Buzzz…. Buzzzz… It’s swarming Bumblebees!

A few months back, I was honored to be chosen by Sewing Mama Raeanna to test her very first pattern, The Bumblebee dress.

And test it I did…

Bumblebee View B Collage I started with View B, which is still my personal favorite. I love the little ruffle at the neck and the way it wraps around to the back. I was totally just learning with this one. I used some Ikea fabric I bought a BOLT of so that I could make the curtains for my living room. I’m crazy about the little birds and the leaves all over it. Emma (my dress form) wore this for a whole week…. Until I made my second one…

Bumble Bee as a basic bodice and skirt to play with collageBecause here’s the thing. The Bumblebee the way RaeAnna designed it is absolutely adorable. It’s got so many options, and I’ve seen so many flips this month it’s made my head spin…. but what I noticed right away was that the Bumblebee was a fabulous basic dress pattern once you removed all the ruffles and pulled it back to basics. I’ve used the bodice for some many self-drafted quickie makes, it’s not even funny!

But then, my little niece, Doodlebug had a birthday… And she loves when I make her something pretty to wear. She specifically asked me for a pink and BROWN dress. I have no idea where she gets this stuff… but she wanted brown…. And I realized I had to do the one thing I hadn’t done yet…

Bumble Bee View A CollageI had to make a Bumblebee, View A. It’s more pink than brown, but I don’t think she noticed. I gave her this dress and a Kate from VFT. She was on cloud nine and twirled and danced and twirled all day… There’s something about a kid that truly loves what you give them that makes you want to give them more… I can’t wait to get started on her Christmas dress!

So. Here’s the thing. Life has been INSANE lately. And I actually went almost 3 months without TOUCHING my sewing machine. *gasp* I know. *nodding* For shame.

But… I’ve recently been inspired. I’ve started watching my good friend Katie’s little girl who just this week turned 1!!!  *tearing up* They grow up so fast. *shaking it off, seriously no time for emotion…*

And I’ve been watching in AMAZEMENT all the Bumblebees and BB Flips that have come out of the blog hop… And I just couldn’t leave it be where I was with my Bees… First of all, the pics are TERRIBLE. I know… I have a better camera now…

So last night at 8pm, I decided I was going to make a new one. A better one. And little Miss Monkey is going to be modeling it for me as soon as I can get my creative little hands on her this morning.

Now, let me start with this: You should never participate in your very first blog tour by scrapping your entire post and deciding your dress isn’t good enough and you simply must make another one. At 8pm. With a headache. Because here’s what happens.

None of your fabric is pre-washed. You’re winging it and just hoping that it doesn’t shrink up all weird as it’s the prettiest one you’ve made. You will create your second applique and not know that you should lower your feed dogs before letting the machine go at it. At approximately 3:40 am, when you are almost done, your bobbin will decide to eat the thread. Upon disassembling your machine to fix the naughty bobbin (hmm. that sounds like a neat name for a blog… or a quilt shop…) your  feed dpgs will forget that they raise and lower, your little metal plate will refuse to lay flat or flush, your bobbin will continue to eat the thread, and at 4:30 am you will find yourself googling suggestions for help on

When you have resorted to googling fixes on a site called *fixya* it’s never a good thing….

Except that it is…. In the end, it’s a very good thing…. Except I was working in the middle of the night. And my model is Miss Monkey who I won’t be seeing until 8am… Except I can’t WAIT to show you my new Bumblebee! She’s so pretty! I can’t wait to put her on Aubrey.

I just realized I was referring to a dress as a *her*. Oh boy, do I need some sleep….

So, because you’re probably here to see a dress, and I’m impatient, here’s a sneak peek to whet your appetite while you wait for good, live model, in the daytime pictures of my latest Bumblebee….

Instead of gathering ruffles for the bodice and sleeves, I pleated them…. I love pleats. I love how crisp they look. How they’re just a bit dressier…
In honor of Monkey’s first birthday, I finally taught myself how to use my sewing machine to applique. I have a sewing/embroidery machine. When I learned embroidery, I was hooked. My fascination with that is NOTHING compared to my current obsession with applique now… It’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be…
I also pleated the skirt. But only in the front. The back is plain, without gathers or pleats. And just a single button closure….

I’ll leave you with this… It seriously reminds me of a princess… totally without being a princess….I’ll update this post as soon as I can get pics of Aubrey in the dress.

Now that you know what even a sewing newb can accomplish with RaeAnna’s excellently designed pattern, I know you’ll be wanting it for yourself. And never fear.. she graded it right up to a size 12!!!  I love when designers go the extra step and make sure our big kids have cute stuff, also! Head on over to RaeAnna’s shop.

She put the Bumblebee on sale during the blog tour for $5! That’s an amazing deal. You get not one… but at least 6 dresses and/or tunics…. and all the way from 3 months to a sized 12! That’s an incredible size range! Plus all the pattern flips you can flip!

And truly, it’s such an easy pattern. A combination of printed PDF pieces and measurements to just cut out (the ruffles and skirt). Her instructions are top notch, with lots of clear pictures. And she’s easily found on Facebook to help you if you run into any stumbling blocks. You just really can’t go wrong with this pattern. Even at the regular price. But for the special Blog Tour price of $5? You really should snatch it up. You have until the 18th to grab it before the price goes back up!

And now for the amazeballs part…. in honor of the blog tour, Sewing Mama RaeAnna and her sponsors are having a wee little giveaway…. Make sure to enter via the rafflecopter widget below! You don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity! The giveaway is only through the 16th. That’s tomorrow! Don’t miss it! You could win a copy of the pattern for your very own plus  a fat quarter bundle from Rile Blake (and fat quarters are PERFECT for making this dress in the smaller sizes!) and a $35 gift certificate to The Ribbon Retreat! (First place is the gift certificate to The Ribbon Retreat, a fat quarter bundle, and the pattern. There will be two second place winners who will receive a fat quarter bundle from Riley Blake and a copy of the Bumblebee Dress Pattern.)

After you enter to win the pattern and fabric bundles, hop around the blog-o-sphere and take a look at what some of these other amazing ladies have done with the Bumblebee dress! You won’t be disappointed!


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4 Replies to “Buzzz…. Buzzzz… It’s swarming Bumblebees!”

  1. Wow Melle!!! I love what you did with the pleats and applique although I feel so bad that it kept you up so late! 🙁 It will be a special dress for Aubrey for sure!

    1. Oh… It was so worth it. What is the saying? We can sleep when we’re dead?

      I walked in and immediately she reached for that turquoise pleated cuff…. Mine! Mine! I don’t even know how she knew. She’s being too hammy to get decent pics just yet, but here’s hoping. She won’t take it off… I’m taking that as a good sign. 🙂

      Thanks so much for having me on your blog tour! I just can’t say enough good things about this pattern. It’s my go-to for dresses and tunics.

  2. Melle, you make me laugh every time 🙂 But seriously, the dresses are gorgeous 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your gorgeous model in her new BB dress 🙂

    1. Awe thank you! She was a pickle early on and then had shots. I’m planning to try again this weekend. I posted some out takes on my facebook page, tho. It fits perfectly. 🙂


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