Simple Tops For Fall – New Look 6108 Pattern Review

Do you ever buy fabric for a purpose, then change your mind, then go back to your original idea, and then change your mind, and then put it away and let it sit for a while?  I won’t lie, I do.  Last year, I intended to use this fabric to newlook-sportswear-pattern-6108-envelope-frontmake pants for a dance competition, but later nixed the idea and set the fabric aside in my stash for a later time.  Since I’m currently in stash busting mode, I pulled it out and put it to work.  So now I have two purple and silver shimmery tops from New Look 6108.

I picked up this pattern last year as well, but never got around to trying it out.  I made a size 4 in View A and View B.  The instructions were easy to follow but my copy had some printed mistakes.

View A: #7 says to stitch 1/4″ away from the edge and 1/4″ below the just stitched line. That didn’t make sense to me, since that would put it on the edge of the fabric, so instead I stitched  1/4″ above the first stitched line. Maybe if you’re using a zigzag stitch, that might make sense, however I straight stitched the entire shirt.

View B,C: #5 says for View C, but gives directions for twisting the shoulders of View B. It also says twist two times, but that only works if you consider 1 twist = 180 degrees. I tried it with two full 360 degree twists and it would not have looked like the pattern drawing or envelope picture.

I also found both patterns to be rather short on length, so instead of using the drafted depth of hems marked on the patterns,  I used narrow hems instead.

Either way, I like them both and will most likely make them again.  Happy Sewing! 🙂

From Scraps to a Shirt – McCalls 7356 Pattern Review

When  McCalls 7356 was released, I saw it and thought it would be interesting, especially in the C m7356and D views.  But I didn’t want to go buy fun and interesting fabric for it without a muslin first.  Besides, I’m also on a self-imposed “use your stash” challenge, so I decided to go through it and see what scraps I had that might be large enough to fit the bill.  Earlier this year I had to purchase two yards of red satin for the Fourth of July dress (since I went to Hancock Fabrics during their liquidation sale).  I managed to eke View A and the godets for View B (just in case) out of the remaining scraps from that dress.  I briefly contemplated using the leftover plaid from the Fourth of July dress as the contrast panels and ties as well, but decided that may be a bit much. Self editing is always a good idea! 🙂  I also used the red satin as the pockets and back pocket lining for the jeans below, but that will be for another blog post. 🙂

As a pattern review, I made a Size 8, in View A, out of Red Shantung Satin.  I omitted the piping and sleeves.   I also used the godets from View B as well, but they didn’t drape well once sewn, so I removed them.  The pattern has wide facings for the V-neck and the armholes.  I used them initially, but they were bulky and cumbersome.  This weekend I decided that the armhole facings had to go and I ripped them off ( 🙂 literally) and replaced them with 7/8 inch single fold bias binding that was leftover from a previous project.  It feels and looks better, on the hanger and on the body.  I also did not use the hem depth specified on the pattern and simply finished the edge and turned it under by 3/8 of an inch.


I would make it again in the future, but with several modifications.  So, I’m glad that I made a muslin first. I would lower the V neck a little more, lengthen the top to a more visually pleasing length for my height, and use bias binding again for the armholes and possibly the neckline. I would also try to add the godets and ties if I were to use a much lighter weight fabric.


Excuse Me, Your Back Is Showing – McCalls 7191 Pattern Review

I was looking through patterns for a top that I could possibly wear for dance competitions this summer, and came across McCalls 7191.  It seems I can’t resist a V-neck pattern.  My mom gifted a blue and green lightweight woven to me from her stash (Why she had polyester in there? I don’t know, because she’s a cotton girl from way back! But, I got more pretties from her that you will see soon, so no complaints here 🙂 !) that I thought was perfect for it, so I got to work.

As a pattern review, this one is described as “semi-fitted, pullover tops have self-lined yoke back, back hemline variations, V-neckline, French darts and narrow hem.”  I used a size 6 and made View A.  The instructions were easy to follow, and the only change I made was instead of slipstitching the yoke per the instructions, I stitched the neckline in one pass, so the raw edge lays between the overlay and yoke unseen when worn.  As a note, there are four layers of fabric across your upper back when doing view A.  Also the muslin showed me the arm holes would probably be too small.  To accommodate that issue, I cut extra length on the armhole facings and deepened the armholes to taste after it was put together before applying the facings.
I like this top and will sew it again.  On the next iteration, I will alter the pattern to deepen the armholes, lower the neckline slightly, rotate the bust darts down slightly, and possibly lower the overlay in back. It conceals the bra completely while standing still but not necessarily while moving. 🙂  Not truly bothersome for me, but if it can be fixed, why not?  🙂

A Simple White Blouse – Simplicity 1104 Pattern Review

I wanted a simple white top to wear to work and possibly wear to a dance competition.   I thought the Simplicity pattern 1104 might fit the bill, since I liked the shaping and the simplicity of the design.  I had just enough white Shantung Satin left over from a previous project, so it was meant to be.  As a pattern review, I used the the size 8 based on the finished garment measurements.

It looks like the picture on the envelope, sans the contrasting bias strip.  I was initially going to use black satin for that, but decided that it would be more versatile to forgo adding another color.  The instructions were easy to follow, but I remember going back to read the pleating section again to make sure I was doing it properly.  I lined it with leftover white Sassy Satin from another project.

I will most likely make this again, and possibly the dress version.  I actually made this top some time ago, but was undecided as to whether I wanted to move the zipper from the back to the side. Why? Because I can zip it fine, but for some reason I can not reach around enough to unzip it without help or a pair of pliers.  It wasn’t worth the time and effort to me to unpick the seams and all the understitching in the armhole, and my fabric and lining like to fray.  So, I will either be asking for help, or using pliers.  On the next version I may use a shorter zipper and a button at the top for a slight keyhole look at the back.

Another Drape Top for Work – Burda 6838 Pattern Review

100_3317_FotorI always get stopped by these drape top patterns, it seems I just can’t pass them up.  I’ve already done two, and I have two more that I haven’t even tried yet.  You will see them in a soonish, one of these days, as soon as some fabric jumps out at me, kind of timeframe.  So here we go, I managed to use a piece from my stash that I picked up from the Hancock Fabrics remnant bin, so I only had a yard.  It’s still warm in Louisiana though, so who needs sleeves?  (As I say that, we won’t discuss how I bought two similar but different velvets yesterday, and made a velvet dress from my stash on Saturday.  We’ll call it winter prep!)  Anyway, say hello to Burda 6838!

As a sewing pattern review, I made View A in the smallest size, a 10.  It is definitely hip length on me, and I’m 5’8.  The instructions were easy to follow, I just didn’t like when I got to the first set that said to handsew.  Like a good girl, I did it anyway.  It wasn’t too much and went by quickly.  I used a very soft, silky, dusty rose jersey that feels great to wear.  I did not add the sleeves, as discussed above and used Steam-A-Seam on the armholes for a clean finish.

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Oh and I finally broke out the twin needle on my machine and per the instructions stitched the back hem with it.  And then unpicked it, and stitched it again, and unpicked it, and stitched it again, and unpicked it  Then I did as I should have done initially and tested the twin needle on scrap fabric until I figured out exactly how much paper I needed to stabilize the jersey for a clean stitch. Once I learned it needed at least 4 layers of the paper i had on hand, I stitched it cleanly for the fourth and final time.  As a side note, it took longer to mess it up and unpick it three times, than it did to use the scrap fabric to test several times and then do it well.  (You’ll be happy to know that I learned my lesson this time.  On the velvet dress, I used the scrap fabric to test first and then stitched it up, no stabilizer required and no problems).

I would recommend this pattern, I like this top, it’s flattering and simple. A co-worker told me this morning, “You should make more of those.. no, really!”  I consider that a win.100_3320_Fotor

It’s A Shirt Not A Dress – New Look 6345 Pattern Review

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I saw this pattern and thought it would be a flattering style.  I made it in an afternoon, and wore it that night to a West Coast Swing social dance.  I was excited that I may have found a good pattern for a competition shirt. This is Louisiana, and whether it’s night or not, it’s hot, so I wore it with shorts. Several people told me it looked quite “pin-up” and that it was a pretty dress.  I didn’t think anything of them referring to it as a dress and not a top or shirt.  I should have paid more attention because a few of them must not have been able to see my shorts, initially. After a dance with a leader who spun me like a top, Someone came up to me and told me that it came up while I was spinning and i shouldn’t wear a dress like that to dance.  When I replied that it’s a shirt, not a dress, I was told, “Oh, so that’s why you’re wearing shorts.”  Conversations that make you go, hmmmm…

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Anyway, shorts don’t fit our business dress code but white pants do, so laundry and a week later, here it is for everyone to see.  As a pattern review, I made View B without using a contrast fabric in the smallest size.  This blue and white polka dot cotton was on sale and purchased for something else, so the zipper is 2 inches shorter than the envelope suggests, but that didn’t affect the outcome. I did unintentionally end up with the zipper on the right side. Oops lol, but I like the crossover front and the silhouette. I measured the pattern for the tunic version (View A) and it’s four inches longer, so a shorter person may be able to get away with it as a dress.  The smallest size can accommodate more than I have in the bust area, but I may alter that on another version.  Hope you like it, now I’m going to leave you with the back view of my pretty gathers and crisp hem  🙂

I Like Drapey Tops So I Made Another One – Simplicity 1588 Pattern Review



I’m going to preface this post by saying, I know patterns have recommended fabrics.  They are clearly printed on the back of the envelope. I do read them, however sometimes I ignore them :).  Sometimes this method works out quite well and sometimes this method creates garments either impossible, or darn difficult to get into and out of.  But….if I can get in and out of it, I consider it a success and carry on lol. For this one, I could get in and out of it so, Yay! 🙂  If you don’t want to be very careful when putting this on, don’t do what I did. 🙂

As for what I did, Simplicity 1588 has a wrap front top pattern sized for stretch knits only.  I ignored that instruction and made one out of a nonstretch chiffon left over from the Bernina 780 pattern wrap dress feature in my post here. I also did not use bias tape for the armholes.  I used the fabric selvage as the front edge (which you don’t see as it’s part of the drape), and  narrowed hemmed everything that wasn’t french seamed.  I wasn’t sure it would work out, but it did. This was the first iteration, and I didn’t make a muslin first, so I will probably lengthen the top the next go round.  I also didn’t feel like changing into a pink bra so I put on a tank top underneath for coverage.  Generally speaking, I prefer nonstretch fabrics to knits and will most likely make this again this way.