Sewing! Ready to Sew Justine Skirt

Actually, I’ve been sewing like crazy. It’s a great way to release tension and get off to never never land 🙂

Check out this delightful skirt from Ready to Sew and, at the moment, it’s free. Grab it… Features: a layered PDF and half sizes, total 21 sizes. Remarkable!

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 38, and it was perfect, including the width of the waistband.
  • My fabric is Kaufman Essex linen from Hancocks of Paducah. It’s a longtime favorite fabric for pants, jumpsuits, and skirts. It has just enough body with a relaxed drape – I wouldn’t do this skirt in anything really drapey, e.g., rayon challis, or too heavy, e.g., bottomweight twill.
  • Loves – the pockets. The decorative flap is so cute, and they are truly deep.
  • Be sure to catch the flap in the corner triangle. Got to keep it turned and flat…
  • The skirt has a one-button closure, but I was very wary of using a button closing. Have you ever had a button pull and pull, maybe tear the fabric to which it was sewn? I opted for two things: I added an additional piece of woven interfacing under the closure area,
  • and I used a waistband fastener for closure, with a non-functioning button on top!

About that top – it’s a Style Arc Elsie blouse, sleeveless, sewn in Kaufman Royal Cotton Oxford, from Fabric.com. What a delightful blouse fabric.

I love this and plan to wear it over and over as I search for a new house in Orlando. Easy dressing 🙂 Coco

Simplicity 7051 Vintage blouse

Well, I thought I would head east to Europe on my armchair travel journey, but instead I went west to the great southwest desert.

I found this lovely blouse pattern (1985) on some random search, and I fell in love. Ordered it on Etsy.

The attraction – the deep revere collar and elegant lines. Getting the pattern was just the beginning. Surprises:

  • It has directions for shoulder pads…
  • And for multiple bust treatments, on the pattern tissue. Not as a suggestion or re-direct to a bust adjustment tutorial. No dart, my choice, and C and D cup darts. What patterns do that now!

Moving on, it seems I’m taking STOF France fabrics on my journey. This is a woven cotton from Fabric.com, Impressions de Nature Aloe Lorraine. 🙂

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 12.
  • Although the pattern has lots of drape at the armscye for a shoulder pad, I won’t use one, so I brought in the outside shoulder seam in by 5/8″.
  • The sleeves are short. I added 1″.
  • And the cuffs/pleats are very tight, a throwback to the ’80s. I added a 1.25″ button tab and simply gathered my sleeve into the cuff.
  • The pleated pocket and epaulets are interesting options, but I left off the epaulets and flattened the pocket, adding 1.5″ at the top for a nice fold.
  • Not being fond of fusible interfacing, I used Pellon SF785 woven sewn-in for my facings.
  • The collar treatment – I really dislike and abominate a collar that is clipped and turned in at the shoulders. Really really. I always draft a back neckline facing for a nice finish.

Pics!

I have lots of plans for this pattern – this is the most comfortable, best-fitting blouse I’ve ever sewn. 🙂

Ciao! Coco

Style Arc Elsie camp shirt variation

Well, I never imagined I would like this play on a revere neckline, but I was so wrong! A thank you and shout-out to Karen (@intostitches) for the inspiration to try this pattern! It’s actually really interesting to sew and to wear.

From Style Arc, the real name of this cutie is the Elsie Oversized Shirt:

But with a few changes, it becomes a nifty semi-fitted shirt.

Basics:

  • Redrew the front and back hemlines and drafted a shirt-tail hem. My center back finishes at 25″, a favorite length.
  • Drafted a short-sleeve option.
  • Drafted the back with pleat or no-pleat options.

Other notes:

  • Sewed the size 10, and it’s a perfect fit.
  • Drafted my pattern with 1/2″ seam allowances, everywhere. The pattern includes 3/8″ and 1/4″ SAs, treacherous with woven fabrics!
  • Shortened the bust darts by an inch. For some reason they are drawn out past the bust apex mark. Weird.
  • Annoying (1) the pattern has full-width back and yoke pieces. I had to print the associated pages to get the goodies, but what a lot of wasted paper and ink, since both can be cut on the fold.
  • Annoying (2) it has a single-layer yoke! It’s easy enough to cut the facing, but what an oversight.

Bits and pieces:

I used cotton poplin shirting and Pellon sew-in interfacing, both from Fabric.com. And, yes, I washed and dried the interfacing before using it to avoid shrinkage when the entire garment is washed.

I like to attach pockets before things get going, whenever it’s practical.

The facing is sewn into the neckline and hand-stitched at the shoulders and bottom of the yoke.

It’s easy to reduce the bulk in a double-fold hem! My seams are serged together, stopping at a clip at the fold line. I open the remaining seam allowance, and it’s easy to make those folds.

I love rounded buttonholes on blouses 🙂

A couple close-ups, worn out:

One is never enough – I’m starting a long-sleeve version tomorrow 🙂

Ciao – Coco

Grainline Alder – Mandarin blouse muslin

Muslin time! I’ve been thinking about drafting a mandarin collar blouse for 8 years – ever since I saw a young woman in the dentist office wearing a white sleeveless version over jeans. It was so fresh and feminine.

I’m right in the middle of making a dress, but decided to stop and get started on the blouse.

My starting point was the beautiful Grainline Alder shirtdress. It’s so well-drafted and lends itself to many variations.

Some time ago, Jen posted a tutorial on a band collar option, using just the collar stand. Brilliant!

Sewing notes:

  • I started with the size 8, with a few tweaks to accommodate my hollow chest and thin neck.
  • The collar stand – I wanted it a bit higher with a fuller curve at the front edge. And no button.

I’m so pleased with the result!

  • Impossible to see on this print, I also added 2.5″ to width of the back piece, gathered into the yoke. I just like the added ease provided by this small change and have incorporated it in all my Alder shirtdress versions.
  • This muslin has a CB of 25″, but I’m planning to narrow this hem and lengthen future versions to 26.5″
  • Miscellaneous: my fabric is cotton voile from Fabric Mart. To ensure that the collar would not be floppy, I interfaced it with midweight non-woven interfacing. And I used cotton broadcloth to interface the front button bands.
  • I also drafted 2″ wide facings for the neckline, front and back, to add stability around the collar seam.

Great project, soon to be sewn in white fabric.

Parting note: You guys are the best. I am so uplifted by all the thoughtful comments on my last post. I really do feel that I have a team of friends supporting me. Thank you 🙂 Coco

Paper Theory Olya shirt version 2!

sitting

This is becoming a love story – I’m enjoying my first challis Olya so much that I quickly started work on a second one.

Delightful pattern, impeccable drafting:

collage pattern

Just to mix things up a bit (more), I chose a printed challis for this one. Yes, I spent ages matching the print and deciding which pattern and color elements should go where 🙂

emile
Fabric: Fabric.com – beautiful selection of solid and print challis

lb1

I love the shirttail hem, it’s not exaggerated and just goes with the flow of the shirt.

s1

Sewing notes, no changes from my first version, but a recap:

  • I drafted the size 8, with 1/2″ seam allowances instead of the included 3/8″ SA.
  • The sleeve:
    • I added 1/2″ to the length.
    • Instead of a buttoned cuff, I used a 2″ wide band, using the cuff pattern but sewn closed to width and attached.
    • I also gathered my sleeve into the band – no pleats.
  • The neckline and collar:
    • My front neckline, collar stand, and collar are drafted from the Named Saraste blouse pattern.
    • The collar is softer, larger, and about 1″ lower in front than the Olya pattern.

collar

  • Once again, no front pockets! I simply closed the entire bodice seam.
  • I added 1″ to the width of the back lower bodice and gathered it into the yoke – no pleats.
  • Challis is fairly translucent, so I underlined the plackets, cuff, collar stand, and collar with white broadcloth to prevent print shadows. BTW, here’s a succinct and helpful guide to some potentially confusing sewing terms: interfacing, lining, interlining, and underlining.
  • The yoke is also faced in white broadcloth, same reasoning.

facing

I love this shirt tucked into jeans!

t1

t2

An aside: I recently posted pics of a new dress on Instagram (you can click on the IGram icon in my sidebar). It’s my True Bias Nikko top/McCall 6559 combo (blog post here). And I received a wonderful compliment on the way into the grocery this morning 🙂

collage1

Ciao! Coco