Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pea Coat Sew-A-Long Anne Klien V1467

At long last I have finished my version:

Inside view:

Off the shoulder:

Up close collar view:

Inside collar view:

I decided to make several design changes to my coat.....

The Fabric:

Sport bottom weight fabric from Joann's

With this weight fabric, the coat becomes a jacket, making it more inline with a Trench or Transition Coat, perfect for Spring/Fall days.

Lined shell:

For extra warmth. I decided to place an extra layer between the fashion fabric and coat lining. I did this by cutting out the back pieces from both the fashion fabric and muslin.

Placing them together, I sewed around the edges with a overlock stitch:

Back piece joined with muslin

Note the finished seams once all of the pieces were sewn together:
lined back pieces

And .....

Finished back view

The Lining:

I choose to make a full lining for my jacket. However, I did not cut out each individual back piece from the lining material, but instead choose to use the entire back to make the coat lining one large piece:

This helped me to avoid having to sew the V in the shell design again :-)

To make sure that the lining gave me plenty of room for comfort, I made sure to add an extra 1|2 inch to the side seams:

Taking the back lining piece, I sewed it together at the shoulder seams to the other lined pieces and fabric facing:

Once I sewed the side seams and added the lining sleeves, I placed the right sides of the fashion fabric shell and lining together sewing around the outer edge, stopping at self made circles were the collar was to be placed:

Final lining 

Next I tackled the collar and shoulder pads:

Can you see my goof?!

This is what happens when you keep going once you are tired, I sewed the shoulder pad in upside down (first pic :-)

Thrift Store Buttons:

After buying fabric, lining, and muslin, my funds were tight, and I didnt have money to spend on new buttons. Instead I went to the thrift store to see what I could find:

New uses....

It just so happen I found a old worn coat for only $5.00, and noticed the buttons would be perfect foe my jacket. Just think, the buttons (I needed 10 in all) came out to just. 50¢ a piece :-)

The Buttonholes!:

This is the part of the coat I was not looking forward too, the button holes. The reason being is it would be the first time using the feature on my new sewing machine. However, much to my delight it does excellent work:

So that's it, I must say that I enjoyed making to coat (jacket). The only draw back I would say are the sleeves, they seem to bind the the arm although I made my normal adjustments. Not quite sure what the causes is perhaps the lower arm pattern piece is 'off' (too short perhaps). Aside from that I would recommended.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fall Planning and Humble Pie

A few weeks back McCalls posted a blog about designer sewing, they also posted excellent work by Amanda did on Donna Karan V1440 Tunic.

In the comments I mentioned that it is hard for me to find designer patterns that flatter my plus size shape. This is true, especially with the Summer patterns, however I must make a retraction.

I have found several Fall patterns that are potentially flattering:

Anne Klien V1467;  Tom and Linda Pratt V1435
Ralph Rucci V1239; Designer joi M7245

I have material ready to go for Tom and Linda V1435 and Deigner Joi M7245, however I decide to cut out B6256

As you can see I have decided to use basic black, I have also decided to use a nice floral print for the lining, which I'll share with you once I complete the suit.

Then there is this cute number:

It was a gift from Sew Plus on a thrift store run :-) I have fabric for this too, however with the rapid weather change, am going to save it for Spring.

Well thats the update for now, and remember one stitch ar a time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Sunshine Dress Simplicity 1653

I actually made this dress awhile back for a girls night out and I am just now getting around to reviewing the pattern.

The inspiration for the dress came from a dress I saw in a clothing catalog:

Once I saw the dress, my goal was to make my own version and I knew this pattern would make a good match:

I found the perfect material on a trip to Joann's in their knit/dance wear section:

The dress was not difficult to sew up, the directions are clear and to the point.  I will say however, to make sure you mark the left and right sides so as not to confuse them:

As you would imagine the dress is very comfortable and easy to wear. It has actually turned into one of my 'go to' dresses when I want something cute and quick to put on:

Well that is it for now and as always, one stitch at a time............................................

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Vogue, Butterick, and McCall Fall Picks of 2015

Greetings, nice to chat with you again, as you can tell this post is all about upcoming patterns for this fall. So with no further adieu lets get started.


I have choosen three patterns for each collection that truly made me want to sit at the machine:

V 9123

The aspect of the dress that caught my eye were the sleeves, the classic silhouette is an also plus. My fabric choice, like the drawing, would be a nice floral print.


I've been wanting to join the 'color block' club for some time, however until now, nothing really caught my eye until this skirt. Would you be surprise to know I have never made a skirt?! Seriously, even though I have made several average to advance patterns, go figure.....

The Star

Anne Klein V1467

This pea coat is my 'Star Pick' out of the Vogue collection. The only hurdle in my way, is finding the perfect fabric, preferably a rustic orange........



This tunic would be nice paired with jeans (as shown) but also a nice skirt like the V9123 pictured above. I see this in a vibrant green or blue, then again why not one in each color?

Lisette Coat B6244

This to me is a perfect coat for fall, toss it on and out the door, simple style on the go. Now to find the right fabric, a classic crayola brown, the camel color pictured, or maybe a cool print?

The star:


Although my Godmother tends to be the queen of suits, I fluctuate on them. However, this two piece started my engine running the moment I saw the picture. I Am not sure if it is the on/off the shoulder combination or the exposed zipper. Either way, I am anxious to add it to my collection.



This top is a nice choice if simple blouse or sweater doesn't suit your needs. I can see this easily being used in a laid back or business casual setting.


This sweater dress is a fall/winter winner for me. It screams comfort without sacrificing style, especially on those occasion when only a dress will do.

The Star:

Designer Joi M7245

I need to make a correction!! When I first saw this pattern what caught my attention was the bodice. It my excitment I did not notice that it was actually a dress!!. This is even more exciting, seeing that dresses are my most favortie items to sew.

Well those are my fall picks, what are your favorites?

And as always, one stitch at a time.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Water Melon Dress M6554

Nothing like your favorite fruit for the summer, mine is watermelon. Easy and enjoyable to eat, it looks cool and inviting, especially cut up in squares in a cute bowl:

The same adjectives can be used for McCalls 6554 pattern, simple, easy, enjoyable to make.

McCalls 6554

I think a good marriage of material and pattern was achieved this time around:


Because of the sheerness of the material I decided to underline the fabric with a simple red posh lining from Joann's

Dress is feels light and very comfortable to wear, with the center pleat giving it a flirty feel.

Although the pattern calls for an invisible zipper I decided on a center zipper due to the unusual light/sheer fabric that I used:
Zipper application

I didn't realize that I forgotten the hook and eye for the top of the dress until I took this pic hahaha oops:

back view

I also lined the bodice and under stitch the lining for a smooth finish:

lining and under stitching process

I found these cool earring at Target and thought they would complement the dress well, what do you think?:

side views

Nothing else special to report about the dress, I will say it is very easy to sew and a beginner could make the pattern. However, pay close attention as to how they tell you to hem the skirt, I had to blink and read it twice.

As always, I have included my goofy out takes:

Thanks for taking the time out to share in my experience, hope the see you here again soon.  Until then remember, one stitch at at time..................

Friday, May 22, 2015

Wedding prep

I have been invited to a wedding sometime in late June and although I had posted some summer dress ideas, I decide to go with something a little different.

Thumbing through my stash I found this cute number:


"Ah" I thought the Fashion Star collection! You remember the TV show with Jessica Simpson.  For my part I liked the show it was TV candy, a Project Runway without the back drama. 

Not to mention their pairing with McCall's Pattern Company, you could not only go out to buy what you saw, you could also make your own version of the TV selections.

A last the TV show is gone, but my pattern from it remains, so why not let something good come out of its short run.  My fabric choice:

I don't remember the name, however I call it my watermelon fabric, (for obvious reason :-).  Don't ask me how long I have had it, maybe 3 years. It's so easy to get caught up in new fabrics and ideas, like the knit phase I've been in for the last year.

Mmm doesn't it look yummy?!

Hopefully the dress will end up as delightful as the idea of eating it's fresh fruit version this summer.  

P.S. I haven't forgot B6054, I just have to push through the 'almost there' phase where you shrug your shoulders and say 'meh'. One way or another I'll post it for you :-)

Until then one stitch at a time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Set backs and the up and comings

Recently I have experienced a set back when it comes to my health.  In particular my Psoriactic Arthritis in my hands, shoulders, and back.  The pain during the last month has been such that the thought of sewing had become distasteful.

I know right, that sounds profound coming from me, think about it, sewing is may relaxation, my joys.  Yet to understand why I would say something like that, you would have to know the amount of pain my condition can cause me.

My Hands: Imagine that you have fractured several fingers in your hands (yes that kind of pain), despite this you still have to use such hands day in and day out.  If you don't move or use them they can stiffen and become even more painful to use.

Yet while you use them, you at times flinch in pain from simply picking up your cell phone or holding your tablet. How about the time you had a plate full of food in your hand and suddenly they twitch from pain, causing you to drop said plate onto the kitchen floor.  Now think about the fact you have to use those same painfully fractured hands to clean up the broken plate and spilled food up off the floor.

My Shoulders: They can become almost excruciating to the point that cleaning, washing clothes, caring groceries, taking out the trash can become foreboding.  Simply washing and combing my hair had given me so much difficulty that I cut my hair to make thing a little easier. There have been times I have turned down invites because it was simply to painful to drive my car.

My Back:  It at times gives out on me, especially in the mornings, I have fallen more then once when it happens.  One day I laid in the floor not able to move for almost two hours. I finally crawled and pulled my self up on my bed. I am not a shamed to say, that I cried the rest of the day.

My Organs: Several of them have failed at one point or another, my heart, kidney's and my eyes. Now, due to my biologic s. they have become stable and have not given me any more trouble.  Still the thought....

So yesterday I was changed to a new med, this one is suppose to be better for me then the last.  Down side is I have to go into a transfusion clinic to receive it:

The process takes about 2 1/2 hours, the nice thing is they have wi-fi, and I could check all of my favorite sewing blogs and sites. Look up fabric and make an outline of what I want to sew for the coming spring and summer months.

This is what I came up with while in my lounger yesterday :-)

McCalls 7081

Sweet and girly, I think this would be nice made in a check fabric, maybe a poplin or lawn type cotton.

Butterick 6016

A classic feminine look, this can look either contemporary or retro depending on the fabric chosen to make it with. A nice floral, striped, or polka dot fabric would put it in the era am thinking about.

Vogue 8788

Fresh and lovely, this dress would look good in any cotton fabric that you would chose. Actually it wouldn't be a bad idea to make it twice, one in a bright solid and the other in a pretty print.

In the mean time I will continue to work on B6054 to the right. Actually I did some sewing on it today, the first time in two weeks, and it was enjoyable.  If my pain stays at this lower level, I should be done with it by this weekend and can review it for your next Tuesday.

So now you know why my sewing is so important to me, it's a form of physical and emotionally therapy.  It is a way I can see beautiful things come out of my broken and painful body.  

It is after all, one of the ways I keep my self together one stitch at a time.........