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5oo4 Jenny

Have you ever really wanted to test a pattern, but just didn’t have the time. Then completely failed to buy it or sew it when it released? Yeah, that’s Jenny for me. What a fun pattern!! Super cute, looks comfy, desperately mad I couldn’t make time to test it when 5oo4 was ready. (Why can’t they work on my schedule?!)

Now Jenny is available on 5 Out of 4’s $5 pattern weekend!!! So if you missed out as well, you can grab the pattern now!

I have to tell you, I really thought this one would be a bit complicated to sew. It looks a bit fancy! But it was so, so easy!! This one took under 2 hours from start to finish, with some clear distractions. Definitely one I’ll be making a few more times!

Since Virginia is the lovely model, she is so damn lucky, I’ll pass on her comments on Jenny. “Sooo. This shirt is one of the most comfortable I have EVER worn. It drapes and clings perfectly. How you ask? Amazing design of a perfect shirt. I will definitely need a few more in more fabrics.”

The instructions for this one are very specific about which fabrics give the best results and this gorgeous deep red knub jersey from Sly Fox Fabrics is exactly the perfect choice! It is drapey and lightweight. Cool and comfortable. Easy to wear. Good thing we bought all the colors, because I think I need this in plum!

Grab your copy of Jenny, and hit the 5oo4 Facebook page this weekend to enter to win a free pattern!

Stephanie xx

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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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5oo4 Laura Swim

Hell yeah! Swim!! I love sewing swim!! It astounds me every damn time just how simple the techniques are. To be fair, it also astounds me to have a suit that actually fits! One that isn’t too short so it pulls down for more cleavage than I expected or ride up for the terrible beach wedgie. Nobody wants that. So when this beauty came up for testing, it was irresistible!!

This pink version on me was an early version, so a few things changed before Virginia’s polka dot one. (That’s why the backs are slightly different.) I love the coverage this one provides. The ladies aren’t on display, though if you want them to be, there is an option for a lower neckline! The back also has two options! I didn’t have any clasps on hand, so went for the tie option. Plus there is a cute little button option if you want to add it!

I truly expected to be uncomfortable with such an open back. I almost always pick swim patterns with higher, less strappy backs. I’m pretty squishy and don’t typically feel comfortable with that squishiness strapped down and…well…squishing places. But some combination of this one having all the straps hit all the right places and finding myself surrounded by amazing, supportive, body positive people, has given me the confidence to just rock this!!

So glad there weren’t many changes to this one in testing (Rachelle just rocks), so I could make my final for Virginia!! She picked the same options in this lovely dot fabric! We used the reverse for the band and tie to give it a bit of contrast and fun pop of pink!

This was a surprisingly quick swim sew, especially the second one. I already have another one (or three) planned and can’t wait for some pool time!! Plus, as a bonus, when we were being tourists, we knew there was some fountain time in our day, so I wore this like a bodysuit with a circle skirt and was ready to get wet!! I was comfortable all day (even with the confetti) and my suit dried so conveniently quick after splashing in the fountain and having fun!

Grab your copy here and don’t forget to share in the 5oo4 fan group on facebook!!

Stephanie xx

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THE DEAL!

I’m baaaackkk!!!!!!!

So, a while ago (months and months and months ago) I made a deal with Stephanie for an entire outfit.  I am talking, bra, underwear, pants, shirt, cardigan, an ENTIRE outfit.  In order to get this outfit, I just had to do one itty bitty teeny tiny little thing.  So, a little back story just to drag out the suspense.  Stephanie and I bought a house four years ago.  When we purchased the house, we looked for one specifically with a room dedicated for crafts.  Hence, a part of the reason we choose the house we did.  Like all new homeowners we learn new things every freaking day about house repairs and whatnot.  One of those things, which is what led to our DEAL is, we learned where the placement of our water shut off valve is.  We discovered, much to our dismay, that the valve was located in our crawl space in a horrible place almost impossible to get to.  Especially if we needed to turn off the water in a hurry, which while we never want to happen, is always a chance.  Sooooo, Stephanie and I made a deal that if I worked with our dad to move the water shut off valve, I would get this entire outfit.  This involved crawling into the crawl space to turn off the water so the valve could be moved. 

I beyond earned this entire outfit.  I spent a great deal of time sitting in a tiny area in a crawl space while moving the shut off valve.  Now, here I must give fair kudos to our dad, because without his expertise we never would have been able to move the valve.  I won’t share the horrors I lived through, oh wait, yes I will because I EARNED that damn outfit.  There were bugs, spiders, dead and alive, cockroaches (my absolute worst), and even a dead rat in a trap.  I highly recommend a pest and rodent service to every single person in the world.  I would never want to deal with any of them on my own.  I firmly believe our service is worth Every.  Single.  Penny.  I had to sit in the smallest space, where I had to wiggle on my stomach to get to.  There were issues cutting the pipe, so I had to wait while dad found our pipe cutter.  Let me tell you, I am extremely glad to never have to do that again. 

Rafiki and I posing for another picture!

Now, I made this deal a while ago with Stephanie.  Our dad came down in March, so this is when we were able to move the water valve.  And today, January 15, 2019, I have my full outfit.  FINALLY!!!!!!! 

I have the most beautiful cardigan, an amazing shirt, and pants, the most comfortable underwear, and a bralette if I was a little braver, I would share while wearing it on this post.  I guess this means I am not able to nag her about the outfit anymore.  I am sure she is happy to be done with it.  As always, the pieces she made are absolutely gorgeous.  She always does an amazing job and I never have a single issue with what she makes me.  The clothes fit perfectly (you have to love how well custom made clothes fit), and the fabric is exactly what I want.  Anyone else hate some of the fabric chooses companies make on the clothes they sell?  I have not bought a single ready to wear clothes for myself in an extremely long time.  Not that I did it a lot previously.  I hate clothes shopping, partly because of how crappy the clothes always fit from the store.  Stephanie is usually the one who buys my clothes when we actually buy ready to wear.  I am so not a standard size, in any shape or size.  Clothes never seem to fit me comfortably or properly. 

Getting the outfit took more than time.  Stephanie kept getting me to sit down with her to pick out fabrics and what I wanted.  Then…she kept losing the lists!!!  I finally gave up telling her what I wanted and when she sewed everything up, she picked what she thought I would want.  Now she has this handy dandy book she writes everything down in!  I may need to steal the book one day and add a bunch of stuff just for me to it.  With her giant list I am not sure she would even notice if I added anything to it.  Hmmm, I better make sure she doesn’t read this post, too, or she might pay close attention to her to do list. 

For all those who are reading this and are not the sewist in their family, I highly recommend making a deal for a full outfit, but I don’t recommend something as gross as getting into a crawl space.  I now have an amazing outfit, well, I’m sure you can see they won’t actually work as an outfit together, but I have a whole bunch of new articles for my wardrobe.  One day I will show you all the amazing wardrobe I have because of Stephanie.  I don’t have to many outfits that are still ready to wear.  It.  Is.  Awesome!!!!!!!

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The Things My Sister Makes Me Do

14711507_728065614649_8268011911975841328_oSo, Stephanie thinks a point of view of a non-sewist living with a sewist would be interesting to read, sooo…  my name is Virginia and I am Stephanie’s older, non-sewist sister.  I am the least crafty person in my family.  Still not sure why or how I got talked into writing for a sewing blog, but little sisters know when to pull out the persuasiveness and she definitely whammied me.  While my mom and sisters all have talents in making beautiful objects, I have no desire or skill to do so.  Living with someone with the ability to make clothes can be pretty damn awesome though (I seriously hate shopping and not having to go clothes shopping may be the best thing ever!).  However, you never realize how much room a “hobby” can take up.  When we were house shopping we specifically looked for a house where we could have a craft room.  We found one and have an entire room devoted to crafts, however, it is starting to move into other areas.  It is hard to complain when you get so many beautiful clothes out of it.Stephanie - Avery - Red - Top (2)

This does not mean I do not enjoy the end results of my family’s skills.  I am constantly asking for clothes and afghans to add to my ever-growing collection (I can already hear my mom sighing as I find another color and design for an afghan I want).  My closet is full of clothes Stephanie has made for me, and I am slowly and happily weeding out the ready to wear.  While I can’t say having her make our clothes is less expensive than purchasing them, I can say I am a lot happier with the fit and style of the ones she makes.  Before she started sewing, I would have thought sewing your own clothes was done to save money, it sure did not take long to realize that was a huge misconception.  Maybe a few decades ago but definitely not so anymore.

Watching the process of her making clothes is enthralling.  I don’t know why she asks me to join her in the craft room, when she is constantly asking me why I am watching her.  As someone with no skills in sewing, it is beyond mesmerizing to watch a piece of fabric become an item of clothing.  I have seen her make everything from underwear, to jeans, to a winter jacket.  Very recently she made me a jean jacket.  She doesn’t know I am mentioning the jean jacket today, it is for blog tour and is a surprise!  I feel that since I am writing for her blog I can sneak in a mention or two.  (She may regret asking me to do this)  Anywhos, that kind of skill is just awesome.

Now, all of this and me not being a sewist myself does not mean I do not get involved in the sewing process.  For some reason, Stephanie sometimes asks me to help in the process of making clothes. It is almost like she expects me to help make my own clothes (isn’t this why she has those skills and I don’t).  She will ask me to print and/or glue together a pattern.  I can tell you from experience that gluing together patterns is just about the worst.  The pages never seem to want to stick together for me, my fingers get covered in glue and ink, and the pattern ends up so big I have to cut it as I go or the whole thing falls apart.  I personally would be happy just fabric shopping and choosing what pattern I want with what styles.  Thankfully I don’t have to print much, but man when I do, those patterns are huge!  Since our printer is ancient I have to hang out by it and make sure nothing breaks or dies.  I think Stephanie is secretly hoping I will get fed up enough we can get one of those A0 printers.  I think she should start putting that idea into our parent’s heads for a birthday/Christmas gift (I know at least one of them reads her blog so…hint hint).12508879_10153827694472311_8091317085687337900_n-2391838579-1534789359469.jpg

I will admit fabric shopping is just about the best thing ever and my personal favorite part of sewing.  Of all the parts of sewing Stephanie has shown and tried to teach me, fabric is the one area I absolutely love.  If you ever want to get someone interested in sewing, I highly recommend starting there.  I find myself learning about fabric without even realizing.  When we go to Fine Fabrics I do decent at knowing what a type of fabric is just by touching it, and if I don’t I have no problem asking.  This is really helpful since we love to buy fabric from a few places online as well (company pug here:  Sly Fox Fabrics is my favorite!!!!).  There are so many pretty fabrics it is hard to remember we have a budget and can’t just spend all the money on the fabric.

Stephanie has certainly tried to get me more involved in the entire sewing process, outside buying all the fabric.  I am sure she would be thrilled if I decided to start sewing with her.  Although, then she would have to share her machines and I’m not overly sure how that would go over.  I will ask her questions that she is always happy to answer, but still no desire to sew anything.  I do know how to sew, at least something simple, and if she handed me a garment and said sew this seam, I can do it.  I just don’t have any desire to learn how to put together an entire piece of clothing.  Our grandma and mom taught all of us how to sew at a young age.  Unlike Stephanie, I never caught the bug and only did what I had to, usually just in school.  Anyone else remember having to take a sewing and cooking class in school?  Do they still make you do that?  DSC_0103Anyways.  Stephanie has really found her passion in sewing.  This is probably why she loves doing pattern tests and helping other sewists learn new techniques and improve overall.  I think she is hoping one day I will cave and ask her to teach me how to make clothes.

She has even started to get me to help cutting out fabric.  I can not believe she trusts me enough to help in this area.  I have a slight reputation for sabotaging things I don’t want to do (ask my dad about a lawn mower when I was a teenager), so I don’t understand why Stephanie trusts me with the fabric.  To be fair, she is pretty smart in having me cut fabric for my own clothes as there is an extremely less chance of me messing that up.  No matter how many times she tells me about cutting on the fold, with grain, and a whole lot of other technical things I don’t remember, I can never seem to keep it all straight and ask her the same questions over and over again.  Not sure how she has the patients to deal with that as it would irritate the hell out of me.  She just keeps on trying though.  Keeps telling me, the more I help the more she can do.  And damn if I don’t want some more work clothes and pretty clothes for my wardrobe, so I keep falling for it and end up helping her more and more.  I did help a bit with my jean jacket (mentioned again!).  This time with cutting and sewing.  Anyone else seriously hate ironing?  Such a simple task is just the worst for me.  I will wear an entire wrinkly outfit before I iron.

She has started to do more than just sew (hello blog), so now she is getting me more involved there as well.  I am still not sure how I even ended up writing this for her.  Apparently, she thinks torturing me and asking me to write what amounts to a paper on my summer break is fun.  Oh well.  Life with a sewist is interesting.  She is constantly trying to find time to work her part-time job for a pattern designer, while doing pattern tests, as well as sewing for herself and those around her outside of her full-time job.  If you sew your own clothes, you know people are always just amazed by what you can do and ask you to sew for them as well.  Stephanie is always being asked to sew clothes for people who know her (that is a whole other topic entirely, people really don’t appreciate how much time and work goes into create items of clothing from scratch).  Since I mentioned it, don’t be surprised if you see a post about it from me in the future.

So how am I supposed to end all my rambling thoughts????????

P.S. I don’t really have any of the pics of me or anyone else in Stephanie made clothes so I chose random funny ones. 🙂