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Halla Agnes

So, I really love Halla patterns. The team is fun. Their designs are unique and delightful. Plus, they often include lots of options. Agnes is one of their freebie patterns that I downloaded forever ago. And yet…this is my first time sewing the Agnes!

Of course, the entire premise of this blog tour is that we all sew up our own versions. We could hack or change. Do whatevs. I decided to make just a few changes. First, I used the slimmer dress cutline for width, but the top length. I don’t typically love wearing swing tops, as I tend to look like a I’m wearing a tent. This width is the perfect loose fit tee, without being too loose fit. I also shortened the sleeves slightly. (I am always shortening short sleeves on patterns. They are almost always too long.)

But, I couldn’t stop there! I also wanted to add a fun, but subtle, feature. Becky, over at Big Fly Notions, made this great dress a while ago with a quilted accent at the shoulders. It stuck with me and I wanted to do my own version. I wanted kind of the faux raglan sleeve in the front, but a full yoke in the back. And I wanted it quilted!!

I eyeballed the whole thing, but angled the faux raglan about halfway down the armscye curve and drew the yoke straight across the back about 2/3 the way down the armscye. I actually connected the two yoke pieces into one at the shoulder seam. Don’t forget to add seam allowance!!!

I have been talking pretty big about adding more solid colors to my closet and this was the perfect opportunity. So, I grabbed this great Dark Raisin DBP from Sly Fox Fabrics. I cut two yokes, two sleeves, and one each of the front and back. With both yoke pieces, wrong sides together, I started pinning. First the center of the bottom edge. From there, I marked 2 inch increments all the way out to the armscye curve. Then I marked the center of the back neckline. I used a ruler to add additional pins to make my pattern for 2 inch diamonds. The fun of this is that you could use any pattern you wanted!! I used matching thread, but contrast could be fun too!

Then I constructed the top as instructed. Front to yoke. Back to yoke. Sleeves, sides, neckband, and hem. It was really fast, which I always appreciate. And the fit is spot on!! I clearly need to make more of these. And since the sister already tried to steal this one, she’d probably enjoy one or two in her closet as well.

Halla, being the awesome company they are, has given us each a pattern code to give away!! I’m going to choose a random comment on this post, Saturday 11 May as the winner here! Read all the way to the bottom for my fellow bloggers and don’t forget to enter on each blog to maximize your chances of winning!!

What do you think? Need an Agnes in your closet? What other Halla patterns have you been eyeing, that you’ll pick up if you win?

Stephanie xx

Thanks for stopping by! Once you’ve entered my draw, be sure to find the others on the tour for even more chances to win! We’re EACH giving away ONE Halla Pattern code. That means five chances to win!! All draws will be made on Saturday, May 11, 2019 so you have time each day to read, enjoy, and enter each sewist’s contest .

Monday – Kate from Sewing from Scratch adding a V-Back to the Agnes Dress (for an additional entry, visit her YouTube video, too!)
Tuesday – Gwen from Crafty Curly Couture making the Agnes Tank
Wednesday – Sequoia from SequoiaLynn Sews demonstrating an FBA, floaty sleeves and a scoop neck.
Thursday – Laura from Custom Made by Laura colour blocking the Agnes Tank
Friday – Stephanie from Sarcastic Sewist adding a quilted yoke and slim dress line to the Agnes Shirt

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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!

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Work It: Edition 4

It is jogger time again and I am pumped to be sharing this outfit!!  It is warming up here in Atlanta.  Actually, that is misleading.  It was never *cold* here.  But, it is not quite chilly anymore.  So, this means shorts and more time outside and general seasonal glee.  So this month’s Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats brings some rolled cuff shorts and a great tee!!

If you’re keeping up with this series, you know in last month’s Work It I showed how I turn patch pockets into inside pockets. Inside pockets are my favorite pockets. All pants should have inside pockets. Basically, I am a big fan of pockets. Have I made that clear? So, of course I used this method to add pockets to these 5oo4 Diane Jogger shorts to make them even better!!

Then, I wanted to casual, fun look of a rolled cuff. But, I didn’t want to lose any length in my shorts by just…rolling the hem. Pattern testing has definitely pushed me into a comfort zone with my legs, but not all the way up to short shorts! I knew I wanted about a 1 inch cuff, double rolled. So, I just added two inches to the shorts length before cutting. I did the same waistband as the first edition of Work It, as well as the same drawstring so it matched my fabric!! I do think it would be fun to sew the drawstring wrong side out, to match the rolled cuff and now I’m pretty mad I didn’t think of it sooner. Might have to see what kind of scraps I have left.

I also decided to do these ridiculously comfy shorts out of the same type of baby French terry I used in edition one. It is so warm as pants, but so breathable and cool as shorts. Really a versatile fabric!! This is the two tone denim, but Sly Fox has SOOOO many colors to choose from. You can definitely find something to match or coordinate whatever look you want!

Of course I needed a shirt to match!! And browsing the site, I felt like I really needed something lightweight and a bit less…loud than I usually go for. Basically, I need some solid shirts in colors that aren’t ridiculously bright. I have a few colors of this triblend jersey already holding court in my stash, but this red was irresistible. The red is gorgeous in person and so, so soft.

I decided to go for the Easy Tee to complete this outfit. It is just the right level of fitted through the shoulders and bust, but the perfect ease below the bust for hiding all the food babies without feeling like I’m wearing a tent. Plus, how cute is that tiny pocket!!!

The only change I made to the Tee, was to slightly shorten the short sleeves. I find most t-shirt patterns at my size have sleeves longer than I prefer. So, unless I’m testing, this is a standard adjustment for me. And, since I was making a quick tee for me, I made one for Virginia too!

As always, the fabulous team over at 5 Out of 4 Patterns is giving away a $10 gift card!! Don’t forget to enter to win here!! Also, if you aren’t already a member, check out Sly Fox Fabrics Facebook group! Katy goes live every Wednesday and gives away some absolutely gorgeous fabrics!!

Stephanie xx

Are you sewing some Diane Joggers yourself? I’d love to see! If you hashtag #workit2019 wherever you share, I can find them!

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TCCF Spring

Do you ever find yourself in an uninspired slump? Nothing is jumping out and inspiring you. Deadlines are maybe getting you down a bit. That’s where I was last month. Just doing what absolutely had to be done. For me, it was a combo of too much on my plate (working overtime usually ends up killing my creativity, and energy), lack of time (again, with the overtime), and the priority projects not exciting me.

When I signed up for this fabric, it was so pretty!! I thought I’d make a cute little clutch, a wallet, maybe a key fob. Just a happy spring set of fun! But, this beauty arrived and it just had to be something I can wear!! That spark of creativity and motivation was reignited. This cotton from Threaded Candy Custom Fabrics is perfect! Not too stiff. Quite soft. Plus, it didn’t shrink AT ALL!!! Not even half an inch!!

I scoured my pattern collection to narrow down options. Then I bugged the crap out of some of my favorite sewists (Becky, over at Big Fly Notions, and Sequoia, from Sequoia Lynn Sews) to help me narrow it down further. They were super helpful! We decided that with the yard that I had, and this white star fabric from my stash, I clearly needed to hack the Patterns for Pirates So Classic Sundress into a shirt!

I adore the fit of the top of this dress. I wanted the button placket, but left it non-functional. (I really dislike functional button plackets with elastic backs. It just feels like asking for a problem!) I just measured how long I wanted the shirt from my natural waist, then added seam and hem allowance. And I got to use this really cool button placement tool that was an amazing Christmas present! I just adore it!! Super helps me visual where I want buttons placed without having to transfer any marks!

I’m so happy with this fun, springy top! It is perfect for date night, or with a cardigan just about anywhere else! Plus, I had just enough fabric left for a cute little bow clutch! Super simple, but so fun!

You should definitely check out this collection and let me know if you’re as inspired by this Spring Love line as I was!

Stephanie xx

DISCLAIMER – This Spring Love fabric was sent to me for free. The sewing, opinions, and recommendation that this fabric is amazing, come completely from me.

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Sewcation, Mistakes, and Overbooking

This year has been full of ups and downs for me, as I’m sure it has been for most of you.  Between surgery, long weekends, a whole week off for the Fourth of July, and losing my Grandma, I have taken a lot of time away from the office this year.  Which is weird for me.  And to top it off, I’m using a TON of leave around the holidays this year.  Most of this is just for me.  We are flying my sister down after Christmas to spend some sister time and just hang out.  Though, she wants me to sew her an entire new wardrobe while she’s in town, so there will be lots of fabric time too.  But the two weeks I took off in between Veteran’s day and Thanksgiving were mine.  I really wanted a break.  A real break.  Time to sleep in, lounge around the house, sew whatever I wanted.  Hoped to have no deadlines to worry about.  

Yeah.  If you’ve ever met me, you know that was a laughable goal.  If I see a break in my schedule, I immediately fill it.  So, the 17 days away from my day job quickly filled to the brim.  I ended up stressing myself to the max and working tons of hours for my second job.  Does anyone else do this?  I stressed myself so much, I made a TON of sewing mistakes.  Real ones!  I picked up the recommended fabric for one project, plus an extra 1/2 yard, just in case.  Got home, washed it and realized it was 52″ wide instead of 60″ and I was WAY short.  Back to the warehouse for me and hopeful to find the same fabric (which is almost impossible).

This lining makes my heart happy.  🙂 

On the SAME PROJECT, I cut directional fabric upside down for half the damn pieces.  What am I even doing with my life?  Off I go, to a weird Joann’s, since I already cleaned out my Joann of this fabric.  I mean, the end result was WAY worth it.  This is the SUAT Riding Hood for a friend to keep her baby bump warm during the cold Philly winter.  I quilted the kick-ass Wonder Woman liner with some batting for more warmth, and it is so very soft.  A few extra minutes to add that layer really took this from comfy, cute to a cozy, effective winter jacket.  I love the designer’s self-welting pockets and the little sleeve ties.  Just a really nice layering piece with super cute little details.  Plus I made a cute little key fob to match!  (Which I forgot to take a pic of.)

Then I was working on some Christmas jammies and cut two left legs.  What am I even doing here?  I had just enough fabric left to cut a right leg and have the scraps left for the little projects we wanted to do.  But, damn.  I did use the Patterns for Pirates Walk the Plank pattern.  It is free and quite the quick sew.  Perfect for very beginners!  I’ll share pics laters. 🙂 

This isn’t to say I didn’t have great successes while I was on my sewcation.  I sewed all the pieces for the #comfytown blog tour early on.  Then lived in those pieces as soon as we took photos.  After making that super comfy Cora, I immediately made a second one.  (You’re getting craft room, jim-jam, 2 AM pics of this one!)  That’s definitely my new fav cardi pattern!!  Everyone needs a Cora in their life.  I also finished off a couple of pattern tests and a pre-test.  I forgot to blog about them, but you might have seen me sharing my Made for Mermaids Jamie Poncho and Hudson Hoodie.  If you need some comfy, warm, cute pieces, these are lovely choices!

A few Christmas presents were also sewn, which I obviously can’t share yet, as well as a few more pieces for my Philly friend (with another cutting mistake, ugh), including a little set of Cora cardis for her and her two little girls.  Totes can’t wait to see how she likes her box of goodies!  And I really need to figure out some cute guy gifts I can make.  I always feel bad leaving Dads out of these little matching sets.  Maybe I’ll ask Bruce what he would want.

Look at this TINY Cora!!!  It’s just so small.  <3 

I also managed to CLEAN the craft room.  Reorganize everything.  As well as finally tackling the scrap pile.  It was INSANE.  And now it is so neat and easy to find what I need and what is useful.  The only downside is that Gus Gus really liked sleeping on the pile.  Now she feels she has nowhere to be comfortable.  Despite the multiple cat beds and comfy places I’ve set up to keep the kittens happy.  They are too expected for this little mischievous bugger.  She’s been awkwardly moving about, trying new, ridiculous places to sleep.  Then STARING at me with disappointment in her eyes, clearly blaming me for her missing comfy spot.  

The to-do list didn’t really get any shorter, so I’m hoping to not pick up any other deadlines before the end of the year.  We’ll see how successful I can be with that goal.  But, I’ll try!  Even without a shortened to-do list, I am working through the projects.  Virginia is helping where she can.  A few more Christmas presents to sew first.  Gotta get those in the mail.  Then, a few promo patterns to sew up that I’m just really excited about!  I love trying new patterns and these should be fun, so I’m hoping to write up my experiences with them as well!  Keep an eye out! <3

Now we’ve made it to December.  I have a few weeks to prep some patterns for the sister, so we can power through some beautiful pieces while she’s in town.  She always gets the short end of the stick when it comes to my sewing time.  She doesn’t live with me, so it is harder to fit anything that isn’t knit and forgiving.  Plus, I haven’t found a designer that drafts just so, that matches her shape, like I have for Virginia and I.  This means a good bit of altering before I start cutting.  Which is a much bigger time commitment and since she isn’t sitting there with the sad eyes, making me feel guilty, her projects end up near the bottom of the to-do list.  I’m truly a terrible sister.  (LOVE YOU, VICKI! <3 <3)

Virginia helping.  Not being sarcastic.  She hung out even though she was tired. <3 

Here’s hoping the next few weeks can be a little calmer and a little more productive.  I really, really, REALLY want to have patterns prepped and ready to go, so as soon as Vicki walks in, she can just pick a project and we’ll start cutting!!!  Anyone want to come help? 😀

As the year wraps up (seriously, how is it December?!), it is great to look back at what we’ve done and what is still to come.  I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, but, I do like to evaluate goals and priorities moving forward.  So, I’d like to blog a little more, celebrate little things a little more, and sew a little bit more in the coming months.

Focus on you today.

stephanie xx

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.