Random Thursday

The lovely print I framed for my bedroom, Stof Maisonette Canvas.

Honestly, I’ve had a lot of ‘fails’ this year, perhaps because I’ve been trying new patterns and indulging in wishful thinking. But it’s spring here in Orlando, and I’m getting a bit more revved to sew. It’s so funny – I have more than enough dresses and pants and tops, but, yes, I enjoy more and different. And I am diligent about donating the garments that leave my closet. We are a big city, and there are always women who need that something to wear – against the cold, for an interview, to wear every day. I focus on One Heart Women and Children. Pre-pandemic I volunteered my time through my church. I miss those uplifting experiences.

Sewing plans! everything is on order, must be patient…

I’ve spent hours looking for a maxi dress with sleeves, no waist seams, long and lovely. And rayon challis for that perfect drape. Pefect for our hot summers.

Etsy Smart Fabrics 

And another summer and all year favorite, a maxi knit dress. McCall 6747 is my TNT. How cute is this print! I don’t usually spend so much on a knit fabric, but it seems that cost avoidance is difficult. More and more, I’ve found that inexpensive jersey knits have a harsh texture and give up color like crazy. So I choose to be realistic.

Art Gallery Luna & Laurel Eye See You

Recent fail…I ordered 4 yards of Shannon waffle cotton for a robe…I love the pattern, with it’s cozy shawl collar. Think flannel…

My fabric was awful. It just balloned out everywhere, not cozy at all. Laundered 3 times, and it persisted.

Shannon Waffle 10 Ounce Cloth

Not deterred, with a $40 piece of fabric on my hands, I cut the robe into pieces and made 8 faceclothes. Here’s a lesson, they are the best faceclothes I’ve ever had! Absorbant, easy to rinse, very cleansing, and quick to dry. So I can recommend this fabric for making those indispensable clothes for your face. My robe pieces were enough for me to make gifts for Christmas. But you can make 8 with 1 yard of this fabric.

So – I’m sitting here waiting on patterns and fabrics! Bye for now – Coco

Simplicity 8889 shirt – followup

Well, in my usual fashion, I retrieved my S8889 shirt from the bin and kept going. In my previous post, I was very discouraged and had given it a toss.

The issue I had was with the collar – I was afraid it would be too high and tight. I looked at it on Emile, my dress form, and I was convinced it would not work. However – I had overlooked the fact that Emile, while as small as I could make her, a size small form, she is still a bit larger than I am.

Early one morning, I went ahead and attached the collar. OK, it’s perfect.

This was a lesson for me. So, sewing notes:

  • Size 12 neckline, size 14 all other seams. Iā€™m in between the 2 sizes and wanted the width across the shoulders and back.
  • Faced the back yoke, and sewed it as a burrito.
  • Added 1 1/2″ to length of sleeve, and I also redrafted it to drop straight down on the underarm seam. The original design is a real bicep-hugger. Several reviews that I read mentioned the constricted arm movement
  • Lengthened the front 2ā€, and adjusted the back to match. This dropped the peek-a-boo side as well, so my torso is not showing šŸ™‚

My fabric is an expensive poly/cotton that really wrinkles out of the wash. Since I don’t iron most of my clothes, I won’t be adding this shirt to my closet. But I think it would be lovely in a noile, rayon twill, linen blend, or good quality shirting. A couple tips:

  • Clip the hemline curve like crazy to avoid bulk in the seam allowance!
  • And don’t hesitate to draw the topstitching lines on the right side – I used pencil!
  • I’m a small 34-A bust – anything larger, you might consider adding dart/FBA. Mimi G., the pattern designer, is also small-busted. Adding the darted option would have been nice šŸ™‚

I think this shirt has a lovely hemline, and I plan to use the pattern again, probably with a v-neckline and 3/4 length puffed sleeve. Just for fun! and those cute pants are still on my radar.

Ciao! Coco

Sewjo – it’s spring and I’m lost…

Down here in gator land, our cool weather is quickly slipping away. So I’ve been thinking of new things for spring.

However – I’m feeling challenged. I really do like to sew every morning (and watch Netflix in the late afternoon). But what to do?

I decided to sew Simplicity 8889, Mimi G’s summer shirt, which I found on Etsy for $6.50, considerably less than other choices online. And it’s a minor disaster, Bin-worthy. Because the neckline is trying to strangle me.

I have so little patience and simply want comfy yet fashionable things in my closet. Hmmm…

Since I included a Pattern Review photo, a few words. I am a 3-star reviewer on the site, but I deleted all 125 reviews I had posted, subsequent to their blocking all forums about Melania Trump’s inauguration parade dress. As being political. I know the site is privately owned, and I respect that, but it really really rubbed me the wrong way. Beyond ridiculous. Don’t need it, won’t contribute.

Moving on, here’s a view of the line art, super cute.

I tossed my shirt rather than struggle with it, but I kept the pattern. Both the shirt hem and the pants are really intriguing, details that I can use again.

Last week I used a remnant of Kaufman Laguna knit jersey to make a Cali Faye Gardenia dress. Just image the pic below in white instead of black.

This is one of my very favorite knit dresses, and I’ve decided to order Laguna in black. BTW, I make mine with a midi length hem, my only change. I truly like the sleeve, being self-conscious about my scarred scleroderma arms. I know – in a perfect world it doesn’t matter, but I am far from perfect šŸ™‚

Meanwhile, I ordered a beautiful canvas from Stof, destined shortly to be 30″ x 40″ framed art for my bedroom.

STOF France Maisonnette Duck Multicolore

It joins two other fabric pieces from Stof that I’ve framed for the bedroom. All are large prints, vibrant, unusual, each is a journey and simply nice to have around me.

STOF France Zoya Multiflore
STOF France New Orleans

Forgot to add. I just joined Minerva.com and was treated to a free download of the very popular M7969! I made it in 2019, chose the wrong size, and didn’t keep the pattern. Now I plan a search for a nice print and a remake.

That’s it for now. It’s late, it’s decaf coffee time, and I need to order that black knit fabric before I run out of things to do šŸ™‚

Ciao – Coco

A weekend ramble…

I’m feeling very mellow today – the weather is cool and drizzly, and I’m watching good films on Netflix with a crochet scarf project on my lap. So a chat, fresh coffee in hand..

I recently finished (another) Simplicity 8640 handkerchief hem dress, this one in rayon challis from Fabric.com. It’s called Telio Dali Rayon Poplin Print Botanical Floral in navy, but I’m not sure that’s correct. In the pic below, the fabric on the left is from the listing, and the one on the right is what arrived at my door. This is the second time I’ve had a ‘close but no bananas’ delivery from them. Weird.

Perhaps it was just fate, as my new very sunflower yellow Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan works perfectly with the dress.

I realized recently that I have an abandoned project in the Loft – I think I stopped working on it because I got distracted by Christmas projects. It’s a sleeveless blouse with a ‘statement’ collar, drafted using the Kathryn Brenne jacket, Vogue 9217. It will be finished soon, it’s cute.

I could not even remember which pattern and fabric I used, until I checked my Evernote files. I keep everything sewing on Evernote!

About that crocheting – I finally learned how to do a double crochet foundation row. It was a ‘duh’ moment for me when I learned that I did not have to do a basic chain stitch foundation. Tutorial: https://hearthookhome.com/foundation-double-crochet-tutorial/

To close, I must share an epic fail – the bodice in progress, my last post, did not work.

The collar was simply too heavy despite my efforts to support it. No tears shed. I had 5 yards in hand, and the remainder is currently being cut for a Tessuti Lisa dress!

I hope your weekend is peaceful, bye for now – Coco

Ogden dress variation!

I’m catching up on August True Bias Ogden month, with wild hair and no makeup (as promised in my last post).

Since I am living in my Ogden top/Pattern Emporium harem pants combos, as well as my Simplicity 8640 handkerchief hem dresses, I just had to do an Ogden dress.

I matched the top and the dress at the top of the side seam/base of the armhole. What a fortuitous fit! This was so easy.


In the rain, Cloud9 monkeys from Fabric.com:

And two more from this morning, sunshine on the porch, shirting fabric from Fabric Mart:

Before I go, how to express fully my appreciation for all the sharing and supportive comments on my ‘low battery’ post. Thank you all – I feel fortunate to share this planet with so many wonderful friends.


Simplicity 8640 summer dress

A bit of fun. My sew-jo is alive and well, but my blogging-jo has been terribly repressed. Frankly, I spend my days watching Netflix (lately, Dexter) or sewing small projects. But I do put on a fresh dress every day, and I focus on what I can control and what I cannot control. I am wary, being 72 years old, but I do go to the grocery, mask and gloves, quick visit. Boy, I miss grazing in stores. For fabric, Amazon is my buddy, the ultimate contact-free shopping alternative. And I’m serious about that.

Simplicity 8640 – wonderful pattern, sewn many times with all the front piecing. Strangely, or predictably, I found that the stitching in the front pieces was irritating the skin on my chest. Solution: I drafted a one-piece front šŸ™‚

Looking back at earlier versions, I think a white linen is in the wings. Following, just lots of pics, nothing has changed much other than the front.

Fabric: Fabric Merchants Challis Floral Navy/Orange, I purchased this on Amazon, but its also sold on the Fabric.com site.

Next up – actually I’ve sewn 2 jackets and a pair of pants. All of which I really love. And I have another pair of pants planned. I’m minding my mental state, these are such difficult times, at times I feel so isolated.

For now, and I hope you are well, Coco

Christmas pageant costumes

Greetings! I just realized yesterday that my last post was almost a month ago. I’ve been so busy, in a wonderful and fulfilling way.

I’m so happy in my new church home, and I’ve looked for ways to serve and get involved. In early November, the call for sewists went out – the Christmas pageant costumes were in need of ‘revitalization’ and/or replacement. I went over and, to my surprise, came home with the animals! Talk about a challenge – 3 sheep, 3 cows, and 3 donkeys for the little 3-5 year olds. I haven’t attempted costumes since my own children were that age, long ago. And my only animal was a bunny…

Thank goodness for Pinterest, which opened a world of examples. I chose my models:

And I found two great patterns for the costume basics:

Each costume has a top from S2068 and a hood from S2855, with embellishments. For the bottoms I used True Bias Mini Hudsons. I chose these because the cuffs are easily turned to accommodate our shorter grazers.

Fabric, XXXL Gilden T-shirts, JoAnn
Fabric: Cotton interlock, JoAnn
Fabric, Blizzard fleece, JoAnn

These 9 costumes took me much longer to sew than I anticipated, but I’m really pleased with the results, and I’m excited to see the little ones in the pageant. Christmas Eve will have additional meaning to me, and I’m grateful.

Bye for now – Coco