Mantica dress

Look at that stripe matching!  Just look at it!!

Yes, I am happy to say that I paid attention during cutting to try to get the side seams and the front and back all matched up for the plaid version of this cute little dress.

Mantica Dress by Sofilantjes

This knit summer dress was another pattern test for Sofilantjes.  There are options for a gathered, longer skirt, and different color blocking on the back.

I wish she could wear it to school, but no shoulders showing is the dress code.  Still, she can wear it elsewhere over the summer.

It also is a little harder for bra-wearing tween/teen to wear it due to the back, but they can also just wear a nude colored or matching bra.  It seems showing straps is not such a taboo thing anymore.  With the lined bodice, I’m not sure my girl will really need to wear one with it, but she can if it makes her more comfortable.

This dress was mostly made from a complimentary mystery scrap pack that Zenith & Quasar fabric sent to me.  The cuts were only a 1/2 yard, some had flaws, too, so I had to be creative.  Luckily I received two matching plaids, but in different fabric bases.

This plaid dress has many different types of stretch fabric:

  • skirt plaid – scuba knit
  • top plaid – brushed poly
  • red and black – ponte, though different weights and stretch
  • black skirt lining – athletic mesh

So yeah.  The seams didn’t exactly match up as well as I am used to with this pattern maker.  As no one else mentioned the issues I had (which really weren’t many), I can attribute it to the different stretches and weights of fabric I used.

The instructions worked well for attaching everything together.  It is a really cute look!  Make sure to mark the armbands from the pattern, so they all match up at the same spot.  There are reasons for pattern markings.

Then there was the big decision of gold or silver grommets.

I ended up going with gold, and made a cording out of red knit jersey fabric.  Now that I have a tube turner that works, I love using it!  I did not have the correct size grommet setter, though.  I ruined the first waistband, and had to cut another off grain with the remnants of the black I had left.

As for the cording, in the instructions she has you put the cording in at the end.  I knew it would be a huge pain to get it through the holes (though I think I do have a bodkin…somewhere).  I added the cording before sewing the waistband to the skirt, so it was already sandwiched in there.   I just had to make sure it wasn’t near the seam when I was serging it together.

Inside of the dress:

This was the second dress I made.  These dresses are good to use up smaller cuts of fabric you may have laying around.  I had used both of these for clothes for myself, and used up much of the rest of it for this dress.

Fabrics:

  • Flowers – This is a stretch woven that has a nice satin sheen on it.
  • Matte Grey – This is a performance knit
  • Shiny Grey (skirt lining) – An athletic mesh
  • Navy – Rib knit

They worked pretty well together.  I had to piece the back, since I didn’t have enough to cut two skirts on the fold.  When sewing together two fabrics with different stretches, always put the one with the lower stretch on top or else the stitching goes off.  This dress is sewed a lot on the sewing machine, so that is pretty important.

The design on the top part of the dress is two layered vinyl designs in green and a holographic silver.  I purchased the vinyl from Espressions Vinyl.  The designs are my own.

The only issue I really have, design wise is the open pocket on the skirt.  I think on the smaller sizes it works pretty well, but on the larger sizes, you end up having a huge open pocket for the skirt.  It is the entire skirt front.  I mean it works great if you are collecting seashells, picking apples or harvesting veggies, but otherwise…seems a bit excessive.  I understand why she designed it like this – for a cleaner look on the front and no pocket lines showing through.  I just think that what works for littler ones, doesn’t necessarily work the best for someone over 5 ft tall.

So just an  FYI on that.  Overall, seriously cute little summer dress.

When I took the first plaid dress to the Girl to get fit pictures, she was in the process of giving me the tween eyeroll for disturbing her.  She took one look at the dress and deadpanned.

“You like it don’t you??”

“Yessssssss.”

There was much looking in the mirror when she tried it on.

A winner!


Details on the pattern release:

– sale will run from Saturday 00.00 to Monday 00.00 CET (6pm. est)
– Sale price is €5 exl tax (€6,05 incl. eu tax)
– Links:
EN pattern- http://www.sofilantjes.com/…/mantica-tunic-and-dress-pdf-en/

NL patroon- http://www.sofilantjes.com/p…/mantica-tuniek-en-jurk-pdf-nl/

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The Blixen Blazer

It has been awhile since I made a blazer, and Wardrobe by Me was going into testing for one.  The timing was less than ideal.  I had already committed to doing some sample sewing and another test, and then I had a funeral.  I was soooooo very glad when I got this finished.

It turned out very nice, though, so that was my carrot for the trial of accomplishing this pattern.  It took the majority of one week’s sewing.  There are a lot of pieces to cut out, interface and mark/baste stitch/notch.  Luckily it was drafted well, so everything went together nicely.

Blixen Blazer

I did do a few things that made it more difficult:

  • Leather welts and collar
  • Thin, slippery satin lining
  • Non-stretch interfacing

So…don’t do that.  For the first one you make at least.  There were also testers that had issues using scuba knit, since it really didn’t iron flat.  I would not recommend that type of knit.  This was a pretty sturdy ponte knit, and it ironed very well.  The thin, slippery satin lining was the devil’s handmaiden, though.  It acted like I cut it all on the bias.  It suuuuuuuucked.

This blazer looks and feels expensive, and I am very happy with the outcome.

I made a size 12 with no alternations.

There were some changes after this version.  The back notches for the sleeve were not in the right spot, so I had to really iron out some puckers.  In the final version she had them placed correctly.  Mine was made worse, as I did not use a stretch interfacing.  I didn’t have enough tricot interfacing to do the jacket.  I should have ordered more, but this test came up sooner than I thought it would.

This is the peplum back.  If you want it more full, it would be fairly easy to just slash and spread this piece and the lining piece to get a fuller back.

Lots of nice tailoring in this.  The notched collar and back darts.

The front piece has the dart and welt in a combined piece.  The pieces all went together very well.  Christina does a good job at drafting.

I put my buttonhole in wrong.  It should be a horizontal and not vertical hole.  I should have remembered that, but it was the LAST THING I needed to do.  I honestly was so excited I was just about finished.

I think it would be fairly workable to use zippers in the place of the welts, too.  You would just use the interfacing piece to make the pocket facing and the sew the zippers to that piece or a narrow seam around the opening.  That would look pretty nice and modern.

This is the “bane of my existence” lining.  A pretty satin.

Taking photos for this was a challenge due to the angle of the sun.  I also did some cloning on the ground where our mulch needs to get raked back up a bit.  Looks like the kids have some yard work to do! 😉

I love the details with the leather collar and welt pockets, but they do make it more of a challenge.  I used wondertape to hold it in place and also clips instead of pins.  I am actually using my clips a lot more than pins these days.  Makes it a bit faster and I can’t try to sew over them!

If you don’t have shoulder pads on hand, just use some quilt batting.  That is what I usually do now.  It gives it some form, but it still forms well to your body.

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Details on the pattern release sale:

Blixen Blazer on sale for one week for $12 (reg. $15)

 

Oh, and I made my shirt, too, but I will post about that later.  It is hard to get pictures of white shirts.  It actually has an interesting detail on it that really doesn’t show up in these photos.

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Sylva top and tunic

Another test for Sofilantjes patterns!  I like her style of clothes for kids, since they are on trend and comfy.  I still have a few more sizes she can wear in these before she graduates out of them.  They go up to a size 14, and right now she is a 10W and 13L.

Sylva Top and Tunic by Sofilantjes

 

I tested the short-sleeved tunic with the v-neck on the front and back.  This is an interesting design feature.  When I get some more time, I have plans to make the top out of some fun fabric that I have waiting.

There are also options for a piece long sleeve, a placket front and a hood.  It is a pretty versatile pattern!

This is the 10W and 13L.  She was in between sizes for length, so I went with the longer side.  She is growing.  She’s actually wearing my size 8 shoes now, so poor thing is going to have some big feet if she doesn’t stop soon!

This is about the last of this fabric.  I made her a dress out of it a few years ago.

Okay, several years ago…

I modified it, so it fit her longer, but she still doesn’t wear dresses much at all.  Tunics are her thing these days.

This color is so pretty on her, too.

We took these out in our lovely brown backyard.  It was a dismal year for snow, so we are crossing our fingers for an early spring!

Sale details:
– sale will run from Friday 00.00 to Sunday 00.00 CET (6pm. est)
– Sale price is €5 exl tax (€6,05 incl. eu tax)

One last picture of someone overacting for the camera. 😉  I had made her SO MUCH clothes in the last few weeks that she was losing patience with getting pictures.  First world problems for this kid…geez!


I am going to start on summer sewing for her now.  She has PLENTY of winter stuff to wear at this point, and she mostly needs bottoms.

My main plan is summer skorts, since she seems to like the ones I made her in the past.  I will probably use the base from the volleyball shorts I made for her.  I sewed up 4 new pairs for her before the season started.  Love being able to sew them up for much cheaper than I could buy them (they go for $20-$35 each)!

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A few of his favorite things

The boy is into the Assassins’ Creed video game and movie, though he hasn’t actually played the game.  Dad has, and they are pretty cool games, with a bit of history involved in them.

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The boy wanted some shirts with the AC logo on them, and yes, I know…copyright and all that.  We have bought almost all of the games, if that helps. 😉  I also wouldn’t sell these shirts either.

So…I made some shirts for him out of the new men’s raglan pattern by Wardrobe by Me.  These are in size Small for my 5’9″, 115 pound 13 year old.

Bram Raglan Men’s T-shirt

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The length is about 1.5″ longer than the pattern, since some found the first version to be too long.  He’s growing about an inch every two months, so this length from V1 was better for him.

It lays better with the jersey (blue shirt) over the cotton lycra and french terry lycra (black, red shirt).

He loved the shirts!

On a photography related side note…I really need to figure out my new flash.  It is underexposing, so I end up having to do a lot of post processing work in Photoshop.  You can see the color is really off on the black shirt ones.  I set up a backdrop in the basement to get these pictures, and the wall are orange.  You can see that a bit with the color cast.  I miss taking pictures outside!

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Mix and match sparkles

I saw this striped fabric on a custom fabric website and thought it would be perfect for the pattern test I did on the cropped jacket.  Unfortunately, I spent way too much on fabric for these pieces, but sometimes you just gotta splurge.  Most of my fabrics I buy are at a discount fabric warehouse, so I don’t normally spent a lot per yard.

Fabrics:

Here are all of the pieces I made with the above fabrics, and how they can all go together.  I have another few plain black pieces I made for her that will go with them, too.  I bought 2 yards of both the black arrows and the gold sparkle, since she needs over a yard of fabric to make her bottoms.

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Folis Jacket by Sofilantjes (just released)

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This jacket is so cute!  It is an unlined jacket, and pretty easy to throw together.  It also comes in a long jacket and dress.  Any version would be cute.  It is meant to be fitted, so she doesn’t recommend long sleeved shirts underneath.  My girl has skinny arms, so it isn’t as fitted on her as it was on other testers.  I made a 10W and 13L.

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I used most of one yard on the jacket, with and extra half yard for the hood lining and bands.

Domi pants by Sofilantjes

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These were made out of the French terry and I kept it simple.  She didn’t want pockets on the pants, so I left them off.  I also made them long and just hemmed them instead of adding the bands on the bottom.

Nivalis/Hibernis by Sofilantjes mash up

This is similar to the tattoo horse top I made her previously, only I made it short sleeves. (Sorry, didn’t get a picture of it without the jacket!)

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Hibernis by Sofilantjes

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I left off the pockets on this top, and just did the side panel pieces plain.  No cowl either, and I used the hood from the Nivalis pattern.  I added on thumbhole cuffs.

Shenanigans Skort leggings by 5 out of 4 Patterns

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Not Sofilantjes for this one.  I like the leggings from this pattern, and they fit her well.

All the pieces will go well together.  She is wearing a black long sleeved shirt under the hood with some of the pictures, and she also has some plain black leggings, and a pair of black stretch velvet domi pants.  Lots of stuff to mix and match!

A fun tween capsule for her to be able to wear this winter. 🙂

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Make all the hoodies!

My son is a soon to be teenager, and it appears at this age that hoodies are a thing.  He wears hoodies and t-shirts all winter long.  Now, while he has plenty of t-shirts, there is a lack of hoodies.  He had one that fit and a few that were too small but worked, so he was wearing his hoodie that fit for days at a time.  I think it was ready to walk off his floor and put itself in the laundry pile!

I asked in a pattern Facebook group if there were any tween/men’s patterns for a full zip up hoodie and got zero responses to that call.  I looked at Wardrobe by Me’s patterns and she had a hoodie, but it didn’t zip.  After some back and forth with the designer, she decided to release one since there appeared to be a dearth of this style in men’s patterns.  I did the initial test (this is a size Small on my 5′ 8″ 112 pounder), so here are my versions of the hoodie for my boy.  He wanted the character fabric on it, and he was really pleased.  The only difference is that I faced the hood with the character fabric.  On her pattern, it is a self-facing.

She is testing the pattern now, and should be releasing it soon.  I will update with a link when she does.

EDIT:  Just released: Ziggi Zipper Hoodie

These use a 24″ zipper, which is not the easiest to put in with the shifty knits.  It is easier if your main knit doesn’t have a lot of vertical stretch.  I also serged the edge so it would not stretch as much.  Then went really slow.  I think a walking foot would be fantastic here.  I needs one.  The second and third hoodies here went much easier due to lack of vertical stretch.

I put a mark on the zipper edges to make sure they are aligned at the same spot for the pockets.  If they are off even a little bit, it is very noticeable.  I did this for all of them, but unfortunately I was off on the Cylon hoodie.

I bought all of the main fabrics locally at a fabric warehouse.  I didn’t have much luck finding a simple sweatshirt knit, but found these fleece and sherpa backed knits.

Hoodie #1 – Fleece backed knit and custom knit from Sugar Ink Fabrics (Fallout – Vault Boy).  It will match his t-shirt. 😉

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Hoodie #2 – This is a sherpa backed knit with a custom fabric from Sugar Ink Fabrics (Fallout).

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Hoodie #3 – This is another sherpa backed knit with a custom fabric from Sugar Ink Fabrics (Battlestar Gallactica – Cylons).  This one will be extremely warm, so I imagine he will wear it most of the time when it is cold out.  He hasn’t watched Battlestar Gallactica, so I need to introduce him to the cylons. 😉

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Now, he will hopefully be set on hoodies for a little while and I can work on something else! Sooooo much fabric, so little time!

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The poetry of Poison

Last spring I bought these patterned jeans on sale at Justice for my daughter.  I don’t make EVERYTHING that she wears.  These are 14 Slims and I still needed to put elastic in the back waist for them to fit well.  A relatively easy fix, but that is generally the reason why I make a lot of her clothes.  I can’t buy her those yoga pants or leggings, since in order for them to be long enough, they will be too big around the waist. Custom made by mama is a good thing for her.

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I knew I would make a shirt to match, since we live in matchy-matchy town here.  I was thinking of what to put on it and the song from Poison came to mind.

Every rose has its thorn,

just like

every night has its dawn.

rose

I drew up a rose and then cut out the rose and words with HTV.  Of course, I forgot to mirror the words, so I needed to cut them out twice.  Ugh.

I created a folder on Google Drive to share the Silhouette files that I make.  There is also a link on the sidebar here.

The top here is my tester version of the Love Notions Maggie Peplum.

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I had intended to make a top like this anyways, so I volunteered for the test.  It is a pretty simple top to put together, and looks rather nice!  I did a bit of grading here, with a size 14 shoulder and armscye, graded down to a size 7 waist and 14 length.

The only issue I had with the drafting was that the shoulder width was the same for the size 7 and 14.  I think that should be made wider, as well, and not just the neckhole made wider.  This was mentioned.  I haven’t seen the final pattern yet to see if she made a change to the neckline.  I will update if she did.

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The fabric here is a hunter green bamboo cotton lycra knit.  The color didn’t photograph well here.  I was pressed for time, so we didn’t get pictures outside on this one.  We are losing daylight each day. 🙁

Nothing like a good peplum…which is also an ’80’s throwback. 😉

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Celtic Jacket

This jacket was a pattern test that was dropped in the spring.  My pictures are from the spring, so I decided to finally post this since fall is upon us.  As much as she has grown, I doubt it fits her now!

The pattern may come out sometime, but I decided to pull myself from that testing group.  There were a few reasons.

  • My daughter has grown past their highest  size, which shows a bit in this jacket.  It was a 10W and 12L, and it is still a little short on her in the body.
  • They do a lot of dresses, and my daughter is past that.
  • She likes knit and they use a lot of wovens.
  • They also take some shortcuts.  The collar on this should have been a curved mandarin style and the pattern piece was a rectangle.   That shortcut is really bothersome to me, since the collar has wrinkles in it and doesn’t lay correctly. My suggestion was met with much hesitation, before she decided to drop the test for later.  I just *can’t* with that anymore.

The pants she is wearing here are the Emilya’s that are the 12L.  I made them about a year ago.  Obviously, a little short on her here, but they look cute for this outfit.  I would stay away from the Emilya’s for the larger sizes, unless you want to redraft the crotch curve.  It ends up very pointy, so it needs be eased out a bit.  Yes, I did mention this in testing.

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The problem with picking sizing on their patterns, is that they have the chest and waist measurements, but not the height.  When I did the first test, I went by those measurements and it was way too tight (she fit in the size 8 measurements).

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Overall, the jacket turned out cute, and I hope she wears it a little bit.  Not sure that she will, though, since it isn’t “stretchy”.  This kid is all about knit now.  It may just end up going to the give away pile, which makes me bummed since I love the fabric on it.

For a quick kid’s jacket it turned out cute.  If I had bought the pattern, I would have redone the collar and lengthened the body a bit, but this was for a pattern test.   I will watch to see if they come out with this as a pattern.  I’m curious to see if anyone has fit issues.

*Update: I have been informed that this designer is no longer with the company, so it won’t be released by them.  There will also be an update to the Emilya’s pattern soon.

Cooler days are here…time for a new coat

Another challenging garment!  Wardrobe by Me needed testers for their new coat, and I volunteered for it, although I knew I would be pressed for time.  My chronic back pain also ratcheted it up a notch this past month…or so.  As it was, I was late on this.  I used fabric for the outer that I had in my stash, which was a lightweight coating fabric.  The welt pockets and collar are in leather.  The inside is a heavy satin.

Wardrobe by Me – Classic Coat Pattern

Available for a short time for introductory price of $11

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I swear, I tried to get the stripes lined up, but it was shifty.

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It is hard to see all the details, but it has back darts, bust darts, a two-piece sleeve and pleats in the lining.  This was well-done.

The exterior sleeve will need to be eased into the armscye.  Set in sleeves are not that scary.  The best way to do this is to do two rows of gathering stitches in between the notches and ease it into the armsyce.  This generally requires you to pull the armsyce fabric and press down on the gathers while sewing to get it to all eventually lie flat.  Go slow.  Next use your tailor’s ham (get one if you don’t have one, they are not expensive) to iron out any puckers.  The lining did have gathers, though, so that was a part of the pattern.

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I bought some fusible fleece, along with the satin, hoping to add some additional warmth for the coat.  The pattern does not have this in it, so this is extra.  I fused it to the lining, and I cut it out around the pleats and seam allowances to make sure it didn’t add excess bulk.

I had to be careful fusing it to the satin, since I got a new iron and that puppy runs hot!  I melted it in a few places, but it didn’t go through to the front of the fabric, thank goodness.

I was able to get away with a little less on the fabric requirements (used a little over 2 yards on the outer).  This was partly due to the inside facing having less length, as I changed part of to leather.  I cut the leather piece at a page break in the pattern piece.

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It looked like the perfect spot to stop the leather, and it was.

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The collar area was a bit more difficult to follow her directions due to the leather.  I had to change how I constructed it a bit, so it doesn’t look as neat as I would like.

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The undercollar is satin, so a pop of color underneath.

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The welt pockets went together pretty well with the leather.  A tip I saw was to cut out the welt pocket on the pattern so the markings are easier to transfer.

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I basted all the lines with red thread before sewing it up.  I also did this with the darts.  It makes it easier to see on both sides.

The shoulder pads I attached before attaching the lining, so I sewed them into the sleeve head and along the shoulder seam.  They won’t move that way.  It is just a few layers of cotton batting cut in the form of a shoulder pad and straight-stitched along the edge.  No need to go buy one.

One thing that I messed up is the button holes.  Last step, of course.  I put them too far inward.  What can I say…it was 12:30 am and I was tired.

I am very pleased overall with how this turned out.  The outer fabric frayed horribly, but after running it through the serger to close the edges up, it went together really well.

One thing, I think I should have sized up for a roomier coat.  I was between size 10 and 12, so I chose 10.  This may induce me brush the dust off the elliptical. 😉

I even found some bulky yarn that matches the interior.  Time to make a cowl or scarf to match!

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Ode to the skort

Oh skorts, how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways!

#1 My girl is active and doesn’t like to be ladylike.  She crawls on the floor, likes to run around, and doesn’t want to worry about showing her underwear.

#2 Due to #1 above, she really has a hard time wearing skirts.  She just feels uncomfortable in them.

#3 This skort pattern has LEGGINGS.  This means you don’t have to make a bunch of long tops to cover the bottom.  These do it for you! WIN WIN.

This pattern is one I tested for 5 out of 4 Patterns.  It is the Shenanigans Skort and it goes up to a size 18.

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I think it may be a little on the short side, since she fit in the 18 length, which is about a 30″ inseam.  She’s got some long giraffe legs, though.  I also made it 8W, which I think was a little too narrow for her, depending on the fabric.

The black fabric here is almost a ponte, so it doesn’t stretch as much as cotton lycra.  They are tight.

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I am going to print out the pattern again and do a 10W, which then will mean the leggings won’t pull up quite so high to stretch to fit.

This was very easy to make and they really do fit well.  I opted not to add the flounce to the skirt, and made the mid-thigh length.  The length was lowered after this version, so it will be longer in the final version AND if you add the flounce.

The grey top here is the Hibernis by Sofilantjes, with none of the extra features.

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The dip down in front is totally my fault on the black skirt.  I cut the wrong side on the fold.  Work has been kicking my butt lately, and my back has been pretty painful, so lack of sleep is my excuse.

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These blues matched so well, and I am pretty sure I bought them at different times.  I have had them in my stash for several years, so time to use some of it up.  I still have more than a yard of the cotton lycra houndstooth left.   I think they would make good leggings on their own, but I need to watch them in wash.  The fabric bled a bit on the first wash.

The top here is a modified Oliver + S raglan.  I lengthened the sleeves and body a bit, and fixed the neckline.  It didn’t really lay right, so I decreased the width at the top of the raglan and then lowered the neckline.

Pattern matching?  Not so much.  I tried and failed.  Obviously, I didn’t try too hard.  She is into blues right now, and this is going to be a go to outfit for school.  It is super comfy fabric.

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More to come for Back to School sewing.  I am on a roll!  I have several other things cut out and ready to be sewn up.