Strokes of Fire Colors Top – McCalls 7092 Review

I’ve had McCalls 7092 in my stash for a while, and decided to use some of the leftover fabric from the strokes of fire colors dress to test it.  I was drawn to the V neck when I bought it.  I’m glad that I did, because it’s really comfortable.

As a pattern review,  I made View A  in a size 8, using the same fabric for the insets instead of contrasting fabric.  The insets are folded so you end up with at least four layers at the under bust seam, not counting that the upper bodice pieces are also pleated.  I do like this top and will definitely make more.

 

The Matrix Dress – McCalls 6886 Pattern Review

I have so many complicated patterns, and few simple ones.  I finally got around to purchasing McCalls 6886, a simple knit dress pattern.  I mixed and matched view features for the look I wanted and that’s definitely part of the beauty of this pattern. I had a knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics that reminds me of The Matrix, and I think it was perfect for it.  I love it!

As a pattern review I made View F with the length of View C instead of the longer length on View F. I also used the long sleeves of View B and lengthened them by 2 inches (I’m 5’8″).

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This dress is so flattering and comfortable. It’s a great basic and I’m so glad I got a chance to try it out. I will definitely be experimenting with it. 🙂

A Velvet Jacket for Fall – McCalls 7254 Pattern Review

They tell me it’s officially Fall.  The weather here doesn’t necessarily agree, but I live down south so that’s to be expected. 🙂 So what’s Fall without a new, pretty jacket?  With the curvy lines of McCalls 7254 whisperingm7254 to me to make it, I couldn’t resist.  And in nothing less than red stretch velvet, because it’s almost red velvet season.

As a note, I purchased this velvet from FABRIC BRAVO- Better Service! on Amazon.  I ordered 2 yards and was sent 1 yard and 34 inches.  I emailed them about it and went ahead and used the fabric since I was able to squeeze my pattern pieces on it.  Lesson learned, though.

As a pattern review I made View E in an XS.  The sleeve on the pattern was short on me (I’m 5’8″) so I added 3″ to the length.  I debated on whether to interface the collar.  I eventually decided to do so, to ensure the collar would lay flat.

I like this jacket, the only thing lacking is pockets 🙂  I won’t complain though since velvet was not a recommended fabric.  It’s supposed to be for sweater knits.  The next time I make it, I may not interface the collar, depending on the material I use.  But until then I will certainly enjoy this one.

From Scraps to a Shirt – McCalls 7356 Pattern Review

When  McCalls 7356 was released, I saw it and thought it would be interesting, especially in the C m7356and D views.  But I didn’t want to go buy fun and interesting fabric for it without a muslin first.  Besides, I’m also on a self-imposed “use your stash” challenge, so I decided to go through it and see what scraps I had that might be large enough to fit the bill.  Earlier this year I had to purchase two yards of red satin for the Fourth of July dress (since I went to Hancock Fabrics during their liquidation sale).  I managed to eke View A and the godets for View B (just in case) out of the remaining scraps from that dress.  I briefly contemplated using the leftover plaid from the Fourth of July dress as the contrast panels and ties as well, but decided that may be a bit much. Self editing is always a good idea! 🙂  I also used the red satin as the pockets and back pocket lining for the jeans below, but that will be for another blog post. 🙂

As a pattern review, I made a Size 8, in View A, out of Red Shantung Satin.  I omitted the piping and sleeves.   I also used the godets from View B as well, but they didn’t drape well once sewn, so I removed them.  The pattern has wide facings for the V-neck and the armholes.  I used them initially, but they were bulky and cumbersome.  This weekend I decided that the armhole facings had to go and I ripped them off ( 🙂 literally) and replaced them with 7/8 inch single fold bias binding that was leftover from a previous project.  It feels and looks better, on the hanger and on the body.  I also did not use the hem depth specified on the pattern and simply finished the edge and turned it under by 3/8 of an inch.

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I would make it again in the future, but with several modifications.  So, I’m glad that I made a muslin first. I would lower the V neck a little more, lengthen the top to a more visually pleasing length for my height, and use bias binding again for the armholes and possibly the neckline. I would also try to add the godets and ties if I were to use a much lighter weight fabric.

 

A Reminiscent of the Sea Dress – McCall’s 5292 Pattern Review

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A few years ago, I decided I was going to get back into sewing, and I picked up a few patterns to start with.  My mom cautioned me to pick 5292patterns of clothes that I would actually want to wear, not just items that looked quick and easy.  One of the patterns I bought was McCalls 5292.  Then, as it is wont to do, life happened, and sewing was pushed to the way side again.  Along with the sewing machine, McCalls 5292 was put away in a drawer and forgotten about.  It seems that even McCalls has forgotten about it, because if you search for it on their website, it doesn’t come up.  The picture to the right is from the website sewing.patternreview.com.  You can see my review of the pattern there as well.  Fast forward to present day, As I was perusing my patterns while looking at this lovely, lightweight fabric of green, blue, and purple squares (one of the polyester charmeuse fabrics gifted to me by my mother), this one popped up and the yardage needed matched the yardage I was given.  In my world, that’s a sign that this dress finally needs to happen. 🙂 So I made it 🙂

As a pattern review, I sewed View C in a size 10. I based my sizing decision on the finished garment measurements on the pattern. This is an older pattern that is discontinued and the sizing in the 4-6-8-10 range is smaller than most of my current patterns.

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I really liked the neckline and flared skirt, but my fabric was so lightweight, i decided to underline the skirt with the same fabric i used for the lining (a hunter green pongee lining fabric).  It was a little extra work, but I think it paid off in the finished product because the skirt hangs and wears nicely, without getting caught between my legs when I walk or stand.  Since the skirt is underlined, Instead of a 1-1/4″ hem, I used a narrow hem of about 5/8″. The only other alteration I made was simply for a clean finish on the interior.  The instructions have you machine stitch the midriff and midriff lining pieces together and then stitch them as one to the skirt, leaving that seam visible on the inside of the dress. For a cleaner finish, I stitched the midriff and skirt together, and then hand sewed the midriff lining down over that seam allowance.  Yes, I chose to hand sew of all things.  What can I say? My mom was right :), I like the look and feel of it better than leaving the raw edge.

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I like it and I’m glad I finally made it.  And look, I included a twirling shot just for y’all! I think it would make a cute peplum-style top instead of a full dress and who doesn’t like options? 🙂  What do you think?

A Festive Fourth of July Dress – Vogue 8972 Pattern Review

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I was invited to a wedding in Detroit, over the Fourth of July weekend.  I wanted to be weather appropriate and festive, and coordinate with my date, but instead of going dress shopping, I went fabric shopping.   He decided his tie and socks early on, and I decided to coordinate with them.  I also wanted a full skirt and a fitted bodice, so I dug into my patterns and came up with about four that might possibly work, then decided on one I hadn’t gotten a chance to make yet.  Vogue 8972, with it’s waist shaping and full skirt option, was my number one draft pick.  We went to Joann’s with no avail.  Then, on a last minute decision, we went to a liquidating Hancock Fabrics, and found the fabrics that said this dress was definitely meant to be.

As a pattern review, I made View D in a size 6 with an A cup bodice.   Oh yeah, let’s talk fabric! For the dress, the bodice – Red Shantung Satin, the midriff – Red, White, and Blue Plaid Cotton, and for the skirt – a Navy Blue that shimmers to Black Crinkle Taffeta. For the lining, bodice is self lined with the same Red Shantung Satin, the midriff is lined in a very lightweight White Satin, and the skirt is lined in Navy Blue Pongee Lining fabric.

As a design change/alteration, I used an invisible zipper and did not topstitch it.

I think it came out well. In future iterations I think I will scoop the neckline lower and possibly change to the B cup bodice pieces.  I also eventually want to make one of the sheath views.  By the way, the bolero is from McCalls 3033, with lengthened sleeves,  shaped back to match dress, and lined in plaid. 🙂  What can I say, I like to match. 🙂

Excuse Me, Your Back Is Showing – McCalls 7191 Pattern Review

I was looking through patterns for a top that I could possibly wear for dance competitions this summer, and came across McCalls 7191.  It seems I can’t resist a V-neck pattern.  My mom gifted a blue and green lightweight woven to me from her stash (Why she had polyester in there? I don’t know, because she’s a cotton girl from way back! But, I got more pretties from her that you will see soon, so no complaints here 🙂 !) that I thought was perfect for it, so I got to work.

As a pattern review, this one is described as “semi-fitted, pullover tops have self-lined yoke back, back hemline variations, V-neckline, French darts and narrow hem.”  I used a size 6 and made View A.  The instructions were easy to follow, and the only change I made was instead of slipstitching the yoke per the instructions, I stitched the neckline in one pass, so the raw edge lays between the overlay and yoke unseen when worn.  As a note, there are four layers of fabric across your upper back when doing view A.  Also the muslin showed me the arm holes would probably be too small.  To accommodate that issue, I cut extra length on the armhole facings and deepened the armholes to taste after it was put together before applying the facings.
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I like this top and will sew it again.  On the next iteration, I will alter the pattern to deepen the armholes, lower the neckline slightly, rotate the bust darts down slightly, and possibly lower the overlay in back. It conceals the bra completely while standing still but not necessarily while moving. 🙂  Not truly bothersome for me, but if it can be fixed, why not?  🙂