Butterick 6143 Version C

I’ve had Butterick 6143 for awhile and finally decided what to make it with! I made my Vogue Cape a few years ago (details here) but I just never wore it. The 100% super soft amazing quality wool I had used was too good to let waste away, so I took several days to tediously unpick all of the panels, iron them, and strategically place all of my pattern pieces to make my Butterick coat!

Here is the before pic of the cloak and the after of my coat,🙂.

It took a bit, but I managed to eke out just enough to make the coat minus the front facings and collar, so I decided to make those with faux fur. Luckily I rarely throw scrap fabric away and still had a nice bit of the wool left uncut,🙂.

Overall the coat construction went smoothly and pretty easy. Made a mock up first, highly recommend! I ended up taking the shoulder seams in about an inch on both sides and down the back.

I also didn’t have quite enough fabric for the one piece sleeves so I re-drafted them into 2 piece sleeves using Thread’s tutorial on converting symmetrical sleeves. Worked out perfect! Because I interlined the entire coat with Thinsulate I only used a 1/2″ seam on the sleeve portions.

Look at those sleeve lines, so nice!

Speaking of interlining, it took forever! But worth it for the extra warmth. I sewed each piece onto the outer coat pieces though it is recommended to sew them onto the lining pieces. So I had to deal with some fuzzies. Per the instructions I put the quilted side facing the outside. Then the lining was Bemberg rayon and the faux fur is from Jo-Ann’s. I got wolf, so soft!

Next up: the faux fur… overall not too bad until I got to the button holes. I cut it very carefully to prevent fuzz flying everywhere. My machine did well until the button holes. It struggled big time even after trimming down the fur around. One worked well, the other 2 on the front facing portion not so much. Took me THREE hours of unpicking and finally breaking down and making the holes myself without my auto one step.

A pic of the one button hole that looked good that the machine worked for. You can also see some blue ribbon on the side. To tame down the fur I trimmed it down and then put a ribbon over it to look nice and be functional.

As for attaching the lining to the outer shell I followed the directions but edge stitched the entire outline as well so everything would lay nice and flat. As for sizing, I made a 16 with the D cup pieces. My measurements are 41-31-41. Usually I have to do a FBA but not for this coat. And roomy enough for a light weight sweater underneath,🙂.

And voila, a gorgeous fall coat! LOVE the color and faux fur accent. The gold buttons were gifted to me.

And a pic of the insides. I really need to make some tags to put in my handmade items. I used Bemberg rayon lining.

PUG Alison and Jalie 2796

I made my own sports bra!!! And it fits pretty well,🙂. So tired of spending so much in sports bras from the store so I’m pretty excited,🙂.

The sports bra pattern is Pinup Girls Alison. It’s a front close sports bra which is awesome, no wrangling it over my head.

The actual construction is pretty simple and easy. Only adjustments I made were to take in the sides about 1/2″ on each side and use a 1″ wide elastic for the band since I didn’t have any 1.5″ wide on hand. The wickable black exterior fabric and pre-molded bra cups I got from Bra Makers Supply.

Overall I really like how it turned out and fits. Next time I would make the arm holes a bit larger as they are a bit tight. Next time I am going to try Green Style Creations Endurance Bra once I get my supplies.

The Jalie running skirt was also pretty straight forward as this is my 3rd make, first one not adding my customized back skirt pleats. I like to add a 2″ wide elastic to the waistband and hemmed everything 3/8″ instead of 3/4″. The fabric is this amazing wickable Under Armour brand from our local sewing store.

I’ve run 6 miles in both of these and they are pretty great. The shorts didn’t ride up at all and the sports bra delivered minimal bounce.


And best part? Pockets on each side!!!

Vogue 8333

I finally made my suit jacket! I actually finished it a few weeks ago but things have been so crazy I haven’t had time to post about it. This was the trial version I had adjusted the pattern pieces and cut out last year. Took me awhile to 1) find 60″ wide nylon knit interfacing and 2) get the motivation. The pattern is Vogue 8333, a Claire Schaeffer pattern. She does such a wonderful job of explaining all the different steps that goes into this suit jacket. I made a size 14 with a 3″ full bust adjustment, in Version B with a few of the more couture techniques.

I used some cheap polyester tan striped suiting from Jo-Ann’s I had in my stash for another project, gorgeous stretch teal polyester charmeuse leftover from a belly dance costume I made, and a few purchased items like horsehair canvas, buttons, and interfacing. I didn’t use shoulder pads in this version. The idea was to make a trial of the jacket to check for any fitting issues before making my gorgeous couture version in this navy 100% wool suiting fabric and light grey silk I had purchased from our local fabric store last year.

Overall the fit is really good. I haven’t tried putting shoulder pads in it yet, but I feel that would resolve the back fitting issues. Overall I found the directions to be superb. First I cut out all of the pieces of fabric and interfacing and interfaced the appropriate pieces. Hand stitching the stay tape to the front pieces took awhile but looks great. I used some ribbon I had in my stash. Then I ironed them to smooth them out.


Putting together the pockets was very confusing to me using the ready to wear instructions but I figured it out after reading the couture method. Once I got clarification on that process they went together very easy and look great.


The other spot I struggled with was stitching the sleeve lining to the exterior fabric. I had quite a tough time with this and several swear words but I finally figured it out. The couture method looks a bit easier but because I already had everything together via the ready to wear route I couldn’t use the couture method. Love the color of the lining!


I will say that the collar construction steps were AMAZING! This collar turned out perfect! And don’t worry, I took out the basting stitches at the edge there,😉. She has you construct the color before you even attach it to the jacket pieces.


Close ups of the inner details.


And voila! A beautiful new suit jacket to go with the skirt I had made last year,🙂. In the photos I am wearing a cowl tank I had made with So Sew Easy’s Cowl Neck Top pattern which can be purchased for $5.95 here. Looks perfect with the jacket lining! So there are a few fitting issues here and there but overall I think it turned out really well. Please excuse the skirt wrinkles! I had been wearing it all day and I’ve gained about a size since I made it so it is a bit small.

Wren again

As you have probably noticed, the Wren pattern by Colette Patterns is probably one of my favorites,😉. I love that if given a full day I can start from cut to finish and complete this dress within a day or in the case of this one, 1.5 afternoons. And it’s so versatile!

This was my third Wren, second doing the version 2. This time I took off the 3″ of length I had added to the skirt but otherwise made it with all the other changes I had made to the pattern detailed here. I cut the back skirt portion on the fold like the front skirt. One less seam to stitch,😉.

The fabric is a gorgeous floral from Girl Charlee. I saw it and it was instant love and knew it would make a perfect floral wren #2,😉. And it did! I also like the just above the knee length. Super cute! And as with my other two, I pick stitched the faux wrap front sections together to prevent an accidental peep show.

Almost forgot, I made one other change, I did the pockets a little differently following the tutorial from Gertie in her book Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. Basically I used the pocket piece from this book but you can use any side seam pocket piece from any pattern. I placed mine about 1 3/4″ from the waist seam.
1st I stitched the pocket pieces right sides together to the skirt front and back at each side. I used a zig zag stitch and stitched just within the 3/8″ seam allowance. Then I pressed the pocket out (#2). After which I pinned the front skirt side to the back skirt side and around each pocket as shown in #3 before stitching them together using the full 3/8″ seam allowance (#4). After this you can leave as is or serge the seams. I discovered cutting into the corner of the top and bottom of each pocket made serving a bit better. Then you turn everything right side out, push the pocket in, and give everything a good press.

And there you have it, a pretty Wren with pockets!

Definitely the new fave!

Sophie Swimsuit = Awesome!

Finally writing up this post! Been on vacation, which was wonderful. And I got to wear my new swim suit!

I’ve been wanting to make a bikini with a foam cup bra top and hadn’t gotten around to trying one of my bra patterns yet. Then I saw the Sophie Swimsuit by Closet Case Patterns and I just knew I needed to have it. Loved the top and the high waist bikini bottoms and the slimming style of the color blocking option.

Ordered my floral print from The Fabric Fairy. Amazing selection of fabrics, was so hard to chose! The navy I had leftover from another project, I’d post a link but Fabric.com no longer carries it,😦. Was the Enso swimsuit Lycra or something like that. I thought it paired perfectly with the floral. Closet Case patterns recommends bra lining in the cradle of the top but as I didn’t have any, I used some supplex from a bra I had made which was pretty un-stretchy. As for thread I just used polyester and serged all of the inside seams. I already had extra long size 44 underwires in my stash and picked up some 3/8″ swimwear elastic from Jo-Ann’s and had an S hook from making my last swimsuit. The lining was also from Jo-Ann’s: swimsuit lining. And I ordered power mesh from The Fabric Fairy for the front center panel of the bottoms.

Heather does an amazing job with the instructions and has a video tutorial ($49 but includes a PDF version of the pattern) for anyone who wants a little extra.

Now the top was a little tricky for me as I was outside the cup range and her advice on increasing the cup size didn’t work for me. I ended up tracing the pattern size for a wire line 44 (size 20 cup #2) and grading the width out to a size 20 cup #5. It’s still a little small but pretty close!

Here is an image of my paper pattern pieces showing the original size 20 cup #2 size and the rest is the cup #5 I graded it out to. Basically I just traced the size 44 wire and then tilted the paper to add out to the wire size 50 line.

Otherwise I just followed her instructions and ended up with a pretty awesome swim suit!

I just need to either widen the straps or place them further in. As is they cause the top of the cups to gape a bit and not withstand swimming so well (fall down a bit).

Very slimming! And love the coverage of both the top and the bottoms.

And a back view of course.

Absolutely love this pattern! Plan to make another with some cat fabric I have leftover from another project,🙂.

Photos were taken at Oak Street Beach while on vacation in Chicago. Photos taken courtesy of my boyfriend,🙂.

Anna dress from By Hand London

The Anna dress from By Hand London. I’ve seen this dress floating around Instagram and on people’s blogs and just loved the look of it and the fact it was “easy”. I mean, when you look at the FBA explained through their sew along it did appear to be very simple. Well, things are never that simple for me. I used a size 10 top which needed at minimum for me, a 4″ full bust adjustment. Well, when using the FBA explained through By Hand London this didn’t give me the length needed, the top of the pleats were placed halfway up my bust instead of below, and added bust darts which I couldn’t get angled correctly. So I Googled and found this amazing tutorial by Another little Crafty Creation. This version was more like my usual method, took away the bust dart, and added the length I needed in the front bodice without adding it to the sides. Yay! After adding my 4″ using this method, I then lowered the top of the dart pleats down an inch, added 1 more pleat but ended up adding a fourth as I still had extra each in the bodice when attaching to the skirt, and an inch of length which I added to the back too. I ended up adding 2″.

After a few tries and hours, I had my front bodice drafted and fit and thought I needed to add length to the back. I did, but not the 2″ I ended up adding, an additional inch would have been perfect. So I had to take out my zipper and undo my seams to take out the extra inch but it was worth the time and effort.

Other than fitting issues, the construction of the pattern was fairly easy and straight-forward. I chose to do French seams as the fabric I chose was a rayon challis. Beautiful flow but unravels like crazy. And of course I wanted to add pockets. Looking back I should have added slant pockets as explained how here, but I decided to add side-seam pockets for which I created a tutorial here on the extra steps needed to make them French seamed. I used a pattern piece from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book and the notch lines as well. Basically they sit about 2″ below the waist.

Overall the project took much longer than I had anticipated but it looks gorgeous. I hand stitched the thigh high split seams and machine stitched the hem at a 1″ allowance. I folded the hem up 1/2″ and then another 1/2″ to enclose the seam. Before cutting out the pieces I had chopped 3″ off the length of the skirt pieces but ended up cutting another 2″ off. I prefer to wear flats most of the time and didn’t want the beautiful fabric which I purchased from fabric.com to be dragging on the ground. For the record, I am 5’7″. This dress is made for very tall people! Or very tall heels…

I had the intention of fully lining the dress but it turned out the fabric was opaque enough I didn’t need to. So I self-biased the neck line instead of using the facings using the method from So Sew Easy. I got to use my new bias tape maker,🙂.

Just to recap: I added a 4″ FBA, 1″ of length to the front and back bodice pieces, cut off about 5″ of length off the skirt portions, added side seam pockets, and self-bias tapes the neckline. I used a size US 10 for the bodice grading out to a size US 12 for the skirt.

And voila, a pretty dress I plan to wear to a wedding this weekend,🙂.

French Seamed Side Seam Pockets

I decided with the rayon voile of the Anna dress by By Hand London dress I’m working on would benefit from French seams but I also wanted to add side seam pockets. Was a little tricky but this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew was super helpful! She used 1/2″ seams so I had to make a few changes for my 5/8″ seams but I followed the same steps.

For my pockets I used the usual recommended seam allowances for French seams on a 5/8″ seam allowance garment. That is, I sewed the first seam with garment wrong sides together at 1/4″, then turned garment wrh right sides together and enclosed the raw edges in a 3/8″ seam. I just showed the process for one side of a pocket, then did the remaining three in the same manner. Here is my attempt at a pictorial tutorial. Not the best fabric choice for easy visibility, sorry!

First I used a side seam pocket piece from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book and used the notch marks on one of her skirt pieces to align the pocket piece properly. You can use any side seam pocket piece you have available. Mine are placed about 1 3/4″ below the top of the skirt panel. I cut 2 pocket pieces for each side, a total of 4. First step: pin the pocket piece to the side of the skirt piece wrong sides together and stitch at 1/4″ seam allowance.

And the pretty line of stitching.

Then you turn the pocket over so now the right sides of the pocket and skirt are together, smooth down the seam with an iron, pin, and stitch at 3/8″ to enclose the raw edges.

And I would give the finished seam another press then do the same for the other pocket piece for other skirt side piece.

Then before attaching the sides of the skirts to enclose the pockets, trim the side seam of the skirts pieces right above and below the pocket pieces the 1/4″ seam allowance in order to make stitching the skirt sides together easier.

So it looks like this at the top and bottom of each pocket piece.

Then you get to pin the skirt sides together pinning the pocket pieces together as well, all wrong sides together. After they are pinned, stitch the 1/4″ seam allowance and trim any pesky fabric strands away. I stitch 1/4″ up into the pocket pieces as well to ensure all unfinished edges are enclosed.

How your pocket should look after stitching. I circled in purple where you can see where I stitched 1/4″ into each end of the pocket.

Then turn your pieces inside out so the fabric pieces are right sides together now, press down the edges, then pin together to keep fabric from slipping around. Sew at the 3/8″ seam allowance to enclose all the rough edges. Give another press with your iron.

And voila! A nearly invisible side seam pocket,🙂. Once all stitching is done give the pocket a good pressing with the pocket bag and side seams turned to the middle front of the dress, going the direction the pocket will face when you put your hands in them.

And there you have it, a lovely completely finished side seam pocket without any of those pesky threads!

I’m still finishing up my dress but here is a pick up the skirt with the pockets added,🙂.