Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Designer Pairs: Bishy Barnababes and Sew by Pattern Pieces

I'm super excited to be taking part in my first Swhetty Betties Designer Pairs. Getting to pair up with another designer is such fun and I'm so pleased to be working with Lauren of Sew by Pattern Pieces.

I have loved Lauren's designs since the first one I saw released - the Stinger bodysuit. I had thought about applying to test for it, but as I was pretty new in the world of sewing knit fabric, and had never tried swimsuit fabric (and didn't have the first idea where to source the right sort of fabric), I decided not to apply (Lauren has more recently tested for me lol). I am, however, now sewing regularly with knits, using my overlocker (serger) and more recently my new coverstitch machine. I was so pleased to be able to use my knit fabric for this challenge as Lauren has lots of fabulous knit patterns.

My recent patterns have been free-motion appliqué (FMA) patterns. I get great satisfaction from free-motion sewing as it is so therapeutic. I love adding unique detail to items I have made (or store bought clothing) for my daughter and FMA is a great way to do this. My latest patterns (releasing today!) are Dudley the Dinosaur, Prince Patrick and Rocket Racer. Each comes in 3 sizes and instructions for custom sizing to fit any garment. Available from my Bishy Barnababes Etsy shop, use coupon code BOYTHINGS to get 20% off. Also join the Bishy Barnababes Facebook group to access bundle codes for more discount!

I don't know where you live in the world, but both myself in the UK, and Lauren in Australia, find that patterned knit fabric is really expensive. It's possible to get cheaper plain colours, and even extra large adult t-shirts and vests can be bought and used. But these are not that exciting to our children. Adding FMA changes all that!

I knew I wanted to pair one my appliqués with one of Lauren's great knit patterns. My daughter wanted a pink rocket so that decision was the easy part.

Choosing which Sew by Pattern Pieces pattern to use was much more difficult, as there were several great patterns to choose from. I wanted to make a dress, as I love making dresses for my daughter, and in the end decided to make a dress by combining the Fun Tee #21100 and the Skip Skirt #22101. Helpfully, Lauren made the bottom of the t-shirt the right size to fit the skirt so this was straightford to do and she includes combining instructions in the Skip Skirt pattern.

The Fun Tee has several variations and I choose view C with the puffed sleeves. 

The Skip Skirt also has lots of variations and includes leggings too. I have made my daughter some of the boyleg length shorts out of cheap ladies cami tops to wear under her dresses (you can even use the bottom edge so you don't need to hem them!). Anyway, for this challenge I decided to make view D so that the gathered pockets would echo the gathers of the t-shirt sleeves.

The detailed instructions, which include hyperlinks to jump between different sections, explain how to join the t-shirt and skirt together to make a dress. Lauren also has a blog post with more details and examples.  I made my daughter the size 5 as she is between the measurements of the size 4 and size 5. The patterns are designed to last a season with growing room included - there's nothing worse than spending ages creating a wonderful item of clothing for your child to wear, only to have them outgrow it in a couple of weeks (here speaks someone with bitter experience of just this). I did cut more off the t-shirt as I added a striped fabric band. I also made the skirt a bit longer as my personal preference is for skirts to be at least down to the knees. The dress did end up a tiny bit too big as she is between sizes and I went up to the next one, so I'm hoping it will last this summer and next!

I sewed the rocket appliqué to the front piece before I assembled any of the garment as this made it much easier to sew. It is possible to add to any finished garment but why make life more difficult! All the Bishy Barnababes appliqué patterns come with a 12 page instruction booklet to view or print, giving detailed information so that complete beginners to FMA can get appliquéing in no time. Lauren had never tried FMA before testing for me and look at the amazing things she has made for her son pictured above! Once you have tried it, you will just want to keep making more things that your children will love!

Lauren has the Fun Tee and Skip Skirt bundle on sale at the moment at both her Etsy shop and on Craftsy for $12 US - with sizes 1 to 12 and tops, skirts and legging included, that's great value!

Also head over to Bishy Barnababes and use coupon code BOYTHINGS to get 20% off. There are also other FMA patterns like a princess, fairy, ballerina. mermaid etc. and this code works for them too!

I will be talking about these pattern in the next episode of The Sewing Room podcast (hopefully out this coming weekend) and you can check out previous episodes here.

Keep coming back this week to see all the designer pairs and particularly on Friday where there is a chance to win these patterns! (if you have bought our patterns and then win the giveaway we will let you chose a different pattern for your prize).

So head over our shops, get your patterns while they're on sale, and pair them up to make something fun and unique for your child! We would love to see your creations in our Facebook groups, Bishy Barnababes and Sew by Pattern Pieces.


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