Sewing for Me: M6241 pink + grey stripes


Thank you so muchΒ for the comments and emails and gentle empathy yesterday – I’m so very very grateful. After all that build-up, I feel like today’s post might be a letdown with the underwhelming garment, but I’m easing into this project of sewing for myself with McCalls 6241. The version I made requires just two pieces: the front and back. It doesn’t get simpler than this. I’ve made this top before, long ago, but it was a complete wadder because I did a real number on the neckline and hem (such a beautiful ikat print knit too…so sad). I used to be terrified of knits and it showed.

I found that it was incredibly easy and quick to make this time around – I guess the weekly sewing for K has made a huge difference, and I’m definitely more comfortable with a variety of fabrics. There’s something immensely satisfying about measurable improvements, and I believe sewing is one of those crafts that anyone can excel at with enough time and effort.

So here we go:

This is a lusciously soft pink and grey striped knit I got from here. I think it’s a rayon blend jersey (I swear, one of these days I will pay attention to the fabrics). I made view A in size 12, but I probably could have gone down one more size because this knit seems to expand quite a bit.

I don’t normally wear a lot of color. My wardrobe is a sea of grey, black, white, neutrals + jeans. But with this new sewing challenge, I want to start experimenting a little more, though you’ll probably see a lot of neutrals too.

K took these photos and they’re a lot better than my tripod/remote attempts, and she was all over the role reversal, fiercely commanding me to turn this way and that and shouting, “Smile, Mommy! Smile!”

I adore the pleats detail on the left shoulder and really like that it’s asymmetrical. If I found this on the sale rack at Anthropologie or JCrew, I would totally buy it. The length is great, but the gathering that happens sometimes highlights the belly rolls instead of masking them (there is some Herculean stomach-sucking-in going on here – still working on that self-acceptance thing).

All in all though, I think I love this top. Knit, stripes, comfort – the ultimate trifecta! All that’s missing is the glittery, sequined leggings. That’s next week. (Kidding, of course. It’ll be a full body suit of glittery sequins. In highlighter yellow.)

31 thoughts on “Sewing for Me: M6241 pink + grey stripes

    1. I was pretty amazed when I downloaded the photos – most of them were in focus! We’ll see how willing she is to be photographer regularly…

  1. yes! love the pictures of you *smiling*! i see nary a roll on your body, and that is a feat wearing jeans. slender indeed. this is a very anthro looking shirt. i feel like pleating jersey that way would be hard? do you serge all your jersey edges? anyhow, keep the projects coming!

    1. Thanks, Ashley! The pleating is actually really easy. I ironed the pleats down, then pinned each pleat to hold it in place, and basted. That part took about 5 minutes. I did use my serger to make make most of this top and to finish the edges. But I’ve made plenty of jersey tops for K using just my sewing machine and zig zag stitching the edges if I was in the mood.

  2. Woohoo, look at you!!! I gotta check out this pattern, I’m in serious need of tops like this. You look beautiful, Sanae! I can’t wait to see what you make next for yourself.

    p.s., If you ever get rid of your top, I know a gal who’s the same size as you! *wink*

  3. Oh, that would SO become a go-to top for me! As you said, what’s not to love about knit and stripes? If you could see my closet, you’d see why I subscribe to this philosophy fully:) Love that it’s casual and comfortable, but with pleating details that make it a touch more dressy than a slouchy tshirt (not that I don’t wear those too:). Great job!!
    And I can just imagine K thinking (maybe even voicing out loud:) “Payback time, Mama!” She did a great job as photographer!

    1. I’m right with you Lucinda – I can’t resist stripes! And yes! K was milking the photographer role. πŸ™‚

  4. Well, aren’t you adorable!! This looks like a great shirt and a staple in any woman’s wardrobe- I would love to sew more for myself, but for know I’ll look forward to what YOU make for yourself.

    1. Aw, thanks Erin! I seem to remember seeing an awesome skirt you made for yourself on your blog – it was very stylish and I want to make one too!

  5. Fantastic choice! I like the fabric and the pattern, of course the model is beautiful and lovely. It suits you very well!. I have to confess I’m terrified to work with stretch fabrics, also I don’t have a serger yet…Then I’m joining to Ashley question about the edges, for curiosity and to see if is safe to jump into stretch fabric land :P.

    1. Oh, thanks for the sweet words, Maria! So yes, I did use a serger for finishing the edges, but this top would be easy to make with just a sewing machine. In fact most of K’s knit shirts are made without a serger. I don’t like the stretch stitch on my sewing machine (too slow) so I use a zig zag stitch reduced to about 1cm in width and it works great. After you sew with stretch fabrics a few times, you’ll find that they’re very forgiving. Give it a try! πŸ™‚

  6. Nice top Sanae! and also your photo’s poses, have to try this pattern. Thanks for your comment regarding my craftsmanship, I feel flattered (blush! blush!) πŸ™‚

  7. You look lovely! Very nice job on the top. I look forward to seeing more projects!

    I wanted to say that I had seen that body image post when it showed up in my reader, too, and identified with a lot of it. I am glad you published it for realsies, I think it was very brave and like I said it rings very true.

    1. I’m glad I published it for realsies too, Sarah, though I was slapping my forehead at my clumsiness last week! I’m excited to sew up a summer wardrobe!

  8. The shirt turned out really well! I can totally connect with your feelings of inadequacy even at a small weight. I have noticed through two pregnancies that before, during, even after pregnancy when the weight was gone (2 times!) that I never felt at peace with my body. Through all of it. I mean, you’d think that between 110 and 180 there would be some spot I felt right, but that just wasn’t so! I finally made a conscious decision to like my body for even the smallest things. I still have a preference of where my weight sits (i feel balanced when I’m around 125ish) but I know that I won’t realistically ALWAYS be there and that’s totally fine too. Thanks for this post, so much truth in your words& lovely paintings to accompany. <3


    1. So excellent that you’ve found a balanced and healthy viewpoint toward your body, Mae- it’s inspiring! I find that my weight fluctuates like crazy depending on the time of the month. Something I’ll have to keep in mind as I sew for myself…

  9. I’ve been following your blog for a little while and have loved everything you’ve made for K. I’m so excited that you’re making clothes for yourself now, the top in this post looks gorgeous on you!! Your photographer is excellent also πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see the other stuff you’ll come up with.

    1. Hi Bella! Thanks for stopping by here regularly! I feel like this “debut” post was a little slapped together, but I hope to be able to share all the things I learn as I navigate the tricky waters of selfish sewing πŸ™‚

  10. Nice little photographer you have there, love it! That shoulder pleating detail is WONDERFUL, I love it! I have a couple of patterns I just bought recently….now I just have to search out some fabric. That seems to be my biggest challenge. (Oh, and the self portraits that sewing for oneself is going to require, not nearly as fun as photographing the kids!) And a few thoughts on yesterdays post…oh boy here we go… First, I think it was so brave to put that out there, and hopefully cathartic. I remember a distinct shift in body image. 5th grade. Girl scout ‘beach themed’ sleepover. I remember looking in the mirror and being surprised at my appearance, and thinking I was fat. Sometimes our daughters, our children, make us realize what choices and we should be making for ourselves; what love we should be giving ourselves. A friend posed a question the other day, when we were discussing life and work and stress….’would you want your daughter to grow up and live this way?’ Something about that question gave it such clarity… Ahhh, I could go on and on here, but it basically boiled down to this clarity of, if I wouldn’t want a certain [fill in the blank] for my daughter, then I shouldn’t be accepting it for myself. So proud of you for jumping in!

    1. Thank you Monica! As I think back on the many many conversations I’ve had with all my female friends, I can’t think of any that hasn’t had some kind of incident or series of incidents that instilled a sense of inadequacy somehow. I love that question – such a great guiding principle.

    1. Thanks Melody, I’m very proud! But I did take baby steps so future posts might be endless diatribes of sewing misadventures…

  11. With your skin tone and that color…you look like a rose. It reminds me a little of the dress the ingenue wears in The Thorn Birds. They called the color ashes of roses. Heartbreakingly delicate, a real win in my opinion!

    1. “Heartbreakingly delicate” — I love that, Vanessa! And I love a woman who can reference The Thorn Birds expertly!

      1. LOL! I’d like to meet the girl who doesn’t enjoy a little 80’s tragic miniseries. πŸ˜‰

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