Rio Tank Top

I love a tank top. I am always hot so I wear them year round. I’ve been on the hunt for my perfect tank pattern and the new Rio Tank Top from Sinclair patterns in top of the list. By far the cleanest finishes on a tank pattern I have yet tried.

If you hate (as I do) hemming curves you are in for a treat because this tank is hemmed using a facing. You get beautiful enclosed hem with a perfect curve and point at the sides.

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The pattern also has my favorite binding method (previously seen on the Gaia Tank pattern). Perfect for those of us who don’t have a coverstitch machine but want a professional looking finish.

I made both of mine a basic racerback tank, but the pattern also comes with a color blocked option and dress length. It also has two back options – racerback or classic back.

My first tank is made in a gorgeous Art Gallery cotton lycra knit. This is a size 6 bust, graded out to an 8 waist and hip in the regular height. Have I mentioned lately how lovely it is that Sinclair provides multiple heights on all patterns?

I took the opportunity of the faced hem to do a contrasting fabric on the inside. No one sees it but me but I love little details like that.

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The second one I sewed is a rayon knit from JoAnn fabrics. This one is a lot lighter and has a good deal more drape to it. And oh so comfortable!

On sale at a promo price of $5.99 through today. Grab your copy here.

**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS**

Valley Skater Dress

How’s everyone doing? Yeah….me too. After spending a weekend sewing masks I was desperately in need of something to clear my head and cheer me up, so when Sinclair Patterns asked if anyone wanted to test their new FREE pattern I was all in.

The Valley Skater Dress is a fun just because dress and yep, it’s free.

And….pockets. Free pockets.

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I had this striped abstract print in my stash. I really love the color but I wasn’t sure if the print was for me. I am so happy I went for it though, I could not be more thrilled with this dress. Not to mention after weeks of living in yoga pants and t-shirts, it felt great to do my hair and get dressed up even if it was only for these pictures.

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Honestly, even if this wasn’t free I’d buy it and make a hundred. It’s loaded with skirt, neckline, and sleeve options – check out the lantern sleeves in the pattern, so cool! – and has a great pleated detail to the knee length skirt.

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This is my new go-to dress pattern, available here. Also, while you’re there everything else is 20% off right now.

**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS**

Lulu Romper

We’re back with the florals folks! You knew I couldn’t stay away.

I love the look of romper and that they have the ease of a dress with the practicality of pants. So of I immediately jumped at the chance to test Sinclair Patterns new Lulu romper , and I have say: I felt pretty dang cute in this.

The pattern is loaded with options: It’s a romper, top, shorts, and pants pattern all in one. I love the fit of the shorts so I’m planning a few of just those for summer. Don’t like rompers? The upper portion is also a super cute wrap front top. Can’t decide? Make separates in matching fabric to wear apart or together for a faux-romper.

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I had this beautiful white and with rose print liverpool that I purchased from Knitpop a couple years ago, and I knew it wanted to be a romper. It’s a size 6 bust, size 8 waist and hips in the regular height.

Rompers always seem to me like a huge project to take on, but this went super quick and I was able to sew the whole thing in an afternoon. The way the neckline comes together is quite clever and makes for a fun sew with no fussy neckbands.

The romper has an elastic waistband plus a draw string so you can adjust the fit to your comfort. I personally like to have a waistband that just fits and then tighten or loosen the drawstring as needed.

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Lulu is on sale for $7.99 until March 15th.

**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS**

Journey Zip Up Hoodie

I finally did my first pattern test of the year and we’re starting off on a pretty high note. The Journey Hoodie is Sinclair Pattern’s latest pattern release. It’s a loose fitting zip up hoodie loaded with options.

There are three hood/collar options: a full hood, a half hood, and a standing collar.

There are also three pocket options: kangaroo, zippered, and cargo.

Mix and match to your heart’s delight.

Afraid of sewing zippers? Don’t be! The tutorial included with the pattern will hold your hand through the whole thing. I’ve sewn a number of zippers now but this was definitely one of my most successful.

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The first one I made has a full hood and zippered pockets. It’s a size 8, regular height. I technically fit into Sinclair’s tall sizing, but because I have a short waist and long legs I find that for tops I prefer the regular height.

Fabric is a honeycomb grid, poly mystery, performance fabric from Jo Ann Fabrics and the inside is fully lined with a Polartec box weave performance fabric from Fabric Mart. I did a little off-label sewing, as I am wont to do, and lined the body (the pattern as written only calls for lining the hood). There were two reasons for this: 1) I really wanted to use that Polartec but it was too thin on it’s own and 2) I wanted the hide the pockets and keep them from flopping around on the inside.

How to do this little hack? Simple! Cut extra pieces of the body and sleeves from lining. Construct the zippered pockets as written in the instructions on the OUTER FABRIC ONLY. Then layer the lining fabric and the outer fabric with finished pockets wrong sides together. From there simply treat them as one piece and continue on your merry way.
WARNING: This does create a lot of bulk. Prepare to break some needles.

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Check out the contrast pink and green zippers you guys!! I used a strip of bright pink for the neckline binding to go with the pocket zippers.

Hoodie number two was much more straight forward. Except for the sleeves. We’ll get to that.

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This time I did the full hood and the kangaroo pockets, same sizing as before. I mixed four fabrics to get this look. The tan and green are brushed french terry, the cuffs and bottom band are a rib knit, and the hood is lined with a green rayon spandex. Everything except the rayon spandex came from Knitpop, mostly in scrap packs. Scrap busting for the win!!

So the sleeves. Super simple hack. To get the stripes I cut and added strips of tan fabric to the green and then laid my sleeve pattern piece on top and treated it like stripes. I could not be happier with how it turned out.

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I love the clean and professional finishes on this pattern. It’ll definitely going into heavy rotation. Today is your last day to get it at the intro price of $7.99 so hurry and get your copy now!

**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS**

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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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.

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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. 

**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.**

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.

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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.

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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.

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

**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS**

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS**

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.

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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.

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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.

**THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.**