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.

Wrong this whole time but now I’m obsessed

You want to know what I learned during a recent pattern test for Annelaine Patterns?? I learned that I measured my side waist wrong, let’s say, around 2 years ago. I have been operating under the assumption I had an 8” side waist when in reality I have a 9” side waist. How is this possible and how have I not had major fitting issues? As for the fitting issues I usually add length to my shirts at the natural waistline, but for my overall height. Add that to looser fit garments that have less defined waistlines or slouchy fits, and I haven’t had any issues. Kind of like a, two negatives equal a positive, type situation.

In the case of this recent test though, the side waist measurement was extremely important. The top/dress was designed to be a slimmer fit and hit right at the natural waist, thus making my inch difference very noticeable.

Curious about how to measure your side waist? This is how. You know those stretchy selvedge pieces you usually throw away or let your kids tie things up with? Those work great for this, so grab two. Take one and tie off your upperbust. Then sing, “I’m a little teapot”, and when you get to the tipping part, make a note of where your side crease is and tie it off. You can also tie off where you think your waist is and move around for a bit, allowing the fabric to move to its natural spot, for those of you not into fitting musicals. Now that you have your two spots tied off, you measure from the upperbust one down to your waist one. Here is the important part and what I missed my first time. This measurement should be along the body, tracing your natural curve. Mind blown people. I had an extra inch hanging out in my curve.

Once I knew about my extra inch I was able to add it to the pattern and ended up with a wonderful fit. So wonderful that I have made 4 for myself, plus I hacked a 5th, and made two matching ones for my daughter. I’m totally obsessed !!

The pattern is the Lexington and is available in womens sizing (00-30) and girls (9 mon-20). It has several options so you can decide which look you prefer and allows for year round wear.

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For this one I used this floral vine rayon spandex from So Sew English. I chose short sleeves, scoop neckline, the waist cutline for the bodice and the skirt is the subtle hi-lo peplum. It was the perfect top to wear with my new pair of hunter green ponte (available at SSE) Peglegs. I have been wanting a green pair for a while so I was really excited I finally could make them and get them in my closet.

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For my second one I went with this gorgeous floral Amber bulgaree ITY. I got it last year from So Sew English and I can’t believe there is still some in stock. I just love how it gathers and drapes. Combine that with the above knee subtle hi-lo skirt and I am in love!! I chose the sleeveless, empire cut bodice, with a scoop neckline.

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This third one I saved for “last”.

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I’ve had this ombre blue Venezia ITY in my So Sew English stash, for quite some time. I hadn’t found the right pattern to showcase the gorgeous ombre so it sat in my cabinet. Once I had the first two done I knew this was the right pattern for it. I did the sleeveless, empire bodice with a scoop neckline. I also did the optional side slit for a little extra. I LOVE it!! I’m so glad I saved the fabric for this floor length maxi.

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My daughter saw my Lexingtons and asked for a matching one. Since I didn’t have enough of the fabric I used for my first three, I ordered some double brushed poly from Amelia Lane Designs and made us a matching pair. This solid navy compliments the Santa Fe print beautifully and she loves her Lexington as much as I do. These are both the sleeveless, empire cutline bodice. Mine is the scoop neckline and hers is a standard. Both are the floor length maxis.

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Not only have I found an amazing pattern that will get lots of use in our house, but I also learned something new about measuring my body to ensure a better fit. I call that a sewing win.

*Enabler alert*

The women and girls Lexington is on sale for 40% off until Wednesday February 13th, 12pm mst.

Amelia Lane Designs is having a 20% off site wide sale until Sunday February 17th. Code PERFECTPAIR  Plus they are running a shipping special that all orders over $40 ship for $10 (international excluded) WOWZERS!

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.

Sewing for my son – Sawyer Shirt

My son loves when I sew for him. He enjoys picking out his pattern and shopping in my fabric stash. His favorite part is picking options though. I just love his reasoning behind what he picks too. This last sew was the newly released Sawyer shirt from Annelaine Patterns. I showed him the pattern and got his resounding approval. “Mom, I like that one, and I need a new shirt because I’m 5 now and I’m bigger.” It’s amazing all the things that have changed, now that he is five.

Annelaine patterns has a large size range (6 mon – kids 20) which I particularly love. Kids grow so fast and I like being able to use the same pattern repeatedly, it really makes sewing economical. The sawyer shirt is loaded with some great options too. There is the classic tee version, with sleeveless, short, standard or faux layered long sleeves. You have an optional placket, color blocking, lined or unlined hood, and pockets (inseam or circular kangaroo). You can either hem or cuff your sleeves and hem or band your bottom hem. I have no idea how many combos you can make with all of those options, I’d rather sew than do the math, but it really allows customization and talk about maximizing a patterns use even more.

The options my son picked were the classic tee, faux layered long sleeve, cuffed sleeves, and regular hem. Are you ready for his reasoning?? He likes hoods but since I just made him his Bubby and Bee hoodie, he wanted, “something different this time”. Then he said he likes two shirts on the sleeve but doesn’t like how, “the under shirt gets all twisty in my armpits and I can’t do this.” At which point he jumped up and down and waved his arms around. Ha ha ha, guys, this kid cracks me up. As for the cuffed sleeves, that was because they “hold up my sleeves when I’m eating food”, and the regular hem, he just liked the line drawing. Makes total sense to me.

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Now on to his fabric choices. I will usually show him a few options when I’m ordering and allow him to pick some things for my stash. Then he has some options to choose from when we decide to make him something. He knows where most of his picks are located in my stash so it makes it quick for choosing. This time he picked the blue corey stripe double brushed poly and a solid black double brushed poly to go with. He really likes how soft double brushed poly is and I love how well it holds up. With the amount of washing his clothes get and the things that end up getting washed with his clothes (rocks, tissues, toy cars, etc), I appreciate things that stay bright and don’t get all pilly.

The best part of sewing for my son is his reaction when I finish and show it to him. He usually runs up and hugs it and asks if he can wear it. He has learned that I like to get pictures before he wears them, so he usually asks if we can do pictures, right now, so he can have it immediately.

Pictures with a 5 year old active kiddo can sometimes be a challenge and this time he asked if he could do a video instead. Who am I to say no if it helps him get his wiggles out? His video turned out so cute I just had to share, and note, no armpit twisting while he jumps around with his arms waving.

Enabler alert – the Sawyer shirt pattern is on release sale until Feb 5th, so be sure to check it out before it ends. All fabric is from So Sew English Fabrics.

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Love this faux sleeve detail!

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, ha ha ha.