Sew Americana 2019

The 4th of July in 1776 was when the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence, declaring ourselves as idependent but unified colonies. It is pretty spectacular to sit with this thought.

It is a national holiday so many American families celebrate with cookouts, parades, and fireworks. And, we wear a little (or a lot!) red, white, and blue.

This year, my kiddos are ready in advance and have already worn their patriotic outfits a few times. Shocker, I’m sort of the WAIT-AND-SEW-IT-AT-THE-LAST-MINUTE kind of momma. I’m also quite miserly with my fabric usage (hoarding IS a hobby!) so am pretty thrilled to have eeeked out both outfits from just one (ONE!!!) yard from my stash.

Patriotic Pearlie Dress

I knew I wanted my daughter to wear a dress with the top as the stripes and the bottom as the stars. The Pearlie from Peach Patterns was such an easy decision. I’ve made tons of this dress before —- check out here and here so I had the pattern ready to rock and roll.

The non-fussy dolman sleeves are fabulous and I just love a good curved hem. As soon as this pattern released for ladies, I was in heaven. We even have matching Pearlies that we (not infrequently) wear together.

Red (White and Blue!) Ringer Tee

The Ringer Tee from Brindle and Twig was a new-to-me pattern (and FREE!). I didn’t have time to muslin it for my lankey dude so just blended between the two sizes I thought he might need based on the measurement chart. BINGO – the fit is exactly what I wanted for him. His dad used to wear a few very old and super soft ringer tees so this is completely nostalgic in all the right ways.

I added a pocket from another designer’s pattern and I’ll lower it a touch if I use it again but he loves any spot to sneak a car. My typical placement rule of thumb is 1/3 to halfway up the height of the armscye and centered vertically if you were to quarter the bodice piece.

I really love how this came out and plan to purchase this cardigan next. How adorable, right?

Blog Tour Inspo

Check out more inspiration from Sew Americana bloggers:


Monday, June 24:
Wild & Wanderful · The Petite Sewist · That’s-Sew-Kari · Stitched by Jennie · Marvelous Auntie M

Tuesday, June 25:
Petite Stitchery · auschick sews · Sew Simple Home · Sewing Novice · Striped Swallow Designs

Wednesday, June 26:
(Swimming in a) Sea of Estrogen · The Eli Monster · 5 out of 4 Patterns · bigflynotions · Stitching and Making

Thursday, June 27:
Middle River Studio · It’s Liesel · Crafty Curly Couture · Sewing with D · Kitty Makes It

Friday, June 28:
Boo + Lu · Sequoialynn Sews · Seams Sew Lo · Made By Jaime · SewSophieLynn

Happy 4th!

Hope everyone enjoys their 4th, here’s a little red, white, and blue hug from my family to yours!

This post contains NO affiliate links.

Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour

School is out and the pools are open! This is the official start of daily dress weather and more daylight for extra playtime! As part of the the bigflynotions stop on the Rebecca Page Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour, I sewed up two FREEBIE patterns: the Dollies Diaper and the Paris Party Dress top.

Dollies Galore

There are far more dollies than people in my house. Dollies live upstairs, downstairs, in the car, at preschool, in her bedroom, on my couch (ever sit on a dolly foot or hand – – OUCH!). Dollies come with us to the pool, to the grocery store, to bed. I was brushing my teeth the other day and saw a dolly chilling next to the sink. So, its only right for dollies to have a suitable wardrobe, under pieces included.

I used quilting cotton and linen to create each of these three diapers. I really like this pattern because it uses elastic around the legs so you can get a pretty good fit. Each of these diapers is used for a different doll, two 18-inch dolls (the Gotz and the American Girl Doll shown in these pictures) and then a slightly smaller dolly.

Note: While the dolly diaper can be done up to suit your preference, the correct method for closure is with the back piece covering the top piece. (such as in the images for the solid pale pink diaper). This sleep deprived grand(?!?!?)mother failed to pay attention during the snap application phase as the mom (!) was quite eager to clothe her babies.

The pattern calls for velcro but I used snaps as a way to sneak in a little extra fine motor. These are the same size 20 KAM snaps I used on her clothes so I’m hoping it’ll transfer nicely to getting dressed a little easier.

Next up: this child needs a diaper bag for all these diapers. I plan to make this one (image below from listing).

Paris Hack

I’m quite obsessed with the Paris Party Dress, as evidenced here and here and here. That last link is actually a garment I made myself during testing over two years ago!

This was a simple hack, based on the blog post I wrote here. This time, I made the swing part of the dress even more dramatic (at least, as much as the width of this scrap would allow). To help squeeze it onto the fabric, I put a seam down the back, adding a teeny bit for seam allowance.

I used a lovely jersey I had leftover from a few projects I made for myself. It created a dress that is perfect for lounging, twirling, and, of course, changing baby diapers.

I promise she didn’t learn this baby holding technique from me:

More Inspiration

Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Sew Free for Summer Blog Tour for more great inspiration:

Prizes

We will be giving away a pattern bundle of choice each day PLUS an overall grand prize of a $50 pattern credit. To stand a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on each blog, each day so stay tuned to the Rebecca Page Sewing group for updates from our bloggers!

Happy Sewing!

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive 
a small commission when buyers use my link to make a purchase. 
Thanks for supporting my blog!

Springing Towards Summer

It has been raining in the Midwest. Nonstop. No joke. My friends have flooded basements and there looks to be a pond in my backyard. And little people have been inside for days upon days. (My mom sanity is running thin.)

My daughter asked why it is raining. I had more than one smart comment in my brain. But 4yo brother had the perfect answer “Because the grass and birds need a drink. And then it will be sunny again”.

Oh, he’s a clever one.

Summer is Coming

So, I’m starting to sew for those sunny days. I recently helped test the new Moss dress/top pattern from Sofiona Designs. It has several length options and can be made with or without the hood. Check out the line drawing (source).

My version reads cool dress than swimsuit cover up but it was designed to suit (#mompun) both functions. The Moss is actually being released as a bundle with the new Sofiona Narwhal swimsuit. Check out the amazing binding options on that btw (source)!

My version reads cool dress than swimsuit cover up but it was designed to suit (#mompun) both functions. The Moss is actually being released as a bundle with the new Sofiona Narwhal swimsuit. Check out the amazing binding options on that btw!

I love the deep back V on this dress. This is the higher cut line. It is gorgeous.

The construction is uber thoughtful throughout. The binding facing on the neckline is super clever in how it finished the optional hood and turns the ties. While totally dreamy (bindings ARE dreamy!), it might be better suited for an intermediate seamstress or adventurous/patient beginner.

I love this relaxed, almost raglan looking accent on the front:

My divalicious daughter selected maxi length which hits right at the ankle bone for the size 3 length. This means, she reaps the drama of the length without the mobility accidents. Fantabulous!

Tea Time

Last year was the beginning of a tradition where my daughter and I go to a fancy tea at the local butterfly house. Naturally, we wear coordinating outfits. This was our attire from last year. Tea 2019, we went for this fun yellow floral. I think it is some sort of cotton feel poly blend.

We had a total blast and the Moss clearly goes well with delicious red velvet cupcakes!

This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I received a copy of the pattern in exchange for testing this pattern, which includes sewing up multiple versions and providing feedback on things like fit, construction, and tutorial edits.

Pattern Mashing Bliss

Welcome to my stop on the Rebecca Page Double Duty Blog Tour. I’m excited to show you how I mashed the knit top from the FREE Paris Party Dress (affiliate link) with the knit Stevie skirt.

The Paris Party Dress was my first ever Rebecca Page pattern and the beginning of my RP obsession! I’m such a fan of quick knit pieces and have used the Paris top multiple times (like here and here)

Stevie was a fast favorite in my house too! Even the doll has one (picture evidence!). This is the Paris top in cotton lycra with lovely stretch lace trim that makes Miss 4 go a little wild. The Stevie skirt is the knee length version and made in this yummy soft drapey rayon spandex from Mily Mae with the band in the same CL as the top.

My daughter loves her Steve skirts and Paris Party Dress tops and I love how fast they come together! Being able to mix and match is the best part about separates but we’re huge fans of dresses too. This is how Stevie Goes to Paris was born!

Onto the Mash!

This is a super simple mash. All I did was lay one pattern on top of the other, lining up the waist on each and drew a continuous line (shown in pink below) from the waist down to the hem of the Stevie. I smoothed out the line a bit and, tadah: Stevie goes to Paris!

I used the same stretch lace trim to embellish the Stevie Goes to Paris. The body is a French terry and coordinating cotton lycra sleeves and neckband.

More Inspiration

Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Double Duty Blog Tour for more great inspiration:

Prizes

We will be giving away 7 one-month subscriptions. Each one-month subscription prize contains:

  • Ladies XXS to 5XL Strappy Cami pattern
  • Bonus Ladies XXS to 5XL Comfy Cowl pattern
  • 1 pattern credit to use for a pattern of choice during the month of subscription
  • A further 20% discount on any other patterns (including those already on sale) during the month of subscription

For a chance to win a One-Month Subscription, please comment on the blogs each day and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

This blog post contains affiliate links. While these links do not cost any more, I do receive a small commission for the referral.
As a Rebecca Page Brand Ambassador, I received these patterns in exchange for sewing them up and sharing my work.

What Happens after you KonMari your Wardrobe?

Welcome to the BigFlyNotions stop on the Basically Jalie Blog Tour, hosted by The Petite Sewist and Auschick Sews! Stay tuned until the end to learn about the sewalong and how to enter to win Jalie patterns as well as prizes from our amazing sponsors.

In the PDF pattern world, Jalie gets mentioned a LOT when people are discussing patterns with great drafting and construction, especially in conversations about athletic gear. I can confidently announce Jalie is now my go-to for my day to day wardrobe!

I recently saw this saying and realize it is in reference to creating a more positive lifestyle in general….. Buuuuut, come on, I’m a seamstress, I’m gonna apply this to my closet too!

Saying Adios

I recently went through and Konmari’d my wardrobe (minus the thanking bit, I’m not quite there yet). I’d amassed an embarrassing number of items that didn’t fit, weren’t my style, aren’t comfortable, etc. Looking through my closet after this ruthless purge made me realize:

  1. I have a mom uniform
  2. It revolves around layers: dresses and cardigans or leggings with longer tops, paired with cardigans (of course).
  3. I need to hunt down patterns to sew more uniforms to help bolster my currently meager closet

Saying Bonjour

So, now for the fun part – to tell you about the amazing basics I discovered:

1. Jalie 3248 Drop Pocket Cardigan
2. Jalie 3245 Raglan
3. Jalie Clara Leggings

This cardigan was a total joy to sew up. It is a bit more technical than your typical cardi but it is super clever how the pockets are created and the finishes are typical Jalie (stellar). I made this one in some amazing brushed sweater knit from Mily Mae. It is super soft and I find myself reaching for it a LOT.

I’m a total sucker for a curved hem so the raglan was a no brainer. I love how the pattern pieces are used. Rather than having different cut lines or pieces for the tank and the top, front and back, it is done in a modular fashion. Jalie provides you with a pattern piece from under the bust down to the hem and you tape it to a front and back piece for the shoulders to the bust, depending on whether you’re making the tank or the shirt.

First, I made the shirt from this floral spun polyester. This doesn’t have the drape I was wanting but I loved the print and will wear it loads, especially with the cardigan. The neckline is the perfect balance of not feeling too exposed or constricted.

I sewed the racerback tank in drapey bamboo lycra from Knitpop (affiliate link). I went for a more casual look, opting to not bind the arm and neck holes.

I cannot stop talking about the Clara leggings. They do not have a vertical seam above the crotch. NO CAMEL TOE! The fit is perfection, my only adjustment was for height (I’m quite petite). I made a pair from 12oz black cotton lycra and another from yoga knit and have two more pairs cut out in black double brushed poly.

The waistband is worth mentioning too. It is a contoured waistband and you construct the topmost seam first, then attach elastic to the seam allowance which then gets understitched. The waistband does not move and will support me in anything, whether yoga, running, or my 24/7 professional momming.

I still have a fairly empty closet but I have two new outfits that I know will fit my lifestyle and will be worn loads. Now, to get to sewing up those other two pairs of Claras!

Blogger Lineup

Be sure to visit these talented sewing bloggers during the tour:

Wednesday, Feb 6 – The Petite Sewist | auschick sews | Replicate then Deviate | Deepika Blogs

Thursday, Feb 7 – Sew What Yvette | Sew Cucio | Shalini’s Sewing Space | Curtiepie | A Jennuine Life

Friday, Feb 8 – SeamsLikeStyle | It’s Liesel | SewSophieLynn | Danvillegirl Sewing Diary | Skirt Fixation

Monday, Feb 11 – The Crafting Fiend | Sprouting JubeJube | its sew colorful | Diskordia’s Curvy Sewing

Tuesday, Feb 12 – All Things Katy! | BigFlyNotions | needle and the belle | Zoopolis

Sewalong and Giveaway!

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Are there some Jalie patterns you’ve been itching to get? Now’s your chance to WIN YOUR JALIE WISHLIST! Head over to Jalie’s website, create an account, add your favorite patterns to your wishlist, and complete the rafflecopter form below (patterns must be added by February 12, 2019 11:59pm EST to be eligible). Incomplete entries will be eligible for fabric prizes only.

For extra entries, join our Jalie sewalong! Make a Jalie “basic” between January 28 and February 12 and share it on Instagram with hashtag #basicallyjalie and/or in the Basically Jalie Album in the Sewing with Jalie Facebook group.

We are so grateful to our generous sponsors who have teamed up to provide the following prizes (please stop by their shops and show them some love!):

Grand Prize (Worldwide)

Win Your Jalie Wishlist – Up to $100 CAD in patterns!

Discovery Trekking Outfitters – One (1) x 50 USD gift card

D&H Fabrics co. – One (1) x $50 USD gift card

Sewalong Prize (Continental USA only)

Win Your Jalie Wishlist – Up to $25 CAD in patterns!

The Sewciety – One (1) Subscription box (value: $48 USD)

Simply By Ti – One (1) x $20 USD gift card

Sewalong Prize (Worldwide, excluding Continental USA)

Win Your Jalie Wishlist – Up to $25 CAD in patterns!

PatternReview.com – One (1) x $30 USD gift card

Discovery Trekking Outfitters – One (1) x 50 USD gift card

(Note: gift cards exclude shipping unless otherwise stated on sponsor website)

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Favorite Drapey Knit Fabric Bases

Welcome to my stop on the New Horizons Valentines Day Blog Tour.
Keep reading until the end for details about the sale and a chance to win some great prizes from our sponsors.

I’m excited to share my Valentine’s Valencia (affiliate link), in rayon spandex from Mily Mae Fabrics. I sewed my first Valencia about a year ago. It was during testing for the Marbella (see my version here), a tank and excellent companion pattern for layering under the Valencia.

I tried out the solid front and back, curved hem, and 3/4 sleeves. True to New Horizon form, amazing options, terrific fit, instructions that don’t leave you hanging.

Check out this gorgeous curved hem!

Cotton Lycra: My First Love

When I started sewing knits, I was confused by all the different types of fabrics and their content. I quickly learned stretchy fabrics were not all created equal. I’ve always loved more natural fibers (breathability!) and was immediately drawn to cotton lycra. It is a fairly stable knit so easier to sew than something slinkier like ITY. It also has excellent stretch and recovery so can technically be used for nearly everything – – – dresses, skirts, leggings, tops, bands, etc. I used it here, here, and here.

The one downside is that cotton lycra doesn’t drape the best. I don’t hesitate to use it for tops for my kids but unless its a fairly structured garment, I prefer something with a little more flow to it for myself.

Enter: Rayon Spandex

Rayon is soft like cotton (more slippery) and will breathe like cotton but had the advantage of draping beautifully. Typically, rayon spandex may have great stretch but it is not renowned for its recovery. So, unless there is a decently large neck opening, you don’t want to use rayon spandex for bands.

I saw this Kammy fabric recently at Mily Mae and *HAD* to have it. It was pink, it was floral, it was RS. This is pretty much my fabric holy grail. Better yet, I have enough left over to make something pink and fabulous for my daughter who loves rayon spandex as much as I do. (Evidence here, here, and here.)

I wish I had scooped up these yellow dots too, they make me feel so happy!

Secret tip: Watch the Mily Mae website tomorrow at 3PM PT for an amazing stocking!

I’ve really fallen in love with neck bindings since I got my coverstitch.
So much easier and look gorgeous every time!

Other Fab Bases

Another of my favorite sewing bases is french terry. There are tons of different compositions but the two I see most often are:

  1. Cotton-based French Terry such as the geometric print fabric I used here and here.
  2. Rayon-Poly blend French Terry such as what I used for my first Valencia (below) as well as other projects here and here. This is the drapey softer sort of French Terry, perfect for the cross over back Valencia!
Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

I do sew non-natural fibers too. I’m a huge fan of double-brushed polyester, especially in the cooler months. See this post for how I wore DBP in the summer.

And I could not live without my drapey cozy sweater knits in the winter (see here, here, and here). Bonus points in my book if its a brushed sweater knit like this one I used for this Tawsha dress (full blog post here). I have a grey sweater knit planned for my next Valencia, it will be a cross over back version.

My sweater knit Tawsha dress with
shoulder details in quilted knit.

Wanna See More Gorgeous Garments?

This is a week-long adventure! Each day, you can check out more Valencia and Marbella inspiration. Check out those stops:

Tues Feb 5th Meadow Sews
Wed Feb 6th Inspired Indigo
Thurs Feb 7th Liviality
Thurs Feb 7th Sew Bee Loved
Fri Feb 8th Sweet Sprocket
Fri Feb 8th Hazelnut Handmade

Without Further Ado – – – PRIZES!

Please enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win these prizes from our sponsors:

DISCOUNTS:

  • Both the Valencia and Marbella Tank are on sale for $7/ea through Sunday, Feb 10
  • Surge Fabric Shop is offering bigflynotions readers 15% off with code NHBUNDLES15 on the exclusive bundles here. I’m especially swooning over that mustard bundle.

Happy Sewing!

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive
a small commission when buyers use my link to make a purchase.
Thanks for supporting my blog!

Top 3 Reasons Why Dolman Patterns are the Best Way to Learn to Sew Knit Fabric

Sewing with knit fabrics sounds scary, right? That stuff stretches! You have to use special needles, worry about which stitch you’ve selected, and some people even have special machines just to make the stuff behave.

Is your brain exploding yet?

I can research and pre-plan forever but, ultimately, I learn best by doing and just need to jump into whatever new skill/project I’m trying to tackle.

Looking back, I wish I had started sewing with knits sooner than I did. They’re comfy and 90% of my ready-to-wear (RTW) so, obviously, something I unknowingly preferred already. I also wish I had started by sewing a dolman pattern because:

1. Dolmans don’t have sleeves

Rather, dolmans don’t have a separate sleeve piece. Dolmans are a style where the sleeve and bodice are cut together.

Setting in sleeves (the process of attaching the sleeve piece to the bodice) can be tricky. While doing this on a woven garment is often more challenging than on a knit one, it is still an extra step where you’re matching up the armscye, thinking, is this the front or the back or where is the middle of this thing?

Further advantages ofhaving fewer pattern pieces:

  • Your cutting is very quick = less opportunity for the fabric to roll up
  • Your sewing is a bit faster = less likely to overmanipulate that stretchy devil fabric

Disclosure: some links below are affiliate links.

2. They are easier to fit

If you’re choosing a batwing style, you’ll find this is especially the case. This super voluminous top portion is super on-trend but is also extremely forgiving. This pattern is the Dreamy Drape from Rebecca Page. For adult ladies, depending on your specific measurements, you might find that you can skip an FBA or many of your other standard fit adjustments.

I love how this tapers at the elbow for a more fitted forearm. It is extremely comfy without sacrificing range of motion. In fact, Miss Mini Monkey spend the morning at our local trampoline park in her top.

3 Pattern matching is a breeze

Fewer seams mean less risk! In fact, I think dolmans show off horizontal patterns like stripes perfectly. This is an oldie but goodie from my stash. It is double brushed polyester from the now shuttered Vinegar and Honey. I love how the pattern crosses from elbow to elbow. It is so pretty!

Practice Practice Practice

Any knit garment is going to give you the opportunity to practice skills like stretch stitches, bands/bindings, and hemming with a twin needle. Many designers will also guide you through specific suggestions to help as you sew up their knit garment. One thing I love about Rebecca Page’s patterns is that she always provides instructions for seamstresses using a standard machine as well as those with a serger.

Whether you do end up choosing a dolman style pattern or any other, the most important thing is that you’re pushing forward and gaining the experience to create your own fabulous self sewn wardrobe.

Happy sewing!!!

DISCLOSURE: As an affiliate, I earn referral fees if something is purchased through my links. This occurs with no extra cost to the buyer and helps to fund this blog. I only recommend products/services that I use and love. Thank you for your support.