McCall’s M8105 : A Hack Top

This pattern caught my eye from the moment I saw the big back bow on it. I had not seen a pattern that had this kind of detail for adults! I really love the V-neck style but I also really appreciated the two front overlay/ties that wrap around the front bodice! The skirt on this pattern has pleats and a good number of lengths to make this style appropriate for a number of occasions.

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When I received this Baby Noil fabric from Melanated Fabrics, I had every intention of making it into a dress. This saffron color is just breathtaking! So close to orange but still yellow. I love it! However, I really misjudged the amount of fabric that I had… and I didn’t pay attention to the fact that there was a separate amount of fabric necessary for lining. That was my mistake! I really loved the idea more and more of this style being a top. It seems like it was almost meant to be. I still used the skirt pieces but only made them 6 inches long before the hem.

I used a microtex 80 needle to sew of this garment. The linen content in this Baby Noil really has a lot more tooth than a regular viscose. So I wanted something that was sharp, but still a medium weight. That ended up working out perfectly for construction.

When I put the overlay pieces together I didn’t use a lot of pins and that’s not really like me but it ended up working out perfectly to put these really long pieces together. The top ended up coming together so quickly because there’s not very much that goes into making those ties. There’s so much more simplicity to this design than meets the eye. I would definitely recommend this for a beginner. I think that the front darts may be a little bit more on the intermediate side but definitely still worth a try!

Adding these ties onto the bodice really added to the amount of struggling I had and constructing this pattern. They add a lot of weight to a very lightweight fabric so sewing other seams outside of those ties was… Annoying! But, this pattern is definitely worth it and if you’re using something like a cotton lawn fabric it wouldn’t really matter but this baby noil is actually adding a good amount of weight to what is normally pretty lightweight fabric like rayon.

For instance with the zipper… It was a nightmare trying to fight those ties from weighing it one way or another. I did manage to get a pretty smooth finish with the back zipper though.

I chose a clean finish on the zipper instead of doing the slip stitching they suggested and the pattern. I just put the lining piece over the zipper so that the teeth are enclosed. Then, I stitched it down with a 3/8″ seam allowance and turned the corner at a 5/8″ seam allowance. This way, I attached the lining to the bodice all in one step.

A clean finish for my zipper!

I took off an inch and a half from my straps. I used a safety pin to pin them in place and try on the top because a regular pin would have just blown out under the weight of these ties. Just my little tip for you if you are making this design. You could, of course, baste the straps into place… but, thats not really how I like to do things.

This pattern is so hungry for fabric! This is a sleeveless top that I made and it took me 3 yards of fabric total. I am just blown away by that! Definitely worth it for the delicious effect that you get. Without the ties though this would be a really good scrap busting project. Especially, if you are hacking it into a top, it would be quite economical.

After wearing this top now, I can say that adding interfacing to the straps is a really good idea! Mine stretched out from the weight of these overlay ties. I will need to open the top back up to shorten these again! It’s not the end of the world but I am not looking forward to the adjustment.

I still am quite fond of the dress length of M8105 but I don’t know if I am sold on the ties now that I have made them. In practicality, I don’t see them as being useful. I do wish that I could get a bigger bow size for the work that is required to make them. It is just quite fiddly to tie them and the bow doesn’t look as pretty as I imagined it would. I like the lines of this pattern and it is definitely one I would like to make again.

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