Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top

Disclaimer: I received the pattern for free but my opinion is my own. Check out the CSC post for more versions.

Muna and Broad is one of the newer indie pattern companies run by Leila (@Leilasews) and Jess (Broad in the Seams). They are a plus-sized pattern company and really put a lot of work into making sure their patterns have a lot of plus-sized alterations built in. I have the Glebe pants and will be trying them out soon (my muslin is already cut out); I also tested their Undies/Period Undies pattern and it’s life changing! You’ll see those on the blog soonish (although just the undies not the period undies since I don’t have the materials for those yet). The Torrens Box top is a boxy silhouette top with sleeve bands and a sleeve extension pack.

My first version of the Torrens top is made without any alterations in a pink swiss dot cotton. I made a size A. There is a slight bit of gaping in the neckline but the fit is good otherwise. Gaping in the neckline is a usual issue for me due to my large bust.

It’s a really cute top. I’ve been wearing a more boxy silhouette these days since developing issues with compression urticaria (hives from wearing tight clothing). Let me tell you how horrible compression urticaria is when you have EDS. My skin is fragile so scratching actually breaks the skin or causes blood vessels to burst in my skin and also develops hives from scratching (dermatographia). Think of being itchy and then just getting itchier from itching and then being so itchy you want to cry. Fun times. It’s changed a lot of my sewing. I need to sew bras that I can actually wear without having this issue but I am not sure what those would look like. Some of the dresses I have made in the past aren’t comfortable for me anymore and even the waistband on skirts is getting to me. Honestly, it’s probably the most frustrating part of having a chronic illness: having things you love taken away from you… So my style is changing to adapt. Thankfully my Belmont leggings are still okay and my Misty jeans (new plaid pair here in double knit fabric… couldn’t pattern match due to fabric constraints) and a lot of my tops are okay, but most woven fabrics are too constrictive for me to wear. So I am really thankful for patterns like this that are loose fitting and comfortable to wear. I have plans for other types of flowy tops and some already cut out. You’ll likely see more pants here, too, but only elastic waistbands as anything else would hurt.

After this version, I made a few changes. I lowered the neckline as well as taking out a 1/2 wedge to deal with the neckline gaping. For version 2, instead of the deep hem, I chose to just do a 1/2 inch hem for a bit more length.

I used the sleeve expansion since I was given early access to it. It’s definitely my favourite version. The sleeves, the colour, so goooood. Since I lowered the neckline, I do have more gaping at the neckline in this version. It’s also made with red rayon fabric which does have a tendency to grow. We’ll see how it washes up but I will do some more neckline alterations for the next version.

There will definitely be more of these in the future. It’s such a comfortable shirt to wear.

I totally chose the red after seeing Leila’s red Torrens on Instagram:

How amazing does she look? I had to follow her footsteps.

Let’s talk about those sleeves for a moment. They are so roomy. I used the wide sleeve and really love it. One of few patterns where I haven’t needed to make a large bicep adjustment.

Real talk, just before taking these pictures, I washed my hands and got water all over the bottom front of the top right before taking pictures. I don’t photoshop my pictures so feel free to play Where’s Waldo with those water stains. LOL.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top
  • Pros: Great size range for plus and honestly that’s all I really care about. Love the sleeves. Love the sleeve bands. Love the shape. Great instructions. So many pros.
  • Cons: No cons that I can think of. Even the neckline gaping issues aren’t really cons.
  • Make again?: Oh yes. It’s so goood.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md 5/5 stars

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls

Hello Readers.

It’s been a while since I posted here. September was a tough month for me mentally and physically. At the end of August, I went to Victoria BC for their Fringe Festival, where my husband was showing his solo play, Personal Demon Hunter. We walked a lot in Victoria and I experienced a lot of pain and exhaustion on returning. Before that, my improv troupe was at FanExpo, our biggest local convention, and I was already low on energy. I spent the first part of September recovering from that and dealing with a lot of migraines and allergy-related hives. My mental health hasn’t been great since I became unemployed in April and money has been getting tighter and tighter to the point that I can’t cover some meds, which would help my migraines and allergies. I’ve been applying to jobs, though, so I am hopeful that the situation will change. In the meantime, though, everything is tough and the financial situation triggers a lot of anxiety and depression in me. I’m trying to focus on the positive and keep reminding myself the situation is temporary.

Before Victoria, I sewed up a bunch of garments, but I never got around to sharing them here. It took a while to take pictures and then I wasn’t sure what to say here. I have always been transparent about my health both mental and physical but I was having trouble speaking about it all. So there it is in all it’s messy glory. My situation sucks right now and that’s the reality of it all. I do have lots of support from family and friends and I am extremely grateful for that.

Let’s talk sewing now. ❤

I’ve been wanting to sew up the Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls since their release. Ever since making my first pair of overalls, I’ve been sort of obsessed with making more. I haven’t been able to wear most other types of pants due to compression issues. Even my stretch Misty Jeans became super uncomfortable. I can wear the ones I made with ponte still due to 4 way stretch but any made with denim are no longer wearable. My knees and waist don’t deal with the compression well. Compression actually triggers hives for me for fun chronic illness reasons. I tried altering them to make them bigger but they just don’t work for me anymore, which is okay since I have a lot of other options and ponte pants are super comfy. Overalls are next to leggings in my book for how comfortable they are, especially in short length since it allows my knees to be free to do their hypermobile thing.

I made these Yanta overalls with a non-stretch denim with red lurex in it. I got it locally earlier this year specifically for Yanta Overalls. I used the reverse side for the pockets. The sad part is that the pictures are not showing how awesome this fabric is with it’s sparkly redness all over. I used red for the topstitching too.

I made a size 28 with no modifications except for adding length to the straps so that I could use overall hardware. The fit is meant to be loose (for maximum overall comfort). I find the back crotch depth to be a bit low and the back pockets are a bit big and sit low on my seat. I actually would eliminate them entirely for my next pair as I find back pockets annoying. I kept them in because I was doing a Same Pattern, Different Bodies post for the Curvy Sewing Collective. Check out Michelle’s and Megan’s versions here. I think that the front pockets could also have a bit better placement, but I was following the pattern placement. I’m not a huge fan of patch pockets in general, though. I do like it on the bib but not the others. I will be narrowing the bib a bit as the straps fall off my shoulders a bit and the bib folds in when I sit. The waist is a bit large, but for comfort reasons I won’t be changing that.

Looking at the pictures, I could also lengthen the front crotch depth a bit.

Overall (harhar), though, I love them and have been wearing them a ton since I made them!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls
  • Pros: Good size range up to 58 inch hip, but can likely fit larger since they are such a loose fit. Without any zipper on the sides, they are easy overalls to make and fit.
  • Cons: Patch pockets aren’t really my favourite look. I like it on the bib, but not the lower ones or back ones. That’s more personal preference, though.
  • Make again?: YES. I have a bunch more planned so I will definitely be making ALL the overalls.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Seamwork Loretta top

I’ve been wanting to make a Seamwork Loretta top since it was released but for whatever reason just kept getting pushed out of my sewing queue. I’ve had it printed and put together for a while now but finally decided to take the plunge a few weeks ago.

The Loretta is a pull over woven top with raglan flutter sleeves and an elasticated neckline. It also features a rounded front hem and a straight back hem.

I made my usual size 28 with Seamwork patterns. I did no alterations. I actually find that it fits pretty well for the style. The fabric I chose for it, a yellow cotton gingham, is a bit stiff. I do think it would benefit from a much more drapey fabric. I am also not a huge fan of how high that neckline is on me.

In the top version, it’s also pretty short. I’ve been mostly wearing it with skirts rather than with pants like in these pictures. I think the tunic version with the tie would be super cute and help define my waist a bit more. I am getting major… um….”all boob” feels from these pictures. Not that there is anything wrong with that! But it’s not all I want to show off.

 

I think that the pattern is really cute, though, and already have another version cut out in a white gauze. I’m going to add some fringe trim to the hem and the arms for that one. I can’t wait. All in all, it’s a great pattern and looks especially cute with skirts. I’ll have to show that when I take pictures of my next version. 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Loretta top
  • Pros: Good size range…although only to a 54 inch bust so it could be improved… Love those flutter sleeves.
  • Cons: A bit short in the top version and a pretty high neck, but these are preferences not major pattern issues.
  • Make again?: Already have another cut out.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars