Sunday, October 4, 2015

Two More Versions...

...of McCalls 7115.  What is it with me and making things in threes?  It seems the last few projects have been done in threes.  The second and third versions are always easier than the first.  And I can apply some tweaks here and there.  Anyway, I won't write a ton about these two pieces since I reviewed this same pattern here- my denim dress.

 This is a simple, relaxed fitting pattern.  Once I tweaked the shoulder seam, I didn't have to really fit anything else.  There isn't any waist definition to this dress but for some reason it works.  Maybe because there is a seam there?  I love this version I made using a rayon poplin fabric.  I also just made my black culottes in the same fabric.  This was my first time using it, though.  I would say it drapes just like a rayon challis but is heavier and more opaque.  And there is almost a slight sheen to it.  I ordered this from on a whim and was pleasantly surprised by the weight of it.  I don't need any sort of slip or anything under this dress.

I made view B, with the tiered skirt and cold shoulder detail.  Both of those design features get kind of lost in the psychedelic print.  But I like both nonetheless.  I did add an inch of length to both tiers.   The bottom tier of the dress is actually three pieces instead of two.  That wasn't apparent to me at first but I figured it out as I was sewing.  So my print placement is all over the place.  I also screwed up the print match at the front button placket a little.  I didn't stay stitch the neckline (and I can't remember if that is in the instructions- if it isn't, be sure to do it!) and it stretched out some from handling while sewing.  I had to shave a little off the front center to make the facing fit right and in the process messed up my perfectly matched print.  It's close enough.  I sewed the facing with a triple stitch again.  And I added pockets again, too.  This dress definitely needs pockets.  

I put a filter on these photos because the colors were so washed out for some reason.  The light is changing.  But this photo below of the shoulder splits doesn't have a filter on it and is a good representation of the colors in the fabric.

I did notice on my denim version that something was up with the hem.  There was a height difference in front even though I knew my hem was straight.  I thought maybe it was just the dress pulling backwards or something.  Valerie helped me figure it out and it makes perfect sense now.  When I made that shoulder adjustment to straighten out the shoulder seam, I removed a wedge of fabric.  I need to add that wedge back to keep the skirt from tilting up.  However, by the time I talked to Valerie about it, I had already made this dress and cut out my blouse below.  So both of these have that same tilt, though I think it's less apparent in fabrics with more drape.  If I make this again, (a fourth time!) which I might,  I'll fix it.  I'll add that wedge back in to the center front to make the skirt hang evenly.

The blouse version is the same view, but just one tier instead of two.  It's a new favorite.  It's been worn to death since I made it.  In fact, one of my students pointed out that I had worn the same top the week before when I wore it this past week.  I see classes once a week, so they notice if you wear something twice in a row.  It's made in a rayon challis I found at Joann's that I love.  I tried to just balance the print on the front since it's so patchwork-y and failed.  Look at that yellow section that almost matches.   It think it looks fine, though. 

Anyway, nice and easy pattern.  I think I'm done with it for now that the weather is changing.  But maybe I'll pull it out again next summer.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ahhh! Culottes!!

Love them or hate them, right? Yes, the culottes zombies came for me.  And I've been bitten.  I seriously love all three pairs of culottes I've made.  I made the two shorter pair this summer and just finished the longer black pair.  They are all made from McCall's  7131.  I actually made the first black and red printed pair very early on the summer.  They have been worn almost every other day since.  And I think they've held up pretty well!  Despite using a fairly cheap rayon challis. 

 This pattern is a good one.  I would call these actual culottes, meaning they look like a skirt but aren't.  A divided skirt.  I have seen other patterns called culottes that I would probably call wide leg pants.  But the pleats and the width of each leg on these put them firmly in the culottes category in my book.  Now that I've made this same pattern three times, I think it's time to review it.

Pattern Description: Loose fitting pants have front waistband and pleats, back elastic casing and side pockets.  Different hem lengths in pattern, including very short and very long.

Pattern Sizing: 8-24.  I cut a 16 but ended up using the back elastic guide for a size 12.

Fabric Used:  My first black and red version is a rayon challis.  The brown and black check version is a mystery rayon blend I thrifted a long time ago (with crinkle-- ugh).  And the black version is a crisp rayon poplin.  Which I struggled with.  There is quite a bit of puckering along my seam lines in the rayon poplin.  I am guessing I needed to adjust stitch length or maybe use a different needle?  Maybe a microtex needle?  The puckering looks very noticeable in these photos but I don't think it's as noticeable in real life.  I'm wearing them anyway.  I'm hoping those seams will loosen up a little with some wearing and washing.  The fabric has great drape but the weave is a lot tighter than regular rayon challis.  It's very opaque.  The back view is not the best in the crisper rayon poplin, also.  I did an extremely mediocre job of matching prints and checks on my first two versions.  So don't judge me.  My red and black version are ok, except for that one stupid mismatched stripe on the front.  Hasn't stopped me from wearing them, though.  The brown and black check fabric has a crinkle to it which caused all sorts of issues when matching up plaids.  I did my best.  My pleats match pretty well but my hem is off from front to back.  The outside leg seams match but the inside leg seams don't.  I swear that crinkled fabric was just messing with me. 

Alterations/ Deviations: None, other than using a smaller elastic length.  I tried the original elastic length and the waistband was much too loose.  The first black and red version is the length of view B.  So imagine how short view A is!  The brown and black pair is view B again with about two inches added to length.  And then the black version is view C minus two inches.  

Likes/ Dislikes:  This pattern has a lot of great design features and is easy to make with the elasticized back waistband.  There is one front pleat that is done after sewing up the front center seam which helps hide the pants leg split.  I think this might be my favorite feature and is what makes them look so much like a skirt.  The back waist casing is done by sewing four channels for narrower elastic instead of one big piece.  I like this, although it is very fiddly to feed all four pieces of elastic through.  Kind of a two steps forward, one step back process.  I tried to get a good shot of where the front waistband meets the back elastic casing.  I like how this is sewn as well.  The pants are totally constructed with side seams sewn last.  I like the way the waistbands are sewn together with the front waist facing.  It's a nice clean finish inside.  I'd explain it but I think I'd just confuse people.  My only complaint with this pattern has come after viewing all these photos.  I did get the feeling that the front hem would dip lower while wearing these.  I figured it had something to do with tightening the back elastic and having all those pleats in front.  However, I have noticed on all three pairs that my side seams pull forward.  Can anyone tell me why?  Is it a fit issue?  Or just a feature of the way the pattern is drafted?  It doesn't bother me enough to not wear these.  I do tend to readjust the back elastic casing throughout the day and pull up on the front waistband to keep the front hem from dipping lower.  The front, with all the pleating, is heavier than the back if that makes sense.

Conclusion:  Great pattern!  I'm saving this (I folded it back nice and neat!) to revisit next summer.  I really did wear the first version to death.  They were perfect for hot summer days.  And I know the black version will get worn plenty this fall.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Denim Dress

I'm quite pleased with how this dress turned out, although I will admit it's a little bit frumpy. This was completely sewn on a whim.  I bought the pattern, McCalls 7115 at a recent pattern sale and the cheap denim at the same time.  Then I washed the fabric and cut it out the same night.  I'm not really sure what possessed me since the pattern cover is really not all that exciting.  The cover shows the romper view.  I'm not big on rompers.  I may eat my words one day, but I'm definitely not convinced at this point.  I do like a good long jumpsuit on other people. Anyway, I digress.

I think I was swayed by the view with the button tab sleeves and pockets, although I ended up using the shorter sleeve.   I instantly pictured it in denim and thought it would be the perfect back-to-school dress.  The pattern calls for fabrics with more drape but I forged ahead anyway.  I did use a lighter weight denim.  I think the bolt said it was 6 ounces.

Pattern Description: Pull-on romper and pullover dresses have dropped waist, mock bands (done as a facing), gathers and a front button closure.  All have a cut on kimono sleeve and two views have a split for a cold shoulder look.

Pattern Sizing:  After looking at the finished measurements, I cut a medium and I thought the fit was pretty darn good.  But really, there is not a whole lot to fit.  For reference, I typically cut a 14 in big 4 patterns.  My bust measurement is a 14 but my waist and hip are usually a 16.  Plenty of ease in the bottom half of this pattern, though.

Fabric Used: A 6 ounce denim.  Super cheap.  Hoping it will last a while, though, since I really like the end result.

Alterations/Deviations:  I made a few.  I did not attempt any sort of muslin since I was using such cheap fabric.  When I looked at the bodice and back shoulder line, I thought to myself that there was no way that this angle would work on anyone.  But I shushed that little voice and went ahead and sewed it together, including stitching down the facing with a triple stitch.  Those shoulder seams did exactly what I thought they would do.  They stuck straight up on either side of my neck.  So I have an honest question about the way the shoulder seam is drafted on this pattern- does a shoulder seam with such a sharp angle work on anyone?  I really am curious.  I unpicked all that triple stitching, marked my shoulder point (about four inches over from the neckline, fyi) and then straightened out the angle of the shoulder seam.   See my shoddy photo below where I tried to illustrate what I did.  Granted my shoulders do sit really straight out from neck and I have straightened shoulder seams many times before.  But I still can't see that slope working on anyone.  This made the back neckline sit almost straight across in between my shoulders.  Which weirdly seems to work.  Once I made that change, everything else fit decently well.  I added inseam pockets on the skirt before attaching to the bodice.  Best addition ever.  I also didn't cut open my button holes.  The dress slips right on over my head and I was worried about the quality of the denim.  So I just sewed the buttons on through both layers.  This is the dress I showed on Instagram with the red buttonholes.  I thought the plain denim needed something so I did the buttonholes in red thread.  I wore this on the first day of school with a pair of red shoes.  I also serged the insides with rainbow serger thread.  Just because.

Likes/Dislikes:  I surprisingly really love the dropped waist.  It's not super dropped or anything, but just low enough.  And I love that it is not tight around the waistline either.  I like the ease in this dress.  It's easy to wear.  It is definitely not a dress that you wear to feel svelte.  But I like that about it.  I love the cut on sleeve.  I did raise the opening by a half inch to lessen any bra showing but that was easy to do.  And I love it in denim.  I think this pattern is missing out by not including denim on it's recommended fabrics.  My sewing is not quite on par but it's good enough for a first go.  My buttonhole placement wanders a bit and my hem is not great.  I made the teeniest little baby hem I could to preserve some length.  This is the length that pattern calls for and I could do with one more inch.  There are some strange wrinkles around the armhole but I'm guessing that is most likely due to using a crisper fabric with a cut on sleeve.  Could be a fit issue.

Conclusion:  Great, easy pullover dress.  Perfect for teaching.  In fact, I love this dress so much that I've already made another and I'm adapting a blouse version.  Coming soon!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Slouchy Tees

I made a few slouchy tee shirts using Very Easy Vogue 8984.  And I will venture to say that it probably has one of the least enticing cover illustrations ever.  Honestly, I am not even sure why I own this pattern.  I think I bought it a while back for some sort of franken-pattern project.  Sometimes I buy a pattern just for the sleeves or neckline or something.  Anyway, I think we can all agree that the cover is pretty bad.

I made up the grey polka dot version first.  Actually, I made it back in May and wasn't in love with it at first.  But I ended up wearing it so often that it grew on me.  I used a soft bamboo knit with printed dots that I love.  It's nice stuff.   I made the greige version next, lengthening the pattern almost six inches and adding side splits.  It's also a bamboo knit.  The striped version was made by recycling a skirt I made recently and never wore.  I made that knit skirt in the spring and thought I'd wear it a lot when it got warm.  But the length was weird and I never got over the mismatched stripes.  So I cut the front and sleeves of this tee from it.  I didn't have enough to cut the back without a seam and no stripe matching.  So I made the back in a solid black.  Again, all bamboo knits.  Sensing a theme?  I bought a bunch a while back and I don't know if I can ever go back to buying cheap knits.  I bought all of these lengths from and they are great.  Stretchy and beefy with nice drape.  My only complaint is that they are a little heavy.  I can see how a light weight rayon knit might be more appropriate in some circumstances.  I'll be curious to see how all my tees wear over time, though.

Pattern Description: Vogue 8984.  Semi fitted pullover top has dropped shoulders and narrow hem.  There is a longer sleeve option and a cropped hem option.  

Pattern Sizing:  I cut a 12.  I went down a size from my usual 14.

Fabric Used:  All bamboo knits from

Alterations/Deviations: The grey version I made first is view B, the shorter sleeve and longer length plus one inch.  This tee is short.  I would call it cropped but I do have a longer torso.  The greige version is view B plus 6 inches added to length with side splits.  The black and white striped version is view B length as is.  I would have made it longer but the pattern pieces just fit on the piece of fabric I recycled.  I did the necklines on all three shirts differently.  The first grey version was done as the pattern instructed- folding under and stitching.  I really dislike that finish but I did it anyway.  I sandwiched some steam-a-seam in before I stitched.  That is the first time I've used it on a neckline.  I also used steam-a-seam on the hem of the grey version.  I do not like the way the steam-a-seam made the hems and neckline kind of... crunchy, I guess.  I didn't use any sort of stabilizer on the other versions and my hems are just fine.  I guess these bamboo knits are beefy enough that they don't really need it.  I did a neck band on the greige version, which turned out decent.  It's a little wavy.  And on the black and white version, I made a binding that I flipped to the inside and stitched like a bias facing.  I think that finish worked the best.

Likes/Dislikes:  I love a good, slouchy tee and this pattern fit the bill.  But yes, it is a strange pattern.  I like the depth and width of the neckline, too.  And the dropped shoulder is kind of trendy right now. But a flattering tee, this is not.  All three will get lots of wear.

I actually made one more version in solid black and cropped it super short to wear with skirts that sit at my natural waist.  A little longer at the back.  And I really dislike it for some reason.  Especially after taking some photos of it with different things.  I'm only including a photo for informational purposes.  Something about the proportions are way off and I really don't like the way it looks.  I'm going to hang on to it for now.  Maybe I'll try shortening the sleeves to see if that helps.  And I'll blog about those culottes (with the mismatched stripe) one day!  I love them and wear them all the time.

Conclusion:  Phew!  I sure did just write a lot about this simple, little pattern.  I intended this to be a fast and furious blog post.  It was an easy, quick sew.  Almost all straight seams.  I recommend the pattern if this is a style you are looking for.  Look past that terrible cover art!

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Well hello there!  I did not intend on being away from this space so much this summer.  In fact, summertime is when I usually blog more often, being a teacher and all.  But life happens.  Of course.  I mentioned this on Instagram, but our washing machine flooded our house about four weeks in to summer and ruined all of our hardwoods.  So the entire second half of my summer was dedicated to moving out, getting new floors installed and then moving back in.  Not that much fun!  Now that we are back in, though, I am really enjoying our new floors.  They are absolutely beautiful.  And we got a new washer and dryer.  It's nice.  Can't complain about that.  My take away from all of this is to never ever start a load of laundry without watching that it stops filling before walking away and doing something else.  That's my PSA to you, too.

Anyway, I did do a fair bit of sewing this summer.  Most of it was pre-flood, though I squeezed some in during the moving part as well.  I collected almost everything I made this summer together the other day and took a bajillion pictures so I could write a few blog posts. You may see me in these same rainy photos for a while.  I made this top early on in the summer so I will write about it as best I can remember.

This is the Branson top, an indie pattern by Debbie Iles of Lily Sage & Co.  I don't buy a lot of indie patterns (I'm cheap) even though I love a lot of designs I see.  But I did splurge on this one.  There are so many things I like about the design.  The cut on sleeve, the seam at the back, and of course, the bow.  I'm also a lover of linen, so Debbie's versions swayed me as well.  So here goes a review.

Pattern Description: Branson is a buttoned blouse with two sleeve options- a sleeveless version that ends up having a little cut on sleeve and a long sleeve version.  I made the sleeveless version.  The front of the top is loose and has a waist tie that you tie in to a great big ol' bow.  Below is a photo of top untied so you can see the shape better.  The back is more fitted with a little peplum. 

Pattern Sizing:  Debbie has her own sizing chart.  I made a size 16 even though my bust measurement puts me at a 14.  Debbie included a different front pattern piece with an FBA for larger cup sizes.  I think I remember reading that it was for a C cup and up.  I am a B cup, sometimes a C cup. I'm kind of in between.  So I decided to size up and use the smaller cup size piece.  My waist and hip measurement put me at a size 16.

Fabric Used:  I used a printed linen/rayon blend I found at Joann's.  I changed up the waist tie to have a front and a facing so I could use a woven striped linen I had in stash to coordinate with the print.  I also bound the neck edge with the striped linen, which did not turn out well.

Alterations/Deviations:  I did make a couple of changes to the waist tie.  Like I said above, I cut the waist tie in to a front and a facing to use the two different fabrics.  I also lengthened and widened the waist tie.  After looking at some of the tester versions, I thought I wanted a bigger, more obnoxious bow.  And I'm very happy I did lengthen it.  Not because I liked the bigger bow, but because I can now wrap the tie around my waist instead of just tying it in the front.  When I wear it tied in the front, it droops while wearing.  When I wrap it around the back first and then tie in front, it stays in place better.  That's nit-picky, I know.  But I prefer it wrapped all the way around.  In the photo below, it is tied only in front in the photo on the left and wrapped all the way around on the right.  I also think the bust looks better when it's wrapped around.  I do have some wrinkles at the back but I can't tell if that's because I need to alter fit or if it's just the waist tie pulling at the side seams.

Likes/Dislikes:  I like the shape of this top very much.  Love the cut on sleeve.  Love the back peplum.  I royally screwed up binding the neckline.  I didn't trim corners as the pattern instructed and it shows.  Also, the woven linen is much more wiry than the rayon blend I used and that makes the binding stiffer than the rest of the top.  It's kind of a mess.  I've only worn this once because the neck binding bothers me so much when I wear it.  I also did not take any pattern placement in to account and ended up with two big flowers at the top front.  Probably only noticeable to someone who sews.  I do love the shape of the neckline.  The back neckline is very straight and I was surprised that it fit so well with no changes.  I am always fiddling with back necklines to get a good fit.  I may use this one for comparisons in the future.

Conclusion: Nice and easy, but unusual pattern.  I'd love the make it again with a few tweaks.  I'd definitely watch that neckline binding and trim properly if I made it again.  And I'm kind of intrigued by the funky long sleeved version.  We shall see!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chartreuse Linen Midi Skirt

I'm on the fence about this skirt.   I think my main issue is that I don't know what to wear with it.  This top is the only thing in my closet that looked ok with it.  Wearing a shirt with a collar seems to counter the primness of the silhouette.  I tried on several tops with short sleeves but instantly felt frumpy.  Not sure why. Any suggestions on what to wear with a full, midi length skirt like this?  I'm thinking I should make a sleeveless collared blouse out of linen to go with it.  Maybe white, maybe a purple??  I'm hoping I didn't just make a closet orphan.  I'm also contemplating shortening the hem to knee length thinking I'd be more likely to wear it then.  I do like that this length is something different in my closet.  Anyhoo, on to the pattern details.

Pattern Description: I made Butterick 5929 again.  You can see my first version (view A) here.  This time I made view D, the midi length gored skirt.  It is definitely a departure from the type of thing I normally wear.  But I've been trying to branch out a little lately.  And I'm on a mission to make some warm weather work appropriate things before school starts in August.

Pattern Sizing: I made a 16 but took in the waist a 1/2 inch on each side.  So could I have made a 14? I don't know.  I'd rather go bigger and take in than make something too small.  Not much else to fit other than the waist.

Fabric Used: The main attraction of this skirt is the linen.  It's a beautiful, smooth and crisp linen from  I've been buying quite a bit of linen from there and I've always been pleased.  This particular linen is listed as a 'luxury' linen due to the fact that it is has a higher thread count.  And it does indeed.  The weave is tighter than any linen I've sewn with before, which really does make it feel more luxurious.  But it still has that wonderful airy rumple that I love so much.  Oh linen, how I love you!  Let me count the ways.  In case you haven't noticed my love affair with linen.

Likes/Dislikes:  I wanted to branch out and try a midi length skirt.  A true midi length, hitting just below my calves.  I'm not sure how I feel about now.  Hence why I am on the fence about this one.  I actually like it in these photos but I did feel a little frumpy when I was wearing it.  It is wonderfully cool to wear.  And I do majorly love the color.  My only other nit-picky complaint is that I can see the edge of the facing through the linen.  I serged the edge and there is a visible ridge there.  I kind of wish I did the waistband instead of the facing for this particular skirt.

Alterations/Deviations:  None, other than nipping the waist in.  This is a good pattern with lots of options for a fuller skirt.  Could of used in seam pockets, though.  

Conclusion:  I'm going to try wearing it a few times before I decide to shorten it or not.  I don't want this pretty linen to sit unworn in the closet.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

One For Me and Three for Jane

If Jane and I ever start a band, we can use one of these photos as our album cover.  

I've not been very good about sewing things for Jane lately.  But really, that's ok.  Toddlers are crazy hard on their clothes.  I don't ever put her in to anything remotely nice when she goes to daycare.  You should see the way she comes home.  Apparently she plays hard.  I always have good intentions about sewing little toddler things.  It really is fun and quick to sew toddler sized clothing.  Every time I make something for myself, I look at whatever fabric is left and think that I should make something for Jane.  Rarely do I follow through.  But this time I did.

I made up my top first.  It's an easy going, swing-y tank.  This version is my wearable muslin.  I have a pretty rayon that I want to make this top in, but I didn't want to cut in to it without testing out the pattern first. Here are the pattern deets.  

Pattern Description: Simplicity 1107. Swing-y high low top,with or without sleeves, that can be made in a variety fabrics.  Pattern claims knits or wovens.  I used a woven.

Pattern Sizing:  I made a S, which is crazy.  I can't remember the last time I wore anything in a size small.  When I looked at the finished measurements there was some obscene amount of ease at the bust.  I do realize that this is supposed to be a top without a lot of ease.  But I sized down anyway as an experiment.  I always have issues with the neckline gaping on things I make.  I was curious if sizing down would take care of some of the gaping issues.  I figured I could get away with it here because there is so much ease included.  See my verdict on sizing down below.  

Fabric Used:  I used a strawberry colored linen blend I found at Joann's as a 'wearable muslin' before I cut in to my nicer fabric.  The fabric has a woven check throughout, but I don't think you can see it in these photos.  It has a nice texture.  I absolutely love this color.  It's the perfect coral/poppy red.

Likes/Dislikes:  I love the v-neck.  I also love a swing-y top, as I am sure you can tell.  I did have some issues with sizing, specifically at the armholes.  But I believe that is because I made a size too small.

Alterations/Deviations:  Making a smaller size worked, but I do think I need the bigger size at the armhole.  I like the height of the armscye but there is some pulling from the sides just under the arm.  If I make this again, I'll keep the height but extend the armscye to a medium at the side seams. I still had some neckline gape even after sizing down to a small.  This is always an issue for me.  I solved it after the fact by taking a 3/4" dart out of the front center seam before I sewed the bias facing.  I suspect I need a hollow chest adjustment- but at the same time a broad back adjustment?!?  Is that even possible?!  I can always count on having fit issues through the upper chest/neckline/shoulder area, so maybe so.  One day I'll figure it all out ;)

Conclusion:  I might make this again in a fabric with more drape like my original plan.  I do like this version a lot, although it's not exactly what I envisioned.  It's perfect for the insane heat wave we are having right now.

Jane's top is also a new Simplicity pattern.  I loved the linen I used for my top so much I wanted to use up the scraps right away.  This is a very cute toddler pattern.  The square neckline, the gathered hem and the bubble shorts are just too adorable.  The pattern claims it is an easy sew but I disagree.  There was just enough fussiness in this pattern to make it a more difficult sew.  Not super hard, but it required some concentration.  I made Jane's red linen top first.  When it turned out well, I went ahead and made the bubble shorts followed by another top in white Swiss dot.  So Jane ended up with three garments from this pattern.

Pattern Description: Simplicity 1118. Toddler's tank top with ruffled hem, cropped pants or shorts with bubble hem (gathered in to a band).  All cute options.

Pattern Sizing.  I took Jane's measurements for this.  And her measurements crack me up.  She is 20" at bust, waist and hip.  Ha!  So I cut a size two for all pieces.

Fabric Used: Linen blend for first top.  Swiss dot lined with white linen for second top.  And a woven striped linen for the bubble shorts.

Likes/Dislikes:  I love the square neckline.  I also love how the top opens/closes with a simple button and loop at the back.  That's such an easy closure for a toddler pattern.  And practical.  The pattern calls for a facing, which I did for the first red linen version.  For the white version, I opted to line the entire bodice instead.  It worked just fine.  If you thought ahead, you could line and finish the armholes in one fell swoop using the burrito method.  I didn't think that far through and finished the armholes with bias anyway.  It worked ok.  I do have some pulling at the armhole because there are so many layers of fabric there. The bubble shorts are adorable.  I changed the direction of the stripe on the waistband, pockets and hem bands.  They have the cutest shape.  I did struggle with gathering the hem of the shorts in to the band evenly.  It's such a small circumference that you really have to focus on what you are doing.  I ended up with most of my gathering at the back for some reason. It's ok.  It's passable.  They are absolutely adorable on Jane.

Alterations/Deviations:  I made the first red top up exactly as the pattern intended.  The neckline is a little too big.  On the white Swiss dot version, I raised the neckline by a half inch, front and back.  I also added an inch in length to both ruffles so she can wear it for a little while longer.  Seems she's growing up versus growing out these days.  The shorts were made with no alterations.  I know I've said it before, but they are really cute!  

 This.  This would be our album cover.

Conclusion:  Great little pattern.  I'd love the make the shorts again as Jane needs a few more pairs of shorts.  We'll see how the summer goes.