Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Marcy Tilton 8934 for Vogue

I have wanted to make this Marcy Tilton raincoat for such a long time!  I love the shape -- sort of like a Japanese lantern.  It is fitted through the shoulders and then has some flare that is controlled at the bottom with a series of eight darts.  And, I have had the fabric that I wanted to use forever.  It's from Apple Annie Fabric and I have no idea what the composition is.  It's an embossed very light weight, almost plastic feeling fabric.  When I bought it I had no idea what I would use it for until I saw this pattern and decided they were made for each other. 

Because the fabric is so thin, and I knew I wanted to be able to wear the coat more than on a rainy summer day, I decided to line it with a flannel back lining -- this one is a beautiful lipstick red from Sawyer Brook.  It was so slippery that I had to use a dual feed foot to control it as I sewed.  The pattern has a hidden placket for the buttonholes. 

In between the front and the front band is a double row of rattail cord.  Because I didn't think the fabric would press well, I interfaced the collar and the front facings with black silk organza that I sewed in.


I think the coat runs large.  I cut a Small with no alterations.  When it was finished I did shorten the sleeve a bit.  So, for those of you who are taller than a mere 5'3" you may want to consider the length. 

Absolutely love the coat and would consider making it again in a very different fabric, perhaps including some of the design elements suggested in one of the other versions.  The directions were excellent and easy to follow.  


Monday, July 21, 2014

McCalls 6741 Quick and Easy

This worked up quickly for daughter-in-law Sheryl.  We had done the muslin last year and she had purchased the fabric but then it was put aside for warmer weather.  The fabric is a pretty peachy sherbert swiss dot and the lining is a bright aqua light weight cotton.  The dress has princess seams as well as a center front seam that ends several inches below the neckline so it can stay up or fold back to reveal the blue lining.

There are pockets in the princess seams which made Sheryl very happy!  This version had short cap sleeves which we eliminated and just hand stitched the lining to the fashion fabric around the arm. 

The dress needed very little alteration.  I eliminated about 1 inch in two different spots through the pattern before cutting since she is just 5 feet, and as you can probably see, there is a very small hem because of the fullness in the skirt.  So if one is on the taller side you definitely want to add some length before cutting!

Cool, breezy, comfortable and pretty for these hot days!



Something for young nephew.  Pillow is machine embroidered with designs from Urban Threads - Steampunk Alphabet for his monogram and Steam Motifs arranged on either side .  I love the designs from Urban Threads as they are very unusual and a little on the edgy side.  As you can see from the close ups, the detail is exquisite.  I did think the build up of threads was a little excessive.  I'd have to work with them more but on the compass rose, I thought some of the layering of stitching was a little bit too much.

The pillow is 18" x 18" and was embroidered on the Majestic Hoop.  I've owned it for a while now but this was my first time using it.  It worked perfectly eventually.  I say that because it took me a long time to figure out that the design had to be transferred directly from my computer to my machine.   Using the USB, which is my preferred method, just didn't work.  I kept getting an error message that 'the color block placed on both sides of the hoop was not allowed."  It took me most of a day to track down a solution which worked perfectly.

The other problem I had was completely my own doing.  For those who haven't used the majestic hoop, it stitches out one side first and the you turn your hoop for the stitching on the other side.  While it was stitching the first side, I tugged at the fabric in the hoop a bit to straighten it.  Big mistake because when I turned the hoop, the design didn't completely line up and I had to do a fair amount of editing to get them lined up.  There is still a spot in the middle of the "J" that I'm not really happy with.  Why I didn't realize that earlier is beyond me. 

The back has a hidden zipper and on the flap is a vintage clock face and button. 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I've not done a lot of sewing for me lately, but have been doing some home sewing.  I needed pillows for window seat in bay windows.  These three are machine embroidered.  The first two are done with Mosaic Tile designs from Husqvarna Viking.

The third is done with African Jewels designs from Hatched in Africa.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

True Elegance

Steve is away in Atlanta for a bit so I am catching up on old movies.  I watched Funny Face last night with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire.  

What clothes!  Look at the red tie belt on Astaire's trousers!

Audrey Hepburn's style takes my breath away....

Even when 'hanging out' the clothing is elegant.

 Fred Astaire was 60 years old when Funny Face was made -- wish I could move like that!

 Oh, to be able to dress like that again...


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sheryl's Skirt Finished

A few weeks ago I had posted about a skirt I was making for my daughter-in-law.  It is a simple , nearly straight skirt, with a faced waistband.  It is made with some lovely wool that is at least twenty years old and purchased by my mother back when we had actual stores that sold garment fabric in every city and town!  What made this skirt a bit challenging is that we wanted slash pockets and, believe it or not, I could not find a pattern with no waistband and slash pockets, so I had to do a bit of drafting.

This ended up being a hybrid of McCall 3830 with the front edited for the slash pockets and pocket facings and linings drafted.  We had to play around a bit to get the right distance away from the side seam for the pocket opening.

Because I didn't like the look of the plaid of the pocket facing and the front panel so close together (even though they matched), I inserted some flat piping from a nice black corded fabric I had in my stash.  Sheryl didn't want the wool against her skin, so the waistband facings are done in black linen and not the skirt fabric.  The skirt is lined with bemberg rayon.

I didn't want the pocket openings to stretch, so both the pocket openings and the waistband have Sewkeys fusible woven stay tape over the seam line.  This is the first time I've used Sewkeys and it is a beautiful stay tape -- very light weight. I found that when I was sewing my side seams, the wool was so smooth and soft that there was a small bit of slippage.  Because I wanted the match to be as close as possible I changed to a dual feed or walking foot.  Since I'm not a quilter, I don't often find the occasion to use this foot, but it worked so beautifully in keeping my fabric from shifting, that I may employ it more often. 


I am happy with the result even though it was a bit of struggle since I was on unfamiliar territory with the pockets.  I like when I can learn from something as simple as a skirt and between using the
Sewkeys stay tape for the first time, employing my walking foot to keep my side seams perfectly aligned, in addition to the drafting for the pockets, this simple skirt was a pretty valuable learning experience.  We did two muslins so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it fits well!  Hopefully she will get to wear it once or twice since it is still in the twenties here in New England!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PJs - Kwik Sew 3945

I'm just a bit late for the December Birthdays of my twin grand-nieces, Molly and Hannah.  I decided that age 10 was an appropriate age for fancy lounging pajamas.  The only pattern I could find that had lots of variations for cuffs, pockets and collars was Kwik Sew 3945.  So, here they are....

I must say Kwik Sew is not my favorite pattern company, as cute as this pattern is.  They call for 1/4 inch seam allowances which I would never use on a grown up garment, but for pajamas it worked out fine as I serged all seams.  It also does not call for a back facing.  The side facings go as for as the shoulder seams and are tacked down.  I did this as I was in a bit of a hurry, but next time I would definitely draft a back facing.  It doesn't take that much time and I think it is a more polished look. 
It also called for finishing the cuff prior to stitching the entire leg length, then stitching the leg and tacking down the seam at the bottom.  This made no sense to me.  I stitched the entire leg without folding up the cuff, then folded the cuff to cover the seam allowance where it attached to the rest of the leg and topstitched --  much better looking.  It was, however, a bit bulky where the all serged edges met -- next time I don't think I will serge the cuff side seam but will only stitch it and press the seam open since that seam will be completely closed once the cuff is folded and topstitched. 

So, they are ready for delivery.  Since they live a long distance away, I can only hold my breath and hope they fit!!


Friday, January 3, 2014

A Review: Linda Lee, Underneath It All

I just finished taking Linda Lee, Underneath It All, a Craftsy class, and I have never enjoyed an on line class so much.  First, a bit about Craftsy classes.  I came late to the table taking them.  Someone whose opinion I value recommended them to me and so I hesitantly waited until they went on sale (they do go on sale for almost half price periodically) and signed up for a few.

I have always admired Linda Lee, the owner of Sewing Workshop patterns.  I think she has wonderful technique, that her patterns are beautifully drafted, but most particularly because she brings beauty to the simplest designs by her innovative combinations of fabrics in unexpected ways.  I find her work to be elegant.

In this class she covers various interfacings, facings, interlinings, underlinings, and linings (including drafting a lining when your pattern provides none).  She teaches calmly, methodically, and thoroughly.  The classes are divided into chapters and some of them are as long as 38 minutes, but the time flies by.  I honestly took away so much new information, so many new ideas, and so much reinforcement of things I may have known once but had forgotten.

If you have a chance to take this, please do.  Another side note about Craftsy classes.  I did take one on bridal veils that I felt was not up to the standard it should be.  I had found as much information on the subject from on line blogs and a book or two.  When I brought it to Craftsy's attention, they apologized and credited my account.  I hadn't asked for or expected that.  But, I think it speaks to their desire to present high quality classes that even seasoned sewers can learn from.