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  • National City Swap Meet shopping spree

    I was lucky enough to visit the National City Swap Meet in San Diego, California again this past weekend. The weather was perfect and the parking lot was packed!

    It’s $1 for adults to get in, and children 12 and under are free with a paid adult. My daughter and I had to drop my mom off at the San Diego Airport after her visit, so we drove the 10 minutes down to the meet before heading home. Parking is free, but keep in mind that earlier in the day, parking will be a bit crazy in the dirt parking lot next to the meet.

    We arrived at about 9am and the meet was in full swing. My daughter likes to check out the vendors with toys, jewelry and makeup, and my main purpose of going is, of course, for the fabrics.

    I was happily surprised to see one of my favorite Saturday vendors back again after missing her the last 2 times that I’ve been. She always has a great variety of embroidered fabrics/lace, velvets, wovens, and popular brushed poly’s that can be found on many online fabric sites. Her prices are fabulous – my purchases ranged from $1/y to $3/y (for athletic material). I spent $40 at her tent, for a total of 17 yards.

    Next, we went up the main fabric aisle to see my other favorite vendors. Who am I kidding, they’re all my favorites! We checked out the tents with different embroidered trims, zippers, buttons, elastics, laces, leathers – anything you could ever want for your sewing collection.

    We found a bag full of fabulous ITY-type material and mesh, great for the summer, in the piles at a popular tent. These were $2 per yard. I also picked up some scuba in a beautiful dark colorway of a print I’ve picked up in the past – this was $3 per yard. Across from their main tent is another one with a bunch of $1 fabrics, as well as $2 and up. This time the vendor also brought elastics and trims – what a treat! I went home with a giant roll of wide elastic, just great for waistbands.

    Lastly we visited the final vendor on the aisle – I love the sheer amount of beautiful fabrics they carry. They have wovens, mesh, jerseys, denim, shiney spandex, athletic – all kinds of materials.

    All total, I got about 40 yards of fabric (a little more, since they give generous cuts) and the roll of elastic for $93 dollars. Just another fabulous morning spent at the National City Swap Meet!

    Kelly loves to share photos and reels of her makes on her Instagram.

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  • Love Notions – Coda Coat

    (**this post contains affiliate links)

    Love Notions has just released their latest pattern, the Coda Coat! As an ambassador for Love Notions, I had the pleasure of testing Coda. I will admit that at first I was skeptical of whether I would like a “quilted” coat or not. I know that I’ve never attempted quilting, and wasn’t ready to tackle it for this pattern, but that’s okay, there are many other fabric options for this coat!

    I made my first toile of the Coda in a heavy weight woven that I had laying in my stash. It worked well but wasn’t the prettiest (I had picked it up very cheap just for testing purposes.) Then I started to think about what I could use for my final version. I looked online to see what was available in pre-quilted fabrics and saw that it was pretty limited options. So, thinking on it more, my mind went to quilted bedspreads!

    I went to Facebook Marketplace and started searching for quilted bedspreads, and wow! There were so many great ones just waiting to be repurposed into a Coda Coat. The best thing about the one I had picked up was the binding that I could unpick and reuse and not have to make or purchase separately.

    On my way home from picking it up, I stopped into a Ross store (I’m in the US). They had just put out an entire rack of lightweight quilted bedspreads just perfect for this pattern!

    I think a denim version would be beautiful, or some twill with added breast pockets could be interesting as well. Get creative with the Coda Coat – there are many options of fabrics that you can use and repurpose for this wonderful pattern!

    When visiting the Love Notions website, don’t forget to use the code found in my Linktree to get an extra 10% off your order!

    Kelly shares many photos and videos of her sews on Instagram!

  • Designer Spotlight: Love Notions

    (this post contains affiliate links)

    If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, then you know that I enjoy sewing Love Notions patterns – so much so that I’ve actually become a Love Notions Ambassador for 2023!

    Things that I really enjoy about LN is their diverse patterns (for women, men and children) great drafting and some really unique/fun ways of sewing the patterns together. They have an updated women’s size range that now covers XS – 5X with a full bust piece option (and are continuously working to bring all patterns up to date in this range.) The men’s sizing ranges from XS – 3X, 4X, or 5X depending on the pattern. Girl sizes cover 2T-16, and boys go from 2T – 14.

    My most recent make is the Tessa Sheath dress that I mashed together with the Laundry Day Tee (LDT).

    I took the cowl from the LDT and put it on the Tessa – I have worn this dress so many places already, like out for a family walk at Christmas, out for dinner at a winery and even casually to pick up my kiddos at school.

    I also really enjoy the Olympia dress pattern – it has this really cool neckline that is actually easier to create than it may seem.

    I wear my Olympia for special occasions (like attending a wedding, or family dinner at a nice restaurant) since I made it in a bold, eye-catching print. I think a solid color hacked top version would be very versatile to wear many places as well.

    The Legato Jeans are a great staple pattern if you’re a wearer of jeans (or want to give them a try!) How amazing is it that we can sew a bespoke pair that fit us just the way we want?

    I made several pairs in testing to refine the fit and my final pair are great to wear out for any occasion – I can easily dress them up with some booties and a sweater or keep it more casual with a t-shirt and flip flops. Here I paired my Legatos with an Arlington sweater!

    If you haven’t already, I recommend you give Love Notions a try. The Laundry Day Tee is free when you join their Facebook group if you would like to see their pattern-making style. If you are already a fan, take advantage of the sale from February 2 – 6th, 2023 and get 30% off patterns on your wish list. If you use code KellyG10 you will get an additional 10% off!

    If you would like to see more of my sewing work, check me out on Instagram and Linktree.

  • Love Notions – Tessa Sheath Dress/Laundry Day Tee mash

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    I picked up this beautiful brushed ribbed sweater knit from Walmart’s bundle section for $4 (2 yards total). I knew right away that I wanted it to be a sweater dress and thought the Tessa Sheath Dress from Love Notions would be perfect, but I also wanted a cowl neck to go with the season. I quickly looked through my LN patterns and found that the Laundry Day Tee (free pattern when you join the Facebook group) cowl would fit really well.

    I checked to see about the fit of the cowl with Tessa by first tracing out the Tessa neckline on a piece of tracing paper, and then overlaying it onto the Laundry Day Tee pattern. I use a projector to cut out my patterns, so I just traced out the Tessa necklines and laid them with the projector file of the LDT.

    The front necklines are pretty much identical when you use the scoop neckline, so it’s perfect! The back neckline is a little bit different, so you can go ahead and cut the back neckline to match the LDT – or you can be like me and just go ahead and use the Tessa back neckline (I’m more of a “let’s wing it” type of sewist, so that little difference doesn’t bother me, but it’s super easy to just cut the LDT back neckline if you want!)

    Then it’s just a matter of sewing up the pattern as per the Laundry Day Tee tutorial and you’ve got the perfect mash of a dress!

    For this version, I also added a split hem at the bottom side seams. To do this, I chose how high up from the hem I wanted the split to go and when I sewed up the side seams, I stopped at that point, leaving the bottom open.

    Then I turned the side seams to the wrong side the 3/8″ seam allowance and top stitched around the vent. Starting at the bottom on one side, I sewed up to the top of the split, pivoted my piece to sew across the top, and then pivoted again to come down the other side. (You can do this on your sewing machine with a straight stitch, or with a cover stitch, whatever your preference.)

    Then you just need to hem the bottom as per the pattern, and you’re done! I love my Tessa/LDT mash. If you would like to see the movement of this dress, I’ve got a video of it in action on my Instagram.

  • Fall Sewing with Raspberry Creek Fabrics

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    Raspberry Creek Fabrics is well known for its CLUB line and custom printed fabrics.  I was recently pattern testing the Feyre from Made for Mermaids and one of the testers made the cutest plaid version – I knew instantly that I would have to make one for myself, and I also knew that Raspberry Creek Fabrics would have the perfect plaid to make it with.

    Feyre is a fabulous pattern for fall with many options included (and a youth version as well). For my plaid Feyre I chose to do the shawl neckline, short crop with lantern sleeves.

    The suggested fabrics for Feyre are medium to heavy weight knits with at least 25% stretch – with the caveat that if you’re doing the lantern or short sleeve you can get away with less stretch. Sweatshirt fleece is on the list of suggested fabric types, so I chose to go with the Plum Mauve Olive and Plaid Heathered Fleece. This was my first time using this fabric and I was impressed with how soft and cuddly the backside is! If you’ve ever seen any of my sewing previously, you will know just how much this color palette speaks to me for fall.

    I moved to using a projector for cutting out my patterns, and I’m so happy that I did. I like to use tracing paper (doctor’s office paper by the rolls) when I want to copy out the pattern piece instead of cutting the fabric directly. This is especially helpful because you can see through the paper to see where a fabric’s design print will be when you cut out your pieces.

    I also mark straight to my pattern piece where the design from my fabric is so I can easily match when I’m cutting the mirror side.  This heathered fleece plaid is printed horizontal/vertically, but I wanted the design to be on the bias, so I cut it that way – using the tracing paper pattern really helped to keep my pieces lined up correctly. I decided to cut the collar and bottom band with the plaid lines running straight to add some visual interest.

    I found this heathered fleece very easy to cut out and sew; my machines had no problem with this fabric. It’s a perfect medium weight for this pattern and really shows off the shawl collar and the gathering on the lantern sleeve well. It’s super comfy, but not too hot for my California weather.

    Have you had a chance to try out the heathered fleece from Raspberry Creek Fabrics? What are some of your other fall favorite fabrics?

    If you would like to see more of my sewing, please feel free to follow me on Instagram and TikTok!

  • How much fabric should you purchase?

    (*this post contains affiliate links – thank you for your support!)

    I see this question in Facebook groups a lot – if you’re out fabric shopping and you don’t have a pattern already in mind, but you see a fabric you just have to have, how much of the fabric should you purchase?

    (National City Swap Meet)

    I’ve been sewing long enough that I have a pretty good idea of how much fabric I’ll need for different garments.

    I have a handful of pattern companies that I love and know very well and can make a pretty good guess on how much fabric I will need for a certain type of garment. Each company has their own size chart and they each will give you approximate yardage needed for each pattern in their pattern listing info.

    (Made for Mermaids Ruthie pattern)

    Some fabric requirements charts are more extensive than others and those are really helpful (like Made for Mermaids).

    If I find a fabric that is perfect for leggings (like EAMs Urban Legs), I know I can get away with about a yard to 1 1/4 yards (I’m 5’4″ so don’t need major length). But if I want a wider leg pant (like SEDs Penelope Pants) then I’ll need 2 yards, and if it’s a woven pattern sometimes I need 3.

    If I’m thinking of a long sleeved top, then I know that generally I’ll need a yard for the sleeves and a yard for the bodice (and about a half yard if I’m adding a hood) – but for something like the GS Ultra Crop, the bodice is really cropped so I won’t need as much for the bodice. If I find a fabulous fabric for a fitted sleeveless dress like the M4M Scarlett, depending on the length of the skirt, I can get away with about a yard to 1 1/4 yards. (For this gold version I used an inch or two more than a yard!)

    (Lots of neutrals & solids in my stash)

    If I find a really great feeling neutral or solid, I tend to pick those up to keep in my stash (a yard or two usually does it). I love to use them for linings (so I use less of my main fabric) and also for basics like tanks or t-shirts to go with my funkier main fabric choices.

    When you see a fabric that you like, consider what the fabric looks like it should be – should it be a dress, or maybe a top? That much usually pops into my head even if I don’t have a specific pattern in mind. From there I can decide if I need 1 or 2 or 3 yards of it. If I’m at the swap meet and it’s a fabric that has my heart singing, I’ve been known to get up to 4 or 5 yards.

    Get to know what the fabric requirements are for your size and you’ll always have a good idea of how much to buy when you see that fabric that you just can’t live without!

    Find me on Instagram, TikTok and Linktree!

  • Sonia Estep Designs Winnie Wrap Skirt

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    Sonia Estep Designs has come out with a really great knit wrap skirt pattern as their June Exclusive Patreon pattern.

    There are three different lengths to choose from, above knee, below knee and maxi. I made an above knee version during testing and it’s a really fun length. For my finals and photos, I sewed up a below knee length. There’s something about this sewing season that is making me sew all the midi/below knee length skirts and I’m loving the romantic vibes!

    I paired my Winnie with a Rosie v-neck top. Rosie is the latest website release. It includes v-neck or square necklines, bodysuit option, as well as regular top length, sleeveless or sleeves and a super cute ruched sleeve as well.

    I used a Walmart 3 yards for $8 bundle that I found a few weeks back, and it worked wonderfully for this pattern. It only has 2-way stretch but the pattern was designed with zero ease, so it worked well. I love the design on the fabric and was happy that I had a 3-yard bundle so I could pattern match the stripes.

    Patreon is a monthly subscription service. You can join for as low as $7 a month and can cancel at any time.

    If you would like to see more of my work, please follow me on Instagram and follow my linktree!

  • Hacking fun – Tella Tank from Made for Mermaids

    The new Tella Tank from Made for Mermaids is a fantastic, relaxed tank with a whole slew of options from different lengths, different armscye depths and even different backs. I took the pattern one step further and did two hacks to the pattern, one to have an open side seam and one to have an open side seam with a tie under the arm. You can read all about them on the Made for Mermaids blog here!

    Follow me on Instagram to see more about my sewing journey!

  • Designer Spotlight: Made for Mermaids

    (*this post contains affiliate links – thank you for your support!)

    Made for Mermaids is all about sweet and simple patterns. They have designs for everyone in the family and in a great size range. The instructions are easy to follow, and the pieces are easy to print or project.

    Felicity

    There are 5 designers that make up the design team at M4M. I love this variety because you get so many different designs to suit anyone’s taste. They have a great blog post that you can read to find out Who’s Who at M4M.

    Zoey Overalls with a Lee Raglan

    Each pattern is tested by a full group of testers in all sizes. The designers listen to the feedback and make changes accordingly before putting out a pattern.

    Corinne bodysuit and Clueless Cardi with Pepper Puff Sleeves (cardi hack is on the blog!)

    There’s a blog where they show hacks to their patterns, as well as helpful sewing tips and sharing of knowledge about things such as what needles to use for your projects and there are also Sew-A-Longs.

    Bridgette Nightie

    One of the things I love about Made for Mermaids patterns is that my upper bust, full bust and waist all fit into the same size, with my hips being a few sizes smaller. This is awesome because I don’t need to do an FBA like I do for other companies and grading down for the hips is a pretty easy thing to accomplish. Their patterns have a great size range, going from upper bust/full bust/hip 31″/30″/29″ to 53″/60″/63″ (some of the older patterns do have a smaller range).

    Scarlett

    There are all kinds of patterns to choose from, from tanks and tees to more business casual with skirts, pants and dresses, all the way to more formal looks with full length gowns.

    Sale runs until Sunday 5/8
    My closet is full of M4M designs!

    Right now is the perfect time to take a look at the patterns Made for Mermaids has to offer, as they’re having a 30% off sale (use the code “summer”). I’ve got my wish list ready to go so I can sew up even more fabulous outfits for summer (and I even have a few patterns on my list for my husband and kiddos!)

    I post regularly on Instagram if you would like to follow me there!

  • Designer Spotlight: Ellie & Mac Sewing Patterns

    (*This post contains affiliate links – thank you for your support!)

    Ellie & Mac Patterns are a favorite for good reason – they’ve got so many great designs for all members of your family, in great inclusive sizing and with affordable pricing (and there are sales always going on). Looking back in my purchase account on the website, I can see that my very first E&M sew was the South Shore Romper, three years ago! It was the first romper I ever sewed up, and I instantly loved the ease of sewing up the patterns, fantastic instructions and the fit was wonderful for my first go at the pattern.

    Ellie & Mac have a weekly sale where they pick a handful of patterns to offer for $2 each! (Previously known as the Whacky $1 weekly sale) I LOVE the weekly sale – how amazing is this company to put their patterns on sale on rotation so everyone can build up their pattern library of amazing patterns at an amazing price? Not only are the weekly sales awesome, but the regular prices are extremely fair and affordable as well.

    The newer patterns have multiple options to sew up with each design (for example different leg/skirt lengths, different sleeve options and neckline options). With the South Shore Romper pattern, I had first sewed up the shorts version, but last fall I sewed up a cropped pants version that is in high rotation for wearing when it’s a bit cooler out.

    E&M patterns are current with the latest style trends. This past winter I saw that sweater dresses were popping up all over the place, and I just had to use the Crossver Top and Dress pattern to sew one up for myself. (The Crossover Top and Dress is part of the $2 Weekly Sale this week!)

    I love how you can make casual outfits or even more dressy outfits, all dependent upon the fabric that you choose. I used the Urban Legs pattern for my leggings (my first pair of leggings that fit me “just right” without any tweaks!) and the Fall in Love Sweater pattern for a casual winter look.

    Here is one of my favorite “dressy” looks, the Wrapped in Love. I went into this sew thinking it would be time consuming, but it was surprisingly quick and easy to sew and ended up being super comfy in double brushed poly.

    Currently there is a Spring Clearance Sale going on on the website, offering some of their older patterns for $3 each. These patterns are a bit outdated with older instruction formats and don’t necessarily have AO or projector files (more info is on the website). There are also some free patterns to try out in the Weekly Sale section.

    I hope I have given you some inspiration for some sews that you can make using Ellie & Mac patterns!

    I post regularly on Instagram if you would like to follow me there!