Laela Jeyne Mica T-Shirt

Thank you for all your lovely comments on recent posts. I’m sorry I haven’t replied to every one of them. It’s been a tough transition with my new job. I will get to replying to them when I can, though. ❤ I appreciate and read every one of them.

Last Thursday was my birthday. I celebrated in a *very chronic illness* TM way by busting my knee and being in bunches of pain. That said, it was actually a really good birthday for me. My brother visited and he gave me some wrist warmers he knit and I made cake and had wings for dinner. My husband took me to a Brazilian steakhouse on Tuesday (since we knew my brother was going to visit) and he gave me a huge bottle of one of my fav kinds of tequila. While my chronic illness and pain can often offset my plans, I’ve learned to relax a lot of my expectations and listen to my body when it says I need to rest. It’s definitely changed how I live my life. I try not to push past where my body can function. I’ve been embracing more comfortable clothing. It helps that I now have a job where I work from home all the time so I can relax a lot of my wardrobe needs.

This top is all about embracing the comfy.

The Laela Jeyne Mica T-Shirt is a free pattern (read how to get it here). The Mica Pattern is a drop shoulder relaxed fit shirt with short and long sleeve options and a V-neck.

I made a 2XL with C-E cup graded to a 3XL at the hips.

It’s oversized in a good way and comfy AF.

I’m wearing it here with my Cashmerette Belmont Leggings and I love it. This outfit has become my go-to outfit the past few weeks since making the top.

The fabric I used is a rayon spandex that I found at the thrift store. It has to be the softest, loveliest fabric and, with the drape, it’s completely perfect for this pattern.

Granted those sleeves are a bit long, but I have mentioned how I prefer that. My brother’s gift of wrist warmers were probably the best, smartest gift ever for this coldy bear. I get cold hands so easily and don’t always have gloves on hand so I find that having longer sleeves helps me out there. So hold your comments on me needing to shorten those since I like looooong sleeves and never adjust sleeve length.

This was my first Laela Jeyne pattern, but not my last. In fact, I also made the free Lotus Bodysuit (also available in this link), but that will come another day. The instructions for the Mica shirt are great and it fits just as expected. I actually have no changes that I would make for this top. I think it fits just as designed and works really well for me.

It’s also a great shirt for video conferences in that I don’t look like I am in my PJs, but it definitely feels like it and that’s what I am looking for in clothing these days. Secret PJs, actual PJs…. etc. Anything that is incredibly comfortable.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: The Laela Jeyne Mica T-Shirt (read how to get it here)
  • Pros: Fairly good size range. FREE. Lovely v-neck. Nice style.
  • Cons: I see no cons.
  • Make again?: 100% yes.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md 5/5 stars

Cashmerette Tobin Sweater

As you probably know by now, I test patterns for Cashmerette. I can’t test every single one, though, and sometimes it really hurts to turn it down! The Tobin sweater was one that hurt to say no to, but I wasn’t able to do it at the time. The lucky thing is that Cashmerette still sent me the pdf for free with absolutely no expectation to review or sew it up. So I sewed it right up!

There a lot of options to this sweater: two different collars or a no collar option, colourblocking options, and hi-lo or straight hem. The split neck collar is what drew me to the sweater plus the cowl neck. You know I love a cowl neck!

I made view A with the split collar, straight hem, and colourblock options. I used a striped coral and white ponte and a navy ponte. The striped ponte was purchased at the thrift store and it’s so soft. The navy ponte was salvaged from a Turner dress that I had stopped wearing because the bodice got a few stains on it.

I made my usual size with Cashmerette: 22 GH graded to a size 28 at the waist.

The fit is spot on. I thought I might need to lower the bust darts, but they actually seem okay. I do seem to have put the split collar on the wrong way. You’ll also notice the lack of buttons on it. I don’t love putting non-functional buttons on garments just like I hate a non-functional pocket. So I left those buttons off.

It’s such a great sweater and I definitely want to make a bunch more. I think the next version will be view B with the cowl neck. I also really want to make the version with no collar. The neckline has a facing so it’s a nice finish.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Tobin Sweater
  • Pros: Many options. Great for stable knits. Love a cowl!
  • Cons: I see no cons.
  • Make again?: Is 500 sweaters too much?
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md 5/5 stars

Introducing the Cashmerette Alcott dress

I’ve been waiting to share this one with you since I tested it. I love the Cashmerette Alcott dress. Obviously, there are disclaimers aplenty in this post since I received the pattern for free in exchange for testing and I got fabric for free in exchange for promotion, but my enthusiasm and love of these two dresses is real. Also, my opinion can’t be bought with pattern and fabric. It helps, but I am too opinionated for that. LOL.

The Alcott has a fully lined wrap bodice, elastic waistband, and either a full skirt or an a-line skirt with ruffle options for hem and sleeves or flutter sleeves. The wrap bodice has elastic at the neckline so it stays put.

I made a mash up of the Dartmouth and Turner patterns, but this one is so much better.

This is my tester version made with cotton lycra. I made size 22 GH graded to size 28 at the waist. I reduced the height of the waistband in this version since I didn’t have 2 inch elastic available at the time.

The length of the bodice was a bit too short for this version. But being a tester, it was good enough to be worn all summer.

It’s a super cute dress. You can always tell how much I love one of my creations by the massive amount of pictures I take of them. I really love this dress.

I was excited enough just to share this version, but then Cashmerette reached out to me asking if I would like to be part of a promotion opportunity where they partner with a fabric business to send fabric out and then make up the final version of the pattern. I was stoked and then found out it was Imagine Gnats that would be sponsoring it! I’ve had my eye out on their Dakota rayon/spandex jersey in plum for a while. They sent me the end of their stock at the time so I got a little over 4 yards which is just shy of the fabric requirements for view B with the ruffle sleeves and ruffle hem. With some magic, I managed to squeeze it on that amount. Again, I made size 22 GH graded to size 28 at the waist with no other adjustments.

The result is an incredible fit and gorgeous dress that while it looks elegant is comfy af. That fabric is so soft and lovely to wear. It makes the ruffles really dance.

Again so many pictures that I don’t think I should post them all in one post. LOL.

You can see the other Alcott dresses here. I love the other versions. I want to make another right now.

 

All I need is a snifter of brandy and a cute date with my husband.

Happy Halloween! From Velma Dinkley

Happy Halloween! It’s my favourite time of the year! This is also my anniversary with my husband. We celebrate a lot of milestones. Today 11 years ago, I declared my love for him and we decided to move in together. Our next milestone is when I moved in with him in May and then our wedding anniversary July 2. Next year is 5 years married!

I have always loved Halloween. I love horror movies. I love costumes. I love the bite size candy. I even love candy corn and those molasses chews.

This is probably the first costume I remember. I was 7 (about the turn 8 in a month) and my mom made this costume and a clown costume for my sister. I wore this princess dress as much as I could. I even wore it at my birthday party a month later. When I think of Halloween, I think of handmade costumes.

Over the years, I always mixed in DIY and makeup with store bought until I made my first costume, Little Red Riding the Wolf (above bottom right) for a burlesque routine where I reveal myself as the wolf. My next costume was Alice for another burlesque routine.

Couples that costume together stay together. At least for me, this is true. My favourite costume is probably the Fairy God Parents from Fairly Odd Parents. While our costumes aren’t always couple-themed, they always have a DIY element to them. And as you know, I make a lot of costumes for my improv troupe.

I make cosplay as often as I can. Earlier this year, I made Cher Horowitz cosplay.

It’s for the Minerva blog, but the post isn’t up quite yet.

I love it. But I knew I wanted to be Velma Dinkley from Scooby Doo for Halloween. Also, I find wigs cause hives for me so with my red hair, I wasn’t going to look quite right as Cher but red hair works okay for Velma. It’s close enough. 🙂

I made the top a while ago using the Muse Patterns Jenna cardigan as a top. I refashioned a Moneta dress that never quite worked. I didn’t have any of the material left over for knee high socks so those are purchased off amazon. They are thigh highs that I rolled down for knee highs. I made a red pleated skirt. No pattern for it. Just rectangles of fabric and pleats.

I really wanted to make something else for the costume to hit the Scooby Doo theme home so I made a bum bag (or fanny pack) and stuck a Mystery Machine patch on it.

I’m obsessed with this bum bag. It’s a Burda pattern that was free. Unfortunately, it’s not available since they refreshed their website. I added purple piping to the edge of the pockets and the seams on the top and bottom. I didn’t have a white zipper in my stash so I chose two brown zippers and topstitched in lime green to match the Mystery Machine. Instead of the usual plastic clips, I used a belt buckle from a bunch that Tanya sent me a while ago.

I had so much fun with this photoshoot and love my costume!

A ghost even joined in!

It’s a gggg-ggg-ggghost!

I added pockets to the skirt. Between those and the bum bag, there is tons of room for Scooby Snacks.

I really got that scared look down. LOL.

I took a LOT of pictures.

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you get treats and no tricks! Unless you like tricks. 😉

Helen’s Closet York Pinafore

Hot on the tail of my last post is my Helen’s Closet York Pinafore!

I made view B with the kangaroo pocket. I did some grading between sizes. 22 at the shoulders. 26 at the bust. 28 at the hips.

I’m wearing it with my Adrienne blouse.

The fabric I used was a poly twill I had in my stash from the thrift store. And yes, I have already stained the pocket with something. LOL.

The fit isn’t bad overall. There are some issues at the bust and I think that the sides could be graded out a bit better. It’s very curved and needs more of an A-line shape, I think. There also needs to be a bit more room at the centre back. Overall, though, this is the look I was going for and I think it’s pretty cute. I do think the fabric is a bit stiff for the pattern. Poly twills tend to be pretty stiff, in my opinion. The fabric calls for twill but specifies cotton twill, which does have a softer hand.

The York Pinafore probably won’t become a favourite of mine. I love this version. I just don’t see myself making a bunch more. I may try out some of the “hacks” posted on the Helen’s Closet blog, though. I really love the tiered gathered version. But that is likely not happening until the Spring.

In the meantime, it’s Autumn here in Toronto. Our back patio is filled with fallen leaves. There might be snow on Halloween night. More pinafores are not in my plans at all.

I recently used the latest MyBodyModel release to plan out a “Fall for Pastels” capsule wardrobe. There are more outfits planned than just these three, but this gives you an idea of what I plan to make. The first outfit is Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan in a pastel rainbow cotton lycra with soft blue corduroy Helen’s Closet Yanta overalls. I drew a white top on underneath since I have a Concord T already made that would work with the outfit. The second outfit is a Cashmerette Tobin Sweater in a coral striped ponte knit that I found at the thrift store with navy ponte contrasts and Muna & Broad Glebe pants in a seafoam suiting (also a thrift store purchase). The third outfit is the Blackwood cardigan from the first outfit with a Decades of Style Dorothy Lara dress in a lilac swiss dot. Paired with some fleece-lined leggings in white, it will work well for the Winter.

I have a few other plans including some PJ plans and an epic Onesie, but some will have to wait until I start my new job. 🙂 I just signed my job agreement today and start November 18th! My job is a remote position so I am feeling pretty positive about it with my disability. I think it’s going to be a great fit. Mostly, I am just relieved as anything to have a job and over the moon that it works for my disability. It’s been really difficult the past couple of months especially and now I am feeling a lot of relief. I haven’t been on some meds due to lack of funds so I am hopeful once those resume that I will be doing a lot better.

I’m excited to share my Halloween costume with you. So keep an eye out this Thursday for the reveal! 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Helen’s Closet York Pinafore
  • Pros: Good size range up to 58 inch hip. Super simple sew. Only took about two hours to make them.
  • Cons: No cons, really.
  • Make again?: No plans right now for future versions since Winter is Coming and more pinafores aren’t part of my plan.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

 

Friday Pattern Company Adrienne Blouse

The Friday Pattern Company Adrienne Blouse has been on my to-sew list for a while. Its dramatic “statement sleeves” are right in my wheelhouse.

According to the size chart, I made a size 3XL at the bust graded to a size 4XL at the waist and lengthened by about three inches since the pattern has a cropped length. My bust is 52 inches, waist is 48, hips 56. Once I put pattern pieces together, I was concerned about the fact that the front and back pattern pieces are the same. This generally doesn’t work well for me as my back is quite narrow in comparison to my bust. That said, it worked fairly well. I still think I will do a full bust adjustment. I will narrow the upper back a bit and grade out the hips a slight bit more. I also want to add to the length. I really prefer for tops to hit about three inches lower than this.

There do seem to be overall issues with the shoulders falling off for people, especially in the larger sizes, and my version is no exception. Part of that issue is that the neckline is too wide so I will be taking a wedge out of the next version. I also shortened the elastic at the shoulders quite a bit.

The fabric I used is a rayon spandex knit, which is a fabric that I love the feel of, but the recovery tends to be poor. Poor recovery means that neckline stretches out as you wear it so that compounds the issue.

That said, I love the top and with some improvements it will fit great. I also think bra strap holders would really help this version.

Yellow and me are really having a moment lately and I love it. This fabric is so soft and wonderful to wear that I can’t get enough of it. Thankfully, I have more of this fabric. And those sleeves! Let’s just say, they make a statement!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Friday Pattern Company Adrienne Blouse
  • Pros: Okay size range. Great sleeves.
  • Cons: Typical drafting issues with the larger sizes where the neckline is bigger than it needs to be. Having front and back be the same pattern pieces can lead to issues for people with larger busts and it did for me.
  • Make again?: Yes, after fit changes. I also like the idea of not putting elastic in the sleeve cuffs for a bell sleeve. I think I saw someone else do this on Instagram and can’t get it out of my head.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md3.5/5 stars

I’m on a Podcast and my Helen’s Closet Donovan skirt

I Can Make That Podcast Interview

Check out the latest episode of the I Can Make That Podcast featuring me! Andie! That’s me!

I was excited when Katy reached out to me for an interview. It was a great opportunity to talk sewing, plus size sewing, chronic illness, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, @chronicallysewn, geek culture, improv and being schmoopy about my husband. Check it out!

Helen’s Closet Donovan Skirt

When the Donovan skirt was released by Helen’s Closet, I impulse bought it. It’s a relatively simple design but something I was seeing a lot in RTW inspirations and knew I needed to have it.

I loved the longer version of the skirt with the side slits.

My size on the bottom for Helen’s Closet patterns is a size 28. On top, I am a size 26 at the bust, but a size 20 at the shoulders so I usually have a lot of grading between sizes. I didn’t have to at all for this skirt since it is easy to fit. You just need to fit your waist and you can also cut shorter elastic if you decide to pick a larger size for your hips.

My first version was for the Minerva blog. It has yet to go live but I will share a preview of it. It’s made using a chartreuse viscose fabric. The fabric is lovely but it stretched out bunches sewing so do stay stitch. I tend to skip stay stitching, because I hate it but don’t for this fabric, okay? Also saying that to remind myself, because I actually did skip it again with my next Donovan skirt.

I paired it with a top made with the Workhorse Ione shirt in a sheer watermelon crepe that I modified so it was cut as one piece and used bias tape to finish the armholes and neckline. I was going for all watermelon outfit by pairing this skirt with the chartreuse fabric.

You can see that the fabric stretched out in those pockets. I should have used a bit of interfacing to stabilize them. On the other hand, the RTW inspirations I saw had the same feature. So now I can call it a design feature instead of a mistake. 😉 That’s definitely why it happened again with my second version and not at all that I was marathon sewing and cut corners before heading out to the Fringe Festival in Victoria BC. Not at all.

I love that side slit! I have no fit issues with this. Although, I do think the waistband elastic was slightly too long for both of my versions. I measured it on my body but I think the elastic is stretchier than I am used to and the recovery may not be great. It was cheap, though, so I will live with it… The drawstring in this version does help that issue, though.

My second version was made using a magenta tencel twill I got with a gift card earlier this year or last from Blackbird Fabrics. I paired this with my Forget-Me-Not Clementine top. I had planned to make another Workhorse Ione shirt with this since I love the look. I was planning on using the leftover chartreuse vicose with an ivory lace yoke. I still want to make that top, though, since it will also evoke watermelon vibes.

I didn’t make a drawstring for this version, which I regret. It’s not something you can really make after the fact since it requires buttonholes in the waistband. I’d have to take that apart and I am just not willing to do that.

Can I sing the praises of these pockets for a little bit? They are wonderful and big. I love them. Okay it was a short song…

I really love both skirts and wore them a lot this summer.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Helen’s Closet Donovan skirt
  • Pros: Good size range up to 58 inch hip, but can likely fit larger since they are a loose fit. Big lovely pockets. Thank you.
  • Cons: I really don’t have any.
  • Make again?: I want to make the shorter version at some point, but it’s getting colder and colder out so it will wait until next year.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars