Closet Core Patterns – Pietra Pants & Shorts

While on my shorts making journey, I came across the Pietra shorts from Closet Core Patterns. I feel like I’m late to the party on this one. There are so many beautiful Pietra pants and shorts on Instagram. I’m glad I bumped this pattern to the top of my project list. The pattern offers shorts, wide leg pants as well as slim tapered leg pants. I originally bought the pattern for the shorts but after being so happy with the how the shorts turned out, I couldn’t help but sew the pants. I had been wanting to make some wide leg linen pants for a couple of years, so here was my opportunity.

The high waist and flat front are what attracted me to this pattern. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the elastic back waist but I like it very much. The gathers are nicely distributed by sewing a couple of seams along the 2 inch wide elastic.

I have plans for more pants from this pattern. Next up, I would like to make a pair with the tapered leg.

I made the shorts before the pants but I’m in love with the pants so I wanted to show them to you first.

I’m continuing to add shorts to my summer wardrobe. I’ve sewn more shorts in the last couple of months than I have in the last 10 years. That is not saying very much because I think I’ve only sewn 2 pairs of shorts in the last 10 years.

These shorts have a nice shape and are very comfortable to wear. The instructions for the pattern are detailed and easy to follow. There is even a tutorial on the company’s website for sewing the pockets. I didn’t need the tutorial but a novice sewist might find it helpful.

I still have one more shorts pattern to try before summer is over. Stay tuned for the Grainline Studio Maritime Shorts. In the meantime, stay safe and well.

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McCall’s 7967 – Knit Dress

I took a break from sewing shorts to make this simple knit dress. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to work from home since the middle of March. Though my work wardrobe consists mostly of jeans and casual tops, I’m enjoying sewing garments that I’ll wear more frequently once we’re all out and about again. The anticipation of wearing something to get together with friends or spend a day in San Francisco makes me happy and hopeful.

The gathered sleeves and neckline variations are what attracted me to this pattern when it was introduced.

The dress has a similar fit to McCall’s 6886 which I have sewn multiple times. I lined the dress with swimsuit lining. The fabric is a mid-weight scuba knit but I like a lined dress even when wearing knits.

The pattern has you finish the neckline by turning in 5/8 inch before stitching. I would normally make my own binding to finish the neckline. I prefer a bound neckline finish, but the dress fabric combined with the lining was on the heavier side. I chose to follow the directions to turn the seam allowance and stitch the neckline with my coverstitch machine.

The only other change I made was to interface the sleeve band.

Once I was finished with the dress, I thought the pattern would make a cute top. Solid knit tops are something I’m realizing I need more of in my closet.

I hope this finds you safe and well.

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Simplicity 1464 – Shorts and a Skirt

Spending so much time at home for the last few months has me wanting to add shorts to my wardrobe. When the weather heats up I usually turn to simple knit dresses but I’m realizing that shorts and a top would also be good casual wear for warmer days.

I bought Simplicity 1464 with plans to make the skirt a few years ago. I never paid attention to the shorts until I was going through my patterns looking for shorts. I had decided I would try different styles of shorts and make muslins (hopefully wearable) until I found a couple of patterns that could become my go-to patterns.

I made view E. I added one inch to the length.

The fabric has been sitting in my stash for quite a few years. I still have enough to make a sleeveless shirtdress, which is what I had planned on making when I bought the fabric.

I like that the pleats are repeated in the back.

Below is a picture of the waistband. The shorts have a side zipper.

While I had the pattern out, I decided to make the skirt I had planned on making when I bought the pattern.

Just like the shorts, the skirt also has pleats in the back and a side zipper.

I made view B and added 4 inches to the length. Adding length was the only change I made to both the shorts and skirt.

Prior to making the shorts pictured above, I made a pair of shorts from Simplicity 1887. I bought this pattern to make these shorts a few years ago and never got around to it. I figured this was a good place to start my shorts sewing journey. I like the way they turned out. There’s not much to say about them. They were easy to sew and I didn’t do any modifications to the pattern.

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Jalie 3906 Tania – Linen Jacket

The weather is heating up around here and I’m not going any place where I would need a linen jacket. But as most sewists know, when the mood strikes you to sew a particular piece, you go for it.

While sorting my fabric last month I came across some linen that I’ve had for years. The fabric is high quality. I was never sure what to make with it and for some reason kept thinking that whatever I was considering was never good enough for it. I don’t know why I thought that saving it for the “perfect” pattern (whatever that is) was better than making something I would enjoy wearing. I was determined to sew the linen and this pattern came to mind.

The jacket is unlined and a pleasure to sew. The pattern gives you the option to make a more relaxed jacket by using the full bust measurement to determine your size, or you can use your upper bust measurement to have the jacket be more fitted in the shoulders. I chose to make a relaxed version because I wanted my jacket to be casual.

I like the diagonal pockets and the way the diagonal seaming is repeated in the back.

Now that I’ve sewn this jacket, I can see myself making this pattern more often than I had planned. This is a versatile piece to have in your closet.

Stay safe everyone!

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Vogue 8379 – Knit Wrap Dress

I love to sew. I’ve been sewing for years but discovering the online sewing community was a game changer for me. I appreciate the many talented sewists who share their creations and inspire me to improve my skills. In the last few weeks a group of sewists have inspired me in other ways than sewing. I’m talking about black sewists. I was at a loss for what to say or do after the murder of George Floyd. I paused and took time to read, listen and reflect on what I can do to become an ally and a voice for change. I turned to black makers within the sewing community who were sharing their thoughts and personal stories. Once again, I was being inspired by sewists to improve myself. I’m learning what it takes to help bring on the change that needs to happen. If you are on Instagram, I recommend checking out @blkmakersmatter. They are a coalition of black makers united to bring about and implement cultural transformation in the sewing and crafting industry. Their voices are making sure that Black Lives Matter is not just a passing phase but continues to be discussed and receives the attention it deserves.

I started this post by stating that I love to sew. I turn to sewing both in stressful and happy times. I find the creative process brings me clarity of mind.

For the last 3 months I’ve been sewing from my stash. This leftover piece of jersey has been waiting for its turn at the machine for about 9 years. I made a maxi dress with this fabric 9 years ago and had enough for another project. I chose to sew my favorite wrap dress, Vogue 8379.

This is the fourth time I’ve sewn this pattern. For this version I did not include the sleeves. I’ve made the following changes every time I’ve sewn this dress.

  • Added 1 inch to bodice length
  • Cut back skirt on fold.

This pattern has been available for a few years and there are many beautiful versions out there. Below are my 3 previous versions:

Remember to be kind to yourselves during these uncertain times. Stay safe and healthy!

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McCall’s 7991 – Knit Dress

I’m always on the lookout for simple knit dress patterns. They are not only great for showcasing interesting prints but they are easy to slip on and go. I feel like I’m ready for nearly anything summer throws my way when I have an assortment of knit dresses in my closet. I have no plans to go anywhere in the near future but I’ve decided to sew as if I do.

This pattern caught my attention because of the wide band along the front AND the skirt. I didn’t have any knit dress that had a skirt with this much volume. I used an ITY knit for this dress and it worked out great.

I added a 1/2 inch to the length of the top. I usually have to add anywhere from a 1/2 inch to 1 inch to the top. I didn’t add any length to the band because I like to cut the band a little shorter than the pattern and stretch it slightly as I attach it to the top. I find this helps the front lay flat.

I added 3 inches to the length of the skirt. This would have been a shorty without the extra length. I like to line my knit dresses with swimsuit lining. I didn’t have enough to line the entire dress so I chose to only line the skirt.

These pictures were taken about 6 weeks ago. It was before my hair started showing its true color. I purchased a good pair of hair cutting scissors so I could at least keep my hair out of my eyes. I sent an email to my hairdresser letting her know that she doesn’t have to worry about losing a customer. I would rather cut the flimsiest/slipperiest fabric than my own hair.

I hope this finds you all doing well.

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McCall’s 7975 – Twist Front Top

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How are you all doing? I’ve been working from home since the middle of March. My work attire has pretty much been knit tops and jeans on a daily basis instead of the usual dresses I wear during the week when I go to the office.

I bought this knit top pattern a while ago after seeing some cute versions online. It is different from anything I have in my closet. The rayon jersey has been in my fabric stash for a couple of years. I thought it would work well with this pattern because it has a nice drape to it.

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I added 1 inch to the length of the top because I wanted the twist to sit at the waistband of my jeans and not above it. Adding an inch is a usual alteration for me.  I sewed a 3/4 length sleeve. It is the length of the sleeve without the ruffle (View C).

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This knit top is a great addition to my assortment of knit tops. I’m not sure when I’ll be headed back to the office but in the meantime this top will be on heavy rotation.

Here’s hoping this finds you safe and healthy.

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McCall’s 7999 – Knit Dress

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I like sewing simple knit dresses. I find them versatile pieces to have in my closet. When I saw McCall’s 7999, I thought it was just different enough from the other knit dress patterns I had that I needed to add it to my pattern inventory.

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The pattern is described as close-fitting. I compared it to a couple of other knit dress patterns that I like in order to determine if the fit needed to be adjusted. I added 1/4″ to the seams starting at the bust all the way to the hem.  It was just enough to give me a little wiggle room.  The other change I made was to cut the collar in half. As drafted the collar is folded in two.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a folded collar. This dress is part of my spring transition wardrobe so I wanted the dress to be comfortable for warmer days and I thought the folded collar might feel too warm.

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The fabric is a textured knit with great recovery. This dress was a quick project and is perfect for this time of year with its cooler mornings. Even though I’m working from home and mostly wearing casual knit tops, I find it comforting during these times to plan my wardrobe around my “normal” routine. Besides, this dress is so easy to wear that I’ll probably wear it to work from home one day.

I hope you and your families are safe and healthy.

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Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench Coat

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This  trench coat was on my to-sew list ever since my sewing neighbor Kathy brought the pattern to my attention. When I was about 11 years old, my sister had a midi-length purple denim trench coat. I’ve often thought of that coat over the years and knew I would make a denim trench coat at some point. This black denim has been in my stash for quite a few years. While thinking of what fabric I was going to use for the coat, I remembered the black denim and decided it was time to make my denim trench coat.

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I headed to Britex in San Francisco for the buttons and D-rings. Britex is my go-to store when I need buttons that are a out of the ordinary. The selection and customer service are wonderful.M_L03926

This pattern is well drafted and the instructions are very good. I sewed a size 38 based on my measurements and it worked out well. I added 1 inch to the length of the front and back above the waist. I also added 1 inch to the sleeve length. These are normal adjustments for me.  Besides following the directions for interfacing certain pieces, I chose to add interfacing to the lower front facings the pocket bands.

The coat is unlined. The inside seams are finished by binding them with bias tape. I chose to make my own bias tape using leopard print cotton.

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I probably won’t be wearing my coat anytime soon but I’m glad I’ve added it to my wardrobe. I highly recommend this pattern if you are looking for this style coat.

I hope this finds you all doing well during these uncertain times.

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Burda Style 06-2019-110A – Spring Tunic

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This tunic is my most recent Minerva Maker project. I chose this beautiful John Kaldor polyester crepe because I thought the print would look lovely in this simple tunic and these colors were wonderful for spring.

You would never know by looking at the front of this tunic that the back has a deep V. I like a garment with a little surprise in the back.

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You can see in the line drawings below that the tunic has straight sleeve. This fabric has such a lovely drape that I chose to widen the sleeves and gather them into a band at the wrist.

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The top is quite long. I removed 1 inch from the front and back. My shortened version is plenty long for my 5 feet 7 inches. Another change I made was to widen the band holding the back V in place. The finished width of my band is 5/8 inches.

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This pattern is perfect for showcasing an interesting print. The tunic was easy to sew. I didn’t refer to the instructions but if I had, they were very detailed by Burda Style standards. The pattern is featured in the “Sewing Lesson” section of the magazine and features step-by-step illustrations and instructions.

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For now I’m content to leave this tunic hanging in my closet until I’m able to wear it out somewhere with my fashion photographer.

I hope this finds you all safe and healthy. Take care of yourselves during these challenging times.

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