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.

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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

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