Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Cozy Comfort During The Pandemic - McCall M7836

Like many in the sewing community, I find myself sewing more cozy, comfy garments. This shift maybe partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has rocked the world.  Other reasons for me are lifestyle changes and anticipated harsh winter.

A few weeks ago, I decided to try McCall 7836. This pattern has four lovely views, which I hope to try. These tops would great to wear with jeans, leggings,  skirts, and even tailored pants with a little modification. Lots of potential and easily a TNT.



My first top is view A. I chose to use a lightweight sweater knit from Vogue Fabrics.  I prewashed the fabrics, then tossed it into the dryer. The knit came from the dryer even softer than before, ready to layout my pattern and cut  out my mock turtleneck top.  This was another super easy project that went together no problems.  


I used sizes 14 and 16 modifying where needed. The upper top size 16 tapering below the bust ending at size 14 at the hem. No FBA, none of my other usual changes.  The fabric is so fluid and light with about 40 percent stretch. It is slightly transparent and does require a cami underneath.  For the hem, I used a twin needle. 

I noticed that the collar does not stand as pictured on the envelope.  This can be attributed to the lightness of the fabric. Also, I could cut the neckline size 14 for a closer fit.  I am pleased with how it turned out. Next version, I will add a few inches to the bottom for a more slender look. 

My likes: everything about the style and the easiness of making the top.

I recommend it to all level sewists.  

Enjoy!




 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

An Audacious, Simple Sweater Dress - McCall M7979













Every once in awhile a lady needs to add an audacious garment to her wardrobe.  For me, a simple, easy pattern paired with a bold textile is a perfect combination for achieving this goal.  It's especially, gratifying when you can achieve it in less than two hours.  So here's my audacious dress!



I purchased the pattern about a year ago.  Almost immediately, I made a test garment out of a jersey snake print that I purchased from FabricMart Fabrics. My test proofed that this style looked pretty good on me given there was quite a bit of fabric in the upper part of the dress.  No need for any of my usual fit adjustments.  That put a smile on my face.  It's takes so much time to make the adjustments. 

 


What makes this dress standout is the audacious "Ziggin' and Zaggin'" sweater knit from Gorgeous Fabrics.  This was another fabric that I purchased for my birthday in September.  This fabric is super easy to sew.  It's cozy and bold.  Definitely, a statement piece anyway you design it.  

Anyway, today I want to give my review of McCall M7979.

McCall's description:  Misses': Tops and Tunic close-fitting, pullover top A, B or tunic C has  drop shoulder and low armhole and sleeve variations.  A, B: neckband C: Cowl collar.

The first thing I noticed about the description is "close-fitting".  It is only close fitting in the hip and upper thigh area.  They must have meant loose-fitting.  Anyway..,

I decided to make view C into a dress.  So, the only change I made was to lengthen the tunic by a few inches.  My idea for styling this view was to wear it as a dress as well as a tunic with leggings belted at the waist.

The pattern comes in sizes 8 to 24.  I used sizes 14 and 16.  For the most part, the dress looks like the tunic only a few inches longer.




The instruction and the construction were a piece of cake.  Nothing confusing as I just glance them.  The guide sheet included all the typical Palmer/Pletsch fit adjustments.  Again, I didn't need to make any.  There was also a construction technique for making the cowl with a twist.  I may try that on one of the top versions if I decide to make it again.

Initially, I thought it might look better if I added cuffs to the sleeves and a band to finish the hem.  But when I tried it on, I didn't like it.  So I removed them I made small hems.

I bought this pattern for view B. Then, I became interested in view C after I made my test top.  I like the drop sleeves and the cowl neck. No real dislike.

I may make it again.  And, I do recommend it to others.  

There is a lot of style ease in this pattern.  For most, there will be no need for complicated fit adjustments.  For me, it's was another quick and easy sewing project with great results and style.

Happy Sewing!

C

BTW  - I'm still working on Vogue 8627 jacket.  More on that later.  


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Notes On A Pattern - Vogue V8627 - Pattern Alterations



I decided to give Vogue 8627 a try.  This pattern has been in my collection for many years.  It is a very simple jacket.  The design lines are basic with an option to sew an asymmetric hem at the back of the jacket.  The front of the jacket has the bust dart rotated to the center front. I pondered how to make a full bust adjustment (FBA) and maintain the integrity of the style lines.  

Today I'm writing a Notes on a Pattern post to explain how I made the adjustments on the pattern to fit me. 



I started the process with just cutting my size, which was not included in this copy.  So I graded the size 14 up to size 16.  Next, I made a muslin just to see what types of changes were needed and to what degree those changes  would need to be made.  My "dream" was not to make a FBA.  HaHaHa.  Just holding the front jacket up to me, I could see that the bust dart needed to be lowered, the center front did not fall where it needed to, and the front waist dart was not in the same location as in the drawing.

I made a muslin using the pattern as is with the size graded up.  As I suspected, the front was too snug and the darts were in the wrong place.  So I definitely needed to make at least a FBA.

Caution - There are many changes to the front jacket.  It may look a mess.  But I'll try to clearly explain all of my adjustments.



Step 1 - I copied the front jacket just in case I "hacked" the pattern incorrectly.
Step 2 - On the copy, I first lowered the center front bust dart by 1".  The area is labelled #1.  This step was pretty painless once I figured out were to cut around the dart to move it down.  I did not want to cut into the area of the collar section.  You can see the slashes around the dart where I avoided the collar/neckline area.  Next, I filled in above where the dart was previously located.
Step 3 - Now, I could start the FBA.  First, I removed the sleeve so I could easily make the FBA.  See #2 slash from the waist up to the apex (which was also moved). The second FBA slash was through the bust dart and the third horizontal slash was made on the lower right side of the first FBA slash. I made a 1" FBA spreading each slash the appropriate amount of space, filling it in and taping it together. This adjustment changed the length and width of the front jacket. Next, the sleeve was reattached.  The FBA created an elongated triangle between the sleeve and the body of the jacket.  Now there is more space between the side of the bust and the arm. 
Step 4 - I didn't adjust the waist dart yet.  Usually that is done during the sewing process of the jacket or the second muslin.  
Step 5 - The sleeve is lengthen an inch or so. 

Below is a picture of the original front jacket placed on top of the adjusted front jacket to show the difference.




Step 6 - The next set of adjustments were made to the lower front and the front edge. These adjustments are made based on the width and length created on the front jacket.  


Step 7 - The final adjustment for the front of the jacket is on the collar.  Sometimes the fullness of the bust creates some gapping in the neckline.  I made a small tuck on the collar and the front jacket where the two are joined.  The small change reduces the possibility of a gapping neckline.



Step 8 - The prominent shoulder blade adjustment was made by slashing through the shoulder and waist darts, spreading the pattern  3/4".  And the sway back adjustment was made by creating a small horizontal tuck across the back as needed.  The added with is also made to the lower back.  The darts on both pieces are adjusted accordingly.  The back sleeve is also lengthen same as the front sleeve.
 

This ends my explanation of my pattern adjustments for this jacket.  Hopefully the next post will be the jacket reveal and my complete review of the project.  Until next time.

Happy Sewing!
C

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

More Bucket Hats with Vogue v8403


 



I've turned into a little "Mad Hatter". Lol  After making the first bucket hat,  a few people have asked for one.  So, I decided to go ahead a make a few more.  But, these are for me. Lol  Next round will be for gifts.


For I used Vogue V8403, view E.  Compared to Vogue V7784, the basic shape of the hat is the same.  But I like the narrower front brim of V8403.  The crown is only one piece. 

Like the other pattern, this one comes with a group of several hats plus cuffs for gloves.  Vogue describes the pattern as:  Hats and Glove Cuffs - Package includes patterns and instructions for five different hats and glove cuffs.  Each hat fits small 22", medium 23", and large 24" head sizes. 




I made size medium and still had plenty of room.  The crown is deep and may require a little adjustment if you don't have super big hair.

My hats look pretty much like the hat on the envelope.  It's pictured in a beautiful  blue velvet.  I used some remnants from the home dec department at Vogue Fabrics.  Both hats were made with less than 1/2 yard of fabric.  The ribbon and lining I already had at home.  More than likely these hats will be worn with some new coat or jacket I make. Tee Hee.  There are also be good for vacation, on the beach wear.  


The instructions for this design is not much different from the previous bucket hat made.  Both had typical instructions that were easy to follow.  These sewed up very quickly maybe taking an hour or so each to complete after cutting them out.

Great hats to protect my head and hair, rain or shine.  The timeless style is simple but fashionable.  I thought about adding some netting to them if I make a coordinating outfit to showcase in the Haute Couture Fashion Show.   We will see.


 

No alterations made on them and no design changes.  Straight from the envelope and sewn together.  Depending on a person height or style preference, a smaller back brim would be a little more comfortable.  The front  can be trimmed down as well.  It depends on preference like I said.

So, these are number two and three bucket hats inspired by the Dior inspiration hat.  I have at least two more to make and I will probably use this pattern instead of the other (V7784).

This is a nice little accessory project try.  And I recommend both patterns to sewists.  I enjoyed the process.  Now, I'm thinking about embellishment for a totally custom style.

Parting Shots:  The same day that I made these hats, I made my second Cashmerette Appleton Wrap Dress.





 






Monday, October 19, 2020

My First Cashmerette Appleton Dress





Wheee!

After that ten plus hour blouse, I needed something quick and easy.  The Cashmerette Appleton Dress fit the bill.  I used her sizing chart and my t-shirt dress sloper to help identify my size.  This process significantly reduced the amount of time that I would spend on fit adjustments.

One of the beauties of Cashmerette's patterns is that they include multiple cup sizes beyond D, which is great for a lot of people.  So for this dress I used size 16 with cup size E/F.  This was spot on for me.  The only other pattern alterations and changes made were lengthen the dress by 3 inches, lengthen the sleeve by 2 inches, lengthen the ties, and added just a little width across the back.    I didn't make a swayback adjustment because the dress ties around the waist.  



 



I can have a dozen of these dresses in my closet.  ;-)


 

The Appleton Dress is described as the classic wrap dress designed to play up your curves with a crossover front, a built-in waist tie, and a deep v-neck.  Designed by and for curvy women.

It is available in sizes 12 to 28 with cup sizes C/D, E/F, and G/H. 

My dress looks like the illustrations on the pattern cover.  And I am very pleased with how it turned out.

The instructions were good.  Easy to follow.  I really like that the construction for the ties, neck, and front bands. It creates a neat, clean finish.

There is so much to like about this dress; no dislikes for me.

Likes:

  • Easy to sew classic wrap dress.
  • Multiple cup size for easy fitting.
  • Shoulder length is perfect.
  • Stylish and classic
  • Great wardrobe staple.

 


My fabric choice was perfect for this wrap dress.  It is a ITY jersey knit from Gorgeous Fabrics: Bold Scale Paisley ITY jersey
It sews up beautifully.  Before cutting it out, I tossed the fabric into the washer, then into the dryer.  Just a great yardage of fabrics that washes well too.  It has a soft hand and is great against the skin. 

I've already cut my second dress out.  So you can expect to see this wrap dress over and over again on my blog.  I highly recommend it to others.  But I think a large percentage of the online sewing community has already try it. 

 This is a great classic wrap dress.  A must have staple for every well dressed lady.  



Happy Sewing!

C

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Prettiest Blouse That Almost Wasn't Made - McCall 6512

 





This blouse was a tremendous save.  In the sense that this blouse has been in a bag in the UFO's bind for the longest time.  To be precise, I cut this blouse out shortly are I returned from the Palmer/Pletsch workshop in 2012.  

I can't say why it took me so long to finish it.  But I am very happy that it done and it still fits.  It fits in with my current wardrobe capsule plans.  


 

Enough on the back ground information.  Here is my pattern review.

Pattern Description:  Misses' Blouses:  Loose-fitting blouses A, B have neck and front bands, yoke, front sleeves (cut on crosswise grain of fabric), no shoulder seams, back pleats and narrow hem.  A:  Pleated pockets with button flaps and short sleeves rolled-up (wrong side shows) with button tab. B: Bias collar extends into tie ends and sleeves gathered into button cuffs with seam opening.


Pattern Sizing: The pattern comes in size groupings from 4 to 18.  I used size 16 with some modifications.


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, my finished blouse does look like the illustrations on the pattern envelope. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were typical with the Palmer/Pletsch instructions for adjustments, which are always a plus.  For the most part, I followed them.  I didn't like the suggested construction for the collar/tie and neck band.  My preference is to attach the neck band to the top first.  I like to check and make sure everything lines up as it should.  I also found it strange/different to interface the collar/tie.  In my mind, it should be soft and fluid. So, I hoped that it would be fine as I added the interfacing to the collar/tie.  As it turned out, it's a little stiff but still floaty.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There are so many likes about the blouse, and there were a few challenges with the construction.  I start with the many likes.

Likes:

  • The cut on sleeve that continues into the back yoke.
  • The join of the blouse front at the arm hole.
  • The front band and the 3/4 sleeves.
  • The overall style of the blouse with the tie.
  • My selection of fabric.  It's so soft and fluid.

 

  • The join of the blouse front at the arm hole.

  •  The front band and the 3/4 sleeves. 



  •  The overall style of the blouse with the tie.
  • My selection of fabric.  It's so soft and fluid.

Dislikes/Challenges:

  • The construction of the collar/tie and neck band.
  •  I struggled with the fabric.  The neck band and the front band that I cut eight years ago was a little off.  The fabric is slippery which makes it difficult to cut.  So when I re-cut these pieces (Thank God I had more fabric.), I block fused the interfacing to it before cutting out the pieces.
  • In order to produce good buttonholes, I cut stripes of wax paper placing a piece on top and underneath the buttonhole area. 


 

 

Fabric Used: The fabric is a silk chiffon that I purchased during the Palmer/Pletsch workshop way back in 2012.  I purchased it at the Fabric Depot.  It is pretty, soft, and fluid. But difficult to handle.  It slips and slides.  Initially, my plan was to do french seams. Somehow, I forgot all about that after making two seams  (the back sleeve to the back blouse).  No way was I going to rip out the next set of seams.  So, tested the look of the zig zag on the sewing machine.  It didn't look good.  So I finished the rest of the seam with the serger.


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  Some changes in construction are above. Additionally, I made a FBA.  No other pattern alterations.  My closure has seven buttons instead of six.


 



Next time, I'll add a few inches to the length of the sleeve and I don't think I'll add interfacing to the collar/tie.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I want to make at least one more.  And yes, I recommend it to others.  My blouse turned out pretty good.  This first one was a very slow sew.  I spent time than I normally spent on a blouse of similar style.  In the end though, it was worth it.  Now, I have one less garment in the UFO bind.  And I'm very happy about that.  



Conclusion:This project was a little challenging, but with patience and perseverance I finished another UFO.  I ended up with one more pretty blouse in my closet.


Happy Sewing!

C

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