Megan Nielsen Brumby Skirt

Oh, time flies – of course, since my last post we’ve had 2 hurricanes, Thanksgiving, and my persistent cold! However, I’m definitely having some fun in the loft. I’ve been in a skirt mood, perhaps due to the change of season. This is my take on the rather amazing Brumby skirt – check out those pockets!

I purchased this pattern in 2015, made a muslin, and for some reason it’s been aging in my stash for 7 years. Now I want more…

Out of curiosity, I did a second download of the pattern (I could not believe I could do this after so long, but there it was in my account on MNeilsen), and I drafted new tissue from the newest version. There are differences between the two: the sizing is changed from S, M, L, etc., to numeric 0 – 20. Sizing, measurements, and instructions are all much improved. The instruction booklet is not overwhelmingly large and image-ridden, it’s beautifully written and illustrated. And it even has a print-friendly section that is just the instructions, no graphics. I love love the latter. The only thing that bugged me a bit is that the pattern PDF is not layered, the printout has all sizes – that’s almost archaic for a pattern PDF these days. But Megan made up for it by including 5/8″ seam allowances, not skimpy 3/8″ allowances that are treacherous for woven fabrics.

Top: Simplicity 8889 Mimi G summer shirt, post here

Sewing notes!

  • My fabric is a beautiful Montana Grape IL019 softened linen from The Fabrics-Store. If you haven’t visited this shop, I hope you will – their fabrics are beautiful, and they offer loads of great patterns for linen (including freebies). Check out their Doggie Bags, pre-cut lengths of all their fabrics, deeply discounted.
  • I sewed Version 1, the ‘less full’ choice, in size 12. For reference, the finished hem width in my size for this version is 59″.
  • My design changes: The skirt has a contour waistband with an exposed back zipper. None of that appeals to me! I drafted a 40″ x 4.5″ waistband and worked out the mechanics of how to gather the skirt properly on the front and back. My front band is interfaced and plain, my back band has inserted elastic. I have to give a nod to Lisa at Tessuti for her blog post about using this approach. Very reassuring, and I always enjoys well-written pattern reviews.
  • Of course I wanted a maxi skirt, which meant a simple addition to the skirt front and back. Version 1 is columnar, not A-line as are V2 and V3, so the add was easy. And I used a 2″ hem allowance.
  • Part of the fun was the topstitching, done in a light grey for contrast. The design details really do deserve notice.

Mr. Alligator is still with me, no hurricane could move him.

Parting note – I ordered new labels from The Dutch Label Shop, just arrived!

Ciao! Coco

Spontaneous December sewing plan


Sometimes I think the best anti-pandemic strategy is an outrageous stash of fabric. In line with that, yes, I am lurking Black Friday sales 🙂 My stash is beyond pitiful, like, nothing. Something I can rectify given the help of refund checks from my house closing in Weston, over a year ago!

Last week I visited the much-loved and appreciated, and placed a nice order. I’ve never sewn with much of a plan, I just lie in bed and get hit with an inspiration. So, upcoming:

A Deer & Doe Plantain Tee and Megan Nielson Virginia Leggings combo.

Another Style Arc Elani Tunic ( see last post) , in Robert Kaufman Driftless Insects linen:

And a pattern I’ve had for a couple years, a Katherine Tilton knit jacket, B6253 (search Ebay), with loads of detail, in a mid-weight sweatshirt fleece:

I hope you are all well, staying safe, and embracing hope and each other. Coco

Megan Nielsen Virginia Leggings

Cool weather inspiration! I haven’t made these leggings since 2013, no particular reason, I just got caught up with other patterns. On Sunday I found my old pair in my hosiery drawer – the new house is still giving up surprises 🙂

Fantastic pattern, now available in a full range of sizes (Original and Curve).

Sewing notes:

  • I’m 5’7″ and sewed the size Large. I probably could sew the Medium, but I really don’t like skin-tight leggings.
  • And I used the lightening stitch on my machine for all the seams. An example using the same type fabric in a different colorway – yes, second pair 🙂
  • I cut the length at the XL mark, just to add a bit more fun at the ankle.
  • And I added 1″ to the rise, as I don’t want to be hitching them up all the time.

The leggings are an easy and fast sew – no side seams and an easy-to-apply waistband with inserted elastic. I think I’ve mentioned my approach to the latter before, but, feeling chatty, here’s another go at it.

I like to insert elastic in the back seam of the band, not through the waistband/garment seam. I baste down the seam allowances to ease my way past them (a good idea no matter how you like to approach the casing).

And I rely on favorite tools from Dritz:

Cute fabric, brushed poly jersey from They always have a great selection.

I love the ankles on these leggings, all scrunchy!

Self-drafted top in cotton/lycra jersey

Ciao! Coco

Virginia Leggings – absolute fun!

I’m loving this leggings pattern from Megan Nielsen! 

There are only two pattern pieces – a waistband and a leg – with a choice of a regular rise or a ‘maternity’ low rise (which I think is pretty neat).
And they don’t need much fabric, a little less than 1.5 yd of a 60″ stretch knit.

I made just a couple tweaks to the pattern:
  • I’m 5/7″, 40″ hip, 30″ waist, and sewed a size Large. 
  • Cut the length at the hem line for the XL, which gave me another 1/2″ or so. It’s hard to see on my leggings, because of the print, but they really do scrunch up at the ankle – so cute!
  • Added 2″ at the top of the leg pattern piece – the rise was too short to be comfortable, sides, front and back. Since this pair is my muslin, I actually added a strip of fabric at the ‘top’ once the leg seams were sewn and fitted. I like my leggings (and pantyhose, for that matter) to come up a bit above my natural waist and not be crawling down as soon as I start walking around 🙂

OK, this is moi thinking I saw something on the floor, most likely something that got tracked in from all the stuff going on outside. 

Maybe I’m just losing it…

I’m back – composed once again. I even put my shoes on.

Parting roof update:

Two days ago – supplies for the next layer…

Yesterday – rain delay!
Today – the hot asphalt crew

Tonight – the 3rd layer is complete 
The new tile comes tomorrow on the biggest truck of all.  All smiles – Coco