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Work It: Edition 12

This is it! This is the last one of the year!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Ok, I’m too excited about the entire outfit to wait to share. This month is all about the party! Whether it is a Holiday party, a New Year’s party, or an “I don’t have to work all week” party, December is a month of celebrations! I wanted to go full bold for this one.

Since this GORGEOUS scuba from Sly Fox Fabrics is so, so bold, I wanted to break it up a little bit by adding a side stripe, but also keep it pretty simple. But first, let’s talk about these fabrics. I used leftover modal from Edition 11 for this stripe. I cut so the more stable direction is running the length of my leg to prevent the less stable fabric from sagging in between the scuba. So far, it is holding up very well! The scuba is vibrant and just lovely to work with and wear. I could not be happier with how the finished pants wear.

On to the hacks. As always, I started with the 5 Out of 4 Diane Joggers. For these, I cut 1/2 inch off each outside edge, so I could have a 1 inch stripe. I cut the stripe at 1.75 inches and just did width of fabric, then cut off the excess after attaching. I also cut the regular, hemmed pants length, and the high rise. The knit band is still my favorite, and I added 2 inches to the cutting height, so it is 1 inch taller than intended in the pattern. When sewing, I did slim the leg slightly on the inseam side. The only other change is the pocket. This isn’t my usual pocket hack! I wanted more of a slanted slat pocket. So, I redrew the shape and deepened the pocket slightly. Because the opening goes further down my leg, I wanted to make sure my phone wouldn’t fall out while I was walking.

That’s it. This one was a SUPER simple hack. I adore the stripe and chose to do the pocket facing in black as well, which I think adds another lovely touch. The pocket lining is out of the scuba, since I wasn’t sure if the black would show through or not. These are comfortable and fun. Plus, I can see so much fun with a solid fabric and a lace stripe or a faux leather stripe. Just so much fun to be had!

So let’s talk about this top. Oh boy! This is the 5oo4 Stella and she is a beaut!! The flounce is what drew me in and adds that party vibe. I chose not to add the optional straps because I have cute bralettes to show off but love the bare shoulder if I feel like donning the strapless bra. This pattern is super versatile though! It has a plain tank, a strappy tank, and shorts! Plus, all of those can mix and match to make a romper! Definitely a great pattern to fill different needs in your wardrobe! Plus, it was a really quick sew.

I considered doing the bra length option only (forgot to list that one!), but opted for the more versatile tank. Mostly because this tank has just enough ease to tie it up and wear it a couple different ways!! If you want to do this, make sure to choose a fabric with great recovery! Something like rayon spandex is going to show that knot after it is untied until you wash it again.

I adore Stella in this SFF DBP. I picked one of the coordinates listed on the scuba. This magenta is currently sold out, but the orchid was my next choice and is still in stock! I can’t wait to make Stella in other colors and dive into some beautiful prints. I think this would be lovely in a lace or mesh as a swim cover!

That’s the whole outfit! It was simple and easy to make and wear! So comfortable and lovely. It also makes me think of spring, while everything around me is brown and a little sad, so double happy! I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition of Work It and be sure to share if you try it!!

Don’t forget to enter to win 5oo4 pattern credit right here (click this link! Really!! Prizes!!! Who doesn’t love winning prizes?!)

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Work It: Edition 11

It is cliched, but I am SHOCKED it is November!! This year has flown by and I can’t believe I am almost done with the first year of this series!! But it isn’t done yet and I can’t wait to share another edition of Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats with you!

This month, I wanted to use the 5 Out of 4 Diane Joggers to be prepared for all the holiday stuff. Shopping for presents, decorating the house, basking in the crisp air, holiday get togethers with friends and family. All the fun stuff that the season brings!! To do that, I wanted fancy joggers!! To start, I needed the perfect fabric. Something with a little structure and some body, so it doesn’t drape too much. Something a little bold, with a lovely print, because everyone needs more patterned pants! Myself included. Structure and body means a nice double knit for me, so I perused the selection of liverpool fabrics from Sly Fox Fabrics. I love liverpool. It is lightweight enough that I can wear it all year in Atlanta and not be a puddle of sweat.

This GORGEOUS dusty mauve immediately jumped out at me. It has lovely fall vibes while still being fun and exciting! Plus, I am completely loving the pinks and burgundy tones this season. I want to wear them EVERY DAY!!!! Now I have the perfect fabric and am ready to tackle the hacks!

I had to add the same pocket I’ve been adding almost every month. I just love these pockets. Everything needs them! I also slimmed down the leg slightly, as I did here, so I wouldn’t end up with too much drape over my cuff, since liverpool won’t drape because of that body. I also chose the high rise cut line and added 2 inches to the short, knit waistband. This combo really gives me the exact high waisted look I was going for.

But the real hack to this one is in the cuffs. I cut the pants at the cuffed capri cutline. Then I made an entirely new cuff piece. I measured the height I needed from ankle to where the capri hits. I also measured my ankle and calf to make sure the cuff would fit as I wanted. Then I created this hourglass shape piece…

Then folded it with that angled edge matching. Then folding again, with the top and bottom raw edge matching. Sew along just the angled line and the cuff is made!! I tried it on to make sure the fit was alright and was ready to go!! For my next one, I’ll curve that angled edge just a little, so it stays a little more fitted in that weird area between calf and ankle, but I am super happy with how this cuff turned out!!

I knew when I planned this that I wanted to go bold this month. I wanted that look that makes you feel put together and fabulous, no matter what you’re doing! So, I went for it. All in. And sharing on the internet. After the bikini earlier this year, I didn’t think I’d struggle with a simple crop top! I surely did. I’m also sure I annoyed a few friends while asking for opinions. Love y’all!

The Lakeshore Tank was the perfect starting point for this top. It was so dang cute on Virginia as a full tank earlier this year and I’ve wanted one since I made hers. to make it a crop, I initially cut it a few inches above the banded cut line. Really wanted to give myself wiggle room for whatever length I actually wanted. Then I finished everything except the hem and tried it on. I clipped a few places around the front and lived with it a little bit. Sent a few pics off to get opinions on where it should hit. Then shortened it even more. If I’m doing it, might as well do it big, right?! I freaking love the end result. It is so comfortable and will be ridiculously versatile in my closet!

Part of that comfort is the fabric. I used modal jersey for this one and it is freaking perfect. It is soft and flowy. Has amazing drape and doesn’t stick to itself like DBP. So it sits exactly where I want it to without adjustments. I went for the nice basic black, but will definitely be making more out of ALL THE COLORS!!! Then, as I get even more comfortable with crops, I can venture into the knub jersey and brushed poly fabrics!

Since it is November, I can’t just live in a tank, and a crop at that. Clearly need a cardi to go with that! I knew exactly the pattern and fabric I wanted for this! I wanted the drama of a long Eleanor! Knee length was perfect (maybe I’ll try duster next!) And the ribbed knit was exactly the sparkle I needed. The flow of this in the wind gets me every time. I often leave pockets off cardigans if the fabric is light or fiddly (I tend to forget and just throw my hands in them pretty roughly), but I think I’ll go back and add them on this one. The fabric can definitely handle it and I think they’ll bring this one up a notch from outstanding to PERFECT!!! The burgundy was exactly the right color to compliment these pants. Sly Fox just released mustard though, and I need that in my life.

Basically, I am completely in love with each piece this month. They come together with just a little drama and are quite versatile on their own. I’ve already worn each of them separately and together!! Be sure to check out all the gorgeous fabrics over at Sly Fox Fabrics and all the fantastic new releases and wonderful patterns from 5 Out of 4 Patterns (keep an eye here too, as I’m in a test right now that I can’t wait to share! Shhhhh!!!) And don’t forget to enter to win free pattern credit from 5oo4 right here!

Stephanie xx

PS – My neighborhood has kitties. Apparently years ago, before we moved in, some asshole decided they didn’t want the kitten they adopted, so they just put it outside. Of course it wasn’t spayed/neutered, so now there are kittens. Always. The neighborhood takes care of them, feeding, capturing to spay/neuter, making sure they’re safe and warm, etc. There are three black kitties from the same litter who all hang out, so we named them Tall, Grande, and Venti. This is Tall. She is super sweet and loving. If I didn’t have four cats already, and she really needs a home with her sister, Grande (their brother is much more independent, but still sweet!), she’d already have moved right in. She decided to photo bomb this entire shoot and be adorable. Don’t worry, she got pets and food. But, if anyone wants to add some really sweet kittens to their lives, let me know! <3

PPS – Spay and neuter your damn animals. Seriously. The health benefits are ridiculous and not adopting these cats breaks my heart.

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Frocktails and Patsy

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.

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 10

Here we go again! It is October, I’ve already argued that it is the best month over on the Sly Fox Fabrics guest blog and I’m still not taking arguments about this. There is a crispness to the air, leaves crunching beneath my feet, and I can finally wear sweaters without sweating. Plus, my birthday, so best month of the year. Anyway, rant over, let’s talk about this month’s sews for Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats!

I needed some yoga pants. Not for actual yoga, but for curling up and having comfy, stretchy pants, that are a little bit too long, and easy to take a quick nap in. So I’m sticking a little bit closer to the intended design of the 5 Out of 4 Diane Joggers and just adding some small tweaks to get exactly the pants I’m want!

This is an extra easy hack! Starting with the full length, I added a little bit of width to the outseam of both the front and back leg pieces, 1 1/4″ each, and eased that extra width up to nothing about the knee. The inseam on these is a bit long for me and I did not take that out. I wanted these to be just a tiny bit too long, so when I curl up, I’ve got some extra cozy coverage. That’s it. That’s the hack. I used the same pocket hack I always use (here, here, here, and here), and chose the fold over yoga waistband. Now, I rarely, if ever fold over this style waistband, but I like the option. I also like the extra coverage if I do actually wear these for yoga.

For such a simple hack, I had to have just the right fabric. The Cotton Spandex from Sly Fox Fabrics is PERFECT!! It is exactly the right weight to be comfortable but not stifling when I get toasty. They carry it in some absolutely gorgeous colors, tool, like the Jewel I used on these pants! My notes on working with this fabric are that it is well worth it in the end. But, as with all cotton lycra/spandex blends I’ve worked with, it does stick to itself and curls like mad. It can be a bit frustrating at times. Next time I break it out, I’ll have a glass of wine handy, for sure! The end result is totally worth the extra effort though! Just give yourself a little extra fabric time.

I do have to say, the perks of the Cotton Spandex are that gathering it is super easy! It is stable enough and not at all slippery, so the small gathering I needed to do for this super cute Taylor Tank was quick and painless! The rest of this tank was equally worth the effort!! This is my first Taylor Tank, but sure won’t be my last!! I love the fit, the widths of the bands, the aforementioned gathers in the back. Basically, I love it all! And this Dark Grey CS is the perfect neutral tank to add to my closet. It will look lovely with all the crazy workout pants I already have, too!

Be sure to check out the rest of the Work It hacks, as well as all the gorgeous patterns over at 5oo4, and fabric at Sly Fox Fabrics. And, of course, enter to win the monthly giveaway of 5oo4 pattern credit here.

What do you think of this month’s hack?

Stephanie xx

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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