Wining Wife®

Because housework goes better with Malbec...

Tag: Pattern (sewing)

Bella Sunshine Designs’ Coffee Shop Lace Dress

2015-08-19 12.41.58-1I’m so excited to share with you this new dress I made for Little Gal. It’s brand new from Bella Sunshine Designs (affiliate link), and yes, I was a pattern tester, and received the Coffee Shop Dress pattern in exchange for honest feedback on the pattern as I sewed it up. I really enjoy Melissa’s designs; you’ll remember I sewed up a bunch of Bow Tie Leggings and then the matching mother-daughter Kelly’s Twirl Skirts. So, when I saw that she was doing a new pattern test, I signed right up. After all, I figured, it would be a good motivator for unpacking my sewing machine.  Continue reading

Kelly’s Twirly Skirts from Bella Sunshine Designs (and a Big Announcement)

So the last post I wrote got a LOT of traffic and attention, and some great comments, and I want to talk about all of that – and I will – in a separate post. Thank you all so much for all of your support and for reading! I feel bad about taking some time to get back to the blog after posting it – but I was struck by a wave of extreme exhaustion that came out of nowhere, so it seemed. I could not, for the life of me, get any energy to do beyond what needed to be done. 

An announcement from Wining Wife

Well, my friends, there’s a very good reason for this. It turns out that our family is growing! YAY! I’m super excited that Toddler Girl will be a big sister.  And PHEW. There was a good reason for the exhaustion, and once I started paying attention to my iron intake it’s slowly dropping off. This is how we announced it and made things “Facebook official” after we talked to family members and close friends. 

I'm expecting!!!!

What this means, dear readers, is that any wine reviews I post from here until the birth of our new little munchkin will be from notes that I’ve made previously. It also means that I’m going to be talking about plus size maternity clothes and sewing them…and preparing for a whole new person to be born…and other various shenanigans.  And well a bunch of other really good things!  Can you tell I’m excited? I can barely think straight! 

Onto the skirts!

Wearing Kelly's Twirly SkirtsSo whew! That’s really really exciting.  In the midst of all of this exhaustion, I managed to sew a little bit. I did a pattern test for Bella Sunshine Designs (affiliate link), which I think came out really well. I tested both the women’s and the girls’ version of the skirts…and what better way to do it than make skirts that would coordinate with one another? 

The fabric for the skirts

Okay, so I’ll admit that my fabric selection process took a little time. I wasn’t quite sure which fabric I wanted to use – and I had lots of ideas for fabrics that would work. Make. All. The. Skirts. Seriously, sometimes it’s really hard to choose what I’ll use for a project. It doesn’t help that my house is like a giant explosion of fabric right now. (I need to organize it soooooo bad…and don’t get me started on the sewing patterns).  I digress. So I’d used the light blue on white print on a top I made for a Cake Patterns top that I’ll talk about in a future post on here, and I had a lot of it left. It’s a really nice, drapy, pretty fabric, that I thought would have good twirl factor.  I still have a little of it left. It was, as you could guess, one of my thrift store finds. $3. I’m not even kidding. I keep meaning to do a thread test on it, because I suspect that it’s silk jersey. Anyway, so I have a ton of this fabric – what better project than making a couple of circle skirts? 

2015-04-09 19.19.11The problem was, I couldn’t decide what should go underneath. For a little bit, I considered a royal blue velour fabric. Yup. That would have been soooo spectacularly awful, I’m willing to bet. Well, maybe not awful, but not as great as the fabrics I wound up with.  Let’s start with the toddler skirt: the bottom skirt is made out of black stretch velvet from an upcycled dress I had. I’d cut the bottom of the dress off to make myself a skirt. The bottom of my skirt is a vintage (as in 35″) knit fabric in a navy blue. I think it’s polyester. It has really awesome drape itself – and is nice and dark since the top fabric is so lightweight. 

The skirt patterns

*All notes refer to the tester version of this skirt. I do have plans to make another set with the final version of the skirt.*

2015-04-09 19.23.51-1The girls’ pattern has modesty shorts underneath – which is great for a toddler who is always very busy investigating things. The women’s pattern doesn’t, but I don’t have any burning desires to randomly pull my skirt up to investigate the fabric, either. I’ll just admire it in other ways. There are four pieces for the girls’ pattern and three for the adult pattern – shorts legs, bottom circle skirt, top circle skirt, and waistband. The women’s has the layers and the waistband. The patterns include sizes 12 months – 14 for girls and 0-20 for women’s. The 20 fit me a little loose, actually (which was surprising since I thought it would be tight…but that works out well for my purposes anyway! Mwahahahah!); the waist is 41 1/2 ” and hips are 50″ and my measurements at the time were 44″ and 53″. I think part of it is the stretch fabric I used, and given the fact that I want to wear this skirt while pregnant, that’s a good thing!

My little gal is in the 12 months size. She’s a little peanut. She’s so petite! So it was a bit big on her waist as well. I added some elastic tape to the inside of both skirts to help hold it up (it has a yoga-style waistband), and that helped a lot! The skirts were easy to sew – I made both of them in an afternoon. Hemming took a little bit, but it always does on circle skirts.

In the pictures, I’m wearing my grandmother’s cardigan and  a camisole from Old Navy. My shoes are from Rampage. Toddler girl is wearing Circo shirts and Mary Janes that we found at thrift/consignment stores. 

As always, thanks for stopping by! I have good things in store for you soon! 



Bella Sunshine Designs’ Bow Tie Leggings

Baby Girl modeling my make of Bella Sunshine Designs' bow tie leggings

Baby Girl modeling my make of Bella Sunshine Designs’ bow tie leggings

Brace yourself for too much cute. 


I pattern tested for new designer Bella Sunshine Desings recently. She has these great ideas, by the time I finished sewing 7 (yes 7) pairs of leggings, I had them down to a science. The bow tie leggings are easy to sew, and they are a really nice kids’ wardrobe builder. They come in two styles – slim fit and traditional legging fit – and four lengths – shorts, knee-shorts, capri, and full length. That gives you a lot of options. 

Five of the seven pairs I made came from shirts and a maternity dress I had. The other two pairs were made out of thrifted fabric. Thus, aside from needing to buy elastic to make these, I spent under $5.00 for the entire set. That’s not bad considering how expensive one pair of baby leggings can be at retail price. 

These leggings are so cute. I love the little bow tie details on them. I hand stitched all of the bows so that they would look great. The pattern uses so little fabric that I was able to use size small shirts that I’d ehem outgrown, to make her some leggings. 

2015-02-09 13.44.50The pair with the pandas was the first pair. The fit on them was solid, but since it was the first version of the pattern, they were just a tiny bit loose. I made them wtih the blue and white plaid and panda bear fabric you see in the image above. The bows were made from the same fabric I used on the bodice of the Sofilantes wrap dress I made last week.  They were easy to make and sew into place and oh-so cute!

Valentine's Day Shirt

Valentine’s Day Shirt

When I went to make another pair – because these are so easy they are addictive, I decided I wanted to dig into my bin of clothes to cut up. In that bin are a few of my favorite shirts, including the one to the right – that’s me wearing it while I was getting ready for my first Valentine’s Day with Wining Husband – as a dating couple – just over three years ago.

2015-02-20 18.12.17When you become attached to something, it’s so scarey to cut into it! But I did. I cut right into that shirt. After all, it doesn’t currently fit me, and I’d rather it become something useful rather than have it hang, unworn, in my cloeset reminding me of days past. 

This blue shirt became a pair of shorts. I may actually use it for something else as well since there's a bunch of it left.

This blue shirt became a pair of shorts. I may actually use it for something else as well since there’s a bunch of it left.

I think the shirt made some super-cute leggings. There they are in the photo to the left, before I sewed the bows on. I used another shirt, one I wore a bunch, including while I was in Seattle, to create a pair of legging shorts and the bows for this pair. 

377523_10100397335279019_914101241_n2015-02-20 18.19.15I used a purple maternity dress for a third pair, and my favorite brown shirt for a fourth pair. A shirt I wore for salsa dancing lessons (to the left) became a pair of capri pants. The final pair was made from some royal blue stretch terry I found while out and about. 

It was a lot of fun sewing up the pattern in the different lengths and fit styles. I photographed a lot of the leggings before I sewed the bows on, and because she’s been turned around on her sleep schedule (we’ve been vampires over here 😉 ) I haven’t managed to get the pictures with the bows on the upcycled pairs yet. I’ll be taking her out in the morning to get those. So you’ll get a special treat with a double post about these fun leggings! 

Meanwhile, enjoy the preliminary pictures – and be sure to scroll through to the end so you can grab a code and purchase the pattern if you’re interested.

Black and white check with pandas with black bows

*These photos are from the upcycled shirts. They don’t include the jersey pair or the bows yet. Come back tomorrow for those pictures. The bows really make the leggings into something truly spectacular (and supremely cute!)




 *This is an affiliate link. Should you click on it and make a purchase, I will be compensated. I shared the information about this pattern, however, because I believe it’s a great pattern for beginners. Use code “LAUNCHPARTY ” to receive 25% off your purchase of the Bow Tie Leggings.   Click here to go to Bella Sunshine Designs and purchase the pattern.  I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!

Vogue’s Spring 2015 Patterns – What’s Hot and What’s Huh?

Last night, I impatiently scrolled through the new releases in Vogue’s sewing pattern line. They are so much fun to look at when they get released. I find that I either love the designs or hate them, there’s very little in between for me.  I have to say, as with McCall’s spring release (which I’ll have to talk about in another post), there are a lot of good patterns here that I’ll probably pick up and put in my stash. Because you know, I need more patterns. 

Let’s start with the good. I find myself loving V1435. Just look at the back of this jacket! Now, it’s not something I’d ordinarily pick up and say, “Hey, I want to wear this!” But I think it would be really chic in a navy blue wool crepe. I’d so wear this when meeting with clients or out to dinner at a nice place with Wining Husband. 

V1435, Misses' Jacket and Dress

Here’s the front:

V1435, Misses' Jacket and Dress

The dress is a sheath, and isn’t really anything super-spectacular – but that jacket! 

Moving on, we have the other Tom and Linda Platt, V1431. I really like this one. 

V1431, Misses' Dress

The Isaac Mizrahi (V1434) is also quite nice. I *think* that I have a yellow floral fabric that would make this into a great Easter dress for church for myself. V1434, Misses' Dress and Belt

Not surprisingly, I’m a fab of Kay Unger’s dress as well (Vogue 1432). I LOVE the detail on the bodice. I’d probably use either a deep eggplant color or a royal blue for this one and make a statement. I think it would be great in scarlet too. We’ll see what I wind up using on it!

V1432, Misses' Dress

Tracy Reese’s (Vogue 1433) also is fun. I have a pattern that’s very similar to this one, though, so I’ll probably be skipping it.  (Though it does not have the princess seams on the bodice or back closure this one has. 

V1433, Misses'/Misses' Petite Dress

I also really like the dress (can you tell I love dresses?) and short jacket in Vogue 9094. I’m not a fan of the longer jacket or pants, though. V9094, Misses' Jacket, Top, Dress and Pants

Vogue 1440 is a nice one. I have some ideas for executing this one. It’s Donna Karan, and I just love it. It would be great for working at home in.V1440, Misses' Jacket, Top and Pants

Add 1439 to my list. I like this one by Anne Klein. I especially like the pocket details on the pants. 

It’s the little things, really.

V1439, Misses' Jacket and Pants

I like Anne Klein’s other outfit, as well, though I think I may have something very similar to this one in my stash. I have to double check. V1436, Misses' Top and Pants

Big surprise, I like the two vintage patterns in the bunch. I already have a fabric picked out for the second. 

Behold, Vogue 9082: 
V9082, Misses' Jacket, Top and Dress

and 9083 (Which I think would be SPECTACULAR in this white and light blue stripe shimmer denim I found yesterday at a thrift store)

V9083, Misses' Jacket, Dress and Belt

Vogue 9085 will be a good workhorse. In fact, I have a fabric that has horses jumping that would work well for this one. I also have a blue fabric that’s kind of sheer (it’s a very lightweight linen) that would probably be a good fit as well.

V9085, Misses' Top

I don’t like jumpsuits. I really don’t. When I saw Vogue 9075, I thought “I must have this super-simple looking dress” then I saw the line art – it’s a jumpsuit! I LOVE it! I could totally chase after baby girl in this – those are wide-leg pants…but it totally looks like a dress. I’m going to have to find some super fun fabric for this one.

V9075, Misses'/Misses' Petite Dress and Jumpsuit

I also rather like 9091. I recently did two pairs of Palazzo pants by E-Beth designs (I’ll be posting about them soon, so keep your eyes open), and I really liked how they looked. 

V9091, Misses' Culottes and Pants

I also like 9076…but I actually think I have a vintage pattern that this one resembles. I’ll have to take a look through my stack of patterns I haven’t yet entered into my cataloging system and see if this is different enough to merit picking up. 

V9076, Misses' Dress

9079 caught my interest.

V9079, Misses' Top, Dress and Pants

So did 9095 

V9095, Misses' Jacket

The Fence

There were four patterns that I think I’ll probably grab, because I think if they’re done up in reasonable fabric, they’ll look really nice. 

The first is the Ralph Rucci (1437). In fact the more I think about this one, the more excited I get about it. I just saw some great blue on white floral fabric on sale, and for the accent I’d use a blue linen. I HATE the styling they did on the piece for the lookbook – but I really like that the pattern is something “different.”  I just really think that this one could look nice – given the right fabric.

V1437, Misses' Jacket, Top and Skirt

V1437, Misses' Jacket, Top and Skirt

(Besides, I really like the top…)

The Marcy Tilton (9081) is another fence pattern for me. The more I look at it, the more I like it. I think it needs to be done in something…different though. 

V9081, Misses' Cardigan and Dress

Vogue 9078 – I really want to see someone make this one. So please, make this one! I want to see it on a curvy first. 

V9078, Misses' Dress

Finally, I really want to see someone make Vogue 9077 – particularly someone like me, who has broad shoulders. I just worry that it won’t be a great look for someone with broad shoulders and a large chest because of the inverse “V” seaming. 

V9077, Misses' Dress

Maybe I should be more charitable…I don’t know. Let’s start with Wining Husband’s quote, “Oh look, a peacock exploded.” 

Are you sure? 
It’s Vogue 1441. I think that it would probably be more attractive if it weren’t in insane fabric. As a curvy, I won’t wear something like this. It’s a tent, and I strongly suspect it would make me look about 10 sizes larger than my own size. I have curves. I am a woman. I’m meant to be soft and snuggly. I don’t need to hide under a tent. 
V1441, Misses' Coat

V1441, Misses' Coat
Joseph called…he really would like his coat back.

Okay, enough with that one. This next one is sponsored by Diane Keaton via the year I was born, 1977, in Annie Hall. Seriously. It just needs a tie. I think she actually looked less sloppy. 

I now present you with Vogue 1438. 

V1438, Misses' Vest, Shirt and Pants

Seriously…Annie Hall and Marty McFly’s stylists had a baby and they created V1438. 
V1438, Misses' Vest, Shirt and Pants
Whoo! High-waisted pleat pants with taper legs. Just what’s attractive on…well no one. I think it would look better if she’d pulled up a paper bag and tied a string around it.

Sometimes, rather than sewing, I like to take fabric, wad it up, staple it in random places, and call it a dress.

Vogue 1442 sure likes like that, though. 
V1442, Misses' Tunic and Dress

V1442, Misses' Tunic and Dress

I mean…it seriously looks like the Vogue Pattern marketing team were like “Hurry up! We need 1442 like yesterday” and the sewer responded. It’s the pattern though, and I’ll be skipping it. 

And then there’s Vogue 9084 – because you know…you need a drop waist asymetrical peplum…and that will look…flattering (or something). 
V9084, Misses' Top
No. Just…No. Put down the peplum. There are some reasonable patterns with peplums…this is not one of them.

Your thoughts? 
Well, those are the patterns that stood out to me. What ones stood out to you? Do you agree or disagree with some of my choices? Will you be making some of the ones I’m on the fence about? 

Sofilantjes Otium Sweater Pattern Test

Hah! I've beat the storm! And I have this super-cute top to prove it.

Hah! I’ve beat the storm! And I have this super-cute top to prove it.

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE this shirt. (Doesn’t it look like I love it? I’m sorry for the indoor pictures, but I figured that with all the rain and wind we’ve had, that it was indoor or nothin’).

Okay, now that we have that out of the way. I received the pattern for free in exchange for honest feedback when testing the pattern out.  I made the pattern in size XXL – I went by my bust measurements (it comes in XS-XXXL, so it’s great for us curvy gals). I was a little nervous that it would be too small or pull too much in the hips or waist, but I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I made no adjustments to the pattern.

Awesome fabric!

Awesome fabric!

The Fabric

Let’s talk a minute about the fabric. You see this gorgeous sheer fabric with silver stripes running through it? It’s a stretch/novelty knit fabric. I honestly don’t know if you can get it anywhere anymore.  You know why? I found it at a thrift store for $3.00. There were 3 yards of it, and it’s 58″ wide. I have leftovers from it, and I’ll be using the leftovers to make Vogue 1376.

The plain black fabric on the neckband, waistband and sleeves was a pain in the butt to work with. It wanted to curl as I’d sew, and it wanted to get trapped in my sewing machine’s feed. That was pretty annoying – but the fabric has a LOT of stretch, and it feels really nice. This fabric was not a thrift store find. Nope, we went out and bought it – both for the contrast parts of this shirt and because I want to make those leggings in Vogue 1376.

The Pattern

Sofilantjes Patterns Otium Sweater

There are three (well, six if you count long sleeve or short sleeves) options for making the sweater – a diagonal pocket, a low back with bow, and a standard with a high round neck. The sizing is generous, and can fit anyone from a 31 inch bust to a 52 inch bust with minimal alterations. Since I’m 48-44-53 (yup, baby got back) I was advised to make the XXL.

What I love about this pattern (one of the many things, really) is that when you print it, you can choose exactly which pages to print, because the instructions tell you what you will need for the view you wish to make. It seems like a small thing, but it’s really not. I love saving paper and printer ink. The pages lined up really well, and, well, it was really easy to work with.

Sewing the pattern

Guess what!?! I remembered to pre-wash my fabric! YAY! Other than some frustration with the black super 4-way stretchy fabric, this pattern sewed up really quickly. I made French seams since I was working with a sheer fabric. The only road block I had when making it was the bow (as in how to pin it to sew it in place), but that got straightened out pretty quickly.

In all, I was really happy with how this one turned out. I liked it so much, I went ahead and purchased the girl’s version for sizes 12months-14 years. I see a few more of these in my future.

Right now, in conjunction with the pattern’s release, the women’s pattern is $7, the children’s pattern is $6.50, and the bundle of the two is $13. They can be purchased here. (This is not an affiliate link).

Here are more pictures of the top.

What’s on My Sewing Table at the Moment

Oh boy! I’ve finally had some time to start prepping patterns and gathering notions – and GASP! Start sewing. Here are some of the things I’m working on right now.

In progress, I have an A-Line skirt. I originally was going to try to complete it for the Sewing Bee at Pattern Review, but I just ran out of time. And as someone *just* getting back into sewing after a hiatus, I didn’t want to rush it. That’s what next time is for, right?

Simplicity 9825 - at your service

Simplicity 9825 – at your service

I’ll be posting later about the completion of this skirt – it’s almost done, save for the zipper, waistband facing, and hem. I’m rather enamored with it.

Next is this project using a pink jersey fabric and some lace. I won’t say what it’s for yet, but if you come back on the 13th, you’ll be able to see a finished project. I may have made a goof or two, but I think it will still come out great.

Oooh, what's this going to be?

Oooh, what’s this going to be?

I have a pair of pants I’m pattern testing, I don’t have a picture of that yet, but I will write about my experiences soon.

I was going to do this:

Butterick 4686 - View D

Butterick 4686 – View D

But you know what happened? I just didn’t have quite enough fabric for it. I’m thinking I’ll make a vintage pattern (Simplicity 9822 ,the middle view) with the fabric instead. Of course, that’s going to require some fun pattern grading. But, I think it will look good. I’ll use the lining fabric for the test pattern.

vintage 70's Simplicity 9822 skirts, 3 styles/lengths, size 12 waist 25.5 hip 36

Remember how I wanted to do the coat in the Fall Essentials Wardobe Challenge? Here’s the coat stuff, all ready to go:

Vogue 8346, Italian wool fabric from Mood

Vogue 8346, Italian wool fabric from Mood – View B

And I want to sew up this dress (I originally bought the fabric with a different Vogue pattern in mind…):

McCall's 5975

McCall’s 5975 – View C

I also have these guys prepped and ready to go (I just need to sit, make the pattern adjustments, and stitch them up).

McCall's 6654 - View C

McCall’s 6654 – View C


McCall’s 6654 – View B


McCall’s 6654 – View G & McCall’s 6796 – View A

So that’s what’s up on my end. I have two refashions to complete, and a few things for baby girl to get done as well – including her Christmas dress. So, I plan on being a busy bee in the next little while!

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