At the beginning of the year, I always try to set a few personal challenges for myself. This year, I thought it would be a great idea to sew up *some* of my unused patterns (I’m not gonna make it through the hundreds I have in just one year). But how exactly to go about it?
First, I decided to be simple: Just do the oldest pattern I owned that I hadn’t yet sewn. But that was a mistake. When I started sewing, I mostly bought kids’ size patterns. Guess who doesn’t have any kids to sew for now? This gal! So that was out.
Then I figured, “Well, I’ll just do my oldest pattern available in adult sizes.” As I scrolled through those, I realized there are many reasons these patterns have been neglected. For some, I was no longer interested in the style. Sometimes I made a different pattern from the same company and didn’t enjoy the process. And for others, I don’t agree with the company’s business practices and have decided not to support them any longer.
So finally, I settled on making some unused patterns from designers I enjoy sewing, who have business practices I support, and who I know at least somewhat how they fit. This short list included a few of my (and my family’s) favorites: George + Ginger, Love Notions, Sinclair, and Amelia Lane Designs!
My two daughters agreed to have their pictures taken in exchange for some new clothes, which I was very happy about.
My youngest requested a shirt with a hood. Enter the La Bella Donna from Love Notions! I cannot believe I’ve never made this pattern. It’s a quick dolman top with plenty of options, including the required hood. When this ALD thermal knit released, I bought all the colors- it’s super soft and so comfy. It’s perfect for the comfy, lounge style top my daughter requested! She surprised me by picking the camel color. I was sure the mauve, denim or olive would be more her jam.
After the super quick top, it was time to make some matching bottoms. My daughter lives in leggings (overalls being a close second) so it was time to try the Amelia Lane Designs Cadence Tights! I purchased the entire set of ALD athletic patterns on release a few months ago. My daughter absolutely loves the pocket version. She wanted a neutral pair to match everything so the fabric we used is the navy dri-tex moss. This is a great heavyweight athletic perfect for leggings. We made a size 2 and the fit is great. Ignore the white threads in the seams (little tip- you can topstitch the seams and/or use a darker thread in your serger to prevent that in your own projects!).
My oldest daughter also wanted a new shirt and pants. She surprised me by picking the Macy top from Sinclair Patterns. All the versions I showed her were a little on the “fancier” side and she’s generally easily swayed by tester photos. However, I was happy to be wrong. This shirt is a super quick and easy sew, but has this great cowl neck built in. When it was time to choose fabric, I was again surprised. She has a polo made out of the Killeen pointelle, but she must love it because she chose it for the Macy as well. Luckily, I had just enough for a long sleeve top. Because it’s got great drape but also is a bit more structured, the cowl has a little less flow than other tester photos. However, she loves it!
For bottoms, she asked for some new joggers as she recently ripped her favorite pair. I apparently have very few jogger patterns I haven’t made so we sort of cheated. We have made the Love Notions Resolution Bottoms in the legging form for her sister, but this versatile pattern also includes a jogger version! She’s now a big fan. We love the back yoke for a bit of style and, of course, pockets are always a win. I grudgingly allowed her to use this steel athletic brushed poly in the 265 weight. I bought to make myself some new pants, but since there is a new ABP preorder going on, I figured it was a good excuse to buy more! This is a great weight for bottoms and it’s so soft. Plus, it’s not at all shiny, which is one of the reasons my girls reject athletic fabrics. These two patterns seemed like opposites, but actually pair together fairly well when using these two fabrics.
Then it was my turn! I have been loving the Monna Hoodie from George + Ginger since the release. What was stopping me from sewing it? I don’t love pull-on hoodies. The only way I would regularly wear it was to add a zipper. So I finally broke down and modified the pattern to add a zipper. When I tried it on, I was shocked at the length and it seemed too big all over. I’m very average height and this was definitely tunic length. It wasn’t immediate love (though it’s starting to grow on me). I regretted using this beloved Alden french terry because I wanted it to be perfect! I still love the fabric with its novelty print that isn’t too kiddish. My youngest even asked if there were any scraps to make something for her.
I figured if the pattern was going to be big, I might as well make myself a comfy shirt. Remember that great ALD thermal stash? Well, this mauve was calling my name. To make a shirt instead of a hoodie, I added a neckband in place of a hood. Then I added length to the waistband so it was just slightly smaller than the shirt bottom. This was mostly to account for the lack of recovery in the thermal. I also skipped the welt pockets (though I’m debating adding a kangaroo pocket after the fact…). It was a much quicker sew and so very, very comfortable! I could live all winter in this thermal fabric.
Now it was time for my pants. I originally planned to make a wide-legged pair, but couldn’t picture them with my new tops. So I made the Amelia Lane Designs Cadence tights for myself! I chose this navy ribbed athletic. This is some very cool fabric with ribs on one side and a waffle knit on the other. I actually flipped it to the waffle side for the waistband and pocket lining, but it didn’t photograph well. Still, it’s a cool texture and fun to wear. This color is also a great navy- not super dark, but on the brighter side. These leggings are a little lightweight for winter, but they are going to get tons of use in the spring and fall.
There you have it! I can mark a few more patterns off my “Never Been Sewn” list and I’ll see how many more I can manage to sew this year. Do you have any personal goals for this new year?
Here’s a handy list of all the patterns and fabrics used (also available as hyperlinks in the text). Some of these links are affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but I get a small commission that helps fund my sewing adventures.
Love Notions La Bella Donna: https://www.lovenotions.com/product/ladies-la-bella-donna-top-tunic?affiliates=354
Camel thermal knit: https://www.amelialanedesigns.com/product-page/camel-thermal-solids
Amelia Lane Designs Cadence Tights: https://www.amelialanedesigns.com/product-page/the-cadence-tights
Sinclair Patterns Macy Top: https://sinclairpatterns.com/products/macy-knit-semi-fitted-cowl-neck-top-pdf
Killeen pointelle: https://www.amelialanedesigns.com/product-page/killeen
Love Notions Resolution Joggers: https://www.lovenotions.com/product/pant-pdf?affiliates=354
Steel athletic brushed poly 265 gsm: https://www.amelialanedesigns.com/product-page/steel-athletic-brushed-poly-265gsm-pre-order
George + Ginger Pattern Co. Monna Hoodie (times two!): https://georgeandgingerpatterns.com/products/the-monna-hoodie-womens-sizes-pdf-sewing-pattern?aff=136
Alden french terry: https://www.amelialanedesigns.com/product-page/alden
Amelia Lane Designs Cadence Tights (again): https://www.amelialanedesigns.com/product-page/the-cadence-tights
Navy ribbed athletic knit: https://www.amelialanedesigns.com/product-page/navy-ribbed-solids