Dress · Uncategorized

Marigold Dress Full Reveal SMS20


It’s been so full guest hosting for SMS20 for the month of Sept. This is the final post, the finished look.

I have 3 other blog posts dedicated to SMS20: September Sew My Style InspirationHacking a Shirred Sleeve: Sept SMS20Marigold: Blank Slate Patterns Sew-A-Long #sms20

If you forgot my inspo pic, I put that above. How close did I get? I’m quite pleased.


I used Rayon Challis from fabric.com. I found this fabric to be so soft. Very light and drapey for shirring. Very happy with this fabric pick. I would recommend it and it’s very affordable.


I did muslin this so it fits pretty well. This is only one fit change that I would change next time, which is to take 3/4″ out of the bodice length in the front. SBA does take length out, but it often doesn’t take enough out. You can see in the photos how the front kind of billows out. I’ve tucked some fabric in and it lays flat, so I know it’s the length. It’s just too much work to unpick and shorten with the button and waistband to deal with. I could definitely go up a few cup sizes and this will fit.


I sewed up a size medium, hacked the sleeve, SBA, and shortened the bodice 1/2″.  I didn’t add any length to the skirt (I normally add 1,5″ to skirt length) and I’m happy with the length. If you are short, you may need to hack a little more off.


I found the instructions really easy to follow but I do have a sew-a-long if you need some additional help.

New to Sew My Style? Learn more and join in here.

Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

To stay up-to-date with all the #SMS20 news, pattern discounts and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at Sew My Style 2020.


Marigold: Blank Slate Patterns Sew-A-Long #sms20


I typically just show the final result of a pattern and any hang-up’s I might have had, adjustments I made. Since I’m guest posting for Sew My Style this month, I thought I would try my hand at a sew-a-long.

I found the instructions to be really great, so I’m mostly having step-by-step photos and any tips and tricks I came across.

Fabric I’m using: Rayon Challis from Fabric.com

Step 1/2

Attaching the button placket.

Be sure to put the RIGHT side of placket to the WRONG side of shirt. This is so that you topstitch from the front with you fold the placket around. I’ll admit, I got mixed up and did typical RST at first.


Step 3

Fold the button placket to the front and topstitch. This is a great step to try your hand at no pins. It should be pressed and I preferred the pins out of the way to make sure everything laid flat.


Step 4

Prepping the burrito method. I love the way burritos finish. Sandwich the back in between the 2 yokes.


Step 5

I do prefer to topstitch the back yoke when using the burrito method.


Step 6

Gathering stitches on the front bodice. She doesn’t specify the width but I like to do 2 lines of stitches, one at 1/4″ and the other at 5/8″. I do have to remove the 2nd basting stitch after finishing the burrito method but it does produce even gathering.


Step 7

Sew the front bodice to one of the back yokes. I get easily confused when I’m doing the burrito method, so to keep it straight in my mind, I sew RST, meaning the right side of the bodice to back yoke side that will face out when it is finished. You can see in the photo that the back yoke is currently unattached at the shoulder.


Step 8

Burrito time. I start by rolling up the back and then the front. I had to flip mine over after to get the burrito. I’m basically looking for the bodice to be sandwiched between the yokes.



Step 9

One thing I wished this pattern had was button hole markings on the pattern. However, she gives excellent instructions on finding where to put them. I wish I had one of those button placement accordion tool.

I ended up placing my buttons 2″ up, 4 3/4″ up, 7 1/2″, 10 1/2″ up from the bottom.


Step 1

sorry this pic is blurry. I took them on my phone and didn’t double check them, but super easy step, baste and then press along basting


Step 2

Make sure to keep your folds down. You can see my fold was flipping up in the picture but I made sure it was down at the sewing machine.


Step 3/4

I’m so sorry I’m missing a picture for this step. To be honest, I found this to be the hardest step too. It’s tricky to get the neckline to match up. What I had to re-read several times in the instructions to comprehend was where the ends of the collar should be pinned to. It should be pinned to end of the placket + seam allowance..

Step 5

Use a lot of pins in this step.  If you want a really clean look inside, I recommend hand-stitching on the inside and then topstitching.



I did a sleeve hack. You can look at it this post here.


Step 1

If you didn’t want to topstitch, under-stiching would be a nice touch too.


Step 2

I like to pin the pocket pieces together from the back side


Step 3


Step 4-6 

are for the skirt version ONLY

Step 7


Step 8

Remember to use a 1″ seam allowance. This is for the elastic waistband casing.

Step 9/10

You are trimming the bodice only. this will just reduce bulk. The skirt seam allowance becomes the casing.

I actually didn’t love the instruction on forming the casing. What I did was press 1/4″ under on the skirt seam allowance. Press it up. Pinned and sewed from the wrong side 1/8″ from the edge of casing. Leaving 2″ open for inserting the elastic.



Step 11/12

Easy step, nothing to add here. Her measurements were perfect elastic length for me.


Hem it up and add those buttons.

If you are having troubles, feel free to reach out, I’d love to help

My previous SMS20 posts September Sew My Style Inspiration Hacking a Shirred Sleeve: Sept SMS20

New to Sew My Style? Learn more and join in here.

Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

To stay up-to-date with all the #SMS20 news, pattern discounts and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at Sew My Style 2020.

tutorial · Uncategorized

Hacking a Shirred Sleeve: Sept SMS20


If you saw my SMS20 inspo post, you know that I wanted to hack the Marigold dress into the above image. In this post, I’ll show you how to hack your pattern piece and sew it up.

This hack could be used on any pattern with a set-in sleeve, but you are seeing it applied directly to the Marigold pattern.

What I observed from my inspo pic:

-6 rows of shirring

-gathering at the top of the sleeve

To get started, I read Seamwork Guide to shirring. I had no experience with Shirring prior to making this dress, so most of what I did came from that post.

To see videos of how I hacked the pattern, look at the marigold highlight on my instagram stories.

Step 1: Use the long sleeve version. I used a fabric tape measure and measured from my armpit down to where I wanted the shirring to end. This was 9″ for me. I measured 9″ down on the pattern and drew a line across. I added 5/8″ for seam allowance and drew a line across for my new sleeve ending point.

Step 2: Draw 2 vertical straight lines, one closer to back and one closer to the front sleeve. (if following along with my insta stories, I did step 4 first, but I think it would be easier to do this part first)


** at first I thought I would slash and spread the pattern, but you want gathering in the sleeve head, so unless you pattern already has gathering, you want to evenly add space throughout the sleeve. The marigold pattern does not have gathers in the sleeve head.

Step 3: cut on those lines (you should have your sleeve in 3 pieces) and spread apart. I added around 4-5″ within both sections. Fill in with gap. I used tissue paper.


Step 4: Draw shirring lines. I made my first mark 1/2″ higher than my 5/8″ seam allowance. Then each line is 1/2″ up from that, 6 lines total. I found it easiest to measure at several points across the sleeve and then connect the lines.

step 5: Add notches at sleeve cap for where the gathering should start/stop. Most of the curve should have no gathering.

I traced off my new piece onto tissue paper and you can see my new piece below,


Let’s get sewing. I sewed a muslin first since I was learning how to shirr. I have a few tips to mention from that but the only change I made to the pattern piece from muslin to final was to spread the gathering a bit further out from where I put them initially.

Sewing Steps

  1. Transfer shirring lines onto the RIGHT side of the fabric. I used white chalk. You can see I wasn’t perfect and had to fix a few lines but it gave me something to follow,


2) Hem the sleeves using a narrow hem. I pressed 1/4″ over to the wrong side, folded again, pressed and stitched. Your shirring lines should be just above your hem.


3) Gather the top of the sleeve. I like to use 2 rows of basting stitches, at 1/4″ and 5/8″


Shirring time

4) set up your machine for shirring

hand wind your bobbin with elastic thread and set your stitch length between 3-4

** This may not apply to you but my machine would not shirr without it. Tighten your bobbin tension.  I used this post to figure it out. I have a brother CS6000I

5) Sew your time shirring lines. Make sure to backstitch. It should be gathering, if not, check your bobbin tension and make sure your elastic thread is properly in the bobbin case. Because the bobbin has tighter tension, it is easier to put the thread in the case with the case out of the machine.


You can set-in the sleeves or install flat. The marigold has you install flat, so I’m proceeding that way.

6) pin/sew sleeve to bodice. Pull on gathering threads to fit. Finish seam


7) sew side seam including side of sleeve. Finish seam


Congrats. You now have a shirred sleeve. If you have any trouble, feel free to comment questions and I’ll do my best to help.

New to Sew My Style? Learn more and join in here.

Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

To stay up-to-date with all the #SMS20 news, pattern discounts and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at Sew My Style 2020.

Blouse · Uncategorized

Perfecting M7544 View A


I’ve had M7544 in my stash for a long time. I even bought fabric to make it. It’s one of the only times I bought fabric and changed my mind that I didn’t like it and used the fabric for something else.

If I’m honest, I probably ditched the idea due to instagram. I browse the pattern hashtag before making patterns and I was about 50/50 on the versions that have been made. If I had made this pattern 2 years ago like I had planned, I would not have liked it. I’ve gotten a lot better at sizing and changing up patterns, so I have the needed tools now to make it successful.


The biggest issue with this pattern is the yoke. I’ve seen the high yoke before in another Big4 pattern: S8454 View C Review and I just don’t think it’s a flattering spot to cut a bodice.I added 1″ onto the yoke. Which means I also cut 1″ off the main top. I lined up both pieces to make sure I kept the right armhole shape.

I’m happy with where the yoke falls now. Although I do think an extra 1/2″ lower would look nice. I extended both the front and the back pattern piece.


You might have noticed on the pattern piece I also lowered the neckline. This was to solve another problem. I guess I should say it’s more of a personal preference. I don’t like button back finishes. My hair always gets wrapped up in it.

I know the button is there so you don’t need a zip to get it over you head. So I changed both back pattern pieces to on the fold. I lowered the front neckline 1/2″ and widened at the shoulders 1/4″.  I have plenty of room to get it on and off.


I chose to use some leftover gingham (from M7543 Off Shoulder Summer Top) on the sleeves for some added interest. I could have cut the yokes, but I didn’t think the large gingham would look great on the yoke.

The navy is a cotton lawn and gingham is a cotton/poly blend. Both are from fabric.com.


I did have a big suspicion that the sleeves would be too tight. The pattern piece is so narrow. It does pull a little bit. It’s wearable but next time I would add more room to the sleeve. You can see in the above picture the sleeve trying to get more fabric from the front.


Overall, this pattern is worth making a few adjustments. I really love the end result. I would not like the bodice straight from the pattern. It does need adjustments.


I could see myself making a few more of this top (with the sleeve adjustment). It’s a very easy comfortable shirt to throw on and still look cute.


September Sew My Style Inspiration

Welcome, if you are new to my blog. I’m super excited to be a guest host for SewMyStyle for the month of September. Those that have followed me for awhile know I have followed SewMyStyle for quite some time.

The two patterns for September are:

Lichen Duster by Sew Liberated


Marigold Dress by Blank Slate Patterns

In this post I’m going to break down the patterns with some potential inspiration ideas.

up first…

Lichen Duster


The link to my full Pinterest board

A few things to keep in mind with this pattern:

-it is designed for wovens

-The collar/front is constructed with a facing


A sheer fabric would be tricky. However you could use a matching lining color for the facing and collar pieces. You may want to consider omitting the pockets which would require some hacking.


Satin fabric. No changes necessary. Would dress this fabric up quite a bit.


I love the pattern mixed with a solid. You could just do the side front (upper/lower) in the pattern. If you want to try a simple hack, you could break up the sleeve to insert patterned fabric in the lower arm. If I end up with enough time, this would be the look I go for.


I really like the simple button in the front. This look could be achieved with a lighter woven fabric like Gauze, lawn, or challis. Then adding a small button and a thread loop.

You can see my full board with more ideas or links to where these images are found on my Pinterest board.

Marigold Dress


View my full board here: Pinterest page

Pattern notes:

-made for wovens

-cap sleeve and long sleeve option


I actually made a dress inspired by this pin using the Kalle Shirtdress. You could easily do the same with this pattern by adding a ruffle to the cap sleeve.


I believe there is a split sleeve hack included with the pattern. Use a floral print.


This is the dress I’m going to try to replicate. The body of it matches the pattern great, it’s the sleeves that will need to be hacked. Follow along on my insta stories or future blog posts if you are interested in shirring sleeve hack.


Last inspo for this post. I love the idea of using a sheer fabric just for the sleeves.

View my full board for more inspo or links to these actual garments here: Pinterest page


Which pattern are you planning on making this month?

Do you have any other ideas for hacking these patterns? I love a good hack.

Stay tuned, I plan on sharing how I hack the sleeves as well as my finished garment on this blog.


New to Sew My Style? Learn more and join in here.

Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

To stay up-to-date with all the #SMS20 news, pattern discounts and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at Sew My Style 2020.

Blouse · Uncategorized

Stellan Tee by French Navy Free Pattern


You can’t beat free. Everything about this make was free. The pattern was free and the fabric was all scraps from previous projects. Most times sewing is not cost efficient, yardage is expensive, but it makes me happy when I knock out a winner with scraps.

A few things about this pattern, it has a high neckband and a bit boxy. It also has 1/4″ seam allowance which I found to be a bit small, I would prefer 1/2″ or 5/8″ seam allowance.

I’ve had this pic saved on pinterest for awhile. I love it. I love the mix-match sleeves, the pocket, the color blocking. This make was inspired by this pin.  I basically went to my scrap bin and looked for coordinating knits.


I sewed up a Medium. I made several ‘off-the-cuff’ changes. I made a small bust adjustment first. Then I broke up the front/back into colorblocking. I think I measured about 6″ down from the underarm. I also lowered the front neckline 1/2″.

I did freehand draft the pocket. I tend to make my pockets on the smaller side. If I do make this again, I would try to make the pocket bigger.


I’m pretty sure the flower print and solid black are cotton jersey. The snake print is double brushed poly.


I think next time I will either lengthen the top or straighten the bottom hem.

I used my coverstitch on the neckline and hems. It makes me feel so good about my knits.


Pattern: Stellan Tee by French Navy

Size: Medium

Fabric: cotton jersey and double brushed poly

Alterations: Small bust adjustment, 1/2″ lower neckline, drafted pocket

Overall: I love this a lot. Next time I will add on a larger seam allowance. Highly recommend,

Dress · Uncategorized

M7969 Review


McCall’s 7969 has gotten a bit of hype this year. I’ve seen several instagrammer’s use this pattern. I was convinced by their makes, particularly because of the sleeves.McCall's 7969 Misses' Dresses

I had really 1 reservation about this pattern, which is the line drawing comes off as a nightgown to me, especially view b/c. I think this is fueled by 2 things the ruffles, and the cross front.


My solution was view A without the ruffles and omitting the cross front, creating a V-neck.  This was super easy to do, I simply measured seam allowance off the center front and cut off the cross. I constructed the top part the same and closed up the front after the neckline binding,


This dress is very loose, easy, breezy. Perfect for summer, even with the sleeves being longer. It doesn’t have a lot of shaping. I could easily see myself wearing this when I get pregnant. That being said, I still think it’s super cute, not everything I own needs to be fitted.


I sewed up my usual 14 size, with a small bust adjustment. I’m really happy with how the neckline falls.

I recently sewed up S8918 Review which has puffy sleeves, similar to this pattern. The biggest difference is the sleeves in that one has elastic, and this one is gathered. I prefer the finishings/construction on this one.


The sleeves are literally so perfect. I absolutely want to make this pattern as a top. I would just lengthen the bodice pieces several inches.


This fabric was another fabric that was gifted to me by my father-in-law’s godmother. I think it’s a cotton lawn but it’s just a guess.


Pattern: McCall’s 7969 View A

Size: 14

Fabric: Cotton Lawn? maybe

Alterations: Small bust adjustment, added pockets, eliminated cross front

Overall: I love this. The other views aren’t for me, but I want to make this as a top. The sleeves are great.


Dress · Uncategorized

New Look 6615 Scalloped Dress Review


Anyone needing an overly fancy dress? It’s true that I don’t have very many opportunities to dress up in my life. Therefore, I use special occasions to dress up. July 28th was our 1 year anniversary, which I made this dress for.


It’s no secret I sew both indie and big 4. I’m not really partial to any particular brand. But did you know I had never used a New Look pattern before this? No real reason other than they aren’t ever put on sale (they are cheap to begin with).

New Look Sewing Pattern N6615 Misses' Dresses

I can’t remember where I first saw this pattern, but it was so charming that I decided to give New Look a try. This pattern calls for cotton, crepe back satin, damask, dupioni, jacquards, sateen, or shantung. In other words, pretty fancy fabrics.

I choose a crepe back satin. I think the fabric just needs some sturdiness. You could totally make this with a sturdy cotton.


I made a size 14 with a small bust adjustment, I also shortened the bodice by 1/2″. I’m pretty happy with the fit overall but I do have a bit of a bubble sticking out in the back. I’m not sure the best way to fix that for the future.


I did make a few changes on the finishings. The instructions have you just tack down the facing as the side seams. I turned under 1/4″ and then hand sewed it down. I think this gave it a very beautiful/professional finish. I believe the instruction have you stitch the bottom on the lining down, but I also hand sewed that. I also hand tacked the zipper down to the lining to lay a little flatter.

I did want to note that the lining could be omitted since it has a facing. I do like how it is finished with a lining, but if you are looking to make it a bit faster, that is easy to omit.


I did hand baste one side of the zipper.  Which I had never done before, The fabric was easy to sew with but got a little slippery when it came to lining up the zipper, and this worked really well.


This is the 3rd time I’ve made an off the shoulder top and this one is the most comfortable. It feels like a sleeve, it doesn’t try to sit ontop of the shoulder or constrict my movement.


Pattern: New Look 6615 View B

Size: 14

Fabric: Crepe back satin

Alterations: Small bust adjustment, handstitching finishes, shortened bodice 1/2″

Overall: I really enjoyed sewing this up and I really loved wearing it for our 1 year anniversary. I found the instructions really quite straight forward.


Dress · Uncategorized

Inspired by RTW Dress: Hacked Kalle


I have a confession. I made this dress back in June, took photos of it, wore it a bunch… and forgot to blog about it.  In my defense, this is my 7th make using the Kalle shirtdress by Closet Core (case) patterns, so there is nothing new in regards to fit to share on this one, however I can share how I hacked it and how it is modeled off RTW.


So the above dress is something I saved on Pinterest from Anthropology. I love the look of it. I was lacking inspiration so I browsed my pins and landed on recreated this look.

There were a few features that made me lean towards the Kalle pattern: the kimono sleeve, hidden button placket, and oversized body.


So essentially I made the dress version, with the collar and hidden placket, no pocket.

I made 2 design changes to match the RTW version. 1. I straightened the hem out at the bottom. 2. I omitted the sleeve cuff and added a ruffle.


To make the ruffle, I measured the length of the cuff and doubled it for the length of the ruffle, and then did 3″ in width but hem and seam allowance. I did a narrow hem on it.


The ruffles were initially way more poofier than my inspo. I could have taken it apart and shortened the length of the ruffle. Instead (because I hate seam ripping) I steamed the ruffle down, which took out a lot of the poofy-ness.


I used Seersucker  from fabric.com.

I left off the fabric belt and used a store bought belt because I just prefer those kinds of belts.

Blouse · Uncategorized

S8918 Review


How often do you buy a pattern because of someone else? This make is purely because of Brittani J Jones. She made this top for a sew in 30 series, in a solid white, and I loved it. I don’t think I would’ve picked this pattern out otherwise. I don’t really do peplums or cropped shirts.

UNCUT Misses' Shirt Sewing Pattern Simplicity 8918 Size | Etsy

Despite Brittani making this, there aren’t very many makes of this on instagram. I decided to lengthen view D by 5 inches to get rid of the cropped aspect. I thought about still doing the elastic but ultimately decided to leave the bottom with a regular hem.


This top is really all about the sleeves. The puff sleeve is very on trend right now. I really like the look of the sleeve but I do have to say connecting the sleeve with the shirt/facing was tricky. One side doesn’t lay particularly flat with the elastic and I’m not sure why. If this was an indie pattern, I would have looked up the sew along for that part. I should have reviewed Brittani’s video on it.


I did sew it up in my normal size/adjustments. Size 14 with a small bust adjustment. If I make it again, I will take in the front neckline a little bit, as it is still a bit gapey for me.


I used some gifted fabric so I don’t quite know what it is but I would guess a cotton lawn.


The sleeves create a really unique neckline, which I am a fan of.

Pattern: S8918 View D

Size: 14

Fabric: Unknown

Alterations: small bust adjustment, added 5″ in length with a normal hem

Overall: Inserting the sleeves was tricky but I’m a very happy with the end result. I’m currently working on M7969 which has a similar neckline and I like how it is put together a bit better.