Burda Style 10-2015-121 – Blouson Jacket or What I Wore to Meet Leslie Sbrocco

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My fashion photographer and I enjoy food.  I love to cook and try new recipes but we also enjoy discovering new places to eat. One way we stay on top of the local restaurant scene is to watch Check, Please! Bay Area on our local PBS station. The weekly show features three guests who each talk about their favorite restaurant. The show is hosted by Leslie Sbrocco, a wine expert with a fun approach to wine and food. Leslie is a regular guest on the Today Show as well as other shows where she shares her knowledge about wine.

This year my fashion photographer and I were able to attend the annual Taste and Sip 2017 in San Francisco. It is an event hosted by Leslie, featuring local restaurants and wineries. Of course I needed something new to wear! San Francisco in the evening is always challenging for me. You never know how “cold” it will be. I wanted a jacket to layer over a sleeveless top and pants.  I purchased this stretch metallic denim from Fabric Mart last year with a blouson style jacket in mind.


This Burda Style jacket has an 80’s vibe to it that appealed to me when I received the magazine in 2015.  I like the length of it because it allows me to wear longer tops than I would wear with a bomber jacket. The pattern is well drafted and came together easily. Tracing the pattern was a little more challenging as the pattern pieces are used for multiple jackets in the magazine. The pattern calls for folding the front over the zipper to cover the teeth. I didn’t want to do that because; A) I noticed that it pulled at the waist because of the elastic, and B) I liked the shiny gold zipper I purchased from J & N Zipper . I forgot that by not folding the front, the collar was no longer going to finish at the zipper, as designed. My collar is a nudge short 😦   I decided not to cut a new collar and call it a design feature.

BS 10-2015-121

I like the fit of this jacket a lot. It felt good to wear and added to the fun of our evening.


We had not planned on doing any fashion photography but arrived early enough to walk around and take pictures.


I was completely star struck when I saw Leslie Sbrocco. People were asking to have their picture taken with her but I was too embarrassed to do that. My fashion photographer noticed her walking towards us (I went into panic mode) and asked her if she would pose for a picture with me. Leslie immediately scooted in and put her arm around me. She was warm and gracious AND told me I had a beautiful jacket. I don’t know what I said but I know it was something banal like “I watch your show every week and love it”.  As if  she’s never heard that before. Sheesh!  I look like a deer caught in the headlights in the picture below but I still like it because it reminds me of the wonderful time we had sipping and tasting away the evening.

Leslie and Lucy

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Simplicity 1463 – Striped Batwing Tops


I am not intimidated by matching stripes. It is a sewing skill that I am proud to say I have mastered. Depending on the fabric I sometimes baste my seams to make sure they don’t move while I’m sewing. Other times I might use my walking foot as well as double-sided tape to keep the stripes aligned.

Simplicity 1463

The first top I made using View A was the orange/coral stripe pictured below. The fabric was purchased from Fabric Mart a while ago.


When I came to sew the shoulder seams I realized that I forgot to match the stripes. The sides were good but the shoulder seams were WAY off. I would never wear it looking like that. Ugh! A wadder in the making. The next day at work I shared my frustration with a co-worker who also sews. She suggested contrast bands to distract from the mismatched stripes. I had nothing to lose since it was not wearable the way it was. I dug out some ponte knit scraps and created insets as well as a contrasting neckband. I am happy with how this turned out.


I cut out the blue/white stripe right after finishing the orange/coral. I was not going to let myself be beat by such a simple project and a rookie mistake. I needed to cleanse my sewing palette with a success.


A few years ago I made View C from the same pattern with stretch lace and jersey.


Simplicity 1463

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Vogue 9243 – Ruffle Sleeve Top


I am enjoying all of the beautiful statement sleeves that are popping up everywhere this season. I hope the trend lasts for a while.

Vogue 9243

I have been adding patterns with fun sleeves to my stash. I was attracted to Vogue 9243 not only for the sleeves but for the princess seams as well. I find princess seams very flattering. I like the length of this particular sleeve. They are comfortable to wear and do not get in the way of “everyday life”.


The fabric is an embroidered cotton/poly blend with a nice hand. I wore the top for over and hour in the car and it barely had any creases, not even from the seat belt. I purchased this fabric at Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, QC while visiting family and friends in April.


I wore this top to the Monet exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco with my fashion photographer. We were going to take pictures of the top outside of the museum with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. So why are these pictures taken in our front yard and what does the fact I bought a new laptop bag have to do with any of this? My husband had never seen my new laptop bag and grabbed it instead of his camera bag. We were all set to take pictures outside of the museum when he reached for the tripod that is normally in the side of his bag and was baffled. I took one look at the bag and figured out what happened. Oh well, there will be other opportunities for pictures at the Legion of Honor.


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Butterick 6418 – Stretch Lace Top


On my recent trip to Granby, QC I stocked up on fabric at Tissus Mode De L’Orme. I love, love, love that fabric store. I found this tie dyed stretch lace and matching jersey and knew they were destined to become a top of some kind.


I found Butterick 6418 to be exactly what I was picturing for the fabric. View C  would showcase the lace but allow the jersey to be visible.


The pattern is described a close-fitting. I made my usual size 8 and I found the top to be “comfortably” fitted, not too tight but not shapeless. I shortened the long sleeve by 3″ and narrowed the sleeve by 1/2″ tapering to nothing just below the armscye.


I added a neck binding instead of turning in the neck edge and hemming as directed in the pattern. I chose to have the binding be on the outside of the top instead of the inside. I thought it finished off the lace nicely. I also hemmed the lace overlay. The pattern calls for leaving it unfinished.


I paired my new top with my Jalie Eleonore jeans. These jeans are in heavy rotation in my wardrobe. The pictures were taken at a winery on the Central Coast of California. It was the perfect afternoon for a Sunday drive and a little wine with my fashion photographer.


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Sewaholic 1301 – Robson Trench Coat


A few years ago my sewing friend Cindy bought me the Sewaholic Robson trench coat pattern. I had been contemplating buying it because I admired the coats that were popping up on the blogosphere at the time so I was pleased to have the pattern show up at my door. Soon after receiving the pattern, Mood Fabrics had this wonderful double-sided polka dot fabric that was the perfect weight for a trench coat. Both the fabric and pattern sat in my stash patiently waiting their turn at the sewing machine.


The coat is unlined with the seams bound with bias tape (Hong Kong finish). I think it is a great opportunity for using contrast tape. The pattern is very well drafted and everything came together nicely. I sewed a size 6 tapering to a size 4 below the waist.


Below is a line drawing from the pattern highlighting the details that don’t show up well because of my fabric. I like the classic lines of this coat.


This coat will be in my wardrobe for a many years; I love polka dots and I love trench coats.


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McCall’s 6886 – Panel Print Knit Dress


When I was in high school I worked at La Petite Marmite, a wonderful Swiss restaurant in my hometown of Granby, QC. My job was making salads and general kitchen help. Whenever I visited my hometown I always made a point of dining at the restaurant. The food and service were wonderful. The chef/owner was my first boss and I had fond memories of working there.  After being in business for many years the restaurant was planning on closing on April 8th.  Fortunately I had planned on being in Granby during that time. One week before my scheduled visit emails and texts were sent and we soon had 14 friends lined up for a last meal at the restaurant. This was going to be special evening.

Such an occasion required a new dress, of course. It can be tricky when it comes to weather at the beginning of April in Quebec. The dress was going to have to be appropriate for any type of weather. I didn’t have time to shop for patterns or fabric so it was going to have to be something made from my stash. A quick search yielded this ITY knit panel print purchased last summer at Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby.


The fabric required a simple dress so I turned to McCall’s 6886, again.  This pattern is a work horse when it comes to knit dresses. Sleeves have become a big focus this season so I wanted to do something different with the sleeves. I liked the bell sleeve featured on McCall’s 7501 view D. The pattern has raglan sleeves so I took the shape of the sleeve and adapted it to fit McCall’s 6886. I shortened the sleeve by 3/4″.


I lined the dress with tricot to give the dress a little body because the ITY is fairly lightweight. I normally do this when it comes to semi-fitted or fitted dresses in ITY knits.  I  cut out front and back pieces in the lining and attach the sewn front and back inside the dress at the neckline. Wearing a slip would probably have the same effect but I like the feeling of a lined dress. I think I did a good job matching my side seams 😉


I love the challenge of working with panel prints. The length of the dress was determined by the print. Finding a good place in the print to “end” the dress is important.


The evening was full of great food and great moments made even better by the fact that I loved my new dress.


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Style Arc – Cold-Shoulder Knit Top


I’m digging the cold-shoulder trend and have been wanting to sew a cold-shoulder knit top for a while. I decided on Style Arc’s pattern to give this trend a try. The pattern only has three pieces and comes together quickly. For me, the most important part of sewing this top was clearly identifying the sleeve and armhole markings. Getting the sleeves aligned correctly are important for a good fit.

The fabric is a medium-light weight poly-lycra knit with some body.


This top is fun to wear. I have a couple of woven fabrics line up try some other cold-shoulder styles.


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