The “French” Jacket

Inna and Leisa have completed The Little French Jacket Sew Along, but I’m still plugging away at my jacket.  For personal reasons I put this jacket on hold for almost a month, but I have gone back to work on it this past week.

DSC_0184_1213Last week was all about basting the lining to the jacket  pieces and sleeves.  Today, I pin basted, thread basted, then sewed the jacket seams together.  I also used the selvage edge from silk organza to stabilize the neck and front edges and provide support for the buttons and buttonholes.



You can see here (hopefully), how marking the seam lines with thread comes together as the pieces are basted together.  At the left you should see the thread marks come together and at right you should see where I have pin basted the pieces.

It’s difficult to see in these photos, but I’m much happier with the fit than I thought I would be.  It appears to gape open here, but buttoned the jacket will be fitted and sits well.  The arm holes at the shoulders may still be a bit wide, but I can check that when fitting the sleeves.  Looking at the back photo makes me worried the back shoulder is too wide.  I may have to take another look at that.

LBJ.FittingFront LBJ.FittingSide LBJ.FittingBack

It’s starting to shape up and I hope to be very happy with it.

I really want to make a blouse out of the lining fabric.  I found it at Mood and I just love it.

I hope you have a good week and are able to create something amazing.



Marfy Sew Along

MarfyFreePatternsWhile there hasn’t been a lot of sewing going on, I’ve still been pretty busy.  The Gammill Charm I won in December was delivered and installed yesterday, so I was able to play a bit.  I also got back on my French Jacket!  (About time!)  I’ve missed talking to my bloggin’ friends and really need to get back here.  But in the meantime, I just read a blog post and had to share it with you.

A month or so ago, I blogged about the free patterns Marfy had offered.  For all of you who took advantage and are now wondering how to sew with these patterns, Leisa, at a Challenging Sew, has the answer.  She has started a sew along specifically for these patterns.

She begins with the blouse and already has three versions made and shown on her blog.  Seriously, go check it out.


Have fun!


Marfy 2014/2015 Catalog

I would like to begin this post with a disclaimer … I’m not affiliated with Marfy in any way and receive no compensation for promoting them.  I’m just a little fascinated with their style and want to pass news to those of you who, like me, don’t have ready access to their patterns.

So, having said that, I received this in my inbox yesterday.  I’ve mentioned in the past that while Marfy catalogs are dear, they include free patterns which often make it well worth the cost.  Not to mention the fun of having these style books at hand to browse and be inspired.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve pulled out my Marfy catalogs looking for inspiration on a style change I wanted to make.

Did you notice this catalog has TWENTY free patterns.  That’s many more than I’ve seen in the past.  Honestly, they are not all patterns I would use, but I think the patterns I do like make up the difference.  Here are a few of my favorites.  The center blouse is simple, classic and elegant.  I can see getting good use of that one for work.  And the dress at the far right is precious.   (The photo here is pretty small.  If you want a closer look, click the photo to go to Marfy’s site.)


And the shipping cost is fabulous!  That’s half of what I normally pay to the ‘States.  I’m browsing the patterns to see what was on my wish list so I can combine a catalogue and pattern order.  The last time I did that, the patterns did not increase shipping costs.  Crossing my fingers that holds true this time.

You know, at some point, I really need to start cutting into these patterns and stop adding to my ‘library’.  I know none of you do that, right?   There is a New Year’s resolution list building in the back of my mind.  That may have to be part of that list in some way!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!  I hope this season finds you and yours richly blessed.


Sewing Your Own Jeans

A couple weeks ago, after I splurged on Crafty’s awesome $19.99 sale, I spent a couple days watching  classes on making jeans.

Angela Wolf has classes on Pattern Review as well as Craftsy.  In Sewing Designer Jeans she uses her own jean pattern to talk you through the art of making your own jeans.  Some great tips are on distressing the denim to create that broke-in look of your favorite washed and worn jeans.  Other tips include topstitching options and, my favorite, hammering those multi-seamed, hard to sew areas for a flatter, easier to sew seam.

Another class I’ve had in my Craftsy library is Kenneth King’s Jean-ius.  The idea is to take a pair of your favorite, best fitting jeans and create a pattern from them … without taking the jeans apart!  Since I no longer have a favorite fitting jean, I wanted this class more to learn to clone a pair of pants … any pants.  My favorite part of this video is the construction of the jean.  Kenneth talks you through so many why’s and how’s of putting together a pair of jeans and shares some of his favorite methods.  This is definitely a class I will be revisiting.

I recently purchased the Jamie Jean pattern by Named Clothing.  I’ve been a little obsessed with discovering what difference the European cut made in a pair of pants and my daughter has been needing blue jeans, so it was a good excuse.  I have the pattern cut and ready to sew… but no time!  It appears they may have to wait until after Christmas.  But many of the tips from those jeans classes will be put to the test.  🙂

And lastly, I found this post by Don Morin on drafting a pair of American Jeans based on your own measurements.  Creating custom patterns based on measurements has also become a bit of an obsession lately.  I’m not looking for anything fancy, just something that actually fits!

I measured myself, which is always dicey, and drafted a pattern.  I’m pretty proud of myself.  Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so we’ll have to wait to see how the muslin actually fits.

All of this activity was actually from a couple weeks ago.  With Christmas and high school football championship games, it’s been pretty busy around here.  And Christmas is next week.  I’m not ready!  Oh, and my husband is having knee surgery Monday…before Christmas!  It’s going to be crazy around here.

I really need to sew up a few zipper bags before Christmas….let’s see if I actually get it done!

I hope you’re doing a better job of organizing your time.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Ramona and The Iconic Tweed Jacket

In my recent post, I shared that was running an awesome sale on their classes.  If you read it, you know I had quite a few classes in my cart and was trying to decide if I should cut it down a bit.  However, it was too hard to choose, so I didn’t cut any classes from my cart.  Shocker, I know.

This weekend, I watched The Iconic Tweed Jacket with Lorna Knight.  There seems to be so much going on with this style jacket right now.  I’m participating (and way behind!) in the French Jacket SAL hosted by Inna at The Wallinna and Leisa of A Challenging Sew.  I also recently picked up Claire Shaeffer’s book Couture Sewing: The Couture Cardigan.  So when this class came out, I was VERY tempted.  At the same time I wondered how much of the information would be a repeat of what I already have available.  In the end, I took the chance and added this one to my Craftsy cart during their fabulous sale.

While some of the material does repeat, a lot of it is still fresh.  Lorna approaches this jacket a little differently in places.  I found myself mentally comparing the different techniques and choosing which I thought would be my favorite method.  To begin, she constructs her jacket using the seam allowance and not by marking the seams as I’ve been shown previously.  I love her method of stabilizing the front center, neck and sleeve hem.

Most of all, I enjoyed her teaching style.  (Of course I’m a sucker for the accent…I thought it might be Irish, but she appears to be British??)  She is very methodical and seems to anticipate the questions you are thinking in your head.  The pace was wonderful, neither too slow or too fast.  Lorna offers great tips along with her reasoning for the methods she chooses.  I will definitely be referring back to this class.

If we’re lucky, Craftsy will have plans to bring Lorna back for other classes!

Another review you might find interesting is Red Point Tailor’s:  The French Jacket courses review – part 1

I also watched most of Angela Wolfe’s, Sewing Designer Jeans, and I finally finished Sandra Betzina’s Pants Fitting class, but those reviews are for another day.

And by the way, did you see A Challenging Sew’s post yesterday?  Leisa is planning a sew along (SAL) beginning in January using the free patterns Marfy has made available.  For all you newbies to Marfy, and to current fans, this should be a fun SAL.  (See previous post for more info on these patterns.)

That’s it for now.  Happy Holidays!

Brasilia Dress in Review

a0263-cotton260sDressesI recently had the opportunity to test the Brasilia dress pattern by Rachal of House of Pinheiro.  With the alterations and waiting on my daughters to be available for fittings, it’s taken me longer than planned.  It’s been well worth it.  This is a simple look with awesome details.

Originally, I had planned to use stretch fabric as Rachal had, but was drawn to the ’60’s’ inspiration and really wanted to make this in a wool.  After two muslins, there is finally a dress.  Since I’m still not certain I have the FBA’s where I want, I saved the wool and made this dress is in baby wale corduroy.  It’s fully lined with Bemberg lining.


BetsyBrasiliaDetailsCollageThe details on the front of the dress show up subtly and beautifully in this fabric.  There’s still one alteration I need to make and that is to smooth the hip line out a bit more.  Photo at left shows pucker at hip line.  The upper back still appears a bit long, but that will have to be an alteration for next time.

I would love to figure how to make that full bust adjustment and still nip it in at the waist.  Not quite enough definition yet.  I’ll be working on that..again, for next time.

These photos don’t do justice as I’m fighting to find decent light.  I think I found all the shadows instead!

Pattern AdjustmentsPattern AdjustmentsBust

For those working on this pattern, I’ve made a FBA adjustment, and shortened through the bodice and the hip for a 5’2″ frame.  The adjustments look something like this.

Pattern:  Brasilia Dress by Rachal of House of Pinheiro

Fabric:  Baby wale corduroy / Bemberg Lining

I want a granddaughter …

Seriously, sewing for girls is so much fun.  Take a look at the styles from Burda…

Burda Herringbone Shorts

And my all time favorite …

Makes me want to sew a few of these up ‘just ’cause’.

(I was asked if these were in the Burda Magazine and I honestly can’t tell you.  I’m in the US and Burda isn’t as readily available here.  I subscribe to BurdaStyle blog and see some great styles that way.  You should check it out. )