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Work It: Edition 4.2

Well, I’m a day late, again, but this time I finished on time and forgot to share. So, maybe I’m improving? Maybe the chaos of the world today is getting to me? Maybe I’m just a huge procrastinator and it is showing? Who knows?

This month, Virginia got a lovely new top! I’ve had this fabric in my stash for YEARS! Picked it up from Fine Fabrics forever ago and made myself a shirt (that definitely lives in Virginia’s closet right now). Since I picked up enough for a couple things, it has just been waiting until I broke it out again. This wonderful stripe is definitely a rayon spandex. Lovely, soft, drapey, and a pain to work with. Totally worth it though for the comfiest of shirts!

The pattern is from Rebecca Page Sewing and has been on my list since it came out! This is the Laura! It comes in top, tunic, and mini dress lengths. The longer options have a wonderful angled slit at the back that I just love! Next version, I think! Laura comes together hella fast! It took at least twice as long to stripe match while cutting than it did to sew it up.

If you’ve checked out my youtube channel, you know I am a big fan of batch sewing. So this came together in two visits to the serger (neckband, back, sides, and shoulders, then attaching the neckband) and one visit to the coverstitch. Done. That was it! It was slightly different construction to the instructions, but fast and easy, and such a lovely end result.

Virginia will wear this one to work for another week or so, then she switches back to black shirts and Starbucks. At least for a few more months. After the switch, it’ll be the perfect shirt for being comfortable but cute for classes, errands, and weekend fun. Or a comfy jim-jam top. Who knows?

Either way, I really love how this top looks and came together! It can also be made in woven, and I think the variety of fabrics really gives lovely, and completely different looks to the pattern. Grab your copy, or if you’re like me, and already own it, print it out and sew it up for a quick pick me up!

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 3.2

So, I’m late with this post. I finished sewing and photographing a few days ago, because procrastination, but I have been struggling to write. In general actually. I don’t know if it is all the chaos in the world, or just a lull in my desire to write, but ugh. In particular, I am struggling to write this because I didn’t like this pattern. I don’t like the fit. I very much disliked the instructions. I’m sad because I’ve been wanting to make a swimsuit out of this fabric for a year!

Let’s just dive in. I’ll highlight some positives. This pattern is the First Crush Swimsuit from Rad Patterns. It has tons of options. You can make so many different styles for all your preferences. I had originally planned to make a suit for each of my sisters as well, because we could each pick exactly the options we wanted. After sewing up mine, I’m going to assess fit on my gorgeous sister (thankfully, I am right in between the two of them for size) and if they’re happy, I’ll move forward. If not, we’ll pick other patterns.

I really can’t comment on why this construction is so complicated. I got about halfway through construction, thought I had fucked something up and just did my own thing. After I finished, I realized I hadn’t messed up at all, the instructions just weren’t clear. At all. This 100% could just be me. Maybe I was just in a bad place for sewing and it makes perfect sense to everyone else. If this pattern interests you, please don’t let one opinion completely discourage you. Ask in the group, or look for someone else who has sewn it. But it was just a hot mess for me.

The end result fits, but not at all how I want it to. The back armscye is too wide and cuts into my arm when I’m moving. The bottom of the bust is not fitted enough to be secure to my preferences (I’d use a wider elastic there if I were to make it again). And the top of the bottoms annoys me. The inside is constantly flipping out. I much prefer either a wider elastic, so the topstitching can be further from the edge, or, even better, to sew the lining and outer right sides together, with elastic in the seam. This helps keep the lining inside better, and gives a cleaner finish to the top edge.

Overall, there are a LOT of things I would need to change to make this pattern again. If I LOVED the fit, I’d definitely tackle it. Construction changes are no big deal for me. But with how it fits me, eh. Unless someone I sew for specifically requests it, this one won’t be a repeat for me. If someone does choose it, they’ll definitely be getting a muslin first.

I’m really glad I powered through and got something out of this. Really hoping it fits well for someone else who might like to wear this one.

I hope you’re staying inside, not going batty, and finding some time to take care of yourself, as well as your loved ones. Sending love from Georgia!

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 2.2

Let’s talk about all the changes in my life this year.  At the end of last year, I quit the job I’ve been working at for ten years and am now working full time in the fun, part time job I’ve been vaguely mentioning for the last few years.  I AM LOVING IT!  I get to work from home, with a team of people who are absolutely amazing, on work that I am passionate about.  This is the dream!  Now, I’m still working more hours than I probably should, but it sure doesn’t feel like it!  I wake up every day excited to get started on whatever projects are on my plate, and equally excited to see what new ideas my amazing boss might come up with!

These days, I spend my time doing all sorts of different types of things.  But the perk is I get to do it at home!!  The down side to this is having absolutely no idea what I want to wear every day!  I used to have a handful of work pants that I rotated through, with whatever clean tops match and were in my closet.  Now, I don’t want to wear the same work pants but I don’t want to wear pajamas every day either.  Basically, I’m a toddler picking out clothes every day and hoping no one notices or judges me, since that usually involves comfy pants on the bottom and a cute shirt that may or may not match on top.

I know y’all saw me fawning over leggings earlier this week. It couldn’t be helped.  They were amazing.  After wearing those leggings more than I’d care to admit, I knew I needed more.  This is the perfect bottom for me to work all day and still manage a put together look!  Since this was a pattern I already had, and I ordered fabric to make leggings forever ago, this is the perfect project for Work It!!

So, let’s talk about these leggings.  Yes, they’re the same ones I shared earlier this week on the Working Out with Rebecca Page blog tour.  Yes, I am ridiculously obsessed with how these leggings feel and wear.  But, I did make one change!  I had a little bunching at the ankle at the end of the day with the grey ones.  I found the knee to be hitting the right spot, so I removed this length from below the knee, but not at the hemline.

I grabbed this fabric from So Sew English two damn years ago because I wanted some workout leggings.  Now, I’ll wear them to work AND workout!!  They’ll be beautiful, neutral bottoms for all my lovely tops, but also look super good with all my workout tops!!  That’s what I call a win-win.

If you didn’t grab the Lily Leggings already, I have to recommend them again.  Completely in love with how these make me feel.  Thanks for hanging out with me while I sew through some of my stash!

Stephanie xx

PS I totes got a haircut and HAVE to share the before and after pics with you.  My hair guy, Ryan, is absolutely amazing and if you’re in Atlanta, you should check him out.  

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Work It: 12 Months of Stash Busting

If you are a sewist, you might also work with the understanding that sewing and fabric shopping are two separate hobbies. Since buying a house, my fabric shopping habit has grown. Significantly. If you aren’t reading me here, a bit more bluntly – damn, I have a lot of fabric. Some of it I am saving for just the right project. Some is stuff I ordered online that wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. Some I’m holding for projects for other people (projects they are either waiting on me to have time for, or haven’t decided on actual details so I can sew). But there is sure a lot of fabric in my house. So this year, instead of using one pattern for 12 different pieces, I’m going to be sewing my heart out, using only the stuff I have in my possession already. (This is most of the fabric in my stash, but…not all. Clearly my organization is sometimes strong and sometimes terrible. Judge away.)

I’m sure I’ll be buying other fabric throughout the year, but for this series, I want to focus on clearing out some of the beautiful fabrics I already have. Bundles my sister and I are sharing. Loved pieces that deserve to reach their potential. Weird fabrics that I didn’t know what to do with. Every month I’ll choose something and give it a purpose. I might be breaking down a bundle to share with my sister or sewing something for other people entirely. I’ll be using patterns from across designers and sharing all the details so you can recreate any looks spark inspiration in you! I hope you enjoy this year’s version of Work It as much as I know I’ll enjoy sewing for it!

We are starting strong this month with a bundle we bought one of (why oh why do we always do this?) that we are both completely in love with. We had two yards of this sheer white with grey flowers (rayon jersey) and two yards of the lovely grey bamboo. This bundle is from So Sew English Fabrics and is so damn lovely. Both fabrics are soft and feel luxurious. I have to say the reason we were sitting on this for so long is that splitting two, 2-yards cuts between us was HARD! We bought this way back in April of 2017. Almost three years ago! Back when we were buying one or two yard cuts for most things. We have changed to buying two or three yard cuts so we have enough for whatever the fabric tells us it should be. (Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it shouts. You just never know until it is ready.)

Virginia and I pulled this bundle out, again (you can’t imagine how many times we’ve pulled this off the shelf to try to find what it wanted to be) and gave some real thought to what we could make with one yard each. Brainstorming was actually faster than I expected. Since it was an overlay bundle, I knew I wanted a tank out of the grey. My favorite tank pattern is the Strappy Cami from Rebecca Page Sewing. (Peeps! This one is a freebie for all subscribers!) It is the perfect basic tank for layering. Just fitted enough that it works under all my tops, but not so fitted it would double as shapewear. Basically, it is comfy AF. It is also super easy and quick to cut and sew. I love those quick sews! The bamboo is just so lovely to wear. And despite not loving sewing knit binding, it went so fast with this bamboo! Thankfully, Virginia picked the same tank, so it was a nice quick batch sew to make them both at the same time.

This leaves the overlay. What patterns do we love that I can get out of one yard each? Well, I had just finished sewing Virginia’s Camilla when we were chatting about this and it is one of my favorite 5oo4 patterns. Plus, if I go sleeveless and top length, I can sneak it out of a yard!! Decision made! I just love the drape with this sheer fabric. Camilla definitely highlights that drape. So, what does Virginia need with her yard? Well, her favorite shirt is the 5oo4 Jessie. Jessie has a sleeveless option that only takes a yard! BOOM!! All the decisions are made. We both have two new pieces that we can mix and match into our wardrobes.

Super excited to be starting another year of Work It and I hope you’ll join me to see this stash getting smaller all year!

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 12

This is it! This is the last one of the year!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Ok, I’m too excited about the entire outfit to wait to share. This month is all about the party! Whether it is a Holiday party, a New Year’s party, or an “I don’t have to work all week” party, December is a month of celebrations! I wanted to go full bold for this one.

Since this GORGEOUS scuba from Sly Fox Fabrics is so, so bold, I wanted to break it up a little bit by adding a side stripe, but also keep it pretty simple. But first, let’s talk about these fabrics. I used leftover modal from Edition 11 for this stripe. I cut so the more stable direction is running the length of my leg to prevent the less stable fabric from sagging in between the scuba. So far, it is holding up very well! The scuba is vibrant and just lovely to work with and wear. I could not be happier with how the finished pants wear.

On to the hacks. As always, I started with the 5 Out of 4 Diane Joggers. For these, I cut 1/2 inch off each outside edge, so I could have a 1 inch stripe. I cut the stripe at 1.75 inches and just did width of fabric, then cut off the excess after attaching. I also cut the regular, hemmed pants length, and the high rise. The knit band is still my favorite, and I added 2 inches to the cutting height, so it is 1 inch taller than intended in the pattern. When sewing, I did slim the leg slightly on the inseam side. The only other change is the pocket. This isn’t my usual pocket hack! I wanted more of a slanted slat pocket. So, I redrew the shape and deepened the pocket slightly. Because the opening goes further down my leg, I wanted to make sure my phone wouldn’t fall out while I was walking.

That’s it. This one was a SUPER simple hack. I adore the stripe and chose to do the pocket facing in black as well, which I think adds another lovely touch. The pocket lining is out of the scuba, since I wasn’t sure if the black would show through or not. These are comfortable and fun. Plus, I can see so much fun with a solid fabric and a lace stripe or a faux leather stripe. Just so much fun to be had!

So let’s talk about this top. Oh boy! This is the 5oo4 Stella and she is a beaut!! The flounce is what drew me in and adds that party vibe. I chose not to add the optional straps because I have cute bralettes to show off but love the bare shoulder if I feel like donning the strapless bra. This pattern is super versatile though! It has a plain tank, a strappy tank, and shorts! Plus, all of those can mix and match to make a romper! Definitely a great pattern to fill different needs in your wardrobe! Plus, it was a really quick sew.

I considered doing the bra length option only (forgot to list that one!), but opted for the more versatile tank. Mostly because this tank has just enough ease to tie it up and wear it a couple different ways!! If you want to do this, make sure to choose a fabric with great recovery! Something like rayon spandex is going to show that knot after it is untied until you wash it again.

I adore Stella in this SFF DBP. I picked one of the coordinates listed on the scuba. This magenta is currently sold out, but the orchid was my next choice and is still in stock! I can’t wait to make Stella in other colors and dive into some beautiful prints. I think this would be lovely in a lace or mesh as a swim cover!

That’s the whole outfit! It was simple and easy to make and wear! So comfortable and lovely. It also makes me think of spring, while everything around me is brown and a little sad, so double happy! I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition of Work It and be sure to share if you try it!!

Don’t forget to enter to win 5oo4 pattern credit right here (click this link! Really!! Prizes!!! Who doesn’t love winning prizes?!)