Summer Tops and Miscellany! (But Mostly A Blair Shirt)

Hello, friends!

First off, I know I kept saying I was going to do a planning post for summer sewing. Clearly I haven’t had the time for that, LOL! So while that may not materialize, I have been sewing a bit. I made a Named Minttu top but haven’t bothered to have Tom photograph it until now. Apart from being annoyed as hell about the length of the facing (it cuts off right at mid-boob, where the top is still quite fitted: WTF?!?!? Not cool.), I think it’s really cute!

pink shirt-striped shirt (1 of 17)

Derp Face

pink shirt-striped shirt (2 of 17)

Side (Can you see the facing stopping suddenly? >=[ )

pink shirt-striped shirt (3 of 17)


pink shirt-striped shirt (4 of 17)

Trying to put some “swing” in my swing top…

I added my usual 1″ of length at the bust, but otherwise there are no changes to this pattern as you see it. (And yes, I added the same 1″ to the facings. #bitter) It’s snug through the shoulders and upper back, but the stretch in my fabric makes up for that.

The fabric I used is a ponte knit, as recommended by the pattern. This particular fabric almost got destashed (it is decidedly NOT my best color/look, but then neither are white skinny jeans), but I actually really like it as a top. Which is good, because I have enough fabric left for another top! 😉 I’m planning on a Named Lexi or Sointu but haven’t decided for sure yet–feel free to weigh in with a comment!

And now for the star of this post: the Blair shirt by Style Arc!

pink shirt-striped shirt (11 of 17)


pink shirt-striped shirt (8 of 17)


pink shirt-striped shirt (9 of 17)


pink shirt-striped shirt (12 of 17)

Back view (incl. VPL, ugh)

pink shirt-striped shirt (15 of 17)

One more front shot for good measure

pink shirt-striped shirt (17 of 17)

Shirt in the sunshine

Obviously I really love this shirt, hence the barrage of photos. 😉

I bought this very nice cotton shirting at Fabric Mart (my fabric shopping frenemy) and knew I would make a shirt with it eventually. I know…I’m a fucking visionary.


Cotton Shirting? For a shirt? Groundbreaking.

After seeing so many inspiring versions of the Blair shirt and dress, I realized this fabric was perfect for it and finally made my pattern choice. 😀 I really couldn’t be much happier with it–it turned out so much like I had hoped!

Construction Notes

This is only my second Style Arc rodeo, but I know enough to read their instructions, chuckle, and figure it out for myself. 😉 I did things my way pretty much from start to finish. Here’s a brief summary:

  1. I assembled the bottom half of the shirt and the underlayer at the side seams before hemming them separately up to a few inches before the center front (to make attaching the button bands easier). That curved hem was a tedious operation, so I wanted it out of the way! Then I basted those pieces together.
  2. Next came the shoulders and upper half side seams, followed by attaching the bottom layers to the top.
  3. I did the button bands and remainder of the hem next, then the collar assembly and buttonholes.
  4. The sleeve cuffs were the last machine step, then I sewed on my buttons. Ta da!!!

I spent a lot of time prepping the stripes so that everything mostly matched. The shoulders don’t line up exactly, but I was more concerned about the fronts so was willing to compromise there.

pink shirt-striped shirt (15 of 17)

I think we can all agree that was time well spent…

Pattern Adjustments

I took a big chance here and didn’t change any proportions on my Blair. O_O I know. But it’s a cropped shirt, and the length looked like it would be fine with high rise jeans so I just went for it. I only made one–ONE–change to the pattern itself, and that was the undercollar.

pink shirt-striped shirt (14 of 17)

Undercollar awesomeness

Surprisingly, Style Arc has you use the same pattern piece for both the upper and under, but I wanted a bias undercollar. #shirtmakingcred That’s it, though. Everything else is exactly per the Size 4 original pattern, even button placement.

Apart from some sewing, here’s what else I’ve been up to lately:


Readers, meet Nessie! She’s a Fall Fiesta Sugar Maple. ^___^

We planted a new tree out back! We lost our large Norway Maple (it was necessary, trust me–I don’t cut down trees lightly) and replaced it with a stronger, non-invasive species. Bonus: someday, Nessie will provide maple sap for syrup!



And I’ve been knitting socks like a fiend! I have 2 more pairs on my needles as I type this. 😉


And some hot air ballooning for good measure. Here at the “Mads” house, it’s not really summer if we haven’t played with some hot air balloons. 😀

How is your summer (or winter for my Southern Hemisphere friends!) going? Have you gone on any adventures (in the air, on the ground, under the sea)? Are you starting to think about sewing for the next season yet?

14 thoughts on “Summer Tops and Miscellany! (But Mostly A Blair Shirt)

  1. Wow Mads! You’ve been busy! Love the blush top but what’s up with the facing design, as you pointed out! The stripe shirt is cool, love the flap detail!

    • Yeah, that facing was a big WTF, since Named usually gets things so right! Oh well, at least now I know to lengthen it next time. And those flaps were not quite what I expected–the entire bottom layer is doubled, and I assumed it was just an inset! But I do love the shirt. ^__^

  2. Oh, I love your Blair shirt! I’ve been eyeing that pattern for ages and now it’s in the ‘must have’ column of my pattern wish list. Your fabric is perfect! The colors are great and your matching is divine. The blush shirt is pretty cute, in spite of the facing ordeal. And your socks!!! You make me want to go and knit! They’re gorgeous! You have been busy….

    • Ugh yeah, that facing was such a mind-f*ck! I actually assumed I had forgotten to lengthen it with the bodice, but after checking I realized I had lengthened it. It just seems like a weird place to stop a facing when the top is still fairly fitted there. But now I know it wasn’t me for next time, at least!
      Thanks for your kind words about the Blair! The shirting is not my usual colors, but I really like them as this top.

  3. Your Blair looks so great. You went up in a hot air balloon?! That sounds super scary to me, but admittedly I am a total wuss!! I like Nessie, too.

    • Thank you for your kind words about my new top, Ann! As to the flight, hot air ballooning has been part of my entire life because my dad is a pilot, so it’s a bit different for us! 🙂 Definitely wouldn’t recommend it for folks who are scared of heights, but otherwise it’s such a cool way to see the landscape!

  4. I vote Sointu for sure! That is super shitty about the facing though…like WTF?! Did they test the pattern? Sometimes I am very confused by things people do. Anyway, it still looks cute as does the Blair top. What is it about the bias undercollar that is better than non-bias? I’m just curious…
    I’m very happy about your tree also, I am Canadian and as such I approve of maple syrup, being one of the five main food groups of course. Summer just started for me as I was teaching summer school…hopefully I can take some pics of my backlog of projects soon! ❤

    • I KNOW! I was shocked that it stopped right there. I’m sure they test everything, but maybe nobody else had that complaint. I’m just glad it doesn’t ruin the top, but I am annoyed by it.
      Usually putting the under collar on the bias makes it more pliable and helps it stay rolled under better when paired with a straight grain upper collar. Also: additional stripe style points. 😉

      Hah! Glad our choice of tree meets with a Canadian seal of approval–if we get syrup, I will submit it for Official Testing as well, haha! Tom is excited to try tapping it someday, but also about the blazing orange colors she will provide come Fall.

      PS: I hope you do get caught up with project photos, I’d love to see what you’ve been up to!

      • That makes sense about the undercollar… now I’ll have to use that next time I have a shirt with a collar 🙂

        As for the maple tree… I mean, now that it has been blessed (albeit virtually) by a Canadian, the maple syrup will be 100% legit and obviously taste better. Have you ever had maple butter or maple sugar? Gosh golly if I am not being a complete stereotype right now but uhm, basically I love maple (legit got married at a maple syrup farm), not for the maple reason but still…stereotype. Yes they do look pretty in the fall too. And I will do my best to start taking photos and posting! I am actually really happy my last few makes have been heavy in the rotation. ANYWHOOOOO I’VE HAD WINE AND THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR MAKES.

  5. Pingback: 2017 Top 5, Part 1: Hits, Misses, and Highlights! | Life in A "Mads" House

  6. Pingback: Proper Summer Sewing (aka Revenge of The Hammock) | Life in A "Mads" House

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.