A Summer T-Shirt with Flair

Recently while pattern shopping for a client, I came across a couple of McCall’s patterns that sparked the idea of a couple new projects for myself.

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McCall’s 7046 is a dress pattern that I am debating about for my special piece of fabric that I bought last year at G-Street Fabrics on my way home from my 340 mile bicycle trip to Washington D.C.

McCall’s 7046


my souvenir material from G Street Fabrics

The other pattern, McCall’s 6964, is a simple T-shirt design.


McCall’s 6964

While deliberating over the dress style and feeling the need to stitch something for myself, I decided to make a new t-shirt from the McCall’s 6964 pattern, but use the sleeve design from the McCall’s 7046 pattern, view A. I already have a ready-to-wear shirt with this sleeve style and love the way that simple sleeve elevates a T-shirt from casual to dressy without taking away from the comfort.

I chose a very neutral beige cotton/poly Interlock knit from JoAnn Fabrics. I have a beige shirt that gets lots of wear and is starting to look “well worn,” so this project had direction and a purpose, all that was left was the sewing.

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Inserting the sleeve from M7046 was without any complications, the sleeve arc and size is almost identical in both patterns. The flutter sleeve is just a circle that overlaps at the underarm so any small size difference can be adjusted in the overlap.

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The only other change I made to the pattern was to shorten the body length by 1 1/2 inches. I have a short shoulder to waist length and regularly have to shorten shirts to improve the finished fit.

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I really like the neck band on this T-shirt, the width and design give the shirt a very professional finish. In the future, I may try cutting the band just slightly shorter and, as it is sewn in place, stretch the band to fit so that the band gently hugs the body and prevents any neckline gaping.

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This shirt is a great addition to my summer clothing choices. I love the versatility and comfort it offers. With only a two hour cutting and construction time commitment, this shirt is a great investment!

Could I carry your lunch?

A few months ago I went in search of a gift to sew for several friends. I had hoped to find an interesting bag of some kind, but didn’t have anything specific in mind. With no real direction other than “a bag to sew” my internet research involved many hours of scrolling through possible choices.

After finding several other projects to add to my sewing ideas Pinterest page, I settled on this free pattern from the JoAnn Fabrics website:

Cute-Enough-to-Eat Lunch Bags

cute-enough-to-eat lunch bag

This project uses 1/2 of a yard of outer fabric and 2/3 of a yard of the contrast fabric along with Insul Bright insulating fabric. I thought there was a possibility that I could find fabrics from my stash, but none of the pieces large enough to complete the project seemed to “match-up” with the personalities of the people that would be receiving these gifts. For me, a big part of sewing for others involves choosing fabrics that “speak” the receivers name. I know you’ve just read that last sentence and now your face is scrunched up with a big question mark floating in your head, but I can’t really explain how I pick fabric for others any other way. It comes from my gut and when the choice is right the project can’t be given to anyone other than the person whose name is being “spoken” from the finished project.

The pattern directions are well written making this project enjoyable to create. I made two substitutions to the supply list; instead of Insul Bright (because it wasn’t available at my local store), I used Low Loft Poylester Batting and I cut 1 inch strips of batting replacing the need to purchase 1 inch belting for the straps.

When sewing the straps, I made several rows of top-stitching the length of the strap to give them a more finished look.

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This bag I made for my niece’s birthday gift to which I added a glass water bottle along with a square glass food container.

Being back-to-school time, this would be a great project to try today!