Joanne in Fire and Flood

One of my favorite things about sewing is being able to pair the unexpected. I recently made the Sinclair (affiliate link) Joanne dress with this amazing Esther Fallon Lau-designed Fire and Flood print currently on pre-order from The Fabric Snob. I love how the more casual feel of this print pairs so lovely with the more formal lines of the pattern. You won’t ever find pleats and fire and flood in RTW!

The Pattern: Joanne from Sinclair

The Sinclair Joanne comes with a multitude of options but the base pattern is a fitted faux wrapped bodice with a-line skirt.

There are options around the hem length (including a peplum!) and sleeve options (including this fun flounce in the illustration)

One of the things Sinclair is known for is the different heights in each pattern. This means less adjusting overall. I find I fit in between the Petite and Regular somewhere so I normally take just the teeniest bit of length out of the bodice and kind of play it by ear with the skirt. I ended up taking about an inch off the skirt hem and I love the result.

The dress itself came together very quickly. I really love the dot method Sinclair uses for the bodice pleats. Even if you’ve never sewn pleats before, you can do this!

The Fabric: Fire & Flood from The Fabric Snob

I used the EFL print in bamboo (95% Bamboo Rayon/ 5% Spandex Jersey Knit). This fabric is dreamy in its drape, super soft, and breathes! I live for natural fibers but sometimes cotton can feel too stiff and heavy. Bamboo is the perfect alternative and it has much better recovery and a longer life than just a plain jane rayon spandex.

It was so easy to work with and feels like wearing PJs! Seriously lush. Even better yet: $5 from each metre pre-ordered will go to the Australian fire relief effort to aid in the rehab and rebuilding efforts following the devastating bush fires. 

Styling

It has been warmer here so I decided to just pair the dress with booties for the picture. With the silhouette of this pattern, this print is now work appropriate. I can even envision cooler days including a black blazer and black tights and black booties. I’m super excited to have this breathable dress to take me through all the unexpected seasons and the crazy fluctuations of the office temperature!

This post contains an affiliate link for the dress pattern. I received the pattern in exchange for sewing it up and sharing my thoughts on the pattern. As a member of The Fabric Snob strike team, I received this fabric in exchange for sewing it up and sharing it on social media.

The Fitting Experiment – Sabrina Slims

My blogger friends and I recently started a group we’re calling The Fitting Experiment in which we will sew up patterns and showcase them on our blogs so all our sewing friends can see the looks on each body type and help determine if a pattern is for them and some of the adjustments they might need if they were to sew it up.

For our first experiment, we tried out the recently updated Sabrina Slims from Love Notions. Sabrina is a “cigarette” style pull on pant with multiple options. See the line drawing from the Love Notions listing below:

Slim fit pull-on pants sewing pattern

I kept it simple and went for the basic side seams with no pockets. I’ve never really loved pockets on anything me made for myself so that was an easy choice. I did add the back pockets because I feel like they make the pants look more like pants.

I used the fitting guide extensively. This thing is gold. It tells you exactly how you want to do your muslin to achieve the best fit and also includes really helpful details such as the amount of ease you want to achieve at each location.

I started out with a size larger than I would have normally for my muslin and had pretty decent results, definitely wearable. I did end up taking so much out that I went down a size nearly throughout for my red pair. I think part of this was user error in taking measurements. My fleshy bits around the hip can be a bit tough to accurately measure as I feel like they’ll squish up or down as opposed to measuring a more rigid point like my waist.

I also ended up taking out more length in the crotch and just contouring a bit. I plan to wear these to work. I love that they’re pull on and don’t cut my gut. For this pair, instead of adding elastic, I went down a size in the waistband and added clear elastic to the top seam when piecing the lining to the outer waistband. I haven’t worn them for an extended period of time yet but I suspect I’ll be comfortable and not need to keep pulling them up.

I definitely would need to fine tune the crotch and hips further on my next pair but the main difference I would make is the pockets. Rather than waiting until the pants were constructed to put on the back patch pockets, I did it sooner based on the pattern placement marks. They’re just a bit far apart for my liking. This is a super simple fix and now I know better. When I make any pant in the future, I’ll just baste or use double sided tape until I’m 100% sure.

I learned a lot about my body and good fitting techniques by sewing two pairs of these.

A special thank you to Love Notions for sponsoring The Fitting Experiment bloggers with patterns so that we can share our thoughts with you. Love Notions has kindly provided a 20% off shop discount code for all our readers. Please use this code at checkout: FittingEXPSabrinas

In addition, Love Notions has given us TWO copies of Sabrina Slims to giveaway. For a chance to win, comment below. For more chances to win, comment on the other blogs too! You can check out their posts below:

Happy Birthday Sofiona

Welcome to my stop on the Sofiona Designs Blog Tour. We’re helping the amazing Sofiona designers Sherri and Trisha to celebrate a huge milestone – – – a whole year of beautiful designs, spot-on drafting, superior instructions, and just all-around rad members of our sewing community.

Check out some of our amazing sponsors helping us to celebrate!

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Raven Day

Today is all about the Raven. I sewed the dress version with the elastic waist, long ruffle, and back tie. This ruffle with a little lace has my heart!!!

Check out the line drawing from the Sofiona website for some of the other options:

Raven line drawing from the Sofiona website

I love the elastic casings for the waist and sleeve cuffs. They sew up so quickly and are easier for my sweet pre-schooler’s independence (and my sanity!). My daughter is just under the size chart for the waist but shortening the elastic inside the casing means I can’t even tell!

The Fabric (and a coupon code)

The Raven can be made by light to medium-weight wovens or light knits. This pattern later inspired the Sofiona Rhubarb pattern drafted specfically for knits. You can see my Rhubarb dress here.

Blush - Yarn Dyed Linen Cotton - 1/2 metre

While the Raven can be made in knits, I chose to use this gorgeous linen sponsored from The Fabric Snob. I’m completely obsessed with this blush color right now.

My first order with “the snob” was fabulous. I had a few questions that were quickly answered in the group from knowledgeable admins and fellow “Snobs”. Shipping to the US is a flat rate OR/ FREE for orders over a certain amount. The quality and color of everything I ordered is absolutely divine and the exchange rate is an extra win.

The Fabric Snob is giving 10% off orders from the entire shop Nov 4-10 with the code SOFIONA. Jump for joy:

A21 and the Balsam Bag

One of the things I love about Sofiona is that they donate a portion of their earning to A21, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending human trafficking. To read more about the charity and Sofiona’s dedication to their mission, please click here. In addition, all profits from Sofiona’s latest pattern, the Balsam Bag, will be donated to A21. If you’ve been waiting to sew a bag, here’s a great reason to dive into it!

Balsam Bag Line Drawing from the Sofiona listing

More Sofiona Inspiration

Each day this week, two bloggers will pair up to showcase one Sofiona pattern. Follow along to see your favorite Sofiona patterns sewn “as is” by one blogger and a clever “hack” by the other.

Some of our favorite Instagrammers will also be sharing their Sofiona makes this week and they’ll be doing the same pairing up to showcase one pattern. Follow them for more inspiration:

Join us in the Sofiona Designs Fan Group on Facebook for more fun and to share your favorite Sofiona makes!

Sponsors & Prizes

Finally, a huge thank you to ALL the sponsors for joining in our Anniversary Celebration! Please participate in the Rafflecopter below for an opportunity to one of the two prize packages listed below valued at over $150 each and join us in the fan group for daily giveaways next week.

Prize Pack #1

Prize Pack #2

This post is affiliate-free. I received the pattern in exchange for sewing it up and telling you about my experience but my thoughts are entirely my own. This is a fabulous pattern by one of my favorite shops.
Check it out!

Dream Tee from Amelia Lane

I had so much fun testing the new Dream pattern from Amelia Lane Designs. Our community knows ALD owners Mya Jones-Bohman and Colleen Cameli for their fabric but the Dream tee and dress is their first venture into patterns. Mya designed and drafted the pattern and ALD hired a professional to digitize and grade according to the size chart.

The Options

The Dream Tee is a dolman with:

  • Two hem lengths: tee and dress
  • Three sleeve lengths: short, elbow, long
  • Two necklines: scoop and plunge
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Inclusivity

This pattern’s inclusive size range makes it more than worthy of its name. ALD covers sizes 00-34 (71 inch hip) and was thoroughly tested throughout the range. You know the plus sized patterns that don’t fit the upper range like the lower? Not the case here. I really appreciated that I didn’t even need to make any adjustment for my upper arms.

Fabrics

You can get away with using all your favorite knits. And ALD knows fabric! I sewed versions in ITY, rayon spandex, dbp, and this grey ALD waffle knit. Basically, anything drapey goes. Some testers were discussing using a CL for the pattern. I’m not a fan of the boxy look on myself but it would technically work.

There are other helpful hints throughout the tutorial. For example, I took Mya’s suggestion for elastic in the shoulder seams for the rs and waffle.

Get Your Hack On!

The pattern is a terrific wardrobe builder. As a basic pattern (my dress is a front, back, and neckband), it is suitable for beginners. As a solid basic pattern, the Dream Tee is super easy to hack. Check out the ALD Blog for an entire series of ideas.

How to Buy

The link to the pattern is here.

Pattern release price is $7.99 through Tuesday 11/5 (retail will be $9.99 following that).

As a tester, I received this pattern in exchange for my time and feedback towards the successful final product. I also accepted ALD’s offer of deeply discounted fabric for my final (the grey waffle knit). My opinions here and throughout social media are entirely my own.

VIA!

I recently helped test the Via Top, Tunic, and Dress pattern from Sofilantjes Patterns that is currently being released as part of the Street Style Bundle over at Project Run and Play.

I normally sew more fitted bodices for my daughter so it was fun to try out a more straight fitting style and the seaming is perfect for color blocking (though I chose to use a singular color).

I found the pattern pieces and instructions easy to follow. I really like when designers include blending paths because my kiddos are rather slender for their height and blending across more than 2 sizes can be a chore.

The hardest part was finding appropriate fabric. Via calls for French terry/summer sweat with min 30%, max 50% stretch. I am realizing how heavy my stash is on drapier fabrics with more stretch. Luckily, I had a few options for miss 4. She chose this blue cotton French terry I had been saving for joggers for myself (mom life, huh?). We added this fun DBP for the neckband and cuffs. These were fussy cut scraps from this dress.

Because of the fabulous seaming and using just one color, I definitely wanted to topstitch to help draw attention to the pattern’s lines. I used a navy blue to contrast. Looking back, I wish I had stitched the reverse side but I was in auto-pilot mode listening to podcasts.

We had a blast taking these pictures. This flood wall was built to help protect the local shopping district and has a bunch of child-friendly graffiti art.

Sewing for Fall

I got a head start sewing fall wardrobes this year. It was still 90+ degrees when I photographed most of these long sleeve loves. Good thing, because fall came virtually overnight.

I made myself a fall dress using this lovely Art Gallery cotton lycra. I used the Bella Sunshine Designs (affiliate link) Emmaline bodice and popped on the Sahara skirt. This pattern is so lovely. Fits like a dream and super fast because you’re using bands instead of lining. BSD is actually running a mash contest right now. Check out more details here. Hey, I recognize that lady!

My son got several pair of Railway Joggers. I love Sofiona for their terrific fit and superb contruction. There are always fabulous design elements that give even basic things like pants a little extra style. Isn’t he the coolest looking little dude styled up in this P4P free beanie and sneaks? I used a sweater knit for the hat and the joggers are actually an old sweatshirt of mine. I love how they have just the right amount of structure.

Check out little dude in his Hip 2 B Square top (affiliate link) from Goober Pea Designs. Yep, this hat gets around! I had some scraps from Simply By Ti’s striped cotton lycra and it was a great feature fabric for this pattern.

Don’t worry, Diva Girl was NOT left out. By any means. This dress hound settled for a skirt and a top. The skirt is Arcus (affiliate link) from Sofilantjes and made from FT scraps with a DBP waist. The top is a 3/4 sleeved Maggie (affiliate link) from BSD in baby FT.

Image may contain: 1 person, shoes, child and outdoor

I also recently made her a long sleeved Rhubarb dress from Sofiona. This is made from Art Gallery CL. I think it was 100 degrees this day in the park but she had so much fun all dressed up and playing in the stream. Oh child!

Pre-school Dress Love

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I used the popular Every Which Way Dress from Duchess and Hare to make my daughter a few dresses awhile back. I’m so happy I am finally remembering to share them!

I made the dress with a collar and a vintage length and I adore the result. The way the dark chambray mixes with this gorgeous floral makes the pattern sing.

My miss has grown a full inch over the summer though so I decided to make an extra long skirt for her second one and wanted lots of twirling fullness so added to the width as well.

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Both versions are totally twirl-worthy!

The main fabric on both dresses is quilting cotton. I love using quilting cotton because it is so widely available locally and there are tons of adorable prints and is often at a lower price point. I rarely iron either, I find that simply hanging the dress and hand pressing out the wrinkles while wet mostly does the trick. Phew, this mom doesn’t have time to iron everyday wear.

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These two dresses are worn for school, play, painting, for life. I imagine they would constitute as church or other dress up wear for other little ladies but She lives for pretty dresses so why not enjoy them daily? I imagine this pattern would be super spectacular in special occasion fabrics too!