Saved by accessories… McCalls 6844

I said that I was going to make another pair of jeans. And I haven’t. I will, just not within a fortnight. I’ve decided to be kind to myself. I didn’t want to rush and stress myself out any more than I have been lately. Sorry about that. I will blog at the end of July and see who else managed to battle through the Jeans Challenge!

I made some knit cardigan/jackets to wear with my jeans – compromise?

Today I’ll share with you the one I thought I would really, really like… and just don’t. Boo. Not the win I was hoping for – or needed.

Ever since McCalls 6844 came out I’d been dying to make it. I used a precious piece of divine blue NZ merino jersey from my stash (from The Fabric Store, Sydney). Perhaps if I’d made this in a heavier fabric I might feel differently, however I’m just not feeling the love for this pattern which has received such rave reviews on Sewing Pattern Review… I don’t think it’s a bad pattern, in fact it’s easy to make… it’s just not for me – or more likely I’ve made it in the wrong fabric. My bad.

Perhaps if I stumble across some heavier knit fabric I might give it another go…

McCalls 6844 - just not feeling the love.

McCalls 6844 – just not feeling the love. I was so disappointed as I adore this fabric. It’s lovely!

I wish I had not interfaced the collar piece as instructed. I think it would work much better without interfacing in this lighter fabric – making it more of a drape cardigan and much softer looking.

I found the collar once interfaced didn’t really line up with the hem of the jacket. Rather than hacking a ton off the hem (I didn’t want it any shorter). I simply left the collar slightly shorter than the jacket hem – I’m always going to wear this with a scarf which does help hide that small sewing sin… and really unless you have seen the pattern you wouldn’t know.

I do like the swingy peplum back, it’s super cute.

I made the smallest size – it’s not super small – I think the sizing runs large… or I run small… or the truth is somewhere in the middle…

McCalls 6844 - back view

McCalls 6844 – back view. My favourite feature, I love how the back hangs.

These light jackets and cardigans are a great wardrobe addition. I often have one in my handbag – they are not heavy enough to ward off a cold winter’s day but they are perfect to pop on to keep the chill off inside, under a heavier jacket or throw on during a spring or autumn morning/afternoon.

I used a light hem fusing tape to turn up the hem and sleeves. Then I finished them with a twin needle on my Bernina. This gave a great result – no tunnelling at all!

I’m rather OCD about some of my finishes and since I could not get a matching overlocker thread, I made this entire piece on my Bernina sewing machine, using lightening bolt & overlocking stitches, my walking & overlocking feet. You don’t have to have an overlocker to sew knits. It just makes it faster and easier – that is all.


I collect accessories like some people collect stamps or coins. You can never have too many scarves, necklaces, earrings, bangles, stockings in your arsenal – simple little touches which can transform an outfit. While I don’t love this jacket/cardigan I do like it with a scarf.

I think it’s great to sew yourself sensational clothes. I think it’s even better to learn to wear them well. I rarely sew or purchase anything without thinking about the complete overall look. I see a fabric or a garment & picture the shoes, the belt, the bag and so on. It’s not just a piece of clothing, it’s a package deal.

I know plenty of people who have amazing clothes. Expensive, well cut, designer clothes. That doesn’t always make them stylish or interesting. Individuality and ‘wearing the clothes’ rather than letting them wear you is the key I think.

I get stopped frequently and complimented or questioned on the clothes I’m wearing – often by strangers. I’ve got a very diverse mix of designer, homemade, vintage and charity shop pieces – I tend to wear them mashed up. To be honest, those compliments always surprise me. I’ve never seen myself as particularly interesting – especially to random strangers. I don’t think I’m any better dressed than anyone else, in fact I’ve never ever perceived myself as glamorous, stylish or beautiful. I find it weird & unsettling some days – and sometimes highly amusing.

I love to select one statement item and then build the rest of the outfit around it. You can get ‘too busy’ in a visual sense. It’s important to figure out what the key element is and make sure it sings, rather than competes with everything else you are wearing. Any opera singer will tell you – there can be only one diva!

I’ve got lots of thoughts on style and clothes. I never really blog about them but I’ve been reading some different blogs that really interest me and I think it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot more about. Maybe it’s something I will write more about, not because I’m a guru but the concept of personal style interests me greatly… maybe…

Accessories are important

Accessories are important! And never underestimate how much warmer your legs are in winter in high boots LOL!

I’m a bit of a scarf and necklace obsessive – do you have an accessories weakness?

I’ve also made Vogue 8780 – which is a complete ugly duckling on the envelope and I love to pieces. It’s coming up next! I’ve posted a sneak peek on my instagram feed (yes I know you can’t see much of it – that’s why it’s called a sneak peek.)

Pattern: McCalls 6844
Fabric: NZ Merino from The Fabric Store, Sydney
Also see: Girls in the Garden | Suzy Bee Sews | Mimi G | Beebee’s Vintage Dress

A huge thank you to all the people who have sent me messages, emails, comments and more. Your kindness and courage to say something when it’s often difficult to know what to say is much appreciated. Like so many people, I need more people in my life that value me enough to put me back together rather than pull me apart.
The people that weather the storm and wait on the other side.



41 thoughts on “Saved by accessories… McCalls 6844

  1. If I ever had a garment turn out that nice, I’d be printing postcards for friends. It looks great. But, yes, the accessories are integral to the look. Also, the beautiful vista doesn’t hurt! ttyl.

  2. All of us are a kind of kintsukuroi, really. I know I have learned the most during my darkest times (which I totally didn’t realize as I was going through them!) On a lighter note, you make a compelling case for accessories being the gold or silver lacquer that turns a so so outfit into a kintsukuroi one!! Also, I find your blog super inspirational – I love what you’re sewing and what you’re saying. Thanks Lizzie!

  3. This is an amazing colour! I like, but if you’re not bowled over then fair enough! I’d love to hear about how you accessorise and pull an outfit together! It’s one of the reasons I love dresses – they’re kinda stand alone and I don’t have the confidence to put together an outfit properly that is more than one or two garments!

  4. With all the issues you encountered, the cardigan looks great! I think I’ll go over and buy M6844 today.
    Yeah, interfacing will shrink a fabric piece along with it – unless the interfacing is also pre-shrunk with a dunk in warm water. Even then, non-shrinkage is never guaranteed.

  5. Hang in there, Lizzy. You have an amazing and supportive group of readers (as I’m sure you know), and we’re all here to support you. We all struggle sometimes, and being part of a larger community is always helpful in bringing you back up, when you’re ready.

    I actually really like this jacket on you, at least in the photos! Maybe it’s not your new favorite piece, but it looks great with the scarf and can definitely be that sweater that you just throw on when you catch a chill. No big deal.

    I’d love to hear more of your thoughts about personal style – it ties so well into sewing. And I agree with those you compliment you on the street – you have a great style. Own it! 🙂

  6. i forgot about this pattern! i think it looks really great, and the color is lovely. bummer it doesn’t quite meet your expectations, but hopefully you find some occasions to wear it! i do love it accessorized with the scarf.

  7. You look great. The scarf and boots with the jeans look awesome with the cardi. I’m in the middle of my second make of the pattern. It’s been love / hate. Finished the peplum view now onto straight view. Thinking of adding crazy cuffs or something??? Your take on personal style & adversity is so thoughtful. I had never heard of that kinda of pottery – but it’s so true. Broken is better. Perfect sucks! 🙂

  8. That kintsukuroi philosophy is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard – and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you for including it!

  9. It’s a great outfit, even if you’re not in love with the cardi! I’d love it if you blogged more about style. It’s something that really interests me and I admire the way you choose patterns that suit you.

  10. I think it’s lovely and will give that pattern a try! Have read, looked and pondered and still can’t see what is not to like 😉
    Yes please do share style thoughts and hints! I was not blessed with those and could certainly learn from you!!

  11. With a color like that I suspect you may end up wearing this a lot, despite the little problems! I love it with the floral scarf too 🙂 I’m one of those people who never knows what to say, but I’m with you in some darkness now and I hear everything you say.

  12. So cute! I have this pattern but made the view without the peplum, in a heavier knit. I would have done exactly what you did with the peplum version and made it in a light knit….thanks for the heads up about that. I still think yours looks great, that color is divine. Life can be so complicated and busy…and hard. Hang in there.

  13. Very nice outfit, I love it on you. I’m going to put it on my to do list. I like your blog a lot, you’re always strong enough to experience new technics and give us dynamics. Excuse my English, I’m French. Carry on, you have a great style.

  14. oh Lizzie, sad to hear you say you don’t think of yourself as beautiful. Im sure thats something we can all relate to, and it does come as a shock when people pay me compliments on my looks, but it feels good too. so let me tell you that I think your beautiful, talented and an inspiring lady 🙂 your jacket is nice I thjnk, especially from the back. Would love to read more on your thoughts on identity and fashion. xx

  15. I had my eye on this from pattern review as well. Glad I didn’t get it now. I trust your judgement.
    I hate when disappointed with a ‘fab’ pattern.
    I love your blog and get very excited to see each blog post. I get a big ‘inspiration fix’ from you, your photos and your reviews.
    (Bah hope that doesn’t sound freaky)

  16. I think this looks fabulous – the cardigan and you in it! I’m surprised you’re so disappointed with it, I’ve looked at other bloggers posts and thought, hmm, not flattering, but definitely not here. You shouldn’t feel the need to apologise to your readers, its such a public service to blog as you do and your posts obviously delight so many of us – jeans in july or not! I hope that sewing can help you through this time.

  17. This jacket looks lovely, and yes you are beautiful.I think it is lovely to see a persons face when you give a compliment, because many people either don’t feel it or aren’t use to being told how good they look. This says a lot for your clothes, body and how you look. I always compliment people if I think someone looks good, it usually comes as a surprise.

  18. Oh wow! You’re so right, the scarf totally transforms it!! On it’s own it looks great, but as an outfit it looks perfect. I’ve just made a similar jacket from a heavier knit – and had the same reaction as you did to yours. I thought I was going to love it, but I just…. didn’t. Wished I’d sewn it up in a lighter weight knit. Inspired by you I’m going to try some different accessories with the jacket to see if it helps me like it more!

  19. I love the back peplum, it’s gorgeous! I think you’ll find you’ll wear this a lot and it will come to be a useful and versatile piece.
    I too strive for an interesting mix of vintage, refashioned, charity shop, self-made and high street (not much designer, sob) in my wardrobe. It just makes dressing so much more interesting! And I like to think that what I wear is ‘unique’ HAHA!

  20. I love this jacket cardigan – it looks like a combination of stylish and comfortable which is fundamental in my books – and I have way too many scarves, they can make even the plainest tshirt look work wear.

  21. Your jacket looks great, love the color. Also, the scarf really adds to the entire outfit. I couldn’t agree more with the jacket runs large, sometimes even with the finished measurements it is so hard to tell which size to make. Thanks for the link to my site.

  22. It’s sad that this little jacket didn’t live up to your expectations – maybe it’s just the pictures but I do think this looks great on you, and I love this shade of blue. I’m sorry that you’re going through such a rough time at the moment, and I hope the skies will clear for you soon. As far as I can tell from the other side of the world you are a fabulous woman and you come accros as a very loving mum!

  23. I actually really like the shape of this, but agree the collar looks like it should be softer. Any way you can cut it off and replace it?? It is a beautiful jacket and the back is stunning, to the point where I am considering making this for myself. I will reserve my decision until I see your Vogue though, that one looks interesting!
    Me, I am hopeless at accessorizing, although trying to improve – it will be better when we have built and I have a nice area to organise everything, right now things are chaotic and I can’t find much!! A blog post on your tips would be good, with before and afters would be fun too 🙂

  24. Hi! I’m new to your blog but love what I have seen 🙂 That cardigan is beautiful, I think it’s a really good colour that will go with so many outfits! I love the scarf you have put with it! Nicola x

  25. it looks great lizzy. and i think you are really stylish. i always think of you as a very put together person. i know i don’t accessorise enough, especially not in the summer. and then in the winter it’s more about warmth and dryness than style!

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  27. I like the looks of that jacket. I agree, however, that a heavier fabric might work better. Oh well… lesson learned. Like Olivia Dukakis’ character said in Steel Magnolias “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability accessorize.” You did that very well. Happy stitching.

  28. Pingback: Fall 2014 Top 5 Autumn Must Sew Projects | Saturday Night Stitch

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