Lucerne, Lucerne, Lucerne, LUCERNNNNNE!

Here’s the earworm that accompanies my post:

Thanks, Dolly!


Now let’s get to business.

One of my favorite indie pattern designers has done it again! Adrianna of Hey June Handmade has a new top (aka blouse) and it’s more or less the perfect simple woven top pattern. While I’m calling the Lucerne Blouse simple, she’s not short on interesting details.

Stunning tie sleeves or delicate petal sleeves. Both are winners.

You have your choice of 2 included neckline shapes as well, but I’m just now realizing I only sampled the rounded neckline during testing.

it’s a wee bit wrinkled. shoot me.

it’s a wee bit wrinkled. shoot me.

My first version is sewn from a 1 yard cut of some magical micro stripe lawn (ticking?) of unknown source. ETA- I found it! It’s cotton voile, soured from La Mercerie.

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label a la Gwyn, ( she’s clever )

label a la Gwyn, (she’s clever)

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The stupendous Marie-Fluerine made a gorgeous lined lace version during testing and I had to copy her and make myself one right quick. And my trusty stash did not disappoint.

stretch twill Anthro-inspired pants-  blogged

stretch twill Anthro-inspired pants- blogged

This lace version is lined with lawn and sports the petal sleeves. Doing a full lining, one can omit the facing.

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Lace purchased from La Finch Fabrics several years back.

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I hemmed the lining a half inch higher than the outer layer to keep it from hanging below.

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And we’re just getting started! with a super simple general body style, Lucerne is very “hackable,” meaning make a few mods, and you’ve got a new style. So I cut into some of my new Rifle Paper Co. rayon.

Yeah. I pressed a big crease there and didn’t notice. It’s fine. Chill.

Yeah. I pressed a big crease there and didn’t notice. It’s fine. Chill.

And I gave this blouse what I call the Trevi treatment. (Trevi, if you’re not a well-seasoned Hey June patterns enthusiast, is a button-back tank top and dress.)

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Simply cut 2 mirrored back pieces, 1.5 inches away from the fold. Fold the center back under twice (1/4” and 5/8”) and you’ve got yourself a placket. You can make functional buttonholes and stuff, but you already know this blouse fits over your head without closures, so you can go ahead and just sew the buttons on through all the layers. #jazzhands

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The neckline on this blouse is bound with bias and the sleeve pieces have a delicate little rolled hem.

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Now that you’ve got two sexy sleeve variations, you can borrow the methods from Lucerne and add the same details to other tops.

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Take that beautiful tie sleeve and slap it on a button-up.

Cheyenne  in white rayon challis. Black  Ginger jeans .

Cheyenne in white rayon challis. Black Ginger jeans.

Keep the sleeve cap the same as your base pattern; just transfer the slit and sleeve length. Bind that baby and add the tie. You’re a sewing rockstar!

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I think I’ll be copying this ready to wear blouse shortly!

So, thanks for stopping by! I don’t need to tell you you NEED Lucerne in your pattern library, because you already bought it, right? Like yesterday?


[I sewed a straight size 8 for all my versions. (I measure 34” high bust, 35” full bust, 28” waist, 37” hips. 5’5”.)]

Taos Top

Maybe sometimes my blog posts are timely. Maybe sometimes not so much. So while Leslie of Threadbear Garments released her first pattern, the Taos top, back in late January and I’m just getting around to blogging about my experience testing the pattern now.

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Taos is a sleeveless, paneled top with 2 interchangeable necklines and 2 hem options.

I made my first cowl neck version out of some dreamy designer overstock sweater knit I rescued from LA Finch Fabrics’ End of Bolt section. Initially I made size 8 as per the body measurements chart.

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I was somewhat concerned about how I’d style a sleeveless top in the winter, but I quickly discovered it’s a really great layering piece, and I often wear it under my favorite Evergreen jacket.

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I sent the scraps of this sweater knit to Jen and she made a matching Taos for twinning!! Read her post here.

Anthropologie is frequently a source of inspiration for my sewing, so after coming across this sleeveless, vented hem sweater, I needed to make another Taos.

This version is a combination of Joann pucker knit and a burnout.

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I like to wear it under my denim coveralls.

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With just a half an inch of negative ease at the bust, I knew I could try making a Taos with a combination of woven and knit fabrics without sizing down. With exactly a half yard of rib knit from Harts, I was able to squeeze out View A. The center is olive rayon challis (leftovers from this project).

I simply lengthened the armbands and neckband to 100% so that it wouldn’t be stretched over the challis, causing puckering. I wish I had some modeled pictures of this version to share with you. But I didn’t feel like editing my, let’s call them…. apex prominences… out of the shots I took. You’ll just have to settle for Tina’s still lifes. (I very rarely have to edit her nips out.) I would have preferred to have the woven panels at the sides, but the length of rib I had wasn’t long enough to fit the center panel. At any rate, consider this my blessing to try Taos in a combination of fabrics. It makes a great scrap buster in that case!

It just so happens that right after testing for the Taos concluded, I found myself in Kansas City. And KC happens to be where Leslie lives, as well as my BFF, Kate.

I’m wearing a Taos under all those layers, for obvious reasons.

I’m wearing a Taos under all those layers, for obvious reasons.

Leslie and I met up briefly at Fabric Recycles, and yes, she is 16 feet tall. #nofilter

Kate obliged me with taking some pics around KC.

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The Museum at Prairie Fire was incredible, albeit rather cold because JANUARY.

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My final version was made from D&H Fabrics’ black wool jersey. As this fabric was rather stretchy, I was able to size down to a 6 here. Tina is modeling again because I often pair this Taos with my Evergreen too. I also brightened these pics so you could see the lovely seam lines.

This was my first experience sewing wool jersey. I’ve got to say I was surprised that it’s not scratchy in the least and is quite warm. I highly recommend trying some if you haven’t before.

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More chilly KC. Pardon the wrinkles. My duffel bag did that.

More chilly KC. Pardon the wrinkles. My duffel bag did that.

Leslie’s pattern impressed me right off the bat. The PDF was very well organized and professional. She certainly set the bar high and I look forward to seeing what other designs she has up her sleeve.

Mini Fringe

How could I possibly pass up the opportunity to test the pint-sized Fringe? There’s just no way I could skip it (even during December, aka the most frenzied sewing month of the year)!

Chambray sourced from  LA Finch Fabrics

Chambray sourced from LA Finch Fabrics

The women’s #fringedresspattern was my first testing experience for Chalk + Notch. I came away from that test with a new pattern that I loved and also gained the utmost respect for Gabriela as a pattern designer, business woman, and caring human.

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The mini Fringe covers sizes 12m to 12 years and has all the same details you love about the original Fringe Dress.

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The sleeve tab! Gently gathered skirt. Perfectly contoured hem. It’s all there.

And it’s a twirly delight, even in blouse length!

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You might notice this View A testing sample (size 18m) I sewed for my itty bitty 2 year old is a tad wide in the shoulders/ neckline. The thing is Gabriela noticed that right off the bat was was sure to perfect to fit in the testing process. How many designers have you encountered who would add another round of testing to be sure their work is thorough and flawless? It’s this impeccable attention to detail that really speaks volumes about her and her patterns.

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I look forward to sewing some mom and daughter Fringe dresses in the future, but I didn’t have the chance to do so just yet. December is such a hurried month as I mentioned before. Somehow, though, several other testers made it happen!

Alina

Emily

Katie

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Many more details and fabric inspiration in the official pattern release post.

Hey June Brunswick Pullover

My heart skipped about 4 beats when I got the opportunity to test a pattern for Adrianna, the genius behind Hey June Handmade. It’s hard for me to think of an HJ pattern that I haven’t sewn.

Let’s talk Brunswick!

I made a size 10 as per my high bust measurement of 35” and 39” hips. Brunswick is certainly oversized, as you can gather from the finished garment measurements, and has a dramatic drop shoulder with several interchangeable style options.

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The perfect fabric was waiting right in my stash, aspiring to become something amazing. It was actually slated to become a Love Notions Whistler (which I have never sewn), but I’m really glad Brunswick came along at just the right time.

Enabler Alert- They have navy and coral too.

Enabler Alert- They have navy and coral too.

At any rate, this chunky double knit has a little bit more stretch (about 30%) than suggested for Brunswick, but it’s quite stable.

I opted to sew the hood and side plackets.

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The side plackets are a little more involved than the details on a basic sweatshirt, but that’s (part of) what makes Brunswick great.

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I lined the hood with a delicious End of Bolt sweatshirt fleece from LA Finch Fabrics. (Pro tip: really great goodies in the Finch EOBs just waiting to be rescued. I pretty much start all my fabric shopping there.) My cut was only a tad bit more than a yard. You better believe I laid out my pieces in hopes of making a full sweatshirt from this stuff, but I had to stop deluding myself and just use it for the hood.

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I still need to find just the right lace or drawstring for my hood. I’m possibly a bit obsessed with the details on Brunswick.

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I used 4 oversized (30mm) wooden buttons on the side plackets. Love that pop of Rifle Paper fabric.

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I slimmed the sleeve body from the elbow down and removed 1.5” from the cuff width as well. This is fitting modification is outlined in the pattern alterations section.

The final pattern was modified slightly from this testing version; there’s an added cropped cut line (1.5" shorter), the sleeves were shorted by 1", and the cowl (alternate view) was widened by 2" in both directions.

helpers gonna help

helpers gonna help

Here’s some Brunswick rtw inspiration from around the webs to get you inspired-

It is, of course, completely up to you and your fabric whether you choose to size down or make an oversized Orb of Comfort (TM) as Adrianna intended. I do recommend finding a cozy knit with not much stretch and going for the gold, though.

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See Adrianna’s Brunswick release post for more details and go ahead and leave me a comment if you have any questions!

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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Origami

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Hooray! It's finally here!

Pattern testing for the Origami Sweater by Misusu Patterns began back in November of 2017. At the time of the tester call, we didn't know that Elles' incredible design would be the cover look for One Thimble 18.  It was hard keeping this secret for so long, so it's even more exciting to finally get to share.

Origami is a unique and very creative children's wear design made to be sewn with knits. There's an optional kangaroo pocket for the sweater or dress lengths. 

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I had a lot of fun playing with stripes on my version and used a contrasting rib for the inside of the collar.

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That pieced neckline is just ....pick a word- stupendous, amazing, incredible. 

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If Elles' work is new to you, she has several free patterns you can try. There's also a Misusu Patterns Sew & Tell FB group for support, inspiration, and showing off your makes.

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The striped floral knit, Paparounes Crimson, is by Art Gallery Fabrics and is one of my all time favorites. It wasn't until I went to get modeled pictures of the sweater that I found the coordinating leggings I had made the year before in my daughters drawer. Sew perfect!

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Origami includes sizes 9-12m- 13/14y, but I'm hoping Elles will make an adult version for us. Don't you want one for yourself now too?

I'll leave you with some more Origami Sweater inspiration from Instagram. Thanks for stopping by!

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Angelica: Pattern Testing

It's been 2 months since my last post. It's not that I'm not sewing; rather, I sew almost daily, and I finish quite a few projects. It's just that getting nice photos and having the time to sit down and write about them is hard. And I'm supposed to be keeping up with my Continuing Medical Education (CME). Yeah. I think I need to log 80 or so hours by the end of the year. But mostly, I'd rather be sewing. So maybe I blog.

Anyhow! I was pleased to be part of the testing group for JillyAtlanta's latest top, the Angelica. This sweet flutter-sleeved top or dress (both lengths are marked on the pattern) has a rather simple silhouette combined with charming details and impeccable finishings which are typical of Jill's design aesthetic.

I completed 2 tops during testing. One in rayon challis and one in cotton lawn. First up is the rayon.

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Button and loop closure in the back.

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Jill includes instructions for binding the armscye with bias.

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The cotton lawn version is made from a print in the London Calling 7 line from Robert Kaufman.

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There's 3 sets of pleats along the front and back necklines.

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During testing, I extended the back neck binding bias, creating long ties on this version. This became an option for the final pattern.

What I hadn't planned on was that by using 2 very different fabrics, I'd be able to show how drape effects the lines of this garment. 

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The cotton lawn, while more delicate and lighter than quilting cotton, has less drape than the rayon challis. The lawn stands up quite a bit and creates rather dramatic flutters. The challis, on the other hand, is more fluid with cascading flutters that hang down. Both are great fabrics resulting in lovely tops. You may choose one over the other based on your personal preference and the look you're wanting to achieve.

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The Angelica Top pairs nicely with the Jilly Atlanta Mona shorts (which I also tested but didn't get the chance to write about ...unless this counts).

Both fabrics were sourced from LA Finch Fabrics. Some yardage of the rayon challis is still available.

Thanks for stopping by! You can find the full details for the Angelica pattern and purchase her here. She's $7 on release day.

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.