Well, I’m back at it with another Blog Tour. This time I am super excited to try out a designer I have never sewn before – Melanie Henry from Filles a Maman. Super duper exciting not only because this is a ‘new’ designer for me, but also because she is CANADIAN! It was so wild as I was printing out and assembling the pattern pieces to see French alongside English on everything (especially since high school apparently wasn’t a TOTAL waste of time and I could glance and know what piece I had regardless of whether I read the French or English name on it).
The second totally wonderful exciting thing for me on this one was that M isn’t the only one sporting some new digs – I am too! I actually completed a ‘mommy and me’ sew! Now, I’ll admit, I’m not one for the whole ‘mommy and me’ sews normally considering I’m not huge on looking like a toddler, and I’m sure M doesn’t really want to look like she’s *ahem* 25. But this pattern is wonderfully versatile – the pattern from the girl’s to the women’s is essentially the same, but, as a few sewing friends of mine say, it’s all in the fabric.
So for monkey, I broke out some coveted dalmatian print I found last summer at a thrift store in the US. This project was perfect for it as I could feature the print without cutting in to it so much that it would be all gone. The panel on the front is adorable, and M just loves it. I’m not sure if she is more excited by the puppies or the hearts. For the grey, I actually used some thrifted grey jersey sheets. Overall, her little top was a great way to make use of fabrics that may otherwise have been disposed of.
As for fit, due to her size M is a 6 based on measurements, and overall I’d say that was pretty accurate. The shirt sits a little long, however that’s how I prefer it for an active toddler. I did the 3/4 sleeve option for her, and since she ISN’T actually six, they are WAY longer than 3/4 length. Melanie includes great graphics on how to shorten and lengthen sleeves to your taste, but I’m going to leave these at this slightly short long sleeve length on her, as it’s perfect again for toddler-hood. She can wash her hands without getting the cuffs all nasty, however they are just long enough for the cool weather.
As for mommy. I’ve recently undergone a HUGE wardrobe makeover (I’m almost tempted to include my crazy thrift store glamour scores in blog posts, but that remains to be seen). As a result, I was actually hesitant to make the mommy version of this one. But as I started talking with some sewing gals, I was reminded that a pattern that is written as comfy or casual can be dressed up with fancy fabrics and accessories.
For me, I used up some ultra lightweight knit I had kicking around (not even sure how it ended up in my stash, but c’est la vie!) and pulled out a black sheer shirt that had been tossed in my ‘upcycle’ bin when I lost enough weight to buy new stuff. I figured with the boatneck design I could cheat and skip using a stretch material for the panel, and decided to try glamming it up a little bit.
The construction for my shirt was the slightest bit different due to using the sheer. The binding on the front of the neck needed to be pressed to turn it in to what would resemble knit double fold bias binding. This allowed me to encase the sheer edge of the panel so that no seam allowance would show. I also top stitched my seam allowance down from the panel so that it wouldn’t flip up and show through when worn. The fit overall is good – I like the movement of the shirt through my torso and the length is good as well. I didn’t finish my hems, as this fabric is super light weight, and not having a serger results in hems I’m not a huge fan of, so I just let it slightly curl along the bottom (as I did with M’s as well). The only place I ran into a bit of a ‘fit challenge’ was just in front of my shoulders along the collar bone. I wouldn’t say this is a problem with the pattern, as it is something I regularly find too big in most patterns I make for myself. I’ll have to figure out how to properly adjust patterns to take up some of the slack in this area to achieve a nicer fit for myself.
Overall, I really enjoyed the pattern. Melanie includes super detailed size charts, finished measurements, fabric requirements, layers for printing sizes, fabric layouts depending on options chosen, and tips to lengthen and shorten. Honestly, her pattern was wonderfully inclusive. The tutorial itself was composed of clear, digital images that were very easy to follow. This coming from someone who normally prefers photos.
As always, there are some serious prize bundles to be won. Make sure you enter, and definitely take the time to check out what the other ladies along this tour have done with this pattern. You may just find some sewing inspiration, resulting in you absolutely NEEDING to get your hands on Melanie’s pattern. Which you can. On sale even!! For both of you here. Or maybe just you here. Or even just your little right here. Guess it depends on how creative you want to get, eh?