Tank-spiration

Everyone, I’m alive. Between this (see below) being my forecast for the next week and aftershocks from some silly earth quakes we had earlier this month, I am trying to find my normal back in the sewing room. The perfect project to get me back in the groove (while I await a new sewing machine) is this quick pinspiration that I have been repining for about 3 summers now.

Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 3.38.14 PMPinspiration

I love the loose drape of the tank top and the high neckline-not to mention the cute cut out with straps! First to start this remake I chose the Tatiania Tank from Stitch Upon a Time. The tank top pattern has the loose flow that pairs perfects with the Rayon Spandex. It already features the high neckline also!

First, to modify the cut out I measured approximately where I wanted it to be cut out. I decided on a 5″ depth and 3.5″ width. I measured the spots and drew in a curve to match the shape I was looking for.IMG_0716

Next I cut out all of the pieces and then measured the length of the cut out edge that will have the binding on it and calculated 85% for my cut length. I attached my binding. The next important part is to make sure that you space the cutout how it should be (the top not too close or too far away to ruin the shape of your cut out). To do this go back to your pattern pieces and measure between the fold line and where your cut out edge was. On my pattern piece above this is 1.75″. From here I measured 1.75″ from the centerline of the neck piece to ensure it was properly aligned.

IMG_0720_inside of garmet_cropoutside of garmet

Next, I created the cross bands by using extra binding sewn shut on itself. I spaced them evenly apart (I need some practice on that one). A word of recommendation here, stretch your cross bands a little so you don’t get flip or sag to it (like my middle one).

Pinspiration_Phee

Over all I am very happy with my version. Next time I think I will add some clear elastic to the arm hole (it is a hem and not a band or binding) and potentially in the neck band itself for a bit more structure.

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Drama Dress + Rayon Spandex

I’m excited to tell you about this amazing Drama Dress made out of Phee’s Rayon Spandex!

On Thursday, I was trying to decide if I wanted to sew up a new dress for graduation on Saturday. I was eyeing the George + Ginger Facebook page, knowing that a new test was coming up for the updated version of the Drama Dress. Friday morning, I decided I was going to print off the pattern and sew it up during afternoon nap time. Thankfully, the Little took a nice long nap so I was able to finish this dress!

I looked in my fabric stash to see what I had in that would work. I always keep some Phee Fabric‘s Rayon Spandex on hand, and had a two yard cut of black that I knew would work great. I got to taping and cutting the pattern, then the pattern pieces, and started sewing!

I made the slimline version in a size 6 in the chest, graded to an 8 in the waist, hips, and down to the hemline. I am glad I went up to the 8 to make the bottom a little less form fitting. Those were the sizes I measured into, and once again I am glad I trusted the size chart!

I opted for the longer length. Partially because I don’t feel comfortable in anything too short these days and partially because I have a toddler. 🙂 I knew I wanted to do the tank option since summer is here. Plus, it’ll be a great layering piece with cardigans once fall comes! I chose to do the keyhole option to add a fun detail to the dress since I was choosing a plain black fabric.

The way the binding is attached was new to me. I am used to a single fold binding, but decided to follow to directions and try out this technique. The binding is sewn/serged on right sides together, folded under to the seam, and then folded back around the seam and topstitched on. I used my coverstitch machine for the topstitching and am happy with how it looks. The fabric is so smooth and my machine loves it, so that always helps!

The pattern finishes the neck and arms with bands. I almost attached bindings instead, but am glad I stuck with bands. Because the neckline is so high, I think the bands would be more comfortable. I did not topstitch my bands as I usually do, but that’s mainly because I ran out of time. Because the bands are my fitted on the neck and arms and the fabric is not too thin, I do not think topstitching is necessary. The bands stayed flat all day and I didn’t notice them at all!

Last but not least, I added the inseam pockets. If you’ve read any of my posts before, that should be no surprise! 🙂 The size, shape, and placement of these pockets are perfect! I have had some patterns where the inseam pockets are a bit awkward, but not these. I kept my phone in there all day with no issues.

This thicker Rayon Spandex from Phee was PERFECT for this dress! Because of the weight of the fabric, I did not feel the need to wear a tank or shorts underneath. A bonus for me on hot days!

I am really glad I jumped at the opportunity to sew this pattern up. This was my first George + Ginger pattern, and will not be my last. 🙂 The pattern updates should be on the website soon. I will come back and let you know when that happens!

What do you think of this dress? Which version will you sew up first? Sleeves or tank, keyhole, normal neckline, or the collar? Which color of Rayon Spandex is your favorite? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Find the pattern here.
Find the fabric here.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments! Thanks for the opportunity to share my love of Phee’s Rayon Spandex!

Cheers!
Caitlin

*Some of the links above may be affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission from your purchase. There is no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!*

UFO Sighting – Conquering “the bin”

As I am about to cut a new project I see it lurking in the corner… That bin, box, bag. We all have one and mine seems to grow exponentially at times. And the more projects that get relegated to the “UFO” bin, and the more I seem to start new projects.

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UFOS a.k.a unfinished objects are such a source of stress for me. A year ago I vowed to clear them out and not become a repeat offender, but here I am again. There is a box full of Phee fabric cut and sitting in plastic bags. I decided to take a stab at conquering this box, one project at a time and try to figure out why it gets this way and how to prevent the cycle.

First up my favorite scrap busting project, UNDIES! Phee rayon spandex scraps are the base for more or less every pair of underwear my almost 4 year old son has ever worn. Some day he will know how lucky he was 🤣

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These take less time than it takes to even write about this project, but somehow they ended up in the bin.

Since these went so fast and I always run out of speed, I decided to stick with underwear and work on the two pairs of Made 4 Mermaids Greta thongs I cut out when I was working on the Lana bras from my last blog. These have a no show option, FOE, elastic and bands. I was super excited for these because they have a mid and high rise option. I cut out a pair in some Cherry RS and circular knit scraps.

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They were very quick to sew and I like that you can add elastic and lace straight and not in the round….however, these are the mid-rise and these babies are SUPER HIGH!! and pretty baggy for the no show so I added some elastic and it helped, but I decided to file the red pair in the circular file bin… womp womp!

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On to the bigger projects – the Crimson Top from George and Ginger and a pair of P4P Peg legs with the side panel. I cut out the Crimson top during testing to make this Pinspiration… and in the UFO box it sat for months!!! I had wanted to wear this so many times but for some reason just never got back to it. I absolutely love this top – the white circular knit feels so good on and the wide mesh worked really well for the panels.

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pinterestcrimson
My Pinspiration

The same thing for the leggings – I made the shirt and bra to go with them back in March but the leggings, which I have made many time and hardly need the directions for and yet they just sat…waiting to meet the rest of their outfit. The funny thing is that I really needed these. I made a bunch of full length leggings but wanted to have something a little more airy and light for the spring. The wide mesh is perfect for that and of course you can never go wrong with leggings in Phee Supplex!

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Here I am at the end of this project and reflecting on the process. I really wanted to figure out why I have this bin in the first place and while I know some of it is just my nature to overschedule and under estimate my time, there is something else I realized. I started sewing because as a stay at home Mom I needed something more. When I worked, there was a sense of satisfaction from completing my tasks and projects at work, but being at home those daily tasks can just become so mundane. Taking care of my son and my family is the hardest work I have ever done and gives me the most joy at times, but I am left feeling empty on some level. Sewing fills that gap – when I finish a project I love I have a sense of accomplishment that is like nothing else I do everyday.

Sadly, I did not finish all of the UFO’s in the bin (including the leggings above) – my Claire Coat from last fall is still sitting idly on my dress form half sewn and it taunts me. But that’s ok. They will get finished and I will not be adding endless projects in between but instead the ones that will fulfill me. It does not need to be about quantity, efficiency or checking off someone else’s list. This is something I do for myself and if I continue to focus on that I will have a wardrobe and craft that I love!

-Liz-

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Raglan Round-Up!

 

Before I get into the details of this post and why I took on the daunting task of sewing raglans from seven different designers, I want to give a little background about myself since I’ve been writing for Phee since December and haven’t introduced myself. I’m Stephanie, I’m a single mother, work full-time and teach yoga 2-4 days a week. I have my own blog at S-Renee Designs, so feel free to see what I’m up to there.

One of those questions I often see in the land of Facebook sewing groups often has to do with choosing a raglan pattern, and with just about every indie designer having one if not more raglan pattern, I decided to try out a few. I was initially shooting for 9, but soon realized that was crazy (and 7 isn’t). I started a spreadsheet with a list of all the raglan patterns I could find, turns out that list contains 29 different women’s patterns. At the end of the post I’ll share the entire list in case you’re interested.

Background Info

hanging

For each pattern I will let you know what size I made, how much fabric I used and what the required fabric length was. I am wearing the same bra in all images to keep the fit consistent, and in this bra I measure a 37”. When I started this project, back in late January I measured at 37” bust, 30” waist, 39” hips. I am also 5’6” tall, hopefully this gives you some insight on sizing.

I also wanted the fabric used to be the same, so that the fit would be the same throughout and not altered by the fabric’s properties. Each shirt is made from Phee Fabric’s 13oz rayon spandex. I love the thickness to this fabric and how soft it is. It also washes extremely well and doesn’t pill. Due to it being thicker than most rayon spandex fabrics, it’s easier to sew with than the thing stuff most people are used to when they think of rayon spandex.

View a spreadsheet with the specific details of each pattern.

roundup

Sinclair Patterns Demi

sinclairDemi

Deisgner: Sinclair Patterns
Pattern:
Demi Classic Raglan Knit Top
Size made:
 6/8/8
Options: scoop neck, long sleeve, straight hem
Fabric needed: 2.25 yards
Fabric used: 1.5 yards Light Heathered Gray Rayon Spandex (fussy cut)

** Only Boatneck Raglan, also includes Wide Boatneck (off shoulders) **

Fit: In the fit pics, it appears as though I need a swayback adjustment, but this could possibly be corrected by reducing the size waist. Fit says it’s to be semi-fitted, but I feel as though it’s a little larger than semi-fitted through my waist and hips with my measured size and grading. Upper arms are a little loose for my liking with about 2″ of ease.

Notes: This was the first one that I made, and I’ve been wearing it for a few weeks. Still with the fit issues, I continue to wear it because Phee’s rayon spandex feels so good, so I’ve just been ignoring the baggy arms. I do plan to take in the arms and slim the body through the waist and hips. This pattern is full of neckline options, and has so many possibilities. I’m planning to make more of these after I adjust the fit.

Greenstyle Centerfield

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Designer: Greenstyle Creations
Pattern:
Centerfield Raglan T-shirt
Size made:
 small
Options: crew, long sleeve, straight hem
Fabric needed: 2 yards
Fabric used: 1.5 yards Turquoise Rayon Spandex (fussy cut)

** Plus size pattern available up to 62” bust **

Fit: The pattern states that this is a slim fit shirt, but only provides the bust measurement for sizing, therefore I went off my bust measurement. Additional measurements for waist and hips would be helpful for sizing in this pattern since it’s a slim fit, as the top is tight on me below the waist. I expected since the fit is slim, and it’s fitting throughout the body that the arms would be as well, but the upper arms are loose compared to the rest of the garment.

Notes: I was disappointed with this one, probably because all other GreenStyle patterns I own have fit really well. I’m betting if they added in measurements for the waist and hips to this this pattern, it would make this pattern fit better right off the bat, because then I would have been able to grade between sizes based off of my measurements. On another note, I do plan to make this again, making sure to grade up on the lower half, as I think it will make a great running shirt in circular knit.

M4M Women’s Lee

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Designer: Made for Mermaids
Pattern:
Women’s Lee Raglan
Size made:
blue
Options: crew neck (although with my issues it turned into a scoop neck), long sleeve with bands, shirt length, straight hem
Fabric needed: 1 5/8 yards
Fabric used: 1.5 yards Periwinkle Rayon Spandex

** Fits as expected! / Great for Hacking **

Fit: With how mad this pattern made me feel putting it together (see notes), I really hoped that the fit would be horrible. So when I tried on the shirt, I was amazed with how it fit, it literally blew my mind, as I wasn’t expecting it at all. I know I still need a few fit adjustments for my liking, but sewn as is, it’s really good. The only thing I really don’t like is how short the sleeves are, and I think this is because I didn’t notice the pattern is drafted for somebody who 5’5” tall.

Notes: I had a really hard time attaching the neckband with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I ended up ripping out the neckband, cutting a new one to 80% of the length and adding back in. My first one I accidentally cut way too much off with my serger, so I tried to make up for the fabric that was accidentally removed by adding a slightly wider neckband. The notches do not match up on this pattern, so if you are like me and ignore instructions completely, take note of that.

Jalie Marie Claude

JA_life2

Designer: Jalie
Pattern:
Marie-Claude
Size made:
U (US8)
Options: crew neck, thumb cuffs
Fabric needed: 1.75 yards
Fabric used: 1.5 yards Cherry Rayon Spandex (fussy cut)

** Most Sizes – Girls size 2 through Women’s 22 **

Fit: The body isn’t super fitted even though I went by my measurements and it says it’s supposed to be fitted (I may have forgotten to measure my torso), and the arms are incredibly long, like super long. You can see in my photo of the raglans all hanging next to one another how long it is. I know it’s a thumb cuff, so it should be longer, but in RTW I often find long sleeved tops don’t have long enough sleeves. I do really like the fit of the body though.

Notes: I always love how Jalie doesn’t try to over explain everything, and the illustrations are detailed enough for me. I wanted to try out the thumb cuffs as they weren’t like any that I have tried before, I think this is a great way to do a thumb cuff if you are working with less fabric.

Hey June Lane

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Designer: Hey June
Pattern:
Lane Raglan
Size made:
medium
Options: ¾ sleeves, curved hem
Fabric needed: 2 yards
Fabric used: less than 1.5 yards, as I used leftovers of the Periwinkle Rayon Spandex and the Dusty Pink Rayon Spandex

** Built-in Full Bust Adjustment **

Fit: The sizing of the Lane is based on your high bust measurement. The description says the sleeves are fitted, but I found them big, and for the 3/4 length they hit at an odd spot. I think once the sleeves are fixed this will be a great weekend shirt since I can’t wear a color blocked top like this to the office as it looks too casual. I do like the fit through the body. The neck is really wide on this top as well.

Notes: As I was sewing this, I noticed that the armcyes of the sleeve were straight while the armcyes of the bodice were curved. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go together, but it worked. It also worked for a good fit through the armcyes, which I wasn’t expecting. This reminds me of a baseball tee, which is a lot of fun.

Side note: I have owned this pattern since basically back around the time it first came out, in 2014. Since then the pattern has been updated at least 2 times, yet I had never made it. This version is the most recent version, and it’s well loved by many people. It was one of my first knit patterns I purchased, but then I got angry with knits when I tried to sew the Kitshy Coo Comino Cap Top and couldn’t figure out the sizing, so I gave up all knits then.

Petite Stitchery Runway Raglan

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Designer: Petite Stitchery & Co.
Pattern:
Women’s Runway Raglan Tee & Dress
Size made:
medium
Options: long sleeve, front bodice detail, shirt length, straight hem
Fabric needed: 1.75 yards
Fabric used: 2 yards Dusty Pink Rayon Spandex, Light Heathered Gray Rayon Spandex scraps (I’m guessing that I only used 1.5 yards or less of the Dusty Pink, as I was able to still get a bodice for the Hey June Lane Raglan out of the 2 yard cut)

** Largest Bust at 53.5” and Lowest Price **

Fit: The Runway Raglan is more of a relaxed fit top. This is due to the bodice side seams being straight and not curved with the body’s curves. If you are looking for a raglan that is cut this way, this is the only one of the 7 that was designed this way.

Notes: I really liked that it had me hemming before attaching the neckband, when patterns do this, it pushes me to actually do the hemming and not put it off for a month like I’ve done in the past on garments. I like how the front bodice detail kind of dresses up this raglan. I can see myself wearing this with a skirt to the office.

New Horizon Riviera Raglan

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Designer: New Horizon Designs
Pattern:
Riviera Raglan
Size made:
medium
Options: high-cut, crew neck, long sleeve, shirt length, straight hem
Fabric needed: 1.75 yards
Fabric used: 1.5 yards Olive Rayon Spandex (fussy cut)

** Smallest Bust Size at 29” and Most Options **

Fit: On the pattern pieces there’s an option for a standard raglan and a high-cut raglan, but the instructions don’t mention anything about what the difference was, so I decided to try this option. I’m not sure if this gave me a better fit, but according to the sizing info, which I looked more into after I cut my pattern, I should have gone with a full bust adjustment. I really like the fit on this one, but the arms have a lot of extra ease.

Notes: This is another raglan with a lot of options, you can even make a tank top with it! It’s the only one of the 7 that has a v-neck option as well. I really should have tried the v-neck, but I didn’t have the patience for it.

Raglan Reflections

I think I need to slim down on sleeves, as basically all the sleeves have more ease than I typically like, either that or I just have really skinny arms. Looking at my fit pictures, I’m starting to realize a few things. I most likely need a full bust adjustment (which I should have used on the Lane Raglan, since it’s built into the pattern), and I could also use a forward slope adjustment. Personally I have never been one to think I needed an FBA, but it’s looking that way in my pictures with the pulling of fabric under my arms pointing toward my boobs.

During this process of sewing 7 shirts, I came to the realization of why I hate hemming. One is that I hate pressing my hem on sleeves and shirts when in the round. To get past this, I started looking up my hem allowance before sewing the front to back, as well as the sleeves, and pressed the hem up the required amount. This then left a crease in my fabric which made the hemming process go so much faster.

Lessons Learned: Take all measurements next time. If an important measurement isn’t included, then measure the pattern pieces and compare to something I already own.

View all raglan patterns found here. Raglans from this post are listed on the first tab of the spreadsheet, and the remaining raglans are on the second tab.

Note: This post contains affiliate links to products. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Dreams Deferred…

When I was 11 I begged my mom for a fit and flare dress like all the girls on tv… all pretty girls. I never thought I was one of those. I was a quiet nerdy girl who didn’t quite fit in… She tried and tried to make me that dress but couldn’t get it to fit my size 10 top, 8 waist, and 14/16 hips. I needed to stick to things made for my shape… and so it began.

Yea this is 2 year old me, not a care in the world…

17 yr old me. By then I learned to hide behind my mask. But In my mind I still wasn’t good enough or thin enough so I decided to hide behind clothes the longer and baggier the better. It took me years and years (and many, many incidents I’ll save for later) to realize that hiding didn’t make me look better or feel better. It fueled my darkness. I finally learned that I deserve to be seen and I deserved to be happy. My girls also fueled my quest for confidence. Sewing allowed me to blossom. Enter the Patterns for Pirates Sweetheart dress… My dream dress! 12 year old me did a little Paula Abdul dance lol! But would it fit??? Well here’s the difference… First knit fabric! This beautiful cherry rayon spandex and black power mesh from Phee Fabrics would do the trick!

Next grading… when I started sewing I used the big three patterns… you know the standard kind. I just could not get them. They were to complicated to me an so hard to fit. But indie patterns gave me just enough umph to give it a go! For this pattern I cut a 1x through the shoulders and 2x bust and waist. The circle skirt is extremely forgiving so I cut the 2x waist as well. The result is a great fitting, fun dress that makes me feel amazing!

The fabric feels wonderful and the quality is top notch. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a hot date with this guy…

Happy Sewing!

#patternsforpirates

#PheeFabrics

#plussizesewing

#curvygirlsrock

Bodysuit…with a thong option.

Hello y’all! Alisha here.

I love the idea of a body suit but I always think I’d like to wear them with pants that hug the booty BUT I hate panty lines SO I did something about it.

I mashed the Tai bodysuit with the Greta Thong from Made for Mermaids and voila!! It’s perfection and seriously so comfortable! I do believe a lot of the comfort has to do with the amazing Rayon Spandex from Phee Fabrics! I used the navy and also lined the crotch with the winter white (no longer available) For the leg bands I used the Navy 2.5 inch lace and I cut it in half to use for the bands (it worked out perfectly!) for my body I did the scoop back and 3/4 length sleeeves.

How I made my mash. I first used the high waisted Greta thong option (you could use any height, I just did the high waisted cause that’s what I’m going to make for the thongs and it made my life easier 🤷🏻‍♀️ Lol) I laid the Greta pattern piece on the Tai body suit and lined the Greta crotch piece up with the end of the Tai crotch and that traced the Greta till I got to the sides of the tai and than used the Tai pattern piece for the rest of my pattern. Mine looks like this:

I sewed the crotch as directed for the Greta I than serged the lace to the front and back leg openings. I than sewed the shoulder seams, added the sleeves, than the neck band, sewed up the sides and MAGIC! This is going to be my go to for the summer! Super comfy and no panty lines 🙌🏻

Thank you so much for reading along and any questions please feel free to ask!!

Muah! Alisha

Patterns links below!

https://www.madeformermaids.com/product/greta/

https://www.madeformermaids.com/product/mamatai/