Posted on 1 Comment

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

Posted on 3 Comments

Work It: Edition 3.2

So, I’m late with this post. I finished sewing and photographing a few days ago, because procrastination, but I have been struggling to write. In general actually. I don’t know if it is all the chaos in the world, or just a lull in my desire to write, but ugh. In particular, I am struggling to write this because I didn’t like this pattern. I don’t like the fit. I very much disliked the instructions. I’m sad because I’ve been wanting to make a swimsuit out of this fabric for a year!

Let’s just dive in. I’ll highlight some positives. This pattern is the First Crush Swimsuit from Rad Patterns. It has tons of options. You can make so many different styles for all your preferences. I had originally planned to make a suit for each of my sisters as well, because we could each pick exactly the options we wanted. After sewing up mine, I’m going to assess fit on my gorgeous sister (thankfully, I am right in between the two of them for size) and if they’re happy, I’ll move forward. If not, we’ll pick other patterns.

I really can’t comment on why this construction is so complicated. I got about halfway through construction, thought I had fucked something up and just did my own thing. After I finished, I realized I hadn’t messed up at all, the instructions just weren’t clear. At all. This 100% could just be me. Maybe I was just in a bad place for sewing and it makes perfect sense to everyone else. If this pattern interests you, please don’t let one opinion completely discourage you. Ask in the group, or look for someone else who has sewn it. But it was just a hot mess for me.

The end result fits, but not at all how I want it to. The back armscye is too wide and cuts into my arm when I’m moving. The bottom of the bust is not fitted enough to be secure to my preferences (I’d use a wider elastic there if I were to make it again). And the top of the bottoms annoys me. The inside is constantly flipping out. I much prefer either a wider elastic, so the topstitching can be further from the edge, or, even better, to sew the lining and outer right sides together, with elastic in the seam. This helps keep the lining inside better, and gives a cleaner finish to the top edge.

Overall, there are a LOT of things I would need to change to make this pattern again. If I LOVED the fit, I’d definitely tackle it. Construction changes are no big deal for me. But with how it fits me, eh. Unless someone I sew for specifically requests it, this one won’t be a repeat for me. If someone does choose it, they’ll definitely be getting a muslin first.

I’m really glad I powered through and got something out of this. Really hoping it fits well for someone else who might like to wear this one.

I hope you’re staying inside, not going batty, and finding some time to take care of yourself, as well as your loved ones. Sending love from Georgia!

Stephanie xx

Posted on 2 Comments

Work It: Edition 2.2

Let’s talk about all the changes in my life this year.  At the end of last year, I quit the job I’ve been working at for ten years and am now working full time in the fun, part time job I’ve been vaguely mentioning for the last few years.  I AM LOVING IT!  I get to work from home, with a team of people who are absolutely amazing, on work that I am passionate about.  This is the dream!  Now, I’m still working more hours than I probably should, but it sure doesn’t feel like it!  I wake up every day excited to get started on whatever projects are on my plate, and equally excited to see what new ideas my amazing boss might come up with!

These days, I spend my time doing all sorts of different types of things.  But the perk is I get to do it at home!!  The down side to this is having absolutely no idea what I want to wear every day!  I used to have a handful of work pants that I rotated through, with whatever clean tops match and were in my closet.  Now, I don’t want to wear the same work pants but I don’t want to wear pajamas every day either.  Basically, I’m a toddler picking out clothes every day and hoping no one notices or judges me, since that usually involves comfy pants on the bottom and a cute shirt that may or may not match on top.

I know y’all saw me fawning over leggings earlier this week. It couldn’t be helped.  They were amazing.  After wearing those leggings more than I’d care to admit, I knew I needed more.  This is the perfect bottom for me to work all day and still manage a put together look!  Since this was a pattern I already had, and I ordered fabric to make leggings forever ago, this is the perfect project for Work It!!

So, let’s talk about these leggings.  Yes, they’re the same ones I shared earlier this week on the Working Out with Rebecca Page blog tour.  Yes, I am ridiculously obsessed with how these leggings feel and wear.  But, I did make one change!  I had a little bunching at the ankle at the end of the day with the grey ones.  I found the knee to be hitting the right spot, so I removed this length from below the knee, but not at the hemline.

I grabbed this fabric from So Sew English two damn years ago because I wanted some workout leggings.  Now, I’ll wear them to work AND workout!!  They’ll be beautiful, neutral bottoms for all my lovely tops, but also look super good with all my workout tops!!  That’s what I call a win-win.

If you didn’t grab the Lily Leggings already, I have to recommend them again.  Completely in love with how these make me feel.  Thanks for hanging out with me while I sew through some of my stash!

Stephanie xx

PS I totes got a haircut and HAVE to share the before and after pics with you.  My hair guy, Ryan, is absolutely amazing and if you’re in Atlanta, you should check him out.  

Posted on 2 Comments

Work It: 12 Months of Stash Busting

If you are a sewist, you might also work with the understanding that sewing and fabric shopping are two separate hobbies. Since buying a house, my fabric shopping habit has grown. Significantly. If you aren’t reading me here, a bit more bluntly – damn, I have a lot of fabric. Some of it I am saving for just the right project. Some is stuff I ordered online that wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. Some I’m holding for projects for other people (projects they are either waiting on me to have time for, or haven’t decided on actual details so I can sew). But there is sure a lot of fabric in my house. So this year, instead of using one pattern for 12 different pieces, I’m going to be sewing my heart out, using only the stuff I have in my possession already. (This is most of the fabric in my stash, but…not all. Clearly my organization is sometimes strong and sometimes terrible. Judge away.)

I’m sure I’ll be buying other fabric throughout the year, but for this series, I want to focus on clearing out some of the beautiful fabrics I already have. Bundles my sister and I are sharing. Loved pieces that deserve to reach their potential. Weird fabrics that I didn’t know what to do with. Every month I’ll choose something and give it a purpose. I might be breaking down a bundle to share with my sister or sewing something for other people entirely. I’ll be using patterns from across designers and sharing all the details so you can recreate any looks spark inspiration in you! I hope you enjoy this year’s version of Work It as much as I know I’ll enjoy sewing for it!

We are starting strong this month with a bundle we bought one of (why oh why do we always do this?) that we are both completely in love with. We had two yards of this sheer white with grey flowers (rayon jersey) and two yards of the lovely grey bamboo. This bundle is from So Sew English Fabrics and is so damn lovely. Both fabrics are soft and feel luxurious. I have to say the reason we were sitting on this for so long is that splitting two, 2-yards cuts between us was HARD! We bought this way back in April of 2017. Almost three years ago! Back when we were buying one or two yard cuts for most things. We have changed to buying two or three yard cuts so we have enough for whatever the fabric tells us it should be. (Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it shouts. You just never know until it is ready.)

Virginia and I pulled this bundle out, again (you can’t imagine how many times we’ve pulled this off the shelf to try to find what it wanted to be) and gave some real thought to what we could make with one yard each. Brainstorming was actually faster than I expected. Since it was an overlay bundle, I knew I wanted a tank out of the grey. My favorite tank pattern is the Strappy Cami from Rebecca Page Sewing. (Peeps! This one is a freebie for all subscribers!) It is the perfect basic tank for layering. Just fitted enough that it works under all my tops, but not so fitted it would double as shapewear. Basically, it is comfy AF. It is also super easy and quick to cut and sew. I love those quick sews! The bamboo is just so lovely to wear. And despite not loving sewing knit binding, it went so fast with this bamboo! Thankfully, Virginia picked the same tank, so it was a nice quick batch sew to make them both at the same time.

This leaves the overlay. What patterns do we love that I can get out of one yard each? Well, I had just finished sewing Virginia’s Camilla when we were chatting about this and it is one of my favorite 5oo4 patterns. Plus, if I go sleeveless and top length, I can sneak it out of a yard!! Decision made! I just love the drape with this sheer fabric. Camilla definitely highlights that drape. So, what does Virginia need with her yard? Well, her favorite shirt is the 5oo4 Jessie. Jessie has a sleeveless option that only takes a yard! BOOM!! All the decisions are made. We both have two new pieces that we can mix and match into our wardrobes.

Super excited to be starting another year of Work It and I hope you’ll join me to see this stash getting smaller all year!

Stephanie xx

Posted on 7 Comments

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