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

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

My version of planning!

Hmmm. I really don’t plan beyond 1 or 2 projects, and I seldom have more than 2 or 3 pieces of fabric in my stash. I tend to sew multiples of a pattern before moving on to new territory, a habit that sometimes leaves me feeling burnt out. When this happens, I invariably start browsing patterns, and I even cruise my own blog for inspiration. It’s amazing how many patterns I’ve made and liked and haven’t repeated in a while.

First up – The Grainline Lark Tee. I decided to try the scoop neckline version. I’ve had the Lark since its release, but I’ve only sewn the crew neck! For this muslin, having a 2-yard rayon jersey remnant, I drafted a dress version as well (just longer and a bit A-line).

Great neckline and the band fits perfectly!

I didn’t really model this, as it was meant to be a nightie. But I did add a belt, and, surprise, rather cute!

Second – I ordered four Big 4 patterns, something I seldom do these days, choosing Indie patterns most of the time. But these will be great!

Found on Etsy
From Something Delightful
From Something Delightful

I’ve sewn all three of the above in the past, but I need a fresh pattern – I’m smaller than I was way back then. Last, a new pattern that I’ve had on my wishlist for ages and just found on Etsy this week! Views A, B, and C have faux wrap skirts, yay!

I have plenty of black jersey to do a muslin, but also ordered fabric for the dress – Girl Charlee’s classic pineapple print knit, used several years ago in a Cali Faye Gardenia dress:

I’ve been watching the blue jays attack a large hawk that’s been terrorizing the neighborhood bird population. It’s high season for mating and nesting in our dense tree canopy here. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even flinch, but I hope Mr. Hawk returns to his usual turf soon.

Bye for now, Coco

Maxi dress playtime

Gasp – for the first time, I purchased an Art Gallery jersey knit. At $15/yard, it’s a bit more than I usually even contemplate. But, sigh, it was irresistible. This is Kaufman Hidden Canyon in cherry, Fabric.com

This dress is a true mix – the bodice is from McCall 6559, with an extended shoulder. And the skirt is a simple rectangle, cut at 56″ fabric width and 43″ long. Planning it, I did not want a simple maxi (which I admit I sew very often). Instead, I wanted to break up the printed fabric with some design details.

For the bodice, you can choose any knit top or dress pattern that works for you, given your bust measurement and how it fits. Just crop it! and add the gathered skirt. Planning your gathering requirement – I like to plan 1.5 x the width of the fabric to which a skirt will be gathered (I use the same ratio for things like curtains, not being fond of bunchy gathers).

That extended shoulder – I think I originally drafted mine from a kimono pattern, long gone, but a starting point might be the Sinclair Cachet Tee, the Fringe Dress, the Elani Tunic or the Zadie jumpsuit. Or anything that floats your boat 🙂

Just more pics – I am so happy wearing this dress, it raises my spirits and adds hugely to my sewing loft aspirations.

A departure from my usual photos – I am wearing shoes! I’m in love with these Minnetonka sandals…

A lot of lizards…

Such a story…I bought 4 yards of this cute lizard cotton jersey at my local JoAnn store, and I just loved it. No spandex, nice weight, easy to sew. So I went online and found it in another color way, kind of a mocha. Incredible – they sent me 4 yards of the same green color way! Of course they issued a refund, but I did have to figure out what to do with all those green lizards!

BTW, the fabric is from the JoAnn Pops! Juvenile fabric collection. Ha!

(1) a full-length Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan. Such a great pattern, I’ve probably made close to a dozen over the years.

(2) A self-drafted shark bite tunic. This pattern is a staple in my summer wardrobe, it is so much fun to wear.

(3) Pajamas! the pants are McCall 7634 yoga pants (as are the green ones above), and the top is the Wiksten tank. The latter is designed for woven fabrics, but all of mine are jersey knit. I looked for a link to the McCall pattern, but I think shopping Etsy, etc., is the best bet. These are my favorite ever yoga pants.

And I’m wearing them now, so comfy. And I still have well over a yard of fabric remaining.

OK, here it comes…leapin’ lizards! Ciao! Coco

New Look 6323 Tunic Top

Making my own sunshine during a cold snap – and revisiting a favorite New Look pattern.

I mentioned on my last post that NL 6323 has been re-branded as McCalls Style L9484, (whatever that means, it can’t be found with Google). I found it at Walmart, and I’m going back to see what other OOP gems are hidden on the pattern rack.

It’s a keeper – so many options, and the drafting and instructions are excellent. Even the v-neck band fits and goes on easily! (I’m slightly intimidated by banded v-necks).

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed View D, which has a v-neck and gathered back skirt, in size Medium.
  • Fabric is double-brushed poly from Fabric.com. I love the print and colors 🙂
  • It looks better in person than in the photos!

I’ve been looking around for new styles and ideas, and just finished a muslin of the Named Clothing Ninni Culottes – very cute! pics soon.

My current project is totally intriguing, the Rya ‘shacket‘ from Fibre Mood! I have to content myself with cutting and taping and drafting the tissue while waiting for the fabric to arrive (found on Etsy, Robert Kaufman Saffron Mammoth Flannel).

I hope everyone is well and safe – For now, Coco

From dress to pedal pushers

It was time to recycle a couple dresses that I sewed last September, but never wore. For some reason, the sleeves and bodice kept slipping backwards, which was really annoying!

McCalls 7969, blogged here.

Enter new pants based on the Burda 6250 pull-on cargo pants, size 38. I just shortened the pants to fit the fabric salvaged from the skirt of the dress.

Fabric from JoAnns..

A second dress, same pattern, was also transformed to pants 🙂

To be really sporty, I’ll just call these board shorts – who wears pedal pushers these days?

Ciao! Coco