Five Vogue sewing patterns I got on sale at Joann’s

I dropped by Joann’s over the weekend because the chain store was having a $4.99 sale on Vogue sewing patterns. I ended up with five patterns.

I brought my notes from Sandra Betzina’s talk at last fall’s Artistry in Fashion event presented by Canada College’s fashion department. I put a star next to Vogue 1515, which doesn’t look like much on the pattern.

Sandra showed a version without elastic in the neck and that looked really good. She said the top was inspired by Japanese fashion and that it was flattering because it stood out from the body and helps disguise the middle (i.e. any extra belly weight). It can be a nice layering piece, too.

V1515 - Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina - Vogue sewing patterns - top and skirt

These two patterns by Lynn Mizono caught my eye. I grabbed the last two left and didn’t notice that I got the wrong size (8-10-12-14). Oops. I needed the larger size. Well, maybe I can exchange them later or I’ll just have to grade up one size. Both patterns are loose-fitting so hopefully, it won’t be too hard to grade up. (Fingers crossed.)

I have some black seersucker that I was going to use to make a dress from a Japanese sewing book pattern but now I want to make the dress on the right (V1410).

V1410 - Lynn Mizono - Vogue sewing patterns - dress

Don’t you love this jacket (V1246)? I have some lightweight denim in my stash that could work for it. But I was saving that for a pair of pants. I may have to break my fabric fast, which I tacked on to my RTW fast. but I’m hoping to hold out for six full months – so that means at least until the end of June. (Confession: I did buy one piece of fabric when I was in NYC in April.)

V1246 - Lynn Mizono - Vogue sewing patterns - dress

I love vintage patterns and couldn’t resist the top and jacket of this reissue (V9082). I think they would look great with some high-waist pants.

V9082 - Vintage Vogue sewing patterns - 1960 - dolman-sleeve jacket, top and dress

I also saw this Vogue sewing pattern (V8868) for fascinators and snapped that up, too. Vogue calls them “embellished hats” in the website description but they are really fascinators. Fascinators are attached to a headband, clip or comb.

v8868 - Vogue sewing patterns - 5 hats, fascinators

I love veils on hats. These are a bit fancy but who knows when you need a fancy accessory, right?

Toaster Sweater – Version 2 in French terry and jersey knit

I finally got around to making Toaster Sweater – Version 2 by Sew House Seven. Last year I made Version 1, which has raglan sleeves and a turtleneck. (You can get the pattern here.) I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to sewing Version 2, which Sew House Seven says “features a semi-high-neck that takes its inspiration from funnel and boat necks.” I love boatnecks so this neckline was very appealing to me.

I made my first Version 2 Toaster with some black french terry that I bought on sale at Fabric Outlet last fall. I consider it part of the #makeyourstash sewing challenge that I decided to participate in earlier this year. The #makeyourstash challenge is to use fabric that’s been in your collection for at least six months.

I made my black Toaster Sweater – Version 2 in April, the night before I was to fly to the East Coast to visit family and attend the first annual Meetup Togetherfest. It didn’t take very long to sew. There are just three pattern pieces – front, back and sleeve. The neck has a self-facing – you fold it over and to keep it in place, you stitch in the ditch at the shoulder seams.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - french terry, 3/4 sleeves -

I decided to cut size XL for a loose fit. I made size L when I made Version 1. I have broad shoulders and wanted extra ease in the hips. The only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the sleeves to 3/4 length, a nice length for Bay Area weather.

Here’s how I shortened the sleeve. I sliced it at the shorten/lengthen line and overlapped 8 inches (~20cm) of the pattern and folded the pattern to true the seams, and pinned the excess in place as you can see in the photo below. I used Swedish tracing paper that I got for my birthday to trace the pattern.

Toaster Sweater 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - sleeve shortened

Note: I have long arms so if I shorted it by 8 inches to get a 3/4 length sleeve, then the sleeves on this pattern are unusually long. If you sew this pattern, measure the sleeve length and compare it to your arm measurement. You will likely need to shorten the sleeve.

The neckline is like a small boatneck or maybe you could call it a high boatneck?

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - french terry, 3/4 sleeves -

Here’s a back view of the Toaster Sweater – Version 2. I used the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to sew this together. I decided not to use the serger because I didn’t want to fiddle with the tension and differential feed. Plus I had to finish packing for my trip.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - french terry, 3/4 sleeves -

Here’s a closer look at the front. You can (sort of) see that the shoulder seams go a little beyond my shoulder point. I knew it would be a little wide but I liked this relaxed look. French terry is so soft. This is so comfy to wear.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - french terry, 3/4 sleeves -

About a month after I made this version I decided to make another Toaster Sweater – Version 2. I had some medium-weight black cotton jersey fabric in my stash but only enough for the body, not the sleeves. So I looked in my stash for another knit and found this lightweight blue rayon fabric, which has a nice drape. Another score for #makeyourstash! I think I got the blue fabric on sale at Fabric Outlet.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - 3/4 sleeves -

For this version, I read the instructions and used what the pattern calls a “double stitch” for the seams – a zig-zag stitch and a straight stitch. I did that for this version. Then I finished the hems using a double needle, which you can’t really see in this photo. The trickiest part of sewing this Toaster Sweater was using the double needle at the corners because you can’t pivot your needle.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - 3/4 sleeves -

Sewing the sleeves was a little tricky because the rayon knit was lightweight. I had to use a ton of pins on the sleeve head. The black cotton knit was more stable. When I attached the sleeves to the body, I put the black knit on the bottom and had set the presser foot pressure to zero. I didn’t need to use a walking foot – having the heavier weight fabric on the bottom worked well and it sewed nicely.

The back hem of this Toaster Sweater – Version 2 is an inch longer than the front, which is a nice detail.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - 3/4 sleeves -

Here’s a back view where you can also see a bit of the high-low hem.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - 3/4 sleeves -

I’m wearing a skirt I hand sewed earlier this year. The skirt pattern is from the book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design by Natalie Chanin (affiliate link here).

I got the skirt fabric at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, which has a great selection of knits. I originally bought the fabric to make some active wear but decided to make a skirt instead. I think the fabric colors work well together. The blue is the same intensity as this rust red.

I like this pattern so much I cut yet another Toaster Sweater, VErsion 2 with leftover ponte fabric from my fourth Pilvi Coat. I had about one full yard of that bold fabric, which I used to cut the front and back and making it tunic-length. Then I had big scraps that I could use for the sleeves. Stay tuned for my third Toaster Sweater!

Sewing Tip: If you want to experiment and use a lightweight knit fabric, you may want to put a strip of interfacing at the shoulders to give it a little extra reinforcement to prevent it from stretching out. It’s not needed for medium-weight fabrics.

I will be looking through my stash for more knit fabrics and making more Toaster Sweaters – Version 2. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve made multiple times? For me, it’s been the Pilvi Coat and now it looks like the Toaster Sweater will be a staple top for me.

Pilvi Coat in ponte knit – my 4th version of this pattern

Pilvi Coat in ponte knit - pattern from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style sewing book

Hi, I made another Pilvi Coat! It’s my fourth version of this pattern from the book Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style (affiliate link here). This simple pattern is an unlined coat with raglan sleeves and in-seam side pockets. It works well with a variety of fabrics.

I’ve made this coat using home decor fabric and other heavyweight fabrics:

Here’s a photo of my first three Pilvi Coats plus a red one by Laurel Dismukes of Laurel’s Quill. Laurel does all the sewing for Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley. We spoke to the Bay Area Sewists meetup group in January at Sips N Sews about patterns and fabric choices.

Pilvi Coats

When I got this ponte fabric at Britex Fabrics yard sale last fall, I wasn’t sure what I would make with it. The print is huge and continuous. The leaf-like design goes down the entire length of the fabric in one continuous design in three parallel rows. Here’s the 58″ wide fabric spread out on the floor.

Ponte fabric with big print

I pondered making a skirt or a dress, asked for ideas on Instagram and then decided to make another Pilvi Coat. I lengthened the pattern by 10 inches to take full advantage of the print. I also added an inch of length to the sleeves because I have long arms.

I cut the back piece first, placing it in the center of the center leaf design. I cut each piece individually so I would know exactly what part of the print would appear on each sleeve and front piece. I wasn’t trying to match anything. My pattern placement was focused on taking advantage of the design.

In this photo I had already cut one front pattern piece and then I placed that piece on top of the fabric to test placement. One side of the front pattern piece folds back to form the facing. So after I cut one front piece, I placed it on top of the fabric to see what the front edge would look like on the opposite side. On the right side of this photo, I’ve folded back the facing to see where the print would land on the pattern piece.

Pattern placement for Pilvi Coat

I wanted different parts of the leaf design to appear on the front.

Pilvi Coat pattern placement

I like the abstract design. Here’s what the back looks like.

Pilvi Coat in ponte knit fabric - pattern from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style book

And here’s a side view. The photos were taken at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I was there last Monday and asked the store manager to take a few photos with my phone. This famous fabric store moved a few blocks away from its prior location on Geary Street, to Post Street. The first floor is spacious and really shows off all the wool and silk fabrics. I’m standing in front of an enormous wall of wool. It goes from floor to ceiling!

Pilvi Coat in ponte knit fabric - pattern from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style book

I hand stitched the facing and hems because I didn’t want to see a seam. The pattern calls for topstitching the facing and hems. I folded over the facing and machine stitched the edge before I hand stitched it in place. I switched thread colors even though no one will see it – navy and off-white thread using a zig zag stitch. This is my first project with ponte, which is a stable knit and easy to sew.

Facing - thread colors

Here’s a close-up shot of the hand stitching. You can see the different color threads. I matched the thread according to the color in front.

Hand stitching facing of Pilvi Coat

It was tedious but I’m really pleased with the results.

Here’s a summary of the materials and construction details:

  • Pattern: Pilvi Coat from the book Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style, size XL
  • Adjustments: Added 10 inches of length to the coat, 1 inch length to sleeves
  • Fabric: 3 yards ponte from Britex Fabrics sale ($12/yard)
  • Interfacing: very lightweight knit interfacing for facing
  • Thread: Gutterman
  • Needle: Schmetz stretch, 75/11 HS
  • Sewing: zig zag stitch and hand sewing

Have you made anything with a huge print or with ponte knit? What was that like for you? I really enjoyed working with ponte. It’s easy to cut (doesn’t shift or curl up) and easy to sew with a zig zag stitch. Big prints are fun. You just need to take care in placing your pattern pieces.

Lining the Sapporo Coat – a Papercut Patterns design

Hi, in my earlier post on my wool Sapporo Coat, I mentioned that I would be doing a follow-up post on lining the Sapporo Coat. So here it is!

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat - lining -

This is a Papercut Patterns design, which is available as a printed pattern ($30 NZD) and as a PDF. I bought my pattern at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. There are just a few pattern pieces, the front and the back, which uses the same three pieces you use for the fashion fabric.

Here’s the lining cut and sewn. I used a very nice black warm coat lining from Britex Fabrics. It was flannel-backed on one side and a smooth and shiny satin on the other ($16/yard, 60 wide). The smooth side makes it easy for your coat to slide on and the flannel side makes it super easy to cut and sew. Britex calls this fabric “warm-back coat lining” and carries it in six colors, including brown, silver and royal blue ($15.99/yard).

Sapporo Coat lining, Papercut Patterns - CSews

The pattern calls for lining fabric that’s 60″ wide but you could use 44″ wide, just get another yard or so of fabric so you’ll have enough to cut all the lining pieces.

The Sapporo Coat lining is hand sewn to the sleeves and machine sewn along the front and the hem. You leave an opening in the side seam so you can turn it inside out. If you haven’t lined a coat before, it’s pretty basic. You place the right side of the lining so it’s facing the right side of your fashion fabric and then you sew them together and turn it inside out. It’s similar to making a pillow, just a different shape.

I pinned the lining to the facing, right sides together. I used a lot of quilting pins because longer pins are easier to work with the thick coat fabric.

Sapporo Coat lining pinned - CSews

Here’s a closer look.

Sapporo Coat lining, Papercut Patterns - CSews

Here’s the opening I left in the side seam. This is where I’ll turn the coat inside out.

Lining opening - Sapporo Coat - CSews

When you sew the facing, you stop 3/8 inch (1 cm) short of the hem because the corners of the coat will be sewn together last, which you’ll see below.

Next I pinned the coat hem to the lining and sewed this seam, beginning and ending 3/8 inch (1 cm) from each end.

Sapporo Coat lining hem - CSews

Here’s a close-up of the bottom hem pinned to the end. When you sew this seam, remember to stop 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the end.

Lining pinned to corner of Sapporo Coat - CSews

Here’s a look at the lining corner after I sewed the bottom hem.

Lining sewn to corner - Sapporo Coat - CSews

Then I sewed the diagonal seam and trimmed it so it would come to a point when I turned the Sapporo Coat lining inside out.

Sapporo Coat inside corner - CSews

The Sapporo Coat lining is now attached to the facing and hem and looks like this.

Lining attached - Sapporo Coat - CSews

Now the coat is ready to be turned inside out. So I pushed the right side of the coat through the opening in the lining.

Sapporo Coat lining - Papercut patterns - CSews

Now all that’s left is attaching the lining to the sleeves. This was the tedious part of lining the Sapporo Coat because you hand sew the sleeve lining to the sleeve. They are wide sleeves so it took a while.

Sleeve lining - Sapporo Coat - CSews

And voila! The coat was done!

Sapporo Coat - wool melton - front view- CSews

I love everything about this coat!

Lining the Sapporo Coat - Papercut Patterns - CSews

Papercut Patterns Sapporo Coat – my teal wool version

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat - CSews

Hi! I finally took photos of my latest Papercut Patterns Sapporo Coat! I made one version a couple of months ago. It was my mockup using a bed sheet, which you can see here. I made a mockup because I wanted to see how it fit before I made one from this luscious teal wool melton ($49.99/yard) I got from Britex Fabrics because I’m doing a guest post for Britex about this coat. This fabric is on sale for $39.99/yard until October 30! All their online wool fabrics are on sale until that date.

The instructions are clear and sewing the coat wasn’t difficult. Papercut Patterns rates its patterns with three skill levels – Rookie, Skilled and Expert. The Sapporo Coat is rated “Skilled,” which seems about right. You need to have some sewing experience to make this coat.

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat - lining -

My lining fabric is also from Britex – it’s a lining specifically made for coats. This black warm-back coat lining is satin on one side and flannel on the other, which makes it easy to sew. It’s 60″ wide and $15.99/yard.

UPDATE: Here’s my post on lining the Sapporo Coat.

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat - back - CSews

I love the Sapporo Coat pattern and I especially love this beautiful fabric. I’ve never made anything in this color and I’ve never sewn wool melton before. The color is a deep teal. I was having trouble getting the right exposure and the sun was so bright it was hard to see the images. The color is more accurate in the photos that are darker.

I’m thrilled that it turn out so beautifully. The design of this coat works very well with this fabric. You can really see the cocoon shape. It’s not a dramatic cocoon but more of a gradual tapering towards the bottom.

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat

Sapporo Coat pattern details

This coat comes in three sizes – XXS/XS, S/M and L/XL. You can get the paper pattern here for $30 NZD or the PDF here for $20 NZD. This is a coat has a lot of ease. I made the largest size because I have very broad shoulders and very long arms so this size was perfect.

I’m not joking about the broad shoulders. You know how people complain that Vogue patterns are huge in the shoulders? Well, those shoulders are fine for me. So far, I haven’t needed to make any adjustments in the shoulders for the Vogue patterns I’ve made. The teal is like the color in this photo and the one below it.

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat - CSews

I’m about 5′ 7 1/2″ tall – though I like saying 5′ 8″ (172 cm). The coat hem is above my knees but a little below mid-thigh. So anyone shorter than 5′ 7″ should definitely measure the pattern and see where the hem will land on your body. You may need to shorted the pattern.

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat

Sapporo Coat size

For some people, the size they initially made was huge on them so I highly recommend making a mockup before sewing your fashion fabric. Also, if you are not very tall, you will likely need to shorten the sleeves. You can shorten the sleeves by removing length from the shoulder of the top front pattern piece and the back. Then you can leave the cuffs as is.

I didn’t make any changes to the coat pattern except for lengthening the pockets. I added an inch of depth because the pockets seemed a little shallow for me. I have long fingers and I really want to get my hand in there.

Sapporo Coat pockets

The coat front is made up of two pattern pieces. The seam where the pieces come together include the pocket. So when I added depth to the top pattern piece here…

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat

I also needed to add the same amount to the bottom pattern piece. To make sure they matched, I lined up the pattern pieces. The top pattern piece is folded down…

Sapporo Coat - pocket lengthened - CSews

… and forms the top of the pocket, which you can see here. The pockets are formed by the fashion fabric, which may seem a little odd because pockets usually use lining fabric. I suppose if your fabric was really thick, you could use fashion fabric for 1/3 of the pocket and then lining for the rest.

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat

Here’s what it looks like on the wrong side. I clipped the seam where it curves.

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat

The front pattern pieces have opposing curves, which means careful sewing. I used a lot of pins, sewed slowly and it looks great. This fabric was easy to sew.

Sapporo Coat - pockets - CSews

I LOVE the pockets!

Cutting and sewing wool melton

This was my first time sewing wool melton, which is a twill weave that has been felted and has a nap. When you pet it, you can feel the direction of the nap. It’s smooth when you stroke in one direction, and slightly rough in the opposite direction. Remember seeing the words “with nap” and “without nap” on the back of a pattern? Well, when you have a fabric with nap, you need to pay attention to the direction of the nap.

I noted the direction of the nap in my Chaco liner.

Wool melton - direction of nap - CSews

If you cut your pattern pieces and the nap is is not all facing in the same direction, the fabric pieces will look different when you sew them together. One piece may seem slightly darker than the other because of the nap.

Luckily, the layout Papercut Patterns provides for the Sapporo coat is laid out in the direction of the nap. I laid out my pattern pieces so that when you stroke the fabric up, that’s the smooth side. I laid it out that way because when you sit down, you will be stroking the fabric up. It’s better for the fabric to be stoked in the same direction.

I also consulted Sandra Betzina’s More Fabric Savvy book for advice on sewing wool melton. Her indispensable fabric guide has been updated this year. The latest edition is called All New Fabric Savvy (Amazon affiliate link here). It’s worth every penny. I bought the new version, too. She tells you facts about fabrics, how to treat it before you sew it, what size needle to use and the type of thread that’s best for the fabric and much more.

Sandra recommends using a 90/14 needle, which I did and she also says to use silk thread because it “makes seams almost invisible.” Well, I didn’t want my seams to disappear so I just used Guttmacher polyester thread. She also advises using a Teflon presser foot. I didn’t have one so I got a snap-on version at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, which is also where I bought my paper pattern. The Teflon foot looks like this.

Teflon foot for sewing wool melton fabric - CSews

Yep, it’s plastic. I’ve associated Teflon with metal because it’s used to make nonstick pans for cooking and baking so I didn’t expect it to look like this. But Teflon can be used to coat plastic as well. (Read about the six basic types of Teflon coatings on Chemours website.)

Sandra also recommended preshrinking the fabric by holding a steam iron above the fabric. I steamed it. You could also take it to a dry cleaner and have them steam it, which is what Douglas, the dapper sales associate at Britex, suggests.

I traced my pattern pieces using a Chaco liner. The pattern piece provided for the center back is half a pattern piece – like it’s supposed to be cut on the fold, except you don’t. I think to squeeze all the pattern pieces on two sheets, they had to slice it in half. So when I laid that piece out, I marked the “fold line” on the fabric with a few white lines. The I could line up the pattern piece with those marks and trace the other side. I used my Kai scissors to cut the fabric.

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat - CSews

Sapporo Coat and interfacing

The pattern calls for interfacing along the front facing and bottom hem, which makes sense for lighter fabric or fabric that has a lot of drape to it. But melton is thick and Sandra Betzina says you don’t need interfacing for wool melton because it has a lot of body already. But she does say to stabilize the neck and shoulder with stay tape. So I fused some stay tape along the shoulder seam.

Sapporo Coat - wool melton - stay tape on shoulder seam - CSews

Sewing the cuffs

Each cuff is made of two pieces of fashion fabric. First you sew the side seam to form one side of the cuff and then you put one inside the other right sides together and sew the bottom edge.

Sapporo Coat cuff - wool melton - CSews

This is a rather thick seam as you can see so I trimmed down the seam allowances to try to reduce the bulk.

Sapporo Coat - cuff - CSews

Then I understitched the cuffs.

Sapporo Coat cuff - understitched - CSews

Because the fabric is so thick understitching made one side of the cuff slightly longer than the other side. I tried to press the fabric so the seam was exactly in the middle but it didn’t quite work. I basted the cuffs together at the top as instructed before I attached them to the shoulders.

Attaching the cuffs was the only part of this coat that gave me a little trouble because the cuff pieces didn’t want to line up. I used quilting pins on this fabric. I had to hold it in place as I slowly removed the pins as I sewed the cuffs.

Sapporo Coat - cuff pinned - CSews

Here’s another look at the completed cuff.

Sapporo Coat - sleeve - CSews

Here’s that the coat looks like from the wrong side – before the lining is attached.

Sapporo Coat - wrong side - CSews

The back of the coat

The back of this coat is made of three pieces – one large center piece flanked by two triangular pieces. I love the seams on this coat!

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat - back - CSews

And here’s another view of the back, which gives you an idea of how roomy the coat is.

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat - back view - CSews

The one drawback

I really love this coat but the one drawback is that it looks best with skinny pants or leggings. I had to wear these leggings because I don’t have any skinny jeans or narrow pants. I guess I need to make some now! Otherwise I need to come up with other outfits to wear with leggings.

In these photos I’m wearing the Draped Mini Dress, which I made from the Japanese sewing book She Wears the Pants (blogged here). I usually wear it as a tunic with pants but I decided to pair it with leggings because I didn’t have anything else to wear with the coat.

This post got really long so I’ll be writing a follow-up post about the lining. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, here’s one last image of the coat for you to enjoy. Also, I’d love to know if you’ve made a coat and what that experience was like for you.

Sapporo Coat - wool melton - front view- CSews

Happy sewing!

Papercut Patterns - Sapporo Coat - in a teal wool melton from Britex Fabrics - by CSews

Outside pocket for a skirt

Last month I made an A-line linen skirt and attached an outside pocket to the waistband. I mentioned that I was going to show how I made the pocket. I wanted to add a pop of color to the skirt, which was a solid muted blue. I had this fun Echino print, which I got from Superbuzzy in Ventura at Craftcation last year (see my post).

Linen skirt with outside pocket detail - self-drafted A-line skirt -

I figured it out as I went along, starting out with a wide square. I knew I was going to add pleats to the pocket so that when I put something in it, there wouldn’t be an obvious bulge. I guess you could call it “pocket ease” – heheh.

I knew I wanted the back pocket piece to be longer than the Echino fabric because the back piece would attach to the waistband. I didn’t want to use my skirt fabric for the entire back pocket piece because linen isn’t that sturdy. So I decided to use a black poly/cotton blend and then sew a piece of the linen fabric just at the top of the back pocket piece.

I didn’t take photos of every step but I’ve written all the steps. Hopefully, it make sense.

Pocket Fabric - Echino fabric

I started out with a wide square – about 11 inches x 10 inches


Outside pocket tutorial - Pocket folded - Echino Fabric -

I made two pleats and pinned them in place.


Tutorial - fold pocket in half to use as pattern piece to cut back side of pocket -

Fold the front pleated pocket piece in half to use as a pattern for the back pocket piece but make it a couple of inches taller than the front piece. Cut the back pattern piece. I used a black cotton/poly fabric I got at a Bay Area Sewists fabric swap.


Tutorial - outside pocket - Echino fabric -
Finish the top edge. I used some pre-made bias tape in my stash.


Tutorial - Fashion fabric for top of pocket

For the “tab,” the piece that attaches to the waistband:

  • cut a piece of the skirt linen fabric
  • fuse a piece of interfacing to it (I used black interfacing)
  • finish one long horizontal edge
  • attach the linen fabric to the top of the back pocket piece by placing the skirt fabric right side facing the pocket back. Don’t sew all the way to the bottom.  Trim the seam. I pinked mine.


Tutorial - Top of outside pocket -

Turn the fabric inside out. Press the fabric. This will be attached to the waistband and the sides of the “tab” above the pocket need to be finished.

Place the front pocket piece, right side facing the back piece. This is why I didn’t sew all the way down the sides. I need a seam allowance to attach the front pocket piece. The front piece overlaps the linen fabric at the top. Sew the front and back together along the sides and bottom. Turn inside out.


Outside pocket lined up with waist

On this skirt, the waistband curves slightly. To ensure that the pocket is straight, place the pocket on top of the skirt and trim the excess at the top. See how the top right side is higher than the waist?

After I attached the pocket, I decided it was too long. So I trimmed an inch and sewed the bottom again.

Finished pocket -

And finally, the pocket was done!

If I were to make an outside pocket again, I think I would make it a little less complicated by using one fabric for the entire back piece. Then I would sew the front, turn it inside out and finish the raw edges of the “tab” (the part of the back that attaches to the waistband) by making a narrow hem. This would avoid the slight wrinkles just above the top corners of the front pattern piece.

I like an outside pocket because it doesn’t ruin the line of this A-line skirt.  An in-seam side pocket wouldn’t look very good. You could see anything you put in the pocket and it would weigh down the skirt.

Making an outside pocket for a skirt, attaching it to the waistband -


Mimosa Culottes by Named Clothing

Hi, I finally finished my Mimosa Culottes! According to my May blog post on PDF patterns, I bought this Named Clothing pattern about a year ago. Then I made my first muslin last fall. I got fitting help from Jennifer Serr at the Bay Area Sewists fitting meetup, which I blogged about here. This wide-leg design has two unique diagonal pleats in the front and two darts in the back, pockets, and a front zipper (more detailed photos are below).

I made size 44 (US 12, UK 18), which has a waist of 33 inches (84 cm) and a hip of 42 1/2 (108 cm). If I had made these two years ago, I would have made a size smaller but waistlines change. My hips are about 43 inches (109 cm) but I thought it was a good bet that the fit would be fine because of the wide legs so I didn’t add any additional ease to the hips – that’s the beauty of culottes!

Mimosa Culottes - sewing pattern by Named Clothing - high-waisted, wide-legged design -

I really like black but it’s hard to photograph. I got lucky with a couple of photos and the sun just happened to highlight my fabric. It’s a lightweight jacquard made out of some synthetic fiber. I found it among the discount designer fabrics on the second floor at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley. There are flowers in the design, which you can see in this photo (taken after the photos shoot in bright sunlight to get the details).

Mimosa Culottes - jacquard fabric

I forgot that high-waisted designs limit what you can wear with them. You either need to wear something cropped or a close-fitting top that you can tuck inside. I got this cropped knit top from Urban Outfitters several years ago. I haven’t worn it much because it hits me at the hips and doesn’t really work with my other garments unless I layer it with a longer tee underneath. I was happy to wear this top with my new culottes. A former co-worker of mine called it my seeing-eye chart top. 😉

Mimosa Culottes - sewing pattern by Named Clothing -

The Mimosa Culottes have nice deep pockets. I can put my whole hand in them! I have long fingers so this is a big deal. My husband is about 7 inches (nearly 18 cm) taller than I am but our hands are the same length. Really.

Mimosa Culottes - sewing pattern by Named Clothing - high-waisted, wide-legged design -

I take all my blog photos so it’s a big challenge to see the details of the culottes. I can only focus on the wall. I use the timer on my Sony Cyber-shot digital camera and my iPhone 6. I don’t have a camera remote control. This means that’s it’s tough to get photos in focus and the correct exposure but I take a lot of photos and hope for the best.

Mimosa Culottes - sewing pattern by Named Clothing - high-waisted, wide-legged design -

Mimosa Culottes – Details

Here are some photos with some of the details that you can’t see in the photos above. The pleats are at a diagonal slant, which is an interesting detail. I lightened the photos a little so you can see the floral design on the fabric.

Mimosa Culottes - diagonal front pleat detail -

There are two darts in the back.

Mimosa Culottemed Clothing sewing pattern) back darts -

Here’s what the inside front looks like with the pockets and the fly shield, the fabric behind the zipper. The Mimosa Culottes have a button and hook/eye closure. I used a flat red button that was in my stash.

My fabric was lightweight so I didn’t use a lining fabric, which meant I really didn’t need an inner and outer pocket bag. The inner pocket bag is the pattern piece you cut using your fashion fabric so you won’t see the lining. I wasn’t thinking when I cut my pattern pieces. The inner pocket bag pieces have interfacing fused to them. If you want to use the same fabric for the entire pocket, just put the two pocket bag pieces together to make one pocket bag and cut four.

Mimosa Culottes (Named Clothing sewing pattern) - inside view -

Check out the pocket. It’s looks rather professional, doesn’t it? I haven’t made pockets like this before because I usually sew skirts with pockets in the side seam. But I’m in desperate need of pants (trousers) these days. So I will be sewing more over the coming months.

Mimosa Culottes - Named Clothing sewing pattern - pocket detail -

Here are a few more construction details: After you’ve attached the waistband, you’re supposed to place the folded edge so that it slightly overlaps the waist seam on the wrong side; then stitch in the ditch from the right side. Instead, I hand stitched the waistband in place on the inside. When I stitch in the ditch on the right side, I don’t always catch the folded edge on the other side so I opted to hand stitch.

I finished my hem with seam tape and hand stitched it in place.

Mimosa Culottes (Named Clothing sewing pattern) - hem finishing -

Mimosa Culottes Pattern Adjustments

I only made two adjustments to the back with the help of Jennifer Serrr, owner of The Sewing Room and pattern designer for Bonjour Teaspoon. She suggested 1.) taking in about 1/4″ (6 mm) to get rid of drag lines and 2.) dropping the back crotch curve by 3/8 inch (1 cm) for a little more ease. I added that amount to the hem so the hem length would remain the same. This photo is of my first mock-up. I made a second mockup to make sure those adjustments worked. The second one was fine so I went ahead and cut my fashion fabric.

Mimosa Culuttes Named Clothing sewing pattern) pattern adjustment in back -

Named Clothing designs for a height of 5′ 8″ (172 cm), which is my height. I decided I liked the long length on the model so I didn’t change it. (See my post on sewing pattern height.) I didn’t notice that my camera was slighted tilted downward so it’s making my culottes seem longer than they really are in this photo.

Mimosa Culottes - sewing pattern by Named Clothing - high-waisted, wide-legged design -

A note on accessories: I made the hat ribbon, which I first blogged about for Britex Fabrics here and reposted to my blog here. The necklace is from Macy’s, the shoes are by Arche, purchased from a discount designer store that’s no longer in business. I’m also wearing a striped vintage bracelet from one of my sisters. You can’t see it in this photo but you can see it in one of the earlier photos.

Mimosa Culottes Materials

  • 2 1/2 yards (210 cm) of fabric ($3.50/yard for a total of $8.75)
  • fusible interfacing for inner pocket bag
  • 7-inch zipper
  • hook and eye
  • small button
  • thread

If you want to use lining fabric for your pocket bag, add 1/2 yard of lining fabric. All the other materials were in my stash so I only bought the fabric to make the culottes.

I really like this pattern. Now I need more tops to wear with them! I bought the Named Clothing Lexi A-line Top, which goes well so maybe I’ll make that, too. Have you made any culottes?

Mimosa Culottes - Named Clothing sewing pattern -

My adjustable-waist skirt – Deer and Doe Chardon

Hi! I’ve made four skirts using the Chardon skirt pattern by French company Deer and Doe: two with a contrast bottom band (a black-and-white Chardon, a linen version) as well as a maxi and knee-length version. This high-waisted skirt has inverted box pleats, which are great for wide hips. You can just cut the size for your waist and not worry about sizing up in the hips. However, I’ve gained weight since the last time I made a Chardon so I wanted to see if I could make an adjustable waist version – in the hopes that I’ll lose some of the weight and still be able to wear the skirt. 😉

I got the idea from this photo on Pinterest, an A-line denim skirt that tied together at the top with two pieces of twill tape sewn to the front. You create an inverted pleat by tying the ends together. I discovered that it was originally posted in 2008 on Flickr by Martha McQuade, who designed the adjustable-waist skirt and is a co-founder of design firm MAD. (See the Flickr post “denim tie skirt” here.)

Here’s my adjustable-waist Chardon, which has many other changes, which I’ve described below, along with some construction details.

Deer and Doe Chardon - modified by removing two front pleats and adding a ribbon to give it an adjustable waistband

The original Chardon skirt pattern has five inverted box pleats in the front. (You can see construction details about my first Chardon skirt here.) I sewed only three of the pleats – the center pleat and the two on my left – and attached two ribbons in place of the two right pleats.

I also made these adjustments to the pattern:

  • Moved the center back zipper to the left side
  • Used an invisible zipper instead of a regular one
  • Removed the left side pocket because zipper is now on that side
  • Lengthened skirt by 1 inch
  • Underlined the skirt with silk organza
  • Used bias tape at the waist instead of a facing to reduce bulk at the waist because of the pleat created by tying the ribbon.

I guess you could say that I used the Chardon pattern as a jumping off point. I improvised as I went along because I was making this in a bit of a hurry. I started working on it the day before I intended to wear it to the Bay Area Sewists Frocktails event on February 11.

I got this home dec fabric remnant from Britex Fabrics last year with the intension of making it into a Chardon skirt. This is mostly a medium-weight fabric but it is thick where the flowers are because of all the extra threads used to create the flowers. So I paid particular attention to where the front center pleat fell on the fabric. I pinned the pleats to see what it would look like and adjusted them until I liked the way it looked. It looked best when the pleats fell in between the flowers, which meant the fabric wouldn’t be too thick where the pleats were.

Deer and Doe Chardon skirt - pinned front pleats

There are all these threads on the wrong side of the fabric where the flowers are because it was meant for furniture and no one sees the other side. So I decided to underline it with silk organza that I bought a few years ago to use as lining for a jacket I have yet to make. Organza has crispness to it that matched the fabric.

Organza is a bit slippery so I decided to pin it to my fashion fabric and cut both fabrics at the same time. See all the threads on the wrong side of the fabric? I could see catching it on something and pulling it by accident – another reason to underline.

Silk organza as underlining for Chardon skirt

Here’s my front pattern piece placement place on the fabric and organza. I lengthened the skirt 1 inch. I would have liked a longer skirt but I was limited by the remnant length. Because I was in a rush, I just sliced across the bottom, measured an inch down and pinned the bottom piece in place. If I wasn’t rushing, I would have taped the bottom piece to another piece of pattern paper.

Deer and Doe Chardon skirt - front pattern piece

After I cut the pattern piece, I machine basted the organza to the fabric using a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance. But you should really hand baste because the fabric could pucker. I didn’t have any problems because this was home dec fabric.

When I cut the back, I decided not to worry about matching the pattern at the side seams but to line it up horizontally. So I placed my front pattern piece next to the back piece to line up the design. You can see the side seam where my hand is in the pocket. Maybe if I had more time, I would have tried to see if I could match the pattern. But I don’t mind that it doesn’t match. It’s not as if I’m going to stare at my side seams when I’m wearing it!

Chardon skirt - side seam

I centered the back piece on the fold so it fell in between the flowers, forgetting that the back doesn’t have a center pleat because of the center back zipper. I moved the zipper from the center back to the left but I didn’t add a pleat. Instead, I removed the seam allowance. However, my pattern placement meant the four back pleats would fall on the flowers, making really thick pleats at the waist. I had already cut my fabric before I realized this. Oops. See how the flowers at the waist are cut off?

Chardon - adjustable-waist skirt variation- Deer and Doe

The Chardon skirt has two pockets, but I only added one because I moved the center back zipper to the left side and used an invisible zipper instead of a regular one. I had a scrap of red Bemberg lining so I used that for my pocket.

Chardon skirt - pocket

I had a red 14-inch invisible zipper on hand so I used that for my side zip. The pattern calls for a 10-inch regular zipper. I like using a longer zipper, especially when using an invisible zipper. You can’t sew all the way down the zipper because the zipper tab is in the way so using a longer zipper gives you a bigger opening to slide on your skirt.

Here’s my invisible zipper installed (before pressing).

Invisible zipper installed

Once my skirt pieces were attached and the zipper installed, I used my pinking scissors on my seam allowances. Then I used bias tape at the waist. I just used this pre-made blue bias tape that was in my stash. Hey, there’s blue in the fabric and I was going to use my red bias tape for the hem. The line of stitches near the pinked edged is my machine basting.

Bias tape at the waist

I hand stitched the bias tape down, using red thread that doesn’t quite match my fabric, but I just used what I had in my stash – no time to run to the store. I was stitching in a rush. The good thing about underlining is that you can stitch into your underlining instead of  your fashion fabric. This is one of the back pleats – see how thick it is?

Hand stitching bias tape at waist

I had some lovely double-faced green silk ribbon that perfectly matched the green in the skirt. I bought this expensive ribbon ($11/yard!) at Lacis in Berkeley to match a vintage silk scarf I think I was planning on turning the scarf into some sort of top. I decided to use it for my adjustable-waist skirt.

Because it’s silk, I worried that it might not be strong enough to be a waist tie so I fused the ends with strips of fusible bias tape. I also used Fray Block on the raw edges (affiliate link here for 1.5 ounce (44 ml) tube, and here for .5 ounce (14.8 ml) brush-on version).  It isn’t stiff when it dries, unlike Fray Check.

Silk ribbon reinforced with fusible bias tape

Then I folded and pressed the edged and hand-stitched it to the waist. To figure out placement of the ribbon, I tried on the skirt and folded the excess fabric trying to find two places that would work. Then I used pins to mark the placement. If I make this version again, I would reinforce the fabric with interfacing around the ribbon.

Hand stitching ribbon in place

Here’s what it looks like tied. You can see the waist fold just above the bow. You can made the fold as big or as small as you need it to be. No worries about indulging your desire for dessert, you can easily expand the waist. Have you ever made an adjustable-waist skirt?

Adjustable waist skirt - ribbon

The Chardon skirt pattern calls for hemming with bias tape. I didn’t have enough hem bias tape on hand so I used some red 7/8-inch (22 mm) bias tape. (Wright’s makes black hem bias tape that’s 1 7/8 inches wide (48 mm), which I’ve used on three of my other Chardon skirts.)

Chardon skirt hemmed with bias tape

See my hem?

Bias tape hem of Chardon Skirt

And here are a few more photos of the finished skirt. The sun was going in and out of the clouds on Saturday so it was a challenge taking photos. We’re in the midst of a big rain storm in California – an atmospheric river, in fact – so I was grateful for just a brief moment of sun on Saturday.

Adjustable-waist skirt - made by modifying the Deer and Doe Chardon pattern

Chardon skirt - side seam

Chardon skirt - back view - Deer and Doe sewing pattern

I was sewing on the ribbons on Saturday and then I was ready to go to Frocktails.

And here I am at Frocktails with Pauline who blogs at Sew You Think You Can Knock Off. She does a fantastic job making her versions of RTW garments she likes.

Enjoying Bay Area Sewists Frocktails in February

Here’s a group photo – not everyone fit in this photo but you get the idea. We all had a great time.

Bay Area Sewists Frocktails in February - group photo


How to make an adjustable waist skirt - using the Chardon skirt sewing patterns by Deer and Doe

Big Four sewing patterns – a look at spring possibilities

Hi! I’ve been pinning a lot of early spring fashion photos on my @csews Pinterest board “Sewing Inspiration.” Then I waited to see what was in store for Big Four sewing patterns – the Big Four being Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity and Vogue. I meant to post about it last week but went off-topic and wrote about the Statue of Liberty instead.

Here’s a look at what I discovered, what I liked, what patterns reminded me of some indie pattern designs, and what stuck out. They aren’t in any particular order except by pattern company name.


I picked out these four Butterick patterns: This wrap dress (B6446) with three lengths and a sleeve variation looks easy to make and comfortable to wear. This midi-version is my favorite length.

Butterick - B6446 - sewing pattern - Misses' Pleated Wrap Dresses with Sash

Here’s Gertie’s latest sewing pattern (B6453) with two skirt variations. I think I would change the gathered skirt to inverted pleats, like one of my Chardon skirts. Gathering can get bulky.

Butterick B6453 - Patterns by Gertie - Misses' Princess Seam Dresses with Straight or Gathered Skirt

I picked this Butterick blouse (B6455) as an example of impractical sleeves. You can’t wear it while cooking and if you’re eating, you definitely have to hold your sleeve out of the way when you reach for anything. But this pattern does have three additional sleeve variations – two are shorter and another has the sleeve gathered at the wrist – so no dipping danger.

Butterick B6455 - sewing pattern - Misses' Gathered, Raglan Sleeve Tops

I made a knit top several years ago that had lovely bell sleeves. I just loved the way they looked but then hardly ever wear it because the sleeve just gets in the way.

I like this top (B6458) because of all the color blocking possibilities. Five pieces make up the top part of the bust area. I like the extra ease in the front pleats. There’s also a more fitted variation and a sleeveless version.

Butterick B6458 - sewing patterns - Misses pullover, paneled tops

Five McCalls Patterns

This knit dress (M7538) is fun and has plenty of color-blocking opportunities, too. You can do a lot with the crisscrossing band in the middle.

McCalls - M7538 - sewing pattern - Misses' Crossover-Band Top and Dresses

I’m not usually a fan of jumpsuits but this pattern (M7539) intrigued me, plus there’s a dress and a romper variation. The main issue I have with jumpsuits is clothing management when you go to the bathroom. You have to get half-undressed.

McCalls M7539 - sewing pattern - Misses' Dresses, Romper and Belted Jumpsuit with Collar and Pocket Variations

I’ve always been secretly attracted to the off-the-shoulder look but never worn anything like this Big Four sewing pattern (M7543). I think as a young girl, I thought it was the height of sophistication – baring the shoulders just seemed so adult. Now I look at it and wonder how tight the elastic would be to ensure that it didn’t fall off.

McCalls - M7543 - sewing pattern - Misses' Off-the-Shoulder Tops, Tunic and Dress

I like the use of lace in this sewing pattern (M7544) but I don’t know how this style would look on me. I have broad shoulders and maybe all that gathering at the top would make me look like a big puffer ball, even with my small bust. There are also two pleated variations.

This dress (M7535) reminded me of the Lady Skater Dress by Kitschy Koo but without the princess seams. I have the Skater Dress pattern but haven’t made it yet. I first saw the pattern when Katie of Kadiddlehopper made a lovely Lady Skater and blogged about it here in 2013.

McCalls M7535 - sewing pattern - Misses'/Miss Petite Fit and Flare Dresses


The sleeves on this dress (8292) are a bit much and remind me of the Flutter blouse and tunic by Papercut Patterns but with less full sleeves. I made a muslin of the Flutter blouse a while ago but it needs more ease in the shoulders. I really liked this version of the Flutter tunic by Sew Busy Lizzie, which is why I got the pattern. But I won’t be getting this Simplicity pattern.

Simplicity Pattern 8292 Misses'/Miss Petite Dresses

This easy pattern (8299) has skirt and pant variations. There’s an elastic waist, which has its benefits. I need more casual pants so I’ve been looking at a lot of pant patterns.

Simplicity Pattern 8299 Misses' Skirts or Pants in Various Lengths

Version C of this Big Four sewing pattern (8300) reminded me of the Sew DIY’s Nita Wrap Skirt. (I was a pattern tester for Sew DIY. You can see my version here.) It’s cute but too short for me. I’m just not comfortable showing that much leg. 😉

Simplicity Pattern 8300 Misses' Skirts with Front Variations

Here’s a fun overall dress and knit top (8301) by Mimi G, the founder of fashion, lifestyle and sewing blog Mimi G Style. I first heard about her last month when Abby Glassenberg interviewed Mimi G for her While She Naps podcast. Then Mimi just seemed to be popping up everywhere – Simplicity and then I saw that she also organizes a three-day Fashion Sewing Conference (!) in Los Angeles, which will be taking place June 16 to 18 this year. She has more than 200,000 followers on Instagram (@mimgstyle). Wow.

Simplicity Pattern 8301 Mimi G Style Misses' Overalls and Knit Crop Top

This shirt (8297) appealed to me because it has quite a few variations. I’m not sure I like the peplum in stripes because they’re not cut on the bias. I think it would look better in a solid or nondirectional fabric.

Simplicity Pattern 8297 Misses' Shirts


Color blocking appeals to me because you can make the same dress in many variations. You can play around with colors and patterns. This knit dress (V9240) has many possibilities.

Vogue V9240 - sewing pattern - Misses' Knit Paneled Dresses

I like all the elements of this Five Easy Pieces pattern (V9246) set (jackets, belt, top, pants).


Here’s another jumpsuit (V9245). This pattern also has a sleeveless variation. I don’t like this fabric but I like the wide-leg pants and sash.

Vogue V9245 - sewing pattern - Misses/Misses Petite Button-up Jumpsuits and Sash

I include this Big Four sewing pattern (V9243) because the sleeves kill me. Did someone think more is better? There are other sleeve variations but I don’t think they are an improvement.

Vogue V9243 - sewing pattern - Misses' Princess Seam Tops with Flared Sleeve Variations

Here’s the line drawing for all the versions.

V9243 - line drawing

And that’s it for my brief look at spring Big Four sewing patterns. Have you seen any new patterns that you like?

Big Four sewing patterns - spring 2017 - Butterick B6458, McCalls M7538, Simplicity 8299

Men’s Cardigan sewing patterns – Kwik Sew 3724 and Burda 6030

It was my husband Kofi’s birthday last month and I told him I’d sew him a cardigan. I confess I didn’t spend a whole lot of time searching for men’s cardigan sewing patterns. I wanted a more traditional v-neck cardigan rather than making another Thread Theory Newcastle Cardigan, which I made last year and blogged about here.

Burda 6030 men's cardigan sweater

I found this cardigan pattern – Andrew 6030 – on the Burda website, which features ribbed knit on the bottom and wrists. The suggested fabrics are wool knit and cotton sweatshirt.

It seemed like a nice basic pattern and a PDF costs $5.99 so I bought it. But I didn’t pay attention to the size chart for this pattern until after I downloaded it. It only goes from 44 to 54. Burda’s men’s size chart goes from 44 to 60 (European), 34 to 50 (US). (Here’s a link to the page where you can download Burda size charts.)

Burda Men's size chart

My husband’s chest is 47 1/2 inches (nearly 121 cm) so so that means I would need to grade up 3 sizes – not to mention the many adjustments I’ll likely need to do – wide shoulder, bicep, full belly, etc. I had to make massive adjustments to the Newcastle Cardigan, which took three versions to get the fit right. So I decided to see if I could find another cardigan pattern.

The pickings are slim among the Big 4 (mostly pajamas and vests) but I did see Kwik Sew pattern K3724 – a men’s button-down cardigan on the Kwik Sew website, which has more variety for men – and it goes from size S to XXL. Perfect – except it was listed as out-of-print. Darn.

Kwik Sew 3724 men's cardigan - K3724

I tried adding it to my cart and it did appear there but I didn’t know if that was an error or if they really had one in stock. It was $11.99. So I went to eBay and found a seller who had three in stock and bought it for $10.25. Here’s a link to the eBay listing.

Here’s the line drawing of the cardigan. I like both versions. I bought two yards each of a black and a gray cotton knit fabric, which should be enough for this pattern. I bought black ribbed knit, too. So I think I’ll make version A in gray and version B in black.


Kwik Sew 3724 men's cardigan line drawing

I’m waiting for my Kwik Sew pattern to arrive. My goal is to finish one version by the end of the year. If you know of any other men’s cardigan sewing patterns, please let me know!

Men's cardigans patterns - Kwik Sew 3724 and Burda 6030 | menswear | sewing patterns

Pattern Review – Vogue 9191 sewing pattern

Hi, reviewed the Vogue 9191 wrap pants sewing pattern on Pattern Review. I made them last month and blogged about them here.

Vogue 9191 - wrap pants - V9191

You can find my review on Pattern Review here (I’m Csews on PR) and you can read it below.

Vogue 9191 - Wrap pants in houndstooth jersey - left view - V9191

Pattern Description: This pattern has four pieces – poncho, sleeveless top, shorts, wide-leg front-wrap pants.

I bought the pattern for the pants, which the pattern describes as “Wide-leg, front-wrap pants (fitted through hips) have back-button front waistband, back waistband with tie ends, and no side seams.” Suggested fabrics – crepe, linen blends, jersey, silk broadcloth.

Pattern Sizing: 4 to 26 on the Vogue website but the pattern envelope I have says Lrg to XXL. Large is 16-18, XL 20-22, XL 20-22. I’m size L.

Vogue 9191 - Wrap pants in houndstooth jersey - front view - V9191

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I made the wrap pants in a jersey knit. They were easy to make once I figured out the best way to sew the 10 darts (6 in front, 4 in back) in a jersey knit fabric. I sewed the darts using a shallow zigzag stitch and tear-away stabilizer. There are only 4 pattern pieces (front, back, tie pieces).

Fabric Used: Jersey knit with a tiny houndstooth print – a stable knit with no stretch, fusible knit interfacing.

Vogue 9191 - Wrap pants in houndstooth jersey - back view - V9191

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I cut size L for most of the pattern except for the sides of the pants, which are the part that wraps around your legs. I cut XL for extra coverage. My hips are 43 and size L is for hips 40-42, XL is 44-46. I cut size L for the inseam. I shortened the pants by 1 inch but they are still a little too long. Finished length is 42 inches (107 cm). I cut the ties at the XL mark so the front piece, which buttons in the back was a little too long.

The front piece buttons in the back at the waist and the back ties in the front. The pant legs are quite wide and overlap so you have a lot of coverage. By cutting my pants using the XL line, I made them a few inches wider, providing even more coverage – especially on a windy day. If I wear them with leggings, I will be able to wear them nearly year-round in the Bay Area.

The pattern calls for one 3/4 inch button. I only had 1/2 inch buttons in my stash so I used two 1/2 inch buttons, which seemed to make it more stable. With my current button placement, the pants sit a little below my waist. I may add a third button so I have the option of wearing them higher.

Instead of sewing a 5/8″ narrow hem on the sides and bottom, I serged a 3/8″ (1 cm) hem for the sides and bottom (trimming off the excess), then I folded the fabric at serged edge and sewed it down using a shallow zigzag stitch.

Would you sew it again? Yes. Would you recommend it to others? Yes.

Conclusion: These pants are really comfortable to wear. I feel like I’m wearing pajamas. The only drawbacks are no pockets and managing the pants when you’re in the restroom. For more on the pants and for more photos, see my blog post on here.

Vogue 9191 - Wrap pants in houndstooth jersey - front view - V9191

Pattern Review - Vogue 9191 wrap pants V9191

The Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style

Lotta Jansdotter Everyday StyleHi! I got the sewing book Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style (affiliate link here) for my birthday earlier this year. It features several wardrobe basics – skirts, tops, pants, and jackets, plus bags. most of the projects in the book use her fabric designs. (You can see her fabric collections at Windham Fabrics and her other products on her website here.)

I decided to make the Pilvi Coat, which features a simple neckline (no collar), 3/4 raglan sleeves and side pockets. There isn’t any lining, just front and neck facings, no buttons or closures unless you want to add one at the top. There’s also a shorter hip-length version, the Pilvi Jacket, in the book. It’s a great coat for the Bay Area, which doesn’t get too cold much of the year. I really like how this turned out. It’s quite versatile. I can wear it with pants or skirts – and hats, of course.

The day I took these photos, it was a rare cloudy day so the light wasn’t great. But I do love the orange wall! It’s an apartment building that’s painted a really bright orange. It looks duller in my photos than it appears in real life. I’m wearing a vintage beret in these photos, which I got from All Things Vintage in Oakland.

Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - sewing book - C. Sews -

All of the patterns are printed on two large sheets. Similar to the patterns in Japanese sewing books or Burda magazine, the pattern pieces overlap and are printed on both sides of the pattern sheets. If you are unfamiliar with patterns printed on both sides, this means you can’t cut the pattern pieces or you’ll cut into other pattern pieces. You must get some tracing paper and trace the pieces.

I made size L (bust: 38-40.5″ (96.5-102.9 cm); waist: 30-32″ (76.2-81.3 cm), hips: 41-43″ (104.1 cm-109.2 cm)). After I traced a size L, I had second thoughts and thought I should add more ease to the shoulders. I have broad shoulders so I was afraid they might be a little too fitted. I have a small bust, which works well with this coat. If you have a larger bust, you may need to make some adjustments to the pattern.

I taped more tracing paper to the front and back pattern pieces where the sleeves attach and traced size XL there and used my French curve get back to size L. I didn’t make any other adjustments as this was my test version.

Tracing Pilvi Coat - Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - C Sews -

PIlvi pattern pieces - Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - C Sews - csews.comIt can be tricky finding all the pieces but there is a nice pattern sheet guide in the back of the book that highlights in this salmon pink color, the location of each pattern piece. Page 153 shows where you’ll find the Pilvi Coat pieces are on the pages. I didn’t know the guides were there until after I traced my pieces. Before you trace a pattern, consult the pattern sheet guides, which start on page 152.

I decided to make my first version of the Pilvi from a home dec fabric I got on sale from Discount Fabrics in San Francisco years ago. It’s a medium/heavyweight corded synthetic fabric, likely nylon and maybe there’s some cotton in the cords, which fray a lot as you’ll see in the photos  below. The cords are a royal blue and they are woven in with this black synthetic fiber. The cords make it seem striped. It’s hard to see how blue those cords are in these photos.

The book recommends using “wool coating, textured mid-weight wool, mid-weight cotton fabric.” My fabric was a bit hefty because of the cords. I used a colorful lightweight cotton print for the back neck facing pieces and the pocket bags. I got the facing fabric for free at an American Sewing Guild stash sale. It was in a box of free scraps.

Pilvi Coat - construction details - C Sews -

As I mentioned earlier, this is an unlined coat. I decided to pink my side seams. You can see a sliver of the pocket bag in this photo.

Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - sewing book - C. Sews -

The front facing is not a separate piece – it’s part of the front jacket pattern piece. The front edge of the coat is where the facing folds back. The top part of the front facing attaches to the neck facing at the top of the sleeve. The sleeve facing attaches to the back neck facing.

NOTE: When you trace/cut the back and sleeve pieces, be sure to cut the entire piece, which includes the facings. Then you need to trace the sleeve and back facing pieces. If you don’t trace/cut the entire back and sleeve pieces, they will be 2 inches short and won’t line up with the front pieces.

The entire facing is topstitched in place in one long stitch line. I pinned the facing in place and then I basted using a ladder stitch. I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t shift as I stitched. I used washi tape as my fabric guide.

Pilvi Coat - construction - Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - C Sews -

Here’s another look at the inside of the jacket – as I was wearing it. That’s the front facing from the inside.

PIlvi Coat - front facing - Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - C Sews -

And here are more photos of the finished coat. Gotta love the pockets! Note: the pockets may be placed a bit low for some people. I have really long arms so the placement was fine for me. (Or maybe I incorrectly marked the pocket placement?) Be sure to check the placement before you sew them in place or you may be reaching pretty low to retrieve what’s in your pocket.

Pilvi Coat - Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - C Sews -

I really love these sunglasses. I forgot to put them on until after I had taken many photos so I only took a couple of photos wearing them.

Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - sewing book - C Sews -

Here’s the back. I think the coat fits pretty well. I like the length and the shape.

Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - sewing book - C Sews -

I will be making it again with a fun cotton print. I wonder if I need a little more ease around the armscye or maybe the bicep area. See those wrinkles around my bicep? The sleeves don’t feel tight so maybe it’s the fabric, which is a heavyweight home dec fabric. I think I’ll cut size XL for my next version.

It may need a little more ease around the armscye or maybe the bicep area. It's a little hard to 

Here’s the back detail. You can see some slight wrinkles in the fabric, which are the result of the fabric sitting folded up on a shelf for a few years. I pressed it but you can still see them on the back and part of the front. Maybe an other pressing will get those out.

Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - sewing book - C. Sews -

When I was walking down the street to my photo location, the jacket flapped open in a light breeze, which was a little annoying. I needed to put some sort of closure at the top. A few days later I donned the coat and stopped by Britex Fabrics in San Francisco and asked Douglas, one of the store’s stylish fabric mavens for his opinion. He said that a button could be distracting and may clash with other things I wear with the coat. Good point! So he suggested a hook and eye that would be hidden.

So I traipsed to the third floor of Britex and went to the notions counter asking to see their hooks. There are fabric covered hooks in different colors. I was shown a blue one that was a close match to my fabric. Perfect! I love the hidden hook. You have the option of leaving it unhooked and no one can see it. I like it a lot better than a button. Then I can wear a necklace and I don’t have to worry about how it looks with a button. Dritz makes covered hooks and eyes but the color selection is limited to black and white, and maybe brown. I found other colors on Fine Fabrics website here.

Here’s a close-up shot of the hook and eye. It’s much smaller than this – only about 3/8 inch (1 cm) tall. These are often used when sewing fur.

Blue fabric-covered hook and eye - C Sews -

I sewed it on…

Piliv Coat - hook - C Sews -

… and it looks like this when hooked. I added the hook after I took photos of me wearing it. You can see my topstitching here – it follows the edge of the facing and continues over the neck facing and back down the other side of the front facing.

Pilvi Coat with hook closure - C Sews -

The topstitching will be visible so if you don’t want to see it, then you need to hand stitch it in place. I decided to try the topstitching and I like the way it looks. But if you are going to topstitch you really need to take the time to pin and baste the facings in place so the top stitching will look good.

The pattern calls for finishing the hem by folding it over 1/4 inch (6 mm) and then 1 inch (2.5 cm) and topstitching in place. Because my fabric is on the heavy side, I opted to finish the edge with bias tape and sew it down with a catch stitch. Here’s the front facing and hem finishing.

Pilvi Coat - hem finish - C Sews -

I really love this coat – the only drawback is that because it’s most synthetic, it doesn’t really breathe. But we do get a lot of cool weather in the Bay Area. Summer nights can get pretty cool and spring and fall can be cool as well. So I can wear this coat at least half of the year.

Pilvi Coat - Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - C Sews -

The next one I made will be from this fun fabric – ASCII art (!) – which I got from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics a few months ago. I made this wearable muslin so I could make the Pilvi Coat from this fabric.

ASCII faces fabric - C Sews

So stay tuned for that coat. What’s in your sewing queue?

Pilvi Coat - Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style -