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Sew with DCF – McCalls 8116

While Summer is over we still have some nice weather ahead of us and luckily I finished this lovely new pattern just in time.

For this make I wanted to take the opportunity to show you all a few things!

Firstly, this gorgeous pattern McCalls 8116. I’ve seen a lot of these cute corset style tops lately and this pattern is a great example for you to try yourself.

But secondly, and maybe more importantly, I wanted to show you the wonders of using patchwork craft fabric! I’ve noticed that often when people are shopping for clothing fabric they steer clear of the craft table and I reckon that’s a darn shame. While the fabrics living on the craft table are technically quilting fabrics, they are also a lot more versatile than that. Quilting cottons (also known as patchwork or craft cottons) are a standard woven and 100% cotton which means they actually make great clothing fabrics. Its also a great fabric for beginners as the standard weave and medium weight means they are super easy to handle. The other huge draw of craft fabric, for me at least, is the print. Craft fabrics boast fantastic prints, often more bold and fun than you can find in standard dress fabrics. So the fabric we chose today is a gorgeous Michael Miller floral print called Flowering Vines. Its so bright and fun and I think it’ll look extremely sweet in this style!

Along with the main fabric, I used a nice, soft cotton voile in white for the lining and grabbed some of our awesome hook and eye tape. If any of the items mentioned in these posts are not on our website, like the hook and eye tape, we have it all in store so just give us a call! For sewing this one I use some white Rasant thread, the same roll I’ve had for yonks. Rasant is a good quality, reliable thread that’s also great value for money. At just $10 for a roll of 1000mt, they are my go-to for colours I use a lot, like black and white.

I chose to make style A, a casual, simple style to allow the  playful print to shine. As always, I traced off my patterns first with tracing vilene and I used my fiskars and red & white pins to cut out my patterns. My biggest tip for sewing this pattern would be to make sure to keep your eye on you pieces! A few of them look very similar, especially once cut out in fabric. I definitely did my fair share of unpicking on this make. Most of the pieces are double notched on the back facing edges but I would recommend popping in a few extra of your own to make sure there’s no mix up.

To attach the hook & eye tape attached I used my zipper foot to get in as close as I could. At step 16 the pattern says to trim the front edge of the lining piece back by 1.5cm. I would recommend waiting until sewing this section down before trimming. When I reached step 21, where the lining and main fabrics are stitched at the front edge, I found the margin to be almost too small to sew, I would suggesting trimming at your discretion at this step to allow for an easier sew.

As always, I couldn’t resist the lovely finishing touch of a label. I popped this lovely, rainbow ‘Hand Made’ label from Kylie & the Machine on the outside center back. I thought the colours from the label went so nicely with the fabric it seemed like a waste to put it on the inside.

While this blog post is quite short, I actually found this pattern to be quite fiddly and took longer than expected. I wouldn’t recommend this pattern for the beginner sewing enthusiast.  There’s a lot of pieces along with some tricky maneuvering. If the Handmade label didn’t look so cute I would have popped on one of these hilarious blue Emotional Honesty labels from Inside Voices instead to reflect my experience.

Despite all this, it was worth it, the final piece is very cute. Final images below! If you’re someone who’s unsure about using craft fabrics to make clothing, I hope this post gave you some insight into all the good things craft fabrics bring to the table! Would love to hear your thoughts, if you’re someone who loves to use craft or if you’re now interested in trying, drop a comment and let me know. You can also check out a little video of the making process on our Instagram and Tiktok. If you have your own makes you’d like to share using goodies from Darn Cheap, then come join our Facebook group!

Happy sewing everyone!

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