Happy 2 Years to Us!! Plus, gifts for you!

Holy smokes, guys!  When I started on this journey, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that BSD would grow to what it is today. Bella Sunshine Designs started off as a hope and a dream, and it has grown to something so much more. I want to take a quick moment to say thank you to all of you that have believed in me along the way. Whether you were a frequent customer, a pattern tester, or just someone that cheered me on along the way, I could not have done all this without your continued support.  I really mean that.

So I promised presents!  And boy, have I got presents for you?!  I have been keeping a couple HUGE secrets from you. As a huge thank you to all past customers, we have updated your BSD account with print shop files!!!  That’s right. Go check your downloads section of the My Account page, and you will find A0 sized files that you can use to print out your pattern pieces at your favorite local print shop. Think of all that time you will save on taping those pattern pieces together?  And even better news, all future BSD designs will now have these files included at no extra charge.

Next, we have TWO new releases today: The Reagan Raglan for Ladies & the Reagan Raglan for Kids And even more exciting, join our Facebook group and you can get these patterns for FREE!!!  Yep!  Just check the pinned post for the coupon code (please don’t share them outside of the group!). Check out the tester photos of the free Reagan Raglan for girls, boys and ladies!

Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this!

Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this! Free PDF sewing pattern from Bella Sunshine Designs - I love raglans, and I love BSD! I can't wait to sew this!

 

On top of ALL that, we are giving away lots of patterns and fabrics from some of the best of the best! Check out our generous Sponsors below:

The Wolf and the Tree
Lulus fabrics UK
Designs by Call Ajaire
Itch to Stitch
Chalk and Notch
Threads and Stitches
Designer Stitch
Pickle Toes Patterns
Handmaiden’s Cottage
Pollywoggles
Serger Pepper Designs
Laela Jeyne Patterns
Pumpkin & Bunny Patterns
Patterns for Pirates
Peach Patterns
Sunday Girl Designs
5 out of 4 Patterns
Flosstyle
Sofilantjes
Ellie and Mac

Be sure to check out their sites. You might find something amazing to put on your wish list. You can use the form below to enter to win some cool prized from them (as well as some free patterns from BSD!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So closing the celebration, we are also having a pattern sale!  For a limited time only, you can get 40% off all sewing patterns from Bella Sunshine Designs. Offer ends Sunday, March 5th at midnight (EST).

New Release: Lala Spring Top & Dress

We want to introduce to you, Lala.  This cute, 70’s vintage-styled, raglan-sleeved, oversized blouse has it all; optional neck ruffle detail, elasticized neckline, and sleeves which make it easy to put it on and off your little ones, billowing sleeves that you will love and a flared hem! The design requires no zipper or buttons which make it super fast and easy to sew and beginner friendly. The pattern is meant to be quite loose-fitting, which is extra comfortable to wear for your child.

New Release: The Lala Spring Top & Dress

The pattern includes 3 lengths: top length (hits the hips), Vintage-length (hit mid-thigh) and dress length (hits just above the knee). Take a look:

Top length with ruffles and long sleeves

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

Top length without ruffles and short sleeves

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

Vintage-length with ruffles and long sleeves

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

Vintage-length without ruffles and short sleeves

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

Dress-length with ruffles and long sleeves

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

Dress-length without ruffles and short sleeves

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

And our testers as always did an amazing job! They all worked so hard to make sure the fit was perfect. Check out some of the great tester photos below:

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

 

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

Amazing, right?  The design can also be paired with shorts, bloomers, pants and leggings, knee-high socks just to name a few. It is perfect for Spring/Fall and also can easily be layered year round.

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

 

I love the Lala Spring Top from Bella Sunshine Designs! This vintage dress would look so cute on my daughter! Must buy this pdf sewing pattern!

The Lala Spring Top & Dress will be on its introductory sale of only $5.50 through Wednesday, February 22nd at midnight EST, so be sure and pick up your copy if you haven’t already.

Alice Sew Along- Winners announced!

I feel absolutely blessed to have been at the head of this wildly successful sew along! I had a lot of fun, I learned several new techniques, and I was absolutely blown away by the talent I saw from the participants. Alice is most definitely one of my favorite finished projects to date and despite the slightly higher difficulty level, I know there are many more in my future. I hope those that joined us feel the same!

Without further ado, here are the three winners of our Alice Sew Along!

The people’s choice award was given to the dress with the most likes in the final pictures in the album. With the most votes by quite a few, our winner in this category was Amanda Galuska and her darling little donut dress! It entranced me from the first…

 

The second prize was Admins Choice. After consulting with all of the BSD admins and deliberating, we had to go with Czarina Nocon and her stunning scenic Alice. It was enough to take our breath away and we just couldn’t deny…

 

Our third and final prize was a random draw from all of the ladies who completed the sew along and posted their finished dresses for the People’s Choice voting. That lucky lady is Mercy Grace Garcia Mendoza! Luck aside, she did sew up one of the cutest little Alices with it’s very vintage feel and is one of my personal favorites from this sew along.

Congratulations to all of our winners and a HUGE thank you to ALL of our participants! They all did an amazing job and I couldn’t be prouder of any of them! I look forward to the next sew along and I hope you’ll join me again for it!

You can still purchase Alice here for $7.95 if you’re still wanting to sew up this beauty. WELL worth it, I promise! 😉

 

Alice Sew Along- Catch up day

Today is the day for you to catch up if you found yourself behind. Several ladies did, but that’s ok! The next sew along we plan to stretch out to 2 weeks to make things a little more laid back. Plus, there will be catch up days then too. 😉 We did have several ladies finish as well, which is awesome! I have been crazy impressed and blown away by the talent and creativity (not to mention the determination) I’ve seen during this sew along! If you’re coming in late, or would just like to complete this sew along alone at a later date, here are the links to the days and the steps we completed.

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Day Six

Now, just take a look at some the the absolutely stunning dresses our participants made! You’ll be running for your machine to make one too, I bet!

It isn’t too late to get your own copy of this pattern either! You can get it here through February 6th for only $6 with coupon code AliceSAL!

Alice Sew Along- Day 6

Simple day, and the last active day of the sew along. If you  are joining us for the first time, you can find days one, two, three, four and five at these links. If you haven’t yet purchased this adorable pattern, you can get it here until Feb 6 with coupon code AliceSAL for only $6, so take advantage while you can.

Today we make a blind hem. I was a little anxious about this, because like the invisible zipper, this was a first for me. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the instruction. However, I did find this amazing instructional video and got it easy peasy! My advice here is to watch the video, pin well, and take your time. this was my hem in progress.

And then done from the inside view.

It really looks quite nice from the outside and I am more than proud to have learned new things in completing this pattern with you all!

The final step, if you so choose, is to create the optional belt. I did not do this for my dress, but I did read through the instruction for it and it was straightforward and seemed like a simple task.

At the end of today’s step, you should have a finished dress! So pretty! Tomorrow is a catch up day for those who haven’t quite made it this far, and also a day to post your modeled creations in our participation album in the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group! (I will have that particular graphic up this evening/ tomorrow morning) I can’t wait to see all of the amazingness you have made! I’ll see you tomorrow!

If you are curious about the schedule we have been following, it is posted below.

Alice Sew Along- Day 5

Today’s agenda includes attaching the skirt to the bodice and installing your invisible zipper. There are quite a few tricky steps involved here, so I will offer you some tips to hopefully ease your way. If you’re joining us for the first time, you can find days One, Two, Three, and Four at these locations. You can also grab the pattern here for only $6 by using coupon code AliceSAL at checkout through 2/6. Feel free to join in and catch up!

So now we get into it. You want to pin your skirt to bodice right sides together, making sure you’re keeping all lining pieces out of it. If you have successfully completed your box pleats, it should all match up perfectly (center front to center front and side seams to side seams). Once pinned, sew it together. Then, and this is of utmost importance, trim your seams down by half! This step is absolutely crucial for successfully installing your invisible zipper, so please to not forget it! Once completed, you will duplicate these steps with the lining pieces, this time keeping the main pieces out of it. Once done, your creation will look more like a dress.

The hard part comes next. The zipper. Now, I’m going to admit that before this point, I had never before done an invisible zipper. And I was terrified. Legitimately terrified. I did not have an invisible zipper foot, either. I’ve been told (by our fearless designer, Melissa) that an invisible zipper foot makes installation considerably easier. I will say, though, to ease your mind, that I was successful with a regular zipper foot and patience, no seam ripping required on my part.

One of the most valuable tips I can give here is to follow the directions implicitly. Especially the ironing of the zipper. Take your time, make sure it’s really flat. It WILL help, I promise. Again, I found the illustrations in the pattern invaluable to the zipper installation as far as making sure I was lining everything up correctly. And in the end, I had a beautifully sewn invisible zipper for the first time. I was SO proud! And I’m proud of all of you for installing yours too!

This was a rough day, I’ll admit. But it was also one of the most rewarding as far as I’m concerned. We’re coming along quite nicely! Please make sure to join the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group and share your progress in out sew along album! I want to see all the beautifully sewn zippers!

All we have left now is the hem, and we’ll cover that tomorrow! If you’re curious about the schedule, you can find it directly below. I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow!

Alice Sew Along – Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of the Alice Pleated Dress Sew Along.  If you missed them, check out Day 1, Day 2, & Day 3. Today should be a little simpler than yesterday. Today we prepare the skirt. The first step to doing this is to add the pockets. Do make sure you don’t skip the step of finishing your edges. It not only looks better, but it will also give the garment more longevity. Before I figured out finishing edges (back when I was new to sewing), I had several things shred at the seams after a few washes for not finishing raw visible edges. Once you have your pockets attached, don’t forget to press and understitch them! Once your pockets are added, and everything is sewn together, you should have something like this.

Now comes today’s tricky bit: the box pleats. You should have the markings on your fabric. The trick here is to fold along the dotted line (right sides facing), making sure the solid lines match up and do a short line of basting stitches on that solid line. I started with the center pleat and worked my way out to each edge. Keep in mind that your pockets will end up in the recesses of the side pleats, effectively hiding them from plain site. Hidden pockets are so much fun! Hehe. Also, the center back will have half pleats. There are visuals in that step of the instructions that should help you there. When your basting is done, take your skirt to the ironing board and flatten those pleats out, matching the dotted line to the basted seam you created and then baste across the top of those pleats to secure them in place. You should now have a gorgeous little skirt all ready for tomorrow!

Please don’t forget to share your skirts with me in the sew along album of the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group! If you haven’t started yet, there’s still time to catch up and the pattern is still available for only $6 with coupon code AliceSAL! Join me tomorrow for the joining of bodice and dress and the zipper installation, it’ll be fun. 😉

Check out the schedule below, and keep in mind, it’s never too late to join us if you’d like to sew along!

Alice Sew Along- Day 3

We are now on Day Three of the sew-along. Be sure to check out the posts for Day One and Day Two if you haven’t already. Today is the day we really get into it. Here’s where it gets a little messy. But the most beautiful things emerge from the messy sometimes, and I swear it seems harder than it actually is. Today’s task is to end up with a complete bodice (sans the zipper, for now. That’s another day). Now, I can’t go through every single step with you, but I WILL give you some tips that should help make the process a little easier. The end result? A beautiful bodice for your beautiful soon-to-be dress.

First off, the collar. The best advice I can give you is to clip those curves WELL! It will help the collar to lay flat and also to smooth out the curve once it is right side out. Position your collar carefully on your neckline to ensure it is centered and that the collar will meet without gapping or overlapping at the seam line. These little details will ensure a perfect collar on your finished dress.

Also of note and mentioned several times in today’s steps… Understitching! It is a crucial step in the process and one that should not be skipped. If you do not know how to understitch, I will explain it now. It’s really pretty simple. Press your seam allowance toward the lining. Then, with your lining and seam allowance separate from your outer shell, stitch close to the seam on the lining side, catching the seam allowance as you go. This will allow your lining to lay flat under the main fabric without topstitching on your outer pieces. It is a very effective and clean look that helps make it a little more professional. It is also one of the finishes BSD often employs that helps the patterns stand out from so many others. You can check out this photo tutorial on understitching if you need a better visual. Also, I took a picture while I was understitching my bodice to give you an idea what it looks like in progress. The other stitching you see in this picture is the understitching of the sleeve.

Be careful when stitching main to lining that you do not catch the collar or sleeves in your stitching. It can get tricky, especially with the smaller sizes, but I promise it is worth the extra time it takes to be careful. With attention to detail and taking your time to make sure it’s right, you should come out of today with a gorgeous little bodice, waiting anxiously to join the rest of the dress!

Be sure to join us tomorrow for the construction of the skirt! And don’t forget to hop over to the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group and share your finished bodice with us in the sew along albums! I look forward to seeing you all again tomorrow! Check out the schedule below to see what’s on the agenda: