Burda Style 09-2017-122 – Black Crepe Dress


I purchased this black Italian stretch polyester crepe from Mood Fabrics a couple of years ago. I didn’t have a pattern in mind at the time but while going through my Burda Style magazine this dress caught my attention. I made the dress a couple of months ago and finally got around to taking pictures.

BS 09-2017-122

The dress was not difficult to make. The pattern doesn’t call for lining the dress but I chose to do so. The crepe has some stretch to it so I went with a thin black swimsuit lining. I’m happy I chose to do this because the dress is fitted and the stretch is nice to have for ease of wearing. I didn’t want to lose the stretch of the crepe by using a woven lining.


The pattern called for an exposed zipper. I think that adds a nice modern touch to the dress but I chose to go with an invisible zipper. I was going for a more classic look.


This is how I styled the dress for the blog pictures but I’m finding that this dress is very versatile. It looks great with a scarf or longer necklace or with a different style of belt or even without the belt.


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Jalie 2805 – Basic Knit Tops

Sometimes you have to get back to basics. There’s nothing very exciting about these knit tops. They are simply good basic knit tops to have in my wardrobe.

I bought the polka dot knit (pictured below) last summer while visiting family and friends in Quebec. I thought it would make a nice basic top to wear with my black jeans. I dug out Jalie 2805 because it is my go-to basic t-shirt pattern. I had never made this neckline before and enjoyed the process very much. I was intimidated by it for years but the instructions were great and instilled confidence in me.


While looking for the black contrast in my bin of “leftover” knits, I came across a black knit with enough bits and pieces to make a cap sleeve top from the same pattern. I also found this wonderful Italian printed mesh to use as an overlay. There are all kinds of treasures in my bins of leftovers from previous projects. It’s good to rummage through them once in a while and refresh my memory as to what is in there.


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Jalie 2680 – Flocked Denim Coat


This flocked denim has been in my stash for a few years. I purchased it from Mood Fabrics without knowing what I was going to make with it. I just knew I had to have it and inspiration would follow, as is often the case.


Living on the Central Coast of California I need coats, but I don’t need many warm coats.ย  I decided this was the year I was going to use this fabric. I pictured something similar to a long denim jacket. I chose the Jalie City Coat pattern. I’ve had the pattern for a few years but had never made it until now. My fabric doesn’t show the details very well so below is a line drawing from the pattern. I plan on making this coat again in a solid red twill from my fabric stash. The pattern does not call for a lining which is what I was looking for with this fabric.

Jalie 2680

This coat was a joy to sew. I didn’t make any changes to the pattern. I sewed my usual size “S” that I always sew from Jalie patterns. I think this pattern would make a great raincoat when sewn with waterproof fabric.


I purchased the metal buttons at Britex in San Francisco. It’s my favorite place to get buttons. The selection is wonderful.


I love having an assortment of jackets, toppers and coats in my closet. This coat is a great addition to my “collection”.


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Burda Style 08-2012-130 – Faux Suede Tunic


I ordered this stretch faux suede online a couple of months ago with a different project in mind. Once I received the fabric, I realized it was too lightweight for my original idea. With the fabric now in-hand, I could picture a drapey top of some kind. No particular pattern came to mind, so I spent a couple of hours going through my collection of Burda Style magazines. This tunic jumped out at me as being a good match for the stretch faux suede. The top in the magazine was sewn with jersey.

BS 08-2012-130

The faux suede can nearly be considered double-side as it has texture on the wrong side as well as the right side. This was necessary for the pattern because the wrong side of the fabric is what is visible on the lower overlay once it is “flipped” and continues up the right side. The pattern is also drafted without hems which was perfect for this fabric. The lower front wants to curl up but the back and sleeves don’t and neither do the flounces.


I wore this top to the de Young Museum in San Francisco to see Monet: The Late Years. I can’t go to San Francisco without stopping by Britex. I was looking for trim for a French jacket I’m considering making. Can you tell that Britex is my happy place ๐Ÿ™‚


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Vogue 8825 – Ponte Knit Dress


Vogue 8825 has been available for a few years. I made my first version of this dress in 2012. I still wear the dress and every once in a while I thought of making a Ponte knit version. Recently I started seeing this dress on Instagram again and I figured it was a good time to dig out my pattern.


The dress is easy to sew. I love the sleeves. I shortened the cuffs by 1″. I also added interfacing to the cuffs. The interfacing helps the cuff support the sleeve as it is quite long.IMG_8042

The Ponte has been in my stash for a few years. I don’t remember where I bought the fabric but it has a wonderful “hand” and I love the color. I was saving it for a “special” project. I’m not sure why I felt the need to do that. It’s better to sew something and actually wear it rather than have the fabric sit in a bin.


This dress will be a good transition piece. I appreciate everyone sharing their versions of this dress on Instagram. It was just what I needed to add another one to my closet. The sewing community is so inspiring.


Below is the dress I made in 2012 from an ITY knit. It was the same fabric that Vogue used to promote the pattern.


Vogue 8825

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Simplicity 2311 – A Winter Coat for “Real” Winters


I live on the Central Coast of California but grew up in Quebec where my family and many of my friends still live. My fashion photographer and I travel to Quebec every summer. This February my Mom was celebrating a landmark birthday so we decided to make our way up North. I have a parka that I would normally take for this type of trip but I wanted to see if I could make a coat that would be warm enough for cold and windy (read: FREEZING) weather. I succeeded.


I’ve had this wool fabric in my stash for a while. The fabric is loosely woven so I underlined it with Kona cotton. I do this to most of my light to medium weight coat fabrics. I find it adds stability. I lined the coat with Kasha lining (flannel backed satin) quilted with Thinsulate. I’ve quilted coat linings with Thinsulate in the past. It adds a little more bulk to a coat but it adds a lot of warmth and is lightweight. I also added a back-stay and sleeve heads. My go-to book when making jackets or coats is Jackets for Real People by Marta Alto, Susan Neal, and Pati Palmer.


We plan on moving to Canada in the next few years. My goal is to have an assortment of warm coats to get through the winter as comfortably and fashionably as possible.


No trip home is complete without at least one visit to Tissus Mode de l’Orme in Granby, QC.


One more picture just because I’m so pleased with my coat.


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Naughty Bobbin Patterns – Presto! Popover Top

double image

I made 3 Presto Popover tops a couple of years ago and wear them regularly. I decided to whip up a couple more to start off the new sewing year. I like to start the New Year with a sewing project that I know will yield good results. I feel it sets the tone for the year and encourages me to keep sewing.ย The Presto! Popover top is a wonderful wardrobe staple and I feel that you can’t have too many of them. I would tell Marie Kondo that they bring me joy ๐Ÿ™‚

The pattern is designed with ITY or similar knits in mind. I purchased this brown ITY knit last summer with the intention of making this top.


For the black version I used a fairly sheer lightweight knit leftover from this project. I chose the Presto Popover pattern because the front has a double layer of fabric. This was perfect for my sheer knit. I wanted to add some interest to the sleeves for this version so I added a flounce using McCall’s 7681. I bought the pattern after seeing my sewing neighbor’s version of the dress. How lucky am I to have a great neighbor who is also a talented sewist?!!!


These two tops officially launch my sewing adventures for 2019. Here’s hoping there are many more pictures of me smiling wearing my me-mades.