Love Notions Sewing Retreat and Projects

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It’s been almost a month since the Love Notions sewing retreat. I can’t believe I was one of the lucky ones in attendance and it’s definitely an experience I’ll cherish. Friendships were made and strengthened, sewing skills were learned, projects were finished, fabric was scored, and a great time was had by all. I can’t wait to share with you my experience and of course all the projects I was able to start or finish while there!

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I’ve worked with Tami at Love Notions for a couple of years now. She was one of my first ever pattern tests and it was such a great experience. I loved how hands on she was through the testing process, sometimes sewing up a dozen or more of each design right along with the testers. She puts so much effort into perfecting a pattern and her eye for detail and design is amazing. I also just really love her classic, simple style! Needless to say, I was super excited to finally meet the whole Love Notions crew in person! It felt like being with old friends! My favorite parts of the whole weekend were talking sewing, family, and life with these ladies. Kelly (Handmade Boy), Rachel Ring (Handcrafted By Red), and Caroline Gaddy (Sew Like A Sloth) have been such inspiration and it was incredible spending time with them in the flesh.

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The venue was perfect! A cabin in the woods with 38 women- all there to share their love of sewing, what could be better. There was a big main room where we had classes (a fitting class, a pattern hacking class, a vinyl workshop, a photography class, and a sew-a-long) and free sewing. The Sly Fox Fabrics crew were amazing and treated us to the best game of Yankee Swap I’ve ever played (purses and fabric prizes, hello!). We hung out in the hot tub, ate lots of yummy food, and of course sewed our hearts out. These women were all so different and brought so much to our group. I’m so grateful I got to know these ladies from all over the US (and you cute Canadian Lisa!). For this shy, introvert sewing can be so solitary but it was so nice to be able to share this passion of mine with so many inspiring, incredible women. Thanks for such a fantastic few days!

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While I was there, I did actually sew a few things 😉 My plan was to cut out projects and I was super productive cutting three Moto Maxx joggers for my little guy and a Classic Tee for myself. While there I sewed up this Serenity Sweater during the Sew-A-Long and also a Rockford Raglan. I’m also sharing my latest Boyfriend Cardigan that I tried to have done in time for the retreat (everyone sews the day before a big trip, right?!) but had to save til I returned.

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The Serenity Sweater (affiliate links included in this post) was a bit out of my comfort zone and I’m so glad I sewed it up. I love the clever construction! It’s such a cute, on-trend piece that I love to dress up or down. I stopped at Raspberry Creek Fabrics a few days before my trip and loaded up on pretties to sew up. This Teal Brushed Hacci Sweater Knit was perfect for this pattern. I love the vibrant color so much!

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The other thing I sewed while at the retreat was this Rockford Raglan. The retreat was located just outside of Rockford so it was only fitting that I sew one up!

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This gorgeous Floral Sweater Knit made for such a pretty sweater. I tend to always use contrasting fabrics for raglans but love the simplicity of this one done in a single fabric. I love the relaxed fit of the Rockford and the quick finish that it is.

classic1The Classic Tee is a favorite in my wardrobe and I’ve been wanting to add some long sleeve versions. I cut into this pretty Rust Floral Double Brushed Polyester at the retreat and sewed it up as soon as I was back home.

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The fit of the Classic Tee is nice and fitted through the chest and shoulders but relaxes through the belly and hips. It’s absolutely perfect in my book!

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And now for the ultimate piece in my new Love Notions wardrobe, a cozy Boyfriend Cardigan. I hate to play favorites but the Boyfriend Cardigan pattern is the chosen one for me. It’s the quintessential layering piece and works so well in so many different fabrics.

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I scored this plush, thick sweater knit in LA almost two years ago and have been meaning to sew it up ever since. It was just made to be a cozy cardigan and I’m so glad it’s now in it’s rightful place in my wardrobe.

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I may or may not have worn it three days in a row… taken a day off, then wore it two more days, lol! The big shawl collar, deep pockets, and long length just make it the best thing ever to throw on for those cold fall days. And in gray, c’mon, it’s a no brainer. This puppy will get worn to death this season.

K- thanks for indulging me as I gush about all things Love Notions. I’m such a fan and I’m so grateful to Tami and the team for letting me join their fun. PS- you can still grab the Ladies Constellation Hoodie on sale through Saturday for $8!

Love Notions Constellation Hoodie

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This post contains affiliate links.  Purchasing through the links will provide a small commission.

The Love Notions Constellation Hoodie is here!  The Constellation Hoodie is the women’s version of the popular Kids Navigator Pullover.  I’m anxious to sew up a Navigator for my kiddos and just had to squeeze one in for me first!

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The Constellation Hoodie and Pullover is a loose fitting layering piece that can be made with multiple options.  It features a half-zip front bodice with either a hood or collar.  Thumbhole cuffs, banded or curved hem, and a full bust pattern piece are all included in the pattern.  I love that Love Notions patterns include a big size range, coming in sizes XS-XXXL.

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I love the relaxed fit of this pattern.  It’s nice and long and works great over skinny jeans or leggings.  It’s just made for comfort and those cozy winter days!

I sewed up a straight size small with the hood and thumbhole cuffs.

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For my hoodie I used CLUB Charcoal Black and White dots from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and lined the hood with cozy Robert Kaufman Plaid Flannel.  This combo of dots and plaid floated around the internet like crazy last year and I totally needed to recreate my own version.  The red zipper was a fun pop of color that I debated about for far too long and ended up being one of my favorite touches.  This pattern looks amazing in all different types of fabric from lighter weight french terry and sweater knits to thick, stable fleece and sweatshirting.

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This pattern is rated confident beginner and I think it’s a great project to push your sewing skills.  Sewing the zipper was a breeze with the videos included in the tutorial.  It sewed up easily and I love the new techniques I learned.

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Grab your pattern on sale through Saturday, November 17th.

 

MadeIt Strip Tee Challenge

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We are so excited to be part of the MadeIt Patterns Stripe Tee Challenge this week.  The premise is so fun.  We got to sew up the Strip Tee Adult  and teen pattern and put our own little twist on them.  We will be competing against 7 other mother/daughter teams to see who made it best.  The girls had to sew their tops on their own but the mom’s were able to guide and help them along the way.  Super cool, right?!

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It was such a great excuse to get my girly behind the machines and to spend a fun afternoon together.  My daughter is still a beginner sewist but loves the chance to create.  She took a sewing class two summers ago that taught her the basics.  I wanted her to learn the correct principles and I knew having someone else teach her would give her a foundation that would serve her well into the future.  She made bags, pillows, and pajama pants that summer.  Since then she’s made a hoodie, leggings, and a few other things.  We struggle to find the time to sew together so this challenge was a great push to get us together in the sewing room.

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We started with a trip to our favorite shop, Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  She fell in love with this pretty burgundy windowpane sweater knit and I knew it’d be a great choice for her.  I love the vibrant color and immediately thought of the faux leather in my stash as an accent for the strip in back.  She loved the idea!  This fabric is also fairly stable and easy to sew which I wanted for her (I steered her clear of all the lovely rayon spandex for this first one!).

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For my version, I kept going back to this ‘boring’ medium grey french terry.  I wanted to add sleeves to mine and the weight and drape of this blend is so good!  I wear grey too much I know but I think you can never have enough of it.  It’s a great basic that provides the perfect backdrop to add accessories or in this case a little bling!

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I love that these tops are all business in the front.  Just your classic tee and sweatshirt, right?

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But there’s a little party in the back!  The leather adds such an edge and those sequins are brilliant.

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The sequins are a remnant from one of my favorite Project Run and Play looks for my daughter and it was super sentimental using them for this piece.  We shot that weeks look in this same location too, bringing us full circle.

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I added long sleeves to my top to be able to wear it as we head into our cold season.  I measured the sleeve opening, my wrist, and my arm length.  I used those measurement to make an angled rectangle.  It’s very basic and probably not the ‘correct’ way but I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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It’s such a cozy top and I love the little extra pop that back strip brings.

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For my daughters look, she sewed up the smallest teen size although her chest is still a couple of inches shy of the charts (teeny girl!).  At eleven she has a 26″ chest and is 60″ tall putting her in an XXS chest and S height so we went with an XXS and then added 2 inches to the length.

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She did all of the work and sewing on this herself and I’m super proud of how it turned out.  I gave her a little plaid matching lesson on the side seams but apparently forgot to check the back, oops!  Design element?! She’s such a pro at topstitching though.  Like so good I should hire her out to do all mine, lol!  I showed her how to use soft and stretch hem tape for the hems and that sure helped make that step a breeze.

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This top is just five pieces (four pattern pieces) which makes it a great beginner project.  It took my daughter about two hours from print to hemming (mine was done in under an hour if you’re more experienced).  I love that it’s such a blank canvas that she can now use to customize tees to her liking.  I think she’ll be able to sew them on her own from now on and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.  We may need to add a sleeve piece to her pattern so she can wear them all winter long too.  She’s requested a long sleeve black tee or turtleneck to layer with this one so she can get more wear out of it as our days get chillier.  Don’t you just love that happy face?!

Make sure you head over to Instagram to see all the competitors this week.  You can vote for our look by simply liking our post (easy peasy).  Follow the hashtag #stripteeteamchallenge to see all the other looks this week.  I have a feeling we’ll be in great company!  So many amazing seamstresses and their daughter are participating!

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Make sure to head over to Madeit Patterns to pick up your Strip Tee patterns for 20% off this week!  I’m sure you’ll love them as much as we do!

 

 

My Favorite Fall Color

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As soon as the stores start putting out their fall decor and clothes my mind heads right to the same thing every year- bring on all the mustard colored things!  I love fall colors in general- plum, navy, olive, burgundy, ALL the jewel tones really.  Something about those warm colors makes me want to cozy up with a good book and watch the leaves change outside my window.

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My three latest makes for myself have all been in full muted yellow glory.  It’s so fun to have a little break in pattern testing and blog tours to sew up a few things for ME.

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This pretty mustard knit jumped in my cart during a button run to Joann’s.  Don’t you hate when that happens?!  I seriously couldn’t leave this fabric in the store and sewed it up the second I had a free afternoon.

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The Toaster Sweater is a cold weather favorite of mine.  I love the tall neck option of version #1.  It’s not tight and constricting like other turtlenecks but is so cozy and warm!  This fabric was just perfect for it.

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This pattern sews up sooooo fast too!  You know that’s my jam- something quick but with great finishes.  I love the topstitching details.

I sewed up a medium which is what I had printed and ready.  I fit into the small size chart now and might just have to size down for my next version.  I love the chunky feel of this one though.  I modified this a bit and added an inch to the length to make it hit mid hip.

While wearing this top I had one of those experiences that every seamstress lives for.  While browsing in Madewell, wearing this sweater, a couple of ladies stopped me and asked if my top was from the shop.  I blushed and let them know it was not from there.  They pushed a bit more and asked where it was from.  I hesitated as I told them that I had made it and laughed as their jaws hit the floor!  They couldn’t believe it!  I left the shop empty handed but renewed with a love of creating beautiful handmade garments that could indeed hold their own with the expensive trendy items from the mall.

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My second make is a modified Chalk and Notch Waterfall Raglan. I grabbed this pretty windowpane plaid double brushed poly from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and knew it needed to be a pretty dress.  I left off the bottom ruffle and added 6 inches at the lengthen/shorten line.

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This is another one of those quick makes that looks amazing sewn up.  I think I need a few more of these in my wardrobe.  I sewed up a couple of these during testing and then set the pattern aside and kept meaning to get back to it.  I can’t tell you how many of those patterns I have.  I’m so glad to have sewn it up again!

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What’s on your fall sewing list?  Are you a mustard lover or do you steer clear of it?  I’m so excited to see all the fall hues start filling my social media feeds!

Orchid Midi Dress from Chalk and Notch

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The Orchid Midi Dress from Chalk and Notch patterns is here!  Gabriela’s patterns are always much anticipated and there’s good reason.  The Orchid Dress is no exception.  I’m excited to be able to give a copy to one of my readers too!

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The Orchid Dress is a woven faux wrap dress and features two different views.  I sewed up the long sleeve version as we are quickly moving into fall here.  The pattern comes in sizes 0-18 and I sewed up a size 6 without any modifications for reference.

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I used a lovely mustard floral bubble crepe from Knitpop and am absolutely in love with how it turned out.  This fabric is ever so slightly sheer but the drape and weight were too perfect.  Wearing a slip easily solved the opacity problem and that color just gets me every time (be prepared for LOTS of mustard around these parts).

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There is an optional step in the pattern to add a snap to the bodice to keep it closed.  I chose to hand tack my bodice shut and I love that I could pick just how high I wanted it to be.  I prefer more coverage and it was so easy to achieve with a quick little tack.  After our initial photo shoot I was also able to easily hand sew my slit closed about 4″.  This picture is just as the pattern calls for but it was a bit too high for me.  As a pattern tester, I usually try to make my version as the designer intended and make my own alterations afterwards.  In the future it will be an easy modification to make the slit hit at my knee as I prefer.

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I have so many favorite parts about this pattern!  One of them is that bodice gathering.  I love it in the back and at the shoulders- such a great detail.

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I’ve always steered clear of any kind of puff sleeve, thinking that they just accentuate my already broad shoulders.  This pattern has totally converted me!  I love the full sleeve and the slight gather at the top of the sleeve just adds to the dress’s femininity.

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And you can’t forget about the pockets!  I can’t live without them and these are the perfect size- big enough for your cell phone, a chapstick, and whatever you need handy.

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I’ve already worn this dress multiple times so I feel like a real testimonial is in order.  This dress just makes me feel pretty and like my best self.  I think that Gabriela’s patterns have a way of bringing out the best in the wearer and this dress truly exemplifies that.  I loved watching the testers dresses roll in and to see how lovely they looked on everyone.  I can’t wait to wear this dress any chance I get (if you happen to see me at church in this every Sunday pretend you don’t notice, mmkay?!).  The last piece that I sewed that made me feel this fantastic was my Cotton + Steel Fringe Dress that I’ve lovingly nicknamed my “pick-me-up” dress because I feel like I can conquer the world in it!

The Orchid Pattern is meant to pair and mix beautifully with the Parasol Jumpsuit from Ensemble Patterns as well.  You can grab these patterns at a discount in a bundle and individually for a limited time!  Do yourself a favor and sew yourself up a pretty new outfit.  You’ll feel like a rockstar, promise!

Want to win your own copy of the Orchid Midi Dress? Simply comment on this blog post with your favorite thing you’ve sewn that makes you feel like a sewing goddess.  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!  Winner will picked Monday October 8th.

Itch to Stitch Time to Sew Blog Tour

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I love a good blog tour and the ITS Time to Sew Itch to Stitch Blog Tour promises to be pretty spectacular.  It’s five days full of amazing inspiration from 26 bloggers and incredible sponsors and prizes.  I just HAD to get in on this party!

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For my stop, I knew I wanted to sew up the Anza Jumpsuit and Dress.  If you’ve been eyeing this pattern too you can grab it today only on sale!  Make sure to check out the other posts today to see what else you can get for a steal today only.

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I’ve had my eye on this pattern since it was released.  All of the tester versions had me drooling and then seeing Nicole’s version in person just had me wanting it even more.  I’ve never worn a jumpsuit before and was hesitant if the style would suit me.  I’m pretty conservative and am definitely not as hip and cool as my cute sewing pal so here it is a year and a half later and I finally pulled the trigger.  Let me just tell you, it’s LOVE!

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My cute husband met me to take pictures and hadn’t seen this before I stepped out of the car.  His reaction was priceless!  He said, “Whoa!  That’s really cute.  You said ‘jumper’ and I was picturing something the girls would wear but this is really pretty!”  That’s a winner in my book!

Can we talk about this fabric for a minute?! My go-to fabric shop Raspberry Creek Fabrics is a generous sponsor of this tour and I had my eye on a couple different fabrics for this look.  I finally settled on this dreamy Navy Blue Tencel Twill.  I knew I wanted a solid and scoured the shop for something suitable.  There were a ton of pretty rayon challis’s and chambray’s to choose from but I settled on this amazing fabric for multiple reasons.  This tencel is so soft and the weight was perfect for this.  It’s also a little heavier weight than a rayon challis which will make it a great transition piece.  The navy color is so versatile and can be worn everyday with sandals or dressed up with pretty jewelry for a night out.

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I’m excited to be able to wear this jumpsuit year-round.  It’s perfect for fall with a sweater and booties!

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I sewed a size 4 and made a few adjustments to the pattern.  I eliminated the drawstring casing and did a simple waist casing for the elastic.  I used 1/2″ elastic and a faux drawstring that I just safety pinned in place.  I love that I can remove it and wear it belted too!  I left off the chest pockets as well, mostly for simplicity and to speed up the sewing process.  I added an inch to the bodice for my height but next time will add in extra height to the rise as well.   I added an extra button to the placket to add a little more detail to the bodice. Lastly, I turned up the sleeve cuff and tacked it in place.

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Are you ready for the good stuff?!  Make sure to check out all the other stops this week.  You’re going to be ‘itching’ to sew it all up for yourself too!

Make sure to enter the giveaway too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Striped Swallow Apres Ski

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In planning my fall sewing, I’m really leaning towards basics in solids, stripes, and easy to wear prints.  One of the first pieces I tackled for myself is a top that I know will get tons of wear- the Apres Ski from Striped Swallow Designs.

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I was immediately drawn to those sleeves (you might remember I used the girl’s version for yesterdays post).  The full bishop sleeve is so on trend and I love the detail it gives an otherwise simple design.  I scoured the internet and looked at many different versions and was really hooked on the solid versions that really let those sleeves stand out.

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I headed to my favorite fabric shop, Raspberry Creek Fabrics, and picked up this beautiful Dana Cotton Modal in Huckleberry.  The color was just perfect for fall.  This knit is lightweight and has amazing drape which really suited this style.  I love the feel of this fabric- so soft and heavenly!

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I made a small with the banded hem.  The only adjustment I made was to make my bottom band a couple inches smaller to really cinch in the bottom.  I’m such a fan of raglan tees and sweatshirts and know this pattern will become a new go-to.  I love that those sleeves give it a little more personality but are not over the top.  I think this top really embodies my classic, comfortable style.

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I’ve got a few more things on my selfish sewing list this fall.  I’m really hoping to conquer some woven bottoms (I think I’ve got the jogger thing down, lol).  What’s on your sewing list heading into fall?