The Tank Dress by Sew Caroline Sewing Patterns

Yay! Sew Caroline’s 2nd pattern, the Tank Dress, is here! I’ve been anxiously waiting for her 2nd pattern release ever since I sewed up her Out and About Dress. Well…she has done it again, she has designed yet another quick, easy, comfortable, and stylish pattern!

Sew Caroline Tank Dress Sewn by Sew Charleston (11)

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This dress is the perfect dress for all of your favorite summer activities! I wore it out to dinner and a walk on the beach. I was able to comfortably run and play chase with my pup, while still looking super cute in my tank dress! How much fun would it be to sew a different tank dress for each day of your summer vacation? This dress can be made out of pretty much any fabric so each version would look so different! It’s also a super quick and easy sew, so it wouldn’t take very long to create a weeks worth of cute dresses! The dress features a shirttail hemline and can be cinched in at the waist with either elastic thread or an elastic casing. I decided to go with the elastic casing, since I have lots of dresses that I’ve used elastic thread to cinch in. Just like the Out and About Dress, my bust, waist, and hips all fell exactly into a size small. I sewed up the small with no changes and it fits great! To make hemming easier, I basted a row of stitches where I wanted to turn my hem under. This was extremely helpful in turning the curved hem under evenly all the way around.

I am so in love with the fabric I chose for my dress. It is from Leah Duncan’s new Meadow collection and is called Geos Deep Marina. I purchased it at my local fabric shop Five Eighth Seams.

The weather is finally starting to warm up, so go get your copy of the Sew Caroline Tank Dress here and start sewing your summer wardrobe!

Pattern Anthology: Just Add Jeans

Pattern Anthology

I’m sure you have all seen the new Pattern Anthology: Just Add Jeans collection by now. I recently upgraded to a fancy new sewing machine that sews knits beautifully, so when Pattern Anthology released a collection of knits tops, I jumped on the opportunity to sew some new cute knit tops!

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First up, the Wild Flower Top by Melly Sews. This top comes in 3 sleeve options: cap sleeves, bell sleeves, and long sleeves. I chose the cap sleeves. The under bodice allows for fun coordinating fabric combos. I found my coral knit fabric at Five Eighth Seams and the under bodice fabric is leftover scraps of knit from girl charlee  from a top I made. The under bodice takes barely any fabric, so it’s a great way to use up your knit scraps.

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Next up, The Day Tripper, by Shwin Designs. The Day Tripper is a short or long sleeve dolman sleeve top with a high-low hem and optional shoulder tabs. I originally had the shoulder tabs on mine, but my husband thought they looked funny. I decided he didn’t know what he was talking about and moved on to the next project. I then saw the Day Tripper Dixie DIY sewed and noticed her tabs were going a different direction than mine. After a second look at the pattern pictures I realized my tabs were sewn into the neckline instead of sleeve cuffs. Not sure how I made such a silly mistake, but I guess my husband has a good sense of style after all. That was NOT fun to seam rip out! This is probably the softest most comfortable top in my wardrobe now. Both knits I scored in the remnant section at Five Eighth Seams.

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Third, is the City Girl Frock, by See Kate Sew. This is not the first pattern from See Kate Sew that I’ve sewn. I love her Penelope Peplum and have made a top and dress version (not blogged yet). The City Girl Frock can be a top, tunic, or dress with 3/4 or half sleeves and an awesome cowl collar. I love cowl collars! I had a hard time evenly stretching my cowl and keeping all 3 raw edges even while sewing. I definitely need some more practice with this and already have some pretty pale yellow knit waiting in my stash for a second attempt!

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And last but not least, my favorite, The Parisian Top, by Andrea Pannell of Go To Patterns. I love, love, LOVE this top! I really have a thing for peter pan collars! The fabric I used for this collar is actually left over from my Megan Nielsen Banksia Top, which also has a peter pan collar. I love how you can use a woven fabric for the collar. This makes the fabric combination possibilities so much more fun and endless. It’s also a great way to use up those voile scraps! I have some great ideas for more Parisian tops and have loved all the versions I’ve been seeing.

I’m so happy with my new tops. They were quick and easy to sew and are all so unique. I really needed to add some every day tops (that look great with jeans) to my pattern collection. I feel like I can keep sewing up these patterns and each version will look so different. If you haven’t purchased your Just Add Jeans patterns yet, you can purchase it here. The sale ends tomorrow, so hurry up!

April Rhodes’ Riding Peplum

Ever since I sewed up my first April Rhodes’ Party Dress, I’ve been dieing to try the peplum version. I’m so glad I did, because I love the top just as much as the dress!

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Like the dress, the Riding Peplum is made to fit loose through the waist. It’s super quick and easy to sew with no zipper insertion needed! The neckline and armholes are finished with self made bias. I decided to fully line my top instead, since my fabric was a little see-through and to also nicely finish my neckline, armholes, and hem. I sewed an XS, but for some reason decided to use the length for the largest size. I’m not sure why I was so worried about the top being too short. The top ended up being too long, but not too long that I feel the need to take it apart to shorten. We’ll just pretend I meant to make it that long. I have plans for MANY more riding peplums, so I will use the length for the XS for my future makes.

Have you checked out Leah Duncan’s, for Art Gallery Fabrics, new Meadow Collection? I used Summer Grove in Day for the skirt. For the bodice I used Quietude in Sunset from her Tulle collection. These 2 fabric collections are my absolute favorites! I made a dress out of Quietude in Dusk and Meadow Vale in Dark. I really want to make something with the new Geos in Deep Marina!

April’s newest pattern is definitely my favorite so far. I’ve made 7 staples dresses to date, so I guess I better start sewing so I can beat my staple dress record!

Piper and Pippy Clothing Company

I just finished packing up my first wholesale order for my little handmade business, Piper and Pippy Clothing Company! WOW! I feel like I just packed up 2 months of my life! I really enjoyed designing the items. I got to use a lot of fabrics that I LOVE, but can’t wear since I’m a “grown-up”. I thought I would share my creations with you!

Tilly Top Collage Pattern: Tilly Top by Brownie Goose Patterns on Etsy / Top left: Dear Stella Flower Market in Multi, Michael Miller Mini Mikes in Orange /  2nd from top right: Cloud 9 Organics 1000 Cranes / Bottom right: Nicey Jane Hello Roses Olive, Waterfront Park Domino Dot /  Bottom Left: Michael Miller Citron Gray Dumb Dot, Amy Butler Alchemy Sketchbook in Spring /     2nd from bottom right: Art Gallery Jeweled Peony in Boreal, Michael Miller Citron Gray Dumb Dot

aubrey bow dress

Pattern: Aubrey Bow Dress by Ruby Jean’s Closet on Etsy / Center: Amy Butler Sketchbook in Fresh, Michael Miller Citron Gray Dumb Dot / Top Left: Michael Miller Citron Gray Dumb Dot, Art Gallery Jewel Peony in Boreal / Bottom: Little Red Riding Hood by Riley Blake Designs

maddie peplum top

Pattern: Maddie Peplum top by Seamingly Smitten on Etsy / Left: Amy Butler Tumble Roses / Center: Anna Maria Horner Trailing Roses / Right: Amy Butler Queen Ann’s Butterflies

jill frock

        Pattern: Jill Frock by Brownie Goose Patterns on Etsy / Far left: Sarah Jane for Michael Miller- Children at Play Balloon in Aqua, Children on Parade in Multi, and School Gingham in Coral  /   Middle right: Art Gallery Indian Summer / Bottom right: Anna Maria Horner Field Study Linen

Nelle Dress

           Pattern: Nelle Dress by Brownie Goose Patterns on Etsy / Left: Anna Marie Horner Summer Totem in Strudel, / Top right: Joel Dewberry Swallow Study  /  Bottom right: Michael Miller Citron Gray Dumb Dot, Anna Maria Horner Hand Drawn Garden

betsy's dress

        Pattern: Betsy’s Dress by Brownie Goose Patterns on Etsy / Top: Sarah Jane Wander Woods in Petal / Bottom left: Art Gallery Bohemian Charms in Honey / Bottom right: Anna Maria Horner in Fine Feathered in Whisper

I absolutely love the patterns I used to sew these dresses and tops. They are all PDF patterns I came across one evening while searching around on Etsy.

  Brownie Goose, Seamingly Smitten, and Ruby Jean’s Closet all provide detailed directions with lots of pictures.

All the patterns I used are also easy enough for beginner sewers. I highly recommend all of them!

piperandpippygreen for fb

Colette Zinnia and My Dress Giveaway Winner

I can’t believe it’s already been over 2 months since I made this skirt! I’ve been so busy that time is just flying by!

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The Zinnia is the latest pattern from Colette Patterns. It has 3 versions. Version 1 is a gathered skirt with buttons down the front, Version 2 is pleated with belt loops and falls above the knee, and Version 3 is also pleated, but hits below the knee and includes directions for lining. I chose Version 2 and used a cotton sateen I purchased from Five Eighth Seams forever ago. It was another stash fabric just waiting for the perfect project and I’m glad I saved it for this skirt!

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I debated on whether I wanted to add the belt loops, but then I remembered this super cut bow belt I scored in the sale room at Anthro. The belt loops were a little “fiddly” for me, but they were a first and got easier with practice.

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Version 2 includes inseam pockets, while Version 1 has front patch pockets.

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The skirt closes with an invisible and cute little button on the waistband. I made a fabric covered button and was able to fit the center of one of the flowers on it.

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I am a sucker for pleats and I absolutely love the pleats on this skirt!

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The skirt came together easily. I’m typically a 4 in Colette Patterns and the Zinnia 4 fits me great! The skirt is cut on the bias, which makes for a flattering fit, but also makes it difficult to hem without puckers. I ended up sewing the hem down invisibly by hand. Anybody have any good tricks for hemming a skirt cut on the bias?

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Can’t you picture this skirt on a rack at White House Black Market? It’s a little dressy for my everyday life, so I paired it with a very casual shirt to make it more my style (my style typically includes a pretty pup by my side). I really want to make another Zinnia using Version 3 with a sheer fabric.


And now for the giveaway winner for the My Dress by Debbie Brooke Designs! Congratulations to Katherine Rhodes! Lucky you! For the rest of you, the pattern will be released on March 15th and you can purchase it here.

Pattern Testing + Giveaway: My Dress by Debbie Brooke Patterns

Two new dresses to test + two giveaways in just two weeks! Lucky me….and lucky you!

Meet the “My Dress”, by Debbie Brooke Patterns, a quick and easy to sew dress that is extremely figure flattering!


Hey look….that’s me on the cover :) I never could have imagined that one day I would be on the front cover of a sewing pattern.

The My Dress comes in sizes 2 to 22 and really flatters every body type. I think what makes this dress so slimming is the curved high waistline in the front that gradually slopes down to the back. Whatever it is, I swear this dress makes me look/feel skinnier than I am. My husband even commented on the slimming effect!  Directions for making a maternity My Dress are also included. As you can see from the picture on the pattern cover, a little baby bump looks extra cute in the My Dress! I’ve heard many fellow seamstresses complain about not being able to sew for themselves while they are pregnant and how store bought maternity clothes are just awful and expensive. Well soon-to-be-mamas, your problems have been solved! I think the My Dress makes the perfect maternity dress!

My Dress by Debbie Brooke Patterns (11)

The My Dress really looks great in any fabric. I especially love how it looks with two coordinating fabrics. A detail that I think also adds to that slimming factor. The My Dress can even be made with knits! Talk about endless fabric options!

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I love these pleats at the shoulders! You can really emphasize this sweet detail if you choose a solid fabric for the bodice.

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The bodice is fully lined using a clever method Debbie Brooke Patterns refers to as the “hot dog method”. I love that this bodice is lined. It gives the dress a really professional finish. I honestly prefer lining a bodice than finishing it with a facing or bias tape. I would much rather line a bodice than try to sew bias tape around an armhole and burn my fingertips with steam. Lining this bodice was especially easy!

My Dress by Debbie Brooke Patterns (3)

I purchased this Art Gallery Fabric at Five Eighth Seams forever ago and have been waiting for the perfect project for it. I often feel guilty for buying fabric without a purpose, but then I end up with a dress like this and I know I was meant to purchase that fabric!

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See how the back is lower than in the front? Love this look!

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The My Dress is closed with an invisible side zipper. Don’t worry first time “zipper inserters”, Debbie Brooke Patterns provided very detailed directions on how to insert the zipper. Another beginner sewer plus…no sleeves to set! Let’s be honest, that’s a plus even for more experienced sewers.

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The My Dress can be styled in so many different ways. I loved how each of the My Dress girls showed up for the photo shoot in the same dress, but each version was so unique to their style. The photographer even noticed this. She jokingly told each of us where she thought we might be going in our My Dresses….”you are going to church, you are going to work, you are going shopping downtown, you are going out with friends”. She had the right idea! This versatile dress is the perfect dress for any occasion!

My Dress by Debbie Brooke Patterns (1)

The My Dress will officially be available to purchase on March 15th. Debbie Brooke Patterns is offering one Sew Charleston reader the chance to win a copy! To enter click on the rafflecopter link below. The giveaway will end next Sunday, the 23rd, at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you follow Debbie Brooke Patterns on Facebook to see upcoming pattern designs. They just posted pictures of an adorable little girls peplum top. The rumor is, there will be a “grown up” version! I hope it’s true and I hope I am lucky enough to be able to test! I love a good peplum!

Pattern Testing + Giveaway: Sew Caroline’s Out and About Dress

Hey Ya’ll (as Sew Caroline would say)! I am so excited to share this project with you today! I was lucky enough to pattern test Sew Caroline’s first ever sewing pattern, the Out and About Dress!

Caroline describes this dress as designed for, “….the everyday lady with one million errands to run, a house to keep clean, and a job to finish”. She couldn’t have described this dress more perfectly. It’s easy to sew, easy to wear, easy to style, easy to dress up, and easy to dress down! I just love it!

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The dress comes with the options of knee length or maxi, long sleeve or elbow, and an optional cuff. I sewed up the size small and it fits perfect. This is the first time my bust, waist, and hips all fell exactly in one size….must be a sign I was meant to test this dress! I used a medium weight knit with a nice drape. I purchased it at my local fabric shop, Five Eighth Seams, probably over a year ago. I just love the color so much that I have been holding onto it forever waiting for the right project.

The directions are very clearly written and easy to follow, making it a great beginner knit sewing project.

You can read all about the dress over at SewCaroline’s blog and snag a copy for yourself…..that is if you don’t win a copy of it during the awesome giveaway Caroline is generously offering to one of my readers! Click on the rafflecopter link below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats on releasing your first pattern Caroline! Keep designing! I know everyone will love this pattern just as much as I do.