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Work It: Edition 6

Here we go again!! It is full on summer here in Atlanta and it isn’t just heating up, it is hot. This makes me long for a warm beach, a cool breeze, and gentle waves to play in! How does this pertain to another edition of Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats, you ask? I can’t go playing in the ocean without some great swim pieces, can I?!

That’s right, I took the 5 Out Of 4 Diane Joggers pattern that I’ve been using and hacked them into swim shorts!! This was actually a really fast sew and turned out so cute and versatile!! Here are the pattern details…

I chose shorts length, but shortened to have a 2.5 inch inseam. I wanted short, but not too short. Don’t forget seam/hem allowance when measuring a new inseam!! I chose the yoga waistband, so I could wear it unfolded, and pulled all the way up. This gives me some coverage when I’m actually swimming, if my tank flies up. (This is the one thing I really hate about tankinis. Great for the sand, annoying in the water.)

The real fun comes in with the hack! I cut two sets of front legs and two sets of back legs, and two sets of back yokes. I sewed them up as if they were two separate shorts. Instead of using swim lining, I cut them both out of this AMAZING solid navy swim fabric from Sly Fox Fabrics. (I’ll talk more about that in a minute.) I usually use swim lining for suits, but with shorts, I just wanted that extra thick layer. Plus, the rest of the hack means it is great for the inside to match the outside!

After I sewed the shorts together along the bottom hem of each leg, I added elastic to the hem as well, to make sure they didn’t stretch out and show off more than I wanted to. Ok, if I’m being completely honest, I sewed the elastic at the same time as sewing that seam. I’m super lazy and hate sewing twice, if I can finish it once. Then I flipped them wrong sides together and stitched the side seams together (stitch in the ditch style!). I just used a long straight stitch and haven’t had a problem, but you could use a stretch stitch if you like. Then I sewed another line of stitching 1/2 inch on either side of the side seam. This created the casing for these fun ruching ties!

To create the ties, I just cut 4 pieces of 2 inches wide by 24 inches long, then sewed each one together along one short edge and the long edge, right sides together. Flip them right sides out and boom! Four lovely ties that I can slide into those channels. I did just slice small holes at the end of the channels, as far to the back as possible, but still on top of the seam and elastic, so my ties can come out the bottom. Tie them in a knot and done!

These ruching ties give me the option to wear them as shorts, reducing chafing and giving a bit more coverage/comfort while walking out and about or playing on the beach. But, I can squish the shorts up those ties (or ruche them, if you will), and I have some kick ass booty shorts (pun intended). I can swim without them shifting and add a cute feature that, I think, shows off my assets quite nicely. I have a comparison here to show how they really wear at both lengths. They both have the fun knot feature. It is a bit more pronounced with more of the ties showing when ruched. And my booty is rocking however I wear them!

I did mention this top a bit above, but this is the 5oo4 Rosanna. I LOVE this as a dress, so when I knew I was going to hack some swim bottoms, I knew I wanted this as a swim top. The straps are wide without being too wide. There is a built in shelf bra, with instructions to add foam cups, and it is just dang cute. This was my first time adding foam cups. They are a little wide, and I’ll probably move them over when I have some spare time (HAH!), but I love them! They definitely offer a bit of extra support and coverage and were surprisingly easy to put in. (To be fair, I stole cup pieces from a bra pattern, so they are actually a good size for me, and not just nipple covers.)

I was extra thrilled I could cut those front panels from scraps after cutting out my shorts! Such a fun pop to add to this delightful plaid, and a great use of scraps, of course. So, let’s talk about this fabric. This is the shit. I have made quite a few swimsuits, and I have used everything from thin and oh, I hope my stuff doesn’t show through when this is wet, to holy thick and beautiful and easy to use, batman. Sly Fox brought it, hard, and tops out on the awesomeness chart for swim fabric!! Seriously. It is thick and lovely to work with. The colors are GORGEOUS!!! I can’t wait to see how it holds up in the sun and surf. (Amanda, I clearly need to come down to test this out.)

I can’t wait to try more of their swim fabric, since I am obsessed with sewing swimsuits. But beyond that, they have such lovely options. Beautiful prints and fun solids! Great for mix and match options (I definitely want to make some pieces that coordinate so I can mix it up with these two!) So be sure to check out and find a new favorite swimsuit on your sewing table before they sell out!!

As always, 5 Out Of 4 Patterns is giving away a $10 pattern credit that you can enter to win here and be sure to let me know what you think of this month’s sews!

Stephanie xx

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5oo4 Laura Swim

Hell yeah! Swim!! I love sewing swim!! It astounds me every damn time just how simple the techniques are. To be fair, it also astounds me to have a suit that actually fits! One that isn’t too short so it pulls down for more cleavage than I expected or ride up for the terrible beach wedgie. Nobody wants that. So when this beauty came up for testing, it was irresistible!!

This pink version on me was an early version, so a few things changed before Virginia’s polka dot one. (That’s why the backs are slightly different.) I love the coverage this one provides. The ladies aren’t on display, though if you want them to be, there is an option for a lower neckline! The back also has two options! I didn’t have any clasps on hand, so went for the tie option. Plus there is a cute little button option if you want to add it!

I truly expected to be uncomfortable with such an open back. I almost always pick swim patterns with higher, less strappy backs. I’m pretty squishy and don’t typically feel comfortable with that squishiness strapped down and…well…squishing places. But some combination of this one having all the straps hit all the right places and finding myself surrounded by amazing, supportive, body positive people, has given me the confidence to just rock this!!

So glad there weren’t many changes to this one in testing (Rachelle just rocks), so I could make my final for Virginia!! She picked the same options in this lovely dot fabric! We used the reverse for the band and tie to give it a bit of contrast and fun pop of pink!

This was a surprisingly quick swim sew, especially the second one. I already have another one (or three) planned and can’t wait for some pool time!! Plus, as a bonus, when we were being tourists, we knew there was some fountain time in our day, so I wore this like a bodysuit with a circle skirt and was ready to get wet!! I was comfortable all day (even with the confetti) and my suit dried so conveniently quick after splashing in the fountain and having fun!

Grab your copy here and don’t forget to share in the 5oo4 fan group on facebook!!

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 5

It is time again for another edition of Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats! This month is particularly exciting for me and I have been impatiently waiting to share! I’ve got front pockets, of course, a new fabric for me, and not one, but two new hacks to share!!!

Of course, I am sharing another version of the 5 Out of 4 Patterns Diane Joggers. Check out all the previous editions (and of course, keep an eye out for the rest!) to see just how versatile this pattern really is! And once again, some FABULOUS Sly Fox Fabrics are just bringing this entire outfit together. This was my first time using techno crepe and I am completely in love with it! It is the perfect fabric for work wear. Cool, skims over the bits we don’t want to show off in the office, wrinkle free, plus, it is super easy to work with!! I went for the red, which is on sale right now, and just perfect for a bright happy day for the office!!

Since I’m rocking another work pant this month, of course I included the front pockets from Edition 3, because pockets. But I also slimmed down the legs on the version to create more of a cigarette pant! I love it!! All I did was increase seam allowance slowly from just below the hips to the ankle. I kept that 3/8 inch seam allowance through the hips because the fit through the hips is perfect for me, but hit 5/8 inch seam allowance about mid thigh and the rest the way down. My ideal slim fit pant!!

But wait, there’s more!! (Sorry, I just can’t resist!). I also added welt pockets to the back!! Seriously, every pant needs more pockets. I rarely use back pockets at work, but having the options to throw a wrench in the back pocket while working on an instrument is just so convenient! Plus, I find welt pockets to be beautifully magical when they come together!

All I needed were two extra rectangles for this one! One to create the welt piece and one for the pocket bag. I used similar placement as the top of the pocket bag in Edition 2 to determine where to place the welt. Then I added featherweight iron-on interfacing over where I’ll sew. This is enough stabilization for the light use I intend for my back pockets. If you’re going to use your pocket a lot, I recommend at least lightweight interfacing.

This is a great summary of how to install a welt pocket with details and photos of each step. But you can use any tutorial you like! It is totally worth the effort to add these. Just take your time in marking placement. It will be super obvious if they are crooked or at different heights. Add these first, then follow the rest the steps as usual to get some kick-ass work pants!

Of course I needed an equally kick-ass shirt to go with it! One of my favorite patterns is the Gloria. I fell completely in love with the dress version and have wanted a simple peplum every since. This was the perfect opportunity for that! I used this fantastic DBP that matches these pants perfectly!! It is perfectly flowy and delightful! I love it!! The only pattern changes I made were adjusting for height. Super easy and a sassy, fun shirt for work, or date night!

Check out all the amazing offerings from Sly Fox and 5oo4. And enter right here to win a free 5oo4 pattern!! Be sure to share your own versions of Gloria and Diane! I love seeing what you make!

Stephanie xx

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TCCF Navy Daydreams

I already mentioned this fabric showing up by surprise. Can you say best surprise ever? Because this is right up there!!

Threaded Candy Customs cotton lycra base fabric is absolutely delightful. It is soft, has great recovery. They blow me away with the creativity in every round. And you know I love to nerd out with every new round announced! Right now, though, they have the summer round open. Every damn fabric is just so pretty. Happy and ready to take to the beach. If you’re looking for fun swim fabrics, check these out!!

This print is the Navy Daydreams. It is bright and happy and I completely love it. Such a vibrant, happy print that I plan to wear all summer long!!! (And probably pretty far into autumn.) Since it is perfect for summer, this clearly needed to be turned into tanks! One for me and one for the sister! Let’s talk mine first.

I am completely in love with the tie front tops right now. I want to fill my closet with them. Knit, woven. Fancy, casual. Don’t care. This tank is the Made for Mermaids Mama Ella. This is a great basic tank. Just fitted enough for funsies, without me feeling like a sausage. It has some super cute options included. A super low back that I haven’t been brave enough to try. Some fun ruffles and strappiness. And, most importantly, this adorable tie front!!

This cotton lycra is the PERFECT weight for this. Stable enough to hold up to the stretching and pulling of the tie without being boxy everywhere else. I feel great wearing it! I’m totally ready for beer gardens, chilling outside, and enjoying the summer sun.

On to Virginia’s tank. She adores the 5oo4 Jessie. It is one of her favorite shirts. She already has a couple and it is one of her most requested patterns. So I figured surprising her with a fun tank would make her happy. (Spoiler alert…it did!) I chose the low back option so I could add some fun strappiness!!

This particular option isn’t included in the pattern (though it does tell you to go nuts!) I took two straps, cut per the pattern and looped them through each other in the center of the scoop. So simple and so fun. Perfect for me to steal out of Virginia’s closet in a few weeks. 😀

Both of these tanks are exactly perfect out of this beautiful summer fabric. Is there one in this summer collection that strikes your fancy?

Stephanie xx

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Amicalola Falls

From day to day, there are many advantages to sewing that are easy to forget. Obviously I love that my clothes cost less than RTW and are more unique. But today, while we did hella too many stairs at Amicalola Falls State Park, I was reminded of just how much I appreciate other aspects of sewing my own clothes.

We decided to start at the top of the falls and walk down the stairs to the viewing deck. Boy was this a bad idea. The views were killer, but after 600 stairs, and a whole lot of anxiety producing bridge time (I’m scared of bridges ok? They’re beautiful to look at. From a safe distance.), by the time we hit the bottom and turned around, I was hot. A little sweaty, too, and we hadn’t even started up the first leg of 175 stairs.

On that bridge, after walking back up that first leg, is where I started to realize a few things. First, while I was sweating, a lot, I wasn’t sweating through my shirt. This is the 5 Out of 4 Easy Tee I shared a few weeks ago, made from Sly Fox Fabrics Triblend. It breaths so well that even when I got back in the car, it showed no signs of the sweat I was producing!!!

Then, I also realized I hadn’t been adjusting my clothes throughout this entire excursion. These are Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs that I made years ago. They still fit really well! They weren’t falling down or shifting on me. Super comfy, and a nice athletic fabric I picked up from Fabric Mart that breathed really well, and dried fast when I spilled water on them!

The fit of the shirt is perfect. Just fitted enough at the bust to not shift around and fall off my shoulders. Flare enough that it doesn’t cling or stick to me.

Virginia is wearing the exact same outfit, except her leggings are made in swim fabric. I hope she was as comfy as I was all day!!

It was so nice to take a day off to enjoy some of the gorgeous nature so close to us, but so under appreciated. We turned the data off on our phones, put them on silent, and only used them to take pics. What a lovely way to spend a day, remembering to disconnect a little bit, and just be.

I hope you find some time for peace in our ever hectic lives.

Stephanie <3

PS – if you find water soothing, enjoy this video!