More gifts – a travel jewelry wallet


Brrr…baby, it’s cold outside! What a snow storm, I hope everyone is OK and not stressed by it. Here in deep south Florida, it’s only 63 degrees as I write – and it’s going down to 43 tonight and tomorrow night. My heat will be on as soon as the house gets chilly 🙂

Gifts! I don’t remember what triggered this project, but it was a lot of fun. I think most women carry their jewelry in their handbag when they travel. How about a travel jewelry wallet to keep those goodies safe and protected.


Open, this measures 7 5/8″ wide and 9 7/8″ long. Closed, it’s only 3 1/2″ long! I used size 4 snaps for the closure, instead of the usual ties, because ties would come undone in a jiffy in the bottom of a bag.


So – the construction. I did a muslin of this wallet with old zippers and remnants, and I really learned a lot. Most important lesson – to cut everything a bit larger than is necessary, because things get off-square pretty quickly when 3 zippers are being added.

How I cut the four pieces that form the inside zippered pockets:

Cutting layoutIn addition I cut the shell fabric, fusible fleece, and pocket lining at 8 1/4″ wide and 10 1/4″ long. And a 38″-long bias binding strip, 1 1/2″  wide.

The fleece is fused to the shell and quilted diagonally with 1 1/4″ spacing. I like using the quilters chalk pencil, because the chalk pretty much falls off after the quilting. Any remnants can be brushed off.


I used 9″ long zippers – there’s no need for a new stopper at the top because it gets stitched in place a couple times.


Here’s a view with all pieces (shell, lining, and inside) stacked, basted together, trimmed, and ready for binding:


I sewed the binding in place on the inside, using mitered corners, then turned it and sewed it by hand on the outside.



Ta dum! I like this so much that I want one for myself!!


Ciao! Coco

I’ve never done this before!


OK, many of you will laugh at me. I’m cleaning my oven – the ‘self clean’ thingie.

Backstory: Back in early November, I had a medical emergency at home, the ambulance came, and I told them I thought my oven was on (I was making toast).

What a great EMT team. They turned off my oven, locked up my house, got my wallet and keys, and took me off.

Four days in the hospital and, then home. After a few days I went to make toast, and what a horrible oven disaster, soot and so on everywhere.

Finally I’m getting it all cleaned up.

But I’m so nervous! I’ve never used the self-clean on my oven before. Eighteen years, and, because I really don’t cook, I just never needed to do it.

Two hours to go! and I hope the result is stupendous.

Ciao! Coco

Pants and jackets…


It’s double-oh early on Cyber Monday! But I think I’ve already contributed all I can to the Black Friday and small business Saturday sales, so I’ll blog to keep myself out of trouble 🙂

I finished my Burda peplum jacket – it was intended as a toile, because I used remnants of a corded denim, but it’s definitely wearable. Great jacket…more details on my first post, here.


line art
Burda Style Collarless Peplum Jacket 11/2016 #125


I’m planning a second version in black ponte, with long sleeves. A stable fabric with a little weight is perfect for this pattern (imagine a brocade – would be stunning).

The jacket is styled with wide leg pants done in ITY knit, a fun abstract print in grey, white, and black.


Feeling brave, I used V9217, a Kathryn Brenne pattern that’s actually intended for woven fabrics (and I’ve sewn 3, first post is here). I love the lines and the flat front on the waistband. And it worked great in ITY!


I used a straight hem and the slanted pocket from the Pattern Emporium Harem Pants. I use this pocket all the time, because it has a 1-piece pocket bag and doesn’t gape open at the hips.

Fabric: Monochrome Printed ITY, Fabric Wholesale Direct


Last but not least, I also sewed a new Tessuti Megan Cardigan in grey ponte from Fabric Mart.



I made a black ponte version back in August, and at the time, I thought it might be a little small. But that was really my mind working on me – I love wearing it.


As with my first version, I raised the hemline by 4″, and used a 1″ wide band (the original band is quite narrow).


This was all fun sewing, and I have outfits!

Bye for now – Coco

M6531 Unlined Parka – so much fun…


And this really was a fun project. I broke a few personal barriers – the color, the fabric, the actual utility of doing a parka. At the end, I’m really happy…

I’ve had M6531 for at least 3 years. I just like the design and the idea that it’s unlined. Living in Florida, I really cannot use a lined jacket or coat. But, I do get chilly. Not just in winter, but simply going into the grocery store or a restaurant.

line artEvery review I’ve read has been positive. People like sewing it, and they like wearing it.

I’m with them! Pics with the collar/zip all the way up…



Before I go much further, some notes on what I changed, what worked for me:

  • I sewed the size Medium. Perfect.
  • I used cotton ripstop fabric from I love it. I pre-laundered it twice, and it just gets softer with use, and it’s cotton!
  • The parka has a lot of ‘traditional’ details. I chose not to use most of them. I used a front zip without a right-side overlap band. And did not use any buttons anywhere.


  • I also did not used a cuffed sleeve. Mine is lengthened a bit to accommodate the lost length, and it’s sewn with a simple hem. I’m just not fussy.
  • I designed my own pockets (I did not like the options in the pattern, which I think are too small and uninteresting, plus I really do not like bellows pockets or fly-away pocket flaps). Mine is big and has an inverted center pleat, topped with a band, and curved bottom corners.


Other notes:

  • I based my jacket on a combo of View C and D. And I redrafted the front and back hems to be on an even horizontal.
  • To be sure my front zipper was long enough, I ordered a 36″ zipper from It’s a plastic #5 separating zipper. It was about 1″ too long, but was easily adjusted at the top. The pic below shows the zipper, and the 325 cord/cord stoppers that I ordered from (great site…it can be hard to find 325 cord in colors). All of these notions were described as ‘royal blue’, and, amazingly, they all worked with the fabric and each other. Faith…


  • Although I ordered enough cord and cord stoppers to run it through the hemline, I decided not to do it. I like the simplicity without it.

So – more pics!



And the cutest Rocket Dog sneakers ever…


I’m jazzed. This might show up again in dragonfruit pink  or purple 🙂 Ciao – Coco

Working on a cropped jacket – love this!

Collarless Peplum Jacket 11/2016 #125 

I don’t usually open with a photo of an inspiration piece – but this one got me. I found it a few days ago on Burda Style, and fell for it.  I should spend more time cruising Burda Style. I really enjoy their patterns, which are rich in details, trendy, nicely drafted, and really affordable. Since I like to tape paper together, for whatever reason 🙂 their PDF patterns are right up my alley. BTW, the jacket on the left is done in jacquard, the one on the right in ‘shimmered’ jersey (which I now need).

This pattern is only 15 printed pages – the peplum is a rectangle, for which dimensions are given. Check it out! A two-part sleeve, flat-fitted band collar, interesting peplum, darted bodice, and a gorgeous 2-part back yoke

line artThe line art really doesn’t do the pattern justice, but the inspiration photos do. I have been working on a muslin in corded denim, something of which I had remnants, for a couple days.

I loved everything until I got to the fit of the sleeve, which is very gathered in the sleeve cap and somewhat narrow. So I stopped there.

What really worked:

  • First, the bodice and its components fit perfectly. I sewed the size 38, with no changes.
  • The collar is beautiful. It’s not a stand-up mandarin collar. It’s fitted and and lays down perfectly. Isn’t this pretty!? I’m so happy to find this, because collars and standing neck bands typically bug me so much. This one feels great.


  • An unexpected approach to the collar – the inside collar is attached to the facing, and the outside collar is attached to the neckline. A bit of sewing, and one has a perfectly smooth finish at the front edge. No lumps, bumps, or worry about getting the curved seam and facing to meld. I’m going to use this approach every time I can. Kudos to Burda, whose instructions tend to be minimal, but still highlight something like this construction detail.
  • To make life easy and carefree, I made a little template of the collar front along the stitching lines, and I used a Frixion pen transfer them for perfectomundo curved seams…


  • Next up – I love love love this back yoke. What a stunning deeply-curved seam…


I’ll be using this in tops, cardi’s, jackets, and coats forever.

I sewed the peplum, but didn’t attach it once I decided the sleeve was not for me. Also, the pattern is designed for a lining, but I’m not likely to wear a lined jacket here in Florida. I need flow!

However, bottom line, I really like this pattern, it stimulates my imagination and has so many details that appeal to me. The design can easily be used on the Grainline Tamarack or the Republique du Chiffon Veste Bernadette, both of which I have, for a similar look. My cropped jacket journey is just beginning.

Ciao! Coco