Sewing for Distraction: Love Notions Sybil Skirt

Sewing can be like a good friend that sits quietly with you to bring you comfort in trying times if you let it. The Love Notions redesigned Sybil Illusion Skirt is a pattern that brought me comfort during a difficult time. 

In 2016, one of my best friends from college was killed. I was fairly new to sewing. So much so, that it took all my attention. My friend that passed away was a rare breed of devoted friend. He always asked about and shared with me articles and news relevant to Elise and my interests. He was so complimentary and interested in my sewing and knitting. I decided to sew a gored version of the Sybil Skirt for the visitation. The front and back of the skirt are each made of three pieces sewn together. I can almost guarantee those pieces ended up as a mixed up mess, because I was in such a state. I don’t think I told anyone I made my skirt, not even my very best friend of almost 30 years that accompanied me. However, it brought me such great comfort.

Now, I’d love to share with you a bit about the redesigned Sybil Illusion Skirt. When I offered to test any version of the Sybil Skirt, it certainly felt like kismet when the gored version was selected for me. It felt uplifting to see how my skills have improved and I even managed to get the pieces in the right places. I often direct good thoughts toward a person or situation when I sew, almost like a silent prayer. I thought about my friend and my friendship with his brother and other friends that have strengthened since we lost him.

I’m also thankful to my husband who took these photos for me. There was a downpour once we got started, but he stuck with it. He is a great support to me. I used the Raspberry Creek Fabrics Sea Blue Modal Spandex Jersey Knit Fabric for this knee length version of the skirt. I made a matching Ballad Blouse with Raspberry Creek Fabrics Tonal Teal Blue Coral and Yellow Abstract Square Print Stretch Crepe. I used some beautiful antique buttons that I had stashed.

This is the midi length. I again used the Modal Jersey Knit in charcoal gray, but it no longer seems available. I used the Raspberry Creek Fabrics Tonal Grey and Off White Tossed Small Floral Print Stretch Crepe for my Ballad Blouse.

In conclusion, you can reliably count on me to be the last person to pass judgement on how others deal with adversity or distract themselves. I just hear through sewing groups some people feel like they lose their will to sew in tough times. An approach to try to help you through might be to sew something easy or small to see if it soothes your soul as it has mine. Always feel free to reach out to me via Instagram and Facebook if this resonates with you or you’d like to talk. Connecting is my favorite part of sewing.

Here is a link, if you’d like to read more about my dear friend:

My Favorite Things: Raspberry Creek Fabrics

My very favorite thing is sewing with and for my daughter with Raspberry Creek Fabrics. My second favorite thing is exploring nature in our county and state parks with her. I am so excited to marry all of that in my blog post!

I was so excited to join this blog tour. I told Elise that she could pick any of her favorite prints in a huge selection of substrates (materials). I’ve been sewing for five or six years with these prints, so that’s a lot to choose from. She easily picked the avocados from last summer in jersey knit. Brittany Laidlaw has said she designed these for her daughter, but Elise has always thought they were designed for her. Avocados are absolutely her very favorite food.

Now that she has her favorite fabric of all time, I asked her to pick her favorite pattern. She picked both of our favorite outfits for adventuring. We are both wearing the Love Notions Classic Tee. There is a Girls Classic Tee that goes up to size 16, but this girl doesn’t fit into it anymore! She is wearing the Girls Luna Loungewear shorts and I’m wearing the Ladies version. This is our favorite shorts pattern, because it has a lot of ease and elastic in the waistband to stay up when we are exploring the outdoors. She chose our stash of Solid Olive Green 4 Way Stretch French Terry Knit Fabric With Spandex for the shorts. She picked jersey knit for a new pair last week and that also works great, because Raspberry Creek Fabrics jersey knit is a very nice weight.

Another important element of favorite things is that we love to go to parks and explore. So, my husband took us to one of our favorite parks for photos. We are at Cool Creek Park which is part of the wonderful Hamilton County Parks where we reside. I cannot tell you how much solace these parks brought us in the thick of the pandemic. I post a lot of our park adventures in my Instagram stories.

And finally, you rarely get a photo, but the photographer is our favorite guy. Not only does he not accept any form of payment for his off-site photography, but he took us out for ice cream afterward.

And now for our favorite sewing tool. Our lives have been made so much easier by Frixon markers. You can iron the marks off, because they disappear with heat. We ensure that we stain treat them before washing just to be safe. Since we usually mark on the wrong side of the fabric, it’s not an issue, though. Elise is a new sewist and she thinks these are so great to use to trace her patterns on fabric. I wish I’d used them early on in my sewing process to identify the cut pieces like front and back. As you can imagine, I also use them a lot to put E’s and N’s on things like these shirts, because we are now very close in sizes in some garments and I’m making them together.

Thanks for stopping by! Elise and I really hope you enjoyed learning about our favorite things. Also featured today is my kind friend Emily and her blog, Replicate Then Deviate. Also, Tami Tanner Peterson’s blog, Sew Sophie Lynn, is featured. She makes the most amazing garments then photographs them with such artistry.

Love Notions Game Day Jersey

Game Day Jerseys and Luna Loungewear Shorts

Some pretty big news was announced today for us. I was named a brand ambassador for Love Notions Sewing Patterns. Elise and I are huge fans! Not only of the patterns but of the wonderful women that own and manage the company and the inclusive culture they have built. I can participate in every single one of their sew alongs, classes, meet ups, because they go the extra mile to make them accessible.  I can honestly tell you that I ask every time and never once were they not very willing to implement a solution so I could participate.  And I attend nearly everything they offer.  I’m proud beyond words to represent this amazing organization. I also love the support and encouragement of the Facebook group. It is a place you can always go and be assured that other members will lift you up.

This is the first Love Notions patterns I made. It is a Whistler Pull-Over from 2016, when I was very new to sewing knits. I had just started sewing woven garments the year before. And I think this was the second garment I made myself. Five year old Elise was so cute but still was learning to smile for pictures.

A super fun part of being an ambassador is that I get to sew up the pattern on sale for $5 Feature Fridays and share it with my sewing friends. This week it’s the Game Day Jersey. I am wearing it with my favorite knit shorts, the Luna Loungewear Shorts. For this Game Day Jersey, I used some Raspberry Creek Fabrics jersey knit print that I had left over with their solid black. I thought it was perfect, since I do wear my heart on my sleeve! And I certainly have a lot of love for the sewing community.

I made this version last July. This Game Day Jersey was such a bright spot for me in a challenging year. The Raspberry Creek Fabrics Sun Stripe jersey knit is a forever available print that you can still get. It was perfect with my Allegro Bottoms.

My sewing sidekick didn’t think she wanted a Kids’ Game Day Jersey. That is until she realized all the ambassadors were sharing theirs. Since it is her aspiration to be an ambassador-in-training, she needed one. It turned out that the color blocking just wasn’t for her. She actually really loves this with the one color and stripes on the sleeves. It is perfect for decals and I bet panels would be great, too. I noticed after planning it out that my friend Rachel made something very similar for her son that’s on the listing and pattern. It was ideal timing to celebrate my girl’s accomplishment on Wednesday of completing the school year.

Here are the links to the patterns that are $5 only today (Friday, May 28th if you are reading this later). I’ve shared my affiliate links in this post. That provides me commission, but doesn’t cost any extra for the purchaser. But if that makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to go straight and purchase from the Love Notions web site. It won’t hurt my feelings at all. And I’d be really glad for as many friends as possible to get these patterns for $5, so we can all sew together.

Ladies’ Game Day Jersey
Kids’ Game Day Jersey
Men’s Game Day Jersey

Fabrics for Love Notions Patterns

I am so excited to see all the great pattern purchases happening during the 40% off sale. I want to share a variety of the fabrics that I’ve tried. Some of my favorites like Sloane Sweater, Rockford/Wrigley Raglan, Resolution Bottoms, and some others aren’t featured, because I tend to use the same fabrics again and again. You can click on any of the photos below and make them larger if you’d like, too.

Rhapsody Blouse

You are seeing the Rhapsody Blouse first, because this is my favorite Love Notions pattern. It calls for wovens and I find the fit forgiving. The bias binding can be a bit tricky on the first one, but after you complete it once it’s very straight forward.

Glissando Pants and Skirt

The Glissando is my favorite woven pants and skirt pattern. The button front is my favorite part. Another version can be seen in the Rhapsody collage above. I used Rayon Linen for that one.

Allegro Bottoms

The Allegro Bottoms are a wonderful pattern that I really enjoy. It uses woven fabrics. It is very comfortable. I especially love the shorts version.

Forte Top & Dress

The Forte Top is so much fun to sew and wear! You use knits on this one. The one I made in the middle recently is just a simple, dressy top. There are many, many more options that I have yet to try, too.

Luna Loungewear Shorts

The Luna Loungewear Shorts are our favorite knit shorts. What makes them so great is the elastic waistband. We do a lot of hiking in the summer. These are so comfortable and stay put.

Breckenridge Henley

The Breckenridge Henley is simply the perfect knit top for fall. I collect antique buttons, so I am really wild over this pattern. It’s such a good excuse to use my button stash or shop for new buttons!

Sunday Romper

The Sunday Romper is one pattern that I think we may have sampled every variety. I even recently made the dress in Jersey Knit. It is just so great for keeping cool and comfortable. Elise’s cherry version is a favorite outfit for sure.

Classic Tee

I will end with the Classic Tee pattern, which perhaps should be called the perfect tee. It is so comfortable that I’ve made many in Jersey Knit to sleep in. As you can see, you can use many different knit fabrics. The top always seems to hold its shape.

Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan: Sweater Knit vs. French Terry

Thigh Length Hooded version in Raspberry Creek Fabrics Hacci Sweater Knit

If you came here looking for an epic battle between Sweater Knit and French Terry to dominate the Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan, I’m really sorry to disappoint you. Both make for a beautiful Boyfriend Cardigan. I’ve made eight of these cardigans and just wanted to share with you the differences.

2018 version in Raspberry Creek Fabrics French Terry

I made this Boyfriend Cardigan out of Raspberry Creek Fabrics French Terry. I like the French Terry, because it’s really stable. It was easy to sew the pockets on. My shawl collar hangs just right. Also the pattern is constructed so beautifully that it doesn’t look stiff or boxy on.

Thigh Length Shawl Collar version in Boho Fabrics Brushed Ribbed Knit

But here you have a recent Boyfriend Cardigan that I made in Boho Fabrics Brushed Rib Knit fabric. I have used their Brushed Rib Knit fabric on many garments. The main draw is how incredibly soft this is. It’s also very forgiving to work with. If you match your thread pretty closely, you can’t see much of the stitch definition, so any mistakes don’t show.

Thigh Length Hooded in progress tester version in So Sew English Rayon French Terry

So, what are some of the cons? The Sweater Knit can be delicate. I actually tore a hole near the seam of the ribbed knit one that I made this week. It also was a bit fiddly getting those pockets on. However, French Terry has a similar issue. There are loops on the wrong side. If you accidentally catch something on one of those loops, you could cause a fabric run or small hole.

Thigh Length Hooded version in Raspberry Creek Fabrics Hacci Sweater Knit

In conclusion, I hope this blog post informed you a bit about sewing with Sweater Knit and French Terry, but mostly convinced you to sew all the Boyfriend Cardigans. The pattern is on sale for $5 Friday, March 26th and then at a reduced rate of $9 Saturday and Sunday. Here is my affiliate link if you’d like to purchase this pattern:

The Girls Boyfriend Cardigan is also $5 on Friday only. I have made my daughter several, but I didn’t do a good job of capturing them. Here is one of her favorites that she wore when her group that her dad coached won our state’s Math Pentathlon.

Girls Boyfriend Cardigan:

How to Add a Shelf Bra to a Raglan Rash Guard

When I made my sweet girl the Made for Mermaids Women’s Reagan Rash Guard this year, she wasn’t comfortable not have any support in front. She wasn’t thrilled with adding cups to the lining. My solution was to add a shelf bra to the front piece. In this post, I share the instructions, because I couldn’t find any instructions out there for a raglan rash guard.

I don’t want to share the actual picture of the pattern piece, so I don’t have a picture of this part. However, the first thing I did was determine how long, I needed the bra piece to be. I took her favorite bra and matched it to the arm scythe of the pattern piece but started 3/8″ from the top of the piece to allow for the seam allowance. This got me pretty close but Elise still felt it was 1/2″ to high. So, you may need to adjust.

Then, I cut the entire front piece for the rash guard out of power mesh but shortened the length based on the measurement above. I read some posts that said make the power mesh larger due to the lack of stretch or smaller to make it have better support. So, I went with just the same size. You can definitely adjust this based on your experience, but this worked for us.

Next, I cut the swim elastic for the bottom of the power mesh. I used 1″ wide swim elastic. You’ll want to cut the length of swim elastic an 1″ or 1 1/2” shorter than the pattern piece/power mesh piece.  You may want to play around with the measurement a bit until it gathers just a tiny bit as illustrated in the picture below.

Here is what it looked like sewing. I needed to stretch a bit.
This illustrates after you’ve sewn on the elastic.

After I sewed the elastic in place, I basted the bra piece on the wrong side of the front piece of the rash guard. This pattern has a 3/8″ seam allowance, so I basted with a the 1/8″ – 1/4″ seam allowance.

After that, I added a lining, because I thought my girl would be fussy with the elastic and power mesh against her skin. I cut the entire front piece out of swim lining to make the lining. It might not be strictly necessarily and could be cooler if you didn’t use the additional lining piece. But our Indiana summers don’t get too hot and if they do it’s not for long.

I basted the lining again with a the 1/8″ – 1/4″ seam allowance.

After this, I just used the front as one piece and followed the directions. My daughter was so happy with this fix. She feels much more comfortable and supported. She loves going to water parks and being very active in the pool. So, this rash guard pattern has been perfect for her year after year.

Also, I made her rash guard and bottoms with the new 2021 Raspberry Creek swim prints. Here are so more pictures of her Made for Mermaids Reagan Rash Guard featuring the prints.

Here is another Reagan Rash Guard that I made with last year’s Raspberry Creek Fabrics prints. I’m excited to try some other of the new prints.

Designs by Call Ajaire Nini Noni Nightwear

We were able to test a great new nightwear pattern by designs by Call Ajaire with a huge amount of options. It is currently available via Project Run and Play. Elise really loves the nightgown. So much so that I’ve made her three.

Above is the line drawing for the pattern. You can see how many options there are. There are cold weather and warm weather patterns to get you through the entire year.

We used Raspberry Creek Fabrics in Jersey Knit prints and solids for all her pajamas. The constellation print was for me, but Elise decided that it would make her a perfect nightgown. She was right.

We also had to try out the top and pants set, too. She was in love with the gathers in the front and back.

I really love this butterfly print that she picked out. She selected the solid eggplant jersey knit for two of her pajamas. It’s her favorite Raspberry Creek Fabrics solid fabric.

I can’t say enough good things about these patterns. They were really fun to sew up and Elise loves wearing them. The nightgown pattern would make the perfect special holiday pajamas for any girl. I especially like this one in the moon and starry night print that she selected.

Designs by Call Ajaire Buzz Puffer Coat

Well the Buzz Puffer Coat was definitely one of my significant sewing undertakings. I had tested some pajamas coming out around US Thanksgiving for designs by Call Ajaire patterns, because Elise fits well in their expanded size range. Ajaire then invited me to be part of the winter promotions for her coats. I knew Elise would love it, so I went for it.

I made the jacket in this quilted fabric from Mood Fabrics. I struggled working with it a bit, which is my fault. I should have researched about it before diving in. That cotton inside was really easily separated from the outer layer. But it definitely made for a warm coat.

One of my sewing friends introduced me to Shannon Cuddle Fabrics. I thought that I was going to have trouble with the lining but it was really a dream to work with. I did a little hand basting but not much at all. The other lining fabric I intended to use fell through, so I was really glad that Lizzy Biz fabric on Etsy came through so quickly for us. We have already picked out some faux unicorn and owl fabric from her shop to make some ridiculously wonderful vests for us in December.

I made a size 16 but shortened the length to a size 10. My only regret was that I didn’t for the hood but I probably should have. It is pretty tall, but Elise didn’t even notice.

I am really glad that I made Elise this coat. I enjoy making the designs by Call Ajaire patterns. They have expanded sizes and they look really great finished. These are designs that Ajaire makes for her daughters and then shares with the world. There is so much to love about his company. I’m glad that I was able to promote this jacket. They have another Mackinaw Coat pattern that has more of a dressy feel. I’m not sure that we have anywhere to wear it, but Elise has asked for that one, too. Today is the last day of the sale, but both coat patterns are deeply discounted at 50% off

Love Notions Glissando

I am so excited to have been included in the test of the Love Notions Glissando. Their patterns work well for me to wear to the office and at home as a mom. The Glissando comes in pants, shorts, and skirt. I tested the skirt and made the pants. I am not sure if I just see it, because it’s my style. But I feel like a lot of Love Notions patterns have a vintage feel and these cropped pants are so wonderful. The pattern is high rise, so they sit on your natural waist. They have optional front and back pockets.

I have never tested with Love Notions before, but the processes was really fun. I sewed up two skirts and a pair of pants. I used different fabrics each time. Above I used the Raspberry Creek Fabrics Red Chambray. I’m not usually a huge red fan, but I wanted to match this rayon challis fabric of theirs from last year. I was so happy that it ended up being such a pretty, muted red. I made a Love Notions Rhapsody Blouse with it, which is a top pattern with seemingly endless options.

For my next skirt, I used the new Teal Medium Weight Rayon Linen that Raspberry Creek Fabrics recently stocked. This is one of my favorite fabrics that I’ve used to make a skirt and I’m going to be getting more in other colors. I also made myself another Love Notions Rhapsody Blouse. This time I used some new Teal and Off White Small Floral Print Stretch Crepe that Raspberry Creek Fabric just released for fall.

Finally, I made some pants! I love these. I don’t have a lot of experience fitting woven pants but I bought several books and am learning. The next pair I make need a few final tweaks, but I was happy with these. I used Cotton Twill in Honey by Stylemaker fabrics. I liked the way these turned out but they wrinkle easily. Next, I have some more Cotton Twill in Army from Stylemaker and some denim to make shorts. I’m wearing my v-neck version of the Classic Tee Shirt in this photo. I made this one earlier this summer in Jersey Knit.

The back pockets were really fun to put on. I also love the details on the back of the Rhapsody blouse.
I really love the look of the pants. I wasn’t sure about the crop pants, but they are so classic.
I love how these two Love Notions patterns pair so well together, as does the Raspberry Creek Fabrics.
Here is one more top that I made! It’s a Love Notions Classic Tee, again. This one was made with Raspberry Creek Fabrics double brushed poly.
This button fly was really fun to make. The instructions don’t miss a beat and I never once had to rip it out and restart.

I haven’t tried one Love Notions pattern that I didn’t like, but I was surprised how much I liked this, especially the pants. I really recommend Love Notions patterns. I feel like no matter how challenging the pattern looks, that you can work through it because it is explained so well. I am really fortunate to have been a part of the process with this pattern.

Raspberry Creek Halloween Fabrics

We have definitely missed out on a lot of traditions in 2020. The one that is giving me the most heartache is having to miss our city’s Día de Muertos festival. That was why I was so happy to see these themed fabrics released by Raspberry Creek Fabrics. Making these garments really cheered me.

Elise fell in love with the Crown Skulls with purple being her favorite color. So I got the Crown Floral to coordinate with her, but I turned out loving them both. I decided to make my favorite pattern for multiple prints, Rockford Raglan by Love Notions. I also accented it with the Pin Polka Dots in my stash.

Elise wanted the Girls Sloane Sweater. So, I sewed her up one with the hood. In addition to the Crown Skulls, I used the Lilac and White Pin Polka Dots to accent her top.

Elise loves Raspberry Creek Fabrics double brushed poly. So, she picked the Happy Skeletons print to make a cowl top. She asked for a New Horizons Designs Girls Knoxville Top, because she loves the knot and the cowl. She also wanted some joggers in Solid Black French Terry. I sewed her some Carita Joggers also by New Horizons Designs. I love that pattern, because it’s so easy to blend sizes for her growing body.

These prints are all $1 off through next Thursday, September 9th. We plan to order, but there are so many to choose from. We are having a hard time deciding. We are definitely going to make matching hoodies with the Let’s Ride Panel and main fabric. Elise hates bugs but decided that she must have the Spiders on Webs, because they are “creepy”. I am wondering if I should just make her a Love Notions Girls Classic Tee or something that I can accent with all those great colors. And finally, I want the Polka Dot Pumpkins. I am wondering if another Rockford Raglan would be too much, so I might make the redesigned Love Notions La Bella Donna.