Monday, October 2, 2017

Sew Straight and Gather's Ladies Avenue Top and Dress Pattern

Hi! I had the opportunity to test Sew Straight and Gather's Ladies Avenue dress this last week! I have sewn the Ladies Legend dress and I always get compliments on it. I also picked up the girls Avenue collection but haven't sewn any yet because it was far too hot to think about pants and cardis. Of course the weather has since turned but I'm still sewing for Disneyworld.  As luck would have it I managed to make this test work for my plans. 

sew straight and gather ladies avenue by replicate then deviate

The Ladies Avenue is designed to flatter your curves and comes in sizes xxs-4xl. It features a regular back and a scooped back with optional bands.  There are three sleeve lengths and four hem lengths, as well as options for a single slit or double slit. It has trimless pages and the option to print in layers.

My measurements put me in a medium for upper bust and hips and a m/l for waist.  I initially sewed a medium in scuba and didn't feel comfortable in it so I passed it on to a friend (unfinished since she knows how to sew haha).  I sized up to a large with the scuba, graded to a m in the hips and it was much better.  I had a serious challenge hemming it because it didn't like my ball point or stretch or universal needle or regular foot or walking foot or regular thread or eloflex thread (that I fortunately found at my local hobby lobby since an employee told me they didn't carry it).  I ended up gluing (!!!) the hems and so far it's worked great.  I used my wonder clips to clamp it down.  Luckily it serged beautifully.

sew straight and gather ladies avenue by replicate then deviate

sew straight and gather ladies avenue by replicate then deviate

sew straight and gather ladies avenue by replicate then deviate

This one is a large graded to a medium in the hips (with better blending to the smaller size than the blue one) in cotton lycra from Joanns.  It's the same fabric as my daughters' Schooner tees and I have been saving it for the perfect pattern.  I love how this pattern fits in cotton lycra! I love how it fits in the back.

sew straight and gather ladies avenue by replicate then deviate

sew straight and gather ladies avenue by replicate then deviate

sew straight and gather ladies avenue by replicate then deviate

I am eager to make one for Ansley (who took these pictures!)- probably a maxi length because that's what she's been asking for.  Maybe I can coordinate it with her Halloween costume.... I am also thinking about copying the tester who thought about making a rash guard with this pattern next summer. 

The ladies and girls Avenue Dresses are on sale through October 3, 2017 for only $5 CAD (which is like $4 U.S. Dollars) and then will be only $8 CAD for the rest of the week.
sew straight and gather ladies avenue by replicate then deviate

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Allium Dolmans by Sew Like My Mom

Lately it seems like the only posts that are published in a semi timely manner are from pattern testing. [I share a lot more of my sewing on instagram (@replicatethendeviate) mostly because it's super fast]. The designers I test for do not require blog posts but when I'm looking into buying a new pattern I really appreciate blog posts and seeing the patterns and their multiple views on various sizes/shapes/styles. I also like to check my "patterns I own" board on pinterest. But I have a decent backlog and want to update my sewing portfolio so it's definitely on the to do list.

The Allium Dolman by Melissa of Sew Like My Mom is the women's version of the Tulipa pattern for girls. Both patterns have many options- short sleeved or long sleeved, gathered front or non gathered front, knit or woven bodices (the yokes and neckband are knit), shirt or tunic or dress length, pockets or no pockets. The instructions are a combination of pictures and text. I love that there's a print guide so you only print the pages you want and you can print in layers.

sew like my mom's allium dolman by replicate then deviate

This is my first tester version. I don't remember there being any changes from the final. (during testing there are occasionally minor adjustments to pattern pieces to improve the fit). This is the dress length with pockets (which I still need practice on with my serger). I used an athletic mesh fabric from joanns. It has decent stretch and recovery and is slightly sturdy, if that makes any sense. It will be perfect for our Florida trip next month.

sew like my mom's allium dolman by replicate then deviate

I love how flattering the curve is!!!

sew like my mom's allium dolman by replicate then deviate

This is a straight L according to my high bust measurement (and the size chart/instructions). There is a little bit of ease in the hips but my hips are a size smaller and I did not grade for this. I also haven't hemmed it yet because I don't have matching thread and I'm still thinking how to make the hem behave. The mesh did not love my stretch needle and I'm out of ball point needles. I do like the length as is.

sew like my mom's allium dolman modified tunic by replicate then deviate

I sized down for my second due to fabric. This purple fabric is from the loungeletics line at Joann and is labelled as a wicking jersey fabric. I think it's like 95% poly 5% spandex. It's quite stretchy and has good recovery. The front is smooth and has a bit of a sheen to it. The back is brushed and soft. Wearing it today it seems pretty breathable. The drape is quite nice. I was kind of irritated when I was sewing it though because it seems to snag quite easily; not from stretching but it would catch on my dryish hands and leave a slight snag. I would be more upset if I hadn't bought it using a 60% off coupon. (and now I don't know what I want to do with the white fabric I have. I already prewashed it so it's for keeps now).

sew like my mom's allium dolman modified tunic by replicate then deviate

I cut and sewed the tunic length (minus the hem) and tried it on. The fabric combo and the length on me looked nightgownish. The fact that I was sewing in my pajamas didn't help the tunic's cause. I let it sit for a day while deciding what to do. I debated curving the hem so it was longer in the back but didn't because of the snaggy fabric. The fabric then dictated that it wanted to be banded. I cut off several inches and slimmed the slight a line of the edges, making the bands just a little smaller (maybe half an inch) than the bottom of my shirt. I basted the band together and basted it to the shirt before serging because the fabric is kind of slippery and was curling in at the ends.

sew like my mom's allium dolman modified tunic by replicate then deviate

Anyway I love it! An added bonus is it makes the middle less clingy(!) and it's super comfy. We will see how long the fabric lasts.

sew like my mom's allium dolman modified tunic by replicate then deviate

(paired with my current favorite hey june sloan leggings in a leather look athletic fabric from Joann. I sound like a broken record. I am not affiliated with Joann but would seriously consider an offer if it ever came my way. Ha).

The Allium and Allium/Tulipa bundle are on sale through Friday. All pictures are by Ansley. She's really helpful! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hey June Patterns Sandbridge Skirt

hey june sandbridge skirt by replicate then deviate

The Sandbridge Skirt is here! It's a casual skirt designed for woven bottom weight fabrics such as denim, corduroy, sateen, and velvet. It features traditional five pocket styling, a functioning zip fly, and a contoured waist band. The hem can be left raw or turned up for more formal look. I have been living in this skirt since I finished my tester versions! Check out more info (and swoon worthy pics) in her post and in the listing. It comes in women's sizes 2-22. There's a discount code in the Hey June Patterns Facebook group. ;)

I was a little tentative to join the testing group because I had never sewn a zip fly or shortened a metal zipper or installed a jeans button or belt loops or sewn bartacks. I also hadn't (and still haven't) installed rivets. I managed to buy the parts (at two separate stores that involved an entire store hearing how my three year old wanted to stay in the (hot!) car- it's 95F here and I couldn't leave the car idling) only to discover we don't own a rubber mallet. I have since learned there are other options to the rubber mallet but haven't tried them yet. Anyway, I digress. I was a little intimidated but Adrianna's instructions helped me to successfully sew the zipped fly right the first time!! Sewing level unlocked!!

As is typical for Hey June patterns there is excellent drafting, notches to align pattern pieces, detailed instructions to customize fit, clear and helpful text and illustrations, the option to print in layers, and beautiful finishes and details.

I love the style of this skirt! I have been wearing it nonstop. (Half-hearted apologies to people who see me multiple days in a row). The pieces came together well and the instructions are professional and thorough. I love a good clean finish!! There's also a sew along starting on Monday, July 24.

Let's talk about the blue one first. This was my final version and I used a J Crew overstock twill that I scored in the remnants section of Imagine Gnats's shop. I may have joked that this is my J Crew skirt (since I don't have any). The twill has a little bit of stretch. I sewed a size 12 since my hips are between a 10 and 12. My waist is closer to the size 12. It is a little roomy but extremely comfortable (and doesn't cut in) when I sit. I used a non metal 4 inch zipper just to see what happened and it went in easily. I probably could've shortened the zipper by 1/4 inch at the bottom but was following the instruction's directions for sewing the zipper (not for the zipper type) and it works well. I omitted the belt loops for this one because I don't own any belts. I serged the bottom and turned it up once. I used denim thread for all the top stitching and used leftover blueberry fabric (leftover from Ansley's first day of second grade geranium dress and Lisbon's matching geranium dress because I like to match them while they still like to match; more dresses that never got blogged) for the pockets and inner waistband. You can see a picture on instagram (@replicatethendeviate). I couldn't get the jeans button shank (is that what it's called) to pierce the waistband so I foolishly used the tip of my scissors. The scissors went in too easily and cut a slash in the waistband. I zigzagged it and hand stitched it as best as I could. Luckily it's on the underneath section of the waistband and behind the button so it's not super visible but lesson learned!! Don't make my mistake! In these pics I'm wearing a Hey June Aurora Tee without the long sleeve portion. I sewed it up entirely on my serger so it's not perfect since I'm still figuring out the serger but it was good practice. It's in a heavier knit from Imagine Gnats' remnant section.

hey june sandbridge skirt by replicate then deviate

hey june sandbridge skirt by replicate then deviate

hey june sandbridge skirt by replicate then deviate

This green one was my first tester version. It came out a little big (the fit was adjusted during testing, which is normal/appreciated) so I need to get a belt to wear it if I put my phone in my pocket or if Lisbon tugs on it (which she does. She's very affectionate). I think it'll be perfect with a belt though or layered over leggings in the winter. The green is a denim with a tiny bit of stretch that has been in The Stash for a few years. I think I bought it at Hancock Fabrics. I had intended to make a coat with it but after reading some negative (but helpful) reviews about the coat pattern I changed my mind. I used some scraps from Ansley's city gym shorts (also on instagram) that were from the lisette line Joann carried a few years ago. Since I was using scraps I had to piece together several short bias strips for the waist but it was just a little extra work and totally worth it. I used the recommended metal zipper and removed the teeth and reinstalled the stops with some help from Tyrone. I topstitched two lines of stitching with the grey topstitch thread and left the hem raw (as instructed). I will probably practice installing rivets when we get a rubber mallet. I paired this skirt with my Hey June Union St Tee in laguna cotton also from Imagine Gnats. (not sponsored. I just like her and her fabrics and her service and thought it funny that a theme appeared).

hey june sandbridge skirt by replicate then deviate

hey june sandbridge skirt by replicate then deviate

hey june sandbridge skirt by replicate then deviate

hey june sandbridge skirt by replicate then deviate

I am contemplating sewing another in canvas or a dressier sateen or a true blue jeans denim. Which one do you think I should do next? What's your first version going to be? If you'd like to use my affliate link you'd be the first. :) There is no additional cost to you and the small compensation will help me maintain The Stash. Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Forsythe Dress by French Navy Patterns

I have a new favorite dress this summer, pattern by the lovely Sarah-May of French Navy patterns. I must've been under a rock because I didn't know her until quite recently but she still let me test her newest pattern, the Forsythe Dress.

The Forsythe Dress by French Navy sewn by replicate then deviate

My favorite parts of the dress are the pockets(!!!) and the relaxed but not sloppy fit. The pattern pieces fit together well and the instructions include professional finishing techniques like french seaming the pockets and the way the neck is bound into the back placket and the way the cuffs are finished. The pattern ranges in size from xxs-xxl (UK 6-18, US 2/4-16, EUR 34-46). Although it is not in layers it is easy to see which size to cut (and makes it easier to blend sizes if necessary). The instructions include photos with helpful labels and descriptions. The cuffs can be folded up (like my plaid) or down (like the blue one).

The Forsythe Dress by French Navy sewn by replicate then deviate

The Forsythe Dress by French Navy sewn by replicate then deviate

I sewed a size L based on my bust measurement. My first version is made from a plaid from The Stash. I think it came from Hancock Fabrics. It feels like a medium weight shirting fabric.

The Forsythe Dress by French Navy sewn by replicate then deviate

My second version is from a nani iro lawn that has been salt shrunk and feels a little bit like seersucker (Sazanami Pocho Sara). I won it from Miss Matatabi several years ago and it has been in The Stash, waiting for the perfect pattern. I did add a little bit of length to the blue one (and did half the hem amount on the plaid) just because that's my personal preference. Both are finished with Kam Snaps because my machine hates making button holes.

The Forsythe Dress by French Navy sewn by replicate then deviate

The Forsythe Dress by French Navy sewn by replicate then deviate

The Forsythe Dress by French Navy sewn by replicate then deviate

I'm plotting another one with drapier fabric and a color blocked one (to highlight the princess seams). You can also check out more loveliness on Sarah-May's post or in her shop or #theforsythedress on instagram.

The Forsythe Dress by French Navy sewn by replicate then deviate

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Grace Tankini by Savvy Patterns

I sewed a swimsuit! And I love it! It is classy and comfortable!

savvy patterns grace tankini by replicate then deviate

This is the Grace Tankini by Audrey of Savvy Patterns and the Skirt Fixation blog. It comes with two top views- view A with a solid front and circle cut out in the back and view B with a ruched center panel. There are multiple skirt options- no skirt (with perfect fitting panties!), circle skirt, sport skirt with plain front, and sport skirt with ruched center. There is an optional card pocket or more traditional pockets in the sport skirt. There are excellent directions for sewing a shelf bra, optional boning, and optional lining, and optional power mesh. Audrey went a step further and has included several video tutorials on her blog about sewing in cups and boning and elastic.

savvy patterns grace tankini by replicate then deviate

The pattern has excellent instructions and illustrations and the option to print just the size(s) you need (option to print in layers) and a printing guide to print just the pieces you need.

savvy patterns grace tankini by replicate then deviate

I chose to make the ruched center top (view b) and the plain sport skirt with pockets.

savvy patterns grace tankini by replicate then deviate

I used swim fabrics and lining that was labeled as "power mesh/swim lining" from Joann. I also bought the swim elastic (albeit 3/8 inch instead of 1/4 inch as the pattern specifies because that's all my store had) from Joann. For my tester version (the blue one) I used cups from a sports bra I bought for a quarter from JC Penney. I used swim cups from Sew Sassy Fabrics for my final (black and pink). I am not affiliated with them. I couldn't find much info about their products so that's why I mention them. My order came quickly and they are as advertised. They are smaller than I prefer and I ordered based on my size. I had previously ordered some cups from Amazon for sports bras but didn't realize they are also labelled as swim cups until I reordered them. Oops. Anyway you could also use cups from an old swimsuit. The ones I used from a sports bra were really thin so I knew they would be fine. However I have some sports bras that have sturdier padding and would probably take longer to dry than thinner ones and I don't want that. HA.

savvy patterns grace tankini by replicate then deviate

The tankini came together really easily. The longest part was cutting the swim fabric. If your fabric is slippery it helps to cut a single layer rather than on the fold. I also found that using a stretch needle instead of a ballpoint needle made a difference in my stitching. (less skipped stitches). Also the elastic on the legs of my panties looks uneven when it's not on because it is uneven. I stretched it more in the back for a snugger fit in the back, which is what I want. It is not noticeable when it's on and I've read that this is normal with home sewn swimwear.

savvy patterns grace tankini by replicate then deviate

Ansley has been doing an excellent job at taking pictures for me lately. She made me pose in a pretend dive.

savvy patterns grace tankini by replicate then deviate

And a picture of the tester version. The neckline and armscye were adjusted, as was the final width in the pattern. Audrey worked tirelessly to assure the fit was just right and it looks AMAZING on all of the testers!!!!

savvy patterns grace tankini by replicate then deviate

Thanks for stopping by! Now go forth and sew all the swimwear and free yourself from the agony of swimwear shopping with fluorescent lights and dressing rooms since the Grace Tankini fits just right in all the right places!

savvy patterns grace tankini by replicate then deviate

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Clipper Shorts by Jennuine Designs

Hello! (side note- Lisbon just learned how to type "hello").

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate

I had the privilege of testing the Clipper Shorts by Jennuine Designs. They are designed for boys and girls (hooray!) with multiple waist band options, optional pockets (slant and/or welt), color blocking options and two lengths (Bermuda- just above the knee and Jamaica- mid thigh (which I didn't know had a name until this test). I LOVE dressing my girls in longer shorts because the provide a little protection on the playground slides and swings and are much more age appropriate. These shorts come in sizes newborn through size 12.

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate


I chose to sew the regular waistband (which has elastic in the back. There are also instructions for using buttonhole elastic to make them adjustable. I would've done that if I had buttonhole elastic at home). All the finishes in the pattern are tidy and I love the attention to detail Jenn puts in her patterns from including how to finish seams, which way to press them, which seams to topstitch, etc.

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate
jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate

My girls love pockets! These came together beautifully with notches to line everything up properly and instructions to use basting to make sure all pieces stay together. The pockets might be the only reason I can convince Lisbon to wear shorts (because they aren't twirly and pink or purple). They are generously sized so I'll have to remember to check them when doing the laundry.

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate

The day the pictures were due it was 50F and raining. They were freezing. Lest you feel too bad for us it's 90F today. HAHA. The girls were good sports and I bribed them with this giant umbrella.

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate


Ansley measures a size 7 hips and 10 waist. I made a straight size 8. Next time I'll grade according to the fitting guide in the (clickable!) instructions. Lisbon measures a size 4 in hips and waist so I made her a 4. It's a little loose in the waist (hence my comment about buttonhole elastic) but it's just right for her to pull her pants up and down by herself. (She is working on asserting her independence). I think I might try sewing up a pants length pair this fall.

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate

Ansley is also wearing her Schooner Tee, pattern also by Jennuine Designs, and blogged here. Lisbon is wearing a jacket I blogged here.

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate

jennuine designs clipper shorts by replicate then deviate

Jenn is going to be holding a sew along that starts next Monday. And it looks like the Clipper Shorts are still on sale here! Thanks for stopping by!!!