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Back to the Busy Wearing Winter Wear Designs

Back to work for teachers, back to school for kiddos, back to college, back to grad school, back to homework, back to lesson planning, back to grading papers, back to sports, back to afternoon practice, back to driving back and forth for mamas, back to BUSY. You know it... as soon as the school year starts life gets a little busier, and a little more hectic for EVERYONE, so you can at least dress comfortably, right?

As a part of the Winter Wear Designs "2018 Back 2 School Blog Tour," I'm going to show you how I used their patterns to put together a few looks that really work for me!

Let's look at a couple of items that I love. These things are so comfy, I feel like I need several of each, and I could wear them ALL THE TIME.

As you know, I'm staying home right now while my kiddos are small, but when they get a little older and start going to school full time, there's a good chance I'll go back to teaching. So... while I'm enjoying sewing all my fun stuff now, I like to be practical and make things that I could wear in the classroom when I do go back. I tend to wear clothes until they're worn out, so yeah, in 3-5 years, I'll very likely be wearing the same items I'm making today. So practicality is important. πŸ˜‰

These items I'm going to tell you about are from Winter Wear Designs. I've made quite a few of the Winter Wear Designs patterns, and have quite a bit of love for them! This is part of the Back to School blog tour, so we're going to talk about things that could be worn in the classroom, or could be worn by busy mamas who want to be comfortable, but look "put together" at school drop-off!

First up, let me show you my Blythe Blouse. Okay, so this one is modified the tiniest bit. I added elastic to the hem of the sleeves instead of just a basic hem or cuff or whatever. I thought it would be pretty, and it is (in my opinion at least). 

This top has quite a few options! It can be made in top length, tunic length, or in dress length. You have several options for sleeve lengths. You can finish sleeves with a hem or with a cuff. The hem can be straight or can be the curved (shirttail) hem in the back. The back can have a pleat or gathering. You can use a mandarin collar or standard collar with collar stand. You can choose to use the same fabric for everything or use a contrasting fabric for the front and back yoke pieces. See... lots of options. 

I made my Blythe in tunic length. It can be paired with pants or leggings. It is so comfortable! Here I have paired it with some RTW leggings I got from Loft a few years ago. They're a thick, ponte fabric, and my favorites!

I made my top from a 100% Rayon Fabric from Joanns. I loved the color. I'm being drawn to olives this year. 😍 Although... one day I'll learn that I don't need to buy Rayon. I honestly don't enjoy sewing rayon one bit. I just don't have that kind of patience, and my collar shows it a little! If I had taken my time a little better, the finished result would be a little better. But... 🀷 **shrugs** the mistakes aren't that noticeable! 

Ummm.... WHY on Earth did I wait so long to try this pattern??? I'm not sure what I was thinking! I made the Real Deal Jeans, and they turned out okay, but for some reason, I was intimidated by these! I was really intimidated by the prospect of wasting fabric... fearful that I would sew these and hate the fit. But, that is absolutely NOT THE CASE!


This pattern is drafted for stretch bottom weight fabrics. I used stretch denim. When I made my RDJ, I actually bought three yards, and had just enough left over to cut these babies out! The stretch denim was from Joanns, and it is SO SOFT. I'm going to have to get some more for a couple more pairs, for real. 

As with Winter Wear style, you've got options and choices with these as well. As you can see in the photo, you can have front pockets, drawstring, cargo pockets, ankle cuffs, contrasting triangles at the ankles. What you can't see in the drawing is the back. They have double welt pockets on the back, so if you use the right fabric, they really can look nice.

My inseam is a little longer than the pattern, so I added 1" in length. The pattern says that if you're not adding cuffs, to add an additional 3" to the length. I did, and am happy enough with the length, but for my personal preference will add an additional 1-2 inches next time. Since I didn't add quite enough for me to be happy, I made a little cuff with leftover fabric. This keeps me from losing length for a hem. I like it too! 

Did I mention that these were a super quick sew? I didn't time myself, but I'm sure these didn't take me more than a couple of hours, tops. They were so much faster than I had anticipated (happy surprise)!

I used a cotton lycra (95/5) from Purple Seamstress for the waistband. The pattern mentions that if you want elastic, you can add 2" elastic to the waistband of the pants. I didn't have 2" elastic, so I added 1" elastic, and it's at the top of the waistband, but it works well enough to keep them snug and comfortable! 

Since I'm sewing for me, and it was my personal preference, I slimmed down the thighs of the pants a little. I was between sizes. I chose the smaller size for the waist and graded out for everything else. In retrospect, I probably didn't need to, and won't next time. I probably wouldn't have slim the thighs if I went with the smaller size. 

Did I mention that I love them? I think I've found a new favorite pattern for stretch denim and stretch twill! Don't get me wrong, I love wearing ponte and french terry, but you can really look NICE, "put-together," and still be comfortable in these stretch bottom-weights! 

So I've actually blogged on these before, but they deserve to be mentioned here too! These are your basic jeans. They're the real deal. πŸ˜‰ So because they're the real deal, they do take considerably longer to sew than the Aviators, but they're worth it if you're wanting to venture off into making your own jeans. And it is something I think everyone should try at least once... for the sense of accomplishment when you finish, if for no other reason! 

These are your basic straight leg jeans. They have a zip fly, button closure, belt loops, regular jean pockets, back yoke pieces... all the things that make jeans "jeans." There are blog posts with instructions if you're interested in making them "skinny" rather than "straight." And, I bet you could even hack them to flares. They're a great staple item! They have different cut lines for shorts, capris, and long jeans. I did long jeans, but do roll them quite frequently to wear them as capri pants.

The instructions were phenomenal with plenty of photos and drawings to explain every step. This was my first go at jeans for myself (or any non-palazzo pants really), and they were EASY! There were a lot of steps, and it's definitely not a fast sew, but how cool to say, "I made my own jeans!!"

This is another great pattern. It's a relatively quick sew, and very cute! Plus, you really can't beat the price. This is one of the WWD Wardrobe Staples, that you can snag any day for only $5!

I have also blogged about this one before. I made it in testing, so I made three! There were some changes to the different versions, but they were all great, and I wear them all! 😊

With Winter Wear Designs style, you get used to options, and while this pattern is only $5, it is no different. It is still a thoroughly tested, great pattern, packed with options. 

There are three different methods to finish the neckline (binding, facing, hem). There are several sleeve options. My favorite is the bishop sleeve! There is top and tunic length. With the tunic, you can optionally add ruching to the sides.

I have really enjoyed wearing mine all summer long!

How Did I Pick These Back To School Staples?

I wanted patterns with versatility. I wanted ones that are comfortable, but don't look sloppy. I like to be able to use the same patterns and dress them up or down based on what I pair with them or use for accessorizing. I love options. I like to be able to use the same pattern multiple times for different looks. And, all of these fit the bill. 

The Blythe made in 100% Rayon can easily be dressed up, but it is so comfy that I may want to wear it everyday. πŸ˜‰ I also think it would be great made in shirting or flannel! My Aviators in stretch denim are the ultimate pair of comfy jeans. They fit so well, and the back welt pockets set them apart from other "comfy" pants. Make them in stretch twill, ponte, french terry -- you've got your "go-to" pant pattern. The jeans are just such a satisfying sew, and EVERYONE has at least a couple of pairs of jeans in the closet. Make your custom jeans that fit just the way you like! You know you'll look good! Then the last top I mentioned, the Boatneck, is just a great, quick sew. It is for comfy knit fabrics. You'll feel like you're wearing a tee shirt, because you really are, but you'll look really "put-together." Everyone loves a good boat neck, right? 

Below you'll see: Outer Banks Boat Neck paired with my Aviators, a different Outer Banks Boatneck Paired with my Real Deal Jeans, and my Blythe Blouse 😊

So Go, Check out some new patterns!

Head on over to the Winter Wear Designs Site and check out their patterns for yourself! You're sure to find something you love!! 

Be sure to check out their Wardrobe Builders page! At $5, for a pattern, you just can't beat it! 

Now... Remember to check out all of the other stops on the blog tour!

Don't miss out on any of the stops on the 
Back 2 School Blog Tour 2018

Monday 8/27

Tuesday 8/28

Wednesday 8/29
Carrie of BeriBee Designs
Livia of  Liviality

Thursday 8/30
Diane of Sewing With D

Friday 8/31
Jessica of Jot Designs
Patricia of Sew Far North


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