Nikko Tops // Sewing For Women

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hi friends!! I'm so excited to show you my Nikko Tops I made during testing! The Nikko Top and Dress Pattern is a fitted, mock turtleneck top.

It comes with 4 views. Long sleeve top, sleeveless top, long sleeve and sleeveless dress with hem splits.

This top is the perfect layering piece! I love, love, love, the long sleeve version layered under my Blackwood Cardigan. It is perfect for our colder winter we are having this year!

Actually, they both look great under my Blackwood!!

This pattern is perfect for tucking into high-waisted styles. Like the Lander Pants!

But I'm pretty sure that my favorite way to wear this sleeveless version is going to be with my Emerson Shorts that I absolutely live in during the summer. 

The recommended fabrics for this pattern are rib knits and bamboo knits with at least 70% stretch. This is important because the stretch is needed to get the top over your head. 

I used a bamboo knit for the long sleeve version and I love the buttery softness of it! I found it to be much more close fitting than the rib knit, which makes sense because rib knits do tend to have a lot more give. For future versions, I will look for lovely rib knits, I'm just loving how this pattern looks in a rib! I also love it in the bamboo, and the next time I make one up, I'll probably add in a little more ease through the waist, just for personal preference. 

Kelli did make a few small changes to the pattern since these tester versions. She lengthened the sleeves slightly, added more ease to the neckband and also added an inch more ease in the hips. For the sleeveless version she also added a bit more coverage to the front arm hole.

So in summary, this pattern is a great wardrobe staple!! I can't wait to sew up a few more and make a couple of dresses as well. I've got the fabric all ready to go!

ps. The morning I decided to take these photos it was 30 degrees! So the look on my face is "I'm freezing!!" and I also forgot about my non-matching fitness tracker. Lol. Oops!

Both of the fabrics I used for testing were purchased from

Stretch Lander Pants // Imagine Gnats Contributor

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Hi friends!! I'm back over at Imagine Gnats with my first make in 2018! My friend Brooke and I had a blast about a week ago making pants together! 

It was seriously so much fun. If you can making in person sewing weekends happen, do it. 

I made the Lander Pant by True Bias. The high-waist and button fly of this design have me seriously swooning. And made in a fabric with a bit of stretch, it is also super comfy!

You can read all the details about this make HERE.

Heritage Rayon Cleo Skirt // Sewing For Women

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hi friends! Today I'm sharing an outfit with you that was rolling around in my head for a little while, and I'm so happy it's in physical form now!

The outfit consists of the Toaster Sweater #1, you can read all the details about the pattern and fabric HERE. I'm completely obsessed with this pattern at the moment, so be sure to head over there and check it out! But then come back and read about this equally awesome skirt. ;)

I purchased this fabric (Heritage Rayon in Treasured Kermes) from the Imagine Gnats shop this summer (sadly, now sold out), and intended to make a skirt or culottes with it.

Since, like many of you, I'm sure, my sewing list was miles long, and I just never got around to it. Then fall came, and finally the holiday season and I realized just how perfect this fabric is for all seasons and I NEEDED a skirt made from it!

Then came the mental battle of what skirt pattern to use... Or do I draft one myself?? I couldn't decide.

I finally settled on the Cleo skirt pattern, because as it turned out, I won the pattern in a giveaway done by Tori from The Doing Things Blog recently and it made my decision easy! *I also won an IndieSew gift card and purchased some awesome patterns with that as well. I hope to sew those up soon!!*

I am really happy with how this skirt turned out! The gathers are so lovely in this rayon fabric, and with the elasticated back waist, it is super comfy! And pockets. Pockets are always good. These are a great design element to an otherwise simple pattern.

I think this pattern is great to show off an awesome fabric. The pattern comes with 2 views, a knee length skirt with an accent panel at the bottom, and a midi length skirt. The details are easily interchangeable, the pockets can be added or eliminated on each view and it would be easy to add the contrast panel to the midi length as well.

The skirt is meant to be worn at the natural waist, and that is how I fit my elastic, but the bottom of this top covered up the top of the pockets in an unflattering way, so I just pulled the skirt down about an inch below my waist and the problem was solved!

I also hemmed the skirt to be about an inch above these boots, but since I ended up pulling it down, it looks a tad longer in these photos. But either way, I'm happy with the length!

This is definitely a fantastic beginner pattern and so cute! It's a winner for sure!

Toaster Sweater #1
Bamboo Stretch French Terry
Cleo Skirt
Heritage Rayon Challis Treasured Kermes

Flannel Linden Sweatshirt // Imagine Gnats Contributor // Sewing For Women

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hi guys! Today you will find me just hanging out in my new cozy flannel/knit sweatshirt! *Who am I kidding, time is catapulting into the holiday season, I only wish I was sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee!!

I am however wearing this sweatshirt today. 😍

Be sure to head over to Imagine Gnats and read THE POST for all the details on how I used flannel for a knit pattern! I love having this version in what will be a large collection of Linden sweatshirts... :)

Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

Monday, November 13, 2017

 Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

You guuuuuuyyyys. This sweater. I'm going to live in it always! At least while the weather is cold. ;)

Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

I made this sort of epic pair of plum pants (read about them HERE), and I needed an epic top to wear with them for the holidays. Well, as you may know, velvet is hot, HOT, this year again! I had the fabric for my pants sorted out and I remembered having previously drooled over this blush pink stretch velvet from Blackbird Fabrics, so I made it happen. 

I was a little worried that I might not get the fabric in time to make this vision come to life for today's post*, but the fabric arrived in the nick of time! In about 16 hours (including sleeping time) from getting this fabric in my hands, I had pre-washed, cut and sewn this glorious sweater.

*Today's post being my post over at Imagine Gnats, celebrating the release of this amazing Sasha Trousers pattern!

Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

I had been wanting to make a Toaster Sweater #1 this fall. I made two versions of Toaster #2 last year and was just feeling the urge for a turtleneck version. I'm not sure when the idea came to make this pattern with this velvet, but it is perfection.

Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

The velvet is dreamy soft and oh so drapey! It feels every bit as good to wear it as it looks in the photos.

Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

I'm really not kidding when I say I want to make all my wardrobe staples in stretch velvet!!

Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

Like Toaster #2, this pattern comes together super fast! I cut and sewed it in 2 hours. For me, y'all, that is lightning fast! It would have been even faster in a jersey or ponte.

My favorite thing about this pattern is that it can be made completely on the serger. No sewing machine required at all! The pattern instructions suggest topstitching most all of the seams with a double needle if desired, but I definitely wanted to leave the velvet as is.

Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

If you are wondering about how stretch velvet handles, it is basically the same as most knits! Care instructions will say to dry clean only, but Gabriella from Chalk and Notch (who I think is the velvet QUEEN), told me she just washes it like anything else and it holds up fine! Last year I made my daughter a velvet dress and I can also attest that it washes with zero problems. 

I prewashed this in cold water and tumble dried. I plan to hang dry from here on out to increase longevity. This is how I handle all of my handmades anyway, so it's no switch at all!

As far as sewing and cutting, I find folding it with right sides together is the best way to cut since the nap "grabs" to itself and make for a much more stable cutting situation. Also, be sure that you are cutting all pieces with the direction of the nap going the right way!

For sewing, sewing only two seams together at once, such as at the arms and side seams, is super easy. Because again, the nap grabs onto itself. Sewing 3 layers together becomes a little more tricky, because the pieces that are wrong sides together are very shift. But just use lots of pins, go slow and be patient! It will all come together! 

Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

Since our time change here in eastern USA, I am finding that my outdoor lighting for photos is seriously problematic! My usual photo spots are no longer in a good path of the sun, so I struggled getting photos for this outfit! Is it too much to ask for summertime lighting and wintertime temps? Lol.

The photos above are all with very bright mid-morning sunlight, and below is a shot at dusk. Isn't it gorgeous in both situations? Oh man I love this fabric loads and loads. 

Velvet Toaster Sweater #1 // Sewing For Women

You need velvet in your life. It's the truth!!

Here's the link again for this particular one: Blush Pink Stretch Velvet

Sasha Trousers // Imagine Gnats Contributor // Sewing For Women

Sasha Trousers // Sewing For Women

Happiest of Mondays, friends!

Are you ready for the stretch trouser pattern of your dreams? Closet Case Patterns releases their newest pattern, the Sasha Trousers today!! It is absolutely glorious.

Sasha Trousers // Sewing For Women

You can read all about how the sewing and fitting went for me, as well as details on the perfect fabric to sew them with over at Imagine Gnats today! CLICK HERE.

Sasha Trousers // Sewing For Women

And the details of my sweater I'm wearing with them is also on my personal blog today as well.

Sasha Trousers // Sewing For Women

Sasha Trousers // Sewing For Women

I needed an office attire holiday party appropriate outfit to wear this year. Done and done! And I'll probably sneak it into Thanksgiving festivies as well!

I'm absolutely in love with this outfit. I know there will be more velvet and more trousers in my near future!!

Morgan Jeans // Imagine Gnats Contributor // Sewing For Women

Friday, October 27, 2017

Morgan Jeans // Sewing For Women


Making jeans has been on my sewing bucket list for a couple of years. I finally took the plunge and oh my. I am so incredibly happy with the result!! It was such a fun learning experience, and I seriously can't wait to repeat the process.

Morgan Jeans // Sewing For Women

Head over to my post on Imagine Gnats HERE and read all of the details!!

Morgan Jeans // Sewing For Women

Every single on of my supplies except the thread (which she sells too!) came from the shop there, so it's a one stop shop for making a pair of jeans!

Morgan Jeans // Sewing For Women

More photos are over there as well, let me know what you think!!

Morgan Jeans // Sewing For Women

Southport Dress Tank Hack Roundup // Sewing For Women

Monday, October 9, 2017

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women
 Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

Hi friends! 

Today's post has been a long time in coming... A year and a half in fact. So be prepared for a picture/word heavy post!!
 I made my first Southport Dress Tank Hack back in May of 2016. Obviously I became obsessed, because I just finished up my 5th and 6th version! 

And this doesn't include my dress version that I made way, WAY, back in 2015! You can read that post HERE.

You can find the tank hack tutorial is on True Bias's blog HERE. Since making the first dress version, I've made a few fit changes to the pattern. The only cosmetic change I've made is to raise the neckline 1 1/2", I also changed the neckline curve to be more rounded in versions #3 and #4, but changed back to mirror the pattern for #5 & #6. Looking at these photos above, however, I will be going back to the more rounded shape from here on out. For some reason, the squared off curve tends to gape on me. I'm sad about this, because I love the shape of the squared off curve.

I had been meaning to blog about these tops as I went along, but the truth is that each time I made another one, it just integrated itself into my wardrobe rotation so quickly that I never took the time to properly take photos and blog them! 

If you follow me on Instagram ⇐click to follow!! (if you don't, I'd love to hang out with you there!!), you know that I wear these tops ALL. THE. TIME. Multiple times a week. They are perfect for wearing alone in the summer, the coverage is exactly what I look for in a tank, and layering them with one of my many cardigans is just my favorite thing.  

So I'll go ahead and take you on a run down of each one that I have made, in chronological order!

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

This polka dot version is the very first tank version I made (and actually photographed in May 2016!). I used a rayon challis from Joann and did a center pleat rather than the button down placket. This was a super simple mod, just cut on the fold rather than in 2 pieces and sew a 6" long inverted pleat down the center. I love the swinginess this gives the front of the tank. 

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

This tank was a bit big in these photos, and made me very self conscious when I bent over in public while tending to my kids. As it happened, it got thrown in the dryer by accident one day, I nearly had a heart attack when I pulled it out because I assumed it would have shrunk beyond hope. (I don't dry my rayons, ever, even in the prewash) But, instead, it's still 100% wearable and maybe even fits a little better! Bonus is that there is no longer any neckline gaping. Yay!! Haha.

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

I did a rolled hem on this polka dot version.

Tank #2 was made in a chambray (of sorts), also from Joann. This version is blogged in detail HERE.

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

I also like being able to tie these up at my waist if I want to. Especially with the high waisted styles currently!

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

Tank #3 was made in a frenzied pre-vacation sewing binge. You can see more on that HERE.

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

I did not blog this version and also don't have great photos, but on this version, I took out some width from the center front (which ended up being too much) and rounded the neckline. I also finished the hem line on this with bias tape as well. I find I really like using the bias tape method to hem tops with a shirt tail hem!

I used a cotton shirting with flocked black dots from Joann's for this version.

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

The 4th version of this pattern I made late this summer. I used a linen/rayon blend, also from Joann's, that had been languishing in my stash for quite a while. Haha, I just realized the first four tanks I made were all in fabrics from Joann!

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

I really, really love the drape and weight of this one. For this tank (and #5 & #6) I did a 1/2" swayback adjustment and it helped with some of the "poofing" I was getting at my lower back. This one also has the more rounded neckline. I love wearing this one, the fit is the most perfect of all of them in this rendition. I plan to immortalize the tweaked pattern with this exact version on to poster board, lol. Once you've got a good thing, you have to preserve it!

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

The hem on this tank is finished with bias tape.

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

The next two tanks were made last week, in preparation for this post! I thought since I had the fit perfectly tweaked, I needed to make two more in these gorgeous fabrics I picked up over the summer. Bummer is that I made a minor change to my "perfect" pattern and now I'm getting that dreaded gaping at the neckline. However, in my experience with tanks #1 & #2, that gaping relaxes over time, so fingers crossed!!

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

Tank #5 was made in AGF Heritage Rayon by April Rhodes, this print is called Mountain Mirror. I purchased this fabric from Imagine Gnats this past summer, still available HERE! I was dying to make a tank from it and it definitely fulfilled all my mountain wearing dreams. 

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

This tank turned out to be the most close fitting of all the tops I have made. I'm thinking this must be due to the fabric having less give. Although, I won't rule out the possibility that I cut it a wee bit smaller during the cutting stage, since rayon challis can be a shifty beast. 

I also did not try it on at all during construction because I thought I had it perfected. Lesson learned. I could have let the seams out a smidge or shifted the buttons a little further apart to give myself more room, but alas, there are french seams throughout, and who wants to redo seven buttons?!!

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

It's definitely still wearable as is, and I'm trying really hard to lose a few pounds, so maybe it'll fit better soon. :)

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

I did a scant 1/4" double folded hem on these last two versions.

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

It's hard to say which of these is my favorite, but this windowpane rayon is definitely up there in the favorite fabrics category. Also, the pleated front (like #1) is a fun change from the placket versions too.

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

The window pane rayon is from IndieSew over the summer, which is sadly now all sold out!

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

I absolutely love the drape and flow of this one!! It feels great and looks great too. Plus the fabric... Just gush, gush, and all the heart eyes! It has a crepe texture that is just to die for and fun change from the typical smooth texture of rayon challis.

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

Southport Dress Tank Hack // Sewing For Women

I couldn't leave this post without showing you a few views of it paired with a cardi! Which is hands down my favorite outfit these days. 

This new cardi make, Blackwood Cardigan is also my new favorite cardi pattern! Seriously, if you love cardigans as much as I do, you need this. You NEED this. I LOVE the sleeves. They are a slim fit, so I actually prefer to wear it over tanks rather than anything with sleeves, so yay me! I have 6 Southports to choose from!!

This cardigan is made from a sheer knit, also from Joann's. Even though it's sheer it adds a nice layer for fall weather. My next version however, is going to be the same color, but in a fabulous stretch french terry. That will take these tanks through the winter for me!!

Blackwood Cardigan // Sewing For Women

Blackwood Cardigan // Sewing For Women

Blackwood Cardigan // Sewing For Women

Blackwood Cardigan // Sewing For Women

Blackwood Cardigan // Sewing For Women

Have you made any Southport Tanks? Have I convinced you you should??? Because, you should. :)
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