Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates: Pattern Testing Review 2017

One of my most popular posts this past year was sharing my Patterns for Pirates pattern tests from 2016. Looking back at 2017, I sewed up quite a few tester versions of pattern releases for both P4P and M4M. So let’s take a look at a year in review Mermaid and Pirate style.

****A little info first for you fellow sewists. I am usually a size green with grading out to yellow hips in M4M and XL graded out to XXL for P4P. Also, I am 5’8″ with all of my height in my torso. My standard pattern adjustments include adding 3/8″ in the armscye and then another 5/8″ between the underbust and my waist. I do not usually add length for bottoms. Pattern links are affiliate links.  Also, I have linked my blog post for each release if you would like more details on the releases. And now onward….

The first pattern test of the year for Made for Mermaids was the Mama Claire.  (pattern link)

This one was special for me as it was my first pattern test for my blog.  It is one thing posting your pictures in a sewing group online.  It’s a whole other thing to post yourself all over the internet.

Mama Claire is a loose fitting crossover dolman with a banded bottom. The buffalo plaid version has the tall band, and the floral version uses the short bottom band.  Fun fact- this can be worn in reverse!

My buffalo plaid has made a recent reappearance with the release of the Mama Bridgette Bralette (affiliate link). Mama Claire in reverse shows off the new bralette perfectly!

Mama Cassie from M4M was next. This pattern is a cold shoulder or off the shoulder peplum or dress. I am a sucker for a two piece dress pattern, especially one that highlights my natural waist.

One of my favorite features of Mama Cassie is the high low half circle skirt option. This cold shoulder version was worn a lot this past spring and summer.

Also, during testing I tried out a cropped off the shoulder top with a banded high low skirt.

I wish I could say I actually wore it out in public, but I honestly rarely get to dress up! But the solid black skirt was a great addition to my wardrobe.

Mama Isabel from M4M was such a great test for me. Mama Isabel pattern is a true wrap style top and dress with a tulip hem options and a normal hem option.

I had both of my eyes operated on in January of 2017, which lead to me having swollen and blood shot eyes for weeks. I was feeling a little blue about my appearance, and I was irritated from being uncomfortable recovering from my surgery.

Mama Isabel pulled me out of my slump and made me feel good about myself again. The long sleeve floral maxi is still one of my favorite makes.

This last version was made this past winter but it shows another version so I wanted to include it in this post.

So how about a little P4P love??  First up for Patterns for Pirates was the Cross my Heart Cami.

The CMHC pattern had multiple strap options including a T strap, regular straps and then the very popular cross straps. And of course, I have made almost all of the versions because why not??

The T strap is creative, but I love my solid white crossover one on its own and as a layering piece.

Every time I think I have enough t-shirt patterns, along comes another great, versatile pattern. The Favorite Tee from P4P is one of those patterns.

Curved hem options, including dress length. A fun knot banded hem. And the perfect v neckline.

Yes, please! For testing I sewed up two different dress versions.

But before the release was over I had to try the banded knot hem.

The Art Gallery shirt was one of my most worn tops this past summer.

If you asked most people in the sewing world what Patterns for Pirates is most known for, Peg Legs would be the top answer.

The free legging pattern was given a facelift and tons of options were added while celebrating P4P’s Facebook group staggering numbers. The original pegs had a low rise so this update includes a high rise waist option.

As much as I thought I would love the high rise, I could not have imagined how much more I would love the contoured waistband from the add on pack.

Nothing like a waistband that holds in c-section stomachs and keeps your leggings from budging while running!! I also had to try the side pockets for putting my iPhone in while running.

Back to the Mermaids… Mama Sommer from Made for Mermaids helped me realize that I can still rock a mini dress with thin straps.

It also boosted my sewing self confidence because the dress pattern has two of my most hated things to sew—- gathers and binding.

But I survived and actually learned to appreciate both techniques as must knows for knit sewing. I also used up some more of the Art Gallery knit from my Favorite Tee.

I have lost quite a bit of weight since this test so I am hoping to be able to alter this to fit me again.

I usually try to make multiple versions of a pattern during the testing period. However, every now and then I simply run out of time. Mama Vivienne from M4M was one of those patterns.

I only made one version, but I love it!

And guess what? It has binding and gathers!!

So now I remember why I made only one Mama Vivienne. Lol. Because I made three Dylan tees.

The Dylan was released by M4M at the same time as Vivienne, and all three of my boys got coordinated pieces. These are some of my absolute favorite pictures of my boys.

When I see the pictures, it makes me wish that I sewed for them more often. But just for a minute.

Then I go back to selfish sewing.

This brings us to summer time and the dreaded swimsuit testing. I’m just kidding. I was nervous as heck last year with the Siren and Sailor releases, but now I feel like an old pro. Patterns for Pirates released their summer 2017 swimsuit, the Take the Plunge.

It was a fairly time consuming make, yet I found myself unable to stop sewing them. I ended up making 3 versions, one each of the three back styles (two piece was hacked into separates).

This pattern was perfect for me and allowed me to be more comfortable at the pool.

Not to be outdone in the swimsuit department, Made for Mermaids released the Mama Camila Swimsuit (along with girls swimsuit patterns) in the Mermaid Shores Collection.

Once again, I found myself making more and more swimsuits. I mean, how many swimsuits does a girl need???

We have a pool at our house so my logic was that I needed a suit for each day of the week. Makes perfect sense, right?

Next up is another pattern that has a special place in my heart, the Everyday Elegance.

This was P4P’s update of the original pattern to include a few new options and to add layers. A few years ago when I first started sewing, I was browsing patterns on Etsy. I came across the listing for the Everyday Elegance. Who knew that finding that pattern would change my hobby forever? I was more than happy to be included in the new update.

I made the new dress version, and for whatever reason it is my four year old’s favorite dress for me to wear.

I also made a short sleeve top version out of this floral woven. Unfortunately, it’s too big for me now😩.

Another summer time release for P4P was the Linen Loungers, as a part of their “Summer of Wovens.”

Since I started sewing with knits, I still have some uneasiness when sewing with wovens. But these shorts were perfect for a casual look this summer.

I made two shorts versions for testing and wore them frequently. I have yet to try the pants version, but they are on the list for this upcoming summer.

With three Mermaids designing at M4M, they each had a pattern release around the same time. Mama Tara was the first pattern to release.

This pattern is the Mermaids’ take on the twisted style top. I made a short sleeve version out of solid rayon spandex that had great drape, but it was my hacked off the shoulder floral french terry that won me over on this pattern.

If you have read my blog at all, you know I have a few sewing obsessions. One of them being raglan sleeves. I had previously mashed the P4P Slim Fit Raglan with the Free Spirit tank to make a swing style raglan top.

I get more compliments on that top from my patients than any other top I wear to work. Then, the Mama Nina was born.

This pattern was a huge hit in the mermaid world and is now one of my most used patterns.

I made 2 versions during testing, but I think I have made 5 more since then. Oops.

The third M4M pattern release in a row was the Mama Cora.

These culettes were designed to be a free pattern for Made for Mermaids Pattern Group members on Facebook, but then Hurricane Harvey happened. Megan, the owner of Made for Mermaids, is a Texan. She knew several people directly affected by the flooding so the pattern became a fundraiser. You can now get the pattern for free on the website with a code from her facebook group, but Megan was able to raise several thousand dollars to go to Hurricane Relief.

The whole pdf pattern industry came together and raised a huge amount for relief. It is so wonderful to be a part of such a giving community.

Whew, I can’t believe I was a part of so many tests last year.

One other woven pattern released by P4P was the Brunch Blouse.

It is a dolman style woven top that makes for a great lightweight top. Again, I made two versions during this test.

I love how simple the top can be, which makes it a fast project.

Or how you can get fancy and add in the small extras, like the button tabs and chest pocket in my second version.

Again, I hate it when I am not able to make more than one version during a pattern test. I was only able to make one M4M Mama Darcey even though it is such a versatile cardigan and duster pattern.

It has so many options including a vest version, an oversized hood and a high low hem.

So many combinations available. Sometimes that is a bad thing though because I spend too much time trying to pick out what I want to make. Then I never get around to making anything!

The Wiggle Dress.

Talk about another pattern that took the pdf industry by storm. We are still waiting to see if there is a baby boom 9 months after this release because, man, this dress won over all of our doubting husbands.

I have never been able to wear form fitting dresses from retail stores due to my shape. If I bought something that fit in the top, it was way too tight in the hips. And vice versa. Needless to say, I could not stop making this dress.

This dress brought me so much confidence in both my sewing and my body.

When you take a no go retail style and make a me made version that fits perfectly, it is such a great feeling.

We’re almost there, guys. I promise. The last M4M pattern released in 2017 was the Mama Catherine.

I hate gathering so I thought I would not really like this pattern.

Well once again, I was wrong. This pattern is so good. This style too works well for me both at work and on the go. I made two versions that I love for different reasons. The solid rayon spandex version with the curved tunic is a staple at work for me.

The floral flounce sleeve version will be on non-stop rotation this spring.

I haven’t tried the square yoke version or a dress version, but the scoop neck lined version is great.

Finally, the RagDoll Raglan.

Remember when I said I love raglans?? Well, this raglan dolman is a new favorite.

I made two versions in testing including a cut out back tunic and a two tone holiday tunic.

This one is so fun. I ended up making a sweater knit version right after testing, and it was fabulous.

Whew. What a great 2017 in the Mermaid and Pirate worlds! I hope you enjoyed taking a look back at all of my tester version plus some bonus versions from this past year.

Now for the great news!!!  Megan from Made for Mermaids and Judy from Patterns for Pirates have each donated a $20 shop credit that you can win by entering the rafflecopter below!  Two separate winners (one will receive $20 M4M credit and another will receive $20 P4P credit) will be randomly selected in one week.  So be sure to enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time…sewing and sipping,


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