Monday, June 06, 2022

Applications for BERNINA and bernette Brand Ambassadors Being Accepted

In April 2021, I became a BERNINA Ambassador. In July of 2021, I received my machine and began sewing on my first BERNINA machine ever! 

I published a short video a while back on being a BERNINA Ambassador. 

Here's a link to that video :

If you've ever thought that you'd like to be an ambassador, now's your chance. The company has just announced that they are accepting applications for the next class of ambassadors.

Learn more in this We All Sew blog post, which includes a link to the application.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Multi-Tiered Maxi Skirt - Free BERNINA We All Sew Blog Project

I have been a fan of multi-tiered maxi skirts since, well, forever!  At least it feels like forever as I was a teen when I sewed my first one. I'm sure at the time I used a pattern as I didn't realize how simple these skirts are to sew!

BERNINA Ambassador We All Sew project a multi tiered maxi skirt

As a BERNINA Ambassador, I get to create projects and write tutorials for the We All Sew blog

In my latest blog post I walk you through the steps to sew this skirt using your own measurements.

Visit the blog post here - How to Sew a Multi-Tiered Maxi Skirt


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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Cashmerette Appleton Dress - Two Knit Wrap Dresses with Multi Cup Sizing

Almost exactly one year ago, Cashmerette introduced their new size range with the release of the popular Appleton dress in sizes 0-16.  Before the release, they had asked if I'd be interested in sewing the dress to help promote the new size range.  Um, yes! 

Cashmerette Appleton Dress Knit Wrap Dress in FLoral Cotton Jersey worn by Sharon Sews
Maybe you've heard this fashion advise before: "Wrap dresses are flattering on everyone, especially large busted woman." 

I disagree! When I was a small (haha!) D-cup I did find wrap dresses to be flattering. Now that I'm much larger than that, I have found they can be tricky to wear.  As often as I've done full bust adjustments on patterns, I have never perfected the FBA on a wrap top or dress.

I liked the void that Cashmerette filled in the sewing community - larger sizing and bust cup options.  I had often looked at their patterns, but knew I needed to start with a smaller size than what they offered and I didn't want to mess with grading.  

That's why I was intrigued when I learned they were releasing some of their popular patterns in the new 0-16 size range.  It's my understanding that even though sizes 12, 14, and 16 overlap (the other size range is 12-32) they are based on a different block and don't fit the same. 

The description for the Appleton Dress pattern "the classic wrap dress is designed to play up your curves with a crossover front, a built-in waist tie, and a deep V-neck. Designed by and for curvy women, the Appleton’s innovative neckband construction prevents gaping across your bust."  

When I agreed to sew the dress, I knew I would need to sew a test version first.   

Honestly, I did NOT believe that it would fit my bust and not reveal too much cleavage.  

I was pleasantly surprised. I don't have a pic of me bending over to show that it stays in place, but I did demonstrate in one of my makes videos (I'll link that at the end of this blog post).

 It's true! It fits my bust and does not gape!

This floral dress is my test version. I sewed a 10 with a G/H cup, grading to a 12 at the waist and hip. What I discovered is that there was no need to grade out as the ties ended up right below my bust, rather than at my waistline.  That meant I have some excess fabric that bunches below the the tie belt. I have it pulled to the back in these photos but it's not that bad.

This fabric is a cotton knit that I purchased from SR Harris Warehouse during one of our Minnesota visits.  I used it because it was quite similar in weight and stretch to the fabric that Cashmerette provided to me for the dress I sewed for the release (pics below).

As you can see, it was quite windy the day I was trying to get photos. The strong wind seems to be a common occurrence here in East Texas, especially the day before a severe storm hits. Which means spring time is windy (and stormy)! 

The good news is this wrap dress is designed with enough overlap that the wind did not expose anything :-) 

Here's a pic of the blue dress.  This lovely blue cotton knit is from  Hart's Fabric. 

I choose to use the elbow length sleeves thinking I would wear this dress in the cooler months with boots.  However, it turns out I find the boots too warm to wear even during our winter months.  I may shorten the sleeves so I can wear this in the summer with sandals. 

Here's a back view.

There is only one thing I did differently on the blue version versus the test version. I added lightweight interfacing to the tie ends.  I didn't like how the tie belt would bunch up when I wore the dress. Adding the little bit of interfacing helps it to remain flat.

After sewing this dress I was so happy with the fit in the bust - without having to do an FBA! - that I eagerly awaited the release of other patterns in the new size range.  In fact, I purchased the Concord Tee pattern the day Cashmerette announced it was available and it has quickly become my go-to t-shirt pattern.

While I'm not 100% convinced I like wrap dresses, if any dress pattern were to change my mind, it's this one.  

If you're interested, here's a link to my makes video on YouTube where I model the floral knit dress.

Cashmerette provided the pattern and fabric at no cost in exchange for using my photos on their blog to announce the release of the pattern.  I had no obligation to write a blog post and what I've written in my personal option.

Have a blessed day!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

McCall's 7836 An Asymmetrical Cut Out Shoulder Top

I purchased McCall's 7836 when it was released in 2018, with intentions of sewing this asymmetrical cut out shoulder top. However, with my major surgery, followed by the move across country, followed by months of physical therapy because of the surgery...well, it just never happened.   

Until January of this year. 

McCall's 7836 Asymmetrical One Shoulder Cut Out Top in Animal Print Knit worn by Sharon Sews a brunette standing in front of a garage door

Here's the pattern cover.   I do remember sewing View B (with one with the big sleeves) before we moved, but I can't find it. Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I gave it to one of my sisters who said she liked it. 

McCall's 7836 Pattern Cover

I'm glad I didn't sew this until we moved as it really is not a practical design for Minnesota winters.   It works much better here in Texas - I can wear it when it's a bit cool outside and I'm not uncomfortable even with my one shoulder exposed. 

McCall's 7836 Asymmetrical One Shoulder Cut Out Top in Animal Print Knit

The pattern is rated Easy (I would agree) and is described as a fitted, pullover top featuring a dropped shoulder.  I was concerned it would be too fitted for my large bust so I did a full bust adjustment adding 2".  I probably could have added another 1" as I prefer a looser fit in my bust area. Because of that asymmetrical shoulder, I had to do a full bust adjustment on each front piece.

 McCall's 7836 Asymmetrical One Shoulder Cut Out Top in Animal Print Knit worn by Sharon Sews a brunette standing in front of a garage door

This is a size 14 in the neck/shoulder area, with the full bust adjustment, grading to a 16 at the hip.  There is a center front and center back seam.  

I used my BERNINA 770QE Plus to sew the top.

I normally stay away from turtlenecks because, well, my large chest. It's not the most flattering look on me. That's why you'll typically see me wearing a long necklace if I wear a higher neckline.  But this one I think is okay because of the shoulder being exposed. 

I had read a few reviews of the pattern before I sewed mine. Some sewed up the opening on the shoulder saying it was too large.  I did not do that.  I like the opening just the way it is.  

Now, I am not going to wear a strapless bra when I wear this top.  And I'm definitely not going braless!  Nobody wants to see that, LOL

For these pictures I tucked my bra strap under my arm.  Usually I wear a black bra with the top and just let my black bra strap show. I know I was taught to never let my bra strap show, but I honestly don't care in this case. 

This version was just supposed to be a test to see if it fit the way I like. But once I was done I realized I liked it out of this fabric. 

I used a cheap baby French Terry that I picked up at the local Walmart. It was one of those precut bundles some of the stores carry. The quality of those bundles varies greatly but I pick them up occasionally for sewing test garments. This bundle was two yards for six dollars. 

I plan on sewing another, but now that we are into spring the extremely hot weather isn't far behind, so I'll likely wait and sew another next fall. 

BTW, I accidentally snapped a pic as I caught myself almost falling! My left foot is still partially numb from the surgery three years ago and sometimes my balance is a bit off.   It was a reminder to me that I should probably choose lower heels these days :-)  


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Monday, April 11, 2022

Vogue 1375 Wool Knit Vest - Sandra Betzina Design

I was going through old photos on my computer and came across a few makes that I took photos of yet never blogged about.  This knit vest is one of them. I sewed this in 2016 or 2017, I don't remember for sure.

The fabric is a lightweight, embroidered wool knit that I purchased from SR Harris. I remember I was drawn to the textured detail of the fabric. I liked it enough that I overlooked the fact that those colors are not colors I normally wear. 

That meant I sewed this beautiful vest only to have it sit in my closet as nothing worked with it. I'm trying to be more thoughtful in my fabric purchases as I don't wish to spend time (and money!) sewing a lovely item only to end up donating it because it does not get worn.

Here's the back view.  I put a note on the pattern envelope to keep the pattern because the instructions for sewing the lined yoke are really good.

The pattern is Vogue 1375, a Sandra Betzina design from 2013.  Back when almost all of us were wearing these flowy knit cardigans and vests.

I sewed one for my girlfriend last year in a slinky black knit. I know I took photos of it before I shipped it off to her so I will have to look for those and write another post.


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