Here it is, in all it’s glory! I feel very studious wearing it too, if I do say so myself. Quite smart, like I could give you a dissertation on why the sky is blue or something.

The jacket itself is practically perfect. I could get technical about what’s not perfect, but that would take away from the total enjoyment you’ll have lusting after this beauty. It was quite the construction project. I kept thinking that I wouldn’t do this or that because it would take too long and then I felt myself being sucked into getting it just right and such. Mr. S gave me huge scare the other night when he said that one of the shoulder puffs was “puffier” than the other. Then he said to go look in the mirror and figure out which one it was. Can you believe the nerve? I ran to the mirror and couldn’t see it and drove myself half crazy trying to figure out which one it was. Then Mr. S said, “How’s that for your OCD?” After that comment it was time to finish the jacket. Even if it didn’t end perfectly. Sigh…

Needless to say, it is and will be a fantastic staple to my wardrobe. I do love the way it turned out. The color looks so much more luscious in the velveteen. It’s soft. The pockets turned out just right. I added that little belt in the back as it looked like it needed it. The lapels are big and generous. And the buttons. They’re those leather ones you know. My dad had several jackets that had these and as a kid I was always so fascinated with them. The jacket just wouldn’t be complete without them.

The jacket inside was inspired by some high end RTW jackets I’ve seen around. I lined the body in polka dot silk twill, the same as the undercollar and for the sleeves I used a fuschia bemberg lining. Just for fun.

The jacket is just screaming for some wide leg plaid trousers or an A-line skirt. I tried putting it with some of my other things and surprisingly they looked just too “girly” up against it even though this boyfriend’s jacket has a decidedly feminine twist. So, I’ve got some plaid wool that’s going to be made into some pants real soon. We’ll get that whole 70s jive going, an era that’s fast becoming a favorite and I didn’t really think it would.

I think I’m finally ready for some easy projects that only take say a week to complete. Which leads me to my next point about how long it takes to finish sewing projects. Is it normal for you to take a long time on your sewing projects? I’ve never been one that could finish things in a week. I have to get the fit just right and use luscious fabric and always put the most time consuming twists on everything that it always takes me quite a while to get things finished. I just won’t wear it otherwise. I just won’t. How about you? What kind of a seamstress are you? A time taker or a time breaker?

So there you have it. My boyfriend’s jacket.

  • SewSister - I love this jacket, what pattern did you use??
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  • Suzie - Flippin’ gorgeous! You did an amazing job on this jacket. I love the different linings – a really fun extar pop of colour. Love it!
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  • Jill/laughbutnotloudly - Gorgeous! And I love the blouse, gloves and pin-striped pants with the jacket. Very chic.
    As for your question, it usually takes me a LONG time to finish a sewing project. I’m a beginner and slow to begin with, but I’ve found that I tend to get sloppy, tired and/or frustrated after more than 1-2 hours. I need to take a break, refresh, and come back the next day with renewed focus!
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  • Peter - In a word, gorgeous! I love it and I love the way you’ve styled it. Congratulations!
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  • TanitIsis - It looks great! I am kinda obsessed with coats and jackets right now (something to do with the season, I guess).
    It depends on the project, and my level of obsession. I banged out my daughter’s winter coat (which involved no less than three muslins and a massive amount of hand-stitching… well, for a kids coat, anyway) in about three weeks—as I said, obsession. However, I’m not overly OCD in my sewing; I made my last pair of jeans over a weekend and while they’re not perfect, they’re perfectly wearable. :)
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  • Suzy - It is a gorgeous jacket. The fabric and colours so lush. Absolutely love it! Depending on what I’m sewing I might take a few days or a few weeks to finish a project. Mind you, I am merely a beginner, having started sewing last June. I have done the mistake of not fitting properly because I wanted to finish. I’m still learning how to fit so hopefully once I learn it I’ll take longer to ensure it’s the best I can do.
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  • Farah - I love your jacket! You have inspired me to make a 70s style jacket too – it’s just so lovely!
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  • www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlCEKeyreXrGhckXfMKcKRNVwx3Dgtgazc - I admire your delicious details of the pink lined sleeves and especially the leather buttons on velvet. Not something I would have even thought of, but absolutely wonderful! Beautiful jacket!
    When I sew for someone else I take my time to make everything perfect. (Which is most of my sewing) But when I sew for myself I do it quickly…mostly simple styles. They are still better than RTW in construction and fit. But I now have a dress form and need to make a cover of myself so that I can fit properly, and do my own designs, something I love/can’t live without. My dress form is the foam form that has to be squeeshed into the cover. OMG the boobs are lethal weapons!
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  • Karin van D. - Absolutely fabulous. You look amazing in this jacket, how beautiful! My compliments, great job.
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  • Ashley - Beautiful, esp. in that fabric!
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  • A Sewn Wardrobe - This turned out so well. The fabric is simply wonderful, and I love the contrasting polka-dot lining. I like how you styled it! I think it would look great with jeans and heels, too, for a date-night look. I bet you will get a ton of wear out of this one. Bravo on a tough project well done! Now go make a knit top! ;)
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  • Jennifer - LOVE LOVE LOVE! I want one! I must have one! That is a great jacket and I adore it!
    I also thought of you this past weekend. I have really been wanting to see Penelope ever since you mentioned it on here. I watched it because it was on Encore and I loved it! It was a fun movie and the clothes were so inspiring! It looked like Anthropologie did Penelope’s entire look! I am still swooning over it and thinking of watching it again! Thanks for blogging about it!
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  • Uta - Fabulous! This was worth taking your time over. Regarding your question: It depends. It’s no use cranking out a jacket or coat in the shortest time. It will look homemade and not get worn. I will however make myself a simple summer skirt, or children’s garments that get done fast, maybe not perfectly, but good enough for their intended use.
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  • Tasia - It looks fantastic!! You’ve definitely captured the 70’s vibe in a pretty, modern way. Love the buttons, love the two different lining fabrics, love the big wide lapels. It really turned out beautifully!
    Regarding projects: I totally admire that you tackle every detail with care! It is the difference between a beautiful piece of clothing and a slapped-together home sewing project. I like to do the same, but I also know there’s a point where I start to lose interest if it’s taking too long and it gets banished to UFO-land. It all depends on the project! This jacket is extra-special because of all the hard work you put into it.
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  • Katherine - This is so stinkin’ cool. And you look GORGEOUS.
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  • Liz - This looks so amazing. You did a great job!!!
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  • Cherri Porter - It does look beautiful.
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  • Casey - Bravo! I just love how impeccable the fit is–and the lining is so cute! I have recently started doing more and more “contrast” linings just for the heck of it. ;) Gorgeous work–you can definitely tell you took your time to make everything “just so” on this!
    Sewing time… it totally varies for me. Sometimes I’m caught up in other things (read: life) and something that would normally take a week or less (like a simple dress) take forever. Then there are the “big” projects that do take me awhile… Like the Lady Grey jacket I’m still making. :p lol. Hopefully that’ll be done by January though… ;)
    ♥ Casey | blog
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  • lap - I love the amazing twilightly color of velvet! I agree, it’s dying for plaid pants, which I think will create a whole amazing Ralph Lauren crossed with Marc Jacobs vibe. I’d love to see your Summer in Italy pencil skirt paired with this, and maybe pink or orange tights to winter it up!
    I’m seriously addicted to clothes that were in fashion when I was 4 right now. At least to the patterns for them. I have plaid plans myself. (Rainbow)
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  • Blair Yuen - Sunni! Such a rich, beautiful color on you! What a lovely jacket! I told Shawn I’d buy it in a heartbeat! Remember, I’m an admirer now, and hopefully a customer someday. You do beautiful work. Excellent job :)
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  • val - I have definitely been waiting to see the finished product. I really like velvet and velveteen but have never used it to make an entire jacket. Usually I use it as trim and such. Navy was an excellent choice and I am impressed with the overall look.
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  • Emily - Perfection! I love the little details you’ve included.
    I’m just starting off sewing and I’ve only picked easy projects that can be finished in a week or so. I also haven’t attempted using fancy expensive fabrics (aside from minky which hated my machine). I hope to learn some tailoring and make more interesting things.
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  • Alana - Gorgeous – that colour in the velveteen is so saturated and luxurious!
    As to your question – I wish I was detail focused and had the patience to spend so much time on the finer things but instead I’m all about the instant gratification. If something takes longer than a week I get bored and it starts to feel like a chore (see this trench coat). I’m a bit of a hedonist when it comes to sewing, I’ll only do it as long as I’m enjoying it so quick and dirty projects seem to match my attention plan ;)That said I’m in total admiration of those who do tailor and finish things beautifully and slowly but surely I’m taking on those tips.
    ~Alana
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  • Laurel - Jacket looks fab, can’t wait to see the 70’s pants with it.
    I have both kinds of projects, I guess. I have some things I turned in in less than 24 hrs that I absolutely love wearing, and other things that I took one step at a time, doing all the right details, ripping out the imperfect and starting over, etc. I generally love what I’ve made either way, once I finish it. But I do confess a love of a quick project over something that takes forever.
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  • adelaide b - This is amazing and beautiful!
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  • SueMarie - Beautiful! I love the jacket.
    I am still slogging away on my Gertie-sewalong Lady Grey. The tailoring techniques brought out the perfectionist in me and I did and redid way too many steps. I have the hem and the belt and the buttons left – then I too want to sew a whole bunch of quick items just for the fun of it.
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  • oonaballoona - AAAAAAAAGH i LOOoooooVE it!
    may i steal it to wear with this… http://tinyurl.com/24jokpd
    …pretty please? i would pair it with cappuccino boots, a vanilla silk scarf, and be your very best friend. ‘kthxbye!
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  • kiraph - As always, a great job! It looks fabulous. I have to admit to not making anything for myself that has taken that long. I would love to take on the challenge though!
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  • Big in Japan - I think I’ve dreamt of this jacket! Beautiful fabric and execution!
    My projects always take longer than I think they should, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are terribly involved. I’ve become fussier with details as my skills improve, but I’m also pragmatic. In terms of how picky I’ll be over tiny details, it really depends on the item and its final destination.
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  • Becky - I love it! I want one! And all of the time-consuming details were obviously worth it.
    To answer your question–I feel like I’m beginning to go more towards the time-consuming sewista. The longer I’ve been doing this, the more concerned I get with fit and finishing details. And it’s definitely slowing me down. I Hong Kong seamed the entire inside of the last jacket I made, and it literally made it take about five times longer than it would have otherwise. (And then I whipped out four pillows in a day for my next project. Go fig. I definitely need the quick project after the time-sucking ones!)
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  • Kristin - stunning! You’re inspiring me to take more time with my sewing. I’m a “get it DONE” kind of girl, but I’m slowly starting to realize that taking time is often worth it. Too bad I’m so lazy!
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  • Kara - Your jacket looks great! That color is just luscious! I love the little belt you added in the back.
    I’m working on a jacket right now, too. I’m almost done, but it’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would! Just like you, I get sucked in to all the little details. I wanted to pad stitch the collar, but the pattern piece didn’t have a roll line, so I had to pin it on, find the roll line, and mark it myself. And then there was all that pad stitching. Took forever! But I’m so proud of it already, even though I’m not done. I just know I’ll wear it all the time!
    Glad to see there’s another seamstress out there who doesn’t finish 3 projects a week, like so many bloggers out there seem to!
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  • Eike Armbrust - I so love that Jacket and was all the time waiting to see the finished one. Absolutely gorgeous!
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  • lauren - what a gorgeous jacket!! i love all the little details, and the color+fabric+pattern is a perfect match!
    i tend to sew through things fast (picking up the “I HAVE TO WEAR THIS ON THE WEEKEND OH GOD OH GOD”), but it makes me sloppy and careless so i force myself to slow down and enjoy the process to finish a garment. normally about a week for a simple-ish garment, but the dang lady grey i just finished took me months. and i’m fairly monogamous when it comes to my sewing projects, so that was agonizing haha
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  • DeniseAngela - Gorgeous! saw you Burdastyle and came by to visit!
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  • Abby - Beautiful job. I think it is perfect in every way. The details have really paid off.
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  • Marie-Christine - How totally fabulous! You just want to stroke that velvet..
    I don’t know what you mean by a project in a week. A t-shirt, from a pattern I already have adjusted? An hour. Pants, from my usual pattern? A day or two. A shirt, with cuffs and buttonholes and everything? A week could work, -if- I sewed every day (fat chance). Basically, it depends what kind of sewing you do. And what kind of time you have, how long the sessions, how much in between. I can easily drag something through a month, and I’m not even talking jackets. So don’t flog yourself, when you’re doing stuff like this beauty you need to focus on process and not consider time too much.
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  • Amy L - All your hard work shows in the beautiful finished product!
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  • tiffany - that jacket is really amazing! your pictures perfectly capture the joy i feel when i make something beautiful with my own two hands. btw, where did you get those pretty gloves?
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  • Anna | Mormor hade stil - Your jacket looks so stylish!
    I’m a slow sewer. Taking care of my baby girl leaves little time for me to sew, so any projects I undertake (on precious spare hours) seem to take forever. But I’m having loads of fun sewing baby clothing. :-)
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  • denise calhoun - Really gorgeous. You’ve motivated me for the Crepe sew-along.
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  • Angela - What a beautiful jacket!! You did a fabulous job! Hehe… I take forever on my projects sometimes and then sometimes I can knock it out in one day. It just depends on the project and my mood… I am a girl, you know? :)
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  • Meghan Dodrill - Oh, my – this is amazing! I love the jacket, the careful attention to details, and most of all, the styling. It’s all absolutely to die for. :-)
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  • Alessa - Wow, that looks soooo gorgeous! Beautiful!
    I have to admit I’m more of a quick and easy person… I’ve done mostly easy, basic projects up to now, though… I’d like to try some more difficult projects sometime soon, and learn some couture sewing techniques.
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Trousers, pants, bottoms, cigarette pants, bell bottoms…..It is now very official. I have finally decided on a date to begin the trouser sew-a-long (I’m calling them trousers because it’s a little more exciting to say trousers than pants, well, at least to me). Fresh out of the holiday bustle we’re going to start Monday, January 3. It will be more slow-paced than the pencil skirt sew-a-long but fast enough to hold your interest. We’ll start with a fitting, talk about some different trouser styles and then move onto the construction.

For my trouser selection, I’ll be using this Burda pattern here (click here for the German website). This is Burda pattern #127 in the July 2010 issue for those of you with the magazine. I think it would be great if we all used the same pattern, but hey, if you aren’t into this pattern feel free to substitute your own. The fitting issues I’ll be going over can translate into any pattern. Oh and don’t worry, I will look like that model above with mile long legs in my pants, don’t know about you. The fact that she’s surrounded by younger than teenage boys does not help, I’ll definitely round some up when its time for picture taking. I’ve got connections like that you know.

Soon I’ll post a little list for the items you’ll need and then we’ll get started with some fun and fabulous-ness after the holidays. Sound like a plan?

Oh and here’s a button just cause buttons are cute and fun:


And no, pants ain’t just for gents. Right? That’s what I thought. Look whose wearing the pants now! Ready? Set? Let’s sew some pants y’all!

xoxo,

Sunni

**Update** I had completely forgotten about the Burda “divide.” Claire (Seemane) has very graciously given the links in the comments section of this post to the german website where you can download the pattern in German, English and French. If you are still unable to download the pattern, please contact me at sunni@thecupcakegoddess.com and I will see if someone at Burda Style can give us a hand here. Also for you shorties or petites, don’t sweat it, my legs are quite short in comparison to the rest of my body. I’ll be showing this adjustment too. Oh I’m very glad indeed that so many of you are excited to participate! Oh what fun we’ll have!

  • Seemane (aka Claire) - Hi Sunni,
    I hope to be able join in this sewalong (I’ll be doing Tasia’s Pendrell top http://sewaholic.net/pendrell-blouse-sew-along-schedule/ in January too – they should make a nice outfit together :)!).
    P.S. I cannot see the 1st image ( all I can see are the words BM1007_burdasty_127_large).
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  • Amanda - Very neat! What a perfect way to deal with the cold January blues. This would be my 3rd sew-along in addition to Gertie’s and Tasia’s, but I’m up for the challenge! Thanks for hosting.
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  • Suzie - WHOOP!!!! Count me in! I can’t see the image either, nor on the link, but based on your description of all the teenage boys surrounding the model I think I know which trousers (and yes, being from the UK, I have to agree that I like the sound of ‘trousers’ over ‘pants’..as pants mean a whole other thing to us!) and they are ones I have had my eyes on to sew for AGES!
    Oh and by the way, are we going to get to see your finished Boyfriend jacket??! Or did I (shock horror) MISS a post??!!!!!
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  • Amanda - P.S. The Burda website isn’t working for me, I just went to order the pattern. For some reason that website never works for me, even on a different computer. I’ve tried a bunch of things. Is there another place I can order that pattern?
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  • Amber - I have never done a Burda pattern so I am confused by the sizing. When it says 72-88, is that the waist measurement in CM? If so, I should be able to get it to work. I’m excited.
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  • María - Thanks Sunni I´m in!! I´m in love with this pattern but I´m a petite size and this comes in tall sizes. Should I try or should I look for a different model? Is it possible to fit a pattern by that much? I´d really appreciate your expert comments on this, cupcake readers…
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  • SabrinaClementine - Awww, I was set on calling it the Pants-along! I suppose I’ll get over it. I’ve been meaning to make myself some jeans, and since the pattern I’ve picked out isn’t for “jeans” per se, I think I’ll wait and be a part of the sew along! (Besides, I’d been debating if I should wait to lose a few more pounds before I tackle that….and December will already be busy with my coat and dress I’m making.) I’ll be looking forward to it!
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  • Seemane (aka Claire) - Hi Amber,
    Re: Sizes for this pattern
    The pattern was originally published in the Burda Style magazine (and then later-on made available as a PDF download on the BurdaStyle.com website).
    So…., I had a look at the German website http://www.burdastyle.de and I found this chart (“Burda Measurement Charts for the magazine patterns” you can download the PDF file in German, English & French here: http://www.burdastyle.de/chameleon/outbox/public/6506295f-c2c9-ec4a-f434-c3af2f2c134d/Tab_DamenHerren-2.pdf)
    From the chart these are the measurements for szies 72-88 (the “Tall” sizes, aimed at ladies 5’9″/176cm tall):
    SIZE…..BUST……..WAIST……..HIPS
    72 = 33″(84cm), 26″(66cm), 35.5″(90cm)
    76 = 34.75″ (88cm), 27.75″(70cm), 37″(94cm)
    80 = 36.25″ (92cm), 29.25″(74cm), 38.75″(98cm)
    84 = 37.75 (96cm), 30.75″(78cm), 40.25″(102cm)
    88 = 39.5″ (100cm), 32.5″(82cm), 41.75″(106cm)
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  • Stephanie - I am so excited for the sew-along. And even better is that I have this issue of the magazine. Now to just sit down and get it traced. I do have the same question as Maria. I am also on the short side. I am guessing that there must be a lengthen/shorten lines within the pattern that could be adjusted from there??? Or is there more that would be needed???
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  • lap - You’ve picked trousers that should be universally flattering! I too will have an elongated inseam and be surrounded by teenage boys.
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  • Amber - Perfect. Thank you. I do fit the Tall category so I am excited about that. But I will have to either alter the pattern for my hips or lose 2-1/2 inches before January. hmmm. I think I can manage the alterations.
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  • Zoe - excellent news. I’m in, especially if it will mean I will look tall and leggy!
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  • Christine - Yes! I haven’t made pants yet so I’m looking forward to this.
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  • Istanbulonstilettos - Woo! This will be my first sew along. I am about to give birth (within this week) and I think this will be a great way to go back to my old routine with the timing of the sew along schedule. I can’t wait! I already have the color in mind. Firey red! Take that baby pounds! ;)
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  • Tilly - Ooh yes please! I abandoned my first attempt at trousers because the fitting was too much effort, so a sewalong will be perfect! I have a large derriere for my frame so it’d be good to cover those kinds of adjustments – someone advised me to measure my “back crotch curve”, which seems a bit daunting…
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  • Angela - I’m not good a following sewalongs, but they’re so fun to readalong with. I’m also a little intimidated by pants…. hmmm.. but this looks like so much fun. At the very least I’ll be watching for your posts. :)
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  • Alison - I’m very excited for this! Thanks for doing it! :)
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  • Amy L - I am in – pants are needed to expand my winter clothing options. I’m also excited about a slow pace since life gets in the way of my sewing plans often. I’ve bought my pattern and will start contemplating fabric. I’m excited!!
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  • Elle - In all my sewing, I don’t think I’ve actually made a proper pair of trousers, at least for an adult. I’m intrigued, and tentatively in.
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  • Suzy - Very tempted as my attempts at making trousers have been less than successful but I’m also quite petite. Need to think about it!
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  • Kim - I haven’t tried pants of any kind for at least 5 years because I can never get the fit right, so a sewalong sounds perfect. I just hope I can keep up with this and with Tasia’s Pendrell sewalong too! I think I’ll make Simplicity 2562 instead of the Burda since I already have it in my stash, but the patterns look fairly similar.
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  • oonaballoona - ooooooooooh cupcake goddess i’m so psyched! i may have to play catch up but i am so in. i’ve only tried one pair of pants before, a failure…
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  • Sandra - Hi Sunni, would love to join in a pants sewalong! It seems you can read my mind, first the Jenny skirt and now these pants. I’ve actually already cut a muslin for these and still confused about sizing. I fit the tall category so no problems there. But when I cut to my size in Burda for pants it’s often waaaay to big! But I wonder if I should be cutting smaller or cutting to my size and taking in. I’m actually hoping to finish these pants before your start date but will definitely join in with another pair.
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  • lakaribane - I’m in. Trousers (c’est tellement chic comme mot!) are on my 2011 Sewing Resolutions, mostly a derrière issue to work out.
    But I might do a different pattern…
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  • Tasia - I look forward to your photo shoot with the teenage boys and your mile-long legs! :)
    Great idea, a lot of people are intimidated by pants…so a sew-along is brilliant! and Claire aka Seemane is so right, these trousers would be awesome with the Pendrell Blouse!
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  • Sue - I would like to sew along too! Please count me in.
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  • Amy - I’ll be sewing along! I’ll have to take a closer look at that pattern to see if it will work for my figure, but if not, I’m sure I can find a good sub. Looks like fun & I bet we’ll all learn a lot!
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  • Alessa - Oh awesome, I have a couple of trousers in my to-sew pile and a sew-along sounds fantastic! Sadly I will be without my sewing machine until February (while tramping around the world, which is a good consolation for not being able to sew) so I’ll have to start when you’re probably already finished… Still, looking forward to your tips and tutorials!
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  • Melissa - Hi Sunni, You can count me in as well. I’ve tried to make trousers in the past but failed in the fitting. Going to go dig up this magazine from the collection :)
    ps: Stop listing fabulous patterns on etsy. I just bought another one!
    Thanks,
    Melissa
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  • Kathleen - Awesome! I have the magazine laying here and I was always drawn to those pants, but they intimidate me. I might join the sew-a-long depending on how busy the first month of the new year will be.
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  • Suzy - Well, I decided to join the sew along, yay!! I will be using a different pattern which I already have in my (growing) collection ;) Looking forward to sewlong :)
    http://www.suzysewing.blogspot.com
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  • Elizabeth - I would love to partipate myself! I’m taking a fitting class the first week of Feb, but my partner for the class and I will be working before then.
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  • Abby - Perfect timing. One of my ’11 sewing resolutions is to perfect a TNT pants pattern. Looking forward to the sew along!
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  • Pam - I’m in as well!! I haven’t done trousers in a while – normally I have no waist and straight hips – so I don’t do muslins – but I’d like to see how everyone does it right!!
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  • sharon - I would love to sew along as well. Please count me in. I’m 5’2″ so definately don’t fit into the tall catergory, is it okay to use a different pattern?
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  • Claire - im freakishly tall!! Im guessing im going to have to lengthen the trousers if i join in. I need to consult some books!
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I simply could not resist doing an interview with Tasia Pona from Sewaholic Patterns. Her debut pattern, the Pendrell Blouse, is on the brink of being shipped to those of us lucky enough to snag one. She’s got serious sewing on the brain and her unrelenting enthusiam for the craft is unbelievably contagious. I simply had to pick her brain about pattern drafting. Had. To. Readers, meet the newest patternmaker on the block:

A Fashionable Stitch ~Just to get started, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in clothing/pattern design?

Sewaholic ~ I’ve always loved sewing, for as long as I can remember. When I graduated from high school, fashion school seemed like the natural next step! I completed a four-year degree in Fashion Design, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Pattern drafting, sewing, costing, sketching, studying the history of clothing – the whole process was fascinating! It was wonderful and inspiring to spend my days surrounded by people who also loved sewing and creating.
A month before I graduated from college, I applied to a real fashion industry position advertised on the school bulletin board, a local company looking for a ‘Design Coordinator’ – and I got the job! So I finished my last month of school while working in the industry a couple of days a week, spending weekends at my part-time job, and evenings sewing up my graduation fashion show pieces. It was hectic but fun!
I worked at that very same job in the fashion industry for eight years, starting at the very bottom and working my way up. It was great hands-on experience learning about the apparel business, working in almost every department, and watching a company grow. When I left, I was managing purchasing and production – dealing with factories, writing orders, negotiating, costing. Exciting and fast-paced work, although not very creative. Yes, I had to be ‘creative’ in solving problems, but not in the way where I was able to create things. That’s when I started my blog Sewaholic, as a creative outlet and a way to stay inspired.
So my background comes from my fashion degree as well as eight years working in the apparel industry. Also, my mother is a talented seamstress, so you could say it’s in my genes!

A Fashionable Stitch~ Are you a drafter, draper or both?

Sewaholic ~ Drafter – that’s the way I learned to make patterns, so that’s where I always start. Though, once the pattern is translated in fabric, there’s often little tweaks to make that involve a little draping.

A Fashionable Stitch ~ I for one am very interested in the process from concept to published pattern. Can you walk us through the design process?

Sewaholic ~ Absolutely!
First, the design is finalized. I draw a sketch and work out the measurements of each part. For example, if there is a ruffle, I figure out how long it should be, and where it should start and stop. This might change, but at least I have a starting point. The first pattern is made, based on the sketch and the measurements.
Then, the fun part! I sew up a muslin version of the first pattern. It’s almost never perfect, so there’s a lot of tweaking, adjusting, and revising that happens at this stage. The pattern is adjusted, and another muslin is made. This goes back and forth until the design is perfect, which can take a while! While I’m making the muslins, I make very rough notes on how it’s constructed, so I have a starting point for the instructions.
Once the design is perfected, a couple of things start happening. One, I start making a real version of the design. I’ll take photos wearing the item, and I’ll also wear-test it for comfort and fit. (If I don’t like wearing it all day, you probably won’t either!) Two, I start writing up the instructions. This takes a long time! I draw up the little pictures for each sewing step, and work out the wording to use.
Then, the pattern is graded into different sizes. I figure out the fabric requirements for each size, view, and fabric width, and work out the fabric cutting layouts.
After all of the information is finalized, the envelope and instruction sheet artwork is created. I have the help of my lovely and talented sister, who is a graphic designer! She’s the talent behind the envelope design, and I couldn’t be happier with how it looks.
Once the art files are ready, they are sent off to print! The printer receives the files, and prints me a test sheet (called a proof) to approve before they proceed. I receive the proof, give them the go-ahead, and printing begins!
I think that’s it – it’s a long process! I’ve learned that everything takes twice as long as you think, but it’s been an eye-opening experience and the next run will go much smoother, I’m sure!

A Fashionable Stitch ~ We are all loving the Pendrell Blouse! What was the inspiration for the Pendrell and was there any reason you chose to debut a blouse pattern instead of say, a dress or skirt?

Sewaholic ~ I’m glad you love the blouse! The inspiration was simple – I was looking for a blouse pattern that I wanted to make over and over with subtle variations, and couldn’t find one that I absolutely loved. I wanted to eliminate the details that make it harder to sew – hemming slippery blouse fabrics, hard-to-sew necklines, and zippers or buttonholes. I figured if I didn’t like hemming sheer or lightweight fabrics, then maybe there were others that felt the same way!
Back when I dreamed up the idea of my own pattern line, my plan was to start with something different. In fact, the first design was originally going to be a dress pattern! However, I was playing with a couple of ideas at once, and the one that immediately came together and fell into place was the blouse. It just felt like the right place to start – a simple pattern with unique design details, that would be easy to sew and fit – so I went for it!

A Fashionable Stitch ~ Where do you see your pattern company in say 5 years? What are your hopes and dreams for Sewaholic Patterns?

Sewaholic ~ My hopes are to run a profitable company, and support myself doing something I love. I hope to never compromise my beliefs and values, and continue to stay approachable even if the business grows. Most importantly, I hope to inspire more people around the world to sew!
I’d like sewing to be cool again. I’d like women to realize that they can feel beautiful in clothing they create, that so-called “figure problems” can be easily tamed when you learn to sew for yourself and fit your body, and that there is no right way to dress. If fashion magazines are saying pastels are in, and all you want is a bright red dress, then make yourself one! I’d love for people to think of sewing not as a cheaper alternative to shopping, or an artsy-craftsy thing, but a way for real, modern women to dress themselves.
Five years from now? Everything is so new that it’s hard to imagine where I will be in five years, I’ll have to re-read this post in a year and see if I’m on track or not! In five years I’d like to have a full line of patterns in the collection – maybe fifteen or twenty styles that make up a complete wardrobe. I’d like to have retailers carry my pattern line in stores. I’d like people who sew to know about Sewaholic Patterns. I’d like to find new and fun ways to share my love of sewing, maybe look into teaching, or designing fabric, or creating new pattern collections. Who knows where the future will take me? I’m just excited to see what happens next.

A Fashionable Stitch ~ Any hints for your next pattern release?

Sewaholic ~ Here’s a hint – you can wear it with your Pendrell Blouse!

Cheers Tasia! Here’s to you and your pattern company! A big thank you for a peek into your design process.

  • Sarah - What a great interview – so interesting! I can’t wait to get my Pendrell – I got a ‘shipped’ email this morning! Wooo!!
    Thanks Sunni & Tasia!!
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  • Jill/laughbutnotloudly - That’s for the interview! I love the sewaholic blog; it’s one of my favorite go-to sites when I have a sewing question — which happens frequently. I can’t wait to try the Pendrell blouse and I’m always interested to read about people’s entrepreneurial business ventures.
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  • Liz - Thanks for the interview. I just bought the pattern last week and hope participate in the sewalong, too.
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  • funnygrrl - Tasia is so helpful. I’ve sent her messages asking for help twice and she’s responded right away. She really supports the online sewing community and it’s nice to see the community supporting her.
    Great interview! Thanks!
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  • Tasia - Thanks so much, Sunni, for interviewing me! It was a lot of fun answering your questions, especially sharing my hopes and dreams.
    The sewing community has been wonderfully supportive so far! I’m constantly amazed and impressed how we help, encourage and inspire each other. You guys are awesome!!
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  • Darci - Yay! Tasia! What a great interview! So many things I always wanted to ask her and you beat me to it, Sunni!
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  • Sarah Says - She is so talented! I would love to be able to create my own patterns for clothes like she does. Great interview.
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  • Jessica - Oh, Tasia is such a sweetheart and that really comes across here. Thanks so much for the interview!
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  • iphone screen replacement - sewing community have been wonderfully positive so far! I am constantly surprised and impressed by how we help, encourage and inspire each other. You guys are very awesome!
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I really can’t believe its that time of year again! Can you? I wanted to wish all of you who celebrate a very Happy Thanksgiving. I’ve got a lot going on this week, so I’ll be back next week with the following in tow:

  • a very interesting interview with a new patternmaker on the block; I think you’ll really love what she’s got to say.
  • the date has finally been set for the Trouser Sew-A-Long. I’ll clue you in next week. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun too.
  • the velvet boyfriend’s jacket is finally finished! It’s a real beauty too.

And just in case you weren’t here last year when I posted this recipe, definitely have a crack at it this year while you’re trimming that tree. Believe me, there is nothing like Hot Buttered Rum. Nothing.

Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

All my best!

The Boyfriend’s Jacket is coming along. Slowly but surely. This past weekend I did a bunch of work to it and surprisingly really really really enjoyed each process. I mean, I love sewing but you know, sometimes…But this was different. It’s a very long and tedious process with ample amounts of hand sewing but I really enjoyed it. It’s very magical how the whole thing comes about. Simply magical. And I thought it would be fun to show you shots of my progress as the thing comes together. Disclaimer ~ this is not finished (obviously) and yes, there are white fuzzies everywhere and the side seams have not yet been stitched together. Just have a look past these things, if you would.

I wanted to show you some of the details that I decided to use as I will probably forget when I show you the final creation. There are several. First off, I’m following along in my Tailoring Book for the machine method. For those of you who have this book, you know what I’m talking about. I decided on this method because of the velveteen. It’s a beast to work with and I felt that the less I actually had to work with it the better it would be. In this method the lapels are not shaped with padstitching and the hair canvas is applied a little bit differently. This method also does not steam the lapel with a towel either which was my biggest concern since you are supposed to leave it overnight. This would have crushed the silly nap of the fabric and then I would have had to steam it out again which probably would have steamed out the lapel fold. Silly. So, yeah I went with the machine method. A good fit for a pile fabric I think.

Next, after looking through some of my old JCrew inspirations I found that some of the jackets had silk twill in the under collar. I’m using a silk twill for the lining and thought this would be a fun detail even though you’ll probably never see it. Suprisingly it’s worked out even better than planned as having the undercollar in velvet would have produced serious bulk.

Those blasted bound buttonholes. Those were a trip. In velveteen these things are a billion times harder. And I corded the buggars. This is a very cool trick which makes the buttonhole feel so much more stable. Just threaded a piece of yarn in there and Voila! bound buttonholes built to last!

The pockets. I drafted these from my mother’s boyfriend jacket. Then I handstitched them to the jacket. Handstitched. These babies took nearly three hours from cut to finishing on the jacket. But I do love the way they look, and if you don’t notice that there are no stitching lines attaching the pocket to the jacket, I will cry.

So far this jacket is very….heavy. It’s definitely a Fall/Winter item. It’s a very interesting comparison when you pick up a RTW jacket and this hand-tailored jacket and this thing isn’t even finished. It reminds of when you pick up a piece of good jewelry and a cheap piece and how the weight is different. The good piece is typically much heavier. So it goes with this.

Hmmmm….what do you think? Do you have the urge to sorta wanna pet it? I do. It’s soft, if I do say so myself. I think I’m going to be one very happy girl when this thing is finished. In fact, I think I’ll be as happy as a…..PRINCESS.

  • Peter - Really coming along nicely. I love the rich look of the velvet!
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  • TanitIsis - Ooo, I spent the weekend working on a coat, too… for my daughter, though. I must confess, I’ve done a ridiculous amount of hand-stitching on it, especially for a kid’s coat. It is relaxing!
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  • patty - This is simply lovely. The pockets are to die for and I’m surprised they ONLY took 3 hours!! How did you fasten them on to sew and keep everything straight? It seems like they’d get wonky with just pins.
    I am a huge fan of funky details that won’te be seen. pocket lining, undercollars, faced hems, zipper underlaps. This is what our scraps are MEANT for!!
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  • Isabel - Amazing! I aspire to your skills. Love the under collar.
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  • Liz - This jacket looks so lush. Can’t wait to see the finished product! And yes, it looks extremley pet-able. :)
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  • K-Line - This is truly amazing. The pockets are a work of art.
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  • Ana - Wow, that’s not sewing, that’s construction! Looks fantastic though – you must have the patience of a saint for all that hand sewing, it would drive me nuts.
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  • Angela - It’s beautiful!! I’ve beeen following Gertie’s Lady Grey sewalong and the hand sewing is intensive, but you definitely have the right word… it’s magical! I’ve loved and loving every minute of it… it’s just that sometimes I need a little break. :)
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  • Gail - Its coming along nicely.
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  • roarah - That velvet is so luscious! I can’t wait to see the finished product.
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  • Tasia - Oh wow. You are putting some serious love into this jacket! The fabric looks both incredibly luxurious and soft.. and the devil to sew!! Love the undercollar, that’s the kind of fun detail that will make you smile when you see it! It’s looking really great so far, beautifully constructed. Can’t wait to see it all done!
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  • Abby - I was just looking at the Talbots pictures with Mckinley and she wants to know what the girl at the bottoms name is. She got a bit annoyed when I said I didn’t know and she said “it’s Kira.” So, I don’t know if you even knew that but now you do. Haha! I love how the jacket is looking.
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