Back To School Blog Tour

It’s that time of year again. You know, back to school season. Well, I really wouldn’t know much about that seeing as all three of my kids are still home with me! Nonetheless, when Sprouting JubeJube and Lulu & Celeste announced they were hosting a Back to School Tour, I couldn’t help but sign up. I really enjoy participating in different tours and being able to connect and be inspired by other bloggers so here I am, and welcome to my stop on the tour!

***Disclaimer: Handmaiden’s Cottage and Jalie were gracious enough to provide the patterns I used in this post, but all opinions remain my own***

I interpreted the theme of the tour a little differently than one might if they actually had kids in school. For me, “back to school” time is always a reminder of two things: my twins’ birthday and Halloween. When I hear people talking about back to school, I immediately think, oh shoot, it’s almost my twins’ birthday! What am I going to make them? I enjoy making birthday outfits for my kids and try to do it every year. This year was no exception. I wanted to make them some new dresses that they could wear not only for their birthday party, but for other occasions like church. Enter the Elizabeth Pinafore by Handmaid’s Cottage!

These dresses were definitely outside my comfort zone for multiple reasons. One, this was a new designer for me to work with, and I just didn’t know what to expect. Two, I almost always work with knit fabrics and tend to get a bit nervous when switching over to wovens. But guess what? That apprehension on both accounts was quickly swept away. The pattern was great and the instructions were very well done. The first dress took me quite a while just because it was all so unfamiliar, but the second one was a breeze! Don’t get me wrong, it still took a while just due to the nature of the pattern, but it was much easier once I really understood the construction.

This is what happens when I let them pose themselves. Silly Girls!

I love all the little details on these dresses. The scalloped edges are just beautiful and I’m extremely proud of them! The way the hem was done at the bottom was totally foreign to me, and I got really confused reading the instructions and trying to picture it. Once I convinced myself to just do what the instructions said, it came together no problem and finally made sense to me. I’ll tell you it’s brilliant too! The hem is a “growth pleat” hem, so as my girls grow, I’ll be able to let it down and adjust the hem without too much fuss. In the meantime, the double layer look is so cute! I also love the buttons down the back. My girls had so much fun choosing their own fabric and whatever color buttons they wanted to match. In the end, I adore how their dresses came out and they were perfect for their birthday tea party with friends.

Handmaiden’s Cottage is running a 40% off sale for this blog tour on the Elizabeth Pinafore and the matching Eden Blouse (which I attempted and failed! A tale for another day…) You can buy them separately or as a bundle. The sale goes through October 1st so make sure to snatch your pattern this week.

The second outfits I made for the girls came from the Bella Fit and Flare pattern by Jalie. Once again a new designer for me so a little nervous, but the pattern is for knit fabric so I felt confident in my wheelhouse. Jalie is a pretty cool company. I got this one dress pattern and it comes with 22 sizes from toddlers up through women’s sizes. You know what that means? Mommy and Me outfits are sure to come in the near future!!! The other neat thing about Jalie is you can actually read the pattern instruction BEFORE you buy the pattern. So if you’re worried a pattern might be too technical or not descriptive/clear enough, you can look at the instructions and make sure it’s something you want to get. Way cool feature that I’ve never seen another pattern maker do. When I saw the Bella pattern, it reminded me of some of my favorite ready to wear dresses that I bought for my girls. I knew immediately, this was a pattern I had to try! And it did not disappoint. The actual sewing part went so fast and I had zero problems with the instructions. I can guarantee there will be more of these dresses in my daughters’ future (and mine!). I hate when I procrastinate making “Halloween” themed outfits until mid October because I feel like I miss out on part of the season. Back to school seemed like the perfect time to make these. Now my kids are prepared for when we start doing our favorite fall things like visiting pumpkin patches or going on hay rides.

Check out that twirling action!
Beautiful scoop backs


Thank you for checking out my post in this tour and indulging my loose interpretation of the theme! And thank you so much to Handmaiden’s Cottage and Jalie for sponsoring the tour and providing these patterns to me. I encourage you to follow along with my fellow bloggers all week long. I’ll post the schedule below.

Tour schedule:

Monday, September 25, 2017

Host: Sprouting JubeJube

Sewing by Ti * mahlicadesigns * Momma You Can Make It * Kutti Couture * MoonStar – Wondermirakel * Call Ajaire

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Host: Lulu & Celeste

Sew and Tell Project * From-a-Box * Ronda B. Handmade * MeMade * House of Estrela * My Heart Will Sew On * Tales From A Southern Mom

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Host: Sprouting JubeJube

mahlicadesigns * Gracious Threads * Adventures With Bubba and Bug * Elli & Nels * Bellevi * Little Heart Threads * Sewing By Ti * Lulu & Celeste

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Host: Lulu & Celeste

Paisley Roots * The Crafting Fiend * Sewstarly * It’s Liesel * Tales of a Tester * Kaleidothought * auschick sews

Friday, September 29, 2017

Host: Sprouting JubeJube

SewSophieLynn * Sew Haute Blog * mahlicadesigns * Sew and Tell Project * RP Custom Fabrics Blog * FABulous Home Sewn * Sewing By Ti * Phat Quarters




  1. Christine Feuz

    September 27, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Cute dresses! Love them! And love those cute girls too!

  2. Patricia Metten - MoonStar

    September 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Your girls are gorgeous!
    Love the dresses you made them.

    1. Laurel

      September 29, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you on both accounts!

  3. Jenna

    October 1, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Laurel! I love your blog and seeing all your creations! You are inspiring! I’d love to get into pattern testing too! I’m nominating you for the Blogger Recognition Award! You can check out the post where I nominated you here…
    Much love sent your way! I look forward to seeing more of your creations!

    1. Laurel

      October 4, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you so much Jenna! Pattern testing is a lot of fun but a lot of work. I’m sure you’d enjoy it! Thank you for the kind words and nomination.

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