New Button – Bloglovin’

Good morning! Just a quick note – I finally gave in to my curiosity about ‘Bloglovin’. Oh, how really fun and easy to use! Have you tried it? It’s a blog reading site!

   This is not a sponsored post  🙂 
I have a looong list of sites I read, and I love to sit and catchup with everyone. Usually I just click from my Coco’s Loft blog list (or read on the Google Blogger Dashboard). 
Bloglovin’ is the easiest of all – it’s very fast to load, has uncluttered pages, no security issues, and it has a super search feature. You can search for blogs by category, blog name, keyword – it’s like having an open library of blogs without the need to know the Dewey Decimal catalogue system! and you can build your own list of favorite blogs to read. Such leisure!
I added the Bloglovin’ button to Coco’s Loft – Liking this! Coco

Vogue 1315 Knit Dress – Jungle January #2!

Sandals – Chinese Laundry
It’s time for another Jungle January edition…
And I am absolutely in love with this Vogue pattern from Rebecca Taylor!
It is so simple and so easy to wear. I so often go for dresses and tops with raised waistlines. This one is at the waist, but has a soft roomy bodice that works well for me. The skirt is so well-balanced, and the sleeves are just beautiful.
Loving this fabric! It is a cheetah print cotton knit jersey from Holly Lobby. Midweight and very very easy to sew. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fun print. I don’t have a Holly Lobby where I live and picked this up during a trip to visit my daughter – but I also looked online, and it is available for online ordering – maybe I need more!
For once, I did not make a bunch of changes to the pattern! I sewed my usual Vogue size 14 and just added a couple inches to the skirt length (I’m 5’7″). One note on the sleeves – I like them long over my wrists, as they are on my dress. I took up a bare 5/8″ hem, but I do have ‘short’ arms (according to my ballet teacher years ago…) You might want to measure before you cut, maybe just tack on an inch or so if you like your sleeves long as well.
Would be terrific with a 3/4 sleeve if that suits better. I think the pattern could be used as is and simply shortened once the sleeves are seamed.
The dress has interesting and unusual pockets that are sewn into the waistline and side seams. I thought they might add to much bulk to the skirt or grab too much attention – but they work really well and are nice and deep.
A belt would be fun – I tried several, brown and black, wide and skinny. Looked good! But I am inclined to let the dress work for itself, very relaxed and in keeping with my personal style.
Once again – grrrr – ciao! Coco

Vogue 8771 Batwing Sleeve Top

   

I love batwing sleeves! And what a perfect pattern for our breezy and cooler winter season.
Vogue 8771

Lots of options here – different sleeves, length, and  fabric combos. And hemlines…check out that cute dropped back hemline on the longer version.

The pattern suggests 2-way stretch fabrics with spandex. However – I decided to use a soft french terry from Fabric.com.

And used the longer version with just a few modifications (of course…). 
Fortunately for me, lots of you have sewn and reviewed this pattern, so I had an idea of how to approach it. The biggest investment I made was in measuring the pattern and working out some changes based on (1) my fabric choice (1-way stretch and not much of that!), and (2) my plan to wear the top with leggings (brave girl…). 
I wanted the top  to be true to its design but not too clingy, since I planned to go past my bottom and hips with the hemline. 
Changes I made:
(1) The cuff – I really like the slim cuff but wanted a shorter one. Mine is 3 1/2″ long, drafted from the top 4 1/2″ of the cuff pattern. The pattern calls for sewing the top of the cuff to the sleeve and hemming the bottom. Hats off to Robyn, at Sew Love Red – I used her tip to cut the cuff on the fold, double it back, and attach it as a band would be attached. Such a nice finish for the sleeve. Caution: the cuff is very slim – measure the pattern against your forearm! 
(2) I cannot find the reference but some wonderful blogger noted that the bottom of the front on this version came right at/above the crotch of her jeans – which she did not like. Out with the measuring tape – sure enough,  that’s where it would hit. So I added 2″ to the length of both the front and back, using the ‘lengthen/shorten’ line on the pattern. 
(3) Many folks found this top to run big, but it must be a spandex, stretchy fabric thing. I sewed my usual Vogue medium (12-14), which is for a 38″ hip. The pattern has only 2″ of ease at the hip! So I added to the side seams. I actually started the addition about 2″ into the sleeve, beginning with 3/8″, moving down and increasing to 1″ below the waistline. Worked great, the top has just the right amount of hug for me 🙂  
(4) And lastly – almost everyone mentioned the neckline as being very wide. The first thing I did after cutting the fabric was to staystitch the neckline seam allowances. Really helped. And I used an applied neckband, rather than finish the neckline with a narrow hem. Need a guide for measuring and applying a neckband? Check out Sarah Veblen’s tutorial on Threads
Edited to add something I forgot! I did move the bust apex curve on the front of the arm pieces down a couple inches. Equivalent to an FBA on a princess seam. 
Views of the top inside out – great curves!

What a great top! It is so soft and comfy, like a dressy sweatshirt. 

I’m thinking red heather french terry next… Ciao! Coco

Jungle January # 1 – a Jungle Bag!

Louise Cutting Designs – Heading for Adventure duster coat
As Prttynpnk has reminded us, it’s time to bring the Jungle January prints out to play!
I love this bag, this makes number four just for me!  But a major sharing of kudos –  although I drafted my own pattern, the bag is inspired by Amy Butler’s Birdie Sling.
This is a roomy bag! From the bottom to the top of the strap is 28″, and the width of the bag is 18″. It’s really comfy because it fits right up under the elbow/upper arm area. It feels secure, and the front strap is a nice handhold.
Shell – Animal print calico, Holly Lobby
Contrast – Shelburne Calico Garden Dot
The shell has 5 pleats on each side and a deeply rounded gusset bottom. Not seen in the photos, there is a 3/4″ magnetic closure centered about an inch below the top opening.
Cheetah, tiger, and leopard!
The lining has no pleats – but does have two pockets, one of which is quite large and has a snap to snug it up.
Lining – Benartex Calico Black Snow Geo Modern
Out of view, every piece of the bag has a sewn woven interlining (not fusible interfacing). I’ve found that interlining a tote really helps it keep its shape and bear the weight of all those things we just have to have 🙂 My favorite fabric for interlining these bags – recycled sheets!

A final note on the design – Amy Butler worked some magic with this bag. I’m sure some physics are involved (bird on a wire?) because fully loaded, this bag feels like a featherweight. So weird and wonderful!

I’m off to prowl for fabric and leave you with Nikita the stealth kitty. She looks soooo guilty.
Ciao! Coco

Checking in…Christmas was wonderful!

The best part was being with my children and their loved ones. Precious times.

Gifts for the Loft! The wall hanging is handmade from a scrapping kit (my daughter is incredibly talented, scrapping and paper arts). And the tote is from Thirty-One – I was so touched, tears.

Note to self: I must stop eating candy from my stocking … well, maybe slow down, not stop 🙂

And I have a little gift money (thank you all, dear children), so I’ve been doing some online shopping. From Girl Charlee, my favorite store for knits, these are all 100% cotton jersey:

Abstract Collage Burnout

Golden Hibiscus Outlines

Ethnic Sunburst Circles
Interesting mix! 
I really do have a tunic on the sewing table, using this mid-weight cotton calico from Holly Lobby. It’s so pretty,  very soft, and has gold metallic on the fans and medallions.

I’m pretty sure the tunic will be a mix of several patterns. Something with 3/4 sleeves, a raised wrap-front waist, and length enough for leggings. 
Hope you are having a nice week and are able to find your way back to a little sewing as well.
Ciao! Coco