Cropped Evergreen Jacket

I had been wearing my first Evergreen jacket a bit this fall and loving it, but also wishing I had another one… with possibly a lot less stripes, so when this sage sweatshirt fleece from Harts came into my life, I knew it was going to be great at filling that void.

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Now, I’m not sure I would call the color of this sweatshirt fleece “sage” myself. It’s more on the army green spectrum to me. But it’s a lovely color and it’s got a soft knit face and fluffy brushed goodness inside. It’s neither too drapey nor too stiff. Basically it’s pretty damn good stuff.

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Since I had made an Evergreen jacket before, I did have some changes I wanted to make to this version. Mostly, I knew I wanted a more fitted little jacket. (More on that later.) And I took my time adding some details; some seams have an extra row of top stitching and I decided to quilt the yokes for some tonal texture. And, if you know me, you know I love texture.

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I typically use a stitch length of 2.8 for my top stitching and I used a stitching length of 3.0 for the quilted lines. I can’t remember the last time I used a walking foot on knits. I find those clunky things too… well…. clunky.

I pulled these adorable cuties from my stash to use for the pocket bags on the zippered pockets.

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The zippers were sourced from Wawak. Evergreen calls for a separating jacket zipper and 2 regular zippers for the pockets. I went with the antique brass finish and army green zipper tape. I’d say they are a good match and look cohesive.

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Zippers can be intimidating, but since I learned how to shorten metal zippers last year by simply pulling extra teeth from the top, I’m not scared anymore. Bring on the fancy zippered projects!

The major departure I took from the pattern as written was to opt for a cropped look. I just skipped all the hem band pieces and installed the bottom of the main zipper 3/8” from the bottom of the front pieces. The seam allowance at the bottom left me room to finish the bottom of the jacket with a hem facing I planned to draft.

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Now, once I got the main jacket assembled I shared my progress on IG. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to finish the sleeves as far as the style or length.

The popular opinion was to add elongated sleeve cuffs. But I was itching to crop the sleeves. When Adrianna, the pattern designer, weighed in, the fate of the sleeves was sealed. I was going cropped.

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So I determined where I wanted the finished sleeves to fall (mid forearm; is that 3/4 length?) and ended up shortening the sleeve from the hem by 2”.

Then I set to making simple button cuffs. My drafted cuff pattern follows- 2” wide by measured sleeve circumference + (seam allowance x 2). (Roughly 2” x 10.5”.) Cut 4 of fabric. Cut 4 of interfacing.

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I lazily chose 2” for the cuff height because I love to use this 2” wide tricot on a roll for interfacing whenever I can.

I opened the seam between the front and back sleeve parts about 2 inches and bound the little placket area with a coordinating woven (coincidentally it was scraps from other Hey June this project). Popped on my simple cuffs and added the buttons and holes.

Gratuitous pic of my button cuff-related gear, so I can say, “these are few of my favorite tooools…”

yes. it’s a kid-sized hammer from Lowe’s

yes. it’s a kid-sized hammer from Lowe’s

In lieu of a facing I opted to simply serge and hem the bottom of the jacket.

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So here’s something fun that happened. I realized just after finishing both cuffs that I had only shortened 1 sleeve. Yup. One sleeve was 2” longer than the other. The left one, if you must know.

Honestly, it wasn’t terribly noticeable unless you measured the sleeves. I tend to push them up a tad anyhow. And again with the honesty, I seriously considered leaving the jacket as is until it bothered me.

At some point the next day, after a stewing in my mistake overnight, I realized I wouldn’t have to completely redo the whole cuff. I could simply undo the stitching at the sleeve edge, shorten the sleeve, and reattach the cuff with top stitching. The buttonhole and button would be spared. Well yes, you’re right. I’d have to redo the little placket again too.

And so I did all that and used my zipper foot to get around the cherished button I had grown so fond of.

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And that’s the story.

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I love to wear this jacket over sleeveless tops and I know it’s going to be perfect for spring layering.

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Cowl neck top pattern, testing sample- Taos Top by  Thread Bear

Cowl neck top pattern, testing sample- Taos Top by Thread Bear

My quilting worked out really nicely on one side. The other side is lovely too, just not its own photo on the blog lovely.

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I love seeing them side by side. So similar and yet so different!

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Both jackets are the same size. I find that because the striped fabric (ponte) has more stretch, it often feels much more relaxed, like a stylish sweatshirt more than a trendy jacket.

Sew Fancy Pants Spotlight: La Mercerie

The next fabric shop in the spotlight is La Mercerie. You’re likely here because you follow the lovely and talented Jess on Instagram and you’re taking part in the #sewfancypants event with us this month. If you need to get up to speed, read Nicole’s post here. There’s still plenty of prizes to be given away and ample time to sew your own FANCY PANTS!

Let’s get to the goods!

Jess sent over samples of her very popular micro wale stretch corduroy which she was just able to restock this week.

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I’ll be able to show you olive, cinnamon, ochre, and bordeaux.

The stretch cord color options also include navy, black, and light slate and a slightly heavier 21 wale corduroy in charcoal.

Jess also sent samples of the chino twill so we’ll swoon over those. I’m IN LOVE with the “Nautical Red” color. It’s a lovely faded red/dusty mauve hue.

The non-stretch chino twill also comes in wine, creme, charcoal, black, lilac and slate.

I pulled the stretch stretch chino twill I purchased in November from my stash to share. I have 2 yards of the cardinal colorway that I have FANCY PANTS plans for (more here).

Black, charcoal, army green, navy, and hunter green are also available.

And last but not least, there’s non-stretch, 11 oz Cone Mills in the shop!

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I hope you’ll join us for the live swatch review and sewing chat session on IG, LIVE! There will be a coupon code revealed during the video good for a percentage off all La Mercerie purchases made during live broadcast!

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Narcisse Pants

I was gifted a copy of the the Deer and Doe Narcisse Pants pattern from the designers as part of Sew Fancy Pants month. As I mentioned also in my inspirations post, I had never really noticed all the great style lines and features of Narcisse. They are high-waisted (aka totally on trend) with in-seam pockets in the front, accent side panels, and welt pockets in the back, designed to be sewn with woven fabrics (non-stretch).

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I was instantly excited to dive in and bought some lightweight striped denim from Raspberry Creek Fabrics specifically for these pants and pulled some hemp ticking (sourced from La Mercerie) from my stash for the side panels.

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The construction order and methods were a bit different from many of the pants I’ve assembled before so I took my time and followed the assembly instructions closely. I know some sewers want to stick with what works for them (I’m looking at you, G) and seldom switch up their sewing repertoire, but I enjoy the process as much as the product. So I welcome new sewing adventures! Truly.

One of my challenges in making these pants was that the overhead lights went out in my sewing space. We still haven’t figured out why and we’re waiting on an electrician to come to the rescue. My sewing machine and several other outlets had power so I’d been working under lamps. All to say I had a little trouble with one of my welt pockets and I’m gonna go ahead and put the blame on the poor lighting conditions.

My issue was that I didn’t quite have much of a “triangle” at one end to secure and ended up with a bit of a hole. Some of my attempts to fix it made the situation worse. I finally decided to do some darning that mimicked the stripes in the denim and call it good.

before (with interfacing)

before (with interfacing)

after

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I also had some fitting woes and nearly decided to give up on making these pants work. I think balancing the wide legs and stripes with my short-ish (5”5”) frame was where I was hung up. I tried slimming the legs a bit and then worked on the waist fit (perpetually an issue for me).

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Now, I haven’t sewn many non-stretch pants and I think I ended up over-fitting these a bit and maybe there’s a crotch or thigh fit issue I still need to explore (some photos show the fabric bulging in the front around the pelvis, and I’m constantly tugging the legs down). But they are wearable and I think they came out really cute!

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You might notice the new cardigan I whipped up to complete the outfit.

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The pattern is the Jenna cardi by Muse. I made the cropped length with short sleeves and a cuff which ends up being elbow length for me.

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I wish I had a layering tank in the right shade of navy blue for this outfit. I subbed in a long sleeve rtw bodysuit.

I used the same buttons on my cardi as my Narcisse pants.

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These pants even got the special treatment with a blind hem. #fancy

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I hope you’re joining us in sewing fancy pants this month. I’m having sew much fun, naturally! If you’re looking for the master list of sales, it’s here.

I’m open to recommendations for bodysuit or slim top patterns I can sew to wear with these. Let me know what you love. Adrienne? Nikko?

Sew Fancy Pants Spotlight: LA Finch Fabrics

LA Finch Fabrics has been enabling my fabric buying since 2015. Their shop used to be like a dirty little secret, but the news of their awesome sauce spread through the sewing community and I’m sure you’ve heard of them by now. (If not! Definitely join their FB group and follow them on IG.) Josie, Leslie, and the gang frequently run giveaways and sales.

I probably check LA Finch Fabrics’ site once a week to check for new stock. Since they are located in LA, as one might deduce from their name, they are often able to scoop up designer ends and deadstock. Those unique fabrics sell fast fast, often cannot be restocked, and are frequently listed in their End of Bolt section.

Now, since we’re sewing our fanciest pants this month, you’ll want to head straight to the bottomweights.

I think you’ll find (I checked last night) they have a good stock of Cone Mills denim, the Cadillac of denim. Of course, they also have ponte and other drapey wovens which you would want if you’re planning to sew various trouser or culotte styles.

If you haven’t already, head to Jen’s post today to enter to win a shop credit!

Sew Fancy Pants Fabric Shops

We have 6 great fabric shops sponsoring week 2 of the Sew Fancy Pants IG sewing party!

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What that means is that you can expect a giveaway from each of them!!!

So be sure you’re tuned in to all the host’s feeds-

That also means I’ve got A LOT of fabric options to share with you, so I’m going to have a post for each one, starting Monday. In the meantime, many of these fine shops have discounts and coupons to extend to you, which I’m sharing below so you can start shopping for your FANCY PANTS now.

Use code FANCYPANTS for 15% off bottom weight fabrics through January 31.


Tammy’s curated selection of bottom weights are all discounted 25% this month (no code needed).



15% off with code FANCYPANTS (EXTENDED!!) though January 18.



Through January 31, use code PANT19 for 10% off.


Additionally, several other shops are also running promotions!

Imagine Gnats- SEWPANTS15 for 15% off all bottomweights through January 31.

Maker Mountain Fabrics- 15% off with code ‘PANTS’ now through January 13.

Merritt Makes has their organic cotton twills discounted 10% for the whole month.

Raspberry Creek Fabrics has 20% off with code ‘FANCYPANTS20’ through January 31.

Sewing Studio is offering 15% off with code ‘fancy15’.

UpCraft Club has Women’s Pants patterns discounted!

I’m always happy to answer questions if you have any.

Happy Shopping, Friends!

Sew Fancy Pants

A couple weeks back, Nicole asked me if I wanted to join her and Katie in an IG sewing party for January. I was like, well, ummmm. Fork yes. I love sewcial sewing and party is my middle name. (I mean, it’s sew much, but yeah. You get the idea.) And I said, we need to get Jen in on it because she’s awesome and we “sew together.”

So here we are! Nicole, Katie, Jen and I are hosting a month-long sewing party for FANCY PANTS! It starts now (get planning!) and officially runs January 1-February 3, and includes some FANCY PANTS DANCING.

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See Nicole’s kick-off post for all the glorious details! I am really, really, really, REALLY jealous I can’t win all the amazing prizes we have lined up to give away from our incredibly generous sponsors.

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Alina Design Co. Anna Allen Clothing

Cashmerette Helen’s Closet

Itch to Stitch Named Clothing True Bias

And that’s just the list of sponsors for the first week!!

Now, I wanted to talk about my FANCY PANTS sewing plans a bit and offer some inspiration for you.

I saw this pair of Buttoned Utility Pants and was instantly inspired to recreate them.

The buttoned ankle detail is just too fab.

So a slim trouser with welt pockets in the back and a bitchin’ ankle detail in a lovely maroon twill is my goal. I don’t think I’ll do the slash pockets in the front and will do a typical jean front pocket.

After reading Allie’s review and comparison of Ash and Liana jeans in November, I knew I needed to get Itch to Stitch’s Liana pattern. I have the same general fitting issues it seems Allie has so I think Liana is going to be great for me too.

I purchased some stretch chino twill in cardinal from La Mercerie during Jess’s Black Friday sale for this project. It’s a lovely shade of muted red and the quality is great, of course!

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I was gifted the Narcisse pattern by Deer and Doe, one of our fabulous sponsors. Admittedly, I hadn’t really paid much attention to Narcisse before, but once I took a closer look, I was smitten.

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It’s easy to miss that there’s a side panel detail. But hello! SEW COOL. And the in-seam pocket! Bangin’.

Actually, come to think of it, Narcisse has a lot of the same details as my Antropologie pants! I smell a mashing opportunity!

At any rate, I got some cool striped denim from Raspberry Creek Fabrics that I was thinking would be a good match for the Narcisse pattern.

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I’m also considering denim with corduroy for the side panels.

Stretch Corduroy from  La Mercerie

Stretch Corduroy from La Mercerie

Here’s a few more fun, FANCY PANTS inspiration pics-

Pattern Suggestions-

Kendrick modified with a button fly or cropped Lander Pants

Fabric Suggestions-

Tencel Twill Solid Bottom Weight Mustard

Tencel Twill Solid Bottom Weight Mustard

Jetsetter Stretch Twill Mustard

Jetsetter Stretch Twill Mustard

Stretch Cotton Twill- Ochre

Stretch Cotton Twill- Ochre

I mean-

Pattern Suggestions-

Narcisse, Wide Leg Pants (free option!)

Fabric Suggestions-

Woven Houndstooth Black/White

Woven Houndstooth Black/White

Or maybe cozy is your game?

Pattern Suggestions-

Ninni Culottes, Winslow Culottes with elastic waist hack

Fabric Suggestions-

Stretch Velvet Solid Teal

Stretch Velvet Solid Teal

Stretch Velvet Eggplant

Stretch Velvet Eggplant

CRUSHED STRETCH VELVET

CRUSHED STRETCH VELVET

I hope that’s got your sewing gears turning and you’re thinking about what FANCY PANTS you’ll sew to join us! I’ll be back for Week 2 of the FANCY PANTS Sewing Party with a full post dedicated to fabric. WHO DOESN’T LOVE FABRIC?

Mini Fringe

How could I possibly pass up the opportunity to test the pint-sized Fringe? There’s just no way I could skip it (even during December, aka the most frenzied sewing month of the year)!

Chambray sourced from  LA Finch Fabrics

Chambray sourced from LA Finch Fabrics

The women’s #fringedresspattern was my first testing experience for Chalk + Notch. I came away from that test with a new pattern that I loved and also gained the utmost respect for Gabriela as a pattern designer, business woman, and caring human.

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The mini Fringe covers sizes 12m to 12 years and has all the same details you love about the original Fringe Dress.

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The sleeve tab! Gently gathered skirt. Perfectly contoured hem. It’s all there.

And it’s a twirly delight, even in blouse length!

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You might notice this View A testing sample (size 18m) I sewed for my itty bitty 2 year old is a tad wide in the shoulders/ neckline. The thing is Gabriela noticed that right off the bat was was sure to perfect to fit in the testing process. How many designers have you encountered who would add another round of testing to be sure their work is thorough and flawless? It’s this impeccable attention to detail that really speaks volumes about her and her patterns.

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I look forward to sewing some mom and daughter Fringe dresses in the future, but I didn’t have the chance to do so just yet. December is such a hurried month as I mentioned before. Somehow, though, several other testers made it happen!

Alina

Emily

Katie

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Many more details and fabric inspiration in the official pattern release post.

Christmas Best

The days and weeks fly by so fast. I can’t recall exactly when I realized my daughter in pre-K would actually be signing in the school Christmas program; the major parts in the play were relegated to children in 3rd grade and above. I was expecting to have to dress my son, a 1st grader, in “Christmas best,” but I really wasn’t sweating his attire. I do know, however, it was precisely the morning of the day before the event that I decided I would make my daughter’s dress.

Now, it just so happens my sewing space was in complete disarray on this day. I was having the attic barn wood painted white to lighten up the rather dim space. As I interrupted the painter to pick out fabric, she asked me if I had looked around lately. Everything was draped in plastic for protection from the over-spray. We both chuckled. I grabbed the fabrics I needed, a small cutting mat and a rotary cutter.

I had recently sewn two of the Simple Life Pattern Company’s Wendy dresses as a commission for sisters in TX. (Sewing Christmas dresses is such an honor!) Luckily the smaller of the two girls is exactly my daughter’s size, so the pattern was already prepped. I cut everything down on the dining table, like old times before I had a dedicated sewing space, with a toddler at my feet.

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The main fabric joined my stash, from best I can tell, in the fall of 2015. I remember buying some and wanting more yardage, so I had my mom purchase another few yards in Salt Lake City and ship it to me. I also recall that she was a bit taken aback by the price of about $10/yard. I’m sure that was rather expensive back when my mother was sewing clothing in the 60’s and 70’s.

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mom’s machine

My mother passed away in the spring of 2016. I had pulled this Christmas fabric out with my other holiday fabrics each Christmas since then, but this was the first time I felt truly inspired to cut it.

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The bodice lining fabric is also a nod to mom. While the flowers more closely resemble zinnias, I like to think of them as red geraniums, mom’s favorite. This fabric was a short remnant from a mystery scrap pack and was exactly the height of the bodice and perfect for the job.

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I chose the accent fabric, a Cloud 9 glimmer solid, to coordinate with the only slider I had on hand for the belt.

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The slider is 1” wide, so I widened the belt to match and added some extra top stitching.

back

back

I used pearl snaps for the closures in the back. And while I was pressed for time on this project, I certainly didn’t skip the inseam pockets.

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As per protocol, I lined up the kids for a photo before the event. Since the oldest seems to only be getting taller, he’s sporting a Hastings vest from 2 years ago over the same rtw shirt he wore for the Dickens Christmas program last year. The youngest is wearing a Sunshine dress I made 3 years ago, a last minute closet find.

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I had hoped to get more pictures in better lighting today, but so far my spirited middle child has refused to indulge me. I did even iron the dress in my blissful naivety. I was however happy to find the headband I thought she had lost and the family photo I had tucked in one of her pockets last night.

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The belt I also thought she had left at the theater was found on the floor near our front door.

In lieu of more modeled photos, I took a few more hanging shots today. This one from our second floor hallway is my absolute favorite. The mid-century modern dresser in the distance was mom’s as well and is now used by my son, along with the matching bed.

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I really couldn’t be happier with how this dress turned out and I am looking forward to handing it down to the youngest and possibly their children someday.

We miss you dearly, mom, but your presence is often felt.

2018 Guest Blog Posts!

I wrote a few posts as a guest on some great sewing blogs this year and possibly neglected my blog from time to time. That is the beauty of the Maybe Blog, though. No pressure, you know? At any rate, I’m I’m linking to my posts across the webs here in a patting my own back exercise. #noshame

Woven Pixie Tee

Chalk & Notch’s Pixie Tee is as great in woven fabric as it is in knits.


Metallic Kaufman linen and Art Gallery cotton for the lining. LOVE.


I added a little something to the back of this Cheyenne. All the details, my favorite tools for sewing button-ups, and my tips for success are in the guest post.


Another Pixie tee hack, this one for cooler weather. So cozy and very simple to add a cowl. Gabriela even has a downloadable reference for the mods.


Pleats make everything better! Right?


This one is probably my favorite, but maybe I say that about every fresh-off-the-machine make. ;)