Naughty Bobbin Patterns Cookie Knit Shirt

Thursday May 7, 2020

I think I would only were collared shirts, so I’ve made quite a few button-ups. But sewing them is fraught with challenges.

  1. getting the points on the collar to to be point-y, not round, and to match each other
  2. getting the collar stand and button placket to match vertically
  3. setting in the sleeves without puckers
  4. making a neat cuff placket
  5. making straight buttonholes
  6. getting the buttons sewn on in the right place

The Cookie Shirt from Naughty Bobbin Patterns is designed to be used with knits or stretch fabric and alleviates 2 of these challenges. The collar has a non-standard construction that make the points not a problem. And, as with a knit tee, the sleeves are set in flat, so no basting and crimping to get them into a too small round armhole.

My fabric choice — a stretch velvet — isn’t ideal. It’s thick and my sewing machine didn’t like sewing it, but I’m pleased with the finished shirt.

The pattern

The PDF-only pattern comes in sizes S to XL, bust 32″-46″. It is “a knit version of the classic button-down dress shirt…featuring full length sleeves into 2” cuffs and a looser fit through the body.” There is no sew-along and the instructions are terse, much like the instructions in Burda Magazine. I wouldn’t attempt this as my first button-up shirt.

According to the size chart, I should start with the small and grade to medium at the waist and large at the hips (I’m B35 W29 H39). There are no finished measurements. So I compared my TNT woven shirt pattern to the Cookie pattern and determined a small would be fine, and probably a bit too big. So there is a lot of ease, especially though the waist and hips.

The construction

I made 2 fitting alterations — based on my TNT woven pattern, I shortened the length 4 inches, and shortened the sleeve 1 inch. Next time I would un-shorten the sleeves. I also removed the lined back yoke, thus making the back one piece. I didn’t think I’d like the velvet against my back. My fabric is quite thick and I also thought it would make the shirt bulky.

As I mentioned above, the collar construction is non-standard. It’s one long piece and sewn like a neck band on a t-shirt. This is the pattern piece below. You sew the short ends together to make a back seam, fold it in half vertically and sew the curvy edges together. The points aren’t formed by a pivoted sewing line, so when you unfold the collar, there’s no poking and prodding to get crisp corners. I’m going to adapt this to my TNT woven pattern.

Most of the seam allowances are 3/8″, except for the collar stand and collar construction, where they are 1/4″. My sewing machine hated this tiny seam allowance with the stretch velvet — no amount of pins would keep the collar stand and the shirt aligned as I sewed them (I used my walking foot and a stretch needle). After unpicking several times, I resorted to wondertape and a bit of washable fabric glue to get the job done.

The one problem I had with the instructions was the continuous lap sleeve placket — they didn’t make sense to me. My TNT woven pattern uses this same placket (a bias strip sewn around a slit in the sleeve), so I pulled out the instructions for that pattern. Sew-a-holic has a tutorial for sewing this type of placket here.

Pretty much everything else went together easily. For the hem, I used double sided fusible stay tape , just as I would on a knit tee. I attached it before I sewed up the sides of the shirt, leaving on the paper. After sewing in the sleeves and closing up the sides, I removed the paper, folded the hem up, using the edge of the stay tape as a guide, and ironed it down. I hand-sewed the hem, as I didn’t like top-stitching in the velvet.

The finished shirt

The finished shirt was really big in the front. I wore it for a day and knew I wouldn’t wear it again. There was too much fabric in front to properly tuck in the shirt and, untucked, cold air kept coming up the front. So I knew I had to make it sit closer to my body.

I took the sides in at the waist about 3/4″ on each side. That helped some but not enough. So I resorted to fish-eye darts on the front, starting below my bust, maximum at the waist, and ending at the hem. I was hesitant to put in the darts as the fabric was tricky to iron well. I put a piece of scrap velvet under the shirt when ironing and used a press cloth, but I wasn’t all that successful in getting the darts to lie flat.

Below, on the left is no darts. On the right, darts. I’m pleased with my shirt. But next time I’d use a thinner knit.

#thegreatmodulesewalong reveal

Monday March 23, 2020

Here is my entry for the #thegreatmodulesewalong challenge — 6 garments (3 tops, 2 bottoms and a topper) that all coordinate.

What I made

  1. Black wool jersey turtleneck (True Bias Nikko)
  2. Olive green wool jersey turtleneck (True Bias Nikko)
  3. Silk chiffon button-up (vogue 8772) [blog post here ]
  4. Ultra suede skirt (hack of new look 6106) [blog post here ]
  5. Black wool flannel cropped pants (Deer & Doe Narcisse)
  6. Olive boiled wool cropped jacket (Decades of Style 3’s a Charm)

THE OUTFITS



left: Olive turtleneck, Boiled wool jacket, Black pants. center: Black turtleneck, suede skirt. right: Silk chiffon blouse, black pants


left: Black turtleneck, suede skirt. center: Silk chiffon blouse, suede skirt. right: Olive turtleneck, suede skirt, boiled wool jacket

A few comments

My biggest conundrum making this capsule was that not all olive greens go together. Actually mostly they don’t. My original plan for 2 of the tops was to use a plaid button-up I already had in my closet and some striped flannel for a second button-up. But they looked really mismatched with the jacket. I decided to substitute in a black turtleneck from a wool jersey I already had in my stash. But I had to scramble to find an appropriate fabric for my third top, as I really wanted a print. I finally found something at Mood Fabric.

I’ve worn the jacket quite a bit. It’s got a dart at the elbow, which makes the sleeves really comfortable. It’s almost like a knit cardigan. It’s such a success I’ve bought fabric to make another one.

The challenge was really fun. I didn’t get side-tracked, as I have with my Fall-Winter sewing plans, because there was a dead-line as well as lots of inspiration on Instagram.

Thanks to the hosts, Whitney (TomKatStitchery on youtube and @tomkatstitcherycarmel on instagram) and Carla (Stay Stitching on youtube and @carlamayfield5 on instagram).

Vogue 8322 review

Friday March 20, 2020

One of the garments in my Fall/Winter sewing plans is a navy blouse. I was going to use a pattern I’ve made several times before, Vogue 8772, a fitted button-up with collar & collar stand. But when I was cleaning up my sewing space, I discovered a forgotten half-done toile for a button-up with a v-neck and one-piece (camp) collar. I tried to remember why I had abandoned it — and tried it on to see how it fit.

The pattern is described on the package as a long sleeve, princess seam shirt with straight or stylized front hem. View A: snap front closure, topstitched along front opening and neck edges. View B: pointed collar variation, buttoned cuff. View C: front button closure. View C: standing collar, flared sleeve. Here’s the pattern, and my toile was for view B. ( Here are the reviews on pattern review.)

I tried on the toile and saw that although I’d cut my usual Vogue pattern size (12), the chest was much too big across the front and the shoulders were too wide. I fiddled with the princess seams until I got that sorted out, took the blouse apart and made the pattern changes.

Then I cut out the pattern in my fashion fabric — a blue silk noil. It’s a pretty straight-forward sew. The collar is one piece, which is much easier than one with a collar stand, so the tricky bits were setting the sleeves and the button holes. On the front there’s a facing from center front to the princess seam which is hand-sewn to the seam allowance. That might have been the hardest part, getting the sewing smooth in that area. I clipped the seam allowance and cut it down to about 1/4″, but it still has a bit of wiggle in the seam just above my bust.

My big mistake was putting the button holes on the wrong side, but I doubt anyone but me will notice.

The V is a bit low, and if I was to make the blouse again I would figure out how to raise it up and inch or so.

My husband took several pictures, but this was the only one in focus, as I tried to get my hair to stay out of my face.

Vogue 8772 in silk chiffon

Friday March 13, 2020

This is my third and final top for the Great Module Sewalong.

This is my sixth time making Vogue 8772 but the first using silk. Here’s the pattern. I’ve made view D with both long sleeves and no sleeves.

Vogue 8772

And here’s the fabric — a silk chiffon from Mood Fabrics.

The silk is quite thin, but soft and flow-y. In a recent Threads Magazine, there’s an article on using liquid stabilizers to treat unstable fabrics before you cut them out. One suggested stabilizer is PerfectSew. So I bought a bottle to test it out.

The Threads article says:

  1. wash & dry the fabric
  2. dip the fabric into the stabilizer and get it all wet (more on this below)
  3. roll the wet fabric in a towel to remove excess
  4. dry the fabric flat, arranging it so the grainline is straight and the fabric lies as smooth as possible.
  5. when it’s dry, iron the fabric and it’s ready to cut & sew up.
  6. after sewing, wash the finished garment by machine to get all the stabilizer out

I laid out several plastic garbage bags on the floor, and dried the wet fabric on top, as I didn’t have a surface large enough to lay the fabric flat.

But how much stabilizer to use? And the instructions on the bottle suggest diluting it if using it on garment fabric (rather than to do embroidery). But how much to dilute?

The only thing I could find on-line was a blog post by the Confident Stitch, which suggested 2 parts stabilizer to 1 part water. I tried this on a small piece of my fabric and the result was really stiff. I tried again with 1 part stabilizer to 3 parts water, and liked the results much better. The fabric was stiff but still had some drape, like a light-weight cotton.

As a happy coincidence, as I was preparing my fabric the Love To Sew Podcast had an episode on sewing with delicate fabrics. They suggested using a new micro-tex needle as well as cleaning my machine before I began sewing, so I did both those things.

Sewing the blouse wasn’t any different than the other versions I’ve made with less shifty fabric, yeah! And, bonus, I had the perfect shade of green buttons. They blend in really well so you don’t really see them.

Here’s the blouse, worn with one of the bottoms for my module.

New Look 6106 skirt with pocket hack

Tuesday March 3, 2020

The New Look 6106 skirt is one of the bottoms I’ve made for the Great Module Sewalong.

I’ve made this skirt several times, but decided quickly I didn’t like the pockets. I couldn’t get them to lie flat but the real problem was they didn’t accommodate my iphone. Here’s the pattern.

I made the skirt without the pockets, but missed them. Then I saw a Vogue sewing pattern of a Rachel Comey skirt with pockets in a horizontal seam in the front of the skirt.


Vogue 1247

It’s Vogue 1247, unfortunately out of print, but lots and lots of sewists have made it and blogged about it. There are many photos of how the pockets are attached — for instance this post by Diary of a Chainstitcher.

Here’s what I did to modify the pattern:

Here’s the first one I made, as a test, using a decor corduroy fabric remnant I got at Joann. As I look at the picture, I probably should have moved the pockets down a bit, but in reality I only use them for my phone, not my hands!

And here’s the one I made for the module sewing challenge. The fabric is an olive ultra suede from Gorgeous Fabrics. I underlined it with silk organza, so the hem wouldn’t show (I hand stitched the hem to the organza rather than the ultra suede). The suede is a bit sponge-y and the side seems didn’t lie very flat, so I also catch-stitched the seam allowance to the organza, which made them behave much better. It’s also lined, so it won’t stick to my tights.

#thegreatmodulesewalong

Monday February 24, 2020

At the end of November I put together my Fall/Winter sewing plans, excited to have pieces that would all work together. I made the first top — a True Bias Nikko Turtleneck — and realized that I needed them in all the colors. So I’ve used much of my sewing time doing just that, rather than making the other items in my list. I now have an olive turtleneck, as well as black, brown, paprika, and navy — all in heavy rotation.

I’ve made some progress with several of the other things on my list, but got stuck with a fitting failure on the pants I was hoping to make.

Then along came the Great Module Sew-along, an instagram challenge to make a small capsule wardrobe (3 tops, 2 bottoms and a topper) by the end of March. It’s hosted by Whitney (TomKatStitchery on youtube and @tomkatstitcherycarmel on instagram) and Carla (Stay Stitching on youtube and @carlamayfield5 on instagram). It’s been inspiring to watch what other sewists have planned to make, and are already making. I decided to join in, to give me a nudge to make more progress on my Fall/Winter plan.

I’m modifying my original plan a bit to fit into the challenge format. They are loose with the rules, so items you’ve already made are allowed. Here’s my fabric choices

Fabric choices for The Great Module Sewalong

From the top:

  1. Flannel for a button up (vogue 8772)
  2. Wool jersey for a turtleneck (True Bias Nikko)
  3. Flannel for another button up (vogue 8772)
  4. Ultra suede for a skirt (hack of new look 6106)
  5. Wool flannel bottom weight for pants (Deer & Doe narcisse)
  6. Boiled wool for a cropped jacket (Decades of Style 3’s a charm)

I’m a bit unsure of the fabric choices for the 2 button ups — the greens aren’t quite right and I don’t know if they’ll fit under the cropped jacket. But we’ll see…

And sketches I made of the (hopefully) resulting outfits.

Sketches of my six outfits for The Great Module Sewalong

Seamwork Elmira Wrap Sweater

Wednesday January 8, 2020

As part of my Fall/Winter sewing plans, I wanted to make a layer that wasn’t a standard button up cardigan. I have the Seamwork Elmira ballet wrap top pattern and decided to give it a try. The Elmira is a cropped, fitted ballet wrap with 3/4 sleeves and long ties. Two examples that got me interested in trying the pattern are Meg at Cookin’ & Craftin’ and Sewrendipity’s on instagram. You can see lots more examples on Instagram here.

I haven’t had much luck with Seamwork patterns in the past. Both woven pieces I attempted required a lot of fitting changes and I gave up on them. But this is a knit, so I thought it might be more forgiving. Most blog posts I read about the pattern didn’t mention fit issues, but before I cut into my expensive wool jersey, I tried out the pattern with some left-over ITY in my stash.

I made a few changes before I cut my fabric:
1) Lengthened it 2″ as it seemed awfully short
2) Lengthened the sleeves 2″
3) Shortened the ties.
4) The front of the wrap is 2 layers but the back is only one. The back neckline is just folded and stitched. Lots of other bloggers complained about this, so I made the back 2 layers as well.

Once I had the pieces cut out, I used some lightweight fusible interfacing on the shoulders and neckline so they wouldn’t stretch out.

The instructions were good and the construction straight-forward. I did most of the sewing on my serger.

Here’s the picture Seamwork uses to show off the Elmira. Mine looks very similar (except for the long ties), but if I was to make this again, I would go up a size, to to get more front coverage, like Meg does here.

Looking at all the Instagram examples, I think the wrap looks best over a dress. I’ve tried it with my turtleneck tucked and out, and I prefer the shirt out.


Seamwork Elmira wrap top, True Bias Nikko turtleneck, self-drafted pants

I’m glad I made this up in the ITY before committing to my plan of making it in my merino jersey. I’d rather have something a bit longer. Here are 2 other patterns I’m considering: the Cashmerette Appletop wrap top hack (below left) or the Trish Newbery wrap cardigan (below right).

Jalie Charlie Bomber Jacket

Wednesday January 1, 2020

Last spring I realized I needed a light-weight jacket to wear on my daily walk. I quickly decided to make Jalie’s Charlie Bomber Jacket, an unlined jacket with a zipper front, welt pockets and ribbing at the collar, cuff and waistband. The first one I made is a bit oversized and the sleeves are too long, but it’s perfect for its intended purpose. This fall, I made another one out of a quilted knit (above), as part of my fall/winter sewing plans. This one is meant for colder weather — it’s lined with micro-fleece. There’s a close-up below.

The Charlie Bomber is one of those patterns that looks more complicated that it is — I’m an “adventurous beginner” when it comes to garment sewing, and this was easy to construct, especially with their video tutorial. I’m glad I made the unlined version first — although the collar-to-zipper connection is pretty dodgy — it made the lined (& bagged) version easier to understand. There’s a Jalie blog post on lining the jacket here.

My only complaint about the pattern isn’t about the pattern itself or the instructions — it’s about the ribbing requirement. The pattern says you need 1/3 of a yard — but ribbing (especially the striped / multicolored ones) doesn’t come that way. It’s sold in strips. And I discovered the strips really aren’t long enough and need to be pieced (for an adult jacket). I guessed on my first ribbing order and bought 2 strips — not quite enough for the waistband, collar and cuffs — and I should have ordered 3. And you might ask, as I did, what width strip should be… you have to read the pattern to figure out it’s 6 inches.

Botani seems to sell the widest variety ribbing in the US (online, anyway). But as I looked at their offerings, I was baffled about what weight and fabric composition I should get for the solid black ribbing I was after. I own a ready-to-wear jacket with ribbing that is thick, soft and seems like a natural fiber — could I find something like that? Ah the problem of living in a city that has only a JoAnn! In the end I ordered several different kinds of ribbing from Botani, and when they arrived, used this cotton one.

Some notes about the pockets. First, the welt is formed from the pocket pouch fabric. So while I would have liked the inside of the pocket to be my fleece lining, it’s the not-so-cozy outer fabric. Second, while my iphone fits in the pocket, it doesn’t feel very secure as the pocket isn’t very deep. If I make another one, I would include an interior pocket in the lining.

I also got a very useful tip from the video tutorial. She has you baste the zipper to the jacket using a wide zig zag stitch at the edge, with part of the stitch on the fabric and a little off. I’ve since used this method to baste together the folded collar for a turtleneck before attaching it to the neckline. It effectively makes the collar one layer. Here’s a snap from the video showing what I mean:

My review:

Pattern Description: Bomber jacket for stable knits or stretch woven. Zippered front. Ribbing collar, cuffs and waistband. Welt pockets with the welt forming from the pocket pouch fabric. Forward shoulder seam.

Pattern Sizing: Jalie sizing, 27 sizes included, from 2 yr toddlers to women size 22.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, especially with the video tutorial. This was my first welt pocket and separating zipper installation, and I didn’t have any problems. I liked the new-to-me basting method for knit fabrics from the video.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Mostly likes. I would like deeper pockets, and I thought the info about ribbing was lacking (see above).

Fabric Used: Pre-quilted black stable knit for the body, micro-fleece for the body lining, and a rayon lining with a bit of stretch for the arms. (I thought it would be hard to get my arms into the sleeves with fleece.)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added a hang loop on inside back. I took 2 inches off the body and 1-1/2″ off the sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes. If I make another one I would add an inside pocket for my phone. Also, I’d change the collar from ribbing to a standing collar for added warmth. This Pattern Review review talks about how she changed the collar to do just that.

Fall-Winter Sewing Plans

Thursday November 21, 2019

Since I started garment sewing in the fall of 2017, I’ve tried unsuccessfully to put together a seasonal sewing plan. I tried the Seamwork “Design your wardrobe” online course. I tried the yearly Make Nine challenge. I drew sketches and made lists. But in the end I couldn’t decide on a list or plan, much less stick to it. Ultimately I suspect I wasn’t ready to commit to a plan, as I wasn’t confident of my sewing abilities. But this fall I realized I actually had a plan, I just hadn’t articulated it. I looked at the fabric I bought recently and saw lots of olive green. I’ve been trying to make coordinating pieces that mix and match, and I noticed that the sketches I drew were of complete outfits — bottom, top, top layer and jacket/coat.

I wondered if I could combine those outfits into a plan or a mini capsule wardrobe. As someone who loves puzzles, I returned to something I’d tried before but abandoned — a wardrobe sudoku. The idea is to create a “sudoku” board of 4 rows and 4 columns with each row containing one top, bottom, accessory, and shoes to create an outfit. You end up with 10 outfits using 16 pieces (reading the rows, columns and 2 diagonals). Pattern Review had a sudoku contest and you can see what people made here. And here’s an explanation of how the sudoku wardrobe works.

In fall, winter and spring, I wear a top, a cardigan, a bottom, and, on errands and my afternoon walk, a jacket or coat. I don’t wear many accessories — jewelry or scarves, and my shoes are boring — sneakers when there is no snow and boots when there is. Since I’m interested in making/sewing, I decided on 4 categories I could make: top, bottom, top layer and jacket.

I knew that sewing 16 items wasn’t realistic for me, plus I wanted to make the outfits work with things that are already in my closet. So I picked 8 things to make, and 8 things I had already made or bought. I also wanted to pick both patterns I’ve made before as well as a few I haven’t, and to vary the complexity — easy knit tops and more time consuming button ups and coats. Here’s the grid, and below a list of the items. The cells in the grid with the yellow-ish background are things I’ve already made or bought.

Tops:

  1. True Bias Nikko Turtleneck in olive wool jersey. I’ve made this top several times, so no fitting necessary. And a quick sew!
  2. Vogue 8772 button up in green/black plaid flannel. I made this shirt last year and wear it often with black jeans, but would like to have it work with other things in my closet
  3. True Bias Nikko Turtleneck in black/grey stripe wool jersey. I made this one earlier this fall.
  4. Vogue 8772 button up in navy. Since I’ve already made this pattern multiple times, there’s no fitting. But it is time consuming with collar and button & sleeve plackets (not to mention getting the sleeve head to fit nicely!)

Bottoms:

  1. Vogue 9181 pants in olive green stretch twill: I haven’t had a lot of luck fitting pants — the back on the patterns I’ve attempted are a mass of wrinkles. But this pattern has 3 backs — so I’m hoping the curvy one will be more successful.
  2. Vogue 9181 pants in a stretch denim: see above.
  3. Self-drafted cropped black culottes. I took a pants fitting class last year, and these are the results — they are comfortable and since they are cropped they stay out of the snow when I run errands!
  4. Ready to wear midi wrap skirt in loden (dullish grey green). I really like this skirt but don’t wear it enough.

Layers:

  1. Ready to wear cropped navy cardigan.
  2. Itch to Stitch Lisbon Cardigan in olive wool jersey. I’ve made this sweater before, so no fitting required, and mostly sewn on my serger (well, there are button holes!)
  3. Seamwork Elmira wrap cardigan in black jersey. I’d like to have a few layers that aren’t standard button up cardigans. This is a new pattern for me.
  4. Ready to wear cropped animal print grey/black cardigan. I’m not sure this goes with the other things in my grid, but I don’t wear this enough so thought I would give it a boost.

Jackets:

  1. Paola workwear jacket in navy denim. Made this fall — blog post here.
  2. Jalie Charlie Bomber Jacket in quilted black ponte, made earlier this year. Blog post coming.
  3. Mccall’s 6531 anorak in olive green twill with red zipper: This anorak is the most involved make on my list. It’s unlined, but realized after getting all the materials together that I really need a warmer jacket. So I’ll be lining this one.
  4. Hey June Evergreen Moto Jacket in olive green sweater knit. This is a new pattern for me.

First up is the Seamwork Elmira wrap top. Do you have sewing plans for this fall/winter?

Paola workwear jacket pattern review

Tuesday October 29, 2019

On my sewing list this fall is a navy jacket that I can use for layering. I wanted a utility-type jacket and decided to use a free pattern from the Fabrics Store, the Paola Workwear Jacket. It’s described as “featuring a straight boxy fit, four large patch pockets and flat-felled seams for sturdiness.” Here’s the technical drawing

Paola Workwear Jacket Tech Drawing

You can see other sewists’ makes of the jacket on instagram

I knew I was going to crop the jacket, so I made a muslin to check the length and the pocket placement. I made up a small based on the finished measurements (I’m 35 bust, 29 waist). After taking 5 inches off the bottom of my muslin, the 2 vertical pockets weren’t going to work — not enough space. So I drafted a larger pocket that would hold my phone. The other alteration I made was to add a seam down the back for a bit more interest.

I bought a dark navy brushed denim from Blackbird Fabrics, as well as an edge stitch foot for my sewing machine, to help with the double stitching on the pockets. I’ve not made jeans or done much top stitching, so I did some experiments before getting started. Coincidentally I read a post from Claire about making a denim jacket and she recommended hammering down the flat-felled seams before top stitching. This tip made my job much easier! On Instagram, someone mentioned she top stitches with a triple stitch and regular thread. I liked my experiments with that method — it made the top stitching, which matched the color of the jacket, stand out more than using top stitching thread. If I was using a contrasting color, my experiments told me to use a thread that matches the jacket in the bobbin and the contrast for the top color. This made the stitches stand out a lot more than using the contrast in the bobbin.

The instructions are spare but good, although the pattern pieces don’t mention cutting interfacing for the facings and collar, but the instructions assume you’ve cut & applied them.

Here’s my jacket in action:

I’m pleased with the buttons I found on ebay — they are navy with a what looks like top stitching around the edge.

One more picture: