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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

DIY Made for Mermaids Stella Top

Recently Made for Mermaids released their latest pattern collection, Lounge and Lace. I immediately bought the Bridgette Bralette and Stella Bundle when it debuted. I have sewn several Mama Bridgettes but these two lace ones in the pictures below are my current favorites. Both bralettes are sewn with stretch lace from Hobby Lobby.

Pattern Description & Suggested Fabrics:

Quick, simple and sexy knit sweater packed full of options with slight drop shoulder. Go from simple to wow with 4 different back options. The full back is great for every day wear. The v back includes optional back band or tie bands. The keyhole back is unique and perfect for showing off a Mama Bridgette Bralette. Plus an off the shoulder option which is right on trend. You can choose from top and tunic length on all options. 3 different banded sleeve lengths make it perfect for year-round wear. Choose from short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve or long sleeves. designed to coordinate perfectly with our other Lounge & Lace Collection patterns. 

Fabric- light to medium weight sweater knit with at least 50% stretch

The Mama Stella and Stella have many options and below I have photographed 3 of the back views.
The first one also happens to be my favorite. I made this matching (although I didn't realize I did opposite shoulders until picture time) set for my daughter and I using clearance sweater knit fabric from Joann Fabric. I barely had enough fabric so I used a scuba knit suede fabric from Joanns for the cuffs and bands. This is the off shoulder tunic length option.

My daughters is a size 6 and fits perfectly. However, on her next Stella I will add length as this won't fit for long. My top is a size Pink graded to a purple in the hip. I love the fit in this sweater knit, but I found out material is quite important for fit on my next two tops. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope when you were done sewing? Yes, I think it looked like the pattern for all 3 tops that I made. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? 
Yes, one thing I love about this pattern company is the attention to detail. They do their best to make sure the directions are simple to follow but if you run into any problems there are usually sew alongs or videos of any potentially confusing parts of a pattern. This top was a very quick and simple sew.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love how quickly the top came together. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that every pattern has so many options. I do NOT love the band on the bottom. It is uncomfortable for me and I prefer a looser fit on the bottom of my tops. 

Pattern Alterations/Design changes you made: 
I did not change anything for these tops, in the future I am going to change the bottom band for something different. (And...the gray top above is currently not banded on the sleeve because it is unfinished).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? 
Absolutely. This is a quick and easy pattern with many different trendy options. 
The one shoulder option is surprisingly quite comfy. The shoulder stays put and doesn't require lots of adjusting. The second Stella I made in a sweatshirt fabric from Joanns which was not nearly stretchy enough. The top ended up quite tight and I didn't have enough fabric to make the sleeves in a longer length that I would prefer. The last top I made was a refashion using an old Banana Republic mustard sweater and some floral fabric scraps from Girl Charlee. This top I cut the next size up after finding the gray top so tight and that was a mistake. I ended up taking in a ton on the sides, especially through the hip, so lesson learned....fabric matters quite a bit on this pattern!! When using a sweater knit (as the pattern suggests) the size works well.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

DIY Kimono: Simplicity 1318 Review

I actually made this piece last year and have only worn it a couple of times. I apologize for the terrible photos but I just don't have much time these days and hey...I was actually wearing pants and not workout gear so I quickly snapped a few pics for a review. For whatever reason, I don't love this top...probably because I know how many horrible mistakes are on it. However, every time I wear it I get complimented on it, so I thought it was at least worth reviewing and putting out there for others interested in making their own kimono. I feel like I love the look on everyone else but it is so boxy on my shoulders I am not sure it is the look for me, is it just me that feels this way about kimonos? Or maybe I just made mine incorrectly? The latter is highly likely!

Look at how messy my craft room floor is! Oops, should have vacuumed real quick but this is an honest look at how it usually looks.

Pattern Description: SIMPLICITY 1318  Misses Kimono Jacket
Pattern Sizing: I don't remember what I cut because it was so long ago
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes they are very easy to understand and follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved the high low hem line and the fact that it would cover my rear. I ended up doing a lot of handstitching on this top and I personally try to avoid that at all costs, but I just couldn't get it to work like I wanted on my machine. 
Fabric Used: aww crud, I can't remember this either- It was a slinky fabric from Joann's that I picked up a couple years ago
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None
Would you sew it again? Maybe, but then I start working with this type of fabric again and wonder why I torture myself, so maybe not if I think about it first. I also don't know that this kimono is my favorite look on me so it will probably be my only one.
Would you recommend it to others? Possibly, it is not for a beginner. If you are an intermediate seamstress familiar with working with slippery fabrics than yes, otherwise you are just asking for frustration. There are many easier things to work with and this would not be a good introduction for sewing in my opinion. of my littles is up from nap so I gotta run, guess there is no time to vacuum that floor after all. :)


Monday, September 5, 2016

DIY Maxi Dress: Butterick 5206 Pattern Review

Ok, I clearly never blog anymore as more than two years has passed since a post!!! But I now have four little kiddos from age 6 down to 5 months and sewing/blogging is definitely low on the priority list. However, I still look at blogs for inspiration and pattern reviews before I sew a new pattern, so maybe this will help someone looking for a new maxi dress :)

Pattern Description: Dress with mock wrap bodice
Pattern Sizing: I cut the 8 for the top and graded to a 10 in the skirt
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? kind of, but I changed it to a maxi
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, this pattern was easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked that it was a mock wrap dress and the skirt would just be a front and back rather than an actual wrap. The weight of this fabric drapes beautifully with this style of fabric. Although the dress is a little heavy with this much fabric it is still very comfortable to wear.
Fabric Used: I used this clearance poly spandex that I found at Hobby Lobby for around $3 a yard! 
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I added length to the skirt to make it a maxi length and left the bottom edge unfinished. I took in the bodice and arms a bit for a more fitted look. The arms were rather loose so that took quite a bit of restitching. I did not do the belt as instructed because I did not have enough fabric. I simply cut as long of a sash as I could squeeze out. Put it right sides together, stitched around and left an opening to turn it right sides out. Pressed it flat and slip stitched the opening closed. 

Would you sew it again? YES Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes

Happy Sewing,


Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY Maternity Dress

I have been totally neglecting the blog for some time...oops! I actually have so many things photographed and done, but never seem to find the energy to put up a post. I am now 30 weeks along with my 3rd child and my energy is completely gone. But, I am going to at least attempt to put a few things up and feel like I have actually accomplished something. Plus, now that I am at 30 weeks, these baby bump photos don't seem nearly as horrific to me as they did at the time. I think I was around 22 weeks when they were taken and sadly this seems pretty small to me now :)

This DIY sheath dress was a mix of 2 patterns. For the skirt portion I used Megan Nielsen's Ruched Maternity Pencil Skirt in a size medium. For the top I used the FREE Deer and Doe Plantain T-Shirt Pattern in a size 38. I taped the 2 patterns together and had to move things around until they looked like what I thought would be the right proportions of the top of the dress and the skirt. The two patterns will not line up size wise, but use your best judgment to blend the two lines to create your dress pattern. I blended the two patterns starting a couple inches below the bust on the t-shirt and using the regular full pattern on the skirt.

This was my 2nd time using the skirt pattern and I am not sold on it for my body type. It is definitely form fitting and you have to be alright really flaunting what you have...and I certainly have curves on the bottom half of my body. But, I went with it anyway, and in this heavier knit fabric, I don't hate it.
The fabric was purchased from Michael Levine and can be found here. The fabric was awesome to work with and I secretly wish I wouldn't have used it on a maternity dress that I have only worn a couple times. It is heavier knit and has the perfect amount of thickness for this form fitting dress.  It is also super soft and comfortable.

It was a quick sew and I am glad I had a fun dress for Easter and Mother's Day, but overall I am not sure the amount of usage really justifies the making of the dress. But, hopefully I will be able to pass it along to someone I know that can get some more mileage out of it. This bump is way past being able to fit in it now :)


Monday, April 14, 2014

Refashioned Top Tutorial: ModCloth Knockoff

Here is a follow up to my refashioned outfit post with a tutorial on how to create the Modcloth top knockoff.

This top was inspired from this Modcloth top: 

and began like this: 

Step 1. Find a button up blouse in a couple sizes larger than you normally wear. Begin by cutting off the collar, sleeves (2 inches below the seam to allow enough fabric for your new sleeve), cut out the shoulder pads if your top has them, and finally carefully cut up the side seams.

Step 2. Put the top on backwards with the buttons in the back. Use a piece of chalk to draw in a new neckline. Take the top off and cut out close to the new neckline, leaving a small seam allowance.

3. Step 3: **This step is not shown but I used bias tape to finish my new neckline.** Next take the top and put it on yourself or a dress form inside out. Pin up the sides to create your new side seams. You should pin from the sleeve edge all the way down the side. Make sure you do not make the top fitted. You want to have a blousy effect and you will be pulling in the waist with shirring. Sew the new side seam. Then try your top on right side out and draw a chalk line where you want your waist shirring to begin. 

Step 4: Take off the top and begin drawing a line all the way around the top using your waistline mark. My mark was about 8.5 inches up from the bottom edge. However, when I went around to the back I noticed it would be too close to the button, so I drew my line at the 9 inch mark instead. Once you have a line drawn all the way around your top, thread your machine with elastic thread in the bobbin. (You will have to hand wind elastic thread onto your bobbin.) Begin stitching all the way around on top of the line you drew. I pull the fabric somewhat taut as I sew this line. It will begin shirring up if it is done correctly. Once I get back to the beginning of the line, I simply keep stitching in a spiral pattern to create another line 1/4 inch below or above my first line. Keep stitching around the top until you have the desired effect. My top has 5 lines of shirred stitching. 

Step 5: Finish your sleeve hem. You can either fold up the fabric 1/4 inch, press, and 1/4 inch again, press and stitch or use bias tape created from the left over sleeve fabric to finish the edge. I actually did it both ways and I am not sure which I prefer. They were both somewhat difficult with the slinky fabric so I would say go with whatever your preferred method is for finishing a sleeve hem and take your time. Finally, we need to cut out the bow for the front. Use the collar you cut off in step 1 and cut it into two pieces. I cut one smaller than the other. One piece ended up being about 9 inches long and the other about 7 inches.

Step 6: Cut a rounded bow shape out of your two strips of fabric. Turn them inside out, placing right sides together and stitch close to the edge leaving an opening to turn them right side out. Turn it right side out and top stitch it all the way around to close the opening. Next stack the smaller bow on top of the larger one and pinch it together in the center. Hand stitch the cinch in the center to hold it together. Then use an extra piece of fabric (I used a small rectangle shape from the original sleeve cuff) and wrap it around the center of the bow over your hand stitching. Hand stitch it together in the back of the bow.

Step 7: Pin the bow to the front of the top and hand stitch it in place. Finally I added a snap closure at the back top edge of my blouse. And that's it. You have a new fun top! 

It really was an easy refashion and it only took about an hour. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at 2ndstorysewing at gmail dot com.