Years ago I bought some adorable blue corduroy fabric with little cows on it with the intention of making overalls for my then-pre-school-aged cousins. Yeah, there's a serious age difference going on! So I cut my tissue paper patterns, laid out the pieces "just so" and cut my fabric, then I put it all away to work on when I had more time to devote to putting them together. Fast forward, um, well, let's just say it's been more than ten years and those overalls are still sitting in a bag, waiting to be made. I did actually pull the fabric out about a year ago, thinking they might fit my own kids, but honestly, the directions to put them together were just more than I wanted to deal with. I think I actually got the pockets on the fronts, maybe the backs, but they never looked quite lined up, and I just didn't want to keep going if they were going to be crooked.
Recently I found Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop and when Amy, the owner/designer, started posting previews of her overall jumper, I was smitten! It was exactly the look I wanted to make for my kids! The great thing about PAB is that she offers a few free patterns on her website to try out. I can't even imagine what it takes to figure out and put together a paper pattern but these are amazing! What I didn't realize was that I have actually been wanting to pick up her Classic Footed Pajama pattern for about a year now but never thought to really look at her site, I had no idea what I was missing out on!
First of all, you get the pattern for an incredibly reasonable price and most patterns come in sizes 3 months to children's size 10! You can't get a single tissue paper pattern in that many sizes! Plus, since it is a digital file, you can print it off as many times as you need! For me, I print the pattern in black-and-white, then I use pattern tracing paper to trace the size I need. I prefer using the pattern paper (similar to interfacing) over printing a new pattern only because my printer uses up ink very quickly. I am planning to purchase some accordion files to store the original printed pattern and each traced size in the same area.
The directions for the patterns (well, for every one that I have gotten so far) comes not only with detailed instructions but lots of photos for easy reference. The photos are great because they are not those black-and-white diagrams of what some manufacturer thinks the items should look like, PAB instruction photos are full color, actual project photos, some include additional markings. Again, in a effort to not allow my printer to force me into bankruptcy, I actually use my Adobe Reader on my tablet to scroll through instructions. I am even able to "mark up" my notes using Reader, so if I decide to go out of order (which is something I do a lot) I can mark what steps I have done so I don't miss a thing!
I have to say though, one of the greatest things about these patterns is the support from not only the designer but also from her testers and other sewists! Amy has a blog where she shares tutorials for patterns, updates followers on new patterns or news, offers free tutorials (and patterns) for designs not in her store and also shares mash-up tips where you can take patterns and mash-them-up to make your own hybrid patterns! There is also a Facebook page and group (this is a closed group and you must request to join) to get help with patterns, ideas, even great places to purchase fabric!
So! When the Oopsy Daisy Overalls Jumper was being released, I just knew I had to have it! The great thing is, there are lots of ways to get a discount! I not only got the jumper during a Thrifty Thursday special sale, when I added the Okie Dokie Overalls (pants/shorts) there was a coupon code for $3 off! I did happen to have twill fabric that I wanted to use for these patterns, and in the Facebook group, Amy was doing a sew-along, which is fabulous because it helps to break down the pattern and addresses any issues people might be having with making the patterns.
I had every intention of sewing along with everyone else, up until I found out my iron was broken. I was so bummed! At the end of the sew along, people were encouraged to post their completed photos for a chance to win a store credit! Even though I didn't finish in time for the "contest" I was able to borrow an iron in order to get the overalls made. After making them, I will never (well, at least in my foreseeable future never) buy another tissue-paper pattern again! Even as a work-at-home-mom of two little girls, the jumper took me about four or five hours, including cutting time, although it was spread out across a couple days. When I was ready to make the overalls, they took me significantly less time to put together!
I seriously can't wait to make my next patterns! In the next week I have plans to make Halloween costumes for my kids! Be sure to check that out here.
I have about a dozen patterns now from PAB, and I love the variety. Since Samie loves dresses so very much, I have a feeling my next few projects are going to be for her. I also bought patterns to make snow pants and jacket, a zippered hoodie and a camisole and panties pattern, since Samie is so hard to shop for when it comes to undergarments! I have to admit, my wishlist includes pretty much every pattern on the site, but from what I have seen in the Facebook group, most of these patterns go together incredibly quickly!