Category Archives: McCall’s

Woven sweatshirt – McCall’s 7195

Either last year or the year before – 2020 is still a bit of a blur – this pattern caught my eye. A sweatshirt pattern for woven fabric? That might come in handy some day!

So, I’ve been going through my stash, clearing out fabrics I know I’ll never use and I came across this quite fun sheer fabric with raw-edge flowers loosely applied throughout. What was I ever thinking I’d make with this? Heaven only knows. It was in the donate pile when I remembered this pattern and thought this might be a fun thing to have in my wardrobe.

I made my usual adjustments (FBA and shorten sleeves by 1”) and also lowered the neckline by about 1.5”. I am not a fan of jewel necklines with my round face and short neck. Instead of ribbing at the neck, I used a binding. The requisite ribbing was used on the sleeves and hem.

My thought was to wear this over a white tank but, next time, I will underline the body instead. Turns out I am not a fan of layering! I still have quite a lot of this fabric so maybe I will remake it as the ribbing is also not as white as I would like but it was what I was able to get quickly online.

Because I planned on wearing it over a white tank, I bound the darts with white net. To prevent show-through elsewhere, I bound the seams with a nude net. The fabric actually behaved pretty well going through my 1” binding attachment.

Believe it or not, I found both at JoAnn Fabrics and they were perfect for this project and not horrible to work with. I also bought some white poly chiffon at JoAnn also thinking it would be okay for binding but it is just too horrible to be used for anything except maybe a Halloween costume – yes, it’s that gross – so out it goes.

I’m now working on another version of this pattern in a silk velvet devoré that has been in my stash for a very long time. I won’t kid you, it is not going together quickly as each seam must be hand basted because it simply refuses to behave, even with a walking foot. Hopefully, I will have enough time next week to finish it up as I think it would be nice to wear on thanksgiving with skinny black pants.

That’s all for today, have a lovely weekend, everyone and thanks for visiting!


Filed under Blouses and Tops, McCall's

The Year of the Jacket 2010 – in Review

I will probably finish one more jacket yet before the end of the year but I thought it would be fun to look back at what I have already completed. I know some people were concerned about joining the Stitcher’s Guild sew-along for 2011 because they thought they’d have to make 12 tailored, lined jackets – not so! While I love making them, they are not really wearable here during the warmer months. A jacket can be as complicated as a notch-collared style with welts and hand padstitching or as simple as a linen shirt jacket or jean jacket. There are no rules so join in – the more the merrier!


#1 McCall’s 5984


#2 McCall’s 5984


#3 Simplicity 2443


#4 Simplicity 2443 (modified)

#5 Simplicity 7715 (vintage)

#6 Simplicity 2443 (modified)


#7 McCall’s 5860


#8 McCall’s 5635 (modified)


#9 Simplicity 5440 (vintage, modified)

#10 Hot Patterns Riviera Blvd. Jacket


#11 Simplicity 4109


#12 Simplicity 2508

#13 Burda Style 10/2009 #109
duffle coat


Filed under Burda WOF, Hot Patterns, McCall's, Simplicity, Vintage Patterns, Year of the Jacket

The Anorak – Finished!

I love hanging a completed garment in my closet, don’t you? I’m really happy with the way this turned out although it is different from the vision I had in my mind. I was envisioning something more structured, with pockets. But, the fabric spoke to me and this is what it wanted to be.


You can see it’s quite shorter than it was this morning. Even the shorter length was quite long on me so I shortened it 2.5″. I also raised the waistline casing 1″. It was in the correct location for me to wear the jacket closed and tie the drawstring but I know I’ll never do that so I raised it to a pleasing location for wearing open.

Here’s a closeup of the buttons and the gunmetal cord tips.


And the sleeves, aye! I mentioned earlier that I removed 4″ from the width. I had already shortened them 1″ during tissue-fitting, which is a usual alteration for me. I ended up removing another 4″ in the length because I found the sleeves very long and blousy. They end right at my wrist now which is a good length since I’ll be pushing them up a little. I used 1″ elastic but felt something was missing. While I was having dinner, I came up with the idea of a little button tab. I like it, I think it adds a little something extra.


Well, I have poured myself a ginormous glass of wine and am ready to settle in to watch Mad Men. I’m not sure what I will work on tomorrow. I may just get a couple of things altered and cut, I’ll see what I feel like doing in the morning. TTFN!


Filed under McCall's, Year of the Jacket

The Anorak – Part II

It’s Day 1 of my mini Sewing Vacation, woohoo! Bryan is in Dallas and I am doing exactly what I said I’d be doing: spending the day in my jammies, sewing! I should get this anorak completed before I go to bed tonight. I swear, finishing all of the seams takes longer than the entire jacket itself! But, it’s well worth it.


I didn’t want any raw edges around the armscye so I decided to use double-fold binding instead of the HK finish. I trimmed off a scant 1/4″ from the seam allowances and ran it through.


It looks really nice and neat and was so easy. I love the way the shiny dupionni binding looks with the sueded silk/linen!


I also used the binder to make my own cording. Because this fabric is so “grabby” it would have been a nightmare to turn a bias tube and I didn’t have any charcoal drawcord in my stash. This techniqued worked really well so I’ll definitely use it again.


Here’s where I am so far. I still have to hem the jacket and finish the sleeves. The jacket looks really long but, I assure you, this is the shorter length! And the sleeves… Well, to be fair, they probably are perfect when using a blouseweight but they were way too wide for this fabric. I removed 4″ of width and they are still quite full. I’m unsure whether I will cuff or elasticate them so I’ll leave that until last.



Filed under Attachments, McCall's, Year of the Jacket

The Anorak – Part I

First, I’d like to thank all of you for making me feel so good about shopping my stash! My stash is huge (around 2,000 yards, I’m guessing – maybe more) because I love fabric. Love, love, love it! I’ve always been good about shopping my stash because sometimes it takes a few years to find just the right project for a treasured piece (I peruse my catalogue before beginning any project). It’s just more noticeable now because I haven’t been buying for the past few months as I am on a self-imposed buying moratorium until I find a job. When I do, watch out, because I sure do miss those lovely boxes waiting on my doorstep!

After looking through my patterns and my pattern magazines, I decided on McCall’s 5635. I liked the Princess lines, inseam pockets and button placket. I have to say, though, that I would give QC on this pattern a big fat D-. The printer and folder must have been acting up the day this pattern was made as I had large tears and a few printing “holidays”. Weird.


I remembered a short length of silver duppioni that I had distressed after seeing Pam’s distressed silk shirts. I had originally planned on making a shirt or lounge pants out of it but I don’t have enough yardage. I’ll be using this for the Hong Kong finish.


Look at all the goodies I found while shopping my Gigi Store this morning! This is why you need to have a stash. You never know when you’ll need some of the cool findings you come across in your travels.


Bryan has a football game in Dallas this weekend (at Cowboy Stadium – he is so excited!) so I had planned an all-sewing weekend. But, as luck would have it, I have to have some unexpected oral surgery this morning. Hopefully, the weekend won’t be a total loss!


Filed under McCall's, Year of the Jacket

McCall’s 6164 – another quickie!

I wanted to try out the gathered sleeve of View A before putting the pattern away. I was kind of hating it as I was sewing but after trying it on I changed my mind. Not that I want a bunch of these hanging in my closet but it does look pretty on. This sleeve takes a few more minutes than the draped one from View B but it’s still quick to make – about 2 hours start to finish (and that’s with me pausing a lot to watch McLeod’s Daughters!).


This fabric is a nice, weighty rayon/lycra from Gorgeous Fabrics that was such a pleasure to sew. The neckline was bound the same as before but you’ll notice that I widened it a bit. I used an old favorite – Kwik Sew 2694 – as a template. Actually, that’s a really nice thing to do for yourself. Use manila paper and trace off favorite necklines, pockets, collars, etc. You can then keep these handy (I have them all on a pattern hook) and won’t have to search through your paper patterns for the originals.


I like the fact that the sleeve has a band at the bottom but it would also be nice to leave that off, omit the elastic and use drawstrings to gather up the sleeve.


I’m not quite sure what’s next on my sewing agenda. I should probably get started on my next jacket but there are still so many things I want to make for summer, sigh.


Filed under McCall's

McCall’s 6164 – a quickie!

I am always in need of more casual knit tops – they wear out so quickly, don’t they? While I usually steer clear of anything that smacks of the 1980s, I was drawn to this pattern (views A and B, in particular) so I picked one up last week. I have been dying for a black/white striped top this summer but I thought that would really take this top all the way to New Wave so I resisted. Instead I used a rayon/lycra jersey that I bought from Textile Studios ages ago. This print is kind of sweet so it’s a nice contrast to the crazy sleeves. The color is more of a blush than the light pink in some of the photos.


This top is really quick and easy to put together. I had to laugh because the pattern piece for the sleeve looks much like a one-seam pant pattern for someone with really short legs. This is sized XS, S, M, L and XL. I used the size S which covers sizes 8 and 10. I made my usual forward shoulder and swayback alterations but skipped the FBA. I shouldn’t have so next time I’ll make a very slight one. I shortened the sleeves by 3/4″, not something I usually do on a short sleeve but it seemed long and I was right to do it. The top itself was really long so I took an extra 2″ off. I thought the shoulder might be too wide since this is an 8/10 but it actually is spot on. Actually, the sizing all around seems to be a solid 8 to me so you might want to check the measurements before you cut.


The neckline is not as wide and scooped as it appears on the model. The depth is fine but I’d like it just a tiny bit wider so I’ll make that adjustment next time. I used a double-fold binding at the neckline instead of the 5/8″ double-fold narrow hem as directed by the pattern. Why, oh why, do they insist on putting that in the instructions? Has that ever, in the history of sewing, worked well? That’s the sort of thing that would reduce someone new to sewing with knits to tears. I just trimmed off the 5/8″ seam allowance and ran it through my new right-angle binder set up (which I LOOOOVE, so look forward to seeing me bind even more than I already do!). This machine will be permanently set up for binding, what a luxury!



I saw a lot of these extended shoulder lines in the runway shows so I guess that’s what drew me to this pattern. I really like these sleeves a lot. It’s always nice to make something out of the ordinary.



Filed under McCall's

McCall’s 6112 – Final

I finished up the dress last night. Sometimes it’s fun to make something quick and easy! You can see now why I wanted a very simple black dress (please excuse those weird whitish spots in some of the photos, they are from the flash). Most of you don’t know that I’m a bit of a collector of Native American jewelry. I have several squash blossom necklaces, the two largest of which are shown here. As Tim Gunn would say, a squash blossom is a “whole lotta look” and (unless you actually live in the Southwest) needs a plain garment to avoid appearing costumey. This first necklace is by artist Effie Calavaza. Each blossom consists of a snake wrapped around two pieces of coral, the snake (or serpent) being her trademark. My ex gave this to me just before he left and it has been languishing in my safe for about 4 years. Time for it to see the light of day!


I do not remember who made this turquoise SB, I’ll have to pull out my book and look up the signature. I’ve had this for many years and the old memory isn’t so good anymore!


I made a straight size 8 and skipped all but my usual sway-back alteration. I did make a couple of style changes to the pattern. I added 2″ to the length (keep in mind that I’m 5’3″ and wanted it right at the knee) and opened up the neckline a bit. Instead of turning under and topstitching the neckline, I opted for a binding. I tried several belts with this dress but, in the end, a 3″ wide self-belt looked best.


I didn’t want any topstitching to show so all hems are blindstitched.


Verdict: a super quick and easy pattern that will be a very versatile addition to my wardrobe. I can see making this in a slightly shorter length to wear with flats as an alternative to shorts.


Filed under McCall's

McCall’s 6112 – Preparation

As I mentioned yesterday, I want to whip up a couple of quick, easy and cool summer dresses. These days, the very thought of putting on a pair of pants makes me wilt! The first one I’m going to make is McCall’s 6112, with sleeves:


The simplicity and ease of this dress really appeals to me. Plus, it will be a good backdrop for a nice piece of jewelry and/or a pair of special sandals. I really had my heart set on black (you’ll see why later) and was lucky to find a piece of beefy rayon/lycra in my stash. I believe this came from Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics.


When I get home tonight, I’ll wolf down a quick grilled cheese and get started!


Filed under McCall's

McCall’s 5860 – Final

Yay, it’s finished! I didn’t have much left, really, but I like to take my time when it comes to my buttonholes. I made keyhole buttonholes on my Singer 500A “Rocketeer” using the Singer Professional buttonholer (which is for zigzag machines). Because my fabric is textured, I stitched around three times for a nice dense bead.



You’ll notice that I ended up using a different button. After testing, I decided that this larger tack button looked better. I actually think the shininess of it makes my fabric look less shiny.


Here’s a close-up of the flap, which I also cut on the bias to match the pockets.


I am thrilled with the way this turned out and would definitely use this pattern again. (If you’ve never tried a Palmer/Pletsch pattern, you really should, you won’t be disappointed.) Too bad I’ll have to wait quite some time before I’ll be able to wear it!

PARTING SHOT: I’ve been wanting a 2nd single-needle machine for awhile because I’d like to keep one set up for binding (yes, I’m spoiled, I know!). I bartered for this very lovely Consew high-speed straight stitch. My only complaint is that the top is green particle board instead of white plywood so I know I’ll eventually want to replace it. This will become my main machine and my beloved Consew 105 will be set up with a right-angle binder – can’t wait!



Filed under McCall's, Sewing Machines, Year of the Jacket