Vintage McCalls 8826 and McCalls 6844

dress no jacket

*Disclaimer- the color in these pics is nuts. I tried to adjust to make the dress color true, but my skin paid the price.

I’m a bit of a fabric collector. I don’t want to use the word ‘hoarder” because that makes it sound like I don’t want to use them. Quite the contrary- I want to use them all and I want to use them all right now. This Pucci-esque fabric was a remnant I bought from Emma One Sock shortly after I started sewing. I just had to have it. When it arrived, in all it’s liquidy, colorful goodness, I just couldn’t stomach cutting into it. At that point in my sewing, the ratio of wadders to winners was not great. I saved it until my skills improved and until the right moment. You know The Moment, right? The one where you literally get an invitation in the mail that says Please Make a Fancy Dress Out of a Gorgeous Fabric. Ok, most of you call that a wedding invitation, but not me. Oh no, not me.

It didn’t take me long to find the right pattern. I had narrowed it down to a few on Etsy. I knew that I didn’t want the fabric clinging to my body, so I decided to search for a trapeze style dress. I found this vintage McCalls 8826 pattern and it fit the bill nicely.


The dress was a fairly easy sew. The neck was interfaced to keep it upright. I think I used the wrong interfacing though. I used something that I had on hand and it turned out a little too stiff. I finished the hem with an iron-on hem tape. Even though I don’t wear many dresses, I would consider making this one again. It is just so darn comfy!

dress back

top angle

You may recognize this jacket as McCalls 6844. It was one of the top patterns on Pattern Review for 2013. I had a heavy, ribbed fabric (like corduroy, but not) from Mill End in Beaverton, Oregon. I know many of you have heard about Mill End in Portland, but I had limited time and was out in the suburbs so I stopped by the Beaverton location. I can’t say enough good stuff about this store! The staff was incredibly kind. I ended up having to nurse my crying baby to sleep, then I held him while I finished shopping. A sleeping babe in arms will not keep me from fabric shopping! After paying, the cashier offered to help me out to the car since I was still holding my sleeping little guy. Wow! That was so thoughtful and helpful. Not only was the service great, but the selection was outstanding! Yes, I know it is not nearly as big as the Portland store, but it is well curated and chock full of high quality fabrics.

I was pleased with the jacket and it works well for fall/winter professional attire. I feel like no one is really wearing brown right now though. Is that right? It’s a good color for me (unlike the dress) so I am going to wear it despite the trends.

close up top half


Quilted Burda Retro Top 07/2013

boxy burda top 1

I love a good boxy top. I have been following the Wardrobe Architect series and have discovered that boxy tops and skinny jeans are one of my main silhouettes. Seriously, how did I not notice this before? I guess that is part of what I like about the W.A. series so much- it makes you more intentional about what you put on your body and in your closet.

Enter the Burda Retro Top 07/2013. I came across this pattern while browsing the Project pages on the Burda Style website. It has a few nice little details that make it more special than a regular t-shirt. There are back darts and a sweet little peek-a-boo opening in the back (yeah, I don’t know what that’s called).

This is my first Burda pattern. I cut a size 44 and made it with no alterations. I’ll probably add 1″ in length next time. I am 5’9″ and it is just a bit shorter than I like. I went all out and finished the hem, sleeves and facings by hand. It was pleasant to finish it slowly and really savor the process. That is not my M.O.

130_technical_largeboxy burda top 3


I used a yummy black quilted synthetic fabric from Fabric.com. It was only $6/yd so I bought an embarrassing amount. Upside- it is cozy and super easy to work with and care for. Downside- it pills and collects lint like nobody’s business. I have so much left that I think I will make track pants and a Linden sweatshirt with it. I’ll probably still have enough left to make some stuff for the kiddos too.

I am thinking of using a black and white upholstery fabric for my next boxy top. Maybe too stiff?

Simplicity 6230 and Self Drafted Skirt- aka Goodbye Summer Outfit

Simplicity 6230

Simplicity 6230

I am showing you all a summer make since everything I have made in the past few weeks has ended up in the trash. What the heck? Sometimes learning to sew makes me crazy. It is about the process at this point though, right?

I found this striped yellow and white cotton sweater loose weave sweater knit at fabric.com. It was on clearance and I love sweater knitsbut can’t stand to wear wool, cashmere or acrylic- it makes me itchy. So this cotton yardage a no brainer! I decided to give Simplicity 6230 a try. Raglans have always been a favorite and I have seen many great versions of this one. I paired it with a self drafted skirt that is SUPER simple. I used this pretty floral (that has already faded badly) from Girl Charlee and serged it and a white single knit lining to a 2″ waistband. That is pretty much the whole story there. I made 3 of these to wear over the summer and they were great to travel with, as comfy as can be and even, dare I say, cute.

Conclusion- the skirt is a hit. I don’t think it can handle very many more washes though. The sweater was a decent first try at this pattern. I have made a couple of better versions since.