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.
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:
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 FREEParis Party Dress (affiliate link) with the knitStevie 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.
Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Double Duty Blog Tour for more great inspiration:
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.
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.
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.)
Secret tip: Watch the Mily Mae website tomorrow at 3PM PT for an amazing stocking!
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:
Cotton-based French Terry such as the geometric print fabric I used here and here.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.