Category Archives: Hot Patterns

The Year of the Jacket 2010 – in Review

I will probably finish one more jacket yet before the end of the year but I thought it would be fun to look back at what I have already completed. I know some people were concerned about joining the Stitcher’s Guild sew-along for 2011 because they thought they’d have to make 12 tailored, lined jackets – not so! While I love making them, they are not really wearable here during the warmer months. A jacket can be as complicated as a notch-collared style with welts and hand padstitching or as simple as a linen shirt jacket or jean jacket. There are no rules so join in – the more the merrier!


#1 McCall’s 5984


#2 McCall’s 5984


#3 Simplicity 2443


#4 Simplicity 2443 (modified)

#5 Simplicity 7715 (vintage)

#6 Simplicity 2443 (modified)


#7 McCall’s 5860


#8 McCall’s 5635 (modified)


#9 Simplicity 5440 (vintage, modified)

#10 Hot Patterns Riviera Blvd. Jacket


#11 Simplicity 4109


#12 Simplicity 2508

#13 Burda Style 10/2009 #109
duffle coat



Filed under Burda WOF, Hot Patterns, McCall's, Simplicity, Vintage Patterns, Year of the Jacket

HP Mighty Aphrodite Draped T-Shirt

Another clear winner from HP! I fell in love with this pattern the moment I saw it. I love the asymmetrical draping, sleeves and the drawstring and was so thrilled to finally get it traced off last weekend.


I made the short-sleeved asymmetrical sleeve version in a gorgeous purple rayon/lycra from, where else? Gorgeous Fabrics. I made my usual HP size 6 but skipped the FBA since I figured the draping added enough ease through the bust (it did). The sewing was pretty uneventful and went quickly. I did have an oops! moment when I realized that I forgot to make a broad back adjustment but, thankfully, the top is wearable.

The only thing I will change next time (besides the back alteration) is to not interface the entire back neck facing. Even though I used a knit interfacing with plenty of stretch, it still interfered with the stretch of the fabric enough that I went back and removed it. Needless to say, I fuse for life so it took quite awhile to heat/peel/heat/peel but I got it done and am happier with the result.

You can see that, even though the neckline is modest, this top definitely has a vavavoom quality to it. The ruching and draping are very flattering so this pattern will definitely go into the “favorites” file.



For my 2nd version, I used a super-soft heathered oatmeal rayon/lycra (again, from Gorgeous Fabrics). This time, I used two plain sleeves because the fabric had a much more casual feeling to it.


I fused only the neckline and shoulder seams of the back facing as shown here. This worked out much better for me.


What’s next on the agenda? Well, I am still on the hunt for the right shade of red poly chiffon for my Milly blouse (I must get it done before the holidays!) so I’m working on my silver brocade baseball jacket since I’ve assembled all of the supplies for it.


Filed under Hot Patterns

HP Riviera Boulevard Cardigan Jacket

First, I have to say that I am so touched that you guys missed me! Believe me, I have missed you too! As some of you have speculated, I did not get a job, sigh. But, my sewing classes are going well so that makes me happy. I just love my students, they are so much fun that I look forward to class every week (as I hope they do!). Things have just been busy so I’ve been spending my precious spare time sewing rather than blogging.

I did finally finish my HP Riviera jacket and LOVE it! I’ve had this pattern since it first came out and am so mad at myself that I’m just now getting around to making it.

I used a yummy wool/lycra doubleknit that I bought from Nancy Erickson back in 2003. Oh, how I love working with wool! It practically sews itself. I did prewash this fabric by hand with Orvis (from the local feed store), air dried and then steamed thoroughly before cutting. I seriously doubt I’ll be hand washing this jacket but I could if I wanted to. The fab buttons came from Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics and I used Pro-Sheer Fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.


The jacket goes together very easily and quickly. The first thing I did was to construct the pocket flaps. The horizontal flaps are constructed as you normally would. Because my fabric was thick and spongy, I did all of my topstitching at 3/8″ vs. 1/4″ (which looked skimpy and cheap).


The vertical pockets are sewn on two sides only. The top is left open because it will be caught in the yoke seam later.



Pocket construction is very simple. First, the vertical flaps are stitched to the fronts:


Then, the pocket bags are stitched on top of the flaps,


so you end up with this:


The other pocket bags are stitched to the side front:


then the front and side front are sewn together at the top and down the lower front. Any topstitching alongside the pocket flap should be done now, before the pocket bags are sewn shut.


Here’s the finished pocket (before pressing):


Here it is pressed and topstitched. As I mentioned before, the area in front of the flap is topstitched before the pocket bags are closed up. Once the pockets are stitched up, the topstitching below the flap is completed.


The body of the jacket has been put together. Now it’s time for the collar!


I know some people have expressed confusion over the HP collar but it’s really very, very easy. You are instructed to sew to the dot but I found it better to just keep on going all the way. I have done it both ways but prefer this way. The seam allowances have been trimmed and graded in this photo – I forgot to take one before I did that but you can use your imaginations. Please notice that I am not a Chicken Clipper!


I then pressed all three seams open over my trusty point presser


and then turned right side out.


I staystitched just inside the dot on the jacket front and clipped to the corner. Then, simply match up the two dots and stitch your inside corner.


Voila! Very easy!


Here is the jacket with the facing partially attached. I always attach it in two steps to make my life easier.


I did make one small change to the pattern and that is to add a hem allowance rather than using facings. Mainly, I did that because I really wanted to have a mitered sleeve vent. If I was going to have a hem at the sleeve it stood to reason that I should have one on the jacket body as well. I didn’t take any photos of the sleeve construction because I figured everyone already knows how to miter a sleeve vent – and this post is already so long-winded!


Because my fabric is pretty stretchy, I had problems making horizontal buttonholes. I finally achieved success by fusing a 2nd piece of interfacing with the stable grain on the horizontal and cording the buttonhole. I only had cordonnet in white and black but red Pearl Crown Rayon came to the rescue and worked just fine. (Excuse the blue chalk, this is my sample.)


Wow, that was a very long post, wasn’t it? I’m sure it’s the longest I’ve ever done but that’s what I get for leaving it all until the end. I’m headed back to the sewing room to finish up my HP Mighty Aphrodite tee – I’ll write about that this weekend. Auf Wiedersehen!

10/16/10 ETA: I realized last night that I neglected to mention anything about sizing and fit – sorry! I sewed a straight size 6 (which I need through the shoulders) and needed no alterations except for my usual forward shoulder and a little extra width through the bicep (I blame you for that, Jackie Warner!). Shocking, but true.


Filed under Hot Patterns, Year of the Jacket

HP Kaleidoscope Top – Final!

Almost final, anyway. I still have to sew on the buttons and hem the bottom but I thought I’d go ahead and post it anyway.

As you can see, I decided to leave off the sleeve ruffles. They were just too overwhelming for someone my size.


Changes I made:

*Shortened the upper bodice by 1″ (I’d take another 1/2″ off next time, I think)
*Omitted sleeve flounce
*Shortened front ruffle 11″ (could be because my fabric is so drapey)

Because my fabric is very lightweight, I didn’t have any problems with all of the layers around the neck. However, the ruffle does pull my facing down just a bit at the front despite my having removed some length from the facing to draw the neckline in.

Word of caution: if you are making the optional back darts (which I did), the back casing will end up being too long. Be sure to shorten that piece before joining it to the front casing sections.

Conclusion: This is a very cute top that works well in a lightweight fabric. Hemming the ruffles was quite laborious (I will try to cover that this week) so I’d just leave the raw edges if I made this again.


Filed under Hot Patterns

HP Kaleidoscope Top – Part II

Today, I attached the neckline ruffles, collar and facing. The neckline ruffles were very long for me possibly because crepe de chine stretches so much on the bias. I shortened them 11″ and they are still considerably longer than the pattern illustration. Although I’ve already hemmed the sleeve ruffles, I may leave them off since there’s already a lot going on here for a little person.


I narrow-hemmed all of the ruffles which took an entire evening! Had I to do it again, I’d just leave the edges raw since they are mostly on the bias anyway.


Here’s a close-up of the collar/ruffle.



Filed under Hot Patterns

HP Kaleidoscope Top – Part I

I am making the ruffled front version – it’s so me!


The top has been fitted, altered and cut – all my least favorite parts are over with. The fabric I am using is a silk crepe de chine that I bought when Cloth World closed it’s doors years ago. I bought three yards of every color they had and this is the last of it.


I’m off to have a quick bite of dinner and then head to the sewing room to hem these ruffles and continue watching Season 3 of McLeod’s Daughters. Hopefully, there will be some progress to report tomorrow!


Filed under Hot Patterns

HP Deneuve Heirloom Shirt – Final!

I’m so happy that I finally finished this up last night! With all of the other things going on it felt as if I’d never have time to get it done.


I added a Swiss insertion at the side seam for fun.


My original plan had been to have a gathered sleeve but I didn’t like the way it looked during fitting so I opted for a tuck on each side of the opening instead.


I was going to start on the new HP Kaleidoscope blouse next but I think I’ll make a quick dress first. It’s unbearably hot right now and I’d like to have a cool dress or two to toss on.

Things have slowed down on the landscaping front. We are exhausted and just enjoying the fruits of our labor. When I came home last Friday, Bryan was waiting for me with a surprise: a double Christmas palm that had been on my wish list for this corner of the house! I’ve planted it with Coontie (Zamia pumila) which is a Florida native and related to the Cardboard Plant that I love so much. I was kind of limited here because of the meter but I think this is going to look really nice when the plants mature.


I have some pretty flowers blooming too! Here’s the “Drunken Sailor” (quisqualis indica) in the courtyard:


and the beautiful Siam tulips (curcuma) behind the waterfall out back:


Parting shot: Someone’s very mad at her mother! Jess’ girlfriend, Dr. Kelly, gives her long-haired cats a lion cut every summer so I let her shave Ricki too. Ricki is not happy about it (but how cute are her little Ugg boots?)! We’ll just call it payback for what she’s done to my couches…



Filed under Hot Patterns, House, Kitties

HP Deneuve Heirloom Shirt – Part IV

Yeah, I thought I’d be done by now too… All I have left are the sleeves and the hem, only a couple of hours’ worth of work. I’ve just been busy doing other things around the house – both mine and Bryan’s. Football season is just around the corner and I won’t have my honey around as much to help me (but more sewing time, yay!) so we’ve been putting the finishing touches on the landscaping. One more palm tree and a few dozen bags of mulch and I’m done! I also finally finished laying the wood floors at Bryan’s house last Saturday which is a huge load off my mind.


Please don’t mind the wrinkles – we must embrace them if we are going to wear linen! I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed making this shirt. Sometimes it’s fun to just lose yourself in a more time-consuming project.


Filed under Hot Patterns

HP Deneuve Heirloom Shirt – Part III

The bib has been completed except for the buttons (I’m kind of making this all up as I go!). I love necklines with ties so I decided to use a double-fold binding from self-fabric.


I’ve sewn entredeux to the outer edge in the same manner as before. I used a very narrow entredeux to make it easier to sew into a curved seam. I apologize for the fuzzy photo, operator error, I suspect.


There will be more sewing later today but I promised my neighbor I’d make her some curtains so I’m off to do the measuring. I know what you’re thinking (noooo, don’t do it!) but her husband is constantly helping me with things around the house so I am more than happy to be able to reciprocate in some small way.


Filed under Hot Patterns

HP Deneuve Heirloom Shirt – Part II

Last night I began putting together the strips of fabric and lace for the bib. I use my own version of heirloom sewing techniques that work well for heavier fabrics. I have found that traditional rolling-and-whipping techniques are great for heirloom fabrics like batiste but don’t always work with fashion fabrics.

First, I stitch the beading to the fabric strip right at the edge of the embroidery. I’m using a zipper foot on my Consew which allows me to see exactly where I need to sew.




Next, I would ordinarily do a rolled hem to finish off the seam allowances but my linen is quite crisp and loosely woven and didn’t take well to this technique. Instead, I used the narrowest 3-thread overedge possible, running the needle right along my previous stitching. On a home overlock you can achieve this by setting the machine up for rolled hem but leaving the tensions set for a balanced stitch. Continue sewing the pieces together until you achieve the desired size. Press well, making sure there are no pleats between the strips.


To keep the seams flat and meld everything together, I like to do a small zigzag between the holes in the beading/entredeux and the main fabric. Use a very fine thread that won’t “fill up” the holes (here I am using Madeira Tanne) and you won’t even be able to see it when you are finished.


And so I am finished with the most labor-intensive part of this garment! The rest will be pretty quick and easy, I think.



Filed under Hot Patterns