Beginning A Month of Thanksgiving: Remembering my First PDF Pattern

In February of 2016, I posted a picture of a hoodie on my Facebook page–one that I had made for myself and decided to sell. I can’t even remember the reason–maybe it was because I was excited that it turned out nicely and wanted someone else to enjoy it.  I sold it immediately and had several friends asking for ones in their sizes. It was then that I decided to form my sewing shop, Kutti Couture. There was just one problem–I had drafted the hoodie pattern based on clothing I already had…and it was only my size! If someone were a size larger, I might be able to swing it, but how would I accommodate the array of women who were joining my group–especially since they were likely different sizes in bust/waist/hip? It was then that I ventured to Etsy to search for a raglan hoodie pattern…my first PDF exploration.

And as you can guess, it is then that I found Seamingly Smitten. Their raglan hoodie pattern looked lovely in the posted pictures, and I couldn’t beat the price. I even happened to catch it on a sale.

This pattern became an instant customer favorite! I even hacked it into non-hooded raglans because the fit is so comfortable and loved.

Almost two years later (which really feels like at least 10), I still thoroughly love the fit and have overwhelming gratitude for my first taste of the PDF pattern community. It took me from a world of limited drafting (I started sewing bibs and kids clothes in 2012) to limitless potential! So…as a way to spread thanks for this amazing journey, I of course decided to sew another Hooded Raglan for myself!

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With the upcoming cold weather, I wanted something versatile and fabric that I’d love seeing regularly. I’ve had a major crush on solids and stripes this season, so I chose soft charcoal French terry (from LDG) and CLUB cotton spandex from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

It is so soft, and do you see that length?! I’m 5’7” and didn’t need to lengthen. Now you know why I’m in love! 

I did add one special little detail for the upcoming holiday season…

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So fun right?

My girls are a bit envious.

To get the look and sturdiness to hold the large pom, I angled the hood pattern up to a point. I tried it on my head, and then I pinched the excess top of the hood together and sewed a triple stitch (3 dashed lines) down.

Then I just hand-stitched the big pom to the top. Hand-stitching is definitely not my forte, so if I can do it, you can too!

 

Tis the season!–for so much love, laughter, and gratitude!

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Thanks, Seamingly Smitten, for making affordable, beautiful sewing patterns that encouraged this girl to take the plunge into the PDF pattern community!

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Back to School Blog Tour: Kinder Style

Welcome to Day 1 of the Lulu & Celeste and Sprouting JuJube back-to-school blog tour! I’m grateful to be part of the tour and have chosen some wonderful shops to highlight as part of our preschool and kindergarten wardrobe gear-up!

All designers mentioned in this post donated my choice of patterns for this feature, so a big round of thanks goes to them! Now, let’s check out some of this Kinder (and Pre-Kinder) fashion!

Phat Quarters: Willow

When I selected my patterns, I wanted to highlight both a knit pattern and woven. “Willow” from Gemia of Phat Quarters was my woven of choice. The pattern might not yet appear on her website, but she is working to get them up soon (previously of Petite Stitchery). This gorgeous boho-styled top was just calling for chambray, so I decided to use my daughter’s two favorite colors: green and blue.

Wren Willow Top

I modified the front of the top to exclude the tie. It’s actually one of the most darling features of the top, but my daughter is sometimes picky about ties. So I slightly widened the neckline to ensure it’d fit over her head. In the end, I could have likely left it as-is because she has plenty of room. For the front of the top, I chose “Cool Foliage” chambray by Art Gallery Fabrics.

Wren Willow Top 4

The most striking feature of the Willow is the curved back yoke. I chose soft hand-dyed Shibori fabric from Seamingly Smitten as a modern, stylish accent. This style perfectly compliments my daughter’s free, explorative personality.

Jalie: Drop Pocket Cardigan

Jali Floral Cardigan Brielle 2

One of the most-used garments in our fall/winter wardrobe are cardigans. It helps with that transition between fall and spring, especially in Michigan. I throw a tank or tee under, and the cardigan is the perfect top layer. When I saw the gorgeous low pockets with the Jalie, the Drop Pocket Cardigan was my pattern of choice; and bonus that Jalie patterns go from girls to women’s! That means mama gets a cardi for bus/school runs.

I used soft French Terry for this piece, floral from Pretty Posh Prints for the main outer, and solid burgundy from Raspberry Creek Fabrics for the pocket accent. The cardigan is made by using double front pieces and folding them back to form a pocket; I loved the construction idea and end appearance. This is one of our favorite cardigans to-date.

Phat Quarters: School Bus Fabric
Sew By Pattern Pieces: Sunshine Tunic

school bus sunshine tunic 9

As part of the back-to-school tour, I was eager to use my amazing school bus knit fabric from Phat Quarters. My girls were gaga over it from the moment they saw it.

And although Sew By Pattern Pieces isn’t an official sponsor of the tour, I knew the Sunshine Tunic would be the perfect pattern to use to make this a staple in her Kinder closet. The pattern released only recently, and we have 3 of these tunics already in the closet. It has a beautiful hi-low, fantastic fit through the arms and bodice, and on-point neckline. And it also comes with color-blocking pieces to actually make the shirt look like a sunshine if desired. I might need to do that for my other daughter with the rest of the school bus fabric and mustard stripes!

School bus sunshine tunic 7  school bus sunshine tunic 8

I hope you enjoyed a peek into just a TINY bit of my back-to-school sewing. There is a great number of seamstresses taking part in the tour, so be sure to make your way through the list below throughout the week!

Happy new school year!!

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, September 25, 2017

Host: Sprouting JubeJube

Sewing by Ti * mahlicadesigns * Momma You Can Make It * Kutti Couture * MoonStar – Wondermirakel * Call Ajaire

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Host: Lulu & Celeste

Sew and Tell Project * From-a-Box * Ronda B. Handmade * MeMade * House of Estrela * My Heart Will Sew On * Tales From A Southern Mom

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Host: Sprouting JubeJube

mahlicadesigns * Gracious Threads * Adventures With Bubba and Bug * Elli & Nels * Bellevi * Little Heart Threads * Sewing By Ti * Lulu & Celeste

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Host: Lulu & Celeste

Paisley Roots * The Crafting Fiend * Sewstarly * It’s Liesel * Tales of a Tester * Kaleidothought * auschick sews

Friday, September 29, 2017

Host: Sprouting JubeJube

SewSophieLynn * Sew Haute Blog * mahlicadesigns * Sew and Tell Project * RP Custom Fabrics Blog * FABulous Home Sewn * Sewing By Ti * Phat Quarters

 

Fall Wardrobe Prep: The Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic

Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 17  Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 9

As I gear up for my fall wardrobe capsule (well, let’s be honest…early fall has already snuck up on me here in Michigan!), I’ve been contemplating what I wear the most in the colder months. Looking at my closet from last year, my longer tunics, hoodies, and dresses got the most wear…paired with leggings or sweater tights. When I saw the unique cowl on the Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic (also a top), I had to give it a try.

You can probably guess that the result was sweet adoration. I lined my cowl with an olive green, added olive drawstrings for another unexpected pop of color, paired with striped mustard cotton spandex from Raspberry Creek Fabric and solid mustard pocket and leggings.

I added accent binding to my pocket, and I also used eyelets for my cowl. I’ll share the steps here in case you want a similar look.

Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 20

Creating Pocket Binding Pieces

I used 1.75” width and cut my length just longer than the side slant on the pocket. It’s easy to trim the excess after sewing. Shown below is one side sewn and the other side prepped. You’ll lay the binding face-down (right sides together) on your pocket piece, matching raw edges.

Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 2

You’ll then sew on the binding; I sew 3/8” from the raw edge. I use a triple stitch (3 dashed lines) to allow for stretch on the stretch knits. If you have another stretch stitch (looks like a lightening bolt), you can use that. A zigzag stitch also works on knits.

Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 2

You’ll then want to tuck the fabric over to the wrong side of the pocket, covering the seam allowance.

Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 3

Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 4

Then, stitch the binding in place. I stitched about 1/8” from where the binding is attached to the pocket. This catches the backside of the binding as well.

Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 5  Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 6

And voilà! You now have binding on your pocket and will continue the instructions as written with the pattern.

Adding Eyelets to Your Cowl

Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 19  Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 7

The other modification I made was using eyelets instead of buttonholes on my cowl. I love the finished look of eyelets, and they’re incredibly easy. I won’t include step-by-step instructions here, but this is the tool I use and really like:

Seamingly Smitten Cowl Tunic 8

I picked mine up at Jo-Ann’s, and the easy-to-use instructions are on the back of the package.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have some serious love for my my new fall capsule addition! You can grab your own cowl pattern HERE, and you can receive 40% off now through Tuesday 9/5 with code SAVE40. Be sure to use hashtag #sscowlhoodie when you share your creations; I’d love to see them!

 

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.

 

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

Versatility of the Sazerac Shift Dress: Boho Dress, Nightie, and Swimsuit Coverup

Shift dresses have increased in popularity within the last few years as part of the beautiful Boho trend. I adore Boho, yet I try to avoid the “frumpy” look. The Sazerac Shift Dress by Seamingly Smitten was my perfect option for both a chambray/fringe boho style I wanted for winter and a sheer chiffon nightie I wanted for Valentine’s Day. The versatility of the pattern definitely has put this pattern on the must-keep radar for me.

Features

There are a few key elements I love about the shift dress. #1. We can use wovens! We knit lovers have wovens in our stash but rarely use them; this is a great opportunity! #2. It has a clean neckline (and easy! …just fold down and stitch). #3. The pattern includes optional cuffs. To me, this just pulls the dress together. I like the free-flowing sleeve option; but when it comes down to it, I’m more of a structured gal 🙂

shift-dress-5

Versatility

How neat is it that I can use the same pattern for a dress and a nightie…and let’s be honest…a swimsuit cover-up? You get my vote!

Now…let’s talk about the two main styles I made. The first is a woven chambray with graphite fringe trim. I truly adore this look for winter.

The width of the dress is pretty large, even for the “xs” size, so if you like a more fitted look (like below), you’ll want to take in the sides 1-2” (on each side). It’s an easy adjustment and allows you to have both the larger shift and slender shift options.

shift-dress-6

Now…the nightie! I chose sheer chiffon from Pretty Posh Prints for a modest yet sexy Valentine’s nightie.

nightie-shift-dress-9

I took the sides in 1” but didn’t have to alter the shift pattern in any other way. And because I tire of nighties pretty quickly, this will definitely become a swimsuit cover-up by summer! Mamas always have a plan 🙂

I just love the mint and polka dots. It makes my heart happy.

nightie-shift-dress-5

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my sewing friends!! Make something that allows you to feel gorgeous…because love begins with loving you.

nightie-shift-dress-6

PATTERN LINK: Seamingly Smitten’s Sazerac Shift Dress

FABRIC LINK: Pretty Posh Prints

Seamingly Smitten Showcase: The Lesley Flutter Sleeve Top

Although the first glance at the Seamingly Smitten Lesley flutter sleeve top gives a nice summery vibe, I knew right away it’d be a perfect addition to my fall wardrobe. In fall and winter, I get cold. I’m always looking for extra layers and beautiful styles that showcase both elegance and practicality.

When I found super soft hacci sweater knit from Love Adore Fabrics, my fall vision was complete!

jennifer-flutter-sleeve-top-11

We happened to have a gorgeous 70-degree NOVEMBER day in Michigan, so I opted for nothing underneath, but with a long sleeve under the hacci, I’d be wearing the cutest poncho-looking flutter around. I mean…check out these sleeves!

jennifer-flutter-sleeve-top-9

The pattern was super simple to put together. There is hemming (neck, full sides, and bottom); the majority of the pattern is hemming. But it’s somehow soothing. And when the hemming is complete, we sew a couple of lines, and Voilà! We have a sweet addition to our fall wardrobe. Or really…summer…spring…winter. I love how versatile the style is. Can’t you just envision it with sequins for New Years?!

Style AND mama approved? That’s a Yes in my book.

 

 

Feature Pattern: Lesely Flutter Sleeve Top by Seamingly Smitten

Feature Fabric: Hacci sweater knit by Love Adore fabric shop. Also on Facebook.

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