Utility jacket

This was an ultimate upcycling project! It may look as a regular jacket, but what in fact it is made of, sounds a bit strange.

My dear mother-in-law at times pulls real treasures out of her attic. The last time I used the antique fabric she had gifted me, this beautiful vintage jacket was born. I love it dearly. I still have more than 3 meters of dark brown wool from her collection that is decades old, it is still waiting to be used up for some fancy project. And then I had this small piece of either cotton or linen canvas – who knows what it was! When she first showed it to me, I figured it could work for a toile and took it. But now it is really not a toile at all, but real and very much functioning jacket. So the funny story is that some 30 years ago this fabric was either bought or otherwise sourced to make mattress covers and thus prevent mattresses from excessive wear. It is practically unironable – as much as I tried, it still stays a bit wrinkled, which I actually quite like, and it is as durable as denim. I used denim needle and the largest setting of the sewing foot pressure to stitch it. This fabric is a testament to sewing resourcefulness – it is possible to make a wearable garment from pretty much anything!

Initially I was planning to use this fabric for a wearable toile of Closet core patterns Sienna maker jacket. But then I came across a completely new to me pattern maker on Instagram and liked very much how one fellow sewist had modified the pattern to look akin to a bomber jacket. And then I became really eager to do the same.

This pattern is by Puff and pencil patterns, Danish boutique pattern maker. In fact it is drafted as a vest and then they provide sleeves separately. Originally the bottom piece is as wide as sleeve cuffs and there are no pleats anywhere. I made so many adjustments to this piece that it has lost resemblance to the original design. But honestly I like this version so much more.

So first of all I have to share that I was absolutely confident that my 2 meter long and 1.1 meter wide fabric piece was going to be enough for this project. Well, in fact it was not as straightforward. When I started juggling paper pattern blocks on the fabric piece, I realized that regardless of how I was solving that puzzle, there was not enough fabric for the project. It was an optimization exercise really! Eventually after a lot of struggle I managed to squeeze out all main pattern pieces for the exterior of the jacket, and that’s only after realizing that main sleeve blocks were too long and sleeves needed shortening (without them shorter the fabric would not have been enough). Then, after investigating my remnants stash, I picked a piece of white cotton in beautiful poppies print to work as a substitute fabric for all facings and undercollar. It was probably the most resourcefully cut project ever – in the right picture below you can see how little scraps were left when all the cutting was done! Yes, that’s it, that small handful was what was left after cutting all pattern pieces!

All the adjustments

  • I really did not like the original collar. It is designed as one piece together with a collar stand, and from experience I know that it is rarely a good idea. After checking out few versions of the jacket on Instagram I concluded that the collar lays too flat and too wide for my liking, so I resolved to replacing it altogether. Instead I took a well tested collar from Burda 2021/12 magazine pattern #108 (I have made two jackets using this pattern: the above-mentioned vintage jacket and this tweed jacket). Amazingly, this other collar was fitting perfectly into the neck opening and no further adjustments had to be made. I only stitched the collar using smaller seam allowance to make it as large as possible.
  • I rounded corners of pockets, pocket flaps and the collar.
  • Sleeves were shortened by 4 cm (otherwise I would have run out of fabric). I also needed to install pleats at the bottom of the sleeves as I did not have enough width to cut cuffs. On the other hand, original sleeves without pleats were too wide for my liking anyway, so that was fine. There are 2 pleats 3 cm from the underarm seam, 2.5 cm deep on each sleeve. For cuffs not to look like pipes I cut them at slight angle to be narrower at the hem (top right picture below).
  • Similarly, I installed 2.5 cm deep pleats at the bottom of the back, they are done at 8 cm from each side seam.
  • The bottom part of the jacked was designed to be as wide as sleeve cuffs are, but with that the jacket felt too long for my liking. So I narrowed that part down to be of the same width as the front opening plackets are – 4 cm wide. This makes this jacket resemble a bomber jacket.

It was a tough sewing due to how heavy and sturdy this fabric was. Amazingly, my sewing machine coped really well. I made shoulder and sleeve seams as flat fell seams. That double top stitching makes for a really nice denim-like finish. Finally, I made button holes (which went in without any incident, curiously) and attached six metal buttons. And with that my new spring jacket was complete!

For this jacket I used 2 meters (of 1.1 m width) of cotton or linen canvas that was gifted to me by my mother-in-law and some 0.5 meters of poppy print cotton that I bought in Germany in one of beautiful quilting stores. Pattern used here is Topstitch vest and coordinating sleeve pattern by Puff and pencil patterns. I cut it in size S. Other notions used were: some 0.5 m of interfacing, coordinating threads (Gutermann 120 weight no. 722 and denim thread 50 weight Col. 2725), and 6 metal buttons that I bought from Textile garden store in UK. The main fabric was gifted, the remaining cost of the jacket is 22 Eur. It was made in May, 2023.

I couldn’t be more happy with this jacket! Quite unexpectedly I have managed to squeeze out a very decent garment out of very unusual supplies. This jacket works well with pretty much anything, and sleeves being wide accommodate for anything underneath it. I am sure I’ll be happily wearing it this spring and on colder summer evenings!

Thanks for visiting my blog and I’ll see you next time!


Light cotton shirt

As it is probably quite clear now, I did not continue with the French jacket 😊 I’ve made a shirt instead. Evidently, my decision making process is strange, I’ve been saying this all along, but here we go. I’ve been torn among trench coat, utility jacket, pants and few other project ideas, then, exhausted, just took this cotton voile and went ahead to make a shirt. And there is a good reason why this post is also tagged as Salvage. But let’s start from the beginning.

This fabric is from my very first fabric haul. It’s now three years that I’ve been sewing, and exactly 3 years ago I started purchasing fabric for my projects. My very first attempt to shop for fabrics happened on The Fabric Store online, and this fabric came from that batch. In other words, this fabric has been sitting in my stash for 3 years (!), and that’s why we should not be hoarding fabric, kids! 😅

This fabric was not my friend unfortunately. It is really beautiful and very nice to touch pure cotton voile. But I am unable to comprehend why I had such a tough time ironing it! I had prewashed it and it was ironed back then, however it looked as though it wasn’t, when I took it and prepared to cut. And so I ironed and ironed, and still there were creases. I don’t know what’s up with it!

This fabric is semi-sheer, so it was important to choose semi-sheer interfacing to avoid too stark a contrast between uninterfaced and interfaced fabric. And it is very light, too, so I decided to sew all seams as French seams to make for a neat finish. With all this preparation I was ready to cut all pattern pieces.

I have been on a look out for the best ever shirt pattern for a long while. And when I saw one of the recent Vikisews shirt patterns called Kaia, the decision was made to try it out. And try I did! Well, let’s say that it is unlikely to be used again.

The start of the project was very promissing! Making the body of the shirt was easy and pretty straightforward. The first small challenge was to figure out how to finish that curvy hem as it was complicated by my decision to make side seams as French seams. So I did it in an unusual way. First I hemmed front and back pieces using rolled-hem foot and only then joined front and back together in a French seam way. Probably not ideal, but I couldn’t think of any better way.

Collars always create a bit of tension for me, but this time around installing the collar was a breeze. All energized and confident I went on to tackle sleeve cuffs. For that I needed to install plackets, and I had never done it before! Luckily, the instructions were really good, and pretty quickly I was looking at those beautiful plackets all installed and fancy! Cuffs went in, and I was like – “great, now only two seams to install sleeves are left, and the shirt will be complete!” Little did I know…

So first I stitched gathering stitches on sleeves heads, as usual, and then tried to tack sleeves in. Well, to start off with, there was too little of sleeve head circumference for sleeve opening! I have never had this problem before – usually there is an opposite problem, in that sleeve head is too large for the opening. Somehow I did tack those sleeves in, and… they looked just terrible!

Shoulders fell badly too low and the worst of all, sleeves were badly too long. I sh*t you not, the cuff ended at my finger tips! So yeah, not good! I had seen those sleeves being longish in the pattern pictures, but not THAT long. So what to do, then. I could not cut sleeves again as there was not enough fabric left, and also I would have hated to redo all those plackets and cuffs again. What I could do was cutting shoulders off, thus raising shoulder line and also shortening sleeves a bit. This approach was meant to create a set of new problems: original sleeve head would be too shallow, chest circumference would be reduced. Far from ideal. But there was nothing else for me to do. I kept on tacking those sleeves in all sorts of ways, it took some 5 attempts until I was reasonably ok with how shoulders looked. Sleeves were still too long, though. I also had to prepare for French seam there, too. It was an ordeal really. Eventually, I was like “come what may”, and cut substantial part of shoulders width off. Sleeve heads also had to be trimmed on the sides to accommodate for deeper openings. I had removed gathering stitches from sleeve heads as there was not enough of sleeve head circumference anyway. That’s how much of shoulder width I removed (that’s like 3-4 cm off the shoulder seam).

I somehow managed to stretch sleeve heads to make enough fabric for sleeve opening, finished those French seams and finally was able to try the shirt on. It is an interesting case. I absolutelly love its collar and fit overall. But those poor sleeves are really troublesome. They are still too long, sleeve heads are just on the edge of being too tight for my narrow shoulders, and chest circumference is also on the edge of being too small. All in all I think I have managed to squeeze out the best I could, that’s why I’ve classified it as a salvage project. Without any of the adjustments that I’ve done, sleeves should have been shortened by some 8 cm!

The last bit was to make button holes and attach buttons. Here I had a funny puzzle to solve in that there were two sets of buttons to choose from. These metal and smaller dark ones and then a bit larger yellow plastic ones. I ran a poll on Instagram on which buttons to choose, as I usually do. And guess what – out of 130 votes, the score was a tie 50% / 50%! How about that 🙂 After all I decided on the smaller metal ones and am very happy with my choice. The thing though was that I needed 13 buttons, but had only a dozen. They were bought from Textile Garden store in UK couple of years back, so not like I could have fetched one more button. So I spaced the buttons out at the front and it was fine. And with that my first ever proper shirt was complete!

This shirt is not ideal, but it is also very lovely and nicely made. I don’t think I will ever use this pattern ever again, but I am certain this shirt will be worn and loved!

For this shirt I used 1.5 meters of this light and semi-sheer cotton voile, it was bought three years ago from The Fabric Store online, the fabric is called Summer petals. Pattern used here is Vikisews Kaia blouse, however there are major challenges with shoulders and sleeves of this design, I can not quite recommend it. Other notions were: a bit of lightweight interfacing, coordinating thread, and 12 metal buttons of 1 cm diameter, they were bought from Textile Garden online store. This shirt cost me 29 Eur. It was made in April, 2023.

This is a really nice, very proper shirt, there are many great things about it. And when I tried it on as part of various outfits, it fit with pretty much everything. Granted, I may want to wear it with sleeves rolled up as that’s how them being too long will not be as visible. One way or another, this is going to be a great addition to my spring and summer wardrobe, I am sure!

Thanks for visiting my blog and I’ll see you next time!


Jacquard jacket

This one hasn’t been planned at all. But that’s not too unusual for me 🙂 As I wrote in my previous post, I was planning another vest, perhaps pants, then – Chanel style tweed jacket. And yet – here we are with this quite a bit different project. It’s good that this jacket is at least meant for spring, so I have managed to not do something completely unreasonable 🙂 For my defense, I can say that I had been seriously planning a Chanel style tweed jacket, was testing few patterns for it, and then chickened out! I could not make myself cut into an expensive tweed still being unsure about the design of the jacket and moreover what kind of trim I’d be able to make for it. So while deliberating and not making up my mind, I took this pretty cheap jacquard instead and made a “test”. Well, I think this jacket is really nice in and of itself, perhaps a bit too shiny, but hey – I had a piece of fabric, so I needed to make something out of it anyways!


Alright, jokes aside, I was seriously preparing for a tweed jacket project, and the main thing in the very beginning was to decide on a pattern for it. You may wonder – how big a challenge it might be, provided that it is the most simple jacket there is. But apparently, those simple collarless boxy jackets can be really different and there may be good and also bad patterns for them, and I needed a good one! After doing a bit of research, I found out that Vogue patterns have few pretty popular patterns that get used to make tweed jackets. V1830 and V7975 are mentioned quite often. But my problem is that I do not have a good access to Vogue patterns – I can purchase them online from US or UK based online stores, but both options mean long delivery times, customs fees and a load of hassle. I’ve gone through that few times and on one of those occasions I had purchased one more Chanel style jacket friendly Vogue pattern V8804, so at first I’d decided to try that one out.

V8804 theoretically is a very decent pattern. It features seemingly elaborate structure and three piece sleeves, like in a real life Chanel jacket. That was what drew me to this pattern. Unfortunately, when working on a toile, it became apparent that I did not have enough competence to actually adjust the fit so that this pattern would work for me. I actually had stopped before even installing sleeves – the main body of the jacket was off big time. Perhaps this pattern can work for some body types, but it did not work for me at all and I even couldn’t comprehend how to adjust it to make it work. So that one was abandoned.

Next in line was Vikisews Grace jacket pattern. I bought it a year ago, it was not a regular pattern, but so-called marathon kind of thing, i.e. the pattern was available for a limited and quite short period of time only. I purchased the pattern partly because it came together with extensive instructions about different interfacing methods for tweed jackets which I was curious to learn more about. But I had my doubts about the jacket design itself. That was a double-breasted jacket design and it looked very boxy with those wide shoulders. So I had been postponing working on it until now, and now there were no other options left anyway.

First things first, the toile had to be made. I needed to transform double-breasted front to single row of buttons, i.e. front pieces needed to be narrowed down. When I had the main body of the jacket with one sleeve installed, it started appearing to me that the back was too wide at the upper part. So I cut remaining sleeve opening a bit more open. But when the second sleeve got installed, it became clear very quickly that by doing that I had messed up entire geometry of the back. So that particular adjustment was not going to work at all. After few of these trials and errors I made a conclusion that the only actually needed adjustment was narrowing shoulders down by 0.5 cm. And with that I was prepared to actually try this pattern out. But first, not on tweed, but on this shiny jacquard.

Stitching the jacket up

This crazy shiny jacquard was one of my “weakness-of-the-moment” purchases. I do that sometimes – I’d see some kind of odd piece of fabric on sale and whether I need it or not, end up purchasing it. This was the last 1.8 m piece of a deadstock fabric at my local fabric store that went for 15 EUR, and I just couldn’t resist. At first I thought of making a wide sturdy A line midi skirt out of it. But while looking at myself in the mirror holding the fabric, I was seeing myself in a wallpaper, not a skirt. And then I was like – sure, a jacket it is!

This jacket is really simple, absence of collar makes it simple. I block-interfaced half of fabric and cut front and front facing pieces out of that interfaced fabric piece. Other pieces were cut and interfaced partially. And then, as usual, interfacing tape was attached to edges, corners and other important seams. At first I was unsure how to interface that wrinkled jacquard, and whether or not interfacing would even work. But it does – looks a bit funny, but does the job.

I cut sleeves shorter than designed to make 3/4 sleeves and attached my basic rounded pockets which were not part of the original design. And then it was just joining all pieces together. It was a pretty easy ride, really. To complete the boxy shape, I installed felt sleeve heads and shoulder pads. Then the lining was installed and finally I had to stitch button holes and attach the buttons. And with that this funky, shiny, boxy test jacket was complete!

For this jacket I used up 1.6 m of a deadstock piece of jacquard (I don’t even know its content, presumably it’s some kind of viscose/poly mix) and some 1.25 m of viscose blend lining in matching color. Pattern used here was Vikisews Grace. Other notions used for this project were: some 0.8 m of lightweight interfacing, few meters of interfacing tape, 2 felt sleeve heads, 2 shoulder pads, 4 buttons of 22 mm diameter, and coordinating thread (Gutermann no. 659). This jacket cost me 35 Eur. It was made in April, 2023.

So quite unintentionally this test project produced a very decent spring or summer jacket that will now live a life of its own. I think I’ll be happily wearing it with white jeans like here or more formal white pants. This kind of outfit perhaps can even work for the office, but more likely I’ll be wearing it in summer to a restaurant or a concert. We’ll see. But more importantly, now I know what kind of jacket this pattern produces, and now finally I’ll be able to make up my mind on whether or not I’ll be using it for an actual Chanel style jacket. I really don’t know why it takes me so long to actually commit to that project! Now it must be the trim that I’m so anxious about 🙂 Or… if I’m still unsure, for my next project I can always make another trench coat – have an absolutely awesome pink cotton lined up for it 🙂 So yeah, my plans continue going haywire, just as usual, but I guess, that’s where the most fun with this entire sewing exercise is for me!

Thanks for visiting my blog and I’ll see you next time!


Fancy wool vest

One may be living under a rock, and even then one would know that vests is the new black this spring! I’ve never owned a vest, and of course why would I – that is such an unnecessary garment, if I think of it well. It does not provide any warmth or proper coverage, or has any real function, it exists for the sole purpose of fancyness. AND it is notoriously difficult to get in a perfect fit! So yeah – a princess of the wardrobe, if you will. So of course, when would you acquire a vest? When you can make it yourself! And here it is – my awesome blue wool vest!

I’ve wanted to make a vest since the very moment vests had emerged as such a trend for this spring. Of course, mine was supposed to be a wool vest because – well, let’s try and squeeze at least some warmth out of it, if only possible. And quite predictably, I had a piece of blue twill worsted wool left after making my previous wool dress, so there I was – with everything panning out nicely for a vest project. A vest requires little fabric, some 70 cm only, so it can be an excellent leftover project, and in this case it was indeed.

As for the pattern, there are quite a few really good vest patterns out there – I was seriously considering Just Patterns Veronica vest pattern, and there are also more. But eventually I settled on Vikisews Lillian vest pattern. Reasons for this choice were twofold: I liked double pocket welts better than single welts of Veronica vest, and also according to my measurements I figured that Lillian vest would require (hopefully) fewer adjustments. But when it came to it, there were many adjustments needed still.

Preparation and adjustments

First I made a toile / mock-up. It is a must in preparing to sew a vest. It is such a tricky garment really, fit may go wrong in so many different ways and lines, that it is only with a toile that one can decide on the fit and plan for necessary adjustments. Starting with measurements, I had a matching bust measurement to the one of the pattern (84 cm), but my waist measurement was quite a bit off (mine 71 cm, pattern 64 cm), so sorting that difference out was the largest challenge. When I encounter a significant difference in one measurement, I always refer to the indicated ease that is taken into account while drafting a pattern. In this case the pattern indicated that waistline ease was approximately 9 cm. Theoretically 64+9 cm would have been enough for my wider waist, but just. I knew that it would clearly have made for a wrong fit. I needed to widen the waist of my vest by some 6-8 cm ideally and that’s a lot, really. I could not touch seam allowances of front panels as all sorts of things related with pockets were happening there, so instead I widened pattern blocks across side seams and back seams by some 1 cm on each side and for each pattern piece. That was done while cutting paper pattern blocks and with those adjusted measurements I cut and made a toile, which revealed a number of additional adjustments that were necessary:

  • I was a bit concerned about the neckline gaping, so I decided to lift a cleavage point up by 1 cm and hoped that interfacing tape attached to the neckline should also make the neckline lay flat.
  • Neckline seam allowance was to be reduced to 0.7 cm instead of regular 1 cm to further reduce the neckline opening.
  • The vest was a tiny bit narrow at the bottom, but I did not want to widen front pieces at the opening due to potential neckline gaping, so instead I changed the tilt of the front opening – you should be able to see in the picture below what I did for the front opening.
  • Seam allowances at the middle back were reduced to give more ease around shoulder blades.

This is a truly sculpted vest, so making all these meticulous adjustments was very important for it to fit me impeccably.


I started the process by interfacing all of the fabric, as recommended in the instructions, for that I used lightweight interfacing. To add stability to seams that need it, interfacing tape was attached on top. You can see which seams were interfaced in that way here:

The first actual sewing step was to deal with front pieces and then install pockets. These are very proper, working pockets. They may never be used, but knowing that this is not imitation is important to me. Or I may be putting a credit card in one of those pockets, who knows 🙂 How pocket installation went and how welt stitching lines were stabilized with interfacing tape can be seen in the pictures below.

With pockets out of the way, next steps were less intimidating. I made back straps and joined three back pieces together. Then I joined the front with the back at shoulder seams and side seams. Right? Wrong! Side seams are supposed to get sewn very late in the process, after the entire lining is attached to the neckline and armholes. But at that point I had not yet figured that out, instead there was a nice opportunity to try my vest on, and it was fitting me really well.

Next step was to make the lining, which went uneventfully. However, joining the main vest with the lining is quite a feat! Lining a jacket is easier than lining a vest, because for the vest there are so many places where the lining may be peeking out, and it shouldn’t! Also, there is certain sequence of steps that needs to be followed because otherwise things won’t work out. So first, lining is attached to the main vest at armholes, these seams are pressed and under-stitched. Then the neckline and front opening are stitched together, again, this long continuous seam is under-stitched. Finally the hems are stitched together (while sewing the lining up I left one small opening at one side seam to be able to turn everything right side out). Hem seam is crucial, that’s in a way a reality check if the lining had been cut impeccably, so that it would not be peeking out. Finally, with all of that done I was ready to turn my vest right side out, carefully press the hem seam and try the vest on. It was fitting me really well!

Last few things were to close the opening in the lining, stitch button holes and attach buttons. I closed the opening by hand using slip stitch. Instead of recommended 4 buttons I decided to attach 5 for a more balanced look. As usual, I stopped breathing while stitching button holes, because more often than not something goes wrong at this step. And I couldn’t afford it this time, for my wool was too fine to sustain button hole ripping. Luckily, this time around I managed to stitch all 5 button holes without an incident. To cut them open I chose a special buttonholes cutting tool that looks like a small chisel. I haven’t used it before actually, but it worked really well this time – not a single thread was damaged in the cutting process. I attached buttons and with that my first ever vest was complete!

For this vest I used some 0.70 m of leftover superfine twill worsted wool in this beautiful blue color and similar piece of matching blue lining in polka dot pattern (51 % acetate / 49 % viscose). Both fabrics were bought few years ago from Fabworks Mill Shop. Pattern used here is Lillian vest by Vikisews patterns. Other notions were: some 0.50 m of lightweight interfacing, few meters of interfacing tape, 5 buttons of 17 mm diameter, 2 metal half-rings for back waistline straps, and coordinating leftover thread (Gutermann no. 310). This vest cost me 20 Eur. It was made in March, 2023.

I absolutely and truly LOVE this vest! It was a difficult project, perhaps disproportionately difficult for the size of the garment. However it is only to substantiate how complex a structure a good vest design has. This vest is meant to be worn closed without anything underneath it. In order for this to be possible, its armholes are quite small and it provides a decent coverage of chest area. I am planning to style this vest with white pants, but that’s for summer and really warm weather. Whereas for spring I may want to wear it with jeans and white blazer on it. Really looking forward for warmer weather and those fancy vest styles that I’ll be able to create with it.

While making this vest I was planning to make another one in brown wool that my dear mother-in-law have gifted to me – that’s one more vintage fabric from her decades old stash, I’ve already used one fabric of hers and made a beautiful purple vintage jacket. And to accompany that brown vest I was thinking of making pants out of the same fabric. I’m terribly intimidated by pants, so will need to harness enough self conviction to dive into this double-project. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for visiting my blog and I’ll see you next time!


Square neckline dress

It was a pretty unexpected decision to make this dress. I had planned jackets, vests, and yet here it is a new dress, which is lovely and, I’m sure, will be worn often this spring! What happened recently was me falling into utter confusion about all of those fabrics in my stash and the season soon about to change. After my last project I was in a bit of a limbo. Winter was slowly drawing to a close, whether or not this was proved by actual weather outside. But I lingered along somewhat lacking inspiration for spring styles. At the same time, all those wool fabrics were looking at me with reproach that yet one more winter has passed, and they continue sitting on the shelf. This beautiful blue pure wool suiting was bought two years ago, and I struggled all along in figuring out what to do with it. There were jacket plans, pants plans, eventually couple of weeks ago I turned everything upside down and decided to make a light woolen dress for early spring out of it. And so here it is!

I had bought 2 meters of this fabric, and it meant that it could either be a jacket, or pants and probably a vest, or just pants. But I’m still too intimidated by pants, so could not harness enough self-conviction to start pants project. And then I decided that this simple square neck dress pattern might work quite well for this fabric. Actually, I had planned to use black wool for this dress design and make a winter dress, but hey – the winter is (hopefully soon) over, so a bit of color is more than welcome!

After cutting paper pattern blocks I realized that few adjustments will be needed. First, the original dress did not have pockets, and I absolutely needed pockets 🙂 Then, I decided to raise the neck opening up by 2 cm to make the dress not as revealing. It was a very clever decision, as it appeared later. Sleeves had to be widened a bit. I have this unexpected challenge lately. Since I’ve started regular work out sessions, my biceps have increased a bit. My arms look nice, that’s not a problem, the problem is that if I sew something that has pretty narrow sleeves, extra attention is needed not to make a garment that would be too tight around arms and uncomfortable. So this time around after measuring sleeve circumference I also had to conclude that initial sleeves would be too narrow for me. All in all I added only 1-1.5 cm of width really, but that makes sleeves so much more comfortable. Finally I wanted the dress to be a bit longer than in the original design, so I added approximately 3.5 cm of additional length to it.

All of these amendments were done to paper pattern blocks before cutting into fabric. This dress consists of only few pieces, so cutting it was easy and quick. First I applied a bit of interfacing tape to the neckline, shoulders, zipper installation line, pocket openings and armholes. I started by installing pockets. You know how they tell you to snip into one seam allowance in order to press side seams flat after attaching pockets? Well, I hate that cut seam allowance! And it is really very recently that I have learnt a bit smarter way to install pockets and still be able to press those seams flat. It makes for beautiful pockets, I think! 🙂

Next I joined together shoulders and created back seam. For a short while I was debating with myself that perhaps there was no need to install a zipper, especially that I did not have a well matching invisible zipper. The neck opening of this dress is quite large and the dress itself is wide enough, I even basted back seam closed and still was able to put the dress on. However, when sleeves were installed, it might have actually been a bit more difficult to put the dress on and, more importantly, take it off. So finally I decided to install a zipper. To do that, it had to be purchased first, so I of course spent extra time to go to the store for something as small as zipper. Granted, I purchased few other small things, but still – time was spent.

The zipper got in and I was ready to install the lining. Making the lining was easy – it was basically stitching front and back together. More of a challenge was to neatly stitch that square neckline. I had to fiddle with it quite a bit and then press carefully, but all in all I’m quite glad how the neckline turned out. The neckline is understitched – I believe it is an important step in the process to make sure the lining would not be peeking out.

Next were the sleeves. The lining of this dress is installed only for the main body of the dress and not sleeves. I tacked the main fabric and lining together at armholes and thus prepared the dress for sleeves installation. After basting sleeves in I had to conclude that the dress was not feeling all that comfortable. My shoulders are narrow, so usually I do not have any problem in garment being tight around shoulders. But this time that was exactly the case. Moreover, since the neck opening is pretty large, by moving hands around I was pulling neckline to sides, and that was a clear indication that upper part of the dress was too tight. To remediate the problem at least somewhat I ended up installing sleeves with minimum 0.5 cm seam allowance. This allowed me to win a centimeter of chest width, and that helped quite a bit.

The last thing to take care of was hemming the sleeves and making a proper hem for the dress. I hand-stitched all hems using invisible stitch to make for a clean finish. And with that my new blue dress was all complete!

For this dress I used some 1.2 meters of this beautiful blue wool, the fabric is called Superfine twill worsted Prussian blue. Lining is called Old blue eyes polka dot and it is acetate and viscose blend (51% / 49%). Both fabrics were bought from Fabworks Mill Shop two autumns ago. Pattern used here is Becky dress by Vikisews patterns and I had to adjust it quite a bit. Notions used were: a bit of interfacing tape for few seams, invisible zipper, and coordinating thread (Gutermann no. 310). This dress cost me 25 Eur (here, reaping benefits of having shopped before Brexit and before insane inflation kicked in). It was made in February, 2023.

Initially I was planning to style this dress with short white socks and my so very much loved black flat shoes. That’s how the dress was styled on the pattern site. But when I actually purchased those socks and tried the style on, I felt that it was simply not for me. So instead I bought these somewhat fun tights and love this style so much better!

Since there was some 0.8 meters of fabric still left, I’ve decided to make a vest out of it for spring. Vests this season seam to be everywhere – you aren’t supposed to start this spring without a vest! 🙂 I’ve never owned a vest, so here we go – it’ll be something new again. Really looking forward to seeing how it will turn out and of course will share the story of my spring vest project as soon as I’m done with it.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I’ll see you next time!


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