• My Favourite Tres Belle Hack – Pattern Review!

    Pattern: Tres Belle Dress with Willow Wrap Flutter Sleeves
    Designer: Ellie & Mac (Tres Belle), Love Notions (Willow Wrap)
    Fabrics: Viscose Jersey from Wattle Hill Fabrics
    Skill level: Beginner
    Size made: 2XL
    Adjustments: I used the flutter sleeves from the Willow Wrap and mashed them straight into the Tres Belle Bodice
    Pros: I’ve done this mash a couple of times and it NEVER fails to impress me. It is light, breezy and super flattering.
    Cons: The binding on the neckline can be a little intimidating, but take it slow and you should have no problems.

    Romance in Every Stitch: Mastering the Tres Belle Dress with a Flutter Sleeve Hack

    So, I guess the first question I ask is, can you ever have too many beautiful dresses?

    Answer, NO!

    I think this is the 3rd or 4th Tres Belle I have made and at least the 2nd or 3rd I’ve made with the Willow Flutter Sleeve hack. I just love the romanticism of the flutter and softness it brings. I find that using soft fabrics such as Modal’s, Viscose Jersey, Bamboo Lycra and Rayon Jersey/Lycra’s work best if you want a really soft look, while something like a 220gsm Cotton Lycra/Elastane will have slightly more structure to it. 

    In terms of the hack, its a pretty straight hack. I used the sleeves from the Willow Wrap and put them straight onto the Tres Belle armcyes at the same size. For example, my armcye was an XL, so I cut the XL flutter sleeve on the Willow Wrap and it fit in nicely.

    Of course the other staple that is always in any dress I make, is pockets! I just can’t imagine having dresses without pockets now haha. 

    I think one of my favourite things about this style of dress is the cross over front that flares from under the bust, helping to skim over my tummy, which is the area of my body I am most self conscious about. I am working on accepting myself as I am, but being able to make clothes that help me feel more confident is definitely part of that process.

    I hope this review has inspired you to explore the fluttering elegance and comfort of the Tres Belle with the Willow Sleeve hack. It’s such a joy to create garments that not only look beautiful but also make you feel confident and comfortable in your skin. If you’re looking to enhance your knit fabric sewing skills further, take a look at my free guide, ‘Improve Your Knit Sewing in 30 Minutes or Less’, and start making your sewing journey even more rewarding. 

    Use code ‘sewwithmegan10″ on any Love Notions Pattern for an extra 10% off.

    Ellie & Mac also have 50% off ALL patterns during November 2023. Grab it while it’s on sale!

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  • Pattern Review of the Sabrina Slims

    Pattern: Sabrina Slims
    Designer: Love Notions
    Fabrics: Bengaline from Super Cheap Fabrics
    Skill level: Beginner/Advanced Beginner
    Measurements: Waist: 39″;  Hips 47″
    Size made: 18 & 20
    Adjustments: None
    Pros: This is an absolute staple for your kids wardrobe. It is perfectly unisex and has both a long and short version.
    Cons: None

    The Wrap Up

    I did think that I loved the Duet Trousers from Love Notions, but then I tried the Sabrina Slims and I LOVE THEM!!

    They are so comfortable and I love the slimmer fit look. I originally made the size 20 but thought they may have been a little bit big. I then made the 18 for the welt pocket tutorial and I realised I should have made the 20 again with some alterations. The 18 still fit, but they are more on the snug side. 

    My biggest piece of advice would be to make a muslin, and if you decide to make another size, make another muslin 🙈 Pants can be notoriously hard to fit, so I would very rarely recommend making pants straight from your fashion fabric. It is very disappointing to make a pair of pants and not having them fit. 

    I would definitely recommend grabbing this pattern, especially if you grab them while they are on special for $5.

    Use code MEGAN10 for an EXTRA 10% off at the checkout.

    How to get a beautiful welt pocket

    What next?

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  • Pattern Review of The Lenox Top and Dress

    Pattern: Lenox
    Designer: Love Notions
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra from The Telarie
    Skill level: Beginner
    Measurements: Bust: 45″; Waist 40″; Hips 47″
    Size made: XL graded to 2XL
    Adjustments: None
    Pros: I love a square neckline on a garment and I love the way this one is constructed.
    Cons: No pockets, but fairly easy to add. Also, make sure you read the instructions on how to construct the neckband and MAKE SURE you mark the notches on the neckband.

    The Wrap Up

    Anything with a square neckline I am super keen to try out as I think it really suits my shape. I was curious about this pattern as generally when you have a square neckline the garment needs to be fully lined to achieve the corners of the square across the front, however this one is done with bands. If I can avoid fully lining I generally do as it is additional fabric I don’t always want to have to use. I also really liked the princess style of the front seams, which is why you can achieve the neckband the way it is.

    Essentially the neck band is done with 2 neckbands pieces, laid over the top of eachother to create the neckline. It’s not just for the square neckline either, the Lenox also has a really cute sweetheart neckline version. I’m yet to try that one, but I think it looks pretty cute also.

    One downfall for me on this pattern is that it doesn’t have pockets on the dress version. However, they are pretty simple to add and you can take the pockets from something like the Sybil Skirt Collection and easily add them to this dress. In fact, you could really mash any of the skirts from the Sybil Skirt Collection if you wanted to change it up and make it your own. I also talk about how to add inseam pockets in my review of the Willow Wrap Dress.

    All in all I think this pattern is well worth having in your collection. Watch my YouTube review to get my construction tips on how to get your neckband looking beautiful and I think you will be very happy with this pattern.

    Use code Megan10 to get an additional 10% off when you purchase this pattern.

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  • Pattern Review of the Smitten Jacket

    Pattern: Smitten Jacket
    Designer: Pattern Emporium
    Fabrics: Cotton Drill from Spotlight Stores
    Skill level: Experienced Beginner
    Size made: 18 FBA
    Adjustments: None
    Pros: Love this one to chuck over a dress or top to dress it up or keep you warm on cooler nights.
    Cons: None

    The Wrap Up

    When I saw Kate from Pattern Emporium ask for testers for this jacket, I put my hand up straight away, it’s SO cute! I had my eye on the ultra crop version and I was not disappointed with my final version.

    One of the things I liked about it is that Kate wasn’t marketing it as a straight Denim jacket, rather one that could be used with softer fabrics such as Linen, Linen Blends and Rayons, which just makes it so much more versatile.

    I also really love the options on this one. Having the front and back yoke as well as the paneled front gives it so many ways to customise for a prefect style fit just for you. I am a huge fan of the top stitching element (though I didn’t top stitch this one), as it gives you the opportunity to add a contrasting colour that can really make it pop.

    Pattern Emporium really do have great written instructions for their patterns making it so much easier for beginners especially to feel like they are being supported as they attempt new patterns. It has a size range of 4-30, and mashes with quite a few other Pattern Emporium patterns.

    I thoroughly enjoyed making this one and have plans for a denim and Corduroy version for winter. I highly recommend giving this one a go!

    Watch my Review with construction tips

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  • Pattern Review of the Ivy Colourblock Tee

    Pattern: Ivy Colorblocked Tee
    Designer: Sinclair Patterns
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra Solids and Panels from Rubyjam Fabrics
    Skill level: Beginner
    Measurements: Bust: 45″; Waist 39.5″; Hips 47″
    Size made: 18
    Adjustments: None
    Pros: I love the yoke and color blocking on this one, it makes for such a flattering fit.
    Cons: None

    The Wrap Up

    This month in The Sewing Corner, I had the pleasure of sewing up the Ivy Colorblocked Tee from Sinclair Patterns, and I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!

    First of all, I have to comment on the pattern itself. Sinclair Patterns is known for their well-drafted and thorough patterns, and the Ivy Tee is no exception. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, plus the pattern includes a wide range of sizes which I always appreciate.

    As for the design of the Ivy Tee, I love the colorblocking! It’s such a fun and modern twist on a classic tee, and it allows you to play around with different fabric combinations. I went with a darker teal solid on top and utilised one of Rubyjam’s jamPODs (Panels On Demand) for the lower section, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

    You can have a lot of fun using different colour combos as well as integrating pattern prints to either the yoke or bottom colour block. If you like to matchy match, there is the kids version, the Ivyberry, that you can play around with too.

    As I mentioned above, this is the tutorial I filmed for The Sewing Corner this month, so if you need help sewing this pattern up come and join in the community of The Sewing Corner. Rubyjam is the sponsor this month so you not only get the tutorial, you get an exclusive discount only available to Sewing Corner members of 15% off their Panels on Demand. They have over 1000 to choose from now, make sure you check them out!

    If you’re not sure about the on going monthly subscription of The Sewing Corner, you can also purchase this course on it’s own, check out the link HERE to find out more. 

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  • Pattern Review of the Willow Wrap Dress with how to add pockets

    Pattern: Willow Wrap Dress
    Designer: Love Notions
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra from Clover & Co. Fabrics
    Skill level: Confident Beginner
    Measurements: Bust: 45″; Waist 39.5″; Hips 47.5″
    Size made: XL graded to 2XL at waist
    Adjustments: Shortened to Empire waistline
    Pros: Gorgeous pattern for showing off your bustline
    Cons: No pockets, but watch my tutorial on how to add them!

    The Wrap Up

    I love this pattern so much I have made 3 of them!

    I am a huge fan of the Love Notions Willow wrap, it is such a flattering pattern with a variety of options. You can choose from dress or peplum length, and to be honest, you can also cut between the peplum and dress lengths to create a tunic length as well if you wanted. There are also 5 different sleeve options, 2 neckline heights and it is great for Maternity and Nursing.

    I would note that with the flutter sleeve option I think it is better suited for lighter, drapier fabrics as when I used the 220gsm Cotton Lycra it was just a bit too ‘stiff’. I didn’t think it sat as nicely as when I made it from a double brushed poly.

    I also prefer an Empire Waistline to a Natural Waistline, so I used the tutorial I made for the Margot Peplum, also from Love Notions, to shorten my bodice to Empire.

    This is the Feature Friday pattern for Love Notions, Friday 31st March, 2023 which means here in Australia it will be on sale for $5USD (approx. $7.50 AUD) till around 3pm Saturday 1st April.

    Use code MEGAN10 for an extra 10% off at the checkout!

    I also think every dress should have pockets, so make sure you check out my video review below which includes a tutorial on how to add pockets to any dress! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel while you’re there so you don’t miss any future reviews and tutorials.

    Pattern Review and How to add pockets to your Willow Wrap Dress

    What next?

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  • Pattern Review of the Adult Discoverer Tee

    Pattern: Adult Discoverer Tee
    Designer: Ellie & Mac
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra from Rubyjam Fabrics
    Skill level: Beginner
    Measurements: Bust: 45″; Waist 40″; Hips 46″
    Size made: XXL
    Adjustments: None
    Pros: Love the colour blocking on this and how it allows you to mix and match coordinating fabrics.
    Cons: None

    The Wrap Up

    I had a lot of fun sewing this one up.

    My Brother in Law’s partner has a bit of a thing for avocado’s so as soon as I saw this fabric I knew that I wanted to make it into something for her. 

    The discoverer tee seemed perfect as I was able to colour block with a solid to break up the ‘strong’ hero print. It’s also quite a flattering fit for larger busted women (as my sis in law is) as the colour blocking hits above the bust.

    If you like a simple, easy sew with colour blocked options, this is a great pattern. I have also written a tutorial on how to add knit piping across the colour blocked section which I’ll link here. I did it for a the kids version but it’s the same principle for the adult version.

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  • Pattern Review of the Margot Peplum

    Pattern: Margot Peplum
    Designer: Love Notions
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra from Sew Unique Fabrics
    Skill level: Beginner
    Measurements: Chest: 44″; Waist 40″; Hips 47″
    Size made: XL/2XL
    Adjustments: Grading and shortening bodice to Empire waistline
    Pros: I love princess seams on my shape and the option of skirts is a bonus. Also has full bust adjusted pieces already.
    Cons: Not a fan of it sitting on my natural waist but I shortened to Empire waist. See my YouTube review for instructions.

    The Wrap Up

    I hadn’t made this one before but it’s been on my list to try for a while. 

    I had originally planned to try the pleated skirt but I didn’t have enough fabric so I ended up going for the swing style. I love the result but think I will try the pleated next time, some of the tester photos were so pretty.

    I also shortened the bodice to be more Empire style as I find that suits my shape much better. I am so happy with the final look now and absolutely LOVE how this sits on my body now.

    I made mine from a cotton lycra but I think this would look really nice in a scuba or ponte as well so I would be keen to try that next time as well.

    Love Notions is one of my fave for pre done full bust adjusted pieces as well. It makes it so much easier for bigger busted women to be able to just use the already adjusted pieces. 

    Excited to be wearing this one around!

    PS. use code sewandtellau10 for an EXTRA 10% off at the checkout.

    Video Review

    Watch my detailed review of the Margot Peplum on YouTube. Includes bonus tutorial on how to shorten a Natural Waistline to an Empire Waistline.

    What next?

    Stop wasting fabric and time on projects that don't fit right. 

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  • Pattern Review of the Sicily Swing Dress/Top

    Pattern: Sicily Swing Dress/Top
    Designer: Peek A Boo Pattern Shop
    Fabrics: Bamboo Lycra from Clover & Co. Fabrics
    Skill level: Beginner
    Measurements: Chest: 45″; Waist 40″; Hips 47″
    Size made: 2XL graded to 3XL
    Adjustments: Just the grading
    Pros: SUPER comfy and easy to wear. Also has nursing option
    Cons: Needs updated sizing

    The Wrap Up:

    I think this was one of the first patterns I ever tried of Peek a Boo as it had the nursing option and I loved it straight away.

    The fit and flare style really suits me and I love that their are a couple of different neckline options. Especially over the fringe months, I really enjoy a cowl neck for that little bit of added warmth, without having to carry a scarf around. 

    Like I mentioned as well, this has the option of nursing which is so nice to see. When I was feeding my son I had such limited choices in Ready to Wear clothing and it was kind of what sparked me to really give clothes for myself another go, so to be able to make stylish feeding friendly tops was amazing!

    The fabric I made my latest from is a pre order I did with Clover and Co in Bamboo Lycra. I like that this fabric design and pattern can be paired well with both leggings and jeans, making it easy to dress up or down. Put a little crop jacket it with it and a pair of heels if you’re going out, or straight cut jeans and a pair of white sneakers and you’re day ready.

    I 1000000% will be getting more of Clover’s bamboo lycra as well. It is DIVINE!!! SO soft and drapey to wear. I want all the bamboo lycra now.

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  • Pattern Review of the Endless Summer Tee

    Pattern: Endless Summer Tee
    Designer: Pattern Emporium
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra from Wattle Hill Fabrics
    Skill level: Beginner
    Measurements: Chest: 44″; Waist 40″; Hips 47″
    Size made: 20/22
    Adjustments: Grading and I ended up taking it in under the arms another 1″ on both sides.
    Pros: I love the neckline on this and feminine flutters.
    Cons: The sizing hasn’t been updated on this pattern yet so its only to a 24 (US20). 

    The Wrap Up

    I am a big fan of scoop neck patterns and this one was no exception. However, there are also 4 other necklines to choose from which is something I love when patterns include different necklines. I also instantly knew I wanted to put the flutters on. I love how feminine they are and just add an extra detail that draws the eye up, which for me I like cause it takes away from my tummy! haha.

    I used a super soft Cotton Elastane from Wattle Hill Fabrics in an olive with small black dots, which paired perfectly with the Olive Faux Denim Cotton Elastane I used for my Sonia Estep Iris shorts. I have previously written about the Iris Shorts which I will link here. The fabric was a dream to sew with and I love wearing it as its so soft and light on my skin.

    You can leave the flutters unhemmed as its a knit so won’t fray, but I chose to do a rolled hem on mine. I used the rolled hem feature on my Baby Lock Acclaim Overlocker/Serger and it did the most BEAUTIFUL rolled hem I think I’ve ever seen. I see lots more rolled hems in my future. Not to mention more Endless Summer Tee’s!

    Definitely a quick and easy one to sew up and recommend giving it a go.

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