Are you familiar with the Sewing Portfolio website? It was started by Candice Ayala, who has been very active in the sewing community. I first came across her work when I was a tester for Sew Much Ado, testing the Magrath Dress pattern. She is an amazing seamstress and I’ve always admired her attention to detail in her makes. Well, she got this grand idea to start a website where sewers could display their work in an online portfolio. The website would work to connect sewers and designers together. Once you create an account on the website, you’re able to join the Sewing Portfolios Facebook group. Here, designers are constantly making calls for testers and other great opportunities. Candice has really big plans and isn’t afraid to dream big, so I really recommend getting in on the action now while the site is growing.
Quite awhile back there was a call for sewers to apply to become a Sewing Portfolio Ambassador. I applied and Yay! got accepted in the first round. All the ambassadors received 2-3 yards of Michael Miller Fabric (1 yard of each print). The exciting part, was that we could do whatever we wanted with the fabric. When I got my fabric, from the How Does Your Garden Grow line (I’ve got all the links at the bottom of the post!), I immediately envisioned a fun bright summer dress. My daughter is 8 and 54″ tall. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough fabric to create a dress using mostly the floral fabric. Don’t you hate it when you have an idea, but can’t execute it?! It seems nearly impossible to change direction. So, my fabric sat for quite awhile. Sorry Candice! Finally, once school started this fall and my mind was able to think freely again, I decided to do a top. I had a few options I was considering, but decided on the Saumur Dress by Lil Luxe Collection shortened into a tunic.
I’ve made the Saumur Dress before and loved the fit and details of the dress. I knew the lime green print would really pop when used as piping and for the ties. The pattern originally calls for an invisible zipper, but I wanted to break up the loud floral print a bit, so opted to use an exposed zipper instead. I’m super happy I went with that option, because I think it really makes the top special. I didn’t have to change the pattern at all to add the zipper. I used a combination of directions for applying the zipper. The Magrath dress from Sew Much Ado has great directions for adding an exposed zipper into a lined dress, but the zipper is tucked into the skirt seam on the Magrath. I wanted to extend the zipper past the waist seam since the Saumur is a bit more fitted at the waist. So, I refered back to Megan Nielsen’s Brumby Skirt pattern for her directions in applying an exposed zipper to make sure things were squared off nicely at the bottom of the zipper.
One of the main reasons I chose the Saumur Dress pattern is because of the princess seams down the front and back bodice. I knew those seams would provide the perfect opportunity to add some custom piping. I realized when sewing up the top, it’s been awhile since I last added piping to anything. This make definitely reignited my love for piping! It’s so easy to make custom piping and it always adds such a special touch.
I’m really happy with this top. I finished it about a month ago before it got too cold here. Luckily, my daughter had some time to wear it without a sweater for a little while. It was actually in the upper 70’s when I took these photos in late October! The print is super summery. I’m really hoping it still fits when the weather starts to warm up again this spring. Regardless, bright fun colors are welcome any time of the year in my mind!
Pattern: Saumur Dress by Lil Luxe Collection
Fabric: Michael Miller How Does Your Garden Grow Bellflower Garden and Pebble Path Citron
Zipper: 12″ YKK Brass Teeth Zipper in Hot Pink from Zipit (this shop is my favorite place to buy all my zippers!)