I had originally earmarked this fabric for another cozy fall shirt but at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to do another McCall’s 7351 since I wear my denim one so much.
I didn’t have quite enough fabric but I persevered. I made extra sure to match the horizontal lines across the bodice unfortunately the placket doesn’t line up on the skirt. I also tried to match the vertical lines from the bodice onto the skirt in the center front and back. Considering I had less fabric then the pattern called for I consider it a success that I was able to pattern match at all! I put the pockets and the yolk on the bias to help save on fabric.
I like the style lines of this pattern and the curve of the hem. It gives a slightly different look then my other shirtwaist standby McCalls 6696. It could stand to be just a tad longer but if I wear it with tights it should be fine.
I know, I know…ANOTHER shirtwaist. This is the last one for a little while. I promise. This one uses the same pattern as last weeks ( McCall 7351) but a different view. I was supposed to look like this.
The finished dress doesn’t exactly look like the drawing. In reality the waist isn’t as defined, the skirt is much straighter and shorter, and the arms aren’t anywhere near as long. I know that the drawings on the reproduction patterns are pure fantasy but I expected this to be a little more representive of the actual dress. Despite the false advertising the dress turned out pretty well, even though it isn’t what I expected.
The denim was easily the thickest think I have sewn with so far. To reduce some of the bulk I decided to use some cotton scraps for the under-collar and inside yolk and stand. Unfortunately my serger chewed up some of it so I hand stitched a patch on. If it was the outside I probably would have torn it apart and replaced it.
I had started doing my top stiching iwth gold thread to match the insides buti wasnt too happy with how it looked against the dark denim. It looked cheap to me. So I tore it all out and re-did it with a copper thread instead.
The arms deviated the most from the drawing. In the drawing you can see that the button is about level with the waist which would make them longer then elbow length. On the pattern the button placement is just barely below the arm pit which means it ends up having to be rolled above the elbow in order for the tab to fasten. Only problem is that with the taper in the sleeve when you roll it up the wrist circumference is now around your bicep which I don’t know about you but my upper arms are much bigger then my wrist. It make the sleeve way to narrow to get your arm into. I ended up chopped off about 4 inches from the sleeves so that your only had to roll it twice to fasten. If I had to guess, I think they lengthened the sleeves after the fact but forgot to adjust the tab and button position when drafting the pattern. Despite all the issues the sleeves turned out really well. Its my favorite part of the dress.
Fit wise this isn’t my greatest triumph. There is still some excess fabric in the lower back. The waist could stand to be taken in and the hips are too tight lending to that boxy effect. Finally I would like it to be just a tad longer. Don’t get me wrong, its not going in the wadder pile these are just the things that I would fix if I were to do it again.
I love a shirtwaist dress. It looks slightly retro but still very relevant for today. Having already done 3 versions of McCall 6696 here, hear, and here I decided to give that pattern a rest and try a different shirtwaist offering.
I mean this one combines both of my loves: shirtwaist with a circle skirt. What could be better!
I was feeling a bit lazy so instead of lengthening the bodice I just inserted a 1.5″ waistband. Even with that additional length the skirt kits me a good 5 inches above the knee. If I were to make this again I would want some more length.
I didn’t have enough fabric for the skirt so I ended up having to piece it together. The front skirt is actually made up of 6 pieces not including the button plackets. I was able to pattern match most the seams accept the 2 closest to the placket. Once the skirt is on you can’t see them at all so I am glad of that.
The insides are finished as much as I could and it has two side seam pockets in the skirt.
Even with its short skirt I still love the dress. I wore it a few weeks ago to the art museum. We were waiting in line to get into an exhibit on female expressionist and the attended could not stop gushing over it because a) she thought it was too cool that I had dressed up to go to the museum and b) she thought I matched the artwork. Then Tony told her I had made it myself and her mind exploded.
With Tony’s majestic beard people hardly ever notice me. Ever since I started wearing my me-made clothing I get so many complements. Im still too shy to tell them I made it but it still makes me feel good.
I decided to give knits one last try. My fist two attempts were so atrociaus that they ended up in the trash without even so much as a picture. This time around I selected McCalls 7313 which promised to be easy enough for a knit novice.
I picked a a grape colored rayon jersey. It has an incredible soft hand . It may have been a little more difficult to work with but I got there in the end. I wouldn’t say this was as easy as the pattern made it out to be but it is the first time I was able to successfully finish a knit item so there is something to be said for that.
For all the joining seems I used a long straight basting stitch before running on the serger and then pulled out the basting threads. The neck, arms, and hem took some trial and error. On the neck line I tried using a double needle. It was a bear to work with and kept tangling up and skipping stitches.
On the arms I used a stretch sticth and went around twice to help it look similar to the neck.
I wasn’t too worried about popping seams around the hem since its so loose so just did a straight stitch while stretching the fabric a bit.
The waist has a hidden elastic in the seam allowance so its super easy to pull on and off but I think it benefits by the use of a belt. I’m thinking a tan belt would also look nice with it. Overall I am pleased with the results. Its VERY comfortable and looks a lot more put together then lounge pants!
Yesterday I got a slight sunburn from working out in the yard (OK Tony was working I was laying down , today it is snowing. For this project I let him pick everything out. I laid my entire fabric stash and un-sewn patterns on the ground and had him pick. He choose one of my wax print fabrics and McCall’s 6954.
I had wanted to do the longer version of this dress but holy fabric hog! Based on the fabric that T choose the only view I could do was A which was the short dress cut on the bias with a high low hem.
Its pretty shapeless but I think it will work well to throw over a bathing suit. The fabric is really lightweight so it will dry fast.
The neck and arm holes have a self bias tape facing. Unfortunately I stretched it out a little but I don’t think its too noticeable.
I couldn’t help it, I just had to make another McCalls 6696.
It went together in record time…I think 4 hours. I kept the gathers in the back but just took out an inch or so to diminish the fullness. I used a gold thread trying to get the look of jeans but it doesn’t show up as much as I thought it would.
The insides of this pattern are always so nice.
I didn’t sew down the pleats in the skirt this time. I thought this way looked more casual.
I couldn’t wait to make another shirt dress. This time I selected a geometric print. I decided that this fabric didn’t want all the gathers in the back so I drafted a pattern piece that would fit straight across instead.
I think I made the back piece a little small since you can see some pulling around the lower back but a valiant effort none the less.
One thing I really love about this pattern is how clean the insides are. Everything is enclosed accept the side seams which are easy enough to overlock. Also since it buttons all the way down its super easy to put on without messing up hair or makeup!
I didn’t make any other changes from the last version. I still had some issues with the skirt being too big but I was smart this time and took the pleats in on the front so that the pocket position would still line up. I also moved the buttons so that one would hit right at the waistline.
There will certainly be more of these in the future, but for now I have some other patterns that want to be worked on first.