Jalie 3461 – Last Eleonore’s Of The Season


I’ve posted jeans made with Jalie’s pull-on jeans pattern a couple of times on my blog. I made two additional pair before the warm weather runs out around here. It feels like we just started our hot weather on the Central Coast of California so I’m hoping to get to wear these pants a few times before fall hits us.


I purchased this polka dot stretch cotton at Britex in San Francisco over the summer. I was worried that the polka dots would make these look  like “clown” pants but I love polka dots and was willing to take the risk. I think I can get away with them as long as I don’t have anything with ruffles while wearing them.  I made skinny jeans for this version. I did this by taking 3/8″ off of the inseam from the hem and tapering to nothing right above the knee. As with previous pairs I used 1.5″ elastic at the waist instead of the 1″ called for by the pattern. This is standard for me when making these pants. The top in the picture is  Simplicity 1463.

The next pair was sewn with white denim from Mood Fabrics.


This pair was made without any changes. I’ve made five pair of these pants since March of this year. I qualify this pattern as a “very satisfying sew”. There are very few pieces and the jeans come together quickly. The results are totally Ready-To-Wear.  The printed top in the picture is Burda Style 06-2013-108.


Here are pictures of my previous three pair:

Burda Style 06-2013-116 – Gingham Shift Dress


Our warm weather is just getting going here on the Central Coast of California. I’m still in full summer sewing mode though I have started thinking of my fall wardrobe.


I’ve had this shift dress on my list to sew ever since it came out in the June 2013 issue of Burda Style magazine. When I saw this 3-dimensional cotton gingham at Tissus Mode de l’Orme in Granby, Quebec I knew exactly what pattern I was going to make with it.

The dress has front and back side insets. The pattern called for piping between the side insets and the front and back pieces which I chose to omit. I may add the piping if I make this dress again, depending on my choice of fabric. Speaking of fabric, my gingham was thin so I chose to line the dress.


Below is a line drawing from the magazine so you can see the detail better. I chose to cut the insets and the pockets on the bias.


This pattern had bias strips at the neckline and pockets which I thought would be perfect for contrasting fabric.

This is a fun summer dress. I found the pattern well drafted and all of the pieces came together nicely. The patch pockets and insets are nice details for this shift dress.



Vogue 8742 – Knit Dress

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My most recent project is a knit dress from a pattern that is now out of print. I made this dress a few years ago with long sleeves and have wanted to make a sleeveless version ever since. Sewists are starting to think of Fall sewing but here on the Central Coast of California we’re about to get our warmest weather of the year and I can’t wait!


I lowered the neckline about 3″ on this version. I also lined the dress with a lightweight knit because my fabric was somewhat sheer. The other change I made was to add an invisible zipper to the back. The dress as drafted has a keyhole opening in the back which works great if your fabric has two-way stretch as recommended on the pattern. My fabric only has crosswise stretch and I was nervous that this might make it challenging to get the dress on and off.

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I’m always worried when inserting a zipper in a lightweight knit. I fear this may cause puckering. I applied thin strips of interfacing along the edges before inserting the zipper. This worked out great. The zipper lies nice and flat.


The print is very busy and does not show the front seam gathers very well in the pictures. Below are the line drawings from the pattern. The seams on this dress allow for a wonderful fit.

Vogue 8742


Below is a picture of the dress I made a few years ago using this pattern.


Vogue 8742

Simplicity 1612 – Knit Dress


I love an easy-to-wear summer knit dress. I can’t have enough of them in my closet. My girlfriend Lise in Quebec sent me this beautiful textured ITY knit for my birthday. I knew it had to be a summer dress.


I made this version of Simplicity 1612 as a maxi dress last year and loved it. I shortened this dress (View A) by 1″. The front twist is nice but I think the back is what makes this dress interesting. As with my previous version I shortened the back elastic by 1.5″ in order to remove the possibility of gaping.


The bodice of this dress fits very well and is comfortable to wear. The twist front comes together easily. This was a quick sew yielding cute results.


Here’s a picture of the maxi dress I made last summer using this pattern:


Simplicity 1612


Jalie 3461 – Eleonore in Montreal


A couple of weeks ago my fashion photographer and I headed to Quebec for our annual trip to catch up with friends and family. We spent a day in Montreal playing tourist and meeting up with friends. I wore my most recent Jalie Eleonore jeans.


I blogged about this pattern a few months ago. This pair is made with a stretch twill from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I sewed a size R but used the length from size S. I also used 1.5″ elastic for the waist. I used this width of elastic for my previous pairs and will continue to do so for future pairs.


There’s not much to say about this wonderful pattern that has not been said by other sewists. It is a quick project that yields great results. All three pictures above are taken in the sculpture garden outside of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The fake fly and front pockets are not obvious in this print. I like the back patch pockets. They give the illusion of “real” jeans.


My previous Eleonore jeans:


McCall’s 7319 – Maxi Dress


I love maxis! They scream summer to me. Maxis are definitely something that I have more of in my closet because I sew. I don’t think I would own as many if my closet was filled with mostly RTW garments.


My latest maxi is McCall’s 7319. It nearly wound up a wadder through no fault of the pattern’s. The crossover front pieces are gathered and end at the sides approximately 4″ below the waist. I did not pay attention to this even though I had it well marked. I ended the gathers at the waist. This made for a lot of gathering in a much smaller area than designed.  Once the dress was sewn I tried it on and immediately realized my mistake. Ugh! I spent one evening undoing 3-thread serger stitching AND a knit stitch without making any holes in fabric. The following evening was spend re-gathering and sewing. I’m glad it worked out because I’m very happy with the final result.


The fabric is an ITY knit from my stash. I don’t know how long it has been in there or where it came from. The details of the dress don’t come through well in the pictures. Here are the line drawings from the pattern:


Now all I need is an invitation to a summer party.


La Mia Boutique 05-2015-13 – Knit/Woven Top


My fashion photographer and I headed to San Francisco for a walking food tour in Japantown. I wore my latest project, a woven and knit top made from a pattern in La Mia Boutique, an Italian pattern magazine.


The jersey had been in my stash for a couple of years. When I saw this top in the magazine I headed to Britex to match the jersey with a woven print. I found a wonderful cotton voile from Italy.


This was a simple project that came together very well until it came time to sew the hem. I was using my coverstitch for the hem when one of the needles fell out. It jammed in the finger plate. It took my sewing machine mechanic (who also acts as my fashion photographer) 1.5 hours to remove the needle and extricate my top from the machine. The top had a 3/4″ hole in the hem. The only way to “save” the top was to turn up the hem by an extra 1″.


No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Britex. Great things come in small packages.


The meeting place for the tour was at the Peace Plaza in Japantown. Pictured behind me is the Peace Pagoda. When I searched the definition of Peace Pagoda online this is what I found: A Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa; a monument to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace.