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

New Look 6323 Tunic full of giraffes…

I’m covered in little giraffes! When I got this border print ITY from Fabric Mart last year, I thought the giraffes were bigger. But I think they’re adorable as they are. It’s just taken me a while to find a pattern that would work – the print on the 6″ wide border runs vertically, and the main print runs horizontally. Head spin…

New Look 6323 is perfect. It’s very similar to the Butterick 5954 tunic that I’ve made 5 times. But this one has a gathered back option that I just love.

Honestly, I had kind of forgotten I had it. I made it once last year in interlock jersey, and the fit in size 14 was really bad. Much too large. Plus I really disliked the color of the fabric, and it was donated.

This go ’round I used the size 12 – and it’s a great fit. I have the pattern in a download file, so I reprinted it and drafted the new size.

How about those sleeves! I used the border down the center of the sleeves and on the neckline binding. I had to do something to break up the herd running all over the tunic. It just took a little redrafting of the sleeve (I kept the original instead of cutting it apart):

From the sleeve – the giraffes really are nice, they have a good attitude. I know the colors look black, white, and coral, but that’s really a deep navy. So I’m wearing my indigo jeans and Rocket Dog flip-flops 🙂

Now that I’ve rediscovered this pattern, I’ve already sewn it again, in solid black rayon jersey. Which I won’t show here – black is impossible to photograph.

The back detail is also hard to capture, but it looks great in real life.
I love Jungle January! Ciao – Coco

New Look 6340 Easy Dress – Jungle January!

I love Jungle January, hosted by Pretty Grievances. It’s now in it’s 4th year. Thanks Anne!

I’m a real enthusiast, so I decided to photograph my first dress outside at night. Hoping for some alligator eyes or a night creature.

All I got was mosquitoes. Back in the house…

Early this morning I tried this again. Much better. No alligators but no mosquitoes either. This is the New Look 6340 Easy Dress, taken to a maxi length. It’s the same pattern I used to make a couple tunics last year.

And done in a very lightweight rayon/poly/spandex ponte de roma from Girl Charlee. It’s extremely soft and comfortable, not at all hot – I think I’ll be able to wear it fall and winter down here.

I got a little surprise while sewing this. I was rockin’ and rollin’ – made the pockets and ties, ran gathering stitches around the sleeve caps, sewed the shoulder seams, and attached the facing…then turned back the facing to find this little white spot near the front neckline…

Tried to pick it off – but no, it’s not lint. It’s a misprint, and it repeats further down the dress. This is why I have permanent Micro pens!


It’s hard to see the details on this print, so a couple pics on Emile.

Topstitching around the neckline and on the back facing.

A few sewing notes:

  • Made view D in size 12, and had just the right amount of ease for this knit fabric. I added 20″ to make it maxi length and cured the lines of the skirt from waist to hemline.
  • I altered the sleeve just slightly, to get a nice elbow-length sleeve. I made it 15″ long from the shoulder notch to the unfinished bottom edge, and dropped the sleeve edges straight down from the armhole, i.e., removed the shaping.
  • Inserted the sleeves flat, rather than set-in, and sewed the underarm and dress sides in one continuous seam. 
    • To make the ties, I cut 2″ x 31″ strips vertically with the grainline to diminish stretching.
    • And turned the ties with the Dritz Quick Turn tool, and a chopstick!

    Parting shot: the fellas love their Christmas gift of Hudson pants, and my son wants more in other colors. I’m so complimented!

    I’m back to the jungle, bye for now! Coco

    New Look 6378 – A Kimono shrug-gy top!


    I’ve been busy this month! I think it’s all this new energy I have since the doc put me on massive vitamin D supplements a couple weeks ago. Wowser. And I’m more relaxed as well. Even the lack of wind this morning didn’t bother me. I really wanted to do this photo shoot in the wind, so I could look all flowy and wafty. However – barefoot is as close as I got. I’ll take it…

    There are so many loose, almost-a-shrug, kimono tops showing up in bloggerland this summer, and on style/fashion sites as well. OK, I had to make one. Of course I had to look at every pattern and finished garment I could find before I settled on the one I wanted to try first. I think that’s part of the fun.

    My thanks to everyone who’s sewn one – I enjoyed your pics! I narrowed down my choices to six patterns…

    In all honesty, they all started looking the same after a while. But I decided I wanted (1) an attached sleeve, which facilitates adjustments to the fit, (2) variations in the front hemline, curved, straight, and so on, and (2) some length options – I get tired of adding length to everything I make.

    I love this pattern from New Look. I’m a big fan of their patterns in general. They come up with really on-trend designs, while keeping their basics and classics available. And their patterns are well-drafted, the instructions are excellent, and they’re affordable. I generally order mine online from Pattern Review, Sewing Patterns or Simplicity.

    I sewed View C, the mid-length style with a curved front edge, in size Medium. 

    And I made zero changes to the pattern! In fact, I cut it straight from the tissue last night and sewed it this morning in just 2 hours. That’s an absolute record for me. I was done by 8:30 and looking around for something else to do. I found something, but more on that later.

    Actually, I’m pretty proud of myself. This fabric is polyester chiffon, purchased over 2 years ago at Walmart for a whopping $1/yard. I bought 6 yards but had no idea what I’d do with it. And it sat. Chiffon can be scary stuff – it looked just fine down there at the bottom of one of my fabric bins. But this pattern practically yells ‘chiffon’. Out it came.

    A few sewing notes:

    Chiffon ravels if you simply look at it, but I decided not to use french seams. Instead, I finished all the edges on the serger with a very narrow rolled hem.

    A sleeve ready to be attached

    The serging – cutter and rolled edge – took up about 3/8″ of the seam allowance. This worked great – I simply put the side of my foot against the edge, moved my needle all the way to the right, and sewed scant 1/4″ seam allowances. Banking the presser foot against the edge really helped me keep things going in a straight line.

    I also added a couple things to address the inherent flimsiness of the fabric:

    • I flat-felled the shoulder seams, which adds some weight at the seam and keeps it up on my shoulder,
    • And I added a line of stay-stitching around the back neckline, to give it a little extra strength and guard against stretching in this area.


    From the left – front neckline, shoulder seam, and back neckline

    I adore my Juki F600. It never skipped a beat and sewed the chiffon like it was built to sew chiffon. I used a walking foot and a size 70 needle, and I had no problems at all. No, I won’t sew silk chiffon or charmeuse! in fact, I don’t like to sew gauze. But I’ll do this again.

    And here’s the top hanging from the light fixture in the foyer 🙂 so you can see the lines of the pattern.


    A keeper.



    Now, that other thing I found to occupy my time: I upgraded my laptop to Windows 10. It took a little over 3 hours, during which I had visions of the thing crashing and never coming back…

    Watched I am Legend
    Rolled a skein of yarn

    It’s done, I tweaked it a bit, and I really like it. It’s not as elegant or as fast as my iMac, but it’s definitely a big improvement for Windows.

    Bye for now! Coco

    A couple more summer blouses…


     I’m on a roll.

    I’ve really enjoyed my first version of New Look 6340 – I reach for it all the time. It has such a nice fit, and I like the pockets. Handy for all kinds of little things, including my hands!

    So I made another, this one in Michael Miller chain link quilting cotton from Hancock’s of Paducah. (It was on sale for $4.99, such a great buy).

    I love getting fabric from this store. It is always perfectly cut, each piece is carefully folded and wrapped separately in plastic, and it’s just a delight to receive.

    Back to the top. To go with, I’ve sewn another pair of the Vogue 9114 Kathryn Brenne ankle pants, done in white target cloth from JoAnns. These are a little shorter than my red ones at left. And I like this shorter length, kind of funky.

    Like they aren’t funky enough already with those upside down pockets on the leg.

    Next up, another Butterick 6024 pintucked blouse. Light and comfy in Robert Kaufman Calling 4 London lawn (also from Hancock’s of Paducah).

    My first version has the original long hem in the back…

    Butterick 6040 Pintucked Tunic

    On this one, I shortened the back by 4.5″ at the center, cured out to the sides. It just seems to suit the print fabric better than an exaggerated hem. And it’s still long enough to be easy-going. No anxieties about the back view…


    I don’t want to give the impression that all has gone well in the loft…I’ve put a couple things in the wadder bin since last week. The biggest disappointment was a dress I planned for the Maxi Dress sew-along. I ordered the pattern, McCalls 7080, sight-unseen. It’s new for the summer season. And ordered the fabric just for the pattern as well.

    Both were awful. The bodice was so tight around the sleeve, horrible, and the original neckline was up around my earlobes. And the fabric – I swear, I thought it was cotton. Not. It’s 100% woven polyester. Feels like the outside of a Pampers pull-up…

    To make things even worse, I managed to get part of my finger in with a seam I was trimming with my razor-edged Fiskar scissors. ouch.

    So – I’m working now on another dress for the sew-along. This is why I have a stash 🙂

    Parting shots – the guavas are getting fat and ripening (the ones that Ms. Squirrel and Mr. Anole cannot reach, way out on the skinny tips of the limbs).


    Bye for now – Coco