*This post contains affiliate links to support my fabric habit.*

Hey old friends. Hey cold friends. Are you freezing in this Fall weather yet? Yeah. Me too. 

Today is an exciting post for me because a little bit ago I applied to be a brand ambassador for the pattern website Go To Patterns. This pattern site is run by Andrea Pannell who designs patterns herself, recognize this Parisian top? #swoon. Anyway, the whole premise of the site is that all the patterns are reviewed for quality to be sure that you're getting an awesome pattern so you know you're getting your money's worth! No more fear of buying a dud. ;) They have tons of patterns on the site, women's, men's, children's, home dec, and even plushies. Check them out - Andrea has a great selection and it's continuously growing!

For my first pattern I chose the Natalie Top designed by Liola Patterns.

(Here I am 36 years from today. Aka, my mom ;) Love you Mary Lou.)

Doesn't she have crazy long hair? I've never seen it shorter than her butt. :)
The Natalie top is a long sleeve top with a center front detail, optional pocket and button tab sleeves.
I opted to go without the pocket as my fabric was rather busy.

This was my first time using rayon and boy was it way more difficult to work with than expected! The actual sewing was easy but trying to line the fabric back up with the pattern piece to mark the sleeve notches and button tab placement, phew! The fabric can take on almost any shape. It's very... stretchy is a non-stretchy way.

The Natalie Top was a great, well explained sew. Simple pattern pieces, the sleeves are not cut on the fold, which is great. The neck has a simple facing piece that makes the finished top look store bought. The button tabs are a really cute detail, too. This is sewn in a medium on top blended to a large - which probably wasn't necessary seeing as the top has substantial ease built it. 

The finished garment is pretty and comfortable if I do say so myself. I almost kept it ;) If I were to make it again though I would shorten the arms, I didn't even measure her arms which was a total rookie mistake on my part. They are a little longer than I'd prefer with the cuffs almost reaching her wrist when I think they should be more "just below elbow length", but mom is blinded by "my kid is awesome" syndrome and she doesn't seem to mind at all. <3

I see lots of people saying that button holes scare them. Well, they don't scare me, they are a little frustrating though. You can see here that it's not perfectly in line. But it is what it is.

It's a little difficult to see the detail on the front of the shirt as it's so patterned, but you can pull it out a little bit here!

I'm very satisfied with this sew, and so is my mom. It will be perfect for work as she's a tax preparer and needs professional attire. 
P.S. Mom, Thank you for being my model! These pictures turned out great. <3

Pattern: The Natalie Top $14 at Go To Patterns
Fabric: Rayon from Califabrics - on sale for 5.99/yard for 1.5 yards = $8.49
Notions: Thread $.50
Buttons: Left over from previous project

Total estimated cost: $8.99

I received the Natalie pattern from Go To Patterns for free as part of the Brand Ambassador program. All opinions on this pattern and Go To Patterns are my own. I do receive a small commission if you purchase from the Go To Patterns site that I've linked, it helps me buy more fabric, needles, and coffee.
I almost started this post with "not pattern testing" ;) but this wasn't exactly a completely "for me sew" either ... I promised my sister this dress with different fabric, so this was my muslin version of a pattern I purchased for her. I'm so happy with it! In fact, I texted her a picture of this and she said "is that my dress?!" and I had to tell her no. Hahaha :) She's getting a cool one though, you'll see it soon!

These pictures were taken by my sister outside my parents house and the lighting was so awesome - I only wish I had a different model so I could take the photos. I'm so particular, I must be a freakin' nightmare to take photos of. Love you, loved ones who help me, even if I'm a little shit when you didn't tell me my hair was puffy during prime, gorgeous, golden-light hour. 

Onto the dress! I love this fabric. I love, love it! I got it from Summit Fabrics and More on Facebook. She's from North Pole, Ak and I visited the North Pole once so, that's cool. (They have candy cane light poles. Legit.)

The pattern is the famous Lady Skater Dress that everyone has made at least once in their life. And for good reason! It's comfortable, cute, and fits great. Some of my favorites are from the ever loved Lladybird from right here in Nasvhille. <3 Here is her Lady Skater Tag if you want to see the ones she's made. :D

My not so secret, secret: I've always wanted to be a fairy.

I wish I could write a fountain about this dress but I don't think that there is anything left to say about the actual dress. I sewed a size 3 and it fits great. I like that the pattern has you put the seam of the neck band in line with the shoulder - it makes it more seamless. I've gotten tons of compliments on this dress, even from my boss who is always telling me i'm breaking dress code. (Rebel) I originally left the dress un-hemmed as to keep the length so it would be "work appropriate" but now I just like the look of it with the birds.

I see more of these in my future, I feel like I need a wine red dress with 3/4 length sleeves and a cowl neck. 

Pattern: Lady Skater $11.14
Fabric: Poe Birds on White 2/yards at $9 yard = $18
Clear Elastic for waist and shoulders: $.50
Thread and Needle: $.50
Approximated total cost: $30.14

Just for fun, here's my sister and her friend that I snapped after my photos were taken. I'm so super proud of this lighting - because obviously light is something to be proud of - as if I make light.....

*This post contains affiliate links. I make a small percentage of commission when you use my link to purchase a GreenStyle Pattern. So if you're inspired by my make, please help my fabric addiction. ;) *

Fall is coming my friends! (in fact it's here.) I have a cat to my right, chocolate wrappers to my left, and Friends in my living room. The show, not real ones. Hello, I have cats - that should tell you something.

Speaking of friends, let me introduce you to my best. I call her Zoey (mostly because that's her name.) and I've known her for 23 years. Hello, my little, big sister. Lookin' fly in your new jacket. Please join me in being proud of Zoey, not only did she model for me but she wore spandex tights, too! Thanks sis, you're the best. 

Here is Zoey in he new Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket with Stride Tights (Which she commented on how comfortable they were. Win!)

So - Let's just get this out of the way. I am the most proud of this jacket out of anything I've sewn. I mean, c'mon. It's so detailed and contoured and GAH! Talk about the recent awesome serge in great patterns from GreenStyle Creations. I mean, they've always had great patterns, but they've gotten super great recently. Maybe I'm just a sucker for athletic wear. 

Can I share a secret? The jacket was intended for me but this was one of the test versions and I used a thicker fabric. It turned out a little small (completely wearable, but it looked like it fit a little more roomy on my sister) - It's been revised 2 times since then, so this time around I'd make an XS according to my measurements.  I was the only tester who had mine run small. Thankful that my sister has a smaller frame than I do, at least she can appreciate my hard work!:D 

The back is contoured, giving a slender, feminine shaping and the hood is lined with her favorite color. :)
The Sundance Jacket comes with lots of options.
-Long Sleeve
-Plain back
-Pleated back
-Thumb holes/cuffs
-Hood with or without drawstring

I made what would be the low end of an XS in the final pattern, thumb cuffs, hood, and long sleeves. I lined it with the same purple mesh that I used on the Stride Tights. It looks so athletic!

The really great thing about this jacket is it's so versatile! If you use spandex/nylon it looks really sporty, but if you use a ponte with a pattern, it just looks like a cute, toss on, no fuss jacket. Here are two of my favorites that can be worn anywhere, gym or just going out. Both sewn up by another talented tester, Sweet Red Poppy.

Remember last post where I said I wanted detailed shots? Well, this was the perfect opportunity because I wasn't in front of the camera, I was able to take all the detailed "sewing shots." 

The thumb holes aren't top stitched and they were created in a way I've never seen before - it was a little leap of faith, but I followed Angelyn's directions diligently and voila! Freaking awesome thumb holes without maneuvering to top stitch the holes. I feel like you need the pattern for this thumb hole technique alone. Amaze. 

Zippered pockets! A tip included in the pattern is to use Wondertape to put in the zippers and this is SO HELPFUL on stretchy fabrics.

I used a double needle to top stitch all the areas. This gave it it really professional look. My fiance even said "Wow, that jacket looks like you bought it. And like an expensive Nike jacket, not a cheap Walmart Jacket." :D Cause you know, I strive for Walmart quality, anything above is just a bonus. ;)

THIS area clearly needs a little work. I had a tough time with the thick fabric + zipper + slippery-ness of the hood lining. Practice makes perfect I suppose. 

Regardless, who looks at your neck that closely? --- "Creep, back off. Don't talk to me that close, you're in my space bubble and I don't want to breath your disposed-of air." 

(Add that to the list of shit my sister would not say. Were different in some ways. :) )

So, it shouldn't surprise you that I have a black one cut out for me! Best of all, with all the options you still only need 2.5 yards or less of fabric for the whole jacket! Even with expensive fabric, it's still a better price than a nice RTW jacket. Plus, saying that you MADE it will blow people's mind. Maybe, or maybe you've already made crazy awesome things, but seriously this for me is just - I can't believe I made a jacket!

But you know the best part of this jacket? You can make it, too! I always feel like I'm saying how "not confident" I am, but seriously, things like this can look intimidating but really, I just took it piece by piece and tadah! I finished it and it looks great. It is such a rewarding feeling.*pat pat* But i can't take all the credit, obviously the great drafting skills of Angelyn and the awesome instructions made it possible! I love that GreenStyle has no trim pages, so even a larger pattern like this is quick to piece together. Also, the instruction include line drawings which make the more technical parts simple to see what's happening. You will love this jacket, and if you don't, feel free to message me just to tell me I am wrong. ;)

Though I have yet to not like a GreenStyle pattern! They're just so clear to understand, they really make difficult looking, detailed patterns that are easy to sew up. Very rewarding! :) 

Fabric: Heavy athletic fabric from Joann's 11.50/yard for 2.5 yards =$28.75
Hood Lining - Scraps from Stride Tights
Zippers: 26"=$5 and two 5"=$6
Estimated Total Cost $39.75

I received the pattern free of charge in exchange for testing it.
Is it freezing where you live? Well, it is where I am. I currently have a desperate cat curled up on my lap to keep warm, it's really a mutual agreement - we're both freezing animals.

So let me tell you about this bit of fantastic I'm twirling in today. I tested the Miriam Skirt from Reyna Lay Designs and it was an extra special test because it's Reyna's first pattern! Reyna boasts four years honors degree in Fashion Design, she also runs a successful podcast where she interviews pattern makers, bloggers, and other big names in sewing. Also, she sells her garments from Reyna Lay Designs for purchase if you don't sew! (But if you're here you probably sew, unless .... hi mom!) (I'm being hopeful, haha!)

(P.S. I traveled to the Amazon to take these photos, aka my parent's backyard with a crazy banana tree.)

The Miriam Skirt has several options, including a mini, 1 panel, 2 panels, 4 panels (what I sewed), as well as solid in tea length. All options are pleated and create a full stylized skirt that is perffffff for twirling. (I'm secretly still 7, btw.) The waistband is intentionally thin so you can pair it with a cute crop top (if you don't live in Antarctica Tennessee) but it's cooled off here, so I chose a midriff covering shirt... I really needed a parka. Legit - it's like 53 degrees.

The main fabric is from Joann's, it's a "linen-like" material that I had originally purchased for a dress without realizing how heavy it was. Turned out it was perfect for this skirt as it held the pleats. Plus it looks like a flower galaxy, win! The sheer is just a chiffon from Hobby Lobby, nothing fancy. I thought the weight contrast would make the skirt hang funny but the weight of the bottom strip holds everything in place nicely.

And here is ... this. I guess I was dropping the skirt. I don't know. Looks like I'm saying Psss'shaw... which is something I vaguely recall emo kids saying around high school age.

The actual pattern instructions were pretty straight forward. This is my second skirt ever and first pleats ever. 
-Reyna has a video tutorial to go along with the pattern when you purchase it that assists in the pleats if it's your first time. 
-The pattern also has a "layers option" to just print your size as well as cutting charts if you don't want to print out all the squares and just measure instead. 
-You can print a 4 page pleat chart and just measure the rest! Easy peesy! I chose to print all the pages cause my cutting mat isn't very big and I'm not very accurate with scissors (I use a rotary blade). 
-I sewed up a size 4 according to my measurements on the measuring chart and it fits fantastic! I would say this is my most favorite part of this skirt, sure you can find other pleated skirt patterns, but I don't really want to mess with all the extra ease and slimming it down.
-The instructions are all drawings, not pictures, which makes it a littler easier to see what's going on sometimes. ^^

When I attached the waistband and began to pick the basting stitches, I suppose I picked some of the actual stitches and trimmed too close ... so my skirt is detaching in some areas. (Silly mistakes!) So parts of my skirt/waistband area has a line of zigzag stitches holding them together. Yikes!

I only included this picture because I think humidity makes a cute lions main. <3

Can I include some real talk here, tell me if anyone can relate. When I signed up to test I chose the "mini" as my preferred and check yes that I would do the longer length if my first option was taken. So, long story short, I was picked for the paneled midi instead. At first I was a little disappointed and kept thinking, "ahhh, something I'll never wear!" Then I remembered, testing is to help the designer make an awesome product, not necessarily to get a perfect garment. So I sewed it up and GUESS WHAT? I LOVE IT! If I had been first and gotten the mini, well great, but I would never have made this skirt that makes me feel so elegant and fabulous. Lesson learned, sometimes it great to try something that may not be your "go to." Plus it pairs perfectly with this top. :) Take me on a fancy date, please. 

Reyna was very easy to work with really responsive to all of the testers feedback - I am so excited to see what she does with this new facet of the RLD brand. I think Reyna's first pattern the Miriam Skirt is a total success, it's simple, classic design that has definitely come back into style.

If you sign up for Reyna's newsletter, you get a 10% coupon on your purchase - plus awesome updates when she posts a new podcast!

I had so much fun with the first I did a second, less successful twirling shot. There will be more folks, never enough spinning. :)

Fabric - Joann's Linen Rayon $10ish/yard for 2 yards = $20
Purple Chiffon $3.00 for 1/2/yard = $1.5
Notions -  Invisible Zipper - 2.99
Thread - $.50
Interfacing - $.50
Approximate Cost: $25.49 (that is super high... I really don't think the fabric was that much, but I bought it months ago and that's what it is now.)

P.S. I really do realize I included 8 pictures (11 if you include each of the spinning shots) of the same thing. I really need to take some detail shots lol. Where is the sewing?! This isn't a look at my face blog, Jesus. But thank you to my favorite sister for being my photographer today. :)