Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen – And Maria Denmark!

Here’s a bit of trivia to store away for a future giveaway – just sayin’

When I was ten years old I started taking voice lessons with Nancy Marsh Hartman, a wonderful teacher in my town. My very first recital was in May of that year, and the song that I used to open said recital was… you guessed it, “Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen” from the movie ‘Hans Christian Andersen’. As you can imagine, ever since I was ten I have wanted to visit to see what the city was like. This year, I finally got my chance! DH found out in May that he was going to his company’s user group meeting in Europe. In past years, those have taken place in Paris, Barcelona, London and then this year, Copenhagen! So after visiting London and Melissa, I headed to Denmark to spend 4 wonderful days.

When I tagged along to the Barcelona trip, DH and I took a bike tour of the city, and it was fantastic! So when I knew I was going to Copenhagen, I decided to take a bike tour as well. Unlike London, they ride fully clothed in Copenhagen ūüėāūüėāūüėā

I chose the Greatest Hits of Copenhagen tour, which was great. It was 2.5 hours, about 12 km total. I do spin class 2-3 times per week, and Copenhagen in City Center and along the harbor are pretty flat, so it was an easy ride. There were only three of us on the tour, and our guide is originally from California. It was so much fun! Here are pictures:

This is the Parliament building. The area in front is the parade/exercise grounds for the royal horses.
This is Neuhavn – the most famous and most photographed part of the city, except for one little statue (more on that later)
Can we. PLEASE. for the love of God, STOP with the locks!? They destroy the bridges.
The Opera House, which was a gift to the Queen (and therefore the people) of Denmark by the owner of Maersk Shipping
A panorama of the Royal Residences.
Different Uniform, but Bearskin Hats!

And finally, I mentioned a little statue that seems to get all the attention? Here she is:

Unlike the Disney version, Hans Christian Andersen’s was a sad princess…

When I went to Barcelona, I got to meet up with Paco Peralta. In London, I spent the day with Melissa, and this trip, I got to spend lots of time with Maria of Maria Denmark!

We spent time at her studio, which is amazing! And we spent time with her son, who is amazing and delightful! We went to an open air market that has little shops and food courts, and a beautiful fishmonger.

 

 

If I lived there, I would buy all of it!

I also spent several hours in Illums Bolligshus, the grande dame of Danish design. Can I just say? It was BEAUTIFUL!

I’m not a Mid Century Modern gal, but I luuuurve their designs!

I SO WANT this lamp!

Okay, other things that happened: REAL Danish Pastry:

SO much better than the crap they try to pass off in this country.
War Pigs – one of the best breweries in Europe. Thanks Melissa for pointing us there!

And on my bike tour, we passed by a shop that had not one, but FOUR baritone saxophones in the window. I had to take DH there – he’s a saxophone player! The shop, for those who are interested, is I.K Gottfried. They have been in existence since 1796! The website (NAYY) is www.gottfried.dk.

That’s a boatload of bari’s!

I told him, when we took our bikes from the hotel, that I wanted to take him there. I think he liked it!

They had baris, tenors, altos, and specially made mezzo sopranos (G scale).

He ended up testing mouthpieces (it’s a horn player thing). They gave him a Selmer Mark VI to play several with.¬†He fell in love with a mouthpiece that was handmade by one of the techs at the shop, and hey, it’s Father’s Day, so…

Happy sax player!

Maria Has a Magazine, and it’s coming to the US!

Did you know that Maria publishes a magazine? It’s called Sysiden, and it’s coming to the US! It’s geared toward the intermediate to advanced sewing aficionado!!!! I had the good fortune to view the Danish version while I visited with her. It’s FANTASTIC! I have no affiliation, but I am SO excited! I am glad there are lots of magazines and e-zines for beginners, but there is a vast chasm that needs to be filled for the higher-skilled sewists.

She is planning to release it state-side later this year. I’ll post more when I have dates.

One last thing – I discovered a delightful tradition in Copenhagen: throws for outside. Copenhagen is pretty far north (55.67 degrees latitude), so while the sun stays up late in summer, it still gets pretty chilly. To ward off the chill, while still enjoying the sun, Danes supply throws to keep you warm. What a wonderful, hospitable tradition. I’m going to incorporate it at home, especially as the summer wanes and turns to fall.

Happy sewing!

Please Don’t…

… Include me in your feuds with other vendors.

Yesterday I received a rather odd email. Here’s the text, though I’ve removed all identifying information.

‚ÄčHello,
I’m just letting you know of something that recently happened to me regarding XYZ and why I am not ordering fabric online any longer from anyone.

I ordered 3 items online from XYZ.  The order went through perfectly, and according to the receipt, I would be charged for the 3 items plus shipping.  However, when the order came in, there were only 2 items in the shipment.  I called XYZ to find out what happened and was told that the 3rd item was sold out.  When I checked my bank statement online, I was charged for 2 items plus shipping on 3 items.  XYZ did not reduce the shipping; therefore, I told them I would not be ordering fabric online any longer and that I would advise all my sewing friends, my club, and the American Sewing Guild of their deceitful practices.

I figured she had sent the email to me by mistake, meaning it to go to the company in question, so I sent her back a quick note, assuming that would be the end of it:

Hi  [name redacted],

I’m very sorry to hear that happened to you. This is not XYZ. I think you should let them know, I’m sure they would want to be aware of it.
Thanks.
Ann
Gorgeous Fabrics

To my surprise, I immediately received this email back:

I am well aware that you are not XYZ, and I did let them know. I am letting everyone know, every person, every fabrics company, every sewing organization in the state and country. Taking advantage of people is reason to put them out of business.

Wow.

This is the second time I’ve received an email like this. The first was castigating a colleague who was a professional dressmaker. It devastated her, and it angered me, because I know she was a very hard worker and a solid professional. The company in question here is a long-time business that has a good reputation, though I know from personal experience that no matter how hard you try, sometimes mistakes are made, and customers end up unhappy. Any good business, including the one in question here, tries to take care of things. If you have a problem with a company, there are means of getting your complaint heard. First, work with them, and if the solution isn’t satisfactory, tell them. There’s also Yelp, Angie’s List, BBB… the list goes on and on. And if all else fails, you can open a dispute with your credit card company.

But please, don’t send me emails excoriating another company. I have nothing to do with the operation. I can’t help you, and I’m not likely to feel much sympathy.

I have to take Hoover to the vet this afternoon. Poor old boy is acting very creaky so we want to see if he’s in any pain or if there is something we can give him to soothe his joints. But tomorrow – Copenhagen and Maria!

Update at 9:00 PM EDT, Hoover is okay! He’s 13 ¬Ĺ years old, and yes, he’s an old dog. A little arthritic, but otherwise in good shape. His hips, elbows and joints are okay. We’ll try supplements and a dog food that has lots of Omega3 fatty acids for the next few weeks and see how he responds. But the great news is that there is nothing neurological or major going on. He’s just an old boy. Phew!

 

Tip: Sewing Buttons to Eliminate Distortion

Two holes, parallel to the opening, less distortion

Here’s an easy little tip I learned from the local tailor in town. When stitching buttons onto a garment, most noticeably buttons that have two holes, match the direction of the button’s stitching holes to the direction of the buttonhole. This eliminates distortion of your buttonhole and extra stress on the threads attaching the button, especially if you are making a shirt or shirt dress. Now, mind you, it’s a little thing¬†on many fabrics, but ¬†if it’s¬†something you want to have for years, why not make sure it will last without undue stress, right? Think of it as sewing mindfulness.

Is it huge using a stitch that’s 90 degrees off from the buttonhole? Well, it depends.¬†

Pattern Review: McCalls M7470 Shirt Dress

Pattern Description: From McCalls’ website, “Semi-fitted collared shirt and dresses have front and back princess seams, front and back yoke, sleeve and length variations. A: Shirttail hem. A, B, C: Long sleeves with pleat and button cuff. A, C, D: Pockets. C, D: Self-belt. C: Button tabs. D: Sleeveless.”

I made View D, but I cut it off at the length for View C and omitted the breast pockets and self-belt.

Sizing: 6-22. I made a 12

Available as a PDF? I don’t believe so.

Fabric Used: Textured Cotton Shirt-Weight – Blue/Teal Tones from Gorgeous Fabrics. That is, alas, sold out, but Here is the Same Fabric in a Different Colorway.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2030 sewing machine, Juki MO645DE serger

Needle/Notions Used: Fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. I don’t see this one on the site, so it may be discontinued, but I would use ProSheer Elegance. Universal 70/10 needle, iron, ironing board, sleeve board, silk organza press cloth, buttons, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix, Sew From Wide to Narrow

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes, though mine is shorter than the pattern as sold.

Fitting Adjustments that I made This is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern, which gives loads of instructions and lines on the pattern for adjusting the fit. I love these patterns for that reason. I made a straight up muslin and it fit pretty well, but not perfectly. I made a full bust adjustment, along with a small swayback adjustment. The FBA gave me more ease through the waist, so I’ll probably wear this with a belt, though it looks nice without one. I also adjusted the left shoulder to remove gapping at the back of the armhole thanks to a skiing accident 6 years ago.

How were the instructions? Good. This is a pretty straightforward design, and the Palmer-Pletsch fitting instructions are always excellent.

Construction Notes: The stripes on this fabric run from selvage to selvage, so I used a cross-grain layout. I toyed with the idea of cutting the center front bands and yokes on the bias, but I decided to go with the straight grain/cross grain instead.

I sewed the seams with a 2.5 mm stitch, and used a 3-thread overlock stitch to finish all the raw edges. I didn’t bother to topstitch the princess seams because I wanted to keep the look more airy than structured. I used a selvage of silk organza to stabilize the bias opening edge of the pockets.

One thing I noted on my Instagram Feed is that, when dealing with bias facings, like those used on this pattern, you need to treat them gently so they don’t stretch out too much in advance of sewing them in place. In this case, I cut out the fabric a couple of weeks ago, and in the moving around of pattern pieces over that time, one of the facings got stretched way out. Fortunately I had enough fabric to re-cut, but it’s worth keeping bias pieces out of the way and out of traffic. And when sewing and pressing them, treat them kindly and don’t apply too much tension or pressure to them. You’ll be glad you did.

I turned up the hem, trimmed it to 5/8″ and made a narrow hem. For that, and all topstitching, I used a 3.5 mm stitch length.

Likes/Dislikes: This pattern is very well drafted, and as noted above, the fitting instructions are excellent.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I probably won’t do it again, just because I have lots of other patterns I want to make. But I will be traveling this summer and this will be coming with me. I definitely recommend it.

Conclusion: A great pattern! Here are pictures on Shelley:

Front
Back

 

Left

Upper front detail
Back Yoke Detail

Haven’t been doing much sewing lately because…

Look who graduated from college!

DS the Elder graduated from UMass! What a wonderful Mother’s Day gift that was. I wore my Butterick B6446 and my Vogue V1527 coat. One of the physics professors (his major) stopped me in the hallway to say, “That’s a beautiful coat!” That made my day ūüėä

Well, that plus the graduation.

Happy sewing!

Sew the Current Trends, and Save 20% Off the Featured Fabrics!

Good afternoon, campers! I’ve been busy as can be on several things. You’ll see the fruits of my labors over the next days, and if you follow me on Instagram you can see the slow progress I’m making on my current project. But in the meanwhile, here’s a post that everyone seems to love: Gorgeous Fabrics/pattern combinations to make your own versions of the most current trends in fashion!

Trend 1: The Corset

I love¬†the idea of a Deeta von Teese corseted look, unfortunately,¬†it isn’t something that I can pull off. But just about anyone can manage a corset belt, and one of the ways to make it modern is to wear it cinched¬†over a duster style¬†dress. As luck would have it, BCN Unique Patterns released their Duster Dress and Sash just this week. Make the duster using our¬†Super Soft and Drapey Linen Twill ‚Äď Heathered Dark Brown¬†paired with a wide belt made from our¬†Sueded Leather ‚ÄúCorduroy‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Decadent Chocolate. You’ll be front-row-ready for any Paris show!

Trend 2: Off-Duty Model Denim

 

All the top models are sporting denim this spring, but not the skinny jeans that have been so ubiquitous in the last couple of years. No, the silhouettes range from voluminous dresses worthy of Tilda Swinton¬†to denim “suits” done up with mom-jeans and jean jackets. My personal favorite is the one that Vogue showed on model¬†Frederikke Sofie in Paris: an easy coat thrown over a denim jumpsuit. Make your very own version by pairing Stretch Denim – Black Wash with McCalls M7330 jumpsuit. Finish it off with a chic topper made by combining Italian Suit Weight Flannel – Black with¬†¬†Burda Style¬†01/2016 #127 Shell Jacket. You’ll have a look you can wear three seasons of the year! (skip the cigarette, though)

Trend 3: Hollywood A-List Casual

Want street style like Reese, Nicole, Shaileen or other A-listers? The cute-but-casual look is all the rage for shopping along Brighton Way. It’s easy to make and easy to wear, good for everything from a weekend on the Vineyard to picking the kids up at school. Make a Breton style top with our¬†Rule Bretagne Beefy Striped Jersey ‚Äď Navy/White¬†and¬†Liesl + Co.’s Maritime¬†Knit Top. Anchor the look with a cool, casual skirt made from our¬†Dress Whites Designer Denim ‚Äď White¬†and Seamwork’s Leonora¬†skirt. Instant paparazzi bait!

Trend 4 – You’re Blushing!

The blush pink trend that launched in 2016 shows no signs of abating. A look I love takes a mannish suit and makes it in pink. The pink tones down the androgyny while the androgynous cut of the suit takes away any saccharine tendencies of the pink. ¬†To get the look, pair our¬†Italian Double Faced Satin ‚Äď Peach Puree/Blossom Pink with Named Patterns’ Aava Tailored Blazer and StyleArc’s Eddie Pleated Pants. Now, that’s¬†a uniform for a tough-gal princess. Oh, and an added bonus – if you don’t want all pink all the time, you can make the jacket using one face of the fabric, and the pants from the other.

Save on All the Featured Fabrics Through Friday!

And to give you even more inspiration, you can save 20% on each of the fabrics featured in this article through Friday, April 21st!

No coupon necessary, the markdown is already taken for you.

I hope that gives you some inspiration for your spring sewing. Spring is coming to Boston – slowly! Until next time, which should be soon…

Happy sewing!

Butterick 5678 Shirt Version 3 – Stripes!

ETA at 9:43 PM. I took a couple more pictures of the shirt, and the pockets just looked off no matter how I tweaked things (technically the pockets were level). That¬†would have driven me crazy, so I removed the right breast pocket. It’s purely decorative anyway, and I took it off before the stitches had a chance to leave permanent marks. So now I only have one pocket, and no weirdness do deal with. Yay!

 

I’ve already reviewed this pattern¬†, and I made a second version in a lacy eyelet fabric, so I’ll only tell you the differences this time. Alas, this pattern is now out of print, but Vogue¬†has a pretty close approximation in V9029. The big difference between the two is that this pattern (meaning the Butterick) has B/C/D cup sizes, so most of the work is done for you.

The last time I made this pattern was 4 years ago. It’s a classic; it still looks fresh. To remind you, this pattern is a shoulder-princess-line blouse with sleeve, collar, (Oxford comma!) and length variations. I made a hybrid of all the different versions this time. Once again I made a size 12/D-cup at the shoulder, giving myself a little more room at the waist (sigh…)

The fabric I used this time is a stretch cotton striped shirting that was a gift from a very dear friend/fabric vendor. I can’t get any more of it, and I loved it so much I hoarded it for myself, sorry. Sort of. (Bad Ann! No biscuit for you or Gorgeous Fabrics!)

I ran this up on my Pfaff for the most part, and finished the seams on my Juki serger. Alas, my trusty Pfaff is having major trouble with the automatic buttonholer, so I wasn’t able to finish it until I brought Skippy the Emergency Backup Sewing Machine (an old Bernina) home from the office today. I adore my Pfaff’s automatic buttonholer, because you can pretty much set it and forget it, but I’ll give Skippy credit, the Bernina makes a beautiful buttonhole.

I used Pro-Woven Shirt Crisp interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply for the collar and cuffs. The buttons are Pearl Shell Shirt Buttons, also from Fashion Sewing Supply.

Construction Notes: I love working with stripes and playing with grain, as you know if you have seen the Article I Wrote for Threads Magazine. For this version, I decided to have a little fun. I made a half-pattern of the collar and cut it on the bias. As a side note, I probably should have made an under-collar pattern as well, to force turn of the cloth. Oh well. Next time. Back to the bias. This produces some fun results. First, you get the chevron at the Center Back:

Playing with stripes really makes me happy!

Second, when the collar is closed (which in reality it never will be on me, but that’s a neither here nor there) the stripes match across the center front:

Have I told you I love working with stripes?

I also cut the sleeve band on the bias.

Just for the fun of it

Finally, I took a hint from the Paco Peralta for Vogue Patterns 1527 Blouse and made the last buttonhole horizontal (the rest run vertically).

A cool designer touch
BTW, the pockets are level. I don’t know if it’s lighting or the angle that I took the picture from (slightly below) that makes them look off.

Once again, this pattern produced a winner of a shirt! I love the lines, I love the cup sizes, and I love this pattern! Here are shots on Shelley. I’ll get some on me later.

Not sure what’s next on my sewing docket. It’s FINALLY starting to feel like March around here. Oh wait, it’s April. Anyway, I’m thinking something spring like. I’ll let you know once I know.

Happy sewing!

And the Winner of the $100 Gift Certificate Is…

I ran the random.org random number generator which gave me

That means the winner is,
Drumroll, please
.
.
.
.
.
Tanya! Congratulations to Tanya, enjoy your $100 store credit at Gorgeous Fabrics. And thank you all for playing, and thank you again for your support!

I’ve been putting up dozens of new fabrics, and more are on the way, so check the NEW section often. Thanks for the last 10 years. Here’s the future!

Happy sewing!
Ann

Pattern Review: StyleArc Diana Tank Top

Exactly 5 years ago, I made this top. I wore it tons in the summer of 2012, until I spilled something on it that wouldn’t come out, so I recycled it. The pattern sat in my pattern stash until today, when, as a diversion from trying to decide what to make with some Milly Silk I have (see my Instagram if you want more about that). I wanted something quick and easy, so I pulled it out.

Pattern Description: From StyleArc’s website, “Particularly attractive neckline slightly fitted top”
My addition to that: Semi-fitted tank top with deep v-neck.

Sizing: 4-30. I made the 10.

Available as a PDF? Yes, through their Etsy Shop

Fabric Used: White Silk Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. This is left over from another top I made several years ago. That fabric is sold out, but there are other silk jerseys available Here.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130, Juki MO654DE, Reliable Iron/board, sleeve board.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/11 needles, scraps of fusible interfacing, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Tricot, It’s Not Just For Linings Any More, The Pressinatrix Feels Compelled.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes.

How were the instructions? Didn’t need them, didn’t use them. This pattern is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

Construction Notes: Because I was using a remnant of silk jersey, I didn’t have quite enough to lay out the pattern pieces (both of them) in the same direction. And because silk jersey will tend to run in high stress areas, I ran a 4-thread serger stitch along the bottom raw edge. Because of the style, it’s not going to see a lot of stress, but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry.

I serged the seams, and instead of just turning and stitching the neckline and armholes, I cut 1-inch wide facings on the bias (to make sure nothing would run). I serged them to the neckline and armhole edges, then I turned them under and stitched them

Wrong side view of the neckline ad armhole facings

Serged side seams, and armhole facing

I used a 2.5mm x .5mm zigzag stitch to finish the hems.

Likes/Dislikes: Easy to make, easy to wear. Nothing to dislike.

One thing to note is the neckline can be pretty low, depending on your build. You might want to raise it a little bit (maybe an inch).

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Absolutely! This is a great wardrobe building pattern. Make a bunch of these in different fabrics for basics you can wear by themselves or under a jacket.

Conclusion: Great pattern! Here are pictures on Shelley:

Front – note the faced neckline blunts the V a bit

Back – this is very bra-friendly

And check it out – a sucky selfie on me!
Oh yeah I am such a supermodel. Bwahahaha!

It’s been in the high 60s for the past few days, so I wanted something springy. I guess I made this top just in time for the temperature to drop closer to normal. Oh well – spring is coming!

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: Vogue V1527 View B Blouse

Long one coming up! I love this type of blouse, and I have since I was young. When I saw Paco had included it as part of his Vogue Pattern V1527 I knew I would have to make it. Then this silk came across my desk and the rest is history…


Pattern Description: (From Vogue’s website) Loose-fitting blouse has collar extending into tie, back yoke extending into forward shoulder seams and French cuffs.

Sizing: 4-18, I made a 12

Available as a PDF? No

Fabric Used:

Note: Theresa pointed out that the pattern requires 3.5 yards and that seems like a lot. I pulled 3.5 yards per the instructions and I have a solid yard left over.  I think the yardage requirements are wrong. Do yourself a favor, especially if you have an expensive fabric, and measure the pattern. Realistically, on a size 12 body, 2.5 yards  of 45 inch fabric should do a blouse unless you have a very large print that you are trying to match.

White 3-ply Silk Crepe from Gorgeous Fabrics. Silk crepe is my favorite fabric to work with! This fabric is SOOOOOOO amazing. It’s got a heavy, luxurious drape to it, and it feels amazing. Swoon! I also used Wide Silk Organza – Off White for the cuffs (more on that later).

Even better, both these fabrics are still available! That almost never happens. I usually don’t get the chance to sew something until the fabric is long since sold out, so it’s a treat to show you a fabric that’s on the site. Did I mention we have our 10th anniversary sale going on right now? Get 10% off, plus US shipping is flat $10, regardless of how much you order! International peeps get a $10 gift certificate upon ordering, good for a future purchase.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2030, Juki MO654DE serger, Reliable iron and board, sleeve board, ham/stand, shoulder stand, pressing finger, bamboo chopstick, point presser.

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 60/8 needle in the sewing machine, Universal 70/10 needles in the serger. Vilene Shirt interfacing (a gift from Paco Peralta last year), pearl buttons, self-covered buttons, basting thread, thread, hand needles.

This interfacing isn’t available in the US, but any good shirt-weight interfacing will work as well.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix, of course. Scary Silks,

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes.

How were the instructions? They were fine. This is not a terribly difficult pattern. The fabric choice can make it tricky to work with, but it’s a good pattern for anyone who’s been sewing for a while. If you’re intermediate level you should have no trouble with this.

Construction Notes: I made a muslin to check the fit. It went together pretty readily, but I noticed that the bust point on the pattern was really high:

What the Whut?

The pattern bust point marking is 8 inches from the shoulder line. I checked it against the printed pattern to make sure I didn’t make a transfer error. Nope. 8 inches. I don’t know anyone over about age 10 who has a bust apex 8 inches below the shoulder line.

I tried the muslin on to see if it mattered, and there was a slight drag line between the bust point and the armscye, so yes, it does make a difference, especially if you are large busted. I made a small FBA, mostly to drop the bust point down to where it should be. Drag line gone. I also shortened the sleeves about 5/8 inch, which is not unusual for me with Vogue patterns.

Vogue recommends lightweight fabrics like crepe de chine or charmeuse for this pattern. Because my silk crepe was heavier than recommended, I made some modification to the construction. They have you use French seams for the sleeve and side seams. I did a mockup to see what I thought of it with my 3-ply crepe.

There’s 4 layers of fabric in a straight seam like this.

With this fabric, that would put 8 layers of fabric into the seam at two points – where the yoke joins to the front and back. That’s a lot of bulk, so I decided instead to use standard 5/8 inch seam allowances and finish the raw edges with a 4-thread overlock.


This is a judgement call. If I had used a georgette or charmeuse, the French seam would be great, and would give an elegant finish. But my fabric was heavy enough that I think it would have been a bit of a disaster. I heartily recommend doing mockups with scraps when you are dealing with situations like this.

The pattern recommends using fusible interfacing. I decided instead to use sew-in interfacing. The Vilene that I used is nice and crisp, but I wanted to avoid bulk in the seams, so I cut both the Vilene and I also cut silk organza. I stitched the Vilene to the organza just outside the seamlines. I trimmed the Vilene close to the stitching, leaving just the organza seam allowances. Voila, less bulk!

Stitched Vilene to organza on the bottom, Vilene trimmed from the seam allowances on the top.

I used purchased pearl buttons for the front closure

I made self-covered button cufflinks. I fused a scrap of lightweight interfacing to the silk to give it a bit more support and to make it easier to cover the buttons.

Likes/Dislikes: I love this pattern! It was a pleasure to sew, and the fabric was a joy to work with. The pattern is beautifully drafted and goes together without a hitch. Do test runs of your seams to see how the French seam works with your fabric.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes I would, and yes I do! This is another winner from Vogue and Paco.

Conclusion: A beautiful classic, something that I will wear for years to come. At some point I’ll get a shot on me, but here it is on Shelley:

Happy sewing!

Not Much Sewing Going On Around Here

Man, the winter doldrums have hit hard! Since I got back I have made a total of two things. I copied a Calvin Klein dress for my friend Renee. That dress is one of her favorites, and she asked if I could make her one from (sold out, sorry) Big Bold Chevrons ITY Jersey. It’s a perfect colorway for her, and she loved the bright and graphic print.

On the left, the original CK dress. On the right, the copy made by tracing off a pattern.

I simply traced her dress to create the pattern. The design couldn’t be simpler – it’s a close fitting tank top maxi dress with a flared hemline – more flared than any of the patterns I have without being overwhelming. It’s kind of nice because it gives a lot of freedom of movement to the legs. The pattern is two pieces, and I bound the neckline and armholes with Beyond Basic Black ITY Jersey. The order of construction was:

  1. Stabilize the shoulders with scraps of fusible interfacing.
  2. Stitch the shoulder seams.
  3. Stitch the side seams.
  4. Apply binding to neckline and armholes.
  5. Hem

Ta daa! A dress that took less than 3 hours from starting to trace the pattern to finished garment. I shipped it off to her last week so hopefully she’ll have it soon.

I had enough fabric left over that I decided to make myself a top. This time I did another StyleArc Cold Shoulder Top. Everything is the same as the Last Time I Made This Pattern. I did make sure to carefully place the pattern on the chevrons, to avoid any arrows pointing to the wrong place. Here’s a front/back shot on Shelley

This is one that DEFINITELY looks better on a real person than on Shelley

I haven’t decided what I want to work on next. I need some more knit tops, but I’ll make those from¬†my go-to long sleeve tee, the Ann Tee Top from StyleArc. That’s not really worth a blog post. I also am inspired by Tany’s version of Paco Peralta’s Vogue 1527 Blouse, so I may start making a muslin of that.

So that’s what’s new here. What have you all been sewing?