The Elastic Tie Sweater in a wax print fabric from Africa

Elastic Tie Sweater - pattern by The Assembly Line - wax print fabric -

I discovered the Assembly Line patterns at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley at a Bay Area Sewists meetup in June 2019. The first pattern I bought from this Swedish company was the Three Pleat Skirt pattern. (I will blog about the skirt after I’ve made another one because I didn’t quite follow the instructions – though I am happy with the results.) In November, I had fun shopping Stonemountain’s two-day 25 percent off sale and decided to buy two more Assembly Line patterns: the Elastic Tie Sweater (pattern here) and the Puff Shirt. Their patterns are available in digital and paper versions.

Over the holidays I decided to make the Elastic Tie Sweater. In case you’re wondering, the pattern is not drafted for sweater knits. It’s for woven fabrics; on the website page for this pattern, they suggest “mid weight fabrics such as cotton twills, denims, lightweight canvas.”

Hitarget wax print -

I thought this would be a great pattern to use a wax print I was gifted by a lovely colleague at work (thanks, Rachel!). She got this border print fabric in Africa a while ago. The border of small and large circles runs alongside both selvages. The selvage says “Veritable wax block print Hitarget 2016002F.”

I did a brief Google search and I was reminded that Hitarget is a Chinese company that often knocks off Dutch designs from companies such as Vlisco (read about Dutch wax prints and counterfeiting in this informative article, “West Africans ditch Dutch wax prints for Chinese ‘real fakes,'” by Northeastern University anthropology professor Nina Sylvanus). I used a Hitarget wax print for the maxi Chardon skirt I made a few years ago.

Elastic Tie Sweater - pattern by The Assembly Line - African wax print -

Border print details

You can see the border on the sleeves at my wrists. I cut the sleeves perpendicular to the grain so the border would be at the bottom of the sleeves. There is a dart at the elbow so the bottom of the sleeve has a curve to it. This means that you won’t be able to match the border print at the seam line. I decided that wouldn’t bother me and who looks at the sleeve seam anyway, right? 😉

Border print on the sleeve -

It was fun to figure out where to place the border. This pattern has a center back seam so I decided to cut the back pieces so that the border was on each piece. The small circles of the design weren’t quite equidistant so I deliberately cut the pieces to make sure the smaller circles didn’t line up.

African wax print - center back seam  -

Then after sewing the 1 cm (3/8″) seam, the back looked like this.

Back view - wax print -

The smaller circles are cut in half by the center back seam and that creates a different design – sort of an “S,” which wasn’t quite intentional.

The trickiest part of this pattern is sewing the front shoulder to the center back collar. But the instructions are clear and there’s a nice illustration to show you how to sew it. Here’s what it looks like before I topstitched the seam.

Front shoulder detail -

Here’s the inside view. My serger isn’t working at the moment so I used the zigzag stitch to finish my seams.

Shoulder seam -

The Elastic Tie Sweater has four sizes: XS, S, M, and L. All measurements in the pattern are in centimeters. I did the conversions to inches (yes, in the United States we’re still using the old Imperial system, which we began when we were a British colony). The pattern has a lot of ease. I made size L, which has the following finished measurements:

Length: 59 cm (23.2 in)
Bust: 119 cm (46.9 in)
Bottom: 127 cm (50.8)
Front center neck to end of sleeve: 84 cm (14.8 in)
Upper sleeve (bicep): 46 cm (18.1)

For size L, the pattern calls for 150 cm of 140-150 cm wide fabric. This means about 1 2/3 yards of 55″-60″ wide fabric. However, my fabric was 44″ (112 cm) wide, which meant that I used more (and wasted more) fabric because the front and back pieces couldn’t be placed side by side. I probably used more than 2 yards (~183 cm) to cut out all the pieces. This is why the pattern calls for 140-150 cm wide fabric. You waste less fabric.

Elastic Tie Sweater - pattern by The Assembly Line - wax print fabric -

I have a small bust so it is quite roomy on me. I’d say that the Elastic Tie Sweater can easily fit a C cup and maybe even D, depending on how much ease you prefer. I have broad shoulders and long arms and it fit well. No need for a wide-shoulder adjustment.

Side view of the Elastic Tie Sweater - pattern The Assembly Line -

I really love the high neck and the elastic tie detail. There’s interfacing in the neck facing, which is what ensures that the collar doesn’t flop over. I used Pellon Shape-Flex woven fusible interfacing, which I got from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. I had some thick elastic cord in my stash that was perfect for the Elastic Tie Sweater. You need cord that’s 3 mm in diameter. This cord gets threaded through four holes that you have to make through the facing.

Close-up of elastic cord in the front -

Buttonhole stitches

The instructions direct you to use a buttonhole stitch around the hole to finish the raw edges. I used black Coats & Clark Dual Duty Plus Craft & Button thread in my stash – leftover from hand sewing various skirts from the Natalie Chanin’s 2012 book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design (affiliate link). (In fact, I’m wearing a handsewn knit skirt using a pattern from that book.)

Elastic Tie Sweater - pattern by The Assembly Line -

I made the buttonhole stitches by hand using this heavy duty thread. Because the thread is so thick, you can’t make too many stitches. Regular thread would be fine, too. But do practice the stitches on a scrap if you aren’t familiar with this stitch. It took me a little time to figure it out and make stitches in a circle.

Here’s a closer look at the buttonhole stitches around the hole. You can see how thick the thread is. If you use button craft thread, you may need to make 4-5 mm holes, rather than 3-4 mm per the instructions.

Close-up of buttonhole stitch detail -

Once the stitches are in place, you fold the cord in half, push it through the holes and knot the ends. I had a tough time pushing the cord through the holes because the thick thread made the hole smaller. I later realized I could use a loop turner to grab the cord and pull it through the holes.

Elastic cord detail -

I really like this pattern and will be making more of them. Quilt-weight fabric will work well with this pattern. The only drawback with the roominess of this top is that you need to wear a loose-fitting coat or jacket if it’s cold outside. If you don’t wear something loose over it, it will get wrinkled because of all the ease.

Here are two more photos of the Elastic Tie Sweater.

Elastic Tie Sweater - pattern by The Assembly Line -
Elastic Tie Sweater - pattern by The Assembly Line -

Congratulations! You got to the end of this post. I hope to blog a little more regularly in the new year. But I needed to take a bit of a break from my blog and social media after I started a new job and my mother passed away during the second week of that job.

Though I was still sewing, I had absolutely no interest in taking photos of anything I made or blogging. But finally, over the break, I got inspired by the fabric, the pattern, and walking by this interesting abandoned building with its rusting exterior and bed of small pink flowers. I made note of the street and decided to take my photos there – just me, my tripod, and my phone. I will revive my newsletter but likely only send it out every other month rather than monthly.

Choosing a sewing pattern for my dotty linen Ikea fabric

Hi, have you ever had a fabric just hanging out in your stash for years and then you forgot about it? Well, I’ve had this Ikea linen fabric in my closet for a long time. I’m guessing more than six years.

Choosing a sewing pattern for this dotty linen fabric from Ikea -

I remember using it as a backdrop for this photo I took for my blog when it first launched in November 2011. You can sort of see the dots in the background.

Vintage hat with feathers

It’s a heavyweight linen that’s a bit stiff – even after I washed it in the washing machine and put it in the dryer. As you can see the dots vary in size and they are equidistant from each other. Choosing a sewing pattern for this fabric was a bit of a challenge because the dots are large and their placement is symmetrical. I’ve got about 3 meters or 3 1/3 yards of this 35″/88 cm wide fabric.

Here’s a shot of the fabric against my body (please excuse the dirty bathroom mirror and bad lighting!). 

Choosing a sewing pattern for this dotty linen fabric from Ikea - 

I posted an image on my @csews Instagram account and asked what should I make with it – a jacket, pants – and asked for pattern suggestions. I received many responses, including that I made a jacket, circle skirt, dress, tote bag or a shower curtain. Here were the pattern suggestions:

I hadn’t heard of Ann Normandy before so I was happy to learn that her patterns were aimed at heavier weight linen fabric. I like the clean lines of her designs. The suggestions also spurred me to consider other patterns – the Sapporo Coat by Papercut Patterns, (which I’ve made in wool melton and with a cotton sheet) and The Strand, an unlined coat by Merchant & Mills.

I was really taken by the Oversized Kimono Jacket so I went ahead and ordered a copy. I decided I really wanted to make a jacket because it would get a lot of wear. I don’t wear dresses that often and I couldn’t really see this fabric as a skirt. But I still wasn’t sure about the Oversized Kimono pattern for this fabric so I also searched the jacket patterns in my stash for possible candidates.

Here are the finalists

Anne Klein Vogue, V1098, which is in my stash and out-of-print (OOP) – the lines in this jacket could make for an interesting design with the dots, breaking up the symmetry.

V1098 - Anne Klein Vogue sewing pattern -

New Look 6532, which I mentioned last year in my blog post about new fall patterns. I bought this pattern but haven’t made it yet. The seam lines here would also let me play with dot placement. My idea would be to deliberately misalign the dots across the pattern pieces.

New Look 6532 - separates

Marcy Tilton Vogue pattern (V8620, OOP) – I think the heavyweight linen would work well with this pattern and the seam lines would also be fun to experiment with.

V8620 - Marcy Tilton Vogue sewing pattern -

The Oversized Kimono Jacket by Jenny Gordy, which could be color blocked. Here’s my photo taken from Making Magazine of this pattern.

Oversized Kimono Jacket by Jenny Gordon in Making Magazine, Issue 4

I used MyBodyModel custom croquis (fashion sketch template) to play around with how the fabric would look in the different designs. I’ll be doing a guest blog post for the MyBodyModel blog later this month so you can see all of my sketches. 🙂 Here’s a sneak preview of one of my sketches for the Oversized Kimono Jacket.

Oversized Kimono Jacket by Jenny Gordon pattern - fabric ideas -

Sketching out how the fabric will look with different designs was really helpful! I don’t usually sketch out my fabric choices. I can usually visualize in my head how I think something will work with a particular pattern. But I was having trouble seeing how these big dots would look in a jacket. I was afraid the big dots would give the garment a clown-like appearance.

I thought the color blocking would look better. So I’m glad I sketched this combination.  I’ve sketched a couple of other variations, which you can see on the MyBodyModel blog later this month.  I’ll have picked my final choice by then. I’m hoping I’ll have enough scraps leftover to make a tote bag!

What pattern would you choose?

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?

Big Four 2018 spring patterns – Vogue, Butterick and more

Hi, I spent some time looking at Big Four 2018 spring patterns – Vogue, Butterick, McCall’s and Simplicity. They were the pattern companies I grew up with. (Last fall I blogged about a few patterns from Simplicity and Vogue, which you can read here.)

My mom mostly bought patterns from Butterick, McCalls and Simplicity from Jo-Ann – back when the chain only sold fabric and it was known as Jo-Ann Fabrics. She made clothes for me and my three sisters when we were growing up.

I don’t recall her ever buying any Vogue patterns. I’m not sure why she didn’t buy Vogue but it’s most likely because those patterns were more expensive and some are complicated to sew. She mostly sewed by following the pictures in the instructions. English is her second language so she didn’t bother reading the instructions.

Here are a few of the spring patterns that caught my eye.

Big four 2018 Spring Patterns

They are listed in no particular order.


Big Four 2018 Sewing patterns - Vogue V9299 - top with belt -

I love stripes so this shirt (V9299) grabbed my attention for its fun use of stripes. Plus I like the waist-defining belt. I don’t know about the puffiness of the lower part of the sleeve but that could certainly be toned down.

The pattern has many variations in length and sleeve styles. You could lengthen it to make a shirt dress.

Big four 2018 Spring Patterns - Vogue V9299 - tops with sleeve and length variations -

This Vintage Vogue reissue  (V9295) is from the 1940s. I love the neckline, which has front tucks.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Vintage Vogue pattern V9295 - ca. 1940 -

Look at those tucks and lovely neckline!

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Vintage Vogue reissue V9295 - 1940s dress with tucks

The pattern envelope says the suggested fabrics are: sheer cottons, lace, crepe de chine, burnout velvet and rayon challis. You need lightweight fabrics because of all the tucks, which are also in the short-sleeve version.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Vintage Vogue reissue 1940s - line drawing -

Here’s one of Sandra Betzina’s latest patterns. It’s described as a pants pattern. This is version A, which is described as having “wide straps give jumper effect.”

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina Vogue pattern V1580 - pants -

Sandra designs for ease of wear so I’m sure you can easily take down the straps so you can go to the bathroom. I like jumpsuits but I’m usually reluctant to make them because you have to get half undressed to go to the bathroom. And you need to be careful that the top part doesn’t drag on the floor, especially in a public restroom.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina Vogue pattern V1580 - line art -

If you ever have an opportunity to hear Sandra speak, take it. She has great sewing tips and delivers them with a great sense of humor. Plus she has such a warm personality. I heard her speak at Cañada College last spring at their annual Artistry in Fashion event. I also got a copy of the latest edition of her indispensable fabric guide – All New Fabric Savvy (affiliate link here).


Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Simplicity 8605 paper-bag waist pants pattern

I like the paper-bag waist on pants and skirts. These pants look fun and easy to make. Plus the pattern (8605) includes a skirt! I’ve been wanting to make a casual paper-bag skirt.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Simplicity 8605 - paper bag waist skirt and pants pattern -

I’ve tied RTW shirts that buttoned in the front. I like that look. This Simplicity pattern (8601) for woven fabrics gives you the option of just letting the front piece hang down or tying it in a knot. I like the striped version.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Simplicity 8601 - front-tie top pattern -

One thing that really jumped out for me as I perused Simplicity’s offerings is that there is a lot of diversity among its models. For example, this vintage 1950s reissue (8592) features a plus-size model and an African-American model. There are two size ranges – 10-18 and 20W-28W. Kudos to Simplicity for making such a wide range of sizes available.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Vintage Simplicity - 8592 - dress - CSews

New Look is part of the Simplicity group of patterns and this flight jacket pattern (6545) jumped out at me because it features an Asian model and it’s a fun pattern.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - New Look 6545 - flight jacket pattern -



I like the pleats in this McCall’s dress designed by Phoebe Couture. I initially saw it as a top and a skirt but it’s a dress. I think you could add a waistband and just make a skirt from this pattern.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - McCall's M7720 - Phoebe Couture dress pattern -

This is a pattern for a costume (M7733) but I’d just wear it as a regular jacket.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - McCall's costume M7733 - fitted jacket by Yaya Han -



The drawstring detail on this Butterick dress is nice (B6552).

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - B6552-Butterick dress pattern with lace-up front

I’m not thrilled by the color-blocked version of this pattern (B6567) that the model is wearing but I do like the lines, which you can see in version B, which has longer sleeves. You could shorten it to make it more of a tunic or lengthen it to midi-length, which is my favorite skirt length.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Butterick B6567 Lisette dress - CSewscom


This pattern (B6556) by Gertie has a lovely square neckline.

Big Four 2018 Spring Patterns - Butterick B6556 - Patterns by Gertie -

And that’s the end of my roundup. Have you seen any new Big Four 2018 spring patterns that you like?

Make Nine 2018 – tops, skirts and jackets for the new year

Hi, I made these collages on my phone last month and I’ve even sewn a couple of things already, which has to be a record for me. It can take me a while to just get started. But this year, I decided I would start with patterns and sewing books in my collection as well as the fabric I already have. So here is my Make Nine 2018 list:

  • Top with Epaulettes from She Wears the Pants, a Japanese sewing book by Yuko Takada. I made my own striped version in 2015, which you can read about in this post. I still wear it. I have an odd synthetic knit in a pretty purple that I’m going to use. I’ve already cut the pattern pieces.
  • A midi-skirt from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, which I reviewed here. I’ve made a skirt and tunic from this book. I had this maroon red knit fabric that was originally going to be yoga pants. I decided to make a skirt, which I hand sewed last month. I still need to photograph it.
  • I finished the Pilvi Coat a little over two weeks ago and blogged about it here.

Make Nine 2018 - Top from She Wears the Pants, skirt from Alabama Studio + Design, Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style

  • Toaster Sweater Version 2 in a striped knit. I made a reversible Version 1 of this pattern by Sew House Seven.
  • Decades of Style Chore Skirt, which I started last year but still haven’t finished. This beautiful rose print will be the contrasting part of this pleated skirt.
  • Twist-and-Drape top from Shape Shape, a Japanese sewing book by Natsuno Hiraiwa, released in 2012, it is the first Japanese sewing book I ever bought. I want to make this interesting top in this interesting cotton lawn print. I’ve been making a muslin using a polka-dotted cotton-silk blend I have in my stash. It’s slow going because the fabric is a bit delicate and the raw edges are finished with bias tape. As I was making it, I discovered that there was an Instagram #sewjapaneseinjanuary sewing challenge going on – the idea was to make something from a Japanese sewing pattern in January. I got started but I haven’t finished it but it gave me the inspiration to get going. Thanks to @bloglessanna and @craftyjane_makes for hosting!

Make Nine 2018 - Toaster Sweater, version 2, Chore Skirt and Twist-and-Drape top

  • Megan Longline Cardigan has been in my stash for more than a year. I’ve had this striped knit fabric in my collection for more than three years. I got it for $1 or $2/yard at the FIDM scholarship store in Los Angeles.
  • I want to copy this top I saw in the window at Max Mara in the fall of 2016. I even bought fabric to make a black-and-white silk (as opposed to leather and wool) version of it. I got a black plaid print, a solid black and then a print at Britex Fabrics back then. I just need to pick a tunic pattern to make a color-blocked version. if you have any suggestions for a square-necked pattern, please let me know!
  • Last but not least is this Spiral Scarf from Shape Shape. I have this bright magenta wool silk organza that I got at the Britex yard sale, which would be perfect for it. I just need to decide if I want to get a contrasting color or just make it all one color.

Make Nine 2018 - cardigan, top and scarf

My Make Nine 2018 goal this year is to make some inroads on my fabric stash and to make more garments that I would wear everyday. I’m holding off on making pants because I’m working on losing a few of the extra pounds I’ve gained over the past two years. Skirts are a little more forgiving.

Oh, and I almost forgot! I’ll be attempting to start and finish a bias cut skirt and vintage top in time for the Bay Area Sewists Frocktails in February event this Saturday! I only have a few days to sew up version D of the Vogue vintage reissue and this midi skirt.

Frocktails 2018 ensemble

Instead of sewing a dress I decided to make separates so I will get more use out of the ensemble. I tend to wear separates, not dresses. I’m hoping that I’ll have enough leftover fabric to make version D of the Vogue pattern. We’ll see. Wish me luck!

Alzheimer’s clothing – sewing patterns for women

Hi, I only blogged once in April so I’m making up for lost time and posting twice this week. The posts I’ve been working on have required more time to put together because I needed to gather information or images. (For example, see yesterday’s post on sewing pattern height.) Today’s post is about Alzheimer’s clothing, garments that work for people with Alzheimer’s – something people don’t think about unless they know someone with Alzheimer’s. My mom has dementia so I’ve been looking at sewing patterns that work for an Alzheimer’s wardrobe.

My mom can no longer deal with multiple buttons on a garment. Her dementia has affected her ability to handle the process of buttoning a cardigan. This means that any clothing she wears needs to be button-free. Zippers are still OK and she can manage dressing herself with some assistance as long as my dad lays out the garments for her in the order she needs to put them on (underwear, top, pants). If you gave her a pile of clothing, she would get confused and not know what to put on first.

Whenever Mother’s Day or her birthday rolls around, I usually don’t have time to make anything and then I find myself wandering the petites department at Macy’s searching for appropriate Alzheimer’s clothing. My mom’s birthday is in December so this year, I’m planning way ahead and putting together a list of potential patterns. I also decided to look beyond  patterns just for my mom and just look for patterns that could be useful for other people who may know someone with Alzheimer’s.

Besides the lack of buttons, it’s important to have simple designs without any extra openings. For example, a top with an opening in the back in addition to the neckhole, such as M7570 would not work – nor would a cold shoulder design like V9260. Too many openings. Look for tops with the three basic openings – one neckhole and two armholes.

These sewing patterns wouldn't work for someone with Alzheimer's because they have too many openings and would be confusing to put on.

Here are some Alzheimer’s clothing possibilities for women.


The Limoncello Cardigan by SBCC Patterns  doesn’t have any buttons. SBCC’s website says that the front drape “does not overwhelm a petite torso, and can conceal a fuller chest.” My mom is 5 feet (152 cm) tall. SBCC Patterns are designed for petite women, using a base height of 5′ 1″. (Check out my sewing pattern height chart in this blog post.) This is a good pattern for my mom. You can get a hard copy or a PDF of this pattern here.

Limoncello Cardigan - SBCC Patterns - this stylish cardigan works for women with Alzheimer's because it doesn't have any buttons

This See & Sew unlined jacket (B6443) doesn’t have any buttons. It’s a nice basic jacket. The pattern also includes a draped vest. My mom doesn’t really wear vests so I wouldn’t make that for her. You don’t want to introduce unfamiliar clothing to people with Alzheimer’s. It’s best to stick to styles and colors that they are used to wearing. (The pants are not part of this pattern.)

Butterick - B6443 sewing pattern - This jacket is a nice option for women with Alzheimer's because it doesn't have any buttons.

The sleeveless Gimlet Top, also by SBCC Patterns, is designed for knit fabric and looks like a quick sew. Maybe I can make it for Mother’s Day. You can get a hard copy or PDF of this pattern here.

Gimlet Top - SBCC Patterns - This stylish yet simple design is a good option for women with Alzheimer's

The Tonic Tee by SBCC Patterns is a nice basic top. You can buy the hard copy of the pattern here or sign up for SBCC’s newsletter and get a free PDF version of the Tonic Tee. If you’d like to add a cute Peter Pan collar to this tee, check out Christine Haynes’s Tonic Tee Upgrade, a guest blog post from 2014.

Tonic Tee by SBCC Patterns - this basic top is good for women with Alzheimer's

Vogue pattern (V9225) has a good basic design and is flattering for different figures. the different sleeve lengths make this a pattern you can sew for hot or cool weather.

Vogue patterns - V9225 - top - a nice option for women with Alzheimer's

Here’s a more fitted Vogue top (V9205), which has some interesting decorative darts. Beth, who blogs at SunnyGal Studios, has sewn it and blogged about it here.

 Vogue patterns - V9205 - this top with different sleeve options is a stylish option for women with Alzheimer's

This Vogue (V9224) handkerchief-hem tunic would be nice for taller figures.

V9224 - Vogue Patterns - handkerchief-hem tunic - an option for women with Alzheimer's


These Butterick pants (B5893) have an elastic waist. There are also shorts. I recently bought this pattern for myself.

Butterick - B5893 - pants sewing pattern - the elastic waist on these pants is good for women with Alzheimer's


The Kitschy Coo Lady Skater Dress is a comfy and flattering dress with three sleeve options (cap, 3/4 and long). The big neck opening is good for people with Alzheimer’s. It makes it easy to get dressed (available as a PDF).

Kitschy Koo - Lady Skater Dress - the large opening for the head makes this a easy-to-wear dress for women with Alzheimer's


McCall’s M6474 is a simple comfortable design – neck and armholes, which are easy for my mom to manage. The pajama bottoms have an elastic waist. Elastic waists are great because they are easy to pull on and take off. It’s probably best to avoid the maxi length nightgown or you risk a fall, plus a shorter length makes it easier to manage in the bathroom. At this point, my mother can no longer communicate when she needs to go to the restroom so my dad just takes her to the toilet at regular intervals.

M6474 - sleepwear, nightgowns and pajamas for women - this basic design is good for women with Alzheimer's

This cute McCall’s pajama set (M7060) doesn’t have any buttons and comes with an elastic waist – perfect for someone with Alzheimer’s.

McCall's sewing pattern - M7060 - pajamas - the elastic waist makes this a good design for women with Alzheimer's to wear

As of this writing, all of these patterns are in print. Should they go out of print, please search eBay and Etsy for a copy. I hope you find this Alzheimer’s clothing information helpful. It makes you realize the little things you take for granted, such as getting dressed in the morning. You do it without thinking about it. My dad helps my mom get dressed everyday.

They live on the East Coast and I’m in California so I don’t see them as often as I’d like. My mom still recognizes people, which is great. But it can be challenging to make conversation because you can’t really ask questions.

My mom taught me and my sisters how to use her sewing machine. She made all our clothes when we were young. Now she can no longer sew. She doesn’t have the cognitive ability to remember how to use a sewing machine. I guess things have come full circle and it’s my turn to make her clothes.

Here's what you should consider when making a garment for someone with Alzheimer's

Printing PDF patterns – what are your options?

If a sewing pattern has a paper and a PDF version, the PDF typically costs less than the paper version. But they can be a pain to assemble, especially when you’re printing PDF patterns at home and have a big stack of letter-size or AO pages to tape or glue together. A paper trimmer certainly saves time (see this post) but sometimes you just want to skip the tedious assembly.

The good thing is that many patterns have large-format, copy-shop versions in addition to the print-at-home file. However, if you pay to print it, you may end up spending more than the cost of the paper pattern. Grrrr. Meanwhile, some patterns are only available as PDFs.

Let’s face it, cost is a factor. I will often buy the PDF version of a sewing pattern if the shipping costs are too high for the paper pattern. For example, Tessuti charges $30 to ship one of its paper patterns from Australia. Yes, $30 for shipping outside Australia – that’s in addition to the cost of the paper pattern!

A large-format print of PDF pattern I designed on Bootstrap Fashion. I printed this at Staples for $17.40.

Where can you print large-format PDF patterns?

In the United States, you can go to:

  • FedEx, which has print services in addition to shipping,
  • one of the big office supply chains, such as Staples or Office Depot,
  • a local shop specializing in architectural, and engineering document services, or
  • an online company based in Virginia, PDF, which I learned about from Melizza, who blogs at Pincushion Treats.

Below is a breakdown of prices for printing PDF patterns, as of March 20, 2017. I’m listing prices for prints 36″ x 48″ (3 ft x 4 ft or 91.3 cm x 121.9 cm) and for a more unusual size 36″ x 120″(3 feet by 10 feet or 81.3 cm x 304.8 cm). Yes, that’s a really long piece of paper.

If you create a design on Bootstrap Fashion or buy one of the Leko or indie patterns available at Bootstrap’s online pattern store, you can choose to print the pattern at 36″ wide and it’ll be however long it needs to be. I designed a dress using Bootstrap’s design app and made a PDF pattern that was 36″ x 114″ (81.3 cm x 289.6 cm) and I spent $17.40 to print at Staples – 2.5 times what I paid for the pattern. 🙁

I posted on Instagram (@csews) about what I paid at Staples and Melizza (@pinsuchiontreats) commented that she gets her PDF patterns printed at Thank you, Melizza!

Options for printing PDF patterns - copy shop (Staples, FedEx) or at

When I went to my local Staples on a weekend, the person working in the print/copy department didn’t know that their printer could print anything longer than 48″. I told him to print it at 100 percent and instead he printed it to fit on one 36 x 48 piece of bond paper. Then he had computer problems. While he was rebooting his computer, I emailed Bootstrap Fashion and the founder, Yuliya Racquel told me that if the paper wasn’t on a roll, he could choose “poster” as a print option and print it that way. But if it was on a roll, it should be fine. She was right.

It was taking him forever to get the computer going so I went back on a weekday. The person working that day didn’t know that the printer could print anything longer than 48 inches but it worked and he learned something new. Hopefully, you’ll get a knowledgable staff person but you may need to educate them about printing PDF patterns.

Rates for printing PDF patterns

Note: All prices are for black-and-white prints, before taxes. (Maybe I should update this post annually – let me know if that would be useful to you.)

  • FedEx – $0.75 per square foot. A square foot is 12″ x 12″ (~30.5 cm x 30.5 cm).
    Cost of one 36″ x 48″ sheet: $9. So a pattern with three sheets of 36 x 48 will cost $27.
    Cost of printing one 36″ x 120″ sheet: $22.50
    You can order print services online here but I didn’t see an option for engineering prints or large-format prints so it looks like large-format black-and-white prints need to be ordered in person. Find your local FedEx office here.
    Conclusion: Expensive place to print, avoid unless you have no other options
  • Staples – about $0.60 per square foot.
    Cost of one 36 x 48 sheet in store: $7.19. Cost to print three sheets of 36 x 48: $21.57
    Cost of printing one 36″ x 120″ sheet: $18
    You can also place an order online (see Staples engineering prints page) and have it delivered for $9.99 or pick it up in-store for free.
    Cost of one 36 x 47 sheet ordered online: $7.29. Cost of three sheets: $21.87, add $9.99 shipping if you don’t pick it up in-store (cost of three sheets + shipping: $31.86).
    [Office Depot has the same prices as Staples for what they call “engineer prints” online but anything more than 30″ wide is delivery only, no in-store pickup available. Add $9.95 delivery fee.]
    Tip: If you’re in the store, tell them it’s a line drawing, similar to an engineering print and be sure to tell them that you want it printed at 100%. Customer service may vary greatly because not all staff will know what to do with your file.
    Conclusion: Still expensive but cheaper than FedEx.
  • Local shop specializing in architectural, design and engineering document management. I called one place in the Bay Area, Smart Plotting Reprographics, and they were far more expensive than FedEx. The rates were $2 per square foot for anything less than 20 pages, $1 per square foot for 20+ pages. And they also charged a set-up fee of $1 per page.
    Cost of printing one 36 x 48 sheet: $25
    Cost of printing one 36 x 120 sheet: $61
    Conclusion: Do not print at specialty engineer printing firms – they are not set up for small PDF jobs.
  • Pattern Review offers large-format printing for members who order patterns from Pattern Review. When you order a PDF pattern, you can also order a large-format print. The printing fee is $4.50 per pattern, which is very reasonable, especially if a pattern has more than one page. The shipping fees are $3.49 US 1st class, $6.99 US Priority, $13.99 Int’l, $7.99 Canada 1st Class. You can read the details on PR’s blog here.
  • PDF – about $0.10 per square foot! See the link B&W CAD Prints on their site. (CAD refers to computer-aided design.) They also print in color, which costs a little more $5 for one sheet of 36 x 48.
    Cost of one 36 x 48 sheet: $1.20. Cost of 3 sheets: $3.60 but a minimum of $7.49 is required to place an order. So you’d need to upload at least 7 pages to meet this minimum. Thus you’d spend $8.40 plus $4.99 for UPS ground shipping for a total of $13.39. The company is based in Richmond, Virginia so the closer you are to Virginia, the faster you’ll get your PDF patterns.
    Cost of printing one 36 x 120″ sheet: $3.60 (If you have a fraction of a page, the last page will count as a full-page. So 120″ is equivalent to 2.5 pages of 36 x 48 so it would be counted as 3 pages.)
    Tip: If you have a layered PDF where you can select the size(s) you want to print, be sure to click on the button “My file(s) require special sizing instructions” so you can add comments about what size to print. If you don’t do that, your print job may be delayed because they will need to contact you to find out what you want to print. Also, if you have one file but it’s two pages, in the “# of originals” field, select 2. If you select 1, then you will only be paying for one page instead of two. And they will need to contact you to confirm that you want to pay for that additional page.
    Conclusion: By far the best and cheapest option – even with shipping costs factored in.

Going forward, I will definitely go to PDF for printing PDF patterns. I don’t mind waiting a couple of days!

Where do you print your PDF patterns? At home? A copy shop?

Printing PDF sewing patterns - here are some options in the U.S.

Sewing plans for 2017 – updated

Hi! In December I wrote about some of my sewing plans for the new year. Well, plans are always subject to change, right? So far I’ve made two garments in 2017 – a new Chardon skirt (Deer and Doe sewing pattern, not on my list) …

Chardon skirt for Bay Area Sewists Frocktails in February event

… and a Toaster Sweater (on my list).

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

I also got two great sewing patterns for my birthday last month – a Style Arc shirt and a Papercut Patterns top, which I blogged about here.

For me, making one garment a month would be great. So it’s fantastic for me to have a skirt and a top completed by March! I made the Chardon skirt to wear at the Bay Area Sewists Frocktails event in February. I made a reversible version of the Toaster Sweater for a guest blog post I did for Britex Fabrics in February. It was a fun challenge. Then I expanded the post on my blog with more construction details here.

I’d like to sew everything I mentioned in December but for the next few months I will focus solely on tops and pants. I really want to sew the Style Arc Juliet Woven Shirt and a couple versions of the Papercut Patterns Skipper Tunic, which has multiple variations. Plus I still have an urgent need for pants. I’ll likely start with the Mimosa Culottes by Named, which aren’t really pants but I’ve made one muslin and I still need to sew up the second one. I first mentioned the culottes last May, when I blogged about four PDF sewing patterns I bought.

Named sells paper patterns but the cost of shipping all the way from Finland is quite high so I opted to get the PDF version. I recently discovered that Harts Fabric, an indie fabric store in Santa Cruz, Calif., now carries now carries Named and Papercut Patterns! How exciting! The store carries many other indie pattern lines as well – and shipping is only $6.50 for U.S. orders. You can see the inide patterns Harts carries here.

Here’s a gif of the current sewing plans: Style Arc Juliet Woven Shirt (interesting tie in front), four versions of the Skipper Tunic (neckline, sleeve and length variations), and the Mimosa Culottes. I need to shop my stash to see if I have any fabric for the Juliet shirt. I’m sure I have some fabric I could use for the Skipper Tunic. And I have a black fabric with a nice drape for the culottes.

My updated sewing plans for 2017 - Style Arc Juliet Shirt, Papercut Patterns Skipper Tunic, Named Mimosa Culottes

Have your sewing plans changed? What’s on your sewing table?

StyleArc and Papercut Patterns – two indie sewing patterns

Hi, it was my birthday earlier this month so in January I told my sisters about some international patterns I liked. And my sisters are like my fairy godmothers – they granted my wishes! I got the StyleArc Juliet Woven Shirt, which I have been eying, along with the Imogen Knit Skirt, a free pattern for January. Plus I got the Papercut Patterns Skipper Tunic, which has three sleeve variations, necklines and lengths. 

StyleArc is an Aussie pattern company – as you can see from the mailing envelope in the photo below. I think I first heard about this company from Sew Busy Lizzie, a sewing blogger based in Australia. It may have been her post about the StyleArc Ziggy jacket. Actually, that post made me a bit wary about trying any StyleArc patterns because sizes are not nested and the instructions are minimal. When she made the Ziggy jacket, she bought a PDF and had to tape together more than 40 pages. Each size was a separate PDF.

StyleArc prides itself on creating “real industry based sewing patterns” that are “easy to work with.” I haven’t sewn any StyleArc patterns before but I wanted to try this shirt because I love the tie waist and 3/4 sleeves. The paper pattern comes with a swatch of fabric that is recommended for the pattern – nice detail!

StyleArc - Juliet Woven Shirt - sewing pattern

If you buy a StyleArc paper pattern, you need to pick your size. I decided to pick the size that went with my hips, my widest area. Here’s the StyleArc size chart. My current weight puts me at a size 14 waist (33.5 inches, 85 cm) and in between a size 14 (42.5 inches, 108 cm) and 16 (44.5 inches, 113cm) hip. Two years ago I was a size 12 waist and size 14 hip. (sigh) But I’ve gained a bit of weight since then. I chose size 16 for the skirt as well. It may be too big but I’ll find out eventually.

When I got my Juliet shirt pattern, I also discovered  that you can also buy StyleArc patterns on Amazon – but not all the styles are there. The Juliet shirt isn’t on the U.S. site. But it’s great to know that I can buy their patterns and get free shipping as an Amazon Prime member!

Papercut Patterns is a New Zealand pattern company that says it has a “strong focus on design and sustainability.” They use “100% recycled or recyclable products where possible.”

Papercut Patterns - Skipper Tunic

Papercut packaging is really lovely. You could hand the pattern in your closet. This photo is a still image of the video story I posted on Instagram when I got the pattern. So the image quality isn’t great.

Papercut Patterns packaging

Here’s the paper the instructions and pattern paper are printed on. The instructions are printed so that you cut them out and put them together into a mini booklet. This image was also part of my IG story.

I’m looking forward to making both of these patterns! Have you sewn any StyleArc or Papercut Patterns designs?

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

2017 Make Nine – sewing plans for the new year

I don’t usually plan what I’m going to make for the year but I have bought many patterns over the past year, not to mention the scores of patterns that are already in my collection. So I decided to make a list of my #2017MakeNine, which was started by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille last year (check out her 2017 Make Nine here).

I’ve been going over some of the patterns in my sewing queue and trying to decide what my priorities are. It’s a balance between what I need now (more pants!) and what I’d like to make.

2017 Make Nine

I’ve got fabric for five of the patterns in my 2017 Make Nine list. You’d think that having fabric makes you more likely to make something but that’s not always the case. Here’s what the patterns look like.

Sewing plans 2017 - Sewing patterns - Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater, Vogue, Tessuti Megan Longline Cardigan, Deer & Doe Fumetere, Butterick, Jalie and Sewaholic Robson

And here’s a bit more about my 2017 Make Nine patterns.

  1. Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater – I bought this pattern at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics soon after its release and got some lovely violet wool double-knit fabric on sale there, too. I plan on making version 1, which has the mock turtleneck. I traced my pattern pieces several weeks ago. Now I’m making a mock-up using some red fleece. I don’t want to cut my wool until I’m absolutely sure about the fit.
  2. I got this cute Vogue pattern (V8840, out of print) at a Bay Area Sewists pattern swap. I like both tops and the pants, which have a slight flare. The fabric on the model in the top photo is wacky. The drawing on the pattern is much nicer and gives you a better idea of what it looks like.  I just discovered that the previous owner cut size 12. Oops – too small for me. (Note to self: Look inside the pattern envelope before you take it.) Of course, I went online buy a copy on eBay for $11. Do you do that? Hunt down out-of-print patterns online when you can’t find one in your size or it’s sold out?
  3. I’ve been looking for a pattern to make a long cardigan because I’ve had some 70-inch wide knit fabric just sitting in my stash waiting to be made into something. I got the fabric for $1/yard a few years ago from the FIDM Scholarship Store in Los Angeles. The proceeds go to scholarships for students. Someone (I forget who) on Instagram suggested the Megan Longline Cardigan Pattern by Tessuti so I bought the PDF.
  4. Ever since I saw Libby’s beautiful Deer & Doe Fumeterre skirt, I wanted to make one. I love long skirts. We follow each other on Instagram  and met in person earlier this year when she was in the Bay Area. She was wearing her Fumeterre. (She’s @liblib and I’m @csews on IG.)
  5. I bought two different denim fabrics at Mood Fabrics on my most recent trip to NYC to make some jeans. You can see the fabric in this post. At least one pair will be trouser jeans, using this Butterick 5682. I need to replace the RTW trouser jeans I’ve worn to death. Maybe I can copy my old pair one of these days.
  6. I got this Jalie 3248 cardigan pattern back when Pattern Review held its sewing event in San Francisco in 2013. It’s been buried in my pattern stash. When I bought it, I had only sewn about two knit tops on my sewing machine so I was wary about making it. I was intimidated by the recommended fabric note to use a knit with “40% stretch across the grain and 20% in the length.” I didn’t have a serger back then and I didn’t know much about the stretch of a fabric. That doesn’t bother me now so I’m more than ready to make this pattern. I like the pockets and it has 27 sizes (!) from girls to plus sizes. I could make versions for my nieces.
  7. I have a pair of RTW pants that are similar to these sailor pants but they are getting a little too frayed to wear in public. I wore them all the time. It seems that all my favorite pants need to be replaced. Thus my dire need for more pants. When I saw this Sandra Betzina Vogue pattern (V1464), I had to get it. It was released this fall. I bought some designer bottom-weight black fabric on sale at Stonemountain this summer. One of these pieces will be a pair of pants.
  8. I got this Butterick pattern (B5893) when there was a $1.99 sale last month. I wanted a super easy pants pattern. You can’t get any easier than an elastic-waist pair of pants.
  9. I’ve had the Sewaholic Robson trench coat pattern (#9) for at least two years, maybe more. In 2014 I bought some Michael Kors fabric for this coat in Seattle at District Fabric. I confess that I’ve set it aside because I remember reading a post by someone who said it took forever to trace the pattern pieces because there were so many pieces. Maybe I’ll just buy a second copy and save myself the hours of tracing. Erin of Seamstress Erin, underlined her Robson,which is a great idea. I would really like a trench coat which is perfect for Bay Area weather.

I also like vintage and out-of-print patterns. So I made another 2017 Make Nine for those patterns, which include dresses, hats, pants, and skirts. I got the vintage Vogue hat pattern from Nettie of Sown Brooklyn. She very kindly gifted it to me after she posted it on Instagram and I commented that I loved it. Ah, the generosity of sewcialists is boundless! Thank you, Wanette!

Sewing plans 2017 - vintage and out-of-print patterns for dresses, hats, pants and skirts

Of these patterns, the only one in print is the Butterick reissue from 1961 (B6318), part of the company’s “Retro” line. I got the cloche sun hat pattern released by the Vintage Pattern Lending Library from Lacis in Berkeley. I looked on the VPLL site to see if it was still available but I didn’t find it there. You may be able to find a copy at Lacis. Call the retail store (510/843-7290) or search their online catalog here (on the left side of the page, under the heading “Tools & Materials,” click on the link “Costume” and then you’ll see “Patterns” and a list of pattern companies.)

I love the tie-waist of the Butterick dress. Maybe I’ll make it for the Bay Area Sewists’ Frocktails event in February.

I just realized that I left off the Named Mimosa Culottes. I’m making a second muslin and hope to get that underway as well. I’ve already got fabric for it.

I don’t think I’ll make everything because new patterns are always being released and I get easily distracted. The pattern queue is always changing.

What’s in your 2017 Make Nine?

2017 Make Nine - Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater, Deer & Doe Fumeterre Skirt, Sewaholic Robson trench coat, Butterick 5682 trouser jeans

2017 Make Nine - sewing plans for the coming year - Vogue 1464, Butterick 5893, Megan Longline Cardigan by Tessuti, Jalie 3248 drop-pocket cardigan

Sewing patterns, sewing queues and sewing projects

I buy sewing patterns in spurts. They tend to be impulse buys or maybe it’s a pattern I’ve been eyeing for a while but haven’t decided if I really want to get it. And then I see an email about a sale so I buy it. Or it’s a pattern I’ve seen on someone’s Instagram feed. If it’s sold out or out of print (OOP), I go to eBay or Etsy to hunt it down.

Here are some of the sewing patterns I’ve either purchased or have been generously gifted to me since the summer. I’ve listed them roughly in reverse chronological order – the most recent additions to my pattern collection appearing first. (Please excuse the bad photos. They are rather blurry and dark.)

I got this Kwik Sew patttern to make a cardigan for my husband – a birthday present for him. You can read more about why I picked this pattern here. I haven’t sewn any Kwik Sew patterns yet. I like that the paper is white and printed in color. It’s nice to have the sizes in different colors. I bought this pattern on eBay for $10.25 because it’s OOP. It’s uncut and like new. Apparently newer Kwik Sew patterns are on tissue paper. Darn. So if you have look for OOP patterns to get the white paper.

Kwik Sew men's cardigan sewing pattern 3724

Last week, the McCall’s pattern company had a sewing patterns sale on nearly all of its patterns. Kwik Sew, Butterick and get any simpler than pants with an elastic waist! I like the wide legs on these pants. And then I saw this vintage reissue, which I had noticed several weeks ago when I was looking at vintage patterns. I just love how it wraps around the waist. So I got these three Butterick patterns.

Butterick sewing patterns - B6318 Vintage reissue dress '61 - B6392 - Misses' Wrap - B5983 shorts and pants

In September, during #bpSewvember –  Bimble and Pimble‘s Instagram photo challenge, @sownbrooklyn posted this image of two vintage hat patterns that she got as part of a Craiglist haul. (She blogs at Sown Brooklyn.) And I commented that I loved the pattern on the right. And guess what? She offered to send it to me! I was thrilled to accept and got the pattern a few days later. The hats look like something Audrey Hepburn would have worn.  Thank you, Wanett!

Vintage Vogue hat patterns

Just a few months earlier a lovely Bay Area Sewists member gave me the vintage 1959 McCalls sewing pattern below. I love both versions of this dress – a full skirt and the sleek sheath. Here are both patterns.

Vintage Vogue 6411 hat sewing pattern, vintage McCalls 5056 sewing pattern

I’ve become a little obsessed with pants (trouser) sewing patterns. I really need some new pants because most of mine are a little too tight because I’ve gained weight over the past year. Plus my favorite pair of trouser jeans are too worn out to wear in public any longer. I may try to copy those but in the meantime, I bought some medium-weight denim when I was in New York in August and a couple of months later I got this Butterick pattern B5682. I want to make the trouser version.

Butterick sewing pattern B5682 - jeans and trousers

And last, but certainly not least, are the indie patterns I’ve purchased over the past several months I first saw Deer and Doe’s Fumeterre skirt on Libby, an Aussie sewist who I first “met” on Instagram. When she came to San Francisco in May for a work conference, we went to Britex Fabrics and she wore this skirt. I loved her version. I got the pattern at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley, which carries more than 40 indie pattern lines in their brick-and-mortar and online store. Here’s a link to the online pattern store.

I also got the Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater pattern at Stonemountain. I got some wool double-knit fabric to make Version One of the Toaster Sweater. I saw a few versions on Instagram and had to buy it.

Indie sewing patterns - Deer and Doe, Christine Haynes and Sew House Seven

I’m a longtime fan of Christine Haynes. I bought her first book Chic & Simple Sewing and made quite a few garments from it. I even interviewed her on my blog back in 2012, back when she only had a couple of sewing patterns out. You can read the interview here.

So that about sums up most of the patterns I’ve bought over the past six months. I think this will keep me busy for 2017! I’ve got a rather long sewing queue now, not to mention other sewing projects that are underway. I’m not a speedy sewist because I only have time to work on things a little bit at a time. But my main priorities are trousers and tops, which I why I’m really enamored with the Toaster Sweater. However, I may make the Butterick dress for the Bay Area Sewists Frocktails event in February.

What are your sewing plans for the new year?