Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ralph Lauren Blue Nights Stretch Denim In Body Hugging Ginger Jeans

What better way to show off your body hugging Ginger jeans than a day at the Art History Museum of Chicago to see the Mainbocher Exhibit.   The Haute Couture Club of Chicago field trip took place of December 4th where several club members showed off their Ginger jeans.

I was happily sporting my new pair made with Ralph Lauren blue nights stretch denim from Mood Fabrics.  I ordered five yards, enough for two pair and than some.  This is a great denim to work with.  It has just the right amount of stretch for a great fitting pair of jeans.  The cotton adds texture and durability for long lasting wear and comfort.

My sister tagged along with me to the museum and was able to see and hear about the making of everyone's jeans.  Of course, she wanted a pair.  Later, I had her to try mines on.  They fit her better than they fit me!

So I let her have them along with my Ralph Lauren striped cotton blouse.  So yesterday, she took these photos for this post.  Afterward, she didn't hesitate to let me know that she'd love another pair.  But first, I need to make a pair for myself. ;-)

Anyway.., here is more on the making of the jeans.

Pattern Description:  Closet Case Ginger Jeans View A low rise with narrow stovepipe legs.  View B high-waisted with skinny legs and a tummy-slimming pocket stay.  I made view B.

Pattern Sizing: 0 - 20; I made size 14 with modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?   Yes, they did.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were very good and easy to follow.  Rhonda Buss did a sew along for Sew News that provides great illustrations on the sewing process.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I especially like the option of having two different jean styles in one pattern.  Although view B is rise-waisted, they don't look like "mommy jeans".  The slim leg makes them figure flattering while providing some control around the medium section if you need it.

I didn't like the placement of the back pocket.  It is too low on the hip.  I moved the pockets up about 1.5 inches.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  The back hook is too short.  I added about an inch to it.  Of course, I added a few inches to the length of the leg.  I mentioned earlier that they were a better fit on my sister.  This pair I didn't make a swayback adjustment.  So the center back of the pants stands away from my waist, and the leg wasn't a snug on me.  Next, pair I will make that adjustment.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Most certainly would.  I need to make at least two more pairs:  one for me and one for my daughter.  And yes, I recommend them to others.

Conclusion:  This is a great jean pattern with two style options.  I would recommend that you test the fit by making a muslin before you cut into your Ralph Lauren Stretch Denim.  ;-)

Parting Shots:  These are from the Mainbocher Exhibit.  If your in the Chicago land area, check it out.  It's very interesting.  Mainbocher was a first in a few fashion design elements, and he designed uniforms for the Girl Shouts of America and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Notes on A Pattern - Closet Case Ginger Jeans - The First Sew

Hello everyone,

I hesitated on sharing my first try at making Closet Case - Ginger Jeans.  Because I made the worst choice of fabric for them.  The pattern clearly states that you should use a stretch medium fabric for these jeans.  But a silly little thought came to my mind: just make them with this pretty floral print demin (with no stretch).  It will be all right.

Well, after about three hours of construction, my DD tried them on and they were too little.  I screamed in and out, more on the inside.  Lol  I couldn't believe it.  I tried to save them by adding gussets to the sides.  Now, it's from bad to worst. It looked tacky.  The true of the matter: these jeans should be made (as stated) out of a stretch woven fabric, period.

I could kick myself.  So, At that point, I decided to start on the next pair for myself, which was a stretch woven demin. More on that project later.

Today, I wanted to share my blunder and share my likes and dislikes.

The Pattern: I used view B 

There were a few things that I liked about the construction and design of the jeans.

  • The shape of the inside edge of the pocket.  It is slightly curved.
  • The construction technique of the pocket bag. Rhonda illustrates how to on the Sew News blog.
  • The slim leg of the pant
  • The option of normal rise (A) or high rise (B) pant
  • The pieces go together beautifully
Things I didn't like:
  • The placement of the back pocket.  They are too low.  I had to move them up about 1.5 inches.
  • I ordered the downloadable version to get the pattern fast.  I hated taping it together.
Another note:  The hook on the back pant is too short.  I extended it.  So you may want to test it against another pattern that fits well to make sure it's the right length for you.

More Fitting needed:  The high rise is a bit too high for me.  Next pair I will reduce it by an inch.  I used size 14 and didn't do any adjustment for my swayback.  The pants stand away from my body without a belt on.  I will correct this as well.

That's all for now.  Stay tuned more to come on the Ginger Jean.   

Happy Sewing,


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Vogue 9037 - Double Cloth: Purple and Sage

Finally, I'm posting  my review on Vogue 9037.  I've been stalling because I really didn't like the pictures.  They were taken a few days after Thanksgiving, and it was raining.  So I just decided to take them inside instead.  They aren't as bright.

This is one of the twenty-five patterns that I wanted to make before winter.  Needless to say, my production is very, very low considering I've only made a few of the patterns set aside for the season. So, I'm late with finishing this jacket as it is snowing the third time in the Chicagoland area, and it is much too cold to wear my new jacket.

Warmer days are ahead..,

Anyway, hear is my review of V9037.

Vogue Pattern Description: Loose-fitting, unlined, double-breasted jacket has collar variations, front and back tucks, shaped front hemline and snap closing.  A:  Draped collar and three quarter length sleeves.  B:  Shawl collar B,C:  Long sleeves. C:  Side pockets and wide collar A,C:  Self-belt.  Note:  No provisions provided for above waist adjustment.

I made view C with draped collar of view A.

Pattern Sizing:  6-14; I used size 14 with minor adjustments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, a combination of the two views.  The drawing on the website shows the back a little shorter than the front.  But my version appeared to be even shorter.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were typical and easy as stated on the envelope.  Nothing confusing or difficult about them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  


  • I love asymmetrical hemline
  • The tucks - they create ample room in the bust area and across the upper part of my back.  So I didn't do a FBA.
  • The collar variations.  
  • This isn't really a dislike; just a preference.  I think it would look and feel better across the upper arm if the sleeve was two pieces.  Then it would not be easy, right?

Fabric Used:  I used a double cloth tightly woven fabric.  It looks and feels like gaberdine.  This double-cloth is actually two fabrics fused together.  Using a scrap, I was able to pull it apart.  The substance holding it together was not sticky though.  I'll have to research double'cloth a little more.  What I do know for sure is that it provides an added layer of warmth.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I lengthen the sleeve about an inch and reduced the sleeve cap about a fourth of an inch.  Just above the fullness of the bust at the neckline, I made a small tuck in the pattern to eliminate any gapping.

I also made a few construction/design changes.  Instead of one snap, I sew on three.   Secondly, I Hong Kong finished the seams and added binding to the hem.  And lastly, I added sleeve heads to shape the sleeve cap.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't think I will.  I have so many more jackets I want to try.  But who knows, I may change my mind.  And I do recommend it to others.

Conclusion: This is a cute jacket and it is fairly easy to sew.  It a good design for hourglass and inverted-triangle figures.  The tucks give some fullness through the hips area and provides ample room in the bust area.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Chanel - A Fresh Take on Finger-less Gloves - Inspiration


Chanel is one of my favorite designers. I just love looking at the beautiful details of the garments and accessories that are post of the Vogue Magazine website. The designs are a great source of inspiration and always leave me wondering what will pattern companies draw from them. In many instances, they have already published a very simple version of some incredibly beautiful design element or garment that graces the runway.


 In this case, I noticed the finger-less gloves on almost every models' hands in the Chanel Fall/Winter 2016 runway. As I scrolled through each picture, I grow more and more fond of the finger-less glove. Some had bracelets on top, other were ruched. All were quite beautiful and helped make the outfit complete.

Simplicity recently published 8273, which covers the a portion of the thumb. While Simplicity 3942, published several seasons ago has the thumb exposed. Both patterns can help make some beautiful versions of the finger-less glove. These is an easy sewing project that offers all sorts of opportunities to make unique gloves. Great for Christmas gifts.

 Happy Sewing!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

McCall M6996 - The Second Time Around

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday.

It's already December, and I can hardly believe that we are thirty-one days away from the new year.  Incredible! The day I took these photos was November 3rd.  The day was sunny and beautiful.  The trees had most of their leaves.  Now it really feels like winter.  I hoping to publish a few more posts before the new year begins.

Anyway, for this new cardigan there is no real review needed. I just want to mention a few things about the fabric.  It's from JoAnn's Fabrics, a light weight knit with raised stripes.  The hand is smooth and the color is rich.  It has a soft drape and lays close to the body. That's about it..  My first review is here, February 2015.

So that's it for this post.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Vintage McCall's Bomber Jacket M7203 and Vogue Jogging Pants V8909

One of the things that I love to do sometimes is mix and match patterns.  In this case, I used the bomber jacket of a vintage McCall's pattern V7203 and Vogue 8909 jogging pants.

I first planned to make the bomber jacket about a year and half ago, but I never got around to it until now.  Sure, I purchased McCall's bomber jacket from last year, but I liked this one better.  The vintage pattern has two options for making the collar, waistband, and wristbands: one for ribbed knit and the other the same fashion fabric as the jacket (collar and wristband cut on the bias - the waistband with rows of elastic inserted between channel stitches.)

Here are my reviews for the McCall 7203 bomber jacket and the Vogue 8909 jogging pants:

McCall 7203 Bomber Jacket

Pattern Description: Jacket has separating zipper and long sleeves with elasticize waistband, cuffs and neckband. 

Pattern Sizing:  6-16; My pattern was size 16, copyright 1980.  Only one size per envelope during that time.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes it did. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes the instructions were easy to follow.  When I opened the envelope to review them, I had to chuckle.  This pattern is almost 36 years old.  The guide sheet has colored illustrations.  Unlike the guide sheets on today.  The blue indicates the right side of the fabric.  The pattern pieces are also different, having large print and numbers to indicate notches and layout instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the option of having the entire jacket had in the fashion fabric and the instructions on how to do so.  Also, bomber jackets are on trend.  No real dislikes.

Fabric Used:  I purchased this lovely faux ultra suede from JoAnn's.  The chestnut or cinnamon color is also on trend.  This warm color is perfect for my skin tone.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn't make any changes.  The pattern is a size 16.  So I thought it should be okay across the bust and shoulder areas. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I want to sew it again, but in a mesh or lacy fabric.  I noticed some pull at the neck area.  So I will address that before I do so.  And, I think I will add a few inches more to the length of the waistband elastic as it pull a little more than I'd like it to.  I do recommend the construction technique to other.  You should be able to use a more recent pattern to get the same results by cutting the fabric for the collar and wristband on the bias; also by adding the elastic to the waistband with channel stitches.

I really enjoyed making this jacket.

Vogue 8909 Jogging Pants

Pattern Description: Fitted (below waist) pants have elastic waistband and purchased ribbon drawstring, yoke back, side-front seams, no side seams, and side-front pockets. A, B: Elasticized leg bands. B, C: Stitched hems.  I had view B lengthening the pant leg by a few inches.

Pattern Sizing:  4-26; I used size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, they did except I eliminated the draw string and only did two rows of elastic instead of three.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Nothing difficult about them.  Simple.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the back yoke, pocket placement, mock fly, and front/side seaming.  My only dislike was the length as shown on the model.  I like my pant a little longer.  In this case I over compensated by a inch or so. Next time I won't add as much length to them.

Fabric Used: I used a lovely faux ultra suede from JoAnn's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  The only changes to the pants were: eliminated the draw string, only inserted two rows of elastic instead of three, and lengthen the pant leg.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, and yes.  This will be my go to jogging pant pattern.

So there you have it.  My new bomber jacket and jogging pants outfit.   They can be worn together or with other coordinates.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Comfy/ Stylish Cardigan - Butterick 6389

This is a fairly new pattern.  I like the style lines and saw the potential to beef up my casual fall wardrobe.  The long vest could be easily converted into a cozy sweater with full sleeve and the floaty wide collar.  This was the piece that "encouraged" me to buy this pattern.

I especially like the view of the model wearing the vest belted on the envelope.  The armhole falls about three inches below the base of my arm.  Perfect for wearing chunky sweater for the cool days.  It is very versatile and has the potential to be converted into a light weight coat.  So many patterns can be used for multiple purposes.  I'm always mixing and matching pattern pieces.

Butterick describes this pattern as: loose fitting vest has shawl collar and shaped hemline.  Top and tunic have turtleneck with back exposed zipper and raglan sleeves.  Pull-on pants have elastic at back waistline and side-front pockets.   It comes in sizes 4 to 26.  I used size 14 straight out of the envelope.

Minus the sleeves, my sweater does look like the drawing and modeled long vest on the envelope.  I used the sleeve from McCall's vintage pattern, M3025.  Easy fit for the loose fitting vest.

The instructions were easy to follow.  I changed a few of the construction techniques.   For the collar, I did a french seam  and sew it down instead of a flat fell seam.  I followed the same process to attach the collar to the vest.  To complete the hem, I used stitch witchery to hold it in place before sewing the hem.

I like the short and long vest as well as the mock turtleneck top.  No dislikes.  The pocket placement is  a little low.  So test the placement before you sew them to the vest.

The fabric that I used came from JoAnn's.  It's a medium weight sweater that has purple and lavender threads, which creates a purple heather color.  It's soft and appears to have good recovery.

Excuse the frown; the sun was in my eyes.

The great thing about this pattern is it is loose fitting.  I was able to make it without doing any real fit alterations.  I think I added maybe an inch or two to the length.  The most time consuming part of the process was sewing the french seams and the hem.  It was quite an easy project.

A beginner should be able to make this vest.  The flat fell seams may take some time, but doable.  I just didn't want to do them for this project.  I may sew it another, maybe..,

Anyway if this is your style, try it.

Happy Sewing!


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