Sew Bossy: McCalls 6960

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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.

Sew bossy: McCalls 6960

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!

Sew bossy: McCalls 6960

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.

Sew bossy: McCalls 6960

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’.

Sew bossy: McCalls 6960

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.

Sew bossy: McCalls 6960

Sew bossy: McCalls 6960

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.

Sew bossy: McCalls 6960

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 :)

30 thoughts on “Sew Bossy: McCalls 6960

  1. Amy Beeton

    Hey Katie,
    The buttons really make this, what a happy accident. Nice and cool for all this hot weather too! Must have been fun being involved in sew bossy, i’d love to give it a go. Great idea x

  2. Chloe

    Happy accident indeed – I love the faux button placket, and inspired button placement! Very fun top, and the back is intriguing. Off to check out Seymour now…

  3. sallie

    Oh I love this on you!! The bright colors are lovely, and the swingy shape seems to suit your style. I love the back detail on this pattern. You guys did a great job bossing each other!

  4. Jen

    I love the light/brightness of this on you! I think the placement of stripes is particularly good too – the wide red ones near your face look really goo. Also love the back! What a cool shape. Emily is a genius!

  5. crab&bee

    Don’t dye those stripes! They look fantastic on you. Ok, ok, you should do what you like to make it a piece you like to wear, but I’m a big fan of those colors on you. And your faux placket turned out beautifully!

  6. Vasiliki

    This is really cute and i think the buttons make it look even prettier. It looks great on you and the back is wow! I’d love to be Sew-Bossed by someone out there hehe!

  7. Marilla

    Wow, this is totally different for you, but it looks fabulous! You are right, the faux button band totally makes this top and the stripe placement is brilliant! Not sure that it would have occurred to me to do it like that. I hope you get some good wear from this.

  8. emily marie

    It looks SO great on you, Katie! I thought that view was the best too. Wonderful work problem solving, I was actually looking for a pattern with buttons because picking out buttons is the best. Clearly you know this too because those buttons are awesome. I’m glad to have fulfilled my duty by going slightly out of your comfort zone (hey, it still has brown and cream in it! ;)) I think it suits you well, but promise I won’t be offended if you dye it to get more wear in the Fall. Super glad to have done Sew Bossy with you!

  9. Heather

    Don’t dye it, it’s looks so great on you like this! The buttons are awesome and what a great way to get rid of excess fabric! I am very inspired! Love this Sew Bossy initiative!

  10. Rachael

    This top looks great – I might have to steal your look. Well done for completing the Sew Bossy challenge, it’s good to step out of your comfort zone :)

  11. Fabric Tragic

    You know I’m going to love it – those stripes, I adore them. Yes it’s a departure from your usual style but I do hope it continues to grow on you. I love the shape of the front neckline, so flattering.

  12. Tilly

    Nautical chic? Yes please. I’m not used to seeing you in bright colours but it really works! Love this make. The Sew Bossy initiative is such a great idea, I love seeing what everyone comes up with. x

  13. Sophie

    I really love these colors on you! Definitely don’t dye it. The whole thing is pretty great, pattern + fabric + mad sewing skills = all round professional looking job.

  14. Natalie

    At the risk of sounding like your mum (or mine anyway), I think you can really carry off those bright colours and should embrace them. I always return to blacks and navys but on the rare occasion I put something bright on (a neon coral T-shirt I bought recently for instance) people are always commenting on how well I look. In the summer I think we should all allow a little bit more brightness in our lives!

    1. Katie Post author

      Ha yeah my mum always says it’s nice to see me in colour on the rare occasions that I do! Fine, consensus is definitely to keep it

  15. Scruffy badger

    Hear hear! What a great make!! I like it a lot on you and it’s a fab summer ‘now ‘ top. The button and looks completely meant to be and love the surprise straps at the back. Its swingy shape is great with shorts too. Nice work and nice bossing!

  16. Sally

    This is just great! I love the stripes and the design and love LOVE the buttons!! Such a great idea for taking out all that extra room at the front of many McCall’s patterns ;) What a fun swap! And I’m super jealous of your coffee….. mmmm :)

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