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

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McCalls7351 Shirt Dress pattern review

Here’s a little story about the Who Made It Best Challenge that isn’t.

I’ve come close to making the popular shirtdress style when I made a Marigold dress a couple years back, but I hadn’t felt like I was losing out on anything by not having a proper one. When Stephanie from the Petite Sewist, suggested the M7351 shirtdress to do together for a Who Made It Best challenge, I was ok with the idea but didn’t think I’d wear it much outside of church on Sunday.

 

As we worked on our muslins, I found I had to go down a full size in the bodice and was alright from there. Stephanie was so frustrated getting the fit correct that she has put it in the naughty corner. The challenge was off, but I was starting to like the dress.

 

As I worked through the project I  relearned the lesson to read through the directions ahead of time.  Where I got burned on this was the instruction to hand stitch the entire placket and neckband facing – that equals about 8 feet of hand stitching on my dress. After doing all that handstitching, the next step is to topstitch all along that same seam. Gosh darn it, I could have just topstitched and skipped all that hand stitching. Catherine Daze’s Blog found the same thing in another McCalls shirtdress pattern too.

 

One of the final steps is the turn under and hem the sleeves. I just didn’t like the look of this, so I settled on the idea of adding a cuff. Going through my patterns I found the cuff from the Onyx Shirt by Paprika Patterns would give the look I was going for. First I shortened the sleeve by 1 1/2in at the hem line and determined that a size 7 cuff from the Onyx would fit my new opening, then attached the cuff following the directions for the Onyx.

 

The Pattern McCalls7351 view B with no pockets. Size 14 C cup in the bodice and size 16 skirt. My measurements put me in a straight size 16 but after muslining the bodice I sized down to the 14.  Sleeve shortened by 1.5 inches and I added the size 7 cuff from the Onyx shirt pattern.

The Fabric Robert Kauffman yarndye in wineberry. Used 2.5 yards

 

As always, thanks for reading today.

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You may also like to see: my Marigold Dress

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VS Pattern Showdown: 5 Women’s Tank Patterns Go Head to Head

Welcome back to VS.

An occasional series here at mahlicadesigns with the aim of pairing similar style patterns against each other in a friendly showdown to see which pattern better suits me, all while working through my pattern stash.

 

Today I’m comparing 5 knit tank tops:

Dahlia Tank from Leala Jeyne

Durango Tank from Hey June Handmade

Greenwood Tank from Straight Stitch Designs

Idyllwild Tee from Itch to Stitch

Lago Tank from Itch to Stitch

VS. Tanks front collage 2

The Dahlia Tank is “a well-fitting tank top for use with knit fabrics in cup sizes A-E. The scoop neckline is finished with bindings, not bands, for a professional look. Hip and crop lengths.”

The Durango Tank is a “casual sleeveless shirt with a center back seam and longer flared hem… is fitted at the shoulder and bust and loose through the waist and hip for an easy fit.”

The Greenwood Tank features “a wide open neckline and two back options.”

The Idyllwild Tee is a “fitted t-shirt and dress pattern… jam-packed with options… you can literally make 42 garments with different looks!”

The Lago Tank is a relaxed fit racerback tank with slightly scooped neckline.

For all my tanks I used the 10oz cotton lycra solids from Simply By Ti. I’ve used this C/L in many projects as I love the weight and quality (here & here & here & here & here). As a Simply by Ti Ambassador I received complimentary fabrics for this post from the Simply By Ti shop to use in exchange for sharing it with you.

Now let’s compare.

VS. Tanks front collage 1

VS. Tanks front collage 2

Left to right: Dahlia in Cobalt, Durango in Eggplant, Greenwood in Tomato Red, Idyllwild in Fuchsia, Lago in Turquiose

Instructions.

Dahlia: Beginner friendly and easy to follow. I still managed to finish the neck and arm opening with a band instead of a binding by mistake.

Durango: Beginner friendly and easy to follow.

Greenwood: Beginner friendly and easy to follow. Link to video demonstrating binding technique.

Idyllwild: Beginner friendly and easy to follow. Pattern notches included to line up curved side seams and position the bands.

Lago: Beginner friendly and easy to follow. Pattern notches included to line up curved side seams and position the bands.

VS tanks back collage 1

VS tanks back collage 2

Left to right: Dahlia in Cobalt, Durango in Eggplant, Greenwood in Tomato Red, Idyllwild in Fuchsia, Lago in Turquiose

Fit.

Dahlia: Size small graded to medium at the hip per my measurements. A little bit of bunching at the shoulder seam area.

Durango:  Size 10 per my measurements. Dropped shoulder adjustment of 3/8in was critical to reduce gaping. I don’t think I stretched the binding around the armscye, enough as you can see there is still gaping going on there.

Greenwood: Size 10 per my measurements. Shortened front and back straps by 1/4in and then did a 1/4in dropped shoulder adjustment.  Shortened 1/2in at hemline.

Idyllwild: Size small graded to medium at hips. Shoulder seam sits back about 1/4in from my shoulder point. A 1/4in dropped shoulder adjustment to the front bodice should fix that. Neckband pattern piece seems a tad too long around the CF curve. It will need to be shortened 1/2in.

Lago: Size 6 graded to 8 at the hips. No shoulder adjustment needed (due to racerback shape?) Bands fit perfectly.

** For all these patterns I’ll need a sway back adjustment and to grade the back piece a little larger at the hip to account for my full seat.

VS tanks side collage 3

VS tanks side collage 2

Left to right: Dahlia in Cobalt, Durango in Eggplant, Greenwood in Tomato Red, Idyllwild in Fuchsia, Lago in Turquiose

Style.

Dahlia: Standard and cropped options. I like the gently curved hem.

Durango:  CB seam allows for easy swayback adjustment if needed and potentially easier to use up your remnants. Swing style minimizes the need to grade for wider hips. Racerback bra needed.

Greenwood: Wider scooped neckline. Straps give great coverage.

Idyllwild: Sleeveless style gives more coverage across the shoulders.

Lago: Cute racerback curves, but racerback bra needed.

VS tanks side collage 2

Left to right: Dahlia in Cobalt, Durango in Eggplant, Greenwood in Tomato Red, Idyllwild in Fuchsia, Lago in Turquiose

Investment.

Dahlia: $11  Two length options included.

Durango: $0 One view included.

Greenwood: $10-$12 Two neckline options included.

Idyllwild: $10 includes multiple sleeve, neckline, and length options.

Lago: $0 One view included.

Durango collage

For me, the Durango is the winner. I like the fit through the body and the pattern just needs a little tweaking to adjust for my swayback.

As always, thanks for reading today.

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

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

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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.

Coffee House Pant from Blue Dot Patterns

Diane from Blue Dot Patterns has created another pattern with a modern look that has become a closet staple for me. The Coffee House Pant is a loose fitting cropped pant with an elastic waist and “notched” pocket detail.

CH 3 label

Being on the short side (almost 5’4″) I just stear clear of cropped pants and capris. I just can’t seem to find that magic length that looks right. So when I saw Diane’s new pattern was a cropped pant, I was happy to make up a pair as a tester, but didn’t imagine I’d end up with something that would actually work for me.

But looky here:

CH 6 wm

.

CH 4 wm

One of the chararteristics that appeals to me is that while these are so very comfortable to wear, they look neat and classic.

CH 11 wm

.

Coffee House pocket detail

The Pattern: Coffee House Pant from Blue Dot Patterns in size 8 with no alterations.

The Coffee House Pant is on sale until Jan 14th to celebrate it’s release.

As with all the other Blue Dot patterns that I’ve made, the pattern is well drafted and the instructions professional and easy to follow. I think you would be happy with any of her patterns.

The Fabric: A natural woven that my mother picked up from an estate sale. The original sale tag was dated 1954. It drapes wonderfully and doesn’t wrinkle all that much.

As always, thanks for reading today.

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

Ella Cami & Shortie set from Designer Stitch

I got to test out* the new Ella Cami set from Designer Stitch last week and now I feel complete, in the summer pj department : )

Ella set 5 by mahlicadesigns

Ella set 1 by mahlicadesigns

I love the loose flowing pieces to keep me cool and feel pretty on trend with the ruffled cami.

Ella set 7 by mahlicadesigns

Ella set 4 by mahlicadesigns

You can also style the cami as a summer top. It works perfectly with my Chi Town chino shorts.

Ella Cami 1 by mahlicadesigns

Ella Cami 4 by mahlicadesigns

The Pattern and my alterations: The Ella Cami set from Designer Stitch includes a cami with ruffled band and a flowing bottom in short or pant length. I made two alterations to the pattern. I’m not a big ruffle person, so I took a total of 10 inches out of the length (front and back) of the ruffle band. I still think there’s plenty of ruffle here. On the shorties I added my usual 1 inch Full Seat Adjustment (FSA) and lowered the rise (front & back) by 3 inches making them a low rise short. If lowering your rise, be sure to check that you are leaving enough room for the elastic casing above the top of your pockets. My casing landed just above the pockets and I might consider lowering it another 3/8in next time so I can secure my pocket bags under the casing seam to keep them in place.

Ella set 3 by mahlicadesigns

The Fabric I found this delightful Mini Floral rayon woven at Joann Fabrics amongst a ton of polyester in their Silky category. I used about 2 yards for my cami and shorties set.

Ella Cami 7 by mahlicadesigns

 

The Ella Cami set and all Designer Stitch patterns are on sale for a limited time. Now’s the time to grab them up.

 

As always, thanks for reading today.

You can follow me on instagramBloglovin, 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.

*I received a free copy of the Ella pattern in exchange for my work reviewing the pattern instructions before release. These are my straight up thoughts on the pattern.

Birkin Flares

After making the Liana Jeans, I was questioning if it is worth the many hours it takes to sew your own jeans. I got some good responses to the question and decided that before I could decide that question for myself, that I really need to sew one or two more pairs. I want to see if I can cut down the sewing time and if I think I’m getting a better fit than store bought.

Birkin Flare IG square 2

Just as I was prepping to sew another pair of jeans, I won a Birkin Flare kit in the monthly drawing from IndieSew. Right away, I dove into making the Birkin Flares with some stash denim.

Birkin Flares

 

To the pattern I added a 1in full seat adjustment based on my experience with the Liana Jeans, shortened the Birkins 2in at the upper thigh adjustment line, shortened 2in at the lower leg adjustment line, and shortened 2in at the hem.

Birkin Flares

My fit muslin came out so well, that I finished them out.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with the fit of the Birkins. Next time I might make them a smidge longer, make them slimmer through the upper thigh, and look into changing the construction of the CB seam.

Birkin Flares

I was able to sew these jeans just a smidge faster and the process was easier the second time around especially since I didn’t have to do a ton of fitting to the muslin. Though I still need to tweak fit, I feel like I’m close there too. I’ve decided that I will continue to make my own jeans.

Birkin Flares

The Pattern: Birkin Flares in size 29.  1in Full Seat Adjustment, shortened 6in total. 3/8in seam allowance used at inseam and side seam.

The Fabric: Indigo denim from Fashion Fabrics Club.

Birkin styling collage

The Birkin Flares took 10.75 hours to make. I used 1 1/3yard at 54in wide denim.

Total cost $12          Fabric: $9             Pattern $0         Notions $3