Yes. Summer is here. At least for the day. Also, happy day light saving! I have loved every moment of our sporadic Washington weather today. I even got to take some pictures at 4pm. Unheard of!

When a new-to-me designer asked for people to sew up some of her less photographed patterns I jumped at the chance to try a new designer and review my experience. I present the Macy Top from Sinclair Patterns designed by Oxana.

Part of my resolution this year is to sew all of my new clothes to help me create a cohesive wardrobe. Slow fashion = clothes I like and will actually wear. The Macy Top is a simple pattern that I've had my eye on for awhile. I'll keep saying it, I NEED MORE WORK CLOTHES. I work 5 days a week. I need work clothes. Somehow fun, skimpy, party clothes keep making their way into my closet, though. I have no clue how it happens. Same with fabric packages, they just keep showing up. If anyone has any ideas to make this stop, please contact me.

I'll tell you a bit about Sinclair Patterns, if you haven't tried them already.

-Most patterns are layered (she's working on updating the ones that don't have layers yet)
-You do have to trim the pages
-Wide size range US0-US22
-Every pattern comes in Petite/Regular/Tall so less modifications for you!
-Comes in Letter, A4, and A0
-Finishing techniques are professional
-Lots of pattern markings to make sure everything lines up perfectly

This simple cowl neck comes in sleeveless and long sleeve options. The top has a facing so the cowl doesn't show stitching when you lean over. (The fabric I used really shows the facing so I'm going to experiment with different fabric types to see what hides it best) The armcye is bound as well as the back neckline and she uses the facing in an awesome way to finish the side seams so they are so smooth! I also enjoy the modest neckline, it's great for work and a professional environment.

I used a charcoal modal from Cali Fabric that I purchased back in November. It's really lovely. This is my first experience with modal and it has such a nice drape and it's SO soft. I want all modal clothing now.

I sewed the US4 with no modifications. I based sizing off of my hips and waist, I should have blended to a US2 for my bust, but I figured that a cowl having a lot of drape by nature, would be fine being a tad big. I think for my next one I'll size down to a US2. It fits a little looser than I'd like around the waist and hips.

Sorry for the awkward angles! My photographer now has weekends off so I have to improvise!

I do hope you'll give Sinclair Patterns a try. I really enjoy her style and the fact that she uses professional techniques. I love to learn new ways of finishing items and I feel that if I keep sewing with Sinclair, I'll learn a lot of great techniques. You can find Sinclair Patterns here and Sinclair Facebook group here.

Something strange happened yesterday in Washington. The sun came out. I don't know whether to squint or hide or curl up like a cat under the rays indoors... so naturally, I did the last option. I also managed to snag some pictures of my new favorite tank top, too. This perfectally mimics my absolute favorite RTW tank that I wore all Summer for about the last 9 years. It's plain, simple, and solid black and now it unfortunately has a hold near the bottom. Thank god I sew. <3
This is the Harbor Knot Tank Add On pattern from Striped Swallow Designs. It comes with the "knot version and a simple tank version.
I sewed the simple tank version and took off about 4 inches from the waist. (1" on each front and back side) Next time I'll only take off only about 3" or 3.5" to give me some breathing room. :)
If you can't already tell, it's certainly the fabric that makes this top special. This is the strike off print from Bare Necessities Fabric elephant print. This is a great weight, super stretchy cotton lycra that is perfect for all of you boho babes.

Bare Necessities Fabric is run by a great girl, Michelle McLeay. She's very active in her Facebook group, keeps customers updated and churns out amazing design ideas all the time. I really like that she has a nice mix of adult and child prints, too. Bare Necessities Fabric is run out of BC so all the prices are in CAD. You can snag a yard of this gorgeous elephant print for just over $20.

 I blended this with a lace back because I only had a FH to work with. I was able to squeeze out the front and some binding to match and paired it with this lace in bought in 2014! Scraps are amazing things.  

This is the second Harbor Knot Tank I've made in about 3 weeks. The last one actually had the knot on it and if you read my post, I said how the next one I was going to use binding. Here it is! I really love it with the binding the best. I cut the width of the neckline and armbands the same but attached RST without folding the bands in half. Once they were attached I just pressed the band under and sewed it down. So no modifications really, just a standard binding.

I pair it with my favorite RTW lacey bralette and I'm good to go. :)
Preorder for this fabric ends Feb 26th so don't wait! She also has a TON of panels so be sure to check out the entire preorder here.
It's been a little while since I've tested a pattern. I've been really loving finding my style and creating garments without a deadline and sewing up some older patterns I've owned for awhile. However, whenever Angelynn releases a new workout pattern, I love, love testing those! I end up using her patterns again and again for athletic attire. They always fit me so well and the instructions are always great.❤ 

I present the Xpress Tank from Greenstyle Creations! 

Bet you can't guess why it's called the 'Xpress Tank' ... ok, maybe you can. This literally takes 20 minutes from start to finish and I'll have it be known that I sew like a sloth. The Xpress is ONE pattern piece and only TWO seams and a quick hem a around the entire thing. 

For being one piece without darts, it fits surprisingly well! The tie back allows you to make the waist snug with room for your chest and waist. You also have a pointed back option and a round back option.  My favorite thing about this tank is that it has the cute crisscrossing on the back. Brings something special to an otherwise simple style. I've also noticed it's a RTW style. Lots of brands I follow are selling these similar tanks for $40. I made mine for under $10! It also pairs well with the Moxi shorts I sewed last summer. (Check out the review here) 

I was absolutely delighted that I had picked some Underarmour Wickaway fabric from my last order with Simply By Ti fabrics. I only picked up one yard , but that's all you need for any size of the Xpress Tank. This fabric doesn't have a ton of stretch, but it's perfect to use on the tie back. You have a little more flexibility with the tie back having those extra long tails. It's also wicking and a great color. Ti actually carries this fabric in purple, jade (pictured), and navy! 

This pattern comes in sizes 3XS to 3XL and every size uses only one yard! The pattern is no trim pages and has illustrated, detailed instructions to help you create a beautiful garment.

I sewed the XS based on my bust measurement and it fits great! I made a design choice to use the 'wrong side' of my coverstitch. I've seen this done in casual RTW clothes and thought it looked cute.  This is also the perfrct canvas to sport some HTV. I have a silhouette but have yet to set it up since we moved. A lot of testers used designs for their Xpress tanks and it looks great. Hoping to use some soon to create my own custom tank.

Also, don't forget that Greenstyle is holding a fitcapsule challenge to sew up three Greenstyle active-ware pieces to be entered to win some great prizes. There is still plenty of time as the challenge doesn't end until February 28th! You can join the fun on Facebook and see inspriation here. (P.S. There is a great coupon code for Simply by Ti Fabrics in the group as well!)  

Size: XS

This post does contain affiliate links for the pattern, thank you for supporting me in my sewing!
Hey friends! It's that a time again where I show off some more awesome Striped Swallow Designs! For my promo this month I chose the Harbor Knot Tank. The Harbor Knot Dress is already a favorite of mine. (And my husbands!) So I knew the Harbor Knot Tank would be a staple this coming Spring and Summer. Also, I've been dying to find a great racer back pattern since I found my favorite little black tank is developing a hole in it. I've owned it since I was 15 though... so I guess 10 years is a good life. Haha

I picked a really fun and floral double brushed poly from Simply By Ti Fabrics for this project. (If you like this floral, it also comes in navy! I'm sewing up a pair of jammies with it soon!) I only bought 1 yard but it was plenty for this quick tank. I sewed the low knot, slim fit, racer back tank in size XS according to my bust measurement and the sizing chart.

The Harbor Knot Tank is an add-on pattern for the Harbor Knot Tee. The best part about the tank is you can do a high knot/loose fit,
a low knot/slim fit,
a full tank back,
a racer tank back,
or a "simple tank" without the knot.
I was so excited to see that there was a racer back option because I've been searching left and right for a great pattern to recreate my favorite racer back but I didn't want to spend  $10 on a simple tank pattern yet still didn't feel comfortable enough creating it myself. I love the Harbor Knot Tank add-on because it has multiple options so you're not just paying for a simple racer back, you can make 5 different styles!

Spoiler alert. I'm only going to make one style though. Because that's how I roll. Racer back slim fit Harbor Knot is my entire life.

I made this tank like ten days ago and have worn it about 4 times already. Two of those times was to work! Nothing makes me feel better going to work than sporting a little me-made garment. In the middle of the sale I can always think to myself, 'If I can make this, I can do anything!' Helps boost the confidence. :) That's the other thing I love about this tank, it's pretty simple and quick! Add a cardigan and it becomes completely work appropriate. The knot is what makes it special, though, don't you think? It takes this otherwise casual tank to something special that can really be dressed up.

Although the weather is freezing here, I can't help but to plan some summer clothing, too. Thankful that layering is a thing! I can already tell I'll have 3 or 4 of these for 2018 and cycle out some of my less used RTW clothing.

I think for my next top I will create a binding rather than a 't-shirt' style neck and armholes. I like the binding look a little better. Feels like it dresses it up even more to me. Also, my favorite black racer back has bound armholes and neckline so I'll try to keep it as close to that as possible. :)

(Can you tell I'm freezing? It's like 35 degrees. It actually hailed right after this picture!)

I sewed this up in a quick 2 hours before work one morning. Once you get the knot part down it's a  really simple sew. Thankful to Mandalynn who created a video tutorial in the instructions so you don't have to guess!

Size sewed XS

Make sure you check out the Striped Swallow Designs sewing group on Facebook where you can always receive 10% off your purchase and also check out Simply By Ti Fabrics for great deals and lightening fast shipping. :)

No affiliate links were used but I did receive the pattern and fabric for free both from separate ambassador programs with Striped Swallow Designs and Simply By Ti Fabrics.
So, first up on my handmade wardrobe is more work clothes. It's finally time to admit it... I work five days a week (sometimes six) and ten hours a day. I'm at work no less than fifty hours per week and I have about two days of play which account for approximately thirty-two hours of "free time." I don't need more dresses, I need more work clothes. Warm work clothes.

Let me introduce you to my new favorite blouse, the Brasov Wrap Top from Itch to Stitch Designs.
I have loved Kennis' Designs for awhile now. They have the professional drafting of "the big 4" (notching, markings, grainlines, finishing techniques, etc) but with better sizing and directions but the benefit of her group which allows you to ask questions!

At first, I wasn't convinced on this design. I am a small busted girl and high necklines can look unflattering on me so I wanted something lower cut. But after sewing this up, I can't wait to make more. I'll be real with you, including cutting, this top took me about 4 hours which I feel is super excessive. It has a lot of details, but next one should be about half that time. Maybe I was just slow moving.

My standard size in ITS is 0/2/4 bust/waist/hip but since this was knit I chose to do 0/0/4 since I like a more fitted blouse. The only changes I made were on the shoulder pleats. I sewed them 2.5" down (the same as the waist pleats) because I misread the pattern. Turns out, if you're small busted, Kennis suggests you lengthen the shoulder pleats anyway! Accidental win!

I bought the fabric from Cali Fabrics when they had their black Friday sale. It's DBP. I believe they still have white in stock but the black is almost gone. It's soft, cozy, and stretchy. Just what you'd expect from DBP.

I already have two more planned. For the next one, I'll size down once again. 00/0/2. The one thing I noticed is because I sized up on the hips two sizes the ends poke out to form kind of a bell shape. So I'll avoid that this time by keeping the waist and hip portion a more similar size. Plus it's knit, so it will stretch! My measurements are 32/27/37 and finished garment for 00/0/2 are 34/28/36

This has been an awesome addition to my work wardrobe and it's warm! Glad to have my closet growing with professional clothing. Thank you, Kennis!

Pattern: Brasov Wrap Top
Size: 0/0/2

This post contains affiliate links to help fund my handmade wardrobe project! Thank you for your support.