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 💕

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.

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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. 

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 😂.

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 💕

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 😂


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.

Hannah Hem Hack-Skip The $68 Price Tag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Hannah is on new release sale for $5 until Sunday 11/3, midnight EST. The fabric is super plush from So Sew English. With a total price tag of $30, it is a bit more up my alley, and it’s custom fit to top it off.B632F6C1-E61D-47F3-9C7B-DDC56AAAD428

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

Three years waiting and just in time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now, her list

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

He has a list for me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I went Pinterest “shopping”, again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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