Tag Archives: jacket

The Anorak


At the end of the day, this was salvageable. I am so glad that I started with a size smaller than usual. Had I not, this would have been a donation jacket.

I made trouble for myself by cleverly deciding to make it reversible and then not paying attention to details. Like the front, which had cut-on facings that folded over twice. I only cut them off at the first fold line, but of course, I didn’t figure that our until it was put together and top-stitched. Yes, even that. But I hacked off two inches on each side and carefully turned in the seam allowances and it all worked out ok.

Here it is one side 1…

As it is, I cut off a total of 3 inches from the sleeve hem, and look at the cuffs that are left! Who are these things designed for? Someone with arms as long as her legs. I may sew some small snaps on the sleeves so I can keep the cuffs in place.
The hood is huge, more like you would expect to see on a Little Red Riding Hood cape than a jacket, but I guess it works. Maybe some critter with arms that long has a really big head too. I’m picturing Quasimodo.

I do like the two fabrics together. You may recognize the lighter one from my last garment, the comfy Vogue tunic. Apparently I got a great deal on the fabric and bought about 5 yards. The darker fabric is a quilted knit that has quite a bit of sheen to it, almost like it is water resistant, but I don’t think it is.


And here is side 2…



This still feels a little sloppy -big, but it is wearable.

Please forgive the ultra-lousy picture behind my head.
This was the only spot in my hotel room where there was enough light (barely) to take pics and the painting was bolted to the wall.
Do people steal bad art from hotel rooms?




Anorak McCall’s 5635


Hoo boy. I decided to make this one reversible. And in knit fabrics. I made it one size smaller since I was working with knits. It is still pretty big. Had to make a few adjustments to the pattern, getting rid of front facing, for example. Didn’t get that quite right on the first try. Must hack off another 2 inches on each side. Guess I didn’t see there were two fold lines.
And the sleeves. Dear god, this must have been sized for some other kind of primate. I cut three inches off the sleeves and still have enough for the very deep cuff. If you opt for the elastic cuff, you’ll have to make the sleeve much narrower or end up with about 4x bulk around the wrist. Crazy.
Pics to follow tomorrow after this shapes up a bit.
Oh, and the hood is huge too, but I kinda like it.


New Fall Wardrobe

New Fall Wardrobe

As I took a look through the Fall 2012 RTW shows, I was just loving the patterned, layered sweater knits and all-over patterned pants suits like this one from Rue du Mail.

And so the shopping began, I found a couple black and ivory knits in a wool/cotton blend from Fashion Fabrics Club and a tweedy woven wool at JoAnn, and dug out a few other pieces from my stash. Initially, I was going to make a draped skirt, a top and a jacket, but I ended up going a little crazy and finished with six pieces.

How can I wear thee? Let me count the ways…

First, the skirt. I used McCalls 5434,

but altered the pattern by cutting four slices in the right front from the side seam almost to the center. I spread them apart right on the fabric and trued the line as I cut. Daring; I know, but it worked just fine. You can’t take this stuff too seriously. Then I gathered up that side to its original proportions. I’m pleased with the result. Here it is.

Next came a top to go with. I picked up this Vogue 8771 last week, thinking it would be ever so comfy in sweater knits for this upcoming 6 months that we call Winter in Upstate NY. When JoAnn has Vogue patterns for $3.99, I can’t resist and this time came home with 8 or so.

I used the same knit as for the skirt on the body, and the coordinating knit for the sleeves. I love the high-low hemline here.

I have sewn Butterick 4665 three or four times now.

It’s a very simple coat that goes together quickly and fits me well after a FBA the first time around. I omitted pockets and closures, just wanting this to be more of a casual cardigan type jacket. Again, I mixed the two knits and lined it in a champagne colored charmeuse from my stash.

I had enough of the smaller print to sew up a simple pair of elastic waist pants, also from M5434. I’m feeling like it might be a bit much to wear together, but, hey, that was the goal, right?

Then I remembered that I had made up the top from Vogue 8771 in that same charmeuse I used for the jacket lining. Bonus piece! I don’t like the fit of this at all; there’s just too much of it, it’s all too big and shiny, but it works under jackets with just a bit of the drapey neckline peeking out. Charmeuse and DD’s is just plain stupid. I know better.

Part of my Vogue haul was Vogue 8757, a most adorable little jacket with a collar that goes oh-so-many ways.

I used both knits, for the sleeves and collar, some stash fleece for the side front and under collar and the woven wool for the front and back.

Everything was going so well. The muse was upon me. I hardly had to pick out a seam. Even the serging was smooth. Then I tried on the jacket and there was some funky bunching along the back sleeves. . I thought I caught the lining, or (gods forbid) cut off some critical bits when serging the sleeve into the shoulders, but after a couple ons-and-offs, I determined that the woven wool had far more “give” than the brocade I used to line it with and that was causing the bumps. So I cleverly pulled a bit crosswise on the lining, which promptly shredded down the center back seam. No, no seam allowances; I had serged them off! Clever girl. The best I could do was to bind the edges so it doesn’t fray further and vow to never take the jacket off in public. So much for any smugness I might have been feeling. And, yes, those are skulls on the brocade. It was leftover from a costume something or other I made for my son and I didn’t have another piece of anything suitable to use. Should have just gone shopping. I knew better!

Best Laid Plans


It should be so easy, right? This fairly simple coat, that I’ve made before, should have gone together in  day. Maybe a weekend.

But the wool was lighter weight than I anticipated (a danger in on-line buying) and since it is a fairly loose weave and the coat is unlined, and the princess seams everywhere are edge and top stitched, but still looking raggedy and since the seam allowances are stitched down Hong Kong or other finishes aren’t possible, well, I came to the conclusion that I had to line the thing. Which annoys me since it’s like making the whole thing all over again with extra problem solving since the collar/scarf is only one layer and I’ve already turned in and stitched down the front self-facings. ugh.

Anyway, I found a medium-weight stretch twill in my stash. Not a usual choice for a lining, but since I want to add a bit of weight to the garment, I’m going with it.

This black and white pattern peeking out of the red wool will be great.

So maybe by next weekend I’ll have a new coat.

Keeping out the chill (and dreariness)


I’m a freak for coats and jackets. I love to make them and love to wear just the right one. And, yes, I admit to having two closets chock full of coats (once the kids move out, there is SO much space!).

While I do own the black NYC designer wool trench and break it out for funerals and really serious business meetings, I’m much happier in something fun.

Like these, and these!

(Especially love this faux fur!)

Yes, I know, I have a problem.

The cold, cloudy, shorter days are already beginning to wear on my mood, so, what better than a new spicy red coat to perk a girl up?

So, I picked up this beautiful wool and a silk print that will either be a lining or just a luscious scarf to fill in the neckline.

Tonight, I’ll start putting together Vogue 1129, by Donna Karan. I already made this up in a quite sedate dark brown/gray wool, and while the cut is terrific, the dark fabric really doesn’t show off the lines as well as it could. Or should. I’m pretty confident the red wool do the trick.

Stay tuned!

Cynthia Rowley 2443 Revised


I talked about this a few posts ago and have finally gotten around to  the finishing touches.

The more I looked at it, the more I was not liking the ribbon closure. There was just too much going on up front, what with four pockets, two tabs, four loops and a shapely figure going inside.  So I ditched the ribbons and added some gray shell buttons.

I am almost finished with the coordinating dress. The skirt is done in the same pink twill as the jacket, with the bodice in a textured gray knit, so the gray buttons will work nicely.

Lots of designer details on this pattern; both the dress and the jacket, which makes for a really nice garment, but if you’re a newbie, I wouldn’t try this without help. The sleeve plackets in particular were a bit tricky.

And here’s the d-ring detail on the sleeve cuffs. Too cute.

Now if only Spring would arrive…..

Warm and Fuzzies


I ruffled through my stack of newly purchased  pink cottons and twills this morning, thinking that I could keep my spirits up by sewing up a couple pieces of Spring clothing, but no amount of daydreaming or wishing for warm weather will make today’s -5 degree wind chill go away.  So I decided to embrace the cold and make something to keep warm in. I found this cushy double-sided shaggy periwinkle fleece deep in my stash.

I used Marcy Tilton’s Vogue 8653 jacket as inspiration, but not much more. I didn’t use any binding per the pattern; just decided to serge it together and since I used double -sided fabric, can wear it with the seams hidden or exposed. This simple pattern is interesting in that it can be worn right side up or upside down. One gives you a longer look with a lapel or fold-over collar and the other shorter with the  sectioned front.

And now I’m cozied up in an oh-so-soft and warm furry thing, not caring too much about the arctic winds.