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).

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 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 – Are You Ready?

Are you ready for another amazingly fun sew along? I know I am! We’re starting tomorrow. This time around, we’re sewing up a recent release with a great vintage feel, the Alice Pleated Dress! With it’s fully lined construction, box-pleated skirt, and adorable peter pan collar, you can’t go wrong. It’s the perfect little dress for Valentine’s OR Easter! You can follow along with each day here on the blog, but make sure you join the Facebook group too (at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BellaSunshinePDFLove/) where we will have an album to post participation pictures. Of those who share their daily progress, we will choose a few winners for some pattern prizes! I look forward to sewing with you all!

The Alice Pleated Dress Sew Along - I love sew alongs! I can't wait to check it out!

Now is the day to start gathering your supplies. Get your pattern, make sure your fabric is pre-washed to prevent shrinkage and gather any other tools you may need.  FYI, this pattern calls for a concealed zipper foot. While you can install the zipper without one, you can grab a concealed zipper foot on Amazon for less than $2 at the time of this writing!  Get yours here with free shipping (Affiliate link).

P.S. If you don’t already own Alice, you are in luck! We are running a flash sale for the sew along! Just use code AliceSAL to get your copy now for only $6!!!

New Release: Juliet Flutter Dress

OMG, our newest release is Juliet is to die for. This dress is dreamy romantic and whimsy! The design has it all; bodice flutters both front and back, tucked center, button up back and beautiful back sash. Swoon! Both the bodice and the skirt are fully lined, so there are no itchy seams to irritate delicate skin. I did a photoshoot of my Bella and Lilly in their new Juliet, and I am so in love.  Take a look:

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

 

And my 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:

 

 

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

The The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern! The Juliet Flutter Dress by Bella Sunshine Deisgns!  I really want to sew this pattern!

Amazing, right? The Juliet Dress will be on its introductory sale of only $5.50 through Friday, February 3rd at midnight EST, so be sure and pick up your copy if you haven’t already.

2016 Year in Review: BSD by the Numbers

2016-year-in-review

So last year I shared a few facts about how much BSD has grown over the past year. I love to set goals in order to dream big and challenge myself. And what better way to share in the joy in reaching those goals than to share them with others.

2016 wrapped up what will soon to be our second year in business.  It’s hard for me to believe that BSD has been around for that long. I still feel like we are somewhat of a new business even though we have grown a ton this year.

Here’s a few amazing things that happened to us this year…

Our little company grew from a business of 1 to a business of 3! That’s right! My right hand woman, big time encourager and official COO, Mgeni Jumbe joined BSD back in March this year just when I was starting to get so overwhelmed that I had thoughts of quitting (ok, maybe not quitting, but at least taking some time off. Then in November, we hired testing coordinator (and the only person I have found that may actually be more picky than me about pattern details) Danielle Oliver. It’s so much fun having a team of talented ladies to keep me motivated. Our group is super positive, and because of that I think we get a lot more done and are super successful. Plus all that positivity just makes you feel good!

We had more than 530,000 page views in 2016 at the time of this writing.  Holy smokes, guys! That’s more than half a MILLION! Numbers like that seem incredible for any site, let alone mine! A lot of that traffic came from our post 15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing that went viral back in January and February.

We had over 3100 orders in 2016!  This is over a 200% increase from last year! I think us simply getting our name out more made a huge difference in the the amount of new customers we got.

We have over 4500 members in our Facebook Group! This is almost a 240% increase over last year!  Even more exciting, we now have over 3,300 followers on Instagram! This is over a 1300% increase over last year! Yes, that’s not a typo.

We released 14 patterns in 2016 including 3 ladies patterns! That brings our total pattern library up to 25. And being that we currently have 5 patterns in various stages of production, its looking like 2017 is going to be another busy year!

Goals for 2017

I am a huge goal maker. It’s the main reason why I think we accomplish so much. So here is what I am hoping to accomplish in 2017.

Release more patterns: Now that BSD is now a team instead of just one person, I am hoping to release 2 patterns a month for a total of 24 patterns for the year.  That will basically double our current pattern library. We are currently on track to meet that goal for January and February already.

Blog More: This was also a goal for 2016, and while it started out great, I lost momentum halfway through the year. That being said, we still blogged more in 2016 than we did in 2015.  I’d like to continue that trend into next year.

Give Back: I want to release two free patterns next year. This is something we are already working on and I cannot wait for when we can share the official details with everyone.

Take Care of Myself: This is both a personal and a business goal. I did a crappy job of this in 2016. I was working too much and too hard and ended up with mono which took me over half the year to get over. 2017, I want to take care of myself and rest when I know I need it. I know my kids will appreciate that too.

What are some of your 2016 accomplishments and 2017 goals?  Let me know in the comments!

XOXO,
Melissa Prendergast
Bella Sunshine Designs

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017

I am one of those people that likes to soak up knowledge like a sponge. And in this day and age, you can find out the answer to almost anything on the internet.  That’s especially exciting when it comes to fun things like sewing. We wrote several articles this year that you are going to want to put on your reading list for 2017. I thought the best way to showcase our most popular sewing related posts was to put them all in one spot so you could easily pin them and refer back to it later.

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017

Let’s do a countdown to our top 5 articles on the BSD blog:

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

5. Is That REALLY My Size?

With the release of our first woven pattern for women, the Paradise Island Shift Dress, I wrote a detailed article discussing size as it relates to your bust. I see so many women sewing the wrong size when what they really should be doing is making a bust adjustment (or do yourself a favor and just buy a BSD Ladies Pattern where the bust adjustments are included.)

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

4. 10 Things Only A Seamstress Can Understand

Seamstresses can be a rare breed. We do and say things that others would give us the side eye for. How many of these seamstress only things can you relate to?

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

3. Tip & Tricks 4 Printing PDF Sewing Patters: Printing Your Pattern

Turns out a lot of people are confused at how you can buy a PDF document and end up with life sized (or person sized) pattern pieces.  This article is part of a series that discusses the ins and outs of PDF Sewing patterns.

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

2. 10 Mistakes Beginner Sewist Make

You don’t know what you don’t know right? That’s why we wrote an article just for those that are new to the sewing world. Check this article to see if you are doing any of these newbie sewing mistakes.

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

1. 15 Bad Sewing Habits

Even experienced seamstresses have picked up a bad habit or two over the years.  How many are you guilty of?

What other articles are you looking forward to reading? Anything you wish you knew but haven’t been able to find the info on?  Let me know in the comments and you might just spark our next blog post!

New Release: Maggie Top, Tunic & Dress for Ladies

Hello sunshine! Melissa here.  And have I got a treat for you today! I know here at BSD we mainly focus on children’s designs, but this year we’ve been slowly adding to our women’s patterns. I love to sew for myself but I barely ever get any time to do so. What I really need is a nice basic that I can sew up during my little one’s nap time. Enter the Maggie Top, Tunic & Dress for Ladies.

The Maggie goes together fast, y’all! Which is always a plus when you sew as slowly as I do! The Maggie is super flattery and oh so comfy. It’s perfect for that knit fabric you’ve been hoarding. Take a look at the holiday version I made.

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Cute, right? My husband loved it on me, too.  That always makes me feel good.  In fact, I loved it so much that I actually wore it for our family Christmas cards.  Take a look:

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OK, so maybe this photo doesn’t show off the pattern too well, but how cute are my girls? I’d love to say I made their outfits, but I totally cheated and got them at Old Navy. There never seems to be enough time to go around this time of year.

My testers did an amazing job with the Maggie. Check out some of my favorite photos below.  I love how flattering it looks on all shapes and sizes.  It really shows off your curves!

bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-159 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-157 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-125 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-142 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-093 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-079 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-002 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-018 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-075 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-150

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-176 bsd-maggie-top-tunic-dress-ladies-pdf-sewing-pattern-167

 

Nice, right?  I think my favorite part of this pattern is that there is an optional bust adjustment included. I always have to make a bust adjustment for every single thing that I sew, so it’s nice to not have to do that for once!

Hurry up and get a copy of Maggie for Ladies before the sale ends on December 23rd! And if you’d like to match your little girl, you have a bundle where you can get both the Maggie for Girls and the Maggie for Ladies for a discount!  Be sure and check it out.  Also, if you haven’t noticed, we lowered the prices on ALL of our patterns across the board, so if you’ve been secretly wanting a pattern (or two), now is the perfect time to pick up a copy.

Happy Sewing!
Melissa Prendergast

 

 

New Releases: The Sansa Flare Pants & The Maggie Top, Tunic & Dress for Girls

This is an exciting time here in Bella Sunshine designs! We recently release two of the most amazing knit patterns for girls. Yay for new patterns!! First let me introduce you these two new amazing designs!

The Maggie Top, Tunic & Dress (for girls)

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And The Sansa Flare Pants (for girls too)

Let me first introduce you to Sansa’s Flared Pants Pattern.

Hi Everyone, Mgeni here! Co-designer at Bella sunshine Designs and owner of online handmade children clothing, Sansahash. I’m so excited to introduce my first design, the 70’s inspired style, Sansa’s Flared Pants. I have been a sucker for 70s back in the days when I was young (LOL, yes those days), and flared pants/jeans were in my everyday to wear list! They were just irresistible! So I decided Sansa needs her everyday pair too. Right!!! This pattern has been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait!

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These are the cutest knit pants that your little one is sure to love! They are fitted from the waist through the knee and then flare out for a fun retro look of the 70’s. The length is perfect! not so long that you child step on their hem and not too short to look like your child has outgrown them. The design comes with two options; elastic waist which was preferred by our many testers whose little ones are still in diapers/cloth diapers and the yoga waistband for your child ultimate comfort! These pants are sure to be a staple in your little one’s wardrobe! 

Look at that Flare!!!

bsd-sansa-flare-pants-girls-pdf-sewing-pattern-140

bsd-sansa-flare-pants-girls-pdf-sewing-pattern-228

What to pair with them?!

How about we start with our second new design, The Girls Maggie Top, Tunic & Dress!

This is the perfect basic for your sewing wardrobe.  I love that it is a super quick sew and the knit fabric makes it super comfortable. The wide, scooped, banded neckline features beautiful top or cover stitching. There are 3 sleeve lengths and three hem lengths making this pattern very versatile no matter what the season.

Here are some of the photos of our new designs together!!!

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One of our testers paired them with our Winter Gabriella Jacket (which currently you can get it for 50%). How cute!!!

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And here are some of the photos of our Sansa pants and Violet Top & Dress together!!

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Cute right!!!

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I hope to see your wonderful creations in our Facebook group, Bella Sunshine Designs PDF Patterns.

 

xxoo