Completed: McCall’s 5803

21 Jul

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been slowing reorganizing my pattern stash. You guys, I had no idea how much shit I had stuffed in those boxes until I really started culling through them. Let’s just say I’ve made 3 trips to my local comic book store to buy more packs of 100 backing boards and clear sleeves. It’s kind of disgusting when I think about how many patterns I have (although, to be fair, most of them are old vintage ones I picked up at our flea market for next to nothing because they would have gotten thrown away otherwise oh god), and even more so when I realize I have so many that I haven’t even thought about since I took them home. On the flip side, I’ve been rediscovering a lot of cool ones!

McCall 5803 - Liberty

This is McCall’s 5803 – it’s an old OOP Lizzy McGuire (lol yep) pattern that I’ve had for god knows how long. I’ve actually made this one before – in the form of a Plaid Clusterfuck – and I’ve always (well, when I remembered about it hahahahaha) wanted to made a more demure version, since I love the shape of the arm holes and button placket (and I’d love one with a proper collar and not just the stand). I swear, every time I wore that Plaid shit, I would think, “Man, I wish this didn’t have the ruffles.” So as soon as I rediscovered it, I knew I could make it happen.

McCall 5803 - Liberty

My original version of this top included a big ol’ 1.5″ FBA, which was no longer needed to get a good fit (I don’t even have the original one; I sold it last year when I realized it didn’t fit me at all anymore). Since I’m too much of a stubborn ass to trace my patterns and preserve the original, that meant I had to remove the FBA by carefully peeling up tape and carefully repiecing tissue together. It worked, for the most part I guess, but something tragic happened at the waist because this baby is apparently painted on. Despite a tissue fit (and my stubborn ass thinking, “noooooo I don’t need a muslin, I’ve made this before lololol) and everything. Argh.

I also didn’t bother to staystitch the neckline (whyyy), so it stretched out a little on one side. To remedy this, I pulled that side lower while marking the button spacing, which is why it’s not even at the bottom (you probably didn’t even notice that until I said something, oh well). These types of shirts are generally hemmed during the beginning of construction, so I couldn’t fix the unevenness when I was doing the buttons, if that makes sense. I should probably unpick the hem and fix it now, but eh. It doesn’t bother me as much as it should.

McCall 5803 - Liberty

McCall 5803 - Liberty

I know these pictures make it hard to see what’s going on. I’m sorry 😦 You can click on them to make them bigger through Flickr, if that helps.

McCall 5803 - Liberty

I let out some of the side seams to try to add a little more tummy room, and that helped a little. I’ve also just recovered from a couple weekends of eating some of the worst shit for me ever – I don’t necessarily diet, but I try to maintain regular exercise and eat things that are beneficial to my health/body and that seems to work well enough for me. After a couple of weekends of eating cupcakes and cookies and fried deliciousness in a to-go box, though, I was feeling tired and bloated and definitely like a stuffed sausage when I put this damn shirt on. I put the shirt aside for a week (wadded up in the corner, because that’s how I roll), I think it looks a bit better now that my body is back to normal. It’s definitely still pretty tight, but at least the busy print hides most of the wrinkles! Ha!

McCall 5803 - Liberty

Speaking of this busy print – isn’t it beeeeeautiful!? Ahh!! It was a gift from Sunni, who sent me a box of some of the most lovely fabrics earlier this year. I guess I never blogged about that, but we decided during Project Sewn that we both deserved a little treat and decided to have a fabric trade! She sent me all kinds of amazing shit – stuff that I’m now just sitting on because it’s almost too good to cut (and I’m waiting for divine inspiration)! That woman has some fabulous taste – and this is the first piece I actually made something with.

McCall 5803 - Liberty
The goodness you are looking at right now is actually Liberty of London shirting cotton (I told you, that woman has some fabulous taste!) from Sunni’s personal stash. Ahh!!! I’ll admit – and y’all can chase me with pitchforks if you’d like – but I’ve never really cared much for Liberty fabrics. Sorry! I think the prints are lovely, but they also remind me way too much of my Laura Ashley bedroom from my childhood. Too girly and floraly and, well, y’all look pretty in them but I’d rather not. I’d rather be clothed in NEON! But anyway, I’ve always been curious to try it because sewists don’t only rave about the prints – they rave about the quality of the cotton as well. You know I love trying new things for science, so I was pretty excited to have my own piece to play with when I got Sunni’s package. And I do think this print is super beautiful – it’s floral, sure, but it’s not all ditzy and super pastel girly like the Liberty I always see. It’s much more along the lines of my style, and I knew it would make a fabulous top.

McCall 5803 - Liberty

I’m so glad I made this work, because I would have been really really angry at myself if it had ended up being a wadder! I could probably stand to let out a couple more seams, but everything is topstitched, so it’s really a matter of me getting the energy to go through all that unpicking and retopstitching. Argh! Anyway, at least I left off the ruffles this time πŸ˜‰

McCall 5803 - Liberty

Anyway, here she is in all her glory! Beautiful print, topstitching (that will be the end of me), and those gorgeous buttons. If those look familiar, it’s because I used them on my Audrey in Unst cardigan. Not the same ones – my cardigan still has buttons – but from the same batch. My sister-in-law helped me pick them out for the cardigan, and I bought them from a vendor at our flea market. He had all kinds of cool vintage buttons – I think he said these are vegetable protein from the 20s? – and she actually went back afterwards and bought up the rest for me for Christmas. So awesome πŸ™‚ So obviously, they were perfect for this shirt – both in specialness and general matchy-ness πŸ™‚

McCall 5803 - Liberty

Construction-wise, nothing new to report here. I finished the arm holes with self bias facing and topstitched with a slightly longer stitch length so the stitches would be more defined.

McCall 5803 - Liberty

So, what’s the verdict on Liberty of London? Well – y’all sewists are right, this shit is a JOY to sew up! It presses well, it doesn’t show pin holes, it’s easy to cut, and the fraying is minimum. It also just feels absolutely luscious. I totally understand the rabid fangirling over this shit. I don’t know if there is much Liberty in my future – after all, it’s still hideously expensive – but considering this shirt barely took any yardage, I could probably squeeze out a special piece for another special top πŸ™‚

So, THANK YOU, Sunni, for the amazing gift of this gorgeous fabric (not to mention the chance to get to sew on it!)! Have any of y’all ever sewn with Liberty? Are there any cool non-floral prints that I’m blindly overlooking?


69 Responses to “Completed: McCall’s 5803”

  1. Tania July 21, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    Your shirt is fantastic! I have often thought about splurging on some Liberty fabric but floral is not really my thing and price is also a bit of a turn off. However, I came across a sea/boat landscape print on the Pink Chalk Fabrics website on the weekend and I think I am going to finally take the plunge.

  2. helen July 21, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    Lovely shirt.
    I love liberty Tana Lawn. I used to be a Saturday girl in the fabric dept yonks ago. It’s not all about florals. There are some great ‘art nouveau’ prints. My favorite is Ianthe and I have a boat neck cap sleeve dress made out of the red / royal colour way.

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

      Just googled it and DAMN that’s a pretty fabric!

  3. Bec Stitches July 21, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    Gorgeous as always gurl πŸ™‚

  4. candace July 21, 2014 at 7:21 am #

    It’s adorable! I love that neckline, and buttons are such a clever pairing.
    Liberty fabrics? Swoon!

  5. Hilde July 21, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    I bought some Liberty Melly fabric in Paris this spring, which I think classifies as a cool non-floral print:
    I do like some of the flowery prints, but not for my own clothing for the same reasons you mention.
    Really nice top, by the way!

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      That’s a gorgeous! Damn, y’all are gonna break my bank account linking to me to all these pretty fabrics. Must… stay… strong hahahhaa

  6. Stephanie July 21, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    I love working with Liberty – so smooth, and washes up so well. Very cute top! Just by coincidence I am looking for a pattern like this right now as I muslined a vintage pattern top this weekend that didn’t work out. I like the collar, button band and armholes on this one. Off to look at the pattern – thanks!

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      I hope you can track it down! It’s out of print, but last I checked there were lots of copies floating around for pretty cheap πŸ™‚ And yeah, Liberty does rule to work with!

  7. TinaD July 21, 2014 at 7:45 am #

    Lawn is fab for Southern summers. For the record, the Liberty people do non-florals, too -just not a lot. I think there’s a dinosaur print in this year’s line.

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      OMG WHAT. Must find that dino print asap!

  8. Nakisha July 21, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Not Lizzy McGuire! LOL!!!

    Gorgeous shirt. Very nicely sewn!

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      lol you know, as soon as I took that pattern home, I drew all over her face with a sharpie. No shame πŸ˜›

  9. tinygoldenpins July 21, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    I love Liberty and I love that shirt. You’re right, though, about the floral thing. I made a dress out of some blue floral and I look like a sister wife in it because the length is on the long side…..

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

      Cut that shit short and tart it up! Anything can be saved with a cheeky hemline πŸ˜‰

  10. Margo July 21, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    I have never sewn with a Liberty, nice to know that you liked it. I hear that there are some pretty nice prints available and I think Kirtsty of Top Notch has the best Liberty stuff of the bunch. And she’s a pretty cool lady. Your top looks awesome and your sewing finishes are perfect!

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

      Thanks for the head’s up! I’ll have to check it out πŸ™‚

  11. Nicole July 21, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    Even with the uneven hem it’s a super cute top. I can’t wait to get back to sewing- I haven’t sewed a stitch since Wednesday due to my move. Luckily everything should be packed and gone by tomorrow, so I can get back to sewing.

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

      Oooh, that must be agonizing! Hope you can get back to sewing asap!

  12. puu July 21, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    that is one of my favorite liberty prints – phoebe – and it makes a perfect little shirt. nice work!

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

      You would know the real name for it πŸ˜‰ TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT LIBERTY.

  13. Kelly July 21, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Someday I will sew with liberty… it’s just so expensive! I am all over florals, though, so that is absolutely not a problem πŸ™‚ I think I have this pattern, and have always wanted to make the blouse. I totally forgot about it, but yours looks so nice!

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

      It’s a great little blouse pattern! Just don’t hack off most of the waist ease like I did, and you should be fine πŸ™‚ haha!

  14. Melissa Wehrle (@neoknits) July 21, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    Your top looks great! It’s vintage in a 50s kinda way, not too girly at all.

    I’m a huge fan of Liberty, although I’ve been collecting it more than sewing with it. I am terrified of cutting into it!

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

      You shouldn’t be terrified! I mean, the worst that could happen is that you’ll mess up your fabric… but you’ll likely learn something from it, plus you can reuse bits of the yardage for things like pockets or even napkins (yep, wipe your face with LIBERTY, I mean why not? hahaha). However, if you’re really worried – make a muslin first! The fabric itself it so easy to sew and very forgiving, so you really just need to focus on fit before you cut πŸ™‚

  15. Angela Hickman July 21, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    This top is so summer, and the floral gives it a cute retro look. My favourite Liberty print is probably Juno’s Garden, which is peacocks and paisley and my god I can’t wait to be a confident enough sewist to cut into it. I still can’t figure out where best to place/end bust darts, though, so it may be a while…

  16. weefrills July 21, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    So cute!

  17. Awfulknitter July 21, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    I love Liberty prints – but not really the ditsy flowery ones. (They’re pretty, but not my thing at all.) The seasonal ones are usually way more interesting and ofter are a bit edgier. This season I am lusting after some silk satin in the ‘Saxby’ print ( – I was thinking about maybe a Sewaholic Belcarra blouse so that I don’t have to buy loads and brankrupt myself…there’s just something about the depth of colour on the silk satin that makes interesting patterns really sing.

    It’s also worth knowing that there’s a shop called Shaukat (online and brinks-and-mortar in London) that does loads of Liberty fabrics and at cheaper prices – still not bargain basement, but y’know, small things. In fact, it has a way better selection than the Liberty department store itself, and not just in the Tana lawn: in twill, shirting cotton, jersey, wool, cord, and silk. I don’t know why the department store has such a crap selection – I would go nuts if I went in and they had pretty printed wool for winter skirts. The only downside is that they won’t have all the patterns, and they’re usually a bit behind. Once I saw an utterly gorgeous silk satin in Liberty and thought “Ah, I’ll see whether Shaukat get it.” The I changed my mind and through that I should just cough up full price. Well, it was out of stock at Liberty and I’m still waiting for Shaukat to get it in…

    • Colleen July 21, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      That is a gorgeous one! I use Shaukat too and I also buy seconds of Liberty from UK sellers. Even with the dollar/pound difference it’s cheaper — it usually comes out to be about 20 to 25 dollars per meter, which is about 3 inches longer than a yard. I’m addicted.

      Boy, I do love that. It is such a beauty….best of luck finding it!

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

      That’s so pretty! It reminds me of a watercolor πŸ™‚ I also didn’t realize they did printed wools and silks, amongst other things – I thought Liberty was strictly cotton. Now you’ve really got my interest piqued haha πŸ™‚

      • Carol S July 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

        There are also Liberty printed corduroys.

  18. Aleksandra @ Liveaboard Takes the Suburbs July 21, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    I have to admit — I love me some Liberty. Even though my most recent Liberty dress kind of washes me out because I tried to go with a more muted print (I got a gift card for it for Christmas). But whatever. I’m totally still going to wear it. No1curr.

    I also have a yard of non-floral Liberty I got on sale and with a coupon at — (if you want a pic of the fabric). It’s a pretty fun peacock print. Still wasn’t exactly CHEAP, but I think it’ll make a fun tank or something.

    Overall, I do love florals, but more than anything, I love the Liberty fabric’s QUALITY. That shit is NICE.

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

      Ohhhhh, I know that fabric!! Didn’t realize it was Liberty though. It’s SO pretty, one of my favorites!

  19. Lynn July 21, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    I see others have already commented, but I have to throw iny 2Β’ about Liberty too. Definitely not all cutesy, ditzy florals in pastels. Bright colors abound as do non-floral prints and bold floral prints. Great stuff!

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

      I’m so glad I said something because I never would have known about the non-florals otherwise! Y’all are such a great source of information haha πŸ™‚

  20. Meg July 21, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Here’s another idea for pattern storage, which may appeal to some of your readers. I use “Avery Corner Lock” document sleeves, purchased on eBay for $15/72 folders. Clear, flexible plastic folders, which open on the top and right side. Just re-fold the tissue pieces into approximate sizes to fit in the 9- by 11-1/2 folders and slide them in along with the envelope and instruction sheets. Minimal crushing needed.

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      Good to know, thanks for the tip! πŸ™‚

  21. Rebecca July 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    This print is the ultimate dream -

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      Holyshit, YES!

    • Inclement July 21, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      I just looked at that for the second time today – there are kitties in there! How did I miss them the first time! LOL

  22. this little thread July 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    I am also not that into florals, but I looove the feel of the Liberty cottons. For the past two years I’ve bought 1.5 metres and made a Sorbetto top – I have a blue one that looks like books and a pink mountain one that I have never posted online (so I will have to do that soon1). I haven’t seen what patterns my local shops have this year but I think I will make another, they are so light and perfect for summer!

  23. craftsanctuary July 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Love the top! As for Liberty, sometimes I find it on on sale for not rediculously expensive at all. I have a pretty awesome peacock one if you’re into that sort of thing, too…

  24. McCallPatternCompany (@McCallPatternCo) July 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Cute top!

  25. mirza July 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    this top, your hair, a pair of jeans…it’s the best match I’ve seen in a while… It just looks SO damn good!
    I need to find a cool job that does not care about how I look, and dye my hair in a crazy color. god it sounds like so much fun.

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

      Oh man, it was SO worth it! It’s almost been a year since I quit my corporate/office job and I haven’t regretted it yet πŸ™‚

  26. clare July 21, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    I had to be dragged out of liberty earlier this year! But only after spending a lot of my birthday money. Queue for the zoo is a non girly interesting print, would make a nice shirt. The Bloomsbury collection is also lovely. is a great place to look at liberty fabric – presume they ship world wide πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      I think I’ve seen Queue for the Zoo before, man, that’s an awesome fabric! Also love those Bloomsbury prints; they’re a little more like a floral that I would actually wear πŸ™‚

  27. Dorothy July 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    I love Tana lawn, though I haven’t sewn with it in years, since I emigrated to the US in 1991, from London. I love the paisleys and Art Deco type of prints more than small florals. This recently issued one is cool –

    • LLADYBIRD July 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      Oh yeah, that is lovely!

    • LSV July 21, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

      That one is my favorite so far!

  28. Faye Lewis July 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Very cute and such a nice fit.

  29. fabrictragic July 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    It looks great on you, and I know what you mean about some of the florals looking a bit frumpy. In my stash I’ve got the Tiny Dancers waiting to be made up into something (I love the little bearded men in their leotards!) and a crazy orange cat paisley – there’s definitely some cool prints out there. And in the spirit of complete and uncritical honesty I did notice the uneven hemline straight away…. That really would kill me every time I put it on….. Otherwise the rest of it is beyond gorgeous πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD July 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      HAHAHAHA holyyy shit, that one might be my favorite!

      Also, I am ok with you being honest! I can’t stop staring at the uneven hem myself. I tried to pretend like the print camouflaged it, but no dice haha πŸ™‚

  30. Gina July 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    I have this Liberty print, but I haven’t sewn it up yet:

    I don’t like small scale florals at all because they make me think Little House on the Prairie, but the one I linked to is a larger scale and I love the colors. The fabric does feel really nice, and I’m looking forward to sewing with it. I stupidly only got 1.5 yards, though, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it.

    • LLADYBIRD July 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      That’s an amazing print! I love the colors and the scale (you know… exactly what you love about it haha). Don’t rush yourself to find a project for it yet… sometimes it takes a while for the best inspiration to strike πŸ™‚

  31. Heather July 21, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Great shirt! And I’m learning about Liberty fabric sources- thanks. Your terrific posture helps show your clothes wonderfully! I notice that cause I’m working on it in Pilates after years of keyboard posture…..

    • LLADYBIRD July 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

      Haha thank you! That’s such a random compliment but I actually really appreciate it πŸ™‚ I’ve always had such good posture, and lately it’s gotten really terrible so I’m really trying to work on it. Yoga is helping πŸ™‚

  32. Bellbird July 22, 2014 at 2:14 am #

    Sweet shirt! Oh man, Liberty. They have soooooooo many awesome prints that aren’t girly girly flower time. In fact I just made up an Alder in a cool red polka dot print that somehow manages to not be twee. If you are looking for some great Liberty sewing, Kirsty at Top Notch makes some rad clothes with non-girly tana lawn prints. There are tons of awesome prints to be discovered, but then again, considering the price…. Maybe it’s best to stay well away!

  33. craftylittlebugger July 22, 2014 at 4:27 am #

    There are SO many that aren’t floral! I’ve had some interesting polka dot stripe print, but my favourite is a turtle print I made an Archer from. Check out for slightly cheaper yardage (I think they do international shipping…)

  34. joelle July 22, 2014 at 4:35 am #

    Great shirt, and yes, the print is amazing! I am utterly confused about the fabric though. I bought a lenght of fabric at moods last christmas, with what semesterΓΆn to me like the exactly same print, but in a cotton staten typer of weight, with slight stretch. It was labeled as thakoon!?? Although a Liberty print makes much more sense… Here is what i made

    • LLADYBIRD July 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

      It’s probably Thakoon, it looks like it belongs in one of those Mood collections! Plus, Thakoon uses a lot of stretch sateen so that doesn’t surprise me πŸ™‚ Pretty dress, by the way!

  35. Nicole Morgan July 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    LIZZIE MCGUIRE?!?!?! LOLOLOLOL! But for reals, I seriously loved her style when I was in junior high, although I straight-up hated how her friend Miranda had all those fugly hairdo’s. Like…what are you doing:

  36. Laura Emily July 24, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    You’ve made my week with the revelation that there were Hillary Duff patterns. Lolling forever. Also, there was an amazing Liberty print a few years back called Melanie Atai that I forever regret not buying! No floral, just raindrops on windows goodness.

  37. missjoiedevivre August 7, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    It’s beautiful, and those buttons are so perfect. What a fantastic idea to do a fabric care package with each other!


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