Rio Raglan

I love a raglan top because you can use up those odd cuts you have hanging around for a fun and colorful shirt or you can make it solid for a cute basic tee! The problem I have with them is that I have tried out so many and none were perfect. They were always too relaxed, not relaxed enough, the neckline was too wide, too high, too low, the hem wasn’t to my liking, the length wasn’t right, the sleeves were too tight…and the list goes on and on! So when I tested the Rio raglan from So Sew English, I was fully prepared to make adjustments after my first tester version. But to my surprise, the only adjustment I had to do was grading out one size for my hips (which I always have to do anyway, no matter the pattern)!!! This pattern has all the options you would need~ crop, tee and tunic length~ v neck or crewneck~ short, 3/4 and long sleeves

For the pattern test I was assigned tunic length, short sleeve, crew neck version. I made a size xl graded to 1x hips but no other adjustments whatsoever, not even for height. I used a gray and white striped french terry for the bodice and raided my scrap bin for the sleeves!!! I didn’t think I would like the tunic length and planned to cut it down to tee length after testing…but I kind of love it and am going to keep it long!

My second one was tee length, crew neck with 3/4 sleeves made in the buffalo plaid dbp for the bodice and black/white stripe dbp sleeves…I am in love with this one and have had several people try to steal it already!!!!

And my newest one was supposed to have different options BUT I loved the plaid one so much that I wanted more with those same options! So I pulled out the coral striped dbp for the bodice and sewing machine dbp for the sleeves…I am in love with this one too!

Raglans truly are about the easiest thing you can make, so they are perfect for beginners…and those of us that just don’t have much time but we want to make something! LOL You can grab your copy of Rio here : https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/products/rio-raglan?_pos=1&_sid=732747f7f&_ss=r

Thank you for being here and if you have anything you would like me to talk about in a future post, send me an email or leave a comment!

Callie~ the cutest cardigan around!

Sonia Estep Designs Callie cardigan has been around for a while, but she just got an update! A longer length and bishop sleeves were added plus it’s also now available in projector format! I have also made the vest version of this adorable waterfall cardigan but today I am just going to talk about this one.

I used red/blue Aspen stripe double brushed poly from So Sew English https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/products/red-blue-aspen-stripe-floral-double-brushed-poly-spandex-by-the-yard?_pos=3&_sid=5167c4590&_ss=r. I tried the long length and because I love bishop sleeves, I had to have those!!! Can we please just take a moment to appreciate the sleeves!

I wasn’t sure if I would like the longer length…but I do and will be making so many more in that length!!! It always amazes me that something this beautiful can also be a really quick sew! I made this in just a little over an hour…it could be even quicker if you don’t hem it, but I love the clean look of a hem! And because you can’t just have a new cardigan, I also made a new Maggie tank in this beautiful royal blue poly cotton jersey! Dreamy, right?!!! Maggie is also from Sonia Estep Designs and is free with a code in the facebook group!!! In less than 2 hours I was able to make both of these…and wore them the same night! I highly recommend all patterns from Sonia Estep Designs because the tutorials are so well written and easy to follow, but also because the fit is always spot on…as long as you take your measurements properly!

Thank you for being here! And if you would like to purchase any patterns from Sonia Estep Designs using my affiliate link I would appreciate the support so very much! http://sonia-estep-designs.myshopify.com?aff=8 My link doesn’t cost you anything extra, but it does give me a small bonus.

Mandy!

We have all seen the super cute side tie tops and dresses on Pinterest. Well, Sonia Estep Designs has given us her take on the look…but better! The newest SED pattern is Mandy and I am thrilled that I got to test it. This pattern has tie or no tie options, dress or shirt length and short or long sleeves! The options are endless with this one.

My first version was a no tie, short sleeve, shirt length in a black/white polka dot single brushed poly from So Sew English Fabrics https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/ . I love the fit of this top, however I may go back and add a waistband to it. I have an average 8″ sidewaist that patterns are drafted for but I am 5’7″ so sometimes I have to add a little length to the bottom…usually I don’t know if I need to until I make the first one! This is one that I think I would be more comfortable with an extra inch at the hip, but it is super cute so I’m definitely not going to let it sit in my closet unworn!

Now, I don’t know if you can see it or not but this pattern has a seam down the back. What is the benefit of this? #1 is you don’t have to cut the back on the fold which makes it easier to save fabric! I was able to get this one from less than a yard! #2 and the most important is that it gives you a beautiful fit and a little extra shape at the waist!

For my second one I made long sleeve, dress length with the tie in a brushed hacci sweater knit from Surge Fabric Shop https://surgefabricshop.com/. I cannot even begin to tell you how soft and cozy this sweater knit is…you are going to just have to trust me!!! I will say that a sweater dress with leggings and boots in August will make you sweaty while you are trying to get somewhat decent photos! And can we just talk about that adorable knot!

Now to tell you the best part about this pattern…it is such a quick sew! I made the basic polka dot one in under an hour, cut to finish, and the dress only took me just a hair over an hour!!! I love patterns that look so fancy and complicated but really are just as simple as a basic tee! This is a pattern that I highly recommend…actually I love all SED patterns! The tutorials are so easy to follow and the fit is always spot on!

*If you would like to purchase this pattern or any others (they are all fabulous), I would greatly appreciate your support! My affiliate link doesn’t cost you anything extra but it does give me a little incentive to keep sewing! #affiliate https://soniaestepdesigns.com/?aff=109

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What is a muslin and do I really need to make one?

This is my muslin of the Summit Peak hoodie from New Horizons Designs. This link contains my affiliate link https://newhorizonsdesigns.com/product/summit-peak-hoodie-for-women/?affiliates=ddb30680a691d157187ee1cf9e896d03

A muslin is a practice garment and you should always make one when you are trying out a new pattern. It not only helps you get the fit right but also lets you know if your fabric type works. No one wants to waste the “good fabric” on a garment that is not wearable. But if you are like me, you hate the idea of wasting time if it actually works out…I want to be able to wear everything I make! What to do, what to do? Do we just skip the practice one and go straight to the good stuff? NO!!! Just don’t do it!

So, what do we do instead? I always make a muslin with new patterns but I try to make a wearable muslin. It may not be perfect but I like to know that I still have a high quality item that I can at least sleep in or wear around the house. If they turn out really bad, I have been known to cut them down to make socks, underwear and tank tops! See…it’s not a total waste!

Muslin fabric should be inexpensive fabric, so that you don’t mind if it doesn’t work out, but also should be similar in weight and content to what your final product will be. When I first started, I bought the cheapest fabric I could find…the problem with that is it’s not high quality fabric. Cheap fabric will typically shrink, fade, or is not very soft…I really like soft, cozy fabrics!!! If you don’t like the feel, you will never wear it and definitely don’t want to make underwear out of it!

What am I supposed to do then??? Find a fabric source that you love!!! Most fabric shops will offer sales that allow you to get fabric for a great price, but that still may not be cheap enough for muslins. Be patient…all the great shops will offer mystery bundles! You may not love every single fabric, but you will know that the quality is there. Most of the time mystery bundles end up working out to less than $5 a yard!!!

I have a couple shops that I purchase mystery bundles from but my favorite is So Sew English Fabrics! https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/ Sometimes they will be themed boxes and sometimes they will be a total mystery. I stock up whenever I can because it’s great to have inexpensive fabric on hand for muslins and pattern tests! Here are a few SSE mystery bundles I have grabbed and I have not regretted a single one! The first one is the only one I remember the price since it’s the newest, but I know that all of them ended up figuring out to less than $4 a yard!!!

*I just looked and So Sew English happens to have mystery bundles available right now…but hurry because they don’t last long! The good news, though, is that they restock them quite often!!! https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/search?type=product&q=mystery*

If there is anything you ever want me to talk about, comment here or send me a message! Happy Sewing!

Oh, Lucy! You are a cute little tank!

One of the things I have discovered that I love doing is testing new patterns! It is a lot of fun being one of the first people to try out a pattern but my favorite part is that it pushes me out of my box. Before I started making my own clothes, my wardrobe consisted of a basic top (that I usually bought in multiple colors) and jeans. I hated shopping because nothing fit me correctly which put me into a mindset of hating my body. It turns out that my body is not the problem…the problem is ready to wear clothes and their goofy sizing. *I got sidetracked~back to testing!* I have tried so many styles that I typically would not even try and it has forced me to try new techniques that I never learned! I have made rompers, dresses, shorts, cute tanks, learned to do buttonholes, learned about grading to get the perfect fit(I’m still learning though) and tried so many new types of fabric! I don’t always love every single garment but I do always love the way I feel after I have made something that fits me.

The newest pattern I got to test is Lucy from Sonia Estep Designs…isn’t it just adorable?!?! For this tank I chose an ity from So Sew English Fabrics and I really am in love! I love to be warm and snuggly, so I always choose dbp and it is so hard to get out of that box…and let’s face it, I will probably always choose dbp when I can! But sometimes it is hot outside and you need one of those cool, lightweight fabrics (and I am trying to push myself to try new things)! ITY is so easy to work with and has a beautiful drape. And what do you know, SSE has this exact fabric in stock: https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/products/royal-pink-blush-lilly-floral-bulgaree-ity-knit-by-the-yard?_pos=3&_sid=01ef10460&_ss=r

SED patterns are all drafted so well plus the instructions are very easy to follow, making them the perfect patterns for beginners and experienced sewists alike! Lucy is no exception…the only thing I struggled with is topstitching the binding, but that is not the patterns fault! Sometimes my machines like to fight me plus I have never been great at binding! But you had better believe that I am going to be practicing so that I can have that perfect binding next time around!!! Even fighting (re: seam ripping) the binding, this top still only took me an hour from cut to hem!

As an added bonus, this tank looks so cute with the Iris shorts I made using millenium woven, also from SSE! We all know that fall will be here soon, but don’t worry because Lucy looks super cute layered under a Juliette cardigan too! If I haven’t convinced you yet that you need this tank…it is also on sale for release weekend! Using my affiliate link does not cost you anything extra but it does help me to keep sewing: https://soniaestepdesigns.com/?aff=109

I hope you love Lucy as much as I do…and try to not be super jealous of my awesome tan lines! LOL

Let’s all sew something beautiful today!