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.

 

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.

Wrong this whole time but now I’m obsessed

You want to know what I learned during a recent pattern test for Annelaine Patterns?? I learned that I measured my side waist wrong, let’s say, around 2 years ago. I have been operating under the assumption I had an 8” side waist when in reality I have a 9” side waist. How is this possible and how have I not had major fitting issues? As for the fitting issues I usually add length to my shirts at the natural waistline, but for my overall height. Add that to looser fit garments that have less defined waistlines or slouchy fits, and I haven’t had any issues. Kind of like a, two negatives equal a positive, type situation.

In the case of this recent test though, the side waist measurement was extremely important. The top/dress was designed to be a slimmer fit and hit right at the natural waist, thus making my inch difference very noticeable.

Curious about how to measure your side waist? This is how. You know those stretchy selvedge pieces you usually throw away or let your kids tie things up with? Those work great for this, so grab two. Take one and tie off your upperbust. Then sing, “I’m a little teapot”, and when you get to the tipping part, make a note of where your side crease is and tie it off. You can also tie off where you think your waist is and move around for a bit, allowing the fabric to move to its natural spot, for those of you not into fitting musicals. Now that you have your two spots tied off, you measure from the upperbust one down to your waist one. Here is the important part and what I missed my first time. This measurement should be along the body, tracing your natural curve. Mind blown people. I had an extra inch hanging out in my curve.

Once I knew about my extra inch I was able to add it to the pattern and ended up with a wonderful fit. So wonderful that I have made 4 for myself, plus I hacked a 5th, and made two matching ones for my daughter. I’m totally obsessed !!

The pattern is the Lexington and is available in womens sizing (00-30) and girls (9 mon-20). It has several options so you can decide which look you prefer and allows for year round wear.

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For this one I used this floral vine rayon spandex from So Sew English. I chose short sleeves, scoop neckline, the waist cutline for the bodice and the skirt is the subtle hi-lo peplum. It was the perfect top to wear with my new pair of hunter green ponte (available at SSE) Peglegs. I have been wanting a green pair for a while so I was really excited I finally could make them and get them in my closet.

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For my second one I went with this gorgeous floral Amber bulgaree ITY. I got it last year from So Sew English and I can’t believe there is still some in stock. I just love how it gathers and drapes. Combine that with the above knee subtle hi-lo skirt and I am in love!! I chose the sleeveless, empire cut bodice, with a scoop neckline.

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This third one I saved for “last”.

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I’ve had this ombre blue Venezia ITY in my So Sew English stash, for quite some time. I hadn’t found the right pattern to showcase the gorgeous ombre so it sat in my cabinet. Once I had the first two done I knew this was the right pattern for it. I did the sleeveless, empire bodice with a scoop neckline. I also did the optional side slit for a little extra. I LOVE it!! I’m so glad I saved the fabric for this floor length maxi.

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My daughter saw my Lexingtons and asked for a matching one. Since I didn’t have enough of the fabric I used for my first three, I ordered some double brushed poly from Amelia Lane Designs and made us a matching pair. This solid navy compliments the Santa Fe print beautifully and she loves her Lexington as much as I do. These are both the sleeveless, empire cutline bodice. Mine is the scoop neckline and hers is a standard. Both are the floor length maxis.

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Not only have I found an amazing pattern that will get lots of use in our house, but I also learned something new about measuring my body to ensure a better fit. I call that a sewing win.

*Enabler alert*

The women and girls Lexington is on sale for 40% off until Wednesday February 13th, 12pm mst.

Amelia Lane Designs is having a 20% off site wide sale until Sunday February 17th. Code PERFECTPAIR  Plus they are running a shipping special that all orders over $40 ship for $10 (international excluded) WOWZERS!

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.

Sewing for my son – Sawyer Shirt

My son loves when I sew for him. He enjoys picking out his pattern and shopping in my fabric stash. His favorite part is picking options though. I just love his reasoning behind what he picks too. This last sew was the newly released Sawyer shirt from Annelaine Patterns. I showed him the pattern and got his resounding approval. “Mom, I like that one, and I need a new shirt because I’m 5 now and I’m bigger.” It’s amazing all the things that have changed, now that he is five.

Annelaine patterns has a large size range (6 mon – kids 20) which I particularly love. Kids grow so fast and I like being able to use the same pattern repeatedly, it really makes sewing economical. The sawyer shirt is loaded with some great options too. There is the classic tee version, with sleeveless, short, standard or faux layered long sleeves. You have an optional placket, color blocking, lined or unlined hood, and pockets (inseam or circular kangaroo). You can either hem or cuff your sleeves and hem or band your bottom hem. I have no idea how many combos you can make with all of those options, I’d rather sew than do the math, but it really allows customization and talk about maximizing a patterns use even more.

The options my son picked were the classic tee, faux layered long sleeve, cuffed sleeves, and regular hem. Are you ready for his reasoning?? He likes hoods but since I just made him his Bubby and Bee hoodie, he wanted, “something different this time”. Then he said he likes two shirts on the sleeve but doesn’t like how, “the under shirt gets all twisty in my armpits and I can’t do this.” At which point he jumped up and down and waved his arms around. Ha ha ha, guys, this kid cracks me up. As for the cuffed sleeves, that was because they “hold up my sleeves when I’m eating food”, and the regular hem, he just liked the line drawing. Makes total sense to me.

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Now on to his fabric choices. I will usually show him a few options when I’m ordering and allow him to pick some things for my stash. Then he has some options to choose from when we decide to make him something. He knows where most of his picks are located in my stash so it makes it quick for choosing. This time he picked the blue corey stripe double brushed poly and a solid black double brushed poly to go with. He really likes how soft double brushed poly is and I love how well it holds up. With the amount of washing his clothes get and the things that end up getting washed with his clothes (rocks, tissues, toy cars, etc), I appreciate things that stay bright and don’t get all pilly.

The best part of sewing for my son is his reaction when I finish and show it to him. He usually runs up and hugs it and asks if he can wear it. He has learned that I like to get pictures before he wears them, so he usually asks if we can do pictures, right now, so he can have it immediately.

Pictures with a 5 year old active kiddo can sometimes be a challenge and this time he asked if he could do a video instead. Who am I to say no if it helps him get his wiggles out? His video turned out so cute I just had to share, and note, no armpit twisting while he jumps around with his arms waving.

Enabler alert – the Sawyer shirt pattern is on release sale until Feb 5th, so be sure to check it out before it ends. All fabric is from So Sew English Fabrics.

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Love this faux sleeve detail!

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.

Pinspiration – You win some and you lose some

Where do you find your sewing inspiration?

I have my own ideas (usually when I’m trying to sleep), get inspired by other seamstress makes, and “shop” on Pinterest.  I really love “shopping” on Pinterest because I can save the things I like and can come back to it when I need something to sew or I find the perfect fabric. Another thing I love using pinterest for is finding examples of those late night ideas I get. I can search for things that are similar and make my notes to save them for later. Usually, when I find something I want to make, I have to search for a pattern or figure out how to hack one I already have, like I did for my first pinspiration (blogged here). In the case of these two recent pinspirations, I had both patterns already and no hacking needed, yay for saving time and money !! It also helped that I have made both patterns several times before so I knew they would be a good fit.

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I’ve had really great luck with my pinspiration creations and usually love the way they turn out. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with this purple cardigan. Let me start by saying, I love the pattern I used (Coffee and Tea from Annelaine ). It has several different options which allow for you to make a bunch of different cardigans from the same pattern. Another yay for saving money!! I have used it several times, several = 5, and each time it comes out beautifully. This time, my 6th, was no different.

I liked the fabric too. It was a Purple Hair I snagged in a bundle from So Sew English Fabrics. It washed well, sewed up well, even with the extra “hair”, and it had a unique look to it.

The problem came when I tried it on. I really did not like the way this specific combo looked on me. I tried it with several different looks and just couldn’t say I loved it. I was so bummed too. I had really wanted this to turn out. I mean, a purple fluffy sweater, who doesn’t need a purple fluffy sweater??

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To get this look I used the Coffee version, length between the long and short cut lines, hemmed loose sleeves, and the slim bands. Plus pockets, because, POCKETS.

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My other recent pinspiration was a solid landing in the win column. I love this pattern too (Union St. Tee from Hey June Handmade)!! I have made several, several  = 4 in this case. I like all the options the Union St Tee has, but I really found the v-neck instructions easy to follow. All three of the  v-necks I have done, have turned out great.

Then there was the fabric. It is a brushed hacci from So Sew English, and is so so SO dang soft. Soft and cuddly, and soft. It is soft ya’ll ! I tried it on and it was instant love! The hardest part was trying to photograph it to make it look like the pinspiration picture.

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I gave up, I’m not a good selfie taker, and I’m okay with that. Making my bed and cleaning the mirror is totally not worth it. I’m kidding, but seriously, selfies are hard. I applaud all of you with selfie skills!

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The options I used for this top were long sleeves and v-neck.

Pinspiration. You win some and you lose some.

Anyone looking for a fluffy purple cardigan?? I happen to have one just hanging around.

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.

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.