A copycat blouse…

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Miss Impatient here. I’ve managed to sew my stash down to only 4 fabrics, all of which are most suited to winter – not to our very warm and humid Florida summer. The good part, I do have some fabric on order. I just have to maintain… If anyone wondered, the hard part of retirement is paying attention to a budget – being on a pay-as-you-go plan. Two crowns, a new hot water heater, yard cleanup, and sidewalk repairs have left me wistfully window-shopping fabric ūüôā

Not to be deterred – I still had a couple yards of Michael Miller Cotton Couture, the last remnant from the 10 yards I ordered in 2014, to muslin my DD’s bridal gown (in the end, and really to my relief, she got a beautiful tea dress from David’s Bridal). So I decided to take a stab at a top that I really like, from Vivid Linen:

vividlinen

How perfect for hot weather!

I started with the Grainline Scout Tee, a great pattern that I’ve altered quite a bit over time, to fit my wide shoulders and narrow chest, and to add bust darts. On this version, I modified it a lot more!

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But first, another pic of my top…

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The big changes are to mimic the hi-low hems and slit sides of the inspiration blouse. First, I decided how long to make the front. Then I modified the back to be longer than the front. And, last, I drafted the side seams to support a slit. I already had a ‘cropped’ cutting line on my pattern, from past versions, so the changes were fairly easy. Here’s how I managed the side slits and hems. Finished, the back is a bit over 2″ longer than the front:

Side seams

Inside view:

inside

And outside:

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That was pretty easy. I also had to think about the ‘balance’ of the top – finishing the hems, sleeves, neck facing (my add-on, instead of a neckband), and so on. I decided to use the same width for all of them, which I think looks really nice:

outside

To complete my copycat look, I needed to add pockets (in the end, I only added one). So a tip – cut, measure, trim, and mark pockets. I use Frixion pens, and I stay-stitch all my fold lines to ensure an even turn and application.

pockets

How does the back look? It’s just where I wanted it ūüôā

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Of course I’ve styled this top with a very fun pair of True Bias Hudson Pants, sewn in funky ITY knit, from way back in 2014, and still a favorite pattern (blogged here).

So – I’m really pleased with this muslin. What next? Well, I prefer to wear knit tops. They don’t wrinkle, they’re light, and they work well in south Florida – so I’ll be adjusting my pattern draft for knits. Among the fabrics I ordered from Girl Charlee are 8 yards of lightweight modal/cotton/rayon jersey. Should keep me out of trouble for a while.

Ciao! Coco

B6296 – Summer (campin’) shirt

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Sometimes I think I’m like a puppy – I just keep shaking that new toy. I mentioned in an earlier post that the top from the Butterick 6296 pajama pattern would make a great camp shirt. I had a large remnant of Michael Miller cotton couture in the stash, so I decided to give it a go.¬† Bingo! It’s really cute.

B6296_a-horz

A couple pics with the shirt worn outside – I had to take these first since I knew it would get all wrinkly once I tucked it in my britches.

out 1

I used the cutting line from View A, which is shorter, and then shortened it another 2″, using the scientific eyeballing method and the back length of my TSW Trio Shirt.

out 2

I did want to ditch the PJ look as much as possible, so I didn’t use edging detail on the sleeve band. Instead, I added a curved corner to each end of the band, and then attached it ‘upside down’.

sleeve

I really like this small, easy change. It also occurred to me that it also would be simple to widen the band and create a cuff.

side 1

No changes to the collar – it’s so pretty, and I like it much more than a pointed collar. It’s a generous width and really behaves. No fear of flying with this convertible collar style – without a collar band, collars are very easy to sew.

collar

A couple more pics. It’s way too hot now for jeans, but these are my favorites. I made them several years ago in mid-weight denim,¬† using the McCalls 6291 cargo pants pattern (great for shorts as well).

back 2

front 2

Well, I think I’m done with this pattern for a while – but it was fun trying various looks with it. And I love my PJ sets.¬† I’m giving it 5 stars!

Parting shots – it’s Mother’s Day! From my dear not-so-little ones…from david

David sent these incredible flowers from my favorite florist, ‘Art of Flowers’. For years he sent me orchids, which kept expiring under my care. A hit to my gardener ego, but in reality, orchids from florists are tender. They’ve been handled way too much, chilled, warmed, and mushed. I love getting flowers – my living room smells heavenly.

From my creative Ashley, a precious memory of dancing together in the kitchen…

mom abug

Hope this special day brings nice memories to all – Bye for now, Coco

 

Sewing the birds…

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And I mean lots of birds! This is such a cute print, but I know the pics don’t really showcase it well. The birds are little!

The fabric is a rayon/lycra from Fabric Mart , and it was a bit of a surprise when it arrived. It’s heavy and very stretchy in both directions. Hmm. I went looking and found it on Craftsy, which does a nice job of giving the fabric particulars. So – this fabric is 8% lycra, and it’s hefty at 8.8 oz. I knew finding a good application, other than leggings, would be dicey.

So I started with a Bantam Vest from the Merchant & Mills Workbook. It’s¬†one of my very favorite patterns for sleep tops and layers under cardigans, and I make it in both knits and wovens.

Bantam

bantam 2

Working with the vest gave me lots of opportunity to find the right tension, pressure, and stitch length for this spongy fabric, on both my sewing machine and my serger. The ripper got a bit of a workout…

bantam 1

Next up, I cut out ‘my’ sharkbite tunic, the one that started as a Tessuti Frankie dress and got completely¬†redrafted. I never did make a Frankie dress – that pattern¬†just didn’t work for me (small armscye, narrow sleeves – those critical bits).

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A couple¬†more pics – this is fun to wear! A little sassy…

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On other fronts, I’ve been freaking out because my fabric stash is pitiful. And I only have one fabric that’s suitable for spring and summer. What to do…

Solution РI ordered 3 woven cottons from Hancocks of Paducah, all on sale for 5.99/yard. BTW, the best places to lurk sales for premium quality quilting cottons, IMHO, are Hancocks of Paducah and Hawthorne Threads.

new fabric

Feeling calmer with fabric on the way, a parting shot, retro to the max РEaster 1959:

easter 1959

Ciao! Coco

The Sewing Workshop Trio Top – second version

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I’m on my way to an ‘outfit’ – skirt and top.

Rather than talk about 2 garments in one post, I thought I’d just focus on the top this morning. ¬†Another Trio, in a nice metallic pin dot quilting cotton from JoAnns. Pin dots are favorites around here for lining bags and pouches, and adding contrast binding and waistbands. I used to have this fabric in lime and purple, long gone, and had just enough of the rust to make a Trio top.

trio top line art

This fabric really showcases the back inset detail (so so pretty)…

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This time I kept some notes and pics from the construction process, techniques that can carry over to many patterns.

  • That collar – Linda Lee suggests making a template to draw the tricky ends of the collar stand and ensure they are the same when sewn. Great idea! I drew this template straight off the pattern, and I kept it for future use.

collar template

collar sewn

  • Sewing the curved hem – here’s a look at hem allowance in the side seam area. My first step was to re-shape the hem allowance to allow for the turn, but I wasn’t done. Note the resulting bubble at the fold line – if not resolved, this little bit of excess would bunch up inside the hem.

hem 1

 

So I clipped it out…

hem 2

These two little fixes provide a nice smooth hem.

hem 3-horz

  • Finishing the interfacing at the hemline – the pattern says to turn up the hem inclusive of the interfacing. I just don’t like how that looks! so I always turn the interfacing to the right side, sew it just below¬†the hem line, and turn it back out for a nice clean finish.

interface 1

 

This is a casual shirt, so of course I just topstitched the hem ūüôā

interface 2

Next up, a skirt to go with the top. I’ll post it as soon as I feel like putting on lipstick and combing my hair for pics!

Parting shot from my sewing room in the wee hours this morning – April the giraffe keeping me company.

sewing with april

Bye for now! Coco

 

Kwik Sew 3802 … Achoo!

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My fascination with  interesting hemlines continues!

This is pattern is not new, in fact I’m amazed I found it. Good old Kwik Sew.

KS3802 Pic-horz

What a great pattern to try, especially in light of the drama of my recent make of Vogue 9224. The biggest difference is in the length of the garment – this one is shorter by a few inches.

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This is a very lightweight rayon/lycra jersey from Fabric Mart

And it had some drama of its own, totally my fault! I initially made it in size Large (OK, I’m not yet accustomed to my diminished girls, I keep making the mistake of thinking I’m sewing for a C cup instead of an A cup).

The large…

size large
Poor fuzzy reject ūüôā

So I took this first version apart, laid it out, and marked it against the Medium. Much better.

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I really like this look over leggings. And for the record, I’m wearing this with a new pair of Love Notions Sabrina Slims. Can’t get enough Slims. The fabric is Fiesta Fabrics Petunia Garden in the purple colorway (I’ve seen it on both Craftsy and Fabric Mart, rayon/lycra, about 5.9 oz).

And my second muslin, done in cotton/lycra knit. It doesn’t have as much drape, but it’s interesting to try a pattern in different fabrics. This one got worn to the market this morning…

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Some sewing notes:

  • Yes, I sewed the Medium. I still think it would benefit from a little shaping in the center back, which the Vogue pattern has, and is to be included in my next version.
  • Sewing the handkerchief detail. For some reason, both the Vogue and this pattern would have you sew¬†the side seam first, and then do the hems on the split detail. Gosh, what a great way to put a lump in that hem split!

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Alternative Р I check my alignment from armscye to split, and hem the edges of the split first. Then I sew the side seam, the entire underarm and side, and finish things off.

In this pic:  (1) the side seam after hemming the handkerchief hem, and then the side seam, (2) neatening the serger thread from the side seam, and (3) a nice finished split:

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  • My other big change was to add a center front seam to make it easier to bind the V-neck. I just don’t like to wrestle with bands on V-necks if I can avoid it!

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On Emile:

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And a side-by-side:

It’s Sunday, lovely Sunday. My grandson celebrated his 8th birthday on Friday¬†– a skating party with his friends at the hockey rink¬†– and his Dad posted this message on Facebook. This is joy…

p at 8

For now – Coco