Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sofilantjes Eximia Sweater PDF Pattern Review - More Mommy and Me Sewing


I have noticed that I gravitate towards certain pattern companies. I have had way too many successes with their patterns that I secretly wait (and hope) that they come out with a certain style that I would love to add to my wardrobe. Sofilantjes is one of those. Her drafting is always so perfectly done that I know I can use my good fabric (even during testing) and enjoy what I am sewing!



I am so excited about today's post because this is exactly what happened. I have wanted a tulip style nursing top for some time, and Anne Jacobs (Sofilantjes' designer) drafted just that! The Eximia comes in women's and girls' and both patterns have 3 lengths included - the crop, the tunic, and the long version. The sleeves come in long or 3/4 length sleeves and are finished with a cuff. The pattern has a drop shoulder and is drafted for thicker more stable fabrics (like French terry, sweatshirt fleeces, etc.) with at least 30% stretch. 

This photo collage was not supposed to be a lesson in photography, but you can see how much lighting really effects a photo (and even the color of my hair and skin!) even after editing. The point of the collage, in fact, was to show you the different lengths on the same body. Since I was able to make all three lengths, maybe this will help you decide if you have a favorite or one that you know you would wear the most. 


I was able to make one cropped Eximia for my middle daughter. She was not interested in any length, but this one, and she begged me to let her wear it as a top (without an undershirt). Let's just say that I agreed to let her wear it with her unicorn hairbow instead. 


I love when one of my kids volunteers for me to sew something for them because it is a good excuse to take photos together! She seems to make the most appearances on my blog because she repeatedly says yes to testing calls. She thinks I buy too much pink, though, and has requested that I add more purple to my fabric stash. Thankfully, my friend Aimee just sent me home with some purple fabric the last time we got together. 

I think my favorite length of the three lengths on this pattern is the medium. It is just long enough that I don't have to wear a shirt underneath (if I don't want to), and I am still completely covered. If it is a windy day, though, I probably should wear an undershirt! 


This pink fabric is the rose pink French Terry from Knitpop. It is a great weight for this pattern. It is thick enough that I am warm enough to not need a jacket on most days and not too hot in most buildings. (I live in Texas so this may not be true for you!) 


The medium and long lengths come with POCKETS. I will forever love and wear a garment more just for the simple reason it has pockets. 


Sizing and adjustments. The sizing on the women's Eximia is based on your upper bust measurement. I made a size 34 in all three of my sweaters, but on the medium and long length sweaters that I made, I graded out to a 36 for my waist and hips. On the cropped length, I did not grade, and just made a straight 34. I made no height adjustments because my shortness is not in my torso. (I am 5'2" for reference.)


The cropped view is a great top length, but you have to realize that you will see the shirt/underlayer you are wearing underneath. So, use a fabric that will coordinate well with what you plan to wear as an underlayer (or you can always just show your belly button, if that is your look!)


I am wearing my top with my Greenstyle Chelsea pants from my last pregnancy (blogged about HERE). I need to (remake) these because I am no longer this size. I still really love these pants because this ponte feels so nice and I love the shape they have, but they really need to go in the "to-fix" bin because I keep having to pull them up! 


Last, but not least, is the long length. This one may be my second favorite because it will work so well with leggings and boots this winter and keep me warm. I used a really thick French terry on this one. 


When we are having milder weather during this winter and spring, I will probably wear this as a dress, but I will definitely need to wear some shorts or tights of some type just in case the wind catches it!


Thanks for reading today! Which version is YOUR favorite? I am wondering if my favorite will change as I notice myself gravitating to one more than the others! I am still not tired of making this pattern because right now I have a 4th planned, and I can't wait to show it to you once I have a chance to make it!

Resources
  1. The Eximia pattern for women can be found HERE
  2. The Eximia pattern for girls can be found HERE. Both patterns are also available in French and Dutch. 
  3. The fabric for the rose pink sweater is French terry from Knitpop. You can find it HERE.
  4. The fabric for the other two sweaters came from the Dallas Fabric District on Perth. One came from Steve at Super Textiles and the other from Wherehouse Dallas. 
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.

Photo Credit: My friend Aimee took the photos of my cropped sweater. My daughter Abigail took all the other photos. 



Friday, December 14, 2018

The Greenstyle Power Bra


A well-fitting sports bra seems like it has evaded me for years. I can't just walk into a department store, grab a small, and walk out with a bra that fits. If I fit my cup size, the band and shoulder straps are way too big. If I fit the band, the cups are squishing me and are too small. For a sports bra to really fit me correctly, I need the measurements to go beyond small, medium, and large and include a band size and cup size. I have found a few that fit the bill, and they were all white, had no fun features, and were rather expensive. 



I have wanted to make my own for quite some time now, and I am sooo glad that I finally have! I have made 5 over the past several weeks while testing out the new Greenstyle Power Sports Bra pattern, and bra number 6 is just a few steps away from being finished as well. Today, I am going to share 3 of those bras with you and review the pattern that I have been obsessively making. 



The Pattern

The Greenstyle Power Sports Bra covers band sizes 28 to 46 inches and cup sizes A through H. It comes with 3 back options: racerback, strappy cross back, and a strappy U back. It has an optional pocket and adjustable strap for the racerback. The front neckline has the option of a mid neck or low neck cutline. The larger band sizes come with optional extra side boob coverage. All back options come with optional NURSING access. Even with all these options, I felt like the pattern instructions were very straightforward and easy to follow. 

I can't get over the fact that I was able to sew a sports bra that fit me so well and that I can nurse in!!


Selecting size. You do not use your regular bra size to select the size to sew on this bra. The band size is determined by your underbust measurement, and your cup size is determined by how much bigger your full bust is than your underbust. The underbust measuring part is easy. The full bust part, however, was harder for me because I am nursing and it fluctuates throughout the day. I learned that the most accurate full bust measurement for me in determining my cup size for this bra was measuring my full bust with a well fitting SPORTS bra on. My measurements when wearing my supportive regular bras were too big and not helpful. 



Adjusting the straps. The pattern has markings for all 4 straps on the strappy back version so that it is easy to place them. I suggest trying them on with each bra and removing length from the straps until you have the perfect fit. Also make sure that you like exactly where your straps ended up. It is so much easier to try it on and make sure that you like it, than rip out stitches when you finish (ask me how I know!). The great thing about making the nursing option on the pattern is that you can wait until the very end to check strap length. I noticed that I removed a different amount of length on some bras, probably due to the different fabric that I used. 


Two of the bras that I made for this post have nursing clips in them so that they are very easy to breastfeed in. I really wished I would have had this pattern when my baby was a newborn! I would have made all the comfy lounge bras from my scraps while I was pregnant.  


I paired all three of my bras in the photos with Super G tights (I blogged about those here). I think it is pretty awesome now I can make one to match each of my pairs of athletic tights! 



Clear Elastic. The Power Sports Bra uses clear elastic to stabilize all the main seams. I found that the clear elastic is NOT Optional. Both of the black/white bras above were made according to the pattern, which means that I used the 1/4 inch clear elastic as recommended in all the seams. It really makes for a supportive bra, and it also means that I have to use nursing clips to be able to get access for nursing because I can't just pull the neckline down comfortably.

On the next bra I want to show you (the orange bra), I did not use nursing clips and did not put elastic in the seams. The neckline pulls down easily, which means that I will not be running in this bra. It will be for lounging or lower impact activities like a good long walk. 


Straps. Another lesson that I learned when making the bra was that my favorite method for sewing the straps is the one shown in the instructions. The instructions have you sew the straps with a zig zag on your sewing machine, leaving about 1/8 of an inch to the right of the clear elastic. This allows you to put the seam on the back when you turn your straps right side out. It also made the straps lay much flatter. Also, DO NOT leave out the clear elastic in your straps or your bra will have no support!


On this orange bra, I used my serger and fed the clear elastic right into the seam. I felt that they were more tube like and not as professional looking as I would like. I shot a video of me sewing the straps on bra number 6, so send me a message if you need more info, and I will load it onto youtube. 

To say I am excited about my new bras is an understatement. I hope you were inspired by my post and get the courage to sew a new sports bra for yourself as well!!
Resources
  1. You can purchase the Power Sports Bra pattern HERE. It comes with layers so that you can easily print out just your size instead of ALL the sizes that are included in the pattern.
  2. You can find the Super G Tights pattern HERE
  3. The tank top I am wearing in some of the photos is the Xpress tank.
  4. All of the fabrics in this post came from Wherehouse Fabrics Dallas, except the orange and pink supplex. They came from my sweet friend Aimee! 
  5. I bought my clear elastic on Amazon HERE.
  6. I bought the nursing bra clips from Simply by Ti HERE.
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.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Christmas is Coming with Sugar Spice and Naughty and Nice Pajamas!!


I have always admired those family photos that I see with the whole family in pajamas. After finishing Christmas attire for myself and my girls a few weeks ago, my next major project was Christmas pajamas. I excitedly signed up to test the Patterns for Pirates newest Long John style pajama pattern, knowing it would be just perfect. After finishing my pair and the baby's pair, I offered to make my other kids pajamas as well, but they weren't overly thrilled. I knew they would oblige for photos, but I thought "why fake it!?" 


For today's blogpost, I am bringing you my dose of Christmas cheer, talking about how exciting I think pajamas can be for your love life, and reviewing the new Patterns for Pirates pajama pattern. I am also keeping it real and showing you the family nonpajama photo of kids who had just woken up and were probably wondering why mom was at the park taking photos in her PJs. 


Let's start with a pattern review. The Naughty Nice pajamas is a Women's Onesie pajama pattern that comes in short, 3/4 or long sleeves. For the legs, you can choose between cheeky, shorts, or long pants. I made long sleeve shorties for this version. There is a placket that can be unbuttoned to be a little naughty or you can button it up and call your pajamas nice. Even with it buttoned up, I felt pretty risqué in my pajamas. It is a very flattering deep V. 



The pajamas are fitted so you need fabric with great stretch and recovery that is not see through. I used a very nice weight cotton lycra yarn dyed stripes for this pair. 

 

I think that the sewing project was rather quick. I made an XS everywhere but did need to grade to a S just for my waist. I did not need to make any other adjustments to the pattern. I struggled with the bottom of the button placket because the front crotch curve ends at the bottom of the button placket. I found it a little difficult to get it on point and to look good with the obvious stripe pattern. There is a video for how to do it now that has since been included in the instructions of the pattern, so don't let that part intimidate you. 


My husband said he didn't notice any problems with my placket. There is also a seam on the back that I went slow on to hopefully match up all the stripes. 


I used the same cotton lycra for my daughter's pajamas. The youth version of the pattern is called the Sugar Spice and works for boys or girls. I made her the 12 month size and can't get over how adorable she looks in it. 


The main difference between the women's Naughty Nice pattern and kids 'Sugar Spice is the neckline. The youth has a higher neckline. Also, the kids' version does not have a cheeky option. Their pajamas are all nice. 


She was excited to tell us about the huge shiny balls on the Christmas tree!


Not only are my pajamas insanely comfortable, my hubby really loves them. I noticed he was wearing this really fun shirt while taking photos so I grabbed him to take a few! He wanted me to tell you that these are his favorite pajamas and to tell you that if you want pajamas that won't stay on very long, you should get these. We have been married for 12 years and still are so happy. If you want to buy me a Christmas present this year, my size is Saturday night babysitter.


So, how are these pajamas good for your love life? Well, they are not what I would call your mommas night gown. You will feel extra playful in them and not get as much sewing done. Haha!


Before cutting into my exciting Christmas fabric, I made a test pair for both of us. I used double brushed poly for mine and cotton lycra for my daughters test pairs. 



I used plastic kam snaps on this pair and much prefer the metal snaps I used on my Christmas pair. I really want to make this pattern again as a top (or bodysuit with crotch snaps). It is so easy to nurse in!


Christmas Cheer

We put our Christmas tree up this weekend. (NOT the one in these photos! haha!) Our Christmas tree this year is 4.5 feet because it needs to go up on top of a toy box where little hands can't touch it and pull it down. Half of our ornaments were broken from last year. Aaron loved throwing the balls and hearing them crash. I begged the kids not to put ornaments on the tree this year. They cried. LIKE real tears, my mom is horrible crying. So, I caved. We didn't make it an hour before Aaron had thrown the first one. I was in the kitchen and heard the loud sound of glass shattering. Sigh. The ornaments came back down. We can only handle lights again this year. 

We haven't done anything else to prepare for Christmas. I want to get the kids each something special (yes, I haven't started!), but I also want to emphasize the reason for the season and focus on giving to others. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to write down "gifts" that I want to give to Jesus as well as gifts I would like from him. I usually do something personal, like I want to spend time doing something more during the year that I know I need to do. It may even be just to spend more time resting so that I can hear his voice. Either way, I am looking forward to cozy fireplaces, the sweet aroma of baked goods and hot chocolate, the squeals of children as they open their gifts, and handquilting while I take it all in. 


While we were out taking photos of the pajamas, I grabbed a photo of my crew. A real, unplanned, come as you are and smile photo. I love this bunch and can't believe that I (who was told she would never have kids) have been so blessed with these smiling faces to love and serve every day!


Thanks for reading my blog today! 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.

Resources:

(1) The yarn-dyed cotton lycra stripes and the polka dot cotton lycra came from Made Whimsy
(2) The double brushed poly that I used for my test pair came from Wherehouse Fabrics Dallas. 
(3) You can find the pattern for the Women's Naughty Nice Pajamas HERE and the Kid's Sugar Spice HERE. You can also buy the bundle HERE.

Ok, here are all the sweet photos I just couldn't delete!