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Work It: Edition 11

It is cliched, but I am SHOCKED it is November!! This year has flown by and I can’t believe I am almost done with the first year of this series!! But it isn’t done yet and I can’t wait to share another edition of Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats with you!

This month, I wanted to use the 5 Out of 4 Diane Joggers to be prepared for all the holiday stuff. Shopping for presents, decorating the house, basking in the crisp air, holiday get togethers with friends and family. All the fun stuff that the season brings!! To do that, I wanted fancy joggers!! To start, I needed the perfect fabric. Something with a little structure and some body, so it doesn’t drape too much. Something a little bold, with a lovely print, because everyone needs more patterned pants! Myself included. Structure and body means a nice double knit for me, so I perused the selection of liverpool fabrics from Sly Fox Fabrics. I love liverpool. It is lightweight enough that I can wear it all year in Atlanta and not be a puddle of sweat.

This GORGEOUS dusty mauve immediately jumped out at me. It has lovely fall vibes while still being fun and exciting! Plus, I am completely loving the pinks and burgundy tones this season. I want to wear them EVERY DAY!!!! Now I have the perfect fabric and am ready to tackle the hacks!

I had to add the same pocket I’ve been adding almost every month. I just love these pockets. Everything needs them! I also slimmed down the leg slightly, as I did here, so I wouldn’t end up with too much drape over my cuff, since liverpool won’t drape because of that body. I also chose the high rise cut line and added 2 inches to the short, knit waistband. This combo really gives me the exact high waisted look I was going for.

But the real hack to this one is in the cuffs. I cut the pants at the cuffed capri cutline. Then I made an entirely new cuff piece. I measured the height I needed from ankle to where the capri hits. I also measured my ankle and calf to make sure the cuff would fit as I wanted. Then I created this hourglass shape piece…

Then folded it with that angled edge matching. Then folding again, with the top and bottom raw edge matching. Sew along just the angled line and the cuff is made!! I tried it on to make sure the fit was alright and was ready to go!! For my next one, I’ll curve that angled edge just a little, so it stays a little more fitted in that weird area between calf and ankle, but I am super happy with how this cuff turned out!!

I knew when I planned this that I wanted to go bold this month. I wanted that look that makes you feel put together and fabulous, no matter what you’re doing! So, I went for it. All in. And sharing on the internet. After the bikini earlier this year, I didn’t think I’d struggle with a simple crop top! I surely did. I’m also sure I annoyed a few friends while asking for opinions. Love y’all!

The Lakeshore Tank was the perfect starting point for this top. It was so dang cute on Virginia as a full tank earlier this year and I’ve wanted one since I made hers. to make it a crop, I initially cut it a few inches above the banded cut line. Really wanted to give myself wiggle room for whatever length I actually wanted. Then I finished everything except the hem and tried it on. I clipped a few places around the front and lived with it a little bit. Sent a few pics off to get opinions on where it should hit. Then shortened it even more. If I’m doing it, might as well do it big, right?! I freaking love the end result. It is so comfortable and will be ridiculously versatile in my closet!

Part of that comfort is the fabric. I used modal jersey for this one and it is freaking perfect. It is soft and flowy. Has amazing drape and doesn’t stick to itself like DBP. So it sits exactly where I want it to without adjustments. I went for the nice basic black, but will definitely be making more out of ALL THE COLORS!!! Then, as I get even more comfortable with crops, I can venture into the knub jersey and brushed poly fabrics!

Since it is November, I can’t just live in a tank, and a crop at that. Clearly need a cardi to go with that! I knew exactly the pattern and fabric I wanted for this! I wanted the drama of a long Eleanor! Knee length was perfect (maybe I’ll try duster next!) And the ribbed knit was exactly the sparkle I needed. The flow of this in the wind gets me every time. I often leave pockets off cardigans if the fabric is light or fiddly (I tend to forget and just throw my hands in them pretty roughly), but I think I’ll go back and add them on this one. The fabric can definitely handle it and I think they’ll bring this one up a notch from outstanding to PERFECT!!! The burgundy was exactly the right color to compliment these pants. Sly Fox just released mustard though, and I need that in my life.

Basically, I am completely in love with each piece this month. They come together with just a little drama and are quite versatile on their own. I’ve already worn each of them separately and together!! Be sure to check out all the gorgeous fabrics over at Sly Fox Fabrics and all the fantastic new releases and wonderful patterns from 5 Out of 4 Patterns (keep an eye here too, as I’m in a test right now that I can’t wait to share! Shhhhh!!!) And don’t forget to enter to win free pattern credit from 5oo4 right here!

Stephanie xx

PS – My neighborhood has kitties. Apparently years ago, before we moved in, some asshole decided they didn’t want the kitten they adopted, so they just put it outside. Of course it wasn’t spayed/neutered, so now there are kittens. Always. The neighborhood takes care of them, feeding, capturing to spay/neuter, making sure they’re safe and warm, etc. There are three black kitties from the same litter who all hang out, so we named them Tall, Grande, and Venti. This is Tall. She is super sweet and loving. If I didn’t have four cats already, and she really needs a home with her sister, Grande (their brother is much more independent, but still sweet!), she’d already have moved right in. She decided to photo bomb this entire shoot and be adorable. Don’t worry, she got pets and food. But, if anyone wants to add some really sweet kittens to their lives, let me know! <3

PPS – Spay and neuter your damn animals. Seriously. The health benefits are ridiculous and not adopting these cats breaks my heart.

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5oo4 Sandra Tunic

Every time I see a new test and desperately want to join in, I say, no…I don’t have time right now. I’m super swamped. Especially with holiday sewing upon me. But every time I tell the amazing women of 5oo4 this, I feel terrible and usually cave. I’m SO GLAD I did this time too!!!

This new pattern is lovely! It is a quick sew and absolutely perfect for the chilly weather so many of us are enjoying right now. (I am aware that not everyone enjoys it, but it is cold whether you like it or not, might as well enjoy it while it is here, then be even more excited when it leaves.) Plus, it comes in dress length too! So if you want a cozy holiday dress, this is a fantastic choice!!

Due to the aforementioned time crunch, I decided to sew for Virginia on this test. She is a straight size, no grading, in 5oo4 patterns, so prep takes less time! And she is always so happy to have me sew her something new, so why not? We dove into fabric and assessed the stash. I should really write a post about the stash. It is a bit ridiculous… Maybe in January, after the holiday madness. Anyway, back on track… She wanted something warm, and was leaning toward mixing fabrics. Since it is a tunic and she wanted long sleeves, it is a good thing she wanted to mix it up a little! We usually buy 2 yard cuts and this one takes a little more than that for the hood and the sleeves.

Thankfully, we had this lovely floral french terry from Fine Fabrics leftover from a shirt for our sister and it matched perfectly with some of the french terry we picked up when Sly Fox Fabrics had a bunch available for preorder! This is the magenta, and it is available for retail right now!!!

Virginia loves a v-neck. And I can’t blame her, as it is a really great shape on her. She also loves a hood, so this pattern really brought the features for her!! I absolutely adore this hood/v-neck combo. I love that it is a good depth, so it isn’t all up in the choking area, even with the hood!! The construction is fun, and it is a beautiful finished look.

That, in combination with the split hem, really move this top into a top spot on my to sew list. The other options we didn’t use, include dress length, v-neck with no hood, scoop neck, scoop neck with hood, crew neck, slim sleeve, and short sleeve! Little options that make a big difference in getting just the tunic you want!

Be sure to grab your pattern here during the sale and share all the beautiful Sandra tunics and dresses you sew up! Now I’m off to make another!!

Stephanie xx

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Angled Zip Clutch and The Sewing Summit

I am ridiculously excited to be sharing another free pattern with you today!! Nothing makes me happier than sharing something fun! This little clutch is just adorable. A little fun, a little sassy, super useful, and so very versatile!

It is such a quick sew, I can’t even believe it. Plus, the scrap busting options are endless. This could be really cute patchwork quilted to use even the tiniest of scraps! And most of us keep the supplies needed on hand. A zipper, some interfacing, and a bit of woven fabric. Boom and done!!

Now, the zipper is a bit longer than the ones I typically keep on hand (I buy 8″ zippers in bulk), but not so long that it will be hard to get your hands on. I really wanted to be able to get my phone in and out easily and still have room for whatever I want to carry. I made these versions out of quilting cottons, but this would be so fun and easy out of all kinds of woven fabrics. Accents in faux leather would be lovely, some great outdoor fabrics, suede. Endless options!!

I did my best to make these pattern pieces easy to make, while still having some unique features, so you should be able to trace and cut everything out of regular US computer paper, no glue needed, if you prefer to make pattern pieces, rather than cut fabric directly. This is definitely my preference if I’m planning to make more than one of anything. Measurements are quick and easy (and I hate gluing paper together), but for repeats, it’s just easier to have the pattern cut and ready to go.

Now I have even better news! I’m doing a sew along to show just how easy this pattern is to make up!! And to show a quick hack, if you’re scared of zippers or just don’t feel like adding one (the navy one with the periodic table lining). Check out The Sewing Summit! It is a week long event with some of the most amazing sewists, designers, and fabric experts sharing their knowledge with you. Free to attend live, or grab the videos forever at a reduced price ahead of the event. However you choose to participate, I’m sure you’ll be able to learn something new and exciting, and meet some new peeps in the sewing community!

Grab this free pattern right here, and be ready to sew it up with me! Don’t forget to tag me if you share anywhere, as I’d love to see your finished product!

Stephanie xx

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5oo4 Weekender Tunic

I’ve been eyeing this one for a while. A cute, simple top for cooler months. Easy to sew and a few options to keep it spiced up. Heck yes. Now that I’ve made it for Virginia, I don’t think she can wait for another one!

She chose the straight tunic, with slim, extra long sleeves. She didn’t want to add the hood or cowl neck, which are wonderful options. You can also choose short sleeve, regular long sleeve, or a non-slim sleeve. So really, this one can be just about anything you need!

Virginia picked this absolutely gorgeous sweater ribbed knit in Spiced Rum from Sly Fox Fabrics and it is so damn cozy!! We might have ordered this fabric in just about every color, and totally regret the ones we missed! (Remind me to order this Licorice before it sells out. I just LOVE it!!) It is soft and luxurious inside and out.

5 Out of 4 put this lovely top on sale for just $5 this weekend!! You should definitely grab your own Weekender Tunic if it is one you’ve had your eye one, or if you’re just seeing it for the first time. 🙂

Stephanie xx

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Frocktails and Patsy

When I heard Frocktails was coming to Atlanta, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to meet some local sewing people! Bought my ticket, gave a little thought to what I had in my closet that would be cute. Just let that sit in the back of my mind and start to get excited. Then, I got an update email from them that there would be a straight up red carpet and professional photographers. What?! This obviously means I need a sparkly dress. I don’t know why, but that’s what my brain tells me.

Now I’m on the lookout for a fancy dress that isn’t too fancy, so I can wear it again if I want. Something that won’t take too long to make, but is not something I already have in my closet. I polled a few friends and got suggestions on styles they’d put me in and ended up in a style I’ve worn on a few locations. Definitely didn’t step outside my comfort zone here, as suggested, but I am just a sucker for classic, vintage vibes!!

Off to Fine Fabrics to find something inexpensive but fabulous! A few more annoying texts sent to friends to help me decide. Turns out they have so many pretty, sparkly fabrics to choose from!! And I rarely explore the fancy fabrics aisles. (That’s the official name.)

Home again to start hacking the pattern! I started with the vintage, gorgeous, ridiculously fabulous Patsy Party Dress from Rebecca Page Sewing. This has been on my “wish I had a reason to wear it” list since I saw the first line drawing. NOW I DO!!! I used the free version, but the add-on pack is amazing. Seriously gives you every fancy look you could need for a strapless dress.

This pattern also includes all the info to give structure and support so if you want to go braless and still feel supported, you can. There is info on interlining and how to add boning. There’s a blog post on adding a waist stay for even more support. (Peeps! I wrote this one! You should check it out.) In my desire to just sew quickly, I wanted to totally skipped most of this. I did interline the entire thing only because the sparkles are a little sheer. I would have added the waist stay, but ran out of time. More on that later.

Now, I love the vintage strapless look of the Patsy, but I needed to add straps. I wanted sparkly, cagey, strappy delight and I wanted that to start from more of the sweetheart neckline. I also needed to do a full bust adjustment (the free princess seam FBA download is super easy to follow and worked PERFECTLY!) A quick muslin of the bodice to check the FBA is the perfect opportunity to start this hack.

I pinned the muslin to my bra (the one I’m wearing under the dress, so everything sits in the same place) and marked how low I want the sweetheart to sit. I didn’t want to lose the vintage feel, so I didn’t go cleavage low. I took off the muslin and used my french curve to ease that point into the side of the center front piece. I didn’t want to lose any bra coverage on the side either, so just drew a nice, smooth curve. Cut off this bit and pinned it back on. It was exactly what I needed!! So a quick transfer to the pattern piece and I’m good to go!! (Keep in mind seam allowance when you do this!! You’ll lose 1/2″ from the top edge.)

The only other change I made was adding the strappy goodness. I wanted straps on straps on straps! Straps for days! Interwoven and heading in unexpected directions. Just straps. I wanted them narrow, but not so narrow that I’d throw them across the room while trying to turn them right sides out. I cut strips 1 1/4″ wide and sewed with a 3/8″ seam allowance. The fabric is super lightweight and it was really easy to turn them. Eight straps later and I’m ready to ask Virginia for help in figuring out where to place them.

This process was…fun. I clipped them to the front where I thought I wanted them. Then asked Virginia to pin me into it (that back is hard to pin myself!). Small tweaks and another check, and they are basted on; then I’m ready to figure out back placement. I tried something I thought I’d like and hated it. Virginia to the rescue! She moved straps around and clipped them where she liked them, with many photos shown to me so she could adjust and tweak. After triple checking that they were interwoven correctly (pro tip, they’re not…don’t look too close), I sewed them in between my main fabric and lining. A really good press and deciding not to understitch, and my bodice is ready to be sewn to the skirt.

Why didn’t I understitch? Well, I find those straps make it difficult to get a smooth line across the entire front of the bodice. My machine tends to bump a bit when I get to that extra thickness, and I don’t want to be sad every time I see it, or take it slow and responsible to get it right. But I still don’t want my lining sneaking out. So what the hell choice is that?! Bad sewist!! I just cheated the lining to the wrong side. When I pressed, I pulled it down a scant quarter inch lower than it is supposed to be. Really, really good press here and pinned the lining lower than the bodice all the way down, and across the bottom. Why? You might ask. Because I’m cheating on the next step too.

The pattern has stunning finishes, inside and out. But, I’m looking for quick and dirty and this is just for me. So, I’m not doing the lining how it is suggested. I’m treating the entire bodice as one at this point. Sewed my skirt on, then attached my zipper, after adjusting the back to take out extra width since my fabric stretched out a bit during construction (this step is included in the pattern and is one of the most important ones to get the right fit. It is worth the extra time. Promise!). Usually the zipper would be sandwiched in between the outer and lining, so there is no way it sneaks out and is seen. But, I’ve got straps RIGHT THERE. They give me some coverage for a little seam allowance sticking up. I can serge the back edge, make sure to get that zipper tape fully secured, then, if needed (and only if needed), it can be tacked to the lining with just a few hand stitches. Then I won’t even need those straps as a just in case. Yeah, I’m lazy. But I just saved myself from hand sewing the bodice lining all the way around the waist. Calling it a win!

That’s it. The dress just needed a hem and it was good to go! I left it hanging to let it stretch out fully. Hemmed it and decided if it needed a waist stay. (Why not? It doesn’t take long.) It turns out I ran out of time for hemming though. The outer fabric needed to be hemmed by hand. It was just the prettiest option and it. Took. Forever. So my lining is currently unhemmed and I didn’t have time to add a waist stay. I finished the outer hem an hour before I needed to leave. Whoops! Still had to pick some shoes, and a hairstyle. Thankfully, I played with some lippie options and watched youtube videos to learn how to put stuff on my face earlier in the week. A little help from the sister and I’m off to Frocktails.

This event was really fun. It was cool to be in a place where everyone had this crazy, common interest. I met some awesome new people. Some from just around the corner, some a bit further away. Some brand new, but oh so impressive, sewists, and some ridiculously experiences sewists!

I did finally get to meet Jessica, from 5 Out of 4 Patterns! She lives not too, too far from me and we’ve never met! That was cool as hell! And the superstar Aaronica, who is as fabulous in person as expected!!

All in, it was a really cool night. My feet and throat hurt (I’m old, but the music was too loud), and I definitely had a slow start this morning, but it was a night I won’t soon forget! If you have a Frocktails event near you, I highly recommend making some time.

Stephanie xx