V8499 and Tessuti Demi Pant- the combo mambo…


Now that is a happy face!

I’ve been so busy – watching April and Oliver as they wait for their little giraffe to appear, and thinking about my recent makes of the V8499 and Tessuti Demi pants. And getting a new hot water heater. Yes, domestic needs do intrude sometimes on my sewing.

Revisiting the V8499 pants, I mentioned in my post that they might work better in a woven. So I tried them in a linen/rayon blend. Hmm. A little soporific…

Plain V8499

But the pattern has a great darted front and waistband.


My affection for the Tessuti Demi Pants was still lukewarm pending more work.


What an opportunity – I decided to combine the patterns using the linen pants as my target. Out with that boring hem!

Line art:

Line Art x 2

This was a simple change. I drew the Demi detail on the linen pants, cut, and sewed. Not bad!


In fact, they’re really cute.



I actually wore shoes for these pics, because they do make a difference in the how the pants look. These are my favorite Madden Girl gladiator cheaters. And I’m wearing my Sewing Workshop Trio Top, hemmed and buttoned (I’ve become a bit fond of the top, collar and all). I love love the back on the Trio, and the upper arm coverage…


A note on my fabric: it’s a 55% linen/45% rayon blend from Fabric.com, the charcoal colorway. It’s very nice, and has a perfect rumple with no shine (I’ve found that blends that reverse the content – 55% rayon/45% linen – tend to drape more, have fewer slubs, and have a slight sheen).

Both blends ravel! so I serged the cut ends of the yardage before putting it through the washer and dryer 3 times. I also serged around all my cut pieces before I started sewing. It’s so easy to lose the seam allowance to a healthy ravel on linens.


I think that’s the end of this particular saga. All that remains is to order some more of this lovely fabric and make another pair. I like them 🙂

Ciao! Coco

Tessuti Demi Pant – a muslin…


I love new patterns…even this one!

This is a quickie post, to show my muslin efforts last week with the Tessuti Demi Pant. So, what’s ‘demi’ about it?! Pattern naming by indie designers seems to be very subjective.

demi pant line art

Anyway.  I’ve seen a few interesting makes of this, and since I love baggy pants with funky details, I gave it a try. Progress so far – well, mine are just shapeless. Maybe, when I’ve nothing else to do, I’ll fool around with it. I noticed in reading reviews that it’s either loved or not.

Another view, it’s awful, but I’ll share. Grant you, the top seems too narrow for the pants, but I think that, with this much volume in the pants, an appropriate top would be very unstructured. It might be time to pull out my unsewn Tina Givens patterns, she has some lovely tops that might work.


Parting shots:

It’s almost spring, and we’re having very high winds (15 – 30 mph). The mahogany trees are giving up their fruit – which are best described as wooden projectiles. They are huge, hard, and dangerous! These things keep me out of the garden except for a couple careful pick-up visits each day. If I don’t remove them, the nuts release hundreds of seeds that sprout in my garden like grass.

Their geometry is very alluring, I’ve always admired them, even when they make me nuts.

Mahagony nuts (1)

Mahagony nuts (2)

Monday – on to more projects 🙂 Bye for now, Coco

Vogue 8499 – Adventures in sewing…


I’ve been feeling so brave. And here’s another chapter in my Lagenlook journey. Pants.

Here’s the inspiration for my latest make, the Oska Topsy Trousers (Oska has wonderful Lagenlook styles – I want them all). These are done in a cotton/linen blend. Cute, right? Even better, Oska makes recommendations on styling their garments. For these pants, ” a great combination partner for short straight, long narrow or moderately swinging tops”.


I think Marcy Tilton’s V8499 pants come really close. Like the Oska trousers, they have a flat front waistband, with elastic in the back for wearing comfort, they’re ankle-length, and have that characteristic little balloon in the line of the leg. Vogue has styled theirs with a short boxy top as well.


I don’t have any short boxy tops – my Willow top was always too small, and it’s gone. But I do have some patterns I can use, if I decide stay with these pants. A couple more pics…I love those deep funky pockets! And I apologize for the weird exposure – all these light colors, including my hair, make it hard to get a balanced photo with my little camera.





A few sewing notes:

  • I made View B, the shorter look, in size 12. This is down one size for me in Vogue pants, because a lot of sewists cautioned that these pants run really large. Actually, I could easily do the 10.
  • My fabric is a midweight (13 oz) cotton/poly/spandex French terry twill from Girl Charlee. It has 4-way stretch, which is nice for knit pants, and holds the lines of the pattern really nicely.
  • That’s it – I didn’t change anything!

I also made a pair in poly/rayon ponte from JoAnns, to match my brown/cocoa striped top. No pic of them together – even though the browns match perfectly, the styling is just all wrong. Which means I’ll probably crop the top! In this pic I’m just wearing a white knit, hitched up in front to show the pockets.


I wish I could find a decent line drawing of these pants. Marcy Tilton’s patterns have such nice detail and finish. On these,

  • There are front darts to keep the front nice and flat, so they don’t bunch up around the waist and would work really well with a short top.
  • The pants have 4 pieces, not 2.
  • Two darts in the front calf area form the modified pouching effect and narrow the pant to the ankle. Perfect.
  • The waistband sews together beautifully – flat front to elastic back. I’ve seen this done before in a very clumsy way. This one works without a lot of fuss or bulk in the side seam.
  • Everything, every seam and dart, is topstitched. I love this look.

Soooo…here’s what I think. They’re nice pants, easy to wear, and fun to sew. I think I’d really like them in woven fabric, in a smaller size, worn with a boxy top (more like the example from Oska). I can’t go very far into the layered look that is often adopted with Lagenlook styles. It’s just too hot in Florida, even in winter.

I also think I might be an inveterate slim-pant person…here’s the same grey top, which is a modified Hemlock Tee, with favorite Sabrina Slims pants:


Wonder Woman pose…

Next up? Well, I’m waiting for some patterns to arrive in the mail. I’m really enjoying trying new styles, even if I do use up a lot of fabric 🙂

Bye for now – Coco

Vogue 1453 – Rockin’ my 50s sci-fi pants…

I’m game for a lot when it comes to sewing a new pattern that looks interesting. Even trying one that I cannot find in any review and knowing in my heart that they might be very special…

These are the funkiest pants I’ve ever made!

To my mind, I look like my knee hinges dropped.
In all fairness, this Sandra Betzina pattern is hugely popular. I’ve seen so many beautiful versions of the vest. And I plan to make it as well. But the pants – well, they just called to me. If they had worked, they would have been pretty neat.
I tried every way I could to get the pleated parts to lie down and behave. But they just popped back out as soon as I moved. Pressing them down didn’t help, and I am NOT going to press them anyway!
Good news, I can take out the pleats and reshape the lower leg for a jegging. The fit is fabulous – I sewed Size C, it’s long enough for me at 5’7″, and the crotch length is perfect, front and back. In fact, I plan to make some more in knit fabric. They will be great PJ bottoms.
It’s Friday! and I hope everyone enjoys a safe and peaceful weekend, maybe with a old sci-fi movie thrown in 🙂
Ciao! Coco

Morris and Sabrina…

Or what to do with 5 yards of ponte de roma! I picked it up at a very good price at Fabric Mart earlier this year, thinking I would make a long cardigan for the change of seasons. But I’ve been on the fence about it. A long cardigan would be an almost zero-use item for me, wearable on maybe a few days in January or February. So it’s been sitting in my stash, while I’ve been sewing down the fabrics around it. (I’ve been on a bit of a fabric fast for most of the year – my stash was getting out of hand. I will totally break out during the Black Friday – Cyber Monday sales!)
So, I decided to go with a second Boyfriend Cardigan as a compromise. Only one pic, because I just don’t love it. I do have other plans for it – hopefully I won’t re-cut and sew it down to nothing. 

A note here about my hair: it came up blonde in this and two more pics because I took them with the settings I had been using to photograph the moon. Clearly my camera still has the upper hand. I’ve become very vain about my gray hair – I love it!

With the cardigan behind me, I decided to make another Grainline Morris Blazer, but with a concession – I sewed it to the original drafting, with none of the little changes I made previously to the bottom edge. And I cut it with long sleeves, a simple change. I thought I might like it better than my two previous versions. It’s such a cute jacket, and I’ve seen so many terrific makes of the pattern – the Grainline Flickr group is a lurkers heaven…
 Actually, this one’s pretty nice. The fabric works really well, and the fit is spot on. On Emile, pending sleeves:
To keep the facings – neckline, front edges, and hem – nice and fluid, I used tricot knit lining for all my interfacing. The pattern suggests fusible tricot interfacing, but I did not want to risk ‘freezing’ the fabric, as fusibles often do. 
I hand-basted the interfacing/facing just outside the seam line and removed the basting once the facings were in place. I enjoy hand-sewing, so basting is right up my alley. I baste all the time!
I’m really happy with the result. By the way, as before, I top-stitched along the edge of the front facing. This seems to prevent the fabric drag, between the shoulder and bottom point, that haunts so many Morris blazers.

Added top-stitching, red lines

I could not believe I still had enough fabric to make one more thing. An easy choice – the Love Notions Sabrina Slims are one of my favorite pants. Absolutely like wearing PJs.

And the ponte is all used up, gone, done!
Ciao! Coco