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Work It: Edition 6

Here we go again!! It is full on summer here in Atlanta and it isn’t just heating up, it is hot. This makes me long for a warm beach, a cool breeze, and gentle waves to play in! How does this pertain to another edition of Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats, you ask? I can’t go playing in the ocean without some great swim pieces, can I?!

That’s right, I took the 5 Out Of 4 Diane Joggers pattern that I’ve been using and hacked them into swim shorts!! This was actually a really fast sew and turned out so cute and versatile!! Here are the pattern details…

I chose shorts length, but shortened to have a 2.5 inch inseam. I wanted short, but not too short. Don’t forget seam/hem allowance when measuring a new inseam!! I chose the yoga waistband, so I could wear it unfolded, and pulled all the way up. This gives me some coverage when I’m actually swimming, if my tank flies up. (This is the one thing I really hate about tankinis. Great for the sand, annoying in the water.)

The real fun comes in with the hack! I cut two sets of front legs and two sets of back legs, and two sets of back yokes. I sewed them up as if they were two separate shorts. Instead of using swim lining, I cut them both out of this AMAZING solid navy swim fabric from Sly Fox Fabrics. (I’ll talk more about that in a minute.) I usually use swim lining for suits, but with shorts, I just wanted that extra thick layer. Plus, the rest of the hack means it is great for the inside to match the outside!

After I sewed the shorts together along the bottom hem of each leg, I added elastic to the hem as well, to make sure they didn’t stretch out and show off more than I wanted to. Ok, if I’m being completely honest, I sewed the elastic at the same time as sewing that seam. I’m super lazy and hate sewing twice, if I can finish it once. Then I flipped them wrong sides together and stitched the side seams together (stitch in the ditch style!). I just used a long straight stitch and haven’t had a problem, but you could use a stretch stitch if you like. Then I sewed another line of stitching 1/2 inch on either side of the side seam. This created the casing for these fun ruching ties!

To create the ties, I just cut 4 pieces of 2 inches wide by 24 inches long, then sewed each one together along one short edge and the long edge, right sides together. Flip them right sides out and boom! Four lovely ties that I can slide into those channels. I did just slice small holes at the end of the channels, as far to the back as possible, but still on top of the seam and elastic, so my ties can come out the bottom. Tie them in a knot and done!

These ruching ties give me the option to wear them as shorts, reducing chafing and giving a bit more coverage/comfort while walking out and about or playing on the beach. But, I can squish the shorts up those ties (or ruche them, if you will), and I have some kick ass booty shorts (pun intended). I can swim without them shifting and add a cute feature that, I think, shows off my assets quite nicely. I have a comparison here to show how they really wear at both lengths. They both have the fun knot feature. It is a bit more pronounced with more of the ties showing when ruched. And my booty is rocking however I wear them!

I did mention this top a bit above, but this is the 5oo4 Rosanna. I LOVE this as a dress, so when I knew I was going to hack some swim bottoms, I knew I wanted this as a swim top. The straps are wide without being too wide. There is a built in shelf bra, with instructions to add foam cups, and it is just dang cute. This was my first time adding foam cups. They are a little wide, and I’ll probably move them over when I have some spare time (HAH!), but I love them! They definitely offer a bit of extra support and coverage and were surprisingly easy to put in. (To be fair, I stole cup pieces from a bra pattern, so they are actually a good size for me, and not just nipple covers.)

I was extra thrilled I could cut those front panels from scraps after cutting out my shorts! Such a fun pop to add to this delightful plaid, and a great use of scraps, of course. So, let’s talk about this fabric. This is the shit. I have made quite a few swimsuits, and I have used everything from thin and oh, I hope my stuff doesn’t show through when this is wet, to holy thick and beautiful and easy to use, batman. Sly Fox brought it, hard, and tops out on the awesomeness chart for swim fabric!! Seriously. It is thick and lovely to work with. The colors are GORGEOUS!!! I can’t wait to see how it holds up in the sun and surf. (Amanda, I clearly need to come down to test this out.)

I can’t wait to try more of their swim fabric, since I am obsessed with sewing swimsuits. But beyond that, they have such lovely options. Beautiful prints and fun solids! Great for mix and match options (I definitely want to make some pieces that coordinate so I can mix it up with these two!) So be sure to check out and find a new favorite swimsuit on your sewing table before they sell out!!

As always, 5 Out Of 4 Patterns is giving away a $10 pattern credit that you can enter to win here and be sure to let me know what you think of this month’s sews!

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 5

It is time again for another edition of Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats! This month is particularly exciting for me and I have been impatiently waiting to share! I’ve got front pockets, of course, a new fabric for me, and not one, but two new hacks to share!!!

Of course, I am sharing another version of the 5 Out of 4 Patterns Diane Joggers. Check out all the previous editions (and of course, keep an eye out for the rest!) to see just how versatile this pattern really is! And once again, some FABULOUS Sly Fox Fabrics are just bringing this entire outfit together. This was my first time using techno crepe and I am completely in love with it! It is the perfect fabric for work wear. Cool, skims over the bits we don’t want to show off in the office, wrinkle free, plus, it is super easy to work with!! I went for the red, which is on sale right now, and just perfect for a bright happy day for the office!!

Since I’m rocking another work pant this month, of course I included the front pockets from Edition 3, because pockets. But I also slimmed down the legs on the version to create more of a cigarette pant! I love it!! All I did was increase seam allowance slowly from just below the hips to the ankle. I kept that 3/8 inch seam allowance through the hips because the fit through the hips is perfect for me, but hit 5/8 inch seam allowance about mid thigh and the rest the way down. My ideal slim fit pant!!

But wait, there’s more!! (Sorry, I just can’t resist!). I also added welt pockets to the back!! Seriously, every pant needs more pockets. I rarely use back pockets at work, but having the options to throw a wrench in the back pocket while working on an instrument is just so convenient! Plus, I find welt pockets to be beautifully magical when they come together!

All I needed were two extra rectangles for this one! One to create the welt piece and one for the pocket bag. I used similar placement as the top of the pocket bag in Edition 2 to determine where to place the welt. Then I added featherweight iron-on interfacing over where I’ll sew. This is enough stabilization for the light use I intend for my back pockets. If you’re going to use your pocket a lot, I recommend at least lightweight interfacing.

This is a great summary of how to install a welt pocket with details and photos of each step. But you can use any tutorial you like! It is totally worth the effort to add these. Just take your time in marking placement. It will be super obvious if they are crooked or at different heights. Add these first, then follow the rest the steps as usual to get some kick-ass work pants!

Of course I needed an equally kick-ass shirt to go with it! One of my favorite patterns is the Gloria. I fell completely in love with the dress version and have wanted a simple peplum every since. This was the perfect opportunity for that! I used this fantastic DBP that matches these pants perfectly!! It is perfectly flowy and delightful! I love it!! The only pattern changes I made were adjusting for height. Super easy and a sassy, fun shirt for work, or date night!

Check out all the amazing offerings from Sly Fox and 5oo4. And enter right here to win a free 5oo4 pattern!! Be sure to share your own versions of Gloria and Diane! I love seeing what you make!

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 4

It is jogger time again and I am pumped to be sharing this outfit!!  It is warming up here in Atlanta.  Actually, that is misleading.  It was never *cold* here.  But, it is not quite chilly anymore.  So, this means shorts and more time outside and general seasonal glee.  So this month’s Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats brings some rolled cuff shorts and a great tee!!

If you’re keeping up with this series, you know in last month’s Work It I showed how I turn patch pockets into inside pockets. Inside pockets are my favorite pockets. All pants should have inside pockets. Basically, I am a big fan of pockets. Have I made that clear? So, of course I used this method to add pockets to these 5oo4 Diane Jogger shorts to make them even better!!

Then, I wanted to casual, fun look of a rolled cuff. But, I didn’t want to lose any length in my shorts by just…rolling the hem. Pattern testing has definitely pushed me into a comfort zone with my legs, but not all the way up to short shorts! I knew I wanted about a 1 inch cuff, double rolled. So, I just added two inches to the shorts length before cutting. I did the same waistband as the first edition of Work It, as well as the same drawstring so it matched my fabric!! I do think it would be fun to sew the drawstring wrong side out, to match the rolled cuff and now I’m pretty mad I didn’t think of it sooner. Might have to see what kind of scraps I have left.

I also decided to do these ridiculously comfy shorts out of the same type of baby French terry I used in edition one. It is so warm as pants, but so breathable and cool as shorts. Really a versatile fabric!! This is the two tone denim, but Sly Fox has SOOOO many colors to choose from. You can definitely find something to match or coordinate whatever look you want!

Of course I needed a shirt to match!! And browsing the site, I felt like I really needed something lightweight and a bit less…loud than I usually go for. Basically, I need some solid shirts in colors that aren’t ridiculously bright. I have a few colors of this triblend jersey already holding court in my stash, but this red was irresistible. The red is gorgeous in person and so, so soft.

I decided to go for the Easy Tee to complete this outfit. It is just the right level of fitted through the shoulders and bust, but the perfect ease below the bust for hiding all the food babies without feeling like I’m wearing a tent. Plus, how cute is that tiny pocket!!!

The only change I made to the Tee, was to slightly shorten the short sleeves. I find most t-shirt patterns at my size have sleeves longer than I prefer. So, unless I’m testing, this is a standard adjustment for me. And, since I was making a quick tee for me, I made one for Virginia too!

As always, the fabulous team over at 5 Out of 4 Patterns is giving away a $10 gift card!! Don’t forget to enter to win here!! Also, if you aren’t already a member, check out Sly Fox Fabrics Facebook group! Katy goes live every Wednesday and gives away some absolutely gorgeous fabrics!!

Stephanie xx

Are you sewing some Diane Joggers yourself? I’d love to see! If you hashtag #workit2019 wherever you share, I can find them!

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Work It: Edition 3

Another month, another pair of joggers!  This month’s Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats is one I am very excited to share!!  Not only is this my favorite style of pocket, but these 5oo4 Diane Joggers just got upgrade to WORK PANTS!!!! 

You heard me.  I’m wearing these babies to work!  And looking good!!  Not to mention feeling comfy as hell!   This styling all comes down to fabric choice.  The heavy ponte from Sly Fox Fabrics is the absolute perfect fabric for a work pant.  It is thick, soft, and has ridiculously amazing recovery.   (Seriously.  I was actively surprised at the recovery.)  

Once you have the right fabric, moving that pocket to the inside is going to up your game from comfy, cute, but still looks like sweatpants, to work wear!  So how do you go from a patch pocket to internal pocket?  Ridiculously easy.  If you haven’t done this with pants yet, I highly recommend it!  I find internal pockets faster to sew than patch (way less topstitching, which is always my least favorite part).  

To start, you need to make one extra piece.  You need a pocket piece that matches the inside edge of the current pocket piece, and the outside edge (and most importantly, upper corner) of the pants front.  These two pocket pieces will create your pocket bag.  The only other pattern change I made is, once the front pieces are cut out (because I’m too lazy to do it before), align the patch pocket piece with your front piece and cut out the same corner as the pocket.  

From here, construction is super easy.  Right sides together, sew the patch pocket piece to the front pant piece, along that curved edge.  Also right sides together, so the patch pocket piece to your new pocket piece, along the outside curved edge.  Turn everything out and baste your pocket along the open edges to your pant front.  Then continue constructing these bad boys per instructions.  

I did pants length, no cuffs, mid-rise, with a knit waistband.  They are absolutely perfect!  I wore this whole outfit to work on Friday and was so comfy, but cute all day.  My pants weren’t falling down (that amazing recovery) or shifting weirdly like RTW often does on me.  Great work outfit.  

Speaking of outfits, let’s talk about this shirt.  I’ve made the Camilla top for me once before and fell completely in love.  (I wear it constantly!!)  So I knew I needed another one (or 8).  I’ve also been in love with the Lipstick Red DBP that Katy has been talking about in her videos FOREVER!!!  This was the perfect time (and excuse) to use it.  

I changed nothing about this top (except adding a seam to the back because it was faster than refolding my fabric).  Graded for my measurements, cut tunic length, and adding elastic for ruching.  I seriously need to make a bunch more of these.  In solids, and fun patterns.  In DBP, modal, even some beautiful rayon spandex!  

What do you think of this month’s Work It outfit?  Do you want to make your own?  The wonderful team at 5 Out Of 4 Patterns wants to help you do that!  Enter to win a $10 gift card below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stephanie xx

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Work It: Edition 2

It is just the second month of Work It: 12 Months, 1 Pattern, No Repeats, and I am so excited for this outfit!!  Hopefully you’ve already checked out the 5oo4 Diane Joggers and are familiar with all the amazing options that come with the pattern.  (If you haven’t, why?!)  This month, I wanted to ease into the  hacks and craziness with something just slightly off pattern. I am going to share all my tips and tricks for stripe matching like a damn boss. And making a gorgeous top to match, of course!

These are the capri length joggers, hemmed. Still mid-rise, since that’s my personal preference, with a knit waistband. I sure kept those front pockets and the hack this time around is back pockets!!! Since I picked this absolutely gorgeous Sly Fox Fabrics double brushed poly, these are definitely a slightly more casual pant. As always, the DBP from Sly Fox is buttery soft and super easy to work with! This plaid is back in stock, but there are so many DBP fabrics to choose from, you can pick your fave and make capris that fit exactly what works for your closet!

Since I chose a plaid, and I despise mismatched stripes, I had to fussy cut these babies. And they were work every damn minute!! When I want to stripe match, I cut out the first piece, say a front leg. Then I use that as my pattern piece to cut the mirror image. Flip it over and start matching lines. Be sure to not manipulate it out of shape, or you’ll end up with a distorted piece.

This plaid doesn’t mirror, so I just did my best to make sure major stripes were similar, and that the hem, crotch point, and waist line all match between the two pieces. I repeat this for every mirrored cut, but didn’t cut out my pockets yet!! So, now I have the best base for successful stripe matching. But it doesn’t end there!! When I’m prepping seams for sewing, I actually use excessive clips, which is super rare for me. (I’m lazy.) I clip as many major lines as I feel like, sometimes all of them, but no more than about 5 inches apart. This really helps me make sure my fabric isn’t shifting at all while I serge. It is also a visual reminder of where my stripes are so I pay more attention. (Did I mention the lazy?) If you’d like to take an extra precaution, or you’re a bit more hesitant on the serger, you can totally baste first!

Now that you’re ready to put your seams together smooth and matched, before you start actually sewing, let’s talk about cutting out pockets that disappear after sewn. Lay out your front fabric face up, then place the appropriate pocket pattern piece on top. I used clips to mark where my major lines crossed. Then found a fabric scrap that matched, lined up my clips with those major lines and cut! This is where I break out the wonder tape once again. Why go through all the effort above and risk having the pockets shift while you’re adding them? I use two sets of wonder tape here. The first to fold back and secure the seam allowance. The second to attach it to the pants before sewing. Gorgeous, hard to see front pockets accomplished!

I’m ready to sew the pants except the back pockets. Add your front pockets all pretty, sew per the pattern. My additional tip here is for the knit waistband. This is my favorite way to sew bands of all sizes, waist, neck, arm. Anything you need to sew into a circle, then fold in half, matching raw edges, before attaching to your garment. First match your short edges, as the pattern instructs. Then fold that sucker in half. This will result in a seam with the necessary fold already started, making it easier to fold and quarter before attaching. It also ensures that seam doesn’t twist and shift while you’re wearing it, which I hate! Win, win.

Back pockets are trickier. For back pockets, placement and size are key to highlighting your assets as well as possible. This is a great read for how to best tweak your pockets for your best booty. I played with back pockets from other patterns to find the right size for this pant. Then I pinned them to my butt (in the mostly finished pants of course) and took super awkward pictures until I found the ideal placement. Then I used the same method of clipping major lines and finding fabric that matched placement. I folded down the top 3/4 inch and topstitched, then I also used wonder tape here to fold back the seam allowance on the other four sides and again, to ensure they stayed put while sewing. Be sure to reinforce the top corners, since that’s where most the pulling will happen.

Done! Let’s talk about this gorgeous top. I picked up this mustard modal jersey during the pre-order last year and it is so soft and drapey, the recovery is ridiculous, and the color is stunning! I made this Knot top for my sister last year and have been jealous ever since. The pattern only goes up to 3x and these hips don’t cooperate for that. So I graded out and adjusted for my height. But, the thing is…I didn’t reread these instructions before I started. (And I am always telling people to read, read, and read again. Fail.) I remembered the knot being the hardest part and forgot a crucial step. If I had read them, I wouldn’t have assumed I made a mistake when adding length, as I would have know the front SHOULD be longer than the back. So, instead of matching the hemlines up to the underbust seam, then gathering the front bust to match the back, I did the opposite. I knew the fabric had great recovery, so this would give me some beautiful ruching on the front only, and would solve my length problem. Turns out to be a super happy mistake! I LOVE how the bust fits, even though it isn’t gathered, and I was planning on ruching with elastic anyway. Mission accomplished.

So, I hope you’ll join me in sewing this months pair, or get ready for next month! And to help with that, 5oo4 is giving away another $10 gift card!! But, before we get to that, congrats to last month’s winner, Priscilla Shamulailatpam!!! Enter this month’s giveaway here! And don’t forget to check out all of the beautiful patterns from 5oo4 and the ridiculously gorgeous fabrics from Sly Fox Fabrics!

Stephanie xx