Mom’s Turn

After years of sewing the Solis dress by Sofilantjes for my daughters, I was very excited to see that Anne was drafting an adult version of the pattern.  I quickly signed up to be a part of pre-testing the pattern.

The adult version of the Solis has the same options as the children’s version.  There are two bodice lengths an empire and natural waist length.  The empire waist has a gathered skirt.  The natural waist option has a pleated skirt and a circle skirt.  The natural waist bodice can also be made into a tunic top.  The pattern is sized from Euro size 34-54.

Sewing up this pattern was so familiar for me.  The racer back bodice is sewn together just as the children’s version.  The directions have so much information on fitting the dress to your body.  From lengthing, shortening, and bust adjustments it is all covered.  The designer behind Sofilantjes always has all her testers adjust the patterns to fit their measurements…hardly anyone is sewing this straight from one size.  For me personally, I was asked to use the size 34 with a full bust adjustment.  I also needed to remove 5/8″ from the length of the bodice for a “petite” adjustment and remove 1″ from the length of the skirt due to my height (I am only 5’3″ tall!).  The bodice fit me like a glove on my pretest options.  If you are expecting perfect fitting and results like the testers, you should be prepared to make adjustments to your pattern.

Due to our travel schedule, I did not participate in the full testing of this dress, hence no photos of the above process that I would want to share.  I used all mismatched fabrics and indoor photos just showing the fit for the designer.  Once we returned from our trip I finally had the opportunity to sew up a nice final version of the pattern.  For my final version I used a double brushed polyester fabric from So Sew English.  Instead of using an included skirt, I opted to alter the skirt into an A-line.  Any bulk at my waist is very unflattering on my body shape.  I started out with the skirt being the same width as the end of my natural waist bodice.  I then used my french curve to curve out at the waist.  I love how this came out as it is very suited to my style and body.

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Groove Tank

DSC01218Yesterday I completed my first muslin for my Summer 2018 Capsule.  I bought this pattern when it was released about a year ago and had yet to sew it.  This is actually the first pattern by this designer that I have sewn.

The Groove Tank by George and Ginger is a basic tank with a keyhole back.  It has a regular back and racer back option.  There are no sleeves in this pattern.  The key hole opening is bound and the neck and armholes are banded.  This tank is designed for knit fabrics.  It is only $5!

Preparing my pattern was very simple.  There are layers built into this pattern for each size and the pieces fit together easily.  After comparing the pattern to my own knit tank block I did make a few adjustments.  First, the armhole openings were a bit higher than I prefer.  I lowered them by 3/4″.  (

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This also required me to recalculate the length of the armband using some basic math).  Next, I shortened the length of the top by 3″!  That sounds like a lot but from the looks of the testing photos it looks as though this was designed to be more tunic length than top.  My pattern did not have any lengthen/shorten lines on it.  I am not sure if this is because they were not included or if maybe I accidentally deselected the layer they were in.  I just sliced the pattern near the waist in a relatively straight section of the top.  Once this was done I used my french curve to smooth out the edges.  This also helped me to straighten out the waist curve a bit to take into consideration my lack of an hourglass shape!

The pattern sewed up nicely.  the instructions are very simple to follow.  There is a center back seam do to the overlap on the keyhole opening.  There are only 5 pattern pieces; front, back, keyhole binding, armhole band and neck band.  I was easily able to cut the front and back from a 1 yard piece of fabric.  The process is very simple.  If you are able to sew a simple tank you will be able to easily complete this project.  The only thing I plan to change next time I sew it is to make my binding a bit narrower.  That is a personal preference and not do to the pattern.

The fabric I used for my muslin was a double brushed polyester print from Love Adore Knits. It is a medium weight knit that has a nice drape.  It was very easy to work with and very comfortable to wear…even in the 80+ degree heat yesterday.  I am planning on using a navy with white polka dot print in the same type of fabric for my capsule.

I am very glad I finally got around to sewing this pattern up.  I can easily see myself making more versions of this top for this summer.  It was very comfortable to wear yesterday while shuttling the kids around.  Depending on the fabric you could make this as casual or a bit more dressed up.

 

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Preparing a Summer Capsule

As we move into April here in Florida the weather has definitely warmed up.  We are already looking at 80’s and sunshine nearly every day for the next few weeks.  Time to put away all those lovely 3/4 length sleeved shirts and capri pants I have been enjoying since the fall.  As I started to store my “winter” clothes I realized that I am definitely in need of a new, fresh summer capsule.

To start the process I began looking through my stash.  I tend to buy a lot of navy fabric and a lot of reds.  That is where I am going to build my summer capsule around.  My style is pretty casual.  I do not work outside of the home.  Tanks, shorts and casual skirts are my usual go to items.  Last year I wore a lot of solid racer back tanks with khaki shorts.  This year I want to mix it up more.  I want to use more prints, more patterns and try some new to me fabrics.

My rough plans include patterns such as the Groove Tank by George and Ginger, the Jessie Tank by 5 out of 4, the Belize skort by Itch to Stitch, the Green Tee and Taylor shorts by Greenstyle Creations, the Chi Town Chino shorts and skirt by Alina Pattern & Design, Tortola Tank by Sis Boom, Berry Bubble shorts by Rebecca Page and the Allegro shorts and the Harmony Blouse by Love Notions.  The only pattern listed above that I have sewn are the Chi Town Chino patterns.  As you can guess I have a lot of work to do grading patterns and sewing up some muslins before I get started.

I can’t wait to start sharing some muslins and fabric swatches with everyone as I progress.

 

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Cozy Up to Fall – High School Reunion Edition

***Thank you to everyone who participated in the EYMM $20 giftcard giveaway!  Theresa was our winner.***

DSC01137Welcome to day 1 of the “Cozy Up to Fall” blog tour hosted by EYMM.  It might seem a little odd that a blogger from Florida would be participating in anything with the word “cozy” in the title…but this Florida blogger just happens to be attending her 20th high school reunion this weekend.  Indiana in October can be a mixed bag.  Layers are an absolute necessity.  My plan is to pack a small travel wardrobe where I can layer a few key pieces for different looks over the weekend.  My main wardrobe item will be my Four Seasons Cardigan by EYMM.

The Four Seasons Cardigan by EYMM is a flowy, open front cardigan with lots of options.  There are two lengths to choose from, 5 sleeve options and an optional hood.  I chose the cardigan length, long sleeves and no hood option in a size medium.  I used a medium weight sweater knit for my cardigan.  I was able to cut my cardigan from 1 1/2 yard of 54″ wide fabric.

DSC01138The pattern is very easy to print out.  The printing guide will show you which pages you need to print depending on your size and the options you chose.  There are no layers in this pattern.  However, I print in black and white and had no problems following the lines for my size.  Please note that there is a typo in the print guide.  One of the pieces lists a page range that includes page 70…the pattern only goes up to page 69.  Just print to page 69 and you will get all your pages!

Cutting out my cardigan was a breeze.  There are only 3 pattern pieces, even if you chose the hood option.  I was ready to sew in no time.  The construction is very straight forward.  I believe this would be a very good beginner project.  Only basic garment construction knowledge is necessary to complete the cardigan.  You are essentially sewing the shoulder seams, sleeves seams and side seams.  The rest is up to your preferences.  Because you are using knits and due to the flowy nature of the cardigan,

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you have many options on finishing the cardigan that are included in the instructions.  One method is to do nothing!  If your knit is not going to fray you can just make sure it is cut neatly and you are done.  There are also directions to do a rolled hem on your serger or to do a traditional hem.  I chose to do a traditional hem.  This was because I wanted a more polished look and because I was not really sure how the sweater knit would hold up to a non finished edge.  The instructions just say to turn under 1/2″ all the way around the edges.  I sort of did this, but also took an extra step to box my corners neatly since they would be falling to the back side often.

DSC01140Overall, I am very pleased with my new cardigan.  This is the perfect addition to my travel wardrobe.  I will be layering my cardigan over a tee with capris for the flight on my first day for a dressed down look.  I love how the open front is so comfortable and I can completely wrap up if I get chilly on the flight.  It is almost like having a small blanket for my upper body.  I will also be dressing my cardigan up by wearing it over my dress to the reunion!  The evenings get really chilly in Indiana in October.  My cardigan will help cover my arms to and from the party and I can easily shed the layer if I get warm inside.

You really can’t go wrong with the Four Seasons Cardigan by EYMM.  Thank you for stopping by my blog today.  Please leave a comment on how you would style a Four Seasons Cardigan.  One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to recieve a $20 gift card to EYMM’s pattern shop.  Scroll down to view the other stops on the blog tour and to find a 30% off discount code.

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Make sure to stop by all the amazing stops on the Cozy Up to Fall Tour!! (Keep in mind that the links below won’t work until their scheduled date, but feel free to click through and check out their other blog posts anytime.)

Oct. 3 – Tour Kick-off at EYMM

Oct. 4 – Capture, Craft, and Cook and Boutique Birdie

Oct. 5 – Sprouting JubeJube and EYMM

Oct. 6 – Pretty and Precious and House of Estrela

Oct. 7 – Analog Bytes and Connected By A Thread

Oct. 8 – Adventures With Bubba and Bug and With Love in Every Stitch and Beri Bee Designs

Oct. 9 – Five Blessings and Lulu & Celeste and Creative Counselor

Oct. 10- Tour Roundup on EYMM

During the tour, all featured patterns are on sale (save even more by buying the youth/adult bundles!) … the Four Seasons Cardigan (both women’s and girl’s), the Piko Top (both women’s and girl’s), and the Leggings Bundle (‘Get Moving’ Leggings for women and Jocelyn’s Leggings for girls). Use coupon code FALL17 to save 30% off these 6 patterns and/or 3 bundles in the EYMM shop, but only until 11:59pm on October 11, 2017.

 

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Lula Who?

dsc01074I am sure I am not the only one who’s Facebook news feed is full of invites to online parties selling LuLa something or another brand clothing.  My sister bought a pair.  I was intrigued and asked to check them out.  Yes, they were soft.  Almost everyone I ask who “loves” them just comments about how soft they are.  I was just sure that there was a fabric out there available to purchase that was similar if not the same to make my own leggings.  Luckily once I started looking I realized there are so many options to buy double brushed polyester lycra knit and that it is very affordable.  The best part is that instead of having to fork out $25 for a pair of one size fits all leggings, I could make a custom size for myself for under $7!

First, you need to find a pattern.  Luckily, with the recent popularity of leggings there are several pattern designers who offer their legging pattern at no cost.  The pattern that I used for today’s blog post is the Ninja Pants Pattern by 5 Out of 4 Patterns.  Depending on your body type and your personal preferences you might find you like another pattern more than the other, which is totally ok!  For me the Ninja Pants work the best for everyday leggings.  There is just the right amount of negative ease to fit snug but not distort the fabric pattern.

dsc01075Once you have your pattern you can begin to select your fabric.  I have found 3 great retailers that sell double brushed polyester lycra blend knits at great prices.  Love Adore Knits has the largest selection at great prices if you are looking for prints…especially florals.  She also carries a heavier weight solid double brushed poly that is just amazing.  The black top I am wearing in the pictures here is an example of that.  The fun french fry print and the floral in these photos was purchased from Print Knit Studios.  All three fabrics were $7 or less per yard and each garment only took 1 yard of fabric!  Purple Seamstress also has a great selection of double brushed poly.  She has 14 solid colors she keeps in stock for only $7.50 per yard and will occasionally post prints on her Facebook page for sell.  She can also send you a swatch card of the solids so you can match your prints before you buy!

dsc01076Now that you have all your materials squared away we can take a look at the pattern. In a previous blog post I went in detail reviewing the Ninja Pants if you would like more information on the pattern.  The French Fry pants in my photos are high rise waist and capri length.  The floral pants are high rise and ankle length  The pattern does not call for elastic in the waistband.  I have not noticed any slipping down of my ninja pants, but I also make the high rise so they are sitting above my hips.

The top I am wearing in both my photos is also a pattern by 5 Out of 4 Patterns called the Nancy Raglan.  I use the v neckline and used the tunic length.  I am very happy with how this top pairs up with leggings.  It is not baggy, but not too clingy either.  It is just long enough to cover my rear end.

I have been running around all morning in my Lula Who tunic and leggings.  It is actually cool here in FL today and I have found my double brushed poly leggings to be very comfortable.  I can definitely see the appeal for those who don’t have the luxury of sewing things themselves to have comfortable, one size fits all clothing in fun prints.  That being said I think I will stick to sewing my own in a size that is just right for me.

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Agility Tank and Ninja Pants by 5 Out of 4 Patterns

dsc01057Now that the holidays are over and the kids are back in school I finally had some time to sew something up for myself.  The first item on my sewing list for the new year was an Agility Top and Ninja Pants.  I like to go to Spin Class every week.  I only have two pair of spin pants and it always seems like they are both in the laundry bin when it is time for class.  This outfit has been planned for a long time.  I have had the fabric for this outfit in my stash since July!

The pink fabric is an “athletic knit” that I found in a clearance bin in Hobby Lobby in July.  The black is a light weight athletic polyester knit from Joann’s.  After all is said and done this outfit costs me less than $15.  You can’t even buy a sports bra for that price anymore!

dsc01058Let’s talk about the patterns.  The Ninja Pants are actually a free pattern.  (How cool is that?)  If you join the 5 Out of 4 Facebook group you can find a free pin code for the pattern.  I know there are a lot of free patterns for leggings out there right now, but for my body, this one works best.  I went with the high rise on this pair.  As you can see in the picture, the waist hits my true waistline.  I think this helps them stay put.  The pattern includes several waist options, including maternity.  There are also several lengths to choose from.  This length is the “pedal pusher” length.  I also really appreciate the gusset that is included with this pattern.  The pattern pieces print out very easily.  The pattern has a layer option so you can chose just the size/s you need to print.  There are very few pattern pieces since the leg is all one piece.  My ninja pants took less than an hour from printing the pattern to clipping my last thread.  I will definitely be making more of these pants in the near future!

Now on to the Agility Top.  I will be the first to admit that I have been really intimidated by this pattern.  I really have no idea why that is.  I bought the pattern the day it was released.  I actually feel quite silly now that it is all sewn up.  It is actually a pretty quick sew!  I really think that this pattern works perfectly with the Ninja Pants…mostly because I could cut the bra out of what was left of the fabric after cutting out my pants!  The Agility pattern has so many options to choose from.  First of all you can choose to use the overlay or not.  Then you can chose to make a dress or a top.  You can chose between a T back or a strappy back.  Finally, you have nursing options as well.

dsc01056This pattern is also very easy to print out.  There is a great printing guide to help you print only the pages you need for the options you chose.  Again, there are size layers so you can print only the size/s you need.  Once I had my pattern together and pieces all cut I grabbed my ipad and pulled up the pattern so I had it right there with me while I sewed.  I read this pattern several times before I sewed the first stitch.  I recommend you do the same.  It will make the whole process much easier.  I chose to sew the overlay option with a T back and bottom band.  The top did take a bit longer to sew up than the pants, which is to be expected.  The most time went into applying the binding.  I can’t stress enough to just go slow and take your time.  This will help so much.  One final thing I wanted to mention is that I did not use my serger for my Agility Top!  I just found it much easier to sew on my regular machine.  So don’t let a lack of serger stop you from trying this pattern.

Overall, I honestly couldn’t be more pleased with my new Spin outfit!  As you might guess from my appearance in this picture, the pictures were taken “post class” today.  Today’s class was brutal with lots of jumps out of the saddle.  These pants stayed put the whole time.  My other pants (one pair is sewn and one is store bought) never stay up the whole time.  I had plenty of support for my chest and stayed very comfortable the whole time.  There was no chaffing around the top or pants.  I think this outfit has become my official “Spin Outfit” from here on out.

 

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Women’s Henley by Patterns for Pirates

p4p_henleyAfter being sick for over a week and doing little to no sewing I decided I needed a project today.  I wanted something new to me that I would really have to follow the directions for.  As I was going through my patterns and fabric stash I came across the Women’s Henley by Patterns for Pirates.  Luckily I had just enough fabric to get started right away!

The Women’s Henley is full of options.  You can chose from the henley style button closure, traditional neckband or a hood.  There are short and long sleeve options.  You can also chose how you finish your sleeve.  There are instructions for hemming, cuffing, using a button tab and even thumb hole cuffs.  The bottom of the top can be straight hemmed, curve hemmed, or banded.

The fit of the henley is a bit more relaxed than some of the other Pattern for Pirates patterns.  Even so, I chose to do a Medium this time.  My measurements put me in a small for my chest and hips and I usually just grade out at the waist to a medium.  Since this was a more easy wearing style I just went all over medium.  I do not feel like it was too big and will probably continue to make it this way.  I do think I need a petite adjustment above the bust as I am getting some wrinkles there.  Next time I will probably take off 1/2″ horizontally above the bust to correct for this.

Onto the construction…my pattern printed out pretty easily.  There are no layer options on my copy.  I believe this pattern has been updated to include them, but I have just never went back to re-download the pattern.  Even without the layers it is easy to follow the size patterns to cut out the size you need.  I print in black and white and have no issues deciphering between sizes.  The pages are clearly labeled so you know what page comes next when you are gluing them together.  I had my pattern pieces ready in no time.

p4p_henley_backI chose to do the placket neckline, button tab sleeves and the regular straight hem.  There is no pattern piece for the placket, there are measurements to cut this on the chart that is printed on the front shirt pattern piece.  I used knit for my placket and used a light interfacing on the back of it as the pattern instructions suggested.  Once the pieces were cut and my interfacing fused I was ready to get started.

First step was to complete my placket.  The first time I pressed my folds I did it the wrong direction (I put the shortest side vertically instead of horizontally!)  I quickly realized my placket was not matching the pictures and started over.  Second time was a charm.  I did not find the process of the placket difficult.  It ended up being difficult for me due to my fabric choice.  I had so much bulk to work with.  The bottom of the placket is just not as neat as I would like it to be.  I think next time I will use a woven fabric instead of medium weight cotton lycra to reduce some of the bulk.  Once the placket was in the rest of the process was the same as any knit shirt pattern.

The fabric I used for the top was from Print Knit Studios.  It is a very nice medium weight cotton lycra knit.  I used plastic Kam Snaps for the placket and the sleeve tabs.

Overall, I am very pleased with my new shirt.  I really like the fit of this shirt.  It is just enough ease to be comfortable but still have some feminine shaping.  Once I make my usual petite adjustments this pattern will become a staple for me.  Next time I will try out the traditional neckband and some short sleeves.

 

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