Front Page, Tops
Comments 31

Hacking McCalls 6612 – 3 very different Tops

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Following on from the success of my Little Red Dress I decided to use the sleeves I’d cut out but not used,  and some double knit jersey from my scrap bin, to whip up a t shirt.

I raised the neckline by an inch and shortened the dress pattern to hip length. I feel a bit like a 5 year old but I’ve worn this loads and it’s been in regular rotation worn with old denim shorts during the last month of what we call ‘summer’.

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I was thinking of making another when Bea mentioned on her IG feed that she had this gorgeous jersey going spare, I couldn’t believe my luck when I was able to snap it up.  She sent it with a lovely note and some other sewing goodies!

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As I’m a serial tracer and muslin maker it’s a real treat to be able to whip up a new garment in an hour or 2.  I’ve not really had any TNT patterns in the past but I think I definitely need more to boost my everyday wardrobe when I’m short of time.

I’ve worn this top loads, both with my yasmin yoke skirt and my blue skinny jeans (unfortunately not me made but hopefully that will change will change soon).  The unusual pattern has had lots of compliments, so I’m really grateful to Bea for gifting it to me.

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My last top to show you is my new favourite!  Is it just me that has a new favourite nearly every time a garment is finished?

At 4:20pm last Saturday I’d cooked a huge pan of chilli for a friend’s surprise party, washed my hair and was being picked up in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

So I did a really crazy thing and decided to make a new top to go out in.  Not only that, I also decided to redraft the sleeves.  I’d been reading September’s Edition of Sew Today and they made it look really simple to hack the sleeves to something right on trend.

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I followed the instructions for the flounce – the middle one on the diagram above – starting the flounce from where the short sleeved version would finish.  My thought was that once the fancy sleeve craze was over, or when i fancied a change, I could chop off the flounce and just have a short sleeved top.

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The slashing and spreading was really straight forward.  I initially separated each strip by just one inch, but it didn’t look like it would be flouncy enough so widened them to two inches apart.

Although I had my dressmakers curve at the ready I roughly drew a curve as everything was just a little rushed.

When I cut the top out I also was really careful to cut very smoothly at the bottom of the sleeve as I was planning to leave it unhemmed.  I also didn’t bother marking any of the notches so laid out the pieces on my cutting mat so I didn’t get the left and right sleeves mixed up.

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There was no pattern matching, and luckily it turned out just fine despite having to cut all the sleeve pieces on the cross grain – luckily the fabric had a 4 way stretch.  I was worried at one point that a big flowery part would end up on each boob!!

At 6:02 my lift arrived.  My hair and make-up was done (thank goodness for straighteners) and although my top wasn’t hemmed (thank goodness for fray check!) it was finished enough to be wearable and I was all ready to go…..!

Tah – dah!

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I just love this fabric.  I bought it last year when i met Jennie in Chester, when she came all the way from America.  She obviously wasn’t coming especially to meet me but we took advantage of her trip and met for a few hours.  This fabric came from my Abakhan and was the first time I’d purchased fabric that was weighed in.

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The top was all sewn up on the overlocker using a 3 thread wide hem.  I’m wishing now I had used a narrow 3 thread as it feels slightly bulky on the some of the seams.  Or maybe it just needs a good press as it’s still not been done!

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I’m really liking the sleeves and am planning my next hack…..I’m quite fancying having a go at something like what Geo created on the amazing shirt she had on at Sewing Bee Live,but may be adding them to a pussy bow blouse.

Have you got the sleeve bug?!

Thimbers x

PS I’m not really sure if I should apologise for the blog post overload, but after such a quiet spell I really have quite a bit to catch up on!


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I sew and play golf. I blog about my sewing as I don't think you'd want to read about my golf. It's bad enough watching it on telly! Contact me via email -


  1. Fantastic explanation of how you did that sleeve hack – thank you!!! And now that blue-on-blue combo is getting to me, too. Really like it!

    • Thanks Del! Blue is a huge colour in my wardrobe. This fabric has been stroked and nearly been made up so many times, I’m glad I finally have gotten round to it! xx

    • Thankyou! I do tend to shy away from cutting into some of my favourite fabrics, like the last one, so it’s always a relief if things turn out ok.

  2. Your flared sleeve hack looks brilliant – I love that fabric – and your home looks so tidy. I can’t decide which I’m most envious of πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks hun! I can only take thanks though for the sewing and not the tidy home – it’s cyber moms and as cyber mom doesn’t sew, she doesn’t mess her house up so much πŸ˜‚

  3. That was some speedy sewing! I think I might end up dipping those sleeves in my dinner but they look great!

  4. Ali, I’m so glad that you are back! I love your joyful posts and this last top that you made is just amazing! I love it and you look gorgeous in it! Blu fabric suits you very well!

    • Aw thanks Rita! It does feel good to be back, though I don’t know if I’ll ever catch up with what everyone’s doing πŸ™‚

  5. Love the party top – the fabric is fabulous – and so impressed with the speed you made it. Red and black and white stripe top really suits you too. Great to have you back I’m wanting to start sewing again now you’re showing me all you lovely makes.

  6. Don’t apologise, just keep ’em comin! Making a top an hour and forty before you go out is something even I wouldn’t do……or maybe I have! That style is great on you and looks different each time. Love the flared sleeves best:)

    • Thanks Kim! And with them being a simple pattern they’re just crying out to be hacked, so I can’t wait to try a few more ideas.

  7. Geo P says

    I really need a tnt knit patten, I tried the Plantain recently but it turned out way too big, I think the fabric was too soft or I was overly cautios when measuring myself. I’m a serial tracer too πŸ˜€ , but for pdfs I started printing large format with Netprinter. It’s cheap and they have minimum orders, so I print each pattern 2 or 3 times.

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