McCall’s 6696 – Pinstripe Shirtdress


My most recent project as a Minerva Maker is this shirtdress sewn with a beautiful   Lady McElroy pinstripe medium weight cotton. The pinstripe is multi-colored in red, blue and yellow. The colors are subtle but enough to add interest.


I’ve made View A (sleeveless) in the past so I didn’t bother reading reviews of this pattern. I ran into trouble when it came time to insert the sleeves. There was a considerable amount of ease in the sleeve cap. I went back to read reviews and I found one reviewer who mentioned having issues with this as well. I didn’t have enough fabric to re-cut the sleeves so I had to make do because I wanted to stick with the long sleeved version. It took me 4 hours to get the sleeves sewn. It’s not my best work but it’ll have to do.


Besides the issue with the sleeves, the dress came together well. The pattern calls for gathering the back at the yoke and waist. I followed the patterns instructions for my previous two dresses but this fabric was too thick/stiff to allow for the amount of gathering called for by the pattern. I decided to sew an inverted pleat instead. I’m happy with the result. I also narrowed the collar by using a collar from a shirt pattern I like. I made this change on my previous versions of this pattern as well.


I’m glad to have added another shirtdress to my closet. They are timeless and versatile.


My two previous dresses from this pattern:

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Butterick 5450 – Embroidered Silk Dupioni Dress



I’ve had this embroidered silk Dupioni fabric in my stash for a while. I would take it out every once in a while when I needed to sew something a notch above my work attire but it never quite made it to the cutting table. I love the fabric and was tired of seeing it sit in my stash so I decided to just pick a pattern and go for it. I went with Butterick 5450, a pattern I’ve made a couple of times in the past.


The pattern calls for the dress to be lined. Whenever I make a silk Dupioni project I like to underline it as well. I chose to use silk organza which worked beautifully. I am a sucker for cut-in shoulders.


Everything was going well until I assembled bodice. Thankfully I had enough fabric to cut the front again. I could not believe I did this. Pattern placement is everything. Enough said.


I recovered from this goof and kept on with the dress. I added one inch to the length. I kept the side zipper but you can move the zipper to the back if you prefer as there is a seam in the middle. I moved the zipper to the back when I made a cotton poplin version of this dress (see bottom of post).


I’m glad I finally got this fabric sewn up. I’m happy to add this dress to my collection and look forward to having an event where I can wear it. It’ll be the one time I’m not hemming my dress minutes before we need to leave the house 🙂


Below are my two previous projects from this pattern. Sewing this dress reminded me what a great pattern this is. There are some beautiful versions of this dress out there sewn by some talented sewists.

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Burda Style 08-2018-118 – ITY Knit Top


I’m continuing on my sewing journey to add casual knit tops to my wardrobe in preparation for our vacation next year. They are lightweight, travel well and are easy to layer.

BS 08-2018-118

I bought this ITY knit while on vacation in Granby, QC last February. The print is a series of tiny squares with teeny flowers in them. I thought it would be fun for a simple top. In my opinion the single crossover panel added just enough interest. I like the shape of the neckline. The V-neck is wide but stays nicely in place due to the fit of the top.


You can’t tell with this print but the front overlaps slightly towards the back over the shoulder seams (see line drawing above). It’s a nice detail that would show up in a solid knit.M_L02973

The only change I made to this pattern was to shorten the top by 1.5 inches. I’m 5’7″ and don’t normally have to shorten tops. There were very few pattern pieces to trace and the top was an easy project. The pattern was featured in the “Sewing Lesson” section of Burda Style magazine so it had detailed directions. This would be a good first project for someone who had never sewn from the magazine.


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Vogue 8998 – Floral Poplin Dress


This is my third project as part of the Minerva Makers Team. I chose to make Vogue 8998 with this beautiful cotton poplin sent to me by Minerva.

VOUGE 8998

I love a floral dress with a full skirt for summer. I added 1.5 inches to the length of the skirt. I’m 5’7″ and that’s a standard alteration for me. The weight of the fabric proved to be perfect for this style of dress.


The princess seams in the bodice are not only flattering, they offer a great opportunity for fitting. The bodice is fully interfaced and the dress fully lined.


The style of the dress combined with the floral fabric produced the feminine summer dress I was looking to create. With this dress I’m calling the summer sewing season done for 2019.


I made View D a few years ago.


Vogue 8998

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Jalie 3132 – Striped Hooded Top


My fashion photographer and I are planning a vacation for next year and my wardrobe needs some casual tops that will travel well. In order to avoid my usual last minute vacation sewing I’ve decided to start now by sewing tops in between non-vacation sewing projects.

I’ve made this pattern a few times, with and without the hood. I find the shape of the top very flattering. For this version I lengthened the sleeves by 2 inches and added sleeve tabs after seeing them on a similar ready-to-wear top. The other change I made was to shorten the top by 1 inch.


The fabric is a lightweight jersey from Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley, California. Most of the construction was done with my serger/coverstitch machine. I think matching the stripes took longer than actually sewing the top. At least it felt that way 😉 The jersey was thin so I added interfacing to the hemlines prior to sewing them.


Let’s see how I do with my vacation sewing. Besides a few knit tops, I also want to sew a couple of dresses and MAYBE a jacket. I expect I’ll still come up with a last minute project to sew before we leave.


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Jalie 3881 – Sleeveless Eyelet Blouse


The weather is still warm here on the Central Coast of California and I still have summer sewing on my mind. I bought this eyelet last summer and was determined to get it sewn up this year.

In my opinion, the width of the collar is perfect. I often find the collars of shirt patterns to be too wide. The yoke and back pleat are interesting features. My only issue with this pattern was that it was a little shapeless for my taste. I used another shirt pattern to help me shape the sides. I removed approximately 1.5 inches at the waist, tapering to nothing at the armscye and hem, which I left as drafted.


The fabric was 60″ wide and I had 1.5 yards. I didn’t have enough to cut the armscye binding in the eyelet so I used the same print I had planned on using for the collar stand. I like the way it turned out.


This is the type of top that I can wear all summer long.


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Vogue 8665 – Textured Knit Dress


This dress is my second project as part of the Minerva Makers Team. I chose this beautiful textured Ponte Roma knit. I’ve been looking for the right knit to make Vogue 8665 for a while. I pictured a knit that wasn’t too thin or too heavy. This one was just right. The dress has a nice swing to it when I walk.


This was a simple project to sew. The only change I made was to omit the zipper in the back. There was no need for it with this knit. There dress slips on and off easily. The pattern recommends using woven or stable knit fabrics.


Thank you to Minerva for the fabric. I chose it based on the video provided on their website and was happy to see that it was exactly what I had expected.

If you have followed my blog for a while you know that I can’t resist a dress with a good twirl. Capturing a good twirling picture is always a challenge.


Here are some outtakes from the twirling photo shoot:

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Burda Style 06-2019-112 – “Knotty” Knit Top


Like many other subscribers to Burda Style out there, my June issue was later than usual. I went online to checkout some of the patterns offered in the issue. When I saw this top I decided I would make it as soon as I received the magazine.


I found this medium weight rayon and Lycra ponte knit at Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley. I love that fabric store and wish they were closer to our home. Of course I found a few other knits while I was there.

The photo above bothers me because it looks like my knots are not centered on each other, and they are. Also, those are pockets and not panty lines. Ugh!

I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern. The construction was very simple and I barely glanced at the instructions. The pattern was easy to trace which is always a bonus. I love the neckline and the knotted bands in the back. Even the length of the sleeves is great.


A couple of weeks ago we visited family in the Central Valley. My sister-in-law had this sewing themed umbrella waiting for me in the guest room. I think it is so cute.


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Vogue 8379 – Knit Wrap Dress


This is my third time sewing Vogue 8379. It is my favorite wrap dress pattern. There’s not a lot I can tell you that hasn’t been said about this pattern. To-date there are 143 reviews on It was also a Best Pattern for 2007 and 2008 as well being in the Hall of Fame in 2009.

I wanted to share this version because it was made with an interesting border print. The multi-colored stripe was located at the edge of the floral print as well as the edge of the solid part of the fabric. I used the stripe/solid combination for the sleeve and the stripe by itself for the belt. I used the stripe that was along the edge with the floral for the belt. I should have taken pictures of the fabric prior to cutting it. There’s not enough left to make out the print.


This time I made the short sleeve version and omitted the collar. I made my usual changes for this pattern:

  • Added 1″ to bodice length.
  • Cut the center back skirt on the fold. I removed the seam allowance in order to do so.


This will not be the last time I sew this pattern. It is a joy to sew and I love the finished dress.


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Style Arc Issy Knit Top


I have purchased new summer patterns from the Big 4 as well as some independent pattern companies but somehow this season I’ve been sewing my old favorites more than my new ones.

I’ve been wanting to make a sleeveless Issy Knit Top ever since I made the longer sleeve version a few years ago.


This 2-way stretch knit purchased last summer was exactly what I had in mind for this pattern. The fabric has a nice drape and I knew it would do well with the side gathers. The pattern has a hi-lo hem thing going that I like.  I made my usual Style Arc size 8 without any modifications.


There’s not a lot more to say about this top. I made a new summer top and I love it. I don’t think sewing has to be any more complicated than that 😉


My previous Issy Knit Top:


Style Arc Issy


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