Pattern Review

Black Matcha Top

I’m back to sewing after a few months of low energy at the end of my pregnancy. It’s been almost 4 weeks since our new little one arrived, and I’m short on clothes that fit! I bought the Matcha Top pattern (from Sew Liberated) a few weeks ago, knowing it would be great to hide the postpartum mom tummy.

Black Matcha Top | Sew Liberated | Radiant Home Studio

I’m happy to report that it’s perfect for new moms. The flowing silhouette around the hips is flattering and the pretty details around the shoulder and neckline draw the eye up, so it takes the focus off of your mid-section. The loose fit also makes it easy for nursing moms to wear.

Black Matcha Top | Sew Liberated | Radiant Home Studio

I used 2 yards of rayon that I bought at Jo-Ann fabrics a few months ago. The weight and drape of the fabric work well with this pattern. I have a couple yards of another rayon print that I bought at the same time. I plan to make another Matcha Top with it.

Black Matcha Top | Sew Liberated | Radiant Home Studio

I made a size 10, based on my bust measurement and my hips. If you are making this after having a baby, ignore your waist measurement. It won’t make a difference with this loose silhouette and you don’t need to size up. Meg recommends using a smaller sized collar if you want more gathers at the shoulders. I cut a size 6 collar.

Black Matcha Top | Sew Liberated | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, this pattern was pretty quick to cut and sew. It took me a few days of stealing time between naps and nursing to finish it, but I think it was only a 2-hour project. The instructions are thorough with tips for really nice seam finishes throughout. I used my serger to finish the inside of the v-neck and the shoulder seams and I used french seams down the sides. I opted for the hand-finished collar, so everything looks very clean.

I’m looking forward to making some more. You can see more Matcha Top inspiration on Instagram with #matchatoppattern … I love all of Meg’s blue cotton and gauze versions!

What are your favorite postpartum patterns?

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Pattern Review, Sewing

Sewing a Rumi Tank for Maternity

With all of the great basic knit sewing patterns that indie designers are putting out, I’ve had a much easier time making maternity clothes for myself this time around. A couple of weeks ago I made a Lodo Dress (which has gotten a lot of wear!). But these Rumi Tanks for maternity are the easiest thing I’ve made so far!

The Rumi Tank is a basic racerback style tank with quick and easy binding. It comes with both a tank and dress length pattern. The dress pattern is wider so that it flows out around the hips. It turns out that the width is also perfect for covering a pregnant belly!

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I didn’t make any modifications except for adjusting the length and adding some elastic to the side seam. I measured my bust at a size 10 and then cut a size 10 dress. The dress pattern has a band at the bottom, which can be eliminated completely for a maternity tank. I cut my tanks at the size 0 hemline on the main pattern piece. I also had to adjust the length of the straps. The neckline and armholes were both too low, so I cut the strap length around a size 2-4.

The tank could have worked without the side elastic, but it felt a little shapeless. I added about 6″ of clear elastic (stretched) to the side seams by zigzagging it in the seam allowance.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy at this point (about 30 weeks…) and these will easily fit until the end. For earlier pregnancy, you can probably eliminate a couple more inches. You could make a maternity dress, slightly longer than recommended, which I’m sure that would work as well! Not only that, a dress would be a nice transition piece that would fit early in pregnancy and after birth.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I used two lightweight knit fabrics (both from Girl Charlee). The striped fabric is a cotton/poly combo, and the boho patterned fabric is a rayon knit with a lot of stretch (so much so that I could have gone a size smaller…). I have very few maternity stores nearby, so I’m left with a bunch of solid-colored plain tees from Target. These fabrics were just what I needed to add some color and pattern to my wardrobe.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, this is perfect as a basic summer maternity tank! I’m looking forward to making more after pregnancy and trying the full-length dress later on.

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Pattern Review, Sewing

Woven Hudson Pants & A Secret Revealed

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a few different sewing bloggers (ladies that I interact with on a regular basis), and realized that none of them knew I had 6 children! I always thought I had made that clear, but it made me wonder how many of my readers were missing that important detail about me. I think it’s important for you to know this before I tell you…

I’m expecting baby #7! All of our other children were spaced less than 2 years apart. This time we have a 4 1/2 year gap between our youngest and the baby. It certainly makes life easier to have a 10 & 12-year old that can make meals and watch littles on the days when I have been exhausted. Everyone can get themselves dressed and to the bathroom. During other pregnancies, I’ve had 2-3 in diapers and young children in constant need of attention.

Based on previous experience, I knew I would lose my sewing motivation during the first trimester. So, what did I do? I pitched a guest post and two magazine articles so that I would have to sew on a deadline. Smart right? It seemed like a good idea until my nausea kicked in. I have spent several days in bed due to severe nausea that hasn’t let up for 10 weeks. That’s not uncommon for me, but I had forgotten how much it affects me after a four-year break.

Despite the morning sickness, I have managed to get my 3 projects done and even sewed a pair of woven Hudson Pants. (So, maybe my plan worked after all?) I’ve been planning to make some woven Hudson Pants for a while. They seemed the perfect transition pants for early pregnancy and postpartum.

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

I used the instructions from True Bias, making a larger size and adding some length to the bottom of the pants. My fabric is 4 0z. denim from Jo-Ann Fabrics. For my stretch Hudsons, I have been making a size 6. Kelly suggests sizing up 2-3 sizes for woven fabrics. I went up 3 (to a 12) to accommodate some of the extra pregnancy weight.

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

Though they fit, I think going up to a 14 would have been better. These are a tad tight in the rear and calves. I can see the seams pulling around the calves especially. I’d like to be able to pull them up and down over my calf, but the fit is too tight for that. Maybe using a stretch twill would help as well. I might also raise the back waist a couple of inches, leaving the front a little lower, like typical maternity pants. I plan to try again. I have been wearing these quite a bit and can definitely see myself wearing some in other colors.

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

Other than sizing up and adding 4″ to the bottom, I didn’t make any other major alterations. I think I did a little bit more topstitching in some places (side seams and faux fly). I used the denim for the waistband, which works well, but I really like Anna’s idea for a knit waistband on linen pants. I might do that next time. Maternity pants should be as comfortable as possible!

Finally, I thought I’d share a little glimpse of what goes on during a photo shoot with 6 kiddos…following this picture, I taught my little guy how to use the remote. He proceeded to take about 12 (really cute) pictures of himself pointing the remote at the camera, plus some with me and each of the other kids individually. 🙂

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

 

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Pattern Review, Sewing

Little Photographer Camera Pattern: Gifts for Preschoolers

I love making handmade gifts for my family. Some years I have overestimated my ability to get things done in time (which seems like a common problem for those of us that sew! Hah!). This year I only did a few select gifts for the kids, including these Little Photographer Cameras from Swoodson Says.

Little Photographer Camera Pattern by Swoodson Says | Handmade Gift for Preschooler | Radiant Home Studio

(Some links may be affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my business in this way!)

Originally, my daughter had planned to help me with these little cameras as gifts for her cousins. Unfortunately, the tiny pieces were too difficult for little hands. She helped pick out the fabrics and I did all of the sewing. I think I underestimated the level of detail that this pattern requires.

While it’s not a pattern for beginners, the Little Photographer Camera pattern is really fun to make and to play with! I made one each for my niece and nephew and one for my 3 year old. All of them were excited to have their own and immediately began “taking pictures” with them. I love that this toy is open-ended and encourages imaginative play. It was also a great way to use up some scraps.

Little Photographer Camera Pattern by Swoodson Says | Handmade Gift for Preschooler | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern comes with 2 different strap options, a wrist strap and a neck strap. I decided to make the neck strap for all 3 of mine. The neck strap is secured with hook-and-loop tape at the back, so it can easily be pulled apart. This eliminates any safety concerns that you might have with a strap getting tangled around a neck.

The pattern directions use photos. While I prefer illustrations most of the time, the photos were clear and helpful. The pattern directions do not give specifics about how to appliqué, but there is a link to a blog post that explains the appliqué process in more detail if needed. Overall, it is well-organized, with good photos, and clear instructions with a conversational tone.

Little Photographer Camera Pattern by Swoodson Says | Handmade Gift for Preschooler | Radiant Home Studio

I had a couple of small issues I wanted to mention. Adding the tiny binding around the vinyl squares was picky, so I might consider adding using a different method for that on future cameras. I also expected markings on the pattern to show the placement for the appliqué pieces, but you have to eyeball the placement from the photos. It would be nice to have dotted lines on the main pattern piece to get the exact placement.

I would also highly recommend using interfacing. Maybe this comes from making bags, but interfacing made the camera a lot sturdier and helped it to keep it’s shape. It also helps to keep the outside looking smooth, even if the stuffing gets lumpy. I used a piece of fusible fleece, cut 1/4″ smaller, for the back and front of each camera. I also used a 2″ wide strip of Pellon 808/809 down the center of the strap pieces. The canvas for the gusset seemed sturdy enough, but if you use quilting cotton, I would recommend interfacing that piece too.

Little Photographer Camera Pattern by Swoodson Says | Handmade Gift for Preschooler | Radiant Home Studio

If you are looking for a cute gift for preschoolers, this is a fun pattern!

Linked with: Raising Homemakers, Sew Can She

Did you make any gifts for your kids this Christmas?

 

Pattern Review, Sewing

Blue Striped Halifax Hoodie

Back in May when I was evaluating my handmade wardrobe, I concluded that I needed more comfortable basics in my wardrobe. Right after that Adrianna was kind enough to send me a copy of the Hey June Halifax Hoodie to try. I purchased the Union St. Tee (also from Hey June) last year and have used it multiple times since then, so I was excited to try this pattern as well.

Striped Halifax Hoodie | Hey June Handmade | Radiant Home Studio

Adriana has a knack for designing comfortable, wearable, casual sewing patterns—perfect for stay-at-home moms or for weekend wear. If you need patterns for wardrobe basics for women or girls (sweatshirts, tees, leggings), definitely check out her pattern shop.

Striped Halifax Hoodie | Hey June Handmade | Radiant Home Studio

The Halifax Hoodie pattern has an impressive number of options! You can combine the options in many different ways. There is a hoodie, funnel neck, or scoop neck option. You can add a kangaroo pocket to the pull-over version, or make it with a front zip. There is also a version with a twisted side seam. I chose to make view B, which is a scoop neck pull-over with the twisted side seams. I made a size small, which is my typical ready-to-wear size.

Striped Halifax Hoodie | Hey June Handmade | Radiant Home Studio

I used a striped french terry fabric that I purchased from Hobby Lobby. They rarely have apparel fabric, so when I saw this a few months ago I grabbed a couple of yards, knowing I would use it when the weather cooled off. I think it’s a cotton/poly blend, but it’s the right weight and drape for this pattern.

The accent fabric is light gray baby rib knit. I looked for a long time for something that would match the blue stripe. I searched thrift stores for old t-shirts I could cut up and use, but didn’t have any luck there. Then I ordered some blue rib knit that was too light, tried tea-staining it darker, and finally gave up. Dark heathered navy blue is hard to match!

Striped Halifax Hoodie | Hey June Handmade | Radiant Home Studio

I also wanted to highlight the twisted seam. I considered using a contrasting dark fabric, but with the trouble I had matching that blue…rotating the back pattern piece to make vertical stripes ended up being the best way to do that. Since the vertical stripes wrap around the waist, I was also hoping for a slimming effect. Sometimes horizontal stripes can create the illusion of wideness that isn’t there. I think this works well to combat that effect. Not only that, I didn’t have to try to match the stripes perfectly!

Striped Halifax Hoodie | Hey June Handmade | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern instructions are excellent. With this many options, sometimes patterns get really confusing. I found that the directions were clear and easy to follow, in spite of the many options. There is also a chart with page numbers for printing so you don’t have to print pieces that you don’t need.

Striped Halifax Hoodie | Hey June Handmade | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, the Halifax Hoodie is a great pattern. I’m sure I’ll wear this often, and I have plans for another one (or more!) soon. I love the funnel neck option and want to try that, and who doesn’t need a classic hoodie?

My parents used to laugh at me in high school because the majority of my clothing had blue stripes. Funny how I still go back to my old classics…