Sewing for my guys

A Tropical Shirt for Clay

Wardrobe by Me is one of the best shops in PDF land for men’s patterns. I should say teen to men, since the size range is huge, going from 2XS to 3XL! Christina has been working on expanding the range of men’s patterns for a while now. All of them are great, but we love the new Tropical Shirt! Both my husband and son wear Hawaiian shirts so I’m happy to have a pattern to make them. Clay didn’t hesitate when I asked if I could test the shirt for him. He chose the fabric from my stash. It’s a very nice 100% cotton that washes beautifully.

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Here is a description from the pattern listing:

The Tropical Shirt PDF sewing pattern is a casual button up short sleeved shirt with a convertible collar. The shirt has side slits, a double yoke, and two back pleats. The left front has a pocket. The pattern is designed for woven fabric.

FEATURING
  • Convertible Collar
  • Short Sleeve
  • Side Slits
  • Double Yoke
  • Front Pocket
  • Straight Hem

Comes in sizes 2XS – 3XL. I sewed a size M and shortened it to my son’s desired length. I shortened the sleeves 1/2”, but Clay has them rolled up as usual.

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I’m so mad at myself for forgetting to match the design on center front! Luckily Clay didn’t notice and loves his shirt. He left for school in it this morning with white shorts.

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On sale for $8.50 until April 19, 2019. Don’t miss out on this one!

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My Closet

Melrose Dress and Top

A new Itch-to-Stitch pattern? Why yes; I just can’t resist! It was just what I needed, an easy sew after the beautiful (and satisfying to sew) Kalispell Dress that I wrote about here. This one is named Melrose, after a beautiful place in Scotland.

Here are some highlights of the pattern

  • All views include:
    • Options for A, B, C, D and DD cups
    • C, D and DD cups have bust darts
    • Wide, scoop neckline finished with bias binding
    • Dolman short sleeves with cuffs
    • Unlined
    • Layers feature—print only the sizes you need
  • View A includes:
    • Dress with cinched waist with elastic through casing
    • Ample, functional in-seam pockets
  • View B includes:
    • Top with cinched waist with elastic through casing
    • Gathered peplum
  • View C includes:
    • Short, boxy top with bottom band

I applied to test View B top. Since I didn’t want any leftover fabric, and my piece was big enough, I started with the dress. I just love my Melrose Dress! The fabric is 100% rayon which is light and flowy and so comfortable to wear. And a tropical print in blues makes it an instant favorite!

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After the success of my dress, I cut out the top from a mystery poly cotton that has been in my stash for a long time. First I cut the peplum the wrong way on the grain. With some woven fabric, this wouldn’t matter, but mine has a wavy striped texture. Luckily, I had enough fabric to re-cut that piece. It’s a quick and easy project. Just press and steam the neckline well when applying the binding. The peplum feels pretty short while wearing, but is perfect with a higher waist skirt or pants. For my next Melrose Top I will lengthen the peplum just a bit.

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Worn here with Northpoint Trousers, hacked into Capris from Simply by Ti Fabrics. Fuchsia is sold out but there are other colors available and on sale this week, all at $5 per yard or less!

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Here it is with the Danube Jean Skirt. You can read more about it in this post.

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Melrose Top & Dress is on sale for 20% off through April 16, 2019. Don’t miss out on this great spring and summer pattern!

 

Sewing for my guys

Muscle Up Tank

Have I mentioned how much I love sewing for my guys? It’s been wonderful having more and more men’s patterns showing up in the PDF pattern world. This one is from Greenstyle Creations. My son has to approve of any pattern test that will involve him modeling pictures and this one was a definite yes. He chose the fabric after I gave him options. It’s a light to medium weight cotton lycra and was wonderful to work with. I’m not sure where I bought the fabric. Clay is particular about how long his shirts are, so he had me shortened this one quite a bit. I think it could have been at least 1″ longer, though he likes the length of it.

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We had a fun but quick photo session where he was more cooperative than usual with pictures!

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The Muscle Up Tank includes sizes XXS to 4XL. What a great range of sizes! It features dropped armholes and a narrowed back.  It comes with the option to use bands or binding. (I love the look of binding). You can also finish the neckline or top it off with a fun three piece hood.

Get this wonderful piece on sale for $8.50  (regularly $12) through April 14, 2019.

 

My Closet

Kalispell Dress

There’s a beautiful new dress Itch-to-Stitch called Kalispell. I was so excited to be a tester for this gorgeous dress! The princess seams, little cap sleeves, and box pleated skirt caught my eye during the testing call. There is a flutter sleeve option if you’d like your shoulders covered a little more and gives a whole different look to the dress. Comes in sizes 00-20. Here are the features from the pattern listing:

Kalispell Dress Features:

  • Options for A, B, C, D and DD cups
  • Options for cap sleeves and flare sleeves
  • V neck
  • Front button closure with band
  • Bodice front and back princess seams
  • Full skirt with inverted box pleats
  • Ample in-seam pockets

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After my usual alterations to the pattern for my height, my muslin fit perfectly. I used some fabric from the 80s and like the fit and look so much, that I plan to finish it into a top.

The fabric for my final Kalispell Dress is a hefty pique with good drape. I have always loved this type of fabric. This one was found in Michigan when my mom and I went to a yard sale! It likes to fray so I had to be careful with the edges, but my dress looks perfect for spring in these colors. I love the fitted style of the princess seams and how it accentuates the waist. I am excited to have a new dress to wear for Easter since I’ve been wearing the same one for several years!

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Get Kalispell on sale until March 31st. Do let this beauty get away! Thank you for reading! Until next time…

Sewing for my guys

Breaking Ground Tour

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Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2019 hosted by mahlicadesigns. This year over 25 bloggers from around the world are joining together to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves. (Read on for Giveaway info)

When Melissa of Mahlica Designs posted a call for bloggers for the Breaking Ground Blog Tour, I had to check it out. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but quickly found out. It’s trying something new; a new to you (and me) designer or skill. Breaking ground with a new to me designer sounded like fun! I have plenty of patterns from designers I’ve never tried. It was tough narrowing down the choices.

Thread Theory is a Canadian company that had several men’s patterns that I admired for a long time. I loved the details and style of some of the pants, jackets, and sweaters. I finally bought the Jedediah Pants during a rare sale with the plan to make shorts for my son. Then it sat and sat in my account for several years before I decided I’d better sew them up before Clay graduates and goes off to college! There are no layers (boo hoo), so I traced off his size 30 (the smallest one), cut out the pieces from some red chambray, and got them half sewn. The instructions have you sew flat felled seams on certain parts of the pants. Working with fabric that frayed terribly, I didn’t want to deal with flat felled seams, so I set the whole project aside.

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After a few months, I decided they needed to get finished and off my table. So back I went to the directions. I skipped the flat felled seams in favor of serging and topstitching. That worked out fine. The order of construction is different than any other pants I’ve sewn and I wasn’t happy about the strange (to me) order of things. The inseam and even the outseam was supposed to be sewn and finished before sewing in the zip and fly. That would mean I would have to try keeping all the fabric of the shorts out of the way while maneuvering the fly installation. So, I changed the order to inseam, fly, then outseam; which worked out just fine.

 

The shorts version is supposed to be longer with a roll up cuff hem. Clay is wearing his shorts shorter these days, and the longer legs were too tight to even roll up once, so I trimmed off some fabric and went with a regular hem. The waistband instructions were difficult to follow, I tried sewing as written, but mine was not turning out correctly. I ended up sewing it in a way that made sense to me without any problems. The belt loops were no problems at all.

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In the end, the shorts look pretty good. Unfortunately, they are too tight in the hips and legs for Clay. If any reader has a guy to fit into these, let me know and I will pass them on (US addresses). Waist is 30″, inseam about 7 1/2”.

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Will I use this pattern again? Maybe. Some day I may get the urge to make a pair for my husband.

After this experience, will I sew another pattern from Thread Theory you ask? Well, that depends. I won’t be rushing out to buy another pants pattern, but I wouldn’t mind trying a sweater or jacket. Also, to my surprise, the website has changed drastically since I’ve been on it last; and they now carry patterns of other designers. If you are sewing for your guys, this is the largest selection of mens patterns I’ve seen! Support the Indie designers, small businesses and new companies! You may hear of some new ones if you follow the tour this week.

Oh, and one more thing… Thread Theory has the best tutorial on installing jean rivets that I’ve seen! I started using it years ago when I made my first pair of jeans and is how I found the company.

Enter the raffle below and check out the breaking ground from other bloggers on the tour by clicking on the links.

The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 11That’s Sew Lily, Sewing A La Carte, Mijn 11jes & ik

Tuesday March 12mahlicadesigns, Embrace Everyday, Jot Designs, auschick sews, Raising Stripling Warriors

Wednesday March 13Musings of A Seamstress, Very Blissful, Sew4Five, Just Sew Something, Hazelnut Handmade, Crafting Through Time, Tales From A Southern Mom

Thursday March 14Make It Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier, Ronda B Handmade, SequioaLynn Sews, Sewing with D, The Sewing Goatherd, OOYAmade, My Golden Thimble, Custom Made by Laura

Friday March 15Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, Sewing Novice, Ronda B Handmade, Momma Bear Sews, MeMade, My Golden Thimble, Lulu & Celeste

Breaking News: our tour sponsor Phat Quarters is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!

***

We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2019 across social media.

My Closet

Sew Yourself Some Love Tour

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February is the month of love. What better time to sew something just for me? 😆Who am I kidding? I sew for me all the time, which meant I needed to sew something really special!

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My husband will be retiring this summer from his job as an Air Force Junior ROTC instructor. He reminded me three weeks ago that the military ball was coming up, so I thought I should make a gown for our last appearance. The ball is similar to prom, but a bit classier. It’s the high school version of a ball, so the only adults are instructors and their wives (not as fun as the real thing, and definitely no alcohol)! The thought of sewing a dress had been in the back of my mind for a few months, but there were other priorities and it didn’t get sewn. The pattern and fabric were already in my stash, so I knew immediately it would be the Crop Dress. My problem was that my fabric is a border print which doesn’t work with a circle skirt. Luckily Suzanne of Winter Wear Designs likes pattern hacks, so I used the top half of the pattern and made a pleated skirt to attach to the waistband.

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The top of the dress is a tank requiring knit fabric. Mine is a metallic with not enough stretch for the bands. I ended up binding, rather than banding the armscyes, but still wasn’t completely happy with how it looked. For the neckline I sewed 1/4” lingerie elastic to the edge, then turning it to the inside and coverstitching. That worked like a charm!

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For the overlay (or crop top) part of the dress, I chose a scalloped edge stretch lace with nice drape that came from Walmart a while back. It was surprisingly easy to work with just using my sewing machine. After trying the 3/4 sleeves and having trouble with the fit being too small on my shoulders, I cut the cap sleeves instead, but slashed and spread the pattern piece to add fullness for more room. The antique looking button came from an estate sale last summer where I bought a storage box full. Isn’t it perfect for my dress?

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The skirt fabric is a thin knit (maybe stretch crepe) that looks a bit like woven with silver embroidery and a slight vertical stretch. I found it at a thrift store and loved it so much, it had to come home with me! Getting the border print as close to my hem as possible without being too short to hem was a real challenge! I picked out so many stitches and sewed the waistband to the skirt at least 15 times! (Not even kidding)! I kept trimming from the top of the skirt until I’d taken off half of the waistband and about 2 1/2” of skirt. There must be an easier way to do this and I vow to find a tutorial before tackling something like this again! The hem has yet to be done, but I had to get the pictures while I could. (Feeling sick for several days put me way behind in all my sewing). Then too many kinks in this project, had me  finishing at the eleventh hour! The ball is Friday night so I must go hem my gown! See you next time!

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Check out the sale at Winter Wear Designs and sew yourself some love!

SALE: 20% off ALL women’s patterns Monday – Saturday (Feb 25-March 2)
code: SYSL2019   Link to the shop

Don’t miss any of the inspiring stops along the tour:
2/25
Patricia of Sew Far North
2/26
2/27
Meriel of  Ellie and Nels
2/28
Aurelie of Maglice and So (guest posting at WWD)
3/1
Livia of Liviality
Diane of Sewing with D
My Closet

The Love Dress

It’s Valentine’s Day, the perfect day for the Love Dress! This dress will be perfect for a special date with my sweetheart (my husband) when he’s back in town. The Love Dress is made with knit with at least 40% stretch, has three sleeve lengths and both front and back darts for a figure flattering comfortable dress.

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My dress is made with French Terry from Hobby Lobby that I bought on clearance after Christmas. It has metallic threads running through the weave and is so pretty! Unfortunately, the settings on my camera were messed up which made my pictures washed out so you probably can’t see the shiny threads. It makes my dress look just a little bit fancy.

The Love Dress is from Sewera Fashion which is a German based company. They apparently do not have stretch recommendations on any patterns so many of us testers used an inappropriate fabric for our muslins. Mine was a stable jersey with minimal stretch. It actually worked pretty good for the main dress, but not for the fitted sleeves. I like it so much that I will eventually finish it as a sleeveless dress for summer. Another thing I am not used to, is that the seam allowances are not included. I really don’t like having to add my own, as it adds quite a bit of time and work to the prep before getting to sew.

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I just love this fit! The Love Dress is on sale for $3.50 until Monday February 18 (German time)! Don’t miss out! Can you see I’m happy with mine?

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My Closet

Sedona the Shirt Tunic Dress

There’s a new pattern out from Designer Stitch called Sedona! It you know Ann and her brand, you know she is a professional and loves trendy styles. That is true for this pattern too, as this style has been seen all over Pinterest and celebrity events. I’m a pretty basic gal though, with no work place to dress up for, so I chose the shirt version of Sedona. The dresses are lovely though so I may have to sew one to wear with skinny pants. I love that it’s a fitted classic style that I can wear anywhere.

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And look at the hidden button placket! You won’t find that anywhere else! Worn here with Alyse Pants.

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This striped shirting has been in my stash for a long time. It is just right for a classic shirt. I like the pretty sleeve tab detail.

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I did the optional back pleat; but will leave it off my next one.

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Sedona comes in four lengths, two sleeve options, pockets, and more! It is on sale for $8.95 for a limited time. Don’t miss out!

My Closet

Uvita Add-ons

Happy New Year! Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’ve been busy with Christmas sewing and holiday stuff, with no time left to write. With a new year, lots of new fabric (the Black Friday bug bit me a little), and a new pattern test, I’m back!

Simply by Ti is one of the online fabric stores I ordered from. I had ordered some of this Glitter French Terry when Ti first got it in the shop. I bought a yard each of white, grey, navy, and black glitter French Terry. And…I love this stuff!!! I found out that one yard was not enough, so I ordered more! I’ve been doing really well at sewing some solids and basics to go with my wardrobe, and what better way to do that, than with some glitter solids!

If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you already know I absolutely love Itch-to-Stitch patterns! Uvita is a free pattern that I tested when it came out, but somehow ended up sewing only one top. I love the top and had another planned, so when I heard there was going to be add-ons, I had to test! I knew right away that my white glitter French Terry would be perfect for this top and would be a great basic in my wardrobe.

The Uvita Add-on pack has lots of options. I wanted to be able to wear mine with cardigans so I chose the floppy neck and regular cuffs. You could also choose the hood, thumbhole cuffs, bottom band, and two styles of pockets!

With the options I chose, this top sewed up as fast as a t-shirt! It would be a great pattern for beginners, or anyone with little sewing time.

I’m wearing my Liana Jeans that are blogged here. Itch to Stitch Love Sewing with Friends

I really wish I could have captured the glitter in my pictures!

Since this top was so quick to make, I cut another from this floral spandex. It’s way out of my comfort zone since I rarely wear florals, so I. hope I get some wear from it. What do you think?

It goes great with my Sequoia Cargos! They are on the blog here.

All of the add-ons are only $4 on sale until Thursday January 24, 2019. Get yours now by following this link! Hmmm, what should I choose for my next Uvita?

Gifts

I’m Sew Thankful

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It’s a Thankful time of year with Thanksgiving right around the corner. It’s my husband’s favorite holiday, and the perfect time to have a Sew Thankful blog tour. Thank you Sewing by Ti for hosting this blog tour!

It’s easy to be grateful for the family, friends, and things I have, and I’ve so much to be thankful for. For this tour though, I will write about being thankful I can sew. I have the equipment, supplies, skills, space, and time to do the thing I love most – sew. I’m very grateful for my mom who taught me as a little girl. I had my own mini machine that I used to sew doll clothes. Over the years, my craftiness has come in handy and saved money (say what?), by sewing things myself.

It seems I was never afraid to try anything, starting out with woven fabric and making clown costumes and men’s zip up shorts when I was 20. I made bridesmaid gowns for a couple of weddings, my own wedding dress, a roman shade, a pieced duvet cover, Christening gowns for my children, and recovered a worn out sofa. I’ve sewn every kind of clothing, stuffed toys, various bags, and quilts. I sewed soft reversible waterproof bibs when my daughter drooled through everything, blankets, bedding, costumes, and other things as they grew older. My son thought I could make anything and would often request things. He’s 17 now, and has two items he’s requested recently that are on my list. I love that he will wear clothing I sew! Right now, I have the stool for the drum set from my son’s high school band that needs to be recovered. I’m grateful to have the skills to sew a new leather seat cover for them.

In the last several years, I’ve discovered PDF patterns and I’m grateful to be a tester for several designers. My skills have improved immensely over the years, and I’m thankful I can sew well fitting pants. Several years ago, when my sister kept encouraging me to open an Etsy shop, I started TwoChicklets, named for my two chicklets (children). It started off with some baby items – bibs, cuddle blankies, hats, burp cloths, until introducing other things I felt like sewing. I’ve changed the items over the years to what is selling well, which is an odd collection to be sure. All the different animal towels are my own designs, hand drawn to make the patterns. They are quite popular, especially the adult size! My husband is very supportive of my hobby and I’m grateful I can make a little to help out (at least with buying more supplies) Haha.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Come visit the other bloggers on the tour by clicking on the links below!

Week of November 6th:

6: Sewing By Ti, 7: That’s Sew Lily, 8: Elli and Nels, 9: Jot Designs

Week of November 11th:
Week of November 18th:
Week of November 25th: