Pattern Review ~ Amelia Shirt PDF Pattern from Frog Legs & Ponytails

on July 14 | in Products | by | with 31 Comments

AmeliaTopPR230 Pattern
Amelia Shirt PDF Pattern from Frog Legs and Ponytails


Catherine from Happy in the in Between is learning to sew and had a lot of fun making her own version of the Amelia Shirt from Frog Legs and Ponytails. The Amelia Shirt and our other Frog Legs and Ponytails selections are all PDF sewing patterns; you can purchase and then get to work sewing right away! Visit Catherine at Happy in the in Between, take a look at her introduction and enjoy her review today.

Catherine writes: When I tell you that I am beginner at this whole sewing thing, you should know that I am still really early in the beginnings stages, like the starting gun just went off and I’m not even winded yet. Because of that, I’m not even familiar with the “lingo” of sewing yet and having to look up simple terms like “in the fold” (to confirm what I think it means) tends to discourage me. So when Sew,Mama,Sew! sent out a call for beginning sewers who would be interested in reviewing a pattern, I jumped at the chance. Anything that would hold me to a sewing project that I worried was above my means sounded like a good thing, accountability and all.

Once I got the Amelia pattern, my worry only increased. There are two fabrics! I have to make my own bias tape… and use it correctly! (See, I told you I’m a newbie.) But the Sew,Mama,Sew! folks had assured me that it was a great pattern for beginners, and I chose to believe them.

With fabric in hand (and pre-washed), I read through the pattern. I admit, I found it daunting. But after orienting myself with the instructions, I chugged ahead…

For more detail shots of Catherine’s sewing process with the Amelia pattern, visit this set in Catherine’s photos.

Description & Materials
This is a straight shirt with a drawstring neck. Style-wise, it’s a version of the popular children’s pillowcase dresses all grown-up as an adult shirt.

AmeliaPR7101.jpg title=

Materials
Aside from the regular scissors, thread, and all that jazz, you need:

  • 1 1/8 – 1 ½ yard main fabric

  • 3/8 – ½ yard coordinating trim fabric
  • & a tube turning tool (though I had trouble finding one, so let’s call this optional)
Fabric Recommendations
The pattern calls for quilting-weight cottons, light-weight decorator cottons, linen, or muslin. I would avoid fabrics that are too light, as you do want a bit of weight so that the shirt will hang correctly.

AmeliaPR7103.jpg title=

Hem detail.

Overall Design 5 stars
This pattern was extremely easy to understand and follow along with, even for a newbie like me whose only foray into clothing sewing was two pillowcase dresses. Even with my limited experience, I had very few (and only minor) hang-ups and the shirt looks exactly like it’s supposed to (huge victory for me!). I couldn’t be more pleased with it.

 

Written Instructions 5 stars
Very easy to follow. If you’re a beginner, be sure to read through them a couple of times before you get going because the pattern does tend to lump multiple steps together. My brain needed me to process each action in a more step-by-step fashion, but yours will probably work faster.

Diagrams / Images 5 stars
There are very few diagrams in this pattern, but the images were extremely helpful. But more than anything, I appreciated the pictures. In fact, when making the trim band I incorrectly assumed that folding it length-wise meant to fold it with the length of the trim band rather than the length of the shirt. But, because the picture showed me that I should be able to see two right sides, I was able to figure out what it was that I was expected to do with no problem.

Pattern Pieces 5 stars
There was only one, which was for the armhole, but because this is a stage I struggled with on my two previous sewing attempts, I was quite grateful for the pattern piece. It guaranteed I cut the right shape and made more confident. And, of course, it worked perfectly.

Overall Level of Difficulty Easy Peasy
Seriously, if I could do this without messing anything up, anyone can. I was a little worried about certain parts, like making my own trim band, but the instructions were so clear that I didn’t have any problems with it. Aside from some relatively crooked stitching, I think my shirt looks perfect.

AmeliaPR7102.jpg title=

Tie detail

Tips + Modifications
I was unable to find a tube turner, but the pattern didn’t offer alternate suggestions on how to create the tie. I ended up simply finagling the pattern through with my fingers by pushing up the fabric on the inside and then pulling it out the open side. I’m sure there’s a better/faster/less-frustrating way, but I didn’t know it and this worked for me.
Conclusion
This really was the perfect pattern for someone just starting to sew. The stitching wasn’t complicated and each step was easy, but they helped me sharpen skills that I will need as I continue other, more difficult patterns. It took me about 4-5 hours (spaced out over the course of a day), but a lot of that time had to do with my double and triple checking I was doing things right. If you have any sewing skill at all, this could easily take just an hour or two. I couldn’t be more proud of this, the first shirt I ever made for myself.
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31 Responses to Pattern Review ~ Amelia Shirt PDF Pattern from Frog Legs & Ponytails

  1. Kristi says:

    I made this pattern and it was one of the best patterns I have ever used! She shows all the important details, clearly explains everything and you get a super cute top at the end! My only complaint is that next time I make it (trust me there will be many next times as this is so cute and simple!) I will do the tie differently. It took me a really long time to turn it – I think maybe next time safety pins on the right side of the fabric and sewing so the opening to turn is in the middle of the tie. I have another pattern that did it that way and it was a snap to make. Overall, I highly recommend this pattern but especially for beginners as you get a good introduction to several sewing concepts and you get a great finished product!

  2. Teresa says:

    I think it looks great! I still consider myself a pretty new sewer…so congrats for taking on the challenge. What a wonderful accomplishment. :)

  3. Emily says:

    I purchased this pattern on the strength of this review – and I love it! I am a beginner and did all the cutting and sewing in a single night. I wore the top to work this morning and have gotten five compliments in 30 minutes! I am already thinking about what fabrics to use for making my next top. Thanks for a useful, comprehensive review and the courage to branch out beyond wrap skirts!

  4. Paula says:

    I just have one thing to say to all of you who hate to turn tubes…..YARN! It is so easy to turn anything! All you do is lay a piece of yarn that has been cut slightly longer than tube material, into the fold of the tube. Make sure it is hanging out the end that you will be sewing SHUT. Then fold your material and sew the tube as the directions state. Make sure when you sew the END of the tub that you sew small stitches to catch the yarn in the end. Then to turn the tube gently pull the yarn from the open end of the tube. It will come right out, easily turning the tube right side out as it comes. Clip the yarn off close to the closed end and you have just turned the easiest tube you will ever turn!!!!

  5. Delilah says:

    I used this pattern a couple of weeks ago and have gotten many compliments on the top I made from it. It is very easy to follow and understand. I’m getting ready to make another!

  6. christine says:

    I bit the bullet and paid the 10$ for the pattern. The baby’s just gone for a nap, the fabric is in the washer and I’m going through all the instructions! We’ll see how it goes….

  7. AmieJ says:

    This looks great! I have made the little girls dress from Frog Legs and Ponytails and it was super easy and very cute. I wanted to try this but was afraid the adult version wouldn’t be as good. Now I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the review.

  8. Melissa says:

    $10 for this pattern? That’s ridiculous!

  9. jennifer says:

    I also am not sure how to make and install my own bias trim. How did you do this?

  10. jennifer says:

    Cute top! I love it. Great job!

  11. Christine says:

    I was going to buy this pattern, but I was afraid to as I’ve only mended seams, and made a couple of bandana pillows. I think I might have to try it now. Thank you!

  12. dl says:

    Great this is very encouraging got a beginner like myself :D

  13. Kelly says:

    Great job!! I never would have guessed that you weren’t a seasoned pro! I’ve stuck to making bags, but this top is so cute (and you made it sound so easy) that I may just have to try it. Thanks for your review. :)

  14. Mel says:

    Fantastic work, I hope you feel the pride that comes with finishing something.

    I also used the Amelia Top pattern when I beginning to sew, a chopstick formed part of my turning tool! lol …

    Its’ a great pattern and followed a positive experience after the Caroline Dress pattern (part of the Mommy & Me experience (lol)) Funnily enough, the size 4 Caroline that I made my Daughter also doubled as a top for me :P

    I found both patterns simple and easy to follow and we’ve made many more in this style (even recycling pillow cases using the pattern pieces from our thrifty shops for more dress and top fun!)

    Amelia Top

    http://caljai.blogspot.com/2009/08/sunday-sewing-amelia-top.html

    Caroline Dress

    http://caljai.blogspot.com/2009/08/sweet-caroline.html

    Mel xox

  15. Sara says:

    This is SOO darling with the tied bow at the top and the colors are fabulous:P

  16. I agree with Alicia, I’ve always used a safety pin as a tube turner. I did a quick google search (how to turn a tube right side out with a safety pin) and found this site with pictures: http://www.savvyseams.com/techniques/cording.php. I’ve used this same technique forever and it is awesome. Can be a pain when turning really thin spaghetti straps, but those are always a pain. :)

    Great job on your lovely top!!!!

  17. Catherine says:

    Thanks everybody! And you guys are so smart, chop sticks and butter knives for tube turners! Genius and thrifty:)

  18. Sherri says:

    I use the long end of a wooden kitchen spoon as my tube turner.

    I have this pattern as well and love it. I’ll only say one thing – I’m a little top-heavy (especially since I’m still nursing) and I’ve made this top for myself and did not love the fit. When using a quilting weight cotton it tends to bunch up and create a “bubble” that just….looked and felt weird. Not sure how else to describe it. I think it would be awesome with a knit cotton though, and I plan to try that again soon. Something more drapey, or even perhaps a quilting cotton would work if it were cut on the bias.

  19. Cherie says:

    A butter knife makes a good tube turner.

  20. Great job!! I’ve been eyeing this pattern for a bit! I just started sewing too and I have yet to do any clothes. I’d love to make some for myself. How lucky you got to review one! Yay!! Your shirt looks great!

  21. Amy says:

    I dont often see a clothing pattern I really want to try, but this looks like a must make!

  22. Alicia says:

    Tube turner = saftey pin

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts…I might have to try this as the top does look wonderful for the 100 degree heat we’re having right now.

  23. naomig says:

    It’s adorable! Great job! I finally found a turner thingy at craft warehouse after searching my whole, admittedly little town, and ya know what?! I never use it the way it’s supposed to be used. Turning is one thing that I have always hated, and it seems everything I’ve made has needed something turned. I use chopsticks, sometimes the closed ends of my scissors, sometimes the end of my turner, and sometimes blunt tweezers for turning really small stuff. You’ll get good at it, I promise. Start at the closed end, and work it up thru the open end. :-)

  24. nopinkhere says:

    Congratulations! It looks great!

  25. Leila says:

    Hey Catherine,

    Congratulations on finishing your first top! It feels good doesn’t it :-)
    I use a chop stick for turning tubes, they’re good for pushing out corners and as stuffing tools too!

  26. Jennifer Buse says:

    I am fairly new, too. I started out making pillowcase dresses for my daughter. I used ribbon through the top instead of fabric as the pattern said. Try pinning the end to a straw and working it through that way. It worked great for me!

  27. Kimberly says:

    That looks awesome! The last year or so I’ve been sewing a lot and didn’t even know there was such a thing as a tube turner! I dread any pattern when I see that part because it takes FOREVER trying to finagle it with a set up chopsicks…how pathetic am I?!?!

  28. Angie says:

    That is very pretty. I love the colors that you chose. =) You wouldn’t be able to convince me that you were a beginner! Great job.

  29. simone says:

    I love this shirt and thank you so much for the review!

  30. Lina says:

    Really cute and a great review! I wish I could justify spending $10 on this pattern since it does look great but that price is just a bit too high when I can buy Simplicity patterns for $1. I’m sure once I’m more experienced at sewing clothes I could eyeball this and make it on my own but until then I’ll keep plugging away with my more frugal options.

  31. Shelly says:

    love, love, love this top! I’ve made one for myself and another for a friend. super cute, simple and perfect for summer.

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