My Sew-Sew Life: 1+1=1 or Not

Welcome to my blog today. As the title has hinted, this is another sewing story. During this summer, two of the pieces I’ve sewn for myself are a new pair of palazzo pants and a knit dolmen sleeve top. These two pieces are from different patterns and not especially meant to go with each other but together I think they make a good team.

I’m pretty excited about these two pieces and their versatility.

The Palazzo Pants-Pattern & Fabric

My palazzo pants are from a TAT (tried and true);Vogue 1168. Over the years, I’ve made three pairs of pants from this pattern; two for me and one for my daughter Rachelle. Because of the zipper, I would rate this pattern as an advance beginner. Everything else was easy.

I absolutely love palazzo pants! Have you tried them? With the right type of fabric they can be elegant and move wonderfully when you walk. Mine are made in a 2 way stretch polyester designed by Nicole Miller for Joanne’s Fabric. As I remember, she did this collaboration three or four years ago. I’ve made three pieces from this collection and wish she was still designing fabric because everything she did was beautiful.The first  piece that I made using her designs is found HERE.

Some of her fabric can still be found on ESTY and eBay; just search Nicole Miller fabric. I think any silky or drapy fabric does well with a   palazzo  style design. The pattern recommends Charmeause or Crepe Backed Satin which makes for a pretty fancy pair of pants and I didn’t want that. As long as you fabric has some drape, I think you would be fine. But, now I’m wondering how they would move in a cotton or cotton/linen mix.

This is a great summer casual and semi-dress up pant. For this style, I picked my Alvöru sleeveless ruffled top made from 48% Outlast® viscose, 48% Supima cotton, 4% spandex, which makes for a super summer cool top. FYI-this top is not on sale for $20!  I then added all silver accessories.
For accessories I have my metallic Michael Kors bag, my silver Karen Scott sandals (these two have become my summer staple), and a resin bracelet created by my daughter Rachelle .

This pattern has been long discontinued but it can still be found on eBay and ETSY for under $10. I originally bought the pattern because of the top, but have never gotten around to making it….awwww, someday!


My favorite part of the pants is the comfortable wide waist yoke which you can’t usually see when I’m wearing them. Also, there is a zipper in the back and I used an invisible zipper.


Other Makes


My first make using Vogue 1168. These black pants are a closet staple! I used Peachskin polyester from Joanne’s fabric and have worn them so much. I first talk about them HERE and give a small overview of the history of palazzo pants in American fashion.


The second pair I made was for Rachelle, this time in off white Peachskin from Joanne’s fabric. The abstract overlay you see was printed on Spoonflower using her artwork as a graphic.  

If you want unique fabric or have a design you want to create, Spoonflower is the place to go.

Other Pattern Options

For the beginner, there is Simplicity 8131. This would be super conformable to wear because it has an elastic waist.

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 11.02.01 AM

Already have a pants pattern that is tried and true? Kim Dave shows how to create Palazzo pants from a pattern you already have.


Daughter’s of Style, an Indie pattern maker has this design, which I am in love. It features pockets, front pleats and the wide waist band.

I don’t think I would be wearing this kind of shirt with it LOL!
The Dolmen Sleeve Knit Top

My top is from Vogue 1567, which also has a skirt that I am definitely also making.

This top is easy to wear and a fairly simple sew (beginner level) with a self neckline facing. However, in the end, because of it’s almost off the shoulder style, I had to make major pattern adjustments.  I did use my serger for some seams but that would not be necessary. I’ve made plenty of stretch knit garments long before I had a serger.

The Fabric

This pattern calls for a 2-way stretch with a 50% cross grain stretch.

The fabric I chose was  Ken-Dor’s T7880 – Tencel™ Organic Cotton Jersey, which is 70% Lyocell (Tencel™), 30% Organic Cotton.  I love Ken-Dor fabric because, “Ken-Dor takes great pride in specializing in environmentally & socially responsible knit and woven textiles and strives to ensure that partner mills adhere to multiple global standards of environmental and social compliance.”

Ken-Dor does not sell directly to consumers. I use the The Sourcing District but there is a five yard minimum on fabric orders. My five yards are gone already.

How I Have Worn It

Below you see one of my usual tricks.  I’ve taken a thick hair band and gathered  up a bit of my top at the bottom. I like the asymmetrical look this creates and use this technique quite a lot with my knit tops.

A great casual top, I paired it with my checked cotton pants, a vintage Rodo straw bag and my Vince Camutto slip-ons. This is a quick and easy outfit, if I want to look good and don’t want to think what I have to wear.                                                                                                                     If I had known how much I have come to love these shoes, i think I would have ordered two pairs. You can’t get anything like them now.

My back neckline is slightly different than the patterns. More about that later.


My back neckline is slightly different than the patterns. More about that later in the next section.

This just seemed the perfect outfit to pop on a hat. Darcy says Hi!


The Pattern


I already have my fabric for the skirt.

The Big Uh-Oh (but I did get a new cami out of it)

Now on to my tale of woe! But, you know what they say, “if you’re given lemons, make lemonade,” and I think that is what I have done.


Yes, you have seen this photo before. It’s from my last post.

As I mentioned earlier, my neckline is different. From the pattern photo, I felt the neckline might not work for me.  To be physically comfortable, I need to wear a full support bra. That has just been a fact of my life-forever! I can wear a halter bra but that strap around my neck is not  comfortable (but, I can do it for a few hours) and have never felt secure in strapless bras.  It does limit some styles I can wear, but I’ve lived with this for decades and just work around it.

With new untried  patterns, I usually made a practice piece for fit (called a muslin). For this top I needed some cheap knit, which i didn’t have. This sew happened during late May when we weren’t going anywhere because of  Covid-19 so I decided to use a piece of woven fabric, thinking it might give me  close enough accuracy. Wrong! My muslin told me the neckline was  OK.  I cut the top, sewed it up  and was dismayed when I tried it on. The neckline was much wider in the knit! With the way the pattern was designed, there was no way to alter it. I just had to scrap the whole thing!

I went back and redrafted the pattern’s neckline to create a narrower neckline and fortunately had just enough knit to cut a new top.

That wasted top gnawed at me and I had to find a way to use that fabric. That is when I remembered an old pattern I had  for the 70’s. It had a perfect cami top and I had made it before-perfect match! Now, I’m a happy camper because I will wear both tops a lot.

All Together Now

And, finally the two pieces together…or the 1+1=1

Vintage chain belt and a second hand Alfani patent leather clutch ; both from eBay.

I love these wide  legs! They are retro, elegant and cool all at the same time.  It surprises me  that I’ve only made two pairs of these pants for myself.


I purchased my Marc Fisher cork platform sandals new this summer.

That’s the end of this sewing and style tale. I hope you have enjoyed this creative journey of mine. I’m always interested in how many of my readers have sewn during sometime in their life. Did you take that beginning Home Economics course that a lot of us did? I still have the wrap around skirt that I made in 8th grade! The fabric pattern is of questionable taste but it’s fun to get out and have a chuckle over.

If you ever want to dip your toes into this sewing pond, I have to recommend Anita by Design’s YouTube channel. She’s a great teacher and has beginning sewing lessons where she takes you from creating skirts, tops and finally a dress.

Independent Pattern Companies

I am unabashedly plugging my newest page. There was a time when we could get Vogue patterns quite regularly for $6.00 from their website but I think those days are pretty much over. This is bad and good. The bad is that I probably won’t be getting to many more patterns from what has been my favorite pattern company since high school. I even made my senior prom dress from a Vogue!  However, the good is that it has made me seriously explore indie patterns and I have found some amazing designers! So much so, that I now have a extensive source list of Indie patterns.

OK, that was the shameless plug!

Indie patterns are  PDFs (sometimes for a higher price you can get a paper pattern). You can print them from home (and do a lot of taping together) or send a file copy to a print shop and have your pattern printed in one piece. I don’t mind the taping but I know that my daughter Michelle has taken the A0 file to her local print shop to have them printed but she now also prefers to print and tape at home too.

Being able to download PDFs means, I can use designers from around the world. It has been so much fun to see what is going on in Denmark, France, Australian and Germany, etc. I’ve always admired Name Patterns from Denmark, but really hadn’t expanded my knowledge of to many other designers. I now have 71 designers on my list! These designs run from super simple for absolute beginners, to advanced and even zero waste designs! Honestly, I feel better putting money directly in the hands of a talented entrepreneur.

OK, that’s it for today.

Take care and stay safe,


39 thoughts on “My Sew-Sew Life: 1+1=1 or Not

  1. Oh, I LOVE palazzo pants and yours look great. I have a fair number in my closet and they are some of my favorite things.

    I used to sew everything. I grew up sewing can’t remember when I didn’t know how. Haven’t done nearly as much in later years, but need to get back to it.

    I enjoy your sewing stories, and your finished products.
    Grace & Peace,Iris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Iris, me too!!! I want to make a cotton pair for next summer. I’m so happy you enjoy my sewing stories. I think I now have a creative blended blog: a little just style, a little sewing and someday I’m going to get a knitting story on here. Take care! XOXO Terri


  2. There is an advantage to being able to download patterns. I do the same thing on Ravelry with knitted patterns!!
    I have just started wearing palazzo pants and LOVE them. Especially in this AZ heat!! I may one of these days use my sewing machine to make a clothing item instead of just altering them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bought Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heels book of of Ralvery in a pdf and have a whole library of knit patterns too. It just hard not to download something I like, especially if it’s free. Take care Jodie-I think I’m have enough to participate in the chic challenge this week-fingers crossed! Take care, XOXO Terri


  3. What a great job you did once again, Terry! I absolutely love these pants and how you styled them. I think they are quite versatile. From a posh evening out to a garden party – they can be your companion. You can be very proud of yourself!
    Stay safe,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Caz and thank you for dropping by. You are another palazzo fan! I think people should a least try a pair on to see how they look and feel because until you do, you have no idea if you could wear them. And you are right, they are so comfy! If I was making a pair for home, I would just put elastic in the waist and they would be even more comfortable. Do you sew? Take care, Terri

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by June. I do think they are definitely a matter of taste and there is a lot of width there at the bottom, that’s for sure. For myself, I will probably be making more sometime in the future but am going to enjoy these a lot before I do. Take care, Terri

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I do show a lot of black and white on here don’t I? And I just realized that my next blog is going to be black and white too! I guess I am pretty comfortable wearing that combination with just a tad bit of color.
      Thank you for visiting me. I appreciate it.


    1. Hi, Mireille-yes, I really like wide legs too if the fabric is thinner so they move when you walk. I’ve heard the comment you made about sewing quite a few times. I think I’ll start to put Anita’s link at the end of my sewing stories. Maybe folks just don’t know where to go. My oldest daughter never wanted to learn how to sew until long after she left home. Five years ago she took an online course and now out sews me!


  4. How fabulously skilled and talented Terri. My sister is an army wife and during one of her husband’s deployment’s she learned to sew. It is a lost art for sure and I’m apart of that number that never learned. Anyway, your wide-leg pants came out beautifully – and your cammi top as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Chrissy
      I’m so happy to hear that your sister took on learning to sew. If sewing had become a dead art, I am certain that the millennial “sewists” are busy to revive it. They have completely changed the sewing community and I think for the better. A big thank you for dropping by and joining the conversation. I love comments and meeting new people. Take care, Terri


  5. I love your sewing stories. I’m going to check out the fabric you mentioned (Nicole Miller & Ken Dor) I haven’t used knit much, but wouldn’t mind adding some to the rotation. For my full leg pants, I used McCalls 7164 (I bought it for the tiered view, but haven’t made that one, yet) and used a stiff cotton which seems to be okay.

    I really love the long sleeved top that you ended up remaking–it was worth it–glad you had spare fabric!


    1. I looked that McCalls up. I’ve never seen anything like those tiered pants and hope you make them.

      The Nicole Miller pieces you find seem to be pretty expensive to me, but I did get mine off the sale table at Joannes.

      Ken-Dor makes fantastic fabric but you have to get it through The Sourcing District and the minimum of any one fabric is five yards. That’s a lot of fabric. Follow them on IG and you will get an idea of what they carry.
      I know a few designers up in KC and that is how I found out about Jay (founder and head fabric guy). He says in one of his videos that Ken-Dor is one of the top selling fabrics in the US and I think it’s because of so many of the independent designers wanting to go ethical.


    1. I found out after the fact that Joannes had them on sale for $5.99 around the 22nd. I always find out too late! I usually always picked up one if I make the sale. Joannes is about 45 minutes away so it’s not somewhere I just casually drop by and check things out.
      I think I made the independent list really for myself. It’s just so much fun to get on there and easily cruise from shop to shop.


    1. You are welcome and thank you for dropping by. Well. at least you tried to sew and found out that it just wasn’t for you.
      But, I do think is an art that is finding its way back because of the Millennials. I think they are the reason why we see so many sewing videos on YouTube and all the independent pattern companies and online sewing communities. They just do things differently from someone from my generation and it is good for the movement.
      Thank you again for dropping by, I enjoyed linking up.


    1. Hello, thank you! I can divide my sewing into decades. I made pretty all of my clothes in my teens and twenties. I started sewing sporadically in my 30’s and not at all in my 40’s. I started up again in my late 50’s and have been doing it regularly since. So it has come and gone in and out of my life but I think it’s here to stay now.
      Thanks again for stopping by. I love having conversations with all of you. Take care, Terri


  6. I absolutely love palazzo pants. Not only are they incredibly comfortable (especially on a warmer day when you want that airflow), but they can be dressed up or dressed down depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing. That versatility is HUGE when you’re looking at adding items to your wardrobe, right? I have a black pair that I wear ALL. THE. TIME.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, thank you for dropping by and joining in our conversation. You and I are of one mind when it comes to palazzo pants. They are a joy to wear. I’m sure that these won’t be the last that I make and really want to try some in a linen/cotton fabric. Take care and hope you drop by again. Terri


  7. Terri, you are so talented! What great pieces. I love the palazzo pants and that print is magnificent. And the top is such a great wardrobe staple. And it is all made even better by the fact that you made it all yourself. I am really loving your wedge sandals, too! What fabulous outfits! Thanks for linking up with me.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Shelbee, Well. thank you-I have been sewing since middle school and that probably gives me a bit head start on someone just starting out. It’s just all about practice, I think. But sewing does serve a great creative outlet for me, that I will admit. And thank you for be ever faithful with your link-up. Heavens, how many years have you been doing this? Again, thank you for stopping by and joining my conversation on palazzo pants. XOXO Terri


    1. Hello, Emma Thank you for dropping by. That is a great print isn’t it. It plays tricks on the eyes because it always seems out of focus and I love that-sort of artsy! Thank you again for dropping by and being a part of my conversation!


    1. Hi, Ashley-Thank you for dropping by. I will agree that I delight when I find someone else who loves sewing. I’m finding that my blog has been transitioning to a half & half-half sewing and half styling. Take care, Terri


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.