Sunday, 27 September 2015

Last of the Summer Sewing: McCalls 7185

Well this is my last summer weight dress for this year, and it's been quite a successful one.  I first saw this dress on Laura-Mae's blog and loved it and when I found it was one of their multi-cup patterns I was a no-brainer.

The fabric is from Wayne Hemmingway's collection in duck egg blue (my favourite) I bought it a while ago and I don't think it's available any more.  It's quite crisp, rather more like a quilting cotton weight, which I think worked quite well with this dress giving the skirt more body.

I cut my usual size 14 with a C cup grading in at the waist to a 12.  I didn't have enough of the fabric to cut the pattern as given, there is a lot of fabric in the skirt and I had to take 10" out of the front and back skirt.  As you can see there is still plenty in the skirt and I think I might prefer the reduced gathering.

What I really didn't like was the sleeve.  You can see below the right sleeve is very puffy and just not my style.  I felt quite silly.  So I recut new sleeves based on McCalls 6696 as you can see on the left and I much prefer it.

I have never tried piping before and I wanted to have a go, so I used preprepared piping around the neck and I think it adds a real pop.  It also seemed to make the facing stay tucked in nicely.  I had wanted to include more piping around the waist, but I just couldn't work out what to do with all the ends, so I didn't risk it.  I replaced one of the poppers with a vintage button and I think that gives a nice touch.

Overall I think the dress has a great fit and it's pretty straightforward to make.  It's comfortable and the neck is just the right depth, quite decent and the wrap-over feels really secure, no chance of unexpected flashing.


Pattern McCalls 7185 size 14C bust to 12 at waist
Raised waist by 6/8"
Reduced shoulder width by 5/8"
Added 1/2" to sleeve width
Reduced skirt width by 10" front and back
Add 1" to length

I would make this one again, maybe next year!

If the fabric above enhanced this pattern I've just had an example of a fabric which spoilt one.  I was really lucky to be sent a pattern by the lovely Jeanette at the Lazy Seamstress.  The pattern is the Maude skirt.  I imagined the skirt in a lovely waffle cotton from the Cloth House (quite expensive!) with wool crepe pockets.  When the fabric came it looked lovely, although I was a bit worried it might be too thick, anyway as it was cotton I washed it .... big mistake ... it went all sort of floppy.  But I'd invested quite a bit so went ahead anyway.

This was how it looked.  Sort of shapeless and uneven and just not nice at all.   I didn't carry on from this stage.  I love the pattern (especially the pockets)  and will have another go with the right fabric.  Didn't want you to think everything I make is successful .... far from it! 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Made Up Ginger Jeans and Aster blouse

I made jeans! There are some garments which seem to signal that your sewing has progressed; the first dress, the first shirt, the first jacket ... the first cost.   Jeans felt like the next of these for me, and so even though there are not perfect I am "made up" by achieving this milestone.  For those of you who have been involved in Karen's fantastic fundraising effort you will recognise the pun.  My Ginger jeans were my pledge for this and I finished them in time. 

The Ginger jean pattern is a great pattern with clear instructions and if you use the sewalong as well suddenly the jeans challenge becomes a possibility.  I made quite a few changes.  I made the high-waisted version but didn't want skinny jeans so I added quite a bit to the width of the legs, grading out to the widest width.  I cut a size 10 and because of my high waist added an inch to the crotch length.  I'm not sure if the waist is a little too high now; what do you think? 

My high waist is the reason I can't buy jeans to fit me, so I am pretty delighted with these.  They are just a touch tight, you can see them stretching a little too much in the photos.  They may well stretch a bit with wear and I'll just add a touch more room in the next pair (which there will definitely be).

A few details ...  (excuse the quality of photos).  I did have a bit of a problem at first with the zip and had to unpick it the first time as I didn't have enough overlap. Can you spot the mistake here .... I don't know how as I thought I was being careful but I have made men's jeans, yes my fly is the wrong way round, but I don't really care!

I'm pretty pleased with the top-stitching, although as you can see I played safe by top-stitching in black so it wouldn't show too much.  I did find  top-stitching rounds difficult.

The pockets went on pretty well.

I used a bit of Chambray for the pocket linings, but the denim for the waistband.

The shirt I'm wearing is the Colette Aster.  This is a pretty straightforward sew.

I like the neckline (which I did raise a little for modesty), but the shape is a little baggy for me, especially in the back.  I think I knew it wasn't going to be, but for some reason still bought the pattern!  I cut a size 10 but graded in to an 8 at the waist.  What I do love about the shirt is the fabric, it's double gauze and it is so soft and gorgeous to wear (and great to sew as well).  I think pyjamas would be great out of this fabric!

I visited Vintage By the Sea at the weekend - lots of fun and fabulous vintage dresses (although the ones I would have loved to buy were too small for me).  I did manage to pick up a great vintage pattern which I will make.  There were some great vintage cars.

... cakes and fun!