During the last school holidays my husband took the girls on a road trip to visit the town he grew up in (Mount Gambier, in South Australia). I had to stay behind and work, but while they were away I also indulged in some ‘I-miss-you’ sewing and made a garment for each of them. I’ll start with the top that I sewed for Clare.
This is McCalls 7708, a girls’ top pattern. I think it’s basically the kid version of the very popular McCalls 7542. I find that girls’ pattern still fit Clare better through the shoulders and upper chest than most adult patterns at the moment. Clare is finally taller than me (by a whole 3cm) but is not very broad at all. For skirts/shorts/pants we vacillate between the size ranges, depending on the cut and what measurement is the most important (waist versus hips).
McCalls description of the pattern is rather brief. ‘Tops have sleeve variations and back button closure.’ Oh really!
I texted a link to the pattern to Clare so that she could choose the sleeves that she preferred, and she chose view D, the floaty sleeves that overlap at the top. They’re very dramatic, yet straightforward to construct. The sleeve edge is narrow hemmed before the sleeve head is overlapped at the markings and basted, then the sleeve is inserted as usual.
After a quick look at the pattern pieces I was certain that I’d be able to cut the centre back on the fold and dispense with the centre back opening. There would be plenty of room to get this on over Clare’s head. I elected to finish the neckline with bias binding sewn on right sides together then turned to the inside and machine stitched in place. It’s a finish that I often use for necklines, rather than using facings, and I really like it – especially in shifty fabrics like this printed viscose woven from Darn Cheap Fabrics (yes, it was leftover from another project).
I was a little concerned that the top might be a fraction short, but it turns out that she really likes this length. It works well with her higher waisted bottoms, but there’s still enough length to tuck it in if she wants to. And I have to say that this top goes beautifully with her new glasses from Dresden (made from recycled fishing nets)!