My first pattern test for Duchess and Hare

heart pinafore

During November and December I sort of lost the blogging bug. I was making a lot of gifts for Christmas and birthday presents, and as I couldn't advertise them online (or the recipients would see!) I didn't bother much with writing anything. What I should have done was written up the posts in draft form and released them all en masse after Christmas. Isn't hind sight such a wonderful thing?!

twirly dress

Instead, I didn't and now I have this huge hole in my blog. BUT I'm getting back on track with this post. I have just completed my second pattern test of the year (I'll have to write up the first one next). It's my first time testing for Bernadette of Duchess and Hare patterns and overall the experience was great!

vintage puff sleeve dress

I was accepted into her tester pool before Christmas and have been waiting patiently for the festive period to be over to get sewing. The request for these two patterns popped up and I jumped at the chance to join in. I have a serious love of the vintage vibe, and secretly, I want to keep my little girl 'little' for as long as possible. The Spinny Mini dress and A La Heart Pinny certainly fulfil the criteria.

peter pan collar puff sleeve dress

The A La Heart pinny has a heart shaped bib attached to a simple elastic waistband, with straps joining at the centre back with a button. The skirt can either be a full circle, a tulip circle or gathered. It has the option to attach to shorts on their own, or underneath the various skirts, but my girl is really not a fan of rompers, or suspender shorts.

dark dress with red pinafore

She squealed with delight the morning she saw the pinny on the dressmakers dummy, waiting for her to try it on for sizing the straps. She immediately put it on, and I pinned for buttonhole size, with the request I sew the buttonhole and button on before breakfast!

crossed button straps

The pinny was made to go over something, as it's a bit indecent with the tulip skirt, so I had to get on with the Spinny Mini dress asap. The dress came together surprisingly easily and quickly. It's so refreshing to have everything line up in flat pattern stage, and then the sewing is easy on top.

Dark floral vintage dress

I have never made elastic casing using self made bias binding before. I'm not quite sure why I haven't? It is the neatest, easiest way ever to make a casing, and I think I'll use it on many, many projects in the future.

Little girls full skirt dress

My only gripe is threading elastic through casings. I hate it, even with my little nifty elastic threading bodkin. I have since found though that my 1/4" elastic is not actually 1/4" and made life a challenge unnecessarily for me. The problem between switching from imperial measurements, to metric, is that it's never going to be quite exact. Elastic is sold in mm sizes here, and my '1/4"' elastic was actually just over, oh well, at least I know for future.

ruffled floral circle skirt

The Spinny Mini dress comes with either short of three quarter length puff sleeves, I had to choose the short version, I just love the way the sleeve puffs up into a ball, it's just so sweet! The dress also has the option of the mini circle skirt with ruffle, or a longer gathered skirt. I wanted to go proper vintage length, so opted for the mini circle skirt. Obviously this option gives maximum twirl too. And, for common decency (not that my daughter gives a stuff...) there are a sweet little set of bloomers included in the pattern. I made a straight age 4 in these, and had to tighten my elastic to account for the tiny bum and skinny thighs of my daughter.

Clover field print little girl bloomers

I bought three prints from the Priory Square collection of fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics before Christmas. I thought they would be good for my Christmas and birthday gifts, as well as my planned new collection for my shop. I simply adore the Sunday Clippings print, which pairs wonderfully with the Clover Field and Shambles prints. But now I have used up my supply of Sunday Clippings and I can't find it to buy anywhere in the UK, or even see it anymore on the Art Gallery Fabrics website, which puts paid to my plans to make a new collection out of it. Such a shame it seemed to be on such a short print run. Sunday Clippings has made the cutest Spinny Mini dress, paired with the Shambles print for the A La Heart pinny, with Clover Field underneath as the bloomers.

bloomers peeking out from under circle skirt

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