Wednesday, March 03, 2021

The Gothenburg Top by Itch to Stitch - An Easy-to-Sew Knit Pullover Top

When I saw the line drawings for the new Gothenburg Top from Itch to Stitch, I immediately liked the stand up funnel neck that gave off a retro 60s vibe. Then I discovered it also had multiple cup sizes - boom!  I applied to test the pattern.

The pattern is described as "the epitome of casual chic. With simple lines, the wonderfully easy and elegant Gothenburg lets the fabric do all the talking. The Gothenburg is designed for structured knit fabric, and as a result, the funnel neck stands up to create an interesting feature.
The PDF pattern is available in sizes 00 to 40 with cup size options up to DD.

Since the top is designed for a structured knit, I pulled out a beautiful red Ponte knit that I had received last year in one of my Fabric Mart Fabrics mystery bundles. The weight is similar to a heavier Ponte and I suspect it is a wool blend.

I sewed a size 6 DD, grading to an 8 at the hip.  I did have to make some adjustments to fit me. I narrowed the shoulder seam by 3/4", and shortened the sleeves by 1".  These are somewhat standard alterations for me as I have narrow shoulders combined with short arms (thanks Mom!) 

Looking at my back photos, I probably should have done a small sway back adjustment also.  Or maybe I just need to make some type of adjustment to keep it from catching on my full upper hip.

One thing I really appreciate is the forward-leaning funnel neck. The designer intentionally drafted it that way so you won't feel like you're being choked when wearing this top. 

For the photos I paired mine with skinny jeans (I know, I know, according to Gen Z they are out of fashion...just Google it, Ha! Ha!), and a pair of leopard print heels. After all, where else am I going to wear these heels right now :-) . 

I absolutely love the red color! And the way the neckline stands up.  I'm debating whether or not to shorten the sleeves to a 3/4 length.  I think that would give this top an even more retro look.

Although French Terry was not one of the suggested fabrics, I decided to stitch another top just to see how the different fabrics reacted.

This French Terry I had planned to use to sew another ITS Lamma Sweatshirt. However I sacrificed it so I could see the difference between a structured and soft knit. 

I like them both! You can see the French Terry has a much softer drape at the neckline.  This one I have already been wearing with leggings around the house and to walk the dog. Maybe that's why she's looking up at me :-) 

I'm not sure how apparent it is in these photos, but the back is slightly longer than the front.

Did I mention how quickly you can sew this top?  It's a true instant gratification sewing project. Once you have your pattern printed, taped and cut (or traced) your sewing time will likely be less than an hour. 

I'm pretty pleased with my new tops. And so is my dog! 

The Itch to Stitch Gothenburg Top pattern was released today, March 3, 2021, and will be on sale (20% off) until March 9, 2021. 

I have an affiliate link you can use to purchase the pattern if you so choose. It's no extra cost to you and I receive a very small commission.

Note: As a pattern tester I did receive a copy of this pattern at no cost in exchange for feedback on the fit and construction.  I was not required to write a blog post.  I just like to share when I find patterns I like!

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Madison Cardigan by Style Sew Me

When I'm wearing a basic tee and jeans I like to add a cardigan. It adds color and style to jazz up that basic tee.  I especially like it when I find a cardigan that is a little bit extra. Like the Style Sew Me Madison Cardigan.

This cardi features a hi-lo hem and a waterfall front that drapes beautifully. I think the back is the real star though. The two side panels combined with the center back panel add great movement. Plus, think of the color blocking opportunities!

The pattern is available in both printed and PDF versions. Mine is the print version. 

I sewed a size medium as I'm right in between the medium and the large.  The pattern has a two-piece sleeve, which I don't think is that common in a cardigan pattern. At least not in the ones that I have sewn. 

When I look at the design I envision this sewn out of a rayon knit.  Lots of softness and drape. However, the fabric suggestions (on the pattern envelope) are double knits and woven fabrics with moderate stretch, so perhaps it was designed with structure in mind. That may be the reason for the two-piece sleeve.

Note that in the pattern instruction booklet the fabric suggestions are different. They are double knit, ponte knit, scuba knit, and all other knits of all weights. No mention at all of "woven fabrics with moderate stretch" as printed on the pattern envelope. I'm not sure if it was an editing error or if stretch wovens would indeed work. 

I don't typically remember to check for pattern reviews before I sew something.  I usually think of it only after I've run into problems, LOL.  Fortunately I checked reviews on this one and a few reviewers mentioned that the sleeves ran small.

I measured the flat pattern and realized I would need to add width. While I don't have the smallest arms out there, I can't remember the last time I needed to add width in the bicep area.  I'm happy I learned about the sleeves before I cut everything out as I was able to alter the pattern to give myself an extra inch of width.

After adding the sleeve to the cardigan body, I found it was still too tight. I undid the stitches and resewed using a scant 1/4" seam allowance. The original seam allowance was 1/2" so I was able to get a tiny bit more width in the bicep area making it wearable.  I would not be able to wear this over a long sleeve top so keep that in mind if you sew this one. 

I had wanted to sew this using a snake print rayon knit I had received in a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  Alas, I was short about 1/2 yard.

Instead I used another Fabric Mart mystery bundle fabric. A green polyester knit. As I rarely sew or wear this color, I only had one spool of thread on hand that matched, and no green serger thread at all. I didn't want to purchase thread, so I used black thread in my serger.  

What?!? Ha Ha, yep.  Even knowing you'd be able to see the black on the inside of the hems.  I don't care. My thought was that the green would just be a test garment and it wouldn't be worn.  Jokes on me!  I love my new green cardi.  So it will be worn with visible black thread :-)

Another thing I want to mention if you purchase the printed pattern. The fonts sizes are not consistent in the instruction booklet. The biggest challenge for me was trying to decipher the size chart as well as the chart for the fabric requirements.  The font is just too small to read easily.  I wish the designer had split both of those tables and used a larger font.  And if you're over the age of 40, you know what I'm talking about, LOL. 

All if all, this is a super quick sew.  Now that I've already altered the sleeve pattern, it will likely take no more than two hours to cut out and sew myself another. 

By the way, these photos were taken after the historic snow and cold that blanketed Texas the week of February 15, 2021.  I had put on sandals since the temps had reached near 50 the day we took photos. As a native Northerner, well, that felt warm.

Unfortunately I managed to step in a puddle of ice water and hubby caught me looking down in surprise :-) 

Until next time - Happy Sewing! Pin It

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Vogue 2517 - Vintage DVF Wrap Dress

Fabric choices can make or break a fabulous design, such as this vintage DVF wrap dress pattern.

The pattern is Vogue 2517, from 1980. I don't recall where I found the pattern, but it was purchased second hand.

I began working on the dress about four years ago using some ITY fabric I purchased at SR Harris. Loooooong story, but I finally finished the dress a day ago.

Let me explain my opening sentence.  At the time I cut out the pieces for this dress I was only focused on using three prints that coordinated.  On my cutting table these went together very nicely.  It was only after I had stitched the dress together did I realize I had given myself a built-in beauty pageant sash. Ha!Ha!

 As if that wasn't bad enough, the white is so stark against the solid and print black fabrics, that is really emphasizes parts of my body that I prefer to not have all that much attention.  I think I was so focused on following the color scheme of the maxi dress (with the lightest fabric in the center) that I didn't think through what the final design would look like. 

Let's talk about the construction of the dress.  It's a rather simple dress to sew.  As long as you don't need to take it apart and restitch it multiple times like I did.  

It all began when I decided I needed a full bust adjustment, extra fabric at my waistline and more length in the bodice. I made the adjustments without measuring the pattern pieces or even putting them up against my body.

Big mistake.  I sewed everything together and the bodice was...hmm, how shall I say this?  It was a hot mess!  I did NOT need the extra length in the bodice as the waistline was now sitting about three inches below my waist.  I also didn't need to extra width at the waistline, nor as large of an FBA as I had done.  

So I ripped it apart and re-cut the already cut pieces as best as I could to make it fit better.  I wasn't 100 percent satisfied so I tucked it away with plans to work on it at a later date when I was less frustrated. 

By the way, this is a bit of a side view showing how those panels match up at the seam forming the V.  Pretty cool, huh?

The project sat for quite a bit longer than I had originally intended. When I pulled it out again it was now too small, a side effect from a medical condition I was battling. I just didn't have the energy at that point to redo everything and tucked it away again.

Fast forward about 18 months and I decided it was time to revisit this project.  In that 18 month time period, I had surgery for that condition, discovered the cause of my weight gain, and was working on getting back to my normal weight.  Oh yea, and there was that move across country too, LOL.

Yesterday I decided it was time to either finish it or toss it.  As you can see, I decided to finish it.  I put it on and the extra I had added previously wasn't needed.  It wasn't as large as it had been when I originally sewed it but hey, I'm happy the inflammation in my body appears to be under control. 

And that bodice, well, it was still a bit of hot mess. I ended up stitching a 1-3/4" seam allowance attaching the bodice to the skirt AND stitching the shoulder seam in a 1-1/2" seam allowance starting at the neck line and tapering to the 5/8" seam allowance at the armhole.  It's not perfect but it makes the dress wearable. 

 I'm not sure if this is how the original DVF dress was constructed, but the pattern included facings for the wrap front and back neck.  If/when I sew this again, I'm going to eliminate them and use a narrow binding.  Also, this is designed for a side zipper which I eliminated as the fabric has enough stretch for me to get this on and off easily. 

This is a faux wrap dress, and I did forget to re-add the little ties on the left side of the dress. I may or may not stitch them on. I'm not sure they are needed.

The dress is described as finishing three inches below the knee and you can see it's mid-calf on me. I kind of like this longer length.  

I thought the dress was quite flattering when I looked at myself in the mirror. However, when I saw the pics of me wearing it I was no longer sure. This will have to go into the closet for awhile.  I may be more interested in wearing it once more time has passed and the memory of the sewing challenges have faded.

Happy Sewing!

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Friday, February 12, 2021

DIY ~ Valentine's Day Apron with Ruffles & Heart Applique Pockets ~ Sewing Tutorial

Sew your own ruffled half Apron with this easy to follow tutorial! The Apron features two ruffles, two Pockets with machine appliqued Hearts, and long Tie Ends making it adjustable for many sizes. This apron design looks so sweet in this Valentine themed fabric, but it would look great in any combination of fabrics!

Prefer to watch how the Apron is put together? Click here to view my DIY video tutorial on YouTube that will walk you step-by-step on how to sew this adorable ruffled Apron.

Half Apron with Two Ruffles and Appliqued Hearts on Pocket Sewn From Valentines Day Fabric by Sharon Sews
Note: I used quilting cottons for my Apron.
Apron Body: 42" x 18" - CUT 1
Upper Ruffle: 42" x 7" - CUT 2
Lower Ruffle: 42" x 7" - CUT 2
Pockets: 8" x 8" - CUT 4 (same fabric as Apron Body)
Waistband: 26" x 5" - CUT 1 (same fabric as Apron Body)
Tie Ends: 40" x 5" - CUT 2 (same fabric as Apron Body)
Heart Appliques: 6" x 6" (2) for Large Hearts; 5" x 5" (2) for Small Hearts
Thread - Coordinating to sew Apron
Thread - Contrasting to Applique the Hearts (I used a Sulky rayon thread)
Paper-backed Fusible Web (I used Heat-n-Bond LITE)
Paper and Fabric Scissors
Iron and Ironing Board
Sewing Machine
Optional: Two 1/2" buttons for the pockets; Open-toe pressure foot for applique; Self-healing mat and rotary cutter; Purchased applique for the pockets (instead of creating your own).

Download the PDF file of the Hearts. Print.

(this is a PDF File on Google Drives) -


Place the fusible web paper backing over the Hearts with the paper side up (bumpy side will be down). Trace 2 large Hearts and 2 small Hearts onto the paper. Be sure to leave about 1/2” between the Hearts. Rough cut the Hearts.

Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse each Heart onto the wrong side of fabric. Cut out each Heart.

Place 1 large Heart in the center of 1 Pocket piece. Carefully lift up and peel off the paper backing. Place Heart back in place. Fuse following the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat for the other Pocket.

Place 1 small Heart on the lower left edge of the Pocket overlapping the large Heart slightly. (See photo of Apron for approximate placement).  

Once you’re happy with the placement, make a small mark on the edge of the large Heart where the small heart meets. Be sure to use an erasable fabric marker.  (You’re marking where you will start and stop the large Heart applique to avoid a thread bump underneath the small Heart.) Remove the small Heart and set aside.

Repeat for the other pocket.

Using contrast thread applique the large Hearts in place using a narrow width/length zigzag. Start and stop at the marks you added in the previous step. Experiment on a sample first to determine the exact zigzag width and length to use on your machine.

Place the small Hearts back in place. Carefully lift up and peel off the paper backing. Fuse following the manufacturer’s instructions.  

Using contrast thread applique the small Hearts in place using a narrow width/length zigzag.


Note: All seams are 1/2”

Place 2 Pocket pieces (1 with the appliqued hearts) right sides together. Pin. Mark a 3” opening at the bottom. Stitch around all edges, leaving a 3” opening for turning.

Trim the seam allowance and snip a small triangle piece off at each corner. Turn the Pocket right side out. Press, making sure to turn in the seam allowance of the 3” opening.

Repeat for the other pocket.

Fold the upper edge 1/2” to the right side and press. If desired, stitch one button in the center of the Pocket securing the folded edge to the pocket.

Set Pockets aside.

Pocket Closeup of Half Apron with Two Ruffles and Appliqued Hearts on Pocket Sewn From Valentines Day Fabric by Sharon Sews


Designate one 42” edge of the Apron Body as the top. Press under and stitch a double 1/4” hem along the bottom edge, and both side edges.


Place the Upper Ruffle strips right sides together along one short end. Pin and stitch. Press seam open.

Press under and stitch a double 1/4” hem along all four edges.

Stitch a row of gathering stitches 1” from the upper edge, leaving long thread tails at the beginning and end.  Stitch a second row of gathering stitches 3/4” from the upper edge, leaving long thread tails at the beginning and the end.

Repeat for the Lower Ruffle. 


Fold the Apron Body in half and mark the center with a pin or erasable fabric marker. Unfold.

Mark the center of the Upper and Lower Ruffles.

Position the Apron Body on a flat work surface with the right side facing up. Position the Lower Ruffle 5” from the bottom of the Apron Body with the right side facing up. Matching the centers and the ends, pin the Lower Ruffle to the Apron Body. Pull up the gathering threads to distribute the ruffle fullness evenly. Pin. Stitch in place. 

Position the Apron Body on a flat work surface with the right side facing up. Position the Upper Ruffle 9” from the top of the Apron Body with the right side facing up. Matching the centers and the ends, pin the Upper Ruffle to the Apron Body. Pull up the gathering threads to distribute the ruffle fullness evenly. Pin. Stitch in place. 


Position the Apron Body on a flat work surface with the right side facing up.

Measure 5-1/2” from each side edge, and 3” from the upper edge. Mark with a pin or erasable fabric marker. Place each Pocket along the lines. The lower edge of the pocket will be tucked under the top edge of the Upper Ruffle. Pin. Edgestitch along three edges, keeping the upper Pocket edge open.


Stitch a row of gathering stitches 1/2” from the upper edge of the Apron Body, leaving long thread tails at the beginning and end.  Stitch a second row of gathering stitches 1/4” from the upper edge, leaving long thread tails at the beginning and the end.

With right sides together, align one tie short edge with one Waistband short edge. Pin. Stitch. Repeat to stitch the remaining tie to the opposite Waistband short edge. Designate one Waistband edge as the upper edge.

Position the Apron Body on a flat work surface with the right side facing up. Position the Waistband right sides together over the apron, matching the upper edges. Align the center of the Waistband with the center of the Apron, and the side seam of the Waistband with the side edges of the Apron. Pull the bobbin thread to gather the upper edge of the Apron Body to match the width of the Waistband. Pin. Stitch.

Press the seam toward the Waistband.

Press the short edges of the Tie Ends 1/2” toward the wrong side. Press the remaining Waistband edges 1/2” toward the wrong side. Fold the Waistband in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, enclosing the raw edges. Press. Pin. Edgestitch the Waistband/Ties long and short ends.

Ta-da! Done! Put on your new ruffle apron and give it a twirl!

Female Wears Half Apron with Two Ruffles and Appliqued Hearts on Pocket Sewn From Valentines Day Fabric by Sharon Sews

 If you sew this Apron using my tutorial, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@SharonSews) or use the hashtag #SharonSewsApronTute so I can see your lovely creation!


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Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Simplicity 9185 ~ An Asymmetric Knit Scarf Shawl

"Um, that's kind of weird" uttered my hubby as I donned my new shawl in preparation for a few photos. 

Simplicity 9185 Asymmetric Scarf Shawl in Plaid Sweater Knit

 While it's not exactly practical, I wouldn't call it weird :-)  Different for sure, but not weird. 

Simplicity 9185 Asymmetric Scarf Shawl in Plaid Sweater Knit

So what is it exactly?  Simplicity 9185 is a pattern that includes a knit top, elastic waist pants, and this asymmetric scarf shawl.  

Thanks to the Simplicity Instagram account, I was able to find an image from Pixie Market. It's no longer available for sale, but an Internet search brought up a couple (low quality) images. I'd be curious what fabric was used for this red one.  I rather like the shorter length, and I would not have thought about wrapping the long edges as they have shown. 

Red Asymmetric Scarf Shawl from Pixie Market

For my version I used a very cheap sweater knit from Walmart. It was one of those precut bundles and cost a whopping $4 for two yards.  I wanted to test the fit of the shawl before investing in a higher quality knit.

Simplicity 9185 Asymmetric Scarf Shawl in Plaid Sweater Knit

You'll need two yards of knit fabric and about an hour of your time to sew one. The left side drapes end near my ankle. For reference. I'm 5' 5".  You can see my bust is pulling up the shawl at the center front. If I sew this again I'll add length to the center front to compensate for that.

Simplicity 9185 Asymmetric Scarf Shawl in Plaid Sweater Knit

This pullover shawl is only three pattern pieces.  A front, a back, and a small turtleneck collar.  Construction is simple. On the right side you stitch the shoulder seam, the underarm seam, and hem the arm opening. On the left side you stitch the shoulder seam to the marking (which is about where your shoulder joint is located) and hem the drape edges. I used a three thread serger stitch to finish my edges.  

Simplicity 9185 Asymmetric Scarf Shawl in Plaid Sweater Knit
I thought the collar construction was odd and I'll do it differently next time.  You're instructed to stitch the center back seam wrong sides together, press seam to one side, trim raw edge under seam allowance to 1/4", and stitch the upper seam allowance in place. The upper edge of the collar is hemmed by pressing the hem of the wrong side to the right side and stitching in place. Odd, right?

Simplicity 9185 Asymmetric Scarf Shawl in Plaid Sweater Knit

I do think it's quite impractical, yet I'm intrigued by the design. I think it's an interesting piece to toss over a tee when you want a bit of added warmth over your shoulders.  Or want to draw a lot of attention while grocery shopping, LOL.

Simplicity 9185 Asymmetric Scarf Shawl in Plaid Sweater Knit 
Recommended fabrics are jersey, ponte, and ribbed knits. I'm going to see what I have in my stash and sew another. After all I'd only be investing an hour of my time. 

If you want to see it in action, I have included it in my January makes video YouTube. Click here. 



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