New Look #6683 – Sweater Dress

Baby it’s cold outside! Time for sweater dresses. This is one of the new Fall 2020 releases from New Look patterns. It features dropped shoulders and ribbed cuffs on the sleeves. There are two views from which to choose: View A – short stand up neck and patch pockets OR View B – cowl neck and side seam pockets. I chose to sew View A.

The neckline on my dress doesn’t stand up as straight as the pattern photo shows, but that is because my fabric has a substantial drape. If I were to sew this again with this same fabric, I would interface the neck piece so it would have more stability. That said, it still looks good and does not affect the wearability of the dress.

The neckline from View A allows for bold jewelry or scarves to be added without interfering with your accessories:

I chose the size 16, but I wish I would have gone with the 14. My dress fits great in the hips, but it is big in the bust/armhole area. If I sew another dress from this pattern, I will go down a size in the shoulder and bust area and just grade up a size toward the hips. I will also add bust darts, which would give the upper body some nice shaping.

The fabric is a boucle sweater knit from Stylemaker Fabrics (from last season).

All in all, I consider this a successful make and I plan to wear it throughout the winter.

If you are interested, I posted a video on my YT channel:

I would love to hear your thoughts on sewing with sweater knits. Please leave a comment.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Silhouette Patterns #719 – DVF’s Blouse & A Giveaway

Here is what I sewed with the fabric from my #sewhayleyjane subscription box. I needed a blouse to coordinate with my RTW skirt and jacket. I’ve been wearing a simple white tee with this outfit, but I wanted to step it up a notch. This blouse does the trick.

Believe it or not, this is a pullover style blouse! No snap, no zips, no buttons. I sewed the bust darts and the vertical waist darts on the front, but I chose to eliminate the vertical waist darts on the back.

Since the fabric is 100% cotton, I prewashed it in warm water and dried it on medium heat. After I cut all the pattern pieces, I used a three thread narrow overlock to finish the edges of all the except the neck seam and the sleeve edge where the cuff is attached.

The pattern has good instructions and the fit is spot on. This was a satisfying sew and I am so glad to add this blouse to my wardrobe.

Here’s my video with an additional review of this pattern. I am also doing a giveaway. The instructions on how you can enter the drawing are in the video.

Thank you for reading my blog and be sure to enter the giveaway.

Happy Sewing!

#SewHayleyJane Box and A New Quilt

Do you subscribe to any sewing or quilting boxes? For my first dive into the subscription sewing box world, I tried the Sew Hayley Jane box. It offers a smattering of goodies for both garment sewing and for quilting.

Here is a video of the unboxing:

If I am honest, my first impression was “okay”. Those were not fabrics I would have chosen, but the whole premise is that the contents are a surprise.

Ater I had time to ponder uses for the fabric, I shared my thoughts (and a new quilt) in a follow up video:

The quilt pattern is from the book titled Charm School by Vanessa Goertzen. It is called “Rock Star” and is 69″ x 81″. I used fabric by Cyndi Walker called Serenade. I still have a few of those fabrics available in my shop, if you are interested.

Thank you for reading my blog today, I appreciate that you take time out of your busy day to take a peek at what I’ve been sewing. I am a bit of an eclectic sewer – I sew a myriad of items depending on what I have A Notion to Sew at any given time. Do you stick to a plan for sewing? Do you generally have one sewing focus (i.e. garments, quilts, toys, home dec, etc)? Or, are you like me, all over the place? LOL

Please drop a note to say hello. I enjoy reading your comments.

Sewing Workshop Noto Tee

The Sewing Workshop offers a year-long series titled Sew Confident. With the series commitment, you receive a monthly digital magazine, 4 exclusive digital patterns, and access to a private Sew Confident Facebook community along with several additional perks. If you are interested in checking out the Sew Confident Tutorial Series, you can find it here.

The digital magazine is worth the price of admission! 🙂 It includes gorgeous photography, helpful sewing and style articles, and the current pattern instructions, changes, and helpful tips.

The Noto Tee is one of the four digital patterns for Series 9. The patterns are added to your account once every three months. The digital magazine give you style and fabric inspiration along with sewing instructions for your pattern. Then, each month between pattern releases, you will get instructions on how to change up the original pattern. The original Noto Tee is a shorter length, no side slits, and it has a crew neckline.

The version I am showing you today is a twist on the original pattern. It has a V neck, is a longer length, and has a slightly modified side seam. I am so very happy with this version of the Noto Tee.

I unashamedly copied the exact fabrics from The Sewing Workshop’s digital magazine. I love them so much!

The side seam is adjusted to gradually come forward as it approaches the stomach and hip area. I added an extra inch to the length on the back of my tee.

And can I just say, I love a good V neck style.

For a closer look at both versions (the original and this new V neck style) head on over to my YouTube channel:

I would really enjoy hearing your thoughts. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you are sewing.

Patterns by Annie Project Bags 2.0

In addition to sewing and crochet, I also enjoy cross stitch. I usually toss my current cross stitch project in a basket or plastic zipper bag. Somehow those methods of storage seem to bother me. Perphaps it is because I can sew and I feel a bit guilty about using such conventional means for storage solutions!

When Patterns by Annie released their new, updated version of the Project Bags pattern, I ordered it immediately to stock in my Etsy shop.

I started a sweet little fall cross stitch project a few weeks ago, and whilst listing this pattern in my shop and holding it in my hand, I had an epiphany! Make one of these in which to carry my cross stitch supplies! (I bet you already knew that’s where I was going with this story)

Here it is housing my fall stitchery:

The pattern includes instruction for four sizes. I stitched up the size large and I explain my reasoning in the below video. The background (mermaid fabric) is from a previous project. Oh, and I made that cute tassel with my granddaughter.

For a closer look at this handy project bag, click on the video below:

Thank you for stopping in for a visit, my sewing friends. I would really enjoy hearing from you so please leave a comment.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!!!

Silhouette Patterns #120: Patty’s Princess Seam Top

Here’s my test version of this princess seam top. Overall I’m quite pleased with the outcome. The color washes me out a bit, but that has nothing to do with the pattern and everything to do with the fabric. 🙂 BTW, the fabric is a medium weight, stable knit from Joann Fabrics.

I sewed a size 3, and the pattern calls for 2 yards of 60″ wide fabric. This is how I laid out my pieces. I did not measure the length of fabric, but I know it did not use 2 yards. I’m guessing it was about 1 1/3 yards of fabric.

I always use my quilting ruler to measure from the straight of grain pattern line to the fold of my fabric so I don’t get any garments that hand with a skewed drape.

These odd little marks are on the side back pattern piece along the princess seam edge. I’m not sure for what they are to be used. There is no indication on the instruction sheet and this is the only pattern piece on which they showed up. I just ignored them!

The sleeve pattern has a dart, which was an interesting addition that I’ve not come across until now. Here is what it looks like when finished:

I discuss the arm dart more in my YT video. There is a link at the end of this post.

The neckband is attached in a continuous loop, then the “V” is made by sewing a small dart into the band. Here is a look at the inside of the neckband where that dart is sewn:

When you sew the dart, be careful to sew ONLY the neckband being careful to not catch any of the garment under neath your presser foot (do not go past the seam line or you will have a pucker at the point of the “V” – trust me, I speak from experience.

Thread sinks into knit fabric and it is a real challenge to pick out stitches without making a hole in the fabric (see example above) *sigh*.

This is an easy top to sew and I like the little bell sleeve.

Here is my YT video:

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day with me. 💜

If you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below. I really enjoy feedback from my readers. Until next time, happy sewing!!!

Experimenting with Longarm Quilting


Over the years, I have dabbled in piecing and quilting. I completed several small projects (wall hangings, table runners, etc. on my domestic machine) before deciding to invest in a small longarm. I purchased a BlockRockit 15″ machine several years ago. I used it on a Bernina 5′ frame and it worked nicely to again complete small projects (wall hangings, table runners, etc.). I also used it to quilt fabric and foam for bags and totes. You can see a video of that process here:

That set up was great for small projects, but I was limited in the size of quilt I could manage on that frame. So a few months ago I invested in this 10′ Continuum frame from Grace Company:

I purchased the frame through Leah Day’s Website. I live about 40 miles from the Grace Company, but it was less expensive for me to purchase it through Leah Day and have it shipped to my home, that it would have been to purchase it locally and pick it up at the warehouse. I ordered the frame on a Friday and it was delivered the following Tuesday!

I love not being so limited in the size of quilt I can sew. But first, to familiarize myself with the new set up and to practice using my new frame, I quilted this small wall hanging. It is a printed quilt panel, so no piecing (other than the borders) was involved.

I still consider myself a beginning quilter, so please don’t judge me too harshly. 😊 I stitched an all over swirl on the background, I outlined the truck then added vertical straight line quilting to the body of the truck, and I added jagged line quilting to the tree to mimic pine needles. It was a great learning process.

I used white batting because that is what I had on hand and it worked out okay, except there was a bit of batting show through on the back where the needle pierced the fabric:

I’m okay with the batting show through, since this will be hanging on a wall, and it was, after all, a practice project. But in the future, I will be certain to use dark batting with dark fabrics.

I have since completed a queen size quilt top and plan to load it onto the machine later this month.

I would love to hear your quilting experiences (domestic and longarm). Please leave me a comment below.

Until next time, keep sewing my friends!

Silhouette Patterns #600: Classic Blouse

**Please Note** Links to the pattern, fabric, interfacing, etc. are listed on YouTube below my video (video link at the end of this post)

I don’t own a lot of blouses, therefore, I don’t wear a lot of blouses. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it is because RTW button up blouses seem a bit stiff – the collar stands up too high and rubs my chin line, so I end up with makeup all over the collar of my blouse – the bodice area is too snug, so all my rolls show – if I purchase a blouse that is not so snug in the bodice area, then the shoulders are too wide and droop down my arm! This blouse pattern addresses all those issues. I shall be wearing more blouses in the future!

I sewed this blouse with a cotton/rayon blend voile shirting that I purchased from Stylemaker fabrics. It is so lovely and soft, no stiffness at all.

The collar is attached to the blouse body. No collar stand so it does not stand up high enough to rub my jaw line.

The bodice features front and back waist darts that can be sewn into the garment, or left off completely. I sewed the waist darts (front and back) because I like the little bit of added shaping that they give. The blouse has shape without being too snug and the shoulders still fit nicely.

To give a little stability to the under collar and the placket, I used Pro Tricot Deluxe Knit Fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. The pattern suggests fusible knit interfacing, but Peggy Sagers discourages using interfacing on her sew along video on YouTube. In my video, which I link below, I address this discrepancy and why I chose to interface the collar and the placket.

The pattern notions listed on the back of the envelope, indicate you will need 8 buttons – 6 for the blouse and 2 for the cuffs. I used 10 buttons – 8 for the blouse and 2 for the cuffs. That was a personal preference choice.

The sleeve does not have an actual cuff such as one thinks of a traditional sew-on cuff. But rather, the sleeve has extra circumference that is folded over at the wrist to create a sort of psuedo-cuff effect.

This is what the sleeve looks like when it is not buttoned.

Here’s a photo of the placket/yoke on the inside of the blouse.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

If you are interested, here’s a video of my review:

Closet Case Patterns Cielo Top & Dress

Hello Sewers! Here is a look at my muslin-testing process to bring me to the point of stitching up my version of the Cielo Dress.

I used a cotton/linen blend fabric from Hobby Lobby to make my muslins. I used the same fabric to make two muslins. For the first one I sewed a size 12 straight from the envelope with no adjustments and no design changes. On the second muslin I used my Silhouette Pattern Armhole Templates to change up the fit in the armhole area. Take a look at my video at the end of this post to see which version I prefer. 🙂

Close up of the fabric

When I stitched the sleeves to the armholes (both versions), I used the Silhouette Patterns method of stitching with the sleeve on the bottom and the bodice on the top, which is opposite of how I was taught to insert sleeves. Sewing with the sleeve on the bottom makes it so I don’t have to stitch two rows of basting stitches and pull up the threads to fit the sleeve into the armhole area. It just naturally eases into the area beautifully.

I use LOTS of pins when I do this
If you are inserting your sleeve with this method, be certain to check underneath periodically to make certain you are not getting any of the actual sleeve caught up in the seam.
Sewing with my left hand between the bodice and the sleeve helps me feel any wrinkles or rogue fabric that might be working its way into the seam

A unique dart in this dress is the bust dart that comes in from the armhole. I’ve never seen a pattern with a dart placed at that position.

I like the design details such as the sewn down cuff and the insert in the back yoke area.

The pattern piece for the bottom half of the dress and the in-seam pockets is rather odd shaped. I have to be honest, even after reading the instructions, I wasn’t quite sure how this was going to go together!

Per the pattern instruction, I marked three sewing lines on my pattern piece (you can see them in white). I sewed the three lines with the pattern piece right side together with the bodice pattern piece. Then the fabric above those lines is folded down (so it is right side up) over those two U-shaped portions of the pattern (those are the pockets). The sewn lines form the front seam and where it is not sewn – those are the openings to the pockets. Clever..

I used my serger to sew this dress together, so all the seams are nicely finished.

Here is a video review of my Cielo Top & Dress:

Thank you for stopping by today, I appreciate the time you take to read my blog posts.

Silhouette Patterns #196: 4-Way Cardy

For such a simple sew, this was a complicated journey!

My original plan was to use this really pretty dimensional cotton knit:

My First Obstacle: The knit is only 30″ wide. Ugh!!!

I had two yards of this knit, but because it was so narrow, there was not enough to cut the long sleeves. So, I improvised and cut them shorter. I had to get creative because after cutting the bodice pieces, this is all that was left for the sleeves:

After stitching the cardy together, I was sooo excited to put it on and admire the result of my efforts – what a disappointment!!! (See video link below)

So I shifted gears, searched my stash, and pulled out a polyester knit with lots of beautiful drape. The green was not my first choice for my new cardy, but it is still a lovely garment. Here is a look at the back of it. It shows off the drape:

The cardy has french darts for shaping.

I like to use Hug Snug to stabilize the shoulder seams in my knit garments:

Here is a video review of my experience with this pattern: