Patricia Rose dress playtime


More fun in the loft 🙂 Having finished my draft of the Patricia Rose dress, and having sewn a muslin, it’s time to enjoy.

My muslin went to a new home. The color is all wrong for me, and I was really annoyed by my print placement. It happens!

close front

But I learned so much from this version. On to the next one, this time in a beautiful Ralph Lauren white/black stripe from Fabric Mart. It’s cotton/poly/elastane, described as suiting, but it’s very light, with just a bit of stretch both ways. It’s also opaque, and I have no issues with ‘see through’.


Sewing notes:

  • As before, I sewed the size 8, and I increased the neckline seam allowances from 1/4″ to 1/2″.
  • I also used my back and skirt variation, which has a fold to match the front fold (lots of info on the folds and skirt on my original post). I took these two pics outside, before our temp reached 91F. At which point I went inside!

IMG_1549 10.54.06 AM

IMG_1564 10.54.06 AM

  • My bananas print fabric was 46″ wide, this one is 53″ wide. I used 3 yards of both.
  • Playtime! I used an oversized pocket, centered on the side seam. The unfinished pocket is 11″ x 11 1/2″. After the top fold of 1 1/4″,  it’s a bit wider than it is long.


  • Something I left out of my first post, I’m really happy with the seldom-seen armscye darts on the front bodice. I was afraid they would be pokey, but they’re perfect. Also shown, the solid white cotton/poly broadcloth facing, which prevents print shadows on the right side.

stripe bodice

Cute! I’m not done with this pattern 🙂 It’s a wonderful palette for solids, stripes, large or abstract prints, and many substrates. I’m sewing summer now, and I cannot wear wool, but I think this would be beautiful- elegant – in a black wool woven or dupioni silk.

Or French terry – that middle ground between a woven and a knit.


Ciao! Coco

Style Arc Patricia Rose dress variation


This project has been in thinking mode for a long time! When it first came out, I bought the Patricia Rose dress because I had pinned a really pretty dress with a front and back bodice fold. The Rose seemed a possible starting point for something similar.

top 2

My stash is pretty thin right now, but I did have a cute linen/cotton/rayon shirting I picked up on a whim from Fabric Mart. It’s called Traveling Bananas, by the mysterious Better Hawaiian Dress Manufacturer. Does anyone know who this is? Tori Richards maybe? Anyway, it’s a beautiful fabric, a pleasure to sew and wear.

back 2

My drafting process.

Of course I wanted my back bodice fold to match up with the front fold. So I used the front to draft the back.


bottom 1

Next, the skirt. I’m not fond of inverted pleats in skirts – they just don’t wear well. So I took some width out of the front skirt, leaving just enough width for soft gathers. Since the bottom widths of my front and back bodice are the same, I used the same draft for the back skirt!

skirt mods

A few more sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 8, based on my bust measurement plus some ease.
  • The pattern has 1/2″ seam allowances everywhere except the neckline and facings, which are 1/4″. That is totally contra-intuitive given the risk of stretch and ravel on the neckline bias curves. I drew my tissue with 1/2″ SA everywhere, so much safer.


  • I added 1″ to the length of the bodice, just above the area of the fold.
  • And added an additional 1 1/2″ to the length of the skirt.
  • My short sleeves are based on the original sleeve.
  • I used 1 3/4″ hem allowances on the sleeves and skirt, just to echo the bodice fold.
  • BTW, my fabric was 44″ wide by 3 yards. I had enough to cut pockets and long sleeves.


I happened to take a snap of the front before I folded the bodice. It’s actually rather nice.

before fold

Closeups of those pretty folds:

close front

close back

close side

This project was so much fun that I was sorry to see it finished! Not really the end…I have a piece of striped fabric that has me back in the thinking mode.

Parting shot: David and Preston are in Beaver Creek, Colorado, for ski week. Preston is almost 10 and has been skiing for 3 years. Amazing, my little athlete, he actually does the expert slopes (moguls this year?) with his dad!

preston co

Bye for now – Coco

Style Arc Adeline Dress – Final Thoughts

line artAs I hinted in my post about the Style Arc Adeline Dress, I do have some lingering thoughts on the drafting and design – stride, and so on. Well, here we go.

Before I start, to all you Adeline lovers out there, please remember that this is my experience, and it’s totally based on me!


I really did like my first version (post here) – but, this particular combo of greens is really becoming for me. I should use it more often.

My second version is in a lovely fabric by Tim Coffey, from his Poppy collection. I love poppies! so I was really happy to find this fabric at JoAnns.

My dress…

Not so much love. Take a look.

But it’s not for me. Not in the house, not to the grocery, just not anywhere.

Not to stray, and addressing my initial concerns, I did modify the pattern to add a little width at the bottom – the stride was a little tight. I added 1/2″ at the hemline seam, front and back, trued up to somewhere below the hip. This comes to a total addition of 2″ at the hem. And it is very helpful in walking and sitting. Of course I had to modify the hem facing bands as well. If you do this, I suggest drawing your new hem bands directly off your fabric. There are some bodacious curves and angles at play…


So – I think I’ve laid this pattern to rest for myself, aside from perhaps raiding the neckline and hemline when I get rambunctious.

My fabric – green and blue – will be reused! I love them both.

Ciao! Coco

Style Arc Adeline Dress


I really enjoy sewing a pattern for the first time! With so many Closet Case Charlie Caftans in my closet, I’ve been looking for something different for a summer shift. Enter the Style Arc Adeline Dress. I ordered the PDF version on the Style Arc Etsy site, because shipping cost and delays for a printed version challenge my pocket book and patience 🙂

line art

It’s such a nice design: Cocoon shape, big pockets, lovely V-neckline, and easy dolman sleeves. Plus it has an intriguing high-low hem that is finished with facing bands. All in all, lots of elements for an interesting project.

side 1
Dropped hemline
Dolman sleeves
Great pockets

A few sewing notes:

  • I sewed size 10 based on my measurements (I’m 5’7″, 33-29-38.5). And a great surprise – the length is perfect!
  • I used cotton shirting that is only 43″ wide, so I had to trim a couple inches off the sleeves. That wasn’t an issue for me, since I did not plan to use a cuff (my iron is strictly for sewing, not for pressing cuffs).
  • As on my Charlie Caftan, I changed to pitch of the shoulder/upper sleeve, and eased the underarm curve to prevent bunching.
sleeve 1
Trimmed sleeve and redrawn cutting lines
sleeve 2
Finished underarm seam and 1 1/4″ sleeve hem

Thoughts on the pattern: it’s rated as Medium difficulty/sewing skill level, and I think that’s about right. If it had anything really helpful in the way of instructions, I’d rate it as Easy. A few tips that might help if you’re on the fence:

  • All the pattern pieces fit together perfectly, which means the curved hem facings are easy to sew.
  • Be sure to staystitch the neckline before construction – sewing up the front edges, from the point to the shoulder, on both sides to combat the natural stretch of the fabric bias. If your fabric is shifty, you might want to staystitch the neckline edge of the facings as well.
  • Facing the V-neckline… Here’s a link to an excellent tutorial by Fashion Incubator – it covers both one-piece and two-piece facings (the Adeline has the latter) and includes instructions on the direction of the stitching and management of the turn of the facing to the inside.
neck 2
Turned facing
  • Stay sane! Mark the neckline topstitching line with a soluble pen or marker. I used a Roxanne Quilters Choice chalk pencil that just brushes off. Roxanne markers are great – I have both the white and the silver pencils and usually pick them up at JoAnns. BTW, I love Frixion pens for marking inside seam allowancess and so on, but I’m wary of using them in an exposed area of a garment.

neck 1

  • And don’t forget to finish those pocket edges before making them, to avoid raveling on the inside when they’re used.


  • Fabric yardage requirements are provided for 58″ wide fabric only. I used 3 yards of this 43″ wide shirting. Also – I like the weight of the cotton, it maintains the shape of the dress and sleeves really nicely. I doubt I’ll ever sew it in anything lighter, such as the suggested silk or crepe.


Well, I enjoyed this and have a piece of calico waiting for a second version. Before I sew it, I’m going to wear this dress a few times to address those burning questions: do I really like the dipped hemline, is the dress actually catching on my flat booty, is the bottom width (only 41″) too constricting for an easy stride.

Meanwhile, it’s Friday! I hope everyone enjoys a safe and peaceful weekend.

For now – Coco

Bits, bobs, and busts…


A little catch-up on things I’ve been making, but haven’t blogged. Some are repeats and some are just the normal flow of muslins and messes!

The first one, above, is a second version of Vogue 1297, the Sandra Betzina Lagenlook knit dress (first one here). I love this. The fabric is from Girl Charlee – it’s a lightweight (7 oz) cotton/rayon/lycra blend. And it has all my favorite places to visit! The ladies at JoAnn’s were very complimentary and put my ‘business card’ on their bulletin board. I was so surprised – that really felt good.

Another repeat, this time of the StyleArc Toni Designer Dress. As with my first version, I used rayon crepe from Fabric Mart. The only change is a slight extension of the sleeve, to hide a bit more of my ancient upper arms… Great pattern.


Turning to follow-ups on recent adventures, the Weird Science pants (Vogue 1453) really did make nice PJ bottoms, once I removed the ankle pleats. I added a topper based on the Wiksten tank. Both are in a very lightweight rayon/spandex French terry from – perfect for cool weather.


I continued to work on my Lagenlook cardigan, my attempt to copy McCalls 6168. Here’s my first version…


And I think I ruined it! I raised the center front and back a couple inches, which deepened the side detail. But I like my original much better, and plan to make another in ponte di roma (have you seen the beautiful and affordable new pontes at Cali Fabrics?).


Not everything is a repeat. I also tried out a new pattern, the Frankie Dress from Tessuti Fabrics. It looks so cute in their version – fresh and easy to wear. It’s also very similar to about 4 other patterns I already have, but it’s fun to sew something new. This time I knew I would get a hand-drawn pattern, because it’s my 3rd Tessuti acquisition. Yes, the clumsy line art below is a precursor of the pattern.


I used a grey and brown cotton/rayon/poly jersey from Girl Charlee, a nice weight at 7 oz. I don’t like the color combo very much, so it was a good choice for a muslin. The only change I made (kind of major, really) was redraft the entire bodice and sleeve using a pattern that fits me well. Tessuti’s armscyes are small, and the sleeves are narrow. And I don’t care for the high boat neck in the pattern. So I guess I used the skirt!

Scary pic follows. Well, it scares me. This is the ‘long’ length from the pattern.


Just awful. Out of curiosity I pinned the front up to the knee, and it’s much much better. But I wasn’t in love.


So I cut it! It was a great opportunity to further my Lagenlook-drafting skills. I have absolutely no bottoms that match this top, so black it is. I was actually a little happier than I look in this pic.


Parting shot: Ms. Crab Spider has been busy in the guava tree again, this time after some very strong storms that really cleaned out the trees. Her web was so pretty with the late afternoon sun shining through her home.


It’s almost the weekend – I hope it’s safe and peaceful for all. I’ll be finishing a quilt project, I’ve been cold in this chilly Florida weather. Such a wuss…

Bye for now! Coco