V1644 Kathryn Brenne New Orleans jacket

That jacket – I’m so in love with this pattern and this fabric, STOF France New Orleans cotton duck (Fabric.com). My peek on my last post:

For me, this project was all about working the print and the pattern so that I ended up with a reflection of my style while accenting this gorgeous print and the beautiful jacket design.

Details on the print – I spent about 9 hours placing the pattern pieces, with single layer layouts, so that the predominant ladies and all the lovely backgrounds were highlighted in a balanced way. I drafted a complete second set of pattern pieces for everything to make this easier.

Sewing notes:

  • As on my muslin (here), I sewed a straight size 12.
  • I narrowed bottom of back, 1/4” at CB bottom cured into waist area to remove flare I don’t need. 
  • I also removed front dart inside the princess seam, as I have a small bust and do not need the shaping. You can google this change, I used a tutorial for mine.
  • I added 3” to sleeve for full length with a 1.5″ hem.
  • I also used another pattern to narrow the 2-piece sleeve to the hemline, which was very otherwise very wide.
  • I used only 3 buttons, which extends the front lapel fold a bit and shows a cami or shell. No snaps and so on as on the pattern.
  • I used Hong Kong seam finishes except inside sleeve and armscye, which are serged.
  • About Hong Kong finishes – I end mine well within a hem allowance or interfacing that goes over them, which reduces bulk in seams. The pic below is the seam allowance into the neckline and into the hem allowance.
  • I also drafted a back neckline facing, which releases the collar seam and flattens the fabric flow to the back upper bodice. Remember – when you add a binding to a convex curve, push it out a bit so the it folds over nicely. It’s the opposite of what you do on a concave curve, such as a neckline.

More pics!

I really love this jacket, and the entire project was really engaging.

Ciao! Coco

Butterick 5504 linen pants

OK, setting a record, 2 posts in 2 days. But you guys are the best, all the comments, best wishes, and virtual hugs on my last post…right back at you. It really made realize that I’m not the only one trying to redefine my life to things as they are. You’re great.

The pants I mentioned on my post are these, a pattern I love, taken to a full length.

The fit is so nice, even in the back, with the elastic waist. Sewing notes:

  • These are a straight size Medium, with 6″ added for the longer length.
  • The fabric is Robert Kaufman Essex yarn-dyed linen in taupe. Yes, it’s very gold, not taupe at all.
  • I turned the waistband 2″, instead of 1 5/8″, to raise the crotch a tad. I’m 5′ 7.5″, and found I needed this adjustment. A happy change, since my 1 1/4″ non-roll elastic fits perfectly in the casing. BTW, the pattern calls for a drawstring, not elastic, but front-tied drawstrings are not my style 🙂
  • On the inside, I serged all my seams, it makes for such a nice finish on linen.
  • I double-stitch and serge all my crotch seams, woven or knit. If you open the crotch curve as you serge, you’ll get all the flexibility you need in the seam.

Cute pattern! I love the pockets, just a little different and so very easy to sew.

So, a sneak peek at the jacket that goes-with, my next blog post. Ciao! Coco

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber muslin

A short post on a Bobbi Bomber muslin. I was attracted by the long silhouette of this pattern, a length that would not hit the waist of my jeans or trousers.

It’s really cute and has a longer length than most bomber jackets.

So what happened…

The major major problem I had is the raglan sleeve. I’m so broad-shouldered, I really feel that the upper bodice is skimpy on me. So much so that I did not insert the (precious) 30″ zipper. Nor did I line it, although I did cut out a lining. I sewed the size 12, but I know a 14 could overwhem me.

If you have a narrow chest/back, this might work for you. It’s not a complicated pattern – I would rate it at a confident advanced beginner, mostly because of the use of rib fabric on the neckline, hemline, and sleeves. As is usual with Style Arc, the instructions are marginal 🙂

Lesson learned, but a couple more pics:

The fabric is Winding Ridge yarn-dyed cotton ikat, made in India, purchased from Fabric.com. And those are faux welt pockets – I knew early on that I would not embrace the pattern so I diminished my sewing angst.

And I still plan to make a ‘longer’ bomber jacket, but one with inset sleeves and so on.

For now – Coco

Vogue 1644 Kathryn Brenne jacket

Such a delightful project with a pattern from a favorite designer.

I really enjoy Kathryn Brenne designs. There is always a bit of detail and opportunity in her patterns. I ordered V1644 as soon as I saw it online.
I’ve been thinking of doing a short jacket, something interesting for church (yes, all the women in church tend to flash their stuff, myself included. Not to mention that it is freezing in there, and a jacket or shawl is a must. I miss it terribly for many reasons and look forward to the time we can resume our church activities).

Meanwhile, I will keep on sewing!

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed a straight size 12 with very few changes.
  • My fabric is Bokeh cotton/linen denim from Moda, purchased at Hawthorne Fabrics. It’s 70% cotton, 30% linen, and it’s not really a canvas. I laundered it 3 times to remove sizing and allow for shrinkage before I cut the pattern. I love it!
  • Having the benefit of a couple of pattern reviews, I reduced the flare in the center back seam. With a rather flat fantail, I don’t need it.
  • Having a small bust, I removed the bust dart in the front princess seam. I thought about taking out some of the curve in the seam, but after basting, I was happy with no change.
  • I went crazy with Hong Kong finishing on the seams, using lightweight cotton/poly broadcloth.
  • The jacket has 3/4 length sleeves, to which I added a ruffle for a full length! After narrowing the bottom of the sleeve, I cut a 17″ x 5″ strip, folded it in half, gathered it, and attached it to the sleeve hemline. I really like this!

My thoughts are with everyone, and I hope you have some nicely distracting sewing projects in play. For now, Coco

Butterick 5533 in pink fleece – love

So many variations, I love this pattern. And this early winter I wanted something pink!

The line art:

For this one, I used the body and just let myself go.

Before I go further, this is based on View B neckline, View A yoke, and the basic body of the jacket. More below.

I was after a zip-front with a stand-up collar, mostly because I was using fleece. Kind of a quasi-athletic jacket with lots of ease and so on. And lots of detail and fun stuff.

A challenge? yes, but I did decide that I was willing to sacrifice this fabric if nothing worked 🙂

Sewing notes:

  • As noted, my starting point was Butterick 5533, which I’ve made in many fabrics with a bunch of fun twists.
  • I sewed the View B collar, which is pretty straight forward. The pattern uses the same front and back for either collar selection.
  • The back is loosely based on View A, but I removed a lot of the width and just gathered the skirt fabric under the yoke.
  • The pockets, well, I rounded the bottom edge. Not a big change, but more interesting. I keep a folder of pockets, cowls, bowties, and so on, so this shape was borrowed. I also lined them, as I don’t want to stuff in my hands and distort the fabric – this is fleece!
  • The biggest change: I decided to put in a separating zipper, instead of using a button front. So I drafted a new front with a 5/8 seam allowance at the center front. And I did the same to the front facing. This is an easy change, do not be afraid to do this, on any pattern! I ran the zipper about 1″ into the collar to provide stabilization and continuity to the entire vision I had. This is a #10 30″ zipper from Wawak.
Basting prep for defining the inserted zipper.
  • I used lots of topstitching. Fleece loves topstitching definition, and the additional threads add stability to the lines of the fabric and garment. Here is the beautiful cuff design (on the pattern), with lots of detail.

Thoughts on sewing fleece:

  • I just put this jacket in the dryer for a lint-catching tumble. And I vacumned and dusted my entire house. Everything I wore while making this is in the wash, pink lint everywhere, little tiny pieces, aarrgh. Almost sneezing. Lesson, just relax and go with it, when sewing fleece or fur (I cut out fur outside in my carport!!)
  • Fleece has a lot of mechanical stretch in all directions and on the bias. Here’s how I pinned the seams – but I also staystiched the neckline, front edge, etc., etc., to combat distortion. I used a long stitch and actually increased the upper thread tension to ensure that the stitches and fabric sides had an even tension. The best approach, of course, is to experiment with your fabric, across the bias, horizontal, vertical, on both your sewing machine and your serger. Seems like a lot, but it’s a bespoke and custom garment, right? One of a kind…

I really love this jacket, even though I’m done with pink and fleece 🙂

Ciao, Coco

Beautiful glorious day and a Gerard Manteau

What a nice day – cool, well, for Floridians, cold 🙂 My new Gerard Manteau is perfect.

This cute and casual jacket from Republique du Chiffon is a gem. It has a semi-grunge aspect – loose and long.

I’m in the back yard, in front of my newly trimmed tangerine tree. I was concerned that it was so full and thick, a hurricane could push it over in a flash. Not now! And the birds love the tree.

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size small – a medium would have swallowed me, but would be perfect for fleece or fur.
  • I have the PDF pattern, and the instructions and illustrations (hand-drawn and very small) are minimal. Additionally, only the French instructions are really useable – the English translation provided is just weird. If you’ve made a jacket, you will be fine. This is a very basic pattern.
  • A caution: the pattern does not discriminate sizes by line style – they are all the same solid black line, so don’t drink wine while cutting…
  • The fabric: Heathered Sapphire 100% Cotton Corduroy 66W from Fabric Mart, 7-wale.
  • It did get some special prep work. I serged all the pattern pieces before I started sewing, to prevent bias stretch and loss of fabric on the edges.

Then I vacuumed my entire house!! and cleaned my serger.

  • Originally I used twill tape to define the roll of the lapel. But I found that it distorted the lapel because the wale opened and rolled around. So I took it out.
  • For the same reason, the distortion of sewing across this wide wale, I squared the bottom of the pockets (I love that they are lined, nice touch).

Tree hugger 🙂

Ciao! Coco

Gerard Manteau in corduroy – prep!

Time for a new Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau. I’m in love with this casual jacket.

I found a beautiful 7-wale heathered saffire corduroy at Fabric Mart late last year. And I knew it’s destiny.

The prep, driven by my fabric, has taken hours and hours 🙂

Of course I laundered the fabric, and I was rewarded with piles and piles of lint in the dryer. I tumbled it twice to get the last bits off the yardage, and then I cleaned my dryer!

Prep – once I start sewing, I want to work with nice pattern pieces without lint or unexpected bias distortion. So I cut and serged every single piece of my pattern.

As I was cutting, I marked notches with a chalk pencil, but after I serged the edges, I marked them with a small pin. Chalk disappears from corduroy in a flash…

I’m anxious to start, but my interfacing, Pellon SF785 sew-in, is in the laundry. Yes, non-fusible interfacing should be washed and dried… I prefer sew-in interfacing on anything with a wale or heavy texture, as I don’t want to crush the fabric pressing a fusible.

So, next up, my Gerard Manteau! Bye for now, Coco