Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Ellie and Mac Sienna Dress + Year Around Ruffles


Today's post is full of baby rolls, grins, ruffles, rainbow shoes, pink, and all kinds of sweetness. I hope you enjoy all the cuteness that ensues today! It is also Wacky Wednesday! This is that crazy day of the week where Ellie and Mac marks a few patterns down to just $1. This week the Sienna Dress and Tunic is included in the sale, and I am so excited to show you the one I got to sew up for my baby. 



Let's start with a moment of truth. I am a tomboy who likes pink. I did not grow up with ruffles, make up, frilly dresses, or anything close to that. If you run into me around town, I am usually in athletic clothes because I just came from or am heading to the gym, or I am in jeans and a t shirt because its rest day. I really did not start wearing make up until well into my 30s, and I think this blog has been a really good thing for me because I own lipstick now. Haha! Pattern testing has STRETCHED me to try new things, and I have discovered that I can be comfortable and feel good in styles I would never have picked on my own. 



My poor oldest daughter got dressed in leggings and t shirts as a baby. I tried to put a bow in her hair, and when she refused, I gave up. As soon as my second daughter could talk, though, she let me know she needed dresses, bows, and anything frilly she could find. Then, I had two boys. They weren't nearly as fun to dress as my second daughter. So, after those two boys, God gave me this rainbow baby - Hannah, and she is getting all the frill I can put on her. She seems to like to put on dresses too because she smiles, poses, and squeals with delight while I run around her taking photos of her.


So, I made this adorable dress for my baby this weekend, and it just makes my heart so happy. I am so happy with how well it fits her too and how all the ruffles turned out! I had several moments in the process where I wondered if I was going too far with the ruffles, but I didn't even do all of the ones included in the pattern! If you have a princess as a daughter, you need to make her this dress. 

 
It is still winter in my part of the world, so I think the dress also looks great layered over the Greenstyle Creations Bella Bubble Sleeve Tee. The Bella is such a cute basic tee for girls with a bubble sleeve. I made her the 12-18 month size, and it fits her really well. This particular Bella Bubble Sleeve Tee will be on the Minerva Crafts blog on March 4th, so be on the lookout to see the whole tee! I will update with a link once it is posted. 


My daughter is 13.5 months, and I made her a size 12-18 months in the Sienna as well. Her chest, waist, and hips actually measured into the 6-12 month size and her height was 12-18, but I knew that I wanted to be able to layer the dress during the remaining cold months so I just made the straight size 12-18 months. I am glad I did because she needed that extra room to help it to be easier to take on and off. 



Resources
  1. The Ellie and Mac Sienna Dress Pattern can be found HERE.
  2. The Fabric I used for the Dress is Ailson Glass Book Plate in Lavender.
  3. The Greenstyle Bella Bubble Sleeve Pattern can be found HERE.
  4. The fabric I used for the T shirt Cotton and Steel from Minerva Crafts. I got the Orchid colorway.
Thanks for reading! I hope I have inspired or encouraged 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.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Designer Stitch JoJo

Do you ever see a style and wonder if you can pull it off? I have to admit that I really did not think the slouchy box top suited me at all. However, I had the opportunity to test out the JoJo by Designer Stitch this past January, and I think I have come around to this style. Today's blogpost will be fun. 


I used a thinner (almost burnout type) jersey from Knitpop. I thought it would be fun to match all these stripes..... Haha! Well, I don't think it was fun, but it was certainly worth it. 


This top has no armscye seam, which is different from everything I have made. My initial go at the pattern proved that I could touch my elbow to my stomach because of how roomy the armpit area is. I pinned out some of the side seam and scooped it out some, but I couldn't really fully do that without changing the pattern all together. In testing, I pull out my Type A hat and try to sew the pattern as closely to it is drafted as possible (except for necessary size grading and height adjustments) because otherwise, I feel like a liar when I show photos on my blog. Haha! Outside of testing, I play a lot more with patterns and make sure to show you any changes I made. 

Slouchy Dolman PDF Pattern Review

I made the box length and did the wide turtleneck. Since my fabric is floppy, my turtleneck does not quite stand up, but if you used a chunky sweatshirt type fabric, you could get an awesome wide turtleneck. 


So, I have worn my finished JoJo several times since making it last month. It definitely shows my stomach (like a lot) when I lift my arms so I have learned the grocery store is not an appropriate place to wear it. I got WAY too many looks from the opposite sex when I reached for anything. I am short, so lots of arm lifting is necessary when I shop. My husband on the other hand, absolutely adores this top. He says it is one of the nicer things I have made. 

I made the long sleeve length. The final version of the pattern has sleeve cuffs included, which I HIGHLY recommend you using. The sleeve is just way too open at the ending and moves all over the place. I end up grabbing it, getting it wet, pushing it up, and just noticing it all day long. Now that the final version is released of the pattern, I plan to print the cuff and add it so that I can enjoy this top more. 


Will I sew it again? Surprisingly yes. I want to use a thick cozy sweatshirt type of fabric without drape to see how it changes the wide turtelenck. I am sure that won't be until this coming fall, though, because I already have major excitement for Spring. I also may want to make the dress version because I love dresses. 

I think I am very happy with how this JoJo turned out. If you choose to use a non-striped fabric, this may be the quickest long sleeve top you can make!


Resources
  • The Designer Stitch JoJo pattern can be found HERE.
  • The fabric I used is from Knitpop.
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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Let's Sparkle and Shine! + Updated Greenstyle Lille + Inspires + Power Sports Bra


I knew I enjoyed sewing activewear, but since the fit capsule challenge started in the Greenstyle group, I have really dove in head first. I made a plan and have been crossing things off my list left and right! I am loving it! 

I ran into Joann's last week to buy some black fabric to go with my capsule plan, and low and behold shiny, sparkly, glittery greatness jumped into my cart and went home with me. I didn't find the black I was looking for, but I was just too excited to care. I immediately messaged some fellow Greenstyle admins to tell them of my find, and I am excited to see all the glitter that will now ensue.... 

Ok, back to what was supposed to be the main topic of this blogpost (we will get to the glitter pants and bra in a moment) - the Lille has been updated!! The Lille is the beloved racerback tank from Greenstyle that comes with a maxi option, a woven skirt option and two different neckline options. The pattern was updated to now include layers and the armscye was slightly lowered to give a little bit more room. 



I made this Lille using a cotton lycra from Art Gallery that was in the pile of fabrics set aside to be used for my capsule plan, and I am excited to report that this top goes with so many things in my capsule!! I think all the colors of ice cream flavors represents a different color of bottoms I have. Yay!! It also makes me laugh every time I look at this shirt because, well, ice cream. 


I used the optional shelf bra included in the pattern and made the lower neckline. I made the XXS for my bust and graded to XS for waist and hips. I also removed an inch at the lengthen/shorten line. I love the new fit. It is just a little roomier than the Jillian (blogged about here) but still a close enough fit that it is perfect for running and higher impact. The shelf bra also gives me a little extra compression to help everything stay put while running.


Now, let's talk about the shiny fabric!! Oh my gosh guys! It is nothing like anything I have in my closet and nothing like anything I knew I needed in my closet. The color is hard to capture but I think it is kind of a cross between mocha/brown and mauve. It is like a rose gold, but darker so that I don't look naked. The ombre runs selvage to selvage so I cut my pants on the cross grain. Remember this if you run out to purchase that you will need a little extra.  


This fabric is not very thick and feels very comfortable to wear. Granny panties will show through so you will need a No Show Thong (I blogged about those here), or if you aren't a thong kind of girl, just wear a tunic or longer backed shirt.


This foil print fabric makes an absolutely great bra. I used the Power Sports Bra pattern (blogged about here) and finally found cups that really work!! I have ordered several different kinds and none worked yet, so I took the advice of some of the other testers and ordered these on Amazon.


I lined the sports bra with the same fabric, but I faced the wrong side of the fabric towards my skin on the lining. I really didn't care for the foil facing towards my skin. It's not itchy and is a soft texture, but I knew no one would be seeing the inside. I used the keyhole racerback option and removed 1.75 inches from the strap length to get the perfect fit. I think this style is one of the quicker ones to make, but I still really love my strappy versions. 



For my tights, I used the Greenstyle Inspire tights. They have become my go to quick activewear tights pattern when I don't want a side seam. 


What do you think of the shiny fabric? Is it something you would wear? Do you have a hard time walking into a fabric store and not walking out with the new shiniest thing (literally!)?

I hope you are also enjoying the Greenstyle Fitness Capsule with me. It is not too late to join us
in the Greenstyle Facebook group. All activewear patterns are on sale (25% off!) through February 25, and the Fitness Capsule Challenge will end on March 11.


Resources
  1. The Lille tank pattern can be found HERE. If you already own the pattern, the update will be in your account. 
  2. The Inspire tights can be found HERE.
  3. The Power Sports bra pattern can be found HERE
  4. I bought cups from Amazon for my bra HERE. I also bought my clear elastic to stabilize the seams in my Sports Bra on Amazon HERE
  5. The Ice Cream Flavors FABRIC for my top can be found HERE
  6. The FABRIC that is shiny and foil printed is from Joann and is not listed on their site. It is labeled on my receipt as DNSP201 Toast Speckle 400163678496. Use your coupon; it is a little more than I normally spend on athletic fabric!
Thanks for reading! I hope I have inspired or encouraged 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.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Itch to Stitch Orono: Sewing Winter Layers


I love getting to work on a pattern that has lots of new concepts for me. These "sewing firsts" are really how I learned to sew. I learned the basics of sewing as an early teenager from my stepmom, but I did not really make it a hobby until I was pregnant with my second daughter over 8 years ago. I really had no idea where to start so I would just pick a project I wanted to make and learn everything I needed to make that project. Well, I have been doing that for 8 years now, and it has turned me into a confident seamstress who is always ready for a new challenge. 

I recently signed up to test the latest pattern by Itch to Stitch - the Orono Top. This pattern is designed as a winter layering piece or a cozy sweatshirt. I am so glad to share the top I made in testing and my thoughts on this pattern today! This was definitely not a challenging top to sew, but I was surprised to see that I still had a few "sewing firsts" when making it that made sewing the top really fun. 


Fabric

Let's start with my fabric thoughts on this top. I used a thick and cozy organic bamboo fleece for my top. I have a lot of this stuff laying around, and it was actually one of the few fabrics in my stash that met the stretch requirements for the pattern. The pattern requires fabric to have 15-30% stretch. I have lots of french terries, sweatshirt fleeces, and other cozy winter fabrics, but every fabric I tested from my stash was over the stretch requirements. This fabric has no spandex and the stretch came out to 25% horizontally and none vertically. If you use a fabric with more stretch, you will need to possibly size down. 


The entire time I was sewing this top, I kept thinking it was going to be way too heavy and thick to be worn indoors because of how heavy this fleece felt. After it was done, though, I did not want to take it off. It was so warm and cozy! I have already worn it several times since. I was glad it worked and also glad that it was white. I have noticed my white tops get worn a lot because they go with so many of my pants and fun leggings. 


Sewing Firsts 

This top is really not that complicated or a long sewing project, but I was so surprised to see that I still had some new "sewing firsts!" I have never constructed a welt pocket on the seam. It was really fun and easy to do and made me wish I had more pockets designed like this! I now want to adapt this fun method to every top I think it would be suitable for! I just can't tell you enough how amazing these pockets were to sew and are to wear!


The next sewing first that I had is sewing a raglan sleeve after sewing the side seam. I know this is very minor, but I have never made a raglan that was constructed like this. I know that it was done this way due to the pocket construction, and it was just another fun feature. 


Big Head Problems

So... I must have a big head for my size! I made a size 0 and graded to a 2 at the hips. BUT this collar was not going on over my head, even with my fabric being at the top end of the stretch requirements for the pattern. I am glad I tried it on before attaching it (seam ripper avoided!). So, I started over. I took the collar piece, shortened it an inch in height and add an inch to the width. Even with the added full inch, it was not comfortable going over my head. I didn't want to widen it more because I didn't want to change the design of the shirt and knew that a wider collar was not the intended look. I kept it with just the added inch and attached it. Thankfully, I don't take my shirt on and off all day (except when I am sewing and need to try on a lot). I have mine folded down in these photos and that is how I plan to wear it. 


Does it have breastfeeding access? 

The next question that I have seen from several people is asking if you can breastfeed in this top. I think the image of a tulip style front reminds people of the tulip style breastfeeding tops. My opinion is that this is not a top specifically for breastfeeding. Yes, you can definitely breastfeed in it, but you are lifting up both petals just like you would any other top that you lift up from the bottom. This is because the petals are attached at the raglan seam and will be pushed up over the breast. In a traditional tulip style nursing top, the petals are attached partly through the shoulder seam and not at the armscye so that you can push it over and have free access of the breast. Having said all that - I am definitely nursing in this top because I have a nursing baby, but it is not the most convenient nursing access in my opinion. 


I am so glad that I made this top. I have been dreaming of Spring and already making lots of Spring items, but the weather outside has not cooperated with my dreams. I am glad I am staying warm in this sweatshirt and love its beautiful design!

Resources
  1. You can purchase the Orono Top pattern HERE
  2. The fabric I used is Organic Bamboo Fleece from Simplifi Fabric
  3. My pants are the SOS Pants that I blogged about 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.