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5oo4 Meg

I love a knit dress. They are comfy, easy to wear, and so much easier to fit than woven. A good woven dress is worth the time to fit, but we don’t all always have that extra time.

The new Meg Dress from 5 Out of 4 Patterns is a wonderful balance between the ease of knit and the fit of woven!  Meg can be made out of so many different types of knits, which will give different looks and fits.  Virginia was looking for something a little more structured, we chose a ponte knit in this gorgeous teal color! (We picked this up locally at Fine Fabrics.)

The darts on this thing are the real killer.  Even with how well endowed she is, I only made small changes to the darts between our muslin and final dresses.  I shortened her front waist darts slightly. I think the next one I’ll shorten another cm or so.  

For her bust darts, I moved them down slightly and shortened them.  But I also sewed them slightly curved rather than straight.  This gives just a little more room where we found she needed it.  

Those are all the changes!  Zipper installation was straightforward and the beautiful metal zip gives it such a polished look.  Add some statement jewelry and her favorite heels and she is ready to tackle grad school interviews or a boardroom!

There are some super cute sleeve options included too! Virginia just wanted to keep it simple. Grab your copy of Meg while the pattern is on sale and share how beautiful you feel in this pattern!

Stephanie xx

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5oo4 Escapade

So, I tested this pattern way back in the way back and I just adored it. Super cute and a surprisingly quick, considering it looks complicated. I just love the two tanks I made. I’ve worn them dozens of times and I’m a little disappointed in myself for not going back to make more (isn’t that always the way).

A few weeks ago, Virginia and I were powering through some new swimwear before we went on vacation and I suggested the 5 Out of 4 Escapade as a swim tank for her. It comes with full bust adjustment options, provides really great support, even without adding all the extra foam cups and whatnot, and has the thinner straps she has been asking for. Perfect!! She freaking loved it!! Plus, we got to use this kick ass “cereal” fabric I found at Fine Fabrics.

Now that she loves it, what a perfect pattern to pair with this gorgeous fabric!! We picked it up from So Sew English, and it has been in her stash forever. This print is just exactly right for this dress!! I hadn’t made the dress and now I’m a little jelly! Doesn’t she look stunning in this?

The halter ties, the ruched front, the subtle flare. *sigh* Perfect for fall, as it is still too hot to exist outside here, and as it cools down, will be wonderful under a jean jacket!

Is it my turn for another Escapade yet? 😀
Stephanie xx

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5oo4 Gloria

5 out of 4 Patterns is an amazing company.  I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that before.  They are friendly and kind.  Ridiculously knowledgeable and happy to share their sewing info with anyone who needs it.  They design gorgeous patterns with an amazing range of sizes to be as inclusive as possible.  I count myself lucky to be on their testing team.

I have to say I was damn mad that I missed testing the Gloria.  Rachelle previewed it and it was instant love for me.  But I was having my stupid tonsils taken out and was definitely not going to be up for sewing.  But, I knew she was going to make it into my closet eventually!

Oh boy, was she worth the wait!  I didn’t quite have enough of this gorgeous Sly Fox Fabrics Moonstruck Liverpool for the hi-lo skirt as a dress, which is gorgeously dramatic and I need.  But, I did have enough for a beautiful dress that will be versatile and comfortable.  I wore it out today and already received compliments and doubt that I’d made it!

The split sleeve is so fun and surprisingly easy to sew!  I went for a band instead of binding on the neckline.  The lower neckline is wonderful.  Not too low, that it shows off the girls, but I’m not choking on it either.  And this half circle skirt is everything.  Not as much of a fabric hog as a full circle skirt, while still skimming over my hips beautifully.  Plus, the pattern includes a full bust adjustment built in!  So, if you need one, the work is already done!!  (If you don’t need one, don’t worry!  The regular bodice front is there too. <3)

I will definitely be making more of these.  With all the options.  Peplum tops for work, hell yes!  Hi-lo short dress – perfect for date night.  Long, dramatic split sleeve, mmhmm!  You know it!  The elbow length sleeve really speaks to me.  It is long enough to provide a little warmth in my freezing office, but I don’t drown in sweat when I leave.

Have you made a Gloria?  Because you should.  Just saying. 🙂 (Also, it is also on sale today (9/21/18) only!!)

Stephanie xx

PS – The Moonstruck is sold out in the Liverpool, but they do have it in other fabric bases!  The colors in person are beyond gorgeous!!

 

This post contains various affiliate links.  Purchasing patterns using these links does not cost my readers more, but the designer does provide me with a small commission from any sales.  This commission helps to fund my fabric addiction and is greatly appreciated.

 

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Sly Fox Fabric – Back 2 School Celebration

I love reading Back to School blog tours and posts.  It means Fall is upon is (and we all know how I feel about fall!).  Kids are jumping back into school.  Temps are maybe thinking about possibly starting to drop (dammit Atlanta!).  Football starts up.  Everything is great!  But, I never know what to say for back to school blogs.  I don’t have kids.  No nieces or nephews either.  Graduated from my master’s program a couple years ago.  So, I was going to write about Virginia going back to school.  Her being out of the house more, and generally more busy, and what that means for me.  But, I realized today, back to school does mean something to me.  It is a reminder of how much I love school.

I might be in the minority there, but school has always been something I enjoyed.  When I was young, it was exciting to go every day and see my friends; learn something new.  As I got older, it was a way to get out of the small town I grew up in.  Experience more of the world.  And now that I’m in my 30’s, learning new stuff is still one of my favorite things.

So, I’m taking this opportunity to remind myself (and all of you) that learning doesn’t have to stop because we’re not in school anymore.  There are so many resources available to learn new things.  I don’t mean signing up for another degree (though I’ve considered it).  But, small, everyday things to learn and grow.

Sewing

I’ve transitioned a bit in the tests that I’ll tackle from any and everything to more challenging sews.  If there is a new technique, or a cool feature, I’m in!  If I know the designer will help me with better fitting tips or has a really unique construction for something, that is the best!  I love trying challenging patterns that push me to try something new.  The best part of this – the technique doesn’t even have to be new for me to learn something!  Maybe I’ll be able to try a new shape for me.  This dress is certainly out of my usual comfort zone!  Maybe I’ll see a different combination of basic shapes.  Whatever allows me to expand beyond what I know.

Beyond tests though.  I love learning new techniques and always enjoy taking classes.  Craftsy is my fav place to learn new sewing techniques.  It is where I learned most the techniques I’ve picked up as an adult.  YouTube is a wonderful resource for random things.  Reading other bloggers!  They have such great tips and resources to expand what’s available.

Sewing-ish

I am always trying to improve my photography.  It is so helpful to the designers I test for if my pictures can just be a little better than they were for the last test.  Or if you can see the fabric just a bit clearer, brighter, more true to color.  I love reading tutorials about my camera.  How different settings change my photograph.  And now I’m jumping into Photoshop.  I haven’t dived into post-processing pictures since college.  My time ended up filled with other things and I stepped away from it.  But, I still love it!  Small tweaks here and there to really make a photo shine.  And Adobe has some awesome tutorials available to really help me get comfortable with the software!

Fabric too!  I’m loving diving deeper into how fabric is made.  The different types of weaves are endlessly fascinating.  The Sly Fox reveal videos lit a fire in me to learn more and share that knowledge!  (Seriously.  I’m doing fabric how to videos in the Rebecca Page Facebook group.  What?!)  How is this fabric made?  What patterns will be a perfect pair?  How does weight related to drape for different types of fabric?  Endless questions, with answers available with just a few google searches!

Even blogging is something I’m spending time learning new techniques to improve on.  I started this so I can look back on projects and enjoy where I started and how I improve.  That doesn’t mean I don’t want to bring creative, useful content to those that read it though!  And reach more people who might find it useful.  So, I’m reading all about SEO and what people want to read.  Social media is an ever changing area, with so many resources to learn how to better interact with other people around the world.

Not-sewing At All

Stepping outside the craft room altogether!  What else can I learn?  What other resources are available to frugal (ok, cheap) Stephanie to expand interests and keep learning?  Little things?  Big things?

I LOVE cooking!!  When I’m sewing (I know…I said not in the craft room), I usually have a TV program on in the background.  I’ve been loving the Netflix cooking shows!  No commercials, but I get to see fun new techniques.  Back to google for a recipe or more in depth video, and I’ve learned a new technique or recipe!!

But also, Netflix has a great nature program called Round Planet that I HIGHLY recommend if you like sarcasm and animals.

Speaking of google.  How many resources are available online to learn all kinds of skills?  There are free coding classes.  I’ve got Bruce for my website needs, but it is still fascinating.  Lynda.com has tons of classes on Microsoft and various software.  Want a step up at work, check that out!  The internet has woodworking videos, gardening videos, workout videos, organization videos.  Literally anything you want to learn is available.  (What a fascinating world we live in.)

Prefer to learn in person?  Google some classes!  I love paint nite.  Bring a bottle of wine (or two) and paint with your friends and some strangers.  It is fun, you get to learn new techniques, while supporting an artist, and bring home some cool shit for your walls!  Take a cooking class in person.  A friend of mine did an ax throwing class.  You read that right.  She learned how to throw a damn ax!  Step outside your comfort zone and remember that nothing keeps you young like learning new stuff.

To bring this full circle, if you haven’t tried binding, or working with Liverpool, this could be a fun project for you!  The 5 out of 4 Jessie is a super versatile pattern (one of Virginia’s favorites) that I hadn’t sewn for myself yet.  This GORGEOUS Sly Fox Fabrics Mad Love Liverpool needed to be a dress to really show it off.  So the Jessie as a fitted dress (oh my) is perfect.  I’ve got more evenings free with Virginia back in school, so it is fantastic for date nights.  I get to show off a little of my tattoos, which I always love.  And it is the perfect length that I can throw a jacket on top and wear it to work!

Have you worked with Liverpool?  It is one of my favorite fabrics!  I was just talking about it with a friend (hey Sequoia!) and realized just how much I use it!!  It is easy to sew and easy to wear!  Plus it is tough!  It has outlived all my other knit pants.  If you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend it.  (Pants are my fav in it!)

So, welcome back to school.  Don’t forget to learn new things, right along with your kids, if you’ve got them.  And I’m not talking about that common core shit, either!  Learn something fun.  Something that sparks your soul.  <3

stephanie xx

PS – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Sly Fox Fabrics is an amazing company.  They are doing an entire Back 2 School Celebration.  There are giveaways in the Facebook group.  I highly recommend you check them out.

 

I received the Mad Love fabric for free in exchange for sewing and photographing it.  The rest of this mumbo jumbo is all me and not influenced by the perk at all.  This post does contain some affiliate links.  These don’t cost you anything, but if you click them and buy something, I receive a small commission.  Which I use to buy more fabric, so I can keep sewing and writing about it. <3

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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