Tag Archives: jacket

Cutting Line Designs: Butterfly and Bees


At the end of every year, our sewing guild holds a holiday gala.  A traditional part of the gala is the fabric swap.  Fabric of a length suitable to become a garment or quilt is placed in a sealed bag.  Numbers are drawn, and guests have the option of choosing a new bag, or stealing from another member.

It’s a great way to re-home one’s wonder fabric (as in, I wonder why I bought this?) as well as acquire something completely different.

Many folks will go to great lengths (pun intended) to secure their treasures.  Who’s that hiding under the table?  What did you stuff in your backpack?

To insure our newly acquired treasures don’t languish, the April meeting is a “Wear What Ya Won” event.  Everyone who attends brings whatever it is they made from their prize.  Some folks become very creative!

This was my fabric prize (full disclosure – I was one of the few people to “steal” from someone else – I am ruthless when it comes to fabric).  It’s a slubbed boucle type of fabric, completely washable and very loosely woven.

While it is jacket-weight, it would have required more manipulation than I was willing to do for this material to become a structured garment.

Enter Butterfly & Bees from Louise Cutting.  It’s an older, out of print pattern, but worked perfectly.  There was a coordinating printed polyester in the stash.  I decided to Go For It!

The one pattern is cut twice.  Both jackets are assembled separately, except for the neckline.  Then the two pieces are joined at the neckline only.  This allows the interior fabric to hang freely and peek out all around the edges.  To give more weight to the side vents, I stitched antique glass buttons at the top.

The jacket is perfect for summer evenings here.  Once the sun goes down, there can be a definite chill in the air.


Style Arc: Violet


It’s over 100 degrees outside, which means I am indoors working on a jacket made from felted fleece.  For Winter.  Yes indeed, sports fans, I am once again working at cross seasons, sewing something totally unsuited to now.

There is one redeeming factor with this project, that being I started the jacket at Sewing Camp in April, when there actually was snow on the ground, and I could have worn it.

Several iterations of trial and error on the finishing method delayed the actual completion.

The original plan was to use a faux leather as the binding, creating high contrast with the felted fleece.  The faux leather did not cooperate.  Next I tested a more mundane edging, which made things look too generic.  The primary fabric really did need something with equal pizzazz.

The winner was a black organza binding, which of course was a #($&#?@ to sew.  Slippery?  Yes.  Ravelly?  Yes.  We agreed to disagree, and it was hand sewn into submission (and readers of this blog know how much I hate to hand sew garments).  In fact, this jacket has more hand sewing than I have done on any garment in years.  Years.  Decades.

There were a ton of things I did differently from the pattern recommendations.  The Violet pattern suggests using a stable knit like ponte.  I did not do this.  The pattern does not have instructions for making the jacket reversible.  I wanted it to be reversible, so both side of the primary fabric would be usable.  The pattern does not have directions for having pockets on both sides if you do decide to make it reversible.  Lastly, the edges are supposed to be turned under and stitched.  And of course, I did not do this.

Given all these deviations from the pattern recommendations and suggestions, I don’t feel I can easily say how good or bad the pattern itself is, since I basically thumbed my nose at it.  All I can say is “I did it my way”, and in the end, it worked.

As you can see from the above photos, one side is a lovely marbled grey and the other a colorful riot of felted ribbons.  Both sides have usable pockets which do not connect internally.   It took a bit of thought, as well as a lot of hand sewing to get everything lined up and working properly.

The organza binding was hand sewn to the garment.  And since I was hand sewing, why not make it even more interesting by adding beads?  So I did.

Now that all is said and done, I think the organza and beads add just the right elan.   Perhaps even more than the faux leather would have done.

Now I look forward to cold weather.

114 Days…and Counting


Yup, that’s right fans, today is the 114th day this year where Cactusville has had temperatures over 100.  Today’s high is expected to be 105.

It’s the end of September for goodness sake!  Time for things to cool down.  Alas, Mother Nature and her heat producing minions seem to have other ideas.  In case you can’t tell, I am tired of the heat. Which is rather unusual, because most of the time I handle it pretty well.

To alleviate my warm weather malaise, I went snoop shopping on-line.  Maybe seeing what the rest of the country, with more temperate weather, is looking forward to will help cool things down?

I found this, on the Dolce & Gabbana Net-a-Porter site.  Isn’t it yummy!

Let’s see now, I have some tweed in the stash, and probably a silk print to use as the lining.  Hmmm.   There are possibilities.

Going over the image with the “enlarge” option the actual construction looks so-so.   Certainly not worth the original $1045 price tag.  But, for a short time only, you too can acquire this masterpiece for a mere $627.  License, delivery and dealer prep are additional.

Still, I can see making this up with a modified version of Shannon Gifford’s stitch ‘n’ flip construction method.  Something so the vertical seams are on the outside.

Butterick 5567


Flora Flaunts a Jacket

A little more detail on the jacket I made during the Sew-In.  The pattern is Butterick 5567, which is featured in the September issue of Threads.  I picked up the pattern quite a while ago, so perhaps Threads is following my thread?

I found the fabric on sale at a local upholstery shop.  While I was sewing, several folks came up to ask if it was drapery material.  I have no idea.  I just liked it.  It has a fairly beefy cotton for the weft, and a much finer polyester for the warp, making the jacquard design.  I just really liked the color, and it looks good on me.

Overall very simple to sew.  I made my usual forward shoulder adjustment (darned computer work!), and cut down the collar about 1/2 inch.  I no longer have the swan neck of my youth, so a shorter collar felt better.

Deviations from the pattern: lining.  The jacket is supposed to be unlined, which would make it even easier to sew!  I decided to line it.  The body fabric is a bit course (though with nice drape) and I didn’t want the jacket to be catching against t-shirts when worn.  There’s nothing quite so off-putting as struggling to get into one’s clothes, hence the lining.  I only lined the body, as that was all I needed.

Somewhere out there in Internet-land I read an article on sewing a Chanel style jacket where the lining is right to the edge.  No facings.  That’s what I tried to do with this one, but got flummoxed when it came to the hem.  So, I jury-rigged something which works nicely enough, but I still want to find that article and see how to do it properly.  And maybe I’ll rework that section.  Or maybe not.

So, what do you think,? Does this remind you of Great Aunt Coraline’s draperies?  Does it matter?

Sewin’ at the Sew-In


Look at the goodies that came home with me!  Wooohooo!

Last weekend was our annual sewing retreat, Sew-In 2011.  These are all the projects I finished in 3 days of sewing nirvana.  I’m quite pleased!

As mentioned in a previous post, this year’s Sew-In snuck up on me worse than expected.  There I was in March, thinking I had lots of time to plan, then it was June, and I’d best get my bootie in gear.  Well, even with a gear-less bootie, I think I managed quite well.  There’s something to be said about not trying to do too much.

There’s a shirt for someone who’s into Lepidoptera.  No names, please!  I made another J Stern T-shirt for myself.  This one used the remnants of a sushi knit, and a lovely, soft baby rib.  Now is just the time to be wearing a shirt like this in Cactusville!

Then there was a jacket from Butterick 5567.  This is featured in the most recent Threads.  In true Thunderpaws fashion, I had to make it a bit more difficult for myself and line it.  The pattern calls for the jacket to be unlined.

Lastly, the piéce de résistance in the plastic envelope at the top.  I spent all day Saturday on these!  They are two One Block Wonder quilt tops. Still a ways to go on them, but the bulk of the boring sewing is done! The creative part is next. Even better, made from stash fabric!

Of course, I’m not going to admit how much additional fabric may, or may not have come home with me, courtesy of the Rummage.

Sewing Workshop: Plaza Jacket


It’s finally finished!   The very last of the 2010 UFOs. 
Happy Dance!
Happy Dance! Happy Dance!

Of course, this particular version doesn’t follow the pattern exactly.  The back has a modified section, which is a patchwork of antique kimono fabrics from Ah Kimono! This section is also an exercise in different types of seams – there’s french seams, hong kong finished seams and turned under seams.

To answer the question of the discerning reader, no, I did not applique the patchwork onto the back, I used the slice & dice method, and reworked the back of the pattern.  This is where the polka-dot bias strips came into play.  I ran out of the orange bias.

The body of the jacket is a silk/linen blend.  At $35/yard it is one of the most expensive fabrics I’ve worked with in a while.  I pre-washed it and also hand-washed the silk patchwork before assembly.  This way, I know I can hand wash the whole garment if needed.

The body fabric will be very nice to wear, but was less than stellar to work with.  It sews nicely, but the stripes are actually a seersucker-like texture, and they did not lend themselves to creating a truly straight edge, which this pattern really needs.  Eventually we came to an understanding, the fabric and I.

There’s a wee little bit of interfacing in the collar, Pro-Tricot fusible from Fashion Sewing Supply. Very nice stuff.

I particularly like the embroidered piece at the shoulder.  This will be a nice little jacket to keep the chill off when the A/C is running full blast during the Cactusville summers.

In Lust…Again!


Hotpatterns has done it to me once again.  I am in lust with this jacket pattern.  Of course, me being me, if/when I get the pattern, I will probably be sewing it up in the middle of summer.  In Cactusville.  When the temperatures are 110+.

I still really like it.

I realized during the not-long-past holidays that I wanted something a bit warmer than my jeans jacket, but fancier than the usual fleece to wear while running errands and going out and about.  Not tailored, but stylish.

I think this fits the bill quite nicely.  It’s edgy, but not so outré that it would go out of style before I get it sewn.  The seaming provides lots of possibilities, both in terms of fit and fabric.  Fabric combinations – maybe a tapestry and faux leather?  The zips could be colored or rhinestone.  Oh my!  The brain whirls.  Inspiration Abounds!

Having just returned from Tucson Gem Show, toting around loot for days, I can well attest to the need of a good sturdy satchel.  Ta Da!

Interior pockets, with and without zips.  A nice sturdy handle.  A special place for your cell phone (though I probably wouldn’t hear mine inside the bag).

Trudy has even provided YouTube video on how to construct this lovely.  You can find the lining here and the satchel here

Hmm, this post is sounding a bit like an advertisement for Hotpatterns, and that is not the case.  I mean it more as a source of inspiration, which I have been lacking of late.  Now the creative juices are flowing, and ideas are abounding.

It’s a nice feeling.