Tuesday, August 12, 2014

sewVery Sunny Dress and Top Pattern Tour!

I'm sewVery excited for my first pattern tour today! Sorry, couldn't help it. My dad reads my blog and I know he'll appreciate that one. ;)

I was lucky to be selected as one of Veronica's testers last month for her very first fully graded pattern release - the sewVery Sunny Dress and Top! Besides the options to make a dress or top, you can add an adorable ruffle to the neckline (View A) or leave it plain (View B), and the straps are long enough to cross in back or leave straight and thread them though the loops to tie. 

Veronica may be new to pattern drafting, but one look at this pattern and you'll know she's got a wealth of sewing experience to share. Her pattern is beautifully organized and well written - her instructions are clear and her photos are perfection. I LOVED all of the annotated photographs - it was so helpful to me that she labeled whether the photo showed the right or wrong side of the fabric, and zoomed in on tricky spots to make me less likely to reach for my seam ripper. 

For the test I sewed up a View A dress in seersucker with a contrasting seersucker ruffle - perfectly sweet and summery. 

Little Miss Giggles
This is the size 4T, no changes or modifications made. It was the tester version, so I'm sure there have been some small tweaks since then, but even Veronica's tester version was pretty ready for release! I was so impressed by all of the professional finishes that she added - the way the ruffle is attached to the neckline looks fantastic, and the partial lining in the front is a great touch.

On the back, there is an elastic casing (also beautifully finished on the inside of the dress) and the ties can be threaded through the loops straight or crossed over - both looked great but Miss P preferred the crossed over straps so we went with that for photos. 

The straps are a nice length and it was no problem to tie them into a nice sized bow. It seems this summer that Miss P has been wearing (and so I've been sewing) mostly knits, and this dress was a nice trip back into my stash of wovens. This seersucker (from Chez Ami) is super soft and is so easy to work with, and it was a treat not to have to worry about ends curling or stretching when they weren't supposed to. :)

Of course, now that I've said that, I'll show you the second version of the sewVery Sunny pattern that I sewed up for the blog tour. Since I can't leave well enough alone, I figured I'd give the pattern a try with a knit. Veronica recommends light to mid-weight wovens in the pattern, but given the fit of the bodice and the construction of the dress, I thought I could probably make it work. And if I couldn't, I just wouldn't show you. ;)

But it worked - and I love it! I used a medium weight cotton lycra that I had a half yard cut left, and it was plenty. I even used the full width of the fabric to make the straps nice and long for this one (I cut that strip in half, though, so each strap ended up about 30" long).

This pattern has just enough of an a-line to have a great drape and still hold its shape well, and a knit that is even more stable (like an interlock) should work great, too. I actually didn't need to adapt anything else along the way - since I used view B (without a ruffle) the bodice and the lining were sewn together around all edges, enclosing the straps, and the only thing that needed to be hemmed was the bottom of the top. The only other modification I made was instead of making two small loops that would be sewn to the back of the dress for the straps to pass through, I just made one slightly larger loop and centered it (oriented vertically) right above the casing. 

We're rapidly approaching fall here in the Northeast so I'll probably be packing this pattern away soon, but I'll definitely be reaching for it again in the spring - we've got quite a few sizes to go before P outgrows it, and we both loved the classic look of the sewVery Sunny. 

Make sure to check out the rest of the tour - Veronica's got an awesome lineup of bloggers (still can't believe I made the cut!) and there will be a giveaway at the end of the tour, too. She's offering two copies of the pattern to the winners!

Please come like Handcrafted by RED over on Facebook - I've got lots of fun stuff in the works! I've done over a dozen pattern tests in the past month, and have my first tutorials and another blog tour coming up, too. Hope to see you there!


  1. I'm so glad you tried the Sunny Pattern in knit and that it worked so well! I never even considered making one myself! Ha! Both pieces you made are perfection, and your feedback was extremely thorough and super helpful. Thank you sewVery much (ahem!) for the glowing review, and I hope to work with you again very soon. Oh, and I can't wait to see more of your blog!

    1. Thanks for having me - this was so much fun to be a part of! :)

  2. Very sweet - love the knit version! I had wondered how it would go in knits.

    1. Thanks, Marisa! It was surprisingly easy to adapt - the knit worked very well for this! The pattern is a great fit, too, so that helped. :)