Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt – Summer Dress Hack with Sewalicious Fabric

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt Hack

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!

Sewalicious Fabric Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt Dress Hack

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:

Sewalicious Fabric Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt Dress Hack

All that is left is to cut out your fabric, sew, and wear!!

Sewalicious Fabric Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt Dress Hack

For more on the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt click HERE!

Pin this hack!

Deer Doe Plaintain Shirt Hack

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Cassandra Dress Pattern by Valentine & Stitch

***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!

Cassandra-party-dress
Photo courtesy of http://www.valentineandstitch.com

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:

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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.

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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.

Cassandra-extension-pack
Photo courtesy of http://www.valentineandstitch.com

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.

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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.

Valentine and Stitch Cassandra Dress Pattern

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.

Till next time, happy sewing!

~ Now on Pinterest ~

Valentine and Stitch Cassandra Dress Pattern

 

 

 

 

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

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

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

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.

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

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:

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

The Process:

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.

See the image here from their blog:

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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.

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

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.

The Fit:

 

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! 🙂

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

Happy sewing! 🙂

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Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

 

Piedra Dress by Seamwork Magazine

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:

Piedra by Seamwork Magazine

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.

Piedra by Seamwork Magazine

The Process

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!

Piedra by Seamwork Magazine

(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!)

Hiccups

  • 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.

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Recommendations

  • 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.

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Happy Sewing in 2018!

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

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

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!

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.

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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!

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!

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!