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**

Victoire Dress

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.

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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.

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This dress also comes with an optional ruffle along the top, a second set of straps, and mini or tea length. Grab it while it’s on sale from Laela Jeyne. While you’re there, have a look at the complete La Femme Collection. I have my eye on the swimsuit!

 

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Oh, and the best news: I have enough fabric left over for those shorts!

To be continued….?

**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**

Moon Wide Leg Pants

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.

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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.

Oh, and I happened to have paired these pants with another Sinclair pattern you might recognize from a previous blog post: the Danielle Batwing Top.

Get the Moon Wide Leg Pants on sale now from Sinclair Patterns.

**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**

Kristen

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.

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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.

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Kristen with optional belt

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.

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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.

Bryant Dolamn

I’m back with another new pattern from Straight Stitch Designs!

 

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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.

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Anyway…

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.

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The fabric is a little outside my usual style but I’m coming around because it’s just so comfortable.

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Phinney Ridge

This post contains affiliate links.

I recently had the pleasure of testing the new cardigan pattern from Straight Stitch Designs. Phinney Ridge is a V-neck cardigan with optional button or snap closures plus loads of other options. I especially love the elbow patch option and I’m totally planning on using it for my next one.

Mine is made with a heavy ribbed sweater knit that I came in a scrap box from Knitpop. I decided to go with the snap closure option because…well because I was out of buttons. It happens.

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This fit on the sweater is spot on. I can’t remember the last time I had a cardigan that fit me perfectly in the shoulders like this one does. I’m looking forward to making more in different fabric weights, especially lighter weight rayon and cotton for spring, because it snowed today and a girl can dream can’t she?

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