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Category Archives: Tops

A Burda blouse, and Me-Made-May!


Hello! More stash busting today (my husband has been waiting for me to use this term since it slipped out when I was talking to him, don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll get up to speed on the sewing blog lingo eventually!). I bought this rather pungent mystery synthetic (I think it’s polyester) from an Op Shop while on holiday at the start of the year, I didn’t know what I was going to use it for but I just loved the minty green splotches!

When I saw this pattern on Burda Style I liked it, but it was only when I saw the awesome member’s versions that I realised its true potential. My measurements matched up with the size 40, but I measured some of my shirts against the finished measurements and there was too much ease for me so I cut the 38. There’s no darts so the shape is really just through the side seams. I’m happy with the fit!

This pattern is great, goes together easily and I think the neck pleats are such a nice detail. The armholes are finished with bias binding, which didn’t work that nicely with this fabric as it doesn’t press well.


Now, I mentioned it’s a bit strong-smelling. I think this fabric harkens back to the time when synthetics felt (and smelt) synthetic! I don’t mind the smell, but I don’t think this will be good in hot weather. I’m too used to nice breathable fabrics! I’m still pleased I found fabric I liked in an Op Shop though, I’m always on the look-out but I don’t really see fabric in the ones near me.

Pattern: Burda Style Magazine 09/2011 Sleeveless blouse

Fabric: Printed polyester from an Op Shop

… something I’m pretty excited about! I’ve never participated in one of these challenges before, organised by the lovely Zoe of ‘So, Zo… What do you know?’. I’m sure most people coming across this blog would be familiar with the challenges, but if not you can click on the banner above to learn more.

‘I, Jess of make do and jess, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment or accessory each day for the duration of May 2012’

I’ve put in accessories to make it easier on myself, I’ll try not to cop out by wearing hand-knit scarves or beanies everyday but I’m concerned about my lack of cold-weather me-mades. I tend to make a lot of light-weight dresses and blouses. I was starting to think I could get away with wearing them since Autumn has been so mild, but of course the weather has turned this week!  I do have some cooler weather projects planned so that should help as I get them done.

At first I wasn’t sure I should even do this challenge as I’m trying to start a business from home, so I don’t need to get dressed for a job, but I think it will be really good for me to make an effort. I know when I get dressed as if I’m going somewhere I’m more productive, so this can only be a good thing. My plan is to post to the Flickr group everyday and then do a weekly post here. I’m looking forward to shaking up my routine a bit, and also seeing the other participant’s unique clothes and self expression!


McCall’s 5052

I have been wanting a short sleeved gingham shirt for ages, so I finally got my act together and made one! It’s McCall’s 5052, which appears to be out of print now. There are so many similiar patterns out there, but I chose this one based on the good reviews at PatternReview. I was originally going to draft it myself since it’s such a basic shape, but I didn’t seem to be getting around to it! I can’t wear good intentions now can I, hmmm?

Sorry about the squinty face, I’m a bit of a squinter in outdoor photos I’m afraid. I’m pretty happy with the pattern, it’s exactly what I wanted- not too fitted or too boxy. Instructions were fine, I mostly followed them except I used fusible bias interfacing tape on the neckline instead of staystitch (I hate staystitch, sorry staystitch) and drafted a back neck facing to avoid the slipstitching it asks for at the inside collar and facing. I did mock flat felled seams at the side seams and shoulders for strength and because I think it looks nice on shirts.

I wear it with the sleeves folded up, I just found the length hit me at an unflattering place on my arm otherwise in my opinion. Actually I knew it would to start with and quite like rolled sleeves anyway!

I have to sneak in this last photo, we had someone else who wanted their outfit documented:

He is one of our neighbour’s cats, dubbed ‘black & white guy’ as we don’t know his name. He looks docile here but one wrong move during a tummy rub and he’ll hook you with a razor sharp claw!! Just be glad we can’t have pets in our rental or you’d be exposed to a lot more feline documentation 😉

Pattern: McCall’s 5052, view B

Fabric: Cotton gingham from Spotlight, not the greatest quality but it was cheap so I got what I paid for.

Colette Sencha

Oh sorry blog, I never meant to leave you this long. Let’s all try and put this behind us and move on, I know I have.

I made this Colette Patterns Sencha a looong time ago, I think it’s time for a new one!

This was a pretty easy pattern to make up, and of course the Colette pattern booklets are so lovely. I made Version 3 with the keyhole neckline, which I love on other people but is probably too high for me. Usually I wear it with my hair up and it’s better, but obviously I hadn’t figured that out yet when I took these photos! I have also since realised the hallway is not the best place for photos, mmmhmmm.

Next time I’ll probably make Version 1 and change it to a scoop neck, like Ink & Spindle’s beautiful versions.

Pattern: Colette Patterns Sencha, Version 3

Fabric: Polyester/cotton brushed back satin, aka Cuddleskin, from Spotlight. Yep, it’s a pajama fabric.