{Pattern Hack} Dublin Dolman Tank and My New Linen Lander Shorts

I cannot believe it’s been more than two months since I wrote a blog post. Please know that I’ve been sewing like crazy. So much that I haven’t had much time to write about it all, I guess. Hopefully you follow me on Instagram (@sewingsarah23), so you know what I’m up to, even when I’m not blogging.

That said, I’m super duper excited to share my Dublin Dolman tank hack today. You may or may not have seen my guest post over at the New Horizons blog in June – here  . What I can tell you, nearly two months later, is that I’ve worn the heck out of this shirt. It’s definitely my favorite casual make of the summer.  I want a dozen more in all the colors. I love, LOVE the gathered front and v-neck details – it’s perfectly flattering and is easy to dress up. Get the pattern here: New Horizons Dublin Dolman

From the moment I made my first Dublin two months ago, I’ve thought about how to make a tank top using this pattern – keeping the neckline and the gathered front that I love so much and turning it into a summer tank. I think I’ve confessed before that I think about sewing as I fall asleep at night, sometimes pondering the technical details of what I’m going to sew next. After weeks of, quite literally, dreaming about this, I sat down this past Friday afternoon to see if I could accomplish this hack. Spoiler: it worked. Confession – I’m still a bit giddy about it.


I’ll share my pictures below.

First of all, make sure to interface ALL the neckline pieces – it really makes a crucial difference and it’s worth the extra few minutes. As far as modifying the front and back bodice pieces, I think this shape probably varies from person to person and size to size. Basically, I cut off the sleeves and shoulders of the front and back pieces. On the back piece, I drew from the shoulder seam, down to directly under the arm. On the front bodice, I used the notch on either side of the neckline as my starting point and drew out to the side seam, directly under the arm. Make sure to add at least 3/8″ to all cut lines, which will be folded under to finish the edges. It’s always better to cut more conservatively and then cut more if you need to! You could just clip/pin the pieces onto the neckline to make sure you like the coverage and don’t need to take any more off before finishing the edges.

Second, do NOT attach the front and back neckline pieces at the shoulders. Work with the front and back separately for now. Front pieces RST and sew around the outside from the edge to the notch on both sides. Sew all along the inner part of the neckline as per the instructions. Clip curves per the instructions to reduce bulk and help curves lay flat. Turn right side out.










Sew the inner part of the back neckline pieces together. Clip curves per instruction. Place the back neckline pieces to the front neckline pieces, RST, as pictured, and stitch at the appropriate seam allowance (as shown in second picture below). This is the shoulder seam you are working with and this method will ensure that the seam is enclosed, as it is in the original pattern. Turn back neckline piece right side out and press neckline flat. It should look like my final neckline picture when you are done. Raw edges all along the back outer neckline and the front outer neckline where it will attach to the bodice.


Set neckband to the side.

Apply gathering stitch on neckline per tutorial (make sure to note the center notch). Hem all of these modified unfinished seams (where the shoulder/sleeves would have been on the original pattern) – from the back neckline, under the arm, up to the edge of the front neckline whether the gathering stitch starts. Gather the neckline to match the raw edges on the neckline.

Attach the front bodice piece to the front neckline per the tutorial, minding the center notch so that your v-neck point is nice and sharp. Attach the back bodice to the back neckline per the tutorial. Attach front and back bodice pieces at side seams. Hem per the tutorial.


Perhaps pair it with a nice pair of Lander shorts as I have. Everyone needs a pair of teal linen Landers, right. This is the ultimate summer outfit for me.

Tank fabric from FabricMart, shorts fabric from Joann, I think (years ago).

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission, which doesn’t change your cost at all. Regardless, I only recommend products I believe will add value to my readers and your sewing life. 


{Pattern Test} North Shore Swimsuit by Greenstyle

My first confession is that I almost had to write this blog post from the ER. My oldest son was acting a little off and my mama/nurse instinct said he needed to be checked out before the long holiday weekend. Luckily it’s not appendicitis and he just needs some rest and time to recover. Which is a huge relief for all kinds of reasons, including the fact that it means we will get to go to the opening of our community pool tomorrow!  This is perfect timing, since I just finished sewing this awesome swimsuit!


North Shore Swimsuit by Greenstyle

The North Shore Swimsuit released this week from Greenstyle Creations. I can’t adequately describe the number of options in this one pattern, so I’ll just share the line drawing. Find more details or purchase the pattern here: North Shore Swimsuit

line drawing

So… this was an amazing testing experience. Testers asked for options to be added and the designer listened. She managed to pack every one of our requests into this awesome pattern. A pattern which, by the way, looked SO GOOD on every tester – every body shape and size. It almost brought tears to my eyes to see how good everyone looked. And felt. In a suit that really fit them. It really was amazing.

So, without further ado, here is my suit.  I made a modified tie back top with the fuller cup option, and low rise banded bottoms. The coverage on both the top and the bottom are absolutely perfect. I’m comfortable and supported in all the important places!

Here are a few closeups:

Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll ever need another swimsuit pattern again. This one completely covers all of my basic needs!  It’s on sale for a few more hours, but it’s worth every penny, even at full price!  Find the pattern here: North Shore Swimsuit by Greenstyle

Capsule Wardrobe Undergarments Part 2

I’m going to start the way I started my first  Capsule Wardrobe Undergarments post, like this: “It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of capsule wardrobe sewing.  I spend a good amount of time each season planning the colors and the pieces that I want to make to round out my closet. Plenty of people stop their capsule wardrobe at that point – and that is totally fine – buying shoes, purses/handbags, workout gear, pajamas, undergarments, and socks.

Well, I’m a maker.  I can’t make shoes (yet), but I am making all of those other things for my capsule.”

I wrote that post in December and have since joined the #rtwfast2018. I’ve taken a pledge to not purchase any ready to wear clothing in 2018. There are exceptions to those guidelines – socks, undergarments, etc. But I’m going cold turkey and not buying any of those things.

My first undergarments post was inspired by the beautiful Bella Bralette from Daydream Patterns. It seems appropriate that this blog post was inspired by another awesome pattern from Daydream Patterns as well!  The Nora Knickers pattern just released and is on sale through Monday (20% off with code NORAKNICKERS) but even at full price, it’s worth every penny!  Find the pattern here: Nora Knickers and if you want to make a matching bralette, here’s the Bella Bralette Pattern


The Nora Knickers feature two versions – one hipster that is more of a “cheeky” cut and a high waist version, which is more like a traditional cut (still below my belly button). Both have cute lace accents and a super professional finish.

I made a pair of knickers to match my Marbella tank (which I wrote about here {Pattern Hack} Capsule PJs Featuring NH Marbella Tank and RP Pippa Pants) in awesome fabric from Piccaddilly Textile Corp

Also, since that post in December, I have a new favorite every day undies pattern, which somehow didn’t get its own blog post!!!  The Love Yourself undies from Wardrobe by Me, pattern here. What I love most about these is, when I use high quality/good weight cotton lycra, they don’t require any elastic. I just hem on my coverstitch and DONE! No added bulk at the seams, super fast, super comfy.

I consider these undies to be my very most favorite every day undies. I’ve made probably 10 pairs and always reach for them first!

Hope this helps give you some ideas for sewing your own undergarments – it’s not hard and it’s super fun!

{Pattern Hack} Capsule PJs Featuring NH Marbella Tank and RP Pippa Pants

I have a huge confession to make… I never blogged on my first Marbella Tank which I made during testing. It’s a cute lace back tank, which – in typical New Horizons style – has several options and styles of lace back. I love the version I made during testing and will wear it a lot under my Valencia open back top (pictured here with the Greenstyle Super G Tights – it’s like wearing a control top that holds everything in place!). The watercolor fabric is amazing cotton lycra from Piccadilly Textiles.

During the month of April, I participated in #BackToBasics2018 with my friends at Sew Altered Style. On the last day of the month – after I’d sewn some great basics from tees to undies – I realized I needed some spring/summer pajamas. It was the same time temps were consistently hitting the mid 70s here during the day and upper 40s at night. My winter flannel pjs were just too hot. I knew I wouldn’t finish the pjs by the end of April, but I use sewing challenges/themes as that – just a guide and an inspiration – no hard and fast deadlines!

I picked two lovely patterns to make my pj set – the Pippa Pants from Rebecca Page (which I sewed with cotton lycra in the fall to make a pair of yoga pants). This time I made the wide leg/palazzo option on the pattern and did the flat waistband (vs the folded yoga band). I had a pair of pants on Pinterest that I wanted to copy, with lace at the waistband too.

While I wanted lace on the pants, I didn’t really want lace against my skin while I sleep. Here’s another confession – I have SUPER sensitive skin and if something rubs on it and irritates it, then I itch it, and end up with hives all over. That’s not conducive to sleep. So I pondered a hack for the Marbella tank without the lace and stumbled across a cute Michael Stars tank on Pinterest (confession: I look at Pinterest almost every night before bed). I did a little brainstorming and I’m pretty pleased with the result. I’ll make a few changes the next time I do this (which will be soon, because I think it’s such a cute tank for summer with a little twist – pun intended!)

Bonus – now I have super comfy pjs made out of super comfy rayon spandex (which I’ve had set aside for pjs for two years). I love when patterns have such versatility and I’m glad I finally have some summer pjs!

Patterns (affiliate links provide me with a little percentage when you buy to help support my sewing habit. Don’t worry – it doesn’t cost you more!)

Marbella Tank

Pippa Pants


{Pattern Test} The Most Perfect Tunic from Wardrobe by Me

I’m going to start out with a funny story. I mean, it wasn’t funny at the time, but I’m trying to chuckle about it now that it’s been a week since it happened.

My plan was to make my first Perfect Tunic in all knit. I had some pretty Michael Stars type knit picked out. I’d spent several evenings working on cutting it out and applying the placket. When I finally finished the collar, I realized that I’d not only sewed the shoulder seams wrong (so the seam was facing out), but then applied the collar inside out too (because I was orienting to the shoulder seams being on the inside, when they were in fact on the outside). This resulted in a disaster that I was unable to recover from – decent looking placket on the outside front, beautiful stitching on the inside of the collar and exposed shoulder seams on the right side of the garment. I could have cried. But I didn’t. I set it aside and went to work on cutting my next Perfect Tunic out of what was going to be my second version of the shirt, hoping that this time would, in fact, be perfect.

I spent Sunday sewing like the wind. While it was windy and snowing outside, I sewed, sipped tea, and listened to the Great British Baking Show while I worked on my tunic. By mid-afternoon, I was done and so very, very pleased. I dragged my husband out into the snow to take some pictures.

I’d recently been inspired by a friends plaid pullover shirt and this was exactly what I wanted for myself. It’s a lightweight shirting from FabricMart (which is my current favorite fabric obsession because of the amazing deals). I’m so glad I have four more cuts of similar fabric to cut into still!

The instructions for the pattern suggest cutting the yoke on the bias when working with plaids. You can see why – the slight shift in the direction of the fabric is such a nice accent. I did it on the placket and collar pieces as well.

I made the view B (which is the one with the back yoke) and the roll up (vs cuffed) sleeves in the shorter shirt length (not actually the tunic length). Needless to say, it was too cold to roll the sleeves up when it was snowing, but it will be great when spring finally rolls around! I’m in love with the curved hem – it’s so flattering.

The pattern is on sale for a few more days. Find it here: Perfect Tunic Pattern


WBM Perfect Tunic and Laela Jayne Taylor Leggings

Since they are finally being photographed, I’m going to give a big shout out to these leggings made with the most amazing organic french terry from CaliFabrics. I got it years ago (in navy and hunter green too) – made a pair in navy and they’ve held up SO well. This fall I made this camel color and it’s love all over again. Could live in these. I used the Taylor Leggings from Laela Jayne. The contoured waistband is phenomenal (so much so that I’ve mashed it onto many other patterns, lol). They are a super comfortable option for this head to toe me-made outfit, even if there were some missteps along the way!  I think that’s all part of the sewing journey!

{Pattern Test} Valencia from New Horizons with Greenstyle Chelsea Pants

I almost didn’t apply to test this shirt pattern. I feel iffy about open back shirts – not on other people, but I’ve not been sure I could pull it off. Luckily, like all my favorite patterns, this one is loaded with options. Meaning, if you are hesitant about showing your back, buy this pattern anyway – you can try it when you’re ready and I bet you will find at least one of the versions to love.


Here’s my v-back version. It comes with the option of one strap across the top or x straps which are super cute and give a little more coverage. I was supposed to finish my lace back bra to take pictures with this top, but alas, I did not. So my regular black lacy bra is showing. Not as cute as it could be, but you get the idea. Let me just say – this felt not at all as weird as I thought it would (to have that much of my back exposed).

I also adore the curved hem (though it comes with a banded/straight style as well).

Do yourself a favor and click on the link to the listing so you can see ALL the options that come with this top. It’s really phenomenal. On sale through March 7th (but worth it at full price, I promise)! Find the pattern here: New Horizons Valencia Top

By this point, you’re probably wondering about my pants. RIGHT?  You should be. One of my favorite realizations lately is that I’m often wearing me-made head to toe. Including underwear. I love it. I love having clothes that are exactly what I pick that fit me exactly. It’s really the best.


New Horizons Valencia Top and Greenstyle Chelsea Pants

Anyway. My pants are the Greenstyle Chelsea pants. I loved these since the moment they released. Confession – while I’ve adopted some leggings into my wardrobe, I never stopped loving flares and wide leg pants. Maybe it was watching so much “What Not to Wear” in my younger days, but I truly belive that my pants need some shape to balance out my body. You can find the pattern here: Greenstyle Chealsea Pants

These pants do have a great shape. I was pleased to find that I didn’t need to make any adjustments anywhere (other than taking off some length for my lack of height). They fit amazingly well (though I’m perplexed by the small drag lines on the outside of my knees – I worked on them and worked on them and couldn’t figure out what to do to get them to go away, so I will deal because I love the pants). They are pull on, have a great high waist that is so comfortable for me, plus these really cute back pockets that I think are truly flattering.


Greenstyle Chelsea Pants

Last, but never, ever, EVER least… The details about my fabric choices!  The floral for my top is a rayon spandex that came in a recent scrap or clearance box from Sincerely Rylee. They’re close to 20K members in the Facebook group and hoping to hit that soon for a HUGE giveaway. If you aren’t already a member, JOIN NOW, so that you can be part of all the fun! She has stockings almost every week, some lovely pre-orders, Trim Tuesdays, and the new Vibe Boxes on Wednesdays! Join the fun here: Sincerely Rylee Facebook Group

My pants are the most amazing olive green stretch twill from Simply by Ti. The fabric has a slight sheen to it, just the right amount of stretch to hold everything in place and hug all the right curves. It was so perfect for this project. My only regret is that I don’t have 10 more yards. I did just get some in navy blue – so stay tuned for another make with that very soon. It’s defintely a new favorite!  You can join the Simply by Ti group here: Simply by Ti Fabric Group – she does a great live video on Thursday nights with all sorts of awesome pattern and fabric reviews and all sorts of super useful tidbits! Shop here: Simply by Ti Fabric Shop

Hope you enjoyed my head to toe handmade wardrobe post. I’m sewing a ton right now – maybe at some point, I’ll take a break and write again! Until then – KEEP MAKING!

{Pattern Test} Joy Jacket by Chalk & Notch

First, I’m going to state in no uncertain terms that Joy Jacket from Chalk & Notch is my most accomplished make ever.

Then, I’m going to say that this was NOT supposed to be my first blog post of 2018. The plan was for this to be part two of New Year, New Jacket. But, while part one is done, I never blogged about it. That’s how much I have been sewing (instead of blogging). So, stay tuned for my other new jacket post – coming soon (hopefully).

Keeping in line with my sewing goals for 2018, I learned and practice all sorts of skills in this testing the Joy Jacket. I almost didn’t apply because I wasn’t sure I could do it. But, in keeping in line with my life goals for 2018, I went for it. I’m so glad I did. The testing group was lovely, the process was smooth and streamlined and the entire experience was so positive. Despite the fact that this was more on the advanced side of my skills, the tutorial is so well done that I had no problems. The couple steps that gave me pause are accompanied by clear videos linked in the tutorial. There’s no way to fail 🙂

I used this lovely olive green linen from Robert Kaufman that’s been in my stash forever and some lovely teal I picked up at a thrift store for lining (it has tiny gold Saturns on it and is absolutely awesome). I chose the version without the hood, though I plan on making another one with a hood for sure!

Today is the last day to grab the pattern on sale (it’s worth every penny, even at full price).  It’s not a quick sew, but it is so fulfilling. Take your time, enjoy the process – the finished product will bring you so much joy (pun intended)! Grab the pattern here: https://www.chalkandnotch.com/shop/joy/