Sewing My Spring Capsule///M7981

Today I have the first piece to share in my Spring Capsule wardrobe! I’ve purchased and am using this guide from Everyday Style and if you know me in real life you are probably tired of me talking about it. I love it so much!

The Capsule Piece: I’m talking about a skirt I made today to fill the spot of a daytime to dressy skirt. I love wearing skirts when the weather gets warmer and I’ve been wanting a flowing button front skirt for awhile. I wanted to keep it a little more neutral so I could wear it with a lot of the tops I’ve pulled or am planning on making.

The pattern and fabric: This pattern is McCalls 7981 and it’s a pretty classic skirt with the waist band, gathers, and front button placket. There are two panels on the side that are kind of interesting and make for a little something different. There are pockets and I chose version B with the gathers and midi length. There are different length options as well as a tie version and a more a-line version.

This fabric is a gorgeous lightweight washed linen in the color ‘powder blue’ that I picked up from Blackbird Fabrics. I love that there is a bit of a gray undertone to the color. It is rumply and soft and I think a great weight for this skirt. It can hold the waistband shape but still is soft and drapey for those gathers.

I also ordered these Pigeon Wishes Stripe Mosaic Buttons from Stylemaker fabric and I love the detail they add to a pretty basic skirt. Sometimes I get so caught up in ordering fabric that I miss the opportunity to really think about these kinds of details, so I was proud of myself for taking the time to order these.

Details on the Make: I made the straight size medium with no alterations. I contemplated shortening the skirt but in the end decided that midi length is really what I was going for. I interfaced my waistband and button placket with self fabric and finished all my seams with a zig zag stitch.

This was a pretty simple make, straightforward from the fitting to the sewing, and I think this is a nice staple pattern to keep in my stash for awhile. If I have one nit pick it’s that I wish the waistband were a little wider.

How I plan to wear it: I’ve pulled some other pieces from my capsule to show you how I plan on wearing this skirt.

Look one is with a white t-shirt, booties, and my Evans blazer.

Look two is with a new tank you’ll see soon and my new purple flats.

And look three is with a graphic t-shirt and my olive anorak jacket (it’s still snowing here so I can’t pretend I’m not layering!) and my white sneakers.

I’m really happy to add another skirt to my closet and am loving this make!

My August Needle Sharp Box

I got the Sew Indulgent Box from Needle-sharp for the month of August and wanted to share my makes with you! This is a subscription service that offers multiple boxes each month with everything you need inside to complete a sewing project. I have enjoyed these boxes in the past, but especially right now when just popping out into a store for notions or going in person to a fabric store isn’t really an option, I find them really useful. They have one off boxes as well and would be a great gift for a new sewist! I have a video showing everything that came in this box here.

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The pattern I picked this month was thePietra Pants and Shorts from Closet Core Patterns. We got to pick two fabric options so I picked a washed linen for the shorts and a tencel twill for the pants.

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I absolutely love this pattern! They were so quick to sew up and I think they look, this may sound weird, but like real pants! I say that because the back is entirely elasticated but from the front these look polished and professional. They are really comfortable and if you need pants for an office job (or work from home!) I think these in a neutral fabric would work great.

I also adore the pocket detail. The lines are very cool, and again, just take these to a more elevated level of pants.

I made no adjustments to either pair and have already gotten a lot of wear out of both. I think a wide leg version in a wool would be gorgeous and I would like to try the straight leg as well. I know this pattern has been around for awhile, but if you’ve been waiting to make it I can say it definitely lives up to the hype!

///Pattern Details////

Pattern, version: Pietra Pants from Closet Core Patterns. I made versions A (wide leg) and C (shorts)

Size, adjustments: I made a straight size 8 in both. The shorts hang a little loose on me so I took in the seam allowance a bit with the pants and it fits nicely at the waist now.

Fabric used: The shorts are in a brushed linen and the pants are a tencel twill. All of my supplies came from Needle-sharp.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed making these so much! Closet Core always has great instructions and I am just really happy to have a pants and shorts pattern that I can make a go to. I would recommend these for someone newer to sewing because along with being simple to sew, there are a lot of resources on the Closet Core blog to help you out as well as a lot of versions shared online!

Whit’s Reviews/// The Lima Dress

I am very excited to start what I hope will become a monthly series here on my blog and Youtube channel! I am purchasing and making a pattern from an indie pattern company and sharing the thoughts on my process. Along with looking at the pattern, I am sending the designer a list of questions that you all helped me come up with and sharing them here!

Full disclosure, my intention going into these reviews is to be positive. While I will absolutely offer any critical feedback or struggles I have, you will never see me drag a company. I will always reach out to the designer for any issues I may have and will let you know about them as well as their response.

I have a running list going of companies I hope to review, but please leave any that you know and love and want to get more love or any that you’ve been interested in trying!

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Today I am looking at Kosedo Studio  and reviewing the Lima Dress. I saw Sew Natural Dane post her dress earlier this summer and was intrigued by the sleeves. When I saw that Black Makers Matter was featuring this dress for the month of August (go check them out as they have a sew along and a coupon code!), I moved some things around to hurry up and get this dress made. Go check out the hashtag on Instagram to see some lovely versions and how this pattern looks on different bodies.

I reached out to Vanessa, knowing she was very busy this month, and she was so kind in her response and sent back the answers to the questions quickly. While I didn’t need customer service, I think this speaks to how quickly you could expect to get a response if you needed it! Here is what she had to say about her company!

What is your design background?

Creativity runs in the family; I grew up watching my mother sew and my father draw. I remember getting my first handwheel sewing machine for my 5th birthday; I fell in love instantly. Over the years, you could find me playing with different patterns and sketching designs. I always knew I wanted to study fashion design. On my journey to becoming, I studied fashion tailoring and fashion product development.  

 I took my first steps into the fashion industry about 15 years ago as a design assistant but quickly found my way to pattern making and fit technology. 

Throughout the years, I’ve developed designs as a garment technician for famous highstreet brands. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world visiting and working with different garment factories. After witnessing firsthand the environmental and socio-economic impact of the fashion industry, I wanted to help get us back on track.

Sustainability has become a core pillar of my personal life; I hope by teaching people to sew, they’ll develop more respect for the skill and the time it takes to create a single piece of clothing (what we in the industry refer to as, slow fashion). 

When and why did you start making your own patterns? Who do you design for?

My brand targets curvy women, women that love feminine style, bold colors, and prints. 

 What level of sewer do you design for?

The current patterns are for the intermediate level sewist. However, I want to have patterns with different skill levels so that the sewist’s talent will increase each time a pattern is finished and then move on to the next level of pattern. The degree of difficulty charts show you the skills my pattern requires.

What is your price point and why?

Due to my unique sizing system, it has taken a lot of time to develop the patterns. I currently have 3 standard sample sizes and 6 additional sizes.  I believe you should be able to make the pattern by only looking at the illustrations, so extra care is put into the details of the illustrations. I do provide all the sizes, Copyshop option, all sizes in separate layer and seam allowance options for at home printing. 

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

The size chart is developed with the curvy body in mind, length 168cm (5ft5) and Cup size B/C till G. The Kosedo size chart is unique in that sizes don’t grade up from a small size 6 to a 24 US. I grade in small groups of 5 sizes. I always sample and fit the middle size of each group and grade up and down only 2 sizes. This means that at the moment we have 3 sample sizes. Block sample sizes are A4 EU38/US6/UK10  B4 EUR47/US15/UK19 (due to the grading the size falls in-between sizes) C4 EUR54/US22/UK26. Developing patterns in like this achieves a better fit as we can make adjustments according to the size groups instead of having consistent and standard grading.  

Why I developed a unique size chart?

In my mind, indie means uniqueness, thinking outside the box, representing minorities and making decisions based on my own values and beliefs. Instead of following the mainstream. I follow my own fashion sense and style. As an independent designer I work closely with the sewing community to serve their needs; and the community has curves.

 I always found it strange that the fashion industry targets and develops clothes for only one body type; women with straight bodies, no hips, that don’t have many curves. I always said that when I started my own fashion business, I would make sure my brand was more size inclusive. When I started my business, I developed a unique size chart for my patterns because I didn’t want to start from a sizing system that didn’t recognize women like me with curves and a sway back. 

 The mainstream sizing systems also don’t take into account smaller women with fuller breasts, hips, and booty. The fashion industry seems to think that only plus-size women have curves. My clothes, patterns, and unique sizing chart offer solutions are designed with curves in mind. I’m surrounded by curvy girls everyday, in fact, I’m a curvy girl myself and it’s about time that there is a sizing system created to be inclusive. 

Do you support Black Lives Matter? 

Yes, of course, as a black woman living in the Netherlands who has worked in the fashion industry, I know very well what racism is. It gives me hope that we are now having well needed conversations. It’s important to me that my children live in a world where they can be themselves. 

What are some ways that you are anti racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis?

I am really intentional with everything I do in my business from the models I work with to the illustrations I make and my sizing system. I specifically make patterns with curvy women in mind as the industry often excludes us.

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Don’t you love her?! Here’s what I want to say about this pattern (I will list nitty gritty details below like always). It is obvious when making this pattern that Vanessa loves to sew. The attention to detail makes the process so enjoyable, I loved making this pattern as much as I love the result. She states her commitment to including curvy women in her patterns and the care with her sizing chart makes that clear. There are a lot of options and so much information to help you find your size. The drafting of this pattern is beautiful and I got a really great fit on my first try along with a dress that has beautiful finishes. I will absolutely be making this pattern again and would love to try the maxi version in a drapey fabric.

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///Pattern Details///

Pattern: The Lima Dress by Kosedo Studio in the shorter version

Size/adjustments made: I made size A6 and did take in the bodice a bit, would probably size down to A4 next time

Fabric: Soft washed linen in solid spice from Stylemaker

Final thoughts: I love the bodice of this dress so much that I have plans to work with it again, either to hack or add different sleeves. While not a beginner pattern, I would say that Vanessa’s instructions are clear enough for anyone wanting to expand their techniques and learn a few new skills.

In Search of the Perfect Button-down

I have in my head an image of a perfect button down shirt that I can wear tied up with my high waisted pants. I… don’t know if this is the version I had in mind? I bought this pattern at the end of last summer, all of the versions look like really wearable pieces that could all look very different from each other made up in different fabrics.

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I bought this linen last year for a different button down shirt, but ended up wanting to give this pattern a try. I love the weight of this particular fabric and how it is still drapey enough for this style. I also bought these lovely buttons from Tabitha Sewer and am very happy with the quality. They were wonderful to work with and I think they look really nice on this shirt!

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My main issue with this shirt is that it just feels too big. In the pictures I have unbuttoned the last button and tied it up to make it shorter and hit at my natural waist. To be fair, the pattern does say it is very loose fitting and it’s my fault for not doing a little more research. But also, maybe I wasn’t clear on exactly what I wanted until I made this up? I am going to try and style it up in the coming month and wear it a few different ways, so even if it’s not the shirt I was originally planning on it will still be something I like to wear.

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Here are your pattern details!

Pattern: M7976, version D

Fabric: A Robert Kauffman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen from Fancy Tiger Crafts, buttons are these lovelies from Tabitha Sewer

Size made/Alterations: I made the straight size medium. Seeing how oversized it is, I may size down to the small next time as I am right on the border of those sizes.

Final thoughts: I am proud of this garment, it’s really well made and some of the construction details are very nice. I love the pleats in the shoulders as well as the drafting for the sleeve and yoke. It’s pretty simple to make as it doesn’t have a collar, just a facing, and I think with a few tweaks it would be something I love.