Hot Patterns Blouse Back Tee: Woven / Knit Combo

20150615-DSC_0064 photo 20150615-DSC_0064_zps9yfrxjh8.jpgYo, I had like the best hair day today. I wasn’t even going to blog these shirts again. But, my hair looked so good I wanted to memorialize this day. I gave myself a little hair trim and have been doing some new things to it and it totally paid me back today #TeamNatural.

Now, to the sewing: I’ve managed to step away from my knitting machine for a few days. Mostly because I don’t have enough clothes for our trip to Canada in two weeks! And, my casual summer work wardrobe is lacking. So, I figured I could whip up some fast tops to take. And, this Hot Patterns Blouse Back Tee might be a near record for me. I’ve made it up four times now. And, I can’t promise this will be the last. For the two  (navy blue and teal) I’m posting today, I took some of your suggestions:

  1. Used a woven sheer for the back
  2. Went down a size for the front
  3. Made my FBA with darts
  4. Decided to keep the original length of the back hem from the pattern.

20150615-DSC_0100 photo 20150615-DSC_0100_zpsblswhr6t.jpg I really like these versions too. I mean, I like this top because it goes together fast, is visually interesting and because it hides a multitude of sins. 20150615-DSC_0105 photo 20150615-DSC_0105_zps8xi1ydzn.jpg Both the sheers are from Kashi at Metro Textile (purchased with MMS photos and texting I might add) were supposed to be beach coverups. And, this navy was supposed to be a University of Michigan shirt for Jordan. So much for that…

Construction Notes: To stabilize the gathers at the back yoke, I used clear elastic. I was concerned that the woven vs knit friction might make stitches pop out if stressed. The clear elastic nicely reinforces my stitching and allows the woven to ‘give’ more. 20150615-DSC_0059 photo 20150615-DSC_0059_zpstmdcv2lr.jpg The rolled hem on the teal went beautifully. Not a single problem. The rolled hem on the blue and white was a nightmare. The hem wouldn’t catch, but I was trimming away at the seam allowance with each pass. I had to shorten the knit side seams on the navy version by four inches to get it to match the woven hem when all was said and done. 20150615-DSC_0098 photo 20150615-DSC_0098_zpstcvag3gr.jpg On the teal, I didn’t have enough fabric to to bind the neckline. So, I just turned it over and coverstitched. I wish I had done it a bit narrower as I have non existent shoulders to begin with. 20150615-DSC_0034 photo 20150615-DSC_0034_zpsyvsi6s1q.jpg For the navy, I did have enough fabric and I finished the sleeve band and the neckline with a bit of trim and coverstitching. Both the fronts are also hemmed on my coverstitch. Looks like I could have pulled that neckband snugger too.

FBA or No?

After my last post on this top, a few suggested I do an FBA with darts. I thought, why not? I’m not a big ‘cheater FBA’ person. I like to do things ‘right’ even if it’s the slower old fashioned way. So, I made a 1 inch darted FBA in the teal version first and felt I could see it rising at center front (below). For the navy version I made a 1.5 inch FBA and think that’s the ticket for me. I added more length than width though. But, I was playing around with the navy version in the mirror and I think I need a larger dart to address some of the drag lines. 20150615-DSC_0083 photo 20150615-DSC_0083_zpstvgiiauv.jpg Anywho, People LOVED these tops on me. I have two knit versions and no one said anything about them. But, out and about the last few days I had people stopping to tell me how cute they were.

Both of these tops were posted on Instagram. But, I know not everyone is one it. And, I can’t babble on like this for a photo site now can I? 20150615-DSC_0089 photo 20150615-DSC_0089_zpsm7zm1ckr.jpg

Party In the Back: Hot Patterns 1170 Fast & Fabulous Blouse-Back T

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48 hours before we left town for a long weekend in Charlotte, NC I decided I needed a new shirt. Well, I’ve been needing summer tops and I decided to sew ALL THE SHIRTS before I left town. I picked the HP Blouse-Back T because it promised to be both Fast and Fabulous and available for a PDF download. Plus, I saw Lori’s version for her daughter and was all over it.

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Pattern: I usually hate PDF paper taping. I’m all about the copy shop pattern copy. But, this was not bad! I taped while talking to Trena on the phone on Tuesday night. Cut and sewed on Wednesday night. And made a second version in red and white (not photographed) on Thursday night. I timed it the second night and it was less than 90 minutes from cut to hem.

Fabric: Hoarded lightweight stripes from PR Weekend in Montreal five years ago (can’t wait to go back to Montreal in a month ) and solid navy cotton from FabricMart. It was destined to be something else, but when I saw them together I was like, ‘duh’.

Since Lori let me know her daughter was 5 ft 9, I knew I’d want to shorten the back a bit (I’m barely 5 ft 6). Now, seeing photos, I might add the length back for skinny jeans.

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Please note in the blue and white stripe version I did the shortening all wrong. I shortened the back at the waist line rather than at the hem. Which means it was too short at the sides so I had to improvise a bit and blend the hem lines on the front and back. And the center front has a curved rather than straight hem because of my changes.

Other Deets:

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I measure into a 14 but sew a 12 in HP knits going by my underbust measurement (34 inches). I contemplated using stripes at the front and totally copying the fashion drawing. But, I was worried about the stripes not being level if I didn’t make a good FBA. I don’t normally need an FBA in HP. But, this time I chose to do a dartless FBA (using the method in ‘The Perfect Fit’ from the Singer Sewing Reference Library) because of fears of it riding up in the front with stripes. I added one inch in length and 1/2 inch in width.

I went with a dartless FBA because the shirt has an easy vibe to it. If I sized down one more, I might make a FBA with darts. But, I’m honestly really pleased with how this came out.

I also narrowed the width of the neckband by two inches.

And chickened out and put the stripes in the back anyway. Partly because the solid navy is heavier than the stripe fabric and the flowiest fabric should be in the back so that it hangs correctly.

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I really really love this little top. Let me know if you think my FBA worked. Or if you think I need more anything before attempting some stripes at the front :-) I plan to make a few more this summer for sure.

I Totally Want a Knitting Machine

A few years ago there was a train wreck of a reality show about a knit bikini designer in LA. All her samples were made on a knitting machine. Until I got a glimpse on that show, I had no idea knitting machines existed. And lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about getting one for myself. But, a few ‘issues’. Only two companies still make metal-bed knitting machines for the home market (which would allow me to do ribbing). One is a newish Chinese company that clones Brother knitting machines and the other is Silver Knitting (Silver Reed/Studio/Singer) which has a long history of machine making. But, after seeing a machine knitting demo today, I think I want a pre-owned Brother with ribber. A new machine is just way out of my budget. Used machines appear to be plentiful on eBay, easy and Craigslist. But, finding one in good working order can be harder. And, I’m not really clear on what they should cost. Especially considering I know *nothing* about how they work. And, they don’t seem as easy to repair as vintage sewing machines. I decided it might be best for me to get a demo from a knitting machine instructor, so I would at least know what I was looking for and what gauge knitting machine (standard or  bulky) I would want. I went to Woolstock north of Baltimore City where the owner, Leslye Solomon, is a machine knitting instructor and author.  photo IMG_20150411_114659352_HDR_zpsn8712bjn.jpg It was a GREAT demo. I mean, I have no idea which gauge machine I want because I liked them both for different reasons. But, the instructor is a big fan of Brother knitting machines (no longer made) and sells the Chinese clone. I feel totally iffy on spending that much money on a new hobby and really iffy on buying a clone.

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Standard gauge with fair isle motif

So, I’m on the hunt for a vintage Brother knitting machine and ribber that actually work (the nearest knitting machine repair shop is two hours from me in Pennsylavania). I’ve got a few online searches set up for one and hope to find a late model Brother and ribber by the end of the year. Gauge? TBD. But, After this demo, I know at least how the machine should work (which I didn’t be fore) and what it should be able to do.

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Bulky gauge with fair isle on the left and sample ‘lace’ and cables on the right

Unlike sewing blogs, machine knitting blogs don’t seem to be as abundant? I’m guessing because machine knitting’s hey dey was in the 80s and before and the women who machine knit aren’t really into blogging? Within my own feed though, I did find four machine knitters, Rachelle at Smoking Needles, Petit Main Sauvage, Kay The Sewing Lawyer and Kathryn from I Made This. Plus, this really interesting article by Karen at Did You Make That? The machines don’t seem to be as popular here on the east coast of the US. But, in the pacific northwest and midwest, business is booming! Plus, in the UK and Europe, there seem to be quite a few machine knitters. I’m assuming the climate has a lot to do with this. There’s also a super active Yahoo group and Facebook group. Great for inspiration photos. I also found a slew of people to follow on Instagram to see their knitting machine work.

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Ribbing along the bottom and stripe sample above

So, what are my machine knitting goals? Pretty modest I think. 1. I’d like to make a couple of scarves a year. I love scarves and manage to lose them more often than I care to admit. Jordan likes scarves too in bright colors but short of cashmere ($$$) good scarves seem hard to find 2. Two sweaters a year would be amazing to me. I LOVE sweaters. I’ve been buying vintage from the 80s sweaters from ebay and the thrift store and trimning them down to size. Why? Because they were actually made of wool instead of cotton or acrylic.

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20 rows in less than three minutes!!

3. A pair of socks every now and then. In winter, I live in wool socks from REI and such. I wear boots most of the winter and would love warm, cute socks. 4. Occasionally, my own knit fabric to do cut and sew projects from. I am able to get great sweater knits at Mood when I go to NY. But, the pilling factor is a gamble. I don’t know how often I would do this. But, it’s nice to know I might have the option of making my own fabric.

Don’t worry. Sewing is still my first love! And, as Amanda pointed out to me yesterday, yarn is expensive.I also muslined my Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan dress over the weekend. I need to raise the neckline another 1.5 inch and shorten the darts. And, I want a slightly less ‘scoop’ to the neck line. So, I’ll do one more version in a poly knit before cutting into my silk jersey.

20150411-DSC_0125 photo 20150411-DSC_0125_zpshp0jhky9.jpg Unfortunately, it’s too low cut to keep as wearable. But, I really ended up liking the scrap fabric combo! And, I could not love this pattern more. So, any other machine knitters out there? Any advice for me?

Review: Hot Patterns 2004: Mr. H.P. Hemmingway Windcheater

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Almost three months past his birthday, Jordan’s got a new jacket! I bought this HP pattern back in 2013 with the thought I would sew it up for a Hanukkah gift. Then, I promised it as a February birthday gift. Luckily, Jordan is patient.

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I love how the HP Windcheater is modeled after high end and very expensive jackets. I submit to you the Filson Fisherman Parka

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At $500 that was never going to be purchased by me.

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I think my version looks pretty similar to theirs in blue!

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So, fabric is a cotton from Mood that I purchased in store in 2013. It’s navy blue cotton with a waterproof layer sandwiched in between. I don’t think it’s super breathable, but, it has great hand. It generally sewed fine with a regular needle. But, when I got to the buttonholes on the front I tried three different needles before the stitching ‘took’. I used a leather needle as it is A designed to go through non-wovens and performed like a champ.

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The lining is a cotton flannel from Joanns that he picked out himself. The sleeves have a silky lining to make it easier to take on and off.


  • Add an inch in length to the jacket
  • Add a inch to the sleeves (he likes them long)
  • Broad back adjustment for movement ease while on his Vespa
  • Added a pleat to the lining for movement ease
  • Scoop out the center front neck at the hood to accommodate for his larger neck.

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Looking at the completed garment I think the shoulders are a little long/ wide for him and I’ll shorten them a bit next time. And, the neck is still tight for him and I’ll need to scoop that out some more.

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For the zipper, I used a two way zip so when he’s on his Vespa or bike, he can unzip from the bottom. I bought and had it cut at Stadham Sewing.

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I also skipped snaps and went with buttons.  He chose these buttons from my stash.

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I didn’t do the drawstring waist. He said he would never use it.

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I added a zipper to the chest pocket. Just big enough to hold his iPhone.

So, I don’t want to gush, but I think he looks so stinking good in this jacket! And, not because of my sewing. I think it just fits him really well, and I love him in navy (and dark green and browns).

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It took me a long time to make this pattern because I’m lazy and it’s the first ‘real’ thing I’ve sewn since last July! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve *really* sewn.  It felt incredibly good to sit down at a sewing machine and watch a project come together.

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I can see using this pattern over and over and over. And, I’d really like to make a two-tone version for myself like these Universal Works jackets that retails for $345 (it’s unlined).

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The next time I make this, I will use pre-installed drawstring and elastic. You’ll note that I have in the grommets. But, no drawstring yet.

And, I will add interior pockets like so

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and so

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Too bad it’s now too warm for him to wear the jacket…

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Sewing Meet Ups / New Fabric/ HOT PATTERNS!!

Except that time I got married, today was the best day I’ve ever had in Florida!  Tracey (no blog — yet) was kind enough to spend the day with me and we headed out to meet the Hot Patterns duo of Trudy and Jeremy for lunch. I couldn’t stop running my mouth! I was full of questions about them, the company, design philosophy — everything!

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Proof. See. Seriously. Laughing, laughing, laughing.  That’s Trudy in the middle and Tracey to the left.

I’ve long admired Hot Patterns as they were the first non Big 4 pattern makers I’d been exposed to. I’ve had some lovely results from their designs and wanted to thank them for being fashion forward. They are just as passionate about sewing and design as we are and love what they are doing. It was an absolute pleasure to meet them. Plus, I’m a sucker for a fabulous British accent!

After lunch, we went to the newish Pennie Textiles down in Sarasota. Ahmagah.

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It is a *real* fabric store. With linens, wools, silks, fine cottons, shirtings, knits. Like, real, garment sewing fabrics. Last year, my mom and I tried to find a fabric store to make her a skirt in Tampa. Joanns and Hancock were the Land of Fleece. This, now, this is fabric shopping.

Crap. Why didn’t I buy that red and white striped knit below??

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And, then I laid my eyes on this:
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I cannot resist a star themed fabric. Nevermind in three different silk weights.

I also got a STUNNING black eyelet, but I didn’t take a photo. Hopefully, I’ll sew it up so soon I won’t need a photo of it all folded.

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Tony at the cutting table was a doll and happy to talk to you about what they have in stock.

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After fabric shopping Tracy and I headed back up to Tampa where we had dinner with Myra and Andrea. I look tipsy in the photo below. I wasn’t. I swear.

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I had such a good time connecting with these fabulous sewing ladies today. And, I’m coming home with two beautiful pieces of fabric. The last three times I’ve been to Florida it’s been too busy.  This time, it was just me and my dad so my schedule was much more flexible.

I need to figure out a way to take a year off of work, travel the world and just meet other sewers and sewing bloggers.

Anywho, I’m heading back home to Baltimore today with a suitcase full of fabric, patterns and a new to me sewing machine. All in all, a good time in Sunshine State.

So Close, Yet So Far

I am *almost* done with Jordan’s HP Windcheater jacket. Truly. I just need to add buttonholes and buttons and I’ll be set. I SWORE I would get it done today (we’re off for Good Friday).


But, grrr, Nigel, my MINI Cooper,  got keyed overnight  by some dickhead and I spent a bunch of time talking to insurance and getting a police report.

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Anywho, I wanted to finish this for Jordan so he could wear it to my (20 year!!) high school reunion in Virginia this weekend, but it looks like it’s not going to get done. It’s more important I get my stray gray hair dyed :-)

Also, I somehow managed to lose the left sleeve lining. So, I have to cut and resew that when I get a moment. So, there’s like 2 hours of work left on this bad boy and I’ll be done. And, maybe ready to start one for myself…

HP Hemmingway Windcheater Muslin

Remember how I was obsessed with getting a pink scooter? Well, it’s not pink, but WE GOT A VESPA!!!

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We sold Jordan’s car (gas guzzling Chrylser 300), bought this blue Vespa pre-owned from friends and are now a one-car household. And, since Jordan has two coats, this one above that I bought him for law school graduation last year and an overcoat for work, I figured he could use something a little more casual for spring and running around on the weekend. Also, I have the same US Navy issue peacoat and we look stupid when we wear them at the same time (that said, I have like ten coat options to his one so I’m often the one who has to change).

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I picked up the Hot Patterns Hemmingway Windcheater to sew up for Jordan months ago on pre-order. I didn’t find the waterproof fabric until December when I was in New York . I figured I’d make this for his birthday or Valentine’s Day. Well, his birthday was last week and Valentine’s Day is this week and I’ve just now gotten around to a muslin.

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I made him take photos first thing in the morning. Hence the less than amused face.

As long as he gets it before our honeymoon/ anniversary trip in August, it’ll be a’ight. Why is our honeymoon the drop dead date? Because we’re going to Europe! We booked a bike + barge trip from Bruges to Amsterdam. Trena and I had such a great time when we did it three years ago. I wanted France originally and he suggested Amsterdam. I jumped on it before he changed his mind. Don’t worry, I’ve told Katherine in Brussels and Sigrid, Marta and Hilde in the Netherlands. As I booked the flights tickets, I have specifically built in an extra day for Kantje-Boord and sewing friends and have started saving for my lingerie shopapalooza. Get this, our Air B and B spot in Amsterdam is in Jordaan! Seriously, it was meant to be. But, I digress. Jordan really needed a casual jacket for the trip and I thought this would work well.

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Here’s his muslin. Minus the sleeves. I only cut out the upper sleeve and ran out of muslin fabric. So, this is it.

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It’s pretty good right out of the envelope! His measurements were a perfect L (large) I’m worried it’s a bit snug, but it’s a spring jacket and he says he won’t wear sweaters underneath. I like the fit  through the chest and back. When things fit his upperbody it’s usually too big in the middle and long. But, this is the perfect fit for him. Near as I can tell. What do I know about men’s clothes?

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I still need to track down some flannel for the lining. I tried a Hancocks a few weeks ago and they were woefully lacking. I’ll try to hit up Joanns this week. From what I recall, they excel in flannel.

Jordan rode the Vespa at night for the first time yesterday and I’ve been told he needs some seriously warm base layers. LOL. I may whip some Jalie boxers from the Under Armour Cold Gear I am hoarding or purchase some merino wool from the Fabricmart sale. Haven’t quite decided yet. I’m hoarding the UA Cold Gear because Gus Woolens here in Baltimore has closed shop. They are just doing suiting now via email. Sigh. Luckily, I have a bit of the cold gear left. But, not as much as I would like to have over a lifetime. Which, to me, seems a reasonable amount to aspire to.

* (I know I can order online but the convenience of popping into a store near my job cannot be underestimated).

Pattern Review: HP 1016 Riviera Hello, Sailor! Pants

Guys. I think I’ve found my holy grail pants. For *real*. I’ve wanted a pair of sailor pants forever. Seriously. At least 10 years. When I made my big Hot Patterns purchase two years ago, this pattern was the first I put in my cart. I even muslined it a few years ago, liked the fit, but just never got around to sewing it.

I love these pants.  They are everything I wanted in sailor pants. Plus, they are a really really good cut for me. I only have glowing remarks about the draft and pattern itself. I did make two muslins, but that was to check fit.  I’ve taken lots of photos because I would have found some more helpful in construction / picturing final product.

Fabric: Super heavy, cotton / linen blend from A Fabric Place /Michaels about three years ago. They kind of wrinkle when you look at them. I used the khaki version for the Burda trench/ safari jacket and skirt. I am nervous that there was NO stretch in the material. These pants are snug on me and I’m worried that I’m one potato  chip away from splitting them. Hence, my desire for some stretch. They did not feel this snug in my two muslins! I swear!

Pattern Alterations: I made a swayback adjustment by extending the back curve and adding about a one inch wedge through the hip. I cut a size 12 and these fit nicely.

There is some fabric folding at my crotch, but consensus at the office is if the waist was snugger and stayed up higher, those go away. That being said, I think they are slim fit.

There’s loads of chatter about HP directions. I sew with Burda! The directions overall were fine. Yes, a little sparse in comparison to Big 4 but inline with Jalie and Burda. And, I think that chatter is from the early days when tehre were directions and no diagrams. This pattern has diagrams without which I do not think I could have sewn these!  **& ETA: Trudy at Hot Patterns reminded me that they now post tutorials on YouTube.

For this pattern, the main thing to remember is that the front ‘dart’ is not a dart. Those two lines are in fact the stitchlines. Erica has a helpful diagram.

Because the fabric is all natural, I expect it grow like my linen pants did. So, I used twill tape in the upper waistband to prevent stretching. But, I would like it to stretch everywhere else! I’m reminding myself that jeans used to not have lycra and they stretched…

I wish I had used twill tape and re-shaped the flap a bit. The upper edge follows the curve of pants / waistband, but I would like like it more straight across the top and the upper edge stabilised with twill tape too. Especially because I used cream topstitching, I feel like the flap is smiling against my stomach.

I serged my finishes. These are unlined and would have looked gorgeous with bias binding for the finish. Next time, that’s what I’ll do.

The ‘lining’ is seersucker left over from a vest project.

I struggled with buttons. I was afraid if they were too bold, I’d limit myself from wearing ‘statement’ pants. If they were too subtle, what a waste all the details would have been. I also couldn’t decide on top stitching or not. I am terrible at making these kind of choices.

I did make the buttonholes 1/2 inch from the edge. I think I could have done 3/8 or so and been happier. My buttons are 1/2 inch as recommended by the pattern. I think they are a little small. Not terribly. That being said, I FREAKIN’ LOVE these black buttons with gold anchors. There is no button placement guide on the pattern. Which I kind of like because you may not always want the same button size recommended.

The design is based on a Marc Jacobs sailor pants.

Last thing, the vent in the back. So, I was going to leave this off b/c I wasn’t sure it was ‘classy’ enough for work.

But, it’s such an interesting detail (and straight from the inspiration) I couldn’t resist. I’m also happy to report that my underwear don’t show.

But, I HATE EYELETS. These inserted like crap and don’t look good from the back. There is so much fray check on these holes I think they are emitting toxic fumes.

Note the graveyard of badly applied eyelets.

I’m hoping to take them to NYC with me soon and have them done professionally. Or, take them out and use my eyelet template on my automatic buttonholer. The pattern directions don’t have a suggestion on where to place the eyelets.

Overall, I’m THRILLED. I’ll have these in time for Baltimore’s Navy Week / Star-Spangled Sailabration in June.  I have serious stunt / theme dressing planned for June :)

My pattern review is here

Notes on construction details (these are just some notes I made to myself while sewing that I was unclear about upon first approach. Nothing is ‘wrong’  — just more detail for me.

First, I my preferred method of pant construction is to sew the waist band on to each leg piece. Then assemble to pants at the side and front seams. Personally, I find it much easier to take in the waist (common for me) this way. I haven’t quite worked out how I would do that with these pants. Luckily, I muslined first and they fit fine at the waist. But, could be 1/2 inch to 1 inch snugger.

Step 2: My stand is not finished at the bottom as I missed the step on sewing the short ends.

Step 4: You want to use the non-intefaced pieces

Step 5: If you are serging, I recommend you finish all the front button. See my photo below for which edges are left exposed

Step 6: When joining the facings, you’ll do so right sides together

Step 8: ‘Join the fabric layer’ means right sides together and as noted above, that’s not a dart. One if your ‘stitchline’

Topstitching back: the line drawing for pattern has topstitching only going up to the waistline. I thought it looked ‘short’ and extended onto and through the waistband.

Hot Patterns 1015: Riviera Once, Twice, Three Times a T-Shirt

While I have a stack of Hot Patterns’ that I’ve purchased, the Once, Twice, Three Times a T-Shirt came from a friend.

Almost true to the name, I made two of the three versions of this shirt. If I had a coverstitch, I probably would have made the third too.

In HP, I measure in a 12 (Glamour Girl) on top and a 14 (Slinky Girl) on the bottom. I’ve read HP is closer to RTW sizing. I’m telling myself they are close to UK RTW sizing. I buy an 8 in US RTW.  Based on reviews and the line drawing, I knew I wanted a snugger fit and cut a 10 through the upper body, an 8 at the waist and tapered back to a 12/ 14 at the hip. I also wanted a shorter version than drafted and took out six inches at the waist. In retrospect, I wish I had just done four inches for length.

The PR Reviews noted some errors in the directions. But, I didn’t follow them. The shirts have very basic construction.

All that being said, here’s the first version (note the French nauticalness of the red, white and blue). This style is based on a  $500+ Chloe shirt (I do not follow fashion. I only know it’s Chloe because Erica B. pointed it out four years ago!).

I made this tee up in two cotton jerseys from the Carol Collection. I always knew these were going to be a tee with contrast! I have narrow shoulders and hate things that feel like they might drop off, so I shaped the neckline by one inch, tapering into the shoulder. As drafted, it’s more like a slit.  I didn’t bother with the facings and just turned down the allowance. I also moved in the shoulder line by about 1 inch on each side (1/2 inch too much IMHO) to prevent my bra straps from showing or having the shirt slip off the side.

The pattern doesn’t note pocket placement and I don’t like where I put it. A little over and further down would make me happier. I sewed everything on my serger, hemmed with a twin needle and interfaced all the edges with tricot interfacing. I didn’t make an FBA either.


The front and back are the same

I *like* it. I don’t love it. It should have been longer and slightly more fitted to flatter my figure.

My yellow version is based on a $1200 Roberto Cavalli top.

I was totally not drawn to this style until I saw Christina’s version while checking reviews.And, now that it’s made up, I am 100 percent in love with it!

For this one, I moved the should line only 1/2 inch. This fabric is left over from my Burda 6-2010-123 sack dress. I bought in during PR Weekend in Philly. I still have enough left over for a fitted tee! I think I thought it would be a wrap or maxi dress when I first  bought it.

I didn’t hem the sleeves, but did finish the neckline and hem with a twin needles stitch in white.

The front and back are the same, I didn’t make my usual swayback adjustment

This sews up so fast it’s hard not to love. Each of these was made on a weeknight while watching TV. In the future, I’ll make it a little longer (I took too much length out). And, will have to try and resist not turning every slinky knit I have into one of these shirts. I think this pattern is good value for your dollar. You’ll get three tee shirts in one envelope. It’s awesome for a beginner too.

My review on PR is here

Serger Down

My Euro Pro serger has the *worst* customer service. In 2007, I ordered two sets of knives for my machine.  I finally got around to switching out my old blades for the 2007 blades this week. While trying to serge my leotard, the knives were just chewing up my fabric. Turns out they are dull. Meaning, my brand new knives that I finally needed to use have no knife sharp edge. Smooth like butter. I called Euro Pro in Montreal to ask for an exchange and there’s nothing they can do since the warranty / exchange is for 90 days, not three years. I’m not sure why, but last time it took over two months for me to get my knives last time. So, no serger for the forseable future. And, after owning a serger, a sewing machine finish just  won’t cut it for me. So, for the next few weeks I’ll be tracing and muslining and making things that don’t really need a serger finish.

So, this weekend I’m working on Hot Patterns 1092, The Classix Noveau Pyramid Bag.

I plan to make this out of black leather. I asked the guys at our printshop to reduce the pattern for me by 40% after reading from many that they found the size a bit unweildy. As you can see, I still traced the pattern out because I wasn’t sure if I was going to want to make alterations. Plus, I couldn’t find my ‘paper’ scissors and Trena said under no uncertain terms I could use my fabric scissors.

At a smaller size I also felt it would better, replicate the look of this Trouve bag. The pewter version looks even more similar.

Here’s how it looks in my muslin as compared to my Fossil bag (Nordstrom says the Fossil bag is an Extra Large)  which measures 15″W x 10″H x 5 1/2″D. The original Pyramid bag is 22 inches wide.  My draft is 9 inches wide at the base. Maybe 11 at the widest.

*** ETA: I’m going to ask them to reduce the pattern by 25 percent vs 40. I compared my muslin to other med – large bags I have and think it’ll be a better size for me.

I feel like it’s a hair too small. If it were wider on the bottom by 1.5 to 2 inches on each side, I think I’d be happier with it. It is big enough to hold my Blackberry, personal cell, wallet, makeup, lotion and Nook. Does it *really* need to be bigger?  I’m loathe to go back to the print shop and ask them for a 30 percent reduction. You know? Of course, I could just take it to Kinkos.

What do you think?  Am I just used to really big purses or should it be a little bigger?