Statement Sleeves M7630 (& another V1550)

I’ve finally made something with the statement sleeve that seems so popular (but completely absent from the most recent copy of Harper’s Bazaar).  I have several patterns, but finally settled on McCall 7630 as a quick make.  It’s cute, okay, but not really me.  It is very easy.

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Pattern:  McCall 7630, View E, size 12.

Fabric:  a crisp cotton voile I purchased as a roll-end several years ago. I’ve never known what to do with it, and this pattern called for chambray, poplin, denim or crepe.  The sleeve on view E would work better with a softer drape, even though the model appears to be wearing a crisp fabric.

Construction/changes:  I added length in the torso (standard adjustment, but otherwise followed the directions.  One thing of note, the bust apex is mis-marked on the tissue.  It’s almost under the arm.  In fact, there’s about 12.5 inches between the bust points.

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This is relatively simple to construct.  I liked the sleeve drape on the photo, which is more “curved” in reality.  The challenge with the sleeve is the narrow hem with that sharp corner.  I’ve never really done the sharp corner before, and wasn’t sure how to proceed.  I nailed one, the other is a little messy. I’m going to have google the technique for the silk blouse I’m currently working on, which has several of these corners.

Here I am – I like the blouse, it’s cute, but not really my thing.  It’s also a little sheer, necessitating a camisole. I’m wearing it with, wait…

Another pair of the Paco Peralto wide legged pants (V1550).  I love these pants so much I now have four pair – 3 in linen and this pair in super 120s wool.  I’ve worn out the black and purple linen pairs.

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Nothing new on the construction here.  This is a very drapey and somewhat shiny merino wool, with a tone on tone stripe.  I bought the fabric years ago from G Street Fabrics (DC) for pants for my husband.  He declared them too shiny.  I remember paying way too much.  Now I have a very lovely pair of pants. I wore them Monday with the Paco Peralto big white shirt and received many compliments.

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Visiting mom, easy pullover.

I just returned to Florida after visiting my mom in the nursing home in Tennessee.  I also spent two days with my brother cleaning out my parent’s home.  This weekend we focused on cleaning out their massive collection of genealogy records and started on the family photos.  Both are big tasks.  I’m taking over their research, and we plan to scan all the photos to distribute among family.  Here are two great photos of my parents as teenagers:

Visiting mom isn’t easy. She’s in her early 70s, but has late-stage dementia.  She doesn’t know who I am, exactly, but she was happy to see my brother and me.  The moment of real connection was after about 10 minutes when I said you need a hug.  I  leaned over to hug and kiss her, and she returned the hug.  But the hug was strong from her and warm.  It’s hard to describe, but it’s like her old self was there.  She said, “this is nice.”  She was a little like herself too, showing me around her “house” and trying to find a place where I could stay the night.  It was difficult to leave.

Sigh.

I knew it would be cold in Tennessee, so I made something, of course. I wore it as a jacket/ pullover all three days.  It’s very roomy – on the coldest day I had a long sleeve tee and regular sweatshirt on underneath!  I made Very Easy Vogue 9330 in a couple of hours last week.  I plan on making one for my mom to wear, too.

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I had no problems with the pattern, though there is one error!  The pattern pieces are printed with instructions to hem 1/4 inch.  The instructions say 1.25 inches.  I went with the larger hem.  I made it a medium (size 12/14) with no alterations.  The sleeves are long – though they appear 3/4 on the pattern envelope, they skim my wrists.

I  often build Lego kits with my son.  And when I do, I sometimes think they have additional blocks to build a regular block so they can “up the difficulty” with more pieces.  This pattern is similar.  You could easily cut the back on a fold to eliminate a seam.  To get a slimmer look, you could eliminate the side and under arm panels.  You could add a sporty look with top-stitching (I top-stitched the hems, after serging).

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Another note: you don’t get the sleeve shaping shown in the drawings on the front – and you’ll note there is no shaping in the line drawings.  The sleeve opening is MUCH wider as well.

Last, the fabric:  a cotton/rayon/poly blend French terry from Emma One Sock.  I really like it (and she still had some two days ago).  It’s soft and drapey, but it does shed.  I stitched all seams on my regular machine and serged to finish the seams. The pattern recommends sweatshirt fleece, ponte, or wool knit with 35% stretch, but the amount of ease really negates the need for stretch mostly.

I took these photos after arriving home from the airport, so forgive the wrinkles and fatigue.

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B6134: the Ponte Version

Well, the ponte version of Butterick 6134 (last week’s shirt) revealed new fitting issues.  I’ll continue to play around with this “muslin” though I hadn’t intended it to be a muslin.  The rayon ponte is from Marcy Tilton – she does carry great knits!

Early morning bathroom selfies:

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What I didn’t notice on the version from last week was the placement of the princess seams. Note that they are way to the outside of the bust apex.  This pattern piece is essentially the same for all sizes in the envelop (size 6-14).  And if it’s too wide on me, running between a size 12/14, imagine the fit on a narrower gal. I’m also a B cup, which is who the big 4 design for.  This has the affect of making me look flat chested.

You can also see other issue areas.  I have pulling now in the sleeve that I didn’t have before… I should mention that I folded out 1/2 inch in front and back on that middle piece, right above the point where the princess seam meets the sleeve to deal with the hollow chest.  I also have some pulling toward the stomach (more planks, less wine?).  And though you can’t see it well, the neck collapses/has too much fabric. What you see in the photo isn’t simply because my arm is raised.  Better picture here:

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I cant rescue this version. I hadn’t noticed the princess seams on last weeks version, so when I did them here, I serged – I have no fabric to play with.  I can still play around with the sleeve and neck.

In any case I’m entertaining suggestions. Right now it’s really not working for me, but I love the lines on this enough I’d like to get to right!

And, if you’re wondering about my long string of failures… I have plenty of clothes (well enough) that I’m moving outside of my comfort zone. I’m trying new styles and new fabrics (too me).  But I’m also finally tackling my most difficult area to fit – tops/shirts. I’ve been avoiding shirts, especially semi-fitted/fitted for a long time.  I need to figure this out – as I have noticed that I have the same problem with dresses.

 

 

A UFO no more: Butterick 6134

A cute combination of raglan sleeves and princess seams, I chose Butterick 6134 early this summer as a great wardrobe basic.  It’s an easy pattern, but I fell into trouble with it – fabric choice and fitting!

IMG_3604I’ve been cleaning out things around home (including donating 7 amazing RTW designer suits from my suit days to charity and 20 yards of fabric to the art program at my son’s school).  I came across this project I abandoned over the summer and decided to finish it for the lessons learned.  And, voila it works.  While this version is just okay, I have high hopes for the next version!

The pattern:  Butterick 6134, released 2014.  Fitted top with raised neckline.  I chose view B, but with view C’s short sleeves.

The fabric:  The pattern calls for faille, challis, or crepe.  Crisp and architectural or soft and drapey?  I chose a soft white tiny pique cotton woven I bought from Sawyer Brook at least 5 or 6 years ago.  Spoiler:  the fabric doesn’t really work.

Construction: Nothing complicated here.  Except the fit. I cut and stitched a 14 through to adding the sleeves (a 14 – how’d that happen?).  I basted in the raglan sleeves and tried it on.  I thought I was being generous cutting a 14 … but … my midsection …  too tight.  In a fit, I took it off and threw it in the sewing closet where it stayed until I found it last week.

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I tried it on again, now that I soberly realize that I need to fit the body I have, not the body I once had, or think I’ll get with exercise.  It wasn’t so bad.  I let out all the seams in the front and sides (where I needed room), and re-stitched with 1/2 inch seams up until the first darts, where I eased back to 5/8ths.  It fits. I added about 1 inch doing so.

I also noticed when I finished the top that I need to think about one more fitting measure (at least).  I had marked the bust point with tailors tacks, and I noted that the bust point was low.  I pinched out the fabric above the bust between the sleeve seams (but not in the back), and the fit was much better.  I’ve noticed “saggy extra fabric”  in this area before, which leads me to believe that I need to muslin all my tops to check for the hollow chest adjustment.

Would I make it again and what would I change?  Yes, but I would change the fabric (and fit adjustments).  This fabric wrinkles too much, and it’s not “firm” enough.  It doesn’t have the body it needs to look just right. It’s very fitted, so I’d recommend a stable knit (like a ponte).  My next version will be in a grey rayon ponte remnant I picked up from Marcy Tilton.  This version is fine as a layering piece, but I’m not thrilled with it as a stand alone.

Halloween Photos

I’m so tired!  You know what happens when a seven year old goes to bed more than an hour late, still wound up?  He wakes up an hour early (at 5 am).  I feel bad for the teachers this morning.

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This year we went as vampires, though, because we were running late getting over to my son’s friend’s neighborhood, we didn’t finish the makeup.  And, that big giant wig I was wearing covered most of my costume.

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Patterns:  Simplicity 1045 view A (dress); McCalls 4139, views B & C (adult capes); McCalls 7494, view D (child cape and vest); McCalls 2447 (men’s vest).  Note: the cape run long on me, but the dress was soooo short.  I added two inches at the waist, as I normally do for my long waist.  I still didn’t have enough length for a 1.5 inch (much less proper) hem, so I turned and stitched a 3/8th inch one.  I also dropped the sleeves from the dress and changed how the back drape was done.  Other than that, no issues with the patterns.  DH and DS wore their own pants and t-shirts (it was 80F/27C degrees out, but no humidity).

Fabric:  Lots of polyester here.  I means yards and yards!  All the satin and chiffon was from Mood Fabrics.  The satin was nicer quality than I would expect, medium heavy with drape.  The weight on the dress meant I didn’t have to worry about cling.  The braid for the dress was also Mood.  The bemberg rayon lining was from Emma One Sock, in my stash.

The two vests are layered.  I used the black satin as the base in the front, and layered it with the spiderweb mesh/tulle from JoAnns (they seem to carry it every year – Witching Hour brand).

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After I made the buttonholes and attached the buttons, the boys decided they wanted skull buttons.  Given I’d already made the holes, I was limited in what I could buy size wise.  After many searches, I settled on what turned out to be very small, but very high quality buttons from Joyce’s Trimming on Etsy.

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I know it’s a lot of work and more money than purchasing costumes.  But the year we bought costumes they were so cheap it wasn’t worth the money or time saved.  We carefully box away the costumes for another year.  Some day soon, the boy won’t want to match us and we can recycle.