True Bias Nikko top – a muslin


OK, please do not laugh at my pants or sleepy face! Focus, people! a small post about my muslin of the True Bias Nikko Top.

I discovered this pattern only a couple days ago, and I love it! Lots of options, and the selling point for me, a nice mock turtleneck.

line art

The pattern description suggests that the back on the sleeveless versions is somewhat similar to a racer back. I didn’t find that to be the case at all. It has nice coverage and a ‘traditional’ silhouette.  BTW, the pattern includes facings for the armhole, but I simply trimmed away 3/8″, and used self-fabric binding.


Kelli suggests using knit fabrics with about 75% horizontal stretch. So of course I did my muslin with a remnant of cotton/lycra jersey, only 40% stretch. Well, I could not begin to pull the turtleneck section over my head 🙂 I modified it to be somewhat wider, just enough to pull over my oversize noggin. In the future I will pay attention to the stretch factor!


Cute, right? Has anyone else sewn this?

I’m off to find stretchy fabric (the sleeveless top requires only 1.3 yards in my size 10).

Bye for now – Coco

2018 Favorites!

charlie brown closet

I hadn’t planned to do this, but in the end, I found it very interesting.

The following is a pictorial of my favorite and most repeated patterns. Each has a link to my original post.


Allie Olson Highlands Wrap Dress
Simplicity 8640 Dress
Grainline Studio Felix Dress


Named Clothing Saraste Shirt


McCalls 7726 High-Waisted Pants
True Bias Yari Jumpsuit
Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs


Named Clothing Utu Skirt


Butterick 6251 Fleece Jacket
Lekala 5712 Faux Fur Jacket
back 1
Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan

There are no misses, dislikes, or disappointmentss in the loft. I learn from everything I sew, and I always feel each project is a winner 🙂

Model in gold

Ciao! Coco

Misc tips on sewing with knits

BS 09-2016-119

Like this structure? Preserve it. Here’s my approach to sewing knit fabrics.

  • First, I don’t just serge my knits together. Most serger threads have a lower tensile strength than all-purpose sewing thread, so they pull and break easily. And a serged seam is always sketchy, no one can combat the wave all the time. I sew all my seams on my machine, and then I serge the seams to finish. The result is a garment with structure and strength, nothing wavy going on (OK, I had to hang that preposition).
  • I don’t use a walking foot or an elastic (lightening) stitch on my sewing machine. I use a straight stitch with the upper thread adjusted to give me an even result. Also, I use a fairly long stitch. On my Singer Stylist, 3.0. BECAUSE a smaller stitch really tries to put more stitches in an inch…the result, it stretches the fabric to accommodate the stitches.
  • I don’t stretch my fabric as I sew. I let the machine’s feed feet take it forward, ensuring that the unstitched fabric layers are going evenly to the needle. hmmm. Yes, use those pins and light finger tips to guide the fabric. A little practice, and you can do this.

Here are some illustrations of the direction of my sewing on knits. Believe me, direction makes a huge difference with knits, particularly if they have any bias edge (most do). They all want to droop at the cut edges. If you sew down those edges, it will droop even more. And, have you noticed, one just doesn’t sew at the same tension going up and down a front edge. Beat that droop…


  • Side seams and neckline edges, a simple cardigan (this is the Tessuti Megan):


lineart 1

  • More complicated, attaching a band to a neckline edge (this is the Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan):


  • And that critical element, attaching a collar (this is McCalls 7476 drop shoulder cardigan):

line art 2

By now you’ll see the similarity – stitch UP against the flow and use a lot of pins. Be gentle with the fabric, taking care not to pull it as it goes under the presser foot. Are you topstitching? take the direction into account.

BTW – I serge/finish seams the same way. Sergers tend to have a downward pull on the fabric. If I’m serging with abandon, I just make sure it’s in the ‘right’ direction so I don’t end up with something that’s 1″ longer on one side!! Yes, it means I have threads to tuck/tie/finish but that doesn’t bother me. It’s all sewing,  and I love sewing knits!!

Ciao – Coco

Burda 09-2016-119 Fleece Wrap Coat


The quintessential grab-and-go wrap coat, this time in navy polar fleece from  I love their fleece selection, and their quality is so dependable. OK, price point – how about $4.98 for 60″wide fleece…

Back to the coat! It’s from BurdaStyle, 09/2016 # 116. Their sample is in mohair knit, all of mine are not! I’ve made this in espresso sweatshirt fabric (my muslin, but not posted) and black minky plush – great pattern, lots of opportunity for playtime.

BS 09-2016-119

I made this one full length so it will cover any tunics or cardigans I’m wearing. And in these pics I’m wearing sarouel pants, but you’d never know it!



Sewing notes:

  • I sewed size 38. It is very loose and generous in size and coverage.
  • The center back seam is 44.5″ long (my minky one is shorter at 39″).
  • As before, I used front and back neckline facings rather than turn in seam allowances on the edges. I like the weight and structure that the facings bring to the coat.
  • On this version I drafted a ‘smaller’ pocket that is attached on the front only, instead of being across the side seam.
  • I love topstitching fleece!


  • The big sleeve on the original pattern connects to the coat at the waistline. I decided to redraft mine to finish about 3″ above the waist, so that I can use a belt if I like.


arm alteration

And here it is with a belt (no, it’s not a robe, it’s a wrap shawl collar coat) !

belt front

belt side

belt back

This is still in the loft, because I’m thinking about adding buttons…why not!buttonsIn parting – my dryer quit, and I’m waiting for my new one. I find that draping laundered yardage to dry across my car in the garage works pretty well 🙂73ec52694163349c775ecc1094587a64Ciao! Coco


Breaking the Pattern – Saraste shirt

front closeup

I am in love with this shirt. It is by far the prettiest I’ve ever sewn – fit, details, drafting, rave on…


Fabric: Kaufman Kona cotton from JoAnn. Buttons: Akoya shell from Wawak.

Sewing notes:

  • I drafted the size 3, long-sleeve shirt without the shoulder vent,
  • And increased all my seam allowances to 5/8″.
  • Collar: Using the suggestions in the workbook, I decide to draft a long pointed collar. It’s so pretty! I’ve always been uneasy with collars, but this one is something  else. BTW, the collar on Named’s Reeta shirtdress was just awful, kind of ruined the dress for me (post here) but the ladies have really perfected this feature, this collar goes on like a dream.

Pointed collar

A tip: using a template to draw the curve at the collar band really helps.

Collar template

  • Sleeve: The original sleeve was very narrow and short, and kind of grabbed when I lifted my arm. I drafted  and cut out a new one with a few adjustments.
    • Added 1″ to the length.
    • Moved the side seam out 1″ at the hemline and re-drew the side seams and vents, resulting in a more commodious sleeve.
    • Dropped the curve in the hem edge by 1/2″ at the highest point, and re-drew the bottom edge.
    • Gathered the sleeve into the cuff for a nice soft finish.

sleeve bottom

A comparison of my original sleeve, and the new one I drafted:

Sleeve compare

  • The front princess seam…for my smaller girls, I flattened the curve on the side front by a scant 1/4″. This is an easy adjustment that really works.
  • Armscye: It’s very high and shallow.
    • Moved the shoulder out by 3/8″ and deepened the armscye by 3/8″ at the bottom, trued up each side.
  • Blouse:
    • Added 1/4″ to the side seam allowances at the waist marking (the blouse is very nipped at the waist) and trued the change up and down.
    • Did not face the back yoke, keeping it light and airy.


Between the Utu skirt (posted here) and the Saraste shirt, I’ve gotten more pleasure and fun than I ever anticipated!




Rock on! Coco