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5oo4 Mambo No. 5

Holy skirts, Batman! I love when designers give a little bonus to sewists. This bundle is definitely a fantastic bonus as all the waistbands are interchangeable! What a fun way to completely change the look of each skirt!! I’m going to talk about all the skirts in this bundle, so sit tight and prepare to enjoy!!

All of these skirts are intended to sit at the natural waist, but the joy of sewing means you can really where them wherever you’re comfortable. Just keep in mind that moving up or down will mean changing up where the hem sits too! If you prefer your skirts a little lower rise, and you want a mini length, you’re definitely going to need to take up some height. Super easy, just don’t forget!

There is one skirt in this bundle that isn’t new. Good news! It is a freebie!! Luna is a classic circle skirt. She has a knit or elastic waistband option and a couple of lengths to choose from. I didn’t sew up the Luna in this batch of skirts because I already have a couple circle skirts and really wanted to highlight this new ones. But if you’re in the market for a circle skirt, this freebie is a great choice!!

Let’s start with Monica! Monica is a gorgeous pleated skirt. When we started, I honestly thought this would look terrible on me. Pleated skirts on these hips. Pssshh. I admit I was so wrong. This is one of my new favorite skirts!! I’m loving the wide pleats and the contour waistband. There is also a super cute tie available!! Plus, it can be anywhere from mini to maxi!

My Monica is made from some mystery knit from Fine Fabrics, here in Atlanta. The right side looks like hacci, but the wrong side looks like cotton lycra. So it is probably a cleverly printed sweater-look CL. Either way, it is a lovely mid-weight, with great recovery! I paired it with a basic tee with some flair, that I already blogged about here, and am thrilled with the outcome!

Erica, sweet Erica. I kept it super simple for this one and chose the most basic waistband. If you want less sweet, the lace up option adds a good bit of sass to the skirt! Erica is a classic half circle skirt. She is everything I want in a skirt. A little bit of twirl, the perfect fit, and this knee length is perfect for all things!

I used a wonderful liverpool from Sly Fox Fabrics for this skirt. So fun and happy, plus I love me some liverpool. And I paired it with this top from testing forever ago that apparently I haven’t blogged about. Remind me to do that. Another Sly Fox Fabric though, with more stretch lace instead of neckbands. I’ve already worn this outfit to work and am completely in love with it!

Rita is a fantastic pencil skirt with some great options! Obviously, you can go completely classic, as I did. But she also comes with fun seam lines, which continue on up to the waistband! I went for Regular Rita all the way, with the plain waistband, but decided to try the mini length! I haven’t worn a mini skirt, probably ever. BUT I LOVE THIS!!

Paired with this great tie front top, I feel cute and sassy and ready for anything. I used a wonderful ponte for Rita, and of course, always love ponte for fitted skirts! It is smooth and beautiful, and forever comfortable! Be sure to take care of your ponte, because it can pill pretty bad if you wash or dry it on super hot, or with abrasive stuff like jeans. But with a little care, Rita in ponte will give you a fun skirt that is timeless!

Now Tina. Oh, Tina. I stepped outside of my comfort zone again with Tina and these suspenders. Definitely not a look I’ve ever tried before (maybe as a kid, who knows?) Tina is an a-line skirt and she sure adds some fun waistbands to this collection! I chose the cross front, which gets a little lost in my plaid, but trust me that it is fun! You can also choose a scoop front!! And there is a super cute ruffle you can add to the bottom!!

Tina is made of some sort of double knit, also from Fine Fabrics. It is luxuriously soft, with a wonderful spandex content, so the recovery rocks. I paired it with this great shirt, all tucked in and showing off those suspenders!

Now I think you need a little bit of Monica in your life. A little bit of Erica by your side. A little bit of Rita is all you need. A little bit of Tina is what you see. 😉 (I’d apologize, but the song has been stuck in my head for weeks.) Don’t forget to grab your free Luna and check out the entire bundle here!

Stephanie <3

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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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Sisters and Support

It has been a crazy month or two. I’m working hella too much. I’ve gotten to see an old friend and have a fun visit. I’ve been planning a trip back home for my 10 year college reunion (how has it been 10 years?!). I’ve been quiet on here and not sewing or posting as much as I’d like. My family and friends have been super supportive while I’m overbooked. Reminding me to take breaks and making sure the downtime I do take is delightful!

So when my sister told me she wanted to start working out again and needed some new workout pants, I knew she wouldn’t be asking if she didn’t really need them. I am all about the support and all three of us are now having fun with sharing and comparing our steps and workouts. Counting calories and jumping right into exactly the encouragement we all appreciate in making healthy choices.

I know she heard the begrudging agreement in my voice (probably because she called while I was working and my brain was focused on upcoming tasks and timelines) and I sincerely hope she knows I am so excited to give the support she needs, especially from afar.

The conversation was very entertaining to me. I asked how many pairs she was looking for. She said 5, but 2 extras would be ideal so she could do laundry and still workout every day. (I have to say, she has really stuck to that schedule and worked out 30 of the first 33 days of this new undertaking! I am impressed!!). I asked if she needed workout tops too. She honestly told me no, though she always prefers me made to store bought and would love some.

Of course I said yes, hopefully not with a sigh. And chatted with Virginia about when we could fabric shop and if she wanted to help pick out fabrics for Vicki. We made a plan and went to the fabric store. While we were there, of course we grabbed some gorgeous swim knits for ourselves (I already used some in a pattern test), and actually picked up some fabric for Christmas presents and other projects we already knew were coming up.

My favorite part about shopping for Vicki is that she is super open to ANYTHING. She isn’t a huge fan of orange, but otherwise, almost everything is on the table. Solids are ok. Prints are a huge win. Colorful, fun, variety. Those are the key points. So we are sending her photos and trying to get her opinion on what she wants. All of them. She likes every fabric we show her and is completely useless at making decisions.

We decided we would choose for her. She didn’t get to see any of the fabrics chosen ahead of time. She has no idea that we made sure to buy some overlap in what we wanted. We did this because we like sister matching, especially if it isn’t the same piece. But, also, it means buying a little less fabric, since we can share a little yardage. So, she got fabric for 8 workout bottoms instead of 5-7!!!

She asked for a nice mix of leggings and more yoga pant style. Thankfully, I have made both the Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs and the Rebecca Page Pippa pants for her before. So I already have patterns made up and graded to her size. She prefers “shorts”, which I’d call knee length, which also helped us reach those 8 pairs.

Now the fabric is bought and washed and just sitting there mocking me. Not being sewn up or cut out. Looking all pretty and touchable. So I quit work a little early on a Sunday and cut out ALL EIGHT PAIRS in just a couple hours. I paired and clipped the seams that needed sewing as soon as I finished cutting, because batch sewing is my jam.

Then, they sat. And sat. And sat. Dang. What am I doing that I can’t just sew these damn pants?! I made Virginia help me choose which ones could be sewn with which serger thread colors. (I’m cool with coordination, but not outright looking bad together.) I stacked them in these piles and just waited until I had a free hour.

BOOM!! Eight pairs all sewed together and ready for hemming! I bet you can guess what happened next. Yeah. They sat. They moved in a pile from my cutting table, to my ironing board, to a chair. They were a cat bed for a bit after a tough vet visit. This was going to take a few more thread colors than I used on the serger and I just didn’t have the motivation for that many thread changes. Even though I knew four of them would be hemmed with the color that was ACTIVELY ON MY MACHINE! How lazy am I?!

It wasn’t until I was prepping to do another project that was a tight deadline (2 days!!), and needed to change the color that I stopped and hemmed those four pair. I wasn’t going to change colors and have to change back!! It took maybe 20 minutes. Seriously. Why was I just putting this off?!

Now, I have finished all 8 pairs. I’m packed and flying home. This blog will go live as soon as she sees them and I can’t wait to see her thoughts on all these beautiful fabrics!! I also can’t wait to see how she puts them to work and we all continue to encourage and support each other through workouts and smart, healthy choices.

Sisters really are the best.
Stephanie <3

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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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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

Don’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