The Melissa Sweatshirt – A Happy Accident

Let me start this by saying, the DIBY Club holds a special place in my heart. Jessica, (the boss lady of the DIBY Club) gave me my first real opportunity at being a pattern tester, a little over a year ago. Not only was that insanely exciting and intimidating, but I learned so much!! I used wovens, buttons and buttonholes, zippers, and yes, we even made jeans, that fit! (insert happy dance) Testing for her gave me the confidence to branch out and continually challenge and redefine my comfort zone so I could grow.

If you haven’t seen a DIBY club pattern, I highly recommend checking them out. The patterns are like taking a class. No joke! There are videos and in depth instructions to help you get the right fit for your body. The patterns are chock full of tips and extra little details that really make a difference, especially when going out of your comfort zone. She even put all the extra time and goodies in her recently released men and women’s free patterns! LOVE!

When the opportunity to test the Melissa sweatshirt came along, I knew as soon as I saw the tester call that I wanted to apply. My schedule and health were good. The stars aligned, as they say, and I applied.

I applied to test the banded version and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to use my purple brushed french terry from So Sew English Fabrics.

img_0177The brushed french terry screams sweatshirt to me. It has the soft smooth feel of french terry on the outside. The inside is brushed which gives it this fuzzy soft cozy feel, no loops.

Like I said, perfect for this sweatshirt.

Since the pattern only needs 2-way stretch fabric, it really opens up your fabric choices too. I see you, you gorgeous 2 way fabric just sitting on that shelf. 

I did my usual grading, I cut out my fabric, and I was ready to rock this test!

Then it hit me. I cut out the wrong lines! Ugh, total face palm!

After I debated with myself on cutting off the excess fabric (cringe worthy waste) or taking a total chance and making the elastic bottom (which I was sure would emphasize certain things I didn’t want emphasized), I decided to once again step out of my comfort zone and save the fabric. Somebody give me a cape because the fabric saver is here! Dun dun, dun, dunnn!!! It’s true, my fabric stash agrees, I rescue fabric.

Fabric saving aside. I sewed it up, tried it on, and I absolutely loved it! I was shocked. I really thought I would hate it and end up chopping the elastic off and adding a band. Nope, my happy accident, elastic version Melissa, was perfect.img_8902

It was a quick sew, which for me means less than 3 hours with kiddo interruptions. The pieces lined up properly and things went together smoothly. There is even a video included on how to install the elastic! I particularly like how the elastic is covered for comfort and it looks really clean like a RTW (Ready To Wear) garment.

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Inside Elastic Wrist

The Melissa has two hem styles in addition to the elastic, single fold and banded. It has two lengths, regular shirt or cropped, and you can use any of the hem styles for either. It has the options of adding a kangaroo pocket and a hood too! The hood is lined and has panels. The panels really give it a nice shape when wearing, nothing pointy about it. The sizing range is 00-36 and it looks so great across the board. The options I did on mine were the regular shirt length, elastic hem and sleeves, with the crew neckline. Which options are your favorite?     

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Since the Melissa just released it is on sale right now and you can check it out here . Make sure you scroll down on the listing and look through the tester gallery to see more versions. Also, little tip, if you sign up to be a DIBY insider you get additional discounts and special emails when she has new releases and sales. Yay for insider info!!!

I’m thinking of pushing myself out of my comfort zone again and giving that cropped version a try, it is so cute!!! Until then I will stay cozy in my happy accident, that I can’t stop wearing.

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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 and I have a lot, ha ha ha.

No Tie Aspen – Simple Hack

I have this thing about taking patterns and tweaking them to create different looks. I can’t help it.  I justify it by saying I am getting more wear from one pattern. It works, right?

Recently, I had the opportunity to test the Aspen by Annelaine Patterns , in women and girls sizes. By the way, if you haven’t checked it out, it has just been re released in extended women’s sizing (00-30) and is currently on sale #enableralert

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Aspen in Brushed waffle from So Sew English Fabrics

For anyone that follows me on Instagram, you probably saw my gushing post about how everything lined up so perfectly. It was seriously such a pretty pattern and a real joy to sew up.

Of course, after making it I had to tweak it for another look. I made a few simple mods and presto, a no tie Aspen.

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No Tie Aspen in Brushed Waffle from So Sew English Fabrics

Since the original was so well designed it made these mods so much easier to make.

Here is what I did using my regular size 6 Aspen pattern.

First I took my front bodice piece, curved hem option. I used the side seam curve and continued the curve across to the center cut line. You can see the original pattern piece underneath and the new line (in red) that I made. I just free handed it and that will be your new front bodice piece.img_7885

Next you are going to want to match that curve on your front hem facing pattern piece.  To do that, I just laid my facing piece on top of the new front bodice piece we just made. The side seam matches perfectly. Then trace that exact same curve for the bottom of the facing piece. You can see the new line (in red) below.

Now we need to make the new top curve for our front facing piece. The top of the curve is about 1 ¼ “ from the bottom curve. Using my ruler, I measured 1 ¼ “  from the bottom curve, at the center cut line, and made a little dash. I worked all along the curve, making a bunch of dashes, until it connected with the original. (dashed lines pictured below).img_7886

I like to remeasure a few times at different places along the curve, to make sure I have an accurate line. Once I have that line, I blend it in with the original side seam curve to ensure a smooth pattern piece.

You now have your new front facing piece, in red (below). The dashed red lines indicate where your new interfacing piece will be cut to match your new front facing piece.

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You will cut two mirrored of your new front bodice piece, front facing piece, and interfacing piece, per the pattern directions.

I made no changes to the back bodice, back hem facing, or sleeve (besides adding length for my arms) pattern pieces. Make sure to cut those out too and assemble exactly like the pattern instructs.

When I attached the buttons and made the button holes, I placed one at the top V, one ½” up from the bottom hem, and evenly spaced the rest between.

That’s it. A few simple mods to add another look to your favorite Aspen

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No Tie Aspen in Brushed Waffle from So Sew English Fabrics

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, ha ha ha.

About Me

Thanks for visiting my blog !!

I figured I should start with a little bit about myself.

I’m a stay at home Mom to two kiddos, a boy and a girl, that I homeschool. When I’m not homeschooling and sewing, my husband and I work on our fixer upper home and DIY projects around here. I have been married to my best friend for 14 years and he fully supports my sewing obsession.

I have been sewing for a few years now and am self taught. How did I start sewing?? Well, I’ve had a few starts and stops to be honest. The first was when we purchased our first home. I decided to sew up our window curtains, by hand, ha ha ha. They worked, they were cute, and that was it.

Fast forward a few years, like 8 years, and I decided to make cloth diapers for our soon to be born son. In my defense, it was one of those great ideas you get while pregnant. This time I asked my Grandma to teach me how to read a pattern and how to use her machine. My husband had a great idea to get me my own machine at this point, enter my Brother XR1355 Costco special. After we made a trip to the fabric store and got all our materials, we got started. My feet were so swollen I couldn’t push the pedal properly, it was either turtle or rabbit speed, no in between. Sitting? Yea, I had to decide between breathing or seeing the needle. Again, ha ha ha, and my Grandma ended up making the cloth diaper covers for me.

A few months after our son was born I now had my own sewing machine and it was just sitting there, so, I decided to make a dog bed. Not only did I make this dog bed, but I also added a zipper, my first, and it actually looked good!!! The dog promptly ate said bed, (moment of silence for stripe matching and full length invisible zipper) but it was glorious while it lasted, and pushed me to start exploring with my sewing.

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The zipper is hidden in the matching stripe on the right, so pretty!

I dabbled the following months/years with making random things, learning terms, and trying out paper patterns. I came across a pdf pattern company, Create Kids Couture (CKC)  in 2015, and used my first printed pattern. After that I started looking for more and found Patterns for Pirates (P4P). Which led me to Sincerely Rylee Fabrics ( 2015), Purpleseamstress Fabrics (2016) , and So Sew English Fabrics (SSE) (2016). Beginning the rabbit hole of sewing bliss.  Not to mention collecting gorgeous fabric! By the way, I say my fabric stash is a full wardrobe, some assembly required. Am I right?!?

From sewing dog beds to real pants I have loved every minute of this sewing journey so far and hope you enjoy coming along for the fun as I share my future adventures here.

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Dauphine Skinny Jeans – The DIBY Club

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, ha ha ha.