McCall’s 8040 – Cotton Summer Blouses

Hello! How are you all doing? All is well on my end. I’ve been sewing but haven’t been taking the time to take pictures or create a blog post. It seems like there is always something else that needs to get done.

I recently finished sewing a couple summer blouses using McCall’s 8040. The first one was sewn with this lovely Lady McElroy cotton lawn that I received from Minerva as part of their Brand Ambassador program.

I purchased McCall’s 8040 a while ago but had not been inspired to sew it until I saw this fabric on Minerva’s website. I thought those puffy gathered sleeve would look wonderful in cotton lawn.

The sleeves and princess seams are what attracted me to this pattern. Princess seams are so flattering and allow for easy alterations, if necessary. I was pleased to see that the back also had princess seams. I have a few blouse patterns that only have princess seams in the front.

I was so happy with how this blouse turned out that I decided to make another one right away. I had purchased this cotton poplin from Minerva a few months ago with a summer blouse in mind. I was looking for polka dots at the time and came across this charming heart print.

The pattern was easy to sew and came together quickly. I did not make any alterations.

I recommend this pattern for anyone looking for this style of blouse. It’s a quick pattern with stylish results.

Even though I have not been blogging much, I have been adding some of my sewing projects in the annual photo gallery If you any have questions about something you see in the gallery, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Until next time take care of yourselves and each other.

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Burda Style 11-2020-104 – Wool Jacket

This wool fabric was a gift from a friend a few years ago. Over the years my friend Lise has gifted me with some beautiful fabrics. I always look for just the right pattern to showcase the fabric and add to my “Lise Collection” in my wardrobe. I loved the fabric and was anxious to sew it but I just could not find the right pattern. I was close to cutting the fabric many times but would change my mind at the last minute. I’m glad I waited because I LOVE this jacket.

The magazine shows the jacket in a poplin. I thought it would be fun to sew it up in a nice wool. It’s not the typical fabric you would picture for this sporty style.

The jacket has a lot of great design elements. I like the oversized patch pockets, front zipper and the pleat in the back very much.

The pattern does not call for lining but I chose to line my jacket. I also underlined the wool fabric with Kona cotton to provide stability. I’m not a fan of elastic cuffs and often change the sleeves when sewing a jacket with elastic at the sleeves. In this case I thought the wide elastic cuffs would compliment the style well. I’m glad I kept the original design.

I think the jacket has a great shape. I like the way it fits very much.

The pattern was part of the “Sewing Lesson” section of the Burda Style magazine so it had illustrations and detailed instructions which were very helpful. The pattern was well drafted and the jacket was a pleasure to sew.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Stay safe and well!

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Kwik Sew 3915 – Sweater Knit Top

With the cooler weather I decided to order some sweater knits to add some warmer tops to my wardrobe. I purchased Kwik Sew 3915 a few years ago after seeing my friend Bernadette’s version of this top on The website is a wonderful source for reviews of patterns as well as discovering new patterns and talented sewists. The neckline on this top is what caught my eye. I like the lapped insert with the tiny loops and buttons.

As you can see in the line drawing, I modified the sleeve. I created a bell shape and added 1/4″ elastic at the bottom to gather the sleeve at the wrist. I used to have a ready-to-wear sweater with this style of sleeve and always liked it. The fabric is a lightweight sweater knit and is well suited to this style.

I don’t recall ever sewing a Kwik Sew pattern though I have a few of them. The instructions were clear and the pattern well drafted. This top is sewn with 1/4″ seam allowances. I used my serger for most of the construction.

It looks like I’m going to continue adding tops to my wardrobe for a while. I’m still working from home so they are what I’m wearing the most of these days.

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Burda Style 01-2020-107A – Woven Hoodie

This top caught my attention when I first saw it in the Burda Style magazine. I thought how fun to have a relaxed style woven top with a hood. The buttoned cuffs dress it up a little. The top is my most recent project as part of the Minerva Maker team. I chose a soft and drapey Lady McElroy viscose challis from Minerva to make this top. I think the roses are a wonderful contrast to the black and white stripes.

The tie is cut on the bias. In the past I would have stayed away from turning such a long and narrow tie but ever since I purchased the Prym Turning Set I don’t think twice about it. The set comes with 3 different sized fabric turners. It took me less than a minute to turn the tie for this top. I don’t remember where I learned of the turning tools but am so glad I now have them.

The viscose challis has a good drape which is needed for the hood. The pattern does not call for it, but I chose to add lining to the hood. Had I not done so I would have sewn the center seam with a French seam. Since the top is printed and the print does not come through on the wrong side, I thought a solid colored lining would be nice. I had some silk charmeuse in my stash that matched some of the roses. I cut the lining using the two hood pattern pieces and sewed the center seam the same as I had done previously. I placed the wrong sides of the two hoods facing each other and basted the edges together. I then sewed the hood as one piece and went back to following the instructions.

This top is unique and unlike anything I currently have in my closet. I enjoy experimenting with different styles.

The sun came out from behind a cloud just as my fashion photographer was taking this picture. I like the look of my shadow behind me.

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Vogue 9264 – Ponte Knit Dress

It’s still 2020 here in California so I thought I would make one last post for the year. I’ve been sewing but not taking time to blog or take pictures.

I purchased this pattern with plans to make View A in a printed stretch velvet. Last fall my friend Jennifer was cleaning out her stash of fabrics and gave me a large piece of a very good quality ponte knit. I wanted a pattern that would make the most of the fabric and Vogue 9264 came to mind.

I love the sleeves on this dress. The princess seams are flattering and helpful if you need to make any adjustments to the size. The only change I made to the pattern was to lengthen View A by 10 inches. There are no fasteners on this dress. It slips on comfortably.

Even if I didn’t have any event to wear many of the clothes I made in 2020, I enjoyed thinking of where my fashion photographer and I would go with me wearing my latest me-made piece of clothing.

As we say goodbye to 2020 and look forward to 2021, it is with hope that I wish you and yours a happy and healthy 2021. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. Stay safe!

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Vogue 9285 – Jewel Tone Blouse

I’ve had both the pattern and fabric in my stash for a while. I had not put the two together until last month. Still working from home, I’ve been adding tops to my wardrobe. I added some much needed solid tops so it was time to sew up a print. When I was going through my selection of printed polyester, Vogue 9285 came to mind as soon as I saw this fabric. I’m glad I was inspired because I’m very happy with the result.

The collar and wide cuffs are the reasons I purchased this pattern.

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern. Normally I would have added one inch to the length of the sleeves but there was no need to do this.

My inventory of tops has increased in the past 9 months. From casual to dressy, I’ve enjoyed sewing and wearing each and every one of them.

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Vogue 8833 – Wrap Blouse

How is everyone doing? It has been over a month since I wrote a blog post. I’ve been sewing but haven’t taken the time to update my blog. I also have a few finished projects that still need to be photographed. I made this wrap top as part of the Minerva Maker team. This beautiful Lady McElroy crepe fabric was gifted to me by Minerva in exchange for a blog post on their website,

I’ve wanted to sew Vogue 8833 for a few years but somehow I never got around to it. So many patterns, so little time. When I saw this crepe on Minerva’s website I knew I wanted to make this top with it. The pattern offers sleeve and collar variations but what caught my attention were the princess seams. They are not obvious in the pictures of my top because of the print but you can see them below in the line drawings from the pattern. The princess seam provide a nice shape to the top as well as fitting opportunities.

I like the fit of the top very much. People have asked me if the front gapes or stays closed. It stays closed securely. The top is very comfortable to wear. I like the depth of the neckline and I think the collar gives it a polished look. I didn’t make any alterations to this pattern.

Now that I’ve finally made this I plan on sewing other views from the pattern, especially a sleeveless version.

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. I hope to be updating it with more of my completed projects in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime I hope this finds you safe and well.

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Burda Style 01-2020-103 – Faux Suede Jacket

This faux suede jacket is my recent Minerva Maker project sewn with fabric gifted to me by The fabric is buttery soft and was very easy to work with. The color I chose is called “Stone.”

I had noticed this pattern in the January 2020 Burda Style magazine. The magazine version was also sewn with faux suede. I had this jacket on my mind when I saw the faux suede on Minerva’s website.

I like the wrap style of the jacket. There are no fasteners but the jacket stays closed, which isn’t always the case with this style of jacket. I think the choice of faux suede helps keep the jacket closed. It’s “grippy” and doesn’t slip as much as other fabrics.

This jacket was easy to sew and the directions were straightforward for Burda Style. I removed one inch from the lower sleeve band. I normally have to add 1 inch to the length of jacket/coat sleeves but I could see these were plenty long for me. I could have removed another half inch as the sleeves are a little long for me. I chose to interface the sleeve bands. The pattern does not call for this but I thought the bottom of the sleeve might be too flimsy/floppy without the interfacing.

I lined the jacket with a leopard print satin.

I changed the belt carriers. The pattern called for very thin carriers to be sewn together in the side seams. I created more traditional belt carriers and centered them over the marking for the original carriers.

This was a fun project to sew and I’m pleased with my new jacket.

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Friday Pattern Company – Adrienne Blouse

Without any real plan for fall/winter sewing I’m sewing whatever inspires me. I’ve wanted to make the Adrienne Blouse by Friday Pattern Company for a couple of years but it never seemed to make it to the top of my to-sew pile. I’m still in need of some solid colored tops so it was time to get this one done.

The fabric is a crepe knit from Minerva that I purchased during the summer. The fabric has a nice weight and great recovery. This top is fitted so I didn’t want a knit that was too thin.

Speaking of fitted top, my measurements put me at a size small. I had read that there was quite a bit of negative ease with this pattern but I stuck with my plan to sew the small size. My small version wound up in the donation pile. I sized up to a medium and am much happier with the fit.

The weather is starting to get cooler here so with this top I declare that fall sewing has officially begun.

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Burda Style Tops To Finish Off My Summer Sewing

These two tops are the last of my summer 2020 sewing. The weather is still warm here on the Central Coast of California and I’ve already worn these tops, but fall is on the way and I’ve started to think of my sewing projects while taking out my fall fabrics.

I’ve been working from home since March and dressing more casually than I normally would for work. After working from home for a while I realized I needed more solid color casual knit tops.

Burda Style 07-2019-119 caught my eye after seeing a fellow sewist review it on I like the knotted sleeve detail. I think it elevates this top from being a plain t-shirt.

The next top I made was Burda Style 05-2020-106. I purchased this cotton border print last summer with a summer top in mind. The fabric goes from solid red to solid pink on the edges. I thought it would be fun to play with pattern placement.

The sleeve is completely lined by cutting the bottom of the sleeve on the fold. Instead of hemming the sleeve you fold it to finish the bottom. I hope I explained that in a way that can be understood. I’m not sure how else to explain it. My website is not known for being very technical.

This boxy top has side tabs with D-rings that allow you to cinch in the sides as tight or as loose as you want. The only change I made to this top was to sew 4 buttons instead of the 3 called for in the instructions.

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