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Spectrum of Shapes

One of the things I have been noticing as I am helping other people find the fit adjustments they need for their body, is just how much measurements overlap but shape is COMPLETELY different. This regularly amazes me. Two people with almost identical measurements, but vastly different shapes don’t need the same types of alterations and fit adjustments to achieve that perfect fit. This realization is what sparked this blog series.

Together with a few awesome friends, who happen to have near identical measurements to my own, but who look very different, we dived head first in. All of us completely gorgeous and unique in our own ways. When we tackle a pattern, we all have different points of view for what we consider common adjustments. Sequoia and Chaney have already talked about what adjustments they make, so I’ll just dive into what I do.

I count myself super lucky. Usually, the only adjustments I make to a pattern is grading between sizes and adding height. Every once in a while, I need a full bust adjustment. But these two quick adjustments are typically all I need to make a pattern fit me well! This is obviously helped by the fact that I don’t buy patterns from designers that don’t cover my size. Also helped that I prefer to use patterns that are drafted for an hourglass shape to begin with. This prevents a lot of the adjustments some need to make to even match the pattern block a specific designer uses.

Now, back to adjustments…DIBY includes a TON of adjustment and fitting tips in all of their patterns. They also have a super inclusive size range. This helps eliminate a lot of fit issues you might come across, which means it is a great start to this series! Simple changes to achieve a great fit!

All I’ve done is grade and add an inch of height. Super simple, even with this fancy hem! I used an ITY with fancy texture to it that I found at Fine Fabrics, so it is light and flowy, which helps this boxy shape work for my body. For my shape, I need to show at least some of my curves or I feel like I’m in a tent. It doesn’t take much, but it I don’t have some fit somewhere, I’m just feeling blah. I definitely don’t feel blah in this super cute top!

Be sure to check out the other gorgeous bloggers sharing their gorgeous shapes with all the right alterations of this lovely DIBY Adrianne!

Sequoia Lynn Sews

Twinkle Toes and Company

Sarcastic Sewist

Donโ€™t forget to enter to win a free DIBY pattern, so you can sew up your own DIBY to fit your lovely shape here!

Stephanie xx

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January Roundup

There are sews I don’t talk about here. Sometimes there is a solid reason for that. (Guys, my mom reads this blog. She doesn’t need to see some of the lacy bits I definitely don’t make.) Sometimes it is just lack of time. Even small pieces are fun to share and talk about. I could ramble about the simplest sew for way longer than I care to admit. There are just so many fun details to sewing!! Writing about them though, means taking photos, which I also like doing! But these things take time. Time I sometimes just don’t have.

Instead of just enjoying these beautiful sews for myself, or whoever I’ve made them for (hopefully) enjoying them, I’m going to share them! At the end of each month, I”ll gather up quick photos of each of the sews I haven’t shared yet, and combine them into one roundup post! I’m really excited, because, if we’re being honest, I tend to forget what I sewed even just three weeks ago. It just lives in the owner’s closet as if it were always there, and I move on to the next sew.

If we are trying for chronological order, then I’m going to start with the few things I managed to sew for my other sister while she was in town visiting. We had epic plans for ALL THE SEWS while she was here. Unfortunately, she picked up a bug at the airport and shared it with me. So the two of us spent the time she was here feeling terrible. On her last full day in Atlanta, we managed to make three pieces!

The first is this gorgeous ABB Tee from DIBY. She needed a warm, thermal shirt, so we grabbed this amazing brushed thermal from Mily Mae Fabrics. Goodness, y’all, it is so soft!!! I wish I had a better pic of just how beautiful this grey is. It is rich but soft. Definitely reading a bit more green in the pic she sent me. But, trust me, it is gorgeous. The fit on her shirt is perfect! But, due to the above mentioned illness, we didn’t get any modeled photos. In fact, I completely blanked on grabbing photos at all and had to ask her to grab a couple for me after she was home (and had worn it a few times!). This is a great basic top, and clearly appropriately named. (Also, it is free!!!) ๐Ÿ˜€

We also made a couple of her favorite tanks out of some lovely ITY we picked up forever ago at Fine Fabrics. She loves the fit of the Patterns for Pirates Free Spirit Tank. We don’t alter it for her hips, so it fits more like the Essential Tank (which is my favorite tank!). This is definitely her most requested sew, so I’m so glad we were able to get two done before I needed a damn nap.

I’ve been meaning (and needing) to make Virginia and I some comfy ass undies for a while. I won a gift card from Surge Fabric Shop a while back. I of course, immediately spent it on some gorgeous undie-worthy fabrics, because I’d heard some amazing things about their fabric for them. They’ve been sitting, waiting for me to actually make time for them. I even picked up FOE forever ago!! I’ve only got a pic of one pair of these comfy Bunzies, because Virginia got hers and I wasn’t going to ask for them back. ๐Ÿ˜€ (You might recall she got another pair out of this gorgeous navy from THE DEAL. I really need to make even more. They’re so fun!)

Now, I am not always going to be able to talk about each of my sews. I do still pattern test and sometimes, they just don’t release immediately. So, keep an eye out for a post soon about what I used this GORGEOUS Sly Fox Fabrics DBP for. I’m completely in love with it and so excited to share. This colorway, evergreen is currently sold out, though you can sign up for alerts if it comes back in stock. But they also have it in black and plum. (I’m secretly obsessed with the plum.)

After I sewed up that ridiculously soft fabric, I jumped back to some sewing for my other sister. While I was sewing, she was gluing and organizing patterns. She ended up with a great Made for Mermaids Nina that I made during testing and she just loves the fit. So, this is one of the patterns she prepped while I was sewing. She picked out this great french terry from Fine Fabrics. It is soft and lightweight. She doesn’t have this one yet, but I’m excited to see how it looks on her!

She has also been asking for a zip-up vest forever. It is one of the first things she asked for and I just haven’t made it a priority. (Have I mentioned I am a terrible sister?) I printed the 5oo4 Aspen Vest two autumns ago (seriously, 2017) and just hadn’t done the fit alterations she needed, even though I have a full bin of gorgeous fleece she has picked up from Joann Fabrics for a few vests. So, she finally gets one. And I have the pattern ready, after I see how it fits and make any change that might be necessary. I hacked this one to be completely self-enclosed, rather than using elastic to finish the edges. It is so, so soft. And I totally can’t wait to see what she thinks!!

Did I mention that she has no idea these are coming to her as soon as our visiting cousin heads home? If she reads this, it will be a (hopefully happy) surprise!! Love you, Vicki!! ๐Ÿ˜€

That is my sewing list for this month. It has been a productive, fun month and I can’t wait to see what February brings! What have you been working on?

Stephanie xx

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DIBY – Bravado Flare Add-on

I’m back with another DIBY pattern! This time I will try to refrain from gushing too much (see my DIBY Helen post for thoughts on the designers behind DIBY). But I am SOOOOOO excited to be talking about these jeans today.

The original Bravado pattern came out a few months ago and I desperately wanted to buy it, along with the other three jean patterns they released. They looked AMAZING!!! But, they also didn’t have any pictures of people my size on the website. Since this project is a bit more time intensive than most, my feed also wasn’t suddenly flooded with everyone making them. So, I hesitated just a bit too long and missed the sale. Boy, do I regret that!! These f***ers are AMAZING!!!!!!!

 

I spent a good bit of time altering the pattern to fit and making a muslin. Actually, that part was more time consuming than these amazing pants I ended up with. I HIGHLY recommend you read through the full instructions at least once before you even print the pattern. I mean actually sitting down, with as few distractions as your life can have, and full on focusing on the instructions. I read every single fit tip, possible issue, and alteration suggestion before I even glued my pattern together. This pattern also taught me that I’ve been adding length to my bottoms wrong! I’ve been splitting it evenly, but it turns out, I’m all thigh (insert thunder thigh joke here…) and have very little extra height below the knee. Anyone want to feel weird about their shape, but also end up with jeans that fit for realsies? Make these!

Ok, ramble over. I graded between sizes for EVERY spot. High hip, hip, thigh, knee, and calf. It can be a lot of grading. It. Is. Worth. It. I promise. Then I adjusted for height. See above for the weird feelings that brought on. But, I cut out a quick muslin out of liverpool and the fit was perfect!!!!!! I was so pumped to cut into my denim. Plus, this step eliminated all nervousness about wasting the good stuff. I should mention here, the good stuff was bought directly from DIBY and it is freaking gorgeous! This is the most fantastic quality stretch denim I have encountered!! Wow.

Now, getting back to it, I must admit, this project did take a bit longer to sew than many of my current projects (even longer than swimsuits!!), but it isn’t due to difficulty! There is just a lot of topstitching, and ironing, and switching colors (or machines, if you have multiple). All in, from cut to finish, I probably spent a good 8 hours on these suckers.

Now, you do need the original Bravado pattern AND the Flare Add-on to achieve this amazing flare. But, the Bravado has a bootleg and flood option, and the Flare Add-on has this flare and a slim flare option, so it is amazing variety!! Now, if you are so sold on these jeans that you want all the options, check out the Bespoke Jean Bundle. This one has the Bravado, the Dauphine Skinny Jeans, the Walker Shorts, AND the Augusta Motos!! It is a fantastic deal!! Plus, there is a freebie for some fun stitching options for your pockets!! I used one of them and had trouble deciding with all the cute choices. ๐Ÿ™‚

I so hope you’ll share your DIBY jeans, regardless of the type you sew, with me! I’d love to see them!

stephanie xx

***This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my fabric habit if you purchase using my links. This doesn’t cost you anything at all! So, win/win? Thank you!***

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DIBY Helen

20180526_132003I have recently had the great pleasure of joining the DIBY team of testers.  And I need to share a confession.  When I first learned DIBY existed, I thought it stood for Do It Beautifully Yourself.  Everything I saw from them was so gorgeous!! Assumptions were made.  Oopsies.

Obviously, I’ve become much more familiar with them and I have to say, the design team at DIBY appears to strive to give their customers the best possible fit on every pattern they release.  I love that!!!  I typically only test more than once with designers that seem to actually care about a pattern working for every body and size that they draft for.  If they’ll let me, you’ll be hearing a LOT about DIBY in the future.

20180526_131731The Helen.  This dress makes me feel just lovely!  I could not be happier with the fit or the time investment to get there.  I’m a little taller than most patterns are drafted for (5’8″), so I added height where appropriate and just love how it nips in at the waist and blouses over just a touch!

I also love this single brushed poly from Sly Fox Fabrics!  It drapes just perfectly AND is cool and comfortable for these humid summer days! (This is Vivid in Teal, which they are out of.  But!!  They do still have Vivid in Olive and it is just as gorgeous!!!)
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I also ADORE that this doesn’t have elastic in the waist casing.  I can distribute the gathers to my heart’s content.  Sometimes, I like them evenly gathered.  Other times, I focus the gathers more at center back.  It also means I get exactly the tight fit I’m looking for!  Sometimes elastic is just a smidge loose and I look frumpy.  Or I overindulge at dinner and it feels a little restricting.
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There are some super cute options available with this pattern.  It also includes some amazing customization for fit!  If you are scared of a FBA on knit patterns, this is a great starting point!!  The detailed instructions are so, so clear!!!  I truly think anyone can tackle them!

So, pick up your pattern DIBY Helen and share with me just how beautiful you look in this dress.  (This is an affiliate link.  If you click it, then purchase the pattern, the designer thanks me for sending you there with a small commission.  It costs you nothing extra!)

Stephanie xx