Rebecca Page Brand Ambassador Emma Top and Dress

I am so behind on posting my monthly makes from Rebecca Page.  As an update, briefly how this works is that we sign up to sew something for the month from a choice of 4 or 5 patterns and then promote them on social media. It may be an existing pattern already tested or a new pattern. They aren’t always clothing related either.

The first and last thing I published here was the Swim backpack and pencil case in August so I have lots of catching up to do.

In September I chose to sew the already released Emma Top and Dress  (**aff. link) which is also available as a ladies version. I used aqua and blue rayon (100% rayon). The dress has a high fitted neckline and then flares out for great twirl factor. There is a keyhole opening at the back for which I used a large white button from the stash. It’s a great value for money pattern as there are 5 length options: top, tunic, knee (tunic + 1 tier of ruffles), tea (tunic + 2 tiers) and maxi (tunic + 3 tiers). Plus an optional sash to tie at the waist and you can also choose to have it lined or unlined. The kids version goes from sizes 0-3 months right up to 11-12 years.

                

I made the knee length version which is a tunic and 1 tier of ruffles added to the bottom. I went up a size for length for my daughter as she is slightly above average for height and it fits perfectly. This dress was definitely a success as she has worn it so much since I made and has received many compliments.

The dress itself is quick to sew, especially if it’s left unlined, like mine was. The instructions are really clear and concise, you are bound to get great results. The women’s version is also such a versatile pattern, one which I will get around to eventually, just not practical in my day to day life yet whilst still nursing bubsy.

 

 

** This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page

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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.

5004 Easy Tee but Maternity Dress Version

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!!!!

With formalities out the way, I’m back to blogging. I’m embarrassed within myself that I have had a poor blogging year by my personal goals and along with that, sewing productivity was lower than normal. More than likely due to the fact I was growing a little human being but given our third child is now three months old and I still have maternity clothes to blog about, it’s a bit embarrassing.

I tested* the maternity version of the 5004 Patterns Easy Tee and Dress back in May 2017. As the name suggests it is both quick and easy to sew up. A tonne of options are included such as Shirt, Tunic, Short dress, and Knee Length Dress with turned hem or band, pockets (yes!), maternity pattern pieces, waist tie, breast pocket, crew, scoop or v-neck, hoods and cuffs and thumbholes. It’s available in women’s sizes XXS-5XL but also a kids version with a lot of great options. Also, you can save $2 when you buy the Women’s and Kids’ Easy Tee patterns at the same time (check out the pattern listing for the code).

When I was pregnant this time around, I tried to avoid buying any maternity clothes and wore a lot of my existing wardrobe as far as I could stretch it however when the call when out to test this pattern, timing was perfect. I made a first version using a heavier, less stretchy knit and the fit was off. I then used ITY jersey (95% polyester/5% spandex) in marine for this one and found it a lot more comfortable. Having said that, I barely reached for this dress in the end as I felt it was too fancy for everyday wear.

I made the v-neckline with the 3/4 sleeve and found the fit to be pretty spot on with a good amount of rouching at the side to accomodate the growing belly. At this stage of my pregnancy I probably could have gone down a size but for the later stages the fit was better. I was of course wanting to sew another version before blogging but clearly that didn’t go so well. It’s has detailed instructions throughout with good pictorials as well as hyperlinks. I had a really successful v neckline, woo, hoo.

                                                   

I will get sewing some basics from this pattern in 2018 at some stage to test out some of the other options.

I’m hoping blogging will become a bit more routine as my sewing time is so erratic and I have lots of drafts and unblogged things to publish and write about.

*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.

Lovesick Bather Top: George and Ginger Patterns and 5 Out of 4 Patterns Mash-Up

This post is pretty delayed, like all of them are really, considering I made these bathers in June for our family vacation in July/August when I was about 31 weeks pregnant and now we have our 5 week old baby girl safely home with us.

I decided to make some bathers, as maternity ones are really expensive and considering the short wearing capabilities I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I searched online for patterns or tutorials but eventually forged ahead to make my own.

            

I ended up using the Lovesick Bra, which is actually a free pattern by George and Ginger Patterns if you join their Facebook page, plus they have lot’s of other patterns there too. Because these would be strictly vacation bathers, I didn’t bother with inserting too much support but if I were to make the pattern again for everyday use as a bra, I would definitely consider adding cups.

I made the recommended size and used some not ideal swimwear fabric (probably not chlorine resistant and definitely not UV protective). My first top was made from some 100% dance dot nylon spandex in black and white stripes (80% nylon/20% spandex) and the second top was using some poly spandex knit in red aztec print (95% poly/ 5% spandex) and some white knit fabric for the lining (not sure what type or composition, I had it in my stash). I made the bra as instructed but did omit the bottom band and cut the bottom part of the bathers using the maternity pattern piece from the Women’s Easy Tee by 5 Out of 4 Patterns (of which I did the testing for the maternity option – hopefully with a blog post to follow). I essentially measured down from the bralette underarm to determine the length I wanted the top and cut it to that length on the maternity pattern. The maternity top had a larger circumference around the “waist” than the bra so I just gathered it to fit.

     

For the stripe version I winged a bow to add as some detail at the front. After wearing both of these, well not really, the weather ended up being too cold to go swimming other than the hotel pool which wasn’t even really heated to my liking. I can say the black and white top was a much better fit. The fabric was firmer with better recovery. The aztec version was quite flimsy and thin and hung loser on the body.

I didn’t make any bottoms to pair with the top as my existing ones as well as my swim shorts still fit ok although I clearly didn’t wear them for the photos. So after minimal wear, they have been retired for now but I may be able to take in the side seams and make them a normal fitting bather top someday.