Millie Dress International Blog Tour

Millie Dress in See You at Six French Terry

I've had my eyes on this beautiful Millie Dress pattern for a while now. I even went and downloaded the original version but my little beanpole of a girl outgrew the size range before I had a chance to make it.  Happily for me the lovely designer, Nicky of Mix it Make it, has updated the pattern and it now comes in sizes 2-12 - Hurrah!  When she asked whether I would like to be part of the international blog tour to celebrate the release of the English version of the pattern I quite naturally jumped at the chance! 

Millie Dress International Blog Tour

Summer is in full swing down under so I decided to hack my Millie Dress a little to make a sleeveless version.  It was a really simple alteration - I just turned the seam allowance to the wrong side and stitched it down, exactly the same as the neckline.  Super easy.

Millie Dress in See You at Six French Terry

I used a beautiful soft See You at Six French terry which I have recently become completely obsessed with.  I blame MaaiDesign for introducing me to it and enabling my addiction!  It's just so lovely to work with and so heavenly to wear.  Each time I make something from it my kids put the clothes on and say 'Oooooh, yes! I love this one!'  I can't get enough of this beautiful pink with gold paint strokes on it.

Sleeveless Millie Dress in See You at Six French Terry

I think this may well be one of Ella's favourite things that I have ever made for her.  Pretty, Twirly, Comfy. What more could a girl want?  

The pattern is beautifully drafted and the instructions are clear and simple.  I made the mistake of getting a little over excited and accidentally cut the front and back bodice along the ruffle insertion lines before joining them at the shoulders.  I spent about 2 minutes kicking myself and then decided to just try sticking them back together with washi tape before sewing and what do you know - it worked a treat!  Washi tape for the win every time!

There will certainly be more Millie Dresses in our future.   I've already got a long sleeved version planned for autumn in this lovely April Rhodes fabric.  Any dress that makes you want to dance and twirl is a winner in my opinion! (Click through the images above to see more dancing and twirling!)

If you'd like to see more Millie Dresses go and take a look at the beautiful creations by the other lovelies on the Millie Dress Blog Tour:

Kneesocks and Goldilocks | Just Add Fabric | Van Jansen

Groovy Baby and Mama | La Folie Sewing Booth | My Petite Sophie

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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Gracious Threads 'A New Look' Blog Tour | Lazy Days Lounge Pants

Gracious Threads 'A New Look' Blog Tour | Willow and Stitch
Gracious Threads - Lazy Days Lounge Pants | Willow and Stitch

It seems to be 'Blog Tour' week here at Willow & Stitch.  Today I'm joining in with the Gracious Thread's 'A New Look' blog tour.  Jess is celebrating her new look website and shop with this brilliant tour where we all get to create a 'new look' of our own using her patterns.

Since my little girl is such a fan of dresses I thought I would sew up something completely different for her and made these 'Lazy Days Lounge Pants'.  Surprisingly they were a big hit with her.  She loved having something so comfy to wear, and something that didn't restrict her movement in any way.  She immediately decided that they were going to be her yoga pants and started showing me her moves!  I had no idea that she knew any of this - turns out they do some yoga in her dance classes.  Don't you love it when they surprise you with things like that?It still always seems miraculous to me when she knows something that I haven't personally taught her,  I'm really not sure why because it happens all the time now!  Check out that 'down dog!'.....

Gracious Threads - Lazy Days Lounge Pants | Willow and Stitch
Gracious Threads - Lazy Days Lounge Pants | Willow and Stitch

My little one was measuring up between a size 5 and 6 so I went with the bigger size and they were a really good fit actually, not too big and still room to grow (way too much of that going on at the moment for my liking - I've asked her to slow down but she's hell bent on growing up as fast as possible *sob*).  We both loved that the pants have pockets although I think next time I would make them deeper to ensure that none of those oh so precious posessions get lost!  I also omitted the faux drawstring on the waistband because I couldn't quite be bothered with sewing the buttonholes for it and potentially getting into an argument with my sewing machine which I pretty much always loose.  I don't think they look any worse for the omission!

3 minutes of calming yoga and deep breathing is apparently more than sufficient for a 5 year old however because pretty soon Ella decided that actually (her favourite word) what these pants are perfect for is a crime fighting superhero.  Batman* to be precise.  I'm personally not sure that Batman would be seen dead in pink and red yoga pants but I kept my reservations to myself.  I have to admit she was pretty kick ass.

Gracious Threads - Lazy Days Lounge Pants | Willow and Stitch
Batman Mask PDF Sewing Pattern | Willow and Stitch

To celebrate this new look Gracious Threads is offering 40% off all patterns with the code 'ANEWLOOK'.

I've also got 1 Gracious Threads pattern of your choice to give away to one of my readers. Comment on this post and record your entry here to win!

 Thanks for stopping by!  Make sure you go and take a look at all the other awesome bloggers who are taking part in this blog tour. 

*The batman mask is from a selection of superhero masks that I make and sell through my Etsy shop.  It's available as a free pattern on my tutorials page if you would like to make one for yourself. There are also other superhero, animal and fairytale mask pattern sets available for sale through my Etsy shop.

Batman Mask PDF Sewing Pattern | Willow and Stitch

Bam!  And we're out......

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Zanzibar Shores Tank Top Dress | Momma Quail Pattern Tour

Momma Quail Pattern Tour | Zanzibar Shores Tank Top Dress by Willow & Stitch
Momma Quail Pattern Tour | Zanzibar Shores Tank Top Dress by Willow & Stitch
Momma Quail Pattern Tour | Zanzibar Shores Tank Top Dress by Willow & Stitch

I'm really happy to be kicking off the Momma Quail Pattern Tour with this cute little dress version of the Zanzibar Shores Tank Top.  It promises to be a fun week with so many other wonderful bloggers sewing up their versions of Momma Quail's great patterns.  

I really enjoyed making this dress, it's a great design and a perfect introduction to sewing with knits for anyone who is nervous about getting started. The pattern uses a mix of knit and woven fabric which means that the woven fabric stabilises the knit and makes it easier to work with.  The pattern was fantastic, everything worked really well and the instructions were really easy to follow.

There are several ways to vary the pattern, I used the hood and the swing sides options and lengthened the body to make it into a dress instead of a top.  I was really pleased with how it turned out and so was my little model, she wouldn't take it off!  Which is rare for her because usually her favourite outfit is her birthday suit!  It's apparently very comfy and great for doing cartwheels and somersaults in too...

Momma Quail Pattern Tour | Zanzibar Shores Tank Top Dress by Willow & Stitch
Momma Quail Pattern Tour | Zanzibar Shores Tank Top Dress by Willow & Stitch

I used a great blue and yellow flowered knit that I found in my local remnants fabric store and mixed it with a grey linen and yellow knit ribbing.  I particularly love the hood on this dress.

As you may know I am a huge fan of pockets and I was toying with the idea of adding a pocket to the front of the dress which I didn't do in the end but I think I will next time I make it - and there will definitely be a next time, my friend has already requested one for her little girl!

To celebrate this pattern tour, Momma Quail is offering a huge 30% off in their Etsy shop through 11/21/15.  Just use the coupon code "MQPATTERNTOUR".  This is going to be the biggest Momma Quail Pattern sale in November so don't wait 'till Black Friday!

They're also having a great giveaway;  3 lucky readers will win the pattern of their choice. Enter here:

Thanks for stopping by; now go and take a look at all the other fantastic bloggers taking part in the Momma Quail Pattern Tour and see what wonderful creations they have come up with:

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Citronille Challenge: Thadee Coat Pattern Review

Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern Review | Willow & Stitch
Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern Review | Willow & Stitch
Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern Review | Willow & Stitch
Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern Review | Willow & Stitch
Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern Review | Willow & Stitch

I’ve been working on a very special project this week – the 'Citronille Challenge'!  If you haven't seen them before, Citronille is a range of super-cute women's and children's clothing patterns. I can guarantee that you'll fall in love as soon as you see them.  There's just one catch:  until recently the majority of them have only been available in French. Don't worry though if your French is a little rusty because the wonderful people at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply have translated them into English for you! - Huzzah!

To celebrate these new translations, and the fact that we can now all enjoy these beautiful patterns without having to struggle with (often dubious) google translations, Sew Mama Sew and Fiddlehead have organised the Citronille Challenge. There are 12 lovely bloggers taking part in this challenge so if you'd like to see more of these gorgeous designs go and check them out.  Scroll to the bottom for a full list of participants and links to all their sites.

I was lucky enough to be gifted this beautiful Thadee coat pattern by Fiddlehead Artisan Supply so that I could take part in this challenge.  The pattern can be made as an unlined robe / dressing gown or as a lined coat so it's very versatile.  It’s a super cute design with flared sleeves and a gorgeous pixie pointed hood. 

Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern | Willow & Stitch

The Thadee coat pattern is actually one of the few that the designer translated into English herself so i'm not able to provide you with any insight into the quality of Fiddlehead's translation, but from what I've read from the other bloggers taking part in this challenge it seems like Fiddlehead's notes actually give you a little extra useful information!

The pattern is marked as suitable for beginners and it really is simple with just 4 pattern pieces – however if you’re going to give the lined coat a go I’d suggest that you need a little more experience, simply because the instructions are not very detailed and you need to have a rough idea of what you’re doing.  The illustrations are helpful but there is no information on techniques or finishing so all of that is left up to your personal preference. 

The pattern comes in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and the sizing is VERY generous.  I ended up making a size 4 for my not-at-all-small 5 year old and there’s still a lot of room for movement in there - or room for lots of sunggly winter woolies I suppose! 

I made a few minor modifications to the pattern,  I used the size 6 hood because I wanted it to be roomy.  I also added inseam pockets for storing all the treasures which are inevitably collected every time we leave the house (leaves, rocks, flowers, seed pods etc…) and a loop at the neckline for easy hanging.  I topstitched right around the edge which gave it a neater edge finish and removed the need for me to hand stitch the turning hole along the bottom hem closed.  I did however hand stitch the sleeves because it’s nearly the end of winter here and I wanted to be able to let them down so that she can wear this coat again next winter!

I decided to make both of the buttons visible from the front rather than have one as a ‘hidden’ button and I think it works really well.

Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern Review | Willow & Stitch
Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern Review | Willow & Stitch

The coat outer is a wool remnant that I was gifted and the lining is a very beautiful Cotton and Steel – Horseback neutral from the ‘Honeymoon’ collection by Sarah Watts.  The selvedge reads ‘Sketches and Memories from Costa Rica’ and I fell in love with it instantly.  It’s not really ideal lining fabric for a coat – I’d usually choose something with a bit of ‘slip’, but it was so cute that I couldn’t not use it! It’s a big hit with the girl too which is an added bonus!

Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern Review | Willow & Stitch
Citronille Challenge : Thadee Coat Pattern Review | Willow & Stitch

I really love this sweet little coat, but most of all I love how much Ella loves it!  I suppose that the pixie hood and the wide sleeves make it feel almost like a dress up to her, there is certainly something about it that has captured her imagination which is always a beautiful thing to see!

If you'd like to see more Citronille designs hop on over to the websites of the other Citronille Challenge to see what they've come up with:

Michelle Morris of That Black Chic
Sherri Sylvester of thread riding hood
Tenille Brien of Tenille's Thread
Maris Olsen of Sew Maris
Ari Green of Max California
Marisa of thirtynine
Sara Johansen of the Sara project
Natalie Strand of Vegetablog
Diane Reafsnyder of Gator Bunny
Sara Homer of Now Try This
Kelly Donovan of Craftree

A big 'Thank You!' to Fiddlehead and Sew Mama Sew for organising this challenge - I've completely fallen in love with Citronille and am looking forward to sewing more!  Click over to Fiddlehead to see the full range.  Which is your favourite?  I'm going to be sewing "Solveig" next.  Stay tuned....

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