Jessica Sews | Made Again Patterns Joey Tank

Joey Tank Front.jpg
Joey Tank Back.jpg
Joey Front Lead.jpg

First things first - you guys are the best. Thanks for the encouragement on the launch of Made Again Patterns. I’m soaking in loads of good vibes and putting them to use on the creation on the first clothing pattern. And this is it!

Introducing the Joey Tank! Inspired by summers from the late 90s - a time when days were spent at the neighborhood pool, with tan shoulders and daisies in our hair, cruising around with way too many people in the backseat of the one guy who had his license, 11 pm curfews, the sound of dial up internet and managing 26 different conversations… and finally… cue the Dawson’s Creek theme song.

To me, this tank captures all of that! It’s upcycled from a men’s button down (check out that pocket in back) and so easy to throw on with a part of shorts (which do not pass the regulation finger tip length circa 1999).

So here’s where I’m at in the development phase - I have the digital base pattern created plus the written and illustrated instructions drafted. What you see here is version one. I’ve made a few updates like continuous straps and binding which will be in the final version. Plus there’s a straight hem cropped version as well! I’ll be grading it and sending out to my testers in the next week with a hope to debut in July! (if you’d like to volunteer to stitch a sample and make notes in exchange for a free pattern, you can do that here) You can also follow Made Again Patterns on Instagram and Facebook for release updates. I’m also doing some behind-the-scenes of the process there too. Until then… happy summering, sewing and spending your time doing what you love doing most!

Joey Tank Full Back.jpg

Jessica Sews | Made Again Patterns + Jane Dress

Jane Dress 1.jpg
Jane Dress 3.jpg

Hey guys! It’s a good old fashioned What I Wore post! Because nothing says I give AF like curling your hair on a Tuesday morning. Actually! I’m pretty excited because today I want to tell you about a new project I’m working on!

In the past few weeks I have been focusing my time and energy on a new endeavor - Made Again Patterns. Here’s the deal. Y’all know I love thrifting, sewing and combining the two to create one of a kind clothing for myself. I’m also at the point in my life where I am out of the weeds of caring for teeny tiny people as a SAHM into being a mom of more independent children ready to enter their school age years. Thus - I’ve been craving a new gig with the hopes that I can spend time growing my talents, challenging myself with new skills and if I pull this off, also making some money.

I’m in the development phase for clothing patterns - draping, sewing samples, grading, and writing and illustrating instructions. Although you can use flat fabric, my goal is to pattern these styles in such a way you can cut them from harvested secondhand fabric. I’ll also be creating how-to videos for a range of sewing techniques (so let me know what I can help you with!)

Jane Dress 6.jpg

The dress I’m wearing is my own pattern and believe it or not, made up from a thrifted bedsheet! And it’s a full circle skirt!! I was initially going for sort of an 80s Pretty Woman polo match, but it ended up being a bit late 1950s. Either way, I love it!! I have a few kinks to work out but this is definitely something I want to offer you guys. There’s also a cute 90’s style halter that I think will be my first release this summer and later this fall I’ll be releasing a moto jacket. In the meantime, I have a free throw pillow already up in the shop as a printable PDF download.

I’ll also be looking for pattern testers, so if you’d like to sign up for that, please drop me a note here.

I am so thrilled to do all of my favorite things - sewing, thrifting and teaching others how to do something that has brought me so much joy over the past 25 plus years. I cannot thank you guys enough for the comments and messages that have been so encouraging with the projects I’ve been stitching up over the past 6 months. I really feel like I’ve found my groove and am so excited for what this could become!

Jane Dress 8.jpg
Jane Dress 5.jpg
Jane Dress 2.jpg

Stars + Stripes Throw Pillow Pattern

Stars and Stripes Header.jpg
Stars and Stripes Pillow Close 2.jpg

You guys! I have some exciting news! In the past few weeks I have been focusing my time and energy on a new endeavor - Made Again Patterns. Here’s the deal. Y’all know I love thrifting, sewing and combining the two to create one of a kind clothing for myself. I’m also at the point in my life where I am out of the weeds of caring for teeny tiny people as a SAHM into being a mom of more independent children ready to enter their school age years. Thus - I’ve been craving a new gig with the hopes that I can spend time growing my talents, challenging myself with new skills and if I pull this off, also making some money.

To test the waters my first pattern is a patriotic stars and stripes throw pillow created from some 1980s wool skirts and a pair of elastic waist capri pants. This pattern is perfect for beginners and advanced seamstresses alike and will only take a few hours to stitch up.

I’m in the development phase for clothing patterns - draping, sewing samples, grading, and writing and illustrating instructions. I’ll also be creating how-to videos for a range of sewing techniques (so let me know what I can help you with!)

I am so thrilled to do all of my favorite things - sewing, thrifting and teaching others how to do something that has brought me so much joy over the past 25 plus years.

Front Porch.jpg
Stars and Stripes Porch.jpg
Stars and Stripes Close.jpg


Jessica Sews | McCall's M7359 Review

M7359 Head to Toe.jpg
sleeve detail.jpg

Although I’m not posting new outfits daily for the Me Made May challenge, I have been keeping busy at my sewing machine and have a couple of new pieces I’ve sewn this week. One of them is this top! I used McCall’s 7359, and made it from a linen cotton blend from JoAnn’s. It was a super simple project and I finished it in less than a day! Let me tell you a little more about it!

I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth saying again just in case anyone is finding this post via Google and is new to my page - I’m in the process of swapping out all of my store bought new clothing for an entirely self made wardrobe. I’m not intentionally throwing things out, but for the most part I’m not buying retail anymore. (I’m giving myself just a smidgeon of space for stuff like concert tees or vacation souvenirs because I love those kinds of pieces too!) As a stay at home mom, I tend to gravitate to leggings and tee shirts and I want to put more effort into getting dressed… which means making simple tops has become one of my sewing priorities.

This particular top fits the bill perfectly. It’s comfortable. It was quick to sew. It pops on over the head and has no closures. And it’s a perfect option instead of a tee shirt to wear with jeans.

I got this pattern during a $2 sale (I always try to pick out a couple new patterns when those come along!) and saw this fabric in the quilting section at JoAnn’s. I can’t find online but in my store it was in the “vintage” section… and was one of MANY awesome cotton linens that would be perfect for apparel. Its a really cool weave - it’s a linen cotton blend and there are slubs to create more texture. It was great to sew too! I stitched up view B in a medium with no pattern piece alterations. Construction wise, I omitted the gathered detail on the shoulders and instead did my own pieating action once the whole top was complete. I really love this detail!!

I also want to say: patterns are here to SERVE YOU. Don’t be afraid to sew something a different way to make it more couture (and by that I mean by using fine finishing techniques like French seams, special hems, etc) or to make it quick and easy (hello zigzags!). Or to completely change things like I did with the shoulders. I often combine views/sleeves/hems/whatever to make the garment that I want. Which is the point! Plus it makes me feel a little more creative/designery which I suppose is the point of the sewing blitz I’ve been on this year.

Anyway.

I think this is a great pattern for someone who is newer to sewing and wants to make something fashion forward. It has a Madewell sort of vibe to me and also looks really cute tucked in (see my Highlighted stories for that). Out of cotton it’s nice and casual but could be sewn with a crepe or something more silky to be a really beautiful work blouse. I would definitely sew this one again.

M7359 Portrait.jpg
M7359 Head to Toe 2.jpg

Also Wearing: Dawn Jeans and DIY Espadrilles

Jessica Sews | Matilda Dress

Matilda Dress 5.jpg
Matilda Dress 4.jpg
Matilda Dress 3.jpg
Matilda Dress 7.jpg

Today I’m excited to share a project that took me a while to jump into, but when I did, I couldn’t stop myself from stopping! This is the Matilda Dress from Megan Nielsen Patterns. After starting with the Dawn jeans (I know you’re tired of me going on and on about them), I decided I’d try another of Meg’s designs. This dress caught my eye. It really has the feel of something I used to wear a lot back in my NYC days and feels very me. So with the pattern in mind, I started to think about what fabric I might use.

Loads of sewers have been posting their makes using this linen blend blue and white ikat from JoAnn Fabrics. I even used it for my Hayden tee in the reverse color scheme (which I also used for my inner yolk, collar stand and waistband!) ! I’m glad I scooped up so much yardage when I did because on my last visit in store I saw it was sold out. So I have this gorgeous fabric and this multi piece pattern and my challenge is at hand: matching that pattern.

Guys - I loved it. To make it work, I had to cut out each piece individually (versus cutting the left and right at the same time while the fabric is folded) to get everything to line up just so. I started with my skirt back next to the selvage edge and went from there. To get two seams to match up just right you have to take your cut piece, fold back the seam allowance and place it down on your flat fabric. From there lay down the piece you want to match 5/8” over that pressed back SA. Place the new pattern piece down, remove the original piece and cut. And over and over and over.

And I was so proud of all that matching when I discovered… I cut the wrong size. I had printed the PDF pattern, taped it up and cut two sizes too big when I put the pattern away a couple of months ago. I can’t believe my measurements would have changed so much in that time and I made the dumb mistake of not measuring twice before cutting. Luckily I was able to recut the bodice by trimming off the necessary extra and I added a couple of pleats to the skirt back (instead of taking in the CB, which would have messed up the matching) and in the end it all turned out ok.

I made a few other modifications as well. For the front pockets to get the perfect ikat repeat, I made an inverted box pleat rather than the standard pleat instructions in the pattern. I also cut the top collar as to pieces to they would mirror one another at the front collar points.

I really loved making this dress. The pattern is excellent. The fabric was really great to work with and because the ikat is woven into the fabric (instead of just printed on top) it made my matching up less time consuming than I anticipated. I really wanted to stretch this project out over a week but it ended up coming together in just 3 days. It pressed out so nicely and all of that topstitching is what I love about sewing. Perfect little straight lines give me so much satisfaction!

ALSO! I attached my buttons by machine!! I’ve never done this before. Meg mentioned it in one of her tutorials and I thought… I bet I could do that. I just set my zigzag to the same distance as my buttonholes and held it in place until I had gone back and forth 10 times. I don’t know if I can ever do buttons by hand ever again (I will…when my historical sewing gets moved to the top of my list!)

Has anyone else done a project with this fabric too? I’d love to see what you made! DM me on instagram or shoot me an email!

Matilda Dress 1.jpg
Matilda Dress 6.jpg
Matilda Dress 2.jpg