Sew Long Summer T-shirt edition


Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hackHey Sewists!  I volunteered for double duty for the Sew Long Summer tour, so I am back with another new garment.  Today, I am sharing my pattern hack version of Simplicity 1062. This is my second version of this pattern hacked top I have made this year.  I posted about my previous version and the non-hacked version here.  I never did write my how to hack post though.  Maybe next month.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hack


Back to this version now!  I made a few pattern tweaks from the last version and it made all the difference.  I love love love this top! The inspiration came from a top I purchased at Torrid a while back.  I has a woven front panel with a knit back  panel and neckline/armhole trim.  Not a typical combination, but it works for this top.  The front used .75 yards of Grayscale Tree Silhouettes Peach Skin Fabric from Girl Charlee purchased back in 2014 for $2.73.  The black is 1 yard of Ponte De Roma from Jo-Ann’s purchased in 2015 for $7.79 a yard. Total fabric cost: $10.52, which is less than half of what I paid for the inspiration piece.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hackThis is a great quick and easy make.  My typical fall wardrobe consists of skinny jeans, boots, and a cute top.  This top will fit into that wardrobe perfectly!  It was also a great way to use up some smaller pieces from my stash!  I am going to have to make more versions of this top. I want to make one with a bright colored Ponte De Roma instead of the black.  I promise I will write a how to hack post at some point while making other versions.


I have really enjoyed participating in the Sew Long Summer Tour again this year.  Check out the other tour stops while you are at it.
Sewing by Ti, Musings of a Seamstress, Tales of a Tester, Almost a hippy, At Margareta’s Haus, Sewing A La Carte, Birds Of A Kettle




TNT Stashbusting

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Hey Stashbusters!  How are you doing on your dress sewing this month? I meant to post about this dress two weeks ago, but Eric and I were celebrating our anniversary by going to Canada!  It was a blast! I may have bought one piece of fabric as a souvenir.  We’ll pretend like I didn’t do that for now though.

This week I am back with another version of my TNT knit dress, McCall’s 6073.  I have made this dress so many times I can’t even tell you what version number this one is.  I think maybe I should give this pattern a rest for a bit.  For this version, I used my redrafted bodice pieces to create a scoop neckline instead of the cross over V-neck.  I also did a quick and easy rolled hem.  That is my new preferred hem finish for knit dresses.  It is easier and looks better than a turned and stitched hem, in my opinion.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

For my fabrics I picked up two yards of this awesome Aztec coral and purple cotton jersey blend from Girl Charlee way back in February.  I had intended to use it for this dress and picked up a royal purple cotton spandex to go with it.  On the Girl Charlee site they looked like they would match perfectly together.  Unfortunately,  in person that was not the case.  The purple in the print was just too dark to match the royal purple solid.  Now, I have one yard of royal purple cotton spandex in my stash.  Bah!

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Luckily, I still had a little bit of navy ponte de roma from a few years ago when I did the Adoption Dress Project.  The navy looked great with the coral print, so it won!  In the end I used, 1.5 yards of purple/coral Aztec print for $9.38, and .75 yards of navy ponte de roma for $5.84.  The total fabric cost for this dress is $15.22.  I don’t think that is too bad for just the materials cost.  If you were to factor in an hourly rate of minimum wage for two hours, this is about what you would pay for a knit dress at Target.  I will take that!

Oh oh and before I go, I have to tell you some exciting news!  If you follow me on Facebook you probably already saw this last month, so I am sorry for being repetitive. But……I am one of the new bloggers for Cali & Co Fabrics! I am pretty excited about this opportunity!  Awhile back they posted a call out for bloggers on their blog and I applied.  I was surprised that I actually got picked.  The list of other bloggers is full of quite a few well known sewing bloggers.  I finished my first garment this past weekend and it should go live on their blog sometime soon.  Make sure to follow their blog to see all the awesome things my co-bloggers are making!

Battle of the Cotton Knits

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Hey Stashbusters!  Today we are talking about knit fabrics!  Inspired by Melissa at Mahlica Designs and her fantastic Versus series, I thought I would write up my own version of this.  I wanted to compare how the exact same pattern would sew up in two different knits.  Cotton Spandex Knit and Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit to be exact.

Let’s start with a little background on the pattern first.  The pattern I picked is M6559 in view D.  This is a pretty basic pattern as it only has two pieces.  It is a quick make, which is good for me.  These are the 3rd and 4th versions I have made using this pattern. Surprisingly, this is the first time I am really blogging about this pattern.  I kind of reviewed it here but not very much. For both versions I made a size 22 with no fitting alterations.  For both versions I did add a contrasting trim to the neckline and armholes and a simple rolled hem finish.  I love the contrasting trim I added as a different way to finish my openings.  I haven’t posted it yet, but I do have a pattern hack tutorial written for a different pattern that includes how to add this trim, so I am not going to post it here.  I really do love this pattern for its simplicity.  It makes a great summer dress for me that I am going to make over and over again.

Let’s get down to the main event though.  I compared each fabric in the following areas: sewing experience, all day wearability, first laundry cycle.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit


First up is a Kumquat Teal Navajo Modal Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee.  I used 1.75 yards of this fabric that I purchased back in 2014 during their Black Friday sale.  The total cost of this one is $4.38.  I also used scraps of an Orange Rayon Spandex.  It wasn’t enough to count for anything though.  This is a very soft drapey knit, that clings in all the right places. It is typically used for sleep wear, making this kinda like secret pajamas.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

Cotton Spandex Knit


The second fabric is Pink and Black Ethnic Cotton Spandex Knit.  This one also came from Girl Charlee and was in the August 2015 Knitfix I purchased last year. I used 2 yards which was a cost of $11.50.  For the contrast I used some scraps of Black Ponte De Roma that I had laying around. For this version I added 3″ to the bottom hem since I did not pre-wash the fabric because I wanted to do a laundry test.  This fabric is a little thicker than the other, but it feels more like a comfy t-shirt.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559  The Rayon Spandex print can go either direction, so I had no problems being able to match up the print at the side seams.  It is darn near perfect! Rayon Spandex does present it’s own set of sewing challenges though.  This fabric has a lot of stretch to it, so it was very important that I not stretch the fabric as I was sewing. Having a pattern to match at the side seams helped immensely with that. For all knits I make sure I use bulky nylon as my bobbin thread on my straight stitch machine and looper threads on serger.  I also make sure I use a jersey needle.


The cotton spandex, Musings of a Seamstress - M6559unfortunately, is a one way print.  With only having two yards the front and back panels go different directions, so there was no way I was able to match prints at the side seam.  This one has a good amount of stretch to it, but not as much as the rayon spandex,  making it a bit easier to sew with.  It would be a great knit to sew if you are new to knits.  The only downside to sewing this fabric was hemming.  The cotton spandex tends to curl up and my rolled hem is not visible now and I have a narrow band of the underside of the fabric showing.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Musings of a Seamstress - M6559I love wearing this rayon spandex dress.  I said earlier that it is like secret pajamas, making it a super comfortable fabric to wear.  The stretch and drape in this fabric makes it flattering in that it shows off my curves!  The fabric does tend to stretch out during the course of the day, but after letting it sit over night it recovered pretty darn well.






Since the cotton spandex doesn’t have the drape as the rayon spandex, it does show off my curves as well.  It is a little baggier looking in the waist creating more of a column look from the chest down. On the plus side, this one does stretch out a bit while wearing, but does not recover as well as the rayon spandex did. Since I didn’t wash it before wearing, the extra inches I added were slightly problematic.  Good thing that isn’t going to be permanent.






Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Part of the reason I wanted to wait to wash them until after wearing them was I knew how the rayon spandex would turn out and it performed as expected.  This is the biggest let down of rayon spandex for me.  In the picture the fabric on the left is unwashed and the one on the right is the finished garment.  You can see that the finished garment has white fuzzies all over it, causing it to have a faded look.  This is because of the rayon fibers.  I hate that this dress now looks super worn after only one wash.  Musings of a Seamstress - M6559The cotton spandex, by contrast, washed up wonderfully!  If you can see the dividing line down the center, the one on the left is the unwashed fabric and the one on the right is the washed garment.  They are identical in look!  No fading at all!  The fabric did become a bit softer though, which is a plus.  It did shrink up a bit in the hem, but not as much as I added to the hem, so I will re-hem this one.


So, which fabric does it come down to as being the winner…

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

The cotton spandex knit!  I think the washability of the fabric was the deal breaker for the cotton rayon spandex knit.  I want my garments to be of great quality and how they wash and wear is a huge part of that.  The downsides of this cotton spandex can be looked passed because this fabric still looks great after washing and I expect it will hold up for quite a some time.  I do have another cotton rayon spandex knit that is mostly white and navy that I am curious to sew up and see if it washes the same as this mostly black version.

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Have you sewn up either of these fabrics before?  What are your thoughts on them?

July Stashbusting Sewalong

Hey Stashbusters, welcome to July!  This months stashbusting theme is all about dresses.  This is my second year hosting this theme and I do not even know if I can begin to tell you all how much I love dresses in the summer time!  This may sound crazy to you, but we do not have central air or air conditioning so lightweight airy dresses are a must for me in the summer months.  The warmer the temps are here in the Midwest the more I rely on dresses to help me stay comfortable and cool.  I sort of kicked off this theme on Friday with my Independence Day outfit, but today I am for real kicking it off.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1808

To start I am sharing my version of Simplicity 1808, which is most definitely out of print now.  There are several other reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review already and between those and the fact that it is OOP, I don’t really see the need to add my review to the site.  I will keep my review here short too.  I made this dress way back in February, just in preparation for this month.  It was a quick and easy instant gratification make, that fills a void in my wardrobe for solid basic dresses.  For those reasons I would definitely make more and recommend this pattern to others.  I will probably make at least one more this summer.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1808

Of course I shopped my stash for this dress.  I used 2.25 yards of coral jersey knit that I picked up last year at Zinick’s Fabric Outlet.  Total fabric cost for this project was $3.38!  I know I have said it before but it is still true, Zinick’s is great for discounted fabrics.  Even after wearing and washing, this dress and fabric have held up very well.  I still have quite a good deal of this fabric left too.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1808

I have so many dresses to share that I have made earlier this year to prep for this month, as well as several dresses I am currently finishing up.  I am writing my versus posts already.  The first will be a fabric versus, using M6559.  I made the same dress up in two different fabrics and will be comparing how each fabric does.  I also have a shirt dress versus post comparing M6891 to S8014.  I want to do one more versus post but I haven’t decided on what it should be yet.  I also have quite a few pattern reviews to share too.

This month is going to be jam packed with all the dresses and posts I have planned. I guess that means I better get back to my sewing machine.  I hope you will stitch up a dress and share it with the rest of us Stashbusters this month!

Simplicity 1317 and Summer Plans

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

Hey Sewcialists!  What have you been up to lately?  I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I would like but I have been sewing and planning a lot.  I am slowly getting photos of all my makes, especially the dresses.  I have four dresses that I have made so far this year and none of them have had their time in front of the lens.  This crazy cold Indiana weather is making me not want to go outside.  Yesterday I wore my winter coat out to dinner! My winter coat…in mid May!  Ack!  Today, I am sharing one of my March makes.  Another version of Simplicity 1317.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

I really do love this pattern.  This is my 4th version, I believe, and I am still not sick of this pattern.  I really want to make another long sleeve version because of all this cold weather we have been having, but I will hold off for now.  For this version I made view E with an added 4″ of length.  I have a pair of olive jeggings that I love and I wanted some tunic length tops to wear with them.  I knew this pattern was a must to go with them.  While not pictured with the jeggings in these shots, the colors do all work really well together.

I also added the waistband from view A/B/C/D.  I prefer this waistband as a hem finish over just the turn and stitch hem.  Plus, it gives me another opportunity to add the contrasting fabric, like I did here, to balance out the main print fabric.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

Speaking of fabrics, all of these fabrics are ponte knits that came from the stash!  The main magenta and taupe print is from a previous Girl Charlee Knitfix that I purchased off of a seller on Facebook last year. I used 1.25 yards for cost of $11.88.  The solid color is called shitake mushroom brown, interesting name, is also from Girl Charlee purchased in 2014 during a Black Friday sale.  I used 1 yard for a cost of $3.50.  Total fabric cost of this top is $15.38 and another 2.25 yards are out of the stash.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1317

All in all I really enjoy wearing this top, especially when made in a ponte.

Other than all the sewing that has been happening around here, I have been planning.  Lots of planning.  I wanted to share just a little bit about what I have in store for the summer.

To start, I am hosting the Stashbusting Sewalong for July with the theme of dresses.  I am planning and prepping a series of versus posts for that month.  There will be woven shirt dresses, knit maxi dresses, and fun novelty dresses stitched up with comparisons between the different patterns and fabrics I use. Melissa of Mahlica Designs did this series earlier this year and I absolutely loved it and knew I had to do it too.  Right now I am getting all the patterns cut out that I plan on using for this.

I am also planning a learning to sew series to help out those wishing to learn sewing.  I am a part of several different sewing groups on Facebook and have seen numerous comments from members about how they are intimidated by sewing patterns.  That patterns are confusing and make the users want to give up because they cannot understand them.  I hate that others feel that way, so I want to hopefully shed a little light for them.  I have most of the pictures for the first series of posts ready to edit.  It is a lot of pictures to go through and prep.

Lastly, I have started planning costumes for our annual trek to the Ohio Renaissance Festival.  Besides Eric and I needing new costumes, I am also going to be making costumes for our nephews and their parents.  It is a lot of pieces to make and I fear I have put it off for far too long to get it all done in time.  My costume, which I have been pushing off for YEARS now, is most likely going to be pushed off again.  Eric’s costume should prove to be a learning experience for me as it will be made with real leather and I have never sewn that before. You can for sure expect a post about that experience.  After last year, my nephew decided he wanted to be Robin Hood for this year.  Of course I am going to make this happen for him.  Today I even pulled several fabrics from my stash to show him for his approval.

Until all that, I am working on a pattern hack tutorial of Simplicity 1062 for this week. Make sure to follow along on Bloglovin’ or through email to keep up to date on all of these upcoming projects and more.  I would love to hear what you all are working on too. Please leave a comment with something you are excited about for this summer.

Simplicity 1062 Review

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062

I am back this week with another new-ish make.  I made it back in mid-March.  This top is the reason I stopped working on my PR wardrobe collection.  I had a vision of how this top could turn out and I desperately wanted to create it.  I used Simplicity 1062 in view C for this top.  This is actually the second version of this pattern I made.  The pattern envelope describes this as an easy to wear hi-lo top, and I must agree with them.  I made an XL which is the size my measurements fit into on the measurement chart.  There is a lot of ease in the pattern that makes it super casual and comfortable.  The finished top is 10.5″ bigger in the bust than the standard measurements.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062

For this top I used 2 yards of green stripe cotton jersey from my August 2015 Girl Charlee Knitfix.  The fabric was $5.75 a yard for a total of $11.50 in materials cost for this top.  Another well worth it make.  I have one last 2 yard cut from my August Knitfix left to use, before I can purchase another bag.  I think the Knitfix is well worth the cost and I do love a mystery fabric grab bag.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062

Overall, I really like the way this top turned out.  I love that the strips on the cuff go the opposite direction as the stripes on the sleeve.  I also love the techniques for adding the cuffs and neckband. The are both fold in half pieces that I serged on.  The only thing I would change is the front length.  While I like the hi-lo, it is just a couple of inches to high for my preference in the front.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062 modified

Having shared my second version, now I want to share my first version.  It is drastically different than what the original pattern is.  This is the last of my tops that I had made for the PR Wardrobe contest.  I made this version way back in February.   I bought a top from Torrid last year that I love so much I wanted to recreate my own version of it.  Simplicity 1062 was the perfect pattern to hack for this project.

Musings of a Seamstress - S1062 modified

For this top I used one yard of black jegging ponte knit from Jo-Ann’s ($8.99/yd) and .75 yards of polka dot and roses chiffon from Fabric Mart ($4.49), both of which came from my stash.  Total fabric cost for this version was $13.48, which is far less than what I paid for the inspiration piece.

I don’t want to go into any details just yet on how I hacked the pattern to create this top.  I am planning on making another version this weekend so I can get some good pictures and write up a tutorial for the pattern hack with that next version.  I think that this makes a great basic that could work for almost everyone, so I want to share how to get your own version.

What do you think?  Have you tried this pattern yet? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it!

2016 Goals

Happy New Years to all my sewcialist friends!  I hope your years are off to a great start!  I know mine is.  I do have a few goals that I want to accomplish this year.  In my 2015 review post I mentioned goals related to my results of last year, so here they are.

  1.  Sew 100 yards of stash fabric.  I used 83.5 yards last year and I really thought I would have used at least 100 yards.  Some other things happened and, of course, I over scheduled myself with some projects for others so I didn’t quite hit that number.  This year I don’t want to do that and I want to stick to my goal of using 100 yards.  I am going to continue to track my usage to hold myself accountable.  If you are interested in the spreadsheets I use to keep, you can download them through the this link, 2016 Sewing Stats.  I am also co-hosting the Stashbusting Sewalong again this year.  Go to the Facebook group to check it out and join us.
  2. Sew more selfishly for Eric and I.  I actually didn’t make Eric a lot of things this year, which is unfortunate.  I did make him a pretty in depth project with the Albion coat, but other than that I made him 2 vests and 2 pairs of pj pants.  This month I am sewing myself a new wool coat and next fall I want to sew Eric the Thread Theory Goldstream coat. I know I want to sew more indie patterns this year as research (see #6).  I am, however, going to strive towards making at least 60 total garments this year, including my renaissance costume.
  3. Buy less fabric.  I have not tallied up the exact total of my stash in several years now because, quite frankly, it is too overwhelming of a task.  I am fairly certain that I have somewhere around 8oo yards of fabric stashed away in my 8’x10′ sewing room.  It takes up a lot of space.  My room is packed full.  I absolutely cannot add to the stash again this year like I did last year.  I just do not have anywhere to put it.  I am not sure if I spent less/brought in less in 2015 compared to 2014, but I will do better in 2016.  I bought 194.5 yards this past year, so my goal for 2016 is to buy less than 100 yards.  Who wouldn’t like to have some extra money too?  I know I would!
  4. Be more conscience about my fabric choices.  I know that I cannot cut out buying fabric all together.  That would be real rough.  Instead I would like to put more thought behind my choices.  I do not want to purchase cheap fabrics just because I like the prints or color.  I want to make sure I am buying fabrics that go with my coloring and are going to last.  I plan on investing a little more to get higher quality fabrics, like wool.
  5. Pattern more.  I do this as my day job and I want to do it more for myself.  I have a couple of patterns I have been working on during my lunch breaks for the last couple of months that I want to make fairly soon.  One of the patterns is a new coat using that awesome Aztec fabric I got on Black Friday.  I haven’t really put this out there for the whole of the sewing community yet, but my long term goal is to release these patterns under my own indie label.  I have been and will continue to work on figuring out what my brand and niche will be.  Right now my goal is to take this year to figure that out and to start releasing patterns in 2017.  That is the huge goal.  I have a lot of work to do there, including making PDF versions of my patterns, writing our instructions, and creating illustrations.
  6. Improve my blog.  There are three specific things I want to do to improve my blog.  First, is take better photography.  I was able to pull together several giftcards I had been saving from Christmas and my birthday to purchase a new DSLR camera over the summer.  I have been slowly learning to use it.  I need to speed up that learning now.  Second, I need to post more regularly, like at least once week.  If I want to be able to release a successful pattern line I need to post more to build a following and generate buzz about my patterns.  Third,  I need to write more tutorials.  I have so many in mind it is not even funny.  I just need to take the time to write them out.  Some of the ones I want to write about are the method I use for inserting zippers, how I add a lining to coat sleeves, and how to make your own toggle closures.

There you have it. My 2016 goals and plans.  What are you working towards this year?

April Round-up

Another month has come and gone so quickly.  At this time last month I started re-watching Sex and the City, now I am almost finished with it.  I have gone through 94 episodes in one month, only watching while sewing.  Whew!  I think next month I may re-watch Friends. We’ll see.  Now for the real reason for this post, because you know it wasn’t to discuss Carrie and Mr. Big.

I have had another great stashbusting month with no new fabric purchases!  I used 12.5 yards of stash fabric for April, which brings my year to date fabric total to 48.75 yards.  I have been sewing like mad these past 4 months.  I am on track to have a record sewing year and I am super excited about that.   Sew, what did I make this month?  It was definitely not keeping with the stashbusting theme of vibrant color, that’s for sure.  I really wanted to stay on theme but I have been on this black and white kick that I couldn’t seem to get enough of.

B5153 Starting with this past Sunday I made a new pair of pajama pants using my TNT B5153 pattern.  I went on a work trip to Chicago and decided that I should have new pj pants to wear.  I used 2.75 yards of cotton flannel from Jo-Ann’s that I got on Black Friday in 2013.  Total cost for the fabric: $4.79.  I love the print because it has owls hidden in it.  Look closely and you will find them.

Before that I finished sewing a dress I cut out inMusings of a Seamstress March.  I also made a non-traditional denim jacket, which I posted a sneak peak of on Instagram, and a chiffon kimono cover up.  I have yet to photograph any of those garments or two garments I made way back in February.  It has just been too chilly for me to want to go outside in dresses for a photo shoot.  Luckily it is supposed to be in the 70’s this weekend, so I will make sure to do it and share all my new lovelies with you.

Simplicity 2621

I did also post a picture of cutting out my corset for my renaissance costume.  It and the hoop skirt are cut out and ready to be sewn.  I will post reviews for each once they are completed as part of a series for building this costume.  I have been putting this project off for far to long now, like 3 years too long.  It’s time to take the plunge into the deep end.

The upcoming Stashbusting Sewalong theme for May will be lingerie, hosted by Andrea of Obsessive Creativeness.  We will see how I do with this theme.  Does my corset count?  Also, it is Me Made May.  I am going to participate this year.  I will wear something me made everyday.  I will post daily on Instagram and do a weekly round up here on the blog.

Stashbusting for the Stash Inhibitor

So my husband and I went to Jo-Ann’s today because I needed to get some star patches for a costume I am working on. I thought I would pick up the 12 McCall’s patterns that were on my must have list since they were on sale. I got 4 out of the drawers and then he shut the drawer and said I could get more next month because I didn’t need to collect patterns. Anyone want a stash inhibitor named Eric?

Albion frontA few days ago I posted this on the Stashbusting Sewalong group on Facebook.  After posting it I realized I should probably get around to posting about the Albion coat I made for him back in February.  This was a big project that I am so pleased with.  It did also bust 13.5 yards of stash fabric that I bought last year.  Without further ado, here is the review I posted on PR.

Pattern Description:
Version 1 is a mid-thigh length coat with patch pockets, in-seam pockets, a detachable hood tab, and flannel lining. Version 2 is a hip-length unlined jacket with a combination of felled and bound seams, in-seam pockets, and interior pockets. I made version 1.
Pattern Sizing:
XS-2XL. I made a Large.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Almost identical, right down to my fabric choices.
Were the instructions easy to follow?Albion back
The directions were superb! This is my first Collette Patterns make and I could not be more pleased with the written instructions and illustrations. To make it even better the sewalong is still available and compliments the instruction book well!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the ease with which this pattern fits together. It is well drafted and well graded. My only dislike is the hood tab on version 1. I think it looks, for lack of a better term, “Becky-homecky”.
Fabric Used:
I used 3 yards of beige Melton wool from Mood Fabrics ($75), 4.5 yards of plaid shirting from Jo-Ann’s ($23), and 6 yards of beige flannel from Jo-Ann’s ($10.74). I also used 4 toggles from Jo-Ann’s ($28). Total cost of this coat $136.74. By far one of my most expensive projects.

Albion detail

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I first made a muslin for this from the flannel, which I took apart to use as the underlining. The muslin fit perfectly!! This is rare that the sleeve length and hem length work for him as he is so tall, but this did. The only change I made was to add more depth to the hood. My husband said the problem with most men’s coats and jackets is that the hoods are not deep enough. This was confirmed by a male coworker too. To add room I added 1″ to the hood opening in addition to adding .5″ to each side of the center hood panel at the front and tapered it back down to the standard. And of course, since I didn’t like the hood tab, I took it out. I took off the tabs on the sleeves too.Albion closed

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely!! The sewalong even has steps for adjusting the pattern to fit a woman’s body. I for sure want to make a version for myself now. My husband also wants another version. For that one he did request adding an inside chest pocket, which I think it is a great idea.
I cannot say enough great things about this pattern. My husband has received so many compliments. One of his bosses even asked where he got it and was surprised to learn I made it. His boss thought it was London Fog. Woohoo! Let’s just hope his boss doesn’t ask for one now.


When the hubs is away…

Last weekend the hubs went to Alabama to see one of his friends and I stayed home.  I took this time to do a little selfish sewing and enjoy my alone time.  I ate foods that I love and he hates.  I got caught up on Downton Abbey and started rewatching Sex and the City.   I set my cutting table up in the living room on Friday and cut out fabric for 4 new tops for myself.  On Saturday and Sunday I sewed up those tops.  It was amazing and super productive!  So here are some quick reviews of my makes with links to the full reviews on the PR site.

S2365 view A front S2365 view A front detail

First up Simplicity 2365 in view A.  I used 2 yards of crinkle chiffon from the stash.  I cannot say how long I have had this fabric but I know it is at least 5 years.  I also know it came from Jo-Ann’s, probably their Red Tag section, but I do not know how much I even paid for it.  I also used 7 – 5/8″ red buttons from the button stash.  This top was an unexpected win too.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it is my second favorite top out of the bunch.  I am going to have to revisit this pattern at some point this spring.

S1317 v3 Front S1317 v3 back

My favorite top is Simplicity 1317, view E.  I used 1 1/2 yards of Black Ponte Knit from Fabric Mart and  1 yard of Taupe Ethnic on Black Wool Dobby Hi Multi Chiffon Fabric from Girl Charlee.  Both of these were stash fabrics purchased last year.  This is the third time I have used this pattern and I have plans to make even more versions.  This is a great weekend casual top.  Total fabric cost for this one is $9.65.

S1280 view B ft S1280 view B bk

Then I made Simplicity 1280, view B, out of 1 3/4 yards of Taupe and Black Peachskin from Jo-Ann’s.  This fabric is the only fabric I purchased in February and it was bought specifically for this top, so I am going to count that as a win.  Total fabric cost for this top is $12.23, making it the most expensive of the bunch.  That cost is still not to shabby though.  I am trying to make a more business casual work wardrobe and this top will fit in nicely.

B5954 View B front B5954 back

Lastly, we have Butterick 5954 in view B.  I used 2 yards of stashed Grey and Lilac Stripe Ponte from Fabric Mart that I purchased last year.  Total fabric cost of this top is $9.58.   This is my least favorite make.  I love the high low aspect, but the fit is all off.  I made this based off of the finished garment measurements not the size measurements and it is way too big.  I could have easily gone down a size.  There was also way too much flare in the bottom causing it to look like a tent on me.  I took out about 8 1/2″ inches but could use to take out even more.  I plan on taking out all the flare from the center back seam so that it comes straight down and will not fold over on itself like it is doing in the picture.  I really like this fabric and I want to save this garment from being in my top 5 worst for 2015.

All in all I had a great 3 days of sewing.  I may have neglected a few chores around the house but the world did not end because of it.  I so very rarely get so much time by myself so I wanted to take full advantage of it.  In the process I discovered that I really like cutting out multiple projects at once.  I felt like that was a big reason why I was so much more productive.  I tested that theory again this past week by only cutting out two garments and I was able to get both sewn up on Friday.  I am going to try it again this week.  If it continues to work like it has I should be able to use at least 100 yards of stash fabric this year!