I’ve been sewing – a lot. I have multiple projects nearly done, and several more on the horizon. I’ve been making up for lost time. And I’m not very interested in stopping to blog about it. But, none-the-less, here we are. This was the outfit that got me to spontaneously buy a new (but still basic) sewing machine. It also strongly reminds of me of ingenue Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.
Having thin, attractive models sells patterns! And this is true of the very popular McCalls 7906. I made the view the model is wearing, but I’m heavier – and so was my fabric choice, a stretch cotton sateen. I knew I needed some new white shirts/blouses, so I paired it with New Look 6407, view E, in white silk faille. Both fabrics are from Gorgeous Fabrics.
McCall’s 7906: midi button front skirt: There’s not much to say about this pattern – it’s very simple to construct. The instructions are good and the style is very popular right now. It is roomy, comfortable, with pockets. I’d say there are really only three challenges to this pattern, easily surmountable.
First: make sure you measure and mark your pleats carefully. This will just make it look nicer. They are stitched flat for the top 3.25 inches. It’s a very sharp look. Second: the carriers. I’ve never done them before, so this was new to me. I’d say I was only semi-successful in doing them well. More practice. Third: buttonholes. Okay, this isn’t really a challenge, but my machine is a 4-step buttonhole, and it doesn’t like to go backwards. They always turn out hideous. No exception here. What’s the point of perfect, precision stitching only to be marred by ugly buttonholes? After this, I bought a new machine, one that does automatic buttonholes in several styles.
The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen, so it’s actually a little loose on me, but super comfortable to wear (I cut a size 14). I like the skirt, but I see it as more of a running errands skirt than a work skirt, at least in this configuration. Or, wear to work on casual days.
New Look 6407: view E, short sleeve fitted shirt with banded collar: I love this shirt. I don’t like the fit. I’m making it again, in the same fabric, if I can get it. This was made on the new machine, and wow, wow, wow. It has speed control, which means I made fewer mistakes, and was far more precise in my stitching!
I’d never worked with silk faille before, and it’s difficult to press. Think of it like a good wool suiting and use a clapper. I didn’t here.
Again, I’m really happy with the construction – I like my own work (if not my pressing). How did I miss the fit so badly? I tissue fit – and it suggested that I should make a 12, grading out to a 14. No issues with torso length, which I usually have. Tissue fitting also didn’t indicate an issue with the bust darts. But this is a fitted style, and I should have done a 14, easing to 16 (sigh), especially with silk faille, which doesn’t like stress on the seams.
The bust darts are way too low. I’d say this was an issue for me, but you can see it on the dress form too. I like this pattern and style enough to play with it in the muslin a bit before remaking it. So, as much as I love the shirt, it’s not flattering to have pulling at the waist, and excess fabric under the bust. I’ll donate this version.
And the button holes? OMG, they were so much easier. The right size, perfectly shaped, rounded button holes. Evenly dense throughout.
I bought a Janome again, this time the JW8100. It’s a beginner’s computerized machine. It has definite flaws, but I’m going to sew on it for a month before giving you the pros and cons of this machine.