Date Night February…if I had date nights

Dates are rare for us. And when we have them, they’re so casual. We never dress up and get to do anything fancy. Being in my third trimester, I will also admit that I’m not feeling very into fancy right now anyway. I just want comfort. At all times. So, what’s a girl to do for a date night blog? Well, I think it’s all about how you feel. When you feel better, you look better. I have some maternity ideas for a sassy date night, but I need some more sewing time and materials to complete them, so I’ll those share later. Instead, I want to share with you two of my favorite pre-partum creations – ones I feel great in and that would be perfect for a dressy date night…if we had them (and also for work, and just wearing because it’s awesome, and…). 🙂

What are these amazing patterns, you ask? Up first, from one of my favorite designers, Greenstyle Creations: The Pace Skirt (affil link).

I know! An athletic skirt. What??? No, I don’t run on dates…or at all. But the Pace skirt is amazingly versatile.

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Well, some people used it for running. I like to show versatility in a pattern. So I tested it for snacking. Definitely works! 😉

This skirt is not just for running. A little length added, a non-athletic fabric choice, and voila! The Pace Skirt does date night.

Look at that sassy skirt! Is it not gorgeous in this plaid ponte??? Fabulous for a semi-dressy date night with these heels, right? (I’m really asking. I’m totally out of touch. Haha!) I love it so much. I can’t wait to wear it again once my belly is no longer in its own zip code. All I did was choose an everyday fabric that still had the right stretch (in this case a ponte), lengthened at the lengthen/shorten line by 6 inches (which is what worked for my body – that will change, depending on your height and where you want it to hit), and I skipped the shorts underneath. Done and done. One of my most favorite things I’ve ever sewn. I may attempt a maxi version once this baby is born. 🙂

But I promised you TWO date night pattern suggestions. Here’s the other. The Tessa Sheath Dress (affil link) by another of my favorite designers, Love Notions. I know some of you read sheath dress and cringed. I understand your fears. A sheath dress cannot be flattering on us un-tiny girls, right? WRONG. I’m a semi-neat hourglass shape. I’m like an hourglass that grew some apple-ness. 🙂 It’s just how I gain weight. My bust and hips are proportional (though my hip measurement is really all ass. I’m not particularly hippy or curvy, but I’ve got a mighty bubble butt), but I’ve plumped out in the middle over the years, so my waist is less defined. But that’s real bodies, right? We don’t easily fit into one category. (For more info on body types and the bloggers who share your shape, check out this post by Sewing by Ti!) I’ll put this body in a forgiving sheath (not a body con, just not my style) all day long. You can layer a cardigan over it on “fat days,” when self-esteem is not at its highest. You can belt it, accessorize it, throw a scarf on, pair it with different shoes, and get a different look every time. A good sheath dress is just so darn versatile! And the Tessa is a good sheath dress. Here are two of mine, styled differently and made in different materials to give you a sense of different ways to wear a dress like this. When my body is back to normal, I’ll do a more in-depth post on styling.

The blue on the left is Art Gallery CL, styled with simple neutral heels and a belt. The brown on the right is mystery ponte with Art Gallery woven for the yoke. It’s a tank, styled with a simple cropped circle cardigan and some of my favorite chucks. I’d wear either on a date night because that’s how I roll. I’m probably more likely to opt for fun sneakers than heels these days though. What about you?

If you’re looking for fabric for your date night sew (whether you’re going out, staying in, going on a date, or taking yourself on a date), I’ve got great news! Simply By Ti is offering 10% off to all the Date Night February readers! Use coupon code DATENIGHT and start sewing something you feel great in!

If you’re like me, you’re going to love all of the inspiration my fellow bloggers have for you. Be sure to check back all February long to see what patterns work for us!

Wednesday, February 1st: Sewing By Ti
February 2nd: Crafty Like a Rox
February 3rd: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 5th: Embrace Everyday
February 6th: Tenille’s Thread
February 7th: Robynne and the Bobbin
February 9th: Sewingly, Michelle
February 10th: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 12th: Embrace Every Day
February 13th: A Phoenix Risen
February 14th: Creative Counselor
February 15th: Creamer and Chaos
February 16th: Everything Your Mama Made and More
February 17th: Sewing By Ti
February 18th: Sew Like a Sloth

Sunday, February 19th: Very Blissful
February 20th: Tenille’s Thread
February 21st: Mamoose Handmade
February 22nd: Rebel and Malice
February 23rd: Margarita on the Ross
February 24th: Sewing By Ti
February 25th: On Wednesday We Sew

Sunday, February 26th: The Fairy Dust Bin
February 27th: Sewing By Ti
February 28th: Sew Haute

Greenstyle Scarlet Swing Dress

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Some patterns you know you’ll love right out of the gate. Greenstyle’s new Scarlet Swing Dress (affil link) is one of those patterns. I loved it as soon as I saw the line drawing for the tester call.

Of course, me being me, I had to do something to throw a kink in the works! Haha! Can you tell what material this is? Yes, it’s sweater knit, internet. I did it again. The curse of the sweater knit in testing continues! Well, only halfway continues, because I think this came out great in the end! But fits were had. Curse words were said. In short, I do NOT recommend sweater knit for this pattern. This time of year you may be tempted to make a cozy, cute, fashionable sweater swing dress. Hear me, dear readers, deny the temptation. DENY IT. 🙂 I have no regrets about my sweater knit creation though. Yes, it grew like 3 sizes while sewing and I had to take it in 1.75″ on the sides to make it fit again and the neck hole morphed to the size of a sink hole. And, yes, it did not want to be sewn, so I just serged the hem. But the serged look is kind of cool with this fabric, am I right? (I may go back and do long cuffs on the sleeves – what do you think?) And I don’t mind a sassy scoop neck for a night out. I can just throw a scarf on for work! I believe this creation is what my old acting teacher would have called “a happy accident”. A whole lot went wrong, but it came together to make something really right! 🙂

Back to the pattern. It’s fantastic. Cute on every body type/size I saw in testing. Great for me because it’s maternity friendly without being maternity wear.  I will rock this post part, let me tell you. I wore it to class and the girls LOVED it. I’m the coolest elderly classmate they’ve ever had. Hahahaha! Here’s the run down.

Greenstyle Scarlet Swing Dress (affil link)

Pattern description & options:

  • Sleeve options (so many!): short, elbow, 3/4 length, long, bell sleeve, and a cold shoulder option. FYI: it’s an inset sleeve.
  • Length options: tunic, short, long, short high/low, and long high/low (also easily lengthened and shortened)
  • Layers!
  • No trim pages
  • Large format available
  • Ideal fabrics include knits with good drape (NOT sweater knit, even though mine did turn out super cute in the end) – brushed poly worked very well in testing. That’s what I have on the cutting board now!

The pros:

  • Um…it’s adorable
  • Flattering on a number of body types
  • On trend (or so the young people tell me – ha!)
  • Versatile – dress it up, dress it down; different looks with different fabrics and pattern options; easily hackable for different looks – one tester did a floor length version. It was awesome!
  • It’s a fast sew…and this is coming from the sloth sewist.
  • Tip! Go by your bust size when selecting which size to make. If in between sizes, you’ll probably want to size down, especially if your fabric is really stretchy.

The cons:

  • All the cons I can come up with relate to my body or my fabric: the tunic length was a bit long on me in the sweater knit – still cute, no regrets. Sleeves are a little long on me, but that’s pretty standard. I apparently have short arms. I’m all torso and tiny limbs. 😉

Bottom line: I will wear this pattern throughout pregnancy and beyond. I’m a sucker for a swing dress, I admit. And, yes, I’m generally a fan of Greenstyle patterns. But this pattern is just the bomb dot com. I love it. Even in sweater knit (which is super cozy and delightfully comfortable, by the way). Especially in this soft as a fluffy sheep butt sweater knit. Soooooooooooooo soft. Could this be the beginning of the end of the sweater knit testing curse? Only time will tell.

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A curtsy in conclusion

Love Notions Terra Tunic (Maternity Style)

It’s rare that I say this, but I’m pretty proud of my Terra tunic (affil link).

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Fit pic from testing. I haven’t been able to get a better one yet. Quality pics coming soon! 

I regularly test for Love Notions. It is a privilege that I feel very lucky to have. And I love it, truly. Because I test regularly, I knew this pattern test was coming up and I was so excited to try it. But I had a death in the family when the actual test occurred, so I didn’t think I’d be able to participate. All I wanted to do when I came home from the looooooooooonnnnnnnnngggggggg trek out of state for the funeral services, was to sew this tunic. I was longing for the dependability of the testing experience. Tami (designer for LN) was kind enough to let me jump in. I am so grateful. It was a positive way to work through my grief, and it kept my mind busy with creativity when I just wanted to curl up in a ball and hibernate. For that alone, I will always love this top.

I also love it because I’m proud I made the modifications successfully. No, they weren’t particularly hard, but they were a challenge for my pregnant, sad, grad school drained brain. I’m proud that I’ve learned enough in the last year to figure out how to make an alteration like this. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make the modifications happen, and it was touch and go there a couple times…but, lo and behold, I did! The sewing gods were with me! And, dear readers, you know I had some sweater knit in my hand to try for this tunic. It’s true. I told you I never remember. But then I thought to myself, “NO. I have told the internet of my sweater knit testing curse. Do not use sweater knit again.” And for once, I listened to myself.  I used a deliciously soft and drapey french terry from So Sew English instead (with a faux microsuede accent). It’s SSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOO soft. I to wrap myself in it like a cocoon and never come out.

The mods:

I can’t say these are what will work best for everybody, but it worked for me and my body. (I’m going to add some pics shortly.)

On the front piece, I graded out from my normal XL to XXXL. I started the grade out just under the bust, reaching the max size at the waist, and then graded back to XXL at the hip (I have no hips). I curved the line slightly, so it was kind of belly shaped.

On the back piece, I graded from my usual XL to XXL. I started the grade out almost immediately at the bottom of the armscye. I often need a swayback adjustment and figured grading up a size would help accommodate for that and for the watermelon sized baggage in my front that will pull the fabric.

I’m thrilled with how it came out. I DID NOT lengthen the pattern (except for lengthening slightly at the bust line, according to my measurements). I really should have, but honestly, I was just tired and pregnant and didn’t feel like it.

Love Notions Terra Tunic (affil link)

Features/options:

  • multiple sleeve lengths (short, elbow, 3/4, long)
  • multiple neckline options (v-neck, boat neck, funnel neck, asymmetrical (which is what I did), scoop, and v-neck hood)
  • optional elbow patches
  • optional welt pockets (pockets!!!!!)
  • layers
  • trimless pages
  • AO included
  • This pattern is for knit fabric at least 25% stretch. French terry, brushed poly, cotton lycra, and sweater knit all worked well for testers.

Pros:

  • Construction is great.
  • This is a pretty simple, easy pattern to sew with a polished looking end result.
  • Love the length – great with leggings or skinny jeans and easily shortened or lengthened.
  • LOVE the fit.

Cons:

  • I don’t know…I can’t honestly think of any.

Overall, I give the Terra Tunic (affil link) two happy, enthusiastic thumbs up. I highly suggest it! I’m not going to make more right now because of aforementioned watermelon belly, but I will DEFINITELY make more in the future. It’s simple and elegant, but it’s a basic, everyday pattern that you can get so much use out of. I plan to take this one in a bit at the side seams and probably cut and band or re-hem at the bottom post-partum. Go get yours!

Watcha Wearin’? Striped Swallow Designs

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Good news: I am working on Striped Swallow Designs Boheme Sky and am loving it so far. The directions are clear. Love the photos in the tutorial. I think the pattern is going to come out fabulously. I mean, really, is this pattern not gorgeous??? And BONUS! Nursing mod!

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Photo taken from Striped Swallow Designs. Click on the picture to check out the pattern!

Bad news: I’m not done yet. 😦 You know, sometimes life happens. That’s how it goes when we sew, right? Things don’t always go according to plan. A couple weeks ago we had a very unexpected death in the family. It devastated everyone. And, unfortunately, all the travel (10+ hours each way by car) exacerbated an unpleasant side effect from this pregnancy. My pelvic bone has separated. Yeah, that’s as fun as it sounds. And that’s slowed me down significantly. I got back from traveling for the funeral services, and was burning the candle at both ends (I may have actually found an extra end to burn) to try and catch up with everything at school. But it delayed my intended post for this pattern. And now, here we are at the end of the month, I’m still trying to get caught up, and I’m just not finished. Sad face.

BUT I will be finished within the next few days and I will have a full review for you. In the meantime, IT IS THE LAST DAY FOR THE LINKY PARTY!

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Spoiler alert: Striped Swallows is part of the giveaway for the linky party! You don’t want to miss out on that. This is my first time working with one of their patterns, and so far…well, let’s just say I didn’t have any SSD patterns before and that is no longer true. Haha! 🙂 Need help with the linky party? Ti’s got your back! Check out her handy guide. Go link up your pics!

 

 

Have you worn the Boheme Sky while pregnant? How did it work? Check back here in a few days for my update, full review, and pictures. 🙂