Help please! trying to ‘copy’ a pattern…


This is my Australian Open project – and Happy Australia Day to all of you who are celebrating! I’ve been up every morning at double-O early to watch the matches. They start at 3:30 a.m in my neighborhood. But I am an early riser anyway, so it’s nice to have such good company.

This project. I’m trying to make a copy of the McCalls 6168 sharkbite hem cardigan. It’s out of print (but not so old, released in 2010), and I can only find 2 copies on the web, both in size 18-24. I would get one of these, but drafting a size 12 from a 18 is not easy.

BTW – Twotoast started this! I am smitten with all her versions of the pattern…beautiful!



As a starting point, I picked up Butterick 5203 in JoAnns – it has that critical hemline. All settled on the floor with tissue, tape, and pen, I opened the pattern. And the only thing in there was the instruction set. No pattern. I have never bothered to look inside a pattern envelope in the store! Shocker.



Back to the drawing board, more research, and I decided to start with New Look 6323, View D. Which meant I had to draft the hemline. Good thing my favorites were winning in the tennis matches.


And here’s what I drafted for this version. I redrew the front neckline, hemline, and sides. This is the front, but the back has the same changes on the sides and hemline.


I was a little worried about the neckline, because that front curve is critical. But it came out OK!

This is an awful poly jacquard knit…but it was perfect for a muslin.

My sides don’t have as much of a drop as I’d like, or the line I’m after …


But not bad for my first attempt.



Gosh, my  white top and pants don’t match. Actually, I wore this awful white-on-white combo so that the cardi would be easy to see. Here’s a better look…


Back to the title – any ideas on how to improve the hemline? Does anyone have a pic of the pattern pieces from M6168 to share? Or another pattern idea? I promise to bow from the waist forever for any and all assistance.

A quick note on my ‘Choices’ post – the comments are wonderful, inspiring, and much appreciated. I haven’t replied to any of them, because the diversity of opinion and the openness of what’s being shared are awesome.

Bye for now! Coco


Loving the Love Notions Sabrina Slims…

Top: New Look 6323

One or two was not enough…more Sabrina Slims!

I admit that sewing has slowed down a bit in the loft. I think it’s because I’m really enjoying my ‘culled’ closet. It has only my very favorite clothes now – and it’s so easy to choose something to wear. Who would have known? Less is more?

Well, not always. I really love these Sabrina Slims. As soon as I finished my first pair(s), I ordered a couple fabrics to add some new fun to my spring and summer wardrobe. Of course I wanted white – it’s seasonless down here. And I wanted a floral print, because the inspiration pics on the web were so nice when done in a print. Oh, and apparently floral pants on trending this spring. Like I need an excuse…

I used a medium weight (10 oz) cotton spandex knit from Girl Charlee for the white pair. It has 4-way stretch and is perfect for these pants. And as long as I was doing repeats, I made another McCalls 6987 tunic to go with. I don’t see much of this tunic on the web, and I imagine it’s not terribly popular – the envelope pic is awful. But I really like it. Done in challis, it’s weightless and just floats around.

And here’s is the floral print! I love it. 

This is also a cotton spandex knit from Girl Charlee – mid-weight at 8.5 oz, with 4-way stretch.

Let’s see – what else… Last weekend I put down 100 lbs. of fertilizer in the garden. Not an easy task! But it’s that time of year, and I need to fertilize ahead of the heavy summer rains. The palms are putting out flower spathes (pollen everywhere), and the mahogany trees have shed their leaves and are sprouting a beautiful new green canopy. The plants are hungry!
Other than that I’ve been just monkeying around. A monkey muslin…
Ciao! Coco

Jungle January final makes…

And we come to the end of Jungle January…

I picked up loads of animal print fabrics over the year 2015, and I still haven’t sewn all of them. Here are a couple things that I did finish, both in patterns I’ve blogged before.

What would the month be without a version of my TNT Jalie Cocoon cardigan. Love this thing.

It’s a snakeskin print – a Maggy London jacquard double knit from Fabric Mart. Nice. I’ve been watching for more of this fabric. It’s smooth like a ponte de roma, just a little heftier. And a breeze to sew in this pattern.

I was cruising QVC recently, looking at cardigans for ideas, and found this one from Halston for $65, and identical to the Jalie version. Which means I have $325 worth of cardigans in my closet…

More bottoms, this time in McCalls 6291 elastic-waist cargo pants. Another favorite that I’ve used to make both pants and shorts.



This crazy stretch denim is also from Fabric Mart, and it’s one of the strangest fabrics I’ve sewn. The blue spots feel almost rubbery, kind of like puffy fabric paint (yes, I used a bunch of it when I was on my painted tee shirt journey).

I tested it with the iron, and decided not to push it! I didn’t want blue goo all over my iron sole plate, so I used a calico pressing cloth.



On this pair I used one cargo pocket, no flap, but buttoned down, on each lower leg. I know they’re lost in this print, but they’re cute in real life. I also added 5 belt carriers, and then decided not to use them. The fabric is a little heavy with all those blue things, and the carriers made the waistband very stiff. My seam ripper got a real workout removing the waistband and carriers, I probably need a new ripper now.

The black slouchy turtleneck I’m wearing is Kwik Sew 4069. Andrea, this is for you 🙂 and thank you for pointing out that black is a good color for me! I’ve enjoyed this top.


The pattern is very simple and has two collar variations, folded or standing turtle. A caution: measure your neck, try on the collar, and modify it as needed, before you sew it on. I took 3.5″ off the width of my standing collar for an almost-snug fit.

Thanks again, Anne, for a fun January. And I’m off to watch the replay of the Australian Open women’s final…great stuff.

Ciao! Coco

McCalls 6996 – A long cardigan at last!

I’m laughing in this pic – I don’t usually open a post with shot of this side of a garment. But this cardigan has such a cute skirted back!

Cardigans are perfect for Florida winters and trips to the grocery (I get so cold in there). I have a favorite pattern for short ones, but finding a long cardigan has been hard! I just don’t want lots of drapey folds or layered ruffles down my front.

I made View B, which has very nice clean lines, a lovely raised and gathered back neckline, and slim sleeves. The back skirt is slightly flared and beautifully curved right at the waistline.

I sewed a size large in a mini-rib ponte knit from JoAnns. It’s almost a sweater knit, very light. The last of my grey fabric – yea! But I might keep this one, I really like it.

A note on sewing: I used the elastic/lightening stitch on all my seams, and cut/serged them to finish. The shoulders are reinforced with twill tape (I don’t use elastane – allergy). And the hems are simply turned and topstitched. May I say I love my Juki F600 – it sews knits beautifully. I haven’t used steam-a-seam to do hems since I got this machine. And the elastic stitch is perfect. Sigh.

My only alteration was to remove a little of the downward slope at the enter front, as shown by my red lines in the line art. The design is a little easier to see on the inside, on Emile:

More pics! I’m also wearing True Bias Hudson pants in black ITY knit – these are like my fuller leg version. They feel like silk, and the poly/rayon knit does not cling to them at all.

Fun project, interesting to sew, and a keeper. Ciao! Coco