Butterick 5954 – Knit Tunic


My first project of 2018 is a knit tunic that has been on my to-sew list for a couple of years. I like to start the sewing year with a simple project that “guarantees” a win. I always hope that it sets the tone for the year ahead.

The pattern was “Best of 2014 and 2015” on Pattern Review.com.


This was a quick and easy pattern to sew.


I used this same lightweight sweater knit for another top last year. The overlapping fronts were perfect for the loose knit. I hand-stitched the fronts along the right edge to keep the front “closed” because the fronts tended to separate when I moved. I added three decorative buttons to the top. I was inspired by some ready-to-wear tops I had seen.


I like the shape of this top and the way it is fitted on top and flares out at the bottom.


I’ve joined the 2018 Ready To Wear Fast organized by Sarah at Goodbye Valentino. Over 1,000 sewists have pledged not to buy any clothes in 2018. I make most of my clothes but there are some pieces such as jeans that I have been nervous about trying. I was going to run out and buy a pair in December but decided to take advantage of the fast to challenge myself to sew the type of clothes I’ve been avoiding. I’m hoping this challenge helps me improve my sewing skills. Here’s to another year of blogging about my sewing projects. I appreciate you reading about my sewing adventures.


Back to Top

Vogue 9204 / Style Arc Harlow Top – Frankenpattern


I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. This post is about the tunic I made for Christmas Eve. I needed a simple project because between the decorating and baking I didn’t have much time to sew during the month of December.

I’ve had Vogue 9204 on my to-sew list for a while.

Vogue 9204

I like the statement sleeve trend and figured this pattern would be a great style to modify the sleeves.


I searched my pattern stash and chose to use the sleeve from Style Arc’s Harlow top. I omitted the split in the sleeve and sewed the seam all the way.  I used French seams because the inside of the sleeves show when wearing the top.

SA Harlow Top

I was relieved that the sleeves did not get in the way of eating, drinking, etc. I noticed that when I was using my arms the sleeves tended to fold back on themselves. The fabric is polyester crepe purchased at Fabrix in San Francisco.


I cut 1.5 inches off the bottom front to create a slight high-low hem.




My fashion photographer always makes me laugh while we’re taking pictures. I normally reject the pictures where I’m cracking up but I figured this was a good way to end my last blog post of the year.

As the New Year approaches I want to take this opportunity to wish you a New Year full of joy, peace and good health. May you be inspired to create and experience success in all of your projects.


Closet Case Patterns – Nettie Bodysuit or as I call it: Bodysuit Mania

Copy of tile3b

I’ve been eyeing this pattern and admiring the beautiful bodysuits being produced by my fellow sewists and I decided to finally give this pattern a try.  I can’t remember the last time I wore a bodysuit. Let me say this right up front: I love this pattern.

My first version was going to be a muslin but fortunately it turned out to be very wearable. The fabric is a medium weight knit with four-way stretch from The Fabric Outlet in San Francisco.


I chose to make the higher neck front and scoop neck back.


After my first success I sewed another one using an amazing new-to-me fabric. I bought some double brushed poly spandex from Cali Fabrics. This fabric is wonderful to touch and work with. It is so soft and has great recovery. I immediately placed another order online. For this version I made the scoop front and high back. It is only after I saw the pictures that I realized my terrible pattern placement on this one. I couldn’t believe where that flower landed. Ugh!


My last one (for now) is a very narrow black/purple stripe from my stash. I made the high neck and back on this one. You can see that by making the high neck in the back as well as the front it brings the neckline inward, closer to the neck.

The directions were very good. I made a size 6 based on my measurements and I’m happy with the fit. The pattern offers an optional snap crotch. I don’t consider this optional and can’t imagine wearing a bodysuit without the snap crotch.

These are the first three bodysuits from this pattern and they won’t be the last.


Back to Top

Burda Style 03-2016-105 – Layered Knit Dress


I purchased this textured knit fabric as a remnant at Tissus mode de l’Orme in Granby, Quebec last summer. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be but I loved the texture and “leather” look to it. When my Mom saw it she said it would make a great dress. My Mom has a knack for matching pattern and fabric so I knew this had to be a dress but what style? It was a sizable remnant so I was not limited in my choice.


I reviewed my Burda Style magazines and found the dress pictured below. I included the line drawing to show the details of the skirt. I sewed a straight skirt instead of using the pattern piece that included pleats in the front. I originally cut the pattern as designed but found the pleats created a unflattering look. The pleats are at the waist so by the time they peek under the top there’s some volume that appears to come from nowhere. Maybe the issue was that my fabric is not as “drapey” as the fabric pictured in the magazine. Regardless, I prefer the skirt without pleats. I like the fitted skirt with the flare of the top.

BS 03-2016-105

BS 03-2016-105drawingThis dress has a fun silhouette. I usually go for something fitted but it’s good to shake things up style-wise sometimes.

The back has an inverted pleat.


This dress was quick to sew. It nearly took me longer to trace the pattern than to sew it up. I have prescription glasses for sewing and now I think I need to tell my ophthalmologist that I need a pair of “Burda Style pattern tracing glasses”. Yikes! It’s getting more and more challenging to trace the patterns in the magazine especially when you have to follow the red line and the pattern piece is highlighted in pink.


I needed a non-sparkly holiday dress and this one turned out exactly as I pictured it.


Back to Top

Burda Style 06-2016-101B – Knit Top


I made this top a couple of months ago and  finally got around to taking pictures of it. I’m trying to catch up on my blogging before the end of the year.


This lightweight sweater knit was gifted to me by a dear friend last Christmas. I wanted a simple style that took advantage of the stripes but had a minimal amount of seams to sew because the fabric was challenging to work with. I chose to change the direction of the stripes from the top pictured in the Burda Style magazine because this way I would not have any stripes to match at the seams.

BS 06-2016-101B

I lengthened the top by 1″.  The fabric is “springy” and loosely knit so in order to prevent the sleeves from stretching I used stay tape in the shoulder/upper sleeves seams for stability.


The instructions have you turn and stitch the neckline. I chose to use packaged bias tape. Once again I wanted to add stability. This worked out great. The packaged bias tape did not add any bulk and created a nice finish.



Back to Top

Butterick 5950 – Knit Dress


I like to make a new dress for Thanksgiving. It has to be a simple sewing project because it is a busy time of the year. I bought this textured double knit from Tissus Mode De l’Orme in Granby, QC last summer. It was a remnant so I was limited in what I could sew with it. I enjoy the challenge of trying to find a pattern for a specific length of fabric.


While going through my patterns I came across Butterick 5950 which is now out of print. I purchased the pattern to make view A but never got around to it. My remnant was big enough to make view C.


I omitted the zipper. This dress goes easily on and off over my head. I lengthened the bodice by 1″. I normally have to do this. I also lengthened the skirt by 1″.


This dress was not part of my sewing plans. I’ve been so focused on sewing for our vacation next year that I overlooked my immediate “needs”.

My fashion photographer and I ran outside for a quick photo shoot during a break in the food prep. I hope that those celebrating had a Happy Thanksgiving.


Vogue 8925 – Knit Tops


I need to add some casual tops to my wardrobe for a vacation we are planning next spring. This print I picked up at Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, QC was so interesting that I wanted a very simple style to showcase the fabric. Vogue 8925 fit my needs. I like the princess seams in the front as well as the neckline.

For the blue print I made a shorter version of View C.


I like the depth of the back neckline.


I made a second top with the same pattern but this time I made View B with its applied neckband, lapped princess seams and raw edge finish on all edges.


I chose to sew the sleeve to the top with a regular finish rather than the lapped seams shown on View A and B.


I found this knit at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco (known as Cali Fabrics on-line). My fashion photographer and I happened to be in the Mission District so I decided to pop in and check it out. The store is currently in a temporary location while they undergo some remodeling. Even in their temporary space I found the store to be well organized and easy to get around.

Both of these tops were quick and easy to sew.


This cutie decided he wanted to be part of the photo shoot.


I made the tunic version, View C, last fall.


Back to Top