Two pattern hacks – I love fringe

Sewing is creative. It can also be a challenge. It is something that causes me a myriad of emotions from stress to euphoria, and I can’t seem to get enough of it. One of my greatest sewing joys is hacking patterns. I love taking something and making it into something else. Letting my creative process run wild and seeing what happens.

I will find myself purchasing a fabric, not knowing how it will be used, just that I love it and someday I will figure out what it needs to be. That was what happened when I got this Walter plaid woven, back in 2017. This fabric sat in my cabinets for a “little while” and then along came the pattern and an idea formed.

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I used the Callie Cardi from Sonia Estep Designs, vest option. It is drafted for knits but only needs a minimum of 20% stretch. It also has quite a bit of ease so it was a good candidate for a woven hack. I made a size 10, and sized up the upper portion of the bodice, to a 14. The only places it pulled, was across the shoulder blades on the back, and that two size addition was enough to stop that. I probably could have gotten away with just sizing up one, but I didn’t want to chance it being too snug, so I went two. I love it as is. I started at a 14, at the underarm point and graded it down to a 10. You can see part of my grading path in the picture below.

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Once I had that graded, I knew I wanted to add some length, both to the cardigan itself and to the front waterfall. To determine the overall length, I measured the length of the dress I made and added the needed amount to the cardi, to have it hit around the same part on my back. I know, super scientific 😉. It ended up being about 5 inches.

To lengthen the front waterfall pieces, I just extended it as far as my fabric would allow. Since I had it folded in half to make my mirror front pieces, this ended up being about 7 inches. Again, super scientific. Then I redrew my front line to keep the shape of the pattern piece.

I sewed up the cardigan, folded the armscyse back 1/2″ and hemmed them, per the pattern. Then came the fun part. I frayed all the remaining edges to create a fun fringe look. If you like watching things, I have a short video tutorial on my youtube, showing how I did this.

If you like to read about it, I added a straight stitch all the way around, 1″ from the edge, to keep it from fraying more.

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Then I grabbed my seam ripper and a pin and started pulling out the threads.

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It took a while at first, but then I figured out how the threads were woven and it went much faster. I am obsessed with the finished product! Look at all that gorgeous fringe !!

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To finish off my idea, I needed a slim fit dress to wear with it. The Magnolia Tee released with the Callie Cardi and was the perfect base to turn into a coordinating dress. I loved the cupro I used for my first Magnolia tee (blogged here) so I looked at the color options that might work with this woven. The solid grey from So Sew English Fabrics, was just the right one! It almost has a blue tone to it, which I really love.

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To make the dress, I just measured where I wanted the hem to hit on my body, and added the needed amount to the pattern. I had already added 1″ in the upper bodice, to account for my 9″ side waist, so I added an additional 5″ to the bottom curved hemline.

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I connected my dashes and redrew the side line, creating my new pattern piece. I repeated the same steps on the back bodice so they would match, and that was it.

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I will definitely wear this dress on it’s own, but I do think I need a different pair of shoes for that. I tried on my fluffy grey boots with it and my daughter said it looked like pjs. Maybe a pair of white tennis shoes? What do you think? Have any shoe suggestions for me?

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I can’t get enough of this combo. The waterfall look really showcases the fringe and I couldn’t be happier with this two pattern hack.

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The Callie Cardi is on sale for $5 through Sunday, September 22. If you want to get the Magnolia Tee for free, check out the Sonia Estep Designs facebook group. There is a code in the comments of the first announcement post.

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I hope this inspired you to let your creativity run wild and maybe hack your own patterns. Happy creating 💕

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.

Transitional Pieces – Magnolia and Callie

I love transitional wardrobe pieces. They usually are made with lighter weight fabrics and have options that allow you to layer. Since I live in the desert and it’s hot, transitional pieces allow me to pretend it is cooler than it really is 😂 I am especially liking the Callie Cardi and Magnolia Tee from Sonia Estep Designs, the options make them great for  our 100* temps but allow for me to prepare for cooler temps with the simple changes of sleeve options.

The Magnolia Tee is a slim fit shirt featuring a scoop neckline, three sleeve lengths (short, 3/4, long) and the option of a straight or curved hem.The Callie Cardi has a beautiful waterfall effect and has the options of 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve, or the no sleeve vest.

Enabler alert, both are on sale, no code needed, for 50% off until Sunday night, September 22. Want an extra bonus?? If you join the Sonia Estep Designs Facebook group, there is a member only coupon in the comments of the announcement post, to get your Magnolia free! 🤫

Very rarely can I just make one of a new pattern, and these two are no different.

This first combo I used this Terra Cotta Cupro from So Sew English Fabrics, for my Magnolia. It was my first use of this fabric and I really liked it. It sewed up nicely and I like how it has drape but doesn’t seem to cling to certain things I don’t want it clinging to. The only drawback was when I came to the neckband, it wanted to curl when stretched.  Comparison wise, it curled less than rayon spandex, and the finished product was beautiful. If you want to see a little time lapse video of sewing up this Magnolia, you can on my youtube, here.

For this one I picked the curved hem and long sleeves. I did a few mods for my personal body fit, and I love it.

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To go with it I made a long sleeve Callie in this gorgeous abstract Ana Hacci.

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I had been eyeing this fabric for a while, hoping it would stay around until our weather was going to start cooling and it did. I have no idea how, it must have been destiny. For this one I decided not to hem, the fabric is really smooth at the edges and I liked how it looked un hemmed.

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And because it’s still hotter than all get out here, I found this fun crochet sweater knit and made myself a vest version.

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I absolutely love it with my knit denim Iris shorts (you can read about all my Iris shorts here) and my red modal Ponte Nicolette (you can read about all the ways I wear this one here), tied up. I will definitely be able to wear this over other things as the seasons change, but I am totally loving this outfit right now.

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Because I love hacking patterns, I also hacked the Magnolia into a dress and hacked the Callie too, even used a woven for it. Be sure to check back in a few days when that post goes live.

No matter where on the globe you live, preparing for Spring or Fall, the Magnolia and Callie are perfect transitional pieces.

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

 

Camocozy – Hoodies for Two

When we went to California back in April, for our family vacation, we had the pleasure of visiting the So Sew English fabric warehouse. You can read about it here. While we were there, Amanda generously gave my kids some fabric. One of the fabrics my daughter picked was a spiral tie dye French Terry. As soon as we got home she told me she wanted it as a hoodie. Unfortunately, our weather was already too hot for hoodies, so it had to wait. A recent family camping trip to the mountains was the perfect opportunity for me to make her hoodie and she was even able to wear it a little.

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As she is getting older, she is developing her own style and I try to allow her to pick what she wants, as much as I can. It’s so fun to see how she pairs things and her personal style.

For this hoodie she picked the girls Tami Revolution from New Horizons Designs. It has several options for the hood; double hood, crossover hood, and standard hood. You can do a pullover option or have a front zip up. It has regular cuffs or thumbhole cuffs, and an optional shoulder accent zipper. You also have the option of doing no pockets, side inseam pockets, or a kangaroo pocket.

For her hoodie, she chose the pullover with a double hood, inseam pockets, and the regular cuffs.

Last year we got this pink quilted fabric from So Sew English and made her a vest with it. Fortunately we had enough left to use it as the coordinating fabric for her hoodie. The exact quilted is no longer in stock, but there are several other quilted options in stock currently. This pink was the perfect complement to the spiral tie dye and she chose to use it for the body and the inner hood.

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Since his sister was getting a new hoodie and he had another growth spurt, it was the perfect time to make my son a new hoodie too.

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He really liked the raglan sleeves on the Tami, but since it is a bit more shaped at his size, it wouldn’t have fit him quite right.

I asked the New Horizons team about the fit for him and they suggested mashing the Streamline Tee body with the Tami hood. It worked so well!!

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I simply did his size Streamline Tee and matched it with the similar size standard hood from the girls Tami Revolution. My son has a good size head and other hoodies have been snug for him to get over his head. This specific combo gave him room to get it over his head and with the overlap in the front, it keeps it from gapping and looking sloppy. The Streamline Tee is a standard raglan with both short and long sleeve options. Since it fits him so well we will definitely be making regular shirts from this pattern too.

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Just like his sister, he loves to shop for fabric in my stash and online. I have found he likes similar combos as I do, and in this case, he actually picked fabric I had been saving for myself.

This blue camo French Terry has been in my stash for several years and I am so happy I used it for him. It fits his personality to a T and he couldn’t be happier with the end result. He picked the blue brushed French Terry from last year, as the coordinate. He says they are both so soft and he is “camocozy”.

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When we were taking pictures, he kept telling me to “Take this pose Mom!” and “Here is another one!”. We had fun taking these pictures and I hope you enjoy his poses and looks as much as we did.

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The spiral tie dye French Terry is available in a bundle. The rest of the fabrics I used from So Sew English are currently out of stock, but there are several other quilted, brushed French Terry, and regular French Terry still available for you to create your own inspired combos.

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.

 

Teaching my Husband to Sew

I taught my husband how to sew this past weekend. Yup, I’m serious. He has been casually saying, “You could teach me” or walking into my sewing room and looking at my machines as I rethread them, etc. I finally took him up on it and like most things we do together, we had a good time.

How did we decide on the project?? Well, you know how I’ve been really into pushing myself and trying new things with my sewing? This was no different.

I decided to challenge myself with a fabric I’d normally not use. Then I took it one step further and challenged myself to use it on a pattern, way out of my norm.  When the fabric arrived my husband saw it and asked me what I was going to do with it. I explained my self-challenge and he promptly said, “Why don’t you split the yardage with me, teach me how to sew, and we can see who uses it better?”. So, competitive couple that we are, I accepted his challenge.

The challenge fabric is this cotton spandex (cotton lycra, same thing) Map print from So Sew English Fabrics. I haven’t used cotton spandex since I made my husband his ice cream boxers and it was a nice treat to use something different.

Lets talk about his pattern pick first. He likes all the Hudson pullovers from Greenstyle Creations that I have made him in the past so he decided to make himself another one. He used the map print for the body and found some brown cotton lycra in my stash to use for the sleeves.

He had it pretty easy with not having to print and tape a pattern since I already had his size handy. He did however have to figure out where he wanted his short sleeve line to be and he also wanted the neckline raised a little. I walked him through it and even let him use my serger and sewing machine.

I am seriously so impressed with how he followed my steps, was open to tips and my nagging about retracting the rotary blade before setting it on the counter. He did such an amazing job and I honestly can’t believe this is his first try at sewing. I videoed our “sewing lesson” in the hopes of sharing it on my YouTube as a couple part sewing tutorial, but technical, kid, and audio issues messed up several pieces. So I took a few clips of our fun and made an outtake video of sorts. It is available on my YouTube channel for your viewing entertainment. Yes, we are really like that 😂

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With the remaining map print I made myself a crop top. I used the George and Ginger Picnic Dress bodice and love the litle gather front detail. I made my size per the pattern but I think I’m going to take off the band and bring it in a little. To use just the bodice, you do the pattern as directed and skip attaching the skirt.

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Since I didn’t have anything to wear with a crop top, I made myself a pair of  highwaist elastic shorts. I used the Century from CKC patterns in this solid black crosshatch woven from So Sew English. The woven has some nice stretch/give, which I wasn’t expecting. I wish I had a few more yards of the crosshatch woven, I can totally see it as a summer dress or some flowy pants.

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I’m not sure if I will wear the shorts on a regular basis, but I actually really, really like the top and think I may try making a highwaist maxi skirt to wear with it.

To complete our challenge I took a picture of my outfit and because a picture wasn’t enough for him to showcase his shirt, he made a commercial. 😂 You can see his commercial on my YouTube channel too. He assigned me a roll for it and we had lots of laughs. 

Help us decide! Who used the map print better??

 

 

Summer Blog Tour – My Bayside Romper

I have always loved rompers, from afar. I decided last year that I wanted to make one for myself. So I bought 4 patterns, and promptly proceded to let them sit.

As one of the day three stops, on the New Horizons Designs Summer blog tour, it was the perfect time to sew up my first romper, the Bayside, and I love it!

Before I get into the details about my romper, let me tell you about the awesome giveaways and generous prizes from the sponsors!

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One Grand Prize winner will receive ~ 3 New Horizons Designs Patterns, a $50 gift card to Raspberry Creek Fabrics, and a $35 gift card to So Sew English Fabrics

One 2nd prize winner will receive ~ 2 New Horizons Designs Patterns and a $50 gift card to Raspberry Creek Fabrics

One 3rd prize winner will receive ~ 2 New Horizons Designs Patterns and a $30 gift card to Mily Mae Fabric Shop

If that wasn’t enough, So Sew English Fabrics is offering everyone, a 10% off code to use on one order. The code is NHSUMMER and is valid through June 8th, midnight, PST.

If you didn’t enter the drawing yet, be sure you do so, here !

Now, about my romper 😍

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The Bayside Romper has several options, which allows for so many different looks and longer seasonal wear. If you live in warmer climates like I do, it’s even a year round pattern. You can do shorts or pants, plus dresses. The dress lengths are mini, knee length with a straight or curved hem, mid length, and maxi. Plus the two sleeve options of short or tank, and POCKETS. I made the tank with shorts for my first.

I was a little nervous about a one piece outfit since I am 5’9″ and have a longer rise. I picked my size based off the size chart, and then, before adding for height, I held the pattern pieces to my body to make sure I was adding in the right spots. I ended up adding 1″ and the fit is great.

The romper sewed up surprisingly quick, which is a huge bonus for a slow seamstress like me. If you are curious about how it sews up, you can watch my time-lapse video I made, here.

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The only time I deviated from the pattern was not putting elastic in the back crossover. For some reason, I can never seem to get elastic like that, right. Since it doesn’t affect the fit, for me, I avoided it.

I did want to note, when attaching the band to the back crossover portion, I had a little difficulty getting it evenly stretched, so I broke it down into smaller portions by halfing the pieces each, and then attaching. You can see what I’m talking about, (at about 55 seconds ) in my time lapse.

I used this Blue China Floral Bulgaree ITY from So Sew English. Bulgaree Ity has a slight texture to it, has really great drape, and is one of my favorite fabrics, for summer especially. It also hides wrinkles amazingly well, which makes it perfect for trips. I have worn the romper several times and absolutely love it. I even tried it on backwards just to see.

Please tell me I’m not the only one that experiments with their clothes like this?? Since it looked good both ways, my kids keep telling me I’m wearing it backwards 😂

As an added bonus, all the patterns featured on this blog tour, will be on sale during the tour. So if you have been thinking about trying a romper for your summer wardrobe, now is the time to snag a great one.

Thank you for stopping by my blog 💕

Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour, to see all the great summer must haves, that are also on sale.

Monday June 3 – was Amanda Briles from Meadow Sews

Tuesday June 4- was Ashley Griffith from Creating Ashley

Wednesday June 5- is April Baylor from Sewing Novice

And – Danielle Thomas ( that’s me! ) from SewGr8ful

Thursday June 6- is Darcy Rochholz Bjertness from Sew Beeloved

Friday June 7- is Ingrid  from Sewingrid

And – Yvette van Musscher from Droomstoffen

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.

 

 

 

 

April Spring Capsule Challenge, in May

When I sew, I usually try to make complete outfits or separates that I can add to my current wardrobe. I see it as a way to freshen up my wardrobe or allow it to transition into another season without too much effort. I have never made a full capsule, unless you count my, “I’m going on vacation and need new clothes”, as a capsule.

When So Sew English Fabrics hosted a Spring Capsule Challenge last month, the idea appealed to me but I decided to skip it since I already had my sewing list for the month. If you are a list maker like me, you know how it is always longer than the time we have to sew.

Then, when I was scrolling facebook one afternoon, my daughter was reading over my shoulder and piped up with, “Ohhh a capsule wardrobe? That sounds like fun! Mom, can you do one for me? My clothes don’t fit.” Off we went to shop the site and see what she could put together. I let her pick her fabric, patterns, and how she was going to wear them together. The rules were that you had to make 6 items, one of which needed to be a bottom (pants, skirt, shorts, etc). This is what she picked.

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The fabric arrived. life happened , my health struggled, and the fabric sat. In a pretty, cordinated, freshly washed and folded pile, it sat. Just when I was getting caught up, my machines started acting up. But finally, it happened, her capsule was done, and only a month after the challenge. 😆

She didn’t have any comfy shorts so she chose two pairs for her capsule. I used the same free pattern for both, The Ginger Shorties from Sew Like My Mom. This was our first time using one of their patterns and it sewed up quickly. She wanted a rolled hem look, so that was a slight modification to the pattern, otherwise we did it as written.

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For this first pair we used cotton spandex heavy french terry, the same I used for my leggings in this post. This fabric is no longer in stock, but there is another that is equally amazing still available. She paired it with the Patterns for Pirates heart breaker cami, in lavender cotton modal spandex. The heartbreaker cami has a few different strap and ruffle options as well as different lengths. There is even a matching adult version. This fabric was super easy to sew up and with the cotton content it will be a great top for summer.

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She really loves the addition of the front ruffle and how it took a simple tank to a dressier look. Pssst, it was super simple to do too.

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She picked the Made for Mermaids Kelli Kimono in this gorgeous lavender beth wool dobby woven, to wear over the tank and short outfit. She gets chilled easily so she wanted to have a lightweight option to add to it.

For the second shirt she picked lilac cassidy venezia ITY. This is her first shirt from ITY and she kept talking about how smooth and cool it felt, ha ha ha. Yes dear, that’s why I like it so much. We used the Kaitlyn tank from CKC Patterns. This is a repeat pattern for us both, and this newest one didn’t disappoint.

To wear her ITY top again, she added the second pair of Ginger shorties. For this pair she chose solid fuchsia ponte. I offered to add some pockets to this pair but she opted for some on her “next pairs”. I think I’ve created a monster.

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She also asked for a rolled up hem on this Ponte pair.

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When she was shopping for fabric she fell in love with this white butterfly floral venezia ITY. She wasn’t sure what ITY was at first, so I took her to my closet and showed her a few of my ITY items. She gasped and said, “That dress!! Can you make me one like that?”. Fortunately the pattern I used for my dress, also comes in girls sizes, so I was able to make that happen. I used the Annelaine girls Lexington. The Lexington has a few length options for the skirt and some different sleeves as well. For this one, we did the tank option with the high-low hem skirt.

I have to mention that both these ITY’s have such vibrant colors, but the butterfly floral one, it’s almost as though the print is popping off the fabric. They are just so beautiful!

I am really quite impressed with how she picked her outfits and the patterns she chose for each one. I kind of want to copy them for myself now. 😆

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All fabrics were 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.

 

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.