MOB Dress V1 is complete!

Live from the garden for a change! It has been so long since I took photos outside. But my patio and walks have been cleaned of  their rainy season mold, the air is lovely and cool, and the sun is staying just behind the clouds – perfect for the camera. 
Ms. Squirrel let me down, no doubt getting into trouble in the neighborhood with her buddies…
I finished this ‘muslin’ not long after I posted ideas for my MOB dress and showed the bodice of this dress.  I love it. And I love ITY knit. It’s just heavenly to sew and wear. Once it’s sewn, the iron goes away forever, and it travels like a dream. 
Clementine Floral ITY Knit – Fabric Mart
To reprise, it’s a mix of two patterns:
Bodice and skirt – New Look 6936

Sleeves and bodice sleeve armscye redraft – Vogue 1315

I added a 1.5″ waistband and casing (finished width), in which I inserted 3/4″ elastic. The casing is woven broadcloth, which supports the weight of the ITY skirt. 
The bodice, skirt, and waistband are all 42″ in width, so no gathering is required 🙂 The small gathers provided by the elastic are just enough to ease my full bust and allow the skirt to fall nicely past my hips without clinging.
I’m really pleased with the bodice – all that careful fitting paid off.
Ideas continue – I just finished the muslin of another dress, totally different from this one. And I like it so much that I ordered some fabric for a second version. Ashley’s colors are pink and latte, so I’m keeping them in mind as I shop. I definitely will not wear orange!
Lawn – Fabric Mart, Cotton/poly sweater knit –

I also got the Vogue 8885 shrug pattern in the mail, and I’ve put it aside as too fussy. Instead I’m working on a muslin of View B of McCalls 6461 – it’s one of my very favorite cardigan patterns. I’ve sewn it 4 times in various ways, and admit I’ve never blogged it.

It has a really cute twisted tee pattern thrown in. I’ve not sewn it, but I’ve seen some nice versions on the web.

A couple more pics – Ashley’s bridal shower is the end of January, maybe I’ll wear this dress!
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

Burda Style Athletic/Bomber Jacket!

Gosh, it seems like forever since I posted.  I just haven’t been well. Short hospital stay the first week of October, and it has taken a while to get back on my feet. Aargh.

When I came home, Ashley and D. ‘moved’ the loft downstairs into the dining area, and I’ve actually enjoyed a little sewing. And today Emile took on some modeling for me.

This bomber jacket is so cute – Burda Style calls it an athletic jacket, maybe because the sleeve is not set-in. I’ve been wanting to sew one for months, but just couldn’t settle on a pattern.

Burda Style 05/2014 #110

I finally chose this pattern, out of the many out there, for a couple reasons: it’s unlined, and it has a round neck with no ribbing. I think the ribbing on my neck would make me crazy 🙂

I also thought I might be able to adapt the band on this pattern for a button band, since I don’t use zippers. In the end, I just redrafted the front edge:

  • I extended the front and front self-facing by 1.5″ to form the button band area. 
  • And added the ‘classic’ button square at the ends of the waistband ribbing.

Another change I made…I ended up using faux welt pockets. I originally sewed in the pocket bags, but didn’t like them. So chop chop!

Inside views..

I used a corded denim, which is a little stiff at this point after only one washing. It’s a little ravelly, so all the seams are serged or bound.

Loving these button snaps…

Behind every good button snap there’s a good tool, and believe me, this one is worth every nickel it cost me. It does all the work – I’m so excited to have this hunk of metal! Many many thanks to Anne, at Clothing Engineer, who has a wonderful review and tutorial on the use of this fantastic tool.

Pres-n-Snap, from Sailrite
15mm ring snaps, Pacific Trimming

I’m going to put snap buttons on everything!!

One last sewing note. I didn’t go for ribbing – I used remnant cotton/spandex jersey knit for my cuffs and waistband – works like a charm. 
This was an interesting project, but it turns out that this grey jacket doesn’t match anything in my wardrobe! So funny…
Ciao! Coco

Grainline Studios (FREE) Hemlock Tee

Gosh, I think I downloaded the Hemlock Tee pattern just after Jen Beeman posted just over a year ago. And I finally cut it out and put it together – it really was fun. And so successful. Thanks, Jen!


This is a plain and simple project. The pattern is one-size, and instructions are in Jen’s blog post. She also has a tutorial for sewing the pattern with tissue knits. I read it, because I’ve always been curious about tissue knits. Scary stuff that requires really pretty lingerie… 
I used a cotton jersey knit from Holly Lobby
Finished garment measurements are bust, 44.5″ and hip, 46.5″. At 5’7″, with a 37″ bust and 42″ hip, my only change was to add 2″ to the length of the shirt. I’m going to add one more inch to the length so I can take a deeper hem (this one is a scant 1/2″).

The shirt doesn’t have set- in sleeves or curved sleeve caps! The sleeves are simply sewn onto the body in a straight seam, which forms to dropped shoulder. Really easy. The pattern includes 3/8″ seam allowances so it can be sewn on a serger, which is what I did. Super fast to sew.

True Bias Hudson Pants
I really like this tee shirt! After all the futzing around I do with this and that designer pattern, I like the timeless design of this one. It’s not baggy, it fits well, and it feels like me.
From the garden…I ventured out between storms yesterday to get these pics.  When the coconut palm was shorter, the nuts disappeared before they fell, but they are out of reach now 🙂

This palm is about 10′ taller than the roof of my 2-story house!
Ciao! Coco

McCalls 6928 Skirted Tunic in Royal Blue!

First, credit to Mary, of Biblioblog…several weeks ago, she updated her Pattern Review of the tank version of this pattern with her skirted version, and I fell in love with it. It is so pretty!

Bonus – the pattern comes with a bunch of versions, all for woven fabric (although I plan to use it for knits as well, since it has no bust darts).

Really liking this with jeans, the way Mary styled it.

This fabric is a beautifully embroidered eyelet from It’s a thick cotton and feels very rich. I’m not a big fan of blue, but one morning Robin Roberts, co-host on Good Morning America, was wearing a stunning royal blue dress. After that, I was on the lookout for something in royal blue.
The unexpected challenge with this fabric was matching the parallel eyelets vertically and horizontally when I laid out the pattern pieces! The color is soooo pretty with white. 

Sewing notes – I did struggle a bit with the bodice of this pattern. The straps are very narrow, and I don’t like peek-a-boo lingerie straps 🙂 And there are no bust darts, always a challenge for me with a woven top.
  • I sewed View D in Medium. This is the skirted version that does not drop in the back.
  • The bodice was lengthened by 1″, front and back.
  • The front bodice was cut on the fold, rather than seamed.
  • I widened the straps, but had to rework the armholes and shoulder seams quite a bit to get a nice fit. 
  • And I added about an inch to the skirt. Just for good measure because I’m 5’7″ and generally add a couple inches to a pattern.

After finishing this top, I knew I wanted to make a couple more in light-weight woven fabrics. It’s such an easy piece to wear over pants, and it’s a little dressier than a T-shirt. But I wasn’t happy with the bodice. So – yes, I redrafted it for wovens. I’ve redone the shoulders and armholes, and added a bust dart for my full B-cup. I’m much happier and will share a new version soon.
But meanwhile, one more look, with Virginia leggings…
September is National Sewing Month! And I’m on board – it’s all I have planned…
Ciao! Coco