Liberty of London Peter Pan Collar Top

I finished another top for the Pattern Challenge!  I’ve been having too much fun sewing clothes for myself, I’m worried I might turn into the Selfish Seamstress!!


Does anyone recognize that fabric?  It’s the ever lovely and luscious Liberty of London in Dunvina.  I purchased it when I was in London at Shaukat Fabrics (they have a humongous stock of gorgeous Liberty prints at the best prices I’ve seen, you can order them online).  I only purchased 3/4 metre, which was just enough to make the body/sleeves of this top.  I had originally envisioned the collar made out of the same fabric, but alas, I ran out.  Instead a used a beautiful cotton/sateen by Robert Kaufman.


I used the basic top and sleeve pattern from…you guessed it….Simplicity 2599 (are you guys majorly sick of this yet?) and added a self-drafted peter pan collar.  The collar is the sweetest accent and it was so much fun to make!

I used this method for attaching the peter pan collar, and it worked out perfectly!  If you do decide to use that tutorial, the one part that confused me was what width of bias tape to cut.  In the tutorial she says to use a 1.5″ folded bias strip, which I took to mean cut a strip 1.5″ and fold it in half.  This leaves you with a 3/4″ bias strip, which is fine, but when you go to sew it on you’ll need to use a about 1/4″ seam allowance in order to have enough to fold to the back and topstitch (rather than the 1/2″ seam she instructs you to use).  Other than that one point of confusion, the tutorial was great!

To give this top some shape I used elastic thread to shirr 3 rows under the bust.

I love that the inside looks as finished as the outside with serged raw edges and the bias tape cover around the neck.  It also doesn’t hurt that there really isn’t a wrong side to this fabric!

Oh my, wouldn’t this make the sweetest dress?

Pattern Challenge: For Him


PatternMcCall’s M6044
View:  E
Size:  Cut between a Medium and Large (yes, you can do that!)
Fabric:  3 yards homespun plaid from Joanns ($3.99/yard)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, very much so!

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I actually thought the instructions and techniques were very simple to follow.  Even those tricky looking parts like the collar and cuffs turned out to be quite easy.  Usually when I make a pattern there is at least one part that I get tripped up on, but this one didn’t have that.  Every step was clearly explained and pictured, making the construction of this top a breeze.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I wasn’t too crazy with how much hand sewing there was (back of the collar, both sides of the button yoke).  The inside didn’t turn out as nice looking as the outside since I had to try to hide my seams by hand sewing the lining over them. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  The only change I made was to use metal snaps rather than buttons/buttonholes.  This was a huge time saver!  Plus, I wanted this shirt to have that 70s/western flair, which these “pearl”-covered snaps helped to achieve.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I am already making plans to sew this again!  This time I’ll let my hubby pick out the fabrics (I bought this plaid fabric on a whim and thankfully, he liked it!).  I’m thinking one that’s a little bit more dressy (maybe a black on black stripe).

Conclusion:  I highly recommend this pattern!  And don’t be afraid to cut between sizes if you need to.  My hubby didn’t measure perfectly as a medium or large so I just eyeballed my cutting line right between the two sizes and it worked out perfectly.  He loved the fit so I don’t think I’ll have to do anything differently next time.  This pattern also makes it super easy to adjust for arm length and shirt length, so if your man doesn’t normally fit in RTW (ready to wear) shirts, you might consider making a muslin first to adjust for a great fit.  Remember, the sleeves pieces will seem very short, but the cuffs add a good 3″ or so to the over length of the sleeve.  

Here’s the happy customer: 





Thanks to Alicia from Posy Gets Cozy for inspiring this!!

Pattern Challenge Update!!

I’m back!! 

Oh wow, you guys, what an amazing trip!!  It is surreal to me that I am back home and that this trip is behind me.  My husband and I had such an adventure and we loved every minute of it!  Someday soon I will sit down and tell you more about it, but I need to build up the energy for that first!  I’ll tell you this:  there was much fabric shopping involved!  Although I didn’t buy much (we only brough a backpack each for the entire trip), I certainly enjoyed exploring Europe’s fabric stores and seeing what was trendy over there.  I took tons of pictures of the fabric stores and I can’t wait to share them with you!  It is good to be back!

On another note, the Pattern Challenge is going strong with 32 official members on Flickr (and 75 photos of finished garments!).  I thought it prudent to show you a sample of the amazing things we are making for this challenge!!  I am continually impressed by the talent for garmet-making that I am seeing on this group!  It has definitely given me tons of inspiration to get back to sewing now that I’m home.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the pattern reviews and I have bookmarked several patterns that I want to try.  So, without further ado, here is a sample of some of the things you can find on the Flickr Pattern Challenge Group.  Enjoy!

Burda 7661 by Kari of Handmade Mommy.  Pattern Review here.

Coffee Date Dress by Sue Loves Sew.  Pattern Review here.

Japanese Beginner Dress and Tunic Book #18 by Liesl Made.  Pattern Review here.

Smock Top from The Galloping Horse.  Pattern Review here.

5191 McCalls from Sew Bee It.  Pattern Review here.

Simplicity 2593 by Kristie in the Clouds.  Pattern Review here.

Mendocino Sundress by Unfinished Projects.  Pattern Review here.

Amy Butler’s Cabo Halter by Smiles of a Summer Night.  Pattern Review here.

Alabama Stitchbook’s T-shirt Corset by And So I Sew.  Pattern Review here.

Simplicity 8018 by Lemon Cadet.  Pattern Review here.

Modkid’s Frida Dress by Sewing the Stress Away.  Blogged here

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress by Piccoli Piselli.  Pattern Review here.

Simplicity 2593 by Sew Loves Sew.  Pattern Review here (the top is made from a Liberty for Target scarf!!)

So there you have it!  Are you thoroughly inspired?  I sure am!  And this is just some of the action going on in our Flickr group, so check it out!  It’s not too late the join in the fun!  Just let me know if you’re interested in joining the challenge and see the instructions here, we’d love to have you!!

Spring Ruffle Top

I just barely scraped this top out using what little of this fabric I had.  My sister originally bought the fabric for an Anthropologie knock-off top she made (maybe I can get her to send me a photo, it’s adorable!) and she gave me what she had left over.  To make it work, I had to omit the adorable pleats at the top (maybe a good idea considering my…ahem…*larger* bust size).  For the straps and chest yoke, I used a natural colored Essex linen/cotton blend.  One of my favorite fabrics to use, especially in quilting.

The pattern is, of course, Made By Rae’s Ruffle Top Tutorial.  You may remember another version I made awhile back:

Sorry for the crazy amount of clothes-making posts lately.  Am I losing all my dearly loved quilty followers?  I promise I will get back to quilting soon enough!  I’ve got one in progress right now (well, I say that but it’s been almost finished for about 5 months now, just needs binding!). 

Is anyone interested in our Europe itinerary?  I’d be happy to share, if anyone out there is curious.  3 days!!!!!

P.S.  I entered the first top above, along with these two, into Made By Rae’s Spring Top Week.  Don’t forget to Vote for your favorite starting next week!!

Gingham Top

Here’s a summery new top I made using some gingham I found for $3.99 a yard:

And guess what pattern….you’ve got it!  Simplicity 2599!  Boy do I love that pattern.

This gingham was a bit difficult to work with.  If I wasn’t very careful, it puckered with each seam.  A good amount of pressing seemed to help along the way.  I know I said I was going to skip the button closure next time I made this pattern, but I decided to keep it to add interest.  I suppose that this really is the most interesting part of the shirt.  The one thing you have to be careful of when using stripes or ginghams is matching up the seams.  It can be really noticable if you forget.  Mine turned out OK, but can you see the puckering at the bottom of the seam down the center?  Maybe my tension was off…

We leave for Europe in exactly one week.  I’m so excited!!  During the three weeks I’m gone I’ve got some SUPER awesome guest bloggers lined up to share some tutorials, tips, links and perhaps a recipe or two.  Who knows, this blog may be more happenin’ in my absence than when I’m here!!!  I’ll check in one more time before I go.

Happy Saturday!!

make it wear it

J.Crew Inspired Dress

Here is the J.Crew inspired dress that I made using Simplicity 2599.  I lengthened the shirt by about 10″ (and then shortened the hem later when it was still way too long), added the sleeve option and made the same adjustments to the pattern that I made last time. 

Wow, next time I should really iron it first, huh?  Well, here’s the dress after sitting through church on Sunday.  Imagine it with the darts and creases nicely ironed.

To make the braided neckline and belt, I just took 3 pieces of my fabric and sewed them together at one end.  Then I just braided them tightly and tacked it down every 1/2″ or so onto the neckline.  The belt is not attached so I can switch it up whenever I like. 

(My tights are from Anthro, by the way)


Thanks for all the love on the Panty Tutorial.  I’m so happy to hear that many of you are interested in trying it!  Please, please, if you do give it a shot, I would love to hear how it turned out/see pictures!  

And now, the winner of the jersey and stretch lace is……Bethany!!!  Which is TOTALLY awesome because I work with Bethany’s husband (Cameron) and she is super great and an incredibly talented baker!  Although she needs to post on her blog more…come on, Bethany, get to it!

Bethany’s comment makes me laugh because Cam is known for going to extreme lengths for our work’s “Biggest Loser” contest.  He is excellent at losing weight in a very unhealthy way.  And he knows it’s unhealthy.  So don’t bother telling him so.

Anyways, congrats to Bethany!  Some fun jersey and stretch lace are coming your way!

On another note, I finished the shift dress inspired by this J Crew beauty.  It’s adorable!  I love it!  Here’s a really crappy camera phone sneak peek:

I made it from an IKEA duvet cover (cotton sateen) that I bought awhile back with the intention of making it into a futon cover.  I like this use much better, and I still have tons of fabric leftover.  I’ll post more pictures soon.

Finally, I have to say Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband.  You are the best, babe!  And I love that you were born on St. Patty’s Day…it is so fun!