Monday muslin V8499 pants


Sometimes I just want to take another look at a pattern. I first made the V8499 pants when I was much heavier, and I was trying Lagenlook styles. Thinking about it over the weekend, and having a couple yards of available Brussels washer linen, I decided to try a smaller size. So a Monday muslin 🙂

First version:


Honestly, I don’t care for this style at the moment. But these pants are not wasted – they’ll be reworked as a straight leg pant. I would really like them in a corduroy for our brief winter. And those pockets are simply too good to ignore.

Undeterred, I’m about to cut out a True Bias Yari jumpsuit in Kaufman Essex linen, yard-dyed denim. I’ve enjoyed my espresso version so much.

And that’s Monday! BTW, the pattern has a super fun skirt as well, it would be great with boots and a short chunky sweater or jeans jacket.

line art.jpg

Bye for now! Coco

True Bias Yari Jumpsuit


And I love it 🙂 I wore jumpsuits a lot back in the 80’s –  they were perfect for travel and for wearing on our farms in Costa Rica. The Yari takes me right back to that time, but it’s a lot easier to wash and wear than the vintage styles.

I was cautious with the pattern because of the design elements and the potential for fit failures. And I read every review I could find. Other folks’ experiences are so helpful, and, in this case, kind of saved my soup. Initially, I contemplated adding an inch or more to the bodice (I’m 5’7″, and Kelli drafts for a 5’5″ model). Many sewers did that exact thing, and they ended up with a too-low crotch seam. This one factor led to my muslin, which I sewed with no changes to the pattern (here).


So cute!


Some sewing notes:

  • My fabric is Kaufman yarn-dyed Essex linen in Espresso, purchased from It’s 55%linen/45% cotton and weighs in at 5.6 oz/square yard. Great weight, body, and hand for this jumpsuit.


  • I started with View D, the long version with the extended shoulder. Once my shoulders were sewn, I trimmed and reshaped the armhole to suit me. The pattern has a sleeveless option, but I prefer a wider shoulder to balance the overall silhouette of the jumpsuit.


  • I opted for a self-fabric belt with a D-ring buckle. I don’t care for a lot of fuss on my clothes, so I avoided side tabs, side ties, or a waist tie.
  • I also drafted my pattern with the wide-leg option offered by Kelli in her tutorial (here). It’s really easy, and it doesn’t add to the fabric requirement.


Small details:

  • The finished shoulder, which is flat-felled on the right side, and a view of the bias binding on the armhole.

binding and shoulder

  • The lower button band area closed with hand-stitching, instead of top-stitching.

hand stitch

  • Inexpensive faux wood (or bone?) 5/8″ buttons from JoAnn. I used 6, spaced at 2 1/2″, being super careful not to have one under my belt buckle (more on buttons in an earlier post, here).


To close, here’s a shot with no belt!

no belt

Ciao! Coco

True Bias dreaming – the Yari


A rainy day spent cutting and taping. And thinking of the possibilities of the True Bias Yari jumpsuit.

This pattern went by me when it was released. Recent pics on Instagram got me!


I did lots of browsing and blog reading before I jumped. Indie patterns tend to be expensive, and this is no exception at $14 for the PDF version.

Having purchased and downloaded the pattern, I found myself out of printer ink and paper 🙂 Normally I have backup inventory of both, but (1) printing the Grainline Felix dress wiped me out of paper, and (2) I got a new printer a couple months ago. And haven’t bought more ink.



BTW, this is a great inexpensive printer, $49.99, the Epson Expression Home 440. It’s fully featured, easy to use, and not kerflunked with web links and so on, as was my previous HP printer (drove me crazy)


dst 2


Anyway, I did an early early morning sprint to Office Depot. I don’t take a shopping trip lightly, because I don’t like to do it! I went with my first cup of Joe in hand.

Back to the pattern,  I found two versions that clinched it for me. Both feature the wide-leg hack that Kelli has on her site (here).

From the Kelli, one that reminds me of all the pinafore-inspired jumpsuits being seen this summer:


And from the delightfully creative and talented Sophie at Ada Spragg, beautifully done with a waist casing:


I will be cautious! There are a bunch of critical fitting points, so I’ll do a muslin in stash cottons, just the shorts.

However – ordered this morning, pear Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen. This color is not easy to find, but ImagineGnats came to my rescue 🙂


p.s. I do buy a lot of this Brussels Washer linen from, but they haven’t had this color in stock. Still, it’s a great shopping alternative. They have a wonderful inventory of Kaufman linens, both Brussels Washer and Essex.

Back soon! Coco

True Bias Southport Dress – new!

To open – thank you so much for the supportive comments on my last post. I’m feeling a bit better and have really enjoyed doing some sewing!

And look what I did – I sewed the new Southport dress from True Bias, using the embroidered lawn that I was contemplating earlier.

This dress is every bit as comfortable as it looks. The embroidery in the lawn gives it just weight it needs to drape smoothly, it doesn’t have wrinkles because it is wrinkled, and it’s very opaque, no lining required.

I actually bought the Southport because it reminds me of a vintage 70’s pattern, McCalls 6544. I ordered the McCalls after seeing Sara’s version last year on her blog, Mixed Emotions. But I’ve delayed sewing it because I knew I would do as Sara did, i.e., redraft the back, and probably the front as well, to minimize the neckline gathers.

Worth the wait…


McCalls 6544
The Southport has nice options, such as a front slit and two lengths. The long and short versions have separate pattern pieces for the skirt, which I like. And the bodice has bust darts – yea! The dress is drafted for a C cup, which works perfectly for me. The skirt is not buttoned, fine by me, I wouldn’t have drafted the McCalls dress with all those buttons anyway.
Now – it’s not perfect. In fact, IMO, the drafting on the Southport bodice, and the sizing, are, well, difficult…
I started with a size 12 bodice and size 10 skirt, based on the given measurements. On my initial draft, I made a number of changes:
  • The front shoulder looked funky – it flew up at the neckline and, indeed, did not match up with the back shoulder angle at all. This is a small but horrible drafting error, since the resulting shoulder would not work well. But it was easily fixed with a little redraft.
  • My next change was to drop the bodice dart by 1 3/4″. I always have to do this, but I’ve started doing it a little differently. Instead of boxing the dart, cutting it out, and moving it down, I copy it onto a square of tissue and put the tissue piece into place on top of the original pattern.  A little curing of the side seam and voila! On a multi-size pattern, this approach keeps the original dart lines available.
  • I knew, from the few versions available for online viewing, that the dress had high floppy-front-neckline potential. To adjust, I used a hollow chest adjustment on the inside curve of the neckline. Hollow chest adjustments are very personal depending on one’s build, this one works for me on low, round necklines. And I think the term ‘hollow chest’ is hilarious 🙂
Edited on 4/23/2015: Apology I missed this in my notes! An additional change I made – before I bound the neckline, I found the front neckline to be too wide and wavy. I folded the center front and ran a 5/8″ seam from the neckline, curing to 3/8″ at the bottom edge. This explains why my neckline looks more narrow than the pattern, line art, and True Bias site version.
  • Since the pattern is fitted on a 5’5″ model, I added 1″ to the bodice length, front and back. I was planning to add 1″ to the skirt as well, but it is 43″ long, plenty for my height (5’7″), with a generous hem.

Time out for a pic:

And back to sewing…
  • Once I had my bodice sewn at shoulder and side seam, I had very gaping armholes! and the width at the bust line was 1 1/2″ wider than I expected. I took in both side seams by 1″ (back and front). Much better and the bodice fit to the skirt perfectly.
  • Finishing the neckline and armholes was simple – I used self-fabric binding for both. OK, it wasn’t so simple. The embroidered fabric was way too thick for a binding. I cut out the bias and removed the embroidery from the pieces. It was so easy that I did the same for the drawstring as well.
My cheaters:

  • Since the dress clearly slips over one’s head, I eliminated the functioning button front and used a faux button tab. For the pattern, I cut the front bodice on the fold, using the center front marking.
  • I noticed that the back and front skirt are basically the same, with just a little bit more width in the back. Since it is cut on the fold, I drafted only one skirt pattern, with two center back lines. Perfect.
  • Out, out, drawstring! I did put it in and then took it out. Instead I used 1/2″ elastic in the casing and secured a shortened drawstring in each open end. It’s sooo much easier to keep the gathers aligned around the skirt!
Maggy London embroidered lawn, Fabric Mart
And I love my new dress.
Parting shots – orchids are blooming in the guava tree and on the ground. Oh, BTW, I saw Mr. Cuban Knight anole in the tree last week. He’s huge, at least 20″ long. The tree is blooming, but is some weeks from its fruit. Nonetheless, Ms. Squirrel challenged him (bad idea) in anticipation.
Cymbidium – about 11 years old, it’s a frequent bloomer, really year-round.


Epidendrum radicans – a ground orchid and newcomer to the garden.
I bought one in a pot and split it into three for planting.


Vanda and one of my first orchids. This one is about 12 years old
and has been split and repotted. Two now!


A previous pic of Mr. Anole. He’s hard to photograph, he slips away so fast.
But this time he froze when he saw me. Lucky shot.

Ciao! Coco