Loes Hinse Retro Jacket

Loes Hinse Jacket Front

This jacket is the second item on my fall sewing list, although it’s a leftover from summer – if I was all trendy I would call it ‘the perfect transitional piece’

I have used this pattern once before and it comes together super easy. Here’s the pattern photo:

Loes Hines Retro Jacket

The side button closure is super flattering, but I wanted more of a tuxedo blazer style to dress up jeans so I did not add any closures (here I’m wearing a RTW tee shirt and my patterned pants; my most worn item this summer!). The great thing about this is the speed at which it sews up, it’s unlined, serged seams and still has great fit and styling! It is made from a light/midweight black linen from my stash.

Loes Hinse Jacket Back

I did make some modifications, as you can see by the pattern envelope it’s oversized; especially at the shoulders. I had already lengthened the body and sleeves to fit; I traced off the side front and back and trimmed back the shoulders so it was still a bit oversized but does not need shoulder pads. I also topstitched all of the seams in place. Aren’t the lapels a beautiful shape?

Loes Hinse Jacket Front2


I was happy to get multiple uses from this great independent pattern….check out more of her classic designs at:


What is up with August?

Besides being super chilly (not complaining, we do not have AC in our house) August has been work work work & work.  I have listed and sold 2 houses on the same street, yay!! I put extra work into my marketing which pays off, but makes Sue a tired camper.  With no camping :-(

I have however managed to do some sewing related activities.  I met up with Claire & Connie for a lovely lunch & shopping day on Queen St. W.  While it’s obvious I do not need more fabric, I did manage to procure a gorgeous hammered silk charmeuse in a b&w tribal print to go with my collection of b&w tops (!) and some super stretchy pant fabric which I believe is the equivalent to the elusive Australian Bengaline fabric.  Squee!!

I also made some Style Arc Linda pants from a smooth knit (a great fitting muslin) photos to come.

I need to get crackin’ on DSD’s school pants.  I made a quick muslin for her for some elastic waist pants.  She wears a uniform to school, and needs about a 10 in length and a 4 toddler waist.  Yup.  String Bean.

I also have an easy Tux jacket (a slimmed-shoulder version of Loes Hinse Retro Jacket) in black linen cut and ready to sew:


as well as a cream poly of the beautiful & popular Rebecca Taylor V1387 Blouse:

Hope to post pics of the pants soon, but just letting you know I’m not dead yet!

HotPatterns Plain and Simple Essential Shift (Top)

blue linen top fr blue linenb top back

When the Hotpatterns folks generously offered free shipping for Canada Day this was my pattern of choice. My wearable muslin is the top version. As you can see this is wrinkly linen – these photos are after wearing it all day.

I used a size 14, and my only issue is the shoulders. I think the sleeve caps needed lots of height taken out of the sleeve caps, (these photos show the after I removed about 2 cm off, and they are still “pooky”!! ) I also think the shoulder seam needs a little extra length and perhaps a bit of slant. Also I would lengthen the sleeves a bit.

I used a wing needle to create a hemstitch along the peplum seam and centre bust darts – a technique from the beautiful book “Fine Machine Sewing”

I plan on making this again in the dress version in a denim weave rayon/linen/spandex blend. It is a bit complicated, despite the simplicity of the garment, which appealed to me strongly -there are lots of pattern pieces, as there are two piece sleeves, sleeve hem facings (also in two pieces) a peplum, centre seams front and back, neck facings and hem facings. I like the styling, it’s very “Celinè”!!

Work In Progress


Plain and Simple Shift Dress

I have been wanting to try some heirloom sewing techniques for ages; but not wanting them to look to old-lady; it take a combination of the right garment and the perfect fabric to hold the stitches properly. The book, Fine Machine Stitching has many techniques to drool over, and I finally incorporated some wing-needle hemstitching into a garment with clean lines and interesting seaming. I’ll post pictures later, but you can see the lovely blue linen with a sample of the hemstitching above (in grey thread).

The hemstitching is substituted for topstitching, and the pattern the Hot Patterns Plain and Simple Shirt Dress (scoopneck, short sleeve top version).  I did the hemstitching around the peplum bottom and the bust darts.

Job Duds McCalls 6702

Red top1


As a Real Estate agent, a LOT of time is spent talking to people to drum up business.  In the trade we call this Lead Generation.  OK, if you are super cool it’s called Lead Gen.  And of course, I am super cool!

Part of this involves phone time, open houses, and general face to face stuff.  But if you want to sell homes it also includes good, old fashioned hoofin’ it!  Which, in the summer can be hot work!  So I needed a good air-conditioned top.  I had this red linen in my stash for a year or so, it’s from Sultan’s Fine Fabrics care of the Creative Festival.

Here’s why it’s Air Conditioned:

Red top2


It’s a pretty straightforward sew, except I used some topstitch thread my machine didn’t like much – so much I thought there was an issue with the machine. Oh, and I sewed the bottom of front placket backwards (inside the top) instead of outside. Duh. Well I think it passes the horse test. That is if someone was riding by on a horse they wouldn’t notice it. Or is that if I am on a horse? Anyway….

Here is the side view with the high-low hemline:
Red top3

I’m wearing my newly skinnified white jeans & some fancy Birkenstocks with this top.

McCalls 6559 Maxi Dress

McCalls Maxi

I have shied away from Maxi dresses for a while simply because I felt all that fabric on a 6ft frame was a bit too….well…Amish Sue.
But this gorgeous striped fabric with a huge repeat needed a pattern to show it off! So a maxi it is! I have some full length pics that I will post later. (Here I’m toasting to Pattern Review with their signature drink on Canada Day before heading off to our neighbours party).

Here are the full length front and back photos:

Maxi 1

Maxi 2

Super simple dress, I made the plain view with the racer back, but I took a couple of extra steps to make it special. First, I carefully matched the stripes by basting with silk thread:

side seams hand basted with silk thread

side seams hand basted with silk thread

Here you can see the matching stripes

Here you can see the matching stripes

Then, instead of adding neckbands, I bound the neckband & arms with the black stripes. I cut them about 1 1/4″ shorter than the opening. You have to adjust the length of the binding according to the weight and stretch of your fabric, try starting with about 90% of the opening, baste it if you’re not sure – otherwise it will flop if it’s not tight enough, or pull if it’s too tight.

Here are the basic steps for this technique:

1. Join binding strip & in half lengthwise. Serge to wrong side of fabric (it will be folded and topstitched to the right side. If you get it wrong, as I did with one it doesn’t make that much difference!)

Striped Maxi 5

2. Press seam towards binding, wrap binding around seam to the right side of the garment.

Striped maxi 6

3. Topstitch in place using a straight stitch

Striped maxi 3

4. Admire your clean finish inside & out!

Striped Maxi 4

Girlie PJ’s

Sarah's PJ's

My DSD is a tall, lanky string bean…super strong, fast & flexible too! But pants are a continual problem. Thank goodness for adjustable waists, but I still usually have to take waistbands in 4-6″. Because she wears a school uniform I don’t sew for her often, but I do tend to make the kids PJ’s now and then.

The last time I made her pj’s when she was 3 years old & she still fits them!! OK they are way too short, but still!!

So time for some stash busting new PJ’s! I drafted an easy top & nightie (not shown) and used size 4 T bottoms from an old OOP Kwik Sew pattern (she will be 9 years old next week!) These are still a tad too short, she will likely outgrow them next year, so I may whip up another. A simple tank top & just under the knee bottoms made from some soft rayon floral knit purchased way back when I worked at Fabricland and a mystery knit in watermelon pink for the top. I bound the top (tutorial to come from a maxi dress) with scraps and used a pretty scalloped fancy stitch from my machine for the hem in a co-ordinating green! She picked the fabric from my stash.

The nightie is just the top lengthened in a cotton/poly blend (woven) trimmed with stash eyelet trim and ribbon. Both passed the wearability test, too!

Style Arc Stephanie Woven Blouse

Style Arc Shirt

Style Arc Shirt

Do you gravitate to similar styles over and over? I do – this style of longer peasanty-tunicy top is something I really like. I made an unblogged version in white with black bands in the winter and wore it a lot even though its a bit short.

This version is a sheer poly georgette with a crinkled texture & rows of bitty dots. I made it a bit longer to be a bit more balanced for my height. Of course it requires a cami underneath – with the sheerness it’s hard to see the front bands – but anyway here is the pattern photo:


The blouse went together easily, and I use a size 14 in Style Arc. If you have never used them, they are an Australian company that issues a collection a month of very current RTW styles. Each month they issue a freebie pattern, which can also be purchased separately. The freebie then becomes part of their collection. The pattern prices range from about $10 – $22 depending on the complexity of the pattern & they also offer stretch Bengaline fabric which is impossible to find in North America, a pattern club and bundles. They frequently knock off high end designers or produce patterns based on Celebrity pairings or wardrobes similar to the Dutchess of Cambridge wears.

Postage can be a bit hefty, so plan on getting 2-3 patterns in total to be most cost efficient. They arrive in Canada about 3-4 weeks after I order. The patterns are printed in one size on large drafting sheets; and the instructions are clear but do require some sewing knowledge. For anyone who likes up to the minute patterns, this company is for you! Here is their website:

Other Style Arc patterns I have are:





Vogue 8379 Wrap Dress

Yeah, late to the wrap dress party, I know. But it makes a spectacular entrance:

Pattern: Vogue 8379 Shoes: Payless (old) Necklace: Target Sunglasses: Joe Fresh

Pattern: Vogue 8379
Shoes: Payless (old) Necklace: Target
Sunglasses: Joe Fresh

This is the many-reviewed DVF knock off. I made view B with cuffs and collar, true to the original style. After reading many reviews, I took some fullness out of the skirt by pinching out about 4″, and made my usual adjustments to lengthen the bodice by 1″, the hem to just under then knee and the sleeves by 2″.

The collar and cuffs are interfaced with the lovely interfacing from Pam at Fashion Sewing Supply (I think I used medium on this)

Here is the link, go buy her stuff it’s great!!

Fashion Sewing Supply

I also reinforced the wrap with clear elastic applied at a 1:1 ratio.

Isn’t the fabric luverly? It’s a well aged stash ity knit in a graphic print from Fabricland.

And here it is looking just as nice going:

Sue dress1a

I may see another in my future!


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