Off the Beaten Path

I decided just the other day that I wanted to join in the Fall for Cotton Sewing Challenge, hosted by Rochelle and Tasha. This is an interesting challenge for me because for about a year now, I’ve been creating a wardrobe that doesn’t really involve a lot of vintage style. I love vintage, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time its hard for me to not feel like I’m in costume when I wear vintage get-up. For me, the 70s and 80s are where its at. Keeping that in mind and the idea of my Everyday Wardrobe, I searched my pattern stash for a suitable “Sunni” pattern. Amidst a few of my grandma’s old patterns I found one. Vogue 2902.

Pierre Balmain anyone? The pattern isn’t dated, but I’m pretty sure this is a pattern from the 70s. We’ve got the illustrated model in that popular mustard color and she’s wearing platforms (a throw back to the 40s, you know) to boot. Its a pretty lovely pattern and from what I can tell, it was made by my grandma though maybe for a daughter because someone chopped off a lot of length from the skirt. Someone likes em short!!

Anyway, pattern’s traced and I’m about to mock up a muslin. The other challenge and possibly even more challenging part about Fall for Cotton is actually using 100% cotton fabric. I searched through the stash and though I have several great possible fabric options for this pattern, none were 100% cotton. So I went in search of some suitable cottons and found this army green cotton flannel. I’ve wanted a flannel dress for some time now. I’m excited to say that this will not only be everyday wearable, but also warm! Yesss! I freeze to death when it starts getting cold and so looking in the closet and actually seeing something warm to put on will be a win.

Any of you doing Fall for Cotton? What are your thoughts on vintage? Do a we need a little 70s resurgence here or what? Happy Weekend Everyone!

  • Jenny - I can’t wait to see how this dress turns out. I actually have a few really cute (to me at least) 70′s patterns but I haven’t made them up yet. I may have to share the photos of those patterns – they are pretty neat. Maybe this could be the start of a new theme?? I think Tilly was working on a 70′s pattern recently?
    Jenny recently posted..Chiffon Maxi SkirtReplyCancel

  • Doris - Sunni, nothing is as classy as the older Vintage patterns! Ooh la la! Luv them! You and Gretchen…………so cool clever young’ens! Keep them coming. DorisReplyCancel

  • Sally {thequirkypeach} - Love this idea – that pattern is great! Love that it came from your grandma’s stash!!! :) ReplyCancel

  • Diane @ Vintage Zest - I hadn’t hear of the challenge. I’m going to head over and check it out and see if I can join!
    Diane @ Vintage Zest recently posted..Upcycled Emerald Maxi Dress for The Sew Weekly ReunionReplyCancel

  • Alice - I love 70s patterns and am all for a resurgence! That flannel dress looks so cozy! I’ve been thinking of flannel dresses all august, I might have to make one now that it’s almost fall.ReplyCancel

  • Evie - I have felt a strangely forceful attraction to 70s fashion as of late. Palazzo pants are only one of the greatest inventions ever. And the 70s and 80s are technically vintage now, so really you’re right on the money for the challenge!ReplyCancel

  • kathy - I love 70′s vintage! Of course, I am of that era so to me it is not that old.. HeHeHe.. I am also participating in Sewing for Cotton challenge, making something for my daughter, and I was so sure that she would select the late 60′s early 70′s style, but much to my surprise she has found a 1958 dress to fall in love with. Can’t wait to see your dress completed! I love flannel and with the winter right around the corner it will be the perfect dress.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne - Ooh! I love that green! I’m excited to see how it turns out! I’m doing Fall for Cotton, too, and I try to walk a fine line with vintage sewing. I love vintage clothing and patterns, but aim for a “classic” look rather than “vintage”. I picked a modern pattern with vintage fabric.
    And I think the 70′s are growing on me.
    Joanne recently posted..Fall for Cotton PlansReplyCancel

  • Serac - Oh, that will be gorgeous! I love the idea of a flannel dress, but living in Texas it just wouldn’t be terribly practical. I might wear it once a year if I went somewhere cold. Beautiful color though, should look wonderful on you.ReplyCancel

  • LLBB - Ooh, awesome fabric! Love the strong lines. It might look cool with the placket thing in navy. Have fun with the sewalong!ReplyCancel

  • Ayana - I’m totally into the 70s look right now, and I think the fabric is great!ReplyCancel

  • Julia at Home on 129 Acres - Great pattern. I love that you’re sewing it in a flannel. That will be a very comfortable, wearable dress. A green dress is on my fall sewing list too!
    Julia at Home on 129 Acres recently posted..CoinkydinkReplyCancel

  • Katrina - I love the color of fabric that you have chosen — it will look very nice with your hair. Can’t wait to see the finished project!
    Katrina recently posted..Would you vote for me, please?ReplyCancel

  • Emily - Love the colour! I have an irrational fear of flannel, so looking forward to seeing the finished dress.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Helm - That is a beautiful pattern, like so many from the 1970s. I loved sewing from them then (when I was in my 20s!) and now! I look forward to seeing your green dress.ReplyCancel

  • Mainelydad - I think that’s a great pattern. Very classy. I’m sure you’ll amaze us all with your rendition.ReplyCancel

  • Annanic - It’s so nice to see I’m not the only one who loves 70′s fashion. It seems like most people prefer the 50′s but for me it’s all about the late 60′s through the 70′s. that pattern is great and it will be so cozy in that flannel!ReplyCancel

  • Virginia - I do think vintage later than the 50s isn’t getting the recognition it deserves, but maybe it’ll come in to fashion later? I’m kind of in love with 60s/70s clothing at the moment (as well as steampunk, which makes an interesting combination).
    Virginia recently posted..My absenceReplyCancel

  • Rochelle New - I’ so happy to have you join us, Sunni! I love that you’re making a 70′s dress, and in a gorgeous color flannel no less! I also love that you’re embracing this as a challenge and thinking outside the box with your fabric and pattern choice :) That’s the spirit!

    I can’t wait to see your finished dress. xo
    Rochelle New recently posted..Using Non Printed Vintage Patterns – The BasicsReplyCancel

  • Susan Partlan - You wear vintage styles very well. I always enjoy seeing your fabric choices and styling details. Creative!
    Susan Partlan recently posted..The Right Tool for the Right Job: Making the Case for Individual Pattern SizesReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - I also just recently found out about the Fall into Cotton sewalong and am hoping to join up – provided I can figure out a pattern + fabric in my stash combo that I’d be excited about. My problem isn’t having 100% cotton fabrics, but ones that work for fall. My cottons are mostly spring/summer-oriented. If it had been a Fall for Wool sewalong I’d be set! I start gravitating away from cotton and towards wool this time of year. I’m very curious to see how your dress turns out, cotton flannel is not something I’ve associated with regular clothing before, but if it works it seems like a great and cozy notion!
    Carolyn recently posted..Belladone Take 1ReplyCancel

  • Carlee - A flannel dress is so simple, it’s brilliant!!!!!! Great idea!
    Carlee recently posted..Grow Write Guild Prompt #5: ListenReplyCancel

  • Gail - I can see a very cool dress in this. Just add an edgy belt and shoes.
    Gail recently posted..Valedictory victory and something for you!ReplyCancel

  • Tasha - OOH, flannel dress! That’s awesome! I’m embarrassed to admit I read this post on my phone when we were on vacation then forgot to come back to comment. But that “OOH flannel dress!” was the first thing I thought of then, too. lol I think it seems like a GREAT match with that pattern, which is totally you. Fun and vintage, but still completely works for the modern, everyday wardrobe you’ve been cultivating. And cozy and perfect for fall in that fabric. I can’t wait to see the result!
    Tasha recently posted..A week in the NorthwoodsReplyCancel

  • Taryn - Hello to everyone that loves this blog as much as I do – Craftsy (where we all know Sunni has a great free course) is having its own “Blogger Awards” in various categories and I thought readers might like to vote for this awesome blog.

    Voting literally took me about 20 seconds and you may not even need to be registered at Craftsy..

    Lets help this blog get some more credit that it deserves!!ReplyCancel


This is another Tyler shirt. Compared to jackets (and I’ve been on a jacket kick for sometime) shirts whip up in no time, so you get a double whammy this week! As I was going along I made some spontaneous changes to the pattern. This is a silk print crepe de chine from Yellow Bird Fabrics. Its so gorgeous I think and its one of those types of colorways that goes with just about everything. Its unbelievably comfortable too. It’s been sometime since I owned a silk shirt and this one is just amazingly wonderful to wear. Chic – check, simple to wear and care – check, goes with everything – check! By the way, I have no qualms when it comes to cleaning my own garments the only exception being coats and tailored jackets.

Again, the print camouflages the raglan sleeve, but its there. I opted not to add the collar, just the collar stand resulting in a mandarin collar shirt. I like this option quite a bit for a silk shirt because otherwise the collar ends up flopping about like a fish out of water. I hate that. Additionally, I chopped off the sleeve length, widened the cuffs and just raised the cuff treatment to my elbow instead of my wrist. Kind of a poet style sleeve. Ended up looking rather marvelous with the fabric choice if I do say so myself. All in all, no major changes really. I did do pink buttons though. As I’ve stated several times, my stash is overflowing and since this fabric was in the stash and so were the buttons, I went for it.

I also made the skirt here and excuse me if I say that red is really hard to photograph. I know this thing looks photoshopped, but it ain’t. Its quite electric red. Not quite that electric in real life, but I’ll admit it is a bright orangey red. I made the skirt at the beginning of summer and just haven’t put it up here on the blog yet. Its Kwik Sew 3278 – a simple a-line skirt with welt pockets. The whole reason I bought the pattern was for the welt pockets because being a connoisseur of such details, I find it interesting to see how pockets measure up against each other, you know for science and all that. This pattern was worth it for the welts. They were breezy to construct. Additionally, you’ll notice that I left out the button down center front. I did this because first I didn’t want to mess with the buttons and second because button up skirts can tend to show more skin than feels comfortable. I mean you can wear a slip but well, you know. I just didn’t want to bother with it. Actually were I to do it with the buttons, I would make it a faux button front that is stitched closed and include a side or back zip. The skirt is made from some cotton/linen blend from Yellow Bird as well (can I say, I’m apart of the Yellow Bird Sewing Network???) and its fully lined in rayon lining. Pretty straight forward really, but its an easy piece to wear. So easy.

Actually I made two of these skirts with a 3rd cut out and ready to sew too. They are kind of a below the natural waist style and since the pattern didn’t include a contoured waistband, I ended up having to alter that a bit to get it to be contoured. End result is really comfortable and easy to wear. I also like the fact that this skirt isn’t really really a-line or not enough a-line. Its just right. Really, such a great pattern with that tweaking of the waistband.

Last thing, but I wanted to point out that my entire outfit is completely Everyday Wardrobe friendly. Again, this is very important to me as you know because I’ve been down that road of making too many dresses that go with high heeled shoes. Dresses aren’t bad at all, but I’m very careful about making dresses that are more casual or can be worn with flats now because I’ve gotten rid of nearly all of my heels. I still have a couple of pairs but they are for special occasions. I know I need to do more posts on the Everyday Wardrobe, but this idea has completely revolutionized my life and my closet. I actually have items to grab now for everyday wear that look great. So refreshing!

I still think I need one more Tyler shirt. Maybe two. I still have several cuts of Liberty I could potentially choose from and I think I do need a solid colored one too, just to show off the raglan. Are you a Tyler convert yet?

  • Stevie - Oh I love that shirt! Clever idea with the mandarin collar. Does the raglan help with the arm movement? I find that shirts with conventional set in sleeves can sometimes restrict my arm movement. That fabric was a perfect choice! xReplyCancel

  • Carlee - That print is absolutely stunning!!! Love the changes to the top. I do prefer a 3/4 sleeve myself, otherwise I’m just rolling my sleeves up. Nice basic skirt as well. I’d love to see the top paired with a bright yellow skirt!
    Carlee recently posted..Grow Write Guild Prompt #5: ListenReplyCancel

  • Sam - I love the way you’ve done the collar on this shirt. I keep seeing so many great shirt patterns around, but I hate collars, so this would be the perfect solution.
    Sam recently posted..Purple and a PresentReplyCancel

  • Tatiana - I loved the Tyler shirt, I want to try a shirt with raglan sleeves, but the idea of getting a pdf pattern AND have to trace it, is putting me off… The reason why I buy pdf patterns is because I absolutely hate to trace patterns, ha! I might buy this pattern anyway, then just print it several times to cut the pieces separately… but is such a waste of paper, I know I feel guilty about it…ReplyCancel

  • LinB - I love that bright red against your pale skin! Both of them glow. And the blouse should be a real workhorse in your wardrobe, too ( a pinto? Hard to tell if the print is just splotches of gray, or if it’s a giant botanical). I, too, often opt to go with only a collar stand. In my case, it’s out of laziness — a few less steps to perform if I leave off the collar. Collar stand-only also visually lengthens my short, fat neck.ReplyCancel

  • Lori - The print of your Tyler blouse is stunning and I love the changes you made to make it work for you and the fabric. Fabulous skirt, too, you have me heading to check out several links. I like your idea about everyday wardrobe, as I have dresses that tend to go unworn. Thanks for all the inspiration.
    Lori recently posted..Fabric Help NeededReplyCancel

  • Kelly - This shirt is so special, I love the print and can hardly imagine how beautiful it is in silk! Thanks for introducing this pattern company! They have such a cool look – I don’t know if I’m stylish enough for these – but I love to see a real alternative to the vintage look that has permeated home sewing.
    Kelly recently posted..Last monthReplyCancel

  • delamija - Very, very nice outfit! love the shirt!!! so elegant and yet so wearable. I am curious on how you drafted the contourde waistband for the skirt. Any chance you could share that with us? thank you :) ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Love this blouse. That fabric is TDF!
    Elizabeth recently posted..Back to school!ReplyCancel

  • blacklabel - both the blouse & skirt are beautiful…but that blouse *faint* gorgeous.
    blacklabel recently posted..{ NEW LOOK 6150 } Protea lovin’…ReplyCancel

  • Gail - Awesome outfit. Just perfect!ReplyCancel

  • karen - I usually don’t comment ,and I don’t have my own blog to push, but you are such a good sewing resource, please,please don’t do another Liberty print shirt ! I’d like to see your techniques for an eye pleasing match up on a raglan or dolman sleeve plaid jacket or coat , or how about a shirt in chiffon for a change ? And then you can show how to make a great cami for underneath it as well …..How about the basics made in more unconventional fabrics , there’s all these sweatshirts shapes out there made in sheers , in wovens , and in meshes , how about one of them for technique ? I don’t think there are many fabrics these days that are excluded from a daily wardrobe when I am seeing sequins and studs on everyday wear . Please experiment a little ,okay ?ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Thank you for the skirt recommendation! I just wrote a post whining about my own inability to find the motivation to sew daily wear wardrobe pieces; though, I find myself wishing that I had more in my closet. It’s nice to see which patterns are working for other sewers and also to see them used as outfit components in combination with sewn garments.
    Michelle recently posted..Basic Essentials.ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - i love this outfit! the fabric on the blouse is beautiful, and no doubt will easily go with many things. i certainly appreciate useful garments in great fabrics to make everyday dressing a little fun! if i hadn’t already fallen for the grainline archer i would definitely give this a try. then again, your versions of the tyler are making me think i should branch out a little… the raglan sleeve certainly has me curious!
    lisa g recently posted..lounge wearReplyCancel

  • Emily - I absolutely love this blouse! The silk de chine is beautiful & I really think the pink buttons make it perfect.

    Seriously tempted to try the Tyler after seeing yours.ReplyCancel

  • Kerri - Oh love this shirt. It’s just fab.

    I kind of liked the last one you made but this one tipped me into the wanting to have a go at it camp.ReplyCancel

  • EmSewCrazy - I’m loving this shirt. The colors and contrast buttons are amazing. That skirt is pretty awesome too. I might have to take a look at this pattern. I really like the raglan sleeves.
    EmSewCrazy recently posted..Liebster AwardReplyCancel

  • Ayana - I love this outfit, but especially the blouse! It actually reminds me of a silk blouse, cream background with a purple design similar to this fabric, that my mom had handmade for me in China way back in about 1989. I still have it, but can’t wear it any more. Now that I sew, you’ve given me the idea of trying to re-create it!ReplyCancel

  • Serac - Love the pink buttons. I almost never think about doing fun things with buttons on my clothes, but you have given me some great ideas for the future.ReplyCancel

  • Sally {thequirkypeach} - Love this entire outfit!!! And I definitely need to start using the term “colorway” more often :)
    Sally {thequirkypeach} recently posted..The Koi Pond DressReplyCancel

  • Jenny - You’ve totally converted me with your collarless version- this is definitely something I would wear! I’ve never sewn anything with a collar stand so I didn’t realise that it could double as a Mandarin collar. That doubled with the raglan sleeves (also a big fan) means Tyler has got my attention!!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - Yep, this has totally converted me! I’m not much of a collared shirt kinda gal, but this is definitely something I’d wear. I’ve never sewn a collar with a stand before so I didn’t realise that you could also use it for a Mandarin collar. That, coupled with the raglan sleeves (also a big fan) mean Tyler has got my attention!!

    And double win that it gets the Everyday Wardrobe seal of approval :)
    Jenny recently posted..Happy to be Proven Wrong!ReplyCancel

  • Bec Stitches - That shirt is gorgeous, I love it!
    Bec Stitches recently posted..The cutest dress I’ve ever madeReplyCancel

  • Sue @ A Colourful Canvas - Oooh, I love the pattern on this shirt, the sleeve length, and the stand up mandarin collar. Just popped in for my first visit via Project Sewn, and have added myself to your fan base on bloglovin’. I’ve got some fun plaid in my stash and will be referring back to your working with plaid posts. Thanks bunches.

    PS Shoes do really make the outfit, don’t they…thinking about the post with the sea of shoes around that cute blue dress.ReplyCancel

  • beki - Ooooo, I love this version of the shirt! Absolutely gorgeous :)
    beki recently posted..liberty pillow challengeReplyCancel

T is for Tyler

So have y’all heard about Named Patterns? There are so many indie pattern companies now (its so awesome, dontcha think?) and this company is one of the most recent. They sell PDF patterns – something that you all know that I actually kind of loathe, but by the same token, their pattern offerings are rather amazing. Anyway, Named first caught my eye from Rachel over at House of Pinheiro. Immediately, I snatched up 3 of their patterns (this coat, this tee and of course, the Tyler shirt).

This is the Tyler shirt from Named’s current offerings. I love it. The raglan sleeve thing is what drew me to the pattern in the first place (though its hard to tell from my printed version).  Then there’s the little cuffs and collar too. I love little things like this instead of the always oversized details from the big 4. I love a good raglan sleeve on really, just about anything and so I decided to take the plunge and make it up first. I made up a muslin. I made my usual broad back adjustment – I can’t wait for the day when I don’t make this dumb alteration. I had to add a good 4 inches back there. Seriously this is actually pretty normal for me. I also shortened the sleeves an inch. Next time around I’m also going to raise the armhole as its a little too low for ultimate comfort. This is definitely not going to be the only version I make (already have a silk print cut out!!). These alterations all resulted in the most comfortable button up shirt I have yet made or ever owned. It’s simply delightful to wear!

The pattern itself is quite well drafted. Especially the sleeve. Usually on a raglan sleeve I experience some wrinkles that point upward toward the tip of the shoulder. This is normal (I’ve read that in several places) and I usually don’t do anything to adjust it, but on this pattern, there is no fitting wrinkles (for me) in the sleeve at all. Beautiful sleeve draft. All the pieces went together without a hitch and it wasn’t too difficult to trace the pattern off after putting the PDF sheets together. They only sell two sizes at a time which is actually kind of a godsend considering how crazy some patterns can be to trace. The only thing that I would say would make it even easier is to leave out the seamlines – all patterns include a 3/8″ seam allowance.

I ended up extending those 3/8″ seam allowances to 5/8″ seam allowances in the body of the shirt because I wanted to do flat felled seams. Made all the more awesome by this rather amazing Liberty print that I picked up some time ago at (my go to for Liberty’s as they have the best price around for them). It’s got an asian theme and I love the color combo. Liberty’s get me every time. I love these fabrics. However, I confess that I didn’t take the time to print match. I can be bothered with plaid matching, but print matching is something else entirely. I hail those who have the patience for such things. Seriously, all hail. To be honest, print matching can be kind of hit or miss with me. Sometimes I can definitely tell when someone went to the trouble of print matching and other times, I just think, why? Why torture yourself? Especially when I would never have been able to tell unless you told me. Still, I can see its value, I guess. While we’re on it, you can probably see there is a big difference in a print for this particular pattern than a solid, like the original has. I love both for their difference, but this pattern totally works both ways. Great pattern for both prints and solids.

Additionally I paired my Liberty with a scrap I had for the inner collar stand, sleeve placket and inner cuff. Speaking of, I used my own sleeve placket. I don’t bother with trying to do it a different way because this one works like a dream every time. Its the one from this Thread’s article.

I decided on snaps here in lieu of buttons. I love me some snaps people. I can like rip out of my shirt now! Yessss! Plus, I used the Snap Setter, and if you’re still in the dark ages and putting on snaps with that rotten Dritz plier, let me enlighten you. These things really work, they ain’t too hard to use and I have yet to break any of the pearl snaps. Win. Worth it. Plus they have every color of snap and snap type under the sun. What’s not to love here?

This pattern is not for beginners. And actually, now that we’re talking about that, just so you are aware, while the pattern comes with instructions, it does not come with illustrations. I’m totally cool with that. I would rather have an excellently drafted pattern than sewing instructions any day. I have a much different way of a constructing a button up shirt – more in line with David Coffin’s excellent book on the subject – than any pattern instructions I’ve ever seen really offer. Speaking of, I also really really like this book on sewing shirts too.

Now for the PDF thing. This pattern was actually brilliantly put together for PDF printout. The pattern pieces are all overlapped on top of each other (like a Burda Mag) and since you really have to trace off these types of patterns anyway, this is really really awesome. Yet, since there are only two sizes, the pattern lines were easy to see and everything worked out pretty much like a piece of cake. I’m totally sold. Pattern makers take a cue!!!! I only had to print out 12 pages. This compared with something like 75 for a jacket from Burda Style that I did once. So dumb!

I’m seriously, seriously loving the semi androgynous look of this new pattern company. While I love many of the cuter, more ladylike patterns that many of the other indie’s offer, I admit that I have to be pretty careful with stuff like that. I just look really weird in some of  those styles. So, I did have some misgivings about this small size of the collar and cuffs here. But since the style is a bit more masculine-ish, it totally rocked my world. Named – you’ve got my attention. Love. at. first. stitch.

  • Suzie - Such a fab shirt Sunni! The fabric is fantastic and the style suits you so well.
    I love the contrasting placket etc and the red studs, such cute details (which I always love about your makes!).
    Can’t wait to see how your other Named makes turn out – beautiful no doubt :)
    Suzie recently posted..DIY I Do : My Wedding Reception Dress : A Cambie MuslinReplyCancel

  • Isabel - I am intrigued by your comment about looking forward to the day when you do NOT need to do a broad back adjustment. Could you explain a little more. I recently made a dress that fit perfectly in the front in a size 12, but wouldn’t come close to zipping in the back. I thought about just cutting a 16 back and using darts to make it fit at the shoulders. I believe I read a post of yours about broad back adjustment. And yes, used to swim a lot.

    Also, I used your free zipper class to learn how to do a good invisible zipper insertion and will be referring to it again when I want to do one with a lining. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Carlee - Love it! I could use me some button up shirts for work. I’ll add it to the (never ending) list.
    Carlee recently posted..Grow Write Guild Prompt #5: ListenReplyCancel

  • Tilly - Love this! This pattern is on my sewing wish list and your version is lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - Very nice shirt! I love the print and your earings match so nicely.ReplyCancel

  • PendleStitches - Eep! These are lovely. As is your shirt. Love the colours on you.
    I’ve just been asked to make a cape for a friend and have emailed her the link to the Avery Cape. Gorgeous. Thanks for the heads up!
    PendleStitches recently posted..The bags made me do itReplyCancel

  • Sally {thequirkypeach} - This Tyler shirt is ROCKING! That print is so great, and I love the snaps :) I haven’t ordered any patterns from Named yet, but the three you ordered were my top three favorites!!! Can’t wait to see what you do with that Andy coat ;)
    Sally {thequirkypeach} recently posted..The Koi Pond DressReplyCancel

  • Lori - Love this blouse and thanks for the link to the placket tutorial. Heading over to the website to see what I need to buy for new patterns.
    Lori recently posted..Ottobre Romper – #6 from 2/2002ReplyCancel

  • Ann - Looks lovely! I have a question…did you have any problem printing out the pattern on 8 1/2 x 11 paper? I saw on the website that they’re offered on A4 paper only. I’m in the US, like you, so I emailed them to ask about it but the email bounced back to me. I have my eye on the Charley Tux pants…I don’t have anything like them.


  • Gjeometry - I just heard about Named patterns from Rachel’s site, as well. I love their designs, they are very strong and bold, and not 50s looking at all. Something exciting and new for the sewing world. I like this blouse and I look forward to seeing the other two patterns you sew up.
    Gjeometry recently posted..Superhero Checklist: Cape…check. Pantone Fall 2013 Colours…checkReplyCancel

  • Stevie - Gorgeous shirt Sunni! Thank you for that in depth review of Named. I was in two minds about ordering some. I adore the designs but wasn’t sure if they were worth investing in. I think I’ll have to indulge now. I adore the fabric too. Gotta love Liberty!ReplyCancel

  • Wanett - I LOVE seeing this all made up!! I would love one of every pattern they have available!!

    I was lucky enough to win Rachel’s giveaway. I almost choose Tyler, but went with the Jamie Jeans. I was little surprised by the lack of illustrations, but I’ve never made pants before. I might has chosen differently had I known.
    Wanett recently posted..Reunion-ing, Just Under the WireReplyCancel

  • Debora - Love your shirt! It is on my wishlist too! I’m looking forward to your dress, I really want to make it but I’m unsure about fabric choice.
    I really like al the vintage/ 50′s stuff going on at the Indie patterncompagnies but look better in designs like the one Named makes!ReplyCancel

  • crystalpleats - I LOVE all the details and information you have given about this pattern. Things like calling attention to the smaller scale collar and cuffs as opposed to the Big 4. You are so right on that account. I think this new company has a really cool, clean vibe to its patterns. I really like the contrast fabric you have added, too. Keep the great pattern reviews coming!ReplyCancel

  • houseofpinheiro - Wowwww this is stunning and chic…ReplyCancel

  • Sassy T - I absolutely love this shirt on you, the fabric is amazing. Your new web page is fantastic too.

  • Maddie - Wow! What a shirt. I love the print but even more, I love your detailed description. I must get me one of those snap setters!ReplyCancel

  • Mainelydad - Fabulous shirt! There really is an art to making a shirt, and you’ve totally knocked this one out of the park. Thanks also for the link to Even guys love Liberty, and their offerings are totally splurge worthy.ReplyCancel

  • Fabric Tragic - I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve got the Tyler shirt on my to-do list and its great to read a little on its construction. Thanks so much!
    Fabric Tragic recently posted..A little more on the red BeignetReplyCancel

  • Kate - Great shirt and so glad to know they do overlapping pattern pieces. Agree about the Snapsetter, I love mine!
    Kate recently posted..SpringReplyCancel

  • Marie - I fell in love with Tyler, the minute I saw the pattern too and it’s great to see such a beautiful version made up. I may have to bump it up my list as it’s such a versatile item to make!ReplyCancel

  • Thewallinna - This is a great shirt! The print goes well with your hair and character :) I’ve just finished their Aydan dress and I like it. But, unlike you, I was quite disappointed with the pattern layout :( If I had to choose, I’d rather print 35 pages than trace the pattern. Anyway, there is always somebody who’ll be ranting :)
    Thewallinna recently posted..Lady by Tokyo in Aydan dressReplyCancel

  • Nikki h - I use that placket from that threads article too! It really does work every time. I’ve been eyeing that shirt making book for some time, I think it’ll be my next purchase.
    The shirt is adorable. Thanks for all of the tips and sites you linked here. Your posts are always informative.ReplyCancel

  • melissa - Love the shirt! I fell hard for their jeans pattern, just waiting for some mad cash to splurge! I’m totally confused at why you trace off your downloaded patterns though – and I trace pretty much everything. My reasons for tracing are that patterns are expensive and I want to preserve a clean copy, but with digital patterns, the clean copy is the pdf. So can you talk through why you like to trace them again? I’m genuinely baffled. (Though I get here that these pdfs are laid on top of each other, like Burda, so you HAVE to tape then print – Manequim does this too but I personally think it’s the worst of both worlds. I don’t mind tracing and I don’t mind taping, but don’t make me do both!!)
    melissa recently posted..A blue neopreney travel skirtReplyCancel

  • Sunni - @Isabel – I’ll try to put together some posts about broad back. There are many fixes, many I’ve tried and many have success. Its just aggravating! I wish there were patterns designed just for me without me having to design them!!!!

    @Ann – Actually yes. I had to purchase a4 paper online in order to print out the patterns. So I contacted the ladies at Named and told them about this issue and they told me that they were going to correct that so that the patterns could be printed on both a4 and us 8.5 x 11. I didn’t mention that part because of this. I think they just might not have known yet when they debuted their patterns, which is totally fine.

    @Wanett – I’m loving the Jamie Jeans too. I’ll admit I was surprised too at the lack of illustrations especially because the patterns were a tad pricey for pdfs, but I’m OK with it I guess. Kind of like Burda Style Patterns, yet their patterns are only $5.40….

    @Mainleydad – So glad you found your way to! I think you would look smashing in any Liberty!!

    @Thewallinna – You’re right. I can see both sides, but admit that I like to only print out these patterns one time trace them off and then roll them up and out of the way.

    @melissa – I always trace them off because I hate having the tape from taping multiple sheets of paper together stick to anything else and also because I always have to make fitting alterations and using stiff printer paper just makes it harder. Ugggh! Also, I find its hard to cut out the pattern from the fabric because its hard to pin through the printer paper. I’m being totally snobby about it too!!! Additionally, I’ve almost always had to reprint this or that and so instead I just print off all of those pdf pages once, put it all together and treat it just like an envelope pattern – trace it off without harming the original. This way I only have to print off the pages once. I just keep pdf patterns rolled up in a corner at one side of my studio. I used to print out and cut out my size and such, but then I also found the patterns hard to store and reuse when I had folded them up into an envelope. I can’t iron them back out because of the tape and many of the taped intersections just become weak. I’m ranting, but this is a major reason why I would much rather purchase an envelope pattern over a pdf any day. But there’s so many great pdfs!!! Can’t help myself!ReplyCancel

Understanding Lining Fabric + Resources

This is a follow-up post to this post and again, if you don’t have Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long, you need it and you should buy the e-book right now! Today, I wanted to share my online resources plus a few tips on what kinds of fabrics can work as a lining. Sometimes ideas from others make a big difference in how we view the usefulness of a fabric. So here goes.

bemberg rayon lining

First let’s talk lining fabrics and what kinds of fabrics work as linings that aren’t labeled “linings.” So there are the typical “lining” fabrics that you can find at a fabric store. They are usually labeled “linings” or a sales associate will most likely point you in that direction when you say you’re looking for a lining. You probably already know what I’m talking about too. Usually the “lining” fabrics are all solid colors, many are polyester or acetate and they all have that “slippery” quality. But let’s say you’re pretty much tired of these low-grade low-quality, unbreathable crummy linings and you’ve decided to expand your search for something else. What do you do? Well, there is a great lining that is called bemberg rayon lining or ambiance. It comes in a variety of solid colors, its breathable, it high quality and lasts and feels wonderful against your skin. I use bemberg for most of my lined garments. I have easy access to this fabric and quite frankly its the lowest cost/highest quality lining “lining” fabric out there. But wait, there’s more!

silk charmeuse solid & printed

Let me acquaint you with my favorite luxury lining – silk charmeuse. Yes, you can use silk charmeuse as a lining. I find it very interesting that people get so turned off by this idea or that they laugh in my face because yes, the price is a little astronomical, but I’m telling you, you have not lived until you have a garment that is lined is silk charmeuse. There is a very valid reason that couturiers use this fabric as a lining. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should line everything in silk charmeuse, but when the lining really counts, silk charmeuse is the ticket. Plus you can get printed silk charmeuse for extra special garments. And it is worth every. single. cent.

silk crepe de chine, printed & solid

There are other types of silks that work great as linings as well, including crepe de chine and china silk. Crepe de chine is a crepe silk that looks like the matte side of silk charmeuse. It works great as a lining in jackets, I think, but its not as slippery as a charmeuse, so keep that in mind. China silk is very very lightweight and has a plain weave to it. It’s great as a lining in garments that are delicate.

hammered polyester charmeuse

I’ve had a lot of people say that they would love to use “printed linings” more often if they could only find them. Wouldn’t we all? Printed linings can be really really fun. Surprisingly, I’ve found some pretty high grade polyester charmeuses at Joann that would do the job of a lining quite well. No they aren’t as fabulous as actual silk, but especially in a jacket, polyesters can do really well. So keep your eyes open for polyester silky prints at your local fabric store and expect to be surprised at how much nicer they are in comparison to the actual “lining” fabrics you find there.

from left to right, knit lining and two stretch woven linings

What about linings for stretch fabrics? Stretch lining can be practically impossible to find. Seriously. We carry a few a Yellow Bird Fabrics and I always tell customers about them because of their rarity. When looking at a stretch lining, there are woven stretch linings and knit linings. I have a great resource for both below. Be aware that these linings are rarely, if ever, all natural fibers. But that’s OK! Stretch woven lining should have lycra (or spandex, same thing) and you can use it with stretch wovens or knits. If you need more stretch, go with a knit lining. These are like swimsuit linings – the kind that are slick and fairly opaque. If you are wanting more of a luxury stretch lining, opt for stretch silk charmeuse. Yes, stretch silk charmeuse! It’s got a little bit of lycra in it and makes a wonderful stretch lining for say something like a ponte knit jacket.

rayon crepe back satins

Last, but not least, coat and outerwear linings. There are a few options for lining a coat. You’ll want something substantial. For the money, I like rayon crepe back satin. This is a heavier weight than say, a bemberg rayon lining and you can also find linings that have flannel backings which are very nice. If you’re looking to line something really special you can opt for silk crepe back satin which is a heavier, more substantial version of silk charmeuse. It still retains a slick surface in addition to being drapey too.

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Yay! Here are my online sources for finding these great lining fabrics:

Bemberg Rayon Lining (also known as “Ambiance”): Vogue Fabrics, Low Price Fabrics, Sawyer Brook
Silk Charmeuse: Mood Fabrics, Thai Silks (for printed silks), Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
Silk Crepe De Chine: Fabric Mart, Mood Fabrics, Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
China Silk: Mood Fabrics, Gorgeous Fabrics
Silks you can dye yourself!: Dharma Trading
Printed Polyester Charmeuse: Low Price Fabrics
Knit & Stretch Linings: Emma One Sock, Gorgeous Fabrics
Stretch Silk Charmeuse: Mood Fabrics
Coat Weight Linings: Vogue Fabrics, Denver Fabrics, Mood Fabrics
Cotton Batiste: Organic Cotton Plus

  • raquel from JC - I recently discovered in the town of Elizabethton, Tennessee the great Bemberg Fabric Building. Now it is a BIG abandoned place, with ghosts and everything. It is a very interesting place, and the history of the place and Elizabethton is kind of sad (pollution, big future that never came, lots of people without jobs, the war and the german relationship with the US, etc,). I’m in the process of sewing a jacket, so thank you so much for tips, it’s been sooo helpful!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Côté - Very interesting post, Thank you!

    I wonder about the washing recommendation for those lining… Any notable ones if I want to avoid dry cleaning?
    Caroline Côté recently posted..Sewing Meet-up in Montreal !ReplyCancel

  • MarrieB - I love bemberg rayon! My local JoAnns carries it (in limited colors). With a 50% off coupon it’s $5/yard. I think the bolt says dry clean only, but I always wash mine on cold/delicate setting and hang dry, and haven’t had any problems.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - A great series on linings with a wonderful collection of resources. Connie’s book has bee a valued member of my sewing library as well!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - I think I bought some pongee lining recently. I bought it to line a (distant) future pair of stretch cigarette pants. It’s a pretty substantial weight for a lining, not too lightweight and not medium weight. Have you ever tried this fabric before?ReplyCancel

  • TessaMelissa - Bookmarked! I can never get enough lining fabrics.ReplyCancel

  • karen - I live in the Philippines where it is extremely hot and muggy all year around. I never used to line anything as I didn’t need the slippery lining to stop my skirts or dresses from sticking to my stockings as I never wear them here. But after watching Susan Khalje’s couture sewing course on Craftsy, it occurred to me that even in the tropics lining can have very useful functions: they give more body to a fabric, they help fabrics wrinkle less and they absorb perspiration! Needles to stay I stay away from any man-made fiber in this heat, I can’t get Bemberg rayon here nor can I get silk, so I now usually use thin cotton batiste to line and underline most of my dresses and skirts and love the way they feel and wear! Less wrinkles, less perspiration showing through, and even cheap fabrics look a whole lot more expensive!ReplyCancel

  • Serac - I love silk as a lining, and I don’t mind splurging on something that I make as it almost always costs less than a comparable item from a store, and it is usually better made and fits better. I will use either a china silk or even a lightweight silk taffeta for a lining (there is nothing like a skirt lined with taffeta, it rustles as you move and sounds and feels so decadent, works best on a pencil skirt or something very fitted). For summer clothes I love a cotton batiste but it is so expensive, sometimes more so than silk, and often hard to find.ReplyCancel

  • megannielsen - Fantastic post Sunni!! Lining is definitely one of those things that can leave people a bit intimated and scratching their heads – but this post is an awesome breakdown of options! LOVE it. I tend to fall into the crepe de chine group – i’m pretty much addicted to using it as lining, and i wish i’d never tried because nothing feels as good now, and my wallet is sad whenever i make a lined garment hehehehe
    megannielsen recently posted..sophies briarReplyCancel

  • cathy - very helpful! where i live i can only purchase *one* type of lining – but after reading this i’ve decided to hold off on making more lined garments until i am closer to all these fabrics you’ve talked about – thank you!
    cathy recently posted..“if you do not poo, you cannot leave benin”ReplyCancel

  • Janet - Thank you so much! More clarification of such things is always appreciated. i was inspired by your jacket so much. I made a navy wool blazer (not plaid) in a tailoring class. I used a Bemberg lining.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - Thank you very much for listing the on-line sources! This is very helpful.ReplyCancel

  • Bella - Mood also has some wonderful silk rayon linings…keep an eye out for sales! And Dharma Trading has bulk silk habotai, lovely for lining!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - Such a great resource! Thank you!
    Gail recently posted..Shimmer BlueReplyCancel

  • Janee - Great post! Another great source for Ambiance lining is Sawyer Brook Fabrics ( The price is competitive and you can order just the yardage you need for your project. Try their Best Match service for lining (thread, zippers and buttons too) when purchasing fabric from their website, or send a swatch of your fabric for lining recommendations. (I have to admit that I work there, and the best match is one of my specialties)ReplyCancel

  • Sunni - @Caroline Cote – I’m a big advocate that you can wash or hand wash most fabrics yourself. All these fabrics, I wash myself. I rarely dry clean but if I do, its more to maintain structure – like on a jacket – than anything else. Definitely a post topic! Thank you!

    @MarrieB – I wash mine as well! I used to hang it dry, but found that it doesn’t watermark nearly as bad if I give it a dry in the dryer. Granted I only dry in the dryer that first prewash time around and then from there, I wash and hang the garment to dry.

    @Michelle – I think I’ve seen this at Joann. It is 100% polyester and most times, I often look for something more breathable. Polyester does not breathe and it can feel itchy against the skin even though it doesn’t to your hand. Definitely try it though and see what you think!

    @karen – You have a very valid point! I added a resource for finding 100% cotton batiste online. Lining a garment really does add to its overall life and it gives it structure. I think of a Chanel cardigan jacket where the silk lining is quilted to a very loosely woven boucle or similar fabric. This process gives the jacket structure and a longer life. Thanks so much for reminding me!

    @Serac – Ohhhh! Haven’t tried silk taffeta as a lining, but will in the future. I couldn’t agree more about purchasing a similar garment from the store. I’ve never seen anything (in my price range) lined in silk, and doing it myself is so luxurious and wonderful, why not?

    @megannielsen – Oh crepe de chine, how I love thee! Let me count the ways! It is a wonderful and beautiful fabric and I love that you can usually get it in 54″ width.

    @Bella – Oh! Silk/rayon is lovely. I’ll definitely update my list to include Dharma too.

    @Janee – Just updated, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Hester - Great post, thank you! I generally use bemberg; my local Fabricland carries a good range of colours, and it is _so_ much nicer than the crunchy acetate stuff!
    I’ve recently picked up some gorgeous silk cotton; fine, light, smooth although not as slippery as silk charmeuse, and such pretty colours! Some of it is destined to become a full bias-cut slip, and some I’m going to use to line a fitted dress; I’m hoping it will do the job nicely.ReplyCancel

  • crystalpleats - Thanks for this great post. Its been bookmarked. I have envy over some of your fabrics here.ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Côté - Thanks for taking the time to answer back! Your ears might have ringed yesterday, as I went to a Sewing bloggers meet-up in Montréal (Québec, Canada) and we talked about your interesting posts about lining! :D ReplyCancel

  • Linda L - Very nice post on lining fabrics.ReplyCancel

  • sewdooley - Great post, I was just looking for lining for a knit dress. I don’t often sew with knits, but fell in love with a particular shade of red. Since this dress may be for a high school reunion, I want it to fit well, no lumps or bumps. I’ll check swim and dance wear fabrics for linings. A little lining support may provide a boost of confidence to walk in wearing a red dress.
    sewdooley recently posted..Magical Waist Whittling Gertie DressReplyCancel

  • Barbara - A fabric that I have had some success with as a lining is voile. I have used both cotton and silk and cotton blend. I initially used a silk cotton blend as an interlining for wool crepe suite last year to keep it drapey and some left over with which I experimented. Since I live in a hot humid climate I need linings that breathe. It is easy to work with also and is easily dyed if you need it to match.ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - This post is exactly what I needed to read. I’m about to make the Lady Grey coat and I’m looking for the right lining. The silk satin ones from Mood are so gorgeous but at 40.00 per yard, not quite right for me.

    However, there’s something else I might try. Dharma Trading sells silks that are white and an amazing variety of dye. I saw a vivid red dress someone made from their white silk and red dye — just gorgeous. The silks are about 10-12 dollars and some come in 54″ width. We shall see…ReplyCancel

  • Mary Pomeroy - This is so helpful! Thank you so much. Any chance you could share some on underlinings?ReplyCancel

  • Toni - Can you talk a little about washing these types of linings?ReplyCancel

Sewing Library: Easy Guide to Sewing Linings

I get a lot of requests on how to create linings for various types of garments. Friends, I could write a book on this subject because there are so many different types of garments out there and there are so many different lining treatments. Luckily though, I don’t have to because there is already a book that should be in every garment sewer’s library: Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long. This is my go to book for creating linings in every type of garment/lining conundrum.

It covers everything from creating a lining for a jacket or a coat (great for when a pattern does not come with one, or if it did how it can be improved) to lining sweaters (that’s right! sweaters!) to 3 different solutions for lining a vented garment + so much more. So just to be clear, this book shows you how to create the paper pattern for the lining, how to sew it, in addition to providing outstanding info on how to pick a lining and what kinds of fabrics work for various lining treatments. If you don’t have this book, and you like lined garments, then all I have to say is “what are you waiting for?”

I have the real life book for my reference and at this point in time, I do believe this book is no longer in print. You can get a used version but the price can fluctuate quite a bit and probably more so since I’m posting about this today. However, guess what? There is a downloadable e-book and I can’t tell you enough that it is worth every single penny.

Later on this week, I thought I would also give you my insider resources for where to find great linings online and locally, in addition to my favorite linings and the kind of fabrics I use the most.

Do you have this book? If you do, isn’t it wonderful? It truly is one of the most amazing little books I own. Definitely a must have!

  • Gail - I do have this book, and it is wonderful! I agree with you: I think this is one of the best-written and most useful books in my sewing library.
    Gail recently posted..Shimmer BlueReplyCancel

  • Nakisha - I have totally checked this book out from my library before. Now, I put it on reserve – well tried to – and it’s not available ;-( Like no copies to lend out at all. What the heck!?

    I have to scour Amazon for it!
    Nakisha recently posted..Finished Item: Annabelle JacketReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - I have this book and it is a treasured resource. You are so right every sewist should definitely own it because it answers every lining question you could think of!ReplyCancel

  • kathi giumentaro - I have this book and I love it. I got it at a used book sale at my local library. It cost me $2.00. I didn’t think much of it when I bought it but the more I read the more excited I was that I got so much more than what I paid for.ReplyCancel

  • New Ribena - I have this book and love it. I got the electronic version, printed it and put it in a three ring binder. It’s a great resource.ReplyCancel

  • KayoticSewing - Sunni, I have this book and I understand some part of it. This is absolutely no fault of the book but my learning style! Being an audio visual person, I really need to see it before I ‘get’ the idea. I really wish Connie Long taught a Craftsy course on this very subject.
    KayoticSewing recently posted..Toronto Sewing bloggers meetupReplyCancel

  • Emily - You must be a mind reader. I was contemplating how to add a lining to a jacket this week.
    Emily recently posted..Bateau Neck Pattern Testing (fab pattern by Aesthetic Nest)ReplyCancel

  • Missy - Perfect! I was just pondering the kind of linings I’d want to use for various projects :) Going to see if the library has this book :)
    Missy recently posted..Last of the “U is for Unicorn” Quilt BlocksReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I agree, it’s great! I’ve the downloadable version on my ipad, and it’s a wonderful resource!ReplyCancel

  • sewdooley - I’m looking forward to your posting on sources. I have trouble finding linings locally and sometimes end up paying more for a lining than the fashion fabric.
    sewdooley recently posted..Deciphering Burda StyleReplyCancel

  • Ayana - Thank you so much, Sunni! This is a really informative post.–Ayana
    Ayana recently posted..Follow My Blog to Stay in the LoopReplyCancel

  • Kristy - Thanks for the tip, I’m trying to downsize my rather large book collection (to make more room for fabric ha ha) so to get this electronically would be great.
    Kristy recently posted..Groovy baby: Butterick 4273ReplyCancel

  • Linda L - I so agree with you about owning this book. I have used it a lot and always surprised that there is a technique to lining some sewing project for just about everything one can sew.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - I have this e book. Although it is a thorough reference, I do not find it easy to understand. I usually pile up all my resources and take from each what I can understand. After I line something and read Connie’s instructions again then I say “oh now I understand what she’s saying”. The easiest lining advice I got was Lining Pattern = sewing pattern minus hems, minus facings, plus seam allowance.ReplyCancel

  • Katy - I use to take classes taught by Connie at G Street Fabric! She was a wonderful teacher. I always learned a ton. It is sad that I live so far away now. I knew she contributed articles to publications such as Threads, but I had no idea that she had written books. Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll be scouring the internet for a copy.ReplyCancel

  • crystalpleats - Yes! Own and love this book. Definitely worth having. I need to put it to more use (sew more!)
    crystalpleats recently posted..Sea Goddess MaxiReplyCancel

  • Understanding Lining Fabric + Resources » A Fashionable Stitch - […] is a follow-up post to this post and again, if you don’t have Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long, you need it and you […]ReplyCancel