BY HAND LONDON’S KIM DRESS

I was lucky enough to be a tester for the Kim dress recently released from By Hand London.  They hit it out of the park with another beautiful party dress.  I am especially crazy about the wide neckline as I think it’s really flattering and a bit more grown up than a classic princess seam dress.

I decided to go with view B and the sweetheart neckline, although the petal skirt version looks really beautiful too.  I omitted the pleats along the bottom because I was sure they would get lost in the busy print I was using.  The only other change that I made to the skirt was to add some pockets.  In my opinion every full skirt should have pockets.  They are easy to hide in the fullness and make the dress so much more wearable.

I did a full bust adjustment because they draft for a size B and used this tutorial from craftsy.  I still had a few tweaks after muslining but I am super happy with the end fit.  I also decided to line the skirt to help with the fullness.  The fabric has a nice weight to it but still drape so I was nervous that the skirt would stick close to my body without the lining.

Because of the weight of the full skirt I decided to use Tasia of Sewaholic’s directions to do a waiststay (Ignore my crazy lining.  I promised myself to only use fabric from my stash for the inside).  I am so glad that I did.  It’s nice to have that extra support and not feel like the skirt is pulling on the bodice.

Also, to help with the wide straps I sewed little ribbons to the straps at the shoulder seams before attaching the lining to the bodice front.  My bra had detachable straps so I just put the straps through the ribbon to keep my bra straps in place.  You could also add a little snap to one side of the ribbon if your bra is detachable.  Added bonus is that these little ribbons make it much easier to hang up.

The gorgeous fabric is from Caroline’s fabric store called Blackbird Fabrics.  I love her store.  I trust her taste and ability to pick high quality fabrics.  This viscose was so great to work with.  It’s super soft but still has a nice structure to it.  I think it’s out of stock but I heard she will be restocking it in January :)  Highly recommend it.

I’ve already worn the dress out to a holiday party and felt beautiful in it.  I have to admit that it’s a bit more “sweet” than I normally go, but I guess that’s one of the great things about sewing your own clothes – you get to try lots of different styles and silhouettes out. So glad that I took a risk.

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE SEWIST

Every year my mom or husband asks me for list of things that I want for the holidays.  I never know what to tell them.  Sewing is increasingly becoming a bigger and bigger part of my life and so I decided that this year might be a good time to invest in some sewing related items. As I have been trying to gather my own personal wish list for the holidays, I thought it might be fun to share a few of the things that I have been eyeing.  This list is for you, instead of a list of things for you to sew for other people.  I am trying really hard not to DIY a ton of gifts this holiday.  So much work, and generally underappreciated.   But here are some things that you might like for yourself (or a list to pass on to whomever is buying for you:).

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Workroom Social Camp – 4 epic days of sewing camp with some of the most talented women in the industry.  I can’t even image how incredible this is going to be.  Also, I know Jennifer (the camp director) personally and she is one of the most professional and organized go getters that I have ever met.  I have no doubt that this is going to be the best sewing camp ever.  I REALLY want to go.

3M Medical Tape – Aspen of Little Green Orchids turned me onto this tape.  You can buy it in bulk on Amazon and it doesn’t melt under the iron.  Perfect for taping together pdf patterns and then ironing them flat again when you want to use them again.

Clover Chalk Pencil – Another winner from Blackbird Fabrics.  I’ve always wanted one because so many people say they love them.  Plus they come in tons of fun colors.

Sewing Art – I’m always looking for ways to dress up my sewing space and art is a great way to do that.  Maddie has some beautiful prints up on Society 6 or you can always look around etsy.

Dress Form – I’ve wanted a real big girl dress form for awhile now.  I currently own an adjustable singer that i bought for $7 at a thrift store.  It’s time to upgrade soon.  Not sure which one I want to get yet although the ones from The Shop Company are very reasonable and have collapsible shoulders.

Glass Head Pins - I pretty much want everything from Blackbird Fabrics shop, but these pins caught my eye.  I need nice pins and love that these don’t melt under the iron because of the glass head.

 

What did I miss?  What sewing related item must I have on my list?  Please share below!

THE MINI HUDSON PANT IS HERE!

I am so excited to say that the Mini Hudson Pant is ready for sale.  As I mentioned in a previous post I have been wanting to do this ever since I had plans to start drafting patterns for True Bias.  Mostly because it reflects the way that I sew in real life.  I love sewing clothing for myself, but usually when I am done with a project I have left over fabric that I like to sew up into clothing for my children.

From now on all of my patterns will eventually be children’s patterns as well.  Some will be almost exact replicas of the adult version and others will be age appropriate versions.  The Mini Hudson Pant is the first, but the Mini Sutton will follow in the spring as well.

The Mini Hudson Pant is a skinny sweat pant with more room around the hips, but tapering into a skinny leg.  There is an elastic waistband with a drawstring and side pockets.  The pant is offered in sizes 2T – 10 and is great for both girls and boys.

There are two versions.  View A is a full length pant and View B is a cropped pant that hits just below the knee.  Although it’s a bit cold for them here in NYC right now, I think that my daughter is going to wear the cropped version a ton in the spring.  It gives a bit more of a sporty look to the pant and looks great with running shoes.

Just like it’s adult version, the Mini Hudson Pant has a waistband, pocket details and cuffs that create a great opportunity to mix colors and prints.  If you have an old tshirt or sweat shirt you could easily cut it up for the details.  That is what is so fun about sewing for children in my opinion.  It’s a great excuse to use up leftover fabric in your stash and repurpose old clothing.

Since I am new to the kids sewing pattern world I thought that it would be fun to do a blog hop this time around.  Since we are in the middle of the busy holiday season the bloghop won’t be until after the first of the year but expect that, as well as a few variation posts in the next few weeks.  I won’t be doing a sewalong for these either as the construction is almost exactly the same as the adult version.  I tried to keep as much the same as possible so that those of you who have already sewn up the Hudson pants can sew up the minis really easily.

You can purchase the pattern by clicking here or by clicking the illustration in the right hand sidebar.  I can’t wait to see what you all make.  Be sure to tag your photos #minihudsonpants on instagram so that I can see them.

KID SIZED PATTERNS COMING SOON!

Thought I would update you on some goings on around here.  Starting very soon I will begin releasing all of my patterns as children’s versions as well, starting with a miniature version of the Hudson Pant.  It’s something I have planned on doing ever since I began drafting patterns to sell on True Bias, mostly because it’s the way I sew in real life.  I love making clothes for myself, but generally have some fabric leftover and use that to make clothing for my children.  Some of the patterns will be almost exact replicas like the Mini Hudson Pants, but others will be age appropriate versions of the adult one.  You can expect the Mini Hudsons to be released sometime within a weeks time and the Mini Sutton Blouse will be ready in spring.  Hope you are as excited as I am.  If you look around on instagram you can find some sneak peeks from my testers #minihudsonpants.

LINDEN SWEATSHIRTS

I am pretty sure that I bought the Linden Sweatshirt pattern immediately when I got the email that it was for sale.  I am a big fan of all of Grainline’s patterns and I knew that this one would be no different.

Like others I have really been trying to make things that I will wear often.  I’ve sworn off party dresses unless I have a reason to wear one (there is one in the works :) but try to focus on everyday apparel instead.  Right now I live in Hudson Pants, Mandy Boat Tees, Sutton Tops and Grainline Archers and I am pretty excited to add Ginger Jeans to that list.  And now I can also put Linden Sweatshirts down as one of those comfy and easy to wear items I want to wear all of the time.

After sewing up a muslin I decided to go down one size.  I think that I probably should be doing an fba, but since I don’t it ends up being a bit big so sizing down seemed to fix the issue.  I also had to shorted the sleeves by a couple of inches – which is pretty normal for me because I am a shorty.  I also decided to lower the neckline by about a half an inch and lengthen the neckband accordingly.

Everything came together perfectly.  The instructions are great and once cut out, the sweatshirt came together in about an hour on my serger.  A very satisfying make.

The pink sweatshirt fabric is from fabric.com.  It’s such a nice, flattering color and I was really happy with the softness and quality.  I had a hard time finding a ribbing to match so I opted to just use the looped side of the french terry for the details.

The blue french terry is a super soft heathered blue from http://www.moodfabrics.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=french+terry.  The navy ribbing is from fabric.com.

I have plans to make more of these for sure.  I have some really fun sweater knit that I want to use, just need to find the right ribbing first.

 

SUTTON BLOUSE TESTER RECAP

I am blessed to have some really amazing testers.  I love seeing what others create with my patterns and find it so inspiring.  I thought that it would be fun to share some Sutton Blouse creations from a few of my testers along with their thoughts.

 

Caroline from Sewaholic / Blackbird Fabrics

“The Sutton Blouse is such a versatile pattern! I love the loose fit and yoke detail. It can be dressed up tucked into a pencil skirt, or casual and comfortable paired with jeans and loafers. The yoke gives you the opportunity to play with sheerness or color blocking!” – Caroline

 

 

Meghan from Made By Meg

“I love sewing with light and drapey fabrics, but the rayon challis I used had a horrible tendency to wrinkle. Next time I’m going to try this in a silk or poly blend!” – Meg

 

Heather of Where Heather Grows

“I am really loving this blouse. It’s so easy to throw on with jeans, and it’s nicer than a plain old t-shirt. It also goes really nice with a big chunky cardigan over top, and I’m wondering how it might look over top of something long-sleeved, but I haven’t tried it yet. I love how it’s loose but also how it curves in at the sides to flatter my shape. And I am totally digging the length of the kimono sleeves.” – Heather

 

Carrie from Carrie in Stitches

“I really love the modern clean shape and easy lines of this blouse. I gave myself a little challenge and sewed it using silk chiffon. It was my first time using such a tricky fabric but I love the finished product and think it is the perfect pattern for shifty silk. Love love love!” – Carrie

 

Man I love these ladies!  So much talent.

*The above versions of the Sutton Blouse were sewn up during the testing phase and the current pattern has a bit less ease in the width and the neckline has been raised by 1/4″.

I am currently working on a tunic length variation of the Sutton Blouse and will hopefully be able to share that with you guys soon!

MAKING MY KIDS PAJAMAS

I really needed a quick make after making up so many Sutton Blouses and doing the sewalong so I decided to make some pjs up for my kids with some fabric from my stash.  I know that a lot of people like to make pajamas for their kids around the holidays so I thought I would share in case it helps anyone out with theirs.

Both of the main fabrics are from Art Gallery Fabrics.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again that I really love their knits for kids stuff.  They have some really fun prints, but most importantly I just feel like the weight of the fabric is just right, especially for kid clothing.  It holds it’s shape well which makes it easier to sew.  It’s a good medium weight which is good for lots of washings and abuse from my two kiddos.  The navy rib knit for the cuffs and neckband was from Fabric.com.  It’s much thinner, but it worked well.

For the top of the pjs I used the flashback skinny tee from Made by Rae.  I have used that pattern so many times.  It’s just a great basic and perfect for a simply pajama outfit.  I followed the pattern exactly with the 2 inch cuff option and just did a simple zigzag stitch for the turned up hem.  Super simple and fast.

For the bottoms I traced a pair of leggings for both of them.  Pretty simple to do, but if you don’t feel confident there are tons of free patterns online for leggings.  I did a 2 inch cuff on the bottom and a 1 inch elastic for the waistband.

If you want to go an even simpler route there is this winter pjs pattern from peek a boo patterns or this amazing vintage pattern.

How about you guys?  Do you make new pjs every year for yourself or kids?  Do you have a go to pattern?  I’m still looking for a good nightgown pattern for my daughter if anyone knows of one.

 

THE SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 7 : HOW I WEAR IT

I get a lot of questions about styling and have recently had some requests for styling tips for the Sutton Blouse in particular, especially in the colder months.  I thought it would be fun to show you how I wear it, both on it’s own and as a layering piece to give you some ideas.

1 – Under a Fitted Jacket

This is how I have been wearing my Sutton Blouse the most this fall.  Jeans and a fitted jacket with either boots or flats.  I like this outfit because the deep V makes me feel less buttoned up and the fact that the back extends out the back of my jacket and covers my bum in super skinny jeans is always a good idea.

 

2 – With an Oversized Sweater

I love wearing oversized sweaters in the fall.  Paired with skinny jeans or leggings and boots and I am ready to head out the door and be super comfy.

 

3 – With my Hudsons

I think that you have to be careful when pairing a loose top with loose pants, but I have found that if I do a little front tuck and wear it with heels then the silhouette is much more flattering.  This is one super comfy outfit.  And if it gets cold I would just throw my leather jacket on top.

 

4 – With a Skirt and Blazer

To dress it up a bit I paired my Sutton Blouse with a fitted blazer and knit pencil skirt.  I like wearing the Sutton Blouse with this outfit because the deep V allows me to feel less librarian and a little more edgy.  Otherwise I think that I would feel super conservative and a little clausterphobic.

 

I hope these styling ideas helped give you some ideas for wearing your Sutton Blouse when it’s cold outside.  Today was the last day of the sewalong, but I am working on some variations that should be popping up over the next few weeks.  Thanks so much for sewing or following along!

THE SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 6 : HEM AND SIDE SLITS

So excited to finish sewing up the Sutton Blouse today!

Turn the hem on both the front and back 1/4″ up towards the wrong side of your top (at the bottom small dot).  Press.

Match the two small dots, right sides together (folding up 1 inch). Pin and press.

Stitch from the small dot down to the bottom of the shirt at 3/8” seam allowance.

Turn the corner of your hem so that it’s now right side out and press. If needed clip the corner before turning to reduce bulk.  Repeat for the remaining three side seam corners.

Press the remaining open seam allowance flat between the large dot and hem at 3/8”.

On the right side of the top, stitch at 1/4” starting from the bottom back corner of your blouse and continuing up past the large dot by 1/4”. Pivot and stitch across for 1/2” and then pivot and continue down the front edge at 1/4” until you reach the bottom. Back- stitch at both ends securely.  Repeat for other side slit.

Press the remaining hem up and pin at 1”. Press.

Stitch at 7/8″ across the entire front and back hem to finish it.  Backstitch at both ends.

Now is a good time to give it a final press, clip threads, and remove any visible basting and tailor tacks.  You are done!  Here is my final blouse.

I hope you will let me see your finished blouses by tagging it #suttonblouse on instagram. Please let me know if you have any questions.  Tomorrow will be the final day of the sewalong and I will show you how I style and wear the Sutton Blouse, especially in the colder months.

THE SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 5 : SIDESEAMS AND SLEEVES

Welcome back for day 5 of our Sutton Blouse Sewalong.  Today we are going to sew up those sides and finish the sleeves so that it actually looks like a top and you can try it on.

Finish the edges of your side seams (all four) separately from top to bottom by either pinking or serging (I am showing serging here).

Turn the finished edge towards the wrong side of your blouse pieces by 1/4”. Pin and press.  Stitch down at 1/8″.

Underside:

Right side :

Open your garment out flat and check to make sure that your sleeve is one long, straight edge (Sometimes seams get stretched slightly during sewing.). If necessary trim to make straight again.  You can see in my photo below that I have to trim a bit around the point where the front meets the yoke.

To finish your sleeve, fold the edge towards the wrong side of your blouse at 1/4”. Press.

Fold again at 1/4”. Pin. Press.

Stitch at a scant 1/4” making sure to catch the edge of the folded edge underneath.

With right sides together, pin the side seams between the armhole and the large dot.

Stitch at 3/8” seam allowance.  Backstitch securely at both ends.

Press the seam open between the armhole and the large dot.

With the seam allowances of the side seams pressed open, flip your blouse to the right side and stitch over the existing stitching at the bottom of the sleeve 1/2” in either direction, catching the seam allowance underneath. This will keep the seam allowances flat and out of sight.

Here is the finished under arm with the additional stitching.  Although I know that it’s hard to see.

That’s it for today.  Go ahead and try it on just for fun.  Tomorrow we will finish it up with the slits and hem.