Whit’s Reviews/// Hey June Handmade

Every month I pick an independent pattern company, buy and sew up one of their patterns, ask them a set of questions you all helped me come up with, and then I tell you about it here! Thanks to your generous tips in my Ko-fi account last month, I was able to purchase the pattern, fabric, and fabric for next month. I really appreciate that! If you like these reviews but can’t contribute, liking/sharing these posts is always helpful as is just going and checking out the company I review. I’m so thankful for all your support!

I’m here today with this month’s Whit Reviews and we are looking at the company Hey June Handmade. To look through all of the pattern companies I’ve reviewed, click here!

Let’s start with the answers to our questions and then I will show you what I made. I reached out to Adrianna and she quickly responded. I appreciate the care and attention she gave our questions and I hope you enjoy her answers!

What is your design background? When and why did you start making your own patterns?

 I’ve always been more interested in the technical aspects of sewing, so from day one I started making my own patterns rather than using pre-existing ones.  I’ve moved from paper, to using Adobe illustrator, and finally to a CAD program for my drafting and grading.  I was self taught using textbooks for several years before I was able to take flat pattern drafting classes.  When I first started nearly a decade ago, PDF patterns were only just emerging and there were none for simple, every day knit basics, so that’s where I began.   

Who do you design for? Who is your Target Audience?

Anyone who loves to sew and wear comfortable, everyday basics! 

What level of sewer do you design for?

The majority of Hey June patterns are designed to be beginner or advanced-beginner friendly.  They are also designed to be very “hackable”, so you can use one pattern to create several looks.  It’s my goal to cater to those who just want to use a pattern without having to think about it, as well as those who want to save some money and get creative by using one pattern to create almost any garment they can imagine.  The HJ website is full of tutorials and free add-on patterns for this very purpose.

What is your price point and why?

Patterns are $10 – $12.  They are purposefully kept at a low price so they can be accessible to anyone without a sale. We do offer a bundle discount as well as two site-wide sales per year.

What is your size range? Why did you pick this range? What is the size, cupsize, and height that you design your block on?

In the past, it’s been 2 – 22, then for a short time it was 0 – 24, and currently it is womens 0 – 30, though it is always evolving.  Sizes 0 – 20 are a B sewing cup, and 14 – 30 are a D sewing cup (this is not related to bra cup size).  I don’t like to talk about over all height, because it is very rarely proportionate to adjustments needed in leg or torso length and I think it can set people up for failure.  Instead, I offer total lengths in my patterns for inseam and back length so everyone can make a good choice for their individual bodies.  I like to share the anecdotal data about my own body – I am 5’7″, which is two inches taller than the standard height for drafting, but I have to shorten all my tops by 2″ because my torso is so short.  If I was a newer sewist and just chose to add an inch or two based on my height, it would yield poor results.

Do you support Black Lives Matter? What are some ways that you are anti racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis?

Always.  Everyone is always welcome and I hope that my communities online have supported that inclusive mentality to all our members.  I am very proud to say that up to this point I haven’t had to remove any member due to hateful language and I hope that the HJ community will continue to reflect our shared goals toward inclusivity and anti-racism. 

Is there anything else you would like people just discovering your company to know?

The HJ website is chock full of helpful information if you’re just getting started.  Make sure to read the product listing, the dedicated blog post for each pattern (linked in the product listing) the FAQ, and the comprehensive overview of PDF patterns linked on the home page for all the information you may need.  Then you can venture into the tutorials and sewalongs for even more helpful information and inspiration!  We also have a very active facebook group if you have questions, and we also just love to see your finished projects!

Hey June Handmade has been on my radar for awhile, I had just never sewn any of their patterns. I decided to purchase the Evans blazer since I’m focusing on coats/jackets right now and I thought a knit blazer would be a good place to start.

I’m so happy this was my first blazer! The drafting on this is pretty great and the instructions and support offered through the blog is exceptional. I was nervous about those welt pockets after my disaster of a bomber jacket a few weeks ago, and although they are not perfect, they are pretty dang good! And more importantly (I think!) I actually learned something and understood what I was doing.

I made a straight size 8 and the fit in the shoulders is pretty spot on. I need to lengthen the sleeves next time, but because of the fabric I used I am just leaving them so they are long enough. I used this lovely ponte knit in the color new brick from Melanated Fabrics and it was really great to work with.

I had trouble with my knit interfacing but have recently seen some Instagram posts on crap interfacing and I think I need to upgrade mine. I think this may have contributed to a few issues in the collar and pockets. Sometimes it bubbled and sometimes it just peeled up and moved while I was working with it.

The construction of the Evans blazer is pretty straight forward. There are darts and fish eye darts for shaping and the collar in built into the front of the jacket. There are welt pockets and two piece sleeves, all typical elements you would find in a woven jacket. That means this looks polished and professional but with the comfort of the knit.

I never wear blazers because they are always too tight in the shoulders, but the stretch here keeps this comfy while still playing with that structured look. I really love how this turned out and will be showing some different ways I plan to wear it later this week! I enjoyed this whole process so much, I hope to be making more Hey June patterns in the future and highly recommend them to all of you!

Sew the Stash///April

It’s the beginning of the month so you know what that means, time to pick out some fabric from the stash to use up! Last month I made this outfit for my daughter as well as some tie dye yoga pants. I didn’t get around to the sweatshirt because, quite frankly, I’m over sewing sweats and ready for all the spring things! I will save that lovely knit for fall and winter when I’m back in a cozy, hibernating mood.

Which brings me to this month’s stash! This month I want to make a sweet dress for my daughter out of this cotton gingham I’ve had for years. I bought it thinking I would make a friend’s kids matching outfits. I have no idea what I was thinking as I was working and raising young twins at the time and only just learning how to sew! They obviously didn’t get made, but now I can use this happy fabric for my own children. I’m thinking I will try and get matching bow ties for the boys out of it too. Some day we will go to church again and my kids are going to look stylin’ when that day comes!

This blue cotton was given to me by my mom. I think it was originally for a home decor project? I’m going to be starting in on some shirt making and am going to use this for wearable muslins. It’s a great way to practice my techniques and the fabric will work for my boys! I’m going to try and make Chris a shirt as well. I know it will take some fitting and tweaking so using a fabric I’m not precious about will be perfect. I don’t foresee myself making my husband a lot of clothes, but it’s a great way to practice and know how to fit him!

Finally I have this interesting fabric that I picked up from Shop WellFibre on instagram. I’m not exactly sure of the make up of this, it’s like a mix between a knit and a tweed? I loved the colors of it though and have been bouncing around ideas on what I could make with it. I’m thinking I may have enough for an oversized blazer but also possibly a pair of pants. Stay tuned as I have this playing a part in my Spring wardrobe, I’m just not exactly sure how yet!

Tag me or leave a comment if you play along this month and sew up something from your stash! I’d love to see it!

My Final Thoughts on Fibre Mood

Last week I shared my final reveal of my winter module and I thought today I would share some thoughts on Fibre Mood magazine and patterns. I made 7 of their patterns over a span of about a month and ended up really loving 4 of the things I made. 2 I like and only 1 was a fail. So I think it’s safe to say that I can give this company a positive review, but let’s dig a little deeper!

First, I want to share the three tools that I use to trace and cut out my patterns from magazines. I highly recommend this tracing paper (I prefer how wide it is, makes life easier!), these highlighters (I trace my size and then use them for tracing onto the paper as well), and this curved ruler to add seam allowances. Tracing patterns is not difficult so please don’t let that intimidate you! There are a number of sewing magazines out there and if you’re limited on space or on a tight budget, they are a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck!

Ok, let’s get back specifically to Fibre Mood. The negatives for these patterns really, for me, are:

The size range could be more inclusive. Their sizing runs from a 29.9 bust to a 57.5 inch bust(here is their sizing chart). I wish they would work on expanding that a bit more. I do appreciate that they offer children’s and sometimes men’s patterns, just wish more of the sewing community could make their designs.

The sizing system used is different in every iteration. This is something that I think is meant to be helpful. If you buy a US magazine the sizing is imperial and in what we would think of as our sizing chart (0-28). There are also British sizing charts and European sizing. The problem is the actual patterns on the pattern sheet are all European. This is not a huge deal, it is easy to figure out what you’re supposed to be tracing, but I noticed a couple of errors in switching centimeters when it should be inches. I just think this lends itself to errors and we all know how important measuring is in sewing. I think we are all used to using different sizing charts and it wouldn’t be a big deal if they were consistent throughout their magazine and online instructions.

The line drawings and instructions aren’t the clearest. Ok, in a minute I’m going to say that I like the fashion vibes of their patterns but I have to say that sometimes it’s hard to see clear details and their line drawings don’t seem to be the most accurate. I had the most trouble when I was working on the pleat details of the Bonnie top and the ribbing of the Frida jacket. It actually took me going to social media and seeing other people’s photographs to find the detail shots I needed of the garments.

We also need to discuss that the instructions are very sparse. They do offer a bit more detail online and I will say that I was able to follow them, some things just took a little more work to figure out. If you are fairly confident in how the construction of garments works, you will be fine. If you are brand new to sewing, I would think these instructions would leave you frustrated!

For Pros, Fibre Mood really nails it with:

Inspirational pictures. I love the styling of the makes. From pairing handmade clothes with ready to wear and capturing a whole vibe in their photos, I think Fibre Mood excels in selling their patterns as things we actually want to make and wear. I know I said I wish they would do some more practical, head on shots so we could get a clear sense of fit and proportions, but for me this magazine is really helpful in thinking about what I want to make next and leaves me feeling inspired.

Simple patterns with trendy details. I really just like their patterns! They are pretty basic lines with fun details, and that is what I like to wear. I don’t want things that are too fussy or trendy but I still would like to feel current in my clothes. I think they nail that balance. Designers are never going to please everyone, but for me, these patterns are what I’m looking for when I’m taking the time to make my own clothes.

Consistent drafting and sizing. While what they call the sizing changes (and is annoying!) the actual sizes themselves and the fit of the garments seems to be pretty consistent. I made a 38 or size small in everything and, aside from needing to add length, it all fit well. I tried patterns from three different issues so I think I can safely say that the drafting and sizing is consistent. Once you make one of their patterns I think you will know what to expect with the others!

Social Media presence. Fibre Mood has done a great job with their instagram account. They have been offering weekly free patterns and sew alongs during lockdown and they reach out to a lot of sewing influencers so that when a new magazine is published you can immediately see what the patterns look like sewn up and styled on a variety of people. The hashtags for the patterns are very active and I know that when I needed help, it was easy to find online!

I have subscribed to the magazine and will continue to share it here and make their patterns. I find flipping through the issues really inspiring and I love their take on design. If you like what you see but aren’t interested in an entire magazine, please know that you can buy individual patterns online as pdfs.

I’m happy to continue supporting Fibre Mood and already have a few patterns marked from them for my spring and summer sewing plans! Please let me know if there are any questions you have about sewing these patterns and I will be happy to answer them for you.

Sew With Me: V9136

This year I hope to share more of the process of sewing, so today I have my attempt at a Sew with Me. It’s not the best, I will get better at this! But if you want to see this V9136 come together, I have a vlog here.

Stay tuned for tomorrow because I will have pictures and a review up of my first coat! I started this last week so it’s taken me about a week and a half. I have been thinking about it and looking at it so much that I have to be honest and say I’m at the point where I hate it- ha! I actually set it aside yesterday and I hope I put it on for pictures and fall in love again. That’s usually what happens.

Let me know if you have any specific questions about the process or this pattern and I will try to answer them in tomorrow’s post!

Giveaway Winners!!!

Thank you everyone that played along with my giveaway! I appreciated all of your comments so much. I compiled all the comments and used a random number generator to find the winners!

The winner of a pattern from Kosedo Studios is shelley_sews_sometimes from instagram!

The winner of a pattern from Greenstyle Creations is QuiltingPoodle from instagram!

The winner of a pattern from Love Notions is Sweet Vanessa Leigh L from Youtube!

And the winner of a pattern from Friday Pattern Company is Daniela S. from the blog!

I’ve reached out to all the winners, but if you see your name above please email me whitneyrholley@me.com and I will get in touch with you on receiving your pattern!!

Sew Christmas Pajamas!

Here’s something you need to know about me… I loooooooove matching pajamas. I’ve always wanted family pajamas for Christmas and last year was the first time we made it happen. I bought Hanna Anderson’s last year (which, I love their pjs, let me be clear. Great value, they last forever, I pass them down from kid to kid!) but this year I wanted to make us all cozy pjs.

I’ve made everyone a pair of Hudson Pants by True Bias this fall so I decided to stick with that pattern. It’s really easy to sew up, the sizing is spot on, and they are so cozy to wear as sweatpants when it’s cold. I ordered this beautiful french terry from Surge Fabrics and got to work assembly line style.

You will have to wait for the full reveal as I ordered matching shirts and am waiting for them to come in! In the meantime, I’m sure you’ll find at least one of us from now until Christmas lounging around in these pants!

One Piece, Three Ways

I love when I have a new item of clothing to share, whether I made it or bought it!, but the most sustainable way to get dressed is to use what you already have. Thinking along those lines I decided to start a new series; One piece,Three ways. The idea is simple, take one piece of clothing from your closet, maybe something you always wear the same way or something you want to love but never seem to reach for, and find three unique ways to style it up.

I’m starting with this skirt. It’s a classic polka dot skirt that hits just at my knees. It’s cute and flirty and I have had it for years and have worn it maybe once. I think the length is one that I don’t love- I prefer either shorter or longer- and it feels a little preppier than what I normally wear. But it’s a great piece and I love the idea of it, so time to see if I can style it up in three different ways and actually get to wearing it.

First up is one of my favorite ways to wear skirts these days, with a t-shirt and white sneakers. This Frida shirt is from the DMA exhibit years ago and I recently purchased these Steve Madden sneakers when they were on sale. I added this green jacket for warmth and to add some more color. I love how casual and fun this looks.

I am here for this trend of pairing a chunky oversize sweater with a swishy skirt. This sweater was a gift and it’s super soft and cozy. I added these fun booties I bought a couple years ago and I think I would add my navy tights to this as well. A great way to take a springy skirt into the fall.

And speaking of fall, I went for co ed vibes with this one. I thrifted this Madewell sweater recently and I love that rich caramel color with the navy. I pulled one of my husband’s shirts for a fun play with patterns and added these oxford style booties to complete the look.

Since styling up this skirt for this challenge I’ve already worn it a few times with completely different pieces from my closet! Just thinking about it in a new way has made this skirt more of a go to piece in my closet. It’s silly to have a closet full of clothes and not love everything in it, let’s start wearing what we already have! Go pick something in your closet and see if you can find 3 new ways to style it up!

I Would Love Your Input!

Hello!! I had a very exhausting week last week but am happy to report for all of y’all that knew what was going on that Sam’s tests have all been coming back normal. A huge wave of relief has been passing over me and I have been resting and taking care of myself.

Today I’m back at it and planning ahead for the coming month (how is it almost August?!?!) and I would love your thoughts on something. I want to start highlighting smaller pattern companies and my plan is to buy a pattern, make it, share the process with you, and contact the designer directly so they know what I’m doing and can provide any information they want before I share my thoughts. I would love to send them a few questions ahead of time that are the same for every designer. Right now I know I want to ask about where they stand with Black Lives Matter and how they are implementing anti racist policies in their business as well as other inclusive polices they adhere to. I would also like to know the size range they offer as well as their reasoning behind it.

What other questions would you like to know before you buy from a lesser known or smaller indie company? Are there any specific companies you think I should look at? Anyone that you love and think deserves attention or anyone you’ve seen but haven’t tried yet?

I’d love your input! I want this to be a series where I can help out my fellow sewists by introducing them to or reviewing how a company works and also I want to help out designers and get their name out there to more people! I have no intention of being overly critical (my thinking is if something is really bad I will contact that company behind the scenes and give them a chance to fix it!) but also to be honest and helpful so that you as a consumer know what you’re getting into.

Please let me know here, on my YouTube channel, or send me a DM on instagram and let me know what you think! I have a company and pattern ready to go and would just like to get my framework for this series in place before I start.

Make of the Week!

Over on my creative blog, Whit Makes, I have an easy t-shirt that I made, which I wouldn’t normally share but it was my first time using a pattern from a sewing magazine and I was so happy with how it turned out! Hope everyone had a great Fourth!