Mandarin Shirt Sew-a-Long: Day 1



Today, we are going to walk through the printing and assembly of your PDF pattern. You can, of course, get this pattern printed on a continuous roll of paper at a print shop if you’d prefer to skip this step. But printing and assembling at home isn’t as difficult as it sounds! It takes a bit of time and concentration, but it’s not difficult. And I must say, Jodi from Jailyn Apparel has done a phenomenal job with this pattern. It is easy to assemble and the PDF instructions are incredibly detailed and helpful!

Step One: Prepping for printing

When you download your file, make sure you open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader — NOT your web browser! Some browsers like to open PDF files directly in the browser, but this can sometimes cause issues with the printing size. If you don’t have Adobe Reader on your computer, you can download it here for free.

The next thing you’ll want to do is utilize the amazing “Layers” function in this pattern! If you haven’t already, measure yourself (bust, waist, and hip) and choose which size you will be making from the detailed size chart in the instruction PDF. I currently measure 39″ bust, 32″ waist, and 42″ hip. I decided to go with the regular size 10, as the finished garment measurements seemed like they would be comfortable to me. [Read more…]

Off the Rack ~ Reviewing the Freya “Hero” Bra

It has been an awfully long time since my last wired bra review. This week I’m discussing the Freya “Hero” bra. And what a hero it is!


Disclosure: This item was received as a review sample. All opinions are my own and based entirely on my experience.

I haven’t bought a new Freya bra in quite a while. I own so many of them in prints I adore that I just keep wearing my old ones over and over, refusing to replace them even though they’re pathetically worn out. But after trying the Hero bra, I’m ready to throw out all my old Freyas and start fresh! [Read more…]

Mandarin Shirt Sew-a-Long

Hello readers! I know, it’s been a while since you last heard from me. But I am SO excited about what I’ve got in the works!

Do any of you remember reading Darlene’s posts about a lovely velvet tank top from Jailyn Apparel a few years ago (here and here)? Do you remember the exciting news she shared last May about Jailyn Apparel making a comeback as a pattern company?!

Jailyn’s current PDF pattern offering is the Mandarin top. It is fantastic:


Click through to go to the Jailyn Apparel Flickr group, for more photos!

“The Mandarin shirt is a closely-tailored style with an under-bust seem that highlights your waist while allowing easy fitting of the bust area. The spread Mandarin collar drops into a V neckline. Closely spaced buttons down the center front work with the fuller bust sizing to prevent gaping across your bust line.

The sleeves sport overlapped, fold-back cuffs with sleeve length options in 3/4-length or above the elbow.

It’s a flattering casual shirt that easily transitions to the office.”

As a sewist, this pattern is so exciting to me! I love the challenge of sewing garments with a good fit. I love it even more when it comes with a pattern that’s already great to start with. I really want to share my love of sewing and PDF patterns and fitting with you – so Hourglassy will be hosting a sew-a-long blog series with the Mandarin top!

Every week, I’ll be publishing a step-by-step tutorial outlining a part of the process of making this blouse. Everything from printing/assembling your PDF pattern, making pattern adjustments and a fitting muslin, all the way down to hemming and affixing the buttons on your final garment! I’ll break it up into manageable weekly portions with photos and tips to help along the way. Jodi’s pattern instructions are phenomenal and you don’t really *need* me over here holding your hand. But making a tailored blouse can be intimidating, and it is always more fun to try new things with a friend!

If you want to join in the fun*, get your supplies ready and check back next week for pattern printing and assembly tips!

Supplies needed: [Read more…]


My traditional start-of-the-year hiatus is lasting longer than expected. Basically, I’m recalibrating my life around certain priorities and need to let the process work itself out without giving in to distractions. This means a fast from blogging for a little while longer, so thank you for your patience!

There’s some really, really good news, though–Rosalind is back with a new series beginning tomorrow. She’s going to walk us through a sew-a-long!!! If you’ve ever thought, “I wish I could just sew my own clothes,” this is your chance!