The Jacket that became a dress…


Do you like my jacket? It’s looks more like a dress you say? Well, yes, there is that…

So I actually set out to make a jacket. A Burda 6489 to be precise. I’ve been seeing cute floral bomber jackets all over the place recently, what could be better than to make my own and know it would actually fit. A grand idea in theory anyway…

*I’ll get to the good stuff, but if you don’t want to see sewing carnage, please scroll down now…


The pattern, zips and fabric, a rayon, came from Spotlight, brought on sale. The ribbing is from Miss Maude, even though it was a bit pricier I’ve used it before & really like how comfy it is, and it had good recovery, wash after wash. So I could have a super cute well fitting jacket for under $60? Yes please!

Um….no, I don’t know what I did either.

Or not, as the case may be. Things were going fine for the first half of the sew. Actually I lie, I tried to put the front zip in for the first front pocket, only to discover I’d made the gap for the zip just a bit too big. Trying to cover this might have been easier in a more stable fabric, but in slippery rayon it just snowballed into a puckered mess. Goodbye front pockets (I wouldn’t use them anyway so figured it wasn’t such a big deal.)

I had enough fabric to cut another two front pieces (My Mum always asks why I buy so much extra fabric for each pattern I make, uh hello, here’s why!), so onward and upward.


Things really started to go pear shaped when I added the knit collar, cuffs and ribbed hem. For starters the sleeves. I may being on the slightly larger end of the size continuum, but that does not mean I have freakishly long arms. I had to take a good SEVEN cm off the sleeve, and reattach my cuffs to get something, while still long, meant I could still use my hands.

The knit collar looked fine until I added the lining. That lining. I had enough fabric to double as a parachute in the body  of the jacket, but when attached to the collar, it became a pulled up puckered mess.

I was unpicking the collar for the second time when poor Mr D asked what I was doing. “I’m *%!!**&!? relaxing ok!!!”….He ventured back inside an hour later dripping in sweat………apparently even with a stinking cold, heading outside to trim the hedge is preferable to being around your wife when she is relaxing. Indeed.

That $$!*&&%??! collar….

To be honest, I’d lost my mojo by the time I got to the ribbed hem. I didn’t really understand the instructions showing how it was attached to the lining, which was so voluminous it came down past the bottom?

I hate giving up on a project, especially one I’ve spent THREE weekends on, (until a new pair of glasses, sewing black fabric at night is like sewing with my eyes closed…) but Catholic or no I’m not one for self flagellation…

However I’m also not one for waste. To quote the inimitable Nigella Lawson  “I may be extravagant, but I’m not wasteful” . I’m happy to buy the goodies, but the thought of ditching all that fabric was really annoying, especially the ribbing, which cost more than the fabric! I also liked the way the fabric & ribbing looked together.

I’ve previously made a Merchant & Mills Fielder dress, which has a knit collar & sleeves, and had the idea I could recover both the cuffs & hem, and enough fabric from the lining & outer backs (which was cut on the fold so in one piece) to make sleeves. I’d just need enough for the front and back of the dress. A quick trip to Spotlight got me the last 2 meters (still on sale, whoop!) and I was good to go.

Ok, not what I intended, but eminently wearable hey?

I’m pretty pleased with this, besides feeling all WI* reusing my disaster, the fabric makes it a little more dressy than the washed linen version, so I could wear to work. I also adjusted the neckline to be slightly higher, I thought the first version looked a bit wide on my deeply unfashionable narrow sloping  shoulders.


While I’m disappointed I don’t have a cool jacket to wear, I’m happy I do at least have a new dress, rather than yet another entry to my wadder collection. I can add a nice scarf, and when it gets cooler, my long black leather boots & a cute leather jacket will be just the ticket. And no, for the sake of my marriage I wont be trying to make a leather jacket anytime soon (although….one day grasshopper, one day)

I hope you’ve had a lovely week, and if you were attempting a jacket , it was far more fabulous than mine!

Kristina xxx

  • Ok, let’s be honest, as if anyone in the WI would make such a Horlicks of a sewing project in the first place, but still…:)


This fabric is not easy to photograph I’m told!


Open Kimono….several looks

Um…..where’s my cocktail?

Now I will fess up, when I first imagined this in my head, I was sipping a cocktail on the deck of a cruise ship. Something about the print, and drape , the whole “kimonoesqueness” screamed resort wear (not that I’ve ever actually brought resort wear, but if I was going to I imagine it looks like this…?). Anyway, as per usual I left it far to late before we we were off to the airport to actually finish my lovely holiday outfit.

See, Resort Wear for sure…

The pattern in question, Simplicity 1318, has a couple of variations, I went with View B, a high low jacket (flattering at the front with good butt coverage from the rear, nice…) with longer sleeves and supposedly a contrast band. I ignored the contrast option, and pattern matching was approached with my usual “hope for the best” attitude (to be fair, that’s a pretty but quite busy fabric, who expect my Mum would actually notice the lack of match??)

I did say it was pretty, busy fabric…

The fabric is a rayon from Spotlight , happily purchased on sale and just waiting for the right project. If you have been reading PK for a while now you will notice how much rayon I buy….and how much I complain about sewing slippery rayon. I know, I have no idea why I do it to myself either.

Anyway, I finished sewing this last weekend, its a very quick sew (even a relative newbie could make this in a day no problem, complete with time for lunch/doing the laundry/having a moan about what a pain rayon is to sew). I did take a wee shortcut by ignoring the instructions to hand stitch the band to the inner, instead preferring to top stitch. I love me some top stitching!


After I finished sewing I hung my new jacket on Diana & spent several days wondering “is this something I would actually wear?”

To much….?

It seemed very bold, like something that’s a grand idea on holiday, not so brilliant back in the cold , not much light of day (I put Retsina, location tee shirts & Egyptian rings with your name spelled in hieroglyphics into that category also…)*

But after some fun playing around with bits & bobs in my wardrobe, I realized not only was my wee kimono jacket just fine for a sea deck, it would work very well for more mundane activities back in the real world!

Off for dinner…I’m clearly worried about whether I’ll make it to the taxi in these heels…

Perfect with jeans & sandals for brunch with pals, or gussied up with heels and nice pants for dinner, versatile much?

Obligatory Kimono jacket pose….I defy anyone not to

While I’m still a bit grumpy with myself for not getting it made up before my trip, I’m so glad I bothered  after, its super comfy to wear, and as my girlfriend so helpfully pointed out “the high low hem stops it looking like you’ve just forgotten to take your bathrobe off”…so true.

In lieu of any pic’s of me actually wearing this on our cruise, I thought I’d share a few images of the trip anyway, we spent a lovely 10 nights cruising from Southampton to Copenhagen on-board the Marina, and I’ll admit I was sad to get off (despite missing my cats & my sewing room!)

Pass me my book & beer thanks…

So much to do , besides all the fabulous shore adventures, on board can be just as busy. I do love a quiz & we went to a few , (Hi Patty & the rest to the Fryday team!), a library on board, lectures, music, games (the Marina Open Paddle Tennis was declared a tie with Mr D & I tied at 4 sets all before high winds & Happy Hour stopped play…), fabulous people watching, but best off all, on this cruise line at least, really excellent food & drink. And only unpacking once. Seriously, whats not to love?

Home from home. Believe it or not the bathroom has a full bath & a separate shower…!

My favorite thing? The balcony, how can you beat waking up to this (just remember to have more than your knickers & bra on when you pull the curtains heh?)

Good Morning Oslo!

I also wanted to share this fab Bill Skinner necklace I picked up in Bath shopping with my dear pal Tiffany, she brought me the bee necklace I’m wearing with jeans in the top picture. We went back to the shop when we were staying & the first thing I picked up was this cat playing with a ball of wool….crazy cat lady from way back kids! She immediately started laughing as that was the necklace she had picked out with bees & had to decide which to buy!


I’ll leave you with my favorite pic of the trip, my dear husband beer tasting in Antwerp, having a great time despite the airline losing his suitcase & his wife making him carry her bag #keeper


Have a lovely week , thoughts & prayers to all those, human & animal, suffering Irma’s wrath, I hope you find safety, refuge and kindness xxx

Kristina xxx

*I have brought all of those things on hols….sigh.

When pants really are…pants

Well, as I said in my previous post, this is a two part story. But be warned, it’s no fairy tale. In fact the sensitive reader may wish to avert their eyes at some of the more graphic images , in case sewing nightmares should ensue.

So what was I trying to achieve? Two pairs of crepe pants (in the trouser rather than undies sense) for my capsule wardrobe, a wide leg high waist navy blue version, and a simpler elastic waist version in a pretty plum colour. Sounds reasonable yes? Yeah……right.*

What I was aiming for (with a Tommy photobomb for good measure)

My first effort, Simplicity 8177. I haven’t made any Mimi G patterns before, but I really liked the idea of the You Tube tutorial for my first attempt at pants. I thought these would look fantastic in navy blue with the Ngaio blouse I (successfully) managed to make previously. The fabric was half price, and has the most wonderful drape, I could just see me rockin’ Katharine Hepburn minus the ciggy. I got this far.

This is my third attempt at zip insertion. Seriously.

I even watched the zip tutorial multiple times and still messed it up! Now I probably would have soldiered on, except for the fact these pants are HUGE. I means seriously wide, and far too big around the waist. I could wear these for a weekend away and carry all my additional luggage in each leg. With room for duty free. I’m baffled as I measured myself multiple times, and have used those measurements successfully on other patterns?

Now a saner person may have decided to leave the pants making and sew themselves a nice simple skirt, or a simple knit top maybe? Not I, instead, hey, lets throw a bit more fabric to the wind & make pants again. Pattern from a company I’ve never used before? Yes. Lovely expensive fabric I’ll be gutted to mess up? Yes. Already suspicious said fabric might be too flimsy & will make life difficult? Hell yes! What could go wrong?


Sailing perilously close to camel toe…you can almost hear my teeth grinding…

Style Arc  Daisy pants, or at least a bad version of. I wont show you the waist , there are enough horrors on the internet already, but suffice to say it ain’t pretty. The rise was a little short for me, particularly at the back, and I struggled to make the fold wide enough to cover all the elastic. The hem has move waves than my hair, not least because the pants were not long enough, and I thought adding the hem band as per the pattern would make matters worse. As if they could get much worse?

Enter a caption…maybe “delete please”

The pockets were not necessary, and difficult to sew with the fabric. They are also really low, which felt a bit odd. But I don’t think this is a particularly bad pattern, more a bad fabric choice and lack of some skills (Style Arc pattern instructions are sparse, to put it mildly). In linen, I suspect these would rock.

I finished the weekend feeling very deflated. In the grand scheme of things of course its no more than a couple of days and a few bucks of fabric, but I must admit to be decidedly grumpy on Sunday night. Quite why I thought I’d just rock into pants making without a toile or a care is unclear, but hubris is a harsh teacher!

O.M.G. I think my face sums it up nicely.

So my mini minuscule capsule wardrobe so far consists of one blouse. A wee way to go then…

In the interests of not being a complete Debbie Downer I thought I’d share the fabulous stash my lovely sister Dette sent me for my birthday. A magpie with the best taste, who does not need more fabric and more buttons? Who??

Yes, that is a cat button. Squeeeeeee!!!!

You may be wondering why I’d actually post this hot mess, but if I’m going to have a blog, it will be an honest one. I’d love you to think I’m someone who has it all down, but the reality is hits, misses and something in between. The good, the bad , the ugly….and the truly uncomfortable!

And you? Any disasters recently? If so, I hope this post makes you feel better , let some good come of this!

Kristina x


  • “Yeah, …..right” When something clearly hasn’t/didn’t/will never work. From a New Zealand ad a few years back, has to be uttered deadpan, preferably while looking both deeply skeptical and knowing at the same time, bonus points if you can simultaneously raise an eyebrow . Its almost an art form.