Sewing a Basic Woven Tank

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I haven’t shared much of what I’ve been making for myself.  I wear me-made clothing everyday, but getting pictures seems to be a challenge for me.  I often write my blog post as I’m sewing so I can keep track of fitting changes, so I have many drafts sitting without pics unfortunately.

This top was actually quite simple to sew, and my daughter loves it so much she wanted to take pictures of it.  I thought it would be a fun way to share this top, and we had fun taking them!  She’s quite bossy and was often unhappy with the way I was posing, but with her guidance, you have these pics🙂

Basics Tank

This is the Basics Tank from the Cali Faye Collection.  I’ve read good things about this woven tank pattern, so I decided to go for it.  Who doesn’t need more basics in their wardrobe?  Also, the bottom hem keeps it from being like every other basic tank, and the neckline is perfect to show off necklaces.  Maybe I need to make some more jewelry!  I do also love designing beautiful jewelry.

Anyway, I used a silk blend fabric that was a remnant from Stonemountain and Daughter.  Their remnant bins are full of a variety of some pretty great fabric!  This one is soft and has a very unusual “knobby” texture.  I figured it would have a lovely drape, and I like having this solid color to pair with sweaters when it gets cooler.

Basics Tank by CaliFaye

It was very simple to sew and would be a great pattern for beginners.  It calls for bias tape to finish the neckline and armholes (you can tell I took my time and did the neckline properly, then raced to finish the armholes!), and there are no darts.  The back hemline is a bit dramatic, so I might shorten it on my next version.

So what do you think?  How did she do with the pics?  She was happy with them, so I am too🙂

Back to School Sewing

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I’m totally failing at the capsule wardrobe for my girls.  Pretty much everything clashes with each other!  My big girl loves to mix and match the weirdest prints too, so things get very interesting when she dresses herself, which is pretty much everyday.

Anyway, I’ve been stash busting (read…lots of clashing prints) and using some of my favorite free patterns.  These patterns are great too by some talented designers, and I’m glad to add these items to her back to school wardrobe (it doesn’t get cold until Halloween)!

Monkey Bar Skirt

The first pattern is the Monkey Bar Skirt from Hey June (she has more cute free patterns too).  This is a serious staple wardrobe item for any girl that likes to run around and play, and us mamas are happy because no one can see their knickers!  The cute skirt comes in two versions, one that has a dropped waist, and the one I made, and they both have little shorts underneath.  They’re also available in sizes 2-10.

Monkey Bar Skirt

I made a size 4, and I ended up taking 2″ off of the waist because she’s a skinny thing.  I do think it came out a bit short though, both the skirt and shorts, so I’ll need to make them longer in my next versions.

Scarf Neck Cardigan

My next wardrobe staple is this cute Scarf Neck Cardigan pattern from Swoon Sewing Patterns.  It runs in sizes 3/4 through 9/10.  There’s also a ladies version too, and they’re both free.  The tutorial is pretty minimal but it is clear.  I don’t recommend it for super beginners, but it’s not impossible.

Cami Tank and Scarf Neck Cardigan

I made this in a size 3/4 with a 5/6 length.  My girl decided she didn’t want all of the points at the front, so I removed the one from the side panel, blending in the bottom seam lines, but we kept the front panel point.  The sleeves are a bit on the long side, but we can easily roll them up so she has some room to grow.

I used the same thin french terry knit as I used for these Boxwood Joggers.  It’s such a cute fabric for a cardigan, although I don’t think I’d want her to wear them at the same time as the joggers, but with her you never know!  A contemporary french terry tracksuit!

Cami Tank and Scarf Neck Cardigan

I also have been wanting to try out some basic layering tank top patterns for the girls.  Here I made the Cami tank top by Simple Life Pattern Company.  It’s such a simple pattern, and if you join Simple Life’s Facebook page, you get it for free, along with a headband.  The fabric I used is a thin fashion jersey.

Cami Tank and Scarf Neck Cardigan

As soon as I finished the top but didn’t hem, she said she wanted it to be a peplum.  Luckily I had enough fabric leftover to add on a little 6″ length peplum.  She also wanted it just added to the bottom, like a drop waisted dress.  My little designer!

It turned out super cute, but when she wore it, there was serious neckline gape.  You could see all the way to her belly button from the top!  Goodness!  To figure out how much to remove, I just pinched the excess fabric at the front center neckline, then after removing the straps, cut that amount from the top of the armhole at the sides, and reattached the straps.  Much better!

Do you have any fun free back to school patterns?  Is it even back to school time anymore?  She’s been back for like a month!  I’m such a slacker😉

Thread Faction #112

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I only recently discovered Thread Faction’s grow-with-me pattern line, which Liz of Thread Faction is expanding.  What a really fun idea since babies and kids grow so quickly!  Let me just start by saying these patterns are seriously the perfect gift to make young children.  You don’t even have to worry too much about their size!

I tested #112, the grow-with-me baby and toddler suspender skirt for my littlest one.  Size 1 fits approximately 9 mos-3 years and size 2 fits 3-6 years.  My little one is approaching 3, so she’s at the top of the size spectrum for size 1, which is what I made her.  This is one of the quickest sews ever and most of the construction was done on my serger.

Thread Faction #112

I made my first test version with this really fun zebra print from Girl Charlee and the hearts knit is from JoAnn’s.  The waistband fabric has to have a lot of stretch and good recovery too to accommodate a wide range of waist sizes comfortably.  Surprisingly my girl loved the suspenders, and the bow in the back is adorable.  The skirt also provides lots of necessary twirl!

She was so happy with it, she gave it two thumbs up and a little wiggle too!

Thread Faction #112

My final version I made with some vegan leather I picked up awhile back, also from Girl Charlee.  I was going to use it for a bag, but I decided it would look adorable as a skirt.

Thread Faction #112

I hand stitched the hemline which took awhile, especially to keep it even, but I love the look of it.  The drape was better before hemming though, so I think when I make my big girl’s version I’ll leave the raw hem.

Thread Faction #112

The top is the Skola Top by E&E Patterns in another jersey print from Girl Charlee.  The fabric is a bit strange in that it just static clings to itself.  It’s almost like kitchen cling wrap, but I really love the colors, and it’s very soft too!

Thread Faction #112

I will definitely be using this pattern to make as gifts though.  I always stress about whether or not what I make will fit the little cutie, or how long it’ll fit since they all grow so quickly!  The size is adjusted by folding the waistband and also by adjusting the straps.  The bow in the back just pushes the cuteness over the top, making this such an adorable and quick sew.  I can just imagine this with a knit panel top…I just ordered the cutest Korean cat panels too (I ordered mine from a different shop, but this one is still available too, and super cute!).

Also, you could always omit the suspenders and just make it a skirt with yoga style waist band, which I also plan to do too.  I can’t wait to see what other grow-with-me styles she’s going to come out with.  I wish these were around when my girls were babies; I would’ve made tons of them!

What do you think?  Perfect baby gift, am I right?!

 

 

The Hazel – A Last Minute Summer Top

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Back when I made the Belted Shorts (sans belt), I noticed the Hazel Top pattern by Jilly Atlanta.  I decided to put it off until next year and focus on fall and winter sewing, but of course she had to do that thing again where she offered it free if you shared it within a week of purchasing.  How could I pass that up?

Hazel Top

I had this perfect yellow and white polka dotted cotton lawn in my stash, so I had to do it.  My girl LOVES yellow, so she was so happy to see me finally make something with it.  The fabric is somewhat sheer too, so the design of this top is perfect for it!

Hazel Top

The instructions are very detailed with lots of hand holding,  pictures, and links to videos.  I actually looked over the instructions, then I did it my way.  There is some hand sewing in the instructions, and I just don’t have enough time and patience sometimes for hand sewing.  This was one of those times, as I had just finished hand hemming a vegan leather circle skirt (more on that later…).

I used the burrito method to sew the arm seams.  Here’s a video tutorial of the burrito method by Lil Luxe if you haven’t used this technique before.  I had to play a little with the armpit area to make sure the side seams were facing inside, but it was easy enough.  I don’t know if the burrito method would work with the smaller sizes.  I made a size 5, and the shoulder seam is quite narrow.  I pulled the fabric through with some anxiety over popped stitches, but it all worked out.

Hazel Top

I had to sleep on how I was going to finish the side seams as both seams are facing out (the liner and the outer fabrics).  Basically I had to seam rip the ends of each arm seam by the seam allowance (you can skip this seam ripping part if you just sew the arm seams starting 1/2″ in at the beginning and stopping 1/2″ before the end).  I then sewed up the side seams, first the outer fabric side seams (making sure not to sew the lining by accident), then the liner side seams.  Then I reached in between the two layers, pulled out the arm hole seam allowance, and sewed up the opening I made at the bottom of the arm hole.  By doing it this way there was absolutely no hand sewing, making this a very quick sew.

Hazel Top

I love the way this top turned out!  It has a sophisticated yet playful look to it.  She loves it, and twirling in it made her smile which makes me smile too.  She even played horsey with her sister on her back and nothing tore!

Hazel Top

I also found out there is a Lady Hazel!  It’s by George and Ginger and was a collaboration between the two designers.  I probably won’t make it before the end of the warm season here, but I’m definitely keeping my eye out for George and Ginger sales y’all!

Now back to my fall sewing…Who’s assembly line sewing for fall and winter?  Have you sewn slippers before?  Any recommended patterns?  I’ve got my eyes on these bootie patterns from Beautiful Pie Shop.  Ever made them?

The Classic Maillot Has Sleeves!

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I don’t know whether I love sewing swimsuits or hate it.  I feel quite accomplished when I finish one, but the process can be one filled with lots of frustration!  After seeing my girls run around in their mama-made swimsuits though definitely makes it all worth it!

I tested the sleeve addition (which is going to be free) for the Classic Maillot Swimsuit by Designs by Call Ajaire.  She also added a little band in the back to keep the shoulders up, and I think she’s going to add a bow too!  She hasn’t released it yet, but if you follow her Facebook group, she’ll announce it there I’m sure.

Anyway, I’ve made several suits for my little one with this pattern here and here, but none for my big girl, so I decided to make one for her this time.

Classic Maillot with Sleeves

I really enjoy selecting fabrics because they’re so fun and colorful, but my girl usually has other ideas of what she wants.  I decided to completely ignore her this time around and go with what I wanted, especially since I have so much of this polka dot fabric!

Classic Maillot with Sleeves

Regarding size, her measurements put her all over the place, so I knew I’d have to make a muslin suit.  This is a size 4 bottom and length, size 3 everywhere else.  It’s way too big (I didn’t add the elastic at the legs if you’re wondering).  This is also the first version of the sleeves, so there’s some extra fabric at the arm hole.

Classic Maillot with Sleeves

In this version I made a size 4 bottom and size 3 everywhere else.  This is also the second sleeve version.  I decided to use a power mesh lining in the front this time.  Usually I just use a white lining since I have so much of it (I’ve heard it’s better to use nude for women’s suits though since it’s less see through).  This version was very tight lengthwise when she tried it on.  It was too short, and the power mesh didn’t let it stretch as much.  Also, she didn’t like the feeling of the power mesh against her skin.  The waist was too big, and the back was pulled taught and didn’t fit around her waist well.

Classic Maillot with Sleeves

Unfortunately when she took it off for me to make some changes to the waist, which I was going to get to the next day, my dog decided he wanted to take it to his bed.  He never does this kind of thing, so I’m not sure why he did it with this suit, but sadly the entire suit was snagged like crazy when I found it.

Classic Maillot with Sleeves

On to my next version…  My daughter then decided that she wanted a tankini to match her sissy.  I decided to do a size 3 in view E for the top, and for the bottoms I made a size 4 with a size 9 months waist.  I wasn’t sure if it would end up too tight around the waist, but she has the measurements of a size 6 months waist, and I just couldn’t bring myself to make it that small!

Classic Maillot with Sleeves

It was very easy to add the sleeves to the tankini (and yay to not having to add elastic and topstitch those armholes!).  The floral and gingham fabric are from Peek-a-Boo Fabrics and the black fabric is from Imagine Gnats.

Classic Maillot with Sleeves

The band at the back helps keep the shoulders up.  I chose short sleeves again because I figure it would be torturous for me to get wet long sleeves off of my girl.  I imagine Exorcist levels of screaming and writhing…

Classic Maillot with Sleeves

The only thing I would do differently is make the top part in black a bit longer; it looks tiny on her here.

Classic Maillot with Sleeves

I really love this suit though, when I was done that is!  The amount of time I spent seam ripping during the making of these three suits make me swear I’ll never sew another one again, but then I find myself dreaming of the next swimsuit I’ll be sewing!

I’ve already made myself a couple of bottoms, but I think it’s time to make an entire suit.  Now I need to muster up the courage to tackle that fitting adventure!  Any tips for me?  What are your favorite shops for swimsuit fabric and notions?

 

My Comfy Redwood Joggers

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Remember how I was going to make myself some Boxwood Joggers, or at least try to squeeze myself into some?  No need to now since Sew Like My Mom has released a pattern for women!  The Redwood Joggers are here!

I ordered some french terry knit fabric from Imagine Gnats, and it’s so soft I was tempted to make some kind of blanket out of it!  It’s seriously soft and fuzzy, almost sweater-like on the front, and it has 30% stretch, a good stretch for the joggers.  Unfortunately I don’t see it in her shop anymore which bums me out because I was going to make matching pairs for my girls…

Redwood Joggers Collage

Anyway, I started with the pants version in an XS.  Usually when testing a pattern I’ll have to make more than one version.  The pants version was an earlier version and was a bit snug with a higher waist, but I do still like them and will definitely wear them (except for the unfortunate way the zebra print is pointing at my crotch).  I only took quick fitting pics, so that’s what you see here, quick selfies with a cluttered background (designers don’t like cluttered backgrounds because it’s more difficult to see the clothing article, but hey, you gotta go where the light is sometimes!).

Redwood Joggers

After some changes were made to the pattern, I had just enough zebra fabric leftover to make a pair of shorts.  I really had to try hard to make it work too!  I paired it with a purple interlock fabric for the waistband and pockets.

Redwood Joggers

I absolutely love the fit of this final version!  Very comfy!  The points were much easier for me this time too, no issues!

Redwood Joggers

I tend to get extra fabric just at the top of my derriere, so for my next versions Melissa of Sew Like My Mom suggested I lower the back rise an inch and blend the line to the middle.  I have more french terry on order so I can’t wait to try this and make more joggers!  I can totally see myself lounging on the sofa this winter with a book and some tea, and my super comfy Redwood Joggers!

The Redwood Joggers are on sale right now, no code needed.  They come in 8 sizes, XS to 3XL.  As a note from the other testers’ comments, the fabric you choose will also make a difference in how fitted your pants will be.  Some that made their exact size or sized down achieved a more fitted (think leggings) look, and those that went a size up had a baggier fit, like you’d expect from joggers or sweats.  Also, when sizing your elastic, as with any leggings, make sure to stretch out your elastic and test around you before cutting.

So what do you think?  Do you like the pointy pockets on the ladies joggers as much as the kids joggers?  I wonder if matching versions would be going too far…aww who cares really?!  I’m going to do it anyway!  My girls are going to hate me when they get older, looking back at all the matchy photos!!!

A Busy Molly Dress

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I love a simple dress pattern.  One that showcases a beautiful fabric.  Why then did I use the busiest fabric in the world for this one?  Well, because that’s what my bossy kindergartener told me she wanted.  My husband was trying to explain the “trust the chef” concept to her, but no, she wanted nothing but squirrels and nuts!

Molly Dress

Anyway…the neckline on this dress, I love it!  It’s Molly’s Scoop Back Top, Dress, Maxi by Simple Life Pattern Company.  I picked it up when it was first released because I knew I wanted to make something with that darling scoop neckline!

Molly Dress

I convinced her to let me add the collar and pocket (from the Geranium Dress pattern) though, something to break up all that squirrel!  I made a size 3 bodice and 5 length, and I think it turned out rather well.  With this bodice, you need to make sure your chest measurements are right on to get the nice scoop neckline.

Molly Dress

I’m not super happy with the collar though, as it tends to flip up constantly, but when it’s down, it looks good.  I went back to the pattern and realized that the topstitching around the neckline was actually including the collar (I stitched around the neckline not including the collar).  I find that strange, but I will go back and do that now!

Molly Dress

Also, there’s no gaping at the front neckline which I’m very happy about.  She wore it all day with perfect fit, no gaping at all!

Molly Dress

Overall I’m very happy with this dress and the size combo.  It was pretty simple to put together, and she even includes a video for the placket piece.  If you’re curious about the fabric, the Squirrel and Nuts is part of the Get Together collection by David Walker for Free Spirit, and it’s a very soft baby corduroy.  The collar and pocket are Herringbone from the Flora Collection by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit too.

What do you think, should I skip the collar on my next version?  I’m making a Halloween top for her with cute little witches all over it.