Mia Knit Maxi Skirt by Sinclair Patterns

The title might be a bit deceiving as this pattern isn’t just for a maxi skirt. The newest release by Sinclair Patterns, the Mia knit maxi, also comes in a midi length, which is the version I tested*.

The skirt itself is fitted at the waist and hips and slightly flared below. There are optional side slits and a few options for the waistband with either a self lined contoured yoga style standard or draped (pleated) waistband. Another design element is that it can be cut on bias with the center front and center back seam, really effective for striped fabric.

The fabric requirement is quite minimal if you go for a midi version and I used some black stash fabric which feels a bit like a rayon knit and I made mine in a size 6 with no adjustments to the pattern. I also went for the self lined yoga waistband, I’m all about comfort. I chose to add in the optional side slits, I thought walking ease would be better. Like all Sinclair Patterns, the files are available in regular, petite and tall sizes.

US0-US22 / UK8-UK26
PETITE 152-160 cm /5 1” – 5 3”
REGULAR 162-170 cm / 5 4” – 5 6”
TALL 170-178 cm / 5 7” – 5 9”

     

This is a relatively quick sew with a really nice outcome. It’s beginner friendly and instructions are really clear and thorough with lots of extra information. Essentially, sew up your desired waistband, then the skirt side seams and attach said waistband to skirt. Fabric type will also determine the seasonality of the skirt from a lightweight knit for warmer months to something a bit thicker for the cooler.

Although the weather is quite cold here at the moment the skirt hasn’t had much wear, this weekend I plan to test drive it with some tights and ankle boots.

The Mia knit maxi skirt pattern is currently on sale for $5.99 US ($7.79 AUS) until this Sunday 11th August 2019.

*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.

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Ivy Tee by Sinclair Patterns

I type this blog post while I’m wearing a Sinclair Pattern, the sunset lounge pants and it’s no secret therefore that the Ivy Tee by Sinclair Patterns will also become a wardrobe favourite which I tested* recently.

Although this pattern may look complicated it is quite quick to sew together. The unique back pleat adds some interest to what may otherwise be considered another colour blocked tee. It opens up a lot of possibilities of fabric combinations. The Ivy tee is semi-fitted at the bust but has a looser fit at the waist and hips. The curved hem adds an extra special touch, with a slightly longer back, and there are 3 sleeve length options.

Like all Sinclair Patterns, this one includes different print formats, layers, a large size range and different versions for petite, regular and tall. I’m normally a regular and used this version for my test garment. I made a size 10 though I would normally make a 12. I looked at the ease and thought perhaps I would prefer a bit less this time around. My fabrics are from the stash but I think they are both rayon knits. This could be considered a scrap busting project as the yokes do not require much fabric and neither does the short sleeve length.

 

Perhaps one thing to note is to make sure the weight of your yoke fabric is equal or heavier than the back bodice piece as it can cause some pulling, especially with the extra fabric in the pleat having extra weight behind it.
This pattern is designed for knits although one tester made a version using woven for the back, something I may try in the future. If you look at Pinterest for inspiration for colour blocked tees, the possibilities are endless and you could add features such as a pocket or lace yoke, which was my original plan until I couldn’t the right fabric combination. I do plan on making more Ivy tees though, the fit is really good as is the length of the top. From the photos here however the back doesn’t hang well but I think it has to do with the fact I had another top underneath and quite possibly may have benefited from going up a size at the hips.


The Ivy tee is only on sale for a few more days at the price of $6.99 up until July 12th. If you haven’t experienced Sinclair Patterns before, you will be pleasantly surprised.

*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.

Mirri Wrap Dress by Wardrobe by Me

The Mirri Wrap Dress** by Wardrobe by Me Patterns has been popular over the sewing web however it recently underwent a re vamp with an increase in the size range (US 0-24 & EU 30-54) and improved instructions and I was happy to be part of the testing process*.

The Mirri dress is body-hugging with a faux wrap bodice and a shawl-like classic collar. The neckline is a modest V and the skirt is fitted through the high hip area and flared at the hem. The pattern comes with four length options, blouse, knee, mid calf and maxi length.

I made the mid calf length using black and multi cheetah rayon knit (95% rayon/5% elastane). I had some head scratching to do when it came to creating the pleats on the bodice at first, not sure why I was so perplexed when really it is explained well in the instructions, but I think I was folding the wrong way initially. The shawl collar also requires some concentration to ensure the fabrics are facing the correct way, ensure you are focused at this point as it can get confusing but the finish is really nice. Or maybe it was confusing for me because this was a late night sew!

I’m so happy to have another dress in my wardrobe that is easy to wash and wear and feels great on. I think this is a very flattering style. Since I have made 2 faux wrap dresses quite close together I will change my focus for a bit. I have lots still to blog about and lots of sewing to do as my stash shrinking is not going to well and I had a big buying month in March. More on that at a later date.

*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 Wardrobe by Me Patterns

Diana Wrap Dresses by Wardrobe by Me

This post is so over due …… here’s why!

I first made two versions of the Diana Wrap Dress back in March 2016 when I tested for Wardrobe by Me (**affiliate link). I have worn those dresses quite a bit and needed a new dress that allowed baby feeding access at the time. This summer I will just be able to enjoy wearing it without that functionality anymore.

                         

I made this when I had a christening to attend. I used a multi printed tropical rayon knit (95% viscose/ 5% elastane) and went with the no collar, short sleeve version although there is the option of also making the collar detachable and 5 sleeve lengths. I wanted a maxi dress so lengthened the dress by 14 inches and due to fabric restrictions, I tapered the skirt for a straighter look using the notch at the hip for reference and I just cut straight down to the hem. Construction wise I followed the instructions which are clear and have great pictorials.

                                                 

Because I have made this dress before, I knew I didn’t have to alter for fit which is great for me and made it and a relatively quick sew. I think the nature of the wrap dress is to flatter all women which I think this pattern does and I always feel good when I wear them.

**This post contains affiliate links to Wardrobe by Me Patterns

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

Kwik Sew 3489 Tropical Wrap Dress

In my quest to find a perfect wrap dress I decided to try the Kwik Sew 3489 pattern. With lots of positive reviews and a nice shape I thought it was worth a try. I purchased this red printed rayon knit # 2 tropical (100% rayon) back in May, started the dress in July and finally finished it in November. I wasn’t sure what to make with the fabric initially but found this image in Stylish Sewing with Stitches magazine, Volume 23, No 6 and used it as my inspiration. I have since bought fabric that is more similar to the image but don’t really want two red based wrap dresses in my closet.

dress

I made view B which has short sleeves, no collar and spaghetti wrap around ties whereas the ties in view A are slightly wider and only tie at the side. Many reviews mentioned that sizing runs big, and I found this to be true also and went down a size but realistically could have gone down another.

Kwik sew front                           kwik sew side 2  Kwik sew back

My fabric shifted a lot while cutting and sewing as it is so light weight and for this reason I should have lined the dress, but being lazy I didn’t, I just need to wear a slip underneath. I made the mistake of attaching the wrong sleeves to the left and right sides and although it doesn’t make a real big difference when worn, I had to stretch while sewing slightly to get them to fit. I didn’t realise this until after I had stitched and serged the first one on and wasn’t going to unstitch my work.

I also found it unusual that they mention in the instructions to use a bobby pin to turn the narrow tube of the ties, I do this all the time and find it much more reliable than a safety pin, even for threading elastic through channels.

The instructions provide the option to add elastic to the waistline, normally I wouldn’t, but found my fabric has little recovery and the bodice was loose anyway, so in this instance I chose too. This also helps with preventing the weight of the skirt from lowering the waistline too much when worn.

Kwik sew side

                                Kwik sew side 4 Kwik sew back 2

I ended up top stitching the opening where the tie runs through the right side seam for extra strength and support, otherwise it is left raw. The neckline is interfaced and I found mine wanted to flip out a lot, probably because the bodice is actually a bit big, but decided to top stitched the neckline as per the optional instructions. I also squared off the curve on the front wrap portion to make a more classic wrap dress. You can see how much the fabric has dropped as my version looks much longer than the pattern envelope. The wrap is fairly substantial, no accidental exposure.

Kwik sew wrap

I will be making this again with a more stable knit and will definitely size down the bodice but keep the same size on the skirt. I really like the fit of this otherwise and it doesn’t take long to sew.

NapTime T-shirt and Peplum Top from Scraps for the Kids

I mentioned previously how I wanted to avoid adding to my scrap pile after each project so was straight onto using this rayon knit (100% polyester) in a #4 scatter pink colourway, and white ITY knit (95% polyester, 5% spandex) from my Athena Top. I came across a free raglan shirt pattern from Nap-time Creations.sleeve pattern

I wanted a flutter sleeve, something girly. I simply retraced the sleeve pattern, shortened it to a length I felt appropriate and then drew in vertical lines and slashed and spread. My new sleeve pattern piece was born. I found the size to run true in this pattern.

sleeve insertionI serged the armhole/sleeve opening and sewed on the sleeves and then the remaining sleeve opening was folded inwards and top stitched. I didn’t hem the sleeves as the jersey doesn’t fray and I don’t think I would have got a nice finish on the curved hem anyway. I mistakenly however forgot to raise the armscye which would normally be attached to a sleeve but in this case it is probably 2cm too low. I will make this change next time for sure.

sleeve hem turned under

For the neckband, back and sleeves I used the ITY, and cut a band 1.75 inch wide with a length of 41 cm for the neckband.

topstitching

I sewed the entire top together using a straight stitch as the zig zag wasn’t looking too great but I did read recently as long as you stretch the fabric behind and in front of the needle while sewing then the strain on the seam whilst the top is being worn shouldn’t pop any stitches. See how we go after a few wears. I did a 1/2 inch hem in the end and hemmed with a stretch twin needle. This top has quite conveniently matched up with the Schoolday skirts I made recently. Two new outfits in one week 🙂

My second scrap busting project used the remnants, brights printed crepe de chine # 4 in yellow/grey (100% polyester) and poly matt crepe de chine in ivory (100% polyester) from my final version of the Athena top. I wasn’t sure how to use it for kids clothing because the colours are quite dark so thought just a little accent would be enough. I found the peplum top by On the Cutting Floor pattern online and probably should have flat pattern measured but thought the 4 would be good for miss 3 1/2, turns out I as wrong as it fits miss 1 1/2. The top is both too short and tight. I’ll definitely be making changes if I make it again for my oldest one.

front      back

I followed the instructions as written for the most part but ran into trouble with the armholes whereby facing and fabric are to both be turned into each other 1/4 inch and then top stitched. This is extremely fiddly on such a small scale so next time I will be bias binding the armholes.

I do like how a facing is included in this pattern but unfortunately due to fabric choice it does show through, I just ensured I finished everything off nicely. I probable should have done french seams because of the light coloured fabric but there aren’t too visible from the outside. I used some stash navy bias binding for contrast on the bottom of the peplum.

I deviated from the pattern in terms of button closure. I sewed the long rectangles along the back closure as described but then sewed the opening together about 11cm down from the neckline to where the peplum seam starts with the peplum section left open (if that makes sense). There were a number of reasons for this. Firstly I only had 2 of these cute 15mm flower buttons in my stash, secondly it fits over her head comfortably with this size of opening, and lastly, trying to get a 1 1/2 year old to sit still so I can do up 4 buttons is asking for trouble. So now I need to sew up some bottoms to match this peplum top.

So many goals and not enough time. Along with stash and scrap busting I’m aiming to work through my pinterest kids clothes inspiration board so sorry if kids things don’t interest you there probably will be a few kids clothes posts in the future.