Feeling Sassy? How to Modify a Jalie Rash Guard for Some Spunk

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What do you do when you can’t decide on a color to use?


That’s the only correct answer in this scenario, especially in regards to Phee’s new bouquet of nylon/spandex tricot.

From left to right, I have neon coral, cerise, and light pink. Phee’s nylon/spandex tricot collection is the perfect choice for your summer workout and swim attire. These fabrics are moisture wicking, lightweight and breathable.

I was able to play a lot of beach volleyball last year and my Phee-kinis were my go-to for such a rigorous sport. Y’all…I produce an embarrassing amount of sweat by just looking at the sun on a 50 degree day. Moisture wicking and quick drying are a must!

So that’s why I felt confident in making a raglan rash guard using my tricot trio. Usually, I wouldn’t even consider going out in the sun wearing sleeves and a high neckline. But, the fabric provides the functionality that I need. And rash guards are cute, so I couldn’t resist.

Since summer time is fast approaching, I decided to sass up my Jalie Valerie rash guard by opening up the back and capping the sleeves. If this is something you’d like to try out (especially since I’m sure you have bought all of the tricot by now), keep reading to see how I did it!

This is an alteration to Jalie’s Valerie rash guard pattern. I started with a size P.

Altering the Sleeves

Step 1 identify the shoulder line on the pattern. It’s a little off-center toward the garment’s front.

Step 2 connect your front and back notches with a straight line. Measure down 1″ from your notch line and draw a second line.

Step 3 draw a curved line starting at the lower line below the front notch. The curve should peak at the intersection between your vertical shoulder line and the horizontal notch line. It will end on the lower line below the back notch.

Step 4 draw in your seam or elastic allowance. I used a 3/8″ elastic allowance just in case I decided to insert elastic around the arm hole. But, I ended up simply applying an elasticized binding.

Altering the Back

Step 1 determine how short you want your crop to be. I decided to go even shorter than Jalie’s cropped version. Draw in your new crop line.

Step 2 Draw a line from the center back seam to the back sleeve notch. This line should be perpendicular to the center back seam. Then, mark a spot along the center back seam 1 3/4″ above that line.

Step 3 identify the midpoint along the side seam between the arm opening and the crop line. From that midpoint, use a French curve or hip curve to draw the open back line. Then, from that side seam midpoint, draw in your tie back tapering to 2″ on the center back seam.

Step 4 disregard the tie back pattern piece for a moment. Draw in the seam or elastic allowance on the new curve of your upper back piece.

Steps 5 and 6 extend the tie back pattern piece by at least 10″. Then, draw in your seam or elastic allowances along the upper and lower edges of the piece.

Put it all together and what do you get?

I used 3/8″ rubber elastic for the neon coral binding. I also bagged out the upper back piece and the tie piece, using 3/8″ rubber elastic along the seams. As with most of my swim and beach apparel, I created a built in shelf bra since I’m not too fond of inserts floating around.


I still struggle with making clean neckbands, but I guess that just means I need to make more Phee rash guards. I can’t wait to make matching swim bottoms and take this baby to the beach!

List of Materials

Let me know if this is an alteration that you’ll try out! At the very least, get the fabric because just staring at it arranged together will make you happy. Talk to you soon!



How I “Petite” Patterns

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I don’t like using patterns. Weird, right?

But, before you get any wrong ideas, let me explain:

I am short. And, I am also lazy. Both things have absolutely nothing to do with how I feel about pattern makers or their abundant skills. In fact, I believe that so many talented pattern makers are currently producing beautiful and creative styles. But, regardless of the great work that pattern makers breathe into existence, I am still short. And, I am still lazy.

I can now look at any pattern and see exactly where I am short and where the pattern will be too long. And I can begrudgingly sense the amount of time it will take to make petite adjustments. Initially, learning how to make petite adjustments was a huge challenge. The “knowing” is still a mountain to climb, but just not as daunting. But now, the true challenge is finding the motivation to do the grunt work and actually make petite adjustments.

Hopefully what I teach in this post will help you with your “petiting”. Most of what I do as my petite protocol before ever cutting into fabric was learned through trial and error. So much trial and so many errors. But, I have gotten it down to a process (and I just need to motivate myself to do it).

Jalie 3134 – The One Piece Racerback Swimsuit

If you’ve been following along with my posts, you know that I broke my arm at the very beginning of this year. I’m pretty limited in the activities that I can participate in (such as the things I freakishly love like volleyball and tennis), so I decided to take up lap swimming for cardio.

Also, if you know me, you know that I’m always in a two-piece bikini. I have resisted making one-pieces because I just knew I would have to make length adjustments. Did I tell you I’m lazy?

But, now that I’m taking up swimming, I thought now is a good time to conquer my apprehension and my laziness. So I chose to make the Jalie Racerback Swimsuit. I love how it resembles the super athletic swimwear worn by Olympic swimmers. If I can’t swim well, at least I could try to look the part. (Just indulge my hopefulness, won’t ya? lol)

My “Petiting” Process

This swim pattern involves a lot of pieces. I do suggest using a simpler pattern for your first round of “petiting”. Heck, you might even find that you won’t need to make any petite adjustments! Just in case you do have to make adjustments, feel free to try out my method:

  1. Identify the shoulder line, bustline, waistline and low hip line of your pattern. With Jalie 3134, the notch marks on many of the pieces corresponded with these landmarks. After identifying your landmarks, draw horizontal lines on all the pieces that correspond with your landmarks.
Figure 1

2. On your pattern, measure and record the depths between the landmarks. Then, subtract any seam allowances (most notably at the shoulder seam).

Figure 2

3. Next, measure and record your body’s depths:

Figure 3

4. Now compare the pattern measurements to your body measurements. Before comparing, first subtract a “shoulder drop” value from the pattern’s shoulder-to-waistline measurement. A common industry standard measurement for shoulder drop is 1 5/8″. In other words, this is your formula:

Shoulder to waistline – 1 5/8″ (shoulder drop) = Pattern center front waist length

Compare that value with your body’s center front waist length.

Move on to compare the remaining pattern and body measurements. Did you come up with any discrepancies?

Typically, my body’s center front waist length is anywhere between 1 1/2″ to 1 5/8″ shorter than the pattern’s measurement (depending on the pattern company). And that difference is usually distributed between the B and C sectors in Figure 3. In other words, I almost always have to raise the pattern’s bustline as well as raise the waistline.

For this pattern, I didn’t have to raise the low hip line. But I normally do for leggings patterns.

Now, what do you do next after making these comparisons?

5. Slice the pattern!

Figure 4

Make sure to cut the pattern at areas with the least amount of curvature. Blending (i.e. truing) the pattern will be so much easier that way.

Draw a straight line all the way through the center of your pattern and perpendicular to the landmarks. Then, start from the top and work your way to the bottom. Imagine that you have to shorten your pattern between the same landmarks as I do:

First, start between the shoulder and the bustline. Raise the bustline by the amount that agrees with your body’s measurement by sliding it along that vertical center line that you drew. Then, tape your pieces together and true up the pattern. Re-measure the center front waist length of the pattern.

Second, raise the waistline by cutting your pattern in between the bustline and the waistline landmarks. Again, slide the bottom piece along that vertical line. Tape and true.

et Voila!

The scenario described above was exactly what I had to do for Jalie 3134. I initially chose pattern size S because it matched very closely to my current body. But, after making the flat pattern measurements, I knew it would end up being too long.

It was also a little too wide through my waist and bust. However, after reducing the width of the back band, I couldn’t get the damn thing over my thighs and hips! So I had to split the back band and use a swim hook to close the back.

Another pattern adjustment I made was adding a built in shelf bra. I did a tutorial on this a while ago, so check it out here: How to Add a Padded Shelf Bra

After petiting, I believe I achieved the fit that I wanted. But, what I truly love about my new swimsuit is the fabric!

I’ve been eyeballing Phee’s Insane in the Membrane fabric since summer 2018, but never knew what to make with it. I couldn’t resist the fabric’s beckoning any longer, so I decided it will be perfect with my Jalie suit. Let me just say that I am so impressed with the quality of Insane in the Membrane. It feels luxe and has the thickness that I search for in swim fabrics.

I wanted to add a punch of color, so I chose the Phee’s Neon Yellow Tricot.

In the past, I’ve had terrible luck with neon swim fabrics. They would bleed all over everything once wet. As soon as I got Phee’s Neon Yellow Tricot, I cut a 2″ x 2″ swatch, soaked it in water and laid it over a piece of white cotton jersey fabric. I checked on it the next morning, and guess what?

No bleeding! I’m so thrilled to have finally found a neon fabric that doesn’t bleed! My ’80s baby heart is ssssanging, y’all!

Materials List:

Final Thoughts

We sew our own things because we want to get the best fit, right? My process doesn’t account for FBA or SBA, and doesn’t go into the width adjustments that I also make. But, I’ve found that it’s typically in the vertical measurements where I fall short (get it?). So hopefully my petiting method will help someone out there achieve a better fit. Talk to you, soon!

Love always,


Tips for Sewing a Lace Bralette

(Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)

Can I tell you a secret?

I was too afraid to cut into this lace! I remember browsing Phee’s website one late night. When I came across this lace, I was immediately captivated by its beauty. I HAD TO HAVE IT!

So I got it. And after holding it (and sniffing it because everything from Melissa smells like unicorns riding rainbows), I felt an overwhelming sense of intimidation.

Please tell me I’m not the only one that gets this way?

I wanted to choose a pattern that would maintain the elegance of the lace. I thought Madalynne’s free Sierra Bralette pattern fit that bill.

And after making the initial cut, I felt confident to continue with the project.

Although the pattern calls for powernet as a backing, I decided to use nude circular knit. I then used powernet to create pockets for inserts.

This project was my first time working with scalloped stretch lace. It definitely required finesse and delicacy, both with which my bumbling and clumsy hands struggled! lol

So, read on for some tips (and some lessons learned) for working with this beautiful lavender lace!

List of Materials



Note: I used 3/8″ picot elastic and strap elastic that I had in my personal stash.

Tips for Sewing Stretch Lace

First, use a small needle. When it comes to my swimwear, I pretty much use a Schmetz 90/14 needle throughout the entire project. For lace and thin pretty thangs, I recommend switching to 75/11.

Second, if you struggle with fabric slipping as it feeds through, use a walking foot. This really helped me with maintaining an even feed.

My third tip is more of a “wish list” thing:

I wish I had a second throat plate for sewing thin and delicate fabrics. My current throat plate has a wide eye (for zig zag stitches, moving the needle to the far left or far right, etc). But, what I would like is a throat plate with a small diameter eye for simple straight stitching. This would prevent fabric from being pushed into the machine and jamming everything up.

I didn’t have an issue with that, but if you do, you can feed your fabric through with paper or dissolvable stabilizer.

Tip No. 4: I don’t topstitch to secure the elastic; I bottom stitch (if that’s a thing). On the final pass for the elastic, try to zig-zag as closely to the elastic’s free edge as possible. This will prevent the elastic from flipping over to the front.

Also, I always use my standard presser foot when sewing elastics. It provides much more pressure than my walking foot. Finally, I switched to my 90/14 needle for this step, but that’s not necessary.

Something that I really struggled with was zig-zagging the scalloped edge to the circular knit. There were a bunch of twists and turns, which I wasn’t used to. When sewing the scalloped edge, I used my walking foot again. I was afraid of slippage. But, Madalynne’s pattern does recommend spray gluing your layers together (which I didn’t do because I didn’t have glue on hand), so I definitely think that would be the best route!

Last tip: Be very patient when you trim away the excess along the scalloped edge! And if you have duck-billed scissors, I highly recommend using them! If you’re not paying attention you can easily accidentally snip your lace.

Yes…I learned the hard way and immediately turned off Netflix after that one mishap. But, the beauty of this lace is that any mishap is easily camouflaged.


Overall, I’m happy with how my bralette turned out. There are a couple of changes that I will make to it once I am settled after my cross country move. One of those changes will be to make it a two-strap bralette rather than a halter bralette. There’s just too much tension around my neck with the way it is now. Also, I used strap elastic that I bought a long time ago from a Hancock’s out-of-business sale. I don’t like the ruching in the elastic. So I’m definitely going to get my hands on Phee’s strap elastic.

Other than that, this is a super comfy bralette that I’ll definitely be wearing! I’m usually in sports bras or bikinis. This is definitely a welcomed change! Makes my muscles and bitty boobies feel purdddyy lol

Talk to you later!


How I Developed a Pattern…

(Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)

We are wrapping up February 2019, and I’ve already had a not so stellar year! I broke the radius bone in my right arm on January 11th. I am now 6 weeks post surgery, and everything is healing as expected!


But, I did have to forgo sewing during the initial weeks after surgery. During that time, I worked on expressing another creative side: pattern making!

I am so happy to debut a pattern drafted specially for Phee! You see, I have a love affair with the activewear and swimwear fabrics from Phee. And love is not a one way street, right? I couldn’t expect Melissa to keep supplying the good stuff without giving back some lovin’!

It all started out with an idea inspired by the new stretch mesh and some RTW sexy thangs on Pinterest. And while I was in my unintentional sewing fast, 100% of my initial pattern tests were done in paper.

Finally at 4 weeks post op, I was given the OK to sew! And I dug right into my new mesh and the most luscious plum supplex.

Scroll through the photo gallery to see the pattern making process of this special Phee pattern:

The Future of this Pattern

The pattern will still require some tweaks before the official release, and it needs a name! I have a running list of great suggestions so if you’ve got a name for this pattern, PLEASE SHARE it in the comments below!

This pattern will come with a few variations that play with either the mesh overlay or the bandeau. Additionally, I’ve graded it to multiple cup and band sizes! What I’m wearing in the pictures is a 34A (team Sport Edition Boobs right here!)

Fabric Choice and Notions

You can get almost everything you see in my sample piece from Phee!

Things that were from my own stash were 1″ black fold over elastic and swim cups/inserts.

One of the pattern variations will show you how to use Phee’s poly laminate foam to create a padded bandeau.

Helpful Hints…sort of ;P

This was the very first time that I have worked with a stretch mesh fabric. And while it does produce such an amazing effect on your clothing, I was really dumbfounded on how to sew it lol!

When it came to binding my edges with fold over elastic, I laid the pattern piece as flat as possible, and pinned down every little bit to my FOE while carefully following the curvature of the pattern piece. Then sewed very slowly, making sure to capture each little bit with my stitches.

This was probably the most difficult part, but it’s not impossible! It just takes patience.

Bye, for now!

My return to sewing after my injury was the highlight of my dreary winter. I’m so excited to put the finishing touches on this pattern and then release it to all you Phee-natics!

And remember: If you’ve got a badass name suggestion for this pattern, reply in the comments below! The winning namer will receive this pattern for free 🙂

Much love,


How to Apply a Shoulder/Neck Band tape

Have you ever peeped inside your basic t-shirts? Or, even your fancy button downs?

You may have noticed a piece of “tape” (fabric) that covers the seam from one shoulder, around the back neck band, and ending at the opposite shoulder. This tape basically spans the width of the upper shoulders.

Side note: I bet millions of you Phee-natics are pulling your shirts off right now checking for that tape! lol

Anywho, I thought it was a really luxe feature that could elevate all of our makes. But the more I dug into the topic, the more I learned about how truly functional this tape is!

According to Sewaholic Patterns:

The twill tape is added to strengthen the shoulder seams. In most knit tops with a set-in sleeve, the shoulder seams are cut along the horizontal grain, the stretchiest direction. This is great for getting stretch around the body, but we’ll want to stabilize the shoulder seams or they’ll stretch, sag or break.

Awesome, right?

And of course I couldn’t wait to try it out! But in lieu of twill tape (cuz let’s face it, who wants to make a trip in the Christmas shopping frenzy just for twill tape?), I just used a band of rayon spandex to cover my seams.


This particular project represents a lot of firsts for me: first time applying a shoulder/neck band tape, first time using Megan Nielsen patterns (which btw are drafted so beautifully that I almost lost my mind), and the first time finally using Phee’s freaking AH-MAZE-ING rayon spandex!

With this being the first time playing with shoulder tape, it’s still a bit wonky. But, I’ll give ya the details of what I did anyway (in spite of my perfectionism making me want to throw up).

How to Apply Shoulder/Neckband Tape

  1. If you don’t have twill tape on hand, you can use your fabric and a binding tape maker. I used the 1/2″ gidget. Although it’s typically used for wovens, the tape maker worked so beautifully with Phee’s rayon spandex. I didn’t have to starch or stabilize the fabric at all. I used this tutorial to guide me: Oliver and S. Be careful when ironing. I set my iron to its wool/silk setting and that was sufficient heat.IMG_5926
  2. I used my overlocker for all of the seams. If you’re an overlocking kinda gal (or bro), here are some tips:
    1. Serge your shoulder seams together. When you apply your neck band, make sure both shoulder seams point toward the back.
    2. If you intend to topstitch your neckband with a coverstitch machine or twin needle, topstitch before applying the tape. It is only necessary to topstitch the front collar from shoulder seam to shoulder seam.
    3. Give your shoulder seams and collar a quick press.5
  3. Before setting in the sleeves, apply the tape. I used my sewing machine and a standard straight stitch to apply the shoulder/neck band tape.
    1. Make one side of the tape follow the serged edge all the way through the shoulder, around the back neckband, and finally through the other shoulder. Straight stitch the ensemble together approximately 1/16″ away from the tape’s edge. 6
    2. Finally, straight stitch the tape’s free edge making sure it covers the seam.
    3. Bonus: I couldn’t have made this work without my walking foot. My MVP.

I didn’t achieve the prettiest application, but it will take some practice especially with navigating the shoulder and neckband joint. I guess that just means I’ll need more rayon spandex  😉


About the Pattern

The MN Briar tee comes in two lengths both featuring a hi-low hem line. I opted for a long sleeved crop top.

This pattern was super quick to make. The time consuming thing was adding the shoulder/neckband tape.

Like I said earlier, this is the first time I ever used a Megan Nielsen pattern. I can’t express enough how impressed I am by the drafting! It was almost too pretty to cut.



For now, I’m leaving the hem raw. I didn’t want to interrupt the beautiful drape. Did I mention how scrumptious and soft Phee’s rayon spandex is?!

I can’t believe I waited so long before using RS!



Tips for Sewing Motoleggings

Can you scroll through Instagram or Pinterest without seeing motoleggings?

Most likely, that’s a big fat NOPE!

But, I was definitely among the pumpkin-spice-latte lovin’ fashionista hopefuls that immediately fell in love with them! ALL of them! Faux leather, boyfriend jeans, jegging material…

And most of all, I wanted a pair that would work perfectly in the gym as well as brunch (dumbbells and mimosas, anyone?). Of course, Phee’s supplex was the perfect material for my motoleggings.


So, the number one characteristic of motoleggings are the pintuck panels. Traditional pintucking on woven fabrics are simply created by straight stitching over evenly spaced folds.

Another way to pintuck, which is much more common with stretch fabric, is to straight stitch over unfolded marked lines with a twin needle. With this method, you would want to allow tunneling to occur. And if you have a coverstitch machine, you could also adjust the looper tension (increase tension, but please don’t forget to experiment first) to force tunneling.

But, I planned on putting my motoleggings through rigorous activity (HIIT, mass developing leg workouts, tennis, indoor volleyball), so having the maximum amount of stretch and strength through the width of my panels was vital.


This immediately knocks out the straight stitch method. And sadly, after stretch testing the twin needle method, I found that the stitches were not strong enough (though I probably stretched my test piece 10x greater than my panel would ever experience…but hey, enginerds like me are super conservative and design to ultimate limits).

The coverstitch method would have probably worked…but I was much too lazy to rethread the dang thing. So, what did I do?

I used my beloved serger! I followed Angela Wolf’s method for pintucking with a serger. After completing all my rows, I ended up really loving the look of the reverse side. Traditionally, the folded pintucks are visible. And even though the serged side looked pretty badass, I really ended loving the quilted look of the reverse side.


Would I ever make motoleggings again? Not for a while. I ended up really disliking the monotony of making the pintucks. But, I do want to eventually muster up the motivation to try a different method.

Before I bid you adieu, here are my top three tips for pintucking supplex:

  1. If you don’t have a pintuck foot and you need to mark out all of your lines, use the knife edge of tailor’s chalk. It’s so much easier, I promise!
  2. Experiment with different methods before you commit to your legging panels. Decide if you just want some cute looking comfy pants, or if you’re going to be parkouring your way down Santa Monica Boulevard. If you just want the look, you might not need to play with stretch stitches or your serger to pintuck.
  3. Note: I hacked my tried and true Simplicity 8212 pattern so I didn’t know how much fabric I need before pintucking. If you don’t know how much your pre-pintucked panel should measure, here’s a little bit of math that might help (only if you’re folding your pintucks and not using a coverstitch or twin needle):

First, determine how tall your panel is including seam allowances.


Then, figure out how much space you want between your tucks. I chose 0.75 in. If I do this again, I’d most likely increase that distance to at least 1″.


Then, determine the number of divisions your panel will end up having by dividing the pattern height by the distance between tucks. For 1/8″ pintucks, the total length of the pintucks will be close to 2″


I multiplied that length by an “oh sh*t factor” of 1.5 (in aircraft enginerding, this 1.5 value is called the ultimate factor of safety) to get approximately 3″. FINALLY, add that 3″ to the original pattern height of 11″ and you’ll get a pre-pintucked fabric height of 14″


So basically, in non-number terms, this is what I did:



In my case, I ended up with roughly a 30% increase from the pattern height to the pre-pintucked fabric height.

My main concerns for running the numbers were to

  1. Know my minimum (definitely didn’t want to end up with too little)
  2. Not pintuck an unnecessarily large panel and waste fabric

But, if you want to be ultra conservative and skip all the math but also make sure that you have more than enough pintucked paneling, multiply your pattern height by 1.5 or even 2.0

I really love my leggings and have already tested their limits by stretching them over my post-Thanksgiving bod 😉 I can’t wait to take them to the gym!

Hugs and hugs,