems and burn your fingers over and over? Brilliant!

The little lady was, needless to say, VERY pleased with her new outfit.  She wouldn't leave me alone while I was sewing it and simply couldn't wait to try it on!  The fit was great.  I made the Blue Ridge Dress in a size 6 and the Fishtail Kimono in a M (6/7)  This little one is only 5 but she's pretty tall and I can't bear the thought of her growing out of my hand makes so I almost always err on the side of too big... In this case it worked out well and both fit well with room to grow!

Cue obligatory twirling photos..

Blue Ridge Dress and Fishtail Kimono | Sewn by Willow & Stitch
Blue Ridge Dress and Fishtail Kimono | Sewn by Willow & Stitch

Seriously, I love that the things I sew for her always make her want to dance!  That's pretty much how I know whether I'm going to love a dress too - if I can't help myself from twirling when I put it on then I know it's going to be a winner.  Anyone with me on that one?

Blue Ridge Dress | Sewn by Willow & Stitch

No doubt I am going to seriously regret my choice of white fabric, especially as I know it'll probably get about 30 minutes wear before it's covered in cherry juice and grass stains!  I just can't help myself though - I love little girls dressed in white.  They look so angelic.  Perhaps I should buy shares in stain remover...

If you love these patterns as much as I do then you'll be pleased to know that Holli, Gabriella and Saskia will be giving away patterns on Instagram all week so be sure to follow them.  You can also check out the hashtag #holidaydebutblogtour to get a sneak peek at what everyone has been busy making.  There are also a whole heap of wonderful prizes to be won from the tour sponsors.  You can enter the Rafflecopter here:

Holiday Debut Blog Tour Giveaway Sponsors

Fabric Shops Gift Certificates:
$50 BWD Fabrics & Supplies | $50 Imagine Gnats | 20 EU Girl Charlee UK

Sewing Patterns:
Hello Holli-Blue Ridge Dress | The Wolf and the Tree-choice of pattern | Chalk and Notch-Fishtail Kimono | Baste+Gather-Copy of all patterns | True Bias-Men’s Hudson Pants | Jennuine Design-choice of pattern | Sew Sweetness-choice of pattern | Radiant Home Studios-Highland House Pattern | Paisley Roots- copy of all patterns | Atelier Louise-Silver Sans Sandal pattern | Tinman Pattern-choice of pattern | Pattern Pieces-Fun Tee Pattern | Lorelei Jayne-Tech Pouch pattern | Designs by Call Ajaire-choice of pattern | The Ruffled Stitch-Flower Stripe Top/Dress pattern | Petit a Petit Family-choice of 2 patterns

$25 Sew Sew Rachel

If you don't get lucky enough to win any, then don't dispair; all three designers are offering 20% off these patterns with the code HOLIDAY

Anyway, enough of my ramblings.  There are 24 very talented bloggers taking part in this blog tour, mixing up these 3 lovely patterns to create special Holiday outfits and I am so looking forward to seeing what they've made.  Make sure to click through to their pages and see what will no doubt be some utterly gorgeous clothes.  

Monday, Dec 7th: Willow & Stitch | East & Eden | In a manner of sewing Climbing the Willow
Tuesday, Dec 8th: Kaleidothought | Feathers Flights | Connected by a Thread | Call Ajaire
Wednesday, Dec 9th: Rebel & Malice | Free Notion | The Whole Sh-Bang | House of Estrela
Thursday, Dec 10th: Candice Ayala Cindy Parrett | Hi and Hello | Made by Toya
Friday, Dec 11th: Just Add Fabric | Conversas de Hermanas | Glitter+Wit | Sew Starly
Saturday, Dec 12th: Paisley Roots | Petit a Petit + family | Life With Zeke | Made by Sara

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your holidays are happy and bright and filled with handmade goodness!

Blue Ridge Dress and Fishtail Kimono | Sewn by Willow & Stitch

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