Successful Failure? B6554

Summer sewing?  But it’s fall!  Yes, it is even fall here in Florida, but summer warmth is still part of our days.  This dress started as McCall 7745, and ended up as skirt.  Last May I determined that I really liked view D of McCall 7745, and purchased the yellow viscose/linen that became a hi-lo skirt.  When the fabric arrived, I changed my mind and ordered a lovely blue print Hawaiian rayon challis (Tori Richards) to make the dress (fabric from Fabric Mart).

McCall 7745, view D

The reviews for McCall 7745, view D, were overwhelmingly negative, so I made a muslin for the bodice.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to adjust the muslin.  It was too big through the bust, but with no wiggle room at all to lift the arms!  I gave up and switched to view B, but wasn’t thrilled about the design.  It had too much flounce for me.

Butterick 6554

Butterick 6554, view B has a very similar feminine silhouette but a little less frilly, so I thought I would try again.  I spent some time tweaking a muslin, and then it was time to leave on vacation for summer – and I hadn’t even cut anything out.  Three weeks ago, I thought I would pick up were I left off, and cut it out for the Luau we were throwing.  I didn’t finish in time for the Luau, but I did finish it for my kid’s school carnival today.  And I hated it!

I must have misread the markings I had transferred from the muslin to the pattern tissue. And I’m convinced that wrap dresses with raglan sleeves are not a flattering look for me.

Without any hesitation, I cut the bodice off and stitched on a grosgrain waistband with hooks and eyes.  Much better, very comfortable, and still feminine without being too girly.

We’re thinking about a vacation in Portugal next summer – so even though it’s cool enough for a sweatshirt here (in the morning), I’ve got something to take with me!

Pictures:

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Before pressing. I had a bad feeling about it. Trying it on confirmed it.  This long-waisted gal can’t wear this wrap dress.

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Much better!

Stash-busting: Kay Unger Color Block (V1329)

Need a quick, comfortable, easy dress that is also figure-flattering?  Look no further than Vogue 1329. I’m not kidding.  This dress is easy, very flattering, and comfortable. And, if you want the ultimate, it would be easy to add pockets (which I wish I did, as I looked for them several times yesterday).  The figure-flattering torso pleats are easy to do.

 

I’m afraid I wasn’t very original in my color choices – I just stuck with the envelop design.  My fabric is leftover designer rayon double knit in black and slightly off-white from Gorgeous Fabrics.  Ann keeps these heavier weight double knits in stock in various colors.  In  my case, the fabrics were remnants from projects a year ago.  I lined it with a white stretch silk crepe de chine, also from Gorgeous Fabrics (but from 2017).

I had no issues with the directions. I would warn that there is no provision for above waist adjustment.  I made this straight from the envelop in a 14, and I’m happy with the fit (a bit looser than the model).  For comfort?  I wore this for a 12-hour day yesterday that ended with a recruiting event.  I was comfortable, except for my feet!

The pictures on the dress form were taken this morning, without pressing out the 12-hour wrinkles.  My 8yo son took the blurry photos.  Two things: he has an eye issue, so these are pretty good considering his vision is blurry.  He also turned them into selfies with mommy.  Since he doesn’t want his image on social media, I cropped him out.  It means even less focus, especially since I was too far away.

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When did I start this one? Paco Peralta pant & jacket, V1526

I started Paco Peralta’s short sleeved jacket and pant (Vogue 1526) in August after returning from vacation.  I purchased the fabric and planned the project months and months before that. I finished hemming them Sunday, and wore them to work.  I’ve been that busy – just an hour every couple of days. I finished the big white shirt some time ago, but chose not to wear the full combo.  I did wear it with a pale peach linen top from New Look 6483 (modified view e.)

So, a brief post, with comments on construction and fabric, with a picture or five, but as I’d rather being sewing in my all-too-brief break from work, this will be short.

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In process, collar.

Jacket fabric/notions:  I used a cotton blend tweed with black ribbon woven in from Marcy Tilton.  I saw it elsewhere, but it was two years ago, and long sold out.  I used a white silk crepe de chine for the lining, and the black silk/cotton fabric leftover from another project for the trim. It was fully interfaced with pro-weft light from Fashion Sewing Supply.  The large glass buttons are from Benno’s Buttons.

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Getting that center back seam perfectly lined up.

Tank fabric/alterations:  the tank top is New Look 6483, view e, modified.  I added a shirt tail hem, and bound the armcyse and neckline.  The peach linen is from Gorgeous Fabrics, and I used the same black trim from the jacket to do the binding.

Pant fabric/alterations:  The fabric from the pants is from Emma One Sock, 2018, and is a burgundy/black cross weave wool suiting from Rag and Bone.  I did the Hong Kong finishes (different from directions) and pockets with the same black fabric from the jacket.

Construction notes, jacket:  This is really an easy jacket to put together and fun to make.  I especially like the in-seam buttons and the collar construction.  I’m really proud of the construction work on this one.  I did make a muslin, but gained weight (argh) before finishing, so I probably should have made a 14, not a 12, to prevent pulling at the waist.

Two points/errors in the directions/pattern.  The pattern envelope line drawings do not show a center back seam for the lowest (hip panel), but there is one.  This is only an issue since I needed to patch the “plaid” in the tweed.

Second, I found the instructions confusing when finishing the facing/hem in the jacket.  The directions led me to search around the internet, and my closet, for proper finishes.  I managed to make it work, but the pictures leave much to be desired. In some drawings, it shows one thing, and others, something different. In the last couple of pictures, it shows the facing unfinished.

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How I finished it.

Constructions notes, pants: What can I say?  I LOVE these pants.  Perfect fit for me at a size 14, right out of the envelope.  Can I just say that Paco Peralto knew real women’s bodies?  Lovely, lovely faced pockets, an easy to create fly front, and construction like men’s trousers when it came to the center back seam.  You attach the waist facings to the two sides of the pants, then stitch the center back seam from the crotch notch all the way to the facing edge.  This way you can more easily alter the pants to take them in/let them out.  I love these pants and will be making more.

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Additional pictures, some with wearing wrinkles:

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Alice & Olivia in Silk Georgette (Vogue 1245)

I celebrated every success with this top! My “sewcation” is over and I have two things left to blog – this blouse being one of them. Both items are redos of earlier failures.

Back in early 2018, I wrote about my attempt with two soft silks. In late June, I decided I wanted to finish a UFO- this time the teal silk georgette off the shoulder blouse from Alice & Olivia. The version I had started was wonky and stretched out. I thought I had enough fabric leftover, but I was a bit short. After a couple of hours, the teal was in the trash.

But some how, I got it in my head that I really wanted this blouse. I didn’t want to order new fabric; after a search through my stash, I found this stunning silk georgette in royal blue from Gorgeous Fabrics. I think I purchased it in 2016, but it wasn’t in my spreadsheet. A single layer layout later I was ready to start.

I noticed a difference immediately between this fabric and the teal (from a discount retailer). It felt more luxurious. It didn’t shed when I cut into it.

Still, I didn’t want to ruin the fabric so I researched the options for stabilizing the fabric. I finally settled on spray starch (I did each edge right before sewing). I tested before to see what would happen- staining while working with it, but not permanent as it washed out in cold water.

I still got a little rippling and distortion, it mostly pressed out. I did have some issues with very thick french seams under the arms and keeping the edge stitching even at the top. But in general, stabilization meant this was an easy and fast make.

I love it! And it has received compliments. I have paired it here with the pattern runway white shorts.

Summer time! (New Look 6483; Marfy 1913; Pattern Runway Sweet Scalloped Shorts)

Whew, long title.  I almost didn’t blog these four interchangeable items, but I love how the Marfy top and white shorts came out.  I had to share.  These two outfits make use of old fabrics (the tops) and new (the shorts).  And I now own three pairs of non-running shorts (all Pattern Runway). (Everything was worn and washed a few times before picture time, my pressing needs some work!)

Top: New Look 6483 View C

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I need more tops in my wardrobe, so one day while browsing at JoAnns, I picked up this New Look pattern.  It’s pretty basic, and pretty easy.  I meant to make view E, but cut out C by mistake.  The fabric is a leftover linen print (Marcy Tilton) from when I made this summer dress a couple of years ago.  When I was cleaning out my fabric closet, I found I had one more yard.  The fabric has a bit of body, but works with this loose-fitting top.

I had no problems with the instructions, and I will repeat this basic, but with modifications.  First, the neckline is higher than I expected, but you don’t need the button/loop closure (or hook/eye) in the back, at least for views C, D, and E.  Second, I don’t really find the straight hemline with split side seams a flattering look for me, so I may convert the hem to a curved shirt-tail hem next time.  Third, I suspect the boxy look will be more body conscious with a drapey fabric (recommended on the envelop).

Top: Marfy 1913 Repeat

free sewing patterns
Marfy 1913, from the website.

I loved the Marfy top the first time I made it – but I didn’t wear it often because it felt small.  I must have washed it and shrunk it.  When I compared it to the pattern pieces to make this one, it was much smaller than the pieces!

This time, though, I did add some width.  Unconventionally, I added width at the center front and center back at the fold line (shifted the pattern off the fold by 1/4 inch). I also added two inches to the length.  Once again, I didn’t gather the hemline with elastic, but left it to tuck in to shorts/pants/skirt.

The fabric is a silk cotton voile from Milly that I purchased in 2014 from Gorgeous Fabrics. It was softer and more sheer than I wanted for the original project, so was stashed.  It was still sheer and soft, of course, so I decided to line the top with an off white silk crepe de chine.  This made finishing the keyhole/slit opening in the back as well as the armholes far simpler.  I LOVE THIS TOP!  It’s pretty on, cheerful in the very, very, hot sun.  It even held up to a complete drenching when I was caught in a downpour at my son’s outdoor swim practice last week.

It looks way better on me than in these photos (but too lazy to do even a bathroom selfie):

Shorts:  Pattern Runway Sweet Scalloped Shorts Repeat

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I loved the first version of these (and still wear them). I’ve been meaning to make another pair for some time.  I made two pair.  I really love the very clear instructions, and I like the use of differing seam allowances (1/4 inch and 3/8ths inch) to eliminate trimming (which I rarely do evenly). I made a size medium (I wear 14 in big four, often larger).  I also love the flattering lines and good fit.

I didn’t do the welt pockets.  I started with the navy shorts, intending to do the welt pockets, but the fabric had too much stretch and all my stitching lines for the welts were warped and wavy (even with interfacing).  I wanted to get these done, so I carefully picked out the work and moved on.

The navy shorts are a cotton twill from Fabric Mart fabrics.  The fabric was super inexpensive, with more lycra than I would like.  I struggled at times to manage the stretch.  The fabric is what it is, and makes a fine pair of shorts.  And yes, it looks like I need to press them again (ditto for the white).

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The white shorts are amazing!  This “pique texture” white cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics was perfect for this pattern.  (I bought it early June, so I think there is still some left).  I love the Milly/Marfy top with the white shorts!  So summer!

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Turmeric and Black (Vogue 8882 & 1620)

I joined two trends that I’ve seen over past year in this skirt/top combination.  First, I chose a mustard color for the skirt.  Second, I made the skirt in a hi-lo style.  Since I jumped onto both trends, you can rest assured both will be out of fashion soon, if they aren’t already.

Originally, I purchased the “turmeric” linen/rayon blend from Marcy Tilton to make McCall’s 7745, view A:

But multiple attempts to fit the bodice in a muslin failed.   From what I’ve read on the web, this view (but not the others), has some real problems.  For me, the sleeves were too small, with no ease and no room for natural movement (among other things).  I abandoned the project.  (I do think this view would work in a stretchy knit, and those that looked best were, in fact, sewn with knits.)

I got it in  my head that I wanted the high/low skirt, and just needed to pair it with a top. Thus, Vogue 8882 (view E, c2013) and Vogue 1620 view B, c2019).

The top:

I think this top was an afterthought for Vogue to include in the Tom and Linda Platt coordinates (Vogue 1620).  The description:  “Loose fitting top has front slit and back neck opening with hook and eye, neck and armhole binding and top-stitching detail.”  The fabrics are not broken down between the suit and the blouse, with the following suggested for both: “crepe, jersey, satin back crepe.”  Hmmm.

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I chose a cotton silk blend woven I purchased way back in 2013 from Gorgeous Fabrics.  It has a satin weave, so mimics a charmeuse, but with more body and easier handling.  The blouse it self it very simple, but consider your fabric choice.  I think I made a good choice, but having made this, I would do the following differently.

  1. Skip the top stitching.    It’s done to finish the seams on the inside and along the front and back slits.  But with this fabric, and probably any other drapey fabric, it doesn’t work.  In fact, I should have loosened my tension even more, since I got puckers!  I did the edge stitching on the front and back first, then the top stitched the back.  I didn’t like it, but couldn’t remove it without damage.  I only did the top stitching around the opening in the front as a result.
  2. Consider narrow facing around the arm holes for a cleaner look.  And the way they ask you to do the binding doesn’t really work.  You wrap the binding around the 3/8 inch seam allowance remaining, but the strips for the binding aren’t wide enough (I trimmed to 1/4 inch seam allowances to compensate.)
  3. Interface or reinforce the strip of binding in the front that attaches the left and right bodice.  It’s cut on the bias, which means it will continue to stretch…

 

Otherwise, I like the blouse.  I may make another one in the future, with these thoughts in mind.

The skirt:

There is absolutely  nothing complicated about this skirt (view E, V8882).  However, if Vogue is going to give me fabric allowances and layouts that are single layer, then please give me both pieces/ halves, especially when they are really large.

The only recommendation I would make about this skirt is that perhaps an inside button is needed at the waist closure:

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A note about the fabric:  it’s a viscose/linen blend (65% viscose).  Marcy Tilton bills it as having the drapey-ness of viscose, with the structure of linen, and less wrinkling.  I bought it for the drape, color, and tightness of weave (very nice piece of fabric).  But it wrinkles like it’s 100% linen.

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Beach/Pool Cover-up: New Look 6575

My fifth summer in Florida, with the beach close by and a pool in the yard, but I’m only just now getting around to making a beach cover-up.  This is in part due to my indecision on what I wanted.  Finally, I have something, and I’m quite pleased with the result.

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I chose New Look 6575 and modified it.  This 2018 Simplicity group release has no description, but the lines looked workable for me.  I originally bought it to make a tunic, but was worried about the low neckline. I made the medium since I definitely wanted a loose look.

It recommended challis, chambray, cotton lawn, double georgette, gauze, soft linen and silk types.  I chose a very inexpensive rayon challis I purchased from Fabric Mart.  It’s very shifty, and printed off grain, so I didn’t use it for the project originally intended. I figured it wouldn’t matter as much here, though I wasn’t able to match the pattern very well.

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I added trim:  a beautiful embroidered cotton lace from Joyce Trimming.  I ordered two widths and hand-stitched them together to create the width I needed.  I ordered 4 yards and used all but a couple of inches!!!  (And the cut was generous.)  I replaced the front band on view B, and added the lace to the completed sleeve and shirt hems.  Adding the lace effectively lengthened the cover-up to just above the knee.  It adds a bit of modesty, without making it too boring.

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The directions for this were fine, though I deviated at several points. To add the lace to the front, I sewed a 5/8ths narrow hem to the front (stay stitch first!).  I then stitched the lace to the front pieces.  I added the fabric band to the back neck, then stitched the shoulder/upper sleeve seams.  Then I applied the facing for the back band.

The other change was to the casing.  I  stitched the “waist” with the 3/4 seam as requested, but rather than the convoluted method they suggested, I serged the seam together, pressed down. Finally, I top stitched 1/2 inch away from the waist seam to create the casing.

I was right! This is very low cut – below the point of the bra.  Perfect for a swim cover-up, less so for everyday wear.  I was surprised at how flattering something that low cut could be on me though.  And I love the finished product.

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