Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women

Happy mid-week friends!!

Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women
I am so super excited to share today's project with you. I made the Lou Box Dress 1 as part of a week long series over at Imagine Gnats, featuring both the Lou Box DRESS patterns!

Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women
I made the sweatshirt dress of my dreams. I mean, a sweatshirt that you can wear to church!? Yep, that's basically what it is. And it pairs equally well with leggings and sneakers for my everyday life. Trust me, I want to wear this dress, every day!

Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women

Head HERE to read all the details and the changes I made to the pattern. You don't want to miss this one!

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Monday, February 19, 2018

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Today is the day!! The highly anticipated Joy Jacket Pattern by Chalk and Notch released today!

**GIVEAWAY! Be sure to read all the way to the end and enter the rafflecopter to enter for a chance to win your own copy of the pattern!**

Making a jacket gives one all the feels normally, but the story behind this jacket makes it even more beautiful. You'll have to be sure to check out THIS POST to read more about it.

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

The instant I saw the first sneak peek, I knew this jacket needed to be in my life. What I didn't know, was just exactly how much a lightweight drapey jacket would fill a hole in my wardrobe! I tend to be more of a cardigan wearer in the winter, but often times a cardigan just doesn't cut it during the winters here, even if they are on the milder side. 

Enter in the Joy Jacket. I made mine in Tencel Twill for the main fabric and cotton lawn for the bodice lining. Both of these fabrics are from La Mercerie. I used a rayon crepe that I had stashed from LA Finch for the sleeves, since it's necessary to use a slippery fabric for the sleeve lining so you can easily slide it over a base layer. This combo of fabrics provides the perfect amount of warmth that can carry me all the way from fall to spring, with the exception of a few colder winter days here and there. 

The pattern comes with 2 views. View A being the version I chose to sew, with a beautiful collar and square pockets. View B features a hood and angled pockets. Both views include a full zip front and optional drawstrings at the hem and neckline, the pockets are interchangeable. 

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I'm basically head over heels in love with tencel twill, so I knew I had to use it to make this jacket. It is the perfect weight and the drape is absolutely incredible. The color I used is Slate Gray, but it definitely reads blue. If you'll notice, the zipper I used is medium gray and it blends in perfectly. So this color is somewhere in between gray and blue and I LOVE it. *Silly side note: the walls in my kitchen are also gray/blue, the same way this jacket is. They look blue until you look at them up against my gray dining room walls, then it blends together.* I guess I am just drawn to this color in all areas of my life! Haha.

A bit of a note on using tencel twill; I chose to cut it out in a single layer. This added a big chunk of time to the project, but I am SO happy I did it this way, because it made sewing the jacket a breeze and all of the pieces fit together perfectly. Like any rayon fabric, it is quite shifty when laying it out and cutting, so getting everything laying smoothly, multiple times and cutting each piece individually did definitely take a long time, but it was totally worth it all.

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I love the outside of this jacket so much, but the lining, I have to say... It just makes my heart sing! I used THIS COTTON LAWN, called Exquisite Stems and it was the perfect compliment to the main fabric. As you can see, the sleeves are a contrast fabric as well, and as I mentioned before, this is because lawn is not slippery enough to use for the sleeves. It would make getting the jacket on and off quite difficult. I did not plan this part well when I purchased my fabrics, so I shopped my stash and luckily found this large dot rayon crepe fabric in the perfect complimenting colors to use for the sleeves. It was another happy accident that made me love the finished product just a little bit more.

I also added another small patch pocket to the lining. I'm a mom, so I'm always toting around an extra tissue or small toy, plus I always like to keep my lip balm handy and this is a nice way to conceal the little added bulk.

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I truly cannot get over the beautiful design of this jacket! I just absolutely LOVE the shape of the collar!

And the fit is perfect as well. In the pattern, there is a large seam allowance included in the outer sleeve seam. This is to allow custom fitting in the sleeves. I ended up letting my sleeve seams out 1/4". Next time I will probably even do 3/8" - 1/2" just for a little more added room. This part will be individual to each person, so it is recommended to sew up a quick muslin to check the fit. And if you are using a tencel/rayon twill, I would definitely personally recommend it as well. I sewed the sleeve seam first as per the pattern and then had to let it out and you can see the original stitching line if you look closely. So... Do as I say, not as I do. ;)

I also shortened the bodice and the sleeves by 1 inch. I am 5'3", for reference. Otherwise everything else is sewn up exactly as per the pattern, in a straight size 6.

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I just realized I only have one photo of my hands out of my pockets to show the sleeve length. Haha, I do love pockets, but I'll work on that little detail in the future!

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I had never bagged a lining before, but the pattern instructions make it super easy and the finishing details are perfection. There is not a single exposed seam in this entire jacket. 

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Since this pattern also uses notions and hardware not used as frequently, I thought I'd link to the places I bought all of my supplies from. These are not affiliate links, I'm just passing on the info. The links will take you to the product page.

Tencel Twill: La Mercerie
Cotton Lawn Lining: La Mercerie
Rayon Crepe Sleeve Lining: LA Finch (this exact one is no longer available, but they have a large selection of rayons that would work well)

Tricot Interfacing: Nancy's Notions
Metal Zipper: Wawak
Grommets: Wawak (I actually bought mine from Amazon, but wasn't super pleased, I think these will be a better option for my next one. I've already purchased them and they look good)
Woven Label: Dutch Label Shop

Other things that came in handy while sewing:
Tailor's Ham - I used this frequently.
Press Cloth - This was a must. I used it every time I pressed on top of the tencel twill. Otherwise, the heat left shiny marks.
Sleeve board - I'm not sure how I would have gotten the creases out of the sleeves without it!

Would you like to win your own copy of the pattern?? Gabriella has graciously given me a copy to give to one of you! I've made it super easy, just leave a comment on this post and record your entry in the rafflecopter. The giveaway will remain open through Sunday 2/25, 11:59pm EST. Good luck!!

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

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