Welcome to my Style Academy! I am very honoured to be part of the Pattern Anthology blog tour, for the release of their latest collection, The Alphabet Collection. What a great way to start the fall season, don't you think? Get ready for some amazing styling for your back to school wardrobe. The Alphabet Collection comprises of 4 awesome pdf patterns, great for boys and girls between the ages of 18 months all the way up to 8 years. A total of 4 patterns were created by 4 talented ladies who have a keen sense of style and pay close attention to details: The BBC Vest, The W-pant, The Recess Raglan Tee and the Study Hall Jacket.
As soon as I was invited to participate in this awesome challenge, I just knew I wanted to create something for both my kids, I was excited to create a mini collection of sorts, with matching colors and coordinating elements. I really do miss putting collections together and I thought that The Alphabet Collection would be perfect for that.
It is quite exciting as well, because the tour is sponsored by some of the best online shops where I got to shop for some luscious fabric, zippers and thread. I spent way more then I was allocated, but it was all well worth it. Thanks to Michael Levine at Low Price Fabric, Girl Charlee, Organic Cotton Plus and Coats & Clarks for for making this collection extra special.
So are you ready to see what I put together? I am warning you it's a photo overload...
First up is the BBC Vest, it comes with many different options such as a racer back, a curved or peplum hem. It's a pretty fast sew and the the direction are clear and easy to follow. I love that you can dress it up or make it totally casual.
For Miss E I used some white twill form Organic Cotton Plus and dyed it green. I cannot even tell you the concoction I used to get this green, there is some green, aqua, yellow and even purple in the mix. I added the purple in the end and it stained the fabric in some spots, it gives it a very vintage feel which I love. The twill which is 100% cotton reacted beautifully to the dye, it is a nice weight and has a nice feel too. I was nicely surprised by Organic Cotton Plus election of eco friendly fabrics, from basics to prints and twills to muslins.
I added a little patch I found at my local fabric store when I went to buy some snaps. I'll do anything to avoid sewing buttonholes!
How cute is that racer back? And that peplum? Right on trend!
I had only ordered 1m of the twill, so when I changed my mind at the last minute for my BBC Vest fabric, I didn't have enough to cut out all the pieces in the green twill. Turned out perfectly, I ended up using some black check from Michael Levine at Low Price Fabric which I actually used for all my lining and pockets throughout the collection.
The pattern comes with a curves hem at the back as well, which I love, but thought it was a little more fancy than I wanted. Also, I wanted to show off the tee and back pockets... so I made the back hem nice and straight.
Next up is The W-pants. This pattern has so much going on, yet it still looks sleek. I like the slim fit without being too tight and all the little details. First the reverse yoke, lets you play around with fabric or perhaps adding some piping to really show it off. It also gives you the option of putting welt pockets, with or without zippers. Did you know special zippers exist for pockets? I didn't, until I discovered them on the Coats & Clarks website, these zippers are amazing and make sewing pocket that much more easy.
I used my dyed organic twill as well as some black canvas all from Organic Cotton Plus for these pants. The canvas is nice and thick, perfect for heavy duty wear and tear. I might just have to make a black pair of W-pants for Mister M.
The only modification I did to the pattern, was to take in the leg by 1cm at the back seams to make them a little skinnier and I added some zippers to the inner leg. It's a great way to make skinny pants pants sit better on certain shoes. I used special jean zippers form Coats & Clarks- when you put the zipper pull downwards ( here it would be upwards) the teeth lock, so you don't need to worry about the zipper opening up. In this case it's great because even if the legs touch chances are the zippers won't budge.
Miss E was lucky enough to get a pair of jeans. These were a lot of work only because of all the topstitching I decided to to! I absolutely love the way the topstitch thread I got from Coats & Clarks turned out. I choose a yellow to get that authentic jean feel.
I made the leg extra long to give the pants a wider than wide cuff. She might be able to wear these until she is 8! I cannot tell you how amazing this japanese stretch denim is, it has just enough stretch and a really nice dark almost black tint to it. I used the selvage for the side seam, so it would show when the cuff was up. I used the same black check as the vest for the inside of the pockets as well as the inside of the waistband for extra comfort and less bulk. I highly recommend this denim from Michael Levine at Low Price Fabric it really is spectacular.
I added some self drafted back pocket to my W-Pants pattern. I couldn't help but customize Miss E's back pockets with a topstitched "e". The front slanted pockets are a nice detail too- I find they make these jeans extra stylish. I wouldn't mind a pair for myself- I mean it doesn't get much better than this! Customized jeans- tweak things here and there and make them just how you like them.
The third pattern is The Recess Raglan T-shirt. It is the quickest project in this collection. Don't be fooled, it comes with so many options such as sleeve length, cuffs, tabs... The fit is nice and slim- perfect.
I got a few different print variations at Girl Charlee I just couldn't help myself- they have a crazy amount of amazing knits in every colour and shape, something for everyone. I couldn't believe how soft the fabric was, even Miss E noticed.
I opted for the 3/4 sleeves for Miss E's tee and instead of applying the tabs at the cuff to have them fold up, I decided to put them at the hem- just for fun.
These two almost killed me with this photoshoot. It really was impossible to get some shots with the two of them coordinated. Any tricks would be greatly appreciated!
For Mister I decided to go long sleeve, I love that you can make the sleeves longer and just cuff them and have your kids grow into their sleeves. The fabric here is from Girl Charlee too. I told you they have an amazing selection!
I actually made another Raglan T-shirt for Mister M with a black body and black and white sleeves, I didn't end up liking the combination with the pants- I need something to pop more. I can't wait to make many more, this basic is going to become a staple in our home.
The last pattern is The Study Hall Jacket- all I can say is wow! It comes with a few different options as well- different pockets, collar and hood to choose from. It was actually not that complicated to sew, the instruction are well written. Attaching the waistband was really the hardest part and well, once you understood what you need to do- it was pretty easy.
I choose a hunter green knitted wool from Michael Levine at Low Price Fabric. I wanted something that screamed fall. I also wanted to play with tone on tones for this collection, hence the green pants and jacket. The lining is also from Michael Levine at Low Price Fabric, it's actually a woolly knit that I was going to use for the BBC Vest but decided to use the wrong side of the fabric for the lining instead. Bonus, it's extra warm for our cold weather coming up. I warn you, you can loose many hours looking through the Michael Levine website, they have a dreamy collection of all sorts of fabrics- seriously hours!
I sewed up the hood too and made it detachable- I added buttons on the inside of the collar and elastic hoops at the bottom of the hood. I modified the collar slightly, basically I kept the collar straight and made sure my zipper was 2 inches longer. I love the way the jacket looks, it isn't bulky and has a nice modern look to it.
I love the overall Look of Mister M's outfit. I think it's cool and casual, but still very polished. He is definitely ready for his first day in Kindergarten next week!
Miss E's jacket was quite the challenge. I had never sewed with fur before, it's not all that hard, but my cheap little sewing machine wasn't quite sure what was going on! There were moments I wasn't sure she could handle all the thickness and layers. We made it!
I modified the hood slightly as well as added the front placket and snaps to the jacket original pattern, because of the fur, I added a inside facing, so the fur would"t get caught in the zipper. The jacket is a little big- I was worried about making it too small with the added bulk of the fur, so I sized up and really didn't need to. Not to worry, it will perfect to wear with a sweater underneath this fall.
All in all I am super proud of what I've accomplished here, the sewing could have been a little more meticulous- I wish I still had my industrial machine. I love the raglan sleeves on the Study Hall Jacket, as well as the welt pockets- such a cute style.
Miss E loves her jacket, she didn't want to take it off, even if it was 90 degrees outside! She loves it all actually and now that's mission accomplished!
Here are my too little Collegiate's- plotting their next prank!
Can you blame them from wanting to climb the fence? Where is the fun in standing still and holding hands!!!
I cannot thank Shauna, Kate, Andrea and Melissa enough for trusting me and inviting me to be part of their tour. I had the best time from fabric shopping to coordinating my styles and seeing the end result.
I highly recommend these patterns for an amazing back- to- school look! But hurry, The Alphabet Collection is only available through August 12th.
Thanks you to the lovely Sponsors and all their help. The customer service was without reproach, trust me I was new at this online shopping thing and they helped and answered all my questions.
Join us along the Alphabet Collection blog tour to see just how versatile these patterns are. Bloggers will be sewing up all 4 pieces from the collection at girl. Inspired., Shwin & Shwin, Sew a Straight Line, elsie marley, Melly Sews, Happy Together, see kate sew, Elegance & Elephants, I Still Love You, kojo designs, Petit a Petit and Family, The Train to Crazy, Delia Creates andCraftiness is Not Optional
The patterns, fabric, and notions used to make the garments for this collection were provided free of charge. All links to the Pattern Anthology are affiliate links.