I’m so busy!

Look familiar? My kitchen is my staging area for all kinds of painting, my only issue is that all the stuff is in front of my coffee maker!

The bathroom vanity – it was not an easy upgrade, because painting stained wood is giant pain. This vanity was ’80s oak, a Thomasville cabinet, so it was worth the effort. It looks so high end now! Black paint, new hardware ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of black paint, I’m actually painting all my exterior doors black as well. They are all stained oak, so it takes a coat of primer and 2 coats of paint to finish. And it will take forever to cure. I’ve finished the door to the wash house and the kitchen door (pic below). Notice that it cures very quickly on my hands…

The kitchen door, framed glass, and very exposing without something over the glass. I want to stay in the 21st century, so I added a frosted film (Rabbitgo), with a 1/2″ clear border. It’s great! and I can walk in my kitchen au naturel

Pending – the front door. I need more paint and a rest (at least 24 hours) from painting.

Meanwhile, sewing plans…

I’m making my son an Hawaiian shirt, white linen, using Kwik Sew 2935. I’ve measured him every way from here to Sunday for this project ๐Ÿ™‚

And of course I’m sewing for myself. I ordered 3 yards of this gorgeous STOF France Zoya Multicolore linen for a Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau.

I won’t line it, I have a beautiful burnt orange voile for Hong Kong seams.

I’m grateful to be so busy. I’m feeling loved, my family stays in touch, and my son comes by for porch hellos. For which he gets Twizzlers and loop band bracelets.

I hope you are well also – Coco

Beautiful glorious day and a Gerard Manteau

What a nice day – cool, well, for Floridians, cold ๐Ÿ™‚ My new Gerard Manteau is perfect.

This cute and casual jacket from Republique du Chiffon is a gem. It has a semi-grunge aspect – loose and long.

I’m in the back yard, in front of my newly trimmed tangerine tree. I was concerned that it was so full and thick, a hurricane could push it over in a flash. Not now! And the birds love the tree.

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size small – a medium would have swallowed me, but would be perfect for fleece or fur.
  • I have the PDF pattern, and the instructions and illustrations (hand-drawn and very small) are minimal. Additionally, only the French instructions are really useable – the English translation provided is just weird. If you’ve made a jacket, you will be fine. This is a very basic pattern.
  • A caution: the pattern does not discriminate sizes by line style – they are all the same solid black line, so don’t drink wine while cutting…
  • The fabric: Heathered Sapphire 100% Cotton Corduroy 66W from Fabric Mart, 7-wale.
  • It did get some special prep work. I serged all the pattern pieces before I started sewing, to prevent bias stretch and loss of fabric on the edges.

Then I vacuumed my entire house!! and cleaned my serger.

  • Originally I used twill tape to define the roll of the lapel. But I found that it distorted the lapel because the wale opened and rolled around. So I took it out.
  • For the same reason, the distortion of sewing across this wide wale, I squared the bottom of the pockets (I love that they are lined, nice touch).

Tree hugger ๐Ÿ™‚

Ciao! Coco

Gerard Manteau in corduroy – prep!

Time for a new Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau. I’m in love with this casual jacket.

I found a beautiful 7-wale heathered saffire corduroy at Fabric Mart late last year. And I knew it’s destiny.

The prep, driven by my fabric, has taken hours and hours ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course I laundered the fabric, and I was rewarded with piles and piles of lint in the dryer. I tumbled it twice to get the last bits off the yardage, and then I cleaned my dryer!

Prep – once I start sewing, I want to work with nice pattern pieces without lint or unexpected bias distortion. So I cut and serged every single piece of my pattern.

As I was cutting, I marked notches with a chalk pencil, but after I serged the edges, I marked them with a small pin. Chalk disappears from corduroy in a flash…

I’m anxious to start, but my interfacing, Pellon SF785 sew-in, is in the laundry. Yes, non-fusible interfacing should be washed and dried… I prefer sew-in interfacing on anything with a wale or heavy texture, as I don’t want to crush the fabric pressing a fusible.

So, next up, my Gerard Manteau! Bye for now, Coco

Republique du Chiffon – le Manteau Gerard

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One of those perfect projects.

I purchased this jacket pattern from Republique du Chiffon 5 years ago, and somehow it got lost in my stash. I love the 80’s vibe of the jacket, which is why I picked it up in the first place. Check it out – there are some beautiful versions to view online.

The line art below is from the currently available version. Mine, the original PDF, has applied pockets, which I really like on this casual semi-grunge style.

line art

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I used a cotton/tencel/lycra light-weight denim from Fabric Mart. The fabric has enough weight that I was able to skip the lining. It’s warm enough here in south Florida without any additional layers inside.

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Top: Named Saraste shirt

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Sewing notes:

  • I drafted the size Small, and it’s a beautiful fit on my frame. However… I don’t see the PDF on the pattern site now, only a printed/envelope version. I noticed sizing changes that would definitely impact my purchase decision – the small is too small, the medium is too large. Sorry to be a bummer, but I might not go for it at 17 euros plus shipping from France.

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 4.38.05 PM-down

  • I removed the ‘cocoon’ curve from the side seams, the silhouette is just not my thing.
  • The facings and hem bands are generous and perfect for finishing the jacket without lining.

inside
Inside view

  • I used 3/4″ buttons and buttonholes with rounded ends. Honestly, I didn’t even open the buttonholes because I won’t wear this buttoned. But I like the additional visual detail.

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  • Small tip on making a perfect front curve on the bottom front edge…clip, check, clip, until the curve is even and flat with no lumps when it’s turned.

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So, here’s lucky. Fabric Mart sent me an additional 8″ in length – I got the end of the bolt. I had just enough to make the matching capris I’m wearing in these pics. Now I have a casual suit as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pants: Vogue 8584 loose leg pants, View A

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I’m not sure what I’ll sew next. Being the good Fabric Mart shopper that I am, I have 5 fabrics coming my way next week. Perhaps I’ll do a pair of True Bias Hudson pants, since I have a beautiful black matte jersey tempting me from my stash. I wear my leggings – Love Notions Sabrina Slims, Hudsons, and Pattern Emporium Harem pants – so much that I just keep on making them ๐Ÿ™‚

Ciao! Coco

Another Lucie dress…and a new machine!

First – thank you for all the messages for feeling better. I am! Better every day, and the sun is out. Much appreciated, my dear friends.

A new sewing machine! And hopefully the last for a while ๐Ÿ™‚ ย My Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 has not worked out well for me. It’s such a nice machine in so many ways, but so were my Janome Magnolia and my Project Runway machine. None of which hit the level of performance I really wanted. The fault was mine – the expense was holding me back.

The awful obvious – look how much I’ve spent avoiding the expense!

I thought long and hard about it. Truth is, I love sewing, it’s what I do now that I’m retired, and I really want that great performer.

Research, research, and I got a Juki HZL-F600. Oh my goodness. It has everything, and it does everything (it’s not an embroidery machine), and the features and performance are incredible. The ergonomics are thoughtful and impressive – I’m really pleased with my choice.

After much shopping around, I ordered from Ken’s Sewing Center, and I received great bonus items as well: a wheeled tote, 100 Organ needles, a complete quilting feet kit, and 10 extra bobbins. Cannot think of another thing I need.

With the extension table attached

 

Everything actually fits in the front of the hard case!

 

Bonus wheeled tote!

 

Nice, large, and well-illustrated manual, with an additional ย instruction CD!

 

 

Bonus quilting presser feet kit

One of the first garments sewn on Mr.Machine was another Republique du Chiffon Robe Lucie for Ashley! I saw this lovely fabric at Fabric.com and had to make her one more for her summer wardrobe.

Fabric: Wild Flower Geranium by Newcastle Novelties

As with her first Lucie, this is unhemmed pending a fitting this week. I’m heading across Alligator Alley to house-sit and visit with the kitties while she and D. are in San Diego for ComicCon. I love going over – it’s a nice break for me, the kitties are great company, and I get to cruise Holly Lobby and her JoAnns superstore.

This is a very nice, soft cotton, not at all wrinkly. It’s a bit lighter than a calico, so I made a full underdress with Symphony poly/cotton broadcloth from JoAnns. Love this back neckline…

This is such a fun pattern to sew, and it’s really very basic – a bodice and an attached gathered skirt. The suggested closing of the shoulder seam is a little different, but is also very clever. I like it!

Here are the instructions, which have great illustrations. It’s like putting two pants legs together to do the crotch seam.

 

The lined front piece is inside out. The lined back piece is turned right side out and is inserted inside the front lining and main fabric, right side to right side.

 

Now the shoulder ‘tube’ is opened and hand-sewn all the way round. Pull the pieces away from each other and voila! finished shoulder seams on both the main fabric and lining sides.
A little different approach but it works great!
One other tip: This is a PDF pattern, but unlike most PDFs, the different sizes are not differentiated by line style. They are different colors! So be sure to print the pattern in color, not in black and white (lesson learned…).
And that is all for now from chez Coco! A bientot!

Republique du Chiffon – Robe Lucie

My Ashley is the lucky one this time – this Lucie is for her! A surprise dress for her trip with D. to the San Diego ComicCon later this month. If her Lizzy dressform will give it up! Even unhemmed, it is a lovely look for summer.

Republique du Chiffon came out with this pattern a couple weeks ago, and it captured me from the moment I saw Julie’s test version onย JolieBobines.

I think the low-slung back, loose bodice, and saucy attitude make a great statement. The little lines on the shoulder are for piping. Such a nice touch.

How pretty is the back of this dress! Ashley actually has this tattoo, it is ‘Pura Vida’ wrapped around Costa Rican orchids, a memory of when we lived there. Her new dress will showcase it so beautifully.

Poly/cotton broadcloth lining from JoAnns
Directions are provided for lining the dress, which is optional. It would be easy to line only the bodice or to use binding on the neckline and armholes instead. I decided to use a full lining, because the main fabric, a polyester broadcloth from Fabric.com, is very lightweight.ย 

Sewing notes:

The pattern, which is a PDF download, and instructions are in French, but with only two bodice pieces and two rectangles for the skirt, this isn’t a complicated construction. The instructions include lots of very large, well-drawn pictures!

I constructed the lining as an underdress, instead of lining the bodice and skirt separately. I much prefer the movement of an underdress for a shift (which really moves much as a coat does).

Topstitching the bodice was my last step. A little tip for topstitching to keep the fabric from shifting or pushing forward under the presser foot – take a minute to baste first…

Well, I’m officially jealous. I want one!ย 

Ciao! Coco