Friday, August 8, 2014

The most useful pattern ever

 What is your most useful pattern? The one you use time and again, in endless variations?  For me, it is Jocole's Shoreline tank pattern.  I literally love this pattern!

This is what a classic Shoreline tank looks like.  It is a tank top, made from knit fabric, with ruffles across the front. It can be made for newborns on up to size 14 girls and also comes in women's sizes. And you can make it for your doll.

This pattern is useful because you can make the top with or without the ruffle. You can make the straps from the same fabric or fold over elastic. And you can extend the pattern yourself to make it into a dress of any length. 

And I have made it full length, as well, but apparently I didn't save pictures of that until now.  Today, I made two Shoreline tank night gowns, both full length. Both are for my tween, who loves comfortable and not fussy things. So, for her, this is the perfect summer nightgown.

jocole shoreline tank

This green floral fabric is by Fresh Produce and I got it at Banberry Place Fabrics, my fave store for knits.  It has a bit of stretch, just enough for this pattern.

This red dot is by Riley Blake and I got it from a friend. It is super duper soft and very stretchy, so I made the straps a smidge shorter to account for the stretch. 

These are both size 14.

I have also heard of mamas taking Shoreline tank and cutting it shorter and attaching a skirt, to make a dress. I plan to do this really soon and will definitely share with you all. For now, I have some shoreline tank dress nightgowns to make for my other daughter!

And tell me, please, what is your most useful pattern ever? The one you sew the most?

Note: I love Jodi Jean to bits and we are friends on Facebook but she has never paid me to write one word about her. Everything in this post is 100% my opinion and clicking on any links will not earn me a cent. But, go buy some Jocole patterns anyway!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Making blogging changes, checking priorities

This week, I am making blogging changes because my priorities are changing. And this is exciting!

First of all, you can now easily get around the Handmade Dress Haven blogosphere by clicking on my avatar, newly annointed with social media icons.  This only took me two hours to create and size correctly, so please use it!

Secondly, you will notice the addition of Betsy Button to my sidebar.  I have decided that I really like to sew and I really like to share my sewing and chat about sewing but I do not enjoy the work that it takes to create a blog that will be followed by thousands.  For the last six months, I have read books, joined groups, participated in blog hops and sewalongs, and done everything I could think of (short of buying a new camera) to get my blog seen by others and earn some money from it, but it was just irritating me beyond belief and so I am calling it a day.  It is just too much work to get a blog in the market today, at least if you want to push it and not let your following develop organically. It involves taking great pictures, sharing your links here, there and everywhere, networking, and getting your tutorials seen by as many people as possible.  And, if you don't have a product to sell, it is also very difficult to get noticed, especially if your photographs are not professional-grade. And, even if you do spend 40 hours a week writing stellar tutorials and sharing professional-looking photographs, you still might not make any money at all. Frustrating!  And I just don't have it in my heart to be a business person. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why anyone would think I am more special than the next person.  I think that is kind of funny, but it is true.  It is hard for me to do self promotion.

But, Betsy Button is here to help me promote my sewing! And cutting back on blogging hours gives me more time for Betsy and for my own children.  And just who is Betsy Button? Well I wrote about her a while back, in this post.  She is basically the mascot for a Facebook boutique some friends of mine run. I am one of the team and happy to be there. We run big, themed auctions every other week with accessories and clothing for children and sometimes for mom. But, almost every week day, we also run auctions for items we've made and these daily auctions start at $1!  Some of them go quite high, some stay low. You can get some beautiful stuff so please check them out!

And our next Big Auction is August 6th.  The theme is Storybook.

Finally, you will notice that the ads in the sidebar have all been deleted.  Why bother!  I hate ads.  I felt guilty having ads in my own blog when I block ads everywhere else. I use Firefox as my browser because I can use Adblocker to keep the annoying ads at bay. But, I felt guilty about blocking every other blogger's ads when I was asking them to click on mine so I unblocked them. And then I got annoyed by all the ads!  You have to laugh at me. I am such a dork! 

So, ads are gone except affiliations. But, in the case of affiliations, I am not asking you to do anything but merely providing you an easy way to buy something I love and give me a small commission. I know that when I shop for patterns now, I always find a friend who is an affiiliate so I can give her the commission.

At any rate, that's the scoop!! 

Friday, August 1, 2014