Tag Archives: McCalls M5976

McCalls M5976 aka Dang Pin Tuck Shirt

McCalls M5976

McCalls M5976

After much stewing and being angry, this shirt finally got finished.  Its a mixed bag.


  • Everyone always compliments it.
  • The pin tucks look nice and allow for a blousy effect.

Dang pin tuck shirt

  • The shoulders and body of the shirt fit really well and are very comfortable.


  • I made the elastic in the cuffs too small, so its not really very comfortable to wear with the sleeves scrunched up.

Dang pin tuck shirt

  • I had to hem it twice to get the length right and I’m not sure I love the length yet.
  • The collar.. . URGH!  It is completely not right.  Since I had messed with the width of the neck, I didn’t want to just cut the collar stand straight from the pattern.  In my infinite wisdom, I thought, “Eh, I’ll just make it using bias tape.”  Its super wonky and lays all wrong, and I really really should have just laid the neck out and drafted a new collar stand.  I didn’t know how to do that at the time.  I learned how to later and haven’t had the patience to rip it out and re do it. But that is exactly what needs done.
  • The placket: I didn’t sew it very well so part of the raw edge sticks out on the front near the hem.  I just zig zagged over it with a short stitch in black thread.  I’m sure no one else would ever notice it.

Dang pin tuck shirt

  • I added a lot of width to the sleeves to make them flowy and blousy, and that turned out alright, but I should have added a good 3-4 inches in length.

Most of everything that I don’t like about it was my fault, stemming from inexperience.  I finished this months ago, so thankfully I have moved on and learned from my mistakes.

Dang pin tuck shirt


Vintage accesories and clothing resentments

Well I’ve been taking oodles of photos with the new camera. (Side note, I think it needs a name. I like to name things. My car’s name is Wilbur, and before my cars were Angus and Tommy. I think that perhaps the camera needs a more feminine name.)

Anyways! Lots of pictures, some of which are quite fabulous, and some of which are quite random. I would love to post them, but I’m at work, and they are sadly sitting at home on my computer, all alone and anxious to see the world. Soon my friends.

Haven’t had much time to sew lately, and that bums me out hard core. Too much school work and too much exhaustion. I think it will get better. I worked on the dang pin tuck shirt yesterday afternoon. I had changed the arm & shoulder area a LOT. I took 4 inches off each top of the shoulder. Yikes. So I knew I’d need to probably re do the sleeve. I’m not a sleeve master, and they still scare me a bit. So I’m more than a little nervous about this. I cut out the original sleeve, as drafted, in muslin and hand basted it in the shirt. Without the gathers, it still needs 2 more inches just to have the same circumference as the arm hole. Guh. So I slashed the sleeve in three places adding about 6 inches all together. We will see how that goes. I’m still in the process of sewing the extra inches into the pattern. I really should have just used the fabric glue I bought for my brother’s Christmas present. Why is it that I’m just now thinking about that shortcut?? Let me tell you, I’m developing a serious resentment of this stupid shirt!

I’ve decided that its the kind of shirt I’d probably pay 20 bucks for, or more likely, buy it once it was on clearance. There is no way I’ll be wearing this shirt in two years. Its too trendy and silly. But the thing that I’ve realized about myself is that I should really only make clothes that I cab see myself wearing for a few seasons, otherwise it just really isn’t worth my time. Or maybe there’s some threshold of time commitment that is involved… I don’t know. But I do know that this shirt and I are not getting along.

I’m really not even sure if I’m going to like it at all.

With the lack of creating things posts, I thought I’d leave you with some of my vintage sewing machine accessories. These came with my machine, and I’ve yet to try them out.

This box is full of feet.

The adorable box my vintage machine came with

There are a bunch more in the top tray of the box, which isn’t pictured. Two of the feet, the walking foot and the narrow hemming foot, were a birthday gift from my husband last year but the rest came with the Singer.

Presser feet!

Isn’t it all in great condition? I was pretty surprised by how nicely it all was preserved.


I’m not sure how it works yet. I really need to read the instruction manual that came with it.


I doubt I’ll get to posting pictures tonight because we’re heading north to a concert, but I will try to post some soon!

Pondering sewing priorities

I’ve been taking a week long sewing break. It seems like its been a month though. After rush rush rushing through the Purple Party Dress project, I just want to relax. But I’ve recently discovered as the temperature gets lower and lower, that I don’t have coat that fits. Well, I have one that technically fits. I mean, it zips up and covers my body. But it is not attractive and not really the style I like. Oh, and I have temporarily borrowed an old one that belonged to my dad, its a super warm Carhart complete with some lovely battery acid holes. Like I said, its warm.

I’m trying not to be too sad about this because although I loved my old coat, I’ve gotten a ton of wear out of it. Not to mention that I bought it in 2005. I was just enamored with it when I bought it. Its a camel pea coat that hits about mid thigh, made out of a soft wool/cashmere blend, insulated with thinsulate. Its going to be hard for another coat to live up to it.

As I see it, I have 3 options.

1. Buy new coat. The problem with this option is that its going to cost about $200 to do this with an equally good coat. In a plus size. And I’m not even sure if the one I’ve been thinking about would fit. I’m looking at this one from LL Bean and this one from Lands End.

2. Refashion old coat. Its basically an older, dressier version of those two coats. No cute cuff bands or interior pockets. But since its double breasted, I’m thinking about moving the buttons. This is a totally shoddy solution, but it might work for long enough that a. I can make/ buy a new one or b. I can lose 20 pounds and it will fit again.

3. Make new coat. My husband came up with this idea. I found some navy coating weight wool online for like $6 a yard, and some Thinsulate for about the same price. BUT I don’t have a pattern for it though, (maybe something like this?)and my mother is concerned about all the bulk in the seams and that perhaps I’d be biting off a bit more than I can chew. I’m also concerned about it being a little bit out of my skill set, but I felt so inspired by Gertie’s tailored Lady Grey coat sew along that I think I could probably tackle it as long as I took my time and sought help when I needed it.

I’m also inspired by Lindsay T’s peacoat .A peacoat made out of something other than wool? A new idea to me, but it might be the solution for this problem. If I could find some heavy winter weight polar fleece like is in those winter Northface jackets, I could use it as a lining to a much thinner shell part, and still get the peacoat look I like. And no bulky seams, or dealing with fraying lining fabric. Or maybe I would just deal with the lining fabric. I like silky lined coats and jackets much more than fleece ones. No one likes bunched up uncomfortable sleeves.

So these are my thoughts on coat making. Probably going to refashion the old coat as an initial AND temporary solution. I’m afraid that if I do that, I’ll just leave it and never come back to dealing with the real issue at hand. But I’m declaring it here for all the internet to read, so hopefully I will remember to make it a temporary solution! 🙂

On top of all this I have two shirts I’m dying to make.

I think I’m going to try to sew along with Barbara at Sewing on the Edge. I think that sewing a project that may be challenging for me because of the pattern would be good for me. And I’m quite sure that it will be challenging technically and to get the fit right. After all, every shirt I’ve made had some amount of gathering on the torso, so it really has taken some of the worry out of fitting. BUT I think it would be very nice to make a project with what is, at least in my mind, “easy” fabric. Nothing with strange creases that are meant to be there, or wacky prints that make it hard to mark the fabric, or anything slippery. Just plain, white cotton. I have two patterns I am thinking about using. One has princess seams and would undoubtedly be more difficult. The other has a side bust dart so it would be easier. But either way, I am pretty sure I will be stretched in my sewing skills.

Of course, me and my crazy lack of confidence with fitting skills, I think I should make a muslin first. But if I do that then I won’t have time to do all these other projects! I got the book Fit for Real People for my birthday in September, and have been dying to try out some alterations. They have you do a tissue fitting first, and then alter from there with no muslin. I did some small versions of the alterations on the Purple Party Dress, but I don’t think I did the best job. So this would be a great opportunity to try out step by step the method laid out in this book.

Then there is this other top I’ve been wanting to make. It has tucks and pleats and takes almost a whopping 4 yards of fabric. This McCalls, M5976. I got some really cute fabric on the red tag table at Jo-Ann’s for like $4 a yard, and I think I had a 50% off coupon on top of that, so finally I could justify buying enough fabric for a top that I’m not sure will be flattering at all.

Fabric for tucked blouse

As if these weren’t enough sewing projects to keep me busy until Christmas, I’m doing a craft show the weekend before Thanksgiving with my mom. Mostly I’m going to keep her company and for moral support, but I’d also like to make up some coffee cozies to sell myself. I guess we will see how quickly I get burned out on these projects. Maybe the cozies will be a nice quick, instant gratification project to take a break from heavier sewing.

Well now that I have talked your ear off about things I want to make and nothing I’ve actually made and relatively few pictures, I’ll let you go. 🙂

The Purple Party Dress

The aforementioned purple dress is done. I had the supplies to make it about a month before the wedding I wanted to wear it to, but life got in the way big time, and I started working on it 25 hours before the wedding.

But hey, it got done on time! Sewing with a quick deadline is not much fun, but I love the end result.


I took the time to line and interface the things that needed lined and interfaced.

This picture gives the truest representation of the color.


Pictures to come soon of the dress. We took some pictures the day of the wedding, but none turned out well. Thats what you get though for taking pictures with a phone.

Shorts are finally done!

They’re functional, cool shorts! I’ll have to call them a success. The pattern wasn’t for anything phenomenal, and I didn’t get anything phenomenal. The fit is not great. They’re elastic waist shorts, how much can you really expect from them? Not to mention, I have no idea how to properly fit pants or shorts or skirts. Heck, I don’t even know what constitutes a good fit for me in this arena with ready to wear fashions! And that’s ok! Will perhaps post some pictures in the coming days.

Next project I’m working on is making some of these! Its a very functional project, because a new semester starts soon, and these are great for holding an I.D. to get on the bus quickly! Not to mention that carrying a backpack and a purse all over campus is rather unpractical. I’m all about ease and simplifying my life!

Senior Portraits + still unfinished shorts

This weekend I got to shoot some senior portraits of a gorgeous girl who I have the privilege of calling family.



She looks amazing, and we had a wonderful time doing the shoot. So far I’ve got the 150+ edited down to around 50. I always underestimate how long it takes just to sort through so many pictures.


In shorts news, they still aren’t done. I couldn’t find the fabric I use to make muslins. So I decided to go ahead and cut the real thing, leaving an inch or so extra on all sides so I had wiggle room. Turns out they are much much too big for me. I’d always rather have that problem than not having enough fabric.

I got them all sewn up finally before work today. All that is left is finishing the edges and elastic casing. This light weight seersucker is very prone to unraveling, so I definitely want to finish the inside edges as well. Not sure if I’ll make up some bias tape and bind them that way, or what. We shall see…


Tonight I’m beginning to make my very first pair of shorts!

(Actually, that isn’t true. When I was in home ec in junior high we made very lame boxer shorts that were exactly the same front/back made of two pieces of fabric. They certainly did not fit most of the 8th grade girls in my class. I suppose they may have fit the boys. I don’t know.)

I’m calling these my first pair! They’re nothing spectacular, just the shorts from this pattern. Its one I have in my stash from when Joann’s has their $1/pattern sale. I’ve been meaning to make a shirt and a dress from this pattern. I’m sort of excited, this pattern goes up pretty big so I shouldn’t need to grade it up at all. But I’m still going to make a muslin first. It seems to be a great practice run thing in addition to helping with fitting issues.

This will be what the final pair is made of!


Hopefully it will be cute and not strange looking. I’m not sure what I think about the fabric yet. I bought it on a whim and its been sitting in my stash for sometime now.

I’m going to try to post my progress as it comes. Toodle-oooh!