pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6650 } Keyhole blouse…

mccalls6650_frontAt the heart of this blouse is McCalls 6650 however I made enough changes to the neckline for it to essentially be any basic blouse front & back with modifications.  I used McCalls 6650 because I needed a basic bodice but also because it mentions the blouse is loose fitting, I wanted to see exactly how loose fitting before I made a 6650 of my own, neckties, sleeves & all. The reviews thus far have been somewhat mixed however the majority of sewers have mentioned the fullness of the necktie being a little too full & some of you had mentioned the sleeves causing some restriction.

Anyhow, below are the deets on how I did it :

{ DESCRIPTION } As already mentioned : loose fitting, pullover tops with gathered front neckline and back-button placket. Various options on no sleeves, short sleeves or long as well as no neck tie finished with binding or bias collar which extends into ties.

{ FABRIC USED } I found a soft striped rayon georgette with some stretch on the width. The colours dont immediately read summer, but I think the lime green & orange make it a great fabric for all seasons.

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size allowing for a little extra on the hips however trimmed this off on first fitting because the blouse was loose enough without the extra.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I did not follow the instructions.

{ CHANGES } I cut only the front & back of this pattern as if I was going to make up View A. I cut the front on the width of the fabric & the back on the length allowing for the stripe/pattern change between the back & front. Since this blouse was so simple, I wanted to add some detail to avoid it being too plain.mccalls6650_side1mccalls6650_side2

I stitched the side seams & shoulder seams together & then fitted & made adjustments to the sizing to suit me. I then measured how low I wanted my keyhole to sit, marked it & cut straight  to that point down the centre of the front. Once the blouse was back on the cutting table, I shaped the  keyhole using pins & then re-fitted. At this point I also lowered the neckline so that it wasnt sitting so high & added 2 small pleats each side of the keyhole to keep the shape & avoid the “flaps” from sagging.mccalls6650_closeup

I omitted the placket/buttons to the back because the top would still slip over my head due to the keyhole.

I made strips of binding using the same fabric & got on with binding the keyhole first, then the neckline allowing the neckline binding to cover the tops of the keyhole & allowed extra for the keyhole opening ties. I did not make these strips on the bias because the fabric has sufficient stretch however the keyhole could have benefited from a bias strip not only to get it easier around the curve but also because a bias strip would have given the keyhole a diagonal stripe which would have looked quite cool. In hindsight, I could have gone narrower with the binding but as you probably know, sewing binding is not the easiest to do with a rayon because its hard to keep its shape, unlike cotton which is a breeze to bind with.mccalls6650_back

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ** Super easy at first, but the binding was a beeatch to get right!

{ TIME } Cutting & sewing up the side seams & shoulders took under an hour. The fiddling around with the keyhole & binding took almost 3 times as long as the rest.

{ LESSONS LEARNT }  Sewing slow will minimize top stitching mistakes & get you your desired finish!!

{ SUM IT UP } I really like the way this blouse turned out, especially the clash of the stripes on the sides. I can wear this with a pair of jeans or dress it up with a black, cream or army green skirt for work…it just works as a great cross-over blouse.

Many years ago I spotted the image below in a magazine & loved the keyhole tie so I kept the image for inspiration.  keyhole_blouse

I know there are mixed reviews about this pattern but the shape & fit of this blouse is really good IMO. It could be because I have not yet attempted the blouse with the necktie or sleeves….but we shall soon see 🙂

I have already worn this as part of MMMay’13, however I am a little behind on processing the pics for MMMay….should be good to go soon though.

Thanks for stopping by x

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pattern review · sewing

{ AMERSON UNDIES } The good, the bad & the ugly…

I learnt { BIG } lessons from my experience sewing the Amerson brooks. I had wanted to sew some sort of lingerie this year because I had never tried it before. These stole my heart at first sight. The good, the bad & the ugly should sum it up…but first :

amerson_undies_cottonsI used a soft ivory cotton lycra which was a scrap I picked up from a friend that worked at a well known lingerie company. I used the cotton lycra because its super silky soft and feels wonderful on the skin. I used 4 different coloured cottons for the top-stitch zigzag & button : a soft peachy pink around the waist, a lime green at the sides & crotch, bright yellow on the leg openings & a turquoise blue to attach the little button.  The cottons (part of a 30 pack of the sweetest colours) I purchased from Hema in Holland a few years back.

{ THE GOOD } They are sweet brooks, very comfie and fun. I have cheeky brooks in my armory but these are different, more bloomers if you’d like.

{ THE BAD } At first, I was a tad baffled as to which edge was the centre front and which was the centre back. I had to do some scratching but once I figured it out I marked the pattern for future & got on. TAKE NOTE : The side seam is the short straight edge, the waist is the longer straight edge!!  I also cut 2 pieces of the front in the same direction so I had to scrap one side & cut another. I wish the pattern layout would include a cutting layout for those that are using fabric with a definite right/wrong side. Its not the end of the world though…such a small piece is not going to kill me is it?! 🙂

{ THE UGLY } As I said, lessons! I learnt that I dont know much about sewing with elastic – in fact read, I know { BLOW ALL } about sewing with elastic!! The fact that my elastic was already parched should tell you how much I sew with elastic! I struggled to find the lengths in my trims tin to accommodate what was required to sew this because of the condition of my white elastic. Sure, I use elastic in a channel { OCCASIONALLY }but top stitching elastic like this equalled a disaster! By the second leg opening I had kinda found my groove but even then…it was not pretty!  It means I have much to learn about sewing with elastics and that I need to purchase some decent elastic & USE IT!

{ MORE UGLY } I also realised I think Im much bigger than I actually am. I cut out the XL thinking my ass was so big even the XL wouldnt fit. Well blow me down, I had to go back & adjust sides & waist because the XL was just far too big for me. Now, I dont usually  take much notice of size labeling because honestly, every pattern we are labeled a different size right. Going on the measurements, the L should have been my best fit but I think the fabric helped to make it seem a bit bigger as well. Who cares – they dont fall down & they comfie, thats all that interests me!! Im also thinking perhaps the over-estimation of my size should be noted under { THE GOOD } hmmm…

amerson_undies_100I would recommend these for a quick sew & I would try them again in an alternative fabric & perhaps with elastic to the insides, maybe with a lace trim.

Difficulty Rating ** (only because of the elastic problems & the CB/CF problem).

Thank you to Maddie of Madalynne for all her hard work on this pattern & of course, for making it available { FREE }. She made me smile earlier as she explains her attire for weekend cleaning! I had my wedding dress on a few weeks ago (before the ankle mishap) and my SIL looked puzzled/worried when I told her I had spent the afternoon in it. I dont do it often, if fact, its only been the 2nd or 3rd time Ive had the dress on since I was married in 2008 but I { LOVE } the super highway it puts me on straight back to my wedding day.

Thanks all for stopping by x

{ Related posts }

sewing

{Wrap skirt – self drafted}

sari_skirt_lime

I made this wrap skirt some time ago but unpacking boxes {JUST MOVED}, i rediscovered it & realised I should post this for any beginners looking for an easy skirt to start with.

It has to be the simplest skirt I have {EVER} made. no.word.of.a.lie…& I didnt even use a pattern. I simply cut a whack of triangular shaped panels, stitched them together until it wrapped around my hips (I cut 5 panels), cut some strips, sewed them together & then onto the skirt, cut a trim & sewed that on. {FINISHED}. I left the skirt unlined because I wear this on summer days over my cozzie or layered over another skirt. The fabric is not transparent or sheer so I dont have issues with wearing this as soft as possible, without lining.

sari_skirt_full

The fabric I used was part of an Indian Sari. Since a sari can measure anything from 6-9yards, there was {PLENTY} fabric left over for some more creativity later on.

The lime green was cut from the centre of the sari, the shocking pink ties were cut from the top end of the sari which would usually be used to make the accompanying under-blouse and the pink & gold trim at the bottom was cut from the side trim on the sari. very easy, very simple!

sari_skirt_closeup

This is an image of the panels. If anyone would like the dims I used, please feel free to ask. You can of course adjust the quantity of panels, length & fullness according to your requirements.

sari_skirt_panel

All that is left to say is may 2013 hit you with more sewing inspiration than ever before. May you all be blessed & {HAPPY NEW YEAR}

Thanks for stopping by x