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Turning the Page: Sewing Fall Layers + GIVEAWAYS!!!!!

I know it is cliched and I could not possibly care less.  FALL IS MY FAVORITE SEASON!!!!  The colors.  The crispness in the air.  Football.  Apples.  Hot cocoa.  Everything about this season makes me happy (except the overabundance of pumpkin spice).  One of the best parts of fall is dressing in layers.  Wearing layers means I’m prepared for everything.  A bit chilly, oh, here’s my jacket.  Warmer than expected, take off the sweater.  Plus all the cuddly, coziness.  Which is exactly what I’m talking about for the Turning the Page: Sewing for the Seasons blog tour.  This theme really gave me the opportunity to make some things I’ve wanted to sew for some time now.  AND to ask Virginia what things she wanted (rather than needed) and add some beautiful pieces to her closet.  Virginia asked for back to school clothes!  How fun is that?!

She has wanted a true wrap top for quite some time.  These are typically quite difficult to find with enough coverage for her preference.  Meghan Wrap for the win!  The gorgeous details and beautiful finishes bring me so much happiness!  This was a surprisingly quick sew and I could not be happier with how it sewed up in this beautiful Roosevelt SBP from Sincerely Rylee.  (If this fabric looks familiar, it might be because we loved it so much we accidentally bought it from two companies, so I used my cut from Sly Fox Fabrics and blogged about it here.)  Since she wanted a top, not a dress, I just measured how long she wanted her shirt and cut it there (with hem allowance).  This makes another sew I can squeak out of two yards!!  Who doesn’t want a gorgeous top, perfect for everyday wear, from a two yard cut of fabric?  But, if it is a dress you’re after, the Meghan Wrap Dress is on sale this month!!  It is a seriously amazing deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, she obviously needs some comfy pants for sitting in classrooms, learning all sorts of things.  Maybe doodling.  Hopefully not texting.  But, she doesn’t want to look like she’s wearing jim-jams.  Why don’t we make some Pippa Pants in ponte?  We can use the Ultimate Patch Pockets because pockets.  We found this gorgeous chocolate ponte from Fine Fabrics.  It is a lovely weight and so soft.  Perfect for sitting behind a desk all night.

Great!  She’s comfy.  She’s cute.  Only one problem…her classrooms get cold as hell!!  So, I think she needs a jacket.  I gave her a few options and was thrilled she chose the Kingston Jacket!!  I’ve been wanting to make one since it came out!!  AND since the Kingston Add-on pack released, I can make my welt pocket dreams come true!  Yes, I said my dreams.  We typically fall into the same size range for most patterns.  So, if I’m making Virginia a denim jacket, I get to borrow it!!  I’m prepared to fight anyone who wants to argue about that.  We found a great mid-heavy weight denim at, you guessed it, Fine Fabrics and I was ready to go!!

Virginia has the best taste.  Have I mentioned that?  When I told her there were spots for personalization, she immediately said “WONDER WOMAN!!”.  She might have added to my to do list, and we had to run out and grab some amazing fabric from Joann Fabrics to really complete the look.  But, LOOK AT THIS COLLAR!!  How fun?!  Totally worth the extra step!  I love these little personal touches (ask me about my pants pockets).  They just really take an already amazing garment over the edge!  Plus, subtle nerdiness is my jam!!

The details of this pattern really make my heart swoon!  I chose to do the flat-lock seams for the very traditional look I think it was worth the effort.  Plus, I convinced Virginia to help a bit with the trimming seams and ironing bits.  I so appreciate when she has time to jump in and assist.  The final result is definitely worth the effort.

Virginia has a new amazing, comfy outfit for fall.  Plus, they are versatile pieces that coordinate with so much of her wardrobe!  I’m super jealous.  Just kidding!!! Because I still have me to sew for!!  I have been wanting to hack the Cerena Romper into pants since I made one for a friend (post coming soon.  Just need pics!).  Now, I was planning on moving the zipper to the front and adding a button with a waistband.  But, I was chatting with a coworker about her new RTW pants that had a flat front and elastic back for the waist and realized that would be hella comfortable!  I’m not a shirt tucker, so the look of elastic back doesn’t bother me at all.  AND I knew of a technique to do this without too much work on my end.  I assembled the pant legs as in the pattern, omitting the back darts, then measured the top front and back pieces.  I cut pieces for my waistband at those lengths (plus seam allowance) and used the instructions from the Arabella Maxi Skirt to have a flat front and add elastic to the back!  They slip over my hips and rest comfortably, without gaps.  The ease is perfectly comfortable to sit at my desk all day.  Plus, they aren’t too thick, as I found this great fabric (might be crepe actually) from Fine Fabrics!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I need a shirt to go with these pants.  Rebecca Page has so many gorgeous patterns for tops, I didn’t even know where to start!  I ADORE my Madison blouse (who doesn’t love a button down top that actually fits?!).  But, I had to stick with comfort and go with the Comfy Cowl Hoodie!  This top is cozy and comfy and the perfect pallet to make a couple small changes to really make it my own!  I don’t need an actual hood for work, but I still wanted the cowl!  So, I shortened it and cut it on a double fold, so I didn’t have a seam at the top of the cowl.  I also cut the sleeves to be just above elbow and added a band.  Plus, I added the cute faux bow to the cuffs and I LOVE them!!!  I was so happy to have this lovely sparkly sweater knit in my stash that I ordered forever ago from Fabric Mart.  It was the perfect fabric for the Comfy Cowl.  Drapey and comfy!!!  Plus, I always need more solids in my closet.  Double win here!

 

 

 

 

 

I have wanted to make the Taylor Trench since…well, FOREVER!!!!!  It is a classic trench coat, with all the detailing and gorgeous techniques that I expect from Rebecca Page.  I was expecting this to be quite a time commitment but I was SO EXCITED!!!  I picked up this amazing camel, water resistant canvas fabric from Fine Fabrics.  It is lightweight and soft!  Perfect for so much of the year here in Atlanta, but particularly perfect for layering in the fall!!  The thing is, I didn’t want to add an extra layer to this beautifully lightweight fabric.  So, I didn’t!!  I followed most of the instructions in the pattern, but since I didn’t want to line it, I made just a few changes.

 

 

 

 

 

I used the instructions from the Kingston Jacket for the collar, and tucked the facing up along the edge and into the collar to finish it off.  All seams are finished in contrasting thread on the serger for a pop of color and a more finished look.  The sleeves and hemline are tacked in place at all the cross seams.  I have used this technique successfully before, so I am hopeful it will hold up over time on this jacket.  If not, I’ll just hem in the matching thread and have visible stitches.  For now, I’m enjoying the light, clean lines of minimal visible stitches.  I lined the bits that needed lining with the same fabric from my Cerena pants.  AND I LOVE THIS COAT!!!!!!  It is comfy, cute, light, had ginormous pockets, and matches everything!!!  Also, I still can’t believe I made it.  What?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, both the sister and I are prepped with super cute new outfits, plus a versatile staple piece for fall.  They will last us well past the change of the season and I could not be happier with the end result!  If you are also prepping to sew for a new season, or you just like reading from interesting, talented seamstresses, check out the rest of the blog tour!!

 

Now that you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering why my title says giveaways and I haven’t mentioned those yet.  Obviously, I was saving it for the end!  So, we are trying out the ever-awesome rafflecopter!  You know how it works.  Lots of clicks to enter.  Some seriously amazing prizes to win!  Plus, we always appreciate comments, follows, and feedback!  Read on below for all the other blogs and the link for this wonderful giveaway.

stephanie <3 <3

Please visit all the stops on the Turning the Page: Sewing for the Changing Seasons Blog Tour with Rebecca Page. Don’t forget to comment on the blogs each day and enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win some fantastic prizes from our fabric sponsors!

  1. August 20: Rebecca Page (Intro), Sewjourns, Soul fed on Thread
  2. August 21: Sarcastic Sewist, PatchWitch, Flaxfield Sewing by Anca
  3. August 22: Princesse et Tresors, Bellephant, The Scatty Sewer
  4. August 23: BigFlyNotions, Stitched by Jennie, Millie’s Place Handmade
  5. August 24: Sweet Sprocket, Australian Sewing, Advice & Inspiration, The Sewing Unicorn
  6. August 25: LIVIALITY, Diskordia’s Curvy Sewing, Simply Kyra
  7. August 26: Seams So Lo, Middle River Studio, Jot Designs

 

 

 

 


This post contains various affiliate links.  Purchasing patterns using these links does not cost my readers more, but the designer does provide me with a small commission from any sales.  This commission helps to fund my fabric addiction and is greatly appreciated.

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Two Cheers for Made for Mermaids Women’s Avery

This top was so cute, that even with my stupid sprained ankle and not really being ready to jump back to sewing, I threw my name in the hat to test and hoped with all hope that I’d be chosen.  Clearly I was, win.  And dang did sewing hurt.  Worth.  Every.  Minute.  (Don’t worry.  Mostly healed now.  Also back to sewing too much.)

I LOVE unique pieces.  I’m trying really hard to step back from testing the same thing over and over.  I just find it difficult to be genuine and thorough while recommending something when I already have a great pattern for.  Please don’t misunderstand!  I’m not trying to say anything bad about any designer at all!!  Just because I’ve found the perfect basic tank pattern, doesn’t mean that pattern works for everyone or has the options everyone is specifically looking for!!  So, I hope designers keep releasing all these beautiful patterns until everyone has exactly what they need and want (read: never stop!!!  MAKE ALL THE PATTERNS).  But for me, if I already have a similar pattern, why test when I’ll have less enthusiasm?  The designer deserves more.  So does anyone reading my promo posts or blog.

But LOOK AT THIS BACK!!!  I don’t have anything like this!  So much potential!!!!!!  It is so simple, but just fantastic!  (Say fantastique with a French accent.  It’s better; I promise.)  When we started, I was pumped to tackle such a complicated twist (pun intended) on a basic tank.

Like any good tester, my first step is always to read the instructions from beginning to end.  Every.  Damn.  Word.  Usually more than once, just to make sure I’m going to sew the way the designer wants me to sew.  (This is also one of my favorite ways to learn new techniques.)  This initial read made me so damn happy.  The twist is super easy!!!  It makes sense and isn’t complicated.  Construction is clear and I wasn’t going to *need* wine to make it through.  (This, of course, does not eliminate wine from being consumed in the sewing process in any way!)

To jump topics here, I have also been meaning to sew more solids.  I LOVE PRINTS!!  Dots and stripes.  Florals and geometrics.  BRING.  THEM.  ON.  I wear them on top.  I wear them on bottom.  I mix and match them.  I just can’t get enough.  This means I always need some solids to pair with them.  Always.  I’ve had this green mystery knit for quite some time (pretty sure it is rayon spandex.  Too lazy to do a burn test and don’t really care).  Whatever it is, I loved it so much, we bought the rest of a bolt when Hancock Fabrics was closing.  I used a smidgen for this lovely Made for Mermaids Mama Sommer last summer.  (GO PACK GO!!)  But, this meant I had quite a bit left over and wasn’t sure what I wanted with it because it is quite lightweight and I wasn’t filling my closet with rayon spandex just yet.  This lightweight fabric was exactly what I needed for Avery.  Win!!

This was possibly the fastest sew ever.  I think it was faster than my usual simple tank.  I truly was expecting at the very least, the first one to take a bit of time.  Four or five hours maybe.  But, Avery went from a stack of pages to this gorgeousness in about two hours.  TWO HOURS!!!  Quite a bit less the second time (no gluing, since we wear the same size in M4M).  And only about an hour for the third.  (I imagine this is about as quick as it will get for me.  There are only so many steps that can be quicker with practice.  Also, I’d bet it’ll actually be closer to two hours each sew unless I’m making multiples in one sitting.)  So, if you’re looking for cute, unique, and you have limited time, check out Avery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I loved it so much, I had to make one for the sister.  She looks amazing, as always.  I do love it in this wonderful Sly Fox Fabrics Brazen single brushed poly.  The extra structure hangs so beautifully.  I definitely want to try Avery in an athletic fabric.  I think the structure would be lovely and it is so fun for workouts!  (Cute workout clothes are my favorite motivation to actually go to the gym.  Anyone else use this technique?)

 

 

 

 

Have I mentioned that I have amazing friends?  We recently traveled home to celebrate the Fourth of July (check out our matching shirts!) and had to leave our kittens for an entire week.  We’ve never left them for this long and were nervous about it.  So, a couple amazing friends made time to swing by our place and check on these cute jerks.

I wanted to say thank you and the best way I can do that is give them my time and fabrics.  One sitter loves black and red and sleeves.  So, I went with the Patterns for Pirates Slim Fit Raglan and this lovely striped French Terry from Fine Fabrics (an amazing local place).

 

But, our other cat sitter loves tanks and unique pieces and peacocks.  This fabric seemed a subtle peacock inspired print.  Could be flowers.  What do I know? (Don’t tell anyone it is called Teal Rose, ok?  Definitely Peacock-y.)  This tank was perfect for her!!  We gave it to her the other night and she tried it on immediately!!  <3  Best reaction ever.

Do you need the Avery?  Are you going to sew it up?  Don’t be intimidated by the fancy twist!  Check it out and let me know what you think. 🙂

stephanie xx

PS: Virginia and I both paired our tanks with Made for Mermaids Mama Lexi shorts, because we are living in them these days.  They are ridiculously comfortable and I talked about them a ton here.  My tank is tunic length.  Virginia’s is top length.  The peacock tank is the curved hem.  (BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!)  Just in case you needed more.  It also has a dress length option.  Do remember that the sisters like us to show off our legs, so it is a short dress.  I’m not complaining.  They forced (ok…assigned) me to sew dress length so often, that I’m much more comfortable showing them now.  I’m not perfect, but I am me and that is perfect enough.  <3

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Two Yard Cuts

SFF Unforgettable (9)1One of the most common questions I see in so many fabric and pattern groups is, if you don’t have a plan for it, how much of a fabric do you buy?  I’ve also seen answers that run from 1/2 yard if it’s for the kids or 1 yard for me, to, I just buy X yards, just in case.  There are SOOO many answers that can be helpful.  Is the fabric knit or woven?  Are you sewing for an adult or a child?  Is it bottom weight or top weight?  And, honestly, there is no right answer that works for every person for every situation.

SFF Unforgettable (6)1For me personally, I most commonly sew for my self and my sister.  And I most often sew with knits these days.  Unless I’m planning a specific project, I almost always prefer 2 yard cuts.  Now, this is mostly because I sew curvy sizes.  I can’t quite get every top out of 1 yard, so I need a little extra fabric.  (Ok, there are a few fabric companies that I KNOW send generous cuts.  Sometimes I order 1 yard cuts if I know I want a simple top.)

SFF Unforgettable (5)1This is the downside for having a bit extra time in my hourglass. 😉  So, I am always keeping an eye out for patterns that take less than one yard.  Now, one of my absolute favorite basic tee patterns is the Favorite Tee from Patterns for Pirates.  I adore the fit.  It is hella flattering on me.  And is has some great options to fancy it up, if I’m in the mood.  Of course, it is takes just over one yard…

However, I’ve now found a couple of patterns I can sew up out of just UNDER one yard!  Now that is winning!!  AND they aren’t even tops. 🙂 My default was to check if I have enough for a Made for Mermaids Mama Chloe skirt.  I just need enough fabric to get a length I am comfortable with.  Plus, the waistband can always be a different fabric, since I never wear it out anyway.

SFF Unforgettable (10)1Now, though, I am living in Made for Mermaids Mama Lexi shorts.  I LOVE THEM!!!  They are comfortable, super fast to sew, have pockets, and I can get an entire pair out of just about one yard of fabric.  This one also falls in the waistband can be a different fabric category!

So, how in the world does this pertain to the outfit I’m sharing today?  I got this GORGEOUS Sly Fox Fabrics Unforgettable double brushed poly and started weighing my options. I considered quite a few different patterns.  Some that would just squeeze out of the 2 yards.  Some that would comfortably fit and leave me with tiny scraps.  I hemmed and hawed while it was shipping to me.  Then while I was washing it.  Then I sprained my damn ankle and couldn’t sew.  So, more time to consider, I suppose.

I sewed up a practice top to see if it is what I wanted.  While I love it, it wasn’t quite right for this fabric.  Back to the drawing board.  Then, I realized I knew exactly what I wanted.  This DBP was the perfect weight to flatter and be comfy.  I can wear it in this hot Atlanta summer without melting.  Obviously, I needed another (non basic, but fabulous) basic tee.  And I hoped there would be enough to squeeze out a skirt or some shorts.  I need more summer bottoms in my life.

Now, I knew I needed a top that would match these gorgeous new summer bottoms and I had the perfect Sly Fox Fabric in my stash!  The Peach double brushed poly matched perfectly and it meant I got to sew up something from my shelf!  Plus, the Made for Mermaids Mama Ava is another of my favorite go to basic tees.  Win.  Win.

SFF Unforgettable (8)1So, now I have three lovely new pieces in my closet and I can’t wait to start mixing and matching them to everything I already had.

stephanie xx

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DIBY Helen

20180526_132003I have recently had the great pleasure of joining the DIBY team of testers.  And I need to share a confession.  When I first learned DIBY existed, I thought it stood for Do It Beautifully Yourself.  Everything I saw from them was so gorgeous!! Assumptions were made.  Oopsies.

Obviously, I’ve become much more familiar with them and I have to say, the design team at DIBY appears to strive to give their customers the best possible fit on every pattern they release.  I love that!!!  I typically only test more than once with designers that seem to actually care about a pattern working for every body and size that they draft for.  If they’ll let me, you’ll be hearing a LOT about DIBY in the future.

20180526_131731The Helen.  This dress makes me feel just lovely!  I could not be happier with the fit or the time investment to get there.  I’m a little taller than most patterns are drafted for (5’8″), so I added height where appropriate and just love how it nips in at the waist and blouses over just a touch!

I also love this single brushed poly from Sly Fox Fabrics!  It drapes just perfectly AND is cool and comfortable for these humid summer days! (This is Vivid in Teal, which they are out of.  But!!  They do still have Vivid in Olive and it is just as gorgeous!!!)
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I also ADORE that this doesn’t have elastic in the waist casing.  I can distribute the gathers to my heart’s content.  Sometimes, I like them evenly gathered.  Other times, I focus the gathers more at center back.  It also means I get exactly the tight fit I’m looking for!  Sometimes elastic is just a smidge loose and I look frumpy.  Or I overindulge at dinner and it feels a little restricting.
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There are some super cute options available with this pattern.  It also includes some amazing customization for fit!  If you are scared of a FBA on knit patterns, this is a great starting point!!  The detailed instructions are so, so clear!!!  I truly think anyone can tackle them!

So, pick up your pattern DIBY Helen and share with me just how beautiful you look in this dress.  (This is an affiliate link.  If you click it, then purchase the pattern, the designer thanks me for sending you there with a small commission.  It costs you nothing extra!)

Stephanie xx

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Halla Elise in Sly Fox Fabrics Spring Gingham

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My absolute favorite thing while sewing is when a fabric tells me exactly what it wants to be! There is no question and no hesitation to cut when it just feels right!!

When I saw the amazing Katy wearing the Spring Gingham in a reveal video a few weeks back I knew I needed it! When I was lucky enough to get two yards, I immediately balked at the thought of messing it up. It arrived and was thrown unceremoniously into the wash to delay the decision making process (have I mentioned I hate making decisions? It is the worst!!)

Well, it came out of the dryer (the one and only time it will be there on purpose) and the time had come. No more delays or excuses. I pulled it out and expected nervousness and apprehension. But something magical happened! As this gorgeous single brushed poly (SBP) is flowing through my hands, I am enjoying the buttery softness and the vintage vibe to the gingham and BAM!!! The Halla Elise pops into my head.

I just tested this top and am COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH IT!!!!! I cannot emphasize enough that I would likely wear an Elise every day if it wouldn’t be weird. It has the great vintage feel to compliment that gorgeous gingham. It is simple, but packs a punch. And I feel amazing wearing it.

Decision. Made.

Now for the fun part. Got my pattern all put together and cut out, I’m now getting nervous that this wonderfully flowy, soft and lovely SBP is going to be a bit of a pain to cut out. Have no fear!!! It is the easiest fabric to work with! It didn’t stick to itself, but also didn’t slide around while I was cutting. The pattern is perfectly on grain, so lining everything up wasn’t fiddly and annoying. Basically, it was a dream to work with.

And now, I have an amazingly comfortable top that makes me feel gorgeous and ready to tackle anything!! If you’re looking for a shirt or dress that looks like you spent forever adding the little details that really pop, but really you made in one interrupted afternoon, the Halla Elise is perfect. And Sly Fox Fabrics really killed it with this perfect Spring Gingham SBP.

xx Stephanie <3

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Check out Sly Fox and be sure to sign up for their serger sweepstakes! They give away a serger every single month AND you only have to enter once to be in it to win it for the rest of 2018!!

If you want to go directly to this gorgeous fabric, I’ve got that link for you as well! Spring Gingham

Also take a peek at Halla Patterns. They have beautiful choices and put so much time and thought into each pattern to really give you what you need in every one. Plus they have a couple freebies. 😉 Halla Elise (This is an affiliate link. If you click through here and end up purchasing something, the designer sends me a small portion as a referral thank you. It costs you nothing, but helps fund my fabric addiction.)