Hey there, lovelies! Welcome to day 3 of the Sew, What Do I Wear? Vacation Edition tour! Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates have been hosting these tours for a little while now and they're so fun to read, I'm excited to finally be a part of one. :D

It's almost Summer time! Is anyone traveling anywhere fun this Summer with their family? My husband and I are headed to Alaska for a quick trip to visit my sister and her boyfriend. They work in a tiny town named Talkeetna. I've spend a couple of Summers up there over the years but this time i'm excited to do touristy things and show Devin the town and Denali. We'll spend most of our time in little local breweries, by the river, and a few short hikes. The question always comes up, "What do I wear?" So, I sewed a few pieces to help get me started! 


First, I sewed up the Mama Isabel from Made for Mermaids. 


This is a simple wrap dress that sews up so quick! I mean quick. Like two-hours-from-printing-to-modeling quick. 


I sewed a combo of sizes Pink and Purple. (No I'm not having a stroke.) M4M does body positive sizing so they're all colors! Pink is a little smaller so the bust is pink, the waist / hips are purple. Honestly, because I used such a stretchy knit, I could have used all pink and have been just fine. :)


I chose a casual and cute bohemian feel, as we're just going to be doing "outdoor" events while we're vacationing. I wanted to blend in to the boho eclectic vibe that is Talkeetna.


This is just a close up to show off my new coverstitch serger combo! When my husband heard I wanted a new toy he said "why don't we go buy it?" So, that's the story of how I adopted a brand new Babylock Evolution! I'm a lucky lady. <3

  
For my final piece I sewed the Cross My Heart Cami from Patterns for Pirates. I've had my eye on this one for awhile. It's so Kyema and it's so trendy. I own several tanks that have this style so it's awesome that I can sew my own! I love P4P for that reason, Judy makes patterns that are in the stores NOW. 


I sewed a combo of the S and XS. Same as M4M, XS on the top and S on the waist. I should have sized up because I used my knit in the wrong direction. I just couldn't pass up that boarder print! It looks too cute. My intention was to wear the "V" in the front with the low cross, but I'll have to extend the "X" straps a little if I want to do that next time. Guess the "boobs" stretch a little more than the fabric. ;)


Washington weather is nothing if not predictably freezing and cold. Hence, the goosebumps. I really just wanted to show off my coverstitch ... and my new necklace from Katy at Thread & Grain! I love this thing to pieces! I wear it almost everyday and get asked about it all the time!


Everything sews up so smooth on a coverstitch! I am so in love!
If you're wondering where I got these cute fabrics, please check out Sincerely Rylee Fabrics. She carries gorgeous florals and most recently, trendy bohemian prints.

Both of these patterns will be sewed again! I hope you enjoy and please check out the Made for Mermaids blog to keep up with all the other gorgeous ladies' blogs who are sewing their vacation wear, too. :)


*This post contains affiliate links to help fund my wine and whine obsession*

***Greenstyle patterns are 25% off right now through 5/31 for memorial day with code CELEBRATEGS.***

The craziness is over! My wedding was wonderful, thank you for asking. I'd love to say I'm basking in sunny Cabo right now, but really I'm sitting in a freezing building in Gig Harbor Washington looking longingly at the bright sun rays shining outside wishing I was hiking Mt. Rainier or lounging on the beach. Family has come and gone, and now it's (as Rhianna so eloquently put it.) Work, work, work for the holiday weekend. Speaking of the weekend and sunny, sunny Summer, if you aren't workout ready, or activity ready, you should definitely check out the new workout pattern from Greenstyle Creations. Angelynn has been leading the pack with awesome active wear patterns that have quickly become my favorite.

Let me introduce you to your new Summer crush, the Greenstyle Creations Moxi Shorts


The Moxi Shorts Feature
-Sizes 0-18 (hips size from 31" - 52")
-Waistband Zipper Pocket
-Briefs or Thong option
-Add-on Compression shorts
-Layered Printing (Also A4)
-No Trim Pages
-Sew with knit or stretch woven


I wore these for a quick jont in the park. Ghaa. It's so awkward to have someone take pictures as you run by them ... regardless. Here's how these shorts look while in motion. :P I used clear elastic in the waistband as recommended in the pattern and they hug tight enough to stay up while running but not so tight that they're uncomfortable. The fit is pure Goldilocks. 


The pattern is designed with bias trim to outline and give that true ready to wear look that you'd get from Nike or Underarmor. Honestly, they fit and feel just like my other running shorts if not a tad more comfortable because the waist is smooth rather than scrunched with elastic. I chose to sew the Moxi's in the recommended stretch woven and I attempted to do the bias the same, however stretch woven does not want to press without starch. (Lesson Learned, Starch Purchased) so I got creative and used the same nylon lycra for the bias trim as I used on the waistband. It actually sewed very smoothly when I did a single fold on the bias. 


I sewed the size 6 and I may try the size 4 next. (I'm sewing a pair for my sister who's a tad smaller than I.) So it will be a great opportunity to see which size I like better. My legs feel rather tiny in these, but I did discover that Angelynn made a "skinny leg" section to help you modify these shorts if you have "skinny legs." (This is news to me.) 


I think my favorite part of this pattern is the amount of time that Angelynn put into making the pattern perfect. Revision after revision she worked to create a pair of amazing running, beach, workout, hiking, lounging, active wearing shorts that look like the $60 kind you'd buy at some sporting goods store. No thanks. I'll make my own. ;)

Details
Fabric - 1yd stretch woven from Fabric Fairy $9.99
Nylon Lycra I had on hand
Shipping - ....6.50?

Notions - Clear elastic, thread $.50
Estimated Total Cost $26.99 less the pattern, 16.99. Not bad for active wear. :D
*I received this pattern for free for testing it before it's release.*

I have two more pair cut that will definitely see some Washington hiking trails this Summer... if I ever get a day off. :D
Rusty. Rusty is the word of the day. I'm blogging rusty, I'm fabric rusty. At least I'm not sewing rusty. You know the age old saying. "Like in sewing, once you learn to ride a bike, you always need to wear a helmet." That's how it goes, right? Close enough.

So I was gone. No one probably cares and that's legit. So here's the quickest recap I can muster.
Twitter style: I moved 2.4k miles, started a career in sales, left a 9 yr relationship, fell in love, and am getting married May 20th! #JerrySpringer

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Nothing motivates me more than a deadline... so Blam-o I saw one of my favorite designers put out a testing call for a cute dress and that was it. So here I am.

Let me introduce you to the Harbor Knot Tee's sexy sister, the Harbor Knot Dress from Striped Swallow Designs. :)


If you can't already see, let me tell you why this is an awesome dress. It is form fitting, curve hugging, leg showing, awesomeness. It can be dressed up with some statement jewelry and a blazer for a night out or thrown over a bathing suit and worn to the beach with flip flops. (Also, I received no less than 7 "wow" comments from my fiance... that's a winner to me.)

The Harbor Knot Dress features
-Long sleeves
-3/4 length sleeves
-Short sleeves
-Layered printing
-Sizes XS to XXXL 
-Video tutorial on knot


It comes with sleeve options, too. Short, 3/4 length, and long. If the knot looks intimidating, it kind of is before you do it once! However, Mandalynn makes it really simple by including a video tutorial linked directly through the pattern and voila! Suddenly it's as simple as pi.  


The Harbor Knot Dress was a very quick sew. It took maybe 1.5hrs after it was cut. (I sew slowly, especially because I haven't sewn in awhile. I'm extraterrestrial careful.) I could probably sew a second one in 50 minutes if I had a place to hook up my serger. Damn you, small apartments.


Something I love about all Striped Swallow Designs is that Mandalynn includes layers. So that means I only had the print and cut the XS size. Thank you lawt.  


It always helps that I had one hell of a photographer. Thank you, lover. :) He was all "stand up straight, look that way, POSTUREEEE, SMILEEEEE. It was really cute and obviously effective. :) One last thing you'll love to know, this dress is running around safe! I could bend over and the wind was blowing but there was no butt cheeks to speak of. It's so form fitting, the dress gives your booty a nice little all-day-long hug and doesn't let go. It's a simple design with a twist! I love patterns like these because I could make a million of them and they're not so "distinct" that everyone knows I have 4 of the same dress. 

Details
Poly blend knit from Joann's - $12.99 @ 40% off - $7.80 / yard for 1.5 yards = $11.70
Notions
Thread = $.50
Estimated total cost = $21.20 less the pattern = $12.20
I received this pattern for free in exchange for testing before it's release.

This dress is one sale for $7 for it's release!


I included this picture because I feel like storm and like I'm going to smite people. Pretty rad. 

And this one, obviously, because I like to complain about being cold, or being embarrassed while having my photo taken. Isn't taking pictures in public while people walk by the worst? Also, Washington is still really cold in March, folks. I didn't sign up for this s***.

So glad to be back sewing! Also, very glad to see some new, sexy patterns coming out. Moar sexy dresses, please. I love to sew what I'd already buy. ^^
*This post contains affiliate links to help me pay for fabric rehab*

Hey! Remember when I said I was going to take a break from testing? Yeah, me neither.

So I tested the new Itch to Stitch Lisbon Cardigan that released today. This is absolutely perfect for me as I'm a cold human that works in a large warehouse where I still have to dress professionally. So when I saw the style of this cardigan, I had to test it! What a great excuse to make more work clothes. :D

*If you haven't sewn an Itch to stitch pattern, you are in for a treat. The designer, Kennis, is a detail hound and you won't get through one of her patterns without learning something unless you've been a professional tailor for decades. Her patterns are very professional, yet completely approachable. If you want to test one out first, she always has the Lindy Petal Skirt for free here!* (Picture linked on sidebar)


The Lisbon Cardigan features
-Long sleeves
-3/4 length sleeves
-Full length
-Cropped length
-No hemming, everything is banded!
-Sleeves not cut on fold
-All pieces are notched
-Directions where to interface and which type to use
-Layered printing
-Sizes 00-20
-Tips on Hong Kong finish for seams


I sewed a size 2 for the chest, 0 for the waist, and 4 for the hips according to the size chart and the fit is spot on. The sleeves are the perfect length where they just slide over your hand a tiny bit. The over all fit is slightly relaxed but still fitted if that makes any sense at all.


My buttons are done pretty well, but the spacing is just slightly off on the actual buttons! It will get better with practice, but see that small pucker? Also, my bottom button is way too close to the edge. I only noticed after the button holes were done. Oh well, all part of the process. The next one will be even better. (You know it's a garment I like if I have a next one planned already)


I sewed this up in sweater knit that I bought from Sincerely Rylee last year in one of her mystery boxes that I don't think she does anymore. However, I got a great deal on lots of sweater knits and this was absolutely perfect, however I'm not sure of the exact fiber contents. If I wanted something a little lighter I would probably choose a rayon spandex blend or a cotton Lycra. Maybe this would be cute in a Ponte, too? So many things to try. I'd also like to do a V neck hack. (I'm always trying to push it... I don't do well in matronly clothing. :P) I do feel just a little classy in this outfit though. :D


Don't forget, the Lisbon Cardigan is on sale for 20% off right now! :)

Details
Fabric - aprox. $4 / yard for 2 yards = $8
Notions
Interfacing = $2
Buttons $3
Thread = $.50
Estimated total cost = $25.50

Itch to Stitch Lisbon Ad 300 x 300

I did receive the pattern for free in exchange for testing it before it was released.
Folks, spring is here and I am so happy! It's actually raining as I write this but I was blessed with a gorgeous week, so I'm not even complaining. My friend Emma rushed out with me for a quick photo shoot and helped me capture these awesome photos, thank you Emma! <3 

So I am back to testing! For some reason I can't take a break - I see a cute tester call and I jump at the chance to test. I enjoy the process and I enjoy a deadline. It helps keep me motivated. Plus I'm more likely to blog about it if I tested. I can't tell you the amount of "dead" items that I sewed and never told anyone about. Pictures are so hard to get sometimes!


This is the latest release from Lil Luxe Collection, the Women's Starlight City Dress. Previously it was a children's pattern company with very contemporary designs but LLC has been branching out into Women's wear and I'm very excited! I love the aesthetic of LLC and am excited to have some of my favorite designs made into women's patterns.


The Starlight City dress has a few fun options.

-Bodycon dress (my version)
-Gathered waist dress
-Gathered skirt and top separates
-Bodycon skirt and top separates
-Knee length or maxi gathered skirt
-Short, 3/4, or long sleeves


I sewed the XS based off of my bust and waist measurements and the fit is spot on for a bodycon dress. The waist has an interesting detail. The elastic casing is actually a "flap" that can flip up or down. it stays in place in the "flipped up" position because the elastic and negative ease keep it in place. This is a new to me sewing technique but worked out very well because there is no stress on the waist seam from the skirt. I'll try to get some detailed pics to demonstrate what I'm talking about and update this post. But it's comfortable and keeps the waist from being pulled down and sagging from the weight of the skirt portion.


Ok. Let's get to the important part. THE BACKKKKK! Do you love this as much as I do? Err Mer Gerd. I adore the back of this dress. Cut outs are very "in" right now and this dress is just perfection in the back. Also, if you'll notice my bra. No? You didn't notice my bra? Exactly. 

Jessica and Angie did a ton of leg work to make sure that your REGULAR bra was concealed in this dress. No special bra or duct tape to wear this masterpiece. That's actually not a huge concern for me, but for the bigger chested ladies, it's a total win. :) The twist in the back mixed with the deep V and no special bra really makes this a fun and unique wardrobe piece. It will be great for all those Spring and Summer weddings coming up!


All of my comments on the construction of this dress are based upon the testing version and I'm not sure of the changes, if any, that have been made in the final pattern. The version I sewed was the most updated version of the tester pattern. 
  • The pattern features layers, but you have to trim the pages. 
  • There are separate bodices for petite and regular torso lengths. 
  • The instructions are accompanied by illustrations that are very clear.
  • The bodice is fully lined, however the side seams are not enclosed. (You can easily enclose them, but the instructions direct you otherwise)
  • There are grainline markings
  • There are notches to match pattern pieces
  • The sleeves are not cut on the fold


I tossed on a thrift store men's shirt for a more casual "me" look and while the fiance disagrees, I think it's cute. I feel like a rocker or something. -_-
P.S. Is there a way to wear bright red lipstick and not look like a hooker? Especially at 3pm with randos jogging by. I totally fit in. Oh, the awkward things I do.


I definitely DID crawl through 1,000,000 spiders for these train photos. So, relevant or not, I'm posting them. 


Overall the dress was constructed quickly. The waistband instructions caught me off guard for moment but I was able figure it out. It was just an unexpected "new to me" technique but once I read it over, I was able to construct the rest without issue. I'm SO happy they made it where you get the sexy V and cut out but without the hassle of finding a special bra or going braless. Next I'll definitely be sewing the gathered skirt version. That is a little more my pace and I already have fabric purchased for it! :D Because lawd knows that the one thing I need MORE of in my closet is Spring dresses that are inappropriate for work.


Details

Pattern LLC Starlight City Dress $14 (I received the pattern free for testing)
Fabric Black and Patterned knit from Joann's $15
Notions Elastic and thread $.50

Estimated total cost: $29.50

I will be sewing this dress again! The twisted back bodice is so cute and on trend. I need at least one more. 
Make sure that you get the dress while it's still on sale. It's marked down to $9.80 through the week instead of the standard $14.

If you make the dress, make sure you #starlightcitywomens on instagram!