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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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SFF Deep Red Knub

So, my favorite fabric company added a few new to them/me types of fabric to their store and I am IN LOVE! Holy shit. I may have ordered all of them. Seriously. Don’t tell Virginia, or I’ll have to share.

Some of the new fabrics were chosen with guys in mind. If any of you have sewn for men, you know it can be hard as hell to find fabrics that are the feel, look, color, pattern, whatever, that guys want to wear. (Caveat here, not all guys. Guys can wear whatever the hell they want in whatever fabrics they want.) This knub jersey is PERFECT!! It feels really similar to the triblend, which is 100% my current favorite fabric. Super easy to work with, it doesn’t slide around too much, or curl a ton. Plus this deep red is GORGEOUS!!! (Pro tip, the charcoal is to beyond lovely as well.)

When this fabric was on the way to me, I had a few patterns in mind and just had to wait to feel it for it to tell me what it wanted to become. It chose this gorgeous hack to the Made for Mermaids Catherine and I freaking love it!!

Let’s chat about this hack for just a minute. Easiest. Hack. Ever. I cut all the same pieces as the pattern calls for, including “lining” for the yoke. (Ok, I shortened the sleeves too, since I like them shorter.) Then I took the two front yokes and folded them each in half, right sides together and sewed the neckline. The two back yokes got sewn together along the neckline. Then I lined up the shoulder seams of the front to the back. But, I didn’t want to sew this flat, folding it over so the front was wrong sides together, sandwiched right sides together with the back. Once this is sewn, it pulls out so beautifully to the perfect neckline.

Then I mostly followed the instructions. Just was quite careful about basting the front yokes so I didn’t have an overlap or a huge gap, right along my seam line (hence all the clips!). Sew the rest of the shirt and voila!! I LOVE this style shirt. It is cute and comfortable, and I get tons of compliments on it when I wear it (which I’ve already done 3 times!).

Back to the fabric, this knub blend is PERFECT for this top!! It is lightweight, and flowy. It wears comfortably, without wrinkling. I’m not super hot like DBP in Atlanta heat. Overall, two thumbs up and I highly recommend you go buy some, mostly because I already bought more.

Stephanie xx

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TCCF Navy Daydreams

I already mentioned this fabric showing up by surprise. Can you say best surprise ever? Because this is right up there!!

Threaded Candy Customs cotton lycra base fabric is absolutely delightful. It is soft, has great recovery. They blow me away with the creativity in every round. And you know I love to nerd out with every new round announced! Right now, though, they have the summer round open. Every damn fabric is just so pretty. Happy and ready to take to the beach. If you’re looking for fun swim fabrics, check these out!!

This print is the Navy Daydreams. It is bright and happy and I completely love it. Such a vibrant, happy print that I plan to wear all summer long!!! (And probably pretty far into autumn.) Since it is perfect for summer, this clearly needed to be turned into tanks! One for me and one for the sister! Let’s talk mine first.

I am completely in love with the tie front tops right now. I want to fill my closet with them. Knit, woven. Fancy, casual. Don’t care. This tank is the Made for Mermaids Mama Ella. This is a great basic tank. Just fitted enough for funsies, without me feeling like a sausage. It has some super cute options included. A super low back that I haven’t been brave enough to try. Some fun ruffles and strappiness. And, most importantly, this adorable tie front!!

This cotton lycra is the PERFECT weight for this. Stable enough to hold up to the stretching and pulling of the tie without being boxy everywhere else. I feel great wearing it! I’m totally ready for beer gardens, chilling outside, and enjoying the summer sun.

On to Virginia’s tank. She adores the 5oo4 Jessie. It is one of her favorite shirts. She already has a couple and it is one of her most requested patterns. So I figured surprising her with a fun tank would make her happy. (Spoiler alert…it did!) I chose the low back option so I could add some fun strappiness!!

This particular option isn’t included in the pattern (though it does tell you to go nuts!) I took two straps, cut per the pattern and looped them through each other in the center of the scoop. So simple and so fun. Perfect for me to steal out of Virginia’s closet in a few weeks. 😀

Both of these tanks are exactly perfect out of this beautiful summer fabric. Is there one in this summer collection that strikes your fancy?

Stephanie xx

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M4M Deanna

Holy Moly. I wasn’t planning on testing this top/dress, but when they’re lacking testers in my size, I’m terrible at saying no. Plus, my new organization means I’m not drowning in deadlines and I actually had a little extra time the week of testing! Crazy talk… Plus, I am SO glad to have jumped in!! Deanna has some beautiful options and I just love the fit!

You can rock an asymmetrical off the shoulder look, perfect slouch on top, while being more fitted through the hips, or this gorgeously large cowl, which is off both shoulders and so, so comfy. There are three lengths to choose from, but you can further choose the split hem, which is banded as either all short bands, all tall bands, or, my personal favorite, one of each for a beautiful hi-lo look. I can’t wait to make a few more of these to add some zazziness to my wardrobe. (Zazziness is totes a word and very applicable to how I feel right now.)

I thought this would be a bit complicated, but was actually a SUPER fast sew! Definitely something to whip up as a pick-me-up or even just before heading out. I love a nice, simple sew for those days where I’m either lacking motivation or have failed at a thing or two and need a win. When that simple sew ends with this stunning piece, that’s an extra win! The only part that is a little sad is it is a bit of a fabric hog when you are adding this lovely cowl. The asymmetrical option uses way less fabric, but the cowl is so worth it!!

I think the top/sweater option is super versatile.
Great for day-to-day wear, or a night out. Even a holiday sweater (next year’s comfy Christmas sweater maybe?). But the dress. Oh my, the dress. Made for Mermaids definitely has a history of assigning me dresses that I would never choose for myself and me immediately realizing I freaking love it. This is another instant win for me.

I always start these dress tests thinking, eh, if I don’t like it, I can shorten it or add some elastic to the side seams for some beautiful, easy ruching. But no need with this one! Worn just as the dress, it is screaming for a date night. But, add some tights and booties and it is super cute to wear for just about anything.

Or you can try it tied or scrunched up to tunic length with some leggings or jeans for a more comfy/casual look. This will definitely get a ton of shirt wear for me, as I am lacking date nights in my life right now. But I love having a piece that can be just what I need for any occasion, should my social life pick up. 😉

Dritz 9346C Lightweight Elastic, Clear, 3/8-Inch by 5-Yard
If you’re using a sweater knit with not so great recovery, I highly recommend adding clear elastic like this one to the shoulder and cowl seams.

Let’s talk fabric for a minute though. I used this gorgeous Sly Fox Fabrics double brushed poly for mine. I initially picked it because I was lacking long enough cuts of fabric and I grabbed the max four yards of this when it was a Sly Buy. I’m so glad I did!! I super love it! But, I definitely need to use some sweater knit for the PERFECT sweater …and sweater dress. Also, I’m thinking some ITY would be delightful as a top!

Whatever options you choose, I know you can feel gorgeous and just the right kind of fancy in the new Made for Mermaids Deanna.

Don’t forget to share yours in their Facebook group so I can check it out!! <3

Stephanie xx

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A Deal’s a Deal

Just over four years ago, my sister and I bought a house! A HOUSE!! Super exciting purchase, which is also super scary. We love most things about our house, the kitchen is so much bigger than in any apartment I’ve lived it, there’s a whole room for crafting, we have a fenced in yard, so we can get a puppy, the craft room rocks, no sharing walls with strangers, craft room. You know?  Good stuff. 

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There were also a few things we didn’t love about the house. Some of them we can change, like the faucets in the bathrooms and the hideous, baby diarrhea color on the walls. But, some of them were outside of our wheelhouse. Thankfully, we have a pretty handy dad! He has definitely helped us with a lot of projects around the house. (To be fair, he also taught us how to change out the faucet!)

There was one safety change that we were actually quite concerned about. Our water shutoff valve was way inside the crawlspace, on the outer wall, in a super dark area, with lots of dirt, and through some crazy narrow space. This is definitely not ideal positioning if we need to turn off the water FAST! You know, in emergency type situations…

This is for sure something Dad can help us with!! (Super Dad to the rescue!) He can install a new water shutoff valve near the door to the crawlspace, within easy reach, without any crawling at all. But…someone is going to have to crawl over to the valve, and either crawl back in when he is done, or chill there for half an hour while the Pops installs a new valve.

Here is where the deal comes in. Virginia and I agreed, she would do the dirty work if I sew her one shirt, one bottom, one pair of undies, and one bralette, with an option for one cardigan added in, if I was feeling it.

Since the valve fixing happened in March, while I was napping post-surgery, I have sewn exactly nothing off of this list. Every time the items made it to the top of the list, I either didn’t have the info on what options she wanted (lists got lost, ok?), or something prioritized higher and pushed it down the list.

But dammit, a deal is a deal! She held up her end, she deserves a whole damn outfit. (Yes, I have sewn MANY things for her between March and now. But, this is a special sew. Not a random sew. Not a test. SPECIAL, dammit.) Since I’ve spent the first part of this year getting myself organized and prioritizing my time and energy, I spent the end of last week making sure I had the list of what she patterns wanted and which options and fabrics she wanted used.

Then knocked out all five this weekend!!! BOOM!!! (She definitely deserved the cardi, as interest payment for the delay at the very least.) Now she is enjoying some super comfy new Rebecca Page Pippa Pants, a beautiful Halla Envelope Tee, Stitch Upon a Time Bunzies, Made for Mermaids Bridgette, AND a Rebecca Page Circle Cardi. Now, I think she has great taste, so I assume she doesn’t plan to wear most of these pieces together, but whatevs. She’ll be comfy as hell.

The moral of the story here is if you make a deal with me, it might take a little time, but I’ll come through. Promise. 😉

Stephanie xx