Blank Slate Catalina Dress

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


This is one of those makes that took longer to blog than to sew. The fact that it is making the blog at all is a bit of a surprise. I actually made this knit Blank Slate Patterns Catalina dress in the fall planning to use it just as a muslin. I honestly don't love this style on me, so I never made the dress in different fabric. Of course the right fabric might make all the difference. The Blank Slate Patterns blog is full of adorable versions of the Catalina dress. 


As soon as I paired this Catalina dress with a simple denim jacket, I knew I had stumbled onto something. Sometimes, a simple styling variation can transform a look. Even though this dress was destined for the giveaway pile, it may have a bit more life yet.


So, this is just a friendly reminder to take a second look at something you may have dismissed. Add a layering piece, scarf, or other style variation, and it just might surprise you!
** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**

Rivage Raglan with Tips for Flat Lock Seams

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesWhen working the front desk at an athletic club in high school, we would always anticipate the increase in patrons that January would bring. Whether it's due to new year's resolutions or the slight guilt one might feel after holiday eating, you might find yourself reaching for more of your workout wear these days. I thought this would be a good time to bring home a post I did for Blank Slate Patterns with tips for sewing athletic garments.
In the process of taking what is normally underneath, in this case my seams, to the outside, I’ve created my favorite workout shirt. The combination of the Rivage Raglan (affiliate link), performance fabric, and flatlock seams kicks this style into the fashionable but highly functional category. Let me walk you through my process of selecting a size and what makes the flatlock seam so special in athletic wear.
Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesFor the last couple of Blank Slate patterns I’ve sewn, Shoreline BoatneckShoreline again, and Valetta, I’ve fallen in the Medium size range. However, four important factors lead me to sew a size small for this Rivage Raglan.
First, I’ve lost a minuscule amount of weight. Actually the number on the scale hasn’t really changed, but my body shape has changed slightly. A good reminder to measure yourself often! Second, and more importantly, I would be wearing a sports bra with this top instead of my usual lightly padded bra. These things make a difference folks! Third, my fabric has significant stretch and recovery. Finally, form fitting athletic wear stays out of the way when I am in motion. Each of these factors is good to keep in mind for different types of projects.
Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesOne thing that sets the Rivage apart for athletic wear is the extra coverage in back!
Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesFlatlocked seams result in no raised seams on the inside of my garment. That means no rubbing or chaffing with the increased movement of exercise. Visually, the dark contrast of the seams adds an interesting detail. Now that I’ve played with this contrast, won’t it be fun to incorporate a pop of color?!? The underside of the stitch is just as interesting, so take the opportunity to experiment with the decorative options.
Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesNow that we know flatlock construction can be functional as well as decorative, let’s explore how we accomplish the stitch. Flatlock stitching requires a serger that is set up for three thread stitching. I removed my right needle. After stitching, as you pull the fabrics apart, the seam lies flat! To illustrate the stitches, I’ve used white thread in my left needle, red thread in my upper looper, and blue thread in my lower looper (which hardly shows in this stitch). Using MaxiLock stretch thread or Wooly Nylon in the upper looper, as I’ve done here, gives a full look to the stitch. The key is to remember to place the fabric wrong sides together. I literally had a chant going in my head as I sewed to keep reminding myself! In the photo above, the left sample is the stitch with fabric wrong sides together. The center sample is with the fabric unfolded, and the right sample is after pulling the fabric apart with a gentle tug.
Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesThe result is a flat seam! With my Brother 1034D serger, I used tension settings of 1.0 for the needle, 4.5 for the Upper Looper, and 7.2 for the Lower Looper. The differential feed was set at 1.0, stitch length at 3.0, and stitch width at 5.0. Play around with your setting to get the finish as flat as possible.
Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesHemming is also an option with a flatlock stitch, but the folding is a bit different. First, fold the hem to the right side of the fabric. Then, fold the hem back on itself.
Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesThe left side shows the hem stitched along the edge. The right side shows the hem pulled down to flatten the stitching. With the three layers of fabric, I ended up with a bit of a raised seam on the outside, but still flat on the inside.
Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesAgain, each side is a unique finish, so folding in the opposite direction gives a different look. Keep in mind, the wrong side of the fabric will show at the bottom of your hem unless you have the ladder stitch on the right side.
Rivage Raglan sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Sweeter Than CupcakesWill you give flatlock seams a try?


Plaid Modkid Aubrey

Friday, December 21, 2018


Lately, once I've sewn something for myself, I follow up with something for my kids to use up the scraps. Since my serger and coverlock machines are already threaded in the coordinating colors, the process removes the need for that extra step of re-threading. The Modkid Aubrey has pretty slim pattern pieces, so this pattern works well for left over fabric. You can see my top from the same fabric here


I originally envisioned turning the plaid fabric on the bias for the side panels as I did for this Aubrey Dress. The pattern placement just wouldn't work with the scraps I had left, so I opted to use the reverse side of the fabric for contrast. I have to admit, I had to unpick one of those serged long curved seams, because I confused myself with right and wrong sides together. That one downfall was better than trying to align plaids across those curved seams if I didn't go with the contrast.


Apparently, I've made Modkid Aubrey dresses a Christmas tradition. Here are the versions from the last two years: 2016 & 2017.


I love a good dropped shoulder! The Aubrey dress one of those comfortable styles we turn to again and again.


Merry Christmas!!
** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**

Toaster Sweater #2 Tunic

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


The Toaster Sweater fever is still going strong! As I said in my last Toaster post, I am excited to play along with Toaster Tuesdays on Instagram whenever I can.


Can you believe how different this Toaster Sweater #2 and that previous top look? The only difference is the weight of the fabric and the length. I've added 6.5" to the original pattern to achieve a more tunic length. The fabric is a light weight french terry that feels almost like a sweater knit. The drape is so nice.


The result is a cozy yet polished look. This fabric works great for the holidays without screaming Christmas, so I can wear it long after. I wish I could source the fabric for you, but this piece came from a shopping trip to the Dallas fabric warehouses. I'm so thankful Melissa Mora, of Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link), introduced me to this spot. She has an entire post about Dallas Fabric Warehouse Shopping if you find yourself in the area. This piece was buried in a $2/yard remnant table. Score!


For my first Toaster Sweater #2, I used this seam tape trick to prevent any rolling of the facings. For this version, I only attached a 1.5" piece at the center front and center back. I felt like getting the full length to align properly was a bit tricky. The shorter piece holds the facing in place and is much easier to apply. 


Those side vents and mitered corners make my sewist heart so happy.


I don't think I could pick a favorite Toaster sweater if I had too! Will you be joining us for #ToasterTuesday?

Modkid Brooklyn as a Zip Up

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Avery has been reaching for more pullovers and fleece jackets as the temperatures have dropped. The mock turtleneck style of the new Brooklyn pattern by Modkid makes it the perfect pattern to hack for a zip up jacket.


Combining french terry for the sleeves and fleece for the body results in a super cozy jacket. I sized up one pattern size to allow for an under layer while still keeping a slim profile. You will likely notice that the Brooklyn pattern is actually a dress, but changing up the cut line for the sheath dress makes for a great top.



I had originally wanted to create a quarter zip pullover, but when I pulled out these fabrics (leftovers from this and this), I knew I had the perfect separating zipper. Look close at that navy and red stripe running on either side of the zipper. So cool!


Head over to the Modkid Blog for the full tutorial on adding a zipper to the Modkid Brooklyn. Since the Brooklyn pattern comes in girls, tween/teen, and misses', you can make one for all the females in the house!
** This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through my links, I receive a small compensation 
which I will in turn use to share more inspiration with you.**
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground