Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Itch to Stitch Gothenburg Top

 Hello everyone!

I am back today with another review for you!

As soon as I finished sewing the ITS Bainbridge top, the opportunity to sew the Gothenburg became available.  I almost passed it up except for two things--it has EIGHT steps, and is a quick sew!  Winning!  You can definitely sew this top in an hour or less, and the end result is extremely gratifying:

I am so excited to celebrate the release of this pattern today!  It is available now with a special discounted price for a limited time only.  Here is the description:

"The Gothenburg Top is the epitome of casual chic.  With simple lines, the wonderfully easy and elegant Gothenburg lets the fabric do all the talking.  The Gothenburg is designed for structured knit fabric, and as a result, the funnel neck stands up to create an interesting feature."

I sewed a size 4 with "A" cup size.  I added very slight blending to 6 because of the length with this style, and how it falls on the hips (high hip on the front and hip level dip at the back).  I also added my typical 1" lengthening, and moved the bust point down 1/2". My choice of fabric is (did you guess it) microfleece!  LOL!  I am still having fun with this fabric, and knew the structure and low stretch amount would be perfect for the funnel neckline.  

This pattern is wonderful for beginners and up. My biggest tip is to choose your fabric wisely to ensure that the neckline feature is not floppy.  Ponte and Scuba are additional great choices.

For construction of the neckline, you sew right sides together, fold the funnel neck down, and then tack the top side edge of it to the seam allowance.  

 I decided to leave the funnel edges unfinished since I only had gray serger thread, and I didn't want to take a chance at it being seen.  My funnel held up beautifully, though there were other testers who chose to invisibly catch-stitch theirs.  I wore my top the entire day I took these photos and everything stayed nicely.

I did not have anything like this top in my wardrobe already, and now I am SO glad I do!  For an easy sew, it makes a big impact.  If you use a stunning fabric or print, you can really allow the fabric to shine!

You can see the wonderful versions that other pattern testers made by clicking here.

Stay sew filled!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Made It Patterns Hug Hoodie #bhmpatterndesigners

 Hello everyone!

Today's garment has special meaning to me.  Year after year I have wanted to participate in the Black History Month Pattern Designer challenge.  I always seemed to miss it because I was working on other things.  This year, while I had a few other things going on, I decided I was going to finish something if I submitted it on the last day!  Well, that is exactly what I did, lol!  

Here is the Hug Hoodie by Made It Patterns:


When I saw the line drawing, I knew immediately that I wanted to make this pattern.  Actually, when I saw the version made one of the hosts of the challenge, the Island Sewcialist, it pushed me in the direction to purchase the pattern right away! I adore how the curved hem combines with the hoodie (or neckline) feature.  And the best part is, the overlapped hem is a trick to the eye.  It doesn't even attach all the way up...

I made a size UK 10 lengthened by 2 inches.  I did a little research and looked up other versions of this pattern, and saw that it appeared to be a bit more cropped than I wanted.  I usually always lengthen by 1 inch, since most patterns are drafted for someone 5'6 (this one was), and I am taller.  I threw in another inch for good measure, and it hits me exactly where I want.  However, I would be ok with it if it was a little more cropped too--especially if I wore it with a high-waisted jogger. 


The fabric I used is a Solid Ember Rib Knit from Joann Fabrics.  It is a midweight knit that behaved more like a ponte.  I got it on sale, and figured I would use it eventually.  This project was the perfect fit.  For future versions I would definitely play with mixing two different fabrics.  In fact, a neat feature of the instructions is that there is a page of line drawings specifically designed for you to color in the various aspects of the design so you can visualize how the finished garment would look to color block.  I love that!

Also, these instructions are the most fun that I have sewn!! They were very down-to-earth and playful, like you were sewing with your best friend.  I can't wait to sew another garment from this company, and have my eye on the Glide Jacket.  This pattern is a beginner friendly one with in-depth photos and a neckline option if you don't care for a hoodie.

Overall, this one is a KEEPER!!  I am already planning a version for my daughter.  

And thankfully, this hoodie fits!

I was a little nervous, but there was plenty of room to spare. Perhaps it is just low stretch designs I need to be careful of.

I would like to mention one thing I learned with this garment that hit me on a personal level.  I fully believe that representation matters, and love celebrating Black pattern designers as a Black woman myself.  That is a big reason I am grateful to be a part of #bhmpatterndesigners this year. However, I realize I have unintentionally neglected this corner of the market.  I have been so caught up in buying patterns I like in the mainstream, that I haven't seen what else is out there.  Well, now that I am aware, I am going to make more of an effort to sew Black pattern designers as a personal choice.  Sew Natural Dane has a great list of designers to start with, and there are so many great companies that I just wasn't aware of, but am glad to know about now.  I hope that this challenge continues to shine a bright light on these designers/business owners, and impact the sewing world with their voices.  

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Itch to Stitch Bainbridge Pullover

 Hello everyone!

I am over the moon excited to be sharing a new pattern release with you today!  I have been a fan of the Itch to Stitch pattern company since I sewed the Uvita top a year or so ago.  I thought it was a great pattern to gauge the way the pattern fit on me, and as a free download, who could ask for more?  Well, just recently I saw a public testing call for the Itch to Stitch Bainbridge pullover.  As you may know, I have been in a relaxed and easygoing mode here lately.  When I sewed the Sew News Palmer Pullover I fell in love with the comfort and style of the garment, and appreciated that I didn't have anything else like it in my wardrobe.  The Bainbridge pullover looked like an opportunity to add more items in this category; so, I applied to test the ITS pattern, and was pleased when I found out I was accepted!

This pattern is fabulous!

The line drawing alone drew me in...

It has a half front placket with snaps, stand-up collar, bias-bound hem and sleeve hem.  I am always intrigued when you do not have to do a traditional hem.  That is one of the reasons I like the Sewaholic Renfrew, and sew it every year.  Other positive notes to this pattern include cup sizes, bust darts for shaping, and POCKETS! 

Now that you know the description, let me tell you how I did with this pattern.

Can I tell you I am now in love with cup sizes??  This was my first time using them, and my measurements put me in the A cup category.  So I made a size 4A with no grading.  I figured the ease in the pattern would cover my waist measurement sufficiently, and it did.  My only other adjustments were my normal 1" lengthening of bodice/placket, 1/4" forward shoulder adjustment, and 1/2" lowered bust point.

The instructions were wonderful!  There were two techniques I especially loved.  For the binding, you start with the RIGHT side of the tape pinned to the WRONG side of the fabric.  Then, when you stitch it and fold the tape over to the RIGHT side, you simply edgestitch it and you are done.  It is great because you don't have to blindly catch the underside, and the seen portion comes out beautifully due to the stitching.  This is going to be my preferred method!

My second favorite method was the pocket construction for the front.  Kennis Wong (ITS creator) has you use the seam allowance to attach the pockets, and they are then stitched down and closed off with the bias bound hem.  So nice!!!!

The fabric I used is a Microfleece in a burgundy color from Joann Fabrics.  For the contrast I used cotton plaid because I wanted to make my own bias binding.  You can certainly purchase your binding if you like.  Microfleece is quickly becoming an absolute favorite of mine! It sews beautifully, has some structure, but also enough minimal stretch in it to comfortably fall on your body.  Other recommended fabrics include Sherpa, sweatshirting, and any medium weight stretch woven.  There were so many lovely versions made by other testers, and you can check them out by visiting the Itch to Stitch blog.

I styled the top with my beloved Ginger jeans--the second pair I ever made. They are now very loved and worn in. 

For the snaps I used Snapsource size 16 in Antique Brass.  I already had the adapter to install the snaps since I have sewn baby clothes for friends in the past, and I was looking forward to using the tool for an "adult" project, lol!  I forgot how EASY they are to install, and now I want more reasons to put snaps on all the things!

Overall, I can't say enough good things about this top! It feels really good on, and I am grateful for the opportunity to test for Itch to Stitch.  I can say that there will be more testing involved with them in the future (woo hoo), and I have now fully converted to team Itch to Stitch by purchasing the Castillo cardigan to sew for Spring. 

Stay sew filled!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Love Notions Oakley Vest

 Hello everyone!

Today I am back with an item I finished in January--the Love Notions Oakley vest.  I wanted to compile everything I sewed for the month in a post, but I just didn't have the heart to do it. So, I am posting things here and there with the hopes of having some garments to share for February.

Now, on to the Love Notions Oakley vest!

This vest has been on my list for many years.  I kept missing the "window of opportunity" to sew and wear it, so I would push it to the following year.  Once this year started I got into a rhythm of sewing vests, and this style popped into my queue immediately. I am so glad it did!

 Love Notions is quickly becoming a favorite Indie pattern company of mine.  I have found quite a few gems in their line, and I am sure there are still more to discover.  This particular vest pattern has three different views.  I made View B with patch pockets and collar.  There is also an option for a hood.  I would love to revisit this one for View A, a fully lined open vest designed for textured fabrics like faux furs.  

I made a size Small graded to Medium, and added my normal 1" for a longer torso.  The fabric is from Joanns, a quilted knit in red and black.  The stretch for this fabric is minimal, and the reverse side is a lovely quilted gray.  It is sturdy enough for this pattern, with just enough shaping for a comfortable fit.  While I was in Joann's the other day I noticed they have an entire line of beautiful quilted fabric in both solids and prints.  I highly recommend it for projects like these!

One of the things I loved was the binding of the patch pockets.  While this is a relatively simple pattern with only a few pieces, the bias binding was where all the real work was for me! I mean, come on!! LOL!  It is not hard to apply, only finicky. I purchased 1/2" double fold bias binding for this project in black, and it worked wonders. The only tricky part was navigating corners, but I found an amazing Youtube video that made it all clear.

Working with the plaid check also took a bit more time and attention on my part.  I have wanted to venture out with plaids, and have even started watching some Craftsy tutorials in order to continue to become more proficient in this area.  I am happy with how everything lined up at center front and side seams for this one!

A little trick I learned in the Craftsy class came in handy while cutting out the collar.  I originally tried to match it to the garment but kept running into issues.  I didn't have much fabric left (always buy more for plaids, ALWAYS), so I changed the orientation of the collar piece so that it was on the bias. I think it adds a nice detail to the collar, which I also ended up interfacing for stability.

For the zipper insertion I used a 27" plastic jacket zipper that I purchased from Wawak.  If you make the pattern as is, you would only need a 26" zipper, or less.  I wanted my zipper to come all the way up the vest because I planned on zipping it all the way up sometimes so 27" ended up being the perfect length for that.

The zipper is the last thing to be attached in the pattern, since all of the edges are bound at this point.  

I did tweak the fit of the shoulder seams and armholes a tiny bit.  When I tried the vest on, it was just a touch too long, so I trimmed off 1/4" before I applied the binding.  Other than that, this vest was worth all of the finagling I did to finish it!

I really appreciate the gentle curve of the hem, and I am wearing it with a black ribbed knit top made from Kwik Sew 3766.  Overall, I am so pleased with this pattern!  

Stay sew filled!