Two Ermine blouses – two sizes

The Fibre Mood Ermine blouse is one of my favorites this year. My daughter saw my first one in January, and so began a journey.

For my girl:

She will be here for a visit in August, so I purchased a relatively inexpensive challis for her muslin. I say relatively – prices for fabric are somewhat amazing these days. No matter…

I drafted size 18-20 on the top, down to size 22 – 24 at our target hem, and elongated the entire bodice to her preferred blouse length. The Ermine is drafted to glide to a something some inches below one’s waist. For DD, I moved the side seam out to work with her hip at a 31″ CB measurement. Not a tunic length for her, but her usual blouse CB length. She is tall:-)

Fabric: Telio Viscose Voile Floral Print Black/Multi, Fabric.com

She has 6 kitties, so this fabric, with its playful cats, is appealing.

The sleeve on the Ermine goes from a gathered cap to a wrist length. Which works fine for me in a size Medium. But Ashley has a 7.5″ wrist, versus the 12″ width of the sleeve at the wrist in her size! Crazy. Wave that around in the breeze. So I drafted the size 20 sleeve in the Fibre Mood Norma blouse, which is ‘puffed’ at a high bracelet length. I have enough yardage to draft another set of sleeves if this doesn’t work.

Another Ermine, this one for me, in a playful navy and white rayon poplin voile. It took a bit of single layer cutting to do the upper bodice, and then I could not come up with a ‘plain’ button band for the front. I thought about finding a solid for the band, and then I decided not to obsess! This will have white buttons, and I’ll love it.

Fabric: Telio Pandora Rayon Poplin Leaves Navy, Fabric.com

An aside: the New Look 6689 flared leggings, mentioned on my Instagram account, were a disaster. The flare is indiscernible, the rise is a mess. I won’t be keeping this pattern! A day later, and I’m going to try this again, I do get stubborn!

Up next – my stash is empty, but I just ordered a pure white linen/rayon woven to make some britches to go with the Ermine above. Meanwhile, I’m re-reading all of Patrick O’Brien’s seafaring books and binge-watching Seinfeld. Among other things 🙂

Bye for now – Coco

Fibre Mood Norma Blouse

Coming up to periscope depth – yes, I’m still here! I’ve been in such a slump. After almost 2 1/2 years of lockdown, forced and then chosen, I’m hoping to regain my footing. I know lots of you can relate. My son and I were talking yesterday, sitting on the front porch, watching the world go by, and he asked if I am ready to return to in-person church services. And I think I am, especially since he’ll go with me. All good…

And so much for that! Check out this beautiful little blouse, the Norma from Fibre Mood.

I love the neckline and puffed sleeve. It’s much like the Anna Allen Anthea blouse , but has a much softer neckline.

I began my photo session outside, but, wow, so hot, over 90 degrees – I quickly retreated to the porch.

Pants: full length Tessuti Margo pants in Kaufman Sevenberry Nara Homespun Patchwork

Sewing Notes – it may seem like a lot, but I made a lot of the drafting decisions before I drew my tissue:

  • I drafted size 8, extending the seam allowance to 1/2″. I don’t do 3/8″ SAs on woven fabrics!
  • Raised the neckline by 1″.
  • Lengthened the bodice 1 1/4″.
  • Redrew the sides to forgo the shaping and to add width to the bodice below the armscye. The result is somewhat A-lined, with a finished bottom width of 41″ and a straight hemline.
  • Used a 1 1/4″ hem allowance to add structure to the base of the blouse, rather than use the double-fold narrow hem of the pattern.
  • Neckline facings are included, but I added 1/4″ to the width to match the width of the hem allowance when topstitched.
  • Shortened the sleeve by 1 1/2″. The original is pretty long.
  • Added 1/4″ to the unfinished width of the cuff pattern. I like the wider cuff, it doesn’t get lost under the sleeve gathers.
  • I also spread out the sleeve cap gathering to avoid the bunching at the top and the funky forward sleeve drape that it would cause (the Anthea blouse has the same bunched up sleeve head, I just think it’s too much). I learned this the hard way and had to remove and re-insert the first sleeve.
Fabric: Kaufman Brussels washer linen

Great pattern, fun and easy to sew. I have white Brussels washer linen ready to be cut for a second version:-)

Ciao! Coco

Fibre Mood Tilda dress variations

Fuzzy photo time – apology! I’ve been working on this dress for what feels like ages. I started with an inspiration dress and blouse, and landed on the Fibre Mood Tilda because of all the possibilities. My targets:

and the Tilda, with planned changes:

Being wary of the curves, I did an entire muslin, with and without a sleeve. And worked it until it fit.

OK, I think this is really blah on me. And it will be shortened to blouse length and worn with white summer pants.

Nonetheless, some sewing notes:

  • The fabric is a Telio rayon/cotton 50/50 blend. The cotton adds just enough structure to make this a dream to sew. From Fabric.com by way of Amazon.
  • My dress is a meld of sizes 12 – 14.! Because the pdf file is layered, this is fairly easy to do.
  • I printed my pattern without the offered seam allowances, which vary from 3/8″ to 1/4″, and I added a 1/2″ SA everywhere. I never never ever use a SA of less than 1/2″ on woven fabrics because raveled edges are such a hazard.
  • I left off the collar and faced the entire neckline (the pattern suggests bias binding on the neckline). IMHO a facing is essential to anchor a garment built in lightweight fabric.
  • And I totally cheated by stitching down the closed front placket in line with the button placement, to prevent those unsightly gaps that can happen when one is seated. My buttons are sewn through the facings, not a buttonhole in sight!

In the end, I think I have a decent blouse pattern and a perfect template for a lovely v-neckline. And I’m off to work on my jigsaw puzzle. This dress was exhausting and remains an object for contemplation in the closet for now.

Ciao! Coco

Spring sewing plans…

La de da – it’s spring. And I’m finally thinking of sewing again (yes, my sewjo has run away for several months).

After weeks of cruising the internet, here’s what I’ve planned:

I ventured again in the world outside the Big 4 and purchased the Fibre Mood Tilda dress. Having sewn the Ermine blouse and the Rya shacket, I am so happy with the designs, drafting, instruction sets, and support from Fibre Mood. Any trepidation is offset by huge photo galleries and reviews from other sewists – which I love as a reference.

I think this is a subtle pattern. Sewn as a blouse it very closely resembles the more expensive Friday Pattern Company Patina Blouse. As a dress, it has lots of options. Here’s how I envision my first version, no collar, cap sleeve:

Rayon/cotton voile, Fabric.com

And how could I move into spring and summer without a couple maxi dresses. I’m using a favorite, McCall 6559, in two ity fabrics.

Meanwhile, I’m staying out of trouble by working on my latest jigsaw puzzle!

For now – Coco

Fibre Mood Ermine Blouse – delightful

It’s that strange time of the year, between Christmas and the New Year. Wishing for more Christmas, anticipating the end of a year. So – I got myself into gear, makeup, camera, some action. Got to go for it and get off my stool.

I love this pattern. And I was totally inspired by a post by BloglessAnna, her Ermine is so beautiful. Sometimes, whether I really can port a pattern or not, I want to try it. This is one of those, and I am so glad I did.

It is beyond cute and appealing. Winter is here in central Florida, I am scouting my closet, but it is mostly warm weather tops. This pattern is a welcome change. A woven fabric, sleeves, perfect over my linen pants wardrobe, and, OK, jeans, although I seldom wear them. I love my jeans, but they often get overlooked because they are in a drawer, not in my closet. hmmm

Going straight into sewing notes:

  • Size Medium.
  • I drafted all pieces wih 1/2” SA. The original varies from 1/6” to 3/8″, but if I’m sewing with challis or something similar, I want a wider seam allowance..
  • I Added 3/8” to width of upper back and front bodice, both sides of center. If you look at the line art, the very high shoulder is evident. The design, the sleeve cap and high back yoke, reminds me of dresses worn in the 1800’s. I have broad shoulders., so this was a good change.

  • I flattened the sleeve cap to reduce gathers and pouf. Just a scant 1/4” at the center of the sleeve, drawn out about 3 1/2”. Just don’t like poufy sleeve caps…
  • I drafted front and back neckline facings, 2 1/4” wide, which finish at the same width as the front band. The pattern uses bias binding to finish the neckline, IMHO, not very pretty, loosey goosey, and much more work to fit than a facing.

  • Nice sleeves, they end right at the wrist bone on me. My long sleeve is 25” from shoulder, these are 23”. The pattern measurements for the sleeve are a bit weird but the sleeve worked for me.

I really like this pattern, challis is perfect, and I’ve ordered an outrageous pink/black leopard print challis for my next one. Go figure.

The end of 2021, I hope you are well and able to embrace all the changes the last year brought us. Personally, I have been challenged, and my New Year resolution is (1) to flex more to my world as it is now, and (2) to champion myself more. I’ve often felt overwhelmed. About eight years ago, my son said to me that happiness is a decision we make. On my fridge ever since…

With deep caring and best wishes for you all, my special friends, Coco

Rya Shirt Jacket weather!

I love the annual cool-down! Here in Orlando a Fibre-Mood Rya shirt jacket (aka shacket) is perfect.

After two previous Rya’s (here and here), I’m back for a third. Actually, I kept the plaid fleece but not the saffron Mammoth plaid, the colorway of the latter just was not flattering.

Onward, this time in Kaufman speckled navy Shetland flannel. Beautiful fabric! To revisit the pattern:

My previous posts have sewing notes, but here is a recap:

  • The sleeve was very short on me, perhaps due to my square and broad shoulders, so I added 2” to my tissue.
  • I used a 2″ wide facing for the pocket. It, and the flap facing, are done in poly/cotton Symphony broadcloth from JoAnn.
  • I shortened the shirttails by 5” and the torso by 2 1/2” for an at-the-knee length. Do not mistake me – I love the longer length, to me it says olive drab or khaki duster in any port-side town. Very chic. In any event, my changes:

  • I drafted back and front neckline facings at 3.25″ wide to have a finished inside and to support the large collar.
  • I also drafted hem facings at 1.5” wide.
  • And I used Pellon SF101 woven fusible interfacing for this version. BTW, on the fleece version I used Pellon PF45 non-woven sew-in interfacing. Fusing to fleece is just not a workable idea.

A comment on the pattern’s reliance on bias binding to finish the inside of the collar band and collar seam, the top of the pocket, and the hem. I just don’t get it! IMHO, it’s a recipe for a bulky mess that distorts important lines. Ergo my hem facings, pocket facing, neckline facings…

On the other hand, I love the demi-band collar. It has the perfect pitch to keep the collar against the neck in the back and close at the perfect spot in front. I’ve sewn a couple other coats with ‘Peter Pan’/flat collars that use the same approach.

Something new! Rather than struggle with in-seam pockets in a soft, loosely-woven fabric, I drafted patch pockets for the fronts. These are the same width as the upper pocket and are attached in line with it. Mine finished at 7 1/4″ wide and 8 1/4″ long.

Just pics!

Great jacket and super fun project. Ciao! Coco

Fibre Mood Rya jacket in mammoth flannel

How I love this fabric/pattern combo! I’ve never before sewn with Robert Kaufman mammoth plaid flannel. I was expecting something fuzzy, like pajama flannel. No! this is a midweight (6.4oz/sq yd), soft, substantial, gorgeous fabric. Kaufman also makes Shetland flannel, the same weight, but in solid variations.

Saffron colorway
Pattern here

Wandering through the construction:

  • As with my first version (here), I used facings on the neckline and hemline, rather than folded bias tape. That post also has notes on size and changes to the length.
  • Something I didn’t mention in my first post, the pattern does not have a separate under collar. To allow for ‘turn of the cloth’ and avoid rumpling in the under collar, I slid the under collar forward (a scant 1/4″ at the center) to shorten the underside. As in the pics below, this easy step ensures a nice contour. The the back of the collar is nice and flat, and doesn’t stick out.
  • On this version, I used the side seam pockets, but moved them down. They’re sewn in Kona cotton and are stitched to the fronts to avoid flapping 🙂 Great, roomy pockets!

This is so much fun to sew, I wish I needed more jackets! But I did promise one to my daughter, so that’s good.

Here’s what I had for Christmas dinner – I love love love pimento cheese sandwiches! Wish I had leftovers…

Before I go, thank you so very much for all the lovely compliments on my last post. For now, Coco