McCalls 3650 – fabric

It’s been hot, until Christmas and now it’s cool but humid. I’ve been wanting to make up this fabric all year because the cream lace is sewn onto the fabric. When I saw it at The Remant Warehouse I just saw it as a lovely piece that could possibly be anything. It’s soft, drapes well, provides the opportunity to use just the base and it’s a strong red base. I also liked the fact that a rolled hem on the overlocker was the best hem finish idea.

Last year I bought some red lace on ebay and it’s a perfect match for this fabric. Believe me there was no planning regarding either the lace or fabric purchase.

I’ve used french seam finishes on the side seams. The sleeve hems are overlocked as are the sleeve and neckline hems. I’ve used the wider swimwear elastic because it’s clear but strong. The red lace has been used on the sleeve and waist elastic casing on the rightside of the top.

I did have to loosen the elastic gathering all over the top so that it didn’t look too much like a clown top. The neckline has some depth to it without looking too frumpy. I’ve also used a rolled hem on my overlocker (remove the left needle thread).
I’m not sure when I’ll wear this. I do have plenty more of this so I might try a soft skirt/top or try a ’40’s style dress.

Cycling + elastic


I finally brought out my winter cycling gear and low and behold, the waistline elastic died on me. Unpicking overlocking/serging is painful but I didn’t want to buy another pair of longs.

These longs are now back in my cycling wardrobe and they still keep the wind off my short little legs.

Now to get back to some real sewing. I have a couple more brown outfits to come…

Favourite boots + swimwear elastic

I love wearing boots in winter. Three winters ago I bought these stretch suede boots because they hugged my legs really well. Because I cycle and used to run, my calf muscles are still very developed. What this does is make it hard for me to find fashionable boots that fit my leg width.
Tonight I got the guts to unpick the top seam and resew them with swimwear elastic. It worked. I used a normal sewing needle on my janome, with a straight stitch.
When I undid the original stitching line, there were evidence of something sticky so maybe the elastic had perished over time. Now these boots can last a couple more winters.
27 May update: The elastic is still holding my boots up as I’ve been wearing them all day at work.

Make it work – Vogue 8420

I’ve now simplified a complex pattern. I feel like I’ve been simplifying problems all week.

After unpicking the sleeves, underfacing, elastic in the front waistline and shoulder seams, I:
– took off 2cm from the shoulder seams
– added clear elastic in the neckline edge, turned it over once and then straight stitched
– sewed on the sleeves and finished the side seams
– added three rows shirring elastic on the waistline.

Now this top works for me. I just couldn’t throw this top out because it’s a great colour.

The fitting advice came from my sewing mates a couple of weeks ago.
Thanks ladies 🙂


I can now see that if you have a small cup size, this top can really help you make more of what you’ve got.