Wearing my stripes – The Jordan dress

When I was younger I took an etiquette type class. This class covered things from how to set the table, all the way to dressing and walking. I learned quite a few things from that class, some I think are silly and some I actually still utilize to this day. One of the things I learned about was colors and shapes, when worn different ways, changing how your body looks. Ways to emphasize or downplay certain things and draw the eye up or down, for example. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think you should wear whatever you enjoy and feel comfortable in, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to dressing (except the obvious ones of birthday suits 😉 ), but these little tricks are nice to know and have in your back pocket if you want to utilize them.

When it came to stripes, I learned that they can draw the eye in whichever direction they run. So, as an adolescent girl I shied away from horizontal stripes, because I had a fear of looking wider, and vertical stripes because I was already 5’9” and hated being tall. Stripes were very rarely found in my wardrobe, and that was the case until recently. I was seeing all these stripe fabrics and everyone making such cute outfits with them, and I wanted to try some for myself. Like any normal sewist, I went to pinterest and started searching for stripe outfits. I found some I loved and over this last year, I have made them, and more.

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What do you know, I actually liked them. So much so, that I seem to forget the eye boggling dizzy reaction I get when working with most of them.  Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about!

Then I got the opportunity to test a new pattern for Made for Mermaids, the Jordan. I must admit, I have been applying to test for them and Patterns for Pirates, since I started sewing. I just recently got in; excuse me while I freak out over here for a few minutes. Okay, I’m good, now about the test. The Jordan is a top and dress, with a bunch of options. The top hem options are straight or split hem with a slight high low. You can do sleeveless, short, 3/4 or long sleeves, with an optional thumbhole cuff. There are also the options of a lined or unlined hood, kangaroo pocket, and a drawstring.  As soon as I read the options, a specific picture popped up in my mind that I wanted to make. I picked the sleeveless dress with an unlined hood, drawstring, and a kangaroo pocket. And guess what? I made it fully out of horizontal stripes ❤

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These stripes are a gorgeous rayon spandex from So Sew English fabrics. If I remember right, they were part of a mystery box, which is a super sweet deal!

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Can we take a moment to appreciate the stripe matching on this pocket? I spent a good bit of time when cutting to ensure it matched. Pro Tip: Using wash away wonder tape to place the pocket on the dress is super simple. You don’t put any holes in your fabric from pins, and if your machine is picky like mine, the extra stability it gives when sewing, is usually just enough to avoid the fabric from being eaten.

Curious how this dress sews up? You can see my time lapse video on my youtube channel here.

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I am so happy that the picture that popped in my mind came to fruition, and that I had these stripes in my stash to make it happen. I can see myself getting lots of wear from this dress this summer.

DT Blue with Indigo waist

The Jordan pattern is available for the entire family here. Did you enjoy the time lapse video? Leave me a comment to let me know if I should make more ❤

 

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

 

 

 

Wardrobe Staples – Tank tops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.

The great boxer brief debate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own and I have a lot

Venice in Spring

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

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

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


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

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

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

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.