Saturday, March 28, 2015

Floral Frenzy: a Spring McCalls 7080

I felt like tackling an easy dress for my first in a long line of dress patterns that I am dying to get sewn up by summer this year.

I just bought the new McCalls 7080, attracted by the cute waist feature.

McCalls 7080

This dress is a pullover, easy to make and easy to wear, what with the gathered skirt. My only concern was that it might be too girlish for me. But what the heck, I made it anyhow.

I used a large floral print that started its life as a duvet cover. I saw it at the Goodwill and immediately fell in love with the fantastic print and colour. I knew it would never make it to my bed, rather, it went straight to my fabric stash! It's a nice crisp cotton with lots of body to it. I thought it would be a good match to this pattern (perhaps influenced by the cover photo of the yellow floral dress, which was the view that I was interested in -- no tiered skirts for me, thanks)

Full view

And look at that pattern match on the patch pockets
It was a very easy make. No closures to worry about, except for one button & loop at the back neck. Simple patch pockets. I considered switching them out to side seam pockets but decided to leave them. I easily matched the print for the patch pockets since I had a lot of fabric to work with!

Back button -- with snap underneath instead of proper button loop

I cut the bodice at size 14 as I wanted it to fit fairly closely, to compensate for the gathered skirt. Didn't want to look like everything was simply oversized. It worked very well, except that I should have cut the armscye and sleeve at 16, since they are are bit tight. But I still have lots of fabric left so could remake them if I find it unbearable after a wear or two. 

The bodice was a little shorter than I thought it should be, according to the look of the pattern cover; I didn't want an empire effect with full gathers right over the front -- trying to avoid a maternity look. So I added an inch to the bodice, just to give a little more length to play with for the tuck. I'm glad I did as it turned out just right. The tuck was the only slightly tricky part of this make. I had to carefully pin to keep it even all the way around, and even so I had a slight mishap nearing one of the side seams and my seam has a wobble. But because of the print and the fullness I don't think anyone but a sewist would notice. The skirt has a lot of fabric to it and I think the weight/awkwardness of it pulled on the seam a bit while I was stitching. I could unpick it and resew but honestly I probably won't.

I found this a fast and fun project, after all the fiddling I've done with my last couple of tries. I didn't have to unpick and redo much of anything at all. Just a little measuring and remeasuring before getting going and all was well.  I did get lazy when I was finishing the back button at night, wanting to wear it the next morning - instead of doing the button loop I sewed on the button then decided to sew on a snap under it. It works, but if I reach too far (a hazard at work) the snap pops open. I think I'll have to go back and finish it properly after all ;)

I love my spring-like dress and all its floral prettiness. I wore it with black tights & a jacket to work, both to tone down the sweetness a little, and because it was absolutely freezing out! I can see wearing it a little more 'girly' with sandals in the summer too. I'm very pleased with my "March make".

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Red Tunic, not a Redshirt

I made this top in February but didn't post about it because it didn't fit quite right on first try, and I wanted to fiddle with the neckline a bit to fix it up. Plus, then I couldn't seem to take any photos any time that I wore it! I cornered my good-hearted coworker in the back room today for some snaps. And, well, it's all here now, and I'm not sure it was really worth waiting for...

I attempted to make Butterick 6134, a pattern intended for wovens & stable knits, using the remnants of the red ponte knit that I used for my Vogue 9022 dress a few months ago. It mostly worked. I left out the centre back zip as my fabric was plenty stretchy, and cut it with very little ease, going by my upper half (might go up a size if I make it in a woven). As it was, even with leaving some 'extra' ease in the waist/hip, I had to unpick and resew my seams at 1/2" each to add a little more ease around the bottom half. Sigh. When will I learn?

In any case I love how the seams look, and I love the fit overall. I love the sleeves, such a nice raglan design, and I love the look of the neck....but not how it fits me. I need to learn how to fit this kind of raglan/high neck combo, as I love it, and I have a couple of patterns with this look, but it just doesn't work on my wonky neck/shoulder area. I took 1/2" out of the right side raglan seam (the front seam going from neck to armpit area) and then added a double layer of interfacing on the right collar bit. That seems to have made it wearable though the collar flipping out instead of standing up still occurs and drives me nuts.

I think I have to accept that I need more fitting in the shoulder area, as my right shoulder is both shorter and more slopey than the left. You can see how there's just more collar on one side; perhaps I have to take the back centre seam in to reduce the collar circumference. I have to figure this out somehow; I've been looking at a discussion on PatternReview that covers uneven shoulders, but I'm not sure I know exactly what the fix is for this problem. Definitely a learning curve.

Anyhow, I am so glad I could use the rest of my red ponte (so soft and luxurious feeling) and everyone who saw my top today commented on how much they liked's just the knowledge of how much fixing I had to do and how it still isn't right that was driving me bonkers all day!

Oh well, can't win them all. This is wearable but I'm not sure how much I'll really wear it because of these issues. Too bad, as the pattern itself is great, and I really, really like the look of the seaming. Just not sure this is the neckline for me.

Look at all those pretty seams
Haha, no. I am not pregnant. The fit is just off!
And I am slouching. Great posture, I know.