The Trench Sew Along

I am not very good with “Along” participation.  Be it sewing or knitting, I am either before or way after but very rarely “Along”.  However, since the timeline on this one is pretty lax and the commitment level isn’t nearly as militant as some alongs  I thought I would give an this one a try.

  • Trench Sew Along Schedule

    May 24 — June 24: Pick out pattern, trench coat research, fabric/notions gathering
    June 25 — August 25: Work on trench coat, commiserate, learn and don’t give up
    August 26 or whenever you finish: Wear trench coat bursting with pride and maybe a little disbelief at how awesome it is

My Trench Sew Along pick it The Tikva Trench from BurdaStyle.

I have some gorgeous medium weight stretch satin fabric that will look perfect with this.  I also want to get a fabulously colorful lining for the peekaboo effect.  Given I should probably be making a more practical trench but this one has been on my list since it first came out.  So Step 1 done.  However, since I am a procrastinator extraordinaire with a two month window to work with  don’t expect to hear much about step two for a little while to come 😀

Peacock Collection ’08: Burdastyle Franzi Vest

Pattern: Burdastyle Franzi Vest

Pattern Description: Cropped Lined Vest

Pattern Sizing: Size 34-44, I upsized to a 46 and petited the pattern using BWOF measurements

Fabric Used: A woven with stretch and poly for the lining

Notions Used: 3/4″ buttons

Pattern Alterations: Petite Alterations, left out the faux pockets

The Good:

  • I love Love LOVE this vest.  I have already worn it two times and need to make more shirts that match it so that I can wear it even more.
  • This pattern was easy peasy despite the fact that it took me forever to finish because of my need for the perfect buttons

  • Speaking of perfect buttons, I searched high and low for buttons and finally just settled with the buttons I have.  However, I was not in love with them until they accidentally fell over upside down on my vest and I saw the near shimmery, near perfect color match on the underside.  BINGO!! So the secret is…turn over those buttons, you never know what you will get 🙂

  • The pattern is FREE!!!  Gotta love free and the gracious nature of the Burdastyle designers.  I think the fit and sizing is almost, if not exactly, the same as BWOF.  I know I petited a cropped vest, but if I hadn’t it would have really hung low on me like a real vest.

  • I like my contrasting topstitching and the turned out lapel.  I contemplated not turning out the lapel and going with the more subdued gray but then I realized that this was a cropped vest so showmanship is the way to go.  I think it really makes the vest

The Bad

  • My lining fabric was a little hard to work with, nothing major, just had to really pay attention to not snagging or running the fabric while sewing.

  • Bust darts.  I really hate pointy bust darts.  I used to think it was my sewing ability and would sew and resew in the hopes of the point going away.  However, this I stumbled on this tutorial and I thought OHHH Duh!  I am still working on getting them right but practice hopefully makes perfect.
  • The roll line on my lapel was a bit of a pain because I did not mark it at all because I wasn’t planning on turning out the lapels.  Not a biggy at all.

The Ugly:

  • That this vest has thrown be into a vest spiral.  I have to make more MORE I TELL YOU!!  More of these and more of others.  I have a slew of patterns to get to.  I hope this vest craze does not die out too soon 🙂

P.S. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you can always tell how much I love a project by how many pictures I take.  I figure it is more temptation for you to make it 😀

Peacock Collection ’08: Kasia Skirt

Pattern: Kasia Skirt – Burdastyle 6012

Pattern Description: Great for summer fun, this skirt features gathering of the pocket backing and bold bib-front buttons.

Pattern Sizing: 34-46. I increased the size to a 50 to accommodate my hips and badonk

Fabric Used: Black on Black pinstriped stretch cotton from Journal fabrics, Cotton batiste for inside pocket

Notions Used: 1″ buttons, invisible zipper, black knit interfacing

Pattern Alterations: Increased the sizing to a 50, Added a center back dart to the yoke to bring it back to fitting my waist which is about a 46 . I also added 1 1/4″ to the length of the skirt and only hemmed it one inch

The Good:

  • The pattern was FREE!!!! Such a great pattern found from free on Burdastyle. I don’t know how I stumbled up on this site but it was great! you just have to print out the sheet and tape them together. It was a snap!! If you are in the actual size range of the pattern, which I was not, you can then just cut it out and sew. It also have full pattern instructions that were easy to follow. I think this is super cool!!

  • This skirt has lots of cool details. The sailor front is very creative and you get pockets too! The gathers, which I will go into later where labor intensive but also a very cool focal point for the skirt. All in all just a great look.

  • I really like this style a lot. It just has so much going on, which depending on your taste can be good or bad. I opted for a more subdued styling for my first time because it was intended for my mini wardrobe submission to which didn’t happen but I may try for something with more pop for the next time.

  • I am trying to expand my wardrobe and I think sewing is the key since I prescribe to the mantra of that “I wear what I make”. I was a little leery of this style, especially after seeing posts and comments like these. It was accentuated further by the fact that I have never worn or tried on the high waisted styles before but I just loved the look so I figured with a $10.00 investment in fabric how could I go wrong? In the end, I think the high waisted skirt actually works on me. It may not be THE best style but I think I can rock it. Plus with the wonders of Spanks this close fitting skirt doesn’t look half bad on my “big girl” body.
  • Found the fabric at my new favorite downtown L.A. fabric store, Journal Fabrics. It is a black on black pinstripe with SSSTTRREEETCCHHH! You will have to click on some of the pictures and look closely to see the detail of it as black is a B*TCH to photograph. It was outside for $1.99 a yard. Gotta love cheap inexpensive fabric!

  • The buttons! I have decided to see button purchases as an investment. For me, they are always more expensive than the fabric and I just need to factor that in. I should also not compromise on the buttons I love, even if they are $4.50 each! I bought them in Downtown L.A. so the price was at least competitive, but DAMN they were a grip! Funny part was that I passed them up on my first trip due to the price, but ultimately went back for them. People…I do not live THAT close to Downtown L.A. so I definitely loved these buttons. And when the skirt leaves my wardrobe, those buttons will be cut off and recycled onto a fabulous looking jacket 🙂

The Bad:

  • Sewing in those gathered sides was a bit of a pain. First you gather the hell out of the side section, then you sew the curves together. Can we say pinched and pleated fabric everywhere!!! I finally wised up and stay stitched the curve in the skirt front. It was still a pain and took forever to sew together but it came out good in the end.

  • This skirt has VERY little ease so make sure to account for that either via making a larger size or added some extra width to the side seams for alterations. And I highly suggest using stretch fabric for a pit more ease.

Side Detail of Skirt

  • Although the top part is not floppy at all, if I were to make it again I might choose another interfacing other than knit for this to give it a bit more structure

The Ugly:

  • There was a lot of tweaking of the yoke band to get the proper fit for my body. Unfortunately they were done so little by little that I would I did not record the changes. Therefore, if I want to make another it will be the same little by little alterations to get to the end result. YUCK!
  • The sailor front does have a tendency to come away from the body a little at the yoke. I knew this but went ahead anyway because I figure I could add snaps if that really started bothering me. Next step…add snaps 🙂
  • My face in these pictures!! OMG I couldn’t find a picture where I was smiling at all. I must have been fed up with the self time picture escapade by the time I got to this skirt because I look mad as hell…LOL. Now I finally understand why people think I am angry when I am not smiling. Note to self…stick with the smiles 🙂 Oh yeah, and despite the picture from the back I really am not a hunchback…LOL.


I love this skirt. It you want to try the style out this skirt is easy and quick. I highly recommend it and give it two thumbs up. I would definitely sew it again.


  • Sew your gathers very close, if not on the 5/8″ line. It will keep your gathers from becoming pleats
  • Stay stitch the curve of the front skirt to avoid unwanted pinching and pleating
  • Add width to the side seams for alteration as this is a very slim fit
  • Use and invisible zipper for the closure as it looks better
  • Make sure to use a thinner lining fabric for the pocket pouch. Thicker fabric will cause the pocket seam to press on the front and it may show.