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Well, I tried something new last month…I was part of a new pattern testing group!!  I’ve applied to a few pattern testing calls in the past, but was never chosen.  That is until Jessica, from 5 out of 4 Patterns, decided to choose me as one of many testers for the Eleanor Cardigan that released today.

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I have to say, pattern testing is not the easiest thing to do in the world.  The Eleanor Cardigan pattern is luckily an easy sew, because I ended up making three versions in two weeks!  Which probably really isn’t that many for testing a pattern.  But, for me, that is a lot since I’m just starting to have time to sew in the evenings after the kids go to bed.  I also under estimated how much fabric and paper it would take to test a pattern.  And that is after it went through pre-testing!

So, needless to say, if you are considering a pattern test for someone, realize that it’s more work than just sewing up a pattern one time.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it was still a ton of fun seeing the whole process and the behind the scenes of what goes into testing a pattern before it’s actually released.  I feel a huge sense of accomplishment as well as feeling proud that I helped a tiny bit to make the pattern successful for the designer.

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My first version is not pictured, as it was too big even though I was right in the middle of the XS for measurements.  Jessica then adjusted the pattern to an overall slimmer fit.  It is supposed to be a roomier cardigan and should overlap in the front to make the belt option look better.  I knew I wouldn’t use a belt so did not make that option on any of the ones I made.  She also made adjustments to include two sleeve widths for those that want a larger wrist opening, and others, like myself, that prefer a tighter fit around the wrist.  Those two adjustments along with a hood adjustment are the major changes that happened through the testing process.

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I used a poly-rayon spandex french terry from So Sew English for the above cardigan and it’s super comfortable.  I think this is one of the best stripe matching I’ve ever done and it was, of course, on a test cardigan.  Luckily, it turned out, so really, it’s now an actual cardigan that I can wear!

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On the last version that I made (the purple) I decided to add the optional pockets and hood.  This fabric is a sweater knit from Purple Seamstress….I think hacci, but I am not 100% sure.  It must have stretched while sewing, without me really knowing, because the overall cardigan seemed longer than the striped one.  I also made many stupid mistakes when making this version.  I think I was just in too much of a rush and tired to fully pay attention to what I was doing.  It didn’t help that since I had already made two versions, I thought I knew what I was doing, so I didn’t read the instructions as thoroughly as I should have.   So you can’t really tell, but I actually sewed the hood together with wrong sides facing, so the inside of the hood is the right side of the fabric.  I probably won’t ever wear it with the hood up, so it works out ok.  I also put the band on incorrectly, but made it work out ok in the end.  I should have taken some pictures to show you guys!

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A few other options that are included are three lengths (tunic, knee, or duster), two sleeve lengths, and elbow cuffs which are really just tie sort of things that you sew in so you can roll up the sleeves to 3/4 length.  They are super cute!  Then, as I mentioned above, you can choose to do the banded or hood option, belt, pockets, and two different sleeve widths.  There is also a girl’s version if you have a little girl to sew for in your life.  Lillian wasn’t interested in having a cardigan, otherwise, I would have made her one too!  We could have been matching!

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Both the women’s version and the girls’ version are on sale for $7.95 through Sunday, October 7, 2018, no code needed.  And if you purchase both versions there is an additional $2 off the bundle.  Here is the women’s pattern and girls’ pattern from the 5 out of 4 Patterns website.

Enter below to win the pattern for free.  Giveaway ends Friday night.

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Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of 5 out of 4 Patterns so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

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Lillian doesn’t always want me to sew for her anymore, but it seems like after I make her something, she loves it.  It’s been like that for some time now, so I get a little excited when she asks me to make her something.

We actually just chatted about me sewing for her.  Originally she wanted to buy all of her winter shirts, but after seeing some of what I made for Owen, I think she now wants me to make her more.  I’ve also been trying to let her decide on the fabric that she wants, so that hopefully she’ll like the item even more.  I think sometimes she just can’t visualize the pattern in a different fabric than the picture from the listing (or whatever picture I show her) or she doesn’t want to take the time to pick out fabric.  She must not be my daughter because I could look at fabric 24/7!

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For this shirt, we used the same fabric that I previously used for a shirt for Owen.  That way they could coordinate; which surprisingly, she still loves.  We’ll have to see how long that will last!  Hopefully we can get some pics of his soon so I can share those too!  The fabric is from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

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This is the Violet Tunic from Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop.  I resisted getting it for the longest time because I wasn’t sure if she would actually like it.  But she does, which is great because I plan on making some long sleeve ones for this winter.  She loves leggings, so tunics are perfect to pair with them.

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Speaking of leggings!  I just remembered that I also made the leggings that she is wearing.  They are the free girl’s Leggin’s Pattern from Love Notions and they run sizes 2T-14.  I honestly made these so long ago, that I don’t fully remember much about them.  Leggings are pretty easy to make, but I feel like the rise is almost always too high for Lillian.  I wish I could recall if I ended up adjusting the rise!  I guess I’ll just have to make them again so I can write an actual review for you!

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One of the things I love about the Violet Tunic is the side panels.  They make it really fun to mix and match fabrics.  There are so many combinations that you could do to get a different look each time.  I used three different fabrics for this one, but you could really use even more fabrics and still make an awesome shirt.  Overall, it was easier to sew than it looks.  The hardest part is getting the binding on the top of the pockets.  You have to stretch a little to make them fit and they seemed to shift every time I started to sew.

The only negative to this shirt is that I thought I was making a larger size in order for it to fit longer and it was actually more of a perfect fit instead of slightly big.  I’m not sure if I measured Lillian incorrectly or if it was the pattern.  Like I mentioned above, I plan on making more of them for her winter wardrobe, so we’ll find out soon.

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I found a few pictures that I took with my phone to show that she really does wear this more than just for the photoshoot for my blog post.  In the above picture, she is holding a bunny at a zoo that is near my in-laws cabin.  No, we are not White Sox fans, she couldn’t find her hat, so she wore Owen’s t-ball hat and he just so happened to be on the White Sox team.

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In this picture, she is practicing pitching at a local park.  Yes, she has shorts on!  I guess that is what I get for making a short sleeve tunic, knowing she is still going to wear it with shorts.  A mental note is taken for future makes!  I’m honestly just happy that she likes to wear what I make her.

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Here is a flat lay to hopefully show some of the details of the shirt.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Peek-A-Boo Pattern shop and Love Notions so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

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I made this Halla PatternsAgnes swing top and absolutely love it!!  I love that I can wear it almost year round.  It is great in the summer as a tank top, but still perfect for cooler weather with a jean jacket or cardigan.  Right up my alley!

They also have the Sweet Agnes*, which is the kid’s version of the Agnes.  I have not made the Sweet Agnes, but assume that it’s very similar to the Agnes.  Be sure to visit their facebook group for a few codes for some free patterns!  Hint: the Agnes for Woman is one of them.

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The Agnes pattern has a few different options, like all of the Halla Patterns*.  You can choose from swing top, knee length dress, or full length dress.  Then you get the option of sleeveless, short sleeves, or long sleeves.  As you can tell, I chose the sleeveless swing top version.  Actually, most of their other patterns have even more options than this!

Another thing that makes Halla Patterns* stand out from other pattern designers is that they include rulers on their pattern pieces.  The rulers help to show ease of the pattern and make it easier to get a perfect fit for your body.  So you can adjust exactly where needed instead of just making a bigger size.  If you end up getting some of their patterns, join the FB group and search “ruler” for a better explanation as to how to use the rulers.  I would link for you, but it won’t work if you aren’t already part of the group.

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I used ITY from So Sew English and it’s SOO soft and flowy, making it a perfect choice for this shirt.  It’s pretty light weight, a little slippery feeling, and breathable.  It’s also cool to the touch which was new to me as I’m used to sewing with cotton lycra or french terry.  Definitely a good summer fabric, but paired with a cute jacket of some sort it’s doable for cooler weather as well.

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I measured into a size 2/4, but because of the nature of this pattern, I decided to make a zero (one size smaller) and the fit is great!  I knew that I didn’t want too big of a swing as it wouldn’t be as flattering on me, so going down a size was perfect.  This pattern is really a very basic pattern and would be great if you are just getting started with sewing clothes for women.

I find that with tank tops, it’s super easy to pull the binding unevenly so then there are wrinkles on the sleeves.  So if you have never done binding before, maybe start with one of the sleeve options so that you only have the neck binding.  Once you have it down, the sleeveless version shouldn’t be too difficult!

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Halla Patterns so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

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When I saw on Facebook that 5 out of 4 Patterns was asking for participants for their Summer’s Coming blog tour (be sure to keep reading for a discount code and giveaway), I thought it would be the perfect push to finally make the Journey Dress.  I even already had this cotton lycra fabric, that I bought at least three years ago, just for this dress.  Fabric hoarding much?  Or maybe just a slacker?

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The reason I was dragging my feet was because I was afraid of it not fitting.  Well, there was really no need to worry, because the pattern has many tips and tricks on how to get the perfect fit.  It even includes different cut lines depending on your sewing cup size (instructions on how to determine your sewing cup size are included).  As well as many pictures and explanations on how to get the bra portion to fit properly.

I actually used some smaller scrap pieces of cotton lycra to make a sports bra first to make sure that it fit properly.  The only actual adjustment I had to make was to shorten the straps.  But I think that is probably because they are drafted a little long because of all of the options on how to make them.

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Speaking of options, let’s talk a little more about all of the them for this pattern.  You can choose between a sports bra, tank top, short dress, or maxi dress, as well as a maternity version of each.  For the straps, you can choose between straight back, cross back, halter top, or twist back.  You can also include sewn in, removable, or no bra cups, as well as a nursing option.

I chose the short dress option with a cross back and removable bra cups.  I was thinking about making the maxi length, but I didn’t have enough fabric.  Not to mention, maxi length doesn’t always look the best on me because I’m so short (5’2″ on a good day!).

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I think I mentioned that I used all cotton lycra fabric.  The stripe fabric is a little lighter weight than the solids, so it lays nicely for the skirt part.  For the bodice, I actually have three layers of fabric since I chose to do removable bra cups.  I should have used power mesh in the straps (pink pieces) for a little more support since I wasn’t using a heavier weight fabric for them.  I only say that because I just have two layers in the sports bra version that I made and feel that it gives me better support.  So I think the heaviness of the three layers of cotton lycra, plus the skirt, is a little much for the straps.  It’s not terrible, but enough that I can tell there is a difference.  I could probably just shorten the straps a little more.

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When trying to decide on sewn in bra cups or removable bra cups, I searched the 5 out of 4 Patterns facebook group to see what others thought.  I found that many others feel that sewn in bra cups are much harder to get the perfect fit/placement.  So I decided to just go for the removable bra cups.  I already had some that were from my nursing bras from a few years ago so I didn’t need to buy any.  I think I might have some from an older swimming suit as well.  So search your dresser before buying new ones!

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It was pretty easy to do the removable bra cup “pocket”.  There is a tutorial on 5 out of 4 patterns blog here.  Essentially, you cut off the straps of one layer of the front bodice lining.  I actually didn’t cut mine low enough, so it’s super difficult to get the bra cup in place since the opening is only about an inch and a half wide.  The hardest part for me was keeping track of which pieces were my lining and which was my main fabric.  That was because I used the same fabric for both, so I ended up sewing it together incorrectly and had to try again.  Thank goodness for seam rippers!  In the end, you have a full main piece, a full lining piece, and then one lining piece that doesn’t have the straps.  With the two lining pieces, they form a “pocket” for the removable cup.

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Once you have the bra portion done, the rest is pretty simple.  Before sewing on the skirt, you want to make sure it fits and that the straps are the correct length.  I had to shorten the straps a lot in order to get it to fit properly, but that is easy.  Then from there, you just sew the skirt together and then onto the bra portion.  Insert elastic and you are done!

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This dress is perfect for summer!  It’s comfortable, flowy, and the top stays in place.  If you aren’t a dress person, you could make a tank or sports bra.  You can customize it to your preference.  I’m not a halter top person, but if you are, then make it a halter top.  If you are creative, I’m sure you could come up with other ways to make the straps.  Cotton Lycra is super easy to sew with, so if you are nervous about sewing with knits, try Cotton Lycra.

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I would definitely recommend the Journey Dress!  It was fun to sew and turned out exactly as I had imagined.  It has many options to make it just how you prefer, but not too many to where it’s confusing.

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Now, head on over to 5 out of 4 Patterns and look around.  If you find something you like, don’t forget to use coupon code “summerscoming” for 30% off from May 7 – 11, 2018.  I have a few of their other patterns that I need to try out.  One being the Agility, which looks to make a super cute swimming suit top.  Don’t forget that the pajama pants pattern is free and the Ninja Pants, Women’s Luna Skirt, and Girl’s Little Luna Skirt all have a special promotion with a code in the 5 out of 4 Facebook group.

Do you want to win a 5 out of 4 Pattern of your choice?  Enter below for a chance to win!  Good luck!
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Also, be sure to check out the other blogs that are part of the tour this week.  Lots of inspiration and possibly another chance to win a pattern!

5 out of 4 Patterns Summer’s Coming Blog Tour Schedule

May 7- The Sassy Seamripper | Just Delphine

May 8- Sewing Novice | Octaves of Color

May 9- Manning the Machine | Sweet Mama Sharon

May 10- Sew Sew Ilse | That’s Sew Lily

May 11- Wonderfully Handmade | The Sassy Seamripper

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I’ve been using this pick a pocket wallet for a little over a year and still really like it! It might be the last wallet that I need!  I never ended up putting the metal corner pieces on, but it’s holding up fantastically, even without them.  This was my first ChrisW Designs pattern that I made and it was really a great pattern.  Since Chris is in Australia, the pattern is written using cm, but she took the time to also include the inch measurements.  You can also use the pattern pieces, which are included, but I chose to go by measurements.

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There are two options to choose from….mine is option one, which includes the extra card pockets on the left.  Option two includes another zipper pocket instead of the 8 extra card pockets.  I carry a lot of cards so the extra card pockets were a must!  Even with all of the pockets, the wallet still easily closes and isn’t too large or bulky.

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I used a Kam snap (Amazon affiliate link) to close my wallet.  If you haven’t used Kam snaps, they are super easy to install and use.  They are plastic, so if you are using a slightly fancier fabric, you might want to use a metal closure.

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There are SO many pockets in this wallet!  Of course, the 8 card pockets I mentioned before, the other 4 card pockets and one for your ID.  There are two open pockets under the 8 cards AND a zipper pocket, which I use for coins.  Under the side that has the ID pocket there are two more pockets; one on each side.  It definitely lives up to it’s name!

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Now that you know a little more about the options of this pattern, let’s chat about the pattern itself.  If you’ve never sewn before, this is not the pattern to start with.  It’s very well written, but not necessarily easy.  I think that if you take your time, it’s doable for about anyone, but a beginner might get frustrated.  Chris has it labeled as intermediate, which I would agree with.  There are a lot of pieces to cut out and sew together as well as some thicker areas to sew through.

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The pattern, in general, is fantastically written!  I don’t recall struggling with understanding any of it.  There are pictures that help with any difficult parts, as well as great explanations.  Due to the many pieces, there are a lot of steps, but I expected that and am grateful for the details which make it easier for me to get a successful end product.

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I honestly can’t think of anything negative to say about the wallet.  It holds my cards, paper money, and coins, plus a few small extras like a hair tie.  The only negative thing about the actual pattern is that the last step of topstitching was a little difficult, but I’ve had that issue with other patterns because of the many layers used.  You can only eliminate so many layers with a pattern like this.

I’m kind of on a clothing sewing kick, but do want to try more ChrisW Designs pattern in the future.  I have a few other ones, but need to try them out!  Based off of the pick a pocket wallet, I would highly recommend her patterns.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Amazon so I get compensated for any orders placed through the Amazon links in this post.