Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Denim Suit for Gloria

I'm very happy to have something special to show you this weekend.

As you know, I've been doing a little sewing for my sisters and this will be the last of it for a while.
My sisters always admire my casual suits which I'm very fond of making and since Gloria only got one dress this summer, I decided I'd make her  a pant suit of her choice. She chose brown denim ,which I bought from She wanted a jean style jacket and classic jeans.

Now Gloria is taller than me and I've always thought she's slimmer too, but my clothes seem to fit her perfectly right down to the length of the pants. (My legs are longer I guess.) I took all her measurements and proceeded to ignore them completely trusting that since I was using the same patterns as my jacket and jeans, they should fit her too.

I used my favorite Burda 8605 (which is out of print and not linkable) for the jacket and V1284 for the jeans.

This jacket is my favorite thing to make and  I did some slow sewing to get it just right, inside and out.

Gloria loves animal print so I used animal print poly charmeuse for the Hong Kong finish as a surprise. She loved it! I forgot to take detail pictures of the jeans. This is all I have to show.

I just spent the afternoon with my sisters and gave Gloria her suit. She was so delighted and it fit her perfectly. (I forgot to take a pic to show how well the jeans fit, darn!)

I think my sister looks great in her suit and I feel really good about this project. I also am glad I  can now go on to  a denim suit of my own .

I'll leave you today with the composite of my Mini Wardrobe for  the contest at Pattern Review.

As always, more later from

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vogue 1275....The Last Piece to my Mini Wardrobe

I've been wanting to make up this pattern again ever since my first version a couple of years ago.Vogue1275 is a Sandra Betzina pattern. As a rule, I find that lately her patterns have become too weird for my taste, but this one I really like.

 The fabric is a poly/lycra bought at Fabricville. I sewed size C, I did my usual FBA.I didn't need any extra at the side seams. I really like the fit but while we're on the subject, for tops like this one, here's what I do to get a flattering fit.

 I always baste the side seams and try the top on inside out. I then shape it (drape it) to my body  by pinning especially at the waste. Only then do I sew it permanently. This works really well for me. (I forgot to take photos)

In the instructions, Sandra says to zigzag over string to achieve the shirring and that works really well. Once the shirred center front is sewn to the side fronts, you remove the string. This technique produces great looking shirring, don't you think?

BUT! For both my tops, I've redistributed the shirring so it ends farther down (just above hem level and so there isn't too mauch across the bust because ,to me, that's not a good look.

When the top is assembled and before adding the neckline band you might be convinced it's never going to look right, but the neckline on this pattern turns into a really  nice squared shape. It calls for a neckband and for it to show but I turned it to the inside and top stitched. I just like it better that way.On the black patterned one, I added a selvedge trim by fusing it with Steam-a-Seam.

I really like this top with my palazzos for the PR Mini Wardrobe Contest. A good match ,isn't it!

Here it is with the jacket and pants.

Now I have to write my pattern review and make my collage to post at the contest site. I'll show all the pieces together next time.

I had intended on posting my sister's denim suit this weekend but it's not quit finished yet so it will have to wait.

I do hope you found time to sew this weekend.
More later from

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Butterick 5676 -A Transition Into Fall Dress

Thank you for the nice comments on my Ponte Pant suit. I wore it to court but was not picked for Jury duty. My number didn't come up. The trial has already ended with a hung jury.

Today, I'm showing a colour blocked ponte dress that will be part of my mini wardrobe for the Pattern Review Contest. (I don't know why I'm typing in italics and I don't know how to change it back! lol!)

I used Butterick 5676 from my pattern stash. I had planned on making a copy of the Yves Saint Laurent Mondrian dress,but I changed my mind when I came across this pattern in my dresses drawer of patterns.

This is what I started with. I find this exercise very useful in planning a more complicated garment.

     I'll show you the dress and then tell you a little bit about it's construction.

I didn't follow  the plan for the back. I changed the upper back colour.

    The fabric is an RPL slubbed Ponte , the same I used for many other pieces this summer/fall.
    I made it pretty much exactly like the pattern envelope shows. 

I cut my usual size 10 at the shoulders and upper chest graded out to a size 12 from the chest  down and added about 1/2" extra at the side seams. I did an FBA like this  (I eased in the  extra at the side seam and the fit is right on. 

   At first sight ,this seems like a complicated design but it wasn't as difficult as it seemed.

   I changed the construction in this way:

    Instead of adding the neck band after the two sides of the front were assembled and joined at the         center front , I added the neckband to each side front. Then I sewed the center front seam .In this       way ,I avoided having to sew the V at the front center neckline.

    I also sewed the back neckband to the back and then sewed the shoulder seams to join the front           to the back.
    I omitted the side zipper as the dress goes on very easily without it.

    The hemline is finished with a twin needle. The dress is unlined.

     I decided to use three colours for my dress but I think it would have been fine with just the light          brown and the beige.

     I wore my dress to church today and I felt it was just the thing for mid September.

     This makes the third piece of my four piece mini wardrobe. I still need a top to go with the                      jacket and pants.Here are the jacket and dress together.

    In the meantime, I'm working on a brown denim pant suit for my sister Gloria who is the very same size as    me except she is not as busty as I am. I'm really enjoying the process ( and all the top stitching) I'll have it       to show you next week, if all goes well. 

    Happy Sewing  from


Sunday, September 8, 2013

McCall's 5937 Jacket/Cardigan (Item 1 for the PR Mini Wardrobe Contest)

I hadn't planned to enter the Pattern Review Mini Wardrobe Contest this year but it occurred to me that I was in the process of making a few coordinating garments from a light brown ponte knit I bought recently at Fabricville. They are transition pieces and can be worn together or with other items from my closet. So I thought,"Why not?"

The contest requires four pieces that will produce four different outfits.
I  easily cut out and finished three of four pieces in just the first week of the contest. My pieces this year are not as work intensive as last year's.

The main piece is a jacket/cardi made using McCall's 5937


Since this was a jacket pattern that was suppose to be lined  and the recommended fabric was a woven, I cut out a size 10 instead of my regular 12 so it would be more of a cardigan.

 Other changes made are as follows:

I cut off about about three inches from the length of the collar .

I omitted the back center seam.

I left out the collar and front facings. That meant the wrong side and the edge seams would show. I decided to use a decorative variegated thread to finish the seams and this is what I ended up with. Kinda cool, don't you think?

The collar looks equally well worn in a waterfall or this way with the jacket belted.

I paired the jacket with a sleeveless draped neck top in a brown and black zebra cotton jersey.


The pattern is  Butterick 3968, also OOP.

Not too much to say about this one . It is true to size but the armscye is too low in the sleeveless version. I forgot to check and ended up struggling to fix the problem. I ended up using clear elastic sewn to the seam from front notch to back notch. This helped just enough to make it wearable.

(I'm not sure this top will make it to the contest. I have another fabric to match the other pieces I may use.)

The third piece is a pair of wide legged pants using my favourite Silhouette Pattern's Three piece Yoga Pant which I altered as explained here on my other blog.

I love the flow and drape of these pants. I can't praise them enough in this ponte knit.

I'm called to Jury Duty tomorrow and I think this outfit will be appropriate don't you?

I think I'll wear my animal print flats and this new bag to complete the look. What do you think?

I hope you got to sew in your spare time this week cause if you're like me ,you live to sew!

More later from

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A UFO....Marci Tilton's V8620 Jacket

We all have UFOs ( Unfinished Objects for anyone who might not be in the know). I recently decided mine had to get made or they had to go.

I almost threw this one out. Instead, I decided to just have one last look and I noticed I had started this one.

 I remember cutting this out two years ago at the end of summer. The reason I almost discarded it was that I wasn't sure why I had ever chosen this fabric. It's a metallic look faux linen and it no longer seemed appropriate for  the pattern.

 Well ,I really like this pattern and I thought this could at least serve as a muslin until I came up with a better choice of fabric.

The pattern is V8620.

I looked on Pattern Review and saw some great versions so I started to sew. It wasn't long before I had completely changed my mind . I really do like the fabric for this style. Here is my version.

I had cut out a coordinating striped suiting to use for the facings and I decided to press these so they showed as a piping-look trim.

I just happened to have this great fashion zipper that matched the circles on the fabric and the facings perfectly. I just couldn't hide it away, so I decided to go for the exposed zipper look that I love.

The collar stands so well and sits away  from the neck so a light scarf will look great in early fall and spring.

I cleaned up the seam allowances on the inside with a Hong Kong finish in red satin.I didn't decide to this ,however, until I had finished so it's not looking great!
I added a bias strip to the hem to add a little weight and  drape to my jacket because the fabric is fairly lightweight.

The back swings gracefully away from the body so a stiff fabric would probably not do for this design.

I just love this piece. So far ,I've found it looks good with my grey wide legged pants ,my white palazzo pants, but not so with my grey skinny jeans. Boot cut jeans are a good look with it but not a skirt.

What do you think? Was I right not to throw this one away?

I hope you found time to sew to your heart's content ,this long final weekend of summer!

More later from