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Thursday, September 20, 2018

It's Time to Sew with an Itch to Stitch Blog Tour


Today is my stop on the "ITS Time to Sew" Blog Tour. The idea behind this tour is to sew up an Itch to Stitch pattern that I have been "itching to stitch." Easy enough, right? I knew immediately what I would sew - the Mountain View Pull On Jeans. I bought this pattern the day that it released and have wanted to carve out some time to make them ever since. I am so glad that I finally got around to making them!


Do you see a problem with my JEANS? Well, they are SHORTS! 


I live in Texas, and to be frank, fall doesn't even begin to tempt us until November. Even in November, we are still in the upper 60s and low 70s. Well, it is mid-September now and am not quite ready to start my fall sewing. In fact, it was 94 degrees outside the day I took these photos and 98 today. So, let's just say that I took the blog tour theme literally, and I sewed exactly what I am itching to wear - a tank top and jean shorts. 

Maybe you will appreciate my post if you live somewhere that is still warm or you live in the Southern Hemisphere and are getting into spring.  Even if you are sewing for cold weather, you also may really appreciate this post because it includes a GIVEAWAY and a SALE!


The Tank

The tank top that I made is Itch to Stitch's FREE Lago tank (available here). I made four Lagos when the pattern first released, and I seriously wear them all the time. I even wore them through the first and second trimesters of my pregnancy last year. I have been wanting to make another one all summer long, especially to replace the ones that are stretched out from pregnancy. The awesome thing about tank tops is that they also work beautifully under a cardigan so I am kind of sewing fall, right?

For this top, Raspberry Creek Fabrics sent me this super soft Art Gallery Fabrics knit cotton lycra. I love how quickly they ship and the great quality of fabric that they stock. They also sent me a very nice quality stretch denim that was perfect for my shorts.


The Jean Shorts 

Now, let's talk about my shorts. It is very easy to make the Mountain View Pull On Jeans into shorts. Sewing shorts first is also a great way to check fit issues before sewing the entire pant. These shorts also came together rather quickly!  


My shorts have a 5.75 inch finished inseam. To get this length, I cut the pattern piece straight across at 7.75 inches down from the inseam. Next, I placed a mark 1.5 inches above the bottom of my shorts on both my inseam and outseam and angled (slightly flared) out my seam line until I got to the hem. This makes it so that the shorts were not tighter at the hem. I also, serged each side of the seam separately and pressed my seam flat. To hem, I pressed up .75 inches towards the main, and then another .75 inches. I only secured my hem at the seams, which is the ousteam, inseam, and back of the shorts. 


Adjustments

My measurements put me in a size 0 for waist and a size 2 for hips. I cut out all my pants pieces as a 2 and then graded the top of the waistband to a 0. When I went to try my waistband on  before attaching it to my pants (which is always a good idea!), I barely could get it over my hips. Once I wiggled all around and got that tight sucker on, I had some major muffin top. So, I un-graded that seam back to a complete 2, tried it on, and it was perfect. Whew! My pants fit great without the grading.

Let's talk pockets. Have you seen all the butt comparison posts on Pinterest that show where the most flattering place is to place the pockets? Not too far apart, not too low, not too high... There really is a sweet spot for pockets to rest to keep your backside looking good. Well, after several rounds of pinning them on and having my husband take a photo of my butt, I think I found exactly where I wanted the pockets. I shaved 1/4 inch off the bottom right of the pocket. I raised them and brought them in a bit. 

I used the pocket stitching guides from the Sew A Little Seam Linden Shorts (blogged about here). I found it hard to trace them right onto the pocket so I just put them on top of the pocket and sewed over them, which means that I had to print 2 mirror pocket templates because when I finished topstitching one pocket, I just ripped the paper off and threw it away. 

What do you think of my pocket placement? 


I really love the fit of these shorts. They suck me in some but are absolutely comfortable to wear. I really can't wait until we have cold enough weather for me to make jeans! Maybe next month I will be able to wrap my head around Fall, and then, I will be sewing full length Mountain View Pants!


Resources

Shorts Pattern: Mountain View Pull On Jeans. The pattern is on SALE for $8 for today only.
Shorts Fabric: I used the medium indigo medium weight denim from Raspberry Creek.
Topstitching Thread: Gutermann Mara 100, Color 444 (a shade of brown) can be found here. I used a stitch length of 3.5 when I topstitched.
Top Pattern: The Lago Tank and its FREE! 
Top Fabric: Bari J for Art Gallery Knit Cotton Lycra La Floraison.


Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! I hope I have inspired you. Join all the other wonderful bloggers on their stops on the tour. Here is the schedule:

September 17th 
September 18th 
September 19th 
September 20th 
September 21st 

Here are all our wonderful sponsors to visit:



and last, but not least, here is the giveaway!


Friday, September 14, 2018

Sew a Little Seam Women's Linden Shorts PDF Pattern Review


I am a chino shorts kind of girl! Every year in late spring, I stop by the Gap, Old Navy, and Target and buy myself several 5 inch Chino style shorts to rotate through all summer. Sewing shorts and woven pants with zipper flies, belt loops, and welt pockets just intimidate me to be honest. I would look into the insides of my favorite pairs and just marvel at the pockets, bias tape, zipper finishing, and all the little details. 

This year was a little different; I just could not bring myself to buy chino shorts. I knew I needed to get over my intimidation and just make some. It also helped that when I spied into this year's selection at Target that they only had high waisted jean shorts and a few 3 inch inseam chinos. Whew! They didn't even have what I was looking for. 


Well, last month, I tackled the Greenstyle Taylor shorts, which was my first official pair of handmade zipper-flyed woven shorts, and it gave me so much confidence. They were surprisingly rather quick to make, and the instructions were so straightforward. I seriously made three in a week in the middle of all my other testing and sewing commitments and have worn them nonstop and have gotten so many compliments for them. I blogged about them here if you are curious. 

Then, I saw the testing call for the Sew a Little Seam Linden shorts for women a few weeks ago. The designer, Kelly Ballou, included photos of the insides of her shorts, and I literally gasped. They had all the inside finishings of my store-bought chinos. The difference in these and the Taylor shorts is that you need to be prepared for MANY pattern pieces. You have facings, welt pockets or patch pockets, topstitching guides, back yolk options, bias tape, belt loops, coin pockets, flat felled seams, skirt options, jeans options, knit comfort options...   I am not even sure I named all the options! This is not a quick pattern, but it is so worth it! It took me at least 3 days to sew up one pair, and that includes several really late nights (some with a seam ripper in hand).  


Another challenge for this pattern for me was fabric choice. I really had to force myself to sew basics. On my pretesting pair, I used a bright apple green and instantly regretted it. They are the perfect most comfortable shorts fitwise, but they are in a color that I don't often wear. I used my least favorite fabric first since it was a pretest, but looking back on it, I should have jumped for the capsule basics first. The seams on the pattern are 5/8 inch, which gives plenty of room for fit adjustments if you need to make any (I did not need any!!) 

If you are going to invest this much time in a project, use fabric you know will coordinate with a lot in your wardrobe. For pair number 2, I chose a navy twill that goes with so many tops in my closet. I know navy is not terribly exciting, but I learned my lesson from my first pair (keep reading and you will get to see my bright pair too!)


I love how professional the welt pockets are on this pattern and how deep the front pockets are. 


Here are the BEAUTIFUL insides. I made my own bias tape to finish the inner waistband on both pairs of shorts I made. The pop of pink and orange just makes me happy, even if I am the only one who will see it.  


Next up, I made a mini skirt. I used velveteen for it and used the jean style option with a back yolk. I did not use the jean patch pockets, though, and opted for welt pockets again. 


The jean style option on the pattern has a back yolk and curved front pockets. You can also do a coin pocket to make it look like traditional jeans. On the jean-style waistband, you topstitch around to finish and have a inside waistband piece that is the same size as the outer. On the chino shorts, you have bias tape to finish the inside and stitch in the ditch around the outside of your waistband to secure it.


The skirt feels a little short for chasing kids, but I think it is the perfect date night skirt. I can't tell you how excited I was to recreate my favorite J Crew skirt!! 


I love how soft this fabric is and how the welt pocket turned out! I have been saving this velveteen for the perfect skirt pattern! I have a few other prints in this velveteen so I may need to make more of these skirts!




My favorite part, of course, are the details on the insides. I did not do the flat felled seams everywhere on the inside of the skirt. After doing the flat felled on the yolk, I realized how thick this fabric was and decided to finish the rest with a serger. 


Last, but not least, is my bright apple green pair that I made in pretesting. I have actually been wearing them a lot. They are just so functional and comfortable that the green may just be growing on me.


Sizing

I made a size 0/2 based only on my high hip and full hip measurement. My waist and thigh measurements were actually in the next size up, but I did not take those measurements into account. If my high hip and full hip measurement were different, I would have need to grade accordingly. I felt the sizing was perfect on this pattern. If you are using a stable knit, you may need to size down. 



This fabric base is a cotton sateen. It is a twill weave that is incredible for chino shorts. It is soft, has a great weight, and is easy to work with. I think if I use it again, I will get the maize or magenta colorways because they coordinate better with my wardrobe. 


These shorts are so comfortable! Instead of buying a stack of chino shorts at the end of next Spring, I am just going to need to add a few more of these to my collection. I will also get a lot of wear out of them this fall. Texas falls are still really mild, and on a chilly day, I can wear a button up or sweater to keep my arms warm. 


Those insides though...


Resources - Patterns

1. The Linden Shorts/Skirt Pattern can be purchased here. There is a coupon code to get a discount on the pattern through the rest of September. You can find that code in the Sew a Little Seam Facebook group.
2. The top that I am wearing with my Blue shorts is the Toaster Sweater #2 by Sew House Seven.
3. The top that I am wearing with the velveteen skirt is the 5 out of 4 Camilla that I blogged about here
4. The top that I am wearing with my green shorts is a slimmed down Sewholic Renfrew top (which was my first V-neck that I made several years ago before I knew about PDF patterns!)

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Resources - Fabric

1. The Navy 6 ounce twill came from Imagine Gnats
2. The quilting cotton that I used for lining the Navy shorts is Juliana Horner Rosette.
3. The velveteen is Anna Maria Horner velveteen Innocent Crush Maybe
4. The quilting cotton that I used to line the velveteen skirt is Anna Maria Horner True Colors Filigree in Coral
5. The Green Twill is Free Spirit Cotton Sateen in Apple. 
6. The quilting cotton that I used for the lining of the green shorts is Anna Maria Horner Field Study Raindrop Poppies
7. The zippers came from Wawak


Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the pattern. This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.






Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Greenstyle Kids Slope Tank


I have had a little secret that I have been so excited to share with everyone... Greenstyle has just released a FREE pattern for kids! The Slope Tank is a unisex tank for kids ages 3-14 that is a quick sew and a wardrobe staple! 


The Slope tank was originally the "Lacy Slope tank." It was recentlyretested and updated to include: layers, bands to finish the arms and neck, and to have a straight hemline in addition to the sloping hem of the original pattern. I really like how the updates turned out and that I have such a versatile tank to sew for all of my kids. 

During the updating of this pattern, I made a Slope tank for my 7 year old daughter and for my 4 year old son. The 7 year old measured for size 7/8, and I made hers according to the pattern. My 4 year old measured a 3/4, but since his height was too tall for that size, I added 1.5 inches in length to his. 



I used cotton lycra for both tops for the main fabric and the bands. Besides lengthening my 4 year old's top, I made no other adjustments to the pattern. The pattern is drafted for a non-developing child. If you have a preteen or teen girl to sew the tank for, I would use the over bust to determine the chest measurement rather than full bust and do an FBA if necessary.

 

Tabitha is modeling her tank with the girl's strides pattern. She plays tennis every week so these are perfect for this fall. She loved them with her unicorn tank. 


The Greenstyle girls strides pattern comes in sizes 2T to size 12. I made the capri version with the cross cuff and just love how these turned out. She can't wait to wear them to play tennis in. I used Simply by Ti dritex, which is perfect for athletic wear.


My 4-year-old, Aaron, lives in tank tops. When he was only 18 months, my friend Aimee made him a Dr. Suess tank top, and he wears it ALL. THE. TIME. He will even try to go find it in the laundry. It is so tiny on him now, and I still have to remind him that it doesn't fit. I need to take the plunge and take it away for good. He was so excited when I told him I was testing out a tank top pattern. This one fit him so perfect and is exactly his style. I even let him pick fabric.  He picked a cute Euro Knit from Jumping June Textiles.


I love how excited and cooperative the kids were to take photos this day. I got a big workout chasing Aaron around for photos. I took them to a big open field and just let him run. 


Tabitha gives her outfit the thumbs up! Little brother likes it too, I just caught him mid-sentence while he told me he was hot and ready to leave. 


Resources

You can grab a copy of your free tank top pattern here.
The Girls Strides pattern can be found here.
The Simply by Ti Dritex can be found here. I used the silver and candy pink on her leggings. 

Thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Disclosures: This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.