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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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!

Velvet Ebony Dress with Stylish Fabric

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I’m in full blown fall sewing mode over here, anyone else? I’m trying to add pieces I can wear now while it’s still pretty warm and on through the fall as it starts to cool down. I can feel fall in the air! Velvet is a HUGE trend for fall this year and Stylish Fabric has just what you need! They have so many colors in this gorgeous, drapey stretch velvet. I saw this Old Rose color and instantly pictured a easy swing dress, specifically the Ebony Dress by Closet Case Files.

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I’ve used this pattern before for the t-shirt option. I wear it all the time, and was eager to try out the dress variation. I love it! It has just the right amount of volume without being too much. It’s super comfortable to wear and easy to dress up or down. I will be living in this dress! I made one alteration by adding 4″ in length, which ended up being perfect. I also chose the 3/4 sleeves length and added another 1″. Next time I think I would go up one sleeve size, and add a little more length. The armscye also feels a little high, so I would need to lower it a little on my next go. Other than that this dress is a hit!

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A few tips for sewing with stretch velvet!

  1. Pay attention to the way the light hits the fabric. It’s different from different directions depending on the nap. Decide what you like best!
  2. Treat stretch velvet just like a knit. Use a ball point needle or serger to sew. Finish hems just as you would a knit. (I used a stretch twin needle).
  3. I washed mine on delicate in warm water in my washing machine, and then dried it on delicate as well. It washes up great!

It’s really quite easy to use, and the results are stunning. It’s a perfect fabric choice for fall and winter! (and pretty much every season it seems!).

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Thanks so much for reading along. Now go grab some stretch velvet for yourself! It’s only $7.65 a yard and you cant beat that! Happy sewing friends!

This is a collaboration between Stylish Fabric and myself. All opinions are my own. 

The Patricia Dress with Stylish Fabric

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This post is a very special one! I made matching dresses for my (almost) 4 year old daughter and I using the Girls Patricia Pattern by Simple Life Pattern Co.  and the Women’s Patricia Dress pattern by Sew Caroline paired with some really gorgeous crepe chiffon from Stylish Fabric. I collaborated with Kim of Sweet Red Poppy and her daughter by sewing matching dresses (hers are made in a different colorway of the same fabric print).

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First of all, this fabric! It’s simply stunning. I chose to work with the off-white version of this crepe chiffon fabric, one of four different color options. While I was excited about the crepe part I was a little nervous about the chiffon. Typically chiffon is super light weight and sheer, so I didn’t know what to expect. When it arrived I instantly thought it was even prettier in person. It’s light, and partly sheer with really great crepe texture. (The colored versions are not as sheer as the white, Kim didn’t need to line hers). It has a little bit of stretch to it too. I would compare it to working with a rayon. I didn’t have much trouble with it. I washed and dried this fabric on a delicate setting in my washing machine and dryer and it came out great. I also used a really soft off-white rayon crepe to line my whole dress (more on that coming up later in this post). It made a really great lining for this dress.

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Now on to the patterns I used! For my daughters dress, I used the girls Patricia Pattern by Simple Life Pattern Co. It comes in a dress and top option, both equally darling! It has a boho vibe with bell sleeves and a ruffle along the hem. I made a size 3 for my almost 4 year old girl and it fits perfect with a little room for growth; she’s pretty average in size. I made the more moderate skirt option for her dress, and slightly raised the back neckline by a few inches. I also cut her sleeves to be a short sleeve length with the added bell sleeve ruffle, per her request! She loves it and asks to wear it all the time. It’s so cute on her too!

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The Women’s Patricia pattern is still currently in testing, but will be available on SewCaroline.com next week! I made the size small according to my measurements, but probably needed to make a size XS. The top is a little wider than it probably should be for me. (But I still love it!!!). I used the more moderate skirt option and added 6″ in length to make it a midi style. I also just used a single layer of fabric for my bell sleeves and dress hem ruffle. The pattern calls for two layers (one big piece folded in half to automatically finish off the hem edge). I also made the short sleeve option for my bell sleeve, I cut off a little more past the actual short sleeve marking to make it a little shorter. The sleeves are also a little too wide so next time I would narrow them down a bit too.

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For the neckline of the bodice and bodice lining, after sewing them right sides together, I under-stitched the seam allowance to the lining, and skipped the top stitching step.

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Let’s talk about lining this dress! (This is the same for both mine and my daughter’s dress). It’s super easy! The pattern calls for the bodice to be lined, so that’s simple and explained in the instructions. For the skirt, I cut out two skirts, one out of my floral fabric and one out of my lining. I sewed them up the same way, but hemmed the bottom of my lining skirt. (So it ends right where the ruffle starts on the bottom of my dress). To attach the skirt to the bodice, I pinned both skirts together and basted them together while I was putting in my basting stitches to gather the skirt to the bodice. Then I created my gathers at the same time for both the lining and skirt, and pinned them to the bodice, then sew, and finish. It was super easy and looks great.

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It was so fun to do a mommy and me photo shoot and with some great friends too. We absolutely love our new dresses!

Now for the best part, there’s a giveaway! Head over to my Instagram post featuring these dresses to see what you need to do to enter! Good luck!

Photos by the talented Rachel of Little Fish. Fabric was provided by Stylish Fabric, but all opinions are my own.

 

 

Key Largo Top with Stylish Fabric

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I’m back with yet another PERFECT summer top: the Key Largo Top by Hey June Patterns. It’s a basic t-shirt pattern with a seam down the two bias cut front pieces, finishing the hemline with a tie front. I lovvvvve it.

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I made a size 2, and added 1″ in length. I’m not sure if I’m happy with adding an inch, I probably would have been fine leaving the pattern length as it is. I top-stitched down either side of the front seam for a little added detail (this option is presented in the pattern). The bottom hemline is finished with a facing, giving this little top a clean and professional finish.

This top came together in 2 hours, I actually started and finished it before my kids woke up for their nap… win! The instructions are very clear, and I learned how to finish a neckline with a self made binding out of the same fabric as my top. (I usually cheat and use store bought bias binding).

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Okay now this fabric!! It’s a sand-washed rayon challis in sage from Stylish Fabric. It has a great thickness to it, it’s totally opaque, and has a really pretty matte finish. I’m convinced I need some in every color now. It washes up really well, and was a little more sturdy to work with compared to most rayon fabrics, but still has really great drape. I totally recommend this fabric!! I’m loving this sage color for summer.

This is another knock-out top that I’ll be wearing all summer long, and into the fall! Thanks for reading along, and happy sewing!

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This post contains affiliate links. The fabric for this post was provided by Stylish Fabric, all opinions are my own.

Ebony Tee + Stylish Fabric

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I have officially made my new favorite, go-to t-shirt. I’m so happy with this shirt! I love a good blue and white combo for all things summer, so this rib knit fabric from Stylish Fabric was a must have. I like the idea of a loose tee, and the Ebony top came to mind. I love this fabric + pattern combination together, and I’m excited to tell you all about it.

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First off, let’s chat about this fabric! I used an off white and blue 4×2 striped rib knit, 95% rayon and 5% spandex. Its a good medium weight fabric, and ever so slightly non-opaque, but still thick enough to not have to layer a tank over your undergarments. It’s a good weight. It drapes really nicely. I totally recommend it. Plus, you can’t really beat $6.90 a yard!

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I have had my eye on the Ebony tee by Closet Case Files ever since it was released. I’m participating in Me Made May this month (a month long challenge of wearing only handmade clothing), and I’ve found I really need easy t-shirts to throw on with jeans. I tend to like to dress up more than dress down, so I don’t really like just wearing a plain t-shirt with jeans. The Ebony T-shirt is NOT your average tee. I love the swing silhouette + fluidity of this top. It’s super comfortable to wear but a little nicer than just a regular t-shirt. (But just as easy to make!!). I love this pattern! I sewed up the size 4, and subtracted 1″ from both bodice pieces to shorten. This fabric is super drapey, and the weight of it does pull the shirt down a little longer than the pattern is, so keep this in mind. I’m glad I took out an inch as I didn’t want it to be too long.

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I’m really happy with this top, and I know I’ll get a ton of wear out of it all summer long.

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I’m really excited to be sewing for Stylish Fabric’s once a month, and in addition to each post I will be doing a little fabric review of some fabric they choose to send me.

This month Stylish Fabric’s sent me this super fun white stretch knit fabric with gold metallic stripes.

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It’s a medium- heavy weight knit fabric, with little holes within the thicker stripes. The ends are finished off with some ribbing which is really nice for a cuff or hem. With each review I want to offer some pattern ideas for the fabric I’m reviewing, that I would actually make for myself.

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So for this one, I’m thinking a cardigan or a pull- over sweathshirt! I like the idea of these options because you won’t have to deal with lining anything.

Some cardigan options I have in mind are the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet. I have one I have made previously and I wear it all the time. I think this fabric would be great for a more summery Blackwood Cardigan; perfect for layering over dresses and tanks when it’s a little chilly at night.

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I also love the idea of a pull-over sweatshirt made out of this fabric. I love the Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio for this. You could use the ribbing along the edge for the cuffs, neckband and hem for a really pretty finish. I picture this worn over a white tank and shorts, again really easy to throw on for a night out at the beach to keep you warm.

One more idea, it could be fun as a swim wear cover-up as a loose or form fitting dress. So many fun ideas for this fabric!

Hope you feel a little more inspired! Thanks for reading along and happy sewing, friends!

I paired my Ebony T-Shirt with my Ginger Jeans.

Amazing photo cred goes to Rachel of Hello Little Fish.

All fabric was provided by Stylish Fabric.