Wool Sweater: Butterick 6388

BRRRR… it’s cold outside!  So I hear.  In reality, I’m sitting in shorts and a tee with the window open listening to the crickets.  Phenomenal Florida weather.  But I’m going to the land of ice and snow – and when I looked through my winter clothes, I realized I was in need.

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I purchased Butterick 6388 for the collar, and fully intended to make a dress (view D).  I’ve been on the fence about it-I will make it, but I’m not sure about wool.  I made view C for my trip to Colorado.  This is an easy project.

The fabric:  a Mark Jacobs wool doubleknit I purchased from Marcy Tilton in 2011.  Actually, it’s a remnant – I originally paired it with a red knit to make Vogue 1313 (DKNY).  I still have the dress, but I almost always feel like a Trekkie in it.  The quality of the fabric is amazing, and I love the heathered black.  I managed to eke out the top (view C) on about a yard and a quarter.  I did have to piece the collar – not enough space for a fold – adding a center back seam to the back of the collar.  The recommended fabric for this is sweatshirt fleece or french terry.

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Close-up of the front collar; I added top-stitching.

What I changed:  Not too much, actually.  I did top stitch every seam except the side seams to help keep the seams flat – wool double knit can be thick.

Construction and instructions:  The instructions are perfectly fine.  Again, this is pretty easy.  I did add the top stitching.

I have found that Butterick patterns (more so than McCall or Vogue) tend to have a lot of ease – particularly on anything sized XS-S-M.  By the measurements, I should have made the medium (size 12/14).  But I tend to the smaller size of 12 in the shoulders.  I cut the small, but stitched 3/8″ seams at the sides/arm; everywhere else is the traditional 5/8″.  I used my straight-stitch machine, serging after the fact (since I was fitting as I went).  I think my decision was the right one, as the fit is spot on for me.

The top hits right at the hip.  When I tissue fit, I knew I should add two inches to the length since I’m long-waisted.  There is very little shape to this dress, so where the waist hit didn’t matter so much for the top.  I will add it for the dress.

Front and back views, overexposed to show the black, and the dropped sleeves.

What I learned:   I’d forgotten how warm this fabric is!  I won’t get much wear from this here – but it’s cute/casual/sporty. I like it, even thought it’s not much more than a sweatshirt with a fun collar.  I need to be very selective about my wool double knit purchases since I really don’t need any in my wardrobe.  It also means that I don’t have a fabric for the dress. I originally planned to do this in a grey wool double knit purchased at the same time…

Up next:   I’ve been really busy – who isn’t.  BUT I FINISHED THE RUCCI SUIT!  Yes, I finished it a week or so ago.  I didn’t like the pictures on the dress form, so I’m waiting for a chance for someone to take pictures with me wearing it.  I also made an orange silk jacquard midi pencil skirt, but haven’t had time to blog about it yet.  What to sew? I’m thinking the Paco Peralta with the short sleeved jacket, or a vintage Guy Laroche suit, or a lace dress… but no sewing while at my in-laws.

 

 

FINALLY, the Tilton Raincoat (Vogue 8934)

This is a project that started, in some sense, when the pattern was released in 2013, and I still lived in DC.  I bought the pattern and the fabric right away.  Then I hedged on lining, which I finally bought a year ago.  At that time I sewed right up to step 26 of 35, and put it away.  Then every excuse in the book couldn’t get me to start again.  Then when I did a month ago, I procrastinated.  Hurricanes, work, the fact that it doesn’t rain here in the fall, etc. What was it really?  I hate making machine buttonholes.

I made the plain coat, version B, in a size small.  I would normally wear a size 12 (medium) but this felt big when tissue-fitting, and I’m not likely to wear heavy layers with it.  Here in Florida, it’s a winter coat more that a light raincoat.

After I took these pictures, I realized I did a terrible job pressing those darts.  Must fix.

The Fabric:  A long sold out nylon supplex, that I purchased from Marcy Tilton’s on line store. This a tightly woven synthetic, that should repel water. It is one she recommended for the coat.  I like the color, but the fabric was challenging – a hard fabric, difficult to hand sew (i.e., hems), difficult to press.  The lining was also Marcy Tilton, also sold out, a black Valentino synthetic.  It was fine for the project.

What I changed:  I cut the collar facing out of the fashion fabric.  With the wide open collar, the lining would show.  Since my lining was nothing special, I switched it out.  I wish I had done so for front facing as well. I lightly interfaced with tricot the right fly, even though the instructions didn’t call for it – I needed to do this for stable button holes.

I made a cutting error (more below) on the shoulder seam, so I edge-stitched the shoulder seams to strengthen the very narrow seam I ended up with. I also knew within one inch of ditch-stitching the collar and band seams that it wasn’t going to work with the nylon supplex.  So, I edged-stitched here as well.  Both small changes, but they did add a little something to an otherwise very plain jacket.

Construction & Instructions:  Generally speaking the directions were fine, with one major exception. I read the instructions for the right fly, buttonholes and facing (steps 26-30) at least five times.  The illustrations don’t match the text well, especially in step 29 (which seams to be in error).  I thought I had puzzled it out, but in the end, I did it wrong.  The jacket looks fine in the end, but it’s not quite what they ask you to do.

You should take extra caution when cutting out the coat.  View A and B naturally use the same pieces.  The challenge is that View A’s placement lines for the patches are very close to seam lines, especially at the shoulder.  I must have been tired because I cut along the wrong set of lines.  I’m not a big fan of multi-size patterns when the markings are very close together anyway, but this was annoying.

What I learned: Well, I can do button holes, but they still look ugly. Is it me or my machine?  I really think it’s the machine. It’s very basic.  I think I’m going to practice hand-worked buttonholes for the future.

Overall, the jacket is fine, but I don’t see it being one of my favorites. Well, off to sew the Rucci jacket, which will be a far more interesting project in an amazing wool gab.

Quick Sew – Style Arc Harper Jacket

To keep from getting burnout and frustrated with the Rucci suit, I decided to pencil in simple projects and UFOs between each piece.  Today, it’s the Harper Jacket from Style Arc.  Later this week, I hope a UFO, then the muslin for the Rucci jacket.

Easy, throw on waterfall jacket
From the Style Arc Website.

I purchased the Harper-Skye-Sammi trio to make a dressy/business casual outfit.  I made the Skye top, but I really don’t like it know that I’ve worn it a few times (needs major fit alterations, I’ve decided).  The version for the outfit was going to have a Skye top in a gold silk charmeuse, so it would drape better, perhaps I’ll make it once I figure out how to improve its wear-ability.

The sourness on the outfit continued, because the blue knit I ordered doesn’t really work with the navy-dusted-with gold tropical wool suiting set aside for the Sammi pants. But I decided to make it anyway, just because.  Oh, my sourness continued, because I’m not terribly fond of raw edges.  So imagine my surprise – I like it.

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My dress form no longer stands up straight, the jacket really is even from left to right. 

The fabric:  The pattern calls for a stable knit or a drapey woven.  I went back and forth between this one and a St. Johns doubleknit (which I think I would have preferred).  It’s a viscose/wool boucle knit (60/40). It’s not thick, per se, but it does have some loft.  While it’s beautiful, and has the perfect drape, this is going to be a warm jacket.  Considering our winter is very short, I’m considering keeping this one at the office to battle the frigid A/C!

Construction and Instructions:  Style Arc keeps their directions to a minimum, but they do have additional instructions printed on the patterns.  Pay attention – the default seam width is 3/8″.  In general, if you can sew, you can make this very easy jacket (in an afternoon).  I always find it helpful to keep a copy of the Vogue Sewing guide just in case.  Still, I never quite figured out what they meant by mitering the corner turn. By the way, this jacket is very similar in construction (for the body) to the Rucci blouse (1437).

My only real quibble is with the back neck seam.  First, the directions suggest a French seam here.  Not really possible with this knit (too thick).  Second, I found that I didn’t like the collar up, but folded over – your seam will show, so choose carefully.  I ended up doing a messy flat-fell.

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Small details:  I used a clapper to get seams, especially crossing ones, flat.  I also top-stitched the shoulders, back, neck, and side seams 1/4 inch. I like it, and it helps keep the insides more finished.  I serged the armhole seams. I also decided early on (from others’ reviews) that I wasn’t going to use the hook and eye closures.

Fitting:  I made a size ten, and it fits beautifully, hitting right at the top of the high hip in back (very nice).  I normally wear a 12 in the big 4; Style Arc’s fit guide suggested a ten.  The front drapes nicely, but doesn’t hang like in the drawings.  I don’t mind high back collars, but without interfacing, this neck slouches, so I folded it over.

What I learned:  go ahead and try something out of your comfort zone.  This is a nice jacket, if I bit casual.  I still don’t like raw edges.  I’m not sure I will make it again, as I have other jacket styles on the list.  But it will keep me very warm in the cold office.

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Thought I got that dog hair.  Yes, this is the fabric my dog decided was his.

The Rucci Suit, part 1 (Vogue 1437)

This suit caught my eye when it was first released.  I kept waiting and waiting for my fave on line fabric retailers to offer the fabric I had in mind, and now a year has passed!  I finally found what I wanted (though paid dearly).  I love the look of this suit – refreshingly modern.  I’ll be posting as I complete the ensemble, and I started with the easiest piece, the top.

Line art for Vogue 1437.  This post is for view B.

 

The fabric:  I purchase a few yards of a sueded silk crepe, in black a couple of years ago for another project.  That project never came to be (I wanted to copy one of Amal Clooney’s outfits). The weight is heavier than a crepe de chine, lighter than a 4 ply.  It is heaven on the skin, and much easier to work with than lighter and slipperier fabrics. I still had some novice issues, so I basted all seams first. For the lining, which is used for binding the long front shawl-like collar and for hong kong seams, I used a slighter lighter crepe de chine. Both were from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I will buy more of the CDC, and if Ann offers more sueded silk like this, it will be in my cart.

Construction and Instructions: Basting gave me more control over the fabric.  In addition, because I didn’t want to damage the fabric by ripping out poor quality top-stitching, I hand top-stitched the lower hem and armhole facings with a running stitch.  I also hand stitched the “stitch in the ditch” part of the Hong Kong seams.  It was a lot of work, but I got a superior look than if I had done it with the machine.  I enjoy hand work – find it peaceful, as long as my hand-stitching sessions don’t last too long.

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Hand-stitching on the hem.

In general, the instructions were quite good – though I can see why some over on Pattern Review had issues.  The front and back are joined with sharp right angles to the yoke/at the shoulders.  (Basting really helped me here, getting the angles just right.)  Later, you fold the shawl collar and stitch-in-ditch to the shoulder neckline. I think it would have been better to clarify exactly how this is done.  When you stitch in the ditch to that seam, you’ll have a 5/8″overlap if you follow the fold line from the pattern (which I did and preferred).

Several people had issues with a wonky and unprofessional hemline.  I think this is due to the instructions not being exactly clear – it’s almost as if they copied/pasted the instructions over from the binding.  It’s a facing, not a binding, so the raw edges should be aligned (not said, but if you note they ask you to trim said edges in the next step.)  Then the superfluous line, “trim raw edge of binding close to stitching” could lead to confusion.  There is no raw edge if you complete a facing, as it’s encased by the top-stitching, and it’s not a binding.   The instruction doesn’t belong there.

Last, it has you press, but don’t press the fold line.  I did, and you can see from the pictures that I need to press that out from the shoulders down.

In all, this is an easy top, but for one or two places.

Fitting: Several reviewers suggested this ran small – was tight across the back.  I made it in a size 12, my regular size these days.  The muslin, which has less give, suggested a ever so slightly snug fit.  I did nothing to adjust here, and in the silk, I don’t feel any snugness.  I’m happy with the fit.  I do suspect that you could have a wardrobe malfunction if you don’t watch your posture in this top.  I’ll be wearing it with jeans tonight, and we’ll see how many times my husband points out the lack of modesty…

What I learned: Basting is my friend.  It’s much easier to sew a basted seam than a pinned one.  Takes a little more time, but I didn’t rip out a single seam, so maybe it doesn’t take more time.  I will say to be super careful pulling out the basting; I damaged the fabric as you can see in the picture.  Black is hard to photograph – and it also hides mistakes.  I also learned to take my time.  I need to sew more often to work on my skills, but I was pretty pleased with the quality of my hand-stitching – not perfect, but I’m gaining the confidence to tackle more difficult items… like the jacket, which is next (after two other things on the sewing table).

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Ack! I pulled a thread on the fabric!

This looks better on, than on the dressform, and black is very difficult to photograph.

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Fuzzy, and you can’t really tell how it looks, but it does look fine untucked with jeans.  I’ll be wearing this tonight with jeans and a tan leather jacket.

 

Style Arc Skye Top

img_2466I’ve been working on improving my wardrobe, both everyday and work.  It turns out, finding a good top pattern for wovens, that also works for my body and personality, is really challenging.  I’ve been perusing Nordstrom, and with their liberal return policy, getting a sense of what works beyond the basic blouse, but still trying new things with patterns and fabrics.  Personally, knits don’t work well in this climate – too clingy – and fitted designs don’t work as well with my middle-aged weight gain (and clingy in humidity).

I originally bought this gorgeous blue and white stripe stretch cotton sateen (from Gorgeous Fabrics), with Nicola Fineti’s crop top in mind (Vogue 1486).  I knew from the outset it would be too short, and that the oh-so-trendy crop top wouldn’t work for me right out of the envelope.  But given the construction,  I had a minimum number of seams to match.  Spoiler – it didn’t work.  The muslin showed it to be much shorter than it looks!  As in, 4 inches above the navel!  Granted, I’m long waisted,  but…  And something was weird about the neckline, ‘sleeves’, and bust darts.  Oh, I will play around with the muslin eventually, but I’ve set that aside.

img_2461I turned to the Style Arc Skye top.  This is a really cute top and I like it when I don’t raise my arms and have the right bottoms (I’m wearing the Style Arc Anna pants). I love the fabric’s weight, stripes, and colorway. (Check out that matching!)

I didn’t make a muslin, but I wish I did.  It’s shorter than you would think.  The front hits be about one inch below the navel, so it’s also slightly cropped. And it turns out, I don’t really like crop tops.  I will make this again, but I’m going to be adding two inches to the midsection.  One inch will be between the armcyse and the bust dart (which is too high) and one in the midsection proper. Why? Where the top joins at the sides, with its cute shirt-tail curved hem, is far too high up for my comfort… though with a high-waisted skirt or pants it would work.  I can’t tuck this in, so it’s a boxy silhouette.

The baimg_2469ck has a keyhole neckline, but it turns out that I don’t need it to pull the top on – I always forget to unbutton when I change.

Construction-wise, this is easy.  Based on the website, I chose size 10, though the fit seems a bit off, perhaps a size smaller, especially if a drapier fabric? Tips:  neaten (serge/overlock) your edges prior to sewing, complete the arm “hem” after the side seams.  I also went a bit narrower than the recommendation for the top-stitching.

As always, photography is not my forte, so forgive me.  These pictures were taken after wearing several times and are wrinkled from wear.

 

 

Connections: Vintage Vogue 1415

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My family.

My in-laws recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  They asked everyone to dress from the era (1966).  A few months back I ran some ideas on this blog, but in the end settled on a very different, much simpler dress.  Little did I know when I selected it, that it would connect me once again to family – this time my father’s mother.

While we were traveling, I fell hard for the Marfy re-release of their first pattern.  I didn’t feel ready for a Marfy dress, so when I got home, I looked through my pattern collection and found Vogue 1415.  It was perfect, even though it’s a simple shift dress.

 

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Grandma, 1927

I didn’t know my grandmother well, though I wish I did.  This is a picture of her as a young woman.  It’s her senior yearbook photo when she was at Duke University.  She graduated in 1927.  She loved history, and was in the Women’s League of Voters at Duke.  According to the yearbook, “she was the embodiment of dignity and modesty, and hers, too, is that rarest of womanly virtues, silence. When occasion demands, she talks and what she says is well worth listening to. That she will be a success is a foregone conclusion.”

She died when I was just 13, of heart disease.  Most of my early life I lived far from her.  I did get to know her husband, my grandfather.  Even after she had been gone for 20 years, he still spoke of her with respect.  I didn’t really know her, except that I admired her.  She was elegant, sophisticated and an amazing cook.  We took walks together whenever I visited.  But I never knew she sewed.

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Love these directions!

So when I opened Vogue 1415, which was her pattern, I was surprised to see her fitting notes on the pattern pieces.  I made version E, the print dress on the right in the photo, the same one she chose.  I don’t know if she made this dress for herself, or for my Aunt, who would have been in her early 20s at the time.  (I’ll never know as my Aunt and grandfather both passed away in 2003). But I felt connected to her in a way I hadn’t before.

Sewing details:

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Pieces cut, underlining basted in.

I used a silk/wool sharkskin suiting from Emma One Sock.  This fabric can have a fair amount of luster, depending on the light. Because this is a superfine worsted wool, I decided to underline the dress with silk organza.  Though the dress didn’t call for lining, I used black silk crepe de chine to line the dress.  Both lining and underlining came from Gorgeous Fabrics.

My first lesson on this pattern… 1960s sizing with a modern body. I made a muslin first: the pattern envelope had the right measurements for me, but I’ve been having fitting issues of late.  This is bustier than I expected – the darts and princess seaming were difficult to adjust just right.  If the girls weren’t high, the dress itself had all kinds of drag lines.  So, I found a bra that did the trick.  (My grandmother noted that the bust darts seemed high).

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Back princess seam, needing a better press.

Though the muslin fit well otherwise, it was very fitted, so I used 1/2 inch seams.  This gave me a bit more wearing ease, though the fit is still off a bit. In addition, there was a fair amount of easing to do in the princess seams, and I’m glad I discovered this in the muslin first.

The second lesson was the fabric.  Worsted wool requires tailoring skills – and that means proper pressing skills.  I made good use of a press cloth, steam and clapper to get the seams to lie flat.  Still, the final pressing was problematic.  Why?  I didn’t finish sewing in the lining or the hem until after we got to North Carolina.  And the folks at the airBnB had a fantastic collection of movie memorabilia, but only a miniature iron:

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Not angles.  That really is the size of the iron. The stick in the cabinet, directly above the iron, is Hermione’s wand from the Deathly Hollows.

I had better success using my flatiron and press cloth on the hem.

Overall, I was pleased with the dress.  I wore my grandmother’s pearls and an old pair of Betsey Johnson platform heels.

Some parting photos:

 

 

Vintage & Antique Sewing

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This weekend, we traveled.  We went north to a very hot, and very humid Charlotte, NC for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. I have a post later this week about the dress I made for it.  On the way back to relatively cool Florida, we stopped at the old family farm in upstate South Carolina to clean out my late grandparents house.  Or try anyway.

In the four-generation picture above, my grandmother Margaret is on the left, and oldest woman is my great-grandmother, Marie, who owned the house before my grandmother.  But the sewing items I found at the house also tell the story of my mother, and of one of my great-great grandmothers.

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I’m not sure who these thimbles belonged to, but most likely my great-grandmother.  I found them in a jar in the kitchen, and I think the jar had been in the attic. I’d love to ask my mother, but sadly, her memory is being robbed of her. I put them in my pocket and fidgeted with them the rest of the day.  They are bent, as if shaped to great-grandma Marie’s finger.  I’ve never mastered using a thimble, but these felt good on my fingers.  I loved her dearly.  She was my earliest sewing teacher.  (“Those stitches are beautiful, but these are not.  Keep your focus all the way through a project, don’t be lazy.”)  She also taught me crewel embroidery. Sadly, I never learned tatting, her specialty, but I have some of her  pieces.  Of all the things I brought home, these thimbles have the most sentimental value.

We also cleaned out the patterns.  Well, this occurred before I got there – my sister saved them from the trash. My sister said they found them in a suitcase in the attic. They’ve probably been there since the mid 70s, when the house was renovated.  She said they did have to throw out more than half the patterns because they were in such bad shape. Many of these envelopes are tattered and disintegrating.  Almost all of these were used – my grandmother actually used her patterns.

I only had one in my collection – the Balmain, which I got from my other grandmother.  Judging from the dates on the McCalls patterns and the styles/sizes, I think my grandmother was sewing mostly for my mother who would have been in high school/college.  My mother’s handwriting is on a few.  Still, my grandmother married very young, and the styles would have been fashionable for someone in their late 30s, early 40s.  I think my grandmother liked McCall’s best, given how many there were.

IMG_2440My grandmother clearly liked Spadea patterns. These are in pristine (but used) condition.  These patterns, and the catalogues above,  were still in the mailing envelopes.  The patterns were all mailed to Loring Air Force base, which dates them to the early 60s (I think 1961).  The catalogues were mailed to her at the farm, after she remarried, so it’s from the early 70s.  (My first grandfather died in his 40s, when I was 2.) I think she bought these designs for herself, as they were a bit more sophisticated and elegant than the many mod patterns from McCalls.

I knew this existed, and I had requested to have it when my grandfather passed away:

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But I didn’t know this still existed (terrible pix, no lighting, nor AC for that matter):

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Both are still at the farm.  My brother is going to get both (and all those parts to the left) and bring them to me, as our car was full.  I remember them being together and even using the treadle when I was very, very young.  But I thought the machine was lost.

The machine itself is in terrible condition.  Perhaps it’s just aesthetics, I won’t know til I get it out of the house. I think it may have been in the attic for the last 40 years.  The cabinet/treadle is in great shape, as it had been used as furniture since the mid 70s.  The drawers were still filled with acorns – my doing from when I was little.

I’m not sure who owned it.  My grandmother obviously got it from her mother, Marie.  But Marie’s life span doesn’t really overlap when these machines were made. Still, the house didn’t have plumbing til the 70s, so perhaps it had limited electricity as well.  Looking at when my great-grandmother lived (1861-1964), I’m thinking it was hers.  She also lived in that house in her gloriously long life.  It could have been my great-grandfather’s mother’s machine though (1872-1937).  I’ll never know.

I don’t have the faintest idea how to restore it or preserve the old patterns, but if anyone knows anything, please comment!  Likewise, if you know of any restorers in the north Florida area (or east Tennessee, where the machine will live with my brother for a while), please let me know!

 

 

 

Hot weather comfort: Style Arc Anna Pant + McCall’s 7411

I’ve been away for a while, at 8000 feet, with no humidity.  I’m back in Florida, and not only is my sewing mojo in full swing, it says: comfort clothes, please; nothing too tight!  So, flowing  linen pants paired with a loose cotton voile top was my choice.  I’ve had the Style Arc Anna pant on the docket for a while, and decided to pair it with View C of McCall’s 7411 tank.  The navy stretch linen and the printed cotton voile are both from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I love the fabrics absolutely and both were very easy to work with.  The Style Arc Anna pants are fantastic, the top doesn’t pass the wearability test.

As always, photography is not my strong suit, the pictures are barely adequate.

Style Arc Anna: This is a straight leg pant, with a drawstring.  This pattern is super easy to make and goes together well.  If I make it again, however, I will purchase the pattern, rather than use the PDF.  I had a lot of trouble with lining everything up, and I’m pretty sure the pants are slightly off grain as a result.  I’ve used many other PDFs before, but this is my first Style Arc attempt – it may be my printer.

From the Style Arc website:Anna Pant - Straight leg drawstring pant, casual & sporty

I really love my Lily Pulitzer beach pants, but not the $180 price tag that comes with them. I wear the medium in Lily; here I sewed the 10 with only one modification.  The crotch curve (more of an L than a J) and rise match the Lily pant perfectly.  However, I wanted to make sure that the leg had enough ease to swish – and my thighs measure 23″ at their fullest point (hey, I run). So, I added 1/4 inch to the outside front and back seams, for a total 1/2 inch each leg.  Perfect – not tight when I sit, and the right amount of flowy beach swish when I sit.

The lily pant has three inches of ribbing for a lower rise pant, and the drawstring is merely decorative.  I didn’t have ribbing, so I constructed the fold-over waistband as directed.  I did switch out the fabric drawstring for navy 1/2 inch twill tape (much more comfortable, less bulky) and used 1/4 inch eyelets instead of button holes.

Last, an important improvement over the white Lily pants; – the 31.5 inch inseam is perfect to wear with flats/flip-flops.  The Lily pants are longer, requiring 3 inch heels, hemming, or rolling up.

This was my first Style Arc pattern, and I like it enough to try another, especially in pants.  I also love these pants and can see myself wearing these regularly.

McCall’s 7411 Layered Tank:

From McCall’s webpage, view C

I chose this pattern, but wasn’t thrilled with it.  The line drawings showed potential, even though I didn’t like the way it fit the model. I thought it was simply a lack of effort from the manufacturer, especially since the pressing job was less than adequate.  I also thought the neckline was boring.  I thought I could improve on this one, but I was wrong.

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There is a lot of ease here.  I mean a lot.  I wear a 12, but sized down to the small (8-10).  The finished measurements for the medium are 41″ (bust), 44″ (waist) and 37.5″ (bust) and 40.5″ for the small.

I decided that I wanted to add piping to the neckline and armholes, though I considered other options.  I made my own piping using the facings from view A as a guideline (cut on the bias) with 1/4″ piping.  This decision led me to abandon the order of construction.

I had never made my own piping before, nor added it to a neckline.  I referenced a few sources, but none that I found quickly suggested how to do it sandwiched this way.  I found, after doing the neckline, that the piping foot did not give me a tight “pipe” or abutment to the fabric edge.  I used a traditional zipper foot and was far more successful in getting the look I wanted. You can see the piping in the pictures below, and the rearview problems as well.

For the neck, I made the piping, stay-stitched the edges, then basted it to the overlay.  I then added the base layer and stitched.  I closed the back opening as directed at this point in the directions.  I did the same thing with piping the armsyce, except this time I stitched the piping to the overlay, pressed and then hand stitched the base layer in place (I couldn’t figure out how to turn things otherwise).

I was surprised at how comfortable the fabric is, but how terribly this wears.  I took great pains with the pressing, yet I still end up with the wrinkles and pulls in the chest and “sleeves” as in the model.  I also get gaping at the back opening, and it’s not just from the pose.  The darts are all wrong – two short, wrong angle.  I thought, okay, fine for grocery shopping.  But all the fit/pressing issues only got worse in real life.  So, this shirt is for the charitable pile.  I love the fabric, though and will be re-ordering it, but I doubt I’ll make the top again.

 

 

 

Quick Tee: McCall 7127

A short post, from my mobile, as I’m packing for an extended trip.  Still, I found time to make a t-shirt with an interesting back. (Terrible shadows in the photos!)

Front
Back

This tee is very easy-it took no time at all.  I used my straight stitch machine and serged seams.  Instead of narrow hems, I serged the edges without trimming, folded over the hem allowances and top stitched 3/8 inch from ghe edge (7/8 on the sleeves).

My only quibble with the construction is that you hem the bottom of the front and back before sewing the side seams.  I don’t really care for the way that finishes the side seams.  I had to tack them down by hand. 

line art

I sewed a 12, view B, no alterations. This is closer fitting than I expected even in the arms (I have skinny arms).  It has no shaping at the bust or waist, so consider a muslin first.   It’s cute, but a little fussy.  Those back panels don’t like to stay just so.  

The fabric is an organic cotton jersey from Marcy Tilton purchased last summer.  Mid-weight and no rolling, it’s long sold out.  I love that she is thorough in her descriptions of the knits, including the rolling.

I am not sure how often I will wear this, and I won’t make this version again, but I am considering the version with the keyhole back.

No time for live shots, and you can see my final pressing still needs to be done.