A few months ago, I joined Sewing Portfolio and recently was selected as a SP Ambassador. My definition of Sewing Portfolio is The Hub, it’s where you create an electronic portfolio of your sewing. Business members have the ability to search the database and find the right candidate for their projects. The other connection block to SP is their Facebook group, here in my opinion is where all the magic happens, relationships are built and bonds are formed. The best thing about Sewing Portfolio is the bond factor they bring to the sewing community. I constantly feel supported in my craft, as well as being introduced to vendors, pattern makers and fabric manufactures on all scale. I encourage you to take a moment and visit Sewing Portfolio’s website, where you can sign up for FREE membership. As an SP Ambassador, you have the opportunity to try fabric before they hit the stores. I am very pleased to share with you my project for the soon to be released Trade Winds Collection by Michael Miller Fabrics.
I received the lovely Tradewinds collection in the color ISLE. All the fabric is 44-45-inch wide and 100% cotton. This collection includes the designs Pineapple Express, Tradewinds, and Marrisa and also comes in Pink and Navy. In all honesty, I think this was the perfect collection for me, since I’m originally from the islands, it takes me back to days when I would head down to the beach and enjoy a stroll in the early morning with my parents.
Ottobre Trumpet Dress was my choice for this project. I wanted to use a pattern with a simple silhouette, yet the cut would still have interesting details. This dress offers both, and sewing for a picky 8-year old is quite challenging. Sophia dislikes anything too form fitting (She hates jeans with a passion, leggings, anything too tight on the arms, anything that may prove to be almost itchy) and she requested it be slightly bigger. Against everything in me, I did as she requested, knowing in a few months she’ll grow into it nicely.
Sophia absolutely love this dress, and wouldn’t take it off, she’s requested I make the other colors in this collection. The fabric is of great quality and I would definitely purchase again, the designs are beautiful and the colors are popping. She had a ball, she knew exactly all the poses she wanted to do and planned the entire photo shoot. The only issue was the girl can’t stay still long enough. Although the adults became quickly exhausted it was well worth it!
I love everything about the design of this dress, the princess seams, the pleats on the skirt and especially the straps. The straps give the effect of a fan or clam, which is my favorite feature, it is also fully lined.
The process was fairly simple until the lining. I had the dress (shell) completed in an hour. What took the most time was trying to wrap my mind around the strap and lining. To be honest, the lining instruction was almost nonexistent. I felt like I was reading a different language when I got to the lining. This threw me off because I’ve added lining before without a glitch.
On the dress, I used Pineapple Express for the Bodice center front and center back and skirt, Tradewinds was used as the waistband and, Marrisa for the straps, side front, and side back, as well as for the lower skirt. The lower skirt was a modification on the pattern. All I did was find the midpoint on the skirt piece and cut in half. Remember to always add seam allowance to your pattern pieces.
My recommendation if you try this dress, add your straps after attaching the lining to the dress (shell). This will save you a lot of headache. I would definitely make this again, now I know the trick.
Thank You, Michael Miller Fabric for making this dress possible. If it wasn’t for Sewing Portfolio and the opportunity to be an Ambassador, I would not have known the joy (enjoyable stress) of sewing for children. It was a delight to see Sophia get excited about the project, her interest in sewing continues to grow. I can confidently say this is a beautiful line and perfect for the tropic traveler!