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 🙂


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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. 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 🙂

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.

Vogue 1596 -Knit Tunic


As soon as Vogue introduced this tunic pattern I knew I had to make it for the Holidays.


I omitted the front pockets because my fabric was a fairly sheer lightweight knit. I felt the pockets would be a distraction as they would be visible.


This top was not complicated as far as sewing goes BUT I still managed to mess up on the tucks. They are supposed to be pressed toward the center. I pressed them all toward the side seams. At least I was consistent with the front and back.


I loved everything about this pattern except the sleeves. I wanted a sleeve with a little more volume. I chose to add a slip-on cuff. The cuff for this pattern has 3 loops/buttons as closures.


The pattern calls for a tiny chain to link the front together. I thought this was an interesting detail and a modification I’ll probably make on future projects. Instead of purchasing a chain, I chose to string some silver beads from JoAnn’s jewelry findings section.


One more year is coming to an end and another one is about to begin. I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate your comments very much.  Sewing is mostly a solitary activity. Connecting with other sewists and sharing my successes and goofs make it a lot more interesting.

I wish you all a year of good health and much happiness. May you have success in all of your projects, whether they be sewing or something else that brings you joy. Happy 2019!

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Burda Style 12-2017-107 – Knit Dress


Sewing has taken a back burner to Holiday preparations but I still managed to sew up a few projects. This pattern caught my eye in last December’s Burda Style magazine. I’ve always been attracted to this style of dress.


The description of the dress mentions a 3/4 sleeve. I didn’t check before cutting out the sleeve but as you can tell it is longer than a 3/4 sleeve. I omitted the zipper because it was not necessary with my fabric. I found the pattern to be well drafted. One thing to watch for is the deep v-neckline on this dress. I’m not one to run for cover with a camisole but there was no way I could wear this dress without one.

BS 12-2017-117

I like the silhouette of this dress very much.


I chose to line the dress because my fabric is a lightweight jersey. The pattern offers directions for an optional lining.


At this point you wouldn’t think that this dress was problematic in any way.  The pattern was fine, I was the one trying to do too many things at once. I would wait until later in the evening to sew and proceed make the most ridiculous mistakes. Sewing the front bodice was the worst. I don’t know what I did but I had an armscye in the middle front for one of the fronts and the other one was sewn with the wrong side of the fabric showing. I didn’t think I could recover from that because I had used a tiny zigzag stitch and could not tell the black thread from the black fabric. Enter my fashion photographer who has an enormous amount of patience as well as perseverance. He brought his inspection scope into the dining room and proceeded to unpick one stitch at a time.


Once that was done I continued on my way making sure I was in the mood to sew and not too tired. I’m glad the dress was saved because I’m very happy with it.


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Helen’s Closet – Blackwood Cardigan


I just added my name to the LONG list of sewist who have made (and will continue to make) the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet. The are many reviews out there that describe how wonderful this pattern is. I concur and have nothing to add. The cardigan has been on my list to sew for quite a while but somehow always got bumped when it was its turn.

The pattern is well drafted and was a cinch to sew. I used a wonderful wool/lycra jersey from Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley, California.

I paired the cardigan with my latest version of Butterick 5526.


For this version I drafted a separate piece for the left front band. I wanted to make a contrast band for the buttons to match the contrast of the collar stand. For additional details about the changes I made to this pattern, please visit my original blogpost for Butterick 5526. I like the relaxed fit of this style.


I love the pairing of the Blackwood Cardigan with a classic shirt.


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