One-two-three-two Cowl

I started playing with and knitting the lone ball of olive green 100% Lino earlier this year, doing a few rows of the  Tanner Cowl, left it for months and then ripped it open.  I was eager to knit something sequence-like following my fascination with the Sequence Knitting concept.

The one-two-three-two ribbing pattern seemed to fit the concept so I cast on for it – 40 stitches/ 5 repeats.

The knitted fabric has a crunchy, crispy yet smooth and waxy feel in the hand when squeezed.  One ball took me to 26 inches with a width of 3 3/4 inches. For now I’m not wet blocking it.  The texture of those ribbed ridges is so interesting.  I know it will be transformed into a much smoother, drapey fabric once it gets wet. Grafting the ends together, after a half turn to make a moebius cowl, will wait until the weekend when there is daylight and I’m well rested.

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As I knit it one-two-three-two and two-three-two-one (on the ‘wrong’ side) was my mantra to stay on pattern.

Fantasy holiday sewing

The holiday season and all the celebrations and parties that come with it are approaching. I haven’t planned my sewing projects well, hence the fantasy in the title. Only now, with the shorter days, holiday advertising (see below for the outfit that, to my eyes, looks like a party outfit), and most of all due to Christmas party invitations is it sinking in that I don’t have much in the way of more festive, fancier clothing for parties and family gatherings.


Bear with an aside for a moment. The bottom part of this Banana Republic outfit is actually a skort, aka culottes with a nasty, exposed zipper – when will the trend for exposed zippers finally die! The skort/ top outfit is on sale now for just over CA$200 plus tax, but ruffles aren’t my style.

Sewing a festive outfit in time for holiday parties coming up in three weeks is more fantasy than reality. If I would find suitable coordinating fabrics, here is an outfit I imagine sewing and wearing: Vogue 9152, view A with the shawl collar

Line Art

and pair it with the Metal Mix skirt, a fit and flare/ trumpet skirt from Ottobre Woman 2/2015

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Metal Mix skirt #12, Ottobre Woman 2/2015

Metal Mix skirt #12, Ottobre Woman 2/2015

I traced out the skirt in the spring but my brown linen remnant wasn’t large enough for the flare so it became the Adri midi skirt.

Daisy PJs

After the more complex Boulevard dress,  sewing pajamas would be easy and pleasant. The fabric was purchased at the end of summer with PJs in mind. When I go for a print it’s usually abstract, with tone-on-tone or two colours, but for PJs I was okay with the daisy print 100% cotton satin.


The no side seam, elastic waist PJ pants are from my very well used, circa 1980s Vogue 7054 pattern (round #5).  But I wanted a not so oversized, more up-to-date top for the set.  I searched through my pile of Burdastyle magazines and this blouse met my specs – minimal pieces and seams; the shaped hem is a nice feature too. And as I had no desire to make cuffed sleeves with a real placket for sleepwear, it was simple to make plain sleeves by adding a few more inches to the length.

I measured the pattern pieces before tracing to get a sense of the sizing as the extended shoulders and wide sleeves made me doubt the magazine blurb that it’s a fitted blouse. The size 38 has a bust level circumference of around 35 inches.  I cut a 38 as that was the smallest size – usually I cut a 36 in Burda tops and flared out to 38 starting below the bust.

line drawing; image from

Burdastyle August 2010 Blouse #130; image from

I cut out the pieces with no width or length to spare. I shortened the top by two inches at the hem for a length of 26 1/2 inches, and added a breast patch pocket, using the pocket piece from V7054. I would have never been able to cut the 7054 top and pants out of the fabric amount I had (2.6 m and 145 cm width) – that top has a width of ~42 inches

I did the stitching of the top in a bit different order compared to the instructions:

  1. sew shoulder seams
  2. make collar and pocket
  3. baste collar, self-facings and bias strip to cover collar seam to neck, machine stitch in place
  4. put sleeves in flat – there’s no easing on the shallow sleeve cap
  5. stitch pocket in place after checking placement of it with side seams and sleeves pinned together
  6. stitch underarm seam and sides seams in one go
  7. hem sleeves after cutting off unneeded, extra length that I had added
  8. stitch bottom of facing to hem, right sides together, trim and turn
  9. turn up and machine stitch hem
  10. make buttonholes and put on buttons (buttons from my mother’s stash)

Wear with pleasure! It is fitted, at the bust and hips – I may open up the side seams at the hip and insert triangular gussets.

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Making the PJs was a great way to get a sense of how this fabric handles and drapes before I make “public” pieces from the two other stashed cuts of the cotton satin: a coral piece for a summer top and the black and cream ragged edge polka dot for a dress.

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Fabric wrinkles slightly, frays slightly, very easy to cut, handle and sew.

1232 Sequence Knit

I first read about Sequence Knitting by Cecelia Campochiaro in a recent issue of Vogue Knitting. The concept fascinates me, so I read more reviews, (Knitter’s Review) and joined the Ravelry Sequence Knitting board. I’m tempted to buy the book, but the cost is about CA$75.  The city’s library system doesn’t have it either to preview before I buy it.

I looked through my knitting patterns and thought that the eight stitch pattern repeat of Tweedy Vest would be a sequence-type pattern.  The pattern is an irregular ribbing, then after 4 rows the pattern is offset by 4 stitches for another 4 rows; it makes for an identical right and wrong side knit fabric.

You will have use a great deal of imagination to extrapolate my crude attempt to chart the the pattern repeat ( knit stitch is \/; purl stitch is =).

= \/ \/ = \/ \/ = =    4 rows

= = \/ \/ \/ = = \/    4 rows


I thought I could use up my single ball of olive green Lino 100% to make a scarf or cowl but one ball won’t go too far.

Winter weekend wear

With little sewing left on my work dress, I’m already dreaming about/ thinking of/planning the next sewing project.  My work wardrobe is well stocked, so I’m thinking of weekend wear for fall/winter. I’m tired of wearing my old jeans on the weekend.  Soft, comfortable dresses or skirts with sweater tights are on my mind.

I traced out this skirt a few weeks ago:

11-2010 #135; image from

Made up in boiled wool. Image from

If I make this skirt, any longtime reader of this blog would know that I would leave off the bottom, gathered panel. How about a button front, winter version of my Kino dress in corduroy or a double knit? Or the Art Teacher dress, though I’m a bit leery of its boxy straight shape:

Art Teacher Dress Ottobre Woman 5 2014. The model is very close to my size and height.

sportier version of same dress Ottobre Woman 5 2014

Here, from Instagram are another sewer’s two versions of the Art Teacher dress and the Clean Lines dress, like I made last year.

Fabric shopping is in my future for any of these options.

Boulevard Dress, aka Lisette B6244

Photo updated since it was first posted a week ago. Hemming finished and a final press/iron last night for today’s wearing; now showing a few creases after a day of wear. I may shorten the sleeves about 1/1/2 inches – they ended up at a length in between regular full length and bracelet length. It will mean a lot of unpicking and hand sewing. I shortened the back waist length by 1/4 inch – the waist seam sits a bit higher than expected, so the shortening now seems unneeded.

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For some reason I bought a regular zipper – did I do this because there wasn’t a matching colour invisible zipper? Only the pull would show if I bought a dark brown invisible zipper. I did a centred zipper insertion and decided to pick stitch it in as I rarely get an even and centred insertion with basting and machine stitching. Although it took a lot of time to hand pick stitch it, I had more control and unevenness is less obvious.

picked zipper

picked zipper

I created long sleeves, using the short sleeve pattern that comes with the dress and extending the length by merging the sleeve from Simplicity 3833.  Each section – bodice, skirt, sleeve has the lining attached at one seam and then the lining and fabric are treated as one except for bodice-skirt seam.  With my long sleeve I didn’t attempt to understitch once the lining was attached – I edgedstitched once turned in.  Having the lining and fabric treated as one it made for a bulkier seam at the armhole.  I guess it’s done like this because of the lined to edge design.

darted sleeve

darted sleeve

bodice details

bodice details

In between bursts of sewing, I started knitting a simple sweater.  I needed a nearly mindless project after the complexity of Tarian. The Arrow Pullover meets that criterion, with endless stocking stitch, knit in the round, only interrupted by slip stitch columns. It might get less mindless once I get to the sleeve cap shaping/ upper body/ neck shaping all-at-once section.


It’s coincidence that the dress fabric and yarn are virtually the same colour.  The yarn store was selling out its stock of Zara, so the colours were limited.  If the entire colour range was available the cocoa heather shade would not have been my first choice.

couldnt be any closer

Flannel pants

After a lot of work, here they are.  Hemming, either with an outside ankle slit, or not, is the only sewing part left to complete. The right leg has a slit; the left leg doesn’t at this point.

There’s lots of details on making these so continue reading at your peril, or just skip to the photos at the end.

I did the London shrink before cutting it out. I cut it out using a nap layout. Very careful examination in bright sunlight showed a subtle difference between one side and the other. Both sides have the brushed texture typical of flannel. One side has a slight twill weave look – I decided this was the right side of the fabric.  It was  fun working with this fabric – easy to handle and frayed very little.

I used a myriad of resources to see photos and illustrations for sewing the finicky parts:

  • dug out my trusty old Burda 3098 pants pattern for the detailed fly instructions
  • Burda 3098 again and Threads Sewing Guide for angled front pockets
  • pulled out the waistband binding pattern piece from the never made Vogue Anne Klein 1294

I attached the fly shield to the zipper tape before attaching to the front piece, a la Ottobre Woman instructions (see the 5/2013 issue).

I shortened the legs a total of 4 1/4 inches – 3/4″ above the knee, 1 ” below the knee, cut off 21/2 ” at the hem.  I have short legs and I think these pants are designed with extra length at the ankles for a slouchy bunched up look.

Another sewer made these pants a few years ago and posted photos on – she has them turned up – have a look here. (link to


side view

I trimmed away 3/8″ at the centre back seam tapering to nothing at the side seam to get rid of excess length at the back – I’m very happy with the fit at the butt and below.

back view

backview 2

I think the waistband would have benefited from firmer/stiffer interfacing – I used a fusible weft interfacing.

inside front detail

I destroyed my old camera last week – I’m learning all the fancy new features on the replacement.

The Boulevard Coat

I picked up the coat this past weekend.  I’m delighted with it.  With the lightweight open weave fabric it’s not a three season coat. It will probably be worn only in early fall and  late spring.

B6244 hanger

B6244 Coat side

coat front B6244

B6244 coat back

Unfortunately, the coat fabric seems to wrinkle very easily.

I had a sewing and cutting marathon sewing on Monday and Tuesday, cutting out the all the dress pieces from the fashion fabric and lining, save the sleeves.  The skirt, with added side seam pockets, is sewn together, as is the bodice.  I basted the bodice together in its entirety to check the fit before any machine stitching was completed.  The front princess seams needed some tweaking below the bust to improve the fit. I think I should have reduced the size of the bust dart.

I’m going to make a bracelet length sleeve – I compared the sleeve from Simplicity 3833 to the dress sleeve – it’s very similar – the 3833 sleeve is a bit narrower across the upper arm. I like that this sleeve has an elbow dart to give some shaping.

After taking a break from sewing today, it’s back to sewing tomorrow.

Lisette B6244, coat and dress

wool poly blend

I bought the caramel colour wool/poly crepe-like fabric earlier this year, knowing it would end up as a fall/winter dress. I had lots of time to decide on what dress pattern to use. At first, Vogue Easy Options 8828 was a likely candidate – love the shoulder princess seam design. Then, Vogue 9092 Custom (cup) Fit was released. Finally, I saw the Butterick fall patterns and Lisette 6244. Each pattern is a variation of my work dress “uniform”: closer fitting bodice and A line skirt.

What sold me on 6244 was the added coat pattern and the fact that it’s a Liesl Gibson/Lisette pattern. I’m a Lisette fan – they fit me well, love most of the designs, easy to sew yet have style that is sometimes lacking in easy to sew patterns.

B6244 Image from

The coat, in both colour and collar design, reminded of my ridiculous decision to make up the famous, reissued Issey Miyake coat (Vogue 1476) several years ago in my pre-blogging days. I had purchased more than 4 meters of expensive, loosely woven wool/lambs’ wool fabric to make it up.  Other than the massive pattern pieces to cut out and manage when sewing, it’s not a difficult to sew pattern. I started sewing it but never finished – my smaller frame was overwhelmed by all that fabric. So the unfinished coat and leftover fabric was stashed away until I had 6244 in my hands.

very wrinkled fabric

very wrinkled fabric

A couple of weekends ago, I cut out out the pattern pieces, then compared the coat pattern pieces and the unfinished coat and remnant to see if the Lisette coat could be cut out from it – answer is yes, though on the cross grain because of the old coat’s back yoke seam and a few tiny moth holes. Cutting out the dress and coat pattern pieces and making length and size merging adjustments on all the pieces was as far I got. I do a lot of pattern prep and most of my cutting out at my parents’ house because there is a large table. I could tell my mother was very interested; she likes the coat pattern too and doesn’t do much sewing any more as she doesn’t have the need for a large variety of clothes.  So it wasn’t much of a surprise when I heard she sewed up the coat for me.  I’m itching to pick it up this weekend!

Next week, a few days of my vacation will be spent cutting out and sewing the dress. [Reminder to self –  add side seam pockets to the dress].  The dress is lined to the edge – a good feature for me as wool and my skin don’t always get along.  The sleeves will be lengthened to three quarter length or bracelet length. Will also check out the fall fabrics to see if there is something suitable for the contrast yoke and bodice side panels.

image from

Just saw on the Lisette blog today that there is a  October 14-16 coat sew-along. Can also see it in action: 

When Lisette patterns were part of Simplicity, each pattern had a name in addition to the pattern number. Now at Butterick, they just have the number. I’m going to dub this pattern the Boulevard dress and coat.

Happy sewing, wearing and some photos to come soon!