Pattern Review: Trailblazer Vest


Pattern Description: Women’s Trailblazer Vest by Twig and Tale

Pattern size made: Size G per measurement chart

View made: Zipper closure + wind flap. Yoke back + curved dropped hem

Fabric/Notions used:

  • Outer – 1 yard Burgundy Nylon/Lycra Heavy Activewear from Fabric Mart
  • Lining – 1 yard Faux fur from thrift store
  • Notions – 6 sets Black Kamsnaps

Woven fabrics are suggested for this pattern. I decided to use a heavy activewear because it was quite stable and didn’t have a lot of stretch.

Alterations: Took in the bust area slightly.

Skill level: Twig and Tale rates this as Adventurous Beginner to Intermediate. I agree with that recommendation.

Look and Fit: Garment fit as intended – slightly loose – other than having to take in some fabric at the bust area. I think I could have gone down a size as the fit was quite loose.

Pattern drafting and instructions: Pattern is well drafted and easy to understand. Instructions are excellent! Detailed instructions include videos to follow along as well as tips on fitting issues that are easy to follow even for beginning sewists.


Vests are one of those things that we’re never in my wardrobe and I’m not exactly sure why. I had made this pattern once before as a gift and intended to get back to it to make one for myself.

I had this burgundy activewear fabric that I had bought not realizing that it was VERY heavy weight, too heavy for most of my activewear patterns, and with only a yard I had no idea what to do with it.

And then I found the faux fur at a thrifts store and it hit me!

Vest pattern + athletic fabric + faux fur = cozy goodness in the PNW


I wore the finished vest recently to walk to my child’s school on a morning that was chilly but I knew I’d get too warm in a coat. It kept my core warm but not too warm and the faux fur made it seriously comfortable. I normally don’t like anything that touches my neck but I did not mind zipping the vest all the way up. And of course: pockets!!

An overwhelmingly positive experience with a lovely pattern that was also fun to sew.


Montlake Tee

Straight Stitch Designs just re-released it’s Montlake Tee pattern and it is simply lovely. The perfect closet staple and great intro pattern for those just getting into knit fabrics.

I somehow always have a shortage of t-shirts in my wardrobe (lots of tanks, lots of sweaters and sweatshirts) so I’m on a constant lookout for a flattering t-shirt. I prefer a loose fit through the body of my T-shirst and the Montlake is nice, loose swing style tee that fits the bill just right.


The pattern has been thoughtfully redesigned to include sizes 0 through 34 with B and D cup pattern pieces. The tutorial goes even further and gives instructions on how to do a full bust adjustment and a full bicep adjustment. It also comes with two neckline options – V-neck or scoop – and four sleeve lengths.

Mine is made with a floral print poly cotton blend. I’m a sucker for florals and I had this piece leftover from a T-shirt I sewed a couple years ago and wore it down to threads. I was excited to have a reason to use up the remaining fabric.


I made a straight size 8 with no adjustments, however I took a slightly smaller seam allowance with the neckband to accommodate the poor stretch and recovery of the fabric. I probably should have done the afore mentioned bicep adjustment but I like to sew patterns up as written on the first go around. It’s designed for a 5’9″ height but I’m a couple inches shorter and didn’t need to make any adjustments.

All in all a thoughtful redesign of a timeless classic. If you already own it, you can download the update for free or purchase for the first time for 20% off during the anniversary sale. Use code SSD5YEARS for 20% off Montlake and any other pattern through Sunday 9/29.



Nova Raglan Sweater

I love a cozy sweater. For many years I was a cardigan girl, but in the last year I’ve developed a deep love for a crew neck sweater or sweatshirt. I saw the Nova by Sinclair Patterns come up for testing and knew it was the perfect cozy raglan for my sweater obsession.


I have a loose fitting raglan pattern from another designer who shall remain nameless but I’ve never loved it and haven’t sewn it for few years. What sets Nova apart, as with all Sinclair patterns, is the professional drafting and the different height options.

I technically fit in the TALL sizing of Sinclair’s patterns but I’m finding my personal preference leans toward the fit of the REGULAR sizing. Easy enough, I can just pick different set of pattern pieces. No fussing with making height adjustments like with other designers.

The first version of Nova that I made is the basic crew neckline, and a draw string waistband in a tall height. My usual size 6 bust, graded to a size 8 waist and hips. It’s worth mentioning that all Sinclair patterns give instructions for grading patterns if you fall between sizes like me. Custom fitting all the way.



I’m very into drawstring and tied hems right now so this really hit the sweet spot for me. The patch pocket is a nice detail too.

The body is made with a black sweater knit that you may recall way back from the Danielle Batwing Top – I had over a yard leftover that’s been waiting for the perfect use. The sleeves are a glitter mystery fabric that is similar in weave and structure to liverpool fabric. There is also a bit of double brushed poly for the neck band. All from Knitpop.



(Please note: this was an early version from testing so it’s slightly different that the final product but I still thought it was cute and wanted to share)

My second piece I decided to try out the cowl and kangaroo pocket. This time I went with the regular height and my usual size 6/8/8 grading again.

The main body is made from a brushed french terry that came in a Knitpop scrap box. I have to talk about this fabric – it.was.a.mess – BUT it was a generous size. I was able to do a little fabric origami and get just enough fabric from what would have otherwise gone to the trash and I’m glad I did because it’s is soooooooo soft.


The sleeves are made from a poly blend fabric from a Boho Fabrics mystery box that I’ve been holding on to for two years because it was too pretty to cut into without the perfect project.


I love the fit of the cowl on this one. I sometimes find cowls a bit suffocating but this is just loose enough to make me feel comfortable. However, I did skip the drawstring on the cowl out of personal preference.

Nova is on sale for $7.99 through 18th of September no code needed. 


Mia Maxi and Midi Skirt

About two weeks ago I was cleaning out some clothes that no longer fit and all of my maxi skirts had to go. I started hunting through my pattern stash for a maxi skirt pattern. I had a free one I’d used the the past but didn’t love it, so I just set the whole thing aside.

Then Sinclair Patterns came to the rescue (as always) with the new Mia Maxi and Midi skirt. You guys, I made three of them in as many days! Let’s jump into it shall we?

All of the skirts are a tall, size 8 in double brushed poly from the wonderful Knitpop.

First up a simple maxi in this gorgeous floral that I’ve been hoarding for months. I sometimes stay away from white because it can be a bit sheer but I’ve been wearing this skirt around town this week with no problems.

My absolute favorite thing about this pattern is the side slits. I love the look of maxi skirts but I sometimes find them a little restrictive to walk around in. The side slits completely solve that problem and are incredibly easy to sew.

Second I decided to do the midi length. I have a well documented hatred of shorts so I love a simple pull on skirt for hanging out around the house in the summer.


I went with the side slits again and am so happy with that decision. It’s been really hot (by my Pacific Northwest standards) and this skirt was so comfortable. It also goes great with the Gaia tank top that I shared last time.

Last I made this striped number. About half way through the testing process a pleated waistband was added to the pattern. I was crazy busy and I’d already made two skirts but I HAD to make that waistband  – sometimes a technique just calls to you – and I could not be happier with how it turned out.


I mean check out these pleats!! The drama of it! The pattern offers fantastic detailed instructions and marking that make sewing the pleats a total breeze.

The only modifications I made in the end was to shorten the maxi by about one inch, because I’m on the bottom of the tall measurements I often need to make a slight adjustment.

One last thing. I love a contrasting lining on my garments. I think it’s a fun way to add some personalization and gives a boutiquey look. It’s also a great way to use smaller scraps of fabric.


Mia is on sale for $5.99 through August 11th – no code needed.


Gaia Tank Top

I have this ready to wear shirt that I wear all the time. We all that article of clothing gets put on the minute it comes out of the laundry. It’s got an open upper back and a back slit that you can tie or leave loose. I’ve tried a couple times to recreate it but my self-drafting skills leave something to be desired.

Then Sinclair came out with the Gaia Tank Top this week and it was everything I wanted. Self draft no more.

Gaia is an athletic style tank top with a really fun key hole cross over back and an optional slit in the back that you can tie. The main pieces come together super quick and the binding – which is a little fussy I’ll admit – is so worth the time as it’s given the cleanest finish I’ve ever gotten on a binding.

The first Gaia I made was in this beautiful double brushed poly (DBP) I got from a Raspberry Creek Fabrics knit mystery box. It’s actually a vertical floral stripe but I liked it better horizontal and luckily DBP is pretty flexible when it comes to stretch direction. This top is so so comfortable too. I know a lot of people complain about DBP being too hot for them but I love it all year.


I made my usual size 6 bust graded out to a size 8 waist and hips. I usually fit into the tall range on Sinclair patterns so I made the tall but I actually found it a bit long in this instance. If you like a longer top it’s great though. I love how the key hole gives me a chance to show off the cute back on one of my favorite sports bras.


The second one I made is a gray athletic knit from Jo Ann Fabrics. The binding is from a buttery soft scrap of lavender athletic fabric from The Fabric Fairy. Both are fairly heavy weight fabrics which made sewing the binding a bit more challenging and bulky. If I had it to do over again I would have used a lighter weight fabric for the binding. But again…like butter this fabric.


I went with the same size but in the regular length this time and I love the fit on me. I wore this one out running the other day and it was so comfortable (I mean as comfortable as one can be while running) and I feel cute it too.


Gaia is on sale for $6.99 through 4th of August, Sunday – no code needed.


Wedgwood Skirt

I love looking through Mod Cloth at the wild printed skirts and vintage styles. I’m not sure I’m an interesting enough person to pull off those looks but I can dream. So with that in mind, I found a one yard piece of this purse print fabric at the thrift store for a few bucks and it reminded me of those skirts I love.

I started searching out a good pleated skirt pattern and then I remembered… I already had a fantastic one in the Wedgwood by Straight Stitch Designs!

I had made this skirt once before when I was pretty new to sewing and I had been meaning to get back to it. I’m happy to report my sewing skills have in fact improved (go me!). I find the fit to be true to size and the instructions are easy to follow. I especially like the instructions for the zipper and the waistband.

The best parts, though, are the cute little details! The pocket flaps, which are a little hidden in this wild print, elevate what would otherwise be a fairly basic pleated skirt.



And the waistband is finished with the neatest method ever! I swear I’m modifying all of my waistbands to this method. It’s finished off with a button tab that I added these adorable little blue buttons to (same as the pocket flaps). I inserted a shorter zipper than the one called for in the pattern – 7″ instead of the recommended 9″.  I kinda love the contrast that it provides.


Paired with my current favorite t-shirt (any other Schitt’s Creek fans out there?) and it makes for the fun outfit of my Mod Cloth dreams.


Daisy Woven Blouse

Once again I have the pleasure of bringing you a new pattern from Sinclair Patterns. The Daisy Woven Blouse went through an exhaustive testing process in order to provide multiple cup sizes and a great fit.

This pattern features a super cute pleated front as well as a pleat detail on the sleeves. Speaking of sleeves, those are available in a short petal or long with an elastic wrist. Finally a flattering curved hem and bias binding to finish the neckline.

I made two final versions of the Daisy. Both are a tall size 8, graded out to a 10, A cup. It was warm out the week I was sewing these up so I went with the petal sleeve, but I tested the long sleeve in an earlier version and I have plans to sew a final one of those soon.

The first blouse I made is a gorgeous vertical strip chambray that came from a rare Knitpop woven auction box. I’ve been hoarding this one for a bit as I only had one yard and wanted to make something special with it.

The second is made with a polyester peachskin that I got from Fabric Mart. I got this fabric as a 3 yard pre-cut which I used most of for a dress for my daughter but had just enough left over to squeeze out this top. I love the drape of the pleats in this fabric. This is definitely a preferred fabric for this particular pattern.


Daisy is on sale now so get your copy here.


Lauren Knit Top and Dress

I love cozy sweaters. I love interesting design. I love a challenge. Lauren from Sinclair Patterns  checks all three boxes.

Lauren is a draped front top or dress with pleating details at the shoulder and waist. The wrapped front gives an asymmetrical neckline.  As per usual the pattern comes in a large size range and three height options. Now I’ll be honest, those pleats – not for the faint of heart – but so worth it!


I sewed up both variations: a dress in a brightly patterned ITY and and the top made from a polkadot sweater knit. Both fabrics are from Knitpop auction boxes. As you’ll see, fabric choice is hugely important in determining how this pattern drapes and fits.

First I made the ITY dress. This is so comfortable!! It’s cold and windy here now, but when the weather warms up I think it’ll be in heavy rotation. I was concerned that the wrap would be loose and show off more than I’d like, but the weight of the ITY keeps everything in place and modest. The slightly dropped waist gives it a different look that I haven’t seen lately and I kinda love it. You should see the way the skirt moves too.

The second was the polkadot sweater. This time the draped front fell further from my body. I don’t necessarily need an undershirt with it but it makes me feel better. I wore this to my kids’ school the week after I made it and got tons of complements and I was supremely comfortable while cutting 50 little handprints out of construction paper.


Get your copy here, you’re going to love it.


Dakota Tunic

Sinclair has a new pattern out!! I’ve quickly fallen in love with Sinclair Patterns for consistently high quality patterns. This week they came out with the new Dakota Tunic and Dress.

This pattern has a curved hem, button (true or faux plackets) or plain front, and several neckline and sleeve length options.


I made the tunic length version with the true placket front, crew neck, and 3/4 length sleeves. This one is made with a liverpool double knit from Knitpop. It wasn’t exactly a recommended fabric but I made it work because I love this print so much.

As always the pattern comes in petite, regular, and tall. The PDF file has layers for each size to blend between sizes – I blended from a size 6 bust to a size 8 waist and hips.


Because I was using liverpool I had to fudge a few things. First, I used a different fabric for the neck binding, a VERY thin stretchy rayon spandex. I highly recommend this if you’re using a thicker fabric as it helps keep the neckline from being too bulky and puckering. Second, I did snaps instead of buttons. My button foot did not like the texture of this fabric and kept jamming so I pulled out my trusty KAM Snaps and got to work. Of course I forgot to switch the direction of overlap when I decided to do snaps, but you know what, I think that’s an archaic artifact of fashion’s past that really doesn’t matter anymore. So there.


All in all, a great experience. I wore this on a full on Mom-mode day and was comfortable and cute, win-win. I have some really fun ITY that I think I’m going to use to make another one in dress length (keep an eye on my Instagram for that).

The Dakota pattern is on sale  for $8.99 through 12/15/18 so, you know, go get yourself a little something for Christmas!



Deer Creek Dress

Oh Fall how I have missed you! By mid-August I am a thousand percent done with summer and start dreaming of cold weather sewing. Of course it’s still pretty warm here most days so I’m all about a transitional dress like the Deer Creek from New Horizons Designs.


I’ve been eyeing this pattern since it came out and finally bought it during their Labor Day sale this year. Why oh why did I wait so long!?

This is a dolman sleeve dress that can be made in short or long sleeve. It also has a tunic variation that I’m going to have to try soon too. The dress length comes just to the calf which is a length that I don’t always find flattering on my body but the curved hem makes it work. I think if I make it next year for warm weather I’ll shorten the skirt a bit.



I made a straight medium according to my measurements and it fits great and is so comfortable. I did add a little length to the elastic in my second one because I get a little fussy if things are too tight around my middle.

The first one I made was this black “Jolene” print double brushed poly (DBP) from Knitpop. I’ve been holding on to this fabric specifically for this dress and it’s everything I hoped it would be.


The second is this beautiful mustard yellow floral DBP that I picked up from Fabric Mart also just for this dress. I’m looking forward to pairing these with boots and a scarf for a cute winter outfit.


I did make a few changes in the order of assembly because of my personal preferences but otherwise the directions were clear and easy to follow. I also made a mistake assembling the waistband the first time but that was on me for not following the directions. When I went back and made a second one it was pretty clear in the instructions what I did wrong. This is what I get for sewing while listening to podcasts.

All in all a totally positive review from me. This a fantastic dress pattern.

**This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.**