Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat

I finished my Spring coat! Waffle Patterns’ Pepernoot Coat. I love it.

I kind of feel like this review is 100% fair to the real pattern. The thing about grading up two sizes and doing an FBA is that I can’t comment much on how the garment went together or how it fit, because any inconsistencies may be a result of the grading and flat pattern alterations. I’m not an expert at either so there were some things that didn’t match up perfectly as I sewed everything up. My pattern alterations did work out and I quite like the fit. You can read more about what I did for fit here. That said, I do think the size range is small. Waffle Patterns only goes up to a size 48, which has a 43.3 inch bust. I get it’s the standard size range for most indie pattern companies and for the major pattern companies, but this is a plus sized sewing blog and if I don’t push for a wider size range then it may never happen. There is such a limited selection for good coat patterns for plus sized people and Waffle Patterns is all about the coat. Out of 17 patterns, 9 are coat patterns. They all have such great details, too, and well-thought out designs. I have my eye on the Tosti utility jacket next. With such great patterns, it’s a shame that a portion of the 23K+ Bloglovin followers of the Curvy Sewing Collective aren’t able to use the patterns without major modifications like I had to make for my Pepernoot coat.

I can comment that the instructions were really good and there is a sewalong to also help you with anything confusing. It’s not a beginner pattern, though. I don’t think I would have been able to make this without one coat under my belt and a lot of experience. It’s listed as an advanced pattern and that is accurate.

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I completely fucked up the hood insertion. Basically instead of following these instructions, I sandwiched the hood in between the lining and the main coat. That means the zipper can’t be inserted properly between all the layers. I made it work by ripping back some stitches at the edge of the hood on either side and then inserted it that way. I’d already graded my seams so ripping out the entire hood seemed like a bad plan. It worked out, though, and the zipper went in okay. Phew.

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I decided not to add zippers to the pockets. It just struck me as impractical after a while, because I would probably just want the zippers open all the time. I also wasn’t keen on the zippers I had picked up. In my head, they would have brass teeth and brown zipper tape, but I only found silver teeth and black zipper tape locally. My front zipper was the same, but it’s hidden by the front band so it doesn’t bother me. I made the pockets open at the sides. You are supposed to sew the pockets on before the zipper. I judged the placement on my own comfort (how long my arms are…short fyi… and where I would want them to sit).

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Once the zipper was inserted, the placement is thrown off by the width of the band. I pinned it back and checked how it would look at half-width and it worked a lot better. I cut off the edge of the band and ripped back some stitches on the top and bottom and pressed it a bunch and then topstitched the edge closed. I love the way it looks now and it doesn’t throw balance of the pockets off now. This probably would not have been an issue if I didn’t use contrasting fabric for the pockets and band. In the same fabric, it would not have stood out as an issue.

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The other thing I decided to add after the fact was buttonholes to the sleeve tabs and a band across the waist that fastens with buttons/buttonholes. It adds definition to the waist and gives the coat more interest. The buttonholes are not a requirement in the design, but I really like the look. The waist band mirrors the style of the sleeve tabs. I used those as a guide and then made two long stripes the width of my waist less the front bit. I interfaced one side with medium weight interfacing and then sewed the two pieces together with an opening left in the centre to pull the ends through to the right side. Then I pressed it like crazy and topstitched the entire thing. Topstitching closed up the opening in the centre. I then added buttonholes and sewed the buttons on to the coat. For now, the waistband is tacked at the back, which droops down a slight bit. When I get back and resolve the lining issue, I will add belt loops to keep it in place.

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I love the buttons and they match perfectly with the coat.

You’ll notice I made no attempt to pattern match. The contrasting brown wool (which has pink and grey stripes in it! Hello perfect match!) helps disguise the lack of pattern matching. Not completely, but enough that I like it. The pink plaid is a brushed cotton and some areas were stretching out from the grain. Thanks JoAnn Fabrics (not!). Not the greatest quality material, sadly. I interfaced all pieces to get it more stable, except I ran out for the skirt pieces. It worked out okay, but after the trip I think I will go back and add interfacing to the skirt pieces, because the pockets pull at the fabric a bit. I also plan on adding some of the brown fabric on the other side to reinforce the pockets. I’ll just be careful while I am away to not pull on the pockets too much. That means I will have to rip out the stitches that keep the lining in place at the hem, but that will work out for a different reason. The lining also doesn’t seem long enough and pulls up the hem of the coat a bit. That will be fixed as well when I get back by shortening the hem of the coat. I actually think a shorter length would work really well on me. My skirts hit almost right at the hem of the coat and quite frankly I like a little more of them showing under the coat.

The lining is a light mint green poly satin. Of course, I got shoes and a pashmina scarf to match the lining, because I’m a dork.

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Originally, I wanted to add a removable fur trim to the hood, but now that I look at it I’m not sure I want that. I think it’s too much for the coat. The fur I bought will definitely be used in the future. This project reinforced how far I’ve come in the past couple of years in sewing skills. I look at the first coat I made and it’s not nearly as good quality as this coat. I think it’s time to make another winter coat. I’ll start planning that out closer to the end of the summer, but I think it might be the Tosti coat, because I just cannot get it out of my head…

In spite of the tone of this entry, I had fun making the coat. I will not be making a coat before a big trip like this again. I was pretty ambitious making it so close to the day we leave…and sort of stressed myself out when I tried it on and didn’t adore it and then decided to narrow the zipper band and add the waistband. But I’m glad I did it!

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I adore my Pepernoot coat and can’t wait to get to Amsterdam in it! We leave soon so sooooon. Things will be quiet here for a bit until I get back and then I will have all sorts to share with you about the trip! I’ll be able to show you my fabric from the fabric market in Utrecht and Kantje Boord (they sell lingerie fabrics!). All the chocolate in Bruges from our day trip to Belgium. Tulips, windmills, and the flower parade in the Netherlands. The craziness of King’s Day (we brought orange to wear!). The neat architecture of Rotterdam. Medieval sites in Estonia. The Duke’s Castle in Germany. The Hermitage and Catherine’s Palace in St. Petersburg. The sea fortress Suomenlinna in Helsinki. The palaces and castles of Stockholm and Copenhagen. Our cruise ship shenanigans. And all the foooooood, the glorious food. And so much more! I can’t wait!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat
  • Pros: Drafted really well. Lovely design elements. Hood! 😀
  • Cons: The size range is quite limited in my opinion. I want to try the other Waffle Patterns, like the Tosti jacket, but grading up is a hassle. I do wish more pattern companies would expand sizing and Waffle Patterns has such great designs and more advanced patterns than 90% of the companies out there. The amount of paper in the pdf is ridiculous. You may want to get a copy shop print of this done so you don’t have to go through the pain of putting all that together.
  • Make again?: Yes. I would make it again and try some other design elements (secret pocket in the lining) and the zippered pockets.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars

Decades Everyday Three’s a Charm Jacket

Today I am talking about my Decades Everyday Three’s a Charm Jacket. After seeing Tanya’s and Meg’s versions of this pattern, I decided I needed to have it. I’ve been saying this is the year of blazers and pants so this jacket helps fulfill that. I will try other blazer patterns, but it’s nice to start with a simpler one with great details.

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The jacket is collarless and unlined. It has bust darts, fish eye darts on the front and back,  shoulder darts on the back, and elbow darts. All contribute to a great shape. There are facings to finish off the edge and an optional front button.

For my jacket, I chose a woven mid-weight black and pink polkadot fabric.

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I believe it’s cotton, but haven’t done a burn test. I got it from a dressmaker in the city who was giving away a bunch of fabric. There was *just* enough fabric to make this with a back seam instead of on the fold and my facings in a black fabric. For my button, I interfaced a small piece of magenta knit fabric from my Eva top and made a covered button. It matches perfectly with the pink in the polkadots.

I did a 1.5 inch FBA (for a total of 3 extra inches in the bust) and a 1.5 inch large bicep adjustment. My fit issues were not adding enough to the sleeves, not doing a narrow shoulder adjustment, and not lengthening the back to accommodate the length from the FBA (edit: D’oh! Length didn’t come from the FBA, but from readjusting a rather large dart to make it less pointy in fitting it. I made the dart a bit smaller and it corrected the pointiness, but added a bit of length to the front sides. This is what happens when you write when you are sleeeeeepy), but I will be remedying that by shortening the front a bit anyway. Short-waisted problems. For this version, I ended up making a back facing instead of hemming it because of the extra length in the front. Other than that, the fit is pretty good. I am thinking of adding gussets in the arms to this version because they are a bit tight, but I can still raise my arm.

Here it is!

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And to give you an idea of what it looks with a skirt:

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And a look at the inside:

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I wear skirts more so it’s definitely my preference this way.

My photos are inside, because Toronto hit a record all time low with negative 7 degrees celcius on the 10th of April and it snowed a bunch. I cleared my cutting table out of the way and took pictures in my sewing room/master bedroom. Makes for an okay backdrop, but was a pain to get everything out of the way. I hope I won’t have to do it very often. I also hope that was the last blast of winter. Today is supposed to be warmer…. Oh well, in a couple of weeks, I will be in a different country! I am getting way too excited for the trip!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Decades Everyday Three’s a Charm Jacket
  • Pros: Great shaping for curves and looks great with dresses/skirts or pants. Love the elbow darts.
  • Cons: Lining would be a nice to have, but isn’t a huge con. Expanded sizing would also be great.
  • Make again?: Absolutely. I have so many plans including a white denim jacket now that I’ve seen Tanya’s.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-md4.5/5 stars

Pepernoot Coat – Pattern Alterations and Muslin

It’s funny how I feel like I’ve been making the Pepernoot coat for a while, but I haven’t even cut into my final fabric yet!

I started with the largest size – 48. The measurements are:

Bust 43.3

Waist 36.2

Hips 45.6

Between the two largest sizes, the pattern grades differently. Between size 40 and 42, there is a 1.78 inch difference or a 4cm difference in the bust, but between size 46 and 48 this difference jumps to a 6cm or 2.3 inch difference. I chose to grade up based on the 2.3 inch difference in the bust. Grading up two sizes meant the following changes:

Bust changed from 43.3 to 47.9 inches

Waist changed from 36.2 to 40.6 inches

Hips changed from 45.6 to 49.8 inches

These are not finished garment measurements, though. The finished garment has about 5 inches of ease across the bust. The finished measurements are not listed for the waist or hips.

With 22 pattern pieces, I had a lot of flat pattern alterations to do. I graded up two sizes on 19 of the pieces (3 were for all the sizes and didn’t need alterations: sleeve tab, pocket, and pocket facing). I used this method on the Curvy Sewing Collective to grade all those pieces up two sizes.

For the bodice pieces and the bodice lining pieces, I also chose to to an FBA of 1.5 inches, which adds 3 inches to the bust for a bust size of 50.9 just short of my 51 inch bust. Finished garment should have 5 inches of ease and have enough room underneath for layers and wearing ease.

I also graded up the waist and added 2 inches there for 45.6 inches just short of my 46 inch waist. The 2 inches was added by darting from the waist, but in my final pieces I will be slashing and spreading instead for the front skirt pieces to make them proportionally fuller since my muslin didn’t have enough flare to the skirt. The method I used for the muslin will be fine to get an idea of the final fit in the waist/hip, but slashing and spreading will be a better way to get that flare. I will just have to imagine the better shape I want in the final garment when trying on the muslin.

For the muslin, I just used a thrifted sheet. I used it last year for my winter pictures. I didn’t have a space for that this year without sacrificing my sewing area so I decided to repurpose the sheet into muslin material. It’s not really final garment worthy material.

Here is my muslin:

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Fits pretty well, but there are some issues. The armsyce needs to be widened. I’m not sure what happened there. Possibly lost some with the FBA, but I am not sure. The sleeve doesn’t fit into the armsyce. It will need an extra inch or so. It’s likely it was an issue with grading rather than the pattern itself, but I can’t verify that. Sleeves also need to be shortened by a few inches. My hand is somewhere in there on the right.

The waist needs to be raised by about 2 inches. The FBA lowers the waist. Sometimes I need to take that length out and sometimes I need to add more length in. It really depends on the pattern. Shortening the bodice will mean shortening the front band, but both are easy alterations.

Here is an idea of what the bodice will look like shortened:

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It’s a much more flattering fit on the right. It’s just pinned up here. The left side got pinned a little too high, but the right side is perfect.

 

The back fits really well, too.

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To sum up:

  • Started with a size 48
  • Graded up 19 pattern pieces 2 sizes
  • 1.5 inch FBA on bodice main and bodice lining pieces
  • Lengthened front band and facing for FBA alterations
  • 1.5 inches added to waist

Next alterations:

  • Shorten bodice main and bodice lining pieces by 2-3 inches
  • Shorten front band and facing for bodice alterations
  • Redo waist grading for slash and spread method
  • Widen armsyce to accommodate sleeve size
  • Shorten sleeve by 2 inches
  • EDIT: Narrow shoulder adjustment (See Kathy’s comment below)

After I do these alterations, I’m cutting into my final fabric. I’m excited to see the final results with all the details of the pattern highlighted. I think it’s going to be a great Spring/Fall coat.

A reminder on my fabric choices:

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Main fabric: medium weight brushed cotton pink plaid

Contrast fabric: Medium weight wool suiting

Fur trim for hood: faux fur (I will be making this a removable fur trim)

 

Progress Report

First off, check out the interview I did as part of Muse Pattern’s Meet the Maker series! It was a blast to be a part of. You all know I’m a big Muse Patterns fan. I’m also a pattern tester, but I wouldn’t be doing that if I didn’t love them. 🙂

Second, one of the things about working through a super long list of sewing like I have on my honeymoon plans is finding time when I am not sewing to actually take pictures of my finished products. It’s pretty difficult, actually. Add to that chronic pain. Add to that full time job. Add to that not ignoring my husband or stepkids. Add to that eating, sleeping, improv comedy, etc. It’s not my preference to share cell phone pictures, but I’ve decided to do that for a few of them since otherwise I will have far too many pictures to take at once. Some I will save for better pictures and full pattern reviews, but some will be in posts like this, because I am sewing too fast for blogging right now.

In the inane and boring category, I sewed a bunch of leggings. They weren’t part of my plans, but I recently retired three pairs of leggings and then took a closer look at the remaining ones and saw that I had very little time left with them as well. RIP leggings. I usually buy my leggings from Old Navy on sale, because they tend to be a lot cheaper than buying the fabric. But I’ve decided to not give in to fast fashion and make them myself. I had to buy some fabric for this, but I went to the clearance section at Fabricland and bought a bunch for actually much less than the Old Navy sale leggings would have been.

I used my Old Navy leggings as a template for a pattern and got to cutting my muslin.

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Of course, my muslin is in a shiny spandex… Hahha. They turned out okay. A little small in the butt due to the stretch in the spandex.

My next version was in snake skin print:

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These fit so well.

My next two are black and black with white polkadots:

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Unfortunately the fabric isn’t that great and was a lot thinner than I expected. The pair on the right might actually be a wadder sadly.

I’ve got some stretchier and thicker material (read: better material) for my next four (two pairs of the gray):

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On to the next:

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I made a pair of lace underwear using a tutorial. I’m not going to link to it, because I really didn’t follow it correctly. Hahha. Ever the rebel. The underwear are okay and fit well, but the lace is a bit scratchy.

I have a ton more Kitschy Coo Barrie Briefs cut out and ready for sewing. I sewed one pair, but the stretch percentage made it a wadder. I test for these things. Sounds like I don’t, but I do. But with fitted garments like knickers even a slight difference makes the fit go wonky. Ugh. Luckily, it wasn’t a huge amount of wasted time. The knickers looked good, though. Totally forgot to take a picture of them, though.

In geeky things I made:

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This smoking hat reminiscent of Dumbledore’s hat in the Harry Potter movies.

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Why? Because my husband was playing Dumbledore in a local show called Potterprov. I, of course, was ill both times he played. Nerd fail.

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I made the hat with some fleece on the inside to give the satin body. I just stuck a band on a round piece of fabric otherwise and serged the whole thing. It’s fast and easy not right….

I made some other garments:

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A Jenna cardi hacked into a sweater using this tutorial on the Muse Patterns blog. I refashioned my Fall Moneta from years ago. I used the sleeves cut a bit shorter into 3/4 length. The skirt became the sweater, except for the band which was from the bodice. I did make the band a bit longer so it fit over my high-waisted skirts without any issue.

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Next up a Snapdragon skirt from Tenterhook Patterns made in cream suiting with pastel threads throughout.

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This was a UFO for a while and made in the last days of February as part of the Monthly Stitch UFO theme. I think I cut this skirt out back in December or perhaps even earlier along with this version:

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The wool I used for this one is red with black and grey plaid stripes.  It’s a thick winter skirt, but will be nice for brisk Spring or Fall days. Right now I am writing up a review of the skirt for the Curvy Sewing Collective. I’ll let you know when that is out. Of course, I will also take much better pictures then.

I am also sporting my new vee neck Jenna Cardi using the expansion pack that Muse Patterns released a short while ago. This is made in the merino wool sent to me as my prize for the Muse Loves Merino contest for my Gryffindor cardi. This post is all about Muse Patterns love, it seems. I’m okay with that.

Up next, I am working on my next pair of Style Arc Misty Jeans in actual jeans fabric. I added front pockets and a waist stay to this version:

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I was inspired by Heather’s bright jeans pockets and added some gorgeous floral and butterfly fabric to make my insides pretty.

The waist stay is amazing. Seriously. I am so glad I added it. I was afraid at first that it would cause the pants to not fit well because of the lower stretch, but they fit so well. I’m very impressed. They suck that tummy in, too! The pockets are nice and deep for my phone and keys and whatever else I need. I drafted a waistband for the jeans, as well. It hasn’t been attached yet, but that’s happening tonight. I made a few other alterations to the pattern this time for fit: shortened the front crotch curve, full bum adjustment, and a large calf adjustment.

I also topstitched with purple thread!

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Some errors there, since my machine isn’t that great with heavy fabric, but it looks good to me and totally fine on. I’m a bit annoyed that the back yoke is slightly mismatched causing the pockets to be slightly out of line with each other, but I am not unpicking the seam since it looks fine on and my butt looks amazing in these jeans. Haha.

I’m working through my honeymoon wardrobe list pretty nicely. I have all the pattern alterations done for my Waffle Pattern’s Pepernoot coat. Graded up two sizes and did an FBA for a crazy amount of pattern pieces. I’m tempted to skip the muslin stage and just get started, but I will make the muslin. Sigh…. Being good is haaard.

I got faux fur for the coat and purchased zippers as well. I plan on making the faux fur trim on the hood removable with buttons and button holes. I think it should be an easy pattern hack. I might post a tutorial, if people are interested.

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I also got a bunch of bias tape, because I went a bit nuts that day in Fabricland. I do have plans to grade up the Sewaholic Tofino pants and make a bunch of pj pants, though. Bias tape is always useful, too, and it wasn’t expensive either. My zipper for is a two way separating zipper and heavy duty. It’s going to be a durable coat!

I settled on pink plaid for my Pepernoot coat. I’d like to make the red plaid version in the future if it turns out I love this pattern.

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I’m also going to use a brown wool I have for the pockets, yoke, and sleeve tabs, because I adore contrasting details.

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The wool on the bottom there will be the contrast. I want to play with stripe direction, too, for the heck of it. I just need to get interfacing for the coat and then I have all the materials ready to go.

I got my first Decades Everyday Three’s a Charm Jacket cut out in black with pink polkadots fabric. I think it’s cotton, but I haven’t tested it. I had just enough fabric for this by cutting the back with a seam along the selvage. I will have to cut the facings out of some black fabric I have, though.

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I was tempted to use the wrong side of the fabric since it is also fun, but I will sew it using the right side since polkadots. It’s a very soft fabric so I am leaving it unlined for this wearable muslin. Future version will be in plaid so I need to draft a lining for the pattern.

I also couldn’t resist getting the new Decades Everyday pattern, the Buttons and Bows blouse even with the horrible Canadian dollar. I need to resist making it up this second, though. I’m becoming a Decades Everyday fan and I haven’t even completed a garment yet! I own three of their patterns now, including the ESP dress. I just love vintage style, but need it in modern sizing. I am outside of the size range, but just need an FBA and a large bicep adjustment for their patterns since their largest conforms to my high bust measurement. So far I am impressed with their patterns. There’s a lot of thought in them and nice details I don’t see often in indie patterns.

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I’ve got this massive pile left to go for things on my planning list before I can tackle that blouse pattern. I seem to be sewing at an insane pace, though, so I think I can get a good amount done by the end of the month. Imagine if I had it all done by the end of the month?! In my dreams… I do have to sleep and eat and work and pay attention to my family…

Can anyone spare some extra time?

 

Second helpings

With a little over five weeks until the wedding, things are getting pretty busy! I still have a ton of time to sew oddly enough. But not time to take pictures and blog. I just finished my wedding dress this weekend and will blog about it soon with the final reveal waiting for July after the wedding. I have just the sash left to make. I am also making a sash for my sister’s dress, which she bought, and a dress for my little flower girl, my niece. My niece’s dress will be red like the sashes and the vests for all the tuxedo wearing people. We’ll be quite the gorgeous wedding party!

On to the non-wedding stuff!

This month I made several seconds, thirds, and fourths of things. There’s nothing better than making up a pattern that you’ve made several times before and know what to do. None of them are perfect in spite of the fact that I have made them all before. You would think I would have all the fitting issues worked out, but nope! Sometimes that is down to fabric differences, like in these cases, but often it’s just down to not getting the technique completely down, like in the case of my floral bomber jacket.

M7100 Floral Denim Bomber Jacket

I made this jacket at the beginning of May. There are a couple of issues with it. The fabric is heavier weight from my first version so it ends up being a little tighter than the previous version. I think I will be doing an FBA for future versions to have it fit a little better through the chest.

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I also messed up the waistband….er….again. The instructions for this are pretty vague, though. It’s basically: “and then attach the waistband.” Not much direction for that meant that I fudged it up again. It’s not super noticeable to the non-sewist eye so I am not going to fuss over it.

I am pleased with the welt pockets, though!

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I really love the jacket, though, and have been alternating between the two jackets all Spring. It was incredibly sunny and very humid during all these pictures. So enjoy the progression of me melting. LOL.

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Two Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte tops:

These tops have been cut out for a while, but I had fitting issues on my white one in the same cotton interlock fabric so I had been putting off making these two tops. After my post about what I need to fill wardrobe gaps, though, I immediately got to work on these two. I took some length out of the neckline in the front. The result is a much higher neckline, but a lot flatter and it sits better on my shoulders. The neckline also isn’t as curved as it is in the pattern. I am okay with that. I actually really like this style and have been enjoying wearing them. The resulting tweaks, however, make for a short top. I’ve made the changes in the pattern and will be lengthening future versions based on the changes. I think I may unpick the white version and cut the neckline in a similar fashion, as well, because this worked out quite well.

I also lucked out by having buttons in my stash that matched perfectly with the fabric!

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Don’t you love when that happens?

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Long sleeve shirts plus leggings on a hot and humid day made me rather melty….

Purple M6696:

This dress has also been cut out for a while (since writing my Spring sewing plans). Other than switching out the pockets for the straight skirt version pockets, I made no adjustments from my nautical version to this version, but perhaps should have remembered to cut the waistband a little longer (by about an inch) and to pivot and shorten the bust darts. Oops. There are always a million future versions for these adjustments! Not much else to say about the dress. I love wearing it. I also tried a little different thing for the buttons and am not pleased with what I did! Oh well. I thought I was getting the horizontal buttonhole in the middle of the band, but sadly it’s a little too far over and too close to the edge of the band. If I had started at the bottom of the dress, I think I would have done the others differently, but I started at the top. I tried unpicking, but it looked horrible so I just went with it. It looks fine, but the buttonholes are dangerously close to the edge of the band. I don’t have any more fabric or I would just have cut a new button band and redone the whole thing. Oh well! There’s always a million future versions! The fabric for this is quilting cotton that I stole from my mother’s stash a few years ago. Check out my other three versions (including the skirt version).

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I need sunglasses. And a tan…. I’m brighter than the sun!

Put a bird on it! M7100 Bomber Jacket

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Today I am sharing another challenge-related garment with you. Two in two days, what?! It’s the end of the month rush, y’all!

I made McCall’s 7100 bomber jacket in a loose weave houndstooth I got from the thrift store months ago. When I picked up the fabric, I had just gotten the pattern in the mail and immediately wanted to make it up. Of course, it being a more Spring jacket, I put it off. The middle of winter and the horribly cold winter we had did not make for me wanting to make a Spring jacket. And then Spring hit and I scrambled to make a Spring jacket, because I didn’t have one.

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Unfortunately, the major issue with how loose the weave is in this fabric is that it also unravels so easily! I serged the entire jacket (except the welt pockets and zipper/facing). I am considering going back and binding all the seams with bias tape to prevent further unraveling, but that seems like too much work. I just zigzagged over the small holes and other seams where it looked a little like it would be creating a hole. I think I will just keep my eye out for another lightweight houndstooth or jacket material to make another and then just put the patches on that one.

I decided not to adjust the fit and I also cut out two at the same time. I should have maybe held off on cutting out the second one. Lesson learned. I trusted that the finished garment measurements would look fine on me. D’oy!

This version looks okay, but my other version is in a heavier weight fabric (a stretch floral denim, pictured below) and the stretch didn’t really help at all….

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FBA if I ever make a third!

I do love this jacket, though.

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For the Put a Bird on it Challenge with Monthly Stitch, I bought iron-on patches from an etsy seller, Tattooit, for the back shoulders. I love the look. If I didn’t already have shoulder tattoos, I might consider getting some birds.

Construction of the jacket went well. It was my first time making welt pockets. Although, I feel like these aren’t as complicated as some types of welt pockets.

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I think they look pretty good.

The instructions for putting in the bottom band were minimal and could have used a little more explanation for me. As a result, the bottom band is a little wonky where it meets the tabs at the bottom in both my versions. In fact, my second version is in the naughty corner currently to sit and contemplate about breaking my serging needle and not cooperating for the bottom band. Bad bomber jacket! I’ll show you it eventually.

Here is my photoshoot where I am oddly in half sun or shade, because I took these after my walk home from work and was a little sleepy and out of it? Enjoy!

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I am wearing a dress from eShakti underneath.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: McCall’s 7100
  • Pros: Welt pockets, raglan sleeves, princess seams, tons of possibilities for colour-blocking.
  • Cons: The instructions for sewing in the bottom band are minimal and can be very fiddly because of the bottom tabs and the facing.
  • Make again?: Currently have a second one 90% done.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars

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Golden Rippy’s Omega Angel Jacket

I keep getting questions from people and not just in the sewing blog community: “what are you up to? I miss your blog entries!” I’ve been sewing a lot lately (this is the start of four unblogged projects), but finding it difficult motivate myself to take pictures for the blog. Part of me wishes I had a dressmaker’s dummy and could just take pictures of my garments on that instead. My weekends have been either busy or I am at home sewing or just generally unmotivated to put on makeup and set up the camera. My nights have been taken up with physio or doing physio exercises as part of my goal to treat myself better and get onto the path of living without chronic pain.

The last of my winter hibernation mode is holding on, but I have been slowly getting out of it. It’s nice to have warmer days now in Toronto rather than the -30 Celsius that took over February. I found February to be a very rough month. Around the end of January, I twisted my knee while trying to lift an 18kg box of cat litter into a grocery cart. Lamest way to injure yourself ever. I had trouble walking and have been in physio ever since with amazing results. My knee is pain-free now and I am walking a lot better and now we are working on other pain centres in my body to make sure I don’t hobble down the aisle at my wedding.

Of course all this work in another area of my life means that the blog gets neglected. But for good reasons and reasons that leave me with more energy and happiness in the future to create more blog entries. 🙂 For now, I don’t mind if the blog gets a little neglected as I take care of myself. I am trying to catch up here, though.

I’m starting with the last project I completed: Golden Rippy‘s Omega Angel Jacket. I got it as part of the Sew Fab Winter Bundle. After I saw Amy’s version on Friends Stitched Together, I clicked buy so fast I sprained my fingers (kidding kidding). Amy and I have similar body types so I knew it would suit me. I loved the princess seams, large pockets, and the details: arm pocket, arm stripes, bolero, etc.

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I have been looking for hoodie designs with more interest than a regular hoodie. Of course, this isn’t a hoodie, but it’s the style I was going for so I feel okay sacrificing my desire for a hood. How often do I use the hood anyway?

The pdf goes together pretty well. I did a two inch full bust adjustment to the pattern, but it wasn’t necessary since there is a lot of ease built into the pattern. My future versions will be in the straight size XXXL.

There are a ton of pieces for this jacket including several rectangles that you cut out according the instructions. All in all, a lot of cutting and measuring during that process. There are over 25 pieces to cut out for this. Cutting out took quite a while. Construction was a lengthy process because of all the details and topstitching.

The pattern doesn’t have a sewing level listed, but claims: “It looks difficult, but the instructions make it an easy sew.” The instructions are clear, but I wouldn’t label it as an easy sew. It is definitely more intermediate or advanced beginner. I would actually place it more at an intermediate sew.

I had particular trouble with the arm pocket and getting it to work. You are supposed to have a band around the side of the pocket so it is 3D. You attach the band to the pocket piece and then top stitch it on to the arm. Because of the bulk of my contrast fabric, I just couldn’t get it to work properly and chose to not use the band and simply stitch the pocket piece on to the arm. Because of my frustrations, I didn’t topstitch as well as I could have so it’s not perfect. 😦 Although, seeing the picture below, the three stripes aren’t as bad as they look there… seems there was a bump in my sleeve when I took the picture.

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But the arm stripe on the other side went well:

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I also found the arm construction difficult because of the bulk created by the bolero. For future versions, because there will be others, I will leave the side seam construction and install the arms in the flat and then sew the side seams. That will be easier for me given the position of the bolero.

The bolero topstitching also went wonky because of the bulk of the material. Because stretch isn’t really needed in this jacket, I might use a thinner woven for the underside of the bolero in future versions to reduce the bulk and get prettier topstitching/buttonholes. Technically, this is a wearable muslin so I am accepting imperfections here.

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I sewed with my serger for most seams and then my regular machine for all topstitching and the zipper. My iron ran hot the entire time, because there is a ton of pressing you will need to do to get the pieces to lay flat. It’s rather difficult getting sweatshirt material to press.

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The fabric I used was black sweatshirt material and black ribbing from Joann’s and a sweatshirt print find from the thrift store for the main. I used five lime green buttons on the bolero, which is a change from the three recommended. My buttons are also smaller than what the pattern called for, but I like the look.

Edit: I meant to say this in the entry…. The zipper came out slightly wavy. I wasn’t impressed with the quality of it so I wasn’t surprised that it came out wavy unlike the zipper in my Hello Kitty hoodie. I bought it on ebay for very little. Next time, I will get another from zipperstop. More expensive, but a lot nicer results.

Here is the gratuitous photo shoot!

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And when you edit your post and realize you didn’t take pictures of the front with the bolero closed, you just toss it on and take a pic after work….damn that fifth button didn’t get buttoned:

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I will be changing a few things for the next version:

  • Making the size as it is drafted without alteration.
  • Shortening the sleeves, but increasing the length of the sleeve bands. My personal preference is to have thumb holes in my sleeve bands for hoodies/knit jackets.
  • I will continue to make the arm pocket without the band, since my ipod fits in it anyway.
  • Experiment using a thinner woven fabric for the underside of the bolero and possibly the pockets.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Golden Rippy’s Omega Angel Jacket
  • Pros: Interesting design/details, clear instructions, good structure/fit
  • Cons: Barely any with the pattern, except that the arm pocket construction could include tips on working with a bulky material and a little more detail
  • Make again?: Absolutely! Although, I will make it without pattern alterations.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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