Dune Top Pattern Hack by Valentine & Stitch

Fashion Sewing | Dune Top Sewing Pattern

***Valentine & Stitch patterns are sadly no longer available in the marketplace***

I think at this point you may have a suspicion that I love patterns from Valentine and Stitch… or maybe I wasn’t obvious enough!  I didn’t venture too much into knits until I started sewing up their patterns.  It’s really been great and has given me a lot of confidence in sewing stretchy fabric.  My most recent make was the Dune maxi which you can read about here.  My next course of action was the Dune top which was my intention from the beginning.  I even bought fabric for it way ahead of time!  I was planning on sewing it one weekend and realized that I didn’t have it printed out which lead me to stumble upon my Deer and Doe Plantain pattern which you can read about here.  I’m currently putting together what I think would be a versatile casual work wardrobe for the office.  I have two shirts down – Deer and Doe Plantain and I just completed two more of the Dune top.

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Fashion Sewing | Top Pattern Review

Now, I did this one a little differently.  I created one Dune based on the pattern (you will notice that this fabric matches one of my Plantain shirts) and one I hacked!  Why would I hack a perfectly good pattern you might ask?  Well it really had nothing to do with the pattern but more so with my fabric options.  I wanted to sew up my second Dune in a lightweight gray jersey but I was short a few inches on my fabric.  Then I took out some extra black jersey knit fabric which I had plenty of but once I saw it laid out I thought to myself I need a little oomph! So I looked through the rest of my stash and realized I had some matching fabric in pink, purple and blue.  What could I do?!  Color blocking naturally 😉

The pink and black color block Dune was born!

The Low Down:Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Dune is a summery top or maxi dress from the lovely Helen and Rich of Valentine and Stitch.  Dune is a printable PDF pattern with the option of sewing the top or the dress with a round neck or a scoop neck. This garment is meant to be flowy and flattering as it drapes away from your body but still hugs you in all the right places.  You can sew your top or dress in a stretch jersey or light cotton jersey.  This is a very versatile pattern that can be enjoyed while hanging out at the beach our dressed up for a party or even dressed professionally for a day in the office.

VS logo

Materials:

Stretch jersey such as viscose or rayon jersey, bamboo jersey, and silk jersey OR light cotton jersey with a good drape or for a more stable fabric use a heavier weight cotton jersey, crepe jersey or a scuba

(*If you are using a fabric with less stretch, you may wish to lengthen the neck and arm bands slightly.)

  • Ballpoint needle
  • Twin needle (optional)
  • Coverstitch machine (optional)
  • All-purpose polyester sewing thread

Purchased from:

LA fash District

I purchased my fabric from the Los Angeles Fabric District.  I purchased my thread from Joann.com – Gutterman 10 and 307.

The Process:

Here is what I did-

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

I used my dress form and my first Dune to get an idea of how high I wanted the apex of what I will call the bottom portion of the top.  On the small sized pattern, I decided to measure down 7″ from the center back and 6 1/2″ from the back side seam then I connected the points.  For the center front I measured down 6 inches and 6 3/4″ from the front side seam then I connected those two points as well.

I cut the pattern on the new line and attached the pieces to tracing paper where I added a 3/8” seam allowance like the pattern calls for.  I trued the sides and cut the new pieces out.

I pinned the top pieces to the pink fabric and the bottom pieces to the black fabric.  I was sure to start my color block below the sleeves so that I wouldn’t have to deal with a multi-colored armband although I’m sure I could have gotten away with one color.

Next, I cut all my pieces out and sewed the two front pieces together and the two back pieces together being very careful at the apex not to have a weird ripple.  I then sewed everything as the directions explained.

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

This probably isn’t something I would usually do but I really like how it turned out.  I am especially happy with how the color block seam lays and how the apex hits right at the bridge of my bust.

Hiccups:

My only complaint is that I think my fabric stretched a little too much around the neckline but I think pressing it was a good remedy.  This fabric is quite stretchy so some unwanted stretch is inevitable.

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

My other hiccup wasn’t on this hack but on my first Dune top and that was because the fabric wasn’t as stretchy so the side seams pointed out a bit more than I was used to. This also became a problem when sewing on the neck and arm bands.  The directions state to cut your bands longer if you have less stretch in your fabric which I forgot about. Ultimately it turned out fine because once I wore it the fabric softened up a bit and the sides and bands became more flattering.

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Recommendations: 

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

One thing that I did was I trimmed the excess seam allowance from the neckband and the armband before I attached them to the bodice.  That way they would lie flatter and not get stuck under my presser foot which is a problem I tend to have.

Also if you do plan on doing the hack be sure measure where the seam line will hit your body best so it is most flattering.  Please use a ruler for precision!!

Otherwise have fun sewing up Dune!  You won’t be disappointed! 🙂

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Happy Sewing!

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Plantain Shirt Pattern from Deer and Doe – Free Pattern

I’m currently on a kick to sew up practical pieces for my work wardrobe.  There is so much to sew and so little time so I kicked off my first work wear pattern with the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt Pattern with a ¾ sleeve and no elbow patches.

Plantain Shirt Pattern from Deer and Doe

I recently was able to enjoy a three-day weekend at home and while I was planning on sewing up a different pattern I realized I didn’t print it out.  Luckily while I was looking through my pattern stash I found the Deer and Doe printout that I almost forgot about.  I continued on to my fabric stash and found I had some extra fabric from making my Valentine and Stitch Angelina dress.  Time to make a new shirt!

The Low Down:

Plantain Shirt

I haven’t even mentioned that this pattern is FREE!  You can download the PDF pattern by clicking on the photo above that will take you to the Deer and Doe pattern shop.

Deer and Doe

It comes in short, three quarter and long sleeve options.  The latter two having an optional elbow patch.  It is fitted at the shoulder and around the bust then flares at the waist.  It’s very flattering!

Materials:

  • Recommended fabrics: Lightweight jersey knit (cotton, rayon, linen, wool) with 40-50% stretch
  • Optional: 10” clear elastic and twin needle

Purchased from:

LA fash District

I used leftover fabric from my V&S Angelina project that I bought in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Process:

Plantain Shirt Pattern from Deer and Doe

The Plantain T-Shirt is a quick sew.  If you have a couple hours to spare, you’ll be able to get this done and wear it right away.

The directions are straightforward.  I’m not used to European measurements so I measured myself and went with a size 38.  It fits perfectly.

I cut my fabric out using pinking shears although it isn’t necessary with a jersey knit since it won’t fray. Since I was using spare fabric I didn’t have enough matching thread so I went with a softer pink.  It is more visible especially if you mess up but not noticeable unless you are looking for it.

Plantain Shirt Pattern from Deer and Doe

Also, this pattern calls for a 5/8” seam allowance which is pretty substantial.  You end up trimming the allowance down per the directions.

There are a total of 4 steps.  Shoulders/neckband, sleeves, side seam, hem.  Finished.

 

Plantain Shirt Pattern from Deer and Doe

 

 

I’m hoping to wear this tucked in and un-tucked with work trousers or a mid-calf skirt and a fitted knit blazer with loafers.

Hiccups:

I had to undo some stitching around the neckband that got a little wonky but no other issues otherwise.

Recommendations:

Definitely measure yourself beforehand as this is a form fitting blouse.  You want to be comfortable around the underarms and bust when wearing it.

Plantain Shirt Pattern from Deer and Doe

Take it slow when pinning the neckband, sewing it on and finishing it.  I cut a small clip on the center front neckband to make attaching it to the neck easier.

Look!  I even made a second one just a few days later!

Plantain Shirt Pattern from Deer and Doe

Happy Sewing!

Kwik Sew 3167 Misses Lingerie

Kwik Sew 3167 Misses Lingerie

The Kwik Sew 3167 pattern has been sitting on my sewing table for quite some time now.  I was originally planning on sewing these with my girlfriends but we were only able to get through one and we haven’t been able to reschedule another session.  Luckily, due to a recent long weekend and lots of sewjo I finally completed my lingerie set.

Kwik Sew 3167 Review:

The Kwik Sew 3167 Misses Lingerie Lace Bra Camisole and Panties pattern comes with two camisole versions and four panty versions.  The camisole can be sewn in all lace or with stretch edging lace.  There is an option for boy-cut panties that can be sewn in all lace or with a stretch edging lace. They can also be sewn in two thong styles with either a lace back or string back.
Kwik set 3167

I sewed up version B for the camisole and version C for the panties all in lace.

One major modification I made was to use narrower stretch lace at 6″ for the panties as I could not find many colors I liked in the 8″ width the pattern called for but ultimately it worked out very well.  I just had to adjust the pattern slightly as you can see HERE:


Materials:

  • Recommended fabrics: Lightweight fabric with Spandex Lycra, cotton Lycra, sheer Lycra, stretch lace.
  • All-purpose polyester thread
  • Bobby pin
  • Optional:  If you trace your pattern you will need tracing paper (I use medical pattern paper), markers, and a ruler.

Purchased from:

LA fash District

I purchased my materials from the Downtown Los Angeles Fabric District

The Process:

I started with the panties because they are extremely simple.  You just sew one seam and secure the cotton lining.  It literally takes less than 10 minutes.  Talk about a satisfying sew!

I moved onto the bra cups which is also one seam down the middle- you just need to be sure you don’t mix up the inner cup and the outer cup.  They look very similar.  After you secure the two together at the midpoint you sew two baste stitches along the bottom edge of the bra cups.  You then pull the loose threads on each side so the cups tighten or scrunch up evenly and fit between the notches on the camisole band. You simply sew the cups on making sure to align the centerfront and notches then you sew the back seam and remove the baste stitches.

Your next step is to make the straps and sew them on.  This part was difficult the first time around to be quite honest.  After sewing up the straps they were still inside out and we struggled to turn them right side out without ripping the fabric.  Luckily the manual shows you how to turn it right side out using a bobby pin and a small cut in the fabric.  See the handy photo directions.  This was a life saver and made it so easy the second time around!  After you just make sure to measure the straps to fit your frame and attached them at the notch points.


There you have it!  A very simple camisole set that you can complete in an afternoon. 🙂

Hiccups:

  • My straps ended being slightly longer so I had to re-adjust them which wasn’t too bad
  • I also sewed one side of the lace on the wrong side.  I didn’t notice it until sometime after I finished sewing it.  It’s very subtle luckily.

Recommendations:

  • Use the bobby pin method!  It saves so much time
  • Trace out your pattern to make more for others

Happy Sewing!

Simplicity – New Look Pattern 6378 Misses’ Easy Kimono with Sleeve Hack

I wasn’t sure what I was going to sew for sleeve fest but with a little patience it all came together.  I had plans to sew a long kimono to wear with my Valentine and Stitch Dune Maxi.  I went shopping in the Downtown LA fabric district and picked up this beautiful yellow floral print fabric.  I was initially going for a black printed fabric that I thought I could wear more often but then I saw this print and fell in love.  Anyway my friend and I decided to walk out of the fabric district that day and stumbled upon a cute little shop.  They had these beautiful dresses and tops with the fluttery flowy bell sleeves.  She bought a dress and I bought a top.  The more I thought about what I wanted to do with my kimono I realized that the sleeve of her dress would be a perfect match.  So I went ahead and traced the sleeve when I got home and created my pattern.  I ordered my kimono pattern from Simplicity and with a little work this kimono was born.

The Low Down:

The New Look Pattern 6378 Misses’ Easy Kimonos with Length Variations from Simplicity Patterns comes in a paper pattern and has 4 variations.  Long with sleeves, long and sleeveless, mid-length with sleeves, short with sleeves. I had been eyeing this pattern for a while but couldn’t fit it into my sewing schedule.  This is a very stylish pattern that can be sewn in a variety of fabrics perfect for summertime.

Kimono pic

Materials:

This pattern has several fabric options including:

  • Batiks, challis, charmeuse, chiffon, cotton lawn, lightweight cotton types, crepe de chine, double georgette, lightweight linen types, silky types, voile
  • All-purpose polyester thread
  • For pattern B – Two packages of ½” wide single fold bias tape

Purchased from:

LA fash District

I purchased my fabric from the Los Angeles Fabric District.

The Process:

My process was a bit thrown off with this pattern.  I had ordered it on August 14.  The order confirmation stated that I would receive shipping confirmation once shipped.  A week passed and I received nothing so I checked my account and it said my order was still being processed.  I was very disappointed so I ordered an alternative from Simplicity.  This time it was a PDF pattern.  I printed the pattern and was ready to put it together.  The very next day I received my original Simplicity pattern.  I was a little annoyed that I now have two patterns but relieved because the PDF of the other pattern was not user-friendly.

I started on this project on a Friday night.  I traced pattern B in XS, cut it out then cut out the fabric.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

The next day I stole a few minutes away and sewed up the back seam and staystitched the back neck.  Realizing I had a few more minutes later on in the day before we were going to head out for the evening I quickly sewed on the sleeves and the side seams.  The directions call for a double stitch on the armhole then to trim the excess seam allowance as you can see in the photo below.

Then I got home a little after 10 p.m. with no intention of sewing but the machine was calling and I answered… I added my flutter sleeves and it was EVERYTHING!  My face was the heart eyes emoji!

If you want to make a similar flutter sleeve measure the sleeve opening for the garment you are working with.  Draw a circle using the measurement as the diameter then split that circle in half.  You should have a half moon now.  Draw a line away from the edges of the half circle on the top, bottom then draw a line away from the center to the length of your preference on each side.  Connect each point to create a larger half circle/moon. Erase the original diameter line.  You should be left with a thick backwards “C”.  Add seam allowance to each side.  The small half circle part of the pattern should be cut on the fold.  As you can see on my pattern the “cut on fold” lines are not in line with each.  I traced this sleeve from another garment so I improvised while cutting instead of making a new pattern.  I may just have to write a pattern hack tutorial post but for now hopefully this helps.

That had to be my stopping point for the night. All that was left was hemming the sleeves and adding the single-fold bias tape which I completed over the next few days.

To the say the least I love this kimono!  I want to wear it with everything.  I think I’ll do just that!  There are just a couple more weeks of summer left but I’m certain I’ll be able to transition this kimono into fall as temperatures won’t be dropping drastically for awhile here in Los Angeles.  Yay!

Hiccups:

First hiccup – ordering a second pattern I didn’t need. 🙁

Second very minor hiccup – the armhole opening of my flutter sleeve was slightly larger than the armhole of the pattern.  I didn’t spend too much time measuring this out so I just sewed the excess back into the sleeve seam so it just adds more flutter.

Third hiccup – I followed the directions on how to pin the single-fold bias binding but once I sewed it on I came up short and had to cut an extra 3 inch piece to be able to attach the beginning and end pieces.  The main fabric ended up stretching a bit while I was sewing causing my binding to come up short.  I’m not too thrilled with the bias binding as I think it looks stiff compared to the rest of the garment.  You can see a bit of how it curls in the photos.

Recommendations:

Be very careful when cutting.  This pattern calls for mostly slippery fabrics so you just want to make sure that you don’t inadvertently move the fabric while cutting or stretch it out.

Happy sewing!