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Patterns

So I wrote this post about fabric forever ago, almost two years, and realized despite me sharing as many makes as I can write about, I don’t have a central post with my favorite companies for easy reference. Since I just did an update to my Fabric post, now felt like a good time for this one. So check out my current favorite pattern companies. If they regularly have sales, or have something happening right now, I’ll link what I can for you!

Rebecca Page

Obviously, I have to start with Rebecca Page. I work for this company, and have for almost 4 years. The team is filled with amazing, talented, lovely people that I am so lucky to work with! One of the things that inspired me about RP patterns, forever ago when I pattern tested, was the uniqueness of the pattern options. RP isn’t afraid of tackling the difficult patterns and making them easy. Those things that are woven, fitted, and have the cleanest finishes. My very first pattern test with RP, she offered up another pattern to use in photos and I was thrilled at the opportunity to make a winter coat. I still have that Amsterdam coat and just love it. But I also love that they are well drafted and require minimal fitting for my body. They offer US letter, A4, and A0 size pages and clear, easy to read instructions with TONS of photos. But, they also have a quick glance page for those that don’t need detailed instructions! It is great for quick reference!!

RP has TONS of free patterns. You just have to create an account and you’ll get instant access! Super easy. This is extra helpful for giving a company a try to see if you like their pattern style, instructions, how it prints, etc. They also offer a subscription! This gives you access to even more freebies, as well as a pattern credit each month to pick up any pattern you like. Plus, they do tons of bundling. The discounts on the bundles are always killer. It is a great way to grab a collection of patterns you might have your eye on.

For December, they are doing 25% off all patterns AND they’ve put together some extra special bundles. So if you’re looking to grab a haul, or want to send gift ideas to loved ones, send them over to check it out!

5 Out of 4

If you are new to my blog, or just not paying attention, 5oo4 is probably my most sewn pattern collection. I was lucky enough to do pattern testing and be on their regular promo team, so I got to sew a lot! I really like the fit of these patterns because they’re always a simple grade for me and adding height and Virginia is a straight size! No grading needed. They also often include a FBA within their patterns. They have a wonderful selection of knit patterns that are easy to sew and wear.

I definitely find patterns drafted by Rachel to be my favorites. I think she leans more toward my style. But I don’t have a single pattern that I won’t make again. Even when testing, my fit garment (that first try to see if edits are needed) are completely wearable and loved in my closet. Virginia as well. Her favorite top, the Jessie, is a 5oo4 pattern and she asks for it regularly.

They have a great regular price on patterns and offer different patterns for just $5 on Fridays. Plus do regular sales throughout the year. Definitely one to keep an eye on. They also recently started a 5oo4 Family program with tips, videos, etc for members. Some great resources and free patterns available on their site and you can’t beat the positivity in their Facebook group.

Patterns for Pirates

This is a company that has some gorgeous quick, easy options! They have a stylish selection that is great for fast sews, little fitting needs, and a huge group for inspiration and feedback! Plus, the owner/designer, Judy, is a gorgeous inspiration. If you’re looking for aspirational looks, she is a great source! And they have the wonderful Katy McKinley on the team. If her smiling face doesn’t light up your day, I don’t know what could. The entire team is supportive, talented, and so helpful with any questions you might have! They typically only do a few sales throughout the year, so when you see one, take advantage!!

Made for Mermaids

Another company with a team of amazing people. Talent, style, hard work, and delight. The patterns are interesting, beautiful, and pretty dang easy to sew! Plus, they work so hard to bring beautiful matching options for moms, kids, and baby sizes! I don’t know how they find so many cute baby models, but it is definitely working for them!! The patterns are easy to follow and fun to wear! Just like P4P, they only do a handful of sales all year, so jump on board when they’re happening!!

Ellie and Mac

This is a new to me company but they’re getting a mention here because I have a list of patterns I want to try from them! They do weekly Wacky Wednesday sales where you can snag a pattern for just $1, so that is always a win in my book! I really like how the hoodie I sewed up came together. Easy, quick, no issues even with my grading. They have some unique color-blocking options and a wider size range, which I love! I’m looking forward to trying more of their patterns.

George and Ginger

If you are looking for unique patterns, drama, delight, flair, this is definitely the place to look. I like their fit and she just expanded her size range! I also really like how she breaks up the pattern for printing. She separates pattern pieces so you don’t end up with 100 pages connected, or having to cut as you go. This doesn’t appear to use any more paper than other patterns, but is definitely a bit easier to manage. She offers free patterns, particularly if you follow her YouTube channel. And deals and bundles as well!

Note on this. I cannot find a single photo I have taken of a George and Ginger pattern. Despite having a handful of them in my closet. I will rectify this. Hopefully soon.

Halla

I think I need to break out a Halla pattern again! I really enjoy the sweet, lovely patterns I have from them. I think they have a great selection of unique, but easy to wear patterns. Plus, they always fit me well and are quick, easy sews. They’re having 30% off right now as well! So that is a win-win!!

Love Notions

This is another pattern company I’ve only sewn one pattern from. But oh boy, did it come out beautifully! They have a free Laundry Day Tee that I have been meaning to try for YEARS. Maybe 2021 will give me the time to sew it up! Either way, I made the La Bella Donna top and it is wonderful. The fit is great! The pattern came together great. And they are expanding their size range to be more inclusive! I’d call that a win!

There are definitely tons of other pattern companies out there! I obviously focus on companies that include a wider size range, so there are some lovely choices that I’ve not tried. I find it best to find a company that fits fairly well to start, which reduces the number of adjustments you have to make before sewing!!

Stephanie xx

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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