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

 

 

 

 

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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! 🙂

Feel like pinning? Click below to head over to Pinterest:

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!

If you feel like pinning please do!  Click below to follow me on Pinterest!

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

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!