The Itch to Stitch Holiday Blog Tour Round-Up

I wanted to write this blog post so that I could consolidate the beauty, inspiration, and festivity of the Itch to Stitch Holiday Blog Tour in one spot. I mean, this tour deserves it’s own Pinterest board. I was honored that I got to co-organize this tour with my dear friend, Fleurine from Sew Mariefleur. We were both honored by the group of ladies that joined us to create some of the most festive holiday garments!

We had pattern hacks, faux suede, gold buttons, little black dresses, and elegance at every stop on the tour. Their creatively paired with Kennis’s expertly drafted patterns was a recipe pure holiday magic. Seriously, these women wowed me!

Teri from Fa Sew La sewed up the Idyllwild Dress and showed us how to style it a couple different ways. I love the simplicity of the dress and how it can work to create two totally separate looks. I’m always scanning Teri’s IG feed for good ideas!

Kristi from SweetKM has such great style and I knew she’d sew up something fantastic… this Hepburn Turtleneck that she hacked into a dress using this luscious black stretch velvet. Classy, chic, festive, brilliant….I only wish I could be this effortless!

Kim from Sweet Red Poppy used some merlot-colored stretch velvet to make a Davina Dress! I love what she did and it fits her perfectly! She has such a fabulous sense of what looks stunning on her which is easy because she is just that….a stunner! Let’s not even talk about that hair.

Sarah from Lace and Pine Designs is so good with the details and knows how to pull off a good hack! Case in point, check out that awesome “V” and peplum that she put on the Bonn shirt! Genius. She did a full tutorial on her blog about how she did it! I can’t wait to do this hack, it’s super awesome and gives this button up shirt such an amazing twist!

Our German bloggers and our Portuguese blogger really wowed me…and not just because of their impeccable style. Is it just me that finds it wildly impressive that they all speak fluent English? I would get laughed out of a German or Portuguese holiday blog tour. I only know “wunderbar” and “danke”…..and I suppose “wonderful” and “thank you” are two good phrases to know in a sewing circle….but still. I don’t know a word of Portuguese. I’m very impressed that they write their blogs in English on top of having such amazing sewing skills and style.  So, “Prost” to you ladies!

Maria from Fairies,Bubbles & Co put together such a fabulous outfit with her Kathryn Top and Lisbon Cardigan. Doesn’t her sparkly fabric make the look really festive? I’ve had the pleasure of testing a lot with Maria and she always makes the best stuff! She’s also the sweetest gal around!

Eveline from Frolein Tilia made the cutest polka-dot Bonn Shirt! I just love the coloring and how she paired it with her mustard skirt! She and I have very similar styles, so don’t be surprised if you see me in a polka dot Bonn and mustard skirt in the near future. I want to copy everything that she does!

Annika from Naeh Connection made a striped Lisbon Cardigan. If you didn’t know, Annika translates English pattern to German and vice versa. What’s the German word for “impressive”? I love her striped cardigan! I have been wanting to make one of these, I’m definitely going to after seeing this version! Check out her perfekt pattern matching!

Fleurine from Sew Mariefleur looks stunning in her Zamora Blouse and Petal Skirt. She was my co-organizer for the tour and a close friend of mine. I talk to her almost everyday….and we’d probably talk more if 8 time zones weren’t between us! She has the best style and I love everything that she makes! These are no exception.

Cassy from Pear Berry Lane made the Idyllwild Dress in this lovely oatmeal knit! This dress goes with everything! I love this color on her (and in general) so much! I am also LOVING that belted scarf! The perfect touch!


Rachel from The Wild Stitch took a break from her amazing podcasts to hack the Sirena Dress into this fabulous blouse! I love the lines and textures of this shirt! It’s stunning on her and so festive and fun! She also has a tutorial on her blog for hacking the Sirena into this top!

Meg from Cookin’ and Craftin’ is awesome! I love reading her blog. She always gives such a great review of the pattern(s) she’s blogging but she also throws in hilariously appropriate movie references….almost as if she’s writing specifically for me. I love a good movie reference. She did a spectacular Bonn Dress in this black and gold crepe! Perfection.

Teresa from Dandelion Drift did a Bonn Shirt and and I LOVE how she styled it with her heels and jeans! The green and white window pane fabric is so festive but I feel like this shirt could take you right into spring!

Sara from The Sara Project made a Sirena Dress out of faux suede shirting. Yes, you read right, faux suede shirting. This dress fits her beautifully and, yet again, her style is runway ready. I just love how she styles everything and can we agree that her hair is her best accessory? Gorgeous! Plus, I’d like add that she is just the sweetest!

Becca from Sunflower Seams is the one that got me into sewing. So I have her to thank for the complete re-distribution of my children’s college funds towards my fabric stash. She’s a true friend and the kind that I can ask really stupid sewing questions and I won’t get judged! She made an amazing shimmery and sparkly Arenal Top! I love how she color blocked it, it’s so festive but still a super comfortable knit top! Way to go, Friend!

Emi from Just Add Fabric never disappoints. Ever. She’s the best and made the best little black dress! This is the Marabella and she is personified elegance in it. I love the boatneck design of this dress. She also made the Salamanca Jacket out of a metallic stretch crepe. She talks about all the details on her blog….get ready to laugh.

Abbey from Sew Charleston looks good in everything. I KNOW that I couldn’t pull off leopard pants….but she DEFINITELY does! Her outfits that she created are the epitome of festive. If you haven’t checked out her Instagram or blog you definitely should… she posts pictures of her super cute dog!

And last but MOST CERTAINLY not least is Michelle from Style Maker Fabrics, our tour sponsor! This gal is a fabric-curating mastermind! I think it’s safe to say that all of us bloggers had a very difficult time deciding which fabrics to use because they were all SO GOOD! I thoroughly enjoyed working with Michelle….I actually even talked to her on the phone….yes, like olden times. Very archaic, I know. I also very much appreciated her hustle in getting me more fabric after I botched the cutting of my Bonn shirt. For her holiday festivities, she made a fantastic Salamanca Jacket. I love the fabric/pattern pairing! It’s holiday perfection!

Hi, Fleurine here from Sew Mariefleur! You may have wondered if the ever sweet and polite Leslie is going to mention her own outfit. Of course she didn’t! So I will. Leslie made an effortless, yet elegant Irena Top of beautiful dark blue sweater knit and the awesome Bonn Shirt that has been the promotion pic for our blog tour. Her pattern matching couldn’t possibly be any better. And you have to read her hilarious blog post about her dragging the Christmas tree out to the patio? I laughed so hard! You can check out her blog post here!

I sent this blog post to Fleurine for edits and she added the bit above. Thanks, Friend! I know some of these ladies more than others but I’m inspired by all of them everyday. They’re great people and great seamstresses. It was such a pleasure working with them on this tour. I hope that you were inspired by them as much as I was! Be sure to check out all of their posts, you won’t be disappointed!

Happy Holiday Sewing!


The Itch to Stitch Holiday Blog Tour

I was rewarded a special treat this holiday season by getting to participate (and help organize with Fleurine from Sew Mariefleur) the Holiday Blog Tour hosted by one of my favorite designers: Itch to Stitch. I started testing for Kennis this summer and I think that her patterns are tops! The icing on the Christmas cookies was that Style Maker Fabrics agreed to sponsor the tour with fabrics! I was like a kid in a candy shop!


If you read my blog or have ever been to my Instagram page, you know that I spend A LOT of time in front of this wall. It’s actually become somewhat of a joke in my circle of sewing friends….but you know what is also a joke? My husbands photographing skills. So, it’s me, Monsieur Tri-Pod, and my wall……and a Christmas tree to be more festive! You should’ve seen my kids’ stunned faces as I was hauling that tree through the house and onto the patio. Moving on.

I sewed up the Irena Knit Top and the much-loved Bonn Shirt! First up, the Irena: This is a long-sleeved sweater with arm bands and a waistband (no hemming!) with two large panels that cross in front. Like all of Kennis’s patterns, this sweater came together very easily and quickly! The drafting was excellent and her instructions were so, so good as usual. (If you have any of her patterns then you know what I’m talking about. They’re good, right?) I added 2″ to it an graded out to the next size at the hips and it falls perfectly over my pants! I wanted it to have a little bit of an “oversized” look. This sweater is so comfortable.

I used an amazing sweater knit from Style Maker Fabrics. It’s hard to photograph, but there are little specs of silver poking through. I actually won’t tease you with the details of this lucious knit because she is sold out of it. But here’s a link for other sweater knits and shimmer in her shop!

I paired my sweater with some black pants and ankle boots! If you’re one of those people that thinks mixing navy and black is a sin then avert your eyes for the next picture. I love the color combination though!

I also made a Bonn Shirt
 because I love the Bonn Shirt. I blogged about it here when I tested the pattern in August. This is such a great pattern because you get the look of a tailored shirt without having to go through all the work of making said tailored shirt. It’s genius. Plus, I love the neckline. Oh, that neckline! It’s looked flattering on everyone that I’ve seen wearing this shirt! I made a Size 6 and graded out to a Size 8 at the hips because, you guessed it, I added some length to it. This shirt can also become a dress and has four different sleeves to chose from! The pattern is packed with options! I did the long sleeved version because I like to roll them up.
This flannel from Style Maker Fabrics was perfect for this pattern! It’s so soft and I just LOVE the plaid on it with it’s bold, festive colors. I used these amazing chevron wood buttons on it that I got from Arrow Mountain! They travelled all the way from Australia. I think that they’re the perfect, rustic accent to this shirt.
I’m pretty pleased with how my pattern matching worked out. I worked meticulously to get it right, though……and I may or may not have had Michelle from Style Makers send me a bit more because I really messed up one of the front panels.
I prevailed on my second try though and the pattern matching worked out beautifully! I just love this shirt and would highly recommend this pattern! Oh, and I would also highly recommend the Irena as well! It’s such a classy design but such a simple sew! Win, win!
THE GOODS: Use the code “holiday16” to get 16% off of all Itch to Stitch pattern. The code lasts until December 11th Midnight CST.
Style Makers is also offering only $5 shipping for orders!!

I was absolutely floored and honored to be alongside the other bloggers on this tour. I think they all have such unique and impeccable styles! Check them out!!


Petit a Petit Block Party – The After Party

A couple of weeks ago Emi from Just Add Fabric contacted me about sewing up a couple things for the Petit a Petit Block Party. If you know Emi then you know it’s impossible to say “no” to her. She’s the absolute best there is: seamstress-wise and human being-wise. So, for the reasons just mentioned, I said “YES!” Plus, this was a chance to sew some of the patterns from the iconic Petit a Petit where inspiration runs rampant and the style is in its own class. I knew I was way out of my league. Nevertheless, I jumped on board, the “After Party” is where I always shine anyway. pap-sewingblockparty

My daughter has so many clothes and so I decided to make an outfit for my son this time. I chose the uber-chic Morocco Pants and the Goodall Cardigan. Mini Mister isn’t even two yet and didn’t fit into the 2T for the Morocco Pants. I emailed Celina about how to downsize these and she provided me with some great feedback! I cut off about 1/2″ on the waistband and increased the seam allowance slightly. So, these are Mini Moroccos. I initially took in too much around the crotch and then it dawned on me that I still need to size for a diaper in there! Ha! The crotch seam allowance ended up being the 3/8″ originally specified.

This pattern is pretty awesome. There are so many options with it and you can get as complex as you want. I felt like I was totally cheating by doing an elastic waistband, leaving off the belt loops, skipping the zipper fly or snap closure, and omitting the welt pocket flap! This pattern is packed with professional grade details. I DID, however, do the tuxedo style pant and a double welt pocket. Does that count for anything? I used a stretchy, textured denim that I got at Joann’s and it worked well! The accent is a Riley Blake design that I picked up at my local store Stitchology.

I did double welt pockets on the back. (Tip: Don’t learn double welt pockets the day before a project is supposed to be completed.) The fact that I procrastinate but always want to learn new skills isn’t the best strategy. That all said, I LOVE double welt pockets now. They are such a nice touch. I know my son won’t EVER use them or appreciate them, but I love them! I think my favorite feature on these pants, though)  is the angled side pockets, they’re so stylish.

The pattern was very well drafted and I thought that the instructions were clear. I’m definitely going to make these pants again. I learned a lot on my first pair and definitely plan to add more details to my next pair!

For the Goodall I used two knits from Robert Kaufman. I wanted to use this green color to be festive. I just took in the seam allowances from 3/8″ to 1/2″ for this one. It’s still a little baggy but the kid is only going to grow and it’s intended to be a slouchy cardigan. This is a super quick and easy sew and it turned out really well! I will be making many more of these! He really enjoys wearing it! You can get this pattern for FREE if you join the Petit a Petit Facebook Group.

If you’re wondering why I photographed this in the flat lay position it’s because he had a *melt down* when he put it on. Inexplicable and that outburst has nothing to do with the pattern itself! 

During the Block Party, you can get these patterns on sale using the code BLOCKPARTY. But hurry, it ends December 7th!

I was honored that I got to be part of this tour! All of the bloggers that participated are a huge inspiration to me! Thanks to Emi for thinking of me!

I Heart the Cheyenne Tunic

I’ve finished another Cheyenne and I thought that it was about time I get this amazing pattern blogged. It’s also, coincidentally, the one year anniversary of its release. This pattern owns my sewing heart of hearts because I really feel like it taught me how to sew. Adrianna’s instructions are always so thorough and clear with an explanation for each step. You learn so many sewing techniques by working your way through this pattern. I’ve posted a few in-progress pictures of my various Cheyennes in the Hey June Pattern Facebook Group and I usually get a few comments about how “I need to make one of these” or “I haven’t tackled this one yet”. My response to this is: “Sew it up, Sista!” It won’t be perfect, and your second one probably won’t be either, but you will be really proud of yourself for completing one. I was at least.

I sewed up a size medium and the fit is spot on like everything else from Hey June. I added 2″ to the length because I like things extra long and I already have a long torso. I did French seams everywhere and that finishing technique is very satisfying. Someone made a comment in the HJ Facebook group recently that she accidentally wore her Cheyenne tunic to work inside out and NO ONE noticed the whole day! That tells you that the shirt is beautifully finished on the inside and out…..and that her sewing is perfection. The “guts” of my Cheyennes are ever-improving…..but I don’t think I could wear it inside out just yet! That is what I will aspire to!

My first Cheyenne is one that I mashed with the Sanibel Romper and turned into a jumpsuit. I did a tutorial for that here. My second Cheyenne is one that I made out of this dobby from Robert Kaufman.You’d think that the third time would be the charm, right? Ha! This is me we’re talking about.

Now, do you want to see the fatal, can’t-come-back-from-it mistake that I made with my cutting? Here. Here it is, my crooked back piece connected to the yoke.

Yikes. How embarrassing. Panic struck and dwelled within me for about five minutes and then I realized that this is my Cheyenne tunic and it’s going to be constructed authentically (“authentically” meaning mistakes will be made). I find self-forgiveness to be a vital life skill and one that is critical to hone when it comes to sewing.

I usually buy a little extra fabric because of my long torso and my tendency to be in a hurry and make a couple cutting errors. However, I did not buy enough fabric to re-cut the whole back. I massaged the seam allowances a little bit after my husband conceded “yep, that looks really crooked”.  Clearly, I still wasn’t able to  get it straight, but it’s better than it was! To the seamstress eyebrow- raisers out there I say: “Avert your eyes”. To the non-sewers out there who judge the shirt I say, well, that’s an easy rebuttal: “Do you sew?”

I used this Robert Kaufman sunset-inspired flannel from LA Finch Fabrics and I love its weight. It was really easy to work with. It frayed a bit as any flannel does, but the weight of it was perfect for this pattern. I almost feel like I’m wearing the warmth of a sweatshirt when I have it on. This flannel was heavy enough that I didn’t use one shred of interfacing. What? {GASP!} Oh, the feeling of emancipation from extra steps and cutting! It was liberating! I’m being dramatic, it was nice having to do a few less things to do though. That’s not to say that I don’t agree with using interfacing for this pattern, I absolutely do for other substrates, just not this thick flannel.

I used smaller buttons for this version and so I ended up putting three buttons on the front  placket (which is sandwiched between two VERY straight front pieces). I took extra care to make sure these were straight and pattern matched to make up for my disaster on the back.

I cut my placket, yoke, and front pockets on the bias. I like doing this because it adds some visual interest and, let’s be real, it also means less pattern matching.

I really love this new one I made and I’m already planning another Cheyenne  because once you acquire the confidence that this pattern WILL give you, you can’t stop making them! I owe a lot of my sewing confidence to this pattern and to Adrianna. She’s always quick to respond to my panic emails of “does this look right!??!”  I’m a devout fan of Hey June and will continue to make all of her patterns…..on repeat.

Leave a comment on how you would’ve fixed the crooked piece. I’m sure there was some solution that I missed.

This blog post contains affiliate links, however, the opinions stated are solely my own.


The Plaid and Boots Tour

This blog gets wordy and tangential. Please feel free to scan to the relevant paragraphs describing the garments and GIVEAWAYS highlighted in bold! If you’ve got some time on your hands, though, here’s my unabridged blog post for the Plaid and Boots Tour hosted my Laela Jeyne:

A little while back I got an email asking if I’d like to be part of a fall blog tour. A blog tour!?! Me!?!? Little ol’ ThreadBear? Did they send it to the right person? Once I ascertained that the invitation was, in fact, intended for me I was excited to see that I was among a talented group of ladies!

I was new to the Laela Jeyne line-up and had fun looking through all of her designs. She has a diversified portfolio of patterns that can build a lot of different looks throughout the year.

It gets better…..The tour was sponsored by a slew of fabric shops and manufacturers including: Knit PopRaspberry Creek FabricsMichael Miller, and Art Gallery. Oh the options……I was one of the last ones to get my selections made because I couldn’t decide and, let’s face it, I have a penchant for procrastination. I’m suuuuper good at procrastinating.

Enough about my weaknesses, let’s move on to my iron-clad attributes. A couple things that you might not know about me: 1. I love bonfires and 2. I love game nights. As luck would have it, one of the tour’s themes was “Bonfire/Game Night”. Boom! I typed in my name and immediately envisioned the Willa Vest and the Emily shirt. Good, check.

Fast forward three weeks ahead and I’m furiously quilting the panels of my Willa and wheeling my rotary cutter at warp speeds around the Emily pattern pieces. I procrastinated. Again. Luckily for me, the Willa and the Emily patterns are well drafted and their construction is well thought out and easy to understand. I was able to get them both done on time and I LOVE (love, love, love) how they turned out.

Now if you’re like me with small children then you have two different types of “game nights”. One is at home with your kiddos, refereeing who gets to use the Mr. Gumdrop piece on your 87th round of Candyland. The other type is a night out with your husband headed over to a friends’ house for a lively game of charades and a (few) festive libation(s). I decided to style my Laela Jeyne outfit for the later. I paired my black cowl-neck Emily with the Willa vest and some heels. This is my look to a tee!

Let’s talk about the Willa vest. It’s a flattering cut with princess seams, welt pockets, AND an attachable hood. I really love all of these options. I found the princess seams to fit me perfectly and be very flattering.

Even though it has a fitted feel with the princess seams I still feel like I have plenty of room….which is good because I’m going to be wearing it over sweaters, not my swimsuit. The fact that that bodice is two separate pieces also gives you  a great opportunity to color block. The armscyes, neckline, and hem are all bound with double fold bias tape. I used boring old black, but can we say “accent opportunity”? This method would be perfect for adding a fun print. I used a sturdy denim from Art Gallery Fabrics and it was the perfect fabric. I used a bamboo batting to quilt it and lined it with a plaid flannel that I got at Joann’s. Now it’s the love of my life. 

I did make one modification to the collar. I love a good popped collar and I usually wear my collars up on my vests.

Because of how I wanted to style it, I cut down the collar a bit so that it was more square instead of the folded down style as it was intended. Because of this I had to shorten my plastic zipper which turned out to be a win because I got to use my wood burning tool! I’m a craft junkie and, yes, I have a wood burning tool. (If you’re wondering about this zipper method, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.)

Onto the Emily top! I made two of this top. One with the jewel style neckline and the other with a cowl neck. Love and LOVE, respectively. The description of the shirt says that it’s a fitted shirt and that’s the truth. It fits me very well and it’s flattering and comfortable, but I would recommend sizing up if you’re going for any sort of “slouchy” look. Or, just sew up her new Sydney Slouchy Raglan pattern!  It also depends on your fabric a bit, too.

For the cowl neck version I used a brushed poly from LA Finch Fabrics. This was my first time using this substrate and I’m a convert. It’s so amazingly soft, easy to work with, and drapey. I added 3″ to this one and flared out the sides a bit. I’m a tunic-girl, what can I say? Other than those modifications, I think the fit is great!


The other Emily is one I made out of this knit from Art Gallery. I love this color paired with the color of the vest. As you can see, the shirt hits me in the right places, just snugly, as advertised. I like the higher neckline of this one, too.

I paired this one with my vest and leggings and my trusty Hunter boots for my “Bonfire” look……now, where’s the kerosene? I need a s’more.

Before you lose your mind with excitement over the prizes below, I just want to say that I was honored to be part of this tour and am so excited that I discovered Laela Jeyne Patterns!

THE GOODS! Tour sponsors have generously offered 3 great prizes. Below is a description of each prize and a rafflecopter to enter!!


CLICK  THIS LINK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN:   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, to get a 20% discount on any of the patterns, use code: P&BTOUR20

     Tour Schedule


Kaleidothought – idle sunshine – Allie J.


Sew Pinspired – SewSophieLynn – The Wholesome Mama


Nini and Ash – Sew and Tell Project – Sweet Red Poppy


Pear Berry Lane – Paisley Roots – Threadbear Garments – Lace and Pine Designs 


Olive Ashby – Sunflower Seams – Elegantine

Want to know a  secret about my plan for this blog tour?? I fully intended to make the Taylor leggings to pair with my Bonfire look. However, and this shouldn’t come as any surprise, I procrastinated and ran out of time. Plus, the kids needed to be fed. BUT, you can get the patten for FREE if you join the Laela Jeyne Facebook Group!

The Toasters by Sew House Seven

My internal dialogue blurted out “Oh, I’m going to make a ton of those” when I first saw the new sweater pattern from Sew House Seven. Then the Indie Sew Fall/Winter collection was launched in all its splendor and the project moved to the top of my sewing list. Then I saw how quickly the project came together and now I can’t look at a sweater knit without envisioning a Toaster.

I’ve made three so far and I love them all! A lot. The fit through the shoulders and bust is spot on and it’s just fitted enough to be very flattering but very comfortable as a sweater should be. I really enjoyed the pattern and tutorial as well.  I thought that it was really well-drafted and the construction was simple but thorough. Peggy’s instructions were clear and I was done before I knew it!

When I purchased the pattern, Peggy gave me fair warning that the style is fairly cropped. I usually add 1-2″ to all of my garments as I have a very long torso, but I ended up adding 2.5″ to my muslin. I’m glad that I did because otherwise I would’ve been pioneering a fashion trend that could be dubbed “Midriff-Baring Toaster Sweater”. With the 2.5″ added, I think my muslin came out as it was supposed to look. Cute and cropped. I used a thin and drapey denim French Terry from LA Finch Fabrics. (I love LA Finch Fabrics.) I was unsure how this thinner fabric would look with the neck but it came out really cute and it’s super comfortable.

My next one I made with this wool/lyrca knit that I’ve been rubbing my face in since I got it. I knew that it would make the perfect sweater…..and I was right. I LOVE my olive green tunic-y Toaster. I added a whooping 6″ to this one to achieve a longer sweater that I could wear leggings with. The neckline is a little more pronounced than my muslin but I love it!

The mitered corners are my favorite!

For my last version, I did Version #1. Wait, what am I talking about? My “last version”? I’ll be making these ’til Kingdom come. For my THIRD version, I did the number one.

I used a boucle knit that I found at Joann’s. I love this fabric and I might go back and get some more to make a Version 2. I was able to do the whole thing on my serger and I love me a good serger project. That is, when my serger is behaving herself. She usually tends to be prickly when I have a deadline.

I added 4″ to this one and it came out just as I wanted! The fit is perfect and I love the length for this style. Another modification that I made was that I reduced the height of the neck by 1 cm. I wasn’t planning on this but the edges of my neck piece were fairly ravaged after I angrily picked it off after realizing that it was on backwards. Peggy gave fair warning in the tutorial to pay close attention to the pattern pieces. This sort of thing can happen as the pieces of a raglan shirt are all fairly similar. Luckily, I hadn’t serged on the neck….it’s like I knew I was going to mess up. ANYWAY, it’s all okay now and sewn on properly…..minus 1 cm on the height.

As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, I love this pattern and would highly recommend it. Great style, simple construction, and clear instructions. Check, check, and check. Just pay attention to which side is the front and sew your collar on right!



The Arenal Shirt – Pattern Testing

This is my third pattern test for Kennis at Itch to Stitch and I was treated yet again to a fabulous pattern, this one being the Arenal Shirt.

(Here is my review of the Bonn Shirt and my review of the Belize Shorts and Skort).

One of the best things about her patterns is that they’re laced with instructions of how to improve your technique. As someone that’s only been sewing for a short amount of time, I find this to be exceedingly helpful. People have asked me how I learned how to sew so quickly and it’s just because I read the expertly explained tutorials like the ones provided in Kennis’s patterns. Sometimes I find the tutorials that Google populates when I frustratingly punch in “HOW DO YOU INSTALL A FREAKING EXPOSED ZIPPER” or “WHAT IN THE HECK ARE HONG KONG SEAMS??” to be helpful…..but I don’t do these types of searches when I sew with Kennis’s patterns.

I’m going to reel myself back in now and discuss the topic at hand: pattern testing the Arenal Top. What drew me this pattern the most was the gorgeous handkerchief hemline and the shoulder accents (I’m such a sucker for this feature). Also, you can’t have enough go-to knit patterns, especially rolling into the fall season.

The pattern features two different hemline options: the aforementioned handkerchief and a more fitted, straight hemline. There are also two different sleeve length options of 3/4 length and full length.

I think that this top is really cute for the fall. Admittedly, I don’t typically wear v-necks; however, this v-neck is soft enough and is really flattering. I was nervous about sewing my first v-neckband  but Kennis’s instructions were crystal clear and I was able to get an excellent result that I was really happy with.

The shirt came together really quickly and easily. The most time consuming part was pattern matching all of my stripes. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many pins I used to get those to match up.

I love learning new finishing techniques and my favorite finishing feature (look at that alliteration) about this shirt is the mitered corners on the hemline. I think that this finishing technique really adds a professional finish to the shirt.

The striped version was my muslin version and I really love the way it turned out. For some reason I didn’t add the usual 2″ that I add to all my garments and it came out a little short on me (not surprising). The length was good for all of the other testers that don’t have Amazon woman torso lengths.

I used a rayon jersey and the drape of the fabric was really nice for the handkerchief hemline.

There are two lengthen/shorten lines in the pattern and so for my second version I added 2″ to the main bodice portion and 1″ to the hemline for account for my long torso and I love tunic length garments. The length is perfect. I used a French Terry for this version and I sized up to a size 8 for a little slouchier look. It’s just right! The shoulder accent is just the wrong side of the French Terry.

I will say that the handkerchief hemline isn’t as noticeable with the sturdier knit but I think it still turned out really cute!

Like all of her patterns, I would recommend this one very highly. I think it’s very stylish and versatile! The pattern is on sale for 20% using code “lakearenal” at checkout! You can get the Arenal Shirt Pattern here!

While this post contains affiliate links, the opinions stated above are solely my own.