Monthly Archives: April 2010

Opinions, please!

This is the embroidered linen I had planned to use for another version of Simplicity 2443 (Cynthia Rowley jacket).


Now, LindsayT has me thinking about cotton pique. What I really want is some white bull’s eye pique but these are the two pieces I have in my collection so…

Hot pink waffle pique with silver hooks:


Abstract print pique with jumbo silver hooks:


I really loved this print when I bought it but do you think it looks dated? I’ve probably had it for ten years.


Filed under Fabric, Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2443 – Final!

Yay, I am finished! I’ve been working on this jacket so long and it feels really good to be done. As suspected, the sleeves were just a little too long and needed to be shortened by 5/8″.


I also reduced the gathering on the sleeves which called for longer cuffs. Actually, since I decided I didn’t want the D-ring detail on the sleeve cuff I was able to trim down the extra-long existing cuff.

I had a few ideas for the cuffs but finally settled on something low-key since there is so much going on in the front of the jacket. I found these beautiful buttons in my collection and just made a scaled down version of the front loops for fastening.



One thing I will change on the next version is to bring the placket a bit more towards the front. It just seems too far back to my eye.


I really love the shape of this. Notice how the back curves up. It’s a very flattering little jacket that could be a really good basic. As I mentioned before, my next version will be in a white embroidered linen with simple button loops and MOP buttons.

I’m sure many of you notice that the sleeve is hanging off-grain on Ethel. Unlike Ethel, I have quite forward shoulders so they do hang nicely on me.


Now, for the fine print: I started with my usual size 8 (I’m a lot smaller through the shoulders and upper chest than I appear!) and made a full-bust adjustment. I kept some of the FBA in a horizontal dart (which you really can’t even see because of the pockets) and transferred the rest of it to the existing vertical dart. I also made a forward shoulder adjustment and shortened the sleeves. These are typical adjustments that I make to nearly every pattern so no surprises here.


Filed under Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2443 – Part VII

I am on a mission to finish this jacket this week. It’s already the end of April and this is only my 3rd jacket! Since jacket #4 is from the same pattern (in yummy embroidered white linen) I can hopefully make up some time. I’ll tell you, every time I try this jacket on I fall more in love with it. It will work with pants, dresses, skirts – even shorts.

I set the sleeves in today. Ordinarily, I would finish the cuffs before setting the sleeves but I have a feeling I might want to shorten the sleeves a wee bit. Sometimes it’s just hard to tell until it’s all together, you know?


Since this jacket is unlined I wanted to bind the armscye for a nice, clean look. After trimming 1/4″ off the armscye, I cut bias 1.25″ wide and stitched it on RS together in a 1/4″ seam. Wrap the binding over the seam allowances and stitch in the ditch to secure. Since bias doesn’t ravel there is no need to add bulk with an inside fold. Note that I didn’t join the binding into a circle. I simply folded back the binding at the starting point.



After securing, trim away the excess with applique shears and press.


I think this looks so much nicer in an unlined jacket than overlocking, don’t you?



Filed under Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Window treatments – Final

I dragged myself out to Home Depot in a monsoon this morning to buy a decorative rod for the bathroom. I did manage to finish the valance – what took the most time was deciding on a design – with the polyester fabrics fighting me the entire way! (Please note that JoAnn’s still has this fabric in other colorways – do not be seduced by it’s beauty, walk on by!)


I use a lot of polyester knits and find them very easy to sew but poly wovens, argh. Give me natural fibers any day! Ultrasuede is generally very easy to sew but this is Facile (I think the new name is Ultrasuede Light) and it’s a tad too drapey for this type of treatment. Not it’s fault, it just happened to be the right color for this project! The embroidered poly really pushed the limits of my new boiler iron and still there are puckers. Oh well, it’s up and the rest of the fabric is in the trash.


My neighbor gave me this air plant mounted on a cedar slab. How nice is that? Air plants live on just that – air. It appears to have some sort of flower stalk so I can’t wait to see how that develops. The cedar was from the wall unit I demo’d in my living room awhile ago. I gave some of it to my neighbor and the rest to a friend’s dad. Woodworkers don’t turn down good wood anymore than we’d turn down good fabric!



Filed under misc., Sewing for the Home

Window treatments – Part I

I don’t know where the week has gone! Today I thought I’d try to finish up at least one project and decided to work on the Roman shade for my bathroom. I was going to trim the edges with that beautiful embroidered fabric I showed you a few weeks ago but it was impossible to turn under the edges due to the highly dimensional embroidery. Instead, I used strips of Ultrasuede from my stash. I LOVE it when I can use something I already have! The silk was free and I already had the shade tape and cord. All I had to buy was a small scrap of wood for the mounting board, a cleat and three screw eyes for a total of $4 and change.

I’m so pleased with the way this turned out! I wanted the shade to be extra long so that I could keep it closed but still have the interest of pleats at the bottom. This woven-stripe organza works very nicely for a soft shade and is easy to work with (except that it ravelled like crazy!). Please forgive those ripples on the left – nothing a few minutes with the steamer won’t fix.



Here you can see the Ultrasuede trim a little better.


I used a wooden cord end from my stash to neaten up the pull cords. I knotted the cords in two places: half-up (in case I want to open the window) and fully down. That makes it easy to put the shade at the desired height.


I’ve made many Roman shades over the years. They aren’t difficult as long as you are accurate and careful in your measuring and ring placement. The most important thing I can tell you is not to freak out if your shade doesn’t pleat nicely at first. The shade must be trained so raise it up, adjust the pleats and leave it alone for a dayor so. Once trained, your shade will fold up nicely every time.

I am still planning on using the embroidered fabric for the valance. I thought I had a small decorative rod around here somewhere but I can’t seem to find it so I won’t be able to do that today.


Filed under Sewing for the Home

Clothes on Film

I just discovered this fabulous website about – what else? – clothes on film. And, who should be right at the top of the front page but my secret lover Daniel Craig! Sigh. If you’re not a Bond fan, just scroll down to read about the Grace Kelly exhibit and do check out the post about Mia Farrow’s red silk chiffon pyjamas from Rosemary’s Baby.

Sorry, there has been no leisure sewing here. Between the house and still looking for a job (which is totally freaking me out!) I’ve been a little busy. I have managed to get most of my new closet shelving hung and some of my clothing moved back in. I felt that just having someplace to put my clothes and be organized would maybe help me feel a little more in control of my life. Let’s hope!


Filed under misc.


Tany’s new blog is up!

Tany et la mode


Filed under misc.