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Work It: Edition 3

Another month, another pair of joggers!  This month’s Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats is one I am very excited to share!!  Not only is this my favorite style of pocket, but these 5oo4 Diane Joggers just got upgrade to WORK PANTS!!!! 

You heard me.  I’m wearing these babies to work!  And looking good!!  Not to mention feeling comfy as hell!   This styling all comes down to fabric choice.  The heavy ponte from Sly Fox Fabrics is the absolute perfect fabric for a work pant.  It is thick, soft, and has ridiculously amazing recovery.   (Seriously.  I was actively surprised at the recovery.)  

Once you have the right fabric, moving that pocket to the inside is going to up your game from comfy, cute, but still looks like sweatpants, to work wear!  So how do you go from a patch pocket to internal pocket?  Ridiculously easy.  If you haven’t done this with pants yet, I highly recommend it!  I find internal pockets faster to sew than patch (way less topstitching, which is always my least favorite part).  

To start, you need to make one extra piece.  You need a pocket piece that matches the inside edge of the current pocket piece, and the outside edge (and most importantly, upper corner) of the pants front.  These two pocket pieces will create your pocket bag.  The only other pattern change I made is, once the front pieces are cut out (because I’m too lazy to do it before), align the patch pocket piece with your front piece and cut out the same corner as the pocket.  

From here, construction is super easy.  Right sides together, sew the patch pocket piece to the front pant piece, along that curved edge.  Also right sides together, so the patch pocket piece to your new pocket piece, along the outside curved edge.  Turn everything out and baste your pocket along the open edges to your pant front.  Then continue constructing these bad boys per instructions.  

I did pants length, no cuffs, mid-rise, with a knit waistband.  They are absolutely perfect!  I wore this whole outfit to work on Friday and was so comfy, but cute all day.  My pants weren’t falling down (that amazing recovery) or shifting weirdly like RTW often does on me.  Great work outfit.  

Speaking of outfits, let’s talk about this shirt.  I’ve made the Camilla top for me once before and fell completely in love.  (I wear it constantly!!)  So I knew I needed another one (or 8).  I’ve also been in love with the Lipstick Red DBP that Katy has been talking about in her videos FOREVER!!!  This was the perfect time (and excuse) to use it.  

I changed nothing about this top (except adding a seam to the back because it was faster than refolding my fabric).  Graded for my measurements, cut tunic length, and adding elastic for ruching.  I seriously need to make a bunch more of these.  In solids, and fun patterns.  In DBP, modal, even some beautiful rayon spandex!  

What do you think of this month’s Work It outfit?  Do you want to make your own?  The wonderful team at 5 Out Of 4 Patterns wants to help you do that!  Enter to win a $10 gift card below.

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Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 2

It is just the second month of Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats, and I am so excited for this outfit!!  Hopefully you’ve already checked out the 5oo4 Diane Joggers and are familiar with all the amazing options that come with the pattern.  (If you haven’t, why?!)  This month, I wanted to ease into the  hacks and craziness with something just slightly off pattern. I am going to share all my tips and tricks for stripe matching like a damn boss. And making a gorgeous top to match, of course!

These are the capri length joggers, hemmed. Still mid-rise, since that’s my personal preference, with a knit waistband. I sure kept those front pockets and the hack this time around is back pockets!!! Since I picked this absolutely gorgeous Sly Fox Fabrics double brushed poly, these are definitely a slightly more casual pant. As always, the DBP from Sly Fox is buttery soft and super easy to work with! This plaid is back in stock, but there are so many DBP fabrics to choose from, you can pick your fave and make capris that fit exactly what works for your closet!

Since I chose a plaid, and I despise mismatched stripes, I had to fussy cut these babies. And they were work every damn minute!! When I want to stripe match, I cut out the first piece, say a front leg. Then I use that as my pattern piece to cut the mirror image. Flip it over and start matching lines. Be sure to not manipulate it out of shape, or you’ll end up with a distorted piece.

This plaid doesn’t mirror, so I just did my best to make sure major stripes were similar, and that the hem, crotch point, and waist line all match between the two pieces. I repeat this for every mirrored cut, but didn’t cut out my pockets yet!! So, now I have the best base for successful stripe matching. But it doesn’t end there!! When I’m prepping seams for sewing, I actually use excessive clips, which is super rare for me. (I’m lazy.) I clip as many major lines as I feel like, sometimes all of them, but no more than about 5 inches apart. This really helps me make sure my fabric isn’t shifting at all while I serge. It is also a visual reminder of where my stripes are so I pay more attention. (Did I mention the lazy?) If you’d like to take an extra precaution, or you’re a bit more hesitant on the serger, you can totally baste first!

Now that you’re ready to put your seams together smooth and matched, before you start actually sewing, let’s talk about cutting out pockets that disappear after sewn. Lay out your front fabric face up, then place the appropriate pocket pattern piece on top. I used clips to mark where my major lines crossed. Then found a fabric scrap that matched, lined up my clips with those major lines and cut! This is where I break out the wonder tape once again. Why go through all the effort above and risk having the pockets shift while you’re adding them? I use two sets of wonder tape here. The first to fold back and secure the seam allowance. The second to attach it to the pants before sewing. Gorgeous, hard to see front pockets accomplished!

I’m ready to sew the pants except the back pockets. Add your front pockets all pretty, sew per the pattern. My additional tip here is for the knit waistband. This is my favorite way to sew bands of all sizes, waist, neck, arm. Anything you need to sew into a circle, then fold in half, matching raw edges, before attaching to your garment. First match your short edges, as the pattern instructs. Then fold that sucker in half. This will result in a seam with the necessary fold already started, making it easier to fold and quarter before attaching. It also ensures that seam doesn’t twist and shift while you’re wearing it, which I hate! Win, win.

Back pockets are trickier. For back pockets, placement and size are key to highlighting your assets as well as possible. This is a great read for how to best tweak your pockets for your best booty. I played with back pockets from other patterns to find the right size for this pant. Then I pinned them to my butt (in the mostly finished pants of course) and took super awkward pictures until I found the ideal placement. Then I used the same method of clipping major lines and finding fabric that matched placement. I folded down the top 3/4 inch and topstitched, then I also used wonder tape here to fold back the seam allowance on the other four sides and again, to ensure they stayed put while sewing. Be sure to reinforce the top corners, since that’s where most the pulling will happen.

Done! Let’s talk about this gorgeous top. I picked up this mustard modal jersey during the pre-order last year and it is so soft and drapey, the recovery is ridiculous, and the color is stunning! I made this Knot top for my sister last year and have been jealous ever since. The pattern only goes up to 3x and these hips don’t cooperate for that. So I graded out and adjusted for my height. But, the thing is…I didn’t reread these instructions before I started. (And I am always telling people to read, read, and read again. Fail.) I remembered the knot being the hardest part and forgot a crucial step. If I had read them, I wouldn’t have assumed I made a mistake when adding length, as I would have know the front SHOULD be longer than the back. So, instead of matching the hemlines up to the underbust seam, then gathering the front bust to match the back, I did the opposite. I knew the fabric had great recovery, so this would give me some beautiful ruching on the front only, and would solve my length problem. Turns out to be a super happy mistake! I LOVE how the bust fits, even though it isn’t gathered, and I was planning on ruching with elastic anyway. Mission accomplished.

So, I hope you’ll join me in sewing this months pair, or get ready for next month! And to help with that, 5oo4 is giving away another $10 gift card!! But, before we get to that, congrats to last month’s winner, Priscilla Shamulailatpam!!! Enter this month’s giveaway here! And don’t forget to check out all of the beautiful patterns from 5oo4 and the ridiculously gorgeous fabrics from Sly Fox Fabrics!

Stephanie xx

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Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats

This year is starting off with organization and figuring out priorities.  I know I’ve talked about it before, but I’m bringing it up again!  One of the goals I’m working toward this year is to buy a plotter printer.  My time is scarce, and I spend way too much of it gluing patterns together.  So, I’ll be spending the year saving a bit here and a skosh there until I can order one, with some supplies.  This decision led me to the realization that I, and probably a lot of people in the wonderful sewing community, spend a good bit of time gluing (or taping) patterns, then grading and making alterations for our individual bodies.  Then we just to sew it once or twice!!  Now, don’t get me wrong, even if you sew a pattern once, it is SO WORTH THE TIME to do all of this.  It will fit better, wear better, look better, and feel better.  Better than ready to wear.  Better than a pattern off the block.  But, if I’m spending all that time to get a pattern to fit me just right, why not see how versatile I can make it?  That is how I decided to do Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats

Here is the plan.  I’m going to be using the 5oo4 Diane Joggers pattern as a base.  I tested this pattern and loved the fit right off the pattern.  Made just a couple little tweaks and it is perfect!  Every month, I am going to sew up another pair of Dianes.  Some months will be options in the pattern, while other months are hacks, with some great Sly Fox Fabric changes thrown in to show the difference that can be made with choosing the right fabrics.  But the deal is, I won’t be making two of the same bottoms all year.  You will get to see 12 unique pieces, presented one month at a time.  Some will be small changes, some…well, you’ll see.  I’ll talk about what options I chose or hacked, which fabric I used, and my thoughts on the end result.  I’m also going to be pairing each bottom with a great 5oo4 top, because I don’t typically walk around topless, so why not take advantage of the coordinating fabrics Sly Fox shows on their website and making a matching top?

Since I love my readers, I also reached out to 5oo4 and one of my absolute favorite fabric companies to see if they were interested in sponsoring this series.  So, if you love one of these pieces, you’ll get to enter to win a $10 5oo4 credit every single month.  You can pick up the pattern and make your own!  And, I’ll be able to point you to the exact fabric I use, so you can recreate the pieces for your own closet!!

So, let’s talk about this first pair!  We are starting with the basics so I can get a feel for the fit (since I haven’t made them in a while) and show you guys what the pattern looks like without alterations.  We have the joggers in pants length, cuffed, with pockets.  I went for mid-rise with the enclosed elastic waistband.  I even made my own drawstring, so it would match exactly!  (If you don’t know how to do this, I simply cut a piece of my fabric at 1.5 inches wide and the length of the drawstring in the cut chart.  I serged it and flipped right side out.  Trimmed up the ends and done!) The pattern includes tips to get your pockets just perfect like mine (I’m not tooting my own horn here, because these pockets ARE perfect.) She recommends wonder tape, which is my favorite way to install a patch pocket exactly where you want it, without shifting!!

I used this baby French terry and it feels like I am wearing clouds as pants.  So soft, but thick enough to hide…well, what I’d like to hide. It was super easy to work with and I’m so glad I jumped into the pre-order when this color came out.  But guess what?  There’s another pre-order right now!!!  With some absolutely stunning spring colors!  Check them out here.  (Pre-order open until February 3rd.) Between pre-order prices and flat rate shipping, you can buy ALL THE FABRIC!!!

Back to these pants…It doesn’t get THAT cold in Atlanta, but it isn’t exactly warm right now either.  So, I’m really excited to add some comfy, warm pants that I can wear to bed, or even out and about.  Though, if we’re being completely honest, they will probably be my new sewing pants.  My craft room is on the low level of our split-level house, with tile floors (I assume over cement) and it gets downright cold in there. 

I definitely needed a top to match and since I picked this gorgeous olive, the Packer fan in me needed to pick a beautiful yellow fabric for it!!  I ordered these stars on double brushed poly about a year ago and just couldn’t cut into them.  It was finally time…and it was a WIN!!  I used the top from the Molly Pajamas.  Y’all.  It comes with a FBA front!!!!!!  Seriously.  The shoulders fit perfectly!!!!  I love that 5oo4 often includes these little perks in their patterns.  The DBP is a great fabric for this, so while they don’t have this exact one, there are GORGEOUS options to choose from.  Just a little structure, plus so soft and comfy!!  Absolutely wonderful for lounging around the house, but still cute enough to run to the store, or wear with jeans. 

The only thing I changed about Molly is shortening the sleeves.  I like a super short, short sleeve, so, whenever I’m not in testing, I pretty much always shorten them.  I just measure about 2.5 inches from the underarm seam and draw a line perpendicular to the hem on the pattern piece.  I’m definitely going to add just a bit of length to the Molly, for she is true shirt length, I didn’t read the finished length measurement before starting (terrible…), and I like a bit longer of a shirt, then make a few for every day wear!!  It is so comfy, and the neckline is perfect!

So, let’s make this all about you.  Do you need some comfy ass joggers?  Enter below to win a gift card to pick up the Diane pattern, and head over to Sly Fox for all the best fabrics!!  Then follow along all year and add some beautiful pieces to your closet. 

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Stephanie xx