Y’all, I miss snow. A lot. Not the day-to-day, get up early to shovel, ruins the commute kind of snow. But the pretty, chilly, get to wear scarves, hats, and pretty jackets kind of snow. Don’t at me. This post and pattern is perfect for those that are stuck in the cold weather, weather they like it or not, and still want to be cute AF.
The one thing I hate about scarves and coats is the tangled mess my hair becomes at the base of my neck. All that extra stuff rubbing and moving just makes a knot of my ridiculous hair. The best answer to this is rocking that messy bun! But, it is cold out and headbands just don’t provide enough coverage. I hear you! That’s why the Bun Hat exists.
I did a test run in so many different fabrics, and I have to say, it works in almost all of them. Different fabrics definitely give a different fit, but if you know that going in, you can be successful with any knit fabric that meets the stretch requirements listed in the pattern.
There are two styles included in the pattern, one with the scrunched up front, which is all you’ll see here because I’m obsessed. But, you can leave that bit off and have a little more coverage (for those that want even more warmth), plus it is a tiny bit faster!
I say tiny bit because these are the FASTEST things to sew! And an amazing scrapbuster! Make a cute sweater and you can probably get a Bun Hat out of the scraps! Working on some running tights? Make a Bun Hat out of the scraps to be hella cute and keep those ears warm while you’re outside. Win. Win.
The bonus here is that the pattern is free for subscription members!! Grab your subscription here. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can still pick up the pattern for just a few bucks!! Don’t forget to share how much you love them!
When I heard Frocktails was coming to Atlanta, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to meet some local sewing people! Bought my ticket, gave a little thought to what I had in my closet that would be cute. Just let that sit in the back of my mind and start to get excited. Then, I got an update email from them that there would be a straight up red carpet and professional photographers. What?! This obviously means I need a sparkly dress. I don’t know why, but that’s what my brain tells me.
Now I’m on the lookout for a fancy dress that isn’t too fancy, so I can wear it again if I want. Something that won’t take too long to make, but is not something I already have in my closet. I polled a few friends and got suggestions on styles they’d put me in and ended up in a style I’ve worn on a few locations. Definitely didn’t step outside my comfort zone here, as suggested, but I am just a sucker for classic, vintage vibes!!
Off to Fine Fabrics to find something inexpensive but fabulous! A few more annoying texts sent to friends to help me decide. Turns out they have so many pretty, sparkly fabrics to choose from!! And I rarely explore the fancy fabrics aisles. (That’s the official name.)
Home again to start hacking the pattern! I started with the vintage, gorgeous, ridiculously fabulous Patsy Party Dress from Rebecca Page Sewing. This has been on my “wish I had a reason to wear it” list since I saw the first line drawing. NOW I DO!!! I used the free version, but the add-on pack is amazing. Seriously gives you every fancy look you could need for a strapless dress.
This pattern also includes all the info to give structure and support so if you want to go braless and still feel supported, you can. There is info on interlining and how to add boning. There’s a blog post on adding a waist stay for even more support. (Peeps! I wrote this one! You should check it out.) In my desire to just sew quickly, I wanted to totally skipped most of this. I did interline the entire thing only because the sparkles are a little sheer. I would have added the waist stay, but ran out of time. More on that later.
Now, I love the vintage strapless look of the Patsy, but I needed to add straps. I wanted sparkly, cagey, strappy delight and I wanted that to start from more of the sweetheart neckline. I also needed to do a full bust adjustment (the free princess seam FBA download is super easy to follow and worked PERFECTLY!) A quick muslin of the bodice to check the FBA is the perfect opportunity to start this hack.
I pinned the muslin to my bra (the one I’m wearing under the dress, so everything sits in the same place) and marked how low I want the sweetheart to sit. I didn’t want to lose the vintage feel, so I didn’t go cleavage low. I took off the muslin and used my french curve to ease that point into the side of the center front piece. I didn’t want to lose any bra coverage on the side either, so just drew a nice, smooth curve. Cut off this bit and pinned it back on. It was exactly what I needed!! So a quick transfer to the pattern piece and I’m good to go!! (Keep in mind seam allowance when you do this!! You’ll lose 1/2″ from the top edge.)
The only other change I made was adding the strappy goodness. I wanted straps on straps on straps! Straps for days! Interwoven and heading in unexpected directions. Just straps. I wanted them narrow, but not so narrow that I’d throw them across the room while trying to turn them right sides out. I cut strips 1 1/4″ wide and sewed with a 3/8″ seam allowance. The fabric is super lightweight and it was really easy to turn them. Eight straps later and I’m ready to ask Virginia for help in figuring out where to place them.
This process was…fun. I clipped them to the front where I thought I wanted them. Then asked Virginia to pin me into it (that back is hard to pin myself!). Small tweaks and another check, and they are basted on; then I’m ready to figure out back placement. I tried something I thought I’d like and hated it. Virginia to the rescue! She moved straps around and clipped them where she liked them, with many photos shown to me so she could adjust and tweak. After triple checking that they were interwoven correctly (pro tip, they’re not…don’t look too close), I sewed them in between my main fabric and lining. A really good press and deciding not to understitch, and my bodice is ready to be sewn to the skirt.
Why didn’t I understitch? Well, I find those straps make it difficult to get a smooth line across the entire front of the bodice. My machine tends to bump a bit when I get to that extra thickness, and I don’t want to be sad every time I see it, or take it slow and responsible to get it right. But I still don’t want my lining sneaking out. So what the hell choice is that?! Bad sewist!! I just cheated the lining to the wrong side. When I pressed, I pulled it down a scant quarter inch lower than it is supposed to be. Really, really good press here and pinned the lining lower than the bodice all the way down, and across the bottom. Why? You might ask. Because I’m cheating on the next step too.
The pattern has stunning finishes, inside and out. But, I’m looking for quick and dirty and this is just for me. So, I’m not doing the lining how it is suggested. I’m treating the entire bodice as one at this point. Sewed my skirt on, then attached my zipper, after adjusting the back to take out extra width since my fabric stretched out a bit during construction (this step is included in the pattern and is one of the most important ones to get the right fit. It is worth the extra time. Promise!). Usually the zipper would be sandwiched in between the outer and lining, so there is no way it sneaks out and is seen. But, I’ve got straps RIGHT THERE. They give me some coverage for a little seam allowance sticking up. I can serge the back edge, make sure to get that zipper tape fully secured, then, if needed (and only if needed), it can be tacked to the lining with just a few hand stitches. Then I won’t even need those straps as a just in case. Yeah, I’m lazy. But I just saved myself from hand sewing the bodice lining all the way around the waist. Calling it a win!
That’s it. The dress just needed a hem and it was good to go! I left it hanging to let it stretch out fully. Hemmed it and decided if it needed a waist stay. (Why not? It doesn’t take long.) It turns out I ran out of time for hemming though. The outer fabric needed to be hemmed by hand. It was just the prettiest option and it. Took. Forever. So my lining is currently unhemmed and I didn’t have time to add a waist stay. I finished the outer hem an hour before I needed to leave. Whoops! Still had to pick some shoes, and a hairstyle. Thankfully, I played with some lippie options and watched youtube videos to learn how to put stuff on my face earlier in the week. A little help from the sister and I’m off to Frocktails.
This event was really fun. It was cool to be in a place where everyone had this crazy, common interest. I met some awesome new people. Some from just around the corner, some a bit further away. Some brand new, but oh so impressive, sewists, and some ridiculously experiences sewists!
I did finally get to meet Jessica, from 5 Out of 4 Patterns! She lives not too, too far from me and we’ve never met! That was cool as hell! And the superstar Aaronica, who is as fabulous in person as expected!!
All in, it was a really cool night. My feet and throat hurt (I’m old, but the music was too loud), and I definitely had a slow start this morning, but it was a night I won’t soon forget! If you have a Frocktails event near you, I highly recommend making some time.
Do you love a pattern that is super quick, super cute, super easy, and also makes a great gift? I know I do!! I still haven’t made one of these cuties for me, but have just loved giving them away! These gorgeous little zip pouches are beautifully finished! Ranging from tiny and perfect for headphones or change, all the way up to huge and perfect for a shoe bag while traveling or slipping your ipad into, this set has you covered!
Let me tell you about how quick these are. From cut to done, One of these takes me about 30 minutes. That’s nuts!! If you’re looking for a last minute holiday gift, this is a great idea!! It is easy to fit in between all the hustle and bustle that comes with this lovely season!
Part of that quickness is that it is a really simple pattern. Five cut pieces of fabric, some interfacing, and a zipper. I am a big fan of batch sewing, so I prep each available step of the pattern all at once, then sew, press, and prep for the next step! This helps me power through all my sewing a bit faster, and helps with that impatience I fight with for just wanting to see the finished product!
Now, this lovely set of 5 bags is a gift for my sister. She is forever asking for zipper bags. Always. She has asked me to make them, then gave up and asked me what pattern I use. I didn’t really have one I completely loved, so now I can recommend this one!!! She has no idea these are hers, so I’m excited to see what she thinks. 🙂 (Vicki, you can open that box.)
Then I had to make two for a couple friends. Just little, I’m thinking of you, gifts. They’re so quick and such great scrap busters, that I’m pretty sure everyone I know is going to end up with a Zoe Zip Pouch. Eventually!
I used quilting cottons for all of these pouches. I really like that i can grab leftovers from other projects, fat quarters, and end of bolt sale fabrics and have plenty to make most of these. My preference is for a mid-weight interfacing with quilting cotton. It gives enough stability to stand by itself without being a pain to turn right sides out. You really can make these out of almost any woven, just pair it with the right weight interfacing for the right level of stability and ease of sewing.
Let’s talk a little bit about versatility. These are so easy to hack! From simple colorblocking, to adding a strap or even pockets, this little zip pattern is here for all your needs! If you’re interested in some hacks, check out the Rebecca Page Sewalong group on Facebook. I’m going live to show how to sew this up, then to show a few fun hacks to give even more options!!
Grab your copy of the Zoe Zip Pouches and let me know who you’re sewing them for!! (Hopefully at least one for you!)
I’m blogging up a storm over here and couldn’t leave out this little cutie!! Let me just start this one with FREE PATTERN!!! Now I’ll dive into the awesomeness of this little wristlet.
I’m not a huge purse carrier. I adore them. They’re so cute and have so many wonderful features. But I’m apt to leave them somewhere or either swing from carrying a basically empty bag, or one stuffed so full of random stuff that it is rendered useless. More often than not, you’ll see me with either an ID wallet on a keychain, attached to my keys, or a clutch/wristlet of some sort. Something that I hold in my hand and doesn’t take up a lot of space. I can throw it in a larger purse or bag when the occasion calls for it. Super easy.
So this is truly the perfect solution. It is just the right size to carry around in my hand, or throw on my wrist with the handy strap, which is basically what I do with the ID wallets. But this can also hold lip gloss and my phone!! And my keys can go inside!!! WHAT?!
So let’s touch on options real quick. You can add up to six card slots to the inside, which is more than enough for what I carry around from day to day. Then the outside pocket is wonderful for cash or lip gloss or that to do list I always carry with me, then lose. You can leave off the key loop or wrist strap if you want a super basic one to carry about. And it was super easy to put together!!
If you want a quick, FREE pattern, that let’s you carry around the essentials, this is perfect!! Grab your copy here and let me know what you think!!
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.