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Category Archives: Pattern Reviews

Vogue 8759 Man’s Shirt

Back of man's shirt

I cut the original pattern with no adjustments in size 46 in a light blue cambric pinpoint and we had a try on.  I hated it!  It looked like a school boy’s shirt but maybe that was because of the traditional fabric. And it was not appealing because it didn’t look like a proper “work shirt”,  I could see this style  cut with the mandarin collar but not with the collar and stand as I need to make.


The yoke is drafted to seam at .5″ below the shoulder point, not dropped like a proper yoke, the sleeve has enough ease in it that there might be gathers when inserted.  But oddly enough the collar might just fit my husband’s 18.25 inch neck.  I wish Vogue would print the collar length on the pattern somewhere so that those of us who are serious about making a fitted man’s shirt could chose the proper size.  But they don’t.

I don’t trust my measuring ability to accurately tell me just exactly how long that collar is. Between the pattern’s tissue paper that is inaccurate by it’s very nature, and the exact placement of a measuring tape, millimeters can be lost or gained.  Ah, well.  No shirts are built by stressing over the small details, right?  But I did have my day of pouting.

I lowered the shoulder seam line and by like subtraction I extended the shoulder yoke, shortened the shoulder seam, cut the armscye lower and wider, added fabric over the torso, and added 3″ to the length of the garment. I did not alter the sleeve pattern. And I did not alter for my husbands dropped shoulder and leaning stature. These details of sewing for him have completely stopped my suit making. One day I will overcome. Pray for me.


I cut the cloth and basted the shell together.
front of man's shirt

Button Stand left open

Side of man's shirt

It looks like the sleeve could be rotated in the armscye a touch towards the back. How odd. This sleeve has a high cap, again that’s odd considering that most men’s shirt patterns have a flat sleeve cap.

But that’s why I like this patten: it has a taste of side shaping, and high and tight armscye, a long collar band and some shape and finesse to the sleeve.

So Onward I go, now to cut 4 more shirts as accurately as possible from a tissue. I don’t know of a garment that needs the most accurate and nuanced cutting as a man’s shirt. And for a picky man, the bottom line is how comfortable it feels, who can blame them?


Vogue 1208 Quick and Easy Elegance

Back of dress

I made this dress for a one day meet-up last year. Due to bad weather the flight home that evening was cancelled and I had to stay an extra day. I had not planned on spending the night so I had to wear this for 2 whole days. Oh boy. I can go for some glamor once in a while but 2 days? That’s really pushing me to my limits.


But I liked wearing this dress and 2 days worth was not a problem. The fabric is a finely pleated black and white polka dot polyester from, and it proved to be absolutely wrinkle-proof. The fit was comfortable and I had the yellow coat I made and blogged about for the whole month of April 2009 with me. That was a great comfy coat to wear, too. And I had brought flats, Yay Me! Disaster averted.


The pattern is to be laid out on the bias but I cut cross grain to take advantage of the inherent stretch of the pleats. I cut a size 12 through the bodice and flared to a 14 below the waist.


I lined on the bias with black cling free poly lining which I trimmed with black lace at the hem. I cut the lining with extra width so that it could relax into place on my body. The bow at the shoulder is black and white silk chiffon as is the simple rectangle wrap I made.

V1208Line Drawing

What an easy and quick but comfy and stylish design. I really enjoyed sewing it up and wearing it. I can recommend this simple but interesting shift for many different body shapes.

We finally got some rain and the humidity and wind is poofing up my hair big time. It’s getting wider and shorter with every passing minute. I was feeling like I might go airborne a la The Flying Nun before I could finish doing this photo shoot :).


Salute to Gwen

Gwen was the first person to push me to love my hair as much as she did.  She always would comment upon it and I would tell her how shy and embarrassed I felt.  She never did acknowledge my negativity.  So here is my salute to her in the only way I know to say it.

Good Bye Gwen

Gwen, thank you for helping me start to accept and love and show myself.

You’ve escaped this messy jungle and left the rest of us here, so touched and made better by your heart and mind.

You've Escaped the Jungle

I grew to love you as did many others. You put me in touch with myself, a part I am still exploring and still unsure of sharing.  I’ll always miss you and now I don’t have to worry about you any more. I should be glad about that. But I can’t say Good Bye, your comments will here remain as long as this blog continues.

Missing You

Shown is a new, larger version of Vogue Woman V8504.

M4392 McCalls Sew News Coordinates



Full Length Front

This pattern has skirt, pant,top with side slits sleeves and with sleeves, and jacket in a casual style for wovens. I made the sleeveless top in linen.

M4392 OOP

The pants are again Vogue 8915, shown here over and over for the past 7 weeks.

I lengthened the top by 2″, and increased the depth of the neckline facings to allow for 1 3/8″ deep topstitching instead of the 1″ called for in the pattern.

I cut a 12 through the neckline, 14 for the armscye and 16 through the bust angling out to 18+ for the waist and hipline. I made no other changes.

If I make this again, I need to lower the bust darts and perhaps cut more room through the bust. My weight changes all the time and I am sewing for linen that comes from the dryer without benefit of an iron. This means it will relax and stretch with body warmth and movement. I’ll write these alteration notations on the front of the envelope so I should see it if I make this top again and haven’t dropped in weight.

I like this pattern esp since I lowered the hemline. The armscye is snug but not too tight. Good pattern for me.

B5215 View C

Let’s finish this pattern up and move on, OK? I’m pretty sure I have some friends who are moaning: “not another scrub! Give us something more fashionable!” As well they should. What I’m making these days are my uniforms for daily kicking at the house and running to the store.

So this is the last of the Cheap, Fun, and Easy series, which is not to say I won’t still be sewing cheap fun and easy, I just won’t show you scrubs tops all the time.

Front view and the reason why I bought this questionable fabric with Westies wearing red bows, and apples and doo-dahs: my little photo bombing Westie dog and constant companion of almost 15 years, Gaely GoLightly.

Front of View C

Back view

Back of View C

I was surprised by how this version turned out. It looks almost like a tunic.

I tried not to stray too far from the pattern. I again cut an extra large. I lowered the neckline by 3/4″, shortened the shoulder by 1/2″ and shortened the neckband by .5″. Then I shortened the band by another 1″. It didn’t help much.

Maybe it was my fabric. It has an old feel and I think it’s a 1980’s fabric. It has a stiff hand from the dye. It’s a very stretchy cotton with lycra or elastine. And has a goofy print. Husband really didn’t want me to buy it. LOL Turns out he’s got quite a good eye for classy fabrics. Not this, in other words.

Anyone who makes this pattern will have to make sure they’ve cut any of the version’s necklines long enough to fit over your head and will have to be ready to shorten the neckbands by how ever much necessary to give a smooth finished edge.

Some say they make the band 2/3 the length of the neckline opening. I am the touchy-feely type so I test with my hands. And therefore I knew in advance this wouldn’t work too well. But it’s OK for my purposes and better than what you can get at a yard sale.

Closeup of neckline

So that is B5215, View C. And the end of scrubs.

B5215 Connie Crawford 3 Basic Tees

I’m working on pulling together pieces from the past few years and sewing up short cuts of fabric I’ve not had the time to sew for the past (mumble mumble) number of years due to commercial sewing, business or garden work and taking time to get over cancer, as well.

This year the garden did not fare well with all the rain and cool temps so I’m sewing up what I have intended to sew for the past 10+ years. The heck with food, we’re just going to have to plan on going to the store this winter.

Using B5215


I’ve made view A in a stretchy rayon lycra, on the shelf for so long I don’t remember any details

Fern Leaf Top
Fern Leaf Back

and view B in a cotton sateen with lycra from Michaels Fabrics many years ago.

Sateen Top

Sateen side

I cut each of these at the XL size and then had to take really small seam allowances. I don’t buy clothes so I have no idea what size I’d buy and Connie’s sizing is different from the regular Butterick sizing. Did I take my own measurements and measure the flat pattern? Why, no, I didn’t. I have no clue why I didn’t. I went from the measurement sizing on the pattern and expected more ease. But she’s a technically correct one, that Connie Crawford is and that’s exactly why I wanted to use her patterns.

Surprise! My fabric choices are not regular tee shirt fabrics. Oh well, I made it work.

On each tee I lowered the neckline by 3/4″ and took a 3/8″ seam in the neck binding. I made View B without any other modifications to the pattern. On View A I shortened the shoulder length by 1/2″.

So, now for version C, with all the ease of a “regular tee shirt”, I have no idea how it will fit. I have some cute but “questionable” fabric to use and I’ll cut the same XL and lower the neckline and shorten the shoulder length by the same 3/4″ and 1/2″ respectively and we’ll just have to see what comes of that.

I like how these two pieces have paired up with other items so far.

Aqua Fern Top with McCalls 6247 made 2 years ago

Aqua Top

Sateen Top with linen pants, both just made this week. The pants pattern as it has evolved from Vogue 8915 first cut in July

Cotton Sateen Top (B5215) and Linen Pant (V8915)

The Olive Top made from Vogue 8915 looks great with the new light green linen pants

Olive Top and Spring Green Linen Pant

The Vogue 1364 Warm Weather Jacket made in August works with them both

Olive Coat, Top and Pants

Back to the cutting table for version C and I have another linen pant to stitch up from the evolved slouchy pants pattern.

I have plans for a safari style short sleeved jacket in linen and an Issy Miyaki tunic in dupioni planned beyond that.

I love it when a such a long term plan comes together!

McCalls 6244 Tee Shirt

McCalls 6244

I cut the medium size out last week and only sewed it up yesterday. I raised the front neckline by 3/4″, widened the sleeves by the same and used a pivot and slide method to add 1.5″ to the hip width. This is a colorful but thin cotton jersey ripened many years on the shelf. I only had a yard so this is it.

Real life: broken refrigerators, stripping floors, kitchen reorganization and a surprising flea invasion have tried to take over but have been conquered (almost). Frontline Plus is not working. It’s down to flea combs, traps, baths, and daily vacuuming of everything. They’ve invaded the neighborhood. I have one word: rabbits. But I blame almost everything on rabbits so don’t trust me on this. It could well be slacking humans.