Blouse · Tunic · Uncategorized

Paige Piko: Free Pattern + Cricut Infusible Ink

Some of my favorite makes are the ones that I feel a ton of inspiration for. I’ve had this top taking up a lot of space in my mind lately.

It all started when one of my 5th grade student (I teach art to K-5) wore a tie-dye pink sweatshirt that said “cool vibes”. I thought it was so cute. I didn’t see myself wearing “cool vibes” but as I thought about it, I loved the idea of Art Vibes. Sort of like, sending my students all the creative feels when I wear it.

It’s already getting quite warm out and I also didn’t want to completely steal a 5th grader’s look, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to try out a free top pattern. This is the Paige Piko from Made for Mermaids. I have no idea if it’ll stay free, so if you are interested, pop over and download it just in case.

The pattern:

I sewed up the size Blue. Made for Mermaids uses a color sizing, to avoid the number trauma. I did my normal small bust adjustment as well. I chose to do the hi/low top to tunic version. I really love the fit. The only change I would make is the arm opening isn’t very big, so I would widen that on my next one.

The Fabric

I was convinced I needed to keep the tie-dye concept from my inspiration. I wanted a tie-dye that looked artsy, as well as light enough for the lettering. It also needed to be a high polyester count for the Cricut Infusible Ink. Here is the fabric I used. I was a little worried that a polyester jersey wouldn’t be comfortable but it is. To be honest, I always get confused on what the different substrates of jersey feel like/which I like best.

Cricut Infusible ink

I was so excited to use this product. I’ve actually gifted Infusible Ink twice but never bought it for myself. It’s just so pricey. I could justify it for gifts but not for myself. Anyone else like that? well, I this idea in mind and there was a sale, so it was go time. The pack had 2 sheets, grey triangles on black, and black & pink triangles on grey. It’s imitating the look of stone. I used the grey triangles on black.

I was very happy with the consistency of color on the different parts of the tie-dye. I do wish I had raised the letters an inch or 2. I did hold it up and check before pressing. But I also applied the Infusible Ink prior to sewing it up. That’s ok, I didn’t want the letters on the boob range like most graphic tees, since I’ll wear it to school. I don’t need to draw attention to boobage at school.

I am super impressed with the results, but I have to be honest about my feelings on the directions. They sucked. I couldn’t find directions anywhere included. On the box it says “read application instructions on Cricut.com/infusibleink”. I did go to the website. I don’t think it was super user friendly. I was dissapointed they made assumptions that you would use their easy press. I have a heat press. So the instructions said something like have on high heat for 75 seconds. My heat press calls for a temp. Thankfully, my heat press came with different products and application time/temps. I used that and it worked well. I think it was 375 for 60 seconds.

Thank you for reading. I hope it was helpful. Feel free to ask any questions. I always do my best to help.

Dress

Peppermint Magazine Button Up Dress: FrugalFrocks21

Did you participate in Frugal Frocks this year? Reveal day was yesterday on Instagram. I had so many plans for March, I almost opted out. I watched a few of the promotion videos and decided to participate. Thus some of my March plans were pushed to April, but who can turn down an essentially free make?

The Pattern:

I chose the button up dress from Peppermint Magazine. All patterns from Peppermint Magazine are free, but they do appreciate donations. This was my first time sewing up one of their patterns. I’m always surprised by free patterns. I expect there to be less instructions, or poorly drafted. But every free pattern I have tried has been the same quality as the pricey patterns. The main difference is free patterns are often simpler silhouettes. This pattern features a princess seamed A-line dress with a button placket.

This pattern has an all in one facing with the neckband and armhole. I’ve never made a garment this way, although I know it’s a thing. I decided I would rather have a button placket/neckband facing and bias bind the armholes. It was quite an easy change to make, although it did mean that I didn’t follow much of the instructions since 80% of the instructions are finishing the neckband and armhole.

The Fabric:

The pattern calls for heavier weight fabric. This fabric feels like a satin. I personally feel like you can use any weight woven with this pattern. My mother-in-law picked this up for me at a garage sale. I said yes to it because of the subtle animal print. I can’t turn down an animal print, I’m obsessed. Although what has kept me from sewing it up is the color. Light blue isn’t normally a go-to for me.

Pattern Changes:

Besides changing the facing, the only pattern change I made was my typical small bust adjustment and added 1″ to the length. I normally add 1.5″ but I wanted this to feel a bit shorter.

Oh, and let’s talk buttons. The pattern calls for 10 buttons. I used 7. I did this for 2 reasons. I had the perfect handmade buttons to go with it, but I only had made 7. They are on the bigger side. Bigger buttons means less buttons.

Check out how my earrings match my buttons. I’ve been really into polymer clay lately. I’m just making them for myself currently. Once I work on a design, I want to use as much of it as I can, but I don’t need 10 earrings with the same print. So I thought, why not buttons? I wasn’t sure if they would work, but they seam to be holding up well. I haven’t washed the garment yet, but I don’t see why that would cause any issues with it. The clay bakes in the oven and turns it into a bit of plastic. I believe the buttons are just slightly over 1″ wide. It was the smallest circle cutter I had.

Overall:

This pattern has a bit of a 90’s vibe to it. The light blue color mixed with the silhouette also gives me a bit of grandma nightgown vibes. I love the 90’s vibe, not so much the grandma nightgown. I definitely think I can style it cute on occasion but I don’t see it being a ‘worn to death’ garment. It could also be that I am not really feeling dresses at the moment. I haven’t been wearing them to work as much. I think most people hit that feeling in 2020 but for whatever reason, I’m just now feeling that way. I’ve been mostly making athletic wear and loving it. I’m happy to have participated in a community challenge, I think the result it cute, but I’m not gonna lie and say I’m over the moon with it.

Loungewear

Inspire Leggings: Moto Add-on #sewtogether21

I cannot express how much I am in love with these. I already know they will be apart of my top 5 for 2021. I’ve already worn them several times. Let’s get into the details.

The pattern:

Inspire Tights by Greenstyle Creations with the Moto add-on. I believe the difference between tights patterns and leggings patterns on Greenstyle Creations is the amount of stretch. These need fabrics with 50% Stretch. I’m quite a fan of Greenstyle Creations. I’ve made their Moxi Shorts, Pacific Pullover, and Green Tee. I plan on trying out their power sports bra soon.

I sewed up a size Medium. I found the instructions for the Moto add-on and the Inspire tights very easy to follow. I believe there was a 3/8″ seam allowance, easy to work with. The Inspire leggings also come with angle cut outs, or a plain version. So there are lots of options for more. I love having the side seam for the cut out’s or Moto add-on but I would probably opt for a pattern with no side seam if doing a plain long version.

I did include the Gusset since I do use these for workouts with lots of squats. I however, did not include the optional waistband pocket. I have never used these in my RTW leggings, since I don’t go running. So I opted for less bulk.

The Fabric:

I used fabric from Greenstyle Creations. I choose the Yoga Flex fabric in Potent Purple. It’s been on sale for their capsule wardrobe Facebook event. It’s normally 19.50 a yard, currently 12.50 a yard. That being said, their shipping is quite expensive. I got 1.5 yards for $48 after shipping and taxes. It was a splurge for me.

Their fabric is great quality. I really want to try their athletic rib knit for my birthday in May. I sewed it majority up on my serger but I did use my sewing machine for the pintucks using a stretch lightening stitch and the fabric took it super easily.

The fabric is perfect for working out. It feels like part of my skin when I’m wearing it. Nothing is uncomfortable.

Pattern Changes:

I did add 1″ to the length but it wasn’t too necessary so if you are short, you might need to take out some length.

Although I didn’t vary from the pattern for it, it did involve a little bit of pattern change, so again, I did the Moto add-on. I topstitched at the top with my machine and was getting some bubbling. It goes away when the leggings are put on. However, I did switch to using my coverstitch for a chainstitch on the the other topstitching and I was more happy with that.

Other thoughts:

I’ve failed at atheletic wear in the past. Fabric would get holes, fabric not sturdy enough, poor fit. It’s been a sad saga. However, I’ve found success. Therefore, splurge on the nice fabric for athletic wear, poor fabric will not turn out.

I have a bit of fabric leftover that I will make a matching power bra with, so we’ll see how that goes. But I 10/10 recommend this pattern and fabric.

I’ve had Moto pants on my list to try for ages. Thankful that Lindsey from Insidethehem gave the little push for me to make them. If you aren’t following inside the hem on Instagram or Youtube (sewtogether21 is mostly an instagram thing) I recommend it. April is going to be a skirt pattern if you are interested. There is no deadline or incentive for participating but it’s fun to sew along with others and give a little inspiration push if you aren’t sure what to make.

Loungewear

Fleece Lined Leggings



Early February, it got real cold in Missouri. Like -17 degrees Fahrenheit cold. Thankfully we had snow days during the coldest days. Every morning I have car rider duty, where I’m outside greeting cars for 20 minutes. Regular leggings just don’t cut it.

I have some RTW fleece lined leggings in grey but I really wanted black. For the sake of convince and money. I bought online from Kohl’s a black pair of fleece lined leggings during our snow days. Well, it arrived and I was less than pleased. It had a run right down the crotch, and they were too short. I lengthen all my bottoms, so DUH! it wouldn’t be long enough. Once that was a flop, I knew I had to make my own.

First, this fabric was not cheap. I ordered from the Rain Shed, the Polartec Power Stretch fabric. I did a bit of googling to find that this is the ideal fabric for fleece-lined leggings. It was $21.50 a yard, for reference I normally aim for $10 or less a yard. I ordered a yard and half. The shipping wasn’t cheap either, $15. All in all, I spent $48 on the fabric. I had spent $12 on the RTW from Kohl’s, for reference.

That to be said, the fabric is very nice. It is quite thick and warm on the inside. It sewed up pretty easy. However, I have 2 warnings. 1) be aware of the stretch. I didn’t check it prior, it is about 30% one way and 50% the other way. I used the Helen’s Closet Avery Leggings which call for 70% stretch, so you can guess what happened. Well get to that. 2) it doesn’t unpick well. So go slowly to avoid the need to do that. I have a small hole in the waistband from unpicking, when I was sorting out how to finish the side panels, and my first idea didn’t work out.

This was my 4th time sewing the Avery leggings. I sized up from my previous versions, because they are on the tighter side and I knew the thick fabric would need more room. I just didn’t anticipate how much more room it needed. Thankfully, the Avery’s have not side seam, so it was pretty easy to insert a panel for more room. I wish I didn’t need to do this, but it worked out. Stretch is important, just so you know.

Since the waistband was already in, I took the side panel all the way up. I had considered unpicking the waistband and recutting it but ultimately decided I could get away with taking the side panel all the way up. I ended up just folding it over and securing with a zig zag.

Originally I wasn’t planning on blogging this make. I had Made the Avery 3 times already. But once I had such a blunder with the stretch, I wanted to share. I’ve been sewing over 4 1/2 years. I had made this pattern multiple times. It was expensive fabric. I made a mistake. Did I save it? yes. But I just wanted to share that mistakes happen to everyone. It’s just fabric. You still are worthy of sewing. There will be more sewing projects. Thanks for listening to my TedTalk.

Outerwear

I made a Puffy Coat!

Oh how I am so excited to share this make with you. I am so proud of it. It’s proof that you can learn to do anything. Sewing is a superhero. I feel like a boss. I made a puffy coat! Successfully.

I used this pattern from Etsy. I’ve never ordered a pattern from Etsy before, but I didn’t want to try to hack a puffy coat from a different pattern and struggle with sizing. I really only found a puffy coat pattern from Jalie (I think) and Etsy, and I like the Etsy design better.

The Pattern

I sewed up the Medium size 36. I do want to point out that the pattern comes in either XS-Med or Med-XL. So you want to make sure you buy the correct pattern for your size. I almost bought the wrong one.

It is a Russian pattern. It is already translated into English for you. However, some of the translation isn’t the best. For example, the pattern says “cut on a bend” rather than “cut on the fold” which took me a hot second to figure out,

The patterns are pretty clear if you look over the written text and pictures together. If you just look at one or the other, it won’t make full sense. Just knowing the pattern isn’t in the pattern makers natural language, the directions take a bit more thinking over. It helps to have a pretty good idea of construction.

I really appreciated the clarity on pieces to cut out. The fit is great, so the insulation was considered within the sizing.

The Fabric

This pattern does call for quite a bit of fabric and notions. Let’s start with the main fabric. Ripstop. It seems to be the main fabric for puffers, it’s great for snow. Fabric Wholesale direct had lots of affordable options. The specific one I got was in turquoise. The important thing to know is only use pins within the seam allowance. I did not weatherproof my seams, so the more holes you have, the less waterproof it is. Also the holes are permanent so take your time so you don’t have to seam rip.

The lining. I used flannel from fabric.com. This coat is so warm. However, you want the sleeves to be silky, so the coat comes on/off easily. I used some silky lining from my stash that was gifted to me, so I don’t know where it is from.

Insulation. I scored some fleece batting on Clearance at JoAnns. This was more than enough. I did 3 layers of batting. I was worried it wouldn’t be puffy enough with 2. It is so warm. I could have probably done 2 layers just fine,

Knit cuffs. I actually ordered off Aliexpress. A lot of cuff ribbing wasn’t wide enough at some fabric specific places I looked at. This was cheap and plenty wide enough. Heads up that it takes a long time to arrive though.

Design Changes

The only major change I did was I changed from buttons to a zipper. The pattern has an overlap for the buttons. Thankfully there is a notch at the center front. So I added seam allowance to the center front and cut off the rest. I did this to the front, front lining, and collar piece. Super easy change actually.

Additional alterations I made (but were fit, not design changes) 3/4″ SBA and 1″ added to the sleeves.

This jacket does have quite a bit of hand sewing. The ripstop/insulation seams are hand sewn flat per the recommendation in the pattern. I’m not sure it was completely necessary but it doesn’t help reduce bulk. I also handsewed the bottom hem. I mostly did this because I forgot to cut the insulation shorter than the main. I went back and cut it out but all the seams still had the insulation. It would have been tricky to get the machine over it.

The pattern calls for a drawstring at the bottom. I’m sure this is to cinch it in to keep air out. I ordered some drawstring from AliExpress, but I wasn’t happy with it when it finally came. It was too small. Which I should have known from the description but I didn’t know what size drawstring I needed. I decided to hem it up without one. I probably prefer it without the drawstring to be honest,

My first make nine of 2021 complete. I am so happy with how this turned out. I was so nervous it would be a fail.

Thank you for reading.

Loungewear

Summer PJ’s from Patterns for Pirates #Sewtogether21 Februrary

I have a totally weather inappropriate make to share to today. However, Pj’s are quite suitable towards Valentine’s Day. It has been crazy cold here in Missouri. I managed to sew this up during a couple school snow days.

Inside the Hem’s Sewtogether21 on instagram’s pattern for February is the Summer Pj’s from Patterns for Pirates. This is my 2nd time sewing from Patterns for Pirates. The first being the grandpa Cardi earlier this year. I really enjoy getting to vote on the pattern each month. I actually voted for a different pattern this month, but I was still excited to give these a go.

Tbe Pattern

I sewed up a Size small in the bust graded to a size Large in the waist/hips. The bottoms are a straight size Large. I sewed the top length in the bodice and high waisted shorts.

The good: the instructions were very easy to follow. Although I have to admit, I hacked the bottoms too much to use the instructions for the bottoms. I really like the bias binding for Pj’s and the T-back is super cute.

The bad: Something is wrong with the crotch curve of the bottoms, in my opinion. I did a quick muslin because of a review I saw on pattern review, and I agreed with it. It’s a easy fix though. I lessened the steep of the curve by adding to it, which you can see in the image above. Essentially adding fabric to the curve, which is necessary to not get a wedgie. I also shortened the front rise 1/2″ to get a good fit.

The need to know: The bust has only 1″ difference between the upper and full bust. Most patterns have 2″. Thus I did not do my normal SBA, instead I graded from my bust size to waist size. The fit is great on the top for me. If you normally fit a 2″ or more, you’ll want an FBA on this one.

The Fabric

Did you notice my pattern matching? I’m pretty proud of how that all turned out. It lines up quite nicely.

The fabric was gifted to me from a friend of the family and thus I don’t quite know what it is. But I’m pretty sure its a Rayon Challis. It is light and drapey, exactly what this pattern calls for.

I opted for pre bought bias tape rather than making my own. I wanted a bit of a contrast since the print was so busy.

Design Changes

Let’s start with the bodice, since that has the least amount of changes. I didn’t love how narrow the top of the bodice is. It reminds me of children’s Pj’s. Which is fair as this pattern is available in kid sizes. I added 1″ to the top (meaning 2″ total) and blended down the armhole. Of coarse, this means the front bias binding needed to be longer. I just guessed on the amount to add, but I’m very happy with where it falls now.

The Bottoms: I made 3 design changes; pockets, waistband, and ruffles. The ruffles are explained on the pattern for pirates blog, so I won’t detail that here. I drafted the waistband prior to hacking the pockets. The pattern calls for 3/8 elastic, and I knew that I prefer thicker elastic. There is a soft 2″ elastic that I use at JoAnn’s that I wanted to use. Essentially I took off the seam allowance (3/8″ twice) and then took off 2 inches. You can see one of the new pieces in the earlier pic. I doubled the waistband, added back 1/2″ seam allowance and removed the seam allowance at the center for it to be cut on the fold. I did this with the front and back piece. Don’t forget to add seam allowance back to the bottom pieces.

The pockets I drew out on the pattern piece what I wanted the shape to look like. Added in seam allowance and then essentially traced out the pocket piece and pocket lining from there on tracing paper.

Overall, I would only recommend this pattern if you are comfortable adjusting the crotch curve or you just love the top but plan to pair it with a different pattern’s bottom. I won’t get to wear mine till the warm weather comes, but I’m happy with how mine turned out.

Loungewear

40k Sway Top: Free Pattern #sewtogether21

Are you missing Sewmystyle? I loved having a pattern once a month to make along with other sewists. Lindsey from Inside the Hem put together a much simpler challenge, a scaled back version. On the 20th of each month, she has 4 patterns to vote between, so we all get a bit of a say in what pattern is picked. There is no prize or coupon, but she is picking patterns less than $10.

January’s pattern was 40k Sway top from George and Ginger patterns. It’s a free pattern! I actually had never heard of George and Ginger patterns, so I was excited to try out a new-to-me pattern company.

Lindsey is encouraging everyone to sew from their stash, but I really didn’t have anything suitable that got me excited about it. I had my heart set on a waffle knit, which I didn’t have any in my stash of. I tried a new-to-me fabric show Olga’s Closet and found this knit. January’s pattern was picked a bit late in the month, and then it took 2 weeks to ship. So yes, I finished January’s make in February. The waffle knit is so warm. I’m impressed with the selection of fabrics at Olga’s Closet, I just found their shipping a bit slow.

The pattern gives the option of a faux or real placket. I made the faux placket because I wanted this to be a cozy lounge top for my PJ’s. I may make this again with the real placket when the time comes I need nursing tops. (not even Pregnant yet). I did find the neckline pulled a smidge bit high where the pieces connect and might lower it a tad next time.

I sewed up a size 8. I did 1/2″ SBA, which is a bit tricky with the full patter piece but I essentially did it twice, one on each side of the bodice. I added 1.5″ to sleeve, my normal length, and I’m very happy with the sleeve length. I also took out 1/2″ in the bodice length, mostly because it was the easiest way to match up the side seams with the SBA but also thought it looked a bit long.

I sewed this up mostly on my serger. Finished hem and topstitched binding with the coverstitch. I love being able to sew knits on my serger. I’m happy to have a top that goes well with my latest PJ pants.

Have you sewn anything from George and Ginger patterns? Joining in on #sewtogether21? Let me know. I’ll be posting Febuary’s make soon.

Cardigan

Grandpa Cardigan: A Taylor Swift inspired Make

My first make of 2021. It feels good to start the year off with a win. I’m in love with the make I’m sharing with you today. It’s cozy. The fit is perfect. Everything is sewn beautifully.

I used the Grandpa Cardi from Pattern for Pirates using Faux cable knit from fabric.com.

If you have been following me for a bit, you know I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan. She’s been dropping bombs on us left and right with Folklore and Evermore both released in 2020. The main piece of Merch from Folklore is the cardigan. She has a song named “Cardigan”. I took a lot of inspiration from this merch piece.

I didn’t want to buy that cardigan mostly because I prefer my handmade wardrobe. But I also wasn’t sure about the length and color for me. However, I did take a lot of inspiration from it. I noted the cable knit fabric, the star appliqué patches and 3 buttons for me own.

I also follow Lori from GirlsintheGarden on instagram. She recently posted this Cardigan which spurred me on in the making my own grandpa Cardi. I love her cardigan. She used the Esme Cardigan which is no longer available. After a bit of digging, I landed on the Patterns for Pirates Cardigan.

I got the star appliqués from JoAnn’s. They come in a pack of 3, so I got 2 packs. The great thing about the Grandpa Cardi is it has elbow patches in the pattern, so I was able to use the marking on the pattern to guide my placement of the stars. I attached the appliqués after cutting out my fabric but before sewing it all together.

I did want to make sure to show you the inside. It is a Faux cable knit, so it’s not on both sides like a real cable knit. I’m pretty sure Lori’s fabric was textured on both sides. But I did find this fabric very warm still.

I sewed up a size Large in the shortest length, no bands. I did a small bust adjustment. I also added an inch to the sleeve but it wasn’t necessary. The sleeves are long. I’m glad I didn’t add my normal 1.5″ I took the hem up an extra 1/2″ so the final garment is 1/2″ longer than the pattern. Keep that in mind if you make it and you have short arms. The sleeves come long.

I did cut the sleeves and body pieces on the crossgrain so that the cables would run vertically. The neckband and pockets are cut on grain.

I used my coverstitch on the pockets, hems and neckband topstitching. I love the coverstitch, it just levels up this make.

I really enjoyed this pattern/fabric combo. Thanks for reading.

Sweater

McCall’s 8024 Review

Oh do I love a good cheetah print. I’m convinced I won’t ever run out of room for animal print in my closet. I’ve been wanting to try out McCall’s 8024 for a while, and I finally gave it a go.

I really like the Batwings of this pattern. It seemed very cozy and suitable for the current weather. I sewed up View B in a Large. I did grade to Medium near the bust area, but I don’t think it made any difference with the extra fabric for the batwing. I did add 1.5″ to the sleeve cuff.

As much as I love the outside cheetah print of the fabric, I would not recommend this particular fabric to you. It’s a French Terry from Fashion Fabrics club. It is not as soft as most French terry’s. It feels more like a beach towel rather than a sweater knit.

This sewed up so quickly. Especially because I used my serger to sew up the main seams. In the past, I sew with my machine first and then the serger, because I couldn’t trust my serger to reliably sew up a strong seam on knits. But, Your girl got a new serger, Babylock Celebrate. It’s working like a dream. I also used my coverstitch for the neckline and hem, so I feel like this garment looks very professional.

There is one pattern change I would like to do next time. I’d like to make the cuff a bit smaller at the top and gather the batwing a little bit. As is, the batwing traditions straight to the cuff without much change. I’d like the cuff to be a bit more noticeable.

Uncategorized

Sewing Makes Catch Up

Wrapping up this year, I realized I had some makes I really liked but I didn’t feel like I could blog about them. Simply put; I thought it would be boring to make a whole post for patterns that I’ve already blogged about, especially when there were little to no changes made in the pattern.

  1. Kalle Flannel Shirt by Closet Core Patterns

This is my 8th time making the Kalle. It’s a record for me. There were some changes from previous iterations, I used my mitered corner hack as my base, I added enough length to the front to match the back. I took the sleeve tabs from M7252. I also moved length from the cuff to the main sleeve pattern, as I’ve found the cuff to long for my tastes, I moved about 1.5 inches.

2. Sabrina Slims by Love Notions

I made 2 unclogged Sabrina Slims. I just fine tuned the fitting on it. I did try out the welt pockets on the Scuba pink plaid version. Sadly, if you read my top 5 misses then you saw the navy Ponte pair. The fabric was just failing me.

3. McCalls’ Emmie

This was for my Christmas top this year. I made some fit changes on this iteration. I took about 1/2″ out of the neckline. I also widened the sleeve cap by about 1/2″. My previous Emmie just was too long in the bodice/neckline and tight in the sleeve. I really love this pattern and how my Christmas top turned out,

4. Savannah Top by Made for Mermaids

My first version was posted to the Minerva blog. I literally made no changes to this one. I simply wanted a yellow version in my closet.

I hope you enjoyed catching up on some of my 2nd (or 8th) iterations of patterns. I can’t wait to see what the new year holds for my sewing.