Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Cupro Scuba Double Knit Top

There is no better feeling than a successful RTW hack. I LOVE being inspired by things I see online and using my pattern knowledge to come up with a copy. 

turtleneck inspiration

I used this Spanx Air Essentials turtleneck tunic as inspiration for my top. Why was I browsing at Spanx do you ask? Well, I've recently started freelancing with Kayla at Surge Fabric Shop. She was bringing in a new fabric that was meant to duplicate the Spanx Air Essentials line. Tessa, at Love Notions, had asked all the fabric shops she knew to find her a similar fabric, and after more than a year of searching, Kayla delivered. 

Halifax Nikko hack

Kayla sent me two yards to make a sample garment. Out of all the Air Essentials items I loved the turtleneck the most. To create my duplicate, I used the Hey June Halifax Hoodie as a base, because it has that boxy shape with a dropped shoulder. I laid the bodice pattern pieces on top of the bodice for the Nikko Top (True Bias) and blended them together at the neckline. Luckily, both patterns have the same seam allowance so it wasn't too difficult.

Halifax and Nikko hack

I omitted the sleeve cuff and instead extended the length of the sleeve. I cut 2 1/2" off the bodice and then added the tunic panels at the bottom. They are roughly 7" tall and the same width as the bodice.

Halifax Nikko hack

This was a quick sew, except that I had to cut the turtleneck part three times because I kept messing up. The first time I sewed it wrong sides together, and the second time I cut the stretch the wrong way. This fabric does have only minimal stretch in the length so you have to pay attention.

Halifax Nikko hack

I wore this all day last week and it was SO soft and comfy. It resisted wrinkles like a champ, and dare I say it would make a great travel outfit. There is a matte and shiny side (I used the matte). You could use the shinier side for your own lovely cupro double knit dress (like Tessa's).

Halifax Nikko hack

For more info on this fabric, you can read Kayla's blog post or watch Tessa's YouTube video. Make sure to grab some of this fabric for yourself over at Surge.

I received this fabric for free and am paid as a digital marketer for Surge Fabric Shop. I was not asked to write this blog post but I received the fabric for free. Both patterns were purchased by myself. All opinions are my own!

Thursday, January 25, 2024

TAUKO Magazine Make and Share

Do you follow TAUKO Magazine? They are a sewing magazine located in Europe (Helsinki and Berlin). Fun fact: the word "tauko" in Finnish means "a break or a pause" (you can read more about the magazine here). A few months ago, they put a call out for sewists for a Make and Share. We were given our choice of patterns from the upcoming issue. I chose Claudette, a pattern from designer Violette Tannenbaum

Claudette Dress

When I saw the preview of the patterns, I had just attended The Nutcracker with my family and was feeling super inspired by all things tulle. It was kismet! 

Claudette Dress

I got my copy of Claudette and fell over laughing when I saw the yardage requirements...13 yards! The entire dress is tulle, so I did some googling to find a high quality tulle at an affordable price. I ended up ordering from an overseas Etsy shop. There were TONS of colors and I am pleased with the quality.

Claudette Dress

Claudette is constructed with French seams, which are not difficult but are time-consuming. Tulle is basically impossible to mark or pin. I could use clips and ended up using tape when I needed to mark horizontal lines (important for adding the first tier of the skirt). There's a lot of static and cat hair got stuck in the tulle pretty easily.

Other than these issues, it wasn't super terrible to work with the tulle. I expected worse. The instructions were sufficient and the drafting was excellent.

Claudette Dress

I made a size 2 and modified the bodice by shortening it about 3". Otherwise it had a dropped waist look that I didn't think was as fun as this short version. I might even run a bit of elastic around the waist to pull it in more.

I did not end up using anywhere near as much tulle as I ordered. I omitted the ruffles across the chest/back, and the bottom tier. Each ruffle you see is two layers gathered together. It's a lot of fabric!

Claudette Dress

The sleeve pattern piece was absolutely hysterical and huge.

I ended up following the directions in the Fall 2023 issue of Sew News to create a tulle collar. It is removable and I sometimes like it, sometimes don't. It might be fun on another outfit but I haven't tried.

Claudette Dress

Of course this is a totally ridiculous, over-the-top garment that has few uses in the real world. I spend SO much time making practical garments that I decided it was fine to make something beautiful for the sake of making something beautiful. Kinda silly that I needed to give myself permission!

Claudette Dress

I want to thank the folks at TAUKO who made the entire Make and Share experience easy and fun. They have just unveiled a new subscription model, so please go take a look at that. I believe I will be receiving one additional pattern in exchange for posting my dress, and I've definitely got my eye on a few!

Monday, November 13, 2023

Style Arc Kennedy Puffer Pullover

Y'know how sometimes Pinterest or the algo torture you with the same images over and over? That happened to me with the Free People Pippa Packable Pullover. Just check out how much fun all these ladies are having, hiking and walking and living their best life.

Free People Pippa Pullover hack

After lots of digging for a close enough pattern, I settled on the Kennedy Hooded Top from Style Arc. It was basically the same except for a few minor details, like the curved hem and the addition of a hidden pocket (for packing). Additionally, Kennedy has an outer kangaroo pocket instead of a hidden one. 

Kennedy Hooded Top

After a few months of letting this pattern sit, I decided I didn't care about hacking the kangaroo pocket into a hidden one. It seemed like an awful lot of work for not much gain. I did, however, want to try adding a second pocket under the flap (otherwise, why is the flap even there?). I also changed the hem to a curved baseball hem, and added a curved extension to the cuff.

Kennedy Hooded Top

I have no process photos, no explanation for how I did anything. Sorry! Sometimes I make so much content that I have to just take a break from it and sew for fun. If you're looking for an in-depth hack, it's not here this time. (I have seen a similar pattern with the zip pocket through Project Run and Play here). 

Style Arc directions are notoriously sparse. These are were okay. I took a lot of liberties with the pattern and I'm confident in my ability to figure out a hoodie. If you've never sewn a placket or a cuff then maybe don't start here. But all the pieces went together well. 

Kennedy Hooded Top

Kennedy is suitable for knits or wovens...it has SO MUCH ease. I followed the size chart but ended up taking off 1" from each side seam. You've been warned.

Kennedy Hooded Top

Kennedy Hooded Top

I chose a quilted nylon fabric that I bought at Jo-Ann's, of all places. They had a few different colors and you could buy the same fabric in a non-quilted version. At the time I bought (in the spring I think) they were running low on the un-quilted stuff in blue, so I bought some additional yardage in pink. I used the pink as the lining for the hood and the secret pocket. Everything else is lined with the solid blue.

Kennedy Hooded Top

The lining was necessary because the quilted nylon was not double-sided. The back side was simply the batting. The Kennedy is NOT DRAFTED WITH A LINING (only the hood is lined). I used my best judgement for how to cover the batting. In some cases it's underlined, some parts were fully lined, etc. Again, no full tutorial here. To finish the hem, I bound it with bias. 

Kennedy Hooded Top

I installed KAM snaps to the cuffs and white 1" Dritz eyelets on the hood. I haven't put any snaps on the placket because the KAM snaps looked too small. We'll see what kind of closure happens there (if any).

Kennedy Hooded Top

My hoodie is not packable like the Free People inspo, but I'm also not a backpacker, so probably it does not matter. It IS lightweight and I'm not going to count on it keeping me warm in sub-zero temps. Mostly the quilting/puffer aspect is A LOOK. If it keeps the wind off on a 50 degree hike, I'll be happy.

Kennedy Hooded Top

It seems like oversized, boxy or cocoon puffers/sherpa hoodies are all the rage right now. Will you be hopping on to this trend?

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

A Princess Bride Halloween

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The Princess Bride is in my Top Five movie list (along with Goodwill Hunting, Lord of the Rings, Moonrise Kingdom, and a revolving door of comedies). I have wavy blond hair and a tall, dark and handsome husband, and I've wanted to do Buttercup and Westley costumes forever. My dream finally came true!

Buttercup Westley costumes

My youngest daughter wanted to be involved in the "family costume" so I told her she could be a miniature Buttercup if she wanted. She agreed, and yeah, it's pretty darn cute to see her paired with my husband.

Buttercup Westley costumes

My middle daughter took some wheedling, but she said she would dress up as miniature Westley once, for a Trunk or Treat event.

Westley costume

My oldest daughter is a tween and therefore too cool for us, so she did not participate. Give me another five years and I may convince all of them to be Vizzini, Inigo, and Fezzick.

I had a lot of fun making costumes and decorations for our Fire Swamp Trunk or Treat. I found a post on Pinterest of a Princess Bride party, and it gave me a lot of good ideas for our Trunk or Treat stuff.

Princess Bride Trunk or Treat

Princess Bride Trunk or Treat

Princess Bride Trunk or Treat

Unfortunately for us, the three judges had never seen The Princess Bride (how???) so of course we did not win. Their loss.

Here are the details on our costumes:

Adult Buttercup: Nina Lee Patterns Mayfair Dress. I hacked the sleeve and added two elastic casings.

Mini Buttercup: Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Practical Princess Dress. I hacked the bodice to copy the Mayfair Dress and hacked the sleeve (sleeve hacks are explained in more detail in my saved stories on Instagram)

Fabric for Buttercup dresses: cotton jersey from LA Finch Fabrics

Trim for Buttercup belt: Jo-Ann Fabrics (adult Buttercup is two pieces of trim sewn together to be twice as tall)

Buttercup head snood DIY

Adult Buttercup snood: hand-sewn by me roughly using this tutorial from YouTube, materials from Jo-Ann's

Buttercup boots Halloween

Adult Buttercup boots: Ebay (these were pretty comfortable but did scuff easily)

Mini Buttercup wig: Wal-Mart

Buttercup headbands: Amazon

Westley shirt: Amazon

Mini Westley outfit: all black stuff from home, belt made by me ages ago for a pirate costume

two Westley swords: Party City and Spirit Halloween

Westley head wraps: These are black stretch poly satin from Jo-Ann's. I found a similar one from Amazon and just cut the dimensions the same. I did not even bother to hem.

Adult Westley mask: Amazon

This will definitely be a Halloween to remember!

Buttercup Westley costumes

Planning a handmade holiday season? Stay organized with the Handmade Holiday Planner!



Thursday, September 21, 2023

Foxy Patterns Emma Trousers

If you've ever done pattern testing, then you've probably felt that feeling of "thank goodness I'm done with this, I can't wait to move on". But when I tested the Emma Trousers from Foxy Patterns, all I wanted to do was make a second pair! (And TBH, I had the same feeling when I tested her first pattern, the Madison Blouse.) Here is my first pair of Emmas!

Emma Trousers

The Emma Trouser is a high-waisted pant with front and back yokes. It is meant for non-stretch woven fabrics and it comes with two leg options (slim and ankle length, or wide and full length). There is a curved or straight waistband (!!) and it's available in waist size 23"-55".

Foxy Patterns Emma Trousers

Sandra at Foxy Patterns has dubbed these "trousers", but to me they are solidly in the "jeans" category, especially in the slim leg. The wide leg was added after testing, so I might change my mind if I sewed that view.

Foxy Patterns Emma Trousers

Please forgive me for making these in black. I know you can't see details and I HATE when people test sew in black. So yeah, I hate myself right now lol. I do not typically buy non-stretch denim, so this cut was all I had that worked. It is from The Fabric Store Online (super old) and it has a slight stretch to it (didn't affect my sizing I don't think).

Foxy Patterns Emma Trousers

This is my test pair, and so there were changes made to the drafting after I sewed these. Namely, the hip curve was lessened (I have already changed it on my pair) and the curved waistband option was added to the pattern. Working with Sandra is such a joy; she is SO receptive to feedback from all her testers and includes us in troubleshooting. I did use my own curved waistband pattern (more on that in another post) but when I compared mine to the pattern's they were very close.

Foxy Patterns Emma Trousers

I made a size 8 hip grading to a 6 in the waist. From what I could tell during testing, fit was pretty spot-on for a non-stretch pant. They are surprisingly comfortable too!

Foxy Patterns Emma Trousers
Beautiful floral lawn from LA Finch Fabrics

I did alter the order/method of construction for finishing the waistband. I much prefer to sew bias tape to the inner waistband facing and then secure from the right side with topstitching. 

Foxy Patterns Emma Trousers

Foxy Patterns Emma Trousers

My pants are also not hemmed yet, I want to wash them a few times to get all the shrinkage out.

Foxy Patterns Emma Trousers
This top is a cropped Kila Tank in hemp jersey

I made a second pair of Emma Trousers from a very stretchy light-wash denim from Cali Fabrics. I'll drop a photo here but please be aware that these are WAY WAY different from the drafted pattern, and should not be taken as an example! I'll probably share these in a separate post.

This top is a Donny from Friday Pattern Company

Congratulations Sandra on a great new pattern! I'm excited to try the wide leg version now, too!

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Sew DIY Eva Crop and Sundress

July landed me solidly in two different pattern tests at the same time. The first was the Madison Blouse (not blogged yet, I want to make it again from the final pattern), and the second was the Eva from Sew DIY Patterns. All versions of Eva have a super cool lace up back that I love!

Eva Dress from Sew DIY

Eva can be a crop top, a top with a peplum, or a dress with a skirt and ruffle. Bust sizing is from 30.5"-60.5", with 3 cup options. My bust is 33" and I made a size 6 in an A/B cup. I used a double border rayon challis from LA Finch Fabrics.

Eva Dress from Sew DIY

Eva is interesting because there are only two pattern pieces, and everything else is a rectangle. There is a big ole chart that gives the dimensions of the back pieces, the skirt, the peplum, etc. There is also a page to print to fill in the dimensions for your size. These pages are clearly marked in the pattern with a big circle that says "print this page!". I loved it, I thought the pattern was well-organized.

Eva Dress from Sew DIY

I highly recommend making a muslin of the bodice. The pattern directions walk you through the process way more explicitly than I've seen other patterns do. Eva does have flexibility in the fit because of the back. The back has two side panels with an adjustable middle panel. The middle panel has elastic in the top, and a lace-up tie. 

Eva Dress from Sew DIY

The pattern directions are super clear about when to stop and have a fit check. You'll have plenty of opportunities to check the strap length, and to adjust the back panel elastic. The back panel can be tricky since it's, well, on your back, so if you have someone else to help that's a plus. I did it alone though!

Eva Dress from Sew DIY

All the work for this pattern is in the bodice. It's completely finished (except the hem) and then you can decide whether you want it to be a crop top, to have a peplum, a skirt, a skirt+ruffle...really you've got lots of options. Again, these pieces are just rectangles. IMPORTANT to note however; the pattern is drafted for a height of 5'10". This is certainly taller than average, and it's 6" taller than me. I had a chat with the designer (her name is also Beth) during testing about how to adjust the pattern for much shorter heights. I haven't seen a final draft of the pattern so I'm not sure if any of my feedback made it into the directions.

Eva Dress from Sew DIY

I wanted to use the border for my ruffle, so I ended up removing 5" from the suggested cut height to accommodate. The skirt portion I shortened by 1". I did not change the bodice length because I have a long torso. The waist seam hits at my natural waist, perhaps just a touch below due to the weight of the skirt pulling it down. If you have an average or short torso you'll need to adjust.

Eva Dress from Sew DIY

This is the perfect sort of dress to throw on and eat tacos. Pull your ties tight in the back on your way out, then eat a ton of food and let them out again. I am wearing mine here with a strapless bra. I found that the straps had a tendency to move around (due to tightening and loosening the tie) and my bra straps were always showing somewhere.

Thanks to Beth at Sew DIY for choosing me for her test, and for compensating her testers. I was not asked to promote the pattern in any way and all opinions are my own!

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