Category Archives: Hot Patterns

HP Deneuve Heirloom Shirt – Part I

I finished cutting out the shirt tonight (except for the sleeves because I’m not sure what I want to do with them yet).

My first order of business is creating the bib using strips of linen and Swiss embroideries. This will definitely be the fun part! Here is my inspiration:


Apparently, this is a dress. A very short dress possibly designed by Kelly “I’m not wearing pants” Bensimon. Nevertheless, it’s very, very pretty, isn’t it? The moment I saw this I immediately thought of the Deneuve Tuxedo Shirt and those yards and yards of embroideries in my stash!

I don’t know about you, but I really dislike pulling threads. I never get one to go all the way across! But, I was a Good Sewer and pulled threads to square up the fabric and then every 1.5″ across the piece.


Now I am armed and ready with my perfectly on-grain fabric strips. Tomorrow morning I will dust off my old Bernette overlock and set it up for a 2-thread rolled hem so that I’ll be ready to start assembly tomorrow night.


I’m off to bed now. I broke my Little Piggy Who Had Roastbeef yesterday and then tonight I accidentally kicked a 5 lb. dumbell with the same foot (OUCH). I am definitely ready for elevation and ice! It’s a good thing I use my left foot for sewing. And equally good, I suppose, that I’m not this clumsy with my sewing machine.


Filed under Hot Patterns

Quick Summer Sewing

And I have cut out and made the front tucks in a pretty voile blouse from Simplicity 3786.


I made this a couple of times last summer and it is a wardrobe favorite. To refresh your memories, that is the pattern I used for my dotted Swiss blouse:


Each time I wear it I ask myself why I don’t have more!


Filed under Hot Patterns, Simplicity

HP Deneuve Tuxedo Shirt – Final

All I had left to do today was finish up the sleeves and cuffs. The pattern comes with long, elbow-length and short sleeves. I wanted more of a 3/4 sleeve so I cut 8.5″ off the long sleeve – 2″ of which I would have to shorten anyway since I’m short. I’m really, really happy with this length. It gives me some sun protection but is still cool. I used the cuff for the elbow-length sleeve and just shortened the ends a little which worked perfectly since I didn’t want it too snug.

For those of you who hate making sleeve plackets, you’re in luck. This pattern comes with a 2-piece sleeve with a seam at the opening edge – how easy is that?


Some of you asked about sizing for this pattern. I normally use a size 6 (with adjustments) in HP but here I wanted a more oversized fit so I used an 8 and brought the shoulders in 5/8″. For reference, I use an 8 in The Big Four and Simplicity. I always feel it’s good to have extra ease with linen and this was the easiest way to get it. Since HP is drafted for someone 5’7″ and I’m 5’3″, I always have to shorten everything (except pants because I’m longer legged). That being said, I did not shorten this top because I wanted something that would cover my derriere if I was wearing it over a swimsuit.

I really love this style and it’s easy to sew – a winning combination in my book! Next up will be the dress – probably in white but we’ll see. Right now I’m off to have a poolside Margarita!


Filed under Hot Patterns

HP Deneuve Tuxedo Shirt – Part II

Once the bib was finished, the rest of the shirt body went very quickly! Later today or tomorrow, I’ll finish the sleeves and set them in. Sorry about the wrinkles – that’s linen for ya!



Here you can see how the inset collar is attached to the yoke. All of this was so ridiculously easy to do and gives a very professional finish.



Filed under Hot Patterns

HP Deneuve Tuxedo Shirt – Part I

I managed to get everything cut out yesterday. I had the hardest time deciding on fabric but finally chose this hot pink Irish linen that’s been in my stash *forever*. I read through the instructions for the bib last week when the pattern arrived and couldn’t quite wrap my head around it (which is not at all unusual for me). But, once I started sewing, the diagrams made perfect sense. Trudy is such a genius, the bib looks like it will be a little fussy but it couldn’t be easier!


The bib is fully lined so, since my fabric is lightweight, I used self-fabric. Now, the instructions advise you to interface the bib lining – I did not because I wanted a softer look. Whether you interface or not will depend on the fabric you choose. I only interfaced the collar, button band and cuffs.

Just so you understand the construction, here are some photos of the right front (the overlap). First, the right front is sewn to the right front lining piece with the button strip sandwiched in between. Naturally, you’ll want to make your buttonholes first.

Then, the collar is inset into the entire bib/bib lining unit. The seam is then graded, clipped and pressed towards the collar. You can’t see it very well but you are looking at the back side of the button strip which has been pressed over the bib itself (the bib lining is on the right).

The left edge of the button strip (as shown below) is the hidden placket fold line so, once the collar neckline edge has been sewn, the covered placket is automatically formed.


Then the collar is folded RS together and stitched along the neckline and turned (the shoulder edges will be caught in the yoke later). The pattern instructions call for securing the collar edges together by stitching in the ditch but I edgestitched all around instead.



Here is the completed left front (the underlap), which is sewn the same way. The buttons haven’t been sewn on yet. The pattern calls for five buttons on the band and one on the collar but I only had five in total so I improvised. Both sides are completely clean-finished inside and out – just beautiful and so simple!


Parting shot: The Brassavola orchid is blooming today! I think it is really happy with it’s new home under the newly-pruned firebush.



Filed under Hot Patterns

HP Plain & Simple Envelope Clutch

I’ve been busy this week finishing up my exterior lights and working on my wardrobe basics. I woke up today and just felt like making a purse so I pulled out the Hot Patterns’ Envelope Clutch pattern and got to work. I knew that an 11″ x 17″ bag would be way too big for me so I scaled the pattern down to 9″ x 13″. I also scaled down the inside zipper pocket but left the small pocket/cell phone pocket as it was. Since I made the bag so much smaller, I didn’t feel the need for the back strap.


When I first read through the directions I just couldn’t wrap my head around them. Then I remembered that Ann made the bag last year. Her blog post really helped. Once I understood how the bag was constructed, it all made sense to me.

I had this orange faux suede left from another project. I rarely make fabric bags but thought this color would be fun since it’s very out of the ordinary for me. I used thin cotton batting and quilted the pieces first, then backed them with canvas for more stiffness. I bought this quilting set for my industrial machine awhile ago. I usually don’t buy attachments until I need them but was so happy I had this on hand!


I added piping as well because it gives a nice crisp edge that I wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise with these bulky layers. I didn’t have any cording on hand so I used some black drawcord instead (which I have many, many yards of!).

The zip was a bit of a problem. I didn’t want to use a dress zipper so I went to JoAnn’s this morning to see if I could find something more suitable. Of course, I had forgotten how dire the zipper situation is there. I then remembered a couple of Riri zippers with multi-colored teeth that I’d purchased awhile ago. They turned out to be separating zippers but that’s what I ended up using anyway. I had intended to stitch through the plastic piece at the bottom but ended up stitching between the teeth instead. I’m really happy with the way that turned out as this zipper lends an air of quality to the bag.

I know the stitching looks a bit crooked but I swear it looks straight on the right side of the bag!


The flap of the bag is held closed with two magnetic snaps. Because my bag is pretty stiff, I changed the placement a little to allow for the bulk. I also had to shorten the inside layer (where the zipper is) by 5/8″ to allow for turn of the cloth.


I chose a grape-colored Ultrasuede from my stash for the lining. I like the surprise of an unusually colored lining!


It still needs a little pressing but I’m really happy with the way it turned out.


UPDATE 12/10/09: Freshly pressed with the Iron Maiden (thanks for the name, Mary Beth!). Gosh, I love this color, it’s so juicy!



Filed under Accessories, Hot Patterns

Marrakesh Pants #3

I finally finished my 3rd pair of HP Marrakesh Pants – I looove this pattern! I’ve had this piece of sueded Tencel gauze in my stash for at least 4 years. It came from Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics and was originally intended for a skirt. It has a crinkled texture and a nice, heavy drape. I made sure to press all the crinkles out before cutting. If you’ve ever worn anything made of gauze you know how your body heat will cause it to bag out very unattractively because your body is actually “ironing” out the creases. I also over-fitted these, taking an additional 1″ out in width through the waist and hip area because I know they will stretch with wearing.


I’m not a huge fan of contrast facings (not a criticism, they’re just not me) but my fabric is kind of heavy and self-fabric would have been too bulky. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any solid fabric that blended so I used this cotton/lycra shirting. I’m not really crazy about it but no one will see it and it is a casual pant, after all. I intend to wear these with a white tank or tee and flat sandals.

Once again, I did not use the pocket and this time I skipped the drawstring as well. I love drawstrings but my fabric was too heavy for self-fabric ties and I wasn’t able to find any suitable substitute. Since this is a “real” waistband, I interfaced with Pro Sheer Fusible and used fusible straight tape to stabilize the upper edge.


Speaking of straight tape, I also used it to stabilize the bias area of the crotch. I hate nothing worse than a saggy bottom so I use the straight tape in all of my pants to maintain the curve. You can also use twill tape or lining selvage but fusible tape is most convenient. I always lay the pattern on the fabric to make sure nothing has stretched or shifted before I press the tape on.


Once finished, the pants seemed a bit plain without the drawstring so I decided to add cargo pockets on both sides. I made the pocket 5″ wide and 6″ tall and added 1/4″ seam allowances and a 1.25″ hem allowance at the top (I wanted to make sure that the button would be sewn through two layers). The flap is 5.25″ wide and 2″ tall. I used 1/4″ seam allowances at the sides and bottom and 5/8″ at the top. I know the stitching looks wonky in the photo but that’s just the crinkles in the fabric.


I used the Armani pocket flap technique I learned from Louise Cutting many years ago. It’s very neat and flat. Basically, the flap is stitched into it’s final (down) position with a 1/4″ seam allowance and then pressed up and restitched so that all raw edges are encased and no stitching shows on the outside.


Because I wanted the pocket to be soft, I only used interfacing in the hem allowance (mainly because of the button). The flap is not interfaced. To help me figure out the placement I simply put the pants on and pinned the pocket where I thought it looked best.


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Back aboard the train

I finished another pair of HP Marrakesh Pants yesterday. These are made from a delicious piece of corded rayon that I purchased at the Doncaster outlet in Rutherfordton years ago. It has a wonderful drape and is heaven to touch. Unfortunately, it was hell to sew as it didn’t like even the slightest bit of pressing. I ended up folding my press cloth into fourths and using it that way. I actually had nearly two yards of this fabric left after cutting the pants but since I do not ever want to work with it again I cut it up into 9″ x 5″ pieces for my friend to use at his shop.


While this pair was no fun to make because of the fabric, I really do LOVE this pattern. I wore my white linen version yesterday and they looked great even after a few hours’ wear. I wore them to the grocery store with aqua Chuck Taylors and then with sandals later in the day.

I think I forgot to mention that I always tape the bias portion of the crotch curve. IMO, this really helps prevent pants from bagging out in the seat. Since I’ll be making another pair this week I will be sure to take photos of that step. It takes seconds and makes such a big difference.


Filed under Hot Patterns

Hot Patterns Marrakesh Pants – Finally

While I haven’t made the Three Graces yet, this is officially my new favorite HP pattern! I’ve been working on these pants here and there for quite a few weeks and I am so happy that they are finally finished. In reality this is a quick project but you know how it is when there are constant interruptions and you have to put something side for a few days or a week.

I apologize up front for the poor mirror photos. I wanted you to be able to see them on me rather than on my mannequin so I guess these are better than nothing. One of these days I will take the time to learn how to photograph myself with the aid of a tripod and self-timer.



This is before hemming, hence all the threads around the bottom. 🙂 Since I was using a pretty heavy linen I decided to make a size 6 and allow for 1″ side seams just in case. In a thinner, drapier fabric it’s nice to have more fullness but more fitted is always better with sturdier fabrics, IMO. I ended up not needing any of the excess but it’s always nice to have a little insurance since different fabrics fit differently.

As with all HP pants, the fit was nearly perfect for me right out of the envelope (you have to love that!). I made one alteration: I cut 1″ off the top of the waist. Not only am I short, I also wanted a slightly lower rise. If you do this, realize you’ll have to add to the lengthen the waistband. I just let out some of the extra I added as fitting insurance.

Since I have long legs for my height, the length was perfect for a flat or low-heeled shoe so no changes there. I wish you could see the back – Trudy’s magic L-curve makes my derriere look magnificent, if I do say so myself. Check out Trudy’s derriere in her Youtube videos and see for yourself.

You’ll notice that I didn’t include the pockets. I’m not much of a pocket person and, even if I were, I probably wouldn’t want them in a white pant since I’d have to find a suitable skin-toned fabric for the bags. I really dislike seeing white pocket bags on a white pant or skirt.

I made mock flat-felled seams at the side which gives a casual look and reinforces the seam nicely.


Instead of a self-fabric drawstring (which would have been pretty heavy in this fabric) I stitched two layers of 1/2″ twill tape together. The waist and fly facings were cut from a white herringbone shirting fabric to reduce bulk. I interfaced the shirting with Pro-Sheer Fusible to give it a little extra body.


Instead of a button at the waist, I used a trouser hook. I also made my fly on the left side instead of the right because I am so used to that wearing jeans all the time.


I used a plain, topstitched 2″ hem for weight.


These are just the thing for going out to breakfast on a Sunday morning – as comfy as PJs but a lot more stylish and flattering. This is a pattern that I’ll be making many times over!


Filed under Hot Patterns

I Love Knippie!


I fell in love with this adorable skirt (view 16B) in the October, 2009 issue of Knip Mode and ordered a copy from Stoff Art on Ebay, with whom I’ve dealt countless times (she also sells Patrones and Diana – please note that she is currently on vacation).


I absolutely love Knip Mode! Nearly all the patterns come in my size and they are so much easier to trace than Burda WOF. I don’t read Dutch but it’s similar enough to German that I can figure out what’s what. Note that there are only two colors to trace on this particular sheet – black (zwart) or red (rood). Some of the other sheets also use green (groen). The lines are easy to see and the paper is white and glossy.


The sheets are also smaller so they are more manageable. I’m able to lay one sheet out on a 4′ table so I traced off the skirt while it was slow this afternoon.


I have always wanted a subscription to Knip Mode. Right now, it costs me about $20 per individual issue (with shipping). Yes, they are available each month from Stoff Art but that’s more than I can justify paying so I’m pretty particular about which ones I buy. If my grandmother were still alive I’d ask her to send them to me every month! How wonderful would it be to get Knip Mode and Burda WOF every month? I’d be in heaven! Speaking of Burda, I caved and resubscribed. I loved the last two issues so much and was lured back in. AND, I’ve actually traced a garment from each issue already!

I finished my silk blouse last week but decided that it’s just too risky to sew at the shop. Although I was very careful working on it (I constantly washed my hands and covered the tables with examining table paper) I still managed to get an oil stain on the front. I was going to bring my Marrakesh pants in anyway but once the Knip Mode arrived I decided that was a safer project. I may bring a denim skirt with me next week. There isn’t much that could happen to denim, right?

My friend is just starting to come back to the shop for a couple of hours each day. I’m guessing I’ll still be working overtime here for a few weeks. I absolutely can’t wait to get back to my normal schedule. I’ve been too tired to sew and am becoming very b*tchy!


Filed under Burda WOF, Hot Patterns, Knipmode