McCalls 5081 aka Men's Shirt Refashion. (Fail)

I mean. I guess it’s not terrible. The concept is nice. It occurred to me I don’t like halter tops, especially ones that weave in front of your neck, when I tried on the semi finished version.

The second  I slithered into it, and pinned the back together together, I looked in the mirror and understood the importance of making a muslin. Those chicks on Pattern Review aren't kidding.

I also object to the optical illusion the stripes give, narrowing at the top like that. I do not have the shape to be narrowed at the top. Pattern cutting out fail.

I used an old mens’ shirt, and I ended up with just enough fabric after I had ripped open French cuffs, the collar, and the back facing, and took out the label. Just. Enough. But I could have probably flipped these upside down or something, to get the lines to diverge at my chest.   I guess that's what happens when you cut out your patterns in the garage, keeping company to an oil changing Mr Snork.

But, most offensive of all is the Pancake Boob phenomenon (look at the profile).

Yeah.  It looks JUST like that when I put in.  I have yet to find a fix for it on Pattern Review. There’s something called the Full Bust Adjustment, but the name leads me to believe I’m not a candidate. I’m not really sure where I went wrong:

Having no boobs? (likely)

Cutting too big a size? (12) (unlikely?)

Cutting too big a size in boob area? (likely).

The weight and texture of the fabric? (likely)

The gathering needs to be placed elsewhere?  (I followed the pattern to the dot..)

The top is interfaced, and has facings, so it’s three layers of pretty stiff fabric. I think may be, in a nice fluid-y knit or one of those Spring “Silks” at JoAnns, it might have a chance.  Which is too bad, I really like the concept of a refashioned men's shirt.  But.  Not like this. 

It doesn’t look to bad on Nora, (save the profile view) but when I put it on I look like I’ve decided to creatively choke myself with Mr Snork’s apparel while making my boobs look weird.  AND, I know I’m not being paranoid, because Mr Snork, who always treats my experiments with nothing but praise, to avoid any sort of a breakdown on my part, looked at my fitting, and asked, “What’s wrong with it?”.

 Just like that.

I think I’ll rip it apart, and try a smaller size in muslin, see what that does for me.  But first, I'll get the biggest bra I own, and stuff it with my fluffiest dirtbike socks, and try it on.  Just to see if it makes a difference.  I doubt I’ll ever wear it, cause of the weird halter phobia, but I do want to see if I can make it fit. 
The lady in pattern picture doesn't look like she's having issues.  (This was one of my 10c garage sale acquisitions, circa 1970). 

It’s going in the "later" pile though, I have another pattern (Vogue’s 8552), that I had cut out months ago, also without a trial muslin, so I can’t wait to see how that goes. I guess I could quickly whip up a trial dress, since I haven’t sewn anything. Hmm.  Now that I've typed that out, I'm pretty sure I ought. 


  1. See. I can give an honest opinion about your creations. "What's wrong with it?" :D I don't ALWAYS say things look perfect just to keep you smiling. I'd like to... but I have to tell you if something is way off. Pancakes, way off.

  2. I really like this dress, and I might want one.

  3. I think this is really cool. Pancake boobs, not so cool. But the idea and the dress are very cool.

    I love the stuff you find and create!


  4. I am a big fan of muslin prototypes. I buy muslin by the bolt at Joann's. That way you can figure out what needs to be changed and ... change it!