Summer Top Week, Day I

I’m finding it tough (as it seems, are many others) to sit down at the computer when it’s so warm outside. We’ve been at the sprinkler park, taking bike rides, all over the place, you know how it goes. But I’ve been working hard on the sewing end of things; mainly summer tops for me, which I’m very excited to post, so I’m declaring it Summer Top Week on Made by Rae!

First up:

: : Polkadot blouse, fabric by Denyse Schmidt: :

: : Pattern – McCall’s 5388 : :

: : Modifications – I had to narrow the neck so it wouldn’t pouf away from my chest, exposing me for all to see. Also shortened it considerably as it resembled a maternity top in it’s first incarnation : :

I will be proudly posting this to the Sew Mama Sew pool for Women’s clothing month if it’s not too late…

: : Update : :
I guess I should really say a few things about this pattern. First of all, it is really easy and fast to sew up, so I encourage those of you who are new to this whole sewing thing to try it. However, I will say that there is one place in the pattern when you sew the shoulder seam together where you are sewing the front, the front facing, and the back all together at the same time that gets a little tricky. In my opinion, any time you’re sewing three pieces of fabric together at the same time you’re asking for trouble. At any rate, I sew the front to the back first and then hand sew the facing to the seam, and that seems to work fine. And requires less yelling and throwing things, which is always good.

I’ve noticed that McCall’s patterns are better written (and also are usually more expensive) than Simplicity or Butterick patterns. Maybe this is obvious to everyone else but I had to figure it out on my own. As a result they usually look a ton better on me than their cheaper counterparts, but sometimes involve a tricky step or two which makes them harder (Vogue patterns are even harder). Does anyone know anything about this?

9 thoughts on “Summer Top Week, Day I

  1. This is so pretty!!! I love everything about it! I’m going to have to try this pattern (the uber-long version) since you said it reminded you of maternity, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for! But I think I’d agree w/ you for non-maternity, because yours looks perfect on you. I love the colors you chose, too! Have a great week!

  2. OH I love it! And I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog too, so I thought I should actually say hello. I’m attempting to sew clothes for the first time since Jr. High Home Ec (I think) and started with this blouse ( which I really like but also came out a bit too “expecting” :). I’ve got some great poly material waiting so I can’t wait to see what else you come up with. Do you mind also giving your opinion of the difficulty of the pattern?

    Oh and I did my first “little” clothes too, starting with your Itty Bitty pattern (

    Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    Happy Monday!

  3. So cute! I had trouble with this top gapping in the front too. I had to fold my front in and make a fake button placket. I’m glad I found your blog, the things you make are so good. I can’t wait to see the other tops you make this week!

  4. This one is great too! Reminds me of lemon bars. Love the fabric and it looks great on you as well.

  5. I love your tops! So cute!

    I don’t have much experience with patterns, being limited to bags and hats. Clothing patterns just don’t fit me, so I don’t bother. My self-esteem can’t take it. I used a Vogue pattern (terribly expensive, luckily on sale) for the sun hat. The pattern seemed to be well written, though it works better for me to just look at the pictures. Otherwise I get all confused and I end up sewing whatever it is to itself and my shorts at the same time…don’t ask. When I mentioned to my mom it was a Vogue pattern, she got all excited. Sewing is her superpower, so she’d know.

    I will say I have a “Sewing For Dummies” pattern for a bag. It seems to be horribly written. I had to put the instructions down and figure it out for myself. Either I’m too smart or, well I don’t like the alternative.

  6. I was just sent your way today and I’m so glad I found your blog!

    I’ve had that pattern for months but have been too chicken to make it until now. I think it will be great for post baby as is then I can modify it later. Love the fabric!

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