McCalls 7046 – rouched t-shirt

Let me just say, I love this top. 

The envelope does not do the pattern any justice. But I know I like this silhouette for a top, I still wear my old maternity shirts from 4 years ago. 

Not much to say. I made view A stabilized the shoulders with stay tape. I used a cotton Lycra knit from joanns. The only thing wonky with this pattern is the flutter sleeves. They look weird when you raise your arms. You can see all the seams. Might try to find a fix for this. Suggestions welcome. 

But for an everyday shirt (I work from home) this is great. 



McCalls 5974 – a faux wrap dress. 

Hi! Well, I have quite a backlog of projects to post. Better late then never, right?  First up is McCalls 5974. 

I made view C with the short sleeves. I used a mid weight cotton jersey. I also lined the skirt front and the entire back piece. I sewed a size 14 at bust grading to 18 at hips, but ended up taking an inch off each side. I also lengthened the tie so I could wrap it around like is shown on the cover model. 

I like Palmer/pletch patterns for the multiple cup sizes. I did modify the faux wrap neckline as shown below:

This little bit help it from being too low cut on me. I managed to stretch out the neckline,I stitched clear elastic to it. I had to turn it a second time and stitch to fix the neck. I also need to tack the wrap part closed. 

I really like this dress, it is a good all occasion dress – a wardrobe staple. 


City Girl Frock Second Chance

So, I sewed the dress length version using the correct grain of this strange sweater fabric from Joann’s. Verdict, I love this dress but hate the pattern drafting. I encountered the same problems from my previous post when I made the top. The collar piece is like 10 inches too long and is way larger than the neckline. I double check the pattern and I did not make a mistake. I also used knit stay tape on the neckline and all bias edges, stabilized the shoulder seam with woven bias, and stay stitched neckline after cutting my fabric.  I lengthened the sleeves as well. 

I do love the design, and really need a sweater dress like this.  But I am done and moving on. 

I purchased a bunch of fabric using my Xmas gift certificates.  I am trying to decide what to see next. I need warm pants and more long sleeve warm things. Maybe I will make a pant length version of the love notions summer caye shorts/culottes.  Not sure what fabric to use as I want warm pants but the pattern calls for flowy fabric. I found somebody who used chambray. Maybe that will work? 

I also got the Colette moneta pattern kit during craftsy’s clearance sale. And I have the love notions trendy tunic pattern all cut and ready to start. I can’t decide what to tackle next?  

Hope your new year is off to a great start. 


The See Kate sew – city girl top and frock debacle. 

I am trying to not buy patterns unless I really know they fit in with my lifestyle and I will actually wear them. When I first started sewing, I was buying those 40’s and 60’s reproduction prints, all kinds of dresses- things I would never in a million years actually wear. I am a tshirt and pants gal, though I do like sun dresses in summer. So I happily plunked down money for the city girl top:

And bought some sweater knit from joanns (I’ll circle back round to this issue in a bit). I have a bone to pick with this pattern – there is not one freaking notch anywhere on this entire pattern. Now, I know how to figure it out, but if you were new to sewing, this would make it more challenging.  Notches are really needed to ensure you have gathered the front equally on both sides of center front. No notch at top of sleeve head to align with shoulder seam, both of which would have been nice. If I am downloading a free pattern, I can expect to put some work in on it. But, I am paying for a professional pattern and this was far from it. There is no fabric layout for cutting your pieces!  I barely had enough fabric and had to cut the sleeves on the cross grain to make them fit. So my sleeves are not stretchy in the right direction.  A layout diagram would have been very helpful. There is no mention of stay stitching, no reinforcing shoulder seam with stay tape/ clear elastic, none of the details I see on every other pattern. Also, I had to narrow the cowl piece by a good 6 inches to get it to fit the neckline. It was way too long. Another gripe is that it does not come with long sleeves. I drafted them, but really how hard would it have been to include them.  All said though, I love this top:

Next time I will not interface the cowl, totally unnecessary unless you are dealing with a thin knit. I also picked a length inbetween the top and tunic and graded from a medium at the bust to a large at the waist/hips. I am going to make this again, I really do like it. 
The fabric!  I still make novice mistakes. I saw this sweater knit and it fades from light to dark so I bought the orange/red and black/grey color ways specifically for this pattern.  But the fade runs with the grain, so if I wanted the top to be lighter by the shoulder and get darker toward the hem, I had to cut perpendicular to the selvage. This meant no stretch. Ugh, I would have passed on this fabric had I noticed that. Who wants fading around a top, it just looks like you got badly died fabric!  For the grey to black one, I am just going to cut the normal way parallel to the grain and see how that looks. I need the stretch in my arms!  

I have a lot of unblogged projects to catch up on!  I hope everybody had a great Christmas and a happy new year!

  • Kelly

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Lottie blouse and Burda 6580

My pattern finally arrived from across the pond. Since I am beginning to know my measurements and size in patterns better, I decided to just sew up a 12 at the bust and a 14 for the waist and hips. The waist and hips sizing on the chart matches my measurements exactly.  I altered the neckline and traced the size 8 keyhole. I was afraid the size 12 keyhole came down too low. I am an A cup and I think things end up sitting even lower on my chest than they would on a more well endowed lady… I also ended up clipping th curve of the keyhole so it wasn’t a corner, but more of a curve. 

I dipped my toe into French seams as I was following a sew along by queen of darts:

I did the shoulders as French seams, but followed the pattern for flat sleeve insertion which meant no French seems on the side seams. The sew along also shows a much better way to attach the collar than the pattern instructions have. Very clean finish. Verdict – I love this blouse. 

I wore it to a meeting and want to make more. I used a cotton lawn, so this one had more body then say a challis. But a challis one is next in my cue.  Right after I finish Burda 6580 

I have view A almost all cut out. The front is a single price cut on the bias. This is my first bias cut garmet. Kind of struggling with how to stay stitch this rayon challis. By machine? Will that stretch it out? By hand?  

Keep sewing! 

Kwik Sew 4171

Hello!  I am knee deep in K4171.  They lie… This is not a ‘kwik’ sew. I am making view a, with neck and arm bands. They have you cut a ~6 inch piece of elastic and sew it while stretching across the back of the bodice. This seems like too much stress for a single layer of jersey to support, so I used knit interfacing to reinforce it. However, they should not have you cut the elastic to size!  When you get 3/4 of the way down, it becomes impossible to stretch the tiny bit of elastic sticking out from in front of the presser foot. So one side is more shirred.  They should have you cut a longer piece, and just mark with a pen where it needs to be stretched to.  Then cut off the excess elastic. 

See that last little 2 inches on the left in the above photo, no shirring.  Grrrr.  

I will finish this up tomorrow. I need to walk away. The hemming on this beast will be a chore. 

 Hmmm, I am already mentally moving on to my next project: the City Girl Frock and Top by See Kate Sew. I scored some nice thick sweater knit in an ombré pattern. I bought  black/grey and red/orange yardage of these. One for a dress version and one for the top. 

I also ordered the Lottie Blouse from Simple Sew? Magazine (a UK publication).  At my job, 95% of the time I dress ultra casual. I do field work and often need to wear clothes that will get ruined. But I was asked to attend a meeting with elected officials last week, and freaked out after realizing I have no nice clothes!  

Luckily, that meeting was postponed giving me time to sew some respectable office clothes. I will start with the Lottie blouse and maybe the included skirt. I will straighten it to a straight skirt, as I am a pear shap and pencil skirts do not make me feel great to wear. 

Does anybody have any good office wear patterns they love?  

Moana dress, Papercut Patterns 

As soon as I saw the ‘ahoy’ collection from Papercut Patterns, I knew I had to have the moana dress and the adrift dress. I have never worked with Papercut Patterns before so I was unsure of how they would fit me. So, I decided to start with the moana in the top version.  I looked around the interwebs and Saw that this top is designed to show some midriff. My 41-year old self is not down with that. So, I lengthened the top 6-inches (I am 5’8″) and hoped for the best. As I was cutting the fabric, I was wondering what I had been thinking. This top was going to look horrible on my pear-shaped self. But, since the fabric I was using was from the clearance section of joanns (a remnant of Gertie rayon challis) I threw caution to the wind and pressed on. 

Let me tell you, I love this top. I finished it Saturday morning and wore it that afternoon to a birthday party. 

The extra 6-inches did the trick, no midriff baring incidents to report.  I made a small in the bust grading to between the large and X-large at the waist. I used my serger and did a rolled hem on the ruffle. I used wooly nylon in the upper and lower loopers. This was the first time I have ever done that, it turned out really nice. 

Next I will be making the dress version.

Here is the link In case you want to check out the pattern.