Category Archives: 10207 Of The Moment

Comments on the OTM Tabard

I’ve had a chance to wear both the tunic/gown and the tabard/robe.  The gown is perfect.  I regret making it out of cheap fabric. However, I have noted every alteration to the basic pattern and can easily duplicate the next time. The Tabard/robe however is going to need some tweaks to be successful as a bathrobe. For starters I added 14 inches in length which is entirely too much.  I need to remove about 5″.  I don’t like my clothing getting ragged by dragging the ground as I walk. Also, I regularly, like a dozen times a day, take the stairs in my house.  I hate tripping on my clothing.  The robe must be shortened.  I do like the width of the tabard.  With a long sleeve blouse/T-shirt, it would be a great autumn garment for outside or perfect when you need just a bit extra inside the house.  It is not enough if wearing 3/4 or short sleeves outside (for me at least) and not enough for a robe to wear in the evening after a bath, again for me.  I tend to be much colder than everyone else.  I need my arms covered; that’s just the way I am.  The fix will be a kimono type sleeve about 12″ wide.  Lastly while the open sides swirl wonderfully and would again be great for an autumn outdoors garment or a spectacular accessory indoors, as an after bath robe, it allows to much air flow for me. I keep emphasizing that, because I know that I feel colder than nearly everyone else.  If you are considering this pattern based on my experience, then do take into consideration my tendency to need extra warmth.   So for starters, I will be tacking the sides together from about the knee up to the sleeve hem.  I will leave sleeve vents to aid with movement.  Once this is done, and I’ve had a chance to live in the garment again, I’ll report back.


Progress on the 3rd piece to the set above:


I decided upon using Kwik Sew 3661.  These are garments that I stopped to make because I need new sleep wear for the cooler weather.  Usually the actual sleep garments last about 2 years. I’ll have one left from the previous year and will eventually get a second one made.  You only need 1 set.  I prefer 2 or 3 so that I don’t have to rush the laundry.  For several years, I’d been using my silky long johns as bottoms as well as under my pants on cold mornings and days. My silky johns came from Walmart and were a total surprise.  They were soft and wonderful ……  and 100% polyester.  It’s that thing again where polyester can be dreadful or wonderful. In this case it was wonderful.  My silkies keep me dry and warm.  Since I retired I don’t wear them as much and didn’t have reason to replace as frequently.  At the beginning of summer, I cleaned out my chest of drawers of all ugly underwear.  I also decided that the silkies which were too big (purchased when desperately needed and heck nobody sees these anyway) anyway too big too gone. Starting this year I have 1 pair of silkies and 2 pair of KS3661 dance tights.  1 pair was made from the original pattern without alterations.  I altered the pattern and made the second pair. Perfect. So technically I have 3 pair of white long johns for the winter.


In the stash was a light weight knit purchased when Walmart in Sioux Falls decided to test selling 5 yard bolts. I believe it failed.  They were $7, then $5 (for the entire bolt) and finally $2.  $2 for 5 yards of fabric. Now I’m not sure this is cheap yucky fabric, as in my gown.  But not too many people were interested in stashing 5 yards of light, almost transparent 100% polyester knit.  I think Walmart tested with the wrong type of fabric.  I heard they tried this once before with 1 yard precuts and fat quarters.  The fat quarters were the only successful precut.  Problem is Walmart doesn’t understand the home sewing world.  While quilters would be interested in good quality fat quarters, they aren’t likely to purchase more than 1 of each print.  Crafters might purchase a few, but they look at color and pattern coordination.  Dressmakers look the other way.  1 yard cuts?  Quilters need 3.5 (I think) to finish the back of the quilt and otherwise seldom purchase a full yard (I am of course speaking of those quilters I know and who shared their thoughts with me.  You might be different).  Dressmakers rarely buy a yard of anything.  Even a T-shirt calls for 1-1/4 yards. We seldom buy a coordinating trim. We’re more likely to say “oh look and I can use the 3/4 yard I have left from such and such.”   5 yards is enough to cover a large chair. Who buys and why do they buy 5 yards of fabric?  Make that 5 yards of thin knit fabric?  I purchased 3.  I knew that I wanted to make my own winter long johns, and some  lingerie. One of the bolts matched the pink of the gown exactly. I mean like it came out of the same dye lot.


I didn’t stop with 1 pair of bottoms.  I decided I should use up the whole 5 yards and have it out of the stash. I made 2 pair of bottoms and then pulled out Louise Cuttings Ebb and Flow pattern to make a second night gown.


These are almost done, maybe I’ll have them finished tomorrow.  Today I have a volunteer activity which I’m dreading because last night I had another bad night with reflux.  Today I’m feeling bad, but it’s too late to find a substitute and I’m not seriously ill, just feeling badly.  My activity will only take about 4 hours and then I can come home and go back to bed.  Maybe tomorrow I can finish my winter sleep wear.

What real people wear to bed:

LOL, maybe even old lady clothes, but real life includes bed clothes that are comfortable, lightweight and probably not s*xy


I’ve been sewing, had a few “down” days not really bad but I needed sleep after a few rounds of early morning/late night?? reflux.  I don’t get much done on those days and I’m always glad I retired.  Sometimes I miss the busy-ness of work, but days like these I’m so glad I’m not having to force myself to work.  When I need rest, I can rest without guilt.


I’m pretty pleased with my drafting progress.  I’m even tweaking the idea for next year.  My top above was developed from KS 3107 (pictured in the previous post).  I made several changes.  My neckline is a rounded  V finished with fold over elastic (FOE).  Instead of a cuff, I finished the sleeves with FOE as well.  I cut this tunic length and then rounded the sides at the hem forming a more tradition shirt tail hem finished again with the FOE.  My FOE has a shiny side and a matt side.  I used the matt side as the public side this time and I like it much better.  The first top I used the FOE on, I used the shiny side and even though it’s nice fabric, it looks kind of cheap.  This fabric looks much richer because of the matt finish of the FOE. Oh and it’s cheap.  I noticed a snag on the backside.  I haven’t worn this more than 5 minutes and it has a snag!  I doubt that it lasts the full winter.


The back is very plain. The embroidery on the front is actually a section of a much larger embroidery.  I didn’t want to put a lot of effort into this garment.  I knew that the fabric was flimsy and cheap, but I did want a little ommph.


The robe


I put much more effort into.  Generally I find that a robe lasts me several years but my nighties maybe only 1 or 2 seasons.  So I used a much better fabric for the robe and did more extensive emboridery.

The back has the full large embroidery:


I did this on my Ruby.  It was supposed to be 1 thread.  I changed mid-way so the top is just a slightly lighter color than the bottom. For some reason the first spool of thread was really problematic. It may be been the bobbin. Except I used the same bobbin through out and the problems ended when I changed to the 2nd spool of embroidery thread. Funny though I used the same thread on my Janome without issue. Because it was so large I wanted to do this on the Ruby.  The small embroidery took 35 minutes on the Janome and I did 3; 1 on the gown, 1 on each “lapel” of the robe. This large embroidery took and hour and a half, but at least 20 minutes of that was fussing with the bobbin and thread issues.  I do think that I ended up with tone-on-tone embroidery that will be beautiful for years.


The robe patter is the large in Louise Cuttings Of-TheMoment Tabard.  There is a line that says “lengthen here”. I slashed and added 14 inches.  Talk about long and flowing, if it were black instead of teal, you’d have to call me ObiWan. Ummm as short as I am, maybe Yoda.  I have it basted on the sides where Louise indicates.  I’m not sure I want to leave the sides completely open.  The fabric tends to curl inward at the bottom.  I did not use any interfacing which might have corrected that issue. Since I folded the cut-on facings to the inside and topstitched, I won’t be adding any interfacing either.  One interesting issue.  Usually I can select knit fabric and the weight then choose a straight stitch and not have issues.  On this fabric that selection gathered the fabric.  I had to select a narrow zig zag .5 wide 5mm long for a nice first stitch.  Even though it’s a zig zag, the line of stitching looks straight.


As I said, I’ve only basted where Louise indicates you should nail down the sides with a little square box.  I’m not sure I want those sides to remain open.  I’m also not sure that I will be satisfied with the “sleeve” length.  This is meant for winter wear.  My tunic has long sleeves, but sometimes I need an extra layer on my arms.  I have some fabric left with which I could add a kimono type sleeve when desired. If the sides being open is too cool (temperture wise), I can do several things.  I could use a joining stitch and join the two sides together; or just tack together every 8inches; or make an upside down L seam that would leave the sides flapping but the body closed; or …..   well I can think of a number of things. But first I want to live inside the robe for at least one evening. I’m rather curious about it effectiveness at keeping me warm.  I anticipate it will be more comfortable than a traditionally shapped Ruana.  The Ruana is usually 2 rectangular pieces joined long sides together only about half way.  Today it is more often seen as a single large rectangle with a split up the center front.  Either version is uncomfortable on the back of my neck and a big shaggy/unkempt to wear.  This tabard is 3 rectangles; shaping at the shoulder and a curved back neck.  So to start with the neck is much more comfortable and the shaping at the shoulder is a more refined and elegant look.  The pattern doesn’t call for a front closure.  I may have to correct that as well.


I do have one more garment planned for this set. That will be leggings/dance tights/long johns.  I have fitted Kwik Sew 3661 and could make short work of a bottom to go with my top. But I’m curious about a Burda pair of leggings ummmm don’t have the issue at my fingertips.  I’m undecided, this morning because the KS is already fitted and ready. But the Burda draft looks superior; already having a nice back ledge (which I added to the KS) for my generous rear end and the front is already slanted to accomodate my shorter front crotch length (also already added to the KS).


You won’t see pics of me in my nightie or the last piece.  Just imagine the top with matching tights and the robe. Probably prudish of me, but I don’t particularly care to model my sleep wear.


As for the Amanna Jacket and the Vogue 1264, they’re still on hold.  I could have used the Vogue 1264 this week.  I fear winter is rapidly decending upon us.  We had a 2 day Indian Summer and from here out temperatures are predicted to steadily decline.  I think I should move on to my coats and have them ready for snowfall.

Amana Jacket

Yes I’m already working on my next project.  I do have some activities and general living that will interfere, so I must proceed while I can. I photoed and then cropped the bed cover that I described in the previous post about the Amana Jacket.  I’m absolutely sure I want to use the OTM Tabard and pulled out the pattern.  Well I really would prefer to use the jacket. Imagine my joy when the envelope said I could create a small from 2.25 yards of 45″ fabric. I happily traced the pattern pieces in a size small.  I started to pin them together and try on Mimie, when I realized that if I fit this to Mimie, I wouldn’t be able to wear it over much more than my underwear.  A quick, rethought and I pulled out McCall’s 2835. Sorry this pattern is so OOP that you can only find a pic at EBay or some one’s Etsy shop.  McCall’s was designed for polar fleece, but the ease is sufficient that I’ve used it with wool–fully lined with appropriate interfacing! A quick comparison told me that the two were close.  The slope of the shoulders is different.  The front of the OTM is much extended and the back neckline of the OTM was a bit smaller.  So encouraged, I steamed the “fabric” and started laying out my pieces.


Now, if I’d not been particular about the fabric “motifs”, there was plenty of yardage. BUT I am particular.  Amana used a variegated thread to weave the bed covers. Variegated threads tend to “pool ” colors.  Take a close look at the pic above and you should be able to understand.  Generally, I choose to utilize variegated yarns/threads either in fair isle patterns (for knits) or in objects that need shading (in embroidery).  But this is already woven.  I cannot control the pooling, it’s already there. I have to figure out how to use it.  I think if I break it up beneath the armscyes, I will lessen the effect of the pooling. But I can’t arrange my jacket pattern pieces to line up the armscye areas over the pools and still have enough fabric for all the jacket pieces.


I gave a small sigh and returned to plan A, which was Use the Tabard pattern. I trimmed the pattern to the large size (I used the small size for the jacket) and started trying to arrange the 2 pattern pieces. Not good. I can get the fronts lined up the way I want. But the back covers 2 pools. BTW the pic above shows 2 pools. The entire piece has 4 asymmetrically placed pools.


I would prefer a jacket length tabard. The pattern is mid-thigh almost knee length on me. But that’s an issue I’ve yet to really tackle.  I DO like the width of the large.  My wing span is 52″.  The large tabard would have a wingspan of 40″.  40″ would give me lots of coverage on cool and windy days. But it won’t fit nicely between the pools of color.  So I try the small. A similar problem.  The small front fits nicely almost completely avoiding the pools. But the back is going to insist upon some pool-action.


I hearken back to my Home Dec teacher, she with total command of color and design, who insisted “if you can’t cover it up, FLAUNT it.”  I fold the fabric in half at the center of the biggest pool.  I arrange the small center-back on the fold and then arrange the front pieces. Voila. This is it.


Except, now I need to make a decision about the length and I need to decide if I’m going to do anything to cover more than 2″ past my shoulders. Oh and dinner is almost ready.  Think that’s it for tonight.


******Sigh, Once again Blogger will not let me preview.  It did at least allow me to spell check. But we are both stuck with hoping that post makes sense because I can’t switch to a different view which makes me look at things freshly and notice that I’ve made a booboo. Sigh. We all have our crosses to bear. Blogger is mine.

Amana Jacket

3 years ago, or was it 4, no matter, several years ago when Idaho flooded so terribly, I was part of the emergency response crew to the area.  While there I visited the Amana Colonies.   They are all that is left of an important piece of US history and one of the few successful attempts at c0mmunism. (No I”m not c0mmunistic.  I totally oppose the philosophy.)  Even this successful attempt eventually failed.  The young were not interested in sacrificing all for their fellow man.  As I said it’s an interesting bit of history.  I provided the link for you to read and I encourage you to visit if you are ever in the area.  We visited the museum and several building preserved from the original colonies. We drank the beer. Oh and carried home a case of assorted beers and about the same number of wines all grown and brewed right there.


Amana is mostly to know to Americans for their refrigerators and freezers manufactured in the colonies and shipped throughout the US and I believe into Canada in the 50’s and 60’s and later.  But my favorite thing was the working fabric mill.  I did not see any of the spinners or processing.  Only the electronic looms (weaving machines). They were electronic but not computerized.  It was interesting to see the looms with a device which read the holes in a paper punch tape.  Does anyone remember these?  Early in my career, I remember telexes and twixs that used the paper tape.  Early computers read 8080 cards. But these are such dim memories that I was transfixed watching the warping process, the looms and weaving.  The mill produces a number of items which are sold in the visitor center in the same building.


Besides the wine and beer, 2 of the bed throws came home with me.  The bed throw is quite large.  It’s 48′ x 72″.  I used one as an Afghan on the chairs. But the mill was using an incredibly loose weave.  My cream/camel afghan acquired several ugly snags and was removed.  The navy/blue afghan has been marinating in the stash every since. Finally I think I know what to do with it.



Yes Louise Cuttings “Of the Moment” pattern.  The loose weave makes for a very softly draping fabric. However the numerous yarns make for a heavy fabric with some body. I would prefer to do the jacket, but honestly, I think I might be short on fabric and so I’m planning to do the tabard.


The tabard reminds me of a Ruana, but there are some important changes.  A Ruana is basically a big rectangle with a slit up the front.  This tabard is 2 pattern pieces but 3 garment pieces.  It’s drafted and cut with a shoulder slope and a back neck line.  A Ruana can actually rub against the back of the neck and be a little irritating.  This tabard should snug the neck and be comfortable.


Despite it’s simple shape, I’m anticipating several alterations.  Louise, or Sandy or somebody included a handwritten note warning me that the pattern was over sized.  So first off, I’m anticipating removing a little ease from No Man’s land. But I do want at least the “sleeve” length shown on the envelope face.  That could be easily accomplished by adding a rectangle of fabric in that area. I would also prefer a front closure. So where the pattern comes straight down from the front shoulder/neck point, I’ll be trying to add a little more fabric.  We’ll see.  I’m just in the beginning of the planning.  There is still lots to think about.