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)

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

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).

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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Onto a sewing a new beginning… Hello! and it’s #SewSofia

Sometimes life gets us all wrapped up in chaos. It’s the little things that help me step out of the entropy cyclone/cycle, depending on what it is. Like so many others, I have a hard time stepping away from any unfinished project or task. Sometimes, this habit is a helpful.  At other times, it can lead to my downfall in another arena (like, say starting my blog, for example). haha Today, I put my little foot down and say ,”Hi! My name is Jess, and I have a problem with procrastinating and focusing too much on a single task.”
BUT, I can remember to make lists and lists and have the best of intentions, and HOPE that I force myself not to neglect this journey.

Most of my blog entries will be sewing-related. It’s my life-blood. It brings me the best feelings, especially when I can share my finished projects with others.

Fair warning: I help a pattern maker with her sewing circle, so there will be a lot of shout outs to Oxana and her awesome patterns, BUT I do love a good pattern and some awesome fabric, so my love gets spread around to a large group that has come to feel like my family.

This week, I am leading a sew-along (SAL) of the Sofia Knit Sweater patter by Sinclair Patterns (available at sinclairpatterns.com for only $5.99 with the promo code SewSofia until the end of January 2018  #SewSofia) starting on Friday, January 12 at https://m.facebook.com/groups/203137420235033. There will be great fun, shenanigans, prizes, and most importantly SEWING of the most beautiful knit sweater! Doesn’t that make you want to join in on the fun??? Even more exciting is that Southernbellefabrics.com has generously agreed to sponsor the SAL, and so now, there will be one grand prize awarded to the winner of a $25 shop credit. Isn’t that even more enticing?? You just need your copy of the pdf pattern, a couple of yards of knit fabric, a few notions, and a device on which to join in on the fun!

I tested this pattern before its release, and I can say without hesitation that it is a flattering and well-made pattern (the Sofia Knit Sweater pdf pattern by Sinclair Patterns). The plus sizes are made with a plus-sized body’s curves in mind, not just a gradation from a size 6. Her detail-oriented patterns are truly works of art.

This fun sewing time will also help me in my quest to sew one item per week for 52 weeks straight. (you can join our quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/192544541303173/).

So, for today, I wish you the best that this new year has to offer, and welcome you in my journey to help spread good cheer, sewing advice, and honest pattern and fabric reviews.