A few weeks back I bought a bunch of strawberry pink seersucker fabric from Fabric Mart. I had no plans for it other than I really liked the idea of a seersucker dress and maybe some shorts for summer.
Then I stumbled on a pattern test for the Victoire Dress from new to me designer Laela Jeyne. Joy! It had just what I was looking for in a summer dress:
Thin straps, a fitted bodice, buttons, pockets (of course!), and a tea length option.
How lovely did this dress turn out!? I’m calling it my beach town dress. The perfect little summer dress for walking the boardwalk.
Like all woven patterns, it’s recommended that you make a muslin of at least the bodice to fine tune the fit, BUT Laela Jeyne was kind enough to release this dress with multiple cup sizes (A through E!). I love when designers do that, it really cuts down on the number of alterations that need to be done. I’ll confess, I could have done one or two more muslins to get a perfect fit, but I’m still happy with the end result.
I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with zippers lately and I feel pretty comfortable with those. When I saw the button placket on this dress I was like “oh no problem”.
Yeah…my button skills are a little rusty it turns out. It didn’t help that my button foot kept getting stuck on the fabric. However I love the look of the button down front.
I’ve been seeing pleated front pants popping up in trends, but as a child of the 80s I just couldn’t get behind it. Until now. I trust Sinclair to put out a great, well drafted pattern so I couldn’t wait to dive into the new Moon Wide Leg Pants and was not disappointed.
Now for a disclaimer: I tested a very early version of these pants so the fit is slightly different in the final pattern for sale. The final version is a bit slimmer with a lot less volume in the back and then pleats are optional. That said, the look is very much the same.
As with all Sinclair patterns, this one comes in sizes 0-22 and Petite, Regular, and Tall. Mine are size 8 – Tall. I fall right on the bottom edge of the tall sizing but I wanted them to be long so I could wear heels. This pattern can also be made in shorts and culotte length, and has an optional attached front tie.
These are a light weight chambray with a linen look that purchased from Fabric Mart a few months back.
The back of the Moon Pants uses encased elastic, so these are super comfortable as well. After I finished taking pictures I ended up just wearing these around the house the rest of the day.
My Madrona is made with a mystery fabric that I bought at a thrift store a couple years ago and has been waiting in my stash for the perfect project. I absolutely love the light, floatiness of it.
Of course, I can’t miss an opportunity for a floral or a contrast facing so I used some Liberty of London lawn that my sister got for me when she visited Liberty’s store in London over the summer (I know right!).
The pattern instructions include french seams and a different style waist band application that creates a nice, clean finish.
I fell between sizes, but decided to go down to a 10 which worked great. The waist band is simply wrapped and buttons applied in the most comfortable position so you have a lot of flexibility in sizing.
I was worried that the wrap wasn’t going to give enough coverage, but there is plenty of overlap between the two sides, so you never have to feel like you’re showing too much leg (unless you want to of course).
Ruffles are everywhere right now. Romantic, feminine, and fun; I jumped at the chance to test Designer Stitch’s latest pattern, Synthia.
Ruffles in coral pink, I couldn’t help myself. I found the polyester spandex blend at JoAnn Fabrics and knew it was the one. Which brings me to a couple a key notes on fabric choice for this top:
Drape. Lots of it. You don’t want to pick a fabric that’s got too much structure or you’re going to end up with wings instead of a lovely cascade of ruffles.
No single sided fabric. This is noted in the pattern instructions, but you want to make sure you pick a fabric that has no discernible right or wrong sides. The ruffles are going to show both sides. Like so:
Synthia has two length options and comes in cup sizes B, C, D, and DD (E). Mine is the longer length with a B cup bodice and graded from a size 3 at the bust to a 4 at the waist. It includes bust darts to help give it more fit and shape. You can wear it fitted or my loose like mine. The back has an invisible zipper which is easy to instal with the directions in the pattern.
Incidentally, just as I was about to start working on my Synthia top, I ran across this photo of the ever fashionable Kathryn Newton in my Instagram feed wearing a strikingly similar look:
Nothing beats a good structured skirt. Especially in winter. Especially made of lovely blue corduroy.
The new Santi skirt from Designer Stitch is a great exercise in structure and construction. It gives you the opportunity to play around with your top stitching skills while still being quick and painless to construct.
All the pockets.
Cell phone sized pockets.
The skirt comes with an optional belt as well that really pulls the whole thing together.
Santi is on sale from Designer Stitch for a limited time. As a bonus, if you join the pattern support group on Facebook you can get a code for an additional $1 off.
It is decidedly Fall here in the Pacific Northwest, the best kind of Fall…October. So of course when I saw the Acacia Top from Sinclair Patterns I knew it had to be made in springy, bright, buttercup yellow, rayon challis.
I am nothing if not a giant ball of contradiction.
I am not great with woven fabrics and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon. They require a level of precision and patience that I don’t always posses. That said, the Acacia was so much fun and easy to put together, a great beginner pattern. Every piece came together nicely, even the facings, which I have an uncanny knack for messing up.
Sinclair Patterns is one of the few PDF pattern designers out there who puts out patterns that are truly unique. Not just styling, but technique as well. I feel like I learn something new ever time I try one of their patterns.
The day I got out to take pictures was one of those wonderful sunny, warm Fall days that we get here in the PNW that make you love October. After wearing this top out in the sun I knew this would probably be one of those tops that gets tucked away for the winter but will be so perfect when the sun returns to us next spring.
**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.**
Sometimes I see a girls pattern and think “I want that in my size!” and sometimes a designer comes through for me and makes that happen.
Mama Adelyn is yet another of my new fall staples and the first adult pattern put out by Petite Stitchery & Co. It’s the perfect top to wear with leggings. The pointed hem gives great front and back coverage. It also has a dress length option that I can’t wait to try.
The swing style is a personal favorite of mine. I love that it’s fitted at the bust and then just floats away from the body, so no need for me to grade out the size on the bottom.
The fabric that I used is a single brushed poly from Sly Fox Fabrics. Normally I’m all floral all the time but I wanted something different for this pattern. The boho geometric print is a little out of my comfort zone, but I love how it turned out and I get tons of complements every time I wear it.
The pattern is on sale Tuesday 10/24 – Sunday 10/29. If you like a mom and me option there’s a bundle as well. Go grab it quick!
**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.**
I was recently introduced to a new-to-me designer, Sinclair Patterns, and I have to say it’s love at first pattern. I had the joy of testing out the new Danielle Batwing Top and it’s quickly risen to the top of my favorite things to wear.
I loved it so much I made two! One in a very lightweight cream colored fabric, and other in a black slubbed sweater knit. The are both so so comfortable.
Somehow last spring I ended up with a bunch of sweater knits from Knitpop (so weird right!). I’ve been hoarding them all summer waiting for the perfect Fall and Winter patterns. The Danielle Batwing is exactly what I was waiting for.
I am a sucker for tiny details and unconventional construction methods so the binding on this top really hit the sweet spot for me. It gives the outside a nice clean look while giving me the chance to put a fun contrasting fabric on the inside.
Of course the highlight of this top is the cross back which I have been seeing everywhere in ready-to-wear clothing. It requires a little “sewing origami” but is doable even for beginners and the look is so worth the effort.
The long waistband is super flattering and can be worn several ways. This also sews up really fast thanks to the dolman “batwings”.
I’m certain this top is going to get a lot of wear this fall. In fact I have a dark green sweater knit that is just begging to be made into another one.
**I received a free copy of this pattern as part of the testing process. All opinions are my own.**
As the summer is starting to wind down I finally have some time to sew and blog. I don’t know about you but it’s been a crazy summer here. Lots of making memories, not so much with the making clothes.
Totally worth it.
I’ve been wanting to stretch my seamstress skills lately and get out of my comfort zone. My specialty is working with knit fabric; it’s quick and it’s pretty forgiving of mistakes (read: laziness), but there also isn’t a ton of variety in technique. So when Designer Stitch recently put out a testing call for the new Kristen dress I jumped at the chance.
Kristen is a dress made with woven fabrics. It includes a back zipper, darts throughout the bodice, princess seams, ruffles, and a pleated skirt. It also includes an optional belt and bell sleeve that is so elegant.
We’re coming into fall here and when I saw this mustard yellow floral print on rayon challis I knew it would be perfect for Kristen.
I have a wide shallow bust which means that I have never had a store bought dress fit me properly. I loved having the opportunity to fit a dress to my figure exactly. The Kristen does require making a muslin (or two) in order to get that perfect fit, but the bodice pieces come together so quickly that it really wasn’t a big deal.
My Kristen is a 2 graded to a 4 at the waist with a couple small modifications to get that perfect fit.
If you want to tackle the Kristen I highly recommend joining the Designer Stitch Pattern Support Facebook group where you can get some great fitting advice from some awesome seamstresses.
This is a pattern I know I’ll be coming back to. In fact one of the other testers made one in a heavy weight fabric that I am dying to try.
This time is the Bryant dolman top. Fun fact: when I first moved to Seattle I lived in a little house in the Bryant neighborhood for which this top is named.
I know, fascinating.
As with all Straight Stitch Designs patterns this one has a few unique features to make it stand out. First it is designed to be cut on the bias. Admittedly it makes this pattern a bit of fabric hog, but I love the chance to show of fabric in interesting ways. I chose this liverpool with a stripe and floral motif expressly for the chance to do something unique with it.
My favorite feature, though, is the facing, rather than binding, neckline. It’s so simple but gives such a nice clean look and I was happy to find it much easier than binding. I might start making facings for all my knit tops.
To get an idea for how the fit changed with different fabric, I made my second top with an ITY that I found at the thrift store.
The fabric is a little outside my usual style but I’m coming around because it’s just so comfortable.