Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sofilantjes Patterns - Otium Sweater Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to another stop on the Sofilantjes Otium Sweater Blog Tour & Giveaway!  Details for the giveaway and a look at Mommy & Me versions are here!

I knew the perfect family to gift the girls and women's versions:  My good friend Nicole and her little girls, Ava & Allison.  And there's a surprise for her friends later on . . . . 

During the tour,  the Otium individual girls' or individual women's patterns are 20% off and the Otium Bundle (includes both girls' and women's sizes) is 30% off, no coupon code needed!

There is also a way to win some patterns:  A total of 12 patterns will be given away to one reader -- enter the giveaway for your chance to win!   Here are the sponsors:  

First, let's look at the Pattern:

Its a lot to print, tape and cut, but well worth the end result.  In fact, for me, having the range of sizes that are available in both girls and women's sizes is a godsend since there's already demand in my family for shirts!  

So I've cut out all pattern pieces to the largest size, and I'll trace what I need when I need it.  

(I usually hang the full printout on a pants hanger in the closet, but this is easier for me as some pieces don't need to be traced, they can be folded at the size to cut)

To be honest, I didn't want to give this shirt away after I made it.  Its an awesome design.  I made the low back, bow option for all three, but there are several more options available in the pattern.

And ladies, if you're expecting, going one size up gave Nicole enough room for her growing baby bump.  

Surprise!!!  I have another (adopted) grandchild on the way!!!

I love the fabric I found at JoAnn's.  
There was a sale on all knits in their Doodles Collection, and I had a coupon for 20% off my total purchase.  Couldn't pass that up!

For the girls, a coordinating fabric with woodland creatures, from the Doodles Sofia collection. 

Sewing it up:

I've been sewing for quite some time (30+ years), so sewing up Nicole's shirt took about 30 minutes.  
I believe, if you're comfortable with knits, you can do it in an hour or so.  Maybe 2  nap times, after you've had your lunch, and time to clean up the kiddos mess from the morning.  The girls' versions can be done in the same amount of time.  In fact, if you do not chose the low back, bow option, you will cut 15 minutes from your sew time.  

Always remember that the time it takes me to sew can be very different from how long it takes you --  I don't have any kiddos running around anymore (yep, I'm a long-distance grandma).  Your busy schedule may interrupt your precious sewing time, limited space, limited time . . . but really, this pattern is very well written, the pieces all fit together very well, and the design is made with great construction techniques.  However long it takes you -- you'll be very pleased with the pattern overall!

Then there's the front pocket option.  That can add another 15-30 minutes to your sew time, but worth it.  

Looking at the girls' fabric, I decided they needed some woodland creatures to put in their pockets. Thankfully, Stitched By Crystal had a free Fox Pattern, which I made in a couple different ways, even shrunk the pieces to 50% to make a little fox for the baby!  (just a representation for the girls, as you shouldn't give babies buttons to pull off!)

You can find Crystal's FREE Fox Softie Pattern here:

I used the same pattern to make a raccoon (following the look in the girls' fabric), a Fox, and also reduced the pieces by 50% to make the little fox.

Thanks Crystal!

My Recommendation:  

With so many options -- Short Hemmed Sleeve, 3/4 cuffed Sleeve, Long Cuffed Sleeve, Low Back, High Back, Bow -- you'll get a lot for your money!  The pattern covers all seasons.  Its a good investment!  I love it, and you will too!  Anytime you're in need of help or inspiration, just look at the pattern piece for help:  

Pattern Support!

Right there on your pattern piece is an email address and link to the Sofjilantjes Facebook Group Page.  There you'll find all the inspiration and help you need!

Don't forget to visit all of the inspirational Bloggers from the tour:  

Monday, January 26th
Huisje Boompje Boefjes - Pienkel - Straight Grain

Tuesday, January 27th

Monday, January 19, 2015

Extraordinary Girl by Filles a' Maman, Its not another ordinary t-shirt!

This review is cross-posted at  Be sure to stop by there to see another reviewer's look at this pattern as well!


I found Extraordinary Girl to be very charming and a creative inspiration. I was able to do some #scrapbusting and try out the popular "fabric panel" craze with this pattern.

The boat-neck design, combined with lapped neck binding, brings a welcome change to the everyday T-shirt, together with a forgiving neckline allowing for a more comfortable on and off experience.


A week before I began this review, I received my order of princess fabric panels from Eurogirls! While they washed & dried, I looked through my favorite collection of Doodles knits from JoAnn (so very soft and cuddly!) and my knit remnant bucket (fabulous finds in the remnant bins of any fabric store at deeply discounted prices).

I had Extraordinary fun with color . . .

  • Price: $9.79, payable via PayPal, available in English or French language versions
  • Sizing: 12/18 months – 14 years (19.5" – 31" chest measurement)
  • Boat-neck, hi-low hem, long or ¾ sleeve
  • Mommy & Me is available! (purchase a separate pattern in women's sizes or the Extraordinary Girl Combo which includes both women & girls sizing)
  • Designed for knit fabrics
  • Printing option includes the ability to print "layers" (choose a specific size(s) to print); 12 pages to print, 7 pattern pieces to cut, including a functional front pocket.
  • Cutting layout graphics are provided for a single color or color blocked top.
  • Imperial and Metric fabric requirements are provided as separate charts. A Size Chart and Finished Length Chart is included to guide you in determining appropriate size
  • Lengthen/shorten graphic instructions provided
  • Confident Beginner Friendly!


Once you print and cut the pattern pieces, you'll be able to put this shirt together in just under an hour. With each one you make, the process will go even faster. The instructions are written thoughtfully; and, together with impressive hand-drawn graphics, you'll appreciate the smooth construction technique.
I love the length—and, that the hi-lo hem is not a dramatic drop. I made no adjustments to either top and found that the sizes I selected based on measurements made a perfect fit.

I definitely recommend this pattern for your little ones! I'm going to make the women's version and am confident that I will love that one too.

New Year, new style . . . be Extraordinary!


Happy Sewing,










Friday, January 2, 2015

Ballard Top by Straight Stitch Designs

Happy New Year! 

My first blog post of 2015 is over here at Pattern Revolution's Blog. I'm an official Team Member of the Pattern Revolution Pattern Reviewers and from time to time, I'll have pattern reviews posted there.  

Here's a sneaky-peek at one of the Ballard tunics I created:  

Click here to be directed to the 
Pattern Revolution Review of the Ballard Top 
by Straight Stitch Designs.  

Have a magical New Year of self-care-sewing!