I am so excited about today! The amazing designers at Pattern Anthology have just released their next collection, the Just Add Jeans collection, and it is all women’s patterns!!!! Awesome, right? You know I’ve been on a sewing for myself kick, so I was especially interested in this new collection.
As part of the pattern tour, I was asked to sew one of the tops from the collection. I wasn’t sure which I wanted to sew, so I printed all four of them out and taped the patterns together to see where inspiration would strike. I sewed the first one and it went so smoothly, I decided to do a second. And then a third. And then, because I couldn’t resist and I still had plenty of time to spare, I sewed the fourth! And now I practically have a new wardrobe. Let me show you the different pieces I created!
The City Girl Frock + Top by See Kate Sew is a relaxed fit tunic or dress with an A-line design, a yoked bodice, and an optional cowl collar. I used a super silky sweater knit that I picked up for a couple bucks in the L.A. fabric district last year. I love that you can totally alter the look of this top/dress with your fabric choices. A heavier sweater knit would give you that nice bulky, winter look, while a lighter weight knit still allows you to add the cowl collar without all the cozy up around your neck.
I kind of love this sweater. It was the first piece that I sewed and the fit was perfect from the start. I followed the sizing recommendations and gently curved out the hip line to conform to my shape. The sleeves and top are loose fitting, but I think the cowl collar makes this a comfortable piece that also has some great style. Because I used such a thin sweater knit, my collar folds down around the neckline, which is fine. I am on the hunt for a nice chunky sweater knit so that I can make another one of these tops with some more structure. Please disregard my one sleeve up, one sleeve down look – every. single. picture. – oh well.
Next up is the Parisian designed by Go To Patterns. This top has a Peter Pan collar, lightly gathered sleeves, and a banded hem and cuffs. I had a harder time envisioning fabric combos for this pattern, but I thought that it would compliment my wardrobe so nicely because that collar makes it a standout. I pulled knit after knit off my shelf and knew this silver dot cotton spandex knit was the one as soon as I threw it up on the table. I held up a few different contrasting fabrics for the collar, but when I tried the lace, it was like sparks flew. Yep, this is perfectly me. I looooove this top. It’s stylish, yet so comfortable.
I love tops with banded cuffs and hems. It makes the finishing so quick, so easy, plus I don’t have to worry about busting out my twin needle and getting the settings just right. I sewed most of the top on my serger. The collar? I should have used interfacing on the collar. It would have turned out much crisper; a collar always needs interfacing, I don’t know why I thought I could just skip it this time. Nevertheless, the top is still gorgeous, I think. And, not that I have any experience with bust adjustments on patterns, but the pattern does include instructions for a full bust adjustment, which I would imagine would be very helpful for a lot of people. This metallic pindot cotton spandex was from Girl Charlee a few months back. I didn’t see it in stock right now, but keep your eye out – if they ever get it back in, it’s a dream fabric. Here are some of the cotton spandex knits they have in stock currently.
To compliment my look for the Just Add Jeans tour, I got to choose a piece of jewelry from Jacaranda Designs. I had the hardest time choosing – she has the prettiest feather earrings, all kinds of stones and beads and hair pieces. I finally settled on this flower necklace (actually, I didn’t settle, I sent in two choices and made someone else choose – ha!) And I just clicked over there to see what’s new and oh my goodness, I want everything. If you love vintage inspired jewelry, you’ll love this shop! (Plus, she ships everything in the cutest little box with a pretty pink bow – love!)
Alrighty, moving on to the third pattern. This is the Day Tripper by Shwin Designs. This top has a relaxed fit with dolman sleeves, a hi-low hemline, shoulder tabs, and optional pockets. The pattern is also designed with a slimmer hip. So, I adjusted the pattern to accomodate my not-so-slimmer-hips. A cotton spandex knit is recommended, but I was anxious to use this interlock that I ordered from Girl Charlee. The peacock interlock is thicker and feels so comfortable, but I can actually see how a cotton spandex would compliment the pattern better – experiment with different fabrics, but always pay attention to the recommendations in the patterns – these designers know what they’re talking about!!
I like the originality of the shoulder tabs on this pattern – they take a relaxed tee and give it an extra punch of style. Like the Parisian, the Day Tripper has banded sleeves and hemline, so that was a big plus for me. I added the optional pockets into this top, because, well, who doesn’t love pockets? My husband was especially impressed with the pocket feature – I guess he appreciates pockets, too. With this interlock, the pockets add a little extra bulk where I don’t need extra bulk, but still. I love the potential of this pattern – it feels very relaxed beachy to me. Also, I’ve seen a few of the tester and designer pictures of their versions, and I can’t WAIT to make more of these.
The fourth pattern is The Wild Flower by Blank Slate Patterns. I took the most liberties with this pattern and altered it to create some evening wear. The Wild Flower is a top pattern, but its A-line design was simple to convert into a dress. The pattern also includes an underbodice with a scoop neck that is supposed to be layered under the deep V front. I got a little daring and omitted the underlayer, figuring that I could wear a cami underneath. For this dress, I used a Ponte de Roma, also from Girl Charlee, and the drape of this fabric is perrrrfect for this pattern. There are several sleeve lengths and styles included in the pattern, but I used the bell sleeves and love the flowy-ness of them.
This pattern also includes instructions for bust adjustment and I checked all the measurements to make sure that the pattern was going to fit me right. This bodice is a little more complicated with pleats at the shoulders and at the bustline. I was a little intimidated going in, but it was actually simple to put together, and the fit is great. Once I tried on my dress, I decided that it might be great for a date night or other evening-wear type event. A little risque for your every day photo shoot in the rain, but I kind of love that I now have a sexy dress that I made!!
So! I have to add a few more tidbits. First of all – about the photos – I thought that I was down to the wire. It had been raining for five days straight and I knew my post had to go live on Tuesday morning. So, on Sunday afternoon, my whole family went with me on a photo shoot mission. We went to several different spots and the girls ran around while my husband held an umbrella over the camera and I tried to get in some shots before the next downpour of rain. It was kind of a crazy, frantic afternoon trying to get the pictures. I came home and started editing the pictures, at which point I realized I was a week ahead of schedule. Ack! Well, better a week early than a week late!!
Also, a few more details about the Just Add Jeans collection:
- The Just Add Jeans collection is the fourth collection by Pattern Anthology and the first women’s collection.
- It will be on sale as a collection March 10-24th for $29.95 ($50 value).
- After that point they will be available individually at full price.
- The patterns are all available in sizes XS-XL (30″-44″ bust). Some patterns have a wider range.
Each pattern in the collection took me just a few hours to sew. These are quality PDF patterns, friends. If you’re making a more concerted effort to sew for yourself, picking up this collection is a GREAT place to start. There are long and short-sleeve options on all of the patterns. There are a variety of lengths, optional collars, pockets, and places to accent the pattern and make it your own. Each pattern includes instructions for altering the pattern pieces to fit YOUR measurements. I know that sewing with knits can be a little intimidating if you’ve never worked with them, but it really does make learning to sew for yourself (or quickly accenting your wardrobe) a satisfying process. These patterns are forgiving and focused on fitting a variety of body types. Now that I’ve sewn them all, my brain is spinning with possibilities.
Find more inspiration by following along on the Just Add Jeans tour:
March 11th: Stef – the Girl Inspired
March 12th: Delia – Delia Creates
March 13th: Merrick – Merrick’s Art
March 14th: Julia – Julia Bobbin
March 17th: Liz – Cotton and Curls
March 18th: Katy – No Big Dill
March 19th: Caroline – Sew Caroline
March 20th: Suzannah – Adventures in Dressmaking
March 21st: Jessica – Craftiness is Not Optional
March 22nd: Dixie – DixieDIY
A special thank you to Girl Charlee Fabrics and Jacaranda Designs for sponsoring the Just Add Jeans pattern collection and tour. And thank you to the amazing Pattern Anthology designers – you created four new patterns that are stylish and make me feel beautiful. You rock!