Category Archives: garments

San Diego Jacket in Denim

This jacket is an attention-getter! 

The style is uncomplicated and easy to fit.  I love the way the collar frames my face.   Denim is always popular, and wait until you see the embroidery on the back.

I bought the pattern at Distinctive Sewing Supplies with my own hard-earned money and I’m sew glad I did.  I’m going to make another one, in a printed canvas.  Here’s a link in case you want to buy one for yourself.

The embroidery design was purchased on-line at Anitagoodesign, here’s a link.

The San Diego Jacket pattern didn’t include pockets.  I really, really need pockets, so I designed my own.  I added the same unique button-loop as on the front of the jacket, then ordered buttons to cover.  I embroidered flowers from the embroidery design and have unique buttons on my jacket.

I’ve been stopped by total strangers who wanted to know where I got my “awesome jacket”.  It’s a great way of introducing people to the concept of sewing your own clothes.  This jacket was really easy, and yet looks sew complicated.



Adding a Front Closure to a Sports-bra

I have a “thing” about exposed bra straps.  Like; they’re underwear and should stay there.  Under.

Recently, I sewed a camisole with a racer back and of course with my standard bra, the straps showed.  I know you can buy little gizmos that hook the straps together at center back, and I bought some.  After almost dislocating my shoulder while trying to install one, they were tossed into the back of a dark drawer.

Plan “B”. 

Buy a “racer-back” bra. 

Sure.  That’s a “Sports-Bra”.  They don’t have hooks.  You pull them over your head!!!!  And wiggle yourself into it.  Right.  So now I’ll dislocate my other shoulder. 

Anyway, I did buy one.  It was inexpensive.  I also wandered into the notion department and bought this.

It’s sold as a bra extension, but I see it as a set of hooks and eyes for a front opening bra.

I cut the bra open at center front.With a piece of tissue paper underneath, I sewed two rows of basting along each cut edge, about 1/8th inch apart.

I carefully tore away the tissue paper and with a pin at each end to wrap the bobbin threads around, I pulled them to gather the front opening down to 3 inches.  (That’s the length of the bra extension I bought)

I had already cut a one inch wide piece of fusible knit interfacing along the grain, three inches long, then sub-cut it to 2 pieces, 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long.  I fused one strip to each side of each of the gathered front edges.

I picked the part of the extension with the hooks off the rest with a stitch ripper.  There was a row of zig zag stitches that came out easily.  Then I was able to slip the edge of the bra front into the “pocket” of the hook area.   If you’re doing this, make sure the hooks are pointing “in”.

Zig zag through all layers to join.

Slip the point of a fine pair of scissors under the second set of eyes and cut as close to the second set as possible.

Line up the raw edge of the piece you just cut with the remaining gathered bra edge with good sides together.  Again, watch that the eyes are facing the right way. 

Use a straight stitch to join, avoiding the ends of the eyes that are hiding under the fabric.  Turn the seam allowance to the inside and zig zag along the raw edge to finish off the seam allowance.

No more dislocated shoulders.

No more wiggling into a bra when I’m hot and sweaty.

No more bra straps showing.


Is this something you’ll do?

Fly Tutorial with Photos for Jalie Stretch Jeans 2908

Remember these jeans?

These are  my jeans using Jalie Stretch Jeans 2908.  (If you want to read the post, please click here)

In that post I stated that I would write a tutorial on the fly front zipper.  Since then I’ve sewn many more garments, but I hadn’t forgotten.  Just lately I helped my friend Suzanne work through the fly front, step by step, and realized that the tutorial might have helped her.

I cut out a pair of fronts in the smallest size, and the fly shield, which I made longer by about 3/4 inch.  On my jeans they seemed to have gotten smaller as I sewed, so from now on I’ll add a bit. 

I used a cream coloured twill, an orange zipper and dark green thread.  It’s not pretty, but it worked.  I took pictures of each step and put a tutorial together as a 2 page PDF download.Please click here for the tutorial.  Fly Tutorial Jalie 2908

Have you sewn a fly front?  Did you have any problems with it?

And please, if you have any questions about the tutorial, please let me know.














Sew Comfy, Jalie 3245 Raglan Tee in a Sweater Knit

I love this top!  I do love me a raglan, (no shoulders to fit) I love the length, and the fabric is wonderful!  It’s soft, warm, light, stretchy, has memory, and it’s in my favourite colour family.  Buy it here:  Distinctive Sewing Supplies


These two are from the same pattern, Jalie 3245, Tee Shirt Raglan, but ended up looking quite different.

to left
left front

For this new version (on the left) I raised the neckline by 2 inches, and shortened the length by one inch.  I also changed the neckline finish from a narrow folded to the front band to a wider attached neckband. (but that wasn’t in the original plan, more on that in a bit)

I like it.  I subscribe to the weekly newsletter from Distinctive Sewing Supplies, and every Friday Catherine sends out a great newsletter.  One of them showed this incredible fabric, and I knew I needed some.

And as soon as it arrived I had stash it up high so “nosy cat” couldn’t tear the bag open.  (He recognizes soft and cozy)

I really like the label on the bag!

I did raise the neckline by two inches, and that involved the area at the front of the raglan sleeve as well.

front neck alteration
neck alteration on sleeve top

 I fused one inch wide strips of knit fusible interfacing along all the neckline edges, which I always do on knits.

 Construction was quick and easy, I used a 4-thread overlock on my serger for all the seams.

The neckline finish with this pattern involves cutting a one inch wide strip of fabric, attaching it to the inside, then folding it around the seam before top-stitching it to the right side. 

It went ok, I serged the first step,  then tried to fold it around the seam.  Smoothly.  Pinning was a pain.  I decided to use 1/4 inch wide steam-a-seam to fuse it down instead.  Brilliant, right?  It went pretty well.   But, when I tried it on, the neckline was stretched out of shape, and steaming it with my iron didn’t help much. 

No picture.

I picked out the top-stitching.

I pulled the fused fold apart.

I picked out the serging.

I threw the neck-strip in the garbage.

Then I steamed the entire neck area back into the right shape.  Now I can start again.  And I have a plan.

I cut a strip of the sweater knit 2 1/4 inches wide and the length of the neckline across the grain.  (mine was 26 inches.  This was pressed in half longways with wrong sides together.  Then I used a narrow zig-zag stitch to baste the edges of the center area together.  I left about 6 inches at each end not basted.

With my top on the ironing board, and matching the center of the band with the center front, I stuck in a pin to hold it.  Then working up one side of the neck, I stretched the basted area of the band while keeping the folded part smooth and stuck pins in the hold it as I went.  When I got to the center back I marked the band with a pin. 

Then I removed the band, leaving a pin in it at the center front and measured between the pins.  That was half of my neck band, times 2 equals the needed length.   The extra was cut off, leaving 1/4 inch at each end for seam allowance.  I joined it with the serger, and after 1/4 pinning, the rest went really well.

The hems were basted in place using Heat & Bond Feather Lite, then cover stitched. 

I love my new sweater!

Jalie Pleated Cardigan #2919

I LOVE this Cardigan!

It fits perfectly, it’s really comfortable, I love the colours, and I feel all dressed up!  The fabric is really soft but retains it shape very well.  It’s 95% Poly 5% Elasthanne and 150cm /60″ wide.  The fabric weight is 200 gsm / 6 osy and it’s easy care:  Gentle machine wash in cool water separately using gentle cleaner (Eucalan recommended) or hand wash. Dry flat. Press lightly on wrong side with synthetic setting if necessary.  See it by clicking here.

Order the pattern from Distinctive Sewing Supplies by clicking here.

Parts of the construction were a challenge though. 

The first challenge I ran into was keeping the cats from trying to pull the fabric off the cutting table.  They love the way ITY springs back when they let go of it.   

Then, after cutting all the pieces out,  I discovered that one of the fronts was 2 inches shorter than the other.  It was the bottom layer, and I guess the cat pulled more than I thought.  Fortunately I had enough fabric to cut another. 

Marking the pleat lines on the right (good) side of the fabric was a challenge.  The ITY is very stretchy, so marking the lines required a marker that didn’t drag on the fabric, and that would disappear easily. 


The Chaco Liner made by Clover! (And a bit of supervision.)

The liner is a chalk filled “pen” with a wheel that releases just enough chalk as you “drive” it along your line.  It brushed out easily, but lasted out the job.  By aligning the edge of a ruler along the fold line and then pressing it onto the fabric, I could draw a nice line without the fabric moving.  Then I pinned the pleats before sewing them.


Sew the pleats on the Right Front from the bottom and the pleats of the Left Front from the top.

Once the pleats were sewn, the cardigan went together very quickly.

It was time to stitch up the hems.  Now that I have a Cover-Stitch machine, that part was a no-brainer. 


Quite often, when hemming this weight of knit by top-stitching, the top layer tends to ripple, and it’s not a pretty look.  This book, “Knits for Real People” a Palmer/Pletsch publication, has an entire section devoted to hemming knits, and one of the suggestions was “paper-backed fusible web”

I had a scrap of Heat & Bond Feather Lite, so cut some one inch wide strips.  I fused them to the bottoms of the sleeves and the body, pulled off the paper, then fused up the hem.

The hem sewed perfectly, no ripples or puckers, and the Heat & Bond was light enough that you can’t even feel or see it.

Jalie 2919 Front
Jalie 2919 Back

 My disclaimer; I received the piece of beautiful ITY Jersey Knit in these incredible colours from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for blogging about my experience.  Please know that the opinions expressed are my own and let me repeat that I really like this cardigan.


Jalie Raglan Tee 3245 Completed


I was waiting for a “new-to-me” cover-stitch machine in order to complete the hems.  It arrived, I practiced a bit, then jumped in.  I am really glad I added it to my machine collection.  It was easy to thread and this fabric was a breeze to hem.

I had already fused 1 inch wide strips of a lightweight knit interfacing to the sleeve and bottom hem and pressed the hems along the fold before sewing anything.  That step made the cover-stitching easy.

My disclaimer; I received the piece of beautiful Rayon Spandex in my favourite shades of blue from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for blogging about my experience.  Please know that the opinions expressed are my own.

The fabric is really comfortable to wear, it’s really soft, and not hot on my skin.   It’s 95% Rayon 5% Spandex, 60 inches or 152 cm wide, and 210 gsm/6.19 osy. What the heck is that????  Click here to read a post by Catherine of Distinctive Sewing Supplies.  It explains it very well.

I’m going to use this pattern again!  With a couple of changes; I’ll shorten it a bit, and raise the neckline by 2 inches at the front.  If I’m not careful, too much of me shows.  I’m going to shorten this one, to “finger-tip length”.  It will still cover my fluffy bits, even when I wear leggings under it, but right now when I look at the photos, I get the impression that it looks “big”.

I’ll add a photo of the shortened version. 

Jalie Raglan Tee 3245

You might recognize this pattern, it’s the same one I used to make the racer-back  cami (view C) shown on the bottom left. 

Read about it by clicking here.


I received this piece of fabric from Distinctive Sewing Supplies to make view B, without the pockets.  It’s 60 inches wide and 95% Rayon 5% Spandex

If you want a new Tee for your wardrobe, and like the idea of a raglan sleeve, you need to make this!  All the sewing was complete in an hour, and the hemming will take less than that, so it’s a “2 HOUR TEE”.

I chose to make a size that is 3 up from my body measurements.  That’s my personal choice. 

My suggestion is to measure the finished width of a top or two that you like the fit of and use that as a guide. 

The neck binding went really smoothly, and I love the way this fabric drapes.  A warning though; it’s very soft and stretchy, and my rough hands meant the fabric clung to my fingers.  Hand lotion solved that problem.

My disclaimer; I received the piece of beautiful Rayon Spandex in my favourite shades of blue from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for blogging about my experience.  Please know that the opinions expressed are my own.

I liked making this pattern so much that I ordered another fabric from Distinctive Sewing Supplies that I’d been lusting after.  It’s a 85% Poly 10% Rayon 5% Spandex and I’ll be sewing it up using this same pattern as soon as possible.  Of course I’m going to make a change, I’ll raise the front neckline by 2 inches.  Watch for a review in a few weeks.

Racerback Cami Jalie 3245 Take 2

My “Take 2”

I love the way this version fits me, close through the shoulders and upper bust, then gently flowing over my fluffy bits.

My disclaimer; I received this piece of beautiful ITY Knit Jersey in my favourite shade of teal from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for blogging about my experience.  Please know that the opinions expressed will be my own.

I didn’t have quite enough fabric so I creatively pieced the back.  (This isn’t the first time that I felt I had to make a second version of a top because it felt too tight for my liking)

Using my serger, I joined the horizontal seams first, then the vertical seam after using a bit of basting tape to keep the cross seam in place.  I’m pleased with the results.

I changed the front neckline by raising it by 1 and 1/2inches and re-drawing the curve.  The binding band for the new neckline was 95% of the neckline measurement.  (It worked out beautifully)

Then I proceeded as directed in the instructions, by joining the shoulders and the side seams.

I didn’t add the fusible knit interfacing to the binding strips this time, and sewed them on with the right sides facing, then folded in the excess to the back, around the seam allowance, and then top-stitched 1/8″ from the seam. 

I chose to use a rolled edge finish on this version, and did a test run first.  It’s a good thing I did, because I have “pokies”. Can you see how the stitching isn’t smooth?

I solved that by cutting a couple of strips of lightweight water soluble “topper” and serging with the topper on top.

It was worth it.

A bit more…….

I recently purchased a remote “clicker” for my camera, and took a photo of the back of this top.  Notice the “fluff” across the upper back?  And how the fabric is pulled?  I don’t like the way it looks.   If I make this style again, I’m going to widen the back by one inch in that area.

Racerback Cami Jalie 3245

My latest creation, take two.

This top is quick and easy to put together.  But, I have a confession to make, I’ve been overthinking every step of this cami.  I wanted it to be perfect. 

Sew,  it took forever. 

Sew,  I made two.

My disclaimer; I received this piece of beautiful ITY Knit Jersey in my favourite shade of teal from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for blogging about my experience.  Please know that the opinions expressed will be my own.

This chapter is Take One.

Lets discuss size and ease.  According to the chart on the back of the pattern, my measurements correspond to size “X”.  I went up one size and traced off size “Y”.  (wiggle room)

Then I compared the pattern pieces to my finished scarf collar top in size “BB”, and they were almost the same around the midsection.

It was quick to cut out, and to mark the notches.  I used my serger to sew the shoulders and the side seams.  I like the way the bust is given extra fabric by stretching the back to ease extra into the front. 

I use my rotary cutter to cut the strips for the neck and arm binding, much easier than using scissors on this slippery ITY.  Joining the ends was made easy by sewing over tissue paper. Easy to tear away.

Then quarter pinned, and followed the “Jalie Binding Method” by sewing the right side of the binding to the inside, then folding and rolling it around to the front to be top-stitched.  I’ve used this method successfully many times, so I attached all 3 strips.  

When it was time to top-stitch the folded edge to the front, the fabric fought me all the way.  The cut edge rolled to the right side and created a ripple underneath the top layer that I couldn’t steam out.    Maybe a light weight fusible knit interfacing would help.  I picked out all 3 binding strips WITHOUT MAKING ANY HOLES!!!!

Then I fused the interfacing strips to the wrong sides of all three strips.  And quarter-pinned before attaching just one armhole strip this time.

stabilized binding
quarter pinned binding

The interfacing made it too thick.  I picked it out.  And decided to sew it to the front first with right sides together, then fold it to the inside and top-stitch.  That worked, and I just trimmed off the extra seam allowance on the inside.  Whew!


The hem was finished by fusing the same lightweight knit interfacing, cut into one inch wide strips to the hem, then top-stitching with a twin needle.

stabilized curved hem
pinned hem
twin needle hem

Finally, it’s finished!

I pulled it on over my head, smoothed it out and took a peek in the mirror.  If this was a fairy tail the mirror would have cracked. 

It fit tighter than I like, and, being a racer-back style, my bra straps were showing and it was binding under the arms.  No, you may not see a photo.  I didn’t want the camera to break in horror.

The next version will be my next post.

Front Pockets on Jalie 2908, Stretch Jeans

My disclaimer; I received this pattern and a piece of beautiful stretch denim from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for blogging about my experience.  Please know that the opinions expressed will be my own.

This is the view I’m making, but it will fit even a bit higher at my waist. 

Part 1, Getting Started (My alterations and top-stitching the back pockets) click here

Part 2, The Backside, click here

BTW, do you know you can go to the Jalie website and download the instructions?  They’re available in French and English as a PDF and you can print the pages you need.

 The next sewing step is completing the lined front pockets.  I chose a turquoise coloured batik for the lining. 

There are 3 pattern pieces to these pockets.

Shown are the pieces for the regular rise jeans, the ones for the low rise are similar, but shorter.  The Front Pocket Yoke is cut from your jean fabric, the other two from lining.

The instructions were very clear, and the pockets went together perfectly.

hint:  if you’re using batik for your lining, mark the wrong sides of each piece.

The front pockets are compete with 2 rows of top-stitching.

My next installment will be the fly-zipper!

Are you following this?  Does it make sense so far?  Any questions?