Fibre Mood Tilda dress variations

Fuzzy photo time – apology! I’ve been working on this dress for what feels like ages. I started with an inspiration dress and blouse, and landed on the Fibre Mood Tilda because of all the possibilities. My targets:

and the Tilda, with planned changes:

Being wary of the curves, I did an entire muslin, with and without a sleeve. And worked it until it fit.

OK, I think this is really blah on me. And it will be shortened to blouse length and worn with white summer pants.

Nonetheless, some sewing notes:

  • The fabric is a Telio rayon/cotton 50/50 blend. The cotton adds just enough structure to make this a dream to sew. From by way of Amazon.
  • My dress is a meld of sizes 12 – 14.! Because the pdf file is layered, this is fairly easy to do.
  • I printed my pattern without the offered seam allowances, which vary from 3/8″ to 1/4″, and I added a 1/2″ SA everywhere. I never never ever use a SA of less than 1/2″ on woven fabrics because raveled edges are such a hazard.
  • I left off the collar and faced the entire neckline (the pattern suggests bias binding on the neckline). IMHO a facing is essential to anchor a garment built in lightweight fabric.
  • And I totally cheated by stitching down the closed front placket in line with the button placement, to prevent those unsightly gaps that can happen when one is seated. My buttons are sewn through the facings, not a buttonhole in sight!

In the end, I think I have a decent blouse pattern and a perfect template for a lovely v-neckline. And I’m off to work on my jigsaw puzzle. This dress was exhausting and remains an object for contemplation in the closet for now.

Ciao! Coco

Hot Patterns Trilogy Dress Part 2 – the muslin

Here we go, proof of the pudding! I admit i get a kick out of doing muslins. I think it’s because I get to write all over them in ink!

I sewed my muslin of the Trilogy in an inexpensive double gauze. I’ve been planning to venture into the world of double gauze for a while – so many sewing sites are ‘wild’ about it for summer garments.

Before I move on to the pattern, here’s a look at the fabric post-laundry, before and after a thorough pressing: And it’s rather nice – soft and easy to sew(I used a walking foot). In white, it is also sheer. I can understand, though, why it is a popular fabric for swaddling blankets.

On to the pattern and muslin. In short, the muslin has been binned. I’ll just touch on a few points:

  • I sewed size 12 based on the HP size chart and my full hip measurement.
  • My worst moment: when I realized that the pleat in the front shoulder line is very, very deep. Two and 3/8″ deep in fact. I was expecting a soft dart-like pleat. Just to be sure that my fabric had not ‘grown’, I verified the shoulder seam against the pattern tissue – perfect match. To me the pleats resemble a tabard.
  • The armhole is very deep, wide, and fly-away, The shoulder seam is 10″ long and not the softly curved shoulder line in the pattern envelope art.

BTW, I drafted my pattern with 1/2″ seam allowances. The pattern comes with 3/8″ SAs, which make me uncomfortable with most woven fabrics. And I curved my back hemlines to match the front, just a personal preference. The pic below is before hemming..

I’m not really fussing, but I am disappointed by how how poorly the actual pattern aligned with my expectation. Lesson learned…

Whew – I’m going to sew only my favorite patterns for the rest of the year! This and my un-snuggly robe are quite enough experimentation for now πŸ™‚

Ciao! Coco

Hot Patterns Trilogy Dress Part I – the jigsaw

Summer is coming, and I’m on a quest for midi dresses, comfortable, stylish, drapey… I’ve been looking at the Trilogy pattern for years, and I finally decided to try it. Hot Patterns have a way of discontinuing their patterns, so better now than later!

The jigsaw: the pattern has 3 lengths – ‘top’, tunic and dress. Rather than build a PDF file with separate outlines for the 3 versions, they built a jigsaw. Top + add-on = tunic or Top + add-on = dress.. Which I really appreciate, since the approach saves paper and ink, not to speak of tape!

But gritting my teeth, it’s time to whine:

  • The PDF file is not size-layered. In this day and age, this is just plain silly.
  • Hot Patterns has a no-trim approach to their PDF files. Nice. But I cannot, no matter what my printer setting, get the entire page to print. My printer does not handle a borderless print. Even on a4 paper, some details would be missing. I spent about an hour and lots of printout trials trying to overcome this weirdness. I caved, and I just assumed the path of any empty spaces between pages.
  • More aggravation: how to put this tjigsaw together. There is nothing in the pattern file, which includes the instructions, to provide a clue. I found the answer in a remote corner of a file called Trilogy Arch E.pdf. I copied just this bit and printed. Here you go, pure gold, remember me…

CUT THESE INSTRUCTIONS OUT AND KEEP THEM…How about if Hot Patterns just put this graph in the instructions!!!

Exhausted. This is not my first go-round with Hot Patterns, but we’ll see where this goes. Part II, coming soon, the muslin! Why am I feeling so forgiving and complacent about something on which I’ve spent and entire day? πŸ™‚ 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. I’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 2”, and adjusted the back to match. This dropped the peek-a-boo side as well, so my torso is not showing πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 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 πŸ™‚

Ciao – Coco

Fibre Mood Ermine Blouse – delightful

It’s that strange time of the year, between Christmas and the New Year. Wishing for more Christmas, anticipating the end of a year. So – I got myself into gear, makeup, camera, some action. Got to go for it and get off my stool.

I love this pattern. And I was totally inspired by a post by BloglessAnna, her Ermine is so beautiful. Sometimes, whether I really can port a pattern or not, I want to try it. This is one of those, and I am so glad I did.

It is beyond cute and appealing. Winter is here in central Florida, I am scouting my closet, but it is mostly warm weather tops. This pattern is a welcome change. A woven fabric, sleeves, perfect over my linen pants wardrobe, and, OK, jeans, although I seldom wear them. I love my jeans, but they often get overlooked because they are in a drawer, not in my closet. hmmm

Going straight into sewing notes:

  • Size Medium.
  • I drafted all pieces wih 1/2” SA. The original varies from 1/6” to 3/8″, but if I’m sewing with challis or something similar, I want a wider seam allowance..
  • I Added 3/8” to width of upper back and front bodice, both sides of center.Β If you look at the line art, the very high shoulder is evident. The design, the sleeve cap and high back yoke, reminds me of dresses worn in the 1800’s. I have broad shoulders., so this was a good change.

  • I flattened the sleeve cap to reduce gathers and pouf. Just a scant 1/4” at the center of the sleeve, drawn out about 3 1/2”. Just don’t like poufy sleeve caps…
  • I drafted front and back neckline facings, 2 1/4” wide, which finish at the same width as the front band. The pattern uses bias binding to finish the neckline, IMHO, not very pretty, loosey goosey, and much more work to fit than a facing.

  • Nice sleeves, they end right at the wrist bone on me. My long sleeve is 25” from shoulder, these are 23”. The pattern measurements for the sleeve are a bit weird but the sleeve worked for me.

I really like this pattern, challis is perfect, and I’ve ordered an outrageous pink/black leopard print challis for my next one. Go figure.

The end of 2021, I hope you are well and able to embrace all the changes the last year brought us. Personally, I have been challenged, and my New Year resolution is (1) to flex more to my world as it is now, and (2) to champion myself more. I’ve often felt overwhelmed. About eight years ago, my son said to me that happiness is a decision we make. On my fridge ever since…

With deep caring and best wishes for you all, my special friends, Coco

Puffed sleeve – mucking about

I’m in between fabric deliveries, who isn’t? so I pulled remnants from my stash to make this muslin. I seldom keep remnants now, except for tote and bag linings. But this came together color-wise. Frankly, I really do not wear a lot of green but the britches are much loved linen pants and are lime!. The lizards…not so much love.

In my usual fashion, I made a whole shirt. This is a scoop-neck Grainline Lark with new sleeves. I just like to test my sewing approach and fabric all the way. For the sleeve: I used a tutorial to slit the sleeve and redraft a new one. Check out IKat bag for a great tutorial:


Of course I had to choose a length – sleeve plus cuff – which you can do with judicious use of a measuring tape πŸ™‚ I was after a 3/4 or so sleeve including the cuff. Unfinished, mine is about 17″ center top to hem, and I used an 11″ x 4″ self-fabric to fashion the cuff.

I think this a win! even though I tossed the muslin πŸ™‚ I really want to try this on a tunic top for the winter months, something new to offset the typical tee shirt doldrums. Bye for now! Coco