Tessuti Lisa modifacation – gathered hemline

I’m not hiding on purpose! but this is the only corner of my new yard that has anything botanicals at all! This winter and in the spring I’ll be on a mission to change that.

I am very used to spare soil and thin grass at my home in Weston. It was built on fill. Here, my grass is deep, luxuriant, and just beautiful. I also have a wonderful grounds keeper, who also tends my son’s house. I’ve gotten in touch with a nursery that has things like strawberry guava and gem magnolia trees.

Back to the dress! In my previous post, I despaired of insufficient yardage to put a ruffled hem on this dress. And I have more fabric coming. Meanwhile I did have enough yardage to do this delightful polka dot version in tencel chambray from Cali Fabrics.

It is so nice to wear and swan around the house! I used Lisa’s guidelines on her blog blog post to decide on the length of the skirt and depth of the ruffle.

Just a few sewing notes:

  • Sewing the dress is pretty staightforward. Now – that ruffle. Mine is about 1.6 x the bottom width of the skirt. Of course I halve and quarter the skirt and ruffle. But being impatient with slippery pins, I also baste the two pieces together at the half/quarter points. This way I am not kerflunked by the fabric moving around.
  • After sewing the pieces, I do a neaten job with my serger.

This is a house dress, comfortable but with a little fun.

Ciao! Coco

Tessuti Lisa Dress – wild horses

It’s official, I’m moved in, unpacked, decorated, cleaned, and sewing 🙂

I think I’ve ignored this pattern because it is so similar to the Grainline Felix dress and a few others in my inventory. But I recently came across this adorable version, went on to read the Tessuti blog post, and love it.

Unfortunately, when I ordered my fabric from Cali Fabrics, I forgot to add yardage to make the ruffle. That has been corrected, and I’ll be receiving an additional yard in a couple days. Meanwhile, I sewed the dress, hemmed it, and am ready to make that ruffle adjustment.

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size small based on my bust measurement, and added 3″ to the hemline based on my height (5’8″).
  • I didn’t care for the rather high round neckline, so I changed it 🙂 I drafted and interfaced 2.5″ wide facings and attached them with a 1/2″ seam allowance. This lowers the neckline quite a bit and facilitates some pretty topstitching detail.
  • Those buttonholes are not opened! Since I can pull this dress over my head, the buttons are simply attached through both fronts.
  • Based on reviews by other sewists, I raised the underarm by 1/2″ – worked great, and I recommend this adjustment to avoid lingerie peek-a-boo. Whatever!
  • The Tessuti pocket construction didn’t suit me either, so I fashioned my own pockets (a bit wider and more rounded) and attached them in the ‘conventional’ way for side seam pockets. More detail – I sewed them to the front to prevent pocket flap. Pics below: (1) basting the finished pocket in place, (2) an outside view, and (3) topstitched using the basting stitches as a sewing guide.
  • So picky…I think the suggested double-topstitched finish on the seams is overkill and is likely to distort light fabrics. I serged my seam allowances, pressed them open, and topstitched them.

I love this high-low waistline!

Fun project, a kicky little dress. I’ll be back soon with that ruffle in place.

Bye for now! Coco

Pants and jackets…

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It’s double-oh early on Cyber Monday! But I think I’ve already contributed all I can to the Black Friday and small business Saturday sales, so I’ll blog to keep myself out of trouble 🙂

I finished my Burda peplum jacket – it was intended as a toile, because I used remnants of a corded denim, but it’s definitely wearable. Great jacket…more details on my first post, here.

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Burda Style Collarless Peplum Jacket 11/2016 #125

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I’m planning a second version in black ponte, with long sleeves. A stable fabric with a little weight is perfect for this pattern (imagine a brocade – would be stunning).

The jacket is styled with wide leg pants done in ITY knit, a fun abstract print in grey, white, and black.

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Feeling brave, I used V9217, a Kathryn Brenne pattern that’s actually intended for woven fabrics (and I’ve sewn 3, first post is here). I love the lines and the flat front on the waistband. And it worked great in ITY!

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I used a straight hem and the slanted pocket from the Pattern Emporium Harem Pants. I use this pocket all the time, because it has a 1-piece pocket bag and doesn’t gape open at the hips.

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Fabric: Monochrome Printed ITY, Fabric Wholesale Direct

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Last but not least, I also sewed a new Tessuti Megan Cardigan in grey ponte from Fabric Mart.

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I made a black ponte version back in August, and at the time, I thought it might be a little small. But that was really my mind working on me – I love wearing it.

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As with my first version, I raised the hemline by 4″, and used a 1″ wide band (the original band is quite narrow).

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This was all fun sewing, and I have outfits!

Bye for now – Coco

Tessuti Megan Cardigan – first version

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Yes, it’s the middle of summer, and a cardigan evokes fall sewing. But – the stores are so cold, especially the grocery market! I always put on a sweater or shawl to go in that freezer joint. One day in December, I didn’t have one with me, and my Raynauds Syndrome sent me a swift kick.

Photo12101024_1Since then, I’ve been messing around with long cardigan patterns, with the intention of making one in black ponte and keeping it in the car.

After my disappointment with my self-drafted version (here), lots of you suggested the Megan Cardigan. It really is cute, and I like the pointed side seam detail.

Here’s the line art, such as it is, and the cardigan does NOT look like this…but it’s close. Sort of. lineartA few sewing notes:

  • Based on my measurements, I sewed the size Medium. And it was a silly mistake.  I used a rayon/nylon/spandex ponte de roma, which is very stable. It has very little horizontal stretch and no vertical stretch –  I should have gone up a size. My cardigan is a little small, tight in the arms and across the back – sigh. But it will be gifted, and I’ll make another in size Large.
  • Having only 2 yards of fabric, I shortened the pattern by 4″, and, honestly, I think I prefer this length.

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  • Many people have mentioned that the very narrow neckband is a bit fiddly to attach.  I used an unfinished width of 2.5″, which finishes at about 7/8″ wide. Thanks, everyone, for the heads up!upper front
  • I didn’t use the pattern instructions for hemming and finishing the bottom edge of the band – I think this looks pretty sloppy:

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Instead, I  hemmed the cardi first, and then attached the finished band. IMHO, the result is less bulky and much nicer.

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  • Other than the topstitching, I sewed the whole thing on the serger, 2 needles. What a fun little project – it has just enough going on to keep it interesting.

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Bye for now! Coco

Vogue 9217 – Kathryn Brenne – Wonderful

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I’m in pants heaven. I love this pattern!

From Kathryn Brenne, and I’ve found no reviews, so perk up… Great pieces. A shell, a reversible jacket, and these pants. This post is all about the pants.

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Pattern link on BMV

Another view of happy me.

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So much to talk about, but check out the ‘dolphin’ hems (usually seen on jogging shorts, so really new for me).

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Fabric: Multi-stripe Cotton Ikat from Fashion Fabric Club…totally misnamed, because it’s a jacquard!

I did a muslin of these pants last week, wrote a post about them, and then decided it was just a dreary kind of post. But the muslin was so helpful – I had planned to sew the pants in this great cotton jacquard, and I didn’t want to blow it. A view of the muslin, and, BTW, it’s a nice view of how well this pattern would work for shorts (mine are in PJ rotation):

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Back to these new britches…

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Part of the challenge with this fabric was figuring out how to place the pattern. I didn’t want the dominant white stripe to be misplaced on the front or the back 🙂 So lots of single-layer cutting. I just did it with a good movie playing.

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Some sewing notes:

  • I made the size Medium (12-14) with NO changes to the fit.
  • In an unusual move for me, I used packaged double-fold bias tape to finish the hems. IMO, it was much easier than working with bias strips cut from cotton broadcloth. Even so, I spent most of one day finishing the hems. Picky picky…but finish is really important to me, and I never mind the time or effort involved.

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  • The pattern doesn’t provide very much information about the finished garment measurements. Which can be frustrating! So I measured mine, straight size Medium:
    • Inseam 27″.
    • Outseam, below the waist, 39″.
    • Thigh circumference 28″.
    • Crotch 27″.  Front 12 1/4″, back 14 3/4″

The pants are pretty much straight up and down, so they can be shortened anywhere in the leg. And the rise can be shortened at the top edge (just be sure to move your pockets down as well if needed).

  • About that hem. I almost used a facing instead of the bias tape that the pattern uses. And I think it would be a reasonable way to finish them (although I love the taped hem). A suggestion on how to do it, simply draft the hem with its ‘natural’ seam allowance, and draft a facing to match. E.g.,

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  • The pockets provided with the pattern are standard in-seam pockets. But for pants, I really prefer a slant pocket that’s attached in the waistband. I used the pocket from Butterick 6296, but any similar pocket would work fine.

These will be my favorite summer long pants. Absolutely. I want more! Last pic of this happy woman. Photo-bomber Emile is sporting a Tessuti Megan Cardigan, finished last week, I’ll blog it soon. And my blouse is my recent camp shirt (B6296), cropped!

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