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

Melissa VS Julia: Pattern Showdown for Cardigan Roundup

Today I’m joining Sewing with Ti in her Cardigan Round Up to talk about my favorite cardigan pattern. I thought I’d share about my favorite by doing a pattern comparison, So…

Welcome back to VS.

A theme 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.

Melissa Cardigan from Zierstoff Patterns

Melissa v Julia main collage

 Julia Cardigan from Mouse House Creations

Melissa vs Julia 1 collage

The Melissa Cardigan features a pieced dolman sleeve, fully faced rounded collar, and roomy fit.

The Julia offers cap, 3/4, and full length set in sleeves, options for fully faced or one piece rounded collar, and casual fit.

Melissa vs Julia 3 collage

Let’s compare.

Instructions.

Melissa: Size chart is on website, but not in the instructions. Print/scale checks are throughout the pattern so you can always be sure the pattern printed correctly. The size lines are in color, so if printing in black & white it can be tough when the lines are tight together. The instructions for garment construction are clear and easy to follow.

Julia:  Instructions for construction are clear and easy to follow. The pattern has a few pattern markings to help line up pieces and are useful for stripe/pattern matching.

Fit.

Melissa: Great overall fit. I shortened the sleeves 3in, a typical adjustment for me.

Julia: Runs small. I made one size up and ended up with the right fit. It feels tight to me at the back neck, I think the back neckline needs to be scooped out a little. Not a fan of how the fabric puddles at my hip.

Style.

Melissa: The loose fit open front cardigan style is very on trend, but dolman sleeves are not for everyone.

Julia: The open front cardigan style is very on trend. Long and short sleeve options are included.

Investment.

Melissa: Time; 2.5 hours   Cost; Fabrics $10    Pattern $6   About 2yd @ 60in wide

Julia: Time; 2.75 hours   Cost; Fabrics $5.50    Pattern $6.95*   About 2.5yd @ 60in wide

Opportunities.

Melissa: Colorblocking of collar and sleeves. Variety of fabrics can be used.

Julia: Colorblocking of collar and sleeve length options. Need fabrics with stretch.

Melissa vs Julia 2 collage

For me, the Melissa is the winner. The Melissa is an overall better fitting pattern, has my favorite sleeve style, a better fitting collar, and longer length.

*$6.95 was my price through Up Craft Club for the Julia Cardigan. I received the Melissa pattern for free from Zierstoff Patterns.

Chi-Town Chinos #SewingDare by mahlicadesigns

A couple months back I took a #SewingDare from Gillian at Crafting A Rainbow. Gillian’s challenge: “I love your mustard skirt, and how it stands out against the neutrals in your wardrobe… so I dare you to make something else bright that can mix and match into your wardrobe!”

My stash is almost all neutrals, so I  grabbed the most colorful fabric in there and started brainstorming. Generally I’m not a florals person, but this cotton twill has moved between my stash and my giveaway pile so many times it’s a little silly. The challenge and the recently released Chi-Town Chinos was a good push to getting cutting.

Chi Towns front

I really like the chino style of the Chi-Towns and have put the skirt version on my Sew Everything list. I definitely want more of these shorts, but that will have to wait for Spring sewing.

Chi Town Chino shorts

The Pattern: Chi-Town Chinos shorts from Alina Design Co. in size 10 based on my measurements. The pattern includes a shorts or skirt version and four options for back pockets.

I liked that you get all the pattern pieces ready right at the start and that the single piece front pocket is nicely finished with facings and french seams. There is a lot of attention to detail that makes everything about the shorts a step above.

Chi Town Chino shorts

The pattern and instructions have fitting built in, which is great for your first time sewing the pattern. The back pattern piece includes an extension that makes it easy to fit the waist and in my case a fuller seat. The instructions walk you through basting and fitting the back piece before you do your final sew.

I found I did not need the extension or need to do a full butt adjustment in my size, but I did have a lot of excess fabric in the back of the legs below my seat. I think this is an indicator that I need to size down and do a full butt adjustment for the smaller size.  I ended up removing 1 in at the inseam and side seam of the back piece only. I like the fit I have now, so I probably won’t experiment with going down a size.

Next time I will also adjust the front crotch curve. I find it scoops out just a little too much for me.

I’m pretty impressed that most of the fitting issues were worked out on the first try by following the pattern instructions.

ChiTowns back

The fabric: One yard of Cone Mills cotton twill and about a FQ of lightweight cotton both from inherited stash.

I’m pleased that the shorts do work with several tops, but honestly the jury is still out on this print. I’ll need to give these some wearing around before I decide if they are “me” or if they will be downgraded to around the house shorts.

Chi Towns feature banner

The Chi-Town Chino shorts took me about 5 hours to complete, including fitting and adjustments. I’m hoping to cut that down to 3.5 hours next time.

Total Cost: $13.75    Fabric $0 (inherited stash)        Pattern $12      Notions: $1.75

Sarah Top and Dress – Pattern Review

On the Cutting Floor is putting out some really interesting patterns, with unique details that take them above and beyond the many basics you see out there in the Indie pattern world. I have many of them on my list to make.

Sarah Top by mahlicadesigns

I started with the Sarah Top and Dress Pattern** Those origami-like folds, oh yeah, so very cool. I had the perfect color ponte in my stash to fit into my Core Wardrobe too.

Sarah Top by mahlicadesigns

The pattern comes with lots of options, 24 all together, so you need to read the “How to Print” instructions to get the pattern pieces you need.

Sarah Top and Dress technical drawing

The easily understandable instructions walk you through how to complete the many options and they’re organized so there’s no confusion. Sewing the pleated panel was a breeze because of good markings and clear instructions.

Sarah Top by mahlicadesigns

Item of note: The curve from waistline to hip is not a gentle one. This is great for pear shapes like me, but if you’re a rectangle or inverted triangle shape you might want to check that.

My alterations, which I have to do to most patterns. A drop shoulder adjustment of 3/8in. Shortened 3in at hem line, I had to eliminate the bottom pleat to make it look right. Shortened the sleeve by 3in to make it a length I like.

Sarah Top by mahlicadesigns

Next time, I’ll use a binding on the neckline instead of folding over and topstitching. I prefer a binding or facing.

I had a few fit issues with the test version of the pattern. (I don’t see adjustments for these in the final version)

1. I got a lot of gaping at the center front neckline of my muslin (not shown). I ended up removing two 1/2in wedges from the neckline to compensate.

2. I found the neckline sat high up on my neck at the shoulder line. I ended up removing 1in here.

3. I found the front piece 1/2in narrower than the back piece in the same size. I used a size 10 front piece and size 8 back piece in my final version.

The fabric: One yard of a nice ponte de roma from Finch Fabrics. (sold out)

The Pattern: Sarah Top and Dress in size 8/10. Pleated front, short sleeve options.

The Sarah Top & Dress is 50% off until Friday to celebrate the pattern release, so hop on that now.

The pleated front, short sleeve version of the Sarah Top should take you about 1.5 hours to complete.

Total Cost: $2          Fabric $2           Pattern $ 0- Free as a pattern tester

 

**Affiliate link, meaning your purchase provides me a modicum of compensation to fuel my 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

Ally Skirt from Blue Dot Patterns

Frankly, I was very happy to let the current “denim everything” trend pass on by me. If I followed the trend back in middle school, I just don’t want anything to do with it.

And yet once again, my mind was changed by a pattern. The Ally Skirt is a six gore skirt with contoured waistband, length options, flap, pocket option, and top stitching.

Ally skirt on mahlcadesigns

Two ideas struck immediately when looking at the Ally; denim with copper snaps and yellow top stitching or corduroy in a camel/caramel color for that 70s feel. So very on trend right now. The new Ally Skirt just called out to be made up in denim.

I tested the Ally Skirt pattern for Blue Dot Patterns. Blue Dot Patterns may sound familiar. I’ve made up two Georgia‘s (here and here), hosted the Creative Sewing Challenge last fall, and one of my ideas for the Margo Blouse is on my sewing table now.

Ally Skirt by mahlicadesigns

I used a lightweight 7 oz. denim from my stash to make up my Ally in a size medium. With some pattern piece Tetris and using an extremely tight lay out, I was able to get my skirt cut out of 5/8 yard x 60in wide. If you have a directional print, fabric with nap, or narrower fabric; you’ll need more.

Ally Skirt by mahlicadesigns

Why I recommend the pattern: 1. Oh my is it so easy. All the pieces could get confusing, but the way they’re labeled and notched makes it no problem. 2. Diane, the pattern designer, even includes fitting as part of the pattern directions. Instead of a 1/2in seam allowance at the sides, I used a 5/8in seam allowance: Fitting Done! 3. A contoured waist band. I’m a pear shape so that’s perfect for me. 4. The style is classic and very on trend right now too.

Get yours! Get your Ally pattern for 30% off, for a limited time, directly from Blue Dot Patterns or from UpCraft Club.

Ally Skirt by mahlicadesigns

I chose snaps that were bigger than the recommended button size, so I skipped the top stitching at the outer edge of the button placket.

Ally Skirt by mahlicadesigns

Hey, I’m pretty proud of my top stitching here.

Ally Skirt by mahlicadesigns

That pocket flap is purely decor. I don’t need pockets in everything, so I’m cool with it. If you are in the pockets on everything camp there’s a pocket option for you.

I styled the Ally skirt with a cowl neck tee; with my banded Kirsten Kimono tee and RTW jacket; and a RTW sweater.

Ally Styling collage

The Ally should take you about 3.75 hours to complete. In a size medium with creative layout I used 5/8 yard of fabric.

Total cost: $6.50           Fabric: $3      Notions: $3.50       Pattern: $0*

 

*I received the Ally Pattern for free as a tester. Do I have to explain that these are my own thoughts about the pattern? They are.

Fancy Tiger One Hour Top for Diving into Dolmans blog tour

Dive Into Dolmans 3

One Hour Top by mahlicadesigns

Today I’m sharing the One Hour Top from Fancy Tiger Crafts as part of the Diving into Dolmans blog tour hosted by Sewing By Ti. Ti has put together bloggers of all shapes to show how this style top can work for every body shape.

Sewing by Ti as an Inverted Triangle
The Creative Counselor as an hourglass/small pear
Made By Melli as an apple
Sew Sophie Lynn as a rectangle.

Guest bloggers:
Dos Natural Sistas (spoon)
Rebel and Malice (pear)
Sew Far North (apple)
Mahlica Designs (pear)
Lulu and Celeste (inverted triangle)
Adventures with Bubba and Bug (hourglass)

I just love my dolman style Georgia Tops (here and here), so it was only natural that I would want to try another pattern and expand my dolman love. Unfortunately, I did not find true love a second time. I think we’re more of a “like-like” status.

Fancy Tiger One Hour Top by mahlicadesigns

Fancy Tiger One Hour Top by mahlicadesigns

The blandly named One Hour Top is a loose fitting top with a 3/4 length dolman sleeve. True to it’s name, the top goes together very quickly. The instructions are easy and straight forward to follow. I did change one step. Instead of folding over the neckline by 1/2in and stitching down as instructed, I used a clean finish binding. Even with the extra time needed for the neater neckline finish, I still finished in under an hour.

Fancy Tiger Dolman by mahlicadesigns

I found this really cool ponte knit on the clearance rack at Hancock Fabrics, but it was a bit shy of the needed length, so I added a color block band at the bottom to make it a decent length on me. As is usual for me, I had to shorten the sleeves just a bit to hit at the right place.

Fancy Tiger One Hour Top by mahlicadesigns

Fancy Tiger One Hour Top by mahlicadesigns

I was worried that a dolman without a fitted band at the bottom would look really slouchy, but that turned out just fine. The overall fit is just not love for me, as roomy as this is supposed to be, I’m getting drag lines down the front. I often need a FBA, but honestly didn’t think I would need it with as much ease as the pattern has built in. I’ll pass on making this one again. You may have better luck.

Fancy Tiger One Hour Top by mahlicadesigns

Fancy Tiger One Hour Top by mahlicadesigns

Some things to consider about the One Hour Top:

Sizes XS/S to XL/XXL (32/34 to 42/45)
Printable pattern pages/copy shop version 18 (no copy shop)
Skill Level Beginner
Measurements for Rectangle Pieces NA
Line Drawings Yes
Size made XS/S
Options chosen NA
Fabric Requirement for your size 1 ½ (1 ¾ stated in pattern)
Measurement Chart Bust Waist Hip
Cutting Instructions Yes
Pattern Printing Layout Yes
Cutting Layout Yes
Suggested Fabrics Medium weight knits
Layer Printing Option No
Neck Line Options No
Sleeve Options No
Hem Options No
Color Blocking No
Seam Allowance ½ inch
Hem Allowance ½ inch
Separate add-on pack No
Fit Loose
Easy to read instructions Yes
Drawing or photograph instructions Drawings