My Closet

Hvar, the Jacket


Hvar is the newest pattern from Itch to Stitch. You can read all the details in Kennis’ blog  post. Kennis put out the testing call, advertising an easy unlined jacket with only a few pieces. Yes please! What’s not to like about that? I ended up making two Hvar Jackets.

Look at the beautiful bust dart! I’ve always loved navy and green together. Not sure I pulled off the look though. Guess I need to sew a new top, haha!

I found more pictures of my green Hvar! I thought I hadn’t taken any yet. Worn here with a Lago Tank and Liana Jeans.

This is a mystery fabric that has been in my stash for decades. It drapes very well but wrinkles easily.

My second Hvar is made from a re-purposed 100% cotton tablecloth. I really liked the plaid and the fabric. Turns out it’s very thick and stable, even though it’s loosely woven. That’s ok though, I have two different looks!


And look, they go great with my North Point Trousers! Get your Hvar Jacket while it’s on sale for the first week and be sure to check out all the other Itch to Stitch patterns. Some of them will be on sale for only $5!

My Closet

Finally Frida

In the pattern testing world, there was high anticipation for this pattern that Ann Grose of Designer Stitch was teasing us with. It was the Frida. She’s good at getting us all riled up in anticipation of the next pattern! Ann posted lots of inspiration photos to help us shop for fabric. Of course, I couldn’t find any of the awesome fabrics that RTW has access to. It took weeks of searching to even find this black border eyelet that I settled on. The bright floral I paired it with is almost 20 years old! I originally used it to make the bodice and an apron to go with the traditional Dutch outfit in the style they wore in Volendam. My toddler daughter was a daffodil in a flower pot for Halloween and I was the Dutch girl watering her. Sure wish I could find the picture to show all of you; but that was before digital photography so it would be a daunting task!


I wasn’t sure what to wear my Frida top with and was having a rough week, so I threw on some shorts and sandals. These are the shorts version of the Alyse Slim Pants  that I love! Next time I wear my Frida top, it will be with jeans or skinny black pants and ropers. The Frida can be made to be a top, tunic, or dress and has four sleeve options. It’s fun to look at the line drawings to design your own Frida!


The tester photos are awesome and really blew me away when I saw some of them! The pattern is on sale for $8.50, regularly $12.00 until 11 October. No code needed.

Of course after the test was done, I found this perfect fabric (a table cloth I think) for Frida at a thrift store.


It will be a Frida dress or tunic but I don’t get to sew it until after mid October. Until next time…Happy Fall!

My Closet

Pathfinder for Women


It was exciting to be chosen twice in as many months to test for Twig + Tale. The Driftwood Blouse and Dress was a fun test, resulting in these two blouses…


You can find the pattern here and the button front add-on here. Twig + Tale has the most adorable patterns for children and many wonderful women’s patterns too. This is my referral link. If you haven’t tried their patterns yet, here is a coupon to get $3.00 off your first $10 order valid until 30 September 17. And this is my affiliate link if you’d like to click here.

This time, we were testing the Women’s Pathfinder, a perfect way to say Sew Long Summer and hello to autumn days. Thanks goes to Melissa at Mahlicadesigns for hosting the blog tour again this year!

Twig + Tale tests in teams, each assigned a color and corresponding dates. I ended up in the third group with V3 of the pattern. I figured we were close to a final fit so used my beautiful flowered baby corduroy and treasured pale aqua fuzzy minky. It ended up tight because the arm holes were too small. How disappointing…, for a few minutes at least. Then I got to work picking out stitches and trimming off some fabric to make it wearable. Ta da!


It tuned out cute, with the options chosen being the pixie hood, one curved pocket, curved lower back, and KAM snap closure. It goes well with my Maple Skirt from Gracious Threads and my Abby’s Knockout Socks from The Wolf and the Tree.


The final version ended up to be V5 as Lisa and Jacqui tweaked the pattern to get it just right. Wool found at the thrift store was my choice for this one but I had a horrible time deciding what to use as lining. I wasn’t exactly sure about this jade plaid flannel but I love it now that it’s done. It helped to tie in the black of the plaid by using black furry minky in the hood and pockets and black wool loops for the buttons.


Some of the ladies decorated their vests with awesome hand embroidery that I am pretty envious of. That got me going on a search for just the right little embroidery design for mine. I don’t have patience for sewing by hand but I found this little winter flurry bird at Urban Threads and promptly had a pocket on my embroidery machine to stitch.

I chose the curved back and pixie hood again but went with the rectangular pockets and buttons with loops for the closure. There is also a curved hood and a straight back to choose from and plenty of ideas for hacks.


It was a bright sunny 108 degree F day when I took these pictures. Well, it might have been slightly cooler at sundown. 😰 Oh well, I survived!

Are you ready to sew your own Pathfinder? Get it on sale here and join Twig + Tale Chat group for an extra discount!

Check out the other tester versions, especially the exquisite hand embroidery!

And be sure to check out the others on the Sew Long Summer Blog Tour!

Monday’s Bloggers:
Monday: Sewing by Ti, Sewing Vortex, Sewing A La Carte, Very Blissful

Tuesday’s Bloggers:
Tuesday: mahlicadesigns, My Heart Will So On, Couturious, Anne-Mari Sews, Adventures With Bubba and Bug

Wednesday’s Bloggers:
Wednesday: Tenilles Thread, Sewing with D, mahlicadesigns

Thursday’s Bloggers:
Thursday: Indulging Mom, MeMade, Anne-Mari Sews

Friday’s Bloggers:
Friday: Little Heart Threads, Idlesunshine, Ronda B. Handmade, Tales of a Tester, Sewing à la Carte, Tales From A Southern Mom, Sew Haute Blog

My Closet

Sew Long Summer, Oh Hey June!

Thank you Melissa of  Malicadesigns for hosting the Sew Long Summer blog tour! Last year, Melissa graciously had me as a guest blogger (way easier, haha) and this year I have my own new space!


Summer definitely wasn’t long enough this year, but on we march toward autumn days. In Arizona, that means watching football games and marching band competitions in the stifling heat. This year, it also means I’m preparing our wardrobes for a cruise 🚢 during the October school break. Coastal California will be cool in the fall so I chose to sew a jacket. Especially after seeing one at the thrift store that I loved. It fit perfect and was so cute…but had 3/4 sleeves (I don’t see the point). As I stood looking in the mirror and admiring the jacket, I realized that it was the same style as a pattern I already had! And bonus, I had this dreamy navy striped interlock that I’d been saving for just the right pattern for a few years!


Anyway, a combination of lack of planning on my part and the rest of life happening, I sewed this jacket all afternoon and into the evening (before my deadline)! Gasp! I sewed on and on, even skipping lunch, although I did have to stop and feed my guys some dinner before finishing. That explains why you are seeing night time photographs. Luckily for me, we have some powerful yard lights, haha!


Just look at this awesome stripe matching! This pattern with it’s 15 pattern pieces is not for the faint of heart, especially if you choose stripes, and are on a deadline!!!! Unless you love a challenge, of course!


I made the Evergreen Jacket from Hey June Handmade about nine months ago in light blue French Terry so I knew it would fit well. The sleeves are the perfect length when the cuffs are folded in half like my light blue jacket. In my rush, I forgot to fold the cuffs and make sure I didn’t have wrinkles, oops!



This jacket is shortened by 1/2″ and both are graded out for my hips. Most of the Evergreen is sewn on a sewing machine. A walking foot is a necessity for great results with this pattern. I wouldn’t attempt to sew one without it!  In fact, I used the walking foot instead of my zipper foot for the zippers! Wonder tape is another good friend to have on hand for this pattern.

Here’s a description of this wonderful jacket.

The Evergreen Jacket is a stylish yet cozy knit jacket with moto-styling, an asymmetrical zipper, and zippered pockets. The yoke, collar, and front lapels are fully faced so your garment will be beautifully finished inside and out. The sleeves are two-part, adding a little shaping and a fun detail on the back. Make the Evergreen Jacket in a cozy sweatshirt fleece and you’ll live in it all weekend. Or make it in a stretch faux leather with ribbing accents, pair it with your skinny jeans and boots and you have the perfect Saturday night outfit!

– A .pdf pattern in sizes XS – 2XL
– Instructions for printing only the pages and size you need
– Diagrams for taping the pattern together
– Notes on choosing the best size and fabric and sewing with knit
– Digitally illustrated directions for every sewing step
– A print shop copy so you can print the entire pattern on one sheet of 36″ wide paper or 2 sheets of A0 sized paper.



As I was cutting all the pieces, I was beginning to think it was too many stripes and wondered why I didn’t do solid cuffs and band at least. Oh well, it was too late to change my mind and I really love my awesome new jacket!

So what do you think? Does it look like the perfect nautical piece for our cruise and to say sew long summer?

Be sure to check out the other exciting things on the Sew Long Summer Tour this week…

Monday’s Bloggers: (direct links to SLS posts)

Monday: Sewing by Ti, Sewing Vortex,  Sewing A La Carte, Very Blissful

Tuesday’s Bloggers: (direct links to SLS posts)

Tuesday: mahlicadesigns, My Heart Will So On, Couturious, Anne-Mari Sews, Adventures With Bubba and Bug

Wednesday’s Bloggers: (direct links to SLS posts)

Wednesday: Tenilles Thread, Tales From A Southern Mom, Sew Haute Blog, Sewing with D

Thursday’s Bloggers: (direct links to SLS posts)

Thursday: Indulging Mom, MeMade, Anne-Mari Sews, mahlicadesigns

Friday’s Bloggers: (direct links to SLS posts)

Friday: Little Heart Threads, Idlesunshine, Ronda B. Handmade, Tales of a Tester, Sewing à la Carte

My Closet

Trousers, not Pants

It’s hard to resist a testing call from Kennis at Itch-to-Stitch. So even though I was over committed, I let my sewing friends from Facebook talk me into applying to test the North Point Trousers. Kennis renamed them from North Point Pants when some of the English ladies mentioned that pants are underwear in some countries. And these trousers are absolutely of the dress up variety so not to be confused with underclothes! Trousers are one of the clothing items that most seamstresses avoid. After all, every body is different and trousers require lots and lots of fitting to get them just right. Luckily for me, Kennis designs for my body! Haha 😂, just kidding! But I am lucky that it doesn’t take a ton of adjustments for her patterns to fit me well.    I used red stretch bengaline for the muslin, making size 6 grading to size 0 for the waist. Only a few pattern pieces had to be graded, but oooopsie, my slanted front pockets ended up in the side seam. Kennis went in and changed some instructions so more pieces are included in the grading process. This is why we test after all! So I have no front pockets on my red pair. That’s ok, look how well they fit!

I’m wearing it with my Chai Shirt, also from Itch-to-Stitch. You can see more pictures of it in this blog post.


Navy stretch bengaline is what I used for the next pair. This is my favorite Lisbon Cardigan. I just love this fabric!

I really love these. It’s so wonderful to be able to make such well fitting trousers. If you haven’t tried it, this may just be the pattern for your first pair. Kennis has very in depth instructions, walking you through every step. She and the members of her Facebook group are also helpful if you have questions.

Here I have on my Jacqueline Hoodie. They look a bit more casual with the hoodie and my navy shoes.

And here they are with my Bonn Shirt. This is another favorite of mine!

Can you tell yet that I love Itch-to-Stitch patterns?

Here are some details of the trousers which come in sizes 00-20.

Classically sleek straight leg silhouette
Medium rise and curve through hip and thigh
Ankle length that can be lengthened or shortened
Contour waistband for a better fit
Streamlined front slanted pockets
Strong and durable back single-welt pockets
Fly front with zipper and double hook and bar closure
Use of stretch woven fabric for comfort
Layers feature (print only the sizes you need)

The pattern will be $12, but is on sale for $9.60 until September 12, 2017. Read more about North Point and see the flawless pair Kennis made here and see the other tester’s versions too.

Get your copy of the North Point Trousers here.

My Closet

Mama Ella and Pink Flamingos

It’s been several months now when I won a box of fabric through Sewing Portfolios from LA Finch Fabrics. Thank you soooo much Candice from Sewing Portfolios and LA Finch Fabric for the wonderful prize box! This appreciation is long overdue! I was so excited to open the box and the fabric is super soft and amazing, but…it wasn’t the cotton, French Terry, swim spandex, etc that I would usually buy. Most of it was the popular double brushed poly that so many people love. It was out of my comfort zone! I was stumped on what to make with it and a little scared too! Over the months that passed, I kept admiring the beautiful colors and prints, keeping different patterns in mind. Well, I finally did it; I cut into this beloved flamingo fabric!


I don’t see it on the site any more but they have a couple of others. And who doesn’t love flamingos, right? Designs with flamingos always draw me in and I don’t even know why, haha!


I’ve had the Mama Ella pattern from Made for Mermaids for quite a while, buying it when there was a big sale. I’ve only ever made some of the freebie patterns which I loved. There was no reason to get any others, since a lot of patterns are similar to what I have from different designers. Since this was my first pattern for me from Made for Mermaids, I was nervous about cutting into my gorgeous fabric. The only alteration was to shorten as I usually do for my 5′ 2″ height. The ruffled version is what drew me to the pattern, but I thought it might look too little girlish in the pink fabric. I figured this would be a quick top to sew since it’s basically a fancy tank with several options you can see here. Well, I was wrong, haha! The double brushed poly is super soft, but also slinky and hard to smooth and cut. I’m old fashioned when it comes to cutting, still using pins and scissors for the most part. (The rotary cutter makes my neck and arm hurt). Then as I’m sewing (and not reading ahead), I was pleasantly surprised when the neck and arm finishing ended up to be proper binding rather than bands…until I tried to sew them on. I wasn’t happy with it at all so picked the stitches out and tried again, and again until I got a nice finish, see?



Finally my top is done, ending up longer than I usually wear. I like the design of it and the strappy X back but I’m not really sure the pale pink is a good color for me. There is also some wrinkling going on at my shoulder seams. I’m not sure if it’s too wide or needed to be shortened. Hmmm, something to think about before sewing it again.


I’m wearing my new top here with my Real Deal Jeans shorts from Winter Wear Designs. It goes really well with the bright pink topstitching on my jean shorts but the top is so long, you can’t see it. Oh well…I do love it, can you tell?


My Closet

Boardshorts for me!

I’ve never had a pair of boardshorts. Yep, it’s true. Until now! You see, my waist is much smaller than my hips so the RTW (ready to wear) ones didn’t fit right. Enter Jessica from 5 Out of 4 Patterns with a pattern test for boardshorts. Score! I was happy to be chosen and had my fabrics ready to go. We started off making our muslin with version 1. Looks pretty good from the front but the wedgie in the back needed to be fixed!

I used an old flannel sheet that was hanging around my sewing room for way too long. It was big enough to sew up three shorts muslins! By the time I made my final pair, we were on version 6! If you think pattern testing is easy, think again! I’m so glad for designers like Jessica who work long and hard to get the pattern just right. The end product is a quality the designer will be proud of and customers will return to buy more patterns!

5oo4 Womens Boardshorts size4 graded to size2waist with 5in inseam (3)

My first wearable pair have a 5″ inseam since I had limited fabric.  They are a little too short for my legs! I used this same fabric for the Men’s Swim Trunks I made for my son. He did tell me that we are not allowed to wear them at the same time. Ah well, I guess I can’t expect a 16 year old to want a mommy and me matching set! 😂


The pattern has plenty of options for length though, and I decided to go with 7″ on my next pair.


I went with snaps on my second pair and am so glad. I love how they look and they are easier to get into than the traditional tabs and tie.


Isn’t this some crazy fun fabric though? I’ve had it for many years so it was time I had the right pattern for some of it! This pair is very comfortable so I’d better get sewing some solid shirts to match!

This is my affiliate link. Be sure to check out the other tester versions

The Women’s Boardshorts are a woven shorts pattern intended for microfiber (“boardshort”) material. They have a back yoke to help mold the fabric to your body’s contours. These are a relaxed fit pattern with a low rise.

  • Sizes 0 – 24 (see the last image for a size chart)
  • Velcro fly
  • 4 inseam lengths: 2″, 5″, 7″, and 9.5″
  • Comprehensive fitting guide.  Since this is for wovens, I have to classify this as an intermediate pattern.  You should expect to do some personal fitting.  There are pictures and drawings to help you figure out which alterations are best for your personal fit issues.
  • Optional cargo pocket in two sizes
  • Leg openings can be hemmed or finished with binding


My Closet

You will love this Chai!

Whenever Kennis from Itch-to-Stitch posts a testing call, I jump at the chance to apply! I love almost all of her designs and started testing for her when she designed Marbella, the first pattern in her shop. Here is mine from testing…IMG_3847

Anyway, even though Kennis designs for 5′ 6″ women, we are of similar shape and size. That’s a bonus for me because when Kennis looks great in the clothes she designs, then I have a good chance of looking good in them too! But I’m getting off topic, oops!

We are here for the new Chai Shirt and Dress!  This pattern looks amazing on every height and body type that I’ve seen in the test group. It’s like magic or something! Wait until you see all of them and see what you think.

A lot of you know that I have a huge fabric stash that I’ve been trying to sew through. Well, this pattern had me stumped when it came to what to choose. With such a close fit, a muslin was required to check fit. And well, I’m not a good muslin maker, haha! I usually sew a wearable muslin (which is just using regular fabric that I don’t care about if it gets messed up). I picked the white with little fruits for it, and look how cute it came out! I did some of my usual alterations to the pattern – shortened the bodice 1 1/8″ for my 5′ 2″ height and graded the hips two sizes bigger.



And look, it goes with my Tierras Woven Joggers…



You can find them here: https://itch-to-stitch.com/product/tierras-woven-joggers-digital-sewing-pattern-pdf/

For my final version, I changed the alterations a bit, taking out only 3/4″ from the bodice and grading only one size up for the hips. I wanted this shirt to look more sophisticated than my fruity one, and again was uncertain when it came to choosing fabric. I had some 1 yard pieces that I loved for it, but they weren’t enough and a few 3 or 4 yard pieces that I didn’t want to use for a shirt when I might need it for something bigger. With help from the other testers, I chose this fabulous royal blue with tiny aqua dots. It wasn’t quite enough for my shirt, but I squeezed it on the fabric, only having to cut the collar stand and the inner waistband pieces from a coordinating solid. Oh, and I had to make it sleeveless; which is Ok since I love this look too!



Even the back of this shirt looks awesome…


Oh, and the hair, it is a retro style after all, so I thought I should style me some 50s hair, lol! One more picture, then go check out all the rest!


Look at all the pretty Chai Shirts and Dresses here:



Thank you Ann…I think

Ann Grose of DesignerStitch.com is the reason I have a blog finally. She can be very persistent. In a good way, of course! Ann is also a lot of fun, has some really good ideas, and I suspect would be the biggest troublemaker in a group of sewing girlfriends! Spending more time/work on the computer each day/week won’t be good for my housekeeping, so we’ll see how this blog thing goes!

I first “met” Ann way back in January of 2015 (I think) when she first showed up on the Facebook scene. She put out a testing call for Kat Top in one of the Facebook groups. I applied and was accepted. Since my parents were here visiting for a couple of months, I decided to make the top for my mom. My mom is not comfortable in front of the camera, but I did a lot of coaching and took a lot of pictures. I just love it that my mom from rural Michigan is a model in Ann’s pattern shop, all the way over in Australia! http://designerstitch.com/shop/kat-top/#iLightbox%5Bproduct-gallery%5D/4



Since that first Kat Top, Ann has designed dozens of beautiful garment patterns. I tested a few of them that I will show another day. In the mean time, go check out DesignerStitch.com to see all the lovelies you can make for yourself or your mom!