Wardrobe Staple: Knit Tops

I have been working on different wardrobe pieces recently (mostly will a Fall/Winter theme). I realized I needed to, and wanted to, improve my look and style but without changing who I am or what I like to wear. Since I’m at home during the day, I don’t need fancy clothes or the typical work wardrobe. But, I also realized that my usual outfit of jeans and T-shirts (or shorts and T-shirts during the summer) needed some serious updating. So, I decided to sew myself a few pieces to begin. In this blog post I’ll discuss the  two patterns I used for these tops: 1) Vogue 9205 and 2) Patterns for Pirates Women’s Henley PDF.


I have a substantial fabric stash that includes a lot of knits, so I was happy to give these patterns a try. The Vogue pattern is basically a classic that includes darts at the neckline and topstitching.






One of the things that I really like about this shirt is the length. It can be tucked in (although made to worn out) but it provides good coverage.



As you can see, there are sleeve options with this shirt which is great as I’m trying to prepare some items for Fall weather.

The henley top (it’s a PDF from Patterns for Pirates) I didn’t have but purchased when I saw it. I’ve been looking for a henley-style T-shirt pattern for a while and never found anything that was even close. I came across this pattern (thank you Google) when I threw out some I had for years that were worn so often the edges were all worn out.

Patterns for Pirates Henley - gray



Patterns for Pirates Henley

The gray was made with a light-weight cotton knit while the others are all ponte knits. I added snaps on the gray shirt but kind of wish I hadn’t. I love the snaps, but I forgot how time-consuming it can be to add snaps when you haven’t done them in a long time. It took me almost as long to get then on as it did for me to actually make the shirt. The placement could have been better also, but so it goes. The blue top has buttons!

This pattern is terrific though. It has sleeve and hem variations as well as a hood and banded waist. This is definitely one that I’ll be making more of.

That’s all for now. I would recommend both of these patterns to anyone out there. They are both terrific!


DONE! Simplicity 2860 Pants

Well I finally finished and I’m very happy with the results. This really is an easy pattern to make. It’s an “Amazing Fit” pattern with pattern pieces for slim, average, or curvy fit. I made these with the average  pieces and made no adjustments. 

I used a light weight polyester suiting material. The only downside is that the pants aren’t quite hefty enough to make it into the winter, so I’ll be making another pair. But the great thing about this pattern is that it can be used for all seasons depending on your fabric choices. 

The contour waistband is great and I would LOVE to find a skirt pattern with the same type of fit. As you can see, there are belt loops which I’m sure you could leave off if you wanted. I paired this with the Jalie T-shirt I made a while back.

I hope to get my next project up and running sooner than later.

Until then…

I’m still at it…

I lost my “sew-jo” for a while, but now I’m back. I’m still working on the pants I started a couple of weeks ago (Simplicity 2860). There’s nothing wrong with the pattern and it’s not difficult, I just suffered from a lack of motivation, although I really want them done. 

I could really use a pair of non-jean pants! I did make a muslin of these and that fit perfectly. I hope that these will fit as well. I say that because I did have to cut the zipper shorter than I had expected.

I’m almost at the stage where I can try these on (later today). My only disappointment (if you want to call it that) is that the material is not as thick as I thought. It’s fine for this time of year, but, I will have to make a pair of pants from some heavier, suit-weight material for the cold weather. But this charcoal gray is one of my favorite colors for something like this in the Fall.

In the meantime, it’s back to the sewing room for me.

Happy sewing everyone!

It’s A Gray Day…Another McCall’s 6803 Sweater

Before I put this pattern away, I decided to make another one. This time, I used a quilted cotton knit fabric. I made View A which is the same style as the previous one I made here, but the new version is all one color. I used the same fabric for the trim rather than contrasting colors. 

This sweater is so warm and cozy! I got the material at JoAnn’s and decided that this would be the perfect pattern to try it out on. 

My biggest problem was finding buttons that were the right size and color. That seems to be a recurring problem. I’ve also read other bloggers mention something similar. Anyway, the heather gray fabric is one of my favorites for Fall.

So, until next time…

Happy sewing!

Fall sewing McCall’s 6803 sweater & McCall’s 6474 nightgown

I finished these two items last week. 

First, the sweater (M6803). This is SO easy to make. and, for me, it’s the perfect style of sweater – V-neck cardigan with buttons and pockets. I made mine from a cotton knit. I’ve had the striped material for at least a year. The black band was from material I had saved from a previous project. 

This is a “unisex” pattern, so I made the medium. I love that this can be made from a regular cotton interlock knit (what I used), or it can be made from sweatshirt fleece or sweater knit! That gives you plenty of options to make it as thick and warm as you like, or you can keep it lighter and use it as a layering piece.

There as also welt pockets, in-seam pockets or the patch pockets that I used. This is definitely something that I can see myself making again!

Now the nightgown. I had enough fabric left over from the sweater that I made this short-sleeve nightgown too. It’s M6474. The pattern has a long or short sleeve or sleeveless gown or top. It also has a tunic top or shorter top with long pj pants or capri pants. 

This is also easy and quick to make. It took less than an hour to put together. 
So, that’s all for now. I’ve got to get more fall sewing done!

Pattern Review Sewing Bee – Round 1 Entry

So I decided to enter the PR sewing bee this year – YIKES! I think (hope) it might be fun and we’ll see how far I get. 

The first round required us to make a blouse using woven material, set-in sleeves, some type of closure, etc. So I made Vogue 8772. It’s a blouse with a tie neck/collar.

I made View B. I figured this would be perfect for Fall (and it’s very on-trend right now). I used a silky polyester fabric that is very soft and smooth.

This type of paisley print is one of my favorites. I used brown buttons with red buttonholes because I really like the contrast.

I also like the shirt-tail hem of the blouse. This is something I can see making again. Anyway, I’ll see how far I get in the competition. In any case, I have a great blouse that I never would have made this fast if not for the sewing bee!

Closet clean out & Fall sewing plan

The other day I decided to clean out my closet in order to reorganize and make room for new stuff. When you sew as much as I do, and I’m sure many of you have experienced this as well, you can easily run out of room to store the new things you’ve made. So I decided it was time to purge.

I ended up with about three bags of clothing and purses to donate and only a few things to trash. I also found a few things that need fixing in some way (hemming, etc.). 

I thought this would be a good way to get me to start thinking about sewing for the next season. It’s a little difficult since temps are still in the 90’s and summer is in full effect here. But I thought I’d at least try a sewing plan. The clean up did help me to see what I’m lacking and what I would like to have. 

The next step will be to write out what I’d like to make and maybe add some pattern options for those garments. I should also add color options as well. Then, when I really sit down to sew for Fall, I can forget about everything I had planned and buy new patterns like I always do – Ha Ha! 

That’s all for now. 

Another skirt…

Initially I wasn’t going to blog about this skirt, but then I thought, “why not?” So here it is. It is one of my favorite patterns – McCall’s 3341. This is a very easy pattern for an A-line skirt which is flattering on just about anyone. This can be made in a few hours (yes it really is that easy). Honestly, it took me a few days because I got distracted – LOL!

This is made from a wine-colored corduroy. I didn’t make any changes to the pattern (which can be made in 5 lengths, by the way) but I did use an invisible zipper since that’s what I had and the color matched perfectly. There was a time, not too long ago, when I dreaded using invisible zippers because they were so difficult for me to get right. Now, I can hardly remember how to insert a regular zipper (I actually had to look it up). Practice makes progress as some people like to say.

The blouse in the picture is another McCall’s pattern – 2094. It may be OOP, but it’s a great basic blouse pattern with different sleeve lengths.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Happy sewing everyone!

Vogue 1364 Jacket

This is one of my latest completed projects. This is a Sandra Betzina Today’s Fit jacket pattern. I really LOVE this jacket! This material is a wool/poly blend (50%/50%), so it is dry clean only. Because I always like to prepare my fabric first and this isn’t washable, I used the damp towel with the fabric in the dryer method. I’ve done this before with wool and it worked out well. As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew I had the perfect fabric to use for it.

As you can see in the picture, I did add the optional pockets. Since the jacket is unlined, I serged the edges and seams to give everything a nice finish.

While I really didn’t make any major changes to the pattern, there were a few changes. I cut off about 3″ from the front length and tapered that to the side seams (this is actually explained in the instructions). I knew that I was going to do this because some of the finished jackets I saw online seemed a bit long.

For the back of the jacket, I didn’t add the cording (didn’t have any), but in the end it didn’t seem to matter since it looks like it’s there. I love the V of the back panel too.

And for the fringe trim, I actually used the selvage edge of the fabric since it was basically fringed already. I cut it the width needed, and attached it as stated in the instructions.

This is a very nice, easy pattern to make. I might do this again sometime in a solid.

Jenny T (again) with a twist…

I made another of my favorite T-shirt patterns, but this time it’s a little different. First of all, this is the first time I made the long-sleeve version. I made a number of the short-sleeve tees a while back here. But with Fall and cooler weather on the way, I wanted to try the long sleeve. If you’re not familiar, this Jenny T, by In House Patterns, is a PDF pattern so you get both the long and short sleeve versions.

For this particular one, I took the front pattern and split it. Then added seam allowance to the newly created seams. I had rounded the neck on this one also (the pattern is actually a V neck shirt). I used contrasting fabric for the center and created a new neckband.

I kept the back and sides solid. I’m fairly happy with the result, although the neckband is a bit wonky. I think I need to make the band shorter so that it fits tighter. But I just wanted to try this and see how it would look.

Overall, I think my experiment was a success and I will definitely wear it. Next time I will cut the sleeves a bit wider from the elbow down. It’s very fitted and I think I would like a little bit more room (maybe just an inch).

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’m almost done with my next project so I hope to show that to you next week.

Thanks for reading!