Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Unbiased Denver & Gwen

It’s autumn around here. I hear it’s spring in other parts of the world, but that just seems like craziness to me. Either way, it’s Transition Season, and that means Sewing Season. Today, I’ve got a women’s pattern collection sure to take you from each season to the next, no matter the hemisphere, weather, occasion, or your size. Yep, Pattern Anthology has a new line that is made for everybody and every body, sizes XXS - XXXL. And I sewed up two pieces to share with you: Denver Dress and Gwen Top.
unbiased collection sew a straight line  
The Denver Dress. Firstly, I love Denver. We’ve discussed moving there multiple times, but it’s just so hard to commit. This dress, though? With it’s curve-enhancing and flattering seams, is easy to commit to.

denver dress sew a straight line a-1-2

I sewed my Denver in a pointe knit from Jo-Ann. I used the reverse side of the fabric for the majority of the dress, and the right side for the side fronts. It didn’t pick up in the pictures, but the reverse has a really subtle horizontal weave-y stripe to it. Seemed too fun to hide on the inside.

denver dress sew a straight line a-3
The Denver comes in two lengths: tunic and dress. It has two dress options: flared or fitted. There are two neckline options: cowl or flat, and two sleeve lengths. And, like all the patterns in this collection, the size range is fantastic. The collection really was designed to fit every body. I went with the fitted dress, long sleeve and flat collar. I extended my dress a few inches, to hit at the knee, but other than that, stayed on-pattern. It’s a very comfortable and flattering fit, and surprisingly easy to sew.

denver dress sew a straight line a-5
The Gwen is an even easier sew. Or, at least, it is depending on the options you choose. Dress or top, long or short sleeve, a placket or not, and even fun sleeve and shoulder details, or not, it’s such a versatile pattern! I went with no placket, so this tee sewed up in no time.

gwen top sew a straight line a-2
My Gwen has the short sleeve option. I really love the shape of these sleeves. They angle and curve just right and make me very happy. It’s the little things. Also making me happy? The length. I don’t have to pull this top down when I bend over or sit.  Since I rarely stand still and in place for extended periods, like longer than ten seconds, this length is really pretty fabulous. 

gwen top sew a straight line a-3   
I also love the wider neckband. I was wary of it when I first cut it out, but it totally works and looks so great!  I’m quite pleased with how the diamond pattern from the fabric runs along the neckband. Good job, me, cutting it out so awesome! Also, how fun are the simple shoulder color-blocking details? There are a few other similar options in the pattern with the sleeves. The Gwen has a very curvy shape to it. It turns out a feminine top (or dress), without being too clingy or tight. It’s just right and I have another one already in the works.

gwen top sew a straight line a-1
Also in the works are the other two patterns from this collection: Adora and Diamond. I had every intention of sewing them up for this little post, but man! life is kind of kicking my trash these days and I just didn’t find the time. They are cut out and waiting for me, though, just as soon as I carve out a couple of hours. If the Adora and Diamond are anything like the Denver and Gwen, it will be well worth it to make the time for the sewing.

You can grab the entire Unbiased Collection on sale from the 18th of September through October 2nd. It is all 4 Patterns  for $29.95. With all the options included in each pattern (each one has top and dress options, plus many more, and the size ranges (xxs-xxxl!)), you are getting so many great looks in this collection. After the 2nd the patterns will remain as a collection but be back at full price $49.95 The collection also includes bonus coupons of over $200 in savings for fabric shops, sewing classes and more. Yep, sewing classes. Never sewn with knits before? Worried about plackets or gathering or whatever? You’re covered. You can buy this collection and have a whole wardrobe knocked out in no time.  Grab it from Pattern Anthology HERE 


I was given the Unbiased Collection from Pattern Anthology to sew up, show off, and share my unbiased opinions of with you. Now, go grab it because, seriously, it’s fantastic!
 gwen top sew a straight line a-4

Friday, September 4, 2015

Pocket Full of Posies turned tunic

Come on over to Melly Sews today to see how I made a simple change to Blank Slate Pattern’s Pocket Full of Posies Dress (affiliate links) to make it a tunic. See it HERE
Pocket Full of Posies Dress Sew a Straight Line

Friday, August 28, 2015

Boyfriend, Lane

A few more pieces from my spring and summer wardrobe.  A slightly modified Lane Raglan and a completely altered Jalie Jeans-turned-boyfriend jeans. These two pieces have been heavily and lovingly worn the past few months. They are both so comfortable and easy to mix and match to wear with all kinds of casual outfits. Perfect for summer.

lane raglan boyfriend jeans sew a straight line-3
First up, the Lane Raglan. This is such a great pattern from Hey June Handmade. This is my fourth Lane (see 1 & 2 HERE and 3 HERE). I’ve had this version in my head for a long, long time. It’s made of French terry, picked up from Girl Charlee, in a navy and white stripe. I made a few changes to the pattern. I shortened the sleeves, leaving the hem unfinished so it rolls naturally.

lane raglan boyfriend jeans sew a straight line-4

I added a little triangle detail at the center neck, for kicks.

lane raglan boyfriend jeans sew a straight line-11

At the bottom hem, I did a funky little detail that I stole directly from a RTW shirt of my daughter’s. I hemmed it with the wrong side facing out.  I just really liked the casual, unique hem.

lane raglan boyfriend jeans sew a straight line-7    
I really focused on the details in the jeans. You can see in the above picture, the coin pocket I added with a little leather accent. I also used that leather on the back for a simple label. I stitched a “S”, too, though it’s hard to make out in this picture.

lane raglan boyfriend jeans sew a straight line-8
The denim is from Girl Charlee. I’d never purchased denim from them before, and was a bit worried, especially since it was so inexpensive. But the color was exactly what I wanted and I figured for the price, I would risk it. The risk paid off. The denim is fabulous. Great stretch, nice medium weight. And it’s worn and washed great. I need to grab some more in other finishes.

For the back pockets, I cut each pocket horizontally and pieced them together. I really like the detail of that seam across the pocket.

lane raglan boyfriend jeans sew a straight line-6

I wanted a more boyfriend-style fit. I don’t even really use the original Jalie pattern at all any more. I started with my straight-leg jean pattern that I altered from the original Jalie (you can see a version of that HERE. I lengthened the rise and widened the hip, and legs a little bit through the thighs, then tapered down to the ankle. I wish I had made them just a bit more baggy. I’ve gained weight since the last time I sewed myself jeans, and I didn’t account for that when I widened things. The fit is really great, just not as loose and boyfriend-y as I had envisioned. It hasn’t kept me from wearing the snot out of them, though.

lane raglan boyfriend jeans sew a straight line-9   
Top: Lane Raglan by Hey June Handmade, fabric is striped French Terry from Girl Charlee
Jeans: Jalie Jeans 2908 (heavily altered), fabric is stretch denim from Girl Charlee

lane raglan boyfriend jeans sew a straight line-5

Monday, August 17, 2015

The making of a punk: Ottobre Sweatpants

My youngest son is a strict rule-follower. He thrives on praise and positive attention. He is always questioning my speed when we’re in the car, making sure I’m following all traffic laws at all times (“Mom, are you sure you aren’t going too fast. You just passed that car.”) He’s the one that informed us he’d rather not even go to the movie if we were going to sneak treats in, thereby ruining sneaking-treats-into-movies for me forever.  He’s a total goodie-goodie. It’s awesome. And it makes it even funnier that he loves the punk/rock-n-roll look.

ottobre three piece sweatpants 17 42015 sew a straight line-3
Also funny, is that it’s either this look or a “sports kid” (his words) look. Jock or punk, I love that he’s comfortable being who he is and want to encourage that.  I’m more than happy to indulge his current varied style interests when it comes to his clothing (and his hair). Enter the sweatpant pattern from the latest issue of Ottobre (4/2015).
 ottobre three piece sweatpants 17 42015 sew a straight line-7
The pattern is called “Three Pieces” ( #17), I’m assuming because you only cut out three pieces: front, back and a kangaroo-style pocket for the center front. There’s an elastic and drawstring waist. I did extend the length just a bit. The pattern only goes to 122cm, which is too short for Jonas, but great fit everywhere else. The pattern is super easy to sew (and cut out), with a resulting pair of pants that are slouchy and funky and, when made in a camo jersey, just the right amount of punk.
 ottobre three piece sweatpants 17 42015 sew a straight line-6
They’ll also look awesome,and more sporty, in a different fabric for when he’s playing sports this fall. Currently, Jonas has been taking a hip-hop/breakdancing class, and these pants have been perfect for that.

ottobre three piece sweatpants 17 42015 sew a straight line-4
They’re comfortable and allow for lots of movement, while totally looking the part.

ottobre three piece sweatpants 17 42015 sew a straight line-5
And no, I don’t know how to focus my camera. Why do you ask?

He’s worn these pants with all his favorite tees and tanks, but here he’s wearing a Vincent Tank I made his brother a few years ago, and he’s since inherited. Vincent is another Ottobre pattern, #15 from 1/2013, and one of my very favorite sews for my boys.

ottobre three piece sweatpants 17 42015 sew a straight line-10
One of the biggest perks of sewing, is being able to make clothing that completely fits your kid.  Not just fits their body, but fits their personality and interests and quirkiness. The whole outfit is pretty rockin’, and so is this rule-abiding, sport-loving, punk-rockin’ kid.

ottobre three piece sweatpants 17 42015 sew a straight line-8ottobre three piece sweatpants 17 42015 sew a straight line-9

Tank: Vincent Mesh Tank from Ottobre 1/2013 (#15), 148cm. Originally blogged HERE
Pants: Three Pieces Sweatpants from Ottobre 4/2015 (#17), 122cm lengthened. Fabric is camo jersey knit from Nuttal’s in SLC.
Chic SHHORS LED Watch (affiliate)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Harry Potter: Hogwarts House Crest Tees

It’s July! You know what happens in July? Harry Potter’s birthday! I love Harry Potter and my boys are HUGE fans. So Rae Gun Rambling’s series Happy Harry Potter is one of my favorites. For this year’s festivities I have a tutorial for making your own silk screen stencils so you can make Hogwarts House Crest Tees.

harry potter crest watermark tees sew a straight line-5

Show your house pride on anything and everything! The stencils are completely reusable and can be used with all kinds of mediums on all kinds of surfaces. But my favorites I’ve done are watermark tees with bleach.

harry potter crest watermark tees sew a straight line      
These tees have been in my boys’ regular, weekly rotations for a long, long time. We’ve made them for friends as gifts, too. I figured today was as good a day as any to finally share them and how they are made.

harry potter crest watermark tees sew a straight line-2

By using a homemade screen print technique, you get a reusable template so you can show your house pride anywhere and everywhere!   Using bleach instead of paint or dyes gives a simple but graphic effect that looks cool and professional. But the templates we’re going to make can be used with paints, as well.

harry potter crest watermark tees sew a straight line-7

There are quite a few tutorials on the web for homemade screen printing and bleach-graphics, so I’ll just go over the basics and add some of my favorite tricks and tips.

harry potter crest watermark tees sew a straight line
For the screen print, you need:
-sheer fabric (cheap-O curtain fabric from Jo-Ann Stores). I buy a yard at a time, and get about a half dozen or so screen print stencils out of it.
-NON-water soluble craft decoupage.  I use Collage Pauge (affiliate link)
-A large embroidery hoop. The bigger, the better
-A bold image. I googled “hogwarts house crests coloring pages” to find the images I used. Coloring pages are easier to use because they use bold lines and less details.

harry-potter-slytherin-house-coloring-pages-139 IMG_2928

Trace your image onto the sheer fabric. I leave out all the fine details because they are hard for me to paint later.

Place the traced image into an embroidery hoop, as tightly as you can get it. Use a fine point paint brush to completely paint in the negative space with the craft decoupage. Again, I don’t do all the tiny little details because I’m not so great at painting. But if you rock the brush, detail that baby up!  Make sure to fully get all the negative space. Hold it up to the light every once in a while so you can see where you may have missed a spot. Another tip, place the hoop opposite as what this picture shows. Paint with the hoop ring so that the fabric is slightly lifted off the surface. This way, you don’t risk moving the hoop on accident and smearing ‘pauge where you don’t want it! Also, I like to keep paper or something underneath while I paint to protect my table I’m working on.


Let dry and you have an awesome, completely reusable screen print stencil!  

Because you used a non-water soluble decupauge, you can wash your stencil after using. These stencils can be used over and over and over again. I store my stencils flat (without hoops), with wax paper in between them. True confession: I actually made the stencils with the crests three years ago and just pulled them back out for this! So much better than freezer paper!

So, now you’re ready to transfer that image onto anything and everything! I’ve used fabric paints, acrylic paints, screen printing paints and bleach with my stencils over the years. All work fantastic! Let’s start with the bleached “watermark”.  The pictures for this tutorial are actually from when I made some watermark Cubs shirts for my husband and sons a few years ago, but the process is exactly the same for the Hogwarts crests, or for anything else.

harry potter crest watermark tees sew a straight line-1-2

I wanted a subtle, worn, kind of retro-look to my shirts. To get a watermark effect, look for shirts that are “heathered”.  I usually buy mine at Old Navy. You can do the bleached print on regular colors, though, too. It will just make a bolder image.

I use Fun Foam sheets under my projects when screen printing.  The foam is flexible, reusable, and doesn’t get soggy or let anything get through.

I always use a bleach pen.  You can find them in the laundry section at the store.  The bleach in the pens is suspended in gel, so unlike straight bleach from the jug, it stays in place and doesn’t run as much, or evaporate as quickly.

Place your template in the desired location and use the “scrubbing” side of the pen to really press the bleach through the screen. 

I always have my sink full and ready with warm water

So after you’ve bleached the image, remove the screen and let the bleach sit for a couple of minutes.  It really doesn’t need long at all.  Three minutes seems to be the magic number for me.  Then just submerge your project in the water and watch your graphic appear.


Now just wash and wear as normal. Because the design is bleached, it doesn’t fade with washing. In fact, both of these tees are three years old, and have each gone through two kids and who knows how many washings!

harry potter crest watermark tees sew a straight line-4
But don’t limit yourself to tee shirts and bleach! Your stencil can work on anything you can get it flat on. Customize bags, pillows, walls. I like to use mine for custom gift wrap. I’ve made a few watermark tees over the years as gifts, and then I use the cleaned stencil to give a sneak peek of what’s inside on the packaging. 
    IMG_2935 IMG_2937   

Don’t forget to check out all the amazing, inspiring and magical ideas and posts and fun that are Happy Harry Potter


See all the posts HERE
Play along with the Instagram photo challenge HERE
And enter to win an AWESOME Harry Potter package of wonder!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

harry potter crest watermark tees sew a straight line-3

You may also like my Happy Harry Potter post from last year: Harry Potter Transfer Tees
a happy harry potter tee shirts sew a straight line

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This Way-That Way Skirt

The wonderful ladies of Simple Simon & Co host an amazing charity-sew event every summer, Skirting the Issue. The cause is girls in foster care, the goal is to donate as many skirts as possible to those girls. The skirts are a little to help them feel loved, something they can call their own, something made for them. For my part, I’m offering up a new tutorial and pattern that I call This Way-That Way Skirt.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-1-2
Based on one of my very, very first tutorials I ever did, the Domesticated Skirt for women, but with some modifications that make it better than ever and perfect for girls.

this way that way sew a straight line

This Way-That Way is made with knits so it’s comfortable and easy to wear, especially great for girls with sensory issues. There is elastic in the waist to help with fit, so even if it comes untied, it’s not going anywhere. It’s super easy to cut out and to sew. Two rectangle pattern pieces and a few straight lines, but with the wrap/tie-front and contrast fabric it’s interesting and unique.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-4

And best of all? She can wear it this way

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-1   
Or flip it around that way and tie the other fabric on top for a whole new look!

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-6

Use two coordinating or contrasting fabrics so it looks like this one way.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-14-2
Then open it up, twist it around front-to-back

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-13-2
Retie to get a whole other skirt! Two looks in one!

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-15-2

And because it uses rectangular cuts of fabric, you can get quite a few skirts out of very little yardage. In fact, if you use at least a 54” width fabric, you will be able to get two (or more, depending on sizes you make) skirts from your fabric. One to keep and one to donate! And the skirts sew up so fast with no difficult or tricky techniques. Easy to dress, fun to wear, simple to sew, and great to give!

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-16

Let’s make some This Way-That Way Skirts!

I have included the full tutorial in this post, using a cutting guide for the pattern pieces. If you would prefer to use a PDF pattern, with printed pattern pieces, I have that available also. It is $3 for the download and includes the full instructions in the PDF. You can access that HERE (affiliate link), or use the cutting guide in this post for free.

this way that way sew a straight line

Recommended Fabric: medium- to heavy-weight knits
Sizes 18m-8: TWO 1/2 yards of coordinating or contrasting knits (1 yard total fabric needed)
Sizes 10-16: TWO 3/4 yards of coordinating or contrasting knits (1.5 yards total fabric needed)
1 yard 3/4” elastic
1 yard ribbon or twill tape
Fray Check

this way that way skirt cutting guide sew a straight line this way that way skirt sew a straight line-1-4

Cut out skirt panels, one each from each of your two knit fabrics. Cut out two strips of elastic, following Elastic Cutting Guide, cut two 11 inch lengths or ribbon or twill tape.

  this way that way skirt sew a straight line-2-3 
Fold skirt panel in half with short ends matching (fold along the width). Mark center top.
You can use a marking pen, tailors’ chalk, or even a very small snip with scissors to make the mark.
Repeat for other skirt panel.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-3-2
Open skirt panel. Using marked center as guide, fold the panel short ends to the center. Mark the fold at the top. 
You should now have three markings on the top of your panel: 1/4 of the width, center,  3/4 width.
Repeat for other panel.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-4-2
On one of your panels AT THE TOP (where the markings are), place the ribbon/twill tape at the side apx 1.5 inches from the top of the panel, one ribbon on each side AT THE TOP.
The raw edge of the ribbon/twill tape will match up with the raw edge of the fabric, with the length of the ribbon/twill tape pointing into the center of the panel.
Baste in place
Use Fray Check to seal the unsewn edges of the ribbon/twill tape (not pictured)

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-5-2
Using your top markings as a guide, stitch the elastic to the TOP of the panels using a zig-zag stitch, 1/2 inch from the top.
You want the elastic to start at the 1/4 mark (far left marking) to the 3/4 mark (far right marking), stretching the elastic slightly as you sew to make it extend the length needed.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-6-2
Right sides together, line up your skirt panels. Match short raw edges
Sew side seams, catching basted edges of ribbon/twill tape inside the seam.
Make sure to keep length (non-basted part) ribbon/twill tape out of the way! You can pin the ribbon/twill tape to the body of one of the panels to make sure it doesn’t get caught in the side seams except for the basted edges
this way that way skirt sew a straight line-7-2
Fold the top of the skirt down over the elastic apx 1.5 inches, and all along the circumference of the skirt top.
The ribbon/twill tape should now be at the very top of the skirt waist, on the outside.
Sew the waist, stretching when you do the lengths where the elastic is sewn.
You don’t want any puckers as you sew, but when you release the elastic area from the stretch, the middle of both panels will gather slightly. You want this so that there is stretch in the waist for easy dressing and comfortable wear.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-8-2
Use a ruler to mark apx 6 inches down from the edge of elastic on both sides of one panel.
Make sure your panels are lined up as perfectly as you can, with the elastics in the same spot on both panels. Pin panels to each other, if needed, to keep them matched.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-9-2
Sew through BOTH panels at the same time, straight down from about 1/4” in on the elastic, following your 6 inch marking from above step.
Make sure you do both the right and left sides of the elastic.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-10-2
You’ll have the stitch lines on both sides at the end-elastic areas. This will be the actual waist of the skirt and keep the skirt in place when worn.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-11-2
Fold and press the bottom of the skirt up apx 1.5 inches and sew the hem of the skirt.

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-12-2

And now you have a cute little skirt!

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-13-2 
Tie it to be worn this way

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-14-2 
Or flip it over and tie it to be worn that way!

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-15-2
This Way-That Way, wear it any which way!

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-8

Read more about Skirting the Issue HERE and get information on where you can donate HERE

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-3

Special thanks to my dear friends Camilla and Christie (Lemon Squeezy Home) for lending me their beautiful daughters to model with Ivy!

this way that way skirt sew a straight line-2

You can also get the skirt pattern I made for a previous Skirting the Issue, the Playground Skirt HEREtwo

And the instructions for the original Domesticated Skirt HERE.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Creative Commons License
Sew a Straight Line by Sabra Gubler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at 01 10