Recent Make/// M8174

Today I have my last summer make to share with you and it is in the running for my favorite make of 2021. The day of our 15th wedding anniversary Chris kissed me good bye and told me to be ready at 6pm because a baby sitter was coming and we had dinner reservations. I mean, is there any better gift?!

So I did what any normal girl would do and I made myself a damn dress.

I had M8174 sitting on my ‘to make one day’ shelf along with fabric and went to work. I made this dress in one day, start to finish from prepping my fabric to hemming the final piece! This is a simple make, especially when you make the strappy version, and I liked some of the details they included with the instructions.

I made the size 14 and ended up needing to take in the bodice quite a bit and should probably take it in more. Next time I would size down to a 10 in the bodice and keep the 14 for the skirt, this should be fairly easy to do as they are all separate pieces! It would mean a little grading at the top of the skirt or bottom of the bodice just to get everything attached smoothly.

I love that the bodice is fully lined and I liked the instructions for adding elastic to the waistband. This really helps the dress keep its shape and prevents the skirt from weighing down the top.

I also liked the assembly of the skirt. Basically it’s two front pieces that overlap and I love the ruching on the side. It could be a bit tricky assembling the skirt, keeping track of left and right can be confusing, but the instructions are crystal clear. Just take you time reading them!

I made this dress out of a gorgeous bamboo jersey from Blackbird Fabrics in the color ‘blood orange.’ This material is clingy- so keep that in mind with a dress like this. You’re going to be able to see any lumps or bumps from underwear and need to plan accordingly!

I am in love with how this dress turned out. I feel beautiful in it and it’s so comfortable. I paired it with gold heels for my date night but like it with more casual sandals too. I think the longer versions would be amazing for a beach trip and the knit makes it easy to pack!

The Hallon Dress

Last summer when the Hallon Dress by Paradise Patterns came out, I immediately fell in love. It is my favorite kind of summer dress, loose and flowy (dare I say nightgown adjacent?) and the back is just incredible. It’s so simple but makes a big impact and every version I’ve seen looks fantastic.

I bought this cotton double gauze in the color solid rust from Stylemaker Fabrics earlier this summer and only just now got around to sewing the dress. This gauze is gorgeous, so soft and drapes really nicely. It was a perfect match for this pattern.

I made up the size 6 of version A and ended up having to take it in a bit. Next time I will either do a straight 4 or maybe even sew a 2 in the bust and grade to a 4 everywhere else. I sewed this one up very quickly, you can watch me make it here!, and the instructions are top notch. Lots of detail for beginners and really clear diagrams for each step.

I will probably not get too much wear out of this right now but am happy to pack it away and pull it out next summer. I’m sorry it took me so long to get around to but am in love with the end result so it was worth the wait.

This was a fairly simple make but I’m happy to answer any questions I may have not covered! I have a few more summer sews to catch you up on next week and then I’m ready for all things fall!

Fun Summer Dress/// McCalls 8104

I have my latest make to share here today and I’m sohappy with how it turned out! I saw this fabric on the Stlyemaker Fabrics website back in the spring and just fell in love with it. It’s rare that I immediately know what I want to make with a print so I picked some up. It’s a Textured Voile Shirting and the weight is just perfect for warm summer weather.

I decided to sew it up as McCalls 8104, the Dawn Dress. I bought this pattern back when I knew I wanted to try and focus on shirt making a bit more. It is a full button up dress but I liked the neckline and that there was no collar. It makes it feel a little breezier and I thought the silhouette paired with this fabric would be a big win.

I made a straight size 10 with no adjustments and it fits perfectly. It is rare to have to make no adjustments so I am thrilled with how easy this was to sew up! I added teal buttons, also from Stylemaker, and I love how they work with the print.

I think this dress will get a lot of wear this summer as it’s equally polished and comfortable. The seaming of the bodice and cut of the neck works well with my smaller chest and I think gives me curves where I need them. I love it with sandals and it would look cute with a dressier shoe as well.

Harper took these pictures (in like 2 min tops so I’m glad some of them turned out!) and told me the dress was ‘pretty cute mom!’ so I will take that as high praise!

Spring Wardrobe///Building a Capsule

It was a little over a year ago that I started really taking the time to think about the clothes I wear, how I get them, and what that means for the world around me as well as my personal style. I shared all my thoughts while I read the book A Conscious Closet and you can see all those posts here!

I’ve changed so much in how I get dressed and how I plan what I want to sew this year. I get dressed pretty much every day. I have focused on my skin care and how I treat my hair. I have found that when I take the small amount of time every morning and at night before I go to bed to feel good on the outside, it really isn’t something I think about throughout my day. I feel good and happy in my skin and I hope that that shines through in other areas of my life.

When I was getting ready to plan what I wanted to wear for spring, I did quite a bit of reflecting. You know I love my modules, but I wasn’t feeling that right now. Instead I looked through my patterns and pulled a bunch that I just really wanted to sew. I tried to get tops, bottoms, and dresses so they could work together and then went looking for fabric. I ended up with a giant stack that I will be sharing with you Tuesday!

Then I watched a video by Whitney from TomKat Stitchery where she talked about the EveryDay Style School. I started listening to Jennifer’s podcast and was hooked pretty quickly. Her style philosophy really speaks to me and I went to research her capsule wardrobes.

Every season Jennifer puts out a capsule wardrobe. The spring one is still available to purchase, but I believe you can get a free mini capsule if you sign up for her newsletter if you’re wanting to see what this is all about.

Basically the Everyday Style Team builds a 39 piece capsule wardrobe and then gives you links to pieces to buy, tons of ways to style them up and wear them, as well as a lot of advice on how to love your closet and get dressed quickly every day. There is also a very active Facebook page if you happen to be on Facebook.

I was really intrigued. I’ve looked at capsules in the past but always felt they were boring or take the fun out of getting dressed. This one seemed to be so well thought out that I decided to give it a try!

I printed out her shopping list and first pulled pieces I already had in my closet. Then I looked at my sewing plans and was able to plug all of those pieces into the capsule. Already knowing the colors I wanted (I changed up the capsule recommendations a bit!) and styles I liked meant that everything already worked well together. It was just a matter of having a little guidance to fill out the pieces that were missing.

From there I went shopping! I ordered a few things from Thred Up and some new shoes from Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. I have 3 pieces coming from Boden and then my capsule should be done. My plan is to share all my makes here with you in the coming week and then in May wear everything and show you how it all goes together!

I’ve had a lot of fun thinking about this and it’s been a fantastic tool for me. I don’t need a closet full of ‘stuff.’ I need a closet where I go in and know that anything I pull, I truly love to wear. To me, a closet full of clothes you love and wear is a conscious closet. I hope that in making things with intention and shopping with intention, I can slowly build a wardrobe that represents who I am right now and what I want to say to the world when I get dressed.

I hope you’ll follow me along as I build and then share this capsule! Please let me know if you have any questions or specific details you want. I will be happy to share in the weeks to come.

Mini Me/// Burda 9356

Today I have a fun little project to share with you! I saved my leftover fabric pieces from this project and whipped up something for my daughter. I had a lot of fun with this and loved using every last bit of fabric that I had. Just so you know, I’ll be showing pictures of the garment and not her in because we’ve been having a lot of talks lately about putting pictures on the internet and she didn’t want to be photographed. I know that’s tricky when this is a sewing blog and fit is a big part of that, but you will have to trust me that she looks adorable in it!

I sewed up Burda Kids 9356 out of this corduroy in the size 11. This is a classic pattern with an option to also just be a skirt and it has US sizes 6- 14 in the envelope.

I knew it would probably be something she wore more in the fall than now so I sized up. She is also fairly tall so I like that this is plenty long enough and she feels comfortable wearing it as an every day piece.

This pattern came together very quickly. The instructions are clear and the drafting and finishings are great. The two bib pieces are fully lined and the waistband of the skirt allows for a really clean finish on the inside. I also appreciated the construction of the pockets. There is one piece that fits under the front of the skirt and it makes the pockets lie flat and keep any bulk or weird bumps happening.

The shirt I just traced off from a t-shirt she had in her closet. I didn’t have enough fabric to make it long sleeve, so it’s about three quarter with a thick cuff. This fabric is really comfortable and she (and I!) love the colors so I know she will wear it a lot.

A fun project and she loves it! Used up some scraps and also now we have matching outfits- winning all around.

My Winter Module/// The Full Reveal

Just in time for the seasons to change, I have my full reveal to share of my winter module. I’m really happy with how this turned out and will absolutely be wearing all of these into spring. Check out the posts for all the details and links to patterns and fabrics. Tops can be found here! Bottoms here! The dress is here! And the Topper is here!

I love seeing all of these together and am excited to bring some of these into spring and styling them up in new ways. Module sewing is such a great way to plan out really wearable pieces. I loved the whole process and the added challenge of only using one pattern company was a fun twist.

Thanks for following along and I hope to have some final thoughts on Fibre Mood to share with you next week!

My Winter Module: The Topper

I have my final piece in my winter module to share with you! My plan was to share this last week but…let’s just say, things went array. I finally got it finished on Friday and it was such a mess! I was so upset with it I had to hang it up out of sight until I felt brave enough to approach it with fresh eyes. Sometimes that’s how it goes when you make something yourself!

The piece I’m talking about is my topper, the Frida jacket from Fibre Mood. This is a bomber style jacket and I loved the inspiration photo made out of teddy bear fabric so much that I went on a hunt to find some for myself.

I ended up with this pale pink faux teddy bear fur from Minerva and while I love how it looks and feels, it was a royal pain in the ass to work with! Fuzz everywhere, it’s bulky and kind of hard to manipulate for details that were in this jacket, and I’m a little concerned that my finishes on the raw edges won’t stop this fabric from fuzzing and fraying.

I sewed up the size small and I lengthened the sleeves (lesson learned from my past makes!) and may have made them a little too long. I used some rib knit that was left over from a project I hope you will be seeing soon and I love how all the colors from my module are represented here!

I thought this would be a great little spring jacket and I don’t have anything like it in my closet. Whether I’m going out to run errands, taking a walk, or going to pick up the kids at school, I think this will be cute to throw on when it’s not cold enough for my big coat but still too cool for no coat at all.

I just don’t know if this is the coat I was hoping for. I hate how bulky the pockets are, I don’t love the shape on me, and I’m unhappy with the ribbing around the hem band. So, is this a complete fail? I’m not sure! I’ll give it a few tries but if I find myself bummed out every time I wear it, I may be giving it away or cutting it up for parts!

Whit’s Reviews/// Style Sew Me Patterns

I’m here with this month’s Pattern Company Review, Style Sew Me Patterns!

I want to start by saying that even with a crazy month, Style Sew Me is a sponsor for the #BHMPatternDesigners challenge and Eryn the designer got hit by the horrible storm in Texas last week, Eryn delivered these answers to me right when she said she would. I’m actually the one that’s a few days late! I mention this because I have no doubts in saying that the customer service at this company will be top notch and if you reach out with any questions, Eryn is going to get them answered for you!

I had Style Sew Me on my long list of companies to review and when I saw her latest release with the Giselle Dress they got bumped right to the top. I love this dress! It is flirty and feminine and unlike anything I’ve seen out there. I wanted to make a Valentine’s dress and I told my husband the moment it is safe to go out for a date night, this is what I’m wearing.

I ordered a Crepe Leopard print from Melanated Fabrics (it’s out of stock but they have a lot of great prints!) and I liked the pink and orange together and that it kind of looked like lipstick kisses all over, fitting with my romantic theme. It was a pain and a half to sew with, but I think the end result is worth it!

I made a size medium after looking at the finished garment measurements and think the fit is pretty perfect. I didn’t make any alterations and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. I signed up for their newsletter as well and it seems like they offer a lot of great support. Techniques and tips, workshops, and a lot of inspiration to help you get a great finish with your makes.

After sewing a lot of more every day, meant to go with everything pieces, I am absolutely in love with this dress. It’s a statement and I feel fantastic in it! While I was prepping for this review I also picked up the Nikki Blazer and the Erin Oversized Dress. Check out all their patterns. I love the fun details and thought that go into these designs.

Here are the questions you guys helped me come up with and Eryn’s answers!

What is your design background? I am a self-taught designer. I draw inspiration from trends, body silhouettes, and the lifestyle around my ideal customer. 


When and why did you start making your own patterns? I began designing my own patterns in 2016 after a failed attempt at opening a clothing boutique. After the online boutique I partnered with went out of business and did not tell me, I was left with designs that I decided to convert into sewing patterns. 


Who do you design for? Who is your target audience? I design for the fashionable woman on the go who loves a touch of flair with her contemporary pieces. She is extroverted and her calendar is usually booked with family, friends, and organizational events. She enjoys being femine and carving out time in her day to take care of herself – even in the smallest way. 


What level of sewer do you design for? I design for the intermediate sewer, but provide supporting content that empowers a confident beginner to sew my patterns. 


What is your size range? My size range is XS-3XL, which is approximately a 0-26 in US sizing. Our size chart is available on every pattern’s product page of our website.


Why did you pick this range? I chose those size range to cover most standard and plus sizes. 


What is the size, cupsize, and height that you design your block on? Our patterns are drafted for 5’7″ height, C cup, and a 8 inch hip to waist difference. In combination with size, we draft for curvier bodies with a bigger bust-waist-hip ratio.


Do you support Black Lives Matter? As a black woman owned company, Style Sew Me fully supports the pursuit of equal and fair treatment of black people. 


What are some ways that you are anti racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis? 
I am blessed to have a community of men and women all over the world and I use my platform to educate and empower without alienating. I use my platform to share content supporting inclusivity and diversity in many forms of conversations, including BLM, racial injustices, and simply sharing and uplifting the content from makers of all shades and sizes throughout the creative community. In our small Team Style Sew Me, we are made up of a variety of ethnicities and are located in different parts of the world. Any team member that comes on board with me, especially those who interact with our customers, are educated on conversations, terms, and events that shape the way we speak to our customers. 

I love it! Have you ever sewn a Style Sew Me pattern? I hope you’ll go check them out and have a look around if not because I think this is a fantastic company and one to have on your radar.

If you like these reviews I’ve started a Krofi account where you can leave a small tip that will go towards future reviews. I know it is a difficult time for a lot of people right now and am happy to do these reviews, but appreciate any support, whether through that account or just by sharing my reviews with anyone else you might think would like them!

I also have a Youtube video with this review if you would like to check it out!

My Winter Module/// The Bottoms!

Today I have the bottoms for my winter module and they are both pants! I’m sewing up this module using only Fibre Mood patterns and will be recapping my whole experience in a couple of weeks.

First I have the Bea Culottes in this slub texture linen. I made the size 38 with no adjustments and am really happy with the fit. I had planned on lengthening these, but due to just a complete brain fart ended up having to cut them to the intended culotte length.

Which actually, I like! These are the most comfortable pants ever and I will be styling them like I would a skirt. I wanted to play with a more monochrome look and paired them with my Nikko turtleneck and I love how it looks.

I like the drape of these pants and they were pretty simple to sew up. The waist band is interesting with the buttons, they just open up completely to get in and out of, and the pleats are pretty in the front with darts in the back for shaping. I will wear these throughout the spring I’m sure!

Ok next is kind of boring, but oh so comfortable and completely wearable. The Benita Trousers are just wide leg elastic waist pants and I sewed them up in a couple of hours start to finish in this stretch cotton corduroy.

These are so basic but I think I will wear them a ton. It’s basically like wearing corduroy pajamas? I lengthened them and worried I should have lengthened them more, but actually this will work well with winter boots and keeping my pants out of the snow.

I’m wearing them with my first and favorite Toaster Sweater. I am warm, cozy, and still look put together. This is fashion in 2021 I think?!

I am always on the look for pants options that aren’t jeans and I’m happy to add these two to my closet! I’ll be back next week to share my topper and then my winter module is complete.

My Winter Module/// The Tops!

Today I’m sharing my three finished tops for my winter module! I’m using only patterns from Fibre Mood and I’m gathering all my thoughts and tips on using this magazine and will be sharing them in a few weeks. Let me know if you have any questions about Fibre Mood and I will either answer them or find an answer for you!

I’m going to go in order from least to most favorite and that means we will be starting with the Glory Top. I sewed up the size 38 in this beautiful Atelier Brunette Rayon and it was a dream to work with. I love the details of this pattern; the sleeves, that placket on the shoulder, and the gathering around the yoke.

However, I don’t really love how these details all look on me. It feels like a lot happening at my shoulder and the sleeves are too short. I have learned that I need to lengthen these patterns as most of them turned out too short. I will try and wear this as I love the fabric, but was a little disappointed with what the silhouette looks like on me.

The second top I have is the Bonnie. I love the color and texture of this crinkle cotton and and I sewed the size 38 with no modifications. This is a simple top and I loved the details of the sleeve and the side neckline. Again, it is too short, but I think the sleeves don’t look bad at this length. The directions for the pleating detail at the sleeve were pretty abysmal and it took searching other makes online to figure out that I just needed to sew them up like normal box pleats. Once I got it sorted out, I do love how they look!

I have it paired over a turtleneck here because I loved how they styled it in the magazine. I like how it looks and think it makes it more wearable for cold weather, but it does cause wrinkles. On its own, that isn’t a problem! I wasn’t sure while I was making this one, but it is incredibly comfortable and I can see myself wearing it a lot.

And my final top is my absolute favorite, the Alice Pullover. I made the size small in this gorgeous bamboo french terry. I would wrap myself in this fabric and just live in it every day if I could. It feels so luscious! This is a really simple pattern, I think I sewed it up in a couple of hours. But while it on the surface seems like just a sweatshirt pattern, the deep V in the back and the wide neckline make it so lovely. It reminds me of something I would wear in a ballet class, I love how it highlights your neck. I’ve been wearing it quite a bit and just love it.

I’m pretty happy with all these makes and it was easy to find pieces in my closet to pair them with, and that’s really the point of this module. Yes, they will all work together, but they need to easily fit into my wardrobe. I like that all three of these tops are different from anything I own and that Fibre Mood is able to take seemingly basic designs and add unique details.