I’ve been bossed! I’m sure you’ve heard of the Sew Bossy initiative started by Heather, but if not, the idea is you team up with another sewing blogger and swap a secret package in the post containing everything they need to make a garment. They HAVE to make the project just as you ask, then both projects are blogged! I was really excited to be challenged to a Sew Bossy swap by Emily of Seymour, after she saw my comment on Morgan and Sally‘s swap saying how fun it looked. I love Emily’s laid-back, crisp and minimal style so it seemed like a good match. I had fun picking out her kit and nervously sent it off, hoping she’d like it, while awaiting my own from over the pond.
I didn’t have long to wait, and the package was definitely a surprise! Firstly there were some lovely local Washington coffee beans – I’m a big home coffee drinker so that was an awesome gift. The pattern Emily chose for me is McCalls 6960, a summery cami with a swingy shape and some very cool strap options. I was really pleased with this as I rarely buy top patterns in favour of dresses, but definitely need more of them in my wardrobe and am on a summer top kick at the moment. The fabric is a breezy rayon challis in a colour and print very out of my usual comfort zone – I don’t typically do stripes, brights or white, eek! But it felt delicious, and she also thoughtfully included some cotton voile to use as lining/underlining, plus matching interfacing and thread. Challenge accepted!
Here’s my bossed make! I went for view C of the pattern which has a very cool T-shaped chunky back strap. I considered the the stripe placement across the body as I cut the fabric, placing the wider strips of colour across the top and bottom, with narrower stripes in the midsection.
You’ll notice a bit of enforced pattern deviation. My first baste-together showed it was way too big all over (even though I sized down to account for oversizedness) with some pretty epic gaping around the neckline. I pleated out about 2″ of excess fabric at the front, topstitching it all the way down to form a faux button band. I actually think this detail really makes the top now, especially as I picked out some jaunty little anchor buttons from my stash to tie into the nautical stripes. I love a happy accidental ‘design decision’.
I like the flash of shoulder blade in the back and it was surprisingly easy to fit – no adjustments needed, even for my weird shoulders and back. I thought the stripes might look odd across the curved top strap so cut it out of one of the wide solid red stripes in the fabric.
I gave myself some extra fun by following my own bad advice and completely discarding the pattern instructions. I’m always turned off when a pattern has lots of stop-and-starting of seams, ie for the back straps there was lots of ‘stitch to the marked dot, turn right sides out, press in the seam allowance and finish the seam from the outside’. Way too fiddly, so I attempted to bag out as much of it as possible. I came unstuck a bit at one point when I sewed a giant Möbius strip which wouldn’t turn right sides out again, but unpicking one shoulder seam and handsewing it shut again sorted it out. I ended up with a nice clean finish on the inside so it was worth a bit of extra brainpower. The cotton voile is a dreamy lining fabric, pressed beautifully and feels really good to wear.
As I was making this I had guilty thoughts about overdyeing the finished garment black or navy to make it more wearable for me, but actually the cheery colours and stripes are growing on me, especially for summer and holidays. What do you guys think? – I feel like you sometimes know my taste better than I do! Either way I’m really glad to have done Sew Bossy and been pushed to try things I wouldn’t normally pick for myself, and I’ll certainly be using the pattern again. Thanks for being a great swap partner, Emily! Be sure to head over to her blog to see what I bossed her into making – it’s gorgeous, if I say so myself :)