Friday, March 8, 2013

Roly-Poly Pinafore: pattern test

When Rachael from Imagine Gnats asked me to test this new pattern she's developing -- called the Roly-Poly Pinafore -- I happily agreed.  I'd never tested a pattern before, but last year I made Rachael's madeleine bag (from the free tutorial on her blog).  I found the instructions to be well written and easy to follow; plus, I love the bag and use it daily!  I've also now written more than half a dozen patterns myself for Stitch magazine and Martingale Press, and, although none are garments, I thought I might, possibly, be able to offer feedback from that angle.

I was so happy with how this turned out!  I'm also grateful to have a willing model who's not the least bit camera-shy.  Ellie chose the outer fabric from my stash, then she and I went fabric-shopping for a lining fabric to match.  After choosing the lining fabric pretty quickly, Ellie spent at least 20 minutes at the wall 'o fat quarters, desperately trying to choose one print to take home for herself.  In the end, I put her out of her decision-making-misery, and let her pick two!

The Roly-Poly pinafore has a wonderfully wide size range (sizes 1 through 8), which I think is fabulous.  I made a size 6 for Ellie and it fits her well.  She adores it and, after convincing her (it didn't take much!) to do a photo shoot this morning, she asked if she could please wear it to school, which she did.  Other pluses to the pattern are that it's reversible, it has an adorable box pleat at the neckline, and -- my favorite feature -- it can be made with pockets!

The pattern provides instruction to make it with integral pockets (cut as part of the main pattern pieces), with separately cut pockets, or with no pockets at all.  I chose the variation with the separately cut pockets so I could add the surprise element of a third fabric print.  See the cute little pink grid fabric peeking out?!  Honestly, I think just about every garment should have pockets -- especially ones made for little girls (or boys!) who find treasures everywhere.  Where else will they put that feather, or bottle cap, or precious penny?

Rachael has a call out for more pattern testers; go here to see the details if you're interested.  And, if you're not already following Rachael's blog, Imagine Gnats, you should be!  If you're more the facebook type, you can find Imagine Gnats there, too.  You may also want to check out her craftsy pattern shop and this shop (where she sells her embroidery kits).

In other news, I'm auditioning for Family Ever After's Sew-vivor sewing competition.  You may have noticed the button in my sidebar.  The rules are that you can enter only one project for the initial audition, so I chose this appliqued messenger bag from the past.  I thought it showed technical and design skill more obviously than some of my other projects.  It seems a far stretch to actually be selected, but if it does happen, the challenges need to be done quickly!  So I've been sketching an idea for an Easter dress for Ellie to meet the first challenge requirements.  And if I'm not selected... Ellie might still end up with a kick-ass dress!


  1. i SO love this Amy!! and good luck with sew-vivor :)

  2. That is a fabulous pattern, Rachael has a real talent, this would be perfect for my little one, if I could just get 48 hours in a day! :o)