Self Drafted Vest

After sewing a cushion for uzzi out of the wool remnants from my blazer I figured I had just enough left to make a vest. With no pattern that I liked I decided to try and copy a RTW vest from my closet. For my first copycat it didn’t go too poorly though I did make it a wee bit too small. Guess its time to lay off the cookies ūüôā


I also had enough of the original red lining to do the whole vest so other then the buttons this was a complete stash buster!


The insides have a wool facing along the front center and the rest is bemburg


I think it looks really great with the blazer, though I need to make some higher waisted pants (I’ve got my eye on you Ginger Jeans!).

Santa’s Workshop

My sewing room has turned into Santa’s Workshop the last week. I am officially done with all my Christmas sewing but I can’t really share the results until after Christmas except for Tony’s present (since he doesn’t read my blog). For him I finally got around to making the vest he’s been wanting using Butterick 6339 from there “Making History” collection.


For the main part I used this mystery grey fabric I got from the Denver Sewing Guild sale. No clue what it is. It looks felted but its woven and it does frey. It shrunk by at least a 1/4 with just washing ( no dryer). ¬† Now my dress form just isn’t shaped for this garment but you get the idea. I will try to get some pictures of Tony modeling it once I give it to him.


The vest if fully lined in a grey bemberg lining after the sucess of using it in my blazer.


This was my first time doing welted pockets and I am super pleased with how they turned out. The bottom two are actually pockets and the top are just for decoration.


I was probing Tony while watching The Crown to get an idea of what one to make he seemed to gravitate to ones with a notched collar. So thats what I did.


Now that Im done with all those presents its back to some selfish sewing for me!

Wool Blazer: Part 2

I am happy to be able to share my finished Wool Blazer/ English hunting coat.


Tony has already declared this the best thing I have ever made. Despite the long and tedious preparation process, sewing this was a breeze. Things like the collar and sleeves which I expected to be troublesome came together with no issues. I thoroughly enjoyed making this coat as it managed to challenge me and boost my sewing confidence in one fell swoop. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the guts before attaching the lining but I was just too eager to get it finished.

These are two part sleeves with sort of a faux vent. They have a 1/4″ shoulder pad sewn into the lining and some fleece¬†as a sleeve heading to help¬†fill out the shape of the sleeve cap. That’s a lot going on under the hood!

We have a notched collar that lays very well if I do say so myself.


The pocket flaps are non-functional but there is a pocket in the princess seams below the flap. I found some plastic buttons that do a brilliant job of looking wooden and really tie together the English feel for me.


The back has some gentle princess seams for a slight bit of shaping. I wish I had done a sway back adjustment but its not too obvious.


My favorite part is the silky rich red lining. It really makes this coat feel like a luxury.


Needless to say, I am pretty satisfied, though I don’t think I will be making another anytime soon. I learned a lot of tailoring ¬†while making this and I feel like I can bump my skill level up a notch.



A slightly different palette

Sorry its been quiet the last few weeks. Not much going on in the sewing room. I did finish the lilac shirt for Tony but he’s being camera shy so no pictures. I decided to pull out some of my fabric from the guild sale.

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This fell in love with the soft hand and color palette of this fabric, I just don’t have anything like it in my wardrobe. I only had 3 yards so at first I was thinking a button up for my self, but after just finishing one I wasn’t looking forward to doing another so soon. The I got it stuck in my head that it would make a great Butterick 5209


I mean sure I was 7/8 of a yard short and the pattern matching would take extra but it definitely would work…right? Spoiler alert, it did!

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I did have to cut 2″ off the skirt to get everything to fit but with the extra length in the bodice I think its fine. I tossed and turned¬†about how to cut this out with my limited fabric. First i folded it in half and tried to baste it together along the lines so that ¬†wouldn’t shift. I gave up on that after about 30 minutes and just decided to cut it in a single thickness. My thought was if I cut everything out once and it took more then 1/2 of the fabric then I could just line the bodice in a different fabric instead ¬†and then I would only have the skirt to cut fit in. Turns out everything fit so the bodice is still self lined. Another happy coincidence was that when I went to cut the second half it was already perfectly on the same repeat as the first so I was able to cut a mirror image out of everything that kept the same color pattern running all the way across. YAY!

Since I have made this dress before¬†here¬†i’m not going to ¬†go into much construction detail. I did feel like the last one I made was too big so I sized down. That was a mistake, I ended up having to let out the side seems and it still feels a little tight around the waist. I guess I can’t eat too big of a meal while wearing this. I will say that my favorite part of this pattern is how the back and sleeves are constructed. I just think its so smart and interesting.

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The fabric had two imperfections, some black ink spots. I put one on the inside underneath my tag. The other is on left neck. Just couldn’t cut around it, but for a $6 dress I’m willing to over look it, perhaps a brooch could cover it up?

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All and all i’m pretty happy with how this dress turned out. Im planing on taking it with me to San Francisco in a few weeks when I kick off working with a new client. Today i’m going¬†to dress it down with some flats and wear it to visit a new ice cream parlor in Denver…..they have ice cream flights, like a flight of wine but with icecream. Of course Tony and I should each get our own flight, we have to try 10 flavors or else the trip would just be a waste!

To paint a picture

This weekend I just wanted¬†an easy project to rinse away all the stress of the past few weeks. I had a yard of this fabric I bought months ago. It was the end of the bolt so I got a smoking deal…only $1.25 for the whole thing. It¬† was too short to work for most of my patterns¬†but then I got the idea of making a blouse. ¬†I selected Simplicity 1590


It took some magical skills but I was able to fit all the pattern pieces on that tiny 1 yard of fabric.

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The fabric is a little coarse in texture and loosely woven but I still adore the print on it. It reminds me of a painters pallet. Once finished I tried it on with a bunch of different bottoms but nothing looked right until I stumbled upon this pencil skirt.  Who knows maybe  will find a job in an office some day and get to wear it.

Sound of music dress

I have decided to you my lesson in practicality and marry it with my love of dresses.  Im doing a dress that actually fits the season that it currently is. Now you are probably wondering what that has to do with the sound of music.  Well, I made it out of curtains (or a curtain to be more specific).  I purchased the 6168 pattern from butterick, which is a departure from my normal 50s choices.



After looking a at few of these online I determined that I needed to use a solid color or all the detail would get lost. It also happens that the same weekend we were purging our linen closet and Tony wanted to throw away some curtains that he had used in the Condo before we met. They were chocolate brown and had a sort of linen like texture so I said I would use them instead. Funny enough on the inside of the dress you can see perfect little rectangles of sun bleach window sashing. I was very carful to make sure that the out side of the dress ¬†didn’t have those as well.


My mom had sent me a handful of zippers that her friend Kitty had generously donated. ¬†I found a navy invisable zipper ¬†that I thought would do the trick. Only problem was that it was too short. This dress calls for a 22″ zipper ¬†(and I had lengthened it by 1.5″). This zipper was only 16″ so I came up with idea of using the short zipper an then making a keyhole in the back with a thread button loop. The result turned out really well.

On the inside the pattern called for a Facing, I have vowed off facings ever since the Anna dress so I lined the front bodice in some green lining scraps left over from this dress. I sort of liked the brown green combo, very forest-like.


Unfortunately my attempts at lengthening the bodice  resulted in a little to much skin (as seen below) So I will certainly have to wear a tank top under this to prevent any un-intentional flashing.


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In case your keeping track:

  • Fabric: $0.00 (repurposed curtain)
  • Lining: $0.00 (used leftovers from another project)
  • Zipper: $0.00 ( donated stash)
  • Thread: $0.00 (used leftovers from another project)
  • Pattern: $2.00 and completely re-usable