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EAM – Around the Block Hoodie

Are you often the last person to discover something? Maybe you even picked it up, or saved a video, or whatever, forever ago, and finally get around to trying it YEARS later? Yeah. That’s me. Often. I see the thing that intrigues me. I make a note, mental or otherwise, to try/do/watch it. Then it slips lower and lower down the list, until I either forget about it, or so many other people are talking about it that I remember it and dive in.

That’s what happened here. I picked up the Around the Block Hoodie forever ago, when Ellie and Mac offered it on their Wacky Wednesday $1 sale. Because, it is a dollar. If the pattern is terrible, who cares? But if it is good, woohoo! They do these deals every week. Different patterns. Always $1. It is really a great way to try them out! And I am here to tell you, I’m mad I didn’t sew this one up sooner!!

This takes the guesswork and math out of colorblocking. The hoodie fits great! Was easy to cut and sew. And I love the faux strings! The way they are off to the side is different and fun. Using only partial strings here is a great way to not worry about them coming out in the wash. And less wasted string! Plus, I never have to worry about the strings not being the right length! One super long and hanging to the hem, while the other is all scrunched up in the hood. I might never do real strings again… At least for myself! The only thing that isn’t love about the pattern is the 1/4 inch seam allowance. I don’t know why that 1/8 inch makes such a huge difference for me, but when I’m serging, I just really want that 3/8 inch.

So let’s talk about this fabric! This is one of the Winter Temptation bundles available right now over at Sly Fox! It comes with two yards of the DBP print, one yard of the DBP ivory, and one yard of the red cotton spandex! Which was PLENTY to make this hoodie and have enough leftover for another project. Pretty sure Virginia is going to ask for the same hoodie…

This seems like the perfect cozy, comfy option for my holiday family zooms! I’ll be festive and comfy!! And if I announce that now, Virginia can choose to be matchy or not with her hoodie. That I already know I have to make. 😀

Go grab this pattern and your very own bundle (or make your own bundle!) and share your beautiful makes!!!

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 5.2

This month, I am so excited to be making more swimsuits!! We are lucky that our local pool as implemented a TON of safety features so they could open! We are going to be checking it out next week to see how safe it is, get some sun, some exercise, some water. We always need new suits! More suits! ALL THE SUITS!!!

Virginia’s favorite swim bottoms are the Bondi Swim Shorts from Rebecca Page Sewing! She loves the ease and comfort, plus coverage. She made her first two pair last year and has been asking for more in more colors. We also grabbed enough of this polka dot and stripe fabric from Fine Fabrics to make suits for both of us and that other sister who lives far away! So it just made sense to make her favorite bottoms in this fabulous fabric!

But for a top, that’s a whole different thing. I’ve been thinking about hacking a swim top for myself for…a year, at least. I doodled out my idea and showed it to Virginia. She immediately stole my idea and asked if I could add a skirt to it. Thief. But also, super cute addition to my desired top. So I can’t be mad.

I mashed two patterns together, and made up my own bits for this top. The bust is from the 5oo4 Escapade. (We both love this pattern actually!) I didn’t cut the back on the fold, and in fact shorted it by several inches. I also cut a 1.5 inch strip to make the loops and ties on the back. There is elastic in there for extra support. The loops are 3 inches long and next time the ties will be 30 inches because they’re a tiny bit shorter than I’d like them to be. Thankfully, she doesn’t actually need to untie this one to get it on. I evenly spaced the ties in between the seam allowance along the back and basted them in place. I also basted the ties and some elastic at the center V. Make sure the loops and ties are in between the layers, right sides facing, before sewing. But the elastic needs to be on the wrong side! Ask me why I’m so adamant about those placements…. I put elastic along all the edges of the top, after I sewed the seam. Keeping seam allowances as bulk free as possible.

Turn it right sides out and press. Yes, press. Pull the center elastic and zig-zag over the top to get some ruching. Really show off the decolletage. Then you can baste or serge the two layers together along the bottom edge if you want. I’m lazy and didn’t, but swim is slippery and you might prefer it.

For the skirt, I used the 5oo4 Laura peplum piece. I finished the scoop in the skirt just like in the tutorial, then attached it to the bottom of the bust pieces. It turned out the scoop was a bit wide for Virginia, so I was planning to just add a center seam and take it out. But when I clipped it to ask Virginia what was comfortable, she LOVED the pleat that I clipped out. So we went with it! It turned out so dang cute. She just loves the end result and I can’t wait for us to wear matching swimsuits. That’s going to happen.

I hope you’re all enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine, and staying safe and whatnot.

Stephanie xx

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RP Classic Belts

Well, here is one more thing I won’t have to buy at the store. Win! Virginia wears a belt almost every day. At least every day that she works. And she HATES them! They are bulky and the buckles sometimes rub on her belly when she is bending over and doing physical work. But, without them, she is constantly pulling her pants up. PLUS, she is starting to wear a lot of dresses and the best accessory to change up how they look, and dress them up, is to add a belt.

The new Rebecca Page Classic Belt is intended to sit at the waist. BUT, it does tell you to measure where you want to wear it to maximize functionality. So that’s convenient. There are two width options in this pattern and both are wonderful! The Standard width just fits in her belt loops, so it is perfect for every day use, and adds a dramatic flair to dresses!

The Narrow width is a fantastic way to add some sass, pizzazz, flair, whatever you like to call it, by adding a pop of color or pattern without being too dramatic (unless you used sequin fabric, or something, that would be dramatic and amazing).

Since I didn’t tack down the belt loops, I was also able to put the black loop at center back (or you can take them off entirely) where it looks like part of the dress and adds a little something extra to the look! Love the versatility.

I chose to make Virginia the size in between her waist and high hip measurement (where she wears her pants) so it would be as versatile as possible. I might add some extra grommets as well (but I need to order more) to make sure if she fluctuates in size at all, or I want to borrow one, they will still work!

All six of these belts were made with scraps I had on hand. Thankfully, the pattern recommends using the height of fabric, rather than width, so those long skinny bits I have leftover from projects were perfect!! I only ended up piecing the black belt because I had a small cut of that left. I used a classic binding technique on that to reduce bulk. Overlapped the square ends at a 90 degree angle, and sewed the diagonal. It really created a seamless look and was quick and easy!

So check out the new Classic Belt, and the Reversible Wrap Around Belt that I haven’t had a chance to sew up, while you’re at it! If you love both, you can find the bundle here.

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 4.2

Well, I’m a day late, again, but this time I finished on time and forgot to share. So, maybe I’m improving? Maybe the chaos of the world today is getting to me? Maybe I’m just a huge procrastinator and it is showing? Who knows?

This month, Virginia got a lovely new top! I’ve had this fabric in my stash for YEARS! Picked it up from Fine Fabrics forever ago and made myself a shirt (that definitely lives in Virginia’s closet right now). Since I picked up enough for a couple things, it has just been waiting until I broke it out again. This wonderful stripe is definitely a rayon spandex. Lovely, soft, drapey, and a pain to work with. Totally worth it though for the comfiest of shirts!

The pattern is from Rebecca Page Sewing and has been on my list since it came out! This is the Laura! It comes in top, tunic, and mini dress lengths. The longer options have a wonderful angled slit at the back that I just love! Next version, I think! Laura comes together hella fast! It took at least twice as long to stripe match while cutting than it did to sew it up.

If you’ve checked out my youtube channel, you know I am a big fan of batch sewing. So this came together in two visits to the serger (neckband, back, sides, and shoulders, then attaching the neckband) and one visit to the coverstitch. Done. That was it! It was slightly different construction to the instructions, but fast and easy, and such a lovely end result.

Virginia will wear this one to work for another week or so, then she switches back to black shirts and Starbucks. At least for a few more months. After the switch, it’ll be the perfect shirt for being comfortable but cute for classes, errands, and weekend fun. Or a comfy jim-jam top. Who knows?

Either way, I really love how this top looks and came together! It can also be made in woven, and I think the variety of fabrics really gives lovely, and completely different looks to the pattern. Grab your copy, or if you’re like me, and already own it, print it out and sew it up for a quick pick me up!

Stephanie xx

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TCCF American Spirit

We might all be enjoying extra time at home right now but whether you’re looking at the positive side of things (enjoying the extra time versus stuck), or feeling a little trapped, I think most of us are looking forward. To when we can get out and see our loved ones. Grab a drink. Enjoy places that aren’t our homes. One of the things I’m hoping to find some normal in, are holidays! I LOVE celebrating. The little things. The big. My favorite holiday is the Fourth of July!

We do it up every year!! It was always a BIG day growing up. Now we fly home when we can, or find some cool ass parades, fireworks, festivities here! Either way, we dress to impress!! When Threaded Candy Customs showed off this American Spirit preorder, I had to have some glitter!! It is perfect for all my Memorial Day (staying hopeful) and Fourth of July celebrations!! Plus, I am in LOVE with this top.

TCCF cotton lycra is so lovely to work with. The colors are vibrant and beautiful. The fabric is just the right thickness, with amazing recovery. It curls a little at the edges, as do all CL fabrics. But it isn’t so much that it is annoying to work with, and it is WORTH IT!!!

Let’s talk about this top!! I saw a similar top online and knew I needed it! I also knew exactly what pattern I could use to hack it!! This is the 5oo4 Knot Tee! And I did a YT video showing how to do it!! Check it out here and let me know what you think!! (You might notice my fabric for my tester hack is the scraps from Virginia’s recent dress! I was able to JUST sneak it out and could not be happier to have used a bit more of the gorgeous fabric!)