Embroidered Zsayla Top

My last project from Pattern Parcel #6… The Zsayla Top! It was the first thing I decided to make when I received the patterns. I love the loose, flowing shape. It reminds of something from Anthropologie. Their blouses often have beautiful embroidered details that make them look handmade (which is probably why I like their style). Though I couldn’t find anything similar for sale there now, the Zsayla blouse really works with that boho-chic look. And the large yoke is the perfect spot to add some embroidery detail.

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

I started looking around to see if anyone else had embroidered their Zsayla tops and found that the pattern designer (Kate & Rose) also sells beautiful Hungarian style embroidery patterns. They are gorgeous, but I was afraid I didn’t have the time to do something that complicated. I decided to try a simple Sashiko (Japanese embroidery) pattern instead. (Though the Kate & Rose embroidery patterns are now on my list and I’ll be looking for a way to use one of them soon!)

First, let me tell you about the pattern. Kate & Rose patterns were new to me. I found the printing and assembly fairly straightforward. There is a nice chart detailing which pages should be printed for each part, so you can avoid printing those extra pages for a dress when you just want to make a top. It also includes several cutting layouts to help you find the most efficient way to use your fabric. The directions and illustrations are clear and helpful.

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

They also include some nice finishing techniques such as understitching the neckline and cuffs. The instructions also include 2 methods for attaching the yoke–the “clean and fancy method” and the “quick and dirty method”. I tried to use the “clean and fancy method,” but the bulk from the interfacing and embroidery floss was making it difficult. I ended up using the  quick method (sewing all the layers at once and serging the edges), but only a seamstress would ever notice the difference. And look at the pretty cuff detail!

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

This is my first project using double gauze (from Imagine Gnats…and Rachel is having a huge sale this week!). I was unimpressed when it arrived in the mail, but after a nice hot wash my opinion totally changed. It has a lot of the same qualities as lightweight linen, which is what I was hoping for when I ordered it. It’s loose and flowing, and wrinkles in a soft, natural way. It is perfect for a loose fitting blouse and makes a nice base for embroidery projects. I love it!

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

It took some trial and error to figure out the best method for transferring the embroidery pattern to the fabric. I tried water soluble marker, but it disappeared too soon. I tried stitching without stabilizer, but the stitches weren’t as straight as they needed to be. In the end, I traced the pattern on to lightweight interfacing with pencil (time consuming…be sure to take stretch breaks!). I also did one of them twice because I realized that the design was going different directions along the grain. I recommend tracing around the pattern piece on the interfacing, marking the grain, then tracing the design. Then you can make sure the design is going the same direction on each piece of the yoke.

Sashiko Embroidered Zsayla Top | Sewing Pattern Kate & Rose | Radiant Home Studio

Though there is specific embroidery thread for Sashiko, I didn’t find any locally and used a steel blue pearl cotton embroidery floss. I learned a lot more about Sashiko stitching as well, but I’ve written another post for later this week with 20 of my favorite Sashiko embroidery tutorials, projects, and patterns. (You can   so you don’t miss it!)

Finally, just a quick reminder…Friday is the last day to get this pattern bundle!

With Pattern Parcel – you choose your price, support indie pattern designers, and the rest goes to and educational charity called Donors Choose. If you choose to pay $32 or more, you receive the bonus pattern (the Odette dress). Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised over $12,000 for classrooms in need!

The patterns included in this parcel are:

Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl (exclusive release!)
Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren
Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations
Hudson Pant by True Bias
Zsalya Dress by Kate and Rose

BONUS PATTERN: Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

You can just click over to the Pattern Parcel site for more details. And if you want to see what others are making from these great patterns…

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Bronte Top for Pattern Parcel #6

Pattern Parcel #6 is my favorite parcel so far. I liked so many of the patterns that I’ve made 3 of them! I shared my Hudson pants a couple of days ago, and I’ve got 2 more tops to show you.

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

This is the Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren from the Pattern Parcel ladies bundle. It’s a basic fitted tee with a pretty overlapping shoulder detail.

Bronte Top Shoulder Detail | Radiant Home Studio

The Bronte Top pattern is clear and organized. Jennifer also has a nice way of laying out the pattern pieces so that you don’t have to tape together a huge grid. There are smaller sections to tape together, which also makes it easier to reprint particular pattern pieces later on. It also means that you don’t waste paper printing out the long-sleeved piece if you are making a short-leeved top.

I used a lightweight knit from Girl Charlee. It was too thin to be used for the neckband without being stabilized. Since I didn’t have any knit stabilizer on hand, I ended up cutting out 2 of each neckband piece. I cut the extra one (used as the under layer) on the cross grain so that it had less stretch. Then I layered them together and sewed them as one piece. It seemed to work very well, so I will definitely use that technique again if I’m out of knit stabilizer and using a thinner knit fabric.

Bronte Top | Pattern Parcel 6 | Radiant Home Studio

I thought I chose the right size, but the shirt is more fitted than I would like. So much so, that I’m not really comfortable sharing the picture without an extra layer. Originally, I added a few extra inches to the sides, hoping to make a loose flowing top. (I was imagining something like this Anthropologie top…) It was still tight, and I could hardly tell the difference. Then I tried adding a triangle inserts to the side seams, but that was completely unflattering and looked like a maternity top. In the end I just went back and sewed the side seams where they were meant to be. The shirt looks nicer that way, but it’s still a bit too fitted for my taste. I’ll probably be most comfortable wearing it to bed, or possibly layered under something like a jacket (which sadly, hides the pretty shoulder detail…). If you decide to make this top, just be aware that it is meant to be very fitted and you may want to size up if you prefer a looser fitting top.

I wanted to show you a couple of my favorite Bronte Tops from other Pattern Parcel bloggers. Hopefully you can get a better idea of the versatility and fit of the shirt by seeing some other versions.

Bronte Tops | by Very Purple Person and The Quirky Peach | via Radiant Home Studio

Check out the fit and awesome stripe matching on Novita’s cute striped Bronte top. And Sally made a beautiful dress from her Bronte top pattern (plus another top with metallic detail if you click through).

If you’ve been following me long, you probably understand how Pattern Parcel works now. You choose your price, support indie pattern designers, and the rest goes to and educational charity called donors choose. If you choose $32 or more, you receive the bonus pattern (the Odette dress). Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised over $12,000 for classrooms in need!

The patterns included in this parcel are:

Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl (exclusive release!)
Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren
Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations
Hudson Pant by True Bias
Zsalya Dress by Kate and Rose

BONUS PATTERN: Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll

You can just click over to the Pattern Parcel site for more details. And if you want to see what others are making from these great patterns…

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Striped Bimaa Sweater with Kangaroo Pocket

I signed up for Kids’ Clothes Week, but I haven’t worked on sewing any clothes for my kids. Don’t we always overestimate how much time we have to get things done?

This morning I received a lovely gift—the new Bimaa Sweater pattern from Sarah at LouBee Clothing. I’ve had this striped sweatshirt knit (I think from Girl Charlee again…) in my stash for awhile, and I was waiting to find  the perfect pattern for it. I actually pinned this cute J. Crew sweatshirt, hoping to find a pattern that was something like it. The Bimaa Top is almost an exact match, minus the pocket.

Striped Bimaa Sweater Shirt| Cowl Neck & Kangaroo Pocket | Radiant Home Studio

I printed the pattern, glued it together, cut it out and sewed the shirt in about 2 hours. I love that Sarah’s patterns are so quick to put together and sew. I made her Hosh Pants in the Spring, which were also fast and easy.

I followed the pattern exactly except for the addition of the kangaroo pocket. For that I cut 2 pocket pieces the width of the front bodice and sewed them right sides together, except for the edges that would be caught in the side seam. I also added a small binding on the curved edges between the pocket and pocket lining. I sewed the top and bottom pocket edges to the front bodice first, and then finished the shirt as directed.

Striped Bimaa Sweater Shirt| Cowl Neck & Kangaroo Pocket | Radiant Home Studio

So, that’s all I managed for Kid’s Clothes Week…

And just a little bonus… I saw that the Bimaa Sweater pattern is only $5 today (Friday 24th).

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True Bias Hudson Pants

Well, this is probably my favorite Pattern Parcel so far! The Hudson Pants have been on my list of things to sew since I started seeing them this summer. Now they are part of Pattern Parcel #6 and I have the chance to try the pattern and share my thoughts with you! How can you not love a pair of stylish sweatpants?

True Bias Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern designer, Kelly, has been sewing and blogging for years. This is her first pattern, but her experience is obvious. The pattern instructions are clean and modern looking. They include all of the vital information, plus some great tips, without looking cluttered. Her illustrations are clear and accurate, and her written instructions are easy to understand.

If you’ve been hesitant to try sewing pants, this is a great first pattern. You’ll learn the basic process for assembling pants, but you won’t have to worry too much about alterations and fitting. Just use a fabric with a good amount of stretch and read through all of Kelly’s helpful tips for choosing a size.

I made my Hudson Pants with navy sweatshirt fleece from Girl Charlee. I thought about making them with a fun geometric print, but my classic pieces always get more wear. A wild print would have been fun around the house, but I think I’d feel funny wearing them out.

True Bias Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

The Girl Charlee fleece is a nice fabric for the price. You can make a pair of Hudson Pants for about the same price you’d pay at Old Navy, which isn’t usually the case. (Sewing is an expensive hobby if you love quality fabrics!) For the waistband, pocket details, and ankle cuffs, I used a double knit remnant that I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics. Sweatshirt fleece isn’t very stretchy, so for the waistband and ankle cuffs I thought it would better to use something a bit more elastic.

As per Kelly’s suggestion, I went up one size because my fabric didn’t stretch as much as recommended. (I always debate about whether or not to include sizes, but I always find it helpful to know and compare when I see the sizes other people made. It helps to know whether the pattern runs big or small.) I made a size 6, which fit perfectly. The pattern is also drafted for women around 5’5″ (which is my height). I almost added some length after measuring the pattern, but decided against it since I trusted Kelly’s measuring and pattern testing. The length ended up being perfect as well. In the end, I didn’t make any alterations and ended up with a great fitting pair of pants…which makes me happy!

I tried to take photos inside, but this little goober kept photobombing…

True Bias Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

(and please ignore the variety of toys under the shelf…)

If you’ve been following me long, you probably understand how Pattern Parcel works now. You choose your price, support indie pattern designers, and the rest goes to and educational charity called donors choose. If you choose $32 or more, you receive the bonus pattern (the Odette dress). Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised over $12,000 for classrooms in need!

The patterns included in this parcel are:

Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl (exclusive release!)
Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren
Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations
Hudson Pant by True Bias
Zsalya Dress by Kate and Rose

BONUS PATTERN: Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win
You can just click over to the Pattern Parcel site for more details.

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How to Alter the Waist on Men’s Pants

One area of my sewing knowledge that I would like to work on is tailoring men’s clothes. A while back, one of my husband’s friends said something like, “Your wife sews. Can’t she just make you a suit?” Umm…no. At least, not yet. Traditional dressmaking and tailoring are two very different skill sets.

I’ve been sewing patches on uniforms and hemming trousers for years. I became frustrated that the military tailoring service machine-stitched things that should have been hand-stitched. Then I ventured to take apart a suit coat sleeve to add a uniform stripe to the end of the sleeve. Taking them apart, I realized that men’s clothes are easier in many ways (more boxy, more straight stitching…). As long as you remember the order that you took out the stitches, putting them back together is pretty simple.

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

A few months ago, I let out a pair of trousers from an old suit. Dress pants are typically easier to alter because they are made with a seam in the back waistband specifically for that purpose. They also have extra seam allowances in the back rise so that the pants can be let out by 2 inches. Finally, the dress pants I have worked with typically don’t have a belt loop at the center back seam. You can see below where the old stitching lines were compared to the new line of stitching.

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants | Radiant Home Studio

Today, I took in the waist on some casual pants. Ready-to-wear, casual pants won’t have extra seam allowances to let out the waist, but you can easily make them a couple of inches smaller.

Though this tutorial shows you how I made the waist smaller in casual pants, you can follow the same process for letting out the waist in proper trousers as well.

I recommend that you have successfully sewn a couple of garments before trying this alteration. You’ll need a basic understanding of garment pieces and construction, as well as basic knowledge of your sewing machine and stitches.

How to Alter the Waist on Mens Pants:

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants | Radiant Home Studio

First, start picking out the seam along the waistband. You’ll need to take out the stitching about 4 in. on each side of the center seam.

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants | Radiant Home Studio

If you have a belt loop in the way, remove that. If you want to remove the tag, do that too.

Alter the Waist of Mens Pants | Radiant Home Studio

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