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 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!

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Free Wall Hanger Pattern and Sunshine SVG

This post contains affiliate links.

Hello all! I have such a fun, FREE project for you today! You definitely want to check out this easy wall hanger with a sunshine SVG!

I always see these cute wall banners when I shop, so I decided to draft my own pattern and make one for myself. You gotta love a one-piece sewing pattern, especially when it can work as a gift too! If you have a cutting machine, you can add a fun design with heat transfer vinyl and really personalize this idea (can you say teacher gift??). If you do not have a cutting machine, you can still use the sewing pattern and customize the banner however you'd like.

Sign up for my newsletter and you will be able to download the sewing pattern for this wall hanger, AND the SVG cut file for the sunshine design, for free! Sign up here, make sure you verify your email and you will be sent the link for the freebies. Keep reading for the project directions!



Half yard sturdy woven fabric like canvas or twill (I used some cotton drill from Jo-Ann's)

Assembled pattern

1/4" diameter dowel rod, 12" long (I use these from Amazon)

1 sheet black heat transfer vinyl (I prefer Siser Easy Weed from Heat Transfer Warehouse)

Cutting machine (I have a Cricut Explore Air 2)

General sewing supplies

Yarn, cord, or string for hanging the banner


Fold fabric in half (selvedge to selvedge) and place long straight edge of pattern on the fold. Cut around the outside edges. Using small scissors, make a shallow clip into the seam allowance at the notches. Repeat a second time so you have two identical pieces.


Please note: In the following photos, the banner is bigger than the final version. I decided to make it smaller after sewing up and photographing the first one. The sewing steps are exactly the same but your final product will look smaller!

Place the right sides of the fabric together and pin or clip around the edges. Take note of the notches you clipped in the sides. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew around the edges of the banner, EXCEPT between notches. Leave the space between notches open on BOTH sides (this is where the dowel rod will be inserted later). I have used red thread in the photo below so you can see where I sewed, but you should use matching thread. ALSO leave an opening at the top of the banner, about 3 inches long. Backstitch next to all of these openings to secure your stitching.

DIY Wall Banner

DIY Wall Banner

Cut across the seam allowance at the corners to reduce bulk.

DIY Wall Banner

Using the large opening in the top of the banner, turn the project right side out. Using a point turner or blunt object, poke out the corners. Press the banner flat.

DIY Wall Banner

Topstitch along the top edge of the banner using a 1/4" seam allowance, securing the large opening.

DIY Wall Banner

Heat Transfer Vinyl:

Now it's time to apply the "Be your own sunshine" design! Using your cutting software, import the file. DO NOT CHANGE THE SIZING!! It should import in the correct size for placing onto your banner!

Follow your cutting machine guidelines for cutting HTV (usually involves mirroring the image before cutting).

Be your own sunshine SVG

Once your HTV is cut and weeded, carefully position it into the bottom corner of your banner. It should fit neatly. HTV does often shrink a touch when heat is applied. If in doubt, lay the edges slightly over so that it shrinks to fit (in the final photo you can see mine shrank a bit).

DIY Wall Banner

You may wish to separate the words from the sun, that is up to your personal taste. Try it out and mark the midway point if you do decide to apply the pieces separately.

DIY Wall Banner

Following the manufacturer's directions for your HTV, apply heat. (Heat Transfer Warehouse has some amazing resources for learning how to use their products.)

DIY Wall Banner
Final version at the correct size

Last steps:

Insert the dowel rod into the two side seam holes, making sure the seam allowance stays tucked inside the banner.

Tie a piece of yarn, ribbon, or string to the ends of the dowel rods. I used a 16" length of yarn, which maybe was a little too long, but you do you.

Hang on the wall and enjoy!


Since this project is meant to be a home furnishing, I have not provided directions for finishing the seam allowances. If you believe you may need to wash the item in the future, please zig-zag or serge the edges of your two separate pieces immediately after cutting, then assemble as directed.

I have not tested this project with adhesive craft vinyl, but if you do not intend to wash the item it may work!

You can use a lighter weight fabric but it may not hang as well on a wall. Consider using interfacing as well, or one layer of a light weight fabric with a backing of something heavier.

Another fun idea would be to make it reversible! Check out my Etsy shop for other cut file designs. I think this rainbow one would be adorable on this banner!

rainbow SVG

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