May the Fourth be with you. A Star Wars McCalls M6044


I made this shirt for May the Fourth Star Wars day. Mr SNS had selected the fabric himself from B&M Fabrics around the New Year. He originally wanted piping all round the collar and button band but I kindly declined.

The compromise was what you see here. Having made this  7 times now , there isnt much else I can add except to say that sewing the short sleeve is even faster than the long sleeve. Its the same pattern I have used since the first one made in December 2015 so if you’d like to read a more detailed review then please click here.


McCalls M6044
McCalls M6044 Bake view

To avoid pattern matching – contrast button band.
So happy with the collar.
Double hem stitching for added oomph 🙂
I cut the collar so that when its popped the storm trooper is staring at you 🙂
My fave part of a project is when I get to put my brand on it #ownit!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,





McCalls Shirt dress M7387 Pattern Review

This was a dress that I made for a sewing challenge called #sewingtogetherforsummer last year. The challenge was to sew a shirtdress in time for the British summer (I know – its an oxymoron). Anyhow, I chose this pattern as it had been a recent addition to the stash from my epic US pattern haul.

McCalls M7387 is a top, tunic and dresses pattern. Its semi-fitted through bust and has a collar, back pleated into self-lined yoke with forward shoulder seams, and front-fly button closing.

I was drawn to the pattern by the high side slits and the super curved hemline. The fact that it has dolman style sleeves was also lovely. I made view D, size: small.

The fabric I used was bought from Jacks Fabrics during one of my many fabric shopping jaunts last year. It’s a lightweight rayon or viscose challis. I don’t normally go for black and white but this ikat print was attractive.

Sewing the pattern up was reasonably okay. The button placket is covered so that had a few tiny challenges which resulted in me eliminating the covered placket in favour for showing off my cute black rim buttons.

The style of this reminds me of the Deer and Doe Melilot which has similar sleeves. Curved hems are always a bit tricky to sew but with rayon a good pressing removes all evils.

The back pleat is a big one – not a regular box pleat. Consequently, it is very important to mark the notches and the direction of the fold for the pleat. When I make this again in the future I will be adding pockets – its the one thing that’s missing for me. The pattern envelope shows it worn with a belt but I much prefer it without one.

Its a joy to wear this dress – light and airy,  it was perfect for summer. Here is how I wore it most of the time. Sometimes I swapped the wedges for black flip-flops.

This pattern is great value all round – it has many variations which I am definitely interested in making. The next one will be view E in some rayon fabric languishing in my stash at the moment :-).

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day 🙂

Peace and love,


Love Sewing Issue 44 Reader Review M6886

I made another M6886 as a reader review article for Love Sewing magazine (Issue 44). They invited me to their studio for a proper photoshoot with a make up artist and everything! Even got my nails done :-). It was quite an experience – one that I will cherish. Here is the review……

McCall’s M6886 Pattern Review for Love Sewing Magazine

You can never go wrong with a classic silhouette like McCall’s M6886. Designed to be a close fitting pullover dress, it has three neckline variations and four sleeve lengths. I love the scoop neckline on View D. The simplicity of sewing this dress is at odds with how well presented and chic I feel in it – surely something so quick to sew shouldn’t be so elegant?  Yet it is and that is the beauty of this pattern – I can see why it’s incredibly popular in the sewing community with over 160 reviews on PatternReview.

Well written instructions mean that even a new beginner can tackle this. The instructions are also written for sewing machines so even if you don’t have an overlocker you are covered. I cut a size 8 which fits me well – I took in a half inch at my narrowest waist point as I wanted a snugger fit there.

Let’s talk fabric – this lush wool ponte from Minerva Crafts is the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow as it were. I was torn between the brown and pink colourway but settled on the popping pink of course! Unusually, this beautiful ponte roma stripe is made from 100 percent wool fibres. It has a luxurious feel and was an absolute dream to sew. The stripes measure approx 7mm wide so I easily got away with minimal stripe matching (I can honestly say that stripe matching is not my forteJ.). It also helps that it’s reversible which means cutting out can be economical. The fabric is comfortable to wear, isn’t scratchy and the wool makes for a cosy warm dress – perfect for fall/winter. Love!

This dress has got so much layering potential for winter too – I plan on keeping it cosy by layering it over a black turtleneck with tights and knee length boots! Sweet!!!

If you are looking for a practical, easy to sew and figure flattering pattern then look no further than McCall’s M6886. I have more plans to add to the three that are already taking pride of place in my closet!

And pictures…….

I don’t think I did too bad in a studio 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!


Peace and love,



Selfless Sewing: McCalls M6044 for my brother….but modelled by OH…

Hello everyone,

Here is a shirt I actually sewed in January 2016 for my little brother who lives in Switzerland. He spent Christmas with us and I offered to make him a shirt using McCalls M6044.

I took him fabric shopping – on a tangent -I honestly do not understand why he didn’t LOVE fabric shopping – we walked into B&M Fabrics and literally 2 seconds later he just pointed at a fabric and he was like “that one” (literally 2 seconds in the shop!!!!). “Have a look around and see what else is there – there are loads of lovely fabrics.” I said with a big enthusiastic smile across my face. Continue reading

McCalls M7430 Pattern Review

Hello everyone,

I am so behind with my blogging – though its February I still am blogging things from last year – still better late than never.m7430_a

I purchased this pattern during a half price sale around September last year and got around to sewing this dress up in December.


McCalls M7430



Pattern Description: Misses’ Knit Side-Panel Dresses with Yokes

McCalls M7430 is a fitted pullover knit dress with side panels (no side seams). It has a front and back yoke with neckline variations. The neck variation is a bound, round neckline or a turtleneck. The hem variation is a shaped hem or a straight hem. The dress may be made sleeveless, three-quarter sleeve or long sleeve.

Pattern Sizing

Pattern sizing combinations are A5(6-14) and E5(14-22). I cut out a size 10 based on finished garment measurements and I thought it was not too far off the mark ease-wise.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

I made view D, using a black contrast stretch pleather with a pink and black cloque fabric. And it looked like what I was expecting based on the pattern cover.

 Were the instructions easy to follow?

I read through the instructions before embarking on this project and they were huge easy to follow diagrams accompanying the written instructions making this beginner friendly. This is a relatively simple dress to make anyway. It scores more points on the beginner friendly scale as there is a YouTUbe sew along by Anita Design . You can’t do much better that! If you don’t like reading instructions it’s worth checking that out. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like patterns with interesting seam lines. This has princess seams at the front combined with a front yoke as well which gives plenty of colour blocking options. There are endless possibilities.

Fabric Used

I bought the main fabric during SewUpNorth in November last year. It is a bold black & cerise jacquard blister ponte (cloque). I have since found out that composition is viscose, polyester & spandex (which explains why it’s so comfortable). It has a beautifully-soft handle and a firm stretch with good recovery across the width and length of the fabric. This is the same fabric I used for my Lady Skater Dress <link here>.

What really drew me to the fabric was the easy flamboyance of the vibrant rococo-style pattern. In terms of fabric care: I machine washed at 30°C and tumble dried as normal.

For the contrast, I teamed it with fabric I already had in my stash from Leeds Market. The stretch pleather was bought to make leggings but I am glad I didn’t make leggings with it. I didn’t want stretch pleather on my neck so I used what little black ponte I had for the upper body. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough of the black ponte for the side panels.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I took in the princess seams at the waist line to reduce a swayback issue. Swayback is a standard alteration for me but I skipped it on this because I had princess seams down my back to work with. Though for future makes I will do the adjustment on my paper pattern.

There is a little more ease across the upper back than there should be for a fitted dress- it was also slightly roomy for me around the bust area where I took in about 1” in total.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I am making this again for sure. Its easy to both make and wear. Comfortable and practical. I would definitely reccommend it.

Here’s a tip. The back of the dress is almost identical to the front so much so that when sewing it up its easy to mix up the pattern pieces unless if you make sure to mark them – I didnt and honestly will never not mark them again!

And another thing; my biggest issue was trying to get the sleeve head lines to line up with the yoke. My initial preference would have been to make this in a stripey main fabric. However, I realised that I had a bit of trouble with a solid colour – imagine trying to line up stripes! It is possible but its something to bear in mind when cutting out especially if one is fussy about perfect pattern matching.  


It’s a good basic wardrobe staple. I may make a more summery one at some point with a shorter length, normal collar and no sleeves . this dress was on the shorter side – its fine for me but if you like more covereage there, pay attention to the finished garment length measurements before cutting so you can add length. I recommend McCalls M7430 if you are looking for a dress that is  well-fitting and easy-to-make. Alternatively, shorten it to make turtleneck top.

Final point about the dress: if made in one solid color, the detail of the princess seam and yoke seam is lost which would be a shame. So if you make this I highly recommend using contrasting fabrics. I also I love the slimming effect of the contrasting side panels (especially when black is used like I did for mine) – but any dark colour will have a similar effect.

Many thanks for stopping by my little corners of the interwebs. Until next time, happy sewing!

Peace and love,





John Kaldor M6696 Uber Shirt Dress

Hello everyone,

I made another shirt dress using the very awesome McCalls M6696 shirt dress pattern. I made my first one here in a gingham cotton lawn . Though my pattern matching was dubious – Its a solid addition to my wardrobe that I love.

mccall's m6696 1

The story of this dress starts with the fabric. I first laid eyes upon this luscious John Kaldor on Ali’s IG feed. I saw. I wanted. I bought. All within the space of about an hour. I initially wanted to make some cigarette pants out of it but when it arrived, the fabric had other ideas.

It Screamed SHIRTDRESS!!!

I heeded the call. and voila! I present to you my UBER dress!

McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696
McCalls M6696

I feel uberfeminine, uberlovely and ubersplendid.

Construction deets : Since I had perfected the fit already there were no alterations with this. I made self covered buttons using the thingy majicky – it takes me less than a couple of hours to do. I did a lot of hand basting with this to make sure the pleats were hanging just right. All the work was worth it though. The pocket lining is in a pink cotton. The armhole I finished with green satin bias binding.

I love this. Its a most uber dress yes?

Thanks ever so much for stopping my little corner of the intewebs.

Peace and love,



Summer McCalls M6044 3.0

Hello chums,

I cant believe that this is the 3rd shirt I have made for Mr SNS. The first was in Alexander Henry cotton <link here> and the second was in Cotton & Steel Octopus fabric <link here>. This one is a lightweight, but crisp, 100% cotton that he bought himself during a lunch break. Well he actually had to go to the shop to pick up some fabric for the kids shirts when he spotted this.It has a tile medallion effect in aqua blue tones. I was quite impressed that he managed to estimate the right amount o fabric  (just barely).

I do love shirtmaking – there is something about it that gives me an immense sense of satisfaction. I flat felled (love  this technique) all the seams so its looks very neat on the inside too. Pictures…

Holly burns Annas Blog pics 568
McCalls M6044
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I didnt quite nail the button placement here.
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The yoke is hard to see but its there
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Contrast inner cuffs
m6044 1
Contrast button band and undercollar
McCalls M6044
Flat felled armhole sean
Holly burns Annas Blog pics 562
McCalls M6044

This pattern has now earned its place in my TNT Hall of Fame.

Mr SNS as usual loves it – only 2 more shirts to go and he will be able to wear me made shirts Mon – Fri…can I achieve that goal before 2017? Only time will tell.

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you. Have a great weekend 🙂

Peace & love



McCalls M7093 Chambray

Hello chums,

Its summer holidays and I have not a care in the world right now. Trying my best to plan for a fantastic holiday. In September my oldest starts high school while my 3rd starts reception! Oh my I am getting old!

Anyhow, here is a cute top I made in the most delicious lightweight chambray fabric. I have used this chambray before to make a sleeveless Granville shirt here  (I believe I messed up the sleeves while attempting a placket so  it had to be sleeveless). This fabric is such a pleasure to hold and work with. Its sews beautifully and takes the iron well.

When I picked up M7093  during a McCalls sale I knew it was going to be made in the chambray . 7093

Construction wise its super quick make. I went for the version with the pockets. I cut size 12 and made no alterations.

The armholes and neckline are finished using bias binding. I made the bias binding from the chambray.

Seams were finished with the overlocker but this top would look great (on inside~) with a french seam finish but alas patience is a virtue I am yet to learn.

I was really excited about this make until I tried it on for the first time and thought I looked a bit like I am wearing hospital scrubs?…..Pictures….

M7093 1
Pockets are deep enough for my smartphone

Continue reading

Octopus McCalls M6044 retake

Hello everyone,

After the success of the first M6044 shirt I made for Mr SNS I decided to make another one. Mr SNS chose this fabric after he saw me browsing online some months ago. Needless to say I dithered and by the time I was ready to commit to buying this Cotton & Steel fabric it was sold out in the UK. In the end I bought it on Etsy from the US for considerably more money. Lesson learnt. When you see a fabric you definitely like , get it!

Anyhow with this one Mr SNS said he wanted the back yoke and some contrasting cuffs. Like before I finished all seams with french seams. Pictures…

may20bank20holiday20weekend20194 Continue reading

McCalls M7242

Hello chums,

Sunny May greeting from the North of England! Its lovely and  sunny after some truly horrid weather that included hailstorm which battered my lovely flowers and snow which killed of some of my tender shoots :-(. Still no hard feelings as long as the sun continues to shine. Ok Rant over…lets talk McCalls M7242.

McCalls M7242

I first saw this pattern with the new release on the US website and immediately fell for it – I loved the description too:  Loose-fitting dresses have mandarin collar (I do love these), blouson bodice, back pleated into self-lined yoke, elastic waist, side pockets, and narrow hem.

I patiently waited the 4-5 weeks it takes for UK to get the latest releases but alas it turns out its a Laura Ashley pattern and only sold in the US and Canada (teeeny tiny print on the website that I missed).

Despite loving it and being obsessed I still could not bring myself to pay the $15  P&P charge for ordering from the US site. So what are you going to do when you just cant get it out of your head? Well for the sake of my sanity I decided to appeal to my IG buddies and wow! I love being a part of the sewing community – so many nice and lovely people willing to help the cause of a fellow sewist. Continue reading

McCalls M6973

Hello everyone.

Is there such a thing as selfless sewing? I have come to doubt it because after making these shorts (that I am super excited to blog about) for my husband I realised that I really love seeing him wear things I’ve made :-). I wish I could say that this epiphany arrived while I was happily toiling away at the sewing machine (I wasn’t – I was just dying to start on other projects) – it was only at the end with the finished garment that I felt a sense of being a good person).

What kept me going during the sewing of said garment was the awareness that Mr SNS is extremely supportive and tolerant of my sewing (and messes) therefore it would be good for him to benefit. He also patiently takes pictures for the blog.  Selfless acts are supposed to mean that the giver gains nothing from it – so if I am gaining a feeling of satisfaction at making things for him then it cant be selfless surely….

Anyhow I digress, moving on to the important bits…. Continue reading

McCalls M7244

Hello everyone!

A bit late with this post but here is my main make using the fabulous black and white textured scuba from Fabworks. It took some time for this fabric to be paired with this pattern. I was planning on making a Coco dress version a la Love, Lucie (which is where I first saw this fabric) but it just didn’t happen. Somehow I landed on this Plenty by Trace Reese McCalls M7244 – a semi-fitted, partially lined dress (close-fitting through bust) has flounce and invisible back zipper. The fabric’s fate was sealed.

McCalls M7244

The dress is designed for medium-weight moderate stretch knits so this fabric fit the bill. Plus the rich texture of this fabric brings up the dress a notch IMHO.I cut out the size small but as soon as I compared the pattern to my knit bodice sloper I knew a swayback adjustment would be needed. I did a tricky  1.75″ swayback and that did the trick. That CB seam follows the curves of my back perfectly now. Skims rather than tight IYSWIM.

McCalls M7244 Side view

After cutting out the fabric I basted the bodice together to try it on and unfortunately it was way too big. In 1/2″ increments I got the right size for me when I had taken in the side 1.5″. I also remembered to take that off the sleeve head as well. This distorted the bust dart and I think next time I make it I will have to redraft the dart by grading the pattern down.

2.5mm Twin Needle hem
Isn’t that a lovely neckline?

I didn’t bother with the zip. It easily goes on and off. There are a few things I did that were not in the instructions:

  •  stabilising the shoulder seam. The instructions do say to double stitch but I find its more effective to use clear elastic.
  • stabilised the dropped waist seam. The dropped waist falls where there will be movement so I think it could do with reinforcement to stop it from stretching out. Plus the fabric has a bit of weight to it and the flounce does pull on the upper bodice so the extra support helps.
  • stabilised the hem for top stitching by using double sided tape and my clapper (while the material is wrinkle free it resists pressing!). It did the trick and I have minimal tunneling here.
  • that lovely neckline needs to stabilised before sewing up, otherwise it will stretch out. Staystitching is not enough. Either use clear elastic or twill tape or stay tape or fusible stay tape. I am not too happy with the bulk at the neckline and I could have topsticthed it down but that would stretched it out. Next time I will use a thinner jersey fabric for the facings to reduce bulk. I will also make the facing about 10% smaller to reduce the slight gaping at the neckline.
The rich texture really makes this dress pop.

The faced finish on the neckline is nice and clean. I was tempted to skip it (in my impatience) but I am glad I followed through. I do like that neck line – its wide and deep without being too….expansive :-).

McCalls M7244
McCalls M7244

One new thing I absolutely loved about making this is that I learnt a new skill – working with power mesh! Its fantastic stuff and in future I will use it on knit projects. I feel like it just makes the dress hang better and feels nice against my skin. It cost me ÂŁ6/meter for the mesh and this used less than one meter. The instructions on how to attach the lining are frankly speaking ….. terrible. Its easy enough to see that you are supposed to sew up the lining mesh. Attach it to the neckline facing then sew the outer bit to the inner bit at the neckline. That’s what I did.2016-03-07 12.37.00 2016-03-07 12.37.09

The sleeves are set in.I am not sure if thats just me but I felt that the sleeve cap was just too high. For my next iteration I am reducing this a little bit and see how it goes.

Despite the changes I made I feel I managed to maintain the original proportions intended by the designer. This dress turned out so much better than how I pictured it my head and I love it! SO much so I have already cut another one. Its also quick to make up. I think it might also look nice sleeveless for a summer make  although this would require a bit of redrafting on the armhole.

It swishes when I stride.
…and it twirls well too!
Loving my new M7244

I like this dress. Its not often I show off my little cleavage 🙂

Thanks for stopping by until then…..

Happy Sewing!