Pixie Dress

I've got to be honest. Lately I've been feeling a bit ho hum and unmotivated with sewing. Pattern testing is a great motivator though (deadlines, camaraderie, a new pattern), so I jumped on the tester call for the Pixie Tee by Chalk and Notch.

I pretty much love all of Gabriela's patterns. She has an incredible eye for on trend and interesting design elements. Each pattern she puts out feels fresh and different. So while Pixie is a tee pattern, it's anything but basic and ordinary. 

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The shoulder is slightly dropped and there's 2 options for the hem as well as 2 sleeve options AND dress length included.

Since I was looking to add some spark to my sewing, I took myself out of my comfort zone here and sewed a dress version of Pixie. 

 knees!

knees!

I used a brushed poly found in my stash (sourced from LA Finch Fabrics, if memory serves) so in essence this dress is pretty much like wearing a dreamy cloud.

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If it weren't a billion degrees outside, I'd totally be sewing this view of Pixie in chunky sweater knit fabric, perhaps with a funnel neck modification. Oh, yes. Bring on fall.

 Modeled with a  Joy Jacket .

Modeled with a Joy Jacket.

While I haven't played with the tie hem option yet(!), I've actually been sewing a lot of Pixies since testing. I'm hoping to perfect a hack to share soon. 

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Lots of great #pixieteepattern inspiration already on The 'Gram-

This pattern was very graciously given away for free to subscribers of the Chalk and Notch newsletter in much the same way Gabriela offered the Pony tank for free last summer. If you weren't on the list before the emails with the free code went out, I'm happy to report I've got an opportunity to give away a copy of the Pixie PDF pattern. Enter via the Rafflecopter below. (But do go ahead and get yourself on the Chalk and Notch newsletter list, already. Duh.) Thanks for stopping by! 

Summer Whites

June is coming to a close and I was feeling really proud of the little collection I sewed in May for #letssewthistogether. Here's a quick summary of my makes-

  1. Foxglove tank- Only $5 when purchased straight from Baste + Gather ($12 on other sites!). I love the hi-lo silhouette. It can be sewn in knit and woven fabrics so it covers all the bases.
  2. Modified Key Largo- this simple woven top is designed with the ties at the center front seam. I moved them to the right side seam for a variation on the theme. 
  3. Pony tank with a scoop neck- Pony was offered for free last summer, but she's $12 now. At any rate, she's a great pattern and she sews up really quickly with a scoop neck
  4. Modified Matcha top (not shown above)- I was aiming for a "Roscoe" without having to pay for a new pattern. I swapped out the collar and instead finished the neckline with a long bias tie (using the marking from the collar as a guide) and voila. 
  5. Phoenix blouse- With a front and back yoke, the neckline on this top finishes beautifully without any bias. I'm looking forward to trying another version with a modified front yoke. 
  6. Jamie jeans- I didn't intend for these to be white and on theme, but I'm a very impatient person and I cannot be trusted with bleach. After several attempts to lighten some deep indigo denim that was leftover from another project I found myself completely removing all the color with Rit color remover.
  7. Lane raglan- I used woven eyelet for the back, cropped the hem and added a wide band (and even a pocket! Who am I?). Completely enamored.
  8. Union St tee- a gift for a childcare giver. I blocked a simple yoke in the back and used the same woven eyelet as above.
  9. Durango tank- completely free pattern from Hey June! You don't even have to join her facebook group or sign up for her newsletter. I think the armscye runs pretty low (it's not to hard to raise it), but I love the general style. Thanks, Adrianna!
  10. "Birkanders"- I love the general style of Lander pants, but I can't get on board with non-stretch pants, so I used the Birkin flares pattern (was actually the first pair of jeans I ever made) and just drafted some patch pockets in the style of the ones on Landers. I think these were reasonably successful (and so very comfy because spandex).

Hmmm. Five out of ten were Hey June patterns. Safe to say I'm a fan! While I managed to sew 10 garments that month, I somehow still have a very sizable stack of white fabrics. Le sigh!

 

May's #LetsSewThisTogether Inspiration

I never do this, but I got so excited about May's #letssewthistogther theme that I decided an inspiration post was in order. If you know me, you know I'm not the planning or pinterest board type. That's just how eager I am to get started sewing white pieces for my summer wardrobe.  Let's begin with these white crops from J. Crew-

White cropped Lander Pants, no!? I have so many heart eyes for these.

I don't actually own the Lander Pants pattern, but it calls for non-stretch fabric. I may sub the Birkin Flares pattern here (I've made them once before) which is designed for stretch denim and just do the slight mods for the patch pockets and straighter legs.

LA Finch Fabrics (our sponsor for May!) has 2 white stretch denims in stock. They both sound yummy.

 Fashion Denim Off-White Cupro Blend Woven (sold out)

Fashion Denim Off-White Cupro Blend Woven (sold out)

 Famous Maker Off-White Tencel Blend Stretch Denim

Famous Maker Off-White Tencel Blend Stretch Denim

Amber (@soisewedthis)'s recent top in eyelet is completely just-go-ahead-and-copy-that-for-myself material. I mean it just screams perfection! She used Butterick 6100, but I'm tempted to use the Hey June Key Largo (again).

 

I have been known to covet eyelet so I've got a few options on that front in my stash already.

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This one is available from LA Finch-

 Espana Daisy White Cotton Eyelet

Espana Daisy White Cotton Eyelet

While we're talking about eyelet, check out the back of this raglan sweatshirt-

I'd use the Lane Raglan pattern (sized up and boxier) since I have it in my arsenal already or the Linden Sweatshirt pattern.

I need to double check if I have some white French terry in my stash, but if not, I'll grab this one from LA Finch-

 French Terry Designer Off-White Knit

French Terry Designer Off-White Knit

How about this $278 gem from Anthropologie?!

I mean Farrah is close enough for me! (And I already own the pattern and have sewn it.)

I think I even have some white cotton lawn in my stash...

 

Check out Tami (@sewsophielynn)'s tester version of Farrah in white swiss dot!

Her blog post has lots of photos and more details on the pattern.

 

A white version of the Evergreen jacket also sounds like a fun project. I've probably already bitten off more than I can chew with the projects listed above, but just maybe!!!

 

 

I hope you'll sew some whites for your summer wardrobe with Jen and I in May. We've got a couple prizes to give away, so be sure to use the #letssewthistogether tag. Details here.

2018 Lotte Martens Blog Tour

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It's been quite a delight working with some unique textiles from Lotte Martens again. I wrote a little bit more about Lotte Martens in my previous post.

This year, Lotte Martens sent one panel of this exquisite metallic gold printed viscose/poly twill, Vurdoorn/FIREPLACE 019 and another new treat (I'll get to that in a bit). 

 

I was able to make the best use of the 24" x 58" panel and its asymmetric print by pairing it with a Cloud9 glimmer solid.

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The neckline, armholes, and hem were finished with gold raindrop bias. I've never regretted spending the extra time and effort on finishing a garment with bias.

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I absolutely love it. It's an easy to wear yet very dressy top. I just need to drop some hints to the hubby that it's about time he took me out on the town.

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I had just picked up the necklace in Columbus this past weekend from a little boutique, Red Giraffe Designs. It turned out to be the perfect accessory for this tank.

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While the Foxglove has a bit of a racer-back cut, the straps are wide enough that you don't necessarily need a special cut for any undergarments.

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Lotte Martens textiles are currently only sold in stores located Belgium and Europe so I'll keep rooting for a US vendor to partner with them.

For lots of other inspiring designs and general eye candy, check out the #lottemartens tag on Instagram.

As I mentioned back at the top, the package I received also contained something else exciting, one of Lotte Martens' DIY kits. I'm pleased to get to pass this on to a reader in the US. (Enter via the rafflecopter that follows. Ends April 1st.)

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A Tale of 2 Cheyennes

I'm havin' sew much fun (#sorrynotsorry) sewing 2 different versions of the Cheyenne Tunic pattern by Hey June that I decided I wanted to put the details on the blog (I'm otherwise pretty horrible at taking notes) and I'll be adding to this post to keep time with the sew along that Grace of Maker Mountain is hosting. (Note- the sew along has ended, but I'm sure Grace will host another. If you're in her FB group or follow her on IG you can catch the next one.)

This isn't my first time in the Cheyenne rodeo. I made this white one last fall; it's a crisp, tight twill. So, I haven't tried all the views and options, and I just love joining sew alongs and other sewing challenges for the extra sewcial support. (I owe Grace a big thank you for pushing me to sew my first Lane raglan when she hosted a sew along for that pattern.)


Day 1-

The first day was about picking fabric, size and options. I pulled a few fabrics from my stash that were speaking to me and polled the InstaCrowd to help me decide. 

My measurements are- chest 36" (high bust 35"), waist 29/30", hips 39/40" and I chose to prep my pattern in size small. I shortened the long sleeve pattern piece 1" somewhat arbitrarily as the suggestion is for petites to remove 2" and I'm 5'5".

I printed both views and all the pattern options just to have them. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to try making a sleeveless Cheyenne using the mods outined on the Hey June blog. It sounds easy enough! And since I own and have sewn Biscayne, I used that pattern as my guide for the new armscyes.


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Day 2-

Just cutting and interfacing today. Yeah. No big deal.

Except it took me forever. I ended up deciding to use a light windowpane plaid I found in my stash (Yup. Not one of the original 4 I pulled.) for a full button-up, collared version with long sleeves. And I tried to strategize plaid matching having not eaten lunch. Yeesh. A headache ensued.

I was confused by the interfacing instructions for the long sleeve cuffs. The cuffs are 'cut 2 on fold' and the interfacing is 'cut 1 on fold.' Well, you need to then cut the interfacing in half so you can interface one half of each cuff. Cutting 2 of the interfacing NOT on the fold jives with my brain better. So after scratching my head a bit and studying the instructions, that's how I did it.

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I had to cut my bonus Cheyenne (vintage floral chambray) after getting some adulting out of the way so this photo was taken at night. (Makes it feel a bit like a day and night challenge, and I'm still giggling about that.) I opted for the half placket (popover) view, modified to be sleeveless. It was such a joy cutting this out with pretty much zero regard to the pattern on the fabric. I hope I did it right!


Day 3-

 Isn't that chambray gorgeous in daylight?

Isn't that chambray gorgeous in daylight?

Plackets today. Well. plackets can be pretty tricky so I'm thankful for the sew along on the Hey June blog for these steps. I didn't know the sew along existed until after I had sewn my first Cheyenne way back when and boy was I kicking myself for not thinking to check for it then. 

You could add buttonholes and buttons at this point. I'm a fan of choosing button placement when you've got a more finished garment that you can try on and can test the button locations by pinning, so I held off.

I shortened the placket pieces for the half placket by an inch and a half (and cut the center slit shorter by the same amount) since I recall the placket being a bit long on my frame in my previous Cheyenne.

Ultimately, I wasn't sure which buttons I was going to use, so I'm letting my options percolate a bit more.

The gingham ones might just be perfect or too over the top. It's a fine line.

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Day 4-

First they were burritos.

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And then they were practically shirts!

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Along the way, there was a very happy moment when I turned the flannel one and discovered this happy accident here.

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But I also discovered the front and back side seams on the chambray version were not the same length. Somehow when I adjusted the armscye to make it sleeveless I ended up changing the side seam length. Or maybe I just cut the front at the shirt line and the back at tunic. Who knows. Anyway, it wasn't anything my rotary cutter couldn't fix. 


Day 5-

Very little progress. I think I was busy trying to cull my large fabric stores (aka destash).

This sleeve placket is all I have to show.

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Day 6, aka The Finish-

It all finally came together. I set the sleeves on the flannel version. 

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I basted the side seams and tried her on and decided to alter the hem line a tad. I scooped out side using my dressmaker's curve as a guide. Then finished the hem with chambray bias. Just because I liked adding those little hints of chambray.

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Added the cuffs, buttonholes and buttons. She's ready to show off tomorrow!

The sleeveless version had a lot less work left. Just the hem, side seams, and armscye finishing. I like to do French bias binding most often. Here's my go to tutorial when I need a refresher. She just needs one snap to keep the placket closed. I'll sew it on tomorrow. Because hand-sewing is not my favorite sewing.

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Day 7- Show it off

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and it's safe to say I love it.

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I really love the extra scoop out of the hem in this longer length.

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(Are my sleeves too long? The cuff hangs past my wrist. Although I had shortened them an inch, I wonder if I might be able to improve the fit a bit more.)

Pardon the wrinkles. I did my pictures in the wrong order, having worn it first to ihop for breakfast (nom!) and then did my flat, detail shots.

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The finish is just superb. You could practically wear Cheyenne inside out.

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The (bonus!) sleeveless one. It came out a wee bit snug across the chest, which is my fault and a result of how I modified the armscye. I think I also raised it a tad too much. But it's still very wearable. I just had to hand stitch a snap inside the placket this morning. (I opened my hoarded Thread Heaven!)

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This one is cut to shirt length and has a simple tiny hem.

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I'd love to hear any tips you might have on improving my finish on the collar of this version. It's rather bulky at the corners. 

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I'll leave with 2 things. First- my favorite outtake. I really shouldn't try to be suave.

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And second- check out all the other great Cheyennes made for the sew along and shared on IG under the tag #mmfsewscheyenne! It was really a lot of fun seeing so many different permutations of this pattern come together over the past week. Thanks again, Grace! I look forward to the next one. 

New Favorite Halifax

Does every new thing you make suddenly become your new favorite thing? It happens to me almost every time. (I'm excluding my Stubborn Sewist makes, naturally. I don't want to talk about those.) 

Anyhoozle, I sewed another view of the Halifax hoodie pattern last night (finally). I previously played with view E because I love the diagonal side seams. I used some luscious modal French terry from La Finch fabrics, one of the fabrics chosen for February's #letssewthistogether. 

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Now, I know it's March, but February is short and I had a bit of a sickness come over me in February. I was bitten by the No Fear New Jeans bug that spread rapidly after being introduced by Closet Case. I'm digressing as per usual.

Back to my new favorite Halifax!

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I lined the hood and the pockets with a light weight white sweater-y rib.

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This made the pockets a bit bulky where the zipper is attached, but I'm still very happy with the overall outcome.

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My favorite detail is the twill tape used to finish the zipper. I honestly wasn't expecting this because I'm guilty of not reading through the pattern instructions before starting a project. So it was late last night when I got to the steps for installing the zipper and, well, this was the twill tape I had on hand. I love it. It's details like these that really make making your own clothes rewarding. (One word of caution on this twill tape. It's the first time I've used this particular one in clothing so I can't attest to how it holds up with laundering.)

I would love to get some personalized twill tape to use for future makes. Wanna recommend a vendor (from etsy, for example)?

And I love how it fits! I cut a straight size small after sewing several in size medium and finding them pretty over-sized. (Body measurements- bust 36", hips 40".) I also find that the shoulders are a tad wide for me on Hey June patterns, so I shave 1/2" off the armscye.

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I used a two-way jacket zip, because I think they're fun and they add a little bit more bling.

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 ready to wear inspiration

ready to wear inspiration

I think the only other little tweak I'd do for my next one is to make the bottom band one continuous piece instead of having seams at the side seams. And I do plan to make another one immediately. I've got some brushed poly with extra lycra that's very similar in fiber content to a rtw hoodie I received for Christmas.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, Joy!

I had a lot of fun (which is obviously my m.o.) testing the Joy Jacket pattern by Chalk and Notch and I'm excited to share my experience with you. 

The touching story behind this pattern is that it was inspired by a jacket that was once Emily, @enjoyful_makes,'s mother's. She explained in the release post-

Amazing, right?


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I sewed my View B sample in Indiesew Ice Tencel Twill (purchased from Sew To Speak when they had the trunk show last fall). It's incredibly soft and thick while being fluid and drapey. A very unique fabric. I particularly love the color variation as it almost looks a bit distressed. If you can find any of this stuff, BUY IT. #buyitall

It's actually the same material Emily had been saving to use for this jacket. I was pretty nervous cutting into it, especially as an early phase tester, but I also had a lot of confidence in Gabriela's pattern.

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 and this is all that remains of the most glorious fabric ever

and this is all that remains of the most glorious fabric ever

View B features a hood and angled pockets, but you can certainly use either pocket with either view. There's also optional drawstrings for the hood or collar as well as at the hem.

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My first version is unlined, except the hood. The pattern is written for making a fully-lined jacket, but Gabriela is planning a blog post about the simple changes to make when sewing Joy without a lining.

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There's great seam lines which are an opportunity to play with top stitching.

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And it is so easy to wear.

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Gabriela's patterns are drafted for a height of 5'7", so while I'm about 5'5", I didn't shorten the jacket bodice, only the sleeves 1-1.5". 

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I just had to sew the other view of Joy as well. For my second version I used the black tencel twill offered by La Mercerie. This material is absolutely soft, luscious, and drapey, making it a great option for Joy.

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There's a generous 3/4" seam allowance on the seam between the front and back sleeve pieces to allow for shoulder shaping.

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I used 2-way jacket zippers on both my samples since A) I'm shorter than the height the jacket is drafted for and liked the length of my muslin and B) I like being able to keep the jacket zipped up on top without it pulling or bunching when seated.

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My lining is a bold cotton lawn also sourced from La Mercerie. Prepare yourself for gratuitous pics on the teal floor. #sorrynotsorry

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What's really great about Joy is that while it's a stylish jacket with great details, it won't literally take you years to sew one for yourself (as I've heard some anoraks take that long to make).

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Ok. Enough awkward modeling. Here's the fun part that you showed up for-

I've got a copy of the Joy Jacket pattern to give away and because I ended up with several zippers (having ordered from multiple sites in order to get them on time for the testing deadline), I'm adding 2 zippers to the prize! These zippers are 28 inches, the length recommended for sizes 8-18.

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Enter to win a copy of the pattern and two 28" jacket zippers through the Rafflecopter below- 

Don't worry, I still have 4 zippers for myself and I've already got fabric set aside for 2 more Joys! (I heard to expect a sew along soon. ;) )

  Burgundy rayon twill  from La Finch Fabrics and cotton lawn Hangers in Cream by Rashida Coleman-Hale (Cotton and Steel)

Burgundy rayon twill from La Finch Fabrics and cotton lawn Hangers in Cream by Rashida Coleman-Hale (Cotton and Steel)

 Navy rayon twill (sold out) from La Finch Fabrics and rayon Frock 2015 (Cotton and Steel)

Navy rayon twill (sold out) from La Finch Fabrics and rayon Frock 2015 (Cotton and Steel)

 

Check out all the Joy on IG-