Black and gold

crabandbee.com | McCall's 6512

One of my focuses this fall is making shirts that cover my shoulders. I have far too many sleeveless tops that don’t go with one of my two cardigans, which confounds me in the morning when I’m fumbling around trying to get dressed. This top has just enough of a sleeve to get by. The pattern is McCall’s 6512, which I bought a long time ago. Then I saw Kathryn’s version last May and have been meaning to make it ever since!

crabandbee.com | McCall's 6512

I used a lightweight cotton voile I bought during my birthday week this year. It’s semi-sheer with a bit of sheen. Apparently, it wrinkles deeply when worn under a coat! (This is sounding less and less appropriate for fall! Ah, well.)

crabandbee.com | McCall's 6512

I’m between sizes in most Big 4 patterns. I went with the smaller size, which still has a generous amount of ease. If I were to make this pattern in a thicker fabric, I would remove some of the chest and underarm ease.

crabandbee.com | McCall's 6512

The only real change I made to the pattern was adjusting where the tabs are sewn down on the inside. The pattern says to sew the down at the corner of the pointed bodice piece. This created a really strange-looking sleeve gather for me, so I moved them towards my shoulder. I think I’ll move the buttons, too, since it looks like they’re being pulled by the tabs a bit.

crabandbee.com | McCall's 6512

I searched high and low for plain gold-colored or accented buttons with holes (not shanks) that wouldn’t pull down on the lightweight fabric. Shopping my stash, Etsy, and two fabric stores proved insufficient. I found these on eBay and love the tiny bit of bling they add.

I’m not sure why, but this project felt a bit cumbersome to me. I just never got too excited about working on it. Maybe it was working on what felt like a lot of details in such lightweight fabric? Still, I’m happy with the results and a basic-ish black shirt is a welcome addition to my wardrobe! And I’d love to make the other pattern view with the long sleeves and bow neck.

crabandbee.com | McCall's 6512

Now, here’s a conundrum for you – I think one of my deepest sewing fears is fitting sleeves. One of the deciding factors for me to try this pattern was Kathryn’s description of the sleeve as “superhero hybrid of a raglan and kimono.”  I gravitate towards both of those styles (as well as cap sleeves) or no sleeves at all. I can’t tell if it’s because those styles are truly more flattering on broad shoulders – I think they might be – or just easier to fit. Broad-shouldered readers: do you embrace or reject the set-in sleeve?

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42 thoughts on “Black and gold

  1. I LOVE yours! Although I’ve just realised how awful the photos are on my original post, oops. I need to make a long-sleeved version of this, but it’s a bit of a fabric hog for a blouse, it says it needs 2.5 metres, I guess because of the kimono sleeve element.

    I am narrow shouldered with a broad back (I think, am fairly confused about the whole fitting business up there) and I also hate set-in sleeves. They’re always constricting at the back and loose around the upper chest.

    1. Thanks, Kathryn! Your photos were great – they made me see the potential in a pattern that I might not have otherwise used.

      I was thinking about the fabric hoggery and was considering splitting up the one-piece upper-back and sleeve yoke with a center-back seam. I’ll bet that would save some yardage!

  2. i love this shirt! actually i’ve been meaning to make this pattern, but never remember to buy it when they’re on sale… all the details are just super, and the buttons are perfect!

    re: sleeves, i think i’ve felt the opposite. whenever i make a kimono sleeve i feel like it emphasizes my kinda stick-y out shoulders and makes me wish i had done a set in. it’s probably all in my head though, and i think this style looks great on you.

    1. Yes, there is always that element of scrutinizing your body shape way more than anybody else would! Given your mad shirting skills, I’ll bet you could do a great job with this pattern.

  3. This does look great on you! Great job on a shirt. I think those with all those details are almost as scary as pants.
    I’ll have to pay attention to my next shirt make and see if set in v. raglan sleeves make a difference to my shoulders.

  4. That shirt looks great on you! I agree with Lisa – I feel like shorter kimono sleeves stick out and emphasize my shoulders. Same with cap sleeves unless they’re really fitted. I tend to just stay away from sleeves completely and wear a cardigan on top since I don’t like the constricted feeling of sleeves in a woven fabric anyway.

    1. Thanks, Chantal! Now that I’ve thought about it a bit more, I like the unconstricted feeling of short kimono sleeves/cap sleeves but I agree they can visually emphasize broad shoulders if they hit at a certain spot.

  5. Oh wow, I love that shirt and the black’n’gold enamel buttons! I’m going to have to add this to my list of to do’s! I love your outfit and boots (the tops anyway), too – don’t you just love fall fashion?

  6. It’s very stylish – I’m very impressed by the top stitching! I don’t have broad shoulders (I think mine are a. I narrow actually), but I do love a kimono or raglan sleeve. You might find the Named Patterns Tyler shirt suits you as it is a button down shirt with raglan sleeve. I’ve not long finished mine, and did find that to fit me in the shoulders I needed more room in the body – so it might suit you! Hope that makes sense!

  7. I love this shirt – and way to hold out for the perfect buttons! Very cool. Anyway, I have no shoulder advice, but I have made the long sleeve version of this top. I did add a centre back seam to the sleeve/yoke piece, but I was also on a pattern matching/mirroring quest, so I don’t think I saved any fabric. And the tie uses tons, too! All that said, mine gets a lot of wear.

    1. Both of your versions are awesome! I can see why the tie version gets a lot of wear – I remember seeing it during MMM and thinking it was lovely. And that’s a good reminder about the tie gobbling up fabric! I forgot about that.

  8. Love those buttons! I am broad through the shoulders and back. I don’t mind a set in sleeve but I always, always slash and spread the sleeve to add some width. I guess my upper arms are a little, um, thick as well. Nine times out of ten I find that adding width to the sleeve keeps me from having that constricted feeling though the back and shoulders as well. But I’m not sure what I’m doing is a correct fix because sometimes I think it changes the look of the sleeve. I like kimono and big blouse-y sleeves, too. No need to mess with the pattern piece!

  9. I too love cap, raglan, and kimono sleeves (kimono usually only with short, not long, sleeves). To me it is just a bonus that they’re easier to construct than set in sleeves 🙂

  10. Um… I freakin love this. I hope the blah-ness of having to sew it is compensated by how fabulous I think it looks on you, because the colour, lines and buttons are divine. It’s everyday with just a touch of military and I’m the biggest sucker for that match! And I have faith that you can totally master the set in sleeve… like most things, once you’ve done it a few times, it seemed silly that you ever feared it 😉

    1. Thanks, Melanie! I like that suggestion of military detailing as well. I think you’re right – it’s time to give set-in sleeves another chance. I’m lucky enough to not have too many complicated fit issues and it would be great to learn how to handle this one!

  11. I *love* this top! The buttons really make it. The neckline is unusual for the military vibe from the buttons. The sleeves look really cool. I don’t normally buy McCalls patterns, but I might just have to after seeing this.

    1. Thanks, Sophie! I always feel pretty awkward when I’m getting my picture taken, so I must be working with a good photographer (Nathan). I’ll have to share some of the outtakes some time. 🙂

  12. Oh, I really love everything about this top; the tabs, the buttons, the style of the pockets with all the topstitching and the neckline. It looks just gorgeous on you too. I think I’m going to have to buy this pattern; thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Such a great style on you! Love your little bit of bling buttons 🙂 I love the idea of these sleeves. Might need to give them a go.
    P.S. Your hair looks great in these photos 🙂

  14. This suits you perfectly and it’s such a lovely shape. Those buttons really take it up a notch too! I remember really liking Kathryn’s version during MMM too and it’s nice to see a different version.

  15. AAUUUGGGHHHH I love that first picture!!! Tell Nathan (I assume?) that he did a marvelous job. I love how editorial it is! Great expression and hair, and obviously very fine work on the top. xoxo

  16. Oooo I love this pattern, I’d go with the necktie long sleeve number. This fabric is so you, it’s just beautiful and the button search was worth it, these are perfect. Thumbs up!

  17. Oh Morgan, this is SO gorgeous. I love every detail and it looks amazing on you. And your hair!! Killing me, it’s so awesome.

  18. This is very cool. Seems like a great basic to have! And the buttons are perfect. I’ve been trying to persuade myself to do more sewing with solids and then add the fun details with buttons and trims and things, but it’s hard to talk myself into the “boring” fabric.

    1. Thanks, Alice! I’m no stranger to solids but working with this plain black fabric seemed tedious even to me! I am glad to have the shirt, though.

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