Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Appleton #3

I told you'd there'd be more Appleton's to come. This is number three. It's fresh off of the sewing machine. I had to get a little creative with some of the pieces as I didn't really have enough fabric. I had to piece the ties together but intentionally cut the neck and front bands on the crossgrain. I also added sleeves bands that were cut on the crossgrain as well.

The photo on the right is more the true color. This fabric is from JoAnn's and has been maturing in the stash for a while! While the fit is fabulous, I'm not loving it right now because it's really giving me a "bathrobe" vibe. Maybe hair and makeup will make me feel better about it!  Off to do Christmas gift embroidery and up after that...panties, panties, and more panties!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cashmerette Appleton #2

This is Appleton #2 and Appleton #3 on on the cutting table as we speak.. I love this pattern.

My sewing time is right about 3 1/2 hours from start to finish.

This time I added 2" to the bodice while adding 1" to to both the left and right neckband. I also added a cuff to the sleeves. I love it. The ties are much more comfortable two inches lower. The cuff gives it a more finished look The only thing that could make the dress better would be to add pockets and that will be easy enough to do.

 I added thread belt loops on both sides to keep the ties in place and also added as snap at the bust crossover for modesty. The fabric is a Maggie London ITY Knit from Fabric Mart., I ordered it a couple of weeks ago when the ITY Knits were $3.50 a yard. This fabric feels so good against my skin. I could absolutely sleep in it. I was going to wear the dress with black pumps but found this forgotten shoes in my closet. I think they are a great nude color for my skintone, There will be many more Appletons in my future!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Simplicity 1062 My New Go-to Knit Top

In 2013 my favorite go-to knit top pattern was McCall's 6566

 This year my favorite go-to is going to be Simplicity 1062.

 Pattern Description:
The description from
Learn to work with knit fabric while making these easy to wear tops featuring hi-lo hemline with or without contrast bands. Simplicity Learn to Sew Pattern Collection has easy sewing directions, perfect for beginners.
Pattern Sizing:
XXS-XXL I made the large
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn't even look at them.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like that it's a super easy basis dolman pattern. While I don't usually like dolman sleeve tops because of the wad of fabric that usually gathers at the underarm, not so with this top. Not sure if it is because of the cut or the fabric but I love it and this is actually my second one.
Fabric Used:
ITY Jersey from Fabric Mart
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Although I usually make an FBA, because it is a Hi-Low design I decided against one. Although I rarely use the neckband pieces for knits but rather draft and cut my own, I used the one provided...mistake. It was too long. I had to removed it and shorten. This is actually my second top so for this version I cut the neckband 2" shorter than the pattern piece and it was perfect.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
This is going to be my new go-to knit top pattern. I'm wearing it with the McCalls 6643 knit skirt pattern View C.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mad About Plaid - Butterick 5218

I've been sewing up a storm. Haven't been blogging about it but take my word for it...but believe me, it's happening. I made two more pairs of Jalie Eleanore jeans, another Appleton dress and McCall's 7195. I need some casual tops to go with my new jeans. I chose Butterick 5218 and a Homespun cotton fabric from my stash.

Pattern Description: Rated Easy. Loose-fitting, pullover tops have collar variations, front button closure with front pleats, back gathers, dropped shoulders and sleeve variations.
Pattern Sizing:
9-22 I made the size 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I think so

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Super. The instructions for the front pleat were spot-on.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the relaxed fit
Fabric Used:
100% Cotton Homespun from JoAnn Fabrics
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't make any alterations but should have made a cheater FBA by adding 2" additional length to the center front. Luckily the high-low look is in style so it's not that big of a deal. Although I sewed View B, I added the pockets from View C and used the garment length and sleeves from View A. I cut bot the sleeves and the the pockets on the bias as I didn't want to have to worry about matching this uneven plaid.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'll sew it again. I'd love to make it in a white linen blend. I'd recommend it to others if you don't mind the relaxed fit. Unfortunately it is out of print!
The hardest part of the garment was finding a button that matched. I'll use the one button you see. Currently it's just stuck on. I like how the color blends and will be making the buttonholes later this evening.

Next up is Simplicity 1062

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jalie Eleonore

Jalie Eleonore 3461

I've seen these pants many times of Pattern Review but none of the sewers look like me. It seemed that only smaller sized were being sewn but the sometimes I do hop on the "bandwagon" and what everybody else is doing. I purchased the pattern from Pattern Review and it arrived soon after.

In case you didn't know I am mostly a Big 4 sewer. I know the adjustments I need to make but pants are always particularly problematic. I've got a butt and it's not going anywhere! I also hate tracing patterns. Seeing the lines sometimes presents a problem but mostly it because I just don't like doing it. So what an old broad supposed to do? I traced the pattern doing an episode of Project Runway. There's only seven pattern pieces and went very smoothly.

The pattern is described as Pull-On Jeans. Of course my first thought was "Mom Jeans" but the pattern goes on to say they are "stretch pull-on jeans (long or cropped) with wide waistband. Yoke, faux fly in the front, patch pockets in the back. Fitted fitted through waist and hips, straight from the knee down. Very easy to turn into skinny jeans. While I'm a 16 in RTW, someone wearing a size 20 in a pattern should never describe their jeans as "skinny." But I digress.

I chose a lightweight denim from my stash. After comparing to pattern to a pair of denim leggings-like pull-on RTW pants, I decided to add a 3" wedge underneath the back pocket and a 3/4" wedge to the crotch in the front. From their I followed the sewing directions. I will add this is my first Jalie pattern and I don't necessarily like that the directions are printed on the same single page as the pattern pieces.

The directions and illustrations are very good. An experienced sewer probably doesn't need them but I liked having them handy. Everything was straightforward. I used the size BB pattern and was skeptical about them fitting. Even when I got them to the "try-on" stage I was still skeptical. When I finally sewed on the waistband and had a "try-on" with shoes, I was pleasantly surprised. The pants were a wonderful fit. I've got some wrinkles in the back but they don't bother me at all. I love the shape of the legs and am really impressed that I didn't need to add length. Although I was also skeptical of the 3/8" seam allowance not allow room for alterations...I didn't need any. No I know what all the fuss is about. I LOVE YOU ELEONORE! I do have one minor alteration to make. The front waist is pull to the back as the front pattern piece is wider than the back. I'm going to shave that amount off the front and add it to the back. Then I'll use my front waistband for the back and vice versa. I can't even describe how comfortable these are. They feel like pajamas. No kidding! I might add front pockets but not sure I will. If you've been on the fence about this pattern, take the plunge, you won't be sorry.

Here's so not so good photos. My dog kept photobombing me and the sun is in the wrong position. No hair or makeup and I didn't want you'll to think I had on a Halloween mask. LOL. I'm going to take better pictures later but I just couldn't wait to spew how much I like this pattern. Don't judge me for the back picture. I don't know why I have the jeans hiked up like that. They really do look and feel good on me. This is also the only top I could find that almost matched. I'm pretty sure I won't wear them together.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Cashmerette Appleton Dress

I am not an independent pattern person. I like to stick to the Big 4 because I already know most of the adjustments I'll need to make and because of the prices I can get them when they are on sale. When I saw that Jenny had designed the Appleton dress for curvy girls, I didn't hesitate to purchase a hard copy. I know that I'm not nearly patient enough to tape together 40 or more sheets of paper. Nope. Not ever going to happen.

The pattern arrived just a few days after I ordered it. I was shocked that the pattern is actually printed on tissue unlike Jalie which is printed on butcher-like paper. Initially, I wasn't going to trace the pattern but later decided to bite the bullet. It wasn't bad at all. There are only seven pattern pieces and I traced and trimmed them during an episode of Project Runway.

Soon after I received the pattern I realized there was going to be an Appleton Sew-along run by Carrie from the Cashmerette blog team. Well sign me up! Although I did get carried away soon into the schedule, I like how she mapped out the itinerary...

  • Tuesday 10/13: Inspiration!
  • Thursday 10/15: Choosing your fabric
  • Monday 10/19: Prepping your fabric and your pattern, selecting your size
  • Wednesday 10/21: Small Bust Adjustment
  • Friday 10/23: Cutting & notching your fabric
  • Monday 10/26: Finishing waist tie hole, sewing shoulders, hemming wrap
  • Wednesday 10/28: Constructing neckband and waist tie
  • Friday 10/30: Attaching waist tie and neckband
  • Monday 11/2: Sewing in sleeves in the flat
  • Wednesday 11/4: Sewing side seams, reinforcing waist tie hole
  • Friday 11/6: Hemming sleeves and skirt
  • Friday 11/13: Appleton Party! Woohoo!
Every couple of days a blog post is made to help you along your way. A big thumbs up to this. The sew along is perfect for the beginning sewer or for a person that just needs a little hand holding to complete a garment. I also think it's especially good for someone with limited sewing time.

Based on the finished garment measurements, I chose the size 20 which is the same size I choose with Big 4 patterns. This pattern has tons of negative ease (8") and I wasn't about to set myself up for failure. I'm a mature woman (58) and I have a mature woman's body. I'm not a fan of showing my bumps, rolls, and back fat to the world!

The other concern I had was with how short the pattern is from shoulder to waist. When I posed the question on the blog I was told that I could just cut across the waist and add any length below that. I've been sewing for 48 years and believe me I know lot. I know that if you have a detail at the waist like waist ties and you add length at or below it...that detail will still be in the same place. I guess wanting to put myself in a position as somewhat of a tester, I sewed the pattern as it was although I did add 4" at the hem. If you go to Pattern Review, nearly every sewers ties are much too high...just like mine are. It's not supposed to be an empire waist. Although the ties are supposed to sit at the high waist, high waist is very subjective and nowhere on the pattern does it suggest or mention the high waist.

The fabric I used has been in my stash for at least six years. It was from the JoAnn's Red Tag table so I'm sure I got it for a steal. 

Again although I was supposed to be following the sew along, once I got started, I couldn't stop. I think I spent about five hours sewing. That included watching television, playing with the dog, stopping to record a short video using my loop turner and probably some internet surfing. Other than the hems, I sewed the entire dress on my serger. The seams are 3/8" and I put a reminder in RED on every pattern piece lest I forget and revert to the old 5/8."

I followed the directions exactly even adding the clear elastic at the shoulder, although I didn't follow the pattern layout. The directions are very well written with very good illustrations. The only changes I made other than lengthening 4" as well as lengthened the ties, were to sew the side seam all the way up and added a buttonhole for the left tie to fit through and I added thread belt loops to keep the ties in place. I did sew the buttonhole and thread loops lower in an effort to not have the ties directly below my breast but it barely helped. 

So what is my take on the Cashmerette Appleton dress? I give it five stars. It is well drafted I didn't have to do an FBA. But just like the Big 4 few will be able to fit it right out of the envelope. Be warned unless your torso is very short, the ties will be too high. Also it is a deep V-neck which translates into more cleavage showing than I'm really comfortable with. Marking a larger size wouldn't help because the nature of a wrap dress us that it crosses over and under your bust. The good thing is just as the pattern doesn't gape. 

Would I sew it again? Yes, as soon as I find another fabric in my stash with enough yardage but only after I add about 2" somewhere above the waist. Below are some construction photos and a few with me all "Appleton-ed" up. I wish the photos of me were better but it was freezing outside, the wind was blowing, the photographer was impatient and the dog kept trying to photobomb!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday Thoughts 9/10/2015

I haven't posted any Thursday Thoughts for a while.

  • My sewing room is a mess.
  • I think a tornado hit it.
  • My cutting table is covered with all kinds of crap! From here I can see a male Bratz doll, a skipper doll, a Barbie horse, a pair of shoes, plastic bags fabric and fabric scraps. 
  • I'll have to remedy the above situation before I can sew.
  • I finished some alterations that have been hanging on the back of my sewing chair all summer.
  • Another sewing chair is piled high with two pairs of pants I made early in the summer, a sweatshirt, a polo shirt, and fabric.
  • I'm currently using my backup machine because I have lots of feet for it and I was using some of the one's I really love like the ruffler foot.
  • My main machine is sitting on the floor and needs to go to the repair shop for a tune-up.
  • My dog is passed out in the middle of the floor of my sewing room.
  • My sewing desk is also a mess.
  • I just need to clean everything in my sewing room.
  • Are you watching Project Runway?
  • I'm rooting for Edmond, Ashley and the Indian guy.
  • I need a white button-done.
  • I'm having a great time designing and sewing for my Barbie dolls.
  • I'm hungry.
  • I don't want to cook!

I was recently inspired by an outfit Erica Bunker made. I knocked-off the look for one of my dolls. Who wore it best? Erica of course but the doll dress is still cute. LOL

Monday, August 10, 2015

I Still Need Help

My schedule has slowed down a bit. Golf leagues are over and I survived a trip To Key West, Florida. You don't know hot until you experience Key West in the middle of the summer. Bowling starts in three week! Where is the time going?

Now about the help I need. As part of my church's outreach ministry we are trying to send 500 scarves to the women in a Ugandan village as gifts. Most of these women have never received gifts of any kind so we thought the idea of simple scarves would be cherished by them. The scarves should measure (finished width) 21 x 21 inches with nicely finished edges.They could be worn as head scarves of neckerchiefs. Use any blouse-weight fabric. Can you please help? Can you help spread the word?  I would need them by August 31 as we want to start packaging them for shipping in early September? If you can help please send them to

Rachelle Green
6380 S Garden Dr
Mount Morris MI 48458

In the meantime I've got to get back on scarf duty!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Can You Help?

I know I've been MIA for a while but all is well with me. I'm spending all of my spare time golfing and sewing. I'm using  Vogue 1247 as a golf skirt.

Of course I lengthened the pattern 6 inches and only have a 1/2" hem. I've sewn it 8 times and have more on tap. I'm also making a couple for a golfing find. I've also sewn two pairs of Vogue 1355 pants. They don't look a lot like the picture but you get the idea.

Sew now that you're all caught I need your help. As part of my church's outreach ministry we are trying to send 500 scarves to the women in a Ugandan village as gifts. Most of these women have never received gifts of any kind so we thought the idea of simple scarves would be cherished by them. The scarves should measure (finished width) 21 x 21 inches with nicely finished edges.They could be worn as head scarves of neckerchiefs. Use any blouse-weight fabric. Can you please help? Can you help spread the word?  I would need them by August 31 as we want to start packaging them for shipping in early September?  Send them to

Rachelle Green
6380 S Garden Dr
Mount Morris MI 48458

Thanks so much for your generosity!