Friday, January 17, 2020

I Love A Great Twist Top - McCall M7975

Last night I finished  my second project for January, 2020.   It's McCall's M7975 Twist top.  I was inspired to try it after seeing pictures of it made up on Instagram.  I love how it turned out. 

I was able to make it with minimum fit adjustments.  I made view D using size medium with modifications. 

No FBA was needed!  This pattern runs big.  I graded it up just a little bit from the armhole through the bust areas.  I added a center back seam and shorten the length of the neckband about an inch.  Those were the only changes.

My top does look like the view D on the envelope with the exception of the bagginess underarm on the model. 

The twist might seem tricky, but it's not.  Just take your time and follow the steps.  There is nothing to dislike about this top.  I like all of the views.  The sewing is easy.  The instructions typical, with nothing confusing in them. A good fast project.

I love a great print.  My jersey knit comes from New Rainbow Fabrics.  (They have some great knits and special occasion fabrics.)  It has about 40 percent stretch and great recovery.  The print theme is "Star" with stars and fashion play ladies scattered throughout the print in every direction.  The colors are great for me as browns, tans, and purple are in my preferred color palette. 

I'm thinking about making a few more of these.  So I definitely recommend it to all level sewists.  So, that's completes my little review.  I have two more projects to complete this month.  Snow is headed our way this weekend.  I'm staying in to sew, cook, and watch Tyler Perry's new Netflix's movie, "A Fall From Grace."

What are your weekend/sewing plans?  Whatever the plan, have fun! ;-)

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Notes on a Pattern - New Look NL6013 Jacket

New Look 6013

It's time for another "Notes on a Pattern".  I spent last Saturday afternoon/evening working on my first jacket of 2020.  My initial pattern adjustments were made late 2019, and I cut the jacket out the first week of January 2020.  So on Saturday everything was ready to sew.

I became interested in making this jacket last summer when I saw a few projects posted on Instagram.  I've wanted a shawl collar, princess seam jacket for a while.  Jackets are something that I'm lacking in my wardrobe.  This one is a good start to filling the gap.

So, let me start with some basic information about the style of the jacket and pattern information.  This jacket is part of a New Look wardrobe pattern (NL6013).  It is to make an unlined with princess seams, pleated sleeve caps, and a shawl collar.  The closure is one loop at the base of the collar.  It is available in sizes 4 to 16.  I used size 16 with modifications.

The instructions are typical, easy to follow, and no points of confusion that I could see.  My jacket does look like the drawing. But I made a lot of changes to satisfy my own personal taste for construction and sewing techniques.

First, allow me to start with the initial adjustments.  I include this information a lot.  The reason is some of you may need to make similar adjustments and my changes may be helpful to you.    These pattern adjustments are typically the initial adjustments.  Then as I sew, I continue to fit as needed. BTW - I didn't make a muslin. 

So, I begin with some tissue pattern fitting it assess how much more or less circumstance space I'll need.  And to see if the jacket is the right length for me.  Below are two photos with my basic adjustments:

  • FBA 
  • Tucks on the front jacket and the collar at the fullest of the bust.  It helps eliminate gapping along the collar opening.
  • Swayback adjustment.  Both back patterns are adjusted.  
  • Slight Prominent shoulder blade adjustment. Not shown in the pattern adjustment here.  Sorry.
  • Lengthen the entire jacket by 2".  It just needed to be a little longer for me.
  • Not shown.  I lengthen the sleeves by 1.5"
Once I put the body of the jacket together, I continued to fit.  My biggest issue was at the upper and fullest of the bust area.  There was way too much fabric throughout that area.  I tried several times to eliminate the extra with little success.  It wasn't until I ripped out the seam from the upper bust to just below the bust area was I able to get a good fit.  Wish I had done that in the first place.  I literally pinned out the excess with the jacket on one side at a time. Then, I basted the seam to check if the fit was right.  BINGO!  It's a fit!  The other area of  change was the lower back and lower side seam areas.  These changes didn't take much time to adjustment as I often make these changes after the swayback adjustment.

Now onto my other preferred changes for jacket sewing. 

  •  First, lining this style of jacket is a preference.  Secondly, my fabrics dictated the need for a lining.  It's loosely woven and soft.  The lining adds support and stability.  With the lining, the jacket guides on.  Plus, quite a bit of time and effort goes into a well made garment; it's good to make it last.

  • Interfacing the hemlines (not all are shown here), upper back area, and adding sleeve heads for support and stability.

  • Welt pockets.  I change them from mock to real welt pockets.

My fabric is a medium weight tweed wool blend.  That was great to work with.  It's from Mood.  In the online descriptive information, it indicates that it is pre-shrunk.  But I did stream it using the iron on highest steam setting as an added precaution.

I was well pleased once I completed all of the fit adjustments and construction changes. My after thoughts were: 
  • I should have made a muslin.  I spent a lot of time tweaking the fit.
  • Hurry, transfer the changes to the tissue pattern, but leave some room for varied fabric weaves and textures.  Because a tightly woven fabric may require a little more width across the bust and upper back. 
  • My pockets look nice, but the welt could have been an inch longer.

This is the end of this installment of "Notes on a Pattern".  I hope to show you my finished jacket soon.  It needs a hem and a button sewn on.  So, I hope this posts has some helpful information or at least encourage someone to sew a jacket.  It's a great feeling of accomplishment when you are able to complete a wearable, likeable jacket.  I recommend this jacket pattern.  It's cute. ;-)

Happy Sewing!


Monday, January 6, 2020

Plaid Crepe Knit Top - McCall M6963

McCall M6963 was the next to last top that I made on New Year's Eve.  The goal that day was to make something quick and easy to end my year of sewing projects.  Last year was the year of knit tops.  I made over twenty.

Again, this pattern was already adjusted for fit.  It is also a Palmer/Pletsch pattern with fit instructions included.  The design is basically a t-shirt pattern with two variations of a cowl neck.  I used this to make another one of Rhonda's sleeve designs.  It's still available on the McCall Patterns website.  There are two size groupings:  8 to 16 and 16 to 24.  I used size 14 with modifications.

The fabric that I used is a beefy crepe knit from the New Rainbow Fabrics on Roosevelt Road. At first glance, I had to have it.  One of the things that I discovered while cutting out the top is that the plaid is not printed straight on the fabric.   From one end to the other, crosswise, the print is slightly off.  So it was difficult getting the plaid to line up throughout the top.  But I think I did okay.  Not perfect though.

My top does look like the photo on the pattern envelope with the exception of the drape of the cowl.  Mine has a little more body than the fabric used for the pictured top.  My fit adjustments produced a few more seams.  But other than that, it looked the same.

The instructions were typical and nothing confusing about them.  The bonus is that the pattern has fit instructions and some additional sewing tips.

I liked the cowl drape neckline variations.  As far as the rest of the pattern, it's a typical t-shirt pattern.  No dislikes.

My alterations:
  • FBA
  • Swayback and center back seam
  • Changed the sleeve length 
  • Prominent Shoulder Blade adjustment
I will use it again for sure.  It's a easy wardrobe builder.  It looks great underneath jackets and cardigans as well as by itself with pants or a skirt.  All level sewists can enjoy making it and wearing it.

Worn with Christine Jonson Travel Trio Pants

Both M6964 and M6963 t-shirt knit tops were a great way to close out my sewing projects for 2019.  They were easy and quick.  To start the new year I have two great looking tops to coordinate with other separates in my wardrobe.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Very Last Project Sewn in 2019 - McCall M6364

Tonight I decided to do a quick review of my last project of 2019.  I actually finished this top late afternoon on New Year's Eve just before dinner and cocktails with members of my family.

I used McCall M6364 a few years ago when I drafted one of Rhonda's sleeve designs.  That review is really about drafting the sleeve.  So today I will share details on the fit, fabric, and construction.

This is a Palmer/Ptetsch pattern, which makes the fit process easier.  The adjustment lines are already on the pattern pieces and the "how to" instructions are included in the guide sheet.  My initial adjustments were still good on this one.  So I didn't need to change anything making this a quick end of the year project.

The pattern includes four basic t-shirt style tops with neck and sleeve variations. I used view B with long sleeves. It comes in two size groupings (8 to 16 and 16 to 24).  I believe it's OOP now.  But you can find it on Amazon.   It's easy to sew and takes less than two hours to make.  All seams are sewn on the sewing machine and serger.

I chose this pattern because I knew it was a fast project, and I wanted to keep the design simple.  My version does look like the top worn by the model, except for the sleeve length and I added a few inches to the length of the top.

My other changes were for fit purposes.  My usual:
  • FBA - with a dart.  It's almost invisible due to the print.
  • Swayback adjustment with center back seam.
  • Prominent shoulder blades  
  • I also shorten the neckband by 1.5 inches.  The neckbands for the Big-4 are always too long.

My fabric was purchased at the New Rainbow Fabric store on Roosevelt Road.  It is a crepe knit similar to Mood's Liverpool knit collection.  This knit is slightly beefier and they have it in several prints and colors. This is one of the newest textiles in my "forever growing" fabric collection. Lol  I bought it the Friday before New Year's Eve.  Occasionally, I take my sewing students on field trips.  And this was our end of the year trip.

I chose the camouflage print.  The colors were vibrant and the colorway was perfect for my skin tone.  I also had a few coordinate in my wardrobe to pair with my new top.  My McCall M7392 twill skirt and Vogue V8859 TNT pull-on pants that I made a few months ago.

So, that's about it for this one.  Tomorrow, I'll post the "next to last" 2019 project.  And I work through the other reviews as time permits.  Anyway, enjoy the rest of our weekend.

Happy Sewing!


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