Monday, February 20, 2017

Ficus Cardigan ~ Sew Like My Mom

Today I want to show you the peplum cardigan I tested for Sew Like My Mom, the Ficus Cardigan.  This is the womens' version of the Fern Cardigan that I tested a few weeks ago.  This pattern has a wide range of sizes, from XXS to 3XL.  You can purchase the Fern and the Ficus bundle here.

I used a poly/rayon/lycra (mostly polyester) french terry from LA Finch Fabrics.  This was my first time purchasing from Josephine.  She had fast, friendly shipping!  She even rushed to get my order done because she knew I needed it to test this cardigan!  Thank you!

This fabric has 40% stretch widthwise, and 10% stretch lengthwise.  It is very soft and is nice and thin.  That's important to me in Charleston, where winter lasts like 8 seconds.  

I first made a muslin and tested for the small size (according to my bust), but I didn't like how baggy it was, so Melissa let me size down.  This final black cardi is an XS with adjustments made for my narrow shoulders and my short height.  I think if I were to make this cardigan again, I would size the waist down to an XXS.  I just prefer my garments to be form fitting and to give me a waist!  (Of course, if I used the tie that comes with the pattern, that would give me a waist, too.)

I found this to be an easy sew, especially because I had just made one in Serenity's size.  I made this completely on my serger/coverstitch machine because my sewing machine was in the shop.

Thank you, Melissa, for letting me test!  These are our first ever Mommy and Me outfits!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tonic Tee ~ SBCC Patterns

I finally made my very own Tonic Tee by SBCC Patterns!    I got my hands on one of Betsy's patterns nearly 4 years ago, the Cosmo Maxi Skirt.  I love that Betsy designs specifically for petites.  (She explains how to lengthen her patterns if you are of average or above average height.)  

I decided to use this pattern because I decided my TNT t-shirt pattern wasn't really working for me and I was ready to try something new, and hopefully get a better fit.

The Tonic Tee is a free PDF pattern available on the SBCC website.  The only change I made to the pattern was to bring the neckline up slightly in the front.  I used a double brushed poly knit from Allielane in Abbyville.  (I recently made my mom a blouse with the same fabric...but I have even more red roses in my stash!)

I rarely find a pattern I don't have to alter extensively.  I am really happy with the fit of this garment.  Other than the bottom hem being slightly too short (like only 1/2") for my liking, this top fits wonderfully!  I did cut the neckband too long so it gapes a bit.  However, I'm the only one who will notice this, so I probably won't change it.

This is Dede the bulldog, my gordita!  We've had her for 2 years and she is my buddy!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Lane Raglan with a Cowl

This Lane Raglan is not for me, it's for my mom.  I had to put it on before I shipped it off to her this week.  I absolutely love this print!  

It's a double brushed poly that I have seen from a number of shops this winter, but I purchased it from Allielane in Abbyville.  I think DBP is popular with sewists because of its low price and it's also super soft and warm for the winter.  I don't wear it as a rule because South Carolina is a sweaty swamp, but I make an exception for winter.  And winter here lasts like 2 months, tops.  My coworker found pollen on her car this morning, so I know spring is coming STAT!

When I made this cowl I had no idea what I was doing.  I made the collar out of two trapezoids, the angled sides sewn together into a tube and the shorter sizes attached to the collar.  I found out afterwards that I could have just sewn a rectangle into a tube the width of the neckband.  Oh well, maybe my mom will never notice the extra seam.  It turned out really cute, anyhow.  I made it 12" tall (folded).  I think a cowl any taller would overwhelm her petite figure.  She is, after all, 4" shorter than me!

I also love how the cowl looks with my red bomber jacket.  Isn't that slick?  The lighting's kind of sucky in the last photo.  What idiot decided to cut back my neighbor's pine tree branches?! Don't they know I need those there to soften the late afternoon light? Like, that's way more important than keeping them out of power lines.

Have I mentioned how versatile the Lane Raglan pattern is? Like, you seriously need this in your life.  And I'm probably going to keep posting about them and you are going to keep being sad that you don't have it, so you should just order it now, lol!

Fern Cardigan ~ Sew Like My Mom

This past week I pattern tested for this adorable sweater, the Fern Cardigan, by Sew Like My Mom.  Melissa's pattern ranges from 12 months to girls' size 16.  She also sells the pattern for a lower price for a fewer range of sizes.  This pattern has different sleeve options and can be worn with or without the tie.

This pattern is seriously a breeze to whip up! I just got my coverstitch/serger back from the shop and had to take my sewing machine in. Waaaaa!!! Such torture...I want them back together again!  So I constructed this entirely on my coverstitch/serger machine.  

The pattern calls for any knit with 30% stretch.  A ponte or double knit would work well with this pattern, but jerseys with more stretch work great, too!  I used a cotton/lycra from Raspberry Creek Fabrics with about 50% stretch.  (The fabric is no longer available - RCF is actually changing their CLUB fabrics from screen printed to being digitally printed in house.  I'm excited to see their first round of new fabrics!) I'm really glad I chose a stretchier fabric because Serenity is at the top of the chest measurement for the 18 month size.  She will have a few months, at least, of wear in this cardigan before it is too small.

As you can see in the photos, we found out in testing that the sleeves were a little too tapered from the elbow to the wrist.  That has been fixed for the final pattern.  I made my ties 2" longer than the pattern called for, just personal preference.  The length was perfect on her.

I previously made a dress for Serenity out of this fabric, but it remains un-blogged because the designer I was testing for never released the pattern and has since closed her shop.  I love the way the cardigan looks in this fabric even better than the dress, however.  

Can you see the Ravenell Bridge in the corner? We took these pictures at Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park.  Please note: pansies were harmed in this photoshoot.  Ripping their flowers off is just par for the course.  They'll be fine. Anyway, it will just encourage them to grow their leaves a little bigger before they bloom again.

These are Cici's first pictures in big girl jeans.  I think I might cry, she looks so big!  I love this crazy little chatterbox!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Rosemary Raglan ~ Peekaboo Pattern Shop

This past week I tested for the Rosemary Raglan by Peekaboo Pattern Shop.  The Rosemary is a form-fitting tee with options for a dropped peplum tunic or a hood and different sleeve lengths.  I made the option with the peplum and hood with a 3/4 length sleeve.  It can together really quickly and would make a great beginner knit project!

I chose to use coordinating Birth Interlock knits from my stash.  The inside of the hood is cut from one of my old tank tops.  The Birch fabric has 25% stretch but the pattern calls for at least 30%, so I sized up one.  I really like the fit on my daughter!

My serger was in the shop so I actually used my sewing machine for this entire project.  My sewing machine and I haven't been on the best terms lately.  The tension is a little messed up, but I fiddled with the tension dial and now it seems ok.  I still think the timing is messed up.  Guess I need to take it into the shop soon, as well.  

I am so grateful to my husband and Teddy for making this photoshoot possible! I did like a hundred squats while chasing her all over the park!

Don't forget to order you copy of the Rosemary, here! Amy has a great collection of patterns and fabric, so while you're at it, check out the rest of her shop!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Lane Raglan w/ V-Neck

Happy New Year everyone!  I made another Lane Raglan by Hey June Patterns.  This pattern comes with a scoop neck, but I was in the mood for a v-neck, so I drafted the new neckline.  It was surprisingly easy!  

I kept the neckline the same in the back.  The picture below shows my front bodice pattern piece as is for a scoop neck.  

The picture below shows how I folded the neckline down to create my V-neck.  Just ignore all my scribbles and math, though seriously, it's a good way to keep track of things!

 Calculating the neckband length is the same as it would be for a scoop neck:

Neckline circumference at the seam line x 0.85 = Neckband length

Of course, you would add your seam allowance to your neckband length plus extra length so you can create the tails.  This great tutorial by Oliver + S explains how to make the 'chevron' on the neckband.   
I used Adrianna's excellent v-neck video tutorial and my neckline looks pretty good! Not perfect, but definitely wearable.  

I used some of the performance brushed poly I got from Zenith & Quasar's Black Friday sale to make this shirt.  I had originally planned on it being strictly a workout shirt, but it turned out so cute I might have to wear it out for a casual date night!  I didn't have enough fabric to cut the entire back piece in one piece, so I made a seam at my waistline and added a bit of gathering at the center.  (I added 1.5 inches of width to the lower back bodice piece at center back.) So if anyone asks, this was completely intentional.  Got it?

I shortened the sleeves A LOT and hemmed them right below the armscye.  I love the coverstitch detail at the shoulder seams.  Definitely one of my favorite makes of 2016!  (Even though I technically finished the neckline yesterday.)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Night Pajamas ~ Sew a Little Seam

I recently tested for Sew a Little Seam's new pattern, Holiday Night Pajamas.

Holiday Night PJs

This pattern comes in sizes 12 months to kids' size 12.  It has short or long sleeves, with or without cuffs.  I love the piping detail on the collar, the pocket and the bodice!

This is my daughter's first pair of big girl PJs.  I used a quilting cotton from Hobby Lobby.  I was really pleased with the weight of the fabric. It's thicker than some other cottons I've purchased from Joann's and should keep Serenity warm on winter nights.

I sewed the 12 month size with the 18 month length, because my girl is long and lean.  I liked that the pattern has a higher rise in the back, which allows room for my daughter's cloth diaper.

The size I chose was perfect for her measurements, but roomy enough that this should fit through her next growth spurt.

The pattern is on sale for $4.90 through New Years' Eve. (The sale code is available by joining Kelly's FB group: Sew a Little Seam)  I can't wait to put these under the tree for my little Sugar Plum Fairy!