a campy blouse | McCalls 6512

I wanted to make a breezy summer top with a cotton voile I picked up at Joann’s. I went pattern diving in my stash and pulled out one I’ve had for years, but never sewed up—McCalls 6512. I love all the details on this pattern and the unique style lines, I don’t know why I waited so long to sew it! I was hesitant to use a voile because I thought it might end up too boxy and shapeless, but I think it worked out great.


In fact, the cotton made all the fiddly details a breeze to construct. This top has pleated pockets, pocket flaps, an inset front panel, sleeve tabs, collar band, button band… the works. It’s hard to see all the details in this print, so here’s the line drawing.

Based on the finished measurements, I sewed a size 10 grading out to a 12 for the waist/hip. That comes out to be one size down in the bust, and two sizes down at the hip. The fit is a little roomy on top, but nothing terrible. I could probably have done an 8 on top, but I’m happy with the fit from the waist down. I’m beginning to think that I have square-ish shoulders, which is leading to some front and back neckline gaping (not just here, but patterns in general), so that’s another thing I’ll start to watch out for. I did lengthen the back hem by 1″ because I like a longer back hemline, just not as extreme as view B shows.


As far as construction goes, I pretty much followed the directions (GASP). I did add extra top stitching at the button band and collar. The pockets called for two rows of stitching, so I figured top stitching the button band and collar wasn’t totally out of line. Also, the pattern suggested some pretty extensive interfacing, which I felt would be too much for this fabric. I opted to use my lightest fusible for the pocket flaps, sleeve tabs, and button placket, and only interfaced one side to keep it flexible. I went with a slightly heavier fusible for the collar so it would retain its shape.



This shirt in voile definitely has a campy/safari vibe, so I decided to embrace it and pair it with the khaki Moss Skirt I made a couple years back. I would like to eventually make this blouse in rayon, which I think would give it a completely different look. This was such a fun pattern to make, but I think it may be out of print. Snatch it up if you ever find it, it’s a real gem!


—lisa g.

43 thoughts on “a campy blouse | McCalls 6512

  1. teri dodds says:

    That is a really cool shirt! I love sleeve tabs but haven’t actually ever made a shirt with them. It looks great on you and I like it with your Moss skirt!

    • lisa g says:

      This is the first time I’ve made sleeve tabs! I’ve always thought they were a great detail too. Need to add some to an Archer sometime…

  2. Hélène says:

    What a nice top! I have this pattern in my collection but used it only for the bow blouse. Your floral version with tabs is wonderful. Thanks for posting!

    • lisa g says:

      Thank you! The bow blouse is super cute as well, but it was definitely the sleeve tabs and pocket details that made me snatch up this pattern!

  3. Andrea says:

    For a second after reading your last paragraph, I thought you meant you were planning on making a Moss skirt out of rayon. I was like, girl, don’t. But I figured it all out when you said the pattern was out of print! Luckily the Moss is still with us.
    I have this pattern and never tackled it. It just seems like a lot of work, ha! Looks great on you, and (as always) you nailed the details with perfect stitching. Cotton voile at JoAnn’s?? Woo.

    • lisa g says:

      Whoops! Just edited that to clarify! The shirt was a bit of work, especially the rounded edge pockets and pocket flaps… but it was pretty fun to see the unusually shaped pattern pieces all come together. And yeah, fabric is from JoAnns! I found a couple voiles there recently. Who knew?!

    • lisa g says:

      Yes! it’s hard to find the right application for voile. In a dress or skirt it requires a lining, but it’s often too stiff for a blouse. This pattern has just enough structure that it worked out. Thank you! 🙂

  4. Chloe says:

    I love your fabric choice, and agree that M6512 is fun to make! I’ve made both versions, and the only thing I will say about the longer sleeved one is that it is a fabric hog! Especially with the ties. But without the pockets & tabs, it did take less time to sew.

    • lisa g says:

      Yes, the long sleeved version would take a lot of fabric! I used to never make blouses because it seemed wrong that they took as much fabric as a whole dress… ha!

  5. Beverly C says:

    It looks great! I never would have thought of that pattern with your fabric, but it looks terrific. Very inspiring!

  6. Katie says:

    SUCH a cute top! I love all the details on the pattern too. I don’t usually use Big 4 patterns but I’ll keep my eyes open for this one!

  7. Carolyn says:

    I love this blouse!! It has all my favorite elements: lots of details that are fun to construct, and a bright, cheerful color/print. It looks great with your Moss too… I almost feel like this Moss skirt is the same color as actual moss, which is a delightful coincidence. 🙂

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