Burnside Bibs to paper-bag pants

I loved my Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs when I made them (here), but subsequently found I wasn’t wearing them. In fact, I only wore them once – mostly because the straps/belt were so fiddly and not particularly comfortable.

The pants portion, however, is terrific – great big pockets and a baggy silhouette. Really cute. So I decided to do an experiment, i.e., the paper-bag-waist-pants conversion..

Sewing notes – 4 easy steps:

  • Removed the bib 3/8″ above the waistband.
  • Opened the top of the back waistband.
  • Turned in the edges, front and back, and topstitched them to close.
  • The last step was to stitch across the back to form a casing. The stitching is in line with the front waistband – together they form a casing for elastic.

Since I had those nice long drawstrings, I put the narrow sections together for an additional option!

I like these pants so much that I’m planning another pair, maybe not paper-bag, but with a wide waistband.

Bye for now! Coco

New diet – vegan plus, over the moon, I’m trying!

Embarking on a new nutrition course is always challenging. But look how appetizing my new chop bowl looks!

Being proactive, of course, I’ve done some research on how to balance my diet and add nutrients that might help my recent carotid turbulence diagnosis.

To begin – I’ve been eating without beef, pork, chicken, turkey for a couple years. In addition to which, I gave up carbohydrates (potatoes, pasta, rice, etc.). And sugar!! Not easy – I like ice cream as much as the next guy.

But perhaps I’ve been complacent. As thin as I am, things are not going as well as I thought they might. Ref, the carotid turbulence. Out of nowhere…

I spent some time looking through my pantry, and I found that my peanut butter (protein) and my thin-sliced bread (only 40 calories, no fat or cholesteral, format for my tomato and peanut butter sandwiches) and reduced-fat mayonnaise may not be all that great. And, OK, I’ve been eating 6 eggs a week, I just love egg salad.

After a lot of research, here’s what I’m trying. I ‘m making ‘chop’ bowls with lots of good stuff, no carbs, a bit of protein. And some ingredients that combat cholesteral production and adhesion in veins. Those tomato lycopenes and beet betains are intriguing to say the least. Plus it happens that I love beets.

Ingredients: One lean chicken breast for protein, 1/2 cup beets, 1/4 cup carrots, 2 plum tomatoes, 1/4″ vidalia onion, 1/2 cucumber, 1.5 cup cooked quinoa.

I don’t get hungry before midday so I can prep this before my afternoon nap and munch away for the rest of the day 🙂

Snacks? Carrots and mandarins. I like a little something by me at night while I’m reading. Indulgence…pretzels.

Anyone else going to these extremes? And please, take me out for pan pizza.

Ciao – Coco

Grainline Alder – Mandarin blouse muslin

Muslin time! I’ve been thinking about drafting a mandarin collar blouse for 8 years – ever since I saw a young woman in the dentist office wearing a white sleeveless version over jeans. It was so fresh and feminine.

I’m right in the middle of making a dress, but decided to stop and get started on the blouse.

My starting point was the beautiful Grainline Alder shirtdress. It’s so well-drafted and lends itself to many variations.

Some time ago, Jen posted a tutorial on a band collar option, using just the collar stand. Brilliant!

Sewing notes:

  • I started with the size 8, with a few tweaks to accommodate my hollow chest and thin neck.
  • The collar stand – I wanted it a bit higher with a fuller curve at the front edge. And no button.

I’m so pleased with the result!

  • Impossible to see on this print, I also added 2.5″ to width of the back piece, gathered into the yoke. I just like the added ease provided by this small change and have incorporated it in all my Alder shirtdress versions.
  • This muslin has a CB of 25″, but I’m planning to narrow this hem and lengthen future versions to 26.5″
  • Miscellaneous: my fabric is cotton voile from Fabric Mart. To ensure that the collar would not be floppy, I interfaced it with midweight non-woven interfacing. And I used cotton broadcloth to interface the front button bands.
  • I also drafted 2″ wide facings for the neckline, front and back, to add stability around the collar seam.

Great project, soon to be sewn in white fabric.

Parting note: You guys are the best. I am so uplifted by all the thoughtful comments on my last post. I really do feel that I have a team of friends supporting me. Thank you 🙂 Coco

Up to the challenge

I’ve been thinking about this all day. I had my annual physical this morning, and I have a new finding. It blew me away, maybe, but it’s getting better with the passing hours. Carotid turbulence. I’m getting bilateral carotid ultrasounds next week, and I choose to think that I’m being proactive in preventing a TIA or stroke. Anyone else?

Gradually, over the last 10 years, I’ve come to consider my body as a machine. Leave it alone, don’t tend it, and it just crumbles away. Honestly, all the discovery and maintenance can be wearing. Of course I can feel down. But – I’m not undone!

Ciao – Coco

p.s. I’m back in the Loft. Atelier Sud just felt like someone else’s blog. Coco’s Loft is home 🙂

Sneeze away – Handkerchief hem trio

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Smug mug… I’ve been working on three dresses over the last couple weeks, each one a variation of the Simplicity 8640 Handkerchief Hem dress. No surprise – I changed up the hem to be more exaggerated, and I drafted a V-neck option as well!


A peek back at my original version of S8640, sewn to the pattern, no changes:


And the new draft, ready for the summer season:

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Fabric: Rayon Bandana Print Voile, Fabric Mart

Sewing notes:

  • I added 10″ to the length of View B/C, and drafted a ‘real’ handkerchief hemline.
  • And I used the neckline from Style Arc Adeline to draft a V-neckline.

S8640 mods

More pics!

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Fabric: Cotton Dot Clusters Print Voile, Fabric Mart

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paisley 1
Fabric: Rayon Paisley Challis, Fabric Mart

paisley 2

Parting shot – my new driving glasses (Ray Ban)!

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Ciao! Coco