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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

McCalls 6554

<b>Pattern Description: </b>This is a Misses' dress and belt.  The dress has a close fitting, lined bodice, raised waist, skirt with front pleat and underlay, side pockets, and self-belt with invisible back zipper.  This is one of the Fashion Star patterns.  Click on the link and you can see a picture of the envelope. 

  Pattern Envelope

<b>Pattern Sizing:</b>
This is a multi-sized pattern that ranges from 8 to 16 or 16 to 24. I made a size 14. 

<b>Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?</b>
Yes, I believe my version looks just like the photo
<b>Were the instructions easy to follow?</b>
Instructions were super easy to follow.  The illustrations were more than adequate.  This pattern is easy enough for a beginner--if the beginner has had some experience fitting a bodice. 

<b>What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?</b>
Ok, here goes!  I love the super simple style.  It is flattering on many people.  The neckline is very modest--a pleasant surprise from some of the uber low necklines on many patterns.  I love the styling of the skirt, it is just full and flirty enough. 
What I didn't like: I think the neckline is just a little to wide.  This may be something to do with the fact I had difficult with fitting the bodice.  I believe this was due to the little bit of stretch to my fabric and the neckline may have slightly gotten whacked out when I sewed this bad boy together.  I think the length is just perfect....I didn't alter it at all, but the model's knees are showing and mine are covered.  I am 5'7", I usually have to worry about the lenght, but not this time.  I did have to take this in on the side seams a bit, enough that you should be aware the sizing may be a little off for a close-fitting bodice. 

<b>Fabric Used:</b>
I love the fabric I choose.  It has been in my stash for about a year.  It is a wonderfully soft rayon with a bit of stretch.  It is so soft and yet stable enough for a more structured garment. 

<b>Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:</b>
  • I left the pockets out of the dress. Don't get me wrong, I love pockets, just not on fuller skirts as I think they make me look even more wide hipped than I am.
  • I took a very small inverted pleat in the front center of the bodice to mimic the skirt detail, I just thought the neckline was a litte wide and it didn't lay very well against my chest.  I asked my husband to take a picture of the bodice, not my boobs, but you can tell what he was focusing on with the camera shot.  :)  
  • I did my usual 1/2 inch swayback adjustment. 
  • I went ahead and stitched the belt to the dress at the center back and side seam.  Some reviewers mentioned the belt needed loops, and I thought, why not just attach it?  So, I did! 
  • I added about 2 inches deep pieces of interfacing at the necklines (both front and back) and at the armhole seams.  I thought my fabric needed the structure.  
  • Since my fabric is so light, I went ahead and lined the skirt with a poly lining.  It adds a little structure to the skirt and holds it slightly away from my body. 
  • I used my lining fabric to make a muslin and I should have done more with fitting before cutting and stitching.  That is what I get for being lazy! 
  • I topstitched about 1/8 inch from the neckline and armhole edges using white thread. 
<b>Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?</b> 
I think this would make a great dress in a plaid for winter to wear with a cardigan.  I can see having the fabric cut on the bias for the underlay.  I do recommend this to others. 

<b>Conclusion: </b>
This is an easy pattern that I think leaves off some important details, such as interfacing.  Maybe I am too old school about things like that?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

McCalls 6564

This is a McCalls semi-fitted wrap top.  There are four versions, all of which are sleeve variations.  The main top front extends into the standing back collar.  There are front pleats, inside ties, gathered, attached ties and narrow hem.  A, C have a purchased buckle and View D has sleeves gathered into bands.  I made view B. 

Here is a picture from the pattern envelope.  Pattern Envelope

This is a multi-sized pattern.  Based on my measurements, I cut a 16 but graded it down to a 14. When I purchase Ready to Wear, I purchase a medium top or a size 8, 10, depending on the cut.  I think this fits just right--enough room to move my arms, not tight across the back, etc.

I used 100% linen I purchased on-line from Fabric Mart.  It was on sale, and I love the print!  I debated what to create with this fabric and when I saw the pattern, I knew this was just right. 

What did I like, dislike about the pattern? 
I think it runs a little roomy, be sure to test fit before you sew your final seams.  The pattern is well-drafted and so easy to follow along, especially if you are a beginner!  The instructions include finishing off for seams, which is something I love and lets you achieve a professional looking result--at least I think so. 

Alterations, pattern changes:
I changed just a couple of things.  First was to do a sway back adjustment.  With this pattern, I was able to fold out a wedge in the middle back and taper to nothing at the side seams.  Also, as I mentioned before, this top was roomy!  I took in each side seam a lot, probably about 2 to 3 inches.  That meant that my sleeve didn't ease as nicely into the cap as I would have liked so I mimicked the pleat on the front collar and put that on the sleeve.  I like the result.  Had I taken in the sleeve in proportion to the sides, I believe I would not have been able to raise my arms over my head!  The only other thing I did was to top stitch along the neck line as I was concerned my fabric may roll to the outside a bit.  I used a darker purple thread that is part of the color palette of the fabric and am pleased with the result.  I seem to get on these color jags--the last dress I made also had purple in it! 

This pattern calls for polished cotton, batiste, challis, and crepe de chine.  My fabric was a little firmer than any of those, but I still like the crispness of the fabric.  I do believe the linen will eventually soften as I wash it more and more. 

I would recommend this pattern to others.  If you are using expensive fabric or a much-loved fabric, make a simple muslin first.  The fit runs a little big.  I know the pattern envelope says semi-fitted, but I literally swam in this top and felt frumpy. 

This top whips up quickly and would look great in a multitude of fabrics. 
I am just not sure what to do with the under lap of the bodice you can see when I wear this.  Let me try to explain this way: you can see the right or bodice that under wraps when I wear the top.  Despite how much I fiddle with the inside ties, it still shows.  Is this just a hazard of wrap tops?  Any suggestions? 
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Anne Klein Dress

This dress is still a work in progress. I really love this this Anne Klein pattern for a misses dress. You can see the link here:
  Here is how the pattern is described: Lined, close-fitting dress has darted bodice, extending ends, crossing in front and forming a keyhole opening and double collar. Saddle stitch embellished darts.

Here is a link to the pattern envelope: Anne Klein Dress

I used a rayon blended denim for this dress in a blackish-blue. I purchased the fabric at either Hancocks or JoAnns–I can’t remember which one! For the lining, I used a blue polkadot fabric for the lining. This pattern is rated as Average and I found it was rated appropriately for the skills, marking, and fitting required.

So, what did I like/dislike?
I love the style! It is just a cool and classic style. The empire waist is great and gives you a very fitted look. The double collar is pretty cool as well and requires careful marking. I do think it was tricky to fit even though my measurements are pretty spot on for a size. I do have an erect back and that gives me fitting issues at the back waist. I did adjust the seams, especially on my muslin and it fit well.
What didn’t I like? This may not be fair, but with Vogue patterns you don’t always get all the details needed to finish off seam allowances, raw edges, etc. The double collar construction and keyhole opening were tricky but after a few trials and errors, I got a pretty good finish.

What did I change? I simply could not get the sleeves to fit without some gaping and excess fabric at the back and front. Although if you look at the pattern envelope, you can see there is some excess there as well. So, I did the next best thing and took the sleeves off and used a facing to finish the area off. I like the sleeveless version and think it is better than the original!

What still needs done? Fiddling with the keyhole opening a little more and I need to do some additional fitting at the back waistline. Suggestions are welcome!

All in all, I like the dress and will wear it this summer–as long as I get it to fit better!

Anne Klein Vogue Pattern

Pattern Description:
This is a semi-fitted blouse with great details. The back of the pattern envelope describes the pattern as this: Semi-fitted, lined blouse has back neck band, pleated flounce, front band with snap closing and very narrow hem. Contrast flounce and bias strip for side front/side back seams/sleeve hems. Semi-fitted, straight-legged pants have contour waistband and fly zipper closing. Bias binding finishes waistband. I would also add that the snaps are covered with the main fabric.
Here is a link to the pattern envelope:
Anne Klein Blouse
Pattern Sizing:
This is a multi-sized pattern. I cut a straight size 16, which is a size smaller than I used to wear but now currently wear thanks to healthy eating patterns and regular exercise. I think it fit perfectly and is true to size.   For those of you that are new to sewing or don't sew, you have to select patterns based on your measurements, not your ready-to-wear size.  A sewing pattern size 16 rougly translates into a size 10 ready-to-wear.  Don't be alarmed when you purchase that first pattern, that is just the way it is.  :) 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, I believe it does.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, the instructions are very easy to follow, yet since it is rated average by Vogue, there are a few minor details left out such as finishing off edges and such. However, if you are going to tackle a pattern such as this, you should know how to do a few of those things! If not, opt for the Very Easy Vogue or Easy Vogue until you get those issues figured out.
I did think the flounce was a little tricky to tackle, but once I just stopped stressing about it and just sewed it, it turned out great!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
My favorite part of the pattern is the details!!! I love all of these and there was a great deal of hand sewing, which I also enjoy a lot. You can see here that the inside is finished just as nicely as the outside! <

Fabric Used:
I used a 100% silk I purchased from Fabric Mart. It is just heavenly! I used an off-white lining for the inside I purchased in bulk from Fabric Mart.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn’t make any design changes as it is so beautiful the way it is. I love the flounce, the sleeves are finished off with a bias band and the front and back seams are finished with an exposed bias band. I used a simple rolled hem on the flounce.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I just love this blouse and may make it again, although it is pretty distinct. Maybe if I can figure out how to alter the the neck band or flounce I may tackle it again.

This was a fun project with a wonderful fabric. I love the result and can’t wait to wear it! Don’t be afraid to tackle this one and an even better idea would be to make this in a muslin first to work out the flounce.
Thanks for reading!
Sue :)

Sabrina Tunic

This is a fun little dress I created for myself, but my DD1 was home for the first time in a year, discovered it and decided we needed to alter the neckline. Needless to say, it has disappeared into her suitcase and is most likely residing in her closet in California.

Pattern Description:
From the pattern:
The Sabrina Tunic….our first dress for Boutique Chic! You will feel as cool and sophisticated as Audrey Hepburn in this glorious easy-to-sew little frock featuring a boat neckline, sleeveless bodice, empire waist, and A-line skirt with subtle gathering. The look is polished with a tie at the waist that criss-crosses int he back. Featured in three lengths, this design can be worn with pants or as a flirty dress. This tunic is perfect for all seasong, looking equally smasing by itself or with a cardigan or jacket.
Sabrina Tunic

Pattern Sizing:
Sizes XXS to XXL are included in the same envelope!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Well, it did before DD1 decided the neckline needed altered!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were very easy to understand and there are a lot of directions including how to alter the pattern to make it your own with some fun design elements.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
For being such a cute and easy pattern, I didn’t think it was all that well-drafted. While it is from an indy pattern company and not the big 4, the drafting leaves a few things to be desired such as the neckline. Prior to my daughter suggesting we alter it, I hated how it sat and decided to leave it hanging in the closet for an entire year!

Fabric Used:
A 100% cotton that pressed and sewed beautifully.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Here goes:
We decided to alter the neckline to make it a V-neck. So, from my stash I found a pattern whose neckline I liked and used that to redraw the proper shape. Next, I cut 1.5 inch bias strips for the neckline facing, fused interfacing to those pieces and sewed them on. I decided to make it a banded-neckline leaving about a half an inch showing on the right side. Sorry I didn’t think to take a photo of a close up of this and it is long gone to another state halfway across the country so I can’t get a picture now!
I found the dress-length much too short and found this 100% pink cotton and used that on the hemline. It took the dress from scandalous to cute with little effort. Also, I doubled the fabric width and it gave some weight to the dress and now it hangs better.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I won’t sew this again simply because I hated the neckline so much. I have so many other patterns I want to sew that this will end on the BOTTOM of my pile of want to sew rather than need to sew–if you know what I mean!

I am glad DD rescused this one. Next time I have a flop, I am sending it onto her because where I agonize over making changes, she just goes for it and she was two for two on changing design elements from her recent visit. Now I have a little more room in my closet for other what I hope to be treasures!

Butterick Suzi Chin Dress

This pattern is a Butterick designer pattern by Suzi Chin. I fell in love with the drapey neck, the shirred waist, and the pleats at the skirt. It is rated as Average and is described as this on the back of the envelope:
Partially lined dress has bias front pleated bodice, bias midriff, slightly shaped front hemline, invisible side zipper and narrow hem. Here is where you can see a picture of the pattern envelope.
Suzi Chin Pattern

I used a wonderful designer knit I purchased from a fabric store in New Orleans when I was there for a conference last December. At that time, I weighed almost 20 more pounds than I do now, so I set it aside waiting for the perfect pattern and until I shed a few pounds!
Well, I finally am down two pattern sizes and sewed this up in a 16. I feel like the waist is still a little snug, but with summer coming up and my passion for running and riding my bike, I am hoping to knock another inch off my waist. :) Plus wearing a cotton cami under a knit dress isn’t such a great idea. I was too lazy to remove it for the pictures.

So here is what I did with the pattern, some things worked, and some didn’t! Please don’t make my mistakes!!!

The pattern calls for a two-way stretch knit and that is what I used. So, in what I thought was a stroke of brilliance, I thought I could line the bodice with a woven. Wow was I having a brain-fart. What was I thinking? Lining a knit with a woven? Someone slap me upside the head next time I think something that ridiculous would work. That little mistake cost me many hours of deconstructing the entire thing and staring over. Since I thought I was being so incredibly smart and used the woven, I didn’t even bother to purchase the Tricot for the lining. After my hour or two of deconstruction, I searched all over Sioux Falls and couldn’t find any Tricot in stock anywhere, so I headed up to my lingerie drawer and found two discarded slips. Slips? Really? Does anyone wear those anymore that is under the age of 75? Oops! I hope my mother in law isn’t reading this, she tends to buy everyone slips when she notices us girls aren’t wearing one!
So, I cut those slips apart to match the pattern pieces, restitched the entire thing, put the invisible zipper back in and viola! I have a completed dress!

The dress is a little shorter than I would normally have liked it, but my husband thinks I now have the legs for it, so I won’t do anything about it. Not that I could, I don’t have enough fabric to recut the skirt and since I purchased it five months ago halfway across the country, I am out of luck.

What did I like or dislike?
Putting in the invisible zipper with all the shirring was tortureous to say the least and after one try I ended up hand basting it so all the seams lined up.
I lifted the neckline that is under the drape by 1.5 inches and feel it is still too low. I am wearing a cami underneath and you can see it.
I love the draping and skirt lines. The side zip makes the back fit well.
I made my usual erect back/sway back adjustment of lowering the back neckline by 1/2 inch.
I wish my slips had been ivory instead of white, but you can’t see the lining at all, so that is a bonus.
If you read any of my other reviews regarding knit fabrics, you would know that unfinished edges drive me batty so even though I didn’t need to do this extra step, I did: I turned under the edge of the facing and edge stitched it with two rows of stitching. I love how polished it looks.
Also on the bodice front, the neck edge is simply rolled to the inside, again, unfinished. Well, guess what I did with that? Yep, you got it, I finished that edge with my serger, turned it under and topstitched it.
I will warn you there is quite a bit of hand sewing the lining to the bodice. I like hand stitching, in moderation that is, so it didn’t bother me.

All in all, I think this dress is worth stitching up. Please make a muslin. I wish I would have!
Have fun with this one.
Oh, and please forgive the rather poor quality of the pictures. I tried something new with my camera and it didn’t work out how I wanted it to!
Happy sewing!

Simplicity Amazing Fit Dress

Pattern Description:
This pattern is a Simplicity misses dress with individual pattern pieces for slim, average, and curvy fit and for A, B, C, D cup sizes. It is a basic sheath dress, with or without sleeves and a v-neck or curved neckline. You have quite a few choices with this pattern! It is an amazing fit pattern–more on that later!

Pattern Sizing:
This is a multi-sized pattern. I made a size 16 and with the options to use various sized pattern pieces, cup sizes, there is no reason to not get an amazing fit! I used the curvy skirt pieces and the C-cup. I think it very slightly gaps at the armhole, but not enough to redo the entire thing–although I am open to suggestions!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it does, check it out!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Easy, well-written directions. A beginner would be able to tackle the pattern without too many issues. The only problem I would potentially forsee for a beginner is figuring out which pieces you will need. :)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
No dislikes at all! I know it has been reviewed eight ways to Sunday, but honestly, I had not realloy noticed the pattern until I saw there was a contest for previous patterns of the year. The envelope photo does not do it justice.

Fabric Used:
I used a 100% cotton eyelet-type fabric I spotted at Joanns. There are not really any eyelets, but it is a lucious cotton with some pretty heavy embrodery on it. No, your eyes are not fooling you, I added swaroski (spelling?) crystals to the floral centers of the bodice top only. I felt the dress needed a little bling, and this satisified my need for it!

b>Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made only a few minor adjustments. First of all, I put an invisible side zipper instead of the center back lapped one. I like it better!
Since the dress is white, I put in a full lining of another 100% cotton I had purchased to make a blouse. The blouse will have to wait and I did not want a potentially stick-to-the-body polyester lining. Nor did I want to wear a slip. The lining solved the problem as I am wearing blue undies and you cannot tell! Yahoo!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I highly recommed the dress to others. Most likely it will be a tried-and-true pattern for me! I am now convinced that this pattern is truly a best of pattern.

Conclusion: Nice dress, fits well. Easy to put together and has many options for fabric usage, possibility of long sleeves, etc. Purchase this pattern and make this dress!
Thanks for reading!

organization ideas for too much fabric and UFOs!

So, my stash seems to be multiplying like rabbits--every time I turn around there is an amazing sale on a lovely piece of fabric that has my name written all over it, so I do what any fabriholic would do--I buy!  Folding and stacking all the fabric has taken over and I couldn't seem to find anything any more.  So, I came up with this solution.  It works for me! 

I confiscated an empty closet, now I know that many of you don't have an empty closet, but I had one that had a lot of junk in it so I cleaned that bad boy out and took over.  I hung all the woven fabric on plastic hangers and folded all the knits and stacked that.  All the denim is in a storage tub at the bottom of the closet. 

To handle all the UFOs (Un Finished Objects), mending, alterations, I purchased the coat tree seen in the picture.  If I have my projects in plain sight, they seem to eventually become finished and out of my work space! 

I hope you find these suggestions helpful--or if you have a better solution, please share!  I am always willing to snag a great idea!


Friday, June 15, 2012

My sewing room!

My favorite--my sewing room!  Here is what we did to make it a space I want to spend time in. 
The cabinetry is recycled from a kitchen remodel.  For the large cutting surface, I used two lower cabinets, put them back to back and my husband cut an inch think piece of plywood on top.  I covered the plywood with batting and a piece of upholstery cloth I found as a remnant. 
The lighting is new, along with the two desks.  The desk on the left I purchased new, and the desk on the right was found at a second hand shop by my husband.  I found the fun pictures at Hobby Lobby and purchased them when they were 1/2 price. 
My husband also made the large design wall.  It is four feet by eight feet.  He put it on a piano hinge so it can be folded flat against the wall when not it use. 

My daughters helped paint the room along with the Fleur De Li's on the wall. 

I had new flooring put in the room that I just love.  Prior to the vinyl, there was nasty Berber carpet that had outlived its useful life.  I came up with this storage solution when I found my stash multiplying by astronomical proportions.  Now I can shop in my closet! 
I love my sewing room! 

Butterick 5454

Butterick 5454 was the perfect solution to a problem fabric!  I needed a pattern specifically for a knit border print and this pattern fit the bill!  It is described as follows:
Pattern Description:
Misses Dress: Close-fitting dresses, A, B, C have wrap fronts, front tucks, front and back pleats, self-ties, A-line skirt and sleeve variations.  A: Short flounce sleeves.  B; Three-quarter sleeves.  C: long flared sleeves and border print.  Lengths are 2" above mid-knee.  This dress is sized for moderate stretch knits only.  You can see the link for the pattern envelope here: http://butterick.mccall.com/b5454-products-10837.php?page_id=147

This pattern is rated as easy and I would agree! 

Pattern Sizing:This is a multi-sized pattern.  You may choose from the size ranges 6 to 14 or 16 to 24. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Sure does! Although I am not as thin as the model.  :) 

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Instructions were easy. This dress goes together quickly and is pretty intuitive in the sewing steps.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the style of the pattern, but I seem to remember sewing myself a wrap skirt in about 8th grade!  I had no idea this style would be 'current' again!  This pattern went together easily, is well drafted and I love the flounce sleeve finish and the way the armscye is finished on the inside. 

Fabric Used:
A heavy, rather clingy designed knit I purchased from Fabric Mart.  I think it may have been an Anna Sui print.  I love purple and black, so I snatched it up right away!  The border print made it rather difficult to work with, and I didn't have quite enough to match the side seams. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I really didn't change much of anything--surprise!  I did however add elastic to the neckline edges per other reviewers to prevent neckline gaposis.  I have to admit that was a new technique to me and I really like the result.  Because of my knit, I did end up using about 6 inches less that the total neckline measurement. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would sew this again, well maybe!  If I found the right border print, I may try a 3/4 length sleeve. 

Conclusion: This was one of those instant gratification projects.  I enjoyed creating it and since it is rather low cut, I will be wearing a cami underneath.  Many reviewers stated the used a size smaller than normal, so I cut a 14 when I usually wear a 16.  I like the fit--at least I thought I did, until I saw the pictures. 
Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vogue 8816

From the pattern envelope: Pullover tops A, B, C, D, E or tunic (fitted through bust) have draped neckline variations, bias upper fronts, and narrow hem. B: Stitched hems on sleeves. A, D: Cap sleeves. B, C, D, E, F: Dropped shoulders. D, E, F: sleeves pleated into button cuffs with continuous lap. D, E, F: front extends into pleated back collar. This pattern is rated as Easy by Vogue. I chose view A.

Pattern Sizing:
This is a multi-sized pattern. A5 is 6 to 14 and E5 has sizes 14 to 22.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Sure does!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Instructions were easy. This top goes together quickly and is pretty intuitive in the sewing steps.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the draped neckline. The length is excellent for me. Although the pattern suggests using a woven, I used a silk jersey. The directions call for either Crepe de Chine, Charmeuse or lightweight jersey. Since I used a knit and the pattern suggests wovens, all the edges were so nicely finished off and the inside back neck facing looks professional and polished.

Fabric Used:
Silk jersey I purchased from Vogue. It was only 45 inches wide, and I purchased 2 yards. It took a while to find a suitable top that would work with the yardage. I wanted something a little drapey and this pattern fit the bill!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Not many other than I had to take about 4 inches off the side seams. This top was HUGE!!! I suppose the sizing is due to the fact that the woven fabric needs to fit over your head. However, the neckline is quite wide and with the drapey neckline, I think this is missized. Based on finished bust measurements printed on the pattern tissue, a 16 should have fit perfect. Just be aware when you cut and sew you may need to take in the side seams so it doesn't hang on you.
The only other thing I decided to do was hem the cap sleeves with a bias binding. I was so pleased with how the neckline worked out I decided to use the same finish on the sleeves. I love how they turned out.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would sew this again. The variety of fabrics you can use along with the sleeve length will make this a more than once pattern. I think it has possibilities as a dress length as well.

Conclusion: This was one of those instant gratification projects that used the piece of silk jersey I had in my stash for about a year--I know, that isn't that long! But it was driving me crazy that I hadn't found a great pattern. That little problem is over!
Thanks for reading!