Sewing Vloggers

Friday, May 12, 2023

So very much better!


Collar is laid on a lumpy folded piece of ponte  so looks curvy on one side. It's not. 

Well, this is a heck of a lot better. The secret is the "Magic Collar" as taught by Nancy Zieman and found in her treasure of a book, " The Busy Woman's Sewing Book." This method was suggested by thoughtful reader and commentor, Carol in Denver in my last post, one in which I complain about making a decent collar point on an obtuse collar. 

This is a method I remember trying back in the 80's but for some reason lost either my memory of how to use it or the reason why. Somehow it just slipped out and away from my sewing tool box. At Carol's suggestion and still dissatisfied with my obtuse collar results, I dug out my copy of this tiny sewing book. 

You can see the size of this book compared to my small hand. It is chock with GREAT sewing information, like the Magic Collar. Her collar band technique is awesome as well, and much more. If you can get your hands on this little number, definitely buy it. It just got me out of the "obtuse" mess. I followed her directions, did nothing extra and it was downright easy. 

I'm not going to infringe on copyright here and download the whole pages but you can see that you recut the pattern pieces for the collar, rearrange them and sew them back together in such a way that eliminates much of the bulk in the points. You only have a seam allowance on one side of the collar point, not both. The other side is simply folded fabric and elminating all that bulk makes a big difference. I did understitch the collar and it turned very easily right into the nice points you see above, no stress. Nancy, once again, has proven to be my patron saint of sewing, may she RIP. 

These are the collar pieces I cut and I have them pinned together now in the pattern envelope. Since this is a basic camp shirt style, no doubt I will make it again. Next time all will be ready to go. Don't you just love to make second and third versions of patterns that you enjoy?  Tomorrow it is off to see the Red Sox, work on a prom gown hem, than back to this shirt which I am making complicated in so many ways. Stay new sign off.............Sewing bOlder,,,,Bunny

Thursday, May 4, 2023

I just couldn't handle it!!!


I love New Hampshire. It continually shows up in lists of the Top Ten, Five and Three best places to live in the United States. I concur. Like anything else however, it is not perfect. There are two things wrong with New Hampshire that affect my daily life, well maybe three, but the third,,,,,,later. It's soil is a gravel pit. The only place with any sort of half way decent soil is along the sides of the Merrimack River which traverses the state and long spoken for by agrabusiness. Us gardening homeowners just spend our lives ammending and ammending the soil. But we dig on!

The second thing wrong with New Hampshire is its water. Oh, it tastes good enough in most places. Ours tastes great. The issue is that it is filled with Manganese. Manganese turns all white clothing orange-y brown. It's a slow process but when I moved here I bought lovely white fluffy towels for my bathroom. Today they are still lovely and fluffy but they are the exact same color as the bathroom walls, beige. Oh, you are thinking, she just doesn't know how to do laundry. Not so fast....When you mix bleach with manganese it intensifies  the process and makes it proceed faster. We have a filter system. I use Calgon which helps some. I don't use hot on my whites as that increases the effect and I certainly don't use bleach. Believe me, after decades I know all the Manganese tricks. Bottom line, you eventually learn to buy beige towels and redecorate. 

Now there is nothing I love more than a nice white blouse, WHITE! I can't tell you how many I've made and tossed eventually. I find synthetics fight the manganese better than all natural fabrics. So every year or so I need to make a new white shirt or dress or pants. This year I wanted a simple camp shirt, short sleeves, Big, but not crazy big, no collar stand as camp shirts do. I searched and searched and the very few I found just had one thing or another that made them the wrong choice. Then I started looking at pajamas! Bingo. I loved this vintage pajama top. By its measurements it was just the size I wanted, big but not too, plain collar, even darts. This would work perfectly and hey, those pants look pretty awesome as well. They will be for another day! 

Knowing poly helps I decided not to use my white linen stashed away. I went to Joanns and got some of their classic Symphony, 65 cotton 35 poly. I've sewn with it before and it makes an awesome shirt. Since this shirt will eventually hit the can, it was a minor $$$ investment as well. Now that it is mostly sewn, it looks really good. I had ONE problem sewing my camp shirt, a glaring, awful problem that left me sleepless. 

The Collar! What drove me batty!

This is an OBTUSE triangle collar.  Now I've made some pretty nice collars in my day and they can be found throughout this blog. I use Nancy Zieman's method, one also used by Peggy Sager. Nancy has you fold the seam allowances over each other and it makes a nice sharp corner, no crazy snipping at the corners. That DID NOT work because this triangle corner was not 45 degrees or even close. It's obtuseness prevented that. You had to get fabric into a a tiny point. Let's try again. Next version I clipped the hell off the corner. Of course, one corner popped thru and the other just looked like crap. How about another. I just fiddled and fudged and came up with the version on the right. I put it in the shirt. Ay,yay, Yay, Lucy!  That is the collar on the right. I couldn't sleep at night over this.  Now, I do have an excuse.  I will spare you the details, but my sneaker got stuck  and tripped me and with other injuries I got a whiplash concussion. Sound good? I am now going to therapy, feel better and decided to face  the collar again. I took it out started all over. No David P Coffin, Sager or Zieman. I got the results on the left. Not perfect but I dare you to show me someone who can make a perfect obtuse collar, dare ya , double dare ya, cuz I want to know how they did it. I think the collar points are acceptable and it will look ok on an all white blouse. Whew!

I hope you can see this coat clearly. It's tough to photo black. I find myself doing more and more tailoring with my side hustle but I am enjoying it. I miss doing all that I did back in the day when I wore nothing but suits to work. I tell some people I don't do it but I do what I did in NY, cultivate a handful of lovely, repeat customers who appreciate my skill set and are a delight to work with and reward me justly.  What you see with this classic all wool beautifully tailored coat is the shoulder that I took and inch and a half out of. I dealt with sleeve heads, shoulder pads, taping, lining, all the fun stuff. It came out beautifully. I remembered how much I enjoyed doing this type of thing. Now to raise the hems. My client actually bought a coat that she fell in love with that was too big. She is tiny and I get that. We tinies don't have lots of options. I think I know a few women who have done the same with shoes! 

Back to the machine. Can't wait to show you the white shirt when done, part of an outfit, linen pants, hopefully painted! 

Oh, that third NH thing? Live free or die! Don't get me started on Free Staters!

Happy Sewing............Bunny

Friday, April 21, 2023

Two blouses, Two Ways, Simp 9469

 The Pink

The Blue

The fabric is the same. The colors, and a lot more, are different. I told you I planned to try different techniques with this lovely pattern to see how they would work out on this lightweight fabric. So let's start with this fun comparison! 


The fabric is 100% cotton lawn from Joann Fabrics. It is something I have never seen them carry before and it actually flew out of the store. It wasn't a one shot wonder either as it continues to be restocked. It comes in soft prints and a nice group of pastel solids.  I fell in love with this blue but then the pink showed up at a great sale price. I decided to challenge myself with various techniques on the same fabric and pattern. It is lovely fabric. I washed and dried it on warm, which is quite hot in my solar fed tank. It came out needing just the slightest ironing and no shrinkage! Love this fabric. 


For both tops I used Simplicity 9469, view D. I was inspired by the version made by Lucy of Sew Essential youtube videos. Her's was so lovely and it looked fairly simple which it is. 

The blue version is made pretty much as the pattern directs. The pink blouse is made with what I thought were good ideas. They are not necessarily better but they are not the same as the pattern. The pink version definitely took more time. I will go thru the construction of each and you can see how they differed from what is really a problem free pattern that gives great results. The directions were clear and no mysteries. I think a beginner willing to try their hand at an interesting neckline would be able to handle this blouse nicely.The blouse had generous ease and I did not find it necessary to do an FBA when I flat pattern measured. 



The blue "stuck to the pattern" version required an interfaced facing. I gave thoughts to numerous options as discussed in a previous post.  I did samples. 

In the end, the winner was a classic interfaced facing of fashion fabric. If I did an interfacing of just FF, the print design showed thru. With the white backing, compared to other options, I had the least amount of show thru. 

The facing was stitched on the collar edge and around the keyhole,  then graded and clipped. I used a preshrunk woven cotton fusible interfacing. The edges of the facing were turned and stitched. You can see that print transfer thru to the top is not an issue. As always, I triple zigzagged for the understitching of the facing and ditch stitched in the well of the shoulder seams.  It is not going anywhere. The edges were crisp and pretty when done. 

There is something important to be aware of here.  It isn't clear on the instruction sheet but on the facing pattern and bodice piece you will notice that the transition from the keyhole to the neckline is a flat seam where you fit in the ties. See above. This flat space gets a 5/8ths seam allowance like the rest of the neckline/keyhole seam, therefore, that edge enlarges. Later, when I was doing the pink top I thought for sure the fabric was off grain as my top just wasn't lieing right and had odd wrinkles. It wasn't off grain. It has to do with the fact that when you sew a 5/8th inch seam allowance on each side of the keyhole you now have a 1  1/4 inch space that the ties need to cross. I was pulling my ties to meet together at the tip of the keyhole/neckline point and it was pulling my top totally off grain. Once I let the top of the keyhole lie flat, as it was sewn, and the ties tied to let them meet the way they were sewn, the blouse draped just right, no pulls or drag lines. So, don't pull your ties tight, just tie them as they lay, as they are in the pics on this post. 

On to the pink neckline!

Remember, the pink version is not according to pattern instructions! The first thing I did was make the keyhole smaller. On my petite torso, I found the keyhole, as designed, was really too low for my short body and  a bit of cleavage shown. It certainly was not a big deal but it was a surprise. Upon checking Pattern Review, I found I was not the only one with this issue. I didn't reshape the keyhole. I simply took a 1/4 inch SA to make the hole smaller and it was just right! On the pink top the neckline and keyhole are bound with double fold bias binding and the ties are bias tapes. This was all definitely more work but pretty as well. I double folded the bias and pinned to the keyhole so I could steam in the shape.  

I  hand basted it first then stitched it to the hole. 

I pressed the bias toward the hole and away from the seam. I did not trim the 1/4 inch seam allowance. The plan was to wrap the double fold bias over the SA and hand stitch in place. I used my Acorn glue in tiny dots and ironed it all down. It worked beautifully to keep things in place for hand stitching. 
I then hand stitched it down on the underside.  The neckline was treated similarly and the bias ties attached. 


On both blouses seams were stitched with French Seams. It had been a long while since I worked with such a lightweight fabric and when I started on the pink version I remembered my dear friend and amazing sewist Kathy Dykstra's method for getting 1/8th inch French Seams on your garments. She is an incredible teacher highly skilled. I really wanted to achieve that here and  with her lesson I did. 

Kathy is a respected nationally reknown heirloom sewist and educator. She has great teaching videos on youtube that can interest all sewists, like this one on 1/8th inch French Seams.  I followed her instructions exactly and as you can see, they are one eighth inch wide and not a hair over! Thanks, Kathy, once again, for sharing your expertise with us all. Check out her videos  at Kathy's Sewing Studio channel . You can also amaze yourself with her skills and garments!


The blue blouse got the tiny Kenneth King Hem which you can find in my tutorial tab above, easy peasy and fast. 

The pink hem was deeper, 1 1/4 inch and serged. It was then double topstitched on the public side. 


Ties on the blue version were simple bias rouleau ties. I did nothing to the ends as they are bias and should not fray, for now anyway! I love their roundness!

Since the ties on the pink version were flat bias tapes I tied them off in a simple tight little knot. 


Last but not least, we have the cuffs. As directed on the pattern, the blue top recieved the gathered elastic hem on its sleeves.  Lovely and soft!

The pink lovely recieved more traditional cuffs, which I don't seem to have a pic of! So sorry. The were simple, 1/2 inch wide flat strips with the sleeve gathered into them. They were just wide enough to slip over my wrists.


In summation, this is how I would make this blouse a third time. I really like the clean look of the interfaced edges of the blue collar as the pattern directs. I also like the rouleau type of ties which I did get by using my Fasturn tube turner and leaving in the seam allowance to fill up the tiny tube.  Next, I like the softness of the gathered, elastic sleeve hem as well. It just sort of goes with the comfort of it all and I it actually is more comfortable than the stable pink cuff. As for hems, I always prefer a good deep hem with some double rows of stitching as the pink blouse had. I would definitely choose to go that way. These would be my suggestions and choices and I hope they help you make yours. 

This is a lovely patterns in a comfortable, feminine fabric, perfect for summer. This pattern offers some slight variations for sleeves and necklines. My one caveat would be that the keyhole exposes perhaps a bit more than you might expect. The fit gives you a nice fitting shoulder effortlessly along with a bodice of generous ease for comfortable summer wear and fit. I highly recommend both pattern and fabric. 


If you have made it this far I will leave you with a textile treat. While in Sedona we took a side trip to the Grand  Canyon. While there,  we spotted this GORGEOUS Pendleton blanket, one of a series made specifically for the National Parks of the United States. Each park has its own commemorative blanket and we thought it would be a wonderful memory of a great trip and a lovely legacy for our children. We hope to collect  more of these blankets in our travels. The colors of this blanket are spectacular, a true work of art. We learned a lot about the Pendleton Mills, their mutually beneficial relationship with the local Native Americans and appreciate their woolens even more now. This is a queen size 100% woolen blanket. It is on display on our Lake Placid rocker. Enjoy! and thank you for bearing through my rather long treatise on blousemaking. 

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, April 6, 2023

My Azorean Inspired Floating Scarf


I was inspired to make one of these scarves from the minute I saw one in a designer boutique in Punta Delgada in Sao Miguel in the Azores Archipelago last summer. The scarf and all that this designer showed  was so intriguing. While I could not come near making any of her other very unique offerings (more later), I could attempt this unique scarf. 

Well, it's just a pashmina, you say. Not quite. First let me tell you of my inspiration. It starts with the islands of the Azores. They are verdant beyond belief but not tropical. Lush foliage and exotic plants abound wherever you go. Life is simple and most people farm or fish. There are more cows than people and the cows are everywhere. So are the thousands of blue hydrangeas, every imaginable shade of blue, with big giant mopheads. They line the roads, walkways, just everywhere and are breathtaking. It is a photographer's paradise. In my research I found that the designer of the Azores Collection, Isabel Roque, collaborates with a photographer. He captures this breathtaking paradise and then the two of them work up his photos into fabric which Roque then designs into simple garments, incredible bags, and other small accessories. She had masks, headbands, you name it. I thought her creativity really shown in her bagmaking. Most of her work consisted of photos of the Azorean flora and fauna printed on viscose, which really fooled me into thinking it was silk. These photos were sometimes made super gigantic . Check out this simple apron for a typical example. 

But her bags are her real star, printed on viscose and permantly pleated into tiny litle pleated squares, so hard to describe and so beautiful, very very unique. The facebook page for My Azores Collection will show you some of   their work. 

Back to my scarf! This boutique was in the airport in Punta Delgada. I saw the scarves on a rack and started trying them on and loved them. They consisted of  solid pashmina type  foundations. On top was another rectangle made from the silky viscose chiffon, again with a fabulous bit of photography. I made note  that the rectangle panels all seemed to have high contrast images, no small prints are anything blurry or confusing. These photos were loud,  clear and sometimes assymetrically placed oversized versions of what was captured, stunning.  After my try on binge I went and wrote down every detail I could about the scarves as I knew I would make one.  I noted seam types, sizes, placements, etc. The most important aspect of the scarf was that the silky rectangle panel "floated"  above the surface of the foundation's solid base. The sides of the rectangle were open and the top and bottom were stitched down with hidden stitches. I am not going to give exactly how to make this. While I could and do have it all written down in great detail,  I just don't think it would be right to pass that along on the internet for the whole world. I think it is something else for one person to see a piece of great clothing and attempt to emulate just one for themselves but not dissect it and pass that along on the internet so you won't get much more from me. I respect this designer's creativity too much and really admire what I have seen of her work. It is so fresh.  

The effect is when wearing the scarf, o the chiffon panel appears to just float over the surface as you move around. 

I can't tell you the wonderful comments I have recieved when wearing this scarf. It does go well with my frumpy Toaster dress and black boots. I think  the most critical part of the project is finding the right chiffon. Mine is actually a poly I ordered from Emmaonesock. I used the wrong side for the public side as  you can see above. I think that adds even more intrigue. My base is a Donna Karan pashmina I picked up and really never wore. I have now been wearing it a lot. I am thinking of doing something similar with linen and rayon for the summer. We shall see!!!  It wasn't easy finding the right sheer yardage.  I think this one could work beautifully.  It is from EOS and much in tune with the originals I saw. 

I hope you enjoyed this little trip across the ocean to my inspiration story and it's result and  maybe even give it a try. It was a really fun adventure to make and see if I could pull it off. I think I did.    Happy Sewing...................................Bunny

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

A Tale of the Toaster Sweater.


Well, here I am in Simplicity's version of indie Sew House Seven's much touted Toaster Sweater. It is Simplicity 8738. I don't think I've ever taken a sit down photo before for the blog but there's always a first, right? Truth is, I made this into the Toaster Sweater Dress. Thanks to the modern miracle of photography, I learned my hem is too long, way too long. You can't see my cute boots, which I love, for one thing. The length is very unflattering and will get chopped tomorrow. I would like to wear this on Easter. It is comfortable and soft. It's maybe not a breath of lilac and daffodil colored Spring but hey, we have piles of ice and snow still in the yard, big enough to prevent us from using the back door! Here's a little more info. 


This is Simplicity 8738, their knockoff of the Toaster Sweater. It seems to carried on Ebay, Etsy, and other sites that carry vintage or OOP patterns. This is vintage???? Well, may be just Out Of Print, aka, OOP. Here are my thoughts.

I actually made this as a sweater, not a dress, initially in a pink jacquard knit that I really liked. It stretched way beyond the needed amount of stretch on the pattern so I was more than good to go. That top was OK except for one thing. I could not get it over my head. I sewed the neckline as specified. I used a zig zag stitch. The stretch of the fabric was more than needed per the pattern and that thing would not go over my my head. I literally took it off. It wasn't quite on, actually, as it was stuck on my head, and I cut the collar off and stitched the neckline in a bigger hole. That made the initial sweater wearable. When I went to make the dress, I, again, made sure I had more than enough stretch factor, per the pattern.  I cut the neckline hole larger again and sewed it with stretching stitches. It is still snug but I can get this dress over my head. Who establishes the stretch factor? Did I do a wrong thing? My fabrics had more than enough stretch per the little stretch test on the pattern envelope. Ok, so that's my biatch about the pattern. I am the one who did the lengthening so all of that is on me. 

I am going to shorten this substantially. Maxis do nothing for me, as you can tell, here. The red arrow line shows about where I want to cut it. The other issue with this pattern, which you can see a couple of pics up. is how the slit I put in just flows open in an unintentional way. I am thinking of adding a gusset/triangle at the top of the slit to control it a littl better. It is not flattering at all the way it is. I don't know why it swings apart like that in a curve. I will do the hem first and see what happens. 

I did try a belt with this style and it looked frumpy. A shorter hem and no belt are the way to go, me thinks. 


This is a French Terry that I bought at Fabric Place Basement in Natick, Massachusetts. Love that place! My sis and I try to go there twice a year to do some seasonal shopping. It's a huge shopping op for fabric, live and in person. You must take advantage if you are ever in the greater Boston area. 

In Conclusion:

This pattern definitely had some issues for me, some by my own feeble design attempts. I am going to try and fix that. I can tell you it is a big mooshy sweater with the right fabric and is so comfortable and cozy. Don't hesitate to try this pattern, whether you use the Simplicity version or the original design from Sew House Seven, whose designs I really like. Just watch the size of that neckline and your stitching techniques as well. 


My husband and I, along with our daughter, her husband and our grandchildren, just came back from a fabulous vacation in Sedona, Arizona. We managed a very wild and exciting Pink Jeep tour and this pic is on the top of one of the many mountains we "jeeped" and hiked. Such beautiful, exquisite country. We loved it and did a lot of travelling, hiking eating, touring, etc. It was wonderful, all with family. Great to be back and bless you all. Happy Sewing.............Bunny

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

A tale of two techniques - What would you do?

 The minute I saw Lucy of the vlog Sew Essential wearing this blouse I fell in love with the design. It was just so pretty and also so simple looking to make. It's feminine, would cover my skin from the summer sunshine* but still has that little peekaboo keyhole opening in the front bodice.  The full sleeves would make it quite comfortable in the heat of the season. This would have to somehow become part of my summer wardrobe. While I am not a jeans wearer at all, I suddenly craved a pair of straight legged, high waisted jeans in the darkest wash I could find just to wear this shirt, like darling Lucy. One step at a time! 

*(You may remember my bout with squamous cancer and the fact that melanoma runs heavy in my family. My sweet baby brother just got over his third serious bout a few weeks ago. I am now ever conscious of being comfortably covered in the sun.) 

My first step was getting the pattern, Simplicity 9469, a simple matter of waiting for a sale at Joanns! As my planets lined up I had to wait thru a couple of sales before I was able to pick this up but that was taken care of and now it was fabric time! Or will it be jeans? I went for the fabric first because I came across the lovely 100% cotton lawns now being carried at Joann's. I particularly like the prints mimicing the Nani Iro prints from Japan. I fell and bought a lovely blue version. 

It is soft, really pretty, not sheer but very light and it washed and dried beautifully. I had no shrinkage at all except for the selvedges. We used to run into this a lot with custom drapery fabric and the workrooms would always cut the selvedges off before even thinking of cutting the fabric. I will do the same here as it tightens up and could distort any pattern pinned on the edge. This was only one selvedge on one side! Other than that it was lovely perfection. But, but,,,,,, yesterday I was in the store and the lovely lawns were on sale for a dollar less per yard than the original sale price i had paid. How could I walk away from that? 

I bought a pink splotchy version.  I plan on making two of the same shirt now, but just how will I make them? That's my dilemma? 

You see, from the get-go I envisioned  the keyhole and the neckline to have a tiny bias binding with long ties that would be tied in soft little loops like Lucy's.  I also wanted and assumed there would be flat cuffs for the sleeves. 

That is not what the pattern has in mind, however. But, first, let's get something straight. I have no issue with facings at all. I know some do. That's them. I've made them for years and I have bound edges for years. Makes no difference to me skill wise. Now, stylistically, that's a different story. I had in my mind this delicate, floaty wisp of a shirt with teeny bound edges, French seams, etc. You can see in the pattern directions, which are perfectly fine, that is not quite what I would get if I follow them. 

I had more in mind what I saw in this tutorial from Threads Magazine and this other one from Emmaonesock. 

So, that is my dilemma. I have two pieces of lovely fabric, perfect for the pattern design. Here are the pros and cons of the methods. 

Pros of Pattern Method: 

   *If I just understitch, the keyhole and neckline would have a really clean turned edge. I like that idea a lot. 

     * Interfacing will offer support for the neckline and keyhole area which will in turn offer some support to the xtra weight of the puffy sleeves. 


     * This is a fussier construction, in my opinion, with more steps.

      * Possible show thru of the facing to the top of the garment. Don't know yet. 

Pros of Tiny Binding Method:

   * Delicate looking, in line with the delicacy of the color and print. 

   * Would accentuate the near sheerness of the fabric. 

   * Would not take as long to do as the facing treatment. 


    * No support offered for any area.  Tips of the  keyhole will really droop if not tied tightly. 

     * Would be harder to correct mistakes. 

     * Would look almost  sheer and thin. Not sure if that is good or bad.  

     * Would it look cheaper? Not sure.....

So, here is what I have decided............I am going to try each technique on each of the shirts. I think. Deal breaker would be my first shirt is so fabulous I will just stick with that method. The first shirt will be the blue one, with facings. What would you do and/or what do you think? threads are ready for your answers! Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Vogue 9338, Epic Drama ending with Love!


Before we begin, all of the photos you will see have been HIGHLY  corrected for contrast due to the black color of the jacket. It literally soaks up any light available and any detail along with it. So everything other than the points I am trying to make with the pix may look a bit off and my apologies extended. Now-----

This was one epic drama to make, starting out being quite fun. I had this idea in my head for a long time and kept missing my sale opportunities on this Vogue pattern. I had a little bin of hand dyed fabrics begging for attention  and  I had this gorgeous piece of Pendleton wool for their backdrop. It glowed with loveliness, which doesn't  transfer well with all of my contrast correction. Eventually everything came together. I checked the reviews on Pattern Review and all were fans with only one maker commenting about a "fiddly ...but doable" neckline issue.  I proceeded. I'll say now, love my completed jacket. 


The black jacket fabric is a beautiful Pendleton woolen that came with several others inherited from a sewing legacy of a dear friend or from a local yard sale, hard to remember which. We had a Pendleton fabric factory  very close to where I live until a few years ago so these fabrics often show up on tag sale tables at pennies on the dollar. It is gorgeous fabric with the glow of 100% pure wool. 

The small appliques are also all wool. The geometrics came from our LQS, local quilt shop and the others were hand dyed by me over the years. I appliqued them to the jacket by machine and left the threads hanging. 

The jacket is lined with , I think, what I found in my lining bin and is  maybe the Anti static lining from Joanns. I have had good luck with that and use it when I can't wait for Bemberg to come in or don't have enough in the stash. 

The Hong Kong seams are made with your basic 1/4 inch gingham in black and white. I think it is probably a poly cotton blend. I haven't seen all cotton gingham in ages. 


This pattern is Vogue 9338. The jacket is a blend of simplicity and complication. The bodice has no closure and is not lined. I am toying with adding thin ties to it but will make that decision after wearing it a bit. It has what I have been told is a "swan neckline". The bodice reaches up a bit up the neck which I think is flattering. It is not enough to turn and is not a shawl collar. It lengthens your look which for a petite is a great thing. The hemline is straight across but I chose to change that up with a slit and a one inch difference between front and back. 

 It is the sleeves that are magnificent here and quite different. I will go thru each part of the jacket in a moment and have a lot to say about the sleeves and collar. I have a lot to say about the pattern as well!!! Here we go!!!


I decided to underline this bodice and treat the sleeves a bit differently as you will see.  I cut the bodice fashion fabric and underlining layers and stitched the back bodice pieces together first. For the front bodice, I did not do that. Instead,  I figured If I was going to applique all those pieces to the front I should do that first and that way they would be hidden under the underlining. Then I realized that while I was doing that I might as well do the two bust darts as well and hide them. Next bright idea was to add a pocket on the side opposite the appliques and put some appliques on that to balance it all out.  I did all of that and then attached the underlining by stitching all the edges together like I did on the back bodice. I had everything nicely done and covered with the underlining, sweet! I added my Hong Kong seams to all  and did my hems as well. You can see I made the front hem shorter and added a split, just for interest. 

Now it was time to move to the.................................COLLAR.

I sewed the collar together at center back. This collar extends from the bodice front. I sewed the facing at center back. I then sewed the facing to the jacket. It all matched perfectly at notches and dots up to the shoulder seams as it should. Then I was left with these two short pieces, at that time connected by a center back seam, to make it around the back bodice. Let's see what I had. 

Here you can see the collar coming from the bodice at left and the facing at right. They are the same size, good. From the shoulder seam to the center back seam measures 2 1/2 inches, a total of five inches. I proceeded to pin this to the back bodice. No way in hell did it fit. Well, Claire Shaeffer taught me how to steam wool and get it to fit almost anything and I did. I shrunk that back bodice edge until it fit my collar, stitched it in and tried it on. It forced the whole garment up into a weird configuration that doomed it for my town dump. I steamed. I pressed. Nothing made this work. I measured my pattern, I read the directions over and over. I checked sizes. Did I cut wrong? You name it. I wondered and thought. It was a Blivit, that ole joke about ten pounds of crap going in a five pound bag. Well I had 7 inches of wool going into a five inch strip of collar. Of course, I mightily thought when I had steamed and stitched it all in I had succeeded so had graded and trimmed the whole horror. Now I sat and cursed each ripped out stitch. I ripped them all out and walked away for several days. I can't remember when I have been this frustrated. That is when I started decluttering my studio. After a few days I returned. 

I started by first opening the shoulder seam as it starts to rise up the neck for about an inch and a half. I inserted one of my bits of wool to make a gusset. 

I stitched that in, first basting then by machine. Next I cut a strip of bias wool and fused woven interfacing to it and cut that to fill the remaining space of the collar/facing. I needed to equalize the density. I folded and pressed this where a seam would have been originally. It all fit nicely onced stitched into the jacket and trimmed. It even got the Hong Kong edge treatment. But, I did not like those seams showing on the back neckline outside. I decided to stick with the program and cover them with some appliques as well. I think in the end it worked out well enough. I was drained.  On to the .....................Sleeves!


These sleeves are amazing and if they weren't in black you would really see just how amazing a  lot better. Trust me here. I had a lot of fun with these. I have thoughts regarding my petite perspective as you will see. 

Here is your unique sleeve. You can see it is just short of a yard wide at the bottom and a little less at the top. THERE IS NO GATHERING. All fullness is controlled with pleats. Keep in mind I am dealing with midweight wool here, nothing light about it. I made decisions based on that and also on what I saw in reviews. I chose to underline the sleeve only a bit over a third of the way of its length. This would provide ease in slipping on and off (it does) and not add to the bulk.  In the sleeve cap those two lumps are ONE PLEAT that covers your shoulder seam completely. It provides a beautiful drape. HOWEVER, on this petite, after stitching, I realized it was an issue. I am very narrow of torso and shoulders and the fold of the giant pleat had nothing of my body to support some of its width and it stuck out weirdly. I checked reviews and everyone elses looked fine.  ETA: If I made this again, I would  do a petite adjustment by taking an inch out of each of those bumps with a wedge tapering to nothing at the cuff. I think that would eliminate the Judy Jetson triangle effect that happened due to my narrow shoulders and torso. 02/09/23.

This weird triangle of fabric stuck out from the armscye. It was much more prominent in real life and looking straight on it stuck out very weirdly, not like in the pic above which makes it seem flatter. Soooooo, what I did was open the seam where you see the red dashes and shove in that extra triangle of fabric until it all layed smooth. 

I cut off the triangle and everything was fine. Did that on both sleeves. If you are very narrow shouldered and/or petite, be aware of this possiblity. That big tuck is gorgeous in the drape it creates.  Next are the cuffs. 

Above you can see my markings for the cuff area. What the pattern has you do is basically a french binding. It is a double folded piece of fabric, stitched to the edge of the pleated cuff, ALL turned to the inside and  "slipstitched" down. These looked like rope on a couple that I saw and I was not going to deal with or have that bulk. With my fabric I would have bulk under the best of circumstances and suggest that a French fold binding would only work here with the thinnest of fabrics. Here is how I handled things. 

I marked my pleats with thread and tiny clips and a chalkoner. I did the lines because they are slightly angled as they move across the bottom of the sleeve. They are not all the same width either so pay attention to this .  They were all basted in. 

I sewed a one layer strip of wool to my cuff area once all the pleats were stitched in. The seam was graded.  I pressed them toward the facing. They were then understitched with a wide triple zigzag, the better to smoosh down all that bulk. The edge of the wool was pinked. I am thinking at all time, "keep the bulk down".  This was then turned to the inside and carefully pressed. The edge was not turned under. 

Then it was carefully catchstitched to the pleats, only going thru one layer. I think they are a beautiful design feature. 

Is this Joseph's Technicolor Coat or is just my epic drama of light amongst the midwinter darkness? You be the judge. All I know is that I now love my coat of many colors and look very forward to starting some spring projects. I have one more simple ( oh, the famous last words ) winter project and then I am moving on! Happy Sewing...............Bunny

So very much better!

  Collar is laid on a lumpy folded piece of ponte  so looks curvy on one side. It's not.  Well, this is a heck of a lot better. The secr...