8, 9…Perfect 10

I’ve now had the pleasure of testing two of Cassie’s patterns for Little Lizard King.  Cassie is great to work with – not only is she creative (as evidenced by the 10 options in this pattern), but she’s patient and quick to make adjustments as testers get back to her.  That last quality is so important in a designer!  If you’ve got two or three people testing a size and the first one out of the gate finds a fit problem, if the designer is quick to make adjustments, those changes can be tested by those who aren’t as far a long.

Cassie allowed us to pick which options we wanted to test and I chose the Peter Pan collar and button tabs.  Come close and I’ll tell you a little secret: I suck at Peter Pan collars.  I always feel like they’re going to be too big and end up placing them high so they end up too small.  Gah! The Perfect Ten pieces are perfect and they’re easy, don’t get me wrong, just don’t over think it, like I did.  My daughter still loves the way ours turned out but I will definitely just follow the pattern’s pictures next time and not trust my own eye. 😉

Perfect Ten Tester

The fit on the Perfect Ten top is spot on.  I used the measurement chart and my daughter falls squarely in a size 4 even though she is transitioning to 5’s in store-bought.  It fits her like it was made for her!  The nice thing, though, is that I could easily make her a 5 and she would not be swimming in it if I wanted a bit longer wear for her.

We paired our Perfect Ten top with the Kid Shorts by Made.  My daughter NEVER asks to wear anything but skirts or a dress, so when she recently asked for a pair of shorts to wear over leggings I jumped all over making her a pair!

The Perfect Ten is definitely a top that is a “need” – its versatility and size range (12 mos – girls 14) make it a very economical pattern.

Perfect Ten Full 2

Head over to Little Lizard King to purchase your copy of the Perfect Ten.


Paid to Wash My Face

Totally off the subject of clothing/sewing/testing – I’m trying something new!

Recently, I signed up to be a consultant with Rodan + Fields.  I’m excited because, honestly, it’s a little out of my comfort zone (not the washing my face part of it – I’m good with that); I don’t consider myself a “salesperson”.  However, lately, I’ve really felt the need to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to try things that don’t come first nature to me.

The great thing with the R+F products is that they are really good and just talking with someone about them is about all of the “sales” I’ll need to do.  I love that there is a 60-day money back guarantee – if for some reason you don’t like the products you get your money back.  Did you hear that?  You. Get. Your. Money. Back.  Name somewhere else that you can get dermatologist-developed products risk-free.  If you go to a dermatologist and they give you  prescription for something you don’t get to fill it, try and go back to Walgreens to return it if you’re unhappy with it.

You may wonder if Rodan + Fields is a fly-by-night company that just popped up to take advantage of peoples’ desire to improve their skin.  Um, no.  You’ve most likely heard of ProActiv – Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields are they original doctors behind it.  They realized that there was a need in the marketplace for solution-based skincare.  Have adult acne; sun-damaged skin; skin that is dull/lifeless and/or becoming lined/wrinkled; or red, irritated skin?  There is a line of products for each of these with clearly defined steps to combat the problem.  They’ve also added tools (roller, Macro-Exfoliator, Acute Care – a wrinkle filler) to aid in getting great results!

Speaking of results, here is a quick picture showing results real people got from the four different regimens – awesome, right?

Four Regimens pic

I mentioned the 60-day money back guarantee but the other thing I love is that you can enroll as a Preferred Customer and receive free shipping as well as a 10% discount on orders BUT you’re not locked in to an auto-ship program.  You continue to order what you need, when you need it!

At 38, I can start to see my skin aging and it’s not my favorite thing that’s happened lately (unlike the gray hairs that are becoming more frequent or the challenge it is to lose weight – I SUPER love those things).  Blah.

If you’re interested in learning more about Rodan+Fields, whether we know each other really well or are just acquaintances (the old word for “Facebook Friend”), I’d love to talk with you!

Feel free to email me at: amylytle11@yahoo.com or visit my R+F site at http://www.amylytle.myrandf.com

Let’s talk!

Drop Waist Diva

Recently, I had the opportunity to test a new pattern put out by Little Lizard King.  Not only is the pattern new, the designer is new, too!  Cassie’s inaugural pattern is the Drop Waist Diva, an adorable girl’s dress.

My daughter measured perfectly for a four which is what I made in my first version.  The pattern has many options to modify sleeve lengths as well as styles.  I chose to go simple with cuffed long sleeves.  There are instructions and pieces for adding a ruffle to the shoulder as well as making cute ruched elbow-length sleeves and short sleeves. Everything about the bodice was a perfect fit and went together so easily!

For the skirt on my first version, again I went simple, just using the measurements provided in the pattern for a simple skirt.  There is an adorable tiered version that I plan to make soon for Christmas – it’s adorable!  I added a bow and after attempting to pin it on, ended up tacking it down in the middle prior to tying.  I figure this way I can still easily iron it later.


Additionally, Cassie has included instructions for upcycling cute shirts.  I loved this idea and found an adorable shirt at Walmart.  I decided I would go up one size for this one – so I followed the instructions for a five.  While it is cute on my daughter and she likes it, you can definitely see that it is too big.  It just reinforced for me how spot on the measurements are in the pattern!  It probably looks even bigger than it really is since she pulled the sleeves down over her freezing hands.  She was a trooper taking all of these pictures in 20 degree weather!  (She has to have something to talk about in therapy later, right?!)

DWD Christmas

The latest version I made was out of knit French Terry.  I had purchased this for a tunic for myself but had plenty left for a “matching” dress for her.  She was so excited for us to be “matchers”.  I went back to a size four for this one and followed the same instructions other than reducing the width of the skirt piece since this was a much bulkier fabric than the pattern was written for.  I love the way it turned out and it’s so cozy!

Seriously, it was cold, I think she was trying to keep her eyes from watering.  We took three pics and decided we were done and headed in for hot cocoa.

Drop Waist Diva Knit

Cassie’s pattern, as you can see is not only adorable, but very versatile as well.  I love it and you should grab it!  Be sure to post your photos in the LLK group on Facebook.

Business in the Front

…Party in the Back!

I’ve been a sewing fool!

I’ve been working on projects like crazy lately – Anna and Elsa dresses, slippers, a new church dress for my daughter…but when the opportunity to sew for myself came up, I jumped at the chance.

Ballard Test standing

Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs posted a sneak of a women’s top she would soon be testing and I loved it.  I immediately commented on her Facebook page telling her I would love the opportunity to test.  I had recently been in another designer’s test group where Kimberly was a tester as well and she provided great feedback (like the kind where you have to go look up the definition of a sewing term to see what she was referencing, great) so I was pretty sure she’d produce a great pattern as well!

We received the pattern to begin testing and I jumped on it.  I had some cheap black fabric of questionable heritage (there may have been some polyester in its lineage) that had the appropriate amount of stretch so I dove in.  The pattern taped up quickly and it matched up perfectly!  If you ever taped a pattern together before, let alone a first round draft, you know that is a big deal.  Once cut out, this is SUCH a fast sew.  Seriously fast.  I love that you don’t have to turn and hem the cuffs and bottom of the shirt – they are all banded.  The fit of my first go was great but it was a bit unrefined.  I’m not gonna lie though, it hasn’t stopped me from wearing it; I’m not so refined either.

Based on feedback and pictures of fit from all of our tests, Kimberly made adjustments to the neckline, the tapering of the sides into the waistband and the waistband itself.  I also followed the instructions better for my second one and measured not only my bust but also my hips/waist.  I ended up making an 8 graded down to a 6 which (not suprisingly) made for a better fit – go figure: following directions = better fitting final product!

While I still need to make a couple of changes to my pictured version (I sewed this one prior to the bit of tapering at the bottom), I really love it!  I even wore it to church this morning and received compliments from several people; I consider that a win!

Ballard Close up

My pictured version is made out of a sweater knit for the front piece and a mesh/chiffon type fabric (again of questionable heritage, I got both of these in a stuffed remnant box – remember I’m super classy and refined) for the sleeves and back.  I love that it feels kind of dressy!

Ballard Back 2

I highly recommend the Ballard top for a really quick sew for yourself; you won’t be disappointed. The pattern is available exclusively on Indie Sew for the first two weeks so hop over there and get your Ballard Top!  Follow along this week on other blogs to see more examples of this great top.


Many thanks to my friend Susan at Three Penguins for the pictures.  It was our last picture date together since she moved last week (sniff).  I think I’m gonna have to invest in a remote and tripod (double sniff).

Lucky No. 15

E smiling

Recently, I had the opportunity to test a new-to-me designer’s dress.  Allison from E+M Patterns has several patterns in her shop, but this is the first I opportunity I had to sew up one of her patterns.

The style of this dress is spot on trend-wise.  It has a shirred waist (first time shirrer, here!), cute ties at the shoulders (super easy to follow directions for this) and a flattering boat-style neckline.

Back of Dress

I sewed up my tester in a black and khaki striped sweater knit.  It instantly added sophistication to the dress which is one of things I really liked about this pattern – sew it up in a patterned knit for a fun look or use a solid knit or sweater knit for an entirely different look and feel.

My daughter is a pretty average sized four-year old and fit right into the measurements for a four.  I was very happy with the fit as a dress on her.  I think this would be adorable in tunic length as well paired with leggings and a jean jacket or cute sweater to carry it in to fall and even winter, depending on where you live.

I highly recommend adding the Girl’s Dress No.15 to your collection and ‘liking’ Allison’s Facebook page to keep up with other new patterns as she releases them.  Run now to buy the pattern at a discounted rate of $5 with the code TOUR15 in the Etsy shop.  Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour to see more No.15 dresses.

Blog Tour (1)

Don’t forget to enter to enter the contest below to win dress No. 15 as well as a pattern of your choice.

http://a Rafflecopter giveaway

Growing EXPO-nentially – a teacher gift

We start back to school tomorrow and luckily we’re all super excited for the year to start.  (I’m not gonna lie, Mama might be the most excited)  The last couple of years I’ve made a small zippered pouch for my son’s teachers full of little “survival” type things – gum, lip gloss, Band-Aids, and ibuprofen.  This year, I just wasn’t into that, plus I thought it might be nice to start the year off with supplies that always seem in demand by the end of the year.  Last year, by the end of the year, dry-erase markers were dried up and boards were stained.  So…

Expo Teacher Gift 3


Sometimes being able to come up with cheesy sayings comes in handy; an easy little gift that turned out super cute!  

Just gather your supplies: 

Expo Teacher Gift 2


and put them in a cute little jar, tie with fun ribbon or twine, add a tag and done!

Expo Teacher Gift 1


I love this “project” (and I use that word VERY loosely since this was so easy) because you don’t have to have a Silhouette (which I do) or any other craft machine.  Just run cardstock through your printer and cut (I did use some old scrapbooking scissors circa 2006).

Want to use it as a mid-year gift?  Simply change the wording to “I’m growing EXPO-nentially this year” or “I’ve grown EXPO-nentially this year”.  

In case you don’t feel like typing it up yourself, here is the document in PDF form – print and go!  

Expo Label

Made for Mermaids: Hailey Ruffle Pants

Hailey Tester Full View Back WATERMARK

Whenever I see that Megan Gorman, the designer behind Made for Mermaids has a tester call out, I jump at the chance to apply.  Megan’s daughter is close in age to mine and she always seems to have something coming out that works well for us.

The newest release, the Hailey Ruffle Pants certainly fall into a “need” for us as preschool starts soon.  My daughter is a skirt/dress-a-holic and doesn’t willingly wear pants or leggings (unless they’re UNDER a skirt or dress).  With the ruffle around the waist of these, we’re calling them her “skirt pants”.  If you’re a mama of a strong-willed fashionista, you understand.

The pants are a comfy fit without being a super wide leg.  I appreciate that the ruffle at the hem is sized well so that it isn’t too over the top (although, you could certainly cut them longer and ruffle more if that’s the look you want).  The waist ruffle is the icing on the cake – it too is sized appropriately so that it’s a cute added detail but not too bulky to look silly.  Of course, if you’re looking for a more basic pant, the waist ruffle can easily be omitted.

Hailey Tester Front Waist WATERMARK

I made my tester pair out of a red and white striped knit with a bit of stretch.  My waist ruffle is a stretchy lace-like fabric I found at Joann earlier this summer.  The pattern is written to allow you to use either woven or knit for the pants as well as the ruffles!  The waistband needs to be a knit with a good bit of lycra in order for the pants to stay up.

Like Megan’s other patterns, this one comes in sizes 1/2 – 14.

Testing for Megan was a pleasure and I appreciate her taking feedback so well and making changes for a better fit.  The final version of the Hailey Ruffle Pants should be out this week and you’ll be able to get your copy on Etsy or Craftsy.

Run and make your sweetie a pair of “skirt pants”!

Hailey Tester Full View WATERMARK