Cora Cocoon Cardigan by Rebecca Page

Aaaargh!!! It’s so frustrating because I want to be blogging and sewing a lot more than I am at the moment. I do have a recent test* to show you though.

This is the Cora Cocoon Cardigan** by Rebecca Page. Although I am a brand ambassador for them, I chose to test this separately as trying to get my winter wardrobe together has been slow progress, just like the weather was but suddenly it has turned cold and wintery this week. These cocoon type cardigans are everywhere at the moment and what better way to invest in one than make your own.

This is a really quick sew and the fact that it is loose and slouchy means there aren’t any fit issues to deal with and for that reason also makes a great gift. Three pattern pieces make up the cardigan, the body, the hem and the sleeves. Obviously depending on the type of fabric you use will determine the season you wear this and with either long, 3/4 sleeves or sleeveless that makes lots of possibilities.

I used coco coloured rayon mesh knit (73% polyester/ 25% rayon/ 2% spandex) and made a size medium with the long sleeves. I will mention that the sleeves are quite fitted so if you plan on wearing this as an outer layer, it is wise to choose fabric with 4-way stretch, or at least a considerable amount of stretch, to allow for layering underneath. Mine is perfect for this and has been in regular rotation since I made it. Additionally, to get the full effect of the cocoon shape using a fabric with good drape would be advisable.

This is like wearing a warm, cosy blanket as you can literally wrap yourself up. Since it has just been released, at the moment it’s on SALE for $8.75 for the ladies’ sizing (XXS – 5XL), $6.65 for the girls’ (newborn to 12 years) and $3.15 for the 18 inch dolls’. Or for only $16.90 you can buy the whole bundle.  Sale ends Monday 09 July 2018

I had some fabric left over and didn’t want it to go to waste so I made a scarfe for my girls to share, leaving the hems and long edges raw and also a beanie with a free pattern I found online.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

** This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page

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Mama Leilani Top by Peach Patterns

I’m trying really hard to catch up on some blog posts and the reality is those that were drafted 1 year ago or more are probably never going to be posted, especially for the kids clothes as they don’t fit them quite the same anymore.

Back to my stuff though, I tested the popular Mama Leilani Dress & Top by Peach Patterns back in November of last year using some stash fabric I took from my mum. I’m not quite sure what the composition is, it feels like a rayon but frays like crazy. Not that it matters as I’ve used it now and it suited the design of the Leilani.

            

This pattern is really versatile and there is lots to like about it with both top and dress options and a single or double ruffle overlay. The dress can be made knee length or a high-low 3/4 length. There aren’t any closures to worry about and has narrow shoulder ties. There is a detailed photo tutorial to make the straps adjustable with bra-style ring and sliders. Sizes are from  US 2 (Aust/UK 6) (Eur 34) through to US 16 (Aust/UK 20) (Eur 48).

I ended up making the top with the single overlay. It’s a quick sew and has a nice, neat finishing at the neckline. The ruffle and top is finished with a narrow rolled hem. This pattern is best made up in light weight woven fabric to get a nice flowing garment.

There is also a girls version available if you love the style for your little ones.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

 

Sequoia Cargo Pants by Itch to Stitch

Cargo pants are a really versatile wardrobe staple. They can be worn casual with thongs or sneakers or worn dressy with heels and classy flats.

I tested* the Sequoia Cargo Pants (**aff. link) by Itch to Stitch because I was lacking a pair in my wardrobe and judging by my Pinterest board I was needing some. My initial inspiration was to make some khaki ones but the right fabric was no where to be found. I first made a muslin using some khaki polyester/cotton fabric just to check fit so didn’t really finish them beyond basic construction, although I did only baste them together, so taking them apart shouldn’t be a long process.

My final pair were made using navy drill (100% cotton) and navy knit for the waistband. The pattern comes in multiple sizes (00-20), ability to print in layers a number of features for a professional finish. They have a functional fly front zipper, front and back patch pockets and a long pants or shorts options. I opted for the pants version which also has side cargo pants pockets and a leg strap to roll them up if preferred (which I omitted).

I ended up going down a size from my muslin stage and otherwise construction went together well. These have all the traditional features of Cargo Pants and the ribbed waistband make them extra comfortable. I couldn’t find the hardware/snaps to add to my pockets after visiting three fabric stores so left them off. The instructions for the zipper fly are very good if you haven’t done one before they can be somewhat intimidating.

Considering there are so many fiddly bits with the pockets and front fly, construction is relatively simple and fast if you are sequential and organised when sewing these up. The main disruption while sewing these I think is the pressing between sewing mostly due to the pockets.

                                                  

I have worn mine quite a few times since making these and they are baggier than when I first made them so I think next time I may go down one size for personal preference. I have so many versions of these in my head that I want to make and I actually do plan on finishing off my muslin pair once I’ve seam ripped them apart. It also may be slightly visible if you look closely at my pockets, that I used white serger thread, ooops!!

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to Itch To Stitch

Candy Relaxed Fit Knit Cardigan by Sinclair Patterns

This is another test I did whilst pregnant thinking I will also be able to wear it post baby. I think it’s also the last of my maternity sews.

The Candy Relaxed Fit Knit Cardigan  (**affiliate link) by Sinclair Patterns is exactly that. It is a loose fitting cardigan with a waterfall style neckline and nice deep pockets. It’s best made up with light to heavy weight knit fabric with at least 20-30% stretch, more so for the sleeves so you could perhaps mix up fabrics.  It can quite easily be sewn up in one day, or even a couple of hours, it’s that quick.

Like a lot of the Sinclair Patterns, sizing goes from XS-XXL but also include the petite, regular and in this case tall pattern pieces. I tested* mine in the regular length using some glitter double knit (unsure of content). If you are new to sewing with knits the pattern has some great information but also photos accompany the instructions.

The most important thing to bare in mind is that the wrong side of the fabric will show with this type of neckline so choosing one with less contrast might be better but I don’t mind mine as the edges are finished neatly and raw edges are hidden.

The deep pockets are great for carrying a phone, keys, small purse and keeping hands warm and of course can be omitted if preferred. I would love to add a few more of these to my wardrobe before autumn but not sure if I’ll manage that.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**Affiliate Link: I get a tiny commission to fund my fabric habit

Ilse Vest by DesignerStitch Patterns

I really only apply to test garments that I think will work for me and my style and occasionally I get it wrong. In this case I applied to test* the Ilse Vest by DesignerStitch Patterns ** (Affiliate link) as I had this vest on my Pinterest board for ages and wanted to recreate a similar look. Finding look-a-like fabric on the other hand was proving difficult.

ROMWE

I then shopped my stash and was going to use some brown herringbone fabric with faux leather binding, however I couldn’t find matching faux leather binding.

I thought about it and decided to try my luck at one more fabric store, otherwise I was on the hunt for some blankets. Which in itself is laughable as we are in the middle of summer.

By now I have tested lots of patterns from Ann and her testing process is quite streamline with great comraderi amongst the group and often minimal, if any pattern changes during testing. The pattern comes in a large range of sizes AUS 6-26 with separate cup sizes – B, C, D, DD(E) and printing with the layer option. There are really only 4 pattern pieces not including the belt. Ann’s experience in the drafting and fashion industry is evident by how patterns fit and also the thorough and clear instructions.

         

I eventually settled on this black and white plaid (polyester/acrylic). I didn’t realise until I was fussy cutting that it doesn’t actually have a pattern repeat so I tried my best to match the vertical and horizontal lines. The construction was extremely fast, especially as it’s not lined. In the end I found some faux leather look stretch fabric, the kind you would use to make leggings, to make my binding. Because of the stretch I didn’t bother cutting it on the bias. I think I cut it about 2 inches wide from memory. I wish I had used a walking foot to attach my binding as there is some twisting which I have tried my best to iron straight.

I also decided to make the included obi belt as my closure. I wish I had interfaced my belt however because of the stretch fabric it doesn’t keep it’s shape. For the ties I used black ribbon in the corresponding finished width of the ties because I didn’t want to tackle my black stretch fabric to make the ties.

I’m excited for when the cooler weather is upon us as I will have a great layering piece to wear.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to DesignerStitch Patterns

Maternity Crossroads Vest by Twig + Tale

The Crossroads Vest by Twig + Tale had already gone into testing but they put the call out for a couple of pregnant testers for the add-on features. I was 39 weeks pregnant at this time, hoping baby would stay put until I had it finished.

                      

Thinking ahead to when I would probably actually wear the Crossroads Vest, as we were heading into summer during testing, I tested* the maternity version using a warm marble grey platinum fleece (polyester) and multi coloured printed rayon #4 chevron (100% rayon) as the lining. I made the flutter sleeve with the curved, dropped back. I went for the simpler version as I thought my sewing time may be cut short. The flutter sleeve was not a good option with this thicker fabric as it sticks out away from the body but I’m okay with that.

The Crossroads vest features a double layer across the chest with a petal shape and as aforementioned the maternity option. It is actually the perfect add-on to the Women’ Pathfinder Vest which in itself has lots of options.

It is a really quick vest to sew. Everything matched up perfectly and the fit was spot on. The are highly detailed instructions with photos at each step. I think my rayon stretched a bit and therefore is a bit longer at the back curve. Again, it’s something I can live with as it’s kind of a run pop of colour.

As you can see, the vest fits both at 39 weeks pregnant and post pregnancy and I will be happy to take this for a test run as our colder weather sets in, but hopefully that is a while away yet.

               

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

Lou Box Dress 1 by Sew DIY

Just before Christmas I tested* the Lou Box Dress 1 for Beth from Sew DIY. She released the ever popular Lou Box Top a few years back and has expanded that silhouette to include more options. The Lou Box Dress 2 was also tested at the same time and the great thing about these patterns is that they are all interchangeable along with the top.

Both dresses can be made in woven or knit and the suggestion in the pattern to drop a size if working with knit fabrics. For Dress 1, whilst view A features a medium scoop neck, 3/4 length sleeves with cuffs, in-seam pockets, view B has short cuff sleeves and patch pockets, and there is the option of a hem band for knit fabric. The woven versions have neck binding and hem facings. Naturally you could also mix and match the different versions. The construction is quite straight forward and all the pieces fit together perfectly.

                                                 

I had in mind to make a navy summer dress and used some new royal drill (100% cotton) for view B in a M/L. Now that I look at the photos I think the colour just isn’t right and reminds me of scrubs and I would have preferred a darker blue. That’s no fault of the pattern though.

The pattern is a loose-fitting cocoon shaped dress so is easy to wear and great for layering over long sleeve tops and tights in the winter months although I’m not sure if I should try sizing down next time or perhaps use a fabric with more drape – perhaps I will try both. The dress is a tad short for me as I wear mostly knee-length items at the moment but I’m sure as summer continues it will be an easy dress to throw on and walk out the door although it’s not baby feeding friendly so may have to wait a bit longer on the hanger.

Both dresses are wardrobe work horses and the bundle for both is great value. I’m going to attempt Dress 2 next in a true navy colour I think.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.