Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's a Bird... it's a Plane...!


What! A new make with my favorite collar type, ever!

For this top, I used an animal print grey/black double-knit from my stash, that I think I'd originally bought months ago because I'm afraid of jersey and other slinky, stretchy knits, but wanted to make a Renfrew. Well, this isn't a Renfrew (double-knit would probably not be a good choice for that anyway), but it is a casual top and was my first time sewing with double-knit as well as making raglan sleeves.

I made it from this cute vintage McCalls pattern, using View B. These tops have that 1960s boxy-sack shape going on, which is super comfortable, but not always super flattering when un-tucked (especially when your hair doesn't look as cute as these girls' in the illustration, to balance out the look).

Anyway, the sleeves were great to sew and I'm already planning another raglan-sleeved project. The stretch of the double-knit helped work out any fitting issues and I pretty much just sewed it like a regular woven fabric.

Another thing, other than the raglan sleeves and peter pan collar, that I liked about this pattern (in theory) is that there are no zippers or buttonholes, just a little peek-a-boo closure at the back neck. The only thing I didn't like about the reality of this particular closure, is that the pattern has you make it like 17 inches (exaggerating) long, which is a bit excessive! I couldn't tell quite how big it really was going to be until I'd finished sewing, at which point I made a "harrumph" noise and threw a safety pin in there around the half-way mark in the opening.  I got even a bit more MacGuiver on this baby when I then used a chopped up HAIR ELASTIC for my little button loop, because I didn't have anything better. It actually turned out pretty okay.

The little sparkly button is just a lonely one from my button jar that had lost its mates. It was definitely fun to pour out my entire jar of buttons and sift through it looking for the perfect one - hadn't done that in a while.

Something else I hadn't done in a while? MENDING. Blerg. This weekend, though, I was a good girlfriend who mended her guy's favorite cardigan that had been sitting in the mending pile for EVER, and then even altered one of his dress shirts (pats self on back) by adding a couple of long back darts. That may make you think I have some sort of tailoring skillz, but we'd actually just been at the real tailor earlier in the day to pick up another of his shirts in the exact same size and cut, so I was able to basically copy what they'd done there.  Shhh, don't tell the tailor.

Also, I've just started reading this:

I'm probably the last sewing blogger in blog-land to read this, but better late than never, eh? I'm only on Chapter 2 so far, but it's already really interesting. Leah of Struggle Sews a Straight Seam did a nice write-up of her thoughts after reading it, which I enjoyed reading (and you might, too).

One thing I'm already appreciating about the book is that Elizabeth Cline, the author, cites the research of the author of Service and Style, which I read a little while ago. I looooved learning about the history of department stores in America. It really made me wish (even more) that I lived a few decades ago instead of now.

Anyway, that's enough nerding-out for now. I'll be back soon with more details on my next project, and maybe even an upcoming giveaway.


  1. Love this blouse and love the fabric. I did use double knit for my first Renfrew blouse. I made the 3/4 sleeve cowl neck (View C?) and I love it! I wouldn't recommend using a double knit for the other two versions though - too structured. Just thought you'd like to know!
    Angela W.

  2. That collar shape is perfect- totaly love it with the sleeve length. I need to read that book, too...just to add to my usual daily consumption guilt.

  3. Oooh, lovely!!! This is awesome, the print is so cool and I love the collar and back detail!

  4. I love that top with that fabric! I haven't read that book yet, so now I am officially the last blogger who hasn't read it. But I think I know the gist from everyone else!

  5. Really cute! I love that print, and the collar is really sweet!

  6. Oh what a cute top, love love love the collars!!!!!
    I haven't read "Overdressed", might add that to my xmas list :P
    Great photo hun xx

  7. It's gorgeous :) As are you! I really want to read that book... but there's so many others I desperately want to read as well... geeez! :P

  8. Oh nice! I love Peter Pan collars too :) And that is an adorable button :D

  9. I'm tad late commenting on this, but better late than never, eh? I just had to say that I love, love, love this top. The Peter Pan collar is cute (I wish I could make them!), the fabric is brilliant and the sparkly button is a chic finishin touch.

    ps. How are you getting on with the book? Is it still as gripping?

  10. Love the collar on this! The fabric is fantastic and I absolutely love that you used a hair elastic for the back opening - brilliant!


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