Viewridge top- pattern review

This spring I’m finally getting around to starting in on those woven tanks I’ve been meaning to make for the last three summers. It feels like I have oodles of patterns in the stash to try, but I’m starting with the Viewridge Top from Straight Stitch Designs that I won in last year’s Indie Pattern month on The Monthly Stitch.


I like loose fitting tops for summer, but gathers and pleats seem to add too much volume at the bust for my taste. The Viewridge does have small gathers at the front, but I think they are nicely balanced by structured side and yoke pieces.

Viewridge view B includes small gathers at center front. Photo from Straight Stitch Designs

The Viewridge should be pretty easy for an advanced beginner sewist due to the use of bias tape to finish the neckline and arm hole and making even gathers. Even so, I managed to make it difficult on myself. I didn’t press my fabric when I pulled it back out of my stash. Slightly wrinkled shifty and slippery rayon wovens are not fun to cut and I ended up with one piece slightly off grain. I definitely had some hair pulling as I tried to figure out why one piece ended up slightly lopsided (because it was off grain and wrinkly) and how to fix it.

As I was working through that, Rachel of Oakblue Designs was sharing her success in cutting the same type of fabric after treating it with a spray stabilizer. Noted.

I also found a small error on the pattern at the shoulder. The pattern marking doesn’t line up. Use them to help you know which pieces go together, but you’ll be fine lining up these pieces without them.


The Pattern: Viewridge Top from Straight Stitch Designs, view B in size 10 and shortened 2in at the adjustment line. I chose a size 10 based on my 37.5in bust measurement. The pattern instructions suggest that for larger cups sizes to try one size larger for the front pattern pieces than you use for the back pieces. I stuck with a straight 10 and feel like it fits well.  Overall I give the pattern an A, the instructions are well put together and the pattern is well drafted. That one misaligned pattern marking is easily overcome.

The Fabric: I picked up this floral rayon a year or so ago at Joann Fabrics. It’s beautiful and unfortunately it was only available for a moment.


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 commission to help pay for my sewing hobby.

You might like: My Ella Cami Set made in the same fabric.


Save For Later  Pin this image, so you can come back when you’re ready to start sewing your version.

Breaking Ground with the Tracey Bee Top

I’m Breaking Ground with the Tracey Bee Top from new to me Seen & Sewn Patterns. I’m also hoping to break out of my ongoing sewing funk by using some energizing colors for spring in the midst of our ice and snow. (Oh hey, keep reading for tour details and to enter the giveaway)


What I like most about the Tracey Bee are the insert details. These create interesting design lines if you sew it up in a solid fabric and opportunities to mix fabrics if you like colorblocking.

I made my Tracey Bee with a rayon challis type of fabric. The drape is wonderful, but it did get a little clingey with static around my waist. Instead of a double fold hem, I decided to use a cotton bias binding and that seems to have helped the fabric stand away from my skin enough to resolve the problem.


The Pattern: Tracey Bee Top** in size L, cropped view. Due to the challenge of sewing inserts, I’d recommend this top for an advanced beginner or above. Other than the challenge inserts can offer, the pattern goes together easily. There was a small mismatch at the side seam when the dart was folded, so I sewed the dart at half the width and that resolved the mismatch and didn’t affect the fit for me in the least. (the designer is checking the pattern to correct).

The Fabric: Rayon woven paired with scraps of teal eyelet from the ole stash.


I’m still having a hard time getting excited about a next sewing project, but starting with fabrics in my stash that do give me some energy is a good strategy. I do wish it was warm enough to wear my spring projects instead of just looking at them.

The Braking Ground Blog Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 11That’s Sew Lily, Sewing A La Carte, Mijn 11jes & ik

Tuesday March 12mahlicadesigns, Embrace Everyday, Jot Designs, auschick sews, Raising Stripling Warriors

Wednesday March 13Musings of A Seamstress, Very Blissful, Sew4Five, Just Sew Something, Hazelnut Handmade, Crafting Through Time, Tales From A Southern Mom

Thursday March 14Make It Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier, Ronda B Handmade, SequioaLynn Sews, Sewing with D, The Sewing Goatherd, OOYAmade, My Golden Thimble, Custom Made by Laura

Friday March 15–  Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, Sewing Novice, Ronda B Handmade, Momma Bear Sews, MeMade, My Golden Thimble, Lulu & Celeste

Breaking News: our tour sponsor Phat Quarters is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!


We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2019 across social media.

As always, thanks for reading today.

**This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through my links, I get a small commission to help fund for my sewing hobby.

Onyx Shirt in Elephant Print Crepe

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of sewing again with the Onyx Shirt made with the Elephant print crepe woven from the DG Patterns Shop*

I’ve made the Onyx shirt twice before, so I know the fit is just right without any alterations, but this was my first time using the longer sleeve add on for the pattern. I chose the 3/4 sleeve length for a less formal look and because there is a cuff option.

I’m very pleased with my crepe version of the Onyx shirt. I will be watching how well the folded cuff keeps it’s shape in the crepe. Since the crepe does not hold a crisp press, I may need to tack the cuff in place on the outer edge.

The Pattern The Onyx Shirt (with sleeve expansion pack) from Paprika Patterns in a straight size 4. Since I was using a crepe woven for the top,  I used French Seams throughout to keep those seam allowances nice and neat and prevent any fraying down the road.

The Fabric The Elephant print polyester crepe from DG Patterns. This seems like a light/medium weight woven to me. It’s a good weight woven for summer or fall wardrobe pieces. I used a universal size 9 needle and the lowest heat setting on my iron to work with the fabric.

As always, thanks for reading today.

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

Save For Later: Pin this image, so you can come back when you’re ready to start sewing your version.*As a DG Patterns Fabric Ambassador I receive complementary fabric from the DG Patterns fabric shop to use for a project in exchange for sharing it with you.

*The post may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate, I receive a sales comission to help with my sewing hobby.


Bonn Shirt – featuring Simply By Ti Stretch Poplin

Here we are with my Itch to Stitch Bonn Shirt made with Simply By Ti’s Stretch Poplin**

I don’t think I’ve sewn a blouse that was easier to make. After muslining the bodice I shortened things up to fit me and it was smooth sailing from there.

The Bonn pattern instructions are super easy to follow, making the construction no big deal.

The only trouble I had with the project was with my button-holer. I’ve used it loads of times, but for this I managed to botch it up over and over again. I think I ripped out the same button-hole on the cuff five times.

The Pattern The Bonn Shirt from Itch to Stitch made in a straight size 6. I shortened the bodice 1/4in at the upper adjustment line and 1/2in at the lower adjustment line. The sleeves are shortened by 1/4in. I did not need to grade out to a larger size for my hips like usual. Next time I may shorten it a little more in the bodice as it is still quite long.

The Fabric Teal stretch poplin from Simply By Ti**  The stretch feels wonderful in the more fitted areas of the Bonn and I’d use this weight of woven for any cool weather season. I had to do a lot of seam ripping and handling of the fabric. With all the back and forth I had to do with this project, the fabric still looked wonderful, had hardly a fray at the edges, and withstood all my unstitching.

As always, thanks for reading today.

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

**As a Simply by Ti Ambassador I receive complementary fabric from the Simply By Ti shop to use for a project in exchange for sharing it with you.

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

Save For Later

Pin this image, so you can come back when you’re ready to start sewing your version.

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 originally 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.

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 commission to help pay for my sewing hobby.

Save For Later

Pin this image, so you can come back when you’re ready to start sewing your version.

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.


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.

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


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.

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

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)

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.

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.

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.

I’ve been needing to try 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.

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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The Wendy Top Simplicity 3964 for Core Wardrobe building

My blogging calendar says I should be planning ahead for fall and I even worked up a long sleeve tee in obedience, but the summer heat says “Sun’s out Guns out” and who am I to argue. I still need summer pieces for my Core Wardrobe.

There are a lot of cute woven tanks roaming about the internet and I have the Ella Top and Isabella Tank on my list, but I decided I’d make up a stash pattern. Simplicity 3964, a Built By Wendy design that I purchased last year.

Wendy Top by mahlicadesigns

I made a few modifications to the pattern. Flutter cap sleeves look dopey on me, so, sleeveless. This was super easy, you just skip the sleeve in the instructions and proceed on to inserting the armhole facing.

Wendy Top S3964 by mahlicadesigns

I decided to do a button and loop for the back closure instead of bias binding for the neckline and a tie. When I was choosing a button, I thought I should see if I could just slip the top on with the back opening closed and voila! No neckline opening is even needed. I unpicked the back opening and sewed it shut (making it a CB seam in the back yoke). I then attached the facing pieces right sides together with the bodice, understitched and turned the facing to the inside to get a cleanly finished neckline without having to use bias binding.

Wendy Top by mahlicadesigns

For a cleaner look, I eliminated a lot of the top stitching  by sewing the back facing and much of the front facing to the seam allowance of their corresponding bodice pieces. I did have to do a little hand stitching around the facing for the insert, but not much.

I used French seams at the sides by sewing 5/8, trimming, pressing, and then sewing again using a 3/8 seam allowance. Looking at my photos I think I took in the sides too much. They are pulling across my high chest though it doesn’t feel snug.

Wendy Top by mahlicadesigns

Now, let’s talk about where this pattern beat me down. Those angles, arrgg. The center front angle on the insert just would not come out sharply or without a pucker. Dang it. After many tries, I just said good enough and moved on. With pressing it doesn’t look bad, but with wearing the angles start to look mooshy.  I’ve done some post make investigating on how to do it better for next time.

wendy Top by mahlicadesigns

Paired up with a closet orphan (an item I have nothing to wear with)

Fabric: Black cotton/poly voile.

Fabric $8  Pattern $12.50  Total $20.50

Simplicity 3964 took me about 6 hours including extra time for some hand stitching.

Summer StashAThon SQ2

Peasant Blouse from MellySews, Core Wardrobe part 6

Peasant blouse by mahlicadesignsAhhh, spring wardrobe sewing is so glorious. Color and breezy materials are what I’ve been missing. I am very ready to say goodbye to thick fabrics, layers, and wearing socks to bed.

I happened upon this polyester charmuese at Denver Fabrics a few months ago and thankfully got enough yardage to make the Peasant Blouse from Melly Sews. I’m thinking a red like this will be one of the main colors for my Core Wardrobe.

100_3862I was a bit nervous about working with this kind of fabric for the first time. My strategy: keep it sharp and pin the stuffing out of it. I made sure my rotary blade was sharpened, used a brand new Microtex needle, and pulled out my “good” sharp pins.

I took the sewing pretty slowly to keep those slippery edges neat and to make sure my machine didn’t eat the fabric. I also spent a lot of extra time making French Seams to containing the fraying edges. The neckline is finished with bias binding that also is the casing for elastic. The sleeves and bodice are finished with a fold over hem.

100_3863The Peasant Blouse is a free pattern from Melly Sews blog and her post gives some really good tips on how to style a peasant blouse, just the kind of hand holding I need. The instructions are streamlined since they are given in a blog post as a tutorial, so some sewing experience is assumed. I had no problem with the instructions, but did have a little wonkiness along the neckline where the sleeves met the bodice front and back. The pieces just did not match up to make a smooth neckline. Operator error? Beats me. I just smoothed out the line a bit when I attached the bias binding.

100_3853The instructions recommend 23-26in elastic length around the neckline; 23in made a pretty high neckline and pulled the sleeves a little snug at the underarm. 28in of elastic for the neckline worked best for me and gave a little more room at the underarm.

I used elastic thread for the first time on this project. I hand wound the elastic thread on my bobbin, used the longest stitch length on my machine, did a test, and added one row of shirring 1/2in from the sleeve hem.

This project took 3.75 hours to complete. I’m guessing half that time was making the french seams. Working with a fabric that does not require the french seams would cut down your time.