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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?





More fabric manipulation


I’ve been spending a lot of time Pinteresting “fabric manipulation.” Seriously, people know how to do some beautiful things with fabric. Last night I got lost in this particular search for over two hours, but this morning I woke up with a plan to make a black fleece hoody using some of the braiding that I saw on Pinterest.


I started by trying out different sizes for the braiding–the fabric is fleece and the strip is pleather. I decided to go with the smallest size, with strips two inches long and .4 inches wide.


After I figured out the braiding, I needed to figure the hood. I wanted my hood to wrap and to create a cowl neck, like in the picture above. I’m not sure who to credit for the picture–it’s not mine–I found it on Pinterest. If it’s yours, please tell me and I will definitely credit you or take it down.

I didn’t have a pattern for this hood, so I decided to make my own. I started with the hood that I drafted to use with the Jalie dolman pattern.


In order to create the wrap effect, I did not cut it on the fold. Instead, I continued the face-opening line down on a diagonal. The pattern piece ended up looking like this


I cut two of these out of fleece and sewed them together along the back/top seam. Then I began adding the braiding. I basted two lines around the face opening to use as guides–one was 1 inch away from the edge and the other was 3 inches from the edge.



I then folded this 2 inch area (within the basting lines) in half and cut bands that were approximately .4 inches wide.


Once the bands were cut, I opened the fold, removed the basting, and braided a pleather strip through. After I finished the braiding, I decided to line the hood with the same black fleece that I was using. I cut two more hood pieces, sewed them together, and attached them to the hood exterior. I then bound the face opening area with a strip of black pleather.


I assembled the rest of the hoodie using the front, back, and sleeves from Jalie 3667. Again, I cut these pieces in a size Y, even though my measurements are size T. I straightened the hem line on the front and back  and shortened them by about 3 inches.

I used the pocket pattern from Kwik Sew 3045 and reduced it a bit and then added it to the front. I bound the hand openings in the pleather. Finally I cut strips of pleather 6 inches wide, folded them in half, and sewed the ends together to make the waistband and cuffs.


This was a very fun sew! Once again I am posting way too many pictures!








An experiment


I was on Pinterest and found some cool pictures of what I’m going to call fabric origami. The pictures were actually of leather that had been cut, folded, and sewn–it was super cool. I wanted to try it and see what it looked like. I thought felted wool would work really well, but I had some scraps of double faced Polartec laying around, so I decided to try some Polartec origami.

Here’s what I did. I took a long strip of fleece and folded it in half lengthwise.


I made a series of small 45 degree cuts at equal intervals.



I opened it up and then sewed a piece of black wool to the back. The black wool isn’t in the pictures.


I folded the points of the arrowheads up and pinned in place. I then sewed straight up the middle.




After I tried this, I was kind of in love with it and wanted to find some way to incorporate it into a garment. Last week I had made Jalie 3667 out of this same fleece. I decided to take it apart and incorporate the origami insert. I made an insert for the front bodice and the front of the collar.


I shortened the height of the collar about an inch, and the top is cut 5 sizes up, but otherwise it’s a straight 3667. I’m kind of in love with it, so here are way too many pictures:











This was so easy and so much fun. Now I want to include origami on everything!!


Jalie 3667


It’s time to make a confession: I may be addicted to sewing Jalie 3667. I have sewn it A LOT and I am not sure if I am going to stop.

It all started with the 3667 turtleneck that I made in green sweater knit from the Fabric Joint. I made a size T.



I liked it so much that I decided to make another out of an oatmeal sweater knit, also from the Fabric Joint.



Then Christmas came and went and I had some time off of work. So I decided to make another 3667 out of sweater knit from Joann’s.


Then I decided I needed to try the hooded version of 3667. I cut a size Y so that it could be more like a tunic, and used a luscious Italian knit that I bought at Mulberry Silks in Carrboro, NC.





I loved the tunicky feel of the size Y. I wanted another one. Then the weather turned cold and I thought, “I want to make a warm tunic with a turtle neck.” I wanted to use up some of my fleece scraps so I tried to combine 3667 with 2795. The result was not good.



It had a weird dolmany look that I was not digging. So I decided to take it apart and make a straight 3667 black tunic turtleneck.


I LOVE this one. It’s made out of a faux, stretch wool from JoAnn’s. I tried to buy more of this stuff online, but it’s all gone.

Honestly, I think this is when the addiction fully took hold. I still wanted to hack this pattern. I did some online searching of different sweater styles and came up with this version:



The grey fleece is Polartec and the camo is wool fleece from Mood. I was psyched about the results of my hack, so I wanted to make another.


This time I used leftover pieces of sweater knit–the red,black, & cream is from Mulberry Silks (Carrboro, NC) and the cream & black is from Metro Textiles (NYC).

Then I started to feel like I had taken things too far, but I still wanted to make one more so I made this fleece version–size Y in grey Polartec.


I’m not sure what to say. I love this pattern. It’s fun to sew and fun to wear. Please do not judge me. I might sew it again.



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