achievement unlocked: mermaid top


i made this bad boy a few days ago! it’s a hack of the miz mozelle dress pattern (which i used for my bacon dress last month). the fabric is mermaid play from the out to sea collection by sarah jane. i purchased it to make a dress (pattern undecided) but sent me my three yards in three separate pieces. i probably still could have figured out how to construct a dress with the pieces, but it was really hot last week & i found myself reaching for shorts & a t-shirt instead of a dress. i kept feeling like it was too much fuss to put on a dress with the weather so hot & sticky. so i decided i would make a shirt so i could still wear handmade even in oppressive 90-degree humidity.

stuff i changed:
* i eliminated the keyhole altogether.
* the original pattern calls for bias trim on the sleeves. i turned the bias trim to the inside as a facing/hem.
* i cut the neckline to turn it into a V-neck.
* obviously i cut the skirt part shorter to be more of a peplum top.
* i made the bodice part an inch longer, to create a little more leeway for the elastic casing & also because the waist on my bacon dress rides up all the time & it’s kind of annoying. i don’t really need more help looking pregnant when i’m not.
* the biggest change i made was swapping out the peter pan collar that came with the pattern for a self-drafted sailor collar.


i really like how it came out! the peter pan collar on the bacon dress was the first collar i had ever made, so it was a bit of a leap of faith for me to try making my own collar here. i drew the back collar shape so the neckline & shoulders matched the dimensions of my completed shirt (tapering in slightly), & then i added a half-inch seam allowance all around. i drafted the front ties to match the shoulders & neckline & extended them far enough that i would be able to tie them, & then added a half-inch seam allowance there. i used fusible interfacing on all the pieces & sewed strips of grosgrain ribbon 3/4″ from the edges of the back collar. i sewed on pair of ties to the piece with the ribbon & the second pair of ties to the interfaced back collar piece, turned the two sets of collar pieces right sides together & sewed all around except for a few inches along the bottom on the back collar. i turned everything right side out & topstitched those last few inches shut. then i carefully pinned the collar to my shirt & hand-stitched it in place, taking care only to stitch up through the bottom of the collar. i tied to the front in a knot & voila!

if i had it to do over, i think the only changes i’d make would be to maybe make the sleeves just a touch bigger, & make the shirt just a tiny bit longer. just like half an inch. i might take in the waist a tiny bit at some point too.

i love the way this shirt came out! it’s really comfortable & easy to wear, & it’s more fun on a hot day than just a plain black t-shirt. obviously it would clash horribly with all the skirts i’ve made, but it looks great with jeans or shorts. i might make a plain black skirt (maybe out of eyelet lace?) to wear with it when the hot weather really gets going.

i will almost certainly use this pattern to make more shirts in the future. i’m already planning to make another out of some alexander henry somerville study fabric i bought last year & never used. it’s a bookcase print, so i think it will look really cute with a peter pan collar. it’s going to be difficult not to add a sailor collar to everything now though! i really want to make a sailor dress! in fact, i have a few yards of jellyfish print fabric begging to be made into a dress…i was planning to use a princess seam pattern with a flared skirt & piping in the seams, but maybe i’ll skip the piping & do a sailor collar instead…or piping & a sailor collar? hmmm…

i also made a new page for the blog with photos to everything i have sewn so far. there was more than i had remembered. it took me a few hours to put the page together, & i regret to say, i lost my patience with ramona for the first time in a long time while i was working on it. usually i’m really good at telling myself, “she’s a baby, she’s not climbing up on stuff she can’t climb down from just to annoy you, she just doesn’t know any better, & also she is apparently at least 60% kitten,” but i think the fact that it’s mother’s day & i really wanted to finish putting this page together made me snap at her a little. then jared rescued me & whisked her away to the playground. & now i have a blissfully quiet house, the ceiling fan creating a cool breeze, & strawberry lemonade in the fridge…& all i really want to do is join them at the playground & see what sorts of hijinks ramona gets up to today. it’s amazing how much i miss her when she’s not with me, even though she sometimes drives me bonkers when she is around. i guess that’s just the nature of being a mom.


ps–my blogroll was horrifically outdated, so i added a bunch of new stuff & deleted all the stuff that hadn’t been updated since like 2010. now all i have to do is get my shit together to go on a massive tagging spree & it will be almost like i have a real blog.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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