Posted in sewing

Patrones: Chloe Skirt, Issue 245

So, I kind of hate the hand sewing. I’m lucky I wasn’t born at a time when my value as a potential wife was based on things like crewel and embroidery. Because it would be the equivalent of being picked last for the kickball team.

During West Coat PR weekend I took a hand sewing class from Susan Khalje (who apparently live 20 mins from me) with the prodding of Marji. That’s me kind of cheating by looking over Markie’s shoulder during the class trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. I’m *really* glad I took the course. I have more respect for the hand sewing. But, I am still no good at it and still don’t like it.

This Patrones skirt was an exercise in hand sewing. It took me four different sit downs before I got it all done. I used a silk twill for this skirt which Cindy was kind enough to pick up this Banana Republic print from Metro Textiles after I *had* to have it when she posted it on her blog. But, it’s thin and not quite beefy enough for this skirt. So, I underlined it in cotton batiste. I finished it off with an all around, catch stitched hem.

I damaged a really lovely project by using some cheap a$$ interfacing. It bubbled up on the waistband.
The skirt is far more modest than the editorial has you think. There will be no OBGYN exam as I walk down the street.
I omitted the ties and used three buttons to close the waist band. I did make a swayback adjustment and am quite happy with how the back fits. I did nothing to adjust the length either.

Overall I’m pleased with the skirt. But, it won’t work on your body if you are larger in the hips. The pockets and gathers definitely add width. I also need to add a flat button to the inside waistband to keep the waistband even (I see it creeping up).

I’m so glad I have something to wear wear to work tomorrow. I’ve been recycling the same seven looks since May! But, I’m wearing different shoes. These make me feel like my toes are on fire.

Patrones #245, model #25, January 2006
Posted in sewing

One skirt down, two to go

Last night I hemmed my Roberto Musso Patrones skirt from issue # 252 (January 2007). I rather like this skirt. It’s fun to wear and has a throwback vibe. I wasn’t sure how to wear it at first without looking like a ball of fabric, but Carolyn reminded me that the full skirts from the 50s and 60s were always worn with form-fitting tops. I think it works if you have either no hips (ha!) or a well-defined waist.

Construction is simple, as long as you clearly transfer all the alphabet markings for matching up seams. I also suggest you lay out the pattern pieces first before you begin sewing. It kind of goes together like a puzzle with one pleated section and one banded section on each side of the skirt.
It’s basically a circle skirt with pleated insets and contrast bands. The challenging portion for new sewists would be sewing the corners of the insets in. There is also a TON of finishing inside the garment.

Because it’s a circle skirt it’s very full. If you choose to make this skirt or something similar, be sure to stabilise the waistband. You’ll also need to let it hang a day or so for the bias to fall.

I made a straight 40 (the equivalent of a BWOF 38) and found it large. I ended up taking about two inches out of the side before inserting my invisible zip. I think that’s the nature of the skirt not Patrones sizing. And mine is a little bulkier than the model’s.

Also, I think the skirt is a hair long. On the model it’s around the knee. If you want it shorter, you’ll need to do so on the pattern rather than after construction. Oh, mine is made from leftover black seersucker and shirting from other projects. I’m absolutely making this skirt again. I can picture many versions including a wool plaid this winter.

Fun skirt!
Posted in Uncategorized

Frankly my dear…

My OOP Scarlett O’Hara green velvet dress pattern (Butterick 4051) came in the mail last week. This ‘advanced’ pattern calls for a whopping 15 3/4 yards of fabric for the dress, hat and bag. Yet, I squealed like Bobby Hill when I saw the hat is included! How fabulous would it be? I only have two costumes in my pattern collection. The second is Marilyn Monroe (OOP Simplicity 8393).

I see I’ve been a little slow with the sewing and posting. I’ve, uh, been busy.

My three skirts are all still mid construction. But, I made a jump on my Patrones Chloe skirt (pictured above). I’m not super happy with it right now. First, I do not care for working with slippery silk. Sigh. I also tried to underline the skirt to beef it up and add some modesty — but not in the smartest way.

I have a RTW silk dress that is underlined, but the hem hangs freely. So, I’m attempting the same thing with this one.

When I get home tonight, I need to let out the side seam a bit, hem the batiste/underlining and put the side seam back together. Truly, a make it work proposition. I can’t just hem it up to the underlining because then it will be too short. Bleh. Haste my friends, makes waste.


I also used a fusible knit interfacing on the waistband and it’s a gross bubbly hot mess. With God as my witness I will NEVER use Joann’s interfacing again. Which leads me to the waistband facing, I want to interface that too for strength, but I need to sort out what I’m going to interface with.

And finally, here’s how I’m spending my weekend:
It’s so disorganized in here right now I can’t think straight!
Posted in Uncategorized

Side tracked

Just so you know, my background music today is ‘Learn Spanish in Your Car’. I’m going back to Panama in August and the Patrones have put me in a Spanish speaking state of mind!

I never cease to be amazed by the kindness and generosity of others in the online sewing community. I must give a huge thanks to Claire who saw that those were buttons, not studs on the side of the skirt. And, really, I Y Lisette and Paco who told me that the ‘presillas lado’ that I didn’t recognize or find in the dictionary were in fact button loops.

Lisette even went so far as to translate the directions for me when I emailed her to double check the waistband construction order. Huge help. It putzed around with this for HOURS yesterday trying to get it to work. Funky looking, right? Turns out I traced the pieces wrong.

Ahhh. The good thing is re-cutting gave me the idea to change the grain direction for interest and add a few cm since the first one was a tad small.

But, I’m back on track this morning. Except. I just need to add 2 cm, so smaller seam allowances on each side. So, smaller seam allowances. Why is it small? Because I thought it was more economical to buy two 5 pound bags of Gummi Peaches and Gummi Cherries last week. I have to get these out of my house.


Something to note about Patrones that is different than BWOF. First, they just give you the general pattern outline in their layout. Second, they don’t always lay out the pattern pieces in a way to show where each connects. Third, in the layout / line drawing they DO NOT NOTE seam points like A, B, C, D (or 1, 2, 3, 4 in BWOF). Which means you must me super vigilante on checking the pattern for markings because you can’t double check it against the magazine drawing to see if you missed any points. Ask me how I know.

The pink line is my grading up to 42

I also find myself laying out the entire pattern before sewing to make sense of it.
In between all this, I helped my friend Jon finish his wife’s 2007 birthday gift. You may recall he came over last September to start it.


He’s so proud of himself.

Look at this neat trick I picked up from Sherril Miller. She traces the line drawing onto her pattern. I did it for the skirt since there were so many panels. It makes it way easier to see what you’re doing. Plus, it’s really cute.

Posted in Uncategorized

Otra falda y Ayudar

Last week I went in to south Baltimore to try out one of the taco trucks I heard about in an NPR story. I went with Anna from my office and ordered for both of us in Spanish. Seeing how she speaks four languages and I’m still working on my birth-given English, I was very proud of myself. I even understood his questions on condiments. What I was really proud of is that it turned out the guy spoke perfectly good English. But, my Survival Spanish was good enough that he didn’t bother switching over. Or, he enjoyed hearing me butcher his mother tongue.

Now, that being said, Patrones is even more of a challenge! Does anyone actually translate the whole directions? Luckily, this week Paco Peralta posted about the most extensive sewing Spanish glossary I’ve come across. It’s like he *knew* this was my Patrones weekend!


Today I’m working on the #52 Vero Moda skirt from the June 2007 Patrones. This gem of a magazine was a gift from Caroline G who I officially met at West PR Weekend (What’s that? You thought after two months I was done talking about WCPR?? Silly Sewist!!). I really love the three piece waistband.


Because this waist is more fitted than the Roberto Musso skirt I made yesterday, I’m doing a muslin — mainly for my swayback and because I am still sorting out the Patrones fit.

There is one part of the directions I don’t get though. If you speak Spanish or the language of Patrones, maybe you can help me out?

It says I need to cut four for my ‘ presillas lados‘. They are strips that are 6cm by 3 cm. I don’t think they are the trim at the bottom since that needs three strips. I *think* this is something I’m sewing along the side of the skirt? I skimmed and found ‘lados‘ used in the following way “con las piezas lados segun senales C-D e hilvanar los pliegues segun patrones; cerrar lados falda” Which I think means sew the ‘lados’ to or along points C & D? Then baste it closed (the little pleat at the hem of the skirt. Que?

Meh. I’ll trace out the pattern and see if I can figure out how it assembles.