Agh! I may love this little garment too much. Cute little retro style? Check. Nautical vibes? Check. Worn by my naughty little scamp? Check again. I have a couple of people to thank for the materials that allowed me to make this, and a giveaway as well so you may want to stick around til the end for that.
A bunch of months ago, I was lucky enough to receive two copies of children's sewing pattern magazine B*inspired's 4th edition. One was for me to get my grubby mitts on, and a second copy it to be given away. This edition is full of sewable Spring/Summer styles, but there was one that I had to make. This little tie-front blouse has a retro 1950's bowling vibe that almost demands a novelty print and sweet buttons. Who am I to deny it?!
(image source: B*inpired magazine)
B*inspired is created by the same Dutch team who make My Image womenswear pattern magazine (that I wrote about here). I would say that all the pluses and minuses that I found with My Image also apply here. Speaking positively, from what I can tell from making one pattern from each, the patterns seem well drafted, with some very wearable styles, IMO. The magazines themselves are beautiful and printed on lovely paper. The pattern sheets (from which you trace off the pieces required) are nice and clear, and not overcrowded like the Burdastyle magazines' pattern sheets are. They feature photo shoots that show the garments off well and definitely made me want to sew a good number of them. With all those lovely patterns included, the magazine is excellent value at only €5.95.
However, the negatives are also true: the instructions translated into English were confusing at times, and seemed pretty sparse generally. I felt confident in choosing this blouse pattern to try because it was one of only two patterns included that showed some step-by-step photography. However, even with this additional assistance, it wasn't enough to prevent me fluffing up and having to crack out the quick-unpick (AKA seam ripper). Plus there was some potentially-useful information missing, like any indication of where to position the buttons/buttonholes, or how long to cut the elastic for the gathered sleeve hems, which made the project a bit more taxing than this bleary-eyed sewing mama felt really comfortably with. I can imagine that it would be a frustrating experience to try making this blouse without having made any blouses or shirts before (and in my case, that apparently still wasn't enough to help me through without mistakes!). Despite all it's awesome points, unfortunately it would be hard for me to recommend this magazine to anyone who didn't have a number of years of sewing experience and quite a few completed sewing projects, under their belts.
My one other small gripe is with the sizing. I traced off and made the smallest size (92), which is a full two sizes bigger than Dolores is currently wearing (according to other sewing pattern magazine sizing and most mass-produced second-hand stuff she has). I expected this to fit her summer 2016 but when I got her to try it on, I was really surprised to find that it is almost the perfect size right now.
But I have to say, this project was FUN to make! A fiddly little woven garment that will probably only get a few wears (unless we luck out and it ends up spanning two summers), may not feel like the best use of limited sewing time, but it really was enjoyable to make something small and crisp and perfect. I'd definitely make this pattern again, and have lots of fun picking different cute fabric and button combos. I'd like to make a sleeveless version too at some point.
I was sent a small piece of sailboat printed poly/cotton from the very lovely Catherine of Clothes and Sewing a couple of months ago. At first I wasn't sure what to do with it exactly, and I feared that it would languish in my stash. But the stars alined and this pattern presented itself at the right time. The fabric washes easily and presses well, and was the perfect weight for this little summer blouse. The only thing I regret was not choosing a plain white fabric for the facing rather than using the same printed fabric because the facing sailboats are slightly visible through the front. But then, when is a toddler ever still for long enough to really notice such things?!
The buttons were from my stash, having originally been given to me by my blog sponsor Maggie from Textile Garden. They are navy blue plastic with tiny white stars printed on them. The navy blue of the buttons is a bit darker than the blue in the fabric print, but I think it is close enough to look nice.
So, on to the giveaway bit. This giveaway is open internationally. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post which must include your email address, unless I can access your email address within two clicks of my mouse. No email address, no way to contact you to send you the magazine. If you aren't positive that it can be accessed within two clicks, then leave it in the comment itself. Your email address will not be used for any purpose other than contacting you if you are the winner. Leave your comment by midnight GMT Sunday 12th July 2015. I will pick a winner by random number generator the following day. Good luck!