Carolyn Pajamas and Cotton + Steel

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I’m back! I’m a little over two weeks postpartum, and feeling really good. I did forget how very little sleep you get with a newborn, and that has been a bit of an adjustment. I’ve been itching to start sewing again over the past few months and I’ve finally found some time to make a few plans. Now, let’s just see if I can find the time to execute them!

On to this post! While I was browsing Cotton and Steel’s newest Rifle Paper Co. Collection, Amalfi, this floral print instantly caught my eye. I pictured a really gorgeous pair of Carolyn Pajamas with white piping, and there was no going back. Since I’ve had a lot of down time in the past few weeks, I thought I would make something a little nicer for when friends and family might stop by to visit the new baby, but I don’t quite feel like putting on real clothes. It’s also been nice to have something a little nicer to wear while I’ve been stuck in the house that feels a little more put together than sweats. (I’m a big believer in getting ready every day, and always feel so much more productive when I do).

I made these pajamas while I was still pregnant, and recruited my younger sister Laura to model the fit for me. I’m really grateful for my two sisters and their willingness to model all my handmade clothes for me while I was too large to even try them on!

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I picked up a paper copy of this pattern from Indiesew. I made a size 6 based off of my bust measurement while at the end of my pregnancy. I would normally go with a size 4, and that’s what my sister should probably be wearing too. BUT I accounted for the fact that I won’t be a size 4 for a few more months (or many) and I hoped these would fit in the hospital (which they didn’t) and after the baby comes. I was able to fit into these about a week postpartum. It’s so hard to know what your body measurements are going to be after having a baby. I do like to wear things more loosely, so I don’t mind the idea of them being a little bit bigger once I get back to my pre-pregnancy size.

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I love the silkiness of this rayon! It’s so soft against the skin, and light and airy to keep you cool at the same time. I chose to go with the short sleeve option for my top; I like this look for spring and summer. I also love that they button down the front which has been great for nursing.

This pattern came together easily. The pattern instructions were clear to understand, and I’m happy with the fit too. I will be adding one more button to my top, the neckline does fall down a little lower than I would like. (My sister has her top slightly pulled back in these photos). I didn’t make any adjustments to this pattern. I used pre-made piping that I purchased at Joann’s.

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I’m totally into the pajama top trend happening right now. I tied my Carolyn Pajama top into a knot in front and paired it with high waisted jeans. I think this totally works for an everyday look. This basically takes secret pajamas to a whole new level: night to day in one shirt! What do you think?

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Thanks for reading along and happy sewing!

Fabric for this post was provided by Cotton + Steel; pattern was provided by Indiesew, but all opinions are my own. 

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Roscoe Blouse and Indiesew

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Hey guys! It’s been a while. My belly is growing bigger by the minute it seems, and almost doesn’t even fit into my maternity clothes anymore. With just about 6-7 more weeks to go, I decided to start making things I can wear postpartum for spring. I’ve teamed up with Indiesew to bring you my newest top. I’ve had my eye on the Roscoe Blouse for quite some time, and I think it will be the perfect thing to wear after having a baby. It’s loose and flowy, and as I get my body back I can tuck it into some high waisted jeans for a more slimming look. I just love it! It would work great for those first few months of pregnancy too. (This pattern also comes in a dress version that I can’t wait to try next!).

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So, this obviously isn’t me. Meet my sister Jenna! We’re close to the same size so I volunteered her to model this top to give you all a good idea of how it fits on the body. She is also expecting but lucky for her (and me) you can’t quite tell yet. We’re excited to have our babies just 4 months apart.

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I sewed up a straight size 4 based off of my pre-pregnancy measurements. A lot of people said they sized down one size on this one but I decided not to. I did adjust the front neckline by bringing it up 1″ for extra coverage. Everything else is unchanged. Since I’m not sewing a ton right now I took my time by using nicer finishing techniques such as french seams and I also hand sewed the binding to finish the neckline and sleeve ends. I don’t like how my sleeve binding is a little wavy, maybe I’ll try to stitch in the ditch and see if that straightens it up a bit.

As far as this pattern goes, the instructions are super clear and easy to follow. This top is easy to put together with really stunning results. I’m kind of dying to pair this top with some black Lander Pants!!

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The fabric I used is a rayon voile from Indiesew, and I love it sewn in the Roscoe Blouse. The fabric is light and drapey, and ever so slightly sheer and I love the geo daisy motif too! I’m really feeling a Madewell vibe (which I would say I get from ALL of Kelli’s patterns!!!). It’s going to be a great addition to my spring and summer wardrobe. I would totally recommend this fabric! If you are thinking about making a dress or skirt, I would recommend lining this fabric.

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I’m really excited to also be teaming up with Victoria Emerson, a jewelry company, for this post. They specialize in really pretty wrap bracelets with boho style. I also fell in love with their watches. I love the white face and simple design. I will be wearing this watch a lot! (and they are ALL on sale right now! If you’re on the market for a watch, check them out). I picked out these two pieces to specifically match with this top. I love wearing small dainty bracelets and jewelry in general, and I know these will pair well with my style and wardrobe. I’m trying to pull more black into my accessories and clothing, and I love the addition of this little black leather watch. They have some really pretty watches with marble faces that I love too. Make sure to check them out! You can find my bracelet here.

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It’s kind of killing me that I have to wait to wear this gorgeous top, but it’s like freezing outside anyways so it’s fine, right? Ughh. Thanks for reading along, and I hope you feel inspired to start sewing your spring wardrobe too!

The fabric and pattern for this post were provided by Indiesew, but all opinions are my own. 

Cheyenne Tunic with Indiesew

 

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Every fall/ winter I aspire to sew up a button down (usually plaid) shirt. It’s such a great wardrobe staple, and something I reach for multiple times a week. This year I wanted to try the Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June Patterns.

Back in September I had the opportunity to meet up with some of my favorite sewing ladies in Denver for a little sewing retreat. It was here that the Cheyenne Tunic caught my eye. To be honest, I didn’t know it came with two views: tunic and button-down. I’d only ever known the pattern for it’s tunic style. As soon as Leslie and Adriana herself pointed out the button down option, I was sold. Allie from Indiesew brought a few fabric samples over to the house we were all staying out and took our fabric orders, and it was so fun to come home with this red and navy check fabric with the cheyenne tunic pattern too. Unfortunately, this fabric has since sold out from the Indiesew fabric shop.

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When I first found out I was expecting, I felt a little overwhelmed by the thought of maternity sewing. I didn’t know how I would feel energy wise, and quite how to alter clothing to fit an ever growing waistline. After a few months of trying it out, I’m feeling a lot more confident in my abilities. Everything has worked out to fit (and I don’t ever muslin!) so that’s saying a lot. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to alter the pattern to fit my baby bump, but also to keep it looking like the original design. I brought this pattern to a girls sewing night here in Utah, and Heather of Heather Feather has the genius idea to simply add a little extra ease to the waistline, slightly straightening out the side seam. SO I found my widest measurement on the pattern, and added 1/2″, and graded the rest of the side seam to match. There’s a lot of ease in this pattern, I based my measurements off of the finished measurement on the pattern, and ended up sewing a size small. I also added 3″ in length to the button placket, front and back bodice pieces.

You guys, I was so nervous it wasn’t going to work, but numbers don’t lie. It’s a great fit at 18 weeks pregnant with lot’s of room to grow (but without too much room).

**Update, now I’m 25 weeks and it still fits great. Photos taken at 18 weeks.

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I cut the center button placket, pockets and back yoke on the bias. Everyone always seems impressed by this but honestly it’s my way of having less pattern pieces to match. It kind of feels like cheating to be honest! It looks great, and I love the added contrast it adds. I also added 1/2″ around the pocket side and bottom edges to make them slightly bigger.

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The pattern itself was seamless to sew. The instructions were very clear, and everything came together very smoothly. I’m excited to take this one in slightly at the side seams and shorten the hem to make it work for fall next year too, after the baby comes. I’m really focused on making garments that work for both maternity and non-maternity this time around. So far, so good.

I have to add, my beanie (the Delia Beanie) is also a pattern in the Indiesew Shop! It’s great for gifting too! This particular one was made and gifted to me by Erin of Sewbon.

Thanks for reading along, and honestly, if you don’t own either of these patterns yet, you should! They’re wardrobe staples. Happy sewing!!

Phototography by Hello Little Fish.

Named Clothing Gemma Dress with Stylish Fabric

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The holidays are finally here, and that calls for a fancy dress. Ever since I saw Named Clothing’s Gemma Dress in velvet, I’ve been wanting to try making a maternity version for myself. I couldn’t shake the idea out of my head so I decided to go for it. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out. I’m happy to say, it worked! This pattern also comes with a sweatshirt variation that I’ll have to try post baby bump.

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I picked a royal blue stretch velvet from Stylish Fabric for this dress. I cut my dress out along the less shiny-reflective side of the fabric. I have a lot going on so I figured it would be more flattering to NOT catch the light on every bulge along my body but now I wish I had cut it the other way around. I don’t think it would be so bad. I do like the darker blue color of the less shiny side I chose though.

A lot of people ask me for tips about working with stretch velvet. It’s basically very similar to sewing with a knit fabric. You can wash and dry it. Make sure to use a stretch stitch or serger when sewing with it. Be aware of what direction you are cutting out your pattern, one direction of the fabric is more reflective and the other not so much. There’s not a right or wrong way, just depends on your personal preference. This is my fourth stretch velvet project in the last year, you could say I’m a fan.

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I picked a size based on my current bust measurement and added a little more length to the front skirt piece of the dress. I found it helpful to drape/stretch the fabric over my baby bump and see how much width I needed across, I ended up adding  2 1/2″ to the waistline. This is what my pattern piece looked like after my modifications:

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I’m not sure if that’s the BEST way to do it, but it worked really well for me. Just measure around your widest part and find it on the pattern piece based off of where the waist is marked. I’m currently 25 weeks along, and there’s still room to grow in this dress. I didn’t make any modifications to the back pattern pieces.

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I sewed everything together according to the directions. When you get to steps 8 & 9 I would recommend basting the pieces together first and once you match up your seams (it may take a few attempts) sew a straight stitch at regular stitch length just over the matched seams, and then serge the whole seam. This was the hardest part of the whole project for me.

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My hip measurements are a lot smaller than the size 8 measurements, but I didn’t adjust the pattern at all. I sewed up the side seams as they were, and then fitted the dress exactly how I wanted it at the side seams, and sewed them up again. I wasn’t sure how everything was going to fit overall, I ended up taking another 1/2″ out of the bodice side seams and sleeves, plus the extra fabric that I needed to take off at my hips. It worked great. I also lowered the back slit by 3″ for more coverage.

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Thanks for reading along, and happy holiday season everyone!

 

 

Kyoto Sweatshirt with Stylish Fabric

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I found my new favorite fall sweater! I don’t know about you, but lately, all I want to wear is sweatshirts and sweaters. They are so cozy for the colder weather, and look great thrown on with jeans. I’m quickly running out of clothing options as my waistline grows by the day, so I decided to make two versions of the Kyoto Sweater/Tee by Papercut Patterns, and I couldn’t love them more. I’ve had my eye on this pattern ever since the day it released a few weeks ago. I used two different fabrics from Stylish Fabric, and I love how they each make the top slightly different. This pattern was super easy to make it work for maternity without having to widen the pattern at all. These tops will work great post maternity too. I love the added feminine touch of the ruffle on the sleeve, but also the loose, comfy fit.

Let’s talk about ‘my’ first version:

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First of all, this fabric! I’ve always loved waffle knits and this one had an added surprise factor that I wasn’t expecting. The waffle pattern was a bit bigger than I pictured it to be online (which I love), and the back has a slight brushed fleece like layer giving it extra coziness and warmth. It’s a thin weave but not sheer. Air flows through it keeping you cool and yet warm with the brushed backing. I always get so hot when I have to layer coats over sweaters, and this sweater is the perfect thickness for a added warmth without being too warm. I need to order all to the other colors!! I picked the mauve colorway for my first Kyoto Sweater.

Now on to the pattern. This pattern fits big! I would definitely size down. My measurements matched up to a size XS, and I ended up taking in the sides and sleeves to an XXS. To make this maternity appropriate, I added 4″ in length to the bodice front and back. That’s it! I also omitted the sleeve bands and hem bands for this version, and rolled the sleeves twice and tacked them to a 3/4 sleeve length. The only thing I don’t love about this first version is the neckline. It’s a little too wide for what I prefer. Over all, I love the fit and look of this version, and I’m planning on wearing it ALLLLLL fall and winter. This color is so good too.

Okay on to version two. I loved version one sooo much that I wanted to make another one, but slightly different.

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For my second Kyoto Sweater, I used this navy and red floral printed on french terry. This fabric is a thinner french terry, but not too thin or sheer. It’s super soft and quite honestly perfect for this pattern. You definitely want to use a drapier knit so your ruffles aren’t sticking out too much.

I changed up a few things to perfect the pattern and added a few changes on this version. First of all I sized down to the XXS size. I only added 2″ in length to the front and back bodice pattern pieces because I added the hem band which added another 2″. (4″ total like version one). I also raised the neckline for a closer fit. I brought it in 1/2″ at the shoulder seams and graded down to 1/4″ at the center front seams. I also widened the neckband by about 1/2″. I added the sleeve and hem band to finish it all off. This one feels better fit wise.

This pattern is a fast make! I made each one in a single night. The fit is awesome, and I love that the sleeve details make it a little more interesting than a basic sweatshirt pattern. I spotted a woman wearing an almost exact sweater the other day with a big MK logo on it. I’m guessing Michael Kors? I felt pretty cool wearing my VERY OWN handmade version that looked almost exactly like hers, and I liked mine better. Everyone needs one for fall!

I love both versions and I’ve already worn them both (and only finished them yesterday). Thanks for reading along, and happy fall sewing!!

 

Kochi Kimono + Piper Top

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Hey everyone! I’m excited to share my Stylish Fabric make for this month: a lengthened Kochi Kimono by Papercut Patterns paired with the Piper Top by Christine Haynes.

I want all the sweaters and easy layering pieces for fall. Kimono’s are not part of my wardrobe and I thought it would be a fun garment piece to try out, paired with sweaters and jeans. I’ve also had my eye on the Piper Top, and thought it would work well for maternity.

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First, this Kimono! I sewed it up using this gorgeous wine floral chiffon from Stylish Fabric. It’s your typical chiffon fabric, and wasn’t too complicated to work with. I made Variation 3 of the pattern and added 16″ in length to the front, back and front band pieces. I really like the long “duster” cardigan look, and I thought it would be really pretty in a light weight kimono style variation.

The pattern was simple to make. I actually constructed both the kimono and piper top in one day. (One during nap time and the other at night). I’m really happy with the kimono overall, and I’m excited to try pairing other tops with it for different looks.

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Also, wondering why I’m so HUGE at almost 16 weeks. Third pregnancy probs or monster baby? Send help! I do have to say that I’m loving these maternity jeans from H&M. (I cut a few inches off the hemline).

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Now, for the Piper Top. I sewed it up in this rib knit hacci fabric also from Stylish Fabric. This fabric is light weight but still cozy. It’s the same material I used for my toaster sweater last winter, but in a different color-way. The Piper Top was super fast to make and the fit is pretty good. I made a size 6 compared against my current bust measurement, 3/4 length sleeve option and added 1″ in length. Next time around I think I would try it in a thicker knit, and add a little more length. I’m growing at a much faster rate than I expected!

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I really love both of these pieces, and love that I can wear them as maternity as well non-maternity come next fall. I can’t wait to show you what I have planned for my next Stylish Fabric post next month. Stay tuned!

Dove Blouse in Windowpane Plaid

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Introducing my windowpane plaid dove blouse! I’m in love with this shirt. It’s light and airy and perfect for warm fall days. I LOVE the bell sleeves, and v-neck details. My plaid matching skills could have been better on this one. Allie from Indiesew suggested using starch to help add more stability to the fabric, I’m planning on trying that next time. The pattern is from Indiesew and you can find the last of this fabric at Fancy Tiger Crafts.

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The pattern was a pretty quick sew with great instructions. The fit is great based off of my measurements. This pattern comes with three sleeve options: 3/4, flare sleeves and bell sleeves. The fabric is a rayon crepe, and a little tricky to work with, at least for matching plaids. I probably tried 4-5 different times and ways to make it match up, with no luck. Sometimes you just have to walk away, and walk away I did.

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Annnnnnd surprise! I have a little secret I’ve been hiding…

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We’re expecting baby #3 in March, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. I feel a bit like I’ve been dragging to get things done these past few months, but hopefully the exhaustion and 8:00 o’clock bedtime will soon let up. Get ready for lots of maternity hacks!

For this top, all I did was grade out one size from just under the dart to the hem and I also added 1″ in length. I raised the v-neck by 1″ for added modesty, it was a little too low for me. There’s definitely room to grow into this top and I’m hoping it lasts through winter. We’ll see!

Also, fall! It’s finally fall and I couldn’t be happier. The weather is so perfect right now, and I want to make all the cozy things. I’m loving all my makes from last fall/winter that kind of still fit, for now. Ahhhh I just love fall, and I may or may not be watching Gilmore Girls right now…

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Thanks for reading along, friends! I’ll be back soon with some more fall sewing inspo!