Hot hot hot and harem pants

It’s so hot outside, 93 degrees for a couple days. I don’t really mind, but I also don’t feel like wearing a bunch of fabric, such as a maxi dress. Truth is, I need to replace my entire AC system, air handler (16 years old) and compressor (10 years old). I knew this when I bought the house, and I’m ready now that we are into summer weather. The system struggles, runs all day, to maintain 79 degrees in the house (I have lots of fans). Only the lockdown has kept me from doing it – come June and these boogies are getting replaced!!

Enter my new challis Pattern Emporium Harem pants, always a favorite. I’m also wearing a lightweight True Bias Ogden cami, a button variation. As an aside, I just don’t feel like hiding anything, so my skin is here in all its scarred and scleroderma ‘patterned’ and irregular glory 🙂 It’s kind of cathartic to do this, and my buddy alligator has my back. It has been 10 long years…

Sewing notes:

  • I am still sewing the size 12 in the pants, but I’ve taken quite a bit out of the sides. I suppose I could size down, but now my tissue works, so I won’t bother 🙂
  • My cami is size 4. I drafted the button variation early on, but I think that Kelli has a tutorial on how to do this.
  • Fabric: Rifle Co. Wonderland Blue Magic Forest. The cami is simple broadcloth.
  • As a note, I’m 5’7″, measurements 33.5″/29″/39″. I hope this helpful. I myself get so frustrated when I research reviews and pics of a pattern and have no idea of how it really fits – few sewists include the info.

Play time:

I am thinking of all my blog friends, every one, and hope you are finding grace and faith, these are such unfamiliar times. For now, Coco

Sinclair Patterns Cachet Tee

Taking a break from mask-making, I just had to try this cute tee pattern. A shout-out to Sue at ILove2Sew, because I would not have found this without her post!

I’m a big fan of extended shoulders, that middle distance between sleeveless and short-sleeved. It’s easy to wear, and, IMHO, it’s very flattering to arms of all ages 🙂

This tee is incredibly simple to sew. Mine is size 8 with no changes except to bind the neckline rather than use an attached band. Great length! and it takes less than a yard/metre of fabric. I used a remnant from another project, rayon/spandex jersey.

I had to linger on the Sinclair Patterns site. They have an amazing inventory of adult and children’s PDF patterns, great designs, and reasonable prices. As I write, they have a 15% MeMadeMay discount on the entire site. Check it out!

Warm thoughts for all, Coco

Cali Faye Gardenia tunic

I do love this pattern from Cali Faye. It’s delightful, lots of detail, easy to sew, adaptable!

I cannot find line art, but here is an envelope pic:

It has a raised front, dipped back, slightly opened bracelet sleeves, just delightful.

OK, earlier makes, in a larger size since I first sewed this several years ago, here.

My latest inspiration, to make a tunic to wear over jeans and so on. It’s so cute!

Sewing notes:

  • I’m 5’7″, bust 34″ on a good day, so I sew a size Medium.
  • Long ago I took a 1/4″ dart in the neckline, each side, to thwart neckline gap on my flat chest.
  • And I moved my CB fold over 1/4″ over for the same reason. These adjustments are on my pattern pieces, which lets me cut this out without consternation.
  • And also long ago, I drew an alternate flattened front bodice to eliminate the ‘smile’ upper bodice seaming, This version has a one piece upper front bodice. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the bodice detail, because I do, but some midweight cotton/lycra jerseys don’t love it. 🙂
  • Fabric is Girl Charlee, cotton/lycra jersey, about 2.25 yd.
  • The length – well, I aimed for 29″ on the center back, plus 1.25″ for the hem allowance.

So cute!

Love this, and I’m planning a repeat in a deep grey heathered jersey. I really need warm tops, not sleeveless, for mid-winter wear. Have you adapted a dress to a tunic? Seems so logical, this was a great project.

Bye for now, Coco

Weathering Dorian – Simplicity 7051 blouse

We’ve been so fortunate here in Orlando (yes, my house closed last week, and I’m officially here). It’s very windy, with some rain, but my temporary pad is an apartment snugged inside an incredible property called The Gardeners Cottage. I’m living in the middle of a rampantly lush botanical garden. Good for the soul.

I ventured out between rain squalls to get a few pics of my new Simplicity 7051 blouse, sewn before I moved (first version and sewing notes here).

This fabric is so cute, it’s STOF Dodo Petrole woven cotton from Fabric.com. It’s 63″ wide! and, given the length of the repeat, I used all of 2 yards to accommodate the print matching and placement. I think of this as my ‘Incredible Dr. Pol’ blouse 🙂

My landlord has five gorgeous kitties.This one is quite old and calm, and he seems to like me. Or maybe he just connected with the cats on the print.

(There’s nothing like a back view to highlight baggy jeans – shameful!)

I have more things to post, but without my sewing gear, I’m knitting, painting, and reading. All the effort, work, and worry that went into showing and selling the house left me more tired than I realized. I’m sleeping like a baby.

Bye for now – Coco

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