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**

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**

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.