P&M Stan Shirt

Hello! It’s been a while since I posted, but it’s because I’ve been working on a quilt. That’s on hold while I wait for back-ordered fabric, so instead I’ve been working on new tops. I added a couple cropped Scout tees, both in white linen, but got an itch for something new. Cruising Pinterest, I happened on the Stan shirt by P&M Patterns. And BTW, Pinterest is my favorite place to find patterns and design ideas. If I search on linen dress or linen blouse sewing patterns, I get a nice feed. I think that the word ‘linen’ eliminates funky and weird designs, as well as all those knit tunic tops. So, here’s Stan, great project…

It’s really interesting, with lots of gathers and puffs, and many mix/match options. I decided on a plain shoulder, puffed short sleeves, and a traditional button band.

I admit I was a little stunned when I started working with the taped pattern pieces – this shirt is voluminous! As I recall, the original hemline was about 67″ around. Wowser. But the sleeve and yoke looked promising, so I set to work.

To reduce the volume, I courageously removed a lot of the width in the front bodice, both sides, and the back skirt. And I diminished the swing in the side seams. These were my major changes to the design.

Once the shirt was constructed, I shortened the hemline by 3.5″. The original length would be perfect for a tucked-in look, but I’m totally into the ease of cropped shirts this year.

Other sewing notes:

  • The instructions are thorough and sensible, with great illustrations and lots of tips on technique and construction. I used the English version and found the translation to be perfect.
  • I sewed the size 10 US/French 42. A major checkpoint was the width of the collar stand – I can’t abide a collar that’s too big around (the latter is why I never wore my Fabrics-Store Noa shirt). I printed and measured the stand before moving forward with printing all those pages (I really don’t mind, I enjoy cutting, taping, measuring and drafting with a good movie on TV).
  • The pattern includes 3/8″ seam allowances, but I drafted my tissue with 1/2″ allowances. Narrow allowances on patterns for woven fabrics are kind of a pet peeve for me. What if I make a mistake!
  • The armscye is a bit high, and I think it’s probably intentional to highlight the gathers in the sleeve cap. I simply used a 3/8″ seam to insert the sleeve and will adjust my tissue.
  • A tip – for a simple cuff with no placket, you can gather the sleeve edge into the cuff before sewing the under-sleeve seam. It’s way easier than doing it in the round after the seam is sewn!

My lovely fabric is cotton Swiss dot, so soft and drapey. I think silk, crepe, and viscose would work well, but anything with much more ‘hand’ or crispness just wouldn’t sync with all those gathers.

A note on interfacing: I used Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium fusible from Fashion Sewing Supply. I highly recommend all their interfacings, no shrinking or bubbling of the fabrics. Because Swiss dot is so lightweight, I interfaced both sides of my collar and collar stand, and used a single layer in the button band to keep it flexible.

And notes on the button band: this shirt has a 1″ wide button band, whereas the edge of my buttonhole foot is at 5/8″. A bright basting stitching down the center of the band really helps with sewing straight buttonholes in the right place.

I used 3/8″ diameter buttons to stay with the airiness of the fabric. And as usual I used a buttonhole with multi-stitched ends to prevent fraying. All my thread tails get sent to the back side and woven into the buttonhole.

I love this shirt!

Bye for now – Coco

Update on IGram hack…

IGram helped me to recover my account, which is nice. But I don’t plan to post there for now, just here on the blog. It kind of shook me up, a lesson in how easily a web persona can be compromised. On to brighter things!

Grainline Studio Lark Tee tunic

Greetings from sunny Florida! Actually this the first really warm day in several weeks. And tonight we return to our typical winter chill. I like to take pics outside, but not when I’m cold!

It really has been chilly, and I’ve been lusting after some cozy long sleeve tees to wear over leggings. Typically my knit tops only last one season, so I’m filling a seasonal gap.

I chose to start with the Lark tee because it has a crew neck option and good bones. This is a great tee pattern:

Sewing notes:

  • I drafted the size 14, a couple sizes larger than I sew for a ‘regular’ tee shirt, to get the loose fit I like in a tunic.
  • The pattern has a generous center back length at 28″, to which I added 2″ for that tunic look (read that as ‘covers the tush’).
  • I also took out the form-fitting curves at the waist and hip.
  • DBP is relatively easy to sew, just test your machine and serger settings before starting. It’s densely knit and a bit spongy, think of an ITY with body. I find that a jersey needle works best – no skipped stitches or pierced threads.
I love this double-brushed poly knit from JoAnn – Ember Dark Orange Gingko Leaf. I got the last 2 yards from my store, and I think it’s sold out online.
  • The fabric is 58″ wide, so I had a nice remnant for an infinity scarf!

More pics:

Parting shot – the Christmas cactus continues to bring joy. They love the cool weather.

With warm thoughts, I hope this finds you well – Coco

Christmas photos and thoughts

My son has always said that blogging as I do is a bit narcissistic. And I agree. But It’s also true that photos from a distance disguise the more intimate characteristics of portraits.

I had an opportunity to have studio photos taken earlier this year, intended as gifts for my children. Showing my age, journey, and blessings. Coco

What I’m reading…

I particularly enjoy histories, and this year I’ve been reading about the great wars, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and a couple intriguing and detailed writings about Australia and the British in India.


John Toland, In Mortal Combat: Korea, 1950 – 1953.

Churchill, WWII, all of his writings. I am fortunate to have the entire collection, from my father’s library. He is surprisingly easy to read, rather chatty at times. Of course the writings reflect his opinions, but what better transcriber of the times, challenges, background, and decisions.

Wade Davis, Into the Silence, the Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest.

Tuchman, Stillwell and the American experience in China, 1911 – 1945.

William Craig, Enemy at the Gates: the Battle for Stalingrad.

Philip Ziegler, Mountbatten.

Robert Hughes, Fatal Shore.


Max Hastings, Vietnam, an Epic Tragedy, 1945 – 1975. Terrible. He opines, speculates, second-guesses, through the entire history. I finally gave up on the book, and I’ll look for a more fact-based dialogue.

Update, since I will be in temporary accommodations for a few months, I just ordered the Nook ebook of John Toland’s The Rising Sun.


Doing that dance – embracing a challenge

Such a week. Subsequent to my annual chest CT scan (I get one every year due to my scleroderma), I’ve been diagnosed with a non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung infection. It is rare, even more rare than scleroderma. But I have all the markers:

  • Tall, thin, Caucasian woman, with scoliosis and a malformed breastplate.
  • And an immune disorder.

Mycobacteria are everywhere in water and soil, and most people’s systems just shrug them off. But not mine.

  • It’s not cancer, congenital, genetic, or contagious. It is opportunistic in the right host. Like my little body.
  • What it means for me: 1 – 2 years of a treatment program, 3 antibiotics taken concurrently, oral and IV. If you are familiar with drug toxicity, you can imagine what’s ahead of me.

Yes, I have symptoms now, and I have gotten in touch with an Orlando pulmonologist for continuing care. I’m moving in 4 weeks…

Scared? yes, a bit. It’s unexpected, to say the least. Exotic ? But I have lots of family support, and I’ll just keep sewing and focusing on all the wonderful things 🙂