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.

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Bloem Top by The Eli Monster as a Brand Ambassador Sew

I’m not doing a great job promoting these patterns at the moment as a brand ambassador but am trying to stay diligent for 2019.

The Bloem Top (**affiliate link) by The Eli Monster is a simple, airy casual top perfect for warmer weather. Excellent for beginners as the necessary sewing techniques are basic and also it is super fast to sew. This top features bias trim neckline and arm openings, a simple single button back closure and a subtle high/low hem. There is also a kids version available if you want to add some wardrobe basics for everyone.

Like the rest of The Eli Monster’s patterns, The Bloem Top is layered which means you only need to print the size you are making.  All steps are accompanied by colour photographs. To save paper, cutting dimensions for rectangular pieces are included in lieu of pattern pieces.

I used a nice drapey mustard sketch printed rayon 135cm (100% viscose rayon). Looking back however perhaps I could go down 2 sizes next time as it has ended up quite roomy but also perfect for hot, sweltering weather. Also I made an error with the neckline but didn’t bother fixing it. The bias trim is not mean to be turned completely to the inside which I did without thinking, but instead should be half visible as a finish. I’m okay with that in this version because I was too lazy to make my own so used black instead and don’t know if that would have been visually appealing. Also because I did this, those neck gathers aren’t as obvious as they are meant to be as I sewed them down when I top stitched. Face Palm!!!!

The fit issue I have become more aware the more I sew is that often armholes are too tight in sleeveless garments. This is not the case with the Bloem top. They come down quite low so I’m not feeling restricted in any way and also no undergarments are visible so don’t need to worry about showing too much.

For quite a simple top the finishes are nice. The instructions have you finish the hem with bias tape however I cheated and surged, turned and top stitched. I wasn’t sure if the bias would affect how the hem flowed since this fabric is so drapey. Probably not an issue if I had made my own with the same fabric however the bought bias felt a bit stiff.

Also once complete, I noticed the back closure was not really necessary as I can get the top on and off without undoing it. I’m not sure if I went down a couple of sizes whether this would be affected but will need to check for next time. I would love to make a nice crisp white version for summer, perhaps in some eyelet fabric.

I honestly recommend this pattern for a wardrobe basic which takes no time to sew up.

**This post contains affiliate links to The Eli Monster Patterns

Also just a quick update on my fabric quota for the month of January according to my Stash Shrinker in this post. I purchased 10.1m for the month of January and sewed 3.5m. Lets hope February sways more the other way!

Miss Sophie Top by 1 Puddle Lane

I have been in the throes of testing once again but have been fortunate enough to also be selective in what I apply to test to ensure it’s going to be worn over the season.

The Miss Sophie by 1 Puddle Lane* pretty much hit the mark as the pattern to replicate yet again another inspiration I have gathered in what is the rabbit hole of Pinterest. The pattern comes with all the features that I think are now expected with PDF patterns. The instructions are clear and thorough and there are two sleeve variations a split sleeve, or non split sleeve, both ending in either gathers or a cuff or go without the gathers and cuff altogether. It features a scoop, bound neckline with a front keyhole and the size range is 6-26AU/2-22US. The top is loose and floaty thus looks best with woven fabric with a soft drape.

I chose to test using a draper floral rayon (100% rayon). I made a size 12 with the split sleeve and cuff. I especially love the hem line of the top with a slightly longer back and a small side split. The top is very floaty and comfortable, a great transitioning piece. I have made some small ties to sew at the end of my sleeve split just as a variation but haven’t sewn them on yet.

I don’t believe any changes were made to the final pattern. I have already bought my fabric, washed and dried it for my next version which actually closely resembles my inspiration blouse. Can’t wait to find time to sew it up now that we are heading into school holidays.

1 Puddle Lane is having a 20% off storewide till this Friday, 28th September.  Just use the code:  SOPHIE20 at the checkout. There are a lot of great patterns to chose from.

**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.

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.

 

Eleni Top and Dress by DesignerStitch Patterns, Includes a Pregnancy Version!

Another DesignerStitch pattern test for both a top and dress. The Eleni (Aff link**) is a modern design that can be easily modified to suit your fashion and comfort specifications. It comes as a top, tunic, short dress or maxi with a number of sleeve variations and optional ruffle or straps and instructions for a modesty panel or to convert to a peasant style outfit. Plus a neck and waist tie. Value for money people!!!

I offered to test* this pattern knowing my baby bump may affect the way this top draped. I chose the top version with the flounce and straps. I chose to omit the sleeves altogether and just added bias binding around the armholes, but otherwise construction was as per the instructions. My fabric is some sort of paisley cotton, my fabric catalogue goes hazy at the start of my pregnancy!!

                                                                             

As a personal preference I also made the straps half the width of the recommended pattern piece. It still covers my bra straps perfectly. As is visible from the photos though, the baby bump raises the front hemline, I assure you it’s definitely straight. I didn’t take this into account when cutting because will more than likely wear this top post baby.

Additionally, I hadn’t realised until my photos were posted on Facebook in the testing group that I had worn this top incorrectly, ie it should be going over the arms, not under, so bare this in mind, yours will look different.

For version 2 I decided to make a maxi dress, again with the flounce and short sleeves. This is using the finalised pattern. I cheated and made this from knit fabric so it can actually stretch/grow with me for the last few months of pregnancy, but also hoping it would recover well post pregnancy and be comfortable for breastfeeding (without the straps). I sized down by one size as there is some ease with this pattern.

To the left is my inspiration. I wanted a basic black version but wanted to do some stash busting and so used this grey jersey knit instead, plus I had 4 metre of it. I  went with the waist tie with the thought that post pregnancy it would help with the waist definition. I again added the straps to this version but to half the width of the pattern piece. My chest needs all the support it can get so going strapless at this stage isn’t an option, although they can easily be removed at a later date if necessary. Here it’s shown with my bump at 38 weeks.

 

 

Coral Off Shoulder Ruffle Maternity Maxi

                                              

*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

Chloe Top and Dress by Lily Sage & Co for Me and My Mini-Me

Where have I been?????? Busy with life. I am now expecting munchkin number 3 and have so much more going on that it is hard to focus on blogging, not to mention that sewing has been slow going anyway. So before I get into my new makes I’m going to try and catch up on my draft blog posts waiting patiently to be published.

I have yet another edition of my testing* journey. I have tested both kids and women’s patterns for Debbie from Lily Sage & Co, before and was eager to test this one too as this style has been on my radar for some time and it’s currently on trend, it’s the Chloe dress. Mind you, testing for this was way back in May 2016, so a long time ago…

The Chloe dress comes with a short or long dress options and a top. I chose the top version during my test hoping to make a dress after, but that hasn’t eventuated.

It’s a simple dress in that there are only three pattern pieces, but not simple in that the edges are finished with bias binding. Keep that in mind if you are using a delicate, lightweight fabric and making your own bias.

There is a lot of ease in this pattern and I went down a size. My fabric is some poly chiffon 4587 in blue (100% polyester) and I used store bought electric blue bias binding. The good thing with this top is that you can wear all your usual under garments or tank tops for modesty.

Conveniently, Debbie also drafted a kids version, ages 5 – 10. Who doesn’t love mummy and me outfits? I agreed to test* this one too using some #1 zig zag rayon in black and pink (100% rayon) . Of course coming off the adult version, this one actually took no time to sew really.

We love, love, love these additions to our wardrobes. I must admit my daughter has really made the most of wearing hers to the point that summer is over and she still asks to wear it although it is a bit shorter on her now.

I’m hoping post baby I can get back into sewing some dress versions for myself.

*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.

Georgia Tops by DesignerStitch Patterns

Amongst unselfish sewing for my girls I have been doing some sewing of my own, namely pattern testing* for DesignerStitch Patterns, again.

The Georgia top/dress is a comfy yet classy wardrobe staple. It has a boxy look, no darts so is easy to fit, with wide sleeves and optional back pleat. It gives you a good opportunity to mix fabrics and of course has the option of making a top or dress. There is also the layer feature so you only need to print the size(s) you need in addition to a copy shop printable version.

DSC_0086                            DSC_0085 DSC_0080

For both of my versions I opted for the pleat-free back.

My first version was made during testing, using some not very friendly fabrics, navy premium faille (100% polyester) for the body, and navy 100% dance poly chiffon (100% polyester) for the yoke. I may have slightly used too much heat when pressing because I’m not sure if this sits quite right and there may have been some shrinkage of the fabrics. Pattern pieces are provided to make the neck binding.

It is a really quick sew, and like always, everything lines up perfectly and instructions are easy to understand.

My second version was planned as a dressier summer top, using would you believe, a bed sheet from IKEA (52% poly/ 48% cotton). I liked the stiffness of the fabric and the lightness, almost like a linen, not to mention for $6 I have heaps of fabric left for other projects. For the yoke I used some white rayon remnants (100% rayon) from a yet to finish top from 6 months ago and still counting, and the sleeve bands are faux ivory leatherette (50% PU/ 40% poly) from my Salamanca jacket.

Georgia topo front Georgia top side               Georgia top back

It’s a great top, and the dress is too, but it’s just not my particular style. Not sure if it would flatter me or make me look frumpy. Perhaps when summer rolls around I may try it more as a beach cover up dress or add a belt or tie.

*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.