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.

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)

BSD Eden Leggings are Truly Heavenly

Bella Sunshine Designs (https://goo.gl/1hS8kh) just celebrated their 3rd anniversary by releasing new patterns, having a great sale, and releasing the Eden Leggings pdf pattern for free! (Please join their group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BellaSunshinePDFLove/ to get the promo code that makes these leggings free at https://goo.gl/1hS8kh).
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With the Eden Leggings, you can dress them up as I did with Mily Mae Fabrics’ flocked double brushed poly (https://milymaefabricshop.com/collections/poly-blends/products/vivian), or down, while you get in a quick workout or lounge about in comfort and style.
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Here, I used Mily Mae Fabrics’ athletic knits in Zen black (https://milymaefabricshop.com/collections/athletic-knit/products/black-zen) and pro-matte bright pink (https://milymaefabricshop.com/collections/athletic-knit/products/pro-matte-bright-pink).

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I used Knitpop.com Jessica fabric for the olive DBP pair (because the fabric’s name was so me! Hahaha), and the Seweird.com for their green damask DBP fabric.

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The Eden leggings can even be done in a capri size, and are available with 3 different rises: Midrise, High Rise, and Super High Rise. I used midrise for most of these leggings, except for the first 2 black pairs (the flocked DBP and the workout pair), in which I used the high rise.

The Eden’s pdf pattern comes layered in sizes 0-30, in 3 rises, 2 lengths, and in A0, paper, and A4 size formats. There is also a matching girls’ Eden pattern!!

Join BSD’s facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BellaSunshinePDFLove/) for the coupon code which makes these free, and to keep up with all of the latest pattern release info, coupons, and specials!

Also, don’t forget to shop the anniversary sale, where existing patterns are available at a 30% discount until March 11th at https://goo.gl/1hS8kh! (excludes new releases)

#BSDEden #bellasunshinedesigns #MilyMaeFabrics #MilyMaeAllDay #MilyMaeMade #Seweird #Knitpop

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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