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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Spring 2020 Jalie's: Maxime Jacket

For a while now I have been wanting to make a light jacket for golfing and general dog walking activities. I needed something in the way of a spring jacket.

As a result I was very happy to see the Maxime in the new spring line up.

This is an extremely practical pattern. I particularly like the big flap pockets at the front and the fact that they also have a side entry, what they sometimes call "hand warmer" pockets. There is a good zipper guard and elastic at the bottom and sleeves, also good for the weather.

I had some rainwear, sort of a tencel I bought a long time ago for another pattern, and some athletic mesh stuff that I thought would work well for a lining. 

Most importantly I had a really nice metal teeth zipper I bought to match in NYC for this fabric and I was happy to have the chance to use it.

One note though about the instructions for the zipper in this pattern. There are some careful instructions about how to shorten a longer zipper and fold over the zipper guard over the top. This was a little more challenging for me that if I had used a plastic teeth zipper. Next time, and I will be making this one again, I would probably just measure the pattern for my size and buy a zipper to fit rather than taking the top teeth off a longer zipper - something I don't think I am particularly good at.

That is just my choice and not a big deal but something to think about.

The jacket went together very well, with some of those interesting industrial type techniques I love to see in Jalie's patterns. In addition to the pockets I also liked the flange at the yoke in the front and the high collar.

I can tell you right now this is going to be one of my favourite new garments this spring. It is neat but has enough ease to be very wearable. I liked the back ease in particular- I want to be able to swing a golf club in this jacket.

A few more pictures of me wearing this one, including my signature talking to the camera man shot. And boy do I need a haircut!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Spring 2020 Jalie patterns: Bianca top and dress

My fabric shelves have been spitting up a whole bunch of fabrics that I have picked up over the years with no real idea of when or how I was going to use them.

The bright striped rayon challis I used to make this dress was one of those pieces. When I was considering Jalie's new Bianca top and dress pattern I realized that the centre front and back seams, plus the optional arm band/cap sleeves, presented some opportunities to play around with the stripes.

First the pattern:

This is a nice basic pattern that just pulls over the head without any closure. It also includes an interesting pattern for a fabric belt I might make some time and optional pockets. I left both of those details off since there was more than enough going on with the stripes.

I am actually pretty pleased with this dress. It has a simple shape but isn't too boxy as some of these sack type dresses are. I have decided that what makes this work for me is that the shoulder fit isn't too loose. I also think the drape of the challis works well with this pattern and I am going to be making several more out of similar fabric. I am always looking for fast sews for comfortable dresses for spring and summer.

I also think I will try this again in a knit and will probably go down one size for that. Real potential here.