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

 

 

 

 

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

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!

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!