Just That Nifty

Back in February, I was approached on Facebook to sew for an up and coming new fabric group.  I was all, "Yeah, I just had a baby, I'm swamped, so thanks, but no thanks."  But then. But then.  The smart girls who DID say yes, started showing off their pictures and I was so stinkin' jealous. The fabric was absolutely gorgeous.  And so, I swallowed my pride and went back to the fabric host.  I told her that I was amazed at what she'd been doing, and I'd love to sew for her, whenever she'd have me.  

Lucky me, she had some extras with my name on them! 

What I love about Just That Nifty is that they're using real artwork, painted on paper or canvas to create their prints.  The goal is to bring high-fashion, runway looks to the everyday sewist.  Plus, they're working collaboratively with two college students to create these stunning designs.  I'm so impressed with what they're doing, and this is definitely a brand I want to stand with . . . so I'm glad she took me back, haha! 

So, since this fabric is so gorgeous, I have to say, the pressure was on to create some pieces to live up to it.  

First up, the George + Ginger RuLo

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I finished these projects a couple weeks ago when we were still getting snow in Wisconsin. Today, I'm sitting in a romper, enjoying 70 degrees, sunshine, and watching the ice melt on the lake, so don't worry, I don't have snowflakes flying anymore!

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This is the tunic length RuLo.  I just used the top tier of the sleeves from the three tier option, to create this 3/4 length sleeve.  

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Both cuts I recieved were bamboo Lycra.  It is SO soft and so flowy.  The drape is GREAT and it's mega comfy.  You really can't say enough good things about bamboo Lycra. 

The applique is from Fab Clique, and I think it's a great touch! Just use basting spray to stick that baby one, and then sew around it.  

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This fabric is called Sparks! She also redesigned the artwork into a 2.0 version (that I'm pretty sure I have to buy as well).  The other fabric I got to sew up is called Koi Pond. . .

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Pretty, right?! I love, love, love the colors in this fabric! I requested Sparks, but Keanna said she wanted to send me Koi Pond because she thought the coloring would be good for me . . . I never consider stuff like that, but I think she was right!

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The pattern I used was the Elise peplum and dress from Halla. It's a cross over bodice, which was super easy to hack into this tie front instead (you can see what the original pattern looks like here). I had soooo many tie-front dresses on my Pinterest, and I wanted to try one for myself. I like that it shows a little skin, but you're not baring everything.

It was suuuuper easy to finagle the cross bodice dress into the tie.  I'm not a pattern designer, but I'll do my best to give you some guidance, haha.  I used the cutlines for the tabbed version (the curved lines at the bottom of the bodice as opposed to the straight across line), because it gives you a little extra fabric, which I wanted to have to make it easier to tie. 

I lined the front and back bodice pieces.  This gave me the finished edges around the whole neckline.  Taking that into account, I folded the front piece like this when I cut the front bodice pieces (because that extra tab on the top normally becomes you back neckline, but I didn't need that.

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Then I folded it on the neckline fold guide at the shoulder to blend that edge in to neckline. In general, I wanted that extra inch of fabric, I just didn't want it at the shoulder. 

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I used the cross over pattern markings to determine how far over to go with the tie, and where to start attaching the front bodice to the waistband.

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Fast and dirty instructions: 

  1. Attach front bodice pieces to the back bodice piece at the shoulders.  Repeat with lining pieces.
  2. Right sides together, pin the neckline of the bodice to the neckline of the lining.  Sew. 
  3. Turn right sides out and press.  
  4.  Use the burrito roll method to finish the arms
  5. Sew the side seams: flip the sides so that front and back lining and front and back bodice are both right sides together. Sew.  Repeat for the other side. 

Now your bodice is complete! Attach the waistband.  Sandwich the bodice between the two waistband layers (raw edges of waistband and raw edges of the bodice aligned.  For most of the time, you'll be sewing through all four layers, except for front and center, where you'll just be sewing through the two layers of the waistband.

After sewing, flip your waistband pieces down.  All the raw edges of your bodice should be encased in that waistband seam. 

On hindsight, I also would have used tank lines on another pattern to adjust the armscyes, but I didn't think of that until it was too late.  You can do that though.

And despite that, I love the finished outcome!

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Make sure you pop over to Just That Nifty and check all the awesome, totally original prints! The preorder is closing soon (besides bamboo Lycra, there's a cotton lycra, swim, and a french terry!) so make sure you hurry over.  I cannot say enough good things about this fabric; I'm all about Keanna's mission and am so happy to be supporting her along the way!

Patterns: G+G Rulo, Halla Elise
Fabric: Just That Nifty

Happy Friday! 

xoxo Molly

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Sewing with Sugar Ink:: Leggings Mod and Zip Accent Hoodie

I'm super excited to have joined the team sewing for Sugar Ink Fabrics!  The current round is all kinds of fun and bright (including Peeps, Rainbow Brite, and Japanese-inspired prints with clashing coords). I got to sew up their cotton Lycra base, and it's just perfect! 

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This is the Sweet Sakura print.  The colors of the flowers pop beautifully!  I paired it with this quilted gray knit from JoAnn.  

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Is anyone surprised I made a New Horizons TAMI Revolution Hoodie? I'm not.  My husband's not.  He's having a hoodie intervention with me as we speak.  

I did the normal outer hood that comes with the pattern, and paired it with a cowl instead of the crossover hood.  I love doing a cowl instead of a hood! And I'm a total gold girl, so I've stocked up on these zips for the TAMI Revolutions.

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Notice those grommets? I finally got an actual press instead of using a hammer, and let me tell you, it is ah-mazing.  Seriously, just bite the bullet and buy one!  The white stabalizer around the grommet is actually Kraft-Tex! I just started trying it out (it's similar to an international product I've seen on all the German hoodies, haha).  It's called "fabric paper" . . . it's supposed to look like leather accents, but it's actually a fabric/paper product.  I got the variety pack, and it seriously seems like cardstock, haha! But it washes well, and has more texture after you wash it.  It's weird, but I recommend it! 

For the Sakura coordinate I received, I decided to try out some new leggings.  I'm a new fan of the Ninja pants from 5 out of 4 Patterns (all my leggings will now by Ninja Pants!).  There are four different rises (including maternity!), and the ankle length is perfect on me (there's a long length for you tall ones out there).  I don't have to make any modifications to make these fit (which cannot be said of other leggings patterns that I use).  

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I did however, have to do a mod anyway, haha.  I just had to do some little pop of fun, to meet how awesome this print is, so I added this keyhole cut out at the ankles! 

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I was totally winging it, but my cutout piece ended up being 3" by 3.75".  (Minion bandaid is proof that I really was winging it!). 

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On hindsight, you could have made the ankle just a little wider to account for the fact that you're going to be loosing some width with the keyhole.  I didn't, and it worked out fine.  But if you have wide ankles, let that be your warning!

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Press the raw edge to the wrong side, and hem around the keyhole (I used my coverstitch). 

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Sew the pattern up as directed. 

I made a small band about 2 inches by 90% of the ankle opening.  

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Sew that on, stretching the band evenly as you attach it. 

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Then use a stretch stitch and sew the seam allowance towards the band (to keep it from folding up and being visible through the keyhole). 

And voila! Perfect for looking extra cute at yoga! 

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Make sure you check out all the fun prints at Sugar Ink Fabric

I'm hoping to get a few more posts up this upcoming week, but it all depends on baby!  I've been doing a TON of nesting (read: sewing) but my due date is in a week and a half, and my other two were 4-5 days early!  Hoping you'll see some sweet baby outfits on here soon (and some comfy post-partum outfits for me too!).  <3 

 

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Oh Baby! Sewing Maternity Clothes: My Favorite Easy Hack

I'm twenty-six weeks pregnant this week, and I've been in full-on maternity-mode sewing lately!  There's no denying this bump any more!  Even when I'm not pregnant, I sway more towards the fitted side of clothing styles . . . but when I am pregnant, I love fitted clothes even more.  Relaxed fit is nice in early pregnancy, but once the second and third trimesters are here, I'm all about showing off that bump! 

Luckily, it's super easy to take your favorite fitted top or dress pattern and turn it maternity-friendly.  These are both the Super Sleeve pattern from George and Ginger (definitely a favorite of mine).  You can see the extra side ruching that makes it maternity-friendly.  

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This light purple top (fabric from Sincerely Rylee) was photographed a few weeks ago, so you can see the extra fabric I have in my midsection that I still have to grow into.  I think I was 20 weeks here, so there's definitely still a lot more bump coming ;)  

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Both of these fabrics are brushed poly spandex.  Brushed poly has been my absolute favorite for maternity sewing.  It's so soft, comfy, and most of all, stretchy.  You won't regret using it for your maternity wear!  This blue fabric is from Vintage Lace

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Now!  Let's get on the the nitty-gritty!  Grab your favorite fitted top/dress pattern and 1/4 inch elastic.  The only piece you'll be cutting any differently is the front piece-- you can cut all your other pieces the same way as the pattern calls for.   I'll give you the numbers I use, but remember that you may need to adapt them to your size/height/baby bump size. 

First, we determine the length you want your ruching to extend.  Hold the pattern piece up to your body, and determine an underbust point, right before your bump really starts.  For me, I go with 5 inches. I then also mark 1 inch above that (my 4 inch dot on the pattern piece below).   Next, I make a mark under my belly bump (that's the dot by my 3 inch point, as in 3 inches from the hemline [this is a shorter shirt, but I probably still should have done it just a little bit higher]), and then make a second dot 1 inch below that (so, my 2 inch dot).  When it comes time to ruche, I'll be stretching the elastic from that 5 inch dot down to that 3 inch dot.  The extra inch above and inch below is just extra to get my elastic started, but I don't stretch the elastic at those points.  

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Now, measure the distance between the two furthest dots (for me, between my 4 inch dot and my 2 inch dot).  For this top, the measurement was 13.5 inches (so, again, 11.5 inches to stretch, plus the extra inch for the top/bottom to get started/finish off).  Pre-stretch your elastic, and then cut two pieces of elastic to this measurement.  

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Now!  Time to add the extra length to your front piece.  I cut my pattern at that underbust/above-the-belly point (here, 5 inches).  I then separate the pattern, and slide the bottom piece down seven inches.  The amount you spread is up to you!   This is the extra fabric that you'll be ruching, so it's up to you, your body, and where you are in pregnancy.  I've done other shirts at five or six inches.  I know a friend who usually uses 8 inches at this point.  

I only add length to my maternity shirts.  If you feel like you need more room, you can also consider adding width at this point, and grading the bottom half of the pattern to the next size up.  Personally, I feel good about my use of brushed poly, and know this shirt will stretch plenty for me.  

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Cut out your new extra-long front, and transfer the markings on to the pattern.  

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Now head over to your sewing machine, and set it to a zigzag stitch.  You're going to be attaching the elastic to the front piece, which will ruche it.  At the end, you'll want the elastic to be in your seam allowance when you sew the front to the back.  So, for this pattern, I put the elastic close to the raw edge.  Put the raw edge of the elastic on that first dot and sew it for that first inch (to the next dot), without stretching it.  Once you reach your second dot, you'll begin stretching the elastic.  

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Stretch the length of the elastic down to the third dot (leaving an extra inch of elastic at the end to not have to stretch).  

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You can see here, the last inch was not stretched (the zigzag is bigger, compared to the tighter zigzag when I was stretching).  

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If your measurements were correct, and you stretched the elastic accurately, the side seams of the front and back pieces should match up perfectly!  Proceed sewing the pattern as per the directions! I will note that my serger prefers the front piece (the one with the elastic on the bottom). If I sew one side with the elastic up, and one side with the elastic down, the sides won't line up correctly on the one side.  Just saying.  Every little thing makes a difference!

I hope this helps you make your own maternity shirts.  Obviously, this isn't a magic set of numbers, but it's an easy way to base it off of your own size and body.  

After pregnancy, my plan is to cut the side seams apart from the arm pit to the hem, take out the extra length, re-sew the side seams and re-hem.  I really can't stand wearing maternity shirts after the baby is born-- it just makes me feel/look still pregnant!  But I've been loving what I've been sewing, so they'll definitely be altered into "normal" shirts once the baby is here!

Happy sewing! Go show off that bump ;) 

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Cross Back Dress :: P4P Sunshine Dress Mod

Earlier this month . . . or last month . . . (where does the time go?!) I made this awesome cross back version of the Sunshine Dress from Patterns for Pirates from these sunflowers from Snowy Owl.  I used the halter version of the pattern and I had a lot of requests for some guidance in this little hack.  

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So, when I got this flippin' awesome floral from KNITorious Fabric, I decided to give it another go, and take pictures this time so that I could properly explain myself. This fabric is all sorts of gorgeous. I couldn't stop staring at it. 

Annnnddd, pockets! BONUS! 

I finally scrounged up my real copy of the pattern so that I could make the REAL skirt that goes with the Sunshine Dress, instead of just faking it and doing a gathered skirt, like I did with the sunflowers. 

So, to make this little mod, all the pattern pieces get cut out the same, except the halter straps obviously get cut shorter because you won't be tying them behind your neck. I did mine at 2 x 13 inches.  I'm a shorty though, so you may want to start yours at 2 x 14 (or as big as you want, because it's easier to be safe and cut the excess off). 

Okay! So this is going to be super easy, it just goes in a different order of construction than the real pattern. 

Attach the straps to the pick ups, as per the directions. 

Now sew the front bodice to the front bodice lining, along the 'U' in the middle, and the armscyes. 

Turn right side out and PRESS. 

Now we're going to make a strap sandwich. 

  1. Lay your front bodice down, LINING side up. 
  2. Lay your back lining on top of that, upside down, with the wrong side of the back to the right side of front. 
  3. Cross your straps, and put them against the raw edge of the back lining. Place them any where from 2-2.5 inches from the center of the back. 
  4. Place the main back piece on top of that, so that right sides are facing. Sew along the raw edge. You should be sewing the top of the back bodice together, with the straps sandwiched in between. 
  5. Open it up and press your back bodice piece. 
  6. Looking good ;) Now we just need to sew the side seams. 

From the last picture, you're going to open up the sides, so that right sides are together, with front main against the front lining and back main is against the back lining. Sew down the side. 

Finished! Now you can sew the skirt on like normal. Check the fit at this point and make sure that the straps are where you need them to be. 

I love how it turned out! Now, if only mother nature would get with it so I could wear these (and stop taking pictures in front of this wall in my sewing room, haha!). 

Recap:
Pattern: Patterns for Pirates Sunshine Dress
Fabric: Snowy Owl (sunflowers), KNITorious (light blue floral)

Double Hood, Double Fun

Friends, I'm so stinkin' excited about this hoodie! Making a super comfy sweatshirt from the Rival Dress pattern from George and Ginger has been on my to do list for months. And making a double hooded sweatshirt has been on my list for just as long. So when Kim from Love Adore Knit Fabrics sent me this awesome French Terry earlier this week, I knew it was time to put it all together.

The Rival Dress released this past fall, as part of the G&G Fancy Front Collection. This blue one with the cowl? I wore it all. The. Time. I practically lived in it all fall long. The cowl is gigantic (which I love), and I had used a nice, heavy, unknown material that basically made this sweet dress into the comfy sweatshirt you long to wear.  And the red plaid one? That's double brushed poly, with faux leather for the sides! I get compliments on this one whenever I wear it! 

For my second hood, I used the Howl (hood-slash-cowl, get it?) of the Women's Roller Coaster Tee from Duck Butt Designs The WRTC has been one of my FAVORITE sweatshirt patterns, largely because of the Howl.  This was one my firsts, from the Nala French Terry from Sincerely Rylee. (Thanks for putting up with all the crappy old photos, haha!) 

Now, back to the Rival.  I did try a sweatshirt version once this winter. But my material was not nice at all.  It SEEMED nice at first, but it didn't end up washing well, and just turned into a scratchy mess. Plus, I didn't have enough to do long sleeves. Again, I used the faux leather at the sides. 

Now, here's where we get to the good stuff. This French Terry. It's ah-maz-ing. For real. I would not lie to you when it comes to fabric.  Some custom FT is really scratchy, or else way too thin. This. This is a PERFECT midweight, and so soft! By midweight I mean no drape like Kim's spring weight line of FT (which I did love for cocoon cardigans and dolmans, but wouldn't be right for a sweatshirt), but also not crazy thick and heavy like a hockey sweatshirt.  I mean the PERFECT weight.

And here in Wisconsin, it's always hoodie weather. 

So, first up, to shorten the Rival Dress. I'm 5'4". So I cut G&G patterns on the short line (lots of her patterns have this, but not all).  But to turn this into a shirt, I took five inches off the bottom of all my pieces. Next time, I'd do six.  If you're using the pocket piece (I didn't), remember to fold it in half, and cut off the length from the bottom of the fold. 

You'll want to cut your own band though, don't use the pattern piece (if you do, it will be too small. Your hips are wider than your legs!). I just made the base of my shirt like normal, and then cut my band pieces so that I knew they'd be the right size. You can even do 100% of the bottom, but I prefer just slightly smaller than the bottom.

Now it's time for the fun part: the hoods! The floral hood is the hood that comes with the Rival pattern.  I used green brushed poly to line it. The only modification I made to this hood was to lengthen the part that overlaps in the front, so that I could have a little bit bigger of a crossover. 

Next, I modified the Howl from the Duck Butt Design pattern. Now, the Howl is a major fabric hog, because it's big, and you cut both the main piece and the lining on the fold, so you only have two pieces to put together (as opposed to the Rival hood for example, which you cut mirror images of each side of the hood, so you end up with four pieces to put together . . . this is a fabric saver because you can squeak each piece out where ever you can).  Soooo, to save fabric, my lining piece is usually cut as mirrored images instead of on the fold ;)  I used the Love Adore cream cotton spandex for my cowl hood (they also have a coral and a black to coordinate).  The key to mashing two hoods together is making sure they are the same width at the neck. The Howl is designed for a slightly larger neck opening, so I did make that part smaller. I also made the cowl part shorter than the original pattern piece (personal preference). 

I put each hood together as per each pattern's instructions. I added grommets to my howl hood for a drawstring. Most RTW double hooded sweatshirts I've seen have the drawstring on the inside hood.   Don't mind the wet spots on my howl . . . Roman pricked himself while I was constructing it, and bled on it, the poor kid. It's tough being the son of a maker. 

Once each hood is constructed, place the inner hood inside the outer hood, just as it'll look when it's sewn on. You can baste the two hoods together. 

Or, you can do what I did and clip the heck out of it. (Side plug for off-brand wonderclips because they are the best modern sewing invention of all time). 

Clip your sweatshirt at center back and center front, then clip the hood piece on, right side of hood to right side of sweatshirt, matching the centers. Sew it all together, making sure you catch all the layers. Everything should fit perfectly, no stretching needed. 

It's hard to see on the big picture, but I top stitched side panels. 

Check out that double hood! 

I really didn't know how to situate the two hoods, haha. Next time, I'm going to make the outer hood a little bigger and the inner hood a touch smaller. That Howl is just so BIG! Good thing that fabric was light weight! 

New favorite hoodie. Hands down.

I'll be wearing it all summer long, camping and bonfiring <3 

Knot it up! Sewing Mod

I woke up today and knew I just had to sew up this piece of brushed poly. I got it in a mystery box from Love Adore Knit Fabrics months ago and I've been hoarding it for something special. Well today was the day! 

For some reason, this fabric has always been screaming to me to become a knotted tee. Some fabrics speak very loudly to me. 

Not having a pattern for a knotted tee wasn't going to keep me down. 

Now, really, you can adapt this concept to any t-shirt pattern that you like. I used the Laundry Day Tee from Love Notions. It's a free pattern if you're in their Facebook group, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already.  I think there are perhaps better patterns to use for this mod, but it's all up to whatever type of shirt you're most comfortable in. Because the LDT is designed to be flowy, I had to take it in at the sides (about 1 inch off of each side) in order for the knot part to fit nicely. Since this was my first time doing this, I also know now that I would have preferred to take a little length off (the LDT is more tunic length than normal shirt length, in my opinion).  Just preference! I did long consider the Sweet Tee from Patterns for Pirates for this mod as well. But, whatever your favorite tee is, give it a whirl! 

First I cut the back like normal.  When it came time to cut the front, I cut the bottom like this: 

Check out my awesome coffee mug pattern weight! I like to sew dangerously.

Make sure you make these triangles big enough for tying! I basically eyeballed it. But I could have gone even bigger. You do cut the center fold up to the point where the basic shirt pattern begins. 

Now, I toyed with the idea of not facing these ties.  But, the wrong side of this fabric is white. And I knew I would end up HATING the ties, if the wrong side of the fabric was showing.  If you use a fabric where the wrong side looks pretty, absolutely consider skipping the facing! 

Obviously, in the end I decided to face the ties. So, I cut out triangles the same size as the triangle dimensions that I added to the shirt front, however I added a 1/2 inch to the side that will be along the top of the ties (the side that will be at the normal hemline for the shirt-- see the next picture!). 

Right sides together, sew your triangle tie pieces. 

Turn the ties right side out. 

Assemble the rest of the shirt as normal. You can hem the back and the front separately to make hemming those front ties just a little bit easier, or you can assemble the whole shirt and then hem in the round. 

You'll have that extra half inch at the top.  When it's time to hem, I folded that under And hemmed the whole shirt like normal. When you knot it, the hem kind of gets folded in any way, so I don't find this line of stitching to stand out in a weird way. 

Here's what it looks like inside out, when you're all done: 

 

And here's what it looks like unknotted! 

I had fun tying it a lot of different ways . . .

I even tried it knoted up more like a crop! This summer, I'm planning on going out of my comfort zone and rocking a crop top as best I can! 

I accidentally cut the back on the line for the front neckline, so it scoops more in the back than in was intended to. But I like it. A happy accident indeed! 

Over all, a success!  What do you think? What pattern will you try this out on??