A lot of lizards…

Such a story…I bought 4 yards of this cute lizard cotton jersey at my local JoAnn store, and I just loved it. No spandex, nice weight, easy to sew. So I went online and found it in another color way, kind of a mocha. Incredible – they sent me 4 yards of the same green color way! Of course they issued a refund, but I did have to figure out what to do with all those green lizards!

BTW, the fabric is from the JoAnn Pops! Juvenile fabric collection. Ha!

(1) a full-length Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan. Such a great pattern, I’ve probably made close to a dozen over the years.

(2) A self-drafted shark bite tunic. This pattern is a staple in my summer wardrobe, it is so much fun to wear.

(3) Pajamas! the pants are McCall 7634 yoga pants (as are the green ones above), and the top is the Wiksten tank. The latter is designed for woven fabrics, but all of mine are jersey knit. I looked for a link to the McCall pattern, but I think shopping Etsy, etc., is the best bet. These are my favorite ever yoga pants.

And I’m wearing them now, so comfy. And I still have well over a yard of fabric remaining.

OK, here it comes…leapin’ lizards! Ciao! Coco

Goes with coffee…


Now that our cool weather is past, I’m working on warm weather thingies to wear around the house. Retirement inevitably comes with the temptation to go grunge very casual most of the time. Tee shirt, leggings, socks, PJs. But part of my new year/new me is to avoid that!

I’ve just finished two sets, both in ITY knit from Fabric Mart. And for both, I paired a Wiksten tank top with V9217 Kathryn Brenne pants.

1-Wiksten Tank Top-side

Sewing notes:

  • That deeply curved hem on the tank top is very trying and fiddly with ITY knit, so I just cut an even hem from side to side.
  • And I used self-fabric binding on the neckline and armholes to dress them up a bit.
  • The pants are very simple – no pockets and a straight hem. The original pattern is ankle length, so I added 2″ at the hemline to go long and swooshy.


I didn’t attempt to match the print, top to pants, but managed it within each piece. I’m wearing these right now, and I love how the fabric feels.


For the second set, I added a Wiksten top to the V9217 pants I made late last year.


I’m crazy about this print, and if I see it again, I’ll jump on it.



This is fun sewing, totally selfish! And I was right – wearing something pretty is uplifting, it just enhances the day.

Bye for now – Coco

PJ play…


Girls just want to have fun ūüôā

What could be better than warm jammies with big flowers? It’s in the 60’s today, heading down down all week. I know that doesn’t sound cold, but to someone accustomed to temps in the 80’s, it is!


As with my previous PJs (here), this set is a combo of Love Notions Sabrina Slims and a modified Wiksten tank top. The fabric is cotton/rayon/spandex jersey from Girl Charlee, and it included a small disappointment – a hole about 4″ from a selvedge edge. I was able to work around it, but it bugged me.

The challenge was avoiding a big flower on each of the girls, resolved by putting one front and center instead. No other print matching attempted!



I’m starting one more set today…


Parting shot, I love getting these notifications (fabric of course).


Wishing all a happy and joyful 2018! Coco

New PJs – essential sewing!


At last, cool weather has arrived. For those of us in south Florida, that means night temperatures in the fifties. Not cold! But what a difference. Our dry season has begun, with lower humidity and the beautiful temperate days that bring so many people to Florida for the winter. Best of all – open windows, fresh air, and no A/C!

I get the urge to sew new PJs in the fall and in the spring. I’m wearing these as I write, and I might not take them off until next year! It’s my only matching ‘winter’ PJ set – I admit that most of my PJs are collection of T-shirts and leggings that have been downgraded from the closet to the drawer ūüôā Terrible… and I plan to grit my teeth and do something about that! Soon.


The top is a modified Wiksten tank, and bottoms are Love Notions Sabrina Slims.


These are two great patterns that I’ve used over and over. The Wiksten top is designed for woven fabrics, and I’ve sewn some cute sleeveless versions in simple cottons, but it works beautifully with knits as well.


In a totally different direction, I just finished a nightgown that’s pretty enough to wear all day. I’m so in love with this rayon challis print from Cali Fabrics.


The gown is a mix of elements – I used a favorite bodice sloper, with a 1.5″ wide waistband (it’s faced on the inside), and a gathered skirt that’s simply a 50″w x 38″l rectangle.n1¬†¬†n4

When I wear this, I match my house ūüôā

I hope everyone has a nice weekend, spent doing favorite things.

Bye for now – Coco

Wiksten tank top – in knits

Hi! And where have the last 4 weeks gone…I think this is the longest I’ve gone with writing about something. Honestly, I was a little off-put by having so many wadders in January, and time slipped by with little sewing.

But I generally spring back. I’ve been busy.

First, I assessed my wardrobe and now have a lot fewer things in the closet. After 4 years of sewing and blogging nonstop, I had way too many things in there. I was also tired of them! And having so many clothes was bugging me – I had a nagging feeling of guilt because most them were never worn after I blogged them.

Easy to correct – donation time. They’ll be going to a women’s closet organization in Ft. Myers that helps women in distress or in need of appropriate clothing for interviews, court appearances, etc.

Second, I turned to a TNT top that I just love, the Wiksten woven tank top. I had four pieces of cotton/rayon jersey from Girl Charlee’s big Black Friday sale – about 2 yards of each, purchased for under $2.50/yard. It was time to revamp my Wiksten pattern for use with knits.

Last year I redrafted my Wiksten pattern to be a little longer (added 2″) and a bit ‘swingier’ (moved the bottom side seams out 1″).¬† This time around I just added the sleeve from a knit dress, Vogue 1315, cut to elbow length.

Worked great! This top is incredibly comfortable, and it’s tunic length, which makes it perfect for jeans and leggings. Even better – I slept in the first one I made, and it was wrinkle-free in the morning. Wow. Nice fabric.

Other sewing notes:

  • As with every single garment I sew, I finished the shoulders with a flat-fell seam. This prevents any irritation from the seam and stabilizes it without bias tape or elastane.

  • This top could be sewn with a serger alone, but I always worry that a serged seam will stretch open a little bit with wear, exposing the stitches. So I sew my knit seams with a lightening stitch, and then serge/cut the seam allowances together.
  • And I cut my neckline banding across the width (across the stretch) of the fabric, rather than on the bias. I keep a basket of knit and woven scraps, pre-cut into binding widths. They come in so handy – I had a suitable color for each of these stripes.

I will say that the fabric has funky selvedges. But I cut them off before laying out the pattern, and the stripe matching was really easy.

Hope everyone is enjoying a nice weekend! Bye for now, Coco

Simplicity 1852 Low Rise Shorts

Wiksten Tank Top, ACMoore snakeskin print, 100% cotton
Shorts, JoAnns linen-blend
Sandals, Lindsay Phillips

I know I said in my¬†post about pull-on pants that shorts do not suit me…but things change! I have decided that shorts suit me very well and am¬†happily making lots of them. This pattern, Simplicity 1852, is a great find.

The shorts/pants are¬†described as sitting 1″ below the natural waistline – but I am short in the rise. You can see these shorts sit a bit higher on me, as I¬†hoped¬†they would – in fact, they are very comfortably at my waist. It is so nice to have a pattern that fits in the rise. (I have another TNT as well, but it is plain vanilla).

This pattern has a cute piecing and pocket treatment. Each side comprises three pieces, with a styled patch pocket set into the front seam and extending across the side seam onto the back.  Here is another view, front and back:

I love the elastic waistband casing¬†on this pattern – it is set on as a separate piece, instead of being an integrated fold-over casing. The result is a very clean and lightweight finish that gathers very nicely around the elastic. Much much better than any fold-over treatment I’ve experienced. So nice that I will never again use any other approach to a pull-on pants elastic casing! (Last week I went¬†back and redid the waist on a¬†pretty linen pull-on pant that I took to Orlando for Mom’s Day visit with family.)
I sewed a M (12-14) and they are so comfy. And….take only¬†a little over a yard to make because of the piecing. If you modify the pocket just a bit (cut the pocket facing separately), a yard will do it for many sizes! What a great summer stash buster!

The drawstring is actually faux – it is inserted into two buttonholes set an inch or so apart on the front waistband. Did I bother? Noooo. For myself, I find pants drawstrings distracting, bothersome, and limiting…did I say I don’t like them?

Wiksten Tank Top, FFC white on white dots, 100% cotton
Shorts, ACMoore leaf print, 100% cotton
Sandals, Jack Rogers
I think this is a really nice rear view! no bag, no sag, pinch, or pleat. Definitely will be making the longer pants version.

Then there’s the¬†yellow and white print from ACMoore, the one I used to make my first Wiksten tank top…Oh, what cute shorts they made! Dance time!

Ciao! Coco

Wiksten Tank Top

White linen blend pants, self-made, future blog
Kelly & Kate sandals

This is my first  spring woven top fever result! And I love this tank top pattern by Wiksten. I sewed this in a super cute and fresh cotton print that is a 3 yd. Mini Bolt from ACMoore. I was so happy with how well it laundered, the finish is better than I expected (the bolt was shrink-wrapped, no touchy), and it handled very nicely.

The Wiksten pattern is downloadable, and it did not eat up my paper supply! To my surprise and delight, the pattern includes a longer version that would be a darling tunic top for leggings and jeans. Yes, I see it in my future ūüôā

There is so much to like about the pattern. First, it is clearly intended to be used by all level sewists. For instance, it has all french seams. Wiksten makes this so easy by marking the pattern for the 1//4″ and 3″8″ seams. For beginner sewists, what a wonderful way to become acquainted with french seams! Second, it does not have darts – but the fit in the bust is amazing. I drew my bustline apex marks on the pattern to verify ease and so on before I cut my fabric. After stitching, I am so pleased. Truth be told, I am not wearing an undergarment in these photos…and the fit is great.

Navy weavers cloth pants, self-made, future blog

Just a couple comments on the pattern construction: I looked at a lot of renditions of this pattern online. I noticed that many gals had a very high armscye, a high neckline, and more than one complained of a gaping back neck on the garment. And I am pretty sure I know why. The pattern uses bias facing on the armholes and neckline. I think less-experienced sewists are applying the facing as a binding, not a facing. Simple mistake that makes a huge difference in fit and appearance of the garment. Wish I could reach out to them!

I decided to apply my facing so that it folded to the outside instead of to the inside. For a couple reasons. One, it puts the inevitable little stitching puckers from the topstitching where they cannot be seen. And two, the extra fold adds weight and effect to the tank top, which is otherwise a bit of a sea of fabric!

I like the result.

What a fun project and tank top. I am making more! Hasta luego! Coco
p.s. my camera is not taking good outdoors pics today…it is a somewhat aged Elph! ah. I’ll pat it.