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.
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....
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.
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.
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