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??

 

 

Styling my first Red dress – Nicolette

I like solids because they really make it easy to include the pieces in several different outfits. So when I decided to make my first red dress and I wasn’t sure how I was going to wear it, I went through my closet and just let my imagination run wild. I came up with so many combinations but decided to just share these 7 with you all. It was 108* when I was taking these pictures and after number 7, things were getting a little rough 😂. So 7 it is.

This dress is the just released Nicolette from Sonia Estep Designs. If you missed my last post with all the details, the other two I have made, and my armpit sniffing pose, you can get caught up here.

First, my straight up red dress, solo. (Now I’m singing red solo cup in my head, as I type this).  I love the seam down the back, it adds just a little something to the dress. I have worn this with tennis shoes and with sandals both. It is perfect for errands, out to dinner, or just chilling at home doing kitchen DIY.

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For this look I grabbed an infinity scarf I had. A quick wrap around my neck and it changes the dress from summer to spring, or even fall if you live in warm climates. I could also see this with a lightweight woven scarf for summer.

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This next one I added my jean jacket to it. You can roll up the sleeves or even combine the scarf and jacket if you wanted to add another option.

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This cardigan was one of my first additions of red in my wardrobe and I was so happy it complements this Nicolette so well. This is perfect to take to those freezing movie theaters or even a cold grocery shopping trip. Can’t you just see it with some knee high boots too??  I can not wait for cooler weather to get here so I can wear this combo.

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Since it IS so hot here, I’m happy this breezy woven, kimono sleeve cover up, also works with this Nicolette. I was iffy on the color combo between the two, but I definitely will be making more with some other wovens I have my eye on. Pool party anyone?

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Did you know you could tie a knot in your Nicolette and make it a top to wear with your favorite pair of shorts?? If the knot look isn’t for you, the Nicolette also has a shirt option included.ED2968A6-4BDA-415D-8042-17143BE417F6

How about swapping your shorts for a pair of leggings? Just pull down the scrunch and now you have a booty covering top with a cute knot.

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I was really having a good time trying out so many new looks with this one dress. I even got commentary from the kids on which was their favorite. Any guesses as to which?

If you haven’t gotten your Nicolette yet, you haven’t missed out. It is still on sale for 50% off until Sunday, 7/7 Midnite EST. How will you wear it?

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.

My first sew in 5 weeks – Nicolette

I have been unable to sew for 5 weeks due to our DIY entire kitchen remodel. More on that in a later post. As this remodel was winding down I was able to sneak in a little sewing time this week and make the most amazing dress!

I am so blessed to be part of the team over at Sonia Estep Designs and we just launched the first pattern, Nicolette. Let me tell you about Nicolette. It has two neckline options ( v neck and scoop), three sleeve options ( tank, short sleeve, and cold shoulder short sleeve), and several length options. You can do a shirt, above knee, knee, and maxi length. If that isn’t enough, there is even a color blocked maxi and optional slit. I like how the back is cut mirrored for extra design options, easy sway back adjustments, and most important, squeezing a swingy dress out of less fabric.

The Nicolette covers the 00-22 size range and has an amazing feature I just love. You ready for this?? It comes with both the overlap pattern option and the edge to edge pattern option, plus A0. If I have to print at home, I prefer to use the edge to edge since my printer likes to mess with me and it allows me to just fold up the pattern quickly into a nice pile I can slip into a manilla envelope. But if you like your overlapping patterns, you can totally do that option too.

When this pattern was being created and tested, I made two versions.

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This blue above knee length tank, in a bamboo spandex from So Sew English Fabrics. I have worn this dress so many times, it’s not even funny. The pattern changed a little after this one, but to add a little more swing and get this look, you can just flare out your skirt portion a little.

My second one was this maxi.

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I have been hoarding this ITY from So Sew English from last year. I knew it needed to be a maxi but was indecisive on which one. Nicolette won the day and adding that slit option really takes it up a notch for me. They don’t have this ITY in stock anymore, but there are so many other gorgeous ITY options that would be stunning as a Nicolette.

Now, for the one I made this week. I seriously had a small window of time to sneak in some sewing. If you saw my IG post, you probably saw me sewing it up at our makeshift kitchen counter/kitchen everything. It was such a fast sew that my husband ran to the hardware store for supplies and I made it in the time he was gone. I know, I’m impressed, I’m usually a super slow seamstress.

I saw a picture on Pinterest and it was my inspiration for using red. I’ve done red here and there and have branched out to include it more, but this was my first red dress. I was nervous. Turns out I like red and so does my family. Both my kids and husband complemented me on it when I was heading outside to take my pictures.


What Pinterest inspiration picture would be complete without trying to recreate the pose?? Ya’ll, I feel like I’m sniffing my armpit 😂. Can I hashtag this?? #notamodel

I used a new fabric from So Sew English for this red version. It is Modal Ponte. Modal and Ponte are two of my favorite fabrics so I was really interested in trying this blend. I love it ! It doesn’t have the structure of Ponte, so no leggings, but it definitely has the smooth handling I love about Ponte. It has a little less drape than straight modal, and is a bit more opaque than regular modal as well. AND, it breathes so well! I really think I need to get a few more of the colors to have in my permastash. It sewed up so nicely, no curling edges like rayon spandex either. They have some left in stock if you are interested in checking it out yourself. Enabler Alert – So Sew English is having a mostly site wide sale until 7/6 midnite PST. Use code 4TH25 to get 25% off your order.

Since Nicolette just released, it is on sale as well. 50% off!! Until Sunday, 7/7 midnite EST. You can get it here.

Curious how to style your Nicolette? Look for my next blog post where I share the 7 ways I plan to wear my red above knee Nicolette.

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.

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.

 

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.

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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.

 

 

 

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.