Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Friday Pattern Company Saguaro Set

Ever love a pattern so much that you buy it before you even get out of bed in the morning? That was me, a few weeks ago, scrolling IG in bed from my phone, when I saw the Saguaro Set from Friday Pattern Company. I had already been considering a similar pattern with a different sleeve (Papercut Estella Dress) but I fell HARD for the dolman on the Saguaro. 

It was a Friday, which I normally set aside as a sewing day, so once the kids were at school I was off in a frenzy! For a full set, top and long pants, you need more than 3 yards. I only had two yard cuts on hand, so while I debated ordering more fabric vs. making shorts, I got started on the top. I had it done by the end of the day, it's a quick sew!

Saguaro Top Friday Pattern Co

I measured an XS for the top and a M for the pants. I typically make an XS in other FPC tops, so I was confident in the sizing, and it worked out perfectly.

Saguaro Set Friday Pattern Co

The tie strap in the front is optional, and you can also flip the top around so the plunging V is in the back. When I tried it that way, I kinda felt like I was choking, so if you hate having things close to your neck you won't like it that way. I'm glad I added the ties in the front, it doesn't detract from the sexy vibe but it helps hide a bra and give you a little more coverage.

Saguaro Top

After finishing the top, I decided to go ahead and use my remaining yardage for shorts. I made them as long as I could with what I had left. Gotta admit, as much as I would've loved to swan around in full length pants, I think the shorts are super cute. 

Saguaro Top

By the way, the fabric is from iseefabric and is their laundered medium weight linen (use my referral link and if you're a new customer, we'll both get a $5 off coupon!). The color I used is Rose. I've sewn with this fabric a couple times and it's probably my favorite linen ever!

Saguaro Top Ginger Jeans

I tried the top on with a bunch of my other linen and high waisted pants, and it looked good with everything. The shorts pair well with other crop tops too. I wore the whole set to play bocce ball with some friends and it was perfect for a warm spring night.

Have you taken the quiz yet?! 

QUIZ: Which sewing tool are you?

Monday, May 2, 2022

Best Free Sewing Patterns to use with Heat Transfer Vinyl

A great post today! I'm always looking for places to put my SVG designs. As a sewist, that usually means a project I can make myself and then embellish, either with screenprinting or heat transfer vinyl. I wanted to share the best FREE sewing patterns that you can whip up anytime you feel the need to create a blank canvas for using cut files.

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

As much as I wanted to sew up every single pattern myself, I figured that was probably a bit much, so I recruited some helpers. I love collaborating with other sewists, and it was great working with the ladies who did the sample sewing you'll see here. I provided the cut files, or in some cases I sent them pre-cut HTV (I have a few of these in my shop to purchase, no cutting machine required!) and they did the rest. You never know how someone else will run with your ideas, and these ladies knocked it out of the park!

These sewing patterns are suitable for beginner sewing projects. The Plantain Tee, Lago Tank, and Rowan Tee all use knit fabric, but are a good place to start if you don't have much experience with knits. All of these patterns are available for download and printing at home. 

My favorite source for heat transfer vinyl is Heat Transfer Warehouse. I use Siser Easy Weed almost exclusively (learned my lesson about the cheap Amazon stuff) and have always had great results!

Lago Tank--Itch to Stitch Patterns

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

Teri at Fa Sew La did a phenomenal job with this Itch to Stitch Lago Tank! Nothing more versatile than a white tank top, and she made it extra cute with this leopard print heart cut file. It was Teri's idea to have the hearts in the shape of a heart, and I love how it looks! You can get the Lago Tank for free here or the cut file here.

Since the Lago Tank is intended to stretch, I made Teri's decal with Siser Easy Weed Stretch Vinyl. The colors are Black and Ballerina Pink. Teri had no experience with HTV prior to this project, showing how easy it is for beginners to get started.

Allspice Apron--Hey June Patterns

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

Okay, I'll be honest, when I put out a call for sewists to work with me on this blog post, I was kinda hoping nobody would pick the Allspice Apron. I wanted to make it myself! But Jill volunteered and I couldn't turn her down. She did once share her drink tickets with me on an airplane, resulting in us getting shushed by a woman much older than us, because we were talking too much. But I digress.

Look how cute it is! It's better that Jill made this one anyway, because I'm a terrible cook. It would have been wasted on me. You can get this pattern from Hey June Handmade here

Tote Bag--Apple Green Cottage

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

Rebecca made the free Tote Bag from Apple Green Cottage, and added one of my designs. It says "handmade" and looks like a label, but since it's heat transfer vinyl it's actually fused to the fabric! 

Rebecca asked me to send her some designs in white, and I think it looks great with her color scheme! I never think to pair neutral stripes with a colorful solid, but it works so well here.

Plantain Tee--Deer & Doe Patterns

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

The Plantain Tee is a pattern that I've had the joy of making a couple times. The cut is flowy around the middle and fun to wear. Amy, who you may have seen before testing for Hey June, made this adorable tie dye Plantain Tee with my sarcastic design "I made this shirt, so say something nice". 

I have had the pleasure of meeting Amy in person at the Straight Stitch Designs Maker Retreats, and I can tell you that this design is perfect for her. Side note, come sew with us at a Maker's Retreat (I'm not being paid to say that, it's genuinely been a transformative experience in my life!). Grab the free Plantain Tee pattern here.

Costa Tote--Helen's Closet

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

Sandrea knocked this project out of the park! She used the Costa Tote pattern from Helen's Closet, my monstera cut file, and Cricut stencil vinyl. She created a mockup in the Cricut Design Space software in order to get the pattern and sizing how she wanted, then cut the stencil from that mockup.

I am totally blown away by Sandrea's creativity! She used fabric paint to fill in her stencil and then finished sewing up her bag. 

You can also spot my "I Made This" file on the pocket. I think we can all agree her bag looks amazing!

Rowan Tee--Misusu Patterns

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

The Rowan Tee is my personal favorite pattern for making quick, fun tees for my kids. It comes in a wide range of sizes (0-14!) and with short or long sleeves. I've used this pattern twice, once to make a Pi Day shirt, and once to make an Easter-themed coloring shirt. 

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

Definitely grab this pattern so you have something to reach for when it's the day (or night) before an event, and your kiddo simply NEEDS a new shirt!

Open Wide Zipper Pouch--Noodlehead

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

Mallory is on a mission to create a new zipper pouch each week this year! The one she made for this post is the Noodlehead Open Wide Pouch. She adjusted the pieces slightly to fit the heat transfer vinyl. I love how she incorporated a book-themed fabric (from Jo-Ann's) with a book-themed design!

I'm such a big book dork (English major here) that I have a lot of reading-inspired designs in my shop. I definitely want to make my kids a couple of library tote bags for the summer, and "the book was better" might end up on one of them. I could also see a zippered pouch like this one being a great teacher gift too.

If you want to see more of my cut file designs in action, I have a Pinterest board showing not only my projects, but my customers' as well! Click here to see it. And one last free pattern I can't forget to mention is my very own wall banner! 

Wall Banner--110 Creations

Free sewing patterns for heat transfer vinyl

You can get this pattern for FREE when you sign up for my email newsletter. And not only that, you get the SVG file too! Try out one of my designs and see how easy they are to use. I have this banner hanging up in my living room, my youngest kiddo has so much fun figuring out how to read it.

Do you have a favorite FREE pattern that you come back to time and again?

Monday, April 25, 2022

Madalynne x Simplicity 9478 Bra Pattern

I take no joy in writing bad pattern reviews, but I DO take joy in helping other sewists avoid problems. I can't tell you how many times someone has sent me a message to say thank you, that they thought there was something wrong with THEM because nobody online told the truth about a pattern. Not today, not on my watch!

Madalynne x Simplicity 9478 review

In case you don't know, Madalynne is a lingerie designer who sells patterns, kits, and RTW items. I've previously made the halter bra Simplicity 8228, the Noelle bralette (no blog post but I've made this one twice), and the Fenix bodysuit. A few years back she partnered with Simplicity for her patterns. I don't know who writes the directions but I do know that Madalynne uses her own grader, not Simplicity's, so you do need to take measurements and follow her chart. I've never had a problem with her sizing as long as I followed the chart.

Before diving too deeply into this review, please note that I deviated from the pattern. The pattern shows a lace appliqué in a V shape, NOT all over lace like my sample. But I bought a kit based on an Instagram photo showing all over lace, not realizing that what I was seeing was not the pattern. It was a photo of one of her RTW pieces. My bra shows my best attempt at recreating the photo I saw, but my criticisms are limited only to issues I would have had following the pattern exactly.

I quite like my previous bralettes and the halter bra. I like Madalynne's designs and her aesthetic. I like the variety of models she uses and her connection to her local community. BUT.

The directions are just not good enough. There is a consistent method that she uses for construction that isn't the highest quality. She recommends spray basting lace to mesh and treating them like one, rather than treating them individually and using one as an outer and one as a lining. I will never understand that, and I have never done that. I always change my construction to allow the seam allowances to be contained and not touching my skin. It's a bra. It's kind of important that it's comfortable. Why not just add a lining?

Simplicity 9478 has a seam allowance of 1/4". If your materials are stretch mesh and lace, that's a totally bonkers choice. I think 1/4" is always a bad seam allowance, but here it's particularly awful. I have a lot of experience sewing (and failing at sewing lolol) these materials, but if you don't, this tiny seam allowance is going to frustrate you. It got even worse when it was time to insert channeling for the boning. It was meant to be sewn into the seam allowance...the 1/4" seam allowance. Channeling must be sewn on the very edge so that you can insert boning inside it, and trying to sew the edge of the channeling to such a tiny SA was a nightmare.

At one point, the picot elastic is sewn around a corner. The directions say some nonsense about "folding out" the fullness around the corner. What?

Lastly, to get to the size chart for the underwear, I had to go to the listing for one of the kits, and then click on a link to the size chart. Here is a link to it. Frankly, I have second hand embarrassment for Simplicity that they printed a pattern without a size chart. I understand that the underwear is kind of a throw-away, you're buying the pattern for the bra, but seriously? Do better Simplicity. I'm still holding out hope that I'm wrong and the chart is somewhere I'm not seeing...so please tell me if so.

So once again, I'm left with a garment that I do rather like (except for the white channeling...hate it) but mostly because of my own skill set and ability to adapt the pattern to be better than written. I definitely do NOT recommend the pattern to anyone without bra-making experience. I'd say you need to be solidly an intermediate, perhaps even advanced level sewist to make this work. 

I made mine using leftover stuff from other projects, NOT the kit I ordered. Now that it's done, I'm not in a big hurry to make another with the kit stuff. I did have a need for a bra like this, specifically to wear with the plunging neckline of Vogue 9253, and it works for that. But I don't think I need another. I'm sure I'll use the kit for something else, so it's fine.

There you have it, my honest review of Simplicity 9478. Please let me know if you have questions, I'm happy to help!

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Women's Boardshorts in Athletic Stretch Woven

This post contains affiliate links.

I'm sewing right through my Hawaii packing list (there's no actual list, it's imaginary, maybe I should make a list!?), and next up was a pair of hiking shorts. Or are they golf shorts? Yes, we are those people taking our own golf clubs on a plane across the ocean. How can we not??

In the interest of packing light, I hope to bring just one pair of athletic shorts to serve all outdoorsy purposes. I previously made a pair of gardening pants in a Fabric Fairy poly stretch woven. They're capris, and I while they probably would've served my purposes in Hawaii, I wanted shorts. What I like about those pants is how light they are, so I figured the same properties would be helpful in packing for this trip. I also get a lot of compliments on them so they must look fancy or something.

Even though neon pink would've been fun, I ended up with Classic Navy. BORING but oh so versatile. I think the color works with my neon pink golf shirt from last year anyway, so there!

Functionally, this fabric will do all I want it to do. Quick drying, no wrinkles, lightweight. The dark color made it super difficult to see and sew. I'm not THAT old and my vision isn't THAT bad, but I just had a problem with it this time. Maybe the slight sheen combined with the dark color? IDK. I probably need better lighting in my sewing room.

It's surprisingly press-able on a low setting, and easier to sew than you'd think for a slick fabric. But I found myself setting it aside quite frequently and forcing myself to finish them. I'm not sure why. I did get this fabric for free as part of the promo team, and it's my job to promote it, but you know I'm here to dish the truth. It wasn't my favorite thing to sew. Some fabrics are just like that, but the wearing experience is totally different from the sewing experience.

I'm also on the 5 Out of 4 Patterns promo team, and I used their Women's Boardshort pattern (you can also get a family bundle of patterns here). Again, it wasn't my favorite. The options and the instructions were excellent, but the fit was off for me (my own fault, keep reading!). I was surprised, because normally 5oo4 fit me well. The fit issues I had were normal for a fly front (this is a faux fly front with velcro) non-elastic waistband pant on my body. And looking back at these photos, I think you can tell this was a torturous project.

First problem: I sewed a size 4 for my 38" hip. Except my hip is apparently now 37". That still would have put me at a 4, but maybe I would've paid more attention to the hip fit before I put on the waistband.

Second problem: my high hip puts me at a 0. I didn't pay attention, didn't grade, didn't even do proper fitting methods until my waistband and facing were on. Totally my fault. If I had realized the difference in sizing, I would have graded my hip to a smaller waistband. Since I didn't do that to my flat pattern, I ended up doing a lot of seam ripping and resewing, which could have been avoided if I had measured and chosen carefully. Do what I say and not what I do!

One modification I made was to add a back pocket into the yoke seam, which closes with an invisible zipper. I intended to give a mini tutorial on this process, but the fabric was so dark it was impossible to see in my photos what was happening. It's a pretty basic idea of an invisible zipper in a seam with an added pocket bag, which is just a rectangle big enough for my phone.

I did add the included cargo pocket on one side, but no closure so I can easily slip golf balls in and out of it.

I struggled getting the snaps on the waistband, but that's just one of those things that sometimes happens. I think I put three of them on twice, maybe one three times. It was super annoying and contributed to the overall BLAH of this project.

When all is said and done, I'm sure I'll eventually forget the sewing woes and be happy with the shorts. I need to get them out on the golf course on a practice run, but first it needs to stop being in freezing temperatures overnight here. It's been a cold spring and I'm not happy about it.

Do you ever sew fabrics that aren't your favorite, because you know wearing them will be fine? Do I have a weird quirk in this way?

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Rebecca Page Emma Top

This post contains some affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

If you're like me, you probably have some soft, floaty woven fabrics in your stash, without a purpose, just sitting there looking pretty. Probably in a small amount of yardage too. No shame. The fabric in today's project is probably 8 years old.

Rebecca Page Emma Top

This is the Emma Top from Rebecca Page, in a poly woven that I want to say came either from Girl Charlee, or maybe Jo-Ann's. I'm not much of a print gal, and this isn't much of a print ha! It's black (my comfort color) with small orange and white accents. 

Rebecca Page Emma Top

The Emma comes in women's or girl's (just recently released in the Curvy range) or even a doll pattern. A sewalong launched this week as well, sign up here! The pattern includes options for FIVE different lengths. It has a button closure in the back.

Rebecca Page Emma Top

I made the top version. I opted to size down from the measurement chart, but I probably should have gone with my measurements. Sewing it as drafted in a too-small size, the armholes were a bit high and had to be let out. 

Rebecca Page Emma Top

I also shortened the height of the collar. I took photos of this process but I'm not sure I did it "right" or could explain it well, so I haven't included them. The sewalong does address this modification, however!

Rebecca Page Emma Top

This top was a quick sew and the directions were excellent. My 10 year old daughter actually stole it as soon as it was finished!

Grab the Mommy and Me bundle of this pattern, there's still plenty of time to make this up as super cute matching Easter dresses!

I am a Rebecca Page Brand Ambassador and received this pattern for free. All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Easter Coloring Shirt

Some affiliate links have been used. Thank you for your support!

Easter coloring shirt

If you're celebrating Easter this year, try this fun project with your kids! I've used a shirt I sewed myself (with a free pattern!) but it also works with a store bought shirt (I like the selection at Micheal's). You will also need my cut file and a cutting machine, HTV, markers, and some scrap cardboard. We used a combination of fabric markers and washable markers.

You can find my cut file design in my shop here. It comes with a couple other looks, in case you have multiple kids who don't want to match. I have a Cricut Explore Air 2 and use that to cut all my vinyl.

Easter coloring shirt

As I said, I sewed my own shirt using the Rowan Tee pattern from Misusu Patterns. I used a cotton jersey from Dharma Trading Company for the body.  I applied the HTV as soon as I cut the front piece out, before assembling the rest of the shirt. For HTV, I recommend Siser Easy Weed. I buy mine from Heat Transfer Warehouse.

Easter coloring shirt

I finished sewing my bodice and decided on some nice stretchy rib for the neckline. I think the pop of pink looks cute!

Easter coloring shirt

Once the shirt is finished, slip a piece of cardboard inside before you give it to your kiddo, as the markers will likely bleed.

Easter coloring shirt

My daughter loved this project and her new shirt!

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