Summertime On Cloud Nine: Modal Shelby Dress with JOANN.

This post is sponsored by JOANN. It may contain affiliate links but all words, reviews and opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago I went into JOANN looking for some thread and saw some SERIOUSLY amazing bottom weight fabrics that had just been added to the shelves. There it was. Blue dip dye 100% modal (I can’t find this fabric online but here is the item#156501, and barcode: 1641-5648)- what summer dreams are made of; I’m telling you. It also comes in a peach and white dip dye color way too. I went home and brainstormed what I could do it with it. Kelli of True Bias’s Shelby Dress instantly came to mind- a gorgeous 90’s throw back dress/romper pattern just perfect for this fabric.


It’s just dreamy! The fabric has some great weight to it, just right for this dress. (Any heavier and it would be too heavy for this pattern). I washed and dried it, and got to work. I went with the maxi length to took away 2″ to create a midi length dress. I sewed up a size 2, and just barely took it in on the side seams, and using the regular sleeve option. I also raised the front neckline by 1″, although in retrospect I wish I would have raised it about another 1/2″or so. I get a lot of questions about how to raise neckline, this is how mine looks. First I marked 1″ above the neckline and then I redrew/blended the new neckline.

The dress came together easily and this fabric was fabulous to work with. I enjoyed sewing all of the princess seam panels together, and the bust fit was really good right out of the gate. I thought for sure it would be a little big, but I think it’s just right. I have a little extra room under the arm and side seam, but not enough that it’s too big of a problem for me. It looks looser than it really is in these photo.

This dress is so fun to wear! It’s floaty and shows of my “curves” just right. I feel like it really accentuates the body, especially mine with my lack of curves. My husband commented right away at how flattering this dress is on me. Throw on a rattan bag and some sandals or strappy heels and you’re ready for summer.

My shoes and rattan circle bag are both from Target.

My wardrobe is really lacking in good summer dresses for church and I’m so excited to add this one to the line up. Happy summer sewing!

wiksten shift dress with Telio + a sewing meet up

Sewing meet-ups are one of my most favorite things. I love meeting with talented makers from all over and especially those I’ve been virtual friends with. Star from Wellfibre recently reached out letting me know she would be visiting California in July and was wondering if I would be in town to meet up. I instantly agreed to meet her. We’ve been friends on Instagram for a few years now, and recently started chatting through Marco Polo, so I was thrilled we would get to meet up in person.

I really love Star’s personal style, and the way she puts outfits together. I find myself constantly inspired by her makes!

A few weeks before the meet up we decided to sew something for the occasion, and agreed on the Wiksten Shift Dress. It worked out that we both had fabric in our stash that paired well together and also worked for the Fourth of July. Her lovely sister photographed us together with our dresses.

This is my first time sewing the Wiksten Shift dress pattern. Worried about how shapeless the pattern is, I sized down one size to XS. I also sewed the side seams at 5/8ths seam allowance. I made the long version and cut off about 1 1/2″ off the bottom (mostly because I couldn’t fit the pattern on my fabric).

The fabric I used is this gorgeous white with red and blue stripes rayon linen from Telio. They recently gifted this fabric to me and I’ve been waiting for the perfect project to make with it. It washes up beautifully and is a dream to work with.

I was so nervous this dress would be huge on me, but add the waist tie and it is LOVE! The design is so simple and yet just right. It’s comfortable, and also flattering. It’s also cute paired without the waist tie but for my smaller frame I feel slightly drowned without the tie.

I played with the stripes a little by cutting out the back yoke and pockets horizontally for a little contrast.

Shout out to Telio for gifting this fabric to me, and to Star’s sister, Breea, for the gorgeous photos! This was such a fun meet up which also included dinner with Elise Joy and Alina of Alina Design Co. down in San Diego.

Telio has very generously offered to give away 3 meters of this amazing fabric to one randomly chosen winner. Head over to my Instagram account to enter! Winner will be chosen this Wednesday, July 10th, at 10:00 am PDT!

JOANN Hemet Store Grand Opening

JOANN recently invited me to help celebrate their brand new store grand opening in Hemet, California. This store was implemented with JOANN’s new store design and it is beautiful! Everything is displayed and organized in such a way that you instantly feel inspired to make something. This store isn’t quite so close to home for me but it was definitely worth the visit!

I was asked to teach a class while I was visiting the store and had the pleasure to work with the Hemet store’s creator studio team (a few employees not pictured). They were so warm and welcoming, showed me around and explained some of the new features of the store. I had a lot of fun getting to know them. What a great team they have there!

Okay, first let’s talk about this stunning fabric display. Isn’t it so pretty!? I also love that they have added a mirror so you can see how the fabric looks against your skin. Genius! So necessary and helpful.

I know a lot of people feel frustrated when searching for interfacing, so I was so happy when I saw a whole aisle section devoted to just interfacing. It’s so organized and very easy to look through.

Is this the most beautiful cut bar you ever did see? It’s so sleek! Check out the updated shopping carts, too! You can also see the new Creator’s Studio in the background.

In the fabric section I noticed this fixture advertising and showcasing all of the solid linen fabric. I love how they show the fabric sewn up into a garment, and also how all of the colors are beautifully displayed. It truly makes me want to sew something up out of linen and “dress to chill”. I really like the idea of the fabric feature fixture.

I never thought a bunch of displayed zippers could make me feel so happy. How clean and fresh does this look!? It’s stocked, color coordinated and so easy to navigate. The thread and other sewing notions are also organized similarly, and it looks so nice.

Okay, so thats my quick tour of just a piece of the store and the things that really stood out to me! Like I mentioned earlier, while I was there I had the opportunity to meet with customers and teach a class. I demonstrated how to make pattern weights using washers and ribbon, and it was a hit.

(Notice how the extension cords come out of the ceiling! So handy for crafting!).

It seemed like most of the class attendees were unfamiliar with using pattern weights instead of pins, and they were excited to make some for themselves. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone that joined us for the class, asking them about their sewing backgrounds and what they enjoy making.

How fun are these!? The navy and gold star ribbon was a class favorite.

I really enjoyed talking with this woman about her sewing background. She told me all about her BERNINA sewing machine, and how she enjoys sewing for some of the young girls in her life. I also got to take some time to help her find a specific sewing pattern she was looking for. How cute is her top, too!?

I felt an excited energy there as customers explored the new store design. I noticed a lot of the customers seemed to know each other from the previous store that closed right before the new one opened. What a neat community of makers in Hemet, CA.

Thanks so much for having me, JOANN! I can’t wait to see what other new stores pop up next! If you get a chance to see the new store design, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Emerson Crop Pants + Key Largo Top with JOANN

This post is sponsored by JOANN. It may contain affiliate links but all words, reviews and opinions are my own.

It’s the season of linen pants and tie front tops. I’m loving all the linen stripes happening right now and what says summer more than a tie front shirt? There are so many great woven fabrics at JOANN, and these two in particular pair so nicely together!

I used JOANN’s 100% cotton Coral Stripes fabric using the Emerson Crop Pants pattern for my pants and Costal Lagoon Sea Light Wash Lyocell (#157505, bar code: 16396442) using the Key Largo Top for my shirt.

For my top, I made my suggested size and shortened the shirt by 1.5″ for a more cropped look. I also used the wrong side of my fabric for an even lighter blue color. I really love how it looks and I can’t wait to style this top in many different ways.

Now let’s talk about the pants. I cut out my fabric against the grainline so the stripes would run vertically down the leg. The original pattern for the Emerson Crop Pants includes front pleats. I used Megan Nielsen’s tutorial for removing pant pleats to achieve a flat front pant. I removed the pleats because I didn’t want to break up the vertical stripes. I sewed up a size 2 in the high waisted version.

This is what my front pant pattern piece looked like after following Megan’s tutorial for a flat front pant (ignore the blue lines):

My honest opinion about these pants? I’m not sure that this pattern works well for my frame. Maybe I need to size down, but they don’t fit quite the same as they seem to for others. There’s just a little too much fabric in the back. That being said I still love how they look in this fabric. I like the beachy, easy vibe they give and I’m still hoping to make them work in my wardrobe.

I’m excited to try styling both of these pieces together and as separates. Also, I might need to go get more of the striped coral fabric too… I keep picturing a gorgeous summer dress. So many things can be made with this fabric and I kind of need them all. I also think reversing the fabric with these patterns would be cute too. Soooo many options guys.

That’s all for now! Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing!

Panama Tee Dress with Télio

This fabric was gifted to me from Telio, and the pattern was gifted to me from Indiesew. All opinions are my own.

Say hello to my summer staple dress. The moment I laid eyes on this fun Melody Knit fabric from Telio, I instantly pictured the Panama Tee Dress by Aline Design Co. I love the zig zag pattern and also texture of this fabric. It comes in so many great colors too, but this royal blue screamed summer and there was no going back.

Telio invited me to sew something up for Me Made May using their fabric. I also picked up a few other amazing fabrics you’ll see popping up in the very near future.

I’ve had the Panama Tee Dress pattern for a long time, (picked it up from Indiesew forever ago), but this one is my very first. I sewed up a size 2, view B body with my personal measurements being:

bust: 33″, waist: 27″ and hips: 35″

So the size 2 waist measurement was smaller than mine, but the fit is perfect. I could have graded out slightly at the waist but I decided not to. No mods made. Fit is fabulous. The sleeves are fitted just right, the neckline went in with one try. The whole dress was finished in about an hour. This fabric has great stretch and was easy to work with.

If you are wondering, no, I’m not expecting. Just the result of three giant babies. (Suck it in!). I’m a little self conscious of my middle area and for this reason I don’t normally go for more fitted dresses like this. Although, while wearing this dress I felt so comfortable that II decided I’m just going to wear it all the time anyways. This dress is going to be a summer staple for me. There is just enough ease that this pattern doesn’t fit too close to the body, but just enough that it’s still flattering. I’m really so happy with it with this project.

*GIVEAWAY* Telio has generously offered to giveaway 3 meters of this fabric in your personal color choice. Head over to my Instagram for all of the details, just look for this dress in my grid. Giveaway ends Saturday May 25th at 10 am MST.

So if you’re on the hunt for a simple, easy and quick make for summer that you’ll want wear over and over again, this is it. Go check out all of the other color options this knit fabric comes in! Happy sewing!

Coastal Inspired French Terry Sweatsuit With JOANN

This post is sponsored by JOANN. It may contain affiliate links but all words, reviews and opinions are my own.

As we head into summer months, I’ve been getting excited for all of the beach days that lie ahead, especially given that we live in Southern California now. JOANN recently launched this cozy + coastal white and navy stripe french terry fabric. It’s a summer dream! One thing I always like to have in the summer is a great pair of cozy joggers, or an easy sweatshirt to throw on for all of those late summer nights when the temperature cools down near the coastline.

I ordered four yards of this new JOANN fabric addition and pictured a cozy sweatsuit with coastal vibes. Think Free People! To achieve this look I decided to use the wrong side of my french terry fabric, and you guys, it looks so cool!! I love both pieces paired together and apart. Picture a pair of high waisted jeans and this cozy sweatshirt or an easy t-shirt tucked into the pants.

This french terry fabric is sooo good. It’s thick (without being too thick), washes up great, and gives you two look options depending on which side of the fabric you use. I love playing with stripes and had a lot of fun planning how I would use them in this project. I used the stripe horizontally for the sweatshirt with a vertical neckband to match the vertical stripe on the pants.

I used Grainline Studio’s Linden Sweatshirt for the top (with some light pattern hacked pleats I added to give it some flare), and True Bias’ Hudson Pants jogger pattern with the bottom cuffs left off for my pants. I’m going to go in full detail for both plus I have a step by step tutorial to show you how I added the pleats. Let’s jump right in!

First up, let’s talk about the sweatshirt.

I saw a really cool sweatshirt in Nordstrom that had little pleats in it and I loved it so much that I incorporated it into the design of this sweatshirt. I added two pleats on the front of the sweatshirt and one on the back. This is how I added the pleats:

  1. Cut the front sweatshirt bodice in half, I used the line that goes through the center of the pattern.

2. Tape the left side of the front bodice to some tracing paper. Measure 3/4″ from the edge using a ruler and draw a line.

3. Tape the right side of the bodice along the line just drawn.

4. Connect the two pieces along the top and bottom by drawing a line. Cut out the front sweatshirt piece. Fold the pleat in half so original edges match to create center fold of the pleat. Open the pleat up again.

5. Cut the pattern piece out of your fabric. Clip into the three ends/marks of the pleat along the bottom edge of your sweatshirt before unpinning the pattern piece from the fabric. Repeat for the other front pleat.

6. To sew the pleats, fold the pleat in half towards the side seam, matching the notches and iron in place. If you are using horizontal stripes, make sure to match them up.

7. Pin the pleat in place 5 1/2″ from the bottom of the sweatshirt.

8. Using an edgestitch foot, sew along the pleat starting at the bottom pivoting around the top of the pleat (backstitch a few times along the top) and go back down the bottom along the other side of the pleat. Repeat for the other front pleat.

9. Now for the back piece. I added one pleat that starts at the top of the center back and goes down to about the middle of the sweatshirt. Add 3/4″ along the foldline of your pattern piece using tracing paper. Cut out the sweatshirt back piece on the fold. Iron the pleat to the right side, and pin in place 10 1/2″ in length. Sew just as we did the front bodice pleats.

10. Continue to follow the pattern instructions as directed. Have fun playing around with the direction of the stripes! Here’s what mine looked like once I decided on the placement I wanted.

The top is all done!

For the pants, I used the Hudson Pants jogger pattern by True Bias. I added 1″ to the rise of the front and back pant pieces because I wanted a slightly higher waisted fit. If you wish to do this too, make sure to add 1″ to the two pocket pieces as well. This is what my pattern pieces looked like:

I cut all of the pant pieces against the grain line of the fabric so the stripes on my pants would be vertical directionally.

I sewed up the pants according to the pattern instructions. I didn’t add on the bottom cuff pieces and instead hemmed the bottom of the pants up at 1/2″ using a double needle. I’m about 5′ 5″, and the length was perfect for a slightly cropped pant. I also made the drawstring piece out of the same french terry fabric.

I love this cozy look so much! It’s great for pajamas or throw on some cute slides and its equally acceptable for wearing out. I threw the sweatshirt on with my jeans this past weekend (it was a little chilly out) and it was so comfortable and warm. I know this outfit is going to get a lot of use in my wardrobe!!

French terry in a nautical stripe has so much potential for a great summer garment, and this is my take on it! Thanks so much for reading along, and stay tuned for lots more summer sewing inspo coming your way over here at The Sara Project!

This fabric also comes in a navy with white stripes color way, check it out here!

My FIRST Swimsuit: Cottesloe Swimsuit

I made a swimsuit. WHAT!? Megan Nielsen recently launched her newest sewing pattern and asked me if I would be willing to review it. My instant reaction was YES. I had never sewn a swimsuit before and I really loved the design of the Cottesloe Swimsuit. I actually been in hot pursuit of a new swimsuit for this season but haven’t really found anything I loved. I need something that’s modest (for chasing three kids around), comfortable but also cute!! THIS IS IT.

I love everything about this swimsuit. I love the great coverage, and the low scoop back. The best part? It was so easy to make! Megan’s instructions are fabulous and very easy to follow along. I feel totally confident in swimsuit making now.

I sewed up the size closest to my measurements and found I needed to size up a bit. I think it’s mostly due to the fabric I used but I would definitely recommend making a muslin first (and using similar fabric if not the same fabric too!). I sized up to a 4 and added 1/4″ in length. It’s perfect.

I used this really fun seersucker gingham black and white swim fabric I found at JOANN. I’ve got my eye on some great swim fabric over at Blackbird Fabrics too. I found my swimsuit lining at JOANN as well, and fully lined my swimsuit. I also found some power mesh at JOANN that I used for the shelf bra.

I sourced my 1/4″ swim elastic from JOANN, and cut some 1/2″ elastic out of an old swimsuit I literally wore once, as well as the cups.

Now you’re wondering, well how does it perform!? I wore it today while taking my three kids 5 and under to the pool ALONE and everything stayed tied and in place. This fabric also worked well when wet. Everything was a win, even the running back and forth from the spa to the pool with the 13 month old and the three kids hanging on me in the pool.

I can’t say enough good things about this swimsuit! Thank you to Megan for pushing me out of my comfort zone! I’m so glad I did and I can’t wait to make another!!!