Category: Uncategorized

Sewing Up Spring- Tops 2!

Today, I’m still going on about tops, but I’m going to show you some knit tops since I did wovens yesterday.

Do you like to play around with pattern modification or “hacking” as its sometimes called? Well, I do. I love to use existing patterns as a base and the n create new stuff with them, and one of my favorites to do that with is the Laundry Day Tee from Love Notions! Why? Its so simple and versatile because it comes with two neck options and two hemline options and its fitted at the bust but loose and flowy from the waist out. I actually am not a fan of it so much as is because the loose and flowy just doesn’t do well with my body type, but its a perfect setup to extend into a dress (that’s my later sewing up spring post!) and the upper bodice was a perfect fit on me which is great to mash with. I even did a raglan version tutorial for a friend!

So, on to what I’m showing you today! I blogged previously about my love for Hey June‘s Aurora, which is a slim dolman that the fit is just perfect on, but I don’t always need a dolman, so I mashed it with the LDT last spring as part of the Back 2 Basics challenge. Well, I’ve taken that mashup pattern and done a sleeveless v-neck front AND back! It created  this lovely little easy to thrown on top that I just love. I’ve made two so far and have two more cut out! These are so easy to wear with any bottoms you like and then do a cardigan or something as needed for those of you in cooler states (because its already tank and tee time here in Texas, lol). And, because the back and front are the same, you can literally just throw it on any old way and go!

Works nicely with crisp white shorts, huh?

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It also works great with jeans! (Patterns for Pirates- SOS Knit Pants in heavy denim spandex french terry)

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and knotted with a pencil skirt! (Patterns for Pirates- Pirate Pencil Skirt in black refined ponte)

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and great under a chambray shirt with white pants! (Patterns for Pirates- SOS Pants in refined ponte)

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Be sure to follow along to be inspired!
April 1st: Sewing By Ti
April 3rd: Sewing By Ti
April 9th: Sew Like a Sloth
April 10th: That’s Sew Lily
April 11th: Hazelnut Handmade
April 12th: Doodle Number 5
April 13th: Crafty Like A Rox
April 14th: Sewing By Ti and Ma Moose
April 18th: Rebel and Malice
April 19th: Very Blissful
April 20th: The Fairy Dust Bin
April 21st: Sewing By Ti
April 24th: Tenille’s Thread
April 25th: Ma Moose
April 28th: Sewing By Ti

 

Sewing Up Spring- Tops!

Hey friends!

Welcome to my stop on the Sewing Up Spring Blog Tour hosted by Tibeca over at Sewing By Ti! I’ve got several stops on this tour, but this is my first, and today, I’m blogging about spring tops. As you may know, I’m in Texas, which means that we’ve been in “Spring” for awhile now, like since January really, hahaha, so I’ve made quite a few Spring-like items and have been wearing them already! I do however, have a review of a brand new pattern!

First up today, is the new Trevi Top from Hey June Handmade. Its a woven top, semi fitted through the bust and then it flares for a loose and flowy top or dress. It also has a button down (up?) back placket and, one of my favorite parts, FRENCH SEAMS!!! Which is my preferred way to do wovens, but not many include it and so I have to math it all out myself and alter my patterns, but not so with Trevi because Adrianna’s taken care of all of that! It also comes with two front pieces, one regular and one FBA’d piece with a dart. If you have ever had to FBA something, you will definitely appreciate this already being done for you as well!!

I really love my Trevi, even though it was too small and its rather warm, which is totally my fault, but hey, it was a muslin anyways, and its actually wearable still so I’m not super disappointed. My fault with fabric content- 90/10 Poly/Spandex, what was I thinking?!?! But the colors are super vibrant and it does feel silky against the skin and it drapes like a dream!

Remember how I said it came with a front option with an FBA? Well, some of us may need a little more of an FBA than that piece provides and I am definitely that person! BUT the fabric I picked was a stretch chiffon from the Nicole Miller collection at Joann, and so I thought since it had the nice stretch horizontally, that I might could get away with just going by my high bust and using the FBA front. It was almost a go actually, but I did get weird drag lines and I looked a little squished, the shoulder area also was a little snug. The back however, was tight/pulled, so I “fixed” it by not doing the buttons and just sewing the placket closed along the very edges so that I had more space.

Next time though, I’m going to size up one size and do a larger FBA on it to add the extra inch in the bust that I need.

Overall though, I think the pattern is very well done. The drafting is good and despite my unique issues, it does appear that it would fit true to size per measurements. Because it almost did, so I’m confident in saying that if my chest didn’t need so much real estate on the fabric, that it would’ve been fine for someone who needed just a bit more room up top.

The instructions were really good too. The graphics were clear and everything was easy to follow. It is not a super quick sew because of all the detail with the bias tape and French seams, but it does go smoothly and it all went together very well and the extra touches made for a really nice clean finish at all the seams.

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The second top I’ve got is the Alice from Tessuti. It’s one I’ve been doing for a couple of years now, but I recently made another one and I altered my dress version from last year into a top.

Its for wovens, though I think it could work with a knit on the lower bodice piece if you wanted. It’s in Australian sizing, so you’ll need to convert from cm and you size by your upper bust measurement. It’s also a drawn not digitized pattern (unless it’s been updated, because again, I’ve had this pattern a good while), but it’s well done and I had no problems with it.

I was told way back when I was first thinking about getting it, that it ran large, so while I sized into the L, I went down to a M, and it was a perfect fit.

The neckline is a little higher than I prefer, so I have lowered it some on a few pieces, the one I converted from a dress has been lowered, but the other is as it is in the pattern.

The underarm is a bit lower than I typically prefer, but I actually don’t mind it, though you do get a glimpse of my bra depending on which I’m wearing. I uh, also like that it’s loose enough that I don’t *have* to wear a “real” bra and it still looks great, lol. Because you know, some days, I just don’t wanna.

This is a great spring/summer top for rayons- challis, gauze, voile and cottons- lawn, voile, gauze, challis and also light chambrays. I have not tried a linen, which I know would make it more structured, but I intend to this year! Its also a good one for using up small pieces since you can do yokes and sleeves in accent/complimentary/contrasting prints or solids.

That’s all I’ve got for today! Come back tomorrow for some spring knit tops! Check out everybody else on the tour too!

 

April 1st: Sewing By Ti
April 3rd: Sewing By Ti
April 9th: Sew Like A Sloth
April 10th: That’s Sew Lily
April 11th: Hazelnut Handmade
April 12th: Doodle Number 5
April 13th: Crafty Like A Rox
April 18th: Rebel and Malice
April 19th: Very Blissful
April 20th: The Fairy Dust Bin
April 21st: Sewing By Ti
April 24th: Tenille’s Thread
April 25th: Ma Moose Handmade
April 28th: Sewing By Ti

Set In Sleeve to Raglan Sleeve with Knits!

Hello! Gosh, its been an awfully long time since I blogged anything, huh? Things have been super busy around here, but starting to settle down and so I’m jumping back into blogging my makes. Also because I have a LOT of things that need to get made, including some new patterns!

Are you a member over at Capsule Wardrobe Sewalong on Facebook? If so, you may have seen the post asking for raglan fitting help from member Laura B. She had tried a couple of raglan patterns out and was just still not satisfied with fit, and she mentioned that what she’d really love is if The Laundry Day Tee from Love Notions was a raglan because she loved the fit of that top so much. Another member then linked a couple of tutorials for turning a set in sleeve to a raglan and well, here we are!

 

Now, I am going to do my best to describe well enough exactly what I did, but because I did this just on MY size LDT and I was sort of winging it, I cannot guarantee that this exact way will work for everyone, BUT I did get a decent outcome out of it, so its a good starting place. I think at least, lol.

First, I’ll link the two tutorials for reference:

–The first is from Em Makes Patterns, and I’m pretty certain she is using a woven pattern for this, which is somewhat problematic because LDT is a knit, BUT still some good advice.

 

–The second, is from The Cutting Class and its really not so much of a tutorial as a visual on the difference between a raglan sleeve and a standard, or set in, sleeve.

Ready for to start?

Here goes!

First up, is the pattern. I traced my size LDT and went just to about the waistline because all I really need is the upper bodice and this conserves fabric.

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Next, from the Em tutorial, I marked and then removed the seam allowance since it said to do that first. It also talked about figuring the ease and removing that too, and I did attempt to do that, but it was complicated and since I’m using a knit, I decided to just forgo that.

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Next, I sort of did the shoulder marking point thing talked about in the Em tutorial, where you walk the sleeve into the armscye and mark the top of the shoulder point. I was not super precise here at all. Like AT ALL, lol. I then laid the pattern pieces out as shown and I don’t know if it was coincidental or what, but the space between the top of the sleeve and where the shoulder piece lifted was 1.5cm, exactly what the Em tut said to swing it out to.

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I actually went back and pulled the sleeve piece out to lay on top like shown in the CC post because having it lay under like shown above was confusing when I went to try to draw the raglan line.It made sooooo much more sense the way CC showed it.

I was really hesitant on where exactly and how to draw the line, and I drew and erased a few times before just going for it. I wonder, if at this point, it might work to lay an existing raglan bodice or sleeve down and try to use that line? But I don’t know if it would mash well or not at all.

 

These are the pattern pieces I ended up with! Time to cut and sew right?!

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Riiiiiight, except I didn’t go back and re-add the seam allowance to the new pattern pieces, I just got excited and cut. However, since this is a knit, I was hoping it wouldn’t be too bad. And actually, it certainly LOOKS good!

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I just had to get a quick fit gauge done before I put on the neckband, so imagine my surprise, when it actually seemed to fit!

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Raglan seam close up:

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Attempt at a back view:

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Now, to throw a neckband on and see how it looks overall!

I completely jacked up the neckband, so kind of ignore that it looks odd, but it still does its job as part of the garment.

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Closeup

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With a real bra on:

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Attempt again at a back view

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FINAL THOUGHTS: I think this turned out really well! I do have wrinkles at the armpit, but I also don’t have a full length top and it kept creeping up, so I’m not sure if that’s a factor. I’m also not sure if I was supposed to add the seam allowance back in or not. It actually feels great, not tight and I think it looks ok too. Maybe a little bit more snug than the way the LDT typically fits, but I’ve also thought that I could size down up top in the LDT too and I haven’t tried doing that yet, so maybe that’s part of it? Not sure.

I definitely recommend reading the whole Em tutorial before tackling this because there’s a lot of insight there, and I just kind of took away what I could understand and thought would work.

If anyone else tries this, let me know your thoughts!!

Pirate Pencil Skirt Review!!

Happy Saturday readers! Earlier this week, one of the popular, and one of my favorite, PDF designers, Patterns for Pirates, released a new pattern, the Pirate Pencil Skirt! We all know how I love pencil skirts, and it just so happened that I was doing Career Day at C’s school yesterday and did need a new one, so I thought I’d give it a try. There’s also a special discount code for the pattern if you are a member of the patterns for Pirates facebook group, but even at full price, it’s a nice little pattern!

So on to my review!

 

Pattern: The Pirate Pencil Skirt

Designer: Patterns For Pirates

Size Range: XXS-Plus 3X

Price: $5 USD

Skills Needed: Working with knits

Size Made: L, mid rise, below knee length

Fabric Used: Scuba knit form the Nicole Miller Collection at Jo-Ann Fabrics

Pattern Pieces/Layout: There are several length options included- above the knee, below the knee, and midi length. You can also choose from high rise or mid rise, and there’s an optional vent for the longer lengths. The pattern also has a layers option, which is nice if you only need one size or just want to print a couple sizes to mash. I only printed the L and XL, and those went together perfectly, no trouble lining up or anything. They are also no trim pages, and as I think I’ve mentioned before, I put my patterns together with a glue stick vs tape like a lot of people do.

Instructions: I honestly only skimmed these. I don’t read instructions much anyways unless it’s an entirely new technique or something, lol. A pencil skirt is pretty straightforward, and with the amount of them that I’ve made, instructions aren’t really necessary anymore 🙂

Construction: Very simple. I won’t spend a lot of time here because there’s not much to elaborate on. This is a really great style for a beginner because of the minimal seams, essentially just 5, and all are a basic stretch stitch. I did use Wonder Tape to do my hem like I do with all my knits, and that’s an extra step, but it makes hemming SO MUCH easier!

As I said above, I made the L. I actually measured into the XL, but I knew that the scuba I had was super stretchy, and that I’d sized down when using it for another project, so I did cut and baste the XL just because, and of course, it was too big. So, I traced the L onto it, recut and there you go.

 

Things I liked/Things I changed:

I liked that it has a separate back piece and front piece, when a lot pencil skirts are just the same back and front. I also liked the shaping on this one as well, because again, it’s super easy to just do straight lines and call it a day. I have, in fact, done that before when throwing a self-drafted one together in a hurry. It works, but it’s much more flattering with contouring/shaping.

I didn’t like the way the vent extension is done, which isn’t a huge deal really. It’s probably easier on newer seamstresses or those newer to knits to maybe do it that way, and since it doesn’t have a back seam, this was probably the solution they came up with to get around that. Personally, I will split the back piece in half and add the vent the proper way when I do one.

I also wish there was a low rise option, but again, that’s an easy fix that I can do on my own, and probably some personal preference there too, as I like to have a taller band vs taller skirt piece.

I used my own measurements to do my waistband and I also contoured it. I cannot stand all these straight rectangle bands that people seem to be so fond of. Unless you have little to no curve or variation from waist to hip, a straight band will just not work out on everyone. This isn’t a P4P thing exclusively, its just something I’ve noticed in general lately that bugs me. On the high rise option, the straight band does probably work because it is supposed to sit at your waist, so it should be the same, but the mid rise where the top of the band sits higher than the base, it doesn’t work out so well.

That said, I see people whine a lot about the lack of band pieces or dimensions and who don’t want to do their own band, so there’s that too. No real win in that fight I guess, lol.

Overall Thoughts: I think this is a nice pattern in general. Its a quick sew, its well put together, and it seems well drafted. If you are looking for a fast pattern or a beginner apparel pattern, this is a good one to try. Especially since its drafted for more stable knits like ponte, scuba, heavyweight, CL, etc and those are much easier to work with.

 

And now, some pics!

 

Summer Sewing: The Long and Short of It!

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You may have seen my somewhat vague #B2B2016 posts about the bottoms I made, and this is why! I did make them as basics, but also to go with this blog tour that lovely Tibeca over at Sewing by Ti has put together. I have a really fun pair that has quickly become one of my favorites too!

So let’s just dive in shall we?

First up, a very basic woven short with a knit band, the Skinny Pant from Jocole. These come with inseam lengths for pants and a longer short, but because I’m short, I prefer shorter inseams to make my legs look longer, so I just drew a line and created my own inseam length on the pattern. They are drafted for wovens, however, I have done stretch wovens, which I actually prefer, and also ponte and sweatshirt fleece too. I think its an all around basic pattern to grab if you’ve not sewn pants or shorts before, as it has no fly or zipper or in seam pockets, just the knit band and the patch style pockets. It was one of my first real pants patterns and I think its fab for any beginner.

Here are the details on this particular pair:

Pattern: Jocole Skinny Pants

Size: 16

Fabric: Main is a stretch twill, 97/3 cotton/spandex from Jo-Ann. The band is 91/9 cotton/spandex, also from Jo-Ann.

Notes: As I mentioned above, I prefer stretch wovens as I think that little bit of give just helps with overall fit, and of course, ease of wear. Because this is a stretch woven, I started with the size I measured into, an 18, and then actually sized down because of the extra room I had; remember these are drafted for non-stretch wovens, so had I used one of those, the 18 probably would’ve been fine.

I’d also like to note that Jodi drafts closest to what I call “true” pattern sizing, and in her patterns, I am often a much “larger” size than in all the others. In general, pattern sizing will typically be larger than RTW, but seeing multiple sizes larger always jolts me a bit. That’s ok, nobody knows but me right? And now you I guess, haha.

Anyways, as I said, I did my own inseam, roughly 4″ on this pair, and I think its perfect for this style. I did my own waistband as I typically do, using my measurements and contouring the band to be tighter at the top and stay put.

That’s pretty much it.As you’ll see in the pictures, I did NOT pattern match, which I know some of you will cringe at, but this pair was really kind of a muslin and I didn’t realize how much I’d actually like them and want to wear them, haha.

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PAIR 2!

 

For my second pair, I used the Coachella Shorts from Striped Swallow Designs. There are two versions of this pattern- the original, which is a relaxed fit, and the slim fit, which was added last year, and is a more snug version that fits closer around the leg.

Before the slim fit, I was using the original fit and just bringing it in closer on the leg and sometimes sizing down. I also always used a stretch woven, and a few times, an outright knit like ponte and stretch french terry. I used the slim version only once, and it was with a knit as well.

The pattern indicates that it’s made for wovens, though you can use knits, and also includes a size chart, however, theres just one size chart, and it appears to be for both versions.Personally, I don’t understand how that works; if a pattern is a more snug fit, I would think it would need a different chart. But maybe that’s just my perception since that’s how I’ve seen it done elsewhere.

Nevertheless, I decided to do a lovely floral linen in the slim fit for my test pair, and because I was leery of the sizing, I went up a size, and unfortunately, they are too small. They do technically fit, as I can get them on and I can move in them, but they aren’t all that comfortable, and definitely not conducive to chasing my rambunctious boys around without popping a seam. I also did the elastic waistband as the pattern calls for, and man, muffin top for dayyyyyys. SOOOO not flattering. At all. Not a knock to the pattern, but there’s a reason I don’t typically do elastic waistbands! They are working well as pajama shorts though, and I may take the elastic band off and do a knit bad, or just remove the elastic and do a drawstring.

On to the main event! This pair, I love. LOVE. L.O.V.E. So. Much. So, without further ado…

Pattern: Coachella Shorts by Striped Swallow Designs

Size: XXL*

Fabric: Linen

Notes: I wrote XXL* because, while I should certainly fit into that size according to the size chart, it was too snug for comfort. So, what I did was to keep the XXL front pattern piece and I decided that where it was really pulling was in the booty, indicating I needed more room there, or to do more squats and stair runs, maybe both, haha. So what I did was I cut the pattern vertically right before the hemline starts to curve upward (This would make sense if you have the pattern in front of you)and slid it over about and inch or so. This gave me more fabric to work with wrapping around. It also changes the amount of trim you need if you’re using trim. I typically don’t, but I did cording on this pair and used just under 1 whole package.

It sewed up easily, which is always a plus for me with patterns. Sewing with littles around typically means I need quick sews and no overly fussy fitting and matching to do.

I did a knit band instead of the elastic, and totally winged it here with sizing and band width. In typical me fashion, I made the band too big, and being lazy, I decided to just dart it vs taking off the band and redoing it. Well, I ended up with a cute little v shape at the back waist, so I did the same to the front!

 

Now, these are a wee bit shorter than I’d typically go for, I did the 2″ inseam, so “mom shorts” they are not! However, I’ve been wearing them and rocking them despite my initial hesitation that the flowy leg would be sort of like a skirt when I bent down for things, but when I washed the shorts the first time, they shrank a bit and so the leg holes were not quite as large and the fit was a bit more snug, which fixed that problem. However, I’d already washed and dried it twice before sewing, so I’m hoping shrinkage doesn’t continue! Either way, these are my current favorite pair of shorts and work so well with my basics t-shirts I made last week!

 

Be sure to check out the other tour stops and participants for some summer sewing inspiration!

Sewing by Ti

Creative Counselor

Gray All Day

MSL Creations

Sew Sophie Lynn

 

 

#B2B2016 Day 5-6-7

Really, this post will be about day 5, since I’m blogging the shorts I did for day 6 and 7 separately as part of another blog tour.

 

Day 5 brings us yet another pair of black supplex leggings. Yeah, I know, how many pairs of black supplex leggings does one person need? The answer? A lot. Especially since we no longer have a washer and dryer and I can’t just toss the 3 pairs in the wash overnight and they’re ready to go. Maybe I should do a blog post just for all my supplex leggings, lol.

This pair is Patterns for Pirates (also known as P4P) pattern, the peg legs. Now, I almost didn’t want to blog these, because honestly, I’ve altered the pattern a good bit so I think its kind of unfair to use these since they’re not going to look like this from the pattern pieces as is. However, they are a great base pattern to start from, and that’s what I really was after, and they’re only $5, so…

Pattern: Peg Legs

Size: M-L-XL

Fabric: Supplex from LDG Showroom

The pattern piece itself is straightforward, its just a single piece that you cut mirror images of and the single leg seam is the inseam. For someone who cycles or runs long distances or anything like that, you may not want the inseam (I wouldn’t) but I only run as long as my kids are chill in the stroller which is about 4-5 miles, and sometimes its just around the block, lol.

Now, I did make a pair going by my measurements and they did in fact fit, so I would say they are true to size in that respect, however, the rise was really short. Like REALLY short. It didn’t even cover my lower than average c-s scar, nor did it cover my butt all the way either. Even once I attached the waistband, they were still really low, and uncomfortable. So, I decided to add to the rise. For my cotton spandex pairs, 2″ in front and 2.5″ in back was good, but for my supplex pairs, I found that 1.5″ in front and 2″ in back was better.

For the waistband, its a rectangle that you sew into a tube, fold and attach. It’s really simple and constructs easily enough. However, I’m not a rectangle shape so the spot on my body where the top of the band hits is narrower than where the bottom of the band hits making it too big at the top to where it slid down and bulked weird under my shirts.My solution was to add seam allowance and do two side seams that I contoured, so that lain flat, the band looked like an hourglass and when folded and attached, it was narrower at the top where I’m smaller.  I also contoured the base so that it was slightly narrower at the back because I had the rise on the actual leg pieces coming up higher in back and didn’t need the taller waistband back there. I use my personal measurements too and not the pattern’s.

The leg pieces I had to shorten, since my inseam is shorter than the pattern’s because its drafted for someone taller and longer legged than I am. I took out a little bit mid thigh and mid calf, since this will keep it proportionate throughout, whereas just taking it off the bottom will make them shorter yes, but fit weird throughout.

I did a pair as straight XL because its what I measured into, and it fit but there was excess fabric in front. So I made an L and it fit ok, but it was tight in back. I then decided to do an L front and XL back graded to an L just below the butt. This was pretty much ok but I had excess at the knee and when I did a full length pair, also excess at the ankle. I graded in to an M at the knee and ankle and that fixed that. Really though, I wear my leggings just below calf because its the most flattering spot on my legs for tight pants to hit. I do wear ankle length occasionally in the winter, but I don’t really like to.

 

Soooo… did you catch all that? lol. I lengthen the rise and change the waistband and grade the legs from L to M in front and Xl to L to M in back. Clear as mud, yeah? They are super comfy though!!!

 

Here they are with the Aurora/LDT top from a few days ago!

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Quick Sneak of Day 6/7- SOS Pants Knit Shorts!!

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#B2B2016 Day 4

Today’s sewing was definitely the most basic of basics- new underwear. We have recently moved twice in a month, and somehow, I managed to lose half my sock and underwear drawer. I lost the light colored unders, so that’s what I needed to sew up. I’m not posting pics because kind of sheer and kind of inappropriate and this isn’t that kind of blog, lol. Although, I guess I could take pics of them just lain out and not on…

Anyways, on to the sewing talk!

 

Pattern:Scrundlewear by Stitch Upon A Time

Size: L

Fabric: 91/9 cotton spandex from Jo-Ann

I really do like this pattern a lot, and it’s what I’ve made most of my underwear with. The name is kind of skeevy, IMO, so I just call them the SUAT underwear, lol. That said, I do a L in these and the only thing I do alterations wise is to dip the front a little bit more so it doesn’t come up so high and to add to the bottom of the back piece so it actually covers my cheeks. I have done extra low rise and extra cheeky pairs, but I really just needed basic pairs at this time, so that’s what I did. I could probably actually make a M, but these aren’t uncomfortable and I’m lazy since this size is already cut out.

Again, no pics here, but there’s a couple on this pattern listing, and its a pretty straightforward sew.