Blueprints A-Frame v2.0

Grainline Willow Tank and Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

This is my second version of the BluePrints for Sewing A-Frame skirt. This fabric is black so it may be hard to see the seam lines. You can click on the images to zoom in.

I’ve now taught this pattern as a class a few times and I’m always impressed at how well it fits everyone who has made it. It helps that the pattern includes fitting instructions.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

For this skirt, I again made the pencil skirt version, this time in a faux suede. It’s been several years since I’ve sewn faux suede but this fabric from The Cloth Pocket washes very well and was easy to work with. It’s obviously thinner than the corduroy that I used last time so it tends to wrinkle and show lines where I tuck my shirt into it. Gotta work on that.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I was concerned that this fabric was a little thin for this project and bounced around the idea of interlining it with something stronger. I’m glad I didn’t do that to the body of the skirt because I liked the result but I should have used a thicker interfacing in the waistband. It has a tendency to roll over time. Not sure if I want to take the waistband off and re-stabilize it. Not sure if that’s even possible now that I’ve already added the buttonhole in back.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I lined the pockets with the same scraps as my last A-Frame because I had enough fabric left and that fabric is so finely woven and thin I knew it wouldn’t add bulk.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I still love that lapped zipper in the back. It’s a nice touch you don’t often find in modern clothing.

I hand hemmed the skirt but with this suede, you can still kind of see the line of stitching. It’s less noticeable without the camera flash.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I sewed the same size as my first A-Frame and it fits well everywhere… except that darn waistband. It’s just a little too snug. Just goes to show that two different fabrics will not behave the same way with the same pattern.

Ok, I think I’ve now convinced myself that I need to replace that darn waistband…

Closet Case Kelly Anorak 2.0


Closet Case Kelly Anorak

I love when a project turns out better than you anticipated. I love my new coat! I began this version soon after I completed my first anorak in October.

I liked that jacket so I knew I wanted to make it again but with changes.

The pattern is Closet Case’s Kelly Anorak and this time I bought the lining expansion pack. Closet Case Kelly Anorak

The main fabric is a ripstop cotton – the same as my last anorak but in red. The lining is a cotton flannel. It’s a subtle herringbone pattern which I thought was a fancier alternative to the traditional black and red plaid flannel you often find. The sleeves are lined in Bemberg rayon from Joann Fabrics. Hardware is from Gold Star Tool.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

Besides the full lining, the major difference between the initial release and the expansion are the wider sleeves without the cuffs (which worked well for me because I had to alter the original pattern’s sleeves to give my arms more wiggle room). With the new sleeves, I didn’t need to make any changes. They were big enough – even with an interlining!

Closet Case Kelly AnorakI make a couple extra changes to the pattern. I lined the pockets with the same flannel as the rest of the coat. Toasty hands for the win!

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

I lined the hood with shearling fabric same as I did on my last anorak. I altered my hood lining pieces, though, to accommodate the snaps.
Closet Case Kelly Anorak

I included an interior pocket in the lining on my left side. After wearing my first anorak I recognized the need for a safe pocket to hold my phone. At first, I thought I’d add exterior chest pockets but after sewing the front yoke together I decided I didn’t want to bother drafting some kind of in-seam pocket and extra flaps.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

This pocket is the perfect size for my phone and it sits slightly lower than my bust so it doesn’t make an oddly visible bulge on the outside if my phone is in there.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

I used the flannel as an interlining for the sleeves and lined the sleeve itself with a smooth Bemberg rayon to make it easier to slip the coat on and off.

And I sewed a little loop in the neckline to hang it. I didn’t bother adding that in my first version. Very glad I took the time to do it with this one.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

I had a much better experience with the snaps this time. I splurged and bought 100 snaps plus the correct tool which made it SO MUCH EASIER. Also, because these are proper spring snaps, not ring snaps, the jacket doesn’t jingle like my last version. The snaps are a shiny gunmetal color. I couldn’t find a matching zipper tone so I just went with the plain aluminum metal.Closet Case Kelly Anorak

I think the lining really helped give this cotton ripstop some heft. I think the whole thing lays smoother on my body than the last jacket.Closet Case Kelly Anorak

Looking at the back view I wonder if I could have used a narrow back adjustment? Oh, well, better too big than too small when it comes to a coat. I doubt I’d make this pattern again unless this one wears out first.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

When I began cutting this pattern out I intended to have an interior waist drawstring like I did on my first anorak. But with the thick flannel, I imagined squeezing in all that fabric would make it look bulky. So far I’m enjoying it as is, sans drawstring.
Closet Case Kelly Anorak

I finished this coat at the end of January – just in time for it to start getting hot again here in Texas! I’ll try to get as much wear out of it before the end of the season. This is definitely my favorite coat I’ve ever sewn!

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

This jacket is not my best work. Just putting that out there at the start. But sometimes you just need to see a project through to the end and I’m glad I finished it. And while I liked the design (thumb cuffs, hood, curvy fit), the combination of fabric, fit, and details just wasn’t working for me.

This is my Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket. I originally bought the pattern because I loved the pleated back version but I realized you need a really good knit to hold those pleats at the hem so for my first try I went with the plain back.

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

It’s been so long since I started this project that I’ve forgotten where I sourced my fabric. The main fabric is a green ponte I bought online. It’s pretty thin for a ponte, more like a thick jersey. The hood lining and pockets are  leftover black mesh fabric from these leggings.Greenstyle Creations Sundance JacketI struggled to find zippers and drawstrings for the hood that matched this olive green. Eventually, I went a different direction and bought these hot pink shoelaces. I decided to roll with the pink and topstitched my seams with matching thread.

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

Looking back, I don’t think I should have done the topstitching. Trying to sew a straight stitch on a knit made my stitches uneven and the hem wavy. From a distance, the stitching’s not bad but I don’t like the look of it up close.

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

The pattern offers two different options for sewing the thumb holes in the cuffs. I went with topstitching, but at this point, I was already so disappointed with the hot pink thread, I stuck with green for this part.

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

I could use a sway back adjustment. That’s pretty common for me, though.

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

You can see how the hem is a little floppy around the hips.

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

The jacket includes zipped side seam pockets. The pocket pieces are curved. The bottom edge gets caught in the hem stitching but as you can see, it’s just a floppy pocket inside. This was a missed opportunity to just extend the pocket and have it attach to that princess seam in the front. No more floppy pocket. If I were to make this pattern again, this would be my first change.  (You can also tell when I started losing interest in this project because that middle seam isn’t finished. Oh, well.)

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

The cuffs are extra long to cover most of your hand, but even then, I think the sleeves are a bit too long for me.

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

One other thing that bothers me: the drawstring casing that is sewn in the hood is pretty wide. It’s like an inch while the width of the shoelace is less than half an inch. That means the casing bunches up oddly when you pull the drawstring tight. It looks like little ripples around my head. I’ve smoothed the casing out for these photos.

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

So with all of that summed up, here are some changes I would make next time:

  • Adjust the pockets
  • No topstitching
  • Swayback adjustment
  • Thicker fabric
  • Deeper hem
  • Thinner drawstring casing in the hood
  • Slightly shorter sleeves

I don’t hate this jacket but it’s not something I’m especially proud of. Despite that, I’ve gotten so much use out of it this winter while running!

Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket

And lastly, I got this sweet t-shirt for Christmas. Perfect for running and sewing!

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

This is my long awaited Closet Case Charlie Caftan. I say long awaited because I bought this rayon at The Cloth Pocket last year and cut out the pieces last summer but didn’t finish the dress until December. It’s little late for summer wear but I can pair it with tights, a scarf, and my Lupin jacket and it works for winter, too.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

This lightweight rayon is pretty sheer. I’m wearing a full-length beige slip underneath which is how I’ll have to wear it if I want to consider this a dress and not just a “swimsuit cover-up.”

I made Views B and added the waist ties. I didn’t have enough fabric for the maxi length.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

The most complicated portion of this pattern is certainly the front waist rectangle piece. You have to attach it in a manner similar to installing a welt pocket. You know, lots of careful clipping into corners and paying close attention to your seam allowances.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

You must first gather the skirt portion of the dress to fit the bodice area and sew the center front seam, then insert the front facing rectangle and ties. Then you can install the interior rectangle as a facing.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

The pattern gives you the option to stitch it by machine but because I was already struggling with the rayon and I decided I could control the fabric better sewing it by hand.

The rest of the dress came together easily. I French-seamed the whole dress as my serger was out of commission and I wanted a nice finish with the rayon.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

The abstract design of this stripe made it difficult to match at the center front. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it just isn’t going to match, and that’s ok. I can still wear the dress and enjoy it even if it’s not perfect.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

I’ve worn this dress a few times since I finished it and at some point, my cat, Peanut, ATE part of one of the waist ties! She has a history of chewing on and trying to eat skinny long things like wires, elastic, those paper handles on shopping bags. This is the second time she’s eaten dress ties. I don’t know how she got access to the dress but obviously, I need to be more careful. She’s fine, doesn’t seem bothered by it at all. Bad Peanut. Good Caftan.