Chalk and Notch Farrah Blouse and Dress


The Farrah Blouse and Dress released earlier this week and it’s taken all my willpower waiting for my turn to share!  I’m sure your Instagram feed has been flooded with all the gorgeous tester versions- if it hasn’t then hop over and check out the #farrahpattern to have your mind blown!  The testers really made some stunning versions!


The Farrah pattern features two ruffle options, a lined yoke, high low split hem and dress and top versions.  In sizes 0-18, it’s so flattering on any figure.  I did a straight size 6- my waist is typically a size or 2 larger than my chest but with this loose pattern I didn’t feel the need to do any grading.


I made my version out of a lightweight swiss dot I’ve had in my stash forever.  It was a great fabric choice- perfect for spring.  I love this pattern in super drapey fabric too- some of my favorite versions were done in voile, rayon challis, or those silky fabrics that you can’t pass up at Joann’s.


My husband played photographer for this shoot and nailed it.  We had this quick window between dropping off kids and picking them up at all their after school activities.  The wind was blowing, the sun was setting, and this brand new school was the only semi-decent backdrop between point A and B.  We had fun as I tried my darndest to keep my little chin from chattering in the cold.   Not the ideal conditions but you work with whatcha got!

I feel like I just told you all my little secrets- like when someone says, “I love your shirt!” and you feel the need to tell them you got it for 5 bucks from Wal-Mart.  The behind the scenes of a bloggers life is really not all that glamorous 😉

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Let’s just pretend we’re on some fancy city street and I’m not thinking about all the mom duties waiting for me after as soon as we finished these pics!


I simple adore the details of this pattern!  That mitered corner on the hem is pretty snazzy.


The wind and those ruffles were not friends.  It was cracking me up!


K- promise me you’ll check out all the other amazing tester versions.  They are so, so cute you won’t be able to help it when the pattern ends up in your cart.  Trust me, you’ll thank me afterwards!

You can see round one of the testers blog posts here on the Chalk and Notch blog.


Love Notions Olympia


One of my favorite things about pattern testing are the wonderful seamstresses I’ve met- from the designers to the other testers.  My most recent pattern test was the Olympia Dress (affl. link) from Love Notions.  I was thrilled when I realized a few of my local sewing friends were also testing the dress!


Tiahna from Ammon Lane, Anna from Kainara Stitches, and Rachel from Little Fish all live super close to me so a photo shoot was definitely in order!  It was so fun to see them and I loved the chance to see their dresses in real life.  Like all of Love Notions patterns, the Olympia dress is so flattering on all our different body types.  There are so many options- multiple sleeve and dress lengths plus a zipper front nursing modification!  It’s a great fit for any lifestyle!


For more details on my dress head over to the Cali Fabrics Blog.  I used a gorgeous ponte from Cali Fabrics for my dress and I can’t get over how much I love it!

Pick up your copy of the Olympia today!


Made for Mermaids Joy and Mama Joy


Made for Mermaids newest pattern in their Dreamy Collection is here.  The Joy and Mama Joy are classic knit dresses that will be perfect for every occasion.


The Joy features a fitted bodice and a full pleated skirt with multiple skirt and sleeve lengths.


It mashes perfectly with the other dresses is the Dreamy Collection.  I mashed the Noelle top with the pleated peplum of the Joy and love this top!


It looks fantastic in a variety of knits.  I used stretch velvet for my maxi version and also for the Noelle mash.  The floral is a fun scuba knit that really showcases the pleats.




We’re really struggling with pictures lately as it’s been so gloomy and it gets dark so early these days.  I’m afraid blog pics for the next few months are going to be less than stellar- already looking forward to spring and sunny days!

We headed to the mountains for this shoot and my oldest took the pics. It was fun but freeeeezing!  The snow falling is a little help from Photoshop but we missed the real snowfall by just a few minutes.  My girls have gotten to be such troopers with their crazy mom.  Since November, I’ve been paying them for shoots under the condition that they use the money for Christmas presents.  They’ve been more eager and it’s been fun to see them spend their earnings on their siblings and other family.  I’m hoping that after Christmas they’ll go back to being happy with a chocolate or other special treat- wish me luck!

I could see this being my go-to dress for this one.  It fits perfectly, has pockets, and she will die if I make her a maxi version.  This dress and that fabric really just make me so happy!  It was one of those projects that when I finished I was totally tempted to check her out of school just to see it on her… tell me I’m not the only one that gets that excited.

I knew this blue velvet was meant for this little lady.  She’s worn this top to school and it just suits her so well.  I love that hi-low peplum and that collar is so timeless.

I want to love my dress, I really do.  It’s about as comfy as it gets but it really doesn’t flatter me.  It’s not the dress design so much as my indulging in a little too much holiday cheer and not enough hitting the gym.  It’s also the fabric choice for sure.  Velvet shows every little bump and works well in a looser silhouette for me.

It’s a little better styled with a scarf or a belt.

I also made a peplum top in ponte but will definitely size up next time.  This top was my first version in my normal size and the maxi is one size above what I normally wear in M4M.

I will for sure make more though.  I think Liverpool would be a great fabric choice or even a thicker ponte with a bit more stretch.  I placed a big order for fabric all with this pattern in mind!

You can pick up your patterns individually here and here or grab the bundle since you know you’ll want to be matchy-matchy!



Love Notions Maggie and Margot Peplums


I’ve been testing for Love Notions for about a year now and I’m so excited to help Tami celebrate the release of her 50th pattern!!!  The Maggie and Margot Peplums are full of options and will be a great addition to your PDF line-up.

*This post contains affiliate links.


Confession- this test was full of firsts for me.  This was my first EVER peplum make, first one I even tried on really.  This is also my first time using Liverpool.  I’ve got to say that I will definitely be doing both again!


Both the ladies and girls versions come with a basic bodice option or you can do princess seams like in this one.  I love being able to mix fabrics with the princess seams.  Still using my favorite stripes and florals- this time both come from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  You can find the floral here and the stripes are coming soon here (available for pre-order).


The Ladies comes in sizes XS-XXXL and features short, elbow, 3/4, and long sleeves.  There are also three skirt options- swing, gathered, and pleated.  I did a size small, plain bodice, elbow sleeve,  with a swing skirt.

(Another confession- I hate looking at the camera!  It’s so hard to look natural and not look like I’m trying to sell you lingerie!  Hence, the sunglasses in most of my pics AND why I sew for my kids way more than myself!)


For Sophie I did a size 8, 3/4 sleeve, swing skirt top.  The girls version has all the same options and comes in sizes 2T-16 so I’ll be sewing these up for years to come!


As always Tami’s patterns are trimless and feature layers.  They are thoroughly tested and flatter every tester I’ve seen.  The tutorials are always full of helpful tips and tricks and the Love Notions Pattern Support Facebook Group is a great resource if you ever get stuck.

Love Notions is celebrating big time in the Facebook group and it’s given me a chance to look back on my favorite Love Notions patterns.

I have ALOT! From the top- I wear my Canyon Cardigan almost daily and Charlie wears his Moto Maxx pants every time they’re clean.  The Tidal Top wins for cutest quick sew and the Tabitha Top is my perfect dressy casual top.  The Tessa Sheath Dress is the classic dress up or down dress.  My Charlie has requested more Vanguard Pants because he loves all the pockets!  In my search for the perfect dolman top I keep reaching for the La Bella Top for me and my girls- it’s the perfect slim fit that flatters everyone!  The options with the Li’l Laundry Day Tee, Tunic, and Dress make it a pattern I reach for ALL THE TIME!  I love patterns that almost all my kids can wear and the Samson Sweater is just that.  There are still so many options with the Sybil Illusion Skirt that I need to sew up but this pleated version is one of my favorite makes ever.  And finally the pattern that started my Love Notions journey, the Boyfriend Cardigan was my first Love Notions pattern test and I have a couple more planned for this fall.  I love that Tami designs for the whole family.  Looking back through all my makes was so fun and reminded me I want to make so many of them again!


Make sure to pick up you copies here!  I can’t wait to see these start filling up my Facebook feeds!  Such a fun pattern!


Patterns for Pirates Me Heartie Dress


Being my kid is hard.  Mom will make you new clothes all the time but then mom makes you stand outside when it’s 20 degrees and threatening to snow just to take a few pictures.  Never mind that she’s dreaming of spring and makes you a short sleeve dress.  You just suck it up, smile, and know there’s a treat in it for you when you’re done.  And mom hopes she can edit out the goosebumps later 😉


These girls are getting so good at just smiling and pleasing their crazy mom.


And they even have a little fun while they’re at it.


The pattern I have for you today is the just released Patterns for Pirates Me Hearties Dress.  I was thrilled to be able to test it and my girls just love their new dresses and top.


The first one I made was a simple short sleeve bodice with fold-over-elastic binding and a dress length circle skirt.

This was my first time using FOE to bind hems and it was just fantastic! I followed this tutorial from Made for Mermaids and it made for perfect hems every time!


I don’t do circle skirts very often and my girls loved it so much that Sophie requested her own version.  They just twirled and twirled til they were dizzy!


For fabric on these I used a black and white stripe from Purpleseamstress, Club dots from Raspberry Creek and a photo floral print I picked up in LA.  I love the selection of FOE at Hobby Lobby and used a couple different ones for my dresses and top.


After I did the dresses I just couldn’t stop!  The sweetheart neckline option of this pattern is just too cute!


I used a knit lace I had in my stash, backed with white cotton/lycra from Raspberry Creek and Club floral from Raspberry Creek (that is unfortunately sold out).  The neck and sleeves are bound with FOE.


I did the shirt with peplum option and my sleeves are an in between length as I was using every last bit of the lace I could.


I absolutely adore this top and love how sweet it looks on my girly.


There are so many options with this pattern! Check out the Pattern for Pirates Facebook group for some incredible inspiration.  With the lace overlay, this simple dress becomes a stunning fancy frock.  And the best part… you can make one for yourself, too!  Pick up the women’s version here or grab the mommy and me bundle here.


And I saved my favorite picture for the end…  Seriously, this girl is one spunky chica!



Love Notions Sybil Skirt


I wear a skirt usually every Sunday.  So a new skirt pattern that is actually 7, yes 7, patterns in one is just what I need!


Tami at Love Notions has done it again.  I had the chance to test this skirt and with each new version the testers sewed up I knew this was going to be a FABULOUS pattern.


The first version I made was a box pleated, midi-length out of beautiful ponte I grabbed in LA.


This is me showing how excited I am over the pockets!  I just love me some pockets!


It’s such a simple design but it’s so lovely sewn up.

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Styling it was so fun!  I loved my easy everyday look with a tee and sneakers or a dressed up take with a button-up and textured tights.  I also did just a simple sweater and scarf for a normal church service.


After the other tester versions came rolling in I knew I needed to make at least one more.


I did a midi, gored version out of ponte I picked up at Raspberry Creek Fabrics ages ago (she gets ponte in regularly so keep checking back).


I love the detail that the gore brings and the fit is just fantastic.


So these are just two versions.  Let’s talk pattern details.  This pattern is made for knits.  There are seven versions- box pleated, gored, asymmetrical wrap, drop yoke with swing, pencil, and a-line.  You can pick knee-length or midi length and don’t forget the inseam pockets!  There is a yoga waistband (like mine) or an optional control panel waistband.  I have loved every single version I’ve seen.  It flatters all body types and comes in sizes XS-XXXL.   It really is the only skirt pattern you’ll ever need!

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Pick up your copy here!

I am an affiliate for Love Notions and while I will get a small commission off your purchase my opinions are 100% true!  I just adore this pattern and you will too!

Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan


Can you feel that crispness in the air?  We’re getting our first taste of fall and I’m loving it!  I love to throw on a cozy sweater or sweatshirt and dust off my favorite boots.  Fall brings a renewal in our house… we’re back on a schedule, we’ve got new activities and projects, and there’s a new hope as the school year really gets going.  It’s my favorite time of year by far!


As the days get shorter and nights start cooling off the Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan will be perfect.  I got to test this pattern in the Ladies and Girls versions.  It was so fun to sew up and then get to take pictures with my Payton.  I really hate to be in front of the camera but she sure made it fun.



The pattern features a either a shawl collar or a hooded version.  We went with a classic shawl collar but I can’t wait to sew up a cozy hoodie too.

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I love the pockets and think everything should have them.

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Payton asked if she could wear this exact outfit the first day it was cool enough.  She loved the pockets, too!

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Hop on over to Love Notions to pick up your copies.  Use code ‘sewallthecardigans’ for 20% off through the end of the week.

This post contains affiliate links.

The Retro Cool Mingo and Grace Crop Set


I have been impatiently waiting the release of this pattern! I discovered Mingo and Grace after she was featured in the children’s fashion e-magazine Stylo.  I loved her contemporary style and her daughters curls made my heart swoon.


When I was picked to test her newest pattern I was elated.  This pattern features a darling, boxy crop top with short, 3/4 quarter, or sleeveless options.  The cute skirt can have a full elastic waistband or a flat front/elastic back.




I loved the retro feel of this pattern.  I used some black and white gingham (another LA score) and Payton’s fabric combo is from Hobby Lobby (they totally stepped up their fabric game with this new collection!).  I did the flat front skirt option and added pleats to Payton’s to change it up a bit.



That last pic of Sophie is why I sew, see those legs?!!! That girl is so tall and skinny and has such a hard time finding clothes that fit. Thank goodness I can help the girl out 😉

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How ’bout those buttons up the back? So cute, right?!


Paired with jeans, the top is perfect for school or play.  The mix and match options with this set are endless.

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I made the top out of floral ponte and it’s so chic too! It’s perfect with a tank underneath and jeans.  I think these pieces will get mixed and matched and worn over and over.  I love the simplicity and elegance of this pattern.  Pick up your copy as fast as you can- I can’t get enough of it! Head on over before 9/7/15 and use code LABORDAY20 for 20% off or join her Facebook Group for even more savings!


To check out more tester picks head over to Candice Ayala.  Her version is so preppy cute and shows how versatile this pattern can be!

Hey June Hatteras Hoodie X3


I’ve been pattern testing a lot lately and while I enjoy it, I’ve gotten more selective on what projects I’ll undertake and sign up for.  I rarely will sew anything that takes more than a couple of hours- I try my hardest to sew only during naptime and I hate leaving unfinished projects.  That said, there are still certain designers I jump at the chance to test for and Adrianna of Hey June is one of them.  Her latest pattern is really three patterns in one and it is fantastic!


I made view C in a size 12 for my eleven-year-old.  We both love, love this hoodie.  He picked out the french terry and it was perfect for this pattern.  I sew a ton but there are still so many techniques that I’ve never done (meaning I’ve avoided them as long as possible ).  This was my first zippered jacket and Adrianna walks you through it beautifully and the finish on the inside is so profesh!



I proudly held up the finished sweatshirt to my husband and said, “You’ve got to see this!” To which he said. “Oh yeah, I saw that.  I totally thought you bought that so I didn’t say anything.”  I’ll take that as “that-sweatshirt-is-incredibly-well-made-and-looks-like-a-million-bucks” and all the glory goes to Adrianna’s impeccable finishing techniques that make the inside as clean and pretty as the outside.


Sophie got view A in a size 7 out of yummy sweater knit from LA.  It’s got a touch of my favorite knock-off Liberty print as the facing.  With Sophie, I’ve decided that if I would wear it then she would love it too.  She is my mini-me in so many ways and I love that we share almost the exact taste in clothes.  I’ll live it up while I can.



I love this picture I caught of the two of them- totally their personalities.  Alex is always a crack-up and Soph has got this model thing down.


After the two I tested I couldn’t wait to recreate a hoodie I’d seen on Pinterest.


My version-


I used view A and sized up two sizes for ease, leaving off the bands.  I used a mystery gauzy-linen that had some give to it and it was exactly what I was going for.




It just reminds me so much of growing up in Southern California.  It’s made for bonfires at the beach and cool summer nights. This one is my favorite and I want it in my size so badly! We’re twisting Adrianna’s arm to get a ladies version out pronto!

The Ladies Uptown/Downtown Dress


I’ve already professed my adoration for Terri of Sew Straight and Gather.  Her patterns are the bomb and I am thrilled that she is now working on ladies patterns!  I had the chance to test for her again on her latest project, The Ladies Uptown/Downtown Dress.


This pattern is another winner- lots of sleeve options, knee and maxi lengths, and tank and sleeveless choices too.  There is also a cowl neck that I adore!  My girls have a few bimaa sweaters that I love and now I get to join in on the cowl fun.

I have to admit I was worried how this dress would skim my i-had-five-kids-belly.  The cut was way more flattering than I expected and I loved seeing how it flattered all body types on the other testers.  It really looks amazing on every shape and size- magic pattern, I swear.


I fell in love with this gorgeous jersey knit from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  The drape and flow was perfect for this dress.  Another great fabric/pattern combination!