A Top That Could Go to a Party

Last week, I had the pleasure of singing at a holiday event in the beautifully decorated Pittock mansion here in Portland. It put me in a holiday mood, so much so, one of my requirements of any sewing project this month is, ‘can it go to a party?’ I can happily answer ‘yes’ for this make. This top meets all of the requirements.

First, we have statement sleeves, always a conversation starter, if nothing else!

IMG_5617 2Second – – we have a stretchy knit! One can eat and drink as the mood strikes, without a second thought!

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Third, the top can be dressed up and worn with black pants or a lacy skirt.

I love this new pattern; McCall’s 7660.

It has lots of versions, but I chose the statement sleeve version for both makes. And, as luck would have it, the sleeves were the trickest part of this make. There is alot of fabric in the balloon on these sleeves. It must be gathered together at the bottom, then sewn into the cuff. So much fabric in the balloon and a very small cuff…need I say more? I had to unpick one of the sleeves to get it right (not fun when you’re working with knit).  I love the final result though. This task would be less challenging with a lighter weight knit, but I wanted a heavy, cozy knit, so it’s my own fault…

The top is designed to be loosefitting so the fit is easy.  It’s a pullover top too,  so a very stretchy knit is required to get that raised collar over your head.  Both of my fabrics are from Fabric Depot. The fit of this pattern was really spot on for me. I cut the smallest size and it fit perfectly, no adjustments in the shoulders or neck.

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IMG_5151I love both tops, and the fit and design of this pattern.  I think the striped version is probably my favorite, because I love the color and texture of the knit, but I do like the bigger bell on the white version…I think it looks dressier. Opinions welcome!

The Holiday season is off to a roaring start here, and I’m glad to have a couple of cute, comfy tops to wear to informal gatherings of friends. Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

About the Jacket my Husband Hates

 

IMG_5308Hi All – – My husband is usually quite generous with compliments when I finish a make. But this coat got a strong, very negative reaction out of him! It caught me so off guard, I had to run to my girlfriends for reassurance. Yes, this coat isn’t the classic style I usually gravitate to, but I can’t always wear or sew the same old thing, am I right? That’s why I was drawn to this coat’s interesting hemline, and of course, that’s the detail, that makes my husband squirm.  IMG_5481It reminds me a bit of this Burberry wrap coat I saw on line.

 

 

3f6f53dc9543ab57b9f395117c3a8a2ef7b45d0cOf course, the challenge of this make was the plaid matching, made even more so by the fact that I have not changed my ways when it comes to buying fabric. I tend to buy on the short side….and that’s really crazy when the fabric is a plaid. When will I learn? Because I was short on fabric, I had some panicky moments as I tried to get the sleeve plaid to match the bodice plaid, but eventually, it worked. And let me tell you, after all that work, there’s no way I’m going to let one man’s opinion keep me from wearing this coat! Ha!

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The pattern is Vogue, 9037, a double breasted style. The lovely wool is from the Mill End Store here in Portland. They have a fabulous wool selection…I feel so lucky to live close to them! The wool is a loose weave so I decided to line it with silk. This makes the coat so yummy to slip into. The pattern is easy to fit and sew. It doesn’t have darts or a complicated collar, and the shape is created by long tucks in the front and back bodice.

The pattern is out of print now…which is a shame if you ask me. This pattern has three easy collar choices and it’s a dramatic style so why not keep it around forever? I’m not sure how they decide when a pattern goes out of print, but some of the decisions completely baffle me. In this case, I’m not sure the envelope illustration did it justice, so maybe folks didn’t buy it? Who knows…

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Okay, so the style isn’t a classic, but it is fun, don’t you think? Maybe the shaped hem and interesting collar make this coat qualify as a…. statement piece?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

‘Tis the Season for Flannel

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Hi All! I’ve been traveling on the East Coast this week, where the below freezing temperatures have encouraged me to think about the benefits of a wardrobe dominated by flannel.  It’s certainly not a bad thing as there’s nothing more comfortable to wear! This plaid flannel has been hiding in my stash for a couple of years. I found it when I was putting away my lightweight warm weather fabrics in favor of heavier fall and winter options. I had exactly a yard and a half and it was only 45″ wide. What to do….

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Even though it’s flannel, the turquoise plaid made me think of a top with feminine details like bell sleeves so I went to my pattern stash to find a tried and true pattern, McCall’s 7542 (two other versions made here ). It has a number of sleeve options, none of them quite right for a cozy fall/winter top.

 

So, I went for View D, but decided I needed long sleeves. To do that, I lengthened the sleeve by 4″ before attaching the bell. To make the bell a bit more dramatic, I increased the width to ten inches.

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I do love this McCall’s pattern, but have never been wild about the boxy shape with my waistless figure. So, I cut the longer length option on the bodice, then widened it by four inches at the waist. That allowed me some room to insert two six-inch long pinch pleats on either side of the waist. I like this look because it pulls that boxy bodice in a bit, giving the illusion of a waist. To further accentuate it, I inserted a tie at the side seam right at the waist. I’m such a fan of adding in ties at the side seam…they never get lost!

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This was a fun, easy sew, because there isn’t a zipper or buttons. The simple neck opening is fastened with a hook and eye.

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I love my new flannel top, and know it will just get softer and cozier as I wash and wear it. Flannel is such a great fabric and it’s nice to find another other way to have it in my wardrobe besides the classic button down shirt. I have a few more pieces of plaid flannel in my stash and I’d love some ideas of what to do with them.What are you sewing with flannel these days?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

Four Helmi shirts For TNT Month

 

Hi All – -It’s TNT month over on the Sewcialists Blog and I’ve written a post over there about one of my favorite TNT’s, the Helmi shirt/tunic from Named patterns.  I love this pattern so much, I’ve made four versions!

Here’s the link to my post about the lovely Helmi shirt! I’m so glad to have the opportunity to share it through this month-long Sewcialist event. Come on over and take a look at all the great posts about TNTs this month on the blog and on Instagram Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

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