Shoreline Boatneck

Since the holidays, I have been having a tough time focusing on a project from start to finish (I’d like us not to discuss how many WIPs are hanging in the closet of my sewing room right now). When I saw the call for testers for a re-release of the Shoreline Boatneck, I jumped on it! I knew the accountability [deadline] of testing a pattern would help my sew’jo return {and yippee – it’s back!}.

I’ve tested for Blank Slate Patterns before and I can’t say enough great things about 1) the quality of the pattern designs [& instructions] and 2) how well-run the testing process is!

I’ve been a member of the Blank Slate Patterns group on Facebook for a while so I’ve seen how versatile this pattern is. I knew it would be a great one to add to my stash.

shoreline-boatneck-tracing

Does anyone else obsessively trace their patterns with freezer paper? After reading Addie’s post about pin-free cutting, I can’t stop.

Fabric

I found some denim rayon at my local JoAnn’s to use for testing the Shoreline Boatneck with woven material (the pattern can be made in woven or knit – I told you it was versatile!). It is so very soft. I wanted material that would 1) have a good drape and 2) be a versatile color so I could wear it often 😉

Despite being soft and drapey, the fabric was actually really easy to sew!

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Length

The original Shoreline Boatneck pattern had the option of being a top or a dress. Originally I was going to make the dress version, but when the option to make a tunic came up, I volunteered! The dress version looks a little longer than would be flattering on my short frame (I’m only 5’1″ for reference) so I knew a tunic would be ideal. I shortened the pattern from the dress hemline by 8 inches to make the tunic (not from the lengthen/shorten line which actually sounds intriguing after someone pointed out that would make the bottom more flowy).

The tunic falls just above my knees so it’s pretty much a dress on me 😉

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Fit

I made a size small based on my bust measurements and it fit perfect on the first sew! The pattern is not a fitted design (no bust darts) so there is some flexibility. I like that it’s a little loose but not in a way that looks like I’m wearing a muu-muu {but let’s be honest: This tunic is so comfortable it basically feels like pajamas}.

Because I was testing, I did not make any alterations or modifications to the fit. Even after testing, I still wouldn’t make any adjustments – it fits perfectly!

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Future Plans {& Inspiration}

There are so many ideas for hacking. Four hacks are included with the re-release!

Melissa has made several variations including the 3 below. Y’all know my love for a dress with pockets AND a cinched waist so you bet the middle one is on.my.list.!

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Button-back hack instructions HERE | Details of the middle dress HERE | Hack instructions for the dress on the right HERE

There is something about this pattern – the top and the the dress – that look so perfect with plaids / checkers. I fell for the big gingham print version that Melissa made. I fell even harder when she mentioned it didn’t require a zipper {y’all know my love for slip-on/no-closure dresses!} – you can read more about this hack at the end of this post. The waist & bodice remind me of the Fen Dress a bit but without darts + side-seam pockets, perhaps it’ll be a faster sew!

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Y’all know my love of upcycling. A fellow member of the testing group posted a hack that I fell for! Ellen used a men’s button down shirt to make a Shoreline top and even kept the original hem.

My grandfather passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I’m hoping to get my hands on a few of his shirts to upcycle for my sister {who’s due with my nephew any.moment.now!} and I.

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Follow Ellen on Instagram for sewing inspiration: @ellen.mchugh

I also like the color-block version that Abbey of Sew Charleston made. Her top looks straight off the RTW rack (in the best way).

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Read all about Abbey’s color-blocked Shoreline Boatneck top HERE

Browse the #ShorelineBoatneck hashtag on Instagram to see even more beautiful versions!

Conclusion: It’s a Wardrobe Staple!

This tunic has been on regular rotation since I finished it. For the most comfortable outfit ever, I’ve been pairing it with my frumpiest [coziest] sweater, leggings, moccasins and my favorite scarf {crocheted by my super talented boss}.

shoreline-with-sweater

Can we pretend this counts as professional wear? PLEASE!

Purchase your own Shoreline Boatneck pattern here. Then come back & share your version with me!

Sew Caroline’s Magnolia Shorts Pattern

Sew Caroline just released a new pattern and I was lucky enough to be a part of the group of gals who tested the pattern…and it’s so fabulous!

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As you know, I love Sew Caroline’s patterns {proof 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7} so I always try to jump in when she’s in need of testers. I fell in love with the shorts when she first shared them here on Instagram.

Flowy, swingy shorts – yes please! {Also, you know my love of an elastic waist}

The construction of these shorts is even easier than the Parkside Shorts (which I still love). Rather than a separate front and back piece, there’s just one long piece that requires no side seam!

Less pattern pieces = less seams to sew = less time

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Fabric

I used some vintage black crepe that had been passed on to me from someone’s attic {don’t you love when someone donates to your fabric stash and it’s just.what.you.needed?!}.

It was my first time working with crepe (I didn’t even know it was crepe until one of my fabulous quilty friends identified it for me at the last sew-in…sewing friends are the best!). I actually really enjoyed it! It’s got an amazing drape and wasn’t too slippery. It ironed like a beauty so hemming was a breeze.

Here’s a great post from IndieSew with tips about sewing and caring for crepe fabric. I confess that I did not read this article before constructing my shorts. Is anyone else guilty of always researching after the fact?! Anyhow, according to my post-sewing-research, it’s a good thing I already had thin pins (love them) and I probably should have used a walking foot (though I didn’t have any issues with snagging).

Size

I made a size small with no alterations and they fit perfectly.

The pattern calls for 1/4″ folds for the hem, but I have a hard time folding that tiny so I admit that my hem folds were closer to 1/2″. I don’t consider that a true alteration, but I like to be honest with you all so there ya go! 😉

You’re cutting the elastic to your own preference like with the Parkside Shorts so with little fit issues to deal with, these would be great for beginners!

Jordan Slice-Metcalfe - Magnolia Shorts 1

Shorts? Skirt? It’s our little secret 😉

Final Thoughts

With summer inching closer to an end {c’mon, Fall! I’m ready for you!}, why not make yourself one last summer wardrobe staple?! If you live in a climate that’s hot-and-humid all-year-long {y’all, one time I wore shorts on Christmas Day…CHRISTMAS DAY…in December}, these shorts are sure to make you feel fabulous despite the fact that you’re sweating in all sorts of unflattering places. And they’ll help you hate the heat a little less. Guaranteed.

Another fun feature if you live in fear of wearing flowy clothing on a windy day: there’s no chance of this beauty flying over your head and flashing everyone within eyesight. Win {unless you’re into the Marilyn Monroe thing}

Jordan Slice-Metcalfe - Magnolia Shorts 2

Bottom Line

Treat yo’self to the Magnolia Shorts pattern.

And keep an eye on Caroline’s blog – she’s going to post photos of the testers soon so you can see what the shorts look like on all shapes and sizes. For now, you can see her beautiful versions here.

*Update*

See how the Magnolia Shorts look on a variety of shapes and sizes in Caroline’s post of the pattern testers here.

You can also find more photos of my Magnolia Shorts in action in this post and in this photo on Instagram.

Sew Caroline’s Newest Pattern: Parkside Shorts + Skirt

While in Charleston a few weeks ago, we stopped by the outlets and I popped into Loft. It’s been quite a while since I’ve gone shopping for clothes. There’s a reason for that…

As my husband noted on this very trip: “It’s easy going shopping with you now that you sew because you never buy anything.”

Nailed it.

Sewing has changed how I shop (aka: I don’t). If I find myself in a store, I’m mostly just gazing – trying to figure out what’s trendy (although we all know trendy isn’t something I’m any good at – as I confessed in my Instagram reveal of the very shorts I’m telling you about today!).

Rather than hours spent in a dressing room sifting through clothes that don’t fit right and passing a lot of judgement on my own body for not fitting into ready-to-wear clothing as perfectly as the mannequin, I browse. And browsing for inspiration takes far less time than trying on clothes. And involves far less self-shaming.

So back to Loft: It is my favorite store to shop for ready-to-wear clothing {hats off to Loft for having a legitimate Petite section!} The day we were at the outlets was one of the first warm days this season and I was realizing I don’t have many shorts (and among those I do have, I don’t feel comfortable in any that I could think of). As I walked into Loft I saw a lovely display of the cutest little drawstring shorts.

Yes! I love comfy clothing and these were the perfect balance of you-don’t-look-like-you’re-wearing-pajamas-but-feel-like-you-are. I was all set to try them on until I looked at the price tag. Spending $50 on drawstring shorts was not something I was prepared to bring myself to do that day.

Maybe some other time.

So, I headed back home with zero bags from the outlets (seriously: I bought nothing at the outlets. I think that’s a new world record and you should all take me out for coffee to celebrate).

A few days later a call for testers popped up on Facebook from one of my favorite designers {remember my love of the Out And About Dress 1 + 2, & 3?! And I’m working on #4}. And guess what! The call was for elastic waist shorts – sign.me.up!

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{Image via Sew Caroline}

I was so excited to be able to test Sew Caroline‘s newest pattern: The Parkside Shorts + Skirt. The great thing about the pattern is it’s a two-for-one: You get both a skirt and shorts pattern. #winning

knew this was going to be my new favorite pattern and it totally is.

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My stepbrother’s wife’s mom had a collection of fabric in her attic from a relative who had passed away. She covered my parent’s garage with bags of fabric for me to plunder through. It was like winning the vintage fabric lottery! I immediately filled 2 giant plastic bins with my choices and headed to the laundromat. I am thrilled to say all of the fabric survived the wash. I plundered my pile a second time and took some of it to my last quilt guild meeting to share with the ladies.

Luckily for me, no one snagged the lightweight denim. It’s not typically a fabric I have on hand or would purchase so I was very excited I had it for testing these shorts. It has great drape and isn’t too heavy so it’s perfect for summer.

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I used some vintage floral scraps (also from the attic stash) for accent pockets. The fabric was really thin so I cut double what I needed for the pocket pieces. To make my double-lined pockets, I lined the mirrored pieces up right-sides-facing and stitched along the bottom curved edge. I used my pinking shears to cut around the curves then flipped the pockets right-sides-out and pressed. The perk: my pockets are equally as pretty when the pants are inside-out 🙂

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I’ve never sewn pants of any kind so these shorts were a little scary at first. However, the way you set one leg inside the other when connecting reminded me of constructing a bag (when you set the exterior inside the lining to connect before flipping). These were a great confidence builder!

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I’m pretty sure I’m going to be wearing these non-stop all summer!

The two-inch elastic waistband provides optimum comfort with the ability to pull your shorts up high [like this shameless old lady] or low around your hips. Either way, it’s a winner.

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I wore these to brunch for Mother’s Day. The Hubs and I even went for a walk around town while waiting (note to all: if taking your Mom to Cafe Strudel for Mother’s Day, arrive an hour and a half early to get your name on the list…). I’m happy to say: they performed well!

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I was pretty excited that my sister showed up wearing the Date Night Dress I’d made her for her birthday last year! It looks amazing on her – especially with that snazzy belt I hand-me-down’d her from Butterfly Vintage.

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photoshoot blooper #1

We’re hoping to work on sewing a Date Night Dress together soon – the pattern is great for beginners and the flutter sleeves are amazing for our incredibly humid summers.

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Pretty sure my sister could wear a trash bag and still look AMAZING! She’s so chic

We had a lovely Mother’s Day brunch! Proof:

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I might make sharing photoshoot bloopers my new thing…

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Typical: everyone looks great and then I sneeze.

Moral of this story: hop on over to Sew Caroline’s site and purchase yourself a copy of the Parkside Shorts + Skirt pattern and get sewing! These are perfect for summer. You can even add a drawstring (like on this skirt that Caroline made) for a more professional look. Once I figure out how to sew a buttonhole (yep, still on my “learn how to do” list..), I’m totally adding a drawstring!

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UPDATE – You can see my Parkside Skirt in this post