Bella Sunshine Designs Delmar Tee and Dress

As I mentioned in the Thalia Dress posting there are very few brands I continue to actually test for. I was very excited to see that Melissa with Bella Sunshine Designs was getting back to testing again with this very versatile and scrappy top/dress.

Sweet pea stands in a lime/yellow leopard print long sleeved dress that goes to the knees. It has black stripes on the sleeves and the chest. Her eyes are closed as she is caught beginning to spin in a circle.

This pattern has a ton of features:

Sweet pea looks at the camera in an angled profile view to the left with her right hand on her hip.

This pattern while offering a ton of features is a very quick sew. You might get more hung up on figuring out which version/view you would like to complete then cutting it out, spending more time on that than the actual sewing.

Sweet Pea stands in a tea pot pose with a slight smile on her face.

The most difficult part of the sewing is making sure that the triple stripes line up correctly but go slow and everything will be just fine.

I see lots of these even with the plain sleeves and dress for future makes as Sweet Pea loves a simple A-line silhouette

Week 9: Something with Buttons

I love buttons! This week makes me so happy that it’s sew buttons during the 52 week sewing challenge. I love sewing buttons because I have a machine with an automatic buttonhole foot but I would have enjoyed the challenge even without it. Buttons add a lovely charm and detail to patterns. I love how the type of buttons you use can totally change the look of an outfit. Plus I received a large box of vintage bone colored buttons with tons of variety and I love combing through my button boxes to find the right ones for a project.

One of the biggest issues for me with buttons in the past was ensuring that the alignment was correct. One of my favorite gifts I ever received was a Simflex Expanding Button Gauge. I first heard about one of these during a contest in the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook Group. I ended up winning a prize for an Easter dress (I used the Juliet Dress with Zelda fabric) and ended up having a very tough time deciding between the bias tape maker and the gauge. I ended up with the bias tape maker because at the time I was using tons of binding but the gauge went on my list of items I give people that want to know what I would like for a gift. My friend Jennifer ended up getting it for me, and it is by far my favorite tool that I am not sure what I did before I got it. The gauge helps with alignment based on how many buttons or snaps you would like to do. You literally put your fabric pen in the indention and just mark along and it works wonderfully for making sure my button holes have perfect alignment. So I say all of this to tell you I am excited about button week because I get to use my gauge.

I went with one of my favorite pattern brands of all time Bella Sunshine Designs because I love the classic beautiful lines and finishing that their patterns offer. I decided on the Sweet Lily Pintuck Dress because it has buttons in the front and back plus sweet ruffles every where- on the sleeves, the bodice and on the skirt itself. I sewed the top version which actually could be a vintage or babydoll length dress when paired with some bloomers or pairs nicely with the Sansa Pants I made (in denim cut on the bias) previously. Check out the wonderful sale going on for 30% off (no code necessary) and head over to the group linked above for a special 3yr anniversary freebie (mommy and me Eden leggings) code.

I  love this little top. Sweet Pea came home from school sick but was thrilled with the little faeries and the ruffles, It is another sweet pattern from BSD and will be on our list to make again soon!



Pattern: Bella Sunshine Designs Sweet Lily Pintuck Dress in the top length

Fabric: Michael Miller’s Pink Petal Flower Faeries, white islet purchased on a destash page and green kona cotton

Size: 18mo width 2t length

Misc info: BSD is celebrating their 3 yr anniversary with a site wide 30% off plus free code for the new Eden leggings

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Week 8: Upcycle something

This week’s challenge was upcycle something. And the perfect week to finally alter this shirt my mom got Sweet Pea in Ireland. When I asked her what she wanted a shirt or dress she opted for Bella Sunshine Designs Maggie top and dress in the tunic length. Sweet Pea then picked a fun floral with varying shades of green and blue and insisted on it being included in her new top.


I got to work cutting carefully along each of the seams to cut apart the neckband and sleeves then finally the side seams.

I cut the sleeves out on the sleeves of the tshirt, using the hem so I wouldn’t have to hem them. Then opted for a pop of color blocking just above the hemline creating a fun cuff look.


Next, I cut the bodice piece under the armscye and added a 1/4 inch seam allowance to the new top and bottom pieces and cut my fabric. I sewed the top and bottom pieces together then continued with construction as directed from there. I reused the same neckband from the original shirt because it was a fabulous tubular knit.


I love how it turned out and I am pretty sure that Sweet Pea likes it too since she just had to wear it to see the Trolls movie.

Annelaine Cowl Tester

Here we are kicking off Week 1 of the 52 week challenge, sew something warm. I was lucky enough to test a new pattern for Jennifer Jones over at Annelaine patterns (Annelaine Patterns Facebook Group) with a cowl neck option. This pattern released January 1st, so hurriedly sewed up this strike off version since this fabric was just perfect to cheer a little one during such cool weather (our highs have been hovering somewhere around 0° for the last 2 weeks) and meet the weekly item goal of sewing something warm. So getting started I had to figure out what would make the best coordinate for my I wanna be a Unicorn fabric. I went with TKB mint stars (TKB stars are one of my favorite coordinates ever, I seriously love every one I buy).

Look at that cute little llamacorn, its probably my favorite out of all the horned animals on the fabric. You can get in on the preorder at Little Lady Bug Custom Fabric Facebook Group

Collage 2017-12-30 09_31_10
{Image: Collage with two photos side by side. The left photo is of two fabrics; a gray one with mint colored stars with a very pale blue fabric with unicorns, llamacorns, kittycorns, birds with unicorn horns, narwals and a little girl dressed as a unicorn. It say I want to be a unicorn with small stars, hearts and rainbows. All are in a toss all over the fabric. The right photo has a close up of a llamacorn being pointed out by a hand with pink nails, the rest of the images are blurred]

On a funny side note, I dread making cuffs. I would rather hem something any day over sewing cuffs then putting them on in the round. Because of this  I have a tendency to do them first and get them out of the way so I am less likely to put it on the back burner and end up with an UFO (unfinished object). Does anyone else have issues with bands like me?

Back to the Celebration Cowl Top, it includes:

  • 2 sleeve lengths
  • Turtleneck and cowl
  • Crossover or regular cowl
  • With or without bands
  • Shirt, tunic or dress length
  • With or without skirt
  • Sizing up to 14

On to the construction, Jennifer as always gives clear instructions but I did have to pay special attention to the crossover cowl instructions as I found the photos hard to see because of the use of the solid red fabric (and of course had I not had a pre- teen kiddo in and out of my sewing room talking to me it may have been easier to figure out the cross over portion (maybe).  As a tester, I follow instructions and sew whatever is assigned to me. For this test, I got to pick and I opted for the cross over cowl, regular shirt length with bands. I am so happy I did because this top came out adorable!

It is safe to say that the little one loves it, now to capture photos of a wiggly 3.5 year old wearing her brand new top (photos were done in Ikea because it was way to cold to be outside without a coat).

52 Weeks Sponsor Listing for January

[Image: A calendar style image with the top half a set of trees with various shades of green with a blue background with snowflakes and snow on the ground. It is a drawn design with the word January written in blue at the top of the treeline. The bottom half is a calendar with columns listed as week #, dates, theme, sponsors. Rows follow with the information as listed: 1, 1st-7th, Sew something warm/soft, Petite Stitchery, So Sew English 2, 8th-14th, Sew something from the last fabric you purchased, Bella Sunshine Designs, Southern Belle Fabrics 3, 15th-21st, Sew something to make sewing easier, Goober Peas Designs, Alliealane in Abbyville Fabric 4, 22nd-28th, Sew Something for a boy, Flossstyle Patterns, Sincerely Rylee 5, 29th-Feb4th, Sew something from a newly purchased pattern, One Thimble, Tiny Fox Custom fabrics
The list for sponsors is so large that its being split into monthly calendars. At this point just January has been released but take a look there is a fabric AND a pattern sponsor for each of the 5 weeks in January- super exciting, especially since I see 3 pattern companies I personally love sewing.

Join the 52 Week Sewing Challenge Group for more information on the individual discounts, codes and etc.

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

Week 5:

So many prizes and so little time! Join the challenge, post your makes and maybe you can win something fun.


PS Sorry for the delay in posting, I wanted to make sure that all the links were added for easy access and lets face it- this post got put on the back burner a few times because of how many links;)


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Week 1: Something warm for my New Sews for the New Year

Here we are kicking off Week 1 of the 52 week challenge, sew something warm. Which comes just in time with the very cold weather here in Vermont! So I got started on both a top and pants for the littlest human in the house, since she appears to be the one in need of the most amount of warm clothing. I decided I was going to use some wonderful, cuddly blue French terry from Central TX Fabrics & Crafts Facebook Group (who has the best admin team and awesome deals on a variety of fabric types – and she tries to source from US companies) and some funky animal print French terry from Opulent Monsters Fabric and Pattern Facebook Group (there are custom prints, adult prints and LA fashion fabric- which is where this fabric came from). Even though I have been hording these fabrics when the Sweet Pea picked these it caused a bit of panic because even though I have had these fabrics for a while, I have never worked with French terry before.

So French terry has a bit less stretch to work with, in this case one is 2 way stretch and the other has little to no stretch. However both get more cuddly as they are washed, which makes French terry a great choice for the cold New England winters.

[Image: Two stacks of fabric on a cutting mat. On the left is a stack with folded blue colored fabric sitting on top of green multi colored folded fabric. On the right is a pile of cut fabric with lime green, bright blue, pink and gray leopard and zebra animal print on top of blue fabric].
After looking through all my patterns I went with one pattern I have never made in my child’s size and one that is my husband’s absolute favorite for our daughter. I opted for the Paradise Pullover  from Opulent Monsters pattern line and the Sansa Pant from Bella Sunshine Designs (my husband tells me any time Baby O wears these pants that she needs more!)


On a funny side note, I dread making cuffs. I would rather hem something any day over sewing cuffs then putting them on in the round. Because of this  I have a tendency to do them first and get them out of the way so I am less likely to put it on the back burner and end up with an UFO (unfinished object). Does anyone else have issues with bands like me?

I love the construction of the Paradise Pullover and the way the pockets look with just a peek of color which you could use with fun contrasting colors. I opted for the collar with the front pockets in a size 3/4 (sizing runs 3/6m- 13/14) and doubled the waistband width to allow for a bigger band at the bottom.

The Sansa pants run 6m-12 for the girls and 0-30 for ladies. I am totally going to have to get me some more of the blue French terry so Baby O and I can be twinsies. They are the cutest flare shape and fit my tiny girl perfectly, even with using the French terry with less give. I did 2t waist (she measures the 18mo) blended to the 3t height and rise length (since she’s still in diapers.)

I truly loved making this outfit for baby girl because of the funky print but also because of the fit. The Opulent Monsters pattern is a nice gender neutral top that is slim cut, which is very nice for a more petite child , like Sweet Pea. Bella Sunshine Designs does a fabulous job drafting patterns and making sure that the pattern instructions are clear and well thought out. I love the slim through the thigh fit and look of these pants. What is even more impressive is that from taping to finished product this outfit took 2hrs and 3 minutes (it only took me 18 minutes to sew the Sansa pants, and I assume would probably take way less time if I wasn’t one to press my items all the time).

I am pretty sure that this outfit is a success since she saw it, said for me and immediately stripped down to put it on. I love the fit of the entire outfit and was pleasantly surprised at how much more stable in hand the French terry feels when sewing than a regular cotton lycra does- if you decide to make either item, let me know how it goes and what you think!

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Want to stay up to date on the rest of the blogs covered this month in Sewing by Ti? Check them out below!


Sunday, January 7th: Minn’s Things

Sunday, January 14th: Sew Like a Sloth

19th Ma Moose


Sunday January 21st: Flaxfield Sewing

Sunday January 28th: Sew Haute Blog



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