Thursday, January 16, 2020

Hola, San Diego!

This is a very good pattern from the Sewing Workshop - the San Diego top, tunic and jacket.

I just finished a black and white top, so now I've made the top twice and the jacket twice. This is an older TSW pattern that was re-issued in the last couple of years. The new issue includes the original jacket, as well as a newly drafted top and tunic. Here are some things I love about it:

  • Forward shoulder seam
  • Front placket 
  • Front pleat
  • Face-framing cut-on collar that can stand up in the back, or not.

I now require a forward-shoulder adjustment and have to remind myself over and over again of this. But with this fairly dramatic forward shoulder design, I can get away without that modification. I do have to be careful to mark the shoulder seam dot on the sleeve pattern so that I don't insert it incorrectly. 

The front placket, as drafted, is a bit low and needs at least one button to stay in closed. By simply top-stitching a box, instead of an L shape on the placket, it still slips over my head and is high enough for my comfort.

The sleeves, as drafted, are too short for my tastes. I like a 3/4 length sleeve that can be rolled up. So I simply lengthened it a few inches, and created a cut-on facing to allow me to roll the sleeves without showing the underside of this fabric.

Speaking of this fabric, isn't it fun? I purchased it from a local fabric store, Top Stitch Studio, last year. It is a lovely soft blouse-weight cotton, easy to sew, comfortable to wear, and wrinkles do not show. I briefly considered trying to match the pattern. I don't think there's any need to get carried away in this case. The print is random-looking and the faces change direction, so I probably didn't even need to cut it *with nap.* 

The design is nearly invisible with this busy print. The first San Diego top I made shows the structure of the top more clearly. It is made from another great piece of fabric, a soft medium weight linen-silk blend. I added a special button to bring up the neckline a bit.

The pattern envelope also contains the older OOP jacket version. 

My first jacket version was made from a rough weave of cotton and linen. I did not line it, using faux flat felled seams to finish the interior. I grab this jacket often when I need a light layer, even when it's just a little too cool indoors.

I had great fun, drafting a 2 piece (3 on one side due to fabric limitations) sleeve, adding cuffs and button loops.

The next version I made was very nearly a wadder. The outer fabric is a beefy wool, quite scratchy but great for cold weather. I started out intending to use a precious leather for the facings to protect my neck from the rough wool. The leather was way softer than I expected it to be and I had no depth of experience with leather, so I created lots of ugly folds and creases. That part is buried somewhere in deep stash. Ultimately I used black silk duplioni. As usual, this wonderful fabric is easy to sew and feels great up against my neckline.

Because my goal was outer wear, I made the wool one a little larger, interlined with cotton flannel, and lined with a fun silk print. It is a great layer for very cold days. We are having unseasonably warm winter weather right now, but I expect bitter cold is on the way.

I think I'll make this pattern again. The jacket has interesting possibilities as a vest, or even a longer coat. And I'm still thinking about the tunic too. I like the uneven hem, don't you?


  1. so very pretty, in both fabrics. Members of my sewing group make a lot of Linda Lee's patterns, as we are in Kansas City and they frequently drive to Topeka to shop and sew. I always think her patterns are a little oversized but this blouse fits nicely, skimming without overwhelming. Thanks for showing both versions. I am tempted to give it a whirl!

  2. You are an enabler, lol. Well, an inspiration, at any rate.

    I had been wavering over whether to buy this pattern -- your lovely examples pushed me over the edge into purchase.

    You also inspired me to get the Picasso pattern package -- was not impressed with the technical drawings, but seeing those trews on a living body changed my mind. Made two pairs of the pants, and made the top twice, in a week.

    I like this company's offerings, have bought from them since the beginning. My favorites are the Plaza Jacket and Pant -- and the Origami Blouse and Skirt ... the blouse is OOP. The skirt is a delightful puzzle to sew, and very flattering and comfortable to wear. Impossible to sit immodestly while wearing that skirt. Sews up on-the-grain but ends up being on-the-bias. Love it.