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next time, remove large plastic items

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I spent the weekend blissfully sewing away on shirts to enter in Made By Rae’s Spring Top Week.  I made three shirts, but only entered two of them as the one I liked the most ended up not photographing well.  This may be because I couldn’t crop out the slide, the compost bins, the compost buckets, the sand box… I seem to have a lot of junk lying around in the backyard.  A simple look around before the photo shoot could have helped this, but I had to have Jim take the pictures before Pia’s bedtime and before the sun went down, and on and on.  So, time was tight, so things like the big blue plastic pool remained.

I have many fun, old patterns sitting around, collecting dust.  Can I call them vintage? How old does something need to be to be vintage? At any rate, I keep them around thinking that someday I might sew something for myself, but that day never seems to come. Until… I found about about Spring Top Week and then suddenly I had an excuse to sew for myself.  So, the two patterns I chose were these, the one on the left from 1976 and the one on the right from 1983.

From the McCalls 5344 from 1976 I chose to sew top B, the one in the lower left corner. It looked all cute and fun and whatnot in the illustration.  But then I decided to leave out the tassels on the front (because, really, tassels?) and then I had to shorten the sleeves because I didn’t have enough fabric and then I ran out of time to do the blanket stitch around the edges, so I ended up with this:

At this point it looks like a scrub top.  I think I will add the blanket stitch at some point. Though as I write those words I know I will never get around to it.  Sigh. Someone needs to run a “Finish Your Unfinished Projects Week”.

Next. The “2 hour sampler” from McCalls has always struck me as intriguing.  It looked so versatile in the picture. And the women in the illustrations look so jaunty and fun-loving. Illustrated women on pattern covers always look so good. But now that I look more closely at the pictures I think these illustrated women in real life would be 9 feet tall. Moving on. This pattern ended up being a total winner and my favorite of the bunch.  I used this great fabric that I got at the University Lake School barn sale last year that has dancing people on it.  This description does not do the fabric justice.  Will have to take a close up of it later. Anyway, I love how I could wear it over a tank top, over a t-shirt or over a long sleeve t-shirt. And the best thing about it is that it is long .  I am a firm believer in six inches of overlap between top and bottom layer. From the back it looks like a skirt:

And then the front looks like an apron (again, this photo is so bad):

I adore aprons, so this being a shirt and apron all wrapped into one is quite perfect.

The last shirt I made was a hodge podge of different elements.  I knew I wanted it to be long (again, six inches of overlap), I knew I wanted cute little sleeves with elastic in them, I knew I wanted it to slip over my head with no need for zippers or buttons, and I knew I wanted to attempt a fun neckline.  I say fun neckline because I think this is called a boat neck, but not sure. Any thoughts on what we would call this? Anyway, proper names aside, all the elements came together to make this:

I’m quite happy with it. It was fun to experiment with putting different ideas together. And since it sort of worked out (in that it fits and I might wear it in public someday) it gives me confidence to sew more things for me in the future.  Now I just need to work through my hand-me-down stash of fabric so that I can justify buying cute new fabric that would make these tops a tad more stylish.

Thank you Rae for organizing such a fun contest!


2 responses »

  1. Great work! Isn’t it fun to sew for yourself. I like the last shirt. Definitely wear it in public!

    I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they’ve made to be worn. Stop by if you’d like!

  2. Wow – THREE tops? You’re just showing off. 😉
    They all look great, but the red one is my favorite. The big questions is how is there a beach ball in your yard that survived Tea’s teeth?


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