Tank Top

Swing It

This is the third time I’m posting this style top. It’s a McPatterns swing top. I’ve made it previously in black and orange. This one is in a checkered suiting from Fabric.com.

Since this is a me-made-pattern, I wrote the sewing instructions on one of the pattern pieces. I’m sure you’re thinking I lost them but I didn’t, I just didn’t read them correctly.

The whole thing turned out just fine but the straps on this one are almost twice the width of my originals. It doesn’t look bad but I’m annoyed it doesn’t match the others exactly. Just one of those things that no one but me will notice but drives you crazy. I can’t be the only sewist that has this issue right?

I made white cotton bias tape to hem the bottom curve. I love making my own bias tape. I believe I’ve only bought the stiff stuff from the store twice but that was way more than enough.

These tops have a nice length in the back. No worry about low-rise jeans or forgetting to put on a belt that day. No one will see your panty flash!

I end up wearing this one at work a lot. Funny enough, I also used this fabric to make a pillow that lives in my car. It’s my “I’m tired at work and I need a nap in my car” pillow. That’s it on this one. Until next time!

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Gauze Guys

If you follow my Instagram (@jamie_l_mac), you’ve seen I’ve mentioned a place called Fabscrap (@fab_scrap). It boils down to them recycling leftover fabrics from different companies in New York. You can checkout out their mission statement and shop their fabrics on their website.

I purchased a “cool yard pack” about a month ago. I chose to start with a pale blue gauze I received first. I thought this was going to be the fabric I would have forever and not know what to make with it. I did some research on Pinterest, like ya do. I found a loose peplum top.

I pulled out an old favorite of mine, Sorbetto from Colette (btw I still use the original version of this. Not the new fancy one). I omitted the bust darts and cut the top only down to my waist. I also cut a straight line down from the underarm to keep the top loose.

The peplum is made from a rectangle of fabric that is sewn together in the back. I serged the top and peplum together and top stitched the seam allowance up. The hem is turned up twice for a clean edge.

I made baby blue bias tape to put around the neck and arms. I was worried about being able to see it too easily and end up an eyesore. It actually blended in really well.

I think I was overdue for a relaxed summer top. This really fit the bill. Since the fabric is so light I do need to wear a tank underneath. I’m sure there’s people out there cool with just a bra but the world does not need to see that!


To leave you on a happy note, my best “blue steel”, stylized of course.

McPattern Dress

After my success with my first McPattern, how could I stop myself from making another? I wanted to make a big circle tank dress. I started off similar to my tank McPattern. It took a bit to figure out how tight I wanted the dress to my neck and how wide to make the straps. I did the same arc to figure out the curve on the bottom of the dress.


I sewed up the neck and shoulders of the dress first. Immediately I knew I was wrong. The straps were much farther from my neck and the neck scooped to low. I pulled the straps up and pinned them up to where the neckline hit my neck. I used chalk to mark a new line from the outer strap width down into the arm.

After my adjustments, I finished the neckline, arms and sides. It fit so much better! The problem I had now was the extra length I pulled up to move up the neckline made the dress short! Too short!


To remedy this issue, I picked up lace to trim the edge. That did it! It was light enough to keep the float of the rest of the fabric. I sergered the lace to the bottom and topstitched the edge for a clean finish.


This is ridiculously comfortable and surprisingly flattering. I’ve realized that anything with a lot of fabric at the bottom needs to be balanced with a more fitted top otherwise I end up looking like a potato.

BONUS:


I made another McPattern tank. This time in a knit! This was the last little bits of my $5 for 5 yds of grey fabric from Walmart. I made a maxi, dress and tank. There’s a few small pieces left that I would need to mix with something else to make anything. Talk about a deal!

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I did topstitch both sides of the straps which I didn’t on the others. I felt that if I didn’t, the strap wouldn’t stay nice and flat.

Up next, I’m back to project: #sewmystyle!

McPattern

Originally was going to name this post MC Pattern for Mac’s Crafts but isn’t McPattern so much better? A little Irish and a little bit awful food chain.

A natural progression in sewing with patterns is creating your own right? I’m starting off quite simple.  A tank top.  Not too difficult. I’ve been seeing the Ogden Cami everywhere.  While I do like it, I wanted something super swingy.  Almost like a circle skirt but a top. I also wanted it to be a razor back. I think I was a tidbit influenced by my love of my Simone dresses/top.

It took me quite a while to draft the pattern.  I started with the Sorbetto by Colette. I know the top fits me well and the bust darts sit right on my body.  I copied the lines around the arm and up to the top of the shoulder. From there it was wild! I created curve after curve trying to find the right point on the front to swing the arc.  I wanted the bottom to end up being straight across.

I did make a quick muslin of the front out of an old t-shirt to check the darts and make sure I didn’t make the front too low/high.  When I decided I was happy I took a deep breath and cut my fabric. I’ve bought something similar before and loved it. It’s from Fabric.com and it’s concerned a workwear fabric. I believe it’s meant to be for a work shirt uniform type deal.  I like it because I don’t need to iron it and it looks great!


I totally went all out with this shirt too.  I did French seams along the sides.  Pain in my ass.  I don’t care what fabric you use, but it looks soooo pretty.


I made a ton of bias tape.  The tape went across the top of the front and back. It also created the straps.  I cut 2” wide strips of fabric for these.  I wanted to make sure they were decently beefy but not too beefy.


I made smaller width tape to go along the bottom of the shirt. Have you ever applied bias tape the French way? It’s easier. I read a post about it somewhere so I thought I would give it a go.  Pretty much you fold the bias tape in half once.  Sew that shit on the edge. Fold it one more time and top stitch around.  That’s it.


I’m super happy with this shirt.  There is one little point in the straps that is a little wonky.  It’s where the strap starts to curve around the front. It’s too much of a curve that it starts to buckle.  You have to look really hard to see it though.  I’m sure it’s an easy adjustment to the pattern.  Move the points out more to create a gentler curve. I’m wondering if the black is helping to hide the mistake.


Side shot with my snuggle baby Frankie. I was concerned about my shirt looking a bit maternity-like but it doesn’t billow out too terribly.


There’s a lot of fabric to this shirt. It makes it so light and breezy.


I loved the black one so much I made it in orange too. The fabric weight is different. It’s heavier and has much less drape. It is much more voluminous. I think next I’d like to try it in a knit.


Oh and just like a circle skirt.  This bad boy twirls too! Yippee! Angry twirl face. The orange fabric was not having it was well as the black.


Feeling quite accomplished with my first garment pattern. I’ll keep making a lot more of these. It’s an awesome simple wardrobe staple.  Plus it gives me extra satisfaction knowing I made the pattern.

Scrappy Floral Garden

Have you ever gone into your fabric stash and come out with an accidental project? You feel the immediate need to complete it A) because you have the fabric in hand B) there’s a pattern that is dying to be made from this sad little remnant.  That’s where this shirt began.  Lying in a little neat folded pile amongst other fabrics waiting for their turn to be beautiful.

I have a See & Sew pattern B5632 (out of print) that I haven’t used for a very long time.  I think it may be the first pattern I bought when I decided I would try to make my own clothes.  it touted that it would be “Sew Easy”! I had a hard time with it. I chalked it up to being a beginner and thinking I could slap something together without needing to fit it.  Well I’m much wiser at this point and realize that’s not how sewing goes, at least most of the time  anyway. The pattern is a dress but I figured I had enough to squeeze out a shirt. Simple enough!

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The top patterns pieces for this are cut in duplicate; one innie and one outtie. I have some very thin cream jersey that I figured would work for the innie and the outtie is the floral rayon scrap.  The package told me that I should cut a size 14. I knew it was wrong but I cut it anyways. Trimming down is easier than trying to magically make fabric grow. When all was said an done, I should have cut the size 8 which I figured but hey, I was trusting the creator.

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I have to say for such an easy pattern, I had a hell of a time with it.  Partially because of cutting the wrong size and the other because the pleats and overlapping is quite fiddly in the front. The pleats do not make for a nice rounded cup. It does weird things and I couldn’t get the fabric to lay flat against my bosom. So piss on that. I kept changing the position of the straps because putting the strap where instructed caused the fabric to flare out at the side.

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Talk about barely squeezing this out! I had to use the selvedge!

After wrestling with this “sew easy” project over a few days and many strong curses had been had, I completed a simple tank top.  All that for just a tank.  It should have been something more astonishing and marvelous but sometimes you take what you can get.

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For the hot, hot weather we’ve been having, this top is perfect. The rayon makes it light and it feels like I’m not wearing a top at all! Which did cause me to touch the hem a few times to make sure it hadn’t flown up or magically disappeared.

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I still think I need to come up with a much better way to construct the main pieces of this pattern because it is adorable and I can see me using it again. That can happen another time, when I have lots of patience and alcohol.