Monday, 21 July 2014

New dressmaking patterns by Lisa Lam - blog hop and giveaway

I'm delighted to be taking part in a blog hop showcasing Lisa Lam's new dressmaking pattern booklets as not only is Lisa a talented designer/maker but she also happens to be a good blogging friend of mine. There was also an added incentive in having my own little miss to stitch for!
Lisa Lam new dressmaking patterns
back cover dance with me dress

Lisa has designed two booklets featuring Summery designs for girls - the Happiness Halter Playsuit and Dance with Me Dress. Each booklet includes 3 simple variations to sew - a playsuit, dress and top in the Happiness Halter booklet,  and dress, tunic top and bag in the Dance with Me Dress booklet.

The format is very user-friendly - a magazine-sized booklet with a sturdy card cover and the instructions inside over several pages - no need to open out unwieldy sheets of paper. A pattern envelope on the back cover contains the pattern pieces on a sheet of dressmakers' tissue. Beautiful photography and  details like the showcasing of designer fabrics on the pattern sleeve make the booklets a pleasure to leaf through.

pattern envelope

If you've ever tried your hand at sewing any of Lisa's bag designs, you'll be familiar with her clearly written style and fantastic step-by-step photography, and the patterns certainly don't disappoint on this front.

step-by-step photography
I'm a big fan of photography rather than diagrams for illustrating unfamiliar techniques as seeing the actual fabric and pattern placement makes more complex steps so much easier to follow! The patterns don't assume any prior dressmaking knowledge, and Lisa walks you through each step of the process with helpful tips along the way.

The patterns have clever little touches and attention to detail which makes the designs very wearable - I particularly like the wide elastic casing waistband on the happiness halter dress, comfortable and practical for little ones. Finishing techniques like the binding on the pocket opening edge also give the finished items a high-end look.
happiness halter dress variation

It just so happens that I have a ready made little mannequin of my own to stitch for, so I decided to stitch up the happiness halter top, as who can resist a nice ruffle?

happiness halter top ruffle detail

happiness halter top

happiness halter top back detail
The size 4 happiness halter top was a perfect fit for my diminutive little miss, with the elastic channel in the back making for a nice neat finish, with no gaping. The length is great for wearing with a pair of shorts, though I would probably cut the pieces a bit longer to make a tunic-length top for wearing with leggings.

My littlest was thrilled with her new top, and eldest, who is just in to double-figures, has actually said she fancies one of her own, so how's that for versatility? Whilst the patterns are for ages 2-6, this style lends itself well to being sized up for older children, so my eldest might just get one stitched up for her.

If you fancy trying your hand at any of the patterns, I have both pattern booklets up for grabs - just leave a comment on this post by the end of the month to let me know what Summer stitching projects you are planning for a chance to win! I'll draw a winner on Friday 1st August, so do check back to see if you have won as blogger doesn't always provide me with email addresses to contact winners directly.

To follow the rest of the blog hop, click on the links below, or pop over to Stitch Craft Create for more details or to purchase Lisa's patterns.


JUNE:
Fri 27th – A Spoonful of Sugar
JULY:
Tue 1st – Pistons and Polish
Mon 7th – Kitchen Table Sewing
Wed 9th – Kitchen Table Sewing
Mon 14th – Sew Maris
Tue 15th – A Stitching Odyssey
Fri 18th – Scruffy Badger Time
Sun 20th Sew Mama Sew
Monday 21st Angharad Handmade
TBC  House of Pinheiro


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