Archive of ‘inspiration’ category

Delpy Ballet Top + Pattern Giveaway

Delpy Ballet Top || sewn by a happy stitch

I have a sweet new slip of a top! I’m so excited because it’s going to work beautifully on its own or under a light jacket this fall! It’s called the Delpy Ballet Top and it’s a pattern from the emerging pattern designer (and my friend) Meghann Halfmoon of Halfmoon Atelier .  P.S. If you travel on over to my Instagram feed, I’m doing a pattern giveaway.  But, stay here for a little bit so we can gush over this elegant sleeveless top, ok?

Delpy Ballet Top || sewn by a happy stitch

I had to dip into my Nani Iro stash for this lovely double gauze border print, it was screaming out for it.  I’m so glad I did.  I love how the softness and wrinkly-ness give it additional character.  This top naturally has lots of character, though.  I love the beautiful gathers in front with a v-neck and look at the beautiful scoop neck in the back!

Delpy Ballet Top || sewn by a happy stitchI would describe this top as elegant but laid-back without being fussy.  Great for the everyday casual look that consists most of my wardrobe.

The designer, Meghann, lives with her family on a Caribbean island near St. Maarten and that island vibe is infused in all her simple but sexy designs.  (I was, coincidentally, very concerned for her tiny island of Saba when Hurricane Irma was blowing though but thankfully they fared ok).  As for the Delpy Ballet Top pattern, I found it straightforward to follow and piece together.  I stitched up a size 5 and didn’t need any adjustments.  The pattern also comes with a cute dress extension, which I haven’t made yet.

Delpy Ballet Top || sewn by a happy stitchOverall, I love that the pattern elevates what could be a basic top into something subtly sexy and elegant with small details on the front and the lovely scooped back. The dress extension has a gorgeous, one-sided scooped hem as well.  It’s these little details that make her patterns something special.  And yet, this top remains extremely wearable and accessible. It’s got a great laid-back sophistication. Totally island life vibe, I’m telling you.

Delpy Ballet Top || sewn by a happy stitch

I know that Meghan has been working hard on perfecting this sweet pattern and it was just re-released this week.  I met Meghann at Craftcation last year and she is brimming with optimism and enthusiasm.  She and I both are dedicated to ethical, sustainable clothing and we hit it off right away!  Her striking personality is matched with her amazing sense of style and her love of the outdoors.  We took bike rides and drank wine and basically girl crushed on each other for the entire conference. I’m really excited to see her beautiful patterns come into the world and, I’m telling you, watch this woman! She’s going places.

Delpy Ballet Top || sewn by a happy stitch

Be sure to check out all the shots popping up on Meghann’s Instagram of her pattern testers.  So much inspiration! I can’t wait to make my own dress version; it looks perfect as a vacation or beach dress.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Oh, and good luck on the giveaway, click here to enter. Delpy Ballet Top || sewn by a happy stitch

The “So Many Tomatoes” Striped Modern Apron

The "So Many Tomatoes" Striped Modern Apron _ sewn by a happy stitch

Oh friends.  It is tomato season in New Jersey.  I know people scoff when they hear New Jersey’s slogan is the Garden State but that is for real.  The southern end of the state, especially, is full of farmland.  And when it come to tomatoes the slogan is for real for real.  You know the “Jersey tomato”? Well, my kitchen is swimming in these lovely, colorful, luscious golden globes.  We belong to a farm cooperative, Honeybrook Organic Farms, (the oldest Community Supported Agriculture programs in our state, actually).  Every year, around this time, we receive what feels like bushels of amazing tomatoes.  On top of that, my kids ALWAYS buy me a tomato plant at the school plant sale.  It’s just one plant but, man oh man, one tomato plant can really produce!? Either way you cut it, I am up to my ears in tomatoes and need to “can” them ASAP. (I don’t really know how to actually can tomatoes and am frankly terrified of botulism so I make freezer tomatoes).  I knew I was going to need a good, sturdy apron to tackle the tomato issue so when Betz White asked if I would review her Craftsy class, Easy Modern Apron, I jumped at the chance.  Thus was born my “So Many Tomatoes” Striped Modern Apron!  (more…)

Breezy Button-Up Tank :: Weekend Style Sewing with Sew Caroline

Breezy Button-Up Tank :: Weekend Style Sewing with Sew Caroline | a happy stitch

Breezy Button-Up Tank :: Weekend Style Sewing with Sew Caroline | a happy stitch

After sharing lots of skirts (this one and these) I am back with a simple breezy summer-y button-up tank, which I’m sure will get lots of wear this August. This top is one of the many simple garment patterns in Caroline Hulse’s debut sewing book Sew Caroline Weekend Style. The folks at Fons and Porter asked if I would review the book and I knew right away that I wanted to make the button-up tank.  The whole book is full of colorful, easy-going patterns from shorts to flip flops and pool totes.  The bright, playful style of the book is classic Caroline(more…)

Sandbridge Skirt

Sandbridge Skirt - another great pattern from Hey June Handmade :: Sewn by a happy stitch

When it comes to sewing clothes in the summer I am totally seduced by simple tops and easy tunics and all other things that can be sewn in a hour (MAYBE two if I’m feeling a teeny bit ambitious). I have honestly made eight different pillows already this month.

Pillows. So easy. So many places to rest my head.

It’s part laziness but also the nature of summer.  I’m busy driving kids back and forth to camp and battling the Fight Club-like atmosphere that emerges from the deep bowels of summer boredom that my remaining energy is spent looking for the quick, easy high that comes from finishing something!  Anyone else in this boat? So, when Adrianna from Hey June Handmade asked me if I was interested in pattern testing her latest skirt, the Sandbridge, my internal dialogue went some like this “Oh man, a complicated skirt! That looks like work.(insert winy voice)” and then “But, this skirt looks awesome and you actually need a skirt.(insert responsible voice)” followed by, “But work! (winy voice)” and finally, “Dude! You have so much to learn from making this. Her patterns always fit you. Buck up and do it! (angry responsible voice)”  I responded to Adrianna with an “I’d love to!”  See, I have official grown up status. (more…)

Ogden Cami in Tomato Red

Ogden Cami in Tomato Red :: Perfect Summer Top || A Happy StitchThere is something crazy good happening at our house these days. The kids are LOVING their mornings at camp and they are coming home at lunchtime to QUIETLY play legos in their rooms while listening to the (incessant and terrible) NOW 61 album on repeat. Later in the afternoon we head outside on some activity or pool time. You hear what I am saying? Are you picking up what I am laying down? The people are not fighting and have, in fact, gone all mellow! The sweet summer breeze is blowing into this house and settling all those school-day nerves into some kind of summery stillness.  It has been 3 days of this, all of them in a row! It deserves to be documented that I’m talking about 3 days of the kind of summer reserved for scenes in happy family Hallmark channel movies.  Whether it lasts or not, this moment is happening.

Also deserving of documentation is my newly made Ogden Cami. It carries the same ease of movement and elegant joy that this summer is promising right now. (more…)

Everyday Elegance :: A Sweater Knit Tee

Everyday Elegance : A Sweater Knit Tee || sewn by a happy stitch

There are many, many things I love about sewing my own clothes but at the top of the list is the surprising way it sometimes provides an unexpected glimpse into the world of store-bought fashion.  In the spirit of a peek behind the screen ala Wizard of Oz, sewing something for myself can unintentionally reveal the small shifts at play in the conventional clothing market and suddenly, it demystifies the whole process. In this case, my Wizard of Oz moment came courtesy of this lovely silver sweater knit tee. Made using my good-old standby, the Plantain Tee I was able to transform a basic top into something a little more fancy/casual.  I mean, truly. I have made this tee SO. MANY. TIMES. It is probably the pattern I have used more than any other. But, suddenly by making it in a sweater knit I introduce my wardrobe to a scrumptious and luxurious fancy sweater knit tee shirt of the sort I drool over in this catalog.  It captures what I am so often going for…everyday elegance.  The craziest part is it was easier and cheaper to make than it would be in a standard jersey knit fabric!  See, how that worked.  I didn’t even try but there it was; the same pattern, same construction just in different fabric and I’ve got the everyday elegance of a sweater knit tee. Boom! (more…)

When Sewing Goes Meh. A Denim Sanibel Dress

Denim Print Sanibel Dress || Sewn by a happy stitch

Every once in a while, my vision of what something will look like when it is sewn up just doesn’t match to the resulting reality.  Sometimes, fabulous fabric combined with a perfect pattern plus hours and hours of no-mishap sewing still adds up to MEH. It’s the kind of occurrence that makes me scream, weep a little, and throw up my arms.  I’m speaking, of course, about this Sanibel dress in patterned denim.  I know that my tribe of beautiful people will say very nice things about this dress and there are nice things to say but I’m telling you…on me, this dress is meh.

Denim Print Sanibel Dress || Sewn by a happy stitch

Actually, let’s get very specific. The cinched waistband on this dress is just not a shape that works well for my body. I already don’t have enough of a defined waist and adding bulk to that area only highlights the lack of curves. I knew this. I know this! This is why I never wear peplum styles. I still proceeded to make myself a finely-detailed box.  It happens.

The pattern is the Sanibel Dress and Romper from Hey June Handmade with some modifications in a Robert Kaufman denim I bought from Hawthorne Threads with a super fun, quirky pattern.  I actually think the combination of these two is pretty great for a casual dress.  It’s just not working for my shape.

There are many things I like about this dress, though, so let’s start there. (more…)

Jacquard Thurlow Shorts

It has been a crazy busy time around here! If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that our family went on an amazing tour of the Southwest, visiting the Grand Canyon and Zion national parks among other things.  Then after a week at home I jetted off to California for the Craftcation conference. Every second of all of it was wonderful and worth it but I feel like I’m just screwing my head back on.  This homebody needs a little home time, you know?  I did snap a few photos of handmade clothing while we were basking in the stunning landscapes of the Southwest including these jacquard Thurlow shorts. I mean, how could I resist!? It is otherworldly out there. These photos were taken while on an overlook hike in Zion national park.

Utah, by the way, is mind-blowingly beautiful. I am smitten.

Also, the shorts have been officially hike-tested! These jacquard Thurlow shorts can handle a mile uphill hike in the desert. That’s like a full-on shorts certification process if you ask me. (more…)

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