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-

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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! 

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-

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You Only Turn 38 Once

Hey! It's my birthday!

I'm 38.

Thanks!

Now you only turn 38 once, so I asked my favorite fabric enabler if she might like to make my birthday extra special this year. Boy, oh boy, did she deliver! So just because it's my birthday, we're having a fabric party. There's no cake, just fabric.

(Fun fact: I don't even like frosting.)

If you already know and love LA Finch Fabrics, you may skip to the bottom to collect your party favors. If need to join the Finch Addicts Club, read on. 

Now, there should be no doubt that LA Finch Fabrics is my favorite fabric source. I've been ordering from them since 2015 and practically all my apparel fabric comes from Josie and The Finch Team. Josie scoops up some really great overstock from the LA Fashion District. This means she's rescuing unused fabric from suffering the sad fate of languishing in giant warehouses of orphan textiles. It also means that you get an incredible price because often overstock fabric is sold off by commercial designers at very low prices since they have no use for their overage (think commercial destash). Ultimately, it means every time you buy from LA Finch Fabrics you're doing a good deed and adopting such fabric is on par with rescuing kittens and puppies from shelters. If you rescue enough fabric, you become an actual saint.* La Finch Fabrics also offers fabric from major manufacturers, namely Robert Kaufman and Telio (aka seriously good stuff).

*maybe I'm stretching here, but I'm not taking any chances that buying fabric might get me brownie points in heaven

Big stack of LA Finch. I might have a lot of such stacks in my fabric library.

Big stack of LA Finch. I might have a lot of such stacks in my fabric library.

Some favorite LA Finch makes from the past year-

And some yummy stuff I'm currently lusting after. 

Rayon twill in beige, navy, and bordeaux. These would be great for the Chalk and Notch  Joy Jacket currently in testing .

Rayon twill in beige, navy, and bordeaux. These would be great for the Chalk and Notch Joy Jacket currently in testing.

Black stretch denim. I'm thinking  Ginger Jeans .

Black stretch denim. I'm thinking Ginger Jeans.

Black and grey striped rayon spandex. Great basic tee such as the  Union .

Black and grey striped rayon spandex. Great basic tee such as the Union.

Charcoal melange double knit. It also comes in mustard. This fabric wants to grow up to be some cozy sweaters, maybe the new  Sunday Everyday Sweater .

Charcoal melange double knit. It also comes in mustard. This fabric wants to grow up to be some cozy sweaters, maybe the new Sunday Everyday Sweater.

Vintage floral crepe de chine. I'm gonna be honest. I'm not sure I can cut this one.

Vintage floral crepe de chine. I'm gonna be honest. I'm not sure I can cut this one.

I have mixed feelings about highlighting the end of bolts section of the site. These are my absolute favorite. Generous and very usable cuts (often 2-3 yards) of last chance goodies at really, really great prices.

 

Without any further ado, here's your party favor-

*  Everybody must buy their own fabric    **Oprah does not sponsor or endorse this post.

*Everybody must buy their own fabric

**Oprah does not sponsor or endorse this post.

30% off at La Finch Fabrics!

It's only good for my birthday, today, January 30th, 2018.  

CODE: HAPPYBDAYLONI

(Code is single use per account.)

You know you get free shipping if you spend $75, right?

And because Josie is the most generous fabric peddler around, she's offering one $25 gift card too! This is the kind of frosting I can get behind. To enter the gift card giveaway, use the rafflecopter below, leaving a comment on this post telling us which LA Finch Fabrics you've got the heart eyes for. Giveaway runs now until midnight (Eastern) on February 5th, 2018.

Thanks for celebrating my birthday with an LA Finch Fabrics party!

Fringe

The ever so lovely and talented Gabriela of Chalk and Notch released her new women's pattern, the Fringe Blouse and Dress, last week. I can genuinely say it was an absolute pleasure working with her in testing.

The Fringe is designed for lightweight woven fabrics and accommodates sizes 0-18. There are two neckline and sleeve length variations with optional sleeve tabs. The bodice is relaxed with waist darts for gentle shaping and optional waist ties for a more fitted effect.

Gabriela's instructions are thorough, yet concise and the illustrations are clear.

I tested the button up blouse (view A), using a vintage sheet for a muslin. I cut size 12 (40" bust). The pattern pieces all went together like a dream and it was instantly one of those favorite make kind of sews. The type you want to sew over and over because they just work.

very wearable muslin

very wearable muslin

The style is the perfect balance between fitted and relaxed. The result is effortless style.

I loooovee it. The face is for my bipolar remote. This day, it was either taking no photos or 100 burst shots.

And the curve on the hem is just right.

Most of the seams end up being enclosed, requiring minimal finishing otherwise.

After I knew I loved the fit of my muslin, I made another version in a lovely rayon from LA Finch Fabrics. Truth is I had a one yard cut of this rayon in my stash for probably a year. When Fringe came along, I knew I wanted to use this, so I was really lucky to find some additional yardage. (Thanks for saving the day, Josie!)

AND I BOUGHT MYSELF A REMOTE THAT WORKS. (If you're in the market for a bluetooth remote.)

Yes, my sewing space floor is that fancy schmancy jewelry store blue. :)

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It just so happened that another awesome tester, Indu, made a stunning Fringe dress from the alternate colorway of this rayon. Seeing her perfect version made it clear that this fabric was the right pick. Check out her rendition.

I had to sew up the other neckline as well. (If you're keeping count we're on Fringe #3!) View B is completely without closures and just pops over. I'm just going to go ahead and say it's the most stylish popover I've ever sewn.

This fabric is an exclusive design printed on rayon challis by Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

I used a solid navy challis from my stash for the sleeves (which are view A's, just cuffed) and added a four inch band to the hem by extrapolating the curve of the existing skirt piece.

I had some fun with the facings on my rayon versions, using quilting cotton instead of interfacing the same rayon. This amount of stability for the facings was just right and very easy to work with.

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And then I made one more! (That makes 4!)

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Don't you love the eyelet? It was also sourced from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and can be found here.

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You can see my sleeve tab hiding in there. I wasn't sure how this modified sleeve was going to hang so I added the tab as per the usual construction, but found that I preferred this sleeve straight. I just cut those buggers out after I realized they were visible in my pics.

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So there you have my four versions of Fringe, all top length really. I haven't played with the dress yet or done any major hacking, though I've got several ideas.

If you read this far, you deserve a treat! I've got a copy of the Fringe PDF pattern to give away! (Winner can pick another Chalk and Notch pattern if they have already purchased Fringe.) Thanks so, so much, Gabriela! Enter via Rafflecopter below.