Today I have a double garment post for y’all, featuring the McCall’s M7906 skirt and the Ashton top from Helen’s Closet. This outfit is a very late brain child of the Seamwork Design Your Wardrobe challenge – which took place back in February, and I never completed – but nonetheless has informed my sewing queue ever since.
If you haven’t tried the Design Your Wardrobe challenge, I highly recommend it. Or at least, I highly recommend the first part (which is the only part I finished). The basic idea is that you take the time to create a mood board of styles you are drawn to, and then try to find or identify a cohesive theme. After you figure out what the overarching motifs are, you name your future collection and use it as a basis to start planning what you will make next.
Things I learned from this exercise:
- What I thought was a long-dormant desire to fancy myself a cowgirl is in fact alive and well. Helloooooo cowgirl boot wearin’ 1st grade Miranda.
- Even though I still love the 20s-40s vintage aesthetic (thank you Downtown), my sweet spot is really where americana meets romantic silhouettes.
- Apparently I love belts??? And yet, at the time of this exercise – I owned no belts. We are slowly remedying that.
What did I name my collection, you might ask? Desert Rose. You know, like Kate Winslet in Titanic, but specifically that last scene where you get the shot of her on a horse & living her best post-Titanic life. I like to imagine that Rose moved somewhere to the southwest, still wore fancy vintage clothes, but struck a less ostentatious vibe and instead went a little more yeehaw. Basically, I let my imagination fill in the gaps on this Pinterest board.
Anywho! Back to the topic at hand, which uhhh . . . is not Kate Winslet and my photoshopped tangent but actually the two sewing projects I referenced in the title.
Like the McCall’s M7906 skirt! I think this is a fantastic pattern that would be beautiful in just about any fabric, but when I came across this kitschy horse tech fabric at my local discount fabric store – I knew some Desert Rose wardrobe dreams were about to come true.
I’ll be transparent with y’all: this skirt is constructed from what I’m 90% sure is a quilting cotton (M&L Fabrics in Anaheim sells discount fabric on a flat fold – which means you don’t get more information than what is printed on the selvage). Was it a risk? Yes. Did it totally pay off? Also yes.
And really, it’s kudos to the pattern itself because it’s clearly designed for sturdy fabrics (although I think it would be lovely with a softer silhouette too). I cut a straight size 10 based on the finished waistline measurements located on the pattern pieces*, and didn’t worry about grading out at the hips thanks to the pleated design.
Partly because I sewed this up in a quilting cotton, and partly because I was inspired by Brittany J Jones – I opted to finish all of my seams with contrast bias binding. Holy moly does the result feel fancy! I have to resist the urge to run around lifting my skirt up for everybody who expresses a modicum of interest in my outfit. The nicer finishes really elevates the garment, and it feels like something I paid a lot of money for at a high end department store (when it fact the total cost was about $17)
I don’t have much more to say about the M7906 except that it’s a great pattern, and 11/10 I will be making it again. I can also pair with at least four of my tops already, so as far as pure #sewfrosting projects go, this one is definite win!
Now – on to the Ashton top by Helen’s Closet. After I completed my skirt, and while planning what to wear with these blog photos you’re now enjoying – I realized that I owned only one white crop top. Given the amount of patterned high-waisted skirts in my closet, I decided that this a gap in my wardrobe I needed to start filling.
Cue the Ashton, which has been making the rounds on Instagram since it’s release. The silhouette is super cute, and I knew it would work perfectly with this skirt. This pattern has been touted as a stash buster, and since I had a tiny amount of linen leftover from the last Fairfield I made, I had high hopes I could squeeze an Ashton out of what was left.
Luckily, I was right! Granted this was another precarious, Miranda-tests-the-limits-of-what’s-reasonable, fabric cutting situation. But I got through it, and with only one seam line added to the back hem facing! (For any other brave explorers out there – please note that I squeaked out this top out with only 1 yd of 34″ wide fabric)
I cut a size 4 in the cropped view with the facing finish option – despite my facing rant in my last post. This was the first time I’ve done an all-in-one neck/armhole facing, and I like to try things at least once before refusing to do them. With that said (and while an all-in-one facing is definitely less annoying to wear than separate facings), I will probably skip it next time in favor of bias binding.
The only adjustment I made was 1″ small bust adjustment, and overall I’m pretty happy with the fit! My single complaint is that I barely fit into the neck hole, and I’ve definitely already gotten make-up all over the neckline of the garment. I’m not sure if this is a grading issue since I’m at the smaller end of the size range – or if I just have a large head.
Either way, I will adjust this on future versions. The construction was straightforward and I was super impressed with the level of detail that Helen includes in her pattern instructions.
This top is a great closet staple, and omg, it’s perfect for summer. The A-line shape means that it hangs completely off my body, and the linen fabric is easy breezy. So between it and my quilting cotton skirt (which okay, I will admit is a little warm), I was not uncomfortable taking these photos in the August heat.
As always, thank you to Ian for taking these photos, and to anybody else who has managed to read this far despite my rambling.
The Details (M7906):
- Fabric: 100% Cotton from M&L Discount Fabrics in Anaheim, CA (3 yards, 45″)
- Pattern: McCall’s M7906
- Size: 10
- View C, length shortened to View B
- Total Cost: $17
- $2 for the pattern
- $9 for the fabric
- $6 bias binding
The Details (Ashton Top):
- Fabric: Leftover Linen from Ian’s Fairfield Button-Up
- Pattern: The Ashton Top from Helen’s Closet
- Size: 4
- View B, Facing Finish
- 1″ Small Bust Adjustment
- Total Cost: $11
- $11 for the pattern
- $0 for the fabric (yay for sewing leftovers!)
*Tip: when using a Big 4 pattern – do not cut out your pieces based on the pattern envelope. For this pattern that would have (surprisingly) only put me one size over what I needed – but often times it’s two or three sizes off. You need to pull the actual pattern pieces out and take a look at the finished garment measurements before picking the correct size.