Edie Cardigan by Valentine & Stitch

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Fashion Sewing | Edie Cardigan Sewing Pattern

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

Today on the sewing blog I will be sharing my review of the Edie Cardigan pattern by Valentine &  Stitch.  This past August I had the opportunity to participate in SleeveFest hosted by Helen of Valentine & Stitch and Diane of Dream Cut Sew.  I entered a kimono pattern with a flutter sleeve hack.  To my surprise I was chosen as one of the finalists for the grand prize!  What an honor it was and although I didn’t win the grand prize all the finalist were prize winners of the Valentine & Stitch Edie Cardigan.  This was my first time winning something via an Instagram competition so I was pretty excited and with fall just around the corner it was the perfect prize! 

Fashion Sewing | Cardigan Pattern Review

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Edie is an open-front cardigan with two length options from the pattern designing husband and wife duo Valentine and Stitch.  The pattern is meant to be sewn with a variety of fabrics depending on the season or occasion.  The two lengths lend itself to a variety of outfit options.  This includes the “standard” length which hits around mid-thigh and is perfect for any occasion including the office or the maxi length which adds a bit of dramatic flair and can be belted and worn as a dress.  

VS logo

Materials

Sweater knits, stretch jersey such as cotton jersey, viscose or rayon jersey or bamboo jersey.  For the “coatigan” version use a more stable fabric such as sweatshirting, scuba or ponte.

  • Stay Tape, clear elastic, twill tape, or grosgrain ribbon
  • Ballpoint needle
  • Twin needle (optional)
  • Coverstitch machine (optional)
  • All-purpose polyester sewing thread

Purchased From

Los Angeles Fashion DistrictFabric for both projects was purchased in Downtown Los Angeles.  I typically purchase my knits from Angel Textiles.  I purchased my thread from joann.com – Gutterman 506.

The Process

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

I decided that I would sew up both the standard length and the maxi length but I would start with the maxi length.  I love a bit of drama whenever I can get it in my clothing and the maxi option has that “wow factor” which I absolutely love!

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Edie comes as a printable PDF as will all Valentine and Stitch patterns.  Read the instruction manual carefully so that you only print the pages you need.  Helen and Rich are committed to reducing paper waste and have constructed their patterns in a way that minimizes the amount of pages needed to be printed. 

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

If you are cutting out the maxi length pattern keep in mind that this is a large pattern and you will need an adequate amount of space to lay everything out.  It will also take a bit longer since it is several more pages.  From there you will need to look at the cutting layout to make sure you make the best use of your fabric.  Since I was making the maxi length I cut my pieces out on a single layer rather than on the fold.  One thing that made this easier was to trace the mirror image of my sleeve onto tracing paper and taping the mirrored side to the original pattern resulting in the whole sleeve as one pattern.

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

I made my Edie in a size small and cut it out with a center back seam.  I ended up having some thread tension issues with my machine that delayed me so I ended up just using a different machine entirely.  I think some of the issues could actually be attributed to the original needle I was using and the weight of the jersey knit.  Once I got this figured out sewing up Edie was a breeze.  I used stay tape at the neckline as directed then sewed the shoulder seams, hemmed the sleeves and attached them to the bodice.  Next step was sewing the side seams and then the most complicated part of  sewing the hem around the perimeter of the cardigan.  I was hoping to do a rolled hem but the presser foot I have was not cooperating with me so I used a regular presser foot and a zigzag stitch. 

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Hiccups

My only hiccups were due to my machine – tension issues and presser foot issues.  If you can get that figured out then Edie will be a very quick and fun sew!

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Recommendations

  • Clear a large space to cut out your PDF pattern
  • Only print what you need
  • Edie comes with the sleeve pattern to be cut on the fold.  I suggest tracing the mirror image to create one whole sleeve.  It will be easier to cut out your fabric this way.
  • Remember you are sewing with knits so don’t stretch your fabric as you are sewing or it will distort the final garment
  • Cut off the extra seam allowance after you sew your seams if you find it necessary
  • Go slow sewing around the curves of the hem so that you have a really nice final drape
  • Finally, have FUN – Edie is a great pattern that you will want to make again and again!

Cardigan Sewing Pattern

Happy Sewing!

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Fashion Sewing Blog

Bare Essentials Bra Pattern | Demi Cup

Bare Essentials Bra Pattern | Demi Cup

Isn’t funny how you can look at something and be totally mystified by and it then try it out and realize you absolutely love it!  That is how I felt about bras.  They always seemed insurmountable to me (no pun intended haha) until I tried making a few on the simpler side and really fell in love with the process.  So much so that I bought books on how to construct my own bras which led me to the Bare Essentials bra pattern.

As a result, I started spending all my free minutes on reading said books, and blogs and tutorials or just admiring everyone’s handmade bras online.  I’m passionate about sewing but for some reason bras excite me more than anything.

This new found love lead me to Bare Essentials – Bras: Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design by Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks.  I also took the Craftsy.com course, Sewing Bras: Construction & Fit with Beverly Johnson.

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Fit for your Bare Essentials Bra Pattern:

These got me started on a serious bra-making journey.  For my first “serious” bra I used the Bare Essentials bra pattern.  I measured myself just as instructed and low and behold I have been wearing the wrong bra size my whole life.  Go figure…

No wonder the straps always hurt or the band popped up in the back or didn’t lay correctly against my chest.  I’m sure you ladies know exactly what I am talking about.  Going to the store and getting measured is awkward and a bit confusing.  You have to rely on someone who may not have the proper training to even measure you correctly.  Then buy what fits best even if it isn’t great.  Let’s not forget to mention the exorbitant prices on a necessary piece of clothing that doesn’t even fit right!  More reasons to make your own bras right?

To get the right fit you must be braless for at least one measurement (this is optional of course).  Going braless is a bit awkward to do with a stranger so make sure you really understand how to do it properly yourself.  Or you ask for the help of someone you are very comfortable with who will do a good job.  Both Bare Essentials and the Beverly Johnson course go over in detail how to measure yourself.  Bare Essentials even talks about how to measure yourself after having a baby which is really helpful for many women.

My Measurements:

As for my measurements, I measured at a US 32 for the band and “C” for the cup.  I typically wear a 34C which clearly means my band is too big.  I used the Bare Essentials guide as I thought that would be more conducive to sewing up the Bare Essentials bra pattern.

Materials:

On to my fabric… I had leftover fabrics from other projects but I really wanted to experiment a bit more.  Off I went with my dear friend to do a little shopping downtown.  I will say that things got a bit overwhelming as I couldn’t find the right sizes and matching colors of straps and elastics.  I did pick up this beautiful floral mesh fabric and some deep blue picot elastic and light blue strap elastic.  Not to mention, I found the underwire, underwire channeling and hook and eye pieces as well.

Luckily, I realized that I could match these with some leftover viscose fabric from my Araine Slip from Seamwork magazine.  I also had some tulle that I could use as a stabilizer for the front band since the viscose has some stretch.

Here is how it went:

I made copies from the back of the book then cut out my Bare Essentials bra pattern and laid out my fabric/patterns as the pattern pieces directed.  I used fabric sheers but honestly I needed to use a rotary cutter.  After pressing my pieces and allowing them to cool I used a fabric glue stick to attach the stabilizer pieces.  I then sewed the two cup pieces together, trimmed the seams (a small detail scissor would have been great for this) and added stay tape for added comfort and stability.

Next, I attached the picot elastic then started my work on the band which I call this “band practice” haha.  Moving on, I edgestitched the center front, and front side band pieces.  I didn’t need to edgestitch the back side bands so I sewed them on and reinforced the seam. Then I sewed the picot elastic to the bottom edge of the band.

Mistake #1

Next, I attached the cup to the band but to my dismay the cup was much bigger than the actual band (as you can see in the photo the seam line hits the top of the band when it should be about an inch lower).  I thought this was odd and double checked that I cut out the right pattern and I had.  I decided I would just alter the pattern a bit so that band would be flush with the top of the cup and went ahead and sewed it on.

This would have worked but once I tried it on the cup was much too big and the bra would not have been the least bit wearable.  Maybe the underwire will fix this I thought!  LOL so I decided to add it and guess what?  It still didn’t work out SO… in comes the seam ripper, wasted thread and wasted time.  (Howard looking at the wasted thread with dismay).

My next course of action was to cut out a cup in muslin fabric on the bias just to be sure that I cut out the pattern correctly.  Fingers crossed because I highly doubt it is an error with the Bare Essentials bra pattern itself.  As it turns out I did, I just screwed up the fabric.  Upon further investigation there are two reasons why my cup was too big:

  1. I didn’t use a rotary cutter AND
  2. There were too many wrinkles in my fabric that ended up distorting the final size once re-pressed (is that a word in sewing? Haha).

Moving forward, I used the new muslin cup as a guide to trim off the excess fabric for my big ol’ cups.  This worked out quite well and viola the cup actually fit the band the way it was supposed to!  More importantly it actually fit me!  Check my Bare Essentials bra cup:

Mistake #2

Off I went to sew on the underwire, insert the underwire and add on the picot elastic.  There was still one more problem though… The band was too long!  Ugh… not again.

I thought I cut it out correctly.  No, no I did not for the same reasons as above.  Out comes a RTW bra for my guide, my rotary cutter, a lot more patience and some problem-solving skills. 😉

Once that was measured and cut I was able to attach the last piece of picot elastic to the back.  This piece of elastic is intentionally longer so you can create a loop for the strap ring to attach to the band.  I made the straps and attached them (be careful not to twist the strap before you sew the elastic loop to the band).  Finally, I attached the hook and eye pieces.  My first “serious” bra was now complete and boy did I learn SO MUCH! 🙂

But how did the Bare Essentials bra pattern fit…?

Well the bra actually fits quite nicely but I’m a bit picky and of course I can see all the mistakes as any typical sewist would in my position.  My biggest complaint is I am not a fan of the horizontal seam line over the apex of the bust on the cup.  It could be that I’m just not used to wearing this style but I don’t feel it suits me.  Otherwise, I would like to use a stiffer fabric for the front band next time rather than a fabric with 20% stretch backed with a stabilizer.  The stabilizer did its job but the stretch fabric ripples since it can’t stretch.  I don’t like how that looks though it lays properly against the body.

Finally, now that I’ve sewn this I will know what to look out for and have a better handle on the precision needed for lingerie sewing.  I’m not sure I will sew this exact Bare Essentials bra pattern again but I’d love to experiment with others in the book.

Recommendations:

  • Please whatever you do use a rotary cutter (18mm or 28mm for detail cuts) and a cutting mat and press your fabric before you do!
  • Also, bra making takes time so be patient with yourself.  You won’t regret it. 🙂
  • For your cup and front band DO NOT use a fabric with more than 20% stretch – this is imperative as the size will be distorted and you will not be happy with your bra
  • Use a stabilizer fabric if you have any stretch on your front band fabric (of course the stretch should still be no more than 20%)
  • Your back band should have no more than a 50% stretch – any more will distort your bra
  • If your machine has the option use a 3-step zigzag stitch – it allows for the best amount of stretch which is perfect for lingerie
  • Be careful not to twist your straps before sewing them on
  • Take it slow and have fun most of all! 🙂

Happy Sewing!

Be sure to check me out on Pinterest – click on the pin below!

Bare Essentials Bra

Tracy Bee Top from Seen and Sewn Patterns

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Fashion Sewing | Tracy Bee Top Sewing Pattern

I had the chance to connect with Areille of Seen and Sewn Patterns over Instagram and was able to see her efforts into creating and launching her first pattern – Tracy Bee!  That is quite a feat so I was definitely impressed.  We got to talking and Areille so kindly gifted me her pattern that I will be reviewing here and hopefully inspiring some of you to try out for yourself!

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Fashion Sewing | Top Pattern Review

Tracy Bee is a fun swing top pattern that lets you explore your creativity from the handmade revolutionist Areille of Seen and Sewn Patterns!  Tracy Bee is a printable PDF pattern that comes in two versions – an A-line shaped top and crop top length with three sleeve options including long, short and sleeveless.  This top is visually striking with two triangle inserts near the shoulder and v-shaped back neckline.  This pattern would be great to dress up for the office whether you go for the A-line or wear the crop with a layering tank underneath.  You can easily dress this up for a night on the town or feel spunky while casually strolling around town.  The design opportunities are endless with the two triangle inserts!

Click on the picture below to order your Tracy Bee pattern from Seen and Sewn Patterns:Seen and Sewn Logo

Materials:

The pattern booklet recommends lightweight woven fabrics, quilting cotton, voile and rayon

  • Matching all-purpose polyester sewing thread
  • Universal needle
  • Marking pencil
  • Single-fold bias tape for the sleeveless option

Purchased from:

LA Fashion District

I purchased my fabric from Downtown LA of course… 😉

The Process:

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

The fabric hunt took me a bit as I wasn’t finding the inspiration I needed until I came across this sage green polka dot gauzy goodness just flowing in the breeze outside of one the fabric shops downtown.  It was hard to resist and after a bit of bargaining I got it at a great price!  I decided to go for black for the triangle inserts because they would match the polka dots and I want this top to be versatile.  These colors lend itself to that so it’s a winner for me!

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Tracy Bee is a beginner’s pattern so if you have experience with woven fabrics it is an uncomplicated sew. What you really need to pay attention to is making sure you cut out all the pieces correctly as there are several small pieces – including the inserts and the facings.

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Tracy Bee has 11 steps.  I was able to complete this over a course of 5 days doing one step at a time.  It probably took me about 3 hours in total to complete from cutting out the PDF pattern to hemming the top.  It would probably take less time if you worked straight through and didn’t have a kitty trying to eat your thread and pins. Haha

First you sew up the darts.  I used to love sewing up darts in college!  It was something about getting the right mark every time.  I haven’t sewn a dart in a while so this was a nice treat.  I clipped all the notches as instructed but just to be sure I used my tailors chalk to outline where exactly the dart should lie so I could hit it as precisely as possibly.  I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped but let’s just blame that on the gauzy fabric shall we?

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Next up- you attach your triangle inserts to the front main fabric which is less complicated then it seems.  Then you attach your center front yoke to the inserts and the front main fabric which can be a little tricky to keep everything lined up so go slow.  I feel like I overestimated the seam allowance on the center front portion of the yoke and main fabric so it ended up popping out a bit instead of lying flat against my clavicle.  To fix my mistake I pressed it down and sewed on an edgestitch so it wouldn’t pop out.  That seemed to work out just fine.

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Your next few steps are to attach the back main fabric then sew on the facing and complete the facing with an edgestitch so it lies flat.  Then you’re in the home stretch!  From here all you need to do is attach your sleeves, sew up the side seams and hem your new top! But take note that Tracy Bee has an asymmetrical hem and therefore you will need to pay special attention along your side seams to make sure you sew a clean rounded edge.

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Now Tracy Bee is ready for action! 🙂

Hiccups:

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

I mentioned a few in “the process”

  1. The gauziness of my choice of fabric made my darts not as stiff and precise as I would have liked 😉
  2. I overestimated the seam allowance while attaching the yoke to the main fabric – a simple edgestitch was the solution
  3. To make up for my darts I had to use a little more seam allowance on the sides for the top to match up correctly

Overall, it didn’t take away from the integrity of the pattern as it turned out true to form!

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Recommendations:

Please use a stiffer cotton than I did!  🙂

Also, be sure to trace out your darts (especially the center line) on the wrong side of the fabric – this will help you immensely especially if you are new to darts.

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Tracey Bee Top PatternHappy Sewing!

BBG Fitness, Blue Apron and Fitness Sewing Patterns

A workout update is long overdue.

As of writing this I am currently in week 6 of my second round of BBG (Bikini Body Guide). That means I am about to be officially almost halfway through.  Luckily this second round hasn’t been as tough as the first one but that isn’t saying much because it’s still pretty hard.  I end up sore the next day after every workout.  I gotta say that I like being sore though because I feel like it’s proof that the 30-40 minutes went towards building a better me. If I’m not sore I feel like I didn’t challenge myself.

Some of the other things I have incorporated on an on and off basis are kettlebell exercises, yoga and 5 mile walks or HITT (BBG calls for LISS or HITT on your off days).  This may sound like a lot but instead of doing the optional 3rd day of BBG I do a kettlebell exercise or yoga instead.

Here is the kettlebell exercise I’ve been using from BodyFit by Amy:

 

Here is the yoga exercise I’ve been using from Fitness Blender:

 

I tried this HIIT workout – which is tough so I most definitely did not do it perfectly.  I’m not much of a runner even though I try every so often.

Interval Training – Kick Your Ass and Kickstart your Metabolism in 20 Minutes

Other changes to my diet and fitness have been due to time constraints.  My husband and I decided to re-join Blue Apron.  We used to get their meals then we had a few weeks where we just weren’t enjoying them as much so we stopped.  It worked for a while but our schedules can be kind of hectic which leads to poor eating habits including not buying healthy meals at the grocery store, eating out or not eating enough.  To combat this, we re-activated our account and it’s been such a relief to have the ingredients for three dinners a week delivered straight to us.  It’s also really nice to cook interesting meals together too!

Some of the other things I wanted to touch on that are fitness related are sewing a fitness wardrobe!  I’m far from it but I wanted to share a few patterns that I’m hoping to sew in the future.  My list is quite long and I’m currently trying to sew together a casual work wardrobe but that is for another post. Check out these cute patterns! I hope to get to at least one very soon. 🙂

Endurance Sports Bra by GreenStyleCreations

Endurance

Purl Soho City Gym Shorts – Free Pattern

City Gym Shorts

What have you all been up to fitness and health wise?  I would love to hear your tips!

As of posting this I just entered week 8 of BBG!  🙂  Yay!