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TCCF Mermaid Glitz

Ok, this post is definitely about this amazing fabric and the equally delightful patterns I used it on. But, if I don’t start off with sharing that this is scary as hell, I’m just not being honest with you. I JUST made my first bikini like a month ago. I loved wearing it on the beach. It was comfortable and cute. But it took having an amazing, reassuring, supportive tribe around me to reach that point. Now, I’ve made a second bikini, that I feel equally amazing and comfortable in, but I’m sharing it on the fucking internet. Way more real than in front of some strangers on a beach with a couple of friends. Please know that it took all my courage, and maybe an adult beverage, to hit publish on this post. I hope others who aren’t always comfortable in their skin, whatever your size, shape, or self image, can take a moment to say, if she can do it, I can certainly wear whatever I want too (whether you post on the internet or not)! Because that shared strength of amazing humans who support each other, that simple, unwavering support, is everything. We can lift each other up and be the strength we all need a little help finding from time to time. Now on to the fun stuff.

HOW FUN IS THIS SWIM FABRIC?!?!?!?! This is the very appropriately named Mermaid Glitz from Threaded Candy Custom Fabrics and I freaking love it!! As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted a bikini out of it. Wearing it makes me feel like a mermaid, or fairy, or some other magical creature of delight. The swim base was a joy to work with! It is a lovely, thick swim that was easy to sew up and the color is so true to computer screen! (Always a fear when ordering online.) It washed up beautifully, losing none of its vibrancy or shimmery look. And I think I saved enough scraps to at least use as accent on another bikini! Interchangeable pieces are my jam.

A fabric this fabulous requires equally gorgeous patterns!! I started with a list of options. I knew I wanted a high waisted bottom. Something simple, and not a fabric hog (since I only had 1 yard). The 5 Out of 4 Patterns Alice Swim Bottoms came to mind immediately and they are PERFECT!!! You might have noticed I sew up a lot of the 5oo4 pattern collection. They are one of the companies that just fit me. I never need weird adjustments, just grade and add height, then boom. Finished and comfy! This was such a fast sew and the instructions so simple, I can’t recommend them enough! There are definitely some fun features to choose from in this pattern, a cute front tie, a peplum, a flounce, and maternity of course, that I’ll definitely be utilizing in future swim bottoms (not the maternity, but the others!). But the plain option was exactly what I needed to let this gorgeous fabric shine!

On to the top, two of the three patterns I was looking at were actually hacks to one of my favorite swim suits. (Don’t you just love when designers include hacks to their patterns after release? It really let’s me see the potential of a pattern, without risking a bombed project and sad, wasted fabric.) I polled my loved ones and they were split down the middle between the two hacks to turn the Patterns for Pirates Take the Plunge swimsuit into a bikini. I didn’t have a fav between them, so I picked the one that looked like less fabric (again, just one yard!), and I’m SO HAPPY! I made my ties extra long, so I could tie it in front. I LOVE being able to tie it around me, so I can choose how tight I want/need it. (Also, I just hate needing to wait for help to get someone else to tie it, then being fussy about getting just the right amount of tightness.) That’s the only change I made to the suggested hack from this blog post.

I feel AMAZING in this bikini. Definitely ready to dive into the water and just enjoy some sunshine. So, even though this is scary as hell, I’m sharing everywhere. Check out the entire collection of fabrics, and be sure to let me know if you love this combo as much as I do!

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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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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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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TBT – Patterns for Pirates Sweetheart Hack

This TBT thing… not something I’ve ever participated in. But then I realized, I have years of sewing to share and what better way to keep track than picking random projects every once in a while?

I have to start with my favorite make ever. The Patterns for Pirates Sweetheart Dress is super cute and surprisingly versatile. It was actually one of my first knit sews!

Then I was invited to a wedding and needed a pretty dress! The fun begins here. I decided to make one small change to have a strappy back of my dreams!

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Did I mention it was a twirly dress? Every lady needs a twirly dress!!!!

Some super quick instructions for anyone who would like a similar back…

From the pattern, you need the skirt, the front tank piece and the lower back piece. I then cut twelve 1″ wide strips that were way longer than I needed and a facing for both the front and back pieces. (If you need help with these steps, leave a comment!)

I sewed the strips together to make six tubes, then turned them right side out.

Sew straps to the front tank, as central as possible. Mine are slightly overlapping! Then sew the facing to the front. I sewed over the straps a few extra timesfor extra security.

On the back, I laid out the straps in the pattern I wanted.

I played with placement a bit and what worked for me might not work for you! My first strap was 1/2″ from center, then 2″ between each strap.

Sew the back facing on, making sure to secure the straps! I added elastic to the back to help prevent gaping and support this very heavy jacquard double knit fabric! (How gorgeous is this texture?)

Sew sides seams together, and understitch as far as you can.

From here, you can finish the rest of the pattern as per the tutorial.

Now you can have a twirly, strappy dress as well! Who has a fun event to wear it for and can I come with? 😆

PS: I did get to wear this to the a ridiculously fun wedding! It was perfect!!

Pick up your copy here – Sweetheart Dress 

Virginia is wearing an Essential Tank Dress – Essential Tank 

Both fabrics are from Fabric Mart which is a wonderful company. You should check them out. 😉

Stephanie xx