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.

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

 

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.

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:

.

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

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 : )

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

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

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.

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.

 

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.

Paro Cardigan on mahlicadesigns

I have a quick review this week of the new Paro Cardigan from Itch to Stitch Designs.

Kennis’ patterns are well drafted and well written, so no worries there. All the details you need like lengthen/shorten lines and clear markings for the pleats, but nothing confusing.

The Pattern: The Paro Cardigan from Itch to Stitch in size 4 with no alterations. The Paro is a longer cut cardigan, but if you want to shorten it take care to keep the proportions correct and avoid getting a peplum -unless that’s what you want. My friend Crystal from Sewing Vortex is planning a coatigan version- how cool.

I have super skinny arms and always have to slim down my sleeves, but not with the Paro. If you have more shapely arms you may need to adjust them.

The Fabric: I used 2 yards of an abstract chevron ponte from Girl Charlee and black Maggie London ponte. Both stash fabrics! I’d recommend using more stable knits for the design – some of the testers used sweater knits and had to adjust for the extra stretch. I thought the pleat details also looked better in the stable knits versions.

You may purchase the Paro Cardigan pattern from Itch to Stitch on sale for a limited time.

The Paro cardigan should take you about 4 hours cut to finish.

Total cost: $9   Fabric $9      Pattern $0*

 

*I received the pattern free for being a pattern tester. I’ve included my Itch to Stitch affiliate links.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.