The beginning of a mini-capsule wardrobe | McCall's M5890

With all good intentions of posting my self-imposed mini-capsule wardrobe plans, I got so caught up in the planning and prep work that I ended up simply jumping right on in and made my first two items.  We'll talk about about this cute top today..... out-of-print McCall's M5890..... then (hopefully!) I'll be posting my overall plans shortly.
See, I had even begun taking planning pictures for you!
Having had McCall's M5890 for years, this is the first garment I've made from this pattern.  It is a Nancy Zieman ten/twenty/thirty minutes to sew publication.  I miss Nancy Zieman a lot.  Anyway, one could make a capsule wardrobe out of these garments.  I made the top, view C.
Princess seams front and back, cut on cap sleeves with a slight flare from the waist down, I just knew this would.... should..... be a flattering fit on my body type.  We are still super hot and humid here in South Carolina with temps hovering around 90* F, so this is a perfect top to transition to Fall.  I built my mini-capsule wardrobe around the colors in this fabric.  Fabric came from All About Fabrics, my local textile outlet center.  Love that place!!
Having made so many Burda and Ottobre patterns lately with lots of tracing, I was super excited to use an already printed pattern..... and still ended up tracing!!!  Fitting is one of my goals for this year so after lots of measuring the flat pattern, I realized it needed modifications and I felt more confident building those alterations off a traced pattern than on the original pattern.  Basically I cut a size 8 and graded to size 10 at hips.  Sewed 5/8" seams.  Lengthened 2".  This top is very short!!
I expected this to be a quick and easy jumpstart to my mini-capsule wardrobe and this simple top turned into one big headscratcher and seam unpicker.  I unpicked at least 5-6 seams before I got the finish I wanted.  Below you can see a little of what I'm talking about.  The pattern surprisingly has you simply turn both the neckline and armhole edges under 3/8", then another 3/8" and top-stitch/edge-stitch.  I could not bring myself to even think about that sort of finish as I like things finished with bindings and facings.  Once I got to the neckline application point, I also realized this neckline was perfect for me as it was.  If I turned under the 3/8" + 3/8" I would lose @3/4" total and was concerned that would be too low.  A sweet elderly lady at church recently gave me all her buttons, threads and misc. notions from when she used to sew..... and in that bag was a package of black woven pre-made bias binding.  Perfect for my neckline as you only lose 1/4" in depth.  So that's what I did.  At first I wasn't sure I liked it as the neckline had a tendency to not lay flat, but let it be and I'm okay with that.  A lot of how it lays has to do with how the shoulder seams sit on my shoulders in the proper place.  This is really quite an elegant neckline design.  Also below you can see the utterly pitiful job I did on the right armhole to you..... turning the 3/8" + 3/8" and top-stitching.  It made me sick to look at that..... so I applied the black woven bias binding to the (left to you) armhole and found that though it looks nice in photos.... it sat awful on the body.  All those seams were unpicked and I gave up and turned in the 3/8" + 3/8" and was super careful and top-stitching and....
.....LOVE my armhole after all.  Unpicked the other one and with a better attitude (ahem!!) took my time turning the 3/8" + 3/8" and though it looks poorly in photos, it lays on the body very nicely.  Added clear elastic to the shoulder seams as per pattern instructions.  Top-stitched all the princess seams so they would lay nice and flat.  Did not serge them as I did not want seams possibly showing through my pretty fabric.  Side seams and shoulder seams are serged. 
Very happy with this fit.  I wanted a close fitting top that would not be confining nor constraining and that is what I got. 
Hemmed a 1 1/4" hem and top-stitched with double needle.  It channeled a little but I'm so over that problem it doesn't bother me much anymore.
Lovely fit.
Took all sorts  of photos in the early morning light before heading out to the only-open-once-a-month fabric outlet store to come back and find only a few shots were in focus.  This was one, below.  All others were re-taken trying to find relief from the strong afternoon light.... and all were in focus.  Go figure.  *sigh*  Have not unlocked the secret to taking focused photos using the remote.
Here's the last photo from this morning with a thrifted cardi finishing everything off nicely.  This look below, is the core of 'my style'.  Wearing the white Burda shorts.
Sarah Liz must be on the same wavelength as I, as it was quite a nice surprise to see the Make a Garment a Month theme for the next few months! 
And because I was trying to pull my plans together to show you, I had taken this photo of the skirt pattern chosen to combine with this charcoal gray knit fabric planned to go with this top.  NewLook 6164 is a pattern for knits with an elastic waist.  This is already made and hope to show it to you soon.  Along with the rest of my plans.  ;)
Plans include Burda, Ottobre, Itch to Stitch and really wanting to fit in the Jalie Eleanore Jeans skinny version this month too.  All will go with each other and I should have a nice jumpstart to Fall/Winter.  I've never done anything like this and have been pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying the creative process.

Happy Sewing All!  :)


  1. This top pattern is perfect, Lisa! The fit is spot on, it hugs you in a lovely way without being restraining. The neckline is elegant and the cap sleeves provides good proportions. I see you making a handful of these?

    1. I think so. The traced pattern goes into an envelope..... then gets pulled out to make another.... then gets put back in for a later time.... the struggle is real! I really want to make more, but feel I need to complete this self-imposed capsule wardrobe first. But then again, now that the kinks are worked out it would be a super quick top to make...... maybe I'll go look at that pattern again this morning...... !! Thank you so much SaSa! :)

  2. I love to see sewists put a capsule together. Something I can't manage to do.

    1. Struggle with it too as this will be a first in the years I've been sewing!! Hope to share soon! :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa