Sew Dolly Clacket: Simplicity 2444

Here’s my contribution to Sew Dolly Clackett.  Whew…I am truly getting this in at the last minute (maybe 20 minutes to spare?), so I will try to keep this brief.
Simplicity 2444
To honor Roisin’s impecable style, I chose Simplicity 2444, and a bright (but sadly not novelty) print.  The fabric is a stretch cotton that I found at a local shop.
Simplicity 2444
This pattern deserves all the hype it gets, I love it!  I did have to add some darts to the back neck to get rid of some gaping, but that’s about the only change I made.
Simplicity 2444
Initially, I was going to swap the skirt for a pencil skirt, but after draping the fabric on my dress form, I decided to go with the full skirt.  So glad I did!  This dress makes me feel happy and girly.
Simplicity 2444
I tried to take pics outside my front door in true Dolly Clacket style, but the sun was not cooperating.  So this was as best as I could get.
Simplicity 2444

Here are some detail shots. I’m really loving the pleats on the skirt and the interesting waist darts.
Simplicity 2444
Simplicity 2444
Unlike most my dresses, this one is not lined.
Simplicity 2444
Simplicity 2444
I used self-made bias tape to finish the facing edge and the armholes.
Simplicity 2444
I also put in my first machine-sewn lapped zipper! Turned out pretty good, I think.
Simplicity 2444
Simplicity 2444
I also went with a quick rolled hem because the fabric was not taking my hand stitches very well.
Simplicity 2444
Thanks to Sarah for organizing this sew along, it’s been great fun to watch all the pretty dresses popping up!  And of course, congratulations to Roisin and Nic!
Simplicity 2444

Completed: Spotty Licorice Dress

Hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing Easter weekend!  I’ve been sewing, sewing, and sewing…exactly what I wanted to do!

After making the trench coat for my sister, I was ready for a simpler project.  I went for making another Licorice dress from Colette Patterns.  I’ve made this dress a bunch of times already (here, here, and here).  I wear my animal print version so often that it’s staring to show some wear and tear, so it was a good time to revisit the pattern.

Spotty Licorice
Spotty Licorice

The fabric is rayon challis that I ordered from somewhere on the internet (it’s been too long, and I can’t remember now).  I love the drape and fluidity of challis.  In fact, I have another challis dress cut and waiting to be sewn!

Spotty Licorice

Here are some close ups that show the print better.
Spotty Licorice
Spotty Licorice

There’s not too much new to say about the construction.  I moved the zipper to the side, drafted my own facings, and lined it with Bemberg rayon.
Licorice
Licorice
Licorice

Licorice

Licorice

This will be a comfortable and cool dress to wear this summer.  But the wind was chilly when I was trying to take photos.
Spotty Licorice

So this is how I wore it to work, without the belt and a long sweater.  So comfy!
Spotty Licorice

Tutorial: Add a Sleeve Lining to the Robson Trench Coat

When I made my sister’s Robson Trench Coat, I decided to line the sleeves.  I did this so the coat would slide on and off a little easier.  It worked really well, and I recommend it for this pattern.
MJB Trench Coat

A couple notes on this tutorial.  First, this may not technically be the “right” way to line a sleeve. It’s simply what made sense to me, and it worked. Second, I apologize for the quality of the pictures. I was snapping these with my phone as I sewing late into the night. Finally, I’m going to refer to the sleeve lining as simply “lining” and the fashion fabric sleeve as “sleeve.”

Supplies: 

    • Approximately 3/4 – 1 yard of lining fabric.  I used Bemberg  rayon, which is my favorite lining material.  But anything slippery should work.
    • You may also want to use wider bias tape to finish the armhole seam.  I picked up a package of the “Wide Single Fold” stuff.

Steps:

1. Cut the lining fabric, using the pattern pieces for the sleeve.  BUT – this is important – cut the lining 1″ shorter than the main fabric.

2. Sew the sleeve, as directed by steps 21 and 22 in the pattern, EXCEPT don’t finish the seams or the sleeve hem with bias tape. DO do the topstitching and attach the sleeve tab.  STOP before hemming the cuff.

3. Sew the lining, and finish the seams. (I just pinked mine.)  Do not apply any bias tape, and topstitching is not needed.

4. Insert the sleeve into the lining, with right sides touching.Untitled

5. Line up the bottom edges of the lining and the sleeve, matching the seam lines, and pin.
sleeve lining

6. Sew the lining to the sleeve, using a 5/8″ seam allowance.
Untitled

7. Pull the lining down over the sleeve, and then shove the lining back up inside in the sleeve. The wrong sides of the fabrics should now be touching, and the lining should be inside the sleeve.
sleeve lining
sleeve lining
sleeve lining

8. Turn the whole sleeve and lining unit inside out. Turn up the cuff your desired amount and press, making sure to smooth the lining back. (You should be pressing the seam allowance of the seam you just sewed up towards the sleeve cap.) Pin.
Untitled

9. Sew the cuff. Do not catch the lining in this seam.
Untitled

Untitled

10. Set in the sleeve, ignoring the lining for now. I pushed my my lining down into my sleeve to keep it out of the way.

sleeve lining

Tip – baste your sleeves first, it makes it easier to set them in.

11. Pull the lining up, and line up the edge of the lining with the edge of the sleeve. (You will have to ease in the lining, just like the sleeve, to get everything to fit.)sleeve lining

12. Baste (or pin) the lining to the seam allowance of the sleeve, matching seam lines and notches. I highly recommend basting!
sleeve lining

13. Finish the armhole with bias tape. Make sure the bias tape fully encases the edge of the lining and the sleeve seam allowance.

NOTE: I started out with the bias tape I had used elsewhere on the coat.  But it was too narrow to easily fold over the bulky seam allowance. (This is a bulky seam because the front and back flaps are also sewn into the armhole.) I switched to the ‘Wide Single Fold’ bias instead, and it worked better for me.
Untitled

Once the bias tape is sewn in, remove the basting if it shows, and now the lining is fully attached!
Untitled

14. If you turn the sleeve inside out and smooth the lining down the sleeve, there will be a little excess lining that can be pressed into into jump hem.
Untitled
MJB Trench Coat
And that’s it!   :)

Completed: The Gift Coat (aka Robson Trench Coat)

I’ll freely admit that I’m a selfish sewer.  But on occasion, I’ll make something for someone, like my latest make – this Robson trench coat.  I made this for my sister’s birthday after she saw my trench and liked it.

MJB Trench Coat

Since she had tried my coat on, I knew this was going to fit her without needing any major alterations.  I cut a size 4, but shaved about 1/4 inch off all the princess seams, since she is a little smaller than me. I also narrowed the flair at the bottom. Because she is petite, I thought a slimmer silhouette would be more flattering.

MJB Trench Coat

I made two other changes worth noting.  First, I took a wedge out of the front flaps to make them narrower.  On my coat, the flaps won’t lie flat and it drives me nuts.  So I pinched out the excess on my coat and transferred it to the pattern piece.  This is what the alteration looks like.  I was careful not to change the top or the sides of the flap.  I wanted to be sure that it would still match at the shoulder, armhole, and neck line.

Untitled

It worked and the flaps now lie perfectly!

MJB Trench Coat

Second, I lined the sleeves.  This makes it easier to take the coat on and off.  I took some pics of my process, so expect a tutorial on this soon.

MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat

The fabric is a cotton twill that I purchased from organic cotton plus.  I’m impressed with the quality and would order from them again.  I used Bemberg rayon for the sleeve lining and black packaged bias tape to finish the seams.

MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat

Also picked up an interesting black and white printed cotton for the back facing, and used it under the flaps as well.
MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat

Although this pattern has a lot of pieces, it’s not too difficult.  I love all details.

MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat

I was so pleased with how this coat turned out, I really wanted to keep it for myself!
MJB Trench Coat

Good thing for my sis, I had already embroidered her initials on the back facing before I realized I wanted to keep it.  :)  So I had to send it to her!  Happy Birthday, MJB!  :)
MJB Trench Coat

 

Completed: Thai Fisherman Pants

I have an affinity for big comfy pants.  So, as soon as I saw Peter‘s Thai fisherman pants, I knew I had to try making a pair.  I’m glad I did, I’m super happy with how these turned out!
Thai Pants 1.jpg

Thai fisherman pants are basically wide shapeless pants that wrap in the front and are held with a tie.  The tall waistband then folds down over the top.

Thai Pants 2.jpg

Here they are flat:

Thai Pants

And tied:

Thai Pants

Black is tough to photograph. Here’s a pic that better shows how the wrap looks in the front. Ignore the totally awkward tree pose, thanks. :)

Thai Pants 10.jpg

I think these pants are perfect for relaxing, yoga, or as a beach cover up.  I plan to toss them on over my bike shorts (aka diaper shorts) when I walk to spin class – cause these things ↓ are hideously unflattering to just wear around!

bike shorts

The fabric I used is a 50/50 rayon and linen blend.  It has a nice drape and is light enough to be comfortable, but still heavy enough that it’s opaque.

Thai Pants 4.jpg

For the pattern, I started with this tutorial as a guideline. My first muslin seemed okay.  But I quickly realized that there was a problem.  Despite being wide pants, they were too tight in the rear.  If I sat down or bent forward, it felt like the back seam was going to rip out.

The reason was because the front and back crotch seams were the same shape.
Untitled

But fronts and backs of pants aren’t identical, as illustrated by these pajamas.

Untitled

Front

Untitled

Back

To fix the problem, I redrafted the back crotch curve. The original curve is red and the altered curve is blue.
pattern alterations

I also slashed the back of the pants open and added a panel to increase the ease across the back. I like how it created princess seams.
Thai Pants

The alterations worked.  I can now sit, bend, and even kick (cause I do that a lot, ha!) without any worries of tearing apart my seams.  Yay!
Thai Pants 5.jpg
Thai Pants 6.jpg

If anyone’s interested, let me know and I’ll post the dimensions of my pattern pieces, and the order in which I sewed everything together.
Thai Pants 7.jpg

As for construction, I serged all the seams except the side seams of the waistband.  I did french seams there since the wrong side of the fabric is exposed when the waist folds down.  Also, the tie is permanently attached to the back waistband.
Thai Pants
Thai PantsThai Pants

I think I might have found my new favorite comfy pants!   So, I’d say Thai fisherman pants are a winner, even though it took a little extra effort to get the pattern just right.

Thai Pants 3.jpg