Tag Archives: Girl Charlee

Bella Sunshine Designs: Sahara Top

Hey, Sewists!  I have a fun new make of a brand new pattern to share with you.  May I present the newly released Bella Sunshine Designs – Sahara Dress & Top.

I was lucky enough to be asked to test this pattern out.  I almost turned it down because of moving, but I am so glad I did not.  BSD is a new to me PDF pattern company that I learned about through sewingportfolios.com.  They learned of me through there as well.  If you are not on there yet I strongly recommend it.  I have been presented with multiple pattern testing opportunities in the short time I have been a member.

See that scooped out back neckline?  That is what sold me on testing this pattern.  Of course, the fullness of the peplum won me over, but it was the deep scoop back neckline that pushed me over the edge.  I cannot think of any other knit pattern I have that features the back neckline like the Sahara does.  This pattern features two different neckline heights, three different sleeve lengths, a sleeveless version, and three different skirt lengths.  I opted to test the peplum top version with 3/4 sleeves with the high neckline, mostly because it would fit into one of the few pieces of knit fabric I had not yet packed but had been washed.    My bodice is a size 16 in the bust with a bust adjustment grade out to an 18 in the waist.  There are also two different versions of the front bodice, one with a full bust adjustment and one without.  Can I just tell you how much I love that!  Having the FBA version saves so much time for us, the sewists.

This is the very first fitted knit pattern I have ever made that I did not have to take in to give it the fitted look it had promised.  I could not believe this once I put it on.  The sleeves were a perfect fit.  All the knit patterns I have made that are supposed to have fitted sleeves are typically too big around the sleeve hem and upper arm.  I was so beyond pleased when I tried this on and I did not have to make any adjustments. None! Zip! Nada! I think the secret to the great fit of the bodice is that it features a lining and clear elastic along the waist, shoulders, and armholes.

Fabric usage for this pattern is broken down based on each element (sleeve version, bodice version, skirt version).  This makes it easy for color blocking the garment.  For my test version, I used two yards of a stashed cotton knit from a Girl Charlee Knitfix last year.  I also used .75 yards of a cotton jersey that has been in my stash for who knows how long.  It has been long enough that it was before I started keeping track of when, where, and how much I got it for.

Based on the pulling at the bust, I probably should have made a straight size 18 with bust adjustment.  That is the only change I would make on my next version.  In fact, I am in the process of making two more versions this month, a dress length and a pattern hacked maxi length.  I am excited to be able to share those once I am finished with them.

The pattern has a full circle skirt with no seams.  Be still my heart!  I love a full circle skirt because of how it hangs and, of course, the spin factor.  Overall, I find the skirt to be very flattering on this pattern.  The waistline hits at the natural waist and the length of the skirt on the top version hits at just below the fullest part of my hips.

I am so impressed with how this pattern turned out and how BSD ran the testing of the pattern that I have signed up to be an affliate for the company.  This is not something I take lightly.  I only want to work with companies that I like and believe in.  Bella Sunshine Designs meets those requirements.  As an affliate, that does mean I earn a small commission on each sale that is made by clicking on the links in this post or the badge on my home page.

I am excited to work more with BSD in the future and to try out their other patterns including the other recent release of their Alice dress.  It is a woven dress with pockets.  We all know how I feel about dresses with pockets!  They are one of the most amazing things, ever!

Have your tried Bella Sunshine Designs yet?  What do you think?  What has bee

TNT Stashbusting

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Hey Stashbusters!  How are you doing on your dress sewing this month? I meant to post about this dress two weeks ago, but Eric and I were celebrating our anniversary by going to Canada!  It was a blast! I may have bought one piece of fabric as a souvenir.  We’ll pretend like I didn’t do that for now though.

This week I am back with another version of my TNT knit dress, McCall’s 6073.  I have made this dress so many times I can’t even tell you what version number this one is.  I think maybe I should give this pattern a rest for a bit.  For this version, I used my redrafted bodice pieces to create a scoop neckline instead of the cross over V-neck.  I also did a quick and easy rolled hem.  That is my new preferred hem finish for knit dresses.  It is easier and looks better than a turned and stitched hem, in my opinion.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

For my fabrics I picked up two yards of this awesome Aztec coral and purple cotton jersey blend from Girl Charlee way back in February.  I had intended to use it for this dress and picked up a royal purple cotton spandex to go with it.  On the Girl Charlee site they looked like they would match perfectly together.  Unfortunately,  in person that was not the case.  The purple in the print was just too dark to match the royal purple solid.  Now, I have one yard of royal purple cotton spandex in my stash.  Bah!

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Luckily, I still had a little bit of navy ponte de roma from a few years ago when I did the Adoption Dress Project.  The navy looked great with the coral print, so it won!  In the end I used, 1.5 yards of purple/coral Aztec print for $9.38, and .75 yards of navy ponte de roma for $5.84.  The total fabric cost for this dress is $15.22.  I don’t think that is too bad for just the materials cost.  If you were to factor in an hourly rate of minimum wage for two hours, this is about what you would pay for a knit dress at Target.  I will take that!

Oh oh and before I go, I have to tell you some exciting news!  If you follow me on Facebook you probably already saw this last month, so I am sorry for being repetitive. But……I am one of the new bloggers for Cali & Co Fabrics! I am pretty excited about this opportunity!  Awhile back they posted a call out for bloggers on their blog and I applied.  I was surprised that I actually got picked.  The list of other bloggers is full of quite a few well known sewing bloggers.  I finished my first garment this past weekend and it should go live on their blog sometime soon.  Make sure to follow their blog to see all the awesome things my co-bloggers are making!

Simplicity 1317 and Summer Plans

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

Hey Sewcialists!  What have you been up to lately?  I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I would like but I have been sewing and planning a lot.  I am slowly getting photos of all my makes, especially the dresses.  I have four dresses that I have made so far this year and none of them have had their time in front of the lens.  This crazy cold Indiana weather is making me not want to go outside.  Yesterday I wore my winter coat out to dinner! My winter coat…in mid May!  Ack!  Today, I am sharing one of my March makes.  Another version of Simplicity 1317.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

I really do love this pattern.  This is my 4th version, I believe, and I am still not sick of this pattern.  I really want to make another long sleeve version because of all this cold weather we have been having, but I will hold off for now.  For this version I made view E with an added 4″ of length.  I have a pair of olive jeggings that I love and I wanted some tunic length tops to wear with them.  I knew this pattern was a must to go with them.  While not pictured with the jeggings in these shots, the colors do all work really well together.

I also added the waistband from view A/B/C/D.  I prefer this waistband as a hem finish over just the turn and stitch hem.  Plus, it gives me another opportunity to add the contrasting fabric, like I did here, to balance out the main print fabric.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

Speaking of fabrics, all of these fabrics are ponte knits that came from the stash!  The main magenta and taupe print is from a previous Girl Charlee Knitfix that I purchased off of a seller on Facebook last year. I used 1.25 yards for cost of $11.88.  The solid color is called shitake mushroom brown, interesting name, is also from Girl Charlee purchased in 2014 during a Black Friday sale.  I used 1 yard for a cost of $3.50.  Total fabric cost of this top is $15.38 and another 2.25 yards are out of the stash.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

All in all I really enjoy wearing this top, especially when made in a ponte.

Other than all the sewing that has been happening around here, I have been planning.  Lots of planning.  I wanted to share just a little bit about what I have in store for the summer.

To start, I am hosting the Stashbusting Sewalong for July with the theme of dresses.  I am planning and prepping a series of versus posts for that month.  There will be woven shirt dresses, knit maxi dresses, and fun novelty dresses stitched up with comparisons between the different patterns and fabrics I use. Melissa of Mahlica Designs did this series earlier this year and I absolutely loved it and knew I had to do it too.  Right now I am getting all the patterns cut out that I plan on using for this.

I am also planning a learning to sew series to help out those wishing to learn sewing.  I am a part of several different sewing groups on Facebook and have seen numerous comments from members about how they are intimidated by sewing patterns.  That patterns are confusing and make the users want to give up because they cannot understand them.  I hate that others feel that way, so I want to hopefully shed a little light for them.  I have most of the pictures for the first series of posts ready to edit.  It is a lot of pictures to go through and prep.

Lastly, I have started planning costumes for our annual trek to the Ohio Renaissance Festival.  Besides Eric and I needing new costumes, I am also going to be making costumes for our nephews and their parents.  It is a lot of pieces to make and I fear I have put it off for far too long to get it all done in time.  My costume, which I have been pushing off for YEARS now, is most likely going to be pushed off again.  Eric’s costume should prove to be a learning experience for me as it will be made with real leather and I have never sewn that before. You can for sure expect a post about that experience.  After last year, my nephew decided he wanted to be Robin Hood for this year.  Of course I am going to make this happen for him.  Today I even pulled several fabrics from my stash to show him for his approval.

Until all that, I am working on a pattern hack tutorial of Simplicity 1062 for this week. Make sure to follow along on Bloglovin’ or through email to keep up to date on all of these upcoming projects and more.  I would love to hear what you all are working on too. Please leave a comment with something you are excited about for this summer.

Simplicity 8016 review

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

I have been slacking in blogging the last week for a couple of reasons.  First, I need to re-shoot the pictures for my pattern hack tutorial.  I am not happy with the way they turned out and have an idea to improve them.  Second, I thought I had blogged all the tops I had made so far this year.  Turns out I am wrong on the second point.  I have this and one other top photographed and I forgot all about them.  Oh my, what am I going to do with myself?

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

This is another top that made me stop working on my PR Wardrobe Collection.  I used Simplicity 8016 in view D.  The only major change I made was to eliminate the lace cuffs on the sleeves.  I like the 3/4 of the sleeve with out it best.  Instead of using the cuff to finish the hem, I just turned and stitched the hem at a  1/2″.  I also finished out my lace neckline by adding a taffeta bias strip finish. It is one of my favorite finishing techniques that I would love to write a tutorial on.  It give such a clean and easy finished look.

The pattern runs from XXS-XXL.  According to their size chart I would fit into an XL, and based on the finished measurements that is what I made.  This pattern fits pretty true to size in that respect.  It has just enough ease in the bust to fit comfortably while flaring out perfectly through the waist.  That flare from the bust down is very flattering. It is especially helpful in hiding the tummy lumps and bumps.

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

I was looking on Fabric Mart’s website for lace to use for my version of McCall’s 7095, when I stumbled across this lace.  I knew I had to have it and that it would be perfect for Simplicity 8016.  I bought 1 yard and ended up only using 1/4 of a yard for the yoke of this top.  I foresee more black lace yoke tops and dresses in my future!  I also used 1.25 yards of black floral rayon jersey from Girl Charlee for the body and sleeves of the top and a black taffeta bias strip for the neckline.  The jersey was one of the fabrics in my Knitfix way back in August of last year.

I am pretty pleased with the total fabric cost for this top.  At a total of $9.44, who wouldn’t be happy?!

My only issue with the top is that the black rayon jersey faded so badly after the second wash that it now appears grey instead of black.  Rayon jersey is so soft and feels like wearing secret pajamas, so it is definitely a disappointment that it did not wash well, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the pattern.

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

I really like the contrast yoke. It is drafted at a great spot to make it flattering on a large variety of body types. I like the back yoke as well.  I can see a lot of possibilities for color-blocking this top in the future.

This pattern is very easy to put together and as such would be great for beginners.  I know I want to make some more versions of this for fall as well as try the other views.  Next time I made add a little more length to make this more of a tunic that I can wear with my super skinny jeans.  I also want to take the sleeve in just a bit as it is a little too big on me.  I just got a couple of new pairs of shorts and I would like to make the tank top view of the yoke top to go with them.

Musings of a Seamstress - S8016

And then we have this gem!  I do not know what is happening here, but it was too funny not to share.

Have you made Simplicity 8016 yet?  What did you think?

Simplicity 1062 Review

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062

I am back this week with another new-ish make.  I made it back in mid-March.  This top is the reason I stopped working on my PR wardrobe collection.  I had a vision of how this top could turn out and I desperately wanted to create it.  I used Simplicity 1062 in view C for this top.  This is actually the second version of this pattern I made.  The pattern envelope describes this as an easy to wear hi-lo top, and I must agree with them.  I made an XL which is the size my measurements fit into on the measurement chart.  There is a lot of ease in the pattern that makes it super casual and comfortable.  The finished top is 10.5″ bigger in the bust than the standard measurements.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062

For this top I used 2 yards of green stripe cotton jersey from my August 2015 Girl Charlee Knitfix.  The fabric was $5.75 a yard for a total of $11.50 in materials cost for this top.  Another well worth it make.  I have one last 2 yard cut from my August Knitfix left to use, before I can purchase another bag.  I think the Knitfix is well worth the cost and I do love a mystery fabric grab bag.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062

Overall, I really like the way this top turned out.  I love that the strips on the cuff go the opposite direction as the stripes on the sleeve.  I also love the techniques for adding the cuffs and neckband. The are both fold in half pieces that I serged on.  The only thing I would change is the front length.  While I like the hi-lo, it is just a couple of inches to high for my preference in the front.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062 modified

Having shared my second version, now I want to share my first version.  It is drastically different than what the original pattern is.  This is the last of my tops that I had made for the PR Wardrobe contest.  I made this version way back in February.   I bought a top from Torrid last year that I love so much I wanted to recreate my own version of it.  Simplicity 1062 was the perfect pattern to hack for this project.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062 modified

For this top I used one yard of black jegging ponte knit from Jo-Ann’s ($8.99/yd) and .75 yards of polka dot and roses chiffon from Fabric Mart ($4.49), both of which came from my stash.  Total fabric cost for this version was $13.48, which is far less than what I paid for the inspiration piece.

I don’t want to go into any details just yet on how I hacked the pattern to create this top.  I am planning on making another version this weekend so I can get some good pictures and write up a tutorial for the pattern hack with that next version.  I think that this makes a great basic that could work for almost everyone, so I want to share how to get your own version.

What do you think?  Have you tried this pattern yet? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it!

Creative Sewing Challenge

Musings of a Seamstress Blue Dot Georgia side

Well, that was an unexpected blogging break and now I have such a backlog of projects to share.  Today I am going to start with my version of Blue Dot Patterns Georgia Top.  Several weeks ago Melissa, of Mahlica Designs, asked me to participate in a Creative Sewing Challenge using my choice of Blue Dot Pattern.  I jumped at the chance to try a new to me pattern company and get creative with my version.

I decided to go with the Georgia Top, which is a quick  beginner level knit project with a dolman sleeve. The pattern itself is very easy to put together.  I think from beginning to end it took me about an hour.  I love a good quick project.

Musings of a Seamstress Blue Dot Georgia

For my version I added 15″ to the length to make it a dress on me.  I did cut a size XL, but because of the added length I added about 5″ in width to the bottom and tapered it upward.  I also cut the underarm curve shallower than the pattern to create a more pronounced dolman sleeve.  I used every bit of my 2 yards of tie dye chevron jersey rayon spandex.  This was one of the fabrics in the Girl Charlee August Knitfix.  I am obsessed with Knitfix, but that is a post for another time.  This fabric was a popular one from August and I was lucky enough to get it in my bag.  I had another dress planned for it but then it just called to be made into this pattern.  I think that was the best choice.

 

Musings of a Seamstress Blue Dot Georgia

Overall, I am very pleased with how this dress turned out.  I love this pattern! I am calling it secret pajamas because of how soft and comfortable this jersey is.  This is definitely a different dress silhouette for me, but it paid off trying it.  I got so many compliments on it today.  I have already planned my next version.  Next time I am going to add a little more width to the hip area.  I am also going to lengthen the sleeve by about 5″ and put bit of elastic in the sleeve to ruche it up a little with the longer sleeve.  Now, which fabric should I make the next one in?

Want to check out who else is participating with me in the Creative Sewing Challenge?  Check out the list below then hop on over to Mahlica Designs and Gatorbunny Sews to enter the giveaway they are hosting.

Michelle of thatblackchic
Ashley of sewnbyashley
Cindy of Cindyparret.com
Rachel of Bobbinsonmymind
Shanni from Shanniloves
Kyla of LifebyKy
Amy of thatssewamy

Sew Long Summer: Never Ending Summer

We are at the mid way point for this weeks theme of Never Ending Summer.  These are the pieces that make us keep that summer cheer all year round.  Those garments that you can wear in the summer and then again in the winter.

Musings of a Seamstress - Summer Concert Tee

For me, one of those garments is Dixie DIY’s Summer Concert Tee.  It may be because summer is in the name of the pattern, but this one makes me think summer all year.  It is loose, flows well and has the perfect hi-lo hem.  Once made up in a big floral print, it screams summer even more.  There is also some lime green in the print that just didn’t show up well in the photos.

Musings of a Seamstress - Summer Concert Tee

This is my 4th version of this top and I think it may be my favorite so far.  I used 2 yards of a cotton jersey knit from Girl Charlee’s August KnitFix.  This was my first ever KnitFix and it was amazing!  I highly recommend you try it some time, if you haven’t already.

Musings of a Seamstress - Summer Concert Tee

I did eliminate the sleeve bands and added 1/2″ to the length of the sleeve instead because I like where the sleeve hits better.  I also added 5″ to the length of the top, partially because I am stubborn and did not pre-wash my fabric.  I know it is going to shrink and probably do some other crazy things too once it has been washed.  I also added the length for my own personal comfort.  The base length of the pattern just does not hit in a spot that I would prefer for my body.  Plus, I love the look it creates when worn with shorts and sandals.  It feels very boho and fun to me.  All I need now is a  big floppy hat and lots of silver bangles and I am ready for Coachella.

Musings of a Seamstress - Summer Concert Tee

Now, obviously I cannot wear this with shorts and sandals during the winter.  Instead, I plan on changing up the look by wearing it with skinny jeans, boots and a great scarf.  It is for sure 86 degrees out and with the humidity the RealFeel is 96 degrees.  The things we do for blog photos!

Show us your Never Ending Summer garments by joining the link up on Melissa’s page and posting in our Facebook group.