Monday, March 7, 2016

Sewing with Brocade Fabric

McCalls 7223
Size 12 

I did a girl's vest search online and it appeared that the right overlapped the left instead of left over right as depicted for boys.  The size 12 fit perfectly for my daughter.  The pockets are faux welt, which are definitely easier than the real thing and so much quicker to do!

  Originally I purchased this pattern for my son, but the largest size (14) was too small for him.  Then my daughter asked if I could make one for her.  I'm thankful that I got to use this pattern after all!

I used a vest buckle.  If you follow the pattern instructions, they will have you just tie the belt pieces.  It is very simple to attach the buckle and well worth the extra time so you have a more professional RTW look.  The vest is fully lined.

I did not follow the pattern instructions for the bow tie either since theirs was made with elastic.  I did a You Tube video search and found a tutorial that utilized bow tie hardware so the neck strap could be adjusted. 

Next, I made my other daughter a brocade skirt using Ottobre's 4/2013 #34 pattern.
This is the Tangent mini skirt, but not so mini.  I made it in a size 152 with the length of 158.

One of the things I like about this skirt is it takes very little fabric and sometimes can be squeezed out of a remnant.  There are only 3 pieces, front/back and waistband.  The front piece is pleated, using buttons for decoration purposes only.

I wanted gold buttons but could not find any that were flat without a shank.  So, I wrapped my thread around the shank many times trying to stabilize the button.  It worked fairly well I think.

I didn't find working with brocade difficult other than it frays quickly.  I would not cut your pattern until you are ready to sew it up.  I zig zagged each fabric piece before beginning sewing.  I tried my serger initially, but I have a hard time trying to adjust the tension just right when working with a single layer of fabric.  I didn't get any distortion with using my sewing machine.  This fabric irons really well too.  I found that a Microtex needle works well sewing brocade.

The skirt is fully lined--the instructions are very well written for this in Ottobre.  I used a hem tape to control the fray issues.  I made this skirt once before here, but I didn't line it.  I use to be intimidated by patterns that required lining.  I should have given it a go because it wasn't that hard.

For the past 2 weeks I have been exploring vest making.  I made my husband and son a vest from Butterick 6339, which is a historical pattern--my next blog post to come when I get pictures.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley


  1. That vest is so cool, Shirley. It's perfect in the brocade. The vest buckle looks so much more authentic than a tie would have done.

    1. Thanks Pam! I recently bought my son a couple of vests in the store and they looked just like this one but more expensive than what I made this one for. I just didn't have time to make "more" vests. LOL

  2. I love all three of these pieces :) You are so creative with your outfits for the party! Thanks for the tips on sewing with this finicky fabric. It sure is pretty!! They all look great and the fit is spot on :D

    1. Thanks! I definitely got lucky on the fit! I do have some left over brocade that I think will make some really pretty handbags one day. I need to right down all the things I would like to or plan to sew up one day so I don't forget. LOL


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