Wednesday, April 28, 2010


We pick up our CSA box on Thursday afternoons.  I am not only a subscriber, I am also the neighborhood organizer, a volunteer position.  Friday mornings,  before I go in to my market (paid) job, I combine my community and family jobs by taking Iris to our neighborhood coffee shop and CSA distribution point,  Neighborhood Grinds.

Iris and I return the empty box for reuse, she gets a decaf mocha, I get a soy latte, and we tear into a fresh loaf of challah (baked at Manhattan Bread and Bagel, but delivered to NG).    I also pick up the subscription orders for the following week that have been dropped off at NG.

Last week, she hammed it up for the camera while wearing her newest top.

Then we walk around the corner from NG to her school.  I sign her into the afterschool program, talk to her teacher to coordinate her math lessons (I homeschool math with district-provided materials), pick up CSA orders left at the school and walk home.  At home, I collate the CSA orderrs, update the google spreadsheet and email the total to Tanaka Farms.

Only then am I free to go to my market  job.

With all this on my plate, I am not sure how I found time to make this top, McCall's 5135.

She selected a pink pima cotton poplin that feels great next to the skin.  It is a remnant I picked up back in grad school.  We paired it with some white Swiss dot I bought last year from SAS Fabrics for $3 per pound.  I bought a pound of black and white pieces and it should last me a decade at the rate I am sewing.

The original pattern had two-piece sleeves.  I turned it into a one-piece sleeve with a dimpled pleat at the shoulder.  This eliminates one seam and gives a cute detail.

We trimmed it with cotton lace from Dharma Trading.  The pattern shows the lace meeting in a V at the bodice seam.  This lace is wider and less bendable than the recommended lace, so I couldn't shape it to meet in the center. 

From her measurements, she should have been a size 8 in girth and a 10 in length.  When I have sewn for her using Kwik Sew and Simplicity, I usually just trace the 8, but extend the hems to the 10 length.  It worked fine until this top.  Is McCall's sizing less consistent than other brands'?  This top is too tight.  She can barely get it on.  She says that is why she has to wear it as often as possible before she outgrows it.

I think that means she likes it.

If I make this again, I will go up a size and add length to the upper bodice.  She doesn't like the empire line.  She would prefer the seam at her waist.


  1. i don't know how you find time to do anything! And I wanted to comment that Iris seems to be growing (too fast) into a lovely young lady!

  2. It is a lovely top on Iris even if it is a bit small. Sorry, I can't help with McCalls, I haven't sewn enough of them lately.


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