Lady Sewing: The Ballard by Straight Stitch Designs

So, I usually sew for my kids.  I love sewing for them because they always look adorable in whatever I make, they're extremely photogenic, and super bonus: their clothes don't take much fabric (as many of you may know I am somewhat of a fabriholic with can't-cut-it-itis).  

However, I've been secretly sewing some things for myself recently.  Yay for new clothes! I was lucky enough to be chosen as a tester for a new pattern by Kimberly over at Straight Stitch Designs.  She is new to the pattern making business, and let me tell you, she is good.  Her latest creation is the Ballard and I'm on her pattern tour! Yikes! I mean, Hooray! My first pattern tour! Gulp... well, here it goes.

The Ballard, you can see is a cute little number, and just right for the season.  Its cozy, easy to wear, multi-functional and forgiving to the I've-had-four-babies tummy thing I have going on.  The tunic length is great for legging lovers as it keeps your bum covered; but it can be shortened too, which I tried for my first version.  I love the three-quarter sleeve, the gathered scoop neck and the band at the bottom.  

But the coolest part is the back... ta-da!!! Bet you weren't expecting that. The criss-cross back really makes the shirt.

As I said earlier, this thing is multi-faceted (and shimmering).  It can do date night with a bit of jewelry and some boots. Or it can do yoga.  Its perfect to throw on over some yoga pants and a sports bra.  The open back keeps you cool and allows for a great range of movement.  

I made this version in a heathered blue activewear knit fabric that I bought a few years ago from Fashion Fabrics Club (told you... fabric hoarder).  It was sew easy to sew (ha! see what I did there) and I whipped this baby up in an afternoon.  The pattern pieces went together nicely, the instructions were easy to follow and all the illustrations were crystal clear.  The bands on the sleeves, neck and around the bottom are genius... NO HEMMING REQUIRED! Kim also added shorten/lengthen lines so it can be customized for any body shape  (this is great for me since I'm in the hella short category).  It's a perfect project for an intermediate beginner seamstress.  This version is made exactly as the pattern specifies, length and all.  Can't wait to make myself another in a fancier print.  Next version will be a bit shorter for wearing with jeans and I have plans to mix up the back a bit with two colors or prints maybe.  

So now that you've seen how awesome this top can be, head on over and grab one for yourself and sew one up already.  It's available exclusively at Indiesew until the end of the tour and after that (beginning November 3rd) you'll be able to pick it up on Kimberly's website.  

Don't forget to check out all the other stops on the tour, these ladies have done some amazing work.  Thanks for having me Kim!


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