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

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 Fabric.com – 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

Re-purposing a Tessuti Mandy Tee…

A short Saturday post to share a ‘save’…

When I was on my Tessuti Mandy Tee kick back in March, I made one that didn’t work out at all. The problem was that the fabric – a white cotton spandex – was just too thick. And being solid white, the tee was overwhelming – I looked like I was being worn, not the other way around.

No pics of that, it was just not a good moment. And I tossed the tee in the bin by my sewing table.

I do that a lot! and then retrieve the offending garment later. So I pulled out the tee, pulled off all the loose threads, and hung it up to age.

Earlier this week I had one of those great ah-ha moments – how about cropping it?

I’ve had an ongoing issue with my knit maxi skirts, because I haven’t found a good top for them. I’ve even considered letting them go. I looked at lots of ideas on Pinterest, but they really came down to just a few approaches: A slim tank top, worn out or in, a short chunky sweater, and/or a jeans jacket. I don’t do any of that…but this works great.

I cut the front to fall just below my waist and drew a lower hem in the back. The width of the Mandy gives it a nice swing. Pretty neat.

Upper left side, my vanda orchid is blooming!
Other happenings…I was distressed to find a duck egg partly buried in my front yard late yesterday, along with the likely digging tool.  
While my house is just a hop and a skip from a lake full of ducks and turtles and various other water creatures, they don’t usually nest in my yard, much less in the middle of the lawn. And we don’t have foxes (which will carry and bury an egg for later retrieval). I’m sure someone took it from a nest, felt bad about it, and tried to bury the evidence. I checked online, there was nothing I could do to save it. 
More cheerful, here’s a pic of one of the turtles, a Florida soft-shell. She was huge – about 4 feet from her nose to the back of her shell. While she crossed the street from one lake to the next, I had time to get my camera from the house and still return in time to take her photo. Lovely lady. 
I hope everyone is enjoying a nice weekend – bye for now! Coco

Managing Mandy the Boat Tee…

Managing Mandy… I ran across some pics of the Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee on Flickr a few days ago and got curious. It’s a free download and apparently enjoys some popularity. It also looks very similar to the Grainline Studio Hemlock Tee (also gratis), so I decided to give it a try.

I’ve only purchased one Tessuti pattern, the Gabby dress, expensive at $10 for the PDF version, and I was surprised by the hand-drawn pattern and poor drafting. I basically redrafted the whole thing and decided not to buy any more of their patterns.
But the Mandy is free – no pain no gain. A look at the line art:

I’m not picking on them, but it’s invited. The pattern says the bust width is 58″ (148 cm) – after flat measuring 3 times, I come up with 52″ at the bustline, drawn through a bust apex at 10.5″ down from the shoulder. At the armhole the width is 54″. Now, that’s a big difference.

My first version was a wipe-out. The boatneck was uncomfortably high, the back and front side edges didn’t align well, and I could barely get the sleeve on my arms. But that’s the purpose of a muslin.

A couple more pics of my remake of the Mandy, then on to sewing notes:

Fabric – poly/cotton/lycra from Fabric Mart

Aaack – what a smug look! not intended…
Sewing notes – This is a one-size-fits-all pattern, so I did a little fitting before I drafted my pattern:
  •  Decreased the bustline width to 46″:
  1. Removed 1″ at CB and CF (1/2″ at the fold line).
  2. Removed an additional 4″ (1″ each side of CF and CB, midway down the shoulder).
  •   Added 6″ to the body length, back and front, using the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern.
  •  Tweaked the sleeve:
  1. Removed 2″ from the length of the sleeve. 
  2. Added 1/4″ to each sleeve side seam. The resulting bicep width is 13″.
  3. On the body, lowered the armscye by 1/4″ to fit the new sleeve.
For my second/current version, I redrew the neckline using the scoop neck on the Hemlock tee. Much more comfortable.
I’m super happy with my Mandy!
Right after taking these pics, I wore this outfit to an appointment, styled with a favorite Ora Delphine hobo bag – I’m so prissy…
Bye for now! Coco