Tuesday, January 15, 2019

5 out of 4 Patterns Jenny Cross Front Tunic


Last month I took some time to review and think about my favorite and not so favorite sewing projects from the previous year. I blogged about my top hits and top fails and let you know what I wore a ton and what just never really made it out of my closet. One of my sewing fails was a cross front top that I wanted to like, but it just did not work for me. I was nervously excited when I saw that 5 out of 4 Patterns wanted to release a cross front top that was very similar. So, I signed up as a tester, and today, I will be reviewing - and telling you what I think about that pattern - the Jenny Cross Front Tunic.



The Pattern Details

The Jenny Cross Front Tunic Pattern is a fitted dolman top that can be made in short or long sleeves. It is tunic length and the cross over is daring and low. The pattern includes the overlay cross front top as well as a tank pattern to wear as a modesty layer underneath. The tank layer has the option of a lower or mid neckline. I made the lower neckline. The back hem on the cross over top can be straight or curved. The pattern also includes a full bust adjustment as well. 

The pattern works best in knit fabric with great drape. I used an ITY from Knitpop on my short sleeved Jenny. Since it was light and airy, I knew I would wear it more in the summer so I left it without sleeves. 


I made an XS bust and graded my top to a XXS waist and hips. I also took 1 inch out of the pattern at the lengthen/shorten line to adjust for my  (lack of) height. 


My next Jenny is in a lightweight, loose, open weave sweater knit that has a ton of stretch and drape. This fabric took a little bit more patience to sew with, and since the weave was so open, I definitely could not do without a tank underneath. I was really glad that a modesty tank was included in the pattern!


My Thoughts

What did I not like about the previous cross over top that I made?? Well, the neckline on the previous pattern was finished with only hemming. Nothing was keeping that neckline stable. This meant that when I moved, it would fall under my bust. It was just open and swingy, which felt weird and meant I was constantly adjusting it.  

However, on the Jenny top pattern, the neckline is finished with a band AND clear elastic. It is seriously not budging. I can run after my kids and move all about doing mom life, and I am not worried about it falling down and exposing me. I also just don't like to constantly adjust my clothing. 

Even with all the security, I can still breastfeed just fine in this top! That always makes me excited when I can easily nurse from the top in a pattern. My baby just bats away the fabric when I try to nurse by pulling my shirt up. 

I know I will wear my tops with the modesty tank (which I am glad is included in the pattern!), but I think the clear elastic also makes the top just fine to wear without the modesty tank because you don't have to worry about the cross over falling down. 

I normally don't really like clear elastic that much, but it worked really well for me on this top. I found it worked easier to serge my band to the neckline seam first and then go back over that seam and apply the clear elastic with a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine without stretching anything. If I applied the clear elastic and the band at the same time, it didn't look as good.  


Another thing that I did not like about the previous cross over top was the amount of ease. It was just too much fabric all around my stomach. I think the Jenny top is much more fitted but still drapes very nicely under my bust. 
 

 I made the curved hem back on this sweater version (and I forgot to zip up my shoes - whoops!). 


Now let's talk about the underlayer. It is a simple quick tank finished with bands. I made the same adjustments to the tank as I did to the crossover top. I used a lightweight jersey for it. I was so excited that my friend Aimee gifted me this fabric because the color is perfect for me to wear under my sweater Jenny in the winter and then to wear again under my short sleeved Jenny in the summer!


Resources
  1. The Jenny Cross Over Top Pattern can be found HERE. Grab it while it is on sale this week!
  2. The fabric for my blue floral Jenny is an ITY from Knitpop.
  3. The fabric for my open weave sweater was from a local destash.
  4. The fabric for my tank came from my sweet friend, Aimee.
  5. The clear elastic that I used came from Amazon.
  6. My necklace was a Christmas gift from my sweet husband! He got it here
Thanks for reading! 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.

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.












Sunday, January 6, 2019

Greenstyle Sunday Cardigan + Yoga Pants = LOVE


After the holidays this year, I have to tell you... I lost my sewjo! I just walked by my sewing room and kept walking. I also went to bed early a lot of nights. It didn't help that my sewing room looked like a disaster from multiple pattern tests + present wrapping + Christmas sewing. 

I did a lot of cleaning and worked on some quilting projects during the day instead. This past weekend, my husband took all of the kids to an Obstacle Warrior place and gave me sometime to myself. I am very much an introvert so I was looking forward to the time to finish cleaning my sewing room and enjoy the quiet. While I was folding fabric to put it back on the shelf, I found some that I just had to sew up right away. The fabric just spoke to me about what it should become. My sewjo was back!!! 




The Fabric

The fabric I found in my sewing room was a cozy soft striped sweater knit and some French terry that I picked up in the Dallas Fabric District on one of my last trips. The weather has been hovering around the 30s and rainy lately so I have been wanting some more cozy lounge clothes for the dreary winter days. I loved how cozy this fabric felt and just kept petting it. I just knew the sweater knit needed to be a cozy cardigan and that the French Terry needed to be lounge pants.


The Cardigan

For my cardigan, I used the Greenstyle Sunday Cardigan pattern. I LOVE this pattern. The options included in the pattern are knee length or duster length, high or low side slit or closed side, vest or long sleeves, sleeve cuffs or hemmed, hood or no hood, regular or large patch pockets or no pockets. 

I made the knee length, hemmed the sleeves, used the large pocket, and did the high side slit. I made this pattern for the first time this summer as a duster length swim cover up (You can see that blogpost here). I enjoyed wearing my cover up so much this summer that I wanted to make the cardigan version ever since. I was so glad that this fabric finally spoke to me that it needed to be a cardigan!



The hood on the Sunday Cardigan is just perfect and so easy to do. I love a cardigan with a hood!


My tip for getting patch pockets to look good is to use wondertape to tape them where you want them before sewing. Then, I give them a big press after I sew them down. Mine aren't perfect, but with this squishy sweater knit I was really happy with how they turned out. 


The Lounge Pants

For my pants, I wanted cozy but not frumpy cozy. I looked through my patterns and thought "Do I need my umpteenth pair of Brassie joggers, or should I try something new?" I chose to branch out and used the Greenstyle Women's Everyday Yoga Pants pattern. This is going to be another staple pattern for me. I already see myself wanting to wear these everyday!



I had not made this pattern before so I printed off the XS (based on my hip measurement) and made my usual height adjustment (took off 3 inches). I was so excited at how well they fit right off the printer!! They also seem to have booty lifting properties that I am pretty excited about.


The Yoga Pants pattern includes a fold over waistband. I took forever to decide which scrap of cotton lycra would look best as a waistband and eventually found a small scrap of a darker tan fabric that looked like it worked. Since it was small, I didn't have enough for a fold over waistband so I used the midrise Stride tights waistband. The Stride's waistband is so comfortable since it is contoured at the top. These pants stay on great, and I don't have any elastic pushing on my stomach. 


Pockets!!

Pockets are really a must for me. Since the pattern does not include pockets, I borrowed the pocket piece from the Brassie joggers. The side seam, however, is different on the yoga pants so I changed the pocket pattern piece to work. Here is what my pocket piece looks like for the Yoga Pants. 


You can see the outline of the original Brassie pocket that I traced and where I drew the new pocket so that it matched the side seam of the yoga pants. I cut 2 mirror images of the main pocket out of my main fabric. 

To make the pocket lining, I traced the main pocket and cut out the part above the pocket opening. Here is my pattern piece for the lining:


I then cut mirror images out of a thin cotton fabric for the lining and cut out the pocket opening on the front of my pants. I always make sure to mark on the wrong side of the fabric which one is the pocket opening and which one is the crotch because I have accidentally put a pocket on the wrong one before! 


To sew the pocket, I put the pocket lining right sides together on top of the front of the pants, sewed it at the pocket opening, and then, I pressed, understitched and topstitched the pocket opening. Finally, I sewed the main pocket to the lining and basted it to the pants. 



The pocket seam shows a little on the side of my pants that doesn't have the floral over the pocket. I am really ok with that because I would much rather have pockets than no pocket seam showing!
 

I love how they turned out! 


Thanks for reading, and I hope I have inspired you!!

Resources
  1. The Greenstyle Sunday Cardigan can be found HERE.
  2. The Greenstyle Everyday Yoga Pants for Women can be found HERE.
  3. The fabric I used came from Wherehouse Fabric Dallas, TX. If you ever find yourself in the DFW area, you need to visit this place.
 
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.

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you, and it gives me money to buy more patterns and fabric!  Any and all opinions expressed are still my own.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 All Stars

I LOVE doing a year end "review" and looking at my sewing projects I didn't like at all and looking at my favorites. It really helps me to plan better for next year, learn from my mistakes, and have a closet full of clothes that don't make me cry when I get dressed in the morning. I am also a rather sentimental personal and love to look back, remember, and think about how my opinion on a subject may have changed over time. 


I am so excited about this post. This is the post where I spill the beans about what I REALLY wore.  I enjoy pattern testing and try to push myself to try new styles and colors, but sometimes that means I make stuff that I don't wear. You can read my round up blogpost of sewing fails from this year here. 

I have 5 categories of favorites to go over with you today (and a bonus quilt category). I had a hard time picking just one winner on some of the categories, but since I make the rules that is ok. To be listed as a favorite, though, the item had to be worn ALL the time and made in 2018. It had to be picked first when cleaned, well loved, and make me happy every time I wear it. My 5 categories are tops, pants, shorts, gym clothes, and outer layers. I also found it hard to limit this post to only 2018 makes. I still had several 2017 makes that were in constant rotation this year. 

(1) Tops

5 out of 4 Camilla. At the beginning of the Spring of this year, I made the 5 out of 4 Camilla in the sleeveless view and have worn it NONSTOP. It is so easy to breastfeed in and comfortable to wear. I think it is also one of my favorites because of the color. I wear all shades of pink first. I wear white and black just as much when a shade of pink doesn't go with my bottoms. Then, when all of my pink (or white or black) shirts are in the laundry, I look through my other tops.


I initially blogged about the Camilla here. Then, it made its second appearance on my blog paired with a Linden Skirt. You can read that post here


Then, once it was fall, I paired it with a cardigan in this blogpost. I still wear this Camilla all the time. I am so glad I made it sleeveless so it works throughout the year.


Also worth mentioning is the 5 out of 4 Mabel. I just made this top at the beginning of November, but I have worn it every week since. I blogged about it here.


(2) Pants 

Greenstyle Brassie Joggers and P4P SOS Pants. It is no secret that I love the Brassie joggers. They are my ultimate comfort pants that I wear more than any other bottom. I already gushed a ton about them in this post so I won't repeat everything I said. My most worn pair so far this year has been this olive cotton lycra pair.


I also really felt comfortable in and wore my SOS Pants by Patterns for Pirates a lot so I wanted to include them in my favorite bottoms category. They had pockets and felt like real pants but were essentially leggings. You can read my initial post on them here. I have worn the distressed blue knit pair the most.


(3) Shorts

Greenstyle Taylor shorts and Sew a Litle Seam Linden Shorts. I couldn't pick just one favorite shorts pattern so I will include both. My most worn pairs were my grey Taylor shorts and my navy Linden shorts. They were both sooooo good. I can't wait to make more pairs next summer.

Here are my navy Linden shorts. You can read my initial blogpost on them here.


Here are my favorite grey Taylor shorts. You can read my initial blogpost on them here.


(4) Gym Clothes

Greenstyle Xpress tank, Power Sports bra, and Super G Tights. Besides my normal everyday clothes, I separately (try to) work out a lot so I do a lot of activewear sewing. For the gym, my favorites makes from this year are: Xpress tank (top), Super Gs (leggings), and the Power bra. I think this was my favorite outfit of all of them, but I also have a navy Xpress tank I wear just as much with my rose or orange colored Super Gs. 


The awesome thing about the Xpress tank is that it fit me amazing post partum. I must have been crazy because I tested the Xpress tank and modeled pics when my baby was only 2 weeks old! I still felt so squishy and had zero sewing time, but I ended up making 3 during the test because they were so quick and made me feel like I was back to sewing again. I needed the mental break but definitely couldn't handle a project that took any amount of time or lots of thought. 

The good news is that all the tanks I made newly postpartum still fit me now even though I have since lost all that pregnancy weight. I just tie the back a little tighter. Here is the navy one I wear all the time. 


You can read my initial blogpost on the Xpress tank here. You can read my post on the Super Gs here, and my post on the Power bra is here

(5) Layers

This category was hard for me because I wear my RTW coats, cardigans, and sweaters about the same amount as I wear my me made! I feel like a traitor on this category! Having said that, the most worn me-made layering item from 2018 was the Greenstyle Pacific Pullover (and in close second place is the 5 out of 4 Elenore Cardigan that I was wearing above with my Camilla top).

During testing, I made all three versions of the Pacific - the collar, a neckband, and a hood. My favorite of all three was the hood. I think I would be wearing it more than my store bought layers if the zipper went down far enough for me to nurse in and if it was in a color I liked. I much prefer pink or navy. So, sometimes I would go to grab it, and it didn't match me at all.  It also fits me much better now that my bust has shrunk. After this photo, I learned to take photos of my makes AFTER I nurse the baby. 

So, for 2019, I plan to make a Pacific Pullover that will go with more items in my closet, have a hood, and have a longer zipper. I am not sure why I didn't initially put in a zipper that was long enough for breastfeeding (my fault not the patterns), but now that I know better, I will do better. Speaking of plans, I have some big plans coming for 2019 so follow along for that post. 

You can read my initial blogpost on the Pacific here.

Also, do you notice anything about what colors I came back to over and over.... I think I need to pay some serious attention this next year as to which colors I grab the most and buy (and sew!) more of those!

Quilts


I also must mention that I finished a quilt this year! Yes, just one, but I think I spent more time on clothes than quilts this year, and the quilting projects I have chosen are either massive multi-year undertakings or are being done mostly by hand. This year's favorite (and only) quilt finish was a hand-pieced Grandma's flower garden quilt all out of 2 inch hexis. It was such a great car project that kept my hands busy when I was bored. 



I already have my next English Paper Piecing project picked out, but it may need to wait a few years before I get to it because there are about 5 quilts in the queue ahead of it!

You can read my initial post on this quilt here

Thank you for reading my post today. I hope that I 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.

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you, and it gives me money to buy more patterns and fabric!  Any and all opinions expressed are still my own.