The Sahara Sew Along- Coming Soon!

We’ve been gearing up for a new sew along for a while. There was a vote in the Facebook group and Sahara won by a landslide! And since it comes in both Ladies and girls sizing it’s a great mommy-and-me opportunity or you can choose whichever you’d like… the steps are the same! The GREAT news is there’s a SALE going on right now, so you can get the Ladies or Girls Sahara and all of the other amazing Bella Sunshine patterns for 30% off (for a limited time). What can you expect from a sew along? Let me enlighten you.



Sew alongs can differ from group to group (because we are not the only sew along game in town), but with Bella Sunshine sew alongs, this is what you can expect.

There will be a clear timeline. We will have a schedule for which steps we intend to complete on which days. There will be a blog post for each block of steps with a few pictures and some helpful hints to help you follow along. Of course, you are more than welcome to work at your own speed. So if you want to work ahead, that’s great! If you’re a little slower, that’s fine too! We’re here to help and support you either way!

It should be informative and helpful. Each blog post will include some helpful lesser known or maybe lesser thought of tips and tricks to make your project go just a little smoother. It might be explaining a technique you’ve never used before, it might be a pattern hack that you can add in to make the pattern *more* (hint hint), you never know! Part of the idea of a sew along is to help those along who might not be as familiar with the techniques or steps, so if you join us, please don’t hesitate to ask questions (either on the blog or in the group, we answer both)! We are always more than willing to explain or demonstrate those things that are a little tougher to get.

Bella Sunshine sew alongs are a social and fun affair! While the bulk of the tips and steps will be posted here on the blog, we have a fantastic community in our group and we LOVE to see your work! Each sew along will have its own album with each day’s steps included where you can post participation pictures. Oh, and did I mention prizes? We will randomly give away a few patterns during the sew along and will award more prizes at the end to those who have completed it and shared their beautiful creations!

Want to join us? You totally should! We’d LOVE to have you! Just look out for the May 29th blog post for Sew Along Day 1, join our Bella Sunshine Facebook group for the community and to share your participation, and take a peek at our timeline so you know what to expect… and get ready! I can’t wait to get started!

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 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:

Alice Sew Along – Day 2

We are now on Day Two of the Alice Sew Along.  If you missed Day One, check it out here. Also, if you still haven’t picked up your pattern, coupon code AliceSAL will get you the Alice Pleated Dress sewing pattern for only $6. This coupon code is good through the entire sew-along, so be sure and pick up your copy if you haven’t already.

Day two is another super easy day. The last truly easy one. Today we cut our fabrics and fuse our interfacing. These steps are fairly self explanatory. I would urge you, though, to remember to cut 4 sleeves (2 main, 2 lining), as the sleeves are lined. I missed that my first time through and had to go back to cut my sleeve linings. Once you have everything cut, be sure to transfer the markings from the pattern pieces to your fabric. This will be crucial in the later steps. If you have trouble seeing your pleat markings on your pattern pieces, be sure to use the layers function and print of the main skirt for selecting only the size you need for the waist. This will make the marking easier to see. At this point, you should had a nice little pile going. I have a lovely darker floral for my main pieces, a pop of lime green for a collar (and pockets), and a hot pink chevron lining.

Once you have it all cut, you’ll want to move it to an ironing board. I always iron fabric before cutting, as well as ironing all cut pieces after. I find it helps me in lining up pieces for construction, as my pieces often get wrinkled in the cutting. One thing I cannot stress enough is to make sure you are ironing where the pattern instructs. It makes for a much nicer and more professional looking final product. While you are ironing the wrinkles out, you can also apply your interfacing to the bodice back and skirt back pieces, as well as to the collar pieces. This is an important step in making sure the integrity of your garment will hold up to regular wear.

And with that, you are done with day 2! Congrats! Now, come share your pieces with me in the sew along album in the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group! I can’t wait to see them!

If you want to take a peek at what is in store for tomorrow, take a look at the schedule below:

Alice Sew Along- Day 1

First, The schedule! This was turned out to be fairly easy day today, and the schedule includes a make-up day for anyone who might fall behind, so don’t worry if that happens. It’s also more than ok if your schedule permits or demands you to work ahead a bit. We’re pretty laid back. Just try to remember to take a quick pick of each scheduled days finished steps and add it to the album in the Facebook group to get your participation credit. Are you ready? Then here we go!



Today is the easiest day! Today we purchase, print and prepare our pattern! Some of you can skip the purchasing part, but if you still need the pattern, you can get it at and use coupon code AliceSAL at checkout to get the pattern for only $6.

Blending is a super important part of getting a perfect fit. Because it can sometimes scare people, we created this fun blending video for you to see how to get that perfect fit:


Once you have everything taped and cut, you should have something resembling this:

Seems like a lot of pieces, but I promise it isn’t as intimidating as it looks!

I dug through my massive fabric stash for what seemed like forever to find *just* the right fabric for this beautiful little dress. I found several contenders, but I am pretty sure I fell head over heels for the final pick:

I would LOVE to see your pieces and/or fabric choices if you’re playing along, so hop over to the Bella Sunshine Designs Facebook group and share in the album! There *might* even be rewards for some lucky person sewing along at home, so don’t miss out! 😉

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 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!!!

Adaline Holiday Dress Sew Along: Day 8 – Winners Announced!

I had a lot of fun sewing with you this past week! I hope you will join us again during the next sew along. Hang around the facebook group and we should reveal more details next month.

The Adaline Dress and Tunic is still on sale for for $5USD for another 4 hours (until midnight EST) with the code “sewadaline”.

Adaline Read more

Adaline Holiday Dress Sew Along: Day 6 – Final Details, Buttons, and Button Holes

Day 6: Final Details, Buttons, and Button Holes

Welcome to Day 6 of the Adaline Holiday Dress Sew Along! Here is where you can get caught up on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5. The pattern is still on sale for $5USD until midnight EST on Monday, December 12th with the code “sewadaline”.

Today we will be putting the finishing touches on our dresses! Round up those buttons and your thread colours for top stitching. You will also need a hand sewing needle to slip stitch the lining closed. We will be following steps 29-33 in the pattern tutorial today.

Final Details

Remove visible basting stitches from gathering the skirt.

Top stitch everything as directed in steps 29 & 30.

ezywatermark1612100939361236 Read more

Adaline Holiday Dress Sew Along: Day 5 – Create Skirt Placket, Form Pockets, Hem, and Attach Skirt

Day 5:  Create Skirt Placket, Form Pockets, Hem, and Attach Skirt

Welcome to Day 5 of the Adaline Holiday Dress Sew Along! Today our work will really become dresses. If you need to go back and catch up, here is where you can find Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

Today we will be creating the skirt placket, forming the long awaited pockets, hemming the skirt, and attaching the skirt to the bodice. We will be following steps 17-28 in the pattern tutorial.

Create the Skirt Placket

Create the skirt placket following steps 17-23 of the pattern tutorial. If you find this process seems complicated, you can find detailed instructions here in Mgeni’s Sweet Lilly Sew along.

Form Pockets and Create Skirt

First, to find your pocket piece add-on, click on “My Account” in the upper right quadrant of your screen.

pocket-add-on-1 Read more