McCall’s 7543 – Madras Off-The-Shoulder Top


A few weeks ago I made a top from McCall’s 7543 in a white eyelet and was every happy with the result. I’ve seen so many cute versions of this top popping up that I decided to make another one. This time I chose the tunic length. I wanted to sew the sleeves with the ties again but I didn’t have enough fabric so I went with the elastic casing.

The fabric is a cotton Madras from Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley. When I was cutting out the fabric I was worried that the top might look like a tablecloth.


I shortened the tunic by 1.5″. I am 5″7″ tall and found the original length a little too long for my taste. I like that the curved hem is finished with facings. They give a little extra weight to the hem and create a nice finish.


This tunic is so comfortable. Off-the-shoulder styles can sometimes be finicky to wear but not this one. The top feels secure on my arms and stays in place as I move around.

If you are wanting to sew an off-the-shoulder top and are still debating what pattern to use, I highly recommend this one.


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Vogue 9184 – Paisley For The 50th Anniversary of The Summer of Love


The de Young Museum in San Francisco currently has an exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. I figured my most recent dress in this paisley print would be right in line with the exhibit. More about that later, first things first. Before making the paisley version of Vogue 9184 I made the version pictured below:


I had this fabric in my stash for a few years. I saw a similar dress in a store window and thought of my fabric instantly. I didn’t want to break up the plaid so I omitted the front and back darts. I also cut the collar on the bias just because I thought the plaid would look better on the bias.


Because I chose to line my dress I didn’t need to finish the armscye with bias tape as directed in the pattern.


A few weeks ago I purchased tickets for the Summer of Love Experience at the de Young Museum. The exhibit covers art, fashion, and rock & roll from the years surrounding the legendary summer of 1967 in San Francisco. My Fashion Photographer and I often attend events at the Museum. We have a routine around timing and parking whenever we head out there.  I’m the type of person that likes a plan. Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out as they are supposed to. It all started with the parking garage being FULL and a stream of cars slowly driving around Golden Gate Park looking for parking.  Forty minutes later we found parking that should have been a twenty minute walk to the museum. I say should have been because that is what it would have been had we not been going around in circles. My former boy scout fashion photographer blamed it on the lack of sun to help him get oriented. I was wearing sandals that are fine for visiting a museum but not fine for hiking around a park.


By now time was moving on and I was getting cranky. Once we figured out where we needed to go, we realized we would not have enough time to enjoy the exhibit before it closed. We also had dinner reservations which we could have cancelled but by then I had a cocktail on my mind.  We chose to forego the exhibit and headed out to dinner at the Presidio, which is where we took pictures of my dress.

For this version I sewed the darts as directed and omitted the collar. I lined the dress for this version as well.


This is a wonderful pattern and I see more dresses in my future. I’ll be on the lookout for fabric to make the longer length with the side slits.


Heading to the bar…


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Simplicity 8341 – Perfect Pairing: Cold Shoulder Top and Wine Tasting


My Fashion Photographer and I are surrounded by wonderful vineyards.  We like to get out and try new ones and revisit our favorite ones whenever time permits. For our latest outing I chose to wear a recent top I made; Simplicity 8341.


This pattern did not catch my eye when it was first introduced. Then I started seeing some cute versions sewn up that made me want to give it a try. Before the internet, sewing was somewhat of a solitary hobby unless you had a friend who also sewed. I love being inspired by people from around the globe who share the same passion as me for sewing their own clothes.


The top came together well. The only thing I did differently than the directions was to inferface the button/buttonhole plackets. One thing to watch for is that there are a few seams that are sewn at 3/8″ and they don’t always stand out in the instructions. I had to pay closer attention than I normally do to figure out what seam width to sew. The fabric is a cotton voile from my stash. The weight of the fabric was perfect for this top.


The day after I cut out this top I had to go to the sewing machine dealer for an issue with my serger. I saw the wall of feet for my Bernina sewing machine and decided to purchase a rolled hem foot. I had used a rolled hem foot with my previous machine but had not purchased one for my Bernina until now. I’m glad I did because it made hemming the ruffles a breeze.


I like the buttoned up shirt look with the trendy cold shoulder. I’m glad I gave this pattern a try.



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McCall’s 7538 – Simple Summer Knit Dress


I can see this quickly becoming one of my favorite summer dresses. It is simple, yet I think the stripes and crossover detail give it a lot of interest.


The pattern caught my attention because it offers so many options; sleeves, neckline, skirt shape, dress or top. And that is without factoring in the fabric possibilities.


To make sure my stripes matched on the sides, I cut out each piece individually rather than layering them. I normally do this when cutting horizontal stripes. I purchased the fabric from Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkeley. I love that store and wish it were closer to where I live though it’s probably better that it is not 😉

Other than setting the sleeves in flat prior to sewing the side seams, I sewed this according to the pattern instructions. No alterations.


There’s not much to say about this dress. The process of sewing it was uneventful. I am very happy with the finished product which is always a great feeling. After working on a wadder for over a week (I tried so hard to save it), this dress was just what I needed to get me feeling good about sewing again.


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McCall’s 7543 – Eyelet Off-the-Shoulder Top


I purchased this scalloped-edge eyelet in Granby, QC last Spring while visiting family and friends.  White eyelet screams summer to me. I knew the fabric was going to be an off-the-shoulder top but was not sure which one. The knotted sleeves on McCall’s 7543 caught my attention. I think the sleeves are a super cute detail and something a little different than the standard casing/elastic finish.


I also like the shoulder straps. They look good and hide my bra straps. To make sure my bra straps are covered I chose to wait until I finished the top to sew the straps on by hand. The pattern has you apply the straps to the front prior to forming the casing. While it does create a nice finish it doesn’t allow you to align them to your bra straps. The back straps are sewn by hand so it wasn’t a big stretch to sew the front by hand as well.


My top is 1.25″ longer than the pattern. I lined up the scallop with the bottom of the pattern, omitting the 1.25″ hem. I underlined the front and back with cotton voile.

This was a fast and easy project. The result is a fun top that will be part of my summer adventures.

The pants are Jalie Eleonore’s made last Fall.


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Me-Made-May ’17 – Wrap Up

I did it again! I made a commitment to wear at least one me-made item every day for the month of May and succeeded. This was my second year participating in Me-Made-May.

Wearing me-mades every day is not too challenging for me because I make most of my clothes. For this challenge, I like to take the opportunity to dig a little deeper in my closet for something to wear. Purposely choosing and outfit every day made me realize once again that I keep my clothes a long time by most people’s standards. Disposable fashion is not part of my wardrobe.

Below are my me-mades for May 2017. Thanks to my husband, I was able to document all thirty one days of me-mades. Most of these pictures were taken early in the morning before my husband left for his job in Silicon Valley. I often wonder what the neighbors must think as they look out of their windows and see the two of us in photographer/model mode before most people have had their morning coffee. The sunglasses so early in the day were needed because on some days I had not finished my make-up by the time my husband had to leave for work.

Thank you to Zoe at So Zo …What Do You Know? for the getting the challenge going. I look forward to participating again next year.

Burda Style 10-2015-121 – Blouson Jacket or What I Wore to Meet Leslie Sbrocco

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My fashion photographer and I enjoy food.  I love to cook and try new recipes but we also enjoy discovering new places to eat. One way we stay on top of the local restaurant scene is to watch Check, Please! Bay Area on our local PBS station. The weekly show features three guests who each talk about their favorite restaurant. The show is hosted by Leslie Sbrocco, a wine expert with a fun approach to wine and food. Leslie is a regular guest on the Today Show as well as other shows where she shares her knowledge about wine.

This year my fashion photographer and I were able to attend the annual Taste and Sip 2017 in San Francisco. It is an event hosted by Leslie, featuring local restaurants and wineries. Of course I needed something new to wear! San Francisco in the evening is always challenging for me. You never know how “cold” it will be. I wanted a jacket to layer over a sleeveless top and pants.  I purchased this stretch metallic denim from Fabric Mart last year with a blouson style jacket in mind.


This Burda Style jacket has an 80’s vibe to it that appealed to me when I received the magazine in 2015.  I like the length of it because it allows me to wear longer tops than I would wear with a bomber jacket. The pattern is well drafted and came together easily. Tracing the pattern was a little more challenging as the pattern pieces are used for multiple jackets in the magazine. The pattern calls for folding the front over the zipper to cover the teeth. I didn’t want to do that because; A) I noticed that it pulled at the waist because of the elastic, and B) I liked the shiny gold zipper I purchased from J & N Zipper . I forgot that by not folding the front, the collar was no longer going to finish at the zipper, as designed. My collar is a nudge short 😦   I decided not to cut a new collar and call it a design feature.

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I like the fit of this jacket a lot. It felt good to wear and added to the fun of our evening.


We had not planned on doing any fashion photography but arrived early enough to walk around and take pictures.


I was completely star struck when I saw Leslie Sbrocco. People were asking to have their picture taken with her but I was too embarrassed to do that. My fashion photographer noticed her walking towards us (I went into panic mode) and asked her if she would pose for a picture with me. Leslie immediately scooted in and put her arm around me. She was warm and gracious AND told me I had a beautiful jacket. I don’t know what I said but I know it was something banal like “I watch your show every week and love it”.  As if  she’s never heard that before. Sheesh!  I look like a deer caught in the headlights in the picture below but I still like it because it reminds me of the wonderful time we had sipping and tasting away the evening.

Leslie and Lucy

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