The Purple Stitcher

A sewing blog

Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater

Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater Overview
I was recently given the opportunity to pattern test Bluegingerdoll’s new Bonnie Sweater pattern. This is their first pattern designed specially for knits so I jumped at the chance as I love knit fabrics, so comfy and easy to wear.

 

Designed for comfort and elegance Bonnie is a vintage inspired sweater that works in every season and for any occasion. Made with knit fabric Bonnie is a quick and easy make and can be created in a matter of hours.

View A is an iconic 1940’s inspired cropped sweater design, featuring flutter sleeves and fitted waistband its perfect to pair with those high waisted skirts and pants.

View B also cropped at the waistline and features a scooped neckline and 3/4” sleeves.

View C features a boat neckline, long sleeves and hip length bodice. All three variations feature subtle, feminine gathers at the top of each sleeve reminiscent of a bygone era.

  Buegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater Line drawings

 

I love polka dots, so chose to use this black and white spotty jersey from my stash, which had originally been purchased from Abakhan Fabrics. After checking that I had enough of it in my stash I went ahead and checked the garment measurements against my body measurements.

  Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater Front

I love the fact that there’s such a variety of mix and match options for this pattern – 3 different neckline, 3 sleeve options and 2 different bodice lengths. I chose to use the lower neckline (seen on view B in the pattern line drawings and the longer length of view C, as being pear-shaped and long-bodied a hip length top suits my shape better. I then chose the shorter flutter sleeves as these tend to suit my bingo wings better and as I’m a fan of layers I wear short sleeves tops all year round.

Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater Back

 

As is a common pattern fitting alteration for myself, due to being very pear-shaped, I graded the side seams from a 20 at the bust down to a 24 at the hips. Cutting out took a very short time as with the options I chose there’s only 4 pattern pieces involved. Construction was also rather speedy using my trusty overlocker and it all went together very quickly. The instructions were easy to read and follow with detailed diagrams where needed.

 Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater Neckband

I instantly loved the shape and fit of the Bonnie sweater and found it very comfortable. The little details included in the Bonnie pattern are also very cute, the gathers on the sleeves give them a lovely effect.  Since my bingo wings are a tad on the larger side I didn’t think the sleeve ‘fluttered’ as much as I’d like, so to give them a little more flutter-ability I finished them with a narrow hem and zigzag stitch as suggested in the pattern but pulled at the jersey whilst doing this to create a ‘lettuce-edge hem’ which even if I do say so myself, looks fab!

 Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater Flutter Sleeves

 

I can easily see this being one of my wardrobe staples. Plain fabrics and simple patterns such as polka dots and stripes will be great for work wear and the more funky patterns will be great for the weekends with my trusty jeans. I already have a great hot air balloon print in my stash which I reckon will suit the Bonnie sweater pattern perfectly!

 Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater Overview 2

 

The wide variety of differing Bonnie sweaters that have been created by the pattern testers shows just how versatile this pattern is: A Stitching Odyssey – Pattern Testing: Bonnie Knit Top – Bluegingerdoll Patterns;  Made by Meg: Bonnie TopHandmade by Heather B – A Pair of BonniesSewn by Elizabeth – Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Knit Top and Tanya Maile.

 

To buy your own copy of the Bonnie sweater sewing pattern visit the Bluegingerdoll website: http://bluegingerdoll.com/products/bonnie

 

NB: As part of the testing process, I received this pattern free of charge. All opinions and the decision to blog about it are however are fully my own.

 


Bluegingerdoll Odette Dress

A few months ago I used the then newly released Bluegingerdoll Winifred dress to make a dress to wear to my friend’s wedding and made 2 ‘wearable toiles’ first. As this was a new pattern Bluegingerdoll ran a great sewalong, which I found very helpful & entered my dresses into the sewalong competition. I was lucky enough to win the competition! More information about my dresses can be found on the Bluegingerdoll blog when Abby interviewed me.

I was then lucky enough to be chosen to pattern test their latest pattern, the Odette dress.

‘Odette is a one of a kind dress for your wardrobe. A fitted, fully lined bodice featuring a bateau ‘V’ neckline with a distinctive contrasting insert that frames the face.

The waistband highlights the waistline along with a seven gored skirt that skims the hips and has just the right amount of flare, as well as in-seam pockets for added practicality.

Your choice of three sleeve variations:

View A – Sleeveless, View B- Short sleeve and View C – 3/4 sleeves with complimenting cuffs’

Purple Stitcher Blueginerdoll Odette Dress

 

As 2014 seems to be the year of the weddings for me (6 in total!) and the timing was just rightfor the next wedding – Shannon & Peter Marsh on the 1st August I decided to make my Odette to wear on this special occasion. Those of you that know me know that I love purple (kinda obsessed) and I suppose the name of by blog The Purple Stitcher, probably gives that away! I went on the hunt for the perfect purple fabric. Generally I only do floral when they’re abstract and I was luck enough to find this beautiful almost pop art cotton in my local Abakhan Fabrics store in Birkenhead.

Purple Stitcher Bluegingerdoll Odette dress main fabric choice Purple Stitcher Bluegingerdoll Odette dress main fabric choice close-up

 

As I wanted to wear the dress at the height of the British ‘summer’ I decided to go with view A, the sleeveless version and to use a lightweight black cotton lawn for the lining and a lilac polycotton for the insert with cute flower shapped buttons, all purchased from my local Abakhan Fabrics store.

Blueginerdoll Odette Line Drawings

 

As always when using a new pattern I made a toile and is my usual style it was a charity shop duvet cover! This enabled me to get the fit just right. The fact that the bodice, waistband and skirt are all separate pieces was very useful as it enabled me to grade between these areas much easier. I’m very much pear-shaped, with my size going up by 1 from bust to waist to hips, so this is a very common pattern alteration for me. Now that Bluegingerdoll sizes come in plus-sizes this means there was no redrafting involved, which is a great time saver. I cut the bodice at size 20, the waist at a 22 and the hips at a 24 and with some help from the ladies at Liverpool Sewing Club I was able to check the fit and am very happy with the final results.

Purple Stitcher Blueginerdoll Odette Bodice

 

I’ve never actually sewn inseam pockets before on a dress, so was very excited to find these on the Odette and was very please at how quick and easily they went together. I also love having pockets on a dress how fun and practical is that! I also reckon they look fab and add another dimension to the dress:

Purple Stitcher Bluegingerdoll Odette Dress Pockets

It’s also been a very long time since I made a dress with an invisible zip, so used the fab tutorial on Bluegingerdoll blog to insert this and was once again pleased just how quick and easy this went in.

Purple Stitcher Bluegingerdoll Odette Dress Back Bodice

 

I’m very pleased with my Odette, the pattern is very flattering especially to pear-shapes like myself, and the extra little details like the interchangeable insert and in-seam pockets, add those extra special touches. I also love the fact that depending on your fabric choice it can be a more chilled day time summer dress, as seen in some of the other pattern testers blogs – Made by Meg, Handmade by Heather B, use pinstripes and make it workwear as seen by Kadiddlehopper or as with mine, add some glamorous heels, a beaded pashmina, fabulous jewellery and an evening clutch and suddenly it’s an elegant evening dress!

Purple Stitcher Bluegingerdoll Odette Dress Evening Look

I loved wearing my dress to Shannon & Pete’s wedding, it was comfortable to wear all day long and managed to survive my enthusiastic dancing! Here I am with the beautiful bride at the wedding, doesn’t she look stunning!

Purple Stitcher Bluegingerdoll Odette Dress With Bride

 

 

To buy your own copy of the Odette dresssewing pattern please go here: http://bluegingerdoll.com/products/the-odette-dress

 

Bluegingerdoll have written a great sew-along for the Odette Dress with some great hints, tips and detailed photos for the steps involved:

Bluegingerdoll Odette Sewalong Button Large

 

NB: As part of the testing process, I received this pattern free of charge. All opinions and the decision to blog about it are however are fully my own.

 

 


Ice-Cream Waterfall Tank – Sew Caroline

Recently I was given the opportunity to test a new pattern, the ‘Waterfall Tank’ for the fab indie designer Sew Caroline.

The Waterfall Tank is a really cute little tank top, aka a vest top, with a really pretty ruffled double layer top bodice, hence the name – waterfall tank. It is finished with bias binding, which is then used to create the straps, with 2 options here – either tie or fitted straps.

Ice-Cream Waterfall Tank

 

As soon as I saw this top previewed on Sew Caroline’s Instagram  feed my mind immediately went to all those short lengths of funky and designer fabrics that I have and no idea what to use for other than a bag! I love the fact that there are so many different options for the waterfall tank you could o as I have and use a different fabric for the ruffle and main body. Or you could use 3 different fabrics, one for each section, or just use the same fabric and make your own bias biding – the instructions for doing this come with the pattern!

Having a rummage through my stash I found a lovely Michael Millar Ice-Cream fabric that I cough just under half a meter of last year. So off I toddled to my local Abakhan Fabrics store in Birkenhead and found a hot pink polycotton an bias binding to coordinate.

Ice-Cream Waterfall Tank Detail

 

I chose the tie strap version as it looks like fun and I like the idea that I can wear it at different levels of revelling, depending on the situation! Sew Caroline’s instructions are very easy to follow, with lots of useful photos and great instructions on making your own bias binding, if you choose to. Sew Caroline also suggests using French seams and offers great, easy to follow instructions for doing this, which is very handy.

I’d recommend the pattern for advanced beginners for the fixed straps as the mitred corners & French seams could be tricky for complete beginners. Otherwise it comes together very quickly and easily. From printing the pdf to completing it took me approximately 3 hours to make. The only change I made to the pattern was to grade up a little in the hips due to being very pear-shaped. For the next version I’ll probably add a couple of inches to the length as being 5ft 9in and long bodied I prefer a longer length bodice.

Ice-Cream Waterfall Tank Side

 

The waterfall tank is comfortable to wear and flattering to a pear shape like myself, especially if you use a different fabric for the ruffle as it draws the eye to my slimmest part! As it’s a cotton, not jersey like most tank/vest tops, it skims over any problem areas, so again is more flattering. I feel that conformable in it that it’s going on my summer holiday with me this year!

 

If you want to see more versions of this top in a variety of different fabrics and sizes there are two round ups on Sew Caroline’s blog – Waterfall Tester Round Up Part One and Waterfall Tester Round Up Part Two

The Waterfall Tank pattern is now available from Sew Caroline’s online store, so if you fancy making your own version then why not hop over there and take a look.

Have you made your own version, or have any ideas or suggestions? If so, why not let me know in the comments below.

 


Welcome To The Purple Stitcher!

A photo of me sewing

Me Sewing!

I love sewing and being creative, having tried a few different types of sewing, my preference is definitely for dressmaking. I have made a wide variety of garments over the years and thought I’d like to start a blog to share my creations, tips and techniques that I’ve developed.

 

As purple is most definitely my favourite colour then The Purple Stitcher seemed like a good choice for a blog name.

 

This is just a quick post to saw hello to everyone and introduce my new blog. Please bear with me as I’ve never written a blog before, so it’ll probably take me a while to get settled into this blogging malarkey!

It’s not my first time at writing though. Over the past few years I’ve written articles and reviews for Fiona over at The Sewing Directory, a great resource for anyone who loves stitching, so please do go over there and have a look at her fab website.

 

 

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