Nautical in Navy (McCall's 7832 part 1)

I have a fun set of posts planned for this week and next! I often remake patterns, but I rarely try to drastically change the style--I am (or was, I guess) a "buy it in every color" kind of girl. Recently, though, I purchased a vintage "Brunch Coat," which is a short housecoat that's basically halfway between a dress and a robe. I wanted to test the boundaries of this 1965 pattern and show the versatility of a pattern originally intended for a pretty obscure article of clothing, so this week you'll see it both as a robe and a proper dress!

Today is the dress version! Although I was inspired to purchase this pattern during my research for my Gal Meets Glam Collection post, I didn't love the mid-size floral she chose for her collared wrap dress. I took inspiration from the notched collar and "double-breasted" buttons and went nautical for mine, and I love it!

I know it's hard shopping for fabric online so I thought I'd pass along this find to you: all three of these fabrics for the two dresses (the twill for today's dress and the seersucker and terrycloth for Wednesday's robe) are by Fabric Finders. A few years ago, I was on the hunt for seersucker in 100% cotton and it was nearly impossible to find! A lot of it was poly/cotton blend and like... if I'm wearing seersucker, it's hot outside, if it's hot outside, why would I want polyester? Fabric Finders is sold at my local upscale sewing store (specializing in heirloom sewing and Berninas! also warning, worst webstore ever) and I got totally hooked on their fabrics. I've purchased their seersuckers in stores and online (you can find lots on etsy!) and used them to make a lot of things, most recently this yellow set, and also perhaps the most worn dress in my closet come summer. Since it's sold by a bunch of different sellers usually I can find a sale or shop around, and still know that the fabric I get will be high-quality. I had never purchased their terry or twill before and y'all, it's just as nice. The twill was especially surprising, I think--it's super soft and has the perfect perfect perfect amount of body and drape. (ps: if you like me have also spent hours of your life searching for the elusive 100% cotton gingham they have that too.)

It's been a while since I've sewn with a vintage pattern and making this dress really reminded me how much I love doing so. The fit is so good! This dress bodice has 8 darts: back shoulder, back and front waist, and side bust, and they help the dress lay so nicely over the body. The lines are lengthening and all the proportions are just so. The only thing I changed for fit was to shorten the bodice by one whole inch (using the nice measuring system printed onto the pattern pieces) and were I to make this again, make a slight small bust adjustment (I think it fits nicely but it looks a bit large in the bust when the wrap shifts around). Sadly, this exact pattern is no longer available on etsy (ya'll snapped it up when i linked to it on instagram) but there are lots of other collared wrap dresses/robes from the same era still available! Obviously I can't attest to how every pattern will fit but if you've never tried a vintage pattern I really suggest you try one out--they are so well designed and no harder to use than a modern big 4 pattern.

Check back next week for my new summer robe!


ps: fabric finders also has the most adorable embroidered fabric--can i pull off critter embroidery? hmm...

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His and Hers Pajamas (Closet Case Carolyn & Vogue 8964)

His: Vogue 8964
Hers: Closet Case Carolyn

Nice pajama sets are something that I love to wear but go back and forth on making. It seems silly to spend so much time doing a lot of fiddly sewing that really, no one is going to see (um, if you don't have a sewing blog). Once I'm done, of course, I love the results and practically live in them--precisely because no one sees them, you end up wearing your pjs more frequently than other clothes!

I've had these flamingo pajamas cut out for literally years; you've probably seen them hanging in a little ziplock bag taped to my sewing studio wall in some of my instagram stories! The time finally arrived for me to, you know, actually sew them. And since pjs for Alex were on my #menswearmakenine why not knock out two pairs at once?

Not much to say about the Carolyns that hasn't already been said. Had I not already had these all cut out, I will admit I probably would have made a pair of Evie la Luve Lexi Boxers instead of the Carolyn shorts--those are much simpler and although they wouldn't be a perfect match... it's pajamas. Since the Carolyn shorts were cut out though, I went with them! I have a bit of the flamingo fabric left over that I'm going to use to make an Ogden cami. Ogden + sleep shorts (as seen here) is my favorite hot-weather pj combo, so having a cami to swap out for the sleep shirt will be a great option!

I also want to take a minute to sing the praises of Harts Fabric. No, this is not a sponsored post! When I originally bought the flamingo fabric with the plan of making Carolyns, I thought I'd use black piping. However, when Tilly and the Buttons released their Rosa shirtdress and one of the samples used a similar flamingo print with a black piping, I decided I didn't love it, and then had to find a matching piping... I called Harts and they managed to scrounge up a scrap of this (by then, sold out) fabric and scoured the store for a coordinating fabric in the same weight that they thought would look good as piping. They were accommodating and friendly and really went the extra mile. They have also done the same for me when I needed help choosing stretch denims and other coordinating fabric! It's extra helpful that they always know what's going on in the online sewing world; I can ask "would this be appropriate for a pair of Ginger jeans?" and they know exactly what I'm talking about and have an informed opinion. Honestly I'm a millennial and I haaate talking on the phone, but I make an exception for Harts, I'm always happy to chat with them! Harts infomercial: done! Back to regularly scheduled programming.

Vogue 8964 is a very similar pattern with a lot of the same construction techniques as Carolyn. One thing I loved was the contrast piping application: it's only on the easy parts! You can see on the model that it is only on the center front and does not go all the way around the collar. I feel like it's kind of cheating but it is Vogue approved so I don't feel guilty! I used self fabric bias strips to do the little bit of piping on the top. There's no piping on the shorts at all, and I actually skipped the button fly, too (Alex's favorite MeUndies don't have a fly, so why bother), so these are basically sewing 101... very simple and a nice present! I made the 38 in both the top and shorts and ended up opening the shorts back up to add some bias at the side seams since they were too small. In the end I like the little added detail.

I always want to make more pajamas with all the cute cotton prints I find, but my pajama drawer is basically overflowing at this point. Perhaps it's time to purge all rtw pjs? How do you feel about handmade pjs? Worth it or no?


ps: seriously i lovvvvve harts. they are not always the least expensive option but they are always the best option.

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All handmade outfit for him! (Thread Theory Jedediah and Comox, Liesl & Co. All Day Shirt)


Well y'all, I am making good progress with my #menswearmakenine challenge and checking off boxes like nobody's business... all the easy boxes!! I've already made a lot of Jedediah shorts for Alex and one All Day shirt, so those two items are repeats, but it does mean I can check off the Jedediahs off my make nine square. I decided to throw in some underwear in this post because then this could be an all handmade outfit, inside and out. Pretty cool!

There are no changes to the shorts or shirt patterns from the last time I've made them, but I did try out some new fabrics. The shorts are made in a stretch twill I picked up last year from JoAnn to make myself a pair of Chi Town Chinos that never happened since I really don't wear shorts often. The shirt is a nice blush linen that Alex picked out himself. I think it's really lovely, and will get worn often. I wanted to make it super durable so I did all flat fell seams on the inside and everything. I had issues with the interfacing bubbling on the last shirt's collar and sleeves, so this time I tried something new and just added a layer of white fabric (a random white cotton shirting from my stash) as "sew-in interfacing" to collar, cuffs, placket, and collar stand. We'll see how it wears. He's had the shorts for a month or so and been wearing them a lot since the weather has been nice outside!

Regarding the underwear, I had put the Japanese pattern book boxers on my to do list (and actually, I have made a pair of those as well, which he's been wearing as pajama shorts) but Alex has a meundies subscription that he loves and the Comox briefs are very similar to those, so I'm sort of checking off the pattern book boxers as well as the Comox briefs as one "generic underwear" square. I made the 36 and they are definitely a size too big, maybe even two. It's hard to tell because all the knit fabrics will behave differently! He hasn't complained but the next pair I make will be a bit smaller, after all, you can always adjust the waist elastic at the last minute.

Although the Comox trunks come with a vent/fly, the meundies do not, and I wanted to mimic those for this first pair. (Also, I didn't want to fuss with knit binding, shh.) Thread Theory has a super handy post on customizing your trunks and a vent-less version is one of the customizations available, so it was very easy to change. If you do the vent-less version, you can use the burrito method to enclose the front seams, as well as the crotch gusset (neither of these are sewn using the burrito method in the instructions but it's easy enough to do). The Comox shorts are a very simple and easy project for the brief-wearer in your life... although I doubt I'll be able to keep up with the one-a-month meundies subscription he loves!


ps: pajamas are next on my check-off list and i have the fabric for that hoodie...

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