Saturday, November 26, 2011

Knot Top Sewing Project

One of my goals for the year is to do 50 craft projects before my 35th birthday.  I have definitely been crafting up a storm, but I haven't been so great about keeping up with all my projects here on my blog.  Kaylicious wore one of my sewing projects from September on Thanksgiving and that spurred me to post about it.  
McCall's Pattern M6387
Matilda Jane Percy Knot Dress

I absolutely love Matilda Janes's knot dresses and tops, but my debit card
 doesn't like them one bit.  So when JoAnn's had a sale on McCall's patterns in September, I scooped up McCall's M6387 -- Children's/Girls' Top, Jumpers, Detachable Aprons and Pants for $1.

Before this project, the last time I had successfully used a sewing pattern was in 8th grade Home Ec. Class.  The pattern was labeled as "Easy," but I was worried that it might turn out to be beyond my skill set.

The knot dress* top was a bit of a challenge to say the least, but in the end it turned out really cute.  The Count (my husband) helped me select the fabric and trim for this project.  I wanted the fabrics to go together without being too matchy matchy. The Count is surprising good at that sort of thing.  I am more of an completely matched or terribly clashing sort of fabric chooser.

*I had originally planned to make a knot dress, but I struggled so much with the upper ruffle that I couldn't bring myself to try it again with even more fabric for the lower ruffle.  Between broken and stuck thread while trying to gather the material, fabric that shouldn't have been part of the ruffle getting accidently stitched into the seam, and not being able to get the circumference of  my ruffled "skirt" to line up with the circumference of the bodice, my seam ripper and I became very well aquainted.  I am definitely going to need some more practice with gathering before I attempt this again.  If you have a tried and true method or know of a great tutorial that has worked for you when gathering two yards or so of fabric while making clothing for small children , please don't be shy.  I need help, please leave me a comment.

Two things I learned during this project that were much easier than I anticipated were how to make button holes and sew on buttons using my sewing machine.  If only the gathering had been that easy, my little ones would probably have a whole closet of these adorable tops and dresses by now.

As challenging as the process was for me, I love the end result.  The knot top is kind of tunic length right now and very versatile.  Here's Kaylicious sporting it on a warm day with capris:

The apron with its green monkey trim is detachable, but it really makes the top, so Kaylicious hasn't worn it without the apron.  The straps are adjustable, just untie them and re-knot however you like.  

Here she is wearing the same top with a white eyelet long-sleeve swimsuit cover up (Sometimes, it's good not to discriminate about season or purpose when it comes to your wardrobe.), thick brown knit tights and furry boots on Thanksgiving.
Isn't she a cutie?

I feel like I'm always crafting, but this is only my 5th project of the year that I have posted about.  I am going to work on catching up, so stay tuned for more craft projects soon.


  1. I'm stumbling upon this blog post a bit late but would like to mention that a ruffler foot attachment would have made your gathering a whole lot easier and much more fun! Don't give up on the gathering; the top came out adorable!

  2. I, too, had last completed a sewing project in 8th grade home ec and I am 61! When I saw an MJ knot dress, I said, "I can do that," and I did. I have made 5 of these now with M6387 for my granddaughter and friends. Just skip the ruffle, there are so many possibilities as it is. Yours is adorable. And my machine is an old Singer from 1965.

    1. Wow! Five! Makes me want to get the pattern back out and whip up some more. Maybe my gathering skills will be better this time around!


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