A Fashionable Stitch » sartorial sewing

Pairing Pattern & Fabric

The other day I received the latest Garnet Hill catalogue in the mail. It’s one of those that I didn’t actually sign up for, have never purchased anything from but have become a regular receiver of. And oddly, its one that I like. As I was flipping through its pages, something struck me and I thought it would be an excellent topic of discussion. The thing that stood out the most for me in this latest issue of Garnet Hill was the happy marriage of pattern/design and fabric type. I’ve noticed things like this before, but it didn’t actually really truly hit home until I saw a dress that I really liked and went to my stash so that I could possibly come up with a sewing substitute.


What I was looking at the most was the shape and the way the dress falls on the body. It’s this dress above and I liked the drapey quality of the rayon that was used in conjunction with the style/design it was paired with. I consider fabric and pattern pairings all the time when I’m in the heat of working out the next project I want to tackle. This time I felt it was a more conscious choice of what would work the absolute best so as to give me the exact look that I saw and wanted.


I remembered a Thread’s article that was published not too long ago (but can’t seem to find) on how one of the biggest failings in personal sewing is pairing the wrong fabric with a specific pattern. These days I have to admit that it seems like you can’t go wrong when you choose a pattern and slap a fabric with it. I mean, as I was looking at the Garnet Hill catalogue, I noticed lovely things like silk crepe de chine shorts and even a jacket. To me this was an interesting pairing and one I probably wouldn’t come up with on my own and one that I would still consider but possibly choose something stronger like a 4-ply silk for a jacket and short combo. Still, I’m curious and want to try a crepe de chine short – now those would be sublime!

Now when it comes to it, I’ll admit that many of my sewing flops could be attributed to poor fabric choice. Because of poor fabric choice, it’s also interesting to note that things like fit and style didn’t fall into place either thereby making it a flop. Yet, when I think of it, I was only concerned with fit and thought that it must have been only a fitting error. An interesting confession, I think. What do you say? Can you attribute some of your flops to poor fabric choice? Were you going for one thing and ended up with something that was a flop because the fabric didn’t lay right for the pattern you chose?

I plan to do a couple of follow up posts on this subject to give you some ideas of good fabric and pattern pairings that I’ve been thinking about, some examples of bad fabric and pattern pairings and how to make unusual fabric pairings work.

  • Wendy - I think you have it spot on! I know that bad fabric choice is certainly responsible for most of my failures. It’s something I have been aware of only very recently and so will look forward to your next posts.ReplyCancel

  • LSV - Perfect, I was just thinking about this – how to pair fabric for my life (no dry cleaning, durable) and patterns, now that I am becoming more competent at sewing. Also, as I don’t live anywhere near a fabric store, and have to order online, how to look at content of the fabric and have an idea of how it will behave.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Excellent point. I often think I need to sew things that will be durable instead of enjoyable! Thanks for the tip about looking at catalogues for sewing ideas as well.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - I attribute all of my sewing flops to poor fabric choice. Maybe fitting or design issues that caused the flop once or twice, but seriously, proper pairing of fabric to pattern is my number one struggle. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts about it!ReplyCancel

  • H - I think you’ve made a good point there about fabric choice. When I sewed my first pair of jeans I used some corduroy that turned out to be too thick, so although they fit and looked okayish I never felt comfortable in them.ReplyCancel

  • Ani - As a new sewer, I *know* that it is all about my poor fabric choices. I don’t have any decent apparel fabric stores nearby and am terrified to purchase online without feeling or discussing with a clerk because I know that I don’t know what that fabric is or what it will do.

    As a result, I don’t sew very often. It’s sad, and I know I won’t get better until I practice more, but how to practice without going bankrupt and having piles of unwearable garments!?ReplyCancel

  • Mari - Excellent post. I look forward to the follow up series. Fabric choice seems to be so neglected while everyone concentrates on fit and sewing the current “in” patterns. All is lost if the fabric is wrong.ReplyCancel

  • Maddie - Yes! I can totally speak to this! Currently, I working on the third make for Simplicity 7456. I contribute the first “failure” to fit and fabric, but the second, I totally blame the fabric. I chose a lightweight wool and it really needed a heavier weight one for me to achieve the look I was going for. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that numero tres will be the winner.ReplyCancel

  • Kerry - I often know what fabric I am looking for in terms of fibre/drape but I am hampered by lack of availability (I am in the UK)- if I can find rayon it might be in a pattern that is garish, or I can only find chambray in the same shade of blue I have already used many times. Online has a better selection but it can be risky when it arrives and it is much lighter weight and totally see through compared to the picture!ReplyCancel

  • SewingElle - You are so right. My flops are almost all about poor fabric choice.ReplyCancel

  • Sally - Right on Meg! ALL my recent frustrations have been with the fabrics I’ve picked to make a certain garment. Love the ideas in your post about the silky/drapey fabric for shorts and a jacket :)ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Yep, just about every one of my failures has been about poor fabric choices. I think it’s because I don’t buy specific fabric for a pattern, but try to retrofit stash fabric to stash patterns. I do think that the more failures I have, the better I am at thinking through what I’m doing…ReplyCancel

  • Becky - I can attribute more than one flop to poor fabric choice. When I see the price of catalog clothes and I KNOW I can make that so much cheaper, I become committed to make it myself. The challenge is finding something locally and I’m stuck with just JoAnns, Hancock, and Walmart – none of which seem to carry good quality fabric. Even if I find a good drape, it will pill after a few washings, or fade, or fray…very frustrating after hours and hours of work. I don’t mind shopping online but the color that arrives in the mail can be a surprise sometimes. So what is the trick? Snatching up good fabric when I find it in the hopes that it will work with something in the future? Or finding the garment I want to make and then hoping to come across the right fabric? It’s stifling.ReplyCancel

  • Helen Fox - I am so in need of this post (and the follow ups) I have been making the odd handmade for years, but with very little actual success and am getting into it a lot more now. I know I can attribute most of my failures to bad fabric choice. A bit more insight into this is exactly what I need. Also, I do buy a lot of fabric online so would welcome any advice on types of fabric and their behaviours, what will stick to your tights, useful fabrics for lining etc. I look forward to reading the rest of your posts on these.ReplyCancel

  • EmSewCrazy - What a good thought, that fitting problems might be connected to poor fabric choice…
    Looking forward to hearing more!ReplyCancel

  • Dottie doodle - Definitely, I get the fabric choice wrong all the time. Usually, it’s wearable but…. And I only seem to learn by getting it wrong, which is expensive!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie - This is so true Sunni, and I never thought about unfixable fit problems being related to the wrong fabric. There’s a cute little handbook of quotes by Dior, in which he gives some advice for home sewers – one being to always follow what the pattern recommends in terms of fabric choice!
    Designers put a lot of effort into designing with a specific hand or drape of fabric in mind and you ignore it to your peril…ReplyCancel

  • On the Sewing Table: Garnet Hill Inspired Dress » A Fashionable Stitch - […] fun to see a garment go from inspiration to pattern to fabric to construction to finish. As per my post this past Monday, I was inspired by that Garnet Hill dress to create something similar. The dress in and of itself […]ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - There are three parts to a successful garment in my book – fabric/pattern choice, fit and construction techniques. Miss one of these and you can definitely end up with a wadder. Have I had my share of missed opportunities because of a poor fabric pairing? Most definitely!

    There use to be these fabric books that were sold and widely purchased that had samples of the fabric in them along with their qualities so that a sewist could feel the hand of a fabric. I miss them and think that some enterprising person could make a mint if they brought them back because there are so many sewists how there fumbling in the dark when it comes to fabric and it’s properties.

    Learning how to make good fabric/pattern choices is integral to having a wonderful garment at the end of your sewing journey.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Great point! I agree that one of the biggest contributions to my fails has been fabric choice. Also, knowing what styles you can and can’t pull off is definitely another HUGE factor in achieving a hit or miss. Prior to learning how to do an FBA (and the fact that I definitely needed one) I’d say ALL of my fails were due to fit, but even though my fitting still isn’t perfect, it’s not a deal breaker most of the time, if I love the way the garment wears, which I think has a lot to do with fabric and style.ReplyCancel

  • Bev - Great insights!! Yes I have definitely had project failures due to poor fabric choices! Can’t wait for your future posts on this subject!! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Shawnta - I have to agree that about 95% of my sewing flops are due to poor fabric choices. The other 5% comes from not taking my time.ReplyCancel

  • Annette - I think fabric is a large part, but when the chain fabric stores, Joann’s and Hancock, only offer such limited choices and patterns that the majority of beginners use; it is not surprising that so many beginners give up. I have been successful with the Joann’s and Hancock’s, I don’t have anywhere else close. But the key is that even having the fabric choice issue is that the instructions are often horrible or missing crucial steps. I usually have much better results when I use techniques that I have picked up from books, magazines and the awesome blogging community.ReplyCancel

  • Peggy - You are absolutely correct! The main problem I see among new sewers these days is that they use the wrong fabric, making the article of clothing cartoonish or an adult version of a child’s outfit. It took me years (and years) to figure pattern/fabric matching, mainly because I think I was so focused on learning the craft.ReplyCancel

  • Swiss Dot McCall’s 6696 | sew Amy sew - […] combo (A Fashionable Stitch discusses this very tricky issue which I struggle with constantly in this post).I got the fabric at Spotlight, it’s 100% cotton swiss dot and super soft, almost like an old […]ReplyCancel

Behind the Seams: Pink Walrus Jacket

First things first. Today was my farewell to Project Sewn. Thank you everyone for your support and sweet comments about my makes and the competition in general. Thank you! I’m happy that I was able to participate and I was thrilled and incredibly honored to be listed among the other amazing ladies. They are still kickin it over there for the last week. Down to the final three – Rachel, Oona and Alida! I’m sure this upcoming week will be a very hard pick. All my best to the final three!


Several of y’all wanted to see the innards of my Pink Walrus jacket from last week and I’m more than happy to oblige. Far be it from me to withhold more nerdy info on one of my makes. I may as well give you the entire run down.

The jacket was fusibly tailored – meaning I used a fusible interfacing throughout. I used two different interfacings in different areas because I’ve liked the way this works in other jackets that I’ve done. I used a weft interfacing for the main body of the jacket and this absolutely marvelous pro-sheer elegance interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply for the faced areas of the jacket. Whenever I fusibly tailor a jacket, I use this method of applying the interfacing to the jacket front/lapel area. It’s pretty awesome. Also, I did tape the roll line for the lapel and I did that by machine. That, I should not have done. It just shows up too easily here, but might work better on something like a tweed or boucle where the stitches would really be hidden.



I attached the pockets using my patch pocket method. Someone asked about the flaps. Really they’re just little rectangles that are stitched in place, folded down and stitched again. The Named instructions are very adequate for those. (BTW, this is the Kaisla jacket from Named….)

The body of the jacket is made from this drapey rayon/silk blend and its was interesting, to say the least. I wanted a drapey jacket but hadn’t thought that making one from something like this would be hard. It was hard. Not only did this fabric show a lot of flaws, but it shows all the inner workings pretty well too. Or it was trying to do that, but alas, I tamed this beast into submission! The final jacket looks really good and I’m surprised at just how well it coordinates into my existing wardrobe.



The lining in the body is a silk/acetate blend hollywood lining. From what I understand, hollywood lining merely refers to the jacquard look of it. Mine has little medallions woven into it and that purpley color looks so unnervingly awesome with the pink. I also have this same lining in a tan color, just begging for another jacket lining to be made from it. Additionally, I lined the sleeves in a Liberty of London silk charmeuse. This, as you might be aware, is one of my favorite tricks. I’ve seen this type of thing in high end RTW and I love being able to use a contrasting lining in the sleeve to give the inside of a jacket a little edge. It’s fun! Additionally, it keeps the cost down on the silk front. I mean you only need a yard – if that – of silk for the sleeve and since your sleeve is the part of the jacket that will most likely touch the skin, it feels incredibly luxurious.


Someone asked about the vent in the back. All I did with the vent is not sew it in. This means that instead of a slit or vent in the center back seam, I sewed the whole thing shut. There was no other change to the pattern in the back other than that so the shape of the jacket back is built into the pattern. I do love vents on jackets, I just didn’t want to mess with it because a vent with a lining is actually not the easiest thing to sew. I really didn’t have time for fiddly stuff, so I skipped that and redrafted the lining to better meet the way I had envisioned sewing this jacket. Worked out just great.

I’m really loving this jacket style in my closet. It’s a knock out color and looks easy and fabulous with jeans and a simple tee. I love the length too. It’s a longer style jacket and that has its perks. Plus it has a little modern edge to it that I think is really nice. I love the no collar look and can even envision a cardigan style jacket made from it. Lots of possibilities here.

What did you think of this jacket in the Named line-up? Like my lining combo? It’s a must try tip. Silk in the sleeve feels like a million dollars!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

  • Kathy Sews - I’ve enjoyed seeing your creations sooo much!! You kicked butt and so we’ll all still be tuning in on your blog regularly to read and see all your future makes!!ReplyCancel

  • Geo P - I loved all your outfits and I’m sorry to see you’re out. I need to make a jacket now, yours are amazing, I love them all! :)ReplyCancel

  • Dee Dee - Sunni, your pink jacket is the winner! Too cute!ReplyCancel

  • Dee Dee - Sunni, you have the most gorgeous, delectable, delicious looking notions!!! A girl after my own heart. The bias tapes, Petersham ribbons, everything……..makes me drool. I hope to share this information with everybody on Facebook. Best of luck on keeping on, forever keeping the gorgeous notions department. I have never seen the variety of colors anywhere in any notions dept. Love ya, Dee DeeReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you Dee Dee! We are hoping to expand the online shop even a little bit more. Yay! Thanks for your enthusiasm. Means a lot!ReplyCancel

  • Aud Steier Griem - Hi, Sunni.

    Your jackets are wonderful. I very much like the way you make the sleeves with a different lining. Do you cut the sleeves longer to be able to wear them this way?

    Best regards,
    Aud in NorwayReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you Aud! The sleeves are cut just like they would be for a regular jacket, I just roll them up! I should probably have a photo of them rolled down, but I was lazy and didn’t!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - I love this jacket so much! It’s such an amazing color- I’m sure you must get boatloads of compliments every time you wear it! Thanks for linking to that Threads article. I will be poring over that, for sure! I’ve only made one jacket that was really tailored, and I used a really drapey fabric, too, so I feel your pain. I’m not sure how successful I was overall with it, but it was a good learning experience. Man, all the inside stuff really wanted to show through the fashion fabric! Ugh!

    Hope you enjoy some downtime after the mania of Project Sewn! I so loved your outfits!ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - this jacket seriously has me drooling! i love the drape-y fabric, though i can only imagine how challenging that ended up being! the contrast sleeve lining is such a great idea… i’ll have to remember that! i really do plan to pick up this pattern for spring, an endorsement from you means a lot in my book!ReplyCancel

  • blacklabel - Awesome colour, impeccable finish – you’ll be missed on PS.xReplyCancel

  • Ann - Regarding Project Sewn, I don’t want to say anything, which might appear to diminish the work of your contenders in any way, but I do not agree with the outcome. I suspect it may have had more to do with popularity than with merit. Moreover, if everyone voted just once for what she sincerely believed was the most meritorious entry, you would not have been eliminated. I am sorry to see you go, and impressed, but not surprised, by your good sportsmanship. Well done!ReplyCancel

  • Eirini - I loved your creations and your styling on PS so much!!! Hopefully we will continue to see more of those in this blog…ReplyCancel

  • seamsoddlouise - I’ve loved all of your designs from PS. So sad to see you go. The lace skirt was awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Tasha - It’s great to see the inner workings! I think my absolute favorite part, outside of the obviously great craftsmanship and how it looked on you, is that you said it coordinates with so many things in your wardrobe. Anyone who has a wardrobe that can slip in a hot pink blazer seamlessly (har har) is fantastic. But we already knew that about you! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Deb - Hi there, Just a question regarding the interfacing that you use. Why do you use different interfacings and why the type that you use? I read about it and it appears that it is extremely lightweight – don’t you need something a little heavier in this area? What did you use on the back?

    Also,do you pull through your sleeve lining and use it as a cuff?

    Thanks so much –

    • Sunni - Hi Deb!
      Whenever you pick interfacings you have to pick them according to the fabric weight, drape, thickness, etc and in this case I was working with a fabric that was drapey and somewhat thin. I wanted to maintain the drape while still giving a little bit of structure. The weft that I used was the hefty interfacing and I used that on the body of the jacket. The lighter weight interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply was a good contrast to the beefier weft and still maintained the amount of drape I wanted to keep in the overall jacket. I used the weft in the jacket fronts, around the armholes and the upper jacket back. I used the lighter weight interfacing in the jacket facings. Interfacing a jacket is a completely separate animal from any other garment and its something I might discuss more in the future. I’ll consider it!

      The sleeve on the jacket is just rolled up. Its not a cuff, just double rolled for style and to show off my fun sleeve lining! Otherwise its just a regular jacket sleeve.

      Thanks so much for your questions!ReplyCancel

  • Beth - I love the simplicity of this jacket. Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Ayida - That’s a beautiful Walrus Sunni! And I love how you just ‘casually’ provide us with tons of tips. I have never made a jacket because it seems so laborious, but I did add the Kasia pattern to my wishlist so I’m gonna do it some day!ReplyCancel


I hope you all had a steamy lovey weekend filled with v-day celebrations. I did. I mean, I picked out some old Harlequin romances from my bookcase (yes, I have a select few) and read them and loved their trashiness. Les sigh. I was telling my mister about it and well, we giggled. They are rather fun! I mean, its really awesome when you already have the whole thing figured out from the beginning, the books always follow the same story line and they have as little depth as possible. I have to say, its wonderful when the goods are delivered. And you can definitely judge Harlequins by their cover. Ha ha!


Onto other pressing matters, I guess. I’m flattered to have made it thus far in Project Sewn. Seriously. It’s been pretty intense what with the workload I already have going, but I am determined to give it my all.  That said…. this week’s challenge was shoes. Here’s the thing though. I have to preface this by telling you that this outfit wasn’t actually made for the challenge. The outfit itself was actually based around these leopard heels, but I made this stuff way back in September and never blogged about them because of the hours I’ve been keeping for the last few months. And we can’t have that, now can we? I mean, I never blogged this skirt! How dare I?!! Alas, this week was one of those where my inner worker bee finally said ENOUGH! and I couldn’t bring myself to crank out anything from my sewing machine and I barely kept up at work. Taking a break has been much needed and so, it was Harlequins, Deep Space Nine and me-time as I slowly turned into a pumpkin all week.


Still, the outfit bears some pretty remarkable elements and I’m proud to say that I can finagle my way out of tight situations with finesse (thank goodness I had sense in September to feel that I needed to make this for Project Sewn). So let’s talk. You can see that I didn’t deviate from my jacket obsession. My oh my. This jacket, as you already know if you read me, is not me-made. But since I had to re-line this thing (it being my favorite jacket ever) and since re-lining a jacket isn’t exactly the easiest thing ever, I included it in this week’s challenge. I’ve done this with several jackets that I already have actually. I’m all about making a garment last as long as it possibly can and this jacket is definitely no different. This is the original jacket from challenge #1 – my green jacket there being an exact replica of this one. My love for this thing knows no bounds. It will survive!


My button-up is Simplicity 2339 (out of print, boooo!) and it’s a go-to pattern for me. Though I’m getting ready to give the famed Archer a try. I love me a good button up, especially when one can move their arms freely. You know me. I have that problem with sooooooooooooo many things. I even get tired of re-iterating the same fitting problem over and over. (Note to self: grow smaller upper back to accommodate patterns more easily). My top’s made from a Liberty of London cotton lawn. What else? This shirt, I have to say, was impeccably made. I’m singing my own praises just a little bit, but really, it’s really really good. You would never even know that I made it. I am very proud of myself on that front. I used all the tricks that I’ve gathered from everywhere and it bears some real fine workmanship.



The skirt is my own self drafted skirt. It’s made of a lace that I seriously splurged on because I’m not really a lace kind of gal and when I see one that I like, I die and like, have to have it! The lace was incredibly expensive ($80/yard – YIKES). I underlined with a 4-ply silk crepe, lined the skirt in bemberg rayon lining and finished it off with a petersham ribbon waistband. It’s pretty much gorgeous. Pretty much. This brings me to another find that I’m hesitant to tell you about because this online shop boasts some pretty remarkable fabrics and I am loathe to give up my secret sources because then it means that y’all will go out and buy all the fabric. I go there when I’m in the mood for something ….. different. Fabrics and Trimmings on Etsy has really lovely fabric. A lot of what they have is novelty apparel and I have to say, very very tasteful and well, sooooooooo cool. Oh I can’t even believe I’m telling you about them, but I have to. You’ll love the stuff you find there and you know, it’s important that we keep these little resources going. So go and shop with impunity. It’s where I found this lace that was worth every single cent. And I made sure that I went on over there before I posted this and bought up all the good stuff anyway…… You know, I tease. right? Right? (wink, wink)


And now a a pic of me and my man. I mean it was Valentine’s Day over the weekend. Mr. S told me to tell you that he got in a fight at a bar defending my honor, hence the mark on his lip that looks an awful lot like a cold sore. The blazer he’s wearing is an oldy that I altered for him (made it fit him a whole lot better) and I relined it too. Granted this was in December that I did this for him, but I instinctively knew that he would defend my honor so well that the jacket was completely justified. What can I say? We’re both hopeless romantic jacket people.

Now, enough of my silliness. Project Sewn awaits your vote!

  • Alida - Such a cute couple! I almost used that Liberty of London fabric for my trench coat but couldn’t afford that many yards!ReplyCancel

  • Jan - I love the classic jacket! Makes me want to head to the fabric shop to buy wool. Cute pic of you and your man!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - You two are so cute together! :) Yet another fabulous ensemble from you! You ladies are knocking it out of the park- I’m having so much fun every week seeing your makes!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tracy - I adore the skirt ~ especially the way some of the flowers hang down past the hem. I don’t think ever, in my wildest dream, I could spend that much money on fabric. But I bet you feel like a million bucks when you wear it :-)
    Very cute picture of you and your love together!ReplyCancel

  • Maddie - Whoa, Sunni, you really did it up this time. I mean, you alway do, but for round 3 of PS, you went above all your previous makes. This outfit contains all my favorite fabrics – lace, 4 ply silk, and ridiculously printed cotton.ReplyCancel

  • Hélène - Lovely! Especially this gorgeous skirt with the flower lace detail. And the rich colour of the shirt. And the shoes. And the guy…ReplyCancel

  • Gjeometry - Wow, your entire outfit is awesome! I love mixing and matching colours and prints. We can wear black to a funeral, amirite? I think my favourite is that skirt, what fantastic fabric/colour/print/lace. ALL so pretty.ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - wowza!!! love this outfit! the skirt is absolutely to die for… what a perfect splurge!ReplyCancel

  • Julia Bobbin - Those shoes! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your style is amazing! Absolutely love this look, I think it’s my favourite of yours so far! Bravo!!ReplyCancel

  • Miss Demeanour - Ah you two are too cute :) You really do have a sense of style and as Coco said, “fashion fades only style remains” nice work.


  • EmSewCrazy - Aww, you guys are so cute! Love all the elements of your outfit! Your jackets are super inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Sew Chic - Love this ensemble! Your pairing of fabric & texture is delightful. Good Luck in the contest!ReplyCancel

  • Almost there | Made in my living room - […] In other news – sewing/knitting related – I’ve made some progress with my perfect jacket pattern. I have it ready, 2 piece sleeve and all, I need to make a muslin now. I’m thinking of something similar to Dapper. […]ReplyCancel

  • Candace - Love this outfit! excellent! the skirt,the shirt, and the manly arm candy : )ReplyCancel

How to: Sew & Attach a Patch Pocket


I know, I know. It’s been a seriously long space of time since I did a tutorial. I love tutorials and at one moment in time, I felt I had a lot to give in that arena. Thing is, things have been so busy. Something you’ve heard from me for a bit. The great part is though, I’ve got help now! Oh my gosh! You guys, you’re going to start meeting some of my staff here and I’m going to coax them into writing a few bloggy blog posts. They are all so creative. Can I just say, its super fun being around creative sorts and its so much fun to see the light in their eyes when they talk sewing. Anyway, anyway today, as a finish to the week, I thought I would get back to a little tutorial writing. Today’s topic is sewing and attaching a patch pocket.

Lest you think this might be a yawn, I’m here to say that patch pockets can definitely turn a handmade project into homemade at a moment’s notice. The kind where people are like, “Hmmm…did you make that?” And in their head they’re like, “cuz it looks like it.” Oh the shame, the shame! So let me give you some of my tips, eh?

Click here to view the full post »

  • Doris - Sunni, you are such a ray of sunshine these days. You are just so girly and precious. My son, 29 now, is always saying stuff like I just heard you say in a recent post; “I’m gonna love me some “whatever it is you are talking about!” I crack up when I hear him say that! I’m 74 and not a whole lot to laugh about these days so you are a breath of fresh air. Another thing he said inside the bank the other day, “Hmmmmm…….smells like success in here!” Too funny. I love both of your very different from the average bear, funny sayings. Just to let you know. One more thing, you are so blessed with talent. You could be a model! Keep on keeping on! Sincerely, DorisReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Doris! You just made my day! Thank you. Your sweet words mean so much!

  • Beth - I literally attached patch pockets to a blazer yesterday :P Ah well, it’s a wearable muslin, so I’ll use your methods for the “real” blazer (which is also pink!) when I get around to it. Thanks for a great tutorial!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you Beth! It’s so good to hear that you’re making a pink blazer – I’m seriously lovin mine. Can’t wait to see your blazer! Pink forever!ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa - Goodness, isn’t Doris a dear! I echo her sentiment: Keep on keeping on. I adore you and everything you produceReplyCancel

  • kate mcivor - Thanks Sunni! A lovely pink tutorial for Valentine’s Day!ReplyCancel

  • Nakisha - This is awesome. It seems like something that would be so simple but it’s actually kind of difficult to turn good patch pockets!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I agree. They are one of those things that seem like it should just be the easiest thing in the world and they aren’t exactly. A well executed patch pocket rocks!ReplyCancel

  • oonaballoona - ugh, patch pockets have been a monster-in-the-closet to me, this tutorial could get me to try them again. i honestly didn’t reconize your jacket pockets as patch, because they were so damn pretty!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh thanks Oona! Yes, I’ve had some really unfortunate patch pocket experiences. They can look soooooo bad, so fast!ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - Patch pockets are usually not something I usually fall for either, as they do have a tendency to look so homemade. But I have to admit, I think you have made a believer out of me. Great tutorial and some seriously stylish patch pockets! Who would have thought!!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Thanks for this tutorial! I avoid patch pockets as well, they are just so easy to get wrong. Your pockets are so lovely, they make me want to give it a try!ReplyCancel

  • Annette - Great tutorial. I’m now trying to figure out what I can make with patch pockets! I really want to try this.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I love them on jackets and they can look killer on skirts and even shirts as well. Even like a Grainline Scout Tee and little patch pocket. So fun!ReplyCancel

  • Annette Tirette - Great tutorial! I once made a Burda coat that had you slipstitch the patch pockets on and then topstitch, which takes some more time but might be useful when you want your topstitching a bit further away from the edge!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I’ve done this too! I’ve also attached patch pockets soley by hand and they can look even nicer when done like that too. I might just have to do a part-two tutorial.ReplyCancel

  • Candice - otherwise did you make the flap on the pocketReplyCancel

    • Sunni - The flap pattern piece came with the Kaisla jacket pattern and yes, I stitched the flap portion in a similar way except instead of using lining I used another piece of the same pink fabric for the flap facing. Since I wanted that favoring to happen though, I did cut the flap facing a little smaller than the outer flap. Hopefully this makes sense!ReplyCancel

  • Candice - that should be how did you make the flap on the pocket?ReplyCancel

  • maddie - I’m a huge patch pocket lover too. More than exposed zippers or ruffles!

    Quick question. When stitching the lining to the pocket at top, is it wrong or right sides together? I see that in the next steps, the top of the pocket is folded back and then folded under 1/4″ (?) to clean finish? It might be me that’s missing something – it’s Friday and my brain is fried.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - When stitching the lining to the pocket at the top edge of the lining, its right sides together. Then the top edge of the pocket (the pink fabric) folds back about 3/4″ or so. No need to fold under again, which would kind of be impossible really. Its just a seam that connects the lining to the pocket at the top edge of the pocket lining. I did press the seam in one direction only (downward toward the lining), so maybe that’s where the confusions lies? The lining piece is quite a bit shorter than the pocket so that you don’t have to have too many seams everywhere. Just makes for a nicer finish.ReplyCancel

      • maddie - Ah, yes, I was looking at the image incorrectly. I apologize about that. Thank you for clarifying.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Thank you for the great tutorial – such a small part of a garment, but it can have a major effect on how professional it looks. I love the “non-snip” method of turning corners. Light bulb moment when I tried that!ReplyCancel

  • Tina - Hi Sunni, I love reading your blog. You are such an inspiration. In the past, I have signed up to receive your blog via my email and for some reason the email notifications have stopped. I have gone back on your blog & re-entered my email address for blog updates, but alas nothing!!! I don’t want to miss any of your blogs as they keep me inspired. Any ideas as to why I no longer receive the email notifications?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh no! I don’t really know what could be the problem (I’m not totally tech savvy). I am also signed up for the emails for my blog, just to make sure everything works, and it seems to work just fine for me. Are the posts being sent to your spam folder by chance?ReplyCancel

      • Tina - If you mean my junk folder, then no they’re not. I will add your email address to my contacts list to see if that makes a difference. I thought maybe you might know what the problem is in case another follower had the same issue. Thanks.ReplyCancel

        • Tina - Hey Sunni, I think I solved the problem. Will know for sure after you post a new blog.ReplyCancel

  • Dottie doodle - Brilliant, thank you! I’m planning a denim skirt with patch pockets so great timing.ReplyCancel

  • Tutorial: Sew & attach patch pockets that look awesome | Sewing | CraftGossip.com - […] sharp corners and a lining that doesn’t peek out – and they’ll look great.  Go to A Fashionable Stitch to see how Sunni does […]ReplyCancel

  • Kristy - I recently heard a tailor talk about construction methods, and he described his method of attaching a patch pocket – he folded under the seam allowances and somehow he managed to machine sew inside the pocket along the seam allowances. Sounded too fiddly to me, your method sounds easier and just as neat.ReplyCancel

  • Sassy T - Featured your Lady Grey on Sassy Sewing Bees it is one of my faves. https://facebook.com/sassysewingbeesReplyCancel

  • MPaula - A great tutorial Sunni, thanks. I bought a lace blazer once and the patch pockets gaped open; it was not a good look. I think they should have been smaller and had stiff interfacing.
    I posted this to facebook and Pinterest.ReplyCancel

  • Behind the Seams: Pink Walrus Jacket » A Fashionable Stitch - […] attached the pockets using my patch pocket method. Someone asked about the flaps. Really they’re just little rectangles that are stitched in […]ReplyCancel

  • Betsy - Looking at this tutorial, I think attaching a patch pocket is HARD, but I hope it’s easier when I actually do it. Thank you for the tutorial. Big help!ReplyCancel

Pink Walrus

Here’s project #2 for Project Sewn, y’all. This has been a week, I tell ya. Lots of things didn’t work out, lots of things did work out, things are crazy, things are subdued, things are exciting, things are boring. You know. Just one of those weeks. So you know, Pink Walrus. Doesn’t mean anything, it just popped into my brain and that’s what I’m going with this week.


This week was all about the pink. This was a fun challenge for me because I’m naturally attracted to pink. I love me some pink. So what did I do? I made more separates! At the end of all of this, I hope you’ll be interested to see how my mini Project Sewn wardrobe mixes and matches and even if you’re not interested, you’ll be getting a dose of it anyway. Yessss….. Anyway, I’ve a load of things to share with you about this project. Ready to lend an ear?


The pink jacket is none other than Named’s latest Kaisla Jacket. Named contacted me before their latest Spring collection aired and asked me if I wanted one of their patterns. I nearly fell off my chair! Did I want a free pattern from their upcoming collection? Me? Hell yes! I then actually did proceed to fall off my chair when I previewed their upcoming patterns. Les sigh. Soooooooo gorgeous. These gals have outdone themselves again! Since I could only pick one, I picked this jacket because I instantly knew it had to be made up. In pink. For Project Sewn. Additionally, I thought it would give the Named gals a little more well deserved publicity. The jacket came together pretty nicely, but I changed a few things for the sake of my own ease in sewing. I ditched the back vent because time and patience. I love back vents on jackets, don’t get me wrong, but with a lining……. someone carve out my heart with a spoon. Ugh. And then I completely drafted a new lining for the jacket because I have this way of drafting linings that I really like and that saves me myriad headaches. So if you want to try out this pattern, just know that I didn’t try it out all the way. The jacket shell has really good bones. Made only one small fitting adjustment (for my broad upper back) and then boom! It was done!


OK, actually it wasn’t that simple. Can we chat for just a minute about all things tailoring? I love jacket making. I die for jacket making. The challenge is exciting to me and I mean, who doesn’t love a good jacket? But, if you want to make things a crap load ton easier on yourself, do not make a jacket in a bright solid color until you’ve mastered most of the techniques. Oiy. It’s hard. Why? Because every single flaw will show. Printey fabric is like cake compared with solid colors. I also managed to do a double whammy hard thing on this jacket. I picked a bright solid color and a drapey rayon/silk blend (from my shop!) to boot (drapey being the key word there). Can’t lie. This thing was pretty difficult, but in the end, I think I finished out on top. Take that you rayon/silk blend fuschia loverly cloth! I pulled out a favorite lining combo from my stash. The body is lined in this lilac acetate/silk hollywood lining and the sleeve in Liberty of London silk charmeuse (did you even know that Liberty comes in silk!!!). I know, you can swoon right now.


And then there’s the pants. The pants are BurdaStyle #129B. I have a love of BurdaStyle pants patterns because at the behest of other fellow bloggers that I’ve read, I’ve found that they are drafted magnificently. And they are. They fit me easily too, meaning not a lot of alterations (only shortened the crotch depth and then I was done). Easy, breezy beautiful. I made these from a stretch cotton sateen (again from my shop). I can see several more pairs too. These are definitely a nice close fitting trouser. They feature a fly front and side slash pockets and that was key for me. These are pretty versatile too. They will be worn and worn a lot.

Hop on over to Project Sewn and vote friends!!! And definitely, don’t forget to enjoy the other makes. They are most fabulous! I’ll be back, later this week, with a tutorial. GASP! I know. It’s been so long since I posted a nice tutorial. So long. Too long. So, you’re in for a treat. Ta!

  • Karen Fuhrman - I love the fuschia with your hair. The jacket is well done and the look is just perfect for young professional woman! And did you have to tell me Liberty comes in silk. Great, now that I know, I will be checking out that today and deciding how to fit that in my budget.ReplyCancel

  • Rose - I hardly ever post comments but I love this jacket – beautiful. Could we see a shot of the inside?? Good luck for the rest of Project Sewn.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Yes, of course! I’ll definitely post a follow up about the jacket and the inside!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - I absolutely LOVE that all of your projects are going to coordinate with each other. You have a strong grasp on your personal style. I’m really envious, as this is something I wish to master. For as difficult as your jacket was to construct, it looks effortlessly easy and gorgeous here! Great work!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you! I’m very excited about the coordinating as well. Its actually been wonderful so far because everything is going so well with what’s already in my closet. A definite bonus.ReplyCancel

  • Doris Steele - Sunni, I too love Burda patterns as they are drafted so much better than the big 4! A famous sewist in the SF area also said as much; she loves Burda too. Once you make pants from a Burda pattern, you won’t use anything else. sincerely, DSReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I completely agree. I’ve never had much luck with the Big 4 pants patterns (let alone the other styles) and this has held true when I’ve helped fit others in pants. Burda pant patterns always look better and are easier to work with. That crotch curve is simply magical.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - This jacket is ADORABLE! Stop making me want blazers, blazers, and more blazers (I’m still dreaming about a perfect plaid blazer after your amazing inspiration a few months ago)! Let me cast my vote for a shot of the inside, too! I want to see more of the lining!!ReplyCancel

  • Janet - I love Burda for pants too! Great tips for blazer making. Your plaid blazer inspired me to take a tailoring course last summer. And I did it! A plain navy wool blazer with plain navy lining. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - Really fantastic! What a lovely shade of pink, too. Well done, again! Good luck this week.ReplyCancel

  • Julia Bobbin - Lady, the amount of style and swagger you have is OUT OF THIS WORLD! Absolutely love this look!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh thank you! Swagger – now that’s an awesome word! I like that I have swagger.ReplyCancel

  • Gail - I agree with your comment on Burda’s drafting. Nothing beats German engineering.ReplyCancel

  • Linda - I went to the project sewn site through the link and could not find the place to vote. Can you give us the exact link for that please?ReplyCancel

  • Maddie - You and jackets are like me and dresses. I just can’t get enough! I’m surprised that you like pink. As a redhead, I steer away from that color. I have to admit though, looking at the hue again your skin tone and hair color – it doesn’t look bad at all!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - As I was growing up, this is something I heard a lot as well. Also red and orange, stay away from those because “you’re a redhead.” The weird thing is, these are all colors that look really really good on me. Couldn’t tell you why exactly but it might be my particular shade of red/orange hair or my particular complexion coupled with the hair, but I get compliments every time I wear colors like this. Without fail. You should definitely try it. I’ve never taken much stock in anything that anyone says that redheads can’t wear. Today’s post is a case in point.ReplyCancel

      • Becky Thompson - I’m a strawberry blonde but I have a LOT of red in my facial skin tones…so do you. This allows pink to look good on girls like us, regardless of our hair color. Usually green looks better than pink on redheads, but in this case, I absolutely like the pink jacket better than the green in project #1. Oh, and your tailoring is A+++!!ReplyCancel

  • lisa g. - i was hoping you would start posting some of your new wardrobe mix and matches, so i definitely look forward to that! love this jacket. love LOVE!! the pink looks amazing on you. i’ve been wanting to try a burda pant, so it’s nice to hear your glowing recommendation. the whole outfit looks great, good luck this week!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Oh Sunni, thank goodness for you and your style. Your entry has such CLASS and sophistication. Enough said.ReplyCancel

  • Danica - Beautiful work! And I love how you incorporated the patter into the sleeves. Nice job!ReplyCancel

  • How to: Sew & Attach a Patch Pocket » A Fashionable Stitch - […] be showing you how I attached the patch pocket to my pink jacket – the Kaisla, in case you’re interested – which is the same method I used to […]ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - You knocked this one out of the park! Wow! What clean lines this blazer has, in a colour that looks terrific on you. When you removed the back vent, it appears that it flares out a bit like a peplum. Can you please explain in more detail how you did this? Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thanks Tammy! Actually when you remove a back vent, all you’re really doing is just following the seamline down the rest of the jacket. It’s like a slit, but instead, I chose to sew the slit closed. The jacket doesn’t actually flare out like a peplum, I think that’s just the way I’m standing. Otherwise, its all the cut of the pattern. The pattern definitely has some shape in the back, more following the lines of your curves. A really great pattern to be sure!ReplyCancel

  • Behind the Seams: Pink Walrus Jacket » A Fashionable Stitch - […] of y’all wanted to see the innards of my Pink Walrus jacket from last week and I’m more than happy to oblige. Far be it from me to withhold more nerdy […]ReplyCancel