Fashion Sewing | The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

Fashion Sewing | The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over ItI have been slowly putting together a work wardrobe but I had yet to add pants to my collection.  I saw several cute versions of the Sew Over It Ultimate Trouser on Instagram so I thought I would give it a try. 

The Low Down

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The Ultimate Trouser is meant to be simple pattern for advanced beginners.  There are only four pattern pieces and an invisible zipper.  It is a slim-fitting trouser that hits the ankle although you can make it shorter or longer depending on your taste. 

Materials

  • Your choice of woven cotton, corduroy, wool crepe, or denim
  • 9” invisible zipper

Purchased from

DTLA

The Process

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The Ultimate Trouser is meant to be sewn up pretty quickly.  I was intending on sewing this up over the week before I had major surgery but life had other plans.  Instead I sewed this up over several weeks as I wasn’t physically capable of sewing for a good portion of November.

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

It was a pretty simple pattern and the directions were just adequate.  Based on the measurements I sewed this up in a UK size 10 – this ended up being way too small for me to my surprise.  I ended up having to undo the center and side seams and use the seam allowance to make the appropriate adjustment.  This also threw off my invisible zipper installation which did not turn out so well.  I also chose fabric based on the recommendation which means there was no stretch so even though they fit when I sit down my body is very constricted by the fabric.  One source of disappointment was the pant hem.  I need to work on my technique or something because they truly give away that they are handmade.  They also do not taper below the calf to the ankle as nicely as all the images on their website which just makes it feel like a standard men’s trouser to me.

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

All in all they look nice on the hanger and they look okay on but they are not nice to wear.  I made a few style adjustments in my photos so that they are wearable but I’m not really sure when I’ll be able to wear these as I can’t imagine wearing these for hours at work. 

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I’m not sure if I will give these another try but I think I would like to use fabric that has a little stretch instead.  I definitely wish they would list an appropriate stretch fabric in their recommended fabrics. It also really bothers me that they do not taper correctly.

Hiccups

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

  • Wrong size
  • My invisible zipper isn’t invisible enough

Recommendations

  • Double or even triple check your measurements
  • Leave enough seam allowance in case you have to make adjustments
  • Try a fabric with some stretch for a more comfortable fit

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

Happy Sewing!

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The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

Fashion Sewing | Edie Cardigan by Valentine & Stitch

Fashion Sewing | 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.  

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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

Fashion Sewing | Bare Essentials Bra Pattern from Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks

Fashion Sewing | Bare Essentials Bra Pattern from Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks

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 and starting 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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These got me started on a serious bra-making journey.  For my first “serious” bra I used the pattern provided by Bare Essentials.  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 best fits 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?

Lets talk fit: 

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 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.

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.

Materials:

On to my fabric… I had leftover fabrics from other projects but I really wanted to experiment a bit more so my dear friend and I went downtown to do a little shopping.  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 definitely need a better plan next time.  I did pick up this beautiful floral mesh fabric and some deep blue picot elastic and light blue strap elastic among the underwire, underwire channeling and hook and eye pieces.  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 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.  (I have one now!)  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.  I call this “band practice” haha.  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.

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 the I cut out the pattern correctly.  As it turns out I did, I just screw 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 it out:

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.  These 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 it fit…?

Well it 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.

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!

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Bare Essentials Bra

 

Fashion Sewing | Tracy Bee Top from Seen and Sewn Patterns

Fashion Sewing | 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!

Fashion Sewing | Dune Top Pattern Hack by Valentine & Stitch

Fashion Sewing | 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!

Fashion Sewing | Plantain Shirt Pattern from Deer and Doe – Free Pattern

Fashion Sewing | 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!

Fashion Sewing | Kwik Sew 3167 Misses Lingerie Lace Bra Camisole and Panties

Fashion Sewing | Kwik Sew 3167 Misses Lingerie Lace Bra Camisole and Panties

 

This project 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 project.

The Low Down:

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!

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

Fashion 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!

Fashion Sewing | Dune Maxi Dress Sewing Pattern by Valentine & Stitch

Fashion Sewing | Dune Maxi Dress Sewing Pattern by Valentine & Stitch

Fashion Sewing | Dune Maxi Dress Sewing Pattern

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

I have always steered clear of maxi dresses not because I don’t love them but because they are always too long.  Well that all changed when Helen and Rich made Dune into a maxi dress!  I think it was meant to be! 🙂

I’m short but still relatively average at 5’3”.  I love the number 3 so I’m ok with this. Lol 😉

I had planned to sew up this dress as soon as Helen posted a picture of her wearing it in a black and white floral pattern. At the time, I was planning a trip to the fabric district that very weekend so I asked Helen how much fabric I would need in preparation.  Helen is so kind and helpful that she messaged me back right away and I was able to get all my supplies even before the pattern release. 🙂 Thank you Helen!  Anyway, I mentioned to her my hesitation with long dresses (being that I’m short haha) and little did I know that Rich was already preparing a tutorial for lengthen or shortening Dune.  It couldn’t be any more perfect! 🙂 Thank you Rich!

Maxi Dress Pattern

Fashion Sewing | Maxi Dress Pattern Review

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.

V and S

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 030.

The Process:

Maxi Dress Pattern

I had laid out the steps for sewing up Dune prior to my start.

Day 1 was cut out the PDF pattern and fabric.

Day 2 was complete step 1 and step 2.

Day 3 was step 3 and step 4.

Day 4 was complete the dress.

It didn’t really turn out that way.  First it took me awhile to cut everything out because I went out of town a couple times so Day 1 took longer than expected.  However, day 2 through 4 took me 2 hours in total.  I started sewing Dune one day after work and an hour went by and I was already halfway done.  I had dinner then I thought to myself I really want to keep sewing.  So off I went and in another hour I was all done!  That easy and just such a beautiful pattern.  I don’t usually get excited enough to finish a pattern in one day but with Valentine and Stitch patterns I do!  Plus, I feel like I understand how their patterns work so I rarely have a hiccup.  Dune was smooth sailing for me which was an awesome feeling!

Maxi Dress Pattern

I sewed my dress in a size small.  I thought that it would be too long for me but when I measured everything out the size small was just the right length.  I probably could make it even longer to be honest for a dressier look with wedge heels.

Maxi Dress Pattern

I sewed up the shoulder seams with no problem.  I opted for the hidden neckband and armbands.  This is a very nice detail and it strengthens the neck and arm openings so I highly recommend sewing it this way.  There is an option for an exposed neckband which I might have to try next. In between sewing up the neckband and armbands you sew up the side seam.  You also must press your garment several times to make sure everything is set in place before you sew.

Maxi Dress Pattern

Finally, you sew up your hem.  This is a rather long hem so it takes a while to prep it for hemming.  I eyeball my hems so it doesn’t take me too long.  That works for me but I do not recommend you do that unless you have a bit more practice.

Viola! The Dune maxi is complete with a month of summer to spare but being that I live in Los Angeles this dress will serve me well through the fall! 🙂

Hiccups:

No hiccups! Can you believe it?!

Recommendations:

Since you are working with knit fabric be careful not to stretch or let your excess fabric fall while cutting or sewing.  This will distort your final garment and you will likely not be happy with the result.

Maxi Dress Pattern

When you are sewing the final step of your hidden neckband and armbands go slow and stay close to the edge of the fabric for a uniform look.

Maxi Dress Pattern

Happy Sewing!

Aires Leggings by Colette Patterns

Aires Leggings by Colette Patterns

I finally finished Aires!  Let me tell you, July was not a very productive sewing month.  Sometimes life happens and the things you love get pushed to the side. Finally, I got some time and completed my project.  I now have a full workout outfit for the first time ever!

The Low Down:

Aires pic

The Aires PDF pattern from Colette is a pair of capri fitted athletic tights with a hidden pocket.  You can order the pattern by itself from Colette Patterns or subscribe to their monthly online publication Seamwork and use one of your two monthly credits to download the pattern. This pattern should take 3 hours if you make no mistakes unlike me. 🙂

Seamwork

Materials:

  • All-purpose polyester sewing thread
  • Ballpoint needle
  • Ballpoint twin needle (optional)
  • 2 yards of ¼” knit elastic
  • Any mid to heavy weight athletic fabric with 4-way stretch (at least 25%) such as nylon, spandex, and rayon blends such as ponte knit and milliskin
  • Stretch mesh fabric for contrast panel (optional)

Purchased from:

LA fash District

I purchased my materials from the Los Angeles fabric district.  I’m using the same fabric that I used for the Ultimate Sports Bra from So Sew Easy.

The Process:

I think this is my first official pair of me made pants

Aires is a bit of a different pattern.  Most patterns you cut on the fold but since this is a knit most of the pattern pieces are cut as one whole piece.  With this in mind it is necessary to not only have enough fabric to distribute the full pattern pieces correctly but also you need to really pay attention to whether the pattern piece needs to be placed face up or down.

I decided to trace the pattern pieces so I could lay them out all at the same time.  This was especially important because I was using a printed fabric and needed to make sure all the pieces were in the right direction.

Despite my self-imposed setbacks this was a fairly straight-forward project. I used a standard sewing machine and it worked out great.  I sewed my Aires in a size XS.

Thanks to cutting out the full pieces all the notches and circles matched up nicely.  I was a little nervous about the hidden back pocket but it was actually really quite logical and so much easier than I realized.

I used a medium zigzag stitch to sew the pieces together and for topstitching. I really liked how the topstitching turned out.  You can use a cover stitch or a twin needle but zigzag worked just as well for me.

Hiccups:

There were more than I anticipated of my own doing of course.

Realizing that I needed duplicate pieces I ended up tracing the original patterns but I forgot to look at the cutting layout!  Well I actually did look at it but I made a mistake and cut two pieces in the same direction because I didn’t double check my work.

I found this out when I tried to sew my legs together only to find I had two left legs.  I actually realized earlier I had made a mistake but I was just like “close enough!” haha I paid for that later.

My machine also decided to pull its same old tricks and I ended up using the seam ripper quite a bit.

Recommendations:

The directions and photos were really clear and concise.  I do believe this would take anyone 3 hours as long as they pay close attention to the directions and cutting layout.

Don’t forget to use the stretch guide when selecting your fabric!  You can find it on page 3 of your PDF instruction manual.

When cutting out your fabric I would suggest using a rotary cutter if you have one.

Happy Sewing!