Fleecing moment – McCall 5714

With the impending NSW Industry Day, my memories of past meetings are full of freezing moments at the Simplicity warehouse. We are really fortunate that Simplicity allows ASG members to meet on their premises one day a year and our meetings have been on wintery Saturdays. So, with Mum’s warm experience with her polar fleece jacket and a 25 per cent discount at the local Spotlight store, I took a plunge and decided to make this fleece layer for the day.

The aim was to have a warm casual layer that wouldn’t show any marks that might happen while at the warehouse. We have an exciting day at Simplicity because of the fabric and pattern discounts offered they offer ASG members.

The front bodice has a self facing and this piece is interfaced. The under collar and front self faced ‘skirt’ band are interfaced. I follow these directions so the pieces would maintain their shape for longer. The rest of the jacket is unlined although I was in two minds about lining polar fleece, but it’s really thick and my poor Janome needs my assistance when sewing through more than two layers of polar fleece.
While testing the jacket, I realised the 3/4 sleeve length wasn’t going to keep me warm so I did a frill test sleeve. Now that the sleeve is done, I’ve ironed in flat because I don’t have the height to make this sleeve billow out so far.


I’ve never thought using gatherings on polar fleece, but there you have it. Just joking around, I felt that this jacket was a bit robin hood or pirate-like.
As for Industry day, we were in the presence of a great seamstress Renee Wedell. She worked on dresses for Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy during her career in many French couture houses in the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s. The black dress below is a couture original. The dresses  below were made by her for her family. Her sewing career spanned for more than 50 years as workroom manager through to tutor in her later years.

Yes, you are looking at the inside of the Simplicity factory, as you can see.

Fierce scissors

Taking a pair of scissors to a RTW garment is not something I used to do, but am really happy to do now. I’m taken in by the more affordable garments and when I don’t have the time to fit everything into my ‘sew from scratch’ ideas.
Zipper dress:I loved this style and it turns out that it’s made from either a double knit or a ponte. I love the zippers and the dress was $25 to buy from Chico’s. The skirt flared out more than I wanted so I took out 5cm from the hem width. Then the back waist was big, so I added another back dart to skim the dress in a touch. So now there are two back darts on the back waist. Lastly, I took up the hem.


Below is this dress with a cardi I made earlier. I try not to wear all black in the office because there’s enough activity at the office so I try to stay colourful with my clothes. Otherwise, work just gets too serious. Outside of work, I think I’ll go for the rock-chick look and wear this with a suede leather jacket and ditch the neat office accessories. 

Criss cross – Jalie 2787

I’ve really enjoyed seeing many of you make great clothes with Jalie patterns and this is my first Jalie attempt. I loved the crisscross tops that Quilt Sew Sew Sue and Kbenco made.

This crisscross pattern construction threw me when I initially sewed the side seams together. The cross front sections were loose at the waist so I unpicked and tapered these back onto the back section. The other aspect was the front waist piece was also loose so again, I adjusted the width and sewed the front waist piece to the underneath crisscross piece. Because it’s winter, I kept feeling a breeze.
This fabric was ear-marked for the wrap dress and I still have plenty to do a dress later.
What I loved about this pattern was the crisscross design so I’ve used white FOE to keep the design aspect prominent. I’ve also used FOE on the bell sleeve hem.  I’ll keep the sleeve shape as is for this fabric. If I use this with a wool knit, I might rethink the sleeve shape – slim it to the wrist.

Pants – Vogue 8503

There was plenty beige fabric to make pants and a skirt, so I’ve chosen a simple flat-fronted pant with back zipper. This pattern has had a few reviews on PR but mainly for the top and not for the pants. I bought this pattern because of the top, but have yet to make it up.


Below is the leg width adjustment and hem adjustment. I’ve taken out 5 cm (2 inches) from the width at the bottom of the pants. The hem has also been adjusted for flat shoes. The pattern envelope indicated I’m a 14, but the pattern (with ease) indicated a size 10, so that’s what I made up.
I still had to do a sway back adjustment. I’ve since added a hook and eye to the top of the zipper so it won’t show. This is a normal zipper, not an invisible zip.
Below is the basic sway back adjustment. I also lowered 2.5 cm off the centre front waistline.

The waistline has a facing so this was a ‘no-tears’ pants pattern. The other factor that helped was the loose weave and softness of the fabric.
If I make these pants again, I’ll add in the tapered width to see if the drag lines at the bottom disappear. As a set this is jacket and pants look a bit dull so I’ll have to wear a bright top in future.

UFO jacket – Vogue 8480

November last year was when I began this jacket. The fabric is a piece that I picked up at a curtain/furnishing place at Homebush – and this store has since closed down. I bought the pattern in 2008 and had planned to make it then…anyway.

The pattern is unlined so I decided to line the jacket. That’s just what I prefer in a jacket when the fabric weave is fairly open, as this one is.
The fit at the back was adjusted at our sewing workshop but since then it’s remained in the UFO basket. The jacket is one that works in the office and I can wear it as a weekend jacket.
Most of the pocket details and back vent were simple enough to do. I was a bit challenged when it came to completing the jacket hem. I attempted the hem twice because the lining pulled the fashion fabric. The second attempt was successful.
I have one more UFO to complete, but I’ll attempt pants next.

Blouse #2 – Vogue 8118

When I made the check skirt, I had bought a few pieces of fabric from the Burwood fabric store – when it was closing down. The idea was to have a blouse that went with the skirt.

Today’s weather continues to be grey and cold so I stayed in and completed this blouse. The main differences to previous versions is I’ve attached the tie along most of the neckline. I’ve also ditched the facing and used bias tape to overcome the puckers that used to result with the facing piece.

I still need to work on the pink silk blouse and a beige jacket in my UFO stash.

Mum’s jacket – burda 7749 view A

Since winter began creeping into Sydney, I began working on a coat for Mum to wear to church in the winter. This week winter really hit so tonight, I’ve completed her coat and she loves it.


I’ve used polar fleece but it’s the thickest and softest quality that I could find – from the Fabric Remnant Warehouse. Lincraft and Spotlight have polar fleece but nothing as good as the Fabric Remnant Warehouse.
This is my first go at making a garment in polar fleece. This is the first time that I’ve made up this coat too.
The coat is fully lined with Sunsilky and the collar and centre front is interfaced with texture weft. I’ve used raglan sleeve shoulder pads and two large snaps at the front. Mum’s hands are not as nimble as they used to be so she should be able to close the jacket, with a bit of assistance.
The other feature that she loves is pockets to keep her hands warm.   
I’ve really enjoyed working with polar fleece. The fabric behaved and stayed in place so I used very few pins during construction. This pattern took a while to cut out but I needed to make sure each piece was made to Mum’s measurements. She’s not picky but she doesn’t edit what she thinks, so I did take longer than normal to plan each piece.
The sleeves are very wide, so I’ve tapered the sleeves in from the wrist to the elbow. The coat still needs to be wide enough for Mum to wear this over her clothes. The main adjustments were shortening the coat and sleeve lengths. The rest was the pattern was the same.
This pattern has separate front and back pieces for the lining. I almost missed this when I was cutting out the coat. I did follow the instructions at the beginning but they weren’t hard to follow. The diagrams were easy to follow.
This was a fun coat to sew. I did some preliminary sewing last night after work for a couple of hours. I did the rest of the coat this evening while DH watched rugby and made dinner.

Here’s another Burda coat to try.