Sunday, March 18, 2018

CCF Kelly Anorak: Crossing the Finish Line

Hey there! It's been a while hasn't it? I started this Kelly Anorak, which is part of my Make Nine (not that I'm taking that list all that seriously), on January 20 and only finished it last weekend. I think it could have gone a lot faster, especially since it's not lined, but I didn't work on it every single weekend. Also, I hit a bit of a snag when I met my old nemesis—sleeves. After basting the sleeves on 5+ times, I finally muddled through and could not be happier with my final project. Right after I finished it last Sunday, it rained all the following week. I don't think I've ever been so excited about rain!

This isn't the kind of project one makes multiples of—maybe some would, I suppose, but I don't need more than one anorak—so I tried to be more thoughtful in my approach. I had been imagining an olive twill that looks so good on so many skin and body types and is so versatile, but ultimately I decided I should have at least one waterproof jacket, so I went with a poly/nylon blend in stone gray from Britex. I like that it doesn't look or feel plastic-y and doesn't make a lot of swooshing sounds, but it's still legit waterproof, handling its first deluge last week with flying colors.

I like many of the details like finishing the hem and hood seam with bias tape. I purchased the Kelly Anorak hardware kit with the tools so that everything would match. I made a TON of little mistakes and, as mentioned previously, I struggled with the sleeves, but overall I'm happy. The only thing I would do differently is omit the hood. I wear my bag cross body, which means I have pull the hood up and over every single time. The biggest bummer so far is that my placket snaps don't snap. I put them in the same way as my cuff and pocket snaps, so it's a mystery.  

I ambushed my husband on the way to the bus stop and had him take a few quick phone snaps.  Posting modeling pics is still not my favorite part of the process, but I think it's helpful for folks to see what the pattern looks like on a curvy/plus size (whatever you want to call me) who also happens to be short. 

I'll probably wear it open more often than not, so I don't want to dwell too much on the front snaps. 

Here are my final construction notes in case you're interested in making this pattern:
  • Shortened bodice by 1" and sleeves by 3/4 sleeves. I'm so pleased with the length for both.
  • Shortening the zipper means removing zipper teeth at the top with pliers.  I thought I would need to order a zipper stop, but then I found a tutorial that instructs sewing across the top several times. If you don't provide some sort of barrier, the zipper just goes off the rails. 
  • The water repellent fabric was super challenging to work with. It didn't hold a press very well and, obviously, I couldn't do a lot of shaping with a hot iron and steam. I ended up melting a hole in one cuff and had to recut a new one. Great tip: To remove sticky stuff (like melted nylon and polyester) from your iron, sprinkle salt onto a piece of paper and pass your iron over it several times. Worked like a charm!
  • Originally traced a size 18 bodice and the FBA'd, but because of my waist measurements and the close-fitting sleeves, I ultimately decided to go with the size 20 and no FBA. 
  • Did a lot of research about sleeves when I was having trouble and found this video of an interesting technique called finger gathering. It didn't really work with my fabric, but it's something to keep in my mind for future projects. Switching from a denim needle to a finer needle might have also helped as it wasn't pulling as much. 

Even though I stumbled here and there, it was a very satisfying project and I'm proud that I challenged myself a bit. The tutorials and instruction helped a lot and it's just such a great reminder to not be overwhelmed and just break things down into small steps. At the risk of sounding trite, that could be applied to most anything in life, right? I hope to post again within the week because I found myself needing a quick project halfway through this, so I've got a new pattern to post about. 

Have a fantastic week and thanks so much for reading!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Top 5 Everything for 2017

Hey there! I'm finally getting around to Gillian's Top 5. I love taking this time to look over a year of makes. I learn something from all my endeavors, and the long view is so helpful for figuring out where I want to take my sewing. 

So, let's get this started. 

Top 5 (in no particular order)

Painted Silk/Rayon True Bias Sutton Blouse

It's not uncommon for my favorite thing to be the last thing I made; in this case it's a TNT pattern made in fabric I love. I hand washed this yesterday, and today I lovingly steamed out the creases from the air drying. I love it as a useful garment and enjoy wearing it, but with the french seams, simple and elegant shape, and the luxe-feeling fabric, I also appreciate it as a beautiful object. It's very much in line with where I want to take my sewing.

True Bias Lodo Dress

This one never made it to the blog, though I did blog my first Lodo here. Clearly, I'm a True Bias fan. I think she's a master of proportion. Also, I really think this pattern is just so clever. It's designed for heavier knits like ponte, so you can sit at a desk all day and still emerge at the end of the day relatively wrinkle-free. Also, the woven facing makes for such a lovely neckline that doesn't get stretched out. It looks simple, but it's a pretty ingenious design when you think about it. 

Chalk and Notch Fringe Blouse

I'm proud that I took the extra time to get the fit right on this. It was totally worth it. Also, I discovered rayon crepe, which is such an awesome fabric. I'll definitely make at least one more top this year and, hopefully, a dress.

Closet Case Patterns Kalle Tunic

I love this pattern. It's sort of unassuming but also just a little bit special, and there are so many variations. I love how I feel when I where it, which is pretty much the ultimate outcome I can strive for when I sit down to make a garment. I plan to make a black crepe version with the sleeve extension in the next couple of months. Also, another white version in a less transparent fabric.

Seamwork Jill Coatigan

Coats and jackets always provide more bang for your buck. To date, I've worn my coatigan every day since I snipped my last thread. This just fit perfectly into my wardrobe and satisfied my desire to mimic the kind of unstructured outerwear I was seeing fashionable women wearing on the subway. It looks great over leggings, jeans, or work clothes, and the aubergine color seems to magically go with everything in my closet.

In addition to my top 5, I have two MVPs—workhorses that made getting dressed every day so much easier. 

Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan
I made four Blackwood cardigans this year. Much like the TB Lodo, I think it's a really clever pattern because it fills a void for a close-fitting cardi that can be worn comfortably under a coat, is perfect for the office or for knocking around in leggings, AND is a quick and easy sew. 

True Bias Emerson Pants
I made four pairs of Emersons yet I never got around to blogging them. The pair in the above pic is the perfect bottom fabric match; unfortunately, the color just doesn't go with anything else I own. I used a fabric from my stash that I had purchased years ago, well before I consciously shopped with a limited palette in mind. I do love this color, though, and hope to wear it with sandals and a white tee this summer. I made three additional pairs in tencel (olive, black, camel) from Blackbird Fabrics. Tencel has excellent drape, but the wrinkle factor isn't ideal for work and it doesn't wash and wear beautifully. I'd like to make a lined pair in a light wool trouser fabric. I think that would provide better wearability.

Top 5 Misses (Actually, I only have 3)

Closet Case Patterns Charlie Caftan

I let myself get caught up in the new pattern release splash. I'm just not a caftan person. In addition, I picked the most uncaftan-like fabric possible. The fabric lives on in a more appropriate form now as dinner napkins and oven mitts.

Cashmerette Webster
I picked the wrong size and fabric. I would like to make this again in the correct size and a pretty, silky fabric. 

Closet Case Patterns Ebony (Raglan)
I've made a ton of well-worn and well-loved Ebony tops and tunics, but the raglan version just doesn't work for me. The fit feels sloppy instead of oversized and comfy. Also, while the fabric is beautiful, the color/pattern doesn't suit me. I wish I could wear yellow...

So, overall, a good year of making!  I think I'm at the stage where I know what I like and want to make. As I mentioned in my last post, I'd like to up my sewing game and seek out more elevated points of inspiration. I deliberately slowed my sewing down by making underwear with scraps, but I still ended the year with some garments that I really like. I'm also pleased to note that two of my top five from last year (shibori mandy and SJP sutton) are still in regular rotation, which seems like a good indicator of a thoughtful wardrobe.

Top 5 Highlights (Well, 3)
  1. Organizing my sewing space has helped tremendously by decluttering my apartment and my headspace. 
  2. Visiting New Orleans and having an appropriate travel wardrobe was awesome. What a truly unique town.
  3. I had a number of satisfying work projects where I took some risks. I'm so happy and grateful to have a job that I love.
Top 5 Resolutions/Plans (Well, 3)
  1. Exploring other interests. Beej gave me ceramics classes for our anniversary, which I have yet to use. Be warned, you may see some claybabies on this blog in the future. 
  2. Save more money. I added up my fabric purchases for the year, and the total amount caused my eyebrows to rise. I pay my bills in full and deposit money into my savings at the end of each month, so it's really not a problem, but it's helpful to be mindful of what I spend on my hobby.  
  3. Travel. Beej and I are planning a vacation this year to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and an, er, milestone birthday for me. The best way to come to terms with getting older is to celebrate somewhere fabulous, right?
Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2018!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

My Make 9 and a Sneaky Sutton

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope your year is off to a good start. Beej and I spent New Year's day feasting on Japanese food and watching The Last Jedi. It's kind of our New Year's day tradition to hang out in Japantown and see a movie. 

In my last post I did say that I might make another garment. I wasn't really planning to, but then we got invited to a New Year's Eve gathering. Normally, I love staying home curled up on the couch, but I'm glad I made it out for a night with good friends, a French-themed menu, and a lovely view of the city. Seriously, I wish my shitty phone snap could accurately convey the amazing view. 

So since I unexpectedly had a party to go to, I had to make something, right? Around the same time, a package from Blackbird Fabrics arrived with a really beautiful painted silk/viscose. I had been deliberately resisting Blackbird (I have $300 in Britex gift certificates to spend thanks to my husband and bosses), but when I saw a geometric pattern in my favorite blue/black combo I had to go for it. 

Fortunately, Blackbird has been stocking a lot of florals, which aren't my thing, so I'm safe for a while. Whew!

So short story, with limited time (day before party) I made a TNT Sutton turned out smaller than my last version which still fits me. I think I might have goofed on the french seams at the sides and possibly the center and sewed 1/2 " for both passes instead of 1/4". D'oh! The good news is that the Sutton has loads of ease. It will make a nice shell underneath cardis in this size, and I enjoyed wearing it with jeans and these amazing Rachel Comey platforms that I never wear because they're ridiculously high but also ridiculously awesome. 
Other deets:
  • Size 18
  • Shortened by 1.5" at "shorten here" line
  • Lengthened bottom by 2" to eliminate high/low hem
  • Side split was 3.5", but I'd like to go higher next time for more drama. 
  • Elephant in the room: pattern match fail in the center but, fortunately, I'm not too bothered by it.
  • I strayed from the instructions and french seamed the sides, using this tutorial from Cashmerette for split hems with french seams. Hot tip: I used tweezers to roll the silky fabric. 
I felt great wearing it, a bit like Bruno Mars talking about his silk shirts in Carpool Karaoke, "You don't want this on your skin?" Oh yeah, Bruno, I do.  Which brings me to the second bit I want to blog about—elevating my inspiration with luxurious fabrics and my make 9. It's a little out of order to think about this before doing my top five, but it's been on my mind for a while now. 

When I first started sewing about three and a half years ago, I wanted to make cute, Anthropologie-esque tops that would fit over my boobs. After some serious wadders, questionable fabric choices, and also some great skill-building projects, I'm happy to say that I've achieved that goal. As a matter of fact, for Christmas I received an Anthro gift card and as I walked around the store, I kept thinking, "I could totally make that." So since I've finally achieved my initial sewing goal, I want to focus 2018 on taking it to the next level by elevating my inspiration. Looking carefully at sillouettes that compliment my shape, creating garments that fit my lifestyle, and choosing the best fabric I can afford, I hope to elevate my sewing instead of following every sewing trend.  In an effort to sharpen my focus I made a little moodboard of simple elegant shapes that I'm drawn to. 
I'm not so much focusing on designer or even expensive garments—it's more of a vibe I'm going for. Simple shapes, luxe fabrics, garments that make me feel happy and comfortable in my own skin.

Okay, I know this is a long-ass post, so I'll get to my make 9 now, which I'm only tentatively committing to since there will invariably be distractions throughout the year. I feel that this is a good mix of skill building patterns and TNTs that match my lifestyle and wardrobe needs. 

  1. Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak. I already own the Papercut Patterns Waver Jacket, which is quite similar, so I felt guilty about purchasing this. I got around this by putting it on my Christmas list. Heh, heh. 
  2. Closet Case Patterns Caroline PJs. Another Christmas gift from my sweet, sweet hubby. I want to play with piping. 
  3. Cashmerette Appleton Top. I love how this wrap top looks and already have the pattern and free extension pack. I'll have to decide my ease preference and choose my fabric carefully since I don't like things clinging to my bust and middle area, but I think it's a good body image exercise for me. Next step, exposing my arms. 
  4. Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress. I already have the fabric picked out—teal rayon with flamingos. 
  5. Sew House Seven Toaster 2. In a white/gray french terry...maybe even this weekend. 
  6. Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench. Yes, another coat. A trench would be great over my work clothes, while the anorak is more casual. Also, it's adorable!
  7. Chalk and Notch Fringe Top. Yes, another one. 
  8. True Bias Sutton Blouse. My fave.
  9. Closet Case Patterns Kalle Blouse. This time in black crepe with sleeves. I'm going to eliminate the high/low for this one. 
Whew! If you made it this far, you deserve a medal. I plan to post my top five in a couple of days so I can continue the reflecting and planning. Thanks so much for reading and happy sewing in 2018!

Monday, December 25, 2017

My Last Makes of 2017...Maybe

Hello and a very merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it and a fond hello to those who do not. I'm feeling super content in my comfiest clothes, sipping champagne and nibbling on cornichons and cheese. It gets better: Beej is making dinner tonight (his famous roast chicken with spuds and carrots). I'm only contributing one dish--an artichoke gratin--which means I have time for a quick blog post (and maybe I'll even cut out a new project).

First off is this here Ebony by Closet Case patterns in a melange viscose jersey from Blackbird Fabrics. It's no longer available, I'm afraid; I bought it back in August, and her fabrics sell out pretty quickly. (ETA: Just saw this fabric at Britex (in store not online) for $18.99 per yard.) I've been wanting to sew it up for months, but I'm glad I waited because wearing it for Christmas Eve dinner at my inlaws felt special and the fabric seems almost kind of Christmas-ey. And since, amazingly, I didn't spill red wine on it, I'm wearing it again today. It's a Christmas miracle!

I've made this pattern a few times before (here and here), and it took me a while to work out my preferred proportions. I finally found my sweet spot with an unblogged version in black tencel T-shirt knit from Blackbird. (If they ever stock that T-shirt knit again, I may have to clean them out. It's that awesome.) Here are the details so that I remember for future Ebonys.

  • Size 18, jewel neckline, 3/4 sleeves.
  • Extended length 7 inches from crop top length 
  • Finally got around to making a 1/2 inch narrow shoulder adjustment 
  • I like this length; it's not too long/not too short in the front to expose me (when it billows up with a gust of wind) yet it still covers my butt in the back. 
Finally, a Thread Theory Finlayson sweatshirt for Beej. 

I think he's channeling Luke Skywalker here, albeit less intense.  My sweet Jedi!

I tried to make this hoodie a bit special by using some double faced merino purchased at Thread Theory. They've sold out of the gray/black but still have red/black. The merino side is wonderfully soft, and the polyester side makes it very stable and strong. It was a joy to work with. Since Beej seems really happy with it, I've already promised to make him another and even ordered some black merino swatches from The Fabric Store this morning. The plan is to make a black version with orange hood lining to wear to SF Giants games. Here are the deets:

  • Size large, grading to an extra large from where the belly starts to the bottom of the shirt. This modification means remembering to cut the bottom band as XL instead of L. 
  • Next time, shorten the sleeves by 1 inch. 
  • The pattern comes with two different size cuffs to account for variation in fabric stretch. I used the larger cuff (the smaller version was too small), but I think he would prefer the cuff to be a bit more fitted. I'll have to experiment and try to find a happy medium for the next version. 
  • I messed up on the corner of the front neckline where it meets the hood. It makes me a little nuts when I look at, so I try not to. I ripped out some stitches where it gathered a bit and resewed, which makes it look a little better, but I can't really see what else to do to fix it. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to bother Beej, so I guess I'll just remember to be careful when sewing the front part for the next version. 
Well, that's all for me. I hope you're having a lovely and peaceful day today. I'm looking forward to posting my Top Five Hits and Misses next week, along with some end-of-year reflection. Cheers!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Holiday Mitts

Hey there! Hope you've been having a relaxing weekend. I had a bit of a Duckndam factory situation this weekend as I sewed up a number of oven mitts for Christmas gifts. Making something pretty and useful out of scraps of nice fabric has to be one of the most gratifying feelings. Some of my scraps feel like old friends to me. Often, I can remember exactly where I bought the fabric, what I had in mind, special textile factoids, etc. For example, the above fabric is a combo of a rustic linen I sewed into a Roberts collection  dungaree dress that didn't work out and a Guatemalan twill (for this project) that I love so much that I think I've now used every little bit. The inside lining is from a  Robert Kaufman rose chambray that I retrieved from another failed project.

It's the free Bombazine pattern. Described as Japanese in style (a half mitt), it's a little smaller than most oven mitts. What I like most about this version is that it's a clean finish with a bagged lining. I even like that the lining sticks out a bit, adding a bit of extra color interest.

I kept it completely casual (and imprecise) when quilting my mitts, but you could totally experiment with sashiko, applique, or piecing to come up with all kinds of fun designs. This is such a great scrap buster. I stopped sewing with quilting cottons a long time ago, but it works really well with linen and cotton chambray. The only thing is that you really need to use wool batting (or some other kind of wool padding) because it's safer than cotton batting. It has a slower burn and conducts heat well. (Wool is a pretty magical substance when you think about it.) Surprisingly, I had trouble finding wool batting locally and had to order it on Amazon. I bought some organic wool that's primarily used for baby quilts. I had to use two layers to get the level of squishiness that I wanted. The Bombazine site recommends using old wool coats, and I did use a scrap from my Jill coatigan for the square pot holder in the first pic, but I wanted the mitts to be more soft and squishy.

I also made a pair of linen napkins and a plaid mitt for me from my CCF Charlie caftan. I used to feel guilty about cutting up perfectly good garments to make them into something smaller, but after being turned away from Goodwill because they have too much stuff I've gotten over that. I'd rather turn it into something useful than have it languish in my closet. 

I've already ordered more wool batting. If it arrives before Christmas, I'll make some more mitts as gifts. If not, I might just make a little arsenal of mitts from scraps to keep on hand. Combined with a nice bottle of olive oil or some fancy salt, I think they would make nice housewarming/hostess gifts. My goal for January is to organize a couple of bags of scraps and take them to a nonprofit in the Bay Area that could use them. Any suggestions? Also, what's your go-to scrap busting project?

Thank you so very much for reading. Have a fantastic week!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Coatigans for the Win!

Hello! I'm back again with another quick share--Seamwork Mag's Jill Coatigan.  I haven't made a lot of Seamwork patterns since signing up for the subscription, although I do have a couple earmarked--in particular, I'd like to try the Leonora mini skirt at some point. I just wish they provided a bit more variation. For example, they never do a raglan style

 This winter, I've been wanting to make a new coat to offer some variety from wearing my black Clare Coat all the time, but I didn't feel like taking on all the work that's involved in making a coat--the closures, lining, sleeve fitting, etc. I've also been wanting to work with boiled wool and to make a  simple shell (without a lining) that isn't too heavy since I don't need it to be super warm.  So when Seamwork's Jill popped into my inbox, I was ready to dive in right away.

It also didn't hurt that the absolutely gorgeous model was selling the hell out of it.

Besides not being too warm, it's very much a crossover garment, which is nice when you live in an area that doesn't have clearly defined seasons.  I also like that I can wear it with jeans on the weekend, but it also looks great over my work clothes. I wear my Blackwood cardigans a lot, and it's nice to have an outerwear garment that covers the length of my sweaters.

Before getting into the sizing deets, I want to quickly talk about this fabric cuz I love it. It's a boiled wool/rayon blend, and it was SO fun to work with. It doesn't fray, so you don't need to finish the seams unless you want to. It has lots of built-in body (i.e., without interfacing), is soft against the skin with a slightly spongey feel and a bit of stretch, and the stitches sink right in. It's a great choice for a casual, unstructured coat. I downloaded the pattern the day it dropped and went to Fabric Outlet the following Saturday to catch the last day of their 40% off everything sale. Normally, I haaate driving to the Mission and dealing with all the traffic, but I really wanted to make this in boiled wool and knew I'd find a good price on coating there. I initially had grey in mind, but when I saw this aubergine, I knew I'd found my fabric. The only problem was that the pattern in my size calls for 4.5 yards, and there was only 3 and 3/8 left on the bolt. I crossed my fingers and bought it anyway. Cutting it flat (as opposed to on the fold) helped tremendously, and I ended up with plenty of fabric. Cost was around $20 per yard minus 40% off.

Here are the deets:
  • Size XL. I haven't gotten the sizing down yet for Seamwork patterns yet. If I had access to a time machine, I would definitely make a large instead. You can see that the sleeves look more like a dropped shoulder. Even on the model, it falls a bit more past her shoulders than the line drawing indicates. It doesn't bother me too much, though, since it's a look that's on trend right now. Outerwear is tricky. I didn't want it to be huge, but I did want to make sure I could comfortably wear it over layers. 
  • I used an old sheet to make a muslin of the front and back. Had I also muslined the sleeves, I might have known to size down. Ah well, shoulda woulda coulda...
  • I shortened the length of the coat 5" at the shorten line and the sleeves 2".
  • Shortening the coat length threw off the pocket positions a bit. I raised them a few inches but may raise them  an additional 2" since my fingers can't quite reach the bottom. 
  • Speaking of pockets, I really love the angled shape. Such a nice detail. 
  • Generally, I'm not crazy about shawl necklines (they look too much like bathrobes to me), so if I were ever to make another version, I would like to draft a notched lapel collar instead. 
  • Also, even though the seams don't need to be finished, the seam where the facing attaches to the back neckline would look much nicer if it was bound. It's three layers of fabric after all. Ditto for the sleeves.
Overall, a fun pattern that satisfied my desire for a quickie coat. I didn't get everything right size-wise, but it's nice to have a new piece of outerwear and I love the color. I've been wearing it nonstop despite the fact that it's been an unseasonably warm December so far.

I hope you're having a great weekend. We survived the annual adventure of wrestling a tree to get it home and up three flights of stairs, and now the decorating fun begins. This may be my last apparel project for 2017 as I have a number of gifts I want to make. I'm feeling extra crafty this year. 

Thank you for reading and have a great week!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Viva Toaster 2!

Hello and Happy Holidays! I love this time of year, but man is it hectic. I hope you're finding time to enjoy hanging with loved ones amid the holiday rush-rush. Speaking of rush-rush, this is just a quickie to share a (coincidentally) quick-to-make pattern.

So I made a fun little Toaster 2 by Sew House Seven, a pattern company I've been dying to try. I love their vibe. Chic but also so very wearable for us ordinary humans. Since this is a new-to-me pattern company, I bought an inexpensive ponte from Fabric Outlet as a wearable muslin. (I really don't know how else to experiment with new knit patterns except for trying with inexpensive fabric first.) The thing is, I really dig this olive green color. It goes so well with all my clothes but isn't as boring to sew as solid black.

The style of the Toaster 2, along with this fab color, feels very mod to me. It's an aesthetic that I'm really drawn to because it reminds me of growing up in in the 80s and being in love with all things mod. Now, here's where I have to warn you that my modeling pics are pretty much useless. I was going on and on to Beej about how I thought the cut was very mod and cool, and he offhandedly commented, "It's super cute; you look like Ann Margaret in Viva Las Vegas." See below.

Don't worry, I'm not delusional. I fully realize that I do not look like a twenty-something ingenue. Having said that, if you ever meet a person who looks at you in that light and makes you feel that beautiful, hold that person tight and don't ever let go.

Anyway, in my modeling poses I did a bunch of silly dance moves in the spirit of Viva Las Vegas. They don't give you the best idea of fit, etc., but please know that I had a lot of fun.

The deets:

  • Size XXL. Despite following the measurements chart, there is tons of ease. I wanted a loose fit, but I think I can achieve that (even without an FBA) if I size down to XL. Also, this would help with the broad shoulders, although I could also do a narrow shoulder adjustment.
  • The sleeves are very long, like orangutan long. Of course, I've got T-rex arms, so maybe some folks fall happily in the middle. (Note, I'm only 5'2") I shortened the arms by 4"
  • Almost every review I've read mentioned that the bodice is a bit too short. I lengthened the front by 1 and 1/8 inch as a precaution. I liked the resulting front length, but next time I would lengthen a bit more to match the back--i.e., not have it be high/low. The difference now is so slight; it should be the same or markedly different so as not to look like a mistake. 
  • The cheap olive ponte I raved about is a good weight for this pattern. If I remember correctly, cost was around $10 or $12 a yard. I bought 2 yards and easily had enough fabric because it was 60" wide.
  • As many bloggers have noted, this comes together VERY quickly. The mock turtle is fun and quite easy to construct; the side split turns out nice and crisp. I used my sewing machine for the whole thing because I was working with a stable ponte and the split hem and mock turtle need a bit more finesse than I'm can achieve with my serger. 
  • Overall, a cracker of a pattern. I can see why it's so popular. 
Now for the show. Feel free to hum along.

Thank you for reading and have a fantastic week!