Helens Closet York Pinafore

I am really back to sewing! I bought Helen’s pinafore pattern way back in the spring, just waiting to wear in cooler weather. Today, with a short sleeve tee, but I have every intention of styling it with a black long-sleeve tee and black leggings. Maybe boots!

There is something about this pattern, it just says fun and wear me.

Sewing notes – well, a bunch:

  • I sewed View A, the deep neckline, in size 8. The pattern has generous ease, and I did not want a loosey-goosey look. Size 8 is perfect for me (5’7″, 33″ bust, 31″ waist, 34″ hips, 128 lbs).
  • Basic Changes: the pattern has two lengthen/shorten lines in the bodice. I raised each one by 1/2″. I did not want the neckline cutting across my bust apex, or the waistline hanging below my waist.
  • More: I added a button placket to the front and drafted neckline/pocket facings. My intention was to stabilize the garment, so it would not be loose and unstructured. I think these adjustments work really well.
  • The button placket is simple. I added 2″ to the CF and used it to create the placket and self-facing. The plackets have Pellon SF101 woven fusible interfacing to give them weight and structure. I sewed the buttonholes, but I did not open them. The dress just pulls over the head, so I sewed the buttons through both plackets.
  • And yes, I pattern-matched the fabric. Wiggling eyes… This is Robert Kaufman Peacock Balboa linen (55% linen/45% cotton), 43″ wide, from Fabric.com. I am in love with the Balboa line. I cut the pattern on the fold, 2.5 yards.

Just pics:

Ciao! coco

Vogue 1315 Knit dress revival

Oh, it feels so good to be sewing again! Not costumes or gifts, but, yes, selfish sewing 🙂

And this is a true revival – I made this dress way back in 2013, loved it, put on weight, lost weight, let my hair go white, and now it’s back. I’m just glad I kept the pattern!

This dress has delightful pockets, really stunning and beautifully drafted. Although the construction is much like a puzzle, the instructions are clear, and everything works out in the end.

Fabric: olive green heather cotton/spandex jersey from Girl Charlee. It’s a 10 oz. midweight knit and perfect for a dress.

Sewing the bodice is much the same as sewing a tee shirt. I admit, though, that I don’t use the double-layer funky neck band that comes with the pattern. Mine is simply bound with 1 3/4″ wide fabric cut across the stretch of the knit.

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 10 (my 2013 version was size 14, primarily driven by my bust measurement, pre-removal of breast implants. Happy day, that decision).
  • I managed the dress with only 2 yards of 55″ wide fabric, nothing left over but plenty yardage for the pattern.
  • The dress is quite short, so I added 5″ to the length of the skirt and used a 3/4″ hem allowance.
  • Edited to include: And I reworked the front neckline using the Grainline Studio Lark tee. Raised it a couple inches. Thank you, Becky, for noting this is your comment!
  • No more changes!

Photo notes:

  • It’s 58 degrees outside and I was freezing! Like those porch flip-flops?
  • I have a huge 14’w x 24’l screen porch that is largely empty but has all new Florida-bug proof screening. I bought 4 Christmas cactus because they are available now, and I was gifted my first orchid for Christmas.
  • Missing from my furniture shipment: my metal plant shelf unit and my watering can 🙂

Happy New Year!! Bye for now, Coco

Tessuti Lisa modifacation – gathered hemline

I’m not hiding on purpose! but this is the only corner of my new yard that has anything botanicals at all! This winter and in the spring I’ll be on a mission to change that.

I am very used to spare soil and thin grass at my home in Weston. It was built on fill. Here, my grass is deep, luxuriant, and just beautiful. I also have a wonderful grounds keeper, who also tends my son’s house. I’ve gotten in touch with a nursery that has things like strawberry guava and gem magnolia trees.

Back to the dress! In my previous post, I despaired of insufficient yardage to put a ruffled hem on this dress. And I have more fabric coming. Meanwhile I did have enough yardage to do this delightful polka dot version in tencel chambray from Cali Fabrics.

It is so nice to wear and swan around the house! I used Lisa’s guidelines on her blog blog post to decide on the length of the skirt and depth of the ruffle.

Just a few sewing notes:

  • Sewing the dress is pretty staightforward. Now – that ruffle. Mine is about 1.6 x the bottom width of the skirt. Of course I halve and quarter the skirt and ruffle. But being impatient with slippery pins, I also baste the two pieces together at the half/quarter points. This way I am not kerflunked by the fabric moving around.
  • After sewing the pieces, I do a neaten job with my serger.

This is a house dress, comfortable but with a little fun.

Ciao! Coco

Tessuti Lisa Dress – wild horses

It’s official, I’m moved in, unpacked, decorated, cleaned, and sewing 🙂

I think I’ve ignored this pattern because it is so similar to the Grainline Felix dress and a few others in my inventory. But I recently came across this adorable version, went on to read the Tessuti blog post, and love it.

Unfortunately, when I ordered my fabric from Cali Fabrics, I forgot to add yardage to make the ruffle. That has been corrected, and I’ll be receiving an additional yard in a couple days. Meanwhile, I sewed the dress, hemmed it, and am ready to make that ruffle adjustment.

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size small based on my bust measurement, and added 3″ to the hemline based on my height (5’8″).
  • I didn’t care for the rather high round neckline, so I changed it 🙂 I drafted and interfaced 2.5″ wide facings and attached them with a 1/2″ seam allowance. This lowers the neckline quite a bit and facilitates some pretty topstitching detail.
  • Those buttonholes are not opened! Since I can pull this dress over my head, the buttons are simply attached through both fronts.
  • Based on reviews by other sewists, I raised the underarm by 1/2″ – worked great, and I recommend this adjustment to avoid lingerie peek-a-boo. Whatever!
  • The Tessuti pocket construction didn’t suit me either, so I fashioned my own pockets (a bit wider and more rounded) and attached them in the ‘conventional’ way for side seam pockets. More detail – I sewed them to the front to prevent pocket flap. Pics below: (1) basting the finished pocket in place, (2) an outside view, and (3) topstitched using the basting stitches as a sewing guide.
  • So picky…I think the suggested double-topstitched finish on the seams is overkill and is likely to distort light fabrics. I serged my seam allowances, pressed them open, and topstitched them.

I love this high-low waistline!

Fun project, a kicky little dress. I’ll be back soon with that ruffle in place.

Bye for now! Coco

McCalls 7969 transitional dress

I’m still here! but a bit challenged on the sewing front. I’m working on my lightweight Brother machine, on a coffee table. But I’m so in love with sewing, all things are possible.

I don’t often shop patterns at JoAnn, but without my pattern inventory and printer at hand, I’ve been perusing the catalogs for things I can sew with limited resources. This cute dress caught my eye right away. I love the sleeves on View A!

I also really like the fabric in the envelope pic. Staying with the vibe, I chose a tropical aviary print in 100% cotton, again from JoAnn.

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size Medium, with just a few design and fit adjustments.
  • My first change was to add 4″ to the length of the skirt. With a 1 3/4″ hem allowance, it ended up in just the right place. BTW, I really like a deep hem in cotton fabric, for skirt or sleeve. The weight makes the fabric hang so nicely.
  • The neckline is very low! I increased the bodice crossover until I was happy with the depth of the v-neck. This adjustment also narrows the front bodice silhouette, which adds a little shaping.
  • My other ‘big’ change was to the sleeve, which was rather voluminous and dipped almost to my wrist on the back side.

The resulting sleeve is fun and super comfortable, without being over the top.

On the home front, I’m closing on my new house on October 7! I’m so ready to move in 🙂

Bye for now, Coco