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!

 

 

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Briar Tee + Ninni Culottes

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Hey guys! I’m back with another fun post for April Rhodes Heritage + Arizona After blog tour. For this post I chose to put together an outfit that is a little out of my comfort zone, turned closet staple! I’m so excited to share it with you.

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For the top I used Megan Nielsen’s Briar Tee (part of the Project Sew My Style line up for the month of June) using a knit from the Heritage Collection called Father Totem. I love how soft Art Gallery Fabric knits are! This print has a really cool vibe; it’s neutral but still has a slight pattern to it. I quickly and easily pictured it as an easy t-shirt paired with jeans (or culottes in this case!).

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The Briar Tee is quick to sew up, I shortened mine slightly. It does have the high low hem but you can’t see it because it’s tucked in. (See photo above for hemline). I really like the look of this hemline because it adds a little bit of drama to an otherwise basic tee. I omitted the pocket on my version, but technically sewed version 3 of this pattern. I really love it!

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Okay, now for these culottes! This is one of the new Named Clothing patterns: the Ninni Culottes. This is the part of my outfit that is a little outside of my fashion comfort zone, but there was something about them that drew me right in. I love the easy elastic waist, and the chicness of culottes in general. I decided to give them a go, and was pleasantly surprised.

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I used a super soft rayon chambray I picked up at a local Joann’s store, and I think it’s a perfect match. I love that these pants pair well with most tops in my wardrobe too. Just make sure you don’t ask my husband what his opinion is of these culottes! For the most part, my rule of thumb goes like this: if my husband is not a fan of an item I’ve made, it means I did something right. (He’s my toughest critic).

They too are a quick sew, and easy to put together. I love how cool they are to wear in the heat of summer, plus the elastic waist band for optimal comfort. (Secret pajamas!).

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Thanks for reading along! Stay tuned for one more project coming at you next week for this tour. Meanwhile, make sure to keep up with the rest of the tour:

June 28th – The Sara Project

June 30th – I Love You Sew!

July 5th – A mini Instagram loop all about Arizona After, with 5 surprise makers! Head to my IG feed around 5pm EST on this day to find the kick off post and follow all 5 makers for a chance to win fabric!!!!

July 7th – TBA – Surprise blog! 😉

July 10th – The Sara Project

July 12th – Sew To Speak

July 13th – A mini Instagram loop, this time all about Heritage, with 5 surprise makers! Head to my IG feed around 5pm EST for another chance to win fabric!!!!

July 17th – Threadbear Garments

July 19th – A second mini Instagram loop featuring Arizona After. Head to my IG feed around 5pm EST on this date for a chance to win fabric!

July 21st – Bad Nana’s Bandanas

July 24th – Willow And Stitch

July 26th – Mister Domestic

July 28th – Last mini Instagram loop featuring Heritage, with 5 surprise makers! Head to my IG feed, 5pm EST  and follow all 5 makers for the last chance to win fabric!

July 31st – Recap of all the amazingness!

Virginia Leggings + Minttu Swing Top

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I’m a little late, but I’m finally sharing my Megan Nielsen Virginia leggings for Sew My Style. I really struggled with finding the perfect fabric for this pattern. I originally made a pair out of a stretch faux leather in black, but they were not very flattering. I’m not a big leggings wearer, unless I’m lounging around my house.

After searching and searching, I finally found THEE perfect fabric for this pattern. A new addition to Stylish Fabrics, this Maxi-Dri & Micro Blok Neoprene Fabric is perfection. Its thick, but just the right thickness for leggings, super stretchy (4 way stretch) and super soft. There are also so many cool colors to choose from, I bet you won’t be able to pick just one.

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For my leggings, I chose the Avatar Rain color way. I like that it’s multi-colored for optimal top matching. I also like that there’s some black blended in it too, you know, to match my black Nike’s. Also, these pants blend into EVERY wall. I tried to find a way to get these babies to pop, but I failed, and I apologize! I really love this color way; I promise it’s much better in person.

Let’s talk about the Virginia Leggings pattern. I sewed up a size XS using the high waist option. This is the fastest project you will ever make. INSTANT GRATIFICATION! I used my Brother 1034D Serger to sew these up, and it was so fast. In about 5 steps you have some brand new leggings. The instructions are awesome, and easy to follow. I need to make like 5 more. Love them! Perfect fabric and pattern combo.

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Okay, now the Minttu Swing Top pattern! It’s brand new, and just released by Named Clothing. It’s also part of the Indiesew Spring/Summer pattern collection. I don’t wear sleeveless tops unless I’m working out and I thought this one would be great to pair with my new leggings. I really don’t like wearing tops that are fitted in my torso area (I had two huge babies guys), so I really love the loose swing hem on this one.

I used some rayon jersey knit in black from Stylish Fabrics. It’s a lightweight fabric, and not completely opaque when you hold it up to the light. I like this thinness factor for a workout top. It was easy to sew with and I’m really happy with the result.

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The Minttu pattern itself put my brain through a loop a bit. I usually don’t have a hard time figuring out pattern steps, but the enclosed facing took me about 5 tries to figure it out. A tip would be to pinch the inside of the top and facing (like illustrated in the pattern instructions) as you would if they were sewn together. Hope that makes sense and helps a little! It’s a really innovative design, which I love! Other than the facing, everything else was super easy to understand, and it’s a really cool little tank top.

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Now I have no excuses for not working out. I used to be a big runner (many years ago), so maybe it’s time to get back to it. We’ll see!

That’s it for today! Happy sewing, friends!

A Stylish New Year

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Happy New Year my friends! As each year closes I find myself thinking of all my resolutions and goals I want to make for the coming new year, as we all do. Last year I was only a few months into sewing my own wardrobe, and I wasn’t quite sure where it was going yet, or what goals I wanted to set for myself. This year I’m all in with big plans for a stylish, handmade wardrobe. I hardly ever buy myself any store bought clothing anymore, and I’m hoping to make enough items during this year to forgo buying completely. We’ll see if I can resist. It’s going to be a fun year!

My favorite part of the whole sewing process is finding my inspiration, pattern & fabrics. To kick off the New Year, I’ve teamed up with Stylish Fabric to plan my first outfit of 2017, and also to help you start planning your 2017 handmade wardrobe!

Stylish Fabric provides beautiful and affordable apparel fabric, and I had so much fun combing through their online fabric shop as I was planning out this outfit.

I recently fell in love with Anthropolie’s Velvet Joggers (currently sold out). I instantly thought of the Alexandria Trousers by Named Clothing pattern I picked up from Indie Sew paired with a stretch velvet. Yessss. Match made in heaven. I chose this gorgeous olive green stretch velvet from Stylish Fabric. I used a ball point needle and stretch stitch and they came together beautifully. I also used a 3/8″ wide natural colored grosgrain ribbon for the waist draw string. Guys, it’s like wearing your pajamas all day long, while also being socially acceptable. I love these pants!

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Now for the top. If you haven’t already seen the Toaster Sweater by Sew House Seven, you need to! This pattern comes in two versions, and from the very first time I laid eyes on them both, I knew I would have to combine my favorite features of both sweaters into one. I used the top half of #1 and combined it with the bottom half of #2. I sewed up a size small and added 4″ in length. I’ll be sharing a full tutorial all about how I did this hack for Sew My Style later on this month. Stay tuned!

The Toaster Sweater pattern calls for medium weight fabrics like french terry, boiled wool, and sweatshirt fleece. I took a big chance and sewed mine up using this lightweight oatmeal sweater knit also from Stylish Fabric. I was a little nervous about the fabric weight, but it was no problem at all. It sewed up very easily, and I love the finished look. This fabric drapes quite beautifully too. I wasn’t sure how  would like the slouchy turtle neck, but I really love it. It just feels like a big cozy sweater. I have another one planned for later this month. Seriously guys, you can’t have too many Toaster Sweaters.

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Okay now to the good stuff. Stylish Fabric and I have teamed up and planned a super fun contest to help you start planning your 2017 handmade wardrobe and I’m sooo excited to see what you all come up with.

It’s simple to enter:

          1. Plan an outfit you would like to sew for yourself this year using fabric from Stylishfabric.com. (It can be a single garment piece or many)

       2. Create a picture collage of the fabrics & patterns you would use to create your outfit (I like to use the free app called “Layout”).

Here’s an example of what mine would look like:

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       3. Post it on Instagram using the hashtag #stylishnewyear17, and tag me @thesaraproject_

That’s it! The contest will run from January 2nd to January 16th. I will choose my top two favorite looks, and announce two winners on January 17th on Instagram in the original post. Guys, check out these prizes generously offered by Stylish Fabric!

FIRST PLACE: 

-$50 Gift card to Stylish Fabric!

-A scarf of your choice from Life Scarf !

-A sewing kit!

SECOND PLACE:

-$25 Gift card to Madison Home Company!

-A scarf of your choice from Life Scarf !

-A sewing kit!

This is going to be so fun, and I seriously can’t wait to see what you all put together. Good luck!

Here’s to a Stylish 2017 my friends. Happy New Year!

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Observer Fabrics Blog Tour with April Rhodes

I am thrilled to be the next stop of the Observer Fabric Tour, designed by April Rhodes for Art Gallery Fabrics. I really love April’s style, and have been a big fan for a while now. Side note, because of her I want to learn how to knit now too. She’s very, very talented! I love ALL of the fabrics in April’s new collection, but I knew right away I wanted to work with this voile indigo window crystal print. It’s even more gorgeous in person! The voile is so soft to the touch, and sews up beautifully. I’m always impressed with the amazing quality fabrics Art Gallery provides. Simply stunning!

I had this vision of a faux jumpsuit in my mind for this print. I wanted something simple to show off the print, but more than just a shirt. I needed a whole outfit made of this beautiful stuff. The best thing about my faux jumpsuit is that it creates so many outfit options. (The shirt is just tucked into my pants). I’ve worn these two pieces together as shown, and also separately. I’m really happy with the results!

For my top, I decided to go with the Onyx Shirt by Paprika Patterns from indiesew.com. I picked this top because of it’s simplicity, but what really sold me was the fun cuff and epaulet detail on the sleeve. I sewed up a size 2, and didn’t make any modifications to the pattern. It’s a super quick and easy pattern to sew up.

For the pants, I decided to go with the Alexandria Trousers by Named Clothing. (Also from indiesew.com). I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while now, and this was the perfect excuse to try it out. I thought they would pair well with a matching shirt tucked into them. Again, these were easy to put together. I was mindful of matching the pattern on each of the front and back leg pieces, so it took a little more time cutting these out, but so worth it, they turned out just how I imagined. I sewed up the size 34/2, and again I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern, except for slightly cropping the hemline. I made my waist tie out of the Observer voile as well to match the whole look. For my next go, I really want to try this pattern with a twill for fall/winter.

I’m so happy with this whole look. I think it translates well from end of summer to fall. I’m excited to pull it back out for spring too once the snow has passed here in Utah. The best part of it all? It’s so comfortable! I honestly feel like I’m walking around in my pajamas all day long. Does it get better than that!? I don’t think so.

Special thanks to April for having me on this amazing tour. I’m blown away by all the other creations sewn up with this gorgeous collection. Check out April Rhodes Observer Fabric Tour blog post to see all the other great stops of the tour! Up next: mysweetsunshine!

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Inari Tee Hack with Bell Sleeve

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When I started making my Roberts Collection by Marilla Walker jumpsuit, I really wanted to make a cute top to go with it. I’ve been inspired by bell sleeves lately, and I’ve seen a few shirts like this around in a few different places,so I’ve had it on my mind. (I’m learning I have a thing for sleeves!). I love how it gives the shirt a more dramatic yet feminine look.

I used a jersey knit fabric in plum that I had in my stash. I think this top would also be cool in a stripe ponte or maybe even a woven. I love this one I found at J.Crew recently.

To make my pattern, I used the Inari Tee pattern, with a few adjustments in a size 2/34. If you don’t already have this pattern, it’s totally worth getting. I made this really cool Inari Tee Dress a few posts back. There’s lots of possibilities with this pattern.

**Side note, I just want to put in a plug for working with knits. I don’t have a serger. (although, I do want one). Using a ballpoint needle and a zigzag stitch for seams, and a straight stitch for hemlines and neckline edges proves to work just as well for me. Don’t let not having a serger stop you from sewing knits.

Here’s how I did it:

First I added 6″ in length to the hemline of the crop tee pattern.

Second, I made a rectangular shaped pattern for the bell sleeve, mine measured 6 1/2″ long x 18-24″ wide. (pictured above is about 18″, I would go for 24″ next time for a fuller look).

To sew it all together, sew your bell sleeve piece along the side seam, RST. Iron, trim and finish seam allowance. Then, sew your gathering stitches along the top edge at 1/4″ and 1/2″. Pin bell sleeve to sleeve edge RST, matching edges and centers. Pull gathering threads, and evenly spread gathers. Sew at 1/2″, remove any gathering stitches that show on the right side, and trim + finish seam allowance. Hem sleeve. Done!

Follow the pattern directions for assembling the rest of the shirt. This is super easy, and the whole shirt came together pretty quick. Enjoy!

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Roberts Collection by Marilla Walker

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The moment this pattern came out, I knew I wanted to try it. I bought the pattern, but other things kept taking precedence. Finally, I found the perfect fabric, and inspiration!

I found this muralist jumpsuit in stripe by Madewell, and instantly a light bulb went off in my head.

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Then I went over to Hancockfabrics.com and found my fabric, a linen cream and blue stripe, very similar to the fabric used in the muralist jumpsuit by Madewell. (Hancock Fabrics is going out of business, so unfortunately I am no longer able to link the fabric I used, but you might be able to find it in store and at a major discount). I’ve been seeing linen in blue stripes EVERYWHERE lately, and jumpsuits, and so I needed to make one for myself too.

I used the Roberts Collection pattern by Marilla Walker, and chose view B. This pattern is very loose fitting, and I noticed many people suggested sizing down for a closer fit. Unfortunately my size was the smallest one, so I ended up sewing it up as it was, and taking in the pants on both seams, side and inside, until I had a loose, but fitted look. I also cropped the hem of the pants to be similar to the Madewell jumpsuit.

I also added the belt (not included in the pattern), to match the Madewell jumpsuit. Using a tape measure I figured out how long I wanted my belt to be, and I cut it about 3″ wide. I added a slightly pointed edge to both ends, and sewed them RST, leaving a spot in the middle open so I could turn it out. Then I topstitched around the whole belt. So simple!

The shirt I’m wearing is also made by me, it’s a Inari Tee hack, with an added bell sleeve, and added length at the hem. I’ll be posting a tutorial about how I did it soon. I used a plum jersey knit.

Overall, I’m really pleased with how my dungarees turned out! I wasn’t sure if they would pull though, mostly because this style is a little out of my comfort zone. (I’m a skinny jeans girl through and through). The best part about my dungarees is how comfy they are! (It’s like wearing pajamas all day!). The pattern was easy to follow, and pretty quick to put together.

Okay and I have to say it. So the Madewell jumpsuit comes in at $128. The fabric I used was priced at 3 yards for $41.97, and the Roberts Pattern is $10.22 (I actually bought it on a sale too, so it was a few dollars of that), total coming to just under $50. It CAN be cheaper to make your own clothes!! 🙂