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PATTERN REVIEW: Lane Raglan Tee & Tunic and the Essential Leggings by Stitchwerx Designs

Today, I am here with an in-depth review of the two newest patterns to hit Stitchwerx Designs' pattern shop -- the Lane Raglan Tee and Tunic & the Essential Leggings!

It's not often that I get the chance to sew something so versatile, so comfy, and so essential in my daughters' wardrobes.   Don't get me wrong, they love the dresses I've made them, but the Lane Raglan Tee & Tunic and Essential Leggings by Stitchwerx Designs are great for everyday play.   I am on the newer side of sewing knits so I have usually "cheated" and bought my girls their play clothes...until now!

I first met up with Kim of Stitchwerx Designs when she asked me to test her Rosemary & Thyme Pants mid-summer. They turned out super cute and my testing experience with her was really great.  I was bummed when her latest round of pattern testing fell during a visit from family.  I'm always looking to expand my knowledge in the world of sewing knits and knew her thorough patterns could teach me a thing or two.  Kim came up with a great idea - instead of testing, would I be willing to review the patterns after their release?  

And since you are reading this, obviously my answer was YES!  

Without further ado..... let's start with the Lane Raglan Tee & Tunic.

Lane Raglan Tee & Tunic
  • Suitable for boys and girls
  • Size range: 9 mos - 10 years
  • Tee or Tunic length
  • 3 sleeve lengths (short, 3/4, or long)
  • Optional cuffs for the 3/4 & long sleeves
  • Optional lower band instead of traditional hem
  • Pockets for tunic length
  • *Knit only (2-way or 4-way stretch with at least 35% stretch)
  • Suitable for a Confident Beginner
When I first started designing my 4 year old's outfit, I new I wanted to incorporate some pink and her initial -the front of the Lane Raglan is great for applique work.  I used some Jersey knit (I used a Lycra blend for the neck) from Hobby Lobby that had *just enough* stretch to it to work with this pattern.  I decided to make the Tee length so she could choose whether to wear leggings or jeans with it.  And I thought that the 3/4 sleeve length would be the most versatile to take us throughout the year.

Backside of Lane Raglan Tee and Tunic

The great thing about sewing clothes for your children is you can tailor the fit!  My 4 year old is one skinny gal.  At just 30 lbs, but 40.5" tall, she's very thin.  The pattern has a great size chart which include measurements for chest, waist, hips and height as well as finished lengths for both the tee and tunic version.  I chose to make the Size 3T with the length of Size 4T to accommodate her height.  The fit is spot-on!  No more baggy shirts :)  

One happy girl!

Of course, my 2 year old would feel left out if she didn't get a new shirt!  And, I needed a new shirt to match a new skirt I just made her for a different pattern review (coming soon!).  She loves all thing Minnie Mouse and I knew the front of the shirt was perfect for a Minnie Mouse applique.  Because I apparently make skinny kids, I looked up her measurements on the included sizing chart and determined she needed 18 mos with the length of 2T.  I decided to do short sleeves, but added a fun ruffle at the bottom of each sleeve (not included in the pattern).  I made this shirt using a cotton/Lycra blend from the clearance tank tops I scored from Walmart at the end of the season.  Bonus:  I made sure I placed the pattern pieces just right on the tank top to reuse the original hem!  She was positively giddy about her new shirt!

You think she likes it?!

Although my serger does have the coverstitch function, I used the faux coverstitch with my twin stretch needle on my regular sewing machine as described in the pattern.  I, unfortunately, didn't have matching serger thread to try the coverstitch (and I was scared to rethread....HA!).

The pattern is very thorough with lots of tips to help you through, especially if you are new to sewing knits.  I did run into a snag with the first neck binding I sewed.  I forgot to stretch it as I top-stitched.... and well, pictures had to be rescheduled!  The pattern does not include a cutting guide for the neck binding piece (gives width only) , but does show you how to get a proper fit since it (the length measurement) could vary depending on how much stretch/recovery your knit has.  I was a bit unsure of what 20-25% stretch looked like while I was placing the neck, so I fit it without stretching and then found the 3/4 mark and then added an inch for seam allowance.  Perfect fit.

Close up of neck binding

This brings me to my review on the Essential Leggings!

Essential Leggings
  • Suitable for boys and girls
  • Size range: 0-3 mos - 10 years
  • Capri or Ankle Length
  • Optional cuffs or Single/Double Ruffles
  • Simple Elastic Waistband
  • Separate Rise for the back of the pants
  • Inner-leg Seams only
  • *Knit only (2-way or 4-way stretch with at least 35% stretch)
  • Suitable for Confident Beginner
These legging are so easy to make!  I chose ankle length with a set of double ruffles.  I have 2 girly-girls and you can never go wrong with adding a ruffle or two!  I used the same Jersey Knit from Hobby Lobby for these leggings.  After consulting the size chart included in the pattern, I cut out the size 3T with the length and the rise of 4T.  For the bottom of my ruffles, I used my serger for a rolled hem, but you can either skip the hem (as knit doesn't fray) or do a traditional hem if you prefer.  

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves as the fit is about as perfect as you can get!  My next pair, I will make with a Lycra blend since the Jersey doesn't have the best recovery and the knees may become a bit saggy.  BUT, my daughter loves them!

Ballerina moves not included in pattern :)

Separate rise for the back: perfect fit!

If you've never sewn a Stitchwerx Designs pattern, here's what you can expect: 

What to expect from a Stitchwerx Designs pattern
  • Table of Contents to help you navigate the pattern
  • Thorough Measurement Chart to determine the best size option
  • Pattern Pieces are nested, color-coded, and broken into size groups and Seam Allowance is included (Cutting chart for cuffs/hem bands)
  • Pattern Pieces are notated with Pattern Name, Designer, Direction of Stretch and Seam Allowance
  • Pattern Assembly Guide and Layout Guide on Fabric
  • Pages of Tips and Helpful Hints with Sewing Terminology
  • Step-by-Step Instructions with clear photos
  • Photo gallery to give you inspiration

Both of these patterns are a great addition to your pattern library -- I foresee some new pjs, sweatshirts, tunics and lots more tees and leggings in my future!  

Perfect for running and playing

ADDED BONUS:  These patterns are still in the special bundle pricing of just $10 through Dec 22nd! You can find the bundle HERE on Etsy.    Don't delay!



Christmas Comes Early to Candy Castle Patterns!!

Squeeeeee!!!!!  I am bursting with excitement today.  It feels like Christmas for Candy Castle Patterns fans.

Today is not only the release of the highly anticipated Peppermint Swirl Dress, but also the debut of the new Candy Castle Patterns website!

About a month or so ago, in the Candy Castle Patterns Group, we were shown a sneak peek of the Peppermint Swirl Dress.... and it was love at first sight!!  This showstopping dress has a gorgeous petal neckline, flutter sleeves and flounces upon flounces in the skirt for maximum twirlablity!

Close up view of petal neckline and flutter sleeves

Immediately, my mind was swirling with ideas.  The skirt contains 14 flounces (or more if needed for your color scheme) which is the perfect number of flounces for a rainbow dress.  I was set on this idea for weeks, until I ran across "Peppermint" fabric at the store.   I HAD to have it!!!  It is perfect for Christmas and my 4 year old needs a super fun dress for school Christmas parties.

I even made it snow here in the South!

Here's an overview of the pattern:
  • Contains sizes 6m through girls' 10
  • Offers both a slim and regular bodice
  • Pattern pieces are color-coded and nested as well as a 2.5" test square to ensure proper printing
  • A printing guide which tells you which pages you need to print, based on bodice type and skirt size chosen
  • Both a measurement chart and yardage chart is provided
  • A choice of flutter sleeves, sleeveless, or you can use any sleeve (long slim sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, or short, puffy sleeve) from the Candy Castle Princess Dress pattern!
  • Step-by-step instructions with clear pictures to guide every seamstress through the process, no matter what your sewing level is
  • 3 hemming options (rolled hem, bias tape hem, or traditional hem)
  • Inspirational gallery with lots of photos from the testers who worked so hard to ensure the best fit
  • Help, if needed, in the Candy Castle Patterns Group
Back view: I used 3 Kam snaps in lieu of buttons

Sewing this dress isn't nearly as hard as it looks!  I think it took me about as long to cut as it did to sew.  If you stack your fabrics on top of each other, you can cut even faster.  I actually cut my pieces one at a time.  No pins required for sewing the flounces together or for hemming!! Ahh, such freedom :)  If you have a serger, it does make construction faster, but totally not necessary.

Oh, and the twirl!!!  YES, look at the twirl!   If you can believe it, this is a 22-FOOT hem on this showstopper (this is the size 3)!  Just marvel in all its glory!

She didn't want to stop twirling!!!

To celebrate its debut, Candy Castle Patterns is offering a sale (RARE!) when you purchase at least one additional pattern.  Use the code peppermint during the checkout process at to save 20% when your purchase is at least $15.  Don't delay, though, because the sale ends Sunday, December 8th at precisely 11:59pm MST. 

Happy shopping and happier sewing!!!  

Come show off your creations in the Candy Castle Patterns Group

Next up is a matching one for my 2 year old who is sad that hers isn't sewn yet... and then rainbow ones!!

| XOXO |


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