Random Thursday

The lovely print I framed for my bedroom, Stof Maisonette Canvas.

Honestly, I’ve had a lot of ‘fails’ this year, perhaps because I’ve been trying new patterns and indulging in wishful thinking. But it’s spring here in Orlando, and I’m getting a bit more revved to sew. It’s so funny – I have more than enough dresses and pants and tops, but, yes, I enjoy more and different. And I am diligent about donating the garments that leave my closet. We are a big city, and there are always women who need that something to wear – against the cold, for an interview, to wear every day. I focus on One Heart Women and Children. Pre-pandemic I volunteered my time through my church. I miss those uplifting experiences.

Sewing plans! everything is on order, must be patient…

I’ve spent hours looking for a maxi dress with sleeves, no waist seams, long and lovely. And rayon challis for that perfect drape. Pefect for our hot summers.

Etsy Smart Fabrics 

And another summer and all year favorite, a maxi knit dress. McCall 6747 is my TNT. How cute is this print! I don’t usually spend so much on a knit fabric, but it seems that cost avoidance is difficult. More and more, I’ve found that inexpensive jersey knits have a harsh texture and give up color like crazy. So I choose to be realistic.

Art Gallery Luna & Laurel Eye See You

Recent fail…I ordered 4 yards of Shannon waffle cotton for a robe…I love the pattern, with it’s cozy shawl collar. Think flannel…

My fabric was awful. It just balloned out everywhere, not cozy at all. Laundered 3 times, and it persisted.

Shannon Waffle 10 Ounce Cloth

Not deterred, with a $40 piece of fabric on my hands, I cut the robe into pieces and made 8 faceclothes. Here’s a lesson, they are the best faceclothes I’ve ever had! Absorbant, easy to rinse, very cleansing, and quick to dry. So I can recommend this fabric for making those indispensable clothes for your face. My robe pieces were enough for me to make gifts for Christmas. But you can make 8 with 1 yard of this fabric.

So – I’m sitting here waiting on patterns and fabrics! Bye for now – Coco

This and that..

Well, you never know what you’ll get here. It’s Friday, and I think I’ve had all the excitement I need for one week ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a sudden drop in temperatures earlier this week. The result – even with mittens on – I had a huge Reynauds syndrome attack at the grocery, which is always cold. Do you have this unlovely issue? it’s painful, and when I got home I put my hands under running hot water. Ah – better. I keep mittens in my handbag and my car, but it still can get me.

Oh, the drama…. I was looking for a renewal of a medication subscription, but neither I nor CVS could get it going. I turns out that my PCP moved her practice, did not notify me, and, worse, did not respond to my or the CVS renewal request. I have spent hours on this, finding a new PCP and working with my AdventHealth care advocate on getting a refill. It gets worse – I will have to go to a ‘establish new patient’ appointment next week, for which I and/or Medicare will be charged. Even though my prior PCP is part of the AdventHealth network, and before I can even schedule my annual exam. Yes, I’ve submitted feedback. Could someone just transport me back 50 years to when my family doctor really did manage everything, including delivering my babies. I only see ‘specialists’ now, 6 of them. Aarrgghh…

More fun, almost on the same note. I am so cold most of the time, and I always wear a cardigan, even in the house. With time, cotton and cotton blend cardigans get so scratchy and worn. So – I decided to try a new fabric, mostly because I like the color, maybe because I was feeling like ‘why not’. This is Denim Steel Waffle Rayon Spandex Open Knit Fabric from Stylish Fabrics. I love it! I’ve ordered and trashed cotton waffle fabric in the past, it shrank and got contrary, even for baby blankets. So this was a real departure for me.

It laundered beautifully, does not ravel, and did not shrink. And it is incredibly soft. More later when the first cardigan is complete.

Short post, I hope you are well, loved, and looking forward to a nice weekend. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 Fabric.com, 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

Wow – a tale of detergents!


Not my usual post. But I bought Arm and Hammer Sensitive Scent pods on a buy one/get one a few months ago. And I started to notice that my clothing smelled like I had just run a marathon!! It was driving me crazy and into the shower more than once a day. I finally figured out it might be my new detergent.


I’m back to All Free & Clear liquid, not pods, no smell, and I’ll never ever use anything else.


Of course, all my garments went back through the laundry, so compulsive, yes ๐Ÿ™‚ Has this ever happened to you?

Ciao! Coco

Burnout jersey and sticky business…

Have you ever noticed how jersey knits want to cling to pants and skirts? right there where it’s least wanted – on the bum.

I’ve overcome this issue in large part by wearing my jersey tunics with ITY knit bottoms. Nice slippery ITY – nothing clings to it, plus it’s just so comfy to wear. Bonus – just throw it in a suitcase. It doesn’t wrinkle.

But I digress. I’ve been meaning to make a ‘slip’ for my tunics for a long time. Such a simple solution.

I used a poly mesh knit from Fabric Mart, acquired 2 years ago – 8 yards of it! because I planned to line a mother-of-the-bride dress with it. It’s really more of a knit lining than a mesh, and I’ve used quite a bit of it for interfacing knit garments.

At the same time I bought 8 yards of poly/cotton burnout jersey in a beautiful abstract (think Art Nouveau) print. In the end, I used something else entirely for my MOB dress.

But I really wanted to use the burnout jersey and finally got my act together for the needed slip. I used Butterick 5954, View A, as the starting point for the slip, largely because it has the basic silhouette of my tunics.

I simply sewed it together on the serger, put it on Emile, and trimmed away at the armscye and neckline until I had nice muscle shirt lines! The fabric is so stretchy that it was easy to fold in the edges to hem them – no binding needed.

Then on to a B5954 tunic in the burnout jersey…

A few notes on sewing the burnout jersey, which has intimidated me – this is the only piece I’ve purchased:
  • It’s definitely sheer, and it’s not straight-forward to sew because of the thick-and-thin texture.
  • After trying several sizes,I used a size 70 universal needle.
  • I used normal pressure on the presser foot, and I worked with my upper thread tension to achieve a stitch that didn’t look loose on the burnout areas.
  • Finishing the hems – I serged the sleeve and skirt edges to stabilize the fabric, then folded the edge twice and finished it with topstitching. No steam-a-seam tape needed.
  • I think it would be a lovely fabric for a scarf – but I don’t think it would work well with a rolled hem on the serger, because of the varying texture. Has anyone tried it?

I wore white pants for these pics so that the lines of the tunic would show up – in real life I’ll probably wear black or gray.

No cling!

The slip works like a charm.

A side note: I worked on this in Ft. Myers last week, and I managed to get there without any gray thread. So I bopped over to Holly Lobby and picked up a spool of their Sew-ology thread. It worked great, I absolutely could not distinguish between it and the Gutermann I generally use.

Whew! What a project. But I enjoy sewing challenges, and I feel good about conquering the burnout fabric. Meanwhile – it’s almost the weekend. I hope yours is nice and full of sewing ๐Ÿ™‚

Bye for now – Coco

Just couldn’t pass on this…

Source: Professor Pincushion

Do you get itchy to buy some fabric when you’ve been on a fabric fast? I do! Since Christmas, I’ve been trying to sew from my stash. And I admit I have a lot of fabric.

But it’s not necessarily what I want to sew at any given moment. Refer to graph, please.

Like many sewists, I love my stash. Just like I love all hundred or so spools in my thread drawers, buttons in 30 colors, unopened packs of straight pins, 24 triangle chalks (hey, they were a great deal on Nancy’s Notions), and 10 pairs of scissors. Adding to my stash is much easier than taking from it!

A week or so ago, Craftsy got me with an email about deeply discounted fabric and $1 shipping. Hmmm. I took a look, because I know that some of the sales on Craftsy are amazing. Plus their fabric is high quality, the service is great, and their shipping is fast.

So – the goodies. The prices are totals for the yardage, not cost per yard…

Wowser! Coco

Last MOB dress muslin post – I promise!

I admit I’m having a blast doing muslins. Maybe I’ll just do muslins – all year long! It’s fun and there’s absolutely no pressure.ย 
Well, OK, there’s this MOB dress thing out there, but conceptually, there’s no pressure ๐Ÿ™‚
Having spent hours looking at my first MOB dress muslin, I’ve decided I don’t particularly like v-necklines on myself. As my bustline and neck drop, v-necks appeal to me less and less. I need ‘up’!
This muslin has a round neck! and I like it better.
It also has both bust and vertical front darts. I’ve been thinking for a while that putting darts in my knit tops might also give me some of that ‘up’.ย 

It’s not so easy to find a darted pattern for knits, so I pulled out a bodice I drafted recently for my Jungle January dress (coming soon). It’s based on McCalls 6884 Fashion Star sundress, which is for woven fabric.

Basic changes for the Jungle January dress: I slit both bodice pieces just above the front side dart and dropped the bottom piece ย by 1″. This took care of my FBA and vertical dart adjustments. To compensate, I removed that 1″ from the bottom edge. My other change was to tape some drafting paper inside the front neckline and redraw it. I didn’t sew the back darts or use a zipper, and I straightened the side seams just a tad.

For this knit bodice, I added the same sleeve and skirt elements I used on my firstย muslin: sleeves from Vogue 1315, skirt from New Look 6936.

At this point in my photo shoot, a mosquito buzzed my ear! Don’t they know they’re not allowed here?
More fabric arrived this week…Post-holiday sales have been my best friend. I’ve paid $5/yd or less for all the fabrics I’ve purchased this month.ย 
Tribal Stripe Cotton Lawn, Aztec Print Cotton/Linen Blend – Fabric Mart

I’ve already laundered the lawn. Gosh, it is so soft and not a wrinkle anywhere. The nicest lawn fabric I’ve ever had. It feels like very fine rayon challis. I plan to launder the cotton/linen blend twice before I lay it out for cutting.

The cotton/poly sweater knit from Fabric.com laundered beautifully. I was so afraid it would simply unravel!ย 

Bye for now, hope everyone is safe and near loved ones.