Bonn Shirt

I had already agreed to another pattern testing commitment when Kennis Wong of Itch to Stitch sent out a call for Bonn Shirt and Dress testers. I knew immediately that I had to apply even if it meant staying up a little later to sew each evening. It was all worth it for this beautifully designed top.

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The Bonn Shirt pattern has a dress and top option along with four different sleeve variations. Sizes 00-20 are included in the PDF pattern (purchase here) which is on sale for 20% off (regularly $12). Also included in the pattern are separate bodice pieces for A-DD cup sizes. I sewed the shirt version with 3/4 sleeves in size 2 with an A cup and graded to a 4 at the hips.

I chose to sew my final top in this Echinacea print rayon by Anna Maria Horner; which is really no surprise if you’ve seen my current handmade wardrobe. The rayon was a little trickier to sew than the mystery poly-cotton blend used for my muslin, but the way the shirt drapes is well worth the extra effort. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the grandeur of this print.

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My top came together fairly quick and was a satisfying sew. The impeccable drafting on this top made setting in the sleeves simple and stress free. I had the most difficulty when attaching the collar, which was still made simpler by Kennis’s detailed instructions and diagrams. There are also several skill tutorials on the Itch to Stitch blog that make things like setting in sleeves and attaching collars much easier. Even if you’re not planning on sewing up a Bonn Shirt or Dress you should plan on visiting her blog to find well-written tutorials on commonly used techniques. I’ll leave you with a few more photos of my Bonn Shirt so you see more angles and more fully appreciate the lovely drape of this rayon.

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I’ve become a wooden button convert after ordering these round shirt buttons from Arrow Mountain. I’ve already got another Etsy cart full of them and cannot wait to order more for use on some exciting future projects.

 

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Thanks for reading!

Redwood Joggers

 

Melissa of Sew Like My Mom just released her newest pattern the Redwood Joggers. You can find the pattern for sale in her Etsy shop here. I had the opportunity to test this pattern and I’m thrilled that I did because I’ve been living in these pants.

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Included in the pattern are 3 different lengths: shorts, cropped, and pants. I chose to sew up the pants in this fantastic jersey knit from the Cultivate line by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics. I’ve never been one to shy away from a print, but this time I wanted to make something a bit calmer than usual and opted for neutral colored stripes. The weight of this jersey feels perfect for the current season and I plan on making a second pair in french terry once cooler weather arrives.

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The overall fit of the Redwood Joggers is fantastic! Melissa obviously took extra care to make sure she got the fit just right. Only two small adjustments were needed to make sure mine fit just right. First, I added two inches to the length of the pants which is an adjustment I make to nearly every pants pattern. Second, I made a size medium pant and used the elastic measurement for the size small since my waist was closer to that measurement. They’re a great alternative to my baggier sweatpants and tight fitting leggings. I feel like the fit makes them much more acceptable to wear in public than some of my other active wear type clothing.

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My very favorite detail on these pants are the triangle pockets. Originally, I just thought they were a fun design detail that may or may not be functional. After wearing them for two days in a row, however, I found that they are completely functional and in many cases better than the regular patch or inseam pockets in most of my joggers or sweatpants. The placement and depth of the pockets helped to keep my phone secure when sitting and while chasing my wild toddler. Many of my jogger pants have shallow pockets which means my phone will randomly fall out when I bend or or sit down.

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Next up: I plan to sew a pair of Sew Like My Mom Boxwood Joggers for my son. I am most definitely that mom who dresses my child to match. I figure it will make him easier to find if he’s ever lost in a crowd, right?

 

 

Simplicity 8084: My Dream Maxi Dress

I’ve been meaning to restart my blog for a couple of years now, but kept finding excuses or other ways to fill my time. After a summer filled with fun and inspiration, I’ve decided to quit making excuses and start blogging again. I’ve got some fun posts planned and cannot wait to share them with you. Today I’m sharing my Simplicity 8084 maxi dress.

IMG_6737The photos above were taken using my self-timer so they’re a little blurry, but I love the way they show the movement of this dress.

I worked on this dress a little bit each month this summer and finishing it was the perfect way to celebrate a fantastic season. I selected this Lizzy House lawn from Suppose back in May and couldn’t wait to use it. Life got in the way so cutting the fabric wasn’t started until June. I sewed a step here and there throughout July, but really got to work in August when my wooden buttons arrived from Arrow Mountain.

imageHere is a close-up view of the fox buttons I added to the sleeve tabs. The front of the dress uses the minimalist buttons also from Arrow Mountain.

My biggest challenge with the dress was sewing the waistline casing. When looking through all my handmade clothing, I was surprised to realize that I had never actually sewn a garment with a casing like the one in this dress. It really wasn’t too difficult, I was just too lazy to mark the waistline when I first sewed the casing. This resulted in a late-night Netflix binge while seam ripping my first attempt. On my second attempt I made sure to mark the waistline and sewing the casing was a breeze.

I’ve now worn this dress three times since finishing it in early August. The pockets have made it more functional and wearable than any other maxi dress I have owned.They’re just the right size for my phone and keys so I don’t have to carry a bag every time I leave the house.

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I look forward to wearing this dress again and again. It will be a great transitional dress for fall and it’s sure to get a lot of wear. I’d love to hear about your favorite summer project. Did you make anything you absolutely adore this summer?

Sewvivor-Merritts Makes

 

 

For those who don’t know me, I’m Nicole and I’ve decided to enter this edition of Sew-vivor. I have decided to audition with the first quilt that I completely designed, pieced, quilted, and bound by myself. I’ve named it Chasing Bubbles.

IMG_8316 I struggled to come up with a name for this quilt until seeing a group of toddlers playing with bubbles. Most of the children still had a little difficulty catching the bubbles but sometimes, the split second where they would catch and pop a bubble seemed almost magical. The random placement of the blocks and minimal nature of the quilt seems to mimic that magical moment.

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Sometimes, when a bubble is popped it appears to expand and quickly disappear. I attempted to quilt my Chasing Bubbles quilt in a manner that would mimic the popping of a bubble. I chose simple, randomly spaced straight lines for a majority of the quilt. For interest, I quilted what I call phantom blocks that mimic the shape of the already pieced blocks. The pieced and phantom blocks are filled with tight pebble quilting. The pieced blocks represent the bubbles themselves while the phantom blocks mimic the bubbles that have been popped and seem to expand and disappear. My intent with the quilting was to add interest while keeping with the minimal nature of the quilt.

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This quilt was designed with the intent of making a pattern which uses an entire Moda mini charm pack. Look for a tutorial to come in the near future. It will be on the Suppose blog within the Use It Up series. The mini charm packs include 42 squares each measuring 2.5″. The quilt features a mini charm called Simply Style by V. and Co. The background fabric is a Free Spirit Designer Essentials Linen in Sunny.  As I mentioned earlier, this is the first quilt which I have completed and long-arm quilted entirely by myself. I’m pleased with the way it turned out and feel it represents me well.

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Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to the blog.

Before I go, I’d just like to give a little shout out to Jo for taking these pictures. I couldn’t have done it without her!

 

Introducing Myself

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Hello there. My name is Nicole and I’m the face behind Merritts Makes. I am an amateur seamstress and quilter with a passion for creating. I work at Suppose, a lovely quilt boutique in Idaho. You can find their blog here. When I’m not working at Suppose, I spend most of my time with my husband and one year old son. 

My goal is to primarily make Merritts Makes into a place where I can post about my sewing ventures and other creations. As a mother, My free time is very limited. Most evenings, I put my son to bed and then break out a project. My husband says that I am always working on something. Hopefully, that will translate into a plethora of creative ideas for this blog.