Sewing: Pattern Anthology Tour


Did you ever do that dumb thing in school when you were given practically an entire semester to write a paper, but you wait until the last night to sew it? I mean write it? Then when you sit down to write it, you end up having all sorts of problems with saving the file, printing and your sewing machine . . . I mean computer?

Working as hard as I do on my calligraphy and graphic design business, I really need to get better at “defending my time”, as Chris calls it. He’s right. I need to do the hard things first. And I need to get them done early. That, or I’ll just sleep when I’m dead.


I was asked to participate in a back-to-school sewing tour for Pattern Anthology. I don’t normally accept these things, but since Penelope is heading off to her first year of Kindergarten and our fabric and notions would be provided, I accepted.


These patterns are meant to be blank slates for boys or girls open for interpretation and mixing. It’s been fun to see the other looks roll out thus far and see how much they vary one from another. Some ladies went all out fancy pants for their kids.

I kept things simple with these patterns, omitting zippers and pockets where ever I could get away with. Penelope is terribly rough on her clothes. I don’t want to spend a load of time creating something fancy just to see her rip out a knee just days or even minutes after. Simple it was.


The Recess Raglan was easy. 30 minutes from printing the PDF to a finished garment. I didn’t finish the hem or the sleeves because I liked how the bodice fabric rolled nicely, and I didn’t want to spend more time on the shirt than completely necessary.

Penelope was really excited to pick out the fabrics. I found both at Girl Charlee; the tribal print was just about sold out, I got the last half yard. I just barely squeaked out the shirt and the pant details. I wish I knew the manufacturer’s info on that print. I want some for me.


The BBC Vest was sort of easy. I assumed a 5/8 inch seam allowance (it was 3/8) and ended up making more work for myself with the collar construction. It all worked out though, and I think this vest works adorably for girls or boys. I omitted the peplum cut because I knew this would be the most versatile. I used an amazing chambray from Michael Levine and an un-dyed, lightweight organic cotton voile from Organic Cotton Plus.

Penelope has a little orange hippo button that I’ve misplaced recently. She wants it on the lapel and I’m happy to oblige. Next time, I want to make the front armscye come in a bit more.


The W Pants were easier than I thought, but I overcomplicated in spots. I wanted to use the stripe bandage knit from Girl Charlee, but it’s a bit see-through. Hating to see penelope’s day-glo underwear on display, I lined the pants with more of that white cotton voile. So worth it.


The sizing is big, so I took in the legs and the crotch seam about 1 1/2 inch or so. Next time I’ll size down to a 4T. The instructions for the fly zip are very clear, but I was too tired. Faux zip it was. I spent a little extra time top-stitching each major seam. Coats & Clark has me converted to using topstitch thread. It looks so much more professional.

I have about 3/4 of a yard left of the chambray from Michael Levine, I may have to make a real zip version of these pants for Penelope.


The Study Hall Jacket was a beast. I started it late, just about broke my sewing machine with the elastic and top-stitching thread. But it’s cute. Like little bumblebee cute.

I would reduce the recommended elastic length, it just didn’t gather as much in the back as I would like. I’m not un-picking and fixing, though. I also didn’t really get the lining assembly instructions so I ended up sewing the lining in by hand. Fit is true to size, borderline short in the arms (but I think Miss Penelope has mommy’s ape-like arms). I knew this piece would take me forever, so I made it gender-neutral. A good hand-me-down for Felix.

Penelope sure loves it. I’ve never worked with a separating zip before, but they’re so much easier to install than regular zippers. The jacket doesn’t match the rest of her outfit, but I figured if I was going to spend the time to create a full-on jacket for Penelope, I wouldn’t worry about matching it up to just one outfit. The yellow twill is from Organic Cotton Plus, the rib knit from Girl Charlee and the zipper from Coats & Clark.


Overall, these patterns are a great way to get a solid block for basic kid’s clothes in your library. Thumbs up! You can view/purchase the entire collection here.

My pain points? I dislike assembling PDF patterns and each pattern has different seam allowances. Still, sewing this collection was a good challenge for me to get my butt in gear before school starts.

Alphabet Collection Blog Tour

Check out each interpretation of the collection as it’s unveiled: girl. Inspired.Shwin & ShwinSew a Straight Lineelsie marleyMelly SewsHappy Togethersee kate sew,Elegance & ElephantsI Still Love Youkojo designs, Petit a Petit and FamilyThe Train to CrazyDelia Creates and Craftiness is Not Optional

All fabric and notions provided by companies mentioned above. Enter code PA10 for 10% off your order at Michael Levine and PATANTHO for 10% off your order at Girl Charlee.


view or add a comment
  • Categories
    1. em says:

      love it. i like the pink in her hair ;) ha she is a cute little stinker.

    2. Kristin H says:

      Turned out fantastic! I love all the mixed prints. Penelope will be the best dressed kid in kinder! I have really got to get my butt in gear, too. Evie starts kinder in two weeks. I’m ignoring the fact, like I do all things that make me dry heave.

    3. Lizzy says:

      Very pretty! love the mix prints, I would like to to sew those pants for my daughter

    4. Haylee says:

      I love how you wrote that first paragraph, ha made me laugh. I loove those pants, that fabric is amazing.

    5. Lady ID says:

      How cute!! and very age appropriate :)

      I’m a teensy bit older than she is but I want those trousers. Actually, the whole outfit…

    6. phil says:

      perfect model for those amazing clothes . ohh cool bee tattoo !!!

    7. This is a great outfit! Outdoing yourself again ;)
      Even our 4yo son said “I think you should make the zebra pants for bunny (she’s almost 3, it might be a nice addition to her bday bundle),
      Great work -as always- I love it!

    8. Marilenn says:

      This outfit is amazing!! You are uber talented!!! I want the pants. :D

    9. kate says:

      that jacket is amazing!! Love the whole outfit. thanks melissa!!

    10. Alysa says:

      WONDERFUL! Most stylish daughter ever. :)

    11. You are a master at pattern mixing!! Those pants are fantastic, and I totally want that shirt with that vest. Please.

    12. Ha! Awesome. I would totally wear this…well, maybe not the little elephants and giraffes but the pants are AMAZING and the vest and jacket too. I’m betting that Penelope thinks you’re the bees knees.

    13. This outfit is amazing! I love the mix of prints. Thanks for the link back.

    mobile site