Mint Pants and My Marbella/Valencia Mash

At the end of last summer I scored an awesome bundle from So Sew English Fabrics. The bundle had this beautiful mint ponte and the perfect complement of this Alyssa ITY.

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Being the end of summer, I decided to wash it and put it away for this coming spring. Fortunately where I live, the time from summer ending and spring beginning feels relatively short, and it was here before I knew it.

I was indecisive as to making shorts or pants with the ponte, but decided to go with the pants so I could try out a new to me pattern. I picked the Patterns for Pirates, SOS skinny leg pants, and instead of doing the pattern waistband, I used the contour waistband from the Peglegs.

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I decided to go with the contoured pegleg waistband for that extra stomach support and my personal comfort preference, due to my health stuff.  I also chose the back pocket, faux fly, and front pocket options. I wanted them to look like pants even if they felt like leggings. Want to see the pants being sewn up? You can view my time lapse video here. An item to note: I did my pocket construction a little different than the pattern instructs.

For the Alyssa ITY, to wear with the pants, I pulled out a pattern mash I did last year. I actually have done it twice already, but this time I decided to write up how. It felt like the perfect springy, complement to wear with mint pants. I mashed the crossback version of the New Horizons Designs, Valencia, with the sleeveless fit of their Marbella tank.

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You could probably do something similar with another tank pattern you may have, but I went with this combo for a few reasons. First, I had both patterns already. The second reason was with them being from the same company, I figured they would have similar design fits, making the mash easier. The final reason I chose these two was because I had made the Marbella tank several times previously and loved the easy neckline and armscye finish, which I wanted to incorporate into this shirt.

Want to make your own Marbella/Valencia mash? Here are the steps I did to make mine.

Let’s start with the back piece first. I laid out my Valencia crossback pattern and put my Marbella pattern on top, matching up the top shoulder seam.

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I then transferred the Marbella armscye to the Valencia and blended it into the original curve of the Valencia.

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At this point you have a few options, since the opening is bigger than the Marbella you can determine how much gap and drape you want.  I made one with some drapy rayon spandex and took out ½” . It worked well for showing off my cute bralette under the arms and on the back.  For this ity version, I wanted a little less drape and to wear with my regular bra, so I took out about ¾”. Whatever amount you choose, make sure you taper that in to the original side seam of the Valencia. If you aren’t sure on the amount you want, start with a smaller reduction, as you can always take out more later on, before finishing your arm topstitching.

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Now that our armscye is done, we can move to the crossover portion. I wanted extra gathering and drape on my crossover pieces so I extended the shoulder seam of the crossback Valencia, 2”.

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I tapered that and blended it in to the original cut line about 12” down.

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We will be gathering the shoulder piece in a future step, but if you don’t want to gather or have that extra drape on the back, you could skip this 2” addition and just make the back shoulder piece match the front shoulder piece. Total personal preference.

For the front pattern piece, again lay your Marbella pattern on top of the Valencia, lining up the shoulder seam and front fold line.

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Transfer the Marbella armscye to the Valencia pattern, blending in to the original Valencia cutline.

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Remove the same amount you did on the back piece, and taper it to blend in to the original Valencia side seam.

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Cut one of your new front pieces on the fold and two of the new back pieces, mirrored.

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If you want to have a back strap like the original Valencia, you would cut that as well. I like it to have more movement so I opt to skip the strap. If you have your shoulder straps normally slipping off your shoulders, you may want to add the strap, to keep things in place. Now that we have all our pieces cut, we can assemble.

If you added the 2” to the back shoulder, you will now sew a gathering stitch along the shoulder seam, and then gather it to match the front shoulder seam width.

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Repeat with the other back shoulder seam. I would recommend gathering with your sewing machine vs your serger, just to minimize the bulk for future steps.

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Lay your front piece, right sides together, with the two back pieces and sew the shoulders.

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You will have all three pieces connected at the two shoulder seams.

Starting with one back piece, fold over the crossover edge 3/8”, and work your way around the neckline, ending at the other back crossover edge. Topstitch.

Fold up the bottom hem on the front and both back pieces, ¾”, and topstitch.

Lay your front piece right side up. Cross over the right back piece, aligning the left bottom edge with the left bottom edge of the front piece and the right upper edge with the armpit of the front piece. Right sides together, and clip in place.

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Cross over the left back piece, on top of the right one, align the edges and clip in place.

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Sew the sides together, starting at the underarm and ending at the hem. At some points you will have three layers so be sure to catch them all.

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Press and fold the seam allowance towards the back of the bodice and stay stitch.

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I like to fold up and tuck my serger tails in, before I fold the seam allowance and stitch. Like this.

If you decided to add a back strap, now is when you would do so.

If you opted for no back strap, you will fold over the armscye 3/8” and topstitch. Repeat with the other side.

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You are done! As slow of a seamstress as I am, I actually find this mash to be relatively quick.

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Since this is a cross back with two back pieces, it uses a little more fabric than a single tank with only the front and back piece. I started with a little over 2 yards and ended up with a full ½ yard plus another ½ yard that was about half the width of fabric. I probably could have done better at cutting it out but I was cutting distracted and didn’t pay attention, oops.

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To see the other included options and get your New Horizons Designs patterns, you can here- Marbella and Valencia. You can get the Patterns for Pirates SOS pants here. Both fabrics were purchased from So Sew English Fabrics.  They just stocked a bunch of solid Ponte and some gorgeous ITY’s so be sure to check them out.

 

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. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

 

First Sequins and a Visit to SSE

One of my sewing goals last year was to slowly transition my entire wardrobe from store bought items to all made by me. It has been a rewarding goal that I have continued into this new year. So when my husband came home from work and told me about a quickly approaching awards dinner for his work, it made me pause. I mentally cataloged all the dresses in my closet and ran through the fabrics in my stash. Nothing felt appropriate and I was less than inspired by the options I had. This all happened right after a stunningly gorgeous gold ombre sequin stretch mesh stocked with So Sew English Fabrics. I LOVE ombre! I have other “prints” I love too; camo, black, purple, floral, etc, but there is just something about a good ombre that makes me sigh. Naturally, that ombre was forefront in my mind.

At the same time, we were leaving to go on a family vacation and my sewing time was going to be limited to two days between our return and the event. I am such a sloooow seamtress, that the time crunch made me nervous. But that ombre ❤ . I guess it was just meant to be that our family trip was about 30 minutes away from the new SSE fabric warehouse. I mean really, the stars aligned 😉 . I fabric stalked our entire trip.

Fabric stalking – When a person checks the amount of remaining yardage several times a day, of said fabric, praying and hoping it doesn’t sell out before you finish shopping and check out.

Since I was picking up a recent order at the warehouse, I was heading that way, and Amanda was so generous to show us around when we arrived. I met a few sewlebrities of mine, and yes, that stunning ombre fabric had a little bit of yardage left, of course two yards had to come home with me. Side note, the warehouse is mind blowing! The amount of fabric and the sheer quantities of orders moving through there really put into perspective how awesome they are. Since my family came along, we all got to see it and it was truly an enjoyable time for us all.

We got home from our trip and now it was time to make the dress. Sooo, sequins, yeah… I had no idea what I was doing with them. I decided to just take it slow and see what happened, anyone see a reoccurring theme for me? No idea what I’m doing, lots of firsts, and just trying it, slowly. Since I didn’t know how my machines would handle the sequins I decided to finish another top I had started before our trip, first, which left me with a day and a half before the event.  The fabric cut easily and shed the expected sequins. Then, as I was preparing to assemble the dress, I realized I accidentally cut out two back pieces, instead of one front and one back.

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I had a moment of sheer panic as I unfolded the last remaining fabric to see if I could squeeze the needed front piece out. I literally had like 1” to spare.

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Once my heart resumed its normal pace, I triple checked everything, and cut out the front piece. After that I decided to call it a night.

The day of the event arrived and I headed back into my sewing room determined to make this dress. My serger needles didn’t like the sequins; I bent/broke 7 of them while sewing up the two side seams.

After the first five broke, I seam ripped off some sequins in the seam allowance, to help, and was able to serge it up.

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Then I ended up using a jean needle on my regular sewing machine for the rest of assembly and topstitching. It handled the sequins like a champ and I finished the dress with 2 hours to spare before the event.

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Was it worth it? Absolutely, yes!  I learned so much from my first try at sequins and loved the way the dress ended up. I plan on investing in some different types of needles for my serger for my next go at sequined fabric. I used the straight hem, dress version, of the Kaitlyn by CKC Patterns. This was the 6th time I have used the Kaitlyn pattern, it is definitely a favorite in my wardrobe. The exact fabric I used is out of stock, but I did see that there are others on the way. So if the sparkle caught your eye, be on the lookout. It was hard getting this gorgeous fabric to show properly in still photos, but you can see a quick video of the dress, on, here.

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Faux Moto Patch Hoodie – Sewing for my Husband

I love Moto patches on clothes. Up until now the only one I have actually done though, was on my green pair of DIBY club Augusta Moto pants. These are legit fold and stitch pintucks! While I absolutely love them, I wanted to find something a little quicker when I got the idea to do a moto patch on a hoodie for my husband.

When I first decided to make this hoodie with the moto patch hack, I wondered if I could do a faux pintuck using my coverstitch. Over the past year, my coverstitch and I have had an interesting journey. I struggled to figure out all its little quirks to avoid tunneling and skipped stitches. We seem to be mostly on the same page now, so wanting to intentionally create tunneling made me cringe. Oh husband, how much I love you.

I cut some scrap fabric strips, cranked up my needle and looper tensions, and just gave it a try.

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Well, hello there, you gorgeous faux pintucks!! Maybe I should just use this coverstitch for exclusive faux pintucks and get myself a different one for regular coverstitching. I’m only sort of kidding.

I have a Janome 900 CPX and the settings I used were, both the needles and the looper on 9, the highest tension it goes.  Then I set my stitch length at a 2.5 and my differential feed at 1. You will need to tweak your own settings depending on the fabric you use and your machine, but the basic goal is to have a longer stitch and tighter tension to pull the two rows of stitching together, pinching the fabric and making a tunnel.  Pro tip: before you start messing with your tensions and other settings, jot down a little note saying what they were set at for proper stitching. There is nothing worse than forgetting how to get back to your perfect coverstitch.

Now that you know how I made these faux pintucks, it’s time to talk about what I used them to create. I hacked the sleeves on the Greenstyle Creations Hudson Pullover, and made this awesome hoodie for my husband. I am so proud of this one !!

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After seeing a similar hoodie on Pinterest I showed it to my husband, thinking he would say no. Obviously, I was wrong. I admit, it doesn’t happen often (wink wink), but in this case, I’m glad it did. Since I have made this hoodie once before, I knew exactly how it fit on him and if I needed to make any adjustments for this slightly different look.

Let’s talk about making the moto patch first. If you are like me, when someone says they “eye-balled” something, you just want to smack them. How are you supposed to duplicate eye-balling?? So I’m ducking over here as I say, I eye-balled most of this. To help with my eye-balling, I took pictures and general measurements that you can use to create your own, “eye-balled” moto patch.

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The first thing I did was take the sleeve pattern piece and find the halfway mark. I used the wrist hem to find my center since the sleeve is a raglan and not exactly the same from front to back. I needed that center point though, to ensure the patch was centered on his arm when worn.

Once I had my center line I made another mark, approximately 12.5” down from the neckline, along the center line. This line will serve as the bottom of the moto patch. You can bring it lower if you want it to come closer to the elbow, or make it shorter if you wanted a smaller patch. Eye-ball away.

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Now that I had my lower mark on the center fold, I needed to determine what kind of a shape I wanted for this moto patch. Since I was using the seams for the full top and most of the side lengths for the patch, I just eye-balled a curve. It ended up being about 9.5” down from the top for the back side and 7” down for the front side. Both were more than halfway down the total seam length.  Make your marks and smooth out the curves until you are happy with the size and shape. If you have your recipient handy, you can even hold the sleeve piece up on their arm and make sure you like where it will hit. My husband was gone so I just winged it.

Once you have your moto patch pattern piece made, you will want to measure it. I prefer cutting a square piece of my fabric, mirrored, the size of the patch pattern piece, plus some. Then I take that square piece of fabric and do my pintucks. Once it is done, I cut out the moto patch from it. When you tunnel, it will shrink your fabric piece. My 16”x17” piece ended up being around 14”x 16.5”, when done.

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If I did this again, I’d make my piece 17”x 17”, which is about 3” bigger than my moto patch pattern piece. I ended up really close to the edge on my pieces.

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Don’t forget to add seam allowance to the bottom curve of the patch pattern piece and the top curve of the plain sleeve pattern piece.

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You don’t need to add seam allowance to any other part, as the pattern already includes it.

Making the faux pintucks is seriously my favorite part. Make sure to do a few test rows on your chosen fabric, to get your level of desired tunneling and double checking that there are no skipped stitches. Once you are happy with your pintucks, grab that square piece of fabric. Line up your fabric edge, with the edge of your presser foot, and go. It’s important to take your time and make sure the first row is straight. You will be using the first row to line up each subsequent row, and if it is off, your final stitches will be REALLY off. Make sure you keep your beginning and ending threads at each row too, this prevents your threads from being pulled back in and unraveling all the tunneling you just did. Once you have your first row complete, line up the edge of the presser foot with the edge of the first rows stitching, and make the second row. Continue in that manner until you reach the end and your fabric square is complete. Repeat the same steps for the other patch piece, then sit back and admire all those beautiful pintucks  ❤

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If you want to see my tunneling in action, you can watch my time lapse video here. I have to say, making the faux pintucks and watching the video is really soothing and mesmerizing, even my kids enjoyed watching it.

This is a good point to finish cutting out all your regular pattern pieces and preparing them for assembly. I don’t cut my moto patches from the pintucked fabric, until the very last minute. Once it is cut, you have to be careful not to pull or mess with them too much. As soothing as I find making the pintucks, I think I’d find it less so, if I had to double my work.

In addition to the moto patch sleeve change, I also made a slight change to the hem of the shirt. The inspiration picture had a curved hem and my husband thought it looked cool too. Brace yourself, here comes some more “eye-balling”. I lowered the center of the hem an inch ish, and free handed an upward curve as it reached the side seam. Then I mirrored the back pattern piece so they would line up when done.

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At this point I started assembling. Since I wanted to be able to secure the pintucks in as soon as possible, I skipped ahead to the hood assembly in the pattern instructions. Once the hood was complete and ready to attach to the bodice, I went back and cut my moto patches. Remember, be very careful with those patches once you cut them.

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I placed the moto patch, right sides together, with the lower sleeve piece, and sewed them. Repeat with the other sleeve.

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Now you will have two complete sleeves that can be attached to the front and back bodice.

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Do the front sleeves to the front bodice, right sides together, stitching both. Then take the back sleeves and attach them, right sides together, to the back bodice.

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You will now have a circle with only the neckline of the moto patch, unsecured.

Since we already did the hood portion and it is ready, we can attach it to the bodice, following the pattern instructions.

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Now all the moto patch stitching is secured in another seam and we can go back to finish the sleeves and side seams, then hem the sleeves and bodice. Whew, if you hung with me this whole time, you now have an awesome faux moto hacked hoodie.

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Would you believe it took me longer to write this up than it took to actually sew the hoodie?? It did! Now I’m thinking of other places I can sneak in these faux moto patches. Where would you place a moto patch?

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The fabric I used to make this hoodie was brushed French Terry from So Sew English Fabrics. I used the hooded version of the Greenstyle Creations  Hudson pullover for this hack. If you want to watch my time-lapse video of coverstitching these faux pintucks, you can on my youtube.

 

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. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Wardrobe Staples – Tank tops

Wardrobe staples are just that, staples. They are such great building blocks that can take a simple outfit up a notch or allow you to quickly expand your current wardrobe. Since I live in a pretty warm climate, year round, the wardrobe staple I use the most, are tank tops. When I got the opportunity to test the new Greenstyle Creations Staple Tank, I was excited. I enjoy testing and helping out pattern designers, but it can be a lot of work, fabric, and time. So when the item I’m testing, happens to be something I will get a lot of wear from, it’s a huge plus.

This particular tank is great to wear solo, layering over a sports bra, layering under a jacket or even a loose fit slouchy top.  It fits the bust nicely and allows for a little breathing room throughout the rest of the bodice. The staple tank is available in the size range of XXS – 3XL. It has a pretty scoop back, perfect for showing off those fun bra straps if you wanted to.

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Another thing I love about this tank, is the option to finish your neck and arms with either a band or binding.  I’ve become fond of binding on my clothes. I really like the low profile look it gives and I don’t find it more or less difficult to do than a traditional band.

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I used the binding method in the pattern for both my tanks. Yup, you read that right, I have already made two, and have a few more planned. Did I mention these are fast sews and don’t take up much fabric??  Both of my tanks were made from leftover fabric from my camo leggings and ombre maxi. I did my exact size per the chart and added my usual length for my height. Boom, done.

For the camo tank, I used double brushed poly, from So Sew English. I really love camo and I’m enjoying the addition to my wardrobe. I was so pleased with the versatility of this tank that I couldn’t stop trying different ways of wearing it. I kind of wonder what my neighbors were thinking as I paraded in and out of my house with all these outfit changes, ha ha ha.

For this outfit, I paired the tank with a new pair of Greenstyle Stride tights, in Supplex, and my black tennis shoes. This was super comfortable when I rode on my recumbent bike and for running around with the kiddos. This supplex was my first and I got it from So Sew English (SSE). It has a GSM of 440 and has totally been squat proof, plus it was a dream to sew up.

I changed my shoes into my white tennis shoes and threw on my cuffed sleeve jean jacket. Perfect for those cool mornings and evenings, or whenever I want to pretend that I don’t live in tanks and leggings most days. There is just something about the jean jacket and camo combo I can’t get enough of.

Change the shoes. Switch to some stretchy jeans and add a long necklace. Tucked in or left out. With a cardigan (This one is the Coffee & Tea from Annelaine, in a ribbed sweater knit from SSE) or without. Another three looks! SERIOUSLY!!  5 looks so far and I didn’t even get to take pictures of this tank with my slouchy tops, darn laundry.

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ITY is one of my favorite fabrics to wear for summer here. It has a cool touch to it and it feels so flowy that I wanted to try it as this tank. This particular ITY is the blue ombre Venezia from So Sew English. It’s only been available in bundles recently, but they do have other Venezia ITY options. I hung on to my three yard cut for a while and finally used it for my recent maxi. I was left with around two yards of not quite half the width of fabric. Turns out it was the perfect amount to make this tank. I really like how it looks with the white shorts. I’m thinking I need to add pair of loose leg white pants to my wardrobe soon. Wouldn’t that be cute??

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The Staple Tank is available from Greenstyle Creations and is on release sale right now, ending Wednesday, March 27th.  How would you wear your staple tanks??

 

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. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Comfort Zone Redefined – Sew Expo

I have made it my goal, the past two years, to get out of my comfort zone. I had a health scare, I guess that’s the best way to put it, and my entire world was shaken up. It impacted things to the point where I had to stop normal daily life, sewing included. I don’t like dwelling on it, but it is reality, and I am “not supposed to be here”, or “supposed to be in a wheelchair”.  As you can see from my pictures and this blog, neither is the case, and for that I am so incredibly grateful. Hence my blog and Instagram name.

These health issues are a struggle I will always have and some days are better than others, but I truly am grateful for where I am today. When I talk about my comfort zone it is mostly relating to the things I sew and wear, but it also encompasses so much more. This blog, my Instagram, going to a local Sewcial (my husband came with for moral support, he rocks), taking pictures of my makes and posting them online for all to see, testing patterns, helping others with their sewing journey, and sewing for others. All these things have been out of my comfort zone and usually I talk myself out of them, repeatedly, before I give myself the mental butt kick and go for it.

I know I mentioned I was going to a Sewing Expo in this blog post. Well, I did it, even though I was so nervous! I was nervous about traveling solo, meeting people in person that I had only met online, the weather, my health, my clothes, so many, many things. In reality, it was amazing. I realized that these were my people. I fit with them and our mutual love of sewing and fabric. I met so many new people, people I had seen online, and friends I had made online but never hung out with in real life. I laughed and smiled so much, my jaw and neck muscles were sore, ha ha ha. Life lesson – Laugh more! I wish I had gotten more pictures but I will forever cherish this experience and I can’t wait until the next time.

 

While at the Expo I took a class on “The Ins and Outs of Fitting the “Booty”, by Lorraine Henry.  It appealed to me as something that isn’t typically spent time on in the groups I’m in, yet is so important. Since one of my sewing goals is involving more pants and shorts, I saw it as the perfect opportunity. I wish the class was longer because I wanted more info and I am curious how some of the fitting adjustments would vary depending on the type of pants I was making. She used a neat tape measure to easily measure her rise and crotch depth, among other important measurements.  I took a few notes and can’t wait to research more and incorporate the info in my future makes.

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There were so many neat machines and gadgets at the Expo too. It was pretty cool seeing them in action. I got myself something new to try. It’s called a Lil’ Hookey. I have been looking for a more efficient way of finishing off my serger tails and I’m hoping this is it. You can join me here as I try it out for the first time.

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If you ever get the chance to attend a sewcial or sewing expo, I would highly suggest giving it a go. You never know who you will meet and what you may learn. I am eagerly awaiting my next opportunity. My comfort zone has been redefined, yet again, and I love it. Here is to sewing and growing ❤

 

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. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

 

The great boxer brief debate

One of my sewing goals this year was to sew more for my husband. I have made a few things for him on my sewing journey and some he has loved and others, meh. I really want him to enjoy custom fitting clothes too. Plus all the fabric options out there, maybe he would like something more than just a regular cotton t-shirt.

I decided to start by making him some boxer briefs. I used the Walbrook boxer briefs from Greenstyle Creations (available in boys and mens). The pattern has a few options to choose from like a functioning or non- functioning fly, an encased elastic waistband or an exposed elastic waistband, and two different lengths. The sizing range is S-XXXL (28”- 50” waist). To make these fully his, I had him pick the options he wanted. He chose functioning fly, encased elastic waistband, and the longer length. Whew, progress.

Now for the fabric. I didn’t know what kind of fabric he would prefer and people swear by different ones, so why not make a few. He is working hard on learning fabrics but I figured I’d play it safe and slim down his choices. We ended up with a cotton spandex (ice cream cones, I know right?!? He is such a trooper), double brushed poly (plaid), and MVC (Micro Viscose Cotton, black). When talking breathability and softness I see these three come up quite often so I figured this would be a good comparison for them.

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Let’s talk sewing first. I much preferred sewing the DBP. The MVC was a close second, with the Cotton Spandex bringing up the rear (wink wink). The pattern requires at least 50% stretch, and while they all have that, a few parts were a bit more tricky with the MVC (wanting to roll) and Cotton Spandex (a bit more bulky) vs the DBP. I sewed up the Cotton Spandex pair completely first and then switched my thread, (yes I am one of those that need matching thread) and sewed up the DBP and MVC at the same time. The MVC was harder for me to tell the right from the wrong side so I marked them once cut, to keep things correct. While I used the same options for all pairs, I’m not exactly sure what happened to the fly on the DBP pair. It is still “functioning” but it is more of a functioning air vent, shall we say?, vs a functioning access port. Ha ha ha. Seriously no idea.

When I gave the three pairs to my husband I also gave him a spreadsheet questionnaire to give me feedback.  Ya’ll my husband is so awesome! Not only did he fill out my stupid questions but I told him I was going to write up a blog post about it so I needed honest feedback. The man totally gave each a good solid wear! He went running in them. He went to work in them. He did housework in them. He slept in them. He even washed and dried them and wore them again. I had him rate them on a scale of 1-5 for a few categories and then an overall rating, plus any notes he wanted to share. This is how they ranked, and honestly I was surprised with his choices.

His overall least favorite was the Cotton Spandex (ice cream cone) pair ranking at a 3 out of 5. He gave it a 4 for fit and support. A 3 for breathability and it ranked a full 5 for access. It lost points in the overall comfort and came in at a 2. His reasoning was because the fabric felt too thick and bunched up easily.

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Next up was the MVC (black) pair which ranked at a 3 out of 5 as well. The differences here that pushed it ahead of the cotton spandex pair was in the support (a full 5) and over all comfort (4). The reason this pair didn’t come out on top was because he felt it twisted and turned into a wedgie too easily.

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His favorite pair was the DBP (plaid) with a full 5 for overall preference. He gave it a 5 in breathability, a 5 in overall comfort and a 4 in support. His only complaint was the access, which got a 2. I guess he wasn’t a fan of the “air vent”. He felt that the DBP was the most comfortable fabric as well and score, he even asked for a few more pairs.

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I plan to let him do some fabric shopping and make him a few more pairs. I also put in a request for him to reevaluate the three when summer hits and see if he still ranks them the same. I think it is pretty cool that we ranked them the same. It makes it nice when he prefers wearing the ones I preferred sewing. Now my son is asking for matching pairs, so maybe that will be next.

All fabric was from So Sew English Fabrics. The pattern I used was the Walbrook Boxer Briefs from Greenstyle Creations.

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. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own and I have a lot

Unexpected fabric and a new dress

My most recent make was a complete gamble with the pattern and fabric both. When I got this black foil hacci fabric, I discovered it wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned when I ordered it. I set it aside since it wouldn’t fit for what I had originally intended it for. Then along came the opportunity to test a new pattern for Sonia Estep. I love how she drafts so I felt confident it wouldn’t be a waste of my fabric, but the actual look is not my norm and made me nervous to try. I stepped out of my comfort zone again and I am so happy I did.

The Charleston from Annelaine Patterns, is a swing dress designed for sizes 00-30. It has a scoop neck, a subtle or deep v neck, and a button up v neck. Not into buttons?? You can totally do snaps too. You can pick a short, ¾, or a long sleeve and the three hemline options are straight, a subtle high-low, or a dramatic high-low. Since I was going for it with a leather looking dress I decided to amp it up a bit and picked the deep v neck. I did the long sleeves with the high front hem and the back straight hem. I followed the instructions and graded for my size and height, it fit great. Total shocker I know (insert sarcastic laughing).

Then came the, “how do I wear this”, moment. Since this was out of my norm, nothing came to mind immediately. Thank goodness for my sewing friends, they are seriously amazing!! After some general suggestions and a closet raid I came up with a few ways I could see myself actually wearing this.

Let’s go with the date night look first. I usually dress simple so adding heels, a long necklace, and some bigger earring studs was just enough for me to feel dressed up.

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For a relaxed look I paired it with some white tennis shoes, a subtle long necklace, and a jean jacket. I rolled up my jacket sleeves too and I felt like it gave it a classic relaxed look. I could see myself wearing this out for errands or a lunch with friends.

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For a little less casual look or utilizing an extra layer for those cooler days, I swapped my tennis shoes out for my boots. I kept the necklace and jacket, but rolled the sleeves down. I like how the jacket pulled the dress in a little and gave me some more waist definition yet I still have the movement and comfort of the swing dress.

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Guys!!!! I have a leather look dress, that I love, and will see frequent rotation in my wardrobe. Happy dance for unexpected fabrics and stepping out of my comfort zone.

Pattern is the Charleston and on new release sale for 50% off until March 10th. The fabric was from a So Sew English bundle and isn’t in stock currently. Since this pattern only needs 20%, 4 way stretch, there are lots of other options you can use to make your own Charleston.

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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. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Venice in Spring

Last summer I ventured into woven garments for myself. I really loved the different looks I was able to achieve with them and the variations it added to my wardrobe. With the ever increasing temps here, I went looking for some new patterns to try this year and found the Venice dress from New Horizons Designs. I had previously overlooked this pattern in my search because I didn’t realize it was drafted for wovens. I had seen that it was able to be used with lightweight knits and I completely missed the woven part. Being able to use both wovens and knits is a benefit in my book since it allows me to use it more often and with more of my fabric options. Something about my custom fitting clothing being even more cost effective makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

The Venice has several length options, mini, high-low, and maxi. I am continually blown away, with how the simple change of length can completely change up the look of a dress, love it! In addition to the length options, you can choose several sleeve options. There is the sleeveless, long sleeve, and both long and short split sleeves. I love how the split sleeve adds just a little something different and allows for air flow while still giving you some arm coverage. I decided to go with the high-low length and the short split sleeves. Look at these pretty sleeves!!!

Since this is a woven, there is the concern about fraying edges and seam finishes. The way the Venice is constructed accounts for that and I just love when the inside of a garment is as pretty as the outside. The neckline has a facing and the way it is finished with the sleeve is super clean.


I usually find something to modify on patterns and this make was no different. I really try to follow things to a T but unless I’m testing a pattern, I usually fail in that regard ha ha ha. Last summer I discovered the rolled hem feature on my serger and this dress seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it again. I feel like rolled hems are so pretty on garments that need flowy drape, it just seems to add to the look. It also makes the inside hem seam not visible when doing the high-low option, which I love.

The second tweak I made was to the split seam hems. The pattern has you fold over ¼” and then fold over again to hem. I like to finish the edge, before folding, by running it through my serger. I’m not cutting anything off and it gives me an easy fold mark for the first ¼” fold.

 I got this print last summer, but ran out of time to use before our “winter” began. I didn’t have to wait long to sew it up, I guess that’s a positive to living in the desert?? This is the Blue Leslie Rayon Challis from So Sew English Fabrics. Rayon challis is one of my favorite woven fabrics I discovered last summer. It has gorgeous drape, it’s not usually see through, and has a cool smooth feel to it. Perfect for all those light and flowy spring/summer dresses I have on my list.

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. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Sew Expo – Travel clothes

With my upcoming trip to the Sew Expo, OMG I’m SOOOO Excited, I realized I didn’t have anything to wear. I know this is a typical problem and in the past I would run off to the store and try to find a few new things to refresh my wardrobe. In this case though, I got to sew. The benefit of having a full wardrobe in my sewing room, some assembly required.

Being a desert dweller, I am not used to really cold temps. Layers for me consist of undergarments and one outer layer or two layers of rayon spandex. In the winter my layers are a shirt and sweatshirt. Very rarely do we get to break out the beanies, gloves, thermals etc. When I looked at the weather for the Sew Expo, I realized I was going to be needing actual layers. I mean, seriously, they had snow in the forecast. Of course after deciding this and making my sewing plan for outfits, we ended up with a winter storm and even got snow. It only lasted the one day and two days later we were back out in shorts and t-shirts, but it was a great opportunity to try out my newly expanded layers. Plus the mountains were so pretty!

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I am a planner so I decided to start my outfit planning from day one, travel day. I had just received some camo performance tactel from So Sew English and thought it would make a nice pair of Greenstyle Creations Stride Athletic Tights. The stride tights have a few different options allowing you to do a plain or pocket side insert, mid rise or high rise waistband, and several different lengths. You can also add a gusset, cross cuffs, and a hidden waistband pocket. Since I was mainly wearing these for travel I chose the plain side pocket and high-rise contoured waistband. I really didn’t want to chance them being see through, when bending over, and with my health issues I didn’t want them too snug, so I sized them up. They came out perfectly !

Then I realized I didn’t have any long sleeve t-shirts for layering so I went through my pattern stash to find just the right one. I couldn’t find what I needed and trying to be frugal, I didn’t want to purchase a new pattern. I decided to do a mash and hack from several patterns and some store bought tops to create just what I wanted. “Self drafted” with some white double brushed poly from So Sew English, and I love it.

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I paired my new leggings and top with a new jean jacket. I’m still looking for the perfect pattern so it’s store bought, but at least it was on sale and we had old gift cards so it didn’t cost anything.

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Now I have a comfy but cute outfit, perfect for airport travel. If you see me strolling through the airport, say hi. I’m kidding, don’t say hi, I’m really shy and wouldn’t know what to say, ha ha ha. Again, kidding!!!! I am really shy, but I’d love to meet fellow sewing addicts in person.

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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. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Lexington love and my newest hack

The Lexington recently released from Annelaine patterns, and if you saw my last post, you know I absolutely love the pattern. If you didn’t see it, you can read all about it here.

In typical Danielle fashion I immediately pictured a hack of it to create a matching mother daughter maxi dress set I had pinned.

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I decided to do the red, white, and navy combo with double brushed poly solids that I purchased from Amelia Lane Designs.

I used the empire cut line for the bodice and skirt, which meant that the only modifications/color blocking I needed to do was to the skirt piece and this is how I did it.

To start with I eyeballed my lengths for the color blocking and used the peplum front and above knee front cut lines to gauge a starting point. In the case of my daughter’s, it was the front peplum and front dress cut lines.

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From looking at the pinspiration picture, I felt that the top red portion and the bottom red portion were about the same and the white portion was a little smaller than them. I also knew I wanted my blue strips to be the same size, and around 3”, when finished. I marked the skirt pattern piece a few times for each section, until I got it to where I wanted. Keep in mind the actual measurements, for your skirt color blocking pieces, will vary depending on your specific size chosen. Just to give you an idea, I will share what I used for my daughters and mine. I ended up with around 14.5” for the red pieces, 4” for the blue pieces, and 9.75” for the white piece. On my daughters, I ended up with around 11” for the red pieces, 3” for the blue pieces, and 9” for the white pieces.

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Now comes the fun part. Since the center of the skirt piece color blocking was lower than the side seams, I needed to create that V for each piece. To do so I measured from each point I had marked on the fold line, UP 2”, and marked it on the side seam edge (pictured in red below).

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I repeated until I had all 4 pieces marked.

Then taking my ruler I drew a line from the upper mark, to the lower mark, for each one. I wanted to curve my centers so I went slightly past my lower mark when connecting the two marks.

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I chose to make my center points less V like because I figured it would be easier to attach the pieces and with the skirt gathers I didn’t want my lines to look choppy once the dress was done. Then I smoothed out the line and the marks to have a clear cutting line.

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Seam allowance needs to be added to each piece as well. You can choose to do so now, by making new pattern pieces for each color block, or you can do what I did, and add it when you cut the fabric out. If you choose to add it when cutting the fabric, make sure you do, or your skirt will end up too short. I forgot on two of my pieces and it made me panic before I reminded myself that it was my hack so I didn’t have to follow exact amounts, whew, bullet dodged. To account for this “design adjustment”, I added a little more seam allowance to the connecting pieces.

When adding seam allowance, you will only need to add it to the bottom of the top red piece (R1), the top and bottom of the blue pieces (B1 & B2), the top and bottom of the white piece (W), and the top of the bottom red piece (R2). The original skirt pattern piece has the top seam allowance and the bottom hem allowance already included, so we can skip those.

You can use your new skirt pattern pieces to cut out your chosen colors. Since we are doing the straight floor maxi skirt, the front and back skirt pieces are the same which allows for us to cut two of each color block piece. When cutting, I marked my pieces and made sure to keep them in order so my skirt would fit back together correctly. I labeled them as R1, B1, W, B2, R2, in descending order from the top of the skirt.

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Once you have all your pieces cut out (10 in total), you can assemble your skirt. To assemble I did both the front and back skirts at the same time, to avoid any confusion of which piece went where. I have this bad habit of walking away to tend the kids or some house thing, and I forget where I was in my sewing. I didn’t want anymore “design adjustments” and I figured this would be easiest to keep it organized.

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Take your R1 piece and lay it right side up, fully open. Taking your B1 piece, lay it right side down on R1, lining up the bottom of R1 and the top of B1. Clip and sew that seam. Repeat for the back skirt piece.

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Take your R1B1 piece and lay it right side up again. Place your W piece right side down on R1B1, lining up the bottom of R1B1 with the top of W. Clip and sew that seam. Repeat for the back skirt piece.

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Take your R1B1W piece and lay it right side up again. Place your B2 piece right side down on R1B1W, lining up the bottom of R1B1W with the top of B2. Clip and sew that seam. Repeat for the back skirt piece.

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Last one! Take your R1B1WB2 piece and lay it right side up again. Place you R2 piece right side down on R1B1WB2, lining up the bottom of R1B1WB2 with the top of R2. Clip and sew that seam. Repeat for the back skirt piece.

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Now you have your front and back skirt pieces complete and you can attach them together and finish the dress exactly like the pattern instructs.

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We really love our matching pinspiration and are on the lookout for our next color combos.

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Pattern used was the Womens and Girls Lexington from Annelaine patterns which is on sale through February 13th. We used the empire, floor length maxi, sleeveless, and the scoop neck options. Fabric was red, white and navy solid double brushed poly from Amelia Lane Designs. If you haven’t heard of Amelia Lane, they are a newer fabric company. They have some pretty neat offerings and I’ve been impressed with the quality, shipping speed, and customer service. They are currently having a site wide 20% off sale with code PERFECTPAIR ending February 17th.

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. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.