My son loves dinosaurs and shorts in French Terry. So, when So Sew English came out with a new Dino print on French Terry, it was an immediate purchase.
The last few pairs of shorts I have made for him, have all been without pockets. He loves pockets, but I don’t love the surprises those pockets leave behind in my washing machine. He really, REALLY wanted pockets in this pair, and informed me that he was now 7 and had a better memory. Even though Daddy is way older than 7 and still forgets. 🤣
He likes the fit of the Pattern Niche 11th Hour Gear Shorts and I love how quick of a sew it is. I always double check measurements before sewing and saw he had moved up a size, so I ended up needing to redo my pattern pieces. I’m glad I checked though, because he loves the shorts and we have a long summer ahead of us.
Since he heard his sister picking her shorts length, he wanted to as well, fortunately his desired length was really close to the pattern length so it was as simple as taking a smaller hem allowance. You can read about how I used this same pattern to make my daughter a pair of shorts a few weeks back, here.
Naturally our puppy, who is almost 6 months now, needed a matching scARF (a.k.a. super soft bandana). I had a two yard cut and was easily able to get both his shorts and the scARF out of it.
If you read my last few posts, you know I’ve been interested in trying new to me fabric bases, so I decided to try out the Brazilian Performance Rib from So Sew English for a matching top. The rib is listed as a horizontal rib, but upon arrival I noticed that it only had around 25% stretch horizontal and around 100% vertical, so I chose to use it as a vertical rib. Unfortunately my camera had a hard time photographing the rib, but the mint color is a perfect complement to the shorts.
On the right side of the fabric, there is a definite rib, and the wrong side is smooth. My son is a little sensitive when it comes to things being soft or having texture, so I wasn’t sure how he would like the rib as the neckband. After wearing, he said he doesn’t mind it, but it isn’t as soft as his Double Brushed Poly or other performance shirts, and that they are his favorites.
The fabric sewed up well, but I did notice that hemming was a bit odd on my machine, with all the ribbing. When compared to other performance fabrics I have used, it feels a little stiffer, again, because of the ribbing.
My husband wants a shirt in it to try too, I knew I should have gotten 2 yards instead of one.
I can’t get over how cute they look together 😍😍.
I used our normal go to t-shirt pattern, the Jalie 2918.
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I can’t be the only one that loves to try new fabrics. I have my tried and true bases, that I go back to time and time again. But there is also something fun about trying new types and maybe finding another favorite.
I decided to try the Dharma from The Fabric Fairy and since the description sounding highly appealing, I got it in several colors. I mean, doesn’t this sound intriguing ?? Dharma Heathered Jade Green Poly Spandex is stylish, and durable with a soft hand and wicking treatment, fast recovery, and great stretch. This fashion-forward color has cationic yarns used to create vibrant colors, an ultra-soft hand with excellent moisture wicking management. These high performing qualities make this fabric perfect for yoga apparel, leggings, or any activewear garment.
I got the Jade Green for a top and the Light Grey for a pair of leggings to go with. I was really curious how this same fabric base would act for both a top and leggings.
For the top I picked a pattern I have used a few times, the Tie Back Tank from Greenstyle Creations. Since I’ve made it several times, I was familiar with the fit and felt it would give me a good comparison for this new fabric base.
For the leggings, I chose the Sundial Leggings. I purchased the Sundial leggings when they released, but hadn’t had a chance to sew them up til now. I decided to do the, double crossover waistband.
This fabric was a perfect fit for leggings. It has great stretch and recovery, and it feels really nice on. So nice and smooth, I almost feel like I’m not wearing anything. Since it has such great recovery, the double waistband gave me a lot of tummy support, but I’m not sure how much I will like that when I have a tummy flare. I also noticed that my machine didn’t like the 7 layers in the front.
Using this fabric for the tie back tank, the first thing I noticed was that the fabric had less drape than my usual picks for this top. That translated in a stiffer fit, and a tentish look when worn untied. Once tied up, it looked nice, and the binding was super easy to do with this fabric. I will definitely wear this for workouts and walks, as the moisture wicking feature will be a huge plus.
I really think this fabric would be best suited to a fitted t-shirt, tank top, or sports bra, over a top that needs some drape to keep it from feeling boxy. I’m hoping I have enough scraps left from my leggings and tank, to make myself a sports bra so I can see.
The Tie Back Tank , one of my favorite summer tops, has a low or high neckline, binding or bands, and a racerback or full back. I did the low neckline, binding, and racerback options on mine.
The Sundial Leggings have a V shaped waistband, that can be single or double. It has no side seams and are available in capri or full length. I did the double waistband in the full length, with 1″ added for my height.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you.Thank you for supporting my sewing 💕
The Power Sports Bra has several back options, a plain racerback, a keyhole racerback, or a pocket racerback. Plus a strappy cross back or a strappy U back. For my first I chose the strappy cross back, high neckline, and regular coverage cups.
I have no idea why I waited so long. I think y’all have been holding out on me. 🤣 Not only was this a relatively quick sew, but it fit. I totally expected to have to make a few muslins first, nope. I followed the directions and it fit.
Now, I do want to mention. The measurements given for the elastic for my size, were too small, BUT I did as the pattern said, and checked it around me first, at which point I added 2″ to the suggested length.
I also freaked out that the straps were too short when I tried it on, like instructed. BUT after my freakout, I decided to just go with what I had and see. Not only did they fit just right, but once I added the bottom elastic, it held the back down properly. So if you try yours on, don’t freak like I did, it may just need the elastic band before it sits right.
I absolutely loved the strap assembly! Straps can be such a tedious part of sewing, when you have to turn them, but the way you do these with elastic, they were so fast! In fact, I loved it so much, I’m going to use it for other tank patterns I have. Maybe even for the cross cuffs on the strides next time.
I love this bra so much, I’m even going so far out of my comfort zone, I’m practically jumping off the cliff here, and sharing pictures of the completed set on.
I pulled out a pile of athletic fabrics I had been saving, and ordered some more elastic, and I can’t wait to make another set.
We recently (the week before Christmas) got a puppy and with his addition, we have been getting out more for walks with short running periods the past few weeks. He is almost five months old now and the walks have been much needed to tire him out in the evenings. With my health issues, I usually can’t do much of either, but I have been utilizing my recumbent bike and working on my leg and heart strength, and as a result I’ve been able to keep up with him. As a little, young puppy, he can only go for short periods while he is growing, which is perfect for my body as well.
When we started taking him out, I realized that I was grabbing the same athletic top, leggings, and bra repeatedly. AND of those three, only one was made by me. Insert shocked face. In my mostly me made wardrobe, I have neglected true athletic tops and bras. To be honest, the whole bra topic makes me nervous, but at the beginning of this year, I decided to cross that off my list and so here we are.
Baby steps y’all. I decided to tackle a matching pair of capris first.
The fabric I decided to use for this set, was a surprise that arrived at my house a few weeks back. It is this gorgeous teal, honeycomb texture fabric from Fabmere Fabrics. I still have no idea who my fabric godmother is, but they sent me one yard of the teal honeycomb and one yard of the olive green honeycomb. With only having a yard I mulled over how to best utilize it. After much debate, I decided to go with the Stride athletic tights from Greenstyle Creations. It has a really great insert piece that allows for just this type of fabric usage. Since I’m too tall to get full length leggings from a yard, and with our warming weather, going for the capri length was perfect.
I decided to try out the optional cross cuff and waistband pocket on this version as well. I have made several pairs of the stride tights in the past, and love the fit. That pair of leggings I was repeatedly grabbing for our puppy walks? Strides.
I really wanted the teal honeycomb to pop so I used some black athletic from my stash for the rest of the leggings.
If you follow me on instagram, you probably saw a few of my recent posts sharing my sewing frustration with sewing these cross cuffs. The cuffs themselves were not difficult, but I messed up and did a step out of order on the cuff straps. On take two, my coverstitch went back to being difficult. So for take three, I went off course and instead of doing the cuff straps as the pattern instructed, I just cut my strips (3/8″ wide) out of the black fabric and omitted the clear elastic or the folding and topstitching.
I was having an off sewing day, so the cuff directions seemed harder for me to follow than I expected. I did use my trusty wash away wonder tape on them, which was a huge help. You can see it all on this time lapse video I made, including the changes I made to the straps.
With the sun here, everything gets hot to the touch, chairs, swings, slides, everything. My daughter was getting frustrated with the continual “back of the thigh burn” and she asked for some longer play shorts. Her requests were to have them just above her knees, relaxed fit, and with pockets. She also wanted to match with our puppy, so she picked a beautiful royal/aqua tie dye French Terry from So Sew English Fabrics.
I recently used the 11th hour gear jogger pattern for several pairs of joggers for her and my son. She really liked the fit so I just did a length modification to it, and added pockets.
To decide the length, she tried on her joggers, and I measured down from the crotch seam, to where she wanted them. This ended up being about 6″.
I measured down the 6″ from the crotch curve on the pattern piece, and added a new cut line. Since she gave me a 2″ area she wanted them to hit, I wasn’t worried about including seam allowance or hem.
Sewing tip: before cutting, I like to place my pattern pieces together, and ensure that the modification I did to the front and the back, will match on my side seams when sewn. Once I verified that mine matched, I sewed up the pattern per the jogger instructions.
Added a matching scARF for our “little” puppy, and done!
It has been a while since I was super excited about a sew for myself. But let me tell you, when I pulled out the fabric (Double Brushed Poly from So Sew English Fabrics) for these new leggings, I could feel my excitement building. It only got higher when I decided to make a new top to go with it. This set has me feeling all the springy vibes and I couldn’t be more comfortable.
The leggings are a super quick and simple new pattern from Greenstyle Creations. I have a few go to legging patterns already, but this will be replacing my basic one. Why? There are a few reasons the Simpatico stands out for me.
The first thing I noticed was calf shaping. Unless leggings are super tight, I will usually get bunching above and below my calf. And if leggings are super tight, they can feel restricting and painfully tight at my calf. With these, I have no calf restriction and no bunching, they fit my legs perfectly.
Another thing I noticed and liked about the Simpatico, the three built in inseam length options. I’m 5′ 9′ with a 29″ inseam. With the three built in lengths, I fall in the standard length, and that meant I was able to skip adding for my height. The only grading I had to do, was going from my G everything to an E thigh. So it made this a really fast sew for me. Such a fast sew, that I had time to make a quick tie back tank to wear with it.
I just love how it looks tied up or left open, both work great with Simpatico!
My daughter is all about the crop tops right now, and while her Dad doesn’t like her looking so grown up, he understands her desire and so we are working on outfit compromises. Who knew that sewing would provide a way to bridge the inevitable clothing gap.
Part of the crop top pull, is how much cooler she is. It is hard living in our heat, being active, and trying to stay cool, so we have been exploring new garments and fabric bases. This recent sew really hit the ball out of the park for her.
Desert living really has it benefits in the winter. We do get our cold storms, but on a typical day I can start out wearing cool weather clothes, transition into tanks and even shorts, and end up back in the cool weather clothing by evening. Because of this and my circulation problems, I really love wearing pants, tanks, and cardigans. I have found myself grabbing that combo from my closet, more and more, so I decided to make myself a new set.
Then came the coordinating tank fabric. I really wanted something I could wear into spring and summer, but wanted something a little “dressier” than a modal or rayon spandex. I particularly like ITY (interlock twist yarn) for dresses and tops, because it has great drape, and can keep me cool in the heat, so I started looking there. I came across this solid navy ITY and took a chance it would match the Oakley print, and ordered. The fabric matched !!
I knew before ordering, exactly which patterns I intended to use for this combo. For the tank I used the Catalina tank from So Sew English Fabrics. I liked the look when it released, but didn’t get a chance to try it out, and now was the perfect time. Since I prefer to wear my regular bra, I decided to omit the elastic for the included shelf bra, and treat it as a liner. Because of my height and my side waist length, I added an inch in the length of the bodice, and also added an inch to the “shelf bra” length.
A few things to note: I am 5’9″ with a side waist length of 9″. Most patterns are designed for a height of 5’5″, and an 8″ side waist length. I have found that adjusting my 1″ for side waist length difference, is usually enough for tops, based on where I carry my height. However, in this case, I would have needed to add 2″ to both the shelf bra and the bodice, versus the 1″ I did, if I had made the pattern as drafted and used the elastic, and hemmed the bodice (which I didn’t do, for the look I wanted). The Catalina is drafted for a height of 5’5″. If I had used a heavier fabric or one that grew, I could have left it with just adding 1″.
Since the “lining” was designed to be a shelf bra, it comes in to your body and has more negative ease. I found that this helped keep the “lining” in place and gave me a really clean silhouette, with no visible lines.
For the cardigan, I chose the Patterns for Pirates, Cocoon Cardi. I had a happy accident the last time I made the pattern and ended up with 10″ bands versus the 5″ or 13″ options in the pattern. I also sized it up one, from my measured size, and the combo was love. For this cardigan, I did the same.
These two have been on wear, wash, repeat since making, and I foresee the tank being worn with shorts, into summer.
*** This was scheduled to post months ago, due to some error, it never went live. So please excuse the delay and inaccurate dates. ***
If you read my last blog post, you heard me talk about how my daughter is constantly growing. Well, as she is getting older, she is requesting different clothing and her needs are starting to change. When we had a recent talk about some new clothing she was feeling she needed, I had these horrid flash backs to my first shopping trips. I decided right then and there that I would try and sew her whatever I could and make things as comfortable for her as I possibly could.
I’ve never done anything like this and I didn’t have time to do my usual research, since we had an upcoming trip scheduled, so I just winged it. Of course, my machines all acted up, and I was far from happy with the results, but she loves the fit and the fabric and couldn’t care less about the funky, messed up stitching. Just look at this stitching 😂
To keep it simple, I measured down on her body, how far we wanted the extra front layer to sit, then did the exact shape of the front bodice piece, just at that shorter length, for her “shelf bra”. It ended up being about 3″ down from the armscyse.
I used some 1/4″ soft knit elastic, just a little shorter than the width of the bodice, and zig zag stitched it to the bottom of the “shelf bra” layer. Then I folded that raw edge up and when I serged up the shirt sides, I tucked the sides of the shelf bra layer in, to secure the fold. Since it’s folded up, the unfinished raw edge is against the bodice and she has a smooth comfy finish against her skin.
Once I had the shelf bra layer, serged into the side seam with the front and back bodice, I just treated it as one piece with the front bodice and added the neck and arm binding per the pattern directions.
She absolutely loves it and practically lived in it the entire week we were camping recently. This fabric is amazingly comfortable and the moisture wicking properties are perfect for our weather. She fell in love with the fabric base when her Dad and Brother got a bunch of new shirts from other color ways (you can read about their shirts here). I’m thinking I need to rectify the fact that I’m the only one that doesn’t have a shirt in this fabric 😂
I have been wanting to sew something relaxed and comfy for a while. Something I could wear during the day that felt like pjs, but not my actual pjs. Something that I could put on in the mornings and pretend I was well rested and get my day off to a good start. So I started to formulate some ideas in my head and then went searching my friend, Pinterest. You all know I love to find pictures of what I’m thinking, and save them in my idea board to come back to later, if I forget what I had in mind. Fortunately for me, lounge sets are all the rage and it was a quick search to find what I envisioned.
Our current weather is still hovering around 100 during the day, but 60-70 in the mornings, and my body has been acting up so my temps are uncontrollable. Naturally that meant I needed two options 😂 a shorts set and a pants set. Then the fabric searching began. I fell in love with three tie dye prints from Fabmere Fabrics. I know!! Three tie dyes?? This from the girl that hasn’t really liked tie dye?? But these colors and the print pattern is not the normal swirl and I love them! With some difficulty I was able to slim it down to two, another reason for two lounge sets.
I used this rib and it feels so luxurious and I can’t get over how pretty these colors are! It has the absolute perfect drape for the bishop sleeves. I made a few mods to the patterns to get the look I wanted, but they were relatively simple. For the shorts, I sized down one, since the pattern was designed for woven and I used a knit. Then for the curved hem, I used a narrow three thread stitch on my serger, and gently pulled the fabric while serging, to give it a slight lettuce hem.
On the Rebekah, I went with the boatneck, curved hem shirt length, sized up one for more slouch. The pattern already has bishop sleeves, but since I wanted it elastic instead of cuffed, I needed to make a modification to the sleeve. I wanted to keep the width at the wrist as the pattern was drafted, so I cut the sleeve in half and added 5.25″. The 5.25 is 1″ for my normal sleeve addition, 3″ for the cuff we are not using, and 1.25″ for the elastic casing. I used 1″ elastic and to pick my length, I measured my wrist and added 3″. I overlapped the elastic ends 1/2″ which made my finished wrist elastic 8″. I wanted it loose enough to pull up, but not loose enough to slip over my hands.
For the pants set, I used this brushed French Terry. It is really soft and cozy and will be perfect when I’m feeling chilled. For the pants I used the Greenstyle Creations Brassie Joggers. The mods I made for it were to omit the waist elastic and pockets, and change the ankle cuff to elastic. To omit the pockets, I just lined up the pocket piece with the front pants piece, and taped it together to make the front a full piece.
Then for the cuff to elastic change, I used the 32″ inseam length vs the cuff length, and rolled them up 1.25″ to make my elastic casing. I used 1″ elastic and for the length I did 12″. My ankle measures 8.5″ and I wanted to be able to pull them up to my calf, which is a bit larger so I added 3.5″ extra and did a 1/2″ overlap to secure.
The top for my pants set took me a little longer since I messed up and then my machine ended up eating it, so I had to fudge it a little. I really wanted a hooded V neck, but almost every v neck I came across had a band and it wasn’t the look I was going for, so I chose to use the Hannah from Sonia Estep Designs, sized up one. It has a hood option and a quarter zip, so I decided to use that as my base, and just omit the zipper.
The hood is lined, but I really wanted the brushed texture of the French Terry to be exposed so I omitted the hood lining as well. Which actually helped with the v neck and skipped zipper since I planned to serge up one side, around the hood, and back down to the other side. Then turn the serged edge under and topstitch. When I serged up and around, I cut off the triangle point, where the top of the zipper would have been, and made it more of a curved edge from the neckline to the hood.
This is where things got messy though 😂. The pattern has you cut down from the neckline and make a triangle, which allows for a perfect rectangle shape to insert your zipper. I wasn’t paying attention to the rectangle shape not being a V shape I wanted, until after I had already serged, turned, and topstitched, the entire hood and almost full neckline.
As I was about to finish the topstitching, I looked at it and went, oh *%*%*%*. So then I tried to fix it and my machine ate it and there was some more *%*%*%*. My husband suggested I take a break at that point, which I ignored (not stubborn), and I sat there for 30 minutes mulling over ideas. After all that, I couldn’t see any way around it, so I grabbed my pen and started drawing. I drew the V shape I wanted, blended into the neckline I already had. Then I topstitched my pen markings and into the current topstitch. Grabbed my scissors and cut out the extra fabric, just short of the sorta V shape stitching. Fortunately it is a relaxed look and knit doesn’t fray so it actually works, even if it’s not the prettiest stitching or V shape, I’ve ever done.
After I finished sewing these all up, I realized that both the Brassie Joggers and Mama Lucy have been updated since I purchased them, and now I want to make more pairs to try out the updated versions, although, I like the fit I have, so maybe I won’t mess with it, maybe.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you.