Sew the Current Trends, and Save 20% Off the Featured Fabrics!

Good afternoon, campers! I’ve been busy as can be on several things. You’ll see the fruits of my labors over the next days, and if you follow me on Instagram you can see the slow progress I’m making on my current project. But in the meanwhile, here’s a post that everyone seems to love: Gorgeous Fabrics/pattern combinations to make your own versions of the most current trends in fashion!

Trend 1: The Corset

I love the idea of a Deeta von Teese corseted look, unfortunately, it isn’t something that I can pull off. But just about anyone can manage a corset belt, and one of the ways to make it modern is to wear it cinched over a duster style dress. As luck would have it, BCN Unique Patterns released their Duster Dress and Sash just this week. Make the duster using our Super Soft and Drapey Linen Twill – Heathered Dark Brown paired with a wide belt made from our Sueded Leather “Corduroy” – Decadent Chocolate. You’ll be front-row-ready for any Paris show!

Trend 2: Off-Duty Model Denim

 

All the top models are sporting denim this spring, but not the skinny jeans that have been so ubiquitous in the last couple of years. No, the silhouettes range from voluminous dresses worthy of Tilda Swinton to denim “suits” done up with mom-jeans and jean jackets. My personal favorite is the one that Vogue showed on model Frederikke Sofie in Paris: an easy coat thrown over a denim jumpsuit. Make your very own version by pairing Stretch Denim – Black Wash with McCalls M7330 jumpsuit. Finish it off with a chic topper made by combining Italian Suit Weight Flannel – Black with  Burda Style 01/2016 #127 Shell Jacket. You’ll have a look you can wear three seasons of the year! (skip the cigarette, though)

Trend 3: Hollywood A-List Casual

Want street style like Reese, Nicole, Shaileen or other A-listers? The cute-but-casual look is all the rage for shopping along Brighton Way. It’s easy to make and easy to wear, good for everything from a weekend on the Vineyard to picking the kids up at school. Make a Breton style top with our Rule Bretagne Beefy Striped Jersey – Navy/White and Liesl + Co.’s Maritime Knit Top. Anchor the look with a cool, casual skirt made from our Dress Whites Designer Denim – White and Seamwork’s Leonora skirt. Instant paparazzi bait!

Trend 4 – You’re Blushing!

The blush pink trend that launched in 2016 shows no signs of abating. A look I love takes a mannish suit and makes it in pink. The pink tones down the androgyny while the androgynous cut of the suit takes away any saccharine tendencies of the pink.  To get the look, pair our Italian Double Faced Satin – Peach Puree/Blossom Pink with Named Patterns’ Aava Tailored Blazer and StyleArc’s Eddie Pleated Pants. Now, that’s a uniform for a tough-gal princess. Oh, and an added bonus – if you don’t want all pink all the time, you can make the jacket using one face of the fabric, and the pants from the other.

Save on All the Featured Fabrics Through Friday!

And to give you even more inspiration, you can save 20% on each of the fabrics featured in this article through Friday, April 21st!

No coupon necessary, the markdown is already taken for you.

I hope that gives you some inspiration for your spring sewing. Spring is coming to Boston – slowly! Until next time, which should be soon…

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: McCalls M6559 Bolero, AKA Snow Day Sewing

When the weather does that, and the fireplace does this, it’s time to head upstairs and sew!

Snow Day! I seem to get either my baking or my sewing mojo going during snowstorms. Today we have had at least 6 inches of snow -they’ve been forecasting a foot- and my sewing mojo made an appearance like a long lost cousin of Punxatauney Phil. Yay! I rummaged through my (long neglected) pattern collection and found this gem. I previously made the maxi dress, but I wanted something I can layer over tee shirts and tanks as the weather gets warmer. A girl can dream, can’t she? This fit the bill perfectly!

Pattern Description: From McCalls’ website, “Close-fitting, unlined jacket in 2 lengths has front extending into single-layer tie ends (wrong side shows). A: Three-quarter length sleeves. B: Long sleeves. Very close-fitting, pullover dresses are sleeveless. E, F: Racerback straps, front seam detail, bias upper/middle fronts, and lower front/back (cut on crosswise grain of fabric. All have narrow hems. F: Star detail.”

I made view A, the shorter bolero with ¾ length sleeves.

Sizing: 6-22. I made the 12.

Available as a PDF? I thought it was when I made it before, but now it appears not.

Fabric Used: Silk jersey in Soft Mauve from Gorgeous Fabrics. It’s long since sold out, sorry, but there are a few Here

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2030, Juki MO654DE serger, Reliable Steam Generator iron, ironing board, sleeve board, shoulder stand, silk press cloth.

Needle/Notions Used: Scraps of weft interfacing, Stretch 75/11 needle, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Tricot – It’s Not Just for Lining any More, Anything by The Pressinatrix, Tip – Check the Grain on Knits, Tips and Tricks for Sewing with Knits.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? I did look at the instructions after I finished and they seem fine. I didn’t need them during construction, since this is pretty straightforward.

Construction Notes: I made a FBA. I also applied scraps of woven interfacing to the shoulder seams to stabilize them. I serged the seams. I Flat Set the Sleeves.

I made narrow hems all around the edges.

All in all, this took an afternoon to make, and that was with long breaks for checking in on orders and emails. I’d estimate this took me about 3 hours from first cutting out to final stitch.

Likes/Dislikes: Love it! This will make a great piece for transitioning from winter to spring. It’s also will be pretty tossed over a tank or dress for cool summer evenings.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes! This one will definitely go into rotation. Great pattern. I made this one from silk jersey, but I’ll make a more “workaday” version with ITY.

Here are pictures on Shelley:

Front

Back

Conclusion: A great pattern, this will get lots of wear. It’s easy enough for beginners, but also a great wardrobe component.

Happy sewing!

Gorgeous Fabrics/Pattern Pairings for Sewing Inspiration

One of the things customers tell me they really like about Gorgeous Fabrics is our recommendations for patterns to pair with our fabrics. It’s one of the more fun aspects of my job, so today, I’ll talk about some of the newer patterns that have hit the market, and give you some suggestions for Gorgeous Fabrics that I think will work spectacularly well with them. Enjoy! -Ann

Dress for Success
cashmerette-pairing It’s heading into cooler weather here in the US, while our friends in the southern hemisphere are starting to warm up. A great silhouette that works for almost all seasons is the classic wrap dress. And one of the favorites of our customers is the Appleton Dress from Cashmerette. This great take on the look is perfectly suited to any of our ITY or rayon jerseys. It’s even a brilliant choice for some of our stretchier rayon doubleknits. Those will give you options for cooler weather. The three perfect pairings I’ve picked for this dress include, from the top:

Any of these will give you everything from work-ready to holiday party options!

Button Up Your Overcoat…
ccf-kelly-pairingOne of the hottest looks in outerwear right now is the anorak jacket. Closet Case Files just released their Kelly Anorak, and it’s got all the details you want! While traditionally thought of as cold-weather or rain gear, this jacket is more versatile – just think a little outside the box! You can, of course, make it into a hard-working, long-wearing coat for cooler weather, but it also makes a surprisingly elegant turn for an evening or dressier look with different fabrics. Try a satin or taffeta version for a fun, designer-inspired look! Check out these two options for dressing down or dressing up:

It’s Jean-etic
georgie-pairingI can’t live without my jeans. Even though I love dressing up, jeans are my go-to garment on many days. There are tons of great jeans patterns available to the home-sewing enthusiast, from classic 5-pocket versions to the more athleisurely take on the look: pull on stretch jeans. StyleArc has come out with a great pattern for this comfortable wardrobe staple, the Georgie Stretch Woven Jean. Make a “classic” take on it with:

For a bright look that will enliven any wardrobe:

Jacked Up Jackets
m7513-pairingA great jacket or blazer is a cornerstone of any wardrobe, and as sewing enthusiasts, we can make all different styles! One that just came on the market is McCalls M7513 Peplum Jacket. I really love that this pattern gives you both sleek and “foofy” options for the peplum, so you have lots of variety by varying peplum and fabric. From a tailored version with wool, to a fun animal print for dinner or weekends, to a showstopper in brocade, this versatile jacket can take you just about anywhere! Try it with:

Or for a slinky entrance-maker:

Formal Introductions
v1527-pairingWith the holidays just around the corner, let’s finish with a formal look. This one comes from my friend Paco Peralta, a couturier in Barcelona, by way of Vogue 1527. This three-piece outfit includes a lovely straight skirt, a blouse with a jabot style tie and (this is what I adore) a long tuxedo style jacket. On the pattern, they show it in black and white. But for holiday, I love it with a rich red and black print blouse. It’s beautiful, and it evokes Spain! I would make this (actually I will make this) with these three fabrics for the tux, blouse and trim for the collar. From the top:

I hope this gives you a little inspiration, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I have putting it together for you.

Happy sewing!

Note: I have no affiliation with any of the pattern companies mentioned here, and I receive no financial compensation for mentioning their patterns or linking to them. In fact, they have no idea I wrote this post, so click away with a clear conscience!

Pattern Review: McCalls 6996 Cardigan


Pattern Description: From McCalls’ website, “Close-fitting, unlined jackets have raised neckline with front or front band extending into gathered back collar, long sleeves and stitched hems. A, B: Lower back peplum and shaped front hemline. D: Self-belt”

I made View A.

Sizing: This is interesting. The website says 4-26, but the printed version I have is XS/S/M. I made Medium, which is equivalent to a 12/14. I can’t remember when exactly I purchased my copy, so they may have changed the sizing since I bought it.

Available as a PDF? Yes

Fabric Used: Designer Rayon Jersey in Steel, from Gorgeous Fabrics (of course).

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130, Juki MO654DE, Naomi the Naomoto/ironing board, sleeve board, ham, shoulder stand.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/11 needle, two scraps of Pro-Tricot Interfacing, selvage of silk organza, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Tips and Tricks for Sewing With Knits, Just About Anything by The Pressinatrix, How to “Flat Set” a Sleeve.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were fine. I didn’t really need them. This is a pretty simple pattern to make, and it’s really well drafted and goes together beautifully.

Construction Notes: I did a couple of things differently from the instructions. Obviously, I flat-set the sleeve, instead of setting it in the round. They have you gather each center back collar pieces to a 3 1/4 inch length of purchased seam binding. Instead, I stitched the CB collar seam, then gathered that to a single 3 1/4 inch length of silk organza selvage. I prefer silk organza to seam binding for a few reasons. One, I have it lying around my sewing room all the time, so it’s essentially free. Two, it adds no bulk, and using a single piece instead of two pieces of seam binding reduces bulk even more, and three, it’s not at all itchy.

You can see the organza peeking out under the CB seam

I also stabilized the shoulders with scraps of tricot interfacing

I did narrow hems all around

Neckline Hem

Likes/Dislikes: I love the design lines: the quasi peplum

Not too peplum-y

The angled shoulder seams

And the general drape of the garment. There’s really nothing I don’t like.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Gosh yes and gosh yes! I could see making several of these, and I think they would make great holiday gifts too.

Conclusion: This pattern is a real winner! Here are pictures on Shelley. I’ll get some on me when the weather cools a bit more.

Front
and Back

My mojo is still going strong, and I’m thinking I would like to do something more along the couture lines. I have no idea what. But I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, happy sewing!

Double Header Pattern Review: McCalls 7412 Top and McCalls 6930 Shorts

McCalls 7412 Top

Let’s start at the top. I saw this pattern when it first came out, and I thought it was just adorable. It’s WAAAAAAY out of my wheelhouse, but I’ve seen women my age (and some older) wearing this kind of open shoulder top beautifully. I had some Milly fabric left over from my StyleArc Artist Tunic, so I decided to take a gamble.

Pattern Description: From McCalls website, “Loose-fitting, pullover tops and tunic have scoop neckline, cold shoulder detail, and sleeve/hemline variations. A, C, D: Flared sleeves. B: Purchased scalloped lace trim and bishop sleeves. C: Hemline ruffle. D: Layered sleeves”

I made View B, omitting the lace trim.

Sizing: 4-26. I made a size 12.

Available as a PDF? No

Fabric Used: A remnant of the Milly voile that I used for my StyleArc Artist Tunic.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130, Juki MD654DE serger, Naomi the Naomoto, ironing board, sleeve board, shoulder stand, Clover Hold It Stiletto, silk organza press cloth.

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 70/10 needle, 1/4 inch elastic from stash, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes, more or less. I screwed up a little bit on the shoulder band so it ended up wider than the picture, but it’s not terrible and I’m not going to go back and pull it out.

How were the instructions? They were fine. This is very straightforward to make. The only slightly tricky part is making sure you line up the openings for the cold-shoulders properly.

Close up of the cold-shoulder

Construction Notes: Nothing unusual. I sewed the seams with my Pfaff, and serged the seam allowances together, rather than sewing a double seam. This pattern would work quite well with French seams.

Likes/Dislikes: You know how I said this is WAAAAAAY out of my wheelhouse? Well there’s a reason I don’t stray too far from my wheelhouse. I finished it, tried it on…

And I hate it.

It makes me look like a mile-wide stump, and a pregnant stump to boot. It even makes Shelley look fat.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? No, I will not make this again. This was a fail for me. The word “blowsy” came immediately to mind when I looked in the mirror. Though I still think it’s cute and I think on the right person it can look great. I’m just not that person.

Conclusion: Win some, lose some, learn something. I’ll donate this to Sister Thrift near where I live so hopefully someone will love it and it will benefit the dogs and cats at the local Humane Society.

McCalls 6930 Shorts

These, on the other hand, are right in the middle of my wheelhouse!

Pattern Description: “Fitted shorts or tapered pants (below waist) have shaped waistband, side-front pockets and back zipper. A, B: Back patch pockets. B: Scalloped hem. C: Carriers and stitched hems.”

I made view A, the short-shorts.

Sizing: 6-22. I started with a 14, but backed it down at the waist significantly.

Available as a PDF? Yes!

Fabric Used: A heathered dark wash denim from Gorgeous Fabrics (of course). That fabric is sold out, but you can see similar Here.

Machines and Tools Used: The usual suspects (see above)

Needle/Notions Used: The usual suspects (see above) as well as stash interfacing, a zipper from stash and two trouser hook/eyes.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They’re fine. Again, this is a straightforward pattern and goes together readily.

Construction Notes: I started with a 14. I’ve noticed in previous McCalls shorts and pants that I end up with a lot of gapping at the back waist, so I tried them on before applying the back zipper and sure enough… I took about an inch out at the CB. That did the trick without distorting the side seams. I sewed all the seams on the Pfaff and finished the raw edges on the serger.

Likes/Dislikes: Love these! They went together readily, and they are really cute. I’ll probably make the longer versions as well.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes.

Here are shots on Shelley. I won’t subject you to my Mary Melanoma pasty white legs again. 🙂

Front
The side pocket detail
And the Back, slightly overexposed to show the pockets

Conclusion: These are a winner – this weekend I was batting .500 – ah well. This happens sometimes.

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: McCalls 6839 Top

https://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6839
Pattern Description: Close-fitting, pullover tops and tunic have back neckline variations and stitched hems. A: Back pleated drape, cut on crosswise grain. B: Back yoke. C: Draped back. D: Shaped hemline (wrong side show) and narrow hem. C, D: Back tie ends.

I made a hybrid of views C and D – I added the sleeves from view D to View C.

Sizing: 8-24. I made a 12, tapering out to a 14 at the bust.

Available as a PDF? No

Fabric Used: A sold out animal/snake print ITY from Gorgeous Fabrics. It’s sold out, but there are Similar Here.

Machines and Tools Used: Juki 654DE serger, Pfaff 2130, Naomi the Naomoto, sleeve board, shoulder stand.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/10, thread. That’s it!

Tips Used during Construction: And Now, A Word from The Pressinatrix

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were fine. This is a pretty straightforward pattern to make.

Construction Notes: I started with a 12 at the shoulders, tapering to a 14 at the side armhole seam. I didn’t do a FBA, because the flat pattern measurements at a 14 seemed to obviate the need for it, and in fact it wasn’t necessary.

Likes/Dislikes: I like the cut, and it is a great length for me. The neckline is pretty wide, and it does just barely show my bra straps, so I’ll put lingerie guards in to keep it properly in place. The back is low cut, but not so low that my bra band shows.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes. This pattern is listed as out of print on McCalls’ website, but I saw it in the drawers at my local Joann last week, so you may still be able to buy it. Here are pictures on Shelley:

Back
and Front

All in all a great top.
Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: McCalls 6074 Maxi Dress

When I went to save the pictures of this project, my computer reminded me that I had Already Made This Dress. The pattern is nowhere in my stash, so it probably got recycled at some point in the last 5+ years. Anyway, here’s a fresh review.


Pattern Description: MISSES’ DRESSES IN THREE LENGTHS: Pullover dresses A, B, C, D have front elastic casing detail, deep V-neck, flare skirt and stitch hems; dress A has purchased iron-on trim; dress B has contrast hem band; dress D has cap sleeve; dresses A, B lengths are 2″ above mid-knee; dress C is evening length; dress D length is 2″ above ankle.Sizing: 6-22. I made a 12

Available as a PDF? Yes

Fabric Used: A sold out ITY Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics (of course!). There are lots of other ITY jerseys that would work. You can see them Here

Machines and Tools Used: Juki home serger, Pfaff 2130.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/11 needle, thread, scraps of interfacing and 1/2 inch elastic.

Tips Used during Construction: Tips and Tricks for Sewing With Knits, Anything by The Pressinatrix.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? Fine. This is an easy-peasy pattern, and it went together quickly.

Construction Notes: In my previous review, I noted that the bust point was pretty high. This time I measured it, and it’s a ridiculous 9 inches from the shoulder seam! Whoa. That’s just nuts. So be prepared to lower the bust point. I also did an FBA. As I said before, this runs pretty large, so don’t hesitate to go down from your regular size. I should have remembered to use a size 10, but 12 is close enough.

The maxi version is REALLY long. I lopped off about 5 inches. If you’re my height (5 feet 6 inches) or shorter, you can probably cut it at the length for View D and still end up with a maxi.

Likes/Dislikes: This is an easy, easy-to-wear, classic pattern, as evidenced by the fact it’s been in the catalog for at least 5 years. It gives good results in a short time. Other than the bust point being too high, I don’t dislike anything about it.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Clearly I would do it again, and I do recommend it. I know it’s a strange thing to make on the coldest day of 2016 (so far) here in Boston, but I wanted to make something to remind myself that spring is coming and this did the trick nicely.

Conclusion: Nice, easy pattern. Easy to make and easy to wear. I’ll get pictures on me when the weather warms up. In the meantime, here are some on Shelley:

Front
Front
Back
Back
6074 Maxi Detail
Detail showing the gathering

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: McCalls 6559 Maxi Dress

a.k.a. Zip zap zum

Pattern Description: (From McCalls website)MISSES’UNLINED JACKETS AND DRESSES: Close-fitting, unlined jacket in 2 lengths has front extending into single-layer tie ends(wrong side shows). Very close-fitting, pullover dresses. E and F: front seam detail, bias upper/middle fronts, and lower front/back (cut on crosswise grain of fabric. All have narrow hems.

I made View D, the plain and simple maxi dress.

Sizing: 6-22

Available as a PDF? Yes

Fabric Used: Chevron print abstract smooth faced jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics (naturally). It’s sold out, but You Can Find Similar Here.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130 sewing machine, Juki home serger, Naomi the Naomoto iron, pressing ham, shoulder stand.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/11 needle. Scraps of interfacing for stabilizing the shoulder seams, thread. That’s all.

Tips Used during Construction: And Now, a Word from the Pressinatrix

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? I didn’t really use them. I took a cursory look at them and they seem fine.

Construction Notes: It doesn’t get easier than this. Cut out, sew side seams, make narrow hems at neckline, armholes and bottom hem. Done.

I serged the side seams, and I used a narrow (1mm by 3mm) zigzag stitch for the hems all around.

I have a technique for narrow hems that helps me keep them even. Before I start on them, I sew a line of basting stitches at the 5/8 inch (in this case) hemline. That serves as an exact guide when I fold my hems and it keeps the hemlines from getting all ripply.

Closeup of the neckline.
Closeup of the neckline.

 

 

With a closeup of the inside finishing
With a closeup of the inside finishing

Likes/Dislikes: Do you want an easy, simple pattern that sews up in under an hour from start to finish? Here you go. I wanted a cool easy dress for summer. This fits the bill perfectly. And since JoAnn had McCalls patterns on sale at 5 for $7 this past weekend, the timing couldn’t have worked out better.

No real dislikes.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes. I’m serious when I say this is about as easy as it gets. Here it is on Shelley

Front
Front
and Back
and Back

Conclusion: What’s not to love? It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s comfortable. Great for summer!

Here’s a fun challenge. Anyone notice anything about this dress? My rendition, I mean, not the pattern in general.

Anyone?
🙂
Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: McCalls 6963 Cowl Neck Top

I made the sleeveless version of this last summer, as part of the One Yard Wonders series. This weekend I decided to try the sleeved version, so here you go!

Pattern Description: Close-fitting, pullover tops have draped front neckline variations, narrow hem on back neckline, and stitched hems. A: armhole bands.
I made View A/B body with View D sleeves.

Sizing: 8-24. I made a size 12

Fabric Used: Walk in the Woods Smooth Faced Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics (we’re running a 20% off Blizzard sale, right now, BTW). I had a lot left over from my Lorax DVF wrap dress, thanks to a laundry mishap with the first piece of fabric (I love my sons, and I really appreciate that they tried to be helpful and did laundry but they need to learn a couple of things about new denim and dye-bleed), so I was able to make a long sleeve shirt. Bonus!

Machines and Tools Used: Juki home serger, Pfaff home sewing machine, Naomi the Naomoto, sleeve board, shoulder press.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 70/10 needle, a couple of scraps of interfacing for stabilizing the shoulders, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix, Sewing With Knits(GFUniversity video).

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? I didn’t use them this time.

Construction Notes: I made a size 12, but it’s pretty big through the shoulders. I could easily go down to a 10 and do a FBA.

A couple of notes about the sleeves that you should know if you decide to make this version. They are LONG. Really long. I have average length arms. In Vogue patterns I routinely shorten sleeves by an inch. These are about 2 inches too long for me, so be sure to check the length and adjust accordingly. Shame on me for not doing that beforehand, but I cut them down after the fact. You can see the length in the pictures below.

Also, the sleeves are pretty tightly drafted. The biceps measurement for the size 12 is 12 inches. So you may need to give yourself some ease in your upper arm.

Likes/Dislikes: This pattern has good bones, and the fitting instructions are quite thorough. I’m not crazy about how large the shoulders are on McCalls patterns of late, but that’s something I can work around pretty readily.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I doubt I’ll do it again. I have Paco Peralta’s version coming to me, so that will be the next cowl neck top I make. But this is a good basic and I do recommend it. Here are some pictures on Shelley:

You can see how long those sleeves are


Parting Shot – Snowstorm! You may have heard that we are rather socked in here in the Northeast. I think the storm is over in NY and out in the western parts of New England, but closer to the coast we’re still getting bands of snow. This is the view from my sewing room window.
The roof of the addition to our house is about 9 inches below the sill. That’s a solid 2.5 feet of snow

So if you are in the path of this storm, please stay inside and be safe!

Pattern Review: McCalls 6796

This is a bit of a palate cleanser after Wrapapalooza and before I start on my holiday dress.

I made this view

I wanted to make an easy top, one without a high neckline. Lately I have found that high necks bother me. I’m hoping that stops before winter sets in. This seemed like a good option, and it was sitting in my pattern stash.

Pattern Description: From McCalls’ website, Close-fitting, pullover tops have collar variations and narrow hem. C and D: button trim. I made View D, with bracelet length sleeves.

Sizing: 6-22. I made a 12.

Fabric Used: Cable style lightweight sweater knit (sold out, sorry) from Gorgeous Fabrics. Does it look familiar? Anyone? You might have seen it on the cover of a magazine recently. 🙂

Machines and Tools Used: My Juki MO654DE home serger and my Pfaff 2130 home machine. Shoulder press, silk organza press cloth, sleeve board and ham, along with Naomi the wonder iron.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 70/10. I could have probably used a jersey/ballpoint needle instead, but the stretch worked fine. 3 buttons from my stash. I’ve had them for at least 10 years. I’m not sure where I got them. They are light enough that they don’t weigh the collar down too much.

Tips Used during Construction: And Now, a Word from The Pressinatrix. In fact, just about anything by The Pressinatrix.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were fine. This is a pretty straightforward pattern.

Construction Notes: First up, I made a FBA. After I did that, I cut it out on a folded piece of tracing paper, with the fold at center front, so I had a single complete front bodice piece. I wanted to do that so I would have complete control over the placement of the cable motifs. I used a single layer layout for cutting.
I serged all the main seams. I stabilized the shoulder seams with a strip of fusible interfacing. Instead of setting the sleeve in per McCalls’ directions (after the shoulders and side seams are sewn), I set the sleeve in flat. It worked just fine.

Originally I was planning to make the full length sleeves, not bracelet sleeves. But when I hemmed them, they got all stretched out and wavy.

Well that’s annoying.

I cut off the wavy part and used a scrap of fusible interfacing to stabilize the hem. I probably could have avoided the issue if I had hand-hemmed it, but I wanted to make this all on the machine. The fusible interfacing worked fine for the sleeves. I also used it on the hem, but it still is kind of wavy. The hem on this pattern is pretty flared out. I may take the sides in a bit at the bottom to get more of the look I prefer.

The collar is made from a single piece of fabric. I couldn’t get both the center front motif and the center back motif to line up, so I just went with the CF.

Here you can see the back on Shelley

Likes/Dislikes: This is a perfectly passable pattern. It goes together quite well and quickly. I like the collar detail.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I probably won’t do it again, though I do recommend it. This is a nice piece that will look good in many wardrobes.

And while DH was doing the Wrapapalooza photo shoot, he got a quick shot of me in the top.

The wind was picking up as the photo shoot went on.

Conclusion: A good, slightly elevated basic that sews together easily. This can pair equally well with jeans as with a pencil skirt, and if you do it in, say, a sequined knit it will make a nice evening option.

My next project is going to be my holiday dress, a lace number. I have to muslin it, so I’ll have more on that as things progress.

Happy sewing!