Fall is for Fluted Sleeves: A Hi-Low Fashion Top

Fall is for a lot of things…cozying up with family, picking 🎃s, drinking lattes…and I’d have to argue that this fall is also for fluted sleeves and all things hi-low 😍
Seamingly Smitten Off the Shoulder Lanter Sleeve Top 7

 

The Seamingly Smitten Women’s Off-The-Shoulder Top with hi-low hem is that garment I want to pull out of my closet every day of fall. It has sweet sophistication, and I’ll share with you one more way to add charm to this top: adding a curved front as well as the curved back (already included in the pattern). This accentuates the hi-low seam and can help seamstresses achieve a modern look while still getting that covered-bum hi-low detail.

 

 

 

My Stats

To start off, it’s important to know my measurements so that you can make changes that are proper for your height. I’m 5’7.5” and measure at the XS. To cover my bum, I use the “tallest” cutting line at the back and both “tallest” and “regular” length for the front. For a longer tunic length in future versions, I might extend 3” at the back and use the tallest cutting line for the front so I can wear with leggings.

Adjusting the Front Piece Pattern

The adjustment to the front pattern piece is super simple. We will use the same curve as the back piece but flip it upside down. Start at the “tall” line and curve up to the “regular” line as shown here:

Front Pattern Piece 2 Seamingly

Don’t you love that tape? My girls are my helpers 🤣👏 The end result, when sewn, will look like this:

Front Piece 1 Seamingly Smitten

The front bodice is no longer straight across; it’s slightly curved.

Seamingly Smitten Off the Shoulder Lanter Sleeve Top 5  Seamingly Smitten Off the Shoulder Lanter Sleeve Top 6

Other Adjustments

The pattern is well-drafted and straightforward. The only other change I made was that I used 1/4” elastic in my neck/shoulder casing. This is the standard size I use for my off-the-shoulder tops, so I knew it’d work for me. You can try various sizes to see which is your favorite.

And just like that…we’re ready for all of those back-to-school errands and activities! Add a high-waisted black skirt, and I’m ready for date night!

Be sure to use the hashtag #ssflutedsleeve when you sew your new tops/tunics; I’d love to see what you create! And if you don’t yet have the pattern, it’s 40% off for 48 hours with code SALE40. You can grab your copy here.

 

Summer Dawn: Striped Swallow Designs’ Wrap Dress

Final Summer Dawn 8

There’s something simply feminine about wrap dresses. Maybe I think of kimonos or silky nighttime gowns–but I adore them. Oddly, though, I haven’t worn many wrap dresses for fear that they would come untied or be pulled by one of my toddlers. Thankfully, an unwrap-proof (until the right time…wink wink) dress has arrived in my closet: the Summer Dawn.

The new Summer Dawn by Striped Swallow Designs includes breathtaking features like modern flowy sleeves and a beautiful crossover bodice cut. It also includes my favorite–an optional lace skirt for a formal touch.

And the best part is, it’s a pretty simple sew!

 

For my Summer Dawn version, I chose my current favorite colorway of Moonstruck single brushed poly from Sly Fox Fabrics. There’s a vintage minty color within the floral that captivates me, and the single brushed poly is brushed on the outside and silky on the inside. It’s so sweetly elegant.

Final Summer Dawn 12

I paired it with this Abstract Lace for the Blog Post version of the dress that Mandalynn offered for the pattern. The added lace is one of my favorite features.

Summer Dawn Dress 3

The Fit

I sewed the size XS, which is where I measured. I did not have to modify the pattern; the fit was right on across the chest, bust, within the armscye, across the hip.

Tips/Tricks

The instructions were very straightforward for this pattern; so really, the only tip I have is to definitely use interfacing when adding your buttonhole. Just cut a small square, and it makes all the difference. To test this, I tried making a buttonhole on a scrap of brushed poly, and it didn’t take. Then I tried creating a buttonhole on plain interfacing, and it was beautiful. I knew, then, that I must use my interfacing.

Options

The Summer Dawn comes in the Blog Post version shown (dress length with added lace skirt), and it also comes in regular dress length and maxi length. There are also options for short sleeves (shown) or slightly longer (around elbow length).

Enjoy all of the Summer Dawn options, and be sure to share your creations in the Striped Swallow Designs FB group!

Final Summer Dawn 9

 

Take Me to Venice – The Dress for My Wandering Soul

Venice Dress 1

 

We may live in a bustling city. Or surrounded by hay, or Saguaro cactus; we may even have Temple elephants that meander our streets with clamoring roars of the drum.

Regardless of where we live, we can sew ourselves into the space in which we desire.

Today, I’m in Venice. If only in threads.

 

 

 

The Venice Dress by New Horizons Designs is designed for soft, flowy woven fabrics. I used a woven floral rayon from my Pretty Posh Prints stash–something that spoke to my mood as I was sewing.

Venice Dress 4

I chose to make the mini length (out of my norm!) because it feels so “right” this summer and can easily be worn as a tunic with leggings or skinny jeans. I made the short sleeve (which is really an elbow length) with crossover on the sleeves and the band at the back. Adding these features were very simple, and I think it adds quite a bit of charm.

Tips

The process to sew the dress was very straightforward, and I’d recommend topstitching the neck facing down (optional within the pattern) or cutting it shorter. The longer facing wants to occasionally wiggle up if not topstitched; you can see this in the pic below. With a quick topstitch, it’ll stay lovely and keep me in Venice just a while longer.

Venice Dress 6

And right now, Venice is exactly where I want to be.

Venice Dress 3

 

Bitty Bee Daydreamer Collection & M4M Juliet Dress Hack

Bitty Bee Strike Off Rainbow Hair Juliet Dress 4

You might see me posting here on my blog or in the pattern/fabric groups almost daily; I sew often! You won’t, though, see too many fancy boutique-type creations. The reason is: I’m very.practical. I want to sew beautiful things that my daughters will wear. So when my daughter asked for a dress that touched the ground, I thought, “Okay–it’s time to pull out that Juliet pattern!” I had my fingers crossed that this would be a creation that didn’t just sit in the closet. And guess what? My daughter wears this dress almost daily–or half-daily, until she throws on climbing clothes for rougher play 🙌

That Fabric

Now…I know you’ve been eyeing the fabric. Maybe you’re even here for the fabric. I honestly couldn’t take my eyes off of it when Bitty Bee announced the #Daydreamer collection and I saw glittery rainbow hair. The entire collection is like a fantastical fairyland: elephants, mushrooms, hot air balloons. I could live in this collection if I could. You can find the pre-order HERE, which ends soon — July 29th. I used brushed poly, and the quality is absolutely excellent.

Bitty Bee Strike Off Rainbow Hair Juliet Dress 5

Bitty Bee Strike Off Rainbow Hair Juliet Dress 7

The Pattern

The pattern I used for this dress is the M4M Juliet Dress with slight mods. When cutting the skirt portion of the dress, simply cut maxi length for front and back and dress length on the sides. It creates such a beautiful drape and stunning hi-lo visual.

Bitty Bee Strike Off Rainbow Hair Juliet Dress 8

Keep enjoying those summer days with your little Daydreamers!!

 

P4P Linen Loungers

P4P Linen Pants 4

I’ve been all about the light and flowy garments this summer and early fall. I love when materials are soft (chambray, rayon or poly blends, terry, linen), when garments are comfortable, and when I can look and feel stylish with a simple creation.

The Patterns for Pirates Linen Loungers are now available and discounted during the release period (ends Sunday); and they surely fit that light, carefree, and stylish wish list of mine. The pattern, for light wovens, comes with two styles of front pockets (optional), optional back pockets, and an elastic or yoga-style waistband.

There are also various lengths: shorts, Bermuda, and pants.

The version I tested included front and back pants with a yoga waistband. I love how chic they are.

P4P Linen Pants 6

I was afraid that the yoga waistband might detract from the style and that I’d want to hide it under my tops, but I was totally wrong–it adds another dimension and design element.

 

For sizing, I didn’t have to alter the pattern or blend sizes. The rise (front and pack) were accurate/comfortable, and the leg width was slimming without feeling tight (especially with wovens). Remember that our body shapes differ, so you may need to adjust the rise to get your desired fit. You can always sew a muslin if you aren’t sure about your rise or haven’t sewn pants before.

The pockets were a perfect depth. For my next version, I’ll likely skip the back pockets because the top of my yoga waistband covers it up a bit when the waistband is folded over (based on my own placement–not the pattern); plus, I don’t use back pockets–so I really just added them for another detail.

P4P Linen Pants 3

I do love them, though! Maybe I’ll just lower them a bit next time.

Sewing Pockets Tip 1: 

A great tip to keep in mind when adding pockets is to sew the pants (without waistband), try them on, and have your hubby or someone you trust use a fabric pen (or chalk) to mark the placement of the pockets. It helps quite a bit! Add the pockets, and then add the waistband.

Sewing Pockets Tip 2:

Gluesticks work wonders! There are gluesticks specifically for sewing, but I actually use crafting ones and they work great. I use them to get the nice shape of the pockets, and then I use the stick (lightly) to adhere it to my pants where I want them. I do pin in place, still, but the gluestick keeps it from moving around when sewing.

Here is a close-up of my front pocket. Patch pockets are also an option–and I’ll surely give those a try in another version (patch looks like a sewn rectangle style on front–see additional tester photos for a visual).

p4p linen loungers Pocket photo

P4P Linen Pants 4

Once you sew your linen loungers, be sure to share your creations on the P4P Facebook page! I can’t wait to see! If you haven’t grabbed the pattern yet, get it HERE.

Here’s the link to the full tester round-up versions: www.patternsforpirates.com/loungers-roundup

Disclaimer: The pattern link in this post are affiliate links; I’m so happy that you were inspired to buy the pattern via my creations! I am affiliated with most of the pattern companies I test for, and this in no way shapes my response or promotion. I only test for companies I respect and only share patterns I adore!

 

 

Men’s Bram Raglan by Wardrobe by Me

Bram Raglan Herbie 5

Does anyone else adore looking at their hubby through the camera lens? I’ve been making more raglans for the Mr. because 1. he loves them and wants to wear nothing else now, and 2. I just love looking at him, focusing in, and waiting extra long to click just because I want the moment to last just a taaaaad longer😉 As married couples, it’s wonderful to go about our family life together, but we often don’t take time to just stare at one another. This is our time 😍

The raglan we tried this time was the Bram Raglan by Wardrobe by Me. You may remember my post about Jalie’s Nico Raglan; both my husband and I found these styles to be quite similar.

When I showed him his new top, the first thing he commented on was the color; he loved the pairing and found the blue to be such an awesome hue. It’s called “denim” cotton spandex from Sly Fox Fabrics and almost has a chambray and periwinkle mixed in with what I typically think of as a denim color.

Bram Raglan Herbie 3

I used heathered grey (from the same shop) for the sleeves.

The pattern only requests the chest girth, so I was a bit nervous that we might not have the correct fit–but it was pretty spot on. He measured a “small,” and I didn’t make any adjustments. He’s only 5’7.5”, so if your man is a bit taller, I recommend adding length. Typically, you add half the length of the height difference the pattern was intended for. So if the pattern was intended for 5’8” men and your hubby measures 5’10” (2” more), you’d add 1” length.

So–easy peasy! Raglans are pretty much the simplest pattern we can sew with those straight lines. My husband loves the 3/4” sleeve, so we chose that style. If you sew the Bram for a guy in your life, be sure to share it in the FB group; I’d love to see it!

Bram Raglan Herbie 2

Seaside Dress: Freshwater Approved! My Woven and Knit Creations with the Seamingly Smitten Pattern

Seaside Dress Collage

When Seamingly Smitten invited me to do a summer guest blog, my eyes gravitated immediately to the Seaside Dress. The combination of blouse-looking top with the gathered, pocketed skirt is exactly the style I’ve been oogling this summer. I’m pretty sure I printed the pattern and sewed my first version the same day–and that included making a fabric run for the perfect chambray. I was headed to the lake on vacation, and I needed this dress with me at the beach. 😍

This pattern is suitable for both woven and knits, so let’s get on with it. I’ll share a few tips and what I did to create the best fit for each fabric type. [p.s. if you’re grabbing the pattern now, use code SUMMER20 to save 20%, valid for 48 hours]

Version 1: Woven

Seamingly Smitten Seaside Dress 1

For this style, I chose a striped chambray from Hobby Lobby that I had already seen online and knew would be perfect for this style. The pockets are a polka dot chambray also from Hobby Lobby. In this pattern, I measured XS bust, S waist, and XS hip. For the woven style, I chose to make a straight Small since this was my non-stretch version and the elasticized waist would create a fitted look.

I did not color-block either of my versions. I used the full top for the bodice (no inserts). It was just the look I wanted for these two versions–and I’ll definitely be sewing more to try out the color-blocking.

 

The fit turned out perfect in woven; and I was right–I lived in this at the beach. The style is classy yet modest…and definitely mom-approved!

Seamingly Smitten Seaside Dress 4

Woven Sewing Tip: Because we don’t have the grace of stretch when sewing with wovens, there are a few tricks to get a perfect fit when connecting the bodice to the skirt. My skirt ended up being wider than my bodice, and this could have been for several reasons (my pocket placement, seam allowance etc.). I simply used a basting stitch (longest stitch length on your machine) and slightly gathered my skirt before connecting it to my bodice (and before adding elastic). The gathering was minimal, and it didn’t affect the proceeding steps (creating the casing etc.).

Seamingly Smitten Seaside Dress 2

I also have tips for creating a nice, crisp “v” –and I’ll share those toward the end of the post.

Version 2: Knit

Seaside Dress Knit Floral Seamingly Smitten 3.1

For my knit version, I used single brushed poly “Herb” from Sly Fox Fabrics for the bodice,  “Joy” in sage single brushed poly for the skirt, and single brushed “Moss” for the pockets. Again, I didn’t use fabric from my stash. I had a vision, and I went with it!

For my knit version, I sewed a straight XS (measurements were XS bust, S waist, XS hip). I knew I had more leeway with knits; and I’d recommend this to others sewing the pattern as well: if you’re between sizes, choose larger for woven and smaller for knit.

 

I can’t say enough how awesome these pockets are with the gathered skirt style! I’m not even a big pocket user, but I want them for looks. I’m all about the pockets this season 🙌

 

Waistband Elastic Tip: As with any pattern, I recommend taking your elastic and circling it right around your waist. I do this every time to see what length is most comfortable (depending on where I’d like the elastic to sit). I ended up cutting my elastic about 1” shorter than the pattern recommendations.

“V” Neckline Tips: Lastly, I want to leave you with a few tips to get that crisp “V” neckline. This is another feature that I love about the pattern. I don’t sew enough v-necks, and they can be intimidating for many. This style uses a facing, so once we sew the facing, we flip it to the wrong side of the garment. If you’re new to v-styles, you’ll love this.

Step 1: Start stitching 1.5-2” from your “V”

Anytime I sew a “v,” I want my concentration to be on the most integral part–that center “v.” To ensure that I get the “v” right, I start stitching just before the “v” and then continue around the rest of the neckline. You can see where my presser foot is; this is where I’m beginning to stitch the facing.

Seaside Tutorial 2

Next, per the tip in the pattern, when you get down to the “v” point, keep your presser foot down, pivot your needle to stitch straight forward, and use your hand-crank to crank two stitches forward. Then, with needle down, pivot again to face the other edge of your “v” and continue stitching the remainder of the neckline. Those couple stitches in the middle of the “v” allow the fabric to turn more easily with less bulge.

Seaside Tutorial 3

Here is what the inside of my neckline looks like with the facing, before I’ve flipped it to the other side.

Seaside Tutorial 4

Then, snip as close to that “v” as you can, without going through the stitches. I also snip one on each side as well. This eliminates bulge.

Seaside Tutorial 5

Once we flip the facing to the wrong-side of the fabric, it’s time to topstitch. Again, I start near my “v” to keep my concentration on that center point. Otherwise, I can easily get lost in my sewing and might be careless by the time I get to the “v.”

Seaside Tutorial 6

Once you’ve completed your Seaside Dresses, I want to see them! Be sure to share them in the Seamingly Smitten Facebook Group and use the hashtag #SeasideDress so we can easily find them!

Happy sewing!

Seaside Dress Knit Floral Seamingly Smitten 1

Feature Friday: Maize Dress Pattern Mods for a Hi-Low Keyhole Dress

Maize Dress Hi-Low 19

Today is Feature Friday over at Petite Stitchery, which means they highlight a pattern and offer it for $5 for 24 hours. The pattern this week is the beautiful Maize Keyhole Tunic an Dress.

To celebrate the Feature, I decided to do a few mods. Please pardon my picture overload; I couldn’t get enough of this dress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Changes I Made

To get the hi-low look and keyhole front, I made a few changes to the construction of the pattern.

  1. I narrowed the shoulder since I wouldn’t be adding sleeves
  2. I switched the front and back bodice so that the keyhole would show in the front
  3. I created a dramatic hi-low design using the skirt template provided in the pattern

Maize Dress Hi-Low 6

The first two steps don’t require additional instruction; however, if you wanted to construct the front/back bodice properly, you could interchange the armscye/opening and width. I kept it as-is, and it worked for us! So I’ll move to the third, creating the hi-low. You’ll first want to determine how dramatic of a hi-low you’d like. I added at least 4” to the skirt cut chart and used the skirt guide to create the curved hem.

Back

Maize Tutorial 2.jpg

I created the front piece in a similar way, but you’ll flip this one upside down so that the curve goes up toward the center.  Use the same size fabric piece as the back skirt because you’ll need to connect the side seams (side seams are on the right of this pic). As you cut the top of the curve, gradually cut down toward the bottom of your fabric (not shown).

Front

Maize Tutorial 1

The end result is stunning from both back and front and such a fun way to use the pattern in a new way!

And who doesn’t love a perfect flower-picking dress??

The fabric I chose for this pattern was a boarder print called Beds of Roses by Michael Miller that I ordered from Punkin Head Threads. I absolutely adore boarder prints and actually ordered this print in all 3 colorways for my 3 girls. I can’t wait to get all three of them together (one dress at a time…) 😍

So grab your pattern here for just $5, and be sure to share your creations on the FB page! I’m inspired here every.single.day.

 

Disclaimer: The pattern links in this post are affiliate links; I’m so happy that you were inspired to buy the pattern via my creations! I am affiliated with most of the pattern companies I test for, and this in no way shapes my response or promotion. I only test for companies I respect and only share patterns I adore!

 

Lesley Flutter: On-Trend Creations

Last fall, I sewed up this version of the Lesley Flutter Sleeve and was in love with the free-flowing arms while still having a great fit throughout the torso.

Skinnies Jeans 4

 

Today I’ll be sharing a few versions of the Seamingly Smitten Lesley in this season’s on-trend prints as well as tips and tricks for the best Flutter sewing experience!

 

First — meet Lesley in brushed poly elephants. Both brushed poly and elephants are on-trend. Even in summer, with the correct drape, brushed poly feels heavenly (and not too hot). You can see how the sleeves cascade down the body, yet they don’t actually have such a major arm opening. This is a unique feature of the pattern; it is both sewn from the inside and outside (we’ll get more to that below).

Elephant Flutter Sleeve Top

 

The second way to style the Lesley is with both a solid and a pattern. The top has just one pattern piece for both front and back, allowing you to really play with fabrics! You could style with lace, solid (brushed poly, rayon spandex, bamboo lycra, etc.). Here, I’ve used a trendy stained glass brushed poly and solid mustard brushed poly. The shirt is reversible (just don’t add a tag), so you can wear it loud/printed or soft/solid depending on your mood. It’s also a great way to subdue busy prints.

 

Lastly, here’s our third on-trend Lesley in vertical stripes. The double brushed poly I used had enough stretch either way to really make this work. Additionally, this particular pattern doesn’t require too much stretch. So, although the stretch was best with horizontal stripes, I chose to go vertical!

Tips and Tricks

Hemming the Lesley – A great deal of the Lesley construction is hemming (neckline, full side sleeves, and bottom). The pattern calls for a double-roll method, where you’ll fold under and under once more. This is the cleanest finish, and I’d recommend using a double needle, stretch stitch (like zigzag), or coverstitch to finish your hems on knit garments. Alternatively, you can also serge the full ends and fold under just once if you don’t mind the inside serged edges showing a bit within the flowy sleeve.

 

WARNING: The last step says to sew the garment RIGHT SIDE OUT…and it’s correct!

Lesley Flutter Tutorial 2

After you’ve sewn the complete garment, there is one final step. The instructions say to turn the garment right-side-out and stitch up from the side seam. This is correct and you’re not reading it wrong! It’s very rare in the sewing world to stitch a garment seam from the right side; but this is what creates your beautiful flutter while preventing too wide of a sleeve opening. If you’ve made this mistake already, you’re not alone! I’ve had to grab my seam ripper a time or two 😁

SEW AND SHARE

So there you go! Find your perfect fabric (what speaks to you), and sew your first (or maybe 10th!!) Lesley Flutter Sleeve Top. When you’ve finished, use the hashtag #LesleyFlutter, and be sure to share in the Seamingly Smitten Facebook Group; I want to see what you sewed up!

Flutter Sleeve Collage

 

All on-trend printed fabrics in this post are from Love Adore Knits. The owner of Love Adore passed away, and the Love Adore team is in a short period of transition. They will be back shortly to continue Kimberly’s vision and to serve an amazing sewing community! You can join their Facebook page for updates.

 

 

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