Lily Wrap Skirt- Let’s Sew Together

Designer Stitch is developing a set of Let’s Sew Together patterns that are designed to be sewn with a novice or friend that you can help along the way and share the love of sewing with.

The concept of having a line of patterns that are beginner friendly and bring people together is so lovely and Ann of Designer Stitch really hit the mark in the first implementation of her idea- the Lily Wrap Skirt.

Lily 1

Why the Lily works.

The design is interesting with the two sides that fold over each other, reminding me of origami and there’s something about the shaping that brings to mind mathematical curves and lines.

The Lily is not only a beginner friendly pattern but it is thoughtful in its design to make it easy to help someone brand new to sewing. For example: 1. A 1/4in seam allowance is used along the curved edge with the tab. The narrower seam allowance removes the need to clip along that curve saving time and construction steps. 2. Using hook and loop as a closure is simple and easy to apply and much quicker that other types of closures.  3. The need for fitting is minimized. You may need to adjust your darts, but no alteration to fit the width of your waist or hips is needed in this design.

The Lily also works because it’s a great project to use fun fabrics with and heck, a reversible skirt is fun for all ages.

buckle close up

Take your Lily to the next level

After making the Lily, I have a few notes on how to add some of your intermediate sewing skills to the project. 1. Upgrade your closures. I used buckles and a hidden slide clasp because I’m not planning on wearing mine as reversible. Sewing with D used some really cute buttons on hers. 2. Add a facing or interface your waistband edge. The waistband is a turned over edge, I think this is probably fine for most, but I just feel like I need a little more support in my waistband.

Lily 3

How to partake in the fun without a “novice” to sew with you.

The timing wasn’t right for me to work with someone who would need a little help learning to sew the Lily skirt, so I explored two other options. Firstly, I paired with Diane of Sewing with D to talk through the process using video chat in facebook messenger. Secondly, since Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This and I live in the same city, we arranged to do a sewing meet up to work on our skirts together.

In the initial chat with Diane we talked about the pattern, fabrics, and ideas we were considering. We were able to work out any questions we had about the pattern, get a second opinion about fabric choices, and of course just chat about whatever. Our second video conversation took place after we both had most of the construction completed. We talked about what we might do differently the next time we made the pattern, shared pictures of button and buckles we were deciding on and gave our opinions, and of course more sewing chit-chat. Most of my sewing friends are online, so I really liked having the video chats with Diane, whom I’d been acquainted with for some time, but never actually spoken to or met with in person.

Meeting with Elizabeth in person was another fun way to work on the project. We shared some tea and cinnamon rolls and then as two moms with limited sewing time are want to do, got right down to the business of sewing. Now neither Elizabeth or I need hand holding, but it is really nice to be able to say “what are you doing here”, or “how are you coming along on this step” and so on. So much better than talking to myself in my sewing room.

Thanks Elizabeth and Diane for being my sewing buddies on this project!

Lily 2

The Pattern: Lily Wrap Skirt in size 4. I shortened mine by 4in to hit above my knee.

The Fabric: Navy cotton sateen and a cotton wax print from my stash.

 

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.

Advertisements

Lazo Trousers from Thread Theory- featuring DG Patterns Organic Tencel

It took me about a month to get it done, but I sewed up my first pair of Lazo Trousers from Thread Theory. The pattern isn’t hard at all, November was just slow going on the sewing front.

I originally picked up the Lazo pattern hoping to use them to knock off this look I found on pinterest, but my interest in that project has waned.

Picking up a big bag full of discounted closures at Hobby Lobby did bring the Lazos back into focus though. I really like the look they have with two buckles at the waistline and now I can totally do that.

The Pattern: Lazo Trousers in size 10 and shortened 2in. After my muslin, I pinched out a 1/2in wedge from the center back yoke.

Pattern feedback- 1. you should stay-stitch the upper edge of the pants after making your pleats, not after you’ve constructed the whole pant and inserted the fly. I didn’t have a problem with my fabric stretching, but play it safe and do this step early on.  2. I’m not a fan of attaching the zipper to the fly shield as it doesn’t look as neat on the inside. I really like the fly insertion instructions from the Liana Jeans and often use them when making other pants. 3. I inserted the belt tabs into the waistband seam for extra security and a neater finish.

The Fabric: Organic Tencel in navy from DG Patterns shop. If you haven’t sewn with tencel yet I really encourage you to pick some up and give it a whirl. Tencel has nice drape and is super soft to the touch. The silk setting on my iron seamed to work best in combination with a pressing cloth. Direct pressing tended to leave a mark and slight sheen on multiple layers. Tencel woven is one of the recommended fabrics for the Lazos and would work well with any pant, skirt, or dress that needs a nice drape.

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 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.

You might also like The modern striped boatneck top I’m wearing.

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 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.

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.

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.

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

You may also like to see: my Marigold Dress

Save for later

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.

Save For Later

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

 

Juliet Bodysuit for It’s Gonna Be May tour

Hi sewing friends.  Today I’d like to share something new that I’ve tried for the It’s Gonna Be May blog tour. Brought to you by Petite Stitchery & Co. (Tour details and a giveaway are below-read on)

You may have noticed that I’m pretty slow to follow trends, so again I’m behind the curve on the popular bodysuit. Bodysuits seamed like a bear to fit and I couldn’t see a use for one in my wardrobe. Until now.

We’ll be taking a flight soon and I’m one of those people who has an ideal for what to wear on a plane. I want my legs covered so my skin isn’t touching those super gross seats. I have to carry bags and keep track of a little boy, so I want clothes that are fuss free: no retucking, no riding up, and minimal adjusting. I also like knits so I’m not a wrinkled mess at the end of the day.

I’d already worked out that I like to wear jeans in winter and skirts in summer, but I still struggled with the right topper that didn’t need continual adjusting. Then it dawned on me, a bodysuit!

The Juliet bodysuit and skirt from Petite Stitchery & Co. will make the perfect outfit for plane travel. It ticks off all my boxes.

The Pattern

The Juliet bodysuit in size large with no alterations. I chose to do the low scoop back and full coverage seat. I cut and sewed my lining first to test the fit. I trimmed a little away from the cheek area on the back piece and was good to go. My fitting worries came to nothing.

Next time I’d take advantage of the built-in swayback adjustment.

The Juliet circle skirt size large and cut at the xsmall midi-length hemline for length. Altered to be a 1/4 circle skirt and waistband shortened to 6in finished depth.  I’m not going to share how I made the alteration to a 1/4 circle skirt because I messed it up royally. You really can’t see it on, but believe me it’s there.

Next time, I’ll choose a longer length- just an inch more would be great.

Petite Stitchery provided a complementary copy of the Juliet pattern for me to use in my post.

The Fabric

For the bodysuit- about 3/4 yard each of Art Galley cotton/lycra paired with a rayon/spandex jersey for the lining. I found these paired well together.

For the skirt-  1 1/8 yards of brushed poly from Boho Fabrics.

 

And now for the rest of the tour…

It's Gonna Be May blog tour

Sunday April 22nd:
Sewjourns,  Kathy’s Kwilts,  Naadjesendraadjes,  Diskordia’s Curvy Sewing,  Sewing Adventures in the Attick,  Sewing Southern Belle
Monday April 23rd:
Margarita on the Ross,  Our Play Palace,  The Scatty Sewer,  Rebel and Malice,  My Heart Will Sew On,  Sewing With D
Tuesday April 24th:
Sea of Estrogen,  Seams Like Style,  That’s Sew Amy,  Mahlica Designs,  Leslie J’s Sewing Shack,  Miss Marah Sewn
Wednesday April 25th:
Liviality,  Lime Leaves,  My Sewing Roots,  Tales From a Southern Mom,  Jot Designs USA,  Seams Sew Lo,  The Needle and The Belle
Thursday April 26th:
Candi Couture Designs,  Momma Sew Savvy,  Blooming Skies,  Stitched By Jennie,  House of Estrela,  Sewing Ambi

Don’t miss this:

Southern Belle Fabrics is offering a giveaway for a $50 store credit to support the blog tour. I think you could make up quite a few It’s Gonna Be May inspired pieces with Southern Belle Fabrics. I personally recommend the double brushed poly for circle skirts.

Enter to win a $50 store credit from Southern Belle Fabrics.

 

As always, thanks for reading today.

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

You might also like:

Ally Skirt & Onyx Top

 

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.