Mid-week short chat

It’s once again that time of year, tropical storms and hurricanes. After over 30 years in Florida, I don’t panic, I just go to the grocery store! Done and done…

Sewing: My son’s linen ‘Hawaiian’ shirt is finished, pending a fitting and button placement. He’s in Banner Elk, NC, due to come back on the weekend. He and his ‘crew’ drove up to avoid Covid concerns, long drive from Orlando, so I hope he has a decent drive on return. Heavy rain in Florida tends to be a whiteout, difficult driving.

This is wonderful men’s casual shirt pattern, Kwik Sew 2935. Here’s the one I made my DSIL a few years ago, also in Brussels Washer. You might have to do a search to find it now, but it’s worth the effort!

Having finished my kitchen glass door, which has a wooden frame, with frosted film, I find that every one of my rotary blades is dull. I took a moment to order blades just a while ago, I love Amazon. These are incredible prices, if they don’t last a long time, I don’t care 🙂

Tomorrow I will get myself in gear and go to Sherwin Williams for black paint for the front oak door. I’m ready to be done with painting!

I hope this finds you well and engaged in fun in-home diversions. For now, Coco

I’m so busy!

Look familiar? My kitchen is my staging area for all kinds of painting, my only issue is that all the stuff is in front of my coffee maker!

The bathroom vanity – it was not an easy upgrade, because painting stained wood is giant pain. This vanity was ’80s oak, a Thomasville cabinet, so it was worth the effort. It looks so high end now! Black paint, new hardware 🙂

Speaking of black paint, I’m actually painting all my exterior doors black as well. They are all stained oak, so it takes a coat of primer and 2 coats of paint to finish. And it will take forever to cure. I’ve finished the door to the wash house and the kitchen door (pic below). Notice that it cures very quickly on my hands…

The kitchen door, framed glass, and very exposing without something over the glass. I want to stay in the 21st century, so I added a frosted film (Rabbitgo), with a 1/2″ clear border. It’s great! and I can walk in my kitchen au naturel

Pending – the front door. I need more paint and a rest (at least 24 hours) from painting.

Meanwhile, sewing plans…

I’m making my son an Hawaiian shirt, white linen, using Kwik Sew 2935. I’ve measured him every way from here to Sunday for this project 🙂

And of course I’m sewing for myself. I ordered 3 yards of this gorgeous STOF France Zoya Multicolore linen for a Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau.

I won’t line it, I have a beautiful burnt orange voile for Hong Kong seams.

I’m grateful to be so busy. I’m feeling loved, my family stays in touch, and my son comes by for porch hellos. For which he gets Twizzlers and loop band bracelets.

I hope you are well also – Coco

Kwik Sew 4015 Reversible Fall Jacket


What an interesting project, and, yes, a bit of a departure from my usual style.

My inspiration was a pic I found on Pinterest. The colors, prints, and silhouette are so appealing and just say ‘autumn’. Trolling my pattern stash, I found Kwik Sew 4015, which I last used to make Ashley a Kaylee Firefly jacket (here). And I found the perfect fabrics on Marshall Dry Goods, Country Floral cottons.

This pattern has so many options: pre-quilted fabric with bound edges, in-seam pockets, and a mandarin collar (View A), and a reversible jacket with a dropped back hem, patch pockets, and a hood (View B). Between the two, I had every element I needed for my jacket.


Sewing notes:

  • I cut out the pattern in both my fabrics, all pieces, in size Medium. And I cut yards and yards of bias binding from a plum-colored quilting cotton.
  • The jacket is somewhat fitted, so I redrew the side seams with a slight A-line.
  • I also dropped the front hem to be even with the back, and took out the side curve detail. With a 3/8″addition to the length, my jacket is 28″ long at the center back.
  • Once my shell was sewn, with the hood finished and basted into the neckline, I created a pieced pocket. The idea was to have the pockets and the sleeves echo one another.



  • The next step was to sew the contrast and attach it at the neckline. Followed by careful pressing, addition of the binding, and, ta da – a reversible jacket!



  • I’ve only attached buttons on the main fabric side, but one could add them to the contrast side and/or add pockets as well.


Cute, right? And incredibly comfortable and lightweight.


I enjoyed making this so much that I’m thinking of doing another one 🙂

Ciao! Coco

Fall jacket inspiration


I love this jacket I found on Pinterest (sorry, no source). And I had to go looking for a pattern in my stash. Enter Kwik Sew 4015:

line art

A little tweaking required for the silhouette and front hemline, but it will work!

Fabrics – I looked on Marshall Dry Goods, king of inexpensive quilting cottons. The combo I purchased is from the ‘Country Floral‘ collection. I love the color and print for fall.

Screen Shot 2018-09-30 at 2.04.19 PM


These fabrics are only $3.99/yard, 100% cotton, 45″ width. Amazing. And they’re on their way – MDG has very fast shipping and reasonable shipping costs.

I’m pretty jazzed about this project! Bye for now – Coco

Kwik Sew 3873 and a summer muslin


Well, I’m trying very hard to break out of my maxi dress and loose tunic mold. It’s not easy! I haven’t made or worn a short dress in 3 years, ever since my morphea scleroderma took aim at my legs. With most of the lesions ‘burnt out’ into scar tissue, I decided it’s time to pull up my big girl britches and get over this particular mental bump. A short dress 🙂

Grant you, the colors are all wrong for me, I bought this fabric before my color epiphany. But that just made it an easy choice to muslin a look that I really like. I.e., a slim dress with a slightly dropped waist, simple neckline, and short sleeves.

I started with the bodice from Kwik Sew 3873, because it has all the elements I wanted in the top. (It also has a super cute skirt. Check out this beautiful version by Cat in the Wardrobe).

line art

After a bit of flat-measuring, I added 1 7/8″ to the length of the bodice, dropping it about 1.5″ below my natural waist. And I drafted a simple A-line skirt. The top of the skirt is about 1.3 x the width of the bodice at the waist seam.


A note on the bodice front. The cut is so sensible. It’s a bit longer toward CF, so the skirt doesn’t hitch up due to the girls and so on.

front pattern piece
I drafted my version with 1/2″ seam allowances, not being willing to sew with a 1/4″ SA!

Truth time. Initially, I cut out a maxi skirt. Boring, same-old-same-old look. So I took off 17″. And then another 2″! I was on a roll – my finished skirt is 22″ long at the side seam 🙂




I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself, and I’m looking forward to making some summer dresses sporting my new look.  It feels good…

Bye for now – Coco





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

Working the faux Mociun tie-front dress…

Version by Lela Rose, $800
Mociun original, $350

Apparently I missed out on all the Mociun dress commotion of about 5 – 6 years ago. I wasn’t blogging then, and I definitely was not spending $250 or more on a casual dress!

But earlier this week I just happened to see a bevy of real and faux Mociun’s on Pinterest, including some made by sewing bloggers. Wow. I like this design.

So – off to my patterns to see what might work as a starting point for that bodice. I decided to use the Kwik Sew 3782 pussy-bow blouse. It has sleeves (which I want) and a v-neck with a tie.

This was a pretty easy alteration, I just had to think it through and keep track of my changes.

  • The sleeves were the easiest part! I straightened the underarm by dropping the seam line straight down from the armhole.
  • Shortened the bodice by about 2 1/2″ above the natural waist marking on the pattern.
  • Narrowed the bodice quite a bit, to end up with 39″ across the bust and 35″ at the lower edge.
  • Fashioned the bodice front with a 3″ opening at the lower edge, to allow for knotting the tie fairly tightly across the bust. I’ve seen other versions that left the 3″ opening in the skirt instead of the bodice. But this approach works really well and doesn’t hike up the skirt in front when it’s tied.  

    Finishing the lower bodice at center front – a 1/2″ SA, folded under twice and topstitched.

        • The tie is 2 pieces, 8″ wide by a yard long, cut on the bias and sewn together. Eventually I shortened it quite a bit. On this version, the tie is 11 1/2″ long from the point at which it exits the bodice. And I might shorten it again by an inch or so.

          • The skirt is two rectangles, 27″ wide by 31″ long, gathered and attached to the bodice. I crossed the bottom of the bodice by 1/4″, before attaching the skirt.
          • And put side seam pockets in the skirt, about 5″ below the top edge.

          There’s only light gathering of the skirt under the center front, to decrease bunching when the dress is tied.

          This cotton fabric is from Holly Lobby – and it drove me a little batty, because it had a persistent twist in it. Matching the print at the seams was harder than it should be. But – this version is a muslin, so I lightened up. I do like the print, though, and plan to get something similar from somewhere else!

          I’ve also decided to take a couple inches off the hem on my next one.

          This was a pleasant little project, and it kept me out of trouble for a week 🙂 
          Hope you’re having a nice weekend – Coco