Pockets…for Snacks!!!!

Like most of us, I find a lot of activewear to be pricey and often ill-fitting, or perhaps not passing the squat test. Even though I am plus-sized and disabled, I do work out to maintain my fitness levels and live my healthiest life. And like many, I use monitoring apps on my phone for fitness tracking, and also for providing distraction by listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks.  I love nothing more than a good fitting pair of squat-proof workout leggings with pockets to hold my phone.  Also, pockets can carry very important items: SNACKS!!

Unfortunately, these days, I am left with only one alternative in order to get my unicorn leggings with the bells and whistles that I want: I make my own. This way, they fit all of my plentiful curves, even in a grand plié or deep squat…and hold all of my necessary things.

My favorite-fitting leggings have been the Penny Leggings (aff) by Sinclair Patterns. Unfortunately, these awesome leggings do not come with pockets. So, I decided to hack them in.

Before the hack, the Penny Leggings fit me perfectly and work for so many different occasions and fabrics.

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Since it is SO hot here in the summer, I decided to hack the shorts and capri length of the Penny Leggings. I started by printing and assembling the pattern as it is. The Penny Leggings are written so that they are a single seam legging pattern with a waistband. Next, I label the front and back areas of the pattern, to make sure that I don’t lose my place, nor sew up the wrong areas together.

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Next, I measure on my body where the sides of my hip are compared with the layout of the pattern and mark that. I want this point to be the center-point of my newly created Side Stripe that will double as the back of the pocket. If this is a bit difficult for you to do, you can always do a muslin with a rough guess as to where you want the pocket to be. My measurements fell with it almost being directly in the middle of the pattern, but slightly a bit to the front (but every body and pocket placement preference is different). You can also choose to make your Side Stripe wider than the 4″ that I chose. Whatever size you choose, you need to then add 1/4″ seam allowances to each of the parts that are cut and next to the newly created Side Stripe (so that when you sew the Side Stripe in, you aren’t losing 1/2″ on the width of your leggings with the 2 new seams that have been created on the sides of the new Side Stripe).

Here are my markings and cutting of the Side Stripes:

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In this pic, I am also marking where I would like my pocket placement to begin and end.4w9E+nHyQxe22KG%sS4EmQ

Now, I made a pocket template that would be the same width of the newly created Side Stripe and approximately 7″ long. You can choose to make this pocket as long as you wish, but I chose my length, based on the size of my phone.

Next, I cut out a pocket that I will sew Right Side to Right Side with a cover stitch/zig zag/twin needle/stretch stitch to lock the pocket onto the Side Stripe piece (it might feel weird sewing the pocket in a way that feels upside down, but this it forming the bottom of your pocket, so when you flip it up, it actually forms the pocket area).  I chose for the pocket to sit on my mid-thigh area, but you can choose how high or low to seat your pocket.

Then, fold the pocket back so that the Wrong Side of the Pocket is facing the Right Side of the Side Stripe. Topstitch it in place to add more structure to your pocket and also to keep the pocket anchored while you sew.
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Then, fold down the top of the pocket and topstitch the very top to that your pocket has a finished top edge (Wrong Side to Wrong Side of the Pocket piece…to/from itself), making sure that you are not sewing your pocket shut by sewing the pocket to anything other than itself (NOT the Side Stripe).

Next, pin or clip the Side Stripe with the anchored pocket to each of the pieces of the pattern (Front and Back pieces with their newly added 1/4″ seam allowances), Right Side to Right Side. Then, sew each, sandwiching the new Pocket in between the Side Stripe and the Back or Front Piece, and then the other).
This is what it will look like when one side is completed. Then, complete the other side.
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Since the Penny leggings require one panel per leg, you will need to do this process twice, but they will be mirror images of each other.

When you are done, you are ready to move back to the tutorial for the Penny Leggings and follow the instructions for assembly. When completed, they will look like these:

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Please feel free to ask any questions, and I will do may best to answer them.

Thanks for joining me in my snack pocket hack of the Penny Leggings (aff) by Sinclair Patterns.

🎵I’ve Got a Placket, Got a Placket Full of Sunshine🎵

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I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in the ReSEWlutions: Plackets Blog Tour from Winter Wear Designs (WWD) (aff), alongside a number of other very talented sewists and bloggers. This first blog tour of 2019 focused on the placket, one of many sewing techniques that can often feel daunting to a new sewist. *SPOILER ALERT* It’s actually much easier than most assume that it is!

I chose the lovely Hepburn Henley from WWD to sew up in a couple of different fabric bases. I wanted to compare and contrast what the fabric influences the finished look of a placket (and really, of any project).

First, I chose a lightweight double brushed poly (DBP) from Love Adore Knit Fabrics (the daisy and polka dotted fabric), and yellow bamboo lycra for the sleeves and the back.

To achieve this look, I followed the instructions in the tutorial, which led me to folding the placket  and sewing in the placket on top of the mostly-finished bodice. Topstitching the x onto the bottom of the placket helps add stability and allow for easier buttoning and unbuttoning of the top.

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The next Hepburn Henley that I did, I selected to do the faux placket option. I sewed it up with a bodice out of ombré hacci knit and DBP sleeves, faux placket, and neckband all from Seweird Fabrics. I doubt that I will ever do a henley out of hacci again, as it was a bit looser of a knit that I was wanting, but it was very warm, comfortable, and stylish. Regardless, I still love the finished look. The scoop neckline gives the Hepburn Henley that little something special, and having the option to have functional buttons on a placket or having a faux placket was lovely.

Make sure to pick up your copy of the Hepburn Henley either by itself or in the incredible Back to School for Teens and Women Bundle!

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Make sure to visit all of the other stops on this blog tour!!
January 29
Aurelie of Maglice&So (guest posting at WWD)
January 30
Kristen  (guest posting at WWD)
January 31
Jessica of Jot Designs USA
Feb 1
Livia of Liviality
#wwd #blogtour2019 #resewlutions #plackets

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:

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

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

This Taylor is a Total Love Story!

If you follow my blog, you know that I have mad love for the Petra Taylor Ladies Tee, Tunic, and Dress (all in one) pattern by Pickle Toes Patterns. This back to school season, I decided to bust my scrap bin, and I found my fabulous fourth of July fabric from So Sew English. I realized that even though I didn’t have enough to make a shirt out of each, I Did have enough for a color blocked Taylor tee for myself!
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You, too, can grab your scrap bin and use as many or as few colors and textures to make this sure-to-please COMFORTABLE top/tunic/dress. One of the best parts is that you have 3 length options and you can also customize your sleeve length and whether or not you want to hem or use bands, all for ONE LOW PRICE!

I can’t wait until I have another 20 minutes to make myself another one of these awesome tops!

🎵Just Me and BSD Down by the Schoolyard🎵 (A Stop on the Bella Sunshine Designs’ Back to School Blog Tour)

38600522_10157689127553858_1283947071178539008_oIt’s August, and you know what that means: It’s time for a whole lot of people to head back to school. Whether you are sending your preschooler or high schooler or teaching the next generation, you can always look your best in stylish and comfortable looks from pdf patterns from Bella Sunshine Designs (aff).

Nearly my all of my family members are or were educators in the past, and this BTS season, I focused on them for inspiration as I made my BTS looks. I chose to sew up the Sansa Flare Pants, and to pair them up with a cute little peplum top, the Sahara top (also has a tunic And a dress option. What a steal! It’s like 3 patterns for the price of 1). I focused on a look that can go from high school student to faculty (or even a little, if you went with the girls’ versions of these patterns, which are totally available!!).

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As you can see, the Sahara and the Sansa Flares can be dressed up or down. I chose to use Stitchin’ Pretties’ Tie Dye Double Brushed Poly, and a gorgeous Rayon Spandex from Pretty Posh Prints (aff). You can use most knits, as long as they have the required stretch and recovery listed in the individual pattern. Friends of mine had used stretch denim to make their Sansa Flares, and I have used stretch velvet before. The sky is the limit for your wardrobe with these patterns!!

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The back of the Sahara dress is just as elegant and stylish as the front, and will be a great way to kick of a new school year’s wardrobe for your special student or faculty member!!
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And for this Back to School Blog Tour, Bella Sunshine Designs (aff) is having an amazing sale, beginning on August 6th and running until Sunday, the 12th at midnight Eastern!! All girls patterns will be $6; all ladies patterns will be $7; and all bundles will be $12. No coupon code will be needed. How GREAT is this SALE??? You definitely Don’t want to miss it!!

Also, you definitely don’t want to miss the other 2 stops on the Back to School Blog Tour for Bella Sunshine Designs today (or any of the others from this week-long tour)!! Make sure to visit Taish Bruton at http://www.bloomingskies.com for her Josephine Dress blog, and Nathalie Van den Bossche at http://nathaliesneedle.blogspot.be for her Sahara Dress blog!

I have an Itch to Stitch Another Nottingham Tee

Itch to Stitch’s designer has created the cutest top in the Nottingham Tee.  I had the pleasure of testing this new tee with a twist. It comes in sizes 0-20, and has 3 sleeve options.

I sewed up the some luxurious double brushed poly (DBP)  that I got at an AMAZING price from Love Adore Knits (Loveadoreco.com) for my long sleeved version of this adorable top in a size 16.

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I used Sly Fox Fabic’s (slyfoxfabrics.com) wonderful and vibrant DBP for my short-sleeved version.

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This pattern is another that you can dress up or down, and is a super quick and easy sew. The only thing to watch for is the sleeve attachment, as the designer had decided to slightly offset the sleeve for a better drape/ attachment to the bodice of this tee.

Don’t wait to make your first Nottingham Tee. You won’t regret it!

🎵Vacation [Romper] All I Ever Wanted…Had to Get [It Right Away]🎵

What fun it has been not only testing for Ellie and Mac, but being able to join in on their amazing Get Ready for Summer Blog Tour!!

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I decided what says “getting ready for summer” like sewing up Ellie and Mac’s new Vacation Romper? It is SO comfortable and cute and screams summer vacation!!

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I made one change to the instruction on the pattern to be able to achieve my chevron effect from the striped double brushed poly from Mily Mae Fabrics that I chose to use: instead of following the instructions of cutting one Front and one Back piece on the fold, I cut 2 pieces on the bias to create one Front piece and the same for the Back piece. I added in 1/4″ seam allowance to the cut line area to be able to accommodate the new center seam for the newly constructed Front and Back pieces. Then, I had my matched up stripes, forming new chevron-eque patterns for my romper. After that, I followed the tutorial, and voila! A comfy and fun outfit for vacations, or any time.

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To be perfectly honest, I didn’t want to be in vertical “prison stripes” nor to have horizontal stripes, so this chevron saved my fabric and my vanity. Haha AND it was so comfy that when I tried it on, I didn’t want to take it off, and I slept in it. It is Beyond comfortable and snuggly! Plus, as a higher bonus: I have the optional pockets sewn in!!!

It is a quick and easy sew, so if you don’t have this pattern, you should go and grab a copy at https://bit.ly/2rwazyz! And pick up 3-4 yards of delicious fabric at Mily Mae Fabrics!

Please visit all the wonderful bloggers on the Get Ready for Summer Sewing Patterns Blog Tour for some incredible inspirations.

  1. May 7th: Seams Sew Lo
  2. May 8th: Tenille’s Thread
  3. May 9th: Seams Sew Lo
  4. May 10th: The Sewing Goatherd
  5. May 11th: Aurora Designs Fabrics
  6. May 14th: Our Play Place
  7. May 15th: Momma Can Make It
  8. May 16th: Aurora Designs Fabric
  9. May 17th: QuiltsbyJoann
  10. May 18th: Liviality
  11. May 19th: Momma You Can Make It
  12. May 21st: Margarita on the Ross
  13. May 22nd: Sewing Blue
  14. May 23rd: Kathy’s Kwilts and More
  15. May 24th: Momma Newey’s Makes
  16. May 25th: Jot Designs USA
  17. May 28th: The Scatty Sewer
  18. May 29th: Granma Texas Sews
  19. May 30th: Fee Bricolo
  20. May 31st: My Sewing Roots

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the Boardwalk, We’ll Be Having Some Fun…

Testing for Little Kiwis Closet (https://goo.gl/EFuiNZ) for the first time was fun and exciting. They allowed me to test their Women’s Boardwalk Dress (https://goo.gl/nNaKUs), which comes in sizes XS-5XL. It is an adorable pdf dress pattern from a talented Kiwi (New Zealander) designer that comes with 19 options….that was Not a typo…19 options!! For the bodice front, you can choose from a princess paneled front, a plain front, or a cap sleeve. For the back of the bodice, you can choose plain, low, racer, or open back. For the skirt, you are given the options of paneled, 1/2 circle, 3/4 circle, full circle, or hi-low skirt with or without lining, circle waist, or gathered waist, mini, knee, maxi, or curved skirt. Talk about more bang for your buck!!

I chose to make 2 versions of the dress. My first sew was of a paneled front bodice, which a plain back and a 1/2 circle skirt in double brushed poly (DBP) from Knitpop (https://goo.gl/U1SVfT).

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I loved the movement of this dress. Pockets would have been lovely, but with the construction of a 1/2 circle skirt, pockets are not easily made possible (with the paneled skirt, it’s a whole different story!). The bodice fit incredibly well without me having to do any alterations on my 1XL dress pattern.

My second dress was a plain front, racer back, and maxi skirt option. This time, I used double brushed poly from Seweird.com.

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It is one of the most comfortable maxi dresses that I have ever made. even the “plain front” was a great fit, as was the overall size of the racer back. If I make another, I will widen the intersection point of the racer back by an inch. It did not allow a racer-back undergarment to be worn and not be seen with these dimensions in the size 1X, but that is a super easy fix.

I love these looks, just in time for the beautiful spring days, as well as the dog days of summer down south!

I recommend getting this amazing pattern by Little Kiwis Closet!! With 19 options, the fashion possibilities are ENDLESS!! (Well, actually, it’s 1.22 x 10^17, but who’s counting?!?!? Hahahaha). There is one side note: with 19 options, it is an 80+ page pattern…you need to make sure that you read the tutorial first and jot down the pages that you need to print.  The skirt pages might be a little overwhelming-looking, but they are well-marked, and soon, you will see Just how easy it is to assemble and cut it.  (Buy it!! You won’t regret it the next time that you need to whip up a dress!! https://goo.gl/U1SVfT)