Holiday Debut Blog Tour
December 7, 2015

Welcome to the first day of the Holiday Debut Blog Tour!

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The holidays evoke feelings of love, joy and excitement – A chance to celebrate with family and friends and a time for traditions and making memories. You can find holiday spirit everywhere you go … even T.V. commercials are more tolerable when set to holiday tunes.

The holidays are also a perfect excuse for creating beautiful outfits for your little ones to wear during the holiday festivities. This year, the Holiday Debut Blog Tour is arriving at the right time to inspire your holiday looks.

The Holiday Debut Blog Tour celebrates the end of the debut year for three new and fabulous designers: Saskia Smith of The Wolf and the Tree, Gabriela Longfish of Chalk and Notch, and Holli Coats of Hello Holli. (Read the designers’ intros here to learn more about each of these lovely ladies: GabrielaSaskiaHolli).

During the tour, patterns from each of the three designers are featured in holiday-themed looks for girls. The Holiday Debut Blog Tour runs from December 7-12, with bloggers each day sharing the holiday looks we’ve created from these patterns. And if that wasn’t enough excitement for your week, there are over $300 in prizes up for grabs and discounts on the featured patterns (see details at the end of this post).

Check out all of the amazing inspiration this week through the blogger’s links below:

Monday, Dec 7th: Willow & Stitch | East & Eden | In a manner of sewing | Climbing the Willow
Tuesday, Dec 8th: Kaleidothought | Feathers Flights | Connected by a Thread | Call Ajaire
Wednesday, Dec 9th: Rebel & Malice | Free Notion | The Whole Sh-Bang | House of Estrela
Thursday, Dec 10th: Candice Ayala | Cindy Parrett | Hi and Hello | Made by Toya
Friday, Dec 11th: Just Add Fabric | Conversas de Hermanas | Glitter+Wit | Sew Starly
Saturday, Dec 12th: 
Paisley Roots | Petit a Petit + family | Life With Zeke | Made by Sara

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Ok .. now that we have gotten through the nitty gritty, let’s get into my interpretation of the patterns. Each of the bloggers are featuring at least two out of the three patterns on the tour. I chose to sew up a Blue Ridge Dress from Hello Holli and a Fishtail Kimono from Chalk & Notch. I would have also sewn up the darling Abby Footed Tights, but I simply ran out of time with all of the holiday sewing projects and holiday activities already gearing up. My daughter and I chose to go with a “Holiday Glam” theme as she loves all things glamorous and never passes up an opportunity to get dressed up.


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First up is the Fishtail Kimono by Chalk & Notch. I was lucky enough to be a tester for this versatile pattern. Gabriela has designed a fashionable top that is a quick sew, is perfect for layering and leaves a big impact. The Fishtail Kimono can be made of knits or wovens.  The pattern comes together easily and the instructions are fantastic. My daughter practically lives in the first one I made her, so I knew a “Holiday Glam” version would be equally loved. We decided to go with a super soft faux fur in ivory.


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I made a couple of simple changes to the pattern in order to execute the look. The first change I made was to crop the sleeves 4″ above the pattern marking  (for the size M). I figured the shorter sleeves would reduce the bulk of the faux fur and also allow for a layering look, showing the sleeves of the garment worn below.


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I also cropped about 2″ off the overall length to help with proportions when wearing the kimono over a dress. This was also a decision made due to a shortage of fabric … eek.


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To follow with the dressy theme, I added satin ties at the chest that finish in a simple bow. I also chose to fully line the kimono by simply cutting out all of the body pattern pieces out of lining, assembling per the instructions and then sewing RST around the border, leaving a small opening for finishing the sleeves and then turning the entire kimono right side out. The final result is a super cute piece that can be worn over a fancy dress, yet also look great over a long sleeved tee and jeans. We adore how it turned out and I will love it even more after I finally get all the pesky faux fur fuzz off my face and sewing table!


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The second garment I made for the tour is the lovely Blue Ridge Dress by Hello Holli. When Holli first released sneak peeks of this pattern, it was love at first sight! I applied to be a tester, but alas, was not chosen. Fate brought the pattern back to me when I was invited to be part of this tour. I knew I wanted to do something unexpected to continue with our “Holiday Glam” theme. In order to do this, I did make a few modifications (don’t get me wrong, the pattern is absolutely, totally fabulous as is, I just like to add a unique twist to everything I do … It’s not you Blue Ridge Dress, its me). The first modification was to add sleeves. Our Chicago winters generally require a little more coverage than the original pattern allowed for, but adding sleeves was a snap. I extended each armscye about an inch toward the shoulder then used a sleeve pattern piece from a different pattern that had a very similar armscye shape. By using a stretch velvet, easing the sleeves in was a breeze.


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The next modification was to cut the hem into a high-low shape. I wish I could take credit for this design element, but it was all my daughter. She suggested, “Mom, why don’t we do a high-low hem to match the line of the bias tape at the chest?” Why, yes, 6 year old daughter, that does sound like the perfect idea …. #futuredesignerinthemaking!!! Her eye for fashion often amazes me … and yet sometimes leaves me in a state of bewilderment 😉


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Ahh, yes, the beautiful curve of the Blue Ridge Dress bodice.


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The biggest surprise of our Blue Ridge Dress has to be the open strappy back. The dress is a bit of a fashion mullet … business in the front, party in the back 😉 The straps attach in between the outer and lining back pieces and are brought together under a bit of crystal glitz. When in doubt, put diamonds on it.


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She’s so sophisticated, glamorous and comfortable in her holiday Blue Ridge. Needless to say, she loves it. She would have slept in it tonight if I would have let her …. maybe on Christmas Eve, babe.


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The gathers on the Blue Ridge Dress pattern really are sweet. I used a slightly different bias tape method due to the back construction. I didn’t want to leave the bias tape off all together because it is a perfect design element that accentuates the bodice lines.


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And another look at the back because one look isn’t enough 😉


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On a personal note, after months and months of no front teeth, little miss finally has teeth coming in!! I guess we won’t be singing “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”. Instead of wishing for teeth, we will be wishing for more amazing patterns from Gabriela, Saskia, and Holli in the year to come!


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And now for the prizes … make sure you check out the posts throughout the tour and enter via Rafflecopter. Winner will be chosen at random and announced at the end of the tour. Don’t fret if you do not win, all of the patterns in the tour are 20% off now with the code HOLIDAY.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fabric Shops Gift Certificates:
BWD Fabrics & Supplies | $50 Imagine Gnats | 20 EU Girl Charlee UK
Sewing Patterns:
Hello Holli-Blue Ridge Dress | The Wolf and the Tree-choice of pattern | Chalk and Notch-Fishtail Kimono | Baste+Gather-Copy of all patterns | True Bias-Men’s Hudson Pants | Jennuine Design-choice of pattern | Sew Sweetness-choice of pattern | Radiant Home Studios-Highland House Pattern | Paisley Roots- copy of all patterns | Atelier Louise-Silver Sans Sandal pattern | Tinman Pattern-choice of pattern | Pattern Pieces-Fun Tee Pattern | Lorelei Jayne-Tech Pouch pattern | Designs by Call Ajaire-choice of pattern | The Ruffled Stitch-Flower Stripe Top/Dress pattern | Petit a Petit Family-choice of 2 patterns
$25 Sew Sew Rachel

Good luck, happy sewing and happy holidays! – Vanessa


  1. That dress is a STUNNER! I love your interpretation, it is a perfect holiday look! And that high/low hem… oh yeah, a perfect match to the bodice! Thank you so much for joining us!

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