Sunday, December 21, 2014

McCall's 7016 Tutorial and Review


I know it's been a while since I was last on, but I came back today with a little something for the holidays.  The last few weeks have been filled with getting ready for Christmas and my schedule has been very,,,I mean Very,,,, busy.  

Santa's little helper has been finding stocking stuffers and gifts to make for everyone on this year's list, but before we can stuff the stockings I think we should have a quick tutorial for a fabulous dress that has been plaguing me since it hit the Winter collection at McCall's.  

I wasn't too primed about making a tutorial for this dress because I had never sewn it before, but I kind of wanted to see what it was like and take this walk with you as I made this particular project.  The project that I chose was McCall's 7016.  When I first saw the pattern, I was not in love with anything about it, but the more that I kept looking the more interesting it became to me.  I think the pink model on the cover was what actually turned my head and made me take more than a 2nd look.

When I took the pattern out, I couldn't seem to wrap my head around any color other than this pink (fuchsia, magenta,,etc).  So, I kept looking though my stash and nothing was going to please me, but a pink.  However, every color in the world was in my stash except for a pink that was this dark.  It seems to go with this year's pantone colors for 2014.  Needless to say,,,,,I went against the grain again and yet, came so close..LOL

So, let's start the tutorial with an estimate of  1 day.  It actually took me about 8 hours to make this dress, but I kind of changed my mind during mid-flow about hems.

First, you will need your pattern and all of your supplies in order to get started.  I chose a beautiful green Double Knit.  My threads were not really what I wanted them to be, but I came as close to matching color as possible because this was a hard color to match.  Following the instructions you want to cut out all your pieces and lay them out according to the layout guide.  I am making View C with the sleeves from View B/D(long sleeves).  Plus after looking at how short the skirt is, I will be adding and extra inch to the skirt.  The pattern calls for 2 1/4 yds for View C, but because I am adding the long sleeves and the extra 1" to the skirt, I will be using a total of 3 yds.  I will also be using a modified size Medium.  

To begin with I will state that step 1 was not used because I felt this step would be perfect for the blouse and yet useless if a serger was going to be used to complete the project.  So I am skipping this step.

 Stitch the front sections to the back section.
I used a 1.5 zig-zag stitch and a 2.0 stitch in other places.  I will try to point those areas out as we go.
After I stitched the 3 pieces together at the shoulder, I pressed the seams open.  I have been having problems with my serger, so this project is done almost completely with the straight stitch.


Staystitch the entire neck area.  This helps to keep the neck area from stretching.  I would say to use this step if you  are using a knit that is not as forgiving as a Double Knit or a medium/heavy weight knit elsewise, serge the neck area instead of staystiching.


The collar
Here you are suppose to have 4 pieces of collar.  On 1 set you want to place you interfacing on the wrong side.  I used a regular lightweight fusible interfacing.
Join the collar pieces together and press the seams open.  Be sure to remark any markings that you might rub off or disappear while working with your fabric. ( I had that happen and had to go back and redo).


With right sides of collar facing  each other pin the seams then the markings and then pin to fill in the spaces.  Begin seaming from the first marking on the outer edge of the collar and sew until you reach the other marker.  (take your time and for those who have a walking foot,, it's a good idea to use one) Don't go past the markers on the tip end of the collar,, explain later.
After I stitched the outer collar edge, I pressed then I flipped the collar to it's right side and pressed again.  Then I went back to do an understitch and trim.

Turn collar to the right side then press and baste the raw edge (side with the pin) together.


Pin the collar to the neck with the interfacing side upward.  Here is where I will digress.  I thought the collar was going to be TOO big from the beginning.  I had originally made another collar piece to replace this one but decided against it.  With the interfacing going upward I felt that the stiffness from the collar would make me feel congested, so I just flipped mine to where the uninterfaced collar piece faced upward.  The collar still has the structure, but not the close stiffness of the original purpose.

Instead of basting the seams together, I serged the seams then pressed the going downward away from the collar.


Topstich neck edge.  This is the back of the collard with the seams meet.  I serged then pressed them down so that I could have this finish.   The serging process  helps to omit Step 10, but I ran the edge stitch all the way out to the end.

Lap the right fron over the left side front.
From the dots that are on the waistline to the bottom edge, stitch on both sides.  This will be the front of your garment completed.  I used a smaller allowance here because the 5/8' allowance would be used to for the side seams.  Here is where I would bast the 2 front pieces together at the bottom raw edge. 


Pin the front of your garment to the back.  Line up darts, markings, and stitch close.  At his point this is what you should have.

Now you can see the blouse for this pattern coming into shape.  If I were going to change my mind I think here is where I would really start.  For the sleeveless blouse/ dress Step 17 shows how to finish the sleeveless look, but I chose long sleeves.  So, forging ahead....


The Sleeves.
Since I chose the long sleeves. I will  show those.  There were options in this pattern for 3/4, sleeveless, and long sleeves.  With a little effort short sleeves could also be used, but weren't included in this pattern. 

Easestitch 2 rows from 1 marking (the beginning) to the the other (the end, sewing past the middle marking).
 Join the sides of the sleeves together, matching notches.  Seam the edges.
STEP 14 /STEP 15
If you choose to do the blouse I would continue with Step 15 and hem the sleeves.  Since I could not make my mind up on how I wanted to finish my hems, I hemmed sleeves and skirt last., but here's Step 15.

Decide on the length that you want then mark off for your hem.  Check both front and back.
Looks good at a 1" hem.  I didn't use a double needle because as the dress began to come together I wanted a smooth finish and the double needle didn't appeal to me personally.  So I continued to with a 2.0 stitch for the sleeve hem.

With right sides together pin sleeve into arm opening.  Match seam and notches, pin then gently pull easestitch and match dots from sleeve to the dots on the main garment piece.  Stitch pieces together then press the allowance toward the sleeve.  When you're done it should look something like this.
If you don't like the way your shoulder cap looks some readjusting might be in order.

At this point the blouse would be almost done.  A hem to the bottom would be next Step 18, but this is not our ending and we will continue to Step 19.

Step 19

The Skirt

I decided to add an extra inch to my skirt because I felt that the pattern's skirt was going to be a little too short.  Now looking back I think that with a pair of tights, a short skirt wouldn't be so bad (hint for the younger ladies).  Even though I added to the length I still think that I will be cutting it a little close..LOL.

So, we will pin the skirt sides together.  Then seam both sides.
Once you complete the seams press the allowance open.
Staystitch the waist edge of the skirt.  If you want to hem your skirt now you can because once you connect it to the top the "bulky" effect steps in.  I didn't do Step 21 here.

Connect the skirt to the top.  Match seams and notches first.  Then pin the rest of the skirt as needed.   With the fabric that I used there was very little stretching to match everything up.  Stitch the top to the skirt then press the seam allowance upward towards the top.

After pressing your seam allowance on the right side stitch close to the seam.

 This step marks the very last to the last.  Our dress is to the point of done.  I take a last look before hemming.
And here is the finished look.

Right now, I think I am certainly ready for the upcoming holiday events and you could be too.

The Review

Pattern Description:  Misses Dress with sleeve and skirt alternatives.

Pattern Sizing:  XSM- MED

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions and illustrations were so easy to follow,

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  The circle skirt.  It is so flirty and girly.

Fabric Used:  Double Knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:   I added and extra in to the skirt to make it longer.  I also did a FBA (full bust adjustment) to the bodice.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, Yes.

Conclusion:   This was an easy pattern.  I think that it was easy to make the alterations that I needed to make it fit me and I believe that it could be altered even further with some imagination.  I like the use of the double knit fabric which give room for stretching and our own personal flaws.  The 2 things that I didn't like was 1- the extremely big collar.  I made an alternative for this pattern, but felt that I should at least complete the original first to see if I liked it.  2- The short skirt.  The pattern has the skirt measured at 13".  For me, that was extremely too short for a dress, but kind of good for a tunic.  I didn't want a tunic, so I added to the length.  Once I had completed my dress, I liked the end results.  I believe that there are many different ways to make and style this dress. blouse, pattern and it is well worth a try.  I look forward to doing this one again with my own twist.

Well, I hope you enjoyed today's post.  Until next time.

Lots of Love

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Look 6301 Faux Wrap Dress


As the warm weather gets washed away by crazy bouts of cold, I decided I needed another dress that would keep me looking cute while I dodged the certain uncertain weather changes.  To get my Summer/Winter look on I decided to go with  New Look 6301.  This pattern was the apple of my attention from the moment that I saw it.

Even as I saw the leaves falling and turning colors, my mind ran rampant with ideas about this pattern.  I had gone on an outing with the girls and all I could see were these gorgeous winter wrap dresses.  To my delight the color palettes were dreamy.  I had to have one, but my in my color and my style.
When I completed my project I felt as if I had a winner on my hands.  Some of the dresses that I had seen were pretty, but the colors were so Wintery and dark.  I'm in love with this fabric.  I got it from Fabric Mart a while back and I'm sorry to say that they are all sold out of this one, but they are running a sale on ITY fabric right now that is really making me a happy ITY camper.

The Review

Pattern Description: 
Misses knit dress with skirt and sleeve options and tie that can be worn in the front or the back.
Pattern Sizing:
A ( 8- 20)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The pieces were easy to manipulate and it came together rather quickly.

Fabric Used: ITY knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't make any adjustments to this pattern.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? yes and yes

Conclusion:  This is an awesome pattern to add to your pattern stash.  It was very easy to assemble and the instructions were great.  The ITY that I used was very sturdy (stable and not flimsy).  I liked how this particular piece of fabric made this dress look and feel.  I think the next time I will go with either a wool jersey (winter style) or a matte jersey.  

I am very pleased with how this pattern worked out and to me, New Look patterns make a lot of sense without a lot of fuss.

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Until next time.

Lots of Love

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

McCall's 6657 In Red


I've realized that it is getting cold outside and I've decided that a coat is in order.  This Summer, the idea of a coat was all I could really think about.  I kept putting it off and for good reason, I had never made one.  Of course you have blazers and light jackets, but when it came down to it, if you haven't gone to the attack of an actual "Coat", you haven't really delved into "fabric".

A few weeks ago, I made the jump, but before I even dared to tackle the fabric, I took a look at different online courses that would help guide me in the right direction.  Because I subscribe to Patternreview and Burdastlye I felt those two should be the starting point for more information.  Here's the kicker,,,just as I was finishing my coat Burdastyle came up with a cute quiz that helps you decide which courses to take according to the direction that you want your sewing skills to go.  That little nudge of direction would have been very helpful to me last month.  However, I began my project with a look at a blog I found last year, Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing.

Last year this young lady (Known to me as) Victoria, went through a personal experience with James McFarland and his dynamic tailoring techniques.  Her blog made me feel as if I were taking the courses with her, only I wasn't actually present to get the real deal.  Boy was I green, but now I have the opportunity to have a similar experience with Gentleman Jim because he is now teaching Master Fit: Advanced Tailoring on Burdastyle.

Needless to say that with this project I didn't have his help, but I will definately be having him next to me on some of my future projects.  So, here is my very first COAT!!!!

For this coat my daughter chose McCall's 6657.  I've had this pattern in my stash for a while because it is now OOP.  Believe me when I say that when I purchased this pattern my intentions were to make it right away, but the idea of a coat was more powerful than the will.  I had a piece of wool that I really didn't want to part with on this particular coat, but hey, it can only cut once, right?
I love the color of this coat and once finished my daughter was in love.  As I was putting the pieces together, she kept saying that I was making her a robe.  The fur collar kind of changed her mind.

The Review

Pattern Description:  Misses unlined/lined coast with different variations.

Pattern Sizing:  Y (XSM - MED)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were easy, but applying the lining was a bit tricky. (honestly, I started the lining before I read the lining instructions and ended up redoing another set of lining pieces, which makes that my fault. oh oh).

Fabric Used:  Wool

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I had to make a pattern specifically for my daughter and I used muslin as a guide for the fit.  With my daughter being a lot of different sizes in 1 the sizes ranged between the medium, small, and extra small. (as reference not numbers).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, Yes.

Conclusion:  This pattern would make a really good pattern to use with a less bulky fabric (poplin, flannel, or brushed wool).  I liked that this was an easier pattern that I had first thought.  It was similar to making a robe, but with more detail on the collar.  The front facing and the front panel had to be lined in order to get the collar to line up for tacking.
I used a heavy weight interfacing and a lot of steam and dry ironing to press this particular fabric to make it workable and to get the seams as small as they would go,  The pins are in place because the idea was to run a seam along the lines and omit the fur collar (here is where the robe look happens).  With my daughter the shoulders were way to long, so I had to cut 1 1/2" off both shoulders and the sleeves.  The S sleeves were too tight and the MED sleeves were too big.  So, I used her arm measurements to make a sleeve that fit between the 2 and added 1/2" for seam allowance.  The bodice of the MED was way too big from the waist down.  Here I had to take her measurements and adjust the muslin to suit her.  I had to take a complete 1" off the back at the top and graded down by 3" from the waist and 4" at the widest hip area.  For the front (without the attached facing and lining) I continued with 1' taken from the top, 3" at the waist and 4" at the hips.  With the lining and front facing I took 1" off the facing that attached to the lining side and used the same 1"- 3"- 4" for the lining piece that connected to the lining back.  I also used those measurements for the lining back.  The sleeve lining was made using the adjusted sleeve muslin minus 1/2".  

Once I had completed all of this it was time to try the coat on again and here is were my young lady says,,,,,,"It's too long".  I can't agree with her on this, but she kind of wanted an above the waist jacket.  I wished she had told me this earlier.  I knew that if I had left the coat as long as it was, she wouldn't want to wear it, so I went back into  the coat lining on the inside left side and cut away 5" from the bottom.  Then cut 1" off the lining and stitched it close all the way across the bottom, closed the side opening and now it is ready for the cleaners.  

Overall, I liked this pattern, but making this coat again is not at the top of my "to do" list.  My daughter has expressed to me that she wants more collars since the fur one is removeable and I do see those in the future, so as I complete those, I'll keep you up to date with that.

Well, that concludes today's post.  I hope you enjoy it.  Thank you for joining me.

Lots of Love 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

McCall's 7021 and Review


I think I probably said in an earlier post that Halloween kind of stopped me in my tracks with a couple of projects that I really wanted and needed to get done.  I started looking for new and interesting patterns for the 2014 Fall/Winter season, but making my mind up on which one to start with was kind of hard when there were some awesome patterns coming out.  Some were repeats, but I was still mesmerized when I saw McCall's 7021.  I actually figured I would make a few of these for my daughter, but I knew that in order to get her to like it I would have to make one for myself first.  Guess what,,,,It worked?  When she saw my blouse she was all excited to get one for herself.  She actually picked a leopard print jersey that I had and a solid red.   Halloween cut into the red one, but here are a few pics of the 2 that I did manage to finish.

This is my blouse.

I just turned under the sleeves for a small hem.

I decided not to do the waste according to the instructions because I wanted my elastic almost invisible.
I used a Rayon Jersey for my blouse which can be found Here, Here, and Here.  The rayon has a silky soft feel.  This is the last piece of fabric that I had from a previous project.  I was impressed with this fabric then and almost too happy that I had just enough left to make this top.

I used the same pattern that I had for myself for my daughter.  I was not about to buy 2 of the same pattern.  I had to grade it to a small so that it would fit her.  Then I made the sides in the front a little longer that what the pattern called for.   This gives a significant dip for the front part of the peplum.

After I alter the front, I used the front to match the length of the seams and then cut the back.  I applied her elastic the same way that I did mine.

I turned under the neck and the sleeves per instructions.

My daughter wore her blouse the very next day and she just loves it.  I don't know when I will get a chance to wear mine, but I'm sure I'll find an excuse to put on...LOL.

The Review

Pattern Description: Misses top with variations

Pattern Sizing: B5 (8-16)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. Completely

Were the instructions easy to follow?  These were the best and easiest instructions that I've had in a while.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I liked how easy everything was. From cutting to sewing, the whole process was a breeze.

Fabric Used:  The pink top I used a Rayon and the leopard print was a cotton jersey.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn't make any changes to my pattern other than the elastic change.  With the second one, I had to adjust the pattern to fit my daughter. (didn't buy 2 patterns).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I am definitely going to make this one again and again.  I recommend this pattern completely!!!!

Conclusion:   Well, I will say it again.  This is an awesome pattern for beginners and anyone who wants a quick peplum top without all the fuss. Construction time was about 2hrs without distractions.   I used 2 different types of fabric which shows how versatile this pattern is.  I will be trying a few other fabric choices for some of my other projects, but that will be at a later time.

Converting a pre-cut for my daughter was so easy (knit fabrics are so forgiving).  I will be using the same pattern for the both of us in other projects because this pattern will make you feel like a pro.

Well, That's it for now.  I hope you enjoyed today's post and I look forward to next time.

Lots of Love