Dana Top pattern review

I’ve been keeping it pretty simple in the sewing room this summer. Can we say Summer Break!

Working through my stash has been a motivator though. My feelings about my stash tend to swing between “I’m glad to have this resource” to “I’m never going to be relieved of this burden.” This summer I’ve been in the “stash burden” zone as stash overflow has piled up in front of my fabric shelves.

Making the Dana top and a pair of Chi Town shorts to go with, helped bust through some stash and were pretty easy projects for my lazy summer approach to sewing.

I originaly planned to replace the side tie on the Dana with a cool looking buckle, but when it came to it the buckle just looked and felt too heavy. Any suggestions? I feel like something to add a little interest would be good.



The Pattern The Dana top from DG Patterns in size 10. Made without the side tie. I added two hidden snaps along the cross over to keep the top from gaping open at the bust and when I bend at the waist. If you’re looking for an easy pattern that gives you a nicely put together look, I think the Dana top is a good pattern for you.

Chi Town Chino shorts. These are my fourth pair, so nothing new to add. See my previous pairs here and here.


The Fabric Dana was made in a shirt weight woven that I picked up from Hancocks before they closed down. These Chi Towns are made in a cotton twill I picked up from Joann Fabrics.

Total stash busted:  1.25 yards for Dana and 1 yard for Chi Towns.

As always, thanks for reading today.

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Synthia Top pattern review

We are in the midst of winter here in Colorado and I am longing for spring weather. I find myself sewing a mix of warm clothing for my freezing reality and springy pieces out of hope for the future.

Synthia 2 wm

I made up the Synthia Top from Designer Stitch* as part of her pattern testing team and I just adore this blouse. I’m not really into ruffles as they can seam too girlish for me, but this feels feminine and sophisticated.

Synthia 3 wm

My floral fabric plus the lightness of the ruffle make me ready for warmer days.

Synthia 4 wm

Synthia 5 wm

The Pattern Synthia Ruffle Top from Designer Stitch in size 3 (C cup) and shorter length. I used a 9in zipper instead of the 20in length that is recommended and really could have gotten away with not using one at all This will really depend on the person though. The Synthia also comes in a version without the ruffle that will make a great basic piece for your wardrobe.

As is usual for Designer Stitch, the pattern drafting and instructions are top notch. I always appreciate a pattern that comes in different cup sizes saving me the trouble of the alteration. The ruffle is so cleverly constructed that you’ll have a delightful ah-ha moment after you complete it.

The Synthia Top pattern is on sale for $7 (reduced from $10) for a limited time.

Synthia 7 wm

Synthia 10 wm

The Fabric Stash woven with a lovely drape. Purchased from Boho Fabrics about 2 years ago. Yay for stashbusting!

Synthia 8 wm

As always, thanks for reading today.

You can follow me on instagram, Bloglovin, or by entering your email in the right side bar.

*This post may contain affiliate links, if you purchase through my links I get a small portion to help pay for my sewing hobby.

Cheyenne Tunic- Who Made It Best

Welcome back to Who Made It Best, a series on mahlicadesigns.

Who Made It Best is a friendly challenge where one of my blogger friends joins me in making up the same pattern to see Who Made It Best. The challenge rules are simple: 1. We agree on a pattern to use 2. sew it up to suit our personal styles 3. share it with you and ask you to vote. (Oh, and we keep what we’re up to a secret from each other)

Cheyenne collage 1 label

Victoria from Very Blissful has joined me in making up the Cheyenne Tunic from Hey June Handmade** for this weeks challenge. Please check out Victoria’s version here.

Cheyenne closeup

I chose to do two hacks on my Cheyenne for the challenge. The first was to make it sleeveless following the tutorial on the designers blog, well, because it’s July and I’m hot.

The tutorial is ok if you are comfortable with drafting, but I’m not the “just draw a new armscye” type. I redraft my patterns all the time, but freehanding an armscye curve leaves too much room for error for my taste. This tutorial/hack will work best if you have a tnt sleeveless pattern that you can trace off.

Cheyenne  7.2

My second hack was to extend the right collar band across the front to make a key hole opening.  You can see below how I extended the collar band out 2.5in from the bottom edge and retraced the curved leading edge. I could use a smidge more room for the button-hole, so you might try extending it out 3in if you want to copy my look.

Collar band extension hack

I’ve been needing to try my more of the blouse patterns in my stash, so I’m very glad Victoria asked to make the Cheyenne for the challenge. White blouses are always a staple in my mind and I feel like I have a winner with this one.

Cheyenne 9 wm

So, who do you think made their Cheyenne Tunic best? Please visit Very Blissful for more pictures and details on her version, then place your vote for Who Made It Best. The poll will be on both blogs, so you can see both versions before you choose your favorite. Voting open for one week and results will be posted on Instagram.


You can also take a look at the Bronte Tee, Shoreline Boatneck, Sorbetto Top and Greenwood Tank that were part of past Who Made It Best challenges.

You can follow me on instagram, Bloglovin, or by entering your email in the right side bar.

As always, thanks for visiting and voting today.

**This post may contain affiliate links, if you purchase through my links I get a small portion to help pay for my sewing hobby.

V Slit Blouse Simplicity 1430

Today I’m going to share just a little bit about the V front blouse that I included in the spring capsule wardrobe I worked on for the Sew Alongs And Sewing Contests fb group.

Me Made May really showed that I was missing some of the Core Colors from my wardrobe, so I immediately started making Simplicity 1430 View B in a red lawn from Fabric Mart and crossed off a long waiting project.

V Slit blouse

This cute number went together pretty easily until I hit the neck band technique. My gut instinct was to apply a bias binding, but I decided to follow the pattern. Uh-Oh. The instructions have you apply a pieced neckband, a neckband facing, and stitch through all the layers. That adds up to seven layers at the shoulder seams. The result, even in a lightweight lawn, was a  thick rope-like neckband.

V Slit blouse 1

I hated this neckband, so I ripped it off and added a 1in facing instead. I’m so much happier with the fit and feel. To keep that cut out look, you could use a bias binding.

V Slit blouse

V Slit blouse

The pattern: Simplicity 1430 View B, size 12. Stupid neckband removed and replaced with a facing, closure at CB eliminated and 1/2in added to hip.

V Slit blouse

The fabric: 100% cotton lawn from Fabric Mart, long sold out.

V Slit blouse


Notes: Choose an easier option for the neck binding and skip the back closure if you want to.

Simplicty 1430 view B should take you about 3.5 hours to make. A size 12 used 1yd of fabric.

Total cost: $3.50         Fabric $3.50             Pattern $0-stash

A Margo Mod for Pattern Hack week on The Monthly Stitch

Since seeing this cute top on pinterest, I’ve had it on my sewing list to make one for myself. The Margo Blouse quickly came to mind as a pattern I could use as a jumping off point.

Margo Hack by mahlicadesigns

I’m calling this one a success!  With just a few minor missteps working with these fabrics, I found the fruition of my idea came along pretty easily.

Margo Hack by mahlicadesigns

The Pattern: The Margo Blouse from Blue Dot Patterns. I used the straight hem version with the 3/4 length sleeve in a size small. After making my modifications to the yokes, I followed the pattern directions for an easy finish.

The Fabric: 1/2y of rayon/spandex jersey and 1/2y black mesh. I also used 3/8in elastic in the sleeve hems as directed and 5/8in FOE at the neckline.

Margo Hack by mahlicadesigns

The Mods:

1. I added my own button plackets, made from the jersey knit, to the back by cutting the back yoke in half at center back and adding a 1in x 4.25in finished placket piece to each edge. I overlapped the plackets, basted along the bottom and then attached the yoke to the bodice as normal.

2. I raised the neckline at center front by 2.5in and smoothed out the curve.

3.  I used FOE to finish my neckline (the pattern has yoke facings as a finish) and French seams at the shoulder and sleeve seams.

Margo Hack by mahlicadesigns

Next time I would raise the seamline across the front about 3/4in, it just looks a little low to me with the shear fabric. I would also only raise the neckline at center front by 2in instead of 2.5in, it feels a little high.

Making a modified Margo should take you about 4.75 hours or less.

Total Cost: $11.50     Fabrics: $10    Notions $1.50      Pattern $0*

I’m submitting my Margo hack into The Monthly Stitch’s contest for Indie Pattern Month. Take a look at what other sewists are doing and return to The Monthly Stitch on June 24th to vote for your favorite pattern hacks.


*I received a free copy of the Margo Blouse Pattern for hosting the Creative Sewing Challenge.

Zamora Blouse from Itch to Stitch by mahlicadesigns

I had the opportunity to test the newly released Zamora blouse pattern from Itch to Stitch. The Zamora is a buttoned front, deep V neck with a tie bow. The Zamora is a modern version of a very classic look.


I liked the combination of the tucks on the front, the tie, and the slightly loose blousing. Making the Zamora was a good way to replace the classic blouses in my wardrobe that no longer fit.

Zamora Blouse detail

Zamora Blouse

Zamora blouse

Because this is my test version I made very few alterations. I made a dropped shoulder adjustment of 1/4in and graded the back piece from waist to hem increasing by 1/2in in width. This is the bracelet length sleeve option, which is long on me but actually falls at a length I like.

Zamora blouse

I’m not satisfied with how the back bunches up above the waist line. Part of this is due to my need to do a sway back adjustment and possibly grade wider at the hips, but I think some of this is the pattern design. It looks better tucked in, which is how I will wear the blouse. Several other testers removed the back darts all together and I may go back and remove them too. I think that will make the back look so much better and maybe help with a drag line on the front.

This is a size 4 with D cup, made up in a cotton/poly broadcloth. I ended up using 1 3/4yd @44in wide. The techniques in the pattern are not difficult, but it does take some time to complete because of the pintucks and waist darts.

Zamora blouse pin tucks

The Zamora is one of four new pattern releases from Itch to Stitch this week. Itch to Stitch has put all of her patterns on sale this week too.


The Zamora could take you 7 hours to complete.

Fabric $4  Pattern $ 0*  Total cost $4

*I received the pattern for free as a tester.


Marigold Blouse, a first step toward the Marigold Dress.

I’m leading a sew along for the Marigold Dress from Blank Slate Patterns in the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests facebook group this month. You can join us for inspiration and encouragement as we work through the pattern (I’m not going to teach you how to sew it, just cheer you on and give you ideas. The sew along is not associated with or sponsored by Blank Slate Patterns)

Marigold Blouse by mahlicadesigns

Marigold Blouse by mahlicadesigns

My first try with the Marigold was to make the blouse out of some stash fabric and hope for a wearable muslin. I’m not sold on how peplums look on me, though Teresa’s modified peplum is darn cute; so I played it safe and chose to follow a pattern hack from the Melly Sews website.

Marigold Blouse by mahlicadesigns

The hack shows you how to lengthen the bodice piece and straighten the side seam. Pretty easy. The only thing I’d add to the tutorial is that you also need to square up the hem line. I wasn’t paying attention and got an angled hem line which cost me about an inch in the overall length.  😦

Marigold Blouse by mahlicadesigns

I made only two minor alterations to the construction. I used french seams at the sides and didn’t use the button placement guide. I always place my first button to line up with the fullest part of my bust and work out placement from there.

Marigold Blouse by mahlicadesigns

Thus far I have only one critique of the pattern. The shaping of the sleeve hem puts extra fabric under the arm, not where anyone wants extra bulk. See how it’s wider at the green line than the red line. This extra width and the curve on the hem there adds bulk.

sleeve collage

I haven’t tested it out, but I have a quick solution and a better solution. Quick:  I think making the piece the same width from the curve to the seam will eliminate some of the problem. (blue line for example). Better: Slashing the pattern from hem line up to but not through the seam line to create a pivot (blue dotted line), slide the cut edges over each other to remove about 1/4in to 1/2in from the hem and then make the width even.

Alteration collage

So, a pretty wearable muslin I think. I’m feeling very comfortable moving forward with making the full dress. I think I’ll still need to take a big breath before cutting into the fabric I’ve been hoarding.

Marigold Blouse by mahlicadesigns

The Marigold Blouse hack should take you about 4 hours to make.

Fabric & buttons from stash $0  Pattern $4.53  Total cost $4.53*

* $9.06 was the sale price I paid. I divided it by two since I will make this pattern twice.

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