*This is a sponsored guest post by my lovely mother-in-law, Cindy Belleque!*
My great-grandmother loved to sew. She created quilts and clothes; she crocheted and knitted; she loved flowers. I remember one hot summer day at her house. My sister was out with the lambs in the field and I was sitting on the couch with my Great Grandma Hess. She patiently taught me to crochet. That summer I learned to make granny squares. I also learned to make really great oatmeal, but that is another story. My great-grandma loved beautiful things.
My grandmother loved to sew.. “Plain Grandma” had a room in her house just for sewing. It had lots of light and shelves full of interesting fabric and notions. She helped me make doll dresses for my dolls. She would rescue dolls; there was a shelf with naked baby dolls and she would make clothes for them and give them away, probably to our church nursery. What I remember about her is that her hands were always busy. Crocheting or knitting, sewing, painting, weeding, or arranging flowers. My grandma loved beautiful things.
My mom loved to sew. She loved to create quilts and clothes. She made our clothes when we were little, and at the time I don’t think we really appreciated the work that went into them. To be honest, they were a bit dorky – us girls got tired of matching each other! My mother’s hands held books, calligraphy pens, sewing, quilts, paint brushes, and of course, babies. My mom loved beautiful things.
I love to sew. I love to crochet, create and look at beautiful things. I like the satisfaction of a finished project. The joy of giving someone something that I created. I like the challenge of learning and mastering a new technique. I love the legacy left to me by three wonderful women! They were homemakers, artists – creators of beautiful things. They were never famous or well known for their art, but they were teachers and they passed onto their children and grandchildren a love for the beauty around us and the love of creating something special and unique. There are artists, musicians, sewists, photographers, designers, painters, and doll makers in the branches below them in our family tree. Thank you Grandma, Plain Grandma, and Mom for the beauty you shared with us.
I share this with you because I want you to understand me a bit better, I want and to share with you a project that I had so much fun creating! In the crazy internet world, there are many independent clothing designers, and I recently discovered the joy of the PDF pattern! Wow! These patterns are created with all the sizes you need and they have great tutorials! So for a visual-learner and shape challenged (read DD cup size) person, these patterns are fabulous! And, I discovered, they need people to test their patterns! How completely awesome is that! So with much trepidation (like “I’m not good enough”) I applied with a small design company to be a tester for their latest children’s pattern.
I was chosen!!
So without further ado, here is my final review of this pattern….
The Mabel Dress by The Ollie and Annie Collection
This pattern has a great vintage feel. It is reminiscent of the Great Gatsby with it’s dropped waist, but it is so versatile depending on the fabric you choose. It is a quick sew, with great instructions! I like the way the designer writes the instructions – it’s like she’s talking to you! The dress has buttons up the back and the bodice is lined. The skirt is almost a complete circle, so for little girls who like to twirl, it is perfect! I used a fun print and big vintage flower buttons on the back. It would work great as a jumper with a shirt and tights or leggings underneath. I plan on making the granddaughters some flannel versions of the dress for our cold Illinois winter.
So, good job, Ollie and Annie! The Mabel Dress is definitely a keeper!
The pattern was released today, July 28th, 2014 AND Stephanie (the designer) is offering a great discount! Take a 25% discount off the regular price of $9.00 for this PDF pattern by entering MABELDRESS25 at checkout.
Head on over to Ollie and Annie and check out this great pattern for the little girl in your life!
Disclosure: Cindy Belleque received an advance copy of the PDF pattern mentioned in this sponsored guest post in order to participate in a pattern testing group for the designer. All opinions are her own, and she was not required to provide a positive review for participation. To learn more about this blog’s policies, check out our Disclosure.