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I’ve made some changes and another top


I wore my pleather, embellished skirt to work, and truth be told, it was a little too jangley. It jangled when I walked. That did not feel (or sound) very professional. It was also a little too rodeo. So I made a decision–the rivets had to go and it needed to be a little less Grand Ole Opry. Make no mistake, I love the Grand Ole Opry, but not on this skirt. So I pried the rivets off.


Then I replaced the tonal flowers with small, black leather fabrics. Instead of riveting them on, I sewed them on.




I think it’s better, and it’s definitely far less jangley.


Once I had the skirt revamped I moved on to another top–Jalie 3667. I’ve been sewing this top nonstop. Seriously, I think I’ve made something like 8 versions of it. This time I used some crocheted lace from Mood and put it on top of some cream knit from Metro Textiles in NYC (they have new online site–check it out!!) I used black scuba on the sleeves, neckband,  cuffs, and the waistband I added. I also shortened the front and back to fall at waist level.


After I finished the top, the cream knit seemed a little too bright-white when I put it next to the bomber.


I didn’t like the way it looked with the jacket, so I brewed another very large pot of tea and stuck the Jalie top into it. The tea took the white down to a better level.



It took some doing to make sure that the flowers did not line up with the boobs, but I think I might have done it.


Here’s the back:


And here it is with the bomber:



I really kind of dig it.

Jalie 3675


I’ve been changing my mind. At first I was planning on making a Burda military jacket above (5/2011 #113) out of some black beefy knit as the topper in my PR wardrobe contest entry. But then I started worrying that the military jacket would be too wintry. So then I thought about the floral blouse that I made.


And I started to think that maybe “flowers” should be the unifying theme for my wardrobe entry. So then I started to wonder what kind of floral print would go with my blouse and work as a topper.


I started searching the Mood website and found the above fabric in a Mikado. When I realized that the name of this fabric was “Wildflowers of the Mountains,” I took it as a sign because Boonetowne is in the mountains. I ordered one yard and paid for it with my Mood points and so it was free and that was kind of like another sign. Then I was on the and found some Lucky Brand sneakers in the exact same pattern!! That was like a sign times x 3. So the long and the short of this is my topper is made out of this wildflower print and flowers will serve as the unifying theme for my wardrobe contest entry.

I decided to make a bomber and since Jalie’s Charlie bomber is one of my favorite patterns, I went with the Jalie bomber. I had some striped, ribbed knit that I bought at Butoni in NYC during the 2017 Pattern Review Weekend, and I thought I would try to use it with my mountain-flower fabric. The problem was that it was a bit too white.


The bright white stripes were not working for me, so I made some tea and used it to dye the trim.



It worked perfectly. The tea toned the bright white stripes down just a tad. I’m not sure if you can see the difference in the pictures, but the stripes are more off-white/creamy-white after the dunk in the tea.


I assembled the Charlie the same way I always do–with the online tutorial. I used scuba on the sleeves and to line the front and back. The jacket went together without a hitch.



It snowed this morning in Boonetowne, but I was not to be deterred. I wanted to take pictures with my bomber and my matching kicks. What I got was pictures of my bomber, my shoes, and Louise.


I wanted close-ups of the shoes, but that turned out to be a little harder than I imagined. This one looks like I might have stepped in dog poo.


This one is equally strange, but I like how Louise showed up in all of them.


So now I’m wondering, how much floral is too much floral. I made the blouse below the other day (I still have to blog about it) and I love it, but does it really go with the jacket????? Not sure.






Simplicity 8175


Truth be told, I bought Simplicity 8175 for the long, straight skirt featured in the main photo. I hadn’t even seen view D–the A-line with pockets–until I started working on the Pattern Review wardrobe contest. Last week I decided that I wanted my second bottom for this contest to be a white pleather skirt with flower embellishments. Since my theme for this wardrobe is “feels like winter but looks like spring” or “sprinter”, I thought that the white skirt would look springish, but feel winterish. Since I was going to add leather flowers with rivets, I wanted an A-line skirt. I searched through my pattern stash and found View D. When I realized the skirt also had pockets, that was all she wrote. The pockets on this skirt are amazing.


I cut a size 12 out of white pleather that I bought from It’s Telio Perfection Fused Faux Leather. I worked with this stuff before (in black), and I love it. It’s good quality at a reasonable price, and it’s somewhat forgiving. With leather, if you rip a seam out, the needle holes remain. With this skirt, I had to take out some of my topstitching and redo it. After I ripped the stitches. I ironed the pleather with steam (using a pressing cloth) and needle holes almost disappeared.1E0FA8C4-1BB4-48B9-B40F-3EEBCD4D8081

I made size 12 with no modifications. After I hemmed the skirt, I added leather and pleather flower embellishments. The darker flowers are real leather and the lighter ones are the skirt pleather. I cut the flowers using my Accuquilt Rose of Sharon die, and I fastened them to the skirt with rivets.

Here’s a picture of the embellishments in process–before I set the rivets with my trusty hammer.


Embellishments post hammering:


It’s been kind of gray and overcast in Boonetowne, and the light is not good. I was in search of good picture-taking lighting and ended up trying a few in our shower under the skylight. So here’s Simplicity 8175 in my shower:




Since I didn’t want to actually stand in the shower and take pictures, I took the rest of the photos in my sewing room.







Butterick 5526


For my third garment (second top) in the 6-in-6 wardrobe contest, I wanted to stay with my “sprinter” theme (i.e. spring + winter) and make a long sleeve blouse that was warm enough for winter but reminded me of spring. I decided to make view B out of Butterick 5526.


I made this pattern once before and fell in love with the height of the collar on view B. It has a very clean and crisp look. I decided that I would use some new Mood fabric for this make–a cotton voile called Persephone’s Bouquet. I got this fabric using a gift certificate that my husband gave me for Christmas. When the fabric arrived at my house, it was even more beautiful than it looked on the Mood website. I began to wonder whether I could actually cut it. Seriously. This stuff is gorgeous.


My only modification was on the front buttonhole band. The pattern uses a fold-over band, but when I did that, the floral on the front was just too busy. I decided to cut a band from the darker part of the fabric and sew it on. I also used darker pieces for the cuffs and collar. Here’s a grainy picture of the band.


I’m super excited about the way this one turned out. But honestly, it’s the fabric’s fault. Persephone’s Bouquet would make a flour sack look good.





Jalie 3667 and Ottobre 5/2015 #9


It’s time for another Pattern Review wardrobe contest, and I am in. I really love the wardrobe contest–I mean more than other contests–and I’m not completely sure why. I think it could be the planning and coordinating–I like that a lot. I also like the heap of new clothes that enters my closet once the contest ends.

I was thinking that I should use this contest to make some spring clothes, but the problem is that the contest ends in mid-March and spring doesn’t come to Boonetowne until April at the earliest. If I make spring clothes, I won’t be able to wear them right away, and I am not very good a delaying my gratification. So here is what I decided to do: I am making a “sprinter” wardrobe comprised of six winter garments that remind me of spring.


First up was Jalie 3667 in a lavender wool angora knit from Mood. I’ve lost track of how many times that I have sewn this pattern this winter. It’s been a lot, but it’s just such a great top. And the lavender knit, it is so yummy. It’s super cozy and soft, and a beautiful spring-like color.



After I made my first top, I made one of the two required bottoms. I decided I wanted to make a pair of professional-looking, wool shorts that I could wear to work. I used some wool herringbone that I had in my stash and cut my first Ottobre pattern. I used the #9 tapered pants from Autumn/Winter 2015.



The pattern pieces for the front and back of the pant legs were drawn in two pieces that were to be joined before cutting the fabric. Since I wanted shorts, I only used the top leg pieces. I also removed the taper so that my shorts would hang straight.


This garment psyched me out a little. I had my normal good-god-I’m-making-pants anxiety plus I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Ottobre pattern; but honestly, this wasn’t too bad. The shorts went together relatively easily, and they fit!






I hemmed them pretty long because I want to wear them to work and I’m 50. So this is my 50 year old work hem. I’m pretty psyched that these turned out. So is Scout!


Burda 6475


Have I mentioned that we don’t have any pattern stores here in Boonetowne? Well, we don’t. This means that I try to work in a stop at Joann’s on all of my out-of-town trips. And if I’m really lucky, I time it just right and end up at Joann’s during a pattern sale. Well last week, I hit the pattern sale jackpot. I was out of town and stopped at Joann’s in the midst of the Burda and McCall’s sale!!!! I scooped a couple handfuls of new patterns including Burda 6475.

When I got home I started Pattern Reviewing and Googling my new purchases and found Mimi G’s version of Burda 6475. Have you seen it? She used tweed and made such a cool top. After I saw it, I knew that I wanted to try the exact same thing. So I found some tweed that has been in my stash FOREVER and cut View B plus the pocket flaps. I cut size 36 and graded out to 38 at the hips.

After I started assembling the top, I found that the seam that attached the yoke to the front, was way below my bust line. It looked really weird. Since I had already attached the pocket flaps and topstitched the seam, I decided to raise the front seam by taking two inches off the shoulders and lowering the neckline. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it worked.

The pattern has half-length sleeves, but I wanted full length so I lengthened the sleeves. I also felt like the pouch pocket in this pattern was puny–too small for the oversized top. I brought in the pocket pattern from Kwik Sew 3045, and it worked perfectly.



I loved so many things about the finished product, but I just couldn’t get my head around the pocket flaps. I felt like they looked like big ol’ droopy boobs, and once I saw them, I couldn’t un-see them.


See, big ol’ sad droopy boobs. You see it now too, don’t you? I couldn’t deal with it so I chopped those pocket flaps off and resewed the front seam. It was so much better. See:






After I finished my first attempt, I knew I wanted to sew it again and use my precious wool check from Mood. Lord, how I love this fabric.


On my second try, I wanted to make a dress length. I added 6 inches to View B and I thought it would do the trick, but it ended up being a bit too short for a dress, so I made it a tunic.


I kept the full-length sleeves and the Kwik Sew pocket and I bound the hood, sleeves, and pocket in pleather. I tried to cut the yoke so that the seam would fall above my bust line, but I wasn’t super successful. I ended up raising the seam, but I also ended up reducing the width of the sleeves. I actually had a few moments where I thought I had ruined things, but I ended up making it work. If I sew this one again, I need to work on the yoke.



I love the way the pleather looks with this fabric, and I LOVE this top–with it’s wonky sleeves and all. I wore it to work on Monday and then took the pictures below when I got home. The lighting is not great, but hopefully you can get a sense of this top in all of its splendor.









And even more fabric manipulation.


After I finished the black fleece hoodie with the wrap around collar, I couldn’t help myself–I had to make another. I made the second one out of plum Polartec. The color is not good in the pictures, but it’s a deep plum. I used black pleather to bind the edges.


Once I made the hoodies, my interest in/addiction to fabric manipulation grew. While I was Pinteresting, I came across the book below and ordered it right away.


Thanks to Amazon, I had it in two days and started studying right away. Then on Wednesday, we had a snow storm and schools were canceled. I took it as a sign that the fabric manipulation gods wanted me try a new technique. I decided to try the in-seam technique that Ruth Singer described in her book.


I used my Accuquilt Go  to cut 26 small circles out of grey Polartec. I decided to add these to seams that join the sleeves to the body of the top.


I pinned the circles on to the front and back and then basted them in place. I then trimmed the excess circle off.



I was a little worried that these half circles would wrinkle or flap around, so I stitched around the edge of each circle. After the top was assembled, it created a scalloped effect.



When the weekend rolled around, I decided to try to replicate a flower/sun design that I saw on Pinterest. I used Jalie 3667 again and cut the bodice out of this faux-suede, scuba that I found at Joann’s. I drew the design and cut the openings.


I was a little concerned that the scuba my fray or pill, so I used an lighter and singed the cuts that I made. It really helped clean-up and stabilize the cuts.


I then based the scuba piece to a second front piece that I had cut out of some sturdy black knit. I also sewed inch long lines between each opening. I did this so that when I began folding the fabric, the scuba would remain connected to the backing.



Once I had the scuba and black knit attached, I folded the petals up and sewed them together.




I cut sleeves out of some black quilted fabric, and then added black ribbing on the neckline and cuffs.



I really dig it. I know I can’t make a ton of these–one can only have so many origami flowers in one’s wardrobe–but I really like how it turned out. I kind of want to make another one. Is two too many?





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