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Monday, July 30, 2018

Staying Cool in Love Notions Allegro Shorts

I have been so busy sewing tops and dresses all summer that I have neglected a major need in my closet - bottoms. I had to fix this; so, over the past few weeks, I have been sewing shorts. The first pattern I pulled out of my pattern library was the Allegro pattern from Love Notions. 


I purchased the Love Notions Allegro pattern when it released a year ago and was so excited to live in them all summer long last year. At the time, though, I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and still utterly exhausted. I powered through making my first pair while my kids were at VBS one morning and loved the way they looked finished. However, when I tried my shorts on, my stomach had already outgrown the shorts. I put them in the rapidly growing pile in my closet of clothes that did not fit. It seemed that everything that was not a stretchy knit was going into that same pile.

I had my sweet baby in January and have had a few months to shrink back to normal. So, when the warm months set in, I tried them on, and they fit! Here I am (in this photo below) wearing them on Instagram during Me Made May this year with my Anna shirt that I blogged about here. They fit great and were absolute LOVE. I made these first shorts out of an Amy Butler Sateen Fabric in the Lark Collection called Ivy Bloom. The cotton sateen is a medium weight twill fabric. 


Fast forward to July, and I knew I needed to make another pair of these shorts. I had some rayon challis from Sly Flox left over from the Havana dress that I made in June. The scrap was just enough to squeeze out another pair of Allegro shorts in. 


Fabric

I love that this pattern not only works for medium weight fabrics (like the sateen I used for my first pair) but that it also works for those lighter weight woven fabrics that I have left over from making other clothes. Most of my patterns for woven bottoms really need a bottom weight fabric to look right.  Rayon challis is a lighter weight apparel fabric that I normally think of for tops and dresses. It works wonderful for this pattern, though. It flows just right and gives these shorts such a comfortable feel.


Pattern Details

The size range on this pattern is XS to 3XL. I made the XS. My waist is 26.5 and hips are 36 inches. The waistband on the Allegro pattern requires 1.5 inch elastic and has a drawstring to keep them cinched. That forgiving elastic waist is much quicker to make than a traditional full zipper and fly. The elastic waist is forgiving enough for a buffet but not forgiving enough for maternity. This is the pattern I will pull when I want to use a woven fabric and am pressed for time. I also really like that this is not only a shorts pattern, it includes cropped pants and two skirt views. The shorts come in a 5" and 9" inseam. I made the 5" inseam for both of my pairs. 


The Allegro pattern can be found here. The rayon challis can be found here.

Thank you so much for reading my blog! 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 allows me to continue to tell you all about my latest favorite sewing finds.  

Photo Credit: my wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson



Saturday, July 28, 2018

No More Panty Lines - Greenstyle's No Show Thong

Yesterday was my husband's birthday, and I only had a few minutes of sewing time to make something for the occasion. He has been asking me to make panties that don't show a visible panty line on my athletic tights forever, so I took the plunge and made a pair! I have been sewing panties for years now and always prefer the ones that I make to the ones I can purchase in the store, and I am glad to add this style to my growing panty collection!


Pattern

I used the Greenstyle No Show Thong (NST), which can be found here, as my pattern. This pattern is only $8 at regular price and comes in sizes XS to 3XL, which covers waist sizes 26 to 38 inches and hip sizes 35 to 50 inches. I only needed to print one pattern piece for the main panty and then a second pattern piece for the lining. Once I assembled the pattern, it took me about 15 minutes to cut and sew one pair of panties. I made the XS (waist 26.5 and hips 36), and the fit was spot on for me. I could easily make a stack of these for every day of the week!


Fabric

The pattern calls for fabric that does not roll when stretched and has at least 75% 4-way stretch. I used Simply by Ti Dri Tex in Candy Pink for the main panty. The Dri Tex that Simply by Ti carries is an athletic fabric that does not curl or roll when stretched and was perfect for these panties! I normally do not like synthetic fabrics for undergarments, but this one is moisture wicking and keeps you dry when working out, which is much better than a fabric that retains moisture. Have you ever gotten really sweaty or wet and your clothes stayed heavy afterwards? I hate that feeling and loved how nice this fabric felt and how dry it stayed for the gym. I actually took these photos after wearing the panties all day!

For the optional lace trim, I used 1.25 inch stretch lace that I found locally at Fabrique.  For the panty liner, I used a scrap of cotton lycra from Jumping June Textiles called Secrets



Here are these fun panties on me! I was quite nervous to share a modeled photo, but I love the fit so much that I had to share. It also is not much different than modeling my bathing suit, which I have been doing all summer!  


Here are the panties under some tights I wear to the gym often. I made these tights about two years ago out of a yoga knit from Knitpop. It is super soft and made comfortable leggings. However, it is not a heavy weight, so it shows every single panty that I wear under it, but not any more! Yay!!


Here are the same pants with my normal panties. Yikes!


Panties take very little fabric and are a great way to bust through some scraps. As with most sewing projects, the key is to have the right fabric that works for the pattern. I am pretty excited about how these turned out and will be making several more pairs!

The Greenstyle No Show Thong can be purchased here

Thank you so much for reading my blog! 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 PinterestFollow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: I received the Dri Tex fabric for free after paying shipping. 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, and it allows me to continue to tell you all about my latest favorite sewing finds.  





Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Summertime Dress Sewing with the Sofilantjes Vallis Dress


The summer heat is in full effect in my part of the world (North Texas). In fact, we are having a bit of a heat wave. It has been hovering between 105-108 for many days now, and the sun just feels relentless. I am in that part of the summer that feels like fall may never come so I am still sewing all the summer staples. My latest sewing project was a quick Vallis Dress by Sofilantjes. 


Getting Started

To start on the pattern, I had to decide size, tunic or dress, and whether I wanted a natural waist or empire waist bodice. I chose the dress version (woohoo, no pants!) with a natural waist in a size 34. I did a FBA (full bust adjustment). I chose my size based on my upper bust, and then, I added 1.5 inches to the bust of the pattern by using the slash and spread method detailed in the pattern. To determine how much I needed to add I took the difference between my full bust and the bust listed for the pattern size I was making (3 inches) and divided this number in half since the bust piece is cut on the fold. It is really a rather quick and easy method and gives wonderful results. 


That Back!

Vallis (Dutch) means valley, referring to the low back on this dress. The Vallis pattern's back is the perfect depth as it will not show off your bra straps while wearing a regular bra. The front neckline is pretty modest and is still low enough to pull down and breastfeed so I did not make any alterations or hacks for the dress.


Details Details Details 

The Vallis of course has POCKETS! It also has three hemlines. I made option C, which is the asymmetrical hem. The skirt has the handkerchief dip on the front right and on the back right and then curves around. The Vallis pattern also includes a regular hem and a normal handkerchief hem. The skirt and bodice of the Vallis are also interchangeable with the Solis tunic and dress so I could easily make this a circle skirt, a pleated skirt, or a gathered skirt by using the Solis pattern pieces. 


Fabric 

I used a lighter weight ITY that is insanely comfortable. ITY has such wonderful drape and is perfect for a dress. It also does not have a lot of vertical stretch and has great recovery. I love when dresses don't feel heavy but also aren't so thin that they show every bump along the road. Fabric choice means everything in how I feel about a garment and whether it gets worn time and time again. The fabric was gifted from my friend Aimee, who had it leftover after making a top. It was quite a nice sized remnant, and I love the cherry blossoms on this print. Thanks, Aimee!


I am pretty excited about this dress. After these photos, I wore it glamorously to the grocery store. I felt like the best dressed mom there, even though some of the dress was covered up by a baby carrier. I didn't take it off for the rest of the day and am anxiously waiting for it to be clean again so I can wear it more. I see a date night in my future!



You can grab a copy of the Vallis Tunic and Dress here. It will be on sale until Thursday at 5 pm (CST) to celebrate the pattern's release. You can buy the pattern in girl's sizes here, or you can buy the bundle of the women's and girl's patterns here and look stunning with your little one

Thank you so much for reading my blog! 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 PinterestFollow 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, and it allows me to continue to tell you all about my latest favorite sewing finds.  


Photo Credit: My sweet daughter Abigail, who is 9. 





Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Itch to Stitch Chirripo Top PDF Sewing Pattern Review


Do you like to sew with woven fabric? I have a special place in my heart for woven fabric and have been sewing it up like crazy in this hot humid summer we are having (and always have in North Texas). My latest obsession has been with the Chirripo top by Itch to Stitch. I made two in the tank option (it also has a fluttered sleeve view) of this pattern over the past few weeks and love how well this top fits. 


Pattern Details:
  • Square neckline with a front and back yolk
  • tank or short fluttered sleeves
  • front and back gathers under yolk with the perfect amount of ease
  • Cup sizes A - DD
  • Pattern sizes 00-20
  • side underarm panel and notches to easily line everything up  
  • happiness (LOL, not really, but I sure felt happy in my top)


I made this first top in a crepe that I found in the Dallas Fabric district. It was on a remnant table for about $2 and was only a yard. I was able to get the entire tank out of that yard and even had some left over. Score! I love patterns that use remnants. If you are working with even less fabric, you could contrast the yolk and front panels for a different look. 
  

My favorite part was getting to meet up with Aimee to take photos. It was so crazy hot, and I had not seen my friend in what seemed like forever (ok, maybe a week!) so I had lots of catching up to do. Her top is made with a gorgeous light cotton print. She made hers slightly longer so that it captured the panel correctly. Turned out awesome!



We also took photos of our second tops together. We both wore camis under our tops to make it easy to change outfits. I believe we are talking about how my husband thinks I have too much fabric. We both laughed and laughed. 


My second top is made out of a polyester that I also found in a remnant bin. I think I paid $1 for this one! I can tell it is polyester based by the way it sounds. It is pretty soft and has such a nice hand. It was from Francis Malik's Ivy Jane line. It was such a great find!


My shorts are the Greenstyle Taylor shorts pattern. I am still on the hunt for a perfect fabric for more pairs of these shorts. They are my "muslin," and I am pretty sure I need to make some adjustments. I am newer to sewing pants with a zipper and fly so send me all the tips you have. I felt so brave when I scooped out the crotch curve after making them! I think the only adjustment I have remaining is to slim the legs the tiniest amount and to shorten the front. I will definitely be writing a post about these (hopefully in the near future). 


This top is perfect for my lifestyle. It feels perfect for dressy and casual. To breastfeed in it, I wear a cami underneath and lift the shirt up from the bottom. My little one loves to grab the fabric and feel of it while she nurses. 


Here is the back. I think I nailed the back on the top and shorts. What do you think??? 


You can grab a copy of the Chirripo Top here It will be 20% off for a week to celebrate its release. 

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 PinterestFollow 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 wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Striped Swallow Designs Summer Dawn


I love dresses. They are the easiest outfit to grab and not have to think about matching a top to a bottom. They also look put together and comfortable. I recently got the opportunity to test a woven add-on to the Summer Dawn pattern by Striped Swallow. The original pattern was drafted for knit fabric only, but after much request, they have now released an addition to this pattern that will work perfect for lightweight woven fabric. 


I was feeling brave and decided to make my test version in a chiffon. I love the end result, but this chiffon did not want to press. It did not want to really cooperate with me at all. I wouldn't let it get the best of me, though, and I am pretty happy with the results. 

The pattern has the prettiest flowy sleeves that come in an elbow sleeve or short sleeve. I chose the short sleeve length. The shape of the sleeve has wonderful movement. The shoulder seams have very pretty front gathers. 



The dress comes in a short length and a maxi length. If I made another one, I would love to try the maxi length. It was a very windy day during the photo shoot so my dress kept wanting to fly up and away. I am also 5'2" and did not remove any length.


I like how the tie is constructed on the Summer Dawn wrap dress. The tie comes through a button hole so that it ties right where the bodice and skirt meet on the side. This is how my favorite RTW wrap dress is constructed.  Last year, I purchased a wrap dress pattern from another company in girls and women's sizes. I made that dress for my daughter first, and the tie set several inches from this seam so it looks a little awkward when tied. I ended up not making the pattern for myself when I saw that it was constructed the same way. I am so glad that I love the Summer Dawn construction and will be using this pattern when I want to make a wrap dress for myself in the future. 


If you have already purchased the original Summer Dawn, you will want to redownload the pattern from your account to get the updated instructions and because the knit pattern pieces have been updated to be trimless pages. Also, the original purchasers will need to get the Woven Add-On to be able to make the dress in a woven fabric because the woven pattern pieces are entirely different than the original knit pattern pieces. The Woven Add On can be found here.

If you have not purchased the original, the bundle that includes the Woven Add On can be found here

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog. I hope I have inspired you and can't wait to see what you make out of this pattern. 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: 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. 

Photo Credit: my wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson