Monday, April 4, 2016

Mentor Spotlight: Sofilantjes Patterns

On a hectic Sunday where miss Wonder was swimming her first contest (and by the end of the day ended up in the E.R.) I got a message from Anne, designer of Sofilantjes, asking me if I would consider entering a blogtour to share my experience as a tester of her patterns. Of course!!! It’s an honor to be able to do this.

Meet my best friend ;)
Let’s begin by introducing my sewing skills. My mom taught me the basics when I was in elementary school. She has been sewing all her life, but I didn’t catch the bug until a few years ago. It was because of my good friend Kristien that I tried it. To find myself a few years later completely obsessed with this hobby. Yes, this is just my hobby… I’m also a full-time working mother of 2 gorgeous girls & a wife to the most amazing person in my world. Most of my skills I learned online & from a great teacher in sewing classes I took two years ago. But I also learned a great deal from Anne’s patterns.

I will try to tell you what I learned from each pattern I tested. Sometimes it’s just a small thing, sometimes a major technique or even a personal growth. YouTube has been my best friend on many occasions.
Sorry Anne, this might come as a surprise to you as well. I might have come across as very confident, but don’t let that facade fool you ;)

The very first one was the Gemini skirt bundle. It was my very first time doing a rolled hem.
Many video’s watched and many trials done… Rolled hem: check, I can do this now thanks to Sofilantjes!

Next pattern to be tested was the Brueram, but I didn’t get selected for that one. However, as soon as it came out I bought the pattern and learned how to do shirring. Then I also got cheeky and sent Anne a message with some typo’s in the instructions. Thinking about it now I’m not sure what she must have thought about that. But the great thing about it: she thanked me for it!

During the Summer Surprise blogtour I hacked and mashed-up the pattern… again, a new experience for me! I even threw in an upcycled Summer Tunic.

The Domi Sweat pants test gave me the opportunity to learn how to apply grommets. Easy when you know how and when you have the proper tools. Thanks Anne, for making me buy that stuff!

In the summer of 2015 I first heard about a muslin. The Amare Dress had lots of other techniques, but by this time my sewing skills had evolved a lot, so nothing really new for me at that point. But a muslin? I had no clue whatsoever as to what that was. Now I do… do you? 

For a while it was quiet, but the ADVTee that was released in the fall, gave me the opportunity to sew up a V-neck shirt. However, I did the easier neckline with the buttons… What I learned there? That Anne was very right that a better camera takes gorgeous photo’s. So Anne, thanks again for making me spend money!

The Hibernis was the absolute best pattern for me yet. The detachable cowl was a challenge, but with the video she shared, it became a piece of cake. Has anyone ever noticed that cute minion in the video?

Onto the Nivalis… this one challenged me to sew up a collar and make buttonholes. That collar… it took me a while to figure out the instructions… Instructions are always pretty clear and Anne is always available to those in need of more explanations. In the end it was actually pretty easy. Don’t we all have those moments? But what the Nivalis taught me was how to sew buttonholes. I don’t really know why I didn’t try that before… they came out pretty well.

Last but not least, the Semper Sweater that was just released gave me the opportunity to look more closely to the difference in boys and girls measurements. I learned that my girls are better off with a bit more slim fitted clothing.

Somewhere along the lines of testing all these patterns I also picked up the skill to adapt sizing in the patterns. A very useful technique, explained in her patterns and also more detailed explanation on her blog!!!
With this dress I combined blending sizes and mashing-up patterns in one piece: the ADVTee-Nivalis Dress with inseam pockets. Be on the look-out for more of these on my blog in the future.

As to my personal experience in working with Anne. She’s such a positive person that tries her best to take in account everything that’s being addressed during testing. She has a strong confidence in her testers. She deals with all the feedback in a discrete way. Most of all, she can handle all my critical notes about the instructions and my sarcastic moments.

It amazes me how you can become so acquainted with someone you have actually never met.
But that will change! Fabric will bring us together! Yes, that’s one last thing I need to thank her for: thank you for making me buy all that great fabric!!! And of course: thank you for all those great patterns & having me on your team!

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  1. I love the upcycled summer tunic with the bow on the back! I need that pattern ASAP! lol


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