Thursday, March 30, 2017

Notes on a Pattern - McCall M7445 Pants

Hi everyone,

Today I'd like to share my fitting and sewing experience with McCall's M7445.    This a Melissa Watson for Palmer/Pletsch pattern. The guidesheet includes fitting recommendations and the pattern has the alteration or adjustment lines drawn on the pattern pieces.  These additions are helpful and save some time on preparation for adjustments.

Because I've made my "usual" adjustments so many times and, for the most part, found what works for me, I only glossed over the instructions.  But for this post, I decided to read fit recommendations to see if there were any helpful tips, and there were.  Especially if you are having trouble with fitting your pants.  Below are a few suggestions:

  • Read pages 2 and 3 to fit your bottom half
  • Prepare tissue for a "tissue fit" of the pants
  • Fit the crotch area by pulling the pattern close to the your body (crotch area to make assessments on changes needed.
  • Note pulls, gaps and sags in the pattern, follow the recommended adjustments.  You may have to tweak a little more in the fabric muslin or pant.
Some of you may have the same fit issues as I do, and you may want to consider these changes:
  • Shorter front crotch - I pulled up the excess and removed about 1/2" from the top instead of folding out the excess near the crotch line as illustrated in the guide sheet.  Starting from the center front seam with removing 1/2" blending to the side seam.  My pants sit about a 1.5" above the waist.  This is where I want them to  sit.
  • The back crotch is almost perfect.  I lengthen the back hook by 1/2".
  • I prefer a curved waistband.  That's where McCall M5818 comes in.  I love this pants pattern.  I subsituted the curved waistband for the straight.  On the back waistband, I folded out the excess near the center back so that the waistband does not stand away from my body.
  • Palmer/Pletsch pattern include 1" side seam allowances, which make it easy to tweak the pants as you sew.  Luckily, I did not need it, but it's good to have a little extra width to fit the circumstance of your body.
  • The pants are cropped, which are not my favorite for flare legged pants.  So I added several inches to make them long.
These are the basic changes that I made for myself.  On construction changes:
  • Added interfacing at the pocket opening to stablize the area.
  • Added interfacing to the center front to stablize where the zipper will be placed.
  • Added a fly.  It looks nicer.
  • Added seam binded to the hem.  It looks nicer.
  • For the brown pair I stitched the verticle section of the pocket opening closed to eliminate any gapping in the tummy area.  The fabric has a lot of stretch in it.  The stitching helps maintain the appearance of "matched stripes" in the pocket area.  This step was not done for the orange pair as the fabric is crisp with just a little stretch.
  • Added a button to inside closure.

The basic pattern description is:  Misses' top and pants semi-fitted, pullover top has "V" neckline and stitched hem.  Pants have wide legs and are cropped.  B:  Below waist with from exposed zipper.  C:  mock fly front zipper and waistband with hook and eye closure.  Sizes:  6 to 22.

My pants look like view C only longer.  My favorite detail of the pants is the pocket.  The front has nice pocket detail, but it's also clean and crisp.  A good look for a lady with a little pot in her belly. ;-)

My fabrics used:

Orange polyester stretch woven blend.  This is a sturdy fabrication that create a crisp looking pair of pants.  The bold color is what drew my to it.  I wish Mood had it in more colors.  Brown polyester stretch woven blend.  This fabric has more drape and more stretch.  It's been in my stash for a few years and it came from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, Illinois.  Both fabrics are beautiful and easy to sew.  I used a sharp sewing needle (12).

I will use this pant pattern again and again.  It's already another TNT pant pattern.  Of course, I recommend it to other sewists.  But first, work through your personal fit adjustments.  It's a winner!

Happy Sewing!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fit and Flare Brown Bows Dress - Butterick 6280

Spring is almost here! What better way to start the season than with dress.  By now I'm sure you've noticed that my favorite thing to make is a dress. Last month I decided to "line them up" for the Spring/Summer sewing party that I scheduled with myself.  This is a solitary event that I planned for myself in hopes of getting back to spending more time in my sewing room.

This is the second dress posted for the March.  The fabric is another lovely fabric purchased from, brown bows printed on a cotton.  It is a lighter weight cotton sateen, great for everything from summer dresses to curtains.  This sateen has a smooth hand and a crisp drape.  No trouble sewing or pressing it.

I decided to pair it with Butterick 6280.  The fit and flare silhouette is a great style to show off the crisp drape of the fabric.  Because it is transparent when held against the light, I lined it with a crisp polyester lining from my stash; also I like the durability, comfort, and luxury that linings add to a garment.

Butterick 6280 is easy to make and is described as misses/misses petite dress semi-fitted through the bust, has princess seams, side front overlapped at the neckline, side pockets, and back zipper.  B.  Front and back overlays.  I made view B, no contrast, with modifications using sizes 14 and 16.

There was nothing confusing about the instructions.  I like the neckline, princess seams and the fit and flare silhouette.  I plan to make a few more dresses with the same basic style lines.  I don't have any dislikes.

I made some of my usual adjustments:

  • FBA
  • Swayback
  • Lengthen sleeve by 1"
  • Lengthen dress by 2"
  • Lined the dress
  • Added Hug Snug to the hem of the sleeves and dress.  Love this stuff
  • Inserted an invisible zipper instead of a regular one.

This dress turned out well.  After making all the pattern adjustments, I'd like to make at least one more of the views.

I know it's not spring yet, but I already wore the dress.  For almost the entire month of February and the beginning of March, we had "Spring" like weather; 50-60 degrees and rain.  Unfortunately, winter returned with freezing temps in the 20's with about 9 inches of snow on Tuesday.

Anyway, I think I'm off to a good start with building a new spring/summer dress collection.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Notes on A Pattern - Vogue 1314 and McCall 7542 Getting the Most Out of Your Patterns

Happy Friday everyone!

Are you getting the most out of your patterns?  Do you only use a pattern once, then discard it? Do you buy multiple copies of the same one?  How big is your pattern collection?

I've been collecting patterns for over three decades.  In the early years, I only bought them when I was planning to make something and was always happy to take advantage of an occasional sale.  As my skills improved and sales came more frequently, the collection started growing exponentially.  Now, I have amassed over 600 patterns including three years of Burda World of Style Magazines.  Sometimes, I buy multiple copies for client/student use or just because.  The only patterns I've ever discarded were in a give-away event or I tossed them because they were poorly drafted.  During my long practice of learning to become a good sewist, I learned to mix and match pattern pieces.  This was out of necessity and lack of drafting skills.  These days I'm becoming very selective in what I buy to help slow down the growth my collection.

More and more I'm returning to my old practice of mixing and matching pattern pieces.  It is cost effective and it saves time.   I've used Vogue 1314 several times and consider it a TNT.  It is simple.  I use the front lining, back lining, neckband, and sleeve.  It's a t-shirt dress!

Sleeves are a really big thing these days, and so pattern companies are following the trend as well.  McCall 7542 is showing up all across social media.  At first sight, I knew I would buy a copy.

It's available in sizes 6 to 22 with cup size A/B, C, and D.  The base of the top is simple with four different sleeves: tulip, trumpet, pleated, and bubble.  Great potential to make multiple tops and dresses.

So my first use of M7542 was with V1314 to create a tulip sleeve knit dress shown above. The sleeve was a perfect fit.  I'm planning to try all of the sleeves, either in a dress or top.

Consider mixing and matching patterns to create your own unique style.

Happy Sewing!


Monday, March 6, 2017

McCall 7480 - Super Easy Coat

Holding it close as the wind was very high.

Happy Monday!

It's a great day to be on this side of God's creation.  I'm happy to be alive with a reasonable portion of my health and strength.  I hope everyone is well.  I'd like to also thank those who continue to stop by my blog and leave a comment.    These days, I'm not the blog stalker I used to be because of time limitations.  I hope to get better soon.

My review today is on a very easy McCall vest/coat.  I bought the pattern in the fall to make for winter, and I'm just now getting around to making a coat.  My original plan was to make something close to view B; but after shopping my stash and the new fabric that I purchased in New York,  I decided on a coat similar to view C.

This was a very easy sewing project.  I cut it out several weeks ago along with several other projects.  On Friday evening, instead of watching TV or the TV watching me, I went to "my sewing studio" and made my coat.

It's described as: Misses' vest and coats - loose fitting, unlined wrap vest and coats have length variations.  A:  Raw edges. B:  Welt pockets. C:  Contrast facing and sleeves.  The available sizes are:  XS to XXL.  I used a large, but I could have gotten away with a Medium as it is very loose fitting.  Anyway, I will certainly be able to wear chunky sweaters underneath  on colder days.

The drawings and the photos are spot on with how it suppose to look.  No belt for me today, it's was about 50 degrees, windy with some rain mist and overcast.

The instructions were typical. No confusing parts.  The coat sewed up with no problems.  As a matter of fact, I really didn't use them past sewing the back to the front.  Afterwards I took a look at the entire guide sheet for the sake of the review.

I used a heavy wool ponte knit that was gifted to me last year and a double clothe from Mood Fabrics.  I wish Mood had the double clothe in more colors.  It's really nice.  I picked it up when I was in New York in January.  At first, I was concerned that the marrying of the two fabrics wouldn't be a good one.  But as it turned out, they do complement each other fairly well.  The entire front of the coat and the collar is double the fabric, which creates a heaviness in the front of the coat.  So I decided to add some thickness to the back and sleeves  to balance it out a bit.  For the lining I used some left over crepe back satin.  The back and sleeve linings were cut using those pattern pieces respectively.  Outside of that I really didn't make any alterations.

This is a nice basic, easy coat pattern.  The pieces were sewn with no problems.  There are no real fit issues for me.  It's very over-sized.  I think I will sew it at least one more time for myself.  I want View D in a beige tone with a round collar.

I recommend this pattern to all level sewists.  It's stylish, easy to sew, and no serious fit issues.

Crocheted Hat, Scarf and Fingerless Gloves - 

I crocheted my matching accessories.  This was the first time I made fingerless gloves.  I really like them.  The band has a ribbed affect created using a double crochet and back post stitch.  The entire project was easy.  Most of it was done while showing my favorite TV shows.

That's all for now.  More to come.  Stay tuned.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Valentino Inspired Dress - Fancy Mood Floral Roses Jacquard and Simplicity 1011

Plain and simple:  there is nothing like a beautiful piece of fabric.  Just the mere fact that it is gorgeous makes you imagine how proud you feel to wear something made of it. This is the case with Mood's Black Malaga Floral Roses Jacquard and Eggplant Polyester Lining.  The pairing of these two fabrics was a winning combination for my latest dress.   This jacquard is rich and luxurious, the pattern is intricately woven with a glossy under tone.  It has a smooth hand, unlike most brocades, but just as radiant.  The lining is perfect for it.  It is very smooth and has similar movement as the jacquard.

My inspiration for this dress comes from one of my favorite designers, Valentino.  I'm always dreaming about making something spectacular drawing from the simplest details in hopes of translating them into my very own creations.  The vertical lines that are seen throughout Valentino's Fall 2016 collection is were I drew my inspiration for this dress.  I posted a few pictures on my blog.  

Pattern Description:

Simplicity never really spends anytime given good descriptions of the pattern.  So, here's my description:  princess seam "V" neck bodice with individual pattern pieces for B, C, D,and DD cup sizes.  The four panel high-low skirt of the dress has four inverted pleats: two in the front and two in the back.  The dress includes two sleeve options or can be made sleeveless with a belt that is attached to the back with two buttons.  The pattern is available in sizes 10 to 28W.

My dress does look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope with the exception of my "small" design changes.

There were no confusing steps in the instructions.  Like all the amazing fit patterns, Simplicity include instructions on how to fine tune the fit as you sew.

My Likes -

There are a lot of reasons why I like and chose this pattern:

  • It included my cup size and I wanted to test it to see if it would fit with minimum fit changes.
  • Princess bodice, easier to fit, if the "Amazing Fit" bust size didn't fit.
  • low-high skirt.
  • "V" neckline
  • Lantern style sleeve, five darts, makes for an interest sleeve detail. I only wish it was a little more pronounced.
I have no serious dislikes.  

Fit Changes -

I decided to use Simplicity Amazing Fit S1011 in hopes of limiting the amount of fit adjustments that I normally make.  Surprisingly, that was the case with this pattern.  I used size 14, DD cup, with only a few tweaks.

After making the muslin, I determined that a few small changes would produce a better fit:
  • Add 1/4 at the fullness of the bust area to the side front and front.
  • Add 1/2 width to the back, creating a neck dart.
  • Make a swayback adjustment.
  • Add an inch to the length of the bodice.  In hind-sight, I think that was too much.
  • Add an inch or two to the length of the skirt so that the hem would fall at my knee.
  • Add an inch to the belt, for good measure, didn't need it.
It seems like many changes, but these were mostly small tweaks, unlike the full process of making a FBA that I normally make.  There is one more tweak I should have made, and that is to the length of the shoulder seam.  It's too long.  Next time I'll reduce it by 1/2 inch.

Design and Construction Changes -
  •  I lined the entire dress.  The pattern only gives instructions on lining the skirt of the dress. 
  • To emphasize the vertical lines, I added a floral trim with a Medallion style motif along the front and back seems of the bodice.  Luckily, I had buttons with a similar design to hold the belt in place.
  • Added hem tape to the skirt of the dress.  It looks nicer.
  • The instructions (#4) has you to form the pleat by bringing folds to broken lines.  I simply bring the lines together, basting to form the pleats.  It's easier.
  • Step 1b, I didn't follow.  I prefer to stay-stitch along the front and back; then slashing the seam allowances to fit the curve of the side front and side back.
I like how my dress turned out.  And I will definitely use the bodice again for another dress and as a sloper.  This is a good basic dress pattern that can be used to create a variety of looks and styles.

It's a little chilly and windy outside.  Resting my coat for a five minute photo shoot.

Happy Sewing!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin