Time really has flown by and it was not my intention at all to not post here or on Instagram for so long so I’m sorry about that. I do want to send a THANK YOU to all who have messaged me to check in. I very much so appreciate and cherish all your thoughtfulness. 🙂
I’m happy to say that I am doing very well and am even happier to share that my husband and I are expecting our first child!
As you can imagine my absence has been related to this growing little bundle of joy. I’ve been a bit preoccupied with morning sickness, exhaustion and all the other fun things that come with pregnancy which has left me little time or energy for much else besides my full time day job and sleeping.
I am 20 weeks along and just in the last weeks, I started to feel like myself, which means whatever bursts of energy I have are going to nesting. Even my exercise regime went by the sidelines but I don’t feel bad because when you are feeling queasy it’s hard to add extra calories to sustain a workout. Luckily, that is improving and I’m on a nice walking schedule and eating more normally.
As for sewing, I haven’t had the time or energy to sew anything in the last couple months. My sewing machines started collecting dust and my projects laid untouched so I put them away for the time being as to not accidentally ruin them. I do plan to return to sewing but I’m taking things one day at a time. I hope to finish a couple projects before baby arrives in November. We’ll see how that works out!
What about At First Blush?
I’m happy to say that At First Blush isn’t going anywhere. I have a pattern coming up that needs some more work to finish up and fabric kits for all of you who have trouble finding lingerie supplies. I will be selling these on Etsy so please stay tuned! You’re going to love them!
Anyway, thank you all for your support and please bear with me during this huge life transition. 🙂
Today we’re going to try out a summer dress hack with a tried and true pattern – the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt which we are sewing up for the Sewalicious blog! If you haven’t sewn up this shirt before you can access it for free on the Deer and Doe website.
Plantain one of my favorite everyday shirts – the cut is really flattering and I love the neckline so why not hack it into a dress?
Well I did just that with this drapey Carnival Viscose Jersey from Sewalicious! This is a bold print but I think is perfect for summertime – it’s fun, festive and bright!
Here’s what you need to do:
Get your free copy of the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt. Measure yourself based on their directions to find the right fit. Once you have cut out your pattern take out your tracing paper (I used medical paper), your drafting rulers, pencil/marker and your measuring tape.
Lay the finished front side of the pattern against you in the same position it would be worn. Take note of where the hem lies on the centerfront of your body. Set the pattern aside and using your measuring tape, measure from the hemline point on the centerfront of your body to the length you would like the dress to be – keep the hem allowance in mind as well (you can add 1” to 2” for this depending on your preference). Record this measurement.
Next, cut two pieces of tracing paper a little longer than the skirt portion of your dress. Tape the paper to the back of the pattern. Starting with the front piece- from the centerfront hemline of the front pattern measure down in a straight line the measurement you just recorded then measure across at the hem past the side seam of the original pattern. Use your curve form ruler to match the original hip line with the new hemline at the side seam. You can make this as wide as you would like. Repeat for the back pattern then cut out your new pattern.
The end result should look like this:
All that is left is to cut out your fabric, sew, and wear!!
For more on the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt click HERE!
I wanted to share a new recipe with you and what has been giving me some motivation lately.
Muesli Yogurt Parfait
La Cle – “If You Want It, Go Get It” band
Staying on track with exercising and eating right has been tough. After a long day at work it is hard to get in the workout mindset especially when it’s dark outside. So when Deanna of La Cle reached out to me about her Refocus bands I thought – how clever! And just the little reminder that what I’m doing isn’t for not.
I loved the “Keep Trying” band and the “If You Want It, Go Get It” band. Honestly, isn’t what you think of daily where you are going to end up? Whether that end result be today, tomorrow or a few years from now. With that thought, it’s important for me to surround myself with things that inspire my personal development and sometimes a few words on your wrist can do just that.
If you need a motivational boost check out the shop here.
As for my new recipe, it’s a yogurt parfait snack to help curb those sugar cravings!
I’m sure every so often or every day you are craving a tasty snack and as much as you want those Jalapeno Kettle Chips or that bag of Sour Patch Kids you know you’ve got to make better choices. We all indulge a bit (so hard not to right?!) but on the days when I am more mentally strong I go for a healthier snack and I got to say I never regret the choice.
Here’s what you need:
¼ cup of plain Greek yogurt
Sprinkle of berries – blueberries, cut strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
2 tablespoons of muesli – can use granola
Drizzle of agave nectar
First, add the yogurt to the bowl then add the toppings and drizzle on the agave. 🙂
***Valentine & Stitch patterns are sadly no longer available in the marketplace***
I have been looking forward to sewing up Valentine and Stitch’s Cassandra Pattern for quite some time now but I couldn’t decide on what fabric to go with. Did I want to do a solid as I usually do, maybe stripes or maybe a print? Well the decision became much easier when Helen of Valentine and Stitch announced that their patterns were going to be carried by Girl Charlee. Super exciting right?! I knew of Girl Charlee but I had never ordered from them before and living in Los Angeles, I can find so many deals in our very own fabric district that I don’t typically order fabric online. Well this case was different- so I thought in celebration of the lovely Helen and Rich being carried by Girl Charlee I will order a printed knit fabric from their shop!
I don’t usually do prints or florals. Not that I don’t like them. I actually love them! I just feel like I might get tired of the look as I have in the past when I have purchased RTW with bold prints or florals. Due to this I scoured through the Girl Charlee site looking for something, beautiful yet modern that still felt like me and I think I found it:
I went with the Plum Blue Feather Palm on Blush Double Brushed Jersey Spandex Blend Knit and I absolutely love it! The colors in this print are so amazing – pinks, blues, reds, purples mixed in these gigantic palm leaves and feathers! It’s feminine but not too sweet so I don’t feel like a child. This blush color is one of my favorites as well – see my Valentine and Stitch Angelina dress. I feel really good in this color and it has become one of my favorite colors to seek out when buying fabric. I think this is going to be my go-to spring dress and I’m so glad I’m ready (not that I really need to wait for spring in LA).
Sewing up Cassandra was a breeze. Just like the Valentine and Stitch web site says “Easy to sew, easy to wear”. This is absolutely true. One thing I love about their patterns are the neckbands. If you have sewn a few of their patterns you will see how much effort the put into making sure you have a clean neckline. This pattern is no different. It calls for interfacing which is a technique I had not done on knit before so I was pleased to find that it works great and stabilized the neckline of this dress well for a more formal finish.
Cassandra offers two necklines (round and scoop), two hemlines (standard and asymmetrical), and two sleeve lengths (elbow and long). You can also purchase the Cassandra extension pack which allows you to sew up a cute cardigan or top with the same neckline, hemline and sleeve options as the dress. I have both and I intend on sewing the top to add some great staples to my wardrobe. I’m still tinkering around with what type of fabric I would like to use for the cardigan as I would love to add this to my closet as well.
I also love how their patterns hug my body in all the right places and Cassandra is no different. I’m a petite tittering on average height gal but I’m not very broad either so it’s nice to be able to sew up a pattern and not have to make any adjustments especially for the armscye which pops out on me for other patterns but not this one.
Back to the sewing, I was able to sew this up over a weekend. It would have been completed more quickly had my sewing machines – yes I said machines… not gone on strike. They refused to work properly until I cleaned them so I finally did. If you look closely on the neckline of my dress, there are a couple skipped stitches that I didn’t notice until after I finished. I debated on ripping out the seam but it already looked so nice that I decided against it. I may later on though.
As for recommendations, this dress looks so cute with a belt!! I didn’t have an intention of adding a belt when I first sewed it up but as I was swinging around in it I thought “Let’s try a belt with it!” and I loved the outcome. I also love this dress with my mauve Hi Sk8 Vans. The color matches perfectly and I adore those shoes… can’t help myself.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and while some of you are thinking about the big date night or maybe dreaming about chocolates or flowers, we are thinking about sewing over here! Specifically hacking the Just Patterns Bias Top pattern into a night gown. 😉
Well for today’s guest post on the Sewalicious blog, I will be hacking the Just Patterns Bias Top aka a camisole pattern into a delicate and romantic nightie/nightgown. I will be using Burgundy Peachskin fabric from Sewalicious– rich color, soft texture and beautiful drape! Absolutely perfect for this project.
The Just Patterns Bias Top calls for a lining but I opted out and cut the pattern without it leaving one front piece and one back piece.I then decided how much length I wanted to add to the camisole to make it into a nightie. I added a little extra just in case things go wrong.(As we all know in sewing we can’t always be certain when hacking!). I decided on adding 14 1/2 inches to the hem of the camisole.This would give me option of have a short sexy nightie or a longer romantic gown.Moving forward, I took out my trusty medical paper and taped my pattern down then measured out 14 1/2 inches down for the new hemline.I used my curved pattern ruler to give some subtle shape to the skirt.
Sewing Up Your Night Gown
Once cut out, I overlocked the edges then sewed up the side seams with a straight stitch.I wanted a slit on both sides of the gown so I left 6 inches of the side seam open at the bottom.I pressed the seams open making sure to press the slits open as if I had sewn them.
Add Some Lace
I measured around the circumference of the top of the night gown to determine how much lace I would need. Then, I repeated this for the bottom including the slit areas.
Using a wide zigzag stitch I carefully attached the lace to the outside edges of the night gown being mindful of covering the overlocked edges.I repeated this for the hem and slits as well.
I tried on my night gown to determine how long I would need to make the straps and what position I would like them to be in the back.(I advise having someone help you with this if possible).Once determined, I cut out my straps, lined them up where they needed to go and zigzag stitched them in place.
Easy as that! 🙂 I think I’m ready for Valentine’s Day now… are you?
It’s pinning time! Got a Pinterest account and maybe a sewing board? Pin this!
Happy Sewing! 🙂
If you want to try this hack you can find the Just Patterns Bias Top Pattern HERE.
2017 was the year of the blog for me. I stepped out of my comfort zone and dove right into social media, my sewing and my fitness. There were a lot of growing pains and times were I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep going. As I began to learn more and more and really hone in on what works for me I found my groove in this unknown virtual space. However, it wasn’t possible without the support of a wonderful sewing community that got me there! Now that it has been a few weeks past my blogiversary, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all who have followed me and supported my year of blogging!
Saying thank you isn’t enough so I’m going to host my very first giveaway! A couple weeks ago I shared a pair of vintage inspired polymer clay earrings that my dear friend Jessica made for me as a Christmas gift on Instagram. I love them so much and there was such a great response to them that I asked her if she could make a pair in honor of you! She said yes, of course! So one lucky individual will be getting these earrings! (Allergy alert – they are silver plated earrings hooks and the spool is made out of polymer clay with regular all-purpose sewing thread)
That’s not all though! I have one more announcement to make. I’ve been working away for the past several months putting something very special together. It has been a labor of love and I’m so happy to finally have it ready for all to enjoy.
So…what am I talking about?! Well…
I would like to introduce the At First Blush Pattern Company. A pattern company that will focus on lingerie patterns with a mix of fitness patterns (hopefully in the future). I’m a one woman show so I won’t be able to pump out a ton but they will slowly trickle out into the marketplace.
As a thank you to all who have supported me, my first pattern will be free! I call them the “Be Bashful Bikini” – a pair of panties that feature a low-rise waistline with semi bottom coverage. They are a comfortable everyday pair of underwear that offer the right amount of ease and support throughout your day.
Be Bashful will be available in time for you to sew them up before Valentine’s Day! Once this pattern is available you will see a buy button for them on the sidebar of this blog or you can head to my Facebook Shop (not open yet)! The checkout process is super simple and Be Bashful will be yours!
I truly hope you enjoy this pattern. Thank you again to all who have supported me! I can’t wait for the wonderful things 2018 has in store. 🙂
Stay tuned for the launch of At First Blush Pattern Co. and the Be Bashful Bikini!
Back to the giveaway! Head over to my Sewing Unaffiliated Instagram page (@sewingunaffiliated) where you will see the earring photo above. In order to enter for a chance to win you will need to go to my At First Blush Patterns Instagram page (@atfirstblushpatterns). Just like the earring photo there and follow the At First Blush Patterns page for your chance to win these cute spool earrings! (Shipping only to US and UK)
Do you like sewing pants? I’m not the biggest fan. It’s not even the pants, it’s the hemming – ugh I hate hemming pants. I can never get it polished enough like a real tailor would. Since I’m picky when it comes to sewing details this is one thing that stops me from sewing pants. But guess what?! I sewed up some pants! Haha
I’ve been on the hunt for a good pair of pants that I can wear to work all the time. My requirements include but are not limited to – stylish, comfortable and a comfortable waistband as to not irritate my stomach incisions. I would love more functional pockets so I don’t have to think about where to put my phone when I’m walking around. I also would love to find a great pair of pants that can fit into or over my Chelsea Boots – this is an ongoing life struggle. 😉
I tried the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers but the fit wasn’t quite right although I do love the look of them when they are not on me or when they are on me and I am not moving. Lol. They have no pockets though, which I thought I would be okay with but let’s be honest… I need pockets. I avoid carrying a purse if I can and I’m a fast walker so pockets are key for keeping me on the go.
In comes the Eleonore Pattern by Jalie Patterns – a pair of easy to wear pull-on jeans for everyday or in my case the office. My dear friend, Helen of Valentine & Stitch happen to write a blog post about these pants at the same time I was on the lookout for a comfortable, functional and stylish pair of work pants. Serendipitous? I think so! Plus don’t they look great styled with my Valentine and Stitch Dune top?
Here’s the rundown of my Eleonore sewing adventure:
I will not lie I was a bit overwhelmed by all the sizes available. It was a little hard to see where my size was but little did I know I could print this pattern by size. When printing, I was in a bit of a rush so paying attention to those details went out the window! Once I cut out Size “S” I followed their instructions on how to make your Eleonore pants into skinny jeans.
I was very concerned about this as I thought this opened up the opportunity to ruin a pair of pants. Even so, I decided to take them in about ½ inch on each side. I wasn’t sure if that was enough but I rather too much room than having to squeeze my calves through a tiny hole.
I chose a black ponte roma fabric from Stylish Fabrics. Except for struggling to tell what the wrong side and right side are the sewing of these pants was pretty uneventful. I read the instructions through before I even began and re-read them several times during the process. At first glance, it seems like there will be a ton of steps but really it’s just that they have the instructions in English on the left side of the page and in French on the right side. What a relief! Furthermore, I love how they match each step with a figure number making it extremely clear. No room for ambiguity which is perfect in sewing!
I also love the story behind Eleonore – it’s about a very picky daughter of 4 ½ years who needed the perfect pant to fit her needs which really ended up being the needs of all of us! 🙂 You should give it a glance if you’re thinking about sewing up this pattern.
So what’s the verdict – did they hit my criteria? Yes! Surprisingly I made a pair of pants that I love! Stylish, comfortable, they don’t bother my stomach incisions, they have sizable back pockets that fit my phone and they fit over my Chelsea boots. Woohoo! I wish you could see the details a bit better but this black color is so rich that it’s too hard to tell. They turned out well nonetheless. 🙂
The verdict on the hem:
Last but not least, the hem looks great. They don’t give away that they are handmade which means I will be wearing them again and again. I gotta say these are the pants of my life! 🙂
Happy sewing! 🙂
Feel like pinning? Click below to head over to Pinterest:
Photo above – Me at my peak fitness in 2017 and one of the BEST days ever – swimming in the Mediterranean sea on the coast of Monterosso, Italy with my husband (forgive the pale legs – that was amended as the trip progressed lol)
Yes, we are over halfway through the first month of the new year and I’ve just gotten to my 2017 fitness review lol. Better late than never! 🙂
2017 was a great year for fitness:
2 rounds of Bikini Body Guide – total 32 weeks
1 round of Tammy Hembrow’s Booty Guide – total 8 weeks
2 weeks off while on vacation in Europe (although we walked an insane amount!)
2 post BBG rest weeks
Then 8 consecutive weeks off for my laparoscopic myomectomy surgery/recovery
40 weeks total of exercise – 4 weeks of rest – 8 weeks of recovery
Eventually, I moved onto running for my HIIT training in the 12 weeks prior to my surgery where I ran two speeds for 20-30 minutes twice a week. This was in preparation to shed fat from my stomach as I wanted the layer of fat the surgeon had to cut through to be minimal. I lost 5 pounds but didn’t lose any muscle.
Post- surgery I lost another 5 pounds unfortunately and haven’t taken a photo of myself without them. So that means my….
2018 Goal is:
Gain 10 pounds of muscle! 🙂 YAY!
I started my workout regime for 2018 on January 3. I decided to start with BBG pre-training which is meant for people who haven’t exercised in a while. It helps your body ease into a more strenuous routine. I told myself I would only do half which is about 15 minutes of working out and 5 minutes of stretching. I needed to test my limits in particular with my core strength as I have 5 incisions on my stomach and one large internal incision. After the first workout, I did feel some pulling across my abdomen. It wasn’t terrible but it certainly was noticeable. I also was incredibly sore throughout my body for the next 4 days. I pushed forward and worked out again on January 5. I have kept consistent at the two day a week/half workouts since then.
Recently, my sister found that the Sweat app by Kayla Itsines (BBG founder) is $1 for 3 months total. It is usually $19.99/month. It includes not only there traditional BBG workout but their BBG gym format, yoga, post-pregnancy and a power program. It also includes meal ideas and recipes, activity schedules and all sorts of goodies. I promptly signed up for this to help me reach my 2018 goals.
Since I have signed up I made the decision to follow their yoga program. I haven’t focused on yoga for so long but I think it would be a nice change of pace so stay tuned for those results! 🙂
I’m very excited to get back into my routine as exercising just motivates me to accomplish so much in all avenues of my life. I love all those endorphins flying around my brain!
How about you sewing friends? Did you do anything fitness related in 2017 or have plans to kick butt in 2018?
Happy New Year!! Wishing everyone all the BEST in 2018! 🙂
Have you ever used the hashtag – seamworkmag on Instagram? Well, if you do you could potentially be chosen as a Seamwork favorite for the month and win a prize!
Surprisingly, I was chosen as one of the three finalists for the month of November for my Aires Leggings. I posted about my leggings for #bpsewvember and although I didn’t win the big prize, I won my choice of 2 yards for jersey knit fabric from their new fabric shop.
They had three colors available Dusty White, Pale Blue, and Terracotta. I never sew anything up in white so I thought to myself this is a great time to step out of my comfort zone and go for the Dusty White fabric shown in the Seamwork image below:
What did I sew up with my Seamwork prize? A Seamwork pattern of course! I looked through the Seamwork pattern selection and at their suggestions on the fabric’s description page and decided to go with their knit tent dress aka Piedra.
Seemed to me to be a nice classic dress that I could add to my work wardrobe. Although wearing a white dress to work isn’t always ideal it is a nice change of pace from my normal dark colors.
The Low Down
Piedra is knit tent style dress that was designed with the changing seasons in mind. It is a perfect mild winter dress especially for warmer climates where our winters are not terribly cold but there is still a chill in the air. It pairs perfectly on its own or with tights. I paired my Piedra dress with a long necklace and my wearable toile of the Seamwork Jill Coatigan.
I started sewing up my Piedra dress about a week before Christmas. I was really hoping to wear it for the holidays but it didn’t work out that way. I decided to use a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine but found that the feed dogs were stretching out the fabric. At first I thought maybe a good press could take care of it but I was completely wrong.
So… no Christmas dress for me! Oh well… the other issue was that although I cut Piedra out in an XS it was much too big and I needed to refine the size. But what was going to be the point of cutting this fabric to fit me properly if I didn’t have a machine to sew it up with properly??
There is always room for a Christmas miracle right? Well, Christmas morning I received a Brother Lock 1034D from my very sweet husband. Problem solved! 🙂
In order to fix the stretched seams which at the time was the back seam, the sleeve caps and one side seam I just cut the seams away. I evened out the side that I never sewed by cutting to match the other side then I sewed this dress using my new overlock machine! I adjusted the feed dogs as I felt this fabric was a bit on the stretchy side and by the end of Christmas I had my new dress!
(Side Note: I wish I had some “process” photos but unfortunately I haven’t been able to sew with natural light with the time change unless I do all my sewing on the weekends so no “process” photos for this post!)
Besides stretching my seams, I messed up on the neckband a bit. The directions tell you to sew the neckband seam to match with the right shoulder seam. I didn’t like how this laid on my shoulder so I ended up cutting the neckband out with a rotary cutter and moving the neckband seam to match with the center back seam. I think it looks a lot cleaner this way but that is just my preference.
Another thing that didn’t work out so well is the back of the sleeve cap pops out a bit too far. I needed to narrow this area on the pattern before I cut into the fabric as it is just too big for my frame. Luckily, it isn’t noticeably in the front and if I pair this with a cute cardigan or jacket it covers it up just fine.
Seamwork’s sizes run a little big so if you are on the petite side I would recommend making a toile or doubling checking your measurements against their chart.
If your fabric is on the stretchy side use an overlock machine if you have one. I absolutely LOVE the Brother machine my husband bought me for Christmas! I wish it was in my life sooner! Lol!
Sew the neckband seam to match the center back seam.
Hey All! I had the opportunity to share a post on how to sew underwear by copying a pair of RTW undies and using leftover fabric in your stash for Sewalicious.co.uk. I’m sharing the post here on my blog but don’t hesitate to head over to their site and check it out! 🙂
How to Sew Underwear Using Your Fabric Stash
I’m very excited to share my first guest post for the Sewalicious blog!We are going to do things a little differently and blog about a really fun idea to downsize holiday fabric waste.
As sewist you all know what it’s like to have several pieces of fabric leftover that just aren’t big enough to do anything with.Well this won’t work for every piece of fabric but it might for those stretchy knit fabrics.
Today I’m going to give you a step by step guide on how to sew underwear using your RTW knickers as a copy all while tackling your fabric stash. (You can use one of the many underwear patterns available online as well – many are free!).
Find yourself some stretchy knit fabric and if you have some picot elastic even better!Mine is from Tailor Made Shop.
Dig through your drawers for your favorite pair of undies (of course not just favorite – make sure you still like how they fit!)Try to use fabric that has similar stretch to these for a good fit.
Take out your tracing paper and a pencil.I use a roll of medical paper and sometimes kraft paper but any paper will suffice.Place your knickers down with pattern weights of your liking and trace your underwear.Make sure to trace the front, back and lining.Be sure to trace the front and back piece by separating them at the seam.My seam is in the back so that will be where I draw a horizontal line to match both sides of the back pattern piece. My front pattern and lining pattern are one piece but I will draw a line on the pattern piece to indicate where the lining begins so I can also use the lining area as my guide to cut out a lining piece of fabric.
Once completed remove your undies from the tracing paper and smooth out your traced lines with a marker or pen then add seam allowance. 1/4”-3/8” should suffice on all sides – remember you’re adding elastic to the waistband and leg openings so your seam allowance depends on the width of your elastic.I’m using 3/8” wide picot elastic.
Cut out your new pattern and lay out your fabric.Place your pattern pieces on the fabric following the direction of most stretch (I’m cutting on the bias) then cut.
Measure the length of the waistband and leg openings to determine how much elastic you need for both then cut. You will have three strips of elastic.
Time to sew! Using an overcast stitch sew the raw edge of the narrow side of the lining.Take the front piece, the back piece and the lining and sandwich the front piece between the two with the wrong side of the front piece facing the wrong side of the lining piece.Sew the three pieces together using a zigzag stitch then overcast stitch the edge.Press the seam toward the back piece then using a zigzag stitch, sew the seam allowance to the back piece.
Flip the front piece and lining piece so that the wrong sides are facing each other then baste the lining edge to the front edges.Using a zigzag stitch, with the right sides of the front and back pieces facing each other sew the side seams.
Sew your elastic to the leg openings and waistband.For picot elastic, line up the straight edge of the elastic with the right side edge of the leg opening.Make sure the smooth side of the elastic is facing the fabric and the soft side is facing you.Sew using a zigzag stitch.Flip the elastic inside so just the picot edge is showing and sew in place using a zigzag stitch.Repeat for the other leg opening and the waistband.
Flip your knickers right side out, press and enjoy!
Viola!Now you have a pair of holiday knickers! ☺
If you like this idea head over to my Pinterest page and “Pin It” to your favorite “Sewing” Board!