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 longerūüėȬ†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¬†ūüėć

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.¬†ūüėć

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¬†ūüôĆ

 

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

A New Horizons Lisse Hack: Transforming a Hoodie to Summer Style

When I saw the Lisse Hoodie from New Horizons, I fell in love with that tulip hem! Actually…every little detail–the pleats, the cowl, the drawstring, the hem…screamed “my style.” The nice thing about fall/winter patterns, though, is that with just a few tweaks–we can create a whole new style for other seasons! So let’s take this gorgeous hoodie and create a staple for our summer wardrobe capsule!

*Hoodie pic from New Horizons Designs

Lisse Cowl Hoodie¬† ¬†¬†———————–>¬† ¬†¬†Lisse Tee New Horizons 3

The first step is to print and assemble the pattern. You’ll only need the bodice pieces and sleeves; you can leave out the hood/cowl/cuffs for this version (but hey…you might as well print them to have them ready for fall!).

Next, you’ll want to determine your preferred neckline. To do this, I simply used a pattern that I love the neckline; you could grab a raglan pattern or another tee–as long as the neckline uses a neckband. Align your shoulder seams, and draw the new neckline right on the Front Bodice piece.

Lisse Mod 1

Next, we’ll make the short-sleeve modification to our sleeve piece. I ended up cutting my sleeve 4.75”-5” down on the sleeve line. I did not taper the sleeves out, so if you want a looser style, you can draw a new line that slants slightly outward (away from the pattern). For my finished sleeve, I used a double-fold hem (folded 0.5” and 0.5” again and hemmed with my double needle).

Lisse Mod 2

Okay, let’s talk¬†Fabric. For my summer version, I chose a super sweet navy polka dot brushed poly from Sly Fox Fabrics. Because of the drape on the Lisse pattern, the brushed poly doesn’t feel too hot (I’ve tested it during our 80/90-degree days). Other great fabrics to use would be stretch rayon terry blends, stretch triblends/jersey, stretch modal and bamboo–anything that is thick/sturdy enough to hold the pleats and still have a nice drape for that tulip hem.

Constructing the bodice will be the same as the rest of the pattern, except you won’t attach the cowl/hoodie early on in the instructions. Instead, follow all instructions, and leave the neck opening untouched; we’ll add a simple neckband next.

Lisse Tee New Horizons 5

When creating my own neckbands, I cut a piece of fabric that is 2” x 25” (or 2” x 12.5” on the fold). Then, I align my neckband to the opening and visually see how much excess is there. I cut/serge off the excess neckband length to ensure that it’s small enough for me to tug it as I sew the neck opening. Stretching the neckband properly ensures a good fit and that it’ll lay flat when sewn. Another method (easier for some) is to simply calculate 80% of the neck opening. Measure your neck opening and multiply it by 0.8, and that will be the length of your neckband. Again, though, you’ll want to ensure that it’s small enough for you to stretch it slightly to fit the opening.

Another tip for a straight neckline is to double stitch (or use your coverstitch if you have one) around the neckline after sewing it on. This gives a polished look and helps it lay flat.

Lisse Tee New Horizons 7

And voilà! You have another staple from the gorgeous Lisse pattern!

 

Disclaimer: The links in this post are affiliate links. I am affiliated with most of the pattern and fabric 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!

 

Ellie and Mac MOLLY Skirt, No-Closure Summer Staple

Ellie &Mac Circle Skirt 7.jpg

Sometimes the easiest patterns become my wardrobe staples. The Ellie and Mac Molly Skirt¬†just released and will be one of my go-tos this summer…and is $3 (see the price in the cart) during release!! The pattern has no closures, simple side-seams, and a yoga-style waistband. This ups the comfort and makes the pattern one of the quickest your sewing machine will see. The patter is both for teens and women.

Ellie &Mac Circle Skirt 1

As a mom of three littles, this is a perfect style for heading out shopping. I sewed the “regular” length, and there are mini, mid-thigh, petite, and tall length options as well. I used a fun floral¬†liverpool fabric that I got from Ebay; you can find similar pretties from shops like¬†Pretty Posh Prints,¬†Love Adore Knits,¬†Sly Fox Fabrics,¬†Knitpop, and¬†So Sew English Fabrics.

And did I mention…the twirl…

Ellie &Mac Circle Skirt 4

So go grab your insanely priced $3 pattern, and let’s create all of the beautiful things!

Ellie and Mac affiliate link HERE.

Ellie &Mac Circle Skirt 2

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