Thursday, May 31, 2018

What to sew for Boys - the Sofilantjes Cessim Shirt

I am so excited to share with you the newest pattern being released by Sofilantjes! The Cessim Shirt pattern has the most fun color blocking possibilities and works great for boys and girls. I made view D, which allows for three different fabrics to be used in one shirt. There are no side seams to this shirt. Rather, the pattern wraps around the body and has a horizontal seam in the middle of the shirt that swoops around to the back. You can have a vertical seam down the front and back or only on the front or back. SO clever! There are also options for no horizontal seams if you do not want to colorblock the shirt. Also, the neckline has a round or V neck option. I chose a V-neck and love how it looks with the colorblocking. The pattern comes in sizes 12M to 14 years. I made a Size 4.

Fabric Choice: The Cessim shirt pattern calls for medium weight stretch knit fabric. The shirt has a comfortable fit so you can use cotton lycra or French terry for the body of the shirt. The neckband is designed for rib knit fabric. I used Made Whimsy Solid black for the side accent on this top. It is a medium weight solid. The black and white stripes are Riley Blake half inch knit stripes that can be found here. The Minions and Star Wars print came from Fabric Stache in 2017. You can stalk their Facebook group here to get their current preorders. I used black ribbing from Simplifi Fabric for the neckband. 

My little guy, Aaron, just turned 4 and has been asking for a new shirt made by me. He has so many shirts in his drawer, but he had his eye on a specific fabric he found in my sewing room!! The Cessim shirt pattern was just perfect for it, and I cannot tell you how much I loved his squeal when he saw the finished product. I made the mistake of showing it to him before I had hemmed it, and he was very sad when he had to give it back for me to hem and press it. 

Boys can be the silliest, and Aaron had so much fun showing me all his fun moves at his photo shoot. I just love how excited he was to get pictures in his new shirt. 

I made a shirt in pre-testing for Luke, my almost 6 year old. The fit of the shirt has changed since this photo, but it will give you a great idea of another colorblocking option. This is View C with the half sleeve. The half sleeve allows colorblocking on the sleeve.  This option uses just two fabrics on the body. It has the horizontal seam across the body and only one vertical seam in the front. There is no vertical seam on the sides or back. It was rather quick to put together! The sleeves were slimmed and the V-neck lowered for the full testing version. Luke still really loves his shirt!

You can grab a copy of the Cessim shirt pattern in English here. It is on sale now through Sunday at 4:55 p.m. CST (23:55 CET). 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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sewing a Stylish Utility Vest - Straight Stitch Designs Magnuson Vest Pattern Review

Hello everyone! I am so glad you stopped by my blog today to take a peek at what I have been making. I have been a Texas girl my entire life, but for my first year in law school, I lived in Bristol, Rhode Island. In that year, I embraced the vest trend. It was a quilted knit, heavier vest that I used for one of my many layers of clothing. Once in class, I would remove most layers, but usually kept at least a vest or a cardigan on. I transferred back to Texas when I got married, and really had no need for a vest again. Fast forward to today, and over the past several months, I have been eyeing utility vests on Pinterest. They just seem to up the cuteness factor of so many outfits so I have been on the lookout for the right pattern to replicate the look. Then, I saw Kimberly Payne, the designer of Straight Stitch Designs, making a vest just like I had been looking for! I was actually nervous when I signed up to test the Magnuson Vest because I wasn't even sure how I would look in a vest! Do you ever get nervous when you start to cut fabric? Well, I am so glad, I kept going because I am so thrilled with the vests I have made! Warning: This post may be extremely picture heavy. I just couldn't get over all the DETAILS in this vest and want to show them all to you!

The Detail is Inside. This vest is made with a woven or stretch woven fabric, but you will not be using your serger to finish any seams. The Magnuson vest pattern uses some of the prettiest finishing techniques to make your insides look gorgeous, and despite how pretty they look, it is not a long and hard pattern to make. I was able to finish a vest in one day, except the buttons and button holes did not get put on until the next day. 

The inside of the Magnuson vest has a casing that sits right at your natural waist so that you can cinch up the waist. The pattern calls for twill tape or cording or a similar tie for the waist, but I made a tie out of the main fabric. I cut a 2 inch strip, ironed it like bias tape, and sewed the long edge down. Next, I fed it through the casing with a safety pin and knotted the end. I cut off the extra length, folded the short ends twice, and sewed them down. For a fun detail, you could put this casing on the right side for everyone to see. 

I love the side slit detail on the side seam of this vest, and Kimberly makes the side seam so easy to do. Here is a quick video to show part of the side seam construction: 

Pockets. This vest has the best pockets. 

The vest is closed with 5 buttons. I found these larger brown buttons that looked great with the green fabric for this vest. I am urging Kimberly to add a zipper option for the fall. 

Fabric choice: The green vest is made out of a stretch wool that I found at Wherehouse Fabrics on the remnant tables. It is a nice bottom weight but is very breathable due to the nature of wool. The stretch of the fabric also made it so much easier to ease the collar stand in to the neckline. 

I feel like there are so many outfit options with this vest. It is great with jeans and a t-shirt, but I also love it with this Greenstyle Scarlet Swing Dress tank made out of a lightweight rayon spandex French Terry. 

Mistakes - HA. Yes, I made one on the armholes. The binding went so smooth and looked great. Then, I noticed I put it on the wrong side and pushed it to the right side. The pattern instructions have you apply it to the right side and then push the binding on the inside of the arm hole. I did fine with this on my muslin, but it was really hard to tell the difference in the wrong and right side of this fabric. It looked fine, so I just left it! I am sure no one will notice but me. 

Sizing and pattern adjustments. I made a size 4, which is where my measurements put me. Straight Stitch Designs patterns are drafted for someone who is 5'9!" I am only 5'2." I was sure that I would need to make height adjustments to this pattern to make it fit me! So, I made a muslin out of quilting cotton to check fit. I meant to just sew the basic seams and then cut this one up for a quilt later on, but I just couldn't stop. It fit perfect, so I finished it. Most of my shortness is in my legs, so the vest was a perfect fit as drafted.    

Even though this quilting cotton vest is nothing like my Pinterest inspirations, I really like it!! I am going to garden in this vest and wear it around the house so much. I will probably just wear it as a shirt with a nursing tank underneath. I am so glad I finished it.

The only downside to quilting cotton is there is a definite wrong side that may show some if you don't keep your vest adjusted. I really don't care if the wrong side shows on this one, though, because my inside details are so pretty. 

Questions: Would you wear this as a shirt? Should I keep this to just around the house or is it nice to wear out and about? Does it scream "I am a (homeschooling) mom to 5 kids!"?

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope that I have inspired you. You can purchase a copy of the Magnuson Vest pattern here. The pattern is on sale at a release price through Sunday, June 2, 2018.

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.

Photo Credit: my wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Greenstyle North Shore Swimsuit

Greenstyle Creations has just released their newest pattern - the North Shore Swimsuit!! Sewing swimwear can be so fun when you have the right pattern, and I am so excited to show you this awesome swimsuit pattern! 

This swimsuit is PACKED with options. This is normally the part of my blogpost where I list them all, but there are so many so I will show you a graphic. 

You will be busy sewing swimsuits all summer long and not run out of options with this suit! The first suit I want to show you is the halter tie top with a tie at the back. I love having ties for my swim top because it makes it so easy to adjust, and I do not have to pull it over my head. This is the Deep V with the Full Cup. The Full Cup covers more of my breast than the regular Deep V. All of the swim tops in this pattern have the option to add removable cups as well. I used some from an old ready to wear swim top that no longer fit. The cups were still in great condition and fit in my top perfectly. 

The pink swim fabric is from Made Whimsy. I love her swim solids. I purchased this color last year and cannot remember which shade of pink I purchased, but I love this color of pink. Her swim solids are a nylon spandex with SPF protection. They have a squishier feel and are thicker than a lot of swim I have dealt with. The higher spandex content means that the swim has a tendency to roll or curl on the edges, so it is very important to baste the swim to the lining as the pattern instructs. Basting makes it very easy to work with. Her swim lining is also a great quality.

Let me tell you about my swim cover up! It is a Sunday Cardigan made in the long, sleeveless view with the high slit option on the pattern. I used a stretch lace that I got in a destash, and I seriously love this cover up. It is so flowy and breezy. I had pinned several just like it on Pinterest, and the Sunday Cardigan worked perfect for my inspiration. 

The bottoms I am wearing are the scoop bikini bottoms. I made them with swim lining on the reverse side, but you can make them with another swim fabric on the reverse so that you have reversible bottoms. The scoop bottoms have a higher leg cutline that the regular bikini bottoms. I love how easily they are constructed. I seriously made this suit when I had the flu, and it took me one day to make. That is how easy it came together. 

My next suit is a Full Coverage Front with a Mid Rise Bottom. The top is a pull on top and gives me a bit more coverage for chasing kids. This was an earlier version of the pattern, but the only change made was that the front is now cut on the fold so that it doesn't break up your fabric's pattern. 

This is swim fabric that I bought in a destash and feels like it is a polyester base rather than nylon. It was a bit easier to work with, but it is also a little on the thinner side. This swimsuit calls for 3/8 inch and 1 inch swim elastic. I got my 3/8 inch elastic from Mandy at Made Whimsy. It is the rubber stuff that is very nice. I got my 1 inch swim elastic from Fabrictopia in the Dallas Fabric District off Perth. They had a big box of the nice rubber stuff. Some of the non-roll elastic and others that are not listed as swim elastic may work as well, just look on the package and make sure that it will hold up to salt and chlorine. 

These bottoms have a bit more coverage in the back and the pull on top has a U-shape in the back. This is a nice option for those who don't like halter ties on their neck. These bottoms also show a little less cheek and may be more appropriate for when we entertain guests at our pool.  

I am ready to swim! I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and that I have inspired you. You can purchase a copy of the North Shore Swimsuit here. The release sale price is $12, and 10% of the profits from the release sale will be donated to support the recovery efforts of those affected by the volcano in Hawaii. Isn't that awesome?!?

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.

Photo Credit: my sweet oldest daughter, Abigail, who was excited to swim when her photographer duties were over. Editing was done by my wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson.

Monday, May 21, 2018

My Top Clothes to Sew for Pregnancy - DIY Maternity

I am a mom to five precious children, and when I got pregnant with my last child, I was well on my way of sewing a handmade wardrobe. I have definitely learned what has worked best for me when it comes to dressing the bump and staying comfortable in pregnancy. Today, I am excited to share with you a roundup of all the patterns that I enjoyed wearing the most over this past pregnancy. Surprisingly, most of my favorite patterns for pregnancy are not maternity patterns. I have broken this post down into two main categories: Tops and Bottoms. The patterns within each category are not in any special order. 


Wrap Tops

The LAVitality Wrap Top was a top that I made in my second trimester because it looked like it would be great for breastfeeding. I was due in January so I knew I needed some long sleeve tops that would be easy to nurse in. The pattern has a regular length and a longer length. I made the longer length, and the special surprise was that it ended up working great for maternity and was so nice for breastfeeding in once baby arrived. I blogged about this pattern here when I first made it.  

I never got around to blogging about this pink wrap top that I made using Simplicity 8424. I wore this at least once a week in pregnancy (once it was cool enough outside). I made View E and added 5 inches to the length and added extra to the ties. I planned on wearing it postpartum for easy nursing access. However, once my baby belly was gone, I felt it had too much fabric, and it swallowed me. I plan to shorten the ties back up and wear it again this upcoming fall. 

Fitted Shirts 

I wore a lot of Greenstyle Green Tees and Greenstyle Centerfield Raglans this past pregnancy. I used a really easy maternity modification to make them work for pregnancy, and then, once pregnancy was over, I un-modified them and am still wearing them. I blogged about how to hack a t-shirt pattern into a maternity top here. This black top is the Green Tee, which is free with a code in the Greenstyle Facebook group

This is the Greenstyle Centerfield Raglan I made using that hack. The first photo was early in my second trimester, and the next photo was at the gym in my 3rd trimester.

Shirts with a Bottom Band

The Hamburg Dolman by Shwin Designs is the one shirt that if I found out I was pregnant, I would make like 10 of them ASAP before first trimester exhaustion set in. This is not a maternity pattern, but in the tunic length using rayon spandex, it had all the room I needed until the very end. This top was extremely comfortable! I have since given it to a friend who had no more room left in any of her maternity clothes and needed more tops that would last through the rest of her third trimester. 

The Stitched Upon a Time Spoxxy Top was also a favorite of mine. I wore this one to work out in or go on walks with my kids. I love the fun back detail on this top to use up pretty scraps. 

I had a bunch of Patterns for Pirates Pumpkin Spice Dolman Tops that I had made the winter before this pregnancy that fit me great during pregnancy. I was so happy that they fit so wonderfully when our weather turned colder. This is one in rayon spandex that I wore at 36 weeks pregnant. 

Here is another Pumpkin Spice Dolman in a loose weave sweater knit at 38 or 39 weeks pregnant. This pattern does not have to be made with the band, but I loved how the band at the bottom brought it in and made me look like I still had hips.


I wore my Greenstyle Scarlet Swing Dresses all the way to the end of this pregnancy. This is me at 32 weeks in a sweater knit swing dress. 

And here I am at 38 weeks in a brushed poly Scarlet Swing. I had no intentions of getting pregnant when I made these dresses so I used my not pregnant measurements and made these the winter before I became pregnant. Even though my bust size went up 4 inches during pregnancy, they still fit great. You can read my blog post that I wrote when I first made these dresses here

Simplicity 2147 is a very sweet woven dress that I made before pregnancy that just happened to fit (as a tunic) until the end of my pregnancy. I wore it all the time and blogged about it here


Leggings and Yoga Pants

Leggings are the ultimate staple in every pregnant woman's wardrobe and for the postpartum period when your body is still adjusting to normal. I don't usually wear athletic tights when pregnant; rather, I am talking about pants that feel like pajamas while being stretchy and slim fitting so I can grow without realizing it. Two of my favorites were the Hey June Mountain Pose Pants, cut at capri length, and the See Kate Sew Capricorn Leggings with the maternity rise.

The Mountain Pose Pants are flared at the bottom, but I cut them as a capri length and wore them as capri leggings. I made two pairs in cotton lycra, a solid black and a charcoal, and wore them constantly. The waistband was so comfortable on my growing stomach and the ease in the pants was perfect as my hips got wider as well. I blogged about the Mountain Pose Pants here when I first made them, and I was still wearing them here at 3 weeks postpartum.

I did not make the See Kate Sew Capricorn Leggings until my 3rd trimester. I was a tester for this pattern and wished I had made a few pairs earlier in my pregnancy. Since I was in my 3rd trimester, though, I needed to go up a few sizes on the maternity waistband to get it all the way over my stomach. This floral is a cotton lycra as well. These pants are perfect for someone who prefers a band that goes over the belly. 

Joggers and Lounge Pants

The Greenstyle Brassie Joggers are a huge staple in my wardrobe. I have made them out of so many different types of fabric to be suitable for so many occasions. I made a pair of Brassie joggers and shorts in the same distressed denim knit that I had gotten from Mily Mae just for this past pregnancy. They worked for pregnancy, and I still wear both of them now that I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. They are truly a staple for me. You can read my initial blogpost on them that I wrote earlier in pregnancy here

I don't know how I never got a great photo of the Portlander Pants by New Horizons while I was pregnant, but I do have one of me still wearing them postpartum. I made the waistband out of supplex, and I made the waistband a little bigger than the pattern called for. These pants worked out great throughout my pregnancy.

I was a tester for the Diane Joggers by 5 out of 4 patterns, and I wore the shorts, capris, and pants that I made during testing throughout my pregnancy. I used the maternity rise, and they all fit very well. Due to how low the front dips for the belly, though, they fell off of me once pregnancy was over so I have not worn them since. I am hoping that I can salvage some of them to wear in the future. Here is my initial blogpost on them

Last, but definitely not least, I loved wearing my Greenstyle Chelsea Pants this past pregnancy. I made the Chelsea's out of several different types of fabric during testing, and blogged about the pairs that I made here. The pair that I made out of a sturdy cotton French terry made it all the way to the end of pregnancy and felt like secret pajamas. I also got a ton of compliments every time I wore them and always felt put together in them. The knit waistband was also very comfortable postpartum. 

What did I not wear in pregnancy? Jeans. I cannot stand the feeling of a non-stretchy thick fabric pressing against my stomach when I am pregnant. Even though maternity jeans have the stretchy waistband, my stomach couldn't handle the top part of the jean material where it met the stretchy fabric on my lower stomach. It hurt. SO BAD. So, that means that when sewing for maternity, I need the entirety of the fabric to be forgiving. So, if you make the Chelsea pants for pregnancy, stick to fabric with ample stretch, do not use stretch denim.

I hope you enjoyed reading my maternity roundup, 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.

Photo Credit: Many of the photos in this post were taken by my awesome friend, Aimee Wilson. If the lighting was off, or it looked like a cell phone selfie, then it was taken by me or one of my kids.