Another Ina


This is weekend I made my second Ina, this time with a fabric I bought for a dress for my daughter when she was in preschool–now she’s in middle school and wouldn’t wear the color pink or a dress so It became a maxi skirt for me.  I think I may like this version better than the black and white stripe.

This fabric stretched a bit more in length than the black and white stripe so I ended up giving it a small hem.

The waistband is cut so the stripes run opposite to the front and back pieces:


Once again I added clear elastic to the seam allowances at the top of the waistband, stretching it as I sewed it in with a zig zag stitch.  It really keeps my waistband secure.  Yoga waistbands usually sag on me but no sagging with the clear elastic!

Some of the colors of the skirt are not very autumnal, but if I wear it with wines and browns I think it will work.  As you can see by the flip flops in the photo, it is still very much summer where I live.


Lovely Ina Maxi

If you frequent PatternReview you probably know about the Pattern Review Ina Maxi Skirt pattern.

There is a very long thread about it in the  Pattern Review forums.  I bought the PDF version the day it was released, but just got around to sewing it last night.  It took about 2 hours to sew, so a true instant gratification project.  Here is the result:


I left the skirt up hemmed.  If it grows or I decide I don’t like it I may hem it, but I like the way it looks now.

I cut the waistband on the lengthwise grain as you can see here:


The the only changes I made to the pattern were to shorten it by about 4 1/2 inches and to add clear elastic, stretched a bit)  to the seam allowance at the top of the waistband for security.   Oh, and I cut the godets I also used my usual 1″ just in case seam allowances in the side seams.

I love this skirt and would love to make more versions–maybe color blocked or with a vertical stripe.  I could have used this fabric with the stripes vertically as it had both horizontal and vertical stretch.  But I did cut the godets as if the  stripes were vertical.  To get the stripe effect in the godets be mindful that your stripes are in the same direction as the pattern indicates. Since I shortened the pattern, I was able to cut this skirt (size XL) from 2 yards of fabric.

Style Arc Ann T-top

When Style Arc had a promotion with Gorgeous Fabrics to join their mailing list and get a free PDF of the Ann T-top, I signed right up.  I had been wanting to try out Style Arc patterns, but I was a little nervous about ordering as the patterns come in one size, and I wasn’t sure what size to order.  With the promotion Style Arc sent 3 sizes and I ended up selecting the smallest size to fit my shoulder and upper bust.  After a false start (I found out that my computer scaled up the pattern piece pages but not the test square page which made me at first thing the patterns had more ease than I would like:  but luckily I realized my mistake before I cut my fabric and was able to go back and set my computer to 100% scaling and reprint (and realtor the pattern).  This is my test garment, which is quite wearable:


On my dressform it looks more drapey than gathered.  Part of the issue is that the top is altered to my measurements, not my dressform’s and the other part of the issue my fabric is very soft and drapey,   I still really like the top. Next time I make it I will use slightly shorter pieces of clear elastic to gather the front sides.  My elastic must have a different stretch and recovery than what the pattern was tested with.

here’s a short tutorial on how to add the elastic:  I marked the length on the clear elastic with a pen, but cut my pieces slightly longer to make them easier to work with:image

Then I tacked each end (at the marking) to my seam allowance.  Note that my seam allowances are much bigger than the 1/4 inch seam allowances in the original pattern.  I typically use 1″ seam allowances to the side seams “just in case”.


In the picture in the right, note that my elastic is twisted.  I had to unpick my stitching and redo it–ugh!  Then I sewed the elastic and fabric together, stretching the elastic as I sewed, which gathers the fabric.


I am happy with this top and will make more.  Best of all, I now know what size I am in Style Arc tops and dresses


Vintage Marian Martin 9765

Here it is


My version of Marian Martin 9765


Ok, my pocket and belt are mirrored from the pattern photo and the model and I have opposite body types….   but I am happy with my dress.

the back of the dress


Pocket detail:  I noted that the pattern photo has the same pocket droop.




This is was a challenging project.  The original pattern was unprinted so I traced it and the markings (easy to trace as they are just holes in the pattern).  I made photocopies of the directions so I would not accidentally damage the original pattern.   The original was for a 36 bust and I am a 38, so I graded up the pattern using directions I found in an old issue of Threads on my Threads collection on cd.  There were actually two articles on grading on the disk, but I liked this method because it didn’t uniformly increase everything by 2″:  some areas were increased by less than 2″,  such as the upper chest.  I chose not to add the increased length when grading the skirt of the dress, as my legs are short.  My graded up pattern looked like this:


It was a little tricky to grade up as the sleeves were attached to the bodice yokes and the whole process was very time consuming.  I had to add more to the waist and hips at the side seams and I added to the side seams to make them 1″.  The rest of the pattern has the original 1/2″ seam allowances.  I made a square shoulder alteration, but did not do a narrow shoulder alteration as tissue fitting the yoke did not indicate I needed one.  I made a quick muslin out of an old sheet and the fit was fine.  I did adjust the front sleeves slightly to make them a little easier to attach to the armscye.  The armscye needs to be eased into the sleeve and it was very difficult to do as the sleeve was so much shorter.  I still had to ease the armholes in my real dress, but not quite so much.  I added 1/2″ more to the length of the sleeves too.

I used a lightweight purple cotton shirting with a slight sheen to it.  I love the color and the feel of the fabric, but it does wrinkle easily.  The sleeves are faced, the neckline has a bias fasting, and I used seam binding on the hem, then hand stitched all of them, using mostly a blind stitch or a slip stitch.

I am happy with the finished result and it will be my entry in Pattern Review’s Vintage Pattern contest.

A Tale of Two Dresses

I made 2 dresses this weekend:  one I call my Brady Bunch dress (modified Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress)


The other is from the 4/2009 issue of Burda Style view 136


Even on the dress forms you can tell one dress works and the other doesn’t.  Let’s look at them on me:


The Coco is the winner!   Much better fit and flattering.  And apparently it has been discovered that horizontal stripes can be slimming.  Looking at the photo, they certainly don’t make me look wider.

The Burda Style dress is just plain too big.  The neckline is too big the waist is too big, there’s too much volume.  I may attempt to take in the neckline.  The magazine photo didn’t show such a large neckline, but I am much shorter than a model, with narrower shoulders.  I should have just adjusted the neckline.

i am really happy with the Coco and made a tie belt to go with it.


I scooped out the neckline and added the neck and sleeve bands.

Me-Made May Roundup week 2

Here’s this week’s me-made round up.  I don’t have pictures of everything .

May 5


This top from Ottobre Woman with a black rayon paneled skirt (Kwik Sew)


May 6


This exercise skirt

May 7

Onion jacket made from french terry.  I could not find a photo.


May 8

Sewing Workshop’s urban pants paired with a top from an old issue of Burda magazine in the morningimage


but for work I changed into a funnel neck top from a vintage Stretch & Sew pattern.

May 9

Vintage Stretch & Sew wrap around knit skirt.  The only photo I have of it is from a long time ago


My kids are so much older now!



May 10


Kwik Sew Yoga skirt and the top is a Simplicity pattern I no longer have so I don’t know the number

May 11

Black linen skirt, Burda envelope pattern 7947 which I think is out of print.  The linen skirt is the flared version of the pattern.


May 12

Navy blue Kwik Sew Yoga pants so far, but will wear my “Brady Bunch” dress later.  I just finished it last night so no pics yet.

My current project


This is what I am currently working on:  a Marian Martin pattern from the 1930’s.  It’s an unprinted pattern and what’s really unusual about it is that it has a photo on it rather than the usual line drawing.  I couldn’t find any other MM patterns online with a photo.  I had to grade it up a size to start with (I traced the original of course) and now I am going to do a couple fit alterations and then test with a muslin.  My version will be a solid color, maybe two colors (contrast belt and yoke and maybe pocket) and the plan is to finish it in time to wear to my youngest’s “movin’ on” ceremony at the end of May.  The pocket is for the tissues I will need:  no, better make that a handkerchief  as that would fit the era!