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{Riley Blake Designs} Grove by Jill Finley

I've always been drawn to lemon prints so when I saw Grove by Jill Finley for Riley Blake Designs, I loved it!  (But Kari, you didn't sew the lemons....  I'll explain that in a bit -  HA! )   This collection is full of citrus-y goodness and you cannot help but smile while sewing any of these prints.  The colorways include yellow, pink, green, orange and charcoal.  I love the variety of prints -- from floral to fruit slices to geometric coordinates.  

As I sat down to select fabrics, I thought I'd select the lemons.  They are my favorite!  But then, I was drawn to the main floral in charcoal.  I always double check with my girls though and well, you can see, she didn't approve my charcoal selection.  She really wanted Grove Main Cloud which matched the lime coordinates.  Soooo, I changed my plan and I am glad I asked her opinion because I'm absolutely smitten by the final result.   For the coordinates, we chose Grove Slices Limeade, Grove Mini Limeade, and Confetti Cotton Treetop.

By the time I sat down to sew it, I also decided to change the original pattern I had planned.  Instead, I sewed up the new Jasmine Dress by Peony Patterns and was so happy to have just enough for the knee length tiered version.  While we love the mini version, we are heading into winter here and I want her to fit in the Spring (in case she grows an inch or two...).  The first time I sewed this pattern, I used a rayon which had beautiful drape, but the sleeves are even more gorgeous and puffy in this cotton.  

I used the Limeade Slices for the lining and a little hairbow (Nara Bow from the Nara Dress pattern by Little Lizard King.  She rarely lets me leave her hair down and curl it, but she was so excited about her new dress that she said yes!  (I had to whip up that bow really quickly though.)

I used the Mini Limeade print for the ruffles at the neckline and as faux piping between each tier and again at the hemline.  For the faux piping, I cut the strips 1.25" wide and folded them in half.  Once my 1/2" SA was sewn, it left me with 1/8" visible.  The hemline, I cut at 1.5" and sewed  it on along the bottom tier (RST) like you would when finishing with bias tape and then flipped it to the back, but purposely left 1/8" showing. (Don't forget to fold the back raw edge in like bias tape for a clean finish!) It was totally worth all of the ironing!

Finally, I used the solid Confetti Cotton in Treetop to make a lime version of the Lemon Slice purse I made back in March for Project Run & Play! I lined it in the Limeade Slices and then added the iron-on with my Cricut!  I want to make a whole citrus collection now!!

This whole collection is so fun and bright!  It is releasing this month so be on the lookout at your local quilt shop or favorite online fabric source!!

{Riley Blake Designs} GRL PWR by Damask Love

I'm back with another fun addition to my tween's wardrobe.  The best way to keep her happy is to give her the power to make her own design choices!  I love fostering her creativity and she loves wearing something she "custom designed".  Win-win.

GRL PWR by Amber Kemp-Gerstel of Damask Love is one of Riley Blake Designs' newest collections.  Amber is known for her love of color and this does not disappoint!  These designs celebrate the beauty of diversity and depict a rainbow of skin tones and empowering female forms.


After browsing the selections, she was drawn to the GRL PWR Eyelashes in Orchid.  She also added GRL PWR Grid in White as an accent.

My tween picked Lenox by Little Lizard King, which is her favorite style of pattern -- circle skirt in mini length.  While the pattern comes with optional ruffles, sleeves and collars, we leave off all the "bells and whistles" for a sleek tween-approved dress.

The color of this fabric is SO vibrant and stunning.  She was so excited to open the package when it came -- this is one of her most favorite colors.

Remember the GRL PWR Grid on white?!  I cut it into bias tape to hem the circle skirt of the dress.  I love hemming a circle skirt with bias, and using handmade bias always gives that little extra pop.

. . . and this is why circle skirts are a favorite here!   SO. MANY. TWIRLS.

While I originally had a different vision for this collection, I am glad I switched gears and turned over the design process -- the little gasp when she saw her completed dress -- her vision come to life -- made it completely worth it.  

This collection is releasing this month -- check with your favorite fabric retailer to order your yardage.

{Simple Life Pattern Company} Holiday Blog Tour 2020

Every year, I sew up new fancy dresses for my two girls to wear to Christmas Eve mass.  This year, I'm super excited to have them finished early November!!  Of course, I have no idea if they'll have a special event to show them off, but they will be worn, even if it's just at home.  

I am super excited to kick off the Simple Life Pattern Company Holiday Blog Tour 2020.   Simple Life Pattern Company has no shortage of gorgeous patterns to select so I wanted to choose a new (to me) pattern for each girl.  Art Gallery Fabrics and Fancy Pants Fabrics generously provided all the gorgeous fabrics for the tour --- they pair together perfectly! 

I selected coordinating fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics' Cozy & Joyful collection and fell in love with the holiday tulle collection from Fancy Pants Fabrics.  My oldest is wearing Candied Roses in Rayon and my youngest daughter is wearing Winter Wonderland in Joyful and Midwinter in Dusk from Art Gallery Fabrics and Gold Snowflake Tulle in Off-White from Fancy Pants Fabrics.

I started with my youngest daughter first.  I chose to sew Elouise's Asymmetrical Top & Dress because I really loved the bodice.  It features a delicate sweetheart neckline and has a uniquely pieced back with bow.  I omitted the asymmetrical skirt overlay to let the tulle take center stage.  

To create the skirt, I used 5 total layers.  I first cut out a lining layer from woven cotton, using the gathered vintage skirt cutting chart.  Then I cut a layer of netting -- this layer really helps the top layers stand out.  I cut this 1/2" shorter than the vintage skirt length and width of fabric (x2).  On top of the netting, I used two layers of nylon chiffon -- width of fabric x vintage length cut (x2).  Finally, the top layer is the gold snowflake tulle -- width of fabric x vintage length cut (x2).  Then I sewed up the side seams on each layer  -- for the tulle, nylon chiffon and netting layers, I used a double fold of tissue paper underneath the seams to prevent the fabric from gathering while sewing.  Gently remove the tissue paper afterwards.    I gathered each layer separately except for the two nylon chiffon layers.  The skirt has a placket which was easy to install to all 5 layers at once, but I'd recommend running your gathering thread prior to adding the placket.  I had to move all the other layers aside because I didn't think about it until after my placket was in place.  Whoops!  (Only the lining layer needs hemmed here)

The back is so pretty!  I thought the way it's pieced together is really clever and would be a great place for contrasting fabric.  I opted to keep just the bow in contrasting fabric to help in stand out.  I love the gold buttons I found which tied it all together.

I think this may be the first year her Christmas dress has sleeves.  HA!  She has really fallen in love with 3/4 sleeves this year and was happy to see the option in the pattern.

To finish out her outfit, I sewed up a Hair Bow in Mini/Piggy size from the Simple Life Pattern Company blog!  So cute and she loves having a bow on her pony tail.

For my oldest, I selected Patricia's Boho High Low Top and Dress.  Katie's pictures of it sewn up in rayon inspired me and I just had to try it out!  While my daughter is not usually one for ruffles, she approved this design and the rayon makes them really soft and flowy.    This pattern has no closures and just slips on over the head. 

I used the included skirt pieces for the dramatic high low option.  I hadn't really sewn rayon until about a month ago and while it's a bit fiddly to cut, it sews up so easily.  I really love how soft and light it is!

My daughter is excited about this dress.  Not only is it incredibly comfortable to wear, but it will last longer than the holiday season!  I think this fabric would be fabulous in the Patricia top version paired with skinny jeans too!

Time to go spread some holiday magic 💗

A huge thank you to our sponsors!!

Follow along the Simple Life Pattern Company Holiday Blog Tour 2020

❅ Monday (11/9) That's-Sew-Kari
❄ Tuesday (11/10) It's Liesel
❅ Wednesday (11/11) Kainara Stitches
❄ Thursday (11/12) SewSophieLynn
❅ Friday (11/13) Kutti Couture

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