Cali Faye Gardenia tunic

I do love this pattern from Cali Faye. It’s delightful, lots of detail, easy to sew, adaptable!

I cannot find line art, but here is an envelope pic:

It has a raised front, dipped back, slightly opened bracelet sleeves, just delightful.

OK, earlier makes, in a larger size since I first sewed this several years ago, here.

My latest inspiration, to make a tunic to wear over jeans and so on. It’s so cute!

Sewing notes:

  • I’m 5’7″, bust 34″ on a good day, so I sew a size Medium.
  • Long ago I took a 1/4″ dart in the neckline, each side, to thwart neckline gap on my flat chest.
  • And I moved my CB fold over 1/4″ over for the same reason. These adjustments are on my pattern pieces, which lets me cut this out without consternation.
  • And also long ago, I drew an alternate flattened front bodice to eliminate the ‘smile’ upper bodice seaming, This version has a one piece upper front bodice. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the bodice detail, because I do, but some midweight cotton/lycra jerseys don’t love it. 🙂
  • Fabric is Girl Charlee, cotton/lycra jersey, about 2.25 yd.
  • The length – well, I aimed for 29″ on the center back, plus 1.25″ for the hem allowance.

So cute!

Love this, and I’m planning a repeat in a deep grey heathered jersey. I really need warm tops, not sleeveless, for mid-winter wear. Have you adapted a dress to a tunic? Seems so logical, this was a great project.

Bye for now, Coco

Flamingo Gardenia Dress


A few weeks ago, I posted my pineapples Cali Faye Gardenia Dress (here), which I love, and I mentioned I needed one in flamingos. I was being serious! A little searching, and I found this cute flamingo cotton knit on Girl Charlee.

Here’s a look at the pattern (which I’ve been making since 2014). Sorry, there’s not a single pic of the line art anywhere, but the Cali Faye site has more examples (here).


Without the line art, with only black fabric examples, it’s difficult to see the beautiful little sweetheart yoke on the front bodice. When I first sewed this pattern, the yoke kind of scared me, because it might be a beastie to sew in a knit fabric. But, it’s not. Just be sure to follow the guidelines for for the fabric: ‘Sturdy, one directional stretch knits with no more than 25% stretch and with a full 100% recovery work best for this project’.

Flamingo bodice

Cute fantail too…


This dress is so easy to wear, it’s forgiving of just about everything. And it fulfills my flamingo dream. I do think I made this one just a little too long…easily fixed.


A few sewing notes:

  • My 2017 versions are all size Medium.
  • I dropped the front bodice edge by 3/4″ at center front, and redrew the curved edge. As noted in my 2014 post (here), the higher seam would be great for a baby bump, but I like it a bit lower for myself.
  • The side seam of the bodice is plenty long enough to handle a bust dart if one is preferred.
  • It’s easy to draw the front bodice without the yoke, and doing so would accommodate all those lovely knits that have more stretch to them. I suggest cutting the two pieces from original design in scrap fabric, sewing and pressing the yoke seam, then using the constructed bodice to draft a new pattern piece. E.g., and please ignore my masking tape. It has nothing to do with the drafting, I just didn’t have any clear tape at hand.

bodice nber 2

Bopping along, I decided to reuse a Dixie DIY Ballet Dress that I made way back in early 2016, in a favorite cotton/spandex jersey, also from Girl Charlee. It has been way too big for me since January, and I’ve missed wearing it. In a lightbulb moment this week, I reshaped the bodice, cut a new skirt, and, ta da, another Gardenia!


Of course, it doesn’t have the front yoke feature, since I didn’t take the Ballet Dress completely apart. But it’s so cute!


It’s also a little shorter than my flamingo version – I like this length better.

Taking one’s own photos tends to generate some weird pics. Like this one, caused by a thread caught on my foot. I have threads everywhere in my house, despite my extraordinary brilliant and incomparable housekeeping…


Ciao! Coco

Cali Faye Gardenia Dress – Pineapples!


Well, fiddly-dee… No more spam problems (thank you, WordPress). Let’s do some sewing!

I love love this pineapple print from Girl Charlee. So much that I was willing to try a cotton/poly blend (poly is a bad word around here, unless it’s ITY or thread). And I must say, it was easy to launder and to sew. I’m very happy with it. Perhaps I’ve been too hard on poly 🙂

How cute is this print!

front waist

And what is summer without things like flamingos,


and pineapple?

I’ve sewn this pattern so many times, but I had to re-print it and draft a smaller size for this version. Happiness…I’ve lost almost 40 pounds since October!! Side benefit: sewing things that fit me now.



Back to the pattern, which I really like. I’ve made it so many times, both short and maxi versions. Cute dress, lots of sleeve options, kind of the perfect knit dress for summer. I can’t find a pic of the line art, but here’s a link to the pattern (here.) 

I want those shoes!

The front – slightly raised, and the back is raised as well. I really appreciate a little seam play – this pattern would have been blah without it.

back waist

Sewing notes – well, none. I sewed the size Small, and just added 3″ to the length. I’m 5’7″, and the additional length was mostly to get the dress to a length commensurate with my age (ha!).


I’m so happy with this dress. Hello, summer, I’m with you…


OK, those other things, like flamingos – I’m looking for the fabric!

Ciao – Coco





Cali Faye Gardenia Dress – 3 times!

Oh, it feels so good to sew and take pictures and write a blog post!!
First, thank you all for the lovely comments on Ashley and Darrin’s engagement. They are so excited. And her ring is exquisite 🙂 The wedding date is now February 21, firm, which is nice. More time to enjoy the engagement feelings and activities.
Gosh, I’ve been sort of absent for a while. But recovering from being unwell for 6 months has taken some time and lots of rest. But I’m so much better. Feels so good.
Meanwhile, what a super cute dress. I found this on Kollabora, just zipping along looking at projects. And ordered the PDF download right away (there is a version for girls as well). I can’t find a line art pic anywhere, so I’ll try to describe: the front bodice is two-piece, with a slight sweetheart seam below the neckline and a raised front curve. The back bodice has a dipped curve ending just around the waistline. And the dress has nice 3/4 length sleeves.

The bust conundrum:

Incredibly for any pattern, this one comes in sizes XXS – XXL – but that is a little misleading 🙂 The associated bust range is 30″ – 39.5″.  Whose bust – that of the dress, my bust? What size to use? A clue from Cali Faye: the model’s bust is 33.5″, and she is wearing a size Small, bust 31.5″. OK, I followed suit. My bust is 37.5″, so I drafted the size Large, bust 36″. And it worked – but I do wish pattern makers could be specific on this point.

(Before I forget, for reference, I’m 5’7 1/2″ and wear a size 14/40 just about all the time).

This mid-weight cotton/spandex from Girl Charlee (love, love) is a great weight for this dress. I only made two changes changes on this first version:

  • Added an inch to the skirt length.
  • Lowered the curve of the front bodice edge by 1″ at center front, cured out to the side seams. It would be great for a baby bump the other way, but IMHO, looks nicer a little lower.
I was very surprised that the bodice, front and back, was long enough for me. I am accustomed to adding 1.5″ inches for my height – might be a caution for short waists…


I love this dress! While in JoAnn’s ages ago, I found a piece of camo cotton/lycra knit (and haven’t seen it since, in the store or online). And I’ve wanted to sew it ever since Angela of Collected Yarns made her camo maxi in August. Voila!

On this version I removed the sweetheart seam from the front bodice, drafting it as one easy piece, and used elbow length sleeves.
And now it’s jingle bells time! Again from Girl Charlee, a cotton/poly knit.


This was fun. Ciao! Coco