Sewn with love – crafts apron


Terrible photo, but just think of the classic Williams Sonoma apron. I drafted a pattern from mine ages ago, and it’s my favorite for gifted aprons (I can’t seem to wear out my own original, probably because microwave cooking doesn’t require one).

williams sonoma classic apron

But Ashley uses one, and so does her DH. I made them matching Halloween aprons a couple years ago, and recently she mentioned that she’s  been using hers when she’s crafting with her ‘peeps’. Which is every few weeks – they are hard core scrapbooking/mixed media artists and great friends.

Anyway, Ashley’s birthday is coming up, and I thought I’d get that kitchen apron back in the kitchen, and make her one just for her crafting. I wanted it to be ‘paint proof’ – which simply means she can wipe her hands on it, and it can take it! No, the paints probably won’t wash out, but they also won’t shout out.

The WSonoma aprons are done in something like canvas or duck, but I make mine in quilting cottons, double-sided. For this one, I used yardage remaining from her Halloween version. And I used a cute birdie print for the pockets –  it’s meant to echo the ‘peeps’ moniker she and her friends use. I added a D-ring on the edge of the pocket for attaching flair, ID’s, etc.



Ashley’s left-handed, so I switched sides for the neck tie and hardware:

tie at neck

I also made sure the pockets can stand up to use – hands, phone, tools, and so on. The stitching plan to secure them:

pkt markings

She’s at a convention this weekend, helping with a friend’s booth, and playing – it’s in a beautiful Marriott resort in Kissimmee, close to that place where Minnie and Mickey hang out. And the event is for women’s spa and beauty products. Great SWAG!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl – rock on!

Kwik Sew 3802 … Achoo!


My fascination with  interesting hemlines continues!

This is pattern is not new, in fact I’m amazed I found it. Good old Kwik Sew.

KS3802 Pic-horz

What a great pattern to try, especially in light of the drama of my recent make of Vogue 9224. The biggest difference is in the length of the garment – this one is shorter by a few inches.

This is a very lightweight rayon/lycra jersey from Fabric Mart

And it had some drama of its own, totally my fault! I initially made it in size Large (OK, I’m not yet accustomed to my diminished girls, I keep making the mistake of thinking I’m sewing for a C cup instead of an A cup).

The large…

size large
Poor fuzzy reject 🙂

So I took this first version apart, laid it out, and marked it against the Medium. Much better.


I really like this look over leggings. And for the record, I’m wearing this with a new pair of Love Notions Sabrina Slims. Can’t get enough Slims. The fabric is Fiesta Fabrics Petunia Garden in the purple colorway (I’ve seen it on both Craftsy and Fabric Mart, rayon/lycra, about 5.9 oz).

And my second muslin, done in cotton/lycra knit. It doesn’t have as much drape, but it’s interesting to try a pattern in different fabrics. This one got worn to the market this morning…


Some sewing notes:

  • Yes, I sewed the Medium. I still think it would benefit from a little shaping in the center back, which the Vogue pattern has, and is to be included in my next version.
  • Sewing the handkerchief detail. For some reason, both the Vogue and this pattern would have you sew the side seam first, and then do the hems on the split detail. Gosh, what a great way to put a lump in that hem split!


Alternative –  I check my alignment from armscye to split, and hem the edges of the split first. Then I sew the side seam, the entire underarm and side, and finish things off.

In this pic:  (1) the side seam after hemming the handkerchief hem, and then the side seam, (2) neatening the serger thread from the side seam, and (3) a nice finished split:


  • My other big change was to add a center front seam to make it easier to bind the V-neck. I just don’t like to wrestle with bands on V-necks if I can avoid it!


On Emile:



And a side-by-side:

It’s Sunday, lovely Sunday. My grandson celebrated his 8th birthday on Friday – a skating party with his friends at the hockey rink – and his Dad posted this message on Facebook. This is joy…

p at 8

For now – Coco

StyleArc Stevie Jean Jacket – a keeper!

What a fun project! I’ve been looking for an oversized jean jacket pattern for ages. One that looks like it was purchased in the men’s department. Know what I mean?

In my wildest dreams, I never thought StyleArc would come up with one. But recently, clothingengineer posted a super cute version on Pattern Review, actually the first review of the pattern. I’ve no idea when StyleArc released it, but I took a look at it right away.

And lucky me, I just happened to have a bunch of wildly green 8.5 oz bull denim just waiting for its turn.

My relationship with StyleArc patterns has been so iffy, more disappointment than success. After my recent Designer Daisy wadders projects, I had no plans to even think about StyleArc patterns. But I have to hand to them on this one. It’s a great pattern that delivers the promised boyfriend jacket look.

I really wanted my jacket to mimic the classic jean jacket style, so I did a bunch of looking around on the web – Levi, Wrangler, and Lee. And I checked with one of my favorite fabric/sewing databases, just to be sure I handled the denim in a classic way as well. I don’t remember how I originally found the ‘Historical Materials from the University of Nebraska‘ site, but it’s a absolute gem.

Some sewing notes:
  • I sewed the size 10, and it’s a great fit.
  • No welt pockets, just because I don’t like pocket bags inside short jackets. I thought about adding a faux welt, and I still might, on a rainy boredom-filled day…
  • My upper/flap pockets are faux – I didn’t use the pocket bag at all. I’m not going to use it these pockets, and I didn’t want all the extra fabric in the yoke seam.
  • My only whinge on this pattern is the seam allowance. It’s 3/8″ everywhere, but the neckline/collar, which is mere 1/4″! But I used the PDF pattern and simply drafted the entire thing with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I cannot imagine working all these small pattern pieces, most of which are meant to have a felled finish of some kind, with less than 1/2″ in play.
  • I wanted to keep the jacket loose and supple, so I serged all my seam edges and used a faux-fell finish.
  • I love all the topstitching! and used regular sewing thread for mine. I’m just not a fan of the thicker topstitching thread that’s available.
  • In a deviation from the sewing instructions, I sewed my pocket on top of the bodice, rather than behind it. The difference? The Wrangler jean jacket has it on top, while the Levi trucker jean jacket has it behind, as below. Choices!
And mine, with my first set of buttons. I later changed these to some nice nickel buttons from Holly Lobby.
I love it, and I’m working on a second one in marigold – got to keep those tropical colors coming.
Parting shot: 
Tomorrow I’m off to Ft. Myers to kitty-sit while Ashley and Darrin go to Salem, MA, for their annual Halloween fest. And I’ll get to meet two newbies that they recently brought home from the shelter. Willow and Thor! A total of 4 now – I’m dosing myself with Claritin 🙂
Ciao! Coco

Going on a play date…

This will be fun!

Darrin is travelling this week, so I’m scooting over to visit with Ashley for a couple days of mom and daughter time.

On Saturday I’m going with her to a ‘crop’ – a meetup with so many wonderful crafters – scrapbooking, mixed media art. Her peeps!

She made me this little mixed media art a year or so ago. I love it. It sits in a corner of my kitchen counter, along with a ceramic fish she gave me ages ago.

I have a fish fetish…I love fish ceramics, metallic scultures, found art – and Mr. Fish.

So I’m putting together a few projects to take with me, things I can work on and talk at the same time.  🙂

Motivated by my Mexican crepe paper flowers, which are now about 16 years old and fading (I just hate to see that happen), I decided to try my hand at making some new ones. These materials are from A.C. Moore, and frankly, the crepe paper is not as heavy or pretty as I’d like. So I might order some Italian crepe paper. Meanwhile, my first rose and the makings of more, going to the crop…

Of course, I had to research this project, and I found a really good tutorial on YouTubeI like this one because it isn’t voiced, it’s about 10 minutes long, and it simply goes through the process of making a rose. And it’s what I’m following in making mine.

Another project that’s going with me, looper bracelets! These are a great hit with Darrin, Ashley, David, and Preston. David has discovered that wearing them in his pool causes them to break pretty quickly – blame the pool salts. So he has an order in for a new Gator version. This is not the right blue, I need something a little deeper, and I’ve already gone through the pack I had. It’s getting hard to find these things in a store, so soon I’ll be sourcing colors online…

Isn’t that a cute little bag? Gifted by Ashley, it’s from Thirty One. All my loopers and gear are inside. Maybe one of her friends will want to try it, so I’m taking the whole shebang and what-nots with me.

And I’ll take my knitting and crossword book. My stamina level flags these days, so both pretty much always go with me on a visit with the kids.

I’m working on my third Weekend Retreat Cardigan – the pattern is on Ravelry if you like it. It’s fun to knit, free from Lion Brand, all top-down and a quick make. Super nice pattern. I’ve made one just like the pic, in sport weight yarn.

Father’s Day is Sunday, so I got a card off to David this morning. He and Preston are so precious. This pic is from their Ski Week trip to Colorado earlier this year… David is an incredible Dad.

And that’s it! Mr. Fish and I are taking a nap soon – I hope you’re having a nice day,

Bye for now, Coco