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.

Alterations:

  • 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).

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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?

HP Cosmopolitan #3

I’m all done with the HP Cosmopolitan dress. But, it’s not for me.

Why not? I forgot that I added three inches in length to my version so it’s super short and it’s just really, really LOUD on me.  It’s also not work appropriate at this length and the proportions are just wrong at this length. But, for my mom who is several inches shorter, it’ll be perfect. She can wear it to lunch with Trudy and Jeremy. You know, I always saw this fabric as a maxi dress. But, I’m over maxi dresses for 2010.

The fabric is super thin and white. So, I lined the bodice with a chocolate colored tricot that I stocked up on at $1.99 a yard in Panama last August. It’ll also need a slip for the skirt. It just clings to all the wrong parts of me in this fabric weight. Another reason I should give it to my mom. Slips don’t bother her and she’s got non-existent hips.

I understitched the bodice lining so it wouldn’t show through. And, I stabilized the neckline of the chain link fabric with tricot interfacing. I also cut the sleeves shorter to suit the hem length of the dress better. And, as usual, I don’t hem my knits ;)

This is the second failed dress my mom has inherited from me. So far, no complaints from her! I still love this pattern. Just not with this fabric at this length.

An Expensive Muslin

There are no words for how badly I would like to have the two new Hot Patterns. I desperately HEART this bag and the dress is just too cute for words. But, I own 10 of their patterns (Um, Trudy and Jeremy. You might want to leave me off the mailing list the next time you do a buy-one-get-one-free)  and have only made up one (albeit twice). So, I told myself if I whipped through a few this fall I was totally entitled to buy the new ones!

Where did that dressform come from? It was from my whirlwind weekend to DC, Philly and Jersey. But, more on that tomorrow. I made up the Portobello Road Shearling Coat. I’m calling it my expensive muslin. I bought this fabric from FabricMart and it was not love at first sight. I decided to use this for muslining this coat after Trudy e-mailed me special to make sure I used a thick fleece weight fabric for my muslin.  And, if I had made it in the size that the pattern *says* I am, would have likely been all  but perfect. But, noooooo. I thought I knew more than the pattern and went TWO sizes smaller. Sigh.

I’ll be honest, I did not and do not know how the collar is supposed to assemble. And, I didn’t spend a great deal of time on it because I knew this was my expensive muslin. Other than changes for my body, I must recommend that you perhaps go with a 3/8 vs 5/8 seams allowance. Why? Because I think the sherpa showing is a touch thick. I would also recommend you remove ease from the sleeve cap. I had to take out two inches (below) to get the sleeves on this pile of fuzzy vinyl to ease in. And, for my fabric, I found the cut of the back skirt too ‘full’ and would straighten out the curve in the back seam.

Am I going to make it up soon? Sadly, no. I have a piece of fabric that is perfect and gorgeous (denim backed sherpa from PR Portland 2009)  but I’m still holding out hope that it’ll still become a motorcycle jacket. But, I totally think this counts towards me being able to buy the new Hot Patterns.

Ringing in the New Year

I have had some fun, some dismal and some low-key New Year’s Eves. Last year was the great ‘I will never sew for other people‘ incident. The year before I played poker through the night with my date and friends. One year I had benihana at some strip mall on the Tennessee/Kentucky border *shudder*.


This year, I spent it with my other favorite redhead (Trena is the other one) seeing a great show at our local theater. Following that, the theater had dinner, a live jazz band, dancing and a champagne toast.

So, let’s begin 2009 with a new garment! A girl’s gotta have a new dress for New Year’s Eve, right? Originally, I was making this Hot Patterns dress to Meet the Parents. But, I didn’t finish it on time. So, here is the Wong Singh Jones Kimono Dress for 2009!


The construction is pretty straightforward for those used to BWOF style directions. Hot Patterns has it listed as Advanced Beginner and that’s about right. They have also added some photos since I made a pattern from them which are helpful.

And, I don’t know how I did this, but the front doesn’t hang straight. I cut the skirt wonky. Actually, I think I reversed the front pieces and have the side seams to the front… Machts Nichts!

I did shorten the shoulders by 1/2 inch in addition to taking in the dress another 1/2 inch along the front princess seams. It was broad in the front but the back fit me perfectly. Taking in at the front means the seams don’t fall directly over my bust apex. LOVE the modest neckline in the wrap!! I had to take some ease out of the skirt along the side hips to eliminate some gathering (but not the pooling) at my back waist.


The ties I cut by almost six inches I think. I thought they were going to be too long. But, I think they are supposed to wrap around twice (and probably should due to the construction there). I think next time I still need to make a swayback adjustment.

I added several inches to the skirt length and the skirt bands to get this length just below my knees with a narrow hem. I think the skirt would be on the short side as drafted. The pattern says it’s supposed to be at the knee and that it’s drafted for someone 5’8. I am 5’7 on a good day. I would measure and see if it’s where you want it to hit before cutting into the fabric.

The waist tie section is different. You add an interfaced facing for stabilisation (especially if you choose to add the button closures). I didn’t add buttons and it stayed closed fine. But, I did interface the facing. I chose not to add the buttons because I think I should have gone done a size for the waist and it wouldn’t have been as snug as I wanted.


Overall, I’m happy with the dress. I want to make more in different color combos and will be ordering some rayon jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics today! I can see this being my go-to with a nice beefy knit. This one is from Jomar in Philly and was $1 or $2 a yard. The contrast is from Metro Textiles, $8 a yard. So, about a $10 dress.

This is my second Hot Patterns and I have to tell you, I’m a little in love. Not only is the sizing seemingly made for me, but I HEART the styles! I have about four more in the stash. I know that we can buy patterns for far less from the Big Box Stores, but Trudy and Jeremy are living the dream (at least my dream) and if I can help them do that, while they support the home sewing industry, I’m all about it. Think of their patterns like shopping at your local farmers market. Besides, if you make something up a couple of times, I say you’ve gotten your money out of it.

Happy New Year!!