My version of planning!

Hmmm. I really don’t plan beyond 1 or 2 projects, and I seldom have more than 2 or 3 pieces of fabric in my stash. I tend to sew multiples of a pattern before moving on to new territory, a habit that sometimes leaves me feeling burnt out. When this happens, I invariably start browsing patterns, and I even cruise my own blog for inspiration. It’s amazing how many patterns I’ve made and liked and haven’t repeated in a while.

First up – The Grainline Lark Tee. I decided to try the scoop neckline version. I’ve had the Lark since its release, but I’ve only sewn the crew neck! For this muslin, having a 2-yard rayon jersey remnant, I drafted a dress version as well (just longer and a bit A-line).

Great neckline and the band fits perfectly!

I didn’t really model this, as it was meant to be a nightie. But I did add a belt, and, surprise, rather cute!

Second – I ordered four Big 4 patterns, something I seldom do these days, choosing Indie patterns most of the time. But these will be great!

Found on Etsy
From Something Delightful
From Something Delightful

I’ve sewn all three of the above in the past, but I need a fresh pattern – I’m smaller than I was way back then. Last, a new pattern that I’ve had on my wishlist for ages and just found on Etsy this week! Views A, B, and C have faux wrap skirts, yay!

I have plenty of black jersey to do a muslin, but also ordered fabric for the dress – Girl Charlee’s classic pineapple print knit, used several years ago in a Cali Faye Gardenia dress:

I’ve been watching the blue jays attack a large hawk that’s been terrorizing the neighborhood bird population. It’s high season for mating and nesting in our dense tree canopy here. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even flinch, but I hope Mr. Hawk returns to his usual turf soon.

Bye for now, Coco

Wandering off-grid to a sewing tip…

Time for summer sewing, and I’ve been refreshing my maxi dress and tee shirt inventory. Wow, I managed to justify all that new fabric in just one sentence!

A lot of the patterns I’m sewing have extended shoulders rather than being sleeved or sleeveless.

I like the look!

And I’ve been thinking about my first encounter with an extended shoulder. When I tried to hem the armhole, a simple fold and topstitch, I couldn’t get the hem allowance to fit inside the opening! It just wasn’t drafted correctly for a turned hem.

Enter an easy re-draft. My example is the Sinclair Cachet Tee, a favorite for fit and silhouette, but it’s just one of many patterns that I’ve adjusted.

Here’s a look at the shoulder. On the left, the original draft, and on the right, the fix:

The underarm approach is similar:

And a look at the original and final draft of the armhole edges:

Other examples, both of these are woven fabrics:

Serendipity Studios Diane Kimono Dress
Butterick 6684 Pussy Bow Blouse

If you managed to get to this point, I hope you’re not sorry you read this! BTW, bet you noticed how you can change the hem allowance on just about anything to make it fit.

Bye for now! Coco

Spontaneous December sewing plan


Sometimes I think the best anti-pandemic strategy is an outrageous stash of fabric. In line with that, yes, I am lurking Black Friday sales 🙂 My stash is beyond pitiful, like, nothing. Something I can rectify given the help of refund checks from my house closing in Weston, over a year ago!

Last week I visited the much-loved and appreciated, and placed a nice order. I’ve never sewn with much of a plan, I just lie in bed and get hit with an inspiration. So, upcoming:

A Deer & Doe Plantain Tee and Megan Nielson Virginia Leggings combo.

Another Style Arc Elani Tunic ( see last post) , in Robert Kaufman Driftless Insects linen:

And a pattern I’ve had for a couple years, a Katherine Tilton knit jacket, B6253 (search Ebay), with loads of detail, in a mid-weight sweatshirt fleece:

I hope you are all well, staying safe, and embracing hope and each other. Coco

Butterick 5504 linen pants

OK, setting a record, 2 posts in 2 days. But you guys are the best, all the comments, best wishes, and virtual hugs on my last post…right back at you. It really made realize that I’m not the only one trying to redefine my life to things as they are. You’re great.

The pants I mentioned on my post are these, a pattern I love, taken to a full length.

The fit is so nice, even in the back, with the elastic waist. Sewing notes:

  • These are a straight size Medium, with 6″ added for the longer length.
  • The fabric is Robert Kaufman Essex yarn-dyed linen in taupe. Yes, it’s very gold, not taupe at all.
  • I turned the waistband 2″, instead of 1 5/8″, to raise the crotch a tad. I’m 5′ 7.5″, and found I needed this adjustment. A happy change, since my 1 1/4″ non-roll elastic fits perfectly in the casing. BTW, the pattern calls for a drawstring, not elastic, but front-tied drawstrings are not my style 🙂
  • On the inside, I serged all my seams, it makes for such a nice finish on linen.
  • I double-stitch and serge all my crotch seams, woven or knit. If you open the crotch curve as you serge, you’ll get all the flexibility you need in the seam.

Cute pattern! I love the pockets, just a little different and so very easy to sew.

So, a sneak peek at the jacket that goes-with, my next blog post. Ciao! Coco

Butterick 5533 in pink fleece – love

So many variations, I love this pattern. And this early winter I wanted something pink!

The line art:

For this one, I used the body and just let myself go.

Before I go further, this is based on View B neckline, View A yoke, and the basic body of the jacket. More below.

I was after a zip-front with a stand-up collar, mostly because I was using fleece. Kind of a quasi-athletic jacket with lots of ease and so on. And lots of detail and fun stuff.

A challenge? yes, but I did decide that I was willing to sacrifice this fabric if nothing worked 🙂

Sewing notes:

  • As noted, my starting point was Butterick 5533, which I’ve made in many fabrics with a bunch of fun twists.
  • I sewed the View B collar, which is pretty straight forward. The pattern uses the same front and back for either collar selection.
  • The back is loosely based on View A, but I removed a lot of the width and just gathered the skirt fabric under the yoke.
  • The pockets, well, I rounded the bottom edge. Not a big change, but more interesting. I keep a folder of pockets, cowls, bowties, and so on, so this shape was borrowed. I also lined them, as I don’t want to stuff in my hands and distort the fabric – this is fleece!
  • The biggest change: I decided to put in a separating zipper, instead of using a button front. So I drafted a new front with a 5/8 seam allowance at the center front. And I did the same to the front facing. This is an easy change, do not be afraid to do this, on any pattern! I ran the zipper about 1″ into the collar to provide stabilization and continuity to the entire vision I had. This is a #10 30″ zipper from Wawak.
Basting prep for defining the inserted zipper.
  • I used lots of topstitching. Fleece loves topstitching definition, and the additional threads add stability to the lines of the fabric and garment. Here is the beautiful cuff design (on the pattern), with lots of detail.

Thoughts on sewing fleece:

  • I just put this jacket in the dryer for a lint-catching tumble. And I vacumned and dusted my entire house. Everything I wore while making this is in the wash, pink lint everywhere, little tiny pieces, aarrgh. Almost sneezing. Lesson, just relax and go with it, when sewing fleece or fur (I cut out fur outside in my carport!!)
  • Fleece has a lot of mechanical stretch in all directions and on the bias. Here’s how I pinned the seams – but I also staystiched the neckline, front edge, etc., etc., to combat distortion. I used a long stitch and actually increased the upper thread tension to ensure that the stitches and fabric sides had an even tension. The best approach, of course, is to experiment with your fabric, across the bias, horizontal, vertical, on both your sewing machine and your serger. Seems like a lot, but it’s a bespoke and custom garment, right? One of a kind…

I really love this jacket, even though I’m done with pink and fleece 🙂

Ciao, Coco

Butterick 5533 leopard spot fleece jacket

Our temperature dropped into the 50’s Saturday night, which, in Florida, means fleece jacket gratification!

I made this leopard version of B5533 last spring, and I’ve waited until now to wear it 🙂 It’s simply one of my favorite jacket patterns (marigold fleece version here).

Photographs of the details are difficult in this print, but I’ll give it a try.

  • The jacket is a combination of view A (front and collar) and View B (back and pockets).
  • I drafted a front yoke to add topstitching interest and to break up the visual length of the fabric. This is fleece – no way will I try buttonholes in fleece. For closure, I used #4 snaps with buttons on the outside right front.
  • My collar points are rounded, which IMHO adds a softer and more elegant aspect around the face.
  • The view B back is so pretty, I love the deeply curved inset.
Yoke lining in calico

I also made some small fitting adjustments, described in my marigold post.

Love it! Today I’m waiting for house painters to arrive, the next big step for the house. I just had a call from Lowes to advise me that my refrigerator, promised for tomorrow, is delayed until the end of November (mine has a leaky drip pan). That’s OK, I’m so happy here in my new pad.

Ciao! Coco

Butterick 6251 jacket in marigold


A little play time – I know I get enthusiastic about things I love, but I adore this jacket!

It happened that I had two pieces of marigold cotton sweatshirt fleece from two different vendors. They are identical, which means I probably have a pair of PJ bottoms in my future, using the remnants.

I’ve made this pattern before in red fleece (here), and it’s a favorite.

B6251 line art




My original inspiration was a pic taken by Shams on her trip with the Tilton sisters to Paris. Stunning. I haven’t made it in a long version, but really really like to do it 🙂







Back to my jacket! Great sleek vibe, I love wearing it with the collar turned up.




Sewing notes:

  • Sewed View A, which has an attached collar, and I used the changes I made on my first version.
  • Added 2″ to the length.
  • Dropped the front curved edge about 1 3/4″ and trued it back into the curve of the hem.
  • Added 1 1/2″ to the sleeve length.
  • Made curved bottom pockets. This pic shows the prepped pocket – seam allowances clipped at the curve, basted, and ready to be sewn on the jacket.

basted pocket

  • Topstitching detail on the front. Sweatshirt fleece just invites a bit of art.


  • A tip – clip out the seam allowance at the side hem before turning it. I like to reduce seam bulk at every opportunity!

  • And one more tip. I laundered the fabric twice, and I still had some fleece pills on the inside of the fabric. Nothing a quick de-fuzz couldn’t fix once I was finished sewing:-)

de fuzz

Truth time – this is by far my favorite of my two marigold jackets. I’m thinking navy fleece, perhaps that long version…

Bye for now – Coco