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Two Cheers for Made for Mermaids Women’s Avery

This top was so cute, that even with my stupid sprained ankle and not really being ready to jump back to sewing, I threw my name in the hat to test and hoped with all hope that I’d be chosen.  Clearly I was, win.  And dang did sewing hurt.  Worth.  Every.  Minute.  (Don’t worry.  Mostly healed now.  Also back to sewing too much.)

I LOVE unique pieces.  I’m trying really hard to step back from testing the same thing over and over.  I just find it difficult to be genuine and thorough while recommending something when I already have a great pattern for.  Please don’t misunderstand!  I’m not trying to say anything bad about any designer at all!!  Just because I’ve found the perfect basic tank pattern, doesn’t mean that pattern works for everyone or has the options everyone is specifically looking for!!  So, I hope designers keep releasing all these beautiful patterns until everyone has exactly what they need and want (read: never stop!!!  MAKE ALL THE PATTERNS).  But for me, if I already have a similar pattern, why test when I’ll have less enthusiasm?  The designer deserves more.  So does anyone reading my promo posts or blog.

But LOOK AT THIS BACK!!!  I don’t have anything like this!  So much potential!!!!!!  It is so simple, but just fantastic!  (Say fantastique with a French accent.  It’s better; I promise.)  When we started, I was pumped to tackle such a complicated twist (pun intended) on a basic tank.

Like any good tester, my first step is always to read the instructions from beginning to end.  Every.  Damn.  Word.  Usually more than once, just to make sure I’m going to sew the way the designer wants me to sew.  (This is also one of my favorite ways to learn new techniques.)  This initial read made me so damn happy.  The twist is super easy!!!  It makes sense and isn’t complicated.  Construction is clear and I wasn’t going to *need* wine to make it through.  (This, of course, does not eliminate wine from being consumed in the sewing process in any way!)

To jump topics here, I have also been meaning to sew more solids.  I LOVE PRINTS!!  Dots and stripes.  Florals and geometrics.  BRING.  THEM.  ON.  I wear them on top.  I wear them on bottom.  I mix and match them.  I just can’t get enough.  This means I always need some solids to pair with them.  Always.  I’ve had this green mystery knit for quite some time (pretty sure it is rayon spandex.  Too lazy to do a burn test and don’t really care).  Whatever it is, I loved it so much, we bought the rest of a bolt when Hancock Fabrics was closing.  I used a smidgen for this lovely Made for Mermaids Mama Sommer last summer.  (GO PACK GO!!)  But, this meant I had quite a bit left over and wasn’t sure what I wanted with it because it is quite lightweight and I wasn’t filling my closet with rayon spandex just yet.  This lightweight fabric was exactly what I needed for Avery.  Win!!

This was possibly the fastest sew ever.  I think it was faster than my usual simple tank.  I truly was expecting at the very least, the first one to take a bit of time.  Four or five hours maybe.  But, Avery went from a stack of pages to this gorgeousness in about two hours.  TWO HOURS!!!  Quite a bit less the second time (no gluing, since we wear the same size in M4M).  And only about an hour for the third.  (I imagine this is about as quick as it will get for me.  There are only so many steps that can be quicker with practice.  Also, I’d bet it’ll actually be closer to two hours each sew unless I’m making multiples in one sitting.)  So, if you’re looking for cute, unique, and you have limited time, check out Avery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I loved it so much, I had to make one for the sister.  She looks amazing, as always.  I do love it in this wonderful Sly Fox Fabrics Brazen single brushed poly.  The extra structure hangs so beautifully.  I definitely want to try Avery in an athletic fabric.  I think the structure would be lovely and it is so fun for workouts!  (Cute workout clothes are my favorite motivation to actually go to the gym.  Anyone else use this technique?)

 

 

 

 

Have I mentioned that I have amazing friends?  We recently traveled home to celebrate the Fourth of July (check out our matching shirts!) and had to leave our kittens for an entire week.  We’ve never left them for this long and were nervous about it.  So, a couple amazing friends made time to swing by our place and check on these cute jerks.

I wanted to say thank you and the best way I can do that is give them my time and fabrics.  One sitter loves black and red and sleeves.  So, I went with the Patterns for Pirates Slim Fit Raglan and this lovely striped French Terry from Fine Fabrics (an amazing local place).

 

But, our other cat sitter loves tanks and unique pieces and peacocks.  This fabric seemed a subtle peacock inspired print.  Could be flowers.  What do I know? (Don’t tell anyone it is called Teal Rose, ok?  Definitely Peacock-y.)  This tank was perfect for her!!  We gave it to her the other night and she tried it on immediately!!  <3  Best reaction ever.

Do you need the Avery?  Are you going to sew it up?  Don’t be intimidated by the fancy twist!  Check it out and let me know what you think. 🙂

stephanie xx

PS: Virginia and I both paired our tanks with Made for Mermaids Mama Lexi shorts, because we are living in them these days.  They are ridiculously comfortable and I talked about them a ton here.  My tank is tunic length.  Virginia’s is top length.  The peacock tank is the curved hem.  (BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!)  Just in case you needed more.  It also has a dress length option.  Do remember that the sisters like us to show off our legs, so it is a short dress.  I’m not complaining.  They forced (ok…assigned) me to sew dress length so often, that I’m much more comfortable showing them now.  I’m not perfect, but I am me and that is perfect enough.  <3

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Two Yard Cuts

SFF Unforgettable (9)1One of the most common questions I see in so many fabric and pattern groups is, if you don’t have a plan for it, how much of a fabric do you buy?  I’ve also seen answers that run from 1/2 yard if it’s for the kids or 1 yard for me, to, I just buy X yards, just in case.  There are SOOO many answers that can be helpful.  Is the fabric knit or woven?  Are you sewing for an adult or a child?  Is it bottom weight or top weight?  And, honestly, there is no right answer that works for every person for every situation.

SFF Unforgettable (6)1For me personally, I most commonly sew for my self and my sister.  And I most often sew with knits these days.  Unless I’m planning a specific project, I almost always prefer 2 yard cuts.  Now, this is mostly because I sew curvy sizes.  I can’t quite get every top out of 1 yard, so I need a little extra fabric.  (Ok, there are a few fabric companies that I KNOW send generous cuts.  Sometimes I order 1 yard cuts if I know I want a simple top.)

SFF Unforgettable (5)1This is the downside for having a bit extra time in my hourglass. 😉  So, I am always keeping an eye out for patterns that take less than one yard.  Now, one of my absolute favorite basic tee patterns is the Favorite Tee from Patterns for Pirates.  I adore the fit.  It is hella flattering on me.  And is has some great options to fancy it up, if I’m in the mood.  Of course, it is takes just over one yard…

However, I’ve now found a couple of patterns I can sew up out of just UNDER one yard!  Now that is winning!!  AND they aren’t even tops. 🙂 My default was to check if I have enough for a Made for Mermaids Mama Chloe skirt.  I just need enough fabric to get a length I am comfortable with.  Plus, the waistband can always be a different fabric, since I never wear it out anyway.

SFF Unforgettable (10)1Now, though, I am living in Made for Mermaids Mama Lexi shorts.  I LOVE THEM!!!  They are comfortable, super fast to sew, have pockets, and I can get an entire pair out of just about one yard of fabric.  This one also falls in the waistband can be a different fabric category!

So, how in the world does this pertain to the outfit I’m sharing today?  I got this GORGEOUS Sly Fox Fabrics Unforgettable double brushed poly and started weighing my options. I considered quite a few different patterns.  Some that would just squeeze out of the 2 yards.  Some that would comfortably fit and leave me with tiny scraps.  I hemmed and hawed while it was shipping to me.  Then while I was washing it.  Then I sprained my damn ankle and couldn’t sew.  So, more time to consider, I suppose.

I sewed up a practice top to see if it is what I wanted.  While I love it, it wasn’t quite right for this fabric.  Back to the drawing board.  Then, I realized I knew exactly what I wanted.  This DBP was the perfect weight to flatter and be comfy.  I can wear it in this hot Atlanta summer without melting.  Obviously, I needed another (non basic, but fabulous) basic tee.  And I hoped there would be enough to squeeze out a skirt or some shorts.  I need more summer bottoms in my life.

Now, I knew I needed a top that would match these gorgeous new summer bottoms and I had the perfect Sly Fox Fabric in my stash!  The Peach double brushed poly matched perfectly and it meant I got to sew up something from my shelf!  Plus, the Made for Mermaids Mama Ava is another of my favorite go to basic tees.  Win.  Win.

SFF Unforgettable (8)1So, now I have three lovely new pieces in my closet and I can’t wait to start mixing and matching them to everything I already had.

stephanie xx