Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Fit fixes and perfect V-necklines, my latest posts on the Craftsy sewing blog

It doesn't feel right (as someone who is not British) to say Happy Boxing Day since we don't have it as an official holiday here in the US. However there is something very appealing about having Dec. 26 as an actual holiday. Because after all, it is a holiday in just about everyone's mind - whether we have to go to work or not. I'm doing some serious lounging with a few bursts of tidying up. I gave the sewing room a good vacuuming, it's amazing how much dust and fuzz settles in every corner of a sewing space.

The past few days I have had a couple of new blog posts on the Craftsy sewing blog which I think might be useful to a lot of people so here are the links. Also there is a page listed above where I have links to every one of my Craftsy blog posts, subdivided into categories.

First one is my tips for sewing a smooth V-neckline, which can be really tricky in a tightly woven fabric or one that wants to stretch along the neckline. (link below image below)

Craftsy image V-neckline sewing

Next is my take on adjusting an existing dress. Sometimes you have a dress that just doesn't fit right or is not comfortable due to the fit. Check out my tips on adjusting the dresses you already have in your closet. 

Craftsy black dress with organza trim

Next up in my sewing is finishing a bunch of items that are in progress. Yet what I feel like doing is curling up on the couch and watching a movie. I think so. This is the time of year to relax and indulge. 

I'll be back soon with an year-end analysis of my sewing, which I like to do mostly for me, to see how what I sewed compares to what I actually planned to sew😉.

Happy Holidays and enjoy the leftovers - I know we are!


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Burda 12-2017-113 top in festive plaid

It's the most wonderful time of the year. At least that's what the song says. Some days are more wonderful than others...today was some last minute shopping (the lines, the traffic, the people coughing right behind me, eek!) so after that I scurried home and decided to catch up on my blogging. I had plans to take some festive photos as I did last year near the big Christmas tree but that didn't work out, so we have some more backyard pictures. I have a lot of other projects in the works so hope to do some better photos of those soon.
Meanwhile  - I used my Burda magazine subscription. I am so proud of myself. Admittedly a very minor achievement but I've already seen several things to make in the issues that have arrived. And there are a couple of super cute jackets in this issue with interesting sleeves so maybe I will get to those before the winter ends.

Burda blouse full length outside

The outdoor photos don't show the true nature of this fabric which is not only plaid but sparkle. I guess it a lurex thread woven it, and it doesn't show except when the light hits it in certain ways, which is kind of nice. I bought it at a sewing guild sale for a few bucks, maybe sometime in 2016 and thought this just might make a festive type of item. And promptly forgot about it until a few weeks ago when I was rummaging around for something else and came across it.  There was just enough to make the Burda top. I've been trying to sew new shapes and silhouettes so this seemed like a good one to try.

Burda sparkle top final version

Here's the magazine photo and tech drawing. It's also a dress and their view shows the elastic at the waist. More on that in a minute.

Burda photo and tech drawing sparkle blouse

I did add the elastic as the pattern intended, tried it on, and realized that it would drive me crazy. For one thing my fabric is probably a bit too stiff for that type of style, it needs a much softer fabric like a rayon woven or a silk crepe would be best. Also the bottom portion is really wide, it adds a lot of volume. Let me tell you that when I had it on the elastic gathered section landed at my waist, and the bottom part wanted to stick out like a ballet tutu. Slight exaggeration but definitely that was the resemblance. I think in a dress it would work better as the weight of the skirt would pull down that part more than a top. It looks sort of OK on the dress form but on me it was weird. Maybe I made the elastic too tight and so when I lifted up my arms the gathered part stayed up too high on the torso. And looked goofy.  But I was really happy with the color and the shimmer so I just removed the elastic thread stitching.

Burda top with elastic front view onform

Here's a look at the shoulder detail, it has oval sections that extend over the shoulders and then the sleeves, front and back are attached to those sections. And I see some neckline stay stitching there in this photo near the bias binding, which I have since removed. Sometimes when you stay stitch a neckline the stitching wobbles a bit when you attach the facing or binding, I just try to attach the binding evenly and then remove any stray bits of stay stitching after it's finished. I didn't use the pattern piece for the neck binding as I had to piece it together which whatever scraps of bias cut I could find after cutting out the larger pieces. So the tie ends are not too long but I kind of like the little bow.

Burda sparkle top shoulder view

Burda sparkle top close up view on form

Burda sparkle top back view

Just to show you how shimmery this fabric really is, an indoor photo with the flash.

Burda sparkle blouse with flash

In the photo above where the top still has the elastic, there are some green pants pinned to the dress form, which I just sewed and will get their own blog post as I have lots to say. I made my own jeans pattern, yay! And sewed them up in this stretchy ponte which was kind of a random purchase but I think I need them in other colors now.

Green jeans1

I made a pattern from an existing pair I have in order to practice for my class last month (Pattern Drafting - Copying Ready to Wear February session) and they came out better than I could have imagined. Lots of details to come on those. Also that class is scheduled again at Hello Stitch for February so if you have wanted to try that sign up on the link.

Lots of classes coming up in Jan and Feb at Hello Stitch Studio in Berkeley, and we're trying to do a variety of classes that are suited for  those that have been sewing a while and want to learn some more tips and techniques, as well as those just starting with garment sewing

Jacket Essentials  (2-day workshop Jan 7 & 14)
Sew with Knits, Basic T-shirt (Jan 13 & 20)
Button Front Shirt (Jan 13 & 20)

Basics - Tunic Style Shirt or Dress (Jan 16 & 23)
Basics - Garment Sewing, Skirt (Feb 11)
Pattern Basics - How to Read a Sewing Pattern (Jan 6)    If you are just starting or getting back into sewing check out this class. I will cover choosing your size, picking the right fabric for a successful garment, explain all the info on the pattern pieces, and we will go over how to cut out without stress and how to mark your pattern pieces. All the steps before you sew a stitch :)

That's it for my sparkly holiday blouse, which I will be wearing this weekend to hang out with family and friends. After all the baking, cooking, wrapping etc. is completed. And then we open a nice bottle of wine and have our Dungeness crab (Christmas eve traditional meal).

I'll be back with more blog posts before the end of the year, including a sewing year in review.

Merry Christmas to all, and I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Holiday,


Burda top with greetings

Friday, December 8, 2017

Latest sewing in progress

Why yes, I have been sewing lately. A lot! The typical time crunch of December is upon us and I have so many things to sew - and so many other things that I want to do as well. So instead of a blog post on just one thing that is finished I figured you might be interested in seeing what I'm working on. Some interesting stuff so if boring knit tops are not your thing keep scrolling :)

Which means a few finished things like this trio of knit tops. All made using patterns that I think are just perfection.

First up this Vogue pattern 9205 which I made previously in a stripe knit. This is a very soft rayon knit found in the upstairs section at Stone Mountain (where else, right?).

blue dart top

And now, why have it not made a turtleneck before?  Maybe because I have a bunch of them and don't really need another but I had a big piece of this blue stripe (Stone Mountain again) and had always wanted to try the turtleneck variation on my go-to Raglan Sleeve pattern, which is Burda 6990. I have made the crew neck version many times (actually there is no crew neck with a band version, that is my own modification so slight pattern hack there. Also if you are interested in t-shirt neckline changes I did a post on the Craftsy sewing blog on that.)

blue stripe t-neck

And every time I do a knit top class at Hello Stitch Studio I seem to make a knit top for demonstration purposes plus I use up the scraps of various knits I have stashed around. So one more version of the Burda raglan.

raglan tee

Ok now for the more interesting things. Green jeans.

Green jeans in progress

yes, green jeans but they are far more interesting than might appear. And as you can see not finished. A theme right now, lots of unfinished stuff. However these jeans are the result of using a pair of my jeans that fit perfectly and making a pattern from the jeans. I just taught that class so prior to that I was in a frenzy of copying, with jeans being the ultimate prize, so to speak, in the pattern copy sweepstakes. I have cracked the code on these and one tip is to use as close to the original fabric to ge the same fit.  Lots more details and photos once I get these finished.

A Hemisferic Coat from Pauline Alice Patterns. Oh you didn't think I was going to let that one pass by, did you?  You know how I love her designs. This is actually going to be for my friend Heather's daughter, and Saturday we are off to find the perfect wool. Thinking merlot color or something like that. Also I am changing it from zipper front to a hidden buttonhole placket. I just don't like zipper front coats, to me they seem too casual.

hemisferic coat muslin

And something for Heather, as she has a party in early 2018 so I am giving myself plenty of time to get this one going. The moment I saw this pattern on the Burda website I wanted to sew it. It is Burda 07/2017 # 124A and I haven't seen any reviews but I think it is gorgeous. I probably will add some sleeves, either cap sleeves or maybe 3/4 sleeves. We will see how it goes. But that seaming, gorgeous!

Burda dress

For myself I have two projects in the works and I really want to get to both of them but I have no idea when I will do so.  The first is this silk crepe de chine blouse I started before Thanksgiving, with the idea of making it before I did the wool jacket. And here it is, waiting for me to get back to it. It is going to be a longish shirt, and then the jacket will be kind of cropped, but use both sides of the wool which is on the hanger behind it (note tiny squares on one side and bigger squares on the other). I bought this at Mood last October and I really want to sew it up for this winter.  Soon! Also I have just enough silk to make a long tie bow which will be separate so I can wear it with or without.

blue silk with wool

Well that's the latest around here - so much stuff in progress and a lot of wishing for more time to finish.

They have posted some of Hello Stitch Studio classes for January and February classes on the website so if you are in the area check it out. We have the Knit T-shirt and Button Front shirt classes again, plus some new ones including Pattern Basics - How to Read Sewing Patterns. I think that one will be really useful for a lot of people whether you are a beginner or as a refresher returning to sewing. And everyone will bring a couple of patterns so we can discuss specific examples.

Happy Holiday Sewing,

Here's today's garden photo. Despite the chilly weather we haven't had frost so my impatiens are still blooming. And this burgundy color plant with lots of little seeds has thrived. I can't remember the name, it is a type of grain but this is an ornamental version. I hope it reseeds for next year.

sunflowers etc

Saturday, November 25, 2017

An almost free shirt: Simplicity 2339 in Buffalo Check

One of these days I might have to try out a new shirt pattern. Or at least do something to preserve the one I am currently using. After all, a button front shirt is such a basic item, and my feeling is that if it fits well, has the shaping I like, and offers opportunity to change it up with other details then there is absolutely no need to try a new shirt pattern just for the sake of newness. So I guess I've talked myself into preserving this one in a more long-lasting way. I should copy it onto Swedish tracing paper which would be ideal. Resolution for January! I like to use the Swedish tracing paper (which is really more like fabric) as it is easy to pin onto the fabric unlike stiff paper. And since I like to use pins and not pattern weights that will be the way to go.

The post title is "an almost free shirt." Almost free, because I think I paid maybe $ 2 for the fabric at a rummage sale. It said "shirt" the minute I saw it and then upon closer inspection it revealed that oh so nice feature - a touch of lycra! So a stretch woven cotton in bright fuchsia pink/black combo. Had to come home with me. With the use of my tattered Simplicity 2339 pattern which I probably paid 99 cents for originally and now have used at least 15 times I call that a good value for money. The button probably cost more than the rest of it and they were not exactly pricey either 😊.

plaid shirt at garden store

Some things I sew and just wear once in a while, other things are for special occasions, and then some get worn immediately and constantly until I'm just tired of them. I think this shirt will go into the 3rd category, a wear-it-all-the-time shirt at home just about anywhere.

Check things are a bit easier to match than actual plaids, but maybe possible they are more likely to show where things don't line up properly.

check shirt on form front view

I'm super happy with this one, the front/sides/sleeves lined up very well. My top tip for button front shirts in plaid or check - Firstly - cut it out properly, perhaps even single layer and flip the first front over to cut out a mirror image for the 2nd front. But the actual tip is to carefully line it up when you sew on the buttons, and then do the hem AFTER the buttons are sewn on. So that you can align the front, have the buttons secure the crossways lines, and then have the hem not poke out at the bottom from the shirt side with the buttons. If it needs to be a bit shorter on that side then that is OK. No one will see it and it will look far better than having the underneath part sticking out when it is buttoned up.

check shirt on form back view

I always put the yoke and cuffs on the bias because it just adds a little more visual interest.

Let's talk about perfection. And perfectionism. It has been fascinating to me to see what people in my classes obsess over and will not be satisfied with, and conversely what they say is just fine or good enough. And their judgements might not agree with how I would see something, but that is another good thing about making things by hand, you get to decide how you want things to be. However - like the hem edge I mentioned above, with some knowledge you can overcome a lot of these small issues that can detract from the overall effect. But it's also good to know where to pick your battles. Which brings me to my next photo.

check shirt cuffs

Spot the difference? Note the placket on the cuff opening. I am showing you this as I receive so many  wonderful comments and compliments on my sewing - but sometimes, as we all do,  I make a mistake and then I just have to decide how to deal with it. I put one of the plackets on backwards, so it was going to end up on the inside of the shirt and rather than unpick the whole thing I just reversed the sides, resulting in a stumpy little placket on one side. But the amount of time and eyestrain to remove it just wasn't worth it to me. And I doubt it's visible when I wear the shirt. This is what I mean by pick your battles. If I had messed up the collar band, which is front and center on the shirt then I would likely remove it and start again. Something like a sleeve placket which can be adapted, is on the side of the garment and not really even seen - I can live with a shrunken and slightly lumpy placket.

check shirt at garden store

What a glamorous life I lead - taking blog photos at the garden store. Actually I couldn't resist snapping these standing next to the cyclamen. Those colors!

On my cutting table right now, so many things. Actually I have started a silk blouse using a different pattern - although it is a pattern repeat. The fabric is one that I bought at Mood in NY.

blue silk blouse Burda pattern

And I started with this silk to make the blouse first, as I am still playing around with options for the coordinating wool also purchased at Mood.

DO not Laugh at this!  Which is a test muslin for a jacket. Sewn using two different scraps of cotton  in order to look at the color block effect. Seems successful even in this goofy quilting cotton combo. And disregard the striped number underneath, a recent project, my first turtleneck which will appear in a future blog post.

test muslin for wool jacket

This is McCalls 7549. When this pattern came out I saw a lot of people that put it on their "want to sew" lists and yet I find almost no completed versions. I think it has possibilities. If you do a screen capture of the tech drawing and put into photoshop you can use the paintbrush tool to fill in the shapes with color. I find this super useful for figuring out how to design color block garments. My test below. The fabric I will use is a tweedy plaid and dot pattern which might sound weird but just wait - I think it will be nice. (I certainly hope so after lugging this fabric home and then pondering it for more than a year).

M7549 pattern envelope jacket

coat color test 2

So that's the latest on what I'm sewing. Well actually, not by a long shot- so many things in the works but not a lot of photos to document. Although one other interesting item has me puzzling out the details which you can see here.

Hope everyone is having a great and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend here in the US and getting lots  accomplished wherever you are.

Happy Sewing, Beth

today's garden photo, a velvety red rose that bloomed a few weeks ago among the salvia branches.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Bamboo coat from Waffle Patterns

If someone asked me what is my favorite thing to sew, I guess the answer would be jackets and coats. Particularly the wool kind. I think making a wool jacket is my version of knitting, a comfortable, soothing, repetitive series of steps that are calming and relaxing. Which might sound odd to a lot of you. I think once you get comfortable with any skill it feels that way. You can be learning to sew, or making bread, or speaking a new language, or skiing, or hitting a golf ball, or any other thing that takes practice, purpose and a desire to improve. But one day you will do it and feel comfortable and relaxed and realize that you are doing this thing for fun and not thinking too much about the how. I suppose what I'm describing is often called being in the mental state of flow - fully immersed, involved, enjoying the activity. Sewing is generally this type of activity for me, and on a good day some of my other pursuits can get there as well. I think a key to feeling this way about sewing is both practicing, learning from mistakes, as well as letting go a bit, not being consumed by the idea of making a mistake. I tell people it's not surgery, it's only cloth and there is always more. Does that seem contradictory? To both focus deeply and let go at the same time?

Back to coats. For my jacket/coat making class at Hello Stitch one of the patterns I recommended was the Bamboo coat from Waffle Patterns. We were looking for a coat or jacket that had a loose and easy fit so as to take that out of the equation, and allow people to concentrate on the technical aspects of sewing and minimize the time needed for fit adjustments. I wanted to sew my own version to see how the instructions were and where there might be some difficulties.

And in fact I sewed this back in October so at the time I had a lot of thoughts, that I should have written down! So just a few impressions remain. The major impression is that it is Drab with a capital D! I like tweedy fabrics, I like a touch of black but there is something about the combo of this fabric with the menswear style that just doesn't give me a thrill. However - a friend of mine with vivid red hair tried it on and it looks great on her. Picture a shoulder length curly gorgeous red-headed bob haircut, coat worn with skinny black jeans and ankle boots and a black leather bag. A perfect slouchy-cool city look. At least that was my impression. I'm always happy when one of my handmade items that doesn't work for me is perfect for someone else!

bamboo coat front on form

My main recollection about sewing this is that following instructions to do details like lapels and welt pockets is kind of difficult. By that I mean that typically I don't read any instructions, and I just do the pattern markings on the fabric and then that's it. I decide where/what to interface, how to sew the pockets or welts, where to put the buttonholes. But for this one I followed the instructions and felt that they were both very thorough and at the same time tricky to understand.

# 1 Positive about this pattern:  The ROLL LINE is marked on the lapel and under collar. Can I say hallelujah? This is my top pet peeve on coat patterns, that very few patterns (even extremely tailored and detailed Vogue or Burda patterns) include the roll line. A few Vogues do and I think they should try to include on on things that are meant to be made of wool. Anyway this pattern has it and you can see that break in the interfacing on what is the under collar. The break there induces the collar to fold (roll) at just the right place.
#2 Positive - lots of interfacing. The instructions are quite detailed on where to put the interfacing, and I think that is what makes the difference between achieving a well-made coat and one that looks, well, homemade. And it is such an easy step but interfacing supports the fabric and gives all the details the oomph needed to retain creases and shape.

bamboo coat back interfacing

inside interfacing front bamboo coat

This pattern has long angled darts which add a little bit of bust and waist shaping without taking away that menswear look.

Bamboo diagram with fabric

Another thing I really liked about this pattern is the hidden buttonhole placket. What a great detail in a coat, it solves the problem of making buttonholes in several thick layers of wool coating because you use a lining inside the placket. Consequently it is one layer of wool there.

Bamboo front hidden buttonhole

And it's only right to include this photo which shows that it might be a good idea for me to look at the instructions more closely - which I thought I was doing. But this hidden buttonhole placket was going so well, and I found some buttons so I just sat down and made the buttonholes. In the WRONG directions. Yep, coat and jacket buttonholes are supposed to be horizontal not vertical. Think about every coat you have had, easier to button if they are horizontal and it keeps the coat closed better. OH well. Can't win 'em all. And I used a lovely piece of of grey that was in my lining scrap bin for the placket facings. I love this type of lining and never see it in the stores anymore. Acetate, kind of hefty and perfect for coats/jackets. Usually with a woven pattern.

bamboo coat hidden buttonhole placket2

The finished coat front is very nice, and the placket instructions were pretty good. (Although I've used this construction method plenty of times before, in my class it was a bit of puzzle for the person who hadn't encountered it before. But a good learning experience).

The part where I put down the instructions and did my own thing was the welt pocket. While the instructions - if you follow them exactly, result in a decent welt pocket with the pocket bag attached - whew they are a slog. A couple of students did them in the class and I hadn't gotten to that point in my coat. So I decided to just do it my own way.  On the right is the pocket piece provided by the pattern, where you stitch it partly on, and then attach the pocket bags, and then fold the sides in and hand stitch some sections.

Bamboo welt pockets 2 types

Ah, no. that seemed way too fussy and not guaranteed to get two matching pockets. So I removed that piece shown on the right. made a wide single welt and used that to make a standard welt pocket. Much better.

welt pocket with ruler on Bamboo

Note that I used lining for the back of the welt, much easier to achieve a crisp edge if it isn't two layers of the wool which was very springy.

bamboo coat on form back view

The back vent is a nice detail. I put some shoulder pads in, very small ones just to keep it from being a bit droopy. Not sure if when I took this picture I had added them yet.

And this is after a very long day at the Hello Stitch Studio - I think this was a day with a mini-class on zippers in the morning and then a knit top class in the afternoon. But I wanted to have a picture with the coat on someone. Also note - I sewed the coat in size 40 with no changes - and the sleeves are way too long for my baby length arms.

bamboo coat on me

We have another session of the Coat/Jacket making class in December, (weekend class 10am-4pm on Dec 16-17) as a couple of people had to postpone from our first in October. Consequently there are a couple of spaces still open so if you have a coat or jacket that you want to do here is the link. The recommended patterns are just a suggestion, email me if you have something else you are thinking of using in the class.

Here's a link to all my classes. One I'm particularly looking forward to is a class we are calling "Pattern Basics: How to read a sewing pattern". I'm planning to cover how to choose a pattern, measuring yourself, how to select your size,  matching fabric with pattern, and then we'll open up some patterns and review what's printed, both in the instructions and on the pattern pieces. Plus some tips on cutting out and marking. I think this will be great for beginners or as a refresher.

In December I plan to do some selfish sewing - including cutting into "my precious" which is a blue two-sided wool that I bought at Mood Fabrics NY last year and has been tormenting me for these many months with the "what should I use it for" question. But I think I've cracked it. It's a lot brighter blue, this photo makes it looks grey.
two sided wool

So that's the latest, I was outside a while ago doing a little autumn weed pulling and pansy planting when the garden lights came on - which means it is too dark to be out there trying to tell weeds from real plants. Is winter over yet? OK, I know it actually hasn't started yet but you know I'm ready for spring.

However I can't complain - even though it has been a bit chilly, no frost yet and I still have lots of gardenias in bloom.

Happy Thanksgiving Sewing,


Friday, November 10, 2017

A Shirt and a Shirtdress, Butterick 6333 in paisley cotton poplin

Which came first, the shirt or the shirtdress? In fact the fabric came first, and the idea for the shirt, but then I took a detour to sew this shirtdress.

B6333 green shirtdress close up front neckline

Which is Butterick 6333, a shoulder princess seamed shirt dress pattern with two skirt options.
A really good basic pattern, that I made a little more difficult for myself with some fitting adjustments  that overshot the mark, as well as adding a waistband and zipper. WHAT? a zipper? yep, read on for details.

B6333 pattern env

This is a dress I made for my friend Heather. She has been wanting a shirtdress for a while and we figured it was time to sew up a lightweight cotton one for late summer/fall. I've made a shirtdress style for her previously (probably not blogged) by copying an existing dress she had but for this one we wanted the traditional shirt styling with collar, stand, button band etc. However - and this is a big however, she likes to have a waistband to emphasize the waist, and this pattern didn't have that feature. So I improvised and the waistband you see is actually an applied piece. I sewed the dress as is, but added the waistband overlay on the outside of the bodice front and back, and that worked really well, plus let me do the fitting on the side seams. You know my aversion to sewing the skirt onto the top of a dress in one move, I always do the front, and then the back and sew the side seams near the end.

The second thing that she wanted was not to have the skirt actually unbutton. I can see for wearing that buttons are just a pain, they gape when you sit down and get ruined at the cleaners.

B6333 shirtdress front with text

So I sewed the dress as normal, including the buttonholes all the way down the front of the dress. But from the waistband down to about 5 inches above the hem the dress is stitched closed. The topstitching on the button bands allowed me to overlay them as if they were buttoned and then stitch on either edge of the band. You can't even tell that it is sewn shut but no chance of any wardrobe or button malfunction. I sewed the buttons on in that portion right over the buttonholes (which I didn't slice open, no need). But of course what does this rearrangement require - our old friend the side seam zipper. Which means the dress has to fit at the waist just right, and then the zipper is put in next to last. (the sewing the front shut is actually the last). Well hemming is actually the last.

Dress form view. I did cause myself a bit more work as she has gone down a few inches and so I adjusted the pattern and then had to revise after I cut it out. But thankfully those shoulder princess seams allow for plenty of adjustment.

B6333 green shirtdress on form front

Cute huh? I love this fabric so much. Which is why it made it back with me last November when I shopped at Mood Fabrics.

Mood purchases 2

Heather and I were searching for a stretch cotton in a print, maybe a sateen or a poplin that would work for a shirtdress, and I remembered that I had this fabric from Mood. So I checked on their website and it was still available. They have it still (in 3 color ways) although it says this green/navy is almost sold out. (search stretch cotton poplin).  Soon I plan to use that cotton shirting in the bottom of the photo for another shirt, it goes with so many things in my wardrobe.

Back to fact that I originally bought this cotton for a shirt for me. And here it is, using what else? My trusty Simplicity 2339 shirt pattern. At this point the pattern pieces are getting a bit raggedy, I guess it's time to copy them over onto sturdier paper (maybe 14 versions?)

Green paisley shirt front view

Nothing much to say about this version other than I love the fabric and can wear this with so many things I have.

For every version I have made in the last couple of years I do the front placket as a continuous piece that gets folded and sewn into a small pleat. I was all set to show how I do it but a search through my old blog posts shows that I already did that :)  Here is the link to how to make this type of shirt front placket.

Which you can see a little better in this picture.

Green shirt inside placket front

 The sleeves extra long on this version as I like to wear shirts under sweaters when the weather is colder and flip up the cuffs for a little extra peek at the shirt.  Tower plackets on the cuff opening which are hard to see in this busy fabric.

green paisley shirt cuff

Sewing a button front shirt has turned out to be one of our most popular classes at Hello Stitch Studio in Berkeley where I teach. The next button front shirt class starts Jan 13 as well as some other new classes, including some shorter mini-classes covered one type of techniques. Last week was my first mini class on zippers, and we will be adding more to the 2018 schedule. (including things like buttonholes, welt pockets, facings, linings, popular pattern hacks etc) I'll post when they are available for registration. I think Stacey is in the process of adding them to the website now.

This shirt is a bit longer than other versions, and I changed the shape of the side seam hem edge curve.

green paisley shirt on me

That's it for the paisley fabric from Mood. I have a few good size chunks leftover which might get combined with other retainers and turn into a sleeveless top next summer. But for now they go in the scrap box.

Up next, I have a long list of stuff that is either started or on the proverbial drawing board, including some jeans, a custom dress form, and an assortment of knit tops.

Can you believe Thanksgiving is around the corner - it sounds so trite to say it but this year is flying by. Only 8 more months until summer!

Happy fall sewing, Beth

for today's garden photo, some roses that bloomed back in July. This is one of the oldest rose bushes in my garden, way predates me and despite being in a shady spot puts out these lovely pink blooms. 
So many thorns though - and I've snagged my shirt on it numerous times trying to wriggle past to prune one of it's neighbors. I've planted a number of newer roses in the past few years but these older ones are worth keeping, which they bloom well they are showstoppers.