Anyone seen my Sewjo? – Knoxville Tanks

In the sewing community, Sewjo is commonly referred to as the desire to sew, or being inspired to sew and create. So how does one loose their sewjo? I have never lost mine until recently and it was due to a personal loss which threw me for a physical and emotional loop.

Once I started feeling better physically I assumed I would just get back to sewing. Sewing has always been my outlet when I’m stressed or dealing with health issues. But not this time. I had absolutely no desire to even step into my sewing room. It was so bad I even told my husband I wanted to get rid of all my fabric and machines, and just walk away. Drastic, I know, but that was where I was.

Knowing how much I love sewing and how it has been such a life saver for me throughout the years, he wisely told me to take a break and just breathe. So I shut everything off and took a weekend away to focus on our two children and our little family. We spent the time working on DIY projects around our house. I painted my daughters antique headboard and chair, to match the rest of her bedroom set. We painted our master bathroom and cleaned up the renovation mess. Then we started building the drawers we are putting into our closet. It felt good to get “something” done, it was a creative outlet, we got fresh air, and had lots of laughs while we challenged each other to Mario Kart.

Did I magically find my sewjo? Nope. But I felt refreshed mentally and true priorities were once again apparent. Priority number one, spending one on one time with my daughter. So when I asked her if she would like to have a girls date with me, she gave an overwhelming YES!! and promptly asked if I could make us matching shirts for our date. SIGH. Remember me, no sewjo to be found??

I couldn’t tell her no though. Her excitement was obvious and after the sadness it was apparent she needed that time, just as much as I did.

We spent some time going through patterns and all the fabric in my sewing room. After a week of dragging my feet, we finally had things figured out.

We decided on the tank version of the Knoxville from New Horizons Designs, in grey rayon spandex, and some fun vinyl writing. The Knoxville has the twist knot or bottom knot, shirt or tunic lengths, five sleeve options, and three neckline options including a cowl. We chose to do the twist knot, shirt length, and the scoop neck options for our tanks.

It was the first time I have made this pattern and it was hard to muddle through. Not because of the pattern or directions, but because I desperately didn’t want to sew. I did it though, and the end product was smile worthy. If you want to see a time lapse of me sewing them up, you can on my YouTube here.

Something I wanted to mention was that I graded to a larger hip, per my measurements, but I probably could have done a straight size as the shirt has a nice amount of ease in the waist and hip. Fabric choice will also affect the amount of ease and drape of this shirt.

One other thing I noticed was on my front bodice, the side with the knot, was considerably longer than my back bodice on that side. After a quick search in the Facebook group I found that certain fabrics can get stretched out at that part due to it being cut on the crossgrain. The solution was to ease that extra amount in when sewing the bodice together. I did that on mine and it worked well. So keep that in mind when you go to make your own version.

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Now we are all ready for our girls date this weekend in our matching Knoxville tanks and I found a little of my sewjo.

Here’s to taking those little steps and finding the joy in sewing again. 💕

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P.S. Yes, I chopped 14″ off my hair 😂

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. 

Tank Hack for a Pinspiration Jumpsuit

Yup, Pinterest strikes again.  This time I was testing a new pattern from Sonia Estep Designs, the Hollywood. When I made my muslin fit, I tried it on before adding the sleeves and I knew right then I needed it to be a tank. Naturally, I scrolled Pinterest to get some color ideas and came across this fun version.

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Yes! This was happening. I went fabric shopping and found steel cupro slub and black cupro pique from Surge fabrics. I have really liked cupro the last two times I used it. It has a little stretch vertical, and about 50% horizontal. I love that it doesn’t have a ton of vertical stretch, which helps longer garments like these pants or a skirt, keep its shape. It is just annoying to make something and then it grows inches after putting it on. No issues with that using this cupro, and it has nice drape.

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Now, I took my hack a little further than just making it a tank, by color blocking my neckband and arm band pieces to match the bodice colors. I also added in the solid black stripe on the legs. Doing the extra color matching added some more math, but over all, converting it to a tank is relatively simple.

Since I liked where the fit was on my non sleeve muslin, I knew I just needed to do a small adjustment to the armscye and make bands. I wanted to have a finished armband of 1/2″ to keep it close to the look of the current neckband. With the seam allowance of 1/4″ for the bodice piece, I marked and removed 1/4″ from the armscyce, which made my finished tank hit the same place as the sleeveless muslin. Be sure to make this adjustment on both the front and back bodice pieces.

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I love to keep my pattern pieces together as much as I can, so I usually tape in the center of my cut, and make a kind of hinge. Then I can fold back the piece I need to remove to make a tank or leave it down for a sleeved version.

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To figure out my bands, I measured the new armscyce and multiplied it by 90%. I like to use 90% for cupro since it has less stretch and I didn’t want my armbands tight, just a comfortable fit. My bands ended up being 17 3/8″ x 1 1/2″ for reference. To make a simple tank version, that is all you need to do. You would follow the pattern tutorial for assembly, with the exception of skipping steps 6 & 7, do step 8, and then attach your armbands.

Now for the “extra” stuff 😂 I really wanted my armbands and neckband to match the bodice colors exactly. To do that, I needed to make my neckband two pieces, and one of my armbands, two pieces as well.

For my neckband I needed gray for one front bodice piece and the back bodice piece, then black for the other front bodice piece. So I measured those two pieces separately, multiplied them each by 85% (yes, 85%. I was worried it wouldn’t hold me in if I did longer, but in retrospect, 90% would have worked as well with this cupro) and cut the two out, using the same width as the original neckband piece. I then sewed them right sides together to make my complete neckband.

For the one armband that had a black front and a grey back, I simply measured the front bodice armscye and multiplied that by 90% for the black portion, and measured the back bodice armscye, multiplied by 90%, to get the grey portion. Sewed the two pieces right sides together, and had the matching armband.

When sewing, you will just match up those seams with the coordinating bodice seams and attach. The tricky part for me was the neckband. Since the shoulder seam is not the quarter point, I had to be extra careful with how much I was stretching and make sure the color block seams met. Of course it was my armband that ended up a little off, but for the most part, it looks like one seam.

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I should note, I did all my color blocking and measuring, AFTER I had already graded the pattern and added length for my side waist, rise, and legs. 

The last modification I made to the pattern was adding in the black stripe to the legs. After looking at my pattern piece and the pinspiration photo, I decided I wanted to make the stripe around 3″ wide. I didn’t feel like making two separate pattern pieces for the color block, so I took my front pant piece and measured in from the outer seam, 2.75″.

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I measured and marked the entire length of the pants piece and then connected the marks to make a smooth line. I used the same “hinge” technique for this and cut up and down the line, leaving my secured piece in the middle.

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It is very important that you account for whatever seam allowance you want to use for sewing these two pieces together, or your pants will be too small.

I like to use 1/4″ so when I cut out my grey piece, I cut 1/4″ out from the pattern edge. Then I flipped the main portion back and cut out my black stripe, again adding 1/4″ to the color blocked edge. I figured out that my rotary edge is about 1/4″ away from the blade, so I just line that up with the fabric and it cuts and adds the 1/4″ all in one step.

Once you have your stripes and front pant pieces cut out, you will just sew them right sides together, to create your full pattern pieces, and assemble per the pattern tutorial.

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I am ridiculously pleased with this final jumpsuit and know I will be making other versions of Hollywood with the tank modification. What do you think? Pinterest Nail or Fail?

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Enabler alert. The Hollywood is from Sonia Estep Designs and on sale for 50% off until January 26th, 11:59pm EST. The pattern options include a crossover bodice with three sleeve lengths, a shorts romper (in three lengths), a pants jumpsuit, and a skirted shorts romper. Plus you can do a simple mod and make your own tank version 😉

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.

 

Hannah Hem Hack-Skip The $68 Price Tag

This really isn’t a hack, more of a simple mod, but I couldn’t resist the title of Hannah Hem Hack. It was just too much fun.

I’ve made a Hannah in quilted, a quilted and brushed French Terry combo, and a poly skimo hacci. You can see them here.  So when I decided to recreate this pin ($68 price tag, no thank you), I pulled out my left over plaid super plush from last year.

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I really wanted to have the black contrast collar, so I cut into my hoarded black super plush, for the collar lining and it was just right.

The Hannah pattern is banded at the bottom and the sleeves are cuffed, so to recreate this pin, I needed to alter it just a little for a hem.

To start with I added the amount of the bottom band, to the hem of the bodice, plus a bit more for my 1″ hem. I usually like a 1/2″ hem, but for super plush I prefer a larger hem since it is so squishy. I made my marks off the bottom of the original bodice pieces, and drew a line to indicate my new bottom hem.

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Then I needed to draw my new side seams. Since it has a slight widening at the hem and I didn’t want to continue that line and make a flare, I brought it in a little and blended into the original side seams.

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When all was said and done, I ended up taking an inch back off the hem after I tried it on, which gave me a total addition of 3.5″. I did this to both the front and back bodice pieces.

I followed the same steps for the sleeves and added 4.25″ to them. The only difference to the sleeves was that they taper in at the hem. Since I didn’t want them too tight, I wrapped a scrap piece of fabric around my wrist to determine how snug of a fit I wanted. Then I added a little to the fabric length to account for seam allowance, and that was what I made the width of the sleeve at the hem. Then I blended the lines in to the original sleeve seams for my new pieces.

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I made no other changes to the pattern and with those two simple mods, I now have a hem option Hannah.

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The Hannah is on new release sale for $5 until Sunday 11/3, midnight EST. The fabric is super plush from So Sew English. With a total price tag of $30, it is a bit more up my alley, and it’s custom fit to top it off.

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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.

Three years waiting and just in time

Several years ago I found a pullover I fell in love with. After seeing it, I found a few pictures of similar ones on Pinterest and saved them to my inspiration board so I wouldn’t forget details about them. I spent time shopping for fabric and trying to find the pattern. After finally giving up the pattern search last year, I found a mens pattern that I figured I could hack to make my pullover.

The cold season quickly changes here and I never got a chance to attempt my hacking. So when Sonia decided to make the Hannah pattern, I literally jumped up and down with joy. Now, I get to start making all the Hannah’s, with all the fabric, I have been accumulating for the past three years. And not a moment too soon, with the weather just starting to change, I will have plenty of time to wear them all.

Hannah has cuffed sleeves, a banded hem, a quarter zip, and the options of a hood or collar. Both the hood and collar are lined and you even have the option to finish them with bias binding around the neckline. There is also an optional kangaroo pocket.

My first Hannah is in a grey quilted fabric from So Sew English. I had planned to use a contrasting bias in a dark blue color, to match my zipper tape. Unfortunately, when I went to the store, I grabbed the wrong one. I ended up finishing the collar with the other pattern option and I still love how it turned out.

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I did the collar and kangaroo pocket options for this grey quilted, and used an 11″ zipper.  I am ridiculously proud of this kangaroo pocket. Can we take a moment to enjoy how it lines up??

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My next Hannah is also made from quilted, but this time it is the ivory, and I only used it on the bodice, hem band, and the outer hood. For the rest of the hoodie, I used a super soft brushed French Terry. Both fabrics are from So Sew English Fabrics.

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On this one, I skipped the kangaroo pocket, and did the hood option.

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When I did the zipper on this one, I really wanted to try a 10″ length, but I only had 9″ and 11″ zippers. So I used an 11″ zipper, and did the assembly as though it was a 10″ zipper. When I got to the step of trimming the hood stand, I just cut off my extra zipper length. My stop got cut off, but it didn’t affect my zipper at all, as it was sewn into the hood corner.

This third one is so comfy! I got this poly skimo hacci last year from Sincerely Rylee fabrics. It is a slightly open weave, yet warm, and I just love this wine color with the little black flecks.

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For this one, I also did the hood option with no kangaroo pocket, but I used the bias binding option, to finish off the hood neckline. It looks so pretty!

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I love the length on the Hannah. I added my usual length for my height, and it hits just right. I can easily wear it with leggings or a pair of jeans, if I want.

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I have a few more Hannah’s planned, including a simple mod to make it without cuffs and a band. That mod will be up on here shortly, so be sure to come back and check it out.

Enabler alert: The Hannah from Sonia Estep Designs, is on sale for 50% off during it’s release sale, ending Sunday 11/3, at midnight.

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 now, her list

If you read my last post, it was about my son’s clothing list he “needed”. My daughter’s list was a little more conservative in its length, but now that I have completed it, she seems to need additional things. I kind of feel like she is playing me. Oh, just make a few things Mom. Oh, would you look at that, guess I need this now and ohh what about that?? Hey Mom, what is that fabric for? Oh do you think you could make me something in it too?? Oh Mom, that is so soft, it’s like your hugs… Okay, I made that last one up. You get the point though. She loves my makes and that is such an awesome feeling.

My kids love the fabric options from So Sew English almost as much as I do, so when she was making her list, she asked if she could shop for fabric on their site. She made her list, complete with fabric choices, and this is what she picked.

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First up is this super fun Lilac Unicorn print Double Brushed Poly. Not only does it have unicorns all over, but it also has the foil stars. I tried so hard to get good pictures of the stars, and just couldn’t quite get it. She wanted a shirt to wear with leggings and jeans, but requested something a little different than what we had done before. I showed her the patterns I had already but hadn’t made for her yet, and she picked the Spice Cake Dolman from Pattern for Pirates.

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The Spice Cake is the girls version of their Pumpkin Spice Dolman for women, which just so happened to be one of the first tops I made myself. The pattern can be made with a short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, or a long sleeve. You can choose a straight shirt length, curved tunic length, or a banded option with short or tall bands. For her unicorn shirt, she picked the long sleeve, curved hem tunic length.

For fun I did a quick time lapse video, sewing up this Spice Cake Dolman.

After my last time lapse, I had a few questions regarding the clipping I did to my seams when hemming. You can see it at about 1:32 in this current time lapse. Since I took my coverstitch out of time out and have been giving it another chance, I have found that I get less skipped stitches, if I clip into my seam allowance, and split my hems opposite directions. I do not clip all the way through, just up to the left needle thread. This also helps when I am hemming sleeves or pants, as it allows me fold at exactly the right amount. One other note about this time lapse. I usually iron my curved hems while I am folding them. I just did a finger press on this one, since my iron was out of commission. Ironing before stitching is definitely something I don’t like to skip, especially when doing curved hems.

To finish off her “first” list, she asked for two new pairs of leggings. She wanted something really colorful with lots of pattern, that she could wear with solid tops. She picked the Navy “knit print” double brushed poly for this pair.

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And for the second pair she picked this pretty Lilac scales print double brushed poly. The lilac dbp is only available in a bundle now, but there are some colorways of the French Terry scales, in yardage.

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For both pairs of leggings we used the Bonny leggings from Made for Mermaids. This is a pattern we have been using for her for a while, and she just loves how they fit. The pattern is free, has several length options, and also comes with a skirt, which she loves as well.

I should have known her list was going to grow, once I found the piles of clothing they hid when making their need lists. Guess I should start working on those “extras” soon. Although, I do have a few things on my “need” list, so maybe they will be next. 😂

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.

 

He has a list for me

A few months ago we ( meaning I), decided it was time to go through the kids drawers and closets to see what they had grown out of or had worn out. They were requesting new clothes so I told them they could clean things out and we could make a list of what they needed. Both kids returned with long lists. My daughter had hers all written out and even had fabric requests. My son, had pictures drawn. I’m talking long lists people.

I was surprised. I mean, I knew they had been growing quite a bit, but these lists seemed pretty extensive. So I had them show me their drawers and low and behold, they were pretty empty. This mystery was solved a short time later when I found the piles of clothing they hid, in order to request new clothes. It’s okay, you can laugh, I did. I also take it as pretty special when they were asking me to sew things to replace store bought things, since they like my things better.

After paring down the list to actual needs, it was time to get started,  a few months later. 😂 The first up on my sons list was some shirts. He has a few favorite patterns from the past and asked if I could make new ones just like them, but bigger.

He went fabric shopping and picked out his fabrics. All these fabrics are double brushed poly and from So Sew English Fabrics.

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We used the Moto Maxx tee from Love Notions for this one. The pattern has several options and even includes a pants pattern. My son particularly loves the double sleeve look and that is what he picked for this one. He was really excited that the light blue SAM stripe matched the Navy/Aqua trucks print so well. I also did a short time lapse video sewing it up.

His next three picks are all from the same pattern. The Jalie 2918, mens and boys shirt. I love the fact that it has such a large size range. It has been made so many times for my son already, and I see many more as the years progress.

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For this long sleeve version, he picked some solid grey DBP from my stash and this deep navy MOTOMAX dbp. With the crazy growth he has been having, I decided to make his sleeves a little longer, in the hopes that it would last into winter.

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Since it is still pretty warm here, he requested one of his new shirts to be a short sleeve version. This makes it so he can wear it now and later with layers. This one is completely in the deep charcoal/neon green dinos DBP.

If you read my post about our trip to So Sew English fabrics back in April, you saw the airplane dbp and the red/navy vertical stripe dbp my son was given by Amanda. He asked for a shirt from the airplanes and wanted the stripes to be long sleeves with it. It was too hot already, so we did a short sleeve shirt from the airplanes and hung on to the stripes until now.  We had enough left to make his long sleeve shirt, and hopefully enough to make his requested boxers next. The stripes are a vertical stripe, but since the stretch is so great in both directions, we flipped it to make the stripes horizontal.

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I thought that would cover most of his list, until he put on his jeans for these pictures. Whoops, I guess his list isn’t as short as I hoped. Thank goodness our weather is still good for shorts, it gives me some time to work on my daughters list first.

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.

 

I went Pinterest “shopping”, again

Pinterest scrolling led me to this fun outfit and I just knew I needed to recreate it.

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I already had a similar looking fabric in my stash for the top, but nothing for the leggings, so I went fabric shopping. My shopping led me to The Fabric Fairy and their supplex category. I know people commonly use supplex for workout clothing, but I have found it can also be great for other things. Some supplex I have used in the past, has a kind of slick feel to it, but this was a little different. It had a smooth side and a slightly brushed feeling on the other side. This one is called Beyond Cream Supplex Lycra Jersey, and the description on their website says it is high wicking with a microsuede back. It sounded intriguing so I decided to give it a try. The fabric shipped pretty quickly ( I even got a fun pen! ), it washed up well, and sewing began.

I used the Patterns for Pirates Peglegs for these leggings. I like how quick they are and they had the right look for this outfit. Bonus, they are free. I like using the low rise on the pants, with the contour high rise waistband, from their add-on pack (also free). They keep things secure, I get no rolling, and they aren’t so tight that I get uncomfortable when I have health flares. I made a time lapse video, sewing up this pair, that you can see on my youtube.

Something to note, the Pegleg pattern, has negative ease like most legging patterns. I wasn’t sure how see through these would be, with that negative ease, but I figured with the longer sweater, it would be okay. I will definitely not be wearing these with anything other than nude underwear, ha ha ha, but even with the stretch, things stay G rated.

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To make the top to wear with them, I used the Nora from the DIBY Club. I was fortunate to have tested this pattern when it first came out a while ago and I still wear the two versions I made then. I knew one of the options it had was the split hem I wanted for this look, and with a little tweak to make it more of a high low split hem, it was perfect. I measure in a few different sizes, but since this has a bit of ease and I was under the finished measurements for the SZ 8, I just made a straight 8 for this look. I picked the 8 based on my upperbust measurement. I did my usual 1″ addition, for my 9″ sidewaist, and then added an additional 4″ to the back hem.

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I used some Burgundy Honeycomb Sweater Knit from So Sew English Fabrics, that I got last year. It is super soft and has that almost heathered look to it, that was like my pinspiration picture.

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Another pinspiration, made mine, and now I need to find some calf high, grey boots, and maybe a few more colors of that supplex 😉.

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.