Sunday, May 15, 2016

Endless Combinations!!

Hello! I have been sewing like mad!  When I discovered that Hancock Fabrics was going out of business, I went a little nuts buying fabric.  By "a little nuts", I mean a little more than a little.  ;)

I started sewing up my new-found stash and then discovered the Endless Combinations Contest going on at Pattern Review.  It was fate I tell you!!

Let me describe my entries in the following ways:
1.  Using cool fabric
2.  Replicating a cool pattern envelope photo
3.  Replicating a long gone and memories-attached jacket

First up. A skirt made from a blue/white/navy/green swirly ITY knit.  I used the trusty McCall's 6654:

Cool fabric isn't it??  Since the going out of business sale at Hancocks had 2 yard minimum cuts, I had plenty left over for a top to match.  Enter Vogue 8390:

My previous version of this pattern was in a brown knit and I still love it (but it did need some tweaks):

When the 2 pieces are worn together, it looks like a dress:

On a side note, I have started running...and apparently my waist has returned!!

Part 2 of my thoughts for this contest was replicating the Jalie Eleonore pattern cover.  In particular, the light blue capris and the striped top:

Jalie Eleonore Jeans

The model seemed so springy, cool and comfortable.  It is very unlike me to copy a pattern photo, but it happened this time.  I even bought similar shoes!!  

My attempt at the cover pose

I did a split hem on these, using this excellent tutorial from pattern~scissors~cloth.

The top was a new pattern: New Look 6384.   Let me tell you that the top runs big.  I cut a large and should have done a medium.  The neckline was both low and wide.  I took in the shoulder seams and also the center front.  The fabric was a white striped interlock knit which I used on this dress:
McCall's 6886 blogged here

I am not a big fan of interlock knit mostly because it has poor recovery.  My neckline was a wavy mess when I finished it:

I was industrious and used some stretch thread which I ran through the channeling made by the neck binding.  I did not follow the pattern instructions, but used Jalie's method of using a skinny binding. Here is a great tutorial to show how it's done.  Once the elastic thread was inside the casing, it was almost gathered.  After ironing, however, it came out perfect!  Quite the save!!

So my pattern envelope re-enactment was finished and last up was replicating a long gone and memories-attached jacket.  Back when I was 18, I was an exchange student in France (Western Brittany).  At some point during my year long stay, I purchased a white Gap jean jacket from the Kilo Shop, where everything is sold by the kilo.  I remember the jacket being a bit too big, and I remember adding velcro to the inner pockets to prevent pick-pocketing during my travels (I was really paranoid about theives).  I have fond memories of that jacket including learning that the French word for velcro was "velcro".  So when I needed something to create Endless Combinations, a white jean jacket would be perfect.

I used Butterick 5616 from my stash:
Butterick 5616

Most reviewers mentioned the pattern being boxy, which is something I meant to minimize, if not eliminate.  I wisely made a muslin and did the following changes:

1.       I tapered the center back piece to narrow at the waist.  As drafted there was about a 2” difference between the finished bust and finished waist measurement…boxy indeed!
2.       I did a swayback adjustment, taking a ~1” fisheye dart across the back & side back pieces, tapering to nothing at the side seam.
3.       I did a slight FBA adding 3/8” to the bust at the side front.
4.       Below the bust I shaved off ~ ¼ ”on the seam to fit closer to the stomach.
5.       From my muslin, I discovered that the shoulders were very wide.  I narrowed them about 5/8”.
6.       I lengthened the sleeves from ¾ length to full length.
7.       I made the sleeve cuff narrower to match the lower band and used 1 button instead of 3
8.       I added ¼” twill tape along the collar to stabilize it. 
9.       I added interior pockets to the front pieces (you must have interior pockets to thwart pickpockets!!)
10.   I added a coat hanging loop.

I had JUST enough fabric for this jacket.  This is all that was left:
"Big" Scraps

"little" scraps

I am very happy with how it turned out.  I did made a bit of a goof-up however.  The sleeves & cuffs were designed to be 3/4 length and ending at the forearm.  I made the sleeves full length, but I forgot to taper them both down to be wrist size.  I realized my error after the cuffs were attached and topstitched.  Sigh...   So I put the button on ~2" from the edge of the cuff to make them a more sensible size.  

My Endless Combinations were complete.  Here is my collage:

It is a great assortment of outfits, and I am very pleased with how they turned out.  

Mid-April I was able to tag along when my husband had to go to Miami for work.  Here is a photo of me on South Beach, all cool and windblown:


  1. You have been busy!! I love all the stuff you made. That swirly fabric is terrific.

  2. I love every piece that you made! Well done.

  3. fantastic wardrobe - love the colors and you have so many cute items. the white jacket is great and l love the two piece look.

  4. Great wardrobe and I LOVE the jacket. Well done!

  5. You have created a beautiful mix and match wardrobe. Well done!

  6. Fantastic!!!! I especially love the knit top + skirt matching combo. I've wanted to do that for some time. It really works!

    All of your pieces look really good. Congrats on getting it done.

  7. I really like the jacket. I have a similar Burda pattern that I really hope to get to some day. All your wardrobe pieces go together really well and I like the colour scheme.

    I've taken up running too but so far it hasn't helped my waist - what I've got are calves - just ridiculous :-D


  8. really accomplished a lot of sewing.. Love it..
    DId you enjoy living in India? Sounds interesting.. Did they have beautiful fabrics in India?

  9. My goodness, your endless combinations are fab! What a lot of sewing, but wonderful results! Love the photo of you on the beach!


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