The Avenue Collection



There are loads of indie pattern designers around, and I am discovering more and more of them as each week passes. I discovered Sew Straight & Gather last summer at the release of their Cafe Romper, which I fell in love with the looks of, and bought as soon as it was released. I was super excited to sew the pattern up, and printed the whole thing off and got my daughter measured straight away.

Then for a number of reasons I simply didn't get it sewn. The pattern is still sitting now in my pattern files, nearly 9 months later. And it's such a waste, as I'll have to re-print it now to several bigger sizes to fit Layla!

So when a few sneak peek pictures of the new Avenue Collection popped up in my newsfeed from the Sew Straight and Gather pattern group, I was intrigued and wanted to have a go at sewing them up. Especially as my pink, girly, dress loving daughter had recently started to want to wear trousers and t-shirts!



I was chosen as a tester mostly due to giving my Sewing Portfolios link in the tester application. If you haven't registered, it's a brilliant little website for people who sew. You get to build an online portfolio of your work (for free), showcasing your best sewing, whether that's clothing, or accessories or dolls. I have been building my profile since the site was launched earlier this year. Once a designer registers too, they can then see my profile from my link, and voila, all my work is in one spot, ready and easy for them to see if I would be a good match for them!



I chose to test the Flares and the Top. I really wanted to give the Duster cardigan a go too, but felt that testing 3 items was going to be a big stretch in a short space of time for me. I think I made the right decision really as this test actually started before two others (that had run over) were finished.



The patterns came together easily, everything matched, although admittedly I was only printing off one size for my Little Miss. There were a few teething issues with the fit of the bands on the back of the top, which were ironed out in testing (that's what it is for right?!) and also with the fit of the waist on the fitted version of the flares (who knew that generally children have a big sway back from the way that they stand!). Because of these few bits that needing ironing out, the testing actually took a couple of weeks longer than originally planned. This was absolutely fine by me. I often find that testing is rushed and that 5 or 7 days isn't enough to test out a pattern and get nice modelled shots edited.



Once these few pattern issues were fixed, the top and trousers were a lovely little fit. I added length to both the legs of the flares, and the arms of the top as I had to use chest & waist measurement for width fit for Layla, but she was too tall for those smaller sizes.



The fitted flares feature two functional (but small) welt pockets to the rear.



And a side zip to close them at the waistband. It's such a grown-up and smart look!



We sneakily used a trip to see my Mum for Mother's Day to take photos! It turned out to be a gloriously sunny day, and the walk next to the trainline along the beach was a perfect setting for photos. I wish I lived closer as it would be a regular spot for photoshoots!



My little Miss has already got a lot of use out of these two items. In fact, she has pretty much ruined the trousers by playing hard in them (a testament to their fit and ease of wear perhaps) and covering them in mud and grime from adventure playgrounds on several occasions.



I wonder if I should have made the flares in dark denim? What would you make them in?



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