Hot! The “Fruit Salad” Top

Fruit-salad-promo The Facts
Fabric: Linen from SCRAP – 1 1/4 yards for ~$.50
Pattern: McCall’s 5021 – $.25
Year: c. 1976
Notions: none
Time to complete: ~3 hours
First worn: September 2010
Wear again? Yes.

Total Cost: ~$.75

Apologies for the lapse in Weekly Creation posts. Between being burned out from all my Gatsby sewing, planning (and sewing for) Penelope’s upcoming 3rd birthday, some Weekly Creation false starts and work, I’ve needed to take a bit of a mini vacation from updating the blog. But I’m back with some projects that I’m calling ‘Preschool Projects” — basically projects that I start and finish during the time Pen is at preschool for the day (about 3 hours).

The first Preschool Project came about because it’s now officially Summer in San Francisco. Like we have all learned to expect (and accept), San Francisco loves its Indian Summer. Faced with not having a single sleeveless shirt, I chose fabric and a pattern that I picked up last Thursday for a complete steal — a total cost of 75 cents for everything.

I loved this fabric the moment I saw it, though I assumed it would turn into an apron or something a bit more suited for the kitchen. It was such a small amount of fabric — about 1 1/4 yards (if that) with a 44″ selvedge — that I didn’t even think it would be enough to make into a shirt. In fact, I didn’t have enough for this shirt pattern and was forced to stitch the back pieces together at the center seam instead of cutting on the fold as the instructions indicated.  In the end, it didn’t matter.

What I’m totally amazed about is how perfectly the yoke matches the rest of the shirt. Let me tell you that I can not take any credit for that feat. It was a complete and total accident. I’m a fast sewer. I’m a creative sewer. But I’m also a mess of a sewer and if I tried to deliberately match the yoke, I would have failed miserably. But for some reason the sewing gods were looking out for me today and that piece just wanted to be cut correctly.

The pattern is, uncharacteristic for me, from the 1970s. The sleeveless view is just so adorable and I intend to tackle it again and add some embroidery.



Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. SUPER cute. And yeah, wow on the incredible print matching.

  2. Great top. It’s perfect for summer, I guess, with that fruity, colourful, fun print. I really love the combination with the red belt!

  3. I love your blog…everything you make is just gorgeous!!

  4. Adorable! Isn’t always terribly satisfying to get something out of so little fabric? Bravo!
    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  5. Umm, I adore it! That top is perfect. A sleeveless piece that doesn’t bulge out at the the underarms! Brilliant!!
    I know I really don’t comment enough here, but I’m you’re biggest fan, really. ;) I wish I had the time and talent ( and lovely figure!) to create my own wardrobe! Until I get myself up to it ( and my singer fixed…) I’ll be here to drool over your fab creations!

  6. Nice! I like this a lot.

  7. I love this top on you. I have this pattern in my stash and now I just might have to revisit it. Thanks for the inspiring posts.

  8. I love the fruit print and the top looks fresh and new (no one would guess 1970).

  9. Ah! This is lovely! I really cannot believe that you did not match that yolk on purpose – it is absolutely perfect.

  10. What a lovely top! And what a cute fabric pattern, just in time while I’m coveting a crazy print. I only refrained from buying it because I couldn’t think of something to make from it. I guess you just solved that problem ;)

  11. You are amazing! If I ever grow up, I wanna be just like you!

  12. That top is so cute and the amount of fabric used is amazing. I have a bunch of small pieces from closing a Joann’s and I am constantly browsing the remnants I will keep your top in mind when I do and not put back what I think might be just a bit too little. Could be I am missing some pretty good tops by doing that.

  13. BTW would love to see what you have sewn for your daughter as well. I have 5 grands ages 5 yrs to 6. mos and I am sure you would inspire me there too.

  14. What a fun top! And how wonderful that the print ‘lined itself up’ along the yoke seam, it was just meant to be!

  15. Wow, so flattering. You look amazing with no makeup on, girl.

  16. Aw, how cute! All my 70s shirts come out very boxy, loose and unflattering but this is very chic.