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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Va-Voom - 5 Out of 4's Laura Bra, Bikini, Top, Swim Top, and Dress Sewing Pattern Review

Life is simple. It's just not easy. 

The 5 out of 4 Laura pattern is like that - simple looking, but takes some TLC and time to create. 

Offering several options to explore:
- Bikini or bra top
- One Piece Swim Suit
- Tankini or every-day top
- Two dress Lengths
- Sleeveless, Short Flutter, or Full Flutter Sleeves
- Clasp or Tie Back Closure
- High or Low "V" Neck

Fighting a bad bought of loneliness & depression, Life, having a rough go with my Vestibular Migraine issues due to stress, and hurting my shoulder overnight by sleeping weird, I really wanted to make up 2-3 different versions but here's my version I did end up making. 

And as crappy as my life is right now, it really made me feel better. 

I got my back tie spot on - and it really makes my back look slender.  The sleeves stay on perfectly, and I love the short flutter sleeves. 

I used a lovely DBP from the Fab Clique - a nice change from my normal fabric place.  They had a massive sale special a few months back - the only reason I ordered with the USD to CAD exchange and silly shipping charges. It made sampling a non-Canadian fabric company reasonable. 

It's soooo soft and has a nice stretch.  


Side angle, the front sits  flat, the armcycle is comfortable, and I love the underbust band. 

While making Laura, you essentially make the bra part first, and add the skirt or swim bottoms on as the last part. 

I did forget to make the built in bra cup section in my final version (my test version I remembered and it has built in cups), so I made a note on the first page of instructions to make the built in bra section first!  

There is a LOT of elastic in this pattern as well - the arm holes, neckband, underbust...a labour of love, but well worth it. 

Laura is slimming and I love that I can just wear it as a top (I'm not a huge dress person, and have enough swim tops for now). 

I almost forgot - the sleeves also have a button option - with a tab and a sewn on button - to bring the sleeves in more.  This is a look I LOVE. 

I kept at a small size the whole way - whereas normally I'd grade to a Large for my big caboose and waist. As the band is part of the underbust, it's best just to go with your bust size to prevent weirdness in where the skirt and band meet...unless you'd prefer a, "fuller," skirt. 

Overall, I love this top, and can't wait to get my sewjo back on and sew up a few more version.  

I paired mine with my trusty Zen Pants - a great casual or office wear pants pattern!

I hope you take the plunge with Laura too - as it's really a pattern to be proud of once it's all sewn up!

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

It's a Coat...It's a Cardigan...It's the Rebecca Page Carli Coatigan Sewing Pattern!

Everyone needs some comfort in their lives - why not spoil yourself with the Rebecca Page Carli Coatigan pattern?  

Make it as relaxed or fancy as you like.

Short or Long length, pockets or no pockets (WHY WOULDN'T YOU HAVE POCKETS??), Belted or not belted - the choice is yours. 

I like how the back looks either with the belt done up or undone. 

The shoulders sit nicely, and there's even a back seam.  

It is easily sewn together with very few seams - so perfect for the beginner sewist. 

I used this random sort of two way stretch super light fabric (it feels like baby fleece, but has stretch) from Fabricville

It is also VERY lightweight, therefore works. 

A bulkier fabric won't flow very well, and the drape at the front won't look as nice.  

Some of the testers used Double Brushed Poly, others used lightweight sweater knit - both fabric types looking stellar with the Coatigan

I LOVE the pockets. 

The placement line is perfect - not too low or high. 

The lengthen/shorten line is essentially the bottom hem - I took 4" off mine, as I'm only 5'-2", and the pattern is drafted for someone who is 5'-6".

You can see the nice flow in these pictures - it's just old school glam. 

Try out a new easy pattern with the Coatigan, and tell me how it goes!

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Twist and Shout with Rebecca Page's Talia Tunic & Twist Top Pattern

Some days I'm dark and Twisty like Meredith Grey.

Other days I want to Twist and Shout (before my back suddenly gives out).

Either way, I really enjoyed making the Talia Tunic and Twist Top patterns.  Together, they enhance what I've been blessed with. Apart...well...they have the same effect. 

The Twist top has multiple arm lengths, and hugs my bust in a lovely way!  

Sewing it up, DEFINITELY read the instructions AND watch the video.  The instructions are a bit confusing at first.  Sewing the second shoulder seam is definitely a lot more confusing than the first. 

That could also be migraine brain getting super confused lately. 

I only needed to take my seam ripper out once before I got the concept. 

I recommend a straight stitch the first time around sewing the shoulder seams...JUST in case. 

I've paired this Twist Top with my favourite pair of Pippa Pants. 

As you can see, the Talia Tunic is the perfect length. 

I'm 5'-2" and didn't hem it - the lovely wonders of soft knit fabrics that don't fray. 

I paired my Tunic above with my Mini Peggy Skirt and one of the last non-me-made leggings in my wardrobe.

This Talia Tunic is a lovely DBP - again, unhemmed and super flowy.  I just love the feel and the drape. 

The front and back gathers along with fabric choice bring this top together. 

The binding is MUCH easier to make than anticipated - the instructions are detailed verbally and with pictures, and you can find the perfect strap length for your body with one quick fit test. 

My final Twist top has 3/4 length sleeves, and is made of a lightweight stretch lace/velvet fabric. 

It has pretty Tardis blue within the black fabric.  

It has been paired with my hacked Slim Cargo Pants. 

Overall, this pattern can be as casual or fun as you like - and I definitely recommend lighter weight knits to keep with the flow. 

A boxier cotton lycra or scuba for the tunic would make it larger and not flow well - but may work well for the twist top. 

Enjoy these quick sews - they'll certainly become staples in your wardrobe in no time. 

Get your Talia Tunic here.

Get you Talia Twist Top Here

Bundle it up Here.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Embrace My Rival! The George + Ginger Rival Dress Sewing Pattern Review

George + Ginger Patterns are one of my fashion go-to patterns when I want to be a bit edgy and different. 

I've seen Kristi (the designer) go from a large PDF Pattern designer to actually designing clothes for Fashion Runways across the Globe.  

And she's STILL designing so us regular folk can still look fabulous!

She brought out an updated version of the Rival Dress in a cool manner - by posting the pattern for Free for 24 hours, and requesting that all who downloaded it made it for testing purposes, provided feedback and final photos, and voila! 

There are so many great photographs from ladies who normally don't have the opportunity to test for Kristi (I've applied 3 times in the past - it's like a brick wall, and honestly, I'm probably just too silly and not trendy enough). I think this is a rather amazing way to test though, and we get to see new faces who perhaps don't have the opportunity to test too often. 

The above shows my newest Rival (circa 2019), and my first Rival Dress (circa 2017).  

Gawd, I take ridiculous pictures!

Anyhow - I love how it hugs my curves in all the right spots, and has POCKETS on the sides - really you can't go wrong with pockets. 

And now with more experience, I notice the side panels are kind of like my first Princess seam experience!

Of course I opted for the hood option - although you can go cowl or regular banded as well - I just like that I can hide out in my hood one minute and be out and about the next. 

Everything is so simple to sew together - there's really nothing complicated about sewing this pattern together. 

I need to hack it into a top - because it would make an awesome hoodie!  

I'm 5'-2", so you can see how short the hem is - it does go well with tights or leggings in the winter (trust, me I did this with my older Rival many times)

I used sweater knit from Water Tower Textiles - and they're perfect together!

So...don't hide out too long, and try sewing the Rival for yourself - it looks great on all shapes and sizes, and is super easy to grade - I currently grade from her size 8 for bust to size 14 for hips and waist. 

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Whatever! Halla's Vivianne Cardigan Pattern Vest Hack

Ugh! As if!

My wardrobe lacked a decent sweater vest until last week. 


Halla's Vivienne Sweater and Cardigan had the perfect fit I was looking for in a Vest. 

I wanted the Clueless look, but a bit looser and more forgiving. 

This sweater pattern comes with a plethora of options: 
- V-neck or button up
- Full or cropped length
- Short or tall bands
- Pleated, Gathered, or normal shoulder seams
- Patch pocket option 

The instructions for the V-Neck are on par and easy to follow without puckering or weirdness that sometimes happens when sewing up a V-neck. 

The plaid fabric from Water Tower Textiles was perfect - with a 2-way stretch and nice woven knit feel, it will be perfect year round. 

I was a bit concerned that the armcycle would gape without proper grading, but it turned out fine - I just guessed at a band size and took 1.5" off the total of the armcycle measurement, and sewed it on as I would any other arm band. 

I top stitched around the armcycle, ironed, and voila!

I love the looser look of this (without being too baggy), and it's perfect to geek or office up my plain tops without being too stuffy and boring. 

So get your Vivianne pattern here - and make 4 or 6 different tops without repeating the style!  And try out my Vest hack so you can bring your geek on too!

***Affiliate Links Above used - I love these patterns, and without the help of those who love their patterns, marketing would be extremely difficult for the pattern makers we love and learn to love. Affiliate links help with the hours, fabric, and tears that go behind testing each pattern in order to provide a real-person view on the patterns for you (and me!) 

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Bottoms Up! 5 out of 4's Alice Swim Bottoms Sewing Pattern Review

5 out of 4 patterns honestly hasn't made a swim suit bottom or top that I haven't liked myself in. 

And I really don't like my thighs or behind.  

Alice is the perfect solution to distracting the eyes in a simple way. 

The Alice bottoms come with the following options:
- High rise waistline
- Medium rise legs
- Lined (aka no seams inside!) 
- Flat front option
- Tie front option
- Flounce option
- Maternity ruching option

Side note: These pictures were taken when it was -3 degrees Celsius outside.  My neighbours across the street much think I'm a whack job.  Someone driving by stopped, stared, then started driving again. 

These are things that happen while pattern testing and taking pictures of outfits before the proper season hits, so you lovelies have the opportunity to sew them up in time for the proper season. 

The flounce is SUPER simple, and comes in a high or low flounce option depending how long you want the skirt to be. I found the high flounce was flattering, and I'm almost out of my Bicycle print swim fabric I've been hoarding (and using) for a few years. 

I love the tie front option. It's flattering from the front and side. 

I used swim fabric from Water Tower Textiles and random white spandex from sister's lost stash of fabrics. 


I paired my Alice bottoms with the Escapade Bikini top on the left and the Stella bikini top on the right. 

Although different fabric prints, I feel they work well together.  It helps that I tend to stay with the same colour palette for the most part. 

Add some fun to your summer swimwear by sewing up Alice today!

***Affiliate Links Above used - I love these patterns, and without the help of those who love their patterns, marketing would be extremely difficult for the pattern makers we love and learn to love. Affiliate links help with the hours, fabric, and tears that go behind testing each pattern in order to provide a real-person view on the patterns for you (and me!)  

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

I Have a Confession. I Have a Coat Fetish. Here's My Latest Sewing Pattern Review: The Rebecca Page Andie Anorak

Friend: I LOVE your coat!

Me: Thanks!  IT HAS POCKETS!

That's pretty much my attitude about coats. Pants. Tops. Life.

Pockets make things better - especially on the Rebecca Page Andie Anorak Sewing Pattern!

Andie is a nice coat for layering layers of clothes underneath - but being an A-Line jacket means it doesn't look boxy or bulky.

Options include:
- Detachable hood
- Epilates Optional
- Optional Sleeve buckles
- Optional Oversized Pocks
- Optional Hood Belt  & Buckle
- Hip or Knee Length

I LOVE the inside lining. It's so easy, and everything just pulls through one small side seam, thus minimal hand sewing required to completed this fully lined jacket.

See the pocket!  You can opt to have the pocket cover or not (brain fog - whatever that part is called where the buttons above are - you know the word - welcome to my brain/life).

I did originally order buttons from a new Etsy store, however, the buttons arrived yesterday.  The coat was finished a week and a half ago!  I did manage to find some cute black with gold fleck buttons at Walmart - 3/$1.  I did have to use a few snaps for the hood, as there were only 12 available buttons at Walmart when I went in.

I needed the gold sparkle. You'll find out why soon!

See - I told you - you'd find out soon! 

I've been hoarding this Wizard of Oz cotton fabric for about a year now.  I purchased it at $2.50/metre for a different pattern test final that never continued on beyond the version 1 test phase.  So it's been sitting. And waiting. And Andie came around. 

The turquoise-hunter green cotton fabric is another long time hoard that thankfully goes with the Wizard of Oz emerald/magical feel, and gave me enough fabric for the front panels.

Both were from Fabricland, a local Canadian store that is slowly being weaned out by the online fabric industry.

If you look closely at the top picture, you can see a me-made tag (I printed reversed onto fabric paper, and then ironed it onto twill tape, cutting out each tag - so much cheaper than ordering custom tags online!). 

Also, there is a hanging loop - because every coat needs a hanging loop!

Look at that hood!  And the back yoke!  And that lovely back pleat! 

Honestly, this has to be my best coat ever. And yes, I'm tooting my own horn!  The yoke just brings the A-line framing together.

And my lining and main fabrics are perfectly aligned with no bagginess than I've encountered with my first few coats last year.

Oh - the main fabric - that's also from Fabricland. Purchased for office pants I never made.  And now that our office has become casual dress (except if we're meeting up with our clients/partners), and I work from home 4.5 days of the week - Andie screamed to use up this lovely lightweight suiting fabric.

You can see the shoulder tabs - aren't they cute? 

I was going to do buckles, but for the life of me couldn't find buckles down the street, or online that would ship quickly enough. And to drag my behind to one of the fabric stores that also likely wouldn't have buckles -meh.  Next time I can plan ahead to have everything I need before I need to start the project.

I'd love a longer waterproof version of the Anorak - and walk around with a fascinator on my head, because I feel that's what would really bring this coat all together.

Who doesn't like a good fascinator?

Get your Andie Anorak here, take your time sewing, and make yourself a coat you'll be proud to call your own!

***Affiliate Links Above used - I love these patterns, and without the help of those who love their patterns, marketing would be extremely difficult for the pattern makers we love and learn to love. Affiliate links help with the hours, fabric, and tears that go behind testing each pattern in order to provide a real-person view on the patterns for you (and me!)