We Gather Here Today in Thanksgiving…a gathering tutorial

As we get ever-nearer to the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, I am frantically trying to juggle all that has to get done, including my outfit. I have decided that I NEED to sew up a pattern that I own which requires gathering…a LOT of gathering, so I was thinking that maybe others would like to follow along as I give some hints and methods for gathering woven and knits.

Just so that everyone is on the same page, I am going to be demonstrating the techniques with a sewing machine, a serger, and explaining how one could even gather your fabric by hand sewing it. *gasp* Hand stitching isn’t everyone’s favorite method, but it works, if you are away from your machines or just prefer the analog life.

I am going to demonstrate these techniques with scrap fabric, so that the stitches can be clearly seen. With wovens and a home sewing machine, I recommend the two rows of parallel long straight stitches/basting stitches method. First, you sew 2 parallel rows of elongated (like a 4-5 length stitch) straight stitches (almost a basting stitch). **Don’t do a backstitch/locking stitch to start or end these rows of stitches.

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When you are done choose ONE ROW (I usually choose the top row) and make sure that you can gently pull the thread form BOTH ends. What you want to do is to gently pull from one side, predominantly, but will need to end pulling from the opposite side of the SAME thread/row (if you try to pull entirely from one side only, it could end with you pulling that thread completely out). Another choice that you have is to gather a little bit from the opposite side and tie a securing knot to keep it in place (or you could wait until the end, or live dangerously, if you know that you are going to sew over and secure both sides of the gather with your machine as it attaches to another pattern piece.

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Slowly inch from one side to the other, keeping in mind the gathering needs for that pattern (sometimes, it is only a few inches that have to be gathered at 50%, and sometimes it can be more or less of either of these measurements).

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When you are done gathering the entire piece, it can look as tightly gathered as this.

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This method can also be used on knits, but I recommend just gathering on your serger, if you have one, as it is a lot faster.

For gathering your fabric with a serger, there does exist a gathering foot for most sergers, but since a lot of people that I know do not own this, I am going to demonstrate this with a standard presser foot.

First, you want to adjust your serger settings. I choose to move my differential feed to 2.0 (from N) and stitch length to 4.0 (from 2). This allows for the machine to do all of the hard work for you.

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Next, I assist the gather by bunching up my fabric in an orderly manner so that it feeds through the serger at an enhanced gather rate. If you only need a 25% gather, you don’t need to do this.

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When it is done, it will look like this.

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Finally, I will demonstrate how easy it is to gather by hand. You have a lot more control with this method, but it can take longer, depending on the length of your gather (for the Emma, it is a very long gather, and about 3 tiers of it (meaning 3 different gathers around the entire circumference of the dress). Hand sewing is not going to be my go-to here for this project (but that’s a personal preference).

First, you will make sure that your thread is knotted and start your gathering stitch from the wrong side of the fabric.

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Next, you will sew your stitches and either stitch and pull gently to gather to your desired gathering percentage,

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…or gather the fabric on your needle to gather it as you go.

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When you are done, you just knot off the end on the wrong side, and you are done!

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If anyone has any questions about any of these techniques, please feel free to leave me a comment or find me on Facebook.com/JotDesigns and ask all the questions that you have. Thanks!! And I hope that your holiday gatherings are relaxing, peaceful, and filled with lots of love!

Sew Thankful

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This is the time of year when my heart is filled with so much love and happiness, as we all celebrate the holidays. In my family, we try to come together to celebrate as a big, giant group, and usually have around 22 people around the dinner tables at Thanksgiving. I truly have sew much to be thankful for, even during the many, many years that my husband was deployed, and others where we had lost part of our family to cancer or other tragedies.  The love and libations continued to flow and keep me grounded and hopeful.

This year, I am focusing on homemade gifts to express my love and thankfulness for my family members and friends. I decided to blog about one such project that I am working on as a present for my sister. She is always telling us that she is my sistersicle at work because they keep the Texas temperatures near refrigerator temperatures. Because of that (and a REALLY awesome sale that I caught at Simply By Ti Fabrics), I have decided to make her a hoodie. I made myself one before using Sinclair Patterns’ Alexis Hoodie Dress, and my sister borrowed it and loved it, so I decided to make her one exactly the same (but with her dimensions so that it will fit her like a glove).

My sisters have always been there for me, despite our rather significant age differences, but no matter what, they try to be there with love and support. I try to do the same, and also love giving them gifts whenever I can. It’s not everyone who can say that their little sisters took care of them when recovering from a massive stroke, and taught them how to speak English again. My sisters did this for me and so much more. I can’t ever thank them enough or tell them that I love them enough.

I decided to use Navy with Pink and Blue Flowers DBP and Navy Glitter French Terry (which is currently out of stock, but Simply By Ti still has Black, Olive, or White Glitter French Terry in stock).

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You can see the navy color much clearer outside, and also see the fun accents this hoodie has, like the hood lining, sleeves, and pocket linings all being super soft DBP.

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I hope that she will be happy with her gift, and be as thankful as I am to have her in my life (and my other sister, too, in case she reads this. Haha).

Happy holidays to everyone!!

Please be sure to visit the other stops on this awesome Sew Thankful Blog Tour!!
Week of November 6th:

Week of November 11th:
Week of November 18th:
Week of November 25th:

Spooktacular Sewing Projects for Your Home

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The Sewing By Ti’s Monster Blog Tour was the perfect time for me to come up with clever ways to use my Simply By Ti fabric that I have in my house. I had the hardest time narrowing my options down, but my top 3 tutorials that I considered were making a pillow with witch stockings and shoes sticking out from the bottom, a pillow with bat, ghost, or candy corn appliqués on it, or making a pumpkin out of scraps or a bit of orange lycra from Simply By Ti.

The pumpkin won by a narrow margin. Hahaha

There are SO many variations for making your own pumpkins to decorate your house with your scraps, but for this tutorial, I used orange cotton lycra, black cotton lycra, a bit of twine or yarn, chalk or marking device, a ruler, and your sewing machine (or a needle and thread).

To start off with, I created a compass by tying yarn to my marking pencil. I know that I want about a 7″ pumpkin, so I was preparing for a 14″ wide circle…requiring my to cut out a 7″ radius to the circle that I need to cut.

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I placed a knot at the end of 7″ of my yarn to act as my center/anchoring point.NEldOTKyTEabYj1EBnGL7QM35eTFHXQ36xLRd0CZGoxw

Then, I used a pattern weight to hold down the knot so that I can trace my circle with the marking pencil.OxV6nxFnTj6HowEVGpbgEwm19e+70KTke1H9ooNpgzmQ

Then, I trace my circle out of the cotton lycra. This works for any fabric, but knit fabrics will come with more stretch, so you might want to take that into account when you decide on the size of your pumpkin base circle.
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A rotary cutter is a great way to cleanly and easily cut out your circle.
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Next, you want to add in the faux pumpkin ribs. To do this, it is easier to trace in guide lines to sew over.DsQRSTtVTxyOv1efT+ExLQ+ZyUbK4QTUKl+7K%HeD+MA

Once you have sewn all of the ribs down the sides (I chose to do 8 ribs from the center, which I did by sewing 4 straight lines from end to end, crossing in the middle). After this, baste in 2 lines at the very edge of the circle so that you can gather your pumpkin into shape after stuffing it with more scraps.mAhXwhSMRGy3bcBQnNrf3QvBWb%OswR3eOkHKRQ9E9Gw

Then, you can cut your stem. I did a oval 1/2 of the size of my circle, but a circle would work, too. jB99JBxkQviBvd1%s4frFA

I, then, shaped the hat on the gathered “stump”. You can choose to finish the edges of this piece or not. I left it with a rustic feel and know that CL doesn’t tend to fray like some fabric choices.
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After a few hand stitches, anchoring the stump onto the pumpkin base, you can add any embellishments that you would like on the “stump”. I chose to use a bit of yarn to make it look like a hat.fullsizeoutput_3b9f

Voilà! An adorable pumpkin to decorate your house with!! I am planning on using this season’s hottest fabric choices to make more! (Like flannel plaid or quilted knit that Simply By Ti has in stock…and maybe a faux stretch leather pumpkin!) DwmtDT3C628BK6L6O7A

WWD’s Fashionista Jacket Will Make You Want To Strike a Pose

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It’s time for fall, and you know what that means: Falling leaves, falling apples, and falling temperatures!!! It’s the PERFECT time to sew up some outerwear inspired by this Winter Wear Designs Outerwear Blog Tour!!

I decided that I NEEDED to sew up Winter Wear Designs’ newest pattern, the
Fashionista Jean Jacket. It has a great clean scooped neckline, a gorgeous placket, and a banded bottom, meant to look great with any number of layered garments!!

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I used a brocade woven fabric from http://www.Seweird.com to sew up my Fashionista, and chose the welt pocket option. There is also a side pocket option for this awesome jacket.

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With awesome touches like having a front and back yoke and cuffed sleeves, the Fashionista will be your go-to for seasonal transition pieces and miles of style!

Fall in love with every stop on the tour:
October 22
Ilse of Sew Sew Ilse
October 23
October 24
October 25
Meriel of Elli and Nels
Jessica of Jot Designs USA
October 26
Livia of Liviality

OMeGa!! Nailed it! A Stop on the Winter Wear Designs Hack-a-Thon Blog Tour

September is a month of fresh starts for so many at school and a time of renewal as we head into another fall season. What a perfect time to make what we have “new” again by hacking our available pattern resources into all new garments?

I love scouring Pinterest for new ideas, and I found a tank top that I Really liked the look of. I loved the lace yoke to add that special little something.

Here is my inspo pic:
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(from https://bedfordfair.blair.com/p/168453.uts?src_code=BFAWG&cid=pl_bf_google_pla_gen&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhOiC_su83QIVRBxpCh1JswgoEAQYBSABEgJ80vD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds)

I mean, how cute is that?! Plus, it’s casual enough that I can wear it almost anywhere. I looked through my patterns, and found my Winter Wear Designs (aff) Omega Top and Tunic For Women Sizes xxs-XXXL. I decided to use some 5″ black lace that I had, which provided a nice overlay for the yoke. I am super in love with my jacked Omega!

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What kind of hacks are you planning for your wardrobe? I know that I can’t wait to have more time to hack even more outfits from my inspo boards on Pinterest!

Don’t miss out on the daily giveaway posts in the WWDFUN FB group!!!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/918196014871086/

Don’t miss out on any of the stops along the tour!!!!
9/24
Jess of Jot Designs
9/25
9/26
Livia of Liviality
9/27
9/28
Patricia of Sew Far North

IT’S Time to Sew with ITS (Itch to Stitch) Blog Tour

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Life is so crazy, sometimes, that I just need to make time to sew to clear my thoughts, get out of my head, and be productive, rather than to stress over the little things. This Time to Sew with Itch to Stitch blog tour was the Perfect opportunity for me to do just that, and the timing couldn’t have been more ideal.

It’s late September, and that means that autumn is here, complete with Pumpkin Spice Lattes, changing leaves, and changing temperatures… unless you live in Texas like I do, and then the high temperatures just lower into the upper 80’s to mid 90’s. hahaha For Southerners, the fall means a time of curious temperatures and the need for truly transitional pieces like 3/4 length tops and longer skirt and shorts, or capris. It is often a bit too chilly to wear tank tops now when the sun is down.

Because of this, I sewed up the WONDERFUL Newport Top PDF Sewing Pattern and Emily Culottes PDF Sewing Pattern from Itch to Stitch Sewing Pattern Shop. I decided to really highlight the versatility of the Newport Top by sewing it up not only in a gorgeous DBP (double brushed poly) from Sly Fox Fabrics, but also the softest brushed hacci sweater knot from Love Adore Knit Fabrics. I am over the moon and so glad that I finally sewed up a top that I have been meaning to sew up for months! It did not disappoint! The shoulder details are my favorite bits on this garment. They add a touch of the “something special” without being too over the top. It is a very flattering and feminine silhouette, even in my size 16. This top can carry me from season to season, and the sweater knit will keep me warm all winter long!

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I also sewed up the Emily Culottes in denim from Knitpop. Not only are they comfortable, but they can be styled for work or play, and I can probably wear them for 10 months out of the year down here, with a bit of styling differences. In the summer, a pair of flip-flops are what I need, and in the winter, a pair of tights will add a bit of warmth and style to my outfit.

There is an optional pleated front look to the pattern, as well as a flat front. Both have an attached sash belt. If you do choose to do the non-pleated version, PLEASE read the tutorial’s directions first, before cutting your fabric (because the pattern need to be adjusted prior to cutting).

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I want to thank the amazing designer at Itch to Stitch, Kennis Wong, for making these amazing pdf patterns from which I was able to relax, unwind, and add to my wardrobe. I would also like to thank Sly Fox Fabrics for sponsoring some of the most amazing fabrics across this entire Blog Tour. Be sure to read and enjoy the other breathtaking creations from the other bloggers who had stops on this blog tour, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

The best news is that for all day today (September 21, 2018), the Newport Top PDF Sewing Pattern is on sale for only $7 and the Emily Culottes PDF Sewing Pattern is only $9! How awesome is that?!

Please visit the awesome sponsors of this Blog Tour and see the awesome and reasonably-priced offerings that each has!
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Visit our sponsors and enter our Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win this unbelievable prize package:

Itch to Stitch: 2 PDF patterns of choice
Simply By Ti: Prize of $20 GC

So Sew English Fabrics: Prize of $30 GC
Mabel Madison Modern Makers: Prize of 3 yard coordinated bundle
Sly Fox Fabrics: $25GC
Raspberry Creek Fabrics: $50 GC
Surge Fabric Shop: $20 GC
Organic Cotton Plus: $25 GC
WarmCrochet: Pair of scissors

And make sure to visit the other stops on the blog tour!

Here is the line up of Bloggers for the ITS Time to Sew Itch to Stitch Blog

September 17th
September 18th
September 19th
September 20th 
September 21st

***Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win awesome prizes!!***
Rafflecopter giveaway link

That’s a Wrap: Finding the Perfect New Dress Pattern in the Petaluma from Itch to Stitch

If you are looking for the sweetest new fun, yet classy dress pdf pattern, look no further than Itch to Stitch Sewing Pattern Shop’s  Petaluma Faux Wrap Dress!  It is a pdf pattern for sizes 00-20, in customizable cup sizes A-DD, and not only has the cutest faux wrap style, but also has in-seam pockets, an invisible zipper closure, an optional sash, and 3 sleeve options. I chose the double petal option over the short and butterfly option for my first version, and I LOVE it!!
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I sewed up my Petaluma in Knitpop’s Olive Crepe Georgette woven fabric. I love this fabric SO much that I played crazy pattern Tetris to make sure that I was able to make this dress out of my large scraps that I had left. It worked out, but just barely. Hahaha

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While sewing this up, I didn’t run into any major difficulties, as the instructions were very clear and had great illustrations. I will say that you should Stop and TRY ON your cross-front bodice after pinning it to the skirt BEFORE sewing it on to make sure that you have a perfect fit.

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Get your copy of the Petaluma Faux Wrap Dress at the introductory sale price of only $9.60 for this week only! It’s SUCH a crazy, beautiful pattern to make your closet happy, from church wear to a little black dress for date night!

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Heading Back to School in Ellie and Mac

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Now that we’re past Labor Day, almost everyone is headed back to school, and that means that students, teachers, administrators, school staff, and mamas everywhere will need to dress to impress, whether it be for the lunch line, running across campus, or the drop off line! Luckily, Ellie and Mac have you covered!

I decided on a transitioning-seasons look with the Ellie and Mac Women’s Halter Maxi Top/Dress Pattern (aff). Not only does this pattern come with a top and dress version, but it comes with SO many different options!! I chose to do a full maxi dress with the non-halter version because with the changing weather, I wanted to allow for the extra bit of coverage (and let’s face it: school time means bra time. Hahaha).

I sewed up the maxi with Mily Mae Fabrics’ faux snakeskin velvet for the bodice and sash, and I used Pretty Posh Prints’ (aff) double brushed poly for the skirt. Both are so decadent and comfortable, while still be so stylish.

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By changing up the fabrics, I made the Halter Maxi a little bit warmer in the bodice area, and added coverage with the maxi length to keep my legs warmer in the windy colder air that’s about to head our way! Popping on a cardi, and I am set into the winter months! Plus, you can dress this look up or down. With this unique and exotic velvet, I could turn this look into a date night look or a Homeroom Teacher look. It’s SO versatile and comfortable at the same time.

The best bits about Ellie and Mac patterns are their great sales and unbeatable prices for such cute and relevant looks! Right now, not only can you enter to win the giveaway during this blog tour, but the Women’s Halter Maxi Top/Dress Pattern (aff) is 25% off! Don’t wait! Your closet needs this look that can go from the hottest summer day to crisp fall mornings!

Visit all the bloggers on the Back To School Sewing Patterns Blog Tour Featuring Ellie and Mac and enter the giveaway to win a $50 store credit below!

  1. August 20th: Seams Sew Lo (Intro)
  2. August 21st: Seams Sew Lo
  3. August 22nd: Momma Newey’s Makes
  4. August 23rd: Mama You Can Make It
  5. August 24th: DIYDanielle
  6. August 27th: Mijn11jes&ik
  7. August 28th: Tenille’s Thread
  8. August 29th: Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier
  9. August 30th: My Sewing Roots
  10. August 31st: SequioaLynn Sews
  11. September 1st: Mijn11jes&ik
  12. September 2nd: Crafty Curly Couture
  13. September 3rd: Sew 4 Five
  14. September 4th: Our Play Place
  15. September 5th: Fée bricolo
  16. September 6th: Jot Designs (USA)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Heading Back To School in Winter Wear Designs, a Stop on the B2S Blog Tour

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It’s that time of year again! It’s time to head back to school. Whether you are a student, educator, or administrator, you always want to look your best doing it! Luckily, Winter Wear Designs (aff) has got your back!! Their amazing patterns will have you looking stylish, no matter your age!

I was lucky enough to join in the Back 2 School Blog Tour with some AMAZING bloggers, who are talented sewists as well! We each set out with the goal of creating a mini capsule for differing back to school needs, so please make sure to visit all of the stops along this blog tour to be able to get inspired by the great and beautiful creations that have been made using Winter Wear Designs’ pdf patterns!

I sewed up the Aviator Pants for Women in Sizes XXS-XXXL (aff) and the Hepburn Henley for Women in Sizes 00-22 (aff) from the Back to School Bundle for Teens and Women (aff). I also sewed up the Trendy Tank (aff), a pattern that is free with coupon code, and the Read Deal Jeans for Women, in Sizes XXS-XXL (aff) in the capri length for this change of season, as we head into autumn.

Real Deal Capri length Jeans with Hepburn Henley with short sleeves…

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As I was trying to create a capsule for back to school looks, I chose pieces that were versatile so that you can mix and match and never have your wardrobe go stale or to be unprepared for a situation. I made the Aviator pants with a faux snakeskin velvet (from Mily Mae Fabrics) so that students or faculty could go to class in them or throw them on for dinner and a night on the town. I chose to have front pockets, but not the optional cargo pockets or back welt pockets, as I was going for a more trouser/dress pants kind of feel. I also went with a waistband hack for them, as I had this gorgeous glittery waistband elastic from Knitpop (aff). This glitter allows me to not only feel pretty, but also SO comfy all day long.

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With the Hepburn Henleys, I sewed one up with longer sleeves in DBP and RS (the white and yellow one with daisies from Love Adore Knits), and my other one in Rose Baroque crushed velvet from Mily Mae Fabrics.

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As you can see with a couple of accessories and changing from the Real Deal Jeans to the Aviators sewn up in a luxe fabric like velvet or suede, and the Hepburn Henley sewn up in fabrics like velvet, suede, silk, brushed hacci, or satin, you look can go from classroom to date night in a flash.

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I also sewed up a Trendy Tank (aff) in Twinkle Teal velvet from Mily Mae Fabrics and finished my edges with silver fold over elastic (FOE) for a fun look under a blazer (Phresh blazer anyone?) or cardi (Twin Peaks Cardi perfection!) or on its own for a fun night on the town.

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As you can see, the options are endless and are limited only by your imagination (OK OK, and maybe the available budget. hahaha) Grabbing the Back to School Bundle for Teens and Women (aff) will have you set with SO many possible looks for your own back to school capsule for one low price.

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For this blog tour, the Phresh Jeggings for Girls in sizes 1-14 (aff) and the Perfect Panel Tee for Boys and Girls in Sizes 1-14 (aff) are on sale for ONLY $5!! Run and get your copy today!!

Don’t miss out on any of the stops on the

Back 2 School Blog Tour 2018
 
Monday 8/27
Intro from Winter Wear Designs

Tuesday 8/28

Larissa of Connected by a Thread

Wednesday 8/29
Carrie of BeriBee Designs
Livia of  Liviality
Thursday 8/30
Diane of Sewing With D
Jackie of
Friday 8/31
Jessica of Jot Designs
Patricia of Sew Far North

Falling in love with Rebecca Page, a stop on the Turning the Page: Sewing for the Seasons Blog Tour

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Welcome to one of the final stops on Rebecca Page’s Turning the Page: Sewing for the Seasons Blog Tour! Just because we are wrapping up our week of amazing fun, doesn’t mean that it stops here!! You, too, can enhance your wardrobe by being inspired by or recreating one of the many sophisticated, fun, flirty, and classic styles that you have seen along the way!!

When I was looking in my closet this past weekend, I realized just how low it was on comfortable and season-transitional pieces that I had. I have Plenty of summer looks, as I live in the southern US, but I needed to work on my fall transitional pieces and winter looks.

I immediately thought of Rebecca Page’s FANTASTIC outerwear, especially their cardigans. Cardies allow SO much freedom, as you can layer them on and remove them during the day, as temperatures fluctuate during our seasonal changes. I decided to sew up a The Circle Cardie – A Ladies Cardie Pattern (aff) for this exact reason!

The Circle Cardie allows for endless possibilities with regards to which knit to use. I chose a crushed velvet in Metal Crush (that I purchased from Mily Mae Fabrics), a sort of charcoal shade, which would drape me in softness and warmth and help ease my wardrobe’s transition into the colder months. It is just the first of many that I am going to sew up. I plan on at least 7: one for every day of the week! Since there are so many options on lengths, bands, ruffles, and sleeves, as well as the vast number of fabric options, my choices are nearly endless!

Next, I had to decide what should go under this cardigan. I decided on the The Emma Top and Dress – Ladies High Neck Dress Pattern (aff). Not only does the high neck on this top and dress block the cold winds of autumn, but also is stylish and a source of additional warmth, and it is currently in a sale bundle, the Summer Maxi Bundle. This pdf pattern really does allow for SO many options with the fabric choices and the lining options. Really, if it is super cold where you live, line it with a silk lining for a lightweight and VERY warm option. You could even opt for a superfine wool lining, as well. In the southern US, most of us just need cotton or maybe polyester, or as I chose: a gorgeous rayon (that I purchased from Mily Mae Fabrics), that has amazing drape and beautiful coverage, without being bulky or heavy.

I finally decided to sew up the top version of the Emma, and it was love!! It’s just long enough to cover everything that I want hidden, but also loose enough to keep me cool with a nice breeze! I paired it with capri leggings, so I know that leggings in late fall would also be perfection! One thing that I LOVE doing with stripes is to either cant them and wear them on the bias or create chevron patterns by having two angled stripes meet at a center point. This allows me to not have horizontal stripes which might not be the most flattering on my plus-sized figure, but also it is fresh, fun, and fashionable (and so easy to do!).

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

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