Chai Shirt and Dress – Pattern Test for Itch to Stitch

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When I first started sewing for myself, I used to upcycle my husband’s shirts. I’d start by removing the pockets and then cutting out the collars. For a really long time, I actually saved all those collars because their construction was quite intriguing! How one went about achieving a crisp collar with such a neat finish on both the inside and outside was beyond me. And how exactly did the shirt, collar stand and the collar come together? I did unpick one collar one time to try and understand what was going on but that didn’t go very far.

Fast forward three years and I am sewing for myself a fitted shirt dress with plackets, darts and a collar – a crisp and beautifully finished collar. It never gets old, that feeling of accomplishment when you have conquered yet another milestone, does it? So here I am, sharing another small triumph in my sewing journey  with you – The Chai Shirt and Dress!

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If you’ve seen my earlier blog posts on Itch to Stitch patterns (Arenal Top, Newport Top and Anza Dress) you know how much I admire Kennis’s patterns. Not only are her designs tasteful, but her drafting skills are extremely refined and professional.

The Chai Shirt and Dress  is yet another amazing Itch to Stitch Pattern. It is a classic fit and flare button down shirt dress, with a full placket and collar. A fitted waistband, along with gathered bust darts make this pattern both elegant and unique.

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The pattern already comes with pattern pieces for different cup sizes, so the only minor fit adjustment I made was shortening the bodice by 2″. On hindsight,  I feel like shortening it by 1.5″ might have been enough because the waistband ended up a tiny bit higher than the intended design, not that it would stop me from wearing it 🙂

Kennis’s instructions are as always beautifully detailed and well-illustrated. Sewing the collar was as effortless as sewing the sleeves or hemming the dress. In fact, I hadn’t even realized till I’d finished sewing most of the dress that I had seamlessly tackled what are usually considered the intimidating steps in sewing a shirt dress. That says much about the quality of the tutorial! It might have been helped by the fact that I was able to get in three uninterrupted hours of sewing without little people’s constant demands for food and entertainment.

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For quite some time, I have been meaning to try this Tencel fabric that has been popping up everywhere, so when i came across this Tencel Chambray from La Finch Fabrics, I ordered it and immediately found use for it in the form of my new Chai Dress. I am happy to report that not only is this fabric lovely in texture and drape, it is also easy to work with. Usually nice drape equals hard to align grainlines and shifty fabrics, but this one is neither. It was incredibly easy to work with!

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The Chai Dress is currently on sale until the end of this week. If you have been considering a shirt dress, this is an incredibly great pattern to start with. Don’t let the collar or the buttonholes intimidate you! Check out all the gorgeous tester Chai Dresses and Tops here.

Happy Sewing!!!

*If you buy the pattern through one of my affiliate links, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you and you will help support my blogging adventure. Thank you.

Sandbridge Skirt – Pattern Test for Hey June Handmade!

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Ever since Adrianna mentioned she was working on a denim skirt, I swear I had been checking and rechecking my email for the testing call. And when it finally came, I rushed to reply “YESSSS” never mind that it’s summer with two crazy kids around, I even had my in-laws, and my husband’s brother’s family staying over!!! Who in their right mind would agree to test? but it’s a Hey June pattern! and every single pattern test that I’ve participated in for Adrianna, has helped me level-up in my sewing skills. I have learnt so much from her patterns, and her patterns are designed and explained such that you can dive into them with blind faith, even if you think you’re in over your head. That is exactly what I did with the Sandbridge skirt.

I printed, cut and proceeded to sew reading every word of every sentence in the tutorial and what do you know I ended up with a denim skirt! with pockets! bartacks and topstitching! and a real fly with zipper! all in one attempt! So gratifying I tell you!

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Okay now that I have finished fangirling (almost) here’s some details: The Sandbridge skirt is a casual raw-hem skirt which come in two lengths, mid-thigh and just above the knee. The pattern does include instructions for a regular turned up hem as well. It includes traditional five pockets, a functional zipper fly, back yoke, and belt loops. Recommended fabrics for the Sandbridge skirt are stretch or non-stretch bottom weight fabrics such as denim, corduroy, twill, velvet, or sateen.

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For my sandbridge, I chose a medium weight non-stretch denim from JoAnns, and made a size 2 with some minor adjustments. I took out 2″ from the back yoke and waistband. Adrianna has a sew along on her blog, and it is incredibly helpful in understanding and altering the pattern to get you the perfect fit.

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I took an entire week sewing this in really short stretches because family… but it actually comes together rather quickly, and I enjoyed all the top stitching. My edge-stitching foot got used and loved a ton, seriously it is easy as pie getting uniform double top-stitched lines when you use it.

I only wish my machine could have handled sewing the belt loops but after 3 wonky attempts, I chose to leave them out and the rivets, my next one (yes there is a next one in the works) will certainly have those extras.

You have to check out all the amazing tester versions here! so good! so professional! Grab a copy of your pattern here (Not an affiliate link, I am just being helpful)

Happy Sewing!!!

 

 

Sahara Top & Dress – Pattern Test for Bella Sunshine Designs

Last week, I got to test the Sahara Top and Dress by Bella Sunshine Designs. It’s a fantastic knit dress pattern – simple, elegant and playful! What I love most about this pattern though is the fit, from the beautiful scoop in the back to the fit across the chest, it is complete perfection!

The Sahara Dress features a fully lined bodice with a scooped neckline (with no closures which I really like) and both sleeveless and sleeve options in different lengths. It has a full circle skirt which comes in top and dress lengths. The circle skirt is without a doubt my daughter’s favorite element, you can never have enough twirly dresses around here. Every piece of fabric that she sees me petting, she has to ask “are you making a pretty dress for me?” pretty equals twirly!

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This dress for me is the classic combination of perfect fabric meets perfect pattern. I love the texture and stretch and drape of double brushed polyester, and have used it a ton for leggings this past year. And the Sahara Dress pattern recommends fabric with good drape and more importantly, good recovery, so this fabric (fabric from So Sew English Fabrics) works beautifully for this pattern, with no stretching out or rippling around the neckline and the waistline.

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This child just turned 3, but is skinny and still fits into her baby clothes. One of the most helpful things I learnt while testing this pattern is how to blend correctly across sizes. This dress is a 12 month size widthwise blended to a 2year size in length. The pattern comes with clear instructions and illustrations for blending between sizes, so you get the perfect fit. I love love love that pretty neckline and those 3/4th sleeves!

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For the sleeveless version, I used this lovely spring-like cotton spandex from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and an interlock jersey for the bodice lining.

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Obviously, I can’t decide which one I love more but these dresses will be worn and loved to death, that I do know!!

Because, I don’t believe I’ve said it enough times 😉 but the fit of the Sahara Dress is pure excellence and is such a great pattern to have on hand, oh the possibilities of having a well fitted basic pattern!  My husband says she needs a princess dress for when we go to watch the Beauty and the Beast next week, I’m wondering if I can use this pattern for a maxi length dress.

The Sahara Top & Dress is currently on release sale price of $5.50 (regular price $7.95 USD), don’t forget to take a look at the listing for some gorgeous tester versions. One thing that I have come to love about Bella Sunshine Designs is how thorough their testing process is and how they strive for perfection in the pattern fit and instructions. I have used and reviewed several of their patterns (here, here, here and here) before and highly recommend their patterns.

Happy Sewing!!

*If you buy the pattern through one of my affiliate links, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you and you will help support my blogging adventure. Thank you.

Reagan Raglan – Pattern Test for Bella Sunshine Designs

Bella Sunshine Designs* is turning two and they’re celebrating their 2 year anniversary with a big sale – 40% off of all patterns and 2 great free patterns – Reagan raglan for ladies* and Reagan raglan* for kids. Today I’m sharing a few pictures of my Raegan raglan that I tested a couple weeks back.

While there are many amazing raglan patterns out there, a few design elements that stand out in this pattern for me are the slim fit, v-neck, and the dress length options. This pattern also comes with bust adjustment pieces for those needing an FBA.

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Both the cotton jersey knit and the lace knit fabrics are from hobby lobby from last year.

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The Reagan raglan* comes in sizes 0-20, with top, tunic and dress length options in both long and short sleeve options. Bust adjustment is included and its a layered pattern meaning you can print only the sizes you need. The pattern is only $5 but as part of the 2 year anniversary celebrations, Bella sunshine Designs is giving away both the womens and the kids Reagan raglan patterns for free.

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If you have never tried a BSD pattern before, now is a great time to try out their patterns. Make sure you join their Facebook group here to get your coupon code for the free patterns.

Here are some other Bella Sunshine Designs* patterns that I have tried in the past, you can click on the links for a detailed review and more pictures for each pattern.

Violet dress for girls pattern* (My review here)

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Violet Dress & Top* for Women (Reviewed here)

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Rose Bubble Shorts* and Felicity Dress and Top* (Reviewed here)

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The code for your free copy of the Raglan patterns is in the pinned post in the BSD facebook group. All of the patterns in the shop* are 40% off till March 5th so hurry on and get shopping!

*If you buy the pattern through one of my affiliate links, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you and you will help support my blogging adventure. Thank you.

Women’s Constance Dress – Pattern Test for Sew a Little Seam

Ohhh I have been waiting for the Women’s Constance for so long. Ever since I made the girl’s version for my daughter (reviewed here) I have been hoarding the remnants in the hope that some day they’d end up as Constance Tops and dresses for me. My prayers have been answered! Well! its either that, or the fact that Kelly has been badgered with way too many requests for the Women’s version lol. So here we are!

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The Women’s Constance Top, Tunic and dress PDF pattern comes in sizes 0/2 (32″ bust) to 28 (50″ bust) and like the children’s version, comes in three hem lengths – top, tunic or dress, and four sleeve lengths – short, 3/4 and long. You can choose to do a regular neckline with a neckband or a lined or unlined hood. It also includes options like the kangaroo pocket, oval and heart elbow patches, and cuffs and hem bands. It has layered sizing and a very clear photo tutorial.

This pattern also happens to be part of the Meaningfully Made collection that Kelly is designing.  I think it’s pretty amazing that she’s directing 100% of the proceeds towards the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, a cause that is very important and close to her.

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I made the dress length with my standard alteration of shortening the length by a good 1.5″. The cuffs finish off the neck, sleeves and hem! So with no folding, pressing and hemming, it goes by pretty quickly. I don’t dislike pressing or hemming, quite frankly I sometimes enjoy the mundane tasks that sewing involves like trimming and cutting pattern pages, pressing seams, hand hemming, even hand gathering. Is that weird?

Anyway, this gorgeous coral french terry is from LA Finch fabrics, and the floral liverpool knit that I used for the cuffs and binding is from Sincerely Rylee fabrics (I used it here for my Chloe skirt). This is the exact combination of fabrics I used for my daughter’s tunic, I loved it so much that I decided to copy her dress 😀

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The fit of this dress is pretty awesome. It curves in nicely at the waist and out at the hips giving it a nice shape. I am not much of a dress person,  I belong to the throw on leggings or skinnies and a comfy top camp. Most of my dresses are reserved for special occasions, but wearing this dress has made me rethink my wardrobe options. I feel like I need a few more dresses to spruce up my everyday mommy uniform.

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It was such a cold windy cloudy snowy afternoon when we took pictures, I thought the pictures would be a disaster for sure, but I love how they turned out. It helps when you have a husband who not just makes you smile (or giggle) but drives home during lunch time just to take pictures 🙂

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of my top version made in hacci sweater knit fabric that I got from my Girl Charlee Knitfix last year. Its a great sturdy knit with good stretch.

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The Women’s Constance top and dress PDF pattern is only $4. With so many style options, and an amazing fit and shape, I’d say it’s a steal! Check out the listing for more inspiration from some fabulous tester versions.

Make it Mine Waterfall Raglan Blog Tour

Hello and welcome to the ‘Make it Mine’ Waterfall blog tour! With different theme inspired looks each day showcased by so many seamstresses and bloggers from around the world, fabulous prizes to be won from the giveaway and even a bonus prize for linking up, there’s every reason to participate and follow along right?!?

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For my day look today, I chose to take the already comfortable Women’s Waterfall raglan top a little in the vintage direction with some lace and pearls. And to that, deemed this soft ivory and grey heather jersey from Cali fabrics the perfect fabric to work with.

I really love the laid back and relaxed style of this pattern, so other than modifying for fit such as shortening the length and sizing up on the sleeves, I sewed up the raglan as is, and embellished it after.

For the look I was going after, I wanted to overlay the lace ruffle over the main fabric rather than let the lace hang by itself.  So I basted it over the jersey ruffle and then gathered them together. The wide 6″ lace trim is from hobby lobby, that was trimmed to match the ruffle pattern piece and placed about a quarter inch lower for that slight overhang, I hemmed  the jersey ruffle following the pattern’s hem allowance.

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After the neckband construction, I hand-sewed a couple rows of beads (pearls?) and a row of clear sequins and beads in the middle only to the front of the bodice.

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A bit hard to see the sequins in the middle but they are there lol!

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Before I start harping on about my love for Gabriela’s patterns (all of which I have tested and made multiple times) here are recent reviews of my waterfall raglan and my daughter’s in her waterfall that I made during testing. Don’t you love the clean design lines and that gently curved ruffle hem? This pattern, the fit and the level of detail in the instructions is just pure perfection!!!

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I paired it with skinny jeans and flats because that is my idea of comfortable day wear but yesterday was particularly murky, rainy and muddy for flats lol. Nevertheless, I love my new waterfall raglan and I am going to be wearing it a lot this spring and summer!!

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After hemming the sleeves, I realized I wanted them shorter so I rolled them up here, next time I might just add a cuff.

Now while I was adding beads to my top, my daughter was chatting with me and I felt a bit selfish adding all the lace to mine while she got plain waterfalls, so I literally whipped her top in the next hour. I hand sewed the crochet lace appliqué and topstitched the lace while hemming the ruffle.

Sadly, we don’t have a lot of pictures of her in her new waterfall!

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Enter the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY for a chance to win some fabulous patterns!

And, here’s a chance to win a $50 gift card to Stylish Fabric and a sewing kit: Post your Waterfall Raglan (women’s or girls) by Sunday February, 12th and link to this post HERE.

Wednesday Feb. 8th – Day Looks

Heidi- Handmade Frenzy | Zoe – ZowieZo Handmade | Indu- Kaleidothought |

Maria – Creative Needle and Threads | Verinne – boeven bende |

Mie – Sewing Like Mad  | Victoria – As it Seams

Thursday Feb. 9th – Date Night

Tami – Sew Sophie Lynn | Victoria – Very Blissful | Leslie – Threadbear Garments |

Marie-Fleurine – Sew Mariefleur | Emi – Just Add Fabric

 

Friday Feb. 10th – Hacks

Thao – Little Cumquat | Tiahna – Ammon Lane | Nicole – Merritts Makes |

Diana – miss castelinhos | Michelle – Little Heart Threads | Chelise Patterson |

Emily – Enjoyful Makes | Jodi – Sew Fearless | Celina – Petit a Petit + Family

Women’s Waterfall Raglan – Pattern Test for Chalk and Notch Patterns

Woohoo!! The Waterfall Raglan is here!! We have all been desperately waiting for this pattern and let me tell you it does not disappoint. Gabriela is as usual on-point both on style and quality of this pattern. This pattern is everything I have come to expect from her – subtle design features with exceptionally well drafted pattern pieces and easy to understand tutorials.

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The Women’s Waterfall Raglan is a relaxed raglan style knit top with a curved ruffle at the bottom. Like the girls’ version, this pattern also comes in top and dress version along with three sleeve lengths and a small chest pocket. It includes a knit stretch guide (which I love) and 2 neckband options based on your fabric stretch percentage to help get the perfect fit.

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This denim blue two-tone french terry from LA Finch fabrics (looks like it is out of stock but I’m linking here to the same fabric in light baby blue) was the perfect fabric for my first test, it has about 40% stretch with good recovery and a great drape. I made a straight size 0 in top length and 3/4th sleeves and pocket. I ended up taking pictures on a bleak and super windy day but still had to share these cause I love this top so much and have worn it a bunch of times already, styled exactly like this 😀

I really enjoyed making this top, the instructions on the neckband really help on getting the perfect neckline right on the first attempt. The ruffle is only slightly gathered, so even if you don’t enjoy gathering, I promise this top is worth the attempt. Of course then you won’t know how to stop making more of these 😛

For my second version, I made a dress blended to a bigger size in the sleeves and shoulders cause the top seemed just a bit snug in the arms and really like the fit of the sleeves in this version.

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I used a weighty ITY knit from Sincerely Rylee fabric shop. It has above 100% stretch, with great recovery and drape. Picture day was too cold hence the tights (one day i will figure out my indoor photography situation).

I styled the dress with a belt just for fun. I’m not a belt person but I’m really loving this style and recently wore it like this to a birthday party.

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The Women’s Waterfall Raglan  released on monday and is currently on sale for $9.00 (regular price $ 12). We absolutely love the girls’s version of the Waterfall Raglan, you can see my review here. Now you can get the Waterfall bundle here also on sale!

Don’t forget to check out all the tester version on the Chalk and Notch website. You can also search for the hashtag #waterfallraglan on instagram to see all the amazing Waterfall Raglans floating around. Now excuse me while I go make a couple (dozen?) more!