Madeline Ballet Sweater by Laela Jeyne Patterns

October is a rough month to sew for me since three Halloween costumes-to-be haunt me, (ha! see what I did there?) but I had to make time to sew up this ballet-style wrap sweater because I knew how utterly lovely and totally useful it would be for fall.

Bear in mind, these are both first versions of a test that had three versions.  The arms were slimmed a bit and the armscye taken in a bit to remove excess after these photos were shot.  Another difficult part of fall sewing is that the light is long gone by the time my photographer gets home from work so I have to work around weekends and can’t always sew/photograph a final version by the deadline.

Still, I really like how my hot pink French Terry version turned out!  I had blended out at the waist, but turns out I didn’t need to do so with this fabric.  I get a comfy, slouchier vibe from this one.  I wore it this week over a sleeveless maxi dress and it was perfect!  I knew this pattern was a winner.  😉

My second version is made out of distressed knit (which I’m using for everything these days!) that I bought from Mily Mae Fabrics a couple of months ago. This one is such a great, almost-denim neutral, and I got a better fit sticking within the same size all over.  I did go back and remove a little of the excess fabric on this one, and the updated fit is right on.

The darling (and practical!) Madeline Ballet Sweater is part of the Fall 2017 Collection available at Laela Jeyne Patterns (aff). On sale now until October 21! Check out the rest of the tester blog tour for more inspiration!


Sew Sew IlseKutti CoutureSea of EstrogenLunatiekFlaxfield Sewing


Tip StitchedLunatiekNini and AshMargarita on the RossSew You Think You Can Sew


Diskordia’s Curvy Sewing Kelly’s Sewing CreationsFlaxfield Sewing Katie Sews Things My Little Lady and GentlemanSweet Meadow Threads

The Frida Top and Dress from Designer Stitch

Add this one to the mistakes-were-made-but-I-love-it-anyway shelf.  The Frida is a take on the lovely vintage style Mexican blouses full of embroidery.  I don’t embroider, nor could I hunt down a suitable embroidered border print fabric that I loved, so I went with a more modern all-over embroidered cotton fabric for my top length garment.


It’s a delight how Ann challenges her testers to push their comfort zones and stretch to a higher fashion territory.  I’m pretty good and sticking with what I like, so I appreciate the (ahem!) gentle nudge.  My first choice (which I have yet to make) was a chambray-colored rayon with incredible drape, so I’m taking baby steps in the right direction.

And my mistake? I sewed my pin tucks inside out. The horror!  But, boy, do I hate seam-ripping since it mostly ruins the experience for me, so here they stay.  I’m pretty sure they’ll go unnoticed by the general public and just bother me alone.


This is another beautiful pattern that challenged me; I more frequently sew knits which are far more forgiving, and the Frida forced me to get into the precision-sewing mindset. I love the details like the puffed sleeves and button closure at the back of the neck (which  I failed to get a good picture of) that make it feel upscale.

Frida pattern available at Designer Stitch.

Sewing a Strike-off for CrissX Customs Fabrics

Over the summer, I whimsically applied to join the sewist group over at CrissX Custom Fabrics, and to my great delight I was chosen!  Happy dance ensued, of course.  This round features amazing large-scale prints from artist Megan Kumpula’s original acrylic painting, Cotton Candy. I particularly love how the canvas texture transferred to the print, which gives it a really neat depth.  The fabric base featured here is cotton lycra with excellent four way stretch and nice drape. IMG_20170914_115013

Since CrissX is a Canadian company, they of course use the metric system and I was given a meter to work with rather than a yard!  Bonus inches, people! Thus I was able to sew two lovely garments.  The first is a Pattern Emporium Starlight Hi-Lo Skirt, and I used the tall party length.


I love this easy skirt since it’s incredibly flattery and a quick sew to boot!  My second item is the Juniper Jersey from Blank Slate.  The yoke is a perfect way to utilize a smaller piece of fabric, and I borrowed the pocket from the Austin Tee for an extra little pop of color.


I first considered a wilder pairing, but in the end I think that the solid gray picks up the gray flecks in the Honey Comb print and coordinates really nicely.  I liked this shirt so much I just wore it the rest of the day after photos while we met up with some friends at a new local brew house.  Win!

CrissX Customs Cotton Candy round is open for preorder now through October 8th.  The collection of prints is also available on French Terry, Bamboo Lycra and Double Brushed Poly in addition to the Cotton Lycra featured here.