Saturday, April 14, 2018

DIY Swimsuit: Lea Swimsuit Pattern by Laela Jeyne

Whew...I must love this swimsuit pattern a lot to sign up for testing and volunteering to post pics all over blogland in a swimsuit. When I saw the email come through looking for pattern testers, I jumped at the chance, as this swimsuit is exactly what I have been wanting to purchase. What better opportunity than to make it for myself and my measurements? And so, I present to you, the LEA SWIMSUIT by Laela Jeyne Patterns. The link's sale price will be good through April 20.



The pattern is written for dress sizes 00-26 and comes with 2 different views. I chose to create view B, the plunge neckline. I loved the look of view A, which includes a lace panel, but didn't have the needed lace on hand for this test and dragging four young kids all over looking for one sounded unappealing to me. I can't ever imagine why?


However, I knew I wanted the look of lace so after digging around my sewing room I went to my favorite vintage lace trim. I love this stuff and it always just seems to add that special touch to a project. I recently used it on the bottom of this BOHO MAXI DRESS and a way long time ago on a SCHOOLHOUSE TUNIC. I may just cry when this roll runs out. 




In order to use this lace I had to break a sewing rule or two. First, this is not stretch lace. And second, there is probably no part of it that is swimming friendly. To attach it, after constructing the bodice, I gently stretched the cup and stitched it down both sides and the top using a small zig zag stitch. I wanted it to lay flat upon wearing and stretching the fabric slightly while attaching it helped achieve this. If I wanted this suit for swimming and splashing with my kids, well...I would have made view A and put in a panel. But the fact is, this suit is just to have for lounging pool or ocean side feeling fabulous (oh wait, I haven't done that in a very long time- but I have dreams people). 


Now let's take a look at my other favorite feature, the back straps. There are six straps that criss cross in such a fun pattern. I shortened my straps by about an inch to get the right fit. I absolutely love this design feature. It is stylish and adds great support to the suit. 


 I feel like you could play with this design too and lay them out in several styles. So many possibilities! The swim fabric used here is a solid navy swim from Colorado Fabrics (It was purchased at the actual store, not the online site of the former Denver Fabrics).


 Now, as much as I love this suit, there is one part that I will change for personal preference and that is the leg line. The suit above shows exactly how the suit was designed and what you should expect when sewing it up. (Many people testing the pattern loved the bum coverage on this suit). But, my personal preference is a higher, dare I say, more cheekie cut on my suits. The lower leg line isn't my favorite style and I feel a higher cut elongates my legs so I do plan on trying to alter this part of the suit to my taste. Also, the leg elastic is very tight, so do a test run with your elastic wrapped around your thigh before attaching it to the suit and make sure you don't need to add length.

This suit was so much fun to put together. It is fairly easy to assemble as far as swimsuits go, but I would not classify swimsuits as a beginner project. This is my third swimsuit and I learn something new every time. However, they are so much fun to put together and there is something so satisfying about swimming your own suit!

The pattern is on sale for a limited time and can be purchased HERE. I can't wait to see all the creations from the pattern this season and I am already thinking of my next one...now, someone tell my hubby to book us a beach vacation stat.

Until next time- Happy Sewing,
Shannon

**AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of my affiliate
links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for referring you.
Please know that I only recommend resources I believe in and highly
recommend.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

DIY Top: Boho Babydoll by Patterns for Pirates

I wanted to make sure and pop on today because it is the last day to pick up this 
BOHO BABYDOLL pattern at a discounted price. If you have been thinking about the pattern but aren't sure, make sure you head over to the facebook page and check out all the different looks in the P4P Album.  I love how the pattern company provides all the tester pictures in an album because I find them all so inspiring. There are always new ideas to see and love. 


This was the second look I created during testing. My Maxi Dress Version can be seen HERE. For the top I used the XS Scoop Neck bodice, 3/4 sleeves, and size S top Length. 



This scoop neck is LOVE for me! I absolutely adore the way this lies on the body. It is low enough to give a flattering shape without having to worry about any cleavage (not that I would know anything about that).


The gathering sits up high enough to help give a nice silhoutte and hopefully doesn't give a pregnancy vibe. If it does, I don't even care because this top is so comfortable and I can hide my "I had four babies" tummy or a Friday full of chips and queso :) Either way...it's a win! 


Let's talk a sec about the butt coverage too. I love tops that cover my bum. It just helps me feel more confident and comfortable in my clothes and guess what, this top has you covered, literally! 


 But one of my absolute favorite parts of this top is the beautiful fabric. You guys, it is so crazy soft. I received a very generous cut from Bow Button Fabrics in my order and was able to make this top, as well as 3 Stella tops for my sister in law and nieces. This is a Double Brushed Poly in Teal Kimmy Floral and I will be purchasing more for sure. Her shipping was quick and I have been so pleased with the fabric I have ordered so far.

A very special thank you to Shelli Quattlebaum Photography for the pictures. 

Until next time...Happy Sewing, 
Shannon
**AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of my affiliate
links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for referring you.
Please know that I only recommend resources I believe in and highly
recommend.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

DIY Boho Babydoll Dress: Patterns for Pirates

A couple of weeks ago I was thrilled to be selected as a tester for a new Pattern for Pirates sewing pattern that released today! Grab a copy of the BOHO BABYDOLL PATTERN here. If you pick it up this week you will get it at the discounted release price.



Pattern Description: This pattern comes with many options to create a beautiful boho look. Choose from a racer back tank, top or dress with short, 3/4 and long sleeve options, plus top length, skirt length, maxi length and a hi-low hem option. 

Size Range: XXS - Plus3X
Recommended Fabric: Rayon Spandex or other drapey knit





The dress pictured here is the racerback tank option and maxi skirt. I used a Purple Rayon Spandex fabric from Joanns and vintage lace trim on my bottom hem. 


The tank is finished with bands and it gives the tank a beautiful fitted finish. The bands allow an easy option for a lace overlay to be added, I can't wait to try the look.

 This pattern is quick and easy. If you are familiar with knits, this is a great pattern to add to your collection to provide you with many different looks. I will have a top to show you in a couple more days using the same pattern.


Tips for making this pattern: Follow the pattern's advice for gathering. You may want to cheat and take short cuts but it will leave you disappointed. Spend the time to gather the front and back separately. And make sure to use two rows of gathering stitches. Then pin like crazy and attach the skirt to the bodice slowly using a basting stitch. Once it looks the way you like, stitch it on with a permanent stitch. 


Tips for the length: I personally prefer a long maxi that I can wear heels with and still have it graze the floor. I shortened this skirt 1/2 inch per pattern suggestions for my height. It just touches the floor in the back while barefoot. Since I was going for a boho look (how fitting that they ended up naming the pattern Boho Babydoll :) ) I decided to go barefoot in my photos.  If I were to make another dress to wear with heels I would make sure to not shorten the skirt at all and maybe take up less of a hem if needed. 


This dress is fabulously comfortable and a great addition for my spring and summer wardrobe. 


Thank you so much to Shelli at SHELLIQUATTLEBAUM photography for the lovely pictures.

Shannon

Friday, March 30, 2018

DIY Mommy and Daughter Dresses: Lodo and Isla Dresses




Today I am so happy to finally be able to post some pictures taken by the wonderful Shelli at Shelli Quattlebaum Photography   She has taken several for me that I am unable to share until some patterns are released...so until then, I hope you enjoy these two looks I created last year and am finally getting modeled photos.


The two patterns used here are: The Lodo Dress by True Bias and the Isla Dress by Simple Life Pattern Company. Both of these dresses are favorite patterns of mine. The Lodo is a such a quick and easy sew, yet provides an elegant little dress for your wardrobe. The Isla is a fun girl's pattern with many options.



My daughter loves the twirly factor of the skirt on the Isla. I love the options included on the pattern and that it comes together fairly quickly. I cheated and didn't hem the skirt so...it was super quick :)
Since this was made last year it is getting to be on the short side, but my daughter still loves wearing it and will probably not be happy when it is pulled from her closet to give to her younger cousins.





The Lodo Dress is truly a quick and simple sew. It uses a more stable knit fabric with woven facings. The fabric on both of these dresses was a seasonal knit fabric from Hobby Lobby. I wish I would have picked up more because I absolutely love it. It is a firmer knit with a gold floral design on top of a pink textured knit.  I am trying to squeeze out a bralette from the little remnant I have left. 



There is a center back seam on the dress which allows for some shaping. The style of dress is slightly cocoon shaped; wider at the top while narrowing thru the hip. It is comfortable and I see many more in my future. I made a winter version of this dress in a black suede scuba and hacked a bell sleeve onto it...if I ever get decent pictures I will share.



Happy Sewing,
Shannon

Thursday, March 22, 2018

DIY Waterfall Raglan Top

Well I am a little late to the WATERFALL RAGLAN party but I finally sewed up my Chalk and Notch pattern last week. This was a quick and easy sew. I love the pattern and after reading several reviews about the amount of ease I decided to size down one size. I still ended up taking it in quite a bit in the sleeves and I think I may go back and take in the side seams to decrease the volume.


 I used a soft MUSTARD rayon spandex fabric from LA FINCH FABRICS that is no longer on the website. The fabric drapes really well and the top is super soft and comfy. I plan to make more of these and modify the pattern a bit for summer. This a great beginner friendly pattern for knits with only a few seams and pieces. You do have to gather the ruffle but Gabriela makes everything easy in her very detailed instructions.



Pattern Modifications: Other than sizing down and taking in the sleeve, the pattern was not modified.





Monday, March 12, 2018

DIY New Horizons Portlander Pants Review



I may or may not have a problem. I discovered one of the comfiest pairs of pants that I have ever put on AND it happens to be a sewing pattern that I own. Enter, problem. Now that I have discovered how quickly a pair of these pants can go together, coupled with how extremely comfortable they are; I truly have a hard time putting on anything else. I would be lying if I said I haven't debated wearing them out of the house on several occasions and in fact that is specifically why I made a sweatshirt fleece pair...I mean, its just like wearing sweatpants which I would totally do outside of the house!  


Here is my current collection. While my hubby thinks the floral is reminiscent of his Aunt's 1970's sofa, I personally love that pair. They are sewn in a french terry from Sly Fox Fabrics. I made those in the size 4 and feel like the fit is perfect. Somewhat fitted through the booty and upper leg and then a nice flare. 

The blue on the far left is a french terry from Hobby Lobby that is no where near as stretchy or soft as the floral pair. They are a size 6 and probably get worn the least because the fabric is much tighter. 

The pink and blue stripe is from...wait for it...Walmart. And it's around $10 bucks for 3 yards. These have turned out to be one of the most comfortable pairs I own. This fabric is super light weight and soooo comfortable. However, it majorly stretches and therefore if you make a pair in any of the many color ways this fabric comes in, you may want to size down. I made the 6 and feel like they are about 1-2 sizes too big. 

Finally, my latest pair of Portlanders and also my current fave- the navy sweatshirt fleece from Joann Fabric. These are nice and soft, super cozy on the inside and a bit heavier for warmth. I also made these in the 6 as I was concerned the fleece didn't have much stretch and they feel great. I wish I had better photos to show you of all these pants but these were the only somewhat not blurry photos I could save...oops! 

So...where's the big pattern review?? Who needs it...go get the pattern ASAP and make yourself a million pairs of the world's most comfortable pants. That is all you need to know. Till next time, happy sewing!

Pattern: Portlanders by New Horizons Designs

Sunday, March 4, 2018

DIY Tami Revolution Hoodie by New Horizons Designs

When I discovered New Horizons Designs and found the Tami Hoodie and the Portlanders, I went a little crazy. I really, really, really felt that they needed to be in my life and at that very moment. Fortunately for me, they were having a sale, and they quickly jumped into my cart! Lest you think I lay around in lacy bras and backless tops all the time (see previous post) you should know that I am much more of a sweatshirt, jeans, or sweatpants kind of girl. And...90% of the time you will find me in either my Tami hoodies or Portlanders (but that's a whole post of its own).

Enter my sweatshirt dreams come true...

Pattern Description & Suggested Fabric:
The TAMI Revolution Hoodie includes double hood, crossover hood, standard hood, front zip up, thumbhole cuffs and optional shoulder zip accent. No serger required! No special tools needed. Comes in sizes xx-small, x-small, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26.
Pattern made for sweatshirt fleece, fleece, french terry, medium – thick knits with 25% stretch.
I used fabric from Joanns for my pink and gray version. This is the regular length, side pocket, double cross over hood option.


Does it look like the pattern envelope or drawing when you were done sewing? Yes


Were the instructions easy to follow? 
 Yes, I believe the instructions were easy to follow but I would not say this pattern is beginner friendly. The pink and gray version took me forever to finish because of silly mistakes on my part. Here's a friendly tip...don't use a triple stitch seam when attaching your hood, baste it first! I accidentally sewed my hood on backwards and couldn't figure out why the top was choking me when I wore it. Ripping out the triple stitch took forever!!!


This gray bonded knit is also from Joanns and the blue floral french terry is from Sly Fox Fabrics.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? 
I loved the look of the double cross over hood and the thumb hole cuffs. This was my first time sewing the cuffs and while I love them, I have learned they aren't the most practical for a stay at home mom whose hands are always being washed, doing dishes, cleaning up after kids, etc. I love the slim fit of the sweatshirt and how cozy it is. I am usually always cold and this fabric is crazy warm.

Pattern Alterations/Design Changes you made? 
The only thing I did was shorten my gray sweatshirt. I originally cut the longer length, but once on I decided to shorten to the regular top length. Oh, and of course, sewing the hood on backwards as I mentioned earlier - which does not make for a wearable fit and I do not recommend :)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Definetly, I have many more planned, just need to start cranking them out. I would recommend this pattern to those who are comfortable sewing with knits and have some experience sewing clothing patterns.