Archive for the ‘Tops/Blouses’ category

Cowl neckline alteration

May 10, 2014

So I had good intentions when I pledged to sew one item a month but life got in the way big time.  I haven’t sewn in months but I have been keeping up with the sewing blogs 🙂

Last week, Faye wrote about how to raise a cowl neckline.  Boy did I need that post.  I’d given up on McCall’s M6078 view B because the neckline was wayyyyy to low for me. I’d learned how to make the FBA for a cowl but couldn’t find instructions for raising the neckline so into the sewing drawer it went.  I might make that my project for the spring.


So here’s how the raise a cowl neckline three ways.

1.  From Faye who got it from Samina from Sew Everything Blog.  I’m trying the first method and it doesn’t decrease the bust width at all.  Yay!

2.  and from In-House Patterns This method doesn’t reduce the bust width.

So far I’ve adjusted the front pattern of McCall’s M6078 for a FBA using this method  and raising the neckline.    Now to find stretch knit in my stash.




TnT = Tried and True Patterns

August 24, 2011

Believe it or not, I have a few tried and true (tnt) patterns.  I don’t utilize them as well as Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic does with her tnt patterns.  I believe I don’t use my tnt patterns for the following reasons:

1.  I have pattern ADD.  There are so many patterns in my collection and new patterns that other bloggers have made that I don’t use my tnt patterns.

2. I really don’t know what looks good on me.  I begin to doubt the garments I make with my tnt patterns.  I hate shopping for clothes.  Really. Hate. Shopping. For.Clothes but that’s one way of discovering what styles look good on my body.  I’m going to make a point of trying on clothes and taking pictures.

3. I don’t have enough of the right fabric.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I have a lot of fabric but the more I sew, the more I realize that the fabric I purchased when I first started sewing isn’t the best.

4.I don’t have a plan for sewing.  I should participate in the Stitchers Guild Six Pack wardrobe plan and just use my tnt patterns.

So here are my tnt patterns.


McCalls 3830 View C pencil skirt.  I’ve made this skirt twice.

McCall's 3830 black done

McCall's 3830 view C front

New Look 6899 View D.  I have the muslin of this skirt.  It fits great but I haven’t made a single garment!

Tops and Blouses

Simplicity 2598 view E Knit top – shell

Kwik Sew 2740 view B Knit mock turtleneck


Simplicity 3887 View D woven pullover top

Black and White Simplicity 3887 view D

These are the patterns that I can sew and actually wear the item in public.  That makes them tried and true to me.  I’m still working on the dress that will not end.  At this point, I just refuse to quit.  I don’t think the dress is a good look for me but whatever.

In my stash, I have fabric for 5 of  McCall’s 3880 view C skirt.  All I need is lining.

Close up of plaid

Five fabrics for McCall's 3880 skirt

close up of pinstripe fabrics

I have one piece of fabric that would work for New Look 6899.

brown and green floral for New Look 689

I could really use the skirts now that it’s hotter than all get out in Atlanta.  Most of the fabrics are lightweight with the exception of the blue/black wool in the lower left of the picture with all 5 fabrics.

I know I’m not going to sew these skirts back to back.  If I can sew them all before the end of October that would be great.

ETA:  I’ve given up on the dress that wouldn’t end.  If the garment doesn’t look good or feel comfortable in the muslin stage then it’s time to let it go.  I’ve traced Lisette 0459 view A dress.

Now if I can figure out how to do an FBA on the front pattern piece.

I’ve also fallen for Simplicity 3833 view B.

I’ve cut out the muslin for Butterick B5567.  See, I told you I had sewing  pattern ADD.

Enjoy 🙂

Knitting…say what!

June 23, 2011

My friend sent me a letter a few weeks ago.  The envelop contained a brief note,  a brochure and a knitting pattern. She was very sneaky! She knows I don’t knit in the summer. It’s too dang hot. The brochure was from Mother Bear Project which is an organization that provides hand-knit or crocheted bears to children affected by HIV/AIDS.  How could I resist?   This will be my first charity knitting project and my first experience using polyfill stuffing.  I’m not a fast knitter but this pattern seems to knit up quickly.  Stay tuned.

On the sewing front, I finished the muslin of McCall’s M6078 view B and I’m mostly happy with the fit.  I will take pictures of me wearing  the muslin top and a ready to wear top this weekend.

Happy Friday y’all

It’s the little things

June 22, 2011

So last night, I really needed to put the fabric down 🙂  I was too tired to think straight and the  lower looper thread on my serger kept breaking.  I must have re-threaded my serger 3 times and adjusted the tension who knows how many times before it dawned on me to step.away.from. the.machine.

Today when I got home, it took all of two minutes to figure out the problem.

When the lower looper thread breaks

You see that arrow?  It’s pointing to a very important piece of information.  “Turn handwheel toward you to chain off three or four stitches.”  That sentence is the difference between my serger working like a charm or crap.  I prefer working like a charm 🙂  I only have to remember this sentence when I need to re-thread the serger.  I’m writing about this because I have a feeling I might run into this again.  This way, I have a visual reference.  As you can see, I also highlighted and tabbed that page in the serger manual.


Back to the muslin of McCall’s M6078 – I serged the side seams and the top fits.  Woohoo!  The fabric is too thick for the cowl style but I’m going to finish it.  I want to practice hemming on my cover stitch machine.  No pictures because it’s rainy and dark.

Have a great evening.

Put the fabric DOWN!

June 22, 2011

You know it’s time to step away from the fabric when no matter how many times you re-read the lower looper of your serger or adjust the tension, the lower looper thread STILL breaks.  This is a prime example of trying to sew while sleepy.

I’m making a muslin of McCall’s M6078 View B

I hope this is an easy pattern (like it states on the pattern envelop).  The reviews have been good.  I’m making size XL no changes.  We’ll see how it works. I’m using my sewing machine, cover stitch machine and serger to construct this top.  I think I’m going to order more thread for the cover stitch machine.  I don’t want to have to share the same 4 spools of thread between the serger and cover stitch machine.

I need to practice hemming on the cover stitch machine.

Not a ripple in sight.  I love my cover stitch machine.

A bit off the edge but not bad.

I’m using very thick knit for the muslin.  The fashion fabric is much thinner.  I’ve had the fashion fabric over a year!   I ordered Vera Wang Jersey knit in black and in green from Fabric Mart in May 2010.  I don’t have pictures of the Vera Wang fabric but I this pattern works, you’ll see the finished item soon.

Take care,

I’m going to bed.

B5147 second iteration

May 30, 2011

I printed the pictures of me wearing the B5147 top.  It’s a lot easier for me to see the fitting issue on paper verses online.

Muslin 1 Front

                                                                                                        Muslin 2 Front

Muslin 1 Back

Muslin 2 Back

Wrinkles are still there in Muslin 2 but it feels better when I wear it.   I want to make this top in Linen so maybe the stiffer fabric will lessen the wrinkles.  I don’t know.  For now, I’m going to use muslin 2 as my pattern.


1.  Added 1/2 inch to side seam of front to

2.  Added 1/2 in to side seam about 1 inch below armhole.  See photo below.


I don’t know how to get rid of the excess fabric on my high chest.  I’m going to leave it for now.

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend.


Butterick 5147 View B

May 25, 2011

So, I have been sewing a little.  I’m been making about a dozen muslins for B5147 View B.  I thought I understood how to do a FBA but obviously I didn’t.  This is as close as I’ve gotten.   Please forgive the way I look today.  It is hot in Atlanta and it’s only May.

Please click on photos to view a larger images.

This is the best fitting muslin so far but I have questions.

The muslin is thin and that might be the reason for some of the wrinkles.

  • Looking at the front view, I’m thinking I need to let out the side seams at the waist for more room.  It’s not tight at the stomach but I look like I’m pregnant.
  • I don’t know what to do about the sagging fabric at my upper chest.   Does anyone have suggestion to correct it?
  • Are there wrinkles pointing to my bust?  Do I need to do a bigger FBA?

Okay, let’s have a look at the sides.

I think the sides look okay but if they don’t speak up please.

Here’s the back.  I made a bunch of modifications to the back including:  swayback adjustment and adding to the side seam to cover my rear.

I need to add to the side seam in the back right?

I’m going through this exercise of getting the top fitted correctly because I really want to make view D which is an swing type dress for the summer.  The top and dress use the same pattern pieces.   I need your opinions.

I’m looking forward to the 3 day weekend.  I plan to work on this top and a knit top.  I really love my coverstitch machine…but more on that later.

Happy sewing y’all