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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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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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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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January Roundup

There are sews I don’t talk about here. Sometimes there is a solid reason for that. (Guys, my mom reads this blog. She doesn’t need to see some of the lacy bits I definitely don’t make.) Sometimes it is just lack of time. Even small pieces are fun to share and talk about. I could ramble about the simplest sew for way longer than I care to admit. There are just so many fun details to sewing!! Writing about them though, means taking photos, which I also like doing! But these things take time. Time I sometimes just don’t have.

Instead of just enjoying these beautiful sews for myself, or whoever I’ve made them for (hopefully) enjoying them, I’m going to share them! At the end of each month, I”ll gather up quick photos of each of the sews I haven’t shared yet, and combine them into one roundup post! I’m really excited, because, if we’re being honest, I tend to forget what I sewed even just three weeks ago. It just lives in the owner’s closet as if it were always there, and I move on to the next sew.

If we are trying for chronological order, then I’m going to start with the few things I managed to sew for my other sister while she was in town visiting. We had epic plans for ALL THE SEWS while she was here. Unfortunately, she picked up a bug at the airport and shared it with me. So the two of us spent the time she was here feeling terrible. On her last full day in Atlanta, we managed to make three pieces!

The first is this gorgeous ABB Tee from DIBY. She needed a warm, thermal shirt, so we grabbed this amazing brushed thermal from Mily Mae Fabrics. Goodness, y’all, it is so soft!!! I wish I had a better pic of just how beautiful this grey is. It is rich but soft. Definitely reading a bit more green in the pic she sent me. But, trust me, it is gorgeous. The fit on her shirt is perfect! But, due to the above mentioned illness, we didn’t get any modeled photos. In fact, I completely blanked on grabbing photos at all and had to ask her to grab a couple for me after she was home (and had worn it a few times!). This is a great basic top, and clearly appropriately named. (Also, it is free!!!) 😀

We also made a couple of her favorite tanks out of some lovely ITY we picked up forever ago at Fine Fabrics. She loves the fit of the Patterns for Pirates Free Spirit Tank. We don’t alter it for her hips, so it fits more like the Essential Tank (which is my favorite tank!). This is definitely her most requested sew, so I’m so glad we were able to get two done before I needed a damn nap.

I’ve been meaning (and needing) to make Virginia and I some comfy ass undies for a while. I won a gift card from Surge Fabric Shop a while back. I of course, immediately spent it on some gorgeous undie-worthy fabrics, because I’d heard some amazing things about their fabric for them. They’ve been sitting, waiting for me to actually make time for them. I even picked up FOE forever ago!! I’ve only got a pic of one pair of these comfy Bunzies, because Virginia got hers and I wasn’t going to ask for them back. 😀 (You might recall she got another pair out of this gorgeous navy from THE DEAL. I really need to make even more. They’re so fun!)

Now, I am not always going to be able to talk about each of my sews. I do still pattern test and sometimes, they just don’t release immediately. So, keep an eye out for a post soon about what I used this GORGEOUS Sly Fox Fabrics DBP for. I’m completely in love with it and so excited to share. This colorway, evergreen is currently sold out, though you can sign up for alerts if it comes back in stock. But they also have it in black and plum. (I’m secretly obsessed with the plum.)

After I sewed up that ridiculously soft fabric, I jumped back to some sewing for my other sister. While I was sewing, she was gluing and organizing patterns. She ended up with a great Made for Mermaids Nina that I made during testing and she just loves the fit. So, this is one of the patterns she prepped while I was sewing. She picked out this great french terry from Fine Fabrics. It is soft and lightweight. She doesn’t have this one yet, but I’m excited to see how it looks on her!

She has also been asking for a zip-up vest forever. It is one of the first things she asked for and I just haven’t made it a priority. (Have I mentioned I am a terrible sister?) I printed the 5oo4 Aspen Vest two autumns ago (seriously, 2017) and just hadn’t done the fit alterations she needed, even though I have a full bin of gorgeous fleece she has picked up from Joann Fabrics for a few vests. So, she finally gets one. And I have the pattern ready, after I see how it fits and make any change that might be necessary. I hacked this one to be completely self-enclosed, rather than using elastic to finish the edges. It is so, so soft. And I totally can’t wait to see what she thinks!!

Did I mention that she has no idea these are coming to her as soon as our visiting cousin heads home? If she reads this, it will be a (hopefully happy) surprise!! Love you, Vicki!! 😀

That is my sewing list for this month. It has been a productive, fun month and I can’t wait to see what February brings! What have you been working on?

Stephanie xx

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Turning the Page: Sewing Fall Layers + GIVEAWAYS!!!!!

I know it is cliched and I could not possibly care less.  FALL IS MY FAVORITE SEASON!!!!  The colors.  The crispness in the air.  Football.  Apples.  Hot cocoa.  Everything about this season makes me happy (except the overabundance of pumpkin spice).  One of the best parts of fall is dressing in layers.  Wearing layers means I’m prepared for everything.  A bit chilly, oh, here’s my jacket.  Warmer than expected, take off the sweater.  Plus all the cuddly, coziness.  Which is exactly what I’m talking about for the Turning the Page: Sewing for the Seasons blog tour.  This theme really gave me the opportunity to make some things I’ve wanted to sew for some time now.  AND to ask Virginia what things she wanted (rather than needed) and add some beautiful pieces to her closet.  Virginia asked for back to school clothes!  How fun is that?!

She has wanted a true wrap top for quite some time.  These are typically quite difficult to find with enough coverage for her preference.  Meghan Wrap for the win!  The gorgeous details and beautiful finishes bring me so much happiness!  This was a surprisingly quick sew and I could not be happier with how it sewed up in this beautiful Roosevelt SBP from Sincerely Rylee.  (If this fabric looks familiar, it might be because we loved it so much we accidentally bought it from two companies, so I used my cut from Sly Fox Fabrics and blogged about it here.)  Since she wanted a top, not a dress, I just measured how long she wanted her shirt and cut it there (with hem allowance).  This makes another sew I can squeak out of two yards!!  Who doesn’t want a gorgeous top, perfect for everyday wear, from a two yard cut of fabric?  But, if it is a dress you’re after, the Meghan Wrap Dress is on sale this month!!  It is a seriously amazing deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, she obviously needs some comfy pants for sitting in classrooms, learning all sorts of things.  Maybe doodling.  Hopefully not texting.  But, she doesn’t want to look like she’s wearing jim-jams.  Why don’t we make some Pippa Pants in ponte?  We can use the Ultimate Patch Pockets because pockets.  We found this gorgeous chocolate ponte from Fine Fabrics.  It is a lovely weight and so soft.  Perfect for sitting behind a desk all night.

Great!  She’s comfy.  She’s cute.  Only one problem…her classrooms get cold as hell!!  So, I think she needs a jacket.  I gave her a few options and was thrilled she chose the Kingston Jacket!!  I’ve been wanting to make one since it came out!!  AND since the Kingston Add-on pack released, I can make my welt pocket dreams come true!  Yes, I said my dreams.  We typically fall into the same size range for most patterns.  So, if I’m making Virginia a denim jacket, I get to borrow it!!  I’m prepared to fight anyone who wants to argue about that.  We found a great mid-heavy weight denim at, you guessed it, Fine Fabrics and I was ready to go!!

Virginia has the best taste.  Have I mentioned that?  When I told her there were spots for personalization, she immediately said “WONDER WOMAN!!”.  She might have added to my to do list, and we had to run out and grab some amazing fabric from Joann Fabrics to really complete the look.  But, LOOK AT THIS COLLAR!!  How fun?!  Totally worth the extra step!  I love these little personal touches (ask me about my pants pockets).  They just really take an already amazing garment over the edge!  Plus, subtle nerdiness is my jam!!

The details of this pattern really make my heart swoon!  I chose to do the flat-lock seams for the very traditional look I think it was worth the effort.  Plus, I convinced Virginia to help a bit with the trimming seams and ironing bits.  I so appreciate when she has time to jump in and assist.  The final result is definitely worth the effort.

Virginia has a new amazing, comfy outfit for fall.  Plus, they are versatile pieces that coordinate with so much of her wardrobe!  I’m super jealous.  Just kidding!!! Because I still have me to sew for!!  I have been wanting to hack the Cerena Romper into pants since I made one for a friend (post coming soon.  Just need pics!).  Now, I was planning on moving the zipper to the front and adding a button with a waistband.  But, I was chatting with a coworker about her new RTW pants that had a flat front and elastic back for the waist and realized that would be hella comfortable!  I’m not a shirt tucker, so the look of elastic back doesn’t bother me at all.  AND I knew of a technique to do this without too much work on my end.  I assembled the pant legs as in the pattern, omitting the back darts, then measured the top front and back pieces.  I cut pieces for my waistband at those lengths (plus seam allowance) and used the instructions from the Arabella Maxi Skirt to have a flat front and add elastic to the back!  They slip over my hips and rest comfortably, without gaps.  The ease is perfectly comfortable to sit at my desk all day.  Plus, they aren’t too thick, as I found this great fabric (might be crepe actually) from Fine Fabrics!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I need a shirt to go with these pants.  Rebecca Page has so many gorgeous patterns for tops, I didn’t even know where to start!  I ADORE my Madison blouse (who doesn’t love a button down top that actually fits?!).  But, I had to stick with comfort and go with the Comfy Cowl Hoodie!  This top is cozy and comfy and the perfect pallet to make a couple small changes to really make it my own!  I don’t need an actual hood for work, but I still wanted the cowl!  So, I shortened it and cut it on a double fold, so I didn’t have a seam at the top of the cowl.  I also cut the sleeves to be just above elbow and added a band.  Plus, I added the cute faux bow to the cuffs and I LOVE them!!!  I was so happy to have this lovely sparkly sweater knit in my stash that I ordered forever ago from Fabric Mart.  It was the perfect fabric for the Comfy Cowl.  Drapey and comfy!!!  Plus, I always need more solids in my closet.  Double win here!

 

 

 

 

 

I have wanted to make the Taylor Trench since…well, FOREVER!!!!!  It is a classic trench coat, with all the detailing and gorgeous techniques that I expect from Rebecca Page.  I was expecting this to be quite a time commitment but I was SO EXCITED!!!  I picked up this amazing camel, water resistant canvas fabric from Fine Fabrics.  It is lightweight and soft!  Perfect for so much of the year here in Atlanta, but particularly perfect for layering in the fall!!  The thing is, I didn’t want to add an extra layer to this beautifully lightweight fabric.  So, I didn’t!!  I followed most of the instructions in the pattern, but since I didn’t want to line it, I made just a few changes.

 

 

 

 

 

I used the instructions from the Kingston Jacket for the collar, and tucked the facing up along the edge and into the collar to finish it off.  All seams are finished in contrasting thread on the serger for a pop of color and a more finished look.  The sleeves and hemline are tacked in place at all the cross seams.  I have used this technique successfully before, so I am hopeful it will hold up over time on this jacket.  If not, I’ll just hem in the matching thread and have visible stitches.  For now, I’m enjoying the light, clean lines of minimal visible stitches.  I lined the bits that needed lining with the same fabric from my Cerena pants.  AND I LOVE THIS COAT!!!!!!  It is comfy, cute, light, had ginormous pockets, and matches everything!!!  Also, I still can’t believe I made it.  What?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, both the sister and I are prepped with super cute new outfits, plus a versatile staple piece for fall.  They will last us well past the change of the season and I could not be happier with the end result!  If you are also prepping to sew for a new season, or you just like reading from interesting, talented seamstresses, check out the rest of the blog tour!!

 

Now that you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering why my title says giveaways and I haven’t mentioned those yet.  Obviously, I was saving it for the end!  So, we are trying out the ever-awesome rafflecopter!  You know how it works.  Lots of clicks to enter.  Some seriously amazing prizes to win!  Plus, we always appreciate comments, follows, and feedback!  Read on below for all the other blogs and the link for this wonderful giveaway.

stephanie <3 <3

Please visit all the stops on the Turning the Page: Sewing for the Changing Seasons Blog Tour with Rebecca Page. Don’t forget to comment on the blogs each day and enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win some fantastic prizes from our fabric sponsors!

  1. August 20: Rebecca Page (Intro), Sewjourns, Soul fed on Thread
  2. August 21: Sarcastic Sewist, PatchWitch, Flaxfield Sewing by Anca
  3. August 22: Princesse et Tresors, Bellephant, The Scatty Sewer
  4. August 23: BigFlyNotions, Stitched by Jennie, Millie’s Place Handmade
  5. August 24: Sweet Sprocket, Australian Sewing, Advice & Inspiration, The Sewing Unicorn
  6. August 25: LIVIALITY, Diskordia’s Curvy Sewing, Simply Kyra
  7. August 26: Seams So Lo, Middle River Studio, Jot Designs

 

 

 

 


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.