Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pattern Whisperer returns, Jacket making class details, and a new eyelet top

Topics for Today:
-- The Pattern Whisperer returns!
-- more details on what I will cover in my upcoming jacket weekend class
-- a new eyelet top from an old pattern

Hey everyone - you really like those Random Threads posts!! Which I knew but that last post certainly had a lot of commenters - so fun to read what everyone said. After all, sewing can be a solitary sport and sometimes late at night with seam ripper in hand we can all wonder if our fellow stitchers have the same observations, pet peeves or just laugh at the same things. The answer seems to be yes.
I will try to do a Random Threads at least once a month, which shouldn't be too difficult as I always have something to wonder and/or grumble about.

Onward to another popular topic - Pattern Whisperer. My first pattern whisperer was a very specific post for one person, my subsequent ones have be more general pattern recommendations but let's go back to the beginning. Not this week but perhaps later in September I will open it up and choose a couple of people to make specific pattern recommendations. By then we will be heading into holiday/festive season sewing so think party dress, check your stash and prepare to make your case as to why you should be pattern whispered. Stay tuned and wait for that post.

Sewing Class: Jacket Essentials
We have scheduled a Weekend Intensive Class for Jacket/Coat making at Hello Stitch Studio in Berkeley, Sat. Sept 30 and Sun. Oct 1. Each day's session will be from 10 am-4 pm with open studio time until 8:00 pm so you can continue working on your project. Lunch and snacks are included. I think it will be really fun and a great way to spend a weekend with other stitch enthusiasts, plus you will have a great new jacket or coat ready for fall.
I've had a few questions on what I will cover so thought I would talk about my plans here.

Firstly, I have selected a few coat and jacket patterns that don't require a huge amount of fitting, yet have interesting collars, pockets and buttonholes so we can review loads of techniques. The goal of the class is to learn to work with coat and jacket weight fabrics, use plenty of fusible interfacing for modern tailoring and be able to tackle all the ins and out of pressing, clipping, welt pockets or buttonholes and adding the lining. So I am recommending these patterns (or something similar if you already have a pattern) that you can sew up in your chosen size - with maybe some minor fit changes such as grading between sizes or adding some length.

Looking around I found these two fantastic ones from a pattern company that I have always wanted to try: Waffle patterns.

Waffle Bamboo coat

This is their Bamboo coat pattern. The version with collar/lapel is great for learning to do that construction and the proportions of both designs look so ideal to me. Plus welt pockets and set in sleeves.  I see on their website that they are having a special 15 euros (no idea how long it will be on) for the actual paper pattern printed on large format paper and that includes the shipping. For a coat it would be nice to skip the printing and taping! This would sew up well in so many different types and weights of wool fabrics, from lightweight to full-on coating.

Another option from Waffle is the Yuzu jacket pattern.

Waffle Yuzu coat

A cocoon shape with raglan sleeves and pocket options. She also has a free pattern download to add a hood which looks very cozy.

Butterick 6423
B6423 coat Butterick Lisette

This one is also a loose fit coat with cool pockets that are a feature of the front seaming. Also that big collar reminds me of my Burda jacket with the portrait collar that feels very glamorous to wear on a cold winter day.

Even though these three patterns are quite different they all share some features that I want to demonstrate in the class, based around using various types of fusible interfacing, how to apply, which to choose, where to put it and on and on. Also pressing is one of my favorite things to do (yes, sewing nerd here) but it makes SUCH a difference in how the garment turns out. I am guessing if you have seen a coat or jacket somewhere in sewing world and thought it was nice but something wasn't quite right - I will bet money that the issue would be pressing during construction.

I plan to do lots of demos and have some hands-on practice of things like welt pockets or bound buttonholes, trimming/clipping and hand stitching techniques.

So if you are in the area I hope to see you in September for a weekend of jacket making fun. Actually we have lots of classes scheduled for Sept. and October. I am really thrilled that people are signing up for additional classes after taking their first one, that makes me feel great. We have the button front shirt class again at the end of Oct......

So, speaking of button front shirts, I have once again use my trusty Simplicity 2339 which is an Amazing Fit pattern (out of print, boo hoo) that I use to make any and all shirts. This pattern is getting quite ragged, but I think I could make it in my sleep. But sometimes I use the pattern as a jumping off point to make a different type of woven shirt.

green eyelet top1

It must be Taco Tuesday if I am standing in front of a Mexican restaurant. Why, yes it was 😋. Is this a California thing? It could be every day as far as I am concerned. Side note: I heard a news story that the price of avocados possibly may double due to the after effects of our long drought - so I will have to start setting aside some mad money for my avocado addiction. I eat a LOT of them, so delicious.

I bought this fabric at Joann's on one of those whims where it was super extra double coupon discounted (not the accurate term but you get my drift) so a couple of yard for less than $ 10. It is SO hard to find nice eyelet in interesting colors. Then I thought why-oh-why did I get something I really don't need. Enter the super simple sleeveless top derived from my Simplicity shirt pattern.

green eyelet top front on form

Sewing details:  the bust darts are turned into shoulder gathers, I included the waist darts as this fabric is a bit stiff and needs help in shaping, the neckline was just me winging it with my french curve ruler and then I used the selvedge edge of the fabric where there is no embroidery as a design detail down the center front as well as the edge finish on the inside.

Which you can see below.

The binding is some cotton fabric I found after a deep rummage in my cotton scraps box, enough to make the bias strips needed. I stitched it on and then hand sewed the edge for both the neck and armholes.

green eyelet top inside view

green eyelet top close up

Not bad, huh? I kinda like it although I wish the fabric was a little bit softer. But the color is one of my favorites, and I have wanted an eyelet summer top ever since I made this one. Also this top looks nice with my Mirambell skirt.

So that's the scoop. Funny how I make a new top like this and end up wearing it many times in a row, such as last night (meeting up with my Italian speaking pals for conversazione, which could also be called Wine Wednesday, ha!)

And on to the next thing. I have been sewing up a storm for other people, squeezing in a few projects for myself and am waiting to reveal a thrift store refashion that hopefully will be a success.

Happy Summer Sewing,

Today's garden photo, this one is a bit of a thrill as I have tried with Clematis several times to no avail, but this year I planted another one and look, a flower! OK only one but it is in a pot and rather spindly. However I can move it when the frost hits and hopefully baby it through the winter. But that color, love it!



  1. Love the eyelet top. It looks great and the color is a good one for you.

  2. Ditto on the lovely eyelet top. You've made such wise decisions on this like sewing the front darts to give shape to the somewhat stiff fabric. This is the type of decision that comes after years of sewing with lots of different fabrics. In my mind I usually pair pattern/fabric perfectly but there can always be surprises and knowing how to fix them comes through with "on the job training". I love this craft which calls for skill, creativity and flexibility. Karen

  3. Oooh, how did I miss the Lissette coat with the soft, curvy lines?! Must get!

    Clematis - here in NW Arkansas, we get below freezing and snow/ice quite regularly in winter and clematis does beautifully here. I read somewhere that it loves cool roots and a warm head, so cover the roots with lots of mulch and make sure the vine gets plenty of sun. Good luck!

  4. Great top, perfect fit and construction and gorgeous color! I keep meaning to try Waffle coat patterns. The parka (I think it's called Tosti?) is very nice too. I just never have enough time. Oh well, one day maybe!!

  5. We love taco Tuesday in Australia too!

  6. Your green eyelet top is pretty! And I am a pressing nerd too, LOL! I was sewing a top today, and wondering whether anyone else pressed as much as I do. :)

  7. A great top in a gorgeous colour!

  8. Great looking summer top! I love green!

  9. Love the vibrant green top. You look fabulous. Green is definitely one of your colors.

  10. Pressing is so important! My mother always preached it and now that I am learning to sew I know why. Love the blog and even have it saved to my home screen.

  11. Hi Beth,

    I'm excited that you're thinking of doing another round of Pattern Whisperer suggestions. Unlike last time I actually have a pattern problem to contribute. And even if you don't pick me I really enjoyed the feature you did last time.


  12. The clematis is a beautiful colour. Lovely top too.

  13. I love the top, especially color is beautiful! Thank you for these pattern review. I bought Butterick 6423 but I haven't made it yet.