OMeGa! Bring on the Blouse Blog Tour presents: A Tale of Two Pretties

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This week, I have the honor of being part of the Bring on the Blouse Blog Tour for Winter Wear Designs, an indie pdf pattern designer who quickly has become one of my faves, when I tested her Banded Tee (https://jotdesignsusa.com/2018/02/08/banded-hem-for-nearly-every-occasion-yes-please/) and Classic Shell (https://jotdesignsusa.com/2018/02/08/this-shell-is-truly-a-classic/) patterns.

It is being sponsored by BOHO fabrics (http://rwrd.io/z6denjk), which is a fabric vendor with Great prices, Amazing coupons and sales, and out of this world selection of the most amazing fabrics and TONS of laces, trims, and other notions. Boho curates bundles for purchase that are surprising, gorgeous, and ridiculously reasonably priced. I highly recommend Boho for your knits needs, as well are your woven, specialty fabric, and notions needs, as well. I used their lace in 2 colors and 3 different sizes, as well as their woven fabric for my Omega blouse for this review.

I decided to take you on a tour of the Omega in a Tale of Two Pretties: I sewed up the Omega in a woven fabric, as suggested, as well as contrasting it, when the Omega is sewn up as a knit. The Omega blouse has SO many options available with the purchase of the pdf pattern from Winter Wear Designs (https://goo.gl/ZhZPMK). As a special offer during this blog tour, the Omega is on sale for the low price of just $7.95 all week long! That’s 20% off of a pattern that can give you chic blouse looks in woven and knit fabric bases, as well as being customizable into being either a blouse (with or without a shirttail hem) or tunic, with many sleeve options (Sleeveless, flutter, gathered cap sleeves, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeve, or long sleeves), as well as many different yoke options (pleated, lace front, lace accent, or plain front), and the option of having a keyhole in the back for a beautiful accent!

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First, I followed the woven instructions that are part of the tutorial that comes with the pdf pattern download. I had picked a delicious floral rayon woven fabric from Boho Fabrics; as well as a 5.5″ lace trim, which I used to embellish my yoke piece; and a 1″ lace trim, which I used as my binding for my neckline and armscye areas (armhole areas), since I decided to go with a sleeveless option, as the temperatures are already in the 80’s where I live. I sewed up a size XL, which was the closest to my ready to wear size 16-18 body’s measurements, and it fit Beautifully! I had a hidden fear that it would be too tight on my hips, as woven fabrics offer no stretch and no forgiveness, but I shouldn’t have at all! It was gorgeous! I went with the regular hem at the bottom, and the curves and ease built into this pattern are SO flattering and make this blouse SO comfortable to wear. It felt breezy, and was such an easy pattern to sew up.

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Typically, when I hack a woven pattern in a knit, I have to size down, but this was not the case with the Omega, which made it even Easier of a sew! I was able to use the same pattern that I had already assembled and cut out to make Both the knit and the woven versions. There are minor changes needed for the armscye binding measurements, but other than that, the change is pretty straightforward and easy to do. Winter Wear Designs lays out this entire hack’s tutorial in the Day 1 post for the Bring on the Blouse Blog Tour on their site (https://goo.gl/bjb7Wo). I was able to quickly sew up my new Omega blouse in double brushed polyester (DBP), and I chose to do the flutter sleeve, and  the regular hem. I also chose to use Boho Fabrics’ lace trim for the neckline binding in ivory this time, to add a bit of cohesion between my two looks. It attached with equal ease as the woven Omega’s did. When I tried this look on, I didn’t want to take it off. It was just (if not more) comfy as the extremely comfortable Omega is in the woven fabric!

I highly recommend this pattern in its many forms and lengths. It sewed up well in DBP and rayon (woven), and can handle beautiful embellishments and trims to further enhance your looks. It is feminine, flattering, and comfortable, without being too fussy.  Your closet Needs you to pick up this pattern and make a few for yourself. After you do, share a pic or two on the Winter Wear Designs’ Facebook Group Page (https://goo.gl/WH2nDT).

In addition to ALL of this fabulousness, there is also a drawing for a prize bundle from Boho Fabrics and Winter Wear Designs. Full information is available on the Winter Wear Designs’ Bring On the Blouse Tour page, located at https://goo.gl/bjb7Wo.

Check out each stop on the tour:

2/26  Winter Wear Designs
2/27 With Love in Every Stitch
2/27 Sewing With D
2/27 Kate Will Knit
2/28 Sew With Ilse
2/28 Custom Made by Laura
2/28 So Today I Did A Thing
3/1 Mabey She Made It
3/1 Connected By A Thread
3/2 MNW Sews
3/2 Jot Designs
3/2 Lisa Dawson at Winter Wear Designs

#bringontheblouse #stitchmyfix #sewwhatyoulove #wearwhatyousew #omega #classicshell

Day 2 of the SewLaura SAL: Construction Zone!

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No need to bust out a hard hat, but it is Construction Day!! Day 2 of the Sinclair Patterns’ #SewLaura Sew Along (SAL), hosted/sponsored by Sly Fox Fabrics will cover all of the construction steps of the pattern’s tutorial. I have provided a video that covers every step, and is available at Sly Fox Fabrics Sew Along Group on Facebook.
Items to highlight (as to not give away all of Sinclair Patterns’ trade secrets of awesome construction) are:
1) When stabilizing shoulder seams, you should leave some lead and lag bits to your stabilizer as it goes through the machine. You never was clear elastic to come into contact with the feed dogs or to be reused. You want to make sure that it is facing up at all times.
2) When attaching the pockets to the bottom panel, you want to make sure that you attach the interfacing to the Wrong side of your bottom panel and the pocket gets sewing to the Right side of the bottom panel in the same location.
3) When you are attaching your bottom panel to the bodice, you want to make sure that you Outline the pockets when you are sewing and not straight across the top.
4) If you decide to construct ties or use closure hardware, make sure to include the interfacing Inside of the collar (Wrong side of the fabric would have the Piece #8 interfacing being ironed to it). You want to ensure that you iron it where your placement will be. Everyone feels a little differently about where they want that closure, but it is suggested to have it placed 1-2 inched from the waist. In this case, you would need to reinforce this particular area on the Inside of the collar by ironing on that interfacing there. If you prepare and place ties, you would sandwich them in between the shawl collar and the edge of the bodice that you are attaching the collar to.
5) In this pattern, you will see how important the ironing really is to be able to have things like your interfacing adhere, but also to keep your collar laying flat, as well as having the hem marker for your sleeve hems.

I chose to go ahead and include the sleeve hemming discussion on Day 2’s video because it was the last step, and it would give you more time to work at your own pace and to ask any questions. (Also, I was SUPER excited to finish, if I’m honest. Hahaha)

Day 3, will be catchup day and questions, but you can TOTALLY hold off on the hemming until whenever you are ready. Pics Must be in the Pic thread by Friday in order to be considered to win a prize in Sly Fox Fabrics Sew Along Group.

Can’t wait to see your Laura Cardigans!!

#Day1 of the Sinclair Patterns’ Laura Cardigan SAL, hosted/sponsored by Sly Fox Fabrics

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Today, we will all print out and prepare our patterns, prepare our fabrics and cut out our pattern pieces in our prepared fabric.
In case you haven’t done a Sew Along (SAL) before (or never worked with a PDF pattern, or are new to sewing), I will try to take these blog posts slowly and with lots of explanations.
For the Laura Knit Cardigan pattern from Sinclair Fabrics, you want to use between 2.25-2.5 yards of light to midweight knits that are easy to manipulate, such as double knit, ponte, sweater knit, or interlock.  We all need to wash our fabric before we start anything, as it takes a minute for the dryer to be done with our precious fabrics. It is important to launder prior to cutting and sewing up your pattern to avoid any issues with puckering or shrinkage later on.
All of you should have purchased your copy of the Laura cardigan pattern from SinclairPatterns.com. Now, you need to log into the Sinclair Patterns website, download, and print the Memo, Tutorial (optional), and your size range (petite is 5’1″-5’3″; regular is 5’4″-5’6″; and tall is 5’7″-5’9″).  You will want to choose the size closest to your full bust measurement to print out.  You want to print page one of your pattern first in “Actual Size”, so you can test the printed page key to make sure that your ruler and key match at the 1 inch by 1 inch markers.
Once you have printed your pattern as “Actual Size”, you will trim your pages. The tutorial suggests top and left to be trimmed, but I have always trimmed bottom and right for years, and that works on this pattern, too. Next, you will tape your patterns together, and then cut out the pattern pieces.
There is a suggested layout (located in the tutorial) for the pattern pieces onto the fabric that will help you in maximizing the usage of your fabric. I use pattern weights to help me keep the pattern piece down as I use my rotary cutter. Others use chalk to outline before cutting with scissors. Please note on the pattern piece, it mentions which fabric to cut, which direction, if on a fold or not, and how many of that piece you will need.
Once you have cut out your fabric, you are done with Day 1! Yay!! Buckle your seatbelts! Tomorrow is going to be the Construction of the Laura Cardi day!

OMP! Sinclair Patterns’ Penny Classic Leggings are pure perfection!

This week, I had the pleasure of testing a pattern for Sinclair Patterns (https://goo.gl/S7LKWK): the Penny Classic Leggings pattern. It is a pattern for either cropped/below-the-knee (capri) length or full-length leggings. The waistband is available either in a classic waistband or a comfort (wide/yoga) waistband. As with most of Sinclair Pattern’s offerings, this pattern comes in 3 size categories: petite (5’1″-5’3″), regular (5’4″-5’6″), and tall (5’7″-5’9″), in US sizes 0-22. The Australian-based pattern company hints at an expanded range of plus-sized offerings in the near future, which is an exciting possibility!

As usual with Sinclair Patterns, the fit was spot on for my body shape and size. It is an instant classic for me! I actually cut and sewed up both length options for the leggings (cropped and full length). I stuck with the classic waistband, as I am not a fan of the comfort waistband style, and there were so many others who were in the testing group.


These leggings are better than any others on the market that I have tried so far. I am a plus-sized woman, and my size 16 (in Sinclair Pattern’s sizing) fit without any need to try to adjust the seat, rise, or length. I didn’t even have to grade my pattern for the perfect fit, as I was pretty spot on with the dimensions for my size. I didn’t even have a problem with the legs turning on my calves, as some patterns require you to adjust and make sure that your front and back are cut out at a perfect 180* from each other.  This wasn’t necessary on the Penny, as the legs are cut out as a whole, which is AMAZING.  As many of you who have tried to make leggings before know, these are common issues, and sources of hours of tailoring that must be done to muslins/toiles/trial runs on cheaper fabric. With the Penny, I, personally, could have cut straight into my $16/yard athletic knit fabric with no looking back (but I took the cautious route, just in case, and did a muslin pair out of plain DBP. hahaha). I loved that I didn’t need to spend 3 hours tailoring them to my seat, to avoid the pitfalls of too much or too little fabric in delicate areas. THANK YOU, SINCLAIR PATTERNS!!! These are Pure Perfection!!

I chose to do the full leggings in double brushed polyester (DBP) from Southern Belle Fabrics (https://goo.gl/c5Uw6F) and the cropped length in a gorgeous athletic knit from Mily Mae Fabrics (https://goo.gl/mmpKpu), which made the best workout capris that I have ever owned.

The pattern suggests using your hips measurement to establish you size, but that grading might be needed for your waist, knees, and legs to get the fit that you are looking for. I went with the hip measurement which was 1/2″ below my actual measurement, assuming correctly that the negative ease found in the stretch amounts of my fabric choices would offset the difference in pattern size, when compared with my actual measurements.

The pattern calls for 1-1.25 yards of fabric for the cropped length, and 1.50-1.75 yards for the full length version. Both DBP and athletic knit/supplex worked beautifully and rivaled any off-the-rack activewear. Cotton lycra or any mid-weight fabric with 50% stretch that has good recovery would be lovely to make into your own personalized pair of perfect leggings, too. If one was wanting a higher rise in the leggings, the comfort waistband offers a slightly higher rise than the classic waistband does.

These were an incredibly easy sew, and you could be done with your leggings in under an hour, especially if you had the pattern already cut (as I had with my second pair). It is rated as 2/10 in difficulty, placing it firmly in the “easy” category.
The pattern comes with  Letter, A4, and A0 version files, meeting almost any printing need.

I did not have to trim off any excess fabric from the bottom, which was a first for me, when leggings are concerned, which was a pleasant surprise.

Don’t wait to pick up your copy today! There is an introductory sale on this pattern, making it only $6.99 now through February 28, 2018 at (https://goo.gl/S7LKWK).

My love for the penguin increases, an explanation…

I am a lover of penguins. They are adorable, yet majestic. And, like me, they waddle. A few weeks ago, my good friend caught her son using “penguin” as an expletive replacement a few times in a row before confronting him about the usage of this word for all curse words. It was a HILARIOUS true story to all of her friends (and to herself and her husband, if truth be told).
To quote some of his hysterical sayings, he uttered:
“What the penguin is going on here?” and “For penguin’s sake!” and “Mommy, can you help me fix this shirt? It’s all penguined up.”
He did this unrehearsed; he was not coached, and this word substitution/word play was not modeled. It was pure riotously funny perfection!
Since then, inspired by the 4-year-old genius, I have been saying OMP= Oh My Penguin!
I hope that you all enjoy the penguin out of my reviews and the blog in general!
Stay tuned! I plan on having a few giveaways (when life slows down, and I am well again…my flu turned into a sinus infection. Yay! Mer. Haha ACHOO)

Petra Taylor Tees Are My Happy Place

A few months ago, I was selected to test the Petra Taylor Tee for knit fabrics from Pickle Toes Patterns (https://goo.gl/qmkpPk), and I fell in love. Since that time, a few changes were made, and the Petra Taylor Tee pattern now comes with the option to have the length as a top, tunic, or dress. This EXCITED me!! I couldn’t wait to buy the pattern and try out the new dress option, as the top option had fit me like the world’s comfiest glove. I was not disappointed!

The Petra Taylor Tee/Tunic/Dress pattern is still in its finishing stages, as the layering is still being polished on the non-blocked front pattern, but that is my only critique, if you can even call it that. Despite that, the lines were easy to follow in the pattern to get Just the size that I needed, and making it super easy to grade or blend sizes, if you needed to. The included instructions were easy to follow, and were very jam-packed with information and options. The Petra Taylor comes in a jewel neck or scoop neck, with FIVE arm length options! You can choose cap, short, elbow, 3/4, or long sleeves.  There is even a hoodie option!! In addition, there is a thumbhole option for the long-sleeved version, which is AMAZING! As a bonus, you can take the sleeve cuff and follow the arm warmers pattern to step up your fashion game a notch while keeping warm this year.

The Petra Taylor is a very quick and easy sew, which will make it your go-to for everyday wear, or that cute little black knit dress for a comfortable, yet cute, date night look.

I love to feel the DBP (double brushed poly) hug that I get when wearing a Petra Taylor garment made in my favorite fabric: double brushed poly! Today, I am wearing one of the 4 tops that I made. The dress that I made is waiting for the weekend, as bare legs and temps in the 40’s aren’t the best mix when you have the flu already. heehee. The top had the ability to be a plain front or a slanted color-blocked front for any of the lengths. The relaxed fit and flare look of this pattern is so flattering on so many body types, and is a favorite of mine!

I used so many different fabrics in my 5 looks, so I will give you a glimpse into where to get some, too. In the color-blocked long-sleeved tee, I chose a velvet embossed DBP and faux leather look french terry from Mily Mae Fabrics (https://milymaefabricshop.com). In my cream with roses long-sleeved top, I used double brushed poly (DBP) from Mily Mae, as well.  For the dress, I chose Knitpop Fabric‘s (https://knitpop.com) Olive Holland DBP. For the purple floral, I used Southern Belle Fabrics‘ (https://goo.gl/TrCGSw) Elizabeth Floral Print Teal Roses on Plum in DBP (https://goo.gl/jSMeUo) and the Amazing Realtree camo top was also from Southern Belle Fabrics‘ poly spandex (https://goo.gl/FS3WDv).

****Pickle Toes Patterns (https://goo.gl/qmkpPk) is running a sale on the Petra Taylor Tee/Tunic/Dress starting this Friday, February 9th, 2018 at midnight through Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2018 at 11:59pm CST. Save 20% on a copy of the truly Amazing pdf pattern, using the code Love18.****
**Hint for the significant others in your life: THIS would make an Awesome gift to show your love and support of their love of sewing!!**

Make sure that you join and follow Pickle Toes Patterns’ group on Facebook to stay in the loop on sales and the latest releases from this awesome designer!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/PickleToesPatterns/

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Be sure to check out Southern Belle Fabrics‘ (https://goo.gl/TrCGSw) sale that is happening now, and join their group on Facebook to learn about all of their specials and promotions! Southern Belle Fabrics are also one of this week’s sponsors of the 52 Week Sewing Challenge (a sewing challenge on Facebook to keep myself and others motivated to keep on sewing throughout the entire year).

Knitpop is currently having a moving sale, as well.

Make sure to catch Mily Mae Fabrics’ Tightwad Tuesdays for great specials on awesome fabrics! Mily Mae Fabrics also just got in some AMAZING athletic fabrics, but quantities
are limited, so get yours today!

Banded Hem for Nearly Every Occasion? Yes, please!

Winter Wear Designs (https://goo.gl/ZhZPMK) just launched their Banded Hem Tee as part of their Wardrobe Builder Collection. This pattern is one that you NEED as part of your collection for sew many reasons! Not only does it give you the options of a shallow or deep scoop banded neckline, but it also comes complete with the options of a cowl neck or a hood! It even more versatile with the options of 3/4 sleeve or cuffed long sleeve, as well as coming in either top or tunic length. It will quickly become your go-to pattern for knit tops!

When I sewed mine up, I chose the deep neckline with the hood, and I was not let down! The pattern pieces and instructions were clear and easy-to-follow. This pattern suggests starting with your bust measurement as your base size, and then grading up or down from there. Since it uses knits, there is some ease, both in the fabrics and in the pattern. I used So Sew English Fabrics (https://goo.gl/X5nECa) in hunter french terry for my main fabric, and scots plaid for my cuffs, hood lining, and band.

This pattern is easy to sew up, requiring little time before you can be sporting your gorgeous new banded hem tee, tunic, or hoodie! It has loads of helpful hints and tutorials for achieving the proper fit.

Regular price on Wardrobe Builder patterns at Winter Wear Designs is only $5 (but she is running a short-term release special bundle of the Classic Shell and Banded Hem Tee, so go and get yours today (https://goo.gl/ZhZPMK)!

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This Shell is Truly a Classic

As a part of the Wardrobe Builder collection from Winter Wear Designs (https://goo.gl/ZhZPMK), I had the pleasure of testing the Classic Shell pattern for women. It is truly a wardrobe builder kind of pattern, in that you can make SO many different looks and have so many options available to you all in One Pattern! You can make it a top or a tunic with long sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, traditional short sleeves, or tulip sleeves.  The blouse was a very easy sew, even with the options of the keyhole in the back or the tulip sleeves. The instructions were clear, and had lovely pictures as guides. There were also mini-tutorials on just how to get your Classic Shell fitted to your body just right, with special instructions like armscye adjustments for shoulder adjustments. The pattern even explains body shapes so that you can figure out the best places to make adjustments that are typically needed for your body type.  The dart placement and instructions made this one of the easiest darts that I have ever sewn onto a blouse; so, if you were wary of having to create a dart, don’t be!

This Classic Shell blouse requires woven fabric, and I chose to use a lovely rayon challis for my testing garment that I got on sale from Urban Rag Trader (on Facebook or Etsy as urbanragtrader.etsy.com). It worked perfectly with this pattern, and it made me want to make more in different colors and patterns. Despite using woven fabrics, this pattern had plenty of ease built-in in the waist and hip area, so the look was relaxed and flowy, without being at all restrictive. Perhaps it is because of this built-in ease that the designer advises you to base your main size off of your bust measurement.

The only reason that I would ever hesitate in making more of this pattern would be the need for pressing things. I am a military spouse, and I don’t always travel with my iron (but almost always with at least a sewing machine). haha The iron is needed for the setting of the sleeves, the hems, the bust darts, and the bias tape (I chose to make double bias tape out of the same rayon material as the bodice). When I am a home though? Watch out! I plan to make one for every day of the week!

Regular price on Wardrobe Builder patterns at Winter Wear Designs is only $5 (but she is running a short-term release special bundle of the Classic Shell and Banded Hem Tee, so go and get yours today (https://goo.gl/ZhZPMK)!

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Flirting with Fashion

I also had the privilege of testing Petite Stitchery and Co’s (goo.gl/4e4EWj) newest dress, the Women’s Flirt Fit and Flowy Dress.  This dress took me back to a simpler time with its nod to the 80’s; a time that was still so rife with opportunities and potential. Everything was possible.

This pdf dress pattern has many options available for the purchaser: You can wear it as a slim fitting mini dress, a flowy midi, or a billowing maxi for your skirt. The pattern itself was a quick and easy sew, and the instructions were straightforward. The overlapping top is a flattering look for most, as it hides any imperfections, while the skirt is still gathered into a well-defined waist. The cherry on top? It has in-seam pockets as an option!!

I used gorgeous fabric from Seweird.com in a floral-printed double brushed poly, so that the dress felt like it was giving me a soft hug as I wore it. In order to make this pattern, you will also need elastic for the gathered skirt’s waistband, which is hidden inside in a fabric casing that you make.

I didn’t encounter any glaring issues with this pattern, but I did have to take around 6 inches off the bottom of the maxi length. I am 5’6″, but I cannot have my maxis covering my feet and draping behind (trip hazard for me).

Overall: Lovely pattern and dress!! Go and get one! Treat yourself!!

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Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

Last week, I tested for 4 different designers, for a total of 5 different patterns. This week, I have had the fortune of leading a Sew Along and helping to spread the word about 3 fabric vendors and one pattern designer. February has been a crazy month so far!
First up, I want to talk about Itch to Stitch’s  (https://goo.gl/6SBhov) Sequoia Cargos & Shorts Digital Sewing Pattern. THEY ARE AMAZING!!!

I was selected to help test her great pdf pattern, and the fit, pocket placement, and instructions were all a recipe for success, from the size 0 participants to the size 10’s, to my plus size. Every curve and seam fit my body beautifully. The only adjustment that I had to make was to remove around an inch in the overall length, which is pretty amazing, as anyone who has made themselves a good-fitting pair of pants will tell you.
They were Just the kind of cargo pants that I am always wanting to shop for, but stores rarely carry in my size: convertible cargo/hiking pants. They even have a touch of elastic at the waistband to accommodate more body types and flexibility for different kinds of activities. You can make them out of many different types of woven fabric, but you do need a bit of interfacing for the pockets and rib knit fabric for your waistband.

Admittedly, my desire to have convertible cargo pants is more of a desire to have capris in the warm Texas summers, as well as place for my phone, headphones, keys, and snacks; BUT, they would work for hiking my former back yard: the Appalachian trail.

The only negative that I found myself experiencing while making this pattern was the setting of the 14 sets of metal snaps (which was NOT a problem with the pattern itself, but with my setting tool), which are more secure than plastic snaps and can go through the layers of fabric and interfacing in the pocket flaps. The metal snaps that I had purchased kept unseating themselves in my snap setter tool, so I looked like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman trying to eat the escargot: Slippery little suckers, indeed! Note to self: I need a more consistent setting tool, because I intend to make myself at least 3 more pairs of these pants this month!!

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