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.

 

Wardrobe Staples – Tank tops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Pinspiration – You win some and you lose some

Where do you find your sewing inspiration?

I have my own ideas (usually when I’m trying to sleep), get inspired by other seamstress makes, and “shop” on Pinterest.  I really love “shopping” on Pinterest because I can save the things I like and can come back to it when I need something to sew or I find the perfect fabric. Another thing I love using pinterest for is finding examples of those late night ideas I get. I can search for things that are similar and make my notes to save them for later. Usually, when I find something I want to make, I have to search for a pattern or figure out how to hack one I already have, like I did for my first pinspiration (blogged here). In the case of these two recent pinspirations, I had both patterns already and no hacking needed, yay for saving time and money !! It also helped that I have made both patterns several times before so I knew they would be a good fit.

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Pinterest pin #1

I’ve had really great luck with my pinspiration creations and usually love the way they turn out. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with this purple cardigan. Let me start by saying, I love the pattern I used (Coffee and Tea from Annelaine ). It has several different options which allow for you to make a bunch of different cardigans from the same pattern. Another yay for saving money!! I have used it several times, several = 5, and each time it comes out beautifully. This time, my 6th, was no different.

I liked the fabric too. It was a Purple Hair I snagged in a bundle from So Sew English Fabrics. It washed well, sewed up well, even with the extra “hair”, and it had a unique look to it.

The problem came when I tried it on. I really did not like the way this specific combo looked on me. I tried it with several different looks and just couldn’t say I loved it. I was so bummed too. I had really wanted this to turn out. I mean, a purple fluffy sweater, who doesn’t need a purple fluffy sweater??

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To get this look I used the Coffee version, length between the long and short cut lines, hemmed loose sleeves, and the slim bands. Plus pockets, because, POCKETS.

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Pinterest Pin #2

My other recent pinspiration was a solid landing in the win column. I love this pattern too (Union St. Tee from Hey June Handmade)!! I have made several, several  = 4 in this case. I like all the options the Union St Tee has, but I really found the v-neck instructions easy to follow. All three of the  v-necks I have done, have turned out great.

Then there was the fabric. It is a brushed hacci from So Sew English, and is so so SO dang soft. Soft and cuddly, and soft. It is soft ya’ll ! I tried it on and it was instant love! The hardest part was trying to photograph it to make it look like the pinspiration picture.

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I gave up, I’m not a good selfie taker, and I’m okay with that. Making my bed and cleaning the mirror is totally not worth it. I’m kidding, but seriously, selfies are hard. I applaud all of you with selfie skills!

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The options I used for this top were long sleeves and v-neck.

Pinspiration. You win some and you lose some.

Anyone looking for a fluffy purple cardigan?? I happen to have one just hanging around.

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.

No Tie Aspen – Simple Hack

I have this thing about taking patterns and tweaking them to create different looks. I can’t help it.  I justify it by saying I am getting more wear from one pattern. It works, right?

Recently, I had the opportunity to test the Aspen by Annelaine Patterns , in women and girls sizes. By the way, if you haven’t checked it out, it has just been re released in extended women’s sizing (00-30) and is currently on sale #enableralert

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Aspen in Brushed waffle from So Sew English Fabrics

For anyone that follows me on Instagram, you probably saw my gushing post about how everything lined up so perfectly. It was seriously such a pretty pattern and a real joy to sew up.

Of course, after making it I had to tweak it for another look. I made a few simple mods and presto, a no tie Aspen.

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No Tie Aspen in Brushed Waffle from So Sew English Fabrics

Since the original was so well designed it made these mods so much easier to make.

Here is what I did using my regular size 6 Aspen pattern.

First I took my front bodice piece, curved hem option. I used the side seam curve and continued the curve across to the center cut line. You can see the original pattern piece underneath and the new line (in red) that I made. I just free handed it and that will be your new front bodice piece.img_7885

Next you are going to want to match that curve on your front hem facing pattern piece.  To do that, I just laid my facing piece on top of the new front bodice piece we just made. The side seam matches perfectly. Then trace that exact same curve for the bottom of the facing piece. You can see the new line (in red) below.

Now we need to make the new top curve for our front facing piece. The top of the curve is about 1 ¼ “ from the bottom curve. Using my ruler, I measured 1 ¼ “  from the bottom curve, at the center cut line, and made a little dash. I worked all along the curve, making a bunch of dashes, until it connected with the original. (dashed lines pictured below).img_7886

I like to remeasure a few times at different places along the curve, to make sure I have an accurate line. Once I have that line, I blend it in with the original side seam curve to ensure a smooth pattern piece.

You now have your new front facing piece, in red (below). The dashed red lines indicate where your new interfacing piece will be cut to match your new front facing piece.

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You will cut two mirrored of your new front bodice piece, front facing piece, and interfacing piece, per the pattern directions.

I made no changes to the back bodice, back hem facing, or sleeve (besides adding length for my arms) pattern pieces. Make sure to cut those out too and assemble exactly like the pattern instructs.

When I attached the buttons and made the button holes, I placed one at the top V, one ½” up from the bottom hem, and evenly spaced the rest between.

That’s it. A few simple mods to add another look to your favorite Aspen

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No Tie Aspen in Brushed Waffle 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 and I have a lot, ha ha ha.