Calling it quits on McCall’s M6963

I don’t like to give up, but this is one time I will.  McCall’s 6963 has been well reviewed elsewhere.  Given my success with another Palmer Pletsch top, I thought it would work for me.  It just does not.  Here’s the line art:

Line Art
Line Art from McCall’s webpage, M6963.

I made view C, with short sleeves in a super comfy awesome black silk jersey I purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics several years ago (I have a little left, so perhaps something else).  I was unable to get any good pictures – black is hard to photograph.

Aside from just not flattering me (and cowl necks often work for me), here are some of the problems I encountered:

  1.  The back neckline just stretched out and would not sit flat without gapping.
  2.  I cut a size 12, same as the other t-shirt, but got serious pulling across the bust points.  I’m a straight B cup  (really barely a B cup), so a FBA does not even enter my imagination.  Almost every review I read was from bustier gals, all of whom did the FBA.  I let out the side seams, but just couldn’t make it work. BTW, I measure a 10 for shoulders, grading to a 12 waist/hips, but this one was too narrow at the shoulders for me at a 10.  I didn’t tissue fit or make a muslin, so my bad.
  3. I think for this top to really work, you need to do the deeper cowl.  The shorter cowl isn’t very flattering.  I chose it because I’m smaller chested and worried about the flashing issue when I lean over.

So, I’ll hem it and donate it.  I may try it again in the deeper cowl, but I don’t know.  Meanwhile, my sewing agenda is super full:

  1. Star Wars costumes for the whole family (finished the 4 yo, the only one that matters).
  2. Figure out how to resolve the button placket and finish the silk blouse.
  3. I’ve figured out the fitting issues from the Alice and Olivia skirt I made last year and made a new version.  It needs a hem and final pressing.
  4.  A light weight jacket now that the mornings are cool.
  5. A pant and blouse combo.
  6. And more, and more and more.

Help from my fellow sewists!

I’m making McCalls 6755, the top, in silk charmeuse. It’s an easy make, even with the slippery fabric.   I’m doing French seams and finishing the edges of the facings with a hong kong finish.  I ran into two problems.

First, the button placket.  I followed the directions, but you can see how awful it looks. (I didn’t stitch down yet).

Second, in the photo you can see how the edges of the facings are stiff and don’t lie flat (kind of bumpy).

Solutions anyone? Please?

The Luau Maxi Dress that Wasn’t

IMG_0005Because I didn’t buy enough fabric and I ran out of time. The party was two weeks ago. I finished it yesterday.

IMG_1674The inspiration and pattern choice: I had a vision of what I wanted from this dress, and I almost got there.  I’d seen the Sloane maxi dress from Lily Pulitzer and thought I could make something similar.  I liked the midriff, the v neck and back and overall shape.  I thought that Simplicity 1102 could be altered to be close, though the skirt would definitely be fuller.

This dress doesn’t look that great to me on the envelope cover.  But when I looked at the line drawings, I saw possibilities. The bodice is fitted, eliminating gapping, the midriff was about what I wanted, only the skirt was too full.  The sleeves are awful, but I thought I would work with view C and lengthen to maxi.  Of course, I bought the fabric requirement for view C without thinking.  That’s okay – I like it, even though I didn’t do as well a job as I would like.

IMG_1636The fabric!  This is from Gorgeous Fabrics, called Boldly Go, in a silk-rayon matte jersey.  It has a nice hand, drapes well and is easy to sew.  I was nervous about the bold print on my body, so perhaps that’s why I’m okay with the shorter length.

Changes and Construction Notes:   I made a muslin of the bodice. Since I’m smaller through the shoulders, with a smaller bust, I was worried about fit and gaposis.  What surprised me was how modest the V was!  I ended up lowering the V by about three inches and widening it by folding back the pattern from the bottom of the V up to the shoulder line (and narrowed the shoulder on the inside by about 1/4 inch).  The pictures show some gapping on one side – this is a function of how I’m holding the selfie stick. This was a very clear case of less is more when it came to the dress – less coverage was definitely more flattering.  I also wanted to see if I could eliminate the zipper – but could not.

I wanted to remove some of the weight of the skirt.  I feared that much gathering would bring unwanted questions about children.  I liked the skirt from McCall’s 7121, but didn’t want to go quite that narrow (I laid the matching pattern pieces on top of this one to get a sense of what I wanted).  I carefully folded out 4 inches, along the grain.  I did this by folding out one inch midway between the CF and side seam and CB and side seam.  So far so good.

I had also seen a dress in a window in Santa Fe that had concentrated the gathers at CF.  So I did that as well.   This was a mistake.  I didn’t make adjustments for the grain, and now the skirt side seams hang forward, toward the front.  I should have tested this with a muslin.

Ugh! I didn't like this insertion method for the invisible zipper.
Ugh! I didn’t like this insertion method for the invisible zipper.

As for the instructions – they are fine, but if I make this again, I would not follow them, as I think they lead to less than professional results.  The lined bodice (lined with a sold out Gorgeous Fabric knit lining and the tricot interfacing from Fabric Sewing Supply) is finished almost completely before attaching the skirt and zipper.  By completely, I mean the lining is stitched down to the fashion fabric at the midriff.  This means that the zipper is inserted so that you can’t stitch the lining to the zipper tape and hide it.

Other changes:  I did the ruching and the underlining by hand using a small running stitch.  I also did a narrow machine rolled hem instead of a 1 1/2 inch hem.

IMG_1673Final notes:  I love the fabric and it’s so comfortable to wear.  Doing the muslin for the bodice meant the perfect fit there.  I have so many other things I want to make, but I might revisit this one down the road.  I wore it to the salon today and received many compliments!