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Friday, April 19, 2013

Week 3 - For ME!

So I have gone into completely new territory this week!  While I was finishing the home decor look last week I bought the Casual Lady .pdf pattern from Go To Pattern Shop as my framework for the look I planned to make this week.  Did you also know that Andrea from Go To Patterns was donating the profit from pattern sales on the Casual Lady to help women and children in India and Cambodia?  Click the link to read more!  So far she's been able to donate over $800 from the pattern sales!

I must say that I'm pretty darn proud of myself because I have NEVER (I repeat.....NEVER!) sewn an article of clothing over a size 5-6T!  I have seen pictures of blogging friends like Veronica from Sew Very and their Casual Lady shirts and dresses and got a boost of confidence that I CAN DO IT!

One of the other hesitations I had was that I am not really happy with my body image right now.  2 kids in the past 4 years have added extra weight that I've struggled to lose.  I wish I was a slim size 6-8 but that is not the reality.  When I expressed my frustrations to my husband he very sweetly told me how beautiful I was and the next day sent me an e-mail with the new Dove commercial that has seemed to go viral.  I know, I have a keeper! ;-)

Because of my size I wanted to alter the Casual Lady to make it even more flattering to my body type.  I sewed up a test garment with some ugly brown knit to see if I liked the fit.  I also experimented with adding a little slit at the neck.

I was pleased with the underarm and side proportions but I wanted a little more cap in the sleeve and decided to create some drape in the bust area.  And I decided against a slit because of the change in the bust - adding too many components would make it look too busy.

The way I altered the pattern was to add a few more inches to the shoulder/arm sleeve and to cut the front fabric pattern in 2 pieces.  The top piece would be cut as normal but when I cut the bottom part of the front I placed it 4-5 inches away from the fold so that I would have the extra fabric to gather.

I gathered the bottom section of the front and serged it to the top section before following the rest of the pattern construction.  There were two other derivations I made.
1.  I cut the lining to be 2 inches shorter than the outer fabric which is a lot longer than the pattern lining piece.  My outer knit is really lightweight and I wanted the extra stability of a lining behind it.
2.  Instead of following the instructions for hemming the sleeve and sewing the sides, I created the top like I would a reversible dress.  The only thing I didn't do was attach the lining fabric to the main fabric at the bottom.  Because of the extra fabric in the front I would end up with a bubble looking shirt so the lining is serged at the bottom and the main fabric is hemmed with a double needle.

I have to say this top is going to be one of my favorites this spring/summer!!!  I've also created a couple accessories to go with it......I present  "The Casual Lady Two Ways!"

(Thank you to Amber Speck Photography for the photos!)
This is the dressier version of my look - I paired the top with some linen pants and a turquoise necklace from Kohl's!  Amber was so sweet to take all of my "Casual" Casual Lady pictures!  This girl knows how to rock the camera!  Can we say "camera envy????"  She's so talented!


(Thank you to Amanda Love for the photos!  My sweet friend met me at the park with her 8 month old and took pictures for me while wearing him in her Ergo! Supermom!!!)
I decided to refashion some sweat pants into shorts for this look!  I cut off the bottom of the pants and used my double needle to hem the bottom

Then I added a strip of fabric on the sides from the leftover knit in my top.  I used more of the leftover knit for a covered button to add to the bottom and now I have a cute pair of sweat shorts to wear comfortably this spring and summer!

Just for fun I decided to make a cute ribbon chain necklace to go with the look.  I bought a pack of multi colored grosgrain ribbon at JoAnn's and looped them together and then secured on a metal chain to wear with the outfit!  It's very casual and easy - just hot glue the ends as you make the chain and then tie your necklace chain around the end loops.

Thank you so much for voting me into week 3!  I have been challenged and have stretched my skills and creativity coming up with projects for each theme!  I hope I can be a part of the final week!  I would love your vote!
Click here to scroll through the entries and vote!
(Thank you for reading this far and letting your browser load all these photos!)


  1. I love the changes you made to this top! I just bought the pattern but I haven't had time to try it yet. I am going to keep your changes in mind when I do get to it. Thank you!

  2. Great job!! You look beautiful. It's super flattering and lovely.

  3. Love the shirt. I have had 3 kids in the last 6 years, and am struggling with the last pounds of baby weight. That is exactly the shirt that I want to wear. Something that fits, but also covers up the extra weight. Thanks for showing the how to!

  4. Reanna,
    This looks super comfortable. I think sewing with knits is in order for me! We would love it if you would come over to Shaffer Sisters and link this up at our linky party
    We have dedicated the whole Month to Moms and what they can make for themselves. Sort of selfish, but we are lovin it! ;)

    with love,

  5. That is super cute! I love the way you divided the front piece into two sections. I will have to give this a try! I also love your fabric choice--the stripes look fabulous!

  6. We are featuring you tomorrow over at Thanks for linking up. Feel free to stop by and grab a button.
    with love,

  7. It is a very nice and informative post. Really thanks for this type of post.
    Gazebo in your Garden



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