Monday, April 17

Love Notions Olympia/Hey June Union Mash Up

This fabric caused some weird battle inside of me. On one hand, I thought it was fun and bright and interesting. On the other hand, the print is enormous, its everywhere in the knit fabric sewing world, and sadly, most things I've seen made out of it and the other color ways are not my style and it kind made me think anything made out of it would be ugly. 

But then of course, Diana, at Raspberry Creek Fabrics, my favorite place ever, got it in stock and I kept adding it to my cart, and then taking it out again. Finally I decided it was such a good deal that it would be ok if I tried something with it and didn't love it. And just lived in my cupboard for months. I couldn't decide what to make out of it. Since its the biggest print I've ever worked with, I wasn't sure whether I should make something small, like a t shirt, in order to not go overboard with the huge floral, or something big and just embrace the print. 

In the end I decided if I used a large scale print on a large pattern that it would feel more like it belonged there, instead really out of place. So maxi dress it was!
You've already read about my love for the Olympia dress from Love Notions, and if you know me at all you also know I love a good hack. So I decided to mash two patterns together for this dress, I used the maxi skirt from the Olympia, and the Union St Tee from Hey June for the top. I chose the crew neck and short sleeves, but there are tons other options. This mash up should work with any of your favorite t shirt patterns, and likely any maxi skirt, with a few alterations.

I added 6 inches to the maxi skirt, in 3 places, in 2 inch increments, to get it floor length on me. I'm 5'8" and am wearing flat sandals. For the Union, I sized down, and then took it in a bunch more, and obviously shortened it a lot. I also had to make the opening of the top of the skirt smaller to match the bottom of the bodice. I used clear elastic at the shoulders and the waist to help support the weight of this dress (its a fairly heavy double brushed poly). 

It turned out amazing! Plus its super comfy!Its not super practical now that were moving to Arizona, as brushed poly is not known for its breathability... But hey - at least its pretty!
What are your favorite pattern mash ups? Are you a hacker, or do you prefer a pattern for everything? I'm torn - I love patterns, but I am also known for trying a hack on pretty much every pattern I own...

If you try a mash up like this tag me on Instragram so I can see it! 


This post contains affiliate links

Thursday, April 13

Life Plans, Ruffles and the new Farrah Pattern from Chalk and Notch

 Do you have a favorite type of fabric? I do. Its called all. of. it. Haha I kid...mostly. Its rayon challis. changes. Rayon is fluid as air and incredibly soft and smooth. I've been on a rayon kick lately with my sewing. Well actually, I haven't made anything in 2 weeks but, you get the idea. Two of the last three things I've made have been in rayon. This is one of those. This fabric is from LA Finch Fabrics (out of stock but I linked you to the rest of the rayon collection) that I snagged on Black Friday, planning ahead for Spring and Summer sewing. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my story asking about which side of the fabric to use. I ended up going with the wrong side and have no regrets! I love the muted feel of it and the colors are perfect for Summer...especially summer in the desert...

Thats right. The desert. Cause news flash! We're moving! We just found out and things are moving along so quickly, its kind of terrifying. I'm sad to leave my lush green Utah, but mostly I'm sad to leave my amazing maker community and friends here. Where my Arizona sewing buddies at???

Now - onto this incredible dress!  

 Its the new Farrah Pattern from Chalk and Notch and its love! We just got back from Arizona and I brought this dress with me. It was the perfect Spring piece to bring. Also - it has a blouse option too! And a front ruffle view! I just had to make the flutter sleeve view because ruffles and me have never really gone together but the instant I saw this, I knew I needed it in my closet. 

Both the top and dress have a split hem and shorter front, longer back. There are no closures, just slides on over your head for easy sewing, even a beginner can make this. Its labeled as intermediate because you may be learning some new techniques, but none of them are hard at all! Plus, Gabriela's instructions are top notch (she puts the 'Notch' in Chalk and Notch) so you can easily handle anything this pattern throws at you.

All the other testers said the hardest/longest part is helming the ruffles. Honestly I wouldn't know because I lined mine. I did that because I used the wrong the side of the fabric, and the right side is very dark and saturated and would have looked all wrong seeing that contrasted with the rest of my dress. So I lined them, and instructions for that are also included in the pattern. My sleeves are still perfectly drapey and I love them. BUT if you don't line them, I do recommend getting a rolled hem foot. It will make the process so much easier, and especially faster. 

I have a blouse version with a hack planned next. The hack is going to be simple but amazing, and I am stoked for it. But I don't know when that will happen with the move. We are busy finding movers and cleaners and figuring out the next 14 days of our life...cause thats how soon we move...yikes!

But if you're not moving, get yourselves over to chalk and notch so you don't miss out a steal of a deal! The pattern is on sale for $9 right now so hurry!

Tuesday, March 28

Olympia Dress by Love Notions

Love Notions just released the new Olympia dress, and in all honesty, I wasn't sold on it in the beginning. Its a shape I don't usually wear and that made me nervous. But I decided it was worth a shot, and if I hated it I could turn the fabric from the skirt into something else. After all, I've been testing for Tami for quite some time, and I have yet to dislike a pattern.

Let me tell you, Tami puts her heart and soul into her patterns. I have never been a part of a test for Love Notions that went through more than 5 versions. I think this one went through 9 to get everything just absolutely perfect. She listens to all our feedback, takes it all seriously and doesn't get annoyed with us - although maybe she rolls her eyes in private ;)

The Olympia dress is a knee or maxi length dress with 5 sleeve lengths (including sleeveless),      pockets, and a v-neck shawl collar. Its meant for light to mid weight fabrics with decent drape, but you have to be careful. The bodice is not lined so you have to make sure your bodice fabric can support the weight of your skirt. I used clear elastic in the waist and shoulder seams of mine to help with this.  

I decided to use stripes as soon as she showed us the line drawings before testing. The bodice has a center seam in front so it was perfect to try out some diagonal stripes. I used navy and cream stripe double brushed poly from So Sew English

I chose to go crazy with the stripes and do diagonal on the front bodice, horizontal on the back and sleeves, and vertical on the skirt. Which meant a serious game of tetris to make sure I could fit all my pieces. I excluded the pockets because of this. But a note on the pockets anyway - the pocket piece is not separate! Its connected to the skirt with I think in genius because I usually attach my pocket pieces slightly off so they don't align perfectly. This make it so easy!! 

I was so skeptical as I was making it - but look! My husband loves it and always tell me how 'striking' it is;) I actually love that its fitted at my waist and then goes out. I've always been scared of that for some reason, preferring dresses that are blousy on top, then have a defined waist, and then flow back out again.
Naturally,  I made some adjustments, but I have to adjust nearly every pattern to fit me properly (sway back, full seat adjustment, etc.) remember every body is different! Fabric also makes a huge difference and my fabric has 100% stretch so my bodice ended up a bit big.  I took it in and then adjusted the skirt to fit. I am 5 ' 8" and did not add any length, but I did shorten the bodice an inch (my natural waist is pretty high) though
I think that this is version 5 and the bodice has been taken in and shortened since then.

I am super happy with it! I really love it and even like more the ,ore I wear it. I am so glad I took the time do the stripes all the different directions - I love the effect of the vertical stripes on the skirt!

The pattern is on sale for $8 through Sunday so go get it here and get sewing!

PS four of us testers live close so we got to do a group photo shoot - I love my sewing friends!

Saturday, March 25

Raspberry creek club line

I was lucky enough to get to get to sew up some strike offs from the new CLUB line from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. CLUB fabrics are the in house fabric line that's printed exclusively for Raspberry Creek Fabrics. They are still in preorders right now, until March 28th, which means you get them at a discounted price. They start shipping April 1st, and will still be available for retail but for a $1 more a yard. A bunch of us who sewed strike offs get together for a little group photo shoot of our kiddos in the new line. Seriously, sewing buddies are the best! There are 7 different CLUB fabrics on display in these photos,  though some are hard to see. (Like the mint and white clouds.) But there are waaaaay more  than 7 prints to chose from. Theres like...33 or something!
I sewed up this Hey June Racerback Dress (hint - its a free pattern and you need it). My girl lives in these dresses all Summer. This navy floral cotton lycra is perfect for it! All CLUB fabrics are printed in 95/5 cotton/spandex and also on 95/5 french terry - so you get to take your pick!
I also made my little guy a sweater vest for Easter. I used the Love Notions Dashing Vest (also a free pattern) and used this tutorial to hack it into a pullover instead of having buttons. I have decided that boys are not near as fun to sew for, but I wanted to make him something for Easter, and this plaid matched his little navy chinos perfectly - I love it! I also used RCF white cotton lycra for the arm and waistbands for it.
I have more of each of these fabrics and think I can get a Chalk and Notch waterfall raglan and Love Notions Leggins out of the floral hopefully. I have more plaid, too but cant decide what I will making with the rest of it. The great thing about it is its totally gender neutral so anyone can wear it and it matches several other fabrics in the new CLUb line.

Have you bought your CLUB fabrics yet? 
You get them here
What are you making with it?

Other patterns used: 
Sheath dress is in testing from Sew Straight and Gather
tank, elastic waist dress

Thursday, March 23

Scarlett Moto Skinnies Pattern Review

 I made pants! Finally! These are also the first item from the #notyourmamassewingchallenge that I have completed this year..which is kind of pathetic but oh well. I used the Scarlett Moto Skinnies pattern from Laela Jeyne Patterns. This pattern is incredibly versatile because it has the option of a plain solid pair, (like mine) or moto stitching, back pockets, front pockets, flat feld seams, a woven waistband with a side zip or a knit waistband.

I made the totally boring option with no flat feld seams seams, no moto style, no pockets, with the woven waistband with the invisible side zipper. Very boring. But thats kind of my style. I like plain solid boring pants. I actually wanted to do the flat feld seams but I needed to perfect the pattern for my body before doing those, hence - plain. 

To start, I used this olive stretch twill from Fabrics Universe. I got it for like $5 a yard on Black Friday so it was perfect for my wearable muslin. It has about 20% stretch across the grain and no vertical stretch. The pattern calls for only 2-10% stretch wovens, so I knew I'd have to make some alterations. I just started with my measurements and cut that size (well - sizes, my hips are 2 sizes bigger than the rest of me so I graded sizes) and then made modifications as needed. Basically I sized down almost 2 sizes after all was said and done because of the extra stretch in my fabric. 
I added 2 inches to the rise. I have full hips (#pearprobs) so I found the drafted rise quite short. Granted I pretty much prefer all pants to be high rise, so you may prefer the rise as-is, which is about 1-1/2 to 2 inches below the navel. I cut off an inch at the bottom (I'm 5'8") to make them cropped length. I had to remove a 5 inch wedge at center back, but most people wont have to do that. Since i raised the rise to hit at the the waist, which is smaller than the high hip, there was excess room, and then factor in that I always have worse back gap problems than other people. After that, the waist band needed to have 1.5 inches removed on the fold of the pattern piece. But all of that was easy enough and were simply made to fit my body and/or because I used a stretchier fabric. 

The pattern also comes with an e-book on fitting pants. It addresses all the issues that come up when trying to make pants and is very helpful. I had to make the 'camel toe adjustment' which involved just taking a deeper seam allowance in front, and the 'back gap adjustment.'  The book its very clear with diagrams showing you what the problem looks like, making it easy to diagnose on yourself, and instructions on how to correct the fit issue. 

The only problem I have with this pattern - which wont matter to some, especially if doing the knit waistband - is the side zip. I find invisible zippers to not work on fitted garments. They can't seem to zip when there's any pressure or resistance and as these are skinnies, they are fitted so there is some resistance. My sister in law is in an incredible seamstress who makes wedding dresses and does alterations for brides, and she always has problems with invisible zippers, too. She did lots of alterations for brides who's invisible zippers wouldn't zip even though their dresses fit. My zip went in beautifully but just wouldn't zip past the waistband seem. I actually had the zip unpicked halfway when I took these photos, so the top is just safety pinned closed...haha. I am going to unpick the whole thing and just put in an exposed zipper I think. I know thats weird but at least they'll zip.

The pattern has actually been updated since I made this pair in testing to slim the back leg and remove that excess width. I need to make a new pair now and try out that fit, but I want to find some stretch denim or twill that has 10%  way stretch. This pair isn't insanely comfortable because of the lack of vertical stretch. Do you have fabric suggestions? Places I should look?

You need to go check out the other testers versions because they look 1000% more amazing than mine. You got to check out the motto style! For that alone, you need this pattern. But it is cool to see how versatile they are when you compare by super boring plain pair to the other amazingly detailed ones, that look like a completely different pattern.

 Also - not to be an enabler...but the Scarlett Motto Skinnies are on sale for $7.75 right now!

Thursday, March 16

Spring Dresses with Raspberry Creek Fabrics

Once the snow melts and the sun starts shining I start dreaming of Spring and Summer dresses. I prefer dresses to shorts, and love how I can easily have a super casual outfit or a fancy one just by changing my shoes!

If you caught my Instagram stories the other day then you saw sneak peeks of all of these..but I'll go over all the patterns and fabrics in detail here, cause one can never speak too much about fabric, right? 

Also - this is not sponsored in any way by Raspberry Creek Fabrics,  I just really love them. Diana, the owner, is amazing, and she's local to me. I found her shop on etsy a couple years ago and then realized she lived just down the road! So now she's a good friend and I shop her fabrics constantly. I am never disappointed and there's always something perfect for me. Fabrics tend to go out of stock fairly quickly but she restocks fast. And she has a 1 day turn around time for shipping! Its insane. 

I don't know about you, but I get really ambitious every month with my sewing plans and they never all get done. So as much as I'd love to get all these all sewn by the end of wont happen. Even with a month and a half. I just know its my reality. Mostly cause I can't help myself. I have no self control whatsoever. I do all the pattern tests and still make mile-long lists of sewing plans each month. You think I'd learn my lesson, but really, all I have learned is that I wont actually be able to sew all of these, and be a mom and properly dress and feed my kids, but it doesn't stop me from dreaming!

So without further ado - the plans!

1. This is rayon challis and is insanely gorgeous. Its hands down my favorite fabric in my stash...hence...its been here a while. I am just too nervous to cut into it because what if I mess it up???? Oh man I get paralyzed occasionally...when my best fabrics are at stake. I am actually going to be copying Emily of @enjoyfulmakes and using the wrong side of this fabric. It just softens it up and gives it almost a floral chambray feel, which I am totally digging. It will likely become M7534 because the muslin of the pattern I originally thought it would be turned out to not really be love so..I'm thinking this one. 

Its a faux wrap bodice with an elasticated waist and the option of a tie belt. I want view D but I will be shortening the sleeves, cause I'm just not sure I want them long...I think I would prefer short sleeves. 

2. This is an insanely soft stretch denim with almost 30% stretch. I am going to make the Love Notions Tessa Sheath Dress mashed with their Sybil pencil skirt, and hack a chunky exposed zipper down the back. The pattern is made for knits but only requires 20% stretch so I am determined to give this a go. I dreamed up this dress in my head and then searched on Pinterest to find something similar, and found this. Mine will be a bit different, but I haven't been looking forward to sewing something so much in a long time! (But honestly...I may need a different pattern to achieve this look with woven fabric so be sure to comment below if you know of the perfect one.)

3. Daisy Chambray- it doesn't wrinkle, and insanely smooth to the touch. Its going to be a Patterns for Pirates Timeless Tunic, but I'm doing it in the knee length dress option with short sleeves. Its going to be perfect with leather sandals, wedges, or my little pink vans. Basically, the perfect mom dress! Stoked for it. 

4. Robert Kaufman chambray - wrinkles a lot but I kind of like that. For some reason, I think there are some garments to which wrinkles just add personalty. Am I crazy? Its ok if I am ;) This is going to be the Leisl and Co Every Day Skirt. A great neutral to pair with a tee, a a blouse, or whatever I'm feeling at the moment. Its basically as versatile as jeans. I also have a pink Robert Kaufman linen rayon blend that I think could look awesome as this skirt. But I'm torn on that or a shift dress, or another timeless it didn't make the sewing plans list cause I'm so undecided! 
5. Navy rayon challis, its super duper drapey. I really want to make M7505 with it but I'm going to shorten the sleeves so the bell starts at the elbow and then only goes mid forearm. Or maybe a short sleeve with a little gathered bell sleeves ending at the elbow. I'm kind of getting into the sleeve trend...but I don't want it to be too out there. 
So now I'll add some bonuses just in case I do super duper awesome at my sewing goals. 

+I really really really want to sew up a Collette Patterns Sorbetto Top. Its a newly re-released pattern - and its free! I am tempted to make two. One at shirt length with sleeves. The other in tunic length, sleeveless, in something semi-sheer and have it be a nice, somewhat classy swimsuit cover up. We'll see if that ever happens. 

+A See Kate Sew Neptune Tee with all the triangle cut outs. Its been on my list for ages and I just really need to get around to it. 

I am also testing two dresses next week, from some amazing designers, so I'll have to fit all this in around being a full time mom of a toddler who doesn't nap and a baby. 


Pray for me....

Friday, March 10

Isabel Wrap Dress

I've been pattern testing like crazy these past few weeks, mostly for Lyla. Her wardrobe is looking pretty spectacular. Mine on the other hand....well...It needs work. But hey don't worry, I am testing a basic (cheater) skinny jean - no front fly - which will be coming to the blog soon!

But in the meantime, are you looking for the perfect play dress? Isabel is it! Its a full wrap top, dress, maxi and tulip maxi. The photos here are from version 1 of testing so the pattern has been shortened since. Now the view I made my girl would hit around the knee, instead of a bit longer like shown here. I've shortened this one since then but haven't taken more photos because my kids are sick and they make me crazy and I don't feel like basically #momlife
I used Art Gallery knit from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. Art Gallery cotton lycra sews up like dream and is perfect for this pattern. The print is not in stock currently but RCF has other Art Gallery fabrics in stock as well as a plethora of other knits that would work for this. Brushed poly, cotton lycra, rayon spandex, interlock, almost anything will work. 

It would be super cute it a top with denim shorts and some Salwaters this summer - I think I need to wip up a few more. Its a super fast sew!

This pattern is so versatile, with all the different lengths and multiple sleeve lengths it will take you through all four seasons. 

Its on sale now so grab it from Made for Mermaids and get sewing!