Sunday, May 22, 2022

McCall's 6744 - Everything Comes Back Around

I first made this patter about 6 months after learning to sew, in 2013. Last summer I revisited it - HERE and, it's just a winner for me! :)

I really love it!

Just like in my most recent version, I cut a size medium, added 1" to the back bodice at the waist and on the back skirt from the waist, tapering to nothing about midway down the thigh. The front neckline is cut as a size small but the rest is a medium. I didn't want the maxi length but knew the shorter length was too short. I decided to add 4" to the shorter length and hemmed at 5/8".  I also shortened the bodice 1" in back and at the side seams, tapering to nothing in the front. On my last version I had some pooling in back, this adjustment corrected that.

A much neater fit through the back!

The fabric is a Fabric Mart find that I planned on making a wrap dress with it due to the print...but I really just, true wraps. I don't know quite why that is. 

I know someone commented that the print was tough on the eyes. I just love the colors so much, and it doesn't do too much "waviness" for me, on screen or in person, though I get that it happens.
I wore it immediately and can see it getting tons and tons of use this summer. Everything about it is perfect to me!! 

My yellow blouse is in time out because that silk crepe de chine refused to be managed. Even with starching it (which has worked well for the poly wovens I've used). 

This is a WIP of version #2 of Burda 4/2019. This pattern is just SO COOL. I worked on it this weekend and just need to stitch down the facings at the zipper. I love how it turned out. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Vogue 1250

This pattern was SUPER popular back in the day! There are 127 reviews on Pattern Review and many, many people made the pattern multiple times. It's a winner. 

I was stuck on how to use Lily to fit a knit pattern. If sewing pants I would choose a size 18 and make crotch adjustments, with skirts I use a 16 front and 18 back. For tops I used to use a 14 neckline but that's not right anymore. Ultimately, I looked at the intended amount of ease and decided to use my normal Big4 sizing choices: 16 top and 18 for the back skirt.  

If you somehow managed to own this pattern but have never sewn it, it has a very interesting construction! There are 2 main pattern pieces - a front with back skirt integrated into the pattern piece and a back bodice piece. There's also a binding for the back neckline. 

I think this construction is pretty standard for cowl necks, but I am always enthralled with how neatly it finishes. There is a pleat that ends right where the cowl begins. I pinned and basted the pleat by hand. When I turned the cowl facing back on the shoulder seam, I hand basted the corner where it intersects with the back neck binding and then ran it through the serger to sew it. It ensures nothing stretches out of shape or shifts. 

For the armhole, I suggest pinning front and back bodice together, stitching for reinforcement at 5/8" about an inch and then clipping. This will allow you to hem that armhole opening neatly. Where it called for "narrow hemming", I just turned up 5/8" and coverstitched.

There were lots of versions of this by the fitting mavens of the sewing blog community and after reading a bunch of posts, I decided I would be fine just cutting the CB seam of the back skirt at an 18. Many cut along the side dart (where the side seam would sit) to add width, but I don't need extra on the front skirt...just the back. 

Here you can see the dart that closes this seam - this is where others added width. 
I just cut the CB seam (left) at the size 18 mark.

the white arrow shows the dart end!

I added 3/8" to the waist on the back bodice piece to match up to the size 18 skirt back and shortened the bodice 1 1/4". Did a 3/8" high round back adjustment, keeping the space created at the neckline (did not sew the dart). I only had 1 5/8" of fabric and the integrated front piece is a hog, so I added a CB seam to the back bodice (no fitting here, just a seam for construction and I added the seam allowance directly to the fabric).

I added 3" to the front cowl tapering to nothing at the point (do this! it helps it sit better!).

Lastly, I decided to do a 5/8" coverstitched hem (instead of the 1 1/4" included) because I liked the length.

The horizontal seam in back sits low and I was worried about it bisecting the body in a weird way. It's fine! I think it's important to get the back length of the bodice right in order for this seam to not feel "wrong" on the body and to avoid pooling. 


The wind was blowing fiercely, but you can see I achieved a nice fit through the waist and lower body. Yay!

I picked this fabric up from SAS Fabrics while I was in Phoenix. I went to take a pic of the finished dress on Lily and was like, what the heck?! (WTH funny vid) I did NOT see this pattern in the fabric. I moved the phone camera and looked at the dress - nope. Put the camera up - pattern. IDK what kind of optical illusion is happening! 

It is off center but I can't be bothered by that because I LOVE THIS DRESS!!! And, I just don't see the pattern when it's on my body - LOL!!!!!!

Alterations Summary:
size 16 with size 18 skirt back
add 3/8" to back bodice waist
shorten bodice 1 1/4"
3/8" high round back, adding neckline width too
2.5" added to cowl at CF
hem at 5/8" instead of 1 1/4"

I also worked up a top version using fabric from the other dress I made over the weekend. I told myself 20" but in retrospect, that doesn't even sound right! arrrgh! 

It will only be able to be worn tucked in because it's just long enough. I got this blue suiting from SR Harris and am going to make another pair of Burda 2/2013 SOON!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

QT in the Sewing Room and a Hot Topic

My parents relocated to Georgia almost 15 years ago, my son and daughter live out of state too. Mother's Day then gets a little difficult for me. And this weekend, my husband had a motorcycle training course that was from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days. So I decided it was perfect timing for a sew day. 

On Thursday and Friday, I did some pattern prep and cut out Vogue 1250 and McCall's 8174. I got up early Saturday, really pumped, and started my pattern adjustments. I took a break around noon, went and got lunch, and took a break for awhile once my husband got back. Got back at it and finished up the McCall's dress, then cut out another version of M6744. 

This morning, I was moving quite a bit slower :) I finished M6744. Here are the 3 finished dresses and a top from V1250

top left: SAS fabrics
the others are Fabric Mart

I was ready to cut out my yellow silk for a top from Burda 5/2017, and realized I didn't have enough fabric. Womp. Womp. I always forget silk is typically 45". So I traced off a top version of V1250 since I liked the cowl so much. 

I have plans to make pants from this fabric 
which is why I got so excited about a top from this pattern!

And I was not doing hair and makeup (or bras - sorry, not sorry) while having sew-day so I have quick and dirty shots as each garment was completed.

And I'm ECSTATIC about them all! 

Can we talk about disliking finished garments? People often talk about not seeing enough posts about when things don't work out. But, often, when someone posts something and explains why it's a fail, people jump in to tell them that it isn't. I get the instinct to reassure...but can we just take the sewer's word that it truly is a fail? 

My husband says I react because I am very keen on saying exactly what I mean -- words mean things. If I say, I'm not sure about it or I don't know, but something seems off...that means it might work out if I can figure it out. When I post something and I say, I do not like this. That is exactly, precisely what I mean! LOL! 

I posted the New Look dress and had comments on IG and here on the blog that I was "being hard on myself" / "self-critical". Now, this is not any kind of attack on those posters, again, I get the instinct to jump in with helpful comments. But it was interesting to me that I never once said anything about ME; I said I don't like the dress. Not that I felt bad. Not that I looked bad. Again, nothing negative about myself, but for some reason, that's how it was interpreted (and this happens all the time, it isn't a one-off).

There ARE times when something goes wrong and I'm bummed about it. And, I'm pretty open about that. But I am also 100% okay with sewing projects not working out. I'm not going to force myself to keep something or to wear something that I know I dislike / am uncomfortable in just because I made it! Remember in my last post I mentioned donating those black trousers because honestly, I just don't like them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them...they're a heavier cotton blend, they're slim and ankle length, they fit; but I don't like them. I have lots and lots and lots(!) of clothes. The occasional fail doesn't knock me down, and I don't need those fails cluttering my closet. 

Do you share your fails publicly? 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

A Dozen Drafts: New Look 6600

I hate this dress.

I don't hate the pattern...or the brand, just the dress. 

This is a true wrap dress that would work well with a drapey linen or voile. This rayon challis-like fabric did not have enough structure. I was worried about something too firm with the fit of the skirt, but the drape of this fabric made every part of sewing it a horrible experience. 

I started with a size 16, 18 at the waist and hip. I made my half muslin and compared to the McCall's and Simplicity, the starting point was great! On the right, you'll notice I made a point of where I thought my shoulder was...but you'll see in the photos below that I was WRONG. My shoulder point is a good 3/4" away from where I thought it was on the form. This explains why the couple McCall's I made since getting the Beatrice were still wide in the shoulder. Huzzah!

1/4" armhole tuck
shortened 1" at waist

shortened 1" at waist
added 3/8" to neckline at shoulder
added 1/8" to shoulder at neck
(should have done the high round back adjustment)

I shortened the pattern 6 inches, ideal length for me would have been about 2" shorter. After stitching, I ended up taking in the side seams another 3/8". Typically with skirts, I cut a 16 front and 18 back. Also, I didn't use the facings and bound the armholes. I stitched a 1/4" guide for my bias tape (cut at 1 1/8") and then trimmed it down, turned in and topstitched.

I just couldn't get good pics, I was so over it. LOL!

Aside from my posture being worse than Lily's, it's cool to see  how the garments are the same 
on me and the form!

I really need to start adjusting for my low left shoulder.

I'm going to be so sad when these cord stops are all used up. 
They were a great addition to my stash! One of those one-off Fabric Mart finds.

I feel that the fitting process with this pattern demonstrated my ease working with New Look patterns in the past. I do feel that I should have draped the dart as it isn't quite right (same with the back skirt darts), so that's something to keep in mind. 

I'll continue to snag the NL patterns I'm interested in as they're a good fit for my body. 

some fabrics I pulled while organizing my sewing space
The mustard print and solid blue are woven, all others are knits
Fabric Mart | LA Finch x2 | SR Harris
LA Finch | Fabric Mart | SAS Fabrics | Fabric Mart

As mentioned in my abruptly ended wrap-up post, I have sewing mojo but am lacking energy. I cut out Vogue 1250 (an oldie but goodie!) and McCall's 8174 today in preparation for some sewing this weekend. I'm also hoping I get to a top from the yellow silk charmeuse I got at Fancy Tiger Crafts, as well as turning that yellow tie-dye into another nightgown using Burda 5/2016 (THIS nightgown is my absolute fave and it is now 6 years old...time for another). 

Monday, May 2, 2022

April Wrap-up and May Plans

Work is busy and life is hectic and while I have sewing mojo, I don't have much energy. This year we've been to Nashville, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver, and Atlanta. I've had several migraine attacks in the last month. I knew my time with having my daughter's family here was running out so I started spending every free moment with them. My colleague is going on maternity leave and I'm taking about half of her client portfolio. My direct report resigned for a new job so I'm searching for her replacement. 

I feel like I'm on a precipice. 

I am not complaining, I just don't know (at the moment) what I need to do differently. Probably "less". I do have a time alone this upcoming weekend and am hoping to spend some quality time in the sewing room. 

This month I sewed 1 garment and 2 crafty items. I also machine knit 3 items.

I sewed:
  • New Look 6600 - 2.5 yards
    • horizontal tan & black (rayon?) woven
    • cord ends
  • Zip top bag
    • black quilting cotton and faux leather
    • zipper
  • Cover for PS5
    • Chicago White Sox and solid black quilting cotton 
    • black piping
I knit:
  • a triangle shawl (but I may frog this)
  • girl's ballet cardigan
  • infant drop shoulder sweater
This month, I also did a deep dive in my wardrobe when I pulled out some spring items. I got rid of like 40 items! So funny, I pulled out this pair of pants and thought, "I hate these pants". But they're black and ankle length so I kept them. And then I wore them one day and when I took them off after work I said, "I hate these pants!" So they've since been washed and placed in the donate pile, where they belong.

I also organized my tops by color and I really could use a few new tops. 

aaaaand I just heard the news about the (likelihood?) of Roe v. Wade being overturned and I don't have anymore words right now.