Today is a pretty big day. It’s the day I put on my big girl pants and be brave enough to show you all what I’ve been working on behind the scenes. Behold, the new Desert Rose dress, my first PDF sewing pattern! (Wow, that was pretty theatrical. But better than a boring intro, eh?)
The dress features a dramatic, scooped neckline with a front closure (one big button or two littles), a very gathered skirt, ruffles on the chest and shoulders, and an empire waist. (Shoulder ruffles not pictured here). It’s perfect for little summer-loving souls and those hot days coming your way. My vision for this project was to create a trendy dress for little girls that can be worn comfortably to both church and the park on a warm summer day. The style can be both modern (with no ruffles), or fancy with chest and/or shoulder ruffles. Can’t you picture this as a sweet little flower girl dress, with delicate fabric and pretty little ruffled shoulders?
At this point, the sizing for this dress runs from size 3 months up through size 8. I’m pretty comfortable with that range and can’t WAIT to sew a tiny little one for a friend’s baby. The pattern isn’t ready for release yet, and that’s where YOU come in. I’m looking for some people to help me test the full range of sizes. I sewed a size three for my daughter over the weekend (she’s four, but tiny), then realized that I should have followed my own size chart and sewn her a size 2 bodice! It’s hard to get my mind around her sizing sometimes.
So, I need your help. If you are interested in helping me test this sewing pattern, please click over to my Tester Interest Form (it’s a Google Doc) and fill out your information. I’ve already had a few questions about testing, and below are my responses. You might want to read through these quickly before applying to be a tester. Don’t worry–there aren’t any strict requirements (other than that you know how to sew), but I want you to know what I’m looking for in a tester before you put your name in. (And psst: I’m just so excited you want to apply! Thank you!!)
- How many testers are you looking for? I need two testers for each of the eleven sizes: 3m, 6m, 12m, 18m, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
- What is the timeframe? I will send you the full pattern by Sunday evening, May 4, 2014 and you will have one week to send me feedback and photos. Feedback is due by midnight on Sunday, May 11th (PST).
- Do I need to be a good photographer or have a fancy camera? No. I am primarily looking for testers who can test the fit and read through my instructions. That said, I will also be looking for some testers who can take great photos and are willing to let me use them on my blog and in promotional materials for the dress pattern.
- Do I need to be a sewing blogger? Not at all! I will be taking some testers who blog about sewing, and some who do not.
- How will I send feedback? I will create a Facebook group for my testers where we can talk about fit issues, answer questions, share photos, and generally have fun helping each other out. I can’t wait!
- How much experience do I need to sew this dress? I think this dress pattern fits into the intermediate/adventurous beginner category. There is only one button hole to contend with, so don’t be scared off if you’re a beginner. The other skills you can learn from this dress are: how to gather a skirt, how to sew ruffles, how to line a bodice, hemming, and topstitching. The instructions are straightforward and simple to follow, with clear, helpful photos. I am looking for testers from a range of sewing backgrounds, so both newbies and experienced sewers are welcome!
So please, if you’re interested, head on over and fill out my Tester Interest Form now! I appreciate your help SO MUCH, you don’t even know the half of it. 🙂
And now, on a slightly more personal note: I can’t believe how much blogging has changed for me over the past two years. I used to blog mostly about life, then it transitioned to sewing, and in the past two years I’ve been sharing sewing projects, tutorials, and pattern reviews on a regular basis. Lately, that has begun to change. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and need more sleep than I used to (don’t worry, I’m not saying I’m OLD at only 32, just that I can’t push through the fatigue like I could in my 20s), or if it’s because my three precious children are at a stage of needing more of me, or if it’s simply because I’m a little worn out. I have a lot of side work going on at all times, and keeping so many balls in the air tends to wear on me. But whatever the reason, I find myself wanting to refine my work here at CailaMade. That’s where the Desert Rose dress, and the other sewing patterns I’m working on, come in.
I love this space, and I love all of you. I love sewing, and creating, and designing new things. For the immediate future, I plan to keep sharing tutorials and a bit about my life, but I will also be focusing my attention on these patterns. Sometimes, you just gotta step out and do something new. Sometimes, you just gotta be brave.
And sometimes, you just gotta go play with your kids because they are just so dang precious and grow a little bigger every day. Love you all! Thanks so much for your encouragement and friendship. Mwah!