McCalls 7061 – Casual Funnel Neck Dress

I’ve been making more casual clothes lately but I still like to wear dresses (which would be a total shocker to my younger tomboy self). I’d bought a dress almost identical to this about a year or so ago and loved it. On one of my many forays to Hancock Fabrics, I saw this pattern displayed on top of the pattern drawers and couldn’t believe my luck. Imagine my surprise when I realized this was in fact a sleepwear/lounge patter NOT apparel. Never being to like limitations or being told what I can and cannot do, I decided to make this as a casual dress to wear on the weekends, on my days off and while running errands. 


I actually completed the dress some time ago but then biting cold and rain swept in so in the closet it went. Today the weather was perfect for this in the low to mid-60’s since I used a sweatshirt fleece for this version. I need to find a lighter weight fabric to make spring versions because this style will be in heavy rotation.

Pattern Review: 

Pattern Description:  MISSES’ TOPS, DRESS, SHORTS, PANTS AND SLIPPERS: Close-fitting tops and dresses have sleeve bands. A and B: stitched hem on hood, wrong side shows. B and C: shaped hemline. A and D: collar and hem band. D: purchased drawstring. B, C and D: pocket. Fitted shorts and pants have waistband. E: side slits. F: leg bands. B, C and E: narrow hem. Slippers have insets, sole and contrast lining.

Pattern Sizing: Y(XSmall-Small-Medium), ZZ(Large-XLarge-XXLarge), Foot Size: [XS (83/4″),S (91/4″),M (93/4″),L (101/4″),XL (103/4″)]

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Definitely!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Great instructions

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the style of this dress and it is very similar to one of my favorite RTW dresses.

Fabric Used: I used a lightweight Sweatshirt Fleece from Denver Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added an inch to the side seams around the stomach area but ended up taking it back out. This is meant to be a lounge pattern but I made it as a dress.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I absolutely plan to make many more of these, this was such an easy make and super comfortable to wear all day.

Conclusion:  This a great pattern for beginners and a nice and easy casual dress.

M7296 Casual Jumpsuit

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My son has recently joined a travel basketball team which means that more weekends than not, I spend hours in a car and even more hours sitting in the bleachers cheering him on.  This has resulted in my need for more casual, comfortable but cute clothes.  I’ve actually made a few sweatshirt dresses (I love to wear dresses, one piece dressing at its best) but it’s been too cold or wet to wear them so I thought I make this one piece jumpsuit as another casual option.  Because the weather has turned downright cold now, I’ve opted for warmer fabrics like sweatshirt fleece and french terry.

I loved the casual style of this jumper when I saw it even though it’s intended to be a loungewear/sleepwear pattern, I knew it would suit my purposes perfectly. And there’s pockets!!

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The only design change I made was to add these pearl snaps rather than buttons called for in the pattern.

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Here’s the Pattern Review

Pattern Description:  MISSES’ ROMPER AND JUMPSUITS: Loose-fitting romper and slightly tapered jumpsuits (semi-fitted through bust) have mock-bands, dropped-waist bodice, elasticized tie ends or optional purchased cord, and side pockets. A, B: Mock-wrap bodice. B, C: Elasticized legs. Sleeves, and hems A, D: Stitched hems. Note: No provisions provided for above waist adjustment.

Pattern Sizing: A5(6-8-10-12-14), E5(14-16-18-20-22)

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?  The instructions are super easy to follow and it came together quickly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like that the waist tie ends are sewn to elastic so they actually secure the waist and are adjustable rather than the standard elastic waist with faux ties.  No dislikes

Fabric Used: I used a lightweight sweatshirt fleece from Fabric Mart.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn’t make any pattern alterations and the only design change was to use snaps instead of buttons.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I definitely will make this at least once more.

Conclusion:  A great pattern that can be used for lounge wear or casual wear. A fun, easy sew.

  

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Starting Over – Fitness Journey

A little over a year ago, I embarked on a pretty serious fitness journey where I not only changed the way that I was eating but I also started a pretty consistent walking program.  By January of last year, I had gotten up to walking 3-5 miles four or five times a week.  I was feeling really strong and pretty good about me sticking to it because let’s face it, exercise has never really been my thing.  When February hit, I began having problems with pain in my foot and ankle — well, truth be told, I’d had trouble with the same foot/ankle off and on for years but I’d take Motrin or Alleve for a couple of days and I’d be back in business.  Unfortunately, I’ve developed an intolerance for that entire class of medications so off to the podiatrist I went.  Turns out I have chronic tendinitis in my foot that is of course aggravated by the repetitive motion of WALKING.  I left there with a compression sock, a compression brace, orthopedic pads a boot a prescription for custom orthotics and a CANE!  He also told me that the ONLY acceptable shoe for me to wear would be hiking boots . . . all the time.  AS. IF.

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All the equipment did help and after wearing it for awhile, my foot was great and I was ready to go.  About half way through my first day back in shoes, I had a severe back spasm due to being off balance from the boot and my back was out for a month.  That pain was WAY worse than the foot pain.  Haven’t been back in that boot since.  I said all that to say that because of all of these foot issues, I am in pain daily and as a result haven’t been able to exercise for nearly a year and I really feel it.  Late last night I got the bright idea to use icy hot on my foot and I actually experienced significant relief.  So today, I’m back on the treadmill. I’ll definitely have to work my way back up to where I was but I’m just thankful that I can begin again.  I may need you guys to help keep me accountable and certainly feel free to join me.  I have a tendency to be tough on myself but I just have to remember that it’s not the destination it’s about the journey.

 

Happy New Year!!!

Hi Luvs! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to the new year.  I always love the new year as it is a time for reflection on what you’ve accomplished and learned and also an opportunity to reflect on the strength that you have that allowed you to navigate the previous years challenges.  I also love the goal setting and planning for accomplishments and the inherent hope that all of that brings.  I try to do this in every aspect of my life, including sewing, so here’s a look back at my 2015 projects.

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I realized although there are a few more makes that I did not photograph and review, my sewing output was dismally low this year, definitely due more to the sheer craziness of work, travel and children being involved in more activities than my interest in sewing.  I plan to change that this year. I’ve already got one jumpsuit about 90% completed and two dresses cut out so I’m off to a good start.  I think what’s needed is a new routine for my current lifestyle rather than trying to stick with what worked when life was a lot less complicated.  I’m committed to it though so I know it’ll happen.

Were you as productive in 2015 as you’d hoped to be?  What are your sewing goals for 2016?

I’m off to celebrate hubby’s birthday today, if the weather holds up, I’ll be posting pictures of my dress later this week.

 

Kids Pajamas – Butterick 6126

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I have been on a little bit of a pre-vacation vacation so that I can actually get some rest and some things done for myself before the kids get out of school and chaos and parties take over.  FAT. CHANCE. I have been running around from one school meeting or performance to the next.  Finally on Thursday, I attended the final performance of the year, I was feeling pretty good, that is until the Principal “reminded” us that pajama day was the next day.  My boys LOVE pajama day and of course I usually make them so off I went to hit up my fabric stash and I had just bought this pattern to use for them for our annual Christmas pjs.

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I made the pants and the View B Top for my daughter and just the pants for my son since he likes to wear his pants with coordinated tee-shirts.  This is my daughter’s first year in school so she was (thankfully) a little skeptical about the idea of wearing pajamas outside of the house, but once she saw her coordinated set in the morning she was ready to go.  I love the way these turned out and it gets me in the mood for the pajama sewing marathon on deck between now and Christmas.

<b>Pattern Description: </b> CHILDREN’S/BOYS’ TOP, SHORTS AND PANTS: Top has neckline and sleeve variations. A and B: pullover, neck band, pocket, shaped hemline (wrong side shows), and narrow hem. C and D: mock bands. Shorts and pants have elasticized waist. Sleeves A, B and hemlines C, D, E and F: stitched hems. G: elasticized hemline.

PATTERN REVIEW

Pattern Sizing: Combinations: CDD(2-3-4-5), CL(6-7-8)

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? The instructions were super easy for the construction of the garment. The band construction was a bit strange and came out wonky the first time. Even when marking precisely, it doesn’t quite go together as it should so I re-cut it and attached it my own way and it came out great.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the the sleeves, they go in so easy and more importantly that are less binding that a typical sleeve which is great for sleeping kids.

Fabric Used: I used flannel that I got from Fabric.com. I made these from remants of previous years Christmas pajamas and a scrap piece of ponte knit for the neck binding from this shirt so essentially these pajamas were FREE! Winner!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No pattern alterations. I just used my own method for attaching the neck binding and I made them a little looser since they are sleepwear.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I definitely plan on sewing more of these. I love the way they look in coordinated pajama sets. I like them to still look put together even when lounging around the house.

Conclusion: This is a great little PJ pattern with many options and it comes together quite quickly. Definitely a keeper.

 

Simplicity 1062 and F21 Leather Trimmed Joggers

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Have I mentioned lately how much I love that I can sew? No? Sewing really is everything! It allows me to be creative, it allows me to have a never ending wardrobe AND allows me to fill in what I perceive to be the missing pieces in my wardrobe at will.  Such was the case with these Faux Leather trimmed joggers I found at Forever 21.

I knew I wanted a monochromatic look but didn’t have quite the right black shirt in my closet, so off I went to my fabric and pattern stashes (don’t even get me started on how much I love my stashes) and grabbed a nice black ponte knit and Simplicity 1062.

I love the high low style of  this top and the casual relaxed fit and thought it would pair perfectly with my pants.

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My Review: 

Pattern Description:  Easy to wear tops featuring hi-lo hemline with or without contrast bands.

Pattern Sizing: XXS-XXL all in one envelope

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I think so.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions are super easy. This is from their learn to sew collection so the were very basic.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the high-low style of the shirt as well as how easy it came together.

Fabric Used: Ponte knit from Fabricmartfabrics.com

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  N/A

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might if I needed a quick top in this style.

Conclusion:  Very easy, quick sew and works well as a wardrobe staple.

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Mimi G Cape Tutorial and Denim

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I knew as soon as I saw this Mimi G Cape tutorial that I had to make it.  I chose this camel color 100% wool because I wanted it to have significant weight as an outerwear piece.  We don’t have many super cold days but the building I work in is old and poorly insulated so I loved the idea of being able to wear the cape all day and keeping warm.

This fabric is really think and while I think it is a good choice, it definitely needs a professional pressing in my opinion, so I’ll take it to the cleaners but I was so excited to show this to you guys so I couldn’t wait.

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The skinnies are from Torrid which are my absolute favorite, the perfect rise and amount of stretch and the boots are from Nine West.

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Here’s my Review:

Pattern Description:  Circle Cape

Pattern Sizing: One size fits most however there is room for size adjustment.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Definitely!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Super easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  This is such a super easy stylish piece.

Fabric Used: 100% Wool

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added about 4 inches to the length of the cape because I’m quite busty and didn’t want to loose the overall finished length.  Also instead of the buttons, I used snaps and used one giant bad ass decorative button.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I definitely plan to sew this again and have already bought fabric for my second one.

Conclusion:  A super easy sew with a great stylish result.

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All About Ease

IMG_4998I love sewing with patterns but I know they give some people fits.  One of the more common challenges has to do with fit and determining the desired amount of ease.  While browsing the January 2016 issues of Threads I ran across a great article on ease which should go a long way in clearing up the mystery.  I love this magazine because I love reading about sewing and learning new information and techniques to add to my repertoire.  Enjoy!

Camo Print Simplicity 2054

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It’s been a long while since I have been able to sit down at my machine and boy have I missed it.  I’m still really busy but I really wanted to make a new dress to wear for my birthday weekend so I tried to find something simple that I could make pop with my camo print ponte knit fabric.  This is actually my second cut of this fabric which seems totally justified since camo is apparently my new favorite print so any time I see camo ponte, I snatch up a yard or 6.

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Pattern Review

Pattern Description:  Misses’ knit dresses and cowl – collar sewing pattern,

Pattern Sizing: 6-22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It did!

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions are super easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  No dislikes about the pattern.

Fabric Used:  Ponte Knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I’m 5’4″ and the dress comes just at or slightly above the knee. I like my dresses to hit slightly below the knee so I added two inches to the hem. I didn’t do it this time, but next time I will shorten the top portion of the sleeve as this dress has confirmed what I have previously suspected and that is that my arms are short so the opening in the sleeve hits about 1″-1.5″ lower than intended.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I will definitely be sewing this dress again probably in a sweatshirt fleece for a causal run around town dress.

Conclusion:  A cute simple dress with a pop of design style from one of my favorite designers.

Mimi G Easy & Sexy Dress

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As the end of Summer rapidly approaches and the temperatures here seem to be rising, I’m trying to squeeze in as many dresses and other warm weather items as I can before Fall sets in.  For some reason I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to sew this Summer so I’ve tried to choose projects that are quick to make since I like to wear what I make immediately, which is so different than when I buy clothes, I can have something I bought in my closet for weeks before wearing, but when I make something it’s usually on my back the next day.

Any way, this quick and easy dress was a great project as the pattern was drafted and the dress sewn in one day.

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Pattern Description:  Easy & Sexy strapless dress with a handkerchief hem.

Pattern Sizing: Since this is a tutorial the pattern sizing is customized to your measurements.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I think so.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Definitely, Mimi is a great teacher and gives great instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like that you can fit the pattern according to your taste so it can be fitted or you can add a little more wearing ease if you’d like.

Fabric Used: I used an ITY knit from the stash

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No alterations needed since this is a custom draft.

Would
you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
It is the end of summer so I don’t know about another strapless one but I do have ideas for a version for transitioning to Fall.

Conclusion:  Definitely an easy and stylish dress and judging from my husband’s reaction to the dress I’d say it delivers on the sexy too!

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