Thursday, May 18, 2017

SLPCo Blog Tour: Waterfall tank and Magnolia shorts


Hi everyone, welcome to my stop on the Simple Life Pattern Company and Sew Caroline blog tour. Before I begin, I just want to mention that although I received both patterns for free, all opinions are still my own. The women's version of both of these patterns are available through Sew Caroline. The girls' versions are available through Simple Life Pattern Company. I only sewed up the girls patterns, and so this post is limited to those two.
Let's begin with the Magnolia Shorts, shall we? They are a flowy short (skort?), that works well with any lightweight fabric with good drape, woven or knit. The instructions are fairly straightforward and well illustrated.

I had this strawberry/daisy print cotton that I'd been hording for summer shorts for awhile and I was excited to finally use it, now that one of my kids finally actually needed some summer clothes. It doesn't have quite enough drape, but I''m still really happy with the result. I made the size six, according to her measurements, and they fit really well. I do find them a bit short, but that's because my little miss is 8, and has really long legs. I'll probably lengthen the next pair I make for her.

There are a lot of pluses to this pattern. They are easy to construct, easy to fit, can be made with either an elastic, or knit waistband (regardless of what fabric the rest is constructed from), and can be made from a wide variety of fabrics. As for minuses, it only has one minor one. I did find that the back center seam isn't trued, which cause a small peak in the center back of the waist. That is easily fixed by either trimming the back, or allowing the serger (if you're using one) to trim it off.

Overall, I think it's good beginner's pattern. My younger daughter is already asking for several pairs, and has been rummaging my stash trying to claim all the pretty fabrics.

Next we have the Waterfall Tank. I really like this one. This one is also very versatile and can be made in any lightweight fabric with good drape, woven or knit. HOWEVER, this bias tape must be woven in order to provide the stability that this pattern needs.

I chose to make it in a simple black cotton, because it was lightweight, and breezy for those warm summer days. I guess black is a little counteractive, but what can I say, I like black. (Plus it goes with the shorts really well.) I made my own bias tape out of the strawberry/daisy cotton so that the top would coordinate with the shorts. Also it added a bit of color. I made a size 6, but made the mistake of adding 3 inches of length. My kiddo is fairly tall, and she wasn't home to measure the pattern against her, so I thought I might need the extra length. While the length will be really cute with leggings, fitted shorts, or jeans, it's a bit long for these shorts, so I folded the top up a bit for the photos. I could've hemmed, but I kind of like the almost tunic length.
Back view
The Waterfall Tank has a lot of pluses. It is easy to construct, has instructions on how to make your own bias tape, and is versatile in terms of fabrics. Also the flounce is a great way to use all those pretty scraps that we hoard. (I'm not the only one, right?) This one also has one small minus. When making your own bias tape, it is rather confusing trying to figure out how much to make. I made the fixed strap version (versus the tie strap) and I found that using a piece of yarn or string to measure the distance around the top worked well to find an estimate for the piece that you need for the armholes and back. It does give you the measurement of the second piece of bias tape that you need for the fixed straps and neckline, but if you're doing the tie straps you're better off making a generous amount so as to make sure you don't come up short. 

I recommend this pattern, and will definitely be making more of these. I'm already imagining a white cotton and eyelet combo, or light chambray, or double gauze... I might need to go fabric shopping.
Thanks for stopping in, and be sure to check out these patterns at Simple Life Pattern Company.
Check out the other stops here!
May 15

May 16

May 17





Remember, you can follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook using the social media icons in the top and bottom left hand corners of my blog. Also my Pinterest Board with all my creations can be found in the bar along the right hand side. If you're looking to purchase or order something from my shop, you can contact me on my page. That's Sweet Stitch Shoppe. I love to hear from my readers, so please leave your comments and questions down below!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

High Low Knit dress, featuring the Sis Boom Angie




Hello peoples, welcome back to my blog! I'm the second stop on the Sis Boom Angie Pattern Hack-A-Thon and I can't wait to show you how I've hacked my Angie! Above is the original version of the dress. The pattern is drafted for woven, has bust and back waist darts, elastic back waist, and gathered skirt. Here is how I hacked mine, plus a mini tutorial!
(Frigid outdoor pics, hence the face, the wind was soo cold! I ended up taking my shoot inside with a tablecloth backdrop.)

 I measure at the end of a medium, or beginning of large, so I went with medium. Since I was doing mine in knit with a good amount of stretch, I ended up taking in the final dress, and could have probably gone with a small. The fabric I chose was a meter of grey cotton Lycra that I ordered from True North Fabrics, and two meters of stripe poly blend that I got from my sis-in-law for Christmas (I love when she draws my name for secret Santa!).
I made the bodice as per pattern with only three small changes. First, I shortened it by a couple of inches, so that it would hit my higher natural waist. I wasn't sure how my proportions would end up, considering I have a short waist, but long torso but I think it looks well balanced. Higher waist, but not empire, lol.
Second, I didn't add elastic in the back (since it was knit and I took it in it was fitted enough without it), and, third, I went with knit bands for the neckline and armscye finishes.

Here are the instructions to do the knit bands. Begin by sewing up your bodice as per pattern, and make any fit adjustments. Then measure the total circumference of the neckline, and armholes. The band length for the fabric I was working with (cotton Lycra) was 80% of the circumference measurements and I cut them two inches wide. Then I attached them like I normally would in a regular knit pattern.
For the skirt, I drafted my own high-low skirt. Since I have high hips and a fairly pronounced spoon shape, I decided I didn't want any gathers or pleats at the waist seam. So I went with a somewhat a-line shape.
 I began with measuring the width of the front of the finished bodice, from side seam to side seam, and added half and inch seam allowance. I then measured how wide I wanted the skirt to be. Next I measured from my natural waist to how long I wanted the skirt to be. I repeated the measurements with the back.
Since I don't own a french curve yet, I searched my kitchen for a bowl lid with a curve large enough to my liking and used that to get nice curves at the bottom left and top right of the hem line, but free handed the middle. If your're good at free handing you could free hand it all, but I'm not.
Here are my finished pattern pieces. See how the curves match up when I line up the side seams?

I then cut each piece on fold, remember that for the back the long side lines up with the fold, and for the front the short side does.

After that I just sewed up the skirt right sides together at the side seams, and attached it to the bodice right sides together. Finally, I used my serger to do a narrow rolled hem. This is only my second time doing the rolled hem, and I obviously need practice, but i don't mind the waviness. I chose to wear mine with a belt. Since I used two different fabrics, it just seemed to want a pretty belt. And of course some pretty heels! 
I probably won't wear the three inch heels very often, but this dress will get so much wear as it gets warmer! I even happen have a cardi that matches the darker grey stripes perfectly! Also, I've got enough fabric left over to make my girls matching Sallys, although theirs won't be high-low. All from one meter of cotton Lycra, and two meters of the stripe poly blend. I happen to love being matchy matchy for holidays, and Easter is right around the corner!
I can't wait to see all the other hacks in the tour, because who doesn't like being able to get more out of their patterns, right? This dress is perfect for hacks, no zipper or buttons to worry about, but you still get a great fit. Remember to check in the Sis Boom Pattern Co Facebook group for the next stops on the tour!
Remember, you can follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook using the social media icons in the top and bottom left hand corners of my blog. Also my Pinterest Board with all my creations can be found in the bar along the right hand side. If you're looking to purchase or order something from my shop, you can contact me on my page. That's Sweet Stitch Shoppe. I love to hear from my readers, so please leave your comments and questions down below! Thanks for stopping in!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Flutter Sleeve Hack for the P4P LMU

If you've been around for awhile, you probably know that January and February are particularly difficult months for me. Well, February is over, and I'm excited that things are on the upswing. Hopefully more sunshine will come in the coming weeks of March. I can already feel my moods and motivation perking up.
In a rare burst of motivation I came up with some ideas for regular posts. The first one will be a pattern hack, variation or mashup on patterns that I currently own. I"m hoping to post bi-weekly (I say hoping, because I'm horrible at keeping schedules set by myself). These posts will feature patterns of various indie designers, and tutorials on how to change up their look. 
The second monthly post will be an up-cycle post using patterns that I own. I'll be digging through my closet, my husbands closet, and thrift stores, to find items that have unique features or fabric to up-cycle into something wearable for either my daughters or myself.
I"m really hoping to revamp my blog this year, and take it more seriously. Other posts that will be posted in between will include pattern reviews of any new patterns I've purchased, and posts on fitting a petite, short waist-long torso (meaning high hips), spoon body shape. I've noticed there isn't many bloggers with that body shape, but there seem to be a lot of sewists that identify with it.
If there's something specific that you'd like to see, and haven't found it elsewhere (or it hasn't been satisfactory elsewhere) just let me know, and I'll see if I can address it.
Now that I've babbled for awhile, onto the post of this week! I've had the Layer Me Up from Patterns for Pirates for a while, and I really like it, but I had an idea of dressing it up a bit by making the sleeve with more drape, and making it in a poly-lycra. I had a meter of black and white polka dot poly-lycra that I felt was a perfect fit. If you don't have this pattern, but have one similar it should work, although the sleeve might look slightly different. When in doubt, MUSLIN!

I began first with making prepping my sleeve pattern. I already had the shirt printed, and taped. I also had already made my fit modifications to it, shortening the armscye and sleeve cap to fit my petite upper body.
I traced around the sleeve pattern onto some heavy duty freezer paper, and shortened the sleeve to one inch long along the seam. To make it a flutter sleeve, instead of fitted, I needed to add some fullness. I did this using the slash and spread method. I drew the cut lines one inch apart, beginning from the center fold. I cut along each line, starting at the bottom of the sleeve, but only cutting up to the seam allowance, which I had measured and marked. 
Then I got a fresh piece of freezer paper, and lined up edge sleeve with the edge of the paper, shifting the sleeve so that the top corner touched the edge of the freezer paper, and the bottom corner is half an inch away. Then just shift each piece so that there is a half inch gap at between bottom corners.
Your final sleeve piece should look like this. 

I measured the the length of the sleeve cap along the curved edge from the center to the bottom of the curve, and my modified sleeve was 1/4 inch longer, so I just shaved that off from the center. If you want more fullness, just spread the pieces further apart, and remember to take off any extra length on the sleeve cap from the center.




That's all there is too it. Now just sew up as per pattern. I choose not to hem my sleeves, mostly because my serger wouldn't cooperate on a rolled hem, but you can hem them however you prefer to hem curved edges.
I'm really happy with how it turned out, and I can't wait to come up with more hacks for this pattern and other patterns that I own.


Remember, you can follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook using the social media icons in the top and bottom left hand corners of my blog. Also my Pinterest Board with all my creations can be found in the bar along the right hand side. If you're looking to purchase or order something from my shop, you can contact me on my page. That's Sweet Stitch Shoppe. I love to hear from my readers, so please leave your comments and questions down below! Thanks for stopping in!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

January Blues and Flus

I did it again. I went AWOL. But now I'm back! I normally get winter blues right after the holidays, and this year was no different. Then, just when I thought I was bouncing back, we all got slammed with a vicious stomach bug. Yay.
So, today while my girls spent the day recovering from the past two days which I won't describe in detail, I washed all the bedding, and santized the house. Here's hoping that we have the bug beat, and out of our house!
What I also did today was some alterations, which means sewing. Yay! (Btw, that was an authentic yay).
Living in a cold climate, my daughter has been in desperate need of leggings to wear under her dresses and skirts. She did get some ready to wear ones as gifts awhile back, but they were much to wide in the waist.
For starters, I had to find a leggings pattern that I was happy with. I decided to muslin the Bonnie leggings from Made for Mermaids. I had a couple of free ones to pick from, but these had the most realistic looking crotch curves.
The muslin turned out great! I'm not too particular with the fit on leggings for kiddos, because a) they wear them under tunics, dresses and skirts and b) they outgrow them really quickly.
I did the muslin in shorts length, to save fabric in case they were a flop. Turns out they're just fine, and now Miss 8 has some shorts for the summer.
Then I picked apart the ready to wear leggings, and use the pattern to re-cut the crotch curves, and waist. It was so much easier than I thought it would be.
These are the grey ones after I recut them. I haven't sewed them up yet. I didn't keep the existing elastic waistband, and I want to add a yoga waistband as per the pattern, I just haven't decided on which fabric to use. I'm on the fence on whether to go with the light grey cotton lycra I have on hand, or wait until I have black. (Comment below on which one you'd choose?)

These are the other pair, finished. The waistband was part of the fabric, not sewn on, so I kept it. These had no crotch seams, so I just cut them open along the inner leg seams and then cut open down the center front and center back. I opened up each piece, marked the fronts and back, and used the pattern to cut the crotch seams.  Then I sewed up the crotch seams, and then the inner leg seams. It literally took me 15 min total, from cut to finish. She absolutely loves them!
I'm really happy, because they're not falling off her butt, and there's no sagging fabric in the front, or wedgies in the back like there was before.
I got some new fabric in, so now it's time to sew me up some items! I've got at least summer tops for me coming up, because I'm dreaming of summer. I'll just wear them with a cardi until summer actually comes.
Isn't that peacock floral dreamy! I'll be pairing it with the bright pink on the right. I've also got two pieces of poly-lycra that I'll be sewing up.
Remember, you can follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook using the social media icons in the top and bottom left hand corners of my blog. Also my Pinterest Board with all my creations can be found in the bar along the right hand side. If you're looking to purchase or order something from my shop, you can contact me on my page. That's Sweet Stitch Shoppe. I love to hear from my readers, so please leave your comments and questions down below! Thanks for stopping in!