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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Camilla Top Pattern by 5 out of 4 Patterns - Easy Breastfeeding Top to Sew

Before my days of a handmade wardrobe, I had this tank I had purchased at Nordstrom with a super drapy cowl that was awesome for breastfeeding. The cowl was part of the fabric of the front and not added on like a neckband after-thought. I wore that top out and followed none of the social normal rules of trying to put variety in my closet. Well, it was pilled and had seen better days, so I had to finally let go of it with many tears. I looked for a top just like it, but never quite found one. It wasn't meant for breastfeeding, but it was my favorite breastfeeding piece in my wardrobe. AND it was pink.

I am part of this group on Facebook called the 52 Week Sewing Challenge. The challenge for this week was to sew a pattern that you had bought but never made. As I was browsing through my patterns I saw this top from 5 out of 4 that I had bought sometime last year while I was pregnant and thought that looks just like my favorite breastfeeding top! The top pattern is the Camilla and can be made as a tank or with sleeves and also comes in a tunic or dress. I made the sleeveless top version to recreate my most worn and loved tank.

Fabric: I used a double brushed polyester from Made Whimsy, which can be found here. I wanted a fabric that looked just as good on the wrong side so that I did not have to worry about how the cowl falls and a white underside showing through. This fabric is just as pretty on the inside as out. I also wanted fabric with a decent stretch for pulling down and that recovered well after being pulled down for marathon nursing sessions. This fabric was perfect. I did not need to hem or serge the top of the cowl either because this fabric doesn't curl or roll like a cotton lycra would. The fabric is not quite a pink, but not deep enough for me to consider red. I almost want to call it a dark mauve. What do you think? Do you think mauve rhymes with stove or sauve (like the shampoo)?

Pattern review: I made the Camilla in an XS, which seems to be the best fit for me in 5 out of 4 patterns and is what my measurements call for. I am 5'2" but made no alterations for height because my shortness is not in my torso. The back of the neck and the armholes are finished with a facing, which looked very clean and was easy to do. This is a pattern that you can sew in about an hour, which is nice for a mom of 5. I really like the depth of the cowl because it is not so deep that I have to wear an undershirt to keep from flashing the world when I bend over. It is also not too shallow that I can't pull down to nurse. I think this top is very simple but can easily be dressed up and make me look put together. I also love it for babywearing. Tops that pull down make babywearing much easier. 

My pants are my favorite comfort leggings (as opposed to compression workout leggings) - the Hey June Sloan Leggings.

The baby was very happy to oblige me to take a nursing shot. My garden is starting to bloom and I am so happy to see all the signs of Spring around me.

5 out 4 Patterns has a Facebook group, which can be found here. This group is just about to reach 20,000 members!! When we do, there will be a SALE. If we reach 20,000 members before Sunday, the sale will be 40% off!!! If not, the sale will be 20% off, so come join us and grab the Camilla pattern while you are there. It is a great top, even for those who are not pregnant or breastfeeding. 

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.

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.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

5 out of 4 Patterns Gloria Skater or Hi Low Peplum and Dress Sewing Pattern Review

The newest pattern from 5 out of 4 Patterns releases today, and this is one not to miss. The new Gloria is a peplum or dress. You can choose from a skater skirt if  you are working with less fabric or you can do a high low circle hem. You can also go rogue and do a full circle skirt.

My first version is the high low short dress. There are three length options - peplum, short dress, or long dress. There are also instructions on how to exaggerate the high low aspect if you want a lower back with the short dress. I made an XS without any changes to the pattern. My measurements are 36, 28, 36. I made the lower scoop neck so that I could pull the dress down for breastfeeding action.

Fabric. This is a double brushed polyester fabric from Sincerely Rylee. It is so soft and a wonderful weight for this dress. Her shop always gets some of the prettiest florals that are so hard to pass up. She usually has stockings every Friday evening. 
Sleeves. I adore the sleeve details on this pattern! You can choose a tank cut line, short sleeves, elbow length, 3/4, or long sleeves. You can do a traditional sleeve or split sleeve.  The beautiful split sleeve lets just a little bit of your amazing arms shine. The long sleeve split sleeve also allows for easy blood work access at a doctor's visit.

The Party Shirt 

If I partied, I would wear this top there, and I would have so much fun. Let's get real, though, my idea of partying is grabbing a cup of tea and sewing something awesome.  For my "party shirt," I used a solid cotton lycra from Made Whimsy for the bodice and used a cotton lycra circle skirt panel from Smoogie for the circle skirt. The circle skirt panel made it super easy to cut the skirt, but if you are using a traditional piece of knit fabric that did not come in a circle, grab the Luna pattern (its free, use the coupon code in the pinned post of the 5 out of 4 Facebook group) or use a circle skirt calculator. You just need to measure the bottom of your bodice and use that as your waist measurement to determine the radius of the circle you need to cut out at the top.

I paired this top with a pair of Super Gs made in Zenith and Quasar supplex. They go from the gym to a fun peplum without blinking an eye! You can read more about how I feel about my Super Gs here. I think one of the biggest hurdles to working out is the time it takes to get ready. I already do laundry for 7 people, including a preschooler who loves to randomly change outfits and kids that think its fun to roll in the mud. So, the thought of taking my fun clothes off to put on another outfit to go work up an additional sweat can make me think twice. I have learned the key is to have clothes that I can wear with or under my normal clothes and not have the extra mental hurdle of changing. The athleisure movement is real guys. And, who would have known how easily this outfit can change to workout gear!

Want another fun Gloria fact??? The bodice is the same as the Jessie! So, you know what will be next in my closet? A Glossie. I am going to take that fun Jessie back and plop it onto a Gloria. Or, maybe I will take the sexy Gloria sleeves, and put them on a Jessie. Oh, the possibilities!

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post and have been inspired to go grab your own copy of the Gloria. It will make you feel glorious too . And hopefully, you have already purchased your Jessie, so you can also make a Glossie with me. 

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.

Photo Credit: My sweet, amazing friend, Aimee.

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.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sofilantjes Foras Dress

I just love Sofilantjes patterns. They are absolutely adorable, functional, and always in style. The instructions are so thorough so that I never have to wonder what I should be doing at any step in the process. I recently got the opportunity to test out Sofilantjes' newest pattern, the Foras Dress, and I made 3 dresses in testing! This is a dress with multiple sleeve lengths for any season and the option of a gathered skirt or a circle skirt. The size range goes from 12 months to 14 years. And, pockets. BIG pockets with beautiful color blocking.  

The first Foras Dress I want to show you is the gathered skirt option and was made with cotton lycra. The print is from Jaded Threads and the solids are from Made Whimsy. I love Made Whimsy solids! They are such a nice weight and stay soft. The grape was 75 inches wide, which means I got an entire size 10 gathered skirt out of only half of a  yard! The pink can be found here and the grape here.

This is such a fun dress. Abby's new hobby lately has been roller skating. She is so cute and does not get discouraged by falling. She said her roller skates are "vintage" and wanted to wear them for photos with her dress. The colors in her dress show perfectly all the joy this child has!

Next up is a circle skirt in the Mia double brushed polyester from KnitpopI just love this dress on Abby and how beautiful the drape is on the circle skirt. The twirl factor on the circle skirt definitely met her seal of approval. I think she twirled during this photo session until she was dizzy! 

drop waist circle skirt pdf pattern

Knitpop currently has an entire section of double brushed poly florals marked down to $6.50 a yard. There are so many just like this one that I have my eye on! They make the perfect spring dresses.

drop waist colorblocked circle skirt dress

Abby told me this is her favorite dress and will be wearing it to a wedding that we will be attending in April. I can see why she loves it so much. I may just need a dress with the side details like the Foras has. It is so flattering!

girl's dress pdf pattern
girl's dress pdf pattern circle skirt

Last but not least is the first dress that I made in testing. It is a 3/4 length sleeve dress with a gathered skirt in a cotton lycra. After this dress, I knew I needed to stick to making short sleeved dresses because it is already warming up here in Texas. The main print on this dress is from Wherehouse Fabrics in Dallas. The penguins in her pockets are Riley Blake and can be found here. The black solid is from Made Whimsy

Details. It is the details that really make a difference in a pattern to me. The lines, the shape. The attention to how what we wear can make us feel special. I hope that in sewing for my little ones they always feel special. Thanks for such a great pattern, Anne!

You can grab a copy of the Foras pattern in English here. The pattern is also available in French and Dutch.

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.

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.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Jessie Top and Dress by 5 out of 4 Patterns

You know I wish that I had Jessie's girl. I wish that I had Jessie's girl. Where can I find a woman like that?  You know the song, right? I think this song was released before I was born, but somehow I have heard it enough that the chorus got stuck in my head while I have been excitedly making Jessie tops over the past few weeks. I think in my head, though, the lyrics sounded more like - I want to make all the Jessie tops. Where can I find the time to do that? Well, God was gracious to me because I found the time to sew up 3 tops! I am so excited to share with you all the details of this fun pattern. 

When Rachelle from 5 out of 4 patterns initially showed a preview of the back of the new Jessie top, I am sure my jaw dropped. I am such a sucker for a well fitting tee, and I just loved the fun back details. The Jessie pattern is a slim fitting pattern that can be made into a top, tunic, or dress. There is one neckline included in the pattern for the front, and the back has 4 options to choose from - high, low, strappy, or racer back. There are also 4 different sleeve lengths so the pattern works for all seasons. You need to use a light to medium weight fabric with at least 50% horizontal stretch. I chose a rayon spandex for all 3 of my tops.

The Muslin Top

New Horizons Portlander Pants

My first Jessie top was a high back top so that I could quickly assess fit to see if any changes were needed. I used a wide stripe fabric that I found in my stash and have no memory of buying. The wide stripe made it easier to pinpoint exactly where my bra strap hit on this pattern. I saw that my bra line was at the fourth stripe. When I took my top off, I transferred this to the pattern and knew that I needed to raise the low back by 1.75 inches for my next top. I liked the way everything else fit so I was good to go for my first top with a fun back.

Sizing: I made a straight XSmall without any adjustments. I chose the size to make by selecting my overbust + 2 inches. My overbust is 32 inches, and my full bust ranges from 34-36 depending on when the last time that I fed the baby. Waist is 27.5 to 28 inches and hips are at 36.5 inches. 

New Horizons Portlander Pants in Nala

The Floral Top 

Fabric: I immediately thought of the rayon spandex that Ti carries at Simply by Ti. It is such a great weight and is perfect for summer. The floral that I used on this first top can be found here.  

Greenstyle Brassie Joggers

Adjustments: I lowered the neckline on this top 1.5 inches so that I could easily pull down to breastfeed. I marked a place 1.5 inches lower and then just smoothed the curve out, keeping the shoulders the same. This is a very easy adjustment to make after making an initial top to see just how much you need to remove. One thing to keep in mind when lowering the neckline on this pattern is that you probably also do not want to have a low back that is open. You need a racerback, straps, applique or something to keep the shoulders of your top up. If you choose a lower back neckline and a lower front neckline, you may have a wardrobe malfunction or constantly have to readjust your shoulders to keep them in place. Even a simple strap at the back will help you if you choose to lower your front neckline.

Greenstyle Brassie Joggers

I just love the back on this top. Since I had raised the back by 1.75 inches, I only used 4 straps and re-measured my placement marks to make sure they were even. The pants I am wearing with this are my ever faithful Brassie joggers in a distressed knit.

The Mustard Capsule Top

I love the look of appliques but had never used them because I did not quite have a top pattern that screamed "I need an applique!" Well, this Jessie top is perfect for appliques! For this top, I wanted a simple solid top that would coordinate well with lots of pants in my closet. I am not always very capsule minded, but I am trying to slowly add versatile garments that work well with many outfits.

Fabric: I also used Simply by Ti Rayon Spandex on this top. They had the exact color of mustard I wanted. It is just dark enough that I don't feel washed out in it. This color can be found here. The applique came from Wherehouse Fabrics in Dallas. My fabric is a tad wrinkled in the back because I breastfed right before this photoshoot! I did not lower the neckline on this top because it was early in testing and I did not want to make personal alterations yet. I didn't notice that I had not pulled my top down very well in the back before shooting photos. Whoops! 

New Horizons Designs Portlander Pants

Now, let's talk about my pants! These are the Portlander Pants by New Horizons. These are quite my favorite because they went from pregnancy to postpartum feeling oh so nice. They are like secret pajama pants. One day, they will get their own blogpost when I finish making more. The fabric is French Terry Nala by Sincerely Rylee

You can purchase the Jessie pattern here. I can't wait to see what you make! 

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.

Photo Credit: My sweet oldest daughter, Abigail. 

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.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

You Down with EPP? Yeah you know me! - A Grandma's Flower Garden Quilt

I finished a quilt!! All of these little hexagons were sewn together by hand using English Paper Piecing (EPP). It is always such an exciting day when I get to share the end result of my vision. If you have seen me over the past two years, you might have seen me carrying around a bag of scraps, some hexagon papers, glue, scissors, a needle, and some thread. It went everywhere with me. It kept my hands busy while I watched the kids at gymnastics, while I went on trips in the car, and pretty much any other time that I knew I would have a space to wait. It kept my hands busy. I had wanted a project like this for some time, and my friend Lyssa, who works at my local quilt shop Stitched with Love, sat down with me one day and showed me just how to do English Paper Piecing (EPP). That day, I went home and started this quilt. 

English Paper Piecing (EPP) Quilt

Each quilt that I make has a story. This quilt is full of tiny scraps from other projects that I have worked on. Each little fabric has a memory. I also made a lot of these flowers when chatting it up with some of my sweetest friends. I didn't draw out a pattern for this quilt, but rather, just let it evolve until I felt done. Today, I want to talk about memories, triggers, experiences, and all the fun things that I believe art work inspires in us. Isn't it amazing how just from one sense, an entire memory and all of its accompanying English Paper Piecing (EPP) Quiltemotions can come flooding back into our head? I can be going about my day, happily going about what I have on my to do list. Then, I hear a song, and I am in another world. Or, a certain scent reminds me of an event, and my brain is just overtaken with memories. Some memories, however, can be a trigger from times of grief, loss, pain, or disappointment. Grief is just so not kind. It can come out of nowhere and sideline your entire day. How you deal with your memories and come out of times of grief can be a huge part of your success in life, your enjoyment, and the impact you make on those around you, especially if you are dealing with loss on a daily basis. I am definitely no expert, but I would like to give some ways that I get out of a funk when a "trigger" or memory brings up stuff that can suck the life out of my day if I let it.

Find joy. Somewhere around you there is something you can choose to do or to be happy about. You have breath in your lungs. I grab a baby or one of my kids and smell and hug them. I think about something funny they have said to me. Reach out and call someone you love. There is someone on this planet who would love to hear your voice. Grab a cup of tea with a friend. I love tea, and it makes me feel so happy. Sometimes I just need a massage to release tension or the physical touch from someone around me. Get a hobby. Unless you are living the dream and have a job that you feel is a hobby, you need something you consider as playtime. I think this is the secret of us quilters, seamstress, fabric curator, or whatever you call yourself. It is like therapy! It is a happy place we can escape to, feel productive in, and express ourselves. Music. Ah, rap music can make me dance for some reason. Don't listen to sad music. It just brings on all the waterworks and does nothing for pulling you out of that pit.

English Paper Piecing (EPP) Quilt
Don't overwhelm yourself with expectations of what you should be or should be doing. I always have this idea that I should be able to do a million things in one day. I notice, though, that having a super clean house with everything checked off my list means that at the end of the day, I am utterly exhausted. Also, when I am tired or hungry, I am not nice. I have this ongoing checklist in my head for my kids when they cry - are they tired, hungry, thirsty, need to potty, or hurt? It's amazing that as adults, we can forget basic needs or get busy, and then wonder why we feel off later.

What do you do to gather yourself out of a funk? When bad memories wash over you, how do you pull yourself out? 

To me this quilt glows! I hope its story allows you to glow just a bit brighter. The back of it was pieced with Tula Pink fabric. One of the fabrics was a gift from my sweet friend Aimee. So, now that my hands no longer have a small project to carry around, I need to find another EPP project. What is your favorite paper pieced quilt block? 

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.

English Paper Piecing (EPP) Quilt