Greenstyle North Shore: I Made a Swimsuit!

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Folks. I did something that scared me. I made a bathing suit.

ACK!

I’ve been trying to stretch myself with new patterns and new sewing challenges this year. Admittedly, I haven’t been amazing about blogging them. Whoops. But I have been sharing them on instagram! The Greenstyle North Shore swimsuit has motivated me to get back in the blogging habit though. It is spectacular! And so full of options! But, holy cow, I was scared to sew it.

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Holy options, Batman!

Reasons that sewing a bathing suit was scary:

  1. Swim material is slippery as snot.
  2. Bathing suits, if not fitted properly, will fall off in the water and reveal my lady bits.
  3. I have to share pictures of me in a bathing suit.
  4. Oh…and I made a bikini, so….*deafening internal screaming*.
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I just posted a picture of me in a bikini. AAAAHHHHHH!!!!

Like many challenges in life, this one seemed much bigger in my imagination than in reality.  It was my first time sewing a bathing suit and the tutorial was so well laid out and clear, I had no trouble following it. I anticipated many fights with my machine, but I took it slow, and clipped the crap out of every seam (thank you, wonder clips!), and I was able to sew that slippery bugger swim without much difficulty. Miracle! Perhaps that’s because my material was from Zenith & Quasar (last year). She has such high-quality fabric, and this swim was no exception. And I love the color!

Reasons to get over any fears you may have and sew this swimsuit:

  1. Options, options, options.
  2. This suit looks fantastic on every body I have seen it on – all shapes, all sizes. Seriously, all of the testers looked amazing.
  3. Clear directions that even a swimsuit beginner like me can follow!
  4. A helpful Facebook group where you can ask questions.
  5. The pride of going to the beach/pool/the sprinkler in your backyard, and when someone points out how AMAZING you look, being able to say, “thank you. I made it.”

I am all about body positivity and body acceptance. For other people. I have a really hard time being accepting of myself and my own body. I felt like making (and modeling) a swimsuit was a way to face and try to overcome that shortcoming. I can’t say it was a magic wand. I wasn’t overcome with boatloads of self-esteem or anything. My body is not perfect. I’ve got scars and bruises and cellulite and flabby bits. My body sometimes betrays me with pain and inflammation. But my body has also carried me through this life so far. And I thank it for that. So sewing this suit was a small step in the right direction, and I’m proud of that. Also, I made a flipping swimsuit. I’m pretty proud of that too!

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Top: halter, deep V front, size L; Bottom: high waist, size L, graded to XL at waist

The North Shore swimsuit is on a special release sale until midnight, Friday, May 25. During the release, 10% of all profits will go to support recovery efforts in Hawaii.

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This post contains affiliate links. They don’t cost you anything and contribute a little to my blogging efforts (and fabric and pattern collection). Thank you for your support!

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Love Notions Presto

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Alright, so wovens kind of scare me. Weird, right? I mean, we start by sewing wovens. At least, I did. I used to only sew wovens. I remember acutely how terrified I was the first time I sewed knits – it was my son’s Super Why Halloween costume. I checked every youtube video I could find for tips. I asked friends who sewed. I grabbed every little helper and tip I read about and sewed with my heart in my throat. I even did a pattern hack, before I even knew what a pattern hack was! 😂 And it was my first pdf pattern to boot! Well, that Halloween costume turned out pretty adorable, if I do say so myself.

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My sweet little Super Why.

I may not be quite so cute in the Love Notions Presto I made in testing as he was in his costume, but I’m still happy that I tackled a challenge head on. 🙂

My Presto isn’t perfect, but I did it and I learned some things along the way.

  • I used a lightweight stretch woven from Joann’s. It’s a lovely weight and it has a nice drape. It will be fantastic for summer. It was not terrible to work with – a little slippery, but not bad.
  • 3/4 length sleeves are my favorite. I don’t think they ended up being the best choice for my body type in this pattern though. I think this will look much better if I chop them to short sleeve or go sleeveless. This length looks fantastic on some of the other testers. This was just a case of the wrong choice for my body.
  • I opted to do the bias finish for the neckline. It was a later addition in testing, and I wanted Tami to have some pictures with that option. I quite like it! It’s simple and clean. I like that it leaves the neckline a little more open too.
  • The darts worked out alright, but I should have shifted them down slightly. I thought my bust point lined up with the patterns, but I think it’s really just a little lower – like .5″ or less. I’ll change that next time!
  • I kind of wussed out of the buttons. It was half wuss and half trying to help. Since the plain placket was an option and most testers hadn’t done it, I wanted to show it. But I was also scared of the button hole function on my machine. It’s backfired on me before and I’d worked so hard on this Presto, I just couldn’t do it! I know, I know. I’ll get over my fear on the next one. 😉
  • I used a featherweight interfacing for the placket, but it ended up being too heavy for this super light fabric. It weighs the placket down a little. Oh well. It still works. I’ll get that one right next time too. 🙂 I don’t have much practice with interfacing.
  • For a little extra something, I lined the placket with piping. I love how it came out! It sets off the placket well and gives the top a little extra pop. Super easy addition, too.
  • I ended up putting a little tack in the placket just under the bust. I just felt it helped the placket sit better – especially since the interfacing was a little too heavy.

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Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty, the pattern itself! Like so many Love Notions patterns, it’s lovely. Despite my trepidations over sewing woven again, the pattern went together beautifully. The shaping of the top is perfection. I had my doubts! I admit it. But the fit is really great. It’s loose, but nicely skims the body. And those back darts. LOVE! I do think that the difference between the front and back hem is a bit too big in the standard bust (it’s 3″), but that’s a matter of personal preference, and is an easy alteration. I’ll probably shorten that back hem a bit in future versions.

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Those back darts though. 

I like this top. I still need to learn some adjustments to get my best fit, but it’s a nice pattern. It would make a wonderful swim cover up! It’s on sale until the 10th, and worth adding to your pattern collection.

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This post contains affiliate links. They don’t cost you anything, and they help me keep blogging. I won’t be sad if you click on them. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

Back in the game: making a “jersey”

I’ve been absent, friends. I’m sorry. I had such high hopes at the beginning of this year, but reality quickly set in. Alas, I’m juggling too much, and sometimes I don’t do it well. I dropped the ball on blogging. The end. But I’m back with a fun creation today: a Love Notions Sloane “jersey”! (And I have good stuff planned for the rest of the year!) Thanks for hanging with me!

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Go team TARDIS!

Things that make this creation extra fun:

  • This brushed poly fabric from Aurora Designs is FANTASTIC! So soft. Lovely drape. And it gave me all the Doctor Whoiness I needed to make my nerd “jersey”. Go team TARDIS! This is from the fandom round. Preorder closes today 3/2, but availability will continue, just at a slightly higher price. 🙂
  • Simple, cute, lazy modification to an already awesome pattern
  • Oh, hey, guess what? This already awesome pattern is ON SALE this weekend (3/2/18 – 3/4/18) for 50% off (and so is the rest of the Love Notions catalog. WHAT?!) I suggest this and almost every other Love Notions pattern that exists. Go snag them during the sale!
  • I got to play with a sonic screwdriver for the photoshoot! 🙂

How did I do it?

Easy peasy, folks. This is sew like a sloth. I don’t like things to get too complicated. I have many Sloanes. First, I put one on and estimated where I’d like the sleeve on the “jersey” to fall. I was aiming for about elbow length. Then, using the fancy “eyeball method,” I figured where I should cut the sleeve pattern piece, accounting for about a 1″ hem. I drew a straight line across, using my handy dandy acrylic quilting ruler, and then I cut.

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New sleeve length

The Sloane has two views. For the jersey look, I used the curved hem option, with back yoke. I used a coordinating navy CL for that fabric.

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I keep a sonic screwdriver in my back pocket for cabinet emergencies.

I cut out all the fabric pieces. I measured the bottom of the sleeve where I assumed I’d be placing the fabric strips. Then, I cut a 1″ wide strip of CL about 1″ longer than the sleeve measurement. I wanted room to play. I was experimenting, so I put the first strip down on the sleeve. It didn’t work. Not the look I was going for – too wide. So, I cut that in half. Bam! Perfection. So I cut a couple more. *Note: I cut these to have a raw edge. You could certainly make this with a more finished edge by folding under 1/4″ of each long edge of the fabric strips. If you want a finished width of 1/2″ like I did, you’d need a 1″ strip of fabric for this option.

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Playing with the sleeve accent. Photobomb from my awesome pattern weights from Mikimooshi!

Then I put the pattern together per the instructions. I hemmed the sleeve before serging the side seams though. I wanted them finished first so I could fiddle with the strips of CL.

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Almost finished! On the ironing board for a press. (The only time I use an iron is when I’m sewing.) Isn’t this fabric gorgeous? I swoon.

Side note: Make sure you use a stretch stitch when sewing on the bands. This seems obvious, but I have a RTW shirt that did NOT do this, and my arms hulk out of those no-stretch buggers. I used a zigzag. I know my topstitching isn’t perfect. Oh well. 🙂

Then I serged up the side seams, serged the bottom for a raw hem and voila! Who jersey!

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Oh! Behind the back shot!

That’s it! A fun little mod for an already awesome pattern. Don’t miss out on this amazing Love Notions sale! Have any questions about my favorites? Check out some of my past posts or ask me here! (The Sybil, Sloane, and Sabrinas are absolute must-haves, in my opinion.)

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Click here to visit Aurora Designs.

 

And this fabric. Ho. Ly. Cow. It makes my nerdy little heart sing. This is the first fabric I’ve sewn from Aurora Designs, and I was not disappointed. I want all the fabric! Doctor Who not your thing? This round also has Harry Potter, Supernatural, Game of Thrones, and Star Wars. Is your nerdy heart singing with me?????

 

 

 

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Sonics are hilarious, amiright?

 

This post contains affiliate links. They don’t cost you anything. They just help support my blog and fabric habits. 😂 Thank you for your support. ❤️

New Year, New Sews: I Can Try New Things!

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Hello there! Thanks for stopping by the Sewing By Ti Blog Tour: New Sews for the New Year. We’ve got lots of great bloggers sharing their creations with you this month. Make sure to check them all out! (Full list at the bottom of the page.)

Well the title says New Sews for the New Year, so that meant I had to do something different. And new. Eek.

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I have been stuck in a sewing rut. I don’t know…does it really count as a rut if you’re happy in it? No, let’s not say rut. Let’s say pattern. I’m in a sewing pattern (ha! I didn’t get that until I wrote it out – what a goofball). Outside of testing – I tend to reach for the same patterns over and over. And, hey, it’s okay to have your favorites! But you gotta try to branch out a little sometimes…and I don’t. Well, that’s what sewing resolutions are for! I have a few my friends, but trying new patterns is probably my number one. (I’m also trying to be more active on instagram. You can follow me and the chaos I don’t blog about @sewlikeasloth 🙂)

For this blog tour I decided to really push myself and I tried TWO new patterns! TWO new (to me) designers! And fabric that was a little outside my comfort zone! I was pushing all kind of boundaries with these creations, folks…and I love it!

Make one: Mama’s shirt

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Hey June Union St Tee (original version), featuring unicorn panel from Moon Beam Textile Co (affil link).

Up first, my very own unicorn shirt! (Sorrynotsorry about the ear worm. 😉) I used a cotton lycra panel and a light french terry to create this long-sleeved Hey June Union St Tee. (P.S. another first! I mixed fabrics. I never do that.) People have been telling me for ages to try this tee. I don’t know why I haven’t. Now I want a closet full of them.

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Fun fact! It was less than 20 degrees when this picture was taken. Brrrrrrrrr!

If you’ve been waffling on this pattern, stop. Go get it now. The fit is fantastic. I need to hurry up and learn to do a forward shoulder adjustment, which shows more in this top because of the material. But the pattern itself is on point. This shirt has quickly moved up to being at the top of my clothing rotation list. Right up there with my cozy grey Love Notions Sloane. I’ve worn it out several times and received multiple compliments on it. That’s always exciting! 🙂 I didn’t realize that the pattern had been updated until after I made it. I was perfectly happy with this version, which is the original, but I’m excited to give the updated version a whirl too. It’s just so good, people. So. Good.

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I won’t lie. I am ridiculously proud of this little appliqué detail. Leave no fabric scraps behind!

Make Two: Baby outfit!
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Apple Tree Grow Fonder and Opulent Monsters Basic Monster Bunz, also featuring Moon Beam Textile Co (affil) unicorn panel and coordinate.

So, this is point blank the cutest thing I’ve ever made. The end. That’s it. There’s nowhere to go from here but down. The Grow Fonder was the new pattern, so that’s the one I’m going to focus on here. (I do recommend the Monster Bunz though.) I heard good things about this pattern and was curious. I hate the idea of using custom fabric for a baby who will outgrow it in 2 seconds. Let’s face it, though I love it, custom fabric ain’t cheap. If a shirt can last her for more than a month, I’m willing to give it a try! I must say I’m super impressed with the Grow Fonder. This one is a bit big for my baby. I went off of her chest measurements, and it put her at the bottom of the 1-3 yr size. (She’s 8-months-old.) I figured it would be a little long, which I don’t mind that at all. The neck opening is a bit big though. She’ll grow into it in no time. Next time, for a better fit, I’ll try the 3-12 month size. Others reported the it continued to fit their little one long after they passed the 12-month mark. Help was quickly offered when I posted a question in the Facebook group. I’m really happy with this top. I don’t usually do colors this bright. I’m boring. 😂 But I don’t think I could love it more. The panel as an appliqué brings me great joy. I hadn’t done that before, and I am quite tickled with the result. I admit it! It’s not often I feel so happy with something I made. But how could I be anything but happy with this adorableness?!?!?!
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The best part? Mommy & Me!!! ❤️

 

Whew. This was a long post, but I was just so excited to share with you all. 😂 What a successful way to start the year! Try out something new in 2018 and see what awesome creations you can discover!
Do you have sewing resolutions this year? What are they? 🙂
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Crazy hair, silly baby face, but lots of love.

Check out these awesome bloggers for more sewing inspiration this month!
Monday, January 1st: Introduction- Sewing by Ti


Sunday, January 7th: Minn’s Things
8th Lilla Gumma
9th Threadistry
10th Very Blissful
11th Margarita on the Ross
12th Stitched by Jennie
13th Mermaid Mama Designs

Sunday, January 14th: Sew Like a Sloth *** You are here. 😀
Sunday January 21st: Flaxfield Sewing
Sunday January 28th: Sew Haute Blog

 

Celebrate the Holidays: Sewing with Good Intentions

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Hello there friends! This post is part of the Celebrate the Holidays: December Sewing by Ti Blog Tour. Say that 5 times fast! 😉 I’m so happy to be a part of another Sewing by Ti Blog Tour and hope you’ll enjoy reading this and all the other posts this month. See the bottom of this page for a full listing of all the awesome blogs on this tour.

I had this vision. I wanted to make special family Christmas PJs. We’d be all adorable and matchy and my hair would be perfect and we’d have a picture with all of us looking at the camera and smiling – like a Pinterest Christmas card! Now if this were Pinterest, I’d have lovely pictures for you of a charming, happy, smiling family in pajamas made of organic wool that I harvested and spun myself, and then sewed together in my immaculate and organized sewing room on my machine that never skips a stitch.

I had such good intentions, but this is Sew Like a Sloth, you know that’s not how it goes! 😂 Here’s how it worked in real life:

*pause to comfort my crying baby who just fell on her face for the millionth time because she has decided at not-quite-8-months-old, crawling is for chumps and she wants to walk*

 

Look at us. Totally Pinterest worthy, right? (Incidentally, I am wearing my first ever Greenstyle (affil link) tester creation – when I was just a little baby brand new sewist and tester – the one button cardigan. I wear this fleece cardigan All. The. Time. around the house when I’m cold. Which is all the time right now in Michigan.)

Confession: Last year I also had grand plans of sewing for the holidays. Last year I was pretty darn pregnant, and having complications, and totally burned out. Last year I gave my husband a bag of fabric and called it the gift of good intentions. 

My internship ended December 15th. I planned to work furiously on the PJs after that to be ready for Pinterest perfection December 25th. Great. Good plan.

…But I didn’t have the fabric I wanted…and I couldn’t get it in time. Bad planning and indecisiveness on my part.

…also, my family wanted to enjoy this unique opportunity to spend time with me.

…and, to be honest, I had a case of the Christmas blues. 2017 has been such a hard year. Money is really tight and I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do for my family. I know the holiday isn’t about presents, but I love my family so much, I just wanted to do some nice things for them. I couldn’t do that this year.

…and then this strange thing happened, my body gave up on me. I was exhausted. I had been pushing and pushing myself and telling myself that I just had to make it until break. Apparently, my body took me at my word. I just could not get the gumption to sit down and sew a family’s worth of pajamas.

What to do with all these good intentions and no energy to conjure them into actual creations? I did not want to give another bag of fabric! I did not want to give up on my cute PJ pictures!

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They’re plotting something here, right?

I took Tim Gunn’s advice. We could still have handmade touches to our holiday! The kids could still look cute in Christmas PJs together. I could “make it work”.

I made Wholiday tops for the kids earlier in the year because I’m a nerd and I’m raising my kids right. And, because sometimes I’m smart, I sized up for the baby in the hope that the shirt would fit her properly at Christmas. It did! Go me! I used the Brindille & Twig free ringer tee pattern for the baby. It’s a good, quick and dirty sew. I wouldn’t say it’s amazing, but it’s free and it does the job.

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I used the Duck Butt Designs Treasure Pocket Tee (sans pocket) for my son. I really like DBD for panels and kid patterns. The fit on this is very slim, be aware. He’s a bean pole and it’s definitely snug on him, and I sized up. I find that with DBD patterns, it’s best to just go with the RTW (ready-to-wear) size for your kid.

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The fabric from Moon Beam Textile Company (affil link) is glorious (solids from Purple Seamstress). I particularly love the panels. (I probably have a couple stashed away in Caroline size for next year.) I’m not sure that there is any left for retail, but if you’re a Who fan, it’s worth checking when the shop reopens!

We enjoy presents in our own way – opening them or eating them!

The baby also loved the taggie blanket that her brother made her (fabric also from Moon Beam Textile Company). She tried to eat all the wrapping paper anyway, alas. Not quite as distracting as I’d hoped.

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It wasn’t family PJs and the pictures may not be Pinterest worthy, but the kids had a fun Christmas. And I did get some pictures of my babies together, in their matching geeky tops, that I will treasure…and that I can embarrass them with when they’re older. 🙂 Let’s be honest, the best Christmas present for me wasn’t under the tree. It was the present arrived in May, that completes our family, that made me a mom again, and made my son a big brother. Seeing my children together this Christmas was the best gift I could have hoped for. And I technically made them, so…I’m putting this holiday down as a win in the handmade holiday column. 😉

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Check out the rest of the amazing bloggers in this tour!

December 1st Sewing By Ti (intro), Octaves of Color

Sunday December 3rd, Me Made
4th: Sew Sophie Lynn
5th: Hazelnut Handmade
6th: Tales from a Southern Mom

Monday December 11th, Tenille’s Thread
12th: MNW Sews
13th: Mahlica Designs
14th: Very Blissful
15th: Stitched by Jennie

Monday December 18th, Kate Will Knit
19th: Sewing by Ti
20th: Vicky Myers Creations
21st: Margarita on the Ross
22nd: Auschick Sews
23rd: Shalini’s Blog

Tuesday December 26th: Seams Sew Low
27th: EYMM
28th: Sew Like a Sloth
29th: Sewing By Ti
30th: Kathys Kwilts and More
31st: Embrace Everyday

 

 

Sunday Everyday!: Greenstyle Sunday Cardigan

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Who’s ready for a White Christmas? Me! I’m a regular Rosemary Clooney in this pic!

Look. I love a duster cardigan. I mean, LOVE. Cozy, sheik, elegant – a duster cardigan is all of these things. I can pretend I know something about fashion when I wear one and be wrapped in a cocoon of warm happiness. WIN. So, when I had the opportunity to test the new (affil link) Greenstyle Sunday Cardigan, I jumped at it! Lucky me! I was selected to test. Unlucky me: I did it again somehow, friends. I chose devil fabric. Lucky me again: It looks awesome, so nobody has to know how evil it was to work with. 😂

You know me, folks. It’s just not a sewing project without some kind of failure. I hate to let you down! 😂 I had this fabric in my stash for a bit – in fact, I was about to destash it. I ordered it with one idea, and when it arrived, I realized it wouldn’t work for the project I had planned (story of online fabric purchasing life, amiright?), so I put it into the hoard collection and it sat there for a long time. As you know if you’ve been reading for a bit, we have a (relatively) new baby in the house. And, as you also know if you’ve ever spent any time with babies, they have a knack for making everything a giant mess. I originally signed up to test thinking of a certain sweater knit I have. Well, I couldn’t find it. 😂 #Realmomlife #fabrichoardingproblems #babiesmakeeverythingchaotic Then I found this mystery sweater knit and thought, “this is perfect!” And it is! But it was not perfect to sew. Oh no. Sewing it was like wrangling an angry badger. It also attracts hair like a magnet, which is super convenient since I have a chihuahua that sheds approximately his body weight in hair everyday. It’s an actual scientific mystery how he is not bald. Anyhoo, I used this sweater knit to make a duster length, split hem, standard sleeve version of the Sunday Cardigan. Size large. Because I like donuts and I had two babies who wrecked the place and I’m not apologizing for it.

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My head is cropped out of this for a reason. It was super bright out and my face is equivalent to a shrieking raisin shriveling in the sun. 😂 Sweater looks good though!

The amazing thing about this pattern is that it is so good, it made the evil fabric transform from demon into angel. When I put it on, a ray of light shines down and I can hear singing. True story. It’s amazing and cozy and the PERFECT color and I will love it as soon as I stop being mad at it for being so darn stubborn to sew.

Pattern attributes and options, of which there are many:

  • No trim and layers!
  • A0 version available
  • 50% stretch required
  • ~3 yds fabric needed for full-length
  •  Options (so much bang for your buck!):
    • knee length & duster length
    • side splits or no side splits
    • regular sleeve, cuff, or super sassy lace up cuff
    • pockets (I don’t actually consider these optional, because why wouldn’t you want pockets???)
    • hood or no hood (I only didn’t do a hood because I didn’t have quite enough fabric, but obviously I’ll choose hood in the future because I will always choose the most Jedi-like option in a pattern.)
    • Vest or LS cardigan. WHAT?! All the layering possibilities

I love this pattern so much I want to marry it. It is exactly what I have been looking for and fills a necessary hole in my made-by-me wardrobe. You may remember that we briefly had our own LuLaRoe business. We had to close the business for health reasons, unfortunately, and I’m moving more towards a me-made wardrobe anyway (more on that coming soon!). But, friends, I love Sarahs and Joys. Love, love them. They’re a fantastic layering piece! But I just can’t justify the cost. I’m not here to badmouth LLR because that’s not how I roll, but I also know if I make it, it will fit better. Because of course a custom made garment will fit better than a commercial one. Duh. Well, now I can make my own. And I can make them with even more options and tailored to my body. It’s a Christmas miracle! Thank you, Angie!

Bottom line: Why have you even finished reading this? Go get yours. Now! 😉 I’d love for you to use my affiliate link: here.

Note: I would suggest sizing down if you are in between sizes, especially if you’re using really stretchy fabric. My bust is between L and XL and XL was too big on me. L is a much, much better fit. But that’s just my two cents!

P.S. If you’re wondering about the difference between this and the GS Capsule Cardigan, you can check out Sarah’s comparison of them here! I tested both and I will say that it didn’t even occur to me that I didn’t need both. They’re two different sweaters that both have a place in my wardrobe. (But I’m a cardi girl – layering power!)

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Thanks for reading!

 

Love Notions Handmade Holiday Tour: The Gift of Sewing

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Learning to sew. (With my handy dandy reminders taped to my serger in the background – haha!)

I love making handmade gifts. I feel like they have a little extra sprinkle of love and joy in them. Luckily, my family appreciates gifts I make, which certainly makes creating them more enjoyable. 🙂 But I’ll be honest, sometimes the making of the gift defeats the purpose of the gift. I get a little perfectionist about my creations and spend a lot of time making them, maybe stress about them a bit. And then I emerge from the sewing table, with crazy eyes and disheveled hair, fueled by caffeine and over-exhaustion and profanities, and hand the gift over grumpily. “HERE! Enjoy it.” Sprinkled with extra  hatred love.

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You better love this stupid gift!

It’s not always pretty. So, I’m trying something different this year. I’m passing on the gift of frenzied gift making to future generations. I’m teaching my son to sew. I swear this was his idea!

As you may already know, I’m in graduate school. I’m a mom, a wife, a student, a researcher, a clinical intern, a person trying to make her way through life. I’m busy. Lately, my son has been expressing his sadness that I have to go to work and I have to go to class. “I don’t want you to go, mommy,” he exclaims as he clings to me. “I hate that you have to leave.” I hate that I have to leave too, sweetheart.

“Will you be done with school soon?”

He calls the nights I have work and class “stinky Wednesdays”.

He’s over this whole mommy-is-gone all the time thing. And it just so happens that he wants to learn how to sew. So, sewing it is!

He’s been “helping” me sew for a little while. He steps on the pedal while I sew; he helps pick fabric and patterns, etc. I started officially teaching him by having him sew lines and line drawings on paper. He did a fantastic job! I was so impressed. (Pics of his progression below)

Then, we moved on to a simple sew. He made a little softie fish from the DIY Mermaid & Pirate softie kit (affil link) from Peek-A-Boo. This was a GREAT idea for a beginner. The directions are pretty simple, everything is all laid out, and you can still kind of sew by following the lines. He is in love with his fish and has happily added it to his MASSIVE collection of “friends”.

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Mermaid & Pirate DIY Softie Kit from PAB. Picture of kit from Peek-A-Boo’s Fabric Shop. (affil links)

But my boy has a giving heart. He wanted to make something for someone else. It’s almost Christmas after all! He asked to make a gift for his sister. I still wanted it to be semi-simple, so I suggested a taggie blanket. I admit I never saw the point of these things before. My son was not much of a tag chewer. Baby girl, on the other hand…she can’t get enough of those tags. Her favorite snack is the tags on her bibs! He thought the blanket was a great idea. He picked out the fabric, the ribbons, and sewed the blanket together. I did the topstitching. I let him pick minky as the backer, which was of course, stupid of me. If you’ve ever sewn with minky, you know that stuff is a pain. Slippery little devil! But it’s his favorite fabric and he wanted it for his sister, and who am I to say no to that. Oh well! 🙂

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This is a Christmas present and my son was adamant that baby sister couldn’t see her present early. I had to sneak this pic when he wasn’t looking. 😂 I’d say she likes it!

I wasn’t the best teacher. I was sometimes impatient. I sometimes stepped in and took over when I should have let him keep trying. But we had a lot of time together. Unadulterated time. Time when he asked questions and told stories and had my undivided attention. I didn’t have to do homework or go to class or hold his sister. I just had to sew with him. The time goes by so fast – if you’re a parent, you already know how painfully fast it goes. Just yesterday it seems he was the baby in that picture. I blinked and now he’s an eight-year-old boy. I meant to give him the gift of sewing, but it may have been more of a gift for me. The gift of time. Just me and my boy. I’ll take that time as long as I can get it. ❤️

Check in with these other fabulous ladies on the Love Notions Tour for more Handmade Holiday fun!