Monday, April 26, 2021

McCall's 8180 ~ Big Collar Button Front Shirt

Once the 80s oversized collar trend left I swore I'd never wear it again.  I resisted when I started seeing the big collar hit the runways and online stores. Yet here I am today wearing a big collar shirt and I'll admit (sheepishly) that I like it. 

McCall's 8180 Big Collar Button Front Shirt with Elbow Length Sleeves with Ruffle in Yellow Stripe Cotton worn by Sharon Sews
The pattern I used is McCall's 8180, which has no description printed on the pattern envelop. However, there is one included on the website: Misses' peter pan ruffled, collared blouses with short & long sleeves. View A: ruffled collar. View B & C: large collar.

McCall's 8180 Pattern Envelope - SomethingDelightful dot com
McCall's 8180 Sewing Pattern Cover from somethingdelightful dot com

I purchased the pattern to use as a starting point for a top I had seen online that I wanted to recreate. Here's a screen shot (I have no idea why I didn't save the information regarding where I found it so I could get more details regarding fabric, etc.)

Inspiration Top for McCall's 8180

I also saw this top that is so close to view C of this pattern.  I do like when I can sew a designer look with an existing pattern that 1) fits me the way I want and 2) costs much less than the RTW.  This one retails for $990 on Farfetch.  Even if I purchase a high-cost silk crepe de chine I could sew this for less than retail :-)

Back to this pattern.  The pattern did not list if it was fitted, semi-fitted, loose fitting, etc. and I wanted something something loose fitting. I'm all about comfort in this season of my life and I don't want a fitted woven shirt. Unless it includes lycra :-)

McCall's 8180 Big Collar Button Front Shirt with Elbow Length Sleeves with Ruffle in Yellow Stripe Cotton worn by Sharon Sews

I can never tell for sure the intended fit based on the modeled garment on the pattern covers, so I looked at the line drawings. With the little "folds" drawn into the lower portion of the top I thought it would be semi-fittted.

Line Drawings for McCall's 8180 Button Front Big Collar Shirt

Then I looked at the finished garment measurements. Based on a size 14 (the size I start with for a woven top) the finished bust measurement is listed as 39", which would only provide 3" of ease in the bust area.  The finished bottom width is listed as 44", which would provide 6" of ease.  According to my Fit for Real People book, the 3" of ease at the bustline would classify this top as "fitted".

McCall's 8180 Big Collar Button Front Shirt with Elbow Length Sleeves with Ruffle in Yellow Stripe Cotton worn by Sharon Sews

I added a 1" full bust adjustment, and graded the bottom to a size 16. After the side seams were sewn I tried it on and ended up resewing the side seams with a 3/8" seam instead of 5/8" to try and get a little bit more room.  If you look closely you can see that the buttons are pulling slightly across my bust, indicating that I need more room in that area. One inch was not enough and I'll need to add at least another inch to get the look - and feel - I want.  

It's not as evident while I'm standing still taking photos, but it pulls when I move.

McCall's 8180 Big Collar Button Front Shirt with Elbow Length Sleeves with Ruffle in Yellow Stripe Cotton worn by Sharon SewsMcCall's 8180 Big Collar Button Front Shirt with Elbow Length Sleeves with Ruffle in Yellow Stripe Cotton worn by Sharon Sews

I knew this was going to be a test garment, so I used a low-cost lightweight cotton that I think I purchased at Hobby Lobby a few months ago. I think it turned out cute, but I don't know how much I'll actually wear it as it feels tight across the bust.

I eliminated the interfacing in the collar as I wanted a soft collar.  All seams were finished using my serger.   I used a narrow three-thread on my serger to hem the sleeve flounces instead of a narrow hem. The pattern calls for 3/8" buttons and I went up to a 1/2" because of my aging and arthritic hands. The difference isn't so much that it changes the design, but enough to help me button and unbutton the top easily.

McCall's 8180 Big Collar Button Front Shirt with Elbow Length Sleeves with Ruffle in Yellow Stripe Cotton worn by Sharon Sews

I think the back looks nice.   The top looks great when I'm standing still, but when I move it gets hung up on my high hip, so I am going to add more ease to the hip area next time.  I also like the length of the top.  This is a way I can wear the current "cropped" top look and still have enough coverage to feel comfortable that I won't expose my belly, an area I prefer to keep under wraps :-)

McCall's 8180 Big Collar Button Front Shirt with Elbow Length Sleeves with Ruffle in Yellow Stripe Cotton worn by Sharon Sews
One thing to note, the instructions do not have you add ease stitches to the sleeve cap before inserting into the armhole. Now I don't draft patterns, I just sew them, so perhaps this is normal at times? I don't know.  I went ahead and added two rows of ease stitching between the small dots and eased the sleeve into the armhole.

McCall's 8180 Big Collar Button Front Shirt with Elbow Length Sleeves with Ruffle in Yellow Stripe Cotton worn by Sharon Sews

I'm surprised at how much I like this top!  I didn't like the pattern at all when it was released, and never would have purchased it if I had not see that inspiration top.  I think with a few additional adjustments to get the fit I want I'll be sewing myself another summer top. 

Have a blessed day! 



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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Minerva Cotton Poplin Graffiti Print - Vogue 9112 Marcy Tilton Dress

 In 2015 I sewed a linen version of Vogue 9112, one that is worn all the time in the summer months! (Blogged about here). I figured after nearly six years it was time to sew another :-) 

I used a beautiful cotton poplin print gifted to be from Minerva, and I think it will be worn just as much as my linen one.

Visit the Minerva site to read all about it. 

Vogue 9112 in Cotton Poplin Print from Minerva worn by Sharon Sews
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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Butterick 6711 Gathered Sleeve Top - Minerva Cotton Rayon Voile

This vibrant burst of colors says spring to me! Head over to Minerva to read all about my latest make - this beautiful pullover top with gathered sleeves. 


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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Erin Dress by Style Sew Me in Floral Crepe

When this pattern was first released I was drawn to the slight cocoon shape and the tie details at the hemline.  I purchased the pattern never dreaming that easy-to-wear and comfy would become the fashion theme of 2020 (and beyond). 

As 2020 changed over to 2021 I grew tired of wearing my leggings and oversized tops, and decided it was time to sew a version of this dress.   The floral crepe fabric was purchased from SR Harris during a visit to Minnesota.  The weight was perfect, and it draped beautifully.  Of course the pop of almost neon flowers just makes me smile!

Here's what the pattern cover looks like.  As you can tell if you look closely at mine, I eliminated the little "v" at the center front neckline as it's just a design element.

Sizing ranges from XXS (full bust of 31") to 3X (full bust of 48"). I couldn't easily determine how much ease was in the dress so I cut out a large based on my full bust measurement.  There's quite a bit of ease, enough that I didn't need to do an FBA, and that is something I almost ALWAYS have to do with my patterns.

Fabric recommendations are light and medium weight wovens, such as cotton, linen, and crepe.  

The dress really has no shaping at all. It's basically a big rectangle with cut on (or is it grown on?) sleeves and and interesting hem detail.

If I hadn't used a soft fabric that drapes, I don't think this would have been flattering at all! So really think about your fabric choice if you sew this one.

A couple things to note that were not included in the construction booklet:

  • The pattern instruction booklet calls for 1 yard of interfacing. My guess is this was an editing error and should not have been included as the only thing that is interfaced is the neck facing.
  • I finished the edges of the pocket pieces and side seams (with my serger) before adding the pockets to the side seams
  • There are no notches on the pockets to match them to the side seams.  If you've sewn in-seam pockets before you'll instinctively know where to place your pockets.  The top of the pockets ended up being about 3/4" above the top notch on the dress side seam.
  • I added a strip of interfacing as a stabilizer to the seam line of the dress where the pocket was sewn to the dress.
  • After stitching the pockets to the dress, I pressed the seam toward the pocket and understitched to help keep the pocket from rolling out. 
  • I clipped the side seam above and below the pocket and pressed the side seams open. I pressed the pocket to the front. 
  • I was really confused by the hem tie instructions. Honestly, I'm still not sure if I sewed it as it was intended to be sewn. 
    • I wasn't sure if I needed to clip the corner of the tie before hemming the tie end, or if I was to create a tiny pleat on the dress.  I ended up creating a tiny pleat.  I think next time I'll staystitch the corner, clip to the corner and hem everything.

I have to tell you, I was really nervous how this going to look on me once I was done. Big b00bs ya know :-)  

I was afraid the dress would look awful.  Yet I was willing to try! 

By the way, I am 5' 5" and made no adjustments to the length of the dress. 

I'm glad I sewed the dress.  While something that defines my waist and hip is always going to be a more flattering look on me, I do like this.  I envision myself wearing this running errands or lounging around the house.  

Would I sew it again?  I don't know. I feel like I should because it's an indie pattern, which means it cost more than one of the Big 4 on sale.  I would only sew another if I found the right fabric. 

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Itch to Stitch Seychelles Tops ~ Metallic and Voile Versions

The new Seychelles Top from Itch to Stitch was perfect for a piece of metallic fabric I've had in my fabric collection for a few years. 

I was drawn to the v-neck, and the narrower shoulder combined with small pleats on the sleeve cap.

The PDF pattern is an easy-to-sew pullover top with a v-neckline, cup sizes, and long or short sleeve options. One thing I appreciate about this indie pattern company is the recent expansion of their size range.  This pattern ranges from size 00 to 40.  

Both tops I sewed are a size 8D with short sleeves. The gold one is a cotton/metallic twill I purchased in 2017 from Emma One Sock, and the black and pink one is a cotton voile fabric I purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics about 18 months ago.

Fabric recommendations for the top include linen, linen blends, rayon challis, charmeuse, lawn, chambray, poplin, sateen, and voile. 

The first one I sewed was the cotton voile version.  I find myself wearing this around the house often as the weather is starting to warm up where I live. It's very comfortable.

There is a center back seam that provides subtle shaping.  I did find I had to lower the bust dart by 3/4" on this pattern but that is something I need to do on most patterns.

On the voile one,  I used a one-step finish for applying the interfacing and finishing the edges of the facing. (I have tutorial on my YouTube - here - if you're not familiar with this technique)

I wanted to give the cotton/metallic fabric a try knowing it wasn't a recommended fabric. The weight is similar to a quilting cotton but it unraveled terribly!  I serged the cut edges prior to prewashing (gentle cycle) and drying (low heat) but that didn't stop the unraveling.

Even though this is a somewhat loose fitting top, I was concerned any stress on a seam could cause the fabric to unravel. I ended up fusing a very lightweight interfacing to the seam, hem, dart, and pleat areas.  I didn't block fuse the entire pattern pieces as I didn't want to change the hand of the fabric.

I like both of my new tops, but I really, really like the metallic one. It's dressy without being over the top. I paired it with jeans and heels for the pics, as this is what I would wear going to dinner with my husband. 

I put a review on my YouTube channel if you like to see the tops in action :-) 

 If you decide to purchase this pattern, I do have an affiliate link you can use. That just means if you use the link to purchase the pattern I receive a very small commission, and it is no additional cost to you.

NOTE: I was a pattern tester and received this PDF pattern at no cost in exchange for sewing a test version and providing feedback to the designer on the fit and pattern instructions. There was no expectation that I write a blog post or create a video.



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