Sports Bra- the sequel (plus bonus tank and shorts)

As soon as I finished my first Greenstyle Creations Power Sports Bra ( read about it here ), I knew I wanted to make more. I immediately went through my fabric and started planning my next combo. I didn’t have quite what I wanted, so I went fabric shopping. I saw a combo Heidi posted in April, in the So Sew English Facebook group, and I knew it would be the perfect fabric for the outfit I envisioned. It took a bit to arrive, but once it did I knew it was the right choice.

For this Power Sports Bra, I did almost the exact same options as my very first, adding the optional bra cup opening, and 1/4″ clear elastic in the full neckline and armscye. I opted to add the elastic since this fabric had a bit more stretch than my first, and I didn’t want to chance it gaping once on. I used the Solid Bubble Gum Pink Peached Performance for the straps and remaining pieces, including the lining, is Grey/Ivory Small Stripe Peached Performance. Just like my first power sports bra, I tried on my underbust band elastic, prior to adding it to the bra, and AGAIN, I was glad I did. I used a different elastic than my first one and it stretched a lot easier, allowing me to remove an extra inch, which was still bigger than my suggested size starting point.

I used the same Bubble Gum Pink Peached Performance for my shorts. It is so soft and the perfect fabric for lounging or to run errands. I made my first Run in The Sun Shorts from Striped Swallow Designs for this. It was also my first SSD pattern, and it was fairly simple to assemble. I made my measured size, XL waist to Large hip and Medium thigh, but for my next, I will probably remove some length off the rise and/or go down a size overall in each spot. I love the option to cinch up the side more or less, depending on my outfit and preference.

Since I’m not keen on rocking the sports bra and shorts combo out and about, without coverage, I added a Sundown Tank, also from SSD. I absolutely LOVE the low twist back option, it is so fun and totally creates the perfect showcase for my cute bra and straps. I used the Solid Black Crepe Jersey and it twisted beautifully! My machine seriously did not like the thick bindings though, so my next one, I will skip the binding and just turn and topstitch.

The Sundown tank has three back options, a regular back, and a high or low twist back. I did the low twist, added 1″ in length for my height, and made size Medium graded to Large at the bust and waist. I measured for a Medium graded to Large bust and an XL waist, but when I measured the pattern piece, I felt grading all the way to an XL would be much larger than the look I wanted. I also have smaller hips than I do waist, and while the pattern didn’t provide hip measurements, I know from experience with my body and loose fit shirts, that grading out so far would make my hips look like they are drowning. So with the tank having the shape and ease it does, I opted to grade out to just the Large.

A little sewing tip I like to use: When the pattern size chart doesn’t provide a measurement, you can measure your pattern piece at the approximate spot, minus the seam allowance. Then take your tape measure and hold it around your body part, at the pattern piece measurement and you can get an idea on fit. If the pattern has negative ease, you can do the same with a scrap of fabric (preferably in the same fabric you are using for the final garment).

I can’t wait to sew up my next set, I just got another fabric order that will be PERFECT for this! Plus, I am on the hunt for some swim fabric. I think this would be amazing to wear to splash pads with the kids or just hanging out by the pool.

Fabric all from So Sew English:
Solid Bubble Gum Pink Peached Performance
Grey/Ivory Small Stripe Peached Performance
Solid Black Crepe Jersey

Patterns:
Greenstyle Creations Power Sports Bra (available in Women and Kids)
Striped Swallow Designs Run In The Sun Shorts (available in Women and Kids)
Striped Swallow Designs Sundown Tank (available in Women and Kids)

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.Β Thank you for supporting my sewing πŸ’•

Stars and Stripes

My family likes to wear patriotic things all year round, but especially on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. Back in April, I came across a shirt from an online boutique and I thought it would be a perfect addition to my patriotic attire.

Image from Nictops

As you all know, we live in sunny Arizona and because of that, I usually avoid layers in the summer. But this top really needed the layers so I wanted to use a lightweight fabric that I knew would allow me to breathe, even with two layers.

I found a 150gsm solid red modal for the cami. I ended up ordering two different fabrics for the blue tank, a modal Ponte and an ITY. I wasn’t sure which I would prefer with the red modal, so I got both. When my package arrived, I didn’t care for the feel of the modal ponte over the red modal and I ended up with a different fabric instead of the ITY. The fabric I got was an almost exact weight to the red modal, and I’d say it’s either a lightweight modal or a rayon spandex. I chose to use the mystery fabric because it had the perfect drape I wanted for the stripes and didn’t cling weird to the red modal. So blessing in disguise πŸ˜‰

I knew the perfect patterns for the two tops would be the Cross My Heart Cami and Essential Tank, both from Patterns For Pirates. Both tops have several options so for my recreation I went with the high X front and regular back on the cami. For the Essential Tank, I chose the full back, curved hem, with bands. I wanted to have my front neckline lower to show off the front X a bit more, so I just cut a lower “V” and blended it into the original neckline.

I recalculated the neckband by measuring the new opening and multiplying it by 90%. I kept the original neckband width, and when sewing the band on, I let it smooth out the V so it wasn’t as pointy.

I made no other changes to the patterns and sewed up both before creating the design on the Essential tank. I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted the placement to be so I waited until I had made it and tried it on to determine.

Once made, I tried it on, and marked with two clips where my waist hit. I didn’t want the lowest stripe cutout to be lower than my waist, so the two clips were a simple marking tool.

Then came the fun part, the Stars and Stripes. I did some internet searching and came across a free star printable from First Palette. I used their various sized star template and picked the smallest ones on it. They are about 1″ in size. I needed to print two sheets, to have enough for the design I wanted, and I just cut them out and placed them on the back of the tank.

For the stripes I used the remaining pieces of paper, and cut out 1″ strips, three at 4″ long, one at 7″ long, and the last two at 8.5″ long. I placed the strips about 3/4″ apart and all lined up on the right side.

Once I had the stripes and stars in the placement I wanted, I used my marking chalk and roughly chalked the outline of each.

To cut them out, I used my small 28mm Fiskars rotary and my favorite Kai scissor (7100) thread snips.

I started with the stars and found that it was easiest to cut the star out by creating a tiny snip in the center first. Then I cut out to each inner point, which allowed me to just cut out to the outer point and the remaining V.

For the stripes, It got a little tricker since the shirt was already assembled. I ended up bunching up the front of the shirt towards the neckline, almost as if I was turning it inside out. This allowed me to lay the back portion flatISH on my cutting mat. Starting at the bottom stripe I cut the top and bottom horizontal lines with my rotary and straight ruler, then using my kai snips, I cut up the two sides. I worked from bottom to top to have more room and avoid rubbing off my markings.

Once I had finished cutting it all out I noticed the stripes didn’t have as much drape as I wanted and the stars were a little too nice looking for what I had in mind, so I tossed it in the washer. Not only did the washer give it that little extra I was hoping for, but it also removed all my markings for me. I gave both tops a good press and was done.

As I was cutting the starts and stripes out, I really had feelings of apprehension and like I had lost my mind 🀣. Making a shirt, only to cut it up, was a whole new experience for me.

Patterns are the Essential Tank from Patterns For Pirates and the Cross My Heart Cami from Patterns For Pirates.

Fabric is both from So Sew English, the Red 150gsm Modal is here, the blue is not on the site.

Star printable is from First Palette.

πŸ’™πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈThank you to all who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έβ™₯️

The Romper Repeat – Bayside Leopard

After my daughter saw my SeaChange playsuit (you can read about it here), she asked if I could make her one. She loved how it looked like a dress but was really shorts, and of course, the pockets. Unfortunately the fabric she wanted was a knit, and Pattern Emporium doesn’t have a kids version of the pattern. So I asked her about using the same pattern we did a few years ago for her, the Bayside romper from Pattern Niche.

As soon as I reminded her which it was, she was very excited and asked to see the available options. The pockets sold it for her.

Since the fabric she picked was Bulgaree ITY from So Sew English, it has very nice drape and gives the romper a dress feel, all while feeling relaxed and cool. She has grown quite a bit since the last time, so we had to do several fit check try ons during sewing, and each time she said, “Ohhh, this feels so nice!”

The Bayside has shorts, pants, or dress lengths in mini, knee with a straight or curved hem, mid length or maxi. You can choose short sleeves, flutter sleeve, or tank, and of course, pockets. Something that sets the Bayside apart from other rompers is its fun cross back bodice design. It really makes it easy for my daughter get it on and off and adds such a fun detail.

My daughter picked the tank, shorts cutline, with pockets. She doesn’t like elastic in the cross over back pieces, so I omitted that. It does give the back a slightly more drapy look, but she really likes it. If you have a child prone to things slipping off the shoulders, I wouldn’t recommend that omission, as it can help hold the shape.

When I was making the romper, she asked if we could do some fun stitching so she picked her two topstitch thread colors for the pocket and we did a rolled hem on the shorts, to give it a slight wave look.

Tip: I can not recommend enough. Use your Child’s waist measurement to determine elastic length, and try it on before securing it all. It helps to get a much better fit and allows you to make sure you have enough support to keep the waist where it belongs. It makes such a difference in comfort for my kids and myself.

The Bayside is available in both women and kid sizing.

The fabric is Bulgaree ITY 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. Thank you for supporting my sewing πŸ’•

Dinosaurs & Brazilian Performance

My son loves dinosaurs and shorts in French Terry. So, when So Sew English came out with a new Dino print on French Terry, it was an immediate purchase.

The last few pairs of shorts I have made for him, have all been without pockets. He loves pockets, but I don’t love the surprises those pockets leave behind in my washing machine. He really, REALLY wanted pockets in this pair, and informed me that he was now 7 and had a better memory. Even though Daddy is way older than 7 and still forgets. 🀣

He likes the fit of the Pattern Niche 11th Hour Gear Shorts and I love how quick of a sew it is. I always double check measurements before sewing and saw he had moved up a size, so I ended up needing to redo my pattern pieces. I’m glad I checked though, because he loves the shorts and we have a long summer ahead of us.

Since he heard his sister picking her shorts length, he wanted to as well, fortunately his desired length was really close to the pattern length so it was as simple as taking a smaller hem allowance. You can read about how I used this same pattern to make my daughter a pair of shorts a few weeks back, here.

Naturally our puppy, who is almost 6 months now, needed a matching scARF (a.k.a. super soft bandana). I had a two yard cut and was easily able to get both his shorts and the scARF out of it.

If you read my last few posts, you know I’ve been interested in trying new to me fabric bases, so I decided to try out the Brazilian Performance Rib from So Sew English for a matching top. The rib is listed as a horizontal rib, but upon arrival I noticed that it only had around 25% stretch horizontal and around 100% vertical, so I chose to use it as a vertical rib. Unfortunately my camera had a hard time photographing the rib, but the mint color is a perfect complement to the shorts.

On the right side of the fabric, there is a definite rib, and the wrong side is smooth. My son is a little sensitive when it comes to things being soft or having texture, so I wasn’t sure how he would like the rib as the neckband. After wearing, he said he doesn’t mind it, but it isn’t as soft as his Double Brushed Poly or other performance shirts, and that they are his favorites.

The fabric sewed up well, but I did notice that hemming was a bit odd on my machine, with all the ribbing. When compared to other performance fabrics I have used, it feels a little stiffer, again, because of the ribbing.

My husband wants a shirt in it to try too, I knew I should have gotten 2 yards instead of one.

I can’t get over how cute they look together 😍😍.

I used our normal go to t-shirt pattern, the Jalie 2918.

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.Β Thank you for supporting my sewing πŸ’•

Tie Dye Twinning – 11th Hour Gear Joggers

With the sun here, everything gets hot to the touch, chairs, swings, slides, everything. My daughter was getting frustrated with the continual “back of the thigh burn” and she asked for some longer play shorts. Her requests were to have them just above her knees, relaxed fit, and with pockets. She also wanted to match with our puppy, so she picked a beautiful royal/aqua tie dye French Terry from So Sew English Fabrics.

I recently used the 11th hour gear jogger pattern for several pairs of joggers for her and my son. She really liked the fit so I just did a length modification to it, and added pockets.

To decide the length, she tried on her joggers, and I measured down from the crotch seam, to where she wanted them. This ended up being about 6″.

I measured down the 6″ from the crotch curve on the pattern piece, and added a new cut line. Since she gave me a 2″ area she wanted them to hit, I wasn’t worried about including seam allowance or hem.

Sewing tip: before cutting, I like to place my pattern pieces together, and ensure that the modification I did to the front and the back, will match on my side seams when sewn. Once I verified that mine matched, I sewed up the pattern per the jogger instructions.

Added a matching scARF for our “little” puppy, and done!

Enabler Alert – All Pattern Niche patterns are on 30% off sale until tomorrow (March 25th) with code SPRING30

The fabric is from So Sew English Fabrics, and they have $8.50 flat rate domestic shipping, for the month of March.

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.Β Thank you for supporting my sewing πŸ’•

Simpatico – A New Release & Perfect Pair

It has been a while since I was super excited about a sew for myself. But let me tell you, when I pulled out the fabric (Double Brushed Poly from So Sew English Fabrics) for these new leggings, I could feel my excitement building. It only got higher when I decided to make a new top to go with it. This set has me feeling all the springy vibes and I couldn’t be more comfortable.

The leggings are a super quick and simple new pattern from Greenstyle Creations. I have a few go to legging patterns already, but this will be replacing my basic one. Why? There are a few reasons the Simpatico stands out for me.

The first thing I noticed was calf shaping. Unless leggings are super tight, I will usually get bunching above and below my calf. And if leggings are super tight, they can feel restricting and painfully tight at my calf. With these, I have no calf restriction and no bunching, they fit my legs perfectly.

Another thing I noticed and liked about the Simpatico, the three built in inseam length options. I’m 5′ 9′ with a 29″ inseam. With the three built in lengths, I fall in the standard length, and that meant I was able to skip adding for my height. The only grading I had to do, was going from my G everything to an E thigh. So it made this a really fast sew for me. Such a fast sew, that I had time to make a quick tie back tank to wear with it.

I just love how it looks tied up or left open, both work great with Simpatico!

For the Simpatico, I made a size G with an E thigh, standard length, with a high-rise waistband. The Simpatico is currently on new release sale! The Tie back tank is a straight Medium with 1″ added for my height, low neckline, racerback, in rayon spandex.

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. Thank you for supporting my sewing πŸ’•

Bridging the clothing gap – Olympia

My daughter is all about the crop tops right now, and while her Dad doesn’t like her looking so grown up, he understands her desire and so we are working on outfit compromises. Who knew that sewing would provide a way to bridge the inevitable clothing gap.

Part of the crop top pull, is how much cooler she is. It is hard living in our heat, being active, and trying to stay cool, so we have been exploring new garments and fabric bases. This recent sew really hit the ball out of the park for her.

The Olympia from Pattern Niche (Formerly New Horizons Designs) has several options, but the most notable design feature, is the open/overlap sides. For her first, she picked a pretty floral double brushed poly fabric, from So Sew English, that I had saved for a while. For the Olympia options, she chose the shirt length, scoop neckline, with kangaroo pocket. The Olympia also has a tunic length option as well as a hood and a scoop hood neckline.

She is a straight size 12 for the first time ever and that made this a crazy fast sew for me. You can see my timelapse of it here.

The scoop necklines are done with a facing and pattern has you use optional interfacing.

Interfacing tip: I like to cut the interfacing 1/8-1/4″ smaller than the pattern piece it is being attached to. I have found that it cuts down on bulk in the seam allowance, and avoids the risk of getting the interfacing on my iron or ironing board.

I cut out the interfacing but ended up not using it, and for the next one, I plan to skip the facing completely, add a little to the neckline, and just turn and topstitch it.

She really loves how breathable this is, and her Dad really likes how non crop it is, and that makes it a sewing win in my book.

She is requesting more for the summer, in swim, in athletic mesh, and since it has a loose fit, I kind of want to try it in a woven.

The Olympia from Pattern Niche is not only available in girls sizing, but women as well.

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.

Layering for Winter in Arizona

Desert living really has it benefits in the winter. We do get our cold storms, but on a typical day I can start out wearing cool weather clothes, transition into tanks and even shorts, and end up back in the cool weather clothing by evening. Because of this and my circulation problems, I really love wearing pants, tanks, and cardigans. I have found myself grabbing that combo from my closet, more and more, so I decided to make myself a new set.

I recently discovered a fabric base called Oakley. I love it for cardigans! It is soft and squishy, and has a slight brushed feel. BUT, it doesn’t grow like some sweater knits, it’s easy to sew, and it is available in some really fun prints. This print in particular caught my eye and I just couldn’t pass it up.

Then came the coordinating tank fabric. I really wanted something I could wear into spring and summer, but wanted something a little “dressier” than a modal or rayon spandex. I particularly like ITY (interlock twist yarn) for dresses and tops, because it has great drape, and can keep me cool in the heat, so I started looking there. I came across this solid navy ITY and took a chance it would match the Oakley print, and ordered. The fabric matched !!

I knew before ordering, exactly which patterns I intended to use for this combo. For the tank I used the Catalina tank from So Sew English Fabrics. I liked the look when it released, but didn’t get a chance to try it out, and now was the perfect time. Since I prefer to wear my regular bra, I decided to omit the elastic for the included shelf bra, and treat it as a liner. Because of my height and my side waist length, I added an inch in the length of the bodice, and also added an inch to the “shelf bra” length.

A few things to note: I am 5’9″ with a side waist length of 9″. Most patterns are designed for a height of 5’5″, and an 8″ side waist length. I have found that adjusting my 1″ for side waist length difference, is usually enough for tops, based on where I carry my height. However, in this case, I would have needed to add 2″ to both the shelf bra and the bodice, versus the 1″ I did, if I had made the pattern as drafted and used the elastic, and hemmed the bodice (which I didn’t do, for the look I wanted). The Catalina is drafted for a height of 5’5″. If I had used a heavier fabric or one that grew, I could have left it with just adding 1″.

Since the “lining” was designed to be a shelf bra, it comes in to your body and has more negative ease. I found that this helped keep the “lining” in place and gave me a really clean silhouette, with no visible lines.

I particularly like the extra strappy look I got on the back, wearing it with my regular bra.

For the cardigan, I chose the Patterns for Pirates, Cocoon Cardi. I had a happy accident the last time I made the pattern and ended up with 10″ bands versus the 5″ or 13″ options in the pattern. I also sized it up one, from my measured size, and the combo was love. For this cardigan, I did the same.

These two have been on wear, wash, repeat since making, and I foresee the tank being worn with shorts, into summer.

ombre leopard print Oakley patterns for pirates cocoon cardigan and Navy ITY So sew English Fabrics cocoon cardigan

The links in this post are not affiliate links.

Shorts, Shorts, and more Shorts

My daughter keeps growing and her wardrobe is in an almost constant rotation. Just when I think she has what she needs, she comes walking out of her room and I hear, “Mom, I grew again!”.

It’s usually when we are trying to run out the door or leaving on a trip, never the best times to sew. Fortunately, she likes the fit of the free Ginger Shorties from Sew Like My Mom. I can usually do a quick remeasure, reprint the few pages, cut and sew, and she has a new pair of shorts in under an hour. So the last time the scene played out, we went fabric shopping and I made her a few pairs, to hopefully buy some time.

This first pair was made from a Black Rainbow Foil Liverpool from So Sew English. She loves glitter and rainbow so these were a huge hit. I made her a coordinating Patterns for Pirates Jolly Roger Raglan in a purple French Terry I’ve had in my stash for a while.


This next pair was made from scraps from my recent Iris shorts ( you can see the sew along I did for them here). When she saw my shorts she fell in love with them and I was so happy I had enough scraps left to make her a pair of shorts, plus we got matching scrunchies, made by her. This fabric is a Scuba from So Sew English.

She picked a neon pink bullet from Sincerely Rylee for her third pair. She loves how it looks with her Sassy shirt and the bunny shirt she made for her birthday, back in April. She raided my stash for a coordinating fabric to make herself a headband too.


I am so glad that these are such quick sews!! You can see my time lapse of the scuba pair here.

Maybe these three pairs will last her through the rest of our warm weather, fingers crossed.

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.Β 

But first, photos!

Ever since I started sewing, I would take pictures of my makes and log the details in a notebook. It is fun to look back and see what you have made and how you have improved over the years. It’s also crazy helpful having details written out when they request the “exact same thing” a year later. Since this is my norm, my family knows, I will request photos of whatever I make for them, before they can have them. Cruel I know πŸ˜‚.

I made the “mistake” of making my husband new shirts for him to wear under his work clothes, and he loved the fabric so much, he requested several others, in his favorite regular t-shirt pattern. For his work under shirts, I recreated his old store bought ones and saved a bunch of money. (You can see the full video tutorial here ). The work undershirts, are a much tighter fit, but for these new ones, he wanted a traditional, relaxed, t-shirt fit.

I pulled out our trusty t-shirt pattern, the Jalie 2918. Not only is this our most used mens t-shirt pattern, but it is also our most used t-shirt pattern for my son, yes, it has both mens and boys sizes included in one pattern! Naturally, my son wanted to have a few matching shirts with my husband, so they picked a few fabrics together. Not gonna lie, watching my guys fabric shopping together was amazing πŸ’•

This is such a quick sew (you can see a time-lapse video of me sewing up one of these here), and with the large size range and pattern options, it really makes it cheaper than purchasing store bought.

First up was this University Red dry-fit from The Fabric Fairy. This is the same fabric base I used for my husband’s black undershirts. I purchased 2 yards and was able to get both a shirt for my husband and son. My guys love how smooth it feels and the moisture wicking properties are a major selling feature for them, especially since they are always outside doing something active and we live in the hot desert.


They also chose the Royal colorway of the same fabric. There is a slight difference in the feel between the red and blue, but nothing significant and they didn’t even notice it.


My husband wanted a few more tops and picked out two other fabrics from my So Sew English stash. First up was this Sage performance. It feels a little slicker/stiffer than the Nike dry-fit, but again, it’s so minimal, he didn’t notice it.

And the second stash pick, was this Silver Yoga performance, with added HTV. I’ve only done HTV a few times and this one was a learning experience for me. Plus all the weeding! But seeing him wash, wear, and repeat, was totally worth it.

Because of my “Photo First” rule, they were not able to wear most of them for a few weeks. It was such torture, but they finally gave me some pictures when we went camping a few weeks ago. Then proceeded to wear the shirts the entire time πŸ˜‚


Since there are a couple other color ways of the Nike dry-fit in stock at the Fabric Fairy, they have requested a few more shirts. My daughter fell in love with the feel of the fabric too, so I used the pinkfire colorway for a new tank for her. Which you can read about here.