Kwik Sew 3873 and a summer muslin

f2

Well, I’m trying very hard to break out of my maxi dress and loose tunic mold. It’s not easy! I haven’t made or worn a short dress in 3 years, ever since my morphea scleroderma took aim at my legs. With most of the lesions ‘burnt out’ into scar tissue, I decided it’s time to pull up my big girl britches and get over this particular mental bump. A short dress ūüôā

Grant you, the colors are all wrong for me, I bought this fabric before my color epiphany. But that just made it an easy choice to muslin a look that I really like. I.e., a slim dress with a slightly dropped waist, simple neckline, and short sleeves.

I started with the bodice from Kwik Sew 3873, because it has all the elements I wanted in the top. (It also has a super cute skirt. Check out this beautiful version by Cat in the Wardrobe).

line art

After a bit of flat-measuring, I added 1 7/8″ to the length of the bodice, dropping it about 1.5″ below my natural waist. And I drafted a simple A-line skirt. The top of the skirt is about 1.3 x the width of the bodice at the waist seam.

waist

A note on the bodice front. The cut is so sensible. It’s a bit longer toward CF, so the skirt doesn’t hitch up due to the girls and so on.

front pattern piece
I drafted my version with 1/2″ seam allowances, not being willing to sew with a 1/4″ SA!

Truth time. Initially, I cut out a maxi skirt. Boring, same-old-same-old look. So I took off 17″. And then another 2″! I was on a roll – my finished skirt is 22″ long at the side seam ūüôā

s2

 

b1

I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself, and I’m looking forward to making some summer dresses sporting my new look.¬† It feels good…

Bye for now – Coco

 

 

 

 

A copycat blouse…

f1

Miss Impatient here. I’ve managed to sew my stash down to only 4 fabrics, all of which are most suited to winter – not to our very warm and humid Florida summer. The good part, I do have some fabric on order. I just have to maintain… If anyone wondered, the hard part of retirement is paying attention to a budget – being on a pay-as-you-go plan. Two crowns, a new hot water heater, yard cleanup, and sidewalk repairs have left me wistfully window-shopping fabric ūüôā

Not to be deterred – I still had a couple yards of Michael Miller Cotton Couture, the last remnant from the 10 yards I ordered in 2014, to muslin my DD’s bridal gown (in the end, and really to my relief, she got a beautiful tea dress from David’s Bridal). So I decided to take a stab at a top that I really like, from Vivid Linen:

vividlinen

How perfect for hot weather!

I started with the Grainline Scout Tee, a great pattern that I’ve altered quite a bit over time, to fit my wide shoulders and narrow chest, and to add bust darts. On this version, I modified it a lot more!

f9e55-1-grainline3002scoutwoventee

But first, another pic of my top…

f3

The big changes are to mimic the hi-low hems and slit sides of the inspiration blouse. First, I decided how long to make the front. Then I modified the back to be longer than the front. And, last, I drafted the side seams to support a slit. I already had a ‘cropped’ cutting line on my pattern, from past versions, so the changes were fairly easy. Here’s how I managed the side slits and hems. Finished, the back is a bit over 2″ longer than the front:

Side seams

Inside view:

inside

And outside:

s1

That was pretty easy. I also had to think about the ‘balance’ of the top – finishing the hems, sleeves, neck facing (my add-on, instead of a neckband), and so on. I decided to use the same width for all of them, which I think looks really nice:

outside

To complete my copycat look, I needed to add pockets (in the end, I only added one). So a tip – cut, measure, trim, and mark pockets. I use Frixion pens, and I stay-stitch all my fold lines to ensure an even turn and application.

pockets

How does the back look? It’s just where I wanted it ūüôā

b1

Of course I’ve styled this top with a very fun pair of True Bias Hudson Pants, sewn in funky ITY knit, from way back in 2014, and still a favorite pattern (blogged here).

So – I’m really pleased with this muslin. What next? Well, I prefer to wear knit tops. They don’t wrinkle, they’re light, and they work well in south Florida – so I’ll be adjusting my pattern draft for knits. Among the fabrics I ordered from Girl Charlee are 8 yards of lightweight modal/cotton/rayon jersey. Should keep me out of trouble for a while.

Ciao! Coco

B6296 – Summer (campin’) shirt

front 1

Sometimes I think I’m like a puppy – I just keep shaking that new toy. I mentioned in an earlier post that the top from the Butterick 6296 pajama pattern would make a great camp shirt. I had a large remnant of Michael Miller cotton couture in the stash, so I decided to give it a go.¬† Bingo! It’s really cute.

B6296_a-horz

A couple pics with the shirt worn outside – I had to take these first since I knew it would get all wrinkly once I tucked it in my britches.

out 1

I used the cutting line from View A, which is shorter, and then shortened it another 2″, using the scientific eyeballing method and the back length of my TSW Trio Shirt.

out 2

I did want to ditch the PJ look as much as possible, so I didn’t use edging detail on the sleeve band. Instead, I added a curved corner to each end of the band, and then attached it ‘upside down’.

sleeve

I really like this small, easy change. It also occurred to me that it also would be simple to widen the band and create a cuff.

side 1

No changes to the collar – it’s so pretty, and I like it much more than a pointed collar. It’s a generous width and really behaves. No fear of flying with this convertible collar style – without a collar band, collars are very easy to sew.

collar

A couple more pics. It’s way too hot now for jeans, but these are my favorites. I made them several years ago in mid-weight denim,¬† using the McCalls 6291 cargo pants pattern (great for shorts as well).

back 2

front 2

Well, I think I’m done with this pattern for a while – but it was fun trying various looks with it. And I love my PJ sets.¬† I’m giving it 5 stars!

Parting shots – it’s Mother’s Day! From my dear not-so-little ones…from david

David sent these incredible flowers from my favorite florist, ‘Art of Flowers’. For years he sent me orchids, which kept expiring under my care. A hit to my gardener ego, but in reality, orchids from florists are tender. They’ve been handled way too much, chilled, warmed, and mushed. I love getting flowers – my living room smells heavenly.

From my creative Ashley, a precious memory of dancing together in the kitchen…

mom abug

Hope this special day brings nice memories to all – Bye for now, Coco

 

Relearning my colors…

jessica kerbawy Crayon art 56
Crayon Art by Jessica Kerbawy

Just when you think you know a couple things about yourself Рskin tone, color palette Рyou go and let your gray white hair grow out in all its glory. Let the color games begin!

profilesI’ve been asked if my hair color change has affected my color choices.¬†Honestly, at first I didn’t even think about it. I was more worried about finding the right hair products to keep out yellow tones. But lately I’ve had more sewing wadders than ever in my life, and I know why: I wasn’t really paying attention to that hair…

My hair color change has major impact – I went from a warm color palette to a cool one.

colorwheelarticle

Except that I didn’t really make that change for quite a while! Recent mistakes include not one, but two dresses with dominant yellow-limes. Both make my skin very yellow!

green things

In addition to color issues, I  was flooding my face with nearby busy prints. I love prints, the brighter and more colorful, the better. Umm. Restraint needed Рthey are very jarring against my face/hair now.

scary prints

Yesterday I spent time in my closet, focusing on dresses and tops (my pants are ‘reasonably’ neutral – I do love prints on pants¬†), and I pulled out these guys:

oops

Which leaves me with a nice selection from the cool side of the color wheel:

One thing I’ve noticed is that white and black are great for me now. I’ve always loved white near my face, but black is new territory. I’m really enjoying it. And I’m not alone¬†-they’re predominant color choices for gray-haired ladies, whatever age, on the many sites I’ve browsed in my color journey.

A couple of the jewel tones – emerald, royal blue – are also new for me, but I find them really working now. This little Cali Faye Gardenia dress, sewn for wearing around the house, has been a surprise. I love how it looks on me!

Cali Faye Gardenia Maxi (2)

And this tunic has become a favorite as well.

sharkie 2

Did you notice that my closet is not exactly bulging now? Great reason to do some thoughtful stash replenishment (I needed an excuse, right?). Winging their way to me soon, some blues and white for outfits. And a few new patterns, to keep things rolling.

new fabric

What an interesting exploration,¬†definitely fun and revealing. I’ve also watched a lot of videos on makeup for my ‘new’ palette, equally¬†enlightening. But that’s another post. For now, back to those¬†crayons. Here’s my take on the good/better/best – that box of 64 was a Christmas list item for years.

16-horz

I would love to hear your experiences with shifting palettes and color discoveries!

From the really messy sewing loft – Coco

Butterick 6296 – More PJ fun

f2

I’m feeling pretty spiffy with my new PJs. I knew one set was not enough. Now that I’ve sewn another, I’m not sure that two are enough! These PJs are definitely fun to sew and wear. B6296_a-horz

This cute fabric is Michael Miller Color Me Black Fish Frenzy, printed on wonderful Cotton Couture broadcloth. ¬†The design credits on the fabric selvedge sent me looking on the web. Surprise – the print is by Hayley Crouse of Mouse House Creations (designer of the Julia Cardigan and lots of children’s patterns). Michael Miller collaborated with Hayley on a ‘color me’ fabric concept¬†in 2015.

ColorMe_banner-01
Source: Michael Miller Fabrics

Originally the prints were deliberately ‘childish’ and targeted at children wielding fabric pens, but eventually the collection featured¬†more sophisticated designs in black and white reverse prints (here’s a link to Hayley’s blog post about her fabric).

I love fish! and all sea creatures, in art, fabric, mixed media, however they come. In this case, on my PJs…

top

Something I forgot to mention on my first PJ post – I added a back facing to the top, instead of the suggested collar finish (turn and tack the edge of the upper collar). IMO, a facing is a much nicer finish, and it’s not difficult¬†– it’s much easier than piping or edging details, banded hemlines, a collar… Bad on the pattern company for taking a shortcut.

face

b1

Nonetheless, I forgive them – this is an intriguing and versatile pattern. It would be easy¬†to use the top for a camp shirt, the pants for shorts (great slant pockets), and I’ve already made a pair of out-and-about pants.¬†Not to be overlooked,¬†pajamas as street wear…

harpers bazaar
Source: Harpers Bazaar

I’m not sure I’m ready for the full monty, but I do like my fish¬†version.

f1

Parting shot: a lot of my own artwork features the ocean and its denizens, and often it reflects the vibe of a place that was special to me.¬†I did this pen and ink when I was living on Key Biscayne in the 90’s. The¬†shells were collected over many visits to Sanibel Island, a shelling paradise on the west coast of Florida.

los cayos
Pic taken thru the frame/glass,¬†no flash…

Ciao! Coco