Well I finally got a good picture wearing my new cardigan with the matching pants and original wrap top I made last year.  Admittedly, this is the second time wearing this ensemble since I finished the cardigan two weeks ago.   I first wore it to the movies and then again to a volunteer working meeting at the community center. It turned out to be very appropriate for each occasion, considering I actually thought it was too casual for the volunteer meeting and way to dressy for the movies.  Not to mention, I thought it would be too hot each time.  I wore it with the sleeves drawn up for the indoor activity, and for the movies it actually kept me warm.  Of course, when I got back outside, I had to remove the cardigan all together.  Turns out it handled pretty well since the fabric didn’t wrinkle like I thought it would.

The cardigan is part of a wardrobe pattern ensemble that I worked on during a recent wardrobe challenge with my online and IRL sewing groups.  I don’t know why I took so long to make the right topper for this outfit.  I knew I wanted to use this strip as compliment for these pants, I just couldn’t figure the right look.  I originally sketched up a look and sewed up a top that went south really fast….a sheer DUD!!!  PLEASE…LAUGH your head off.  I’m good with that, it looks good on the skinny super tall model.  Another reason to understand how your body relates to different looks.

I am totally in love now.  Now I need to work on the fit of the cardigan just a tad bit more.  

I started with my basic alterations:  (The tissue fitting video is here.)

  • 3/4″ Swayback
  • 1.5″ FBA using the pivot and slide on the front and also on the side seam.
  • 1.5″ large bicep for the sleeve using the pivot and slide method again.  (I just love some pivot and sliding.)
  • For the hip if increased in the center back as well as the sides and front.  I also lengthened the entire thing to balance. 
  • The shoulders were lowered by 1/4″ at the shoulder point and the sleeve cap ease was shimmied off about 3/8″.  I like the roomy sleeves and the fact there is not to much cap.
A note on the back folks…. After seeing the back and noticing that I am now “Curving” a little more than I used to…I went back and gave myself an “untested” change for the shoulder blades.  I will keep you posted on this new change.  I also changed to give it a center back seam, and thus, added a grain line based on the upper section of the back pattern piece so that my HBL (horizontal balance line) will hang correctly.  
Construction points:
I chose not to make the tie belt. Initially, I was going to add a third button, since that is what was called for in the pattern.  Instead, I settled for two buttons, because when I went to find another pack at Joanns, I couldn’t find a match.  The seaming was done using my Bernina 1300mdc serger set for the combination overlock and chainstitch.  The thread used was the Bulky nylon from Guttermann in both the serger loopers. 

The shoulders and side seams were done with the chainstitch and overlock combined in order to limit any over stretching for those seams.  Also, on the shoulders and sleeves I used the process that I demonstrate on my video here:

Youtube Video Tutorial:  How to sew in knit sleeves.

After my last cardigan, which I haven’t worn much since I made it, except on a cruise…I felt I would consider this length and see if it was something I would wear before making anymore.  The jury is in!!!  I WILL definitely be making more cardigans.  Will it be this version, I’m not really sure.  Although, I do like this style, I am more interested in having one with pockets.  I may redesign this one to add some of the details I would like.  That makes sense, especially after making all these adjustments.  What say you to other ideas for designing cardigans or “toppers?’  

Unless you regularly read my blog, subscribe to my YouTube channel or follow me live on Pericope, you wouldn’t know that I have been consistently working on a Wardrobe Fit-Along since July of last year 2015 in collaboration with Sew Much Fabric, an online fabric store based out of Texas.  We began with the White Shirt, then the Sheath dress, then I took a holiday break and did a holiday sequin skirt tutorial.  Currently we have been working on the denim jacket.  This Wardrobe Fit-Along is an ongoing process that I have been making regular videos for in order to discuss and tackle particular fitting issues found with each particular garment type and style in relation to different body compositions.  

Vogue 9037....Wardrobe Fit-Along

As for this jacket, I was not going to make it….I complained the collar was too big for my bust, then I complained that I didn’t like the way the back hikes up, and the front draped…. I bet I am one of the most stubborn person this wardrobe consultant has probably ever provided services for.  I have given her more grief and dismay along the way, than I care to admit, over her suggestions and recommendations for what items I should make for myself.  Yet every single time, I am giddy about the make, and it looks just as nice as she had said it would.  

Vogue 9037

So, why then, do I complain so much along the way.  Well, lets see, I’m just that kind of person, and it takes a special person to work with me.  Yeah, that’s the answer and I’m sticking with that story.  I don’t particularly like the little tie belt, however, I didn’t realize it would be a problem until I wore it to my function.  So next time, I may make a regular “belt” with this fabric.  I left the snaps out for no reason except, I just couldn’t find them…and I wanted to wear the jacket NOW.  You know right?

Vogue 9037

The jacket was extremely easy to construct…I mean easy, like my granddaughter could do it minus the hong kong treatment I did to the seams.  That part wasn’t necessary with this unlined faced jacket.  I just couldn’t stand the thought of seeing a lot of bare seams meandering about inside my clothes.  I just could not have that, it just isn’t pretty right?

So, if you want to continue keeping up with my shenanigans and wardrobe building, while learning something along the way, just stay tuned and subscribe to my YouTube Channel.  I have plenty more fun, basics to fight about, fitting lessons to teach, and sewing tips and techniques to share.  Because that is what I do….I love to teach you what I learn along the way.  

As for helping you know exactly “what” looks good on your body, check-in with Roz each week, because “that is” what she does, a fantastic well educated textiles professional who is well trained in the art of wardrobe building.  Together, we are a powerful force. Now, all I need to do is find a dependable carpenter to get my sewing studio in order, and I’ll be able to sew more wardrobe staples faster.

Construstions Details:

I did a preliminary tissue fitting of the pattern to determine any major adjustment that may have been needed.  Usually, that is what I do to determine if I need to make a muslin.  I try not to always go right into an muslin fitting, because there are so many major adjustments that can be revealed by just holding the pattern up to your body or pinning it in place to check for issues.  In this case I checked the position of the tucks and whether I needed to lengthen the waist, etc.

Pattern Alterations:
This is Vogue 9037.  I cut a size 14. You can take a look at the video here for a thorough explanation of the changes I made and why. In this video I did not mention that I removed 2 inches from the bottom length of the front towards the end of construction.  I just did not like that sloppy, floppy look for my taste.  (1″FBA, Shifted the tucks for balance, sway back adj., and took out a little on the back neck, and did a wedge tuck in the lapel.)

Fabric: Linen/Cotton blend I purchased from Sew Much Fabric…this one is sold out, but her is the link for the black. http://stores.smfabric.com/linen-blend-denim-black/

Have you been following along with my Wardrobe Fit-Along for the last few months?  I would like to know if what I have been venturing on for all to see has been helping you or anyone you know.

Well hello my fellow sewcialist. Today is the tale of gold dusted satin and dusty suede. Literally!! For this Reversible Bomber Jacket, I used a fabric that put off gold dust while cutting and sewing, and the suede is dusty, so to be more specific, dusty looking.  More on that in a minute….

It all started long before it actually got cold enough in Houston to need a jacket. I fell hard for a certain jacket. Of course, any fashion conscious person can attest to the need to acquire a garment we see on Pinterest or others wearing.  Especially, as seamstresses, we deal with this covetousness on a daily basis. This was not the case for me, at least not this time.

This pattern reminded me of a certain jacket my mom had given me when I was in my early teen years.  Except it was not reversible.  Not being one for designer or purchased clothing, I was elated to receive that BRIGHT LIME GREEN shiny satin bomber jacket, monogrammed with her local union details.

Google image.

I remember my brother was not so excited about such a “dorky” non-cool article of clothing. What would the friends think if he wore that to school. On the other hand I did not care, quite frankly, I have never “really” cared what people thought of my clothes.  “I could sew, they couldn’t…I controlled my wardrobe, right?”

Being that I was my own designer, I felt I was somewhat the best dressed among any of my peers anyway.  Thus, I set out to make Newlook 6226 with one thing in mind, recreate the memory I had when I was young, although, an updated version, more adult or somewhat stylish and this time REVERSIBLE.

Newlook 6226 pattern, jacket, brown gold bomber jacket

True to my sewing nature I had to wait for a fabric to reach out to me and tell me what it wanted to become. (Que musical interlude….) I guess there wasn’t anything singing from my stash. Because, while on a visit to Hancock to pickup notions for another project, a bolt of stretch satin/ suede cloth fell to the floor right before me as I was walking the isles. “I promise I did not touch it, that bolt just jumped out at me.”  I tried to walk away, still I heard it singing…make the bomber!!!

Newlook 6226

So, there you have, another match made in “sewing heaven” for me as well as another great testament to my Mom for instilling in me a desire to do my own thing…“and also, to listen to the fabric!!”

Pattern Details and Notes:
The pattern is Newlook 6226.  And, if I hadn’t made it clear already, the fabric is from Hancock, sometimes referred to as a STRETCH Moleskin Suede backed with satin.  Basically, it’s a micro-polyester that has been made to look like suede on one side and satin on the other.  The dusty “suede” is a thin micro-fiber as well.   I washed both in the front loader and dried them on low.
Construction Notes…the gory details:
My attempts started as a simple desire to make it using the easiest, fastest techniques possible in order to finish quickly and get back to my regular sewing.

But, low and behold, I had to reinvent the wheel….And know this, I do talk to myself when I’m sewing.  So call the doctors, because, anyone standing outside my door will swear to high heaven that someone is in there with me.  The conversation went a little like this:

Irene says: “Andrea, why don’t you make it reversible, that shouldn’t be too hard, right!”  To which I responded…

“Oh, I don’t suppose so, seems easy enough, the pattern only has your basic front, back, sleeves, and the bands for the waist and arms.  Not counting the yoke.”

Irene says: “Well, you gotta remember to get a reversible zipper also.  Do you have one?”

Me… “Ahh, I should  have one, I’ll check later.  Let’s get this bugger cut out and on the machine.”  

Irene:  “Oooh, I’m so excited!” 

Me…”I don’t think I need to do much fitting, besides its a bomber jacket, and should have plenty room for ease.  But, just in case, I’ll do a 1/2 FBA and add some length for good measure.”

Irene:  “Yeah, that should do, lets get it cut out, I can’t wait to see it finished, the fabric is so pretty.”  (rubbing her hands together.)

 The conversation went own in that order the rest of the project.  And after some time later and after many alterations….

  • Lengthen the bodice 1 inch, still seems too short
  • sleeves too short, “add extra 2 inches to the cuff”
  • WHAT???!! now, the zipper isn’t long enough..
  • go back to the store for a new zipper, no color that I need in the new length, which was 18, now  its 20
  • not enough elastic, back to the store…(why didn’t I plan better!!!)  “sigh” 
  • months later and many alterations later, and many visits to every store in Houston!!!


I would be wrong to expect you to read this entire blog post without giving you a least a few closeups…besides, isn’t that what you are here for?  Well, I know you enjoy my tall tales of not planning my projects and the lessons un-learned as a result.  Feast your eyes.

Do I need to say this is the inside back, or is it the outside back.  You decide.  All parts, including the lower band and cuffs were underlined with fusible interfacing.

Another inside/outside view of the sleeve, which was all hand stitched using a “fell stitch.”  I used silk thread for all the hand stitching.  The front bands were first fused in place using steam-a-seam, then topstitched.  The collar called for top-stitching, but I’m not sure if I will do that later.  Just trying to see how I like it the way it is right now.

This is a really awesome jacket.  I have worn if finally, since we got a little cold temps the last couple weeks….a freezing 45 degrees was the lowest and the highs have been running 75/77f.  So, a thin jacket like this is perfect.  Although, it does run horribly short from the pattern.  

I just don’t know, for me, the length is great because the band sits right on the hip.  For you, you may want to lengthen 2-3 inches.  I’m happy with the fit and function.  OH!! except the side pockets, if I were you I would just do welt pockets on the front instead.

Until next time…thanks for reading.